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He looked almost offended that she'd driven right past the museum. It was full of so much history and information that he'd toured it no less than twelve times, and still found new things to learn. [b "I'm going to pretend that you didn't ignore one of the most fascinating buildings in existence. If I think about it, I may actually cry."]
He'd specifically chosen one of his Porsche models, wanting to show off a little bit. Plus, it was going to get through traffic much more easier than the lumpy SUV Jean and Hank had chosen. [b "Rules of being a passenger in my car,"] Scott began lecturing as they pulled out of the garage. [b "No messing with my radio pre-sets, no adjusting my mirrors, no smudging the windows, and under no circumstances are you to eat anything while in this vehicle."]
Jean loved to tease him for his overbearing protectiveness of his cars. It was almost over the top, really. He'd only recently granted a handful of them permission to drink water inside his cars. His eyes kept flicking between the road and Lauren, almost suspicious that she would pull out a granola bar just to antagonize him.
The Institute was far enough away from the bustling city that they got a bit of a scenic drive on their way into town. [b "Since this is a mission,"] he broke the silence. [b "I will pretend I don't know about your lack of knowledge about the Museum of Natural History. But you can bet your ass I will be dragging you back to teach you a thing or two about history and science."]
[b "Haha, you're hilarious. You're killing me, Scott- Oh, wait, I have a healing factor,"] Lauren rolled her eyes as Hank tried to hide a snicker before, pulling out a syringe, he headed off to go grab a car for himself and Jean to use for their part of the mission.
She maybe wouldn't be so tempted if she was currently wearing the 6-feet-tall Jean's button-up blue dress-shirt, and then wearing a pair of dark-blue leggins lent by Storm since they were close in heights, so the woman's capri leggins fit like pants on Lauren herself.
She looked like a kindergarten teacher, and she wasn't happy about it. Nonetheless, she pulled on some sunglassed and put her hair into a quickly, sloppily braided bun. Having hair dangling during possible dangerous moments was always a no-go.
[b "You know, I've never actually been in the museum. I mean, I saw the outside of it once... but then I sorta drove straight into Canada and didn't look back,"] Lauren informed idly, arching an eyebrow at the car Scott had chosen. It was a nice model, she'd give him that. ...Almost made her feel bad that she was planning to steal one of them for her own at some point just to mess with the laser-eyed mutant.
Scott had been to the museum before, and was familiar with the layout. The WWII exhibit was one of the largest in the building, taking up nearly a full floor all on its own. He and Lauren would have to be on high alert, given how many corners and shadows Magneto would have to use for his advantage.
[b "Shouldn't you be borrowing one of the kids' clothes? Given your...minuscule stature?"] he teased Lauren on his way by in the hallway.
[i "Keep it up Scott, and I'll replace your wardrobe with Charles' suits from the seventies,"] Jean threatened with a smirk.
[b "Betrayed by my own girlfriend,"] he shook his head, moving in the direction of his own room.
He was clean and ready to go in under twenty minutes. Charles had given them explicit instructions that they were to blend in as much as physically possible. Therefore, their usual uniforms were out of the question. Scott stuck with jeans and a hoodie, giving him enough flexibility to fight if they ended up coming across Magneto or one of his lackies.
[i "Be warned,"] Jean advised Lauren as she adjusted the coms device in her ear. [i "Scott may try to play teacher and lecture you about the exhibits."]
[b "I did that one time,"] he sighed. [b "And it was an interesting exhibit about the Greek gods. You learned a lot on that date."]
[i "Yeah, like how much of a total loser my boyfriend is,"] she patted his cheek on her way by.
Scott sneered at her before turning to Lauren. [b "We can take one of my cars. It'll be less noticeable than landing the jet."]
[b "Wait, wait wait-"] Lauren said, waving her hand in the air to gather the attention of all of those plotting like a league of cliche superheros around her. [b "You tell me this metal dude is after me a mere handful of days ago, and now you [i want me to go to a location he might be?] Isn't the fact I'm metal, like, the biggest threat to any of those locations? You know, with my cutty-cutties of doom?"] She popped out her claws for emphasis, arching an eyebrow.
[#216bb5 "Yes, but we're sending you where my blindspot is. Thus, the place we know Magneto is [i not] at,"] Charles explained, smiling calmly, before setting up the teams, [#216bb5 "Jean? You and Hank will be heading to Grand Central Station. Storm and I will be heading to the Staten Island. Scott? You and Lauren will be going to the Museum of Natural History. I want you two to be careful to scan the WWII and Captain America exhibit sections. It's possible that Magneto might be looking for something from that era."]
One of Lauren's eyes twitched at the mention of that era, a slight tingle going through her head, and she shook it off before standing up. [b "Someone needs to give me clothes and a new bra to wear, then."] She declared, and Jean and Storm snickered before leading the shortest woman off. They had to get ready into covert-operating mission outfits as well.
[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.
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