6797/Xth of July

From Heroes Assemble MUSH
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Xth of July
Date of Scene: 04 July 2021
Location: Swimming Pool / Patio Deck
Synopsis: 4th of July 2021 by the pool at Xavier's School
Cast of Characters: Rogue, Scott Summers, Clarice Ferguson, Jean Grey, Kitty Pryde, Jamie Madrox, Henry McCoy, Remy LeBeau

Rogue has posed:
Since i tis the 4th, there's a BBQ party going on on the grounds. The 20-some odd kids that are still on property are mostly all running around the lawn or down by the lake. Though some are making it up to the patio area where there is food and drinks to refuel.

Rogue is up here, hanging out by the pool until the fireworks starter once the sun is on the way down later. She's laying on one of the loungers in a green and gold Olympic-style volleyball bikini that even has a Xavier's School logo on the left breast in black (custom design!). She's got her snazzy aviator shades on and has her hair swept over to the left side of her head down her left shoulder.

She's holding her phone in one hand and a icy drink in the other, just lounging and enjoying the day by the pool Ther's music playing over the speakers on the patio area too coming from the music system installed out here.

Scott Summers has posed:
Scott Summers just has a pair of swimming trunks on, navy blue, along with a pair of sandals, his eyes hidden as usual behind his ruby quartz shades. He's one of the grill attendees, flipping burgers and brats occasionally. Relaxing doesn't come naturally or easily to Scott - he's probably most comfortable on high alert, keeping his eyes to the horizon for trouble. Still, he's doing his best.

The Mike's Hard Lemonade is probably helping.

"Okay, I'm fine with almost any genre of music, but someone take the ska out of the rotation," he calls out, gesturing with his spatula.

Clarice Ferguson has posed:
    Above the surface of the pool - perhaps 100 or so feet above the water - a purple flash of energy signal's Clarice's arrival as she blinks into existance in mid air - immediately going into a series of graceful twists and turns in mid air before cutting smoothly into the water, and torpedoing towards the edge of the pool.
    Who needs a diving board?
    She ends up at the edge of the pool moments later - chin resting on folded arms as she eyes the pair in distressingly dry swim wear.
    "Why put on swim wear if you're not going to go in the pool?" she asks with some amusement.

Rogue has posed:
Rogue hears Scott's words from across the pool and it has her grinning as she taps away on her phone with one thumb. "I don't even know what that is. But if it's half your name, how can you dislike it?" She jokes back over at him moments before Clarice splashes in to the pool.

This makes Rogue look up and smirks when the Portaler comes up out of the water. "Lotta sunlight left in the day, I'm sure I'll end up there eventually." She takes a sip from her glass and then moves to stand up. She sets her drink aside and starts to walk toward the pool!

She steps off the edge and on to the water... literally on to it. She starts to walk across the water toward the other side where the grill station is under a shade cover to block the cook from sunshine.

Little wet noises come from the pool as she steps across the surface of the water and smiles, her wind swept hair flowing around behind her shoulders as she does her trick.

"Besides, half the fun'a summer is bein' outside in tiny amounts of clothin' and just enjoying the heat."

She steps up off of the water and walks to the music controls on the tablet computer sitting beside the grill.

Scott Summers has posed:
Scott Summers steps away from the grill, leaving it in more capable hands and moving to sit at the edge of the pool, dipping his legs into it. "Maybe once things have settled down a bit, I'll have a swim. I don't tend to do much diving or horsing around lest I knock the old ruby quartz askew. People tend to get cranky when I obliterate half the pool by accident," he says.

To Rogue's comment, he nods, "Yes, we've all noticed, tinier clothing every year," he teases, taking another drink of his spiked lemonade.

Clarice Ferguson has posed:
    "Goggles, Scott. Ruby quartz goggles. They strap on. You know?" Clarice asks - swiping a hand through the water to splash it towards Rogue as the woman dances lightly across the surface. "Show off!"
    As if she hadn't been doing the same moments before.
    She hears shrieks off towards the lawn - and turns to see some of the children getting a water balloon fight started - a smile quickly blossoming across her lips.
    Cupping her hands to her mouth she calls, "GET 'EM, HAMBONE! ... BEHIND YOU! LOOK OUT BEHIN- Awww, man, they're gonna clobber him," she complains.

Jean Grey has posed:
Its definitely a day for a party, even of the more low-key, unofficial sort. Maybe they'll do some fireworks later. Technically, illegal in New York State... but then again, Jubilee might be a loop-hole.

In the meantime, there's a grill and adult beverages on offer, as well as a very inviting pool given the very miserable heat they've been suffering. Jean comes meandering down from the house, all ready to go, in a green two-piece swimsuit (a little more fashion-forward and less sporty than Rogue's), big sunglasses and flip-flops, a yellow towel thrown over her shoulder. "You're not allowed to be grumpy beside the pool. That's a rule. Everywhere else, but not the pool," she chides, approaching just in time to get the last of the back and forth between Rogue and Scott. And as she reaches a spot nearer the edge of the pool, pausing to strike a pose. "Unless you're -really- set on it. Hmm?" Oh, such a grin.

"The food smells great. Can't wait till it's ready," she goes on, while depositing her towel on a poolside deck chair and gingerly kicking off flip after flop. "Until then, I think *I'm* definitely going for a swim."

Rogue has posed:
Scott abandons the grill and Rogue takes over, she's got good grill skills. She learned from Logan! She gathers up the tablet computer and wiggles herself up on to the stool beside the grill. Her sunglasses go up to her hairline so she can read the computer more easily. She starts to queue up a different type of music, naturally AC/DC starts to play seconds later.

Right as Jean arrives, Highway to Hell.

Rogue grins up at the others, first looking to Scott. "I'm in my prime, Mistah." She says as she crosses her legs at the knees and sets the coputer aside. Her eyes go to the grill then. "Eventually people will demand ya wear a robe or somethin' out here, gotta live it up while ya got it."

Case in point, she motions to Jean as she strikes a pose. "LIke that!" She says with a grin to the headmistress. Truth be told, there's always fireworks going off, down by Puglsey Creek, they're faint, but you can hear them... kids will be kids....

The shout from Clarice has Rogue looking up and out ot the yard to see Hambone under assault. "He's askin' for it." She says then wipes off some of the water that had been SPLASHED on to her, dripping down her side! So distracting!

Scott Summers has posed:
Scott Summers gives Jean a bemused look, "I'm not being grumpy. Trust me, when I'm grumpy, you'll know it. I can't help it that I'm not a natural party animal. At least I'm not playing designated driver for once," he says, holding up his alcoholic beverage for her perusal.

"As for goggles, yes, I have them, but I'd have to go upstairs for them and I'm far too comfortable to bother right now, so I'm going to stick to wading. We might set up the net and play a little pool volleyball in a bit, though, provided the flyers remember not to fly," he says, turning and giving Rogue a pointed look.

Clarice Ferguson has posed:
    "Can the teleporters teleport the ball?" Clarice asks cheerfully - her gaze still on the waterballoon fight.
    "Aww man... HAMBONE!" With a gesture - one of her little portals appears in front of the kid as he stares down a waterballoon that seems about to hit him in the face. It flies through the portal - and reappears sailing through the portal she creates behind Scott. The only warning he'll get is the faint 'blink' sound behind him. She did warn him she'd hit him with a little 'friendly fire' one of these days, after all.

Kitty Pryde has posed:
The door to the school opens and Kitty Pryde steps out, wearing a black bikini with a wrap about her hips, and a pair of sunglasses. She's without either of her men at the moment, one of them back in the city, the other flying around dodging water balloons as he plays with the kids by the lake.

Actually that doesn't really nail down which is where does it?

Kitty has a small cooler in hand, and a bag over one shoulder as she makes her way out. "I just kind of figured this would be the more relaxed area," she says with a quiet laugh as she raises a hand to wave to people as she walks over to the pool area and finds herself a nice chair to lounge in. One that's far back from the water. Because SOMEONE is going to cannonball from a height at some point. Probably Cannonball, but he's not the only such culprit.

Jean Grey has posed:
In fact, the illegality of fireworks in New York State has created a booming industry in several nearby states, such as Pennsylvania and Connecticut. Home to many New York commuters, as the 4th approaches they are known for tons of pop-up roadside fireworks emporiums, where the biggest and and most likely to blow your hand off wonders can be procured and then surreptitiously smuggled into the Empire State. It's a curious economic ecosystem.

And Rogue has a truck. Just saying.

Jean finishes kicking off her sandals, grinning back at Scott. "Oh, I know. But it doesn't mean I won't try and get you in the mood. Drink's a good start. Maybe you can grab me one when I get out." With that, she turns to the pool, and makes a catwalk-esque striding march to one of the low diving boards. There, she spreads her arms (an echo of something more frightening, perhaps), hops, bounces, and then leaps, spinning forward into an elegant dive, red mane behind her like a contrail before she hits the water.

A few moments pass.

Then sploosh, she breaks the surface, coming up near one side, that same fiery hair now slicked down to a considerably lesser volume. "Volleyball sounds fun. And I never cheat. Ask Rogue." From this vantage, she can spot another approaching. "Kitty!"

Rogue has posed:
Rogue lowers her designer aviators back down over her green eyes as she checks on the food on the grill, using the spatula to poke at the things that need pokin'. She then closes the lid again and glances over to the kids playing water balloon war. It makes her grin, reminding her of an epic battle last summer.

When the portal opens up she looks over to make her eyes widen at what happens there. "That's pure trouble askin', Blinky." Rogue says over to the pool as Jean dives in. She grins at the perfect form of the redhead and just slowly shakes her head, Marsha Marsha Marsha..

Kitty's arrival has Rogue waving toward her. "Come get some food. They're blowin' stuff up down by the creek. I might head down there in a bit an' make sure everyone still has their fingers." She DEFINITELY supplied them, with her truck.

The Belle leans down to the mini fridge to open it up and get out some more drinks to set on the table, taking a bottle up to open up for herself. "I'm up for volleyball though, and I NEVAH cheat." She says before swigging from the bottle.

Some Pink Floyd comes up next o nthe playlist.

Jamie Madrox has posed:
Jamie Madrox emerges from the mansion wearing a pair of green sunglasses and a pair of swim trunks with a tropical floral pattern. A white tank top covers his physique. Flip flops flop as he strides his way to pool side and quickly scans the assembled. "Ahh.. why do I spend so much time in the office when this little lap off luxury is ready to draw my head in with its peaceful caress."

Beach towel, sunglasses, and flip flops are deposited nearby. The shirt is peeled off. He waits for Jean to finish at the diving board and then gives her a moment to swim to safety. Once its his turn, he applies the muscle memory of an olympian (the athlete kind) to perform his own graceful dive, tucking into a forward flip, before slipping into the water and disappearing beneath.

Emerging soon after, he chimes into the conversation. "Happy to fill out the teams as necessary."

Scott Summers has posed:
Scott Summers pushes up and pulls his legs out of the water, "Sounds like I need to go get the net and the ball, then," he says. The pool's likely to get a little crowded quickly, anyway, with Madrox now on site.

He gets himself another hard lemonade and a second one for Jean, since she indicated she might be a bit thirsty and Scott's never been one to leave the redhead unslaked. Rimshot as appropriate.

Rogue's proclamations of never cheating get a genuine guffaw out of Scott, shaking his head, "Yes, Rogue, you are a notorious follower of rules and regulations. Never color outside the lines, not even a little," he jokes.

Kitty Pryde has posed:
Kitty gets a bottle of raspberry iced tea from her cooler and gets settled on the lounge chair. "Will grab some food in a second," she tells Rogue with a grin. "Just get some sunscreen on me first."

She takes out a tube of sunscreen from the bag and begins applying it, removing the wrap and setting it aside to get at her legs. "Oh, volleyball? Excellent," she says with a smile. "I kind of like playing on grass instead of sand. At least that way I can jump to make up for all you tall people," says the young woman who is of decent height, but still well short of the Jeans of the school.

Blink is given a wave of greeting, and then Jamie Madrox as he comes out to join them. "Hey Jamie, Clarice," she says. Kitty goes back to spreading the sunscreen, while singing softly under her breath with the music, "Can't keep my eyes from the circling sky. Tongue-tied and twisted, just an earth-bound misfit, I..."

Jean Grey has posed:
Jean hangs for a bit on the pool edge, half-turned back toward the water to watch as Jamie dives. Just the once, so far. "You and the Cuckoos, I swear, giving new meaning to the phrase 'team sports.'"

But it does seem like they've settled on a plan. Twisting around to face the side again, she snags the drink that Scott has kindly put there, taking just a quick sip before setting it back. For a moment, she looks around, nose scrunched as if slightly annoyed or trying to work something out, but then, suddenly- "Aha!" If it's any indication on the degree to which the rules might be observed in the upcoming game, suddenly one of the various pool floats drifting about the surface starts making its way over to her, apparently of its own volition. It's a floating chair, which she doesn't actually aim to sit in, but DOES make use of for its included beverage holder, sticking the bottle in one of the armrests.

"There we go." Thus, she can swim AND drink. Maximum party. And for now, since they're waiting on the cap'n for the gear, she kicks off from the wall to do a bit of actual swimming, overhand-stroking up the length of the pool.

Rogue has posed:
Rogue looks up as Jamie arrives and she offers him a wave from her stool in front of the grill,before looking over at Kitty with her sunscreen. lowering her bottle of strawberry lemonade down to her knee to rest it there.

Scott's comment has her grinning. "Look, those colorin' books are only offerin' you optional suggestions of where t'apply the crayola. The real art is what you generate out of your own mind, beyond their confinin' lines of 'suggested perfection'." She states with a big smile. "Or somethin'."

She leans forward again to open the grill up and spatula some food off of it on to a plate beside the grill where more food rests. She stands up then and puts a clear lid over them to keep bugs away.

"I'm a killer volleyball player, and ya'll kno wit." She glances at the others in the pool. "Okay, now I'm wantin' t'swim, someone else can cook if they wanna. Grill is empty." She stands up and walks toward the water before jumping in! corkscrew dive from the edge of the water! No diving board needed!

Scott Summers has posed:
Scott isn't aware at all of the balloon behind him, allowing Clarice to take him utterly off-guard. So much for being a constant sentinel of vigilance.

Clarice Ferguson has posed:
    "Hey, Summers was the one who asked for troubles first," Clarice almost crows in response, flashing Rogue a bright smile before she pulls herself up out of the pool. "Weren't you?" she directs towards Scott. "//Now// we're even." As far as payback goes - he got off light.
    She gives Jamie a nod - and greets Pryde with a cheerful, "Kitty." She snags up a towel that definitely wasn't hers, wrapping it around her middle as she approaches Rogue at the grill. "What've we got ready, anyways?" she asks - as she rummages around, in the cooler, pulling out a hard lemonade for herself. She taps the cap - and simply blinks it away before taking a sip.

Jamie Madrox has posed:
Jamie transitions into a back stroke and starts roaming the periphery of the pool. The assorted individuals in bikinis are suitably 'scoped out' because the mansion just isn't short of its lookers and Mister Madrox isn't know to be a pious individual, unless you mean that one dupe is who Catholic priest out only God knows where.

"Yo Kitty." Jamie peers toward Rogue. "We should hang out more often so we can share the Summer sarcasm." He stage whispers, "Down with rules."

Jean gets a nod, "You know... Master of Teamwork... Jamie Madrox at your service. And mildly less creepy than the Cuckoos."

As Scott gets beaned, Jamie cracks a laugh and points. "You know... we need a good water balloon capture the flag game one of these days. Nice shot there, Clarice."

Scott Summers has posed:
Scott Summers is properly dunked upon, his hair slicked back as he runs back through it. He playfully shakes a rueful fist in Clarice's direction, "I would've gotten away with it if it weren't for you and those meddling kids!" he cries out at her. Yes, it's a somewhat dated reference, but so what?

He works to set up the net properly, getting everything tied off and secure, probably taking too long cause he doesn't run around the pool. Wouldn't want to slip and fall in.

Kitty Pryde has posed:
Kitty Pryde's lips pull back in a grin as Scott is on the receiving end of the water balloon. She closes the top of her sunscreen and tosses it back into a bag, then hops up off the lounge chair to head over to where the food is gathered.

"I am starving," she mumbles as she looks over the food and grabs herself a hamburger bun and starts loading on toppings on the bottom bun before adding the grilled patty atop them. "Did a Danger Room workout and now I need to load up some fuel for the rest of the day," she says, adding a handful of chips to her plate and then some vegetables.

"I think there's some new ice cream flavors coming out soon," Kitty comments as she adds mustard and ketchup and pickles to the top of the burger. "Will see if we can get a few tubs of it before they hit the stores," she comments.

Clarice Ferguson has posed:
    "New ice cream flavors?" Clarice asks curiously - as she tosses a bun onto the grill to toast, before she starts loading up her own burger. "From... where? And what new flavors do we really need? Doesn't chocolate peanut butter, you know, pretty much cover it?" she asks with a grin.
    She takes her burger and drink over to one of the tables - apparantly leaving the grill (gasp!) unmanned.
    Maybe if someone slugs Jamie though...

Jean Grey has posed:
Jean comes around on the back half of her lap, followed by her pool float. Yep. It is just sort of keeping up with her, bobbing along through the water.

At the other end, there's a splash as Rogue joins her. In response, the redhead submerges, going to silent running beneath the surface. The pool chair continues to float around on its own, but who is to say if it's position accurately reflects hers... or if it is but a cunning decoy? Cue the 'Jaws' theme.

Of course the assumption might be that she's off to prank her friend who's just dived in, the two of them somewhat notorious for mild competition in these semi-athletic entertainments and mutual pranking.

What may be less expected is when, not long after being struck from behind by a watery attack, Scott receives another, a tube of liquid launching from the pool surface toward him, as if from a hose. Except, well, no hose required. Or balloon.

It's definitely a sign of cheating to come, JUST LIKE ROGUE'S DIVE.

Jamie Madrox has posed:
Jamie happens to notice the abandoned grill and gives his own chest a thud. Abruptly, there are two Jamies in the water. Jamie Prime thumbs toward the grill raises an eyebrow. The dupe squints, considers, and replies, "Only if I get to grab a chef hat and apron from the kitchen."

Prime shrugs, "All you."

The dupe salutes and climbs out of the water, making his way back toward the mansion, clearly dripping water on the floor and is destined to return in the appropriate attire to man the grill.

Prime, meanwhile, enjoys the show of Scott getting attacked 'yet again'. He hoots and snickers.

Rogue has posed:
Rogue comes up out of the water and lets it sheet off of her form as she bobs up out of the warm clear water then raises her hands up to sweep her two toned wet hair back over her head behind her shoulders. She grabs the water volleyball as it rolls in to the pool while Scott plays with the net and setup. She grins at Jamie and tosses the ball at his chest.

"Catch." She says at him. "Gotta get warmed up, yeah?" She states before looking over at Kitty and Clarice by the grill. "Where's Wings?" She asks Kitty. Which one?!

She gets that 'danger sense tickle' and turns around to find where Jean was! This was important!

She eyes the redhead on her lounger. "I'm keepin' tabs on ya." She warns the telepath, like she could stop her if she wanted to!

Rogue dives back down under the water and kicks her legs, waves her hands and swims through the water half way down, moving past any legs that are near her! Watch out!

Scott Summers has posed:
Scott Summers sputters as he gets hit with Jean's stream of water and he actually does lose his balance a bit, although there is a slight chance he may be exaggerating his own response for comedic effect. Regardless of whether real or kayfabe, he still makes a few stumbling steps and then falls into the pool with a proper belly flop, trying to m ake the maximum splash as he finally comes up, when it becomes clear that, yes, he did switch to his ruby-quartz goggles when he went in to get the volleyball set.

He does a quick slide around the edges of the pool and comes back up next to Jean, reaching up to try and push down and dunk her head, "I see the official holiday shenanigans have begun!"

Jean Grey has posed:
In theory Jean could probably stay down there forever if she wanted, pulling down bubbles of air, but she's not going quite that tactical badass on her pool prankery, holding her breath like a mere homo sapiens. So eventually, she does pop her head back up, shaking some water out of her hair - only to find Scott waiting to dunk her, causing a sputtering yelp as she goes back under. But this is... probably exactly the point, getting said 'shenanigans' under way in proper, especially for the infamously goofiness-resistant Scott.

Naturally, as she's pushed down, she reaches up to grab at him and try and pull him on in!

Of course, she knows him, and she knows that there are some real reasons behind how he acts. << Don't worry, I won't let them fall off, >> her thoughts reassure him, a gentle voice in his mind.

Jamie Madrox has posed:
Jamie bumps the incoming ball back into the air in an impressive display of reflex. While Chef Dupe makes itself useful at the grill, complete with chef hat and apron. Whatever personality this one is, Jamie must have drawn lucky this time. Chef Dupe seems more then happy to apply an exquisite attention to detail at leveraging the grill for quality cuisine.

Jamie glances toward the horseplay between Scott and Jean, chuckling, before he follows the trajectory of the ball. "Someone keep it alive!"

Kitty Pryde has posed:
Kitty Pryde returns her seat, sitting on the foot of it and resting her plate in her lap as she picks up her burger. "Which one?" Kitty replies to Rogue, flashing a grin over to her. "Warren's in the city, Lockheed is down by the lake engaged in a water fight. Which mostly means zooming around and dodging and laughing at all the kids who can't hit him," she says, her grin growing a bit more.

The burger yields a big bite to the Jewish girl, Kitty sighing as she chews it slowly to savor the taste. When she's able to politely speak again, she tells Clarice, "From Worthington Industries. Oh they come up with all sorts. Usually some summer treats. I think there might be a watermelon one in the works I want to try," she says before digging into another bite of her burger.

Clarice Ferguson has posed:
    Clarice continues taking bites of her burger - but as the ball descends towards the pool - a portal appears beneath it. The ball pops through it - and re-emerges high above the pool. Once it's picked up enough momentum, another portal appears, this time the ball re-emerges on an upwards trajectory that has it sailing back over the net.
    "I didn't know Worthington Industries does ice cream. I guess I haven't been paying attention..."

Rogue has posed:
Rogue bursts back up from under the water after seeing Scott came to her rescue from Jaws-Jean. She grins happily as she raises up out of the water beneath the diving board and just reaches up to grab on to it from beneath it. She hangs there under the board, watching everyone as the portal opens up and the volleyball from Madrox goes through a vide-game-like series of portals to make it fly around. She softly shakes her head from side to side. "And I get accused'a cheatin' all the time." She mutters in good humor.

As she hangs there from the diving board she looks over at Kitty. "Lockheed's gonna get soaked, I bet. He's been puttin' on weight ya know? Eatin' all the damn snacks in the house. Should rename him to Pudgeheed." She says to the Jewish girl enjoying her burger.

Rogue pulls the diving board down a little via her flight power as she sinks back down in to the water some... bending it down... until she lets it pull her back up and she does a backflip tumbling up until she's sitting on the diving board, and crossing her legs at the knees again, sending a twirl of water out in front of her where her feet left the wate rand her swirled around.

"Ahem." She says, her hands going to either sides of her hips on the board's edge.

Judas Priest 'Breakin the Law' o nthe music system now.

Scott Summers has posed:
<<I know you wouldnt.>> he thinks back at Jean and there's a calm and a softness there, even as he playfully 'wrestles' with her underwater, finally coming up for air himself and releasing his grip on her as he does so.

"Oh, Judas Priest. I listen to this sometimes when I go riding," he says. He watches Rogue's massive flip and shakes his head, "AT this point, we're going to run out of water before the game's even started. Rogue and I will be team Captains. Jean is my first pick!" he says.

Jamie Madrox has posed:
Jamie makes a face, because powers are clearly in full swing. He rolls his eyes playfully and the scampers out of the pool, lifting himself over the edge. Walking over to his dupe, he retrieves an empty plate.

The dupe nods to him and turns to plop a perfectly toasted bun and a medium rare burger with melted cheese upon it. "Exactly how we like it, boss."

Jamie grins, gives the dupe a thumbs up and returns to the pool side, sitting down cross legged before taking a big bite. He groans in sinful appreciation of the food then swallows. "I really know how to make a burger."

Kitty Pryde has posed:
Kitty Pryde takes another bite of her burger and then gives a scoffing laugh. "Lockheed, pudgy? He's got the metabolism of an industrial furnace. He ate an entire nest of Sidrian hunter eggs the day we found he's stowed away back to Earth with us. It had to be a dozen times his own volume. Not sure how much he charred them first though," Kitty muses.

She switches to a sip of her iced tea and looks over to Jamie's Dupe. "Can you toss on a brat for me?" she asks. The burger is in its final throes of being consumed.

Jean Grey has posed:
True to her word, no matter how they tumble and splash about in the water, there's no chance of those ruby-quartz lenses moving the tiniest bit out of place. The pair vanishes beneath the water, churning up all kinds of bubbles and rough water, and then finally pop back up again, the woman laughing in delight. Then, looking back at Scott with a bright smile, Jean starts swimming back toward the middle of the pool at good speed, the kick of her feet not only propelling her, but giving the man a last splash!

"So are we actually playing now?" she wonders, seeing that in the midst of all her horsing around, there is now, in fact, a volleyball over the pool, although it is clearly doing some strange and not particularly physics-abiding things as it passes in and out of their current dimensional space at various angles. With Scott picking teams, that does seem like an answer. "Well, I'm flattered, Mr. Summers." And since the picking might apparently take a moment or two, she mentally pulls her floaty chair over toward her to snag her drink. Pretty soon this pool won't be safe for it, even in it's floaty beverage holder!

Toward Rogue, the apparent rival captain, she shouts: "You're going down!"

Clarice Ferguson has posed:
    Clarice seems content to lapse into silence - as she nibbles at her burger, and sips at her lemonade - her gaze going frequently out to where the children are playing. After a last swig of her hard lemonade, she rises to her feet.
    "Looks like Dyani needs some backup out there," she remarks - giving a nod to the various X-Men, before she abruptly disappears - to reappear near the supply of water balloons. Whatever's about to happen - it probably isn't going to be fair. Them's the breaks with super powers and water balloons.

Rogue has posed:
Rogue, from the diving board's edge, just grins at Scott and Jean, but shakes her head side to side. "If I had a dime for every time someone said that t'me, Jeanie..."

Woah woah woah.

Pool shenanigans!

Rogue turns her head then to grin at Kitty but she points at Clarice. "I choose you for my team, Fergi" Only to see Clarice run off. "Nevermind then!" She announces as she then motions to Jamie. "You're with me, Maddie Rocks." She then announces.

"And if ya run away too, then I'm gonna get hurt fellins..." She pouts out her bottom lips but then drops off of the board again to splash back down in to the water!

Jamie Madrox has posed:
Chef Dupe acknowledges the brat order and daintily positions one of the grill before becoming obsessed with obtaining perfect grill marks.

Clarice gets a little wave before she blinks out. Jamie then hums, squinting at the situation. "I might need to be odd man out, even though I could play both sides."

Then he gets picked! He blinks, "And here I thought Kitty was going to be your first."

Finishing his food, he sets the plate aside then slips back into the water on Rogue's side. "Well, if Kitty wants to join Scott and Jean. I can always pop out another dupe. General Rogue and the Army of Jamie."

Scott Summers has posed:
Scott Summers gets the ball and bounces it on his hands a few times before letting it land in the water and float a bit, "I'd say bring as many dupes as you want, but you'd fill the other side of the pool and m ake it impossible," he says. Plus, Scott is too competitive to give up an edge that easily. "We'll take what you can dish out within reason, though," he says.

He pumps shoulders with Jean and the two have a quick mental pow-wow to figure out the best position, until Scott guards the net, his height giving him an advantage in spiking, while Jean's got the speed to cover the back, "C'mon, Kitty, you're with us!" he calls out.

Kitty Pryde has posed:
Kitty finishes up her food, wiping her fingers on a napkin and swigging down the last of her raspberry iced tea. "Alright, I'm with the old people then," she says, flashing Scott and Jean a teasing grin. She trots over to the pool and hops in, squeezing her nose to plug it as she does, sinking below the water before popping back up to the surface after the quick dunking.

"We need to get a baseball game put together too," Kitty says as she moves over to join Scott and Jean on their side.

Jean Grey has posed:
Jean gives Rogue a look that communicates 'did you really just say that?' with no need of telepathy. Wow, just wow.

That said, either of their rival captain's picks are definite strong options, and even as Clarice declines and heads on her own way, it leaves Jean furrowing her brow at the prospect of handling Jamie. Especially as Scott lays out the rules! She looks over at him, and throws up her hands. "So much for evening out the teams!" The whole thing is rapidly approaching being some kind of glorious disaster, and she's clearly nothing if not on board for the insanity.

Kitty's their next pick, and soon she's hopped in next to them. "I say that means we get Lockheed too, at least."

Henry McCoy has posed:
The sound of people in the backyard has Henry stepping out of his work for a bit. It's the fourth, after all! He steps out onto the deck of the pool, wearing a patriotic striped aloha shirt - red white and blue! Comfortable board shorts complete his outfit today, the man looking all ready to have fun and relax. The people present get a wave and a smile. "Afternoon all! Happy Independence Day!"

Rogue has posed:
"I couldn't pick Kitty cause ya volunteered t'put people on any side that needed them. That means I need your loyalty on my side. It's strategy!" Rogue says before pausing. "Of course now it's just us on a team, so... it wasn't well /thought out/ strategy. Look, nevermind. Lets just do this!"

The Belle takes up position on the other side of the net from the other team and then looks out in to the yard. "We're doin' volleyball!" She shouts at anyone within ear shot. Should anyone answer is another question all together!

She looks back at them and then slaps her hands together, splashing water everywhere. "I say we go first because we're the hotter team." She smiles over at Jamie and then glares at the other ones!

And then Hank appears and she immediatley points at him from the pool. "You're with us. In the pool, Bluebs." She says, lovingly of course, to Beasty.

Jamie Madrox has posed:
"Damn, figures you would know my plan B right off the bat." Jamie claps his hands together hard and pops out another dupe. The feat is repeated for another pair. They huddle in a brief conversation, more so Jamie can get an idea of the various personalities he is working with.

"Alright Rogue, we'll play defense and get you setup for primo spiking." The Jamies spread out into formation.

The dupes in chorus look at Jean and recite, "What do you mean even?! You can move the ball with your mind!"

Jamie Prime waves his hands down. "Geez guys, one at a time. But yea, what they said."

Jamie and the dupes all strike poses at the comment regarding "Hotter Team". They blow a variety of kisses. "Damn right!"

Cupping his mouth, Madrox Prime yells over to Hank, "Yea! Show us how its done allstar!"

Kitty Pryde has posed:
Kitty Pryde waves her hands in the air in a very animated way. "That's not fair. Hank is the professional athlete of the bunch!" Kitty says. "Ok more like studly big man on campus amateur athlete because that was college. But he was All-American or something. We need a three-sided volleyball net, he'll probably beat us all by himself," she says.

Though she's just playing around. "Alright cupcake, you serve first," she says to Rogue as she moves to get ready.

Scott Summers has posed:
Scott Summers shakes his head, "I agree, Hank's an unfair advantage, I thought he'd be better to be a ref. Mostly because he's the only one of us with enough sense and perspective to actually stay impartial," he says with a grin.

"But I'm never one to back down from a challenge," he says and it's true, there's something in Scott that comes alive a bit in these sort of situations, "Kitty, you guard the midrange, Jean's got the backline and serve and I'm the palisade at the gates," he says.

Jean Grey has posed:
As all the Jamie's accuse her in unison, Jean holds up her hands. "Haha, you've got me there. Well, Scott said 'reasonable,'" she points out, turning more contemplative. "So I probably can't just play telekinetic keepaway. I don't think that'd be much of a game." Then she points a finger. "Same for the admittedly clever 'fill the entire opposing side of the pool with Jamie Madroxes' strategy. So let's say we try to play *mostly* fair, and that we definitely can't do anything that would make it actually impossible to score. So... I won't do any forcefields, or directly control the ball. And Rogue can't hit it so hard it would kill us!"

The belle gets a knowing look! She's on to you!

"The rest? We'll figure out as we go!" Referee? What's that! Hank's recruitment does make her frown, though. "I feel these odds are turning against us if we DON'T cheat!" And with Rogue declaring the game nearly under way, she grabs her drink from the floaty-chair, takes one last good swig, and then sends the whole thing floating out of the line of fire while swimming toward the back area to assume her position! "Ready, Scott!"

Henry McCoy has posed:
Sizing up those who are ready to battle it out in the pool, Henry chuckles. "Three on three then?" A smile, the shirt unbuttoned and tossed onto one of the chaise lounges. "Is there really an unfair advantage here?" The man wonders, with a wink to his friends. "I played football, not volleyball." Not that it much matters with his enhanced agility.

He steps into the pool, dunking himself to get nice and soaked. "Where did you need me, Rogue? Jamie?" He asks, trying to take up the proper position.

Rogue has posed:
Rogue grabs the ball out of the water and smiles at the Madrox dupes before Hank agrees to play and she grins at him as she hears the protets from the other team. "Too late!" She shouts back at them, marching to her position in the water with the ball. "I won't hit it so hard that the ball blows up, nor will it take out any of your heads. Probably. I like your heads, after all, they're like my second favorite part of all of your bodies." Uh huh.

The Belle tosses the ball up a few times and catches it, then waits for Hank to get in the water and everyone else to get to where they want to be. "Here we go!"

The ball is then readied and tossed up in to the air only to have the southern girl jump up out of the water and strike it with a overhead swing of her right arm, bumping the ball with the
soft pad of her palm! It moves fast, but not OVERLY fast!

Jamie Madrox has posed:
"If you all let me play big D, I bet we can get you both in perfect position." Jamie comments before one of his dupes whines, "No fair man! I want to spike! I will drive them before us! I want to hear the lamentat-"

The whining dupe distorted and dissipates being pulled back into Jamie Prime who then coughs, "Ahem.. Alright, Me and the two other dupes on the back line. We've totally got you covered."

Bwhaha, who needs to move fast when you can be in multiple places at once?

The chorus of Jamie cheers as Rogue serves the ball over the net. "Bombs away!"

Scott Summers has posed:
Scott Summers leaps up to try and play defense, attempting to intercept and swat the ball down back, although aiming is a problem. Beast is a surefire rebound and Madrox, if hit, will just make more Madrox. Scott opts to put a little extra spin on it and send it towards Beast.

"Be careful, Hank, don't want to lose your briefs!" he says, trying to distract his furry friend as he sloshes back down into the water.

Jean Grey has posed:
The ball comes in from Rogue, with less than full Southern BBQ heat, and Scott sends it back, though he puts it toward Hank... who no doubt is more than capable of handling it!

"Not that way, Summers!" she cries in dismay, although the comment about losing his pants definitely provokes a laugh. Predictably, the ball is returned, and for the next few volleys, the whole lot of them look a little less like super heroes and more like, well, amateurs and friends playing sports in the pool when they're not actually used to playing sports in the pool. Indeed, when it comes for Jean, she finds herself a little too slow kicking and paddling through the water such that she thinks she won't quite make it to the ball in time. She may give herself a little 'boost' at the last second, briefly exploding from the water to make a heroic dive, like some kind of flying fish. But even then, she only kind of weakly noodle-arms it back over to the other side.

Henry McCoy has posed:
Low blow, Summers! Henry, ever concerned about being inappropriate, does look down to the board shorts in spite of the volleyball whizzing towards him. As is mentioned, the ball is volleyed back and forth. While Henry is an athelete, true - water is not his general medium of sport. The match is fun, with banter going back and forth as friends are want to do. Good-natured ribbing, praise for shots made and cheers for when either team scores a point.

Eventually it comes down to the one point for the game. Kitty and Rogue had been keeping the current volley going - with the others looking for an opening. Soon enough, Jean bumps the ball up, allowing Scott to rush and spike the ball towards the opposing side. Jamie, Jamie Prime that is, dives under and bumps the ball up at the last moment. Taking advantage, Hank leaps up hand reared back as if to spike the ball with ferocity towards the back end of the pool. As defense shifts back, he just barely nudges the ball over the net. Splish.

Jamie Madrox has posed:
Jamie is a defensive wall on the back line. It doesn't hurt that every time he receives a spike or powerful serve that another one of him pops out. He occasionally absorbs a dupe to keep things reasonable. The dupe teamwork goes as expected though. He bumps, another dupe sets, and then the ball is positioned excellently for either Hank or Rogue to send it back across the net.

At least, that when things are going well.

After one accidental dupe, there's dissention in the ranks of Jamie. Evidently this one is either a huge Scott, Jean, or Kitty fan, because he tackles one of the other dupes as it bumps, sending the ball off haphazardly. Jamie spends a moment sorting through which one is the malicious dupe, before reabsorbing it to maintain order on the back line. "Sorry team. They often have minds of their own!"

And then finally, Jamie saves face with his final underneath the water and a pop up save. "Bring it home Hank!"

Rogue has posed:
Rogue is genuinely doing her best to not use her powers of any variety. She's gotten good control of her strength even, using the special gym equipment on site that helps teach her to understand how much power she's applying to anything from hitting a wall to pulling her shoes on in the morning.

So she's just holding her own on the team, at least she's fit and in good shape so she's able to move and not really get tired that easily even in the water! Endurance is something you can't really turn off though, or even dial back on!

She does her best to jump and spike the ball where she can, or help return a shot, but when it comes down to it she's just playing averagely over all!

Up to the end when Hank makes the final play and the 'splish' happens! She throws her hands up in the air and jumps happily around in the water! She cheers for Hank and then for Jamie and their team in general! She's competitive, it's hard to turn that off too... or dial it back....

Remy LeBeau has posed:
    Someone might have seen the games going on inside sometime ago, and is just now making it out, Remy pulls down a pair of sunglasses off his head and shows of his white floral patterns on the red background of his swim trunks and a towel around his neck.

    "What's goin' on out chere?" The cajun asks as the cooler he's pulling along behind him squeeks as one of the wheels needs grease and the ice within can be heard shifting about as he moves over to the lounge chair at the side of the pool.

    "Mon amour, le femme rouge, she is cheatin'!" Remy teases with a point towards Jean, and a wink of his black eye as he rolls and lays on the chair, and lifts the cooler open to pull out a can of cheepish domestic beer and snaps it open with a grin but a wince as some drips onto his bare chest, but he goes back to watching the game.

Jean Grey has posed:
Sportball continues!

Of course all the X-Men are legitimately in very good shape, even noodle-arms Jean, although there are still some gaps. No one is going to compare to Hank's raw athleticism, and as much as Rogue ever CLAIMS she's holding back... And then on the other side, as they lose a couple points early to Hank's mastery of all sport, the Summers-Grey-Pryde squad turns to it's own strengths. Their Captain is a legitimate tactical mastermind, and very very good at geometry, and manages to set a couple fancy plays, including a fun 'fake' out where they do a kind of criss-cross maneuver and Kitty phases through one of her teamates to pop out and make a sneaky little point, just barely tipping the ball over the net from short range, far from the intimidating WALL O JAMIE, and neatly between Rogue and Hank.

"What! Hank's cheating by default, so we've got to do at least a -little-!" Jean claims, after that one. And there's no ref to call a foul!

But in the end, with honor mostly prevailing and Jean at least sticking by her word not to simply whip the ball back in Rogue's smug face, they eventually find themselves facing the match point. And here, it's a POWER serve from Rogue, and Jean, try as she might...

Well, OK, in good tradition, she leaps for the ball, misses it, and nonetheless the ball stops in midair, spinning above the water. Then it promptly flies up, over the net, and down amidst the enemy team, zig-zagging around them like a buzzing insect... before losing its self power and falling harmlessly to the water's surface.

Jean huffs. "Yeah I know, disqualified. Game's yours I GUESS."

Jamie Madrox has posed:
Jamie cheers once the opposing team admits defeat. He starts high-fiving other Jamies and consequently builds a small horde of dupes. They then march over and lift Hank into the air, tossing him into the air as if he just won the super bowl.

Looking over to Rogue, Jamie Prime mentions, "We'd give you the same treatment, but then we'd have a few drowning Jamies and a dozen Rogues! Not that Remy over there would probably complain."

Hip. Hip. Hooray! The furball is tossed into the air.

Remy LeBeau has posed:
    "Ah wouldn't complain. Hell, Ah gotta G ova 'ere for ya if'n ya do." The cajun winks over his beer as he takes a long sip after saluting the winning team with it.

    Looking over towards Rogue he winks and then looks back over towards Scott and Kitty and Jean, "Wha happened? Ah thought ya was the brain's team versus the muscles?"

Henry McCoy has posed:
The game is won, handily! Well, victory by disqualification is still victory! Henry is tossed into the air once by squad Jamie! On the second hip of the hip hip hurrahs, he angles himself and somersaults onto the pool deck. A quick shake and a grin - water droplets everywhere. He laughs and reaches for a towel. "Now Jean, I cannot help it if I am just naturally born with a bit of athletic talent." He teases. "That's not cheating."

Scott Summers has posed:
Scott Summers pats Jean on the shoulder in an attempt to offer some comfort, although, frankly, competitive as he is, there's definitely some sting there.

"Hey, even the best lose a few here and there," he says, "Athletic competition is always a mix of strategy and luck. This time luck was on your side. Plus, you had Hank. Hank's always an advantage, he's good at everything. He's a walking cheat code."

Rogue has posed:
Rogue watches Jean flounder and give-in to their superior skills and their ultimate victory. She grins at her friend and watches the ball finally drop to the water. She smooches her lips at Jean and then waves to Kitty and Scott. "Good game, ya'll." She offers them before looking to the Jamies and Beast celebration. She grins at Madrox's response to her and shakes her head at him. "I'm workin' on that, but it's okay, ya'll have your fun." She says back at him before wading toward the edge of the pool and jumping up easily out of it.

She walks toward Remy and takes a seat on the cooler next to him on his right. She reaches for his drink and means to take a sip from it. "You're late." She tells him then with a smirk.

From the cooler, Rogue grins at the others. "Next time we do that water soccer thing, where ya throw the ball instead of kick it." She offers as a suggestion. "Or baseball, like Kitty suggested."

Jean Grey has posed:
"How can I ever argue with you, Hank?"

Jean, her red hair darkened in it's water-logged state, reaches up to push a fair bit back from where it has plastered itself around different parts of her face, sweeping it back and out of the way. She looks over to Scott, smiling all the same. "It's fine, it's fine. Nothing we could really do about Hank showing up late like that. I'm pretty sure, if he'd been here from the start, you woulda picked him first even over me, strategist that you are!"

With a wink, she kicks off and strokes her way over to the poolside to climb out, strangely LESS eager to show off her powers post-game, where Rogue is seemingly the opposite! "Good timing, though, I didn't get to eat first and now I'm positively starving. That kinda exercise really works up the appetitite!" Dripping, she walks around the pool to grab the towel she brought off the chair where it's been sitting all this while, gives her hair a quick once-over and then wraps it about her waist like a makeshift skirt, before heading over to the grill to load up a plate.

"So... Rogue, you got the -stuff-, right?"

Henry McCoy has posed:
"You always can argue - and there is always the possibility of winning, Jean." Henry beams over to his friend. "Truth be told, I was just curious as to who might be out here swimming, not expecting to get into a heated match of volleyball." A smile as he starts toweling off.

"I'm going to duck inside and grab some more fixings for the grill, then come out and do some traditional American barbeque." A cheeky grin. "See you all shortly." And then he's heading towards the manor.

Remy LeBeau has posed:
    Remy was about to protest, but the beer is already out of his hand and the cooler is blocked by an unbreakable lock. He doesn't complain as Rogue takes a sip and then looks out over to the remaining group. "Beer anyone?" The cajun offers, smacking Rogue's leg as he motions for her to at least sit up a bit and allow everyone else a chance at decent non-Logan beer.

    "Ey Jeanie, what's on de grill?" Remy asks, looking at Rogue as he waits for an answer with 'help me' eyes, begging her to go grab a burger for him if Jean does so happen to say that magic word.

Scott Summers has posed:
Scott Summers shakes his head at Jean, "If you think I'd ever pick anyone over you, I'm pretty sure you haven't been paying attention," he says.

Well. That came out a little more direct than he'd intended.

He decides to quickly busy himself with working to take down the net and gather up the supplies, "I'm going to get some more ice from inside and refill the coolers. And maybe get a few more drinks," he says. He's three drinks in now and might be getting a little tipsy.

Rogue has posed:
Rogue finishes with a few sips of the beer from Remy, some it falling down on her chest like it did to HIS, because they're both like that. She listens to the others and smirks a bit before glancing to Remy. "The usual, and yeah... there's burgers already. Scott made'em, so you know they're perfect."

She stands up then and looks at Jean withher towel skirt and wte hair equally draping back down behind her shoulders like Rogue's own. "Yeah, I loaded up entirely. I got everything on the list and a few extra things." She motions tot he east. "The seniors ran off with some of the black cats down toward Pugsley Creek." She notes.

At the food beside the grill, Rogue loads up a plate for Remy and a little bit for her. She then walks back to the Cajun, padding across the stone ground on bare feet, still dripping from the pool water.

"Here ya go, Late Comer." She says with a grin toward the Cajun.

Scott's words draw Rogue's attention and she grins at him. "Thanks for the cookin', Ruby Q."

Jean Grey has posed:
"Well, I wasn't really watching them cook earlier," Jean answers Remy, surveying the grill. "But looks like it's pretty much all the usual suspects. We've got burgers, dogs, brats." She's putting a burger together, herself. "Putting a burger together. Grab me one of those beers and I'll make you one, too."

Glancing back over her shoulder from the grill, she gives Scott a warm smile. Certainly, it's a little more romantic than Scott tends to average. Perhaps to spare him it seeming too serious, she jokes a little, "Well, I'm utterly flattered, but next time, I'm Captain and I'm gonna snatch up Hank first. Lesson learned!"

Rogue's report on the not-so-mysterious 'stuff,' which comes across as comically covert, earns a faux-serious nod from the other woman. "Glad to hear you could get your hands on the necessary supplies. Well then... sounds like all that's left for us to grab a bite, a brew, and sit back and wait... hmm?" When she's finished with the burgers, she walks over to pass Remy one, before ultimately finding a chair with a good angle toward the creek.

Remy LeBeau has posed:
    Taking the plate from Rogue and then smiling up at her, "Mon amour." He simply says up towards the southern belle, a fetching smile belying how he really feels about the woman with white bangs.

    Or was he saying that to the food.

    Then Jean is swinging by and Remy doesn't deny the food someone pieced together for him. That would be rude. Thus the cajun ends up with two burgers and a beer nestled between his legs.

    "Cold." He complains to no one as he holds both plates, one in each hand and looking like he's suffering from success. Meaning, it's hard to eat a burger when your hands are full of plates with burgers on them.

    "Oooh, we gonna go blow stuff up too, o' is dat a kids only kinda t'in'?"

Rogue has posed:
Rogue grins at Jean and just sits back down, but this time she sits on the ground by the cooler and just crosses her bare legs in front of her. She has her strawberry lemonade from the grill she had earlier back in hand now and a hotdog with nothing on it, because she's a weird eater who barely ever has much of anything.

She holds the dog in a napkin and just grins. "Forge is workin' on the big show, it'll be over the lake t'help with the dangers of ya know, fireworks. But Storm had it rainin' all night, if ya didn't hear it, so everything should be pretty wet down there still."

She takes a drink and then glances to Remy. "There's more, over there." She says, motioning to the paper grocery bags that are sitting on the chairs beside the glass table in the corner. "Lots'a stuff t'shoot off." She says with a grin before biting the hotdog and chewing as she sits beside the pool.

"I dunno what Jubilee has planned too, but you know her... she is pretty all in on this kinda stuff."

Jean Grey has posed:
Soon Jean settles down in her newfound chair. Remy, wondering at what's going on, is given a sidelong and very sly smile.

"-We- are going to sit here, eat our food, drink our beers, and feel very very relaxed. But they-"

And then it begins. The first is actually not really anything most would call a real firework. It's some sort of smaller bottle rocket, whizzing into the air with a whining sound and then a light *pop* as it goes off, but not a whole lot of a visible display. Those have been going off, off and on, pretty much all day long, including as they've been sitting here. But they soon start firing off a good number more of them, including a few that give off small-scale bursts of color, gold or red, or streak along the way giving off little contrails of sparks. Before long, there's a mini-show off this kind of stuff, popping and sparking above the creek.

Of course, the stuff Rogue picked up for the students, 'illegally smuggled' as it may be, is still, well, stuff for kids. And whatever the state-by-state reality, you still can't just sell the REAL stuff on the side of the road. You need certifications, licenses.

Or you can be a genius war veteran engineer and demolition's expert.

The kids stuff has been going off for a few minutes when the first of the real display starts, the characteristic whistle and streak of light shooting toward the sky before blooming into a flower of red sparks. More follow, in green, orange, blue, gold. Some are singular bursts, others multi-tiered explosions of many miniature blooms. Some flare out quickly, others drift back toward the ground in streaks of color.

The grand finale, when they get to it, features the expected red, white and blue...

...and briefly, a pattern in blue and gold that, for just a moment, might approximate an 'X' in the sky, before the embers die away. Shh, no one saw anything.

Remy LeBeau has posed:
    Remy, watching the explosions in the air, looking like a traditionalist american with his beer between his legs and the two plates of burgers in his hands, though he does transition one from his hand to his belly so he can eat the food off the other, remains seated, with a sort of... guilt washing across his mind, as he looks towards Rogue and frowns slightly. If she turns his way he'll shift to a more casual smile quickly and then say, "'Appy fourth."

    With a toss of his free hand, a small purple explosion just above their heads of a bit of bread, their own fireworks show, just for them.