Mary Jane was lying on her bed reading a letter her mother had sent her from her vacation when she heard a knocking on her door.
"This is my version of barging down your door like I promised."
She got up and opened her door revealing her guest to be Peter. "That's not really barging Peter, for it to be barging it at least has to been pounding on the door demanding to be let in, if not full on slamming the door open." Mary Jane took a look at Peter and saw something she had never really seen on it before nervous panic.
"Well that was the original plan but I didn't think your aunt would like that and well you might not have been" he paused looking for the right word "decent." His hands moving around like he had no control over them gave MJ plenty of understanding of what he meant by decent.
"What do you think I do when I'm alone? Walk around in my underwear." Peter just shrugged. "Well at least you have manners, plenty of guys would just come right it hoping that I wasn't decent."
She turned around and went to sit on the edge of her bed and motioned Peter to join her. As he sat down she pushed herself back and turned so she could be facing him and Peter copied her. "So why the need to create the politest barging down of a door in history?"
"Well you remember when you made me promise you that if I thought, for even a second, that I had a problem that you could help with I would barge down your door."
Mary Jane sighed not sure what to make of this. "Yes Peter I remember it like it was yesterday, because it happened just a few hours ago."
"Well in the last few of hours my aunt and I met with some people who run a private school in Bayville."
Mary Jane looked at him not seeing the problem "And?"
Peter stared at her in disbelief "What do you mean 'and?' this is a major problem."
"Peter you know your aunt won't make you go if you don't want to she wants you be happy above all else."
"I'm spending 6 months there for a trial period and I leave in two weeks."
Thanks to her acting skills Mary Jane managed to lock her face in a blank mask, so she could consider this without giving anything away to Peter. Her life was in a good place right now and a large part of that she knew was because of Peter, he had become one of her best friends, they shared things that she and her other friend couldn't, they both knew the sting of lost parents and lost love. It also helped they were the only ones in their social circle who weren't in relationships. She suddenly realized that she was only seeing this from her perspective. Peter was the one who was going through all the change leaving his family, friends and the only home he had ever known.
"Peter how do you think I can help with this problem it sounds like everything has already been decided?"
She had never seen Pete look so down then he did at this moment. "I just need someone to talk to or do something. I mean this came out of left field and my life has just changed and I've just gotten over the last few changes that have happened."
'Obviously talking about Gwen and Harry there' Thought MJ as she placed a hand on Peter's shoulder.
"Now I have to say goodbye to everyone, quit my job at the bugle and tell doc Warren I'm dropping out of the internship and pack up all my stuff, not to mention all the other things I'll have to give up or stop doing."
"So what you really need right now is someone to support you and help you through this."
Peter shook his head "maybe tomorrow but right now I want to forget all of this and go have some fun."
MJ smiled now this was something she could do better than anyone else. "Good call, go home and get changed we're going to the party I told you about and I know there are some single girls there that would love to dance the night away with a guy like you."
TWO WEEKS LATER
Parting is such sweet sorrow, whoever had said that was a hack because in the last two weeks Peter had been preparing to depart had been nothing but a nightmare filled with boring tasks, keeping his aunt from finding anything she shouldn't while she helped him pack and having to repeat the same thing over and over again to anyone he spoke too. While Professor Warren had just told him to take anything of his with him when he left, Jameson had burst into a rant so long and loud the entire office had ground to a halt. The rant ended along the lines of ungrateful kids and to never darken this door ever again. Peter had then been able to say he would be back in 6 months at which point JJ had yelled to get out of his office and that his contract made sure the bugle got the exclusive on any photos he took. The rest of the staff where much easier to deal with, Robbie had told him that he would always be welcome here and Betty had given him a long hug and told him to look after himself.
Mary Jane had taken it upon herself to cheer up Peter and every night she had dragged him out to have fun, they'd gone to the movies, to clubs, to Coney Island and anywhere else she could think of.
Peter hadn't told anyone from school but Mary Jane had told her friend Glory who had of course told everyone else, so he wasn't too surprised when he received a call from Liz who told him that she had heard he was leaving for another school and she wished him the best. Afterwards he had thought of calling Gwen but found he couldn't do it, he couldn't say goodbye to her over the phone. How could he say goodbye to her was a mystery? Nothing seemed right especially because she wouldn't be back in New York until after he had left. Even if he could have done it face to face he would have no idea what to say.
So here he was waiting on the sidewalk with one large suitcase and two duffle bags with his aunt waiting for the transport the Xavier institute was sending to pick him up.
"So do you have everything?"
"Yes aunt May."
"Did you remember to put your toothbrush in after you brushed your teeth this morning?"
"Yes aunt May."
"Perhaps you should open up your bags so I can go through and make sure you haven't forgotten something."
"You did that last night." Peter reminded her, he was just glad she hadn't found the false bottom he had set up in his suitcase and all his Spider-Man stuff underneath it. He still hadn't repaired his costume yet, as he had no free time recently with everything the move entailed, and he had no intention of leaving it here for his aunt to find so it had to come with him.
"Now remember to call me to let me know you got there safely and I'll call you every weekend but you can call me any time you want."
Peter just nodded as he looked up and down the street.
"Be nice to all your teachers and your house mates you're going to be living together for some time so it's important to try and get along with them."
Peter turned and gave his aunt a hug. "I'll be fine aunt May you have no reason to worry and it's only for 6 months." He grinned at her but saw her face was set in a stern expression.
"Peter you are going to give this a good try." There was no mistaking this for anything but an order. "It is a wonderful opportunity for you so please think about staying after this six month trial period is over."
"I promise I'll think about it but it still feels like I should be here in New York."
"Well maybe in six months it will feel like you should stay there, all I'm saying is to keep an open mind."
Peter broke away from his aunt and noticed the wetness behind her glasses as well as her beaming smile. "I'm so proud of you. Your uncle knew you would change the world by being a great scientist and going to this school will help you get there. If only Ben could see you now."
This time Peter grabbed hold of aunt May unabashed and hugged her for all he worth. He tried to put everything he felt in the hug, all his thanks, all his love and everything else that was too big for him to put into words. He felt his aunt rest her head on his and felt her chuckle. "I haven't had a hug like this from you in years."
"So I'm in time for the hugging then?"
May and Peter broke apart and saw Mary Jane smiling at the two of them. "You sure are." Said Peter as he turned away from May and hugged MJ, as they let go and backed up a black van pulled up and Miss Monroe stepped out.
"Well I guess this is it take care tiger."
"Thanks MJ, could you tell Gwen I'm sorry." She nodded understanding that he hadn't told Gwen and Harry he was leaving.
He turned to aunt May who smiled and put a hand on his shoulder. "Have fun and remember to call me when you get there."
"You take care of yourself pretty lady. Hey MJ promise me to keep this wild card out of trouble will you?"
"I don't know tiger how do you expect me to keep up with her, let alone keep track of all the men that keep throwing themselves at her."
"Oh shush both of you, okay Peter let's not keep Miss Monroe waiting you've got a bit of a drive ahead of you."
Peter got his bags put them in the back of the van, gave his aunt and MJ one more hug and got in and waved till they were out of sight. In a moment like this where everything changes there should have been something, music, rain starting to fall, maybe a sense that a great adventure had just begun but all there was the nervousness of two people who were going to be together for the next hour and had said less that 20 words to each other.
"So I take it that the pretty red head is the reason you didn't want to join us?" Miss Monroe obviously believed that talking was the only way to get past this but Peter was feeling too put out by all this to answer.
It suddenly hit him he was leaving everything and everyone he'd ever known, he knew it was coming but suddenly he felt the feeling crush him. But Peter Parker was not one of those who would let something like that affect him for long, he was made of sterner stuff than that, after all he was a superhero!
"I'm sorry what did you say Miss Monroe?"
"Call me Storm, all the students do" she gave Peter a small grin, "I was asking if that was your girlfriend seeing you off."
"No she's just a friend, one of my best friends come to think of it."
Though she kept her eyes on the road Peter was sure her face softened. "I'm sorry that you've had to uproot your life but this is the right choice for you now. You're going to get the support and training that normal schools can't provide you, and you're going to get to meet people going though the same things you're going though, can you just imagine just being yourself not having to keep up the charade of being something other than what you truly are."
"That would be nice." Said Peter while he wondered if anyone else there had to keep a secret identity and worry how they could sneak out to go save people.
"Mary Jane, are you okay dear?" MJ kept her eyes on the road where the van had just driven off.
"I'm fine aunt May, why do you ask?
"You're crying dear." MJ put her had to her face and felt the wet patch of skin. It was just one or two tears that had fallen, but it betrayed the smiling face she had put on for Peter's farewell. For the last two weeks she had tried to take Peter's mind off his by moving by doing every fun thing he could think of. She had been so focused with taking Peter's mind off everything she hadn't really thought about what Peters leaving meant until right now. No that wasn't true she had realized what it meant right away she just pushed it to the back of her mind and focused on having fun with Peter while she still could. Now every thought she had ignored hit her and she couldn't pretend that his leaving didn't hurt.
"I just realized how much I'm going to miss him. I'm fine aunt May really." She saw tears fall down May's face and gave her a hug. "How about you? How are you feeling?"
"I'm fine, why don't you come in for lunch and I can tell you all Peters embarrassing stories that should cheer us up a bit."
"That sounds like a plan to me."
Peter got out of the van and stretched as he looked around the grounds of the Xavier institute where he would be spending the next six months of his life. To be honest if he didn't know that this was school for super powered teens he would have thought it was the home of one of the classier celebrities. The walled in mansion with its long driveway, water fountain and perfectly cut giant lawn gave the impression of money.
"Welcome mister Parker I hope you had a pleasant trip." Professor Xavier rolled out of the awfully big front door and Peter couldn't help but wonder if he'd been sitting just inside for the last hour waiting so he could appear at the right moment.
"Err yeah it was fine, I mean it was only like an hour so no big deal."
"Every well then how about I show you to your room and then we can give you the full tour."
"Sounds good to me I'll just get my bags."
After he got his bags he followed Professor Xavier inside and felt his jaw drop at the size of the staircase it was so wide that ten people walking side by side could go up at once. The chandelier was as big as him and glittered making it look really expensive. There were statues on stands and oil canvasses on the walls the amount of money that must have gone into this room alone was mind boggling.
"Feel free to ask anything Mister Parker"
"You have teens with superpowers running round here with all this breakable expensive stuff right here in the open."
"Yes I do but at the moment all of them have gone to beach for the day."
"Okay so you are crazy good to know."
Xavier chuckled at that. "I offer my students trust Mister Parker and they offer me respect by not breaking all my possessions, that's not to say there are no accidents but punishments are only given if I believe that it is deserved."
They went in to a small elevator next to the staircase and went up one floor but the odd thing Peter noticed was that there were several buttons marked as sub levels. Xavier led Peter down the hall to a open door right at the end, Peter took one step inside and looked around, he immediately took a step back, closed his eyes, shook his head and stepped inside again. He opened his eyes and saw the room hadn't changed it was still the nicest bedroom he'd ever been in. When he'd seen the photos he hadn't truly believed it was an accurate. There was a four poster bed, an oak wardrobe, a comfy looking chair in the corner and desk on the far side of the room. He put his bags down and just stared until he realized the Professor was talking.
"... and that door there leads to your ensuite. While the doors do have locks on they are on the inside so you can't lock them on your way out, now let's go back down stairs and I can show you the living area."
They went back down and Peter was shown what Xavier called the foyer, the lounge with a massive TV, the sitting room with a large number of couches and a posh looking coffee table, the library and the game room with pool and ping pong tables and a dart board. So far Peter had to admit this place was really cool.
"We tend to use the dining room in the evening but in the morning and afternoon everyone just uses the kitchen in here."
Peter followed him in and saw Miss Monroe pouring some tea, but his eye was drawn to the hand that was taking a cookie from the plate. While the hand was inhumanly big that wasn't what made him stop in his tracks. The hand was covered in blue fur.
"Mister Parker are you okay?" Peter turned to look at the professor and then back to what seemed to be a blue gorilla wearing pants and a sweater and reading a newspaper, the gorilla was staring at him.
'He's seeing how I'm going to react.' Peter thought so he took a deep breath and in his best gravelly voice shouted "COOKIE!"
Miss Monroe stared at him with a look of horror on her face while Professor Xavier remained still; the blue gorilla on the other hand simply ate his cookie and then spoke in a clam voice. "Well if I'm the cookie monster I'd better not offer you a cookie then because there all mine." He picked up the plate and waved it front of Peter only to take it away a pick one up for himself.
"This is doctor McCoy a member of staff and someone who you should show some respect." The disapproval in Xavier's voice was clear.
"Oh come on, I can't be the first person to have made a joke about the blue fur."
"No, but you are the first one to do it right of the bat, normally people are too shocked or scared."
"Well seeing as I was told this was a school for mutants I thought there might be people with physical mutations. But if I had been told about the blue fur I would have prepared some better material, cookie monster was all I could think of on the fly."
Dr McCoy smiled and threw a cookie to Peter who grabbed it out the air and took a big bite. This seemed to be a signal that the awkward moment had passed and everyone relaxed as Miss Monroe handed out cups of tea. Peter and Dr McCoy started talking as they drank there tea and ate the cookies. "So what are you a doctor of then Dr McCoy?"
"Well I have a degree in English literature..."
"Oh." Peter tried to not let the disappointment show in his face.
"As well as degrees in physics, chemistry and biology. I've also got experience with other fields such as computing and engineering." As Peter's face broke into a smile he continued. "You have to be the only person who eyes lit up when I said that."
"Well as long as I'm here, I'm going to spend my time talking science with a genius like you, to help pass the time." Peter countered.
"I'd like that. I hear that you're something of a science whiz yourself."
"Yeah I've always wanted to be a scientist ever since I was a kid. I've been doing a lot on biology and genetics for my internship at ESU, but I've always loved chemistry as well so I plan to do both and do a graduate programme to get a Masters degree."
Miss Monroe finished her cup of tea and stood up. "Well seeing as everyone should be back soon I've got to start on dinner so Hank why don't you take Peter down to the lower levels and complete his tour."
"Wonderful Idea Storm and after your done Hank could you give Peter his physical and enter his data into the system. I have to make some calls but feel free to interrupt if needed."
As Peter and Dr McCoy got into the elevator and Dr McCoy pushed the button, Peter asked something that had been on his mind since the car ride. "What's with the Storm thing?"
"Why did the professor call Miss Monroe Storm? I mean she said on the ride down here that everyone calls her Storm, I'm just wondering what's up with that."
"We all have codenames based on our abilities to use in the field and in training exercises."
"Yes really my code name is Beast." Was they got out of the elevator and peter was him use his long arms to walk he agreed that it was a fitting name.
"What was that about field work though?"
"I wouldn't worry about that only the more experienced students go on missions, but I'm sure Logan will fill you in on everything when he begins your training. Now here is where you will be doing your training the Danger Room."
They were standing in a medium size room which obviously acted as a hub for the much larger room out the windows. The larger room was not just large but enormous but devoid of anything else. "It doesn't seem very dangerous to me." Peter said.
Dr McCoy pressed a series of buttons and the empty room came alive in the creepiest way possible giant buzz saws came out the wall, spikes shot out the floor and what looked like turrets appeared and shot lasers and metals balls. As Peter stared open mouthed at the chaos a part of his mind analysed the placement of everything and how he would move though out the room. Handspring over the spikes, weave in between the shots, side step the buzz saw. Break it at the joint and use it as shield to get close to the turrets and then smash them into the ground before using the buzz saw as a discus to take out the turret on the other side.
What came out of his mouth however was "YOU PEOPLE ARE INSANE! OH MY GOD! YOU PUT YOUR STUDENTS IN THERE! ARE YOU TRYING TO GET THEM KILLED!"
"That room has more sensors and safety protocols than you can imagine, if at any point there is a chance of serious injury the room automatically shuts down. But that's not the cool part watch this." He moved to another consol and used the computer there. The danger room shimmered and changed, the back drop became a starry night, and the floor became red rocks,
"Holographic technology the best you can find anywhere." There was a definite note of pride in his voice, so much that Peter would hazard a guess that he was the one who created it.
As they left the Danger Room Peter noticed a door at the end of the hallway with what appeared to be a blast door. He jerked his thumb at it. "What's in there?"
"Cerebro, a device that boost a psychic's natural ability."
"Cool. How does it work?"
"Do you really want the 4 hour lecture that will take even longer for every concept that you don't understand like the psychic interface."
"Nah I'll just go with cool. We can do the lecture at another time though; I like a good science lecture as much as the next guy.
"Okay if would step into my office we put all your data in the computer and get your physical done."
Peter gulped as he got in the office which turned out to be a med lab. He'd been worried about this since the conversation with Xavier at his aunt's house. While he'd been promised that there would be no to studying or experimenting on him, there was still the fear that they wouldn't keep their word once they found out he wasn't a mutant. He'd tried to think of ways to get around this but he hadn't been able to think of anything they were going to find out, it might not be right now but someone would realise that he'd been genetically altered and then he had no idea what would happen.
"Okay I've filled in your basic details I just need you to tell me what your abilities are."
"Well basically I'm stronger and faster than any human has right to be and it literary happened over night. One day I'm a skinny nerd next I have these." He pulled up his shirt and gave Dr McCoy a view of his well defined abs. "I don't need to wear my glasses anymore either, my reflexes are off the chart, sometimes it's like everything just slows down for me and I can jump several meters into the air from a standing position."
"Well it sounds like a case of enhanced physiology to me. We will run some tests later one to give us an idea of your limits." Dr McCoy paused and put a hand to his chin as he leaned back in his chair. "It might also explain the buzzing sensation Jean and the professor felt when they made contact with your mind. If your mind has been enhanced as well, it might have reacted to another presence in a way that caused the buzzing sensation."
Peter stayed still and remained silent hoping he wouldn't be asked any questions, he didn't fancy explaining his spider sense as he wanted to keep it a secret with his wall crawling and agility. He figured that would be the best way to keep these people from figuring out about his alter ego.
"Well we can look into that later for now hold out your hand please." Peter reluctantly did. "Now I'm going to take some blood so you will feel a bit of a pinch." Dr McCoy but Peter's finger in a small box shaped thing and few seconds later Peter felt a bit of pain and it was done. The rest of the physical was fairly standard and was over in a few minutes.
"I have no idea why those reporters last year thought you were Spider-Man as far as I can see there is no physical way that you could shoot webs from your wrists or stick to walls."
"You were looking for a way for me to be Spider-Man, why?" Peter made sure he didn't react in any way to cause suspicion.
"Just call it scientific curiosity. Well we're all done here feel free to go back upstairs and unpack."
Peter made it upstairs without seeing any one else and looked around his new room. He moved to open his bags but couldn't do it. This day was just too much. He'd left home, moved into the most expensive looking placed he'd ever scene and he'd been in several penthouses, met a genius blue furred mutant and soon he'd be introduced to a whole school of teenagers with god knows what super powers.
He needed to think, to clear his head and he always thought better when he was up high. His room had a balcony so he went outside, as his room was at the end of the hallway his balcony was right on the corner of the mansion and luckily the stone work on the corners created perfect hand and foot holds meaning he would have an explanation as to how he got onto the roof. He quickly climbed to the top and looked around he was on the back end of the house so he couldn't see the drive way but it look over the swimming pool with the sea further back and there seemed to be a forest over to the left. He smiled enjoying the natural beauty but then he saw something that made him completely forget the wonders of nature.
On the corner of the flat roof was a small gargoyle.
He leapt up and took a closer look and then sat down next to it. "Hi I'm Peter do you mind if I talk to you."
"I'll take your silence as a yes, so what's your name?" Contrary to what happens in many stories or on TV asking this question did not lead to the inanimate object starting to talk.
"The last gargoyle I knew was called Bruce, he was bigger than you and had really big wings that you seem to lack, but I can't use the same name for you so how about Terry that sound good?"
"So Terry let me tell you about how I ended up here."
AN: So another six months have past since I last updated, but this time I rewrote this chapter several times over during that time. I just could not get it right and I think this is a close as im going to get. Ive set up several plot points in this chapter see if you can guess whats important bonus point to the people who spot the hidden refences. Alot of people have been comenting on the same thing that, they like how Peter is resistant to joining the X-Men, I'm glad about this as that was kicked of this fic off. In so many other fics they meet and suddenly join up which is just too easy. But after writing my story I can see why they did it that way it has taken 6 chapters and nearly 30,000 words to set up a senerio which I could truly see Peter joining the X-Men and I've barely started the story which I've been planning in my head for over a year.
As alway feel free to review and I will remind people I said from day one that there would be long waits between chapters so dont think this fic is dead even if it seems that way from time to time.