Title: Being Reasonable
Author: Pat Phillips
Summary: Mike gets into a fight, but
fortunately Marie is around to be the soul
Rating/warning & pairing/characters:
Marie, OC(Mike), OC(Jim)
With the exception of Mike McWhirter and
Jim Flanagan I do not own these characters.
Instead, they are the property of Marvel
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", and a major character in a
number of other stories I've written. Jim
first appeared in "Brothers and Sisters".
So Miss Munroe and Mr. Logan dragged my ass all the way from Boston
to this weird school in the middle of nowhere. Then I met this bald
guy in a wheelchair they called "Professor Xavier". And within a
matter of hours I'm up to my armpits in books and homework.
If it wasn't for that Logan character, I'd blow this place. But he
swore he'd do something painful to me if I ran. And that son-of-a-
bitch can smell me even when I'm invisible. And I don't
particularly want to find out the details of his definition
of 'painful'. That guy is just plain scary.
OK. All griping aside, there are good things about the school.
I've made a lot of friends here. There are pretty girls everywhere
you look. Hell, some of the schoolwork is even fun. But, damn it,
I was a freaking super-villan just a while back! Jim Flanagan --
the fifteen year old, one-man, mutant crime-wave! They were doing
news stories about me on TV! The Boston cops were getting nowhere
with me and the FBI was running around in circles!
Now I'm worried about my geometry grade. And I've really got to get
started on that history paper.
Which was why I was in the library. Mike was giving me a hand
tracking down some books for my paper.
Mike is one of the stranger kids in this place, and that's saying
something. Everyone says he's retarded, but I'm damned if I can see
that. Yeah, he says a lot of awkward things, and he's getting
special tutoring in math, and he's also in the remedial English
class. But otherwise, Mike seems like a pretty normal guy. From my
point of view, the strangest thing about Mike is that he flat-out
loves history. He's read a sizable chunk of the history books in
the school library and God help Miss Munroe if she gets a date or
name wrong when Mike is in one of her classes.
Another odd thing about Mike is that he's a really tough kid, buut
he doesn't act like it. I've seen him in the gym doing one-armed
pull-ups while holding 600 pounds of weights in his other hand. As
near as I can tell, only Peter is stronger than Mike -- and that big
Russki has to turn into steel to do that.
Then there's the fact that Mike's also lightning quick. He's
normally not in much of a hurry. But when Mike decides that he has
to move, he's as fast as a scalded cat.
If they ever let mutants into the NFL, Mike will be made for life.
Anyhow, once I found myself deep in a hole with my history paper,
Bobby suggested I see Mike. That was a real good idea since Mike
would rather talk about history than eat, drink, or chase girls. So
he and I wandered down to the library to go over some ideas for the
paper. We settled on a topic that sounded kind of interesting --
the British Royal Navy during the Napoleonic Wars -- and Mike picked
out a few books for me. I was actually begining to feel
enthusiastic about the paper when trouble walked in the library door.
His name is Brett DeFreis. He's a dickhead.
Brett walked into the library with a couple of the older girls. I
didn't know them. And to be blunt, if they were hanging around with
Brett, I don't want to know them.
Mike and I exchanged a slightly disgusted look.
"Studying hard, boys?" asked Brett. He's seventeen and has the
knack of making sure the everything he says to anyone younger than
him is a sneer. Brett has a pretty interesting mutation: he has
the ability to control, concentrate, and shift light around him. He
can make himself hard to see, project a blinding flash of light, or
create a flare of energy that's capable of inflicting some ugly
burns. And he's getting real good at controlling his power.
Let me put it another way: Brett's powerful and dangerous and
that's gone straight to his pointy head.
After I first got here, Brett found out that I could turn
invisible. He can't quite do that -- the best he can manage is a
shimmer that makes it hard to see him from a distance. That
difference between us bothered him for some reason -- sort of like I
was somehow poaching on his territory. He hassled me for a while
and I simply got in the habit of vanishing whenever I saw him
coming. It cut down on the problems.
There wasn't much of a chance to do a vanishing act in the library.
So I shrugged and turned back to the books. Mike did the same.
Brett and the two girls took a nearby table and started chattering.
"So are you OK with the paper?" asked Mike.
"Yeah. But this sure is a lot of reading," I answered, piling up my
books in front of me.
"Read the Devers book first -- it's the most general. Then just
pick out the parts of the other books that will help you write the
I nodded. That was a heck of a lot better idea than trying to read
five books in a week.
"Hey, Mike!" called a girl's voice from the library door.
It was Jubilation. She's this really cute Chinese girl. From what
I've seen, she and Mike are pretty good buddies.
"What's up, Jubes?" asked Mike.
"Have you seen my kneepads? I can't find them." Jubes had her
skateboard with her. I figured she was planning on giving it a
workout. I sighed a bit at that. It looked a lot more fun than
hitting the books.
Mike shook his head, "Sorry."
"No problem. See ya," replied Jubes. Then she left.
The door swung shut.
And then Brett opened his big mouth and said something about Jubes
and kneepads. Then he started laughing. No, I'm not going to tell
you what he said.
Jubes' parents died when she was pretty young. The state of
California put her into a foster home that didn't work out. She ran
away and then had to get by on her own for a few years. I hope
you're catching my drift, because that's all I'm saying on that
Nobody laughed at Brett's comment -- not even the two girls who were
with him. One of them looked away and the other just looked
disgusted. My opinion of both of them rose. Heck, I barely knew
Jubes and Brett was irritating the living hell out of me.
And he was royally pissing off Mike. Remember what I said about him
and Jubes being friends?
Mike looked real hard at Brett and put his feelings in two words.
Brett stopped laughing. Hey, Brett DeFreis was an important guy.
People didn't talk to him that way if they knew what was good for
"Who are you talking to, retard?" he said, getting to his feet. The
shimmer effect begin flickering around him. He had turned on his
It was over in about ten seconds.
The two girls were standing frozen against the far wall. They had
fled there as soon as the fight started. I was keeping himself
between them and the action, just in case something big flew their
Three or four chairs were knocked over, a table had been thrown
across the room, and some books and magazines were scattered around
the floor. Brett was almost a hundred pounds heavier than Mike, but
Mike was keeping Brett's head pinned flat against a table by a
fistful of hair. His other hand had Brett's arm in a hammer lock.
"Let me go, you damned moron!" gasped Brett. A trickle of blood was
leaking from his nose and was smearing across the table. Have I
mentioned to you yet that I think Brett is an idiot as well as a
Mike's expression didn't change as he twisted Brett's head slightly,
resulting in a gasp of pain from the Brett. I didn't like the look
of the hold that Mike had on Brett. A little more pressure from
"Michael!" somebody yelled angrily.
Mike and I looked simultaneously. It was Marie. And she didn't
look very happy.
For the first time, Mike began to look worried.
"Uh... hi, Marie," he said uncertainly.
"Let him go! Right now!"
Mike sighed. Then he released Brett and stepped away.
Brett straightened up and moved backwards several steps, wiping at
the blood trickling from his nose. And mouth. Oh, and the cut just
above his eye. Again, there was that mirage-like ripple around him
as his power flickered on.
Mike eyed Brett. Then he picked up this heavy metal and glass art-
thing from the checkout desk and held it in one hand, his eyes never
leaving Brett. The thing in his hand easily weighed forty pounds
and Mike was hefting it as if it weighed no more than a football. I
had a suddenly mental image of Brett's chest caving in just a split-
second after Mike's clothes caught fire.
Without hesitating, Marie stepped between Brett and Mike. My
stomach did a flip-flop.
"Both of you stop this. I mean it," she said in a voice like cold
For the first time, Mike looked concerned. But Brett was still
"Get out of the damn way, Marie!" he hissed.
Marie glanced first at Mike and then at Brett. I guess she was
figuring their moods. Then she turned to Brett.
"If you say so, sugar. But are you really sure that you want me to
do that? It sure looks like you didn't do all that well against
Mike the first time."
I figure it was time to help, so I spoke up, "Give it a rest,
Brett. Mike gave you a fair chance to shut up and back off. But
you decided to push it -- and you paid the price. He's way too fast
for you and you'll only get embarrassed again. And this time you
might not get off with just a few cuts."
Brett glared at me. Then he looked at Marie. Then he glanced past
her to Mike. I swear, Mike's eyes were now like ice. I've never
seen him like that before. If Brett said or did the wrong thing,
there was going to be some serious mayhem.
Brett did the math, spat out a curse, and the energy field rippling
around him flicked off.
Mike let out the breath he was holding and set his improvised weapon
back down onto the desk.
Marie spoke again, all the while never letting her eyes leave
Brett. "Michael. Get out of here and wait for me in the hallway.
You and I are going to have a talk. I've had it up to here with
your habit of getting into fights!"
Mike winced. "Marie, I..." he began.
"Git!" spat Marie.
Mike left the library. Obviously he wasn't looking forward to what
Marie had in store for him.
Marie looked towards me, "What happened?"
I shrugged, "Brett shot his mouth off and Mike told him to cut it
out. Brett told Mike to go to hell and Mike administered some
attitude adjustment. I'm damned if I know where Brett got the idea
that he could handle Mike in an up-close fight."
Brett was staring furiously at me. Screw him. He'd have to catch
me to hurt me.
"What did you say that set Mike off, Brett?" asked Marie.
Brett shrugged, "It was a joke. The retard is also a nut-case."
"Ha. Bloody. Ha," said one of the girls who was standing behind
me. "Look at me. I'm so damned amused by your subtle sense of
"What did you say to Mike, Brett?" asked Marie again. I made a
mental note that Marie could be relentless when the mood hit her.
"I don't have to answer your questions, Marie!"
"He made a joke about Jubes," said the other girl quietly.
Marie turned her attention back to me.
I sighed and started talking, "You know those kneepads that Jubes
wears when she's skate-boarding or roller-blading?"
"She couldn't find them. So she stopped by and asked Mike if he had
seen them. He told her no. After Jubes left..."
I couldn't quite finish it.
The quiet girl behind me told Marie the rest of the story.
A disgusted look crossed Marie's face -- and then vanished. She
glanced at me and the two girls. "OK, maybe you three should get
out of here before a teacher shows up."
The two girls left the library immediately. I hesitated, not really
sure about leaving Marie alone with Brett.
"Please, Jim," said Marie softly, with a gesture towards the
door. "Check on Mike and see if he's OK. He might have got hurt."
OK, that was an obvious attempt to appeal to my better nature -- the
day Brett could actually hurt Mike in a hand-to-hand fight would be
the day I won the Nobel Peace Prize. But it wouldn't hurt to make
sure, and frankly, I didn't want to cross Marie. So I nodded, still
a bit unsure, and headed for the door. As I passed her I caught a
whisper from Marie.
"I'm gonna be reasonable about this," Marie said to herself in a low
tone. But she said it so quietly that I was pretty sure that Brett -
- who was just a few feet awy -- hadn't heard her.
The door closed behind me. Mike was waiting outside.
"You OK, Mike? You're not hurt, are you?" I asked.
"Nah, I'm fine. Brett's like most of the guys in this school with
a "point and something happens" power. Get close to them in a fight
and they're in big trouble."
From inside the library came loud, muffled voices. I couldn't hear
the exact words.
I looked back at the library door. Damn, I was worried. "I dunno,
Mike. Should we be leaving Marie alone in there with Brett? I feel
awful funny about that."
The noise level increased from the library.
Mike shrugged, "Why should we care what happens to Brett?"
There was a sudden thud and a shriek of pain from inside the
library. The scream had come from Brett.
I gave Mike a startled look.
"Mr. Logan taught Marie how to fight," said Mike calmly.
"Oh," said I said in sudden realization. I relaxed for the first
time since I left the library.
There was this loud wail -- again from Brett -- and something
slammed against the wall, knocking a painting onto the hallway floor.
"Sound like she's got a handle on the situation," I said. "Maybe we
should make myself ourselves scarce. How about a soda?"
"No, thanks. If Marie has to track me down, she's going to be even
madder at me."
A single voice, obviously Marie, was now yelling angrily inside the
library. If Brett had anything to say, I couldn't hear it.
"Well, there's one good thing," I said. "You're probably not in
trouble with Marie any longer. She can't exactly chew you out for
getting in a fight now that she's clobbering Brett herself."
Brett howled. A sudden thud cut him off.
"You know, I almost feel sorry for Brett," I said
thoughtfully. "The guy is having a really lousy day."
Mike raised his eyebrows at me, "Do you really mean that?"
"No. Not really," I said with a laugh.
Then the door to the library opened and Marie came out. She was
rubbing her knuckles. When she saw us, she went from looking really
irritated to looking really embarrassed in a split-second.
Mike and I started giggling. Really, that's the only way I can
Lord help me, I couldn't resist, "So. Did you need a hand hiding
the body? Or should we just call for an ambulance?"
She gave me a look that she must have learned from Mr. Logan. Then
she started down the hall, trying to ignore us.
"Hey, Marie, wasn't there some sort of lecture you wanted to give
me?" Mike asked her with a grin.
"Y'all, shut up!" she said.
"Does her accent always get worse like that when she's mad?" I asked
"Thin ice. Both of you are on thin ice!" Marie snarled.
"We better stop," Mike told me.
"Yeah, it's not smart to piss off these really violent people," I
"Even the pretty ones?"
"Especially them, Mike. Nothing is more dangerous than a pretty
Marie looked heavenward, "Are you two going to follow me around and
give me a hard time all day long?"
"That's the plan," I said agreeably.