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15 February 2011 @ 06:58 pm
the confrontation you've all been waiting for D:  
WHO: The Doctor and The General
WHERE: Scott's office at the Xavier Institute
WHEN: Tuesday afternoon, after the last class is out
WARNINGS: oh my god i don't even know where to start, but hugs are not likely. this could get ugly, folks
SUMMARY: It's time these two had a long talk about things

This had been a long time coming. It had been over a month since Scott resumed his position at the Institute, and a week since Hank had returned. During that time, the tension had been tangible in the air, he could see that everyone was waiting for the other shoe to drop. And since the chaos Joker and Keith Anyan had each started throughout the City had passed and Hank had put Valentines behind him, what better time than now?

Any other time. Never, he thought to himself. But no, it had to happen sometime, especially because Scott had asked to see him. So better that it was when Hank initiated and could prepare as best he could than to be caught off guard about it.

He approached the door cautiously, but his hand stopped before it hit the knob. It just wouldn't stop shaking. And then his heart was in his throat and the hall wouldn't stop spinning and it was all he could do just to catch his breath, he franticly checked that the halls was empty and found himself thanking any deity who would listen that Scott's door didn't have a window. He backed himself up against the opposite wall and just...held himself there for a moment.

You can do this. You have to do this. He couldn't fully believe it, but he knew it had to be done. He couldn't let this be about his own weakness alone, there were others at stake, and he wasn't the only person who'd suffered. If nothing else could get him through this, than he had to remember that.

He set his jaw and stood as tall as he could. Straightening his tie, he slowly crossed the hall again and paused. It was just opening a door, it was the simplest thing in the world. Just a quick movement of his hand and he'd be in the room. That's all it took, just to do it.

He gritted his teeth and opened the door.

As he strode in, he found he was already glaring. He kept his hands clasped behind his back (they wouldn't stop shaking why won't they stop shaking) and stopped about two feet from the desk. He raised an eyebrow as the words found their own way out.

"Well, I suppose it's time, isn't it?"
Scott Summers: Thoughtful
What?! No hugs?!
thing4telepaths on February 16th, 2011 02:08 am (UTC)
On most days, Scott would have at least had the display up somewhere for the security camera outside his hallway, but fortunately for Hank, Scott was in the throes of his latest obsession; monitoring Scathach. The screen at his desk that he used to tap into the security feed was a constant stream of wherever the redhead was. Scott couldn't stop watching her, stop wanting her, it was ridiculous really.

It wasn't until Hank was actually in the room that he noticed the other man. Reluctantly switching the monitor to another feed and thankful it was facing away from Hank, Scott stood and nodded to his friend.

"Well, I suppose I should be thankful you came to my office instead of the foot of my bed?" he asked, giving a half smile before suddenly frowning. "I'm sorry, that sounded more like friendly teasing in my head than it did out loud. Have a seat, Hank."

He gestured to a few chairs off to the side, he didn't want to have this conversation while behind his desk. He owed at least that much respect to Hank.
Dr. Henry Phillip McCoy: Um.
you know until i remembered that happened i mistook that for a dog joke
bluepurrymuffin on February 16th, 2011 04:29 am (UTC)
Hank tilted his head in distaste. This was no time for 'friendly teasing', Scott didn't get to do that anymore. "I'd prefer to stand."
Scott Summers
thing4telepaths on February 16th, 2011 04:43 am (UTC)
Scott resisted the urge to roll his eyes. It seemed like Hank was making an extra effort to go out of his way to be difficult about everything.

"Alright, if you'd like," Scott said. He almost sat just to be contrary but decided that one of them would have to not stoop that low.

"I want you to know I don't expect you to change your mind about anything, Hank. I know we're not going to ever see eye to eye on this, but I want you to know a few things... Hank, I am sorry that we couldn't get you out sooner. I can't imagine what happened to you there."
Dr. Henry Phillip McCoy: Glaaaaaaaaaare.bluepurrymuffin on February 16th, 2011 05:52 am (UTC)
Hank wouldn't have to make any kind of extra effort, this was already difficult enough as it was. "No, I doubt you could."
Scott Summers: Looking Offthing4telepaths on February 16th, 2011 06:54 am (UTC)
"I'm not going to try and convince you that what I did, that X-Force, was right," Scott said. "I know that's something we're never going to see eye to eye on. I know it was right, you know it was wrong, we're just going to have to live with those differing opinions. But the idea that I left you where you were because it was an inconvenience isn't true. To move prematurely would have risked the entire plan, and as much as I hated leaving it as long as I did, it was necessary for success. Any sooner and we may have never gotten you out and a lot more people would have died trying."
Dr. Henry Phillip McCoy: I'm hardly impressed.bluepurrymuffin on February 16th, 2011 07:30 am (UTC)
Hank gritted his teeth and wrinkled his nose. His arms were crossed in front of him before he knew what he was doing. At seven feet and six hundred pounds, it wasn't hard for Hank to look intimidating, but he wasn't even trying. He simply loomed as though it was the most natural thing in the world. And right now, it was.

"You actually think it's that simple? You haven't even considered that there's more to it than only that I'm sore over that?"

His hands settled to his hips, he didn't even care if they were still shaking. The words came easier than he thought they would.

"And while I may have been deeply affected by the fact that you left me there.

"For three days.

"To be tortured.

"By HIM!"

He let that one hang in the air as he tried to catch his breath, air hissing through his teeth. When he found his voice again, it was lower, still seething, but from an anger that burned more white than red.

"I was merely the latest example of a negligence you had been displaying for some time already."

Edited at 2011-02-16 08:29 am (UTC)
Scott Summers: Half Facething4telepaths on February 16th, 2011 02:19 pm (UTC)
"No, I know it's more than that," Scott said, making sure his voice remained neutral and he didn't match Hank's posture. He was not going to have a shouting match with Hank if he could help it.

"But it's the issue I wanted to address first. And what you call negligence, I call saving the human race. Watch where you go here, Hank. Because we both did things that we wish we didn't have to do to try and save our people. Don't forget who you contacted, who you reached out to for help. Who you were willing to work with, who you did work with, to save our people."
Dr. Henry Phillip McCoy: grumpy-grump gettin' grumpsbluepurrymuffin on February 16th, 2011 05:33 pm (UTC)
Scott's calmness only annoyed Hank further, as he could tell there was a smugness behind it, that Scott thought himself the better man for not being emotional about it. It's easy when it's not so personal for him.

"That's really the tactic you're taking? Discredit me as a source of criticism because I've made my own mistakes? There's a difference there, Scott, in that I'm willing to acknowledge the mistakes I've made, and if I could undo them, I would."
Scott Summers: Grumpy Facething4telepaths on February 16th, 2011 07:13 pm (UTC)
“You would undo them because they didn’t solve the problem,” Scott accused, clenching his jaw in frustration. That was the issue. It was easy to wish you hadn’t done something when that thing had failed.

“Don’t pretend that if you had jump started the mutant race you would take back what you did. If I could have saved the mutant race without X-Force, I would have. In an instant. Don’t you think that I wish my son didn’t have to die so that lives had to be saved? I hate myself every day for what I’ve had to do, the difference is that I’m able to live with it because what I did saved an entire race of people and that is something I will not take back, Hank. So you can hate me all you want for what I’ve done, but the fact is that you’re free and alive to hate me because of X-Force.”
Dr. Henry Phillip McCoy: This is UNTENABLE.bluepurrymuffin on February 16th, 2011 10:59 pm (UTC)
"I would undo them because I was no longer the only person at risk!" This was never just between Scott and Hank. It was always about everyone else. The only reason he'd ever even confessed that incident was because he had to come clean about what Dark Beast had done at the Guthries, otherwise that failure would've remained his private shame.

"You're not seeing any of it, you've gotten so caught up in your goddamned big picture that you're missing the details, the people that make up that picture!

"The sanctions taken by X-Force aren't even the issue. The issue is that you have a secret black-ops team you felt needed to be hidden from everyone else. The issue is you're taking advantage of children to have your dirty work done.

"You've always thought of Logan as nothing more than an animal, there's no surprise in you using him as one. But Ms. Kinney is mentally unstable, she needs help, not to be treated as another soldier! And she's hardly alone in that among those who expected to be students.

"How can you tell the world we're offering mutants sanctuary when the situations you introduce them to are frankly well past abusive?"

Edited at 2011-02-16 11:01 pm (UTC)
Scott Summers: Grumpy Facething4telepaths on February 16th, 2011 11:54 pm (UTC)
"Of course she needs help!" Scott shouted, losing patience with Hank. His friend couldn't see it, or refused to see the larger issues, and that was maddening to Scott.

"Tell me, in whose vision of the future would she receive that help? Osborn's? Bastion's? Were talking about the survival or our race and mutants being closer to extinction than ever before and you're acting as if we have the same luxuries we used to! You refuse to see the big picture and refuse to accept any course of action other than what you would want to do in an ideal situation. You would rather not make hard decisions because you're afraid you might not sleep at night and let good people die than do what's necessary and give them a chance at living. You were ready to run away from this school, abandon students who admired you and who need a teacher like you, all because I became Co-Headmaster. That's selfish, Hank. Pure and simple."
Dr. Henry Phillip McCoy: So frustrating!bluepurrymuffin on February 17th, 2011 09:46 pm (UTC)
"Yes! It was selfish! But if you had any idea how important this job is to me, you might perhaps understand exactly what it means that I was almost willing to abandon it over being anywhere near you again! Maybe if you understood how hard it is to even be in the same room as you, you might see the point I'm trying to make!"

He wondered about the bit about Bastion for a moment, but it was moot. He knew time had passed between his each of their points of origin, and wasn't entirely concerned with hearing what had transpired between just then. "Because the fact that there are others out there trying to kill her does not give you the excuse to let her try to kill herself! Because you're idea of what's necessary won't leave anyone alive! Honestly, Scott, Utopia? I don't expect you to understand the geopolitical mess you're causing with it, but even tactically it's completely unsound! And in that at least, I would've expected better from you."

He broke his loom and stood up straight, eyeing Scott over his nose. "Do you know why I ultimately chose to return? Because no matter what I would have to suffer as a result, I could not leave these students in your care. I'm here to keep you honest, because there needs to be someone to tell you when to stop. Otherwise, there's no telling what you'll do. I'm here because I don't think you're capable of living in peacetime anymore."
Scott Summersthing4telepaths on February 17th, 2011 10:28 pm (UTC)
“Do you even listen to yourself anymore?” Scott asked. “You’re a scientist, but it’s like you’ve suddenly refused to look at the world around you and can’t live in reality. You act like we have a choice, as if we can choose to not fight. We don’t, Hank. You wish things weren’t how they are and since you can’t fix them with science, you run away rather than face reality. Utopia is not ideal, but there is no getting around the fact that it is the safest place for us. You criticize my decisions Hank, but you don’t offer any solutions. You don’t offer better ideas. Because there aren’t any and the difference is that I’m willing to deal with that reality and you’re willing to run away from it. And for the record? I was here for months without you, running the school perfectly without a single complaint.”
Dr. Henry Phillip McCoy: Always hidden depths to consider...bluepurrymuffin on February 18th, 2011 10:15 pm (UTC)
Hank tilted his head, his mouth forming a perfect line. The anger was giving way finally to merely deep annoyance. As Scott got more frustrated himself, Hank found himself lightening up a little. He knew what he knew what he knew, and even if he was hitting up against a brick wall, just getting it out was a huge release. "It's more than that Utopia's less than ideal, Scott, because it isn't safe. You moved a majority of the planet's mutants onto a small island that's completely in the open, and not even getting into how it's still largely dependent on exports since the ground is from a barren asteroid, Utopia is nothing but a target. And, even better, it's a foreign target, so they can launch a large-scale attack against it without even worrying about what they would consider civilian casualties! I want you to think, actually think, about what kind of frequency of attack we've come under since you forced us into the move, I want you to try considering what a vulnerable position you'd put us in. Because what we've done isn't fighting, it's defending, and Utopia puts us in a position where we can never stop.

"You keep forgetting all of those pieces on your chessboard are people, Scott, people who are suffering as a result of your 'necessary' decisions. Something you might try keeping in mind before formulating a plan instead of after they become casualties. It's only your arrogance that lets you believe that any option you can't see simply isn't there. You take no counsel and you don't listen when it's offered. How can you really think there are no better ideas when you never give anyone the opportunity to share them? The fact is, what you call 'running away' is not simply my own only change at survival, but my only chance to put any better ideas to practice, to find ways to save mutantkind independent of you.

"And believe me, if I could take everyone with me as I did so, if you'd even allow them that chance, I would."

Gripping his lapels smugly, he leaned in close, right in Scott's face. To his own surprise, Hank smiled. More vindictive than cheerful, but a smile nonetheless. "How did you really expect this would go when you first invited me in for this chat, Scott? Did you think some half-hearted non-apology and some line about how uneasy hangs the head that wears the crown would be enough? That we'd just hug it out and be old friends again? You really are short-sighted if you truly believed this would go easily."

He backed out and started moving to the door, but stopped halfway. He wasn't through yet. "You say no criticism has been voiced against you here before, Scott, and in saying that you again display your astounding lack of empathy. That so rarely indicates a lack of criticism so much as it speaks to the lack of a voice."

Hank spreads his hands out and shrugs his shoulders, his smirk subdued outwardly, but inside it was huge. "In response, you may be happy to hear that I've spoken to Remus and we've decided it would be best that, alongside my classes, I assumed the role of student counselor. Those complaints will now have a voice." As he continued his march to the door, he gave Scott a sidelong glance. "This is only the beginning," he said, with a smile in his eyes as he shut the door.

He managed to maintain the facade all through the hall, until he locked the door to the teacher's lounge. Completely drained, he slumped into an armchair and just stayed there for a while.