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Timeframe
Saturday, September 1st
until
Sunday, September 30th


Sleepy little Salem Center won't know what hit it.

Xavier's School for Gifted Youth has opened it's doors... as a boarding house, for the time being. Which means that all the little mutant boys and girls have to be on their best behavior while at school.

Yeah no, I don't see that happening either.

Save The Date:
School Assembly on September 3rd

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 Nur ein Bier, bitte [Monty], Aug 18, 8:30 p.m.
December Licht
Posted: Apr 7 2012, 12:42 PM


Solioluminokinesis


Group: Admin/X-Men
Posts: 29
Member No.: 23
Joined: 29-February 12



December was not a heavy drinker, despite her full-blooded German heritage. Not exactly a light-hearted person to begin with, she also refused to risk being too drunk to fight or defend herself should any of her enemies find her. Showing any weakness, she believed, could have deadly consequences. That said, she was still a German, and in those later years after losing the school, her father would always have some kind of alcohol in the house. Since she loved him more than anything, she would allow herself a beer or two with him, enjoying the occasional carefree night.

So when the craving for brewed barley hit, December did not even think twice. It was a Saturday night, before curfew, and most of the students were out and about anyway. Since it was the first Saturday night for many of them, they were surely out bonding with each other, getting to know their personalities and powers and chemistry. The kind of thing that normal young people did. The kind of youth that December had never had—but she didn’t long for it. How could you miss what you never knew? She was only grateful that she was still alive.

She was not sure what her fellow X-Men were up to, but she did not particularly care. There was no language barrier, thanks to December’s near-impeccable English, but there were plenty of other barriers between them. Cultural, for one. Americans were so very eager to make friends all the time, whereas December’s experiences held that Germans tended to isolate themselves, sticking to the familiar and not branching out for the mere sake of branching out. Why change what already worked?

But life experience was the main barrier. December found it hard to relate to her fellow mutants in the First Class. None of them had been vigilantes like her. That made her a bit of a wild card to them, she knew. They were no doubt wondering whether they could trust her. And December did not care to spend time in the company of people who were still wary and even suspicious of her. She knew she had to get them to trust her, eventually. But tonight, she just wanted to gravitate toward the familiar. And since her father was far away, the closest way to connect to him would be to go for a drink.

She forgot, of course, one key thing. As the cab pulled up to the bar in Salem Center, December got out and went up to the front, casually handing the bouncer her ID, even though she had never had to do that at any bar in Berlin. After a moment, the bouncer snorted and handed her ID back to her. “It says you’re only 20,” the big man pointed out. “What are you trying to do?” He laughed and shook his head. “Sorry, girl, you can’t go in.”

Maybe he would have changed his tune—looked the other way if December was the kind of girl to dress provocatively. But she wasn’t; she wore only comfortable clothing, yoga pants and sneakers and a blue tank top that was not even slightly low-cut. In fact, except for the long and intricate braid that she almost always wore, December looked more like she was on her way to the gym than to a bar. Her forehead furrowed in confusion as she took back her ID; and then it dawned on her. The drinking age in America was 21.

“Wirklich?” December muttered incredulously. “Leck mich!” She shook her head as she stepped away, while the bouncer looked at her with a mixture of annoyance and amusement as she cursed him out in German. “So man kann einen Soldat werden, als er achtzehn ist, aber man kann kein Bier trinken.” She shook her head at the contradiction. “I am sorry to have wasted your time,” she snapped in English the bouncer, turning away. So she had come all the way out here to have a quiet drink, and she could not because she was merely 20 years old. And she had been stupid enough to forget that she was not legal at that age, somehow.

There may have been a beer back at the mansion, even though she did not really want to go back there. But now she was especially annoyed and could seriously use that damn beer.


((translations! n.n;

Wirklich? = Really?
Leck mich! = Fuck you!
So man kann...Bier trinken. = So you can become a soldier when you're eighteen, but you can't drink beer.))


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Montgomery Hossack
Posted: Apr 9 2012, 12:38 PM


Member


Group: Unaffiliated
Posts: 14
Member No.: 26
Joined: 12-March 12



To say it had been a long day would have been a terrible understatement. Hell, it had been a long week. Even with his natural positivity and light-heartedness, Monty couldn’t ignore the ache of exhaustion seeping down into his bones by the time he was finally able to close up shop for the night, shoulders sore from hammering nails and sawing through solid oak, the palms of his hands raw from handling so many rough edges. It was hardly something to complain about, though-- business had taken something of an upswing in the past few weeks, to the point where he was positively swamped with commissions. While he’d never really struggled to pay his bills in the past, the uptick in business was certainly a relief-- he’d needed a new belt sander for about a month now, his only coat had worn through in the elbows, and it’d be good to send something home to his da and siblings, what with Colin’s birthday coming up.

Of course, more commissions meant longer days, shorter lunch breaks, and about a million more slivers embedded into the pads of his fingers than usual. By 8 o’clock Saturday night (working on a weekend had never been something Monty was particularly fond of), he was more than ready to throw in the towel and get some fucking beer in his system before crawling into bed for a solid 12 hours.

He didn’t bother to change or shower, simply locking up his workshop behind him and heading out into the night with sawdust on his jeans and lacquer stains on his hands. Those that knew him wouldn’t be surprised by his unkempt appearance, but tonight his hair was a bit wilder than usual, mussed from the amount of times he’d tiredly run his hands through it, his chin stubbled with a bit more scruff than one would normally see on him. However, his slightly more-rumpled look was the only outward evidence of his weariness-- the warm night air and the prospect of beer and a good night’s rest had done wonders for his spirits, and his customary smile was firmly in place as he sauntered towards the main strip of town.

The hour was strange, catching the tail end of the dinner rush and starting in with the nighttime drinkers, people spilling out onto the sidewalks, illuminated under the small halos of light provided by the streetlights. Monty pulled a cigarette from the pack in his shirt pocket and lights it, the red cherry of its end flaring bright in the darkness every time he inhales. The nicotine should hold him over until he got to where he was going-- a bar on the edges of the main strip, hidden away and a bit uglier than the other buildings in the area, but Monty was friendly with the owner and fond of their beer. The place felt like home in a way that all good bars should, and Monty knew a thing or two about good bars.

His single-minded pursuit of beer was interrupted when he overheard a German curse coming from the other side of the street. A girl-- young, pretty, with sharp-looking features-- was arguing with the hulking bouncer outside one of Salem’s more popular taverns. Well, she was arguing, her fierce words thick with the sort of rolling accent of those who’d spent a lot of time around Berlin, and the bouncer was arching a brow, uncomprehending her curses and unrelenting in his position. Monty blamed the strange tug in his heart for the familiar way the language sounded in his ears, not the girl’s blue eyes, and crossed the street on impulse, cigarette pursed between his lips as he stepped up onto the curb. Up close, he could hear more of the conversation, and though it had been a while since he’d had to translate, he was able to piece together the fact that the girl must have been younger than he thought-- too young to drink, according to the U.S.

"Das ist Amerika für sie, fräulein," Monty chuckled, plucking the cigarette from between his lips and exhaling a long ribbon of white smoke. His German was ugly but passable, thick with the roundness of his Scottish accent and losing the natural crispness of the language. “Sie sind neu in den Staaten, dann?”

He remembered a few years back, when his younger brother had visited. They’d been shocked to find themselves barred from any establishment with a liquor license because of Jean’s age. The girl was wearing the same sort of mixture of disbelief and disappointment, annoyance and frustration rolling off her in waves thick enough that he hardly needed his telepathy to read them. Monty figured he understood that sort of hankering for a decent drink. He’d denied himself all week, after all, too tired at night to even bother fishing a beer out of his fridge before collapsing into bed. He paused for a moment, considering, before favoring her with a light grin.

"Nicht versucht, er, eh, einzu... einzudringen... schuld... ah, fook it," he said, tongue getting tied up with his limited German vocabulary before slipping back into English. "Not tae impose, but if ye were interested in a good ol' German brew, I know a place a few blocks from ‘ere that’s got th’ stuff in stock. I know th’ owner-- you’d be fine tae get in."

With one last drag on his cigarette, he dropped the cashed stub to the sidewalk and ground it out beneath the toe of his work boot. "O'course, if tha' makes ye uncomfortable, I won' be offended if ye tell me tae go tae hell n’ mind me own business." He offered her a slight shrug, his grin growing with good humor. He wouldn’t blame her for telling him to fuck off-- she was distant by nature, his telepathy informed him, and it wasn’t as if he was the most trustworthy-looking fellow, even when he was clean-shaven and wearing fresh clothes. But he figured it couldn’t hurt to make the offer.

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Translations:

Das ist Amerika für sie, fräulein = 'That's America for you, miss.'
Sie sind neu in den Staaten, dann? = ‘Are you new to the states, then?'
Nicht versucht, er, eh, einzu... = 'Not trying to impose, er, eh, in... intrude... trespass... ah, fuck it.'


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December Licht
Posted: Apr 11 2012, 10:10 AM


Solioluminokinesis


Group: Admin/X-Men
Posts: 29
Member No.: 23
Joined: 29-February 12



December had finally decided that she needed to give up, throw in the towel. She had no intention of staying out in the city any more than she had to. It was still a strange place to her, and she did not know where she could go that was considered “safe.” In Berlin, there was always a place she knew of where she could spend time alone without worrying too much about being found out, but Salem Center was much smaller, much more compact, and completely different from her home city. It was starting to look like she had wasted cab fare for no reason, and she had no one to blame but herself.

That was when she heard her native language. It was spoken with a strange, awkward accent, the consonants sounding like they were piling up in the speaker’s mouth without really knowing where to go—but it was still German. Genuinely surprised, December turned to perceive a tall man who had just arrived in time to hear the tail-end of her “conversation” with the bouncer, and, obviously, her German curses. It was not his native language, that was clear, but December took a moment to stare at him while he fumbled with the words, feeling as though she had found a source of lukewarm water, just as she realized how thirsty she was. It was good to hear die Muttersprache again, even in this capacity.

The tall man finally gave up, speaking English in another thick accent that December thought was probably Irish or Scottish. The man was not American, then, but European—as also suggested by his question of whether or not she was new here. That inspired another feeling of kinship. December gave him a smile to show that she was grateful for his attempt to speak in her own language, but answered in English for his sake. “Yes, I am new here. I suppose that was obvious.” She eyed the bouncer with a glare, but he was not paying attention, instead letting in two short-skirted girls without even checking their IDs. The sight made her roll her eyes slightly. Schwein.

But the friendly European commanded her attention again as he made a surprisingly generous—but definitely tempting—offer. December considered the wisdom of it. Normally she would reject the idea of going anywhere with a stranger, but she had to remind herself that her life was a blank slate here. The mob did not follow her from Berlin; they did not even know that she had left, though eventually they would catch on as sightings of the Seraph would die down. She had no enemies in this land yet. She did not have to fear every extended hand, every friendly smile.

Besides, she really wanted a beer, and this man spoke with enough authority on the quality of beer at this other establishment that she was ready to take him up on that. “I’m twenty,” she said suddenly. “I will even be twenty-one in a few months. So I am not too young.” She was not sure why she had to clarify that. She supposed it had been a long time since anyone deemed her “too young” for anything, and it was important for her to assert that she was not really that young anyway. She had never felt young before, regardless of age.

“If you are sure that is not a problem, then I would like to do that very much.” Of course, accepting him probably came with a certain expectation—she would have to socialize after all—but it would not be so bad. Not with another European, with whom she could commiserate about the culture shock of coming here. December even gave a small smile and shook his head. “You would have to do much worse than offer me a German beer to make me want to wish you to hell,” she reassured (somewhat).

She was not letting her guard down completely—arguably, she never did—but she allowed herself to relax somewhat. December gestured in front of her for him to lead the way, and as soon as he started, she fell in step beside him, keeping up with him despite his long strides. “I hail from Berlin,” she said after a moment. “I arrived here only a pair of weeks ago.” She paused. “I’m called December.”


((die Muttersprache = first/native language
Schwein = pig))


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Montgomery Hossack
Posted: Apr 13 2012, 01:41 PM


Member


Group: Unaffiliated
Posts: 14
Member No.: 26
Joined: 12-March 12



Her English was impeccable, though thick with an accent, and Monty suspected that the sort of formality she used was less to do with a lack of understanding of American contractions and more to do with her own preference for propriety. She took her time mulling over his offer, no doubt measuring him under that sharp gaze of his, judging his trustworthiness. Smart girl.

Her answer was hardly what he’d expected, instead choosing to reaffirm her age. Only twenty years old, younger than his brother Jean. Monty couldn’t help but feel his view of her change a bit-- while she carried herself with the grace of a much older woman, twenty years old was very young in his eyes, being almost nine years her senior. He would have to take care then, to make sure that his interactions with her could not be taken the wrong way or considered untoward (there was some measure of regret there somewhere, because she was very pretty, and Monty was fairly helpless when it came to pretty girls, but twenty might just be too young to entertain such ideas). He wisely chose to keep his mouth shut on the subject of her age, as it was easy to see even without the use of his telepathy that she would probably not take too kindly to being treated like a child.

“I am not too young,” she insisted.

Monty smiled, shoving his hands into his pants pockets and shaking his head ruefully. “No, I s’pose not.”

He shrugged again. “An’ trust me, I’ve no problem with escortin’ a bonnie lass like yerself tae one of my favorite places in Salem,” he reassured her, “Me mate, Joe-- th’ owner of th’ place-- ‘e’s gonna love ya. Been a long time since we’ve had a true deutsche in these parts.”

She smiled then, small and reserved but not without some measure of warmth, and told him that it would take a lot more than that for her to tell him to go to hell. He couldn’t help but chuckle-- least she was honest.

“Tha’s good tae hear, lass,” he said with a warm, slightly-crooked grin, giving a slight nod south, towards their destination. “Sollen wir, dann?”

His German was pretty abysmal, but he could sense the homesickness rolling off of her, subtle but strong. He understood the feeling better than most, he figured-- alone in a foreign country, unable to speak the language and having a hard time dealing with new customs and social practices and unfamiliar laws. He’d traveled through Europe, and was quite familiar with the loneliness of culture shock. Perhaps having someone to speak to in her native tongue would help ease that a bit (he wasn’t lying when he said that Joe was going to love her-- the man was more fluent than Monty, and had such a rich love for German culture it was borderline unhealthy).

They started out down the sidewalk at an easy pace, Monty trying to be aware of his longer strides to keep the girl from falling too far behind. He’d guessed Berlin from her accent and was pleased to find he was right (seems that all of his time in the states hadn’t worn away his ear for those sorts of things), but was surprised to find she’d only been in the country for a few weeks. Poor thing-- that wasn’t much time to adjust.

She introduced herself as December, and Monty had to bite his lip from telling her how fitting the name was-- everything from her pale features to her cool attitude seemed rather wintery. “S’ a pretty name,” he said instead. He pulled one of his hands out of his pockets and offered it to her to shake, hoping she wouldn’t be too put off by the calluses and the lacquer stains.

“Montgomery,” he introduced himself. “But if tha’s too much of a mouthful, ‘Monty’ will do jus’ fine.”

Joe’s bar wasn’t too much farther of a walk, but Monty figured it couldn’t hurt to try and learn something about the girl before getting there. Maybe it’d make her a little more comfortable-- she seemed a little tense still, not overwhelmingly so, but his telepathy could still sense her need for distance.

“So, December,” he repeated, his own Scottish accent giving the syllables of her name a sort of syncopated bounce, “what brings ye tae Salem all th’ way from Berlin?”

--------------

deutsche = German (feminine adjectival form)
Sollen wir, dann? = Shall we, then?


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December Licht
Posted: Apr 16 2012, 09:22 AM


Solioluminokinesis


Group: Admin/X-Men
Posts: 29
Member No.: 23
Joined: 29-February 12



December hesitated just half a second before reaching out to shake his hand. She could not help but notice the firmness of the handshake and the roughness of his palm, plus a very slight stickiness that puzzled her. The man was used to manual labor, that much was obvious, but of what nature? It occurred to December that he would probably feel her own calloused hands, which came from gripping sword handles, shields, and other weapons. Not to mention a little bit of metalwork. If he noticed, he did not ask, and she hoped he would not. December could keep a secret when her life depended on it, but lying still did not come naturally to her.

His full name was an unusual one, and the girl nodded when he offered a shorter nickname. “Monty it will be, then. Thank you.” This might be strange for her, but she knew well enough to be polite. December fell in step beside him, and it was not long before he asked the inevitable question. And here she would have to start the lie, if only because the truth would not do. If he had been to Germany in the past few years, he might have even heard of her. She could hardly risk that. Besides, she knew that Xavier wanted his school to be kept a secret as best it could, for now.

“I am visiting with friends of my family,” she said instead. “At least for now. My father and I want to move to America. He stayed in Berlin to finish up some things, but I am getting a head start here.” It sounded plausible enough, she hoped, without having to fake any emotions—she had toyed with the idea that she was an orphan trying to make it on her own, but that would invoke unwanted and unnecessary sympathy. Nor did she want to invent family members who did not exist. December was probably thinking too deeply about it, but she just wanted as few follow-up questions as possible.

“When did you move here?” she asked then, eager to get the focus off of herself before she created a tangled web of lies that she could not sustain. She needed a better story, December decided. After tonight, when she went back to the mansion, she would sit down and map out all the details of her invented life, so she would not be caught having to make something up on the spot again. She really should have done it sooner. The others might be content to vaguely refer to staying at Xavier’s without saying what they were there for, but December could not afford any suggestion that she was a mutant. Not with where she came from. She was too used to hiding that fact.

Besides, she was somewhat interested in hearing Monty’s story despite herself—probably just the curiosity of how another European handled himself with the change. Monty seemed well-adjusted, and December had to wonder how long it had taken him.


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Montgomery Hossack
Posted: Apr 17 2012, 01:33 PM


Member


Group: Unaffiliated
Posts: 14
Member No.: 26
Joined: 12-March 12



The girl’s handshake was strong, firm even in spite of the hesitation rolling off of her in waves-- she was a bit of a contradiction, this girl, delicate-featured with palms as callous as his own, distant and wary with her emotions yet somehow willing to put up with his company. It was that caution that hung around her like a fog that warned him to be tactful, for it seemed that asking the wrong questions would have her shying away like a skittish animal. Luckily, Monty had plenty of practice when it came to small-talk, having gotten the hang of friendly banter far before his mutation kicked in. He’d always been great at with people, even the quiet ones, his friendly nature helping to grease the wheels, so to speak.

He could sense her confliction before she started speaking, the kind of discomfort of one caught between a rock and a hard place. A strange sort of reaction to what would normally be a simple question, but Monty guessed it was possible she just wasn’t comfortable telling him the whole truth about her past, which was reasonable. It wasn’t like she owed him any answers anyway-- he was little more than a complete stranger, after all. Her answer was simple, vague without being suspicious, and Monty nodded along in understanding.

“Sounds like a grand adventure, fräulein. Are ye liking it so far?” He hadn’t quite missed the faint tinge of homesickness feathering the edges of her aura, but that was to be expected. She’d only been here a few weeks, after all.

The question was turned back on him quickly enough, and Monty scrubbed absently at his stubbled chin with his calloused hand before answering. “Round about three years ago,” he smiled fondly, thinking back to when he’d first stepped foot onto American soil. Customs had been a bitch, as was applying for a work visa, but he’d managed alright on his own. “I’d actually been livin’ an’ workin’ in Germany, near Munich, ‘fore I came here. Make no mistake, though, I was jus’ as shite with the language then as I am now. Me mates never stopped teasin’ me about it.”

Up ahead, the glow of the streetlights illuminated their destination, a faded wooden sign emblazoned with the words ‘White Horse Tavern’ hanging over the door swinging slightly from the push of a cool night breeze. It was a small place, older than some of the other buildings along the main strip with its worn brick and clouded windows, but there was no mistaking the welcoming warmth of the humble establishment. Monty’s grin grew almost impossibly wide with boyish mirth, something akin to relief settling into his bones-- it really had been a long week, and closing in on his favorite bar felt a little like coming home.

“Ah, here we are,” he said, the uptick in his mood clearly evident in his voice. He beat her to the door, holding it open and letting the happy sounds of chatter wash out into the night. “After you, lass.”

Even for being such a small place, the White Horse Tavern was rarely crowded, even on the weekends. It handled more of a niche market, ranging from other foreigners like himself to rich folk with foreign tastes. Hell, the place probably would have gone bankrupt long ago if Joe and his wife weren’t independently wealthy (something about stocks and investments in the internet-- Joe’d tried to explain it multiple times but Monty had been too drunk to follow)-- the bar was something of an eccentric sort of hobby for the two of them rather than a way to earn profits, and Monty loved it all the more for that. The beer was always good, the people were familiar and friendly, and Joe always made it feel like you were hanging out in his living room rather than his business.

Tonight the bar was predictably quieter than most, a few of the regulars looking up at the at the sound of the door. There was no bouncer, no need to check ID at the door since most of the patrons knew each other, so it made sense that many of the people inside looked surprised to see that Monty had brought a guest. He offered December a reassuring wink before moving towards the bar to greet the bartender.

“Joe, ye great hulkin’ sonnovabitch,” he laughed, reaching over the smooth bartop to clasp Joe’s offered hand. The man was a giant-- all broad shoulders, thick with muscle. His square jaw and crooked nose gave him somewhat of an intimidating expression no matter what sort of face he was making, but Monty’d known the man long enough to know he was nothing but candy fluff on the inside.

Joe grinned back. “Good to see you, Monty. Who’s your friend?” He cast a friendly wave at December.

“Joe, this is December,” he answered, beckoning her towards the bar. “I do believe I promised her an authentic German beer, so give th’ lady whatever she wants an' put it on my tab.” He handed her a little paper drink menu, which listed the specialty and foreign beers. “See anything on there ye recognize, lass?”


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December Licht
Posted: Apr 18 2012, 01:15 PM


Solioluminokinesis


Group: Admin/X-Men
Posts: 29
Member No.: 23
Joined: 29-February 12



A grand adventure, indeed. If only he knew the kind of adventures that her life usually attracted. If anything, her weeks at Xavier’s had been the quietest since she first took up her sun-made sword. But she nodded in response to Monty. “It is very different,” she said. “I have not gone out so much, though.” There was not much need for it, given how much there was to do back at the mansion. Training, mentoring…and it was only going to get more intense as time went on, she understood. There were enemies out there. Not just the anti-mutant humans, but other…things. Just yesterday, Scott had encountered a strange and frightening enemy at the airport while picking up some students. December had to be ready for anything.

She listened as Monty briefly described his life in the past three years, and he revealed that he had been in Munich. “I was there once—it was an unusual city,” she admitted. “But I am sure you enjoyed the Biergartens. She even had to smile a bit as he made a self-deprecating comment about his German. “It is not the worst I have heard,” she assured him, and it was true. Then again, overhearing American and British tourists stumble their way through the phrase book was just embarrassing, and probably should not be counted…at least Monty put an effort into it.

It was not long before they reached a building that resembled an old-fashioned tavern; definitely a local nugget, and it made December wonder briefly how Monty had come upon it. The tall Scot made it to the door before her to hold it open, and she nodded in thanks as she stepped in. Immediately she felt foreign, for the atmosphere of the pub was cozy and warm, like someone’s expanded living room. And she was a complete stranger coming in the bar. That feeling increased as Monty stepped in, looking right at home, and walked right up to greet the bartender like a brother. December followed in his wake, fighting the animal instinct in her to bolt, or at least try to hide.

Her feeling of being an intruder was only somewhat abated when Monty introduced her to the bartender, Joe, who greeted her in a friendly way. She was not, strictly speaking, Monty’s “friend.” From December’s understanding (as a third party observer, not from personal experience), a friend was a person you shared common interests with and a deep bond of trust, a confidante. While she would accede to the fact that she and Monty had some very basic common interests—beer, Germany, and manual labor—she doubted they would reach the level of trust that was required to be considered “friends.”

But December said nothing, figuring that Joe was using the term very loosely in this case. Just as long as he did not expect much. She forced a polite smile as she hefted herself up onto the barstool. Taking the menu from Monty, she glanced over it and knew what she wanted in an instant. “Ein Pils, bitte. Schwarz.” No wimpy Weissbier for her. Although that was Munich’s specialty anyway. “Thank you,” she added in English, knowing that there were laws in America about serving alcohol to minors, and she appreciated the favor. She glanced around the bar again as she waited, feeling the gazes of the few regulars on her, the foreign object. But none of them were hostile; just curious. She tried not to squirm.

“How did you even find this place?” she questioned Monty, her voice soft. What she was really asking was: How did a foreigner find their niche, make friends with the locals, carve themselves a home away from home? December had never been good at that, even in Berlin, and had no idea how to go about it in Salem Center. Then again, maybe she should not. Maybe the mansion was supposed to be all the home she needed.


Biergarten: kind of exactly what it sounds like, lmfao. These places in Munich set aside for people to just sit around and drink beer, usually in a pretty place like the English Garden.
Ein Pils, bitte. Schwarz / Weissbier: Pils is a German-brewed beer, and "Schwarz" vs. "Weiss" is pretty much dark vs. light xD


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Montgomery Hossack
Posted: Apr 30 2012, 10:36 AM


Member


Group: Unaffiliated
Posts: 14
Member No.: 26
Joined: 12-March 12



While December hadn’t necessarily relaxed beside him (at least, not by his standards, which were admittedly pretty skewed), his telepathy was picking up far less stress from her, the sharp edges of her suspicion tempered and softened into something almost friendly. Monty laughed warmly, pleased to find that the girl had read him so accurately. Indeed, most of his free time had been spent lounging in Biergartens all around the city, enjoying some of the finest beer in the world in some of the most beautiful gardens he’d ever seen. They were certainly a step-up from the run-down pubs he’d frequented in Scotland, crowded and noisy and not at all pleasing to the eye. No, the Germans knew how to thoroughly enjoy beer, knew how to make drinking an experience to revel in.

“Ye got me,” he admitted with a shrug, his grin not at all apologetic. “I probably spent far too mooch time enjoyin’ those Biergartens, actually. Nuthin’ like ‘em anywhere else in the world, though.”

He wasn’t sure if he believed she’d heard a worse butchering of her native tongue-- his mentor had repeatedly assured him his German was utterly abysmal. Still, he appreciated the sentiment, real or not. “Yer too kind, lass.”

While coming into the bar was something like being welcomed into a warm, familiar embrace to Monty, he could feel December tense up almost immediately, that first initial wall of wariness slamming back into place. He managed to hide a frown at her discomfort, unsure as to what caused such a reaction-- normally people who wandered into the White Horse enjoyed the relaxed, homey atmosphere. However, December seemed almost ready to bolt back out into the night. He offered her a reassuring smile as he introduced her to Joe (she’d like Joe, of that he was certain-- it was impossible for people to dislike the big lug), hoping to help ease whatever was causing that strange tension to cloud up around her.

She perched herself primly on one of the bar stools, placing an order in German, and Monty had to bite back a laugh at the pure look of glee that crossed Joe’s face.

“Ah, eine lady mit gutem Geschmack!” Joe crowed happily, surprised-- his German was impeccable, cultivated over nearly a lifetime of study and honed to an art after years of bartering with European beer distributors. The large man quickly delved into the large cooler stowed beneath the bar, rummaging through a sea of ice to produce two cold, dark bottles. Pils for the lady, Scotch ale for him (Ach, Joe knew him too well). He sat them both on the bar after popping off the caps, and Monty’s first sip was like manna from heaven, cool and bitter and absolutely delicious.

“Gut? Wie ist es?” Joe asked before December had even finished her first sip.

Monty laughed at his eagerness, playfully swatting at Joe’s massive arm from across the bar. “Ease up, y’ big lout, let th’ lass enjoy her beer.” He wasn’t sure how much the girl would appreciate being the center of Joe’s attention, uncomfortable as she was already.

December’s question about how he came to find the tavern was met with a shrug. “Luck, mostly. Joe came in ‘bout a week after I set up shop in town-- I’m a carpenter, own a little shop off of sixth street. Asked if I could help refinish the bar. Next thing I know, it’s two years later n’ I’m practically livin’ ‘ere on th’ weekends.”

He paused to take another deep swig of ale, turning to give December a knowing look. Must be hard for her, here alone without her da, trying to navigate a new country without anyone around to help walk her through it. “S’good though. Lotta European immigrants wind oop ‘ere, an’ it helps tae ease th’ culture shock a bit. Mebbe it’s fate fer ye tae wind oop ‘ere, as well, lass. These are good people, they’ll treat ye right, won’t they, Joe?”

Joe nods, filling a glass with some pale ale for one of the customers at the other end of the bar. “Selbstverständlich.”

Monty nods, wiping moisture from his upper lip with a calloused thumb. “You oughta bring yer da back ‘ere when he makes th’ move. The two o’ ye’ll make Joe’s month if ye give ‘im some good German conversation.”

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Ah, eine lady mit guten Geschmack! = Ah, a lady with good taste!
Gut? Wie ist es? = Well? How is it?
Selbstverstandlich = Of course


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December Licht
Posted: May 2 2012, 08:34 AM


Solioluminokinesis


Group: Admin/X-Men
Posts: 29
Member No.: 23
Joined: 29-February 12



Monty had not been lying about the bartender’s love of all things German, which clearly extended to the language. Despite herself, December gave a small smile as he complimented her taste in her own tongue, and she had barely raised the Stein to her lips when he eagerly asked how she thought of it. Monty laughingly told him to give her some space. Well, it seemed he knew her fairly well already. But she set down the glass and nodded to Joe. Sehr gut. Sehr lecker. Danke schön. She nodded earnestly. It was definitely better than anything she could find in the mansion’s kitchen, and probably a lot better than the selection at the bar she had been trying to get into.

There was nothing like taste to remind her of home.

But she returned her attention to Monty as he told the little story of how he came upon this place, and it was a give and take situation. A carpenter, he had personally fixed this place up, and December looked around at the woodwork with new perspective. How much of it was done with the hands of the man beside her? “I do not know which parts you did, but it is all very lovely,” she told him. “I have never really worked with wood myself…steel and iron is more my expertise.” Her dad had put her at the forge when she was only ten years old, but then again, she had watched him do the work since she was three.

She nodded with a small smile as Monty and Joe both took pains to assure her that she would be comfortable here, as there were a lot of European ex-patriots who drifted toward this place. It made sense, given the general atmosphere of the place, the sense of community between the patrons that December still felt like she was intruding on. Camaraderie was never really her thing, not even in her own home. But she was expected to get along with her other teammates on the X-Men, with the students who were attending the new school, and these kind people expected her to open up too. Maybe not now, but eventually.

Heavy change was in store for her, and even though December knew it was inevitable, she wanted to take it as slow as possible. Selbstverständlich, she echoed Joe. It did go without saying, didn’t it?

Then Monty brought up her father, and December’s smile naturally faded a bit. Her father would love it here, she was sure of it. Joe and Monty and the others would probably love him too. Though Spiro was haunted by years of being a potential target of the mob, years of watching his teenage daughter go fight his battles for him, and losing his beloved school, there was still an undeniable sweetness and friendliness about him. If he ever joined her in Salem Center, she made a mental note to bring him here first thing. The only problem was that she had no idea when—or if—Spiro would ever make it here. They had split up for a reason, after all.

But she could not explain that to these nice gentlemen without also explaining her rather unique situation. You see, we are running from the Russian mob…they hate us especially, because I have brought so many of them to justice in the past few years…oh, did I not mention, I was the vigilante sometimes called Der Seraph? Sometimes called Der Strahlende Engel—the Radiant Angel? The truth would hardly do. “Whenever he comes, I will be certain to,” she said, making more of an effort to smile, before returning to her beer, needing the comfort of its homey taste.


Lecker = tasty, delicious


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Montgomery Hossack
Posted: May 22 2012, 11:05 AM


Member


Group: Unaffiliated
Posts: 14
Member No.: 26
Joined: 12-March 12



Steel and iron? Monty had done his fair share of metalwork during his apprenticeship, enough to know the basics, so he knew just how tricky of a trade it was. It required muscle and a great deal of patience, long hours of swinging a hammer at an anvil and standing in front of a furnace. Needless to say, Monty hadn’t loved it much-- more interested in crafting things that were softer, lighter, easier for him to work with.

It was difficult to picture the slight blonde before him hammering away at a piece of metal, though upon closer inspection of her person, he found that this particular interest wasn’t much of a surprise. Her arms and shoulders were lined with muscle, her frame small and lithe but strong-looking, even from a casual observation. Add that to her cool demeanor and that underlying sharpness of hers, and steel and iron seemed perfectly appropriate.

“Ach, ye know, I c’n see that.” He smiled, absenting scratching his stubbled cheek with this thumb. “Mebbe us craftsmen should collaborate sumetime. Make sumethin’ jus’ fer fun.”

Monty had never been all that great with collaboration-- while he’d always had a knack for playing well with others, his creative outlet had always been something he kept for himself, unable to trust any other craftsman to meet his standards. Still, December was new to this area, new to this country-- it was yet to be seen if she had any one to spend time with aside from her family, and he figured it couldn’t hurt to offer her some company and a chance to let off some steam by making something in his workshop. She was free to decline if she wanted-- he wouldn’t take it personally. They’d just met, after all. But a small part of him hoped that she’d find him endearing enough to stick around (no doubt Joe would be heartbroken if she never came back; he’d waited months for someone else to speak German with him ever since Frederick went back to Belgium).

The shift in mood between them was palpable even to someone without telepathic abilities, but for Monty, it was louder than a record-scratch and twice as noticeable. All at once he was awash with his new friend’s emotions-- sadness, loneliness, regret, uncertainty and love love love for her father. Without knowing it, Monty had run right into a tripwire rigged up to something that December certainly was not ready to talk about. For her part, she managed to hide much of what she was truly feeling, the only outward indication that he’d done anything at all to upset her was the slight fading of her smile, but Monty felt like an arse all the same.

He let a bit of silence hang between them as they both sipped their beer, searching for the right words. “We’d treat ‘im right, lass,” he promised, trying to keep his tone light. It was hard not to let on just how much she was unable to hide from him, especially since she was doing such a good job from keeping her emotions from showing on her face.

“So, aside fr’m gettin’ turned away fr’m small town bars n’ indulging scruffy ol’ Scotsmen, have ye enjoyed yer time in th’ states? Have ye made it down t’ New York City? Sum pretty essential sight seein’ out that way.”


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December Licht
Posted: May 24 2012, 08:32 AM


Solioluminokinesis


Group: Admin/X-Men
Posts: 29
Member No.: 23
Joined: 29-February 12



The idea of a collaboration with a carpenter did tug at some deep yearning for creativity within her. December could not think of any concepts off the top of her head, but she was certain that there would be something. She was used to forging weapons and armor…nothing truly artistic. Though while part of her liked the idea of such a challenge, cold rationality dominated. Would she even have time for such a thing outside of the school? And did she dare encourage this relationship? December was so accustomed to having to hide, so used to keeping all her secrets close to her chest, that she could not help but balk at the idea of spending time with a stranger. He seemed friendly enough, but wouldn’t that all change if he knew what she was capable of…?

Right now, only the X-Men could understand. They were all fighters too. Monty here was just a pleasant civilian, and December didn’t want to get him tied up into anything he couldn’t climb out of.

Still, she forced a smile. “That would be nice. Perhaps…fun.” It was a strange word and felt foreign in her mouth. “We will see,” she added, not wanting to make a false promise, but not wanting to outright reject the idea either. What was this? December going soft? She looked down at her beer. It felt wrong to disappoint someone who had taken her in like this without knowing anything else about her. It wasn’t often (or at all) that she encountered that kind of courtesy, and it made her somewhat self-conscious of her own chilly manner.

Despite her best efforts to stay stoic on the subject of her father, Monty must have sensed some discomfort anyway, because he easily turned the conversation to what she had seen in America so far. She shook her head. “No, I haven’t been to New York City. I don’t know why; I think Berlin is bigger…in size. But there is something about New York that unnerves me.” Maybe it was the sheer number of people and tall buildings. Berlin was much more spread out and flat by comparison. Manhattan, on the other hand, judging from pictures and TV shows, seemed very suffocating.

Flying would be much more difficult—and potentially dangerous.

Of course, December could not really cite that as a reason, and she just had to hope that Monty would buy her unease as natural. “I am sure I will go sometime. I will feel silly if I do not. But I am putting it off, for now.” She took another gulp of her Pilsbier. “I suppose there is something that you would recommend, then?” Might as well store that away in her memory for a while. If and when she did make it to the Big Apple, it would be good to have some direction.


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Montgomery Hossack
Posted: May 31 2012, 09:58 AM


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Group: Unaffiliated
Posts: 14
Member No.: 26
Joined: 12-March 12



For all that Monty had come to rely on his telepathy, he’d always been fairly decent at reading people, and even December’s cool expression did nothing to hide the flash of uncertainty that lit up behind her eyes at his suggestion. He’d already figured she was one of the suspicious types-- he hardly blamed her for that. Pretty girl like her, alone in a new country? There were plenty of people out there willing to take advantage of that; caution was smart. Caution was preferable. Still, it didn’t take a telepath to be able to see the barest hints of loneliness starting to form around her, and Monty wished that she would let her guard down enough to let him help ease it (he really was a people pleaser, always wanting everyone to be happy, even pretty girls he’d only just met).

Her response was light, polite but pointedly vague as to not make any unnecessary promises, and Monty’s answering smile was as kind as he could make it. “My shop’s right by th’ corner of Sixth n’ Washington. Whenever ye feel like tinkerin’ around, my door’s always open.” Monty was all about long-standing open invitations, and he figured December would appreciate the opportunity to come in on her own terms, whenever she was ready.

And heck, maybe he wasn’t being completely altruistic in his offer-- maybe he just wanted to see her again. Even with her chilly demeanor, she seemed like an interesting person. They had Germany in common (even if his grip on the language was tenuous at best), and it was nice to run into another immigrant.

He was actually fairly surprised to hear that she hadn’t spent any time in the Big Apple-- normally it’s the first thing visitors aim to see. Wasn’t like there was much to do in Salem, anyway. How the heck was she filling her days around here? Monty himself had quickly fallen in love with the city, the mishmash of cultures, the tourist traps, the local staples, all of it. He tended to still avoid rush hour on the subway in order to maintain his sanity, but other than that, he had nothing but love for NYC.

“S’a bit mooch at first, I’ll give ye that, lass,” he said, brow furrowing sympathetically at her unease. “Lots of stuff tae try an’ make sense of all at once. But I c’n promise ye that there’s soomethin’ in it fer everyone. Ye just have tae know where tae look.”

He paused, rubbing a calloused hand against his stubbled chin in a pensive gesture as he wracked his brain for a suitable suggestion (a habit he wasn’t even aware of having). She probably wouldn’t be fond of the usual tourist landmarks-- the Empire State building, Time’s Square... Something a bit quiet, understated, out of the way.

“Ye might enjoy Strawb’rry Fields,” he suggested after a beat. “S’in Central Park. S’a beautiful area, open n’ generally uncrowded. Soometimes street musicians wander in an’ t’ pay homage t’ John Lennon. S’ one of my favorite places in th’ city.”

Monty tipped back his bottle to pour the last remaining dredges of ale down his throat, and before his mug had even come back to the bar, Joe had materialized with another full bottle. “You’re gonna pace yourself today, right, Monty? I don’t think anyone here could stand another bout of your drunken caterwauling.” The big man turned to arch an eyebrow at December, his smile teasing. Gerade in der letzten Woche das triforce versuchte, jeden dazu zu singen ein Scottish drinking song. So schlecht er hat eine Stimme wie ein Frosch mit einer Erkältung.

Monty laughed in spite of himself, scratching the back of his head sheepishly. “Aw, hell, Joe. Cannae ye jus’ leave a man in peace when he’s sober ‘stead of bringin’ up such truly embarrassin’ episodes?” He paused to take a healthy swig of his new bottle before turning his attention to December as well, nodding at her mostly-emptied bottle. “Would ye like another? S’ on me.”

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Gerade in der letzten Woche das triforce versuchte, jeden dazu zu singen ein Scottish drinking song. So schlecht er hat eine Stimme wie ein Frosch mit einer Erkältung = Just last week this idiot was trying to get everyone to sing a Scottish drinking song. Too bad he has a voice like a frog with a cold.


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December Licht
Posted: Jun 2 2012, 11:46 PM


Solioluminokinesis


Group: Admin/X-Men
Posts: 29
Member No.: 23
Joined: 29-February 12



Despite her caution, December naturally memorized the street corner that Monty supplied. Sixth and Washington was easy enough to remember, anyway. She did not think she would ever wander into his shop, but it was good information to know, she supposed. Then again, there was no such thing as bad information, as far as she was concerned. At the very least, she could use it as a point of reference in case she got lost. And maybe the need to craft would hit her unexpectedly. My door’s always open. Yes, it could not hurt to keep one door open, in case another closed.

She listened as he tried to sell her on New York City and knew that she would end up there eventually. As much as her turtle-like instinct was rearing, keeping her confined to a single shell for safety, she had a feeling that it was a weakness not to be familiar with the sprawling metropolis nearby. She would just have to muster up the nerve to go there someday. Maybe with her fellow X-Men, though they were fairly busy. Training and preparing for classes and all sorts of things. Still, surely she guessed that they would have chaperoned trips to the city in the future. Maybe that would be her first time.

Monty gave a suggestion of a niched place in Central Park. It had a lighthearted name, a cute name, something so homey and normal. December memorized it too. “It sounds lovely,” she said with a little smile. “I will have to remember it when I go there. Thank you for the suggestion.” Before she could say any more on the subject, the bartender Joe returned, with a fast smattering of German that was like music to December’s ears. She cast Joe an admiring, appreciative glance, amazed that she had found someone with such a good command on her native tongue here in this little city. The information that he was offering was amusing too, and she looked back at Monty to see if he understood.

He did, especially at Joe’s eloquent comparison. Even December felt a smile tugging slightly at her lips, and she cast a gaze full of sparkling amusement back at Monty. They really were a family, the atmosphere here even warmer than it was at the mansion, where everyone (herself included) was a little wary of each other. Granted, most students and staff were friendly, but there was a general unease to their group as everyone tried to figure out where they belonged. These friendships in the bar were better established, and even the teasing and ribbing could be taken with a friendly grin.

It might just have to do with the personalities of everyone too. It was so unlike anything that December had ever been a part of, and she was conflicted about whether she liked it or not. On the one hand, she was tempted to let her guard down. On the other hand, that was so difficult for her. She was the kind of person who had never done anything hilariously embarrassing in her life, simply because she was always so careful, always so in control. How could she relate to these carefree, easygoing people?

Monty offered her another round, and December pulled herself out of her deep thoughts to smile at him. “You’re very kind, thank you.” She tilted her head. “What was the Scottish drinking song like? If it is anything like the German songs, there is no need to be ashamed in front of me. I have seen and heard all the worst ones.” That was true, at least. She had spent enough of her time lurking in the corner of bars to watch for contacts and spies, and all the drunken revelry that had ensued had certainly made her feel like she had to grow up fast.


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Montgomery Hossack
Posted: Jun 7 2012, 04:09 PM


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Group: Unaffiliated
Posts: 14
Member No.: 26
Joined: 12-March 12



December still seemed a bit hesitant, face carefully painted into a neutral expression, but instincts told Monty that she was merely absorbing the information rather than demonstrating any feelings of distrust or skepticism. Not that she seemed particularly warm to his casual suggestions-- his initial gage of her wary nature still held weight-- but she didn’t outright dismiss them, and seemed to be making an effort to to be more open and conversational in spite of her slight discomfort. Monty figured that was more than he could have asked for, especially considering the fact that they were still mostly strangers to each other. He’d take what he could get.

He did have hopes that she made it out to Strawberry Fields, though. She’d probably feel more comfortable in the serene little area than many of the other tourist traps in the city (it was laughable to try and picture her in Time’s Square or around the China Town bodegas... all of the crowds and noise did not suit her at all). Besides, if she was planning on moving to the area, it’d be a crime not to see at least some of the Big Apple.

Joe’s German ribbing came at an opportune moment, and while Monty might not be quite able to do the language much justice with his thick Scottish accent, he was certainly more than capable of translating the teasing comment. It was enough to make Monty laugh at least-- probably because it was true. He’d never been particularly musical, but with enough alcohol in his system, he tended to forget that very important fact. Add that to the fact that his accent became nigh intelligible when he was hammered, and you had a bar full of extremely confused patrons whenever Monty attempted to rouse them all in a hearty chorus of “A Wee Drappie O’t”.

December seemed moderately amused at the slight spectacle of the little inside joke, managing a smile when he abruptly attempted to change the subject by buying her another round. He waved off her gratitude with a grin, not minding in the least bit. He was enjoying her company after all, and if the beer was enough of a reason for her to stick around, then more beer would be had.

He was surprised when she brought the conversation back around to the embarrassing story of last weekend. Even with her assurance that anything he said would not be an offense to her delicate sensibilities, Monty was still hesitant. Not that the song itself was too dirty (not really, and it wasn’t as if anyone understood a single word of it anyways what with the way his accent seemed to thicken whenever he attempted to sing). Rather, his ma had taught him well about what was appropriate conversation for men to have with young ladies, and despite his rather laid-back tendencies, he was kind of a stickler for those little manners his mother had instilled in him.

“I don’ doubt tha’, lass-- I’ve heard enough of the German versions tae know tha’ fer sure,” he chuckled lightly. There was certainly no shortage of vulgarity in the bars he’d frequented in Germany. A few of those songs were enough to make even Monty blush. He eyed December carefully, indulging in another deep swig of ale before making up his mind. “Alright, I’ll tell ye, so long as it’s understood tha’ I ain’t normally in the habit of makin’ sooch conversation with ladies present.”

Sure, he had his own gentlemanly reservations and his ma would probably tan his hide if she ever found out, but he remembered the determination she’d had in her gaze when she’d pointedly told him her age, as if trying to prove that she was not a child. He certainly doubted she’d appreciate it if he started treating her like one, fearing about damaging her innocence.

“One of th’ regulars, Borden, came in with news of his wife bein’ pregnant, an’ so we were celebratin’. Back in Scotland, it was pretty much tradition fer the bar t’ sing this song in honor of the da tae be,” he explained, a half-bashful little grin spreading across his features. “It’s just this little ditty ‘bout a man chasin’ after this girl, who really only wants tae have her... well, her 'corn grun', as the song goes. He winds up courtin’ her, but is fairly bad at... uh, the physical portions of the relationship, but it ends oop not matterin’ mooch ‘cause th’ girl gets pregnant. They wind oop married n' the man is very happy.”

He punctuated the end of the story with a sip of ale, trying to tamp down on that unfamiliar feeling of embarrassment welling in his chest. “Don’ ask me why it was tradition. I haven’t clue. But needless tae say, I don’ think people here mooch liked my singin’, let alone the song itself,” his smile turned a bit self-deprecating before he turned the conversation back to December. “What about you, lass? Ye have any fun drinkin’ songs in yer repertoire? Maybe you'd have a better time gettin' people 'round here tae sing along.”


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December Licht
Posted: Jun 12 2012, 05:32 PM


Solioluminokinesis


Group: Admin/X-Men
Posts: 29
Member No.: 23
Joined: 29-February 12



It was a little strange hearing a drinking song described, rather than just having it bellowed at the top of one’s lungs while others either sang along or accompanied it with drunken arhythmic clapping. There was even a cute homey story behind it, of a regular at the bar celebrating his wife’s pregnancy, which gave December a brief twinge of nostalgia again. Her father had gone to bars like that, and even though she didn’t always accompany him, she enjoyed it when he came home with some kind of story of what Dietrich or Sven had gotten themselves into tonight. She had felt like she had known those characters, even though she had only met them once or twice. They were important to her father, and they were important to her.

He would love this place, of that December was sure. Whether he’d ever make it over here to bond with Monty and Joe and Borden, however, was another story.

“Her ‘corn grun,’” December repeated, a hint of a smile dancing on her face. “What on earth does it mean? I know what it means,” she added hastily, before she gave off the impression that she was somehow innocent of that fundamental human instinct, “but I don’t…I don’t know what ‘grun’ is.” Something in the Scottish dialect that she could not puzzle out. Her English was good, but not that good. It was a wonder that she could understand most of what Monty was saying to her.

“Sometimes I wish life were more like those kinds of drinking songs,” she commented. “No matter what strangeness takes place in them, they always resolve themselves, and everyone is more or less happy. My…culture, you are probably aware, had more…” She tried to think of the proper term to describe it, “sadness in the words, even when the song was light.” She took another swig of her beer. “One of my favorites, ‘Muss ich denn,’ was about a man who leaves his love behind for business, but he promises to be faithful to her, because she is his only love. It has a nice sound, but the words of parting, it…it can be very sad.” Perhaps it rang true for her especially, now that she had had to part from her father. Though it was a different kind of love, that made it no less painful.

“You probably know it—Elvis sang an English version, ‘Wooden Heart,’” December added. “It is an old favorite, something that even little kids know, but when someone starts to belt it in a deep voice in a bar, we cannot resist but to sing along.” She smiled but then shook her head. “You won’t get me to sing it, unfortunately. I don’t have much of a voice, and that song requires something much deeper, more manly.” She gestured at Monty and then also at Joe. “If either of you knew it, you would do much better than me.” Leading a bar in song was the kind of spotlight that December would always shy away from.


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Montgomery Hossack
Posted: Jun 21 2012, 09:12 AM


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Group: Unaffiliated
Posts: 14
Member No.: 26
Joined: 12-March 12



It was certainly interesting to hear the Scottish pronunciation mixed with December’s thick German accent, something akin to a light smile playing at the corners of her mouth and adding a brightness to her tone. The overall effect was fairly charming , to say the least, and Monty had to hide his pleased grin in another hearty sip of beer. It always made him feel good when he managed to make a pretty girl smile, but December’s obvious hesitance to relax made the small accomplishment seem even more worthy of celebration.

Besides, she really did have a beautiful smile, small and tentative though it was. Pretty young thing like her ought to be flashing it more often.

Her next question almost made him choke on his beer. He sputtered a bit with laughter bubbling in his gut at her hasty correction that she knew what the implication was, but the word itself had confused her. She was young, of course, younger than she looked, but with the maturity she carried herself with, it was no surprise that she’d gotten the overall gist of the song. Monty’s smile was broad and impish as he wiped beer from his stubbled upper lip, eyes bright with amusement.

“Sorry, lassie. This damn Scottish accent butchers more than jus’ the German language. Fact, I c’n scarce believe ye’ve managed tae understand so much of my jabber t’night.” he said, a laugh still thick in his voice. It wasn’t an exaggeration how impressed he was with her ability to translate his Scottish mumblings into actual words, be they in mangled German or in mangled English. It was amazing they managed to communicate at all (hell, it had taken Joe a good two months of constant conversation before he began to understand more than every third word Monty said).

“I meant, she wanted her corn ground.” He rounded out the word and hit the consonants hard, attempting to imitate Joe’s flat American accent in hopes that it might be easier to understand. “Not a very subtle metaphor, I’m afraid,” he added with a dry chuckle, delving back into his ale for another sip.

He hummed a little in agreement at December’s wistful comment about how there’d be fewer unhappy endings if life were a bit more like those drinking songs. Of course, he figured, if life were more like the drinking songs he knew, there’d also be a lot more adventure and a lot more sex, so all in all it was an idea he could get behind. However, Monty was well aware of the strange theme of tragedy that also existed in the realm of German drinking songs, though he’d never been able to piece out why. Germany had seemed like such a happy, light-hearted place full of happy, friendly people-- and the songs themselves were never used to convey any real sense of sadness. Their bouncy, upbeat melodies often seemed to override the darkness of the words themselves, sung in high times and in low.

The song December described was familiar subject matter, especially when it came to German drinking songs (so many of their songs were about leaving a loved one behind), but Monty picked up a twinge of sadness edging around her emotions, the subject matter obviously hitting close to home for her. He wonders what sort of love she left behind-- a strapping young lad in Berlin, perhaps?

Joe cut in when she mentioned the Elvis version, wiping his damp hands on a stained rag after rinsing a few empty mugs. [colo=gray]“I know that one,”[/color] he said with a grin, jerking a nod back in the direction of the kitchen where his wife was currently slaving away. “Eliza is crazy about Presley. It’s one of her favorites, too. She used to make me sing it to her over the phone when I first started going overseas to get some German craft brew for the bar.”

“Sounds like Eliza had ye well-trained early on, then,” Monty teased, though there was nothing but warmth and affection to the words. If anything, he found Joe’s story sweet-- after all, he didn’t know any couple aside from his own folks that were more head-over-heels for each other than Joe and Eliza. It was the sort of relationship the most diehard romantics strived for, real and deep and unquestionable.

For his part, Joe simply rolled his eyes, used to Monty’s good-natured ribbing. Not that Joe often rolled over for Monty’s teasing-- quite the opposite, actually. But Monty had a feeling that Joe was trying to keep from offending December with his usual rebuttal of foul language and obscene hand gestures.

“There is no way you’re gonna get me to lead anything, and Monty is banned from so much as humming in this bar after the noise he made last time. We got a jukebox in the back, though, if you ever want to hear the Elvis version.” Joe jerked his thumb towards the back of the bar, where a small, aged console was lit up in glowing neon.

“See? Now ye’ll have tae come back, if only tae see the worst-stocked jukebox in all of New York,” Monty chuckled, fighting the urge to bump December with his shoulder-- he’d venture a guess that the innocent physicality, friendly though it may be, might not be entirely welcome. “Joe has a strange affinity fer European electronica.”


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December Licht
Posted: Jul 23 2012, 05:43 PM


Solioluminokinesis


Group: Admin/X-Men
Posts: 29
Member No.: 23
Joined: 29-February 12



The awkward moment as they lingered on that unfortunate Scottish phrasing made December wish that she hadn’t asked. She could sense Monty’s mirth and had the distinctly uncomfortable feeling that he was laughing at her. But he explained it patiently, blaming it on his accent instead of on any naivete of hers, and it brought a little more color to the girl’s pale features. “Her corn ground,” she repeated, shaking her head and staring into her beer. “I have no idea how people come up with these things.” Then again, she was about as virginal as they got. December could not even remember feeling any sort of desire for anybody. Her life, ever since her power kicked in and the Russian mob took control over her and her father, had been single-mindedly focused on survival and on her work. That made December pretty woefully oblivious to anyone’s affections toward her—though, given her cold manner, she probably did not have much to worry about.

Such things like dirty slang didn’t occur to her, then, because it was not a part of life that December had ever associated with. The closest she had come was admiring the wings on her teammate, Warren, and thinking that, physically, he embodied the moniker of “Angel” a lot better than she did. But Warren himself was the complete opposite of her in every way, from personality to life experience, and if it were not for the team they found themselves on and the coincidence of being capable of flight, there would be no common ground between them. So that was what they would be: teammates.

So when Joe chimed in with a romantic story about singing that song to his then-sweetheart, now-wife, December gave a smile but really had no experience to draw on. When she thought of Muss ich denn, she thought of having to leave her father behind. But its true purpose was between lovers, as like what Joe’s situation was. “That is very sweet,” she said, while Monty lightly made fun of his friend for it. Though the two of them were handling her like glass, socially, December just smiled as they joked around. Again she was reminded of her father and his buddies. “My father used to say that my mother had him trained too,” she offered, though Felicity had only ever been a ghostly presence to her, hardly real except in Spiro’s stories. “It seems to me that if the men minded it, they wouldn’t put up with it. But I think they like it just as much and don’t want to admit it.”

She raised both her eyebrows in Monty’s direction, though there was a small smile playing on her lips that indicated she, too, was being light-hearted and not actually taking this discussion very seriously. After all, when it came to love, December truly had no idea what she was talking about. She just knew what other people said about it.

She turned her head to look at the jukebox that was indicated, but shook her head. “I’m afraid that wouldn’t do it for me. Half the reason I left Europe was to get away from those musical trends.” Another joke, though told with her usual deadpan tone that it might have been hard to tell. She took another deep gulp of beer. “I was born in the wrong century in Germany. I should have been born in the 1700s or 1800s. Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Mendelssohn, Wagner.” The corner of her mouth pulled back in a little smile. “I was not asked to host many parties.” A flavor of self-deprecating humor indicated that perhaps finally December was relaxing around these two.


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Montgomery Hossack
Posted: Aug 10 2012, 12:53 PM


Member


Group: Unaffiliated
Posts: 14
Member No.: 26
Joined: 12-March 12



The clarification didn’t seem to fluster December as badly as Monty had feared, the only indication that she was uncomfortable was a small twinge of embarrassment on his telepathic radar and the slight flush to her pale features. He was glad for it-- skittish as she was, he was cautious about doing anything that might make her clam up completely. Her added comment made him wonder if she was more naive than she let on, claiming that she had no idea how such euphemisms came about. It wasn’t terribly hard to believe, what with how young she was, but she carried herself with such a calm, assured maturity that it surprised him a bit. Hell, she carried herself with far more grace than Monty himself, perhaps she simply found the uncouth metaphor distasteful.

Or perhaps there wasn’t a strapping young lad in Berlin pining after her. Not that it was any of his business, but honestly, Monty found the thought a little bit sad. December, for all of her walls and defenses, was a sweet enough gal, deserving of being swept off her feet at least once. Besides, he himself had never understood how people could go through life without a little bit of love to keep them warm on cold, lonely nights. He’d spent so much of his youth falling in and out of love (and, consequently, in and out of bed) with women all over Europe, it was hard for him to imagine how the other half lived in that respect.

That’s not to say that December lacked a soft heart-- Joe’s anecdote about his early days with Eliza brought out a nice little smile, at least. In fact, she seemed to open up more than she had, bringing up her father without prompting and sharing a little piece of her life, and... was that a joke? Monty’s eyebrows shot up in surprise, a pleased grin stealing across his stubbled face, sensing a newfound lightness coming into her emotional aura. It was a warm contrast to the wary, suspicious feelings that had been prickling around her like a dark cloud, and Monty basked in it for a moment, glad to see her loosen up a bit.

“Ye know all our secrets, don’cha, lass?” he laughed, brown eyes warm with merriment. He was hardly in a position to tease Joe about his love life, anyway. Monty’s father had raised him right, and any of the women he’d dated could testify to just how much of a malleable, lovesick puppy he was in relationships. He had no real shame in that, of course; his efforts to get December to smile were evidence enough of his desire to please others.

December’s humor was as dry as a bone, but it suited her. Even Joe choked on a snort of laughter at her playful little dig at his musical tastes. Monty’s laugh was a rough sound, sandpapery from too many cigarettes, but it was a familiar sound in the small bar.

“Ach, an’ here I thought all ye young folk were big on that electronica shite,” he said with faux-seriousness. “Well, all ye young folk n’ Joe.”

Joe only chuckled, wiping his hands on a rag as someone down at the other end of the bar waved in an attempt to grab his attention. “Mercy me,” Joe shook his head before turning to fix Monty with a crooked smile. “Don’t scare this one off, Hoss. I like her.” Monty, in too high of spirits, couldn’t even successfully pretend to be affronted by the insinuation that he’d spook his new friend.

“Joe looks about ready tae adopt ye,” Monty commented to December as Joe made his way to the other end of the bar, favoring her with a happy grin. “Yer in good with th’ family now, lass. Providin’ ye don’t pick any o’ th’ music ye’ll always have an invite tae th’ parties goin’ on ‘round here.”

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OOC: Omg sorry this took so long and is crappy.


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December Licht
Posted: Aug 15 2012, 10:45 PM


Solioluminokinesis


Group: Admin/X-Men
Posts: 29
Member No.: 23
Joined: 29-February 12



Her display of humor, flat as it was, was enough to charm both men, probably because neither of them expected her to be capable of jokes. December shifted on her stool with a somewhat abashed look in her eyes as Joe expressed his approval to Monty. To diffuse the situation (it was somehow embarrassing to be talked of so highly, when she had barely done anything), she replied, “He brought me to a place where I could have beer like a proper German. I am staying right here.” She had said it more to put both men at ease, and perhaps to get them from trying too hard with her, but at the same time, she felt a small twinge of guilt. She could not really make a promise like that, after all, not knowing what the X-Men had in store for her.

In fact, being informed that she was in with this “family” only made her feel slightly uncomfortable. The Russian mob had been a “family,” of sorts, and Professor Xavier had expressed hope that December would eventually come to view the X-Men as a “family.” It seemed to December that being an honorary member of a place like that meant a lot of unsaid obligations and expectations. Families were supposed to come first, right? What happened if you belonged to several families? How did you prioritize without offending the other? And so far, the only family December had felt a true connection for her was her father. Even then, she sometimes resented the fact that she had had to do so much for his sake, to make up for his own mistakes.

But that was family.

Monty no doubt meant it in a purely innocent and nonbinding way, but the word just did not have as many warm-fuzzy feelings for December as it probably should have. She simply shook her head. “You are too kind.” She turned to Joe with her thumb in the air (the European way of signifying one drink, as opposed to the American index finger). “Please, it is my turn to pay for a drink this time, whatever Monty wants.” It might be a clumsy way of ordering, but December didn’t want to walk out of this bar feeling like she hadn’t paid for anything or acted gracious at all.

In some ways, she envied people like Monty and Joe. Presumably they lived “normal” lives and seemed perfectly happy about it. Her life had never been anywhere close to the norm, even before her mutation and ties to the mob kicked in. How many people were raised in a school that taught medieval styles of fighting? Some of her other teammates came from unusual pasts as well, but when December looked at people like Monty and Joe, she could not help but picture some of the down-on-their-luck people she had threatened on behalf of the mafia. A steely-eyed teenage mercenary with a sword made of light, that was who she had been. And despite her age, people (so like the people in this bar right now) had feared her.

“I probably should not stay much longer,” she admitted as that unpleasant thought crossed her mind. “I have to…” she trailed off, before shrugging lightly. “It does not matter. I should not stay, that is all.” She bit her lip before looking up at Monty. “But that does not mean I am ungrateful, truly.”


((this post is also short and crappy. </3 I vote, however, that December and Monty run into each other again, perhaps under more dangerous, Seraph-revealing circumstances.))


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