Breakfast at Xavier's

Brief Title:

ShowStopper, Mockingbird

Scene Runner/Watcher:

IC Date:

Xavier's School

Richenda and Bobbi talk over breakfast

Social or Plot:


Morning at the Xavier School. While the weather's good, most of the student body is inside at the usual sit-down breakfast, along with the live-in faculty.

While she does have friends inside, Chenda Gray has opted to grab a bottle of water and a couple stray pastries from the kitchen and eat outside. She's seated on the edge of the fountain, looking out at the main gate. It's a beautiful day, but the look on the gypsy girl's face hints at less-than-sunny thoughts.

Mockingbird has had years of study with SHIELD perfecting how to blend in; how to be present without being noticed. Everything that goes -counter- to being an Avenger. And yet she finds it comfortable to slip back into old habits whenever she can. Even wearing the black and white bodysuit, Bobbi somehow manages to blend in quite well with the students at Xavier's, except perhaps to those who know her.

Glasses perched atop her blonde locks, she makes her way outside with a bottle of juice and a bagel well-laden with lox and cream cheese. Blue eyes spot a familiar face, and she heads over to the fountain. "Good morning, Miss Gray." she offers, taking a huge bite of the bagle-mess.

Chenda's head comes up with a start, leaving a streak of white danish icing trailing down beside her mouth. Wide, dark eyes flash to the bespectacled blonde, and she blushes. "Oh... Hi, Ms. Morse," she replies, a little sheepishly. Even with her eyes and ears, the SHIELD agent turned instructor /still/ manages to walk up on her unnoticed, and often.

"Lovely day, huh?" she adds, with a passably cheery smile that's as false as the enthusiasm in her voice. Still, she's a good enough actress that most wouldn't notice it. Not most.

Mockingbird smiles knowingly, stepping right up and swiveling her hips around to plant herself right beside Chenda. "Well the weather's nice enough, anyway." she replies, tilting her head to nibble at some of the lox that's trying to escape the bagel. "Breakfast outside by yourself today, Miss Gray?" she counters, blue eyes not -quite- accusing. She knows Chenda has quite a few friends at the school, after all.

Chenda edges over a little, watching her teacher sit down, and smiling faintly at Ms. Morse's attempts to corral that runaway lox. But that knowing look deflates the smile quickly. "There's really not much privacy here," she replies quietly, looking down at her pastry and brushing that icing off her face with a fingertip. "Normally it doesn't bother me... No, don't ask why privacy would be important to someone with my luck with clothes," she adds quickly, used to her friends' takes on the subject. "I just... it felt like the walls were closing in this morning." Her gaze strays out to the gates, and she pops that icing-coated fingertip into her mouth.

Mockingbird chuckles softly at the clothes reference, having read more of Chenda's file than most teachers would have. Then again, Bobbi likes to know things, and puts the same level of detail into her teaching and her students as into her work. "I know the feeling." she replies, following the gaze out to the gates. Glancing down at her watch, she offers. "My martial arts class doesn't start for another hour. How about we take a walk?" And with that, she rises smoothly, using only her legs to stand.

There's a hint of a smile, a real one, at Mockingbird's chuckle. Chenda has learned to live with her faults, and knowing that the teacher doesn't hold this one against her is reassuring. "Well, if you can stand being seen with me outside of class, I can stand a walk," she replies, with typical self-deprecating humor, standing up with the same easy fluidity as Ms. Morse. Her hands would be little use, one holding a pastry and the other her water bottle. "Where to? I don't think the garden's very brekkie-friendly..."

Mockingbird glances towards the gates, actually, and she gestures carefully with the bagel. "I was thinking a short stroll down the lane, actually. Let you breathe the free air a bit." Wink. And without waiting for acknowledgement, Bobbi heads that direction. "It's remarkable how something as small as a change of scenery can clear the head."

Chenda falls easily into step, taking a quick bite of pastry. And then a deep breath of the air as she chews, her expression turning thoughtful. "I dunno about free... oh, lox!" she says quickly, seeing another bit of it making a break for the edge of the bagel, and free-fall-dom. Pernicious stuff!

Mockingbird chuckles and holds up her bagel enough to let the girl lunge for the escaping lox. "We can always go back and get more, y'know." she offers. With a brief side-step, she touches the pad that starts the gate opening and then leads the way outside. "The School is a safe place, Richenda." she offers once they're outside. "But I know that safety is a double-edged sword, and can sometimes feel like a prison."

Chenda blinks as the bagel gets held her way, but then understanding dawns and she leans over and forward in a snap, stretching out her tongue and catching the glob of lox in midair. The motion swishes a lock of hair into her eyes and makes her baggy rave-style jeans slip alarmingly, and she claps her bottle-holding hand against her hip with well-developed reflexes. "I /think/ we've got enough. I'd say the lox thinks so, too," she comments with a grin.

And back to serious subjects. The gypsy girl nods quietly. "It's a nice place; easily the most comfortable place I've ever stayed. And I've got a great roomie for a change, and friends." She pauses in mid-thought, frowning faintly. "Have you ever been... um, not quite sure you were wanted, maybe?"

Mockingbird's expression softens at the question, her mind flashing back. The West Coast Avengers... Clint... Even returning to New York. "All the time." she replies softly. Giving a nod, she nibbles at her bagel and observes casually. "I know it's probably okay with school policy, but baggy pants and street fighting really don't go well together. Can't kick if your pants are around your ankles."

Chenda blushes, taking a hasty bite of pastry. While she can hold up her pants enough to walk with just one hand, she can't really fix them that way, and she has about three bites to go. At least the road's empty right now. "I wasn't thinking of fighting in this outfit, but it doesn't say much for my preparedness, huh," she replies. "And so much for teasing you about panty lines." Not with enough purple showing that Ms. Morse doesn't have to guess the style of her underpants.

She swallows another bite and looks up at her teacher. "You mean that. Half the time, people either humor me or stick to monosyllables and hope I'll shut up. You're not." She looks down, her eyes on the taller woman's nose for just a moment. "Do you mind if I ask you a personal question? And I honestly don't mind if the answer is 'Shut your pie-hole, Gray.'"

Mockingbird -does- notice the purple, but her gaze remains mostly neutral about it. "That's why I wear a bodysuit, 'Chenda. Aside from being bulletproof, it's easy to move in." Tilting her head, a few quick bites just about kills the bagel and the messy toppings. Chewing a couple of times, she replies while only half-mumbling. "Sure thing. Just hope the answer doesn't disappoint."

"Can you recommend a good manufacturer? I might have to try that," Chenda replies seriously, taking another quick bite. Just one more! Chewing quickly, she swallows and speaks again. "What did you do about it? Nothing I've tried has worked, and I've done everything from trying to be more outgoing to burying myself in my hobbies." Which Ms. Morse might've noticed, as one of them is decorating secondhand clothes, like those jeans she's mostly wearing.

Mockingbird smiles knowingly at the question. "Mine's based on a SHIELD design, but is Avenger-issue." she replies. "But until you're ready to invest in Beta-cloth and Kevlar, just find something that fits you comfortably." Finishing off the bagel, she licks her fingertips. She considers the question while she chews, then swallows and takes a swig of juice. "Have you tried just being yourself? I know it sounds stupid, but you're the one who has to live with the person you see in the mirror every morning. Not your classmates. Not your teammates. And not your soon-to-be-ex-husband." Smile. "Hypothetically speaking."

"Considering my clothing budget, I don't think I'll be doing that anytime soon," Chenda replies, grimacing at the thought. The Fashion Dig in Hazelton Mall doesn't seem likely to have anything like /that/ in the bin anytime soon, and especially not in her size. "Maybe I should talk to the school's wardrobe department."

The answer has her looking thoughtful again, though she does smile at the mention of Mockingbird's hypothetical-maybe Ex. "I guess that's a good point. Even if it doesn't change anything else, I won't be trying to change /me/ to be more liked. And I'll admit I wasn't enjoying the changes. I guess I'll just be plain old Chenda Gray." She pops the last bite of her danish into her mouth, then reaches down and lowers her jeans until she can brace the front on her knee and thumb open a couple buttons. Then she hauls them up and holds them there, with a playfully wry grin for her companion. "Panties and all."

Mockingbird smirks and watches the clothing rearrangement, taking another swig of juice. "It's really best that way, Chenda. I almost died. I left one team, started another, and taught a third. I've been married and the jury is still out on my divorce." Glancing down at the bottle, she adds wryly. "That's a subject for stronger drink, I'm afraid, and you're not quite of age yet. But at the end of the day, I'm still Bobbi Morse, the Mockingbird."

Chenda's eyes start to go distant at the phrase 'I almost died'. She pulls herself back quickly, though not before a faint frown crosses her face. "I won't ask, and I hope that whatever happens, you're happier for it," she says, and her smile returns. "But for the record? I kinda like Bobbi Morse, the Mockingbird. She's interesting to know. And she doesn't laugh at me." Beat.

Mockingbird arches a brow, grinning over at the girl's compliment. "Just Bobbi works well enough when we're not in school, Chenda. And don't you think for a minute that Ms. Morse is going to go easy on you in martial arts class today. Or in any class, for that matter. I'm going to push you to be the -best- Chenda Gray you can be. And then I'll push you a little harder."

Chenda has to laugh at that. "Bobbi, I know that the second my attention slackens in martial arts class, you tend to beat the pants off me. Pun intended," she adds, and those jeans she's holding up slide down and back up playfully. "If you're trying to make me the best Chenda Gray I can be, you're doing it right, there."

She looks back at the gates, as if thinking something over. "I do have a question. Is there any way /I/ can help /you/ with your troubles? Even if it's just hot chocolate and a good movie some evening, or a well-timed invitation to the mall?"

Mockingbird's expression softens at the offer and she grins quite genuinely. "I'm beginning to like Chenda Gray more and more. And sure, a movie would be great sometime. Doesn't have to be a chick-flick, even." She pauses to sip her juice again, then glances down at her watch. "Ready to head back into the zoo with the other inmates?"

"What, you didn't get hip to my winning personality before?" Chenda ripostes, dark eyes twinkling with mischievous good humor. She transfers her water bottle to her mouth and buttons her jeans. She looks back towards the gates, then takes a comically deep breath, squaring her shoulders. "I think I can take a little crowding now. Once more into the breach... allons-y?"

As they reach the gate, she glances at the main building, then up at the taller blonde. "Um, if you'd rather not go in with me, I'll understand," she says softly, the look in her eyes hinting at a slip of the nerves.

Mockingbird chuckles softly at that, giving the teen a casual bump of her hip. "One thing you still need to learn about Bobbi Morse is that she never abandons her friends, no matter what the need." she offers lightly. Finishing her juice, she screws the cap back on as they head into the gates. Plucking the glasses from their perch atop her head, Mockingbird winks before slipping them back on. "I've got your back, kiddo." she adds in a low voice.

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