Professor Xavier and Moria worked diligently on Wolverine until they had removed all the metal slivers left by Viper's blade. Wolverine, still, was unconscious and pale but as the minutes and hours passed, his color became better and his vitals improved.
Professor stared into the microscope and studied the small sliver. Unknown metal, perhaps, mystic. The poison was composed of nothing he had ever seen before in a chemical mixture. He had sent an example with Moria, who had left a couple of hours ago. She had wanted to stay and help, but there had been a problem on Muir Island.
Xavier rubbed his eyes and leaned back in his chair. He suddenly became aware that he was being watched. He turned his chair slowly, so as not to startle and looked at Logan, who was staring at him.
"Well, I see you are awake and looking much better than before," Xavier said in a somewhat cheerful bedside manner. He maneuvered his chair over to Logan's side.
"Yeah," Logan grunted, "But I still feel like shit."
Xavier smiled slightly and Logan shrugged. "It's good to have you home and in one piece."
"Missed me, huh?" Logan said with a sly smile.
"To a degree, yes," Xavier replied, playing along with the Canadian. "I missed your charming and sweet disposition."
"Yeah, right," Logan snarled and then added, "Chuck."
"Always, a kind word for everyone."
"Gag," said a voice from the doorway.
Both men turned to see Jasmine entering the room, quickly followed by Kitku, whom broke away from her and ran over to Logan's side.
Kitku gave Logan a huge hug and a kiss on the cheek. Logan returned the hug and smiled at her. She pulled back a bit and then poked his shoulder. "Does that hurt?"
"Good," she said and then balled up her little fist and punched him. "Don't do that again!"
"What?" Logan snarled with mock indignation.
Xavier tried in vain to hide his smile but failed. "Scare me like that," Kitku snapped.
"Punch him once for me," Jasmine said as she sauntered over to his bedside.
Kitku pulled her fist back but Xavier cleared his throat and shook his head. "We've just fix him so, please, don't go breaking him again."
"Bummer," she said with a pouty lip but a sparkle in her eyes.
Logan snorted and turned from both women, his own version of a pout on his face. "Great."
Jasmine leaned over and kissed Logan's forehead. "Don't be such a baby."
Logan started to say something but Jasmine had turned her attention to Xavier. "So, what's the word, Professor? How soon can he get up, etc., etc., etc."
"Well, I would have to say by tomorrow morning, he should be able to get out of here," Charles speculated. "However, I would suggest a few days of relaxation. Nothing strenuous until he gains back his strength."
"Chicken soup," Kitku said. "He should have lots of chicken soup. It cures everything, you know, sir."
Xavier looked at the little girl and smiled at her innocent statement. "I've heard that."
Kitku blushed but managed to recover. She still was not so sure about the Professor. One moment he had that Grandfather thing going and the next, he had that Sir thing happening.
She turned her attention to Logan and started fussing over him by fluffing pillows, rearranging his pillows and straightening his sheets. Before he finally stopped her.
"I'm fine," he said quietly as he looked her directly in the eyes. "Okay?"
"'Kay," she replied and returned the stare.
Xavier tilted his head as he observed them. He noted that Kitku never lowered her eyes nor did she waiver from Logan's intense stare. Most men could not even make eye contact let alone hold his gaze for longer than a few moments. But, this tiny, cherub looking, frail girl, did and without fear.
"Don't worry 'bout me, kiddo," he assured her with a small smile.
"If I don't, who will?" she retorted, putting her hands on her hips.
"I thought so."
Xavier chuckled softly before asking Kitku, "If you'd like, why don't you join me in the kitchen and we'll make Logan some of that chicken soup?"
She eyed Xavier with brief suspicion before hopping off Logan's bed and produced her skateboard and followed after Xavier. "Okay, sir."
"Back in a bit," Kitku called over her shoulder. She paused and watched as Jasmine on the edge of Logan's bed. She sighed as she produced her skateboard under her feet. Too bad this won't work out, she thought, it would've been nice. Well, maybe it was for the best, can't be tied down with all kinds o' stuff. It wouldn't work out. Definitely not.
She grabbed hold of the back of Xavier's hover chair and let it pull her down the hallway. The two made their way down the hall, into the elevator and finally into the kitchen.
"Sir? Where's the soup?" Kitku asked, breaking their comfortable silence.
"In the pantry," he replied very self-assured and then added without so much confidence, "I think."
He maneuvered himself over to the pantry and opened it. "Ah, yes, on the top. Naturally."
Kitku stepped up beside him and stared up at the top of the pantry. "Naturally."
She turned her head and looked up into his eyes that reflected the amusement in her own. "Well, I can fix that."
Kitku materialized a stepladder and climbed up to reach the top shelf. "You sure gotta lot o' food in here, sir."
"Yes, I suppose I do," Xavier agreed as he watched her. "I don't do the shopping, so I have no idea what is in there."
"Maybe you should check it out and give away what you don't need." She paused and then added, "Sir."
"I should and I shall," he promised, trying to keep the conversation alive. He hoped that by keeping her talking, he could engage her in a more personal conversation, such as staying at the school and what happened with her parents. If she choose to stay, he would, of course, start her in therapy in how to handle her parents' murders. He, also, had a suspicion that she wanted to stay, but only if Logan asked her.
Xavier was quite well aware of the fact that Kitku had chosen Logan as her new Father. He also, knew that Kitku was unsure how Logan would respond to her desire for him to be her Father.
It was evident that Logan was very fond of Kitku but Xavier, after all these years knew exactly what the Canadian was thinking and he didn't have to read Wolverine's mind to know. Logan thought of Kitku as a daughter, much more than he had ever thought of Kitty as one, however, Logan was afraid to attach himself that close to any child. He did not see himself as a good role model, let alone a father figure.
"Sir? Hey, Sir?" Kitku said louder.
"Pardon?" Xavier shook his head and glanced around the room gained his bearings.
"Bowls? I need a bowl, sir."
"Oh, ah, yes, the cabinet beside the refrigerator."
He took the can of soup, opened it, and poured the contents into a pan that he at some point had obtained.
I really have to watch letting my thoughts wander like that, he scolded himself. He had tuned poor Kitku right out of his thoughts and she was the one person he was trying to give his undivided attention.
Kitku stood next to Xavier as the soup heated and, in what could be thought of as a brave move, hopped up onto his chair to get a better view of the stove. She supported herself by putting an arm over his shoulders, her bottom on his armrest, and her legs hung over the side. She turned her head towards his and grinned.
Xavier blinked rapidly from the shock that this child would just leap into his arms. Especially since she was so formal with him, calling him 'sir'. Normally, children were a bit skittish around him and he was a bit awkward with them. The teenagers, however, Xavier did well around. He could associate better with older children, but the younger ones, well; he could not seem to connect with them. He smiled back at her, a bit unsure of himself.
"Is this just your house?" she asked suddenly.
"Yes," he replied. He took care to choose his next words, "I own the house, but it is home to many people."
Kitku lowered her head and picked at imaginary fuzz on her sweatshirt. "Oh."
"Why do you ask?"
"Just wonderin'. I mean, this place is huge. I can't image what it'd be like to live here by yourself, you know?"
"Yes, I do and for quite some time, I did live here alone," he said. "For several years, as a matter of fact but then a young girl, about your age came to me for help. Her telepathy was out of control and she was having a devil of a time. Her best friend was killed and she was linked mentally to the other little girl at the time."
"How sad, sir," Kitku whispered.
"Yes, it was," Xavier agreed. "So, I helped her gain control."
"Then you opened the school?"
"Ah, well, no," Xavier admitted. "I didn't open it until I had met a young man who couldn't control his powers. He had sustained a blow to his head as a child and we believe that to be the reason he can not control his optic blasts."
"Cyclops?" Kitku guessed with a bit of hesitation.
"Yes, Cyclops. Scott lived in an orphanage and he became involved with the wrong people. But before he could do too much damage, he came here for help." Xavier paused, deep in memory of the exact moment he made his monumental decision. Finally, he said, "That was when I decided to form the X-Men."
Kitku was quiet for a moment before she asked, "Sir?"
"Yes, Kitku?" he asked, a tiny smile played across his lips as she waited for him to respond to her 'sir?' before she would ask her questions.
"What happened to the girl?"
"Well, later on, she returned to the school after I had recruited four other students and she became Marvel Girl and now is known as Jean Grey."
Kitku's eyes widened. "Wow."
Xavier chuckled and nodded. "Indeed."
"Soup's done, sir," she said.
Xavier lifted her off his lap and poured the soup into the bowl. Kitku found a tray and handed it to him with crackers and a napkin. Xavier set the tray across his lap and turned to Kitku, "Shall we?"
Kitku smiled and nodded. She latched onto the back of Xavier's chair and let him pull her along on her skateboard.
Jasmine sat on the edge of Logan's bed, careful not to jostle him, considering his condition. She tilted her head and stared at him for a long moment.
"What?" he asked, his voice held a bit of suspicion.
"Nothing," she replied as she crossed her arms over her stomach. "Just wondering."
"What the hell you're waiting for?"
"Waitin' for?" he asked, his face beginning to harden with irritation at what she was implying.
"Do I need to spell it out for you?" she asked, her face mirrored his irritation. "I know you're not stupid."
They stared at each other for several long moments. It reminded Jasmine of when they had met. She was barely eighteen when they had met and had been on her own for a couple years, traveling the country with her artwork. Her van had broken down and he pulled over on his Harley and fixed her van. She offered to buy him dinner, they ate, and he reached for the check. They stared each other down much in the same way they were doing now. She could not recall a time when they actually ever really yelled at each other in an argument. Most of the time, they never argued but when they did, they just discussed in hard tones but hardly ever raised their voices.
She was just about to break her gaze from him, when he turned his head. It was his silent way of admitting she was right. Jasmine watched him as he closed his eyes in an attempt to ignore her. She raised an eyebrow and said, in a softer tone, "When has that ever worked before?"
"Never," he agreed gruffly, his eyes still closed.
"So, what makes you think it'll work now?"
He turned toward her, opening his eyes as he spoke, "I was hopin' you weren't as sadistic as ya used ta be."
"Sadistic? That's what you call me being right?"
"Nope, that's what I call ya not leavin' me be," he snarled.
"I left you be," she snapped sarcastically. "And as you can see, this is where you ended up."
"Temporary set back."
"My a... "
"Excuse us," Xavier said loud enough to cover Jasmine's expletive. "Your soup is ready."
Kitku took the tray from Xavier and rolled over to Logan's bedside. She put it on his hospital tray and then helped him sit up.
"Well, I'll let you get to your lunch," Jasmine said, her voice tight as she watched Kitku dote on Logan as any daughter would do for a daddy.
Logan looked up at her briefly and nodded.
She slid off the bed and headed for the door.
"You know, I hope they grow back soon," she said over her shoulder before the door closed behind her. She smiled to herself as she heard the audible crash of a bedpan hitting the wall. "Hmmm, struck a nerve."
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