Friday-Night Guy Talk, Stalkers, and Other Strange Things
L. Burke

"We're supposed to be using that telescope to look for that nebula for our test," Bobby Drake scolded Hank McCoy, "not using it so you can spy on Jim Wilson and see what he's working on for the science competition."

"Shut up, Robert, or I will tie you to your desk chair again.  Come on, finish the equation," Hank McCoy grumbled not bothering to up from the telescope.

"Spying is cheating you know," Bobby continued, ignoring Hank's threat.

Hank looked up from the telescope just long enough to glare back at Bobby.  "He was spying on me when I went down to the public library, trying to see what I was working on."

"He was not, he was just picking up a book.  He even asked how your project was going.  I think both you science geeks are taking this competition way too far."

"He wanted to know how my project is going," Hank sneered, looking back into the telescope.  "He wants to sabotage my project."  Bobby just rolled his eyes at Hank's back.  "I saw that, Drake.  You're cruising for a bruising, or at least to get tied up to that chair again.  "

"Professor Xavier rescued me, and you got banned from you lab for an entire week," Bobby shot back.

"Yes, but it took him six hours to find you."  Hank glanced up from the telescope to give Bobby a thoughtful look.  "Professor Xavier is either slipping, or we're getting better.  My new cold resistant rope is truly amazing stuff -- it can take your freezing cold and stay sturdy."  That last sentence was edged with a threat, and Bobby responded by sticking his tongue out at Hank.

"I feel sorry for you, Hank.  It's Friday night, and you have so little of a life that all you can do is sit here and obsess about what Jim Wilson is doing for his project.  At least Warren had a date tonight."

"That's it!" Scott Summers announced behind them as he reached the top of the hill where Bobby and Hank were standing.  "I'm becoming a recluse and never leaving the house ever again.  All I did was help Sally Hanson fix her flat.  That's the last time I ever again help out a girl."  And Scott dropped the two pizza boxes he was carrying on the ground next to Bobby.  "I will never be able to show my face down at Harry's again."

Hank and Bobby just looked at each other.  "Scott, do you know you're wearing lipstick?" Bobby asked innocently, pointing at a spot right next to Scott's mouth.  Scott just glared at him and grabbed a napkin to try to rub his skin clean.

"How do women take this stuff off once they get it on?" Scott grumbled as he continued to rub without much success.  "It must take a low grade acid."

"Do I get the impression, O Fearless, that Ms. Hanson is still determined you're meant to be together?" Hank asked in a sweet tone as he opened the pizza box and grabbed a piece.  "Face it, Scott, no one has ever turned her down before.  I mean filthy rich, red-headed bimbos just don't get turned down that often.  You’re a challenge because you’re the first to do so."  Scott glared at Hank.

"Besides, she's a slut," Bobby added, almost stuffing a full piece of pizza in to his mouth at one time.

Scott turned his glare from Hank to Bobby.  "That not nice, Bobby."

"But I have to concur with Bobby's assessment of the situation," Hank said, sitting down next to Scott.  "So what did the lovely Miss Hanson do?"

"Besides try to kiss me and chase me around a table in front of everyone?" Scott asked.  "She started singing, 'Take Another Little Piece of My Heart' -- out of tune might I add -- in the middle of Harry's, in front of everyone.  I dropped the money for the pizzas on the counter and ran.  I think I left Harry a really big tip.  I have decided I'm never leaving the house again ever.  What else can I do?  I made it very clear that I'd rather dump gasoline over my head and set myself on fire than go out with her.  How much more blunt do I have to be before she gets the idea?"  Scott took a bite out of a piece of pizza he grabbed, and spoke around it, "So how is the studying going?"

"Lousy.  I haven't even had a chance to try to find the Nebula because Hank has been too busy spying on Jim Wilson to see what he's doing for the science competition, and I'm still getting a couple of my constellations messed up.  I don't know why Professor Xavier is making us learn this stuff," Bobby grumbled.  "Besides it being a state requirement?" Scott asked.  "Well, if you ever get lost, you can use the stars and constellations to guide you."  Scott rolled his eyes even if his classmates couldn't see the gesture.  "I've told you this stuff before."

"I know, I know," Bobby said.  "I still hate it."  Right at that moment, Hank bolted up and ran over to the telescope, looking in it and saying, "That reminds me.  Oh, come on -- how long does it take you to put an equation together?"  Hank looked up from the telescope.  "I don't believe it, he's still working on the same part of the equation.  I wish he'd finish it, so I can confirm my project as more brilliant than his, and I can finish this exercise."

"Bobby's right -- that is borderline cheating, Hank."  Scott looked straight at where Hank was standing next to the telescope, but Hank just glared back in annoyance.

"So your pet has informed me several times this evening," he said.  "I'm still annoyed at you for bring him home."  Hank indicated Bobby.

"I didn't bring him home, Professor Xavier did," Scott shot back.

"I still blame you," Hank sneered.

"Hey!  I hate you both!" Bobby added indignantly.

Right then Warren's voice shot out of the dark, singing "So take it, take another little piece of my heart now, baby.  Take it, if it makes you feel good."

Scott just groaned in to his hands.  "Oh, God.  Warren was down at Harry's with his date."

Right then, Warren landed next to them, smirking at Scott.  "Yup, I was there to see it all."  Scott just groaned again.  "Face it Scott, Sally even stated she'd never 'done' a Boy Scout before.  I'm hurt.  She said you were the best kisser she'd ever kissed.  Coming from Sally, that's quite a compliment."

"I did not kiss her!  She jumped me and kissed me.  I don't even like her," Scott shot back rather defensively.  "All I did was help her fix her flat and you are enjoying this way too much."

Warren just smirked as he went for a piece of the pizza.  "That's not Sally's version of what happened.  My gosh, Scott, if you keep this up, I'm going to lose my reputation as the playboy around here.  I even had a couple of girls come up and ask me if you have a girlfriend.  Being the great guy I am, I was quick to inform them you didn't, and were completely up for grabs."

"I think after what Sally did to him tonight, Scott wishes you might have phrased it a little better than that, Warren," Bobby said with glee.  "I think 'grabbing' is the last thing Scott wants to think about right now.

"Keep it up Bobby," Scott warned, glaring.  "I know where Professor Xavier hid Hank's special rope, and I just might talk in my sleep and let the location slip."

"You’re the one who brought him home," Hank and Warren both stated, looking at Scott.

"I did not!  Professor Xavier brought him home.  I was just following orders."

"We still blame you," Hank and Warren said at the same time.


"Cheer up, Scott, it could be worse," Warren added.  "Sally could have done it in front of the alluring Ms. Grey.  As it is, I'm the only one who was witness to your public humiliation."

"Scott says he's becoming a recluse and never leaving the house again, just like J.  D.  Salinger," Bobby added.

Warren gave him a strange look.  "Who?"

"J.  D.  Salinger.  He wrote Catcher in the Rye -- for which our book report is due Monday.  Professor Xavier assigned it a month ago."

"Oh, crap . . . I forgot.  Scott, could you help me out here."

"After you were such a good friend and informed all those girls that I don't have a girlfriend?"

"You know, any other guy would be thanking me right now."

"Hey guys, come quick!  Jean's getting home with her date."  Hank motioned from his location at the telescope.  "Second week in a row."  He trailed off a moment, staring through the eyepiece.  "So that's Josh.  They must be getting along fairly well, if they're going out for a second weekend."

Warren got to the telescope first.  "So that's Dorkboy.  I think he's really gotta go."

Hank took the telescope back from Warren.  "Lets see, letterman, three sports, band pin, I think -- I can't really be sure about that one.  Fairly tall, dark hair, and well built.  I agree with Warren's assessment.  Dorkboy's gotta go, my fine fellows."

"Let me see, Hank."  Scott took his turn looking into the eyepiece.  "I think Hank's right.  That's a band pin.  I don't know, though, they don't seem to be acting like they're all that serious."

"Are you kidding?" Warren butted in, grabbing the eyepiece.  "The dress Jean's wearing says 'first base.'"

Hank grabbed the telescope from Warren.  "I must disagree; I believe the dress says 'play it nice and you may get to first base someday."

"I think," Bobby said, "if Jean catches you spying on her, she's going to spin you all around until you toss your cookies."

"Shut up Bobby!"  All three glared back at him.

"You can't say I didn't warn you," Bobby stated as he grabbed the telescope.  "Now I want my chance to look."  A pause.  "They're not there anymore.  He must have dropped her off and left."

"Give me that back Drake.  I have spying to do."  Hank snatched the telescope.

"Hey, I still have to find the Nebula!"

"Tough . . . "  Hank told Bobby.  "Oh, come on, Jim!  You're still working on that same equation!  I would have been finished hours ago."

Warren turned to Scott.  "Well, what do you think about Josh?"

Scott just shrugged.  "I think I'm going to follow my own advice to Bobby, and not listen to a word you and Hank say.  And I'm still never leaving the house again."

"-- 'not to listen to a word Hank and Warren say' about what Slim?" voice came out of the dark as Jean crested the top of the hill.

"Nothing."  All the boys stated at once, as Bobby added a muttered, "We're dead."

"We're just up here, doing guy talk.  How did your night go?  And how did you know we're up here?" Warren asked smoothly.

"Actually, Hank's spying on Jim Wilson to see what he's doing for his science project," Bobby said.  "Scott's up here hiding from Sally Hanson; she a big slut you know.  Warren's up here plotting, and ragging on Scott, and I'm up here trying to study for my test, but Hank won't let me have the telescope.  Do you want some pizza?  It's from Harry's."

"Pizza would be great," Jean said, while the other three boys tried to look innocent.  "I just came to see what you four were up to since you seem to hang out here on Friday nights, and none of you has ever thought to invite me."  Jean grinned slyly as she grabbed a piece of pizza out of the box.  "So you guys are up here talking guy talk about stalkers and other strange thing that I, as a woman, should not be party to?"  The guys just nodded.  Her grin grew.  "Well, that's nice to know.  And if I ever catch the four of you spying on me again, you'll wish tossing your cookies is the only thing I'll do to you, do you understand?"  The four of them just nodded again.

Abruptly, Scott grinned at her.  "Actually, we sneak up here on the hill to give Professor Xavier a break from the four of us, pig out on Harry's pizza, and get away from saving the world.  We're sorry for spying on you, and for not asking if you'd like to come join us sooner.  We just assumed you came here with a life already, that's all."  He motioned for Jean to take a seat next to him.  "Sit down; I have a feeling you're going to fit right in around here.  If you want to stay and hang out, feel free.  I could use some female advice on how to handle Sally Hanson anyway."

Jean just smiled at them and sat down on the ground next to Scott.

"Yeah, we didn't invite you up because we thought you wouldn't be interested -- being a girl and all," Bobby added quickly, handing her a napkin for her pizza.

"Scott, do you know your wearing lip stick?" Jean asked innocently as she took another bite of her pizza.

Scott just groaned.  "You can start with the advice right now, in fact, by telling me how you women get this stuff off?"

"Well . . . " Jean started as her laugher floated on the night breeze down off the hill.

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