2010-07-06: Dinner with the White Queen

Players: Magneto, Emma Frost

Magneto_icon.jpg Emma_icon.jpg

Summary: Conversation and negotiations, over dinner. The wines are superb.

Date: July 6, 2010

Log Title Dinner with the White Queen

Rating: PG


NYC - The Plaza - Lobby

The Lobby of the Plaza has high ceilings with large crystal chandeliers casting a warm glow through out the place. The
marble floors are polished with care. There is a waiting area with plush couches and chairs, a small bar and escalators
that lead up to the second floor where more chairs are found for guests to relax.

Magneto had a word with the staff of the Plaza earlier, and secured the use of a private dining room and personal chef.
They've been very busy, setting out place settings for two, consulting on the menu, and making selections from the wine
cellar. For his part, the Mutant Master of Magnetism got a haircut.

He'll arrive in the dining room a few minutes before the appointed time, in a fresh suit, a white rose in his lapel.
More white roses on the table, interspersed with orchids, the latter bearing blood red spots in their throats. He
half-lids his eyes at the arrangements and smiles, and settles himself to wait.

What appears in the doorway could not be any less than perfection. Emma's evening dress is winter-white silk, hung off
one shoulder in the grecian style, and accented with white-gold and diamond necklace in a tapering spiderweb pattern to
the apex right above her bosom. Earrings, hair done up and carefully crafted into a braid-held bun from behind, and
three inch high-heels round out the immediate image. Accents appear in the form of bracelets and an anklet, all of it
tasteful in it's decadence, leading to the small clutch in her hands. She crosses the floor with an almost leonine
stride, the smile white on white with her lipstick as she stops about a foot from the Master of Magnetism and says in a
soft voice, "I must say… you put a good part of Hollywood to shame dressed like this. Thank you for making time for
me tonight, Magnus… or would it be well for me to be as informal as to call you Erik?"

Magneto rises from his chair as the White Queen approaches and he bows over her hand. When he rises, he smiles. "You
may call me by either name, Miss Frost, but I would suggest Magnus. After all, I understand there is already an Erik on
staff at the Institute, and should I choose to take you up on the offer you mentioned, I wouldn't want to cause undue
confusion." Due confusion, on the other hand…

He offers her a chair. "You are stunning this evening. Unparallelled. Please, sit. I do believe the waiter behind you
is about to hyperventilate." A wicked smile. He's sure the young man's difficulties were deliberately induced.

If anything, she does the opposite, in calming him somewhat with a wave of her hand, and then a gracious smile and nods
that causes one forelock to come strategically loose and trail over her brow and down her left cheek. Emma moves to
the proffered chair, and seats herself, sweeping the trail of the dress up and under before sitting primly, "This is a
far cry from secret lairs, and looming asteroids… it's nice to know we can evolve beyond the gauche trappings of the
villainy we both held to." Her smile curls a bit, "I haven't yet spoke with Scott… though I can already guess his
answer. There are some times when it's better to apologize instead of begging permission."

"Indeed. The man deals with a fait accompli relatively well, I've found. Pragmatic." Magneto makes sure Emma Frost is
comfortable, then assumes his own chair. A snap of his fingers; staff zoom in with the first round of wines: a dry
Argentinian white, paired with a creamy summer soup. He pauses until they withdraw before continuing the conversation.
"I would not discount lairs, Miss Frost. They have their uses. But a quiet business dinner is not one of them. Unless,
of course, you count the Hellfire Club as a lair."

The mention of the Hellfire Club bring a slight twitch of one eyebrow, a straightening of the otherwise pleasant
expression, before finally saying, "Touche, Magnus." The wine is sniffed by Emma, swirling the glass a moment before
the briefest of sips was taken from the flute, settling it to the side for a spooning of the soup after inhaling the
aroma once more. After at least that sampling, she then continues on, "First off… I understand you've been training
Jonothon. And I want to thank you for that. I can sense in your touch on his shoulder… you've done more than I
could for him when he was my student. It comes off as some humble pie on my part… however… hindsight is always the
clearest vision."

Magneto samples soup first, then wine; he nods at the combination, which apparently pleases the head waiter, hovering
at a discrete distance by the kitchen door. After another taste of the soup, he comments, "Mr. Starsmore is a special
case. There are few people who can match him when he is at full stretch, and that has hindered his development. You can
be sure that that particular limit is not of concern with me." He smiles in Emma's direction. "Also, he isn't fond of
politics, machinations, or head games, all of which are your among your strengths. A mis-match of talents, call it,
rather than a failure."

There is an exacting nature to everything she does, from the pinky out every time a drink is taken, or a spoonful is
sipped from, even to the point she has mastered the art of enjoying both without the tell-tale sip or slurp sounds.
Emma relaxes back after a moment, "If you could choose five students from the current class… five you see that have
potential but need the direction that you feel we could not afford to provide them… who would they be, Magnus? From
the ones you have met, or heard of. Be honest. I've not been back long enough to reacquaint myself with more than a
handful of former pupils and… others…" The slight glimmer of her eyes saying 'Scott Summers' much more than mere
words might convey.

"Five? I haven't met many more than that, although those I have met have impressed me in different ways." Magneto
pauses then, as the soup is removed and a salad slid in to replace it. Tangy, with raspberries, it is paired with a
Canadian rose. He leans back, waiting for Emma to pronounce on the course before sampling it himself. "But among those
I've seen, I recall Miss Franklin especially. I don't believe I've seen her power, but if it matches her mind?" He
smiles. "But I am sure you have suggestions, yourself."

"However… Miss Franklin has graduated… but I understand she attending law school in New York, so there will be
plenty of opportunity to find her, should you so choose. But I would suggest the suit… while your signature look is
dashing for a man your age… it might be a touch too much for the public." A slight grin from Emma lips, neither cold
nor warm as it curls up along the white line of her lipstick. The salad is tasted, and then the wine, once more
inhaled before touching her lips, "This is very nice… my compliments to your chef. But I've become too used to
either personal chefs when able… or teaching waiters to be wine stewards. An hour with me can usually garner the
right man a raise from his employers."

"My granddaughter would disagree would disagree with you on my choice of clothing. But, at nine, she still believes
that pink and pink are adequate contrasts, so I will take your advice under consideration." He tastes his salad and
wine, and nods again. "I will be sure to mention your compliments to the staff. Unlike you, however, I can claim no
personal touch in these selections, beyond the promise of a good tip if they did well, or a spectacular one, if they
exceeded expectations." His philosophy: one pays for good staff for a reason. If you have to hold their hands, they
aren't good staff. "Thus far, I believe they are on track for spectacular."

And, in a return to the earlier topic, "I've also noticed Theo. Interesting young man… deeper than he looks."

A pause in the conversation is covered with the enjoyment of the food and wine, while Emma seems to contemplate the
entire situation before she sets her glass to the side with a sigh, and returns to her casual smile. While it's not
the place for it still, she puts on her corporate face for Magnus and then says, "What the school has is teachers who
teach subjects, and teacher who teach the children how to use their powers… but what the school lacks is someone with
whom we can take those who truly need it and place them in the care of one who will give them what they need without
the coddling, and build within them the respect for themselves, and the rest to be earned from you. I am speaking one
part drill instructor, and another part kung fu master… if you'll part reliance on such description."

"'Kung Fu master'?" Magneto leans back and laughs. "There is a title I never thought to own. A man so skilled that the
minor becomes a work of art, and the major, an unstoppable force?" Well, perhaps the metaphor does hold up the way he
thinks it shouldn't… "And what of those other students, Miss Frost? I can well imagine a separation of powers…
those deemed worthy, and those deemed not. Or, worse, those deemed tough-minded enough, and those deemed too fragile
for exposure to the likes of me." Blue eyes glitter with a cold, hard mirth. "Is this the sort of thing you would want
to encourage in an institution named for Charles Xavier?"

Emma watches as the man speaks, taking in every word before she takes up her fork, and then taps it softly on the edge
of the dish, exhaling once before that single loose forelock trails one way past her eye and back once more before she
continues, "School functions best when a teacher can establish a bond with their students… to become a mentor to
them, help them realize their full potential. While at Xavier's that can be done on an Academic level, it cannot
always be done on the basis of what their mutation has gifted… and sometimes cursed them with. What works with one,
does not work with others… your style of BEING may be just what is needed to help certain ones along in ways that
others had not considered, Magnus. Sure you can see this?"

A shrug of one shoulder; Magneto still smiles. "Of course I can see that, Miss Frost. I have taken on Jonothon
Starsmore as a student, after all, so that much should be plain. But it is a far different thing for me to take on a
single student for one-on-one tutoring, far away and off the books, as it were, than it is for me to be associated
openly with your institute. I do have a reputation, and I have pride in it. I have cultivated it as much as you have
cultivated the perfection of your face, and I have my reasons, as you have yours. The public reaction to my choices
have consequences beyond those of yours. —Or are you suggesting I take up the mantle of Michael Xavier again,
little-known brother of founder Charles?"

Finishing the wine, Emma sets it to the side, and sighs once, "There's the trick… perhaps that would be for the best.
I certainly would not feel poor for the deception. But the matter is… you have something. Something none of them
have, something I do not believe even I can provide. The… X-men… as much as I respect Charles and his dream, and
how it has adopted me, the X-men at the end of the day do not have the hard edge to show these children some of the
reality of life. Of their powers. And of themselves. So… this is my pitch. This year, come teach. You spend much
time on the campus, most of the students are aware of you… so now… let's solidify the relationship. One year is
all I ask… one year to see if you can find inside the school that spirit… that special something you've been
looking for."

A fish course has arrived, swapped in beneath the silences in the conversation, the wine a South African white. The
aromas are delectable, and, most unfortunately, utterly ignored. "One year?" It tempts him in some ways, although in
others he resists it. He has his reasons for being on and around the Xavier Institute campus, and some of those reasons
aren't for the edification of young minds. —And he does know how nosy certain of those minds can be. "I do agree that
your students need a look at the harsher side of life, preferably before it comes to kill them." He steeples his
fingers and studies Emma over the tips. "However, you mentioned earlier: I do not coddle. My methods and my techniques
can be ruthless, even brutal. I won't hesitate to break things, Miss Frost: are you prepared to have your students be
among the things that crack?"

The fork from her hand touches the fish, her hand touches the wine, but by far and large it's left unsampled for the
moment as Emma leans in, resting her chin on one delicate-seeming hand, the smile creasing her lips almost predatory
in his pleasantry, "I am prepared for you to see inside them the ones who will be the unbendable… to be bent. And
the ones who you can see will be stronger for being broken. The ones who need the tough love that no X-man would
provide them… because respect is all well and good, but one much respect their own power as well. And in THAT… you
excell far more than any man alive."

Magneto picks up his wine and swirls it. "It isn't a matter of respect, Miss Frost. It's a matter of fear. Too many
students both come to your school fearing their abilities, and they leave it still fearing them. And I do not exempt
Scott Summers from that list."

The Scott Summers button earns another frown, covered by a sampling of the dish spread before her, a sip of the wine to
clean her palate, and once more into the food. It's a cool minute before Emma says softly, "I do not believe in fear,
Magnus. Fear is a part of me, but I refuse to let it rule or command me. But this is something I have tried twice and
failed to teach. In my Hellions, in my second class of X-people… and then under Xavier's school I failed because I
did not anticipate what was under my nose. I have returned… these are MY children now. Their parents have entrusted
them to me… and if I must be blunt to teach the lessons to truly prepare them for a world like today… then so be
it. I'll enjoy a nice blush in Hell after the devil completes my pedicure."

"I don't doubt that for a moment." Magneto tastes his wine, then signals to the staff to bring the main course. His
untouched fish is whisked away, replaced with artfully sculpted beef and roasted vegetables. The wine is now a French
burgundy, dark and lush. "I admit to temptation," he says, saying aloud what he was thinking earlier. "The students are
interesting, diverse, and woefully unprepared for the hatred that lies outside your walls. Some are wooly-headed
idealists, like your Miss Franklin, and some are just wooly-headed, such as young Mikhail. Some have had tough brought
to them, and been beaten by it, such as young Theo. They believe in Xavier." He sips the burgundy as his beef cools. "I
wonder… do you?"

With the question posed to her, Emma leans back some and crosses her hands across her chest. Pausing there, she flicks
her eyes to the newly presented food, and then there's a soft chuckle, "Kobe beef… my my… what a fine display it
is." Reaching out she leans back to sip the glass, eyes meeting your own, before finally the White Queen speaks, "I
believe the generation to come is the generation that will lift the idea of mutation from the realm of witchcraft and
superstition to the realm of such struggles as Martin Luther King. To prove to the world they are people… not to be
weaponized, not to be scruntinized… not to be ostracized, penalized, or any -ized that the world would place on their
shoulders. Xavier dreamed of equality… but even Ghandi admitted that there is a time to fight as much as there is a
time to stand and let the tide of terror wash over you… and let yourself prove the stronger. Believing in a man is
easy. Believing in a dream is harder. And I -NEVER- do things the easy way."

Magneto smiles and salutes the White Queen with his wine glass. "And that, beautiful lady, is why you still stand when
so many others have fallen." He drinks, then sets about demolishing the beef. "The chef here has outdone himself
tonight. I do believe he wants his tip, too."

His plate cleaned, he picks up the wine again. "How much can you promise me, in terms of freedom to act and freedom
from interference? Summers and I… can be civil to one another, although our history means we will never trust one
another. That isn't something I can help, and is something you will have to deal with."

The plate before Emma is only half-done, but she has sampled heavily from the beef more than the vegetables, the
burgundy however is quite liberally sampled, and once even motioned for a refill, "As of now? I can promise you that
your class is your class… reportable to me. If the students have issues they cannot address with you personally,
they should be directed to me, and from there we may discuss. I am not going to be your leash, nor your handler. That
would defeat the purpose. I will however expect reports from you about your students, and if you honestly feel one
cannot continue, then your candor is appreciated. If I see one dropping to a degree that would be dangerous for all
involved… then -I- will be deliver my candor to you. At the end of the year, we may see at that juncture if this
program has succeeded, and if it should continue."

Plates are cleared and cheese plates are on offer now, select fruits arranged artfully among the slices. More wine;
this time, a buttery German riesling. "I may choose to take 'my' students off campus. I may choose to keep them off
campus for extended periods. I may choose to do a great many things which may interfere with their other schooling. I
may choose to do things completely contrary to things you yourself would recommend, would want… would insist upon.
What say you, Miss Frost? I am known as a stubborn man. What happens if I 'win'?"

And then she just smirks, "Mister Magnus… steps have already been taken in regards to this. We are upgrading and
replacing the campus… and one thing that will be provided to the students will be laptops that they can catch up on
their classes and receive their assignments on. So long as you…" And Emma pauses to take up a drink of the wine,
followed by a half a strawberry that adds a pink stain to her lips until she licks it away, "…understand that if
their grades slip because your ideas interfere with their education, I will hold you responsible."

Magneto says, "We may have very different opinions on what their grades are, Miss Frost, and what constitutes
'slipping', acceptable and otherwise."

Emma replies from behind the glass, "That entirely depends on what you are attempting to teach them, Magnus. This is
not carte blanche to train the next Brotherhood, or cull the children you feel will best present your views to their
generation. If you wanted to do that… you simply would. And there would be little short of the colorful
confrontations the mutant community is known for that any of us could do about it." A drink is taken and then it's set
down again, "Teaching is a personal experience. I understand this… but I ask you not eclipse what others are
attempting to gift their minds to as well?"

Magneto smears a slice of cheese through a drizzle of fruit compote and savors the morsel for a long moment, studying
the White Queen's expression. "That is fair. Mathematics, science, history… I can teach those, but I think powers
training is a better fit." He tilts his head down. "I believe that this is already dealt with by several of your
tutors. While my approach may be unique, particularly for the highest level powers, is this worth the … disruptions
… I will inevitably bring to them… and you?"

Emma does not even blink a moment to respond, "If I did not believe, nor expect it? I would not be here talking to
you… after all… there are any one of at least thirty X-men, New Mutants, X-Force, Excalibur… people… that could
be asked to take a class at Xavier's. But I came to YOU. Because I took one look at the school, and I saw that there
was a glaring hole that needed to be filled. A hole that I believed you could fill both perfectly and uniquely. A
hole that I think you have seen as well, and have wished that one would have the determination to step up and point to
it." Then a chuckle bubbles up once more as she takes some blueberries and brie on some toast, and takes a bite of it,
"I believe the phrase is… you caught me monologouing…"

"Huh." Magnus leans back in his chair with his wine. "You could very well be correct. Jonothon Starsmore…" He sips
his wine. Then he smirks at the monologuing comment. "I believe that is something we all descend to on occasion; we
have our obsessions and our impulse to express them…?" He shrugs. "I do believe the school year is over for the

With a casual motion with her hand towards the clock, Emma replies, "Yes… but of course you need some time to think
on this offer, we need time to sit down and for you to look at the class roster… abilities, evaluations, Danger Room
ratings, medical examinations… even perhaps interview students of interest. School begins in September, which is
plenty of time for me to mollify certain individuals of the choice. A choice they will inevitably come to respect if
my feeling is right. If not… well…" The grin turns to a smirk, "I can live with being despised on campus. I've
done it before."

Magneto smiles. "Surely not." He gestures and the waiters return — coffee? Tea? Magnus orders a brandy. "Dossiers.
— Will you announce this to the student body, and allow them to apply for the class? There are those who will want to
learn from me, and those who think they want to. Such attitudes should be weighed with the others."

There's a bit of a laugh in her eyes alone while the rest of her expression remains somewhat serious as Emma nods once
thoughtfully, "An announcement of special classes at the orientation day and assembly would be warranted. I'll already
be looking at shaking up the current rosters… teachers taking on roles are Team Mentors will be allowed to choose
from the senior class to be their assistant and guide for the younger students, to lead until a true leader emerges,
even if it is themselves."

"You won't be able to keep this a secret that long. On the other hand, that may be a good thing…" Magnus lets the
sentence fall away. "This has been a most interesting conversation, Miss Frost. I do hope it has been the same for

Emma sighs in the same manner that the wine made her smile, "This has been positively enlightening… and generous of
you. Next year, I think it will be my turn to offer up a private place to have another iteration of this conversation,
hmm? In the meantime…" She leans over the table, and extends her hand, "I may honestly say it has been a pleasure.
You are a gentleman."

Magneto rises and sets his brandy aside, then bows over Emma Frost's hand again. "The pleasure, lovely lady, has been
all mine. I will count the days until we may do this again."

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License