Road Trip
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Disclaimer:  I do not own any X-Men characters, Marvel etal does.  I am merely borrowing them for a short story, and they will be returned cleaned and pressed when I am through.  I do, however, own Francis, so hands off the little guy, OK?  I can be very possessive..

Rater R for strong language

Dreams...the most important part of life.  Without dreams, we are indistinguishable from any other life form on earth.  Dreams make us what we are.  We create ourselves from the inside out when we dream.  We can be who ever we want to be, go where ever we want to go, do whatever we want to do.  We make our own little worlds; create our own little life, within a life.  Suddenly a person who is tone deaf can play a concerto.  A person who is shy can be the life of the party.  A person who cowers from everything is brave beyond reason.  Even the bad dreams, those nightmares that we fear and dread, enhance us in ways we may never understand.  We face what we fear most, a faceless, intangible enemy, and while we often defeat this enemy, occasionally we are defeated by it.  This enemy comes from within, created in our minds, and when we are defeated by it, we defeat ourselves.  We must strive for a way to fight it, to fight ourselves, to win.  These small demon selves are present in us all, and we all fight in our own unique way

Logan sat alone in the dining room of the mansion, thankful for a few quiet moments to himself, which were extremely rare.  He read the words before him, slightly chilled that they had been created by someone who just over a year ago could barely write his own name.  The words were deep and profound, showing a development that no one expected, no one thought possible.  A once very frightened, highly excitable, frail child was now a capable, maturing, wonderful young man.


It was now a month since the adoption became final, and Francis was, officially, Logan's son.  After a slight reluctance, which Logan demonstrated by destroying a good portion of Xavier's office, he resigned himself to the fact that he was to be someone's father.  Certainly, he could have refused, often he felt as if he should have, but he did not. 


From the moment all the papers were signed, and the procedure was done, Francis was a changed boy.  He suddenly exhibited an odd confidence, never present before.  He prowled the hallways of the school with his chin held high, proud that Logan was no longer just his guardian, he was now his dad.  He had found a place for himself, a place where he could feel happy, safe, and secure.  He had found a home, a slightly dysfunctional one to be sure, but a home where he was cared for and more importantly, where he could care for his extended family, for now not only did he have a father, his grandmother was an ever present figure, and he had many brothers and sisters as well.  As in any family, some he got along with, others he did not.


Francis was now placed with other students in a normal classroom setting.  He no longer needed the private tutoring sessions to catch up with his peers.  He had caught up with them in record time, and in some cases, surpassed many of them.  He could spell with ease, he excelled in math and science, his favorite subject, and had proved to be quite a prodigy on the piano, and would sit for hours playing for the small groups of students who would gather to listen.  He also loved computers, and would often try in vain to show his father how to surf the net or enter a chat room, a useless endeavor, for Logan had neither the need nor the desire to chat with anyone.  However, in an act of desperation on the boy's part, he eventually showed Logan how to find the adult sites, ones that his father would find at the very least diverting, and thus began the private tutorials on the computer, and an odd form of male bonding which Logan found humorous and Scott found disturbing and disgusting, as the two would sit at the computer and argue over which site offered the best goods.


Francis had a small gang of close friends as well.  They found him funny and smart, so he was already, much to Logans surprise, a bit of a leader.  However, these friends could not keep him from spending as much time as possible with his father.  The two would eat meals together, watch television together, and occasionally pick up and leave for a long weekend together.  To all observers, the two were growing even closer.  Logan would on occasion leave the mansion for short trips, confident in leaving the boy in the care of his grandmother, but he found that he could no longer stay away for very long.  He had been alone for so long, it was often necessary for him to leave and blow off steam, get laid or beat someone up.  The need was understood, and no one interfered.  But whereas before he would stay away for extended periods of time, weeks if not months, and would often return only when asked, via the dreaded Cerebrogram, now he found that he actually wanted to return home, that he actually missed the school, and Francis.


In reality, nothing had changed since the day he found the boy being brutalized by bullies.  He was still responsible for the boy, was expected to take care of him, but now, there was a permanence.  Francis would forever be his son, and he intended to be the type of father the boy needed, expected and deserved, even if it killed him.


Suddenly it became evident that classes had let out, for the silence had now been broken by squealing, giggling, shouting students, running down the hallway and slamming doors.  Logan gathered up Francis' English project and placed it back into its folder.  As the doors to the dining room slammed open, a crowd of hungry children rushed in, Francis among them.  Both he and his friends raced to the table where Logan was seated.


"Hey, watcha doin?"  Francis dropped his books onto the table and flopped into a chair, his ever present blinding smile a bit wider than usual.  "Did you read my project?  I didn't think it was any good, but Miss O said it was brilliant.  I thought it just sounded a little weird, but she liked it.  She said it was one of the best papers she had ever read."


Logan looked up as the gang of friends sat down.  "Uh, yeah.  It was pretty good.  You did a good job on it.  It was a bit over my head though."  Logan smirked at his son.


"Really?  I really don't like all that artsy-fartsy cerebral crap.  But Miss O said she wanted a well thought out essay on the Meaning of Life, and what makes"


Logan raised an eyebrow.  "The Meaning of Life?  Jesus.  What ever happened to 'How I spent my summer vacation'?"


Logan looked around the table at the vacant stares the boys wore.  One of the other boys, Jason, knitted his brow and took a deep breath.  "Uh, this is winter."


Logan fought the urge to chuckle.  "Never mind."


Francis' smile had faded a bit, as he too was slightly confused by the obscure reference.  He blinked twice, and then spoke.  " Granny read it, she cried.  Sometimes she is just so goofy.  Dr. Jean was wondering what happened, and then she read it, and then they both stood there crying.  I was hoping you wouldn't cry, too."  


Logan glared at him.  "Excuse me?"


There was a round of chuckles from the boys gathered at the table.  Francis had a brief flash of panic on his face.  "Oh, I knew you wouldn't.  I'm just saying..." He let his voice trail off, and decided it was best to change the subject.  "Hey!  Are we going to the gym or what?  I don't have any more classes the rest of the day.  I want to get an early start."


Logan smiled slightly.  It seemed that this was the best part of the day for the boy; going to the gym, and punching shit.  "Yup, let's go."  He stood and offered the boy's project to him, but had a sudden thought.  "Do you want me to hang this on the refrigerator?"


Francis turned, blushed a deep red, and snatched the folder from his father.  "Shut up."  He quickly rose from the table, and left without another word.  His friends giggled and chuckled.


Jason looked up at Logan as the big man followed his son.  "You're gonna do it, aren't you?"


Logan did not turn when he replied.  "Uh huh."


The sound of the boys laughter followed him out the door.



Chapter 2

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