Hired Help

By London

Disclaimer: Marvel owns the characters. I'm just using them.

Rated PG-13

Summary: After having his throat sliced by Mystique, Sean is having a hard time. A scheduled 6-month visit to Xavier's is proving to be very difficult, so the Professor hires some help.

Chapter 1: A New Body

Sean Cassidy, former X-Men and leader of mutants, stared at himself in his bathroom mirror. He had received a hair cut before returning to Xavier's three weeks ago and he had last shaved around the same time. His fingers found the scar that graced his neck.

Sean silently growled and furrowed his brow when he felt the raised tissue under his fingers. Everyday he saw it. Everyday he had to remind himself of what had happened, not that he'd forget Mystique cutting his throat, but the fact that he would never be able to speak or use his powers.

'Aye, Sean' Sean thought to himself. 'Its still there.'

He tried to brush his new beard growth over the scar, but sighed when the scar stuck out like a sore thumb. He turned around and turned the water on in the shower. He stripped himself of his robe and boxers, and then gradually climbed into the steamy water.

Sean grabbed a washcloth and the soap.

'What day is it today?' Sean thought to himself. He counted the days that he'd been at the small cottage on Charles Xavier's property. 'Aye, it's the fifteenth.'

Something struck him as odd about the fifteenth. He scrubbed his chest with the soap and washcloth before it hit him. Charles had hired someone to decipher his sign language so Dr. Hank McCoy wouldn't have to take time from his busy schedule to do so.

'Ah hell' Sean cursed to himself. 'Ay came out 'ere to relax and get the medical update from Hank. Ay don' need a fuckin' interpreter.'

Sean grabbed his shampoo and started to lather up his red-gold hair. His foul mood was slightly lightened by the smell of the shampoo, but he still kept his frown.

His mood was lessened when he heard the doorbell of the cottage ring. Sean let his shoulders slump. He stuck his head out of the shower and heard the doorbell again.

'Hold yer horses' Sean thought to himself. He pulled his head into the shower and rinsed the shampoo from his hair. The doorbell rang twice, impatiently. 'Blast! Keep yer shirt on!'

Sean turned off the shower and stepped out onto the soft bath mat. He quickly toweled himself off and put his boxers and robe on. The doorbell was leaned on and buzzed for a straight thirty seconds.

Sean stormed to the door, his frown turning into a full scowl. When he pulled it open, he was greeted with a smiling petite dark haired woman.

"I'm Mackenzie Burns" The girl said extending her hand. Sean just glared at it until his manners kicked in. He shook her hand. "You're Sean Cassidy."

She pointed to her head and Sean felt the familiar tingle of a telepath in his head.

/ Xavier hired me to help you out./ Mackenzie projected. Sean's expression faded into a blank one. / I can hear you in your head, Mr. Cassidy. /

/ Ay don' need yuir help, lass / Sean thought. He started to shut the door, but stumbled back when Mackenzie threw herself against the door, forcing her way inside.

"The professor said that you'd be stubborn about this" Mackenzie said aloud. She placed a medium-sized suitcase on the floor, near a small table that held a small clock and a set of keys. Mackenzie straightened her posture. "I hope you don't mind sharing this place. I was told that I'd be staying here in one of the spare bedrooms."

Sean groaned inwardly. He couldn't refuse the professor and send the girl back to wherever she came.

/ Who said that it'd be okay fer ye to stay 'ere// Sean thought.

"Miss Frost" Mackenzie replied. "She said that you would prefer to have me stay here."

/ Well, she was wrong / Sean thought. / Bobble back ta the mansion, now. Ay don' need any help. /

Mackenzie crossed her arms and took a deep breath.

"Mr. Cassidy" Mackenzie said sternly. She took a step towards him and tried her best to look menacing, which was difficult with her cute features and short black hair. "I was hired to interpret your thoughts and assist you in any way necessary. I don't appreciate being treated like some bimbette who doesn't know what she's in for."

Sean's eyes widened as he gazed at the fiery petite girl. When she paused to take a breath, Sean made a series of mean gestures with his hands.

"Excuse me!" Mackenzie said with a stunned expression. Sean's face drooped when he realized that she had known the signals and gracefully took the slap, she delivered, to the face.

A knock at the door made Sean and Mackenzie both turn. Sean opened the door, his cheek red with a handprint despite the beard growth.

"Ah, Sean, how is everything?" Kurt Wagner, otherwise known as Nightcrawler, asked. "Vell?" Kurt noticed Sean's reddened cheek. "Vhat happened to your cheek?"

Sean opened the door so Kurt could see Mackenzie. Mackenzie's breath caught in her throat when she saw the fuzzy blue man.

"You have a guest" Kurt said. He stepped inside and bowed slightly. "Mein liebchen, I am Kurt Vagner."

"Um…" Mackenzie breathed. She quickly smiled and held out her hand. "Mackenzie Burns. Pleased to meet you, Mr. Wagner."

"Please, call me Kurt" Kurt said. He smiled and shook her hand. "I see that you have met Sean. Has he shown you to your room?"

"No, he hasn't" Mackenzie said. Kurt nodded at Sean and moved to pick up Mackenzie's suitcase.

"You should really put some ice on that, Sean" Kurt said before moving towards the stairs. Sean just watched the two move up the stairs, barging in on his privacy.

'What a bunch o' shite' Sean thought to himself. He shut his front door and quickly made his way up the stairs.

"You can call me Mack" Mackenzie said to Kurt as Sean made his way to stand against the doorframe. Kurt had chosen one of the smaller rooms that had a surprisingly large window. Mackenzie's suitcase was on the bed and Kurt was gesturing to the window.

"Mack" Kurt said. "Vell, look at ze view zat you vill have. Absolutely vonderful."

Mackenzie moved to the window and looked out. The small ledge before the window held enough space for two people to sit. Mack knelt on the ledge and gazed at the large yard of the X-Mansion. She had a good view of the yard, the pool, and the surrounding woods.

/ Don't get too attached. / Sean thought. Mackenzie turned and scowled at him. Kurt looked between the two.

"Vat did you say?" Kurt asked.

"It was nothing, Kurt" Mackenzie replied. She turned and continued looking out the window.

"Sean, may I speak to you in ze hall?" Kurt asked. Sean backed into the hall and Kurt followed, shutting the door behind him. "Sean, I've known you for a long time. I don't know vat is wrong, but you must accept her help. Ze Professor only vants to help you and communication is ze key. Do you understand?"

Sean nodded. Kurt patted his shoulder.

"Good, zen I'll leave you two to talk" Kurt said. Leaving a trace of smoke, Kurt bampfed out of the cottage.

An hour later, Mackenzie found Sean in the kitchen making a sandwich. She had changed from looking professional to looking relaxed in a pair of blue jeans and a t-shirt. Sean had also changed from his boxers and robe to jeans and a green sweater.

"Perhaps" Mackenzie said aloud, startling Sean. "We should start over."

Sean didn't turn around until he finished making his sandwich.

"I'm here to help you out, Mr. Cassidy" Mackenzie said. "I'm really not a threat as you seem to think that I am."

/ I'm only a telepath who can produce force fields. / Mackenzie projected.

/ Ye're nae threat. / Sean thought.

/ I was hired on as an interpreter for you, an assistant. / Mackenzie said. / And, please, call me Mack. Everyone does. /

/ Understand, lass, tha it wasn't my idea tha ye come here. / Sean thought. Mackenzie nodded. / But, since we're t'be housemates, ye might as well call me Sean. /

"Sean" Mackenzie said aloud. "Well, technically, I don't start until tomorrow, but if you need me today, I'll be around." Mackenzie fidgeted with her pockets. "I'm supposed to get the grand tour of this place."

/ Then ye should be going, lass. / Sean thought. Mackenzie nodded and pulled a card out of her pocket. Sean took it and looked at the pale blue piece of paper in his hand.

"That's my cell phone number" Mackenzie said. Sean raised an eyebrow and took a large bite of his sandwich. "You don't have to say anything. If you need me, just dial the number and I'll know it's you." Mackenzie tapped her head. "Remember…telepath."

Mackenzie smiled and left the small cottage.