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 Posting a reply to post #50509

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50509 No.50509
Alright, the following is not written by me, but I thought I'd share. Also, I'll post whatever Hank pictures I have. You're more than welcome to contribute and talk.

Chapter 1

Most stories of mutants coming of age usually involve a hefty dose of tragedy, angst, isolation, and abandonment. Innocent people are killed, their family shuns them, fear drives them from their homes. Some have no memory of who they were or where they came from. Still others talk of the ways in which their abilities caused endless destruction and pain. When their powers begin to manifest, typically around puberty, the stories are bleak, and they arrive at the school to find refuge from the cold, harsh lives they have fallen into.

Not me. My tale of discovering my mutation is really very uneventful. It wasn't until I had been at Xavier's school that the angst and isolation set in.

I was twelve when I started to notice the change in me. My eyes, which had been a deep brown, became snow white almost overnight. I had always had strong eyesight, but I began to notice that if I concentrated, I could see objects very closely, like I had built-in binoculars. At first, I couldn't do it for very long without getting a headache. However, as my eyes began to lose their color, my ability grew. I was able to zoom in on objects from hundreds of yards away in amazing detail and stability. Before long, I learned how to see right down to the atomic level. My pupils began to shift from round to a sort of four pointed scroll, which opened up to engulf my entire eye when my ability was in full use. Of course, it didn't take too long for my parents to figure out there was something going on.

Let me explain something about my folks; my parents are intellectuals in every sense of the word. Both are PhD's and lecture at an uncounted number of universities around the country. My mother's specialty is philosophy and religion, while my father's passion is social psychology and cultural anthropology. Needless to say, my childhood was filled with culture, deep discussions at the dinner table, and a never ending parade of the greatest minds in the world for dinner parties, holidays, and pretty much any other occasion they could conjure up. I guess this would explain why their reaction to my mutation was far more progressive than most of my classmates.

The day my mother walked in on me staring off into the distance with my eyes completely black, she was taken aback, for sure. Despite her shock, she calmly sat down on my bed next to me and put her arm around my shoulders. This, of course, startled the piss out of me and snapped me back out of my vision. She surveyed my now snow-white eyes and scrolled pupils with the intensity she normally reserved for her academics.

"Alex," she said softly, "tell me what you saw."

So I told her. Everything.

Once my parents had learned their son was a mutant, they knew my life was destined for a different path than they had planned, to say the least. Still, they were educated, and they understood the mutant movement that was happening within society. My father had spent the last few years researching the effect of mutants on social evolution. It was through those studies that he had developed a friendship with a certain Professor Charles Xavier.

I had seen Professor Xavier over at the house before, but only from afar at one of the many fundraising dinners my father organized, so when I came downstairs to find him in our sitting room, I knew immediately who he was. My father had told me of his mission and his school, and I understood why he was there, alone, and waiting to talk to me.

"Hello, Alex," he said with that smooth, upper-class British baritone I would come to know so well. "I am Professor Charles Xavier."

He reached out his hand and I shook it gracefully, yet firmly, just as my parents had taught me. This was far from my first time meeting a man of power.

"I know of you and your work, Professor Xavier," I replied as I took a seat in a large, padded leather chair next to his deceptively simple wheelchair. "It is an honor to meet you, Sir."

He smiled warmly, and I could sense he was a man who possessed far more power than that of wealth, knowledge, or prestige. In fact, I could almost see actual waves of energy emanating from within him. They were barely tangible until I really focused on them, then they seemed to grow stronger until I was almost blinded by their radiance. My vision suddenly shifted, as if I were seeing a whole different wavelength of light.

The Professor then said something I would soon hear very, very often.

"Tell me what you are seeing, Alex."

And that's how I became a student of the Xavier Institute for Higher Learning. Within a week I had packed my things, bid my few close friends farewell, and was stepping foot into the greatest adventure, the greatest pain, the greatest joy, and the greatest destiny that I could have ever imagined.

See? No one died, no one abandoned me, no destruction was wrought, no sorrow or angst consumed me. Really, a pretty boring mutant revelation story. Hardly worth telling, really, considering my future held far more interesting tales. Still, it's important to know where I began in order to understand where I am now.

Once the Professor and the others at the Institute studied my mutation, it became clear to all of us the ways in which I could become a vital resource to the X-Men team. Still, I was only thirteen when I arrived, and in need of many years of education and development. Despite that fact, I could tell the X-Men had set plans in motion for my future.

There were two ways my extraordinary visual powers could be put to the best use. Since I was essentially a human microscope, even beyond most of the machines of the day, a natural place for me would be in a scientific and research environment. Science certainly interested me, seeing as I had become a geek long before a mutant, so when Jean Grey brought that point up, I was eager to follow that path.

On the other hand, my abilities also had the potential for making an ideal reconnaissance operative during combat missions. With my ability to not only see great distances, beyond the most sophisticated scopes in the arsenal, but also see quite possibly every type of wave form in existence, I could make the ultimate recon and detection agent. While never raised in any kind of environment even remotely related to anything military or, for that matter, particularly athletic, the idea of someday becoming a master recon man for a team like the X-Men set my young mind racing with excitement.

I remember the day I sat in Professor Xavier's study to discuss my place at the Institute. Jean Grey and Storm were there with the Professor himself, and each one of them took turns at length discussing the merits and risks of each path. Storm, I sensed, was eager to put me to active use on the team someday, but Miss Grey and the Professor seemed to prefer the scientific route. None of them overtly pushed me one way or the other, but I could tell.

It was all too much for me, really. I mean, there I was, thirteen years old, discovering I had these incredible powers, put into a new world with these strange and exotic mutants, and having to decide what the hell I wanted to be when I grew up. Xavier, being Xavier, tried to put it into perspective for me.

"Alex," he said as he directed his wheelchair from behind his desk and rolled quietly to my side, "I know your father very well. I promised Dr. Rieger that you would have the best guidance and education that this institute and I could offer. I know this is so much for you to take in, and you're still so young."

He leaned in slightly and looked me in the eye. I hardly knew this man, really, and yet I believed him. I believed in him. He understood what was happening to me. Hell, he'd been dealing with kids like me for longer than I'd been alive, practically. I trusted him. All three of them. It still didn't make it any easier to decide my fate. Or did I have to decide?

"Do I have to choose one or the other?" I asked as I looked at each of them in turn. "I mean, couldn't I do both?"

For a moment there was silence as each one of them pondered the question. Jean Grey, looking impossibly beautiful in a simple, elegant way, and Storm, with her striking white hair and mocha skin shimmering with grace and regality, both seemed to smile slightly and looked at the Professor as if to say "What do we do with this one?"

It was Jean Grey who spoke up first.

"Alex," she said carefully and kneeled down next to me opposite the Professor, "do you understand what you're asking? Either option means a lot of work, training, and focus if you want to be part of the team someday. The reason you need to decide this now is so we can start you off in the right direction as soon as possible. Doing both would be…" She struggled for the right words to convey the complexity of what I was suggesting.

"Well within this boy's potential," Xavier said simply with a smile. "You are asking for a lifetime of work, young man, but I think, if you truly want to take both paths with your abilities, you will become extraordinary." His eyes were alive with fire at the possibilities, which sort of scared the living crap out of me. "The road will be long, my friend."

"But you won't be on it alone," said Storm with an air of determination. "You will have all of us right here with you. You are part of our family now, Alex, and every one of us is committed to you."

At that moment, in the middle of all this newness and excitement and uncertainty and God-knows-what-the-hell-is-going-to-happen-to-me, I felt at peace. I felt…like I was home. Sure, it was a home full of people who could walk through walls, hurl ice, shoot energy beams from their eyes, control the weather, and move things with their minds, but still…it was the greatest place in the world to me at that moment. I was ready to move into a world I scarcely understood but wanted desperately to embrace.

"So I guess I should unpack my stuff, then, and get started, huh?"

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Chapter 1 is a bit boring, the story picks up more here.

Chapter 2

To say I hit the ground running would be cliché, for sure, and a complete understatement. Once I was settled into my room, it seemed I had barely enough time to unpack before I was shuttled around the mansion, meeting the rest of the students and staff.

Technically, it was the second time I saw him, but the first time we were formally introduced. Exotic and beautiful didn't even begin to describe him. He seemed gigantic to me, though in height he wasn't even six feet. Still, he was massive, muscular, and imposing. And that incredible blue fur…

"Alex, I'd like you to meet Dr. Henry McCoy," Jean said as we stood in the doorway of an unbelievably impressive science lab.

I'm not even sure how I found air in my lungs with which to speak. "Hello, Dr. McCoy. It is a p-pleasure to meet you, Sir."

The sound that came from this beast of a man was so contradictory to his brutishly handsome stature that, for a moment, I though perhaps someone was hiding behind him doing a voice-over. It was rumbling and deep, but at the same time smooth, gentle, and graceful, like silken roads in a sunset. The sound, as it hit my ear, made my knees weak, and, even if I were too young to understand what it meant, it filled my stomach with a thousand butterflies doing cartwheels.

"Alex." That simple word, that first time he said my name, would never be forgotten. "It is a distinct honor and pleasure to meet such a fine young man." He held out his massive, blue furry hand.

I was entranced, and waited probably a tick or two longer than I should have before I reached my own hand up and found it engulfed in his warm…oh so warm…and gentle handshake. I was awestruck. I didn't want to let go, but my manners won out before the timing became awkward.

"The Professor has spoken of your extraordinary vision, and of your interest in putting it to use within the realm of science. I must say I am most pleased to hear of this. I look forward to us working together in the future, and I am very excited to begin your education," he explained smoothly as he reached up to adjust his round, wire-framed glasses. They gave him an academic air and looked perfect perched on his handsome blue face.

He was beast and brains, power and intellect, brute and beautiful, and my young mind was trying to come to grips with how this man made me feel.

Just as quickly as the introduction was made, I was whisked away again to continue my tour. I remember him saying goodbye and that he would see me tomorrow for class. I was worried I wouldn't sleep a wink in anticipation of seeing the good doctor again.

I was introduced to a million mutants that day, it seemed, and it would be a while before I was comfortable with faces or names. As the days and months went by, I started making friends with some of the others. Bobby, or Iceman, as he would be called, became a good friend, even though he was a bit older than I. I took a liking to a giant of a boy named Peter, or Poitr, as he was called in his native Russian, and we hung out sometimes. Of course, through Bobby, I became friends with Rogue, as well. Not that I would have much time for friends…or sleep…

My education started full force, and I was quickly engulfed in my studies. The weeks and months sped by, and I settled into a routine. My parents would visit the school on occasion, which was nice, since I chose not to take the time to go back to their home in upstate New York.

I took to my chemistry and biology classes with intensity, eager to understand the things I was able to see with my abilities. It was one thing to be able to see a molecule, but quite another to know what it was and how to work with it. I devoured as much information as I could put in front of me, which seemed to please Dr. McCoy.

Don't get me wrong, I was passionate about science, but I was also eager to do anything that put me in the company of Dr. McCoy. I loved to be around him, and his patient, thorough teaching only served to endear him to me all the more. He is an extraordinary educator and amazing man, and the years of study with him were the best I've ever known.

As I came into my fifteenth year, it was time to start getting to shape and learning the field skills that would put me on the X-Men team. I needed to start building my body to be as sharp as my mind was becoming, and learn how to defend myself and my teammates. Mr. Summers, the California-handsome leader of the X-Men, decided the best person to show me combat skills was a man named Logan.

Logan. I'd known who he was before we met. Hell, I'd been at the mansion for over two years and he was hard to miss. I would see him brooding around from time to time. He'd disappear for a while, then I'd spot him around the school. I knew of his ability to heal, his extraordinary skeleton, and, of course, those claws. From what I saw, he was gruff, crude, and short-tempered. Wolverine was a name that suited him too well, as far as I was concerned. When Scott told me to report to him after class to begin my training, I was filled with dread. Logan scared the shit out of me.

I put on the bravest front I could, took a deep breath, and strode confidently into the gym. He was leaning against the far wall, and I didn't see him until I saw the spark of his lighter as he lit up one of his trademark cigars. Dressed in a white tank, shorts, and sneakers, he was compact, wide, and impossibly muscular. Black hair covered his massive chest, arms, and legs. His wild hair and sideburns gave him a look more animalistic than even Dr. McCoy. His eyes were just as hard as the rest of him as he surveyed me up and down, like a predator measuring his prey. I was doomed for sure.

"So," he finally growled after an agonizing minute of scrutiny, "you're the kid Scott stuck on me." It wasn't a question. It was more like a statement of resignation.

"Um…yes, Sir, Mr. Logan…Sir." Oh God. Did I just call him Mr. Logan? This is not going well.

Logan simply smirked and started circling me slowly; a wolf to my proverbial sheep. Outwardly, I stood tall, still, confident, and ready for anything. I sensed it was best not to show him any weakness. Of course, inside I was pissing myself scared.

"You're fifteen? Pretty scrawny, kid. But don't worry," he sneered in my ear from behind, "I'm pissed off enough about this babysittin' gig to beat that body of yours into a real pack o' meat. I'm gonna try like hell to make this fun…for me, anyway."

And so it began. From that very moment I began a workout routine that left me exhausted every night and sore every morning. I absolutely hated it in the beginning, but I wasn't about to let Logan get the best of me. For some reason, I was bound to impress him just as much as Dr. McCoy. It was pure stubborn determination that got me through those first few months.

During the day I was in class, and at night I was at the mercy of the Wolverine. Gradually…very gradually…I began to settle into my workouts. It wasn't but six months before my body began to change. I packed on muscle and the routines became less torture. After a while, I even looked forward to my time with Logan. Once I got over my fear of him, I started to have very different feelings about my "babysitter".

Just before I tuned sixteen, I realized that it was more than my mutation that made me different from most of my classmates. Of course, my body had hit puberty and the hormones kicked in before then, but at some point I realized that I had no physical interest in girls at all. I found myself staring at Poitr's incredible body when we'd hang out, or take a little longer to check out Bobby or the other guys during class. However, with all the studying and workouts, I really didn't have much time to fully understand what that meant.

Though my raging gay teenage body reacted to the many handsome boys and men around the school, no one raised my desire, or my cock, like Dr. McCoy. In his classes my boyhood admiration turned to lust. He was so graceful and gentle, yet so brawny and powerful. Sometimes we'd be in class and he'd come by to look over my shoulder at my work, and feeling his warm, furry body so close to mine would spring a boner to cut steel. Some might find it strange to feel such attraction to someone so animalistic, but it was that animalism that combined with his intellect and personality that made me jack myself off every chance I got. Every class with him was a torturous combination of heaven and hell.

As if having the hots for Dr. McCoy wasn't enough, I was having the same reaction with Logan. This was almost worse because that man can put off sexual energy like a tidal wave. He was raw lustful animal, and his broad hairy body was so often in contact with mine during our routine. There were so many classic "spotting me on the weight bench and looking up at his crotch" moments that I swear he was making me do presses just to get me going. Sometimes he'd be behind me, guiding my weight lifting to ensure proper form, and he'd be in my ear saying things like "Yeah, that's it…lift that fucker one more time…" in that gravely growl. It is amazing I didn't blow my wad in my shorts. There was no way he couldn't have seen my hard-on during ninety percent of my time with him back then.

So I had a raging boner during the day from Dr. McCoy, and at night from Logan. That was how life was for a long time. I decided the only way to get over it was to focus my energy on the task at hand. Looking back, I realize now that trying not to be perpetually horny probably contributed a great deal to my incredible progress in both areas. My knowledge of science, chemistry, and biology soon pushed me into physics and the other sciences. At the same time, my body was growing strong and muscular. I had a big, solid chest and six-pack abs. I was no Colossus, but I was one built seventeen-year-old!

That year, Logan and I agreed that I needed to branch my training into more than just strength training. I began to learn how to fight hand-to-hand, and my sessions began to include the Danger Room and the other X-Men members. Logan and the others taught me tactics, skills, and teamwork, and my abilities began to blossom under their guidance. While my skills at combat were progressing, my mental skills were also continuing to take shape as well.

While my evening trainings were forging me into a warrior, my daytime studies were cultivating my intellectual talents. I did pretty well in all of my classes, not a perfect student, but above average. In the sciences and technology areas, however, I truly excelled. My mutation allowed me to study objects and subjects down to the atomic level, and Dr. McCoy helped me learn how to understand what I was seeing and how to apply my knowledge to real-world scientific study. At seventeen I was regularly assisting him in his lab, combining his teaching with real experimentation and application.

The decision to study ancient Eastern combat techniques was my own. I wanted to learn how to be silent and invisible like the ninja, inflicting damage to my enemies with lightning speed. To this I added the ability to disguise myself and blend in with any crowd, take on the persona of any character. I knew the key to being an effective X-Man was to find my specialty, and master it to the ultimate degree. My mutant vision was the start, but I wanted to be the ultimate reconnaissance man, the one who could get in anywhere, get to anything, and leave no trace of my existence behind.

That's how I got my moniker. I was in a meeting with Cyclops, Jean Gray, Storm, and Professor Xavier to determine my progress toward becoming a member of the team. Logan had already given a report as to my physical readiness, and Dr. McCoy had testified as to my mental readiness. I was on the verge of my eighteenth birthday, and I was chomping at the bit to see some action (on more ways than one, but that's not part of the story yet…).

"There is no doubt you've done very well in the Danger Room, Alex," the Professor stated as he read the reports on the desk in front of him. "What do you think, Scott? Where does he fit in on the team?"

"There's no doubt there, Professor. He's our Recon."

And Recon I became.

I won't bore you with the details of my first mission, but suffice it to say I did alright. I was invisible in the treetops and fed the team exactly what they needed to bust that guy out without a scratch. It wasn't the mission, or even the fact that it was my initiation into the team, that made an impact on me that day.

That was the first time I saw Dr. McCoy as Beast, and his ferocity and acrobatics in combat was breathtaking. It was at that moment, sitting up there in the trees, watching him unleash his strength against the waves of guards with effortless grace and rage, that I knew what I felt for him was far more than teenage lust. The implication of that revelation was almost more than I could bear.

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Okay! Full steam ahead!

Chapter 3, Part 1

It was after that first mission that things really became difficult for me. What had been simple hormone-driven attraction was now a very deep emotion. I was stone silent in the jet on the way back to the mansion, and I dared not even look at Dr. McCoy for fear of betraying my feelings for him. I could sense concern among the team, but they left me alone. No doubt they were used to moody mutants.

The problem wasn't being uncomfortable with my own feelings. I had come to terms with my own sexuality a while ago, and while I had yet to tell anyone, I certainly didn't struggle with it in my own mind. The problem was that I couldn't tell Dr. McCoy how I felt about him; I would risk everything I had worked to achieve with the X-Men.

Hell, I didn't even know if he was gay. He never talked about women, but he never talked about men, either. I knew he didn't harbor any prejudice in regards to gay men and women, and he had mentioned fully supporting the emerging scientific evidence of a biological component to homosexuality. Even so, I had no idea about his sexual interests.

In fact, he didn't really talk personally about himself to me at all. I was around him for hours, even days, at a time, but we never talked about anything on a personal or emotional level; Dr. McCoy kept everything professional. Occasionally he would put a hand on my shoulder while we were surveying some experiment or another, or lean in close during a conversation. He was always friendly, even mildly affectionate, but it was always platonic, as if he purposefully kept a certain distance from me. On the few occasions when I'd try to casually get him to open up, he'd get cautious and somehow steer the conversation back to me. It had become maddening.

Besides, I thought, even if…even if he were into guys, there was still no guarantee he had any feelings for me, physical or emotional. I mean, I wasn't a bad looking guy. I had grown to a respectable six feet, developed a pretty nice body, and I had a kind of All American Boy face, even with my goatee. Even so, I didn't hold a candle to Dr. McCoy. He was brilliant, strong, graceful, sophisticated, powerful…so much more than I thought I could ever become. I saw him as miles out of my league. If he wanted the company of a man, he could charm anyone he wanted into his bed. There was no reason he would choose someone like me.

Not that that belief did anything to allay my feelings for him. The brain may know the facts, but the heart never listens. Within days of that mission, it was unbearable for me. My desire was almost painful when I was around him, yet when we were apart, I was in agony. The only thing I hated more than being around him was being away from him. I think I knew, somewhere in the back of my anxiety-ridden mind, that I could only go on like that for so long.

One side effect of my angst was that my time training with Logan had become much more intense. I used my physical workout as a release of frustration. I think I managed to shock even the mighty Wolverine with the intensity of my workouts. Logan might come off as a wise-ass thug, but he's smart and extremely perceptive. He knew I was channeling energy from something else, but he never pressed me for answers. Instead he helped me beat the crap out of anything I could, including myself, at least to a point.

"You gotta knock it off for now, Kid, or your gonna rip something, and that ain't gonna be cute," he's say after I did one too many reps.

"I'm fine, Logan. One more set," I'd reply defiantly and lay back down on the bench.

At that point he'd usually do something like straddle me and pin my arms to my chest, staring down at me with those burning eyes and say, very slowly and directly "You. Are. Done."

The feeling of his compact, muscular, hairy body on me, along with the whiff of his delicious sweat, would make me momentarily forget being a lovesick fool and make me into a horny young man again. When Logan overpowered me like that, I would often spring a full-fledged hardon that I'm sure he noticed. Once in a while I'd feel his stare on me when I wasn't looking, and I'd swear he was giving me the elevator eyes. I never had the nerve to try and test him by making any overt moves, since being wrong about that might have been very painful for me. Logan wasn't the kind to take kindly to unwelcome advances.

Despite my passing lust for Wolverine, I'd fall right back into my tortured emotions the second I saw Dr. McCoy. It never seemed to fail that I'd inevitably stumble around a corner and right into him, especially after my workouts with Logan. He usually had his furry nose buried in some report or paper as he walked past, but he'd look up at my approach. A quick but friendly greeting was all I ever got, and I'd look past the round glasses into those deep blue eyes and stammer something incoherent. If he ever noticed my puppy dog expression, he never let on.

Between finishing my education, my work in the lab, my workouts and training with Logan, and being completely in love with my mentor, the stress was beginning to take its toll. I wasn't sleeping well, even less than usual, and I barely ate. I was pushing my mind, body, and emotions to the breaking point, so the result should not have surprised me. I was losing control of my mutant ability.

It started gradually; infrequent at first, but it got worse. I didn't lose my ability, just my control over it. My focus would shift erratically, and I'd be doing something like reading an article online and I'd suddenly be looking at the atomic structure of my monitor. Other times, my vision would spontaneously shift into another wavelength, and I'd have to try and make my way down the hall while seeing everything in infrared, ultraviolet, or some other crazy radiation frequency. When I needed to shift into a magnification, I'd either completely overshoot my intended level or my vision would shake so much I couldn't make see a thing. My hard-won mastery over my power was dissolving rapidly, and it didn't take Dr. McCoy long to know something was wrong with me. It was inevitable.

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Chapter 3, Part 2

The day was the usual routine. I suffered through a humanities class, my mind wandering into unclean thoughts of Dr. McCoy as Professor Xavier talked about the Mayan Civilization. Afterward, I quickly packed up my laptop and made my way to the lab, skipping lunch once again. Dr. McCoy was standing at one of the many consoles, and I could see from my angle that his lab coat was open. He was only wearing his customary uniform shorts underneath, since even the air conditioning couldn't keep him cool on such a summer day. The prospect of seeing his massive furry chest exposed sent my mind reeling, but I did my best to swallow my feelings and sat down at my area to resume my work.

"Ah! Good day, Alex." He smiled and turned from his console. His expanse of blue furry muscles was framed by the stark white of the coat, and the sight made me shiver. "Looks like you survived another trip to ancient Mexico, eh?"

"Wha-? Oh, yeah…The Professor's lecture was interesting today," I lied as casually as I could and forced myself away from his amazingly exposed body. I removed my laptop from my backpack and plugged it into the docking station. This was going to be a long afternoon.

"Fascinating culture, the Mayans," he quipped as he shuffled around the tabletop looking for something, "Their medical techniques were…brutal compared with our modern methods, but they were ahead of their time on many levels. HA! Here it is." He held up a sheet of paper and stepped over to me. "This is the preliminary report from the computer simulation of the reaction," he said as he set the paper in front of me.

From this close, I could breathe in his scent, crisp and clean with a hint of musky undertones. It was as unique to him as a fingerprint, and it never failed to intoxicate me. A long afternoon, indeed, I thought as I struggled to focus on the report.

I knew what he wanted before he said it. "We can start the reaction whenever you're ready, Doctor. I'll observe the behavior of the molecules and compare them to this. That should give us an accurate calibration of the modeling program."

His smile, complete with those canine fangs, was so damn charming. "Excellent! Let me set up the infuser and we can get started."

Dr. McCoy turned and stepped quickly over to a console at the center of the lab. I stared a moment, lost in the thought of what his retreating view might look like naked. Quickly driving the image of his furry blue ass from my mind, I stood and made my way to my observation station.

We had worked together to set up a custom designed workspace where I had enough light to observe molecular and atomic structures of active material. Stationed in the heart of the lab, the area was dominated by a transparent container field. The wavelength of the field was designed carefully by Dr. McCoy to allow me unobstructed view of the material or reaction while still maintaining a contained, controlled environment. I could manipulate the lighting, including the position and wavelength, within the containment field to get optimum conditions for my vision. That used to be a process that took some calibration, but I've gotten better at estimating my needs. I already knew the materials we were working with, so I punched in the lighting specs and sat comfortably in the chair.

At this point let me say that this activity is something that Dr. McCoy and I had done on many occasions. Every now and then he liked to make sure his measuring and analytical systems were calibrated properly. He worked with some very standard, basic chemical materials in a reaction and used the computer systems to measure various results. I have become very familiar with these reactions, so we reproduce them for me and I record the same behaviors, measurements, and so on. We compare my results with the computers and make sure they are on target. Looking back on it, it had never occurred to me that Dr. McCoy trusted my work more than the computer.

"Alright, Alex, whenever you're ready I will inject the second chemical," he said as he worked the switches on the board to my left. He was tantalizingly close once again, and I could smell him. I prayed I could hold it together.

I took a deep breath and focused on the floating blob of chemicals in the containment field. Like flexing a muscle, I pushed my vision closer. So far I was steady and in control. The blob filled my vision and I dove inside. Closer and deeper I went until I could see the chains of molecules within. I told him I was ready.

"Injecting second material now," he reported in his steady, professional rumble. As he reached for the injection switch, he arm was just above my head. All at once I felt the heat from his arm next to my face and smelled the musk from his fur.

That was all it took. As the second material was injected into the containment field, my vision suddenly leapt backward five orders of magnitude. I struggled to regain magnification as I knew the reaction was beginning, but it began to fly wildly in and out, from the atomic level to normal and in between. Suddenly I was shifting to the ultraviolet spectrum and back again. The more I fought to steady it, the wilder my focus became. Like a whip the pain hit my head and I shifted violently back to normal view.

"Dammit!" I swore in frustration and pressed my fingers into my temples to try and stave off the mind-bending agony that washed over me. Dr. McCoy, startled by my sudden outburst, knelt down next to me.

"Alex! Alex…are you alright, my boy?" He turned my head toward him and looked into my eyes for any sign of injury. "What happened?"

I fought off the headache and struggled to regain my composure. I did not want to fail Dr. McCoy. I had to try and salvage this and hope he forgot all about it. I should have known better.

"I'm fine, Doctor. Really. I just had a lapse of focus for a moment, but I'm alright. The reaction is still happening. I can still observe it," I rattled quickly and went to resume my work.

"No, Alex, you are not alright," he stated firmly. "Let the reaction go. This is serious." I had never heard him speak to me in such a tone, and it frightened me back to my senses.

"I'm….fine. It's just a little headache. Probably interfering with my vision. I should have eaten lunch I guess, or maybe gotten more sleep or…"

"Enough." He silenced my rambling with a single word. "This is happening more and more with you, Alex. You're losing control of your ability, and we need to find out why."

He was looking right into my eyes, not with his usual look of medical scrutiny, but something deeper that even his small gold spectacles could not disguise. He was looking into me, through me. The reality of where this conversation might go hit me in the pit of my stomach. I wanted to run, to hide somewhere, but I was trapped.

After a moment of eternity he spoke, carefully and calmly. "Normally I would start with a complete physical analysis of you, but I do not think I would find anything. No, your mutant abilities are in chaos not because of anything physical, Alex." His eyes were soft, concerned, and caring. I had preferred the former Dr. McCoy stare. It was easier to steel myself against the scientist. "You barely eat. You are not sleeping well, if at all sometimes. Logan says you've been practically destroying things in your workouts. Professor Xavier tells me you are abnormally preoccupied during your other courses. Something is bothering you at your soul, Alex, and it's manifesting through your abilities."

"I…I don't know what you mean, Doctor. Things…things are fine, really" I shrugged in a vain attempt at appearing clueless to his implications. "Things have just been…"

"Don't bullshit me, Alex!" His profanity and fierceness took me aback. This was not the Dr. McCoy I had known. His eyes were passionate, almost dangerous now. I wanted to look away from him, look away from the shame I knew had flooded my face, but I was transfixed in his burning stare. "Do no pull this teenage indifference with me. I have known you for too long, and I want to get to the bottom of this. I want to help you, Alex. You are in pain and I want to help you out of it. This is not your teacher talking. This is your friend talking to you now. I want to know what is going on."

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Chapter 3, Part 3

That was the first time he'd ever called me friend; the first time he'd ever indicated we were any closer than student and teacher, teammates on the battlefield. After all the times I'd tried to get close to him, he was reaching out to me at the worst possible time. I did not want to tell him. I did not want to say to him what I had always feared he would know. This was not how I had planned this. The reality was too much for me, but I could not escape the train that was barreling down the track at me. I couldn't bear to look him in the eye.

"It's…It's you, Dr. McCoy," I said, my voice hoarse and poisoned with emotion, barely a whisper. I was looking down at the smooth white surface of my workstation now. The heat on my face was burning though me.

"Wha…me?" His words were steeped with confusion. He knelt there in front me stunned for a moment, then stood, slowly pulled his glasses from this face, and began to pace as he quietly began his practical analysis of my admission. "I've worked you too hard. I have asked so much of you, and you are still just a young man. You have so much to give, and I have been taking and taking without any regard to your life, Alex. I never dreamed or realized it would do this to you…" His voice wavered.

I was struck with the realization of what he was saying. I knew I could take the easy way out and let him think his reasons were correct. It would have been simple to agree with him and let it go at that. But in that flash of a moment, I understood that he was feeling guilty, feeling like a bad teacher, a bad friend. I could not let him believe that. I leapt from my chair and grabbed his arm, spinning him around to face me. I could hear his glasses hit the ground and skip off under a table.

"No! No…Dr. McCoy. That's not it…that's not it at all. I can handle that, I really can. You've been the greatest thing in my life!" I stopped suddenly. The truth was roaring ever closer, and the sound seemed more than I could take. Once again I was looking into those blue eyes. This time they were drowning in a swarm of emotions I could not decipher.

"What is it, then, Alex," he rumbled softly, searching my face for a sign that might lead him to understanding. "Please…please tell me how I have done this to you."

I knew this was it. I had to let it go and live with the consequences. He deserved to know the truth. I slowly began my revelation.

"The day Jean Grey introduced us… that wasn't the first time I saw you. Earlier that morning I was on my way back from my parent's car. I…I had forgotten my backpack and ran back to get it while they were talking to the Professor." I quietly explained. "On the way back from the car I got lost and wandered past one of the libraries. You…you were perched in the window reading a book. The morning sun was streaming in…and…and you were bathed in a blue and gold halo. It was…you were…are…so beautiful. I was…entranced. You were so still and silent that I didn't even know if you were real until you turned the page and startled me. I have never forgotten that moment…that first moment I laid eyes on you, and…every day I can't…can't wait to see you again."

His expression turned to one of disbelief. I knew my admission would come unexpectedly to him. Those blue eyes were now filled with…something…I couldn't quite read them. "Alex," he finally said as he placed a hand on my shoulder, "what are you saying?"

"I'm saying that…I…" I looked away again as I felt the words rise up from the bottom of my soul. I could not bear to see him when they reached the surface. This was it. "…I love you, Dr. McCoy."

It was like someone else was talking, like it wasn't me who had spoken. Years of emotion and desire were floating in those words between us. I knew that whatever happened next, life would never be the same for us. Tears welled up in my eyes, and I fought like hell to keep them down. Crying now would only make matters worse.

I heard him rumble from deep inside his chest, a low purr like thunder on the horizon. A heartbeat later I felt his warm, soft hand under my chin, turning my gaze to him. As my eyes finally found his, I saw nothing of the hate, loathing, or rejection I had always feared. Instead I saw softness, peace, and something I'd never dared myself to believe.

"My boy...," he whispered, "I have waited a long, long time to hear you say that."

It was so gentle at first that I barely registered his lips on mine; they were impossibly warm and soft. Soon he had one massive arm wrapped around me, pulling me against his hard, furry body. My stunned mind began to register the kiss, and my body began to respond. I parted my lips slightly and his tongue, hot and insistent, slowly slipped inside my mouth. Our lips crushed together and I finally had a chance to run my hands over his incredible body. It was like fur-covered steel, hard and soft beneath my fingertips. I carefully traced my tongue over his two sharp canines before he sucked it into his mouth. My body was on fire, my cock rock hard in my jeans. I could feel his substantial bulge grow fatter against my hip and I struggled to comprehend that I could have such an effect on him. My brain began to short circuit as I tried to come to terms with what was happening. I was making out with Dr. Henry McCoy.

Our intensity had only begun to build when the sharp sound of someone clearing his throat startled us out of the moment. I was consumed with terror at being discovered with my teacher's tongue down my throat, but Dr. McCoy seemed to take it in stride. He broke the kiss immediately, then took just a brief moment to smile, caress my cheek in his giant, soft paw, and hit me with a heart-stopping smile before turning to face our intruder. I stood like a statue, my hands still planted firmly on his mountainous pecs. For some reason I felt that maintaining my physical contact with him would somehow protect me from whatever punishment awaited my transgression.

"Hello, Logan," Dr. McCoy said cheerfully, as if he hadn't just been caught in an intimate moment with a male student. "What brings you here?"

LOGAN! Sweet mother Jesus God…anyone but him. We are so dead…How could I ever work out with him now that he knows? I turned my head very slowly to face Wolverine. He was wearing his trademark wife-beater, worn out jeans, engineer boots and a very mysterious smirk. Logan was never known to be subtle or mysterious about anything, but at that moment I could not, for the life of me, figure out if he was going to laugh, scream, rage, cry…I had no idea what he made of our situation. His dark eyes were unreadable as they scanned up and down our entwined bodies. He was standing there leaning slightly to his left, his right hand in his pocket, and his left hand holding some sort of package wrapped in brown parchment.

"The Professor sent me down with this for ya, Doc," he said simply, with a slight nod to the package. "Said to tell you it came in from the project in Brazil you were waiting on. Not sure what he meant, and don't really care, but here it is."

"Yes, very good. Thank you, Logan. If you could be so kind as to set it on the counter over there, that would be wonderful. I very much appreciate you taking the time to deliver it personally," Dr. McCoy replied with a smile and a nod toward the workstation along the right wall of the lab. I was amazed he remained so calm in this situation, but he was a professional, after all.

What followed could only be described as the most awkward silence imaginable. Finally, after an eternity, Logan took the two strides necessary to reach the workstation counter and set the package down with a soft rustle. He turned and looked me right in the eye before making his way back to the lab door. As it hissed open, Logan stopped in the threshold and gave another glance over his shoulder. I couldn't be sure, but I thought I saw the corner of his mouth curl up in a crooked grin.

"See ya later, Kid," he called as he disappeared in the corridor.

Only after the lab door slid shut did I actually start to breathe. Dr. McCoy still had his arm around me, and I relaxed into him, laying my forehead on his chest, as the events of the last two minutes started sinking in. All at once I was enveloped in his massive arms. I suddenly realized I was shaking.

"Hey, shhh…It's OK, Alex," Dr. McCoy cooed quietly as he gently stroked my hair. He lifted my head up once again and I was lost in those caring blue eyes. "Really. It'll be fine. I promise."

He reluctantly broke our embrace and put both his hands on my shoulders. The weight of his touch was a welcome anchor for my spinning mind.

"This has been a most remarkable morning, hasn't it?" He smiled and I could not help but smile back, despite my mixed emotions. "Why don't you take a break while I get this element Professor Xavier sent me ready for testing? Go grab yourself a drink from the kitchen and take a few deep breaths, then we must resume our work." He could sense my disappointment at stopping just when we had gotten started. "Now, now…our work must come first, then we can take time to further… discuss…this situation. Is that acceptable?"

It took another moment before I could truly regain my senses enough to respond. "Yes…yes, of course, Dr. McCoy," I replied as I wiped my eyes, straightened my shirt, and made my way toward the door. "I'll just be a few minutes, then I'll be ready to start again." I stopped and turned to look him solidly in the eyes, doing my best to muster every bit of confidence. "Honestly. I will be ready, Doctor."

"Good," he grinned. The door hissed open and as I stepped through he called out to me "Alex! One more thing…"


"I think we're beyond you're having to call me Dr. McCoy, don't you think?"

"I guess so…H-Henry," I stammered.

"Hank, actually…my friends call me Hank."
"Hank," I grinned like a schoolgirl as the door closed, leaving me alone in the corridor.

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Chapter 4

"Holy shit," I said out loud to no one in particular; most classes were in session and the corridor was mercifully vacated.

I backed up to the cold wood of the paneling, slumped slowly down the wall, and cradled my head in my shaking, sweat-soaked hands. This time I allowed the tears to come. They ran silent and warm down my cheek.

Everything happened so suddenly. One minute I was walking in as any other lab assistant and the next I was in his arms with his lips on mine. For a moment I thought maybe it never really happened, but I could still smell him…still taste him. It was, real, alright, and I did, in fact, admit my love to Dr. Mc- to Hank. He did, in fact, kiss me.

It was so exquisite and perfect and beautiful and everything else that makes up a first kiss. It left me shimmering, struggling to bring my brain down to Earth. Like any good scientist would, I took a deep breath, put my emotions in check, and started an objective analysis of the situation.

He clearly felt at least somewhat the same way about me. Dr. M – Hank – would never have reacted the way he did if he didn't have some feelings for me. How he felt about me, exactly, was unclear. He didn't say that he loved me, but he was happy to hear my confession, and that kiss was…intense. Really, it was far more than I had ever expected, and certainly more than I felt I had deserved. At that moment, alone in the corridor, I slowly came to accept that if nothing else ever happened again, if I went back into that lab and he never so much as batted an eye at me, I at least had that one perfect moment when his lips met mine and his strong arms wrapped around me.

As I let this logic envelop me like a cool blanket, I began to emerge from my emotional storm. Yes, indeed, there were many questions and an uncertain future. I had no idea what being discovered by Logan would mean; Hank's and my future at the school might be in jeopardy.

But I didn't have to hide anymore; not from him, not from myself. I love him, he knew it, and nothing else mattered.

I straightened myself up, wiped my eyes, dried my hands on my jeans, and attempted to smooth the wrinkles from my cotton shirt. Once I was confident I had managed to regain at least the illusion of normalcy, I made my way down the corridor to the nearest kitchenette. No longer shaking or freaking out, I breathed in the cool air of the school's conditioning system. Even with the numerous filtration and positive airflow machines, the old mansion couldn't shake the musty overtones that come with buildings that age. I found the subtle heaviness of it comforting; it was a weight of permanence that seemed to hold my feet to the stone floor.

The nearest kitchenette was only a few passages away from the lab. Not quite a full-fledged kitchen, there were a few scattered throughout the mansion complex to serve as a quick snacking point for students and X-Men on the run. I pushed on the heavy wooden door, swinging it inward, and made my way directly to the fridge. After the events of the past ten minutes, I almost wished for something stronger than soda, but I knew better than to violate school rules (though, in retrospect, I had already technically done so in the lab). I yanked open the stainless steel door, grabbed a Coke, swatted the door closed again, and plopped down on a stool along the opposite wall. A bar ran along a huge picture window that overlooked one of the many magnificent gardens around the complex; it was a perfect spot to give my vision a tentative testing.

As I took a swig of the cold, bubbly soda, I slowly flexed my vision and focused through the window to the feathery-white petal of an orchid that stood alone amid the greenery in the garden. I delved deeper into the cellular structures that were so uniform, so perfect. I had managed to keep my focus rock steady, and every so often I would pause and hold it for a few seconds, sometimes more, just to test my control. The carbon chains in a particularly interesting bit of endoplasmic reticulum had just come into perfect focus when I heard the thud of the swinging door behind me.

A half hour ago such a sudden disturbance would have sent my ability into chaos, but now I was in control. Slowly and carefully I eased my vision back further and further until I was once again looking at a perfect orchid through a leaded glass window. Normally background noise would not have warranted an interruption, but I knew the second I heard the door open who was stepping into the room. This should have been expected, really, and on some level it was. Even so, I had hoped to delay this confrontation until I had at least a little time to revel in my potential newfound romance.

"Hello, Logan," I greeted with the best attempt at solid confidence I could possibly generate.

"So…," he rumbled, leaving that little word hang in the air. I could hear him saunter over to the refrigerator. There was a sharp yank of the hinges, the clink of bottles, then a dull thud of a latch. A quick hiss of expelled carbon and I knew he had popped open the beer bottle with one of those vicious claws. Amazing how those things could be the harbingers of death or a convenient kitchen utensil. "You and Hank, huh?"

Me and Hank. My, what a simple question he made that out to be. I continued to stare at the orchid bobbing slightly in the wind. This was a question I did not know how to answer, and I did not want the expression that was undoubtedly on my naïve young face to betray me.

"I guess so," was all I gave him.

"'Bout goddam time," he snorted. "That furball's had it bad for you since ya got here, Kid. Glad one of ya had the balls to start somethin'."

This was not at all what I expected to hear, and I was thankful I had not taken a sip of my Coke; it would have made for the world's best spit take all over the window. Instead I attempted to stifle a gasp at what I heard. First, that Hank had been harboring mutual feelings for me all this time. Second, that Logan had known about those feelings. Third, that Logan was glad that we "started somethin'". Which meant fourth, that Logan was probably – wait, no, that wasn't possible.

As if to answer my thoughts, Logan closed the distance between us in an instant. I could feel his denim-covered crotch lightly touching the area between my shoulder blades and smell the mixture of sweat, oil, tobacco, and iron that was so intoxicating and completely Wolverine. The pheromones were pouring off him in waves. A solid, calloused hand fell lightly on my left shoulder, caressed down the front of my chest and deftly delved underneath the buttons of my shirt, popping open three with ease. By the time his hard fingertips began to lightly caress my left nipple, I felt his hot breath on my right ear. I was practically panting outright at his overt sexuality, and the blood began to rush both up to my face and down to my crotch. Erotic barely began to describe the sensation to my inexperienced body.

"Ol' Blue ain't the only one had his eye on ya, ya know," he breathed. "Hank made me promise to be good. Said it had to be your idea. But I'm losing patience, Bub, and fast. Just wanted to let ya know now that the blue cat's outta the bag, sorta speak." His lips were barely touching my neck. His hot breath set every nerve he never quite touched on fire.

Then just as quickly as it began, it was over. He was back at the door, and I finally dared myself to look in his direction. The thick bulge in that worn denim was snaking prominently down his leg, and I'll be damned if he didn't have the cockiest shit-eating grin on that handsome mug of his. He knew he was hot, and certainly knew his effect on me. The burning expression in his dark, brooding eyes, however, almost betrayed something more substantial than mere animalistic lust.

"Skip the training session with me tonight, Kid. I have a feeling Dr. Beast has his own workout planned for you. Don't worry…you'll enjoy it," he winked and disappeared through the door.

"Ho-ly shit," I exclaimed once again to an empty room, "What the hell was that?"

I was stunned from the encounter. My cock was throbbing hard and could hear my heartbeat drumming in my ears. So much for regaining my composure.

So not only was Logan fine with stumbling upon Hank and I playing tonsil hockey, he wanted to a piece of the action. Never in a million years would I have dreamed this up. Hank clearly wanted to pursue something with me, and it was now apparent that Logan was interested in me, as well. What the hell did I do to deserve this?

It occurred to me that Hank was probably expecting me back in the lab any minute, and I was once again raging with hormones and emotion. I slugged back half the bottle of Coke and tried to resume breathing. I closed my eyes and willed myself back to sanity. My lust for Logan would have to wait; I had to deal with Hank and what was going to happen between us.

For a moment I stood in front of the metal sliding doors to the lab just outside of the sensors. I hesitated to go in, afraid that this had all been a dream and he would be professional and distant, a kindly but detached teacher once again. I didn't know if I could stand going back to the way things were. Regardless, we had work to do, and I was his teammate and student. I mustered up my courage and stepped up to the sensors. After a brief whirr and hiss, the doors slid open and I stepped through into the lab.

"Ah, you're back, my handsome young scientist," Hank grinned as he looked up from one of the control panels at my observation station. "I was afraid you might not return to me."

I smiled. Just seeing him and feeling his affection for me so openly calmed my rattled nerves.

As I walked toward him, he finished tapping in a few final parameters then turned to face me. Without hesitation, he wrapped his arms around me. It was indescribably wonderful to be pressed tightly against his muscle-bound fur. He held the embrace for a moment then kissed me softly on the lips. I was breathless.

"So…had a discussion with Logan, did we?" he asked and raised an eyebrow in a ridiculously cute quizzical expression. He didn't wait for my answer, but instead resumed his work at the terminal.

"Um…yes…sort of," I stammered. "How did you know?"

He chuckled his deep, gentle rumble. "Besides logic, I could smell him on you. The Wolverine isn't the only one with a heightened sense of smell, my dear." He playfully tapped his nose with his forefinger and winked at me.

I hesitated a moment before I spoke. I was afraid of where I might be taking this conversation, but I also needed answers, no matter how difficult they may be.

"He…Logan…said the two of you have talked about me," I said as casually as I could.

"Logan and I have confided in one another about a great number of things, Alex, and, yes, you have been the topic on several occasions," he explained as he continued preparing the system for the test.

I stared down at the pristine white tile of the floor, as if I had to summon the question from the center of the Earth itself. It stuck hotly in my throat as I pulled it by the roots. "Are you two…," I couldn't bring myself to finish the question.

"Lovers?" he finished for me suddenly. He paused and stared out into the far reaches of the lab for a moment to consider the question. My stomach churned at what I might hear next. "Not…exactly," he explained carefully. He turned to face me, leaned back against the workstation counter and crossed his arms over his massive chest. "We care very much one another, for sure, and have often sought comfort, mental and physical, in one another. But Logan..." He took a deep breath, his great azure chest expanding like bellows, and then let it out in a measured stream of air, as if his breath would reveal some great truth that had long eluded him. "He…loves on his own terms, and I accept that. He is who his is," he shrugged. "I let Logan be Logan – no demands or expectations needed between us. It is perhaps not a conventional relationship, but it works for us."

I wasn't sure how I felt about his answer, or where that left him and me. The warmth and security I had felt moments before began to dissolve.

Hank seemed to come out of his trance abruptly as if he were struck with a sudden realization. He straightened himself up, grasped my shoulders firmly, and stared intensely into my eyes.

"I love you with everything that I am, Alex," he said resolutely. "I have since the day I set eyes on you." Those incredible blue eyes were overwhelmed with emotion; it was so far away from the logical, analytical scientist. "When I heard you say those words to me…I was caught up in the moment, amazed that you felt the same way about me." His brought his right hand up to my cheek and caressed it gently. It amazed me how such a huge, powerful palm could feel like a gentle warm blanket. I nuzzled against it instinctively. "How Logan fits into that is something we will have to work out, but I refuse to lose you now that we have so much to explore with one another."

"You won't lose me, Hank," I answered quietly, my voice choked by my efforts to strangle my tears of relief. I reached up with my left hand and brushed a stray lock of hair from his forehead, then continued running my hand through his shaggy blue mane. "You're so…amazing and smart and strong and sexy. You are the greatest man in the world."

He closed his eyes and pressed his forehead to mine. That was the moment he truly opened himself up to me. He became something I never imagined – vulnerable, fragile. I did not need to see his tears to know they were there.

"It feels so good to hear you call me a man, Alex," he whispered. "Sometimes I look in the mirror and wonder what I am anymore."

Once again our lips were locked. His kiss was deep, long, and slow. I savored the taste of his tongue. I was bathing in light from head to toe. Once again he left me shimmering as we finally separated.

"We have to get back to business, Alex," he reminded me gently, "But I would be honored if you would spend the evening with me. There is much for us to explore." He grinned mischievously.

"Yeah, sure…of course, Hank," I replied, returning his smile.

"Excellent. Let's meet in the back courtyard after dinner, then."

The beep of the lab's system brought us back to earth and reminded us that we still had a busy afternoon ahead.

"Right," he declared and finished his calibrations at my station. "It appears I have your viewing station optimized for you. Take a look and tell me what you think."

I stepped up beside him and check the settings. They seemed a little unconventional to me. The visual spectrum of the containment field was configured using a very narrow wavelength range and he had constructed a secondary waveform of a very high frequency alpha-band signature. This was quite different from the usual containment field.

"This is highly unusual," I declared.

"Wait until you see what Professor Xavier sent me," he smiled.

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