Private Lessons (X Men Fan Fic)Private LessonsAuthor: TheCostumer
E-mail: Fandom: X-Men the MovieDisclaimers:All characters belong to the Marvel EntertainmentGroupand Twentieth
Century Fox, and are used without permission, for entertainment
purposes only. Images on this page are property of20th Century Fox.
No infringement upon therights of Marvel, or Fox should be inferred;
nor is any intended.
Links are to pieces of fic by other writers that helped inspire this story.
Characters: Rogue, Magneto, the "kids", the X-Men, etc.Part of the
Rating: PG for strong language.
Summary: Rogue gets private lessons in controlling her "gift" from Magneto. Magneto's presence at Xavier's school engenders hostility from some, and rampant curiosity from others.
Magneto's arrival at the Xavier school caused widespread consternation among all parties directed at Charles and Marie. Both of them were grilled for days about the proposed stay, Xavier by the X-Men, and Rogue by the students.
Given the violence of the reaction to the news, both of them were feeling relieved that Logan was not there to object as well. It did not take a great deal of imagination to suppose that with the cool headed Scott, Jean and Ororo nearly hysterical with revulsion at the idea of letting Magneto near the school, much less Rogue, that Wolverine's reaction would resemble that of the Tasmanian Devil on Amphetamines. They both hoped that by the time he returned, some progress might be pointed to that would justify their contention that Erik's presence was a requirement for Rogue's development of control.
The student's reactions were less hostile than those of the X-Men, chiefly because their sense of curiosity was paramount over their fears. They had heard the wild stories about the events at the train station on the news, but were secretly rather admiring of the whole incident with the crushed police cars and flying guns. The way that Magneto and his lawyer made the obviously anti-mutant Federal prosecutor look like a village idiot had amused them mightily. And Rogue's indiscretions at the pool house party about his personal life had added some spice to the speculation, both among the boys and girls. Xavier's insistence that the student's not be told that Magneto was there for Rogue's "lessons" leant an even greater mystery to his being there at all. And so Rogue was beset by students who were asking every conceivable question about him before his arrival, and was nearly as harassed by this as Charles was by the hostility of the X-Men.
Erik's arrival into this maelstrom of curiosity and hostility, was wonderfully anti-climactic. He came on a Sunday, in an ordinary taxi, with a couple of ordinary miss matched suitcases, dressed in the plain black coat and hat he wore in cool weather when trying to blend in to a crowd quietly. The students were wildly disappointed, and in a way the X-Men were as well. Scott, especially, had rather been hoping he would either come in attack mode or not at all. Jean radiated disapproval, but was perfectly polite, Ororo actually managed a mild friendliness of manner that surprised even her.
Only Rogue was pitched into a state of panic at his arrival. Somehow she belatedly realized that in forcing him into coming here she had willingly grasped a tiger by the tail. All the suitcases and taxis in the world couldn't dampen down her mounting panic at seeing him again. She hid in the girl's dorm, and viewed his arrival from the window, not daring to go down till Professor Xavier sent for her to meet him in Xavier's office several hours later.
"Ssst!" Remy hissed as he poked his head into the quiet of the library. Jubilee, Kitty and Bobby were hunched over their biology books in theoretical preparation for a test on Tuesday. Remy felt that it looked like Bobby was spending more time pointing to the crease in the visible man in the book than was strictly necessary, considering the test was on electrical impulses related to plants.
"What is it?" Jubilee asked, alert to Remy's air of furtive excitement.
"He's in the Professor's office, next door!"
Kitty made a little kitten like gasp of surprise that Remy found gratifying.
Jubilee, just snorted, "So?" as though she meant "So what?
"So," Remy went on for effect, "the Professor isn't!"
"Big deal!" Jubilee, goaded him further.
"And Rogue," he paused for emphasis, "is."
That brought everyone up short, particularly Bobby, who looked like he was going to be sick on the spot.
"Professor Xavier would never allow that!" he objected.
"I just saw him wheel out of there!" Remy countered, making everyone even more amazed than before.
Jubilee, recovered first, and quickly enlisted Remy's aid in pressuring Kitty to climb her way partly through the intervening wall to listen in to the conversation in the next room. Kitty objected, but was overcome when Bobby added his own pressure to the other two. Since the pool house incident, Bobby had stopped flirting with Rogue, and begun hitting on Kitty, and Kitty was finding it increasingly hard to say no to anything Bobby suggested.
"So" she said.
"So" he said.
She looked at him nervously, and asked: "Are you mad at me?"
He tried to regard her gravely, remembering he was supposed to be here under duress. Despite himself, the corners of his mouth cracked into an ironic smile.
"Really? I mean, you don't mind the fact that I blackmailed you a bit?" She continued to regard him anxiously. She seemed to need more assurance than he had imagined she would.
"No, not really."
There was a long pause. He wouldn't pretend to be angry with her, but he didn't see why he should make this any easier for her than it was for him. Let her begin, since she had asked for it.
Not even, asked. Demanded. Blackmailed. Forced.
If she thought she wanted this, she could damn well tell him exactly what she wanted, and what she didn't. He did not feel he owed it to her to make it easy.
"What should we do first?" Marie asked him.
"Isn't that rather up to you?" Magneto replied.
That gave her pause. Somehow she felt after their last encounter, that he would naturally just take charge. On the other hand, perhaps he knew no more how to begin than she did herself.
Or, perhaps he did. Perhaps he had already begun.
He had neatly maneuvered the ground rules to ones where he was passively responding to her. Why? If he wasn't angry, why force her to make the first move? "Because", she realized, "if I am in charge, he is not responsible for what happens."
"But then," she smiled to herself, "I can be in charge."
"She says she blackmailed him!" Kitty told the others.
"What are they doing?" Bobby asked.
"I can't tell!"
"Well what are they saying?"
"I'm having a hard enough time leaning in this way, without falling through." Kitty complained. "Stop pushing me!"
The others continued to push her into the wall, whilst hissing more questions.
"I was hoping that you would explain how you prevented me from draining your energy," she began, "at least, until, that was what you wanted to happen."
"You don't know?"
"Damnit," she thought, "must you answer every question with a question?"
"I have some idea." She said, instead. "But I think it would be useful to understand it from your point of view." She felt she managed to make that sound very mature and logical.
"Very, well." he conceded. "To begin at the beginning. When you were being held captive, while I came to bring you food, you touched my hand, intending to drain my energy. I raised a small electrostatic field that interrupted the power transfer that would normally occur between you and another living creature from skin contact."
"Later," he went on, "when I wished to have such a transfer occur, I simply ended the field, and then your natural draining ability began to move energy from my body to yours."
"It felt different." Rogue pointed out. "More like you forced the energy in. It was faster than usual."
"Yes." Magneto admitted. "After a moment, I realized that the transfer was happening too slowly, and was taking more of my bodily energy, and less of my power or control than would serve. Since I can send a flow of electrical energy out, rather in the same way as you can absorb it in, I quickly adjusted the flow to send the maximum amount of the needed properties your way, as fast as you could absorb them. That was how I was able to control your body's actions for several minutes after we broke contact."
"And how your own body could recover so quickly afterwards." She concluded.
"Exactly." He went on: "In the natural course of things, if I'd let your usual draining do the transfer, I would have died from simple body weakening before enough of my abilities or control would have been in place to be of use."
"They are talking about electricity." Kitty said when she was pulled back into the library for a few seconds.
"Electricity?" Jubilee repeated with incredulous contempt.
"No, way!" Remy insisted. There was certainly no way he would talk about electricity if he was in a room alone with Marie.
"I can't believe you are just letting them alone for this, Professor." Scott seethed at him again down in the medical lab with Jean.
"It is necessary." Xavier replied defensively. "It is not as though Rogue has anyone else who can teach her."
"They should still not be alone!" Scott said, and made as if to head out the door.
"Jean, stop him." Xavier asked, and Jean, reluctantly, did.
"So." She went over the main points: "You can interrupt my transfer with an electrostatic field. When the field is removed, my body acts like an electrical ground , or, I suppose, battery, would be the better term, draining power from what it touches, storing it. And, you personally can regulate the flow of your energy into that battery, at a higher, or different rate than occurs by a simple drain."
"Do you think that I might also be able to stop or regulate the flow with practice?" She asked.
"Only, 'Possibly'?" Marie prodded. His avoidance in answering any straight question made her want to shake him.
"It seems likely." He admitted, "However, I should warn you, that I think sending electrical energy out, is a great deal more straightforward a thing to practice, than controlling your inclination to pull it in...."
"And as things are," she finished for him "it took you years to control the out flow."
"It did." Erik sighed. "If this works, and there is no guarantee that it will, it will take quite a lot of time. You will need to be patient." Erik generally found patience to be something he had in short supply, a young girl, he supposed, should have even less of that commodity than a man his age.
"I'm sixteen, Mr. Lenscherr." Marie said seriously. "I'm in High School. I'm used to wasting my time learning things that seem to go nowhere. My whole life is on hold till I'm eighteen anyway."
That surprised him. His face showed it.
"And my whole life is pretty much on hold till I fix this problem." She pointed out, with a steady determination. "I mean, Professor Xavier can go on calling it a 'gift' till he is blue in the face, bit it won't be anything but a nightmare until I can shut it off when I want to."
A stab of something, (he could not decide if it was pity or admiration) prompted him to drop the fencing posture he had maintained thus far.
"Then," he said, "I expect you would like to begin."
"They are still talking about electricity" Kitty insisted, when they next brought her out for air.
"Don't just listen," Bobby insisted, "look
Then all three forced her back into the wall.
Jean and Scott were at a standoff in the basement corridor, Scott insisted Rogue should not be left alone with Magneto, Jean insisted he not go looking for a confrontation.
"Look, Scott," she said. "I'll go. I'll go into the library next door to them, and if I sense anything amiss, I'll interrupt before things get disagreeable, OK?"
For ten minutes they tried to engage in a simple variant on her erstwhile attempt to
kill him, although obviously with no dire intent. He would extend his hand across the table towards her, she would touch it, he would lower his barrier, she would try to slow or stop the transfer on her own. Each time she failed, and their mutual sense of frustration mounted.
"She's touching him and he's not dying!"
"Touching him where?" Remy asked.
Every time such a transfer occurred, Magneto got a reverse jolt, or drain of energy, which was as embarrassingly erotic as it was painful. He gave it shorter and shorter intervals before raising his barrier again, till Rogue complained that she didn't even have time to realize the barrier was down before it was up again.
Erik countered that he would hardly be of much use if she killed him on the first day of lessons.
Rogue became sincerely and tearfully contrite at that, and the lesson prematurely concluded with Rogue watering the shoulder of his shirt, and Erik feeling obliged to try to emulate Charles' knack for avuncular comforting.
Between the renewed sense that he was in control of their relationship, and the agreeable smell of her hair, he was actually finding that unaccustomed exercise pleasant.
Kitty was wriggling so much, the other's pulled her through again to find out why.
"OH MY GOD!" she hissed at them, "He's got his arm around her!!!"
The general amazement and horror this news caused was quickly exceeded by the realization that Dr. Gray had walked in the library and had heard the remark. In their haste to remove themselves from the area of the wall, Jubilee tripped over Remy, pushing Bobby and Kitty towards the wall.
Erik looked over Rogue's head, towards the wall, where it sounded as though someone had fallen against it. He was surprised to find a pretty, skinny, blond girlsprawled at their feet, flushed with abject embarrassment.
"Where did you come from?" he inquired with amusement.
Rogue, who in her distress, had ignored the thump, looked up at that and inquired in confusion; "Kitty?"
"Um, er..." Kitty struggled. "I....uh...was in the Library....and I tripped."
Belatedly, Rogue realized how compromising her situation must look to the goggle eyed Kitty. Erik, didn't seem to care, and when Rogue pulled away in embarrassment, he smoothly helped up Kitty, and ushered her to the door.
"We should take you to Dr. Gray, to see that you haven't taken any injury."
As the three of them turned the corner, they found Remy, Jean and Jubilee carrying an unconscious Bobby towards the elevator.
"It would seem to be a rather accident-prone Sunday." Erik remarked to Jean, the amusement in his eyes telling her he supposed that all of them, Jean included, had been spying on him and Rogue.
Rogue, coming to a similar conclusion, was turning redder by the second.
"Damnit!" Scott snapped, seeing Bobby's unconscious form being carried to the med-lab. "I told you!" he uncharacteristically shouted at Xavier, and ran for the door before hearing an explanation, preparing for an altercation with Magneto.
He was rather non-plussed to find himself nose to nose with the man, supporting a wilting Kitty, and backed by a flushed, and obviously safe and healthy Rogue.
"Told him what?" Erik prodded, knowing the likely answer. Charles was tickling at his brain to get in and find out what had happened, Erik let him. Erik was enjoying the situation more and more by the minute. Everyone, Charles included, was looking acutely uncomfortable and mortified by their own stupid behavior. If he'd known how thoroughly he could throw the X-Men into hopeless chaos simply by being "nice", he would have tried it earlier. It was turning out to be quite fun, almost as fun as crushing shiny police cars.
"Erik!" Charles exploded, in annoyance at his train of thought. "DO grow up!"
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