Logan woke up with a start the following morning. When his sleep filled brain cleared somewhat, he was aware he was being watched. He opened his eyes, to find Francis watching him, waiting expectantly for him to awake.
"I didn't think you were ever going to wake up. Who were you talking to? You sounded mad. Was it a bad dream?"
Logan squeezed his eyes shut, unable to remember dreaming at all. He rolled to his side, and watched Francis watch him. He glanced at his clock, and moaned.
"Fuck, it's only 6:30. What are you doing up?"
"I finished sleeping. I'm hungry. When do we eat breakfast? Oh, I gotta pee." The boy rolled out from beneath his blankets, and trotted to the bathroom.
Logan sat up in his bed, rubbing his eyes hard. He could have used another, oh say, twelve hours of sleep. He swung his legs over the side of the bed, and sat, waiting for Francis to finish. While he waited, there came a soft knock at the door. Somehow, he knew who it was.
"Yeah. Door's open."
The door swung open, and Charles rolled in. Logan always wondered at how the man always looked so crisp and neat. This early in the morning, and there he was, dressed in a fresh suit, tie neatly tied around his neck.
"Good morning. Did you two sleep well?"
Xavier glanced at the bathroom door, which was slightly ajar. "Good morning, Francis. Ready for your tour?" The boy peeked out from behind the door, and nodded slightly. "But first, how about a nice breakfast?" The boy's eyes widened, and he shot a glance at Logan, who was slowly rising from his bed.
"Come on, now it's my turn. Did you flush?" Logan paused when the boy disappeared for a second, and lowered his head to his chest when he heard the toilet flush. Francis reappeared at the door, and Logan slid past him, easing him out of the doorway. "I don't need an audience, move it. Go get dressed." The door closed behind him, and Francis stood alone outside the door, at a loss as to what to do.
The professor sensed the child's unease. "So, Francis. Were you comfortable last night?" A slight nod. "What does Logan have planned for you today?" A shrug. "What are you planning to wear today?" Another shrug. Francis jumped a bit when he heard Logan's voice boom from the bathroom.
"Oh, fercrissakes! Just answer the man!"
Xavier grinned a bit, as he watched Francis prepare to speak. "I have new pants." The kid pointed to the closet.
"I see. Well, why don't you pick something out, and we'll go have some breakfast."
"Ok." The boy inched toward the closet, and dove in, trying to decide what to wear. By this time, Logan had finished, and was exiting the bathroom. Francis looked up at him, a bit confused.
"You didn't flush."
Logan stopped short, shot Charles a glare, and returned to the bathroom to flush.
While Francis was making a valiant attempt at dressing, Logan and Xavier had a "conversation." Logan opened with a strong volley, sending a sharp mental inquiry, that actually made the professor wince.
"Tell me what the fuck is going on."
"What exactly do you want to know?"
"Everything. Who is this kid? What happened to him? What exactly is his 'gift'? Tell me everything."
The professor went on to explain everything he knew about Francis, from his chidhood, to his home blowing up, everything. He was interupted from time to time, when Logan needed to make subtle suggestions to the boy as he dressed.
"Uh, you may want to put that shoe on the other foot..........Don't forget to zip your fly........Brush your hair........." Xavier took these interuptions in stride, amazed at the way Logan handled the boy. Firm, but gentle. A surprise to say the least.
When Francis had finished dressing, he sat patiently on his bed, watching the older men. Logan was searching his closet for a sweatshirt to pull on, and the two men continued their mental discussion.
"You mean to tell me he hasn't had any schooling at all?"
"And you still don't know exactly what his gift is?"
"No, it may be electrical in nature. We will have to wait and see."
"Electrical?" Logan glanced at Francis, who looked a little nervous, and a bit confused. Logan had one last question. "Is he telepathic?"
"I don't believe so, no."
Logan slid on a pair of flipflops, and waved at the boy. "Come on, let's get some breakfast." Francis hopped off the bed, and followed Logan out the door, at a trot.
Outside in the hallway, as they followed Xavier, dodging students, Francis tugged at Logan's elbow.
"Mr. Logan? How come you were making all those funny faces?"
Logan looked down at him, a little confused. "Huh?"
"You kept making faces. It looked like you were talking, but you weren't talking."
How does one explain telepathic communication to a child? "Uh, well, we WERE talking."
"You were? I didn't hear you. Your mouth didn't move." Suddenly, Francis froze, then dove for Logan, wrapping himself around the big man tightly. Xavier's chair stopped, and slowly turned. Logan knew immediately that he had "spoken" to the boy. Although, he was a bit miffed none-the-less.
"I wish you wouldn't do that."
"The boy had a legitimate question. He was curious, and I merely explained to him what we were doing. However, Logan, in the future, you should try to hide your facial expressions when you communicate telepathically. You do tend to show a great deal about how you are feeling. You certainly do not have a poker face, to say the least." With that, the chair spun once more, and continued on its' path.
Logan's legs were tied up in Francis'. He attempted to pry the kid loose. "It's nothing to be scared of. He did the same thing to me when I first met him." He managed to get one leg free. "You had better get used to things like this. People passing through walls, disappearing before your eyes, making stuff move without touching it." He looked down at the boy's face, pale and frightened. "Just don't be afraid, no one is going to hurt you." He placed his large hand on the kid's shoulder, and gave a squeeze. Francis slowly released himself from Logan, and backed up slightly, still looking a bit scared. "Ok. I'll tell you all about this place. What to expect, things you'll see. Sometimes I don't really get it all, either. But first, let's eat, huh?"
Francis let out a weak "Ok," and followed behind once again. It wasn't long before he started asking his questions. "Can you talk to me like that? How come sometimes X...av..er sometimes talks out loud? What did you talk about? Can I learn how?.................."
Ahead, Xavier was waiting inside the elevator, giving Logan a wide, gentle smile.
Breakfast was uneventful. Logan had scrambled eggs and bacon, Charles opted for toast and coffee, and Francis chose a bowl of Froot Loops. They ate alone, in the kitchen proper, away from the rest of the school, as all prepared for a busy day of classes. Logan could hear the normal early morning commotion, the usual noise of a school day. Running, giggling, shouting, doors slamming. There was even a bit of a fight going on between a group of girls and boys over one of the communal showers. Francis listened as well, chomping on mouthful after mouthful of the colorful cereal in his bowl. Finally, thankfully, all fell silent, as classes for the day had begun.
When they had finished breakfast, the professor suggested Logan take Francis to see Jean, to get the physical examination overwith.
"I have a tutorial in an hour, but I will join you later. Enjoy your tour, Francis."
Logan led the way down the now silent hallways, to the elevator to the lower levels. "Come on, in here."
Francis looked around. "Where did everybody go? Why is it so quiet?"
As the door slid closed, Logan answered. "Everyone is in class, now. If you stay here, you'll take classes too."
"I will? What kind of classes? Like math?"
"Lots of different classes. Depends on what you like. Science, math, music-"
"Music? I can make music? I'd like that."
The doors slid open, revealing Jean leaning against the wall, studying the papers in her clipboard.
"Hey, Red. Waiting for us?"
She was startled. "Oh, Logan, Francis. I'm sorry. I'm just up to my neck in paperwork. The computer is on the fritz, and Scott-"
Logan stepped out into the hall, and began heading for the lab. "Uh, yeah. Whatever. Brought the kid here for his check-up."
Jean followed behind Logan and the boy. "I completely forgot about that. Good, gives me the chance to put off the files a little longer.
Inside the lab, Jean pointed Francis to a tall bed in the middle of the room. "Can you hop up there for me? Take off your shirt, and pants, and put on this gown." She retrieved her instruments.
Francis gave Logan a look, and Logan returned a wink. He did as he was instructed, but had a little trouble climbing up on the table. A little boost from Logan, and he was up, looking small, frail, and a little cold.
Logan took Jean aside, whispering to her. "Is there any way you can.......uh.......check for.......uh........" He couldn't find the words. However, Jean understood, giving his shoulder a rub.
"It's ok. I'll check him out thoroughly. Charles said that he didn't believe that he had been........assaulted."
"Read his mind, huh?"
"Yes. There was no sign what-so-ever it happened."
Logan let out a relieved sigh. He watched as Jean did a thorough check-up. Francis was a bit nervous, but as long as Logan was near-by, he did everything that was asked of him. Even a little blood work.
The exam took nearly an hour, afterwhich, Francis got redressed and Logan hovered over Jean as she gathered her data. "Well, Francis. Everything looks good. You're going to have to watch what you eat, though. Easy on the ice cream." That elicited a sad frown. She turned to Logan, lowering her voice. "He's malnourished, anemic, and he has poor muscle tone. But all of that can be remedied. I'll put together a diet for him, and he's going to have to take a vitamin and iron supplement. All in all, he's in pretty good health, physically. However, mentally and emotionally, he's in rough shape."
Logan frowned now. "What does that mean?"
"He's bright, but it will take some time to see if he can learn, and catch up with his peers. He is also emotionally retarded."
"His maturity level is that of a first grader, second at most. I am not detecting any brain damage, but it'll take a lot of work, therapy if you will, to help him."
Logan glanced at Francis, who was folding up his little gown, and putting it on the bed behind him. "Shit. Any other good news?"
"Oh, he has at least eight teeth that need immediate attention. I can call Dr. Martinez to see if he can fit him in."
"I saw no sign of what you were worried about. None what-so-ever." Jean once again rubbed Logan's shoulder reassuringly.
He looked into her eyes. "Thanks." He clapped his hands loudly, making Francis jump. "Alright. Now that all this is out of the way, let's go see what kind of trouble we can get into. Hey, Jean? Does Scott have an automotive class today?"
"Logan. I thought you were supposed to give Francis a tour?" Jean gave him her sternest look, and sent a warning in her voice.
As the two exited the lab, Logan called over his shoulder. "I just figured I'd show the kid my bike is all." The door closed behind them.
Jean was left alone, shaking her head. "Just behave yourself, Logan. And you too, Scott."