This is a crossover between Highlander and X-Men, a sequel to Superheroes, set shortly after the X-Men 2. I apologise again to any big X-Men fans out there, my canon is a mix of the comics, the cartoons and the movies, simply because I don't read enough comics for them to solely provide my canon, so if I cause offence, I didn't mean to. As for the Highlander fans, this is Denial simply because Richie had too short a fuse and I needed him to be more mature for this to work. So now I've thoroughly alienated half of the audience, on with the fic: ;-p

Disclaimer: I still don't own X-Men or Highlander, mores the pity. I'm just having a little fun, no harm intended, so please don't set the Sentinels on me.

Lessons

Richie stopped the bike outside a very impressive pair of wrought iron gates. In the distance, up a tree-lined drive, he could see an equally impressive mansion. The sign on the gate said The Xavier Institute for Gifted Youngsters. For a moment Richie wasn't sure he was in the right place, but this was the address he had been given, so he reached out and pressed the intercom. It crackled into life.

"Yes?" a strong, well-mannered voice came from the intercom.

"Er, I'm here to see Logan. My name's Richie Ryan."

"Ah yes, come in Mr. Ryan." The intercom cut out and the massive gates began to swing open. Richie turned the ignition back on and headed up the drive.

By the time he reached the front door, Logan was already waiting outside for him. Richie smiled, got off the bike and held out his hand.

"Still messing around with bikes?" Logan began with a smile, "Heh, I guess they won't get you killed after all." He said with a chuckle.

"Guess not. Nor you." Richie replied with a grin. "I'm glad to see you man. I wasn't sure you'd be in touch again after what happened with Duncan…"

Logan's expression darkened at the mention of the Highlander. He ushered Richie inside, and Richie discovered that the interior was as opulent as the exterior. Children walked through the lobby, chatting and carrying books. Logan led him along wood panelled corridors, past a dozen or so rooms, some of which had open doors through which Richie glimpsed more children in lessons.

"I wasn't too crazy about what he had to say, but he was only telling the truth. I'm not mad at him Rich, he's helped me fill in a gap in my memory. And it gave the Professor another place to start in regaining the rest. Even if I was mad with him, I wouldn't take it out on you." Logan said. Richie looked at him sceptically.

"Really? You always used to be a real grouch."

"Yeah, well hanging around the Prof and his kids changes a man." Logan replied with a smile that lit up his whole face. He had stopped in front of a door at the end of a corridor, which he now opened. The door led to a spacious office that obviously doubled as a classroom. Seated behind a large oak desk was a bald man Richie took to be in his fifties. The man moved in his chair, and as he came around the desk to greet them, Richie saw that it was in fact a hi-tech wheelchair, the spokes of the wheels forming a large 'X'. "Richie Ryan, this is Professor Charles Xavier."

"Delighted to meet you Mr. Ryan." The Professor offered a hand and Richie shook it.

"You too Professor, although I'm a little confused."

"Yes of course, I'm sorry. Please, take a seat." The Professor pointed to a small couch, which Richie sat on. He perched a little uncomfortably as the dealer's eye he had developed working for Duncan recognised that it was Queen Anne and worth thousands. Logan dropped into a far more relaxed position on another couch. "How much did Logan explain as to why you were asked here?"

"Not much, he just said he wanted to talk to me." Richie replied. The Professor gave Logan a sharp look.

"What? I didn't think it should be discussed over the phone." Logan said defensively.

"Hmm. Perhaps not," the professor replied before turning back to Richie, "Richie, Logan explained to you that he is a mutant, yes?" Richie nodded, "Well everyone here at the institute is also a mutant, including myself. Some of my older students and graduates form a team called the X-Men, who work to defend mankind against attack so that humans will one day see that mutants pose no threat."

"Attack? Attack by who?" Richie asked.

"By other mutants mostly. A group called the Brotherhood of Mutants think that mutants are superior to other humans and should rule them." Logan replied. Richie looked a little shocked, but he simply nodded. He was taking a little time to absorb this information, but he was interested and he didn't want to stop them talking with stupid questions.

"We also look for new mutants and find them, so that we can offer them a safe place to learn to control their gifts, here at the Institute. A few weeks ago, we discovered a new mutant, a teen named Paul Warner, who has the ability to see through objects." Professor Xavier added.

"X-ray vision? Like Superman? Cool!" Richie exclaimed.

"Indeed," the Professor said with amusement, "But this boy also has remarkable healing powers that are not part of his mutation."

"They aren't? How can you be sure? Logan has healing powers." Richie said warily, beginning to see where this was going.

"Yes, but this kid crackles with blue lightning when he heals." Logan said pointedly.

"So you called me. How much have you said?" Richie demanded, standing up.

"Cool your jets bub, I didn't say nothing except you might be able to help. That's all." Logan said, almost growling. Richie eyed him for a moment.

"You'd better not," he retorted, sitting back down. "Where is this kid? Is he here?"

"Paul is in the grounds, but he's outside, on the basketball court. I can summon him if you wish." Xavier replied.

"Bring him in. I'll soon know if I'm the one you want or not." Richie replied tersely. Xavier nodded then tilted his head slightly, as though listening for something.

"He's on his way," Xavier said. Then, at Richie's puzzled look he added, "I just asked Paul to join us telepathically. That is my gift." This last part was said without speaking and the shock of the telepathic communication made Richie start. Xavier and Logan both smiled.

"Logan, I've been meaning to ask. Those claws, are they part of your gift?" Richie asked.

"Not exactly. I'll explain later kid." Logan grunted. Richie bristled slightly at being called kid again, but before he could remonstrate he was distracted by the approach of another Immortal. He stood up and reached for the sword hidden under his coat, turning to face the door. He didn't draw his sword, but left his hand on the hilt, keenly aware of the company he was in. He relaxed slightly when the door opened to reveal a teenage boy, but after his experiences with Kenny, he was still alert.

"You made the right call Logan. Paul is it?" Richie asked the boy, who nodded. "You better sit down. We have a lot to discuss."