Title: Career Choices
Disclaimer: Not mine. Someone else's. Except for Mike. He's mine.
Summary: A boy's parents have misunderstood the meaning for Xavier's
School for the Gifted.
Distribution: Reading is one thing, but actually wanting it.....?
Timeline: This takes place about six years before the movie
Feedback: I never give any, so I don't expect any.
Special thanks to Henrietta, who is my fantastic beta reader, altough
she's getting tired of hearing about the X-Men, especially Scott ;-)
I'm in a car, driving with my parents to a place called "Xavier's
School for the Gifted". My dad just stopped the car at the gate to
this huge mansion ahead, and talking to someone in one of those
voice-box-thingies by the gate. My mom's sitting in the passenger's
seat, looking at some brochure. They're both determined to put me in
here, altough if anyone asked me, I'd be much happier in my old
See, that's the funny thing with parents. They expect you to bring
home straight A's, do your homework, and be the captain of the
football team and all that stuff. Okay, I've done that. But they're
still convinced I could do better, and that I still need a better
education. Just once I wish they wouldn't expect anything from me and
that I could go surfing or playing volleyball with my friends. And my
family's loaded with money, so they'll stop at nothing to make me the
future rocket-scientist. Plus I'm the only child, and that makes me
the one they're putting all their energy on. Hey, caring for your
child is fine, but you can take it too far.
Anyhoo, the gate has opened and my dad's driving the car up the road
to the entrance to the mansion. There's a man with red shades waiting
for us. When we were on the plane, my mom told dad we didn't need to
call first to let them know we were coming to visit. "It's a school,
not a lawyer's office, dear" she had said with that awful snob tone
voice I hate. Don't get me wrong, I love my mom, but she's as fake as
her acryl nails.
The man in the shades openes the car door for my mom. We have one of
those big, black cars that screams "I'm owned by very rich people". I
get out from the backseat and take a look around. The front yard's
huge, I can't even see the gate anymore. I turn to take a better look
at the mansion. Can I just say.....Wow.
"I'm Scott Summers. Can I help you, Mrs...?"
"Thorp. Julia Thorp, and this is my husband, Adam. We're here to see
Professor Xavier about our son" she turns to look at me, I take that
as a cue to stand by her side. "This is Michael, Michael, say hello
I shake his hand. "Hey, Mr. Summers. And it's Mike" I don't need to
see to see my mom's face to know she's rolling her eyes. Mr. Summers
is smiling at me, though.
"Nice to meet you, Mike. You can call me Scott" then he turns back to
my mom and dad. "If you'll come with me, I'll show you to Professor
The mansion looks even more posh on the inside. I can see my mom's
trying to put pricetags on everything.
We finally reach the Professor's office. I assume the bald guy behind
the desk is the Professor. He seems like a nice guy. He smiles at me,
as if he knows me already. Sorta creepy.
"Good afternoon, Mr. and Mrs. Thorp. How can I be of service?" he
asks, leaning a little against his desk.
"We'd like to enroll our son here. We're looking for a place for him
to complete his education that would better serve him. We are away on
business most of our time, so we have decided that Michael should go
to a private boarding school."
What? We? Who's we? Where was I?
I couldn't care less about going to a boarding school. I couldn't
less about going to school, period. I want to live my own life for a
change. But if there's a surfing school, sign me up.
The Professor is looking at me again. Like he knows what I'm thinking
or something. Hey, if you can really read my mind, would you mind
convincing my parents to give me some space? ...Now he smiles again
and nods discreetly. Did I mention this was starting to get really
"Scott, would you mind giving young Mr. Thorp a small tour of the
mansion? I think I need to talk with his parents privately."
Scott nods and opens the door for me.
"Why do you wear those inside the house?" I ask Scott and point at
shades when we're walking in the hall.
"It's my mutation. The shades stop the beams that shoot out from my
"You're a mutant? Cool!"
He stops and stares at me for a moment. "You're not?"
"No. Just an everyday human. It's so boring you wouldn't believe. I
wouldn't tell my parents that you're a mutant, though. My mom'd have
heart attack. Are there others?"
"Mutants? Everyone here is a mutant. That's what this school is all
about, we take in mutants and help them to control their powers. To
the outside world, this is just a normal boarding school for gifted
"Oh. So, gifted, read: mutant. Well, I guess that's better for
everyone. The Friends of Humanity would probably be knocking on your
door if they'd know what kind of people live here."
"Yeah. We try to keep as low profile as possible."
"Well, don't worry, your secret's safe with me."
"Um... I'm sorry to say this, but I don't think the Professor will
enroll you to our school. That's probably the reason he wanted to
to your parents alone" Scott says.
"I wasn't really looking forward to enrolling, anyway" I say, and
Scott gives me a look. "Don't get me wrong, this looks like a great
place and all, but I'm not interested in being a student of any kind
at the moment. I'd just like to be me for a while, hang out with my
friends and stuff."
"Your parents are giving you a hard time, aren't they?" he asks.
"That's an understatement. They don't seem to understand that A is as
high as the scale will go."
"I've been there, too."
"How'd you cope?"
"I became a mutant."
That caught him off-guard. "Huh?"
"Then what happened? After you became a mutant?"
"I ran away from home. I stayed on the streets for two months, afraid
to open my eyes because I was afraid I would kill someone. Then the
Professor came along, and here I am."
"He seems like a good guy."
"That he is. He's helped a lot of people."
So we're walking in the hall, talking about mutants and mutations and
how dorky that jack-ass Senator Kelly is (though he didn't use those
exact words), and then we come to a classroom. There are about 20
students there, and their teacher is a red-headed woman who's
them biology. When she sees Scott, she gives him this blushed
uch-longer smile. I notice a diamond ring on her left hand, and that
Scott is staring at her. Romance at Mutant High.
"Pretty. Yours?" I couldn't resist. Scott gives me a smug grin.
"Yeah. Stay away from my girl, mister."
I laugh. I couldn't really figure out why people were so freaked out
by mutants. These guys are fun.
And then we get to the not-so-fun people. My parents. They're just
coming out of Xavier's office, and my mom looks really pissed.
"Come on, Michael. We're leaving. They think you're not good enough
for them" mom says, rather loudly. Tact, mom. Look it up.
"I'm coming. It was nice to meet you, Scott. Good luck with your
"Thanks" he gives me a brochure, like the one mom was reading when we
came. "My email address is on the last page. Drop me a line sometime
to let me know how you're doing."
"I will. Thanks."
"Coming!" sheesh. You think there might be a chance I'm adopted?
When I reach the car, I realize there's something I have to do before
I go. "I'll be right back. I left my jacket."
"Don't take too long" mom's really pissed. I don't think she ever had
anyone turn down her money. She didn't even notice I didn't take a
jacket at all.
So I go back inside and knock on Professor Xavier's door.
"Just wanted to thank you for turning me down. I'll be much better
"You're mother seems very..." I see the professor mentally groping
"She seems like she's overdosed on coffee, thinks she's the center of
the world, and that her money gets her everything she wants. And I
totally agree, someone should put her on Prozac."
"Not quite the words I'd use."
"But accurate. And sorry I called you creepy."
Xavier smiles. "Scott told you I was a telepath?"
"No, I figured it out on my own. You've got a great place here, I'm
starting to wish I was a mutant. And if for no other reason, than to
shock my mom a bit."
He laughs at that. "You're a very special young man, mutant or not. I
wish there were more people like you."
"There are, but they've probably got mom's like mine too. Anyway,
got to go" I step up to his desk and shake his hand.
"It was very nice to meet you, Michael. I hope you choose something
more productive than a surfing school" he says, and smiles again.
"I'll give it some serious thought. It was very nice to meet you,
Five years later, I'm standing at the front yard of Xavier's School
for the Gifted. I'm carrying a big bag with me.
No, I'm still not a mutant. But I am a teacher. I took Xavier's
five years ago, and I now am the proud owner of a teaching
certificate. Scott told me the kids were probably going to give me a
hard time, given my lack of mutations. Let them try. I'm going to
teach these kids math even if it kills me. That's my stubborn streak.
Guess I'm not adopted. As I'm walking down the halls, I see a girl
running down the hall towards her dorm room. Then there's a boy,
chasing her. The girl goes right through her solid wood door.
"Katherine Pryde, you give me back that disk or I'll freeze your
"How you gonna get in here, Popsicle?"
"I've told you not to call me that!"
"And do I ever listen?"
"Come on, Kitty! I need that disk, it's got my homework on it!"
"I should know, I put them there!"
"And I'm forever grateful. Please give it back. I need it before the
new math teacher shows up."
"Did I hear someone calling for me?" I finally say. The boy looks at
"I... Um... "
"You had the girl do your homework, huh? If you want a girl's
attention, there are easier ways. You could just ask her out" I hear
the girl snickering inside her room. "Okay, you do that homework by
tomorrow. Now you can show me to my room and then the classroom. I've
got some great quizzes for you guys."
They both groan, then the boy grabs my bag.
Oh, this job's gonna be fun.