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Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13


Written by Flitz
Last updated: 08/24/2008 12:48:30 PM

Chapter 1

A red-headed teen stumbled trying to stall his progress as two muscled Shield officers tried to propel him forward into the marble lined halls of the Xavier Institute. Shield officers were well trained but they were breathing heavily. Both would be glad when this assignment ended. The kid didnít look like much, too skinny, but he moved like liquid, the damn kid was slippery as hell. They almost lost him, which would be embarrassing considering the teen was still in handcuffs.

Said teen wrenched a shoulder and the two officers were hard-pressed to keep their grip. The wild eyed Cajun teen was getting distraught; heíd almost dislocated his arm on the last stunt. Though the guard mused, heíd probably be upset too given the situation.

His charge was the youngest son of the Guild Master of the New Orleans Thieves Guild. Conventional police outside of New Orleans thought them nothing more than a myth, but those in higher positions were well aware of the existence of this illustrious guild. The Guild Master had been shot in a random drive by from an unknown street hood. The son had been with him at the time and worked frantically to save his life. A near by tenant had called the police and EMTís had shown up to work on the fallen man. He couldnít be saved, though the kid had held his fatherís hand the entire time talking to him. As any accident site, bystanders and police milled about the scene. One lucky or unlucky officer had recognized the kid, glowing red eyes were fairly prominent and he lunged for the kneeled form to take him into custody.

Overcome with grief the child thief had stayed too long. He fought free of that copís grasp leaving the man choking on the ground. But close to twenty cops had filled the narrow alleyway and escape was cut off by the meandering crowd that had formed. Despite his skill in combat he was eventually taken down.

The authorities were salivating at the thought of a Guild thief in their grasp no matter what the age. Guild trained their members from birth, this kid was seventeen, most likely a full member. Guild thieves were the best, but they hardly ever worked for any government agencies. That made this acquisition all the more tempting. The kid never even made it to a New Orleans jail cell, the Guilds were known for re-apprehending any member who was caught. A Shield contingent was called and the barely conscious kid was taken into the helicarrier and placed in a cell with a mutant suppression device. The cell had no doors or locks, all four walls of his cell were energy fields.

All the espionage agencies were clamoring for his head. Nick Fury had been personally disgusted; no matter how he grew up it was still just a kid. Previously he had directed certain mutant criminals to the Xavier Institute if he thought they were worth the effort of rehabilitation.

Fury had been down to see the teen when he was brought in, who remained steadfastly silent. The few telepaths they had on the payroll were unable to exhort a word, but his eyes spit defiance, sparking even with the suppression collar on. Fury didnít like such devices, but since according to the file on the blood work theyíd taken the kid was an energy converter. The collar was probably sensible, that type of mutation usually ended up costing a lot of money in reconstruction.

But past the anger and the grief in those red eyes Fury had seen intelligence, much more than he thought a person his age should possess. He might not go willingly, but Xavierís was for now the best place for the young Cajun.

He was worried until the agencies decided who deserved first crack at the Guild member the kid just might disappear under everyoneís noses. So he figured heíd get the head start on the job. Fury had made a few clandestine calls which led to two of his agents escorting a hostile teen down a hall as the headmaster of the Institute approached them.

The officers had the edge when they were using momentum to get their young captiveís cooperation, but now they were forced to stop and hold their ground. The first officer frowned wondering how to keep the slippery teen in place for this meeting, but his partner chose for him quickly slamming the teen into the marble-lined wall leaving the kid dazed. Shield officers were required to be well trained and complete their missions, no where was a requirement for kindness.

Professor Charles Xavier and his first student Scott Summers frowned at the punishment recently inflicted upon the young man in front of them. Frowns deepened as the cuffed youngster shook his head slightly, long auburn hair falling in his face, and they noticed a blinking collar.

"Is that really necessary?" steamed Cyclops. The officer who had slammed the teen into the wall spoke,

"If you want the kid docile enough to stand still for five minutes yeah. This oneís slippery as an eel. The collars staying on until we leave, the kidís some sort of energy wielder, I donít want to get zapped anytime today." The guard gestured to the captiveís hands he was holding onto and pointed out cuffs with no visible locking mechanism.

"Youíre gonna have to cut these off if you donít want them on. Kidís a thief, so locks arenít really a deterrent for him."

"Was starving him necessary too?" scalded Cyclops a hand sweeping toward the lanky form.

"Hey, we only got the kid in custody less than twenty-four hours ago, he was like this before we got him," spoke the first officer defending his organization. Xavier continued his cursory examination of the mutant thief while Cyclops spoke with the authorities.

Cyclops was right, the teenager was entirely too thin. Long, thick auburn hair shone in the hallway lights just long enough to touch his collar. Messy bangs were nearly as long and obscured the majority of his face, though rough stubble could be seen tracing a sculpted chin, only part of an elegant nose was visible.

The teen was dressed simply in old jeans and a t-shirt that both emphasized the young manís lightly-muscled physique and showed an unhealthy leanness for a boy his age. The shirt was a dark blue that was ripped in several places, but the jeans looked the worst, splashes of dark brown covered them, similar stains marred the young mutantís hands, blood. And if Furyís information was correct, it was his fatherís blood that coated the young manís attire.

Fury was Loganís contact, though lately he had been talking with the professor as well. Usually Fury would send the school mutant teens who had committed a minor offense, those he thought could be reformed. He never asked about the ones he sent, though theyíd yet to have a student revert to their criminal actions. Most of them had run out of options and were grateful for a chance to start over.

This child was different. Apparently a prestigious thief in his own right, and son of an important leader was all Fury had been willing to divulge. This child, unlike the others, he wanted back. He would only say that some intelligence organizations were interested in the orphaned boy and Fury wanted the boy safe until the politics were figured out. He warned Xavier not to be beguiled, the child was to be treated as a potential threat, and to never leave him unattended, or he would slip through the professorís fingers.

Cyclops had moved farther into the hall towards the two officers, "Weíll take it from here," he said coldly, not pleased with the treatment the mutant was given.

"Sure, knock yourself out, Iím glad to get rid of him, kidís more of a headache than heís worth," spoke the abusive guard relinquishing a chain that looped around the cuffs into Cyclops hand. The guards left quickly, and Cyclops felt somewhat ill holding the young man captive, chain in hand.

The professor wheeled forward slightly toward the mutant boy who had recovered from the strike to the head and stiffened upon the professorís approach.

"I am Professor Charles Xavier, I run a school for mutants here in Westchester. Mutants learn how to deal with their powers safely and for the benefit of mankind." He paused bringing a hand to rest lightly on his chin, "You will be staying here for some time, I regret we couldnít have met under better circumstances. I am truly sorry for your loss."

Xavier wasnít expecting a verbal response, as the young mutant had been stonewalling everyone but he watched his expression. The upper half of his face was unreadable due to the bangs but he was sure he saw a momentary snarl cover his mouth. He probably thought he had only exchanged captors, nothing more. Professor Xavier wanted to disabuse him of the notion, even if it was for the time being the truth. He would find some way for Fury to let the child stay, this teen needed the school, possibly more than anyone else he had ever seen.

"Until you become accumulated to your new situation Cyclops will be one of your main contacts," the professor continued. "Scott if you would show him to his room? After you remove the restraints of course."

Cyclops nodded briefly and motioned for the teen to go before him. Scott was conflicted, a fellow orphan and mutant he wanted to help the teen, but according to Fury he was also an accomplished thief, a criminal. Cyclops led his young charge through mostly empty halls, though a student would appear occasionally and stare beleaguered at one of their teachers escorting a bloodied handcuffed teen down the halls at three in the morning.

He tapped on a door briefly and swung it open on the third floor, only Wolverine lived on this level but theyíd all agreed this was the best place for the thief, away from the students for now. Cyclops had momentarily moved to the third floor as well, to better guard their guest.

Wolverine looked up as Scott entered, "Kid here yet?" he questioned roughly.

In response Cyclops held up the slightly clanking chains, "Could use some help cutting these off, then Iím going to show him his room," replied Cyclops.

"Sure, Cyke, but your taking first shift tonight on watching the kid, Iím going to Harryís tonight."

"Fine," sighed Cyclops he wanted to get time to talk with Jean before going on duty, but apparently he would have to wait again. Wolverine came into the hallway slightly surprised at what he saw. The kid on the end of Scottieís chains had thief written all over him, wild hair chased down to the nap of his neck, eyes invisible in the fringe.

The way he carried himself told Wolverine the kid was no amateur, and he wondered briefly if they would be able to keep the kid around given Xavierís free movement policy. After they made sure the kid wasnít going to bolt Charles planned on letting him go anywhere, even classes as long as he didnít leave the school grounds. Logan would rather keep the kid locked in his room indefinitely somehow forgetting where he left the key. Their temporary guest reminded Wolverine strongly of Whippets- fast, sleek, quick to bite, and muscular though you still wanted to add thirty pounds or so onto their frames so their ribs wouldnít stick out quite so much.

The one thing he immediately disliked, other than the fact that the teen was covered in someone elseís blood was that he couldnít see his eyes. If someone was going to attack it always showed in their eyes first, and Logan didnít want to lose that advantage. He gave Cyclops a small signal and took notice when Cyke tightened his hold on the teenís chains.

Wolverine quickly leapt, claws popping out of his hands midswing. The red-head attempted to duck, but Cyclops held him up without apparent effort, the kid mustnít have weighed much. Realizing that plan off escape was cut off he tried to dodge left but Wolverineís stroke had already sank home. A slight shearing sound was heard and several inches of the red-headís bangs fell to the ground. They were still lengthy, but his eyes at least were now partially visible.

Crimson pupils were surrounded by jet black pools; Wolverine swallowed a curse as he watched the pupils pulsed slightly. A faint glow he hadnít detected through the bangs began overshooting his eyes so that from a distance all you would see would be the red.

"Better," proclaimed Wolverine, and gave a shoulder a quick shove so the kid faced Cyclops who was able to keep his face neutral at the kidís obvious mutant eyes. Wolverine triggered his claws once more and sliced through the restraints that tethered the kid. He picked them up and lightly tossed them in his room, heíd stick them in the shed later. The red eyed mutant stared at the two men, as if judging his odds at escape. Logan noticed the teen paying particular attention to his hands, as if waiting for the claws to jump out again.

"How are your wrists?" asked Scott. He was promptly ignored, but continued onward anyways, "I donít know for sure how long youíll be here, but while you are, your room will be this one, 332 between Loganís and mine. After youíve become?accumulated to the situation you will be allowed full run of the facilities, within reason," spoke Cyclops using the professorís words.

"There are rather severe securities measures here including telepaths that make regular scanning sweeps, and about seventy other mutants who will be aware of your presence. There are clothes for you in your room; meals are irregular, served in the dining room." Scott took a breath in his tirade mentally reviewing to make sure heíd covered all the salient points, and opened the door to the middle room.

After being lead inside, the two men left the unfriendly appearing teen alone in his room, "Any questions?" was met with dutiful silence and a flashing glare, apparently he didnít like his haircut. Or Scott chastised himself for his gallows humor, it was because he had lost his father and his freedom all within twenty-four hours.


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