Part VI: In the kitchen, the next morning…

Storm's head was hanging over the kitchen table, almost touching her cereal bowl. Jean had her head cradled in one hand and a huge cup of coffee in the other. Scott was distractedly trying to slice some bread to make toast, but the knife didn't seem to be making much of a dent. A bulk bottle of aspirin was the centerpiece of the table.

The sound of cheerful whistling came floating down the hall. "Oh God, please, no," Jean moaned, putting her head in both hands.

"Why, hel-lo, everybody!" A sinfully chipper Logan came bouncing through the door. "Aren't we all just up and raring to go!"

Without turning around, Scott muttered, "I know I'm up and raring to kill." He then took a few more violent saws at the bread with no success. He didn't notice.

But Logan did, "Aw, Cyke, having a little trouble there? Let me help you with that." With a loud SNIKT!, he extended his claws and sliced off several neat pieces of bread. And took great delight in the way Scott flinched.

"Don't want any," Scott growled when Logan offered him the bread. Equally loudly, Logan retracted his claws. "Dammit, Logan, don't do that!" Cyclops snapped.

*My God, when he's really pissed he starts to sound like me!* Logan thought with delight. *Today's going to be even more fun than last night!* Aloud, he exclaimed, "My, my, a little surly are we?" As if struck by a sudden thought, he gestured to the windows, "What you need is some bright, shining sunlight on this fine morning."

He strolled over to the curtains, fully intending to throw them open and watch them all curl up like leeches under salt. Storm's voice, a malevolent snarl, stopped him, "You touch those curtains, Logan, and I swear to God, we'll see if that adamantium of yours conducts electricity."

"Jeez, Storm, no lightning, please," Scott groaned and put his head on the table.

Logan decided not to test their patience too much and left the curtains closed. But he strolled out the door singing, "Oh what a beautiful mornin', oh what a beautiful day!"

Jean slammed the door shut without lifting a finger. "God help me, I'm going to twist that adamantium of his into a KNOT before the day's over!"

"Amen," Scott agreed.


Chemistry class, later that morning…

"I swear it's true!" Bobby insisted frantically.

"Pfft!" Rogue snorted and turned away from him. "Yeah right!"

"I swear to God!" John put in, waving his hands up and down in frustration.

Kitty slapped her desk, "Of all the ridiculous stories you guys've come up with, that is undoubtedly the dumbest! I can't believe you actually think we'd fall for that. Mr. Summers drunk? Yeah right!" She and the other girls rolled their eyes at each other.

"What do I have to do to prove to you that he really was—"

"Oh PUH-leeze! I'm so sick of this! You guys should at least come up with a remotely plausible story," Jubilee cut him off with a wave of her hand. "I'll believe it when I see Mr. Summers come stumbling in here with a hang—"

"Lower your voice, Jubilee," came an extremely cross order from the back of the room.

The students glanced up as Mr. Summers walked (slowly) to the front of the class, holding a cup of coffee in one hand and a bottle of aspirin in the other. He glanced at his desk, realized he'd forgotten his books, and left the room again. His usually immaculate hair and clothes were rumpled, and there was an unmistakable scowl under those sunglasses. His students watched him leave with their jaws on the floor.

The minute the door closed, Kitty murmured, "No. It's impossible."

Jubilee started to speak, but the only sound that would come out of her mouth was, "Uhhh…"

"You believe us now?!" John demanded, throwing up his hands again, "I'm telling you, he's totally hung over!"

"I don't believe it," Rogue breathed. "It can't possibly—no. No, no." She shook her head, in full denial, "There must be some other reason!" She looked at the other girls, who began nodding in desperate agreement.

"He's…he's brought coffee to class before!" Kitty exclaimed.

"Yeah, but not black coffee!" another boy blurted, staring at the cup on Mr. Summers' desk.

"Aspirin?" John demanded.

"Maybe…maybe they really were on a mission—hey! Maybe he got hurt and you guys are insulting them all by suggesting that they were out drinking!" Jubilee said, more comforted by that explanation than the alternative.

"He almost got dismembered during that one mission last year, but did he come in here with a wrinkled shirt?!" Bobby asked, pointing a challenging finger at the girls.

No one could find an answer to that one.


After lunch, Scott Summers' office…

Bobby and John were certain that the moment of their destruction was at hand when Mr. Summers asked to see them in his office. "Oh man, he's hung over, he's mad, and we were underage! He'll fry us!"

Mr. Summers had his coffee and his aspirin sitting on his desk when they came in. "Have a seat, boys." He said in that pretending-to-be-nice-to-cover-the-fact-that-I'm-really-pissed-at-you tone.

Both boys sat. Bobby's chair froze. John winced. "You know why you're here," Mr. Summers said calmly.

Bobby blurted, "Mr. Summers, please let us explain—"

"Bobby." He shut up and Scott continued, "Number one, lower your voice. Number two, I know exactly what you were about to do." He paused and went on, "It was the same thing I happened to be doing." Before the boys could relax, "But that doesn't excuse the fact that what you were doing was illegal. You are underage."

Possessed by inhuman courage, John blurted, "You told us last night."

Mr. Summers glared at him until he nearly set his chair on fire, then replied, "Well, I was right, even if I was drunk." There was a grudging admission in his voice, "Yes, I was drunk…okay, I was incredibly drunk, and yes, I'm paying the price today, just like you would have. There are plenty of legal ways for you and your friends to spend your money without—" Scott froze. The boys heard him mutter something that sounded like "money…credit card…Oh my God!" He buried his face in his hands for a few seconds, and then got up and walked quickly out the room with the iron control of someone who really wanted to sprint out the door. Outside, the boys heard him yell, "Jean! The professor's—"

Their next few words were lost, but then they clearly heard Jean hiss, "Oh shhit!" Then there was the sound of feet running off down the hall.

The boys looked at each other and decided they REALLY didn't want to know what that was about. Oh well, whatever it was, at least it had gotten them off the hook. Suddenly the feet came running back, and Mr. Summers poked his head back through the door, "Don't move, I'm not done with you two yet."