Anger Management, Geeks, and Other Scarey Things
L. Burke

"Mrs. Anderson wants me to go to what?!" Jean Grey demanded.

"Anger management.  Mrs. Anderson says that if you attend an anger management seminar, she will drop all charges against you.  She realized you weren't completely to blame for what happened, and that's why she’s willing to do this.  She tends to think you're a very angry young woman," Charles Xavier stated calmly.

Jean narrowed her eyes at her teacher, "She better say that 'I’m not completely to blame for this.'  Her pervert son deserved getting his head put through that wall.  And my answer is no."

Xavier just sighed.  "Though I have my reservations about this seminar, Mrs. Anderson is paying for it, and if you refuse to go, she will press charges.  I will be forced to inform you parents of this incident."

Jean narrowed her eyes.  "Go ahead."

Xavier just sighed and rubbed his forehead.  "Listen to me.  If you had put Will Anderson's head through that wall somewhere that wasn't in front of witnesses, I would say, yes, fight this.  You didn't though; you put his head through the wall at Harry's on a very crowded night in front of a whole restaurant of witnesses.  If you fight this, Jean, you are going to lose."

"See, next time, you wait in the dark parking lot for him to come out, jump him, and kick the crud out of him.  Remember -- no witnesses."  Scott suddenly broke in from where he'd been standing across the office quietly, leaning against a wall.  Scott hadn't said one word the whole time Jean and Xavier had been arguing.

Xavier narrowed his eyes at Scott.  "She doesn't need lectured on her technique, Scott."

He shrugged.  "Okay, let's get to the more interesting question of why am I here?"

"I want you to go with her."  Xavier stated calmly.

Scott blinked at him for a moment, raised an eyebrow, and stated dryly.  "With all due respect, sir, I'm not Magneto.  I don't try to take my anger out on the entire world at once.  Though I admire Magneto's drive and ambition, I'm not that ambitious.  I'm quite happy pissing people off and making lives miserable one at a time." 

"I suppose," Xavier, stated dryly, " I should be happy to hear that.  I still think it would be good for you.  That's why I'm asking you to go."

Scott shrugged and stated dryly, "What happens if this anger management therapy works?  I would be a happy, calm, easy going, compliant person.  No one around here would know how to take me."

"Scott -- " Xavier butted in.

Scott ignored him to continue in a dry monotone, "Besides, without my anger, sir, I wouldn't have any friends.  I talk to my anger at night.  You know that giant huge dust bunny under Bobby's bed that keeps growing?  Well, I visualize my growing pit of rage as that dust bunny -- just like you taught us to do in class.  I named him Earle.  Earle is my bestest and only friend in the entire world."

"As disturbing a picture as that may be," Xavier fired back, "It's nice to know you're applying somewhere the techniques I taught you." 

"See, sir," Jean butted in.  "Scott doesn't want to go either."

"My answer's 'yes,'" Scott said quietly.

"What!?" both Xavier and Jean asked.

"I said 'yes, I'd go.'  When is this seminar?"

Xavier was the first to recover.  "Tonight at eight."

"Great.  I'll be ready to leave at seven.  Jean will have to drive.  May I be dismissed now, sir?"

Xavier blinked, "Of course.  Jean will be ready to go at seven, too.  Dismissed."

As Scott walked out of Xavier's office and closed the door behind him, Xavier just narrowed his eyes at the closed door.  "That was too easy."

"Hey Hank."  Scott announced as he stuck his head in to Hank's lab.  "I need to ask you something."

"Get on the table.  I need more of your blood," was Hank McCoy's only response.  Hank didn't even look up from the lab results he was looking at.

Shaking his head, Scott walked in.  "You wouldn't be keeping Dracula down here and not telling the rest of us?"

Hank looked up from the lab report and raised an eyebrow.  "Get on the table, I want to suck your blood.  Is this a business or a social call, Oh Fearless?"

"Oh, I just come down here on my time off because I have a sick thing for needles," Scott responded dryly.  "I'm down here on business.  I need you to do me a favor, and in exchange I'll give you more of my blood or even a tissue sample."

Hank raised an eyebrow, "I'm listening."

"I need you to play with Will Anderson's mind for me."

Hank blinked at him.  "That's not the usual type of challenge you present.  Any one with an I.Q. over sixty-nine can play with Will Anderson's mind.  Asking me to do this for you is a little degrading even for a tissue sample."

Scott shrugged.  "I was going to throw you an easy one this time.  Oh well, I go ask Bobby to do it for me.  Bobby is the only one evil and devious enough to pull off my plan anyway."

Hank gave an indignant look for a moment.  "What do you mean that Bobby is the only one evil and devious enough?  Why can't you pull off your own plan?"

"I'm going to anger management tonight."

"Oh, my stars and garters," Hank broke in, laughing, "What happens if it works?  You could become a happy, calm, easygoing, outgoing, person.  I wouldn't know how to deal with you."

"So I informed the Professor," Scott said.  "Anyway, when I said that Bobby is the only one evil and devious enough.  I meant that you're book smart, not evil play with people's heads smart.  There's nothing wrong with that."

"I'm both evil and devious," Hank protested indignantly.

"Hank" -- Scott stated shaking his head -- "It's okay to admit you're not good at everything.  Being evil, devious, and playing with people's heads just isn't something you're good at.  That's more a Bobby thing."

Hank scowled and asked, "What's this plan of yours?"  Then, when Scott whispered it in his ear.  Hank's eyes lit up.  "I'm in."

Scott smirked.  "I'll even let everyone think it was your idea from the very beginning."

Hank looked thoughtful for a moment, "I get the tissue sample too?"

Scott nodded.  "I'll give you the blood now and the tissue sample after the plan has been completed."

"Deal, Mr. Summers.  Get on the table.  I need some more of your blood."  

"I can't believe I'm going along with this," Jean Grey grumbled out loud as she played with her car keys.

"If you don't hurry and stop stalling, we're going to be late," Scott informed her, grabbing his coat.

"So you've said at least ten times.  I don't want to do this.  I don't think I should have to do this.  Will Anderson deserved what I did to him."

"Agreed, Will Anderson deserved it.  Life's not fair.  Just deal with it now, and we better get going."

Jean turned to Scott.  "I can't believe you're going along with this.  You, of all people, hold tight to your right to be an angry, distant, dysfunctional human being."

Scott shrugged as he put on his coat.  "The Professor asked me to.  He lets me come to the school for free, and keeps a roof over my head.  He doesn't ask much in return for that.  If he wants me to take one evening out and go to this awful seminar with you.  I'm not going to say no.  Besides I may learn something interesting."

As they walked out the door, both of them heard the Professor say in their heads, Scott, for the love of God, try to be good tonight.

Jean blinked at Scott for a moment.  "What did he mean by that?"  Scott just raised an eyebrow at her, and shrugged.

"Hello everyone, my name is Dr. Tom.  I'm the one running this anger management seminar this evening.  Now, I want everyone to say, 'Hi, Dr. Tom.'"

"Hi, Dr. Tom!" was the response from everyone one in the room, except Scott, who rolled his eyes.

"Now, I want everyone to form a circle.  That's it, everyone.  Now I want one person to stand up at a time and tell me something that you like about yourself." 
Scott rolled his eyes again at the circle thing, and thought, Strike one.  The guy running this thing had all the charm of a snake-oil salesman, and Scott decided right then that Mrs. Anderson had wasted her money. 

"You there."  He pointed at Jean, and Scott noticed his eyes never quite made it up to her face.  He wondered if Jean caught it.  Strike two, Scott thought.  He might just have a little fun tonight, after all.  Dr. Tom continued, "Jean is it?  I want you to stand up and tell everyone what you like about yourself, and be honest."

Jean glanced around as she stood up.  "I like to think of myself as a very friendly, out-going person."

Dr. Tom nodded at her "That was very good.  Now I want you to sit down and think about why a friendly, out going person is here tonight.  " Dr. Tom turned his attention then to Scott, who was sitting beside Jean.  "Your turn . . . Scott -- can I call you 'Scott'?"

"No," Scott stated dryly.

"Well, Scott, I can't help but notice the color scheme you're wearing tonight -- blood-red shirt, black jeans, and a black leather jacket, with red sunglasses that block anyone view of your eyes.   That's very interesting."  Dr. Tom gave Scott an oily smile.

He goes for the shy ones he thinks he can bully -- strike three, Scott thought gleefully.  I gave him three strikes, professor.  This would be fun.  "Don't you mean hostile?" Scott replied now, raising an eyebrow.

"Why don't you stand up and tell us something you like about yourself," Dr. Tom invited, smiling sweetly.

Scott stood up and announced, "I'm a very bitter, angry, mean-spirited person, and I'm proud of it.  I like to be an abusive parent to my inner child, and sometimes, when it snows, I get up extra early so I can shovel snow in my neighbors walkway."  With that, Scott turned to the woman sitting next to him and said, " Next."

Dr. Tom blinked at Scott for a moment.  "Scott, I think you and I need to get to know each other a little better tonight, don't you?"

Scott raised an eyebrow.  "No I don't.  Familiarity breeds contempt, Dr. Tom.  As least it will on my side."

Dr. Tom smiled at Scott and said, "I think we have a lot of work to do with you."  Scott just forced himself to smile back.

"Professor, the three of us are going down to Harry's!" Bobby Drake shouted as jumped the last three stairs to land on the entraceway floor.

Warren Worthington rolled his eyes as he walked down the stairs after.  "Calm down, Bobby.  I'm sure they heard you in the next state."

"Hank's treating us both to dinner.  I want to get there before he changes his mind," Bobby announced.

"I am not planning on changing my mind, Robert," Hank said calmly as he walked down the stairs after Warren. 

"I'm still curious as to why you suddenly decided to treat us," Warren asked suspiciously.

Hank smiled.  "I'll fill you in during our walk to Harry's."

"I knew there had to be a catch."  Warren said.  "I assume we're going after Will Anderson for what he did to Jean?"

"Of course, my dear compatriot.  I have a plan."

"Cool."  Bobby said gleefully "I get treated to a malt and I get to screw with Will Andersons' head.  It's going to be a good night."  Bobby's eyes narrowed at Hank suspiciously, "I do get the malt, right?"

Professor Xavier rolled into the room as Bobby shouted, "Professor!" again at the top of his lungs.

"I heard you the first time, Robert," Xavier said rubbing an ear.  "Have fun.  No trouble, and stay away from Will Anderson.  Is that understood?"

"Yes, sir."  All three announced at once.

"You need not worry, sir," Hank stated, matter-of-factly.  "If there is any trouble.  I can guarantee that one of us will not be the first to start it.  You have my word."  Warren and Bobby just nodded in agreement.

Xavier narrowed his eyes, studying them.  "You know, if Scott were with you, how you phrased that would worry me."

"He's not, sir," Hank announced.  "So you don't have to worry."

"What we're going to work on tonight is everyone's sense of identity.  If you have a strong sense of inner identity, what people say and do to you won't make you angry.  When it does make you angry, you'll be able better to deal with your anger."  Dr. Tom pointed at a bubble-headed bleached blonde sitting across from Scott.  "Name one thing that gives you a sense of identity." 

How droll, Scott thought, as he watched her bite her lip and think how to answer the question.  Let's hope her head doesn't explode.  The sudden release of air pressure would kill everyone for hundreds of square miles.

"I'm really good with kids," she replied. 

"Very good! That's something that comes from your inner identity, something no one can take away from you.  That's the difference between what identity society gives to you and your own inner identity.  Your turn, Jean," Dr. Tom announced.

Jean looked at Dr. Tom for a moment, crossed her arms over her chest and answered, "I have no patience for all forms of male stupidity.  I really have no patience for men who forget that women do exist from the shoulders up.  That's why I take pride in the fact that I put Will Anderson's head through the wall.  Dr. Tom, my eyes are a few inches further up my body."

"That was a very angry response, Jean.  We'll come back to you," Dr. Tom purred, and Jean glared back.  "Scott?"

Scott smiled at him, and announced, "I take pride in the fact that my underdeveloped sense of identity allows me the flexibility to fit in to any situation.  It also allows me not to feel guilty that spiritual bankruptcy is my lifetime goal."  And Scott barked the word, "Next!"

Dr. Tom shot Scott his oily smile.  "You do realize that you're a very angry young man?"

Scott nodded "Yes, sir.  But it seems you found a whole room full of them.  Sucker?"  Scott pulled a lollipop out of his jacket and offered it to Dr. Tom, who glared at Scott and shook his head 'no.'

"I'm telling you, with this formula, I'll be irresistible to women," Hank McCoy whispered to Warren. 

Warren leaned in a little closer.  "Why are you telling me this, and why are you telling me this here?"

Hank leaned even closer, "I figure that Worthington Industries may be interested in the discovery, and you know how the Professor feels about these things.  That's why I wanted you to meet me here at Harry's, to talk about it."

"You do realize that if this formula does work, it'll be worth billions."

"Billions! You're kidding right?" Bobby Drake suddenly blurted aloud so that everyone in Harry's could hear.  The three of them noticed that Will Anderson's head had turned in their direction.

"BOBBY!"  both Hank and Warren growled in a controlled whisper.

"Just go back your malt, and keep your mouth shut, okay?" Hank whispered.

"Fine," Bobby stated sullenly.

"Like I said," Warren began again, "if this formula actually works, it'll be worth billions.  Have you tested it yet?"

"Not yet," Hank responded, "but I brought the stuff with me.  I'm going to test it here tonight, and Hank McCoy is going to get lucky!"

Will Anderson had scooted in a little closer, they all noticed.

"That's if this magic, woman-attracting formula of yours works."  Bobby Drake said rather loudly with a sneer.

"It'll work Drake," Hank growled.  "Now shut up and pipe down."

"Sure, it will," Bobby responded and stuck out his tongue at Hank.

"You actually have the formula with you?" Warren asked.

"Yes, I do," Hank responded as he pulled out a beaker from under his coat.

"I have to see this stuff work before I call my father in on this," Warren whispered.

"I'm going to use it on myself and show you it does work," Hank replied, taking the lid off the beaker.

"Not so fast, Geek King."  Will Anderson's hand suddenly shot out from nowhere and snatched the beaker from Hank.

"Give that back, Will."  Hank demanded.

"I don't think so, four eyes," Will sneered.  "So, this little formula attracts chicks?"

"I can't guarantee that it works on ape men," Hank responded.  "Now give me that beaker!"  He reached for the beaker in question.

"Will," Warren stated coldly, "Give Hank back his beaker.  You have no idea what you're doing."

"I don't think so," Will sneered.  "I'm going to take this formula, then I'm heading up to your snotty school where you keep that hot-blooded little red headed number.  I'll teach her a lesson for putting my head through that drywall wall in front of everyone."

"You know, Will?" Bobby sneered.  "It should have been brick.  Now give Hank back the beaker before you hurt yourself."  

Will just smirked at Bobby and chugged the beaker's contents.

"Oh, dear," Hank muttered.  "Oh my stars and garters, I wouldn't have done that."

Warren shook his head at Will.  "You have no idea what you just did."

"Oh really, rich boy?" Will sneered.  "What did I just do?"

Hank cleared his throat.  "You see, in small quantities, it makes you irresistible to women.  But as much as you just drank . . . "  Hank cleared his throat again.  "That activates the geek gene."

Will sneered at them for a moment.  "What do you mean 'activates the geek gene'?"

Warren shook his head at Will.  "What it means is that in about an hour, you'll feel the sudden urge to do long math equations, find pocket protectors a huge turn on, have a sudden dislike for all sports, and find sexy techno-gadgets of all shapes and styles.  In other words, there is going to be a new 'Geek King,' and it isn't going to be Hank."

Hank gave Will a huge smile, "Let me be the first one to offer my welcome to geekdom, Newton."

Will blinked at them, "My names Will, not Newton."

"It was a geek joke," Bobby interjected.  "Don't worry, it'll come to you while you're watching Star Trek."

"Yes," Warren said, "In about an hour, you're going to become what you hate and fear the most -- a geek."

"Or a witty Trekkie," Bobby added gleefully.

Warren raised an eyebrow to ask, "There's a difference?"

Will gave them all panicked looks "Undo it right now!"

Hank shrugged.  "Can't.  Once the gene is activated, you have it for life.  Think of it this way, Will, the wonderful, mysterious world of imaginary numbers is going to become shockingly clear for you.  You're going to love it."  

Will just turned and ran out of Harry's.

"You know?" Bobby warned.  "He's running home to tell his mother what we did to him."

Warren shook his head.  "That means Professor Xavier is going to get a call.  I have to congratulate you, Hank.  This plan was brilliant -- evil, devious, used all of Will's character faults against him, and played on his biggest fear.  It was worthy of one of Slim's plans."

Hank took a small bow.  "Thank you very much.  And oh well, if Professor Xavier hears about this, it was my week to get into trouble anyway.  It was worth it just to see the expression on his face."

Bobby gave them a considering look, "It's going to be interesting to see how this turns out.  Can I have another malt?"

"Okay everyone," Dr. Tom announced, "I want you to take a deep, cleansing breath.  In with the happy feelings, and exhale to release the anger.  Your anger is floating away where it can't hurt you or anyone else.  That's it everyone."  Dr. Tom opened his eyes and looked at Scott, who was sitting there, sucking on his lollipop.  "Scott," Dr. Tom asked sweetly, "Why aren't you doing your breathing exercises with the rest of us?"

Scott pulled the lollipop out of his mouth and announced, "Since I'm a bottomless pit of anger and rage, releasing my anger would probably just suck the life force out of me.  I happen to like the dead winter season that's my inner self, and really do hate change.  Besides, if I let all my anger go, what will happen to Earle?"

Smirking, Jean peaked at Scott from slit eyes.

Dr. Tom blinked and asked, "Earle?"

Scott nodded, "He's my anger.  He was so huge, he took on a life of his own, so I had to name him."

Dr. Tom blinked again.  "You named your anger?"

Scott shrugged.  "It seemed like the thing to do at the time.  Earle was starting to creep out from under the bed.  Last time I tried parting ways, he clogged the vacuum cleaner.  I really don't know what I'm going to do with him."

Jean tried not to snicker when she noticed that a vein over Dr. Tom's eye was twitching.  The man took a deep breath and said, "Okay, Scott, I want you to close your eyes and reach for your inner tranquility."

Scott raised an eyebrow at him and shook his head.  "Since I'm a messed up person and admit it, tranquility scares me.  I much prefer chaos.  Chaotic crisis situations are really the only times I feel truly alive."

Dr. Tom set his jaw.  "I think it's time we find the root of your anger.  If we can find the root, then I can help you find some closure, and you can start to release it."

Scott nodded like he was considering Dr. Tom's words.  "Will make it be okay for me to simplify, pigeon-hole every situation, and be judgmental towards other people in my quest for that closure?"

Dr. Tom rubbed his head and Jean smirked, wondering if the creep were working on the biggest migraine of his life.  Scott just stuck the lollipop back in his mouth.

"Okay, Tammy," Dr. Tom addressed the bubble-headed bleached blonde.  "I want you to name one thing that makes you angry and another that scares you.  Most of the time, anger comes from fear.  If you can control your fear, you can control the anger that comes from it."

Tammy nodded at Dr. Tom, and Scott thought, Oh, this exercise IS going to be the one to make her head explode.  Scott thought dryly.

"I get really angry that low-fat Sarah Lee pound cake had more fat than their regular pound cake," Tammy replied.

That was definitely the deep, well thought-out, socially aware response I was expecting, Scott thought dryly, and Jean smirked.  She must have caught the thought, and Scott sent her another.  Clowns to the right of me, jokers to the left, here I am, stuck in the middle with you.  Jean's smirk got wider.

"As for what scares me, Dr. Tom," Tammy continued, "He does!"

She pointed right at Scott, who raised an eyebrow and pulled the lollipop out of his mouth.  "Well, if you'd done all your inner work earlier, Tammy, you'd be better able to handle my apathy, cynicism, and cruelty.  So see, it's really your fault for not working harder.  Shame on you."

"See!" Tammy announced to Dr. Tom.

"Scott," Dr. Tom stated, "your anger is driving off people like Tammy."

"That's a bad thing?" Scott replied.  "I thought you were trying to encourage me to change."

"Like I was saying," Dr. Tom continued, "your anger is chasing people off and ruining your chances at making friends.  Have you learned anything?"

Scott nodded.  "How to crush independent thought and feelings by convincing people that you're helping them.  I'll have to try these new techniques next time I find a witless victim."

Tammy looked at Scott in horror.  "Why aren't you locked up somewhere for the good of society?"

"My shrink convinced the FBI to release me," Scott stated dryly, and shrugged at Tammy before sticking the sucker back in his mouth.  Tammy scooted her chair a few feet out of the circle away from him. 

"Okay everyone," Dr Tom announced.  "Do you see this pool ball?  I am going to pass it around the circle.  I want every one of you to stand up and list what makes you angry.  While you're doing the list, I want you to imagine that all of it is sinking into this pool ball.  When we're all done, we're going to take the pool ball outside and bury it.  It will be a symbol of releasing your anger, letting it go, so it will no longer control your lives.  Marvin, we're going to start with you."

A mousy-looking fellow with glasses took the pool ball and started: "Parking tickets make me angry, and so do supermodels.  I also get angry that two pounds of chocolate adds seven pounds to your waistline.  I also really get mad at my micromanaging moron of a boss.  That's why I threw my phone at him and threaten to kill him."  Marvin laughed nervously and handed the pool ball to Scott.

Scott studied the pool ball for a moment.  "I cherish my anger too much even to pretend that I'm going along with this exercise.  I think anger is a good thing."

Dr. Tom smirked at Scott.  "Oh?   Go ahead, Scott -- enlighten us.  Show us where all your anger comes from and why you won't release it."

Scott studied Dr. Tom for a moment then said, "If you insist."

"I do.  Enlighten us, please."

Scott shot a glare at Dr. Tom and began.  "I get angry at people who tell me that I shouldn't get angry about things.  I get angry at a society that says children are its first priority, but cuts the budgets for schools first, and I get angry that schools are falling down with ten-year-old textbooks.  I get angry that for every thirty children in the foster-care system, there's only one burnt-out, overworked and underpaid social worker to guarantee those children's safety.  Fathers who rape their daughters make me angry.  Mothers who hurt their children because a child won't stop crying make me angry.  I get angry when a child is neglected or harmed by the two people who should protect that child at any cost.  I get angry every time I see homeless kids on the street.  I get angry when a mob tries to lynch a thirteen-year-old boy because he was unlucky enough to be born different.  I get angry that a friend of mine believes he should hide the brilliant, uncanny intelligence he was born with so he can fit in.  I get angry every time a man treats a woman like an object and not a person.  I get angry at a society that encourages artist to make videos, television shows, and songs that depict as cool violence against woman.  I get angry because no person should have to define his or her life by 'before' and 'after.'  I get angry with people who don't have anything better to get angry about than parking tickets.  I get angry with people who tell me I shouldn't get angry.  I like my anger.  You know why?  It gets me off my ass to do something.  People who sit around and do nothing make me really angry, because if you aren't part of the solution, you're part of the problem.  Too many people these days would rather just be lazy, and part of the problem.  So you see, I like my anger.  I use it."

Everyone in the room was very quite, but that's when Scott realized Dr. Tom hadn't heard a word he'd said because he was to busy leering at Jean's chest.  Rising, Scott walked over to Jean, handed her the pool ball, and said.  "Remember, Red, when you aren't part of the solution, you're part of the problem."  His eyes met hers for a moment, and they both smiled.

Jean got up from her seat.  "Dr. Tom, let me tell you what makes me REALLY angry.  Better yet, let me show you." 

"Well, Red," Scott said as he pulled his lollipop out of his mouth, "You really buried that pool ball."

"You know, Slim," Jean replied, sighing, "maybe I do need anger management."

Scott shook his head.  "I don't think you need anger management.  You need Calgon to take you away for an evening.  That, or to get away from guys for a while; I think our testosterone is starting to warp your mind.  My advice would be if someone can't tell you your eye color, dump him.  Works for me."

Jean raised an eyebrow at that comment.  "Your eyes are always covered up by your glasses.  I've known you for a while now, and I don't know your eye color.  You'd be dumping everyone."

Scott smirked at her.  "See?  My system works."  Then he got a thoughtful look on his face.  "I wonder how long it'll take the emergency room to remove that pool ball from Dr. Tom's mouth?"

Jean changed the subject.  "How did you know about this spot?  It's glorious up here and you get a beautiful view of the city."  They both were sitting on the hood of Jean's car, overlooking the scattered lights of Westchester county.

Scott shrugged.  "I found it while out wandering one night.  I like to come up here when I want to be alone.  The view helps me keep my perspective on things.  You're the first person I ever brought up here, Red."  Then Scott pulled something out of his pocket and offered it to Jean.  "Sucker?"

Jean smirked as she took the lollipop.  "How did you know that grape Blow Pops were my favorite?"

Scott shrugged at her again.  "Lucky guess."

"Sure -- lucky guess."

Scott blushed a little and cleared his throat.  "It's still early yet, but we could just head home if you prefer?"

Jean shook her head.  "No, it's a beautiful night.  I think I'd rather just stay up here and hang out, if that's okay with you?"

Scott raised an eyebrow and shrugged.  "Fine with me; you're the one driving.  I'll just warn you now, Miss Grey.  If you try any of your fancy moves to take advantage of my innocence and naivety, I'll scream."

Jean threw her head back and started laughing.  "Did I ever tell you how happy I am that you're my friend?"

"I received an hysterical call from Mrs. Anderson tonight.  Something about something one of Hank's formulas did to her son.  Care to explain, you three?" Charles Xavier demanded coldly while studying the three students standing in his office.

Hank McCoy shrugged.  "We had a little harmless fun.  What Will Anderson drank was just Bobby's slushy favoring with some food color added.  That's it, sir."

Professor Xavier narrowed his eyes.  "Nothing?  Nothing that will make his hair fall out, or his skin turn some exotic color?"

"No, sir," Hank said.  "There was nothing in it but food coloring and slushy flavoring."

Xavier rubbed his head for a moment.  "Then what has both Will and his mother so hysterical?"

Bobby cleared his throat.  "We, uh, sorta convinced him that it was a geek-making formula."

Xavier just blinked.  "A geek formula?"

Warren shrugged.  "We told him that the formula activates the geek gene."

Xavier blinked again.  "Activates the geek gene?"

"Yes, sir," all three of them responded.

"Dismissed!" Xavier announced, shaking his head.  "If I didn't know better I would swear that Scott had something to do with this.  Will and his mother will figure out you pulled one over on him eventually.  Now, the three of you get out of my office before I change my mind about punishing you."

"Yes, sir," they responded as they headed out.

On the other side of the closed door, Bobby Drake said, "That went better than I thought it would."

"I have to agree," Warren added.  "Let's vanish before he changes his mind."  And Bobby and Warren quickly headed down the hall.   Yet as Hank turned to follow them, he swore he heard laughter behind the Professor's office door. 

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