DISCLAIMERS POSTED IN PART 0
* * *
Wonder of wonders, Frost was in her office, and alone. Rogue let herself
in after only a perfunctory knock, Wolverine still too prominent in her
mind to allow much patience for time-consuming courtesies. Emma looked up
from some paperwork and frowned. "Marie, shouldnt you be in practice?"
Her tone managed to carry the additional message, [And you had best have
a damned good explanation for being here instead.]
"Practice ended early. I managed to drop Beef inside of a minute without
breaking a sweat *or* having to use my gift. Is he the best you can
come up with for combat sessions?"
Emma raised a carefully shaped eyebrow. "I beg your pardon?"
"He walked in and told me to attack him using my gift, he said but
admitted that he had no idea what kind of power I had. And going into a
fight against an opponent of unknown abilities a *known* mutant, I
might add he was so careless I was able to render him horizontal in
less than a minute." [Thank you for the report, Sergeant Logan!] Marie
thought with amusement.
[Right idea, wrong rank,] was his cryptic response.
Frost blinked in astonishment.
Marie sensed an advantage and plunged ahead. "You need an experienced
combat instructor for the initial assessment at least, even if you let
someone else take over for helping with the basics or sparring matches.
Please dont tell me that *Beef* was the best fighter youve got."
Self-possession regained, Frost gave Rogue an appropriately chilly gaze.
"Sparring matches between the students increase *both* your skills. He
needs more practice in facing unusual powers, and you seem to need
practice in using *yours* in a combat situation."
Marie sighed. "In case youve forgotten your little stroll through my
head, every time I use my powers I get another person jostling for room
up *here*," tapping her temple meaningfully. "And in case you missed the
point of my having floored Beef, I already *have* practice in a combat
situation just without treating my power as the first option to go
for." A pause to let that sink in, and then the strike. "*Dont* you have
a genuine combat instructor? Or someone to teach self defense that
doesnt resort to using our mutations?"
Emma frowned. Answer enough.
[Okay, she may be going for the bait. Lets try to set the hook...] Rogue
smiled, giving Emma an appropriately vixenish gaze. "How would you like
the chance to hire someone with experience, not just in giving
self-defense lessons, but in giving them to mutants? Working both with
and without using their powers?"
There was a flicker of interest in Frosts eyes, before her expression
turned coolly impassive again. "And you just *happen* to know of just
such a person, who just *happens* to be seeking employment."
Marie didnt lose her smile. "Yes I do. And he *has* a job, but he was
getting ready to leave it."
Again the delicately arched eyebrow. "And he would just happen to be
delighted to come here and work for me."
Oh yes." She didnt even need to ask him her Subliminal Logan had been
in favor of the plan ever since it occurred to her.
"And your motivation in setting this up would be?"
Rogue hesitated, before, "Ill answer that, if youll honestly answer one
question for me... What are you expecting your students to get into that
you teach them how to fight with their mutations almost from the first,
rather than simply how to use and control their powers?"
Frost raised an eyebrow. "Probably the same situations Xavier was clearly
training his students for, if hes got a self-defense instructor on his
Marie frowned. The fact that Xaviers school also doubled as the training
ground for would-be mutant superheroes was something she was unwilling to
discuss with Emma Frost. But arguing that Emma seemed to have neatly
sidestepped her question could well have brought the X-Men up, so she let
the point drop. "My motivation would be that the self-defense instructor
happens to be someone I want to stay close to someone whos already
said hes willing to move to follow me, here or to Mississippi."
Emma raised an eyebrow. "This someone wouldnt happen to be the same
someone you were practicing using your control on, would it?"
[Shed know that as soon as she saw him shes seen enough of my
memories.] Which didnt stop Subliminal Wolvie from growling in
annoyance. "Yes, it would."
Emma raised the other eyebrow. "So youre asking me to hire someone as an
instructor with the full knowledge that he would intend to carry on an
affair with one of my students?"
Marie sensed that telling Frost shed leave the school if Logan werent
allowed to come there would come across as a petty threat, a touch of
adolescent drama. (Besides, if she *had* to leave it was better not to
forewarn the enemy that she might be doing so.) So instead she said,
"Hes worth having here, and in any case he and I have *been* having an
Frost leaned back in her chair. "At your age, a relationship with a grown
man isnt particularly healthy. And if you *are* so important to one
another, then surely the two of you can wait a few years until youre
Marie set her jaw. Protesting her own maturity was not the path of wisdom
nor was leaping across the desk to grab that slender white throat.
[Hell of an idea, though,] Inner Wolvie muttered. "Hes been the only one
I could practice my control on safely, and hes been taking care of me
besides." Sensing a genuinely useful line of attack, she added, "And
given the fighting skills Beef showed earlier or rather, his lack
thereof if you want your students to have the best training possible,
you owe it to them to get a better combat instructor."
Emma frowned. "Assuming that we really *needed* to hire a better combat
instructor, surely I could find one elsewhere who would be able to keep
his hands off the female students?"
"How many could you find that were not only willing to train mutants, but
had actual experience in working with armed and unarmed combat *and*
mutant powers? And he does fine at keeping his hands off the other
students just me."
Emma regarded the girl steadily. "Just how do you expect me to respond to
this... offer of yours?"
"By agreeing to at least give him a chance. Talk to him, see his moves
and how well he can teach them to others, satisfy yourself that hes what
Allowing a hint of her exasperation to show, "And if I do so? Do you
expect me to sit back and allow the two of you to carry out your liaison
on the grounds of my respectable school?"
"As if a school training mutants was all that respectable," Marie
groused, before belatedly realizing that the Rogue wasnt the most
diplomatic of personalities to use for this discussion. "Were used to
being discreet. We wouldnt let it become a scandal, or expect you to let
us to move in together or anything like that..." A pause, before adding
shrewdly, "Youre a telepath. Youll be able to keep an eye on him, to
*know* that hes not doing anything with any of the other students that
he shouldnt be."
Setting her mouth in a distasteful line, "Very well. I will interview
this man and see if he is anything like youve claimed. But I make no
promises to hire him..."
Marie smiled. "Thats good enough." She fully expected Logan to dazzle
Frosty and if he didnt, well, at least hed be *here* making it
easier to formulate Plans B or C if necessary...
* * *
That's all for now, folks! More of *something* on the way... though I
make no promises as to which of my stories will be the next to be added
She Whose Quotations Are Both Exotic and Appropriate
Keeper of his Deadly Startle Reflexes, Guardian and Examiner of the
Adamantium-Revealing X-Rays, and Official Listener for the Occasional
"Getting fired is the best thing that could happen to any of us. That
way, we'd quit treading water and do something with our lives."
-- Tyler Durden, _Fight Club,_ by Chuck Palahniuk
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