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Father Figure
Chapter 8

Logan strode down the hallway of the school, with Francis in hot pursuit. They had stopped by the library, the garage area (a bit too early for Scott's class), the stables, the gym, the computer lab and a couple of classrooms. Francis took it all in like he was in a candy shop.

"Will I get to ride the horses?.............Can I take a ride on your bike?...........I can't really read too good, are there any comic books?..............Do you use computers?..........."

Logan found that he had to slow down, and wait for him, frequently, but the little guy did a pretty good job keeping up. For a child with poor muscle tone, he trotted from room to room, effortlessly. The only problem was that he continued to be distracted, interested in something, and Logan lacked the patience to wait. Francis clutched a book to his chest, given to him by Storm, who suggested Logan read it to him at bedtime. It was a suggestion greated by a snort and a glower.

They had just come from lunch in the main dining room. A noisy, miserable experience Logan usually avoided like the plague. However, he felt it necessary for Francis to meet some of the other students. He was apprehensive, but willing. He had a PB and J sandwich, a glass of milk, and two chocolate chip cookies. Most of the students were kind, and stopped by the table to say hello and offer a warm welcome. Others were simply oblivious, a not unexpected response, given their ages. Most teens usually tended to be interested in themselves, or the opposite sex, and Francis was definately NOT the new rooster in the henhouse. In fact, most of the girls paid more attention to Logan, and only addressed Francis when they noticed him peeking out from behind Logan's shoulder.

It had been a long morning, and Logan was tiring rapidly of all this touring. He was relieved when he spied the professor approaching from the opposite direction.

"Ah, Logan. How is everything going?"

"Just great." He didn't try to hide the fatigue he was feeling.

"Excellent. Francis, what do you think so far?"

Francis, for the first time, did not hide behind Logan's leg. Logan was happy not to have to pry him off once again. "It's good."

"I spoke to Dr. Grey. She tells me you are in good health. But you have to watch your ice cream intake."

"I know."

Logan interupted the exchange. "So, what's the plan now? I showed him just about everything. I was planning on going to the gym and-"

"LOGAN!" They all heard a shout from the front door. They turned to see Scott stalking toward them, his shirt soaking wet. "When are you going to grow up? This is really hilarious. Just hilarious."

Logan snickered a little. "What is?"

Scott indicated his shirt. "This, you moron! Water balloons? Real mature."

Logan shot a glance down at Francis, who had begun to inch behind him again. "Hey kid? Do you know what he's babbling about? Did you make a water balloon?" The boy shook his head, and added a weak "No."

"Look, Blinky. I've been escorting our young friend here around. I don't know anything about a water balloon. Besides, I always use rubbers. They're stronger, they hold more, and they explode real good."

"God damn it, Logan. Don't give me that shit. I know it was you-"

Xavier felt it best to interupt. "Scott, I don't believe Logan is responsible. Perhaps you should check with Bobby. He got into trouble earlier this week dropping water balloons out of his dorm room window."

Scott stared at Logan, who wore a smirk. If his jaw was any tighter set, it would snap. Without a word, he spun around, and yelled to the nearest student, "Where's Bobby?"

Logan chuckled as he watched Scott storm off, students parting like the Red Sea as he did. "I've been really good lately. Haven't pulled anything in, oh, a couple weeks, and this is the thanks I get? Jesus."

"Logan, I can't really blame Scott for thinking it was you. It usually is." The professor turned his chair, and started for his office.

"Uh, what about Francis? What's he going to be doing this afternoon?"

The professor did not turn around, he simply spoke over his shoulder. "You mentioned the gym? Perhaps you could show Francis the pool as well." The door closed behind him before Logan could protest.

He stood staring at the door, feeling Francis pressing into his leg. "Well, come on. Can you swim?"


"Figures. Scott didn't scare you did he?"

"Uh huh."

"He's just a big bag of wind. Do you know how to make water balloons?"


Logan just grinned, as the two headed for the gym.

Logan was happy to be pounding on something. It always had a calming affect on him. The more he pounded, the more focused he became. He had felt tense and tight for several days now, and he welcomed the opportunity to blow off some steam. Although, he would have much preferred sitting on a bar stool, swallowing some bourbon, and picking up a one night stand. Now that was the kind of steam he woundn't have minded blowing off. However, he was stuck with the punching bag, at least for the time being.

He punched at the bag until his knuckles got sore, and then began to kick at it. Occasionally, he would glance over at Francis, who was sitting cross-legged on the floor, in his gym shorts and sweat shirt, watching intently. Logan began to wish the kid would stop being so.......impressed, by everything he did. He could see it in his eyes. Brilliant green eyes, watching every move. At least he was being quiet, which for him, was a rare occurance. He just sat silently, very still, having tired of playing with the other equipment.

Logan pounded and kicked another ten minutes, before he decided to stop. Actually, the bag decided for him, having ruptured, spilling its' contents all over the padded floor.

"God damn it!" He wiped the sweat from his brow, examining the growing pile of sand on the floor. "Great. Another thing for Scott to harp about. Fucking great." He looked up in time to see a swarm of female students pass through the gym, on their way to the pool.

"Hi, Logan. You going swimming? Oh, you broke another one?" The girls chittered and giggled, as they were impressed with Logan as well. However, it was more Logan's bare, muscled chest than his talent with the punching bag.

"Naw, no swimming today." He glanced over at Francis, who watched the girls pass through. Logan wasn't certain, but he could swear he saw a little redness in his cheeks. Well, at least he knew what girls were. "How about you, kid? Wanna go swimming?"

Francis shook his head weakly, causing more giggles from the girls. This time Logan saw it for sure. The little guy blushed, turning a rosy red, even his ears.

"Sorry, ladies. Maybe next time." The girls continued their giggling as they disappeared into their locker room.

Logan turned his attention to the little "man" on the floor. He now held his head down, his ears returning to their normal, somewhat pale color. "Jesus. You keep that up, and they'll be fighting each other over you."

Francis looked up, confusion written all over his face. "Why would they fight?"

Logan shrugged, and grabbed his towel. "I'll explain it to you later. Come on, let's get outta here.

The rest of the day went smoothly. The two had showered after their "workout" in the gym, and they spent the rest of the afternoon visiting more classes, even sitting in on one of the professor's tutorials.

As expected, after they had left the room, Francis began asking questions.

"What was X-av-er talking about?"

"X-av-i-er? You got me."

"You don't know?"

"Nope. I told you before. I don't get a lot of what goes on around here. I think he was talking about something scientific."

"Do I have to take that class?"

"Not if you don't want to."

"I don't want to."

Dinner went much the same as lunch had. Noisy commotion. As it was Friday, the children were a bit more animated than usual. Groups came and went. Several were going into town to see a movie. Still others were going to the mall. There was a group who were planning a softball game for later in the evening. That always proved to be an event. What usually began as a friendly game, usually ending in some sort of altercation. Everytime, without fail. Although the one and only time Logan opted to attend, all he had to do was cross his arms and glare, and the game proceded without incident.

Francis had relaxed significantly, listening to the din. He seemed very interested in all the events, but would still sink into himself when addressed directly. He still seemed dependent on Logan, the big man serving as a crutch. He ate his meal, and observed all the comings and goings.

Scott and Jean joined them at their table. He slid closer to Logan, a little wary of Scott.

"Hey Francis. How are you? Enjoying yourself?" Scott grabbed a french fry off Logan's plate, and waited for a response, he got none.

"I have some vitamins for you." Jean placed a large bottle on the table in front of the boy. "I want you to take one every morning, ok?" She got an energetic nod. "Good. Logan will make sure you do, right Logan?"

Logan was busy swatting at Scott's hand, as he tried to steal another fry. "Uh huh."

Scott addressed the boy again. "You wanna go to the ball game, later? You can play if you want."

Francis looked up at Logan, waiting. Logan answered without looking down. "Alright, you can go." The boy smiled widely.

"You can be on Logan's team."

Logan shot a dangerous look at Scott. "What?"

"You are one of the captains."

"Fuck you I am."

Jean winced. "Logan, please. Watch your language. No, you are not a captain." Jean jerked a bit, and Scott jumped and yipped, catching Jean's foot to the shin. "Scott is just joking. Aren't you, Scott?"

"Yeah, right. The game starts at seven. See you there."

Chapter 9

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