Title: The Bet|
Author: Shana Nolan
Fandom: X-Men (movie)
Summary: Scott and Logan make a bet for the bike.
Spoilers: the movie (but I'm a comics grrl too)
Disclaimer: Fox and Marvel Entertainment Group have the X-Men and their movie. Stan Lee, I worship at your feet. I don't own anyone, I don't intend to sell this and LFL owns the movies I will soon be mocking into the foundation of the Salem Center on Greymalkin Lane. all hail God King Lucas. any disparaging Etch-a-Sketch and computer remarks are the fault of the POS that doesn't recognise my MP3s right now. no money, no sue, no powers. but my CB handle was Phoenix. *g*
Archive: myself, X-Grrls site, Diebin's fic closet, others ask
Beta: I am a beta, so I looked this over and made suggestions to myself. :) other than that, I'm just too erratic and impatient to have someone else look things over.
Comments: Flames, however, are only accepted from a mutant named Pyro and even he knows better.
Wandering down the hall in search of one of the adult mutants at the school-- he had been running into nothing but teenagers for the last hour--Logan shook his head and paused as he heard clangs from one of the larger offices/classrooms.
"I think I'd have better luck with an Etch-a-Sketch... come on you piece of--"
Banging her head sharply on the bottom of the desk, Jean Grey peered up to spot the testier of their new residents and smiled thinly. "Yes?"
"Nothing a good hammer wouldn't solve."
Now this was getting interesting. Logan cocked his head and pointed at the piece of computer equipment on the desk above and next to her.
"The computer's modem died; I'm repla-- trying to replace it."
"So not only are you a geek and a doctor, but a geek, doctor and computer expert?"
One of the screwdrivers floated off the desk and into her extended hand. "The professor can't do this for obvious reasons--"
"--Scott doesn't have the patience to do it and Ororo keeps electrocuting the motherboard... so here I am."
"So what do you need?"
"Huh?" Scratching a hand and leaning on the doorframe, he shrugged. "Oh. I was looking for something to do."
"You could fix your motorcycle?"
His reaction over the suggestion was cryptic, but not enough to hide it from even her limited telepathy.
"Scott mentioned something about booby trapping it last night so you would stop taking it without asking."
"It figures that he has a thing for his bike." Stuffing hands in the jeans pockets, Logan watched a pair of neon clad girls fly-- literally-- by the office. "The motor's gone on the one I had."
Her response was interrupted by a curse. "Maybe I should offer this thing up for target practice."
"I'm sure you can get it fixed."
"Don't bet on that."
"Don't bet on what?"
Turning his head to regard the black and grey clad figure of Scott Summers, Logan raised an eyebrow. "Your computer."
Cocking his head, the ruby quartz glasses hiding most of his expression, Scott watched the desk as Jean clicked and then hit something underneath it. "What's wrong this time?"
"One of the students. They were trying to download a movie trailer and the modem," there was a thunk of a hand against plastic, "finally went. Crashed the network for a few hours."
"Oh. When you get the chance, come get me."
"What's wrong, Cyclops, your seeing eye dog sick?"
Refusing to acknowledge the comment, Scott indicated towards Xavier's office. "No... the professor needs to see us."
Jean's voice traveled up from the desk. "Anything wrong?"
Rising to her knees, her red hair tousled from the odd angles she had to sit in to get to the back of the computer tower, powers aside, she looked at the two men and then down at her current project, ignoring the slight tension in the room. They could get along, but it was a matter of both of them doing so willingly. "I'll be there as soon as I can."
"Okay." Turning around to leave, Scott paused, regarding the relaxed form of Logan leaning against the doorframe. Clearly this was no brief inquiry on his part. "Did I interrupt something?"
"We were just discussing your motorcycle."
"Like the feel of the vibrating leather under your seats, hotshot?"
"Yes, I do, actually. As do you."
His response was a shrug.
"You're welcome to use it, just ask me first."
There was a disinterested grunt as Logan popped a singular adamantium claw and slipped the tip under his beard, scratching at his skin. "Bet you couldn't go a day without it, huh?"
"I wouldn't go that far..."
Jean shook her head and went back to the dismantled computer at her feet.
Scott shifted his feet. Fine, let them up the ante. "Let's bet on it then... I win, you stop taking it. You win, I give it to you."
"And Jean finally gets to ride a Ducati," was the comment muttered under the desk.
Both men turned their heads and stared.
"What? I liked the Ducati you looked at, and it's very easy to modify for our needs."
"The turbo isn't exactly a standard feature."
Logan kept laughing, pulling the claw back in place under his skin.
Scott ground his teeth. "So, terms of the bet?"
"Don't look at me, bub."
"Drinking game? Whomever can still stand wins?"
Ruby quartz hid a look of contempt. "Jean... I don't think that's fair..."
"You afraid you'll lose?"
"No, I'm not. But your healing ability gives you a higher tolerance."
Logan snorted. "No, my 'ability' keeps me from puking up my guts the next morning."
"Let's do it then."
Standing up, setting the screwdriver down and smoothing her skirt, Jean Grey couldn't hide the grin. Now this was getting good. "Movie?"
There was a pause. "The Star Wars rules are the easiest to remember."
"Whoah, now. Star Wars?!"
"Problem, Logan?" Scott smiled sarcastically, sensing his chance.
"The Nerf Herder's afraid to play, Jean. Guess that means he gets to walk from here on out."
Jean hid the giggle.
Throwing his hands up in defeat, Logan pointed at the other man. "You guys really are geeks."
Scott crossed his arms, waiting.
Stalking off, he quickly said, "Fine."
"See you in a few hours, Logan," Scott called cheerily after.
A growl echoed down the hall.
"This should be interesting."
"I'll get my bike back."
Jean smiled understandingly and knelt back down to finish beating the computer into submission. She knew better, but wasn't going to tell him--Scott Summers would be skulking for weeks if she called him on losing. "Sure, dear."
"You call this beer?"
Scott scowled. "You have a better suggestion?"
"Then it stays."
The doors to the lounge opened smoothly, Jean strolling through with a box. Turning her head a little as she paused mid-stride, the doors closed easily behind her as she held up a video tape. "One set, original trilogy, letterbox and pre-special edition."
Logan rolled his eyes. "Oh, yeah, we just can't give the Sarlacc pit a mouth, now can we?"
Both Jean and Scott blinked at him. "There something you're not telling us?"
Logan moved his hand around, trying to dig for some proper response without looking like... well, them. "So I've seen them."
"More than once?"
He cocked an eyebrow. "More than my fair share."
Jean walked between the guys, ignoring the two sets of eyes that followed her butt as she reached the VCR. "Good, that way you already know most of the rules."
Scott circled to sit at the couch, kicking his feet up on the table and stretching out. "Yeah, rules. Can you handle them, Logan?"
"Of course I can, blinkie. Can you hold your alcohol or should I just take the keys now?"
Jean coughed. "I'm here to keep you two from cheating... or killing each other."
"Jean, you know I wouldn't do that--"
Logan smiled wolfishly.
"--unless I had good motivation."
Shaking her head, she pointed at the VCR and then at the table. "Scott..."
He shrugged, his glasses hiding the annoyed glance.
Logan dropped the smile.
"No concussive beams."
Scott picked at his sweater.
"And no breaking anything. We're still on school grounds."
"We always are."
"And don't forget it. Logan, hit play. I'll be right back; I have to check the LAN settings on that computer."
The guys exchanged glances, waiting for the other to make the first move, Logan diving for a beer bottle. Following suit, Scott grabbed on and uncapped it with a quick twist.
With an amused snort Logan popped a singular claw, pierced the cap and opened the bottle with a minimal amount of fizz.
Slamming the doors with her hands, Jean closed her eyes and shook her head. If these two made it past the cave on Dagobah, she'd be amazed.
"This really is one of the better movie companies, you know."
"Can it, one eye."
"Can't talk and read at the same time?"
"Only if it's a conversation with you."
"Take a drink."
Someone just got choked."
Logan rolled his eyes. This was one strange way to get sloshed.
Jean grinned. "I never have figured out how to get that hair."
"I could try for ya," was the muttered comment from the couch.
Jean arched an eyebrow. Scott scowled.
"I really hate that whiny brat."
"Great, so you hate the main character. How did you ever get through the 20th century?"
"Same way you did, but I had more fun."
"Would you two shut up and take a drink?"
Logan sighed and ignored the urge to hum along with the music. He was not going to give them the pleasure of knowing he knew it.
"'Don't be too proud of this technological terror you've constructed--'"
"Feeling a kinship to the masked one, One Eye?"
Scott licked his lips after swallowing the dram of ale. "Only if your long lost brother is Chewbacca."
"At least he lives at the end."
Jean sighed. "Could you possibly cheapen this scene any more?"
Logan pulled a fresh bottle and opened it. "No, but I could try."
"Is it just me, Jean, or is there a similarity between Obi-Wan and the Professor?"
"You mean outside of the Jedi having hair?" Logan interjected.
Shaking her head, Jean nursed at her own bottle of beer. She didn't care much for the stuff, but she had caved about three scenes back, determined to not stay sober as the peanut gallery kept bickering back and forth.
It was almost cute.
"Yes, there is. Hey!"
Both men responded at the same time. "What?"
"I told you he shot first!"
Logan snickered. "Of course he did. You expect him to play fair?"
"Obviously," Scott murmured, hiding the sardonic smirk, "we've found your favourite of the series."
"'I prefer a straight fight to all this sneaking around.'"
Looking up to the amused expression on his beau's face, Scott shrugged. He could take this flirting, and even the looks he caught Jean giving the hairy Wolverine didn't bother him...
"That much is obvious, Logan."
"But I'll leave you to fly ships like a suicidal maniac, laserbrain."
"I would pay serious money to get this kid to stop saying 'no.'"
Now sitting on the end of the couch, a safe distance between her and both of the men, the smell of fermented grain seriously turning her off, Jean gestured at the screen. "It's a classic."
Scott shifted. "It is rather annoying."
"And I suppose next you'll complain that that generator is waaay too easy to hit, huh?"
Ruby glasses met her brown eyes. "Frankly, yes. I could hit it with my--"
Scott glanced over at Logan, who was serenely prying the label off his bottle with a claw. "No."
"Eyes Wide Shut?"
"Please, dear, don't remind me of that."
Logan raised an eyebrow.
Jean re-crossed her legs and made a strangling sound. "I have telekinesis, not precognition, okay?"
"Hey, isn't that a drink?"
Returning his attention to the screen, Scott nodded. "Two, actually. Down the hatch."
Logan shrugged. "This is easier than I thought."
Jean smiled. The Ducati was hers soon enough. "Wait 'til the next movie before you start assuming."
The screen, at this point, was getting a little blurry. Two six-packs sat empty on the table in front of the company, each holding their current bottle in grips of relative surrender. The personal barbs had died down, but the mocking of the movies was picking up as the alcohol was settling into bloodstreams.
"'You half witted, scruffy looking, nerf herder!'"
"'Who's scruffy looking?'"
Logan blinked and took a swig for good measure. "You two scare me."
Jean grinned, feeling the pleasant affects of a buzz, the heady sensation partially erasing the taste of the beer.
"You know it, bub."
"Can I point something out?"
Scott looked over with slightly delayed interest. "Yes?"
"The Falcon needed some serious upkeep."
There was a sound resembling a "duh." "Amongst other things."
Logan squinted suddenly and turned a stare at the shiny red glasses. "Your jet doesn't do that, right?"
"Get serious upkeep or break down constantly?"
Damn his body for not compensating for alcohol as well as it could injury. "Break down."
"Most of the time, no."
"Good-- I think."
Logan held up a piece of paper and then pointed at the screen. "'Yoda talks like a fortune cookie?'"
Jean and Scott nodded simultaneously.
With a suffering sigh, he tipped up the bottle and chugged the last third of the contents.
"'I am your father, Luke.'"
Jean slouched down deeper in the couch, trying to ignore the really bad impression. Sure, the alcohol was making it funnier, but still, Darth Vader impressions were best left to someone that wasn't in the same room as her.
Especially considering it was her fiancé that was currently sounding like
"Of course it's true, you dumb kid, why else would he say it?" Logan chucked a bit of popcorn at the figure on the TV.
Clearing his throat, Scott laughed, ran a hand through his hair and caught up on his drink for the lightsabre fight. Standing up, finding the room spinning a little bit more than it normally did, he pointed at the bathroom off the lounge and smiled. "Be right back."
Logan waved a hand around after hitting pause on the remote. "Yeah, have fun."
Jean shook her head.
"When I get his bike you're welcome to catch a ride."
Jean's eyebrows arched up into her hairline.
"I'll get it. We've got one more movie to go and he can hardly walk. Me,
Surveying his relaxed posture, the jeans covered legs lazily flopped on the table, she smiled understandingly. Sure, he stood a chance on winning.
But they'd both be begging her for aspirin and an end to the hangover misery in the morning.
"And if you don't?"
"I'll win this bet."
She shrugged and sipped at her third longneck. It was more than her usual amount of imbibe, but it no longer compared to the pair currently running through the not-too-shabby number of bottles, many of them now empty, on the coffee table.
"More popcorn, Logan?"
"And there's another 'Noooo' coming up, so be ready."
Logan snorted. "Thanks."
"It looks like hell."
"That's probably the point."
"That ice planet was better than this."
"Minus the Empire trying to blow them up, of course."
"At least it didn't have those worm guys."
Logan shook his head emphatically. "Yeah."
Scott nodded hazily. "Ugly things."
Jean groaned. Apparently a slow crawl into inebriated oblivion could drag down the less intoxicated if they were in the same room.
"Was just thinking about what Jean would look like in that metal bikini."
Logan's mouth curled up in a wry grin. "Very nice, I'd say."
Jean raised a hand, suddenly aware of her being reduced to a sex object. "Excuse me?"
"Not that it'd stay on long."
Leaning forward and setting the bottle down, Jean smiled and then whacked him squarely across the head.
"Ow! What was that for?!"
Crossing her arms, she leveled a stare at Logan, who was currently breaking up in laughter.
The room suddenly felt silent, minus the movie going on in the background.
A few beats later, she pointed at the screen. "Oops, Lando just dodged death by the Sarlacc Pit. Take a drink."
Logan and Scott exchanged nervous glances before obeying Jean's command.
Using her powers to bring the remote to her hand, feeling a serious need for a nap, Jean was about to up the volume when she noticed that neither of her companions were stirring, sans the lazy rise and fall of their chests. Shaking her head in half-amusement, her eyes drifted to the television as the blue ghostie Ben walked out and dispensed his "certain point of view" speech.
Touching Scott's shoulder and getting nothing, she peered at Logan, his head lolled back on the couch. "Great, they both passed out."
Spending a further moment watching the movie, she shrugged, stretched her back and laid down on the couch, using the readily available thigh of Scott Summers as a pillow.
The morning would tell who won the bet.
"I think that would be entirely possible, but we can't implement it right away."
"It'd be good for the students. They need something so they can feel a little closer to normal, Professor."
Charles Xavier smiled warmly at the tall woman walking next to him. Ororo really seemed to look after the school's students, something he greatly appreciated from one of his own former pupils. "Yes, Ororo, I know. Let's get through the final exams first, though."
"Alright. Have you seen Jean today?"
Pausing, easing up on the motor control of the highly stylised wheelchair, Xavier paused and scanned the school with his mind. "As a point of fact, no, but she, Scott and Logan are in the lounge."
"Scott and Logan."
The dubious tone was obvious. "Nothing seems amiss."
Pursing a lip, Ororo nodded. "I think I'll go and check on her; we have a shopping trip planned with Rogue."
"I'll accompany you, then, to the lounge."
Brushing an errant strand of white hair out of her eyes, she nodded.
Despite the fact that the ruby quartz afforded some protection from the sunlight streaking through the open blinds, Scott Summers averted his gaze and winced. The lance of pain in his head could be only one thing: a hangover. "Yes?"
Jean sat up and yawned, feeling the kink in her back from sleeping somewhere other than their bed. Thank god she had stopped drinking when she did... "Still alive?"
His response was a grunt.
Tucking unruly hair behind her ears, she stood, stepped over Scott's legs and paused, standing in front of the other still form. "Logan?"
His arms crossed over his chest, he opened his eyes, the hazel gaze feral and clear. "Morning, Red."
The doctor in her felt a pang of envy over Logan's lucidity. The more she saw his healing ability in action, the more she wished she could bottle it and use it as a cure-all. "Hi."
Loosing his arms and stretching, scratching a hand absently through the beard, Logan stood up and cast a glance to Scott, who was massaging his temples. Breaking into a laugh, he stood haughtily. "Guess this means I get the bike."
Backing up, suddenly a little too close to the wrong man in the room, Jean shook her head. "Not so fast."
"Neither of you lasted all the way through."
Scott groaned and stood, making a careful way to the bathroom to wash his face.
"Wait a minute here."
She crossed her arms at him. "It wasn't who had the hangover, it was who lasted out the game. Neither of you did."
"So being fully alert right after waking up has nothing to do with winning?"
A "that's right" came floating out of the bathroom.
"The bike's mine. I kept up with the movies the whole way through."
"You were out cold before the Ewoks."
"I was not," Logan growled.
"I'm a doctor, Logan, you can't fool me."
"Then Cyclops here gets to keep it?"
His eyes closed as he cleaned the glasses with a towel, Scott nodded. "Sounds that way."
Jean shook her head. "Nope."
"Now wait just a second, you weren't--"
"Jean, you're not serious--?!"
"You weren't in on this bet!"
Walking over and taking the towel from Scott's hands as he replaced the glasses over his eyes, Jean gave both of them silencing stares. "Neither of you will be happy until someone fairly takes full ownership of the motorcycle, and that's not going to happen today, if ever. So, I'm taking it. That way you two have no reason to fight."
Logan's lip curled into a snarl.
"Give me the keys, Scott."
"But nothing's changed, it's--"
"Keys," she ordered, "or I'll let you suffer through this hangover."
His last protest cut off by the clicking of the lounge doors as they opened, all three of them froze when Ororo and Xavier entered the room.
Jean coughed and partially blocked the haggard appearance of her fiancé. "Professor?"
"Ah, good morning. Now I see where the three of you have been all night."
Not entirely embarrassed over being seen like this, Logan eased his stance. "Just a friendly game."
Xavier pursed a lip. He knew better. The other two in the room, Scott lurking in the background as to not draw attention to himself, Jean apparently chagrined over being caught, knew that they couldn't hide the truth from him.
But they were sure trying.
Letting a patient smile ease the tension in the room, Xavier nodded. "Of course. Now if you don't mind I have some duties to attend to. I'll see you all later."
Waiting until he was safely out of earshot, not that it really made a difference, Scott exhaled and shook his head. "Now, if you'll excuse me,
Ororo gave Jean a confused look. "Did I miss something?"
Jean smiled at the other woman and then set a hand on Scott's neck. "Yes. I'll fill you in later. Keys."
"In my jacket pocket," was the surrendered reply.
Logan cocked his head. "If I knew it would go this way, I would have bet you, Jean."
She smiled at him. "But you didn't Logan. If you do get a headache, there's some analgesics in the unlocked cupboard in the clinic."
"Sure. Nice bettin' with ya, laserbrain."
Scott half nodded, ignoring the white streaks in his vision.
Ororo watched as Logan strode out of the lounge, absently humming the Star Wars theme. Glancing to the couple towards the side of the room, she pointed at the collection of empty bottles. "This was a bet?"
"Yes. A lost one at that," Jean responded, looking over Scott with a medical eye. "Anything else besides your head hurt?"
"Won't be eating for half the day, if that's what you're asking."
"As long as your electrolytes are good, that's not a problem." Leaning in and kissing him briefly, she set her lips close to his ear. "I'll give you back the keys tonight if you can handle my terms."
His eyes widened behind the glasses. "Jean?"
With a smile, she backed away and crossed the room to the other woman. "Now go and lay down for a bit. I'm off to shop."
Still finding the light too much to handle, Scott nodded and sat himself back down on the couch, groaning a little as the movement jarred his spine up to his skull. This was going to be a long afternoon, and the day had just begun.
And he had still lost the bike.
But at least this way he stood a chance at getting it back without grievous bodily harm.