Title: I've Heard Talking Helps
Author: The Mean Spleen (the_mean_spleen@...
Feedback: I'll write to you if you write to me.
Disclaimer: X-men and all the associated characters are the
property of Marvel.
Summary: Logan goes to an unusual source to air his problems.
Notes: This is the first thing I've posted heree. It's not meant to
be insulting or anything as I commit all of the character crimes
spoken of herein. Anyway I hope you enjoy it. Keep it frosty.
If you wish to archive this, please email me and let me know where it
He walked the unfamiliar school halls with his usual sense of
boldness. No unwanted memories of detentions or school crushes
flooded back to him. Perhaps having your memory wiped wasn't all
bad. He passed a couple in the hall, a regular pair giggling happily
to themselves. They opened the door he just passed and entered. He
snuck back to see where they had gone. Cooking 101 the makeshift sign
on the door said.
"Isn't adult education marvellous?" he thought bitterly
He looked down at the scrape of paper in his hands again. Room 402
was scribbled down in his unreadable scrawl. He looked at the next
door he came to. 306. He needed to go up a floor. After trudging up
the stairs and checking four more doors, he finally found the room he
was looking for.
"M. T. 101."
He opened the door quietly and tried to slip as best he could but all
the people in the room watched him carefully. He sat down on the
rather uncomfortable chairs that were supplied and looked at his
feet, feeling slightly uncomfortable with all the eyes on him. He
could hear a few of the "regulars" talking in hushed tones.
figured he could hear specifics if he wanted to, but decided the less
he knew the better.
Though he knew many of the people here, Logan had been warned more
then once that on no accounts was he to act like he knew he anyone
here. It was supposed to be one of those groups like AA where no one
used their full names, just their first.
Finally the spokesman of the group, if that's what he was called
here, brought the meeting to order. Though he couldn't rise from
wheelchair he was in, everyone gave him their full attention none the
"Hello everyone, it's good to see you all again. As you have
doubt noticed, we have a new member today. Why don't you all say
Everyone in the room turned to Logan and began saying their hellos,
some with more enthusiasm then others. Some with no pretence of
enthusiasm at all.
"For your benefit, my name is Charles and I'm the leader of
An elderly white haired man over in the corner sighed at this.
"Well as you seem eager to get started, why don't you go
Charles said, a slight frown on his face.
The white haired man stood up and looked around the room. "Hello,
name is Eric and I'm a mutant."
At this, everyone in the room said "Hello, Eric" One of the
to him even gave him a pat on the back as if he had just told them a
"How has the week been for you Eric?" Charles asked.
"It started well enough. After our last meeting, I felt empowered
once again. I felt that I had found my drive again for world
domination, but as the week went on, I lost that feeling and just
sank into depression again."
"What triggered the dive into depression, Eric?"
"Well, I had just completed my latest device, an upgraded version
the "Instant-Human-To-Mutant-Matic 2000® when disaster struck.
my henchmen were playing a game of football when one of their passes
went astray and the receiver crashed into my machine, destroying
weeks of work. Those fools, do they realize.." his voice rose.
"Now Eric, what have we said about blaming others?" Charles
interrupted him before he got further inflamed.
"That I should be smart enough to foresee the shortcomings of
"Exactly. You feel let down by those around you Eric. But
you are the mutant master of magnetism. You don't find many of
around the place. You can always build another world domination
machine, but you can't rebuild the friendships you have made with
One of the others nodded in agreement with Charles and said
softly, "He's right."
Charles continued, "I think Eric that maybe you should tell your
henchmen how much the machine meant to you and how much it hurt when
it was destroyed. By explaining this to them, you can all come to a
more harmonious existence."
Eric nodded at these sagely words and seemed content that he had said
and heard enough.
Charles turned his head to face Logan.
"As the newcomer, why don't you tell us about yourself?"
Logan stood up slowly and looked around the room, his face stuck
between a weak smile and a frown.
"Hi, I'm ahh, Logan and I guess I'm a mutant."
Immediately, everyone in the room applauded his bravery. The lady
next to him nodded and shook his hand, congratulating him on this
"What has brought you to us Logan?" Charles asked calmly.
Logan scrunched up his face, almost too embarrassed to say it.
"Go on, there's no need hide anything." A guy with
Logan finally started.
"Well, it's these damn fanfic writers."
This obviously was a common problem as a number in the room nodded
and seemed to understand instantly what he was talking about.
"Well, okay. Look at me right. Other then the hair and the
thing, I'm a pretty normal guy. Okay, now I'll be the first
I'm a bit cranky from time to time but no where in my bio does it
I have such serious relationship problems."
"Sorry" Charles said not sure of what he heard.
"Well, these fanfic writers, they're forever trying to fix me
the young girl of the day. First it was Jubilee. Then last summer,
all of a sudden it became Marie or Rogue or whatever the hell
called now. And for those that get over the whole paedophile thing we
move into the adultery arena with Jean. And get this, if it's not
of those two situations, then I`m teamed up with some new
that will, I can guarantee, die in tragic circumstances with me
choking back the tears and acting all manly."
He paused for breath.
"Look, It's bad enough that I have to be in a relationship
probably three to four times the age of my partner, but the romance
has to be this long, soppy, deep emotional thing. I hate to break it
to people but I'm as deep as a puddle. I want to sit in a nice
and smoke a pipe and discuss the topics of the day with people my own
age. I just really want to be able to act my age, but instead
got to act like a pumped up teenager. It's just frustrating is
Charles looked thoughtful.
"Though the specifics of each case are quite different, the
with these fanfic writers are quite common. More then one of our
group here have had their own problems with the writers."
Logan looked relieved, glad that he wasn't the only one.
"It's hard, Logan, to recommend a solution, as after all, the
are pretty much the puppet masters when it comes to our lives. The
only sacrifice they need make is a disclaimer at the start of their
pieces and then they can slaughter us, as they feel fit. I'm
you just have to realise is that for some strange reason you have
been picked to be fulfil the experienced father figure role in the
romances that get written. It could be worse, believe you me."
Logan nodded slightly. He wasn't entirely satisfied. After all
he left the building, god knows what romance he was going to be
plunged into. He sat down and tried to appear dignified as a young
girl across the way looked at him with big doe eyes.
"Speaking of hard roles, Scott, how's your week been?"
Scott signed and stood up. He spoke slowly, his voice tired. "Hi,
Scott and I'm a mutant punching bag."
Rather then clapping, some people sniggered.
"Now, now, Scott. Have some confidence in yourself."
"It's becoming too hard to have confidence in myself. I have
killed once this week, beaten severely a number of time, called a
dork or some equivalent too many times to count and Jean has left me
twice to be with Logan."
Charles looked sad at his prize pupil's depression.
"Much like the previous speaker, Scott, you have a difficult
People seem to either love or loathe you. It's just that those
loathe you are far more vocal. Remember, Scott, that in many ways you
are the centre of the universe as far as we go. The amount of
timelines you are responsible for is just mind-boggling. You've
to roll with these punches until they find a new punching bag."
Scott sat down, completely unimpressed with the advice he got. Mostly
because it was useless.
Charles looked around at the group. "Maybe we should take a break
a while. Whose turn was it to bring the cookies?"
All eyes turned to Marie/Rogue/Whatever who was busy stuffing her
mouth while looking at Logan who was trying hard to look anywhere
"Marie/Rogue/Whatever, you've not starting bingeing again
Marie/Rogue/Whatever replied sadly. "Ah have. He doesn't love
more." And she burst into tears, spreading bits of chocolate chip
"Now, now Marie/Rogue/Whatever. We've discussed the fact that
is not a substitute. It's not the solution to your problem."
Marie/Rogue/Whatever leapt to the floor, the sides of her mouth
covered in chocolate. "It's that bitch. She's ruined
Marie/Rogue/Whatever got ready to leap at Jean who sat angelically
with her legs crossed, not even bothering to look at the spitfire
that was about to jump her. She knew that the young girl would be
Marie/Rogue/Whatever aimed a large kick at Jean's head but
caught Scott as he got in the way of his princess. So instead of
finding Jean, the kick instead landed squarely in Scott's groin.
(Don't ask how that works physically speaking, it just seems like
right thing to do.)
Marie/Rogue/Whatever was mortified, Jean unworried and Scott balled
up on the floor. "This is getting ridiculous," he said
clenched teeth. His face rapidly drained of colour. "I came here
get away from this type of thing."
Charles looked slightly worried. "Marie/Rogue/Whatever, be
His groin's responsible for at least one major timeline."
Marie/Rogue/Whatever knelt down next to Scott, "Ah'm so sorry
"Don't worry about it." Scott said in a high, high voice.
"Ah can't do anything right." Marie/Rogue/Whatever cried
and she ran
from the room.
Charles almost stood up until he remembered he couldn't.
ought to go after her."
All eyes looked at Logan.
"Forget it, bald man."
Charles shook his head and signed.
"We'll give her some time to collect her self. Why don't
we have some
coffee while we wait for her to cool down."
The group rose up and broke up into smaller groups. They all (except
Jean, who knew that Scott would bring her a cup of whatever she
requested) sauntered over to the small table where the espresso
Some of them spoke to each other while Logan sauntered around at the
back of the queue. One of the others, Toad, came over to him. He
spook in a chirpy English accent. "Listen, We know what
through. You just gotta know that you ain't alone."
Logan nodded quickly just to be rid of the fellow who struck him as
They all stood around drinking their coffee (except for Jean who sat
with Scott, who was tending painfully to her every whim.) After five
or so minutes of idle small talk, Marie/Rogue/Whatever finally came
back in. She looked down at the floor and spoke in her smallest voice
"Ah'm so sorry for my outburst. Ah don't know what came
over me. It
won't happen again."
Charles nodded and smiled at the young girl. The rest of the group
retook their seats and Charles looked around to see a rather eager
Toad looking back at him.
"Toad, you've got something?"
He stood up and shuffled in his large black leather jacket.
and I'm a mutant."
A few people politely clapped, which caused Toad's face to
even further. He looked Logan in the face as he spoke.
"Yeah that's more like it. See, these people are only
clapping to be
polite, not `cause they want to. I'm a henchman, a lackey,
you like to call it. Always have been, always was meant to be. I like
doing the dirty work and being looked down on. It's what I was
created for. Then that bloody movie came out, and it's all gone
He pointed at Logan
"You've always had to deal with that romance thing and
accustomed to it. But that crap's not supposed to happen to me.
suppose to inspire disgust and distaste and instead, those, those
writers, they adore me."
He started to pace nervously.
"They write stories about me being this charming guy and stuff.
write stories all about me and some of you here. They even write
stories where it's," he paused to swallow, "them and me,
great I am and stuff. They make me sound like Brad Pitt with bad
skin. I know for a fact that if I put on red and black face paint,
some of them will be unable to breathe for a week. It's not
to be like that. I just want to, I just want it to go back to the way
it was. I want to be detested again"
Charles looked on sadly as it seemed that Toad might start crying.
Instead he manfully clenched his jaw and sat back down, and looked
straight ahead and into space.
"There, there Toad, we know your pain. It seems that you and
share the curse of being seen as romantic leads."
Toad immediately jumped up and started ranting.
"But I'm not the leading character, I'm part of the
I'm there to make up the numbers. It could have easily been any
character. I hardly even had lines for God's sake."
"Toad, calm yourself. We've talked about insulting the
the damage that can lead to."
Toad sat down once again, a slightly fearful look on his face. He
looked at the roof, almost afraid that one of those self same authors
was looking down on him now, a lusty gleam in their eye.
Charles looked at him for a moment before regarding the blue skinned
She took her cue and stood up gracefully and looked around the room.
Her otherworldly voice seemed small and demure but it still echoed
oddly in the hall. "I'm Mystique and I'm a mutant."
The room applauded her. She held her hands together in front of her
stomach and looked at the floor, looking very shy all of a sudden.
"I feel a little foolish airing my little complaint when so many
you have such serious issues to deal with. Anyway, for my part, I
have little issue with the fanfic people. They're only doing what
comes natural to them, taking an image from a screen or a similar
source and assimilating it to suit their own needs. I do it myself
all the time."
She sighed for a moment before continuing.
"It's just sad that the prominent image of myself at the
that of a clothes shy mannequin. Don't get me wrong, I just love
new figure, I even like the scales, and the wet hair is a very nice
touch but please, can't you give me my dignity. I really do need
clothing. Even a bikini or something small will do. It gets cold
during the winter, you know? Especially in the cave where Erik
refuses to get central heating put in. I don't know about you but
don't think hypothermia is a very dignified death for a super
"Not to mention the fact that I can't do anything around the
without causing a stir. The last time I bent over to pick up a
dropped spoon, Erik almost had a cardiac arrest."
At this Eric blushed slightly and pretended to be looking elsewhere.
Mystique looked up at the roof much like Toad was doing.
"If any of you are listening, I'm just the biggest fan of
Versace is nice too, though a little bit flashy. Thank you in
She smiled weakly at the assembled group and sat down, careful to
cross her legs as Logan, who sat across the way from her, was
starting to bend his head to an odd angle.
Seeing Logan's look, Marie/Rogue/Whatever who sat next to
immediately shoved an elbow into her ribs and leaped up.
"You conniving blue bitch. Don't you even look at him, you
shifting witch. His mine, all mine."
Charles nodded his head and Scott made his way (slowly) over to
Marie/Rogue/Whatever and tried to restrain her without doing himself
any more damage. Charles spoke softly to her.
"Marie/Rogue/Whatever, Marie/Rogue/Whatever, settle down,
Marie/Rogue/Whatever allowed Scott to lead her back to her seat,
which he moved a distance away from Mystique for safety sake.
Marie/Rogue/Whatever gave the rather innocent looking Mystique the
"I've got my eye on you," she said unable to hide the
menace in her
Charles waited as a very stiff Scott made his way back to his own
"How about you Jean? Anything strange?"
Jean looked like a marble statue. She turned her head slightly to
regard the Professor and spoke, her voice saturated with a contented
"Life is great, Professor."
She smiled at him, then smiled at everyone in the room.
"Why's that Jean?" Charles asked, already knowing the
"I've got everything a woman could wish for. A respectable
good home and a man who would, and has, bent over backwards for
She smiled at Scott who tried to smile back but was still in too much
pain to manage anything approaching charming.
She looked away from him, and regarded Logan, her voice got
softer, "And when I get tired of him, there's always that
animal over there who's more then happy to look after my every
She almost licked her lips as she said it. Logan looked
uncomfortable, and Scott continued to grimace. Marie/Rogue/Whatever
on the other hand, exploded into action again, provoked by Jean's
fragrant attraction to her man. She started to run at Jean but Toad
caught her mid way.
"You two-timing tramp! Ah'm gonna rip out your.." she
attention to Toad, who was holding her easily in the air, "hey Ah
never noticed how good you look in this Jacket, Toad. Say, you
have any dog tags you could give me."
"Oh for God's sake, don't start." Toad said as he let
go of her
quickly and rushed back to his own seat. Marie/Rogue/Whatever let her
eyes linger on him as she made her own way back. She stared at him
with the big doe eyes on full beam as she ate her next cookie. Toad
almost disappeared into his jacket.
Jean, seeing that the ruckus was over, merely looked at the professor
again and stated simply.
"As I said, life is good."
Charles nodded slowly. "So it would seem. And last but not least,
Ororo, you're up."
The weather goddess rose majestically and scanned the room regally.
She spoke with as much authority as one could with an accent that
seemed to come on and off of its own accord.
"My request is simple. I want my cartoon voice back. "
Erik almost started laughing at this, which brought him a sharp glare
from the weather witch.
"Sorry," he mumbled.
"That's what I mean. My comic voice had stature and
resonance. When I
spoke, people would down tools just to hear its elegant beauty. But
this movie voice is just very whiney. At the very least, I want my
old voice back. If that much occurred, I wouldn't make an issue
Logan spoke up. "I think your hair is nice."
Hearing this compliment to a female other then her,
Marie/Rogue/Whatever awoke from her newfound infatuation with that
small English guy and let rip into Storm.
"You white wig wearing wench. You think you can steal him out
under me. I'll kill you."
Charles just put his head in his hands and shook it. One thing was
certain about this entire problem airing business, that girl had
issues. He looked at his watch as a number of people tried to
restrain a very energetic Marie/Rogue/Whatever. It was getting on, he
decided. Time to end things.
He spoke over Marie/Rogue/Whatever who was screaming at every female
in the room. "Well folks, this seems as good a time as any to end
the evening. I hope you all find more happiness this week then last
and I look forward to meeting you next week."
With that people began making their way out, like school kids
released from their daily sentence. Charles watched them all go. Once
they were all gone, he slid his hand under the table in front of him
and clicked off the tape recorder. His therapist was going to have a
field day with this.