She ran through the forest, freshly fallen snow crunching beneath her boots. She clutched the small bundle in her arms closer to her as she risked a glance over her shoulder. The flickering, orange glows of the torches were getting bigger, the angry yells becoming louder. They were gaining on her.

When she spotted the rickety bridge ahead, a surge of hope swept through her. If she could just get across, then she would be safe. More importantly, he would be safe. As the distance between her and the bridge grew smaller, the hope inside of her intensified. She was almost to the bridge, almost to salvation.

She had only taken a few steps onto the bridge when something hit her back. She stumbled forward, her hold on the bundle loosening. When she hit the rope railing, the bundle slid from her grasp, plummeting to the icy water below.

"No!" she cried, stretching an arm out toward the descending bundle, but it was too late. All she could do was watch in devastation as it disappeared into the mist caused by the waterfall.

"There she is!"

The mob of angry villagers had reached the bridge, but she no longer cared. Her son, her precious little boy, was gone. Even with knowing he was a mutant, she knew better than to hope he survived the fall. He had not inherited her healing factor, of that she was sure. She turned to face the mob, tears silently making their way down her cheeks.

Rogue awoke to a terrified scream ripping itself from her throat and Kitty frantically shaking her shoulders.

"Rogue," Kitty said, blue eyes wide and full of worry. "Rogue, it's okay. It was just a dream."

"N-no," Rogue stuttered, breathing heavily. "Ah t-think it was m-more than a dream, Kit."

Kitty frowned, wondering what the older girl meant. Before she could ask, there was a knock on their bedroom door. "Rogue? Kitty?" Jean's concerned vice drifted through the wood. Is everything okay in there?"

Kitty cast a questioning look at her roommate. When Rogue gave one short nod before dropping her head into her hands, Kitty turned toward the door. "You can come in, Jean."

The door opened, but Jean wasn't the only person to enter the room. Scott, Kurt, and Evan all followed close behind. "What happened?" Jean asked, concerned green eyes taking in the shaken Southerner.

"Rogue had a nightmare," Kitty informed them. She turned back to her roommate, reaching up to tuck a tuft of white hair behind Rogue's ear, careful not to touch her pale skin. "I woke up when she started screaming. Phased right through the bed."

"Rogue?" Scott made her name a question, one eyebrow arched over the top of his shades.

"Ah don't think it was a dream," she admitted, her face still hidden. "Ah've been dreaming it for ovah a week now. It's always the same, always so vivid."

"Can you remember what it's about?" Jean asked.

"There's this woman," Rogue began slowly, "an' she's runnin' through these woods. It's cold, there's snow on the ground, an' she's got somethin' clutched tight to her chest. Lahke she's protectin' it." She paused here for a minute, frowning as she tries to recall more details. When they finally come, she continued, "Which makes sense, 'cause there's people chasin' her, an' they don't sound happy. She gets to this bridge, thinks she's safe, when one of 'em throws somethin' at her. It hits her in the back and she looses the bundle over the side of the bridge." She squeezed her eyes shut as the next little bit of the dream flashed through her mind. Choking back a sob, she cried, "Oh Gawd! It's a baby! An' it looks - it looks -" she stopped abruptly, her breath catching in her throat.

"Rogue," Kitty urged, both voice and eyes laced with worry. "What is it?"

"It's you," Rogue whispered, turning wide green eyes to Kurt. "Kurt, the baby's you!"

"Vhat?" he asked in an incredulous tone, taking a step back.

"It is you," she insisted. "Ah just know it is!" Her hands ball into fists and she slams them down on her knees, causing Kitty to jump. "Why am Ah havin' this dream?"

"The Professor can help us sort this out in the morning," Jean assured Rogue, gently placing her hands on the other girl's shoulder.

No, Jean, the Professor called out telepathically. This is an important matter. Rogue, Kurt, if you would please come down to the library. The rest of you should try and get some sleep. In case you've forgotten, you all have exams tomorrow.

"Can you keep anything from that guy?" Evan grumbled as he led the way out of the girls' room.

"Rogue, if you would please sit here?" Xavier asked when they entered the library, motioning to the chair closest to him. "Since the dream was yours, I think it would be best to start with you."

"Is this gonna hurt?" she asked as Kurt sat down in the chair next to hers.

"No," he assured her as he moved closer to her chair. "Just relax and try to concentrate on the dream."

Kurt watched anxiously as both Xavier and Rogue closed their eyes. Xavier's hands moved to hover on either side of Rogue's head as he delved into her mind.

She ran through the forest, freshly fallen snow crunching beneath her boots. She clutched the small bundle in her arms closer to her as she risked a glance over her shoulder. The flickering, orange glows of the torches were getting bigger, the angry yells becoming louder. They were gaining on her.

When she spotted the rickety bridge ahead, a surge of hope swept through her. If she could just get across, then she would be safe. More importantly, he would be safe. As the distance between her and the bridge grew smaller, the hope inside of her intensified. She was almost to the bridge, almost to salvation.

She had only taken a few steps onto the bridge when something hit her back. She stumbled forward, her hold on the bundle loosening. When she hit the rope railing, the bundle slid from her grasp, plummeting to the icy water below.

"No!" she cried, stretching an arm out toward the descending bundle, but it was too late. All she could do was watch in devastation as it disappeared into the mist caused by the waterfall.

"There she is!"

The mob of angry villagers had reached the bridge, but she no longer cared. Her son, her precious little boy, was gone. Even with knowing he was a mutant, she knew better than to hope he survived the fall. He had not inherited her healing factor, of that she was sure. She turned to face the mob, tears silently making their way down her cheeks. Her unusual yellow eyes widened at the sight before her.

The mob was no longer angry, but terrified. Surrounding them was a cage made of pieces of metal that looked to be held together by magic. She stumbled back, her hands grasping at the rope railings of the bridge.

"Do not be afraid," a deep voice spoke from behind her. She quickly spun around to face a floating figure clothed in red and purple armor. A purple cape fluttered behind him in the wind and a red helmet adorned his head. "I am here to help."

"I didn't ask for anyone's help," she bit out. Her tears had stopped for now, but her eyes were still slightly damp, hindering the effect of her glare.

"Regardless," he replied.

With a flick of his wrist, a single piece of metal removed itself from the makeshift cage surrounding the villagers. It quickly twisted around her, trapping her arms at her sides. She struggled even as she was lifted off of the bridge, but to no avail. The figure rose with her, floating over the side of the bridge before they began to descend. Once they were five feet above the ground, they glided alongside the river, and her eyes frantically searched for the bundle she had lost.

"There," he said, hidden by a large tree as she landed in the bushes along the river bank.

She glared up at him, the piece of metal still holding her captive, only to find he was pointing to the opposite bank. She lifted her head, careful to remain hidden, and spotted a young couple standing near the river. The woman was holding the bundle she'd thought lost forever while the man hovered over her right shoulder.

"No!" she gasped, struggling against the metal once more. "Please, let me go! They'll kill him!"

He remained silent. She continued to struggle against the metal as they both watched the woman slowly unwrap the bundle. Tears were streaming down her face again as the blue furred baby was revealed. The woman gasped, but did not scream in horror. Instead, she turned to her husband with a wide smile and spoke in rapid German. He reached down to gently brush his hand across the top of the baby's head. Smiling gently, he nodded to his wife, and her smile only grew as she turned back to the baby in her arms.

"They - They aren't afraid of him?" she whispered, eyes full of confusion.

"He will be better off here than in your care, Raven."

"You don't know that," she snapped. Then she tensed as much as she could with the metal still around her. "How do you know my name?"

"I have my ways," he stated simply. "And I do know that."

With that, he turned and glided away, the metal around her loosening before falling to the ground with a dull thud. She turned back to look back at what she would be giving up if she followed him. The woman was happily playing with the baby, while the man watched from where he'd gone back to fishing, a pleasant smile gracing his lips.

With a heavy sigh, Raven Darkholme covered her head with the hood of her cloak before turning to follow the metal wielding mutant.

Charles Xavier's eyes snapped open and his hands moved back to steeple in front of his chest, his elbows resting on the arms of his wheelchair. As Rogue's eyes slowly fluttered open, he said, "It seems that you were right, Rogue. Your dream is not a dream at all, but a repressed memory."

"A repressed memory?" she repeated in awe.

"Professor?" Kurt questioned at the same moment, afraid to ask the question he wanted an answer to.

"Yes, Kurt," Xavier said with a nod. "The baby in the memory is indeed you."

"Vhat does this mean?" Kurt asked, confusion lacing his yellow eyes.

"And why am Ah havin' this dream?" Rogue asked for the second time that night. "Shouldn't it be Kurt's dream?"

"While it is possible for Kurt to retain memories from such a young age, it's an extremely rare occurrence. However, I think it's more likely that Rogue absorbed the memories from someone who knows about Kurt's past."

"But," Kurt began, frowning, "who could that be?"

"I'm not sure," Xavier answered, frowning. He hated lying to his students, especially after the discussion they had had after Rogue's joining, but he needed to speak to Raven before revealing what he knew. "Let's try to get some sleep. We'll continue after school tomorrow."

Kurt's shoulders and tail sagged in disappointment as he followed Rogue out of the library. Rogue placed a comforting hand on his shoulder, careful to keep the fabric of his night shirt between them, but she remained silent. She wasn't sure what to say.

"Crystal Rosemund."

She lifted her head at the sound of the familiar voice. Standing in the doorway of her office was an older man with gray hair and a patch over his left eye. He was dressed in the same military style uniform she always saw him in, with his hands crossed over his chest and a toothpick held firmly between his teeth.

"Colonel Nick Fury," she greeted, setting the paperwork she'd been going over to the side. "I haven't seen you in a while."

"Not since the funeral," he stated with a nod as he moved further into the room. "Glad to see you didn't get caught up in your grief."

"You didn't come here to check up on me, Nick."

The fact that it wasn't a question made him chuckle. "You're right." He reached up to pull the toothpick out of his mouth. "One of your students is Alexander Rogers, correct?"

Her entire body tensed slightly, but the arch of his eyebrow indicated it was enough for him to detect the change. "Why are you asking?"

"I'm not here to take the boy in, Crystal," he told her, flicking the toothpick into the trashcan beside her desk. "I just want to talk to him."

"About what?" she asked, body still tense.

"His grandfather," he said simply.

Her body relaxed even as she frowned at him. "His family's dead, Nick. There's nothing to talk about."

"Actually," he began, reaching into his jacket to pull out a hand held PDA, "there is."

"What's this?" she asked as she took the offered PDA from him.

"It contains birth certificates for his father and his uncle," he informed her. "Abraham Joseph Rogers was born in January of 1944. His brother, James Grant Rogers, was born in August of 1945. Margaret Carter is listed on both certificates as the mother, but no one was listed as the father."

"Okay," she sad slowly as she looked over the data, confirming what Nick was telling her. "What exactly do you think that means?"

"Abraham Rogers inherited a motorcycle from his unknown father," Fury told her. "A motorcycle that was passed down to Alexander when Abraham died."

"That's right," she said, still feeling a little lost.

He reached into his jacket one more, pulling a worn photo out and setting it down on the desk. "Would it happen to be this motorcycle?" he asked as he slid it toward her.

She studied the motorcycle in the picture for a minute before nodding. "Yes, that's it," she confirmed, before something else registered in her mind. "Nick," she began tentatively, glancing up at him with slightly widened eyes, "Is that who I think it is?"

"That is the original owner of that bike," he told her. "Captain America."

"Rogue's recent contact with you has given her some of your darker memories. She's been having nightmares about an incident involving an infant," Xavier said, watching the stoic face of Principal Raven Darkholme over the top of her desk.

"You're fishing," she accused. "You know nothing."

"I know your relationship to the boy, Mystique," Xavier informed her. "What I don't know is what happened that caused you to run. And where Erik fits into it all."

"Dear, dear Charles," she said, standing and walking toward the bookshelf on her right. As she reached up to pull a book down from a shelf above her head, she went on. "How incredibly frustrating for you. To realize that that amazing mind of your knows so very little really."

"Was it worth the loss of your son, Raven?" he asked softly.

As he closed his eyes, images flashed through her mind. An angry mob, a desperate run, a small bundle tumbling into icy waters. The book fell from her hands, handing on its spine against the carpet. She spun around, eyes full of anger.

"Get out," she demanded, pointing toward the door. "Get out now!"

As he maneuvered his wheelchair toward the door, he said over his shoulder, "Just in case you were curious, he turned out to be a very fine lad."

Once the door was closed behind him, she stumbled to the edge of her desk and braced herself against it. As her hands splayed over the hard wood, she fought back the tears threatening to spill from behind her glasses.

"Alex," Hunter called as the high schoolers filed into the kitchen from the garage. "Crystal's waiting for you in her office."

Alex, who had just taken a bite of an apple, swallowed hard as the rest of the teens exchanged looks. "Am I in trouble?"

Hunter smiled and shook his head. "No, you're not in trouble."

When Hunter didn't elaborate further, Alex nodded. "Okay," he said. He took another bite of his apple as he left the kitchen.

"James," Hunter said, eyes focusing on the boy in question. "I need a word with you."

"Yes, sir," James said with a nod.

"The rest of you are free to relax," Hunter told them with a smile as he led James out of the kitchen. He led James into the office Crystal had assigned to him, closing the door before he spoke again. "Mystique will be sending one of the Brotherhood to the Xavier Mansion this afternoon. She will secretly deliver a letter to Kurt stating that if he wishes to know more about his past, he will need to go to the new mall construction site at sundown, alone. Using Gavin, I ran through all the possible scenarios. The best outcome is if I send you and one other in, just to ensure Kurt's safety. Do not interfere unless necessary."

"You aren't going to tell the X-Men?" James asked, one eyebrow arched.

"Xavier knows," Hunter said. "We both agree that this is best. Kurt needs the answers Mystique will give him."

James nodded. "Okay. Who else should I take?"

"I'll leave that decision up to you," Hunter told him, opening the door. "You're free to go."

As James left the office, he was already going over each of his teammates' strengths and weaknesses in his head.

"Hello, Alexander," Nick Fury greeted as the teen entered Crystal's office. By way of introduction, he added, "Nick Fury."

"It's Alex," the boy told him, eyeing him cautiously as he shut the door behind him.

"Please come sit down, Alex," Crystal said while giving him a reassuring smile.

"Do you know much about your paternal grandfather?" Fury asked as Alex made his way to the chair in front of Crystal's desk. Crystal shot him a hard look that he pointedly ignored.

"I know he was in the war," Alex said, shifting a bit uncomfortably.

"Did you know you were named after him?"

Alex frowned. "No, I was named after my mom's dad."

"Not Alexander," Fury informed him. "Steven. Steven's the name you got from your grandfather."

Alex's eyebrows furrowed together. "Steven?"

"Yeah," Fury said. "Steven Grant Rogers. He preferred Steve, though. When he wasn't going by Captain America, that is."

"What?" Alex asked, wide eyes darting between Crystal and Fury. "Captain America was my grandpa?"

"Is," Fury informed him. "Captain America's still alive, in a sense. He's not doin' too good, so we put 'im on ice. A simple DNA test could prove your relation and determine whether or not you can help him."

"No," Crystal stated firmly before Alex could reply.

"You should let the boy answer, Crystal," Fury said without taking his eye off of Alex.

"No," she repeated firmly, standing up. "Alex is only sixteen. As his legal guardian, I will not allow you to use him in one of your experiments."

Alex had been ready to protest Crystal's decision, until the last word she said registered. "Experiments?" he asked, paling slightly as he glanced at Fury.

"You tried using a healing factor to revive Steve," Crystal shot at Fury, her eyes flashing dangerously. "It didn't work."

"Alex is a direct descendant, Crystal," Fury said. Though his voice remained calm, there was a hint of an edge to it. "That makes this situation different."

"Alex," Crystal addressed the teen without looking away from Fury. "You are free to go."

There was an edge in her tone that Alex had never heard before. It sounded like she was struggling to keep a somewhat calm demeanor. It was that edge that stopped him from arguing. He nodded, though he knew she wouldn't see it, and stood up. With great effort, he managed to walk to the door and exit the office.

"Crystal," Fury said, taking a step toward her desk. "That boy may be the key to bringing back Captain America!"

"While he is under my guardianship, the answer is no," she shot back, barely containing her anger.

"Two years and he'll be able to make that call himself," Fury stated calmly, but she heard the underlining threat in his tone.

"That will give him plenty of time to have a nice, long heart to heart with Logan about S.H.I.E.L.D. then," she replied, lifting her chin just slightly.

Though it didn't register on his features, she felt the sharp stab of surprise that swept through him. "Gavin revealed a lot to you, didn't he?"

"Maybe," she said. "Now, I think our business is concluded."

"Yeah," Fury said, his lips forming a tight, thin line. "Guess it is."

She waited until the door shut behind him before slumping back down in her chair. She took a few deep breaths, willing herself to calm down as she closed her eyes. While she had suspected Fury was there for Alex's healing factor, she also knew he would have cornered the teen alone if she'd refused to let him talk to him. At least this way she was able to spare her charge from whatever Fury had planned.

Opening her eyes, she picked up the phone sitting on the corner of her desk. She dialed the number for the Xavier Institute and waited as it began to ring. After the third ring, someone answered.

"Xavier Institute."

She knew by the gruff voice that it was the man she needed to speak to. "Hello, Logan," she greeted warmly. "I have a favor to ask of you."

"You sure about this?" Emily asked as Mystique, still in the guise of the principal, handed her a large envelope.

"Yes," Mystique replied. "You can slip in and out easily enough."

"Alright," she said, though she still sounded a bit apprehensive.

She turned around to step into the shadows created by the bleachers when Mystique spoke again. "Phantom," she called. Then, in a softer tone the teen had never heard her use, she said, "Emily. Don't tell the others."

Something in the older woman's usually hard eyes made her nod in agreement before she disappeared into the shadows. She materialized from the shadows in a hallway of the Xavier Institute, right in front of the bedroom door of Kurt Wagner. She bent down to slip the envelope under the door. Then she straightened up, knocked on the door, and melted back into the shadows.

"What did the boss lady want?" Madison asked as soon as she stepped out of the shadows and into the living room.

She glanced at the girl lounging carelessly on the couch. After the incident involving Dylan, Emily had sat Madison down to explain that manipulating her teammates was not acceptable. Madison had been unexpectedly agreeable, assuring Emily that she'd leave Todd and Freddy alone. Emily had ended the conversation with a smirk, informing Madison that anyone else was fair game, which had the gravity manipulator perking up almost instantly.

"She needed me to go on a small side mission," Emily said with a shrug. "Nothing too important."

"Alright," Madison said, turning her attention back to the television.

"Where are Liron and Annie?"

"Out back with Sylvie," Madison replied nonchalantly. "I think they're working on combat training."

Emily arched an eyebrow. "Why aren't you out there?"

Madison grinned up at her. "My sparring partner wasn't home yet. Any chance you'll pretend to not be here?"

Emily rolled her eyes at the other girl's bout of laziness. "Come on," she said, dragging a feebly protesting Madison off the couch. "Let's go join them."

Her squeal of surprise was cut off by a hand covering her mouth as she was pulled into a small, dark room. A light above her head suddenly flared to life, and after her eyes adjusted to its bright glow the hand was removed. She arched an eyebrow at Alex, whose face was barely a foot from hers.

"Alex," Inara began, glancing around them, "why on Earth did you just drag me into a closet?"

"I might be related to Captain America," he said in a rush.

"I'm sorry, what?" she asked, unsure she'd heard him right.

"When I went to Miss Rosemund's office earlier, there was this guy there. He called himself Nick Fury. He thinks I'm related to Captain America," he elaborated, running his fingers through his hair.

Both of her eyebrows shot up. "Really?"

"Yeah. He said a simple DNA test could prove I was, but that it could also determine if I could save him."

"Save him?" she asked with a frown. "I thought he died."

"Well, according to that Fury guy, he didn't. He mentioned putting him on ice, and Miss Rosemund said something about a cure. I think," he paused, took a deep breath, and continued, "I think he's alive, but he's sick."

"Okay," she said slowly, still processing what he was saying. "That still doesn't tell me why you pulled me into a closet."

"I want to know for sure," he told her. "Because if I am related to him, I want to try and help him. Miss Rosemund won't let that Fury guy do the testing, though."

She sighed. "There's not much the two of us can do, Alex. There's not much the whole bloody team could do. I mean, we do probably do our own DNA test with Miss Latimer's help, but we'd need a sample from him as well."

"Damn it!" he bit out in frustration, slamming his fist into the door.

It flew off its hinges out into the hallway, where three metal claws promptly sliced it in half before it collided with their wielder.

"Easy, kid," Logan grunted, his claws sliding back into his knuckles with a 'snikt'. "Unnecessary damage leads to high remodelin' bills."

"Uh, hi, Logan," Alex said, giving the gruff Canadian a sheepish grin. "You here to see Miss Rosemund?"

"Actually, I'm here to talk to you."

"Me?" Alex asked, eyebrows shooting upward.

"Yep," Logan said. "Why don't we head for the garage? You can show me that bike of yours."

"Uh, okay, sure," Alex replied, slowly inching out of the closet. While he was curious as to what Logan wanted to talk to him about, he was also a little afraid.

Inara watched as they disappeared down the hall with one eyebrow arched. "What the bloody hell is going on?" she muttered to herself as she turned to head toward her room.

From where they were crouched behind a bulldozer, James and Bridget watched as Kurt appeared in a cloud of smoke. James had chosen Bridget as his companion on this mission due to her ability to 'see' any approaching danger. As long as it was on the ground.

"Okay," Kurt called as he walked around the construction sight. "So I'm here."

"Hello, Kurt," a voice called from behind him.

He spun around to find a hooded figure standing behind him. Rogue's description of the woman from her dream came back to him as he studied the figure. "You!" he cried, taking a step toward the woman. "You're the one from Rogue's dream!" He took another step and stretched his right hand toward her, one finger extended. "Who are you? Why don't you show yourself?!"

"You already know me," she began, reaching up to grasp her hood, "son."

"No," he cried when the hood fell back to reveal Mystique. Taking a few steps back, he added, "No, it's impossible!"

She reached out toward him, her heart aching at the look of disbelief on his face. "Kurt."

"What - what happened?" he asked, hands clenching into fists in front of him. "Why didn't you want me?"

"I did want you, Kurt," she told him, her tone fierce, "but Erik was right! You were better off with the Wagners!"

"Why?" he demanded.

She sighed, closing her eyes as she explained, "Because they could give you a normal life. You are not the first child I've had to let go of, Kurt, but you are the first I regret not being able to raise."

Kurt was silent for a moment as he processed what she'd just told him. Finally, he asked the only question he could think of. "Who is my father?"

"Another mutant," she said. "He disappeared shortly after you were born. Before we were run out of town."

"Vhat do we do now?" he asked, some of his anger dissipating.

"It is too late for us to do anything," she replied, a hint of sadness in her voice. "I just thought you deserved to know the truth." He opened his mouth to say something, but she had already shifted into a bird.

He watched her fly off before disappearing in a cloud of smoke. James tapped Bridget on the shoulder and they headed for his car, hidden behind a small group of trees.

"Yeah," Logan said, running his hand over the seat of Alex's bike. "This is Cap's bike, all right. Makes sense, 'cause you smell a little like him."

"Huh?" Alex asked, looking highly confused.

"Extra senses, kid," Logan said, tapping his nose with his index finger. "Everyone has their own unique scent, but people who're related tend to smell similar. Knew from the moment I first smelled ya you might be related to Cap."

"Did you know him?" Alex asked in an incredulous tone.

"Yeah, I knew 'im," Logan replied. "Liberated a camp together in World War II. Good man."

"Were you -" he paused, not wanting to endure the wrath of Logan. After a minute of contemplating, he decided the question needed to be asked. "Were you the one they used to try and cure him?"

Logan chuckled. "They didn't really use me. I volunteered."

"Miss Rosemund won't let me," Alex informed him glumly.

"Good," Logan growled. "Listen, Alex. I knew what I was getting into when I volunteered for -the procedure. I'd worked with S.H.I.E.L.D. before. That procedure ain't no picnic. Don't get me wrong," he went on when Alex opened his mouth to protest. "I want to find a cure for Steve, but I ain't gonna risk you to do it. I'll get Chuck to talk to that doctor lady of yours."


"Xavier," Logan clarified with a smirk. "He studied genetics. Between the two of 'em, they should be able to come up with a safe alternative."

"Oh." He was quiet for a moment as he watched Logan look over his bike, making sure he'd been taking care of her. "Can you tell me about him?"

"Sure, kid," Logan said, smiling a little as his eyes never left the bike.

"Congratulations on your first successful mission," Hunter said as he passed James and Bridget in the hall.

Both teens nodded, each heading for their respective rooms. While they had tried hard not to eavesdrop on the conversation that took place at the construction site, they had caught some of the shouted bits. Now, they each lay on their beds, reflecting on those parts in different ways.

Across town, Professor Charles Xavier was sitting in his office, contemplating the day's events. He'd detected Phantom's presence in his school earlier, but Hunter Burden had already warned him. They had spoken thoroughly about what was to happen and what actions should be taken. He had understood the reasoning behind Hunter's request to keep the X-Men out of it.

Scott was intelligent and loyal, a promising leader, but holding grudges was one of his more troublesome flaws. While Jean was the more level-headed of the two, she would have followed Scott's instruction without question, as would the rest of the team. He doubted even Rogue would've hesitated in getting between Kurt and Mystique, even if it meant unanswered questions for the German mutant.

So he had agreed to Hunter's suggestion of sending James and one other Rosemund student to watch out for Kurt. James was calm and level-headed. He would not rush into action simply because Mystique was the enemy. Since he had not given the mission to the boy yet, James had not made a decision and so his companion could not be seen. In the end, Hunter informed him that he'd taken Bridget. Xavier had agreed it was a good choice.

Glancing at his watch, Xavier noted that Kurt had been home for just under half an hour now. Even though he could still sense confusion and agitation from the blue furred teen, there was also a small sense of calm. He would talk to him in the morning, extend Crystal's offer to the boy, but for now, he was content knowing that his charge had found at least some of the answers he'd been looking for.

So, I'm back after an EXTREMELY long sabbatical! So sorry it took so long, guys! Things just weren't going my way. So, you may notice that I changed Kurt's past. I was never really a fan of the way Evolution worked his past, so I went back to the original. Brownie points for those who can name his father! Also, you'll notice a familiar face interested in Alex. Is Nick Fury really interested in helping Captain America, or does he have something else in mind?

I know there wasn't a lot of Brotherhood in this chapter, but I'm planning on them having a lot of screen time next chapter. We'll see a bit of them all training with Sylvie and more.

If you are also a reader of As They Seem, look for that update Wednesday or Thursday if possible. May be Friday due to the holiday.

As always, if there are any mistakes, please let me know. I will happily go back and fix them. I wanted to get this posted before heading to bed, so if the end is a little rushed or sloppy, I apologize. If I get any complaints, I may try and fix it.