X-men: Evolution of the Heart
Chapter 38: Graduation Day

This is it! The final chapter of "X-men: Evolution of the Heart!" It's been a long road up to this point and I can't thank everybody enough for taking the time to read this story! I have really enjoyed writing this and I can't thank you all enough! I that this final chapter leave with some sense of closure and I hope it fits in the long plotline that I have worked so hard to create. Well, I won't waste too much more time. But before I begin...One last shout-out to my faithful reviewers!

Aimtbj: It's great to hear from you again! I'm glad you liked the last few chapters. I was a bit worried at first about changing some of the episodes too much, but I'm glad to see that you think I got it right! I can't thank you enough for being such a great reviewer throughout this story and I hope you enjoy the final chapter!

Darkness1: Yeah, that speech took lots thinking on my part. The show didn't do a very good job of making it mean a whole lot in my opinion. And yes, this is the end sadly...But fear not! I already have another story in the works after this one! I hope it can live up to what I've done here. You have been such a wonderful reviewer since this story's beginning and I can't thank you enough! I hope you like how I end it and I hope you enjoy the stories that I have yet to write! You rock and thanks again my friend!

Idypebsaby: I'm glad you liked the last chapter. It took a lot of effort to write the speeches and make them strong enough to have an impact. And yes, this will be the last chapter. And don't worry! This story will stay up as long as will allow it! I wouldn't even think of taking it down! Feel free to save it or download it if you like it that much! I have greatly enjoyed reading your heartfelt reviews and I hope you like the final chapter! Thanks again and peace out my friend!

Enchantedlight: I'm glad you liked the last chapter and the song I chose to represent it! Linkin Park has always been one of my favorite bands and I think that their songs best describe the feelings that the X-men have to deal with in this story. I can't thank you enough for being such a nice reviewer for this stories duration and I hope you like the final chapter! Thanks again and best wishes to you!

Oceanbang: I'm glad you like how I changed some of the aspects of the whole "Day of Reckoning" part of the story. I think that the show needed a bit more realism in that part, but that's just my opinion. Thank you so much for your generous reviews and I hope you like how I end the story! Enjoy!

Quill of Molliemon: I know...Principal Kelly is one gene racist bastard. But at least he didn't get his way in the end! They all got to stay! I'm glad you liked the speech because it was a real challenge to write. The show didn't really push it too far, but that's just my opinion. And I agree with you...Linkin Park RULES! I knew I just had to use one of their songs in this story before it was over. And "Somewhere I Belong" is one of my personal favorites! Thank you so much for your kind reviews throughout the story and I hope you like how I choose to end it! Enjoy!

Sentoris: Ah, my friend! You have been a great reviewer of this story from the beginning! I'm glad you liked the speech and I agree with you that the show didn't make it strong enough. And that's some creepy coincidence that you ended up listening to that song as you read the lyric at the end of the chapter! Weird isn't it? I can't thank you enough for being such a kind reviewer throughout this long story! You have really inspired me to put and I can't express enough gratitude for it! I hope you like my next story just as much as this one and I wish you the best! Thanks again and enjoy the last chapter of "X-men: Evolution of the Heart!"

Kaliann: I'm glad you see why I did what I did in the beginning. I kept their past as a recurring theme throughout the story because I think that it portrays more powerful emotions in my opinion. I'm glad everything is coming together for you in the end and I hope you enjoy the final chapter! You have been such a wonderful reviewer and I thank you for your kind words! Enjoy!

Ryuu of the Broken Lightning: I'm glad you're back in time for the final chapter! I too, am a huge Linkin Park fan and I listen to their music almost every day. In listening to their songs I thought that they best described the feelings portrayed by the X-men in general in all universes be they comic, movie, or cartoon. I just had to use one of their songs in this story! I'm glad you liked it! Thank you so much for being such a kind reviewer through the run of this story and I hope you like the final chapter! Enjoy!

Star-of-Chaos: I'm glad you liked Rogue's choice of words! I think Magneto kind of had it coming. Thanks a lot for being such a nice reviewer throughout this story and I hope you like the last chapter!

Ranndie Mazda: Thank you for your kind words on Jean's speech! I really thought that the show could have done more with it, but that's just what I think. And I'm glad you like my choice of song! I believe Linkin Park's "Somewhere I Belong" best describes the overall feeling portrayed in this story. I hope that this last chapter gives you and the rest of my readers closure on this story. It's been a long fic, and I'm somewhat sad to see it finally end. I'm honored that you think I have talent! It really means a lot to me! You're kind words have really been an inspiration throughout this story! Thank you so much and I hope you enjoy the final chapter of "X- men: Evolution of the Heart!" Thanks again and peace out!

SHAWN PROVONCHA: Thanks a lot for being such a loyal reviewer throughout this story. I know it's been a long time since this story's inception and I thank you for reading it! I hope you like the last chapter! Enjoy!

ASGT: Yeah, I can't believe it's over either. It's been a long story, that's for sure! And you've been a great reviewer the whole way! I too am somewhat sad that this story has to end, but don't worry...I have another story in the works! I'm sorry, but I don't think that there will be a sequel to this story. I just don't think it can happen. Now, I can only hope that I end on a positive note. I'm sorry if it disappoints you, but every story must end at some point. I will keep writing though, just not on this story. I hope you have enjoyed reading this lengthy piece and I hope you enjoy my future work as well! Thank you so much and I wish you the best my friend!

Mrs. Myxztipik: If you haven't seen that episode, I strongly recommend you watch it! It's very good and I really like it! And I'm glad you like my choice of song. Linkin Park is one of my favorite bands and I just had to use one of their songs in this story! Thank you so much for your kind words and I hope you like the final chapter! Enjoy!

IcyLeo: I agree with you...Linkin Park RULES! I'm glad you liked the Jott and Kurtty moments I added in addition to the plotline. And yes, this is the final chapter! After so long it's finally here! Thank you so much for your kind words and your wonderful reviews! I hope you enjoy the end! Peace out!

KSimonT-X: Thank you for such kind words! I'm honored that you'd go so far as to say that I'm the best, but I think there are others out there far better than me. I have worked so hard on this story to bring out a new universe for the X-men and see them in a whole new light. It's still somewhat sad to have it end, but don't worry...I have another story in the works! You have been a wonderful reviewer and I thank you again for reading my story!

Mrs. Trunks Briefs aka Pan: I'm glad you liked my use of Jott in this story! I've always been a big fan of them. I hope you like the final chapter and thank you for reading my story!

Wen: You my friend, are the best! I can't thank you enough for your wonderful comments since the beginning of this story! They have been such a joy to read! You have really been a wonderful inspiration to me and this story throughout its long plot! I hope you like the final chapter! You rock and I wish you the best! Peace out my friend!

That's it! That's the last of the reviewer responses! It's been a long time coming, but it's finally here! The final chapter...Enjoy!

Life had never been easy for Scott Summers, Jean Grey, Kurt Wagner, Kitty Pryde, Evan Daniels, and Rogue. They had been through hardships that few have ever had to experience. They all came from terrible, broken homes. Each one of their pasts' was riddled with the pain of beatings, assaults, and rapes. They had either lost or never knew their own parents. But in the end, they survived. While there were some things that they could never forget no matter how their lives turned out, they had lived through them and fought their way past the pain.

Through all this, the six mutant teens found a bond that was as strong as any family. Some were closer than others, but it was still a family in every way except blood. But they didn't need blood...They only needed friendship...And each other.

It had been two months since the school board decided to let the six mutants stay in school and it had been one month since the newly rebuilt institute opened its doors once again. It had been by no means easy. Hazing, harassment, and prejudice were a way of life in the halls of Bayville High and among the public in general. Some people shunned them, some people tried to pick fights with them, and some people just plain ignored them. But there were a few who didn't do all these things...There were still a few average people who didn't hate them because they were mutants. And that was proof enough...That they had chosen the right path. Now, the day of graduation had finally come. Scott Summers and Jean Grey, two people who shared a bond beyond description, would be there to accept their diplomas. While people like Principal Kelly tried to prevent them from getting to this point, they still made it. Now, they and the rest of the group rode along in Scott's red convertible towards Bayville to attend the ceremony that would be their passage in to a new world.

"Man...I can't believe you guys are graduating all ready," said Kurt as he sat back and let the warm summer wind blow through his fur.

"Hey, I'm just as shocked as you are Kurt. To be honest...I didn't think I'd ever live long enough to see something like this," responded Scott in a somewhat dazed manner, as they drove ever closer towards Bayville High.

"Yeah, me neither. I never would have believed I could graduate high school if you had told me only a year ago," said Jean who was still kind of nervous, for this was a big step that she and Scott were about to take.

"So, like, what are you two going to do now?" asked Kitty.

"I don't know," said Jean as she shook her head, "Scott and I have already been accepted in to NYU, so I guess we'll go to college and think of something there."

"Man with you two gone it's gonna be hard dealing with all the new students that will be coming in. I heard the Professor saying something like a dozen or so new recruits would be at the school by September," said Evan.

"Don't worry guys...We'll probably stay at the institute most of the time even while we're attending classes. You know we still got to stick together even after all this," said Scott.

"Yeah...Well we always have," said Rogue as she watched the scenery speed by.

"Amen to that!" said Kurt.

"And to make things easier on you guys, I recently heard that Principal Kelly isn't coming back next year," said Jean cheerfully.

"Really!" exclaimed Kitty, "That's great! I don't like to say bad things about people behind their back but...Principal Kelly is just too big of a prick!"

"Yeah, anybody would be better than him," said Evan who was equally elated by the news.

"Well, just remember guys...Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst," reminded Scott as they stopped at a red light.

"Yeah, with our luck yer probably right," said Rogue knowing their track record with luck.

As they drove along in the warm summer heat, they were followed by the Professor and in his car along with Hank, Logan, and Ororo. It was a proud day for all of them, for they felt they had overcome a lot of obstacles to get to this point with their students since they had found them half dead at the docks a little over a year ago. They had gone from homeless, traumatized, under nourished kids from the streets, to successful high school students. And now two of those students would be graduating today.

"It's going to be quite a day, ain't it Chuck?" commented Logan as he leaned back casually in the back seat next to Ororo.

"Yes, indeed it will be old friend. They've come a long way to get to this point," responded Xavier as they got closer to the school.

"You must be very proud Charles," commented Hank, who was driving, "They have really changed since they first arrived. They were once a group of scared, damaged young teenagers...Now two of them are graduating high school today."

Charles Francis Xavier couldn't help but smile at his friend's words.

"I am proud of them Hank. They have faced more hardships than anyone I know. They have survived child abuse, living on the streets, Magneto, and the Phoenix. And they have grown so strong in the process. But remember...It wasn't just I that helped them."

The rest of the institute teachers smiled back, for they knew what Xavier was trying to say.

"And don't forget my friends...This is only the beginning. By this time next year we will have nearly three times as many students to deal with. And they will have to face many challenges as well with people like Magneto and the friends of humanity...But I believe that we can succeed."

"Three times as many students? You think we can keep the place in once piece with a bunch of super powered teens?" asked Logan in a sarcastic tone.

"Oh come on Logan," laughed Ororo, "I thought you liked to live dangerously."

"Hey, if I had to choose between controlling a bunch of wild mutant teenagers and battling Magneto...Hell, I'd have to choose Magneto."

Finally, both cars arrived in the crowded Bayville High parking lot. The bustling surge of other students and their parents was already large. This was a big day for everybody there. It appeared that the seats in the Bayville stadium would be filled to capacity today. As Scott pulled the car in to an open spot, he immediately hopped out and headed towards where the Professor was pulling in.

"Hey Scott, where are you going?" asked Jean.

"I've gotta see the Professor. He wanted to talk to me about something. Don't worry I'll catch up!"

Not thinking that it was a big deal, Jean headed off with the others. As the Professor's car stopped and he was wheeled out, Scott was already there waiting.

"You wanted to see me sir?" asked Scott.

The Professor just smiled as he moved his chair off the special ramp from the car.

"Yes Scott, I was just wondering when you planned to ask Jean the big question," said the Professor.

"Oh that," said Scott scratching the back of his neck knowing fully what the Professor was referring to, "Well...Tonight hopefully."

"If ya don't chicken out," said Logan as he walked over from the other side.

"Yeah thanks for your vote of confidence Logan," quipped Scott in a sarcastic tone.

Just then, Ororo stepped out.

"Are you sure you're ready to do this Scott? I mean...You're both still young and this is a big step. Graduation is one thing but this..." said Storm, but soon found herself trail off.

"Trust me...I've never been surer of anything in my life," said Scott confidently, even though on the inside he was still very nervous.

"Then I take it you have the ring with you?" asked Hank.

Scott just patted his pocket.

"Hasn't left my pocket all morning."

The Professor couldn't help but smile. His two oldest students had come so far from the depths of poverty and despair. Now they were both about to take some of the biggest steps they could make as adults.

"Well then...With that settled, I suggest you catch up with Jean and graduate. We'll all be in the stands cheering for you," said the Professor.

"Thanks Professor...For everything."

And with that Scott ran back towards the school where he would meet up with Jean. This left the four adults to make their way through the crowd of excited students and parents towards the bleachers.

"So Scott's really gonna ask her?" said Ororo.

"Come on Ro! Don't tell me you didn't see it coming!" said Logan with a laugh.

"Of course I saw it coming Logan," retorted Ororo, "It's just so soon and they're both still young. Even if they are legal adults now it's still...It seemed like only yesterday we found them huddled in a dirty warehouse...Alone and scared."

"Yes, I share your feelings Ororo. They have come a long way since that fateful day. But they all have had to grow up a lot faster than most people their age. They have had to go through things few others have had to deal with. And I trust that Scott and Jean are strong enough to make their own decisions about their lives now."

Ororo didn't respond after that, but she still felt somewhat amazed that this day had come so soon. She knew it wouldn't be long before other students, namely Kurt and Kitty, would have to make the same decisions. Things were moving so fast now that is was sometimes hard to keep up with it all.

As the four teachers met up with the rest of the students, the Professor suddenly saw something out of the corner of his eye and stopped as the others started to make their way to the stands.

"Charles...Aren't you coming?" asked Hank as he looked back.

"I'll catch up," responded the Professor, "I have to meet somebody first..."

"Well...Okay, we'll be waiting," said Hank as he made his way up the bleachers.

Xavier then wheeled himself over towards a cluster of trees behind the far end of the field. From it, one could see the ceremony in the distance. As the Professor wheeled closer towards the figure he had seen earlier, his identity became clear.

"It's good to see you again...Slayer," said the Professor as he approached mutant warrior that had helped them against the Phoenix several months ago.

Slayer just smiled back as he casually leaned up against a tree. He was wearing the same strange armor that he wore the day he met the X-men. He still had the same sword, markings, and tattoo over his eye.

"Wouldn't miss this for the world Professor Xavier," said Slayer as he shook the Professor's hand.

"Yes...It seems like it's been so long."

"Yeah...Well I've been all over the place lately. It's been hard finding time for myself."

"What exactly have you been up to?" asked Xavier curiously.

The mutant warrior just laughed and shook his head.

"Trust me Professor...You don't wanna know."

"Well, I'll take your word for it. But I'm glad you're here now. We still haven't forgotten about you just so you know."

The mutant warrior couldn't help but smile at that. He was so used to being seen once and forgotten all together. So this was a much-welcomed change.

"Thanks...That means a lot to me," said Slayer, "So I hear you may be getting a lot of new students at your institute very soon."

"Yes...It's going to be quite crowded, even with the expanded renovations that were recently completed," replied the Professor, "You know Slayer...The offer we made you before still stands. I'm sure my students would be happy to have you as a part of the institute and I'm sure we could use the help with all the new recruits coming in."

The mutant warrior didn't say much after that. He simply sighed as he gave Xavier his response.

"I know the offer still stands Professor...But it is still better if I don't. I know your students would want me there to join, but it's just easier if I let them be. Besides...From what I've seen in the past few months I've been away, you really don't need me. You all did pretty well in the face of the sentinel attacks and the exposure of mutants everywhere. You need not worry Professor, the X-men are strong enough without me."

"Well that's a shame...You know, ever since you left your words of wisdom have really helped guide the team in a positive direction."

Slayer simply smiled back, for he knew because he saw his affect even though he wasn't there. And all the more benefit of having an eye that sees everything.

"I know...I saw Jean Grey's speech to the school board two months ago. Please send her my thanks for using my words in such a powerful speech."

"It will be done Slayer," said Xavier. "So tell me, have there been any other cryptic visions of the future that we should worry about?"

The mutant warrior just shook his head and smiled.

"I can't see the future Professor...Nobody can anymore. The future of your team was forever obscured the moment you all stopped believing in fate. Hence...Neither I, nor any other can tell you completely what's in store for the X-men. But from what I do know through simple observation...The hopes within the minds of your students have finally seemed to brighten despite years of darkness. And if my all-seeing eye doesn't deceive me, then there will be a very special event at the Xavier mansion very soon, concerning the keeper and the savior."

Xavier knew what he meant by that and couldn't help but grin.

"So I take it you already know the outcome."

"Yes well...I don't need any ancient power to tell me that."

"Indeed, so I guess that means that you really are just here to see Scott and Jean graduate and not warn us of any more impending doom."

"Sorry, not this time Professor," laughed the mutant warrior, "Just little old me here to see the two beings that saved us all go off in to the dark and dangerous world. Even with the challenges they have yet to face...They will always still have a small piece of the Phoenix inside them. And they will always be at heart...The keeper and the savior."

As the mutant warrior finished those words, the music on stage began to play. The ceremony was about to commence.

"Well you'd best be getting to the stands now Professor, less you miss the big moment," said Slayer as he continued to lean back against the tree, looking towards the stage where Scott and Jean would go to accept their diplomas.

"Won't you come up to watch with us?" asked Xavier as he turned his chair around.

"Don't worry, I have a great view right here," said Slayer referring to the tattoo over his eye.

Xavier just smiled as he started to head back to the stands.

"Until the day we meet again Charles Xavier..."

"I look forward to that day Slayer...And thanks again for all you've done."

The Professor wheeled himself to where the others were sitting as the music continued to play.

"What was that all about Charles?" asked Storm curiously.

"Just meeting up with an old friend Ororo."

As the entire senior class of Bayville started to file out to the seats in the center of the field, Scott and Jean stood back for a brief moment...Taking in this pivotal event in their lives.

"This is a big step Scott...I can't believe we're doing this," said Jean unable to hide the excitement she felt.

"Believe it Jean...We've come this far, now it's time to take another step," replied Scott as he put his cap on and prepared to head out.

Jean smiled as he wrapped his arm around her waist and pulled her closer towards him.

"Just so you know...I never could have done this without you," said Scott as the distance between their faces got smaller.

"Me neither Scott...Thank you."

"I love you, remember that Jean."

"I love you too, always have...Always will."

They shared one last deep kiss before they went out on to the field.

'So any ideas how you wanna celebrate tonight?' sent Jean through their link as they made their way towards their seats.

'Oh, I'm sure we'll think of something,' replied Scott with a somewhat suspicious tone.

'Scott Summers...Are you hiding something from me?' joked Jean as they both took a seat next to each other.

'It's a surprise...You'll find out what it is later tonight.'

Jean's curiosity grew upon hearing that and wanted to know more, but the ceremony had started now and she would have to find out later. Principal Kelly sat up near the table with the diplomas, but he wouldn't be speaking. The school superintendent would do that much to the relief of all the Xavier students. As he took the stage to begin his speech, Jean gently squeezed Scott's hand as they prepared for a new beginning.

"Good morning. First of all I'd like to thank all the parents for coming out here on this glorious day. I'm glad you're all here because this is a big event for all the seniors of this fine school. Remember that when you leave today, you will no longer be just kids anymore...You'll be adults. You'll be your own person. You'll be ready to go off in to the world and leave your mark on the places you go and impact the lives of the people you meet. This has been a very big year for all of you. In these past nine months, there have been some historic events in the world...Events that will surly affect both us and many other generations to come. These are not easy times...There is still a great deal of confusion and fear out there about all that has happened. And these events have greatly affected the lives of some of our own students at this school. While I can't tell you exactly how I personally feel about this...I can say that my feelings will change the course of history just as much as yours will. The issues, controversies, and revelations that have yet to come will all have an impact on you all...Because you are the future. You are the...Evolution of a generation. And with that thought in mind...I present to you, the graduating class of Bayville High!"

Cheers erupted from the stands as the superintendent stepped down and students began to walk up on stage to accept their diploma. For the six teens of the Xavier Institute for Gifted Youngsters it was like a dream. From the depths of despair, abuse, and poverty they had come so far. No longer the poor, starving kids from the streets, they were now grown up...Ready to face an uncertain world. They all cheered as both Scott and Jean went up to get their diplomas and while they were on stage they looked up toward their friends and smiled. No words could be said to express the feelings of accomplishment that they now had as they both walked off the stage hand and hand. As they looked over the vast crowd, they noticed something in the distance. Or rather, they noticed someone.

'Congratulations you two...You definitely deserve this. You both should be very proud. Now, the future is up to you...'

The voice of Slayer, the mutant warrior that had helped both them and the rest of the team so much, echoed in their minds with. As they saw his faint outline in the distance they simply smiled and waved, knowing he would see them. Scott, Jean, and the rest of the X-men couldn't help but smile, for the accomplishments of this day would not be forgotten. While Jean went back to her seat, Scott stayed on stage and slipped back behind the main platform for the grand finale of the ceremony.

'Are you ready Scott?' asked Jean through their link as she took her seat again.

'You bet...I've been working on this song for over a month. Thanks for helping me with it.'

'What do you mean? I didn't help. You know I'm not at all musically inclined,' said Jean not understanding why he was thanking her for something she didn't help him with.

'That doesn't matter Jean...You still helped. You were still a great inspiration to this song.'

'That's sweet of you Scott, but I think you're giving me too much credit here,' said Jean as she couldn't help but blush.

'Come on Jean...You know I can never give you enough...'

After that last thought the superintendent took the stands again with one last announcement.

"Thank you seniors...I wish you all the best of luck in whatever future awaits you. And before you all leave and head out in to this strange and uncertain world, we have one last little treat for you. Back by special request and with help from our award-winning band...I give you, Scott Summers."

Some clapped, some cheered, but there were still those that booed. However, that wouldn't stop Scott from saying what he needed to say through song. As he took the stage with his guitar in hand, he looked back towards his friends and towards Jean...And smiled. He noticed that Kurt and Kitty were gently holding hands...Hinting that someday he might not be the only one ask what he planned to ask tonight with Jean. The past can never be forgotten...And sometimes the wounds suffered from it can never fully be healed. But with the help of genuinely kind-hearted people, and through the power of true friendship...And love...A true sense of peace had finally settled over the six mutant teens.

When the cheering finally quieted down, Scott began to play his song. And as the haunting tune echoed in to the air, it reminded the X-men of how far they had come...And how far they had yet to go.

In the distance, Slayer was still watching. He had seen the turmoil that Scott Summer, Jean Grey, Kurt Wagner, Kitty Pryde, Evan Daniels, and Rogue had faced. They had suffered a lot...And he could see many new challenges ahead for them in the future. Many of these challenges would put their strength to the test in the face of a world that both feared and hated them. But along with such hardships, he also saw happiness for the team. Some of them would come together through friendship...While others came together more profoundly through love. But whatever challenges awaited the X-men, Slayer knew one thing for certain...They were strong enough to over come it...And they would determine their own future.

AN: THE END! That's it! It's over! "X-men: Evolution of the Heart" is finally over! I can't believe it. After working so long and so hard on this story it has finally come to an end. I poured so much in to this and I can't thank you enough for taking the time to read this very long story. Now it's finally over. I had to put my character, Slayer, back in there for one final scene. I plan on putting him in another story in the near future, so if you like him you haven't seen the last of him! I'd love to know what you all think! PLEASE send your reviews to me at or post them on Thanks again for reading! It really means a lot to me and it will keep me writing for as long as I dream up new ideas! Thank you and best wishes to you all!

I'd like to give a special thanks to those who have been loyal reviewers to this story. You all helped inspire me and from the bottom of my heart I think you: Optic Red, Jen, Sweet Like Chocolate, AC/DC, Darkness1, commander-cane-7, Lexan, inuyasha0001, damien455, JapaneseDragon/Ryuu of the Broken Lightning, Lazerwolf/Phoenix, Katlin, Sprocket, Quill of Molliemon, IcyLeo, Kaliann, Oceanbang, Spectra2, Sentoris, Aqueous, SHAWN PROVONCHA, KSimonT-X, enchantedlight, Mrs. Myxztipik, ASGT, aimtbj, Mrs. Trunks Brief aka Pan, idypebsaby, Star of Chaos, reddfire, and a very special thanks to Wen...You especially rock!

You have the power...It's just a matter of how you use it.