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[b "Your poor boyfriend has suffered at the hands of a more competent mechanic,"] he answered dryly. [b "Though don't tell her I said that."]
Jean rolled her eyes and scrunched her nose at the smell of oil coming off of them. [i "If we're going to be stuck in a jet with the two of you, you'd better shower first. After the meeting though; Charles is waiting."]
[i "You're leaving puddles!"] Hank exclaimed behind them, stepping over a shoe-print of oil that one of them must have tracked through after walking past the mess.
[b "Bobby will take care of it,"] Scott called back over his shoulder.
In Charles' office, the Professor was already waiting with Storm. The weather witch smiled in greeting at them, though it was a bit strained under the seriousness of the situation. Hank closed the door behind them as they ushered themselves into their seats.
[i "Adventurous class?"] Charles raised an eyebrow at Scott and Lauren.
[b "New cologne,"] Scott answered, not missing a beat.
The elder mutant gave a slight smirk before addressing the rest of the group. [i "Hank and Jean have instructed you on what this is all about, so I won't waste any time. Sabertooth was spotted not far from Staten Island, stealing what appeared to be copper tubing from a construction sight. A security guard attempted to apprehend him, but he was found the next morning strung from the rafters."]
Scott's jaw locked. Civilian casualties was something they always did their best to avoid. [b "If he's in Manhattan, then Magneto isn't far behind. What's in that area that would draw his attention?"] Scott asked, thinking of every skyscraper in the vicinity, and what they could be used for.
[i "That is what we're going to investigate. There are three main points of interest that I believe could be where Erik is intending to make some kind of stand. The Empire State Building, Grand Central Station, and the Museum of Natural History. All of these places are high foot-traffic for tourists. Erik has a vendetta against humans, and would no doubt target places that he knows will have large crowds."]
[b "So we send teams to each location and scout them out?"] Scott asked.
[i "Precisely, Mr Summers,"] Charles confirmed.
Lauren had made quick work of getting changed. She had put the shirt on, turned her back to remove her bra without destroying it since it was just as oil-soaked, and then she was in the shirt that ended about an inch above her knees.
Thus, she rolled her eyes at Scott's teasing, and felt a victoriou smirk as Hank took her side in the little 'argument'.
Her curiosty was piqued, but she resisted the urge to ask since she assumed she wouldn't be 'allowed' to know... but then, turns out, she was going to be allowed to know whatever it was. [b "...So, Chuck wants me, the 'wild card', to know updates on bucket0head?"] She asked slowly, and earned a nod as the blue mutant began to lead the way for both of the younger adults.
[#0086eb "Yes, it appears so. Charles is also hoping that what he knows about Magneto's whereabots might help trigger your memories. He told me to let you know that if it was acceptable, he could attempt getting into your mind again."] Hank smiled, pushing the doors open to Charles' office once they arrived.
[#bf0d39 "Has my boyfriend been stolen from me?"] Jean asked playfully upon seeing Lauren, clearly braless, in one of Scott's shirts. Lauren knew that the red-haired telepath must actually know what happened, but seeing the playful twinkle in the other woman's eyes, she figured she just wanted to teasse the Summers male.
She couldn't blame Jean. Hell, she probably knew better than Lauren that it was just fun to mess with Scott considering she had held years with him instead of the mere days that Lauren has had so far.
Scott snorted. [b "Well, we could always go down to the local Walmart and get you some clothes from the children's section, but I have more classes to teach so you'll have to make do with grown up clothes."]
It was enough to crack a smirk on his face, seeing her drowning in his shirt. She practically looked like Ebeneezer Scrooge in his nightgown. [b "Might I suggest tying it a bit at the waist? Wouldn't want you to trip and fall flat on your face,"] he taunted.
[i "What the hell happened in here?"] Hank's amused voice chimed in behind them.
[b "Another riveting auto mechanics class,"] Scott continued cleaning his face off with the rag. [b "Lauren was kind enough to lend a hand and make an absolute mess of my garage."]
[i "And you've decided to be the Good Samaritan and lend the lady your clothes?"] his grin was stretched across his face, trying hard not to laugh at how small Lauren looked in the shirt.
[b "You know me, Hank. Always coming to the rescue."]
[i "Fairly sure this lady doesn't need rescuing,"] Beast winked at Lauren. [i "Anyways, I'm not here to poke fun. We've got a lead on Magneto and the Professor wants to go over things with us. We leave in a few hours."]
Scott immediately snapped into hero mode, dropping the cloth to the table and moving to follow Hank. [b "Lauren, feel free to sit in on other classes, or whatever you feel like while we're gone."]
Hank stopped and cleared his throat. [i "I should have been more clear. My apologies. I was instructed to pass the message to both of you. Charles is requesting that Lauren join us."]
[b "If I didn't have that healing thing I can do, I'd be blind about now. Kid is lucky he's a kid or I'd kick his little punk backside around a mat for a few hours,"] Lauren voiced, shooting Bobby a pointed look, and the teenager wilted a little before giving a more genuinely apology than before. It was without the earlier sassiness, and Lauren accepted it from the now meek boy before following after Scott.
She watched silently as the male took his shirt off, arching an eyebrow and wondering if [i this] was the reason Jean was in a relationship with this 'technical fiance'. She may not like Scott's personality, but she can't deny he's pretty well toned.
The short brunette was knocked from her musing by the offer to be lent a shirt, letting out a slight snort, [b "Ooo, I get more loaned clothes? Is this what having an older sibling is like—a bunch of hand-me downs that don't fit right because they're from taller people?"] She smirked a bit, but then her expression was void of the snark. [b "...Yeah, I'd appreciate it. If you don't mind—and even if you do mind, if I'm being honest—I'll probably going to end up just staying in it all day. I don't want to be a bother and go interrupt Storm's or Jean's classes just to ask for a clean shirt from one of them."] She shrugged her shoulders before then, like the tough woman she was, holding out one of her hands and making a grabby-gesture for the promised shirt for her to borrow.
Scott was momentarily grateful that his mutation required glasses as the oil came spilling down onto their faces and bodies. That didn't, however, save him from getting the foul substance in his mouth. Getting out from under the car, he spat the oil onto the floor of the garage, gagging at the taste. He could hear the students laughing at whatever Lauren had said.
Reaching for another clean rag, Scott wiped at his face though his glasses remained smudged. [b "Bobby! You were supposed to empty the oil completely at the start of class,"] he scolded.
The boy was trying and failing to hide a smile. It didn't entirely surprise Scott that the student didn't look even remotely sorry. Tilting his head, his jaw clenched. [b "Why do I get the feeling that you knowingly left oil in the engine?"] he spoke through gritted teeth.
Bobby held his hands up in surrender. [i "In my defense, Scott, I had no way of knowing that Lauren was going to be under the car with you. John dared me to do it. It was just supposed to leak a little bit. Not go full blown Niagara Falls all over you both."]
He shot a boyish smile to Lauren. [i "Really sorry about that."]
Scott chucked the rag at him. [b "Good. I'm glad you're sorry. You can be sorry while you mop up this mess. Class dismissed early. Bobby, you're staying until my floor is clean enough to eat off of."]
Feeling uncomfortable with the way his shirt was sticking to him, Scott pulled it over his head. He always had spare clothes in the garage for that particular reason. [b "I have a t-shirt you can borrow until you get to your room to change,"] he offered Lauren.
It was a little hard, but she managed to hold back a snicker when the other cracked his head on a pipe. Granted, it didn't hurt her head all that much whenever she'd done it herself, but she still liked to think she understood the ache of it.
Lauren paused at his question, mid-wrench action, before shrugging the shoulders she best she could while laying on her back. [b "I dunno. Just... picked it up, maybe? Or just knew it. One of the two."] She cranked the wrench slowly, listenign to what every action did to the car. [b "That bike I had—you know, before my truck exploded and shit—was 1963 Harley Davidson DuoGlide FLH. I woke up with it nearby, had the keys in my jacket pocket, and started riding... Away from police, cause I was apparently near a site of some sort of explosion, but still."] She removed bolt after bolt slowly, having the strength to prevent the straining screech from the rust, [b "I was able to care for it an a lot of older stuff, and I picked up on the newer models too. I worked in some various garages for a few years before I picked up the fighting."]
At his mention of the big-and-blue mutant, she arched an eyebrow, thoughtful. [b "...Well as long as he doesn't, like, try to stab me through the hand or something. Would break the scaple, if what my x-rays showed are right."] She chuckled a bit, removing part of the car... and in a split instant many things happened.
She heard the rush of liquids, she let the piece clatter against her own face to topple off her head, she moved her hands to clamp in a protection over Scott's nose and mouth and squeezed her own eyes and mouth shut seconds before what could only be labled as a "shit-ton" of oil drenched their bodies.
[b "...And that–"] Lauren sputtered oil out of her mouth, cracking an eye open and easily able to ignore the burn the oil caused, [b "–is why you triple-check that you've emptied a car of everything."] She carefully pushed Scott out from under the car with the protective grip she still had on his head, and then pulled herself out. Grabbing a rag, she quickly wiped at her eyes before rubbing her tongue off feverently in a way that mimicked a child who had just tasted a rather disgusting medicine.
Scott was not generally fond of being in such close quarters with anyone other than Jean. Hell, he had trouble sharing a bunk bed with his brother when they were kids. So, being shoulder to shoulder with Lauren under the suspended car with their students watching their every move was more than just a little uncomfortable.
He'd jumped once when she broke the silence by ordering him to pass her a wrench, which caused him to crack his head on one of the pipes. Students snickered behind their hands as his own scrambled to find the appropriate tool. [b "Stay focused guys, I'll expect you to do this in your sleep!"] he commanded, pointing a less-than intimidating finger at them from under the car.
[b "How the hell did you get so good at this? Last I heard you were brawling in bars making cash when Rogue found you. Sideline as a mechanic as well?"] he asked, holding some wires to the side for her to see better.
It was impressive, really. She was a jack of all trades and didn't have a shred of arrogance about it. It was just something she knew. No boasting or parading her talents around. She could spar, so she helped teach his class. She knew how to fix cars, so she accepted his challenge to help without so much as blinking an eye or bragging to the students. She made it really hard to not like her.
[b "Hank was hoping that you would join him for his biology lesson this afternoon. He wanted to use your mutation and x-rays to demonstrate how the human body can adapt to survive. It's up to you. I can always get him to use a student volunteer again,"] he mentioned as he wiped soot from his face that had fallen from the rusty pipes.
If she was a lesser-instinctive woman, she would have yelped or had the rag hit her in the face. Either way, it still had almost happened , but she managed to catch the object.
[b "You know, this didn't work out so well last time...."] Lauren said softly, but had a small grin. Glancing around a moment, she pursed her lips before grabbing another rolling-board and letting it smack into existence on the ground next to the one he had kicked her way. [b "You're getting under there with me—I'm short, it'll work. I'm not giving you any leeway to say I destroyed anything."]
And with that, the two adults ended up under the car, and the cameras used for Scott's lecture classes with demonstrations were used so the students could watch on the camera.
Scott knew this car like someone who had studied it front and back, but Lauren knew it like she'd been there when it was made. Like she had some sort of instinctive knowledge from it, even if the 'canvas' was blank on her brain. ...Considering what Jean had said on her first day there during her exams—about her possibly being even older than the Professor—it's quite possible that she [i had] been around when the car was made.
Lauren babbled as she work, stalling for Scott's input, and offering up counter offers or agreements as the two adults actually managed to work in tandem for once.
Scott paused in his movements, fighting back an eye roll. [b "The bolts are rusty. I have to lubricate them. This is a fully stocked garage, unless that part is bolts, in which case, the replacements are on back-order."]
He slid partially out from under the car to purse his lips at her. [b "That's what happened when you have an 'old dinosaur' for a car. Parts are harder to come by."] He rolled halfway back under the car before rolling back out. [b "And she's not a dinosaur!"]
The students cackled at the bickering. [i "Mr Summers, you should probably let her help. Sounds like she has a bit more mechanics experience than oil changes and tire rotations,"] Bobby joked unhelpfully from his seat.
Scott rolled back out and reached for a rag to wipe his hands clean. Sitting up on the roller board, he huffed. [b "You'd think with me only teaching oil changes and tire rotations, you'd be able to do them yourself by now,"] he taunted back.
[b "But,"] he rose to his feet. [b "If you want to see Lauren ruin an already jeopardized car, then fine. Let's see what the substitute teacher has up her sleeves."]
He kicked the roller board to her and tossed the rag at her face. [b "Make sure you don't get any grease under your fingernails. Wouldn't wanna ruin them,"] he grinned with the challenge. [b "Show us what you've got!"]
[#bf0d39 "You know, I swear he forgets sometimes that he's all but engaged to a telepath—one he's known for years—that can read his mind to know what he's thinking, but also doesn't need to."] Jean whispered beneath her breath, making Lauren arch an eyebrow with a grin as the redhead went on to whisper that the laser-eyed mutant was plotting all course of revenge in his head. All Lauren could do was shrug and say, [b "That's men for ya, Jean."]
A few minutes later, with toast in her mouth, she nodded at Scott's information.
Fourty-five minutes later, the school's classes had begun for the day, and Lauren glanced around at what consisted of mechanic's class. Well, what consisted of 'advanced' mechanics class, which was all students trusted enough to not kill themselves if they were unsurpervised. She leaned against an older car that Scott was under, simply observing the students, but then knelt down to see what the hell the other adult was doing to make the bolt squeal they were beneath the car.
[b "What the hell are you doing to this poor dinosaur?"] She asked, eyebrows arched as she heard the bolt squeal once more as it was being forced to be twisted. It had barely moved at all, but the squeal of it's resistance was still loud. [b "Cause whatever it is you're trying to do? you clearly are [i not] doing it right if the bolts are making that sound, Summers. Did Chuck really trust you with this old car just to see how much you could break it?"] Her tone was teasing, but also serious in the beginning when she had declared that he must be doing something wrong.
Scott began plotting his revenge immediately after the door was finally shut. They think they're so funny. Ruining his good morning. Just watch, ladies. You'll be sorry. This was all grumbled under his breath as he pulled on new clothes. He wanted to rise above their antics, but truth be told, he was an incredibly petty man.
Storm and Hank. They'd be on his side.
He'd track them down later. For now, it was best to play it off that he'd let it go. Scott wandered down to breakfast and plastered a smile on his face. [b "Well done, ladies. Didn't think you had it in you,"] he praised them on his way to his own seat.
Students were off limits as accomplices in his payback. While he knew that Lauren wouldn't intentionally harm a student, taking her by surprise when she was still so new to the environment would be too risky. He didn't want someone to get hurt, or have her feeling guilty about a potential accident.
No, it was best to stick to the staff. Hank owed him a favour after losing a bet a few months back, and Storm was one of his closer friends at the Institute. Perhaps some harmless chemical warfare with Hank's experiments would do the trick. Dye their skin flashy colours. Temporary polka dots. Something good.
[b "Don't forget, class is in the garage this morning. Mechanics class,"] Scott leaned forward to aim his statement at Lauren, a few seats away.
Jean rolled her eyes, having caught the pillow. She hadn't caught it with the same instant reflexes Lauren had, but it was still reflexes she had after knowing Scott for over a decade. [#bf0d39 "Fine, fine. I'll see you later."] The redhead said innnocently, heading to the door that, as if on cue, slowly opened in a dramatic fashion to reveal Lauren posed in the doorway.
Once the two women were side by side, they turned their joint gaze upon him, and suddenly Lauren gasped. [b "Jean! Do you feel that? This impending sense of... of...."] Jean helpfully tossed in, expression just as dramatic, [#bf0d39 "Sense of doom? Yes! This is it! The wrath! The unexpected revenge!"] The redhead flopped onto the shorter woman, both having taken on poses.
[#bf0d39 [b "The pain! The agony!"]] They gasped out, putting on a [i hilarious] show. It was as if this was all pre-rehearsed just to continue messing with him after his initial reaction. Both women suddenly paused as the sound of doors opening and shutting came from down the hallway, and then grinned mischievously at who they saw.
[b [#bf0d39 "Scott is unleashing is wrath upon us!"]] Jean and Lauren released in unison to the two men coming closer, as if they were some weird version of twins or as if they had it rehearsed , as the wheel-chair bound man and the fuzzy-and-blue scientist headed past in the hall to get to the elevator.
[#0086eb "That's nice, dears,"] Hank said, sipping his coffee while reading through something.
[#216bb5 "Work on your monologing, Scott. I do not believe it was imposing enough.... All things considered, of course."] Charles called over to the threesome, pausing just long enough to grin, sending a wink to the girls, and then continued rolling off to the elevator.
This, of course, left the two women laughing themselves into absolute messes once more. They eventually managing to shut the door as Scott chucked more pillows at them.
Even if he was constantly frazzled, it's no wonder why Scott kept ended up tipping back to getting on the "we should do everything we can to make sure Lauren stays" train with the other adults in the mansion. Not only was it best for the woman's safety, but it was also as if she belonged.
It was like she had been there for years.
He was going to kill her.
He was absolutely going to find a way to end her life.
His bed was now completely soaked, as was his t-shirt and pajama pants. Scott heard Lauren cackling in the doorway, and shot a look of utter betrayal at Jean. [b "You stop that!"] he aimed a finger at his girlfriend.
[b "And you!"] he rounded back on Lauren. [b "I take back all the nice things I said last night! You're a menace. A bad influence."]
He shot up from the bed, slipping on the puddle that had accumulated on the floor. [b "You're both gonna feel my wrath. Payback is coming! I don't know how, or when, but I promise you that it will be awful and you'll regret this!"]
[i "Really hard to take you seriously when your nipples are visible through your shirt,"] Jean smirked. [i "Cold, honey?"]
Sure enough, his white t-shirt was now see-through. [b "You're both menaces!"] he reached for his bathrobe.
There were a few more curses and muttered gibberish under his breath as he tied the belt. [b "Think you're so funny,"] he grumbled. [b "Get out of here, you pest,"] he tossed a pillow at Lauren. [b "I'll see you in class."]
When he was left alone with Jean, he raised an eyebrow. [b "I see where your allegiance lies. I'll remember this,"] he tried to look as stern as possible.
[i "You know me,"] Jean rolled her eyes. [i "Fraternizing with the enemy,"] she retorted sarcastically.
Scott threw a pillow at her, too, with an order to leave while he got dressed and ready for the day.
[b "Legos would be the only thing that hurts, Summers, not a toy car. I have too much balance for that,"] She softly quipped, slowly rubbing a hand up and down Jenny's back a few moments before slowly lowering her to the bed. Lauren shushed the girl as she made a small sound, a hand—which houses things so leathal—gently brushing through the blonde curled until the child had fallen fully back to sleep. It was only then that she tucked the girl in, and then followed the laser-eyed male back to the hall.
She had to admit, it was definitely beneficial that the youngest of the children were kept on the floor closet to the teacher's rooms.
The short brunette nodded her head along with his words, not willing to accidentally verbally agree to anything he was suggesting. They were walking back to the elevator, but she paused as he mentioned that last bit, glancing up at him with a devious expression, [b "...You have [i multiple] cars [i and] a motorcycle?"] A wolfish grin, unable to be told if intentionally so or not, bloomed to life on her face. [b "...I'll have to remember that,"] she said, continuing on to the elevator witht he grin still in place.
Hey, even if they'd had a small moment of understanding didn't mean she had to like the guy. Let alone stop teasing him or stressing him out! It was amusing as all hell.
[b [i [center ~ ~]]]
The next morning would come quickly, and the school was bustling and active as teachers and students alike ate their breakfasts and prepared for the first classes of the day.
There might be a chance that a certain 'non-resident' had gone to Professor Xavier's room, and that the man had invited her in since he was still well awake.
There might be the chance they talked.
There might be a change that Jean Gray was getting ready that morning in her vanity, nearly dressed fully for her classes that day, and let her boyfriend-technical-fiancee sleep in... despite knowing what was to come.
There is a chance that Jean did not flinch as Lauren came into the room holding a bowl of ice-water.
There is a chance she was laughing as Lauren dumped it onto Scott Summers' slumbering body.
[b "Rise and shine, ya' over-slept lasersight,"] Lauren crowed, a grin on her lips. [b "You have a class to teach for me to sit in on... and maybe kick your ass at the end of. Also, before you get too pissed,"] She tossed the bowl aside to the nearby redhead, [b "You're ginger-menace here gave me permission to do that. What you get for sleeping in, bub."] Maybe, just maybe, Lauren's grin wasn't completely mocking.
If asked, she'd deny to hell and back that she had vouched to the Professor to let Scott off of his 'probabtion' nearly a week early.
[b "You could always teach boxing,"] Scott joked dryly.
Rising from his seat, he gestured for her to follow. [b "We try to keep the kids' rooms grouped together with others their age. That way they're closer to friends for comfort."]
The younger students were on the third floor. Scott was worried that the elevator jolting might wake the sleeping girl, but she appeared to be out like a light. [b "You'd make a good kindergarten teacher, too,"] he smirked, stepping out into the hallway.
Jenny's room was halfway down the hall. She had crayon drawings taped to the walls, and toys strewn about the room carelessly. [b "Watch your step,"] Scott warned, kicking a toy car out of the way.
He pulled back the soft blue blanket so Lauren could tuck Jenny in. It was almost maternal, really. Scott thought back to her in total survival mode in the Danger Room, and couldn't quite match her to the person standing before him. [b "You can sit in on some of the other classes tomorrow, if you'd like. Get an idea for how other teachers conduct their classes. Although I will warn you that if you visit Hank's chemistry class, you're almost guaranteed to leave with singed eyebrows, if not worse."]
Back in the hall, he tucked his hands in his pockets. [b "I'm sure you're bound to find something here that calls to you,"] he said, and then paused. [b "Just please don't let that 'something' be one of my cars. Or my motorcycle."]
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