Chapter Ten

Professor Xavier sat up in bed at the sound of a loud THUMP from downstairs. Shaking his head free of the remaining fragments of the odd dream he'd been having, he slid himself into his electronic wheelchair and headed for the elevator, looking to discover what had fallen and craving a large mug of warm milk with honey, vanilla, and nutmeg.

He could hear giggles, muffled voices, and deep chuckles the moment the elevator doors opened on the ground level. He wheeled down the corridor towards the recreation room, curious to see who was still awake at this late hour.

"I suppose that will teach us to roughhouse in a furnished room," a familiar, accented voice was laughing as Xavier poked his head through the open doorway. "I just hope nobody heard it."

"You didn't really like the Abominable best, did you, Mr. Logan?" Jamie Madrox asked as he watched his teachers, Kurt Wagner and Logan, easily heft the fallen sofa back into an upright position.

Logan peered at the boy through flinty eyes. "Well, he was the only one who recognized that blasted deer for what he was."

Jamie was confused. "What's that?" he asked.

Logan grinned wickedly. "Lunch meat."

Jamie gasped and threw a pillow at him. Logan caught it easily and arranged it on the sofa with a chuckle.

"Surely you felt some sympathy for Rudolph and the Misfit Toys," Kurt said. "After all, do we not face similar problems?"

Logan shrugged. "Maybe. But if you ask me, a dumb kids' flick is a dumb kids' flick, and it's even worse if it sticks you with some sappy moral message."

Kurt grinned. "Then why did you stay?"

Logan shot him a dark glare. "Maybe I wanted a beer," he said, raising a bottle from the coffee table and taking a long swig. Kurt chuckled and raised his own bottle, peering at the label. "This isn't exactly beer," he said. "It's ale."

"To ale," Logan toasted, reaching out to clink his bottle against Kurt's.

"To ale," the German agreed.

"To ginger ale!" Jamie grinned, lifting his can of soda to clink against each of their bottles.

"That's the spirit, kid." Logan nodded his approval as he took another swig.

....So.... the Professor thought as he watched all this unnoticed from the shadow of the doorway. ...That's it!...

Xavier sat back in his chair as flashes of his strange dream came flooding back to him. He smiled in amazement. The conversation he had just overheard explained the whole, bizarre episode. He must have been picking up on their subconscious emotions as they were drawn into the movie! Wolverine, obviously, was hostile to the whole idea of an animated children's film. Drawn in against his will, he had naturally appeared in his dream as a frustrated, angry creature. Kurt had apparently felt protective towards the characters as they set off on their adventures, manifesting in the Professor's unconscious as a rogue hero. His annoyance at Logan's attitude was probably what prompted the animosity they displayed towards one another in his dream. Jamie had felt a part of the film from the beginning, which was probably why he had taken Hermie's place at Rudolph's side. The rest had been a mixture of the film itself and the stray emotions and thoughts it had triggered as they viewed it.

The Professor shook his bald head in bemusement. This was definitely one he should enter in his dream log. Here was yet another example of the strange things that could happen when telepathy met up with the unconscious mind.

At that moment, all sounds of horseplay stopped. Looking up, the Professor realized he had been found out.

"Oh, Professor!" Kurt gasped, his wide eyes filled with concern and embarrassment. "Did we wake you?"

Jamie paled and tried to hide among the cushions behind Kurt's lashing tail. Logan just glared, daring him to say something about the bottle he held in his hand. The Professor had to smile.

"Well, not exactly, my friend," he assured the anxious Kurt. "I've been having some strange dreams. I thought I might just pop down to the kitchen for a moment to fix myself a mug of warm milk."

"A wise idea," Kurt nodded from his perch on the back of the sofa. "Would you like any help?"

He shook his head, his tone kind. "No, I'm fine. But, thank you, Kurt."

"Good night, Professor."

Logan smirked as the Professor backed away from the doorway and continued on his way to the kitchen.

"If you ask me, he's been spyin' on us," he said.

"Why would he do that?" Jamie asked.

Logan turned to him. "Maybe he was wondering why a squirt like you was still awake at almost twelve in the mornin'." he growled.

Jamie's eyes widened, but Kurt put a comforting hand on the boy's shoulder. "It is getting late," he agreed. "Perhaps we all should be heading to bed."

"Nah," Logan waved him off. "I've gotta watch somethin' to wipe that kiddy slush from my brain before I can sleep," he grunted. He reached out and pulled a DVD from the collection on the shelf. "Maybe Red Dragon," he said.

"The new one? It is very good, but I don't think I could stay awake even for that," Kurt commented with a huge yawn that fully displayed his pointed teeth. Jamie grinned at the sight. Kurt flushed slightly behind his fur.

"Thanks for staying with me, Mr. Wagner," Jamie smiled up at him. "You too, Mr. Logan." Logan just grunted as he grabbed the remote and sat back on the sofa.

"Jamie, I would like to thank you for introducing me to such a sweet movie," Kurt said once the boy had turned back to him. "It has really helped to put me in the spirit of Christmas. I believe it did the same for Logan, though I know he would be loathe to admit it."

"You goin' to bed, Elf, or do I have to chase you away?" Logan growled from the depths of the sofa.

"You see," Kurt grinned. "It is just as I said."

Jamie laughed as Kurt skillfully dodged a flying pillow.

"Well, good night, guys," he said with a bright grin. "And Merry Christmas!"

"Merry Christmas to you, too, Jamie," Kurt grinned in return. "May all your dreams be pleasant." Then, taking careful aim, he tossed the pillow back at Logan, who caught it full in the face. Before the burly Canadian could retaliate, Kurt was gone in a BAMF of sulfur-scented smoke.

Still laughing, Jamie scampered quickly from the room and headed upstairs to bed.