The class trickles in, chattering loudly among themselves and Jono drums his fingers against his desktop, which is scorched from various anger-based outbursts. Christ. This is going to be awful. He's going to regret ever approaching Gambit at all. If he ever shows up, of that is, since Gambit is, at the moment, late.
Sitting at his desk now, Jono figures he ought to have predicted the possibility of Gambit not showing up on time. Gambit had… oh fuck. Did he think Jono was joking?
Jono thinks back, trying to remember the exact exchange. What had he opened with?
It had been some time in the afternoon the day before when Jono found Gambit, who had been in the staff room making something—coffee? Cocoa? Regardless, when Jono had walked in, Gambit had been in the middle of spiking it with what was surely whiskey.
Gambit had raised a single eyebrow as Jono approached the kitchen counter—a very you're not here to eat, are you? sort of eyebrow.
It had occurred to Jono that they hadn't exchanged more than the occasional muttered hello and nod of colleague-y acknowledgment; they knew each other only in the way that most X-Corp members knew each other, but Jono, not one for pleasantries, had leaned awkwardly against the counter and had said, "Yeah, so, you don't 'ave any classes tomorrow at one, do you?"
Gambit had taken a deep drink out of his mug of coffee-cocoa-whiskey-whatever and had then licked his lips. "No," he had said, "No, I don'." He had stared at Jono all the while, red-on-black-eyes gazing with a steadiness that suggested he could see into Jono's goddamn soul.
Jono had shifted, somewhat unnerved, and had plowed on, "Right, well, would you be interested in 'elpin' me with a, er, sex education situation?"
That had prompted the other eyebrow to be raised and Gambit had looked Jono up and down for a painfully silent moment.
Jono, on his part, had just tried to straighten up and look as teacher-ish as he could.
The corner of Gambit's mouth had quirked up into an amused smirk. "Yeah, alrigh'," he had said.
Relief washed over Jono. "Really? Oh thank fuck."
That had only seemed to amuse Gambit even further, and he had waved his free hand in a no problem kind of way, and Jono was too grateful to analyze it too much. "Excellent. I'll see yer, then," he had said.
"Hey, hold on a mo', dere," Gambit had called as Jono turned to dart back out of the room, his business done there. "What's yo' name 'gain? Chamber?"
"Oh, sorry," Jono had said, flushing. "It's Jono." He had shaken Gambit's gloved hand quickly. "Starsmore," he had added needlessly.
"Remy LeBeau," Gambit had said.
Yeah, no shit, Jono had thought, but he'd just nodded.
"Hey, teach," one of the little shits says now, "Is today a free period?"
Jono raises his head, which has hitherto been lying against his desk in defeat. He looks around and notices that his students have settled into their seats, which means… Christ. Teaching time. Jono stands. "No," he says, to an immediate wave of disappointed groans. He glances to the door and then quickly tries to recall a back-up lesson plan that isn't complete horseshit.
A knock calls his attention to the side where somehow, in the span of two seconds, Gambit has arrived and has situated himself to lean against the door frame looking like that's exactly where he belongs. He offers a lazy smile and says in his weird Cajun drawl, "Y'never said where yo' room was, homme."
The class is watching Gambit with interest; he's a favorite among the staff. Of course. Of course. He's the bloody fucking 'cool' teacher, ain't he?
"Sorry," Jono says. "Er, come in." He turns back to the class as Gambit all but saunters in and stands beside Jono, or rather, looms over his shoulder. And Gambit's a good twelve centimeters taller than Jono, so he does, in fact, loom, his body so close Jono can smell the cigarette smoke and cologne in his clothes, and the mint gum on his breath. He can feel the warmth coming off his body, too.
Jono clears his throat in the best way he can, which simply involves rapid blinking and "um, er, uh," noises for all to hear. "Well," he says, "You lot all know, er, Mr. LeBeau, yeah?"
Someone snickers and Jono pauses to glare around the classroom before he goes on. "In light o' some o' yer… questions regardin' sex and yer …anatomy," he pauses, privately deciding to start making plans for early retirement but then remembering he doesn't get paid enough for this shit, and he continues: "I've asked Mr. LeBeau here to…"
"Talk t' y'all abou' safe sex, common misconceptions, an' special cases wit' mutants an' superhumans," Gambit fills in helpfully. "I can also answer any questions y'all might have, an' if we got time, we can also talk 'bout alien sex, but dat's covered more in my elective class."
Jono can all but feel the eyebrow waggle that accompanies these last words, and a couple of the students giggle. "Right," he says, "I'll let yer take the lead on this one." He moves out of the way, snagging his rolling chair and dragging it over with him to the side of the room. He sits and crosses his arms, narrowing his eyes at his students to let them know that shenanigans are not to be had. The message doesn't go over.
"I have a question for Professor Chamber," says Santo Vaccarro, using the title most of the class has taken to simply because Jono expressed dislike for it on the first day of class. "Why can't you teach us this stuff?"
"'Cos I'd rather not," Jono snaps. "I'm not qualified, and yer all'd rather not listen besides. Mr. LeBeau is well versed in this subject, which is of apparent high priority on the list of things this class needs to know, so shut yer trap and pay attention."
Gambit coughs in a poor attempt to cover a throaty laugh, and Jono gives him a pointed on with it look.
"First t'ings first: masturbation is normal an' everyone does it." Gambit says, smiling at the class, and earning a couple of laughs. "So, what's it y'all want t' know?"
There's a moment of silence where the students look around at each, perhaps realizing finally that this is For Real.
Finally, Ernst raises her hand and says, "Martha says everyone here already knows what sex is. They watch porn."
Gambit laughs. "'Course y' do," he says, "But den, I guess y' don' know dat de stuff y' see in de videos ain't de real t'ing."
"You mean they're faking it?" Trevor Hawkins blurts out, sounding betrayed.
Gambit pauses. "Yes," he says, "An' no. T'ing abou' porn is dat it's… fiction. Like a movie. Y' know it's not real, but it is happenin'. Porn," he says, "skips over everythin' 'bout sex dat ain't, well, sexy."
Jono glances at the students, who are staring at Gambit is varying degrees of horror and dismay.
"Sex isn't sexy?" Glob Herman says eventually, "Then why does everyone have it all the time?" he throws his hands in the air, disappointed with society and possibly life in general.
"Good question," Gambit says, expression suspiciously straight from the grin he'd been wearing not three seconds earlier. "Wha' d'you think, Jono?"
Jono blinks. Blinks again. "Wot, me?" he says. Oh no. Now the kids are all looking at him. "Why do you 'ave sex?"
"He's asking you, Professor Chamber," Iara Dos Santos cackles.
It's certain now. His students just want to see him suffer. He searches for an answer. It's just not a question you ask yourself and his mind is coming up blank, as far as good answers go. "Er, people 'ave sex because they like it," he says lamely.
"Why do they like it if it's not sexy?" Glob persists.
Because, a part of him wants to snap, it feels fucking good. That same part of him wants to yell at the teenagers because he knows at least some of them must know what a goddamn orgasm is. That part of Jono is decidedly in-teacher-like, though, and he's supposed to be trying here.
He is not getting paid for this at all, though.
Jono glances over to Gambit, who just watches him with the same level of interest as the students, as if he also wants to know more about the mysterious Sex Thing. Twat. "I think Mr. LeBeau can better answer that," he says evasively.
"Are you a virgin?" someone calls from the back of the class. Jono's fairly certain it's Keller. He's going to murder that kid.
"No," he barks. "Gambit?"
"Alrigh'," Gambit says, redirecting the class's attention easily. "So y'all know the basics of sex. Dere's at least two people, an' de general goal is t' reach climax." He skillfully ignores the sniggers that erupt at the word. "But dere's anal sex, vaginal sex, and oral sex. 'Course, how dey happen depends on the partners—dependin' on whether the sex is heterosexual or homosexual." He pauses thoughtfully. "Or interspecies. But again—dat's covered in my semester class."
"Blowjobs!" someone coughs—mostly likely Ben Hammil, judging by the smug flicker of his flame.
Jono remembers being seventeen and thinking he was clever.
Gambit takes it in stride. "Dat's right. Blowjobs are examples o' oral sex when a male partner is on the receivin' end,"
The class is shifting now, and Jono can tell it's a matter of time before they find a way to make try and make this discussion more 'interesting'. He acts quickly; "Er, Gambit—Mr. LeBeau, many o' the students 'ave expressed concern fer their ability to 'ave sex in consideration o' their physical mutations."
Gambit looks around the room and blinks. "There's a lot o' ways t' have sex, an' a lot o' t'ings dat can help y' pleasure y' partner."
"What, like sex toys?" Roxy says.
"Like sex toys," Gambit nods.
"I found my mom's vibrator once," Ben muses. "She said it was for grown-up massages,"
Most of the class breaks into laughter.
"Why do people want to have sex?" Ernst asks suddenly. "Do you have to?"
"'Course not, fille," Gambit says, "Dere's people who don' have it by choice, an' some people who don' have it because dey jus' don' want to."
"S'called asexuality, kids," Jono chimes in.
"So can they have sex, though?" Glob says.
"Asexuals? Sure. They can. Many o' them just don't want to." He shrugs. Unfortunately, his addition to the conversation has opened the floodgates.
"Are you an asexual?" Santo questions.
"He said he's not a virgin!" Trevor interjects.
"So? Asexuals can have sex, he just said."
"But he never dates anyone anymore, that means—"
"I'm pretty sure that's called celibacy," Iara says.
"Are all the teachers celibate?" Glob wonders.
"You don't have do to be dating anyone to have sex," Julian scoffs.
"Er," Jono says loudly, "Not that, er, it's any o' yer business, but I'm not ace."
"How do you know?" Roxy says in frustration, "How are we supposed to know any of this?"
"Why, dat's de beauty o' growin' up," Gambit says, clasping his gloved hands over his heart and dramatically swooning in place. He allows a moment for the kids to giggle a bit and then adds with a more serious note: "Y' got time t' figure out y' romantic and sexual orientation, don' worry."
"What, like if you're gay or bi or something?" Santo says.
"Like dat," Gambit nods.
"What does it matter?" Trevor says, throwing his many-eyed hands up into the air. "Nobody's gonna want to have sex with us."
"Hey, speak for yourself," Roxy says, crossing her arms.
They're back to the core of the issue and Gambit looks prepared to say something when Santo takes it upon himself to ask, "So, Trev, do you have an eye on your dick or what?"
"No!" Trevor shouts at once. "Oh my God,"
"Is it possible to break a penis?" Iara asks.
"No," Santo laughs.
"Yes," Gambit says, and when that has everyone's attention, "And no."
"What the hell?" Glob says, outraged.
"You don't even have a dick," Julian says, "What do you care?"
"Dere's no bone in de penis," Gambit says, "So y' can't break it. But y' can injure it outside o' de bedroom, or wit' rough sex, or if y' jus' happen t' bend it too hard when it's erect."
"Wait, why do you need to bend a dick?" Santo says, looking alarmed.
"Is that what sixty-nine is?" Trevor asks.
"What the fuck?" Julian says loudly.
"Why am I in this class?" Ben complains. "What idiot doesn't know what sixty-nine is?"
Jono sighs and looks to Gambit, trying to communicate some sort of expression of see what I have to deal with? through his eyebrows, but Gambit is just following the exchange, looking extremely patient and teacher-like.
Belatedly, Jono remembers, "No cursing, Keller."
"We're talking about dicks," he complains.
"It's educational," Jono says.
"You didn't tell Glob he couldn't swear."
"When did I swear?"
"Like two minutes ago."
"Boys, let's not."
"I'm just saying, Professor Chamber is being selective."
"Yeah, well, 'fuck' is worse than 'hell', so..."
"No one asked you, Shark-Girl!"
"Not my fault you're basically asking for everyone else to say something, too."
"Oh please, like—"
"Martha says you guys are being stupid and wasting time. She has sex-related questions."
"Why? Martha's a brain."
"That's insensitive, Ben."
"Yeah, well, we're all here because we look weird—"
"—I mean look around, dude,"
"Come on, guys…"
"If you wanna put it that way, what's he doing here? He doesn't have any physical mutations."
"Guys, come on…"
"I'm just saying, we have real sex concerns. Like how the hell am I supposed to kiss? I don't have lips! Meanwhile, Mr. Hellion over here—"
"Yo, dude doesn't have hands, chill."
"If you all want to make this a 'who's got it worse' pissing contest, I'm out of here—"
"Would yer all fuckin' shut up and sit down?"
All eyes turn to Jono. All of them. Even Trevor's.
Jono realizes he's stood up, and that the psionic energy in his chest cavity is pulsing hard against the bandages against his chest, like a heartbeat. It's seeping out of cracks in the bandages over his face, orange psionic flames dancing in the air in front of him. He breathes in deeply through his nose and feels the air move down through his chest and settle in his chest, scattering and calming the build-up of energy there.
"I've said, and I maintain it –yer don't 'ave a chance unless you give yerself one, alright? All o' you are bright kids." He's already running out of inspirational steam, so he finishes with, "So ask 'im yer sex questions an' let's not turn this inter sad wankers' therapy,"
The students blink almost owlishly at Jono, and he can clearly see Ben mouthing the last part to himself, a look of utter bewilderment on his face. Then, one-track minded teen that she is, Ernst communicates, "Martha would like to know why you don't date, Professor Chamber."
"M' a teacher," Jono mutters, slumping back into his seat and ignoring the still curious look Gambit is giving him. "Ain't got time fer any o' that, do I?"
"Martha says she thinks romance sounds tiresome," Ernst announces. "None of the teachers ever seem very happy for long. She's says 'what's the point?'. Maybe the X-Men should try online dating?"
"I thought this was sex ed," Iara complains loudly, "Mr. LeBeau, I have a question. Is sex supposed to sound so messy? Follow up, why do I still have boobs if I'm part shark? And is it necessary to have a neck to have sex? If I have kids, will I lay eggs?"
"It can be, and y' migh' wanna check wit' Dr. McCoy, fille," Gambit says, not missing a beat. "He can do some scans an' tell y'more 'bout yo' reproductive organs wit' yo' mutation,"
Damn. He has it all figured out. Jono just stares, and tries to remember a time he answered such an awkward question with such ease.
"I have a question," Roxy says, "Is it possible to get S.T.Ds from lesbian sex?"
"It's possible t' get S.T.Is regardless o' yo' sex. T'ankfully mutants are immune t' de H.I.V virus, but S.T.Is y' might want t' worry about is general herpes, chlamydia, bacterial vaginosis, an' human papillomavirus," Gambit says informatively. Unfortunately, this is lost on the students, who snicker at once at their teacher's pronunciation.
"Say that again," Santo demands, eyes wide.
Jono feels his eyes rolls up to the ceiling almost involuntarily. Christ. Maybe he should've sent the kids all to Storm's Social Relationships elective and washed his hands of the matter. The kids probably ask Ororo sex questions, right? He thinks about it and blanches. No, he wouldn't want to ask Ororo sex questions either. It's not a matter of trust, just dignity.
Jono thanks the stars that Sean had been in charge of his group's sexual education, half-assed as it was. Emma would have surely scarred them all. With this in mind, Jono tunes back into the class discussion and is puzzled to find Gambit drawing something on the chalk board behind the desk. Not for the first time, Jono wonders why they have a fucking chalkboard at all. Who still uses chalk?
Gambit, apparently, and he's drawing—
"Excuse me, wot the 'ell is going on 'ere?" Jono sputters, jumping to his feet.
Gambit looks from the drawing to Jono. "Education? Don't worry, homme, dere ain't gon' be any misleadin' here. I got dis anatomy all figured out. I know what I'm doin'."
"I'm sure yer do," Jono says snippily, "But I really don't think this is advisable,"
"Aw, come on, Prof," Glob complains, "Roxy's the one who asked anyway!"
Roxy shrugs when Jono turns on her, "What? No one else knows where it is."
"Alrigh'," Gambit declares, putting down his chalk and clapping his hands off. He points at a point on his—well, actually neatly drawn —diagram, and says, "Dis is the vagina, an' dis is de clitoris. No function 'cept fo' pleasure."
"Why is it called the G-Spot if it starts with a 'c'?" Ben asks after a moment.
Gambit looks from the diagram to Ben, and a look of comprehension dawns over him. "Dat ain' de G-Spot," he says, and Jono observes the following lesson in a mute mixture of horror and fascination. He imagines this must be how it feels to watch a car crash, and he can't quite look away. He makes a mental note to never ask Gambit back to the class. This can never happen again, he decides.
Jono sits back down and watches everything happen through the cracks between his fingers. You're an adult, he tells himself again and again, You can handle sitting through your teenage students' sex ed class that is being taught by a man who has probably never felt embarrassed by anything in his life. He glances at the clock on the wall. Christ Almighty.
"What about guys?" he hears Julian ask.
"Now dat's another matter," Gambit says, picking up his godforsaken piece of chalk again.
Why does Jono even have fucking chalk in his room?
Gambit draws in silence and the kids all watch in anticipation.
Ben is the first to give in to impatience, "What's he drawing?"
"That's a dick, dude," Santo says,
"No, the organs," Ben says.
"He's drawing the G-Spot,"
"How many are there?"
Jono sighs, "The larger one is the bladder," he says, "The G-Spot's the prostate. It's under the bladder, okay? Gambit, did yer really 'ave to illustrate all this?"
"He drew the chick stuff, it's only fair," Iara says.
Gambit doesn't turn, but he mumbles something that sounds a lot like, "An' how could I resist de opportunity t'draw a dick on de board?" When he does turn around, he points again and says, "Now dat's de prostate, commonly known as de male G-Spot. Boys, when y' middle-aged y' gon' have t'get dat examined fo' cancer."
"Martha wants to know if you've had a prostate exam yet, Mr. LeBeau," Ernst says.
Gambit's face twists and he actually looks offended. "Do I sound middle-aged t'you, fille?"
"Martha says she can't tell, she's a brain," Ernst says, grinning. "She wants to know if Professor Chamber's had a prostate exam then,"
Jono sighs. "I would like ter remind all o' you that, despite wot yer all might think, I am not ancient."
"That doesn't answer the question," Santo calls.
Jono shoots him a withering look, "I'm younger than 'im," he says pointedly, "What do you think?"
"So you have to get examined soon, though, right?" Iara says.
"Hold on," Gambit says, frowning, "How old do y'all think yo' teachers are?"
There's silence, as the students look around at each other blankly.
"Well Logan's the oldest," Glob says,
"He doesn't count, though," Roxy points out, "He ages slow."
"Storm's the next oldest teacher, right?" Ben says.
"No, it's Dr. McCoy," Julian decides.
"Is he?" Iara scratches her head.
"So he's like, fifty, then, right?" Roxy says.
Gambit is wearing an expression of extreme alarm, as if it never occurred to him that the students didn't know he was merely… wait. How old was Gambit?
Jono blinks. At least thirty-five, he thinks. Yeah. That had to be it. Thirty-five to forty. He doesn't exactly look old, but he's been around for… well, ages. Jono knew about Gambit the X-Man when he was in school—mostly from Jubilee, but still. Gambit has to be Emma's age and Emma's... well, who knows.
"But Professor Chamber is, like, thirty, at least," Santo is saying.
"How old does that make Jubilee?" Julian says,
"Twenty-three," Ernst says, "Remember? Her birthday was two weeks ago,"
All the students turn to Jono, surprise written in their faces.
"Then you're…" Trevor says hesitantly, "Twenty something?"
"Twenty-nine," Roxy declares.
"Jesus H. Christ," Jono bursts out, "I'm twenty fuckin' five," And immediately he realizes his mistake as he sees the eyes roll up to do the mental math and the students realize he's not even ten years their senior. Now they're really not going to listen to him. Fuck.
"So how come you're allowed to swear and we're not?" Julian complains, "We're basically the same age."
"'Cos I'm yer teacher, and no, we're not," Jono snaps, "Christ, listen to Gambit."
"Hey, Mr. LeBeau, how old are you?" Ben wonders.
"Forty-one?" Glob says.
"Thirty! Mon Dieu," Gambit says in a strangled sort of voice. "Y'all been runnin' 'round too long. We ain't dat old, children. Dr. McCoy ain' even forty yet!"
"It's okay, Mr. LeBeau," Roxy says, "You're still hot."
Iara nods vigorously.
Gambit smiles, but it's strained, like he's not sure whether to take it as a compliment or not. "Movin' on," he decides, shaking his head, "Any other question abou' de prostate?"
"I don't think I have one," Glob says glumly.
Everyone looks through him.
"No, doesn't look like it," Santo agrees. "But you don't got a lot of things in there."
"At least I have a brain."
Santo snorts with laughter, "Good one," he says.
"Martha wants to know how anyone's supposed to reach the prostate if it's under the bladder," Ernst says.
"You have to take it up the"
"—Santo," Jono barks.
"Y' can press here," Gambit said, pointing to another part of his diagram, "But yes, de prostate is also stimulated through anal sex."
"So do gays have better sex, then?" Ben asks.
"You don't have to be gay to have anal," Roxy says loudly.
"She's right," Gambit says, "Any other questions?"
"So how gay is normal?" Santo says, "I'm asking for a friend."
"Everyone's a little bisexual," Roxy says.
"Who says that?" Glob says.
"Everybody," she shrugs.
"Am I part gay?" Glob says with wonder.
"It's just a saying, Glob," Jono says. "Gambit, please erase yer infernal drawings,"
"Wha', y' don' like dem?" Gambit smirks.
"They're distractin' the students," Jono lies.
Gambit shrugs and wipes the board off with the sleeve of his ever present trench coat, turning it half white. The shadow of a penis remains in the wake of the erasure and Jono is one hundred percent certain that Gambit is ignoring it on purpose.
Jono has to physically restrain himself from marching over and using the other side of Gambit's sleeve to forcefully erase the rest of the board. "Now wot the 'ell else d'yer all need ter know about sex?" he demands of his students.
"How long is it supposed to take?" Ernst says, rather unexpectedly.
"It depends," Gambit tells her. "Sometimes it goes quick, but some people like t' make it last."
There's an onslaught of giggling, then, as if the class has just remembered that they're meant to find this entire discussion unbearable funny.
"Martha says sex sounds like it might hurt and she's kind of glad she doesn't have to deal like it like the rest of us losers. Martha," Ernst exclaims, turning to stare at the brain hovering over her shoulder.
Martha bobs in her tank, seemingly amused which is—
Jono needs to stop reading into these things. There's no way a brain can express itself like that.
"T'answer yo' question, Martha," Gambit says, moving around and sitting at the edge of Jono's desk, "It might be uncomfortable at first, but if it actually hurts, y'probably doin' somet'in' wrong."
"How are we supposed to know?" Iara says, alarmed.
"Practice," Gambit says, waggling his eyebrows suggestively. Then he adds, "Probably ain't gon' be perfect de first time 'round. No fireworks or nothin'."
"Um," Trevor says, "Mr. LeBeau, when are we supposed to start having sex? I mean, my parents always said to wait until I was older. But how old's older?"
"Probably shouldn't ask me dat," Gambit laughs, "What d'you t'ink, Jono?"
He startles at his name. "Er… when ter 'ave sex?" he asks.
"Yeah, homme. Got any advice fo' dem young ones?"
Jono raises an eyebrow. Still bitter about that?
Oh shut up, Gambit's eyebrows seem to respond.
"After yer legal," Jono decides as the safe answer. "Whenever yer want -like, er, when y' feel ready an' comfortable an' all that. But wait till yer an adult, yeah?" Hilarious coming from him. He thinks he must've been freshly seventeen when he first slept with Gayle. Ah, the life of a teenage rebel in East London... At least I don't wear leather pants everyday anymore, he consoles himself.
"How old were you?" Ben asks, staring at Jono critically.
"None o' yer business, 'ow's that?"
Gambit looks thoughtful, "Y'all know how t' put on a condom, righ'?"
"Are we gonna do the cucumber thing?" Roxy inquires, looking excited, "Oh man, I've always wanted to do that."
"What?" Iara says.
"We don't have any cucumbers in here," Trevor points out.
"Or condoms," Ernst says.
Jono catches Gambit's eye and stares at him intently. Don't you fuckin' dare.
They need to know, Gambit's wide-eyed expression seems to respond. "Kids, we're goin' on a field trip," he declares.
"No we're not," Jono says at once, but the students are already rising to follow Gambit out the door, and he can either sit and sulk or follow and make sure this doesn't end in a complete disaster.
They trail into the staff lounge and Gambit arms the group with an assortment of oblong fruits and vegetables that he manages to find in the fridge and on the counter.
The group gets a suspicious look from Doop, who takes his newspaper and floats out of the room, leaving it empty for the class.
"Mr. LeBeau, we still need the condoms," Santo points out.
"Oh," Gambit turns to Jono, who's leaning against the sofa, arms crossed. "D'you…?"
"Oh just a mo'," Jono says dryly, motionless. "Let me check my pocke—huh, wot d'yer know. I don't 'ave a dozen rubbers on me, after all. Sorry."
Gambit looks thoughtful. "Alrigh', kids. I'll be jus' a while."
Jono looks around at all the kids sitting on the floor after Gambit leaves and sighs. If anyone walks in, they're going to think Jono's leading his students in some satanic vegetable ritual, and then he's going to have to explain himself, and honestly, it's all Gambit's doing, so he should have to explain this.
Gambit comes back a moment later with a box that he claims to have liberated from a supply in the Medical Labs, and Glob says, "There's condoms down there?"
Gambit looks at the box in his hand, "Yeah? But I didn' tell none o' you dat, y'hear? Alrigh', everyone take one," and he turns the box upside down and lets the multicolored packets rain onto the carpet, where the kids begin an immediate scramble for their favorite colors.
Gambit sits down in the circle with the students and says, "Let's do dis," He glances up at Jono and grins, "Wanna join?"
"In yer dreams," Jono retorts sourly.
"How'd y'know?" Gambit says, winking absurdly.
"Eugh," says a voice from the doorway, "What's going on here?"
Jono looks over and finds the pink-haired abomination that is Quentin Quire standing in the doorway. "Staff lounge, Quire," he says pointedly.
"Yeah, so?" Quentin says, shrugging.
Jono is momentarily distracted by the particularly gaudy skinny jeans the kid is wearing, and so doesn't respond before Gambit, who says, "Come over here, homme. Y'need t' learn dis, too."
"Yeah, and what's that, how to hold a fruit-themed orgy?" He wanders over nonetheless, peering around the group with curiosity barely concealed under a façade of disinterest.
"We're learning how to put on condoms," Roxy informs him.
Quentin's face freezes with his eyebrows halfway up his forehead. "Why?" he says finally.
"On the off chance any of us have sex in the near future," Iara says.
"I already know how to use a condom," Quentin says, rolling his eyes, "It was the first day of health class freshman year. How old are you people?"
"Sit," Gambit insists, and perhaps something in his rather wolf-like smile convinces the kid to do it, because he does, flopping down on the carpet with a loud sigh and rudely stretching his legs out in front of him. He takes a proffered cucumber and one of the condoms and then Gambit walks the kids through opening the packets and placing the rubber over their symbolic phalluses.
For a silent minute or two while his students figure out what to do, Jono is treated to the rare sight of quiet and concentrating teenagers. There's some frustration and condom destruction between Ben, who accidentally melts his first one, and Santo, who rips his.
Eventually, though, there's a round of laughter and cheers when the deed is done, and then the students celebrate their new skills by discovering the elastic properties of their condoms, and blowing balloons out of them. Jono just sighs and watches as Julian further explores said elasticity by slinging a condom to hit Quentin right in the middle of the forehead.
Gambit leaves the students to their own devices when this action provokes all-out war, and he walks over to the sofa that Jono's leaning against.
"Not bad, eh?" he says.
"This can never 'appen again," Jono says.
Gambit laughs, a hearty sound that moves through his entire body. "An' we didn't even get t' de aliens," he says.
Jono eyes him warily. "I'll tell 'em ter take yer course," he says.
"I don't doubt it," Jono says, dubious nonetheless. "You usually get more done than this?"
"Nope," Gambit says, popping the 'p' and grinning. "You?"
Jono looks over at the great condom war that is still going on nearby. "'Fraid not," he admits. "Christ, d'you think the other teachers get anything done?"
"Dunno abou' you, homme, but I didn' get no teachin' degree 'fore I got dis job." Gambit says.
"Great, so 'alf of us are just messin' these kids up even worse than they already are," Jono says, rolling his eyes.
They watch the condom war in mutual silence for some time before Gambit asks, "So y' got any plans after dis?"
"After teaching?" Jono gives Gambit a look that he hopes is taken as Ugh, the future. Let's not.
"Nah," Gambit says waving a hand dismissively, "Fo' later today,"
"Not really, why?" Jono imagines the next few hours: watching the telly while everyone's eating dinner, then sitting around for the rest of the evening, maybe managing to tune out enough to go to sleep for an hour or two—the usual.
Gambit laughs, suddenly, "Was about t' ask y' out fo' drinks," he says.
"Are you fuckin' joking?" Jono says, turning to stare at him.
"Yeah, but den I realized a movie migh' be better," Gambit continued, "An' I prob'ly shouldn' o' mentioned dat first part, desolé. Dere's somet'in' playin' in town. An old movie. Heard it was good, though," he says. He's looking back at Jono intently. Again with that goddamn stare.
Gambit's—well, he's something of a legend. An A-List X-Man, one of the big guns. Jono looks up at him, searching his face for some hint of deceit. Gambit's a good looking bloke, no denying it. Has that whole mysterious, rugged stranger look going. And Jono's, well, Jono: no mouth, perpetually bitter…
"Wot is this?" he says eventually.
"I," Gambit points at himself, "am askin' you," he points at Jono, "on a date,"
"T' the cinema," Jono says flatly, eyes, narrowed. "Yeah, I got that. Didn't think you were the type ter go on dates." Why, he wants to ask, but doesn't.
Gambit rolls his eyes, a gesture that seems to silently say why the hell not, and he says, "Mon Dieu, is dat a yes or no, homme?"
Jono pauses, and in this short time, something whizzes between them—a condom, he realizes a moment later—and Quentin shouts, "Get a room!"
"Yeah, alright," Jono says finally, and Gambit grins.
"Jus' a mo', den. Gotta show dese kids how it's done," Gambit produces a condom from his pocket and rips open the packet. "Hey, kid," he calls, taking aim.
Quentin looks over in time to see a kinetically charged condom flying towards him and a second later, his enraged shrieks can be heard up and down the corridor.
"Best sex ed class ever," Santo says.