It had been a good half hour since Sean tasted a few of the crystals. He was just sitting in one of the chairs in the lab, as Hank insisted. "Do you feel any different?" Hank asked for the third time as he was scribbling something down on his clipboard. "Nothing's happening." Sean told them in disappointment, "I don't even feel anything." Hank cocked his head to the side, "You mean-" Sean shook his head, "I mean I don't really feel any different."
"Maybe because you already had a hit last night." Alex pointed out.
And suddenly, everything seemed to click and make sense. Sean blinked. Hank looked down and placed a hand on his face, silently criticizing himself for not taking Sean's possible tolerance into consideration. Then the three looked at Raven, who was sitting on one of the stools near the table where the crystals were.
"So, are we good?" She asked.
Hank nodded, followed by Sean. Alex just shrugged his shoulders.
Raven took that as a yes, "Alright, let's go."
"Lunch is ready!" Raven announced enthusiastically as she opened the door to the study. As expected, Charles and Erik were playing chess. The two of them looked at Raven; Erik smirked and nodded, and Charles smiled at her. Thank you, Raven. We'll be right there. Charles told her telepathically.
Raven just beamed and left them. You'll really thank me tomorrow, I'm sure.
After a few minutes, all six of there were in the dining room. There was a table, fit for 12, but they decided to use the smaller one at the other side of the room. They haven't recruited any children yet, so the table for 8 people was enough for them.
Erik and Charles both occupied the ends of the table. Raven sat on Charles' right hand side, with the rest of the chairs in her row empty. Sean occupied Erik's right hand side, followed by Alex and Hank respectively.
There was salad on the table, steamed chicken, a few cut fruits, and tacos. Erik almost smirked at the inclusion of tacos and quickly glanced at Sean, who just grinned without apology. Let them be, Erik. Charles said in an amused tone as he placed some salad on his plate, It's their break. Erik glared but was largely ignored by Charles. "You didn't have to prepare this much," Charles smiled as he addressed Raven and the others, "It's quite a feast." Raven just smiled back at him and so did the others.
After a few minutes, from the growing silence, Alex, Sean and Hank assumed that Raven and Charles were having a telepathic conversation. From the way Erik was concentrated on the food and didn't really show any sort of reaction to what was happening they assumed they were correct.
"So what now?" Alex asked as soon as they finished cleaning up in the kitchen and gathered in Hank's lab. "We hide," Hank declared, "And we avoid them for the remainder of the day. Or for the rest of our lives, if they ever find out. Which I think they will. Do you think we should start packing?" The three looked at Hank, expression questioning his statement, but not really saying anything about it.
To some extent, they did agree. Even if everything were to go according to plan... they heard psychiatrist fees were quite high.
"So gentlemen, shall we play a game instead?" Raven broke the silence. Alex grinned in agreement. Sean started moving some of the stools and tables in the lab. Hank took his wallet from his back pocket and checked how much money he still had on him. $10 dollars. He sighed as he got the deck of cards from one of the drawers in the corner of the lab. He was a genius, and he could easily just count cards and do the math if he wanted, but he had to work on his poker face.
After a few rounds, true enough, Raven was a few dollars richer. Alex seemed disappointed with how the game ended. Hank simply gave up. Sean didn't seem to care at all that he lost more money than Hank did,. (Quite surprising, considering how Sean usually got equal earnings as Alex during poker.)
Sean stood up, "That's it. Good night." He started to walk towards the door. The three looked at him. "It's only six," Raven informed him, but Sean just waved his hand and exited the lab. "Congrats, Bozo. You shocked Sean into sleeping early tonight," Alex patted Hank's back. Hank sighed, "I was supposed to buy some chemicals with that." He said without paying attention to Alex. Raven simply counted her money, then went to Hank's side. "Think of it this way," Raven started as she placed a hand on his shoulder, "Experience makes a good teacher."
Dinner passed. Raven, Alex, and Hank ate. Sean skipped dinner, and they didn't bother checking up on him. He could prepare his own diner after all, if he had plans to eat dinner.
Right after dinner, the three cleaned up and parted ways. It was only 8 in the evening, but Raven decided to sleep early like Sean did. While preparing her bed, she recalled the conversation she and Charles had.
It was just after lunch. While Erik cleared the table and the three boys cleaned the dishes and other things they used for cooking, Charles excused Raven for a moment. They went out of the dining room and conversed in the corridor. Charles informed Raven that he and Erik would be working on some blueprints and plans that night, so she and the others wouldn't have to prepare dinner for them.
"Aren't you and Erik supposed to take a break too, Charles?" Raven crossed her arms across her chest, looking at Charles disapprovingly. But Charles just smiled at her and hugged her, "Enjoy the day little sister. You can even bring the boys to shop, if you want." Raven pouted. "That's not fair, Charles," She said as she broke the physical connection, pulling away from the hug. "I promise to take a break." Charles assured her.
The dining room doors opened, revealing Erik. Charles nodded at him and the two of them proceeded to the study.
Ah, it would be a good night. It might even be worth the possible telepathic backlash.
Her bed was prepared. Raven smirked. It was a good thing that she thought of this plan. Even better that the boys agreed. She closed her eyes for an early night's sleep, unaware of the sudden interruption of something going wrong.
"Sean?" They could hear the quick and loud clacking of Moira's heels as she quickly walked across the tiled corridors of Charles' mansion. Within seconds from arriving, Alex found Moira beside the bed where Sean promptly hallucinated about fishes and tacos and found an odd (but, not really new) interest in Moira's hand. "Hello Agent Moira," Sean waggled his eyebrows, making Moira and Raven roll their eyes. Hank tried his best not to shrink any further into his embarrassment, but Alex was able to follow Moira back to the infirmary with only a few seconds distance. "Are you sure you gave him only a small amount, Bozo?"
Hank just looked at him, trying not to be intimidated; clearly, the effort was not enough. Alex stood still near the door, looking back at Hank expectantly. Raven ignored the two, and simply observed Sean. She was still in her nightgown; she didn't bother changing when Hank was knocking loudly on her door. (It was fortunate that the study was in the other hall of the mansion. Or else, their current concern would've been found out by Charles and Erik.)
Alex continued to look at Hank, patiently waiting for Hank's reaction, though he didn't really expect much. From the way Hank seemed to be mentally doing calculations, he was sure everything would smooth out.
It was only a matter of waiting. For how long, Hank does not conclusively know, but he was sure everything would be okay. He hoped.
"Well?" The silence was broken by Moira, whose right hand was still held by Sean, like he was clinging on for dear life. "What happened?" Her voice and tone was neutral. Her facial expression wasn't one of disappointment as well. It was a mix of curiosity, and worry, and wanting to find out facts. Hank cleared his throat, "We were... running an experiment."
Moira raised an eyebrow, but seemed to accept Hank's answer. She didn't seemed satisfied by it though, "So that's how Sean ended up calling me, asking for goldfish to place in his taco-quarium?"
Alex just shook his head. Hank slightly fidgeted. Moira decided she better start asking them one by one, "Ra-" "Blue, blue mysterious goddess!" Sean blurted out but quickly kept quiet as both Raven and Moira glared at him. "Raven," Moira continued, "How about we start from the beginning?"
Raven told her of the plan. Moira didn't show any reaction. "So, were you successful?" Moira asked, calmly, as if trying to get an important point across.
Raven covered her mouth with both hands, while Hank slumped on the bed beside Sean's. Alex was being unexpectedly calm about things, "Do you think-"
"No!" Raven exclaimed. At this, Moira, Hank, and Alex looked at her, surprised with her reaction. Hank gulped. A few seconds passed before they silently agreed that it was best that they stay in the infirmary, tending to Sean.
They felt a creeping sensation in their minds. A spark. They all blushed, even Alex.
They nodded at each other. Alex closed the door. Hank made some modifications on the door locks, punching a few keys on one of the machines in one corner. He was glad he installed the prototype in the infirmary. It wasn't supposed to completely block out any telepathic attacks or anything of that sort, just lessen their impact.
It was better than nothing.