Lance and Kitty watch from the steps as Hank and Ororo greet a couple of new students and their parents out in the front driveway. A lot of hand shakes and unsure expressions as the newcomers glance around the property. Kitty and Lance wave and smile at the new guests as they pass them up the steps into the main house. Lance glances at Kitty and says, "Wow, more new students huh."
Kitty replies, "Yup, a lot of parents are looking for safe places where their children can learn about their mutant gifts. Now that mutant awareness is like, sky high."
Lance looks up at the sky and takes a breath as he says, "I keep forgetting that this is school. Man, I should've given this place a shot a lot sooner than before."
"You still can, Lance," Kitty adds.
"I don't know, Kitty," Lance remarks, "I might, but I feel I still don't fit. But I'll tell you this, if there is one person here who can teach me something, it's gotta be Mr. Paran. I'm tellin' you, Kitty, he did some amazing things in that fight. He made it look so easy too. And I have a feeling that was just a fraction of what he can really do."
Kitty smiles at him and says, "I'm sure he would love to work with you guys. Either way, I'm glad you're here."
Lance holds her hand and replies, "Me too."
Rogue looks at Allan from across the table with her lips held together tightly. Allan watches her with a grin trying not to laugh. She cracks a smile as she quickly picks up her drink and takes big gulp. She places her drink back down on the table and catches her breath saying, "Ok…dang that was hot."
Allan laughs and mentions, "Well they don't call these super peppers for nothing." As he holds up a red dried pepper by the stem and drops it in a basket on their table.
Rogue wipe her mouth with a napkin as she smiles at him saying, "That's not fair, you're indestructible, and you didn't even flinch."
"I said it once and I'll say it again," Allan remarks, "It doesn't mean pain free." As he takes a bite out of another red dried pepper and continues, "Besides, I thought southern gals could handle a little spice."
"Oh sure," Rogue chuckles and replies, "In our food, not straight up." as she takes another gulp of her drink and continues, "So, now it's your turn."
Allan sits up placing his elbows on the table as he asks, "Alright, what do you want to know?"
"Ok, um," Rogue looks up thinking, "How is it, that you are the only one that can touch me?"
His eyes widening, Allan's expression becomes nervous, "Um…in what way?"
Rogue blushes a bit and replies, "I meant, you can touch my skin, how can you do that without gettin' hurt? I asked the Professor, but he thought it better to ask you."
Allan sits back raising his eyebrows, "That is a good question. I guess my only answer to that would be, I'm just resilient. Like you keep reminding me, I am indestructible. Now I did feel something from you when you kissed me. But to put it simply, you can't take what's mine, unless I give it to you."
"Ah don't know why, but for some weird reason, that does make sense." Rogue adds.
Allan takes a sip of his soft drink and gazes into Rogue's eyes. She slightly smiles and asks, "What're you starin' at?"
He shrugs his shoulders and replies, "Your eyes, it looks like I'm staring into forever."
Rogue gives him Allan a sarcastic smirk saying, "Now that was line if Ah ever heard one."
Allan smiles at her and remarks, "Treat it the way you want, but I only state the obvious."
He looks at his watch and adds, "I gotta get back to my class in few minutes. Do you want come with me?"
Her expression becomes concerned as she asks, "Do you think Ah should?"
Allan takes her hand as they stand up and says, "It'll be fun, trust me. If anything, you will be entertained."
Scott and Jean test their skills in the Danger Room while Hank monitors them from the command center. Jean shields them from harm using her telekinetic ability to create an invisible force field, while Scott uses it as opportunity to blast the targets beyond the protective barrier. Hank communicates to them, "Heads up you two, you're about to move into the next level."
Down in the chamber, Scott and Jean prep themselves for the next attack. All around them small ports in the wall open as basketball sized orbs come floating out rapidly. Each one armed with an equally sized cannon protruding from the spherical body. Scott glances and grins at Jean as he says, "This is the farthest we ever gone, you ready?"
Jean expression becomes determined as she replies, "Just watch this."
She stretches out with her arms and focuses as her telekinetic forces pushes and knocks a few of the orbs out of the air. She quickly turns around and manages to erect another force field just before a large group of orbs were able to complete their ambush. She looks over her shoulder and sees Scott, diving and rolling as he tries his best to out maneuver his floating attackers. Jeans yells out, "Scott, stay close to me!"
Scott manages to dive in her direction into her protective shielding. He breathes heavily as he says, "Thanks, Jean, I need to get my second wind."
All around them the orbs swarm like locust firing their plasma cannons at Jeans force field. The attacks start to become concentrated as Jeans begins to struggle. Scott notices and starts to blast away at the orbs but to no avail. For everyone he destroys, two would take it's place. Jean says as she struggles, "Scott, there are too many of them, I can't focus!"
Her telekinetic field buckles and a few of the orbs attacks break through hitting Scott in the back knocking him to floor by Jeans feet. She looks down and scream out, "SCOTT!"
Jean tightens her fists and as her concerned expression for Scott becomes a glare of anger. Her force field begins to expand outward pushing against the orbs. Then in sudden burst of telekinetic energy, Jean yells out in an echoing battle cry as her force field glows a fiery red exploding outward melting the surrounding orbs in an instant. Above in the command center, Hank watches with wide, and amazed eyes. He tells them as he deactivates the room, "Um… well done you two. Let's call it a day."
Jean slowly helps Scott of the floor as the room resets around them. Scott rubs his back and smiles at her, "How did we do?"
Jean says, "We beat it, I guess."
Scott looks around smiling and says, "Wow, I guess those early morning skirmishes with Mr. Paran really paid off. I didn't know you could do that, Jean."
She shares his smile and replies, "Just takes a little push."
They both start walking out as Jean glance behind her looking with concern. Above, Hank watches them leave with deeply concerned expression. He thumbs an intercom switch and says, "Professor, I believe it's time we have that discussion with Allan. Some thing has come up." as he looks at the power gauge that recorded both Jean's and Scott's power level. He points to part of the grid that shows Jean's energy wave, spiking off the charts.
The classroom is loud with cheers and laughter with the boys on the right side of the and the girls on the left. In front of the class, Rogue and Allan stand next to the dry erase board taking turns drawing phrases and words as they play girls versus boys game of Pictionary. It was a challenge that Rogue couldn't turn down and the two compete rigorously drawing against the time limit, fired up by the cheers of the kids who have to guess what they are drawing on the board. Both of their drawing skills are put to the test as they pull phrases from a hat. The score is tied and it is down to the final phrase in the hat. The time limit runs out on Allan as he fails to get his imagery across to the boys. Rogue however utilizes her time and draws simpler image allowing the girls to guess easily as they all shout out, "Remote Control!"
Allan and the boys groan out in defeat as the girls cheer out loudly high fiving Rogue. Allan steps in front of the class smiling and laughing as he says, "Alright, alright, a bet is a bet. The loser pays up how?"
All the girls huddle up quickly whispering and giggling as Rogue and Allan glance at each other with smiles. Then they all sit up facing front with all sorts of grins on their young faces. The boys sit in anticipation as one the girls stands up looking at Allan and says, "We all agree, that you, Mr. Paran," as she points at him, "should be Ms. Rogue's personal servant for the rest of the day."
Rogue laughs out looking at Allan as he stands there chuckling. The girls clap and cheer while the boys laugh and point at Allan. Rogue steps up facing the class and says, "Well Ah think Ah can live with that, as long as Mr. Paran can."
Allan returns her playful grin and replies, "I can dig that. And to show you, Ms. Rogue, that I am not a sore loser," he lightly takes her left hand and removes her long glove continuing, "I will honor this bet to the best of my ability." as he bows his head and kisses her bare hand gently.
She bites her lower lip lightly as she smiles at the girls, who all giggle with romance in their eyes. Allan gazes at Rogue and playfully asks, "So, what is your first command."
Rogue smiles at him then glances at the door behind saying, " I think you have some guest, Mr. Paran."
Allan looks to the door and sees short rounded man in a full suit and tie standing next to a tall older woman dressed as business executive. Allan smiles and greets them, "Mr. Terrance and Mrs. Roberts, Head Administrators of the Community Hall, always a pleasure to have you come by."
The two administrators both give Allan slight grins as Mr. Terrance says, "Mr. Paran, if we could have a word with you."
"Sure," as Allan walk to them, he glances back saying, "Um.. Ms. Rogue, if you could, please get the room back in order, I'll be back in a minute."
Rogue watches Allan walk out the door with the administrators as she starts straightening out the desks in the classroom. The young students help her as one of the girls asks her, "So, are you Mr. Paran's girlfriend?"
Rogue smiles at the short dark haired girls and replies, "Well, Ah'm not sure. He is my friend."
The girl says, "That's really cool, he's very nice." as she smiles at Rogue innocently.
Allan follows the administrator in to an empty conference room. They each take a seat around a oval shaped table as Mrs. Roberts speaks up, "First of all, we'd like to take this opportunity to commend you for your class's success. It has been one of the highlights of this program."
Mr. Terrance adds, "Indeed, and for someone as young as you are taking on such responsibilities, speaks well for generation I must say."
Allan nods saying, "Thank you very much. But I feel there is more to this."
The administrators look at each other with concern as Mr. Terrance says, "Yes, um…we were told you are involved with the Xavier Institute."
Allan replies, "Yes sir, it is a legitimate boarding school. I also teach art and physical education there. It doesn't conflict with my schedule here, I can assure you that."
Mrs. Roberts adds, "Scheduling is not a problem, it is the type of company you have associated with. In light of recent events here in town, namely the mutant incidents, our administration has been called to screen for possible…um…dangers. The Xavier Institute is known to harbor mutants within its walls."
Allan's expression turns blank as he says, "Yes they do. Young, mutants, as you call them. All of which are very talented I might add. How come I sense a problem with that?"
Mr. Terrance replies, "We have received numerous calls from concerned parents and investors have caught rumors of our program's involvement in the mutant community. I have assured them we are not, and to insure that, we must ask you to end your association with the Xavier Institute."
Sitting up in his chair, Allan looks at both of them and says, "Let me get this straight, you want me to end my involvement with the Xavier school, a school that promotes tolerance and continuing education for young mutants the public has turned their backs on, just so you can have a little piece of mind from a couple of overly paranoid parents and cold shouldered investors?"
Mrs. Roberts is momentarily stunned but finally replies, "Well, not in so many words, but yes. Our staff of security have also identified that girl watching your class as mutant as well. That will not bode well for our reputation."
Allan shakes his head with a annoyed smile, "It's amazing," he adds, "here I thought you two, esteemed members in the field of education, would be open minded to such an opportunity. Instead, I find you both blinded by the same stupidity and rumors that infects the society."
Mr. Terrance slams his hand on the table stating, " , your insults will not be.."
Allan cuts him off quickly, "NO SIR, you insult me! And I will not work under a blanket ignorance you both feel comfortable sleeping in. I quit." as he stands up and walks to the door.
He abruptly opens the door to see Rogue standing there about to knock. She mutters out softly, "Um…I…your class is still waiting."
Allan glances back looking at the two baffled administrators and tells her in a low tone, "It's not my class anymore." as looks at her and adds, "we're leaving."
Charles looks at the information Hank just recorded with from the previous Danger Room session with Jean and Scott. He expression is a bit concerned, but he nods as he says, "It is as predicted, Hank."
Hank asks, "Shouldn't we tell her, Professor?"
Charles looks at Hank in reassurance, "When Allan returns, we will see point on this. His knowledge on these matters is far more then we can imagine."
Logan walks in trying to assemble a neck tie as he says, "Well I hope he gets back soon, I can't be in two places at once. And there are a lot students runnin' around."
Hank smiles at Logan and assists him looping the neck tie perfectly for him effortlessly and remarks, "Nice to see you in different attire, Logan."
Logan sneers and says, "Just tryin' to get a leg up for tonight, I ain't use to wearin' a monkey suit like this. No offense Hank."
Smiling at Logan, Hank replies, "None taken," as he straightens Logan's tie, "there you are, looking as sharp as your claws."
Charles remarks, "Yes, your date tonight with Ororo. Glad to see you both up and about."
"Thanks," Logan adds, "she's callin' it a date too. So why not. Oh yeah, I was wonderin', if I could use your car. I don't think it will look all that cosmopolitan if we showed up on my motorcycle."
"Certainly, Logan," Charles replies, "Both of you enjoy your evening."
Logan nods and grins as he walks out adjusting his collar. Charles and Hank share a smile as Hank remarks, "It is nice to see a bit of normalcy in light of recent events."
Charles turns his attention back to the information on his desk as his thoughts run deeply thinking to himself, 'Is this the calm after or before the storm?'
Watching the late afternoon sun over the bay, Allan leans back, sitting off to the side of his motorcycle while Rogue leans against some crates just in front of him. They both gaze out looking over the sparkling orange colored sun light reflects off the water while sale boats and other water craft casually float by. Rogue look over at Allan with caring eyes. She watches as the light from the bay reflect off his sunglasses painting a dramatic picture as he sits in silence with a calm expression. She says, "Ah'm really sorry you lost your job. AH hope it wasn't because of me."
Allan takes off his sunglasses and replies, "It wasn't you, and I'm not all that upset about it either. I'm more upset knowing that my students are going see another face there instead of mine. Another close minded, butt kissing, hypocrite, willing to do anything just to satisfy the status cuo."
Rogue slightly smiles as she adds, "Ah couldn't help but over hear your conversation in the conference room. Ah know Ah shouldn't have listened, but it was really nice to see you stand for your convictions so strongly. I don't think I ever heard anyone stand up for mutants like that."
"It's just who I am, Rogue," Allan adds, "I can't believe you deal with that kind ignorance on a daily basis. I'd go insane if this happens where I'm from."
"You don't deal with mutant prosecution in California?" Rogue asks.
Allan looks at her with stern eyes and says, "Where I'm from, the word mutant to classify a group of people is non existent. They don't see each other that differently and they are judged on their competence, not their gene pool. Oh sure there are typical problem here and there, but it is not this sad."
Rogue smiles at Allan and says, "Sounds like where your from, it's a paradise."
His expression softens as Allan smiles at Rogue saying, "True paradise is in the moment, Rogue. Looking into someone's eyes can slow down time, and you can have that moment over and over again."
"Just like seeing into forever in my eyes, right." She says sarcastically smiling.
Allan stands up and approaches her saying, "Let me show if you don't believe me. And maybe you'll see the beauty I see when I look into your eye."
He holds her face with both hands, softly caressing her pale cheeks. He gazes into her eyes and softly says, "Don't turn away, and keeps your eyes on me." as he brings his face closer to hers.
Rogue replies softly, "That won't be too hard."
Allan lightly holds the sides of her soft face as they look into each others eyes. Rogue gazes into Allan's eyes and feels herself being drawn in. The world around her disappears into darkness but she still feels Allan's warm hands caressing her cheeks. Then she hears his voice, echoing as though he is distant saying, "I'm right here, don't turn away."
She feels free of the confines of gravity as the ground beneath her feet vanishes. Rogue keeps her eyes fixed to where Allan's eyes were then suddenly finds herself looking into the vastness of space. Clusters of stars, brilliant dancing gases and glowing worlds fill her field of vision. She hears his echoing voice again, "Look further, tell me what you feel."
Rogue gazes deeper as she seemingly floats among the stars and sees a small sparkle of light appear and grow just ahead of her. The light shine differently then the stars around her, it is bright but not blinding, it's alien to her but yet she feels comfortable reaching out to it. It shines brightly over and around her as she feels the light caress every part of being. Rogue feels the light hold her as she breathes in and softly says, "I feel you, all around me."
The light dances around, and through as she feels the ecstasy of energy flow through her body as she floats among the tapestry of stars and planets. Rogue suddenly gasps out as her perception is brought back to the peer she and Allan stand on. Her body tingles all over as Allan still lightly holds and caresses her soft cheeks. She looks back at him as he has his eyes closed with his face still close to her. She removes her gloves and caress his cheek. Allan opens his eyes and catches her gaze as the sun starts to set behind them. Rogue smiles as her eyes start to tear up. She softly asks, "Ah could feel you, all over. Even now."
Allan softly replies, "That's how beautiful you are, never forget that." As he gently wipes the tears from her cheeks.
Rogue asks in whispering tone, "Now what?"
Smiling at her while holding her close, Allan softly says in her ear, "Now I buy you dinner, because I can hear your stomach groaning during this quiet romantic moment."
Rogue laughs as she holds on to Allan. She remarks, "You just lost your job, and you're gonna buy me dinner?"
Allan holds her hand as they walk over to his motorcycle saying, "I know a great place, not far from here, trust me. You'll love the view."
Rogue hops on and holds on to Allan hugging him tightly. Allan looks back at her before putting his helmet on and asks, "Whoa, very nice. You comfy?"
She smiles as she holds him tightly with her eyes closed saying, "You have no clue, tough guy."