Summary: Alex and The Stepford Cuckoos by the pool, later joined by Jean and Scott.
Location: The X-Mansion's Pool
Rating: PG-13, Some suggestive dialog and Psychic Violence.
It's altogether common to find Alex Summers poolside at all different times of the day (if he's not lakeside). Outside of his Geology and Earth Science classes, he teaches swim classes, spends plenty of time serving as the de-facto lifeguard when the kids are in the pool, and seems to have taken it upon himself to be "in charge" of the regularly-scheduled maintenance and such (to say nothing of his own swimming regiment that he squeezes in during the wee hours of the morning). In any case, it's that "maintenance" that's got him out here for the moment, as he's presently standing by the poolside, skimming a few pieces of natural debris from the water's surface after having re-balanced the chlorine levels in the water.
It's a blonde parade. The five sisters come strolling in their perfect unison gait toward the pool area. Trendy eye-patch like bikinis, Dolche & Gabanna sunglasses, five identical outfits, with pool side platform shoes. Strung over their left shoulders are five white towels. They each hold a bottle of sun tan lotion in their right hand. As their 'eerie' sort of way, they aren't making any sounds, one might assume something is going on unheard. Sophie, the one out front, stops when she spies Alex cleaning the pool and then she tilts the glasses down. In perfect unison, five voices speak clearly, "You won't be too much longer, will you?"
Alex glances over his shoulder at the sound of voices in unison, offering up the glimmer of a smile as he pushes his Oakleys up on his head, "Evening, girls. No, I should be done in just a couple of minutes." He assures, continuing the business of skimming away those dribs and drabs from the nearby trees. "Then you'll have the pool all to yourselves." Relatively speaking...if students are in the pool an adult is supposed to be around, after all.
The front sister glances back and there is a flash of white in all their eyes for a brief second then they break apart each taking a seat to themselves and throwing their towels on them. One of the sisters kicks off her shoes and walks over to the edge of the pool and dips her toe into. Almost instantly the five shiver. "Cold.." Another one says, whom isn't the toe-sticker. "Obviously." Another says. "Though it should" Another one finishes the sentence, "fine after" Another, "we've been in it for a" And finally the toe-sticker, "little bit, yeah." It's a single sentence carried through. Sophie looks over at Alex, "Mr. Summers, right?" She says in a rather friendly sort of way. The other four stop dead in their tracks and turn their eyes toward Sophie, "You're Scott's brother, right? But you're not as cute as he is." She offers a smile. One of the four girls breaks into a little giggle, "You thought it.." "Yeah but I wasn't the one to say it." "And?" "That's rude Sophie.." "Shut it Mindee.." The other four say in unison.
"Right. The -other- Mr. Summers. Or just Alex if I'm not teaching." Alex notes, still skimming away dutifully, though the basket does pause a moment at Sophie's -other- comment, which earns an upraised brow and a wry twist of his lips, "Well, thanks for your frank and honest opinion...Sophie, right?" He knows she's the one normally doing the talking. "I'll be sure to cry myself to sleep over it later tonight." He can't help the mildly sarcastic remark from escaping, though there's little in the way of genuine bitterness behind it. Indeed, the idea of Scott as "cute" to someone besides Jean is novel enough to cause a spike of amusement. Either way, he finishes off the skimming and moves to replace the tool(s) in the shed nearby.
"No.." The one in the back says, "She's Esme.. I'm Sophie." Whether or not that's the truth is up for debate, only a telepath might know for sure. However, the front sister offers a shrug as she lays back onto the seat and pulls her glasses up. "I'd make sure to turn on some music first, don't want them to think you're a pansy..." She says with a rather cruel note to her voice. There is a sudden white flash from behind the five sets of glasses as something happens and then one that claimed to be Sophie speaks up, "You'll have to excuse us. Some of us are feeling a bit crabby today.." She holds her tummy to give the silent warning. The one who made the snarky response glances toward the current talker. The girl lowers her head and goes about kicking her shoes off and diving into the water. The four remaining sisters shiver rather visibly. "Warn us next time.." They say in unison as they turn to glare toward the swimming sister. "Don't go there." "What?" "You know what I'm talking about." "No.." The four look at Alex for a moment, "Well maybe." They say to each other in unison. "But.." "Why don't you ask?" "Why don't you?" "No you.." The girl in the pool pops her head up, "Are you going to be sticking around longer this time, Alex?" The four girls look at the swimmer and then shrug.
"Good idea. Thanks." Alex replies with a bemused grin at Sophie's mention of music. Watching in silence and perhaps mild confusion at the rapid-fire of conversation fragments passing between the "sisters" before the question is finally asked. "You mean sticking around the mansion? Yeah, I'll be around for the forseeable future, anyway. Got a little burnt on graduate work so I figured I'd help out here for a while and grind away at my PhD a little more slowly than I'd initially intended." He moves to take up a seat on the lifeguard's tower, though he doesn't bother with a whistle and the like, "Why do you ask?"
The one in whom is the furthest from Alex pipes up. "Celeste there kind wants to see what you would look like in a speedo. She remembered..." Another one pipes up, "you're a swimmer. She has this thing for tight.." "Clingy clothing. Especially on men." "She's hopeless." The "leader" speaks the last part. "I personally don't think it'd be worth seeing, but she's into older guys." A shrug is offered as two more sisters slip into the pool. The "leader" lays her head back down and goes about trying to soak up the sun. "Celeste..." Two of them say in unison. "Please..." They seem rather perturbed at her. The tone shifted rather quickly.
"Oooo-kay." Alex notes with an expression somewhere between surprise, amusement, and mildly mortified, "I'm usually out here about 6:00 AM every morning. Hard to miss, unless you're not a morning person. " And not at all hung up on body image issues. He knows he's works hard to stay in the shape he's in. He glances between the girls once more, shaking his head and leaning back in the chair, "Mixed signals?" He's rarely had any chance to interact with the girls individually, so their individual personalities are harder to pick out...almost as hard as identifying them individually.
"Way" "to" "early." The 'leader' speaks up, "Do you think we look this good getting up at six am." She leans back and another one pipes up, "Mixed Signals?" "Just because one of us thinks you might look cute in a speedo, doesn't mean all of us.." "Well you know what we mean." The first in the pool slowly climbs out of the water and flips her hair back causing water to fling everywhere. She looks over at the 'leader' and then walks over to her towel and starts blotting herself. She closes her eyes and walks around the chairs in the pool area, perfectly, and takes a seat next to the 'leader'. "Speedo... Really Celeste? Him?" The girl opens her eyes and then pulls her sunglasses down. There is a bit of a white flash as something happens between them and then the leader speaks. "Enough already. I don't want any more images of him in a speedo in our thoughts." She says rather forcefully. There is an eerie silence that comes from the other four.
"Wasn't exactly what I meant." Alex notes in terms of "mixed signals." He glances between the girls once more and shakes his head, eyes rolling skyward a bit before looking back towards them, "Yeah, that sounds like a good idea. No more speedo-fying the lifeguard, thanks." Because this conversation is definitely disturbing on a few different levels. "Even better if it means whichever-or-whichevers of you seem to enjoy talking about me like I'm not here are finished, too."
Hand in hand, Jean and Scott come walking down the cobbled pathway which leads to the pool deck. The redheaded telepath is dressed in shorts and a thin, white linen shirt over a red bikini top. "Hey, Alex. Sophie, Celeste, Esme, Mindee, Phoebe." Jean correctly greets each of the girls, despite them being pretty much impossible to tell apart, physically. Then again, she's probably cheating.
Scott, meanwhile, seems to have to have walked out of a 1950s fashion magazine. While his swimsuit wouldn't count as a speedo, persay, but it is tighter that your standard gentleman's bathing suit, with enough of a leg to go down to the center of his thigh. Also a open button-up plaid shirt and a simple corkpie hat is worn on his head. He raises his free hand in a silent, squeezing Jean's hand in silent thanks for doing the introductions before speaking himself. "Hope you girls don't mind a pair of your teachers taking a dip with you, might as well enjoy these final days of summer."
"Stuff it Sophie!" The one still in the back area says forcefully, "Who put you in charge anyways." The 'leader' speaks, good guess Alex, "Esme, do we have to have this conversation again?" "I don't care, you are not the boss of us." The girl next to Sophie pipes up, "Esme, Sophie.. Please. This isn't good for us." She says with a rather worried expression on her face. "Butt out Celeste.. I mean why do you go around..." There is a sudden drop off of the conversation as all eyes light up brilliant white. The psychically sensitive can feel the furious exchanges of psychic energy between the five sisters. All five are deathly still. There is something going on, and it's got their full attention. Suddenly the one who is probably Esme falls back a few steps and leans against the fence. The other sisters come from the pool and the two seated stand up. They seem to turn their attention toward Esme for a few more minutes then the glowing eyes. "Right-o. Where were we?" Sophie speaks up as she walks back over to her seat. Her eyes lift up, then the other three look toward Jean. "Hello Miss Grey." The five say in unison... "Not at all Scott..." There is a bit of a silence and then a slight giggle from the five.
«Is everything alright, girls?» Jean reaches out to them telepathically. She's far too polite to go poking through their brains without permission, but it is clear that there's some dissension in the ranks. She flashes Alex a grin as he comes down from the lifeguard tower. Teasingly, she arches a brow at him. "What, were you hiding up there, or what? They /probably/ don't bite."
Scott looks a little uneasy at the argument between the telepaths, breaking contact with Jean and taking a few steps forward. Just as he takes a few steps forward, they seem to have worked everything out amongst themselves. He stops and slowly glances towards Alex. "Really..." he says, sounding a bit skeptical as he adjusts his non-combat visor slightly (necessary for swimming, glasses never stay on). "Glad to know that I have fans then," he says flatly. He realizes that he's not the student bodies favorite intrusctor; he seems strangely okay with that, as he goes to the far end of the pool and dives in.
«Everything is fine.» It's clear it is Sophie responding to Jean. Three of the five girls follow Scott's movements like a hunter and prey. Celeste gives the Jean the casual glance over toward Esme, one of the Scott stalkers. Sophie glances over to Alex, "He's just jealous. As for biting, We'll leave that to Celeste.." The girl mentioned suddenly blushes, causing the other four to slightly rose at the cheeks. Sophie looks back to Jean, «It's settled for now.» She retakes her seat. "We were thinking of trying out for the volley ball team this year. What do you think about that Miss Grey?"
"If you're talking about wit, I'm pretty sure they bite. Early and often." Alex notes with a wry smirk, glancing towards Scott and then back to Jean, before looking towards the girls once more, unable to suppress a chuckle, "Wouldn't you all pretty much -be- the volleyball team in that case?"
"I think that you would all do very well." As Scott goes to dive in the pool, Jean moves to claim one of the chaise loungers by the girls and stretches out. She gives the barest of nods to Celeste to acknowledge that she picked up on Esme causing the problem. "Nuh uh," she warns them, as she picks up on three of them 'hunting' Scott. Mentally, she tosses a big (\) over that thought.
Unaware that he's being eyed as possible prey, Scott plunges into the depths, emerging only a few seconds later, relishing the cool water as he smiles wide. He comes up just in time to hear talk of the Stepford Volleyball Team. He nods his head as well. "Certainly would be a good team-building exercise." Y'know, and fun. But that's clearly secondary.
The mental and verbal queue from Jean garners Jean getting all five of the girls to turn their attention to her for a moment.. Then they break the stare and return to what they were doing previously. "Team building is good, yes." Sophie comments, "We could use more of that. I'll make sure to sign us up next time I'm by the gym." Esme offers a slight groan at the thought. Mindee quickly grabs her sister's arm and shakes her head. Phoebe looks toward Alex and smiles, "Well we might be the majority of the team, but it's more because prissy britches wants to be the best at everything." Which one is prissy britches is up to debate. "We really.." Another pipes up, "are excited at the idea." Another pipes up, "Didn't you use to play on a Volley ball team, or.." "Are we getting you mixed up with someone else." The five stop and look at each other, their eyes flashing brilliant white for a moment and then they return to their actions once more.
"Volleyball team?" Alex notes, "Scott and I are a pretty wicked Beach pair, when I can manage to remind him of the existence of this mysterious concept we mere mortals call "fun."" He glances towards his brother with a sardonic smile, "Unless you're talking to Jean, of course." He shrugs, moving to a lower chair than the lifeguard tower and settling in, lacing fingers behind his head and simply surveying the scene for now.
"I'm an excellent volleyball player, and I don't even have to use my powers," Jean offers, then glances over at Alex as she adds, "way better than I am at pool, for the record." She tilts her face towards the setting sun, trying to soak up as much warmth as she can. The exchanges going on between the girls don't seem to bother her, too much. She is keeping an eye on Celeste, though.
"I have fun," Scott says, perhaps a bit defensively. "Look at me now." He holds both hands up in the air, points down at himself as he deadpans, "I'm having a blast, here in the water. I'm having so much fun I could pop." With that, he displays just how much fun he's having as he starts to do laps across the pool, evading girls where as neeeded. As he reaches the other end of the pool, he hears mention of...pool. Glancing from Jean to Alex to Jean again. "You two played pool?" BIG Scooter pout. "Without me?"
Celeste is avoiding additional eye contact with Jean. Sophie glances toward Scott and then toward the other two... "We must be missing something here." She frowns, which causes the others to frown. Phoebe narrows her eyes ever so slightly as she turns her gaze to Alex. There is a sudden flash of white from all the girls' eyes and then Phoebe sighs softly and let's the narrow of her eyes relax. "We might come to you for advice then." Celeste smiles softly as she goes over and grabs Esme's towel. The girls look at one another and then Celeste wraps her sister in the towel. "Alright." Sophie says as Celeste and Esme start to head toward the mansion. Phoebe looks to Sophie and then Sophie offers a shrug. Their eyes alight once more and this time it hangs for a few heart beats then Mindee shrugs. "That's such a pretty sunset. I'd love to have my oils and try and grab the colors right from the sky to paint with." She sighs wistfully and then almost verbally floats in the air with her attitude. Sophie rolls her eyes and laughs softly. "Freak." Her and Phoebe say in unison. "Hey!"
"I think it's safe to say you're not alone in feeling lost." Alex notes with mild chagrin, especially since where the girls are concerned, it seems they're missing half or more of the conversation. Or even being sure who exactly they're talking to. Scott, however, he glances to and smirks, "Yes Scott, we played pool without you, because sometimes some of us like -playing- pool instead of "watching Scott run the table seven times in a row."
"Take it slow, Scott. If you have too much fun, too quickly, your body will go into shock and it'll take you weeks to recover. Or, who knows, you may never be able to have fun again." Jean smiles prettily at her boyfriend as she teases him. "Why don't you, Mindee?" Jean encourages the wistful artist. "I'd love to have something like to hang in the atrium. I think it would be lovely."
Scott snorts a bit at Alex, shaking his head. "That is redicilous," he mutters. "I've never run a pool table seven times in a row." Beat. "My record is only five." He then glances towards Jean and offers a slight grin as he shakes his head. "Don't worry, the last few days I've been storing up my fun. I can not discharge it at a much more reasonable rate." He glances towards the Girls as they start to move back towards the mansion. "I might come in and see how you all turn out on the volleybal court."
Mindee practically squeals at the idea. Sophie and Phoebe can't help but crack a smile; their sister is bubbling basically. "OH! You mean it!" She glances over at Sophie and all the eyes alight. Then Mindee nods and scampers off. "You really made her day." Phoebe cracks toward Jean. "Really made it." Sophie adds wryly. She leans back in the chaise lounger and closes her eyes as Phoebe slips back into the pool and starts to do some laps around the pool. Phoebe stops a few feet from Scott and treads the water. "Well, you know, we haven't ever really played it. We'll have to watch some videos and read up on the tactics. We have to be.." Sophie interrupts, "No.. We are the best, at everything." She says flatly.
"Huh, I think I'm beginning to see why they like Scott so much." Alex notes with no small degree of amusement towards Jean, before slipping out of his chair and rising to his feet in a stretch, starting to move towards the gate, "About time for me to head inside, I think. You all enjoy your swim." He offers a wave and a smile to all assembled, and starts his own journey back towards the house.
"I've had some pointers, and I've been practicing, Summers," Jean aims a pointed finger in Alex's direction. "I'll get you next time. And as for you, Other Summers," now she directs her finger at Scott, "well... I'm only playing you if I get to use powers." She waves to Alex as he takes his leave. When Mindee squees and runs off, Jean flashes a smile at the remaining girls. "Good. I think Mindee has some real talent. And, if you want any help with the volleyball, I'd be happy to give you some pointers."
"Cheater," Scott grumbles at Jean, before pushing himself up to give Jean a quick peck. "But if you want some tips, I'm a great tutor." He then turns his glance towards his brother, offering a farewell wave. "And why shouldn't they admire me?" he asks, furrowing his brow slightly. "You know, I get that it isn't popular, but hard-work and team dynamics ARE important. And if you can create a little competition in the bargain, all the better."
«So it's true... He's oblivious, eh?» Sophie glances over to Jean as all their eyes flash white for a second. Mindee comes running down in more proper attire with an easel and paint palate. She takes a position up where she can see the sunset and commences to paint. Her tongue sticks out ever so slightly as she gets wrapped up in her muse. Sophie and Phoebe can't help but occasionally find themselves staring at the sunset as well.
«Completely. But endearingly so.» Jean returns Scott's quick kiss, before addressing his accusation out loud, "It isn't cheating if I announce it beforehand; it's warning. And... yeah, I would totally appreciate some tips."
Scott pulls himself up and out of the pool, sitting next to Jean and taking her hand in his own. He cants his head to one side as he glances towards the painter. "Huh, I didn't know you painted...uh..." «Which is that one?» he asks telepathically, momentarily forgetting that they will likely pick up the question just as boldly as if he'd asked it aloud.
It isn't long before Celeste returns to the pool, dressed out of her swim attire, in a jog suit. She arrives just in time to see Jean and Scott make with the squishy lovey-dovey stuff. She turns her face away and the other girls stop their actions and turn to look toward the pair. It might be considered kind of eerie to have three girls looking at you, after a kiss. "Mindee, Scott.." She says not skipping a beat as she turns back to her painting. "We have lots.." Celeste picks up, "of skills. We are all.." "Very good artists, but well" "Mindee is probably the best of us. She has a certain eye for it." Yes, for some reason Mindee is referring to herself in the third person, perhaps picking up the stray thoughts from her sisters. "She helps keep us inspired to do great things..." Phoebe smirks wryly, "Terrible things, but great none-the-less..." Celeste visibly pales and stammers on, "to quote a book..."
Jean links her fingers with Scott's and gives his hand a squeeze. It was nothing more than a quick kiss, and nothing to be ashamed of; she doesn't make a big deal out of the 'lovey-dovey' stuff. Even if all of the sudden, simultaneous attention is a touch eerie. Craning her neck a little, Jean checks out the progress of the painting as Mindee devotes herself to the piece. "You know, I think I have just the frame to fit that," she notes, thinking out loud. "I accidentally broke the painting that was in it, but I loved the frame and couldn't bring myself to throw it out."
Scott frowns a bit, shaking his head to the girls. "I'm really sorry, I just...I'll try to get better," he says, smiling softly. "You all haven't considered...having different hairstyles have you? To make it easier on us without telepathic abilities?" Sure, its a litte unfair, but surely Scott isn't the only one who would appreciate it. He glances towards Jean then, canting his head to one side. "Which painting is that?" he asks, curiously.
"Different hairstyles?" The comment comes from the four in unison, sort of sounding rather surprised at the idea. "Ah.. no." Sophie comments, "We prefer to have a unified look. It makes the gestalt..." She stops short. "It just isn't an option." The four girl's eyes flash white and there is quite a bit of psychic traffic amongst them. Then suddenly it stops, "Besides, we kind of like the anonymity that it provides makes it easier to.." She shrugs as if they were all failing to find the right words to express it.
Even as Scott frowns at his inability to tell the girls apart, Jean grins. "You don't have to be telepathic to tell them apart, Scott." Of course, being telepathic doesn't hurt, either. "It was an old one, that had been in my room forever," she replies, regarding the painting, "a summer landscape. It fell off of the wall after a nightmare woke me up." She lifts a shoulder in a shrug, casually. Another nightmare, another sleepless night. Nothing new. "Anyway, it was a while ago."
Scott purses his lips and nods his head. "I suppose that makes sense," he says, not wanting to press the issue. "I will just try to pay closer attention." Of course, when Jean mentions her night terrors, that causes the Sad-Scooter face, but is quickly replaced with the more common skeptical Scooter. "Uh-huh, I'm SURE if you put up all your mental defenses, and the girls lined up shoulder to shoulder, you could absolutely name them each perfectly," he draws out. "Just like I'm sure that you could totally beat me at a game of pool." Beat. "With or WITHOUT TK."
It happens just as soon as Jean starts talking about the painting as the four girls stop dead in the tracks and their eyes alight with the familiar white energy that their psychic auras generate. There is a subtle grasping at the faint whispers in the aether as Mindee's hands start to move of their own accord. Sophie, Phoebe and Celeste all stand and walk over toward Mindee and even though it might go unnoticed, Esme's form has appeared in a window looking down upon the foursome. The distinct impression of five minds has left the girls and there is one unified mind and one unified focus. Sophie turns to look at Jean and speaks in an unified voice. "I apologize in advance, but... I am being rather rude and forceful..." Phoebe then adds on, "However, I feel this is important to you. And that makes it important to me." That is swiftly followed up by a very delicate skim of the surface thoughts, plucking every image of the painting they can manage to grasp around Jean's defenses. As they do so, Mindee's hands starts to incorporate the image into a rather eerie reproduction, with a minor modification, the sunset. After the skimming is done, without aggressive intentions is complete they turn back to the painting and stand silently. The presence of the one mind still lingers around the four, or five if you count Esme in the window.
"Actually, I could," Jean replies to the remark about lining the girls up and telling them apart without telepathy. And being that it is rude to the discuss the girls like they aren't standing right there, she stows the conversation for later. "And I could also totally beat you at a game of pool with telekinesis. It wouldn't even be a contest. You've absolutely got me beat in a fair game, though." The movement of the girls isn't noticed, at first, as her attention is focused on Scott. However, the poking around at her thoughts gets Jean's attention. When the girls present the painting to her, Jean gasps in surprise and delight. "Oh my, girls! That... that is perfect. You've done an amazing job!" Though she does not move to hug them, as she is unsure how welcome a physical act of thanks would be, her appreciation for the painting and the gesture fills their minds in a warm, golden glow.
Scott still looks skeptical on the first one, before just shaking his head. "Well sure, if you just dropped them in the pockets," Scott starts, only for the second item to be tabled as Mindee proves herself an expert counterfeit artist. "Wow," he says softly; he honestly had not remembered which painting Jean had been talking about, but just the general tone of the painting? It is clearly something that she would have done. "That's incredible, girls. I'm...I'm honestly speechless." Thank Goodness for small mercies.
The hive mind leaves the group as they blink and their aura fades away. Sophie looks at Mindee and frowns, as does Celeste and Phoebe. "You're welcome Miss Grey." Sophie says softly as their eyes light up again. "I think we should go practice some laps in the gym.." She turns her gaze to the window and looks dead at Esme and nods. The girls gather up the easel and Mindee smiles at Jean. "Don't worry. We won't do that again.. We were inspired." The girls offer a wave as they head toward the mansion.
"All is forgiven," Jean tells Mindee, as she apologizes. "It wasn't done maliciously." She smiles back at the Cuckoo, then waves to the group as they take their leave. Once they are gone, Jean looks at Scott and smirks a little. "I'd at least make the effort to use a pool stick, you know. Just ... telekinetically." She stretches, then gets to her feet. "Want to go watch a movie?"
Scott watches the girls head back to the mansion for a few seconds before looking towards Jean. "That sounds basically perfect," he says, smiling widely as he starts to stand, making his way back inside as well. After a few moments, he notes. "Okay, ground rules. You actually have to HIT the balls with the cue. Then you can mind woogie them however you want..."