5356/Counseling Care

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Counseling Care
Date of Scene: 26 February 2021
Location: Hank's Lab
Synopsis: Some lunch, some counseling and some discussions of making their guest more comfortable and reintegrating her with society!
Cast of Characters: Henry McCoy, Kassandra Pagonis, Kitty Pryde

Henry McCoy has posed:
There hadn't been much more in the way of testing, Henry wanting Kassandra to rest and heal up rather than strain her with pushing her limits with her powers. Today was just a day out of the medbay, letting Kassandra see more than the four walls of the infirmary. Lunch had been brought to Hank's lab, with extra in mind for Kitty's arrival. A nice table was set, clear of all the gizmos and tools that would normally be scattered over it.

"I've invited one of my friends down - she serves as a counselor for our friends and such. I'd like for you to meet her, she's a fantastic woman. Smart, one of the sharpest people I've ever taught." A slight grin. "But she could be a good ear for you to speak to - in case I don't fit that bill." He offers over to Kassandra. Kitty had been invited, with the explanation of meeting a rescued Mutant who might be a good fit for the school.

Kassandra Pagonis has posed:
     Kassandra has forgone the Xavier's gear that she had been loaned, and the hospital scrubs that she had been clad in since her arrival, for stuff from the loaner box which, truth be told, was fairly decent, as far as things went. A pair of comfortable sweatpants and a short-sleeved shirt with a printed image of Kermit wearing a wizard's hat and wielding a handgun was what she chose to wear, a flannel shirt covering her arms as well as a pair of lime green crocs that almost certainly were put there as a joke but, when you don't have shoes, you take what fits. Shopping is on the menu at some point, paid for by Warren, but she's got to get out of the labs and the hospital room first.

     "I do appreciate it." She says from her spot by the table, a ball point pen twirled around the fingers of her right hand - something she does when she's nervous. Meeting someone from upstairs, who's a counselor and one of the smartest people Dr. McCoy knows? That's kind of a big deal, and from what she's been told about this place - very little, to the people's credit, until they know she can be trusted - she's right to be a little nervous. "I just hope we can figure something out. Paige told me a little bit about this place and you saying we take care of our own is kind of...comforting. you know?"

Kitty Pryde has posed:
Kitty has her earbuds in, plugged into her phone and doing a little dance in time to the music that only she hears as she comes down the hallway. Lockheed is resting on her shoulder, head leaning over nearer to hers so he can hear the music too.

The young woman reaches the door to Hank's lab, seeing it is open and giving a knock on the doorframe before leaning her head around into the room. "Hey Hank. You were looking for me?" she asks, having gotten the message he was hoping she could come by.

Kitty and Lockheed step in, her eyes going to Kassandra and giving her a soft smile of greeting, but waiting to let Hank do the introductions. Kitty's already aware that Kassandra is at the school, getting notices as a system administrator about security clearances and the like. But best to let a real person do the introduction.

Henry McCoy has posed:
A smile is given to Kassandra, Henry nodding. "Of course. It's a matter of making sure you feel safe, comfortable, and see if we can do more to help you in the long run. Too many times, people have been left alone and slid out of control. I am a firm believer we need to understand ourselves, to make intelligent choices about our future. We have to account for our gifts, and make choices that better suit us as individuals." He explains, not mentioning the nervous pen juggling.

As Kitty arrives, he smiles and stands. "Kitty, glad you could join us." He offers a nod and a chuckle. "Kitty Pryde, this is Kassandra Pagonis, a young lady we had the fortune of rescuing recently. Kassandra, this is Kitty Pryde, a genius counselor that I've had the honor of befriending and teaching." A look to each. "Please, join us? I've rustled up some lunch for us..."

Kassandra Pagonis has posed:
     "I'm touched, really." Kassandra says to Henry's speech. "I can't tell you the last time anyone has said anything like that to me since it came out I was....y'know...a mutant." She's still hesitant to say the word, it seems. Having so much attached to it, as well as the craziness that her life has been since being declared such, has given Kassandra good reason to be wary. Straightening at the sight of Kitty entering the room, she really doesn't try to stare but it's not every day that you see a purple dragon sitting on someone's shoulder, pleased as punch at being given a trip around the school. She slips to her feet as Kitty and Lockheed approach, the pen clattering to the floor, Kassandra bending quickly to get it back up, setting it on the table out of the way.

     "Sorry." She says with a small blush, clasping her hands together and standing straight. "It's nice t' meet you, Kitty. Wish I could say that Dr. McCoy told me anything about you but....well..." She trails off. "Is that a real dragon?" she finally blurts out.

Kitty Pryde has posed:
Kitty gives a soft, "Aw," at hearing Henry's description of her. "I don't know about that, not even a trained counselor, but I help out in this capacity as I can," Kitty offers, shining a grateful smile to Hank for the comment, and then a friendly one to Kassandra in greeting.

The young woman offers Kassandra her hand. "Nice to meet you too," Kitty offers, before turning her head to be able to look down at Lockheed on her shoulder. "Yes he is, essentially, if not one of the English mythology sorts," Kitty says. "He does breathe fire though. This is Lockheed. And yes he's friendly. He likes scritches where his horns emerge from his head in particular," she says, reaching up to show Kassandra. The dragon's eyes, solid yellow, go partway closed much like a dog leaning into a good petting.

"Hank, that smells great. And I haven't eaten yet, so good timing," she says to him warmly.

Henry McCoy has posed:
Henry offers a grin to Lockeed, smiling as always at the friendly dragon. "It's all meant in earnest, Kassandra. I take it very seriously, helping out fellow mutants." He says with a nod, motioning for everyone to sit and enjoy the lunch. Sandwich fixings, and tomato soup - a nice variety. "And sorry for the brevity of introduction, however I find it best for each person to introduce themselves on a more in depth level. Some people have their own guidelines on what they would like to divulge. For example, I don't tend to explain anyone's gifts - they are personal and can be explained by that person."

As he sits, he nods, "I even had them add a bit extra, as I guessed Lockheed would be joining us. I'd hate for him to sit out without lunch as well." A grin to the purple dragon. "Can't have my guests and friends go unnourished."

Kassandra Pagonis has posed:
     It's not exactly where she would consider having a picnic, but when you're given the option of having food, you have food. After all, what chances would one normally have to eat with a furry blue beast, a dragon, and a Kitty that's human sized? Not many, more than likely! Kassandra re-takes her seat on one of the spinny stools, waiting for everyone to get close, wanting to be the last to make her sandwich because of the manners that were imparted upon her person growing up in the south. "Well..." She finally says, turning, looking to Kitty. "Just so I'm not going over the same rows, what, if anything do you know about me and what I can do and how I got here?"

Kitty Pryde has posed:
Lockheed makes a soft little crooning sound as Hank mentions extra food set aside for him. Kitty walks over and takes a seat with them, Lockheed hopping down onto the table. His plate is slid to the side and he starts in on it, getting a bit of meat and then tossing his head back not unlike a bird to swallow it down.

"I don't know too many of the details," Kitty says to Kassandra, "Though heard you'd come to stay with us for awhile. If you feel like telling your tale, I'm all ears. Though I also realize you may get sick of it after you've met enough people," the young woman says, giving a small grin and a warm chuckle.

Kitty opens up a bottle of iced tea and takes a sip. True to her word, she turns her attention to Kassandra then, ready to listen.

Henry McCoy has posed:
Not shy about food, Henry begins making himself a sandwich. "I've got a good baseline on her gifts, Kitty. I think Jean would be good for her to speak to, on many levels." A smile. "But I'll let her explain her situation. Her story, and all." He winks to Kassandra.

After that, he ladels out a bowl of soup for himself. He watches the two interact, even as he gets his sandwich fully loaded.

Kassandra Pagonis has posed:
     "Well...." Kassandra looks to Henry for a moment as he fills his information before starting. "I'm sure you've heard the story a dozen times before. A happy family in a small town in Texas until suddenly, boom." She claps her hands, before starting to slowly build her sandwich. "Their kid shows up as a mutant. This was discovered at a party where, after that kid had a half a beer, someone handed her a helmet from world war two and suddenly the entire party is storming the beach at Normady. Six were hospitalized, two with concussions from people running into walls to get away, the rest various cuts and bruises. That kid is ostracized from school even though she didn't mean to do it, and was eventually kicked out for 'student safety,' which is a bunch of bull. She even gets thrown out of church for being an abomination unto the lord. And she can't control it. She sleeps in the barn to keep her parents from re-living the memories in the house. it's okay...for a while." Cassandra takes a bite of her sandwich, chewing and swallowing quickly, her story coming faster. "And then one evening, there's an accident. Mom's run off the road and then there's a fire that burns down the barn with the kid nearly inside. The message is as clear as the burnt cross on the lawn left by some well-meaning gentlemen in white hoods who aren't at all your neighbors even though you recognized the trucks three of them were driving..." She sighs, shaking her head. "Anyway..."

     "From there..." She drops the whole 'girl' bit, moving to the first person. "I ended up heading east. I had heard of the X-men, and figured that up here in the North there might be some spots that were a little more accepting to Mutants. And then in South Carolina I hitchhiked and got picked up and drugged and they figured out how I could project things around by touching them so they had me put on shows all over the east coast. You guys found me...I think a week ago. More or less. And now..." She takes another bite. "Dinner with a Beast, a Dragon, and a Kitty."

Kitty Pryde has posed:
Kitty listens quietly, taking small bites of her sandwich and washing them down with iced tea. Kassandra gets a few understanding nods. Whether Kitty has been through something like it herself, or just seen with others, there's a sense of empathy being projected by the young woman towards Kassandra.

"Tough when everyone find out about something like that," Kitty says gently. "I'm sorry you went through what you have. Is your family ok?" she asks.

Kitty takes another small bite from her sandwich, and then looks over to Hank. "How is her control now? Is someone working with Kassandra on it?" she asks, before turning back to Kassandra, including her in the question, "Or are you able to keep from projecting things unless you want to now?"

Henry McCoy has posed:
He doesn't eat as Kassandra is going through her explanation, her tale telling. A grin to her summation of the guests at the table, a slight chuckle. "This won't be the oddest dinner, I am sure." A wry grin. "There have been so many unusual sorts I've met in my life... it makes me wonder if I should write a novel."

Looking to Kitty, Henry nods. "She has control while she's awake - though using her gifts is a bit of a strain on her. When we tested it, she passed out after a moment or two. That could be a combination of the effort needed, and her malnutrition at the hands of those villains." A frown at that. "When she sleeps, it appears to happen without her control. I suspect it might be due to a lowering of her guard, or REM Sleep."

Kassandra Pagonis has posed:
     "Think of it like....holding a spring-loaded door shut." Kassandra says with a nod to Henry before she looks back to Kitty. "When I'm awake, it's easy to keep the door shut. Just flex that little bit of mental muscle and it's pretty much a cake walk. When I'm asleep, though, i'm not holding the door closed and, from what i've been told, little fields of my ability show up in a radius around me that are a little bit disorienting. I really never learned to use it. More trying to just find a place to actually sleep where I wouldn't get rousted or freak people out and get beaten up for causing people issues."

Kitty Pryde has posed:
Small nods are given by Kitty as she listens. "I'm sure Hank has already told you, but we can probably help with training yourself to control it. Even probably when you're asleep. We've had quite a bit of experience with helping other mutants with their powers," she says, giving Kassandra a reassuring smile.

"So, and not to dwell on this," Kitty says gently, "But just to understand, just in case something does happen... are people seeing what happens, but it's not really happening? Or does what happens to them during it actually happen? Also, is it only objects that seem to cause that kind o projection? Or could other things around you also lead to them? People? Dragons?"

Henry McCoy has posed:
After taking a bite from his sandwhich, Henry goes quiet for a moment. Once done chewing, he nods. "Kassandra explained it to me that it didn't work with people. As for what others experience - I sat in one of her projections, and I could smell, hear, and feel everything. I do not know, however, if me interacting in a negative fashion with the images or actions projected would cause me harm. She did warn that I not run off, as I could not see any furniture or walls - and could careen into something to cause myself injury."

Kassandra Pagonis has posed:
     Now they get to the nuts and bolts of it all. Kassandra straightens a little and wipes her mouth, nodding. "No, you need to know what's going on and what can go on. Imagine..." she sighs. "God I wish I could show you and not pass out, but imagine taking the current reality and projecting another reality over it. An existing past reality. A full sight, sound, full motion experience that surrounds you and completely overwrites what you sense in front of you. This table, this chair, the food? You wouldn't be able to sense it because my ability would be laid over it all. Where I was, with the party thing, I bet there wasn't much furniture or, if there was, it was placed where furniture was supposed to be to keep people from wiping out on nothing." She gestures to Hank. "I showed him a football game. One that he was about to score a Touchdown before I passed out." She smiles sheepishly. "I guess you guys won that one, Dr. McCoy?"

Kitty Pryde has posed:
The nineteen year old soaks all that in, seeming to take it easily enough in stride. "So more of a mental projection than actually warping reality. Which is very good. Just making sure we didn't have to worry about suddenly finding ourselves in outer space all the sudden or something," Kitty say.

She's probably joking about outer space.

Kitty takes another bite of her sandwich, setting it down and wiping her fingers with a napkin. "And so, how are you holding up? It is a lot for anyone to have gone through," she says quietly.

Henry McCoy has posed:
There's a wry grin to Kassandra. "There weren't many games we lost, while I was on the team." Hank grins, looking proud. "I'm quite difficult to stop once I get going." Ah, glory days! "It was wonderful to see, from a spectator's view." The man chuckles, taking another bite from his sandwich.

"I considered that risk, I do have an item from Carol that I desperately want answers on. However the origins may be a bit remote, so the vision would likely be ... startling, to say the least."

Kassandra Pagonis has posed:
     "No, you're not really there, although while I'm working, it really seems like it." Cassandra dips some of her sandwich in the tomato soup, taking a bite, offering a bit of meat to Lockheed with her free hand, who's just over there and so adorable. She even offers scritches if he wants them. "I just show the past. I can't edit it as far as I can tell, and..." she hesitates. "If you give me enough time, there's really no secret I can't find out."

     Then, she looks over to Kitty. "I'm....okay." Kassandra says softly, studying Lockheed, her index finger scritching right between the dragon's horns. "I mean, I'm not drugged, I'm fed, I'm wearing clothes - borrowed, but better than the nothing I was wearing. Just wondering what's going to happen to me. I know it's kind of selfish but...I don't really have anywhere to go, and not being able to sleep without projecting my ability makes it where an apartment really won't be a good idea."

Kitty Pryde has posed:
Kitty makes quiet 'hrm' noise, nodding slowly. "And people keep all of their awareness, they don't, think they are a soldier at Normandy, they just suddenly find themselves in that environment. Well Kassandra, hopefully it's something that we can help teach you to control on your own. We have a few people who are really good at teaching people control, mentally, and powers. And in the short term," Kitty glances to Hank, an eyebrow slightly raised.

"I'm not sure what arrangements have been made so far. Very worst case, for now we could get you somewhere away from others to sleep. Not a long term solution obviously," Kitty suggests.

She smiles over to the other woman though, saying, "But mainly, just maybe try to take some time to get your bearings. I know going through what you have, you kind of having to put your life on hold and, you get so focused on what's happening around you, and controlling it, you don't really get to be yourself and find good times like normal. If it's just an issue at night, we can deal with that, and try to help you find some normalcy the rest of the day."

Henry McCoy has posed:
A chuckle from Herny, the man looking sheepish. "I did not want to speak for the estate, Kitty. I would be much happier if we could provide a better accomadation for Kassandra. A room to be comfortable in, and more people to socialize with." A look to Kassandra, then back to Kitty. "I think she'd be able to find a home with our people." He says, shrugging. "But I am just myself. I'd love for Jean to meet with Kassandra, so she can make a better call."

A smile. "We have all sorts of youths learning their gifts, and how to interact with others of a similar bent. All walks of life, all sorts of gifts." A chuckle. "It allows us to realize we are not alone in the world, and we are not monsters."

Kassandra Pagonis has posed:
     "That's it exactly." Kassandra says to Kitty, glancing over from her study of Lockheed and sitting up, pushing her hair back behind her shoulders, since this is the more important of the conversations (although Lockheed is amazing and cute). And then she starts talking about arrangements and Henry joins in. Accomodations. Socialization. Normal. Words that Kass hasn't heard in quite some time....not since her junior year at high school, when they were starting to research colleges to go to. It all seems so long ago.

     "You....want me to stay? To learn how to use what I can do?" She blinks. When she puts it like that, it actually sounds fairly magnanamous. Helpful, even. Add in the thought of her own bed and people to talk with, the possibility to learn again...Kassandra can only nod. "What..what do I need to do?"

Kitty Pryde has posed:
Lockheed preened under the attention, before going back to eating. Kitty looks over to Hank and nods. "Well, one of the people in charge of things would have to decide about long term," Kitty says. "In the meantime though, well actually there are two options. Sleeping away from others. Or... we have some technology that can stop a mutant power from working. You could sleep with a device on to cancel it out. Though in the long term, gaining control should be the focus rather than having to count on that always."

Kitty picks up her sandwich, finishing off the next bites. She nods over to Hank. "Right, I think talking to Jean or the Professor should happen," she says.

Henry McCoy has posed:
There's a stretch from the big blue man, and a nod. "Her gift only seems to travel so far, in terms of when she's asleep. If she has her own room, it's likely not going to be a problem." He smiles, nodding then to Kitty. "Perhaps near one of the ends of the wings? It seems to be the safest bet, until we can get a bit more training for her to be in control of her gifts subconciously." He finishes up his soup.

"We can get some bedding prepped that won't be bothered by the after effects, if you like?" He offers to Kassandra. "We have some rather specific materials we use for people with unique situation."

Kassandra Pagonis has posed:
     "I....I'm supposed to go shopping with Paige. Mr. Wor...er, Warren? The guy with angel wings? She kind of convinced him to bankroll a shopping trip after he casually dropped that he paid off a mortgage, so...whenever I can see Jean or the Professor would probably be...good." Kassandra finishes her sandwich, letting out a sigh of contentedness. "So I can put that off. It's not like I have anything else to do at this point."