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Scott frowned at her taunting. It was going to undermine his authority in front of his students. [b "Don't get too cocky, Lauren. It only goes up from here."]
Still, without fail she managed to defeat his simulation. Hell, he'd even upped it a few more levels than he'd told her, just to see if he could catch her off guard. Maybe Jean and Hank were right. She was an asset that they were lucky to have on their side.
[b "Now that you're warmed up, we'll give you the real test,"] he paged down to her, punching in a sequence into the computer.
As expected, the Danger Room acted just as he wanted. Rolling his eyes behind his red glasses, he shook his head at Hank's blabbering. [b "This is the most important simulation of all."]
Turning to his students, he crossed his arms over his chest. [b "It's not always going to be sentinels or other mutants you're going to be fighting. You have to be prepared for any and all threats. Sometimes that threat comes from inside your own head. This simulation is meant to tune into your brain waves, and draw on your biggest fears."]
Scott moved back to the thick plated glass and paged back down to Lauren. [b "Focus on the simulation. Not us. You're going to need all of your concentration."]
He stepped back and took his seat beside Hank, though his posture was much more agitated than the scientist. Scott wasn't lying when he said this simulation hadn't been tested before. It was meant as an extreme challenge to ensure an X-Men's readiness for combat. Still, it was very new. With a past as mysterious as Lauren's, it was hard to say how well this combat challenge was going to go, or if he'd just made a huge mistake.
The rounds woudl go by speedily. Despite the woman's words, and they taking rigorous notes like they'd been instructed by both 'teaching' adults in the room, the group of teenagers still managed to find time to cheer and wolf-whistle and clap in praise of the mutant giving them the demonstrations on the levels.
The apparent ease of at which Lauren was moving for the levels was completely accurate. She had yet to break a sweat, and she had already zoomed all the way through to level ten out of a total of twenty-five. When there was a noticeable pause between rounds she did take that moemnt to relax out of the tensed battle-ready poses, glancing up towards the window in question. Slowly, a grin tweaked her lips. [b "Bring it on, Summers. If you're too scared to test it than I know it might be, in the least, a little difficult."] The woman sassed up to the man, causings Scott's students to snicker and Hank to cover up a laugh with a cough.
The room's lights dimmed, signifying that the simulation was about to begin, and... then the room's lights lit up. Lauren blinked, glancing around. Slowly the re-posed tension of her body in preparation for a fight would ease out of her system.
[b "...Did you break it?"] The short brunette called up to him after a moment, eyebrows raised. Around Scott his students muttered in their own confusions and curiosities, and Hank looked a mixture of baffled and fascinated.
[#0086eb "Is this final level some sort of figurative thing, Scott? A 'the biggest enemy is yourself' type of scenario? Well put, if so, but a little pointless for a battle class."] Dr. McCoy asked of the younger man, turning to him with curiosity on his face. [#0086eb "What is this level meant to do?"]
When they enter the observatory, Scott sees that Hank has already claimed the best seat for himself. [b "You're becoming increasingly more like a fanboy, do you know that?"]
The doctor huffs at him and adjusts his glasses to see Lauren clearly. [i "Don't get jealous, Scott. It isn't becoming of a gentleman. It's not my fault that my attentions have been grasped by a more interesting mutation."]
Cyclops frowns and chooses to wisely ignore the comment. Turning to his students, he gestures for them all to grab a seat. [b "Alright, you heard the lady. Take notes and focus carefully on what she does. Write down what you think she does right, and what you assume she does wrong. You'll get a chance to ask questions after."]
He presses the button for the call speaker. [b "Alright Lauren, we're going to get started. Level one will last until the final opponent is beaten."]
Scott settles in to place, wholly expecting things to go very one-sided. Without surprise, Lauren dominates the AI and remains standing by the end of the round. He allows the students a chance to interact with her and ask quick questions, as well as letting Lauren give a little lesson to them.
[b "Round two,"] he announces, increasing the difficulty.
It doesn't phase him that his students are more enthralled with her combat lesson than his. It also doesn't get under his skin that Hank is taking more notes than the students. What gets to him is that she is single-handedly outsmarting the AI combat levels that he had created. With every difficulty increase, it's as though she barely breaks a sweat.
[i "This is the first time I've been attracted to a colleague,"] Hank mentions off-handedly.
Scott groans. [b "Don't even put that in your head. And she's not a colleague,"] he's quick to shut the idea down.
[b "Alright showoff, what do you say we just put you at the highest level? Even I haven't tested it yet,"] Scott calls down to her.
[b "Oh. So I'm being a show-monkey again? I thought we'd be sparring, Summers."] Lauren snarked with a small smirk, sher glancing up and giving a small, lazy wave at an excited looking Hank that had just arrived in the windowed observation room above.
[b "Now, how long is this class? And hour?"] Lauren asked, moving closer to Scott, and once being given her answer, she'd look thoughtful a moment before glancing over at all the kids. [b "You all got notebooks in your lockers, yeah? Go grab them. Make it fast."] The teenagers hesitated before running off to do so, and once they were gone she returned her attention to Scott. [b "Run through whatever first level you're gonna give me twice, Summers. Have them take notes on both. Then, pause after the second run through."]
The woman gave no explanation beyond that, the teenagers returned, and she'd shoo them and the laser-eyed mutant adult up to the observation booth where Dr McCoy had already grabbed a front-row seat.
The next twenty minutes were filled with two run-throughs of the same situation. The first took thirteen minutes, the second took seven. The first was showy and flashy with numerous strikes, and the second was slow, no showiness, and ended without fanfare. With the second round done the room would filter into a sort of 'parked' and offline mode temporarily, she looking up to the view window.
[b "Now! Based on all the notes you bushy-taled kids took, which method was better? Raise one finger for Option 1, and raise two fingers for Option 2?"] Lauren asked, and Option 1 ended up being the winner unanimously. She only hummed in assesment at first, and then said bluntly [b "You're all wrong. Option 1 is exactly all the things you [i shouldn't] do. To fight for real in case of threat or lethal situation, there is no room for being showy and fanatic. Real life is not a game or a 'hero saves the day' movie. Showiness will get you hurt or worse. What you want in life, however, is proper technique you specialize into your own and to do things quick to end any fight as soon as possible."]
The woman was silent a moment, then continued. [b "Now, for the rest of this I will only be doing the quick, correct route of avoiding flashiness."] Clapping her hands with a small grin, the woman rolled her shoulders before looking to where Scott and Hank were sitting in the observation window, [b "Summers! Feel free to kick it up again. I won't need anymore dual rounds, and make sure they take notes."] Her grin grew a bit more cheeky, she tensing in perparation for the exertion that would come in the remaining fourty minutes of thsi class.
[b "Am I up to watching you try not to get killed? Yeah, I think it'll be the highlight of my day,"] he retorts with a smirk to match hers.
Scott dismisses himself and nearly runs into Hank as he enters the elevator. [i "I hear there is going to be a guest lecturer in your class this afternoon. May I watch?"] Beast doesn't even look up from his clipboard.
[b "You're going to show up anyways. Might as well,"] the grumpy male leans against the wall and crosses his arms over his chest.
[i "She's a fascinating subject to observe. A natural talent for combat. I'm sure she'll beat your session quite confidently."]
Scott nearly growls. [b "Just once, McCoy. Just once can you be on my side?"]
Hank looks up innocently. [i "Where would the fun in that be? See you after lunch,"] he exits the elevator as the doors open to his lab.
Cyclops stomps out and heads down the hall to the garage in the opposite direction. A perk of no morning classes means he gets to work on his bike without disruption. Gathering his tools, he sets the motorcycle up on the lift and rolls up his sleeves.
[i "You shouldn't be hiding, you know."]
[b "Who says I'm hiding?"] Scott replies.
Storm steps in to view and takes a seat on the chair nearby. [i "You've been agitated since our guests arrived. We've all noticed. It's starting to bring down morale, Scott."] Her tone is only slightly teasing.
Scott drops the socket wrench and braces himself on the table. [b "I'm not agitated. I'm...cautious."]
[i "I don't exactly see what threat they pose. Rogue is a bright girl, and I think she's fitting in well here. God knows she needs people like herself around to identify with. And Lauren...she's not the enemy. Don't be afraid of what you don't know,"] Storm crosses her legs and leans back. [i "You have a chip on your shoulder for no reason other than suspicion. Don't forget that this mansion is full of capable mutants. We don't need Big Bad Scott Summers to police everyone who comes through the door."]
He sighs and rubs at his temple. [b "It's not that I think she's a threat. I think she's going to attract trouble. We swore to protect these kids from danger, yet we bring in someone that Magneto is after. That can only bring danger to us all. How can we protect them if we're hiding what he wants?"]
Storm rises from her chair and steps chest to chest with him. [i "Because that's what we do as X-Men. We protect. And not just our own."]
She gives him a playful pat on the cheek and walks away. Scott takes her chair and runs a hand through his hair with frustration. Hours pass as he fiddles away in the garage until he's due in the Danger Room. The class is already waiting eagerly when he arrives. [b "You're all here to learn. No distractions. You're to watch Lauren and try to focus on her actions. What she does right, and what she does wrong."]
He gets a few mumbles of 'yes sir' before he turns to greet Lauren coming through the door. [b "It's a spectator sport today. I'll start you off easy, and then increase the difficulty. If it gets too simple, or too hard let me know and I'll adjust the difficulty settings. We'll be up there,"] he gestures to the glass viewing room.
One thing she really liked about Xavier's School so far? The classes were treated like a college setting and the academic day never began until 10 am, with the needed subjects separated throughout the school week.
[b "So you've been conscious about a day longer than have I,"] Lauren finally began to venture after an hour of just generally chatting with Rogue. [b "What do you think of them? Cause if need be I could bust our way out of her."] The woman cracked her knuckles.
Despite the teenager knowing of the claws hidden within the woman's arms she would still giggle a little. [#9b43b6 "I think they're just fine, Lauren. And the other kids and the teachers are all really nice so far."]
[b "Nice so far? That's good, kid, and I think they're nice so far too,"] She tugged down the sleeve of the thermal shirt she was wearing, and then used her covered finger to tilt the Rogue's face to look properly at her, [b "But if anyone ever starts being 'not nice', no matter what level of it that it is, you wait and talk to me before doing anything else. Okay?"] The woman's tone was gentle yet firm, and when she received a nod she'd grin and the tension dropped from the moment.
The next few minutes would be filled with some gentle teasing and more conversing, but then summers came and re-dropped that load on her. Jean had cornered her earlier and said that it was more than likely going to happen, but Lauren had vaguely hoped that Summers might have been able to convince Professor Xavier against the idea.
He trying to look daunting didn't phase her, and she simply arched an eyebrow and with a grin simply said, [b "Are [i you] up for it?"]
Three-and-a-half hours later, right after lunch, she was grumbling to herself in the women's changing room in the basement level of the school. After all there was [i gym,] and then there was [i hand-to-hand combat]. The school kept the one with violence separated from the rest.
Feeling ridiculous in having to wear the school's female uniform on loan—a pair of knee-length black shorts, and a black t-shirt with a white, circled 'X' on the front, though she would admit the tennis shoes were comfortable—she would walk into the Danger Room two minutes late while pulling her hair into a tight bun on the back of her head. Giving no change for the dark-brown locks to fall free and risk being pulled.
Scott's sour mood carries over into the following morning. He locks himself away in the school's gym and spends a few hours punching a training dummy and lifting weights until he's pouring sweat and rightly exhausted. [i "Everything okay, Scott?"] Beast appears in the mirror behind him, raising a fuzzed eyebrow at the barbell gripped in Scott's hands.
[b "Just peachy,"] he huffs out, working out another deadlift.
[i "You seem just a little on edge for it being only,"] he glances at his watch. [i "Nine o'clock in the morning. Wouldn't have anything to do with our guest, would it?"]
Scott sets the weights down and reaches for a towel to wipe his face. [b "Not that it's any of your business, but no, it has nothing to do with Lauren."] It had everything to do with Lauren. [b "Magneto is striking more than usual lately. I just want to be ready."]
[i "Yes, well, as terrible as that lie is, the Professor is looking for you. I advise losing the chip on your shoulder before you find him,"] Hank smirks and moves to the treadmill to get in his morning run.
Scott drapes the towel around his neck and exits the training room, grumbling about nosy scientists. [b "You were looking for me, sir?"] he announces his presence when he locates Charles and Jean.
[i "Ah, good morning. Yes, I was hoping to catch you before classes start this afternoon. I want you to bring Lauren with you to your combat course. I think it'll be good for her and the students to see something new, don't you?"] Charles' eyes left no room for questioning.
[b "I don't think that's a good idea, Professor. She tends to get the kids wound up. I can't exactly teach when their attention is elsewhere,"] he tries to persuade the older man.
[i "I'm sure you'll figure it out. Why don't you notify her before you get ready for the day. She's upstairs with Rogue. I look forward to hearing how class goes,"] Charles states with authority, exiting the room.
God, he could use another few hours in the gym. [b "Did you say something to him?"] he glances at Jean.
[i "Don't drag me in to your pissing contest with Lauren. I think you're overreacting. It'll be fine, Scott,"] she presses a kiss to his cheek. [i "You heard the man. Go get Lauren and then get ready."]
When he finds her talking with Rogue, looking more at ease than he's seen her so far, he almost feels bad for interrupting. [b "Looks like you're my tagalong for combat training this afternoon. It's right after lunch, in the Danger Room. You up for it?"] he leans against the doorway, crossing his arms over his chest to look as daunting as he can.
The short brunette hadn't been able to get any words in edgewise. Apparently, Summers not only had a permanent stick up his ass, but he was also impatient. He was apparently impatient even while protecting what he saw as, figuratively, 'his territory'. The door to the room she was given was shut, and she was left standing there in silence.
[b "...And now I'm going to hang out with her even more than I originally planned to—and that was already quite a lot."] Lauren muttered beneath her breath, a feral grin tweaking her lips as she scooped up the laptop Jean had given her.
It was time to start trying to understand this culture of the world she hadn't known existed the past fifteen years.
This culture for people like her.
Then again, according to what she learned that day, there wasn't anyone that was truly like her.
[h3 The Next Day — Wednesday of May 9th, 6:59am]
Lauren had found the coffee table, and the food was laid out on the big table. So coffee in hand, she plopped down on one side of Jean Grey. Apparently, her protective manly-man wasn't the earliest of risers.
[b "I don't think your boyfriend likes me."] Of course, that was the first thing she said. The redhead arched an eyebrow. [#bf0d39 "First of all, he's technically my fiance,"] She took a sip of her own coffee, [#bf0d39 "Second of all, what makes you think that?"]
[b "Well [i technically—]"] She rolled her eyes while enunciating that word, starting to slowly make a plate while earning a snicker from the other woman, [b "He told me to 'Stay away from my girl' last night. Does he think I'm gonna kill you or something?"]
[#bf0d39 "He's always been protective like that, so that news doesn't surprise me."] There was a beat of silence as the chatter of the morning meal went on around them. [#bf0d39 ...And he's always been a little antsy about the fact that one day I could choose to go back to the swing-set versus staying on the slide."]
Lauren... had [i not] been expecting that. She coughed on her coffee and both she and Jean fell into laughter.
[b "As fun as that is to know, and how much more I wouldn't mind knowing,"] A playful eyebrow wiggle and a hit to a shoulder for said wiggle would happen, [b "I'm gonna go check on the kid. I'll be back in a bit."] So Lauren hopped up and walked away, prowling on down the length of the gigantic ballroom in search of Rogue and giving a few hesitant greetings to children she thought were far too enthusiastic to see her.
Jean smiled while the feral-mutant walked away, and then cast her eyes on the woman's plate with a doctorly concern. There was barely enough there to sustain a child, let alone someone with Lauren's metabolism. [i [#bf0d39 She must be used to eating so scarcely. That be a 'constantly starving' plate for someone with a normal system, but for someone like her...? This is like fasting.]] Moments later, her worries were interrupted as the Professor rolled over and asked if Scott had come down just yet.
Scott had been in their room preparing for bed when he noticed that Jean was taking longer than expected to show Lauren to her room. He slips a robe on over his pajamas and exits to the hall, tying it closed around the waist. When he approaches the newcomer's open door, his hand freezes right before knocking.
Jean had a look of faint distress on her face, her hands falling from Lauren's temples. [b "Am I missing something?"] he interrupts.
[b "Am I going to have to go all protective boyfriend here, because after what I saw you do to Piotr, I'm not so confident in my chances,"] he tries not to sound jealous.
Lauren's room was the standard space so it had no personal touches yet. He couldn't imagine what exactly she would do to make it her own home, but he assumes it would be nothing less than dangerous. [b "Home sweet home, huh?"]
He crosses the room to run a hand along Jean's back. [b "We should get some sleep. Early morning tomorrow."]
Jean turns to give Lauren a small smile. [i "Goodnight. We'll see you at breakfast."]
She exits the room without another word, leaving the two alone in silence. [b "Do I want to know what I just walked in on, or is it better to just stay ignorant to it?"] Scott breaks the peace.
She is, for all intents and purposes, a stranger. Seeing his girlfriend startled by something is enough to put him on defense. He knows that at the moment he doesn't look intimidating, with a blue bathrobe over his pajamas, but he tries to look as stern as possible. [b "Try to get some sleep. We'll figure out what we have to do next tomorrow. Goodnight."]
He turns to leave but hesitates in the doorway. [b "And Lauren? Stay away from my girl."]
Lauren was... honestly not expecting the reactions that came from the large, nearly 100-count of children in the room. Then again it was a room filled of children with powers—of mutants—and she had never been among so many young that weren't "normal" before.
[b "All fixed. Next time, when someone says 'light', don't be cocky. Actually do that thing lightly."] The woman turned her attention to Piotr as the kids continued to babble and gossip of various things her hearing easily picked up, she patting his healed palm with a smile. The large teddy-bear of a teenager was looking at her almost shyly, but then nodded his head with a bashful smile and went back to his seat. Bobby and John throwing some friendly jibes at him until the Professor and Dr McCoy called for them all to settle down.
The short, feral mutant female moved back to her seat on the left side of Scott . The man's words made her arch an eyebrow, and quite honestly she was unsure of how to take that little bit of news of being an army of children's new-favorite-thing.
A few hours would easily pass, and of course the school were all winding down and preparing for bed on some level. This meant that the 'guest who should be treated with as much respect as a teacher' would be winding down as well.
[#bf0d39 "So what do you think of the room?"] Jean's voiced piped up as the redhead returned, causing Lauren to look over at her from where she'd poked her head into the personal bathroom. [#bf0d39 I have that laptop for you, by the way."] Indeed, there was a little, slick, black laptop under the doctor's arm.
[b "It's bigger than anything I've ever owned room-space wise. My truck itself was bigger, in the least."] The short brunette replied, coming over and accepting the laptop, [b "So this has all the medical stuff you and Fuzzy Lumpkins got on me...?"] Lauren could see Jean bite the inside of her cheek, grinning herself at seeing the taller female fighting off a smile. [#bf0d39 "Yes, it does,"] Jean said. After a second she added, [#bf0d39 "I've put a large chunk on genetic research that Hank, myself, and a few 'secret mutant scientists and doctors' have done on there over the years as well. To make sure you understand some of the terms in there; Class 1 to Class 5, natural mutation versus induced, and a few other things along those lines."]
Lauren nodded her head, setting the laptop down on the edge of the bed with the set of sleep clothes that the white-haired female, Storm, had brought for her to change into whenever she was ready to get properly comfortable. [b "So... where do you sleep? This is the teachers' floor, right?"] The brunette asked, glancing over at the taller woman with an arched eyebrow.
[#bf0d39 "Two doors down with Scott."]
[b "Is that another of your powers? Putting up with him?"]
Jean smirked, rolling her eyes. [#bf0d39 "I'm only a telepath and a telekinetic—the latter means I can move all kinds of things with my mind. Even people."]
[b "And... telepath means you can read minds like the Professor?"] Lauren prompted, and once getting a nod from the other female she moseyed on over. Standing right in front of the other she asked, [b "Wanna read my mind?"]
[#bf0d39 "I don't think I should. I'm not that skilled."]
[b "What? Are you—"] Lauren did a slight shoulder-shimmy with a cocky grin— [b "afraid you'll like it?"]
[#bf0d39 "I think not."] Jean snarked back without missing a bit, though amusement was clear on her face. There was a moment before the taller of the two mutants relented, touching hands to the temples of the shorter on in front of her. Lauren's eyes closed in response.
Lauren didn't know this, but Jean was lost in endlessly flickering snippets of dark, green tinted scenes, sensations of excruciating pain, the sounds of hours blaring, explosions, gunshots, grief, a baby's cries cutting off, and finally another gunshot.
Neither of the two women knew this, but they were like that for nearly ten minutes before Jean startled out of the connection. The two females having gone from having two feet between them to nearly being flushed, the taller tucked over the shorter and forehead nearly touching from the concentration that had happened.
[b "What you see?"] Lauren asked, voice almost softer than a whisper. [#bf0d39 "I... I don't...."] Jean trailed off, voice shaken and unsure and that didn't really give Lauren any peace of mind at all.
[i "Oh god,"] Scott slumps in his seat, pressing a few fingers against his temple.
Leave it to the class clowns to try and get Lauren to fight Piotr. Thankfully, the Russian was a giant teddy bear. He was more polite about it than anyone else would have been. Scott is actually impressed with how Lauren is handling the situation.
Until the teen cuts his hand. [b "Alright, no more dares. Don't look at me like that, you knew she'd take the challenge!"] Scott glares sternly at the two boys.
[b "If she can cut Piotr, imagine what she could do to you if you make her mad,"] he warns them, though Jean adds, [i "She won't hurt any of you."]
Hank, on the other hand, is on his feet clapping at the demonstration. [i "Bravo, my dear, bravo!"]
[b "Your fanboy is showing,"] Scott snorts, earning another kick by Jean.
[i "Students, settle down,"] the Professor tries to regain control of the dinner hall.
The kids are all staring in wonder and awe at Lauren, as though the holy grail was placed in front of them. Their murmuring hasn't stopped, and Scott can catch little blurbs here and there.
[i "Could she take on Magneto?"]
[i "Is it weird that I'm attracted to that?"]
[i "Mom and Dad aren't going to believe this."]
Hank finally bellows out a warning, drawing the group to silence. [i "Now,"] Charles continues. [i "Remember that Lauren is here as our guest. She is not to be pestered, so if she refuses any of your questions or challenges, then I do not want to hear complaining. She is to be respected and treated as one of your teachers."]
[b "Welcome to the club. You're their new favourite thing,"] Scott teases Lauren as she returns to her seat.
The two boys, whose names were apparently Bobby Drake and John Allerdyce according to helpful input by Doctor Grey, bickered beneath their breaths a few moments more until, finally, Bobby was the one to stand up. [#0ac2b8 "Do you think that you could beat Colossus in a fight?"] Many seemed interested or disappointed from that being the first questioned asked... however one seemed startled, and that was a rather muscled looking teenager who had just placed a bite of cake into his mouth.
[b "I'm guessing that this 'Colossus' is your nickname then, big guy? What's your actual name?"] Lauren asked, moving from her seat near the head of the table to where the teenager was. [#455d73 "Uh... yes, g-zha. A nickname. I am Pitor Rasputin."] The boy replied, moving to stand up and the woman found her eyebrows raising for two reasons. The first reason was the amount of height the boy had on her, and the second was for the slight accent and foreign word that left his lips. [b "Russian, huh? What's your power that makes those boys—friends of yours I'm assuming—want to know if I can take you in a fight?"]
The boy grinned, and a moment later he was a shiny, walking being of metal. It startled her a bit, eyebrows shooting up, but then she smiled as the boy began talking, [#455d73 "My body is like missile-proof metal in this state, and if I touch lesser metals I can replicate them. Not exactly a benefit, but if I need to avoid a giant magnet being copper helps out."] The boy shrugged, causing a few of the hundred or so kids scattered around the table to laugh or snicker.
[b "Hmm... Impressive."] The woman complimented, and then pointing her hand up and between them, she brought out one of her sets of claws in less than a blink of an eye. This caused gasps among the students. [b "Give one of 'em a poke. A [i gentle], and [i extremely light] kind of poke."] The teenager looked at her before reaching out a hand and doing just that with the palm of it, rather than a finger.
Which was a good thing because his touch hadn't been as light as needed.
[#455d73 "Der'mo!"] Pitor cursed as he shifted back into his normal form, cupping his bleeding hand to his chest. [b "I told you to touch [i lightly]."] Lauren said, her voice almost... gently scolding which was odd to hear come out of her considering how much snark and sass she seemed to just naturally embody. [#455d73 "That was a light touch."] The boy replied, still holding his hand against his chest.
Lauren sighed with a slight shake of her head before holding a hand up at the worried table of children and adults. [b "It's alright, it's alright. I got this little accident. Doctors Grey and McCoy, however, I think you'll probably want to watch this. You should know that what I'm about to do only works for minor injuries where open wounds are involved though."] The short brunette spoke almost vaguely, grabbing Pitor's hand in one of her own to examine the damage. It was an inch-long gasp and near a centimeter deep into the teenager's hand. [b "That was [i not] a light touch, but hey, at least the question got answered huh?"] The woman tone was firm at first but morphed into a gentle tease, causing the hulking wall of teenager to blush slightly and she offered a smile. She popped out one of her claws, pressing it into the palm of one of her own hands and holding it in the flesh before moving it to... drip down on Piotr's wound. Only a few drops before she retracted her claw and let her own wound heal, and then a few moments later she licked one of her thumbs and wiped away at the blood that had stained the Russian-born teenager's hand and now... nothing was there beyond the red staining. The wound was gone.
Hank lets out a booming laugh at the newcomer's wit. [i "You make an excellent point. Perhaps we should set aside an entire chicken for just yourself? Maybe an entire table while we're at it."]
He reaches over and nudges Scott. [i "You'll have your hands full with this one, Summers. You may have met your match. The king of sarcasm might get dethroned!"]
Cyclops grits his teeth and edges away from Hank's hand. [b "I'm not the king of sarcasm! People just don't get dry humor."]
Hank rolls his eyes and pretends to whisper dramatically to Lauren. [i "Even the Brits would find his humor a little too dry."]
Scott opens his mouth to interject but Jean kicks his shin under the table, motioning to the Professor. They listen to his brief speech and then turn their eyes to Lauren as the students bounce eagerly in their seats.
To her credit, she doesn't seem phased at all. Rogue had politely declined, but Lauren seemed ready for any question the kids may throw at her. [i "Let's keep it appropriate, shall we?"] Jean stares at one of the male students, who flushes a deep red and lowers in his seat.
[b "You don't actually have to answer anything if you don't want to. Some of them have no filter, or just have no concept of boundaries,"] Scott informs Lauren diplomatically.
[i "We don't all have innocent ears, Summers,"] Hank smirks from his chair. [i "Afraid to hear something that may not be pg?"]
[b "I will dye your fur orange, Fuzzball,"] Scott threatens in return, once again receiving a kick from his girlfriend.
[i "Down, boys. Whenever you're ready, Lauren,"] she encourages.
Scott watches the students with a strict eye, though they only see their reflections in his glasses. He catches sight of the boys giggling to themselves, and notes that they've drawn Lauren's attention. [i Oh god, please don't be idiots,] he wills them internally.
Lauren had never been one to censor her tongue when it came to witty comments or being a smart-ass in general. She had taken a bite of a piece of meat—it was some part of the dark-meat of the chicken, maybe a thigh—but even with that she couldn't resist saying something after Doctor McCoy's. Swallowing her food, she said, [b "By that logic, big guy, shouldn't I be eating even more than you? You and the good Doctor Gray said it yourselves; carrying around twice my own body-mass and all. Shouldn't I be eating even messier than you by that logic you're spewing?"] She grabbed a roll, biting into it as she looked at the blue scientist with wolfish smirk.
The rest of the dinner itself was rather uneventful, but was dessert was brought out for all was when things got a little bit interesting. Professor Xavier proceeded to introduce Lauren and Rogue, giving them the choice to be open to any questions the others may ask. Rogue opted out, which none of the kids seemed to mind. Once that happened, all eyes had turned towards the feral-mutant and she stood momentarily, remembering back to an earlier conversation in the day with a specific group of kids when Summers had brought her to see the kid she came in with.
That brought her to the current moment, as she glanced at all of the interested faces of children of various ages, and huffing a silent sigh she'd nod her head at the entire large group before glancing at the Professor. [b “They're free to lay into me, question wise. I don't mind.”]
How many hands that shot up honestly surprised her, but noticing two vaguely familiar faces her eyes lingered on them. Squinting at their expressions and the vague hints of whispering in it. The devious expressions on one of the boy's faces definitely peaked her interest. [b “One of you two can go ahead first. You seem so heated in whatever you're whispering about, so whatever it is, go ahead and ask it.”] She gestured to the two teenage boys, and she didn't understand why some of the kids nearby snickered after her words.
Scott glances Jean's way before looking behind himself. [b "What the hell?"] he frowns, not seeing Lauren.
[i "I know she's small, but she can't be that hard to keep track of,"] Jean teases, not concerned in the slightest.
[b "She was right behind me! I swear, she's worse than these kids,"] he crosses his arms over his chest defensively.
When the newcomer finally enters the dining hall, he breathes a slight sigh of relief. He didn't feel like getting on the professor's bad side today. [b "See?"] Scott smirks at Jean. [b "Not lost."]
He wanders over to Lauren and raises an eyebrow. [b "How exactly did you lose two-thirds of your pants in the ten minutes you've been wearing them?"]
Closing his eyes, he shakes his head. [b "Actually, I don't want to know. It's better if I don't. Let's eat."]
Taking his seat next to his girlfriend, Scott settles back and waits for their mentor to join them. Sure enough, at precisely six o'clock, the large doors open and the professor wheels in. [b "He'll introduce you to most of them after dinner. Once food is put on the table, these kids hear nothing until they've stuffed their faces,"] Cyclops mutters to Lauren, seated on the other side of him.
[i "Glad you've decided to stay. I hope you're hungry,"] Charles smiles at her as he moves to the head of the table. [i "Dig in, before it starts getting cold."]
Before the words are out of his mouth, Hank has already reached in and pried the leg off of the roasted chicken, ripping it apart with one bite. [b "We don't all have table manners,"] Scott drawls playfully.
[i "Mr. Summers, I carry around an additional ninety pounds of fur during the day. I need the extra calories for energy. If you wish to try this, I have a weighted vest you can haul around for twenty-four hours. If not, I suggest you let me eat in peace,"] Beast retorts smoothly.
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