Title: The Dare Game
Rating: PG-13 (language, very mild nudity)
Summary: Logan and Scott try to outdo one another in The Dare Game. Who will win this contest of wills?
Disclaimer: Regretfully, I own nothing.
It began with an omelet. Or more specifically, it began with one of Bobby's omelets. The teenager had recently taken up cooking (on advice from John: "Girls dig a guy who can cook!"), and had been so excited by his first few efforts that he'd readily made breakfast for all those unfortunate enough to stray across his path. On this particular morning, he had had the good luck to snare both Scott Summers and Logan.
The latter stared at the brown glob before him with distaste, his well-honed survival instincts screaming for tactical retreat as it began to ooze a yellow-colored slime. "Nut-uh, bub," he decided, backing away from the specimen. "That isn't going in no stomach of mine."
From across the table, Scott smiled infuriatingly. "Never mind him, Bobby," he said, politely placing a small forkful of the substance in his mouth. "I'm afraid that Logan is too much of a coward to handle your food."
"Keep that up, One Eye, and you will be afraid of something."
Scott glared at him, but didn't respond as he was busy chewing. And chewing. And chewing. A furrow creased his brow as he concentrated on that particular task.
"Is it that bad?" Bobby said, worried.
With what looked like great effort, Scott swallowed. "You are improving."
"Dick," Logan muttered.
Scott raised an eyebrow. "A pity Logan isn't brave enough to try even one single measly bite."
"Not stupid enough."
Both ignored him, their gazes intent on one another. "Go on," Scott said finally, leaning back in his chair with a lazy expression on his face. "I dare you."
"Chicken," Scott mouthed, clucking his tongue. All the while he continued to smirk that smirk, that irritating smirk that just begged to have a claw or two run through it.
"Fine," Logan growled. "Hand me a damn fork. Not the one that Cyke there touched." Bobby obliged quickly, and Logan found himself staring at the plate before him. It was eerily reminiscent of the same substance that Rogue had produced on the ground after a particularly turbulent ride on the X-jet. Christ. That was not a good image to be thinking of right now.
Cursing inwardly, he finally stabbed the fork through a bit of the thing and brought it to his lips. It was cold. Cold and soggy, pasty and clammy. It seemed to cling everywhere in his mouth, torturing all his taste buds, sliding down his throat with agonizingly slow speed. His throat tightened and threatened to reject the contents.
Scott was smirking at him. Still. It was time to wipe that smirk off his pretty prep-boy face.
"All right," Logan said. "I've done your dare, kid. Now it's your turn."
With horror, Scott looked back at the plateful of omelet.
"Oh no," said Logan, understanding the thought, "I'm not that fucking unoriginal. I won't make you eat the rest of the plate. Instead here's what you're gonna do…"
Ororo was giggling too hysterically for his comfort, Scott thought sourly. The situation wasn't even that funny. In fact it was not remotely humorous from any given perspective. Unfortunately few that he had encountered that morning had seemed to share that opinion.
For what felt the umpteenth time, he set his teeth together and said with forced calm, "If you are quite done laughing at my expense, would you please open the door?"
"Scott," she gasped between giggles, "Please tell me you aren't actually going to try to teach like this!"
Scott sucked in a breath. "Ororo, the door." He looked pointedly in the direction where the doorknob was, which was now a good foot or so above his head. No, he hadn't shrunk and no, Professor Xavier hadn't decided to implement a new policy where people had to strain to open doors. Rather the reason for the doorknob being so high was simple:
Scott Summers, the leader of the X-Men, was down on his hands and knees. A red collar was clasped around his neck, on which the words "BEWARE OF FIDO" had been hastily scribbled in black Sharpie. And he wore a muzzle. A bright pink muzzle.
Ororo tried to compose herself, really she did. "How long do you have to be a good doggy for?"
He muttered something that sounded like a string of insults, Logan's name, and twenty-four hours.
All in all, the day could have been worse. Scott lay back on his bed with one arm draped over his face as he vainly hoped he would stop blushing. There were positives, if he really thought about it. For the first time, nobody in his class had dozed off or fallen asleep. They had all been extraordinarily attentive. If he ignored the fact that Kitty had gasped and fallen through the floor upon first catching sight of him and how Jubilee had accidentally fried his TV in her shock, the day hadn't been so terrible.
Nevertheless, Logan was going to pay dearly for this.
"I don't fucking wear makeup!" Logan snarled.
In response Scott smiled pleasantly.
"How did you even get your hands on this stuff?" Logan said, staring in dismay at the collection of blush, eyeliner, and mascara.
"Hey, I'm resourceful."
"That's one way to put it," muttered Logan. He rifled through the supplies again before expelling a loud sigh and shoving the box back at Scott. "Just put the damn stuff on me."
"All in good time. First would you be so kind as to extend your claws?"
"You gonna let me spear you first?"
"You wish," Scott said cheerfully, and held up a bottle of pink nail polish. It was the kind with glitter in it. "This color is starting to grow on me. What do you think?"
"Fuck you, Summers," came the response.
By afternoon, Logan was certain his reputation had been well and thoroughly ruined. He'd been training with some kids in the Danger Room, who not only had to counter obstacles such as laser beams, but also various teachers. So there he'd been, facing this one shrimpy little guy who could make copies of himself. The kid had seen him and practically peed himself at the thought of having to face the Wolverine.
In his panic the kid had tripped over his own feet and hit the floor, making about a half-dozen copies of himself. It was a very strange power.
Logan had advanced with a fearsome snarl and popped his claws. Only to remember what Cyke had done with them earlier.
And the kid had started laughing. All his fucking clones had started laughing as well.
It had not been a good day.
"I will most certainly not!" Scott cried out in surprise as Logan told him his latest dare.
"Aww is little Cyclops a chicken?" Logan responded, mockingly flapping his arms up and down. "Bawk, bawk?"
Scott seethed, knowing full well that there was absolutely no chance he was going to permit Logan to win this battle of wills. He had staked his pride – what little remained of it, anyway! – on it. "Stop that. I'll do it."
That night he sat anxiously on his bed as he waited for Jean to finish with her shower, glaring all the while at the blinking recording device Logan had insisted he place in the room. "How else am I s'posed ta know if you did it or not?" he'd argued. "The recorder stays, Cyke. Deal with it."
Well it appeared he would have to. After what felt like the longest shower in the history of the world, Scott finally saw Jean exiting the bathroom, still gathering her wet hair in a towel. "Scott," she said, surprised, "I thought you were asleep."
"Jean, I – " Scott croaked, gathering his nerves. The blinking red light spurred him on. "I have to talk to you."
She looked concerned now as she sat on the corner of the bed, her eyes looking at him earnestly. "Is something wrong?"
"Jean, I'm - " he stumbled again.
"I'm a little, um…"
She looked at him, worried. "Scott, you're scaring me. What's wrong?"
He had to say it. Now or never. "Jean," he whispered, now looking anywhere but her. "I'm, um, I'm gay. And I'm in love with Logan. I have been ever since I first saw him. That man is so macho."
A very long silence ensued.
"What?" Jean finally said.
"I'm in love with him because he's big and strong. And um, very butch."
"You think Logan's butch?" Jean's voice climbed several octaves.
"Er yes…among other fine, fine qualities."
She leaned backwards, her mouth slightly open. After a few seconds she started to speak, but then changed her mind and simply gaped at him. For his part, he felt fresh waves of color starting to suffuse his face.
"All right," Jean said slowly, blinking a few times. "Let me tell you what think. There's one of two instances happening. One is that you're actually gay, in which case I will be upset but support you. Two is that this is all a part of this stupid pranks game you and Logan have been doing, and you're so intent on winning that you were willing to risk toying with my feelings and breaking my heart."
"Um…" Why did everything have to sound infinitesimally more terrible and childish when it came out of her mouth?
"Well?" she said, glaring at him now. "Which is it?"
"Honey - "
Neither words nor telepathy were needed. She took one look at his expression and knew, and with the truth seemed to grow several sizes in stature. "Oh my god, get out. I can't even stand to look at you right now."
His shoulders slumped as he resigned himself to another night of sleeping on a couch.
Logan was so chipper the next morning that Scott was very much tempted to blast him. However he had not acquired his reputation of being The Very Last X-Man Other Than Charles XavierTo Lose His Temper without a good reason, and so he restrained himself. "You're acting like a chipmunk," he said instead.
"At least I'm a butch chipmunk, bub."
"Well then, Mr. Butch Chipmunk," said Scott, reaching for the bag he had brought into Logan's room with him. "Welcome to your next dare."
The next three weeks were strange ones indeed. Jean held her grudge for an amazingly lengthy amount of time, in which Scott begged for forgiveness every night and woke up every morning on the couch. In the meanwhile, the students and staff of Xavier's Institute were treated to a plethora of sights, all of them strange.
There was Logan, walking around cradling a pink stuffed-animal rabbit to his chest, of which he occasionally patted and referred to as his "dear wabbit." There was Scott, walking around with a variety of hats to cover up the fact that his head had been shaved. There were random bouts of singing and declarations of love, various concoctions cooked and eaten, and general mayhem. One day Scott ended each sentence by yelling, "I'M KING OF THE WORLD!"; the next, Logan stumbled around the halls, wrapped from head to toe in toilet paper.
Jean disapproved, Ororo egged them on, Bobby was commissioned to cook up deviously revolting meals, and the students placed numerous bets. But the pranks clearly could not go on forever. Both decided it was time to up the ante.
Which was how Scott Summers found himself completely naked…and in the Professor's office. The dare had been to remain there for thirty minutes. He knew that Logan was nearby holding onto his clothes and likewise watching the clock. To Scott, time had been moving at a painstakingly slow rate, but after several near heart attacks at hearing sounds outside the room, he was nearly home free. Only five more minutes left until 3:00.
Scott's knuckles were white with tension. He stood just behind the professor's desk, watching the clock with irritation and the door with fear.
Come on, come on, Scott prayed silently. If and when he finished this dare, he was going to dream up something so mortifying that Logan would wish he'd never been born. Perhaps if he dared the other man to skinny-dip in the pool during the lunch break?
Almost there! Scott's heart was pounding with adrenaline. He began bouncing back and forth on his heels, trying to work off excess energy. Wolverine was going to be sorry he had ever devised this prank. Scott would make him sorry.
Two minutes! Soon enough Logan would be returning with his clothes and he could forget that this dare ever happened - !
That's when Scott's heart really did almost stop. "Oh shit!" he said aloud. He recognized that mental voice; there was no one in the Institute who wouldn't.
The professor's mental tone was one of faint amusement. Why, exactly, are you standing naked in my office?
Shit, shit, shit, was all Scott could think.
The door swung open. Moving automatically, Scott flung himself to the ground, behind the professor's desk. Here was how he was going to die. This was it. His ears were burning red, he couldn't believe this was actually happening, and he'd been so, so close to escaping!
"Scott, would you please stand up? The door is closed," he heard his dear mentor say.
Oh Jesus. Scott slowly pushed himself up, careful to keep the desk between him and the professor. He tried for dialogue, but the words stuck in his mouth. What could he say? What could he possibly say? This was his mentor! The man who had become like his own father, whom he had always striven to emulate and please.
"Your thoughts are sufficient," Charles said. Amazingly he did not sound angry. "I confess I was suspicious the moment a student informed me that Logan wished to see me in my office."
The cheater! Scott thought incredulously. Logan had set him up.
"Yes. He did."
Scott now stammered for words, "Sir, I'm sorry that I'm in your office…like this."
"You realize, Scott, that you haven't called me 'sir' in many years."
"Only when I'm in trouble."
Charles chuckled. "Well you're not exactly in trouble now. I am only grateful that you didn't do this tomorrow. 3:00 PM on Fridays is when I tutor the advanced students, and I'm sure you wouldn't want Bobby, Marie, and the others to see you like this. It is more of you than they are accustomed to seeing, yes?"
Scott nodded frantically, his knees weak with relief.
"That would certainly make leadership more difficult," said Charles pointedly. "Very well then. I see you understand well the potential ramifications. If you will kindly hide behind my desk for a few more minutes, I will seek out proper clothes for you."
"Thank you, Professor. And Professor? Could you never - "
"Ever speak of this to anyone ever again so long as I live?" Charles finished lightly, his eyes dancing as they swept over the mortified young man. "I promise."
He graciously waited until after he had left the room to laugh.
Logan was waiting for him when he returned to his rooms. "So, One Eye, wasn't that fun?"
Scott forced a tight smile. "Quite enjoyable. In fact…" inspiration struck him. "I'll be, how did you phrase it, 'fucking unoriginal' on this one. Tomorrow I dare you to spend thirty minutes in Professor Xavier's office. Naked."
"How many times do I hafta tell you, kid? I'm not that stupid. You'll just run up and tell Wheels on me."
"I'm not like you, Logan. I don't cheat."
Logan rolled his eyes. "What a goody-goody-two-shoes complaint! We never said nothing in the rules about not springing dares on someone when they don't fucking spring themselves."
"Regardless, I will not tell Professor Xavier. Besides are you too chicken to accept your own dare? You know, bawk bawk?"
The kid had a point, and it was irritating. "What time?" Logan growled.
For a ghost of a second, he could've sworn Scott smirked.
"Why, from 2:45 to 3:15 PM tomorrow."