8934/Holly Jolly

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Holly Jolly
Date of Scene: 04 December 2021
Location: Recreation Room
Synopsis: Christmas decorations at the Mansion turns into the nefarious plots of the night.
Cast of Characters: Remy LeBeau, Rogue, Jean Grey, Noriko Ashida, Jubilation Lee, Betsy Braddock, Emma Frost, Megan Gwynn

Remy LeBeau has posed:
Christmas season has struck the Xavier's School!

....as has the alcohol, considering that Remy is attempting to put up a Christmas tree in the Recreation room, and there are at least three empty bottles on the table. Knowing Remy's rather...explosive powers, people seem to have kept a little bit of distance. Rumor has it Remy blew up one of the bulbs that go on the tree.

That's right. He made an ornament blow up as a 'party gag'.

Somebody better go either help Remy out or scold him for blowing things up as a way to totally not impress people. He's wearing a black shirt, with blue jeans and dark shoes as he stumbles.

"Holly Jolly Christmas...de best time o' de year...." He sings, drunk off of his ass.

Rogue has posed:
Rogue had gotten the rec room Christmas Tree earlier today from a farm down the road from here. No yanking one out of the ground this year! She did it the right and proper way, and made Remy pay for it! In truth, he insisted though!

Now, she's here in the rec room with all the ornament boxes pulled out of the crawl space under the main foyer stairs. She's taking them out and sorting them, cleaning them, and then delivering them to where Remy is so he can hang them up. She takes a box there to him now, and eyes the bottles. "Ya better slow down, Cowboy." She says to the guy with a snicker before she sets the new box of ornaments down on the table, and sits down on the arm of one of the sofas to look at the tree as it stands so far!

"These things always take longer to decorate then ya remember from the previous year..." She mutters as the music plays / and is sung!

Jean Grey has posed:
While not necessarily an official school event or party proper, the tree decorating is an easy excuse for some more generalized holiday festivities. And so none of the classics are skimped out on! Jean has been in and out, flitting around the mansion (they have a LOT of mansion to decorate!) and has a generic holiday Spotify list piped in over the PA system, so that NO ONE can escape the holiday tunes. Her return to the rec room is heralded by the fact that she too is humming along, unintentionally joining Remy in the song. "...now I don't know, if there'll be snow..."

Well, that's a lie. They have Ororo. They always get scenic snowfalls at the mansion, perfect for all the students to frolic and play in. And for certain teachers to engage in death defying sled races, but that's another matter.

"How's it going in here, you two?" she wonders brightly as she joins them, bringing not just a song, not just a general sense of holiday cheer (including a typical 'ugly christmas sweater'), but in predictable fashion... a tray of snacks. Not only are there fresh baked snacks (she never stops!), but a set of glasses and a pitcher filled with a mysterious, creamy beverage. "These are virgin, wasn't sure if there'd be any students in here," she points out, glancing left and right, "but I figured one of you would be sure to have something handy to mix." Gotta spike yer nog!

Remy LeBeau has posed:
Remy hears Rogue seem to scold him a little bit about slowing it down. "I'll go as fast as I want to go, cherie. I'm unstoppable! Its de only way it's gon' get done, else I might-" He suddenly hiccups. "get distracted by you 'gain, and as much as I'd like to take you under mistletoe..." he laughs mischievously, and the box of ornaments sat down next to him, Remy takes some more bulbs from that to hang it on the branches of the tree.

So far...this tree doesn't look bad, actually.

"But have o' cup o' cheer...." Remy reaches for Rogue, as if to pull her into a sudden dance, if she allows him, as if they were at a ball.

"Have a holly, jolly Christmas
And when you walk down the street
Say hello to friends you know
And everyone you meet"

He might trip.

Rogue has posed:
Rogue is suddenly pulled up by a black gloved hand and made to stand up with the drunken Remy. She laughs softly as he sings his song and tries to dance, but ultimately trips! She helps him sit down on the sofa and pats his shoulder softly. "Lemme get you ... "She stops and looks over at Jean as the Headmistress arrives. "Whatever Jean's got there." She states as she fusses Remy's hair with a gloved hand and starts toward the kitchenette area.

The Belle is wearing a dark green sweater, jeans and knee-high leather boots.

"We kicked the kids out." She tells Jean. "Told'em t'go use the gamin' stuff downstairs."

"You got some Egg Nog there?" She inquires curiously. "I got somethin' we could put in it, in my jacket..." She looks toward the pool table with a little grin."

Noriko Ashida has posed:
There are some 'kids' that just can't be barred from entry.  Those night owls, those speedy terminally bored kids.  'Kids' like Noriko, who suddenly appears, the door shutting in her wake.  "Hey...what's going on?"  Her eyes blitzing from the drinks to Remy to the tree to the ornaments like a lizard.  Finally they land on Jean.  "You guys are just getting started?" She shoots off skeptically.  Then she zips over to the snacks as she's waiting for the answers to her questions.

Jubilation Lee has posed:
    The doors are pushed open -- thrown open, really -- by a commanding force. Standing in the doorway is none other than Jubilation Lee! Unlike the last time anyone at Xavier's has probably seen her, she's got a bit of a presence surrounding her. There's a confidence that goes beyond what might be considered normal, even for a mutant. The vampiress is dressed like one might if she had no concerns about retaining body heat in December, which she doesn't. A pink tanktop with a plunging neckline, black spandex short-shorts, and a pair of yellow Vans sneakers. Her hair is pulled back into a girlish ponytail.

    "And, yet, the kids have returned," Jubilee announces as the heavy wooden doors kick back once they reach the limits of their hinges.

    Jubilation walks towards the tree, looks up at it, and then at Remy. She frowns at him, just briefly, before her eyes linger on Noriko. If there's one person who could get the porcelain skin of Jubilation, the vampiress, to blush, it would be Noriko. It does.

Jean Grey has posed:
"Well, alright, Remy's already drunk." And here Jean is, offering more drinks! But the tray of goodies is nonetheless maneuvered over to the bar that sits in one corner of the room, setting it down so that anyone can come make their own if they want. The cookies, all freshly out of the oven, send their seductive smell wafting through the whole place. She pours herself a glass of eggnog, and then ambles closer to the tree, eyes roving among the various bottles the Cajun has left scattered about, and then leaning to examine them close-up, lifting one here and there, shaking them to see which he's emptied out already.

"Hmm... no, not a good mix, and this one's all gone... am I gonna have to go get something from my office?" SHE KEEPS BOOZE IN HER OFFICE? Your headmistress, everyone! "Ooh. No, this'll do." She stands back up with one of the bottles, then looks across at Rogue and wrinkles her nose. "Kicked the kids out?! Its the student rec-room..."

Fortunately, Noriko and Jubilee show up, and Jean actually looks relieved that Rogue hasn't wholly succeeded in banning the student hordes. "Oh, there's no real official start or anything, I just thought I'd put on some music while we decorated." ...and bake cookies. "Help yourself to-" Annnnnd she's already there! So Jean turns to address Jubilee. "We still have the big tree in the foyer to do." That's the big 'official' event, complete with Xavier presiding over all the peace and goodwill toward men, doing his yearly reading. This is just the cool kids party on the side!

Remy LeBeau has posed:

Remy ends up tripping and he's caught by Rogue! "Do I get a kiss now, Cherie p'tite?" He winks at her playfully and seems to lean against the sofa, laughing a little bit as he suddenly finds himself lying down. "Why is de ceilin' in front of me and not above me?" Remy questions nobody in particular. Maybe the universe? He's the strangest Cajun.

"Now it's a party!" Remy tells to Jubilee and Noriko as they come and join them, though his eyes turn to Jean. "Jeannie, Jean...you gotta do me a solid. You gotta get me more beer. You de best if you do dis for ol' Remy, now go, do me the favor."

"Merry Chrishmash." Remy slurs a little bit.

Rogue has posed:
Rogue is already walking over to her new jacket on the pool table, a suede tan jacket with fuzzy white lining along the collar, cuffs and hem around the waist. She watches Nori and Jubes come in like wrecking balls and it makes her smirk. "Ya'll aren't the kind I kicked out. Ya'll are the kind that would help. So you're welcome t'stay." She says as she watches Jean go examine the bottles.

"Don't you dare pour any'a that in your drink." She says with a grin as she whips out a flask from her jacket pocket and wiggles it around. As she walks toward Jean, and Remy, she grabs up another cup of the creamy yummy Nog, pouring some of her flask in to it and handing it to Remy. "Here. Better than beer." She says to him as she then hands the flask to Jean. "And here, we'll get your office stash later." She says with a grin then.

She sits down on the arm of the sofa, her eyes darting back to Nori and Jubilee. "You two wanna help put decorations up on the tree? Got lotsa boxes here full of them. The old ones are the coolest, stuff from the World War eras even. So be careful, if ya do wanna help."

Noriko Ashida has posed:
Noriko may be leaning casually against the table the baked goods have been laid out on, but as opportunities present themselves, the goods seem to just...walk off.  When the speedster catches Jubilation's entrance though, her perception shifts as she slips over control over her power, happily zoning out as Jubes glides into the room in a kind of slow motion reality.  To others, that's when her secret eating blurs without discretion for timing.

The speedster is also not wearing anything suitable for the winter, per usual.  Dressed for a run, she's sporting some blue running shorts that match her hair color, a gray tone raglan tee with the sleeves rolled up, and a pair of high tops whose logo is briefly licked by an emerging tiny bolt of electricity.  Her hair?  Well it's kind of static-y right now, powerfully defying gravity.

"Do we get stuff to mix in our egg nog?" Noriko asks Rogue, as if there ought to be some kind of payment for putting up decorations, or something to cope with it...audience's choice.

"No blood for you at the snack table.  I checked," the speedster says as she appears in front of Jubilation with a grin as she pops something into her mouth.  She beams brightly and then leans ever so quickly for a hello kiss.

Jubilation Lee has posed:
    Jubilation reaches up and places her hand on Noriko's cheek. The speedster is given a return hello-kiss, which ends in a smile. "Nori..." she begins. "Why would they have blood? I mean, they probably don't even have Dunkaroos..." Her eyes briefly flicker towards Rogue, suggesting that the joke was for her benefit.

    Jubilation leans all of her weight over one hip and tilts her head towards the opposite shoulder. "Now it's a party, yes," she agrees, grinning a little at Remy's announcement. Her fangs -- four of them, two canines on top, two on the bottom, are on display. Either she can't retract them, forgot how, or doesn't care to.

    "Oh, we'll help!" Jubilee decides loudly, jerking her head towards Noriko. Jean gets a smile that, strangely, seems like it has some genuine fondness behind it. It's a far cry from the 'Eye of Sauron' sort of attitude that Jubilee had previously.

    "Rogue..." Jubilation begins, walking towards her with both eyes pointed squarely at Remy. "...Is this one finally treating you right?" The question sounds loaded, as though there's an answer that could result in a snapped neck or something.

Jean Grey has posed:
"I am not getting you beer," Jean informs Remy, with a roll of her eyes. There is a fine line between 'team mom,' and 'team overworked and underappreciated housewife.' "Besides, I brought eggnog." She repeats the fact in case the inebriated Cajun hasn't caught on. "And I'm spiking them for the adults. So if you want one of those, I'll be happy to-"

Nope! Rogue has it covered! Still, Jean's expression turns to curiousity as the woman insists in using her own flask-bound alcoholic additive rather whan whatever bottle was sitting around the room. Handed the flask, Jean raises it to her nose for a speculative sniff, and then grins a bit and pours some into her own glass o' nog. "Yeah, most people just use bourbon or rum, but you can do other things too. I've got this nice brandy I think would go really well with it. Add a touch of spice... just delicious." Of course, the Secret Office Stash is FANCY. "We can have some later."

This may not be info she should be sharing in front of the infamous booze bandit!

Speaking of whom, Jean gives a touch of a raised-brows look at the blue haired speedster... and then a sly look sidelong at the door and back. "Well... if you're good, sure. Just a little." Its the holidays! And it's not as if she doesn't know the students find their ways regardless. There's something to be said for doing it under adult supervision. And that same conversation between the pair of youngsters reminds her of the unfortunate exclusion in her snack tray. "I'm sorry I don't have anything for you," she tells Jubilee, sounding like she really is upset. As if she could go look up... blood recipes, or something!

Betsy Braddock has posed:
This is when Betsy Braddock appears from the direction of the kitchen. She is wearing a pair of ugly (on purpose) quilted looking plaid flannel leggings as well as a Christmas sweater, evidently given to her by someone she knows given its inscrutable motif that might suggest a... broadway play? She also has a bottle of brandy in her hands.

"Oh dear," Betsy says, before hiding the brandy behind her back, poorly.

"Remy! Joyeux Noel," Betsy calls cheerfully, before approaching the eggnog. "Noriko, Jubilation, helLO." She approaches Jean with the sort of warm and open face that suggests at least two hits of pre-gaming drinking before she got here. At least it isn't calm withdrawn traditionalism.

Remy LeBeau has posed:
Remy accepts the drink from Rogue and he laughs a little bit. "Cherie, you take such good care of me." He makes kiss sounds, and then drowns himself in his new drink, as if he forgot about everyone for the moment and just the 'egg nog' that he got from Rogue. Though Remy looks at Jean and he stretches his arms out. "What did I do to deserve your wrath, Jeannie? I haven't stolen from you."

A pause.

He looks at Rogue, as if for confirmation. "I haven't, right?" Drunk Remy has a poor memory, though he shrugs a little bit. "Is it actually 'egg nog' or are you tryin' to be subtle about the alcohol content?" He snickers like he just did a prank in high school.

Somebody hit him.

His eyes turn and look to Betsy. "Ah, Betsy, Et bonne annee." Remy laughs a little.

Rogue has posed:
Rogue stands up from the arm of the sofa and walks over to one of the boxes of ornaments. She picks it up and steps over to the tree to gather one of the old timey things out of its nook. She listens to the others and grins when she hears Remy's response, along with Jean telling the two younger ones they can partake in some booze.

When Betsy arrives, Rogue looks over her shoulder and smiles at what she sees. "I didn't know there was a Ugly Christmas Sweater tandem goin' on t'night." She says with a little laugh as she looks back at the tree, and picks a branch to pinch the little metal hook on to, the toy soldier ornament swaying gently as she releases it amongst the pine needles. "Am I the only one /not/ drinkin'?" She asks then as she turns around to see Jubilee stalking toward Remy. She smiles at her. "He's fine. Ya don't gotta gut'im. Not yet anyway." She states before looking between Remy and Jean. "And no, ya haven't stolen from her. Though she's got a few pairs of earrings that I might enlist ya for..." She states then with a grin between the two of them.

Noriko Ashida has posed:
Noriko has no idea what Dunkaroos are, so that helps her pick up Jubilation's focus of her humor.  At Jean's contriteness, the teen shows no mercy, quickly firing off,  "Oh nonsense Headmistress.  There's plenty to offer.  I count at least 5 walking Capris Suns right now."  Jubilation gets a facetious wink.

Dark eyes suddenly appear on Betsy as the beginning of her name is mentioned.  She lifts a gauntlet to flash Betsy an electrified peace sign in greeting.  "I'm afraid I would have to know what good is to be good, so I guess I'll just give it a gamble," Noriko reports as her mind ping pongs back and forth through the topics of her conversation.  "Oh that stuff doesn't really do anything to me," she admits impulsively about the alcohol as she skillfully steps out of the vampire rage trajectory (aka do-not-be-between-Jubes-and-Remy), jokingly playing off of Jubes line of inquiry.

Jubilation Lee has posed:
    The smile for Jean seems to get even wider when the headmistress gives Remy some pushback. It reaches its limits after Jubilation hears her approve, seemingly, of Noriko having alcohol. It wouldn't work for Nori, Jubes knows, but it's really fun to watch an 'adult' suddenly treat them less like children. And then the apology for the blood? Jubilation's appreciation for Jean Grey is positively transparent on her expressions.

    "Oh, don't worry about it. I don't show up hungry," Jubilation answers Jean, shrugging one shoulder. "Not after... well... It's not a good idea." The smile fades, just a touch as that memory comes back, but it's not gone entirely. "Besides. If Nori has some..." Jubes adds, eyebrows hiked in the speedster's direction.

    I will later.

    She doesn't say it aloud. It goes unsaid, just lingering in the aether.

    "Alright, let's see what we're working with here," Jubilation announces, glide-walking towards the box of ornaments and away from her disapproval of Remy. Betsy gets a grin, paired with her own non-electrified peace sign. "Let me know, Rogue, as soon as he does something stupid again," she adds, tilting her gaze towards the Cajun who has done her friend so wrong over the years. Her tone suggests that some part of her wants Remy to screw up. It's the Dark Passenger she's fighting almost constantly, the one that's been in there since her return from the dead.

    "Nori..." Jubilation replies, her smile returning, her voice dragging on while saying the speedster's name. "You know I wouldn't."

Jean Grey has posed:
The newest arrival sparks a particular sort of delight in Jean. Whether this is just a matter of being happy to see a friend visit for the holidays, or some additional amusement born out of the fact that Betsy is now two for two on showing up to these holiday functions a few drinks ahead... who knows! Taking a sip from her new drink, Jean then sends it off to hang floating aside to free her hands as she turns, arms wide, to offer some appropriately mushy holiday hugs and cheek kisses to her ugly sweater twin and fellow telepath. "I just love your sweater!" Holiday fashion attrocities are the best! And the hug may be a ruse to investigate the bottle behind the other woman's back!

When this greeting is done with, she turns back at Remy, just shaking her head. "It's not wrath, and it IS egg nog." Pause. "Which I just brought in here." Pause. "The second before you asked me for more beer." Pause x3, for effect! "And if you're so drunk you've lost your short term memory, maybe I oughta cut you off!" Hmph! Which leads to her echoing Rogue, vis a vis Jubilee: "Maybe you oughta let her. He seems like he could use a good gutting or two." Harsh!

Still, Jean can't be too mad, amidst all this carefully engineered cheer. Her drink returns to her hand, and she savors a sip. "I know you metabolize it," she tells Noriko. "It's just, you know," she makes a vague gesture, indicating (somehow, in its expressive vaguenss!) the social contract under which they all labor, and by whose terms she, a theoretical adult, should not be boozing up those under her care as an educator... whether or not they are basically young adults who are probably fine with it. "Anyway, with THAT as a role-model," and she indicates Remy again, "I don't think the bar is exactly set too high."

As far as Jubilee goes, she smiles to indicate no actual worry. "I trust you. Both of you. We're all family here, having a good time. Its fine." Jean, at her very height of permissiveness!

Betsy Braddock has posed:
Betsy winks at Remy, and then tells Rogue, "My dear lady, I'll just have to have your share! But really, though, don't feel pressured. I suppose it's rude, sometimes, but, well..." Her lips purse for a moment as she brings out the bottle, eyes it, and twirls it (CAREFULLY) around in her hand, like a club. Then back again, like a bottle.

The vampiric flirting is given a thoughtful look - or perhaps a drunken one. Her lips purse in thought, and she taps her nose once, but she asks the two younger women, "Are you going to be staying here for Christmas?"

And then she is given the darkling red embrace of -- JEAN! "Oh, now now, I'm not THAT far away," she says, pecking lightly over Jean's cheek as her hand seeks Betsy's brandy bottle. Betsy makes a toying feint of pulling it away, but not much of one.

"You could argue we're resistant to human law but I do actually have a little fact of interest to you both which might be fun AND educational," Betsy tells Jubilee and Noriko. "While it would be extremely illegal to *sell* you alcohol, or to *give* it to you, or otherwise *provide it* in a deliberate or aggressive manner, I don't believe that it is illegal if, having taken reasonable precautions to secure the fluid in question, you were to obtain it."

"Also," Betsy says with a quirk of the eyebrow, "someone would have to tell..."

Rogue has posed:
Rogue just steps back over to the tree and plucks out another ornament of a Santa inside a old fashioned airplane waving with a bag of presents in the seat behind him. She hangs this one up too as she glances over at Betsy and flashes her a grin.

"Oh. I'm gonna start drinkin'. IT's Friday, after all. Just savin' it for after we're done here. Wanna make sure its all nice and pretty..." Holidays are important to the southern gal!

Remy LeBeau has posed:
Remy extends a single finger at Jubilee, his finger nearly glowing with kinetic energy. Close inspection would see a tiny needle in his hand. "Touch me with those fangs and I'm gonna make your hair stand on end." Remy makes a gunshot sound with his hand and he chuckles, before he looks at Rogue, giving her a grin. "Just say the word, Cherie, and they're good as yours." He looks at Jean then.

"No mind control, that's cheatin'." he wags a finger at her. "You can't cut me off, that's mean! I don't want a guttin'. I just need a good drink and a healthy nap." He smirks at her. He turns his attention to Noriko and he gives her a shrug.

He looks at Rogue a little bit. "-Yet-?! I'm thinkin' you don't like me anymore, cherie." he smirks. Though he looks at Betsy. "Jeannie's gonna kill you if you feed them alcohol subtly."

Noriko Ashida has posed:
Noriko Ashida stares at Jean...stares.  She's never been so still has she?  "How much did /you/ pregame?" the speedster finally spits out with a discerning look that breaks into a grin.  A rhetorical jab to be sure.  Nori's smirk to Jean softens a bit though for just a moment.

The speedster steps over behind Jubilation to hook her chin over the vampiress' shoulder, leaning.  "Oh I know...and Jean knows."  She softens her voice to a stage whisper, "Jubes.  We're trusted," as if letting anyone else know should cause widespread panic.  Her eyes dart over the curves and angles of the ornaments glittering before Jubilation.

"It's not as if anyone is responsible for what the alcohol /itself/ does.  I've known a bottle or two in my time to get awful lonely and just wander off in search of company," Noriko adds to Betsy's expert opinion with a nod...and then a shrug.

"Nowhere else to go," the girl says with another noncommittal shrug about staying at the Mansion for Christmas.  "Plus I don't think I could afford eating elsewhere over the break," she says with a little bittersweet laugh as memories of stabbing hunger flash in and out of her brain.

Jubilation Lee has posed:
    "I'm staying for the break," Jubilee answers Betsy. "To be with family." Normally, students /leave/ for the break to be with family, but Jubilation's eyes travel towards Noriko and linger there, perhaps explaining why she's staying. It's this thread that returns Jubilation's attention back on Jean, the one who apparently trusts her.

    "Then can I move back to the dorm?" she blurts out, her voice almost taking on a slight whine.

    This would certainly be something she'd want to keep secret from other vampires. No doubt that if there were weekly meetings, this week's topic would be how Jubilation 'Jubilee/Jubes/J-Lube' Lee just metaphorically bent the knee to a mortal.

    "Ew!" Jubilation exclaims suddenly, her entire face souring. "/As if/ I would put my teeth anywhere /near/ you, Remy LeBeau!" Jubilee shakes her head rapidly. "You're, like, a fish stick held together with a bandaid!" Her eyes roll back into her head to try and exaggerate the teasing.

Jean Grey has posed:
"She has superhuman endurance and she's worried about hanging decorations while impaired. Meanwhile, this guy has been blowing things up all afternoon," Jean laments, marvelling at the state of her existence. "Its fine though. She can hang things, while I drink all her booze. Or all Betsy's booze." For all that she's threatening to cut Remy off, Jean is now ready to get serious about her own party time!

She takes a few almost dancing steps away from Betsy, indeed carrying that new bottle now, and goes to the bar so she has a surface to do some pouring on. Because perhaps while she's confident enough to telekinesis her cup around, actually pouring liquids with your mind while under... whatever degree of influence starts getting risky. Fluid dynamics are the absolute worst!

"Oh, I've barely had any up until now," she informs Noriko. "Maybe a sip or two while I was baking." And she's been baking all day! Either way, she's now back to humming the current tune on the speakers as she merrily pours. And despite whatever discussion of legal loopholes, Jean isn't even bothering with the pretense, portioning glasses of eggnog for everyone (OK maybe except Remy... and Jubilee? OK she pours a bunch of glasses and people can take 'em if they want 'em!), and then goes down the line with Betsy's bottle, adding that extra special kick to each.

At the very least, she does leave most of them sitting on the counter, rather than actually coming and HANDING them to the students. Or Remy. "No mind control." She's just betting against him even making it to the counter! She does grab a pair, bringing one to Betsy first, and then approaching Rogue at the tree. "I can take over. I've got powerssss." She wiggles the fingers of a now free hand, making a couple ornamental balls orbit around the tree. Over her shoulder, she looks back at Jubilee: "No. But that has nothing to do with what happened to you. We were going to kick you and Noriko out to the college dorm anyway! The younger students could hear you through the walls! We got complaints!" Was that an overshare? "Its gonna be standard for students over eighteen, now."

Betsy Braddock has posed:
"A solid plan," Betsy tells Rogue. "Don't fly while drunk, of course." Remy then raises her eyebrows at the mention of mind control, and then one a little further at what Remy says next. "Oh? Because I would have beaten her to the punch? So to speak!"

Betsy slides over, to collect one of the glasses of eggnog provided by Jean, the intoxicator. "That's wonderful," she tells Jubilee. "I thought about it, but I was told in no uncertain terms not to. I'm told that there's some sort of thing going on with someone called the Technet back in merry old England, and they have a genetic scanner."

"And so," Betsy says raising her glass, "I'm to stay WELL away until it's done. Whoever they are. To family, then, and to absent friends."

<<NO mind control at ALL, Jean? What if someone begins saying something quite untoward?>> Betsy then teases the other telepath, very quietly, not looking at her save mentally. There's the same quirked-eyebrow feeling.

Rogue has posed:
Rogue steps back from the tree when Jean arrives with the drinks. She smiles at her and swaps her the Egg Nog for the box of old ornaments. "You and all your 'powers'." She says with a grin before sipping the drink and stepping over to the sofa to sit on the arm of it beside Remy. She reaches over to him to pat his shoulder and give it a light squeeze with her gloved left hand. "Don't you worry, they're all just teasin' ya." She says to the Cajun.

Rogue then looks up again from her new perched seat at Jean's joke about Jubilee and Nori. It makes her eyebrows shoot up, and then a smile cross her red hued lips. She starts laughing a second later. "Wow. Okay. That was unexpected..." The Belle replies as she takes a sip of the drink again. "Betsy, were you boozin' with Jean before ya'll came in here?" She asks.

Emma Frost has posed:
It's been an age since Emma set foot in the Xavier School for Mutants Who Can't Mutant Good and Want To Learn To Do Other Things Good Too. Something about her avaricious, self-centered and vaguely villainous ways have often served to put her at odds with the faculty. But she's never acted against them outright, and so she's still able to darken the doorstep without someone calling a 'Code Magneto' or whatever it's named.

"Gifts," the White Queen announces in that affected British accent that she picked up overseas in true Madonna fashion, "Over there. Under the little tree."

A pair of broad-shouldered men in suits, wraparound sunglasses and bald heads make their way into the room with both arms bearing pristine white gift bags. They set them down on the floor in silence, not sparing the gathered group so much as a look, before they immediately depart and station themselves in the hall outside.

She pauses for a moment, chin tilted upwards. A flowing white fur coat over an extremely flattering top that bares her shoulders and jeans that may as well be painted on. No shame has Emma Frost. It's almost like she's posing for a photograph.

Then she's moving again like she owns the place.

Noriko Ashida has posed:
"I'm disappointed Jean.  I'll have to make you a cooking drinking game for next year," Noriko threatens casually as if she's recommending something so simple as a crayon color, knowing Jean will protest.  When Jubes says she's staying for Christmas, Noriko is suddenly at Jubes' shoulder, resting her chin there again, probably not realizing how impulsively obvious she is blurring about.

Noriko chews at her lower lip when Jubes asks about moving back in, but breaks her tension with a retort.  "Well, our schedule is different now," Nori says as if it were a matter of scheduling though her smug smirk suggests something different.  She looks back over to Jubes and grins at the news that they won't be apart.  "So like.  When.  Now?  Tonight?  Over the weekend?  When can I move?!"   A small stray herd of bolts of electricity shoot leap to Jubilation from her chin as she straightens up like pulling away from jolting spiderwebs that crackle and dissipate as quickly as they appear.

Jubilation Lee has posed:
    Jean's overshare earns a long stare from Jubilation. "Oh, that's not /why/ I..." That's not why she's trying to move back. But, it's no matter. She needs clarification. "Wait, seriously?" Jubilee exclaims, her voice finding its enthusiasm again. She turns towards Noriko with a big grin frozen in place. Her mouth is a little bit open, showing off those sharpened teeth with no shame.

    Noriko's questions about the logistics of it aren't even fast enough for Jubilee. She turns quickly to look at Jean, her eyebrows hiked up, still struggling to keep her smile no wider than the confines of her cheeks. "Now!" Jubilee announces, turning back to Noriko. "Now." Back to Jean. "Now, right?" Back to Nori.

    "I'm going to get your stuff!" That's it. Jubilation runs to leave the recreation room, her form taking on a little blur as her vampire curse pushes her along at an unnatural speed. The door bangs loudly as it's thrown open in her wake. This news is too good for even Emma's sensational entrance to slow Jubilee down on her way to the dorms.

Jean Grey has posed:
Fortunately, Jean doesn't have to give up drinking to swap jobs with Rogue. SHE CAN DO BOTH. Although this is starting to get precarious, as she summons over her cup, holding it up to her lips, while waving her other hand like some kind of orchestral conductor, making the floating ornaments dance around the tree, looking for just the proper place for each before settling it in position. It's Thanksgiving all over again, except without the rolling pins!

"That sucks," she calls over to Betsy. Also: "Wait, who?" Obscure weirdo villains are the worst. << Hey, I'm not your boss, you do what you want to him, >> she subsequently answers, mentally, as the two switch modes of communication with familiar ease. But it isn't her main concern. << Seriously though, who? You're not in some kind of trouble, are you? >> There is real worry in those thoughts, even more obvious than it would be in spoken word.

As for the cutesy pair, she shoots back at Rogue: "What? I'm jus being honest! It'd hurt her feelings more, thinking we stuck her over there because we're afraid of her." Yet the two seem happy about it, and she grins rather sappily. "Yeah, it's totally fine. You're legal adults, and everyone shacks up in some other room in college." It begs the question what Jean got up to at those years away from Xaviers! "You can move officially whenever- well, we'll do the paperwork after Christmas break. Call it a holiday miracle!"

Yet all of this is forgotten for the whirlwind entrance of the White Queen. "Emma!" Like with Betsy, there's an extra degree of happy surprise there. "Its been forever! How are you? Oooh what's all this?" Presents are cause enough for her to interrupt her psychic tree nonsense to scramble over and see. "We're having eggnog and decorating! You want some?!"

Rogue has posed:
Rogue is perched on one of the sofa arms with a cup of egg nog in her left black gloved hand, her other sweeping her white bangs out of her face as she watches Jubilee and Nori react to Jean's decision. It makes her grin happily for her friends. "Aaaaand, there she goes." She says as the excited Jubilee takes off... right as Emma arrives.

Once more, Rogue's brows shoot up at this entrance. "Oh, my." She quietly says as a grin draws itself across her lips. She watches the 'men' with Emma do their Secret Service Stuff, and then the Queen herself march with the presents. "Damn, Emma." Rogue says. "You gotta teach me how t'make an entrance like that..."

More spiked nog is sipped, and a approving nod is given!

Megan Gwynn has posed:
Megan Gwynn has some gifts of her own to tuck under the tree, you know, after the INSANE shopping trip that nearly ended in a deadly stampede...Anyway, she's armed with a pile of hastily wrapped gifts which she struggles to balance as she heads for the tree..And nearly makes it before they start to topple like a pack of cards. "Meep! Noo!" she flails as she tries to snag gifties before they can hit the floor.

Noriko Ashida has posed:
Noriko passingly pays attention to Betsy's words about Technet and something or other, but it all goes out the window the moment that Jean says that magical word, 'whenever.'  Jubes is already gone, and Noriko has done a double take at where she /was/.  "Um...uh...I should probably make sure she doesn't find something," the speedster spits out nervously all of the sudden and then /BLAZES/ out the door, stopping dead in her tracks only at the sight of Emma.  She visibly stiffens a little in a plateau of movement and then nimbly sidesteps Megan's entrance while moving at high velocity.  

Betsy Braddock has posed:
"Not with Jean, no," Betsy tells Rogue gaily, before something approaches. Her expression darkens much as the doorstep is darkened - but not with black - no! With WHITE! Elizabeth Braddock's head turns as someone comes in, the plume of cool air that came with the breach of the entranceway and the arrival of the three people - no, the woman and her entourage - reaches her.

She quirks her eyebrow, and sips her eggnog. Her other hand rests on her hip with a deliberateness, even as the White Queen adopts her pose. It is a casual outfit Betsy is wearing, but for a moment it is quite pointedly so.

Betsy glances at Jean, then calls to Emma, "You must be chilled to the bone. Come have something to drink. Are your gentlemen here part of the festivities as well, or should we prepare them a bit of a plate?" At this point she espies Megan, and steps towards her, one hand reaching out as if to try and prop up the leaning tower of benevolence!

Emma Frost has posed:
"We must suffer for our art, Betsy dear," Emma says, shrugging off the fur coat and letting it pool on the floor as though it didn't cost an arm and a leg. The sudden revelation suggesting that she considers herself to be the work of art in this case.

"That's what they say, isn't it?"

At the offering of eggnog, one eyebrow groomed to within an inch of its life raises and she holds out a hand to accept a glass.

"It's good to see you, too," she says to Jean, "Not letting the little gremlins keep you down, I hope?"

"Rogue, darling," she says, shifting to look at the young mutant over the top of her glass of eggnog, "The first step would be to do away with all the scarves and gloves and layers. A deadly touch is one thing, but don't let the wider world suffer for it."

Remy LeBeau has posed:
Remy is snoring for a moment, before he suddenly snorts himself awake, just long enough to hear Emma's words about hiding Rogue from the world. "I agree wit' dat!" If Rogue looks at him, Remy will just widen his arms and give her a 'can you blame me?' kind of look. Though he runs a hand through his hair as he sits up. "Ugh...I need water."


"Or more beer. Whichever comes first." He puts a hand on his face and he pulls out a deck of cards. Likely just to hold the cards and -not- swindle people out of money. With the exit of Noriko and Jubilee, Gambit gives a delayed farewell to them in the form of a wave. Then he looks around the room.

"Makes me wish I modelled." He shoots a wink at Rogue, before he looks at Emma. "Emma. Always a pleasure."

Jean Grey has posed:
For all that she started this all out playing 'mom,' Jean looks suspiciously like a little kid with how excited she is by all the presents. She even tries to peek into one of the bags as the Big Burly Men carry them to their appointed place, continuing to watch after one as he passes. Turning back, she observes that back and forth between Emma and Betsy, and then adds in what is supposed to be a whisper but is quite generally audible: "Part of the festivities...? I don't think even Emma would bring strippers to the school!"

Meanwhile, said men delivering said gifts encounter Megan stumbling toward the same destination, a disaster in the making. "Oh no, careful!" she exclaims, and...

Upside: a few of the the toppling boxes suddenly, miraculousy stop, hanging suspended mid-fall, and then gently settling to the ground without damage.

Downside: Jean forgets she's also still juggling all of those tree ornaments at the same time. One in particular is mid-rotation when her (booze-impaired) focus is lost, and goes sailing across the room with whatever it's prior trajectory. "Oops." At least it wasn't one of the priceless heirloom ones.

She gives a sheepish smile as there's a crash in the distance, and then turns back to Emma as if none of it had happened. And given the recent disaster, she angles back to the bar to prepare the drink she's offered their guest without using any mental shortcuts.

Rogue has posed:
Rogue moves a bit as Remy wakes up again. She grins at his words and shrugs her shoulders lightly before her eyes go over to Emma. She's about to say something to her when Meggan steps in, and both Betsy and Jean move in to help her with her presents. Rogue winces a bit at this before she draws in a breath, Emma's words spoken to her cause her to look back to the White Queen.

"Yeah. maybe you're right." She says then as she sets her egg nog down on the coffee table, then stands up.

The Belle starts to pull her black gloves off, one at a time before she folds them and sets them by her drink. "I never really liked this sweater anyway. It itches my neck..." She says as her bare hands go up to the neckline of her dark green sweater.

Rogue's hands shoot down then and the top is ripped right off, RIP!

She tosses it aside, and moves her hair back off her bare shoulders... but don't get too excited, she has a black tanktop on underneath it with spaghetti string straps going over her shoulders.

"This better?" She asks Emma, as she sits back down on the arm of the sofa and leans down to get her drink once more. "I need a refill, Remy." The much less clothed southern gal says then.

Megan Gwynn has posed:
Megan Gwynn beams at Jean and Betsy, breathing a sigh of relief as they save the day (oh and the presents too!) "Phew, thank goodness! That was close." once the presents are righted she hastily but carefully slides next to the tree, placing them one by one in various decorative positions. "Phew, thanks again Jean, Betsy!" and then she arches a brow, looking around, "Ooo did someone say eggnog?"

Emma Frost has posed:
"Much," Emma says in the same ever calm, always icy voice of hers to Rogue, "I daresay a little change of wardrobe would do you wonders."

The White Queen casts a telepathic 'glance' around the room, picking up any surface thoughts that happen to be floating by and easily taken. She's yet to quite master the Xavieresque morality that calls for not reading minds unless needs must or invited to do so.

"I wouldn't expect much entertainment from them," she tells Jean, gesturing towards the burly men in the hallway, "They're purely decorative."

Her painted white lips curl into a smile before she adds: "No peeking at the gifts. They're a strictly 'do not open until Christmas' affair."

"Hello there," she offers Remy a little finger-waggle wave, "Will you be disrobing next?"

Betsy Braddock has posed:
Betsy does not offer Emma her due glass of eggnog. SCANDALOUS. But then she is briefly occupied, even as Jean is drawing her miraculous power. After this, Betsy relaxes, poise shifting from something warier than usual to... standing upright.

Then there's a crash. She sucks on her teeth for a moment, and sips her own beverage. "You could if you wanted," she tells Gambit. "You're slim, you've got the fitness. You might need to make a *few* adjustments but I think you could do well." After this, she gets out of Megan's way.

And towards the liquor table. Perhaps her mood has been *changed*.

Jean Grey has posed:
Jean prepares two more drinks, although the one destined for Megan does not get the generous input of brandy to kick it up a notch that Emma's does. Truly, though, she is awash in holiday good cheer. So much that it probably radiates a bit obnoxiously under Emma's scrutiny!

With the drinks in hand, she turns back, only to find Rogue in the process of literally tearing off her clothes. "Woo!" she calls, laughing afterward. Then she starts up again, sashaying across the room as she has apparently fallen into the rhythm Christmas music that is playing in the background. It's not, to be clear, any kind of sexy song, but this does not keep her from giving what she's got a nice little sway 'n shake, en-route. A hand holds out the glass to Emma-

-while a thought echoes, << Behave, Emma. >> That said, she's apparently a little slower on noticing than she might be otherwise. This is clearly some good nog!

"Its a tougher job than it sounds like, mind you," she echoes after Betsy, since they've apparently turned to a different sort of topic, of decorative bodies. Although whether they're talking models generally or strippers specifically is somewhat ambiguous. Regardless, the final stop on the Jean tour sees her offer Megan the second cup, before Jean is off again, dancing in whatever direction.

Megan Gwynn has posed:
Megan Gwynn just finishes placing the last gift beneath the tree...Only to turn around and see Rogue rip off her shirt, followed by Jean's sexy walk..And no doubt Ms Frost is behind this all...Right? Right? "Wah..?! What's going on..?" she blinks and rubs her eyes, giving the grown ups a wider berth as she heads for the fridge, busying herself with filling her glass with lots of eggnog..And maybe a hint of alcohol..Hey, she needs it!

Emma Frost has posed:
"Yes, you should listen to Betsy - she was a model, you know," Emma offers pointedly, frowning at the fact that there is not yet a drink in her hand, "Maybe do away with the scruff. No one likes to think their fancy man has just fallen out of a railway car. Or perhaps they do."

The last is said with a pointed gaze towards Rogue, and a barely concealed smirk that ticks at the corners of her mouth but doesn't crease the skin. It's a wonder, the skin treatments that money can buy.

As Jean approaches with her drink, she takes it with a grateful smile. Returning a telepathic missive of her own: << Surely just because the founder was born in Dickensian England doesn't mean we all have to abide by those standards. Besides, we're having fun! >>

For all she tries, Emma's 'mental voice' is still American. She could never learn to affect the accent that way.

"Though, Jean," Emma clucks her tongue, plucking at the Christmas sweater she wears with an expression of abject horror, "Jean, Jean, Jean. Christmas doesn't mean we abandon our standards all together. I think you need to open your gift early."

A pause, as though wrestling with the sheer moral conundrum of it all before closing her eyes and shaking her head curtly.

"No, no, I must insist you open your gift early."

Rogue has posed:
Rogue laughs openly at the words from the others before she stands up again and walks toward the kitchen area now. "Don't worry, ya'll. I am not gonna go any further with the clothes tearin'. Mostly cause I got nothin' on under these jeans." She says with a grin.

Upon reaching the drinks she sets down her empty and gathers up one of the fresh ones. It's lifted up and a sip again is had.

"Yeah! Open your gift early!" Rogue shouts as she leans down on to the counter on her forearms and just watches everyone with a grin.

Jean Grey has posed:
"Boo!" Jean calls after Rogue. "Tease!" However, the unexpected warning of why she can't take anything more off puts an end to the encouragement. Apparently Jean has her limits of how far she'll encourage this spiral of debauchery to go.

And speaking of which...

"What's wrong with my sweater?! These things are a holiday classic. They're not meant to be serious fashion, you know." Even as she defends her outfit, her gaze has shifted to those gifts, weighing them from a distance. A moment previously, she had seemed all too eager to tear into those bags that Emma had brought them, like a kid on Christmas morning. Now, given the actual chance, nay the encouragement to do so? Jean does hesitate. And what has changed? Well, obviously the very fact that Emma is encouraging it, by word or whatever her thoughts share. And while Jean is clearly not so wary as Betsy seems to be with their classic, shall we say, 'Frenemy,' there is just a touch of lingering suspicion. Not of malice, certainly, but of... Emma-ness.

"It feels a little weird doing it now, especially when we're gonna have to tell people who seem them all piled up in here that they've got a long while to wait still..." This is just a delaying tactic, procrastination, and it comes across in her thoughts. "But I guess, if you really want." And Rogue is cheering it on too.

So Jean goes and finds the package marked for her, takes it to a couch, and starts looking through it. There is a bit of care in how she opens it, so that she gets a look before everyone. And possibly... this proves wise, as she reacts with a soft 'oh' and even a touch of a... is that a blush? as she looks through the contents.

Remy LeBeau has posed:

The sound of ripping cloth from Rogue seems to make Remy's eyebrows shoot upwards, and even though the question is directed at Emma, Remy replies with an enthusiastic nod. "Cherie-" insert chefs kiss here. "Fantastic." He smiles at her as she seems to sit back down on the arm of the sofa. "You an' me both, Cherie p'tite. Though honestly...." He looks one way, then the other, and produces a flask from underneath his shirt.

"Try this." He offers the flask to Rogue. It's a bit stronger stuff. "Supposedly brewed in the forties. Compliments of a villain here or there." Even if the villain might be Remy. "Though..." he smirks at Rogue. "You took off your sweater, should I take off mine?" He winks at her.

To Betsy, Remy seems to laugh. "A few -adjustments-? Betsy, I'm perfect just de way I am, no? I might not get everything down pat the first time, but nobody gets it right de first time unless you real lucky. Thankfully, I happen to be the luckiest on dis earth." He smirks at her.

His eyes shift to Emma with a bit of a smirk at her. "Oh, what kind o' gift we talkin' about exchangin'?" He questions a moment. "This is about to get a little bit excitin', isn't it?"

Megan Gwynn has posed:
Megan Gwynn meeps and edges away from Rogue as she makes another racy comment. "Woah, no, no don't do that!" and she's already heading for the exit, "We'll, I did what I came here to do, have a good night all!" she laughs nervously as she snags a few cookies then darts out of the rec room..

Emma Frost has posed:
"Now now," Emma calls, like a strict schoolteacher, "No peeking. Jean earned her early gift by virtue of her awful sweater."

A glance towards Jean, a raised eyebrow, and a brief telepathic exchange.

"Now, I know that Westchester is not known for it's night life. Or if it is, that night life involves pushing over sleeping cows. I thought that perhaps we could all get in my car and head into the City. I know this wonderful speakeasy that you need to know a special knock and pass-phrase for."

Rogue has posed:
Rogue straightens up again to offer a smile over at Emma. Remy's words draw her eyes back to him, and his new flask though. She reaches out for it with a grin, before popping the cap and sprinkling some of it in to her new glass of egg nog. She caps it again and offers it back to him. "Any more strippin' might get us in trouble." She says as Meggan runs out of the room, nodding after her. "See?" She says with a smirk.

As Emma starts to speak about taking a ride out of Westchester, Rogue looks to her and Jean... and this present. She starts to saunter over in that direction, ending up over Jean's shoulder from behind. She peers over the redhead's left arm to see what the gift is, but her eyes go up to Emma and she smiles at her again.

"That sounds like fun. I'm down." She replies in that sassy southern voice of hers.

Betsy Braddock has posed:
"I don't suppose you can spare us a few minutes to change," Betsy says, having either gotten over her sour mood at probably being out-entranced by Emma, OR having finished her nog. Or, in fact: BOTH?

Jean Grey has posed:
Since Emma is kind enough to give Jean an out, she takes it! No one can argue with the gift-giver herself, can they?

And so, without further word, she pushes closed the top of the bag, although this is perhaps not quick enough to stop a certain suspicious southern belle from getting a peek at the contents, which do seem to boast some rather... lacy components. Plus, there's two other psychics, and Jean isn't precisely on top of her game right now as it pertains to mental discipline! Still, all flustered giddiness aside, she does manage a nice big smile when she looks up from the gift, now hugging the bag to her to keep it secure and secret. "That's a marvellous idea, Emma- but yes, we'd DEFINITELY need a chance to go and change first." IN FACT, Jean could do it instantly on the spot, if she wanted to. She likes showing that somewhat newfound ability off, even! But in this case, retreating to their rooms to change offers her a nice opportunity to go and hide the evidence of... well, whatever all of this was, excactly.

"Meet back down in the foyer in a couple?" Without much chance for anyone to argue with the plan, she turns and flees, mostly in a straight line!

Emma Frost has posed:
"You're deranged if you think I'd let you come out with me dressed that way," Emma says with an airy wave of her hand, "Except perhaps Rogue."

She rises to her feet, simply staring at her coat where it lays on the floor and clearing her through. It doesn't take much more of a hint for one of the men in the hallway to come in, scoop it up, and drape it over her shoulders.

"Go get the car ready," she tells the man in sharp, no-nonsense tones, "We're going to the City. Call ahead and book out three suites at the Centennial in case we stay late."

Orders given, the man swiftly departs, and Emma turns back to the group.

"Go get changed. And try not to dress for the weather too much."