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Defying Gravity (4/?)

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  • xandriaclay
    What with the few recent posts from new authors, I thought I d quit being a chicken and give it a go myself *g* Universe: Very AU, very very AU Romance:
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 28, 2002
      What with the few recent posts from new authors, I thought I'd quit
      being a chicken and give it a go myself *g*

      Universe: Very AU, very very AU

      Romance: Scott/Jean, Logan/?, John/?

      Summary: X-men with different powers, a new mutant joins Mutant High,
      Scott falls for Jean, and then he gets captured..

      Website: I got bored and made one, it's got all the chapters and a
      few pictures for each, my manips, and it will have other stuff, but I
      haven't had the time to put it up yet -

      Archiving: Of course, tell me though =0)

      Feedback: Yes please. Feedback's great, Criticism's helpful (be as
      harsh as you want) and flames are well, funny. Send it to

      Rating: Eh, something along the lines of PG-13, couple swear words,
      future violence, no graphic sex though.

      Disclaimer: X-men characters aren't mine, and I am SO not making any
      money out of this.

      Author's notes: You're gonna need to read these.
      I wanted to do something I haven't read before, just for fun, so I've
      switched all their gifts, Wolverine and Rogue are both at the mansion
      already, so's Hank 'cause I love him to bits, BUT Jean hasn't
      Here are the alterations:
      Scott - Telekinetic/telepathic. Since his power (in the movie at
      least) was stronger than Jeans, his abilities are stronger than
      Jean's were in the movie. Also, he codename's just Cyke, he's an old
      prankster, that'll be explained s'more later.

      Jean - Regenerative/healing capabilities. I thought this would
      kind've..go, since she's a doctor. She doesn't have Logan's claws, so
      I gave her a limited ability to heal others so she wouldn't be
      completely useless *g*

      Ororo - Now called Shadowcat, she has the ability to phase (Kitty's
      old power) She was a thief in Cairo so phazing would help her.

      Wolverine - Has Rogue's poison skin. The people who experimented on
      him before wanted to make him an untouchable fighting machine, so he
      still has the claws and the adamantium lined skeleton.

      Xavier - I left him the same. Just because.

      Jubilee - Icegirl. She has Bobby's powers.

      Bobby - Has Scott's optic blasts, but he can control them because he
      wasn't brain damaged. No glasses for Bobby! No codename as of yet.

      Rogue - Power to control the weather. She's also sweet and innocent
      Rogue from the movies, with the added confidence of her new white
      streaks, not the badass gothic chick from the comics.

      St.John - Jubilee's plasma

      Onward Ho...

      Chapter One - Westminster to Westchester

      I always wanted to be a rebel.

      I always wanted to be one of those girls who didn't care what people
      thought of her, the one with the nose rings and tongue piercing, who
      did exactly the opposite of what her parents told her because they
      were strict and unfair and she wanted to party. I always wanted to
      defy conformity and challenge society's expectations.

      But I never did. Why? I didn't have anything to rebel against. I
      didn't want my tongue pierced; I'm a chocoholic, it'd destroy my
      taste buds, I'd loose all pleasure in consuming the very substance
      that keeps me alive! My parents weren't strict, my mum was my best
      friend; I didn't want her to worry about me. I called her every few
      hours if I was out to tell her I hadn't yet been raped and pillaged,
      but that there were some promising looking construction workers up
      the road, and I'd call her later if she had a grandchild on the way.
      I was allowed to 'party' as long as I told 'em where I was. And
      defying conformity, well...the only conformity I witnessed in London,
      in a democratic nation, was fashion. And I like clothes (ones that
      aren't ripped and torn and hang off me like a sack of potatoes; I've
      got hips. I'll bloody well use 'em.) Society expected me to be
      polite, to respect my elders, to go to school and get good grades,
      all of which I planned to do anyway so there wasn't much point in
      challenging those views, now was there?

      But now, I was rebelling. Hell, this was dramatic. They wanted to
      send me to some high society prep school for mutated youngsters?
      Let 'em. But I was gonna sit on the roof till they sent me home.
      Yup. Ya see, I've been blessed with the power to float aimlessly in
      the wind like an old paper bag, I imagine I could whip into peoples
      faces and toss myself against the walls of an alley if I put my mind
      to it. I'd spent two days lighter than air, being tossed around right
      over the Thames in the not-so-warm-but-warmer-than-regular-air
      currents as if caught in a rip tide before Xavier came to collect me.
      God knows how many times I flashed the unsuspecting public below -
      wearing a summer dress had been a baaad idea that day. Anyway, Xavier
      finally decided to show up, and told me how to get myself out of my
      predicament. The dude has some power in his bald lil head that allows
      him to speak directly into other people's minds. (I'm really more
      respectful to my elders, but I'm being rebellious now, remember?) He
      told me to think of weight, to imagine I was carrying barbells and
      strapped to huge sacks of sand or the like. I thought of being stuck
      in the Fat Bastard suit from Austin Powers, it worked. I was lucky
      enough to be floating over a bridge at the time, my dress would've
      become see through had I gotten drenched in the stinking, polluted
      river water.

      Next I knew I was being flown out to America. Nope, not Disney, some
      place in New York. Not even the cool New York with the Statue of
      Liberty and the Empire State Building, Xavier's was a mansion in
      Westchester. Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters. Oh yeah, bub,
      gifted. As in horrendously mutated at birth to be born with the
      extraordinary powers to save the world! Or not. I dunno really, I
      haven't met any of the other pupils yet. It'd be cool though, eh?

      My parents left the morning of Wednesday, August 5th after arriving
      only Tuesday at noon. We'd stayed in a hotel for the night because I
      refused to go in the mansion. I didn't want to stay there alone. I
      had no friends at Westchester, and hadn't been able to say goodbye to
      my old ones. I hadn't had time to say goodbye to extended family! I'd
      packed my clothes, and various miscellanies from my room, but no
      posters or furniture. My room was my room, I felt lost without a
      place to call my own. And apart from material items and people I'd
      probably keep in touch with through e-mail so the relationships
      wouldn't be lost, I was more worried about the fact that I'd never
      been away from my Mum for more than a fortnight. I'd spent two weeks
      in France with a friend and her family, but that was all! How could I
      be away from her until Christmas?! That possibility alone made me
      break down, I was crying so hard I thought I might be sick. I wanted
      my Mum; I had this weird ache inside. I couldn't go crying to Xavier
      when I needed a hug, he was too proper. He was a nice guy, I hate to
      admit because I DON'T want to live with him, but he had kind eyes and
      wanted to help me..

      I just couldn't imagine him comforting me when I cried.

      The wind blew at me peacefully; it was hard to stay angry. Maybe I'd
      drop the facade, as I was alone, until they came to make me go to
      class, or just inside the house. It was easier to forget for a while
      and inhale the cool breeze and gaze at the moon: a dancing orb on a
      midnight blue backdrop of twinkling stars and endless sky. There was
      a lake not too far off, with a small dock and boathouse. The moon
      reflected off gently rippling water dreamily; it was almost surreal.
      This was definitely my favorite place at Westchester, and I hadn't
      even been inside yet!

      A sudden cloud of fog swept over my romantic daydream and left me
      sitting in near-complete darkness on the cold tiles of the estate's
      roof. Overhead, I could hear a plane approaching; there was an
      airport nearby? The airports in London were on the outskirts of the
      town; the only planes I heard were tiny and far off. This one was
      quickly coming closer. I wished the fog would clear so I could see
      it - then suddenly my wish came true.

      It was almost like something from a nightmare. You're wondering
      around in pitch black darkness, your eyes searching for any sign of
      light and that monster, or axe murderer you know is stalking you,
      then you turn and it's eyes are glinting back at you, an inch from
      your nose. A gigantic plane, black with a pointed nose, was staring
      me in the face, like a great hornet waiting to sting. I hadn't heard
      the basketball court open to reveal the hidden hangar below it, yet
      this was the plane's destination. It was gently landing, and I
      watched it's decent. It looked like one of those fancy stealth planes
      they use in spy movies. I could hear the engines whirring and
      gradually winding down as the landing gear touched the hangar's base.
      The basketball court gently closed in after it, and in a matter of
      minutes, my romantic scene reappeared as if nothing had happened.
      Guess there's more to Xavier's little institute that I thought..


      Two hours after the plane, and four from when I'd first fled to the
      roof, I'd started once again to cry my eyes out. It was cold, and the
      calm wind that had been blowing before had turned harsh and bit at my
      exposed arms and face. I really would've gone inside, had it not been
      three a.m. But I didn't know where my room was, or where my luggage
      had gone, and surely anyone who did know would be fast asleep. This
      assumption made me jump even more violently when a man's voice spoke
      from behind me.

      "Were you planning on coming down anytime soon? I agree, it's nice up
      here, but it's getting colder by the second and there's a bed waiting
      for you in the house."

      I spun around on my bottom to face the intruder. I couldn't see his
      face well enough to tell what he looked like, but the moonlight
      reflecting off his body told me he was leaning casually against the
      chimney nearby. It seemed as if he'd been there awhile, but I hadn't
      heard him approach or sensed his presence. I couldn't even see a way
      for him to reach me without flying as I had. But then, considering
      where I was, that was quite possible." I thought everyone was
      asleep." I muttered, embarrassed, wiping at the tears on my cheeks.
      My mascara must be halfway down my neck by now.

      "Well, I'm not." He replied. No shit, Sherlock. "You'll come down

      "I guess."

      He stood with a tired groan and came a few steps closer to where I
      sat, and offered his hand. "Can you get down the way you came up? Or
      do you need help?"

      "I don't need help." I said, bloody Americans, they're all so
      arrogant. I stood, without his help, and faced him head on. He wasn't
      much taller than me! Haha, shrimp. He was broader though, and younger
      than I thought he'd be. Late twenties at the oldest. "How are you
      gonna get down? I'd be willing to give you a push."

      He chuckled, bastard. "Cold makes me irritable too." That made me
      angry, I wasn't irritable! He was just being patronizing. "Go on
      down, I'll see you on the ground." And he nudged my back gently.

      Fighting the urge to smack him one, I gradually imagined myself
      lighter, half weightless and went to the roof's edge and peered down.
      Down...hard asphalt. About 4 stories up.. Christ! It was a long way
      down! My vision lurched and went blurry at the edges, the height
      seemed to double and my vision tunneled. I could feel my knees giving
      way beneath me and bile rising in my throat. My stomach did flip-
      flops. I felt like I was spinning, swaying gently forwards. I was
      going to fall! My hands refused to help me gain my balance and my
      heels were lifting off the tiles to tilt me precariously
      forward...the height tripled..my head spun madly...

      Arms wrapped around my waist and spun me around; suddenly I was
      looking to a pair of startlingly blue eyes. I leant into the man
      supporting me because my legs were too shaky to hold me, even half
      weightless, and I gripped his shoulders. I clutched at the blue
      cotton of his shirt. My stomach was still flipping like a pancake and
      my world was still tipping at odd angles. I could feel tremors
      running up and down my spine.

      "Angela. Angela, you're okay. I've got you." Comforting words found
      their way into my ear and through my confused brain. "Look at me,
      you're okay, concentrate on my face."

      I pulled back a bit so I could focus on those eyes. They were
      slightly canted with visible eyelids. Icy blue and hard, they
      might've seemed emotionless, but his furrowed brow and the way he
      looked at me so intently proved otherwise. His irises were flicked
      with aquamarine at the edges, but a much deeper, royal blue in the
      center. Beautiful.

      "Angela." His voice called me back to the present; I shook my head to
      refocus my eyes and looked at his whole face instead of just his

      Holy Jesus he was cute.

      "Hi." I squeaked. I could feel sweat appearing on my nose and upper
      lip, and under my arms. I hoped he put it down to my fear, not the
      fact that I was looking into the face of some Greek God or other, and
      being held in his arms. High cheekbones and dark brown hair that
      flopped slightly over his forehead, I was melting. "Thanks."

      "Sure, but we still have to get down, there isn't a doorway or
      anything - "

      "Nuh - uh, no way, I can't, you just saw I can't." I was protesting
      before he could finish his sentence. He looked older and more
      authorative in a second, like a teacher, and placed a finger over my

      "I'll carry you down, okay? Just make yourself light, I can't carry
      the both of us."

      Oh that hurt. He didn't mean it that way, but I was sensitive about
      my weight. Being 5'9 at seventeen did that to you. I wasn't fat but I
      was big, my arms were a little less that muscular, and I had a U of
      fat around my belly button that refused to be dieted off. Either way,
      I did as he asked and gripped his shoulders to keep from floating
      away. We were moving forwards..closer..closer..he stepped off the
      roof. "Oh shit. Oh shit." I chanted, sweating out of fear now. My
      hands were clammy and hot as I clenched onto his shirt.

      "Angela, calm down." Voice terse, he chided me. I unclenched my fists
      a little, realizing I'd been pinching his skin. His arms circles my
      back and waist and he held me to him as he gently flew us down the
      side of the building. "You're fine, I've got you." His voice was
      soothing in my ear. I closed my eyes and concentrated on his voice,
      willing my heart to slow down a little. I liked the feel of being in
      his arms; I'd never had a boyfriend before. Just being held seemed
      nicer than kissing. A cool breeze cooled the perspiration on my nose
      and forehead. The night was peaceful. I felt a lot better; it was
      quite nice to have my feet dangling above the ground. I was usually
      too tall to do that.

      Then I did the thing they ALWAYS tell you not to do -- I looked down.
      Curiosity killed the girl and I wanted to see how far we had to go.

      Too far.

      "Oohh Goodd.." Jeez I sounded like a man when I warbled that, my
      voice went low and cracked. We were still at least two flights up. My
      heart rate raced again and my face went too hot to feel the night
      air. I started trying to crawl up him like a ladder or slippery
      slope, completely loosing the control of my body to panic.

      "Hey! Hey now, I told ya not to do that." He grabbed my chin and
      forced me to look at him, holding me tighter so he wouldn't drop me
      as I squirmed.

      I forced myself to breathe and stopped moving.

      "We're almost there. Almost on the ground." He kept talking to me
      constantly and I focused on regulating my breathing. Down..down..the
      wind made my hair stir around my face.

      I felt my feet touch the asphalt, toes first; we'd finally made it!
      Good, solid, ground, I wanted to kiss it. His arms unwrapped
      themselves and came to grasp my upper arms. "See, no problem. You
      okay?" He asked, bending slightly to look in my eyes. He was only
      about two inches taller than me. Aw..

      "Yeah, yeah..I'm okay." I said, but my knees were wobbling and my
      stomach was still churning.

      "Good." He smiled, but he looked exhausted and pale. "Let's go
      inside. Get you a room." He let go of my left arm and started to turn.

      Then I puked all over his shirt.

      Chapter Two - The New Girl (just watch me fit all four chapters in
      one post *g*)

      It was raining. And dark. It felt like being at home again. I always
      find rain calming and I concentrated on the sound of it hitting the
      windows to try and stop the tremors in my hands. Class had started
      just five minutes ago, my first in this strange little school. Ms.
      Munroe, a beautiful African lady with stark white hair and a slight
      accent had shown me to the room after everyone had already arrived.
      I'd smiled and tried not to look too uncomfortable, but it was hard
      with all those eyes staring at me, and I felt huge and clumsy next to
      such a petit woman. And just when I thought it couldn't have been any
      more awkward, my teacher turned out to be the guy I'd thrown the
      contents of my stomach all over last night. My face went hot and I
      started sweating, and not in a ladylike fashion. Naturally, I was
      seated in the front of the class so they could all burn holes in the
      back of my head with their stares. I know I'm overreacting, there are
      only about 12 other people in my class, but twelve's enough.

      Maths lessons could go one way or another, either you got a good
      teacher and it was fun (at least I find math fun sometimes) OR it
      could be tedious and mind numbing. This looked to be the former. Mr.
      Summers seemed to be a good teacher; he was smiling and wrote on the
      board at an angle instead of completely turning his back to us. He'd
      set us a few problems in the book and discovered that half the class
      has forgotten how to add fractions.

      "You can't add apples and pears and get an applepearifruit, just like
      you can't add fourths and fifths and get ninths." He was saying,
      coming around his large oak desk to prop himself up on its edge. He
      was wearing a dark blue shirt today, tucked neatly into khaki
      trousers, with a brown leather belt and shoes. "So, you throw the
      apple on the floor and stamp on it" He trod savagely on his imaginary
      apple " And you throw the banana on the floor and stamp on that too"
      He jumped around violently, crushing the poor make-believe banana
      into a pulp, "And you get the squishy pulpy junk from both and slap
      it all together and stir it up, and measure that." He concluded. I
      was giggling and so was the rest of the class. "In other words, you
      need a common denominator."

      Someone tapped my shoulder and a square of folded white paper tumbled
      down my chest and landed in my lap. It read `New Girl' in messy
      writing on the front. My face went all hot again and I opened it,
      concealing it under my desk our of my teacher's view.
      What's ur name? Where u from? What's ur power? I'm Rogue,
      would you like to eat with @ lunch 2day? John thinks ur cute =0P
      Kitty says Hi too. W/B

      I grinned and flipped the paper over, smoothing it on my notebook to
      hide it, and started writing. Suddenly the paper was coming off the
      desk of its own accord, my pen pulled out of my hand and landed
      neatly in my pencil case, and the note floated up and over the heads
      of the students next to me, and straight into Mr. Summers' hand. My
      mouth hung open and he flipped the paper over and read the note

      "I'm sorry. This is Angela, our new student. And I'm sure she'd be
      glad if you'd show her around at lunch, Rogue, but I thought you'd
      learnt your lesson after last time. Pass them in Hank's class."

      "Sorry Mr. Summers." Rogue, I assumed, said in a Southern accent. I'd
      heard those on in the movies, she sounded like the wife of one of
      those old plantation owners. I looked over my shoulder at her; her
      voice hardly matched her looks. She wore all black, long silk gloves
      that went past her elbows and a low cut shirt that showed a little
      more than I'd ever dare to. Her hair was almost like mine though,
      dark brown and cut a few inches below her shoulders, but she had two
      white – blonde streaks framing her face. Strange.

      "And you're chewing! Spit it out." Summers chided, waving a blind arm
      in the direction of the bin.

      Rogue spat a wad of pink bubble gum into her glove and held it out to
      him, smiling wickedly. Summers rolled his eyes (oh so blue…swoon,
      haha) and his lips tightened in annoyance. I watched the gum; it was
      getting flatter, melding to the silk. Rogue screeched and pulled it
      off before it became permanently stuck, got up, and stomped over to
      the bin to throw it away.

      Summers grinned and wrinkled his nose at her. "Moving on."


      "So what do we have next?" I walked, trying to look everywhere and at
      everyone at the same time, with Rogue and Kitty on my left and
      Jubilee on my right, then Bobby and John leading the way. They kept
      turning and asking me questions while I was trying to talk to one of
      the girls and answer their questions as well. Kitty was smaller than
      Ms.Munroe, and Rogue was just a little bigger. I took an immediate
      liking to Jubilee because she was almost as tall as me, and not a
      skinny as the other two. She stopped me from feeling like the giant
      of the group. Bobby and John were both taller than me, both slim and
      showing signs that they worked out quite regularly. I thought John
      was cuter than Bobby and he was quieter too. I could tell already
      they were best friends, Bobby seemed to bring John out of his shell,
      and John seemed to keep Bobby in line when he needed it. They were
      also flirting incessantly and had dubbed me 'British Chick'; I was
      rather flattered. My accent was a source of much entertainment for
      them; I'd had to repeat myself several times just so they could
      giggle over it. I kind of liked the attention.

      "We've got English, then Biology –"

      "Oh shit, Kitty can I copy your homework?" Bobby turned and pleaded.
      Kitty rolled her eyes and dug a spiral notebook out of her bag.

      "Then it's lunch." Rogue finished, she seemed to have appointed
      herself my official welcomer and guide. It was nice, I could see
      myself fitting in here eventually. They were a group that stuck
      together through everything because they all have the X gene, and
      since I did too I'd been welcomed in like a long lost sister.

      "Ugh..Biology. I have issues with science.." I groaned.

      "You'll like it. Hank's a good teacher " Said Kitty, " I mean the
      actual science stuff gets icky, but he likes discussion more. Our
      level science is boring to him, he prefers to discus the issues."

      "Sounds cool." I said, debate was always fun. "What's after lunch?"

      "Individual training, and History." Rogue answered, "Do you know who
      you'll be training with yet?"


      "We'll ask at lunch. When'd you get here?"

      "Last night." Then I remembered about the underground hangar, "Why's
      there a plane under this place?"

      Rogue giggled and Bobby and John turned around to us, "That's the

      "Oh well, that clears it all up." I said.

      "The X-men's plane." John clarified.

      "Still clueless here." The X-men sounded like some kind of superhero
      group, right up there with Spiderman and the Incredible Hulk.

      "Our teachers double as this mutant crime fighting team, called the X-
      men. They go on missions in the Blackbird." Bobby explained. I
      laughed because it couldn't be true, even if I HAD seen the plane.

      "It's true! Mr. Summers is the field leader; he flies the thing and
      plans all the missions and everything, then Ms. Munroe and Wolverine
      and Hank are on the team too." Said Kitty.

      "Then how can they be teachers too? They'd get hurt too much or be on
      missions all the time." Teachers don't double as superheroes, at
      least not in the real world.

      "Most of the missions are just to recruit new students; their powers
      manifest and they get hurt or hurt someone else and the X-men have to
      go save `em. Then there's the Brotherhood, who are mutants too but
      they hate mankind and like to cause trouble. They come in limping
      sometimes, or especially irritable after a late night, but they don't
      get hurt too much to teach us. And they only go on a few missions a
      week." Rogue explained.

      "So my teachers are superheroes."

      "Exactly." Said Jubilee.

      Professor Xavier and Hank McCoy alternated teaching our English
      class, but today, while Hank was busy in his lab; the Professor was
      away on business, leaving us with no teacher. Ms. Munroe popped her
      head through the door and said she couldn't find us a substitute, and
      to work on whatever we wanted. Free period. She warned that she could
      hear us through the wall and to behave. Bobby whooped loudly because
      he hadn't done his English homework either, and grabbed for Kitty's
      English book so he could copy. I borrowed Rogues and read over what
      they'd been learning. I knew about half, and the rest I was mildly
      familiar with. I was relieved I wasn't miles behind everyone else.

      By the end of the period, Kitty, Rogue and Jubilee knew everything
      there was to know about my school, London, and had listened to me
      say `tomato' and `garage' more times than I cared to remember. I'd
      asked them more about the X-men, and what they did at the school
      outside of lessons. The first Friday of every month they bribed Mr.
      Summers with cookies for a ride to the movies, and sometimes Ms.
      Munroe would take them to the mall, or Xavier would let them get a
      cab. But there was also plenty to entertain us at the mansion itself.
      There were stables! I wanted to go riding at my earliest opportunity.
      The boathouse by the lake held a few single shells and a speedboat, I
      wouldn't have to give up rowing after all! They told me stories about
      what it was like to live with their teachers too.

      "Oh god, remember that Christmas a couple years ago?" Kitty asked the

      "With the lights?" Rogue asked, laughing at the memory. Kitty nodded,
      giggling, and Jubilee turned to me to take up the story.

      "Mr. Summers has this major thing with Christmas, and he HAS to
      decorate the entire mansion with fairy lights. It's like an obsessive-
      compulsive disorder or something. Anyway, it was before he'd learnt
      to carry himself telekinetically, so Hank had to carry him up there,
      and Hank got sick of doing it. Summers got all control freakish and
      pissed everyone off because he had to have the lights in specific
      patterns and lines, and use specific colours for specific places, and
      Hank got really mad at being bossed around, and picked him up and
      launched him onto the roof – he's got super strength – and left him
      up there for half the night until the Professor ordered him to get
      him down."

      We were all giggling by the time Jubilee finished, partially because
      the thought of Mr. Summers being hurled onto the top of the mansion
      was funny, and also because Jubilee told it so well, she mimed the
      actions and laughed along as she told it.

      "And it was snowing too, remember? He got a cold and sneezed and made
      eggnog come out of his nose." Kitty giggled.


      "So the question is, which solution benefits the greater good?"

      Hank McCoy was huge. His body resembled that of an ape, though his
      arms were slightly shorter and he walked upright. He was an odd
      mixture of body building champion and geek scientist; his body was
      solid muscle, his shoulders were broad and thick and I could easily
      tell how he could of thrown a fully grown man onto the roof, but he
      wore silly little round wire glasses and he had a Mr. Rogers cardigan
      on under his white doctors coat. He led the debate on stem cell
      research with a passion none of my other science teachers had ever

      "Should thousands of children be made to suffer for the sake of the
      merely potential life worth of a five day old cluster of cells? Or
      does the research that has already been completed show that more good
      will comes out of other means? I'd like a paper on your views on my
      desk by next week."


      The dining hall was set up a lot like my old school, but on a much
      smaller scale. I noticed that the youngest kids there were about
      thirteen, and there were a lot less of them than there were of us
      older guys. There were just five tables that ran from the back of the
      hall to just over halfway. They had circular metal seats that were
      attached to the table at the bottom; about 20 ran on each side of the
      table. At the far end of the hall was another table of drinks, and
      then a large opening that stood about four feet off the ground and
      opened into the kitchen. We lined up in front of it to be served our
      food. There were only two cooks, a big, muscular man with stubble all
      over his chin and big beefy hands, and an older woman who smiled as
      she served us and took more care with there she put the food on the
      plate than the guy.

      "Do you want pizza? Or a baked potato?" Rogue asked me, taking her
      own plate of pizza and fries and smattering it generously with

      "Pizza please." I said, and was handed a plate like Rogue's, minus
      the sauce. My old school only had pizza twice a month, it was square,
      and it was horrible and soggy, with watery tomato sauce. This was the
      proper triangular shape, overflowing with two different kinds of
      cheese and thick red sauce.

      Kitty and Jubilee were leading the way to a table when Rogue stopped
      and grabbed my arm.

      "Hold on, we'll ask Mr. Summers who your I.T. teacher is." She said,
      pulling my back towards the serving line and through a door in the
      corner. The kitchen was to the right, it was huge and everything in
      it was stainless steel, and to the left was another door. Rogue
      knocked a few times and waited, both of us still holding our rapidly
      cooling lunches. A man who, in my opinion, looked like he should
      never be left alone around children opened the door. He looked hard,
      and rugged in his worn leather jacket and motorcycle boots. He
      smelled of tobacco and his side burns were way too long to be
      fashionable but looked good on him, and he handed shaved in a few
      days. He his hands were also covered in leather gloves, in fact, I
      couldn't see a patch of bare skin on him apart from his face. He
      nodded to Rogue in a busy kind of way, but he wasn't unpleasant.

      "Hey sugar!" She greeted, warmly, in her Southern Belle accent, "We
      need to speak to Mr. Summers."

      The corners of his mouth tipped up a little and he turned around and
      yelled `Scooter!' into the room behind him. I giggled at the name and
      he looked back down at me, his eyes were crinkled, he seemed amused.
      Maybe he wasn't such a vagrant after all.

      Mr. Summers appeared at the door giving the other guy a glare for the
      name, and then looked at us expectantly as the man pushed past him to
      go back into the room.

      "Angi needs to know who her Independent Training teacher is." Rogue
      explained. He seemed preoccupied too, there was obviously something
      going on in the room.

      "Me. After last night we thought it best." Rogue stared at me; he
      couldn't have made it sound any worse if he'd tried. Mr. Summers
      struggled to hold back a grin; he knew what he said. "I'll meet you
      on the basketball court." He said to me.

      "Thanks." I said, my face getting hotter.

      "Thanks Mr. Summers." Rogue smiled, and then pulled me back into the
      dining hall. "After last night?"

      Chapter Three - Lonely Giant Joined

      Thanks to Sharon, Min, Jason Jones, XT and Tarch for the info on
      Jean's residency.

      I was not looking forward to Individual Training. I became such a
      flushing, self conscious, shaky little idiot around Mr. Summers. He
      was cute, he was sarcastic, and I puked all over his shirt! God, how
      utterly disgusting. He probably thought of me like an ugly fat cow
      who went around burping and farting and vomiting, it didn't help I'm
      virtually as tall as he is. And what's more, I was scared of my power
      now. I had a nightmare about coming down off that damn roof, I went
      the wrong way and floated off into the stratosphere, and no one could
      get me down. I'd mastered how to keep myself on the ground, but I was
      scared if I let that go for just a second I'd be gone, like a helium

      Rogue and Kitty said they'd meet me to go to our next lesson
      together; they both had I.T. in the gym, lucky sods. I still didn't
      know what their powers were, but I could be sure they were more
      useful than mine.

      He was waiting for me on the court; he had his hands in the pockets
      of his khaki pants and was idly rolling back and forth on the balls
      of his feet. I think he was singing to himself quietly, but I
      couldn't hear properly above the wind. His hands came out and he
      turned towards me when he saw me coming towards him. Oh. That smile.

      "I thought we'd try to go back on the roof." He said.

      My stomach dropped like a brick off the mansion; did he seriously
      want to loose another of his shirts to a vicious attack from my
      lunch? I shook my head until I could find my voice again "Take some
      No, add it to some more No, mix all that up in a big pile of No and
      pour it all over your shirt so it looks like something from last

      "What do you do when you fall off a horse?" He asked.

      "Run away and never, ever get back on. Ever."

      "Alright. We'll save the roof for a later occasion." He relented, and
      I sighed with relief. "I was talking to Professor Xavier last night,
      he thinks you might be able to extend your power to other things."


      He laughed, "Like, you could make something else as weightless as you
      can make yourself. He's not positive, but it can't hurt to try."

      "So I could lift boulders like an Amazon woman? Cars? How `bout

      "Not houses, the foundation would be too deep. But yeah, cars,
      boulders if we can find any." He rubbed his neck and surveyed the
      area, looking for boulders apparently.

      "What if it doesn't work and I go floating off to the horizon again?
      I think maybe we should just teach me to stay permanently grounded."

      "You'll never learn like that! C'mon, we'll find something small. I
      won't let you go flying."

      "You said you couldn't lift the both of us, what if I go too high?"

      "You've stayed on the ground this long."

      "Yeah, but that's just because I've stayed my full weight. I don't
      trust myself to let it go even a little."

      He came over and placed his hands on my shoulders, his nose just
      inches from mine. My heart started pounding louder, throbbing in my
      ears. "I won't let you go. Okay? I promise." He looked me straight in
      the eye trying to convince me I was safe with him. But I remembered
      how haggard he'd looked after carrying me down last night, there was
      no way he could go very high for very long. I could be lost forever.

      "No." I pulled away from him. His shoulders dropped and he looked
      disappointed. As if it hurt him I couldn't trust him. Still, I wasn't
      doing any weightless tricks today. No way, no how.

      "You might as well go then." I wished he'd just yell at me, the look
      on his face was far more guilt inducing than any lecture. I spun on
      my heel and left, towards the pebble driveway and mansion entrance.

      I was on the second step when I heard a car's engine revving, louder
      and louder. The tires screeched and I thought it must be the rugged
      guy from the staff room zooming off for a keg or something. But then
      I heard a yell, and the car screeching to a halt, and a thud. I spun
      around to see Mr. Summers trapped under the front wheels of a
      monstrous four-wheel drive. He was telekinetic, yes, but could he act
      fast enough to stop the thing from riding him into the ground? I
      didn't know. I'd never ran faster than when I sprinted down the drive
      to my teacher. He was unconscious, and the wheel pinned him to the
      hard ground in such a place he couldn't possibly be breathing.

      "Help! Somebody help!" I yelled as loud as I could, pushing my
      fingers to his neck to feel for a pulse. It felt weak and slow, and
      he was still out cold.

      "Help me! Help!" I screamed, but no one came. The driver was nowhere
      to be seen, he'd done a runner. The truck was gradually sinking
      deeper, crushing Mr. Summers slowly, agonizingly. It was up to me.

      "Alright. I can lift this thing. Sure." I murmured to myself.

      The front bumper was metal, the edge cut into my fingers as I tried
      to life it upwards. Nothing happened. He was getting paler; I could
      see the colour draining from his features. He didn't stir. I heaved
      again, but still nothing happened. Professor Xavier was wrong, and
      his colleague was going to die for it. I tired once more; imagining
      the feeling I got when I went weightless was flowing through my
      fingers into that cold, evil metal. I saw in my mind the truck
      lifting upwards and myself pushing it away, far over to the other
      side of the drive. I opened my eyes and the truck was floating a foot
      off Mr. Summers' chest, and he was laughing, crawling out from under
      it and brushing the dirt off his bottom. I gaped, still holding the
      4X4 aloft.

      "You can put it down now." He grinned. I dropped it, a ton of metal
      landed heavily on the ground. "Told ya you could do it." He said,
      patting my back.

      "I've a good mind to pick it up again and swing it into your head!" I
      screeched, and stomped back up to the mansion.


      Tears blurred my vision and rolled down my cheeks, I was trying my
      hardest not to start bawling before I reached my room. How could he?
      I thought he was dead! I thought he'd died because I couldn't get the
      truck off him in time. It would've been all my fault. I didn't think
      fast enough, I didn't think to go call an ambulance! He could've died
      and it would have been all my fault. But it was all a prank, and
      stupid, stupid joke. He'd laughed. He'd laughed at me. I was once
      again made the fool in his eyes.

      I ran head first into a moving figure, too busy caught in my own
      thoughts to realise the blurry person before me.

      "Sorry" I sobbed, side stepping them to continue to my room.

      "Hey! Hey, are you okay?" A woman's voice asked, holding my upper
      arms gently. I wiped my eyes and sniffed. I thought about nodding and
      moving on, but the temptation was too much. I shook my head and broke
      down completely. "Aw, hey now, sweetheart." She said, pulling me into
      her arms, "Come in here and talk."

      She led me into the library, and on to one of the overly stuffed
      brown leather couches. We sank into its cushions; I curled next to
      her and cried harder. She shushed me and stroked my head.

      "I'm sorry. This is silly." I said, regaining my composure. "It's
      just, this is my first day and I've never been so far away from home
      and they've all been so nice but it's weird, ya know? I feel so…new
      and then he tried to get me to use my powers but I didn't want to so
      he ran himself over with a car and I thought he died but he didn't
      and he laughed at me again and – grr!" I screamed furiously, sobbing
      again. She chuckled and pulled me back under her arm and held me

      I pulled away again, "Who are you?" I said, wiping my face on the
      back of my hands.

      "Jean Grey" She laughed, extending a hand out towards me. "And you

      "Angela White." I said, taking her hand and shaking it.

      She smiled at me warmly. "So this is your first day?"

      I nodded. "Yeah. And it was going well until now."

      She laughed, "Well it's my first day too, I guess we should stick

      "Really? What are you here for?" She was way too old to be a student.

      "I'll be your resident doctor and geneticist from now on." She
      grinned, proudly.

      "Did you just leave med school or something?" I asked; she must be
      smart to be studying genetics. She was pretty too. Her long, dark red
      hair fell past her shoulders, and she had high cheekbones and
      beautiful brown eyes. I couldn't be jealous though; she was nice
      without being annoying.

      "I went through med school, then two years of residency." She

      "How many years does med school take?" I asked, suddenly curious.

      "Four years, four years of university before that."

      "Jeez, is it as hard as they say?"

      "Hardest thing I've ever done." She said, proud again. "I'm glad I
      did it though, it's the only thing I've ever wanted to do."

      "Cool. Have you met all the other teachers yet?"

      "Hank, and Professor Xavier of course. And Ororo, but no one else.
      Should I be scared?"

      "Yeah, terrified." I grinned. She pushed my shoulder and stood up.

      "So where's this guy who ran himself over? Were you in his class?"

      "I don't know where he is, and I was the class. One on one individual
      training." I said, standing up too. She was taller than me! I loved
      her already, we had the same build, same shaped face, same length
      hair; she was like a long lost sister. I was grinning like an idiot
      and she laughed at me.


      "You're tall."

      "So are you." She said, patting my head.

      "Exactly, now there are two giants on campus."

      "Hear us roar!" Jean laughed, pulling me back out into the hall.

      Chapter Four - One Last Breath

      Sensetive subject matter warning for the end.

      "You go in first."

      "What?! You're the teacher!"

      "Please, I'm too embarrassed."

      "And I'm too blotchy. Just go in, sheesh, you're such a baby."

      Jean scowled and finally pushed open the door to the Staff Room and
      dragged me in behind her. It was empty.

      "See, nothing to be afraid of, no one to bite you." I chided her,

      "Darn." She grinned and wiggled her eyebrows. I laughed and pushed
      her all the way inside. I'd only see a glimpse of the back wall when
      Rogue and I had come earlier, so I took my time in examining the room
      from top to bottom. The floor and skirting were all the same, regal
      dark oak as the rest of the mansion. The place boasted old money
      ownership and upper class residents. It was like visiting one of the
      old Victorian mansions in England, something straight out of a Jane
      Austin novel. The walls were painted pale yellow, and kitchen
      counters lined the wall next to the door. There was a sink, and a
      refrigerator, and a small stove and flat hob. All very modern, and
      clean. In the corner there was a stereo, and three tall stacks of
      CDs. Under the window that was opposite the door was a table, covered
      in a bright chequered cloth, surrounded by five plastic chairs.

      "Looks like students are allowed to keep food in here." Jean
      remarked, her head in the fridge. Chocolate, chocolate and yet more
      chocolate occupied the shelves, all labelled with various pupils
      names: Scott, Kitty, Bobby, Ben, and Jason, my fellow chocoholics.

      The door opened next to us and we both turned to stare at the
      newcomer. I glared and gave him the cold shoulder, I was very angry
      with my math teacher and wasn't about to let him think I wasn't.

      "Hi, um.." He mumbled and edged around Jean; I could hear his
      footsteps on the floor and Jean giggling quietly. "Angela, I'm really
      sorry. That was a stupid thing to do, I thought you'd find it funny,
      but it wasn't and I'm sorry. I couldn't think of another way to get
      you to use your powers. Sorry." He rambled, right behind me. He was
      quite cute really, all sheepish, like a puppy who had an accident on
      the carpet. I started giggling too and turned around to face him.

      "Alright, you're forgiven." I said, trying not to laugh. I had
      visions of him cocking his leg in the corner. Bad Mr. Summers! I gave
      him and started laughing harder, then looked up to see his expression
      and turned from pleading to almost horrified, but amused at the same
      time. "Sorry, strange thoughts." I apologized.

      "Yeah, you're projecting them."
      "I'm what?" I asked. Projecting did not sound good.

      "You're projecting your thoughts, it's hard not to pick them up." He
      explained, starting to grin himself.

      "Oh, God, you saw -?"

      "Yep." He nodded, "bad puppy."

      "Oh holy Jesus." I hissed, running past him into Jean's awaiting
      arms. She was laughing, hard, and I thumped her arm. Mr. Summers was
      laughing too.

      "I'm Jean." She said, extending a hand towards my Math teacher. The
      gruff guy from earlier entered, pushing the door open wide and
      striding through it, taking just one quick glance at the three of us
      before settling himself in a chair and lighting up a cigar.

      "Scott. I take it you're our new resident doctor?" He said, taking
      her hand and squeezing it gently instead of shaking it.

      "And geneticist." Jean nodded.

      "Finally, a doctor I wouldn't mind getting a physical from." The
      gruff man growled suggestively. Jean smiled and raised her eyebrows
      at him, looking him over. He seemed to lean back further to give her
      a better view of his well-built form.

      "Jean, Logan. Logan, Jean." Mr. Summers introduced them, rolling his

      "Nice to meet you Logan, we'll have to see about that physical." Jean
      said. The flirt.

      "Looking forward to it." Logan said, growling again. The man was half
      beast. I looked back to Mr. Summers, he looked jealous! His eyes
      flicked back to me and I realised I'd been projecting my thoughts
      again. I thought `Sorry' at him, and he nodded in acceptance.

      "And what about you, Scott? Fancy a quick physical?" Jean asked,
      barely keeping a straight face.

      "Anytime." Mr. Summers said, trying vainly to flirt back but not
      quite making it. His ears had gone a little redder than before,
      bless. I think he would have been more comfortable had one of his
      students not been in the room, hugging his crush nonetheless.

      "Well boys, must be going." Jean said, still holding me with her and
      dragging us both through the door and out of the room. Once out of
      hearing range she burst out laughing. "That was fun."

      I laughed at her, "I don't know, Mr. Summers didn't seem to think so."

      "He's a cutie pie, a little young though." She grinned.

      "He's just as old as you are." I said, he must be 28 or so, and so
      must she.

      "I'm 29. He's about 22, 23 at the most."

      "Nuh – uh. He's way older." I argued.

      "No, believe me. He's young, look at his eyes."


      That night, I called my mum. I tried to stay angry with her for
      leaving me here, but all that flew out the window when I heard her
      voice over the phone. She missed me as much as I missed her, and said
      so several times. I told her all about the mansion and my classes,
      and my teachers. I left out the bit with the truck, I felt quite
      stupid for getting so worked up over it. I told her I was fine at
      dinner, sitting with Rogue and Jubilee and Kitty, how I was almost
      falling for both Bobby and John.

      "Yeah, no it was so funny at dinner, I was listening to Rogue and
      Jubes talking and I looked up to see this guy, Bobby, was staring at
      me, so I asked him why and he said `Just watched a beautiful British
      chick out of her natural habitat.' I mean, it's lame, but it made me
      laugh. British chick. They've both – Bobby and John – started calling
      me that now."

      After dinner though, I felt quite alone. They all had far more
      homework than I from classes I hadn't been to yet, and Jean had
      disappeared off the face of the earth, so I went alone to my room to
      leave them to study. My mum didn't need to hear that though, so I
      went on to tell her about the X-men.

      "Anyway, I think the Individual Training is geared towards the X-men,
      they've only got three people on the team so far."

      "Angi, I don't think I want you getting involved with that, okay? Too
      dangerous for my girl." My mum said.

      "Ha, I didn't even think about it. I don't want to be an X-woman mum,
      I don't do well with getting my ass kicked."

      "Promise me, I'm all worried now. I don't want them sending you off
      to some Friends of Humanity base and getting killed."

      "They won't! I'd stamp my foot and say no very forcefully."

      We hung up after two hours; she'd stayed up until 3 a.m. to talk to
      me. I didn't register the time difference when I called, but she was
      five hours ahead of me.

      It was ten o'clock; everyone was in their rooms asleep. The hall
      outside my room was dark, no light shone under the door. I lay in my
      cold foreign bed, unable to sleep, it was too dark, and it felt too
      strange not having a hug goodnight from my mum. I tried to remind
      myself I was seventeen, I shouldn't need my mum anymore, but it
      didn't work. This place was strange and impersonal at night, weird
      shadows of what I knew were trees danced in my window, but they
      looked eerily like bad spirits or axe murderers. The wind howled.

      My tummy gurgled, I'd left my stash of chocolate in the Staff Room
      and I need some nibble on until I fell asleep. Everyone must be
      asleep by eleven; it was too quiet for them not to be. And if there
      was someone down there, the mansion was so big chances were I'd never
      see them. I decided to risk a midnight trip down to the ground floor
      in search of chocolate; I wasn't getting to sleep anytime soon.

      I pulled on a pair of socks and an old baggy sweater over my pyjama
      bottoms and skinny strap t-shirt. I stubbed my toe on the edge of my
      suitcase as I felt my way to the door, and hissed obscenities at it
      in the darkness. The door creaked a little as I opened it, and
      tiptoed out onto the landing. My heart thudded in my chest, which was
      stupid because I wouldn't have gotten in trouble had I been found,
      but still, it was a strange house with strange people in it.

      The stairs were creepy in the dark; several groaned as trod on them
      and passed on to their neighbour. The stairs opened up to face the
      front door, the dining hall and staff room were there to my left, and
      the rec room was next to them. The library I'd met Jean in was on my
      right. I padded softly through the still hall, the ceiling high above
      me, the wind making the trees scrape against the long windows. I
      giggled; I'd always wanted to fly. I'd always dreamt of doing a
      running leap and not touching the ground a second later in the dining
      hall at my old school. I was in an enclosed space, no worries of
      floating off into the nether regions of the sky. My walking sped up,
      the thump of my socked feet on the wooden floor growing louder, and
      leaped. The ground fell away and I stared down at it, flicking my
      head forward and making my legs follow to do a full front flip in mid-
      air. Then I landed as softly as I'd taken off, adrenaline pumping,
      and continued on to the staff room.

      My Cadbury's Buttons were exactly where I'd left them; small little
      discs of milk chocolate hidden within a royal purple packet. I liked
      them chilled so they cracked when I bit into them. Grinning
      contentedly as I shut the fridge door, I popped a couple in my mouth
      and headed out, back into the hall. I threw one high into the air and
      jumped, floating, to catch it in my mouth. My power was finally fun!

      I reached the staircase, but something made me stop. A faint sound of
      singing, and guitar floating in from the rec room, and I simply had
      to investigate. Dropping a few more buttons into my mouth, I frowned
      and tip toed gently over to the rec room door. Yes, someone was
      definitely singing in there, and accompanying themselves with a
      guitar. The singing stopped and I heard low talking; two people were
      in there! It must have been the time of night, or maybe the
      chocolate, that made me tentatively open the door and peek inside.

      "We just walked around the lake, nothing happened. Believe me. We
      just talked."

      "I don't know why ya jus' didn't press her up against a tree and –"

      "Because I like her more than that! Besides, she doesn't feel the

      "Cuz she's fallen for me, the manly one.
      "Whatever. She's too good for either of us."

      They were talking about Jean! I squeaked, and clamped a hand to my
      mouth. I saw Logan's ears prick up. Two pairs of eyes, one blue and
      young, the other dark brown roofed by bushy eyebrows turned to stare
      back at me. Logan had a guitar tucked under one arm and a beer
      resting on the couch's arm. Mr. Summers was wearing old faded jeans,
      and a black t-shirt. The air of authority was gone, and Jean was
      right, he was young.

      "What are you doing up?" Mr. Summers asked me, not angry, just

      "Couldn't sleep. Needed chocolate." I said, holding up the packet to
      show him.

      "My kind of girl." He chuckled, "Care to join us?"

      I was surprised at the invitation, but happy, so I went in and sat on
      the floor, leaning against the couch, next to my teacher.

      "So, Mr. Summers – "

      "You can call me Scott outside class." He interrupted

      "Alright, Scott" I said in a mock American accent, "What are you two
      still doing up?"

      "It's only midnight, kid." Logan said. I realized his voice was
      naturally low and rumbling, remotely resembling a growl.

      "It's a school night, man."

      He snorted and took a swig of his beer. "We're having our nightly
      sing along."

      I got visions of Logan on the Barney show, clapping and singing along
      with the big purple dinosaur, skipping around the outside jungle gym,
      leading a group of kids through the swings and down the slide. Scott
      snorted and coughed when he got a glare from Logan. Note to self: ask
      Scott how to stop projecting thoughts.

      "I've fixed those couple bars, its D major then F sharp, distorted."
      Said Logan, strumming idly on his guitar. It was a beautiful
      instrument, a Levin Cello Guitar coloured in various shades of brown
      all swirling around the body. The `F' holes rolled elegantly beside
      the strings. It showed signs of use though, like he'd had it for
      years, there were a few scratches and the frets were worn, but he'd
      taken great care of it. He started to play the opening riffs of a
      song, twiddling quickly; I watched his fingers move with fascination.
      Then Scott started to sing, in a voice that sounded like he had to
      make it scratchy, that naturally it would be as pure as a boy
      soprano. He sang soulfully, pouring his heart into the words. I
      watched astounded.

      Please come now I think I'm falling
      I'm holding to all I think is safe
      It seems I found the road to nowhere
      And I'm trying to escape
      I yelled back when I heard thunder
      But I'm down to one last breath
      And with it let me say
      Let me say

      Hold me now
      I'm six feet from the edge and I'm thinking
      That maybe six feet
      Ain't so far down

      I'm looking down now that it's over
      Reflecting on all of my mistakes
      I thought I found the road to somewhere
      Somewhere in His grace
      I cried out heaven save me
      But I'm down to one last breath
      And with it let me say
      Let me say

      Logan bashed out the cords here, he'd need an electric guitar to pull
      it off properly. And Scott had his eyes screwed tight, waving a
      clenched fist in time with the beat, throwing the full power of his
      voice behind the lyrics.

      Hold me now
      I'm six feet from the edge and I'm thinking
      That maybe six feet
      Ain't so far down

      Hold me now
      I'm six feet from the edge and I'm thinking
      That maybe six feet
      Ain't so far down

      Sad eyes follow me
      But I still believe there's something left for me
      So please come stay with me
      'Cause I still believe there's something left for you and me
      For you and me
      For you and me

      Hold me now
      I'm six feet from the edge and I'm thinking…

      Hold me now
      I'm six feet from the edge and I'm thinking
      That maybe six feet
      Ain't so far down

      He repeated the chorus again, and Logan let the last note hold for a
      few seconds, then the mood lifted and it felt like the room itself
      sighed, Scott grinned and Logan smirked and took another swig of his

      "Yeah, nice fix." Scott said to Logan.

      I wondered which one had written the lyrics.


      Logan left at about one a.m. and I was still wide eyed and jumpy, so
      Scott and I decided to put on a movie and settle ourselves down on
      the couches. I bagged the one across from the TV; he took the one
      perpendicular to me. We watched `Swordfish' which I'd seen before,
      and I felt myself falling asleep just fifteen minutes into it.

      Two years. Two years I'd lived with them. They were my sixth foster
      home in seven years, and I'd stayed with them the longest. The first
      I'd been happy with. They didn't hit me, they didn't yell or scream,
      they sent me to school with new clothes and money for lunch, hell,
      they even hugged me, told me how glad they were to have me there.

      But no more, a three-day suspension was to end all that. A suspension
      I didn't deserve, that I'd gotten simply by sticking up for myself
      against a gang of five bigger guys. Two were knocked unconscious when
      they flew into the school's brick outer wall, two more had gotten
      concussions when the truck of those trees smacked them in the back of
      the head, the fifth ran to tell the authorities what a freak I was.

      And now I was leaving this place of warmth and kindness, the only
      place I'd know like that since my parents died. They didn't want a
      mutant in their household; the suspension was their excuse. They
      didn't want a troublemaker, but that was a lie. I was to go back to
      the social services and get passed around the system again, home to
      home, family to family, beating to beating. It'd fuck up my education
      again, the files wouldn't get transferred properly and I'd be stuck a
      freshman for the next three years. Then I'd get kicked out of public
      education to become homeless because I didn't have any qualifications.

      I'd never meet a girl and fall in love, never make a family with her,
      never have that picture perfect house with the white picket fence.
      God, if these people could like me one day and spit on me the next,
      so could the rest of the world. I was a lost cause, meaningless,
      useless, a waste of space. Life isn't worth living if you don't mean
      anything to anyone.

      The first cut hurt, it burned, but it felt oddly exhilarating. I
      watched in morbid fascination as my blood bubbled over my wrist and
      trickled down my arm. I made cut after cut, ignoring the pain,
      giggling manically to myself, then started on my other wrist. My head
      got light and I felt woozy, sick, I swallowed and leaned heavily back
      against the wall and watched my blood drain away. My vision went
      blurry…stars and spots flickered in front of my eyes…I welcomed the

      Another home, another family, another beating taking place. They
      should've let me die because I'd rather be dead than take this again.
      His fists beat down upon me like a hailstorm, his boots kicked my
      sides, cracking my ribs, I couldn't breathe. I didn't want this
      anymore! Why didn't they just let me go? Why keep another worthless
      orphan on this earth? I choked, tears staining my face, I tried to
      fight back but he was so big, and so very angry, the pain was
      intense. Air was forcing its way out of my lungs with every brutal
      pounding, and not returning. Oh god, the pain…

      I gasped, choking on my own spit, wiping tears to clear my eyesight.
      That dream wasn't me, those memories weren't mine, and I hadn't
      experienced that pain. I didn't have scars on my wrists. I was
      shaking, and the tears on my eyelids shone in the light from the
      television. I worked to slow my breathing and stop the tremors; I'd
      never had such a dream.

      A muffled cry made me jump and remember the other person in the room.
      Scott was beating the cushions of the couch weakly, he was crying
      too, recoiling from invisible kicks and punches, he screamed but his
      voice was gone. I rolled clumsily off the couch and scrambled over
      the carpet to his side, another wave of pain washed over me, making
      me feel sick to my stomach.

      "Scott! Wake up, c'mon, please, wake up wake up wake up." I pleaded,
      sobbing at the same time. Another wash of agony, misery. He wouldn't

      "Scott! Please." I tapped his face, patted his cheeks, not wanting to
      slap him because he was already suffering. I shook his shoulders
      vainly, but he was too far-gone. His whimpers, the hitch in his
      breath, made my heart beak. It made me cry more. I grabbed one his
      wrists as it thrashed hopelessly, I tried to hold him down, maybe
      then he'd wake up. His forearms were large; a couldn't get my hand
      all the way around it, and tanned, masculine, but in this state he
      looked like a little boy, not the man he'd grown up to be. There were
      scars across his wrist, a few raised and lighter than the rest of his
      skin, a few more fainter.

      I'd gotten a glass of water before we put the movie on, and now I
      grabbed it and threw it in my teachers face.

      He sat up with a start, choking and gasping, shaking harder than I
      had been, still crying. He looked around wildly, coughing, wiping the
      water out of his eyes, and then he saw me.

      "Angi?" Without warning he got up off the couch and started pacing
      around the rec room, rubbing and scraping the back of his neck,
      grasping at his face, hugging himself. "I'm sorry, I'm so sorry, God!
      I – Jesus Christ – I'm so sorry." He spluttered. Then he stopped and
      stared back to me, "How much did you see?"

      "Enough." He'd stopped moving; the shoulders I thought were so broad
      and strong sagged, broken.

      "Only Xavier knows." He whispered, a shiver shaking his body. One
      more tear ran down his face and his breathe hitched twice, and I
      couldn't stand any more. I got up and wrapped him in my arms, pulling
      his head to my shoulder and stroking it, wrapping my other arm around
      his shoulders. He tensed, dead, then sagged against me, letting me
      comfort him.

      "Shhhh..shhhhh" I whispered in his ear, rocking gently, "You're safe

      ~~*The song is Creed, One Last Breath*~~

      Making these longer is something I need to work on =0) Ah well,
      please review, I'd really appreciate it.

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