Categories > Cartoons > X-Men: Evolution > X-men: Evolution of the Heart

The Stuff of Villians

by slickboy444 0 Reviews

AU on how the X-men came to be. Major Jott and Kurtty. Scott, Jean, Kurt, Kitty, Evan, and Rogue have all had horrible lives. See how they ban together and become the future X-men with the help of ...

Category: X-Men: Evolution - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Drama, Romance - Characters: Cyclops - Warnings: [?] [R] [V] - Published: 2006/07/07 - Updated: 2006/07/07 - 6611 words

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X-men: Evolution of the Heart
Chapter 37: The Stuff of Villains


**************************************************

"This argument is over Xavier!" yelled an angry Principal Kelly, "And don't you dare try any of your telepathic mind tricks on me!"

"Please Principal Kelly, I beg you to reconsider this," said the Professor who remained undaunted by his harsh words. "You can't just expel my students without giving them a chance at proving themselves. You have no probable cause in doing so."

Principal Kelly looked back at Xavier with a great deal of anger and hate in his eyes. It had only been one day since his students were allowed back in to school, but no sooner had they arrived did a fight break out. While the Professor whole-heartedly believed his students when they said they didn't cause the fight, Principal Kelly was not nearly as understanding. Now he had used his influence to push up the date of the school board meeting to tonight, where the ultimate fate of his students' future at school would be determined.

"Believe me Xavier, I have plenty of cause!" quipped Kelly, "I can simply use the fact that your students got in to a fight before they even got to their first class today. Or maybe I should bring up the blatant lies you gave me back in September when you enrolled them!"

After that, Principal Kelly threw a simple, yellow folder at him.

"An eye condition, a seizure disorder, and a skin disease!? Not only are your students going to face the blunt end of the law, but so will you for forging fake medical documents!" blasted Kelly as the Professor simply sat there and was forced to face this man's raw anger.

"These documents didn't lie...My students did technically have these ailments. I had a licensed doctor confirm them," explained the Professor who was trying to quell this man's ongoing rage.

"Ah yes, it was confirmed by one of our own teachers Mr. Hank McCoy. And now he's a confirmed mutant living at your institute," said Kelly in an unconvinced tone, "Do you really expect me to believe that someone with your kind of money and your kind of connections wouldn't have some form of illegitimate dealings in this matter? Not only are your students guilty, but so are you!"

Not many people could make Xavier lose his temper, but Edward Kelly was definitely pushing him to the limits.

"My students..." began Xavier using a firmer tone of voice, "Were the victims in that fight. They were backed in to a corner and forced to defend themselves! Now you're not even going to discipline those who started this fight, only those who ended it. That is not only a great hypocrisy on your part, but against school rules as well!"

"Don't lecture me about school rules Xavier!" bellowed Kelly as he slammed his fists on his desk, "Your students will face the consequences like all mutants should! And it will start at the school board meeting tonight!"

The anger in Principal Kelly's voice made it final. And there was no more room left for argument.

"This discussion is over..."

And with that, Xavier then turned around to wheel himself out. However, before he was out of the door, Principal Kelly had one last thing to say.

"And on a more personal note Xavier...I think you should know that this is my last year as principal of this school. Next year I will be running for mayor of Bayville. It will be the first steps towards my ultimate dream...A seat in Congress. And rest assured I will use whatever power I have to make it so mutants like you and your students can't threaten the public."

Professor Xavier didn't respond to that, for he didn't want this to escalate anymore. Kelly had made it clear that he would not be dissuaded by his words. Things seemed to be going downhill for mutants everywhere and not just his students. He cringed at the thought of someone like Edward Kelly wielding political power and he knew that it would only hurt mutants everywhere. Now his students would be forced to defend themselves in front of the entire school board tonight and face all the bigoted hate towards them. As the Professor wheeled out to meet Ororo at the car, she noticed the solemn look on his face.

"How'd it go?" asked Ororo wearily as Xavier was lifted in via special mechanism.

"Not as I had hoped Ororo. Kelly just wouldn't listen to reason...He seems totally committed to expelling all our students without even hearing them plead their case."

"So I guess that means the school board meeting has been pushed to tonight?" asked Ororo as the car began to move.

"I'm afraid so...And if we can't convince the members to at least give them a chance and see past the views of men like Principal Kelly, then all the hard work our students have done will have been in vain."

Ororo didn't know how to respond to her mentor's words. The hopes for the students that they had worked so hard to help after suffering so much for so long, were now greatly in question. They had broken no rules in the time they had attended Bayville High School. And now it seemed that they would be kicked out just because of their genes. Things were bad enough for them...And now it just seemed as if it was only going to get worse.

"On a lighter note Ororo, I think you should know that since the phones have been reactivated we have been receiving quite a few calls."

"Really? From who?" asked Ororo curiously.

"Mainly from the families we met in the weeks before the Sentinel incident. I've talked to the Drakes, the Worthingtons, the Braddocks, the Lees, and the Madoxes; and they all said that they were willing to give the institute a try once it has been rebuilt."

"Really?!" said Ororo as she felt the first glimmer of hope in what seemed like forever. "What made them change their mind?"

Ororo had been on some of those recruiting missions and she knew first hand how hostile some of the parents were. They wanted to believe that their children were sick rather than gifted. It was quite a shock to learn that they had a change of heart after facing all their hostility.

"They saw the Sentinel incident like everyone else. Now they can't deny the existence of mutants...And they can't deny what their children really are. They, like most parents, only want what's right for their children. Which is why we must convince the school board not just for the students we have now...But the students that we have yet to gain."

**************************************************

"You want ME to speak? In front of the school board and the entire PTA?!" said Jean Grey in disbelief at the Professor's request.

It came to no surprise of Jean and the rest of the students that he hadn't been able to change Principal Kelly's plan to push up the school board meeting to tonight. This meant that they wouldn't even have the week they were promised to show that they could handle school without using their powers.

"Yes, I think they would really listen to you," said the Professor as he tried to justify his reasons.

"Professor...Just because I'm a good students doesn't mean I have public speaking skills. They need to hear from somebody who actually knows what they're talking about and I can't give them that," said Jean, not feeling convinced by the Professor's words.

"Jean, I can't give them all the right reasons because I can't put myself in your shoes. I could give them all the scientific data about mutants in the world, but they need to hear from the very people that they are threatening to expel. If they are to make a sound decision about this, they should hear our side first hand from someone who can truly justify it."

Jean didn't expect the Professor to ask her to actually speak. It would be in front of the whole PTA and school board, and knowing Kelly he would probably bring the press as well. She was never the best public speaker, and with stakes so high she couldn't help but feel the lingering doubt in the back of her mind.

"But...What should I say?" asked Jean, still weary of going through with this.

"Whatever you have to my dear. I have faith in you and so do the others. Just say what needs to be said before it's too late," said the Professor as he tried to bolster Jean's spirits.

Jean Grey simply sighed, for there would be a lot of pressure on her if she did choose to speak. But now, it seemed that there was no turning back from confronting this new challenge.

"Okay...I'll do my best Professor."

The Professor then smiled back at her, glad that she had made this decision.

"Thank you Jean. And don't worry, I'm sure you'll do fine."

And with that the Professor wheeled himself out, leaving Jean to contemplate what she was going to say in the name of mutants everywhere.

Jean then made her way back to the room she was sharing with Scott until the institute was rebuilt. When she walked in he was simply lying on the bed, strumming his new electric guitar that he had bought shortly before the institute was destroyed.

"What cha playing?" asked Jean casually as she took a seat next to him.

"Just some tune I've had in my head for a while now. I'm still trying to put some decent lyrics to it but..." Scott soon found himself trail off as he kept playing the strangely haunting tune.

The music helped Jean to relax for the first time that day. The looming school board meeting now preoccupied her mind almost completely, for she didn't know what she was going to say. She didn't know what she could say that would change anybody's views.

"Is something wrong Jean?" asked Scott as he stopped strumming his guitar.

Jean just sighed. She knew by now that it was hard to hide her fears around somebody she shared a powerful mind link with.

"The Professor want's me to speak tonight at the school board meeting," said Jean plainly, still slightly spooked by it in general.

"Tonight?"

"Yeah, in front of everybody. The PTA will be there, the school board will be there, and Principal Kelly will probably bringing the press as well," said Jean in an exasperated tone, "Talk about pressure."

"Don't worry you'll do fine Jean," assured Scott as he started to pluck a few strings on his guitar.

"I don't know Scott...I really don't know if I can do this," said Jean still full of doubt, "This is going to be in front of practically everybody. If I say just one wrong thing...Just one single word that could be taken out of context or interpreted differently...Then mutants everywhere will suffer. And it will be because of me."

Scott put his guitar away and scooted closer to her. He gently wrapped an arm around her waist and placed a reassuring kiss on her forehead.

"Don't think like that Jean. I know you'll do great. Just don't worry about the little things like that. Just speak from your heart," said Scott trying to get her more confident about this.

Scott had tried not to make his words sound clichèd, but it was the simplest thing he could offer her. He knew it would undoubtedly be a hard thing to do, but he had faith in her more than anybody else to do it.

"I wish it were that simple Scott...But it's just...I'm no public speaker. I don't see how I could change anybody's mind about this," said Jean doubtfully.

Scott just smiled warmly back at her.

"Funny. If my memory serves me right, a very certain redhead once changed my mind when we were hiding in a cave and I had lost practically all hope. She reminded me that all was not lost...And that I should see things differently. That beautiful redhead...Inspired not just me, but the others as well."

Jean slightly blushed at Scott's words as she too recalled the memory of what she said to Scott back in that cave.

"But...That was different it..." Jean couldn't find the right words to finish her thoughts as Scott hugged her a little closer to him, trying the get her to put aside all those inhibitions that plagued her mind.

"No it's not Jean...Just speak to them in the same way you spoke to me that day. Trust me...You'll do great."

After a brief pause, Jean finally managed to smile.

"Thanks Scott."

"Anytime Jean. That's what I'm here for," said Scott as he smiled back.

They sat in silence for a brief moment, just enjoying each other's company. Then, Scott suddenly had an idea pop in to his head and soon got up.

"Where are you going?" asked Jean curiously.

"I need to talk to the Professor...I have an idea that might help."

**************************************************

Evan Daniels was not having a good day. School had been a nightmare for him and his friends. The day they come back his skateboarding friends abandon him, people taunted him with mutant slurs, and they even tried to pick a fight with his friends. He had almost used his powers at one point because messing with his friends was something he always defended with a passion. As he sat in his room, casually bouncing a tennis ball off the wall, he heard a knock at the door.

"It's open..." said Evan callously.

Scott then entered with his guitar in hand and a somewhat hopeful look on his face.

"Evan, you got a minute?" asked Scott.

"Yeah, plenty. What's up man?"

"You probably know that Principal Kelly pushed up the date for the school board meeting already. And you probably know it's going to be a big event with the media there."

"Yeah, so?"

"Well, Jean's already going to speak, but I think we could do even more to help people hear us out. Remember a few weeks ago when you said I should write a song as a sales pitch for the institute?"

"Yeah but...Oh. Oh I see now," said Evan as it soon dawned on him what Scott was getting at.

"I got a melody I've been working with, but I need some help with the lyrics. You're a good poet and we don't have a lot of time. So what do you say?"

Evan didn't have to think much about this before he gave his answer.

"I say...Let's get to work!"

**************************************************

The sun was now beginning to set over the horizon, as the time of the meeting grew ever nearer. Jean had been practicing what she was going to say with Kurt, Rogue, and Kitty and Scott was still with Evan in the main living area working on some strange song. Time seemed to move by in a blur as the hour of truth was finally upon them. The Professor, Beast, and Ororo left early in order to help set everything up and get a feel for what they would be facing at the meeting. Logan was still out so it looked as if he wouldn't be able to show up. Now, the six remaining X-men stood ready to face the public. This was definitely going to be a challenge for them. But they had faced major challenges before and this one was no different. However, it didn't mean that they would succeed.

"Home sweet hole in the ground," said Kurt sarcastically as he and the others exited the elevator and piled in to the car.

"Everybody ready?" asked Scott as he started the engine.

The rest of the team simply nodded still unsure what this meeting would bring.

"As ready as ever..." said Jean as she the X-men nervously awaited their fate.

And with that, they finally drove off towards the school.

**************************************************

The team didn't talk much along the way. There was not much to be said. This meeting would make or break their futures and the pressure on the young teens seemed all too much to handle...But they didn't have a choice. In their lives, they never had many choices. And this was just another case. As they drove within blocks of the school, something happened...

"What the?!" said Scott as he and the others felt a powerful jolt.

The car was suddenly ripped towards the side of the road by a powerful, unseen force. Scott lost all control of the car as they skidded in to an open baseball field. When it finally came to a stop, a familiar presence descended from the sky. Upon seeing whom it was the team quickly filed out of the car and prepared for battle.

"Still Xavier's soldiers I see," scoffed Magneto as he hovered before them.

He knew that the six mutant teens were probably going to fight him, but he did not come here to fight.

"What do you want Magneto!?" said Scott angrily as he prepared to fire an optic blast at the master of magnetism.

"Please...Is that really necessary?" said Magneto in an annoyed tone.

Then, the metal gates and fences of the baseball field were ripped from the ground under the influence of Magneto's powers and soon it incased the X-men in a whirlwind of metal.

"Believe it or not, I didn't come to fight...I came to talk," said Magneto as he hovered in closer.

"Yeah? Well talk!" said Evan as he lined his arms and torso with spikes.

"I came here to extend an offer to you."

"We don't want anything from you!" said Jean, who didn't want to hear any of Magneto's genocidal babble.

"I wouldn't be so hasty Ms. Grey."

"Spare us the lecture pal!" said Kitty. "It's because of you all this happened! If you hadn't forced that sentinel on us, we wouldn't be having this problem!"

Magneto remained undeterred by the young girl's angry words.

"I only sped up that which was inevitable. Mutants can't hide forever from the rest of the world. Every day now, more and more X-genes are manifesting across the globe. The mutant growth rate is increasing exponentially. And it will soon leave the weak homo sapiens in the evolutionary dust. Keeping mutants a secret was only impeding the progress of civilization."

"You think that justifies what you did?!" yelled Scott back at the master of magnetism, "It's because of you everybody fears us now!"

"You will always be feared X-men," responded Magneto sternly as he continued to make his point across to the young teens. "Humans will always fears that which it doesn't understand. And with their weak minds they can never hope to fully grasp the power of evolution. Mutants are the future whether they like it or not and no matter what...No matter how much you plead for peace or how many battles against the forces of hate you win...They will still fear you in the end."

Magneto's words tried to strike a chord with the six teens, but it wasn't having the desired outcome.

"That doesn't make your dream any less crazy!" replied Scott.

"Crazy? You think I'M crazy? Open your eyes X-men! How much longer will it be before you realize the truth and accept your own destiny? How much more taunting, bigotry, and hate will it take for you to realize the fate of all mutants!?"

Magneto had chosen a bad choice of words that time. In the eyes of the six teens, he had gone from a man with a sinister dream to a complete nut job. The master of magnetism had failed to realized that after everything the young teens had learned along the way, the most prevalent thing they learned was that they didn't believe in fate.

"I take it back," said Scott flatly, "You're not crazy...You're fucking eccentric."

The rest of the team couldn't help but laugh, which only made Magneto angrier. The metal gates that had been swirling around the six teens suddenly came to a stop and fell harmlessly to the ground.

"You've heard my offer...And you chose to refuse it. If you want to keep on living in Xavier's dream world, then fine...Do it! But be forewarned X-men...I will not let the likes of you stand in my way of fulfilling the destiny of all mutants!"

"Go fuck yerself bucket-head," said Rogue, who was already too annoyed to listen to anymore he had to day.

With an angry grunt that almost sounded like Wolverine for a moment, the master of magnetism left. His words fell on deaf ears and the six teens could safely say that they had dissuaded him from ever trying to preach his genocidal dreams to them again.

"You think he'll be back?" asked Evan as they headed back over to the car.

"Probably," said Kitty knowing it was only logical, "But I bet when he does come back...He'll be PISSED."

"Let him come," said Scott, "He knows we don't want any part of his dream and after what we said to him today...I don't think he'll try any recruitment plans on us anymore."

"Amen to that mien friend," said Kurt as Scott started the engine.

**************************************************

Unfortunately, as soon as the six teens arrived at the school they were greeted with the sight of numerous news vans and dozens of reporters. It looked like the Professor's fears were justified, but Principal Kelly didn't just bring the press...He bought the entire media.

"Great...Just what I need. More pressure..." said Jean as she felt a sudden surge of anxiety upon seeing all the news personnel.

"Don't let them scare you Jean," assured Scott as he gently put a hand on her shoulder, which helped calm her down somewhat. "Just look at it as a way for more people to hear our side of the story."

"I know Scott...But it doesn't change the fact that I'm no real public speaker."

Scott gave her a reassuring smile as she turned to face him.

"That really doesn't matter for this Jean. Just remember...I'll be up there later to help you out after you're done."

Jean let out a deep sigh as she tried to expel all her stage fright for the sake of this one little speech.

"Come on you guys! Hurry up!" said Rogue from the entrance as she saw the pair still lagging behind.

"We'll be there in a sec Rogue," said Scott as he turned back to Jean, "You ready?"

"As I'll ever be."

"Then that's all you'll need."

Jean managed to smile back at him this time. The time had finally come to give her speech to the people that now hated and feared them. With that thought in mind Jean gave Scott one last deep kiss before heading for backstage.

"For luck..." said Jean as their lips reluctantly separated.

And with that, they both went off to tend to their respective preparations. The stakes of this meeting tonight were very high...And now it was time to finally start it.

**************************************************

The meeting began with Principal Kelly taking the stage. Being the one who orchestrated this spectacle, he would preside over it. The school board sat in the front of the auditorium seating in long tables. These would be the people that they would have to convince in order to let them stay in school. But from the looks of it, Kelly wouldn't make that easy for them. And he seemed confident enough that he wanted the media to see humanities triumph over mutants tonight. After the initial proceedings, the meeting was finally underway and Principal Kelly began to speak.

"Ladies, gentlemen, parents, teachers, members of the school board; you all know why I requested this meeting so soon so I won't bother to repeat myself. We are here tonight to discuss the safety of our schools. And we are here to determine what courses of action we must take to ensure the domestic tranquility of our children here at Bayville. As you all probably know by now, the sentinel attack on Manhattan a few weeks ago exposed six students of our school as mutants. For those of you who don't know, a mutant is a genetic abnormality written in one's DNA. While most mutants in nature die off rather quickly...The mutants that now reside in our school have abnormalities that go beyond anything natural. Mutants are by definition mistakes in the human gene pool. The blood of our species is now corrupted by the presence of such mistakes...And to allow them to live freely among us is simply asking for a catastrophe! Ask yourselves...Do you want your children in a school with a boy with a couple of bazookas for eyes!? Do you want your children in a school with a girl who can put somebody in a coma just by touching them?! Do you want you're children in a school with somebody whose true form resembles that of a demon?! Do you want you're children around somebody who can make razor sharp spikes come out of his skin, manipulate thoughts, or walk through walls?! Do you?! We simply can not allow our children to be threatened by such dangerous freaks of nature!"

A cheer of approval erupted from the crowd as Principal Kelly finished those last few words. Backstage, Jean listened anxiously as he continued his assault on all things mutant. He attacked her, he attacked her friends, and he attacked the Professor. Through all this Xavier seemed somewhat collected even in the face of Edward Kelly's words of intense hate. Jean looked over behind the stage curtain to see Scott setting up for his own counter-argument after she was done. She then looked out to the crowed and saw Kurt, Kitty, Evan, Hank, Ororo, and Rogue nervously watching the proceedings that would eventually determine their fate. Knowing her friends were counting on her, Jean took several deep breaths to prepare herself for what she was going to say. After what seemed like only minutes, the time for her speech finally arrived.

"Thank you Principal Kelly," said the head of the school board as Kelly stepped off to the side. "Now, it is by the request of both the board and the wishes of Charles Xavier that one of his students speak before we cast our vote. Ladies and gentlemen, Ms. Jean Grey."

Jean took a deep breath as she made her way to the podium. Then, she felt all the TV cameras focus on her. Everybody in the auditorium looked back up at her as if she was from another planet. Some clapped, but many others booed or yelled insulting slurs at her. She felt her legs begin to shake as the walk to the podium seemed like the longest walk of her life. Just then, she felt a warm voice in the depths of her mind.

'Don't worry Jean, I know you can do it.'

It was Scott's voice through their mind link.

'I hope so Scott...I just feel so nervous. Some the things I planned to say...I don't think I can do it.'

'Yes you can Jean...I know you better than anybody ever has, or ever will. You're strong...Strong enough to do this.'

Jean took a deep breath as she stood behind the podium.

'Don't forget...You're not alone. You're never alone. We're all here with you Jean.'

Then, Jean finally stopped shaking and stood ready to speak.

"For any of you who don't know me, my name is Jean Grey. I became a student here last September and up until a few weeks ago, I was doing quite well overall. I played on the soccer team, I got good grades, and I never had any disciplinary problems. I'm also a mutant. I have the power of telepathy and telekinesis. And because of that you're threatening to kick me and my friends out of school. We haven't done anything and we're already being punished for it...Simply because we were born a certain way. I could stand up here for hours and recite some famous quote from some well-known civil rights leader...But I know that wouldn't do any good. I know I can't say anything that will just up and change your minds. But since I'm up here I might as well tell you our side of the story. I know that because of all the fear and confusion about mutants lately, everybody has been only exposed to one part of the mutant phenomena. But there are two sides to every story...You can't escape that. I'm not here, to gain sympathy...I'm here, to gain empathy. Most of you came to this meeting out of concern for you kids. And...You'll love them no matter what they can or cannot do. You're here because...You fear for your children's safety. You're here...Because you love kids..."

Jean then started to get a little choked up as she prepared to say her next line. She briefly caught a glimpse of her friends in the audience, looking back up at her hopefully. Knowing that what she was going to say next would be difficult, she continued on.

"I'm glad to see...That so many of you love your children...Because my parents didn't love me. My parents...They hated me...And they didn't hate me because I was a mutant. I don't know why they hated me so much...But I guess I can never know that. My friends and I have had to live with so many painful things in our lives and we've worked so hard to get to the point where we can actually cope with those things. I...I won't lie to you. My friends...Scott, Kurt, Kitty, Evan, and Rogue...We've all tried to kill ourselves at least once...Because we've struggled so hard simply trying to deal with being so different. And because of men like Professor Xavier, we've been able to take control. We've been able to see the powers that we have been blessed with as gifts...Not curses. We're not soldiers...We're not freaks...And we're not monsters. We're just people...We're just kids. We have a heart in our chest, a brain in our head, and a soul in our being. Granted there are some bad mutants out there...There are also bad non-mutants as well that are just as dangerous. You may argue that...But when it comes right down to it...It's too true to ignore. There's more to mutants than just powers...There are people behind those powers. And it is the people who make those choices on what they do with those powers. I've chosen to use my powers to help people. And if people out there would just give us a chance...Then maybe we won't have to be so afraid of the world. A very wise man once said 'We have the power...It's just a matter of how we use it.' And how we chose to use it...Is up to us."

As she finished those last words, a small group of cheers came up out of the crowd from near where her friends were sitting. It quickly spread throughout the auditorium, as Jean's words seemed to deeply affect the people who heard them. While some, like Principal Kelly, remained unmoved by Jean's speech; she still wasn't done. There was one last thing to do before she stepped down.

"Thank you...And before I step down and await your vote...We have one last thing to do by special request from Professor Xavier. I may be able to speak to you in one way...But I can never make things clear enough for everybody. However, I know somebody who has made things so clear for me in the past...That I think it would be a crime if he didn't come up here and share that clarity with the rest of you. He always spoke to me in a way that helped me understand things I couldn't...And he is, and always will be, my best friend. Now without further adieu...My life-long friend Scott Summers."

Then, the curtains rolled back and Scott stood on stage before the crowded auditorium of people and the dozens of news cameras along with them.

'You did a good job Jean. I knew you could do it,' said Scott through their mind link.

'Couldn't have done it without you Slim...Now come on and sing your heart out.'

Then, a loud, haunting guitar rift echoed through the auditorium as Scott began to play a song on his guitar for both him and mutants everywhere.

When this began
I had nothing to say
And I get lost in the nothingness inside of me
I was confused
And I let it all out to find
That I'm not the only person with these things in mind
Inside of me
But all that they can see the words revealed
Is the only real thing that I've got left to feel
Nothing to lose
Just stuck, hollow and alone
And the fault is my own, and the fault is my own

I wanna heal, I wanna feel what I thought was never real
I wanna let go of the pain I've felt so long
Erase all the pain till it's gone
I wanna heal, I wanna feel like I'm close to something real
I wanna find something I've wanted all along
Somewhere I belong

And I've got nothing to say
I can't believe I didn't fall right down on my face
I was confused
Looking everywhere only to find
That it's not the way I had imagined it all in my mind
So what am I
What do I have but negativity
'Cause I can't justify the way, everyone is looking at me
Nothing to lose
Nothing to gain, hollow and alone
And the fault is my own, and the fault is my own

I wanna heal, I wanna feel what I thought was never real
I wanna let go of the pain I've felt so long
Erase all the pain till it's gone
I wanna heal, I wanna feel like I'm close to something real
I wanna find something I've wanted all along
Somewhere I belong

I will never know myself until I do this on my own
And I will never feel anything else until my wounds are healed
I will never be anything till I break away from me
I will break away, I'll find myself today

I wanna heal, I wanna feel what I thought was never real
I wanna let go of the pain I've felt so long
Erase all the pain till it's gone
I wanna heal, I wanna feel like I'm close to something real
I wanna find something I've wanted all along
Somewhere I belong

I wanna heal, I wanna feel like I'm somewhere I belong
I wanna heal, I wanna feel like I'm somewhere I belong
Somewhere I belong...


**************************************************

Later on that night back at the mansion, the weary X-men stood in a somber silence as they waited for the verdict from Professor Xavier. The night had been a tiring experience for all of them. By now they were so exhausted they didn't realize Logan coming through the main doorway. Immediately, he noticed the awkward silence.

"What's goin on? There a funeral nobody told me about?" asked Logan at the sight of their disposition.

"No...We're just waitin' for the Professor to tell us how it all turned out," said Rogue.

"Well...What do you think they decided on?" asked Logan as he grabbed a beer from the refrigerator.

"I don't know man...Principal Kelly seemed pretty determined to kick us and any other mutant out of Bayville for good," said Evan hopefully.

"Well, I think Jean's speech made some serious headway," said Kitty.

"Ja, and that song Scott played was pretty powerful too," added Kurt.

"Well...Let's hope that's enough," said Jean as they continued to wait for the final decision.

After a good 10 minutes, the Professor finally wheeled in to the room with Storm and Beast following behind. The rest of the team then held their breath as the room fell silent...

"Well?" asked Scott hopefully as they awaited the Professor's response.

Professor Xavier just smiled at his students...For he finally had some good news to report to them.

"The school board voted. And...Well, you all get to stay."

A great feeling of relief came over the team upon hearing those words. It seemed like the first good thing to happen to them in months.

"Wow...What made them change their mind?" asked Evan still finding it a little hard to believe after seeing so much initial hatred.

"I think both Jean's speech and Scott's song did the trick," said Xavier as he watched his students celebrate in their triumph.

"I'll bet Principal Kelly wasn't too happy about that," said Kitty with a grin.

"Be that as it may, you've all been given another chance," said Xavier with a great deal of pride in his voice, for his students had achieved a much-needed victory. "But I must warn you...This is only the beginning. This decision doesn't change the fact that everybody knows who you are now...And you will face people who will still be intolerant about it. However, I have faith that all of you will make the right decision. You all have come a long way in the past year...And I just want all of you to know how proud I am. You have faced things nobody, mutant or not, should ever have to face. And you will be forced to face more challenges in the future as well. You are all taking the first steps in the history of the mutant race. And while I know that it is a lot of pressure to put on you, I believe that all of you will do great things...With the power you all have been blessed with."

**************************************************

AN: One more chapter to go! I can't believe this story is finally almost over! I can't tell you all enough how much I enjoyed writing it and I can't express enough gratitude to those who have taken the time to read this long story. There is one more chapter left...The graduation chapter. While there are many other stories that could come from this...I feel that I must end it for the sake of closure. And just a reminder, that song that Scott sung was "Somewhere I Belong" by Linking Park. I just had to use that song in this story because I believe it best describes the X-men and the world they live in. That, and Linkin Park just plain ROCKS! Well, stay tuned one last time. I'll try to make it quick, but it will be kind of sad for me to see this fic end. Don't forget to review! I'm always open to any of your criticism! Email me at slickboy444@aol.com or post your reviews on fanfiction.net. This is my story...My AU. And I am honored that you all have read it this far! Thank you and best wishes to all of you.

IT'S ALMOST OVER!!! REVIEW BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE!
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