See disclaimer chapter 1
"Are you aware of this? What are you going to do about it? Or don't you care?" Maggie stood before Logan, hands on her hips, looking very sour.
Logan sat in the deep sofa in Xavier's office, looking sour as well. It was an old battle between the two: What is best for the boy. Maggie was expressing concern over recent occurrences of bullying involving Francis and a new boy at the school, the same age but much much bigger. He had been picking on Francis, calling him names. While it was nothing too serious, just normal pain in the ass teen-age activity, it worried Maggie. She felt if left unchecked, it could lead to something more serious.
"Yes I am aware of this. Look, the kid hasn't said a word to me about it, and he tells me everything, even when he takes a shit. Either it doesn't bother him, or he wants to take care of it himself. I'm not gonna get in the middle of this, it'll only make it worse." Logan sighed and leaned back a bit farther in his seat. He too had overheard this new kid, Philip, teasing Francis. Teasing him by calling him 'wittle man' and 'baby boy,' asking him if he needs a booster seat, if he's suffering from a 'wittle tummy ache'. Logan wanted to smack the kid, and at one time would have seriously considered it, but he held back. Francis seemed unphased by the assault, but definitely not amused by it. He was tougher than his grandmother realized.
"How could it make it worse?" Maggie began to pace the room.
Xavier had been patiently listening to the exchange. "I must agree with Logan, Maggie. We have always found it best to keep our distance in cases such as these. Philip is new here, and he's just establishing himself, trying to fit in with the others. Yes, he is a bit aggressive, and could potentially become a bit of a discipline problem, but thus far he has only been guilty of name calling. I assure you, we have seen and dealt with problems such as these before, and they usually sort themselves out." He now shot Logan a glance. "Some of our adult residents don't get along that well either."
Logan put a look of mock shock on his face. He asked for it.
Maggie was exasperated. "Now I see why he's taking that bully's side in all this. He's one himself." She glared at Logan now.
Logan had enough. He stood and started to the door. He heard Xavier, ever the peacemaker, behind him. "Maggie, you know that is not true. You know that Scott and Logan put all their differences aside when they work together. They are just not...compatible. It happens. Neither one is at fault, although a pillow case full of cheese wiz doesnt help the situation, but in the end, it is harmless, and no one gets hurt."
Maggie sighed and plopped down in the place Logan had vacated. "Yeah, I know. It's just that I don't want to see Franky get hurt anymore. I can't stand to see him get picked on. He's so small and innocent-"
Logan interrupted. "He is painfully aware of that. Small, yes. Innocent? Not anymore. Give the kid some credit. He will handle this problem, I guarantee it."
Maggie could see in Logan's eyes that he meant what he said. "How?"
"Balls. The kid needs some balls. He gets those, no more problem. He's smart and quick, he just needs to know how to handle himself."
"By learning to be a bully himself, I suppose."
Logan let out a snort. "Alright, give me some credit. Let me handle it." He was quickly tiring of the entire situation, and decided to end the discussion. He turned to the professor. "How's the RV coming along? All set to go?"
Xavier was happy to put an end to a difficult conversation as well. "Ah, yes. It is ready for your trip. The GPS is in place, and the modifications are complete. This should be a good test of its capabilities. Francis is certainly excited about the trip. I hear he's packed already."
Logan shuffled his feet. "Yeah. Had me take him out for a whole new wardrobe too. Kid looks like Nanook of the North with all the shit I had to get him."
Maggie was listening to this exchange, her face reddening. "I don't see why you have to go in the dead of winter. Why couldn't you just go up in the summer, or you could take him to Disney World. Why way up there?"
This was also a topic Logan was rapidly tiring of. "We are going up there because I have a few things I need to do, a few places I need to go."
Charles spun his chair around and glided toward his desk. "Logan is from that area after all. He just wants to re-visit home for a while, and show Francis the sights."
Logan watched the professor. He understood that although Maggie was aware the he had certain abilities, like Francis, there were many things about the school and its inhabitants that were kept from her. "Uh, yeah. Look up old friends, stuff like that." He turned to Maggie. "And what the hell is all this about Disney World?"
Maggie looked defeated. "Just a suggestion."
Logan turned and continued on to the door. "Jesus, he lives here, doesn't he? Talk about Disney World." He left the room, closing the door behind him.
Maggie sat forward, looking toward the professor as he rummaged throught some paperwork. "And you are okay with this? I mean, those two just taking off lie that? A long weekend is one thing, but a whole month? What about Franky's school work?"
Charles looked up, a gentle look on his face. "I see no problem. The RV is equipped with the latest in communication equipment. Francis can keep in close contact with his teachers, and with me, and I know that Logan will make certain that he does all his homework. They will be just fine."
"And do you think the bully stuff will just fade away too?"
"Yes, I do. Maggie, I understand your concerns. I assure you, if Logan sensed any physical or emotional threat to Francis, he would act. Francis is a changed boy now. This teasing is merely a frustration for him. A year ago, it would have been far more difficult for him to understand and cope with. He is maturing and finding his way, and Logan is helping every step of the way, although his help may not always be visible or obvious." He paused for a moment, to allow Maggie to absorb what he just said. "Logan would never allow anything to harm the boy. But it is not in his nature to smother him. He understands the need for the boy to figure things out on his own, with subtle guidance of course. Trust him to do the right thing."
Maggie looked out the window at the gently falling snow. "I do. I guess it is my nature to smother." She looked back to the man at his desk. "There is more to this little trip, more than just a bonding thing, isn't there?"
Charles sighed and hesitated before answering. "Perhaps. But it is not for me to say. But I assure you, if there was the potential for danger, Logan would not take the boy with him."
"I know." She rubbed her eyes. "As long as Franky doesn't turn into a miniature version of Logan, that's all I can hope for."
"Would that be such a bad thing?" Xavier smiled warmly. "Logan has his faults, but is he really so bad?"
Maggie smiled back. "Well, I'll say this for him; he's awfully creative when it comes to pranks. The Baby Oil on the banister was a classic, and the Spam episode? Priceless." She stood up, and stretched her muscles. "Well, I guess you're right. If Franky could at least pick up some of Logan's confident cockiness, that would be a good thing. " She started to the door.
Xavier went back to his paperwork. "It has already begun."