Plans of Mice and Men:
Justice was still wearing his work suit as he made way to the door. He caught a glimpse of Hayley out the corner of his eye. She had no telepathic contact and she was moving very quickly across the night sky. He let his mind reach hers, 'Hayley, are you okay?' He knew she heard him because he could feel a light presence that seemed to grumble.
'I am fine, Just.' Hayley called quickly and then it was gone. He sighed as he pushed the door open. 'Why was he always the last one to know something?' He knew Hayley was bugged by something.
He sighed again as he thought about the busy halls and rooms of Xavier's house. He suddenly changed course and headed towards the pool. After the day he had with the press he really didn't feel like being with a group of people. He needed to feel balanced and peaceful and water seemed to bring him tranquillity.
He said a silent thanks that it was vacant. He sat down right next to the water and let his mind wander.
It felt good to know that everyone was safe again. His thoughts went to Hayley . ' Why had she seemed to angry?' He knew she was putting up walls.
He sank back against the concrete by the pool. He wished Hayley hadn't left, he had wanted to talk to Hayley and Ally. His mind wandered to Allyson. She and Logan had overcome so much over the years that he was afraid to tell Logan his plan.
"You want company?"
Justice stopped short of grabbing Storm instinctively. He took a breath. "Nah, I am fine, thanks."
She watched him carefully. "Justice, what are you planning?" She asked innocently.
"Storm, I was kidding," he laughed at her surprised tone, "Get a sense of humor."
" Sorry, I just assumed that it would be just the four of you again." She said pointedly. "The fab four against the world." She lowered her look a little a him "Justice, there are others in the world."
"Yeah," he mumbled. "Storm he is OUR father and our responsibility."
"You don't always have to be so brave, Justice" She rolled nearby ball gently on the palms of her hands, "We want to help." She leaned forward to him so she didn't have to speak as loud.
Justice looked at the weather witch, she spoke very regally but in a quiet tone. Her hair looked as soft as silk, like Alex. Then he sighed at the thought of his ill sister. 'Why compare Storm to his sisters? Was he attracted to her?' " I was thinking was thinking of going to the professor about my plans but I am not sure. If I tell Ally, she will probably tell Logan and he will try to cancel the whole thing."
"Your plan doesn't include Logan?" She was surprised. Logan was the closest to the four siblings.
"They would include him if they could." He looked away at the dark trees in the distance.
She sat forward touching his shoulder slightly in hopes he would face her. It was harder to say no to somebody's face. "Please trust us, Justice."
"It's not that we don't trust. We need to get inside our father's operation again and that means befriending him. Sorry but none of you fit that bill, not even Wolverine." He met her eyes then looked back at the calmness of the pool. "Josh, Aubrey and Ty made me see that our father is going to far. Aubrey even seemed to know of people dying from the experiments and we can't allow more to die at his hands."
"Storm looked at the brave man as he stared off into space. He was very clean cut and polished. Gone was the goof ball she had seen now he spoke with a cool and quiet demeanor. She realized she was attracted to him and blushed. He looked at her quickly. ' Why had did he look at her so suddenly? Was he reading her mind?'
Something caught his attention from the corner of his eye. It was a bug coming towards them and it landed right in Storm's hair but she didn't seem to notice. The bug struggled to get free from her hair. "Hold still," he ordered politely.
He reached for her and she flinched slightly. She scolded herself for pulling away. 'Hadn't she been the one who had been telling him to trust others?' She held still as he touched her hair. She noticed the bug he was attempting to free. She gasped a little, bugs were not high on her list. He worked the bug out carefully and set it free. Amazed she watched the bug fly away into the dark sky. She looked at him with a smile playing on her lips. Before he could pull his hand back she touched it gently and held it.
"Are you sure Logan can't go?" she asked quietly. ' This sounded like a suicide mission.'
Justice scoffed. "Logan? His temper would get us all in trouble. I am still not sure about letting Hayley go." He watched her look away from him. He hadn't meant to upset her. She let go of his hand absentmindedly. He reached for her as another bug flew into her hair. "I am sorry you feel this way." She nodded with out meeting his eye. She turned as she felt his fingers in her hair again and smiled as he began to detangle another bug. "Are you wearing perfume?" he asked as he produced the unharmed insect.
" The bugs seem to like it." He held out his hand as the ladybug crawled across it until it flew up. He smiled at the sight. "Lady bugs are supposed to be good luck."
"Not lately" She laughed a little.
Justice returned her smile as he got up and stretched. She sighed and stood next to him. "Do you want me to keep your plans to myself?"
"Please, under the circumstance I think Hank would go nuts."
She smiled, he was so close to her that she could smell his cologne. She felt like she was under a spell.
He reached up and touched her hair again. She wasn't as surprised this time. "What is another lady bug?"
His expression was more serious this time, "No."
She felt her heart skip when she noticed his glance. "Oh."
Justice surprised himself by acting so familiar with her and being so personal. He thought he had seen another bug but had been wrong. Ororo tilted her head up at him and brushed her lips against his. He was astonished. Storm was a complicated person, he would have never thought she could be interested in him. She stepped closer as she touched his chest lightly. She brushed her lips against him again and Justice returned the kiss. He wrapped an arm around her enjoying her closeness. 'It has been a long time since anyone had been so close. Not since Chloe,' He jerked away abruptly at the thought of Chloe. Storm looked back at him with a hurt expression. "I am sorry Ororo." He stepped away " I can't do this."
She blinked at him. "What?"
"It's not you it's me," He explained. " I don't want to hurt you, like Hank is hurt."
"I don't understand." Storm stared at him with a blank face. "What are you afraid of? I am an X-man I am used to my friends and myself taking chances or being hurt."
He rubbed his jaw. "We aren't used to it. We were brought up on yellow alert and never really got close to anyone before."
"What about Wolverine?" she challenged.
"Logan took years to get that close to Ally," He sighed. "It's not that I don't find you attract." He ran a hand along the short hair on the side of his head. This was hard. " I lost my wife and child and until recently I found myself not thinking of much else perhaps I need to mourn longer."
She nodded. She could tell he felt guilty. It was hard to guess this guy who was so happy go lucky would have had to endure such soul tormenting matters at one time. Then he had the powerful lawyer side to him, she was attracted to his personality but he was much more complex than she thought. He seemed to be a lot of fun and really didn't seem to be the husband type. She hoped he would rethink things because they could be just what each other needed. She watched him as he waited politely for her to speak. He kept his perfect posture that he and his sisters always had. She wasn't sure what he needed to hear or what he wanted to hear but she was sure she wanted to be with him.
Hayley was by the basketball court with a beer in one hand and a cigarette in the other. She sighed, she would have to think about quiting smoking and drinking. A single figure ran over to her and she began to make out the shape of a young girl. It was Rogue and her eyes seemed to get bigger as she got closer to Hayley.
"Hi" Rogue said as she slowed her approach.
"Hey," Hayley called as she flicked her ashes from her cigarette.
Rogue fell in step with the leggy brunette. " I thought you might be Logan."
"I don't look like Logan, Do I?" She snorted as she took a puff of her cigarette.
Rogue laughed, "No, you act a lot like him though." She kept her smile even though Hayley looked pissed. "You walk alike and have some of the same gestures." She amazed herself at how bold she sounded.
"You are taken with him aren't you?" Hayley laughed as she figured it out. Rogue was still acting like Hayley.
"I guess" Rouge met her eyes challengly. Then she spied Hayley's cigarette with a smile, "Can I have one?"
Hayley laughed a little, "I guess," she handed Rogue the cigarette and warmed her hand for a light for the young woman. Rogue laughed at the gesture but pressed the cigarette against Hayley's hand until the tip began to glow. Hayley watched Rogue enjoy the cigarette as an ex-smoker would. "What am I still floatin' around in your head, kid?"
"I guess." She said in perfect imitation of Hayley. "Hey are you doing that benefit for the parks?" Rouge suddenly seemed to remember.
"Why do you guys do them anyway?"
"I don't know because our dad sucks," she shrugged as she took a quick drink of her beer.
Rogue laughed a little then watched Hayley expectantly, "I hope you don't mind I borrowed your power."
"No," She laughed
"I mean I have some personal thoughts from you."
"What about him?" Hayley watched Rogue with a guarded expression.
"I don't know. I guess you still love him or something?"
"You don't ever fall all the way out of love, but I am not in love with him."
"You dated him before Ally?"
Hayley nodded and smiled at the memory, "Ally used to hate him."
"Did you have a baby together?"
"I saw a little baby." She explained
"Hey, this is pretty personal, kid." Hayley glared at Rogue.
"Sorry," she mumbled as she looked at her feet.
Hayley sighed, "Look, Logan doesn't even know that I lost the baby." She didn't need this conversation now but felt compassion for the child who carried her memories. "It was our baby a long time ago, Nobody ever knew. We broke up shortly after that."
Rogue felt as sad as if it had happened to her. "I am so sorry." She felt as if she had intruded.
"You ask a lot of questions." She turned to face her. "But after you have been in my head," She paused as she stood to stretch, "You are going to be messed up." Hayley grabbed her toes.
"I have been in Logan's mind too," Rogue said calmly
Hayley laughed despite herself, "Well that's not good is it?"
"Your thoughts are a lot like his." Rogue said plainly.
"That is even worse." Hayley mumbled as she watched a figure approaching. As Hayley began to make out the person carrying the cigar, she began to laugh. "Speak of the devil."
Rogue was laughing as she rushed to put her cigarette out. Logan didn't look happy and she didn't feel like a lecture.
His scowl was evident as he came into view. "You seen Ally?"
"Nope," they said together.
Hayley fell to the ground and stared up at the sky with her beer in her hand. She flicked her cigarette away as the breeze took it. She wanted to be alone to enjoy the air and the night. She sighed as she heard somebody else approach. She reluctantly pushed herself up to her elbows. Logan and Rogue were already staring at Justice as he moved towards them quickly.
Justice looked shower fresh in denim shorts and a polo shirt. He was watching Hayley specifically.
"Don't go on my account, Hayl" He called and stopped her before she could jump into the air. She had been planning to leave without notice.
Logan smiled, 'Typical Hayley and Justice.' He should have known.
Hayley sighed and crossed her arms challenging Justice to waste her time.
He gave her a cross look and Logan and Rogue watched them wondering if they were communicating telepathically. Justice stood his ground he was the unspoken leader of the four. "Sit down, Hayley." He ordered, "We have a lot to talk about."
Hayley and Logan glanced at each, they knew by his tone, Justice had something planned. Hayley sighed as she touched Justice's mind hoping he wouldn't notice her if she was quick about it. She lit another cigarette hoping to calm her and pass the time.
Justice wasn't done. "Logan, you can't help up but you deserve to know." He watched Logan as he cocked a curious eyebrow at him.
Hayley fell back on to the ground disgusted, "Oh Justice, "she yawned as she got his attention. "SHUT UP!" she barked at him.
Justice was amused at Hayley's temper for once, "We need to get back in the lab so we can stop him."
"Is that why you baited the bastard on the news? You want him at the benefit don't you?" she asked bored as she watched the sky.
" Yes Hayl and you don't have to go but I am going," Justice sighed.
Logan knew where this was headed. "I want in,"
Justice laughed, "How? You tried to kill him after you trashed the lab. Your chip makes you vulnerable to him." He kept Logan's eye. He knew they were due for an argument on this subject. " I need Ally to go. Dad is a strong telepath like Charles. Hayley, Alex and I couldn't combine enough to bring him down. Ally is formidable opponent for him."
Logan listened but his look was set. He lit a cigar, "Ally is out" Logan said just above a snarl, "She has put her life on the line enough."
Justice watched Logan's guarded demeanor, "I talked to Ally a little while ago and she said she was in."
Logan dropped his stogie and tackled Justice taking him by sheer surprise. Hayley was on her feet quick and Rogue ran to the two men not sure how to break them up. Hayley took to the air above Logan and Justice and caught Logan's shirt by the back. Logan was growling at her in protest as she strained to pull him into the air. He struggled to reach her in her advantage point behind him. She carted him off by his shirt and she heard him pop his claws. He reached his hand under his sleeve and cut the fabric. As he went free he realized she had him over the pool. He made a last minute reach for her to keep from cannon-balling into the water but she flew clear of him as he went into the water.
Hayley landed next to Justice oblivious to Logan's sputtering as he pulled himself from the pool. "I am in Just, What's the plan?" Logan marched up to her with a faint smile on his lips but he held a finger to her face in a mock threat.
Logan turned to face Justice again calmer now, "Ally is still out." He told him determined
"She told me she was in 'Bub' " Hayley said as she mocked Logan's snarl.
"She hadn't talked to me yet." Logan was losing his patience.
"Do you want to hear it all?" Justice offered.
"I do," Rogue said impulsively as she sat down on the ground cross- legged.
Hayley laughed at Rogue as she watched Logan sit down and begin to strip off his wet shoes and socks. His wet torn shirt was still hanging on him loosely as he found the stogie he had attempted to enjoy earlier.
Justice watched his brother in law as he spoke carefully remembering Wolverine's temper. "Ally has grown a lot as a telepath and is still growing plus her telekensis would be a great help too. We also know that Ally, Alex and Hayl work best together." He sighed as he watched Logan's face become hard and controlled, " Once we can convince him we are all on his side we can get the data on the people who have been lost and take the lab down. Finally put him in jail" Justice looked pointedly at Hayley when he mentioned his idea of the father's fate.
Rogue watched Justice, "How will you convince him that you are on his side?"
"He will believe us once the X-men oppose him and we stay by his side as guard dogs."
Logan and Hayley laughed. 'It just might work'. She thought to herslef.
Logan stood stubbornly as he faced Justice, "Ally is still out."
Hayley watched Logan's devotion to her sister it reminded her of Hank's devotion to Alex. "Have you guys seen Hank?" They all looked her surprised. "He hasn't left Alex's side." She felt very alone with so many people taking to couples, she had caught a glimpse of Justice with Storm earlier and it didn't take a genius to see Storm had feelings for him.
"Ally made some adjustments on the anti toxin," Justice sat down on the near by bench, "It seems to be helping and Alex looks better."
"I did my best. "Hayley shrugged. "I was never as good with the chemist thing as Alex is." She finished off her beer and finished it off. "It seems that McCoy has been brushing her hair and such."
Justice smiled. Beast seemed like a nice guy, "He really…… " he started to speak but trailed off and shook his head.
"He loves her? Go ahead say it Justice. Other loves will happen aside from you and Chloe." Justice fixed his venom stare at his sister and she only smiled at him. "People like Ally and Logan or Blue boy and Alex but I forget you are keeping your own silent vigel."
Logan felt his muscles get tight. He knew Hayley was on dangerous ground now. He knew the dynamics of the triplets and Justice, this could make things difficult.
Justice took a step towards Hayley to confront her and she flew up tauntingly. Hayley started laughing at him. Then started humming, 'Let's wait a while.' Justice snatched Logan's boot from his hand and threw it at Hayley's head.
Logan shook his head as took a drag of his cigar. He looked a Justice, "Hey hot head, You ARE going to get my boot." He raised and eyebrow at him.
"I will," Rogue jumped up and ran off anxious to leave them some time to talk.
Logan looked at Justice, " What is with Hayley?"
Justice shrugged a little, "I don't know. She' usually harder to understand than Alex or Ally but lately…." He just trailed off he was sure Logan understood.
"So, you seen Ally?"
"She was in the room you both shared."
"She avoiding me?"
"No," Justice smiled. "Are you trying to lasso a goldfish again, Logan?"
Logan shook his head. 'Worse a triplet.' He thought.