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The Loss
Chapter 3

disclaimer:  see chapter 1


"So you knew all about it, huh?"  Logan was seated in Xavier's office, chatting about the events of the day.  Xavier smiled warmly, and sipped at his tea.


"Of course, we all did.  Francis has been working quite hard the last few months, to earn money for the gift.  I take it you are pleased?"  He again sipped his tea.


Logan looked down at his lap, finding himself in unfamiliar territory.  He found himself unsure of how to react to his gift.  "Yeah.  It was nice of the kid, but he really didn't need to..need to get me anything."


Xavier again smiled his warm, comforting smile.  He was aware of his friend's discomfort in the whole matter.  "He certainly felt as if he had to.  You have given him so much; he felt the need to reciprocate.  He has even been planning on naming a day for your birthday."  He grinned and took a fresh cookie from the plate on the table.


"He what?  Over my dead body.  I'm going to need to put a stop to this."  Logan looked horrified.  It was true.  He celebrated no birthday, despite efforts to the contrary.  However, he could not avoid the dreaded Father's Day, much to his chagrin.  "He's really been working on finding a day?  That little shit.  And when the hell did he find all this time to do all this work?  He's a real sneak."


"Oh, here and there.  Usually while you were gone, or busy.  And don't worry; I don't think he'll follow through with the birthday without your approval.  The plan is merely in its early stages."


"Right."  Logan shook his head.


"By the way, Logan, I understand you had a bit of a glitch this morning while you and Francis were in the Danger Room."  Suddenly, Xavier was very serious.  He had a great deal invested in the areas below the school, and was right to worry when something appeared wrong.


Logan frowned.  "It happened just before the program ended.  Just a small flicker.  It looked like a power fluctuation of some kind.  Nothing serious.  We'll just need to trace the problem.  I'm on my way down there now."


Xavier stared at the floor before him.  "I see.  A flicker?  What was happening in the program just before it happened?"


"We were working on a small stealth exercise.  We almost made it to the objective, and the kid decided to sneeze all over the place, setting off intruder alarms.  Guards sprung out from everywhere, and then I ended the program."  He looked at Xavier, who seemed lost in thought.  "Maybe I just ended the program too early.  Maybe I should have let it play through to the end.  Although I didn't see the need."  He paused and waited for the professor to respond.  The man simply sat there, very still, deep in thought.  "Uh, what's up?"


Xavier's trance was broken.  Logan sensed there was something wrong.  "How did Francis seem when you ended the program?  Was he angry?  Upset?  Scared?"


Logan tensed.  "No.  He was just frustrated that he screwed up.  Why?"


Xavier ignored the question.  "Did you see any other changes in him?  Was he in distress?"


Logan leaned forward.  "No.  He just pissed and moaned and then it was over.  Why?"  He placed heavy emphasis on that last word.  And then a thought occurred to him.  "Are you telling me you think the kid had something to do with the power belch?"


Xavier leveled his gaze at Logan, and took a deep breath before answering.  "Yes, I do."


Logan's eyes widened, and his jaw dropped.  "What?  What the hell are you talking about?  How the hell could he have anything to do with it?"


Xavier's eyes softened, trying to calm his friend.  "For some time now, I have been picking up tremors from the boy.  I couldn't tell exactly what was causing them, but from time to time, they would appear, usually when the boy was in a highly emotional state.  They occurred when he was happy, sad, angry and yes, frustrated.  Over the last several weeks, they have increased in intensity."  He paused to let the information sink in.


Logan was very confused.  "Tremors?  What kind of tremors?  What are you talking about?"  He did little to hide his growing anger.


"I don't know what they are, Logan.  I have been trying to get a grasp on them, but with no success.  It is a feeling, nothing more.  But a very powerful feeling.  We all know that his gift affords him the ability to protect himself from danger.  It is electrical in nature.  It appears, unconsciously, when he perceives a threat.  I am of the belief, from what you have told me, that perhaps his gift may be evolving further.  He may not be aware that he is doing it, but I believe he has developed the ability to tap into power sources, thus the small interruption of power in the Danger Room this morning."


Logan took several seconds to digest what he had been told.  Could it be possible?  Did the kid cause the fluctuation by drawing on the power?  He saw no change in the boy.  His body detected no changes in the air.  "I don't see how."  He leaned back in his chair once more.


"I believe that he has been doing it for some time, but the power drain has been so slight, it went un-noticed, until it interrupted your program."


Logan was unconvinced.  "How could he do something like that without noticing?  Wouldn't he feel it?  How come I can't pick it up?"


Xavier looked solemn.  "He is barely aware of his ability to self-defend.  As I said, the power drain has been so slight; he probably hasn't felt a thing.  And you have not been looking for it."


"So what you are telling me is he is soaking up energy, without knowing it.  Why?  I thought he just generated his own when he feels threatened.  And why would he do it when he feels happy?  I don't get it."  Logans growing agitation was palpable.


"I wish I could answer that for you, but I just don't know.  As I said, his gift is evolving.  While we have managed to give him limited ability to control his power, to fight his threat mechanism, it still is very much present.  I wish I could give you more answers, but unfortunately..."  He allowed his voice to trail off.


"So in the near future, we may be looking at a full blown meltdown?  Fucking marvelous."  Logan stood now, and began to prowl the room, it suddenly becoming very confining.


"Logan, please don't jump to any conclusions.  He is maturing, and this may just be a simple manifestation of that fact."


Logan spun to face his friend.  "Or a sign of bigger and badder things to come."


Chapter 4

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