2011 12 23 The Christmas Truce

Log Title: Beast, Hawkeye, Invisible Woman, Phantasm, and Sebastian Shaw
IC Date: Dec 23, 2011
Brief Log Summary: A Chelesea Shelter benefits from the charitable attentions of several celebrities
Rating: G
There is no TS in the log: Yes


-==[ Homeless Shelter - New York ]==-------—-

A shelter in a storm, a respite from life in the streets, a home for those without one. Funded by the City Council and several large anonymous donations, this homeless shelter stands as a beacon for those who have lost all hope.

The shelter is divided up into three basic sections: a living area, a food dispensary, and a church/medical facility.

The living area is a large hall that contains row upon row of beds and is littered with people and their few belongings. There are two large bathrooms at the far end of the hall and two large economy washers and dryers used to clean clothes and bedsheets. Several folding tables have been setup in the far corners and people are off playing cards, chess or checkers to pass the time away before their next meal.

The food dispensary is pretty much just a large kitchen with a divider between where the food is prepared and where it is served. Several volunteers are constantly preparing food to be served to the massive numbers of people who have no other place to eat. For the most part, the only place to sit and eat are the living area beds.

Finally, the small church and medical facility that are housed in the third room of the shelter, are probably the cleanest and most respectable rooms in the entire shelter. The priest that runs the shelter, Father John Mackenzie, is also a trained physician capable of treating minor injuries and administering flu shots and such. While occupied with other things though, doctors from neighboring clinics often come to this shelter to volunteer their services to the city's less fortunate individuals.

With families starting to crossover through the doorways of their respective destinations to be home with their families, there are those who don't get that opportunity. Financial woes have prevented them the chance to travel to fulfil the main theme to 'I'll be home for Christmas' and to a further extent, some don't get to go a mere house or apartment. For them, they have the local shelters which are sadly full up this holiday season. The beds are full up and there are a smattering of rolled up sleeping bags in wait for the evening hours to reach the bedtime. For the time being, this is what they will have to call 'home'. But there are some attempts to bring cheer to this place. The bunks have some form of decor, primarily in the form of seasonal cutouts taped to the frames holding the mattresses. There's not much. But it's something. Garlands decorate the divider where the food at the shelter is served and a Christmas tree has been set up near the entrance to the church and medical facility area. Christmas music is also filtering through the building's speaker system, allowing a soft cheery sound to the environment, and perhaps hinting that this shelter is indeed run by a priest.

There's an additional set of decor this evening as several bins of items have been brought in and residents, young and old are lined up, moving towards the Christmas tree where a Santa waits along with a few celebrity 'elves' helping him serve out the gifts. One such 'elf' does not wear tights but neither does he wear the attire attributed to his stage persona of Mick Drago. Instead Mike is wearing jeans and a green long sleeved shirt which looks fine with his long brown hair but clashes horribly with the pale blue eyes but hey, Santa's the only one who gets to wear red, right? He busies himself, pulling out enough rolled up blankets to accomodate for the next perceived family unit that's in line. Ah holidays!

Susan Richards arrives a bit late, but hey, better than never right? She is wearing a green version of her blue FF outfit in deference to the holidays, along with a deep forest green coat to fend off the chill outside and a thick pouf of red and green fluttery fabric fastened over the band holding her hair in a ponytail, the tiny jinglebells attached to the bits of fabric adding to the festive sounds. The most notable thing, though, is the PILE of blankets, coats, hats, scarves, mittens, and soft toys that follow her seemingly of their own accord. "Hello!" she calls out. "Sorry I'm late."

Mike turns his head, looking towards Susan and then to the additional bounty of supplies. "Hey Sue!" He greets, giving a nod in the direction of the bins where everything's sorted by function. Blankets, Jackets, Accessories, toys for tots, and toys for older kids. Man, Santa must have a serious case of OCD to have them sorted out this much. "You got toy duty." As Santa emits another loud 'Ho ho ho!' Mike takes that as his cue as he elfs on over with the blankets for the family of four. The youngest likely not even ten.

Susan Richards looks at the well sorted piles and the items she brought along start sorting accordingly, other smaller force fields carrying various items to be dropped into the corresponding bins as Sue pauses to give Santa a brief hug on her way to help with the toys. Normally she tries to avoid making a spectacle of her powers, but it's the holidays and if it helps cheer up the kids spending Christmas here…

Hank McCoy aka Beast hasn't been in New York City for a few months. The blue-furred scientist has been on something of a journey of self discovery, in which he spent a great deal of time in Africa. But with the holidays approaching, Hank decided to make a return to New York and celebrate with friends. He would have gone home, but one of the gifts he gave his parents was a Holiday cruise. While most of the time Hank stands out in a crowd, he's kind of trying to be a bit low key at the moment. Well… as low key as you can be when you're dressed as Santa Claus. It's a good fit for Henry, as he's usually quite a jolly individual… though friends have noticed he seems a bit distant as of late. But he's certainly enjoying himself tonight… really escaping into the role of Santa Claus. A few people have noticed that behind the white beard there's a furry blue face, but for the most part it certainly isn't causing a stir.

Well being a hero isn't beating up criminals, and making fun of stupid criminals like Turner D. Century. So he came to do the Avengers part in helping out with those less fortunate. Usually it's Cap who does this one, people always love Captain America, but he isn't available right now, so Hawkeye got the short straw this time. He dressed himself in a green and red version of his costume for the Christmas spirit you know.

As the rocker reaches the family, Mike offers the blankets up to each of the family members, freeing Santa up for giving out 'the good stuff'. "Merry Christmas." He offers with each one passed out before glancing over towards Santa. The smile upon his face as he's reminded of the good doctor's attire is quite an amused one before he moves back to the blanket bin.

Susan Richards finishes sorting out the items she brought and steps over to help hand out the toys to the kids in line with their parents. She selects toys for the kids based on her guesstimate of their ages and what Franklin likmed at that age, or more often, by what each child's eyes home in on as they approach. True to her multitasking skills, she also makes note of Hawkeye's arrival and waves him over to join them while commenting aside to Hank and Mike, "The snow's starting to really come down out there, I wouldn't be surprised if we don't get any more volunteers in."

Beast takes note of Hawkeye as he arrives, flicking a candy cane towards the man in greeting. He's mostly focused on playing up the Sanata act with the kids, so does his best to not break character at least when there's a child in his lap. He's glad he brought some donations from himself as well as the other X-Men, as the economy seems to have this particular fairly busy this time of year. Beast offers a nod to Susan about her comment on the weather. "It's not fit for man nor beast out there, pun entirely intended. It certainly won't stop those in need from coming out though." While that was something of a break in character, Hank's voice keeps the jolly old elf's festive nature in it's tone. "We're doing pretty welll anyway."

Hawkeye catches the candy cane, and walks on over to the other people. "I bring seasons greetings from Earth's Mightiest Heroes! And I guess we'll include Captain America in that as well." Yup he's gotta toss in a joke about Cap. Hopefully the stuff that the Maria Stark Foundation had sent here arrived at least, "So how is everything going kids?"

Mike looks over towards Susan and then to a window near the doorway to glance to the referenced snow. He gives the slightest of nods, "We got a pretty good showing considering. Plus there's the folks working in the kitchen."

From the other side of the divider, there's a view of kitchen volunteers bustling about, getting something in order, likely the meal for the evening. Due to the presence of hairnets, it makes picking out who is who is back there hard. But with one visibly impish smirk coming from one of the workers setting up cups near the divider, that likely is a Shaw of the Wade variety.

A pleasant scent wafts in from the doors to the shelter as they open and numerous men and women in crisp, white caterers' outfits file in, wheeling metal carts containing chafing dishes and a few larger, round platters. More follow with self-contained heat lamps, carving utensils, and the like.

It's poultry, by the smell of it, and…steamed vegetables perhaps.

The -shelter- was contacted, but it was specifically stated not to tell any non-staff about it. The kitchen staff was told to expect additional food, but not exactly what. The new arrivals move with professional precision, sliding a few tables aside and setting out a spread that is surprisingly old-school traditional - Christmas goose, steamed potatoes and carrots. Each worker has a small patch on their garmet, a small, purple 'SI'.

Susan Richards watches the arriving caterers with some surprise, then looks at Hank and Hawkeye questioningly. "Unless Reed's been moonlighting, that isn't us." She hasn't noticed the little purple 'SI' patches yet.

"Gotta get the Avengers plug in there, eh Hawkeye?" Beast smirks behind the big fake beard, offering a playful finger shake at the archer. "I hope you've all been good little boys and girls, but I may have to make a personal inspection." Just a playful promise of his intentions to drop by and see how everyone is doing. Especially since split much of his time between the Avengers and X-Men. Or did, at least before his need for a walkabout. Hank seems to be in pretty good spirits, but then he hasn't noticed Sebastian Shaw's presence as of yet. Of course, the sudden arrival of what to Hank's keen feral nose appears to be a gourmet Christmas dinner does cause him to suspect something isn't quite on the up and up. "Did I miss something? Did Scrooge find the meaning of Christmas or something?" This isn't the traditional American fare that's for sure.

With a lot of the kitchen 'staff' being more volunteers, there are a few surprised sounds coming from the kitchen area as the sounds of the setup draws their attention to what's going on outside along with the scattered comments of 'Oh…'

Having been looking towards the doors at the time they emerged, Mike's response is a bit immediate, "Ho shit." He pauses, glancing towards the line of folks before grimacing, "Uh. Oh what a surprise?" His attention shifts to watching the setup before looking to the other guys. "Ok, who is that from? I seriously doubt that'd be from the label."

Indeed, it is not from the label. After the setup has settled in and serving soon to begin, a man saunters in, a big man, very well-dressed. Of course, most attention is on the spread, which gives -just- the right impression of humility. Perfectly calculated. He links his gloved hands behind his back and watches the proceedings, looking rather satisfied. He is not a celebrity per se, but he is far from unknown…if one knows the likes of Gates, Stark, or Ellison.

Hey, Clint noticed the SI, didn't pay attention to the color though, figured it was Stark though. "Hey furball, make sure you don't shed on the kids, we want to give them a happy Christmas, you know." Clint glances around some more, "Someone just decided to donate for a tax break or something."

Of course, this particular man is hardly a stranger to Beast. One certainly doesn't forget the Black King of the Hellfire Club. Not when said individual and his so-called friends helped kick off one of the most painful and destructive periods for the X-Men. Those close to 'Santa Claus' certainly won't miss the soft rolling growl that rumbles from Santa's throat. Beast pushes up from the chair that he's seated in and glares at Shaw. He does wonder for a moment though what the status is of the former truce with the club. But regardless, he's certainly not happy to see the man here. Of course, with all the civilians here… he certainly doesn't want to start a fight. "Someone's trying to make it on Santa's Nice List." Hank growls under his breath to those standing nearby.

There's a bustling sound from behind the kitchen divider as the meal on that side of the area is set out, ready for dispursement, amongst those up front to dish out the food are some other faces from Golem Studios, primarily behind the scenes types that Wade has worked with.

"Are random feasts tax deductible?" Mike wonders aloud, glancing from the food to those wandering from the blanket line over to the food. Actually quite a number are moving over there and with the other line setting up, there's not much wanting to get their free stuff before eating. "Well, I guess we have a break until after di-" He pauses, looking to the growling Santa curiously. "What?"

Susan Richards turns her attention back to the people in the Santa line and smiles. Only so much distraction is allowed. She steps over toward Hank and puts a placating hand on his arm. "Perhaps now is a good time for everyone to enjoy this meal?"

Sebastian Shaw does indeed notice the X-Man in the room. Impossible not to, but he studiously lets his eyes bypass the somewhat less jolly Beast. He does walk further into the room, checking the proceedings idly, but obviously confident that all is well. It's in his bearing, casual yet almost regal, "Happy Holidays." he notes to a knot of people in line for the food. He doesn't make a big show of his own presence, though a few people seem to have recognized him. He starts towards one of the administrators, speaking up a bit, "The rest of our little gift will be ready shortly. Shall we still make the symbolic gesture or…?" he smiles a bit, playing it up just a touch.

"Of course they are. It's a charitable donation." Clint says as he hears what Beast says a little, and the way he says it. "Remember, once an Avenger." Code for hey I got your back! Man maybe Dr. Doom will show up, and then the party will really be complete!

"Sure… why don't we invite Magneto, The Red Skull, and Doctor Doom to the party as well?" Beast offers with a soft rumble to Susan, clearly unhappy at Shaw's presence. It's likely a good thing that Wolverine didn't end up in the Santa suit this year. Though he reigns it in… Shaw isn't hiding his involvement here. So clearly he doesn't have any obvious evil plans in play. Hank calms down just a bit, the soft rumble leaving his voice. Hank offers a friendly nod to Clint, thanking him for the support. "I'm fine. Though the last thing I feel like doing now is eating." Breaking bread with Sebastian Shaw? Not high on his list of ways to spend Christmas.

Regardless who who brought it and what Beast may be thinking of the man, the residents of the shelter are quite happy to accept the gifts brought about. As they get their food from both the kitchen and the setup brought in by Shaw, they start to wade over to the living area portion of the shelter, seating themseleves along the edges of the lower bunks, and some rolling out sleeping bags to sit on those. It starts to get a little less crowded in the portion the volunteers are situated in.

"Iiiii'm going to go out on a limb and assume he's not all that great a guy." Mike observes, looking over to Beast and then towards the shelter residents. "I guess you could treat it like that story of the Christmas Day Truce on the battlefield."

"1914, and interestingly widespread." Shaw notes after Mike speaks. The man just told him something with that, too…that Dr. McCoy has told this man something about certain…'private' matters. "Unprecedented, really. And not followed up the next year so much due to orders. - Sebastian Shaw." he says to the younger man, by way of introduction.

Susan Richards nods her agreement with Mike's observation. "Come have a seat over here. Can I at least get you a cup of tea?" She tries to steer Hank toward a small table set away from everything else for volunteer use, but won't really pull at his arm if he resists. She's long since learned about the immovable object effect from Ben. Her glance toward Shaw is neutral enough, but makes it clear that she'll not tolerate any excessive smugness. From anyone.

"That won't go over well. Cap told me that Magneto locked Red Skull away in some kind of underground bunker not that long ago, talk about awkward. And I thought the year I went to Wanda's house for Christmas was bad, especially when her father showed up." Well okay not true, but it's always a funny line to do. He looks at Shaw for a moment, and back to Beast, this will be interesting though.

"Mr. Shaw… " Beast offers, deciding for the moment to take the high road for now. After all, he is here as a representative of both the Avengers and the X-Men. And maybe the Defenders, though the less said about that the better. He does wonder for a moment whatever happened to Sasafras though. Henry is more than thanful for Susan's interference… keeping him from focusing on Shaw. "Perhaps some cocoa. If it wouldn't be too much trouble?" Hank's hands go into the pockets of his Santa suit and come out with Twinkies. Comfort Food, take me away! "Of all the shelters, in all the towns, in all the world, he walks into this one."

As Shaw speaks up, Mike's head tilts down as he realizes he was overheard but when he looks up and turns his head, he's offering a polite smile, "Oddly enough, there was a request for the truce to be made official that year but it was rejected." The musician offers up a hand for a handshake. "Mick Drago." He offers back, using his 'working' name as opposed to the off the clock one.

Susan Richards smiles at Hank warmly. "Cocoa it is." She waits for the introductions to be finished before looking at Hawkeye and Mike and Shaw (perhaps a bit warningly at the latter). "Would anyone like some cocoa or hot tea?"

Shaw has…quite the handshake, actually, firm, but not crushing, "A pleasure…then to the obvious mutant, "Dr. McCoy, I trust circumstances are treating you well?"

"Thank you, Susan." Beast offers with a warm smile, patting her arm softly as she gets up. When Shaw addresses him, the hackles on the back of his neck go up, but he doesn't give Shaw the satisfaction of really showing that the man gets to him. "As well as can be expected." Hank unwraps his pack of Twinkies. He's certainly not going to touch the food.

Mike's handshake is a bit firmer than one would assume from someone of his build, the calluses of the hand indicative of his hands being used a lot but the placement more indicative of one who works with string and percussion instruments more than one who does a lot of heavy lifting. He doesn't offer up a verbal response to the 'my pleasure' but instead gives a slight nod before his hand is released. Mike steps back, and smiles towards Sue, "I'm thinking hot cocoa should be good." He glances towards Beast curiously once more.

Hawkeye kinda of snubs Shaw while he's here, "Sorry I already gotta suck up to Stark, that's the only rich guy I can stand. Thanks for nice little gift to the charity though." He does offer his hand to Mike, can't remember if he knows this guy or not, "Hawkeye. Resident archer of the Avengers."

Susan Richards nods to Mike then looks at Hawkeye again, guessing Shaw declined the offer when he moved to keep schmoozing around the shelter. "Hawkeye? Would you like some tea or cocoa?"

Mike pauses as he looks towards Hawkeye's extended hand before he reaches over. Oh right! "Mick Drago." He offers back, following up with an explanation to his job as he shakes Clint's hand, "Musican." He nods towards the people dispensing food from the kitchen, "The folks over there are from Golem Records. The goofy looking guy in the hairnet near the drinks is Wade Shaw, another musician." There! Several introductions for the price of one handshake.

"Speaking of… let the gang know I'll be stopping by soon." Beast offers with a warm smile to Hawkeye, as he tries his best to relax. Though most of his focus is still on Shaw and his men. He wonders if he should warn the X-Men of Shaw's presence, but again… he seems to be no threat for now.

"I'll warn Jarvis to make sure he has the industrial strength vacuum ready. You leave fur every where man." He smiles at that, and well his card starts beeping, "Oh great, Avengers stuff. Uhm I gotta go folks, I'lll see you around."

Susan Richards ohs and nods to Hawkeye then goes to get the cocoa she promised to Hank and Mike, returning quickly enough carrying three ceramic mugs.

Hawkeye's departure was the first, but it shall not be the last. As the evening continues and the cocoa count grows into many, there was much merriment for the residents as they enjoyed their feast, the chance to talk to celebrities, and of course the presents. The priest who runs the shelter enjoyed a wonderful surprise as well as Sebastian Shaw donates $50 K to the shelter and makes mention of that donation being matched by Shaw Industries. All in all, it was a wonderful night.

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