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.
Characters: Rogue, Magneto, Logan, Kitty, Jubilee & the other
kids.Part of the
Summary:Kitty's revenge prompts Rogue into wanting to speed up the lessons. Rogue/Magneto "Shipper" stuff & humor.
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.
"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...."
"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."
"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."
"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.
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