|Welcome to the Institute, Hank
Author: Artemis's Liege PM
It's the first day on the job for Hank McCoy as "school doctor" of the Xavier Institute. And that's not exactly the most relaxing occupation out there . . .Rated: Fiction T - English - Friendship/Humor - Beast - Chapters: 3 - Words: 9,441 - Reviews: 13 - Favs: 10 - Follows: 9 - Updated: 06-28-12 - Published: 06-11-11 - Status: Complete - id: 7071984
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: X-Men belong to Marvel, and no profit is being made from this page.
Rating: T, for mentions of injuries.
Universe: Uses the setting of the movies but does not follow the events.
Honestly, Hank wasn't sure what to expect of his first day as the 'school doctor' at the Xavier Institute. He knew the building well enough, having visited the school several times a year to call on his friends and fellow mutants. But he had never actually seen the school from the viewpoint of a first aid caregiver.
But judging by Jean's gratitude that he had taken over the position and the numerous warnings Hank had received from Scott, it was amazing that almost a full half hour passed after classes had begun for the day before the first afflicted student staggered through the door of the medical center.
He was just reviewing several of the student medical profiles Jean had presented to him when the steel door was pulled open, and two students walked inside.
Both appeared to be in their mid-teens. The first was an Asian–American girl of medium height, her shiny, black hair was pulled into a high ponytail, with bright fuchsia sunglasses perched atop her head. There might have been a question of whether her lightweight, canary yellow jacket was supposed to be bomber or motorcycle, but it managed to retain similarities to both designs without fully committing itself to either style.
Possibly jackets were a trend at the Xavier Institute, because the second individual had one as well, although his was black leather. He was a tall blonde with a sarcastic spark in his eyes, and he wore a pained grimace in addition to the jacket, holding one hand against his temple.
"Maybe I be of assistance?" Hank rose from his desk and strode over to the students.
"Hey," the girl said, waving one hand at him enthusiastically. "You must be Dr. McCoy. Ms. Munroe mentioned you when she said I should take Saint-John to see you." She pronounced the name Sin-jin as she gestured to her companion. "This is Saint-John Allerdyce, and I'm Jubilee."
Hank smiled at the pair. "I'm pleased to make your acquaintances, although I regret that it's under these unlucky circumstances. What seems to be the problem, Saint- John?"
"Someone opened the door that I was about to open and it hit my skull," Saint- John growled, scowling.
Ouch. Hank winced in sympathy. No wonder the teen was so sullen; that had to hurt.
"I'll be merely a moment, please take a seat," Hank gestured to several chairs lined against the wall, before walking to his office in the back and retrieving an ice pack from the freezer of the refrigerator that Jean had installed, both portions of which she had kept filled to the brim with cold compresses and other medical supplies that needed to be kept cool. Now, Hank could understand why. He reentered the main area and quickly obtained Saint-John's medical file from the filing cabinet, and then returned to the pair of students.
Jubilee had settled down on a chair and was leafing through a magazine, cracking her gum, while Saint-John had simply closed his eyes and titled his head back in what Hank recognized as a desperate but futile attempt to snatch a few seconds worth of sleep. At the sound of Hank's approaching footsteps, his eyes opened and he sat up.
"Here you are," Hank handed Saint-John the ice pack. "Would you object if I made several inquiries in order to ascertain that you do not suffer from a concussion?"
"Hey, it's a free country," Saint-John replied with a shrug. He raised a blonde eyebrow as he watch Dr. McCoy for his reaction.
Hank studied him for a moment, wondering if his patient was the resident troublemaker at the Xavier Institute, before proceeding with his questioning. "Are you experiencing any dizziness or nausea?"
"None," Saint-John informed him in a bored tone.
"Is your vision blurred or unfocused?" Hank inquired.
"No," Saint-John responded tonelessly.
"Have you had trouble with balancing or coordination on the way here?"
"Give it up, Dr. McCoy," Jubilee told him, not taking her eyes off the magazine page. "Saint-John is too hard-headed to be concussed, isn't that right, Sin?"
"Hey, thanks, Jubilee," Saint-John rolled his eyes.
"All right," Hank decided. "You may return to class, Saint-John, but if you feel lightheaded or your head hurts, it is imperative to your health that you receive immediate medical treatment. Do you understand?"
"Yeah, sure." Saint-John stood. "C'mon, Jubilee. I hate to drag you away from your magazine, but we need to get back to class."
"You're just scared of Ms. Munroe," Jubilee shot back, but she closed her magazine and rose to join her friend.
"She's a scary a person, sometimes," Saint-John admitted. "And Dr. McCoy," he added on his way out the door, "Thank you."
Hank smiled as Jubilee waved to him, almost crashing into the wall as she walked backwards. "You're welcome."
As Hank sat down at his desk to record the visit in Saint-John's medical file, it occurred to him that neither student had reacted to his beast-like appearance; rather, they hadn't even seemed to notice it. Perhaps it was because they were mutants themselves, but he would've expected some sort of surprise on their part.
Putting aside his thoughtful musings, Hank clicked his pen and the ink had almost made contact with the paper when the door crashed open.
"I need some help here!" The panicked shout resounded through the medical center, and Hank immediately stood, pushing back his chair and hurrying to the teenager who had barged in.
A lanky youth in his mid-teens was doing his best to support a fellow adolescent, who had appeared to be completely limp. Quickly, Hank took the unconscious youth's weight (which still wouldn't have been very much even if Hank didn't posses superior strength), and easily lowered him onto one of the beds, placed the pillow underneath his ankles and turned his head to the side.
"What's the problem?" Hank asked calmly as he checked the teen's wrist for a pulse, which he found much too rapid. The motionless teenager was breathing steadily; his enhanced hearing told him that much. Relieved that this wasn't more serious, Hank fluidly began unwrapping the blood pressure cuff.
"Well, Ms. Munroe was upset that we were talking during class, so she asked us to stay after so she could yell at us, so we were walking down to Mr. Summers's classroom, but then J.P. just randomly went catatonic in the hallway- seriously, he didn't even sway, just collapsed on the floor. I don't even know why."
"J.P.?" Hank questioned as he removed the blood pressure cuff from Jean-Paul's bicep.
"Oh," the teen said, seeming to realize that he had not given either of their names. "That's Jean-Paul Martin, but we call him 'J.P.' for short. I'm Bobby Drake." He extended his hand for Hank to shake.
"Hank McCoy," Hank said with a smile.
Bobby looked at Jean-Paul worriedly. "So is he going to be okay?"
"I'll be fine," said a cold voice.
Jean-Paul sat up on the bed, and swung his legs over the edge onto the floor.
"Whoa!" Bobby shouted in surprise.
Having expected Jean-Paul to regain consciousness shortly, Hank was unsurprised, but he used the several seconds in which Bobby exclaimed over Jean-Paul, who did his best to elbow the other teen away, to study the latter.
Jean-Paul Martin also appeared to be in his mid-teens, but his outward demeanor was decidedly different from his compatriot's. A scowl was etched on his face, which was, to be brief, beautiful. His precisely symmetrical features were set upon utterly flawless, pale skin, with arched, upswept eyebrows and high, sculpted cheekbones. Thick eyelashes gave his eyes a smoky appearance, which were already remarkable due to their unusual coloring: a deep blue with hints of gray, reminiscent of an ocean covered with a fine, silver mist. And although the teen wore casual clothes, it was impossible to hide that his outfit was constructed from a variety of extremely expensive and high-end brands.
But as Hank scrutinized the teen, he was unable to ignore an eerie feeling that ebbed into his mind. While Jean-Paul undoubtedly was beautiful, his outer appearance was uncannily faultless. It was almost . . . creepy that he appeared so effortlessly perfect.
"That was kinda of scary, J.P.," Bobby was saying. "Maybe you should start eating and sleeping."
Hank grimly noted the statement and watched Jean-Paul carefully.
Standing, Jean-Paul ignored his statement and cast an impassive glance around the medical center. "I'll be going now."
"Sit down," Hank ordered him.
The teen cast him a look that was mostly disbelief and a fraction startled. "I beg your pardon," he said, in a tone that was the opposite of begging.
"Bobby," Hank said.
Bobby glanced at him questioningly.
"Go back to class," Hank told him.
Bobby looked to Jean-Paul and shrugged helplessly, before he walked slowly to the door, dragging his feet.
When the door finally shut behind Bobby, Hank walked back into in office, steadily ignoring Jean-Paul's verbal attempts to get his attention, and returned with his medical file and a glass of fruit juice, which he handed to the teen, who turn accepted the glass but stared at it distastefully.
"You should sit down," Hank advised him, but Jean-Paul remained standing.
"Whatever," Jean-Paul replied, not moving. "When can I leave?"
Flipping open the file, Hank paged through the medical notations. "This seems to be habit for you," he observed neutrally. "This would be the third time you've collapsed due to hypoglycemia. Tell me, in your opinion, Mr. Martin, could lack of rest or proper nourishment play a role in these incidents?"
An expression of thorough annoyance transcended upon Jean-Paul's face, and keeping his eyes directly on Hank's, he placed the glass on the table. "Don't patronize me, Dr. McCoy. I know what I'm doing."
Hank's eyebrows rose slightly. "Excuse me?"
For a split second, uncertainty flickered across Jean-Paul's features, but it vanished, replaced by cold disdain. "Although I appreciate your assistance greatly," the teen said in a tone that was far from appreciative, "I honesty must state that in my opinion, my condition does not warrant medical treatment of any sort."
Hank frowned, puzzled by both Jean-Paul's words and his sudden, inexplicable formal tone. "You deprive yourself of proper nourishment, and then you say that you don't think that you need any help. Good lord, would you listen to yourself?"
"I'm done listening at the moment. Thank you for your time Dr. McCoy," Jean-Paul said icily. With that, the youth turned and strode from the medical center.
Hank let him go, deciding that it wasn't worth the trouble of chasing him down, but mentally made a note to mention the recalcitrant student to Jean. He had just opened Jean-Paul's file to thoroughly peruse the papers when the door crashed open again.
Suppressing the urge to sigh and internally weighing the pros and cons of installing a less noisy door, Hank braced himself to deal with another crisis as a pair of teenage girls entered the room. "Yes?"
"It's my arm," one of the girls declared immediately. "It's bleeding."
"Please sit down." At this point, Hank gesticulated to the chairs with practiced ease.
The injured girl gracefully settled in a chair, tossing her curtain of sleek, black hair over her shoulder as she did so. She removed the bloodied paper towel she had been using to cover her wound and extended her arm.
Within seconds, Hank determined that the abrasion was only minor. "Don't worry," he told the girl, "the cut is wide, so it may seem as if there's an abnormally excessive amount of blood, but in actuality, it's quite shallow. Let me procure a bandage for you; I'll be just a moment."
"That's fine," the girl replied in her regal, expectant tone.
When he returned with the bandage and alcohol swabs, he noticed the girl's companion for the first time. She was a fellow teenager, but unlike her injured friend, who was dressed as if she had just glided off the page of a fashion magazine, this one's clothes were simple with muted colors: form-fitting black jeans, a white shirt with drawstring sleeves that went to her elbows, and a black V-neck vest.
However, both her outfit and her pose, leaning slightly with both motorcycle boot clad-feet low but one slightly against the wall, arms folded loosely across her chest, emphasized her statuesque figure, slender, but with well-sculpted muscles. Hank observed bemusedly that with her outfit and pose, it was almost as if the girl was a fashion mannequin that was propped up in a store window.
Oddly enough, this girl wore a fedora low over her face, casting a shadow over her eyes, but then again, her head was tilted at downwards angle anyway, so perhaps this wasn't deliberate.
Hank realigned his focus on the injured girl, who was looking at him curiously. "So, are you going to be our resident doctor, now?"
With a smile, Hank answered, "Yes. I have accepted the position of school nurse at the Institute."
There was momentary flash of satisfaction in the girl's eyes, and she responded with a smile of her own, though there was something faintly vulpine in hers. "That's marvelous news. It's good to get some new blood around here every now and again." She extended her uninjured arm as Hank finished applying the bandage. "It's a pleasure to meet you. I am Amara Aquilla of Nova Roma."
"Henry McCoy," Hank said, shaking her hand. His gaze drifted over to the other girl who hadn't moved a muscle and was still leaning against the wall. "And who-"
"Oh." Amara waved a manicured dark hand in her direction. "This is Rogue."
Hank barely had time to raise an eyebrow at the odd moniker before Amara continued.
"But yes, it's a relief that you've taken over the position," she went on. "I don't wish to speak ill of Dr. Grey, but I found her skills somewhat . . . lacking. I don't want to say that she's incompetent, per se," she deliberated, "but if the shoe fits . . ." Amara paused as smirk twisted across her lips, "why not wear it?"
A low chuckle emitted from Rogue's throat, and as Hank watched, she straightened from her position, sauntered from behind the door over to the opposite wall, and resumed her pose there. Hank did not have time to question her strange actions because once again, the door slammed open, crashing against the wall where Rogue had been leaning just a few seconds ago.
A girl strutted through the doorway; her blonde hair was long and luxurious, her face pretty, and her outfit of a short skirt and a peasant blouse was stylish and probably expensive. Following her was a second blonde girl who looked a few years older, perhaps eighteen, who was covering one of her hands with the other.
"Hello," said the first blonde girl. "I was supposed to take her-" she made a careless gesture at the second girl, "to Dr. McCoy." Her tone was somewhat arrogant. "That's you, I assume?"
Amara jumped in before Hank had the chance to respond. "Yes. Regan, for now, at least, he'll be replacing Dr. Grey."
The two girls exchanged smug smirks, and turned to Rogue, whose painted lips were also pulled upward in a very faint smile.
"We'll be going now," Regan informed him, and sure enough, she and Amara proceeded out of the medical. "Come on, Rogue," Regan said as she breezed by the girl still leaning against the wall.
The door slammed shut behind the two girls, and for several seconds, Rogue remained where she was. Then she straightened and turned in the direction of Hank and the other girl.
"Hey Paige," she said in a low, throaty voice.
"Hey Anna Marie," responded the other, girl, apparently Paige.
With that, Rogue walked toward the door, her pace not hurried but not delayed, and left the room.
The door shut after her, the clap of metal against metal echoing in the sudden silence.
"Anna Marie?" Hank queried, his gaze fixated upon the door.
"Her real name," Paige explained. "On her first day here, Jubilee declared that the name "Anna Marie" didn't suit her, so Jubilee promptly christened her "Rogue" instead. Almost everyone calls her by her nickname, even the teachers, but I'm not very close to her so I just use her real name."
"Oh," Hank said, at a loss for words for the first time in a long time.
An awkward silence followed.
"So," Paige said, "pretty crazy place, huh?"
"That's for certain," Hank said,
"It takes awhile to get used to it," Paige tucked a strand of blonde hair behind her ear and straightened her turquoise headband that matched her shirt. "Especially those three. Amara and Regan fill the resident Mean Girls roles, and Anna Marie hangs out with them because. . . well, um, she's never told me why. She doesn't really talk."
"So I've noticed," Hank said, glancing at Paige. He started. "I apologize. You're here due to injury, and yet here I am ignoring you."
"It's not bad," Paige said. "I accidentally slammed my fingers in the door of the classroom. Regan had to come with me just because of safety precautions."
Hank led her over the freezer. "Here you are," Hank handed her an icepack.
"Thanks," Paige accepted the icepack with a smile. "I'm Paige Guthrie."
"Henry McCoy," Hank replied. "As you heard Amara saying, I'll be taking over the school nurse position."
Paige let out an amused breath. "'School nurse'? School zookeeper is more like it as this place."
"Isn't that the truth," commented Scott, strolling into the medical center.
"Wow, Mr. Summers," Paige said, impressed. "I didn't even hear you come in."
"Yeah," Scott replied, "the door is surprisingly quiet if you don't slam it against the wall, but I noticed when Jean was school nurse and I came to visit her that all the kids seemed to enjoy smashing into it as hard as possible."
"They still do," Hank remarked dryly.
The bell rang throughout the hallways, and Paige started.
"Oh, geez, if I turn in my essay late, Ms. Frost will kill me! I have to go!" She sprinted to the door. "Thanks, Dr. McCoy! 'Bye, Mr. Summers!" She called over her shoulder.
Hank chuckled as the door swung shut behind her. "Oh, to be young again."
"Funny," Scott said, smiling benignly. "I wouldn't think that you'd say something like that after treating God-only-knows-how-many kids with injuries today."
"Well I can say that the students I've met so far are undoubtably . . . scintillating," Hank said carefully.
Scott's lips pulled into a smirk. "Who did you have the pleasure of meeting?"
"In addition to Paige, I met Jean-Paul Martin, Bobby Drake, Amara Aquilla, a friend of hers, who, if memory serves, is named Regan, Jubilee, Saint-John Allerdyce, and Anna Marie, A.K.A. Rogue."
Scott laughed. "Lucky you. I can barely believe that you got stuck with all of them on the same morning."
Hank raised an eyebrow. "Are those particularly irksome charges of yours?"
"I'm often impatient with Jubilee and Bobby, but they do have redeeming qualities," Scott admitted. "The rest of them . . . not so much. I just came down to check and make sure that Regan actually took Paige here. She's not the most trustworthy student we have. And good Lord, it's as if Jean-Paul Martin deliberately tries to annoy me."
"Does he really?" Hank asked, wondering about the odd teen who had been dragged unconscious to the medical center earlier that morning.
"It's not only just me, it's every teacher here, so he probably has authority issues, or something," Scott said dismissively. "But I guess it comes naturally, because I don't think he'd make the effort; he would actually have to think of someone besides himself. It's not even as if he's here that much. His parents have him go home because of a 'family emergency' every few weeks."
"You don't believe that's the legitimate reason?" Hank asked.
"If there's that many 'family emergencies' taking place, then it's futile to even try to reconstruct it," Scott replied. "We've attempted to contact his parents, but we always get a secretary or an aide who takes a message and our calls are never returned." He frowned suddenly. "Why all the questions? Did he give you trouble?"
"In a manner of speaking-" Hank began, but was interrupted when the door crashed open once again.
"Dr. McCoy!" A voice shouted.
Hank sighed, wondering what the problem could be this time. "Again?"
"I'll talk to Jean," Scott offered."Maybe you two could alternate days as school nurse so that your sanity remains intact."
"That would be extremely altruistic of you," Hank replied dryly, returning to the main area of the medical center, already preparing for the next medical malady.
A/N: Amara Aquilla, Paige Guthrie, Regan Wyngarde and Jean-Paul Martin (Beaubier) are all mutants from the comics. Also, St. John is now Australian once again.
I apologize if I misconstrued any medical information. I did my best, but hey, everybody makes mistakes.
I found Hank and Scott both very difficult to write, and then I had to characterize both of them in the same scene. O_O I like both of their characters, but I think they're really hard to capture. Especially Scott, because I want to write him as an actual person, not just a stick in the mud. Although, he does not get along with Jean-Paul. I think I'll write more about that later . . .
Anyway, thoughts, questions or concrit? Please let me know.