Title: This Acid Trip Called Life

Pairing: Lance/Scott, Scott/Lance

Part: 1/?

Author: Naisumi

Rating: PG-13

Disclaimer: You've _got_ to be kidding...^.~

Archive: If you want, but could you tell me at least?

Warnings: Language


Notes: SLASH, um...post-high school ^^ Scott's in college, soooo yeah. This also means that he gets to have a bunch of effed up friends that will be OCs, but don't worry, they're not, like, main characters or anything. Nor are they Mary Sues or Gary Stus *shudders*

I'm giving Morwen credit for coming up with the nickname 'Scooterboy' ^-^ Kudos to you! Also, this features NON-BITCHIFIED Jean! *gasp!*

BY THE WAY, I wrote this at THREE in the morning. 3 AM!! So, if some parts read like I'm high or something, it's just the exhaustion speaking. It's either that or it was just me o.o er...yeah.

**Oh yeah, special thanks to Morwen and Sheendo for information they provided on NY and colleges. LOVE YA BUNCHES! *glomps* n.n


Additional Notes: NOT BETAD! ^^ Word was also giving me problems with spacing at points...

Enjoy, and please give me C&C!!!


"blah." People speak

-- uh...scene switch



--

Scott Summers was a senior at Bayville High school. He was six foot two, enjoyed driving his car down country lanes and hanging out with his friends, woodcarving, an occasional game of basketball, and a good plate of spaghetti. He hated heights, things that moved too slowly tried his patience, and he didn't like fishing.

When he graduated, Scott planned on going to a large campus university in upstate New York to take up Engineering and maybe business. He was going to live in an apartment with a nice even plate number--easily rollable off the tongue like 244B--and carve things out of slabs of cheap sandalwood in his free time. He was going to furnish his room with meager throw rugs and fill his cupboards with plastic cups and chipped plates; stand dollarstore lamps on side tables with one leg too short and have rectangular doormat that said 'Welcome to Nowhere.'

Yes, Scott was going to be the ideal starving college student, complete with his unhealthy tendency to mope around places with large amounts of caffeinated beverages, like Starbucks.

The only problem was, Scott Summers was a mutant.

That, and among his many other issues, he was also bi.

No, things did not look up for young Scott, what with his ability to turn things into black charred cinders with a mere glance and the slight tip of his shades. Things especially didn't look up for him trying to be normal; not when he tried to say 'hi' to the mean-looking lady behind the registration counter with the nametag that read 'Medusa,' and definitely not when old rivals decided to show up out of nowhere at all.





It was the week of midterms. Midterms were bad. Especially since Scott had awoken at the coffee table with post-it notes all over his face and a textbook imprint on his forehead. Also, a dry-cleaning commercial had somehow found its way into his thoughts and was now treading deep circles in aching head, much like Fido on crack; going 'round and 'round and 'round, similarly to the dryer on the television that had been displayed before it got sucked into his brain.

At this point in time, Scott was beginning to really regret letting Jean convince him into signing up for French when he could've continued Spanish quite safely and happily. Very happily, in fact, since he was now learning the eight most-used tenses in French--which were bugging the crap out of him because he should be good at them, but he wasn't. As his French professor said repeatedly--in her upscale nasal voice that reminded him of a chipmunk that had inhaled too much helium--grammar was for those who liked math.

Scott liked math. Math was easy to understand--angles and algebra and the occasional nasty but easily convertible radians. Math loved Scott. Scott could figure things out while other students sat and stared at math problems with disgust and bafflement in their braindead gazes. However--unfortunately at that--French did not like Scott (as much as a subject can dislike, at any rate). It fought tooth and nail to prevent the 19-year-old college freshman from assimilating all information concerning France and its culture. This would be just as well, since Scott hated French with mutual loathing, but he still had to get through midterms.

And he had to write that paper in French. Three to seven pages. Double-spaced. Correct grammar or die.

"I hate my life," Scott muttered to himself, stumbling over to the answering machine and telephone, his sleep-fogged brain finally registering the shrill ringing that had been echoing in the suspiciously dumpy apartment. It beeped as he failed to pick it up in time and he heard Bryan's latest message for all who dared to call them,

"Hello, you've reached Bryan and Scott. We can't pick up the phone right now, because we're doing something we really enjoy. Scott likes doing it up and down, and I like doing it left to right ... real slowly. So leave a message, and when we're done brushing our teeth we'll get back to you."

After reminding himself to mutilate his roommate and also to record a new message, Scott clicked the play button and flicked the volume to max before staggering toward the kitchen.

*beep*

"Hi, Scott, it's Jean. I was just wondering how midterms are going. How's French? Wasn't I so right when I told you that French is so much better than Spanish?"

"You were so wrong," Scott moaned in response to Jean's cheery inquiry as he poured some orange juice into a glass and tried to ignore the pounding ache in his head.

"Anyway," the message continued, happily oblivious to its recipient's turmoil, "Xavier's updating the D. Room--is that roommate of yours around? He doesn't still think 'D' stands for 'Down 'n Dirty,' does he?--and it's all...hi-tech now. I mean, even moreso. You'd love it."

"I'm sure," Scott mumbled in reply around a bite of toast as he moved over to stare at the answering machine with glazed-over eyes. All work and no sleep gives Scott a headache to keep, he thought mournfully, feeling extreme pity for himself.

"I have to go now. By the way," Jean added, sounding rather amused, "You have fourteen days until I come up and terrorize your dorm room. From what you tell me, the deco's absolutely horrid. Ciao!"

Ending on a bright note, eh? Scott thought wryly, reminding himself to tell Bryan to use masking tape and make boundaries for 'Scott's side' and 'his side.' Hopefully the redhead would get confused and give Bryan's side a makeover instead.

*beep*

"Hi, Scott--this is Kitty. I was just wondering if you, like, knew how to get paint off of automobiles? Like, paintball paint? 'cause me and Kurt accidentally spilled some on Mr. Logan's motorcycl--...What's that, Kurt? It's not paintball paint? Like, correctional paint?--wait, there's such thing as...permanent paint?...oh, whew. That, like, totally freaked me out for a se--what?! Waterproof paint?!!"

There was pause, then,

"I've got to go now, Scott. Um. Well, good luck on midterms. And...like, I've really got to go now. Bye!"

There was a light click, then the sound of two people yelling, a loud metallic clinking noise, then the dialtone. Scott arched an eyebrow, wondering with still some grogginess if he should be concerned. He decided that he could call Jean later and ask her if Kitty and Kurt were still alive.

*beep*

"Hey, dude. It's Mac. Um...y'know our science project? The, uh, one with all the chemicals and mechanical...parts? Like...y'know, the um, thing? Yeah...well, it kind of blew up. And stuff. ...I'll catch ya later, dude. Don't blow a gasket, huh?"

Scott stared at the machine for a few minutes, waiting for the message to continue with a 'just kidding!' When it didn't, he grumbled to himself, and decided he could overreact later when he got some caffeine into his system.

*beep*

"Heya Scott! Sadie here. Didja hear my new message? Huh? The Star Trek one? If not, then call me! I won't pick up. I mean, I'll be there, but I want you to hear my new message. So call me. Like...now. Please? OH, by the way--our cram--er, study session--*coughcough* yeah right...--is moved to three o'clock. We'll be in the third booth from the right at Starbucks. There's so much damn coffee there you can get on a caffeine high from just inhaling in the vicinity. Just our luck that we get a closet of a Starbucks, huh? Oh, well. Triple mochas on you! Because I'm kinda broke. Is that okay? I hope it's okay. Because you owe me! And you have my umbrella. Oh...never mind. It's right here. Er...I'm taking a long time, aren't I? Hey, tell Bryan to get off his lazy ass and fix my clock. He told me he would but he hasn't yet. The cuckoo bird's practically a zombie now. It won't even come out of its house. Before, it would at least come out and kinda squeak at you at around noon, but now it's totally tripped up. Anyway, I'll see ya 'round. 'later!"

He blinked, his mind getting bogged down from information overload as the extremely long and hyperactive message took time for his brainjuices to digest.

*beep*

"Scott, dude! It's Alex! I'm gonna be in town 'round the 30th. You going to be at the Institute then? No, I haven't gotten into any trouble. Yes, I'm still having problems around cooked meat. I honestly didn't mean to fry that shark! Honest!...Is that weird roommate around? No? Well, in any case, I'll see you around, hopefully. I'll bring souvenirs! 'later, bro."

Scott stared at the machine again, which he had found himself to be doing quite often.

"'Fry that shark?'" he repeated aloud, incredulous. Alex had fried a shark? Since when?

"Jeez, we've got to talk," Scott muttered before he deleted all the messages.

He made a few calls, then headed for the shower. When Scott got back, he found his roommate Bryan lounging on the couch and drinking soda that he remembered had been marked distinctly as his.

"What up?" Bryan grinned and raised the pop can in a pseudo-salute before making as to gulp it down.

"You don't even like orange cream soda," Scott grumbled back in response, toweling his hair. He walked by the sofa and grabbed the can before the dark-haired boy could take a drink.

"Sadie wants you to go fix her clock," he added, while mentally asking himself over and over why he had to get himself a roommate who thought that running through the park fountain in only his smiley face boxers was fun.

"Eh, she can wait," Bryan shrugged while snatching the can back up and taking a swig before the other boy could stop him. Scott spared him a withering glare before returning to the task of searching for the almighty bottle of aspirin.

"Hey, have you seen the Tylenol?" Scott asked, his head partway in the cupboard with all the plates.

"Nope," Bryan rubbed at the back of his head, jabbing his thumb toward the bathroom, "You done?"

Scott made a vague affirmative noise before returning to his Quest. After he finally found the bottle of half-empty Tylenol, he settled down at the counter and popped two into his mouth, swallowing them dry with a grimace. He gathered his textbooks--mainly the French textbook from Hell that didn't explain squat, Advanced Physics, and Corporate Learning (Business, hooray, hooray)--and drummed his fingers on the countertop, waiting for Bryan to get done with his shower.

Scott could still remember the day when he had been looking through the newspaper at apartment ads. The one that said 'Looking for guy that doesn't do stuff. Warning: Apartment inoperable around sane people--rejects from Roswell welcome' had, of course, caught his attention. To his chagrin--and what resulted in many hazardous situations to his health, as well--that had been the only apartment available. Of course there was the other one, 'Must be Enlightened and wanting to seek the Great Powers That Will Be. (Satan-worshippers fine)' but Scott hadn't been willing to take a chance with that.

So, now he was stuck with Bryan Ford, who blared techno music at ungodly hours of the night, drank Coca-Cola while eating Fruit Loops, and thought learning how to hula-hoop with his pinky was both feasible and a good use of his time. Among other queer attributes as well, of course.

"Okay, I'm good to go!" Bryan grinned at him, wearing hot orange shorts and an odd and slightly disturbing black shirt that said in big neon lettering, 'Gun control means hitting your target.'

Scott quirked an eyebrow.

"Bryan, it's fifteen degrees outside."

"No, it's not. It's..." he leaned outside the window briefly, "fourteen and a half."

"It can't be fourteen and a half."

"Yes, it can."

"The thermometer outside goes up in miniature five degree increments."

"But it's fourteen and a half."

"There's no way you can tell that by just glancing at it for a second!"

"Well, I'm just special, aren't I?"

"Yes," Scott said dryly, grabbing his coat from the rack by the door, "the sort of special where people only entrust you with safety scissors."

"You're just jealous," Bryan informed him while he grabbed his duffel bag, a windbreaker, and a bag of Cheetos before he followed the other boy out of the apartment.

"Am I, really?" the bespectacled mutant asked with mock-surprise, "Gee, I never noticed."

"Sarcasm doesn't become you." His roommate replied simply before punching the elevator button two dozen times. Scott rolled his eyes and finished locking up the apartment door before joining the cobalt-eyed boy in the elevator.

"So, where're we headed?" Bryan asked curiously, toeing the shaggy carpet inside the box of an elevator.

"I'm going to the library," Scott replied archly.

"Can I come with?"

"No."

"Why?"

"Because."

"Why?"

"Shut up," Scott rolled his eyes again, even though it was pointless since no one could see him do it.

Bryan evidently decided it was futile to continue bugging him, and settled for bouncing on his heels and asking rather irritatingly,

"Are we still on for Starbucks?"

"At three," Scott fiddled with one strap of his book bag.

"Three?"

"Yep," Scott grinned slightly, "If Sadie ever finds her way there."

"Well, she is chronologically-challenged."

"Her clock's broken, Bryan."

"So?"

"An-nd who's fault is it?"

"...I plead the sixth."

"It's the fifth," Scott informed him as the reached the ground floor and the elevator dinged pleasantly.

"Whatever," Bryan waved dismissively and combed his hand through his shot up hair.

Scott rolled his eyes yet again, and the two exchanged some more trivial bits of conversation before they parted ways.

The air outside was crisp, as it was nearing the end of autumn but not quite there yet. Leaves were now scattered on the ground, a patchwork of lemon yellow and gingerbread brown layering the sidewalk and muffling busy footsteps. Scott folded his arms closer to him and looked to either side of him before jogging across the street, his eyes catching on the bare branches of the trees for a brief second.

He always had found fall to be a depressing season. While in winter everything was supposed to look dead, autumn was the season that the 'dying' actually occurred in. In the winter, at least there was snow, blanketing the earth in a sheathe of sparkling white, icy wind frosting windowpanes with kisses of snowflakes. He was a summer person himself, but he could see how people might love the distant regal beauty of snowscapes and muted cerulean horizons. Personally, however, Scott found the all-engulfing splashes of warm balmy color more comforting than the pale streaks of blue and white and gray that inhabited the winter months.

"Oof!" Scott swore under his breath as he accidentally knocked into someone. So involved in contemplation had he been that he had failed to look where he had been going, instead trusting his feet to automatically carry him to the university library as they had done numerous other times. He fell to the ground, his backpack dragging him to the cold cement, the leaves feeling slimy and slick under the palms of his hands.

"Oh, jeez, sorry, I--Summers?" Scott blinked and looked up, startled to see none other than Lance Alvers scowling down at him. The dark-haired boy had offered him his hand, but quickly hooked it into one pocket of his bluejeans as soon as he saw who he had bumped into.

"Lance?" He got to his feet, feeling his hackles rise as initial surprise wore off. "What're you doing here?" Scott asked stiffly, his brows drawing together in a frown.

Lance snorted and rolled his eyes, "What do you think?"

Scott glared at him--not that he could really see that he was, but it was the thought that mattered--but couldn't help but look over the other mutant. Lance was still clad in jeans--though the knees were more or less intact but looking worse for the wear--and his customary black t-shirt. However, he was now also sporting a black imitation leather jacket in honor of the chilliness that was autumn and all things approaching the later months of the year. He had a scruffy looking black book bag slung over one shoulder that had pretty much lost all form and shape and so looked just like a sack--one with lots of whiteout graffiti, in any case.

Scott blinked.

Waitaminute.

"You're going to college here?"

"Don't look any more incredulous," Lance said unhelpfully, "I think you broadcasting your astonishment to all of New York well enough as is."

Scott glared at him, making sure to frown darkly so that the other would get the point that he was miffed.

"So, what kind of trouble are you trying to stir up now?" He asked as snidely as he could without feeling like an ass. Fortunately, his conscious backed off considerably when it came to the subject of trying to insult Lance and any other member of the no-longer-Brotherhood.

Lance scoffed, "What, you think I don't have enough fodder for mischief in deadbeat Bayville that I have to run up here to cause chaos?" He paused, then grinned in a not entirely pleasant way, "Well, you'd be correct there, but I'm actually here in this fine educational institute--and this grand ol' city--for the same thing you're here for. If you're here to learn about crap, anyway," he added.

"Well--" Scott really had no reply for that, so just settled for glaring at Lance in the most hostile way he could. As hostile as he could get at 8 in the morning, anyway. He felt really lousy from lack of sleep and too much studying and was in no condition to be verbally sparring and exchanging witty retorts with someone he had thought--and wished--he had left back in Bayville along with other jerks like Duncan Matthews.

In any case, Lance seemed to have lost his patience with Scott, and so he shouldered his way past him with a muttered, 'Whatever.'

Well, that was fun, Scott thought with obvious distaste. He soon pushed all thoughts of Lance out of his mind when more urgent matters invaded his brain--such as, Crap! French! Studying!





At around 2:54, Scott reached the local Starbucks and nudged the door open, ignoring the little bell that the management had attached to it. He tossed his backpack in the corner of the booth and plunked himself down, his brain having decisively flicked the off-switch about thirty minutes earlier.

Yes, Summers, his thoughts were kind of fuzzy, excellent way to spend half an hour--sitting and staring at a book upside down. Wonderful. He sighed mournfully and ordered the most caffeinated and sugar-laced beverage available on the menu before resuming his spacing out with the rather glum mental proclamation of, I'm going to faiiiiil...

"Hey, there, S dash S!" Sadie grinned rather perkily and popped out of nowhere, plopping down across the table from him.

Scott stared at her dumbly, noting that when her pigtails bounced, he could see trails.

"S...dash...S," he repeated. "I don't believe I've heard that one before."

"I just noticed that if your middle name was something dorky like 'Otto,' we could call you 'SOS,'" Sadie replied after giving a waitress her order.

"Oh," Scott answered intelligently.

"Hey, did you hear about the new student that just transferred here from downstate somewhere?" the black-haired girl asked, disgustingly chipper even though other normal students were all dropping like flies because of grueling study schedules.

"Wha?" Scott blinked. He could actually picture his brain coming apart at the seams, the nerve endings going on strike, demanding wages, and refusing to transmit signals during the whole torpid ordeal.

"Yeah--the guys are late, what's the deal?--he's supposed to be somewhat smart unlike some of the morons around here. Ain't that grand?"

"Sure," Scott sipped at the drink that had arrived just in time to fuel his dwindling energy supply and slowly liquidizing brain.

"And he's supposed to be hot, though I wouldn't think you'd know anything about that," Sadie shot him a sly look with catty green eyes, as if hoping he'd say otherwise.

"Mm-hmm."

"I ferget his name...something that starts with a L."

"Lance," Scott said without thinking, thoughts returning to his latest unsavory encounter. Afterwards, he was reminded of Microsoft Word and it's tendency to recover documents with no specific significance. And after that, he mentally thwapped himself for even thinking Lance again.

"Yes, that's it!" Sadie grinned widely, "Yeah, Lance Alverce, or something weird like that."

"Alvers," Scott mumbled, before attempting suck up all of the triple mocha café latte with whipped cream and fudge sprinkles in one gulp.

"Yeah, Alvers! That's it!" the pigtailed girl gave him a strange look, "What, do you know him or something like that?"

"Something like that," Scott echoed, fumbling with the zipper of his book bag and pulling out a textbook. He had hoped it would be his saving grace, but, with his infamous bad luck streak, he chanced upon his French book. He groaned.

Sadie seemed not to noticed the chestnut-haired boy's plight and glanced at her Minnie Mouse wristwatch, griping, "Man, where are those guys?! You told Bryan we were meeting at three, right?"

"Mm-hmm."

Scott stared at the Appendix, wondering what poor soul had been stuck doing the job.

"And I know I told Mac. Did you know that he broke that electronic toaster racecar thing you guys were working on? I think he sat on it or something. Oh, no, no, he dropped his iron on it. What kind of guy irons his clothes?"

"Mm," Scott shrugged slightly, his forehead nearly touching the book before his head jerked back up and he stared at an odd crusty sugary spot on the table in a daze.

"3:20! Those guys are so la--hey, Scott, you know we aren't here to actually study, right? Hello? Earth to Scott Summers?"

Scott blinked and looked up at her, "What were you saying?"

Sadie rolled her eyes and made an exasperated sound, playing with the electric blue fringe that passed as her bangs, "Ugh. Guys."

"We're all guys, you know," Scott observed.

"Yes, it makes me feel intelligent," Sadie flashed him a grin and pulled the French textbook away from him. Wrinkling her nose, she glared at it before unceremoniously chucking it at his book bag, "Ick. French. I'm taking Latin."

"Yes, 'Ick, French,'" Scott said miserably, "I somehow let my friend talk me into taking it. I wanted to take Spanish."

"Spanish is easier than French," Sadie said wisely, "It's good to not pick courses that are ass-hard and with professors that sound like prairie dogs on speed."

"I know," Scott mumbled before pausing and asking in what was close to a whine, "How long do these mocha latte whatevertheyares take to...y'know...get you all...energetic?"

"Need a thesaurus, Scotty?" Sadie asked wryly before swirling the straw around in her own drink, "Well, that monster of a sugarbomb that you ordered is so loaded you could smell the caffeine rising off of it. I figure you'll be on a total trip by the time Mac and Bry--"

"Heyyy," Mac grinned and lugged a large instrument case into the booth, narrowly missing Sadie's head. He scooted in beside her, pushing her in toward the window rather ungracefully. She glared at him.

"What took you guys so long?!" She demanded, transferring her steely gaze of wrath to Bryan as he shooed Scott toward the inside of the booth and sat down looking rather satisfied.

"Joyride," Bryan grinned as he and Mac exchanged high fives.

"A joyride in what?" Sadie asked, looking somewhat bemused, "You got your car towed."

"Heh. I stole a go-cart the other night and me an' Bryan built in some wheels."

Mac grinned and flipped some stray strands of blond hair out of his face.

"It rocked, man! This one police officer guy started chasing us, though," Bryan looked thoughtful, "I'm glad he couldn't get through that one road."

"That wasn't a road," Mac said brightly, "It was a hiking trail."

"You two are a hazard to society," Sadie muttered in mock-disgust, shaking her head.

"Wait, why're you so...awake?" Scott asked, peering at Mac in bafflement.

"I haven't been studying, man." The blond smiled rather serenely, "I've been meditating."

"He's a Buddhist now, you know," Bryan snickered and stole one of Sadie's biscotti.

"No, I was a Buddhist last week," Mac said helpfully, "I'm a Daltonist now."

"What the hell is a Daltonist?" Sadie asked, trying to snatch the last half of her biscotti back from a rather hungry Bryan.

"You know," Mac looked as if something was just dawning upon him, "I'm not quite sure."

"It's...someone who..." Scott trailed off, then shook his head as he forgot what he was going to say, gulping down the rest of his drink.

"Scoot's a little linguistically challenged today," Sadie announced, dodging Scott's half-hearted swat, "And he knew about that Alvers guy."

"Is he another one of your wacky friends?" Bryan inquired, drawing on the poor innocent courtesy card by the salt and pepper (they were never used anyway) that said 'Please Don't Litter,' "'cause all of your other wacky friends don't like me."

"That's because all of his wacky friends are sane, dude." Mac said, grabbing the placard away from the hyperactively destructive Bryan and folding it into a frog.

"Naw, I bet he's a potential love interest," Sadie drawled to which Scott replied with his first coherent words in a while,

"For me or for you?"

"For both of us!" the emerald-eyed girl beamed, "We can share him!"

"Ugh," Scott made a face, "I hate him."

"You so do not," Sadie looked horrified, "But he's supposed to be hot!"

Scott muttered something into his now empty cup before subsiding into a rather sulky silence.

"Look. It's Kermit." Scott blinked and stared at the paper frog that abruptly hopped into his line of view. Mac grinned crazily at him.

"R-R-Ribbit!" The frog hopped feebly toward him with the letters 'NA' on its back written in metallic magenta gel pen.

"NA?" Scott asked, picking it up and beginning to unfold it. He ignored the piteous wails and alleged deathcries that Mac and Bryan were making in froggy voices.

"...Fuchsia banana?" Scott read, puzzled.

Sadie rolled her eyes, grabbed the card and crumpled it up, chucking it at Bryan, who was giggling in a rather unmanly way.

"Banana! Banana!" Bryan tittered and Mac wrinkled his nose, pushing up his glasses as they began to fell.

"Gawd, I hate this thing," the blond declared as he plucked the spectacles from the bridge of his nose and glowered at it with distaste.

"You should get contact lenses," Sadie suggested, "I hear they have really cool ones in cat-yellow and royal purple."

"Thanks," Mac said dryly, "But no thanks. I'll call you when I decide to dress up as a vampire for Halloween."

Scott slouched further down in the booth, still feeling slightly heady as Sadie and Mac began to go off on some weird tangent about paper bags and candy. Through it all, Bryan was grinning in a rather disturbing fashion, saying, "Banana!"





Scott had been banished to the library. His latest caffeine-induced hyperactive spazz had lasted for two and half hours so far and was still going strong. Sadie had decided it was the last straw when he suggested with unholy glee that they could paint their nails with Magic Markers. And so here he was at the intersection again, no longer with his three oddball friends (two of which were currently being held captive by Sadie, who was forcing Bryan to fix her clock). As Mac often said, Scott deserved a neon sign above his head that said, 'Armed and Dangerous when Sugar-crazed.'

He bounced from foot to foot, staring at the traffic light and sighing with impatience. While he waited, he hummed the Smurfs theme song under his breath and toyed with his backpack straps. Some of the other pedestrians were beginning to edge away him with trepidation. The moment the stoplight turned red, Scott sprinted across and practically skipped toward the library steps.

Trying to calm his jittering nerves and suppress the urge to giggle madly, Scott moved to yank open the door only to let out a yelp as someone pushed it open at the same time.

"Ahh!" He squeezed his eyes shut, suddenly going still as the hard door nearly collided with his shades, then blinked as he realized that it hadn't smashed into his face. The girl at the other side squeaked, wide-eyed, and mumbled an apology before sidestepping him and his unknown savior and scampering off.

Scott looked at the hand that was between his forehead and the door.

"Ow," the hand said. Scott blinked again. Then he looked over as he realized that hands didn't speak, and therefore (his brilliant conclusion was,) it must have been the hand's owner that was speaking.

"YOU!" Scott backpedaled and pointed at Lance, who was scowling rather ferociously.

"Yes, me. Now, are you going to go inside or not?"

"No, I'm not going to go inside." Scott stamped his foot. The other boy stared at him.

"Are you drunk?"

"No, I'm not drunk." He pouted slightly, then began to chuckle to himself. One student glanced at him, alarmed, before tugging the brim of his baseball cap down more snugly and hurrying into the library before the scary boy with the red-tinted shades could do serial killer-type things to him.

Lance rolled his eyes, "What, are you high then? I thought dorks like you didn't do shit like that."

"Nope. I is not doing shit."

Lance stared at him some more.

"SCOOOOOOTT!"

Lance let go of the door, and looked over in the direction of the yell. A dark-haired girl with electric blue bangs and neon green striped pigtails (short pigtails--ones about two or three inches long) was stomping her way toward them. She was wearing black jeans, patches of white showing that they were old, a cut-off dark purple tee with the word 'PRINCESS' on it in hot pink, and a denim jacket. She was also dragging along two guys with her, one with semi-long blond hair--long in the front and squared off in the back--and another with dark brown hair and certain well-placed strands bleached to give him a tousled gold/mahogany look.

"SCOTT! We need tools! This dumbass completely wrecked my cu--hel-lo."

The girl paused and stared at Lance, looking him up and down. She grinned.

"Heya! I'm Sadie Falkon," she waved, then pushed the two guys toward him with a quirky smile, "And this is Mac and Bryan Ford. Say 'hi,' Mac and Bryan."

"Yo," the boy called Mac said, rubbing the back of his neck and shooting a pointed look at Sadie. Bryan bounced a few times, then said loudly and rather brightly,

"Heyyy!"

Lance arched an eyebrow, then addressed Bryan, "So, are you Summers' drug dealer or somethin'?"

Bryan snickered and Scott spoke up from behind Lance,

"No, he's not! But he was going to give me some Magic Markers..."

Lance turned and stared at him yet again. Sadie rolled her eyes,

"And now you've met sugar-happy Scooterboy."

"I've never met Summers when he was sugar-happy," Lance said, a small smirk playing on his lips.

Sadie blinked, then pointed at him with sudden glee, "YOU!"

Lance coughed, feeling a sense of déjà vu.

"You're Lance Alverce!"

"Alvers," Lance corrected with a growl. Sadie ignored him.

"Yeah, I was tellin' these stooges over here that I had heard some guy--you, obviously--had transferred here. Scoot said he knew you."

"Or something like that," Scott reminded her, feeling affectionate towards everyone for some odd reason.

"Yes, or something like that," Sadie repeated sarcastically.

"You wanna go hang some'here?" Bryan asked, hopping up and down then hiding behind Mac when Sadie glared at him,

"Hey, you ain't going anywhere until you fix my clock, you pint-sized safety hazard!"

Mac coughed and hid a smile, "Now, now, Sadie...just because he's a little shorter than you doesn't mean he's terrible or a safety hazard. He's not that much shorter than you, anyway."

Bryan grinned and nodded, beaming up at Mac.

"In fact," the taller boy continued, "He's perfect to use as an armrest. See, you just prop your elbow on his head like so," he chortled and ducked as Bryan scowled and swatted at him.

"Thanks, friend," the orange shorted one said with a roll of his eyes.

Lance turned to Scott, a rather incredulous expression on his face,

"These are the people you hang out with?"

"Huh?" Scott asked intelligently, looking up from where he had swung his book bag to the front and was now meticulously lining up the zippers.

"Never mind," Lance muttered, rolling his eyes toward the sky. "You've got some serious issues, you know that, Summers?"

"Ye-es, he does," Sadie grinned, suddenly beside him again. Lance eyed her suspiciously.

"Want to go back to the dorm and do stuff?"

"We can have an orgy!" Bryan piped up helpfully.

Mac nodded and smirked, "Dictionary definition: three or more people taking off their socks and sticking their feet in the air."

"Doesn't it sound so fascinating?" Bryan enthused.

Lance was beginning to feel as if the world had gone mad. "Not...really."

"It's great fun," Sadie told him, "And you can help me fix my clock."

"It's a cuckoo clock," Scott said seriously, his first coherent contribution to the conversation, "It chirps."

"No, it doesn't," Mac disagreed, "It quacked for a while."

"Yes, but then Bryan killed it with a hammer," Sadie shook her head with mock-sorrow, "Alas, poor Cuckoo Clock...I knew him well."

"It was a 'her,'" Bryan griped, "too damn temperamental."

"You want to talk about mental?" Lance interrupted, "Check out the mirror sometime, you four."

"We would," Mac said in a stage-whisper, "But that would just be encouraging Scott's narcissistic tendencies. We don't want to be a bad influence on him, you know."

"I'm not narcissistic," Scott protested, "I'm narcoleptic!"

"What the hell does 'narcoleptic' mean?" Sadie demanded, looking horrified that Scott was using big words.

"And why the fuck are we standing in front of the library?" Lance asked, looking rather disgruntled as he stepped out of the way of an irritated pedestrian.

"We can go back to my phat pad," Bryan beamed.

"Our phat pad," Scott contradicted while trying to get his book bag back from Mac.

"Speaking of which, I don't like our answering machine's message."

"I do," Bryan pouted, "Why don't you like it?"

"Your message last week was cool," Mac grinned, "'The number you dialed exists only in your imagination. Please hang up and don't call back.'(1)"

"You guys make up answering machine messages for fun?" Lance asked, wondering how far he could get if he set off for the opposite direction at a dead run.

"We change answering machine messages every week," Sadie explained, "Last week, we all had 'A is for academics, B is for beer. One of those reasons is why we're not here. So leave a message.' It's lots of fun."

"I'm sure," Lance said sarcastically.

"So are we heading back to the dorm or not?" Bryan demanded, "It's almost six and I'm starting to get cold."

"I told you it was cold," Scott said triumphantly, seeming to have forgotten that Lance was there, or that Lance was someone that he wasn't friends with.

"Well, before it wasn't cold." Bryan disagreed.

"Yes, it was," Sadie poked Bryan in the arm, "You're just part Eskimo."

Lance grumbled then said loudly before Bryan could reply, "Yes, yes, let's go back to your dorm before you freak everyone in this whole damn place out."

Sadie and Mac grinned.





"So are you gay, bi, straight, or do you have a thing for Clifford?" Bryan asked curiously.

Lance was beginning to feel decidedly homicidal.

"I don't want to know," Scott said rather forcefully, covering his ears with his hands.

"Maybe we should do Jell-O shots, man," Mac said, lying on his back with his head in one of the beanbag chairs, tossing a bouncy ball at the ceiling. It flashed red every time it made contact, then stopped as soon as it began its journey back to Mac's hands.

"We should study," Scott suggested. He had begun to feel like himself again, and therefore was glowering at Lance with a sort of muted suspicious hostility.

"How 'bout not?" Sadie retorted from where she was hanging upside down on the couch.

"A word with you, Summers?" Lance asked through gritted teeth and gesturing toward the kitchen. The other mutant jumped up from his seat on the armchair and practically ran for the other room (away from his crazy roommate and friends).

"What the hell are you doin' hanging around with potheads?" Lance sounded half-amused and half-exasperated.

"They're okay," Scott replied defensively. "They're good friends."

"I'm sure they are when they're not on trips," the dark-haired boy replied dryly. Scott coughed but wasn't able to completely cover up a snort of laughter.

"Yeah, well...I've had about enough," Lance continued and the slight crooked grin on Scott's face faded.

"I think I'm gonna head back now."

"You are?" Scott blinked, confused about why he felt slightly disappointed.

"Scottttttt," came from the other room, "Do you have any Magic Markers...???"

His eyes went wide.

"C'mon, Alvers," he blanched and said as amiably as he could, feeling some measure of panic, "We've always been rivals, but you wouldn't actually leave me here at the mercy of these--as you call them--potheads, would you?!"

Lance smirked and eyed him with an expression that simply screamed, 'Are you kidding me? Of course I would!'

"Okay, maybe that wasn't the best question to ask. Um--"

"Don't worry," Lance rolled his eyes, "Jeez. You X-geeks are so high-strung." The chocolate-haired boy leaned against the counter and quirked an eyebrow,

"It's nice to see a familiar face, anyways."

Scott hesitated. The urge to glare and initiate animosity was strong, but Lance was right about one thing--it'd be nice to see someone who was from Bayville. Then again, he never really knew Lance--the dark-eyed boy was being far more laid back than he had ever seen--and didn't even really consider him a friend. But then again...what was there to lose?

"So does that mean this is a truce?"

"Eh," Lance shrugged, "Until you piss me off, sure."

"What if you piss me off?"

"What could I possibly do to piss the great Scott Summers off?"

"Possibly that."

"This? Oh, it's not sarcasm or anything--oh, of course not..."

"Alvers, shut up!"

Lance snickered at him, then shrugged heading back toward the living room area.

"Hey, Alverce!" Lance glared at Sadie, who flipped herself back in an upright position and grinned at him like he wasn't trying to shoot deathrays out of his eyes at her. "Where're you stayin'?"

Lance paused, then frowned. "I don't know yet."

"You could hang around here," Bryan said from where he was sitting on Mac's stomach.

"Get off me," the flaxen-haired boy growled. Bryan promptly ignored him.

"No, you couldn't," Scott said, eyes wide behind his shades.

"Er, that is," he flushed hotly when Lance lifted an eyebrow and looked at him, quickly amending, "We don't have room."

"We have a sofa bed." Bryan pointed out, before flying across onto said sofa as Mac got sick of the shorter boy sitting on him and punted him off.

"See, look?" He began to kick it enthusiastically.

"Hey, watch it," Sadie glared at him as she hopped off the couch, "You could've killed me if that thing had snapped open while I was on there."

"You know, generally sofa beds open up from the bottom," Lance commented mildly with all the tact of a rhino in the bushes of southern Africa.

Sadie rolled her eyes, "Not this one. Nooo, Scotty and Bryan just had to get one that tends to snap up like a clam before the bottom part of it folds out into a bed. Re-eal convenient."

"A clam," Lance repeated flatly.

"It does," Bryan said from where he was still futilely kicking the sofa. "It ate Scott the first time he tried to sleep on it."

"Oh, shut up," Scott rebutted good-naturedly, "At least I didn't get stuck."

"I was not 'stuck,'" Bryan protested; "I was...mobilely challenged."

"Bryan," Mac said dryly, "You're challenged in many areas."

Lance snorted and nudged Bryan aside from where the shorter boy was attempting to pry the bed loose. He gave the sofa a few swift experimental kicks, then jumped back as the entire structure folded up.

"I see what you mean about the clam thing," He noted eyeing it with trepidation. "You want me to sleep on that thing?"

"If you get eaten during the night, just yell 'coconut,'" Sadie advised. "Bryan'll come running."

"Coconut," Lance repeated disbelievingly, exchanging long-suffering looks with Scott...or, as much as he could exchange a look with the other mutant, with his shades and all.

"Yes," Scott confirmed resignedly, "He has a fetish for coconuts."

"They're fun," Bryan said with a glazed look, as if to verify the entire exchange.

Lance muttered something about Pietro, shampoo, then snickered as the word 'Nair' came up. Scott arched an eyebrow.

After a few more minutes of attempting to pry the sofa apart from where it was stubbornly jawlocked, Scott, Lance, and Sadie all stared incredulously at the mulish piece of furniture.

"Freakin' piece of crap," Lance muttered.

Scott was glaring at it as hard as he could while the pigtailed girl began to kick at it repeatedly, looking quite outraged and convinced that she could force it to bend to her will with 'girl power' and many kickboxing moves.

Mac rolled his eyes and hurled his bouncy ball at the sofa. It bounced off of it, rolled across the floor blinking red the whole time, then came to a stop near Bryan, who was trying to stand on his head near the bedroom.

Slowly, the sofa collapsed back to normal with a groaning creak. Then, with a quiet squeak, the bed slid out as smooth as oil.

Scott stared.

"How the hell did you do that?" he demanded.

"It was easy," Mac looked rather smug.

"Whatever, man," Lance rolled his eyes and 'tch'ed at the other boy's smirk.

"You only fixed it because we tamed it for you," Sadie accused, flicking her neon blue bangs out of her eyes.





It was nearing ten o'clock, and no one was really letting Scott study. The bespectacled mutant was beginning to enter the first stages of hysteria.

"But I need to study!" Scott protested from where he was being forced to watch Dateline.

"The news is educational," Sadie said logically, "Better than studying."

"Yes. Lots better," Mac agreed before tossing over his shoulder, "Yo, Lance--Bryan, turn down the volume, asscracks!"

There was a momentary pause, then heavy rock slash metal music began to blare even louder. Mac rolled his eyes and turned back to the television, tuning out the music in a disturbing show of immunity. Scott twitched.

"Jesus," he muttered, seriously starting to regret starting a 'truce' with Lance Alvers.

"We only have eight days until midterms," Scott began after about two minutes passed wherein he, Sadie, and Mac watched a dog root through the trashcan.

"That's plenty of time," Sadie said, not taking her eyes from the screen.

"No, it's not," Scott frowned. "It's not 'plenty of time' at all."

"Sure, it is," Mac said, his eyes beginning to get a little swirly from staring at the television so long. The music continued to pound into the apartment.

Scott groaned in frustration as System of a Down continued blasting on his left in the bedroom while some chick began playing Ace of Base on the right of him in the other apartment.

"I never did anything to deserve this," he muttered raising his eyes upward. "So why's this happening?"

"God's on leave," Sadie commented, her glazed-over jade eyes glued on the TV screen, "And due to circumstances beyond our control, the light at the end of the tunnel is burnt out. Please come back at a later time."

Scott grumbled to himself and decided that letting himself become deaf in the bedroom would be preferable to watching the Teletubbies as Mac switched the tube to PBS.

"SCOTT! My man!" Bryan grinned at him from where he was sitting on the dresser. "Come help us figure out how to tie this thing onto the fan!"

Scott stared at him, then turned to gawk at Lance, who was currently looping a jump rope around the ceiling fan.

"What in the world are you doing?!"

Lance blinked, then smirked slowly, "It was Ford's idea."

"Was not," Bryan retorted good-naturedly.

"What are you trying to do!?" Scott demanded, staring at the fan, then turning to glare as best as he could at Bryan.

"Well, I thought it'd be fun," the semi russet-haired boy nearly pouted, "Swinging on the fan and all that."

"You're trying to tie a jump rope to our ceiling fan so you can swing around to Limp Bizkit?!" Scott's voice nearly rose an octave.

"Yep, that about wraps it up," Lance grinned and tugged on the rope, "Wanna give it a go, Ford?"

"You can't do that," Scott protested, eyes widening behind his scarlet-tinted glasses. "You'll break it!"

"It's just a ceiling fan, Summers," Lance said, tightening the jump rope some more while Bryan grinned and started bouncing up and down on the bed.

"Knock it off," Lance called over his shoulder, "You're gonna make me lose my balance."

"Oh, oops," Bryan settled down Indian-style, still bouncing up and down a little, but the bed was just shaking from his prior motions. (A/N:...let's keep our minds out of the gutter, shall we? ^.~)

"Stop it!" Scott insisted, feeling an intense migraine beginning to assault his well-formed skull.

"Aw, c'mon, Scoot," Bryan wheedled, watching Lance fashion a swing of jump ropey proportions with a decisively unwholesome gleam in his eyes. "It can't hurt!"

"Yeah, really," Lance grinned, "It's not like you need this."

"Do you know how hot it gets in July an-and around the...the hotter months!?" Scott exclaimed, flustered.

"Really hot?" Bryan suggested. Scott did a double take as he saw the shorter boy whirling around in a miniature circle as if he were on a merry-go-round for munchkins.

"Hey, turn it on fast, Lance," Bryan grinned, kicking his legs. The older boy in question rolled his eyes, shrugged, then spun the dial up a notch,

"Hey, you're the one hanging by a rope from the ceiling, not me."

"Who's hanging from the ceiling?" Sadie asked, and both Scott and Lance turned to look at her.

"Wow, you tore yourself away from the TV long enough to come and see who's hanging?" Lance asked with a grin, "I'm impressed."

"Shut up, Alvers," Sadie gave him a look, then turned to stare at Bryan, who was spinning quickly and giggling.

"What the hell is he doing?!"

"Whee!!"

"What does it look like he's doing?" Scott asked tiredly, "He's swinging around in a circle from our ceiling fan like a crazed marionette to," he tilted his head, "Blink 182."

"JFC," Sadie said, gaping at the rather oblivious Bryan.

"KFC?" Mac inquired, popping his head in, "Great, I'm starvi--er?"

He stared.

"What the--"

"Hell is he doing?" Lance finished for him, "He's being stupid, that's what he's doing."

"Hey, guys, do you think I'll fly out the window if you turn it on superspeed?" Bryan chortled.

"I don't think ceiling fans have superspeed," Sadie said sagely.

"Damn," Bryan swung his legs a few more times, narrowly missing the stereo.

Scott rubbed at the bridge of his nose then shook his head, "Whatever. C'mon, let's go get something to eat in the kitchen."

"Excellent idea," Mac brightened, "But I can't eat chicken."

"Why not?" Sadie asked dryly, "Daltonism doesn't let you?"

"Oh, no." Mac answered wide-eyed, "My spirit guide is a giant chicken. It'd be disrespectful."

"It should tell you something," Lance muttered, "when you're represented by a large cockeyed poultry of doom..."

And thus they headed toward the kitchen.

...

...

...

*crash*

*thumpthumpthump*

*WHUMP!*

...

...

"...Ma-aaaac. ...Sadiiiie?...Scooooooott...Lannnnnce...

............you guyyyys...!"





"So are we on for a study session today?"

"Only if we actually study," Scott said, giving Sadie a pointed look. The spunky girl rolled her eyes in response,

"Aw, c'mon, Scott. We've all studied so much our brains are like buckwheat."

"So does that mean they're a nutritional and a tasty part of a balanced breakfast?"

"No, those are Wheaties, Bryan," Mac corrected, shoveling a soggy piece of poptart in his mouth.

"What the hell happened to that?" Sadie asked, peering at the somewhat damp piece of pastry.

"It fell in the milk," Mac said matter-of-factly.

"How did it fall in the milk?" Lance inquired, quirking an eyebrow.

"I cut off the top of the carton. Needed it for my miniature biodegradable 'greenhouse.'" Mac explained at the same time Bryan commented brightly, "Oh, so that's where all the sprinkles came from!"

Scott, who had gotten up to put away the cereal and had only returned, asked quizzically, "Sprinkles from where?"

"Poptarts," Bryan pointed to the brightly colored flecks of sugar in the milk.

"Those aren't sprinkles," Sadie disagreed, "They look more like Fruit Loops."

"No, they don't," Bryan frowned, "They're most definitely sprinkles."

"How can they be sprinkles? The sprinkles on Poptarts aren't detachable."

"Well, you never know..."

Scott tuned the rest of the breakfast conversation out, and eyed the calendar, his eyes catching on the word "Sunday" with worry. Today would be the last day to study before a whole another week came around with classes and homework. For some cruel reason--perhaps college professors had innate sadism--teachers always assigned more homework the week before midterms.

Luckily, he only had three exams that he was particularly worried about; Advanced Physics, French, and Abstract English (which he frankly didn't know why he had to take in the first place). Before he could give it much more thought, though, he was torn from his ponderings as Sadie elbowed him,

"...right, Scott?"

"Hm?"

"I said 'right, Scott?'"

"Mm."

"Scott."

The chestnut-haired boy coughed into his hand, then smiled as guilelessly as he could.

"Spacing out on us are ya?" Mac grinned and flicked a few dry Fruit Loops at him with a plastic spoon.

"Yeah, y'know, he's thinking about Magic Markers and all that," Lance smiled broadly, and Scott bristled for a moment, then blinked as he saw an unknown element shading Lance's--presumably--brown eyes colored red by his shades--an element that looked like...friendly teasing?

He grinned weakly, and that seemed to break the silence, because Sadie and Bryan began chattering about nothing in particular again after pausing briefly to watch the other three in their little clique. It gave him something to think about; the way that Lance didn't seem to be as much of an asshole, didn't seem to go out of his way as much to be a rebel or to be as hurtfully sarcastic.

Well, at least I know what I'm going to ponder deeply about tonight, Scott thought wryly, but right now we've got more important things.

"We're going to the library," he informed the other four college freshmen and was met with blank stares.

"We are?" Bryan asked in bafflement while Mac pretended to be absolutely bemused; "What's a li-buh-raaarey?"

Sadie rolled her eyes, "Aw, give it up, Scooter!" She grinned, "Don'tcha want to go check out Mac's new automobile?"

"Not really," Scott said dryly.

"I feel hurt-ed," Mac informed him helpfully.

"C'mon, Summers," Lance grinned, his heels propped up on the table, "Kick back, have some fun while you can! You can study all of next week and not sleep a wink if you want, but at least savor the freedom while you can!"

"Yeah, man!" Bryan let out a whoop. Sadie shook her head and glanced at him amusedly, "Whatever, kid--go put on your little raver-boy clothes and we'll wheel it outta here."

Then she turned to Scott, arching one pierced eyebrow, "Y'sure you don't want to come with, Scotty?"

"Yeah, I'll be fine." Scott grinned crookedly, "Don't worry about it--you guys go ahead and we can meet up at Yours Truly for lunch."

Lance looked at Scott for a long moment, then kicked his heels off the table and stood, turning back to Mac and Sadie. He grinned, "Let's go, then?"





Scott nearly groaned aloud with frustration as he threw down his pencil. The tip broke with the force and he glared angrily at it. It laid there, as if it were mocking him and deliberately being difficult.

I need better school supplies, Scott griped, then sighed, burying his face in his hands. After a minute or two, he stood, stretched, and glanced at the clock before he sat back down at the cubicle.

10:25. Only 10:25. No, no...C'mon, Summers--concentrate...it's only French. How hard can it be?

A few more minutes passed.

Aw, shit. Whatever. Jean's gonna get it when I see her next. Scott banged his head against the inside of the cubicle and heaved a silent sigh. If he were a lesser man, he would've given up already, but seeing as how he had a damnable sense of responsibility, he was still attempting to cram all things French into his head. He had already reviewed all his English things along with Physics and every other subject--but for some reason, the European language was being evil and was running around his head cackling, never quite soaking into his brain.

"Having trouble?"

Scott jerked up and looked around blearily. He blinked.

"Lance?" He whispered, glancing around and hoping that the Demonspawn Librarian wasn't around.

The dark-haired boy had the small half-grin, half-smirk, half-something else that always infuriated him because he couldn't figure out what the hell it was supposed to mean. He pushed away from the wall and turned around the chair in the cubical next to the bespectacled mutant, straddling it and cocking his head,

"Gettin' bored, huh?" He grabbed the textbook and made a face, "Ugh, I remember taking this."

"You took French?" Scott asked, incredulous.

"Yeah, after the first year of German, I just couldn't take the ich-whatevers anymore." Lance grinned ruefully, "So I took up French since l'espagnol was all taken up."

"L'espagnol," Scott repeated dumbly. He blinked. "--Oh, right! Spanish! Er," He coughed and ducked his head as he accidentally rose his voice too loud and several sleep-deprived students shot him 'when you get to hell, you'll be glad I'm at least done with you' glares.

"Sorry, my brain's a little messed up from...uhh, yeah." He gestured to the chart of tenses he had made. Mentally, Scott smacked himself, not able to believe that he had just apologized to Lance Alvers.

Nope, we're not getting over this one... Scott thought with a grimace; it's definitely gonna take some getting used to...this...thing with being semi-friends with Alvers. Lance. Whatever.

Lance inspected the painstakingly drawn chart, then glanced back at Scott. The mahogany-haired boy continued to do so for about three minutes, then he made a small amused sound in the back of his throat.

He ripped it up.

"--!!!!" Scott stared, then hissed angrily, "What the hell do you think you're doing...?!"

"You don't learn language by charts, Summers," Lance replied, his voice low, a definite smirk on his face; "You gotta speak it--you've got to make it click."

"'Make it click,'" Scott mimicked, still rather peeved that Lance had wasted all his hard work. The other mutant rolled his eyes,

"Get over yourself, Summers--c'mon, you wanna learn French? I'll teach you French."

"Oh, yeah?" Scott quirked an eyebrow, "In return for what?" Then, curiously, "Why are you here anyway?"

Lance gave him what had to be the most long-suffering look he had ever seen, "Your friends are pretty cool and all, Summers, but they're absolute psychos, y'know that?"

Scott bit his lip and tried not to laugh.





"Uh, le...le futur's um..."

"It's with the 'a' at the end of the infinitive," Lance reminded, toeing a particularly plump pigeon out of the way. It glowered at him, then waddled away, slate-gray tail feathers stuck up in the air as if it were a peacock going through midlife crisis.

"Oh, and that's the um...the um, futur 'simple,'" Scott frowned slightly, "And that other thing...the 'future anterieur' is with the futur simple tense of avoir or etre along with the conjugated...infinitif."

"Wow, this is so romantic," Scott rolled his eyes at that and shot Sadie a pointed look. The ebony-haired girl grinned at him, blew a kiss, then sat down. She was wearing a black hoodie, canvas pants, and a belly-baring tanktop of the neon blue variety.

"Hey there, foxy lady," Lance grinned and dodged as Sadie chucked a pebble at him, scowling, "Aw, shut up. So what're you two up to?"

"Lance is helping me study for my French midterms," Scott said, eyeing her suspiciously.

"What are you doing here?"

She made a face, "Eh, I got sick of listenin' to Mac and Bryan drool over engines."

"I could use some activity having to do with automobiles," Scott grumbled miserably, "This is starting to really get on my nerves."

Sadie threw her hands up, "Oh, come on, Scott," she grinned, "It's Sunday--our last day of the honest-to-goodness weekend before the next two weeks of hell descend upon us. Don't you want to enjoy one last evening of knowing that your brain won't implode at any minute?"

"Yes, and keeping your cerebral cortex intact is rather important," Lance said wryly before grinning and slinging one arm around Scott's shoulders, steering him toward the corner café.

"Let's just get something to eat and then hit the bars--whatd'ya say?"

Scott really couldn't say anything, and he was beginning to feel concerned and somewhat pensive about why he couldn't.





Tying her hair back in a lose ponytail, Jean Grey grinned and waved to Professor Xavier and the rest of the kids at the Institute before pulling out of the driveway and through the iron wrought gates.

So I'm two weeks earlier, the redhead thought cheerfully, tuning the radio to one of her favorite stations, It's not like it's going to complicate things much, right?




~tbc~

(1) From Digimon 01. I LOVE Digimon 01! I haven't seen much of 02 and I haven't seen any of 03 so...er...I'm protective of my Taito, y'hear?!