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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."]
The small bit of silence wasn't necessarily bad. It was a little calming, really, to have Powerpuff Girls playing in the background while holding a kid and drinking a bear. ...Of course, that calmness was ruined when the mutant-male said what he did, and Lauren found it being her turn to choke on a swig of bear in startlement.
Setting the bear down, she'd look at him in disbelief. [b "What the hell would I even teach?"] She coughed, trying not to be too loud because of Jenny sleeping in her lap. [b "Fucking [i history?]"] Wiping the back of her mouth against her hand, she'd continue to stare at him in disbelief.
She was silent as he went on to explain himself, she biting at the inside of her cheek rather firmly to hold her tongue so she wouldn't interrupt. Her mind slowly flowed backwards over what her standard life was before the past few days, then over the past few days, then over that day up to the current moment. Lauren glanced down at Jenny, around the kitchen, and then over to Scott. [b "...Maybe I'll think about it."] She offered after a few long moments, but that was definitely better than her saying no. [b "The people here aren't too unbearable, I guess,"] she added, smirking at him.
Standing up slowly, keeping careful with the way she held Jenny in her arms, she asked, [b "So where's the squirt's room? Should probably go set her down or something...?"]
Scott actually snorted a laugh. [b "Believe it or not, I think that may only be therapeutic for you,"] he replied.
This time the silence was amicable. It was interesting to see her act so gentle and caring with the kids, when Scott knew exactly how terrifying and powerful she could be. Then again, her protective side was bound to kick in when it came to defenseless children. It was something they had in common.
[b "So we've reached a truce then? I'll stop being such a dick all the time, and you'll join the staff?"] he asked.
Before she could answer, he continued. [b "You do seem like a good fit here, especially with how the kids are all taken with you. I promise that I wouldn't interfere with your classes. Unless I have to. Like if some of the boys try challenging you to a fight and I have to step in so they don't die being stupid teenagers."]
It was as close to an invitation as he could manage. Lauren was good with the children and she had experience with fighting. Even if she didn't take on classes, she would be a great help with training those students working towards joining the X-Men. [b "But, it's completely up to you. I understand if I've sullied your taste of the Institute. Jean made it very clear that my attitude needs an adjustment."]
[i Definitely don't think the beer should be in the fridge unless, like... it's a thumbprint scanning one or something. Make sure the kids can't grab any.] Absentminded thoughts shoved aside for a later time, she accepted the beer and easily popped the metal cap off with just her thumb.
While Scott choked on his swig of beer after her apology, she easily drank her own with no misstepping. Apologizing was hard—let alone twice to the same guy within a week of having met him—but she had genuinely felt a little bad (eventually) for her part in both situations. She might not have been the one in the wrong, but she knew she hadn't been completely in the right leading up the events in one of those instances.
[b "You gave me a beer, so apologies accepted."] Lauren decided, despite thinking his taste in beer was shitty. She held out her hand for his shake, but ended up rolling her eyes at his comment, [b "Just shake my damn hand, Summers."] And with that, the handshake was done, and the conversation took a mixed turn to soft reason for firmness and strength.
Her hand stilled with rubbing soothingly at the sleeping little girl's stomach as she watched him brush blonde curled from a button nose and shut eyes, the short woman just being silently contemplative. [b "...I can't exactly say I understand that, all things about me considered,"] She said, shifting Jenny just slightly so it be a bit of a more comfortable position for the kid to sleep in, [b "But I respect it."] After a few moments of silence, in which the Powerpuff Girls saved the day, she added, [b "Instead of anger management I can just kick your ass whenever you'd being an ass. It'll be better than therapy, yeah?"] And with a grin, the woman softly snickered. She didn't want to wake up the squirt, after all.
He was sure he heard wrong. But when he glanced back over his shoulder and saw Lauren looking his way, he guessed he hadn't. She had called his name. And was...requesting that he join her?
Hesitantly, Scott stepped back in the kitchen. Setting his beer down on the counter, he grabbed another one from the fridge. [b "I think we'll both need one,"] he placed the second can in front of her.
There was a brief moment of silence where neither were quite sure what to say. Thankfully, Lauren broke it first. Scott nearly choked on his beer at the apology. [b "It's fine,"] he cleared his throat. [b "I've been told that I have been quite an asshole since you got here, and Jean made it very clear that I was deserving of the punishment. So...I guess I'm the one who should be apologizing."]
He stuck out his hand to shake hers, but paused and pulled it back. [b "I can shake your hand, right? Your claws aren't going to come out and chop my fingers off?"]
Jenny quietly snored through the entire exchange. [b "These people are my family. This is my home. To say I'm protective would be an understatement,"] he brushed a lock of hair out of the small girl's closed eyes. [b "It was nothing personal. Alright, well a bit was personal, but I've been told I'm difficult to be around for new people. Anger management has been suggested once or twice."]
Lauren's focus might have been divided between the child dozing off with an ice-cream spoon in their mouth, and the television show, but that didn't limit her from being able to hear an oncoming approach.
She wasn't sure who it was, the smells of others still so hazy for her since there was just so many to scent, but the sound of the voice did surprise her. She turned her head, looking over at the laser-eyed male, and watched silently as he went about grabbing a bear. A seemingly... genuine compliment floored her and made her head hurt. Glancing down, and seeing Jenny all but asleep, she came to a rather fast decision.
[b "Summers,"] Lauren whisper-called before he was too far to hear it, and once getting his attention she'd seemed to be searching for something. After a few moments she sighed, and used her only free hand towards the chair next to her at the table. [b "Just sit down, huh?"]
If and when he'd do as asked, the silence would return even as she went about idly rubbing a soothing hand at the sleeping girl's stomach. The duo of adults would watch up to the point of The Powerpuff Girls get turned into puppies before Lauren would speak again. [b "I'm sorry you got reemed out so hard."] The brunette eventually said, clearing her throat after doing so.
To say that Scott faced punishment would be lenient.
It almost felt like he was a student, the way he was stripped of privileges. Hank had been instructed to take over his classes, and he wasn't permitted to leave the premises under any circumstances. The Professor had even gone as far as giving him a written warning to go in his employee file, with clear instruction that if it happens again, he will no longer be permitted to stay at the Institute.
Jean had been sympathetic for all of fifteen minutes. [i "Scott, I love you, and you know that, but I'm going to tell you this only once,"] she grasped his face in her hands. [i "You brought this on yourself, so stop bitching."]
So he'd taken to sulking by himself for a few days. He'd practiced in the Danger Room while everyone was asleep, and had done perimeter checks simply to occupy his time. It was a nightmare.
On the forth night, he'd finished his Danger Room simulation in record time. Still sweaty and panting, he'd found his way through the halls to the kitchen. And came to a complete stop.
The sight nearly brought the ghost of a smile to his face. Jenny, the shyest little thing he'd ever met, looked perfectly content sitting with Lauren and watching the cartoon while sharing some ice cream. Not even Jean had been able to manage to scare the nightmares away from one of their youngest students.
[b "My favourite episode,"] he joked quietly, stepping into the room to open the fridge.
He grabbed a beer and popped the top, turning to them once more. [b "Hide the evidence so Hank doesn't know you ate his ice cream,"] he advised. Pausing in the doorway, he glanced back. [b "Nice job, Lauren,"] his tone was sincere as he exited the way he came, to go and finish his drink in solitude.
[b "I did [i not] ask for anything. You said, and I quote: 'Now that you're warmed up, we'll give you the real test'. You said that [i after] I'd beaten a bunch of levels,"] Lauren all but growled, getting in Scott's face and grabbing him by the collar, [b "And then when your thing didn't work, you came down and just thrusted me into whatever the hell that [i YOUR FEAR] was. I had no preperation or anything. And incase you didn't notice it, in this situation, I was a [u civilian] compared to you. I am not a part of your super-secret boyband of X-Men. So, own up where you fucked up, bub!"] She shoved him back from her, backing up as Hank entered the room.
She clenched her teeth as Charles spoked, the modified bones grinding almost audibly. Though tension was still clear in her body, the level of it induced by fligth and rage had calmed. [b "...Just keep this dick away from me."] Lauren finallyed said, gesturing towards Scott, and that was all.
The short mutant stalked form the room, resisting the urge to slame the door behind her, and left Scott to the fate of stern speeches from Hank McCoy and Charles Xavier.
[h3 Three Days Later — Saturday of March 12th — 11:42 PM]
The past three days had been... far better than Lauren expected. She got on well with all the kids that came up to her—"Like fire to a dry-spell" is what Jean had mentioend out of the feral's earshot just the day before. Rogue was happy, the two having an interesting dynamic despite the adult's personality. One worth marveling a little over by the adult residents of the school considering how small a time the duo had apparently known one another so far.
Mentionign the adults, she got on well with the Xavier's School staff as well....
At least, with all but Scott.
Whom she was ignoring like the plague. Leaving like a bat outta' hell if he ever got too close to her.
It was currently her forth night in the mansion. In her room, Lauren was still wide awake and wearing some sleeping clothes, loaned to her via Storm, that she had changed into after a shower that consisted of a solid black t-shirt and maroon sweat-shorts that ended just above her knees due to her shorter height. The brow-eyed woman was sat up in bed, reading through some research papers Jean had given her, but she froze as she heard the soft pitter-patter of small feet. She dismissed it after a moment, figuring it was a child heading to one of their teacher's rooms, so when her door opened she looked over in surprise. A little girl stood in the doorway, confused, and then blushed from obvious embarrassment.
[#d10012 "Sorry, um... Miss Lauren, right? I didn't mean to bother you—I thought this was Professor Storm's room."] She began to retreat, but then Lauren rose up from her bed. [b "No, don't worry. It's alright,"] The woman soothed. [b "What's your name, kid? How old are you? Also, you don't have to call me 'Miss' or anything else formal. Plain old 'Lauren' will do just fine."] The semi-short woman questioned and declared, gesturing for the girl to come in. After a moment of hesitation the little girl did.
[#d10012 "I'm Jennifer McCrimmon, but I like being called Jenny. I'm seven."]
[b "Well, it's nice to meet you, Jenny. And.... you're seven? How long have you been here?"]
[#d10012 "For almost a year. I got my powers when I was, like, five. Professor Xavier and Miss Jean came and got me themselves.... My foster mommy didn't like me having powers. I have nightmares about it, and that's why I was looking for Professor Storm."] The childs voice had gone very soft, as if ashamed.
Lauren, despite how cold she could act and/or be, felt her heart clench at those words from someone so young. Thinking it be wise, she decided to at least halfway change the subject for the moment. [b "So, you have powers, hm? Can I see?"] That was her gentle question, and after a brief moment the little girl known as Jenny would nod her head. Abruptly she start rubbing her hands together really fast, a slight crackle fill the air, and then as he pulled them about five inches apart a line of electricity would be crackling between her palms.
[b "Wow, that's pretty nifty there, kid.... I bet you have enough control over it to give people a little 'zap' of a shock every once in a while too, don't cha?"] That had been Wolverine's surprisingly playful jest-of-a-question, and the bright grin and giggle she got in return, alongside a nod, was just what she was roughly hoping to produce.
[b "Now... you had a bad-dream. Well, believe it or not, I have nightmares too. Do you know what helps me?"]
[#d10012 "No. What makes you feel better?"]
[b "Hmm... How about I just show you?"]
So thus, twenty minutes later, there were two people settled in the kitchen. One sat in a chair at a table there, the smaller of the two surprisingly sat on the older person's lap, and each were eating straight out of a carton of vanilla ice-cream. And, on the television in the room, an old [u The Powerpuff Girls] episode was playing. If one was to walk in at that moment? Well... it would certainly be a sight to see.
Scott's irritation flared up. [b "You wanted the highest challenge, so you got the highest challenge. It's not my fault that your arrogance got in the way,"] he snipped back.
Charles sighed and rubbed at his forehead. [b "I've been here for years as a teacher, preparing these students for any danger they may face. You've been here for less than a week and suddenly think you have more authority on my teaching methods? I've never put a student in that simulation, and I never would. That is reserved for members of the team, not teenagers and children,"] Scott stood his ground. [b "Welcome to the real world, Lauren. Threats like that exist and we need to be ready. You know nothing about the world we live in as mutants."]
[i "Scott, that's enough,"] Charles stopped him.
Hank entered the room looking curious. [i "I'm sorry to interrupt, but perhaps I could weigh in on the situation?"]
The professor waved him in. [i "I just witnessed this woman decapitate a creature that took nearly our whole team to take down. She is an astoundingly powerful mutant. She could be a great addition to our staff."]
[b "You can't be serious!"] Scott snapped.
[i "Whether you like it or not, it's true,"] Hank remained calm.
Charles watched the interaction silently before raising a hand. [i "Lauren, I apologize for the experience you've had, but I assure you that it is not a common event around this school. Rogue would be in no danger in our classes. Scott will face consequences for this, but you leaving is not in your best interest. That's all I'm concerned about. Magneto is hunting you and whether you want to believe it or not, he can give you a greater fight than you think. He controls metal, which you happen to have in your entire body. Do you really want to chance that?"]
Lauren was seated in the office with Charles, the woman still wearing the sweats from minutes ago. The grey clothing that wore the Xavier's School logo was stained in blood, though the ripped-stomach on her shirt was the worst. She glared at Scott as he entered, still seething, and looked to Charles, who was giving Scott a stern look after the slow drawl to grant entry.
[b "I told you, Chuck, I don't care about [i discussing] this with-"]
[#216bb5 "Lauren, please be resonable,"] Charles asked, turning his stern stare into a soft one as he looked back to the short woman. [#216bb5 "You are in danger if you leave here, and-"]
[b "I don't give a flying fuck about my safety, but I refuse to leave the kid I'm in charge of with someone like [i him]—"] She pointed at Scott, [b "—in a place of authority. If you were smart, you wouldn't let this sexist and misogonyst prick near any kids; boys or girls."] Well... this was a confusing turn of events. For anyone that wasn't a telepath, anyway.
Turning her attention back to Scott, she eyed him up and down while looking still utterly pissed, though not for any reasons that the poor laser-eyed mutant may be able to understand. He'd been in love with a telepath for over a decade, but it was doubtful that the dear Dr Jean Grey had never been so confusing for the male.
It had been moments after Lauren's declaration that McCoy appeared in the room, the fuzzy-and-blue male looking confused and intriqued, as he seemed to ahve ever since meeting Lauren.
He couldn't quite gather his thoughts as he lay on the ground panting after the simulation cancelled itself out at the sound of the bell. He hurt everywhere. Unlike Lauren, Scott wasn't able to heal the cuts and bruises he was now sporting. Looking up to Hank in the observation deck, he knew he had made a mistake by coming down here.
But that didn't mean his pride was going to let Lauren get away with talking to him like that. [b "Don't walk away from me!"] he forced himself to his feet.
[i "Scott, I think it's best to-"] Hank paged down, but Scott waved him off.
[b "Hey!"] he hobbled after her. [b "What were you expecting? That it was going to be easy? You wanted the highest difficulty, well there you go, sweetheart, I gave it to you!"] Jean would slap the shit out of him if she heard him talking like that.
To her credit, Lauren said nothing as she continued her march away, shutting the elevator doors before Scott could catch up to her. [b "Fuck!"] he slammed his already aching fist into the metal door.
[i I will see you in my office. Right now, Mr Summers,] Charles' voice interrupted his frustrated thoughts.
He knew better than to ignore the summons. He forwent cleaning himself off and went straight to the professor's office, cursing to himself the entire way. He paused outside of the door and knocked, hearing the older man drawl out, "Come in, Scott."]
Despite both of the adult mutants being rather skilled, twenty minutes of the grueling situation quickly flew by. One fault of Scott's invention was that the greatest fear was not logical on this level, and actually played to the memory of a terror rather than the actural capabilities of the terror.
In other words; Apocalypse was a powerful motherfucker, and the 'greatest fear' version of him managed to be even more so.
Not that Lauren knew the difference, of course. She was too busy defending herself and knocking Summers out of the way of an attack from time to time. She was new to the whole thing, but she knew the simulation lasting this long was not to be a proper thing. Any fight lasting so long wasn't good, because exhaustion could set in. And for once... she was a little tired, but not from actual exhaustion because it was more mental than anything....
Another 10 minutes passed, and it was (ironically) as the school's bell rang loud throughout all that the simulation would be ended. Lauren was hunched over, an arm wrapped around her gut where blood had been. Usually in the Danger Room, there was the chance to get hurt, but not severely. However, this simultation level was meant to have no limitations, though it was set to not hurt the one who's fear it was.
This, however, hadn't been Lauren's fear. So, she had holes in her shirt and a healed stomach covered in her blood. The reason for this was because Apocalypse had sunk his fingers into her like dough before she'd managed to slice off his head. Now standing tall, and panting, she stared up at the observation room where the children had clearly been dismissed by Dr. McCoy, for that blue mutant was the only one still in there.
Lauren looked over to Scott, glaring, and then stalked out of the room, [b "Teach your own fucking classes for the rest of the day, bub! In fact, teach your own classes for the rest of your [i life], because I'm out of here."] The brunette was pissed. She was very, very pissed. Stalking to the elevator, she had one path in mind as she pressed a button to make the doors close before either of the men could get into it with her.
She was going to see Professor Xavier. She and Rogue were [i definitely] not staying here. The momeny she found out which class the girl was in from that man, she was going to take them both out of there.
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