Alternately titled: How the X-Men Exercise
Being an X-Men comes with numerous tasks and responsibilities. For one, an X-Men more or less lived at the X-Mansion, and sometimes they taught at Professor Charles Xavier’s Institute for Gifted Youngsters. X-Men must cooperate with each other as a team whether it be on the battlefield or in the Danger Room. The job as an X-Men meant wearing a uniform and being titled a super-hero. Also, generally, X-Men didn’t kill people, but there were few exceptions to the rule. Something unexpected that came with the job was required work outs.
Sure, it is expected for X-Men to learn how to control their powers and also to test the limits of the powers as well. Similarly, it is also expected for X-Men to practice their battle tactics in the Danger Room and go through various simulations – like a sports team. With that of course comes physical exercises that no one enjoys.
There are days entirely based on cardio where the team practices both long and short distance running. Those days are the easiest for Pietro, and usually spends most of his time flirting with Jane. Of course, this means Pietro and Jane are the first ones to finish those exercises. One would think that Pietro would distract Jane too much for her to finish quickly, but him showing off actually encourages her to finish sooner so she can drag him off to their private shower cave-woman style. Their mutual flirtation with each other is very amusing for the others to observe from a safe distance. Usually Kitty, Bobby, Kurt, Wanda, Storm, Scott, and Jean finish relatively soon after Jane and Pietro are gone. Darcy is usually the worst at this exercise and often cheats by using her telepathy to trick some of her teammates into thinking that she finished.
On the weight-lifting days, though, Darcy doesn’t have to cheat. Weight-lifting days are more complicated to organize as there are some members of the team like Jane, Logan, Darcy, Hank, and Peter who have inhuman strength due to their various mutations. That should mean they have a more rigorous time, but not really. Even when they push themselves to max out – it is easy. On those days, usually Kitty and Peter are the couple that flirts. It’s not that Peter likes to show off his strength so much that Kitty likes to admire his muscles and endlessly teases him. Because of the teasing, Peter is in a near constant state of blushing. How can Kitty help but to tease her boyfriend, though, when he works out in an itty-bitty pair of shorts, though? Sometimes the teasing can be fun to watch for the others, though, as they crowd around Peter and cheer him on. On more than one occasion he has bench-pressed several members of the team at once. It all started when someone (Bobby) issued the challenge of who could bench-press their significant other. Despite issuing the challenge, Bobby couldn’t do it, but Rogue could and did so smugly. It comes as no surprise that Peter could easily bench-press Kitty; and from there it escalated until Peter was bench-pressing Kitty, Bobby, Rogue, Wanda, Pietro, Kurt, Storm, Hank, Scott, and then finally Logan when he broke a sweat. For a while afterwards it became an inside joke among the team that Logan was the straw who broke the work-horse Peter’s back.
For the most part, though, the X-Men choose their own exercise regimen. For some of them, that means competitions to see who can do the most pull ups or sit-ups. Normally the younger generation of X-Men like to participate in those games. The reigning champ has been Kurt, actually, for doing pull-ups with his tail. For sit-ups, the reigning champ has been Kitty, and not only can she do the most but she can do them the fastest, too, without wearing out so easily.
Rogue likes to work-out by taking her frustrations out on a punching bag; Logan had been coaching her on boxing for a while now. Storm, herself prefers kickboxing. As a cliché, Bobby loves ice-skating – normally hokey, as a healthy outlet. Jean and Scott play archery against each other, which actually can be considered an exercise since they often have to go fetch their arrows over 100 yards away, no matter whether they hit the target or not. Arrows can’t just be left lying around on school property either, even in the children are mutants.
Wanda had taken up a self-defense class, but once she graduated from that she decided to enroll in a karate class instead. Her reasoning behind it was something along the lines of, “Should I ever need to protect myself without using my powers, I’d liked to be prepared and properly trained.” Most of the girls (namely Rogue and Kitty) agreed with her, which is why they started taking the classes with her. They decided that once they received their black-belts that they would move on to Taekwondo and then Jiu-Jitsu. Kitty was still trying to convince them to take a yoga class with her, too.
One up-and-coming X-Men who was for now still a student had taken the same classes as the girls. Jubilee was a very gifted student with the makings to be a great member of the team in the near future once she’s graduated from the Institute. In addition to those classes and the ones she did at the school, Jubilee enjoyed gymnastics. In fact, she was so talented at gymnastics that she even taught Wanda, Rogue, and Kitty some of it. Once even Jane asked her for pointers.
Jubilee’s reoccurring student, though, was Darcy, who was simultaneously the most well-balanced and off-balanced person she had ever met. For one, Darcy’s mutation as a feral mutant was connected to a tiger. She had black tiger stripes on the small of her back, a tiger’s strength, and much more. One of those feline attributes happened to be its grace and flexibility. Jubilee was easily awed when in the Danger Room she watched Darcy dive head-first off a ledge, do a flip in mid-air without even trying, and then easily landing on her feet. That’s when Jubilee approached her, clapping, and begged, “You’ve got to teach me how to do that!”
In response, Darcy looked at her with mild confusion before she realized what Jubilee was referring to. “Oh, I couldn’t teach you that. It was purely instinct. In fact, I was initially falling.”
“But how could you correct yourself like that before you hit the ground?”
“There’s a sense of direction in my temporal lobe. Most cats have that regardless of size. I’m no different.” Darcy recited the information as if she had read it in a textbook, though, it’s more likely that she heard Hank’s explanation for it.
Luckily, Jubilee wasn’t discouraged. “Still, do you think you could recreate that experience?”
Darcy’s expression was doubtful. “Probably not. When I’m consciously trying to do something like that, I’m more than likely to overthink it and I’ll mess up. When I allow my instincts take over, I’m more successful. It helps me concentrate on my telepathy, too.”
“Then you have to let me teach you gymnastics! You’d be a natural.”
“Are you sure you’d want to teach your Sex Ed Professor gymnastics, Jubilee?” Darcy lightly joked, “Who knows what I’ll learn, and whatever I do learn, I’ll have to show Logan, you know.”
Here Jubilee may have turned green and undoubtedly did make a noise of disgust. “Ew. The mental pictures I have from that are not pretty.” Darcy laughed, but before she could protest any further, Jubilee continued, “Come on, it’ll be fun, though. I know the Professor is encouraging you to take up a sport anyway.” Turning the question back on Darcy, Jubilee added, “Who knows, you may end up coaching gymnastics at the Institute in the near future.”
There was contemplative silence as Darcy took a moment to turn the offer over in her mind. Once she finished mulling it over, she shook Jubilee’s hand. “Very well. We’ll do gymnastics together. But should the Institute enact a gymnastics team in the future, I believe you’ll be the coach for that.”
That had been weeks ago and Darcy was still learning how to use the balance beams. Jubilee had gotten tired of watching Darcy continuously jump off the beam once she even felt like she was losing her balance and had gone up to the library to study for her upcoming history test. She had only gone to study, though, after History Professor Logan threatened her with failure otherwise. Logan had only done it, though, because he could see how much Darcy was struggling when someone was watching. When she believed she was alone, she could do cartwheels on the balance beam easily enough. Darcy just had no confidence in her physical abilities if it didn’t have to do with sex. Besides, Logan knew Darcy was flexible enough to do anything in gymnastics just based off of the kinky sex they’ve had in multiple, different, complicated positions.
“Come on, Darcy, I know you can do this no problem,” Logan tried encouraging her.
At his unexpected words, Darcy took a tumble off the balance beam. Instead of crashing to the floor, though, her instincts took over and she landed on her hands and feet as if she were about to do a push-up. She huffed and deliberately flopped on the ground after she landed. Flipping her hair out of the way to look at him from wear she lay sprawled on the ground, Darcy mumbled, “I know I can do it, too, but when I watch my feet I just see the ground coming at me.”
Logan reached down an outstretched hand to help her up, and Darcy accepted it. “Well how about you don’t look at your feet? Seems easy enough.” He pulled her to her feet, nearly pulling her stretch into his chest, but she climbed back on the balance beam before he could kiss her like he wanted to. At first he was disappointed, but then he got a rather nice view of her derriere as she hauled herself to her feet on the beam.
“It’s not that easy, Carcajou.” Darcy sounded slightly annoyed. She remained crouched on the balance beam, her hands still gripping it as she looked over her shoulder at him. “I’d like to see you try this.”
It took Logan too long to drag his eyes away from her rear to her face as he rejected her none-too-subtle challenge, “Oh, I’m enjoying the view a lot from where I’m standing.” When he met her gaze, he smirked at her, smug with himself.
In contrast, Darcy was not as amused. She’d have to be blind to not see what he was looking at, and while normally she would enjoy such attentions, now was not the time. Turning away from him, she slowly started to raise herself to stand on her feet on the narrow balance beam. “If you came here to distract me, you’re doing very well.”
Very interested in what she was doing, Logan unabashedly watched her stretch up to her full height, where she now towered above him on the balance beam. “Maybe you need a little distraction. It’ll help take your mind off falling.”
Once again unamused with his teasing, Darcy shot him a look. “Carcajou,” she began in a warning tone, “don’t you have to be grading essays somewhere else?”
“Nope. Finished all my work before I came here.” Logan wasn’t cowed, and he liked to believe that he knew what he was doing.
Unsatisfied with his reply, Darcy made a noise of disbelief in the back of her throat. “Fine, then. Did you need me for something?”
“Maybe later,” Logan flirted, raising an eyebrow at her meaningfully.
The mutant on the balance beam merely shook her head. “Well, why don’t you use this time to get some exercise in, too?”
Logan chuckled. She had not taken a step yet, and he doubted that she would while she knew he was watching. “Fine,” he relented, “I’ll be over here doing push-ups if you need me.” Again, he waggled his eyebrows at her before he deliberately peeled off his shirt and tossed it at her. Then he quickly walked a safe distance away and began working on his push-ups.
She had been in the middle of rolling her eyes at him when his shirt suddenly hit her in the face. It didn’t knock her off-balance as she quickly ripped it off her face in agitation. When she saw he was shirtless and already working away, though, she just dropped the shirt to the floor. For a long while she watched him. Turnabout was fair-play, so she was appreciating the nice view he deliberately offered her just as he had enjoyed the view she had unintentionally offered him.
Still, she wanted a closer and therefore better look. Darcy had scarcely realized what she was doing until she was at the end of the balance beam, about to leap off to go to him. She had done it. She had walked across the balance beam confidently and without wavering in less than a blink of an eye and never realized it. Part of her wanted to cheer her success, but then she looked back over at Logan, where he was still exercising, counting between breaths. Then she got an idea.
“Fifty-four, fifty-five – oof!” Logan struggled to not fall face first as a sudden and unexpected weight landed on his back. He didn’t have to turn around to know who it was. “Am I your balance beam now, Sugar-Tits?”
“Damn right.” Darcy laughed at him, and beneath her feet, Logan was smiling at the ground like an idiot. “Well, don’t let me stop you. Keep going until one hundred, Carcajou. You were on forty-five where you not?”
“You’re such a bitch,” Logan growled between his teeth with all the love he had for her in his heart. “It was fifty-five.”
Above him, Darcy giggled, “Are you sure about that, Carcajou? You don’t want to accidentally cheat, do you?” She shifted her standing on his back to ease up the pressure on his spine and make it more even.
He barely wobbled in response. “Fine,” he subjected himself to her, not for the first time. “Forty-five, forty-six…”
Carefully, Darcy balanced herself on his rapidly moving back until she was standing on one foot. Even with her added weight, which was a considerable amount in and of itself, Logan could still easily do the push-ups. Now, however, it was more of a challenge for the both of them. “After this,” Darcy began, “I’m going to ride you raw on that balance beam.”
What she said made Logan mutter a curse and once again lose count, causing him to start over again for the second time. As he worked even harder to get to one hundred, Darcy laughed and switched to stand on the other foot on his back. When he finished, she hopped off and raced him to the balance beam. Both of them peeled off the rest of the clothes as they went until all of their clothes joined Logan’s discarded shirt in a pile on the floor. After that there was no more counting and no more laughter. Though, they did manage to keep their balance on the beam despite their rigorous new couple’s exercise.