Oh, The Irony
By Amy Denton
Please see Part 0 for relevant disclaimer info and notes.
Micah was silent most of the way to Professor Xavier's office. Despite
Mr. Wagner's advice, he knew the Professor would take one look at him
and out he would go. The only question was go where? He had nowhere
else to go. Tears started to roll down his cheeks the closer he came to
Professor Xavier's office.
Scott felt Micah's shoulders start to shake under his hand. He sighed,
stopped and crouched down in front of Micah again. What ever Professor
Xavier came up with in the way of punishment would be nothing compared
to what Micah was doing to himself.
"Why'd you do it?"
"I....I was afraid. Jonathan said...he said he knew where I lived and
that if I didn't do what he asked....he would get me thrown out of
here. Looks like he did."
Scott shook his head. Micah hadn't spent a lot of time on the streets
but he'd been there long enough to know he didn't want to go back for
ANY reason. Scott had known terror like that and knew what it could do
to a person.
"Micah, Professor Xavier is not going to throw you out."
"He's not?" Micah's face lit up.
"No, but that doesn't mean you're not in serious trouble."
Micah nodded. "And?
"We'll discuss that with Professor Xavier."
Micah brushed away the tears. "I understand."
Waiting for them in Professor Xavier's office were the Professor, Jean
"Have a seat, Micah." Professor Xavier said to him.
Micah sat and waited, his eyes on the floor.
Scott took a seat next to Jean and whispered to her "Who's with Bobby?"
"Hank." she whispered back.
"Micah, look at me please." Professor Xavier said.
Micah raised his tearstained face to look at Professor Xavier, his
entire frame trembling with fear.
Professor Xavier sighed. He did not like seeing his students quaking in
fear, when he did, he saw it as a personal failure.
"Micah, child. What possessed you to put yourself and Bobby in such
"Jonathan said he knew where I was and if I didn't want to end up back
with him, that I would do what he said."
Professor Xavier frowned and looked over Micah's head at Scott. //How
did this 'Jonathan' discovered where Micah was?//
Scott shook his head. //I have no idea. Micah was a runaway as far as I
"When did he tell you this?" Professor Xavier asked Micah.
"A couple of days ago. He called and said I'd been misbehavin' again,
that I left without tellin' him and that if I wanted to stay, I had to
do what he said." Micah looked over at Scott, then back at Professor
Xavier. "I wanted to tell you, both of you but I couldn't. I thought
you'd throw me out if you knew what I'd done." His head dropped and the
sobbing started anew.
Another round of glances were exchanged, then Professor Xavier said to
Scott "The phone records will need to be studied, see where 'Jonathan'
called from. And then, we'll be speaking with the police."
"You've done so much for me." Micah said, through his tears. "I didn't
want to help him but I didn't know what else to do." He looked up at
Professor Xavier. "I'll do whatever you want me to do. I'll take
whatever punishment you give me, just don't throw me out, please!"
Logan snorted and got whacked by Jean.
"What was Jonathan after?" Professor Xavier asked.
"Money, what else?"
"And how did he know that Bobby's family had money?"
More tears flowed down Micah's cheeks. "He didn't. I...I told him. He
told me to pick someone from a family with a lot of money and he
wouldn't believe me when I said half the kids here didn't have a
family. So, I picked Bobby."
Scott closed his eyes and shook his head.
"I know he goes off with you guys sometimes, so I figured he could
handle whatever Jonathan might throw at him. He said he wasn't goin' do
anything to Bobby. Just hold on t' him long enough to get some money
outta his folks, a coupla of days at the most. I'd have told Jonathan
t' go t' Hell, ifIn I thought he'd hurt Bobby. But when Bobby didn't
show for dinner and then you guys disappeared and I heard the jet, I
knew I'd screwed up big time but I couldn't tell anyone, no one would
believe me. No one ever has."
"Is that why you came down to the Med-Lab last night? To make sure
Bobby was okay?" Jean asked.
Micah nodded. "I've seen dead bodies before and I wanted to make sure
Bobby....Bobby wasn't...." He couldn't bring himself to finish the
sentence and buried his face in his hands.
Jean got up from her seat and took Micah in her arms, letting him cry
himself out. When his sobs finally trailed off, Jean handed him a
handkerchief Professor Xavier passed to her.
"It's my fault." Micah whispered, his throat raw from crying. "I
shoulda told Jonathan to drop dead but I couldn't and now..."
Professor Xavier shook his head in disbelief. The cruelty adults
subjected children to never failed to stun him. He would take great
pleasure in making sure 'Jonathan' was put away for a very long time.
"Micah, I want you to listen to me very carefully." Professor Xavier
said to him. "You've done a terrible thing and what's worse, you tried
to cover it up. I am disappointed in your lack of judgment. I know you
haven't been here long but it's been long enough to know that you can
talk to anyone at anytime."
"Because you showed such poor judgment, you will be punished but you
will not be 'thrown out'."
"Whatever you say, Professor Xavier." Micah whispered.
"To begin with, you will go down to the Med-Lab with Dr. Grey and
apologize to Bobby. Then, you will come back up here and we are going
to talk. You will be assigned extra chores and your privileges will be
suspended for two weeks. Do you understand?"
Micah nodded. He was happy just being allowed to stay.
//We can go now, if you want.// Jean looked at Professor Xavier.
Jean stood and took Micah's hand. "Come on, Bobby will be thrilled to
have someone younger than 25 visit."
The two reached the office door before Micah turned and looked back the
"Thank you, Professor Xavier." he said, his heart a little lighter then
when he came in.
"I am going to find that bastard and rip his head off!" Logan growled.
*At least he waited for Jean to leave. She would not appreciate his
sentiments even if she agreed with them* Scott thought.
"Logan, brute force is not going to solve this problem." Professor
Xavier said to Logan.
"Why not? No head, no problem." Logan said.
Scott chuckled and said "Never thought I'd say this but I agree with
Logan, in theory, at least."
Logan eyed Scott for a moment and a smile, almost, curved across his
"Gentlemen, I appreciate that you want to see this man punished and,
personally, I agree with you. However, ripping the man's head off is
not going to help Micah nor is it going to deter others who are doing
the exact same thing to children like Micah. As tempting as it is to
met out our own punishment, once we find this man, we must hand him
over to the authorities." Professor Xavier's voice was firm and brooked
Logan snorted, stood up and said "If ya' think I'm gonna let this piece
of scum get away with terrorizin' Rogue and the others, ya' nuts!" He
stomped from the room, slamming the office door behind him.
"He took that well, don't you think?" Scott asked Professor Xavier.
"At least he opened the door on his way out and didn't rip it from its
hinges." Professor Xavier replied.
"Now? Now, we find this *Jonathan* and make sure he never terrorizes
another child ever again."
"No, Bobby, the speed of light is not how fast it takes Rogue to get
from her room to the bathroom. And I'm telling her you said that." Dr.
Hank McCoy said to Bobby. Like Jean, Hank was amazed at Bobby's quick
Bobby smiled. "She'll never believe you."
"You think? You want to place a small wager on that?"
Before Bobby could answer, the doors to the Med-Lab slid open and in
walked Jean and Micah.
"I heard you through the door, Hank. You should be ashamed of yourself,
contributing to the delinquency of a minor." Jean told him.
"Only if he had agreed, which he didn't." Hank responded. "Good
evening, Micah. Come to visit Bobby?"
Micah nodded. "I have something to tell him."
"Go on then, before he goes to sleep."
Micah nodded again and, slowly, approached Bobby's bed.
Bobby propped himself up on one elbow and offered a smile to Micah. "I
keep being told that you keep comin' around. What, you forgot your
homework and need a good excuse?"
Micah shook his head, then looked back at Jean. She nodded her head.
Micah took a deep breath and started. "I'm the reason you're here. The
errand I wanted you to do wasn't an errand. Jonathan wanted a rich kid
to kidnap and told me to pick one and when I couldn't think of anyone I
thought of you and then you went off and got cold and sick and now
you're here and it's all my fault and I'll understand ifn you don't
want to talk to me again I didn't think he was going to hurt you or I
woulda told him to drop dead I just didn't think and then you got hurt
and....I'm sorry, please forgive me." The longer he talked, the faster
the words came until he just ran out of breath. He looked up at Bobby
Bobby blinked but said nothing, his brain still trying to process what
Micah had told him. 'Rich kid'? Jonathan? He'd been lured? By Micah?
"If you needed money, all you had to do was ask." Bobby finally said.
Micah hung his head. "I'm sorry. I...I didn't think...Please don't hate
Bobby stared at Micah for a long time before he laid down and rolled
over on his side away from Micah. Micah, panic stricken, looked back at
Jean. Jean motioned for him to come over to her.
"He hates me." Micah said to her, trying to keep the tears out of his
"No, he doesn't but he's confused and upset and that's going to take
some time to overcome." Jean told him. "Can you honestly blame him?"
"No ma'am." Micah shook his head. "I should go see Professor Xavier
"Okay, he'll be waiting for you."
Micah nodded and left the Med-Lab, his feet dragging on the floor.
Hank looked at Jean and said "Mind filling me in?"
"It's a long story. After he's asleep, we can talk." Jean replied,
nodding in the direction of Bobby.
Hank caught her meaning and nodded. He walked over to Bobby's bed and
checked on the teenager. Bobby's eyes were closed and his breathing was
slow and steady. If he was only acting like he was asleep, he certainly
fooled Hank, who moved away from the bed.
But Bobby was not asleep, far from it. After Hank walked away and he
heard the adults move to another part of the lab, he opened his eyes
and rolled onto his back. How could he sleep after hearing Micah's
confession? The kid had nearly gotten him killed!
And for what?! Money? Was that all Micah saw when he looked at Bobby?
After all Bobby had done with Micah and for him?
Bobby closed his eyes for a moment, the hopeful look on Micah's face
burned into his memory. How could Micah expect forgiveness from him so
easily? Did Micah think that a simple apology was going to make up for
what he had put Bobby through? What about the others? Like Rogue? She'd
have a fit if she ever found out.
Bobby closed his eyes again and tried to relax. Micah was a kid from
the wrong side of the tracks. He didn't know what trouble he would be
causing. He'd seemed sincere.
Nothin' doing. Try as he might, Bobby could not let go of the anger
welling up inside. Because of that kid, he was nearly died a very
unpleasant death. Now, he was stuck down in the Med-Lab for
who-knows-how-long, eating warm Jell-O and the occasional bowl of soup
because his stomach couldn't handle anything else. He'd have a mountain
of make-up work to face when he got back to class and, most
importantly, he was forced to stay away from Rogue. He couldn't see her
for more than a few hours a day!
Just what the Hell had Micah been thinking!?
"He wasn't thinking. He was reacting." Jean said near Bobby's ear. He
looked over to his left and saw Jean standing there, alone.
"Hank went to get dinner." She answered his unspoken question. "He'll
"You want to talk about it?"
"The last time you said that, that's what started all this." Bobby
said, a trace of irritation in his words.
Jean shrugged and said "Be angry. I would be but don't let it eat you
up. For what it's worth, Micah is sincere in his apology and he is
Jean did not have a response to that, so, she said "I will be over at
my desk if you need anything."
Bobby watched her go, then closed his eyes and tried to sleep but sleep
was a long time in coming. First, he had to calm down enough to sleep
and that took a very, very long time.
Rogue heard the whispers at breakfast the next morning. In a school as
small as The Xavier School nothing stayed a secret for long. After
breakfast and before she went to her first class of the day, she went
to the one person she hoped could tell her the truth.
The doors to the Med-Lab slid open and Hank greeted her. She returned
the greeting and went over to Bobby's bed. He was sitting up, eating
breakfast, or at least what passed for breakfast for a person in his
Rogue made a face when she saw it.
"Don't laugh too hard. It's the first solid thing I've had to eat in
days." Bobby told her. He saw the look on her face, sighed and set the
spoon down. "You've heard."
"Then it's true? Micah's the one who put you here?" she asked.
He nodded. "Says he did it 'cause his...guardian threatened to take him
away if he didn't get some money for him."
Rogue scowled. "That's no excuse."
"No, it's not."
"You don't seem to upset."
"Should've seen me yesterday when he told me. I was mad then and I'm
mad now but I can't do a whole lot down here, can I?"
"I'll think of something." Rogue said. She turned on her heel and made
for the doors.
Hank stepped in front of the doors and stared down at her. "Rogue, you
will leave Micah alone or you will be in just as much trouble as he
Rogue glared him. "And? He nearly got Bobby killed! Doesn't that matter
Hank winced. "Lower your voice, I can hear just fine. Yes, it does
matter and it is being handled by the adults. Don't get in the middle
of it. Understand?"
Rogue did not reply.
*Lord, save me from overly emotional teenagers.* "Since you have such
problems with this, why don't you go speak to Professor Xavier? His is
the final decision." Hank suggested.
"I can't do anything with you standing in front of the door." she
Hank quirked an eyebrow, then stepped to the side. Rogue stalked out of
the Med-Lab and disappeared into the elevator, hopefully on her way to
see Professor Xavier.
Bobby watched the whole discussion with undisguised interest. He was
still mad at Micah but less so, now that he had seen how upset Rogue
was. Maybe he *had* been a little too hard on Micah. Maybe not.
Hank came over and surveyed Bobby's progress with breakfast. He frowned
at the not-even-half-eaten bowl.
"Keep eating. When Dr. Grey comes in, I want to tell her something
positive." Hank told Bobby.
"Okay, I positively hate oatmeal." Bobby replied.
"Cute. You want to try that one on Dr. Grey?"
Bobby frowned but picked up the spoon and dug in.
Rogue's irritation at Micah lasted all the way to Professor Xavier's
office door. With her books in one hand, she raised her hand to knock
but couldn't. What if the Professor got annoyed at her? What if he said
it was none of her business about what would happen to Micah? What
"Rogue," Professor Xavier said through the half-closed door, "there's
only a couple of minutes before class starts. What do you need?"
"I need to know what's going to happen to Micah." she said, pushing
open the door and walking into the Professor's office.
Professor Xavier was at the moveable chalkboard writing down a physics
equation when she came in. He stopped writing and came over to her.
"Why? Is it your intention to met out your own punishment?" he asked.
Rogue could not answer right away, not with Professor Xavier looking at
her in that *way* of his. She looked away.
"He nearly killed Bobby." she said, holding on to the anger that had
propelled her into his office.
"Yes, he did. He knows that and he will be punished for it." Professor
Xavier replied, calmly.
"And?" she demanded.
"You don't know about the punishments that I can give out. Pray you
never do." Professor Xavier replied with a tight smile.
Professor Xavier held up a hand to forestall any further statements,
then said "Before you came here and learned about your powers, didn't
you do things that you wished you hadn't?"
Rogue flushed, thinking back on the three boys she had nearly killed
simply by kissing them. "Those were accidents. I didn't mean to...it's
not the same!"
"Yes and no. What Micah did was not accidental but he did it out of
fear and fear, as I'm sure you've discovered, is a very powerful
motivator. What made you leave your family?'
"I was afraid..." she stopped and looked at Professor Xavier. "It's not
Professor Xavier did not disagree with her, instead he said "I want you
to think on this today during school. If you were in Micah's position
and you were threatened with the only place you ever called home being
taken away, what would you do?"
Rogue looked down into Professor Xavier's pale blue eyes and absolutely
hated him for being right.
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]