Story DISCLAIMER: I do not own x-men or the characters- Marvel does. This story was written for fun, that's all.

UPDATES: Chapter 18 is UP! Chapters 1-17 received some editing awhile back. I am truly sorry for the long wait on this, but have no fears, the story will be updated more often and may even end with more than the planned twenty chapters.

By the Minute

Summary/info:
The Brotherhood and X-men students decide to join forces to try and get Lance and Kitty together. But it has to be done without Scott finding out about it- who seems to be acting strangely, even for Scott. And Lance and Kitty have no clue what their friends are trying to do so they go on with their day plans making it all the more difficult for the others plan to work. Just how long can the brotherhood and x-men stay focused on their common goal and not let their differences get in the way? - The clock is ticking for everyone as the day goes on and people start to disappear and some discover the loss of their powers. Will they be able to figure out what is going on to save everyone and continue on with their plan? Or is it ruined? ...

Rated T: for mild language and violence


By the Minute – Chapter 1

Saturday 7:46 am

Xavier Institute for Gifted Youngsters

Danger Room Control Room

Hank McCoy and Jamie are working on refining the new program for the danger room sessions and fixing some minor setup problems with the master control computer.

Garage

Logan is working on the X-Van doing some routine maintenance. Sam is there, watching him- trying to help and learn more about the vehicles at the institute. Sam used to help his dad on the farm with the trackers, so this was an area of interest for him, even though Logan did ignore him most of the time, and never answered any questions. Sam was good at being the silent observer.

Kitchen

"So where exactly are we going?" Rogue asked softly leaning toward Kitty at the table. Kitty finished chewing her muffin before turning toward her roommate with a mocking grin.

"Like I'm not going to tell you Rogue, then it wouldn't be a surprise."

Rogue turned away and sighed resting her chin in her hands, her elbow on the table.

"Fine. But it better be worth it," she mumbled. There was a crash behind them. The girls turned around in their seats to see Bobby and Evan on the floor. Bobby was covered with cereal and milk- the innocent by-stander of Evan's quick skate into the kitchen.

"Oh man, I'm sorry Bobby," Evan said standing up and offering Bobby his hand.

"No problem- I was planning on showering after breakfast anyways- I guess I'll just eat latter." He quickly left the room brushing some cereal out of his hair on the way out. Scott turned the corner into the room a moment latter.

"I thought I heard some sort of crash…Evan! How many times do we have to say no skating in the house! Clean this mess up!" Scott turned and left in a hurry.

Rogue and Kitty looked at each other.

"Like what's Scott's problem?" Kitty asked. Rogue shrugged at her.

"Yah got me, maybe him and Jean got into another fight," Rogue offered.

The girls just got up and left Evan to do his mopping alone.

-ding dong, ding dong-

"I'll get it!" Amara shouted- she was halfway down the stairs, running down the rest. Kitty and Rogue decided to just slow down but continued on their way up to their room. Amara opened the door.

"Hey girl! How you been?" A familiar voice rang out in its usual up beat and strong tone.

"Hi Tabitha I'm glad you came. How'd you get here anyways?" Amara asked a few seconds after her greeting. Tabitha looked over her shoulder,

"I had Lance drop me off," she replied. Kitty stopped on the stairs.

"Lance?" She turned and faced Tabitha.

Rogue noticed and stopped a little above Kitty. Tabitha leaned forward with a smile.

"Yeah, Lance. If you want to say hi you might want to hurry, I think the Bagger is giving him his usual friendly get out."

Kitty ran down the stairs and out the door. Rogue walked down the stairs and stood with Amara and Tabitha in the open doorway. Rogue and Tabitha shook their heads, Amara smiled.

"She's got it bad," they all said in unison. They quickly looked at one another and began laughing.

7:51 am

Outside

Kitty walked up to the open garage, noticing Lance's green jeep parked out front – empty. Lance had walked up to see what Logan was working on out of curiosity. Now it seemed Logan was standing on guard, letting Scott and Lance have at it verbally, ready to step in at first sign of the fight going physical. Kitty rolled her eyes, and approached at a steady speed.

'I guess Scott came out here after yelling at Evan. Just great I wish him and Lance would just grow up and learn to leave each other alone...' she thought to herself.

Scott and Lance were a few feet apart and leaning forward as they exchanged their usual rude insults and lame threats.

"No one asked you for advice Alvers, just go."

"Well excuse me for knowing more on the subject than you Summers, I just thought Logan might appreciate another mechanical mind around. With you helping, its no wonder all your vehicles break down and need repair every week."

"Our vehicle repairs have nothing to do with my maintenance, they do have everything to do with you and your loser friends at the brotherhood."

Scott stepped forward as he said this pushing Lance back with his finger as he laid blame on Lance.

Lance clenched his fists and leaned into Scott's arm. Both boys were glaring, clearly waiting and wanting the other to make the first move.

Logan cleared his throat to get their attention shifted to him. Lance and Scott turned their heads toward him, he was looking out just past them.

"Half-Pint, what do ya need?" he spoke in his casual grunt.

Kitty was taken aback for a second, she had just walked up, but had heard Lance and Scott fighting and she wasn't happy with Scott. Scott rolled his eyes, he could guess what Kitty had come out here for and it only made him more annoyed with Lance. Lance had turned his complete attention from both Logan and Scott. He stood up straight and gave a slight wave in her direction.

"Hey pretty Kitty, how's it going?" He had a hint of a smile on his face as he spoke. Kitty noticed this and gave him a smile of her own.

"I'm good Lance, thanks for asking," she suddenly looked past him, and noticed the mess of the X-Van parts out around the garage. "Hey what's wrong with the X-Van?" she said, not meaning to ignore Lance and change the subject, but it couldn't be helped. She had made plans for the day and the X-Van was a part of them.

Scott just crossed his arms as Kitty approached, and Lance decided to walk with her up to the X-Van where Logan had resumed work under the hood.

"I'm giving this baby some much needed attention. Why, what's the matter Half-Pint?" Logan asked raising an eyebrow at the pout on Kitty's face.

"But we had plans today! They will be like totally ruined if we can't take the X-Van!" Kitty pouted. Logan's eyebrow remained raised.

"And by we, you mean…" he started.

"Me, Rogue, Amara, Rahne, and now Tabitha. We have a special surprise for Rogue planned," Kitty sighed. Logan stood up and turned toward her,

"Sorry Half-Pint, but this vehicle isn't taking anyone anywhere till I get done with it," he went back to working under the hood.

"What! But Mr. Logan what are we suppose to do for a ride now!" Kitty exclaimed, crossing her eyes.

"Hey Kit-Kat, I could drive you girls to wherever you need to go," Lance offered. Kitty looked up to him with a smile and opened her mouth to say something, but was cut off as Scott walked forward and pushed Lance back by the shoulders.

"I don't think so Alvers. The girls aren't going anywhere with you," he said, still fuming from their argument. Both Kitty and Lance glared at him.

"And like why not Scott?" Kitty asked.

Logan shook his head under the hood, he wasn't a fan of the brotherhood either, but Lance giving the girls a ride wouldn't be the worse thing in the world. It would take the girls to their plans for the day and get them out of his hair, plus he wouldn't have to spend his day listening to them complain about his poor timing with his maintenance. Scott was making more trouble than needed with the situation and it was starting to get on his nerves.

"Because it's Lance, Kitty, he is a member of the brotherhood, and trouble follows him and his buddies around wherever they go."

Logan stopped working, confused at the weak excuse provided. Something wasn't right here.

Both Lance and Kitty laughed at Scott.

"Well if that's all, then-" Kitty turned from Scott to Lance, "sure Lance, let me go get the girls, this is like so nice of you, thanks."

She left the garage at a skip smiling, completely ignoring the look on Scott's face. Lance slid his hands in his pockets and walked out of the garage, a smug smile on his face that he had no problem sharing with Scott. Scott just glared and walked away. Logan raised an eyebrow, wondering what was going on with the teenager, and if it was something he and the other instructors should know about. He made a mental note of discussing the situation with Charles when he would go in for lunch later.

Inside

Evan finished mopping and started fixing his breakfast, grabbing a sports drink from the fridge and putting some pop-tarts in the toaster. Rahne came in with her hair up in the usual pig-tails dressed in jeans that were cut up in a few places around the knees and a mint green quarter-length cotton shirt. She poured herself a glass of orange juice and picked up half a bagel and a chocolate chip cookie for her breakfast, humming to herself. A second later, Amara, Tabitha, and Rogue walked in smiling.

"We really need to do something about those two, don't you think?" Tabitha said pulling herself up a chair and leaning back, her feet crossed on the table.

"Yeah, I know what yah mean," Rogue agreed.

Rahne and Evan looked at the girls, curiously.

"Hey who are you guys talking about?" Evan asked, sitting next to Amara.

"Lance and Kitty," Amara explained, "Tabitha thinks we should hook them up or something."

"Oh that would be fun!" Rahne squealed softly. Tabitha smiled at her.

"Exactly, I knew I liked you!" she said giving Rahne a wink.

"Yeah, but if Scott ever found out you guys set them up together, he'd go ballistic," Evan said. The girls all stared at him.

"And why are we suppose to care what that laser brain thinks about it?" Rogue asked, she wasn't about to let Scott Summers and his stupidity get in the way of her best friends possible happiness. Evan grabbed his pop-tarts as they jumped up. Tabitha grabbed a bagel from the table spread.

"Well you know, we could set something up today couldn't we?" Tabitha was looking more at Amara than the others. "I mean, we are already going to be out, we would just have to get Lance and her together later."

"Exactly where are we going again?" Rogue asked

"Hey! You aren't suppose to know Rogue!" Amara said, "Kitty has had this planned with the rest of us for awhile, and we are not going to spoil it."

Tabitha and Rogue looked at one another and smiled.

"Amara, I don't think Kitty would mind if we change the plans up on her just a bit. Besides, are you sure this was a surprise for Rogue, I mean, I thought we were just going to the Mall?" Tabitha said.

"Tabitha, shh!" Amara squealed.

"The Mall? That's it,…that's my special surprise. What on earth was Kitty planning?" Rogue asked, trying not to get too disappointed.

"She had a whole day planned, we were going to all get new outfits and makeovers and stuff. She said she really wanted to take you along and let it be a treat to you and stuff..."Amara tried to explain but she trailed off as Bobby came into the room- he greeted Tabitha and asked everyone what was up. Tabitha grinned even bigger.

"Bobby you're here! This is wonderful, you can help us plan a way to hook up Kitty with Lance. We need to keep Scott out of the loop on this though, got it."

Bobby sat down next to Evan and Tabitha.

"I'm in. What's the plan?" he asked, he lived for stuff like this.

"If we had one, she wouldn't have asked for help with one," Rogue said with an annoyed sigh.

"I know! Why don't we ditch Kitty at the Mall or something and then maybe Lance and her can bump into each other randomly," Rahne suggested. The others considered this for a moment.

"Not the best, but it is a start. We can ditch Kitty, that would be simple enough, but how to insure Lance is the only one there?" Tabitha wondered aloud.

"Girls! Rouge! Amara! Tabitha! Rahne! Girls come on I got us a new ride!" They all jumped in their seats hearing Kitty shouting as she came in the front door. "Hey Girls! Come on, Where are you Guys?" She walked into the kitchen and stood at the doorway.

"Come on, Lance is going to get us a ride cause Mr. Logan is working on the X-Van," she said motioning them to come along and leaving.

The group sat at the table and stared around at one another.

"Okay… So you girls go with them and me and Bobby will recruit some help and then we will give you a call with the rest of the plan," Evan suggested.

The girls didn't look all that convinced, but figured they should just nod and leave.

"Call me, I'll pretend you are my mom and leave the group for a bit so there won't be any chance of Kitty overhearing anything, then I'll update everyone else afterwards," Rahne suggested.

"Great thinking wolf-girl," Tabitha said, grabbing both Rahne and Amara around the waist and heading out of the building with Rouge following behind them.

8:08 am

Outside

The girls and Lance piled into the jeep to leave. Lance, Kitty, and Rouge in the front,

Rahne, Tabitha, and Amara in the back.

"Where to?" Lance asked turning out of the drive.

"Bayville Sunstone Mall," Kitty said.

"Right…and which one is that?" Lance asked knowing there were two actual 'Bayville' ones and another one on the way out of the city somewhere, but he really didn't pay attention to their names.

"The one near the ice skating rink and the hair salon," Kitty answered, also motioning with her hand to the left.

"Right," Lance said, making a left.

"Thanks for driving us by the way Lance," Kitty said after a few minutes of driving with no one saying anything. Well Tabitha had started whispering to the two girls in the back, but whatever it was they obviously didn't want anyone else to hear so the three up front were left in silent discussion, which was making Kitty uncomfortable.

"No problem Kit-Kat, besides, seeing the look on Summers face and knowing how much it bugs him makes it worth it. I swear, that guy has more PMS tendencies than Pietro."

This made everyone laugh, and soon the whole group was picking on Scott, though Rahne and Amara would only pitch in a little, they let the other's speak out instead of trying to voice their own opinions about him.

Inside the Institute

Evan and Bobby finished their breakfasts and cleaned up the kitchen. They headed upstairs to start on operation: get Lance and Kitty together without Scott finding out about it, and to work on a better title. They went to the game room to find their friends.

Ray and Jubilee were suppose to be studying for a physics test, but their books were left piled around the couch and table and they were now in the midst of playing a game of Risk. Jubilee was winning, her yellow pieces were surrounding Ray's remaining forces.

"Hey you two, want to help us with a secret project?" Bobby asked pulling up a chair and surveying Jubilee's progress with interest. Ray and Jubilee lifted their eyebrows with curiosity, noticing that Evan seemed to be watching the door for Bobby.

"Here's the deal," Bobby said, clearly enjoying this far too much, "Tabitha and Rogue had the idea to get Kitty and Lance together. Amara and Rahne are out with those three and Lance is driving them to the Mall. So now we need to figure out a way that gets Lance to meet up with Kitty randomly once the other girls have conveniently ditched her. Oh, and no matter what we do, Scott can't find out."

"Duh," both Jubilee and Ray said.

"It's a good thing Jean is out all day, huh," voiced Jubilee, all thoughts of world domination gone from her mind, she could take it over any day, this would actually be challenging.

"So, how do we get Lance and Kitty to meet up? and where?" Bobby asked, getting to the point.

"Well if the girls are at the mall, then they should meet up around there, Kitty won't leave by herself even if the girls ditch her," Jubilee said.

"Yeah, but Lance hanging around at the Mall. No guy does that," Ray spoke up.

"Unless," Evan quickly turned toward them, still standing at the door, "they are lured to someplace else close by the mall under false pretence."

"Huh?" the other three asked.

"You know, like we have one of the girls phone Kitty and say they are getting hungry around lunch, feel bad about loosing her and want to meet up at a restaurant close by instead of the food court."

"That could work Evan!" Jubilee said.

"Yeah, great idea…but what about Lance," Bobby said, drumming his fingers on the table.

"Easy," said Ray, "We get someone from the brotherhood to call him to come to lunch." The others considered this for a moment.

"Can we really trust the brotherhood with helping us in setting them up?" Evan asked, thinking Peitro would rather cause problems than solutions. The others thought to themselves for a bit.

"This is getting a bit technical for me," Ray sighed leaning back. He stood up and started for the door. "I'll be right back with help."

"Where are you going? We can't tell Scott, remember?" Bobby said, worried.

"I know that, I'm going to get someone who can think technically in the most simplest way possible. Besides, if anyone is going to convince the brotherhood to help it is going to be the one of us they haven't fought and the most innocent of us all….well sort of," Ray explained.

"Jamie!" the three all shouted together.

"That's perfect! Where is he?" Jubilee asked standing up with Ray.

"I think he is with McCoy in the Control Room working on the computer systems," Evan said.

"I'm going to get Sam," Bobby stood up and headed for the door too, "He might as well be in on this too, everyone else is."

Evan and Bobby went right and headed down stairs and outside to collect Sam, and Jubilee and Ray turned left and headed to the elevator then down to the control room for Jamie. They couldn't wait to get the plan in motion.