Two weeks into the new program, and Allan picked up the routine like a charm. Every morning he would get up and a have a work session with either the X-Men or the younger students, late morning to early afternoon he would drive out down town and teach art and music at the Community Hall. Then he come back in the late afternoon and have another session with the younger students. Quite a busy schedule, but it helps keep him on his toes. But routines give birth to other routines and the students of Xavier Institute notice a few things about their new instructor. And just like a school, imaginative rumors slowly spread.
Late in the afternoon, three of the younger student lounge out relaxing after a another workout in Danger Room. Amara, Ray, and another student, Jamie, lay out under one the many trees out front. The sky is clear as the late afternoon sun starts to hide behind the horizon of trees. Jamie breathes out, "Man that was a tough one today."
Amara adds, "I know, I've never played chess with powers before. It was kind of neat."
Sighing out Ray says, "Easy for you say, I was power all the lighting effect and score board with my bio electrical powers, I'm wasted." as he lays back on the grass.
Giggling Amara remarks, "Well, it wasn't easy for Jamie either. He had use his powers to make multiples of himself to cover all his pieces."
"Yup," Jamie says, "and I know it wasn't easy for Amara trying not to burn or melt anything with her lava sculpted pieces."
Ray adds, "But it looked really cool from my vantage point."
"Really," Amara asks, "you think so? I never thought I could be that creative with my powers."
Jamie grins and says, "Mr. Paran said I got what it takes to be actor."
"Come on dude," Ray remarks, "they won't let a mutant be an actor, not ever."
Jamie says, "How do you know, today I played a king, a knight, and a bishop." as he stands proud.
Ray adds, "Dude, you also played a queen."
Jamie smirks at him as Ray and Amara laugh together. They look up and see Allan walking to his jeep carrying a long leather case. He carefully places the case in the back seat, then hops into the driver's seat. Ray mentions, "You know, Mr Paran goes out almost every other night. Then he comes back really late."
Jamie says, "Yeah, but he's always wide awake for those early morning Danger Room sessions."
"You know what I heard," Amara adds, "He has been spending an hour every other day with the Professor in the Danger Room by himself."
Jamie's expression get excited as he says, "I bet he's some kind of ultra cool superhero at night, saving lives and striking fear into criminals throughout Bayville. And the Professor is secretly training him while he's here." And starts acting out some cheesy karate moves.
Ray throws a pebble at Jamie and says, "Don't be a dork."
Amara giggles again, then notices Rogue walking up from one of the gardens with a book in her hand. Rogue smiles and Amara waves her to come over. "Hi guys, how's was your session with Allan today?" Rogue asks.
Amara says, "It was fun, I'm feeling so much more in control."
Rogue smiles at her, then looks up as Allan drives pass them in the drive way. As he rounds the curve in directions he waves and smiles just before throwing his jeep into gear and speeding out the opening gates. Rogue slightly waves back smiling herself.
"Hey Rogue," Amara adds, "What does Mr. Paran do at night?"
Rogue gives her a baffled stare and asks, "Why're you askin' me?"
Amara continues, "Well I thought you two were close and stuff."
Sighing out, Rogue says, "Ya thought wrong, Amara. We're just friends."
Tilting her head, Amara asks, "Well, didn't you two kiss in the Danger Room?"
"Ah was tryin' to absorb his powers!" Rogue darts out, " And even if we did kiss, it's not like it's any of your business."
Ray chuckles, "A little defensive there, Rogue?"
Rogue rolls her eyes, "It's not like I enjoyed it, I'm outta here." as she walks off towards the main house.
Jamie leans up against the tree saying, "Oh yeah, she's got it bad."
Ray throws another pebble at him saying, "What do you know, stop being a dork."
Inside, Scott leaves the rec room after playing Kurt in an intense game of air hockey. He makes his way towards Jeans room stretching his playing arm smiling and shaking his head thinking to himself, 'Why do I let Kurt talk me into back to back sudden death matches. My arm is killing me.'
Then a Jean's voice echoes in his head, 'That's because you're a very competitive guy, Scott Summers.'
He walk into her room saying sarcastically, "Gee, thanks Jean, my arm feels much better."
Scott then stops dead in his tracks as enter Jean's room and mutters out, "Whoa."
Her room covered with painted canvases. Images of stars and other celestial scenes cover her room as she turns and looks back at Scott. She smiles and giggles a bit saying, "I know it looks kind of weird. I didn't realize I had so many until yesterday. Watch your step."
Scott carefully steps around and over her paintings as he smiles with a curious expression.
He says, "So now you're picking up painting?"
Jean giggles again as she replies, "I could capture my imagination with colored pencils, so Allan suggested paint."
"Well, these are pretty good, lots of stars." He says.
"I saw a meteor shower a while back. It was so inspiring, I had to see it again." Jean remarks.
Scott says, "So you started painting them?"
Jean smirks and grins at him as she says, "I never realized how beautiful the stars really were until that night. And I never realized how much I love painting until I started three days ago."
Scotts expression becomes surprised, "Wow, you painted all these in three days?"
Jean says, "I know, I don't even think there that good."
"Are you kidding," Scott adds, "these are terrific. Perhaps you should think about displaying them in a gallery or something."
"You think so, Scott? Jean asks.
Scott replies, "Yes I do think so. Allan may have some artsy connections, maybe he can help."
Jean tries to hug Scott, but they laugh as they realize they are surrounded and blocked by her new hobby.
Walking through the front door, Rogue is lost in thought. She clutches her book close to her chest with a blank stare as she crosses the hall to the living area. So lost in her thoughts she fails to notice the icy pranks Bobby is playing on the other as she is suddenly hit in the face by a very cold and large snowball. Rogue just stands there in silence as Bobby, Kitty and Kurt approach her cautiously. Bobby speaks up first, "I am so sorry, Rogue. Please don't be mad. I...uh."
Kitty quickly grabs a hand towel and starts drying off Rogue frantically as she says, "Rogue are you ok? We're like, really sorry."
Rogue remains silent with a surprised blank expressions on her face. Kurt looks at her with concern and says, "Rogue? um..sis? Ve vere just goofing off. Ve didn't mean to.."
Rogue interupts in a very low tone, "Don't ...touch me." She adds, "Very...cold, I'm going ...out."
She storms off up the stairs as Kitty follows her quickly. Kitty tries to plea with her, "Please Rogue, we didn't mean for that to happen. Come on, please don't be mad. Wait up."
Rogue keeps walking as she rants, "It wasn't just cold it was hard, cold and hard, and Ah swear if Ah get a bruise on forehead Ah'm ringin' someones' scrawny neck Ah need to get out need to get away for at least a couple hours...now."
She stops at Jean's door and looks at Kitty asking, "Is Scott in there?"
Kitty shrugs her shoulder and says, "I think, I mean I guess."
Rogue knocks then quickly opens the door saying, "Jean, Scott, sorry to barge in like this, but whoa..."
Scott and Jean quickly break their intimate embrace and straighten their clothes. Scott face all red and blushing says, "whoops sorry about that, we were just um...well. Wait a minute, why are we apologizing?"
Jean looks at Rogue plainly and asks, "What can we do for you Rogue?"
"Ah'm really sorry guys," Rogue adds, "Ah just wanted to borrow one of your cars for a couple of hours."
Scott asks, "What, why?" as he looks also at Kitty.
Standing behind Rogue, Kitty quietly gestures with her hands not to argue. Scott mutter out, "Um...ok, sure Rogue."
As he tosses her his keys.
Rogue grins at them and says, "Thanks, I just wanted to get out for a bit. I'll bring it back. Later." and walks back out the door.
Kitty looks at Scott and Jean smiling innocently. Scott asks, "What was that about, Kitty?"
Looking at Scott in embaresment, Kitty responds, "Bad day I guess, we did kind of hit her with a snowball by accident."
Jean adds, "I think we should let her blow off some steam. I sense there more bothering her than just a cold wet shirt."
Scott mumbles out, "Blowing off steam in my car, great."
The night sky blankets over Bayville as the sun finally sets. The moon shines brightly, shimmering over the city illuminating the cloudless night sky with a pale angelic glow. With the wind flowing through her hair and the top down on Scott's convertible, Rogue feels a sense of freedom as she drives into town. She circles around a bit, unsure where she wants to hangout. She thinks about her regular haunts, the local music shop, the thrift store up the street, even her favorite book store all don't seem to spark any interest in her this night. The slowly drives by some local clubs thinking she is not quite old enough to get to some of those. Mostly college students hang out at these spots. There is one club she has always wanted to check out, she heard they play pretty decent music for a local scene, and there is no cover charge. So she parks Scott's car a block up and walks back down to the club. She glances at the nifty sign and reads 'The Cubical'.
She begins walking across the street to the club then she notices the crowd build up. Considering the nature of her powers, she thinks it may not be a good idea to in a crowd that big. With a disappointed look, Rogue looks around and spots a quiet little coffee shop just across the street from 'The Cubical', and decides to head there instead. She opens the door and the scent of fresh coffee beans fill the air. She seats herself at the window facing the club as she watches people showing their ID's at the door. Some of them get a stamp on their right hands, other get stamped on their left meaning they can go in but they can't drink. Rogue sighs out as she continues watching, then a voice says, "All alone, chere?"
She turns quickly and looks to see Gambit seating himself across the table from her.
She give him a blank stare and asks, "What're you doin' here Remy?"
He grins as he sits back making himself a bit more comfortable saying, "Just passin' through. Was about to leave before seein' you walkin' down da street all dressed to kill. You lookin' for somethin' or someone, chere?"
Rogue looks out the window and replies, "Felt like getting' some fresh air, that's all."
Gambit looks out the window as well as he remarks, "So yo wanna hit the da club scene do ya?" as he smiles.
"Not really," Rogue says in a low tone, "Ah was just lookin' for a change."
Gambit chuckles and says, "Well it looks like you ain't da only one." as he points out the window. He continues, "I guess your new boyfriend doin' da samething."
Rogue looks out toward the club and sees Allan walking with a group people, three guys and a strawberry blonde haired girl who seems to hang off his arm like decoration. They all walk into the club in front of the crowd, as Allan shakes hands with the bouncer.
Gambit notices Rogue's blank expression turn into a slight glare as he adds, "Why don't you and me check dis out?"
Rogue darts him a glare saying, "What, no, why would I want to?"
Gambit gazes at her and says, "Curious, chere. Come on, it be fun."
They stand up and head over across the street to the club. They show their ID's once getting to the door. Gambit get stamped on his left hand as Rogue gets stamped on her being careful not to touch the bouncer. Then she quickly slips her glove back on and follows Gambit into the fairly lit club. Loud music blares throughout the club as the room opens up. She and Gambit find an empty round table out on the floor and perch themselves looking around. On one end of the club was an alcohol bar, and on the other was a regular soft drink bar. The inside seems a lot bigger then it does on the out side. A second level has balconies that reach out over the main dance floor that's only a few tables away from theirs. All around them groups of young adults from all walks of life either dance or chat up a storm. On the balconies, groups of barely dressed preppy girls bump and grind as they flirt with the guys below. Gambit smiles as he looks at the action inside saying, "Quite da scene, no? So, where dis boyfriend of yours?"
Rogue brush her hair back replying, "He's not my boyfriend! What's it to you anyways? What, you and Magneto still after him? Or is this somethin' personal?"
Gambit just smiles and says, "Da boss still after him, but not tonight."
Suddenly the music dies down as the disc jockey says over the speakers, "Alright ya'll, tonight we rock da house!" as the crowd responses loudly, "ROCK DA HOUSE!"
The DJ continues, "Aw Yeah! Now let's give it up for The Cubical's favorite guitar rockin' sensation, Inside Job!" as the crowd roars out in excitement.
Lights shine out over the stage in front of the dance floor as the sound of guitars blare. The crowd gets even louder as the lights flash brightly and the band bursts onto the stage. Rogue and Gambit stand up looking over the crowd grinning at each other. Rogue looks up on stage and says, "Oh mah Gohd!" as she sees Allan with a guitar in his hands singing lead, in a harsh hard rock tune. He works the crowd and the stage as he dazzles them with his guitar solos. Lighting effects seemingly appear out of no where as the crowd dances anywhere in the club they can. After the first three sets, Allan gesture to the crowd and the band saying, "Whoa whoa people! I wanna introduce you to somebody.
Now they say chicks can't rock as hard as guys, well they were wrong! Watch out fellas, 'cause the girls are taking over!" as all the girls in the club scream out in excitement.
Allan continues, "Now this hot chick can really rock, straight out of New York, give it up for Allison Blair!" as the strawberry blonde struts out from back stage hugging Allan.
The crowd roars out as Allan and Inside Job start up the music loudly again. Allison take lead vocals grinding her hips with the music making almost every guy in the club drool,
Rogue just rolls her eyes and continues watching the show. Guitar rifts and killer vocals gets the club seriously jumping all night. The music is pleasantly deafening even as the gig winds down. The crowd cheers them as they wave off stage. Then the DJ picks up with his mix as the crowd either leaves, moves to the bars or finds a spot to relax after the intense show. Rogue and Gambit sit back in their chairs looking around. Gambit says, "Dat wasn't such a bad show, no?"
Rogue nods, "It was pretty good, a crowd pleaser."
Then she sees Allan walking out from one of the back doors and starts making his way to the soft drink bar. He reaches over shaking hands with the bartender as he gets a glass of water. He turns around and leans up against the bar at the same time acknowledging compliments from the bustling club crowd. He looks over and sees Rogue looking right at him. Allan shakes his head smiling as he takes another gulp of his water, then starts making his way over to her. As he steps up to her table he chuckles, "Nice of you show up. Or are you following me?"
Rogue quickly says, "I wasn't followin' you, just came here to see the show."
Allan glimpses over at Gambit then turns his eyes back to Rogue saying, "So, do you make it a habit dating criminals?"
Rogue stutters, "Uh well..he's not a.. we're not dating."
Allan leans on the table and glares at Gambit, "Tell your boss, that old man, that my answer is still no. And he can send all his cronies after me including you, the answer would still be no."
Gambit stares at Allan plainly, "Not here to pick a fight, Mon Ami. Take it easy."
"Uh guys, "Rogue adds, "please don't fight here. Too many people."
Allan stands back up and says, "You make sure your date knows that." gesturing at Gambit.
Then a cheerful voice calls, "Allan!" as Allison hops on his back with her arms over his shoulders, "You still owe me a drink, hot stuff!"
Allan remarks as Allison clutches to him, "Allison, this is Rogue and uh, Gambit I guess."
Rogue waves and smiles saying, "Hi, you sing great."
Allison smiles back, "Thanks, I like your name, Rogue. Cool hair too. Come on, Allan, I'm parched." as she stats pushing him to the bar.
Allan glances back as he is pushed away and says, "Duty calls, later."
Rogue calls out, "Allan, wait." but he is sucked up into the chatty crowd.
She sits back in her chair with a blank glare as Gambit takes a sip of his drink.
"So where to now, chere?" he asks.
Rogue closes her eyes and sternly says, "Just leave me alone, leave him alone."
As she gets up and walks out of the club. Gambit sits back with plain look himself and says, "Yup, dis not one of Remy's better nights."