2010-08-24: Place Your Bets
Summary: Jean, Alex, and Logan head to Harry's for a quick getaway from the mansion and a pool game ensues. Challenges and bets are laid out.
Location: Harry's Hideaway, Salem
Rating: PG-13: Suggestive content and mental images.
As is not altogether atypical for faculty and students of Xavier's School, it appears a small group of their number has congregated at Harry's Hideaway for a bit of socializing away from the mansion and some tasty (if not altogether healthy) grub. Alex Summers sits at a table off to one side of the establishment, giving him a good view of the rest of the joint. A bottle of seasonal import beer is sitting in front of him, with an empty off to one side, and a half-gone plate of chili-fries in front of him. The place is relatively quiet tonight, not unusual for a weeknight. No students to be found, either.
Over at the old jukebox, Jean is flipping through the selections. Tonight, she has let her hair down -- literally -- and is enjoying a relaxing, student-free evening. Finding a song she likes, she drops some coins into the coin-slot, then hip-shakes her way back over to Alex's table, where she flops back into her seat. "So, young Summers, you think you can hold your own in a game of pool? No powers, promise."
As summer is drawing to a close and the students are all coming back from vacation and filling the mansion, Logan knew that this was the time to escape and get a beer. So, he joined Alex and Jean as they decided to go to Harry's for a bit. Allowing Alex his own table, Logan is sitting across at his own table, with a large pitcher of beer in front of him. Yes, a pitcher - even though he still looks completely sober. His eyes flit between Jean and Alex, then back to her as she challenges the Summers to a game of pool. "Gotta place a bet down if not powers are gonna be used," he interjects, adding a little interest to the game.
"Hold my own? Probably." Alex retorts with a grin, "After I finish my beer anyway...I think I might play better slightly buzzed." He's not as good as Scott at ye olde game of billiards, by any stretch of the imagination, but he's played enough games against him that he's managed to become quite a decent player. Would a beer buzz be considered a disadvantage? Alex doesn't seem to think so. "Wager huh? Who's betting what now?" Alex grins towards Logan, taking another pull on his beer.
Jean grins back at Alex, then tosses a wadded up napkin at Logan. "Hey, no giving him ideas now." But, since the subject has been brought up. "Do you want to play for money or chores? I'm leaning towards chores. I pulled monitor duty this week, and you're /so/ much better at that than me." She smiles at Alex sweetly.
A wry smirk appears on Logan's face before it disappears behind that pitcher as he gulps down some amber goodness. Its only when the napkin comes flying his way that an eyebrow perks upwards and he shifts in his seat, against protest from the chair he's sitting on, to lean to the side and fully face the two. "C'mon, Red. You know a regular game of pool ain't any fun." A grin accompanies his words, yet looks more predatory than amused. Cocking his head towards Alex, the short man crosses his arms in front of his chest and notes lowly, "I dunno, but if it were me bettin', I'd have her clean the mens room on all the floors." There's no worse fate than the smell of the men's lavatory.
"Damn Logan, that's just cruel. Besides, we usually have at least one or two male students on detention duty for that sort of thing." Alex notes, smirking back towards Jean, "You win, I'll pull your monitor duty for two weeks." Alex considers, moving to select a cue and chalk it up, "I win...you're stuck pulling my cafeteria watches for the next month." It sounds like an unfair trade, but in terms of time spent in mostly-tedious duties it's roughly equal. He adds with a grin, "After all, you're soooo much better at it than I am."
"Logan! Unnecessary meanness! From you, shocking." Jean sticks her tongue out at the Canuck; oh, so very adult. "But you're right, it isn't fun. And I refuse to clean the mens' rooms under /any/ circumstances, even if all of your lives depended on it -- and they probably do, I can only /imagine/ what sort of nastiness lurks in there." She makes a face and shudders dramatically for effect. "Okay, Alex, you're on."
A gruff sounding chuckle escapes from Logan before he shrugs in a nonchalant manner. "She's a big girl, she can handle it," he offers Alex before glancing back at Jean and flashing a sharp toothy grin. "You can just imagine how horrible it is if I use it." He then takes another large swig of beer from his pitcher before rolling his eyes, feigning lack of amusement. "You guys need'a learn how to bet correctly." His tone indicates that he means that in jest as he watches the two head over towards the pool table to play their game.
"OK, so to keep Logan happy, whoever loses -also- picks up his tab here tonight." Alex notes with a grin, moving to rack up the balls before stepping aside, "Scott would give me a stern talking to if I didn't let the lady go first, so...by all means, mademoiselle." He gestures towards the table, giving Jean the opportunity to crack.
"Ugh, I don't /want/ to imagine." In a faux valley accent, she adds, "Boys are like, soooo gross." Jean takes up one of the pool cues, then arches a brow at Logan's assertions. "Do we? Will you teach us, O Learned Betting Master? Or... are you chicken? Scared a girl's gonna beat you both?" She grins at Logan impishly. Moving to take her place at the head of the pool table to break, she pokes at Alex playfully in passing. "Such the gentlemen."
Again, the wry smirk makes its way to Logan's face as he watches the two start their game. There's an appreciative nod towards Alex as far as the tab goes, as he says, "Appreciate it, Alex. Guess that means I should already order more." To Jean's teasing, Logan glances back towards his table, twisting to grab the remnants of his pitcher. "I wouldn't be so brave to call me a chicken, darlin'." There's a momentary pause before he eyes the woman, eyes roaming over her form in an intentional manner - to throw off the brazenness of her statement. "You wouldn't like the kinda bets I make, and neither would your boyfriend." And then he's back to swigging more beer, downing the last drops before he calls over the waitress for the next round.
"Some of the time, anyway." Alex notes of Jean's descriptor, smirking towards her at the poking, "Or maybe I just don't need the sleep-aid of Scott lecturing me about manners." He teases, watching the table to see how Jean does on the break. He tilts a brow towards Logan at his none-too-subtle threat, but doesn't comment further. Jean may be like a sister to him, but she's MORE than capable of taking care of herself.
Brow furrowed, Jean's attention is focused on making the shot; Logan's leering goes unnoticed. However, she can't not hear his rejoinder. Of course, he's timed it just so -- right as she's making the break. The pool stick slips a little and the cue ball jumps forward -- not from a clumsy application of telekinesis, but simply a terrible shot -- before crashing into the mass of balls and sending them rolling off in all directions. And not a one of them sunk. Her cheeks are bright red when she straightens, though that could easily be attributed to her shameful shot and not Logan's ribald comment. "You're right about /that/, Logan," she replies, wrinkling her nose at him, "Scott would be so cruel as to inflict mens' room cleaning on me, no matter how badly I lost to him at pool."
While at his seat, Logan's content to just watch the game, and when he sees Jean fail to sink anything, he can't help but flash that predatory grin of his in amusement. Just as the next pitcher arrives, he raises it and calls to them. "This may be a fun game, after all." Screwing with Jean to make her mess up? Worth it. Call it a notch on the bro-belt since he likes Alex. "I doubt that. He'd probably have you baking cookies for losing." There's a saccharine pun in there somewhere, but he's not looking to offend anyone, so he doesn't say it.
It might not be looking good for Jean in the early going. Her break may not have sunk anything, but it does allow Alex to sink three solids in rapid succession, before a poor lie leaves him attempting a difficult combination shot that doesn't quite make it to the pocket. "Mmm, cookies. Should've thrown that into the bet somewhere too." Alex notes with a grin.
"Too late now," Jean replies to Alex. "Besides, I am an awful baker. My cookies are either all doughy or half-burned. But I'd buy you some at a fantastic bakery." The redhead takes her time in making her shots; she walks around the table, scanning the layout carefully before she leans over to take her shot. Unfortunately, she doesn't do as well as Alex, and only manages to sink two of the stripey ones before missing the third.
Logan continues to watch the two and swig away at his beer, watching how the game was progressing so far. It still looks like Alex has the upper hand. "Maybe you should learn," he tosses towards Jean, still in that jesting tone. "So next time that can be added to the bet." Logan's being absolutely terrible, yet he's completely entertained right now. The man then grows silent for a bit, aside for smirk which slowly makes its way to his face as he watches the game.
You paged Jean Grey with 'Insert naughty thought. Probably Jean bent over. Whatever.'
Alex's lead seems to remain safe for the time being. Two more solids are sunk before his bank-shot narrowly misses dropping a third. The lie does however, leave Jean with at least one fairly easy shot, possibly/probably two. "I dunno Logan. If Jean learns to bake I'm pretty sure she'd end up becoming some kind of awesomeness singularity that'd consume the solar system." He teases, stepping back and adding a bit more chalk to his cue.
"/Thank you/, Alex. See? I can't do it all, it wouldn't be fair for everyone else." Jean sinks the easy shot without much problem. The possibly-easy one she /almost/ gets, but ultimately misses -- despite all her talk, Alex is clearly the more skilled player, sans powers. With a little grunt, she turns to look at Logan and wrinkles her nose at him again. "Maybe you should learn."
Jean Grey pages: And insert back-at-Logan naughty thought of him baking cookies, in just an apron, or whatever.
The second pitcher is slowly getting drained and now rests at the halfway point. When the glance is shot towards him, via Jean, a smirk is offered towards her with a nonchalant shrug of a shoulder, feigning innocence. "I don't think she'd go that far, Alex. Maybe hypnotize the kids with her baking powers, or somethin'." Towards her comeback at him, Logan simply arches a brow in a curious manner and deadpans to her, "You don't want me near the ovens and baking. You don't know where my hands have been." Although, the end of his statement is accompanied with a wink in her direction. Almost as though he intentionally wants the mind to wander at that comment of his. The short man then arches and cranes his neck a bit to look over the pool table. "Looks like he's got ya beat so far... I still think the bathrooms woulda been a fittin' bet, Alex."
"Yeah, on the flipside, if I ever saw Logan pulling trays of chocolate chip cookies out of the oven, I'm pretty sure I'd be looking around for Leviathan coming out of the ocean and the Four Horsemen of the biblical Apocalypse riding through our door." You know, the biblical Apocalypse as opposed to the immortal mutant would-be-overlord type. Because this bunch has to clarify things like that. In any case, Alex does indeed wrap up the rest of the game with a quick series of shots to drop the last two solids, and then calling and sinking a shot that banks the eight ball into a side pocket. He shrugs and smiles a touch sheepishly towards Jean, then looks to Logan and chuckles, "Nah. Jean hasn't been mean enough to me lately to deserve that kind of punishment. In any case, I'm going to go grab another beer. Either of you two want anything?" He smirks, "Another pitcher, Logan?" Since Red is buying now and all.... In any case, once any orders are made, he heads off to the bar to get them ordered up.
"Meh," is Jean's eloquent comment when Alex neatly wraps up the game. She shakes her head at his offer to fetch a drink, then returns the pool stick to its rack on the wall. "You could always wash your hands once in a while," she teases Logan as she comes over to sit at his table. She gives his shoulder a playful thump in passing with the side of her fist. "Though, the cookies would probably end up with cigar ashes in them."
Logan could go for another pitcher of beer, but he decides to be nice and call it at two for the time being, sicne its not on his tab anyway. Now, if it was Scott paying, he'd order another one. He takes another swig as he feels that light fist hit his shoulder and lowers the pitcher cup to offer a wry smirk in Jean's direction as she joins him. "Probably," he shrugs in agreement with her on the ashes. Eyes flit to the bar for a moment before they return to the redhead. "You really should learn to play better, darlin'. Wouldn't want anyone to get the best of you in another bet." There's a momentary pause before he adds, "Like me."
"If I were playing with you," Jean replies with a slight smirk of her own, "I'd cheat." The smirk becomes a full-fledged grin as she stretches her legs out under the leg to get comfy. "Your stakes would be way too high for me to play fair. And even if I did put effort into learning to play better, I don't think Scott or Alex could teach me well enough to beat you fair and square."
A quizzical brow raises, "You sayin' yours wouldn't be?" Logan challenges her on the stakes. He motions, leaning over the table slightly, and inhaling sharply while doing so to make it less obvious that he's trying to pick up on Alex's location, if he were to still be at the bar. "Best way to learn is from your opponent," he offers as a small bud of wisdom. "I could teach you." Then, the nonchalant shrug appears as he leans back in his seat and places his hands behind his head in a non-caring manner, "If you want, darlin'. Not like I'd be gettin' anything from it."
"You could get a challenge out of it," Jean points out, "eventually, if I got good enough." She props an elbow on the table and cups her chin in the palm of her hand. For a moment, she studies Logan, as if deciding whether or not to take him up on the offer. Of course, she knew she would, the moment he made it, even against her better judgment. Trying not to sigh at herself, she smiles at him. "Well, if it wouldn't be too much trouble, I'd appreciate whatever bits of pool-playing wisdom and skill you can impart on me."
In a low, yet gruff sounding voice, Logan smirks towards Jean as he regards her with a playful glint in his eyes. "You know how I love a challenge, darlin'." He then shifts forward and moves to stand, cocking his head ever so slightly to the side, indicating for Jean to follow him towards the pool table where he collects the balls and gets to setting up the table so that it would be ready for the lessons.
"Yeah, all too well," Jean murmurs her reply, but surely his sharp ears pick it up. Straightening up, Jean pushes herself to her feet and steps around the table to follow Logan to the pool table. While he goes to rack up the balls, she collects a couple of pool sticks and sees to making sure the tips are properly chalked up. That done, once Logan is ready, she holds one of the sticks out to him.
When the cue stick is presented towards him, Logan takes it and leans it against the nearest wall for the moment. Instead, he moves to stand behind Jean. A hand moves to the wrist of her hand which is holding the pool stick, if she doesn't move away. "First," he starts. "Its all about following through." He'd then guide her hand back, to set up for the break. "Keep your wrist straight and concentrate on where you want to hit the cue ball."
No, Jean doesn't move away. She /does/ snap into place every single mental shield that she can possibly manage to put up -- not just for her sake, but for his, too. "Okay..." She focuses on paying attention to the instructions given, on holding the stick correctly and lining up the shot as she's shown. "Like this, right?"
A small nod is given by Logan before he releases his hold upon her wrist and moves away from behind her, possibly giving Jean some breathing room. "Relax," he notes while moving to stand at the side of the table. Since this is just the break, there's not much else he can teach at this moment until the game actually gets started.
"Easier said than done," Jean mutters again, but... yeah, acute hearing. Taking a deep, cleansing breath, Jean lines up the shot, then makes the break. This time, the shot is /much/ better. The cue ball actually remains on the table for the duration, and she sinks one of the solid color balls while the others bounce around on the table.
Her words, no matter how quiet they are, cause a wry smirk to appear on Logan's face. He watches the shot and at seeing that Jean actually sinks a ball and offers her a small, but silent, nod of encouragement. Afterwards, Logan looks at the position all of the striped and solid balls on the table are at, internally strategizing which move would be best for her to take. He then moves around the table, and beckons Jean over with a finger. "Yellow one is an easy shot from this angle." Of course, its not that easy, as there is another ball, a striped one, in the way. So, once again, he moves behind Jean. Although this time, one hand moves to her own hand that is holding the pool stick and his other moves to lightly rest at her back. Logan then goes through the motions of showing her how to angle the shot by hitting the side of the cue ball, and the amount of power should be used for the shot so the striped one doesn't sink as well. Afterwards, a sidelong glance is given towards Jean and the hand resting at her back moves up to her shoulder, where he squeezes light. In a low purr, he says again, "Relax, darlin'." More could be tacked onto that statement, but he doesn't bother, and this time, he doesn't move away while she takes the shot.
Jean is studying the table while Logan is, too, and she spots the yellow-ball shot. She nods, agreeing with him and circles the table to line it up. She isn't a /complete/ novice at the game, just not the most skilled. Frowning in concentration, she bites her bottom lip. Her green eyes narrow as she plans it out. Sucking in a deep breath, she lets it all out in a soft rush. Despite Logan's instructions to relax, she can't. Her shoulders are knotted with tension. In her mind, a disapproving Scott is being disapproving. "Okay, okay. I've got it." It's mostly said to herself. She takes another deep breath, and this time, she holds it while she takes the shot. It's good -- mostly. The striped ball smacks into the yellow ball squarely... but without enough juice to actually get it all the way into the pocket. It teeters there on the edge. Mocking her.
Logan doesn't even have to feel the tension from Jean, he can smell it. When the ball doesn't sink, another sidelong glance is offered in her direction as an eyebrow arches upwards and he then asks, "You sure you up for this, Red?" Of course there'd be tension, its a given between the two of them, but it looks to be on a distracting manner - which, Logan doesn't exactly mind. But right now its looking less like a teaching lesson and more like a prey animal being toyed with in the clutches of a predator.
The desire to give the ball just the barest of telekinetic nudges is there, but she controls it. It is a very good thing that self control was one of her earliest, and most thorough, lessons. Clearly. "Yes, I'm fine," she replies to Logan, straightening up and flicking her hair over her shoulder. "I didn't want to hit it too hard, but I guess I just really underestimated it."
That raised brow lingers for a moment as Logan continues to regard her after she speaks. He doesn't go by words alone though, but instead picks up on the scents, sounds, and body language that Jean is giving off as a real indicator to if she's okay with this or not. He doesn't press the issue, but instead nods his head and moves on with the lesson. Logan takes a moment to narrow his eyes at the pool table below, looking for another shot, and he sees one not too far off. "No cheating here." His hands then move to her waist as he shifts Jean's position a little, lining her up with in front of a large cluster of striped obstacles and one green solid in its midst. Again, the man maneuvers her pool stick before the cue as he points out how to get a spin on the ball in order to make the shot work. Once done, he quietly adds, "You can do this one, darlin', I know you can. Concentrate on the spin." Afterwards, he then moves away, taking a few steps to the side to give her space - literal and breathing.
While her non-verbal cues clearly convey that Jean is tense and on-guard for any shenanigans, the longer they go with no Incidents, the more relaxed she's getting -- little by little. "Hey now, I haven't cheated yet, not going to start now." She doesn't resist being directed by her waist, but she has to work a little harder to /listen/ to what he's saying about spin. But once Logan gives her a little room, she can focus on the game and not on his hands on her. "Alright, I got this," she murmurs to herself. Narrowing her eyes at the shot, she bites her lip and goes for it... and much to her amazement, she makes it -- no cheating! "Yes!" she exults, turning to beam at Logan. "Alright! Fistbump!" Because, yes, Jean /is/ that cheesy.
At seeing that Jean actually makes the shot, Logan flashes her a toothy smile, which holds a predatory feel to it. "Told you you could," he nods his head and actually does indulge her in a fistbump. A light one from him. Pausing for a moment, he glances back down at the table. "Those are the basics. Ain't into the trick shots, myself." The man then shrugs a large shoulder and adds, "So, that's all I got to offer, darlin'." His smile then shifts into a grin before he adds, "Next time you can kick Alex's ass."
"You bet I will," Jean replies happily, grinning widely. Yup, she's darned proud of herself, making that shot with no powers. "I really appreciate your help, Logan." On impulse, and before she can talk herself out of it, she leans in to give him a quick, friendly peck on the cheek. "You're the best."
The peck on his cheek elicits a simple smirk from Logan. "No problem, Red." The man's face then sobers for a moment as he watches Jean and reminds her, "You're still gonna have to beat me one day. Better get practicin'" He then moves to places his own pool stick back in it's holder, indicating that now isn't the time, and then moves back to his table to finish off his last pitcher of beer and then place a few bills down on the table, waiving the bet element that Jean would have to pay for his drinks.
"Won't /that/ be the day," Jean replies, still grinning, but the look she gives him now is playful rather than exuberant. The looks fades in a mild scowl as he plunks money down on the table. "Hey, don't start going easy on me now. I lost the bet, I'll pay for the drinks. I'm not a pauper. Besides," she shifts the pool stick into the crook of her elbow while she fishes a credit card out of her back pocket, "Tonight's on Scott."
Scott's paying? A sidelong glance is offered towards that credit card that Jean pulls out and he then smirks slightly while removing his bills from the table. "If that's the case," he starts towards her, "I'm getting another." Logan then heads off to the bar to order himself another pitcher of beer.
"Figured." Jean chuckles at Logan, then turns her attention back to the pool table as he goes to the bar. Practice makes perfect, after all. And she's got a long way to go before she challenges him.