If Wishes Were Horses...

Summery: There is always a sacrifice to be made but not usually one so willing to make it. With so few options and little to hold him Xander gives up all he knows to help a friend, unknowingly stumbling upon some answers to a mystery he has lived with all his life.

Pairings: (These are tentative groupings and are open to changes. If you have a preference or suggestions, feel free to comment.) Xander/Gambit. Andrew/Warren(Archangel). Logan/Oz. Spike/Kurt. Faith/? I would welcome any thoughts for her partner, though I have an idea that's a bit odd but would be fun to write. I will consider anything you suggest, however.

Chapter 3:

Once again, Xander strode to Xavier's office, only this time he was alone. Surreptitiously, Xander made sure his mental shields were firmly in place before he stepped into the domain of the ultimate head shrink. He hadn't asked around but he had listened as he walked through the halls of the mansion and he had heard that Charles was the strongest telepath in the world. Not the sort of man you want to piss off when he has full access to your noggin and Xander had an unfortunate talent for pissing people off.

Andrew was settling in easily enough, thankfully, and that day was his first day of classes, which is why the man-child had been bouncing off the walls in his excitement. It had taken him all of five minutes the first day after they arrived to make some friends, with Xander's encouragement, though most of the residents of the school avoided the rugged man. Not that he really cared but it meant that he had to distance himself from Andy to make sure that his friends stuck around. He looked down at himself with a frown and picked at the worn t-shirt. He had been so focused on getting Andrew clothed, fed and situated that he had not had time to replace his old cloths or even shave. The heat in his missing eye told him that he needed to clean it soon and wash the leather band or he would need to make a personal visit to Hank for something other than a chat.

He slipped past the wooden doors that he still wanted to just stop and stare for hours. The office was even bigger with no one occupying the vast space, but it still felt comfortable and he could make out the welcoming paraphernalia that he had missed before. Xavier's quiet cough drew him back to the matter at hand gently. He grinned ruefully and took the seat across the desk.

"I trust Mr. Wells is settled in now?"

"The kid is fitting in here better than any place I've seen before." Xander smiled as he thought back to the sight of Andrew dodging a fake swipe from a teen covered in bone spikes as they mimicked a fight scene from a movie for a girl in a bright yellow trench coat.

"I am pleased to hear that. You, however, are not fitting in as well as I had hoped. You seem to avoid most everyone, teachers included."

Xander scratched his beard, thinking on the last week. "Not really. Yeah, I avoid the kids but they are either afraid of me or don't know what to make of me. Allot of them can't handle a -what you call me again? Oh right- flat-scan, or whatever you call a non mutant. Keeping my distance let them get to know Andy but the adults are different. I tried talking to some but only Hank seemed to tolerate me hanging about. Logan I get, because of the whole 'Holy crap, I'm your son!' thing. The rest, I figure are just uneasy with the alternate dimension thing. My appearance doesn't help much either." he gestured to his torn and worn clothing vaguely. "I've spent years in a place where personal grooming was a luxury so I kind of let myself go. Not to mention the eye."

"Yes. I have been meaning to ask you about that, if you do not mind speaking of it, of course."

Xander waved away his concern flippantly. "It's a long story concerning Frozen peas, three elastics and an overly violent food fight between teenage girls."

The professor debated internally for a moment whether to believe the man or not. It was hard to tell when said man looked completely serious. He decided it would be best to move the conversation along the wry amusement clear on his face. "I...see. This is not why I asked you here, however." Xander straitened up intently. "As you yourself have mentioned a desire to work for your room and board, I have been looking into what station would best suit you. At first I thought to place you with Logan , helping with his combat classes, but with the tension between you two it would not be ideal." The brunette agreed with a nod. He didn't mention that the younger students would not take well to a flat-scan teaching them. "A Shop class might be an option but not too many students are interested in such things. I do, however, like the notion of you teaching. There are a few students that speak little English and there are the few rare occasions when there is no telepath nearby so they do need some educating. Some children might also prefer to learn a new language so-"

"Professor," Xander broke in to his semi-rant quietly, "I don't think I am much of a teacher no matter what Andy says. For the kids that need to learn, sure, bring them to me if they will come. Otherwise, just let me fix up this place. Cleaning up after super charged teenagers is kind of my speciality. Besides, allot of these students have been hurt by non-mutants, either through direct conflict or propaganda. None would trust me enough."

Xavier sighed sadly, hearing the truth of it. "Alright. I will make certain that you have the tools and supplies you need."

"Don't worry about materials for now." Xander assure him, "I've already taken a look around the mansion and did a basic survey but I would like to pick out some tools myself before I give you a estimate. All I ask is for some advanced pay to pick up some personal items as well."

"Yes, of course. Some of that money given to you earlier this week was meant for you to use on yourself, however it seems as if you focused a bit too much on Mr. Wells."

Xander shrugged carelessly. "What can I say? He's a kid and he needs allot of stuff to keep him from going nuts with question." a soft chuckle escaped Xavier.

"He is quite an intelligent boy. Hank certainly enjoys his company."

"He would. Andrew is a certifiable genius, and this was before his powers kicked in, he just had no support in his early life. Later on, people that claimed to be his friends used and betrayed him repeatedly. Add to the fact that until a few years ago he had very limited social skills and the group I was apart of had very little patience for him as the people he was with had tried to kill us on more than one occasion."

"He seems fairly attached to you." Xavier reminded him.

"He's a sci-fi nerd and I'm a closeted one. It made for a connection that he never had before and after a while I took it in my head to train the kid. I figured that if he really wanted to help out then I wasn't going to let him stay as a liability like I was when I first started fighting the good fight. I think that was the first time anyone had ever taken interest in his continued survival in a good way so it left and impression. The clincher was that my ex-fiance gave her life to protect him so he keeps trying to make it up to me, not that I want him to."

"We all mourn in our own ways. His method is to repent." there was a moment o f quiet understanding between the two men, "I wonder, however, how is it that you were able to give up your life so easily. From what little you mentioned of it, you left quite a few friends behind in your world to bring Andrew here, who you admit has not been with you as long as the others."

Xander's impassive gaze fixed onto the telepath for a long moment that quickly grew uncomfortable for the man. It was long enough that Xavier began to worry that he had trespassed on some forbidden boundaries. Being unable to read the man gave him a distinct disadvantage when it came to settling the suspicions that seemed to hang over the man. He nearly sighed with relief when Xander slumped into his chair, apparently coming to a decision.

"I miss my girls, for sure, both those I trained and the ones I grew up with. I mean, they were my life, the only thing that really kept me going. I don't think I told you about this but instead of a bunch of mutants running around in my world we have things like demons and magic. I'm not gonna go into details but to fight the bad guys that pop up we have some super powered girls that battle the forces of evil. Finding the girls in places like Africa and Brazil or helping Buffy and Willow, my two best friends, when they asked me was all I existed for anymore," concern began to trickle into Xavier's mind, "but I realized that they didn't need me at all."

"I'm sure you were more needed than you understand."

Xander shook his head slowly, "I had been fighting beside them for so long that the just got so used to looking to me for help that they never thought to look closer to home. Now they have a support system set up with plenty of backup. There are regular search parties in the more wild parts of the world, based out of shelters that I built, with competent and hand picked instructors to teach the newcomers what they need to survive. The ones I trained take the younger girls under their wings until they are capable then they train the next generation. I set it up specifically so that the entire program is self sustaining just in case something happened us original warriors. It took me two years and three continents before I realized that I had made myself obsolete, not that I would change it, but in that time, not one of my girls had ever asked me to come home. Not even for a visit." Xander flung his arms over the back of his seat and rested his head against the top to stare blankly at the ceiling. "My work was pretty much finished last year and still they didn't ask me home so I stayed in Africa to deal with the more aggressive demonic population. When they finally did send for me it was only at the desperate request of Andrew. When I figured out the situation I make a choice that I am sure did not sit well with the girls, so I am sure I will be hearing from Willow at some point in the future. I decided that Andy would be my focus for now. I will protect, train and guide the twerp until he doesn't need me anymore then I will move on."

"Move on how?" Charles hoped the man's intentions were not what he was thinking.

"I figured that I'd explore this world for a while, see how it's different from my own, and after that I more markers to call in. There are allot of dimensions out there."

The frown on the bald mans face deepened. "And if you were offered a place here? Would you not stay?" The grin he received was boyish but mocking.

"I'm not deaf Professor. Your people are so touchy around me that I am surprised they haven't thrown fruit yet." he cut off the protests with a stern look and his position sprawled further. "You may not see it with your idealistic view of your people but none of them like of trust me enough to give me the time of day. The most I hope for is directions to the bathroom, and that's only cause they don't want me messing the carpets."

"Perhaps it is your view that is too pessimistic?" Xavier disliked his family being degraded in this matter but he could not deny the grain of truth in the words.

Xander conceded with a nod, "Maybe, but I can't, and won't, trust Andy to them completely until I am sure that they won't treat him the same."

"As I said earlier, he seems to be progressing well."

"Then I shouldn't be here long."

"Xander, please. I-" blue eyes drifted to the door as Xavier picked up a telepathic nudge. His frustration ebbed away, "Come in."

Xander watched, still sprawled, as the door opened without so much as a knock. Bobby Drake and Remy Lebeau stepped in, one practically bouncing and the other in that familiar and highly distracting prowl. Both men faltered as they caught sight of the homo sapien sprawled out for their viewing pleasure. Xavier caught the faint whisper of 'Merdre!' from the Cajun and hope sprang anew. Perhaps it wasn't just Xander being a flat-scan that had some of the mutants so distant.

"I appreciate you two coming so quickly." the Professor greeted, "It seems that Mr. Harris is in need of some essential utilities. Would you two be so kind as to help him?"

"But he went shopping a week ago." Bobby came very close to whining.

"It seems that with so much attention on Andrew, Xander forgot about taking care of himself." Remy said nothing as he stared at the man in question from behind his sunglasses.

"He should know where the stores are, though, and I have work to finish." The Ice man huffed, crossing his arms defensively. The other mutants in the room had to wonder at the petulance in his tone.

Xander flowed to his feet with a sigh, "Look Professor, I'll just use the card you gave me when we got the stuff for Andy and find my own way." the look he gave the crippled man told him that he hadn't expected any other reaction from the mutants. The lone brown eye swung to unsure blue with an unreadable look. "Sorry I wasted your time."

He left with a nod to the telepath and the Cajun. Bobby flinched once when the door softly clicked shut and again when his mentors disappointed gaze fell on him.

"Robert Drake." the tone was deceptively mild, "What, may I ask, was all that about?"

"H-he doesn't really need any help. He's not a mutant so he shouldn't be harassed outside the grounds." Bobby seemed fairly proud of his reasoning.

"I see. So when someone sees him walking out of the mansion gates or down the road that only leads to the mansion housing primarily mutants, they will automatically know that he himself is not a mutant?" Xavier waited for the frown to appear between Bobby's eyebrows. "And if he is attacked?"

"Well... he's survived in a lot of dangerous places, right? He should be fine." Iceman's faith in his own words seemed to be melting slowly.

"Hmm." aged blue eyes narrowed and the younger man drew into himself a little. Remy watched the show with interest. "May I ask how, is Mr. Harris supposed to get to the stores he needs to reach?"

"He can drive like everyone else?"

Xavier sighed. "Even though he has no vehicle and he doesn't technically exist in this dimension?" That one sentence drew the young mutant up short. Something akin to horror seemed to bloom on his face.

"Dammit!" Bobby tore out of Xavier's office, leaving a trail of frozen footsteps behind.

"And you Gambit?" Steely features softened slightly, facing the silent Cajun. "I had thought that you of all people would know better than to ostracize a fellow man. Especially for something he can't control."

Remy waved off the accusation airily, "Remy 'tink de man be nice 'nuff, he jus' no need ta give de otha' X-men anotha' reason ta be hatin' Gambit."

Xavier was forced to massage his temples against the headache that was building. "I don't understand why the adults of this school treat him so. They should all know better. Remy, you should not let the others dictate your actions or feelings. Particularly when it means the suffering of someone so undeserving. Alexander Harris has sacrificed so much just to save and protect his friend."

"Remy say de homme be a good man, he jus' don' need no pity from Remy. Plus der be lots o' turmoil in de homme dat he needs ta deal wit. Gambit let de man settle some 'fore he turn on de charm." his grin made his ruby eyes sparkle over the rims of his sunglasses. Xavier could not stop the light chuckles escaping him.

"Rogue has lost her chance I take it?" Gambit's expression sobered quickly.

"Petite has hurts tha' Remy canna fix, but Remy no let her keep 'im from wha' he wants."

"I'm glad to hear that." Charles paused for a minute, head tilting slightly as he listened to something in his head. "Now it seems as if Mr. Harris has evaded Bobby enough to make it off the grounds. Please inform Andrew that Alexander could be gone for a few days."

"Ya get a read?"

Xavier shook his head, "He sent me a message."

Remy smirked and turned away, "Homme sure be interestin'."

"Now if only the others could see that." Charles grumbled as the door whispered shut.

Two days later Xander could be seen trudging up the driveway with a military grade rucksack strapped to his shoulder and a number of bags and a toolbox in his hands. His shaggy head bobbed to the music coming from the headphones attached to his new mini radio. He didn't acknowledge the slide of ice that appeared beside him until Bobby started to walk with him.

"Yes?" he pulled out the headphones and looked at the sheepish man.

"Hi." he fidgeted for a moment, "A-about before, I didn't mean... I was just-" he floundered but was cut off by Xander's quiet sigh as the dimension traveller stopped.

"You don't have to do this, you know. I've got nothing against you."

"But I-"

"Look man. I get it." his eye flickered to the front door where a number of the adults were watching them. Bobby followed the look and cringed visibly. "You were busy. You better go but thanks for tying."

Bobby returned his smile with a sad, reluctant look but he left quickly, skating away on an ice slide that Xander watched with a little bit of envy. He started up his trek again as he watched Bobby force his way through the gathered crowd to grab Xander's new daddy and drag him off. Angry eyes, and an angry visor, swivelled to Xander who was slightly amused with the concerted action.

"What did you say to him?" Robo-cop, AKA: Scott, demanded with a stiff face. He stood at the head of the pack crowding the door, not allowing Xander pass without a fight, and Xander suddenly had the disturbing feeling he was back in highschool. The one eyed carpenter shook off the feeling and studied the man in silence. He knew that the Scott was a good guy, and he doubted that he actually had anything against Xander, but the problem that the mutant didn't trust him and the others were following their leader. Albeit with a bit more animosity for sure. The reason that Xander himself avoided the older man, which probably didn't help with the trust issue, was because he could feel the damage that kept Scott from controlling his powers. Every time he saw the man he itched to heal him, but he did not want to let these people know of his secret just yet. Maybe if he got Hank on-board and sedated the guy before he knew it was Xander that would be fixing him.

"Well?" an impatient female blurted from off to the side, pulling him out of his plotting. Xander thought her name was Rogue.

"Scott, Rogue." the crowd parted like the red sea, even a Xander internally cheered at getting her name right, allowing for Ms. Monroe to push the professor through. "What was said between Bobby and Alexander is between those two. Please allow them the same privacy you enjoy. Now I believe our guest would like to put his things away." He stared pointedly at Scott who stepped aside immediately, properly chastised. Xander squeezed through the gap that was left, careful not to touch any part of Rogue.

"Ah don't trust ya." She growled at him lowly. He snorted and gave her a grin he knew was both rakish and irritating.

"I hadn't noticed." he left her standing there confused while he nodded his thank to the Professor.

"Xander!" the blonde bundle of energy, that had been so worried about him the last few days, made to tackle the man until he saw the bags. "Are you okay? Did you have a good trip? Why didn't you take me? Why were you out so long? Where did you stay? Did you eat enough? Can I make you something? What did you get? Can I see? Why aren't you answering me?" he was huffing by the end of his little outburst and more than a few mutants were wondering if expanded lung capacity was a part pf Andrew's powers. Xander just calmly passed him some bags and ruffled his hair.

"I'm fine and so was the trip. You had classes. I had a lot to do. The parks and streets were fine. I ate. Not right now. Lots of stuff. You can see it later. Because you weren't giving me a chance to. Got all that?" he smiled when Andrew beamed at him with a nod. More than one person was impressed at his ability to answer. Hiking up the bag on his shoulders, Xander made his way to the stairs leading up, Andrew at his heels. Seeing the drama was over, most of the gathered residents dispersed.

"Please tell me that bit about the parks was a joke." Scott broke the small silence, following behind Xavier and Storm. Xander glanced back but was distracted by Ororo actually flying the Professor up the step.

"Neat." He shook himself out of the daze and shrugged, "Why would I joke about that? I'm used to living outdoors so I didn't see the point in wasting money."

Xavier sighed while Scott frowned. Ororo, however, simply watched the happenings with a steady calm. Xander didn't notice any of this as he nudged open his door with a foot. He tossed the rucksack onto the bed and that's when they saw the older, threadbare bag he had been carrying under the newer one. That was when they also noticed the room, it was pristine, untouched and obviously never slept in. What they didn't know about was the trip wires he had set up by the door and closet and the trap attached to the door nob, which was why he had kicked it open. Xander took the bags Andrew after dropping his own and dumped everything out onto the bed to systematically sort through everything. The cloths were first, new items being stripped of tags and stickers, old items that were too damaged being tossed onto the chair by the small desk. Every good article of old clothing he folded and placed in the new rucksack along with the new cloths, leaving his only pair of old jeans, torn and faded but still strong, and a new full sleeved shirt that had a decomposing teddy bear in a top hat grinning on the chest. Next he set the shaving cream and other toiletries in a smaller bag and set it aside. He only glanced at the curious interlopers once and that was just before he reached farther into his old sack than physics would allow and started pulling out weapons. A lot of weapons. They then disappeared in a similar manner into the new sack, leaving them stunned.

Quietly, Andrew explained that Willow, a friend of theirs, had taught Xander that spell before he ventured off into parts unknown. Scott, personally, wanted to know why one man needed so many weapons. Andrew's reply was that it was a rare thing if they didn't need them and that Xander was always carrying something of an arsenal with him. Not to mention that each of those sharp objects had some sort of property or enchantment that was geared to destroying one type of demon or another.

Once finished, Xander put the damaged cloths into the now empty sack and tossed the lot of it into the garbage bin. The last set of bags were tools that he sorted and placed into the red toolbox he had been carrying. They were all good quality essentials that he would need to begin work on the mansion, including a stocked up tool belt that he set on top of the filled box and set both on the floor beside the new rucksack.

He straitened with a sigh and grabbed the toiletries. "Hey Andy, wanna help me with my hair?"

"Can I? Are you gonna lose the beard too?" Xander nodded. "Thank the Goddess! You look mean and old with that thing. Most of the kids are scared of you."

Xander laughed. "I don't think it's my looks that are scaring them."

"Maybe not but it's a big part of it."

"Well help me fix it. The girls mentioned in an email that you are pretty good with a pair of scissors." The shorted blonde was already ushering his friends into the bathroom. Minutes later, Xander was sitting on the toilet with a towel stuffed into the collar of his shirt and his hair dripping wet, while Andrew snipped with a look of fierce concentration. Their mutant audience found this all very amusing as Charles attempted to stifle his laughter and Ororo covered her smile with a delicate hand. Scott stared on with bemusement. As the chatter continued the mutants listened quietly, awkwardly aware of the intimacy they were being allowed. The two dimension travellers spoke of Andrew's classes and his friends. The powers of the people of the school was a popular subject where Xander thought the variety was 'especially cool'. The subjects drifted to their old home, focusing on the lives, loves and losses of a number of young girls. It was clear to their audience that Xander had been away from his family for a very long time before he had helped Andrew. When they spoke of the losses, in both Andrew and Xander's lives, they grew hushed but never stopped talking. The X-men were horrified by the sheer number of casualties, more so when they realized that most were young teenage girls. When Scott could not keep himself from speaking up about it Xander explained, in greater detail than he had given Xavier, about girls chosen for a great destiny of fighting the forces of evil. It did not sit well with them but Xander made a point of reminding them that they trained kids to fight and protect themselves in much the same way. The ones that chose to fight were allowed to join a team where they had ample backup and in Xander's verse that meant that the girls survived years longer than the chosen ones of the past. The death rate of the original slayers left them feeling cold and unable to comprehend how people could ask them to battle alone.

After the mutants bowed out of speaking, the conversation took another twist. Xander started quizzing Andrew on various demons, their appearances, their advantages and disadvantages, and most especially how to kill them. This last was answered with varied, brutal and sometimes ridiculous solutions. Ever so often he would slip into different languages, some they vaguely understood, like the standard and slightly ancient ones. Some that they couldn't identify were harsh and guttural, sounds not meant to be coming from human vocal chords, while others were almost melodic which sounded odd coming from a human. Andrew answered in kind but was not a fluid as Xander. He would stumble over over words or pronunciation but Xander gently corrected him, asked him to repeat and moved on. Andrew had been correct in his claim that Xander would be a good teacher, sadly, Xander refused Scott's suggestion of taking up a class. All it took was the soft question of 'Do you really think that with how you reacted to me that the students will welcome anything I try to teach them?'. The shame that thought raised kept Scott from pushing it.

The quizzing ended when the haircut did and the group was properly impressed with the boy's work. Instead of reaching his shoulders, the chocolaty brown hair was layered in a shaggy tumbling style that fell about his face.

"This is almost how I had it during highschool." Xander felt he had to point out as he ruffled the locks. He enjoyed the lightness of his scalp before taking the scissors to his beard.

"Well you were hot in highschool." Andrew joined the rest in the bedroom after he swept up the hair on the floor and turned it into a bundle of twine so it was easier to toss.

"Not by human standards, I wasn't." Xander scoffed.

"Almost half the football team thought you were." Xander froze, his hand full of shaving cream, and gaped into the mirror. The wet plop of a glob of cream hitting porcelain shocked him out of it.

"Let us never speak of this again." he intoned solemnly. Andrew shrugged and let him shave. Xavier was curious as to why the carpenter used an old fashioned strait edge razor rather than a more modern one. Andy explained that it doubled as a weapon and that was pretty much Xander's modus operandi. Storm changed the subject onto something that she felt the need to clarify.

"Mr. Wells." her soothing voice cut through his continued chatter, "How do you know of Alexander's school life?"

"Xander." He corrected her. "He really, really hates being called Alexander, or Alex, or Lex. I know about highschool cause I was there. We went to the same school." That caught the others attention.

"How many years apart were you?" Andrew blinked at her in confusion.

"Apart? We were in the same grade. He's only a few months older than me. He does act allot older, right? Sometimes I think that he would have been a way better brother than Tucker was, but then Tucker did try to kill the graduating class with hell hounds."

"How old are you two?" Scott asked with a hint of worry colouring his tone.

"Twenty four, last time I checked." Xander provided, his voice muffled by a cloth as he dried his face, stepping out of the washroom. He tossed the cloth on the desk and casually started stripping.

"Xander!" Andrew gasped, scandalized, "There is a Lady present!"

Said carpenter glanced up from the clasp of his ratty jeans to meet the unperturbed eyes of the woman. He shrugged and dropped his pants. The reasoning behind his actions were clear to Xander as a number of situations in his life had prepared him for moments like these. One was the fact that he had grown up with primarily female friends that never saw him as anything other than one of the girls. His one male friend had been more concerned with the comparison between them, he had been miffed before his untimely turning that Xander had been slightly bigger. Another reason was that after his sojourn in highschool, the man had been personally trained by a twelve hundred year old, sexually repressed vengeance demon-turned-human. Personal modesty was a thing of the long lost past. Not to mention the last few years immersed in cultures where modesty and hygiene were a commodity not a luxury. As such it was a rare day that he even wore underwear anymore, and today was not a rare day.

The mildly shocked, vaguely interested and flush-faced reactions from Xavier, Storm and Scott respectively, amused him as slipped into his new cloths.

"She didn't seem to mind." he shared a grin with the white haired woman.

"Indeed, you are a fine specimen to look upon." Each comment served to make Andy's face take on a new shade of red. Ororo smirked at the thought of sharing the details of this little show with her brother later for she had seen the looks her Remy had tried to hide.

"Wait until I tell Willow." the blonde huffed.

"Then wait until I tell her about that time with that new witch Amanda and how you-"

"Ahlalalalalalala!" Andrew bolted from his seat, covering his ears, "I can't hear you! Nothing happened whatsoever!"

"You sure?" Xander chased after him with a wicked grin. "Because I remember some pretty interesting details." The two left the others behind in Xander's bare room as they raced down the halls. A heavy silence settled over the mutants.

"How..." Scott took a moment to gather his thoughts, "How did we not see that?"

"See what Scott?" Ororo asked placidly.

"How young they were. I knew that Andrew was a kid but Xander as well?"

Xavier shook his head sadly. "He's not so much younger than yourself, Scott. For that matter, who thought to ask?"

"It never seemed to matter," Scott admitted, "but surely someone must have asked something."

"Do you know anyone who has spoke to the boy beyond a few platitudes and directions?" he waited several seconds for the X-men leader to shake his head. "It saddens me to know that no one in the school, that I built to promote equality and acceptance, sees how they are treating that boy. Now , because of those actions, he trusts no one within these halls beyond the bare minimum he allows me."

"But professor, he..." Scott floundered and Storm looked a little shamed.

"He what, Scott? What has the man, who walked away from everything he has ever known or loved to aid a hurting friend, done to deserve this... this racism that has fallen over my students?" the two mutants flinched and couldn't find an answer. "It is a simple thing, Scott. My children, all of my children, have shunned a good and genuinely kind man for no reason other than he has no powers." desolate blue eyes stared at the averted faces of the two leaders of his family. Scott's wrongs were glaring , in his suspicion and distrust of the man he made no attempts to understand, but Ororo's were just as heinous, even if they were more subtle. She may not feel any animosity for the boy but she was wary and showed this by holding herself apart from the interactions of those around him. Others felt her unease and reacted accordingly, perpetuating the unfavourable situation that she refused to even attempt to mediate, as she usually would. It was a silent rejection of Xander but a rejection all the same. Xavier sighed softly and wheeled himself out of the room, leaving only one question echoing in their minds.

'If this is how a human is treated among mutants, then how are we any different than those who persecute us?'

A/N: and we are done. Another chapter, another day. I warn you now that romance in this fic will be a ways down the line so don't be hoping for Remy to be shoving the Xan-man into a closet anytime soon. Though it is fun to picture. * drool *