Over the next three days, Logan prepared for his "talk" with Francis. Jean had given him several sex ed pamphlets, which, much to Jean's surprise, Logan deemed much too graphic. They featured drawn figures showing various body parts, and in various stages of the "act". Jean assured Logan that these pamphlets were used in Sex Education classes, and were also given out by doctor's offices to aid in a child's instruction. Logan remained unconvinced. He even at one point suggested, half jokingly, that he just rent a porn flick, let the kid watch, and then he'd answer any questions the little guy might have. The suggestion was met with stares, glares, and a lengthy reprimand by Storm.
Slowly, gradually, Logan gathered up his information. Of course he knew about sex. He knew what went on, how things worked, but he still had a bit of trouble adjusting to the proper terminology. He had to remember not to refer to the act of copulation as "fucking", "getting laid", or his favorite, "boinking the bimbette". He had to refrain from using terms like tits, dick, pussy, and others too numerous to mention. He was also reminded not to go into too much detail, and not drift off into other realms, leaving oral sex and group sex on the back burner for now, as a thirteen year old needn't know of these things just yet.
"Just stick to the basics, Logan. A-B-C. That's it." Jean reassured him as they sat in her office. "This isn't really as difficult as you think. Francis is a very bright boy. He'll pick it all up, you'll see."
"Are you sure these pictures are alright?"
"Yes, I do. Relax. Parents have been surviving this ordeal for-"
"I'm not a parent."
"I know that. I'm just saying that you can't screw this up. I promise you. Just stick to the basics, answer his questions, and neither of you will need therapy." She gave him her warmest smile, feeling very sorry for him. She could sense how confused and frustrated he was. She could read it in his eyes. She didn't need to be a telepath to see that he was actually scared to death. She had seen him face danger with ease, showing no more emotion than mild concern and often slight amusement. However, this task proved to be one of the most difficult he had ever faced. The responsibility to tell an adolescent boy the facts of life was threatening to bring the Wolverine to his knees. She fought hard to hide her amusement.
She watched as Logan stood up, his arms full of books and folders and pamphlets, and made his way to the door. She caught his attention just as he was about to leave. "When are you going to do it?"
He turned, his face taught with worry and fatique. "Haven't decided yet. How about three years from next tuesday?" He left the room, before she could answer him.
Logan decided, with a bit of advice from Xavier, to sit the boy down on Friday night. Most of the students left the mansion on Fridays, to go to the movies, visit their parents, go to the mall, or go out on dates. The building would be quiet, and there would be little distraction. Word spread through the student body that Logan and Francis had important business on Friday night, and they were not to be disturbed. Logan took this news badly, for he would much rather not have had it out in the open. While the actual business remained unknown, the fact that they required privacy, and were not to be bothered caused the two to be the center of attention. Students would pause when they passed in the halls, wondering exactly what was going on. Logan knew eventually it would all be revealed, as the grapevine in the school was one of the best, quickest, and most resourceful he had ever seen. He would have to deal with all that when it happened. At present, he needed to focus on the chore at hand.
At last, Friday came. Logan spent the day trying to avoid everyone, at one point, taking a long drive on his bike. After dinner, he went to his room, to stew over his instruction manuals, while the student population thinned out.
At exactly 7:30, he heard a knock on his door. He closed up his books, took a deep breath, and crossed the room to answer the door. When he swung it open, there stood Francis, wearing a grin, and carrying his brand new sleeping bag.
"Uh, come on in." He stepped away from the door, and Francis stepped inside. Logan pointed in the direction of the roll-away bed in the corner. "We set up your bed for you." Francis trotted to the bed, and proceded to unroll his bag, revealing his pajamas and a fresh change of clothes inside.
Logan watched the boy as he fluffed his pillows and unzipped the sleeping bag. He then sat on the bed, and looked up at his friend, his smile suddenly fading.
"What's wrong with you?" Logan sensed the kid was nervous for some reason.
"Are you mad at me?"
"Huh? Why would I be mad?"
"You haven't said noth-anything to me all week. What did I do to make you mad at me?"
"You didn't do anything to make me mad."
Francis' eyes began to twinkle again. "Are you mad at Mr. Scott again? You haven't said noth-anything to him all week neither. Or maybe Dr. Jean? You kept giving her dirty looks. Or maybe everybody is mad at you? Did you do something to make everybody mad? Everybody keeps looking at you weird."
This kid doesn't miss a thing, Logan thought. "No. I ain't mad at nobody. And nobody is mad at me."
"Even Mr. Scott?"
"Even Mr. Scott."
"Wow. You ain't-aren't mad at Mr. Scott? How come?"
Logan's nerves were fraying beyond help now. "Look kid. No one is mad at no one."
"Nobody," Francis corrected.
"Shut up!" Logan barked, immediately sorry he did. "Look, I asked you here tonight so we can have some pizza, have a talk, and watch some cartoons. If you'd rather go back to the dorm, that's fine with me. So? What's it gonna be?"
Francis suddenly appeared very sad. "I'm sorry, I did make you mad after all. I really want to stay. They don't have a tv in my room. Oh, I did my homework already. All of it. I got my pajamas, too. Can I stay? I won't make you mad again."
Logan sighed and flopped onto the foot of his bed, watching the young boy waiting expectantly for an answer. "For the last time, I am not mad. Yes, you can stay. Now, what do you want on the pizza?"
The boy's face lit up like a christmas tree. "Can we get pepperoni? And extra cheese? But not peppers. I don't like peppers. Or mushrooms either. But you like mushrooms, don't you? Ok. We can get mushrooms, I'll just pick'em off, like you told me too when I don't like something.........."
Logan was already on the phone, ordering the pizza, even before Francis stopped talking. He ordered a large pizza, and two dozen chicken wings, mild for Francis. He would just have to deprive himself tonight.
The two sat on the floor in Logan's room, Francis finishing his last slice of pizza, and Logan stripping the chicken wing bones bare. They were both watching an old Flintstone episode. Logan found that he had relaxed considerably, sitting quietly, or as quietly as was possible when Francis was around.
"Wilma Flintstone is really skinny, isn't she? How come she's so skinny, and Fred is so fat? Doesn't she eat? Fred could put his whole hand around her waist, and make his fingers touch. How come they make cartoon ladies so skinny? Do you know anybody that skinny? I've never seen anybody that skinny."
Logan just waited patiently for Francis to finish his observations, and asking his questions. He had learned over the past seven months that Francis had been at the school, exactly when he would pause to gather his thoughts, start off on a new tangent, or just take a breath. Then it was time to respond. When Francis began gnawing on his pizza crust, that was Logan's cue.
"Easy on that crust, kid. You don't want to knock your braces off, do you?"
"Uh, no. Mr. Logan? How's come you wanted to stay in tonight? Don't you usually go out on Friday nights?"
"Usually. Tonight, uh.......tonight I had other plans."
"A sleep-over. That's ok. I was gonna be alone tonight. All the other kids left for the weekend, except for Jason, he's in trouble for cheating, so he has to stay in, but I don't like him anyways. I'd rather sleep in here with you. Did you say you had plans? What kind of plans? Are we gonna play games?"
Logan lit up a cigar, which always eased his tension. Well, here we go, he thought.
"Uh, I figured we'd have a nice long talk."
"A talk? About what?" Logan looked at the boy, with his hair falling over his forehead. Thank God it was growing back, he thought. That was the last time he would take advice from Scott, letting the barber nearly shave the kid bald. His eyes were glowing that brilliant green, in expectation. His mouth, a massive tangle of metal and rubber bands. This was the person Logan now had to teach about sex. He took a long drag on his cigar, feeling the child's anticipation, and spat out his answer as quickly as possible.
"The birds and the bees."