COSTUMES.ORG -- THE COSTUMER'S MANIFESTO WIKI

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Private Lessons Part 2'''Private Lessons Part 2, Boys and Girls'''Author: TheCostumer
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Private Lessons Part 3, True Romance'''Private Lessons Part 3, True Romance'''Author: TheCostumer
  
E-mail: Fandom: X-Men the MovieDisclaimers:All characters belong to the Marvel EntertainmentGroupand Twentieth
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E-mail: Fandom: X-Men the MovieDisclaimers:All characters belong to the Marvel EntertainmentGroupand
  
Century Fox, and are used without permission, for entertainment
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TwentiethCentury Fox, and are used without permission, for
  
purposes only. Images on this page are property of20th Century Fox.
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entertainmentpurposes only. Images on this page are property
  
No infringement upon therights of Marvel, or Fox should be inferred;
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of 20th Century Fox.No infringement upon therights of Marvel,
  
nor is any intended.
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orFox should be inferred;nor is any intended.
  
 
Archiving: OK
 
Archiving: OK
  
Characters: Rogue, Magneto, Bobby, Charles & the "kids".Part of the  
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Characters: Rogue, Magneto, Logan, Kitty, Jubilee & the other
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kids.Part of the  
  
 
[[1pagesFanficFanfiction|Tara@costumes.orgWhatever Remains]] Series
 
[[1pagesFanficFanfiction|Tara@costumes.orgWhatever Remains]] Series
  
Rating: PG-13 for salacious Internet surfing.
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Rating: PG
 
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Summary: The kids are pitched into jealous battles as the girls try to uncover secrets, and the boys teach Erik about the Internet. Mostly silly stuff.
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'''Boys and Girls'''
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"So what were you ''really'' doing in there?" Jubilee pressed again, apparently not accepting Professor Xavier's explanation that Rogue had been getting lessons in controlling her "gift" from "Magneto.
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"I told you!" Marie snapped. "He's helping me to touch people without killing them."
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"So?" Jubilee continued, wanting more information. "Like, where did you touch him?"
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"Don't be gross!" Kitty objected.
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"Oh shut up!" Jubilee countered. "You were ''looking''
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"Only because you made me!"
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"Ohhhh. Poor widdle Kitty!" Jubilee taunted. "You like me because I 'make' you do stuff you want to do, and then you can blame me for it..."
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Kitty blushed since it was uncomfortably close to the truth.
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"I don't see why you are so interested." Rogue threw at them coolly, tossing her hair and implying that their fascination was both juvenile and perverse. She found she was getting quite good at sounding more sophisticated than she actually was, and generally everyone bought it.
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Jubilee would have none of it this time though.
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"So," she demanded again, "where did you touch him exactly?"
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"His ''HAND''." Rogue maintained angrily.
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Jubilee snorted inelegantly. "That's not all, I heard."
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Kitty blushed more than ever, as Rogue glared at her.
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"All I said..." she began, in a whisper.
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Summary:Kitty's revenge prompts Rogue into wanting to speed up the lessons. Rogue/Magneto "Shipper" stuff & humor.
  
"You two are perfectly perverted in your ideas." Rogue interrupted in the cool tone she had used earlier. "The man is seventy or more."
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'''True Romance'''
  
"And you blackmailed him." Jubilee pressed with the tiny scrap of information she had. "what did you blackmail him with, I wonder?"
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Charles was feeling extremely well with the world today. In the three months since Erik had come to the Xavier School, things had quieted down to an agreeable hum of learning activities, unblemished by conflicts or negative publicity. Erik had happily taken to teaching the two subjects Charles had requested he teach (Combat and Applied Physics), and those classes were rapidly turning into favorites with the students. Erik seemed happy with his new work, and was even doing extra hours with the students who were building projects for the Physics class.
  
Rogue blushed, thinking that what she had blackmailed the Professor with would shock them all even more.
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Scott was finally beginning to relax. The previous month Erik drove to New York claiming he was visiting his tailor. Scott insisted, in a paranoid frenzy, that he would "tail" him to "find out what he was up to" in New York. At the end of the day, Scott was grudgingly forced to report to Charles that other than picking up latkes at a street vendor, and trouncing two muggers who attacked him in broad daylight, he had done nothing whatsoever other than actually visit his tailor.
  
"And what is he doing for you in exchange?" Jubilee continued, making it sound like it had to be something quite rude.
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The lessons with Rogue also seemed to be progressing better as well. Charles had suggested to Erik that instead of entirely pulling away his defenses while Rogue tried not to pull out his energy, he should see if he could pull back, like a tug of war, so Rogue could gradually accustom herself to reducing her own pull. Erik learned to do this and so this suggestion worked out so well that only this morning Rogue was able to pat Charles on the hand for the first time, showing off her new ability. She seemed radiantly happy.
  
"Oh, Jubes." Kitty put in. "It can't be anything like that! They were just talking about electricity after all..."
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The sun was shining. This Summer, the weather reports said, would continue to be hot, dry and unmarred by rain, and Charles was comfortably certain that the immediate future, at least, was bright as well.
  
"You were listening in too!" Marie hissed, losing any semblance of cool in her outrage.
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Kitty was not feeling quite so well with the world. She had still not figured out a way to get even with Rogue, although with each passing week she wanted to do so more and more. Bobby was still ignoring her in favor of the Steel Magnolia (as Kitty had begun thinking of Rogue), as were lots of the boys who previously had thought Kitty the prettiest girl at the Academy. The tasty Mr. Lenscherr was still giving the Magnolia mysterious "private lessons", which she had tried spying upon several times, but had still not found out anything damaging enough to be useful.
  
"Well, I ...."
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If that were not enough, The Magnolia kept wearing those dog tags of Logan's, like a trophy. She talked about Logan like he was her personal property. Kitty had conceived an instant crush on Logan, (so much like a sexy male version of her best friend, Jubilee), when he had arrived with Rogue that Fall, and she was horribly disappointed when he left without saying goodbye.
  
Rogue didn't wait to listen to any explanation, but slammed out of the dorm in mortification and anger.
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''Of course, he had found time to say goodbye to The Magnolia, and leave her his dog tags too.''
  
"I'm telling Professor Xavier!" she shouted as she left.
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And now, months later, Rogue was still wearing them, fondling them as she sighed and seemed too go off into a goopy romantic train of thought, even though it was obvious that every attractive male in the whole school (except for Mr. Summers) was at The Magnolia's feet.
  
"Oh, dear." Kitty fretted.
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It just wasn't fair.
  
"Hmm." Jubilee mused. "I wonder if there really is something going on there.."
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"Bobby!" Rogue cooed as she sat down at one of the picnic tables that was littered with a group of boys having lunch. "Wanna see what I can do?"
  
"What do you mean?" Kitty asked in confusion. "Wasn't that the point?"
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"Me next! Me next!" was what Remy was shouting as Kitty and Jubilee walked out to the terrace. Rogue was surrounded by a clutch of people, mostly male, demonstrating something.
  
"Nah." Jubilee answered. "I didn't think so. But it is such a kick to get a rise out of her, I thought it would be fun."
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Kitty and Jubilee came to the table, and both gasped when they saw what Rogue was doing. A person at a time, Rogue was putting her hands on top of those of each of her friends for a few seconds at a time, without her usual gloves.
  
"You mean you don't really think there was anything funny going on between them?"
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Nobody fainted. Nobody died.
  
"Of course not!" Jubilee gaped at her friend in amazement. "I mean the guy is seventy or something!"
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Remy, whose turn had finally come up, said, once Rogue's hand was on his: "That's great, chere! Now could you do that longer, and lower
  
"Oh."
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Rogue merely slapped his hand playfully at that, and shot him a flirtatious look.
  
After a pause, Jubilee asked Kitty: "You don't think there was anything really going on do you?"
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John asked with a lewd grin: "So when does Mr. Lenscherr think you'll be ready for kissing lessons?"
  
"I guess not." Kitty admitted reluctantly.
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"OOOhhh!''Gross!''" Bobby said.
  
"I mean," Jubilee continued, "Bobby is nuts to be jealous."
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"I don't know, John." Rogue said staring steadily Bobby's way, "But I promise, when I am, I'll be sure to keep myself in practice, if ''some of you'' will help." Bobby, and anyone else, could be sure where she intended to ask for help first.
  
"I guess." Kitty said flatly.
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"I'll help!" Remy offered eagerly. "Me, I have lots of practice!"
  
"You guess?" Jubilee asked incredulously. "Like any red blooded girl would prefer that old fossil to a babe like Bobby Drake? Are you nuts?"
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"I'm going to kill her!" Kitty actually shouted, once she and Jubilee were out of earshot. "I'm going to kill that skanky, vacuous Southern white trash Magnolia if it's the last thing I do on earth!"
  
"Well," Kitty felt compelled to point out. "he's very nice. He didn't say anything mean at all when I fell through the wall. He just took me to the infirmary, and pretended everything was normal and all, and...." Kitty trailed off as was her wont.
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"She certainly seems to have forgotten about Logan lately." Jubilee observed thoughtfully.
  
"And..." Jubilee demanded.
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"Logan, Bobby, John, Mr. Lenscherr, it doesn't matter who!" Kitty raged, "If it's ''male'' that little energy vampire pulls them in like a sucking black hole in the Xavier Academy universe!"
  
"And....for a fossil," Kitty insisted, "he's pretty cute."
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"Maybe," Jubilee proposed, "if Logan were to write to her..."
  
For the first time in their friendship, the loquacious Jubilee was at a loss for words.
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"What?" Kitty asked, confused.
  
"So Mister Lenscherr," Remy asked eagerly, "Would you like to see the computer lab?"
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"Maybe," Jubilee said, in the tone she used when she was about to involve Kitty in a plot, "if Logan were to write to her, she would lose interest in the others."
  
"That's all right." Erik tried shrugging him off, "I think I know the way."
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"We don't know where he is." Kitty pointed out in an aggrieved tone. "So I don't see how we can get him to ''write'' her."
  
"Oh, it's no problem." Remy insisted, and led him there anyway. Once there he still fussed at him. "Can I get you anything? Do you need help logging on?"
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"Don't you?" Jubilee said in a superior tone, laced with intrigue. "''I'' do."
  
"NO." Erik said, more sharply than he wished to. "That is, I'll be fine, thank you."
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She then grabbed Kitty by the wrist, and dragged her towards the computer lab.
  
"Do you need coffee or anything?" The boy asked, not seeing that Magneto wanted him gone.
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Ever since Mystique had contacted him with the amazing news that Senator Kelly was, in fact, very much alive, and that the mutation device did not in fact kill, Magneto had been trying to work on a modified version of the machine. Charles had unknowingly made the job much easier by putting him in charge of the Applied Physics class, as well as an expensively appointed new lab for the building of fun little gadgets like this one. It warmed his heart that, albeit unknowingly, Xavier was helping him forge the new future for mutantkind with a generous application from his checkbook.
  
"No." Erik maintained. "I just need some quiet time to send some e-mail."
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He had completely rethought the device. The old one, he admitted now, was an appallingly witless design, badly built in the frenzied haste to have some such device ready in time for the World Summit. The new device, he was determined, should not have any power wastage through gratuitous generation of light and sound, should be small enough to fit in a duffel bag, and should use no more energy to operate than could be generated by a rechargeable lithium battery.
  
"Oh." Remy finally took the hint and left.
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If it was as small, easy to operate and discreet as that, the fact that it's range might be reduced was irrelevant. He could use it repeatedly, in all sorts of locations, with no one the wiser, and the cumulative effect would be even greater than if the original device had worked. If he could figure out how to not only make such a device, but make many of them cheaply, he could install devices in public locations in all major cities, gradually using them to mutate the whole world's population in bits and drabs.
  
Actually, Erik was dying for coffee, and had no idea how to log on, but he was tired of having Remy follow him like a puppy. He had no idea what he had done to earn the Cajun boy's hero worship, but it was wearing thin as an amusement after two days.
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The key he felt was in working out a way to reduce the power wastage that ensued due to the rotating ring. The ring caused extreme friction, which in turn generated lots of heat, light and noise. Nine tenths of the power used to operate the machine was wasted with these unwanted by-products of setting the electromagnetic ring-generator spinning. If he could generate and spread the same sorts of waves by another means, the energy needed to power it would be cut by at least nine tenths.
  
"He thinks if he hangs around you," a voice explained from a dark corner of the lab in a sepulchral tone, "that it will rub off."
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And in an argument the previous week in class, that John had with Bobby in the new lab about the relative power of heat vs. cold, the two actually stumbled upon at least part of the solution to the problem.
  
"And, what," Erik asked Bobby, "is supposed to rub off?"
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"Jubilee," Kitty enthused, "you are the greatest evil mastermind that ever lived."
  
"What ever it is that you do for Rogue." Bobby replied, his normally cheery tone still absent.
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"Now all we have to do," Jubilee said, "is set up a fake Hotmail account, and send the letter."
  
"Ah." Erik sighed in comprehension. "I take it that Marie is very much admired by the boys here."
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"Do you think we should maybe tone it down a bit?" Kitty worried. "I mean, he hasn't written her in over half a year. If he suddenly writes her he loves her, maybe she'll know it's a hoax."
  
Nothing but a brooding silence emanated from the dark corner.
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"Never forget, Kitty," Jubilee smiled, "people believe what they want to believe."
  
"You do know," Erik tried to assure the boy, "that all I'm doing is helping her practice touching people without killing them."
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That evening, after dinner, Magneto went as usual to Charles' office for his private lesson with Rogue. She was there ahead of him today, and one look at her face told him that something had happened since the day before.
  
"That's what Professor Xavier said." Bobby said in a tone that implied he didn't believe the belated explanation the students received on Sunday night.
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"I take it your trials with touching people other than me went well?" He asked, wondering if that was the cause of Marie's apparent excitement.
  
"You don't seem to realize that you are the most likely beneficiary, if we succeed." Erik bent a knowing smile in the direction of the corner, willing the boy to respond.
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"Oh," she said, distractedly, "yeah, they went ok."
  
He did: "What do you mean?" Bobby inquired suspiciously.
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Obviously that was not it, but Erik was not about to beg for further information if she was not going to volunteer it.
  
"Well." Erik pointed out. "If Rogue can suddenly manage to touch people, who do you think she is likely to 'grab' first? Logan isn't here, I'm old enough to be her grandfather, and Mr. LeBeau, I sense, is the sort of boy who chases girls so much, they get in the habit of running away..."
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"Now that you can safely touch people," Erik pointed out, "I expect we can conclude our lessons."
  
"I don't know why you suppose she would..."
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Perhaps that was the reason she was so delighted, Erik thought, feeling vaguely disappointed. He had rather been enjoying these sessions since Charles' useful suggestion had made them less painful and more relaxed. He and Rogue had all manner of interesting discussions during them about politics, religion and ethics. In addition, the simultaneous pleasure of having agreeable proximity to an attractive young girl did nothing to reduce his enjoyment in the lessons.
  
care about you?" Erik smiled, as Bobby emerged hopefully from the corner. ''"God,"'' he thought, ''"was I ever as naive and easy to manipulate as this?"'' Heshifted a chair into place near his own, and the boy flopped into it. ''"Probably not."''
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"Oh no, Mr. Lenscherr!" Rogue objected at once. "No! In fact..." she seemed to be making up what she said as she went on: "... I think I want to escalate matters."
  
"Do you think she does care?" Bobby asked.
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Erik was confused.
  
''"Definitely never as easy as this."'' Magneto decided, then said: "Well, she seemed rather concerned when you were knocked unconscious."
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"Escalate?"
  
"She did?"
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"Yes," Rogue insisted. "I'm thinking that I want to move forward as rapidly as possible."
  
"Yes." He had Bobby's rapt attention now, and suddenly realized that he had charmed the boy like a snake, without having a useful reason for doing so. Of course, it never hurt to try to recruit allies or followers, but it struck him as funny that he was so much in the habit of doing so that he was automatically picking up admirers among Charles' students like his clothes picked up lint. What could he have the boy do that was useful?
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"Well, my dear," Magneto pointed out, "Now that you can touch people, you can practice on anyone."
  
"I don't suppose you could show me how to get on the Internet?" Erik asked, hopefully. "I was thinking that I might as well spend my spare time here catching up on all the computer things I've grown behind on in the last few years."
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"Well, yes," Marie admitted, "sort of...."
  
"I thought you said you were sending email." Bobby mentioned.
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"Sort of?"
  
"I'm afraid I said that in order to get rid of Mr. LeBeau." Erik admitted, with a conspiratorial smile. "I'm afraid his chasing me about makes me want to run too..."
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"Well," she went on, "if I get distracted for a moment, I 'jolt' people. Bobby startled me as a joke when I was touching Peter Rasputin today, and it knocked him out for five minutes."
  
Bobby smiled back, and leaned forward to grab the mouse with pleasure. "Well, Mr. Lenscherr, " he said, enjoying the unaccustomed power that kids get when they know more about a subject than their professors do, "you are going to have lots of fun on the Internet."
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"Well, that is not too dire," Erik considered, "I'm sure if you just take it very slowly, and carefully...."
  
Bobby was mooning over Rogue again and Kitty was highly irritated. Bobby seemed to have forgotten her existence entirely, and hadn't even apologized for knocking her through the wall in the three days since that humiliating incident.
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"Oh, but I want to speed things up now..." Rogue maintained. "I want to get as far as I can as fast as possible!"
  
For the first two days she could chalk up the omission to his own injuries, and the rather depressed way he had been moping about, nursing his own shame. But today, in their first class, he came in looking like a ray of sunshine, ''"Humming for heaven's sake!"'' she thought, and sat next to Rogue, not her as he'd done before. He topped it off by spending most of the hour flirting with Rogue, ogling Rogue, and passing stupid ice sculptures to Rogue, right under Kitty's nose.
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"Might I inquire," Erik asked suspiciously, "what has prompted you to this sudden wish for haste?"
  
The normally pacific Kitty was ready to kill. She just wasn't sure which of them she should kill first.  
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"Mr. Summers?" John Allerdyce asked after dinner, "Could you help Bobby and me with a project we are doing for Physics?"
  
She was also feeling less than charitable towards the Professor, since he could hardly have missed what was going on, and yet hadn't said a word. Normally, he'd have jerked Bobby back to attention in an instant....at least he always did when Bobby flirted with her. Instead he smiled quietly to himself, and pretended not to see what Bobby was doing. Something was going on that made it all "different" and she was determined to figure out what it was.
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"That's not exactly my area, John." Cyclops demurred. "Why don't you ask the Professor?"
  
Getting detention from Professor Xavier yesterday, had not sweetened her mood either. Rogue had "told" as threatened, and so she was stuck for hours doing an extra 10 page essay on "ethics" for punishment for the wall incident.  
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"Oh, not Physics-Physics" John said. "It's for Applied Physics, for Mr. Lenscherr. He's with Rogue right now doing her lesson. Besides, it's a mechanical question anyway."
  
She couldn't confide in her friend, Jubilee, since Jubes and she had got in a fight on the very subject of Bobby's attractions two days before. Running to Jubes and complaining that Bobby was ignoring her after declaring again, only yesterday, falsely, that she thought he was only "so-so" looking, would sound like defeat.  
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"Well, then," Scott said, "I'll see if I can help." ''"And see if he's been up to anything in that lab as well." ''he thought.
  
So Kitty went off to a corner of the grounds to have lunch by herself, and figure out a plan for vengeance.
 
  
" Rogue, I'm getting concerned that with the short length of your lessons, Magneto may easily find the time to cook up some trouble." Professor Xavier began. He had pulled Marie aside during lunch for a private conference in his office.
 
  
"I'm sorry, Professor." Marie conceded. "It's just that the lessons haven't been going well at all, and I keep hurting Mr. Lenscherr."
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" Oh, heavens!" Kitty exclaimed to Jubes in the privacy of the Girls Lav. "If you were a guy, I'd kiss you! I'd marry you! You are my deity!"
  
"Hurting him?" Charles' incredulity at that statement was palpable. Rogue explained about the way the lessons were conducted, and Charles promised to try to think out a better method of working that might make longer lessons possible.
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"She bought it!" Jubilee laughed. "She actually frigging BOUGHT IT!"
  
"However," he went on, "even if the lessons might be extended to go for an hour or two a day, they certainly would not be so time-consuming as to keep him out of trouble for an extended period." Charles thought he should impress upon Marie the dire consequences of her blackmail. Since Marie had created this dubious situation, he felt that sharing the trouble of dealing with it with her was appropriate. If she was going to play games with adults like Magneto, she would need to learn that there were responsibilities and problems that went along with such games.
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They both dissolved into hysterics, and knee slapping for a minute.
  
"He has been fine so far, Professor" she pointed out. "He's settled into Logan's old room, and everything has been fine."
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"Oh, Jubes!" Kitty had an idea. "Do you think she'll write back
  
"It's been only three days, Rogue." Xavier countered. "Even Erik could not manage to hatch a whole new plan for world domination and the overthrow of the government in three days!"
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"OF COURSE!" Jubilee maintained. "Did you see her face during dinner? I thought we would die! At least I thought I would die. I don't know how you maintained such a serious face when she was positively glowing with horniness, or whatever that was."
  
"Well," Rogue asked, "does he have any other hobbies?"
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"Oh I'm sure it was LOVE!" Kitty laughed, "True Love incarnate! After all, he '''saw a shooting star, and it reminded him of her'.'' I'm sure the Steel Magnolia thinks she's the cover girl on 'True Romance' today."
  
Jubilee couldn't eat her lunch. Her curiosity was burning up her appetite. First, Professor Xavier pulled aside Rogue for a "private conference' that she was itching to find out about. She went looking for Kitty to help listening through the wall, only to find that her friend had run off somewhere and could not be found. That was second. Kitty seemed like she couldn't tie her shoelaces without asking Jube's opinion normally, yet obviously, she was now off doing something behind her back. It was so out of character, she wondered if Kitty was quite well, or had actually got bonked on the head a bit too hard when falling through the wall.
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"I thought I was going to choke on my lasagna when she quoted that line to Bobby."
  
Then for thirds, she went to look for Remy and Bobby, to at least speculate and argue on what was going on in the Professor's office, and they were not out having lunch either. She realized that most of the other older boys were absent as well. Something very weird was going on, she was certain.
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"I thought," Kitty said, with a satisfied gleam, "that Ice-boy was going to freeze solid right then!"
  
In a flash of inspiration, she headed for the computer room.
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"Now all we have to do is send the package!" Jubilee exclaimed.
  
"All you need to do to find stuff is type in search terms to an engine like Google or AltaVista," Bobby explained to Erik. The fascinated throng of boys clustered around the monitor, eager to watch what Mr. Lenscherr might type in for his virgin surfing experience.
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"How do we do that without having the postmark look wrong?" Kitty asked.
  
Erik decided not to type in anything that might be a problem if it got back to Xavier. He typed in the safest possible topics: "mutant" and "friendship" and hit the "enter" key.
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"That is so simple!" Jubilee gloated. "That's why I said he was in Alaska! There is this little town in Alaska, called North Pole, and you can send a letter or package there, and they will send it to whoever you say with a local post mark."
  
Immediately, the screen filled with a list of sites.
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"Why?"
  
"Now, you can click on each one, " Bobby added, "and see what the search brought up."
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"Because it's 'North Pole', see? You know, Santa? Elves?" Jubilee explained. "People send their kids Christmas stuff there and then the kids think the box comes from Santa."
  
Erik did so, one at a time, experimentally.
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"Cool!"
  
"HOT MUTANT BABES WANT TO MEET YOU!" The first site announced in flashing block letters, as an animated slideshow of various scantily dressed and generously endowed "mutie" girls flicked in a loop on the right side of the screen. In a smaller font, the site said: "Correspond with mutant girls seeking pen-pals for friendship, love and marriage. Visa and MasterCard accepted."
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"Only this little girl is going to think her Santa has an Elvis cut, and a great pair of buns..."
  
Erik, torn between fascination and horror, gaped like a fish at this wonder of modern technology and communication.
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"Amen." Said Kitty. "And Merry Christmas!"
  
Recovering quickly, he asked, "how do I get back to the list?"
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Logan's disappointment at finding little more than a huddle of empty featureless abandoned buildings at the site of the secret base took over a year from which to emotionally recover. He rooted around the site for days, hoping to unearth papers, or artifacts, or memories, yet all had been swept clean. He could find nothing, nor feel anything from walking through the abandoned base. In abject hopelessness he had hared off North, further away from New York and his new friends, unwilling to go back there with nothing to show for his travels.
  
"Hit the 'back' button." someone suggested.
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The supreme irony was that he had really ended up exactly where Kitty and Jubilee were pretending he was, in North Pole, AK, home of K.J.N.P. (King Jesus North Pole) TV, The Santa Claus House, and the Refinery Lounge. Logan obtained part time employment at this last establishment as an I.D. checker, cashier and (when needed) bouncer. He got friendly with the aging bikers & hippies, young military guys, Alaska Natives, and native Alaskans that spent their nights there. Many of them, too hadn't clued in that sideburns went out during the Nixon administration. Others were attempting to grow enough facial foliage that they looked like members of ZZ Top. Logan's Elvis do, and worn biker gear made him seem so much one of the usual guys, he kept forgetting he wasn't.
  
He did so, repeatedly, but all that happened was his browser became entangled in a Java trap laid by the evil webmaster of the "HOT BABES" site. The screen was a whirr of scrolling text banners, pop up animated windows, and photos of half naked bodies, that steadfastly increased in numbers as he tried to exit.
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Logan lived in a rented "cabin" way off of Badger road, that had been cobbled together out of an old "Adco" building that once had been used in pipeline days to house oil workers in cubicles. The Adco had been slapped against and connected to a homemade house of plywood and pink foam insulation. The former owner, rather than cover the pink skin of the insulation had painted the Adco building to match, so the whole thing resembled a big T of Pepto Bismol pink, gone badly to seed. The usual dead cars and refrigerators were stacked in the armpit of one side of the T, and Logan parked the bike in the other. The cabin actually had electricity, oil heat and a phone, so between these comforts and the comparatively large amount of floor space in his home, he felt quite comfortable except when having to use the outhouse in sub zero weather.
  
Bobby, took control of the mouse, and with a few clicks forced the browser back to the list.
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He had decided that he'd stay the winter, see if he could save up some cash, and find a permanent job. He felt right at home there.
  
At the next site on the list, he was presented with an image of a pretty mutant woman, photographed rather badly, sitting on a beach somewhere in Indonesia. She too seemed unusually well endowed, and was wearing a rather virulently pink bathing suit in a size he would have judged to be rather too small for her figure. Her page declared, "I like long walks on the beach, Country Western Swing, and romantic movies." There was an irritating midi file that then loaded with a howl, that seemed to be an attempt at a rendition of "Stand by Your Man", but Erik couldn't be quite sure. He read on: "I am seeking friendship with a mature, marriage minded Christian gentleman, who wants children. Please send correspondence to..."
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"So, this letter has prompted you to want to 'escalate' things?" Erik inquired. "What exactly is it that you want to 'escalate' to?"
  
He backed out of that one as well, when "Stand by Your Man", or whatever it was, reached an ear splitting crescendo.
+
Rogue had the grace to blush, but her eagerness to be armed and ready for Logan's possible return still prompted her to say: "Kissing."
  
The next site appeared to be nearly a clone of the first, down to the colors of the fonts, however, the scantily dressed figures were male mutants, who, in this case were labeled: "Correspond with gay mutant boys seeking pen-pals for friendship, love and hot gay sex." Credit cards were also accepted there.
+
"Kissing?" Erik tried to say severely. "I hardly think that Charles would approve of that, now would he?"
  
Bobby backed Erik out of a similar Java trap (including all the same pop up windows as before), and they reached a text-only page of mutant personals listings.
+
"Well," Rogue argued, "that is what I thought before you arrived, too. But then he maintained we were to have our lessons alone, even after the other teachers insisted we have another person present the whole time. He also gave us his office to practice in, and pulls the shades each night when he leaves, so I figure that he is probably ok with anything that works."
  
"DIMINUTIVE TOAD-BOY," one began in caps, "Longs to please...."
+
Erik had observed the same signs, and also suspected that Charles might be working overtime to turn a blind eye to whatever passed between them, still, Erik didn't much like being used as a means to an end, and was disposed to ignore Charles' hint.
  
''"Oh, God." ''Erik thought. ''"Morty still hasn't fixed that
+
"I think that is a talent you would do better to practice on boys your own age." He again tried sounding severe. "I'm sure you can find a half dozen volunteers."
  
[[1pagesFanficFanfictoad1|ad]]''
+
"The last boy my own age I practiced on was in a coma for three weeks, and nearly died." Rogue reminded him. "You seem less fragile."
  
Magneto read down several other ads in the listing, in simple curiosity at viewing this portion of the mutant world of which he had previously been unaware, but found himself faintly uncomfortable doing so with a flock of teenage boys watching his every move. He backed out of that page also, and went onto the next.
+
"And you wouldn't care if I died anyway." Magneto sniffed in disdain, trying to sound offended. He didn't quite believe it any more, but he thought it made a good effect.
  
"Gay African-American Mutants for Christ" another page announced, " is a non-profit organization bringing together Gay mutant Christians for friendship, prayer, and dating. We meet regularly on Tuesday evenings at 7pm at the Baptist Church of Christ on Lombard Street....."
+
"And I couldn't kill you if I tried." Rogue decided to stroke his ego. "You may remember, I did try."
  
Jubilee decided that somebody must have slipped LSD into the O.J. this morning. She had no sooner discovered that Mr. Lenscherr was surfing sex sites with the boys in the computer room, than she caught Kitty slipping into his room furtively. Kitty never did anything like that without prodding.
+
''"Good shot, little girl,"'' he thought silently, ''"you know damn well that the fact you tried is why I find you so attractive."''
  
She hovered in the hallway, and nabbed Kitty when she went out the wall again.
+
But he said: "I still cannot think of a good reason why I should encourage you in this dubious enterprise."
  
"EEkk!" Kitty squeaked in surprise.
+
So Rogue proceeded to show him why, in terms that quickly lost him the argument.
  
"Shhh." Jubilee hissed. "They are all down the hall in the lab, keep your voice down."
+
''"Well," he admitted to himself, "it was an argument I wanted to lose anyway..."''
  
"What are you doing here?" Kitty tried to ask casually, to poor effect.
+
"Oh, Mr. Lenscherr," St. John said to Magneto as he was climbing upstairs for a rather early bedtime, "we worked it out!"
  
"What am ''I'' doing here?" Jubilee hissed back, pulling Kitty downstairs into the comparative privacy of the main floor hallway. "What are ''YOU'' doing here? And what are you doing in Mr. Lenscherr's room?"
+
"What?" Erik asked, his train of thought very much on the unusual "lesson" he'd just given, ''"Or was it the unusual lesson I just had?"'' he wondered to himself.
  
"Maybe we could get him interested in doing something non-violent that wastes a lot of time" Marie suggested to Xavier.
+
"The radiation energy transmitter?"
  
"What do you have in mind?"
+
"Yes?" Erik still didn't understand.
  
"Well, Bobby said he was going to show him how to surf the Net today at lunch," Rogue said, "and lots of the kids spend hours and hours every day doing that..."
+
"We finally got it to work!" the boy said.
  
"Perhaps," Charles considered it was possible, "But I would prefer that he be scheduled into some sort of activity we can monitor. I was thinking that I might ask him to teach one of the subjects at the school, since the official explanation of his presence here, that we have been giving to the press, is that he has come here to teach."
+
Magneto's face lit up like the night floodlights at Yankee Stadium.
  
"Perfect!" Rogue smiled at him brightly, thinking with annoyance that he had decided this before she ever came in, and had fretted away her hunch hour just to punish her for creating the situation in the first place.
+
"How?" he asked, astonished.
  
"Not really a punishment," Xavier answered her thought, "more in the way of a lesson."
+
"We looped the power at a low level, so that the chaser sequence is just an interrupt within a continuous flow, not an off and on, and we use a sink to do the interrupt so it doesn't cost power."
  
Rogue dropped the false smile and glared at the Professor.
+
"What made you think of that?" Erik smiled.
  
He remained unperturbed. "You have in common with Erik the habit of jumping into actions without considering all the negative consequences."
+
"Actually, we didn't" St. John said. "We asked Mr. Summers for help."
  
"So what subject have you decided he should teach?" Rogue changed the topic.
+
For a moment Erik's face showed panic. ''"Did Scott know what I was doing with John and Bobby's class 'project'?" ''he thought. ''"No. If he did, he would hardly be helping, now would he?"''
  
"Well, physics is his forte, as is one of mine, and I could ask him to cover my classes, on the grounds I've been feeling poorly."
+
John read his expression to mean something entirely different.
  
"Yes but how long can you convince him of that?"
+
"Oh!" he asked Magneto, worried, "weren't we allowed to ask for help from one of the other professors?"
  
"Not long I fear." Charles smiled at her, "I have to admit, I'm feeling positively cheery lately that he is here again. We had planned the school, and built it, with the intent we should both run it together. I can't help hoping that if we can keep him here long enough that he gets involved in the students and the school, that we could belatedly bring him back into the fold."
+
Erik smiled again. "No! It's wonderful you have learned to power the device!"
  
Rogue doubted this, but felt that if it were possible, Magneto would probably like that as much as the Professor would. She was certain that the years he had spent with Charles in Westchester, setting the place up, were among Erik's happiest.
+
"Really?" John demanded reassurance. "You don't mind we got help from Mr. Summers?"
  
"Is there a subject," she asked, "that you don't presently teach, that Mr. Lenscherr could start teaching?"
+
"Absolutely not!" Erik beamed at the boy, with a beatific smile that would have done Charles' proud. "I'm just so glad he has shown a helpful interest in your project!"
  
Charles appeared to consider that for a moment, then brightened with an almost evil grin.
+
As St. John left him, and Erik went to bed, he continued to smile. He was really having fun here at Xavier's school he realized. Soon mutantkind would at last be safe, and, till then, what with one thing and another, Erik was feeling at last like all was well with the world.
  
"There is not only one," he said, "but two! What is more, they are both subjects he berated me for not putting into the planned curriculum. He won't be able to resist if I tell him I've decided I was wrong, and want to include them."
+
Rogue couldn't sleep.
  
"So?" Rogue was excited, she didn't remember "remembering" anything about this. "What are they?"
+
Way too much had happened to her for one day and she was simply humming with excitement in body and mind. First, Magneto had told her she was ready to test touching out on other people that morning, and the thrill she had doing so was excitement enough for a week. Even with the minor setback of knocking poor Peter out for a bit, the day could have been accounted a thrilling success on that basis alone.
  
"Combat," Xavier said, "and Applied Physics."
+
She felt like it was the first day of having a normal life she had had in nearly a year. Holding hands with friends, flirting with the boys, everything was showing signs that by the time she graduated from the school, she might expect to return to the real world with all the advantages and none of the curse of her "gift."
  
"What is 'Applied Physics'?" Rogue asked.
+
She thought, if things proceeded along as well as they had in the last three months, she might actually begin to think of her mutation as a gift after all.
  
"It's where you make things, like that Mutation machine, or Cerebro, or any other invention of the sort---Erik loves that kind of thing, and he his very good at it."
+
Then, just before dinner she checked her e-mail.
  
"Isn't that dangerous?" Rogue asked, not anxious to find herself experimentally strapped to the latest fun device Magneto might create, class project or not.
+
Logan had written her a message for her Birthday tomorrow. He was in Alaska and was thinking of her. After eight long months he had finally written, and the letter he wrote was so wonderful it made her want to start singing and dancing right there in the computer lab.
  
"With a dozen teenagers 'helping' him every minute?" Charles scoffed, "How much trouble can he get into with Bobby, St. John and Remy looking over his shoulder the whole time?"
+
She cried till she laughed, and sailed into dinner on a cloud of dreams of romance. She could scarcely eat she was so excited, and while she remembered telling everyone about the letter, she couldn't remember a word anyone else said. She felt she might have had dinner with no one, and not noticed anyone was missing.
  
"Mutant Teens and their Pets" was the next title that appeared on the screen, and Erik wondered why, with such a safe, wholesome subject as "The natural friendship between girls and their favorite animals", he would have to click on a "You must be over 18 to enter" button to actually see the teens with their favorite animals.
+
She felt so very full: full of love, full of hope, full of the kind of joy you only hear about in stupid love songs on the radio.
  
After he did, he was in no doubt about why. Nothing the High Evolutionary ever did with livestock mutation really seemed quite as perverse as what these otherwise squeaky clean "farm girl" looking young ladies seemed to be doing with their 4-H projects.
+
Logan loved her. And everything was well with the world.
  
"It seems," Erik finally concluded, "that Senator Kelly is actually right about something after all. There does seem to be a lot of sex on the Internet."
+
Logan was like an angel to her, she decided. Her better self, a kind gentle heart with a rough exterior. She was usually afraid that her own exterior was just pretty poison, a beauty-laid trap for people who didn't guess at the darker soul within. Logan loved her, and the goodness in his soft squishy middle would fill up the dark spaces like spackle and let her be normal inside as well as outside.
  
"Yeah!" Remy enthused. "Isn't it great?!!"
+
Between the two things, her outside learning to touch, and her inside filling the dark spaces with a pure love, she hoped she could put back together her old life, and forget she was ever a mutant.
  
"I want to get even with Rogue for ratting on me to the Professor." Kitty told her friend with unaccustomed vigor. Her motivations vis-à-vis Bobby she wasn't ready to share with Jubilee yet.
+
What then, she wondered, prompted her to tell Magneto that she wanted to have him teach her to kiss him?
  
"So?" Jubilee hung on to her original question, like a dog on a bone. "What does that have to do with Magneto's room? You aren't seriously hot after him, are you?"
+
It was totally unnecessary.
  
"No!" She popped back, thinking they had been through this before. "I was in his room because it was Logan's old room. I was looking to see if he left anything behind that I could use to annoy Rogue."
+
She should have just concentrated on simple touching with her friends, and left the kissing lessons to Logan when he got back. After all, with his healing powers he was almost as indestructible as Magneto. Why then, when Erik was at the brink of dropping the whole thing, had she insisted he not stop? Why had she even pushed it to the next (rather shocking) level?
  
"That is so lame." Jubilee snorted. "Did you find anything?"
+
The explanation she had given him was so lame, even to her own ears, she could see why he didn't fall for it. What astounded her further was that when she knew she had no better explanation up her sleeve, she had merely kissed him, trusting that her lips could explain things to him words would not.
  
"Not really." Kitty admitted with a sigh.
+
And they definitely did.
  
"And you didn't even bother to go through Mr. Lenscherr's stuff?"
+
The effect of her actions was that both of them were so distracted that they entirely forgot to pull or push the energy flow and nearly caused Erik to pass out with an energy transfer.
  
"Well, I did a bit," she admitted "in case I might find out something useful, but there wasn't really anything interesting there either."
+
It felt great.
  
"Well, he had two big suitcases full of stuff on Sunday," Jubilee pointed out. "There must have been something in them!"
+
He didn't say a word of reproach. No biting dart of sarcasm shot out of his lips. In fact neither of them said a single word to one another for the remainder of the hour. They just kissed, and rested and kissed again.
  
"Lots of clothes, mostly," she said, then considered: "there was one weird thing, he had five steel ball bearings, about the size of golf balls in with his socks."
+
It was definitely weird she decided. There was Logan, absolutely the hunkiest piece of male flesh she had ever seen. And Logan she loved, unreservedly, with her heart, her soul and her mind.
  
Marie was finally allowed to leave and eat by Xavier.
+
And then there was Erik, who after tonight she could not quite think of as "Mr. Lenscherr" anymore. Erik was easily old enough to be her grandfather, and was, she decided, even smarter than the Professor. And how did he make her feel? Did she have a warm grateful feeling for his avuncular manner? Did she dwell on a finer appreciation of his brilliant mind? No, she just wanted to tangle her hands in his hair, and kiss him so hard she would swallow him whole.
  
She was cynically thinking that she would have all of five minutes to scarf down her lunch before History class, and so was running out the door without looking.
+
''The weirdest part about the whole thing was that she didn't feel guilty.''
  
"He has ''STEEL BALLS''??!!" Jubilee exclaimed, as Rogue nearly bumped into Kitty, then stopped, hands on hips, looking at both of them with scorn.
+
But guilty or not, she wasn't going to get a wink of sleep.
  
"You two!" Rogue sneered, "Don't you ever think about anything but sex?"
+
[[1pagesFanficFanfic10|Go on to Part 4]]
  
 
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Revision as of 01:36, 23 January 2014

Private Lessons Part 3, True RomancePrivate Lessons Part 3, True RomanceAuthor: 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: Rogue, Magneto, Logan, Kitty, Jubilee & the other

kids.Part of the

Tara@costumes.orgWhatever Remains Series

Rating: PG

Summary:Kitty's revenge prompts Rogue into wanting to speed up the lessons. Rogue/Magneto "Shipper" stuff & humor.

True Romance

Charles was feeling extremely well with the world today. In the three months since Erik had come to the Xavier School, things had quieted down to an agreeable hum of learning activities, unblemished by conflicts or negative publicity. Erik had happily taken to teaching the two subjects Charles had requested he teach (Combat and Applied Physics), and those classes were rapidly turning into favorites with the students. Erik seemed happy with his new work, and was even doing extra hours with the students who were building projects for the Physics class.

Scott was finally beginning to relax. The previous month Erik drove to New York claiming he was visiting his tailor. Scott insisted, in a paranoid frenzy, that he would "tail" him to "find out what he was up to" in New York. At the end of the day, Scott was grudgingly forced to report to Charles that other than picking up latkes at a street vendor, and trouncing two muggers who attacked him in broad daylight, he had done nothing whatsoever other than actually visit his tailor.

The lessons with Rogue also seemed to be progressing better as well. Charles had suggested to Erik that instead of entirely pulling away his defenses while Rogue tried not to pull out his energy, he should see if he could pull back, like a tug of war, so Rogue could gradually accustom herself to reducing her own pull. Erik learned to do this and so this suggestion worked out so well that only this morning Rogue was able to pat Charles on the hand for the first time, showing off her new ability. She seemed radiantly happy.

The sun was shining. This Summer, the weather reports said, would continue to be hot, dry and unmarred by rain, and Charles was comfortably certain that the immediate future, at least, was bright as well.

Kitty was not feeling quite so well with the world. She had still not figured out a way to get even with Rogue, although with each passing week she wanted to do so more and more. Bobby was still ignoring her in favor of the Steel Magnolia (as Kitty had begun thinking of Rogue), as were lots of the boys who previously had thought Kitty the prettiest girl at the Academy. The tasty Mr. Lenscherr was still giving the Magnolia mysterious "private lessons", which she had tried spying upon several times, but had still not found out anything damaging enough to be useful.

If that were not enough, The Magnolia kept wearing those dog tags of Logan's, like a trophy. She talked about Logan like he was her personal property. Kitty had conceived an instant crush on Logan, (so much like a sexy male version of her best friend, Jubilee), when he had arrived with Rogue that Fall, and she was horribly disappointed when he left without saying goodbye.

Of course, he had found time to say goodbye to The Magnolia, and leave her his dog tags too.

And now, months later, Rogue was still wearing them, fondling them as she sighed and seemed too go off into a goopy romantic train of thought, even though it was obvious that every attractive male in the whole school (except for Mr. Summers) was at The Magnolia's feet.

It just wasn't fair.

"Bobby!" Rogue cooed as she sat down at one of the picnic tables that was littered with a group of boys having lunch. "Wanna see what I can do?"

"Me next! Me next!" was what Remy was shouting as Kitty and Jubilee walked out to the terrace. Rogue was surrounded by a clutch of people, mostly male, demonstrating something.

Kitty and Jubilee came to the table, and both gasped when they saw what Rogue was doing. A person at a time, Rogue was putting her hands on top of those of each of her friends for a few seconds at a time, without her usual gloves.

Nobody fainted. Nobody died.

Remy, whose turn had finally come up, said, once Rogue's hand was on his: "That's great, chere! Now could you do that longer, and lower

Rogue merely slapped his hand playfully at that, and shot him a flirtatious look.

John asked with a lewd grin: "So when does Mr. Lenscherr think you'll be ready for kissing lessons?"

"OOOhhh!Gross!" Bobby said.

"I don't know, John." Rogue said staring steadily Bobby's way, "But I promise, when I am, I'll be sure to keep myself in practice, if some of you will help." Bobby, and anyone else, could be sure where she intended to ask for help first.

"I'll help!" Remy offered eagerly. "Me, I have lots of practice!"

"I'm going to kill her!" Kitty actually shouted, once she and Jubilee were out of earshot. "I'm going to kill that skanky, vacuous Southern white trash Magnolia if it's the last thing I do on earth!"

"She certainly seems to have forgotten about Logan lately." Jubilee observed thoughtfully.

"Logan, Bobby, John, Mr. Lenscherr, it doesn't matter who!" Kitty raged, "If it's male that little energy vampire pulls them in like a sucking black hole in the Xavier Academy universe!"

"Maybe," Jubilee proposed, "if Logan were to write to her..."

"What?" Kitty asked, confused.

"Maybe," Jubilee said, in the tone she used when she was about to involve Kitty in a plot, "if Logan were to write to her, she would lose interest in the others."

"We don't know where he is." Kitty pointed out in an aggrieved tone. "So I don't see how we can get him to write her."

"Don't you?" Jubilee said in a superior tone, laced with intrigue. "I do."

She then grabbed Kitty by the wrist, and dragged her towards the computer lab.

Ever since Mystique had contacted him with the amazing news that Senator Kelly was, in fact, very much alive, and that the mutation device did not in fact kill, Magneto had been trying to work on a modified version of the machine. Charles had unknowingly made the job much easier by putting him in charge of the Applied Physics class, as well as an expensively appointed new lab for the building of fun little gadgets like this one. It warmed his heart that, albeit unknowingly, Xavier was helping him forge the new future for mutantkind with a generous application from his checkbook.

He had completely rethought the device. The old one, he admitted now, was an appallingly witless design, badly built in the frenzied haste to have some such device ready in time for the World Summit. The new device, he was determined, should not have any power wastage through gratuitous generation of light and sound, should be small enough to fit in a duffel bag, and should use no more energy to operate than could be generated by a rechargeable lithium battery.

If it was as small, easy to operate and discreet as that, the fact that it's range might be reduced was irrelevant. He could use it repeatedly, in all sorts of locations, with no one the wiser, and the cumulative effect would be even greater than if the original device had worked. If he could figure out how to not only make such a device, but make many of them cheaply, he could install devices in public locations in all major cities, gradually using them to mutate the whole world's population in bits and drabs.

The key he felt was in working out a way to reduce the power wastage that ensued due to the rotating ring. The ring caused extreme friction, which in turn generated lots of heat, light and noise. Nine tenths of the power used to operate the machine was wasted with these unwanted by-products of setting the electromagnetic ring-generator spinning. If he could generate and spread the same sorts of waves by another means, the energy needed to power it would be cut by at least nine tenths.

And in an argument the previous week in class, that John had with Bobby in the new lab about the relative power of heat vs. cold, the two actually stumbled upon at least part of the solution to the problem.

"Jubilee," Kitty enthused, "you are the greatest evil mastermind that ever lived."

"Now all we have to do," Jubilee said, "is set up a fake Hotmail account, and send the letter."

"Do you think we should maybe tone it down a bit?" Kitty worried. "I mean, he hasn't written her in over half a year. If he suddenly writes her he loves her, maybe she'll know it's a hoax."

"Never forget, Kitty," Jubilee smiled, "people believe what they want to believe."

That evening, after dinner, Magneto went as usual to Charles' office for his private lesson with Rogue. She was there ahead of him today, and one look at her face told him that something had happened since the day before.

"I take it your trials with touching people other than me went well?" He asked, wondering if that was the cause of Marie's apparent excitement.

"Oh," she said, distractedly, "yeah, they went ok."

Obviously that was not it, but Erik was not about to beg for further information if she was not going to volunteer it.

"Now that you can safely touch people," Erik pointed out, "I expect we can conclude our lessons."

Perhaps that was the reason she was so delighted, Erik thought, feeling vaguely disappointed. He had rather been enjoying these sessions since Charles' useful suggestion had made them less painful and more relaxed. He and Rogue had all manner of interesting discussions during them about politics, religion and ethics. In addition, the simultaneous pleasure of having agreeable proximity to an attractive young girl did nothing to reduce his enjoyment in the lessons.

"Oh no, Mr. Lenscherr!" Rogue objected at once. "No! In fact..." she seemed to be making up what she said as she went on: "... I think I want to escalate matters."

Erik was confused.

"Escalate?"

"Yes," Rogue insisted. "I'm thinking that I want to move forward as rapidly as possible."

"Well, my dear," Magneto pointed out, "Now that you can touch people, you can practice on anyone."

"Well, yes," Marie admitted, "sort of...."

"Sort of?"

"Well," she went on, "if I get distracted for a moment, I 'jolt' people. Bobby startled me as a joke when I was touching Peter Rasputin today, and it knocked him out for five minutes."

"Well, that is not too dire," Erik considered, "I'm sure if you just take it very slowly, and carefully...."

"Oh, but I want to speed things up now..." Rogue maintained. "I want to get as far as I can as fast as possible!"

"Might I inquire," Erik asked suspiciously, "what has prompted you to this sudden wish for haste?"

"Mr. Summers?" John Allerdyce asked after dinner, "Could you help Bobby and me with a project we are doing for Physics?"

"That's not exactly my area, John." Cyclops demurred. "Why don't you ask the Professor?"

"Oh, not Physics-Physics" John said. "It's for Applied Physics, for Mr. Lenscherr. He's with Rogue right now doing her lesson. Besides, it's a mechanical question anyway."

"Well, then," Scott said, "I'll see if I can help." "And see if he's been up to anything in that lab as well." he thought.


" Oh, heavens!" Kitty exclaimed to Jubes in the privacy of the Girls Lav. "If you were a guy, I'd kiss you! I'd marry you! You are my deity!"

"She bought it!" Jubilee laughed. "She actually frigging BOUGHT IT!"

They both dissolved into hysterics, and knee slapping for a minute.

"Oh, Jubes!" Kitty had an idea. "Do you think she'll write back

"OF COURSE!" Jubilee maintained. "Did you see her face during dinner? I thought we would die! At least I thought I would die. I don't know how you maintained such a serious face when she was positively glowing with horniness, or whatever that was."

"Oh I'm sure it was LOVE!" Kitty laughed, "True Love incarnate! After all, he 'saw a shooting star, and it reminded him of her'. I'm sure the Steel Magnolia thinks she's the cover girl on 'True Romance' today."

"I thought I was going to choke on my lasagna when she quoted that line to Bobby."

"I thought," Kitty said, with a satisfied gleam, "that Ice-boy was going to freeze solid right then!"

"Now all we have to do is send the package!" Jubilee exclaimed.

"How do we do that without having the postmark look wrong?" Kitty asked.

"That is so simple!" Jubilee gloated. "That's why I said he was in Alaska! There is this little town in Alaska, called North Pole, and you can send a letter or package there, and they will send it to whoever you say with a local post mark."

"Why?"

"Because it's 'North Pole', see? You know, Santa? Elves?" Jubilee explained. "People send their kids Christmas stuff there and then the kids think the box comes from Santa."

"Cool!"

"Only this little girl is going to think her Santa has an Elvis cut, and a great pair of buns..."

"Amen." Said Kitty. "And Merry Christmas!"

Logan's disappointment at finding little more than a huddle of empty featureless abandoned buildings at the site of the secret base took over a year from which to emotionally recover. He rooted around the site for days, hoping to unearth papers, or artifacts, or memories, yet all had been swept clean. He could find nothing, nor feel anything from walking through the abandoned base. In abject hopelessness he had hared off North, further away from New York and his new friends, unwilling to go back there with nothing to show for his travels.

The supreme irony was that he had really ended up exactly where Kitty and Jubilee were pretending he was, in North Pole, AK, home of K.J.N.P. (King Jesus North Pole) TV, The Santa Claus House, and the Refinery Lounge. Logan obtained part time employment at this last establishment as an I.D. checker, cashier and (when needed) bouncer. He got friendly with the aging bikers & hippies, young military guys, Alaska Natives, and native Alaskans that spent their nights there. Many of them, too hadn't clued in that sideburns went out during the Nixon administration. Others were attempting to grow enough facial foliage that they looked like members of ZZ Top. Logan's Elvis do, and worn biker gear made him seem so much one of the usual guys, he kept forgetting he wasn't.

Logan lived in a rented "cabin" way off of Badger road, that had been cobbled together out of an old "Adco" building that once had been used in pipeline days to house oil workers in cubicles. The Adco had been slapped against and connected to a homemade house of plywood and pink foam insulation. The former owner, rather than cover the pink skin of the insulation had painted the Adco building to match, so the whole thing resembled a big T of Pepto Bismol pink, gone badly to seed. The usual dead cars and refrigerators were stacked in the armpit of one side of the T, and Logan parked the bike in the other. The cabin actually had electricity, oil heat and a phone, so between these comforts and the comparatively large amount of floor space in his home, he felt quite comfortable except when having to use the outhouse in sub zero weather.

He had decided that he'd stay the winter, see if he could save up some cash, and find a permanent job. He felt right at home there.

"So, this letter has prompted you to want to 'escalate' things?" Erik inquired. "What exactly is it that you want to 'escalate' to?"

Rogue had the grace to blush, but her eagerness to be armed and ready for Logan's possible return still prompted her to say: "Kissing."

"Kissing?" Erik tried to say severely. "I hardly think that Charles would approve of that, now would he?"

"Well," Rogue argued, "that is what I thought before you arrived, too. But then he maintained we were to have our lessons alone, even after the other teachers insisted we have another person present the whole time. He also gave us his office to practice in, and pulls the shades each night when he leaves, so I figure that he is probably ok with anything that works."

Erik had observed the same signs, and also suspected that Charles might be working overtime to turn a blind eye to whatever passed between them, still, Erik didn't much like being used as a means to an end, and was disposed to ignore Charles' hint.

"I think that is a talent you would do better to practice on boys your own age." He again tried sounding severe. "I'm sure you can find a half dozen volunteers."

"The last boy my own age I practiced on was in a coma for three weeks, and nearly died." Rogue reminded him. "You seem less fragile."

"And you wouldn't care if I died anyway." Magneto sniffed in disdain, trying to sound offended. He didn't quite believe it any more, but he thought it made a good effect.

"And I couldn't kill you if I tried." Rogue decided to stroke his ego. "You may remember, I did try."

"Good shot, little girl," he thought silently, "you know damn well that the fact you tried is why I find you so attractive."

But he said: "I still cannot think of a good reason why I should encourage you in this dubious enterprise."

So Rogue proceeded to show him why, in terms that quickly lost him the argument.

"Well," he admitted to himself, "it was an argument I wanted to lose anyway..."

"Oh, Mr. Lenscherr," St. John said to Magneto as he was climbing upstairs for a rather early bedtime, "we worked it out!"

"What?" Erik asked, his train of thought very much on the unusual "lesson" he'd just given, "Or was it the unusual lesson I just had?" he wondered to himself.

"The radiation energy transmitter?"

"Yes?" Erik still didn't understand.

"We finally got it to work!" the boy said.

Magneto's face lit up like the night floodlights at Yankee Stadium.

"How?" he asked, astonished.

"We looped the power at a low level, so that the chaser sequence is just an interrupt within a continuous flow, not an off and on, and we use a sink to do the interrupt so it doesn't cost power."

"What made you think of that?" Erik smiled.

"Actually, we didn't" St. John said. "We asked Mr. Summers for help."

For a moment Erik's face showed panic. "Did Scott know what I was doing with John and Bobby's class 'project'?" he thought. "No. If he did, he would hardly be helping, now would he?"

John read his expression to mean something entirely different.

"Oh!" he asked Magneto, worried, "weren't we allowed to ask for help from one of the other professors?"

Erik smiled again. "No! It's wonderful you have learned to power the device!"

"Really?" John demanded reassurance. "You don't mind we got help from Mr. Summers?"

"Absolutely not!" Erik beamed at the boy, with a beatific smile that would have done Charles' proud. "I'm just so glad he has shown a helpful interest in your project!"

As St. John left him, and Erik went to bed, he continued to smile. He was really having fun here at Xavier's school he realized. Soon mutantkind would at last be safe, and, till then, what with one thing and another, Erik was feeling at last like all was well with the world.

Rogue couldn't sleep.

Way too much had happened to her for one day and she was simply humming with excitement in body and mind. First, Magneto had told her she was ready to test touching out on other people that morning, and the thrill she had doing so was excitement enough for a week. Even with the minor setback of knocking poor Peter out for a bit, the day could have been accounted a thrilling success on that basis alone.

She felt like it was the first day of having a normal life she had had in nearly a year. Holding hands with friends, flirting with the boys, everything was showing signs that by the time she graduated from the school, she might expect to return to the real world with all the advantages and none of the curse of her "gift."

She thought, if things proceeded along as well as they had in the last three months, she might actually begin to think of her mutation as a gift after all.

Then, just before dinner she checked her e-mail.

Logan had written her a message for her Birthday tomorrow. He was in Alaska and was thinking of her. After eight long months he had finally written, and the letter he wrote was so wonderful it made her want to start singing and dancing right there in the computer lab.

She cried till she laughed, and sailed into dinner on a cloud of dreams of romance. She could scarcely eat she was so excited, and while she remembered telling everyone about the letter, she couldn't remember a word anyone else said. She felt she might have had dinner with no one, and not noticed anyone was missing.

She felt so very full: full of love, full of hope, full of the kind of joy you only hear about in stupid love songs on the radio.

Logan loved her. And everything was well with the world.

Logan was like an angel to her, she decided. Her better self, a kind gentle heart with a rough exterior. She was usually afraid that her own exterior was just pretty poison, a beauty-laid trap for people who didn't guess at the darker soul within. Logan loved her, and the goodness in his soft squishy middle would fill up the dark spaces like spackle and let her be normal inside as well as outside.

Between the two things, her outside learning to touch, and her inside filling the dark spaces with a pure love, she hoped she could put back together her old life, and forget she was ever a mutant.

What then, she wondered, prompted her to tell Magneto that she wanted to have him teach her to kiss him?

It was totally unnecessary.

She should have just concentrated on simple touching with her friends, and left the kissing lessons to Logan when he got back. After all, with his healing powers he was almost as indestructible as Magneto. Why then, when Erik was at the brink of dropping the whole thing, had she insisted he not stop? Why had she even pushed it to the next (rather shocking) level?

The explanation she had given him was so lame, even to her own ears, she could see why he didn't fall for it. What astounded her further was that when she knew she had no better explanation up her sleeve, she had merely kissed him, trusting that her lips could explain things to him words would not.

And they definitely did.

The effect of her actions was that both of them were so distracted that they entirely forgot to pull or push the energy flow and nearly caused Erik to pass out with an energy transfer.

It felt great.

He didn't say a word of reproach. No biting dart of sarcasm shot out of his lips. In fact neither of them said a single word to one another for the remainder of the hour. They just kissed, and rested and kissed again.

It was definitely weird she decided. There was Logan, absolutely the hunkiest piece of male flesh she had ever seen. And Logan she loved, unreservedly, with her heart, her soul and her mind.

And then there was Erik, who after tonight she could not quite think of as "Mr. Lenscherr" anymore. Erik was easily old enough to be her grandfather, and was, she decided, even smarter than the Professor. And how did he make her feel? Did she have a warm grateful feeling for his avuncular manner? Did she dwell on a finer appreciation of his brilliant mind? No, she just wanted to tangle her hands in his hair, and kiss him so hard she would swallow him whole.

The weirdest part about the whole thing was that she didn't feel guilty.

But guilty or not, she wasn't going to get a wink of sleep.

Go on to Part 4

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