ihearyouthink: (62: kid xavier)
[personal profile] ihearyouthink
[from here]

My name is Charles Francis Xavier.


That's quite a title you have there, Mr. Xavier. [He smiles as he opens the door to the room where he'll be scanning the young boy.] I'm David Benton, but you can call me David.


Hi, David. [Charles can't help looking worried though. He doesn't really like hospitals. Everyone around him always seems to be worrying about something. He could feel it.]


[David is worried, but he's ignoring it as much as he can right now. He has a patient and his first priority is relaxing Charles so they can get his scans done quickly. The faster they got through all this, the less stress on Charles. He had enough of it just being in a hospital and if there's one this that bothers David, it's seeing sick kids, when they should be healthy and out playing.

Are you worried, Charles? [David may be squatting down so he's at Charles' height, but his tone of voice is more like he's addressing an equal.] It's a big machine, I know, but I was in one just like that myself not too long ago. This test isn't going to hurt you, I promise.


You were? [Charles seems surprised at that admission. He didn't want to be treated like a kid but somehow hearing that it wasn't going to hurt helped some. But he wants to be brave so he answers him back.] I'm alright, I can do this. I'm not breakable, you know.


[David smiles warmly as he stands and heads for the door to the main room. It's surrounded by glass windows so it's not like Charles will be left with the feeling of being completely alone.]

Between you and me? You look like you could give that machine a good kick and win right off... [And then he realizes he might have 'made' a suggestion, and quickly back peddles, still smiling.]

Not that I'm saying you should, we'd both be in trouble then. Come on in, we'll pick some music and then we'll do the scans.


[Charles follows behind, hesitant but not dragging his feet. He's surprised at the suggestion but at least the man got him to smile when he realizes David didn't mean it like it sounded.]

Then I'd better not kick it. [Music? In the hospital? That was different. But Charles knew better, giving David an accusing look.] You're just trying to get me to forget so I won't worry.


[David watched that accusing look, his own expression a bit hurt. He really was trying but Charles, clearly, was a brilliant sort and Banner knew all too well what dealing with them was like. He sighs, his smile returning.]

Actually, everyone gets to pick music. [He lets the door close and then scoots a stair step up to the table so Charles can climb up on his own power.] The thing is, this is going to take a while, and it's a bit boring. You see that?

[He points to a round hole in a large, white plastic-covered machine.] We're going to have you inside that. We'll be able to talk to each other but I don't think you want to listen to my voice all that time. So! You pick the music, and I scan your noggin'.

You see, that machine is going to tell us what your brain looks like when it's thinking. It's like an x-ray, but it takes the pictures in a different way. [At which point David can't help himself going through all the different scans he's seen, the rainbow of colors on the display. In particular, his own from the previous night comes to mind.]


[Charles climbs up to where he needs to sit. He quickly pipes up] Oh no, I don't mind you talking. I'm alright without music.

[He leans to try and see the different scans.] And that will tell you what's wrong with me? Right?


Are you sure? [He looks at a sheet he's pulled out, and holds it toward Charles. It's certainly not a comprehensive list, but it ranges from classical to more recent, popular music.]

Take a look and we can decide if you really want to listen to my boring voice. [He walks over to a panel and turns a few dials.]

Every brain works differently, Charles. We'll see what the scans tell us. [It's a painfully noncommittal answer, but David had got his own hopes up the night before with the scans, and failed to detect any abnormality of his own.]


[He nods, even after looking at the list.] I like talking with people. [Because sometimes people were interesting.]

Your voice isn't boring.

[He turns to lay down on the table, folding his hands on his stomach.] I know that. Can I see it when you're done? [He wants to see what his brain looks like.]


Alright. [David gives in, he's not going to fight Charles if he wants to hear him blather on. Or more like, find things to talk about.]

It's just a bunch of pictures, but I'll do you one better. [David goes over to make certain Charles' head rest is adjusted.] I'll bring you into the control room after we're done and show you what some of the tests look like when they're put together. It works the same way as a cartoon, putting all the pictures together into a movie.


[Charles smiles a little more. He liked being treated like he was part of the medical team. It was like he got to be a scientist too.] Okay.

[He stays still as the machine slides him inside to start scanning.]


[Once inside the machine, David knows Charles won't hear him well, so he finishes adjusting the machine and then leaves through the door. He goes over to the controls and presses a button, which lets him talk through a speaker.]

Alright, Charles. Can you hear me?


[Ah, but Charles can reach out and hear David think if he needs to, so he doesn't feel enclosed as most people would.]

I can hear you. [There's a few butterflies in his stomach but he puts them away by pretending he was in training to be an astronaut.]


Great, now you're going to hear a humming sound, that's just the motors in the array moving the image system. Alright, and here we...go.

[For Charles, David leaves his own mic on as well. It frees up both of his hands so he doesn't have to search out the button to talk while he's working. The sounds of buttons and dials clicking plays alongside David's words.]

First, I'm going to do a low resolution scan of your whole brain, and then we'll focus on a few points your doctor asked me to look at. If I see anything else, I'll take a few higher detail scans there as well.


[Charles does his best to hold still and not fidget.] Okay.

[There's a space of time while the machine is doing it's work. Charles finds himself curious about the others this machine has seen.] ...do you see a lot of kids go in here?


[There's a brief pause, David hasn't had many, but the few he's had today were terribly sick. Even the adults. Charles is probably one of the healthiest looking people he's had since he came on shift.]

Sometimes. There are days I don't see any, sometimes I get a few in. Most of the time it's adults. The doctors can use this machine to look for all kinds of problems, or they use it to do research on healthy people, so we can learn what they look like too. It's hard to know if someone's sick, if you don't know what a healthy scan looks like.

[And then he thinks to all the healthy people he scanned years ago, when he was first starting his research into the effects of natural gamma radiation sources.]


[Despite Charles' best efforts, he keeps overhearing bits and pieces from David's mind. Faces he doesn't really know, memories that aren't his.

He shifts uncomfortably, thinking there still was something wrong with him. Charles tries not to let it show, trying to answer back.] I guess so.


[David is glad that Charles can't see his face. He reaches down to reset the scanning pattern with a slight frown. That tiny shift came early at least, but even that aborted scan has Illuminated something interesting. David's almost thankful he can go back, because he's not certain he has the machine set up correctly with that initial few minutes of scans.]

I know it's hard to sit still Charles, but I'll give you a break when we finish this first scan. It's going to be the longest, but once it's over, the others will be shorter.


...okay, I'm trying. [It was just difficult when you were trying to pick apart what was your own thoughts and what were other peoples. But with David concentrating on his work, it gives him some relief from the emotions he was experiencing.] Is the machine okay? [He really didn't want to be in here if David had to fix it. That would take awhile.]


The machine is working great. [He's not about to mention the possibility of human error, because he imagines that wouldn't improve Charles' opinion of the whole matter. He's certain though, that he had everything exactly right the first time, and starts again.]

Here we go. [It hums to life again, and David keeps his mind open, and focused on the screens. His entire focus, right then, is on the readings as he simply accepts them as fact, rather than judging them right off.] Doing good, stay right there.


[Charles lays very still this time. He's suddenly no longer in the machine. He's getting flickers of more memories...

A pretty lady...

Machines in a lab...

His eyes close, sliding through memories of running along the side of the road. Someone's after him, he has to get away.

On the outside, Charles looks like he's asleep but his heart rate is going up as he's experiencing the anxiety David has of being found.]


[David's transfixed for a few moments at the intense activity in Charles' brain. The patterns moving about quickly. He's watching the young boy's vital signs, noticing that while he seems to be relatively still, his heart rate is going up. A little anxiety isn't uncommon, especially enclosed as he is.

And then something about that pattern sends a light off in his mind. His own scans are so fresh in his memory, he'd be a fool to miss it. He's seen those readings before, when he'd brought up memories, trying to see if perhaps a close call to a reaction might signal something. Charles' vital signs are reading for more than anxiety, that's clear fear.

David stands up, looking in and even though Charles is still, there's a moment of fear in his own heart that the child is perhaps seizing inside the machine.]

Charles?! [He stops the scan before the boy can reply, running into the room and commanding the machine to extract the small body, his face pale with panic.]


[Charles doesn't move, doesn't even react till David is pulling him out bodily off the table. He's so lost in the memories of fear and running, thinking that they are his own.]

[His eyes snap open, flailing against being held.] NO, GO AWAY!! LEAVE ME ALONE! [A large green monster trying to carry him off...]

[And then he realizes where he is. He's not David Banner, running for his life, he's just ten year old Charles Xavier. Charles is trembling from the experience, not sure what just happened. He can only think of one thing.] ...I messed up the scan, didn't I?


[David is thankfully more than strong enough on his own to hold on to Charles when he flails against him. It's a good sign he's reacting, but that panic is not calming in the least. Did he react too late?]

[Then the boy is asking about the scan. David relaxes his grip, content that Charles isn't going to hurt himself with his flailing, but now he's watching him carefully for any signs that David had reacted too late to a seizure, however short-lived.]

No, no you didn't mess up the scan. [He smiles nervously, he doesn't see any signs, but that doesn't mean Charles is in the clear just yet. Was he claustrophobic? Perhaps this was a symptom of Charles' mystery illness? It was impossible to say.]

Are you okay? [It was a redundant question, but he had to ask it, and prompt Charles for a coherent answer.]


[Charles had been hearing voices, that's what got him in the hospital in the first place. But he hadn't ever been that affected by someone's memories. He felt guilty, thinking it was his fault.]

M'okay...sorry. [He tries to act normal but his hands are still shaking.] I got scared. [He didn't even know why he was scared.] There was someone chasing me.


It's alright, being chased is a scary thing. [He knew it all too well, and did his best to not dwell on it, if he could.] I could see your heart rate in the other room.

[David frowned, because as much as he'd like to stop, and let Charles calm down back at his room, they had to finish the scans. While he'd been given some wiggle room, it would run out quickly if he wasn't mindful.] I was worried so I, uh, pulled you out.


[Charles nods, his hands still gripping David's shirt sleeves. Not really wanting to let go just yet. He hasn't talked about what he's been dealing with much. Not even with the doctors, it was his mom that told them he had been hearing things.]

...it wasn't me. [That's the best he could describe it right now. He looks chagrined for having freaked out in a silly machine for no apparent reason.]


[David is not going to force Charles to let him go either, patiently letting Charles cling to his sleeves. The boy's mother wasn't around, and he hadn't heard anything about a father, so he was more than willing right then, to do what he could for the boy he'd only just met.]

[The cryptic remark doesn't quite connect with David as he keeps his gaze on Charles, watching him with concern. If he can talk Charles through it, they can face whatever scared him, and get him into the machine. With this much fear, he's quickly changed his mind. He'll offset his own schedule to make up for whatever extra time Charles needs.] What wasn't you?


[It just kind of all tumbles out of Charles in a rush.] It wasn't me running. It was someone else but they couldn't stop. There was a... [He almost didn't want to say.] ....I don't know...it was big and green.

[Charles felt a little better after admitting to it, like it was past now. He was himself again.]


[David's expression falls as he watches Charles. Perhaps his mother was an avid reader of the National Register, or perhaps there was something more. Either way, the fact that Charles choice in describing his experience is given to Banner, of all people, isn't missed.]

[He finds himself nodding a bit dumbly, but there's no attempt to belittle or dismiss Charles because of his description. He purses his lips, recovering and calming the expression on his face with a nod.] It sounds very scary.

[He feels his own heart give a nervous jump, he's only seen the monster in his dreams, though residual memories from the Hulk seeing his own reflection have likely colored his own concepts toward a more accurate image.]


[He finally lets go of David's sleeves, putting his hands in his lap, his shoulders slumped a bit.] You're probably going to tell the doctor, huh? [Charles doesn't like feeling like this, not in control.] That I sound like a crazy person?


[David watches Charles, giving a sigh and then shaking his head. He can't hide episodes from the doctors, but Charles sounds the furthest from crazy in the room. Of the two of them, David is of the opinion Charles is the more sane one.]

I don't think you sound crazy. [He folds his own hands, leaning on the table a bit as he talks with Charles.] In fact, I think you're far from it. When I was watching your scans, I got the distinct impression that you're a very special young man. In a good way. You can see when people are thinking, and I think, you're thinking a lot.


[Charles has heard stuff like that before. But usually adults are just saying that to make you feel better. He gives David a scrutinizing look, not sure if he believes him just yet.]

Crazy people see things that aren't there, right? Hear stuff that's not real?


[David can't support anything that might be imagined by Charles, but something strikes him as different. Between the impossibility of the scans earlier, and Charles' statement about being chased, there is the likelihood there is more to the boy than meets the eye. Besides, David has had his own experience with seeing the future repeatedly, after an accident.]

I don't think you're crazy, Charles. I know for a fact that the human body is capable of incredible, and impossible things. Science is only barely scraping the surface, and our understanding of the power of the brain is so limited, there's no telling what we'll discover. Some people are tuned into the world in ways the rest of us can't even begin to imagine. [There's almost a wide-eyed innocence to the way David describes his amazement at that. He's seen so many things, met so many people, he's really starting to wonder if there will ever be a limit to what people are capable of. He's also been quickly humbled on many occasions, by the terrible narrowness of his own mind before his gamma exposure.]

[At the end of that, he smiles genuinely at Charles.] I've learned the hard way that it's important to keep an open mind.


[Charles takes in that explanation like a sponge. He feels a little better too about what's happening with himself. He liked the idea that there was new things to discover about the human mind.] Wow.

So...maybe I'm not sick? [Charles may be grasping at straws, but he would really like to be normal. Or maybe not normal, just not sick and in the hospital.]


[David nods with a smile. That 'maybe' is important, but Charles seems like he inderstands that.]

It's a very real possibility. [He stands up straight. This seems like as good a point as any to segway into resuming the tests, but he doesn't say anything yet. He doesn't want to push Charles, but this scan could be an opportunity for him to start proving that he isn't sick.]


[Charles seems to know what he wants to do next. He gives a small resigned sigh before laying down again. He's going to be brave about this even if he has to go back in alone again.]


[David figures his body language was clue enough and gets Charles ready to go back into the scanner.]

Only if you're ready, Charles. I'll try not to put you to sleep the time. [David feels certain that's why Charles initially drifted off, that he was boring him, or being too quiet.]


You didn't. [Charles was pretty sure he hadn't fallen asleep. Even if it was almost like a nightmare.] I'll think of something else. [Those butterflies were back, but Charles clings to the idea that if they do a proper scan, maybe he'll find out what was wrong and they could fix it.]


Still certain that you don't want any music? [He sets his hand on the button to send Charles back in, but doesn't press it just yet.]


...do you have any Beatles music? [He kind of likes their music, probably because it's 'adult' music. At least, for his time frame, it is.]


I do, actually. [He nods as the table rolls in, and the walks back into the contol room. He starts using the mic, which he realizes is still on, like a DJ. He finds it more interesting and amusing, and it gives a little noise to cover his use of the controls.]

And up next on the only station approved by Charles Xavier, we have "The best of the Beatles". A young man with impeccable taste, we guarantee 100% satisfaction in your music choice or we keep going through our library until you're happy. [At which point he cues up the music now that he's retrieved the tape, and starts it rolling. It's not terribly loud, since it's in a player located a short distance from the mic in the room.]


[At first, Charles is a little scared going back in. He hadn't noticed how small a space it was.

But then he starts hearing his own radio station being broadcast into the space. A unbidden smile pulls at the corner of his mouth and then curves his face. David was doing that thing again but this time, Charles didn't mind being distracted.]


[He really couldn't help it. David tried to relish the normal moments as much as he could, and his odd sense of humor came out at these opportunities. Anyone who's been close to him in the past would say his humor only gets more goofy the longer he's allowed to go on. His mind however, is far from his own past as he enjoys the choice of music, and uses it to help focus on the technical demands of the task.]

Alright, now thay we have a few tunes going, we're restarting that scan. [He hasn't completely ditched the bad DJ impersonation yet, but he's talking a bit more normally.] And we'll let our patron know when it's half way done, so in the meantime sit back, relax and enjoy the Beatles.


Yes, sir. [Charles says, folding his hands on his tummy and laying still. This was better, he should have asked for music beforehand. Now instead of other people's memories, he was thinking about how Raven was gushing over the new album cover while they were in the record store. He lays still for the whole scan, no other incidents happening.]


[David makes short work of the scans, announcing in a normal tone the new phases, and eventually a turn of the tape deck. At long last they're finally done, but he leaves the Beatles going as he walks in and starts bringing the table back out.]

Well, Mr. Xavier, I will say, once we got rolling, you have been one of the easiest patients I've had today. [He grins and motions toward the door.] We got every scan they needed, and a couple more! We don't have quite as much time, but I do recall promising to let you see what your brain looks like when it's listening to the Beatles.


[He looks up, surprised as the table is sliding him back out.] Is it over already?? [That went quicker than he thought it would. Charles gets up and hops off the table, eager to see the pictures.] Yes, please, David.


Alright, come on. [He beams at the enthusiasm, leading the way and then pulling out his chair for Charles to sit in while he stands next to the consol and pulls up the rough initial scan.]

So this, is what your brain looks like on the quick scan. [He sets the inages so that they play like a movie.] We take lots of little slices of each layer and put them together, to get this.


[Charles climbs up in the chair, liking that he was involved in this whole thing. Other kids probably didn't get to do this. His brain scan comes across the screen, Charles leaning in to try and see every detail.]

Woow...that's cool. [He watches each slide changing just a little bit at a time as David flipped through the images.] It's so big! [His brain, he means. The pictures are big anyways.]
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Charles Xavier

December 2016

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