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 Not So Little Italy, January 21st | 5 pm CET | Closed
Mimic
 Posted: Nov 17 2017, 09:12 PM
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High above Xavier's School of Gifted Youngers, well outside of range of its security sensors, a pink portal large enough for someone as tall as Calvin to easily fit through appeared. A second later Calvin came through it, kept aloft through his telekinetic power as the portal closed behind him again. The Mimic had taken the time to borrow Reece's powers again after he'd decided he would be paying Marvel Girl a visit, though when asked why he needed them he'd only really given his friend a non-answer. Luckily for Calvin the two of them were close enough that she had let him get away with it, though after disappearing for two whole days earlier that week and being very coy in answering any questions about that, Calvin was pretty sure he was beginning to test his friend's patience.

Knowing what he was keeping from Reece, who was like a sister to him, weighed heavily on Calvin's heart there were some things he just couldn't discuss with her. Spending two days with Roberto da Costa? Well, the man was no longer at Xavier's so that shouldn't upset her too much. The doubts he had about his place in the Brotherhood, both because of how easily being a part of the team made it for him to fall back into violence and because of the connection he still felt with Xavier's over a month after he had left the school? That was something he couldn't discuss with her, not unless he wanted to break her little heart.

With Jean that would be different. The exact opposite of Reece actually, come to think of it. His old mentor would likely be more than happy to hear that her former mentee didn't quite feel as at home with the Brotherhood as he had expected. Sleeping with Roberto, who had been responsible for Bobby Drake's death, finding out about that from Merry, then still deciding to side with the man? Cal didn't expect that to go over too well. Calvin still stood behind that decision though, refusing to stand back and watch Berto spiral downwards towards certain destruction because of something he had done while not in control of his actions. As someone who had made so many mistakes himself during his young life, Calvin couldn't help but feel compassionate towards Berto. One poor decision was not enough for him to condemn Roberto; Calvin wanted to be there for him to offer him any support he might need, even if part of him was still shouting at him that he was already getting in too deep.

All of this was going to have to be brought up to Jean though, Calvin had already come to that conclusion. With everything that had come to light on Thursday, he was going to have to provide some context for what he wanted to ask of her. Hopefully she would be willing to do as he asked of her, but considering how close Jean and Bobby had been Calvin was prepared to be disappointed.

What Calvin was planning now was a bit reckless, probably rather stupid as well, but he needed Jean alone. That meant speaking far away from Xavier's, where no one would be able to follow them. His first plan of action had involved texting and calling her, but since that hadn't worked he was going to go with plan B. With B standing for Blink. For a moment Calvin remained in the air, his attention focused on the school far below him, using the mutant ability he was actually born with to pinpoint Jean's location inside from a safe distance. Once he located her he disappeared again in a brief, pink flash of light.

An instant later, Jean suddenly found a portal appearing in her living quarters. She would recognise it as one of Clarice's, but while the person who stepped out was just as pink as the young teleporter he was quite a bit taller and more familiar to her. "Hey Jean," Calvin greeted his former mentor pleasantly, as if he hadn't run out on her a month ago and just teleported into her room as if it was no big deal. "You should really check your phone more often. I need to talk to you." Briefly, Calvin looked down at the young beagle jumping up against his leg, almost as if he knew that Cal planned to take his momma away, though in reality Darwin was probably just glad to see him. Returning his gaze back to Jean, Calvin held up the javelin he'd just created and swiftly tossed it Jean's way, teleporting her from the room as soon as it hit. Reaching down to pick up Darwin, Calvin created another portal for himself and stepped through to where he had sent Jean off to.

---

Moments after disappearing from Jean's room at Xavier's, Calvin reappeared at their destination: the small city of Formia, Italy, near the ruins of the ancient Roman port in Gianola Park. "It's been a while," Calvin spoke casually as he set Darwin down on the ground, looking back towards Jean to gauge whether she was mad about being whisked away like that. He was pretty sure she was mad at him. He wouldn't blame her after everything that had happened; as upset as Calvin had been with himself, how could he fault someone he had hurt as much as Jean? "Sorry, I just needed you alone for a moment. I heard about Bobby, and I just--" Calvin's voice trailed off, the tall young man struggling to find the right words to say. There really wasn't anything he could think of that would take away the pain she must be feeling. "Is this a bad time for a hug?" It was probably a bad time for a hug. Usually those weren't preceded by being kidnapped. With how he had been feeling himself though, like everything he was and what he had done coming to pieces, he could really use one right now.

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Marvel Girl
 Posted: Nov 27 2017, 05:53 PM
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Frankly, Jean knew she needed to get herself out of her room and back into the school, to be a good example and all that, but it was so much easier to just stay locked away in either her room or lab when she wasn't required to be teaching or when there was a Gold Team Danger Room session, that was something she couldn't totally blow off. Other social interactions? Well since if she saw one more person moping she was liable to scream it was probably best for her to limit herself to Darwin's company.

Of course considering her own mood, Darwin was alternating between whining under the bed and trying to be cute (not hard) to cheer her up.

She crossed her legs on her bed and started clicking through her farm. She probably ought to check her phone and make sure it wasn't dead, but she couldn't be bothered to find it where she had tossed it after she had run out of Farm Heroes Saga lives. It was criminal the way they tried to make you buy more and her lame "friends" didn't play to send her more. Maybe she would offer extra credit to the students for lives sent... some of them could use the help with their grades. College had offered all sorts of idiotic ways to boost grades too, it wasn't like she was failing to prepare them if she did it too.

And then company came for her anyway in the form of a bright pink portal.

Jean shot to her feet preparing to fight and then almost immediately relaxed, not Blink then, just Calvin.

Oh wait. That might not be a good thing either. No, no, just because he had joined the Dark Side didn't mean Cal had gone bad. Sure he was invading the mansion, but only her room and he was the last person she would expect to try to kidnap her. It was like Darth Vader, sure he had turned a little evil, but in the end he came back. Hopefully Calvin would realize his mistake before he fell into a pit of lava, murdered a bunch of small children, and died a horrible death.

"Cal they're going to flip when you show up on the security," she scolded. Glancing for her phone, oh. There it was. It rose to her hand, no not dead, she had just turned the volume off because people kept bothering her, no she didn't want to host therapy sessions for the kids or volunteer with the Red Cross or whatever new idea one of her teammates had.

She didn't have a chance to explain that though, because she turned her attention back to her wayward mentee just in time to get a portal thrown at her.

Damn it he was kidnapping her after all.

Portals were not her favorite way to travel, but she had done it enough to land gracefully and turn, taking in her surroundings. He hadn't sent her to any type of dank dungeon which was a bit of a relief. Instead it was a town, right on the edge of some ruins and water. Certainly it was not anywhere in New York. Europe perhaps.

Calvin appeared a moment later with Darwin in tow. Well if he was trying to kidnap her he wasn't doing a very good job of it. "Where are we?" It wasn't like yelling at him would make him do what she wanted. He never did what she told him to. He immediately brought up Bobby and she wasn't sure how he had even known. She hadn't told him, hadn't been sure if he would care and she didn't want to be the one to tip-off the Brotherhood that they were down another member. Even worse with Sam deciding to leave the team as well they had taken a big hit in the past few weeks. Not that any of this answered the question of where they were and why he had taken her there. Impulse control had never been his strong point so she couldn't really say was surprised, but it was still weird even for them.

When he asked his question, she managed to talk around the lump in her throat. "You know what, it's a fine time, but only because it's you." She wrapped her arms around him. "You know you didn't have to drag me across the world if you wanted a hug Cal." Most people might have to go to extreme lengths, but not him.

Mimic
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Mimic
 Posted: Nov 28 2017, 05:38 PM
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"Formia, Italy," Calvin informed Jean when his former mentor asked him where they were. "Gianola Park, to be precise. This is where my mother was from." Calvin's brow furrowed as he thought his words over for a second. "Formia, I mean, not this park specifically." He didn't actually know why he had taken them there. Calvin hadn't been to Formia since he was a child, and he'd been there only once, but perhaps subconsciously that's just somewhere he wanted to go and with Reece's teleportation doing so was about as easy as taking a single step in any direction.

When Jean wrapped her arms around him without a moment of hesitation, Calvin let out a sigh, his body suddenly relaxing at how comforting the hug felt. "I know," he responded as he wrapped his own arms around Jean, resting his face against the top of her head. With the range on his telepathic communication that even half of Jean's powers provided, he could have just talked to her from Harry's. And yet here they were, in Formia, Italy, because Calvin had gotten a stupid idea in his head and decided to run with it. That seemed to pretty much be his modus operandi, and despite having made the decision to change his ways, that would take a lot more time to grow out of, if he ever even could.

Calvin was content to just keep on hugging Jean, but he hadn't taken her from the school just for that, and after a moment he broke away from her far enough so he could look her in the eyes as he spoke. "I'm sorry." Cal's voice was shaky, his emotions suddenly running higher than he could have anticipated, the tears that came a definite surprise. With how much there was for him to be sorry for, he wasn't even sure why he had said that specifically. Bobby's death. Leaving Jean behind without anything more than a letter to say goodbye. Joining the Brotherhood, a terrorist organisation that went against everything she stood for. Sleeping with the man responsible for Bobby's death, then choosing his side instead of one of Jean's fellow X-Men... It would have been easy to just use that one little apology to cover everything he had done wrong, but that just didn't feel right.

Unsure where to actually start with apologising properly, Calvin decided he'd just work through them in chronological order. "I shouldn't have left the way I did," he started. "Both times I did, but the last time especially." He had been lucid then, the decision he made a fully conscious one that he had actually thought through, instead of an impulsive decision he'd made while his entire mind was hazy. He'd been working up towards his decision to leave for a week, and all he'd done was leave her a damn letter, like he just wanted to let her know he was off to the supermarket. She had deserved better than that, just like Merry had deserved better than just not being told at all.

"And I shouldn't have joined the Brotherhood either," he admitted next, taking in a deep breath before following it up with something Jean would surely not be happy to hear from him. "Xavier's is not the place for me, Jean... after everything that's happened to me, it just doesn't feel right. But the Brotherhood isn't right for me either. I thought it would be, thinking that I'd be fighting for mutant rights, but--" Calvin just shrugged instead of immediately finishing his sentence. Just another mistake for Calvin Rankin, huh? What else was new? "There's good people there, Jeannie..." She might not buy into that, but Calvin knew them better than she did, and if he was good enough for her to hug then surely she had to feel like good people could end up there, right? Calvin liked to cling to that idea, that despite everything that had happened Jean still thought he was a good person. If she could believe that, then maybe he could actually be one as well. "But Christ," he continued after letting his words linger for a moment, "some of those people are just... did you know one of them killed Merry?" God, just saying that out loud made his stomach turn, and he loathed the idea of having to return to Station M until he actually got the nerve to talk to Reece about wanting to leave and packed his belongings. "And Anna?" Calvin scrunched up his nose a little. "What the hell happened to her that left her so damn fucked up?" Ooh, language. "Sorry, I meant messed up."

Letting out a sigh, Calvin stepped away from Jean for a moment and turned his attention to the nearby ruins, wiping his eyes dry. This was such a nice location, it would be a shame if they got too wrapped up in their problems - well, Calvin's problems and how he seemed unable to stop spewing them out - to appreciate the view. And yet, even as he took in the sight of what little remained of the classical Roman harbour, Calvin couldn't help but wanting to immediately bring up that other thing that was weighing too heavily on him. It shouldn't have been something he'd see as a burden, or something he would hesitate to talk to Jean about, but that's just how things were. The feelings he'd developed for Berto in such a short time came with complications that shouldn't have been there, such as Calvin's inner conflict between wanting to give into how he felt completely and his apprehension towards committing to something he wasn't sure could last. And of course the not too insignificant fact that the man he'd begun to fall for was responsible for the death of one of Marvel Girl's oldest friends. Maybe he just wouldn't bring that up just yet; Jean could have already heard about it from Merry, but there was a chance that his former friend had kept that to herself for whatever reason. Maybe Calvin could just take a moment where he wouldn't have to tell her anything.
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Marvel Girl
 Posted: Dec 11 2017, 06:00 PM
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"Are you telling me you weren't raised by wolves in a park?" she asked. Yes, she knew very well where he had been raised and the childhood that her powers had had a hand in ending, but sometimes Calvin just set himself up for that kind of joke and she couldn't help herself. Times being what they were they could all use a laugh these days. "It's beautiful," she added more seriously. "I've always wanted to go to Italy." This wasn't exactly how she had pictured the trip, but you had to take what you could get. If Calvin kidnapping her was how she was going to get to see the world then so be it.

She got the sense of his doubts and realization that there would have been easier ways to do this, but she didn't comment on them. All things considered this was a fairly harmless detour. There might be hell to pay back home if security picked up on it, but she would deal with that later. His apology was not exactly what she had expected, neither were the tears, so she hugged him tighter. "I am too." For everything. How it had gone. For not doing more for him as a teenager. For not fighting harder to find him when he left. For it being the Brotherhood who saved him instead of the X-Men. Calvin may have screwed up, but the X-Men, herself included, hadn't done any better for him.

He started talking and she let him, not wanting to interrupt in the middle of it, if he was ready to talk than so be it.

"I'm not going to pretend I'm not ecstatic to hear you say that," she said. Honesty was the best policy, right? She was trying not to smile too much though. It was mostly bad news. But the news that he didn't think he belonged to a murdering terrorist cell was the best thing to happen all month. "I mean you were there so there was a good person." That was a little harsh, but well... alright. Maybe Hardwire wasn't totally horrible. And... that was it at least that she had come across recently. "I understand wanting to do something, wanting to do more than we can, we're held back some with the school. Protecting the students has to be a priority, we can't be firebrands when we have kids to look out for." Jean might like the idea of being a bit more active, but she understood the reality of it too, it wouldn't do anyone any good to lose the school, one of the few safe places any mutant could go to. "But their way isn't the right way, not when they welcome some of the people they do." She nodded curtly. "I've heard about what he's done." He was one who it would actually be doing the world a service to kill. Maybe she ought to set Trevor and Logan on the case.

She joined Calvin overlooking the harbor. "Anna likes attention. I don't know if that's what drove her that far, but," she shrugged. Of course anyone who ran away to join the Brotherhood over a highschool romance probably already had a few screws loose, but Jean really couldn't even begin to say where the girl had gone so totally off the rails.

"You know I wish you would come back, but if that's not right for you... I understand." She didn't agree that Xavier's was the wrong place, but well arguing would probably only drive him away. "As long as you stay in touch," she stipulated.

For a moment they stood there in silence. She had the feeling there was more than what he was telling her and if it had to do with Roberto well, frankly she still didn't know what to say about that. Merry had spilled the news almost as soon as she arrived home from the meeting and Jean was loathe to believe it.

Mimic
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Mimic
 Posted: Dec 16 2017, 02:24 PM
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Of course Jean was ecstatic to hear him say that he didn't think the Brotherhood was right for him. She had been very clear in communicating that was how she felt herself several times before, and how she wanted him to come home. Home, she had said that as if that word meant the same thing to Calvin as it did to her. It had once, but years had passed since then and Calvin had changed a lot since then. He was arguably in a better place now than before, mentally at least, but he was not the kid he used to be. Embracing the ideals that most others would share at Xavier's just wasn't an option anymore for him, he thought, and Calvin knew that if he went back there he'd just end up feeling out of place again just like he did with the Brotherhood.

Being alone didn't sound like a great alternative, especially not to someone genetically inclined to be around others like Calvin was, but it was what he felt he needed right now. Maybe he could reach out to Berto again, even if that was something that had mostly left him confused so far. Feelings were complicated, but at least now he would actually have the opportunity to figure them out properly without worrying what box he was in. Cal would finally just get to be Cal, which hadn't really happened in over seven years now. Maybe now he'd finally be able to get things right for a change, and if he did fuck up again at least it would fully be on his own terms. It was both a scary and a satisfying prospect at the same time.

"Maybe she's just always been a bit nuts..." Calvin supposed about Anna when Jean joined him in overlooking the bay. In that she had found herself exactly the kind of man for her in Suvik, though he'd hesitate to say they were good for each other if they encouraged each other's less than savory whims. Not that Calvin particularly cared about those two, not even with what history he shared with Anna. She had made her choices, Calvin was making his, and those would take them both in very different directions. A direction that, for Calvin, would actually involve the people he cared for without him just ending up hurting them again.

As Jean expressed the wish that he would come back to Xavier's, Calvin heaved out a sigh as he turned his gaze away from the ruined harbor in front of them and towards Jean. "I know you don't agree that it's not the right place for me," he told her quietly. Cal didn't need Jean to tell him that for him to know that was her opinion on the matter. Sure, she said that she understood, but understanding was different than agreeing. "After Utah, I'm hardly X-Man material, Jean," he argued, though his tone remained calm, "humanity and I just don't have a great relationship, and I don't see that changing anytime soon." Fighting for Xavier's ideals would just be more of him going against who he truly was, and there had been enough of that. If it didn't feel right to him, as if he wouldn't be doing right by him, Cal was pretty sure it would be better for him if he just didn't do it.

"I will stay in touch though," Calvin went on to assure his former mentor. "Honestly? That plays a big part in why I want to leave the Brotherhood, and why I don't want to return to Xavier's. I'm tired of these lines being drawn in the sand, telling me who I can or can't be friends with, or being directly compared to psychopaths like Suvik just because we happen to be part of the same group." That still didn't sit right with Calvin, but he could see why Merry had seen things that way. He should have just come to the decision to leave the Brotherhood the moment he found out about that, instead of needing Merry to kick him in the nuts again first.

"Did you know Merry actually thought I had something to do with Bobby's death?" Calvin grimaced as he said those words, not just because of how painful an accusation that had been, but knowing what he had accused Merry of being capable of in return. "We met for lunch the other day and--" Calvin's voice trailed off then, not sure what he wanted to tell Jean there. He had sort of hoped she knew already, or at least had a good idea of what happened. "You know, right?" Calvin decided he'd just approach this under the assumption that Jean knew what was going on. "About me and Berto?" Inhaling deeply, Calvin lowered his gaze a little. "Honestly if I could explain to you what happened there, I would. I just... sort of fell into that whole thing and I don't honestly know what's going on there. I wouldn't have done anything had I known about Bobby beforehand... but--" Well, hindsight was 20/20, and as Calvin had found, completely useless. Calvin had let his emotions get the better of him, acted out against Merry, and picked Berto's side in the process.

Meeting Jean's gaze again, Calvin pursed his lips slightly as he took a moment to consider everything he had done over the past few days yet again. Not that he would be reaching any amazing new insights in that brief moment, but it did sort of help him sort what he had figured out for himself already. "I know this will sound stupid, considering what happened," Cal started again, "but I don't think Berto is a killer. Maybe that just makes me a very poor judge of character, but... I'm just not seeing it. Am I wrong in that? In seeing someone who made a huge mistake and wanting to help him get himself back together so he can... I don't know, make up for it somehow?" Calvin realised that what he had begun to feel for Roberto was probably affecting his judgement quite a bit, but the same didn't go for Jean. Her perspective on this was sure to be completely different from his own, yet the fact that she hadn't tracked down Berto for what he'd done to her best friend left Calvin hopeful that he'd at least find some measure of understanding from Marvel Girl
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Marvel Girl
 Posted: Jan 9 2018, 03:17 PM
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A smile twitched at her lips. Yes, Calvin knew she wanted him to come back whether she said it or not. "To be fair, what really is X-Man material?" She leaned over onto the rail between them and the harbor. After all they had everything from pacifists to Logan running around the mansion. "We run quite the spectrum you know. And mutants are humanity anyway. Human with a couple evolutionary changes. Don't forget that Cal. Even if some people have." The more people like Kelly and the Purifiers tried to draw those lines, the easier it would be to see mutants as something other when really they weren't that different. "I mean if you don't want to come back, it's fine, but it doesn't mean you're totally at odds with us." They all wanted safety and a better life for mutants. The methods caused the problems.

"You better. My Cerebro range is a lot bigger than it was before." And she was not above bullying the other X-Men into helping her now if she needed it. "That's the problem with the Brotherhood though, they welcome people like Senyaka." Maybe some of them had good motivations, Jean could even see the value in their mission in Utah even if the methods were different than what she would have chosen. But any team that let murderous psychos on, well in her opinion that diminished anything they wanted to say when they came to the table. Of course some of the X-Men had checkered pasts as well, but they were all there because they wanted to be something more.

She bit her lip as the inevitable came up. Roberto. "Merry told me, but I didn't really want to believe it." She should have known better. Merry wouldn't have made that up she cared about, or she had cared about, Calvin too. Sometimes ignorance really was bliss. "He killed Bobby. Or at least he tried his damnedest to." She kept her voice mild, Calvin hadn't done it, Calvin's biggest crime at the moment was being dumb about who he got involved with. "The only reason I didn't go after him the moment I stepped back into the mansion and saw what happened is because I'm not convinced Bobby is really gone." Calvin had told her the truth, she would give him the same courtesy. If she hadn't found Bobby's mental presence, faint as it was, in Cerebro that first night would she have looked for Berto and upon finding him, gone after him? Possibly.

"He never came home to try to make it right," she pointed out, then sighed. "It doesn't really matter. He won't bring Bobby back. He was an idiot, took a drug, and then ran away from the consequences." Calvin was too good for him by far. "I'm not going to change your mind though am I?" They were long past the days when her approval or disapproval could sway his decisions. "I'm not going to hunt him down if that makes you feel better. I thought about it, but there's no point."

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Mimic
 Posted: Jan 13 2018, 03:38 PM
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When asked what X-Man material really was, Calvin didn't give Jean an answer, assuming the question was a rhetorical one, instead just gesturing towards her. She was one of the first to come to mind when he thought of X-Man material, along with boring old laserface, McCoy and some others. Merry was one of those people as well. She bought into the concept of Xavier's so completely that Calvin sometimes wondered if she even had half a clue of what the world outside of the mansion's walls was like. The same could probably be for Jean. If they did, then they would have had a better understanding as to what had driven Cal towards the Brotherhood. Then again, it wasn't like Calvin was all that knowledgeable either; had he had a proper grasp of what the Brotherhood was like, he wouldn't have joined up with them in the first place. Fighting for mutant rights was still something he believed in strongly, but standing alongside people like Suvik was not something he could do.

"Some people..." Calvin echoed incredulously when Jean reminded him that mutants were just humans with something extra. "I'd wager that it's most people," he countered, "as in, pretty much all of humanity. Their media makes sure of that, painting us as this unknown, dangerous "other" to be feared." Even if it was just half of them, that was still billions of people who didn't consider mutants to be the same as them, and many of those wouldn't hesitate to draw whether mutants deserved the same rights as humans into question.

"I know I'm not completely at odds with you," Calvin clarified next, not wanting Jean to believe that he did. "I don't want to be at odds with you." He hated the lines that people drew in the sand, but the fact of the matter was that they were there. As soon as he had joined the Brotherhood, he had become the enemy, a consequence that he hadn't fully grasped when he made that decision. He wasn't sure if there was any going back on that; Cal was pretty sure that, to some people, having made that decision had made him the enemy and that's what he would continue to be. He didn't like that, but he could accept the reality of it. Part of what stuck with him the most of what the creature inhabiting Merry's body had told him was facing the consequences of his actions. This was one of them.

Another one was whatever it was he had going on with Berto, something that Cal was still trying to figure out for himself. The past couple of days had been an emotionally tumultuous one to say the least, and dealing with all those feelings that had unexpectedly cropped up wasn't easy. Especially not considering what the man he felt them for had only been in that bar in Brooklyn for Calvin to find because of the terrible thing he had done two days prior. When Jean made mention of that, Calvin briefly averted his gaze. Looking at someone who had known Bobby for so long when he'd pretty much chosen the side of his murderer over the X-Men was difficult. It felt more like betrayal than joining the Brotherhood had. That Jean wasn't chewing him out for his decision spoke volumes about how much she apparently cared for him, which of course only served to make Calvin feel worse about it. This would have been so much easier had she just let him have it instead of being so damn understanding. Being on the receiving end of hatred was something Cal at least had a lot of experience with, most of it coming from himself. He didn't feel like he deserved Jean being so tolerant towards him, but at the same time he greatly appreciated it as well. Just another thing for him to feel conflicted about.

"You what?" Calvin looked back towards Jean when she told him the only reason she hadn't gone after Berto immediately was because she didn't believe Bobby was really gone. "Are you sure you're not just--" Delusional came to mind first, but Calvin changed course mid-sentence. "--in denial?" Marginally better. "I know what happened to him, how could that be anything but fatal?" Calvin would be thrilled if Bobby wasn't dead, but this just felt like clinging to the impossible. "Don't get me wrong, Jean, I hope you're right about this, but..." He also hoped she wasn't just setting herself up for a major disappointment.

But if it meant that she wouldn't go after Berto, then Calvin wasn't going to argue against what Jean believed too much. And if there was any chance that Bobby was still alive... Berto needed to know. After what happened on Thursday Cal would be hesitant to even breach the subject again, but the next time he saw Berto he was going to have to find a way to bring it up. He needed Berto to be better, to build him up after his actions had left the man in ruins, and this could help. Maybe then he would eventually actually be able to face the consequences of what he had done, something that Merry had astutely pointed out he needed to do.

"I'm not going to change my mind about him, no." Calvin let Jean know then, turning his gaze towards the bay again. For the first time since he'd whisked his former mentor off to Italy, his lips twisted into a small smile. "I think it's pretty clear by now that making that happen isn't easy." If it was, Jean would have gotten him to stay when he'd first come to Xavier's following his being freed from the facility in Utah, or gotten him to come back to the school after he'd left to join the Brotherhood. "I know I'm being selfish here. I told myself I was just doing the right thing, but this is because of how he made me feel more than anything." If Berto hadn't first managed to make Calvin feel so good about himself, for the first time in what felt like forever, the Mimic probably would have handed him over to Merry without a second thought.

"But I feel like I'm helping here too," Cal added as he looked back towards Jean. "Berto should go to Xavier's and try to make things right, to face the consequences of what he's done. I agree with you on that, and with Merry too. He just isn't ready for it." Closing his eyes briefly, Calvin shook his head lightly. The man he'd witnessed when he told Berto about his meeting with Merry wasn't ready to face anything. Cal would hesitate to even suggest he go to Xavier's. "He's such a mess right now, Jean," Calvin opened his eyes again, heaving a sigh, "and considering my own experience with being a complete mess, I think I can make a difference here. To help him get better, and to keep him from screwing up again." Calvin's track record with not screwing up was so spotty it was barely even visible anymore, but when it came to Berto he was positive that he could make a difference.

Marvel Girl
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