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Title: Housekeeping
Description: [p] for Cross

Cyclops - March 11, 2012 10:54 PM (GMT)
Three months of absence was not just measured in the empirical days, hours and minutes that Scott had been gone for, but in the amount of catching up that was necessary upon his return, both personal and professional.

Personal was Jean, the first person he'd seen when he'd arrived back into the Institute so very late at night and that had naturally been his favourite reunion of all. Professional was reporting his findings to Charles, though personal was the strong handshake between them and the realisation that he had actually missed the young version of a man who had been old even when Scott had first met him. Being enveloped in a gentle, jasmine-scented hug by Ororo and then being filled in on the general mood and attitudes of the student body was both personal and professional all at once.

But it was with a very professional state of mind that Scott sought out Aiden Cross, Saint, the next person on his list to check in on now that he was settling back into the familiar routine of the Institute. His classes would re-commence tomorrow and he was almost looking forward to the beautiful simplicity of trigonometry, if not to the way some students seemed to regard it as a most cruel torture device. But, before that, he wanted to talk to Cross.

Cross, for all that he was not strictly a member of the faculty, was an important presence in the Institute for all the logistical work that he performed for them. He was neat and efficient, practical and reliable, all things that Scott firmly appreciated when it came to the day-to-day running.

He was also someone who, personally, Scott liked. This may or may not have had a lot to do with the fact that Cross was rather like him in some respects and that made communication easier than the tense crossed wires of any and all of his interactions with, say, Logan. Still, it was as Cyclops that he approached Cross' door and it was Saint he had come to see.

Scott already had a list in his head of topics he wished to cover, even as he lifted a hand and knocked smartly on the door. One was the matter of Erik Lehnsherr and that was indeed the predominant reason that the X-Men's leader was here waiting in the hallway in the first place.

Another - and this was where his personal feelings and his professional ones were more than a little bit in opposition - was Ororo Munroe. But Scott was firmly decided on tackling the wider issues of the Institute first, rather than his own private ambivalence about just what inter-team relationships had the potential to do to the team...

Besides. Ororo was a friend. One of his oldest friends. And as a good man, that meant Scott had to at least say something.

Saint - March 19, 2012 02:00 AM (GMT)
The benefits of Cross' particular mutations definitely outweighed the consequences on a regular basis, but every so often Cross questioned the repercussions of certain aspects of his "power" in a more personal light. It was not necessary to explain that Cross himself placed the well-being of others above his own. That fact was a fundamental part of his mutation, one that over time had driven it's roots into the man's personality. It could be debated whether this sentiment held true for doctors instead of just "healers" (a term Cross wasn't too keen on using, as his mutation wasn't healing directly, rather a power that could be used to heal), but he was of the opinion that anyone in the medical profession tended to soldier through whatever stress came with their field, mental or physical. Why? Because that's simply what they did. They weren't here to balk at any burden that came their way, but instead mend what ills they could, with more consideration for the wounded than themselves.

And, unfortunately, that often ended badly for Cross. There were repercussions for failure, regardless of whether it was his fault or not. Failure, in terms of his mutation, simply meant a disconnect from the healing at hand, as Cross' mutation created a sort of mental connection while he was working. It usually wasn't necessary to tell people this information about his mutation, since most individuals left a 'healer' alone while he was working and the injured tended to let him do his job in peace.

And, then, there were those who didn't. Those were the difficult ones. It was usually the people with non-life-threatening injuries who reacted badly, startling at the feeling of being healed. That wouldn't be a problem if not for the consequence of being interrupting mid-healing for Cross. The best way to describe it would be a feedback, a kickback as a result of the mental disconnection. The mental link put Cross' mind at the point of injury and the point of healing, and the disconnection left an echo of the injury in his mind without having anything physical to touch. So, obviously, Cross' mutation had to create an injury, and with the disconnect leaving Cross literally empty handed, he was the only warm body available as a base for the injury.

Woo, joy. So, to wrap up this lovely explanation, Cross was nursing a nice line of stitches up his arm that some jumpy teenager had given to him earlier in the day when Scott knocked on his door. Yes, he could have simply healed the wound, but the unintentional self-injury was something he'd been dealing with for thirteen years, and Cross had already healed himself more than he was comfortable with. Something like this could be let to heal itself, as non-vital as it was.

He moved to answer the door, tugging down the sleeve of his shirt part way before deciding that simply leaving the wound open to be seen would ward away more bad reactions from his visitor than showing a bloodied white sleeve. Either way, he was bound to get questioning looks if not questions themselves. Just before he opened the door, Cross habitually reached up to straighten his tie, remembering at the last second that he'd already taken it off. With a small noise at the stupidity, he opened his door, pausing for a fraction of a second when he saw Cyclops on the other side. "Scott." There was another pause, small and insignificant, but there. "Please, come in." Cross moved aside to let the other X-Men into his quarters. It wasn't that he hadn't expected Scott to come speak to him - it was that he hadn't been expecting him to visit at this particular moment.

However, Cross was always willing to open his doors to a colleague and a friend.

(I really hope all of that made sense. If not, I shall re-write. XD)

Cyclops - April 6, 2012 07:13 PM (GMT)
Even when his glasses turned everything red, Scott did not miss the blood on Cross' arm.

It was a habit of his, this automatic inspection of those that he considered his own. And since Cross was one of the X-Men, he qualified as such. He and his peers and all of the students who lived here, they were his responsibility. So when he saw them, any of them, it made sense to analyse them as he would a battlefield, looking for strengths and weaknesses both.

Little slipped past the X-Men's field leader as a result, so was it any surprise that he almost immediately noticed the stitches marching a line up a (for Cross) curiously bare arm. It was odd seeing the man anything less than impeccably dress, missing a tie and with a sleeve rolled up. Scott wondered whether this was how people felt if they ever saw him without his typical glasses on.

They all had their uniforms, apparently. Official or not.

"Thank you," he said, just as polite as the formal man before him, the one offering him an invitation into his room. He stepped past Cross into the other man's private quarters, but didn't go so far as to sit anywhere, even had it been offered. Instead, he turned to face his fellow X-Man, one hand loosely gripping the wrist of the other. It was his own version of 'standing at ease', for all that he'd never been in the military.

"I hope now is an alright time for us to talk." No one could one hundred percent tell where his gaze was ever resting, but the glasses at least pointed briefly towards Cross' wounded arm, one he'd chosen to stitch like a human rather than heal with his own powers, a display of consideration of which Scott heartily approved. "I'm sure that there'll be a formal meeting of the senior staff at some point, but I wanted to see you on your own first." There was a hint of a smile on his mouth, maybe. "I think your account of what I have missed might be the most accurate."

Jean and Ororo were trust-worthy, of course. But Cross? Cross was steady. And Cross was sure. And, of all of them, Scott felt that maybe Cross was the most like himself.

Well, he certainly wasn't going to ask Logan, was he?

Saint - April 16, 2012 02:42 PM (GMT)
The word 'unsettled' wasn't appropriate, but it was relatively close to how Cross first thought about Scott's visor some six years ago. 'Curious' was definitely part of it, but perhaps the idea that the visor was simply strange to him, foreign, was a better way of describing it. Cross had come out of the army into business, where suits and ties and at least a fašade of a smile were the standard uniform. He was generally unused to seeing visible mutants, mutants who were physically obvious, and the Institute changed this all. Though Scott's visor could be viewed (in a Star Trek or Tron or Daft Punk oriented world) as fashion, it didn't take Cross very long to realize that this was not the case, especially since an explanation clarified all. Even then, he was relatively unflappable when it came to the unusual, so he settled into the Institute without any issues.

But, not being able to see Scott's eyes and read the expression there was something Cross found difficult still. He'd learned quickly to interpret Scott's body language, but the X-Man was extremely careful about letting his body say things he didn't wish to say. Thus the calm and almost hard-edged demeanor of Cyclops was a constant. Business as usual, as it were. Even if Scott had been absent for some time now, and this absence did have Cross curious, however, it was bad manners to ask about missions when you yourself had already been asked a question (since even if Scott had yet to ask it, Cross recognized that one existed, and would be asked soon enough).

"Yes, of course," Cross responded to Scott's polite commentary. It was always a 'good time' to talk when there was business to be done, regardless of whether it actually was or not. Business was heralded by Scott's decision to meet Cross in person, at his quarters, rather than dealing with whatever it may be outside of the third floor and possibly outside of "in person". Business was heralded by the stance Scott took, a visual cue long associated with "duty" and "seriousness" and all those other things. With that in mind, the words the other X-Man said came as no surprise. Cross let Scott's request hang for a moment, as he took the time to think. That was his way, even if the pauses worried some. "Unfortunately, the major event that occurred while you were away was Betsy Braddock's departure, however, I was also absent for this, so my account is simply drawn from the others." A business trip for a job he no longer had, but it had been important at the time.

"Aside from that, the only things that have occurred that you could find of note - at least that I think you could find of note - are those of Professor Xavier and Mr. Lehnsherr. Both have been... acclimating to today's age, or so I've been told." Cross really didn't spend time around the Professor often, and since Mr. Lehnsherr didn't seem to like Cross very much, that relationship was a moot point. "There was an issue with Mr. Lehnsherr spending an excess of time with a student, however, both the issue of Mr. Lehnsherr's questionable morality and the influence on the student seem to have worked themselves out." The not-Magneto seemed to be neutral, if bordering amiable in some cases. The Professor, even though he was a younger version of a man Cross was familiar with, trusted him, and Cross couldn't assume with a good conscience that he knew more about Mr. Lehnsherr than the telepath did. To further his point, Finesse did not strike Cross as "impressionable", in the same way that you couldn't alter a dictionary by shouting nonsense at it and hoping the print would magically change.

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