COSTUMES.ORG -- THE COSTUMER'S MANIFESTO WIKI

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Love Long, and ProsperPrivate Lessons Part 4, Love Long, and ProsperAuthor: TheCostumer

E-mail: Fandom: X-Men the MovieDisclaimers:All characters belong to the Marvel EntertainmentGroupand

TwentiethCentury Fox, and are used without permission, for

entertainmentpurposes only. Images on this page are property

of 20th Century Fox.No infringement upon therights of Marvel,

orFox should be inferred;nor is any intended.

Archiving: OK

Characters: Magneto, Charles, Rogue, Logan, Kitty, Henry & the other

kids.Part of the

Tara@costumes.orgWhatever Remains Series

Rating: PG

Summary: Erik confesses to Charles, romance and intrigue expands to the student body at large, Logan has fun in Fairbanks, and Erik takes the seniors to a Star Trek Convention.

Love Long, and Prosper

"Aren't you going to have a piece of Birthday cake for lunch, Mr. Lenscherr?" Little Kitty snagged Erik in the hall in a flirtatious tone.

At least that was the impression he had. This morning he was feeling terrified that he had turned into a dirty old man overnight, who was suddenly seeing all the girls as being as forward as Rogue had been yesterday evening. This was his punishment, he decided, for letting that insane "lesson" happen. His imagination was getting the better of him.

"That's very kind of you, Kitty." Was all he said. "How ever did you know that it was my Birthday?"

"It's your Birthday?"

"Yes." He replied, confused. "Isn't that what this is about?"

"Oooh! Freaky!" She explained. "I had no idea! That is, no, it's just it's Rogue's birthday too, and there is a cake."

"Ah." Erik smiled at the girl. "I see. In fact, I recall she said something about having a birthday coming up soon."

"Well," Kitty continued, "if it's your birthday too, you have to come!"

"I suppose so." Erik said politely, as he followed Kitty to the terrace.

"Just what I needed", he thought, "a cheery guilt-inducing reminder of the more than fifty year age gap between me and Rogue."

On the terrace, most of the students, and faculty, were clustered around two picnic tables that had been shoved together. At one end, St. John was showing off by using his finger to act as a match to light the candles.

Kitty announced: "Guess what? It's Mr. Lenscherr's birthday too!"

Much amazement greeted this news, and Erik was obliged to reveal his age, his place of birth, and approximate time of coming into the world to Dani, a pretty Native American student who was apparently fixated on doing his horoscope or something similar. Erik apologized to Rogue for not getting her a present, and vice versa.Their awkwardness in doing so was heightened by the sensation that they felt as if perhaps they had in fact exchanged presents the previous night. It was then decided that both should blow out the candles at once, which they did eventually, despite John's joke attempt to keep re-lighting them remotely.

Bobby, showing all the sensitivity of a teenager, then did the math on Rogue and Erik's age difference, made much of it, and then with equal tact asked "How did you spend your seventeenth birthday, Mr. Lenscherr?"

Magneto tried hard to remember that it would ruin the party if he shot an energy bolt that would electrocute Bobby where he stood.

"I don't recall." Erik lied, managing to keep his tone even. "It was during the War."

Even Bobby could hardly be expected to miss the implications of that remark, and there was an awkward silence.

Only Rogue seemed unfazed. Smoothly, and most definitely with a flirtatious smile (no imagination required) she said: "When was your happiest birthday?"

She knew the answer, and he sensed that she was trying to prompt him to tell the story that would bring the party back to a happy Kodak moment.

"When I was thirteen, just before the War." Erik replied. "I had just got into the Gymnasium (what you call high school) and was feeling very grown up. I got long pants, and lots of gifts that were the sort of things older boys had, Latin books, a slide rule, even a gold pocket watch. No toys, all grown-up items."

"And what was your best present?" Rogue again prompted with a smile.

"Clotilde Duchette." He smiled back. "The same week, my sister Anya got a French governess because our parents thought we should both learn French, and so this very pretty Clotilde girl came to live in our house and give language lessons to my sister and me. At the time I felt like the switch from the plain old Polish lady who had been our nanny till she died, to this radiant exotic French girl, was personally arranged by God to make me very happy. I think I mooned the whole summer before Gymnasium away in the most absurd schoolboy crush imaginable."

" Vous a-t-elle enseigné quelque chose français sans compter que le langage?" Remy asked slyly.

"Aucun elle pas." Erik said dampeningly. "Only the language. And not too much of that since the war started a few months later."

"You had a French governess?" Charles asked his friend, looking astonished. "I thought you were poor."

"I was, after the war." Erik pointed out. "But I grew up the son of a factory owner in Danzig. Not even money can protect you if some fool of a government decides your kind is best exterminated."

It was a point that they'd often argued over. Charles thought it was odd that having such good ammunition for his own point of view that he had never used it before. But then, till recently, Erik had always been a bit cagey about his past. Living at the school, the students with their endless curiosity had broken down lots of the walls Erik had previously set up between those things that were to be spoken of, and those which were not. Something had definitely changed about Erik, and Charles decided he liked the change.

The cake was eventually eaten, and after a bit more trivial conversation the students and faculty went back inside for classes, all except Charles and Erik who did not teach during that hour.

"You seem happy here." Charles remarked.

"I am." Erik replied. "I was. I just couldn't sit back and do nothing when I saw we were in danger."

"And now?"

"We are still in danger." Erik sighed. "Eventually we will argue again about how to deal with it, and I will have to leave."

"I don't want you to leave, Erik."

"Well I certainly don't want to leave either." Erik pointed out. "If it's any consolation, I'm trying to work out a way to do what I feel I need to do, without doing something you need stop."

"What is it?" Charles was curious.

"No niggling around in there, Charles." Erik warned. "You wouldn't approve of it most likely, although it shouldn't do anyone any harm." He paused, tired of this endless, pointless conflict with the only man who he truly thought of as an equal and friend. "It may not work out anyway."

"I don't know," Charles said. "I was almost certain Marie would never learn to touch people, but just yesterday she showed me she could put her hand on mine for a full minute. Sometimes things have a way of working out unexpectedly, in ways you never imagine they could."

Erik looked at Charles. He wasn't exactly sure how to bring up the problem that was now in the forefront of his mind. Still, if anyone at all could advise him, it most probably was Charles.

"There have been quite a few surprises from Rogue all told." He said. "Yesterday during our lesson she kissed me."

"She is so very happy about the results of your lessons, I'm sure she is very grateful." Charles assured him.

"If that is the usual reaction you get from a 'grateful' student, I think your personal life must be far more exciting than I previously imagined." Erik said. "I didn't think that having a girl climb into your lap and attach her face to yours on and off for forty minutes was the usual reaction one got for effective teaching."

"Forty minutes!!?"

"She called it 'escalating her lessons'. I felt like she escalated mine

"But I heard a story that she has just received a love letter from Logan, and was going on about it at dinner last night." Charles sounded confused.

"That was the excuse she gave for 'escalating' the lessons." Erik smiled without humor. "But we had several short transfer bits last evening, and I don't think I'm flattering myself when I say that was not the real reason. She simply wanted to do it."

"Why didn't you stop her?" Charles offered in a disapproving tone.

"Because I didn't want to." Erik admitted.

"She is too young;" Charles said, "and you should be more responsible. Where, after all, is it likely to lead?"

"To my finding myself going completely insane, what else?"

"I don't approve."

"Neither do I."

"Then you will stop her?"

"No. But I don't intend to let her take it any further than that." Erik conceded. "At her age she shouldn't be going further than that in any case, even with some squirrelly boy her own age."

"Precisely why the students don't have private rooms." Charles smiled wryly. "However I still don't see why you would let her continue..."

"If the way she reacts to me is anything like the way she intends to act to Logan when he returns, it is just as well she practice on me first." Erik said defensively. "All the concentration she has learned so far she forgets when she is excited. Even with his power to heal, she would likely kill him in no time at all."

"A humanitarian regard for Logan has not previously been one of your usual personality traits." Charles commented wryly.

"Alright." Erik said. "I admit it. I am hopelessly attracted to her. I just have one question to ask you."

"And that is?" Charles demanded.

Why?" Erik looked confused. "I don't know why, at this late date in my life I should suddenly meet some child, who is so wildly unsuitable, and then feel like I can't live without her. It doesn't make any sense."

"Oh Erik," Charles smiled indulgently. "That is so easy now that I really know her. She is just like you. It's like falling in love with a mirror, and since you have one of the most shatteringly huge egos I know..."

"So do you..." Erik interrupted.

"...you can't help but be attracted." Charles finished.

"Well then, Charles," Erik pointed out, "as you said, 'sometimes things have a way of working out unexpectedly, in ways you never imagine they could.' Let us just hope they do."

"And if she attempts to 'escalate' matters further? How will you deal with that?" Charles asked.

"I will politely inform her that I won't consider giving her another gift at least until her next birthday." Erik answered. "At her age I doubt that her attention span will last the year, especially if Logan returns soon."

"Hisst!" Jubilee whistled through her teeth at Kitty to get her attention. Once she had it she pulled Kitty apart from the others going to dinner and said: "Kitty, I think you should spy on Rogue and Mr. Lenscherr tonight."

"Why?" Kitty looked at her friend in impatience. "They never do anything really interesting. They just sit and hold hands and argue about God."

"I don't know," Jubilee continued, "I'm almost sure that they didn't talk about God last night..."

"What do you mean?" Kitty demanded.

"Well," Jubilee argued, "I thought they were both acting weird at the party today."

"Weird, how?" Kitty asked.

"I don't know...Rogue was flirting with him..."

"Rogue flirts with everyone," Kitty insisted, "I keep expecting to see her lick some guy's face like a dog..."

"Well, Mr. Lenscherr was looking very embarrassed too. Like he felt guilty or something. And after, when we were in Bio' I looked out the window and saw him talk for half an hour with the Professor." When this didn't impress Kitty, Jubilee insisted, "I just know that something is going on. Something is different today compared to yesterday."

"OK," Kitty agreed, "but if I get stuck for an hour hearing Mr. Lenscherr try to convince Rogue that all the awful things that happen in the world are just part of God's lesson plan, not proof that He doesn't exist..."

"Rogue doesn't think God exists?" Jubilee asked incredulously.

"Apparently not," Kitty sneered, "but she seems to think it would be nicer if He did."

"Is that why she gave us those WWJD bracelets?" Jubilee sounded confused.

"Probably." Kitty said. "I think she thinks that 'if God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent Him.' So she sort of does."

"Maybe, she thinks that if everyone believes He exists, He'll come to life. I kinda think that." Jubilee added.

"Like making Tinkerbell live by clapping your hands?" Kitty was sarcastic.

"No," Jubilee snapped, for she didn't care to have her own beliefs ridiculed, " more like if everyone is nice to each other, then that would be heaven on earth."

"And is it 'nice' to spy on her and Mr. Lenscherr?" Kitty queried in mock innocence.

"No," Jubilee admitted, "But I bet tonight that this time it will be fun

"Right." Kitty sniffed, not thinking that it would be for a second.

That evening, however, Kitty decided she had been wrong. Watching this evening's "lesson" was definitely an eye popper. She wished she'd brought her camera.

At first Kitty just figured that Rogue and Mr. Lenscherr were having an affair. However, when Mr. Lenscherr started talking to Rogue about electricity again, Kitty realized that this was in fact a serious lesson in getting Rogue to be able to kiss people without hurting or killing them.

That disturbed Kitty greatly.

She herself hadn't got Bobby, or for that matter any other boy, to kiss her yet.

It was one thing for Rogue to suddenly be able to hold hands with all the boys at school, it would be a complete defeat for Kitty to have her necking with them all once she was finished taking lessons from Mr. Lenscherr.

And on that basis too, how did Rogue get so lucky? Exactly where could she sign up for that class in her curriculum?

She definitely had to do something about this. It was clearly time to consult with Jubilee as to a plan of action.

"The same principle that we used to reduce power wastage in the switching of the radiation energy transmitter," Scott told his Shop class, "can be used to run a chaser sequence of LED lights in your costume, St. John. It should make it so you can spend the whole day at the convention turned on without changing batteries."

"What about the laser eye-piece?" St. John asked, "Do I just use a laser pointer?"

"No, you could fry out someone's retina doing that." Scott grinned with ironic humor, "You would have kind of like a mild version of my own problem. You'll need to put a diffuser lens over the laser. Now what object on this table would make a good diffuser lens?" He asked in a "this will be on the exam" kind of voice.

After rooting about, Jubilee found the answer: "The clear superball!"

"Yes, we just slice it in half, like so, and glue it to the pointer."

"This is going to be the coolest costume at the convention!" St. John enthused.

"Yeah," Bobby agreed, "but you know, I think that the Professor looks more like Locutus than you do."

"Remy!" Kitty cooed as she cornered LeBeau in a secluded portion of the garden at lunch. "Wanna see what I can do?"

After she showed him, Remy decided he was probably having hallucinations. Kitty had always brushed him off before.

"You do very good, chere!"

"I'd like to do better." Kitty smiled. "Wanna give me lessons?"

"Lessons?" This was sounding better and better.

"Yeah." Kitty said in a conspiratorial tone, "Rogue is getting 'lessons' from Mr. Lenscherr, and I for one don't want to get left behind when "exams" come..."

No, he decided, he wasn't hallucinating, he'd just died and went to heaven.

"Yo!" Jubilee said as she sat down at one of the picnic tables that was littered with a group of boys having lunch. "Who wants to give me kissing lessons?"

Logan's life in Alaska was going along rather well he thought. He now had a full time job in Ester at the

Loon tending bar, and by spring had found a better cabin in Fairbanks that was less of a commute than the one in North Pole had been. The crowd at the Loon was a bit less redneck and more leftist intellectual than at the Refinery, but Logan decided that even if the clientele was enlivened by college students who preferred listening to Alternative Rock and watching foreign films, instead of hippie Baptists who liked line dancing, all Alaskans appreciated beer, stomping through the woods, and tipping the bartender enough for him to like most of them.

"Isn't it just too beautiful?" Rogue asked at the dinner table, in all seriousness.

"It is certainly 'special'." Kitty said mock sweetly.

Rogue didn't notice.

"Why don't you wind it up again?" Jubilee suggested with an evil grin.

"NO! NO! DON'T!" Came a chorus of the students, headed by Bobby, whose voice had reached an hysterical pitch.

It was too late.

"It's a world of laughter, a world of tears, it's a world of hope and a world of fears." the little music box played away the tune with obnoxious cheerfulness, "There's so much that we share, that it's time we're aware, it's a small world after all...."

Pained groans came from several places on the table.

"It's a small world after all. It's a small world after all. It's a small world after all...."

"I'm going to kill Logan when he gets back." Remy snapped.

"It's a small world after all...."

"Me first!" Bobby insisted.

The box just went on and on: "It's a world of laughter, a world of tears, it's a world of hope and a world of fears."

"And that fairy on top," St. John added, "Makes me want to hurl."

"There's so much that we share, that it's time we're aware, it's a small world after all...."

"It's not a fairy," Kitty smiled, enjoying their hostility immensely, "It's an angel

"A guardian angel." Rogue added with a sigh.

"It's a small world after all. It's a small world after all. It's a small world after all...."

Jubilee added helpfully: "It's from the "Precious Moments" collection. People collect them like Beanie Babies."

"Ewww." Dani said. "You're not going to get more of those and put them in our room are you?"

"It's a small world after all...."

"Only if Logan sends me some more." Rogue said, the hope in her voice deciding Kitty and Jubilee right then that "Logan" would definitely be sending more gifts designed to elicit similar reactions.

"It's a world of laughter, a world of tears, it's a world of hope and a world of fears."

"Where exactly is Logan now?" Dani inquired politely, trying to block the noise from her mind with an effort.

"In Alaska!" Rogue said. "He sent it from North Pole!"

"The North Pole isn't in Alaska," Peter insisted, with a bit of a sneer.

"There's so much that we share, that it's time we're aware, it's a small world after all...."

"Not 'The' North Pole," Rogue pointed out, "just 'North Pole' the town. I checked on my map, and it's next to

Fairbanks

"It's a small world after all. It's a small world after all. It's a small world af---" the box stopped suddenly, to most of the diner's relief.

"Thank God!" Remy expostulated.

"I think that gift is just so, romantic." Jubilee said in a tone that should have tipped off her friends that she was up to something.

"And the way the angel's halo is askew, is too cute for words." Kitty smiled, drawing in the net. "Wind it up again

Again the objectors hadn't a chance.

"--ter all. It's a small world after all. It's a small world after all...."

"St. John, can you give up some of your kissing time to actually work on our project?" Bobby asked his friend peevishly. He didn't see how he had got left out of that appetizing menu in the last few weeks, but he resented the fact that both his closest friends were getting girlfriends when he was left high and dry. The sudden rumors that Rogue and Mr. Lensherr were practicing more than hand holding had put him in a worse humor still.

"Sorry, I'm booked, Ice Hole," St. John teased. "Why don't you see if you can get Dani to help you with your lessons?" he added as he sailed out the door.

Bobby decided that "it was better to light a single candle, than curse the darkness", and went out looking for Dani Moonstar with a sudden smile on his face....

Business was incredibly busy at the Loon tonight. So busy that Logan had no time to converse with the customers. He kept hearing snatches of conversation, disconnected, yet couldn't piece from the fragments of the conversation why the place was so busy, nor why so many of the customers were dressing in a fashion unusually wild for a suburb of Fairbanks.

A busty girl dressed in stretch vinyl and a pink wig was talking with one of the regulars, a butch looking German reindeer researcher. Logan couldn't decide if the pink haired girl was her regular girlfriend, just dressed strangely, and wearing makeup, or someone else entirely.

"I don't care if Mother wants to hold his breath till he turns blue." she said mysteriously, "I'm not going to stop doing shows just because he's having a hissy fit with the Duchess..."

Meanwhile, a big burly red bearded man in Carharts was insisting with great seriousness: "But don't you think it would have so much more artistic validity if we did 'Vampire Lesbians of Sodom'?" to an older woman who was wearing a moustache made of newspaper, and an Excedrin bottle hung from her neck.

A tall thin man with long silver beard and moustache was conversing with another regular: "The sound system sucks...but what can you expect? They should be doing this at the Palace." Logan noted that both of them were wearing lots more black leather than usual, and in a style not typically used by bikers.

Two women, both rather amply endowed, were dressed in pink metallic tiger print dresses that left little to the imagination: "I always wondered why Hans didn't notice that the loaded chamber indicator wasn't indicating! I would think that an international terrorist would be proficient...."

"What is going on tonight?" He finally got a chance to ask his boss. He realized they were both making sales and tips aplenty this evening.

"The KDQ show." he said, then hared off before Logan could ask what that meant.

Magneto was feeling very satisfied with himself. Not only had he managed to regain some control of the situation with Rogue by bringing the focus back to a concentrated series of "lessons" in controlling her power, but he'd managed to do so without giving up any of the more enjoyable aspects of the sessions. What was even more pleasant was that in several accidental "transfers" with Rogue, he'd gained the flattering knowledge that Rogue was increasingly attracted to him. While he could no more see a future for them than before, it was still an ego boost.

More importantly, however, Bobby and St. John had completed their project, and had placed it in a spot in the garden where it was supposed to trigger mutations in a set of roses nearby. After less than a week it had done so, and Erik used it's success as an excuse to bring the device indoors again. Bobby and John were then assigned safely away to study and cultivate the new "Xavier" rose, and Erik was given time to make a second copy of the machine with slight modifications before it occurred to them to try their own machine out on other garden flowers.

He finally had the device of his dreams: It was small, didn't take much power, made no noise or light, and had an effective radius of about twenty feet. All he needed now was two things: An excuse to go to New York, and a place there to test it where it wouldn't draw attention if suddenly someone started showing signs of transforming into a mutant. He figured there were lots of places in New York that would probably fit the bill. Having an excuse to get away, and a way to avoid Scott's shadowing when he did, was all he needed now.

Scott Summers couldn't quite figure out why the garden was so quiet this afternoon. His sensitive hearing had alerted him to the curious fact that lunches and other play/break times were getting quieter each day that month, but he hadn't found himself alarmed by the fact till one day he realized that there was almost no sound coming from the garden at all.

He strode out onto the terrace purposefully, poised for trouble, and expecting the worst.

He was stunned by what he found. Nearly all the students appeared to be in twos, or in twos with a group watching and giving a critique. All the couples seemed to be engaged in kissing passionately, in a manner he definitely did not recall knowing about, much less doing when he was their age. The watchers kept giving suggestions, like they were coaching each other in a competitive sport.

"WHAT IS GOING ON???" He nearly shouted to a group that had sprouted around Dani and Bobby.

Everyone began talking at once, and Scott had trouble working out what was going on for some time. Once he did work out the cause of this obscene behavior, he went running into the mansion, prepared to throttle the cause.

Jubilee and John, who were the ringleaders of the Star Trek Fan Club had come upon a horrible problem. For the students to go to the long awaited convention next week they needed a faculty member to go with the group. Unfortunately, the eternally cooperative Dr. Gray, who was to be their original chaperone had come down with an appalling case of adult chicken pox, and would probably be in bed for weeks. Knowing how dangerous such a disease can get with adults Mr. Summers wouldn't consider leaving the mansion, and with Ororo and the Professor having to take a flight to Germany that weekend to speak before the EC on mutant rights, that left only Mr. Lenscherr as a possible "babysitter" for the club members.

Everyone had been so looking forward to the convention, especially John, who was entering the costume contest, that they had to try to convince Mr. Lenscherr to go. Both of them really held out no hope for success. Still, they had to try:

"Mr. Lenscherr?" Jubilee began in an unusually meek tone for her. "I was wondering if you would be willing to go to New York this weekend?"

"New York?" Erik's ears perked up.

"It's the Star Trek Convention, Mr. Lenscherr." John put in. "Dr. Gray was going to take us, and now she is sick."

"A Star Trek Convention?" Erik asked, "isn't that where people dress up like aliens and mutants?"

"Yeah." Jubilee admitted. "But Professor Xavier says it's OK, and not anti mutant or anything, because Star Trek preaches peace and racial harmony."

"Yes," Erik said with an indulgent yet ironic smile, "I can see that Charles would love that show..."

"It's just that I've spent two months working on my costume..." John began to nearly whine.

"The point is," Jubilee cut in harshly, "We won't get to go if you won't take us, and everyone is really looking forward to it. We really, REALLY need you to do this or all our..."

"Of course, children." Erik smiled, looking like a cat who had swallowed a crate load of canaries. "I've always wanted to see one of those conventions."

John and Jubilee were flabbergasted by the ease with which he had agreed.

"What do you think I should wear?" He asked them, a radiant smile on his harsh features.

Logan decided that he was in heaven. After the show let out, and most of the weird audience people and performers had drunk themselves out of the contents of their wallets and went home, a gorgeous blonde girl was sitting by the bar drinking virgin strawberry daiquiris and flirting outrageously with him.

"You underage?" he asked. "Is that why you get them 'virgin'?"

"Yeah," the girl replied throatily. "Why? Did you think I like virgins, baby?"

"Do you always dress so nice to see a show?" Logan inquired as he admired the clingy beaded bare midriff top and chiffon skirt in violet and silver.

"I was in the show, you naughty man." She replied rapping his knuckles with her cigarette holder. "Didn't you watch?"

" I was tending bar." Logan admitted. "You want to come back to my place and show me your number?"

"I'll show you mine, " she purred, "If you show me yours..."

A rather butch looking stout woman in a pageboy and suit popped next to the girl. The one thing that Logan had never got used to was Alaskan females. Half of them were like this woman, where you couldn't tell if they were really Dykes or just regular Alaskan chicks who never wore lipstick. The Blonde was the first really sexy girl he had seen since he got here. He liked tall leggy girls who wore makeup and dressed like girls, preferably in something tight.

"Isis!" The woman snapped at the girl. "Could we go home now or are you going to seduce Elvis here?"

"Oh, Mother," the girl sighed theatrically. "you are being a gorgon, or at any rate a monster without being a myth." She nonetheless draped herself around her mother in a rather friendly manner and prepared to go off with her.

"You're her mother?" Logan couldn't help blurting with astonishment.

"Yes," she warned, "and I'm doing this as much for your good, little boy, as for hers." she added cryptically, then went off with her.

Logan was disappointed. So near and yet so far. It was only 10 minutes to closing.

"It looked like you were having a good time there." His boss smiled at him.

"That's the sexiest girl I've seen in Alaska." Logan smiled back. "She looks like Madonna crossed with Marilyn, but younger."

"She's a high school boy."

There was a pause. Logan realized his boss wasn't joking.

"His mother lets him dress like that?" Logan sputtered in embarrassment.

"That's his roommate. A guy." he went on. "But when he dresses in drag he is her mother."

Moments like this he thought Fairbanks was too weird even for him.

For the first time in months Logan wished he was in Westchester with a nice timid teenager like Rogue. The kids at the Xavier school were so well behaved and squeaky clean. They would never get up to any sexual escapades much less exotic ones like cross dressing. There was something very pure and untouched about Rogue and the other kids there. Maybe it was time to go back.

Almost as soon as the children had left, Scott came thundering into his lab in a towering rage.

"WHAT is this I hear about you giving Rogue 'KISSING LESSONS'????!!!"

"Ah." Erik noted his question mildly.

"I'm going to tell Professor Xavier about this," Scott hissed in outrage. "So I suggest you pack." Scott was nearly out the door again, when Erik said:

"Charles knows

"Right." Scott turned and sneered incredulously. "Like Professor Xavier would ever allow that. HAH."

"You are perfectly welcome to check the matter up with Charles." Erik smiled, enjoying Summer's discomfiture. "The fact is, that without weeks, or even months, of practice on a person she can't hurt, Rogue is quite likely to kill whatever boy she decides to kiss."

Scott shifted uncomfortably. "She shouldn't be doing that sort of thing at all at her age."

"At seventeen?" Erik laughed. "Are you serious? Most girls her age think about little else but boys and clothes. Keeping them from doing more than that is the problem...."

"Do you know the effect this is having on the school?" Scott raged. "Do you have any idea what is going on right now in the yard?"

"When last I checked from my window," Erik admitted with a grin. "I thought it safe to say that many of those children are progressing in their extracurricular studies to the point that they could easily give any of us adults pointers."

Erik had insisted that the boy Henry McCoy, be allowed to come along to the convention. He had lost an argument with Charles some weeks before over where the child was to sleep, when Henry had first arrived. Charles insisted the boy with blue fur covering his body have a private room in the basement, and Erik had nearly gone ballistic. He argued that the boy was being treated differently merely because he had an appearance that would not "pass" for normal, and then went off into his usual tirade about Charles' "racist" tendency to recruit "normal" looking mutants, ignoring those who like Toad or Sabertooth who could not "pass." Erik then raked Charles over the coals again for not being "out" as a mutant, nor telling the world what the school actually was. The argument got very nasty and personal before Charles would reveal his real reason for hiding the boy:

"Erik," Charles admitted sadly, "you are forever telling me that sooner or later some sort of storm troopers will come and try to haul off or kill the students. I just look at that boy and think, if he is right' and I pray you are not, if he is right, they will try to kill that boy first I just want to keep him out of danger, in case I'm wrong and you are right. Does that seem 'racist' to you?"

At which point Erik had all the wind taken out of his rhetoric.

So when he found the blue boy had a desperate wish to go to the Trekkies convention, he insisted that he be allowed to go. Charles balked, reminding Erik that with such an obviously mutant appearance he might be subject to harassment and danger.

"St. John," Erik argued, "says that he will look positively normal next to all the people dressed as Klingons and other space aliens. Everyone dresses up in strange costumes and makeup there, the kids say that no one will even notice him. You must admit that for a boy like Henry that must amount to a treat in itself."

"But what if someone realizes that he is a mutant?" Charles worried.

"Well, you tell the children that this Star Trek show always preaches peace and racial tolerance," Erik countered, "so in theory, the fans will not care."

"And if the theory is wrong?" Charles asked pointedly.

"I will be there." Erik insisted. "Do you seriously think that anyone will have a chance to harm him with me present?"

Charles had to admit the prospect was unlikely. What Erik might do to any idiot who tried to hurt the boy, however..."Just don't create an incident if you can help it." Charles begged in resignation.

"I promise to be terribly circumspect." Erik smiled, happy to have won this round. "We have found him one of those Starfleet jerseys to wear, so anyone who sees him will suppose he just has a very good costume."

"You know, your own face is pretty well known, too, since the trial." Charles pointed out. "Your own appearance in a public venue might trigger an incident on it's own."

"I have thought of that," Erik smiled, "and considered that I would not wish to bring such an incident upon the students. So they have obtained rubber ear tips and a little makeup for me so I may appear to be a 'Romulan', whatever that is."

Charles actually snickered. "Oh, that is perfect! You are a Romulan, Erik."

The e-mail impersonation of Logan continued unabated. Jubilee and Kitty kept making up greater and greater outrageous letters of love. Since their own experiences kissing were proving to be quite educational, they now often included long descriptions of what "Logan" wanted to do to Rogue when he returned. While these descriptions were, like the girls own experiences, merely rated PG, they were still rather "hot" in tone. Rogue got in the habit of checking her e-mail just before her sessions with Erik, as sort of a "warm-up". It did nothing to improve her sense of control, but it certainly helped to make her enjoy her lessons as thoroughly as possible....

Erik hadn't actually expected to enjoy himself at the convention. The idea of babysitting a dozen squirrelly children at a convention of loony fanatics of a 1960's TV show, while having important work to do at the time, sounded like a recipe for stress and annoyance. He felt surprised, therefore, when an hour into their stay he realized he had actually forgot to even turn on the radiation energy transmitter, so engrossed was he in the doings at the convention.

Firstly, it was no exaggeration to say that none of them, Henry included, would stand out. The amazing array of home made costumes and special effects makeup that was on display among the conventioneers was a visual delight. His own gray uniform coat and cape (which the children had judged to be sufficiently 'Romulan' looking to pass as a costume, looked dull and uninteresting next to some of the Klingons, Borgs and Betazoids that were wandering about. Shy Henry told him that people kept coming up to him and telling him he had the best costume at the convention, and seemed most amused at being mistaken for "normal."

Erik himself was amused to see that in the booths selling comic books there was a whole series of comics called "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles". He'd heard of it before, when one year his little granddaughter Luna phoned him and said that was what she wanted to be for Halloween, but at the time he thought it was just something she had made up. What was amazing was that the mutants in this comic were the good guys. He bought a copy of one of the multiple issue books to remind him he needed to have a discussion with Charles about his recent notion of making mutants fashionable among teens. After all, if the pretty, clever, girls and boys of the Academy couldn't convince other teens that mutants were "cool", no one could.

Still, if they couldn't, his little device would eventually fix the problem.

From his chaperone's spot guarding everyone's bags (including the one with the now active device) centered among the sea of folding chairs, his eyes darted about watching the kids enjoying themselves in their silly costumes, getting in line to have actors autograph photos (As a star struck Remy was doing in a line waiting to meet Marina Sirtis) or vehemently conversing with strangers in Klingon (as Jubilee seemed to be doing) or simply watching a makeup demonstration where a geeky young man was laboriously turned into a fearsome alien (like Bobby and Dani). He was so absorbed in doing this, he scarcely noticed that the costume contest had begun, till he heard St. John's name called and saw him walk out on stage with his flashing lights twinkling.

John was greeted with a number of cheers, not all of which were from the Xavier students in the hall. His Borg like demeanor and walk made him an audience favorite. By the end of the contest John had third place honors, although his was far from one of the flashiest outfits, most probably, Erik thought, because he never broke character on stage.

After John returned to the seats happily clutching his ribbon and gift certificate, the announcer started to announce the names of the winners of the "Hall Costume Contest". John translated this to Erik as meaning awards given to people who weren't entered in the main contest, but had just been picked by judges as being the best dressed people milling about the hall and dealer rooms. All the students cheered, when Jubilee won for her Klingon costume, but were terrified when the announcer named the "Best in Show":

"Henry McCoy!!" The woman shouted with glee, and a huge round of applause broke out. Poor Henry, who had previously congratulated himself at finding an abandoned front row seat, now found himself pushed up onto the stage by a crowd of well wishers.

Erik thought he would vapor lock on the spot.

"And how did you make your wonderful costume?" The announcer demanded, thrusting the microphone in Henry's terrified face.

"Um, uh," Henry stammered as Erik broke out into a sweat, "I, uh, didn't."

"Oh!" The woman remarked cheerily, "Who did? And what is it made from?"

Erik could see the other students rushing towards the stage, and cursed inwardly that the very "incident" he'd sworn to avoid was coming at them with the inevitability of a runaway train.

"Actually, it isn't a costume." Henry was too scared to lie. "I'm a mutant."

"Really?" The thick sculled announcer thought he was joking.

Erik prepared to send an energy bolt at the stage if anyone were to attack Henry.

"Really." Henry offered: "you can pull on my ears to check."

She did. "OH MY GAWD!" She enthused. "This is SO cool!" Then she turned to the audience and gleefully announced. "He really is a mutant! It's not a costume at all!"

And then, to Erik's amazement, the whole hall broke into a frenzy of applause, hoots, and cheers. The announcer said, "Well you really did have the best costume after all, cause nobody guessed it was real..." and on that illogical note presented him with the prize anyway. There were more cheers, and Henry looked happier than Erik had ever seen the boy.

He was so happy at the warm waves of acceptance flowing out from the oddly dressed denizens of the hall, that he blurted out: "And my friends are all mutants too, and they are here with me!" He then started reaching to the edge of the stage where most of the group had gathered, and started pulling them up on stage to share in his triumph. The cheers just went on and on...

"Well," Erik mused, "this was certainly an 'incident' of sorts: 'outing' the entire senior class of the school en masse, at a Star Trek Convention....Charles," he supposed "will have a cow when he hears of it."

Still, it was difficult to worry about that. He was too busy having to concentrate hard on not crying stupid sentimental tears, watching Henry and the others get warmly enveloped in the fold of Trekkie love.

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"The Costumer's Manifesto"
by Tara Maginnis