Opening Night

By David D. Amaya

Chapter 5

Upon returning to their room Stewart, Nathan, Alea and her father discussed the offer, when they reached a consensus, Jason had returned to the room. It was clear the emotions of this trip had gotten to the young man. Seeing them all in his room he knew they weren't in the mood for room service.

"Iakona," The Admiral had shed his hockey jersey and stood to meet the young man still in his dress blues. "We need to talk."

The young man looked to his girlfriend, her father, and the two cousins, they weren't his blood, but they the only family he has.

And every family has arguments.

"This is about those guys offer to go to their mutant school, isn't it?"

"We were discussing their offer while you were gone, they made some important points," He continued. "None of you can use your gifts freely enough to explore their limits or expand your knowledge to surpass them. By having a place where you can freely utilized your gifts, you can use them to your benefit and to benefit others."

" 'Benefit others!?'" Jay replied surprised at this tactic. "Since when have you decided that my power benefit others!? Does the phrase 'If NCIS would have found out you were a mutant they would have sent you to the Vault and let that rapist walk?' ring a bell? Okay, maybe you are right, cause he ain't walking anytime soon!"

"Jay, we're serious!" Nathan spoke up. "At least it's somewhere we don't have to hide."

"Then why haven't we ever heard about it before?" He countered. "A secret boarding school in rural Massachusetts with less than 2000 people in the whole area? That's not 'somewhere we don't have to hide.' That's more like 'The last place anybody thought to look!' and if you remember what they said about it, it isn't like a Norman Rockwell painting, it's WHERE he painted them!"

"It isn't hiding, Iakona," Alea attempted to press to him. "but we need to work on our kãhuli hiki. Do you know what it's like to be afraid your ability will harm the one's you love. "

"Forgot how me met already?"

"Don't you dare go there, Iakona!" She warned pointing a finger in his direction.

"You all could use what this school is offering," The naval officer implored. "Enrolling in this kula hãnai will be the best decision you all will make. You will each benefit from expert instruction with using your kãhuli hiki."

"It seems to me that you guys already made up your minds," Jay surmised. "Why do you want me to want to?"

"We're 'ohana," Alea added. "If we are going to pack up and move again, it will be the four of us this time or not at all."

"You're all free to enroll if you really want to. I'm not an anchor, I have no intent to weigh you guys down." Jay responded. "Before we met, the only game plan I had for the East Coast is to live what life I have left quietly and in obscurity. I had been running and hiding all my life! The last time, I ran 2500-miles to escape from my past. Now that I've discovered this!" He made a fist so hard his knuckles cracked menacingly. "I have no fear of man, beast, machine or apparition. I'll never have to run one step further!"

"Our le meilleur ou pour le pire, nous vivons et mourons aussi un!" Stewart reminded him. "That means something to any one of us only as long as it means something to ALL of us, Jay!"

"So what, are you a travel agent? Cause sending me on a guilt trip ain't the same thing as changing my mind! But don't put it on me that I'm keeping you guys in Connecticut! I don't have a fucking thing holding me there, but, I have no reason to want to go either!"

"So it really doesn't matter to you if you go or not, Iakona?" Jason simply nodded at the Admiral's synopsis. "So you just need a reason to want to go and the wishes of the rest of us isn't strong enough to sway your opinion?"

"I thought your daughter was the only mind reader in the room."

"Okay, smart ass! Since I can't order you to go, Jason, I have a remedy. Do you gamble?"

"Only with my life, Admiral."

"Then I say we have a duel," he suggested, "Nothing that draws blood or is illegal, I beat you your answer is yes. You defeat me, our answer is no thanks."

"Agreed, but what should we do?"

"Well, guys," Nathan offered up. "We have the big chess board."

"Rack 'em up, Kewalaka!" Alea said. "Sink this plebe, Admiral Daddy!"

Late the next morning the four X-Men were standing at terminal 3 at LAX awaiting the boarding call for the flight back to Westchester County.

Picking up a copy of the local Press-Telegram, the sport's page had a lead story on last night's game. Below the recap of the Ice Dogs win was a picture of the them in the stands with a puck frozen in time inches from Scott's then-undamaged eye.

"Look dear," Jean showed it to Ororo first. "They got your good side."

"We just gotta take a couple home with us!" Jubilee exclaimed.

"You wouldn't!" Said Scott.

"I like the way the hockey puck is just hanging over your face just before it hit your face, Fearless Leader!" added Jubilee.

"Just tell your friends " said a voice behind them. "I sucker punched you, Summers."

Standing at the end of the newsstand where five of last night's hockey fans.

"Feeling better, Scott?" The Admiral asked the X-Men leader.

"Yes, but this bruise feels worse than it looks, Thom."

"Good morning, everyone," Ororo smiled to the group.

"Bonjour, Madame, Monroe. Êtes-vous en laissant toutes si vite?"

"Oui, nous sommes, Stewart," Ororo replied. "We are awaiting for the boarding call for our flight. Are you leaving as well?"

"Yea, well me an' Nathan and Jay, are headed back to Connecticut, Alea is staying with her père for the weekend. She'll hitch a flight back Tuesday."

"Have you given any thought about what we talked about last night?" Jean asked.

"We got to talking,. . . you know after the game in all," Jason's voice trailed off as he took a deep breath searching for the words. "What I'm trying to say is that we could. . . well, that is to say we all could use the help you talked about at your school in all."

"Wonderful," Ororo exclaimed.

"But you must understand," The Admiral interjected. "They just started the school year, and I would prefer they to keep attending, at least until the semester is over in February.

"Of course, Admiral. We understand your concerns," Jean beamed. "We can speak with Charles, Sean and Emma. We can make all the necessary arrangements."

"Even if you can't help with our powers at least we can help you guys with your hockey game, Ororo," Alea offered up.

"I would look forward to that," Ororo replied.

"Oh what the heck," Stewart added. "Maybe we could even take you guys to another game closer to home."

"Yea," Nathan chimed in. "I could even lend Scott my face mask."

"Or better yet Hankster's catcher's mitt," Jubilee's remark led to a round of laughter

"Attention please, American Airlines Flight 389 to New York-La Guardia Airport now boarding at terminal three."

"That's us our flight," Scott and Jason said simultaneously.

"Well how bout that, looks like we'll be flying back together, I wonder if we'll be, like, sitting together, too,".

"I don't think so this time, Jubilee," Jason remarked. "You guys probably have first class seats and all."

"Yes, we do, Jason" Ororo replied.

"Shit!" He said trying to whisper.

"Well then you could fill us in some more on your school in Snow Valley during our flight, Scott."

"It would be my pleasure, Nathan."

"And after Stewart here wakes me up after your done I could help you work on your wrist shot, Ms. Ororo."

"JAY," they all glared.

"Well boys, hate to break this little get-together put looks like you have to motor." She gave Nathan and Stewart both a hug and a kiss on the cheek then gave Jason a loving embrace.

"Keep out of trouble while I'm gone, okay, Iakona?"

"Hey, you know me."

"YES, I DO," quipped the Hawaiian. "Look after him boys, Aloha au iã 'oe, po ki 'i!"

"Good Bye, Alea."

"Au revoir, Alea."

Then she turned to the X-Men. "Jean, Scott, Jubilee, Ororo, I hope you have a wonderful time getting to know the "Beastie Boys" here. I'll try to talk to you after I get back East, mahalo hoalohas." She and her father waved to them as they all walked down the runway.

"Good Bye, Alea," they waived as they left.

Good Bye, Jean, said Alea telepathically. Do me a favor though. Keep an eye for my'ohana holo'oko'a! They can be a handful at times!

Don't worry Alea, will do. but I have a question, how did you father convince Jason to attend?

Makuakane had a chess match against Iakona. He's real good, but Makuakane beat 'em!

He didn't by any chance have help?

Sorry, reception getting ... can't hear... cutting out...

I understand, I've used that technique, we'll be looking forward to you're first day, Aloha!

Aloha Hoapili! Until we meet again.

The End

© David D. Amaya 2001