Bobby pushed the door, opening it just enough for him to slip in.
It always seemed that the study door belonged closed, or as near closed
as possible, so the room wouldn't be exposed to the chaos of the outside
world. He ran his hands through his wet hair and stood at attention,
waiting for the Professor to take his eyes off the computer screen.
Bobby was pink from his shower, which had lasted well above an hour,
as had all his showers in the past few days since he had gotten back
from his mission.
Professor X looked up at Bobby and said, "You can sit down you know."
Bobby sat down, and said, "Scott always waits standing."
"Scott also coughs discreetly any time anyone mentions something
even remotely connected to sex. I fail to see your point." He closed
a few windows and opened another. "I got an email from Magnus that
you might be interested in. He says he took back the fortress and
that he wanted to keep us informed so that we didn't try to send anyone
else in to spy on them. He'll keep us informed in the future if we
so desire. And, ah, he took care of Cadran."
"Any more details about that?" said Bobby casually.
Xavier's eyes narrowed slightly, and he shook his head in reply.
He closed all the windows, and looked at Bobby, the tired, thoughtful,
penetrating look that Bobby could remember from when they first met.
It still made Bobby's stomach turn.
"I wish you'd submit to some therapy," he said. "There need be nothing
telepathic about it."
Bobby made a face. "Telepathic or not, it's still poking around in
my head. That's like suggesting that a burn victim go stick their
hand in the fireplace. Thanks, but no." He got up to go. Xavier motioned
for him to sit back down. By way of compromise, Bobby remained standing
but didn't leave.
"I think the effects of your experience run deeper than you realize,
"I wish people would stop assuming that they know more about what's
inside my head than I do."
"If you'd recall, the last time they were right."
Bobby shook his head and said softly, "No. The last time was
when they assumed my mind was too confused for me to be any threat."
Xavier inclined his head, conceding the point. "I wish you could
tell me what I could do for you."
"Well, since you ask, there is the fact that everyone's keeping an
eye on me. In my thinking, spying on the guy who just spent over a
week being mentally probed and monitored and taped, is not the best
way to keep him sane."
Xavier put out his hands, palm-up, beseeching. "We're worried about
you, Bobby. All of us."
He could appreciate motives, and his expression softened. With an
effort. "I know. Thanks. But stop, please. You really don't need to
He escaped from the study and intended to go back upstairs to his
room, but he was intercepted by Hank.
"Bobby, I was just looking for you. I was wondering if perhaps you
wanted to watch a movie with me." Seeing Bobby's dubious expression
he held up a bag and added, "I have milk duds."
"Don't tempt me," said Bobby. "I'd love to, but I'm so tired."
"This is like fencing with silly putty," Hank sighed. Bobby looked
at him blankly, and he shook his head. "Never mind."
"Okay, I won't. But I'll take the milk duds if you want," he added.
He at last escaped to his room and settled down in front of the TV.
He popped a tape into the VCR, already half-way through, and leaned
back, opening the bag of milk duds.
The film was black and white, but right now the screen was all white.
There were voices in the background.
"Get up," said a woman's voice. "We need the bed."
"That's obvious," a man's voice replied. "I knew he'd be a little
shaky when he got back, but I had thought he'd still be standing."
"He probably got to talking, and this was the only way they could
shut him up." Something dark obscured the view, and then the camera
moved so that it was filming some sheets and and a few shadowy figures.
"Okay, you two can go," said the woman. Some figures shifted off
screen, and there was the sound of a door closing.
"Just a routine scan," mocked an accusing voice. "They won't find
"So they found something. This isn't my..."
Bobby fast-forwarded, and then pressed play. A man's face hovered
in front of the camera.
"He's unconscious," said someone from off screen.
The one on-screen looked disinterested. "Get someone to carry him
He stopped it and got up and put in another tape. He fast-forwarded
it for awhile, and then pressed 'play'. There was a room with very
little furnishings, and a bunch of people in uniform. A woman was
standing at the front of the room, hands behind her back. This scene
had made him cry the first time, but about the fifth time through
you became immune to it.
His door opened suddenly, and Bobby knew enough to jump, and press
the stop button. But he hadn't been fast enough to fool Rogue, by
her quick glance towards the TV. She grinned at him, a rather fixed
grin, and said, "If you don't want people ta come in, ya should lock
"Then go back out and I'll lock it," said Bobby.
Rogue gave him a look, an angry, you-can't-get-away-with-this-forever
glower. She looked like she wanted to say something, but then she
just shrugged irritably and withdrew into the hall, closing the door
Bobby went over and locked the door. Then he sat back down and pressed
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