X-Men Evolution NEXT

Irresistible

Early morning Danger Room sessions are always brutal, and this morning is no different. A mixture of smoke and mist fill the main chamber as the sound of heavy breathing and coughing echo throughout the room. External vents open and slowly begin to suck out the smoke clearing the room revealing several of the students as well as the Brotherhood sitting on the floor. The few that remain standing are Avalanche, Cannonball, Blob, Magma and Dazzler. Sighing out with frustration, Avalanche remarks, "That really sucked guys."

Havok picks himself off the floor and says, "What do you expect, dude. No one was watching anyone's backs."

"Hey I was trying." Quicksilver speaks up, "I'm fast, but I can't be everywhere at once."

Dazzler rolls her eyes replying, "No one ask you to, Quickie."

Scarlet Witch sighs out, "All of you, give it a rest! The point is we failed."

"And we got our collective butts kicked." Toad adds.

The rest of the students slowly get to their feet as the main chamber door opens. Allan walks in holding a clip board with his left hand. He is dressed simply in a pair of boot cut jeans and a white t-shirt. The expression on Allan's face is very plain as he shakes his head at the sight of the student's posture. Shrugging his shoulders, Allan asks them, "So, what happened?"

The room falls silent as nobody answers. Allan raises his eyebrows and says, "Ok, I have two words for all of you."

He then holds up his clip board and faces his notes to them. Written boldly for all to see are the words 'GRAND STANDING'. Looking at each of them, Allan asks, "Does anyone know what this means?"

The students take quick glances at each other, but do not answer again. Allan adds, "It means I saw no team work in here. Each one of you was off doing your own thing, there wasn't any cooperation, and to top it off, you were competing with each other."

Lance removes his dome like visor and says, "Allan, there was a lot of us in here, it was hard to keep track of everyone."

Nodding, Allan remarks, "You're right Lance. But that means you guys had the target out numbered. The odds were in your favor."

Discouraged expressions wash over all the students faces. Allan notices and sighs out, "Alright look, I'm not mad at any of you. It's just, I've seen you all do better under much more difficult situations. Yes it's true, I did cram two teams into this large room. But the lesson of this exercise wasn't about winning a single fight, it was about learning to adapt to each other as team. And as a team, you each have to know everyone's abilities, limitations and reaction times. Those are the three things that make the X-men a great team, they all know each other that well. Adapt, improvise, overcome, the three elements to handling any problem."

He looks around the room with a slight grin on his face trying to lighten their moods as he continues, "Don't sweat it guys, I'm far from perfect myself. I've had my fair share of screw ups through out existence. At least here, we can all afford to learn from our mistakes."

Allan's last comment brings smiles to their faces as he looks at his watch and adds, "Let's get cleaned up and roll. Some of you have school in about an hour and half, others have work. We'll pick this up again tomorrow."

They slowly disperse leaving the Danger Room while Allan watches them. He then notices a few of the girls glancing up at him as they pass by giving him bashful cute smiles. Allan smiles back to be friendly, but then notices a few of them giggling as well. Allan's eyebrows raise as his face turns baffled. He then shakes his head as he sighs out and looks up at the command room observation window where Rogue has been watching. Allan smiles at her and asks out, "You don't think I was too rough on them, do you?"

Responding by flipping on the external speakers, Rogue says, "You weren't any rougher on them then Logan usually is."

Smiling, Allan laughs a bit at Rogue's answer and asks, "So, no classes for you today?"

"Nope," Rogue replies through the speakers, "it's some kind of administration day. Why, ya got somethin' in mind?"

"I don't know, I was thinking, may be a picnic, just you and me." Allan mentions with a grin.

Rogue smiles as she replies, "Sounds nice, but isn't it still a little cold for somethin' like that?"

Allan grins as he chuckles, "Not in the Caribbean."

Taking advantage of the free day, Jean sits in bed a little bit longer. It has not been an easy night for her. The sudden surge of power she felt when facing down Nung has kept her mind racing for answers. The sad emotions she felt from the creature were so overwhelming, she was afraid to sleep as she tossed and turned all night. Jean had never felt so much despair and sadness in one being until last night. And for one quick moment, she felt as though she was one with the stars, a feeling that both enticed and scared her. So many other emotions were felt last night, emotions alien to her, yet she recognized them as her own. In those brief moments facing Nung, Jean felt the sensation of being, superior, weightless, and unconfined. The world seemed smaller to her, but that feeling is now absent, as though it had never happened, and now a part of her feels empty. Jean stares at her painting across her room and sighs out quietly. Each painting and drawing she had created helped her deal with the changes she had been going through. They served as an outlet for her personal quest to understand what has been happening to her. But last night's power surge was so driven by emotion, Jean feels she is starting at the bottom again. She has so many questions to Allan she doesn't know where to begin. Jean holds out her right hand keeping the palm upward. She takes a deep breath while closing her eyes, trying to harness the emotions she felt so intensely. Her only thought, to reignite the angelic flames that felt like it could burn forever. But as she draws upon her memories for those emotions, she is unable to recapture the power she felt, and thus creates no flame. Jean's expression becomes slightly frustrated but is lightened at the sound of Scott's voice by her door. He seems to be in the middle of a conversation as his voice passes her door. A smile slowly shines on Jean's face as she hops out of bed and quickly gets dressed.

Pacing slowly back and forth through the kitchen, Hank holds a cordless phone to his ear with his left hand as he multitasks with his other limbs making coffee and buttering up a bagel. Speaking to him on the other end, Charles says, "The research facility here very thorough, Hank. It's attracting many of the world's renowned geneticists, hence the colony's nickname, Genosha."

"Sounds fascinating, Professor." Hank replies with smile, "How is Eric holding up with his injuries?"

"Very well actually," Charles remarks, "I even doubt he remembers he is injured at all with all the excitement around here. Oh yes, I heard from Ororo. She settled her affairs and will be arriving back in Bayville before us. I will have her flight plan e-mailed to you shortly. Now, how is everything back home?"

"Despite last night's skirmish with one of Allan's extraterrestrial visitors, we seem to have a handle on things here." Hank remarks, "All injuries were dealt with and everyone is still on their feet. The students are adapting to their new class schedules with little conflict. Allan, of course, has been taking on the brunt of the work load, even when Logan and I have asked him to slow it down."

Charles replies with a light heart, "Allan likes to earn his keep, Hank. It is just his way trying to contribute."

"I'm worried about him, Professor." Hank continues, "I observed a high spike in his brain activity last night. I'm afraid he has been holding back his powers again. My brain scans are showing an increased level of stress. There is no telling what this level of stress could to him again. With his cosmic physiology being what it is, I cannot even theorize the out come, accept the fact stress levels this high would be fatal to normal human beings."

"Have you informed Allan of your concerns?" Charles asks.

"On several occasions," Hank replies, "but I do not think he is taking this as serious as he should."

Charles chuckles on the other end and states, "Then let him know that I said his health is just as important as everyone else in the institute."

Casually walking into the kitchen, Sean makes a b-line straight for the refrigerator with Scott following just behind. Hank acknowledges them with nod as he continues his conversation with Charles, "Will do Professor, enjoy the rest of your stay."

Clicking the phone off, Hank catches the conversation between Scott and Sean. "So, why the sudden interest in law enforcement, Scotty?" Sean asks.

Both Scott and Sean pour themselves a glass of orange juice as Scott answers, "I'm just weighing the options for my future, Mr. Cassidy. I always thought it was helpful to ask someone with first hand experience."

Sean smiles as he gulps back his juice. He then replies, "I think you may be asking the wrong guy. I'm a disavowed Interpol agent, remember? My law enforcement record isn't quite spotless."

Hank steps up and interjects, "I beg to differ, Sean. I did some research and found your career to be exemplary. Aside from that one bribery accusation, you were a model operative."

Sean smiles and sarcastically says, "And thank you for reminding me." as he rolls into light laughter along with Scott and Hank.

The kitchen comes alive as the students waltz in with their usual chatty bantering. They each prepare a quick breakfast in their own fashion. A handful of them warm up some bagels while others settle for a cup of either chocolate milk or juice. Unlike Fred, who piles on an ensemble of food on a single tray and manages to devour it all with ease. Then there's Evan, who decides on gulping back two cans of caffeine sodas while Todd slips onto the back patio to raid last night's trash bin's gathering of flies. Scott grins at the site of the bustling students and remarks, "It's nice to see things back to normal."

He then notices lots of giggling and whispering among the girls. They all seem to huddle up closer to each other as they whisper and giggle some more. Playfully, the girls each scamper out of the kitchen with eager expressions on their faces. Their antics seem to annoy the guys as they seat themselves trying to ignore the sounds of the whispering excitement. Scott then turns to Sean and Hank adding, "Well, almost normal. Have any of you two notice some weird behavior lately? Mostly among the girls?"

Sean shrugs his shoulders as Hank replies, "Now that you mention it, yes. I have been receiving a bit more attitude from them lately. They've become very secretive and a bit flamboyant, as though they've been smitten or something of that nature. Then again, it is almost Valentine's Day." as he smiles.

Scott nods and says, "You could be right, I guess. Which reminds me, I still have to get Jean a gift."

Hank smiles at him and Sean as he then turns to head out of the kitchen. Walking up the hall from the kitchen, Hank hears more whispering and giggling as he approaches the front living area. With curious expression, Hank quietly walks his way toward the sounds. He looks around the corner to see the group of girls peeking out of the front windows. Each of them, either standing on their tippy toes or simply trying to squeeze into the huddled mass to get a better peek at whatever they are looking at. Completely oblivious to Hank's near hulking presence as he approaches, they each share low tone comments and giggles, continuing to stare out the window. Only able to catch fragments of each of their comments, Hank's expression becomes baffled. "… so lucky." Wanda says.

"… really not thinking of me." Elizabeth mutters out.

Tabitha remarks, "… should've asked for more than just a ride a while back."

"… don't think it can be that serious, can it?" Jubilee asks.

Amara then says, "... not much older than me, why not?"

Not sure of what he is hearing, Hank speaks up, "AHEM." as the girls quickly turn to look at him. Hank adds, "I believe you all have school to attend."

With tight lipped grins, the girls slowly disperse in different directions, leaving the window. Hank watches them with a baffled grin on his face as he shakes his head lightly. He then decides to look out the window to see what they were all gawking at. Much to his surprise and confusion, Hank sees Allan with Rogue out by his jeep. The front hood of Allan's newly restored jeep is lifted open as he seems to be explaining the mechanics to a very curious Rogue. Stepping away from the window, Hank glances to where some of the girls had walked off to, then glances back out the window at Allan and Rogue. In a very soft tone, he mutters, "Weird behavior indeed. Very curious."

Nestled in the office district of down town Bayville, business men and women scurry about the marble court yards trying to gain bearings on this clear cold morning. The various sounds of tapping echo from their expensive shoes as they briskly walk across the pristine walk way talking and chatting on their cell phones. Off to the corner, a few of them walk in and out of some of the many coffee shops that are built into the office buildings in which they work. Some stop in for a quick snack of fresh pastries, others for a hot cup of fresh coffee to start the day with. Not all share the same schedule as some take their time to read or even work on their laptops at one of the many internet stations. Sitting off in the corner of one of the coffee shops, Emma engrosses herself with a small coffee and half folded newspaper. It is one of the very few times out of her day where she can be alone with her thoughts and not be constantly bombarded by curiously questioning teenagers. It also gives her moments to escape from the ever instinctive nose of Logan, who has made it obvious he doesn't trust her. Emma doesn't blame him, she really hasn't given them any reason to trust her. Mystique and Sean vouched for her, but even they do not the entire truth about her. Truths she has been wrestling with since she had been put at odds with the Hellfire Society again. As Emma takes a light sip of her small coffee, she glances up with her eyes to see a dark haired Tessa enter the shop. She remains silent as she watches the brunette gaze about the coffee shop as though scanning the room with her eyes. Turning towards Emma, Tessa grins slightly grins and casually makes her way to her. "Good morning, Tessa." Emma says plainly as she approaches the small round table.

Tessa pulls a chair up and seats herself across from Emma replying, "Good morning, Emma. You are looking fanciful." as Tessa takes a quick glance at Emma's white outfit.

The pair is in major contrast to each other. Emma wears form fitted white business suit with dramatic white make up to compliment it, while Tessa wears a similar outfit, however in black. Her near jet black hair and dark make up also compliments her apparel as they seem to get double takes and quick glances from passing single yuppies. The two women ignore the smiles and stares as they fix their attentions on each other. Tessa remarks, "Not quite the proper surroundings for the two queens of the Hellfire Society to meet. Why the secrecy?"

Emma places her newspaper on the table and straightens her posture as she replies, "I wanted to meet someplace neutral. Telepathic contact is not possible when I'm at the school, no privacy. And I wanted to speak to you alone."

"So it is safe to assume that Sebastian and the others are ignorant of our rendezvous?" Tessa inquires.

Emma's face remains plain as she says, "Unless you've informed them already. Either way, it doesn't matter. I called you here to discuss motives."

"Very well," Tessa answers, "what would you like to know?"

Staring directly into Tessa's blue eyes with her trade mark stone cold glare, Emma asks, "What exactly does the Society want with Allan Paran? What are your motives behind this futile mission?"

Grinning while taking a deep breath, Tessa sighs out, "Honestly Emma, each member of the inner circle have their own motives behind this task. And of course, neither one serving each others. But our common goal is simple, bring his power into our fold."

Emma chuckles saying, "As I said, futile. Then what is your motive? What do you hope to gain from this, a new play thing?"

Tessa smiles as she sits back and replies, "Merely curiosity, dear Emma. Allan Paran's power may be quite limitless, but his human mind keeps him very grounded. I find that, intriguing. You must admit, you find yourself intrigued by him as well."

Adjusting her posture slightly again, Emma mentions, "I will admit, there is great deal of qualities that make him attractive. But his power I've learned to respect. You and I have been at odds with each other since joining the Society. But our goals have been about respect and equality among the inner circle. However, now I sense you are another pawn in this. Are you sure you haven't sacrificed too much to gain your position?"

Tessa's grin slowly turns plain as she answers, "I am no one's pawn, Emma. We do what we must to survive. Besides, we all have our secret agendas. Like you for instance, how long do you plan to keep this a secret from your new found allies?"

"Fair enough," Emma adds as she clears her throat.

With a slight grin on her fair complexion, Emma stands up and prepares to leave. Tessa remains facing forward ignoring Emma's movement. But just before she walks away, Emma stops and glances back at Tessa asking, "So, who is he? Your mystery man?"

Tessa's eyes widen as she replies, "Mystery man?"

"Yes, thoughts of this person slightly surfaced when I asked you the question." Emma continues.

"Probing my mind without my knowledge? Impressive, Emma." Tessa remarks with a grin.

"Only your surface thoughts, Tessa. Again, who is he?" Emma asks.

Sighing out, Tessa answers, "He is what he is, a mystery man. But I'll say this, his interest in Allan Paran goes well beyond curiosity."

Emma takes a deep breath as she realizes Tessa has closed off her thoughts to her telepathy. Breathing out, Emma glances at Tessa and says, "Very well then. Enjoy the rest of your day, Tessa."

Watching Emma leave the coffee shop, Tessa's grinning expression turns slightly sour as she mutters to herself, "I am no one's pawn."

The afternoon sun sits high in the clear sky as an ocean breeze gently blows through Rogue's hair. Overlooking the bright scenery, she closes her eyes to listen to the sound of gentle crashing waves, swaying palm trees, and the chirping of exotic birds all around her. She feels the heat bearing down on her and decides to rub on some more sun tanning lotion. Rogue glances around at the landscape with a smile. Crystal clear water splashing onto white soft sandy beaches with the backdrop of green lush tree covered bluffs just above the shore line. Sitting on a very wide beach blanket, Rogue continues to apply sun tanning lotion on her legs and arms. She looks around again to see or hear anything else around, but is only greeted by the sounds of her tropical surroundings. Taking a deep breath, Rogue continues to rubbing lotion on and around her black Speedo bikini. She feels a slight gust of whistling wind and looks up to see Allan slowly descending out of the blue sky carrying several bags fresh food. "That was quick." She remarks as she smiles.

With gentle touch down a few feet away from her, Allan returns her smile saying, "We're not that far from Jamaica. Hope you don't mind some jerk chicken."

Dressed like a beach bum, Allan sports only a pair of old cargo slacks he converted into shorts with white beater tank top. He places the bags down on the beach blanket and starts to pull out the assortment of fresh food in front of them. Several packs of grilled jerk flavored chicken and fresh fruit spread out before them as Rogue says with a wide eye smile, "Wow, ya went all out. What's the special occasion? Valentine's Day isn't for another few days."

Allan plops himself down next to her and replies, "Does it have to be a special occasion for me to want to spoil you?"

Rogue looks at him with smile of content, then leans in closer kissing him passionately. Their lips slowly part as they look into each other eyes. Allan mentions, "Besides, I have a different surprise for you on Valentines Day."

She smiles and replies, "So do Ah."

With the day shining down on them, the couple spends the early afternoon walking hand and hand along the clear shores of the small private island. Quite the contrast form the cold weather they were in a few hours ago. To, Rogue, the moments are all too good to be true as she can not seem to stop smiling. Whether if its' cuddling up in Allan's arms or sharing mundane conversations with him, she had never felt more at ease than now. Glancing around their surrounding, Rogue asks, "Are we alone on this little island?"

Allan nods with smile, "Yup. This island is a bird sanctuary."

Rogue giggles as they slowly wade through the ankle high surf of the crystal clear shore. The paradise scenery is overwhelming as Rogue leaps into Allan's arms hugging him. "This is so unreal! So this is basically our own private island. We can pretty much do anything we want." Rogue remarks.

Allan raises one eyebrow with a grin and replies in a play tone, "As long as we don't endanger the birds, sure."

With that said, Rogue trips Allan forcing him to fall back onto the white sand. She quickly drops down on top of him and presses her lips against his as they kiss with uninhibited passion. The moment gets very heated as Rogue feels Allan's hands caressing her from shoulders down to her buttocks. But just as they start to surrender to their desires once more, they are splashed by a warm sensation of ocean surf. Crystal clear water soaks them completely as they both gasp out of surprise. Rogue sits up on Allan's lap brushing back her now wet hair away from her face at the same time lightly spitting out the little salt water that got in her mouth. She smiles and mutters out, "That wasn't as romantic as Ah thought it would be."

Spitting up a little salt water himself, Allan clear his eyes with a grin and replies, "Nope, it sure wasn't."

They both stare at each other for a second, then start laughing hysterically. Allan sits up with Rogue still straddling his lap. She wipes the salt water dripping from his face as she says, "Sorry 'bout that. Ah guess Ah read too many romance novels."

Allan reaches up and gently runs his finger through her wet white stripe bangs then slowly caresses her right cheek saying, "Honestly, I think those writers just left out some details in those novels of yours."

He sits up and embraces her tightly as he continues, "Besides, salt adds to the flavor." as he buries his face on the right side of her neck.

Rogue closes her eyes and sighs out as she feels the gentle kisses and the sudden feeling of his tongue running up from the base of her neck to the dimple on her chin. Warm ocean surf splash up against them again in a foaming manner making Rogue gasp out with a wide smile.

Wandering the halls of the Xavier Institute, Remy glances at all the décor that ornate the passes. He thinks to himself how he used to steal from places like this, with ease. He shakes his head as he clears his thoughts approaching the opening front living area. It has been a while since he went off on one of his contract jobs. He never felt any guilt taking from the filthy rich to make ends meet. But if he were to steal now, he is unsure how he would feel afterwards. Remy has tried to wipe his hands clean of his dubious past, but habits die hard. And so he would find himself bouncing from one job to the next. Being at the Xavier Institute has marked the longest he had stayed in one place since he was a boy in New Orleans. As Remy walks down the stairs to the ground floor, he spots Piotr sitting back on one the many couches in the room sifting through a handful of pamphlets and brochures. With curious grin, Remy asks, "What ya got goin' on, Pete?"

Piotr looks up and shows him the brochures. Remy reads out as he looks, "Bayville College of Art, Downtown Fine Arts School, Bayside School of Art… don' tell me you goin' for dat artsy stuff too, Pete."

Shrugging his large shoulders, Piotr replies, "I think it is time I put my energies into something constructive if not creative. We may be mutants, but I intend to make something of my life, Remy."

"So you thinkin' 'bout a art degree, huh?" Remy questions.

Piotr smiles as he glances at the brochures and says, "Hey, I have a knack for that 'artsy stuff.' I'm going to be visiting one of these campuses later this week. You're welcome to come along if you wish."

Remy rolls his eyes and replies, "Oui, sure, why not. Can't hurt to check out de college chicks, I guess."

Piotr smiles and chuckles at Remy's comment as he stands up and heads to the kitchen. Remy sits back on the couch sighing out. Logan's voice speaks up suddenly, "You lookin' for somethin' to do, gumbo?"

Looking towards his voice, Remy sees Logan standing in the shadow of the staircase. "Unless you gotta mission handy, Mr. Logan, Gambit ain't interested in yard work." He says with frustrated tone.

Logan step out of the shadows staring out the front glass door mentioning, "How does a little surveillance sound to ya, kid?"

Remy sits up to see what Logan is staring at and sees Emma's white sports car slowly pulling through the circular driveway. He grins and asks Logan, "Got somethin' against our resident blondie?"

"I know it ain't our style, kid," Logan remarks, "but I don't like loose ends. 'Till she really earns my trust, I wanna know every move she makes. Time for you to put those theiving skills to the test."

Standing up taking a deep breath, Remy grins at Logan and sighs out, "Well, Gambit ne'er been one to shy away from a challenge. Plus, it ain't yard work."

Remy quickly runs up the stairs to the room he shares with Piotr just as Emma walks through the front door. She glances up and sees Logan somewhat glaring at her, then he turns away heading towards the kitchen. She silently takes a deep breath, then trots up to her room.

With the late afternoon approaching, some of the students return from their public school. Some receive rides from either Scott or Jean, who were gladly able to give them rides when they ask. All accept for Kitty who gets a ride with Lance. The silence of the estate is once again disrupted by the excited voice of the young students as they scurry about. Sam and Ray catch some of the girls conversation and watch with baffled expressions. Amara wonders, "Is his favorite color red or black?"

"I heard he likes chocolate, a lot." Jubilee cheerfully states.

Elizabeth ponders and asks, "Do you think he draws nude models?"

Sam inquires, "Who're we talkin' about girls?"

Amara smile and replies, "We're just talking about Allan, guys. Do you know what his favorite color is?"

Both Sam and Ray shake their heads in confusion. Just then Allan and Rogue arrive floating out of the cold sky to the bottom steps of the front entrance. Allan holds onto Rogue and a bag of food while Rogue braces herself against Allan while also holding another bag of food. Gently touching down, Rogue remarks to Allan with a grin, "Wow, now that was some picnic, babe."

Allan grins as well as he playfully replies, "Yes indeed, and maybe next time, we'll actually eat."

Walking up the steps, both Allan and Rogue greet thier friends cheerfully. It's quite a different sight for the other students to see as Rogue is usually withdrawn from cheerfulness. But the couple seem intent on enjoying the rest of the day as they are dressed for tropical weather. Allan still sporting his tank top and cargo shorts while Rogue wears her black Speedo bikini and a white sarong tied around her waist. They are both bare foot but do not seem botherd by the cold marble steps of the mansion. Alex approaches them and says, "Dude, you two smell like salt."

Allan grins and mentions, "We went to the beach." as he glances and smiles at Rogue.

"That is so awesome!" Amara remarks approaching Allan.

"Working on your tan, Allan?" Jubilee inquires with a coy grin.

Elizabeth steps up asking, "So what what were you doing at the beach?"

Allan raises his eyebrows with a surprised and confused expression as Rogue steps between them stating, "That's none of you're business, Liz."

Stepping back with a frown, Elizabeth folds her arms replying, "I was asking Allan."

Rogue returns her frown as Allan pulls her back placing his hands on her shoulders saying, "Whoa, babe, she just asked a question. Liz, we just went on a picnic."

Jubilee smirks at Rogue saying, "Geez, calm down Rogue."

"Being a bit over protective." Amara adds as she and Jubilee strut inside followed my Elizabeth who just turns her nose up.

They all watch the three girls strut through the front door as Jean approaches sharing the same confused expression as everyone else. Alex speaks up, "Man, that was like what happened during our snow baord trip, dude."

Allan just roll his eyes at Alex's remark as Rogue slightly glares at Allan asking, "And what happened durin' your snow board trip?"

Reaching over and playfully and lightly slapping Alex on the back of his head, Allan replies, "Nothing happened, these guys just think something happened."

"Mmhmm." Rogue mutters out as she walks in with a annoyed expression on her face.

Allan smirks at Alex, and remarks in a sarcasting tone, "Thanks a lot."

Alex shrugs his shoulders in silence as he innocently smiles at Allan. Jean sighs out, "Look, you'd better catch up with her, Allan. I'll talk with Amara and the others."

Nodding, Allan picks up the bags of food and quickly struts into the house. As he strides through the front living area, Hank approaches and speaks out, "Allan, I'd like for you to meet somebody."

Allan stops to look towards Hank and sees a young native american man smiling next to him. "This is Forge, he's a friend of ours." Hank remarks.

Holding out his right hand, Allan says, "Hey Forge, nice to meet ya."

With a wide smile and a excited expression, Forge replies, "The pleasure is all mine. Hank told me all about you, I'm honored to finally meet you, man."

Hank starts rubbing his nose and adds, "Forge is an inventor, Allan. I asked him to develope a machine to help scan your physiology."

Allan glances up the stairs then back to towards them as he says, "That sounds great, Mr. McCoy. Can this wait? I have to talk to Rogue."

Sniffing and rubbing his nose, Hank mentions, "Allan, we need discuss certain issues about powers."

Quickly scampering up the stairs, Allan glances back saying, "Sure, ok, you got it, later on."

Forge grins and mentions, "Well, I guess we can started without him."

Hank nods as he sniffs to clear his nose while rubbing his eyes. Forge asks, "Are you alright Hank?"

"Oh, it's just allergies." Hank replies with a smile, "Let's get started, shall we?"

Walking through the hall to Rogue's door, Allan takes a deep breath just before raising his hand to knock. He lightly tap his knuckles against her door calling out in a light tone, "Rogue, babe, it's me. There's no reason to be mad, honestly, nothing happened. The guys keep blowing things out of proportion."

The door slowly cracks open as Allan steps up. But he is surprised to see Kitty standing in the doorway with a grin on her face. In a playful tone, she remarks, "So, what exactly is blown out of proportion?"

Allan backs off chuckling as he replies, "Sorry Kitty, I thought Rogue might be in there."

"I knew you were a hottie," Kitty says in coy tone, "but I never knew how cute you got when get nervous."

A baffled expression washes over Allan's face as he continues backing away from the door. Kitty opens the door completely and poses within the doorway with a grin on her face as Allan asks, "Where did Rogue go, Kitty?"

"I think she went to your room," Kitty answers, "but if you want to wait in here, I won't mind."

Giving her a strange confusing expression, Allan says, "Thanks, but no thanks, Kitty. I think Lance is heading up here, I don't want to bother you two."

Kitty suddenly straightens her posture as she remarks, "Oh, Lance, right. Rain check?"

Allan turns away heading to his room shaking his head with a wide eye baffled expression. As he walks through the halls making his way to the section where his room is, he see Logan passing by him. "Hey Logan, have you seen Rogue heading this way?" Allan asks.

But as he waits for an answer, Logan suddenly swings out with his left arm at the same time extending his claws. He growls out, much to Allan's surprise, but misses seeing that Allan is out of reach. Standing speechless, Allan just stares at Logan with a concerned face. Logan quickly retracts his claws and turns away saying in a low tone, "Sorry 'bout that, kid. I don't know why I did that just now. I'm just not in any mood to answer questions right now, sorry." and quickly walks away.

Allan sighs out and mutters to himself in a low tone, "The hell is wrong with people today?"

Making his way to his room, Allan keeps glancing over his shoulder with a nervous posture. As he approaches his door and reaches for the knob, then hears a loud thump with a shattering sound. He quickly swings his door open but is greeted by a blast of solid light slamming hard into his abdomen. The blast knocks him off his feet and back against the wall across the hall. Allan grunts out loudly as he hits the wall and slides down to the plush carpeted floor. He looks up into his room as he lays on the floor and sees a wide eye and shocked Allison pointing her hands in his direction. She quickly cries out, "Oh God Allan! I'm so, so sorry!"

Allison is dressed in a skimpy baby blue teddy covered only with a silky evening robe as she slides over to Allan and attempts to help him up, but is stopped by Rogue who quickly darts out of the room and pushes her away from him. Rogue yells out, "Get away from him, ya back stabbin' twit!"

Allison gets pushed to the floor with a sour look on her face. Allan quickly grabs Rogue by her shoulders stating out loudly, "Hey, knock it off you two!"

He ushers Rogue into his room and shuts the door behind them rather loud. Struggling out of his hold, Rogue demands, "Let go, Allan!"

Allan releases his hold asking, "What's going on, Rogue? Were you two fighting?"

Breathing out in a hefty frustrated manner, she replies, "Yah, we were. Ah found her in here, layin' on your bed, waitin' for you."

"She was?" Allan asks with a baffled tone.

"Well, apparently, she ain't over you yet." Rogue adds with a angry voice, "And the other girls are startin' to flirt with you now. Ah see it."

Allan's expression becomes one of absolute surprise as he replies, "That can't be right. I mean they all know you and I are an item. Why would anyone of them do that?"

"Ah don't know," Rogue sighs out, "but somethin' ain't right."

Looking around his room, Allan sees some of his belongings knocked to the floor. He bends down and slowly starts pick them up. Allan sweeps the broken glass from a cup that shattered on the floor into a waste basket sighing out also, "Just to let you know, babe, I'm not flirting back. I'm just as confused as you are about everyone's behavior. Heck, Logan lost his temper with me for no reason out in the hall. It's like everyone is all on edge. May be it's a joke, who knows."

Rogue sits on the edge of his bed saying, "Well Ah'm not laughin'."

Allan sits next to her gently holding her hand assuring her, "I swear to you, I have no clue what's going on."

"So what do we do?" Rogue asks as she holds his hand.

"We'll deal." Allan says, "Right now, we could use a good shower."

Rogue grins up at him and playfully asks, "Together?"


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