Fic: The Promotion (1/1) OC(Mike), Professor X, Ororo, Jubilation [PG] X1
- Title: The Promotion
Author: Pat Phillips
Summary: Mike suspects evil forces are
at work in the school.
Rating/warning & pairing/characters:
Professor Xavier, Ororo, Jubilation, OC(Mike)
With the exception of Mike McWhirter,
I do not own these characters. Instead,
they are the property of Marvel Comics.
As a firm believer in property rights,
it's only reasonable that I specify that
my use of these characters should in no
way be interpreted as a threat to Marvel's
ownership of them.
All of my fan fiction, including this story,
is a not-for-profit venture. After all, when
you get down to it, who would pay for this
Readers of my other fiction may notice that
Mike is a minor character in "A Sacrifice
of Flowers". Note that this story assumes
that there was significant period of time
between the defeat of Magneto and the
Brotherhood at the Statue of Liberty and
Logan's leaving to investigate the Alkali Lake
facility. During that time Jean, Scott, Ororo,
and Logan conducted missions for the Professor.
That may not be exactly canon, but it allows
for some interesting stories.
Big Joe was working off some demerits by running messages for the
school. He caught up with me at lunch.
"Mike, the Prof wants to see you after classes," Joe growled at me.
He wasn't the happiest guy in the world.
My stomach did a slow roll and I put down my sandwich. Suddenly, I
wasn't hungry any more.
"Did the Professor say what he wanted?" I asked.
"Hey, I just deliver messages, Mike. Nobody tells me the details."
Big Joe -- he's fifteen years old, about four foot tall, and won't
be growing even another inch -- nodded at me and left.
OK, I always knew this was going to happen some day. Since I was
expecting it, I should be able to be put up a good front.
Yeah, I should.
After all, I knew I didn't fit in here at the school. But it still
wasn't fair. Dang it, I'd tried my best. But my best just wasn't
Naturally, I didn't much pay attention to my afternoon classes. Mr.
Scott kept catching me drifting off in my last class and he got
little ticked-off at me. But four o'clock eventually rolled around
and I found myself standing in front of the big walnut Door of
Doom. The door to the Professor's office.
*Michael. Please come in,* the Professor called to me
I took a deep breath and entered. The Professor was behind his
desk. Somewhere in the room a clock was ticking loudly. It
occurred to me that it was ticking off the number of seconds I had
remaining at the school.
"Hello, Michael. Please take a seat," he said.
"Yessir." I did as he said, setting down my books on the floor
beside the chair.
There was some paperwork on the desk in front of the Professor. He
looked through it.
"Michael, I have the grades for your end-of-semester report card."
That was my first report card here. And my last. Dang it. I guess
deep down inside, I'd hoped that this would be about something else -
- that I'd get lucky and wouldn't get thrown out of school.
"Yessir," I said.
"They're rather remarkable."
I winced. "Yessir," I said.
This school is full of smart people. Really smart people. Mutants
tend to run above average for intelligence. A brighter-than-average
mutant has an IQ just short of being a genius. A really smart
mutant, like Kitty, scores well over 200 on an IQ test.
But like any rule, there are exceptions. And guess who was a big
The next words out of The Professor's mouth were going to be the
ones that gave me the heave-ho. The Professor was a decent guy, so
he'd do his best to be nice about it. Then there'd be a terrible
few days while I waited for my parents to come pick me up. Some of
the people here would laugh at me. Some would feel sorry for me.
Worst of all would be the people who would be disappointed in me.
I grabbed the arm-rests of my chair so the Professor wouldn't be
able to see that my hands were beginning to tremble. I told myself
that I wouldn't cry or get mad. There was no point to either.
I had made some good friends here. I would miss them an awful lot.
"We are extremely pleased," continued the Professor.
"Your history papers are excellent. In fact, Miss Munroe tells me
that they are among the best in the school. However, it is your
other classes that are the most interesting. Your scores on the
final English tests for this semester showed a great deal of
improvement over your first -- although we still need to work on
your vocabulary. And you've also improved tremendously in
"This obviously represents a great deal of hard work on your part,
Michael. We are all very proud of you."
I stared at him for a long moment. The I realized that he was
waiting for me to say something.
He smiled a bit at that.
"You're welcome," he said. "But there is something else I would
like to discuss with you, Michael."
"Michael. Please try to use two distinct words when you say 'yes,
"Yessir. Uh... I mean 'yes, sir'. Is that all, sir?"
"No. There is one more thing. I was hoping that you would agree to
become a tutor in history for some of your fellow students."
I gave him a long, long stare.
"You want me to become a tutor?" I asked slowly, trying to make sure
I hadn't misunderstood what he had said.
"Yes. I already know that you are helping Peter, James, and
Jubilation informally. This way, you would get extra credit and
also make some money for what you are already doing."
"You're going to pay me. To tutor other students. Like Kitty does
"Yes. If you are willing."
I gave him another long look. He seemed to be OK. But I had to get
the heck out of there. Immediately.
"Sure. No problem," I said carefully, trying to figure out my next
"Excellent! Thank you, Michael."
"Yes, sir. Um... If there's nothing else, I have to go now, sir.
Is that OK?"
"Certainly, Michael. And thank you for stopping by."
I bailed out of the office so fast that I forgot my books. Once the
door closed behind me, I took off at a dead run. I had to find one
of the X-Men as quickly as possible.
I ran into Miss Munroe first. She was sitting at her desk in the
big classroom, grading some papers, when I slammed into the room at
full speed. She looked up in surprise as I braked to a halt right
in front of her desk.
She blinked, "What did you say, Michael?"
"Michael, please slow down."
I took a deep breath and forced myself to relax. "The Professor
wants me to be a tutor! We gotta find out what's wrong with him!"
She smiled and set down her pen.
"A tutor. In history, I take it?"
"Yeah! He's must be being mind-controlled or has been replaced
by... by... heck, I don't know! A Martian or a Klingon clone or
some darn thing. Or maybe it's Mystique. We gotta do something!!!"
She got up, came around the desk, and put her hands on my shoulders.
"Michael, I'm sure that the Professor is fine," she said firmly.
"Miss Munroe! Haven't you been listening?! There's something wrong
with the Professor! HE WANTS ME TO BE A TUTOR!" I yelled at her.
Geeze, normally she wasn't this dense.
"Please don't yell, Michael. I heard you," she said, smoothing down
my hair. She was looking really happy about something.
"But he can't make me a tutor! That's the sort of thing that Kitty
"I'm sure the Professor knows what he's doing, Michael. And I'm
pretty sure that the Klingon Empire has no particular interest in
replacing him with a clone. Oh, and I'm very proud of you."
"What?! Klingon Empire?! What?! Oh -- I didn't really mean that.
Then Miss Munroe gently pushed me into a chair, "Just sit there
until you calm down, Michael."
"I! AM!! CALM!!!"
"Well, thank goodness for that. I'd hate to see you get upset."
I threw my hands up in utter exasperation.
"Why can't you be a tutor, Michael?" Miss Munroe asked quietly,
picking up an eraser and beginning to clean one of the white boards.
There was a catch in her voice. What the heck? "Uh, Miss Munroe,
are you OK? You're not crying, are you?"
With her back to me, she wiped at her face, "No, of course not,
Michael. Don't be silly. I'm just very happy that the Professor
asked you to be a tutor. And speaking of which, you didn't answer
my question. Why can't you be a tutor?"
Oh, for... "Darn it, Miss Munroe! That's for students like Kitty!"
"We are having a conversation here, Michael. Shouting will not
improve it at all. Why is Kitty a tutor?"
I took a deep breath. Then another one. Was Miss Munroe nuts, or
"Because she's very smart, Miss Munroe." I finally answered --
trying my best to be reasonable.
She stopped cleaning the board and glanced over her shoulder at
me, "What's 'smart'? Define that word for me."
I blinked at her in surprise, "Well... smart people know a lot of
"How many people in this school know more about history than you?"
"Nobody," I said flatly.
Then I realized that I was talking to my history teacher. Oops.
"We'll debate the finer points of that statement later," Miss Munroe
said dryly. "But it would seem that you think that you 'know a lot
of stuff' about history. So you must think that you're smart about
I couldn't really come up with an answer to that. Finished with
cleaning the board, Miss Munroe sat down next to me and took one of
my hands in her own.
"As near as I can tell, Michael, you've been told all your life that
you aren't smart. So you eventually accepted that. Even despite
evidence that didn't fit that claim. Such as your skill with the
piano, or your fascination with history."
"Oh, c'mon, Miss Munroe. My grades..."
"You don't learn in the same way that other people learn," she said
"Yeah. Yeah. 'Learning disability' and all that stuff. I've heard
it all before."
"Stop automatically dismissing what I say, Michael. That's very
rude. Actually, I've come to the conclusion that you are quite
capable of learning as well or better than anyone else."
I couldn't help it. I laughed out loud at that one.
She shook her head, "Michael. It's a mutation, just like your
strength and speed. Some mutations are good. Some are bad. With
you, this mutation is somewhere in between. Every student needs
motivation, but you're an extreme case. If your interest in a
subject is triggered, you actually do far better than most people
when it comes to learning that subject. Otherwise, you do much
I thought about that, "So, the way you figure it, since I like
"Exactly," she said.
"But the Professor says I've been getting better in all of my
classes. What about the subjects that I don't like very much?"
She nodded, "Such as math -- traditionally your worst subject. But
now you are learning math from a young lady that you like a great
deal. She's trying very hard to teach you and you want to make her
"OK, maybe so. But I gotcha on this one -- what about English? I
got better at that too, according to the Professor. And Kitty
doesn't tutor English."
"The papers I have you write in my history classes are graded on
writing quality as well as history. No nice, safe multiple-choice
tests for you, young man! And I've noticed that you are extremely
determined about making sure that you get good grades in your
history classes. If you had to improve your writing skills to do
that, then you did."
I scratched my head. This was making a crazy kind of sense. But
"I'll have to think about all that," I said to Miss Munroe.
"That's fine, Michael. But perhaps it's about time that you stop
thinking of yourself as being stupid."
"The hell he isn't!" screamed Jubes.
She was standing in the door to the classroom. Absolutely furious.
Oops, I'd forgotten all about her.
"We were supposed to meet in the library twenty minutes ago! Twenty
minutes! Dammit, Mike, I haven't been able to get anywhere on that
paper. And SOMEBODY..."
Jubes sent a searing glance towards Miss Munroe-- who returned a
"...wants this blasted thing to be ten pages long! And it's due in
"Oh, for Pete's sake, Jubes. Quit panicking," I growled at her as I
got to my feet. "Did you get the reading done?"
"Yeah! It was so boring that I was ready to tear the eyes out of
my sockets just to relieve the monotony! Do you really read that
crap for fun!?"
I started walking towards Jubes, "How about the outline? Did you
put together an outline?"
"Of course I put together a freaking outline! Roman Numeral I:
This assignment sucks! Roman Numeral II: This assignment really
sucks! Roman Numeral III: Where the hell is Mike!? Capital A: We
had an appointment! Capital B: In the library! Capital C: Twenty
minutes ago! Capital D: I'm gonna kick his ass all the way up to
his eyebrows when I get my hands on him!"
I grabbed the collar of that yellow jacket she's always wearing and
dragged Jubes out into the hallway. Just before I left the room, I
glanced back at Miss Munroe. She waved a merry goodbye at me. I
thought a word in her direction that rhymes with 'witch'.
Unfortunately, she's not a telepath.
"I swear Jubes! I've never seen a girl who flips out easier than
you!" I said disgustedly, letting go of her collar as we began
walking to the library.
"Ten pages! TEN PAGES! The entire seventeenth century didn't have
ten pages of stuff happen in it!"
"Wrong. I finished my paper yesterday and it's fifteen pages long."
"Ooh, it just pisses me off when you say stuff like that! Listen,
wise ass, some of us have other things to do with our lives besides
worrying about a bunch of dead people!"
"Oh, now you're being ridiculous."
"Don't you dare call me ridi..."
She ground to a halt, then looked back down the hallway towards the
classroom I'd just come out of.
"What's Miss Munroe laughing about?" she asked me.
I listened. It sure sounded like Miss Munroe was busting a gut.
"Danged if I know," I said with a shrug.