2012-02-03: Trouble With Culture


Ahmed_icon.jpg Christopher_icon.jpg

Summary: Christopher talks to Ahmed about the incident the other day.

Date: February 3, 2012

Log Title: Trouble With Culture

Rating: PG-13

Xavier Mansion - Japanese Gardens

A large area of the grounds is landscaped with a Japanese Garden. A river filled with coi fish runs through the middle with a wooden bridge. There is even a small waterfall splashing on the rocks. Bamboo can be heard clacking on the rocks. A small statue of a Buddha can be found in various places. The trees hang over the area and when the flowers are in bloom, it brings a variety of color to the peaceful landscape.

Cats are supposed to be creatures of grace and intelligence. That's the case until someone actually owns a cat, then they discover they are often times rampantly lazy and silly. This would probably explain the tiger-sized lump of silver and grey fur that's sprawled in a heap over the bridge on the pond, tail dipped down so just the tips of the fur are touching the water, head hanging out between two slats, and paws up in the air. What fish aren't scared, have already tried to nibble a few hairs off, only making them puff into mist. And it's snoring. Loud enough to be heard.

Christopher didn't have any intention of heading over to the Japanese Gardens but the rumbling sound definately drew his attention. Carrying a shopping back from Trader Joes the culinary teacher heads over to find the lump of fur on the bridge. He puts down the bag and takes a few steps over to Ahmed and crouches down putting a hand on him gently. "Hey there, I don't think it's a good idea to be sleeping outside in this weather…even if you have all that fur." He says trying to wake the student up.

The cat's head comes sweeping up, whiskers clearing the slats, and the first response is a hugely fangy yawn that shows all those big pointy teeth. Oddly, it's breath smells like mountain dew. Then as the jaws snap shut, those slightly glowing blue eyes look up at Christopher a moment, and then with what could best be called a grumble, he rolls over and pushes to standing… and promptly sits back down, and just stares up at Christopher with that patented feline 'What.' expression.

Christopher raises his eyebrows at Ahmed and sits down right in front of him crosslegged. "Oh don't give me that what expression there." He says in a amused tone. "I figured someone like you would be cooking away their troubles, at least that's what I usually do. So, do you want to talk about what's going on or would you like to come into the kitchen with me and help me bake these fabulous puff patries I found a recipe for using lavender and mascarpone."

Ears go back, that long and luxurious tail curls in around his forepaws, and Ahmed heads his head in and pushes very gently with his forehead against Christopher's chest, and just rests it there, before making a soft and plaintive sound. It's almost kittenish… but with the size of the beast it's got a rumbly undertone that could be mistaken for something else. Once more the gentle headbutting comes and is followed by a couple pawpats on the man's knee.

Christopher looks down at Ahmed and raises and eyebrow. "Oh you want me to pet you do you?" There's an amused tone to his voice. "You know you can't hide from what happened yesterday, you'll have to face it sometime." He says before resigning to give Ahmed a gentle pat on the head. "Everyone here makes mistakes and things happen Ahmed, it's just the nature of sticking a bunch of kids with super powers in a building together. You're bound to have a few walls torn down."

Resigned, the feline moves back and then once clear of Christopher and any potential splash, the form dissolves away and the young Ahmed stands up from the goopy mess as he replies, "I already got the third degree from Miss Frost. I'm on dish duty for the main cafeteria for the rest of the month, and I have to help out in repairing the rec room… AND…" He adds a bit bitterly, "I have to apologize to him. Like he deserves it."

"Well if it's any comfort, I do my own dishes so you don't have to worry about mine, and Feburary is the shortest of the months so I guess it's the best month for it to have happened in?" Christopher says as he stands up and leans against the railing of the wooden bridge. "I'm not going to berate you, or tell you what you did was wrong, or that you deserve our punishment, you don't need to hear that. Though I'm curious to know, why doesn't he deserve it?"

Ahmed moves to stand next to Christopher, his body still steaming off the excess, but with that plasticy sheen that seems to stay for a bit on his body as he says, almost glaring at the koi, "Quenton gets to talk smack all he wants, and no one calls him on it. Everyone lets him, and he doesn't get that some people don't want it. I'm sick of him always being up in Nick's face… in mine… in everyone's." Shaking his head once, "People don't listen or they don't care. So if I have to be the one to step up, fine… I'm… I'm not…" He pauses before he actually lies, "I'm terrified of him. So much I just want to… I want to make him go away."

Christopher nods as he listens to Ahmed. "Well it seems Quenton is succeed in what he wants to do." He says quitely before looking at Ahmed. "Oh, I will say this in his defense, Quenton knows exactlh thta people don't want to hear him make fun of him." And then any further of Quenton is dropped for the time being by Christopher. "It's perfectly alright to be terrified of him and stand up for yourself but did something happen this time in particular to make you go that far?" There's a kindness to his tone, a soft qualty that shows he's not accusing Ahmed of anything nor does he think less of him, it's almost more he's concerned for the teen.

It's several long moments of consideration before Ahmed says, "I tried to tell my sister happy birthday. I tried relatives who I thought still liked me. I tried my few friends left from school. I even tried one of the guys who used to come by with mom from work. No one. I'm shunned… so far as anyone at home is concerned… I was never born." Tears start to form, "Yeah… Nick's parents and friends are dead, but at least he has someone to blame. But everyone's alive, and everyone's fine, but I can never go home. I'm scared to even see if there's another Kurd community here in New York." Looking at the man, "I wish I could make you understand… but… community is everything. It's…" And then he shakes his head once more, and tries to fight down the tears.

Christopher puts a hand on Ahmed's shoulder and squeezes it ever so gently. "I can understand to a degree. I'm a gay man, and a mutant on top of that. You don't think I know what it's like to be shunned? David, when he died his parents didn't even want me at the funeral because they never wanted to believe their son was gay. It's really hard Ahmed, the only thing you can do is hope that they come around and get used to the fact that you are still there son no matter how fuzzy you are." He says the last part with a smile to almost say that being fuzzy is a cute and wonderful thing. "Maybe all they need is time, and that's what we can hope for. If you like I can even try traveling out there to talk to them, maybe they need someone to tell them it's okay to have a mutant as a son, it's okay to have to adjust."

Ahmed growls in frustration and almost smacks his head on the handrail, "No… you don't get it." And he looks up at Christopher, as if pleading, "It's… it's the culture. Allright? You don't… I mean…" And he shakes his head once more, as if he can't even say, and then just slumps over the side enough so his arms dangle, "Really, Mister Parker… thank you for trying… and the gay thing sucks… it really does. But you'd have to have lived where I have to get it. For us, Canada was where we could live in the way we wanted, the way our people wanted, without the persecution of the Shiite and Suni. It meant not having to hide in the middle of their villages and cities. So the worst punishment… is to have that protection withdrawn. Do you get it?"

Christopher shakes his head. "Honestly I don't get it. Because the way it sounds is that your community is doing to you exactly what they don't want have done to them and it just sounds rotten." It actually seems to bother him a bit but it also shows he doesn't fully understand it. "So your culture doesn't allow for you to be different?"

Ahmed continues to lay there in a slumped position, "Regardless of how liberal it might be to be living in the coolest nation in the world… the people are an old people, and have lived within the Muslim world for a long time. And to the Muslims, mutation is a curse. It is a sign of Allah's disfavor." Looking back up a moment he adds, "I don't pretend to get it, but mom's from old country, and so are a lot of the people where I live. I can't help what they believe, regardless of what the government says or does. It just… hurts. All I did was be born."

Even with the explaination Christopher is still angry in regards to the situation, though he does understand it a bit more. "I would still love to go talk to your parents and explain to them you're still their son no matter what." He says in frustration before his tone softens again and he looks over at Ahmed and nods. "It should hurt, I'm truly sorry that your parents are…they way they are." He doesn't want to say 'that narrow minded'. "So let me ask you something, or state a bit of a theory. You've been bottling up all this pain and frustration in regards to your parents so you decided a good way to unleash it all was to use Quenton's…assholery as an outlet?"

Ahmed almost yells out, "I DIDN'T! M-…" And then he stops, taking a breath, "I didn't mean to. But he's right there, in everyone's face, and he says whatever the hell he wants, and he gets away with it! Nobody calls him on it, and anyone who tries to give him back the same just gets more!" The frustration mounting in his voice, "I don't know why… normally, I let jerks like that roll off my back. They'll come and go, and I'll still be around… but this time… I couldn't handle it."

"Ahmed, first I'm not accusing you of anything. Second, you're not in trouble with me and I'm not going to be punishing you or lecturing you on what you did. Third, I'm trying to help you figure out why this time made you snap so you don't jump through another wall in the school." Christopher says as he looks at Ahmed sympathetically, keeping his voice calm. "I'm trying to understand, an help you understand, why you couldn't handle it this time."

Ahmed winces his eyes shut once more, and bangs his first a couple times on the banister to keep himself from crying once more, and his skin turns that plasticy shade again as he begins stress-sweating ectoplasm, making his pale skin reflect light all over the place, "I was already mad about my sister's birthday, but it's not like I can talk about it to anyone. They've got their own problems. They don't understand what it means to have your people turn their back. And then here comes Quenton, just being his usually jerk-self, and acting like lord of the walk… and suddenly… he was everything I wanted to hit."

"Ahmed, anytime you want to talk about something, let me know. My contact information is in the school phone for emergancies. We can go back to my place and just cook, away from the school here, or we can do it here or we can just go have a coffee or whatever. You aren't alone." Christopher says as he goes to Ahmed and draws him into a hug.

Ahmed continually mumbles out, "I'm not supposed to cry, I'm not supposed to cry… men don't cry where I come from… men don't…" But for a few moments it dissolves into something close to tears, but then you find yourself holding onto an expanding gel-form, feeling like a warm stressball, and smelling vaguely like ash. After a few moments you're hugging the snow leopard once more, and the weight is bearing down on you!

Christopher let's himself fall back with the snow leopard as the weight bears down on him and he's left on the ground holding a giant snow leopard, and Christopher can't help but chuckle. "And men aren't supposed to turn into Giant Cats either." He says ruffling the top of Ahmed's head. "It's perfectly fine to cry, especially when they're going through what you're going through. Now, do you want to help me do some pastry baking?"

Ahmed responds by pushes off of Christopher, and then bounding over to where the bags are, and very very gently picking them up through the loops in his jaws. It looks almost comical as his tail flicks a couple times and he then moves back towards the man, and sits down at the base of the bridge, curling that long appendage around his forepaws… waiting patietly now. A grocerycat. A first even in a place like this.

Christopher shakes his head in amusement as he gets up and brushes himself off. "Come on, once we get inside you'll need to pop out of that form, I can't have you doing deleicate pastry work with a pair of paws." He says as he starts to lead the way for Ahmed to follow him. "We can talk more in the kitchen if you like."

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