Justice sat in Imp's room helping her pack her things slowly and the child's eyes went right through him.
"Tomorrow I will be living with you and Storm," she seemed a bit overwhelmed.
"Yes," he said evenly. He had to wonder about what would happen now that he had a daugher.
"What about Mommy?" Jordan looked a little hurt.
Justice sighed and sat down on the bed patting it for her to join him but she climbed into his lap. "Your mommy, Chloe, is going through a rough time and making some bad decisions."
Imp nodded, "Will she come back?"
"Maybe she will one day," Justice said with a wee bit of optimism. "But you and I are going to be living together." He watched her smile a little. "I am in love with Ororo and that is who will be living with us."
"Storm is going to be staying with us?" She smiled. She liked Storm and Storm seemed to love her, she was all she remembered.
"That's another thing," Justice cleared his throat. "Not every person is mutant." He watched the shock register. "You have lived with a lot of special people and that will be hard to adjust to."
"We have to understand that not every person can read minds or create fire with their minds." He tried to explain. "And unfortunately not all of them accept mutants, people who can do special things."
"Why?" She looked upset.
"Because they weren't brought up mutant or taught to love as unconditionally as you do." He smiled.
"Because they aren't always nice or raised that way," he sighed.
"But I am nice to everyone," she looked near tears.
"Well, no." Jordan bit her lip. "but I try."
"Using your telepathy or telekinesis isn't allowed when other people are around." he laid down the law. "Plus you have to use real names."
"You can't call her Storm," Justice explained. "You will have to call her Ororo and you can't tell people to call you Imp."
"Because it will be easier for them to understand." Justice searched his mind for the right words. "They weren't born like we were so they don't understand us," He sighed. "So, you can't do any mind reading or telekinesis." He poked her stomach lightly. "Okay."
"Ok," she giggled.
A knock on the door caught their attention and Justice opened it to find Storm and she smiled.
Justice grabbed her and hugged her, "ready to move?"
"I have just spoken to Wolverine," She smiled at Jordan who wandered to them. "He assures me they will be leaving with Aramis and the twins, in the morning."
Justice nodded. He had hoped to hire a mutant nanny for Jordan but he knew Ally would need the help more especially since she was expecting. "Will you be able to stay with Jordan after school?"
"A public school?" Storm's eyes flew open wider at the words.
"Yes," Justice ruffled his daughter's hair, "I think she would benefit from other children."
Ororo looked at the child who only gave her an angelic smile in return. "I could bring her here while I teach," Storm offered.
"It would only be occasionally," Justice took a deep breath. "My work is very understanding."
"Would that be because you and your friend Robert own the practice?" She smiled teasingly.
Justice laughed, "Could be." He cleared his throat. "But I will need to return the favor so that Bob can have some time to himself," He thought of how overworked Bob must be by now and how he had saved his ass.
"I shall enroll her in school tomorrow," Storm smiled at her happy to know her role.
Justice hugged Jordan to him and Rayne’s words played in his mind about there being problems between them. “You had better start saying your goodbyes.
Jordan looked a little panicked and made for the door, “Can I go see Kitty and Rogue?”
Storm nodded as Justice did and he watched Storm begin to finish Jordan’s packing. They both smiled as she tossed the door open to find her friends but instead they heard a thump and Imp squeal.
Jason wandered around, not sure how to take the conversation between himself and the Cajuns. Rayne was moving tomorrow and he could only hope that she would agree to see him, but he had a feeling that she was afraid of him. He had seen her at the labs and knew she must have gone through much the same as the rest. It didn’t make sense that she would be afraid of him though. In fact, the others felt a special bond to one another because of what they had gone through. Jason recalled the time he saw her strapped to an examination table. She was unconscious and covered all over with tubes and wires. The image was distorted though because he was in his water form and was looking at her from inside a glass tank. Jason's mind wandered as much as he did and he hadn't realized he stumbled on something.
He looked down to see a curly blonde haired girl screeching with fright and before he knew it Justice was upon him threateningly holding him by the collar with his other arm cocked back. Jason closed his eyes preparing himself for what he expected to hurt a lot.
"You can open your eyes now." Justice was almost laughing. He was almost amused that this boy was the one to 'run' into Jordan.
"I didn't mean to hurt her," Jason reasoned quickly. “I didn’t see her.”
Justice looked down at Imp who was now calm, "She is my daughter," he did not bother to hide his pride and smiled broadly.
Jason nodded hoping to get away cleanly but Justice had him now. "I am sorry." He looked to father and daughter hoping to be excused.
"What did you want with Rayne?" Justice folded his arms but Storm hit him scolding.
"I just wanted to talk with her alone," Jason pushed his hands in his pockets.
Storm was the one who took pity on the poor boy, "That is quite alright, Jason." Storm touched his arm reassuringly. "Rayne would probably be delighted to meet new friends."
The boy shuffled his feet keeping his eyes from meeting the blonde man’s gaze. “It isn’t easy to get to talk to her.”
Storm looked to Justice who had a slight guilty look on his face. “I’m sure that you will plenty of opportunities.”
“No I won’t.” He said quickly, startling the adults. “She’s moving out tomorrow. If I can’t talk to her now, I’ll never be able to again.”
Ororo leaned over and whispered into the boy’s ear and Justice saw his eye’s light with hope.
Jason then walked away but Justice ran up to him and tossed his arm around his shoulders talking to him in hushed tones. Jordan ran behind him, silent as a mouse hoping to hear the conversation.
"Justice," Storm called after him wondering why he was being so protective over the girl. Jordan moved back to avoid her father stomping her on his retreat, "Why are you bothering that young man?" Storm sighed folding her arms.
"Hey," Justice watched Jason disappear silently and he wrapped an arm around her waist and began to kiss her neck lightly, "I wasn't busting his chops."
Jordan's eyes lit up, "He wasn't." Imp confirmed with a broad smile, "He was vicing his nuts."
"Jordan!" Ororo exclaimed and cut Justice a hard look.
"Did he have nuts, daddy? I didn’t see any." Jordan cocked her head innocently. "Were they peanuts? I like peanuts. Elephants like peanuts too!"
"You must have heard me wrong honey," Justice bluffed.
"No," Jordan nodded. "You said, mphhh…" Justice covered her mouth quickly.
"I thought you wanted to see Kitty?" He watched her nod and he pointed her to the door and kissed her.
"Why were you threatening Jason? I’m sure that Gambit can handle any young man that is interested in his sister." Storm asked evenly. She didn’t understand his need to be so protective of Rayne.
He smiled at her, "I’m sure he can." He sighed. "Would you mind terribly if we have her over to the apartment from time to time."
Storm laughed, "Not at all."
Justice smiled at her understanding and it made him hug her to him. He knew it was time to mend a few fences with the woman in his life. He didn't bother to see if anybody else was around and kissed her. He let the back of his finger roll across her face and neck. He was please to note that they both seemed sparked again and he had to remind himself they were in the hall. He didn't feel their bodies could get close enough at that point and he pulled away reluctantly.
Storm felt happier than she had been in days because of the genuine tone of this kiss and when Justice kept his sweet touch, she smiled. He began to pull her hand as he started them off in the direction of their room. Would he be like this when they were living together? She was very happy at the thought.
Rogue wandered to the football game and watched Bobby playing hard, like a man possessed. She couldn't help but to be mesmerized by it and wondered why he seemed so upset. Then it struck her that it must be Alex and he must be pining over her. She sat down in the grass seeing Kamikaze with a strong look on his face. She had heard what had happened between the brothers and she had worried about something like this happening since the battle at the Adams labs. She had absorbed Bonsai and she knew what dark thoughts he held. She had also absorbed Jump but she hadn't any indication that she would end up a traitor but Bonsai reeked of it and she couldn't understand why he was the one still there.
She was on her feet seeing Kamikaze tackle Bobby a little too hard and the ice mutant didn't get up right away. Kamikaze knelt down checking on his friend as others began to form a worried circle around him. She ran over to help as quickly as her feet could carry her.
She saw her worry was unfounded because by the time she had gotten there he was on his feet holding his head groggily.
"I'm fine," He assured Kurt.
"Nein," Kurt crossed his arms, "Shall I transport you to the doctor?"
Bobby rolled his eyes knowing he would end up in the med lab regardless, "I'll walk." He groaned but a smile appeared when he saw Rogue.
Kurt noticed her too, "Rogue will you walk with Bobby to the infirmary?"
"Sure," she shrugged her shoulders as Bobby joined her. Once they were out of earshot, she took a deep breath. "How did everything work out with her?"
Bobby was taken back a little, "She's going to marry him." He felt his heart ache at his own words. "There were rumors that she was pregnant too." He was trying hard forget it all.
"I'm sorry, Bobby," Rogue felt bad for him and watched his light blue eyes adjust to the change of light as they entered school. "Did you get hurt bad?"
"No, Kurt's just being cautious," He smiled looking at Marie's gentle features and the doubt that covered them.
She looked at his head and began to push the dust and twigs out of his hair. "Beast will have your head if you bring all this in the med lab." She teased and then saw his shirt was as bad.
Bobby sighed, "Am I still a mess?" He pulled his shirt off to shake the leaves off of it and when they fell, he bent over to pick them up but knocked heads with Rogue as they both ended up on the ground with a laugh.
"Great, I will be the one who leaves the lumps." She rubbed her own head but she became very distracted at the sight of Bobby with out his shirt. Alex was crazy in Marie's opinion.
Bobby narrowed his eyes at her, "How many people are floating around in your mind?" He sat up to his knees watching her quietly.
"I think Hayley is the most," she sighed looking at the floor, "I absorbed her twice and held her longer. A lot of Afterburn too," she felt ill thinking of how she had been trapped in her body.
"I don't know Afterburn too well," He pulled a leaf from her hair that had fallen from him. "Seems you like the fire mutants huh?"
Rogue smiled enticed by his eyes, "Maybe I should spend more time around ice mutants to even me out?" She wanted to touch him but kept her distance. She watched Bobby reach for her and she fell back to avoid his touch. "Bobby are you nuts?"
He smiled as he hovered over her a little, "maybe." He brushed his lips to her and found she didn't hurt him and what amazed him was that she didn't mind. He kissed her again but pulled back feeling a little drained.
Marie's eyes twinkled wildly as she felt his ability in her. She felt cooler but hot with passion at the same time. Hayley was hard to push from her mind and she found Hayley had gotten her in trouble in her mind from time to time, still in her mind. She jumped to her feet trying to be sensible. "If I were to follow my instincts, I could kill you Bobby." She stayed from his reach. "I want to but…” she trailed off. “It's not safe."
"It's all right." He wasn't sure how it had happened but it had and he was glad it had. "We can take our time." He smiled getting to his feet and shaking his shirt to get it back on again quickly. He felt embarrassed with his shirt off after kissing her but he wasn't sure why. "I didn't mean to," he stumbled his words, "I mean I wanted to but."
"Bobby," Rogue blushed a little, "It's alright." She turned to smile at him.
He caught his breath, "I thought you had a crush on Logan."
She made a face, "I guess I did once but," she frowned reminded of how silly the crush really was, "He has children and Ally now." She watched him nod. "I have been over him for a while now." She thought of how she still felt very close to him because his mind still floated through hers. That was a bond that Rogue could not ignore easily. She knew that was why she felt so responsible for many of the other mutants, her ability.
"I understand now," he winked a little knowingly. "Is that why you came to me before?" He thought to the couple of days he preferred to stay in his room and listen to complaint rock in the dark.
She nodded, "One of them." She did not feel the need to tell him that she had liked him since she had first come to the school. The day he had given her the ice rose, he had began to melt her heart. For a while they had stolen time together but since the Adams's arrival they found any spark between them side tracked. "Is that why you gave me the rose?"
"What rose?" He wrinkled his brow in wonder and remembered the day she started class in the seat next to his. "Yeah, it was." He admitted.
Rogue's eyes widened. She had expected a taunt, tease or jibe in return but he had been honest instead. No witty remarks just the honest truth and she liked that. Things seemed complicated enough anymore. "I liked it."
He blushed as they arrived to med lab and he almost wished he had the nerve to hold her hand but this was all so new.
Kodiak stayed to himself but he followed Bonsai knowing he had been up to something and he watched him leave with a small bag. He sighed hating secrets but he also hated confrontations especially after Bonsai's commotion earlier. Therefore, he merely followed him until he realized what he was doing.
He kept dodging behind things hoping the robotic youth didn't notice him. Bonsai knocked on the door to Josh's room and Brian cocked an eyebrow wondering what he wanted with Death Angel.
Josh popped the door open quickly and looked around almost nervously holding a small bag and a piece of paper. The two young men walked with a purposeful stride but Josh hesitated in front of Aubrey's door. He slipped the paper under it and sighed.
It dawned on Brian, 'their running away.’ He took a deep breath should he go to Xavier? With that duo's track record, he felt that wouldn't be the best idea and sighed.
"You stand in halls much?" Sassy's voice rang out behind him.
Brian shook his head pointing to Bonsai leaving with Josh.
"Guess we can't count on them joining us now." she sighed crossing her arms over the other.
"Joining us?" Brian took a deep breath.
"This isn't where we belong," Sassy bit her lip. "I don't trust Xavier completely."
Brian nodded but he did trust Xavier. He knew what Sassy meant though they didn't belong here. They were the lost projects and they needed to make their own name not piggy back on Xavier's famed school. It would be easy to go to school there and become X-men or teachers but easy didn't always win respect. Gambit, Nightcrawler and even Warren were X-men but all three had been sent for due to their awesome abilities. The failed projects had more or less been left on the doorstep of the institute. Kodiak didn’t like the feeling of being orphaned to Xavier’s school. He wanted to make his own destiny.
"So we are leaving too?" Brian almost whispered.
Sassy nodded, "As soon as we have a place to go." She knew he didn't want to leave the sanctuary of the school but they needed to stick together. "Khaki's staying and we're leaving the leprechaun." she almost hissed mentioning Dom. "He helped that bastard!"
Brian nodded; he knew Kamikaze and Aubrey would stay. They had been freed by Ally and it was because of their abilities she was helped home. They were slowly becoming legend, like Wolverine.
"Can I help you both?"
They both turned to see Charles and Scott behind them.
"No," Sassy said quickly for them both and ushered Brian away. She wondered to herself if Reg would go with them or even Riptide. Had they formed bonds to keep them there?
Charles watched the oversized young man and he was reminded of his other brother and sighed. "I fear more will be leaving soon."
Scott's eyes opened worriedly, "I will apologize to Justice Professor."
Charles chuckled, "I don't think that is why Justice is leaving," he smiled at Scott. "But yes, aside from Alexandra many others will be gone in the morning." He noticed Scott's curious look, "yes, Logan and Remy will be going too."
"What a shame," Scott sighed with a smirk on his face until Xavier looked at him. He would miss them though, he wouldn't admit it aloud but he had grown fond of them all. "Allyson will be missed," He wouldn't miss Logan's or Remy's protective natures but he would constantly wonder about Hayley and her unborn babe. "Ally reminded me of you."
Charles chuckled, he had always thought she was like her mother in many ways, "How is that?"
"Always one step ahead of the game," he thought of the right words to describe the connection, "Compassionate and very giving."
"I thought perhaps it was her wisdom," Charles stifled a laugh.
"That would be Alex," Scott reasoned. "She's the only one who doesn't think irrationally and works it out on paper first."
Charles nodded interested in Scott's introspect on his nieces. "She is a bright young lady and she will finish pursuing her MD here with us." He hoped he was correct.
"Things will change, but one thing that will remain is there will always be X-men." Scott looked at the class and the football game through the window outside. "No matter what."
"I hope there will be a time when the X-men are not needed," Xavier sighed guiding his chair into the kitchen. "A time when there is peaceful coexistence of mutants among people."
Scott watched the young men playing football and how colorful they were, some had different color hair and some even different color skin and skin texture. He thought of the Hayley's child once more and if it would look mutant or normal. "I only hope it is in our lifetime." He feared for the next generations of mutants because ignorance only bred fear.
Hayley finished dressing and wondered what took Remy so long but she decided to make her way to her room.
"Excuse me," Beast called. "I would like to see you escorted."
"I am not a child, blue boy," She folded her arms.
"Yet, you resort to name calling, Spark plug," He mumbled tapping the keyboard to the computer.
Alex laughed under her breath; since she knew she wasn't pregnant, she was released sooner. "Well it's nearly time for dinner, I will escort her to the dinning room." She stretched as she walked.
"I wanted to find Remy," Hayley almost pouted.
"He is with Rayne somewhere," Alex folded her arms defiantly. "You will have plenty of time with both of them because you and Ally are moving tomorrow." She sighed thinking Justice's move as well. "Can't we spend time together until then."
Hayley's miffed expression softened, "Alex, we will always be together." She knew what Alex didn't spell out, no more climbing in each other's beds at night or sitting up late with coffee and video games.
"I just want this night to be special before you and Remy hit the sack," Alex led her past Rogue and Bobby who looked very cozy together and Alex smiled brightly at the pair. She was glad to see Bobby seemed taken with her and she was fond of Rogue too.
She pushed Hayley into the hall before the dining hall and found Ally and Logan heading in as well.
Hayley smiled, "You have your wish, Alex." Dinner together might be what they needed but as Logan held the doors opened for them, they found the room darkened.
Hayley and Ally were both on guard and took a sideways glance as the lights turned on quickly, almost blindingly.
"Surprise!" Many people screamed as they blew party favors and tooted horns. Kitty Jubilee, Jean and other stood by a banner saying 'baby shower.'
Hayley laughed as she relaxed her stance and Alex smiled knowingly but her eyes darted around looking for their brother and soon the other two noticed his absence.
"Where's Just?" Alex asked a little sad as she approached Scott and her uncle.
"He and Storm see to be missing," Scott winked.
Alex blushed a little, "Hank will be here in a little while, and we passed Bobby and Rogue on their way to the infirmary."
Ally and Hayley were pulled into the party, Charles smiled seeing Rayne, and Remy arrive and once more ‘SURPRISE’ rang through the room.
Alex smiled inwardly; she had found out that Remy had helped her uncle arrange this for Ally and Hayley. She was glad they had decided to make it a mixed company shower, male and female. Everyone knew it was also a send off and that made it seem a bit bittersweet. She watched Jean place a wrapped box in her hand and recognized Hank's writing.
"I thought it was just for the babies," Alex was almost choked up.
"More or less," Jean laughed. "We couldn't very well tell you that we would wanted to welcome you as well and give the others a proper send off." She watched Alex unwrap a stethoscope from Beast and she hugged Alex quickly. "We will keep you busy so you won’t have time to miss your family." Jean teased.
Storm felt Justice on top of her kissing her hungrily still and she loved the feeling of him naked and against her. She ran her hands under the covers along his naked back and buttocks. She felt their pleasure subside and knew things were different between them.
Justice rolled over pulling her close to him and she heard him begin to snore lightly. Storm noticed the time and took a deep breath as she cursed herself lightly.
"Justice it is dinner time," She shoved him hoping he wasn't asleep yet.
Justice opened his eyes, "I am not hungry." He laid his head back down, "How can you think about food right now?" He let his hand trail over her abdomen amazed at how soft she was.
"I am used to eating now," Storm teased pulling away and stepping out of the bed.
"I guess I deserve that," Justice sighed feeling rejected. He had hoped they would take their time in making up.
"It is not in spite," She smiled and hoped he didn't guess her alternative agenda. "I promised Alex we could all spend one last time eating together."
Justice snapped to, "All right. A farewell dinner it is." He begrudgingly took his eyes off Storm and her lack of clothing. "I'll get dressed." He smiled at her teasingly, "unless you want to …” he gestured to the bed and stood from it showing her he was still naked.
Storm took a deep breath, "Later and we will have plenty of time for it."
Justice comically slumped his shoulders and then wandered to the bathroom.
Storm continued to look for her clothing again as the party raced through her mind.
As Jason walked briskly down the hallway he saw Afterburn heading towards her room. “Hola chika! Wait up.” She stopped and he ran up to her.
She grinned, “Well, tell me everything.”
“Not much to tell actually. I never really got a chance to talk to her.” He shoved his hands in his pockets.
“What?” Afterburn was angry, “Why wouldn’t she talk to you? Does she think she’s too good for you? Your better off without her then.” She started pacing the floor.
“No, that’s not it. Justice Adams and her brother would’nt let me talk to her.” He pulled his hands from his pocket and crossed them over his chest.
“I don’t know, ask them!” He was exasperated. “I only have one more chance to ask her. She’s leaving with her brother tomorrow morning, but she will be at a surprise party for the Adams’s tonight.”
“You going to crash the party?” Afterburn’s fiery eye’s danced with mischief.
“No one said I couldn’t go to the party, so it’s not like I’d be crashing.” He said with a smile widening on his face.
Afterburn’s face turned sour, “If the party is for the Adam’s, then Justice is sure to be there. And if Rayne is there, her brother will be as well. How are you going to get past them both?”
“I didn’t think of that.” He said downcast again. “This is hopeless.” He threw his arms out wide. “I don’t know why I’m putting myself through this.”
Afterburn laughed, “Because you’re in love fool, and love makes fools of us all.” Then a thought came to mind, “I’ve got an idea. I’ll go with you and keep them from seeing you talk to her.”
“Think that would work?” He ran his hand through his hair nervously.
“Can you think of a better plan?” She crossed her arms defiantly.
“Ok then, lets take a shower and get ready and I’ll meet you in the study.” She patted his shoulder reassuringly. “Don’t worry, it’ll be fine.”
Jason gave her a weak smile as he turned for his room. He wondered again why it was he was putting himself through this torment. Rayne’s face came to his mind then and he remembered why. ‘She’s the most beautiful girl I’ve ever seen.’
There was a lot of quiet bustling about when Jason and Afterburn got to the designated party room. They offered their services thinking it would be the best way to be included in on the festivities.
Afterburn came up next to Jason who had just brought some extra chairs into the room. “This is going to be easier then I thought.” She grinned.
“That amiga, is easy for you to say.” He chided nervously then looked around for something else to occupy his time. More people were filing into the room and everything was nearly ready. He was wondering how much more he could stand, when a quick shout alerted them that the guests of honor were on their way.