6:00 AM, despite the fact he only had three hours of sleep, Allan is wide awake and casually making his way to the Danger Room for his early morning sessions with the younger students. He carries a clip board in one hand and a large blue cup in the other.
His attire is much different than before, which was a loose tank top and basketball shorts. Now he sports a tight beater tank top and a pair of loose leather like black slacks that almost shine with a blue hint covered with a pair of dark seemingly blood red knee high boots that has sleek segmented chin guards of the same color. Allan walks towards the unique elevator that leads to the chambers underneath the mansion casually taking a sip of his drink while looking over the information on his clip board. As he steps into the elevator, he sees Rogue rushing over as she says, "Hold the elevator!"
Allan hold the door open for her as she trots in saying, "Thanks."
"Good morning." Allan remarks as takes another gulp of his drink.
The door closes and starts its' descent. Rogue looks at Allan and asks, "So, what time did you get in last night?"
Allan replies, "About three hours ago."
Rogue smiles and chuckles, "Ah can't believe you're wide awake right now."
Reading his clip board info, Allan says, "I really don't need to sleep, just a human habit I can't shake."
Rogue bites her lower lip and says, "I've been meaning to talk to you."
Allan glances at her mentioning, "Really? It seems the past few days you've been avoiding me, until last night. I kind of figured you've gotten over the novelty of having me around." he says with a grin.
"No, it's not that," Rogue quickly tells him.
Taking another sip of his drink, Allan says, "Look, I'd love to talk, but I have a class to teach today."
Rogue adds, "I know, it's my turn to assist you today." as she smiles at him.
Allan raises his eye brows and says, "Oh, well then, how about doing me favor and take attendance for me," handing her the clipboard as the elevator door slides open, "I'll be up here in the command center."
Allan steps out of the elevator walking to the command center as the door closes and continues to the main chamber floor. Rogue stares at the door as the elevator makes its' way down, feeling a bit rejected. She is starting to feel as though Allan is avoiding her now. Rogue takes a deep breathe as the elevator door opens. She walks quietly through the corridor the Danger Room entrance and waits as it slowly slide open. In the room the young students stretch and yawn while waiting for their session to begin. Rogue starts taking attendance calling out each name, Ray a.k.a. Beserker, Jamie a.k.a. Multiple, Amara a.k.a. Magma, and Jubilee. Rogue looks at the clip board for Allan's lesson plan and finds that his notes resemble a crazy looking treasure map. Random thoughts written down in different corners with arrows pointing and looping to other phrases and notes. She cracks a smile as she tries to piece together his plan. Rogue shakes her head in confusion as Allan's voice comes up on the speakers, "Alright peeps! Today is all about concentration. So let's cut the relaxation and get back to a bit of realization. So don't be fooled by what think is recreation, keep your mind on the job, or we will have a really bad confrontation. Now I'm kickin' it up notch so control your frustration while I soothe your souls with this bad ass station." as music blares throughout the Danger Room as it comes alive. Hard rock echoes around as the students cheer out. Different activities appear for each them to test their abilities as Rogue can't help but laugh backing out of the main chamber. She makes her up to the command center where Allan is keeping his eyes on the students while bobbing his head to the hard rocking beat. She smiles and says, "Tryin' to sound like a radio disc jockey?"
Allan keeps his eyes on the students and replies, "Just trying to make it fun for them."
Rogue steps up next to him and asks, "Well you do know why we train, right?"
"All to well, unfortunately," Allan says in plain tone.
She looks at him, "What's that supposed to mean?"
Allan just shakes his head keeping his eyes on the students below. Rogue nudges his left arm saying, "Hey, what'd you mean by that?"
With a frustrated expression, Allan looks at Rogue and remarks, "Alright, let me ask you this, Rogue. How do you define yourself? Where do you see yourself five or ten years from now?"
Rogue cracks a smile asking, "What kind of question is that?'
Allan stares at her saying, "A valid one. How about this, how long do you intend on letting your powers define who you are." as he points to her.
Rogue falls silent as Allan continues, "I'm trying to show these kids just because they were born with an ability blow crap up, they can choose not to. Not to say what your team is doing is wrong, far from that. Keep fighting for your rights, stay strong and believe, but do not forget to live."
Allan continues watching the students slowly compete their tasks as adds, "Guys like this Magneto, and that guy your team fought a while back, Apocalypse, are prime examples of those who let their powers define them. Crazy nut cases that all end up alone or dead."
He looks around nodding his head saying, "But at least here, you have a chance to fix that. You already know what you are, now it's time to find out who you are."
Rogue smiles as she leans up against the console. She sees he honestly believes in what he says and that makes him even more comfortable to be around. As the Danger Room session continues below, Rogue decides to change the subject, "So, you're in band huh?"
Allan replies, "Sort of. Not that we're recording or anything, we just like play."
Rogue adds, "And that girl, the blonde, she in the band, or does she just like to play too?"
Looking at her with a sarcastic smile, Allan remarks, "Allison is a friend from New York.
She is a bit of a flirt, but she's cool."
Rogue smiles to herself as she looks away saying, "Just a friend, huh? Well friends are good."
Allan turns his gaze back to the students as he asks, "So, what about you 'Gumbo'? Did he ask you out last night?"
Rogue quickly says, "No, we met up last night just before entering 'The Cubical'."
"I thought he was one of the bad guys, Rogue. I do recall he, his cat, and his boss are either trying to convert me, or kill me." Allan says plainly.
"We're not going out," Rogue mentions, "Ah mean we helped each other out, sort of. But it's kinda complicated." She says shrugging her shoulders.
Allan gazes at her and says, "I know the feeling."
She shares his gaze and smiles as she removes her left glove. She reaches over and lightly pinches Allan's nose with her bare fingers. She giggles a bit as Allan smiles and asks, "What was that for?"
She replies with a grin, "Just satisfyin' a curiousity, that's all."
Allan scoots a little closer to her as she leans in a bit closer to him. He asks, "And is that curiousity satisfied?"
Rogue playfully grins at him saying in a cute tone, "Maybe, although..."
Then door opens behind them as Ororo slowly walks in. She still uses a cane for support but she seems a bit more maneuverable. "Sorry to interrupt, I just wanted to see how your classes are holding up, Allan" She remarks.
Allan quickly pulls up a rolling chair for her as he says, "Quite well, Ms. Munroe. Thanks for stopping by."
Ororo seats herself and smiles mentioning, "I must say, you do conduct very unique sessions."
She looks out into the Danger Room watching the students run through their exercises. Allan glances over at Rogue, who is still lean up on the console. She glances back biting her lower lip smiling at him. Allan remarks, "I'm, uh, I'm going to head down to to see how they are doing." as he walks out.
Ororo notices Rogue's playful smile at Allan as he leaves and says, "He's an intriguing young man, don't you think?"
Rogue is somewhat caught off guard by the question as she stumbles, "Hmm? Uh...yeah, he's alright, I guess."
Giving her a gentle like smile, Ororo stands back up slowly, bracing herself up with her cane. She places her hand on Rogue's shoulder and says, "Relax, Rogue, he is a very likable person. And I'm sure he thinks the same about you."
Rogue eyes widen as she watches Ororo slowly make her out of the command room. She looks back into the Danger Room watching as Allan high fives young Multiple for his achievement. She mumbles to herself, "Very, very likable."
Downtown, the Brotherhood wander the side shops trying to beat their recent boredem as noon approaches. Todd hops in his usual toad like manner as he remarks, "This really bites, yo! We ain't got no cash, and now Lance's ride gets towed. How long we gotta walk, my arms are killin' me."
Walking in almost lumbering manner next to Todd, Fred the largest of the group, stops to catch his breathe and leans up against a brick wall, "Todd's right guys," he adds, "this does bite. I can't take another step with out getting somethin' to eat."
Leading the pack, Lance stops and looks at them saying, "Will you two just suck it up, geez!" as he sighs out continuing, "Alright, empty your pockets, let's see what we can pull together."
They each dig into their pockets, and one by one show what they have. Todd pulls out a wad lint, Fred manages to scrounge up a single quarter, while Lance finds forty cents in a mixture of nickels and pennies. Standing with arms fold in frustration, Pietro darts, "This is pathetic, guys. We can't even pull together one dollar. We're so pathetic, even Tabitha is moving back with the X-Men."
Lance glares at Pietro, "That's not helping. Tell you what, why don't you use your super speed to get home and ask your sister if she could loan a few bucks, at least for bus fare."
Pietro replies in a concerned tone, "Me, ask Wanda for help? No way, she wouldn't help just so she would have the pleasure to watch me suffer."
Todd slouches in his crouch position, "Now what?"
Then a large wad of cash lands right in front of them. They look in disbelief as a bundle of twenty dollar bills sits before them, wrapped up with a single rubber band. Then sly voice says, "There's more of dat where dat came from, Mon Amis."
All four of them look up as Gambit casually approaches them with a grin. Lance steps up with two fists stating, "What do you want?"
Gambit just smiles at saying, "Just a little gift from Pietro's father."
"My father?" Pietro inquires, "He's still around?"
"He ne'er left, kiddo." Gambit replies, "And he got a proposition for yous."
He pulls out two more wads of twenties as he continues, "One little job, and you get de rest. Not a bad deal, no?"
Lance sighs out, "Who do you want us to break out this time? Or is it an armored truck you want us to knock off?"
Gambit shakes his head saying, "No, no, just deliver a message," as he reaches in his trench coat and pulls out a picture, "to dis fellow."
All four look at the photo as Todd remarks, "Hey that's the guy who gave Tabitha a ride home a while back."
Lance adds, "You want us to kill him? No way, man! Not happenin'! Plus I heard he was tough."
"No killin'," Gambit says with a smile, "just give him a message, and maybe rough him up a bit. Killin' ain't Gambit's style either." as he holds up the cash wads.
The Brotherhood all look at each other with depressed expressions. Then Lance says, "Ok, just one little job, then we're through with you, for good."
Gambit grins and gesture them to follow him.
Walking out the Danger Room main door, Ray comes out with his uniform emitting steam or smoke as he limps. He then leans up against the wall sliding down to his butt. He breathes out, "Man, who opened their mouth and told Mr. Paran that this was a piece of cake?" as he looks at the other sitting on the floor with him.
Amara and Jubilee, looking as though they have been through the ringer themselves, point at young Jamie with angered expressions. Jamie just innocently smiles back saying, "Um, sorry guys, but was fun."
Ray tries to swing at Jamie saying, "You're such a dork!" but due to his fatigue, misses and loses his balance flopping to the floor.
Jubilee remarks, "Didn't you hear his rhymn earlier? Now you got Rogue into it."
Amara glares at Jamie, "And you know she's not going to happy with us after she loses too."
Ray sits back up, "Are you kidding, I think she wants to lose. Especially to Mr. Paran."
Jamie adds, "Yup, she has the hots for him."
Jubilee sarcastically glares at Jamie, "What would you know about that kind of stuff."
"I wonder how she is doing in there anyway." Amara adds, "I think she absorbed some of my powers when I went down first."
Inside the Danger Room, the scenery of a desolate, abandoned urban world is slowly overwhelmed by the sound of explosions and collapsing building. A large ball of flames smashes through a wall melting the mortar and metal as it slowly dissipates revealing a smoldering crater of melted rubble. Allan steps around the crater grinning as he says, "Missed again, Rogue! You get very reckless you're flustered like that!"
Rogue comes lunging at him using Magma's borrowed powers igniting her body in burst of molten flames. She yells out as she dives at him, "Ah'll show you reckless!"
Allan leaps and twists over her as she hits the rubble, burning and melting the debri with heat glowing body. Allan lands like a cat on the edge of a crumbled wall into a crouched position. Rogue gets up quickly, and despite her glowing molten appearance, Allan can still see her face clearly. Allan smiles at her, "You know, you're kind of cute when this angry."
Rogue grits her teeth and launches a flame heated stream from her hands. Allan effortlessly jumps over her attack. Rogue heated blast hits the side of a crumbling abandoned building causing it collapse. Allan looks back at the damage and says, "Nice shot, I think you may a career in demolitions."
Rogue's heat glowing body slowly reverts back to her original form. She catches her breathe as she says, "Well…Ah haven't seen you do anythin' really that special. So what, you're strong, agile, and very tough. That's it?"
Allan grins at her and says, "Glad you asked, I can also generate, harness, metabolize, absorb, and redirect any form of energy." He looks behind him and continues, "Like the amount of energy it took to collapse that building, I can redirect that, like this."
Allan hold up his
right fist at her, then he opens his hand dramatically. Rogue's eye
widen in amazement as air and ground around Allan ripple violently in a
shock wave that rapidly heads toward her. Before she can fully react,
she is hit by the shock wave as though being swept away by an ocean
under toe. Rogue is knocked back several feet into a pile rubble. She
lays back with her eyes shut seemingly having the wind knocked out of
her. Allan walks over to her through the debri field and leans down to
her face. He talks to in a low soft tone, "I can do other things too,
but I'll leave that, as a surprise for you.
What you just felt is a small fraction of what I'm really capable of. So I may not be much older than you, but I have been doing this for a while, trust me."
Leaning over her, Allan continues, "So, are you out of juice now? How long can you hold on to Magma's powers?"
Rogue opens her eyes and grins at him as she replies, "Long enough to do this."
She pushes her hands against Allan at the same time reigniting her body. Then with quick burst of heat and flame, she blasts him in a bright wide column of molten fire into the air.
Allan arches through the air like fireball as crash through three crumbling buildings.
His flaming body hits the ground hard as he drags and digs a trench before coming to complete stop. As his body simmers from the heat, he notices hit tank top was burned off.
He lays there smiling as he catches his breathe mumbling to himself, "At least I kept my pants on this time."
Rogue runs over as Allan lays there with the wind knocked out him. She walk over and stands in front of him smiling, "So, still think Ah'm reckless, tough guy?"
Allan responds with a smile, "More than ever." As he chuckles and gesture with his left hand.
Rogue is suddenly shoved by the same shockwave force from behind causing her fall forward and land on Allan. He gazes into her eyes and says, "Wanna call this a draw?"
She smiles as she lays on him in the rubble and says, "No way, Ah kicked your butt."
"Fair enough," Allan replies, "So this makes us even?"
Rogue slowly sits up on him and removes her gloves saying, "Not really, you still owe me a 'thank you'."
Allan smiles at her and says, "Well, I'm broke."
She leans back down saying, "Ah think you can afford this," as she embraces him and pushes her lips against his kissing him passionately.
She runs her fingers though his jet black hair as they lay in the rubble, silently kissing. Rogue holds him tightly as he caresses her waist with both hands. As their lips slowly separate, their faces remain very close. Rogue and Allan look into each others eyes as Allan says in soft tone, "Whoa, thank you."
Rogue smiles and whispers, "You're welcome." as she caresses the sides of his face with her bare hands.
Out side the main chamber to the Danger Room, the four young students wait and relax on the seamless floor. They look at their watches and sigh out in frustration. Then the main chamber door slowly opens as they stand back up. Rogue walks out casually with a slight smile, fanning the sweat on her face with her right hand as she walk by. She enters the elevator as Allan is coming out of the main chamber. He looks at the students and says, "I think that will be all for today," then he turns his gaze at Rogue as the elevator door starts to close.
She gives him a bashful smile as the door closes. Allan looks at the students and says while he smiles and blushes, "So, anybody up for a smoothie, my treat?"