Logan lay on his back on the sofa in the media room. He was watching an old John Wayne movie on the television, one of his favorites, "The Quiet Man". There were several other students present, seeing the film for the first time, watching intently and quietly. It was a rainy Sunday afternoon, and the mansion was filled with students trying to find something to do with themselves while it rained. Some did homework, some read, some played foosball, or video games. All in all, it proved to be a quiet day, with the thunder rumbling outside. Logan was thankful for the peace and quiet.
It had been several weeks since the incident, and Logan was just beginning to feel "right" again. Scott was right. He had taken a pretty bad jolt, thanks to his metalic skeleton. But gone now was the uptight feeling he had been suffering from. Gone were the stiff shoulders, and the need to bark at everyone. He had settled into his duties, getting Francis off to a good start at the school. Getting him used to being with people again. The little guy was doing nicely. He had become quite a voracious reader, and wasn't to bad at spelling either. He had a long road ahead of him, to make up for the lost time, to catch up with his peers, but he was off to a good start.
Logan looked up at Francis, who was, as had become his habit, perched on the big man's stomach. This was his seat of choice, and Logan never complained. He held a large bowl of popcorn on his lap, and shoveled handful after handful into his mouth. Logan noted that a lot of the popcorn had missed the boy's mouth, and now lay littered on his chest.
"Hey, give me some of that."
Francis looked down, and smiled. He lowered the bowl, and Logan took a handful, popping it into his mouth. Francis, over the past few weeks, had relaxed to the point that he no longer needed to hide behind Logan. He freely went to tutoring sessions, counseling with the professor, and even many outdoor games and activities, without needing Logan to hold his hand, however, he did expect Logan to go with him, which he did, with out resistance, without complaint. No one, not even the professor, could explain why the two had developed such a bond, but they had, there was no denying it.
Rogue and Kitty entered the room, carrying sodas and snacks. They looked around the room for a place to sit, and then noticed Francis sitting in his spot on Logan's belly. The two girls looked at each other, smiled, and joined him there.
Logan looked at the girls as they settled themselves in. "Excuse me? Did I invite you?" The question only got him a couple of giggles for an answer. Francis only grinned, and took the pretzel offered to him by Kitty. Logan just went back to watching the movie.
Scott entered the room several minutes later. He spied the pile up on the couch, "Cozy," and crossed to an open chair.
Logan gave him a sidelong glance, and a "Piss off," for good measure, which created a new wave of chuckling and giggling. He watched as Scott sat down, and jumped to his feet once more when a very loud, very vulgar, PPPHHBBBBTTTT came from the cushion of the chair. The room erupted into laughter, and Logan gave Scott a disgusted look. "If we wanted your opinion, we would have asked for it."
Scott held up the offending noise-maker, a large Whoopie Cushion. "Aw, jeez. Logan!"
"Don't look at me, pal. Not my style."
Scott turned red, but decided against a confrontation, especially because the room was in hysterics, and he felt it best not to ruin the mood. He just left, taking the offensive prank with him.
Logan shot a quick glance at Francis, whose eyes were shining brightly, and gave him a wink, that did not go un-noticed.
"I saw that, Logan." Rogue said, still chortling. "I thought you said those things weren't your style?"
Logan's face was stoic. "They aren't. But they ARE the kid's style, right kid?" Francis beamed, and his face reddened. Logan stretched his arms above his head. "I think tonight, we will begin discussing the fine art of stink bombs. I think the kid is ready, don't you?"
Rogue began giggling anew, and Kitty laughed so hard, she rolled off the couch, crushing the two unfortunates laying on the floor under her.
Jean and Xavier watched the commotion through the glass doors of the library. They watched as a light-hearted wrestling match erupted in front of the couch.
"Well, it is good to see things return to normal once more." Xavier glided his chair away from the door. "It didn't take long at all."
Jean watched the young boy, giggling hysterically, watching the wrestling match. Her face was sad, distant. "Does he know?"
Xavier sighed deeply. "No. Not yet. He is finally happy, for quite possibly the first time in his young life. I do not want him to have a setback. His sessions with me are going well, I do not want to jeopardize that. When I feel he is ready, I will tell him."
"How could she do that? How could she not care what happens to him? How could she just give up on him like that?"
"Francis' mother gave up on him a long time ago. It is useless to dwell on it. The most important thing right now," he returned to Jean's side, noting the wrestling match had evolved into a pillow fight, "is that we help Francis any way we can. The best place for him is right where he is, with friends, with people who care for him, his new family."
The two watched the chaos in the next room. Jean spoke once more. "Does Logan know?"
"Yes, he does."
"Is that what happened to the conference room door?"
"No. Logan broke a chair when I told him that Francis' mother had given up all her parental rights. He punched a hole in the door when I mentioned that he had been named the boy's legal guardian."
Jean was in complete shock. "What? How were you able to manage that?"
"Don't ask. There is always a way. But the paperwork is completed, and what's done is done."
Both watched the flying pillows and seat cushions in the next room. Scott and Storm were in the middle of the fray, trying to regain order, but having little effect. Jean watched as Logan stood, stretched, and left the room, his little charge trotting and giggling behind him.
After several more minutes, order was restored, and the students went about the task of cleaning up the mess they had made. Scott was barking out orders, and Storm had retrieved the vacuum, to clean up the spilled popcorn.
Jean was about to turn from the door, to do some long over-due paperwork, when she was stopped by Charles. "Uh oh. I do believe we have a battle brewing."
Jean looked back into the room, in time to see Scott getting hit square in the chest with the biggest water balloon she had ever seen. Everyone in the room froze, and looked at the doorway, to see Logan, wearing a smirk, arms folded across his chest, and Francis, tears in his eyes, holding his sides, laughing the hardest he had ever laughed in his life. Scott bolted for the doorway, and Logan was off like a shot, running down the hallway.
Jean smiled. "We've got our hands full, don't we?"
"Well, if we can handle Magneto, we can handle this." He grinned broadly, turning once more from the door. "We had better break this up. Shall we?"
Jean watched as her friend and mentor opened the library door, and rolled out into the hallway, and sighed when she heard the sound of yelling, laughing, and objects breaking far down the hall.