Truth or Dare

She came to him in the Professor's office, as always, his dream-lover. Traced her fingernails across his shoulders, searing even through his shirt. "It is a pleasure to meet you, Scott," she said in that unmistakable voice of hers, coming around in front of him, holding out a hand. He stood, stepped forward, and that hand slid around his waist as his came up to curl around her neck and pull her mouth to his, to run his fingers through her hair and hold her head while his tongue slithered against hers. But the locks that glided satin-smooth through his fingers were white, not their usual red.

Desire had a new face. A new name. A name he murmured against her lips...

...whispered into his pillow...


* * * * *

Christmas was past, and New Year's come, yet another reason for the assorted residents of the school to let down their hair. It took until 1 AM for the party to die down and all the excited students to finally make it to their own beds. The teachers were quite firm about that point - they had to be their OWN beds. When Scott came back down to the den, Jean was already there. She'd turned one of the armchairs in front of the fire around to face the rest of the room. He collapsed face-down on a sofa across the low table from her.

"You look tired," she noted, her voice holding that familiar mix of amusement, concern and care that would have made his heart ache not two weeks ago. Before he'd talked with Ororo in this room. Before he'd started to dream again.

"I'm exhausted," he admitted, mumbling into a cushion. His glasses pressed into the bridge of his nose, and he levered himself a little more upright, turning sideways to lie on the sofa. "What did we do to deserve this?"

Jean was laughing as the door opened again, to admit Logan and Ororo. "You do not have to encourage him to drink," the white-haired beauty was saying. "The boy is only seventeen." She walked into Scott's line of vision, turned the other armchair around and half-fell into it.

"Yeah, whatever," Logan said dismissively, coming around the table close to Scott's sofa. "Hey Slim, happy new year. Give us a kiss, eh?"

"Go to hell," Scott replied, more good-naturedly than usual. It was warm in the room, and his tiredness was creating a faint haze of good-will around him. Even towards Logan.

Logan sprawled out on the rug between the sofa and Jean's chair. "Hey 'Ro, what about Slim here? He's old enough and ugly enough to look after himself, right? So can I encourage him to drink?"

Ororo raised an eyebrow, then laughed a little. "Encourage away, Logan."

"Whaddya say, Slim? Fancy a nightcap?"

Scott understood Ororo's raised eyebrow. Logan wanted him to drink with him? It seemed... awfully friendly. He glanced across to Jean. Maybe she was pushing Logan to reconcile with Scott. Make an effort. "It's one in the morning, Logan, and we've been chaperoning the students' party all night. I'm tired." Still, if he was making this effort... hell, little as he wanted to do anything with Logan, they were part of the same team. "Besides, it would be impolite if the ladies weren't drinking as well." An easy excuse to be talked out of, if Logan really wanted to make the effort.

Apparently he did. "Well that's easily solved. Come on Jeanie, 'Ro. You'll have one as well, won't you?" He laughed at their speedy acquiescence. "You're all out of excuses, Slim." He bounded to his feet and crossed to the liquor cabinet.

"Well, I'd hate you to look like a sad, old drunk," Scott retorted, but it didn't have its usual heat. In truth, he was feeling more relaxed than he could remember feeling in a long time. At the moment, he could think of nothing better to do than stay down here and have a quiet drink with his team-members. All of them. Sleep beckoned, with its faint promise of perhaps a repeat of that dream... that wonderful dream. But sitting down here he could just look across at her, warm in the firelight, elegant even in a thick woollen sweater and jeans, legs tucked up underneath her in the armchair. He could look, and imagine sliding his hand under that sweater to find she was wearing nothing underneath, and her skin would be so hot against his fingers-

"Hey Slim, ya want yer drink or not?" The ice tinkled in the glass as Logan rattled it in front of his eyes. Scott reached out to take it, a slight flush creeping up his face as he thanked God for his glasses, through which no one could have seen where his eyes lingered. Logan skirted the table to deliver the other drinks while Scott took a large swallow of his to cover his confusion. Gin and tonic, considerably stronger than usual.

"Ya know," Logan said, settling back on the rug, "if we're all drinkin', we could make this into our own little New Year's party. Play a game of cards or something."

"I am not playing strip poker with you," Ororo cut in, sipping her drink.

"I suppose ya want to play something girly like Truth or Dare," Logan shot back, downing half of his drink in one gulp.

Jean spoke up then. "What if we did both? Play poker, but the winner nominates who does the truth or dare."

Logan pulled an expressive face. "Oh come on."

"What's the matter, Logan?" Scott said, a small smile on his face, the sort he knew annoyed Logan. "Afraid you'll have to tell us your deep dark secrets?"

"Or worse," Ororo added, "that we will make you do something terrible, like kiss Scott." The thought seemed to amuse her highly.

Logan finished his drink, and set the glass down heavily on the table, before producing a pack of cards from his pocket. "If anyone's gonna be tellin' tales and doin' dares, it ain't gonna be me. So you just be nice to me, 'Ro." He winked at her. "But just in case, let's add another rule. You don't like the truth ya gotta tell, or the dare ya gotta do, you can forfeit, and remove an item of clothing."

Nods all around the table, and Scott sat up straight on the sofa, taking another large mouthful of his drink. Maybe it was just the gin working in his tired system, but this suddenly seemed like the perfect way to wile away the small hours of the morning. Logan dealt out the cards, and they picked them up. Now... if he won, who would he pick? And what would he ask of them?

He didn't need to think of anything immediately, however, because Jean won the first hand. After a moment's thought, she pointed to Scott. "Truth or dare?"

Good question. There was very little she didn't know about him, so truth could be difficult. On the other hand, what would she dare him to do? Hell, be adventurous, Summers. You can always forfeit. "Dare."

Jean considered a moment, tapping one finger against her lips, which were twisted into a smirk. Scott noticed three-quarters of her drink was gone. And Jean had never been a big drinker. "Play the next hand sitting in Logan's lap," she declared.

Scott's eyebrows shot up. "Are you serious? But that's a dare involving two people."

Logan leaned back and grinned. "Doesn't bother me, Slim. Come on." He patted his thigh.

"Not inviting, Logan. Besides, you'd be able to see my cards."

"Are you forfeiting?" Ororo asked, also smirking. Her drink was almost completely empty. She pointed at him. "The shirt. Off."

How could he refuse? With a fake grumble, he set down his glass and began to unbutton his shirt. Jean started laughing, but Scott's attention was all on Ororo as he stripped the shirt off, tossing it into a corner of the sofa. But she was laughing too, draining the last little dribble of her drink. "Right Jean," he said, leaning his bare elbows on his knees. "Your deal."

Ororo won the next hand, after a tight contest with Logan which ended with the Canadian leaning across the table and sniffing at her. "You're bluffing," he had declared. She hadn't been, her flush more than adequate to take out his pair of aces. "That's not right," he grumbled. "What business has she got smellin' that nervous when she's got that sort of hand? Dare, already. What're ya gonna make me do? Watch closely, Slim. Real men go through with their dares."

"Dance like an exotic dancer," Ororo stated. "Come on, Logan. Show me how you shimmy."

Scott amazingly managed to control his laughter surprisingly well, until about twenty seconds into Logan's simpering attempt at sensual dancing. Once he went, the women went as well, and Logan stopped to glare at them all. "Yeah, all right. Give me the glasses, you drunks. Let's have another. Your deal, 'Ro."

The second round was scotch on the rocks, smooth and biting all at once. Ororo dealt the cards out, and then downed her drink whole before even looking at her cards. Jean giggled, then did the same. When Logan followed suit, Scott shrugged, and swallowed his as well. It burnt all the way down, and he bared his teeth. Picking up his cards, he swallowed again. Four queens looked up at him. Unless a miracle occurred, he was going to win. Who was he going to ask? And what?

Ororo, it had to be her. And when the hand was played through to its predictable close, he looked up at her, unable to prevent the small smile that quirked a corner of his mouth. "Truth or dare?"

"Truth," she stated, carefully enough to raise doubt as to her sobriety.

Now what? Take the bull by the horns, Scott. He wished he had another drink. "If you were going to have sex with anyone at this school, who would it be?"

Jean burst out laughing; Scott guessed she was drunk already. She'd never been able to hold her drink.

"Well," Ororo drawled slowly, with a small smile on her face. "Since you have asked so nicely, Scott, I guess it would have to be you."

"Him!" Logan objected.

Ororo laughed. "You are simply too hairy, Logie. And all the other boys are... well, boys."

Logan snorted. "Well, maybe if I get ya another drink, you'll change ya mind." He collected the empty glasses, and headed back to the liquor.

Scott said nothing, merely sat and tried to control the torrent of desire surging through his blood. "My deal," he finally managed, and leaned forward in an attempt to conceal the evidence of exactly how much Ororo's declaration had affected him.

The cards were dealt, played and dealt again. Ororo described the loss of her virginity with much blushing and lewd remarks, Jean described her 'darkest desire' with even more blushing and a low growl from Logan. Logan forfeited naming a choice for a male lover, and was now also playing without his shirt. Glasses were refilled - once, twice, three times. Jean began to giggle to herself, and Ororo lolled in her armchair, legs draped over one arm and feet kicking.

"Truth or dare, Scotty-boy?" Jean slurred across the table at him.

Despite not having his shirt, Scott was more than warm enough, though he suspected that had more to do with the alcohol in his system and his lingering thoughts of Ororo than the low fire. A faint sheen of sweat coated his bare torso as he leaned forward to narrow his eyes at Jean. "Dare."

Jean bit her lip in thought, then giggled. "I dare you to tickle 'Roro."

Logan repeated: "Tickle her?" just as Ororo yelped: "No!"

Jean nodded. "Yup. She's soooo ticklish." She giggled, and covered her mouth. "Ooops... it's a secret."

Not any more. Like lightning, Ororo was out of her chair, sprinting out the door. "You have to catch me first," she tossed over her shoulder.

Scott leapt after her, not even thinking. He skidded out into the corridor, saw a flash of white disappearing around one corner, and set off after her, his heart beating like a drum in his ears. The pursuit was something primal - hunter and prey, to bring his quarry to ground. And then, once she was at his mercy... The very whisper of a thought made him run faster, turning the corner just as a door slammed shut. The library door.

He entered the room silently, implacably, face serene and eyes hidden behind his glasses. She was standing in the middle of the room, breathing heavily, and her eyes fastened on him as he entered. The only light in the room was the moonlight reflecting off the snow outside and in through the windows. It made her hair phosphorescent, and turned his bare chest silver.

For every slow step he took towards her, Ororo took one back, until finally her back was to the wall, and she could go no further. Unhurried, Scott closed the distance. He seemed entirely unperturbed as he raised an arm to lean against the wall over her left shoulder. The slight rattle in his throat as he took a deep breath betrayed him, though. They were so close he could feel the heat coming from her. She was looking up at him, her face unreadable. Alcohol and desire coursed through his body. He felt as heady as he had that first time he'd kissed Jean. More. He almost felt dizzy.

"Truth or dare?" he whispered, barely breathed.

Ororo moistened her lips with her tongue, the movement arresting his entire attention. "Truth."

"Wrong answer," he murmered, before he could resist no longer, and leaned forward that short distance between them to touch his lips to hers.

Gently, ever so gently, Scott moved his mouth on hers, exulting when Ororo leaned in against him, increasing the pressure minutely. Her arm came up to rest lightly across his shoulders. He eased her lips apart slightly, tasted her tongue. So light, so gentle, as though she might fly apart. He felt like he may do that any minute. He wanted to increase the pressure, to push until she moaned against him. He wanted to see if he had been right about the skin underneath her sweater. But he didn't want to ruin this beautiful, moonsoaked moment, so he forced himself to break away, slowly, lingeringly, but still leaning back a little.

He was nearly undone as he looked into her face, her lips slightly parted and eyelashes fluttering a millimetre from closed. A faint breath escaped her, a sigh so small it barely existed, and her eyes sprang open, looking deep into his, glasses or no. "I did not think you were interested," Ororo whispered.

"I'm very interested," Scott replied, his tone low but intense. He leaned back a little more. "Come on, we should get back." She made a small discontented noise, and he laughed quietly, trailing his fingertips lightly over her cheek. "Ororo..." He liked how her name tasted on his tongue, so he said it again: "Ororo, we have all the time in the world, and no reason to hurry." He smirked. "Besides, I thought you liked control and restraint."

"Oh I do," she replied, stepping closer and leaning into him, grazing her lips lightly against his own before quickly turning away again. "Come on, Scott." He liked how his name sounded on her lips even more, especially with that sultry teasing tone threaded through it. "If you are going to be so restrained, let us go back to the party."

Scott followed her, a smile on his face, eyes drinking in her form, the sway of her hips, the toss of her hair. There were a hundred thousand ways of teasing, of testing control.

A hundred thousand ways to break it.

He looked forward to trying every single one.

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