Hurt & Comfort

Book 8: Seeking Comfort

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Chapter 9: Freedom

We entered the MedLab and got into our biosuits.

"Hey guys. How are you doing?" Logan asked in a friendly tone.

"Great. How are you?" John asked Logan with concern.

"Doc's been good about keeping me busy. So I'm okay. You wanna look at this?" Logan said and held out a piece of paper.

John took the paper and held it so Trey, Ronny and I could see.

"It looks nice." I said, looking at a picture of a cozy little house in the woods.

"Yeah, it's about two miles from here. When I get sprung, we can go check it out." Logan said happily.

"Really? We could live here?" John asked in disbelief as he looked at the picture again.

"Yeah, if it's really as good as the picture says." Logan said as he enjoyed John's happiness.

"What do you think Ronny?" I asked curiously.

"This says that it's away from the road so we don't have to worry about people wandering by all the time. It's got four bedrooms, so we can even have a place for company to sleep over." Ronny said with excitement.

"Gentlemen." A voice came over the suit speaker.

I looked around and finally saw Dr. McCoy standing outside the window of the containment room.

"I need for everyone to leave the containment room immediately." Dr. McCoy said in a grave voice.

"What? What's wrong?" Ronny asked in panic.

"Nothing... it's just hard to talk to all of you with microphones and speakers. Come out here and we can talk face to face." Dr. McCoy said seriously.

"Don't do that Dr. McCoy. You scared me half to death." John said with a hint of anger in his voice.

"But what about Logan? We came down to visit with him." Ronny said with concern.

"He can come too. I just got the last test results. He is 100% virus free." Dr. McCoy said with a joyous smile.

Ronny let out a whooping cheer and ran to hug Logan.

All of us smiled at the unfettered joy being expressed by the usually somber boy.

"Come on Logan, let's get out of here." John said with a great smile.

"You don't have to tell me twice." Logan said and walked to the foyer.

"Well come on. You don't want to wear those garbage bags if you don't have to, do you?" Logan asked impatiently from the foyer.

We hurried to follow Logan and he was out of the foyer before we were completely out of our suits.

Logan looked around the BioLab in wonder, as if it were unreal.

"Welcome to the outside world Matt." Dr. McCoy said, obviously enjoying Mr. Logan's happiness.

"Thanks Doc. But don't think this is gonna get you out of watching 'Rooster Cogburn' with me tonight." Logan said with a slight growl.

"If I must." Dr. McCoy said in a voice of long suffering.

"Right now, I'd like to go see the house. Who's with me?" Mr. Logan asked all of us.

"Yeah." John said with a smile as Ronny nodded enthusiastically.

Trey and I exchanged a look and nodded in unison.

"Let's go find Cyke, then we'll go." Logan said as he moved to leave the room.

"Would you mind if I accompany you?" Dr. McCoy asked shyly.

"C'mon Doc. It's thanks to you that I can leave the fish tank." Logan said, not slowing his pace as we walked into the hall.

* * * * *

"You got a few minutes Cyke?" Logan asked from Scott's opened office door.

"Matt?" Mr. Summers asked with surprise.

"Doc said I'm cured." Mr. Logan said with a big smile.

Mr. Summers smiled and said, "That's great Matt. How does it feel to be out?"

Mr. Logan just looked at Mr. Summers until Scott finally said, "Why can't you just go along with it when I ask you stupid questions?"

Logan smiled and said, "Cause I expect better from you Cyke. You usually don't disappoint me, but every now and then..."

"Fine, then how about this one? What are you planning to do first?" Scott asked without offense.

"Better. I wanna go look at the house. I came to see if you wanted to join us." Matt asked with an almost hidden note of tenderness in his voice.

Mr. Summers looked surprised by the invitation, but hid it quickly. "Sure... should we call before we go? Maybe someone could meet us there with a key."

Mr. Logan laughed and said, "I can always count on you to be practical. Here's the number."

Scott accepted the paper from Mr. Logan and quickly dialed the number.

"Logan? I called my dad today... I'm supposed to meet with him and his therapist tomorrow at five thirty. Could you or Scott give me a ride?" John asked shyly.

"Yeah, between us, we'll get you there." Logan said simply.

John nodded and seemed to be in thought.

I met John's eyes and motioned to the door with a tilt of my head, then touched Trey's arm and motioned for him to follow.

* * * * *

"What is it John? You're worried about something else." I said as we stood in the hall outside Mr. Summer's office.

"Even though he denies it, I am sure he is empathic." Trey said to John.

John smiled and nodded at Trey, then said, "I never told my dad that I'm gay."

"Oh... that's tough." I said in thought.

"You believe he will be displeased?" Trey asked in confusion.

"Yeah. You could say that." John said with a chuckle at the understatement.

"Trey, not everyone is accepting of same-sex couples. You're just lucky that your parents are a same-sex couple, so you don't have to face this... I've got to tell my parents too." I said darkly.

"So you're ready to pick sides?" John asked curiously.

"Yeah, I'm playing on the boys team." I said weakly.

"Tell you what. You stand by me when I tell my dad, I'll stand by you when you tell yours." John said firmly.

"Yeah. Thanks, that will help." I said in nearly a mumble.

"I will stand with you both." Trey said in a clear voice.

"You guys ready to go?" Logan asked from the door behind us.

"Yeah. Just waiting on you." John said with a forced smile.

"Well then, let's go... you're driving." Matt said as he led the way down the hall.

"Me? I don't even have a permit." John said in shock.

"Bout time for you to get one, ain't it?" Matt asked as we headed for the garage.

"Yeah... I just... I haven't really thought about it." John said, seeming overwhelmed.

"Think about it now. Tha kid ain't gonna be ready to drive for a couple years and I ain't planning on toting you around all tha time." Matt said as we entered the garage.

"Van?" Matt asked, looking at our large group.

"It's at the boathouse. I think we can all fit in the Bronco if someone will volunteer to sit in the back." Mr. Summers said, also looking at the group.

"Gonna be tight, but it's only two miles." Logan said and took the Bronco keys from the rack by the door.

We piled into the truck and tried to find places to sit.

"Mind if I join you?" I asked Ronny in the back.

"Plenty of room back here." Ronny said with a smile.

I climbed over the back seat and got into the cargo space with Ronny to sit cross-legged.

"Um. I'm not sure what to do." John asked nervously from the driver's seat.

Matt began telling John what to do so I leaned over the seat and tapped Trey on the shoulder.

Trey was packed tightly between Dr. McCoy and Mr. Summers. He had to shift himself quite a bit to look back at me.

I leaned forward and gave him a quick but firm kiss.

Trey gave me a smile in return that felt like sunrise in my soul, then he turned back to face the front as John started the engine.

"Okay, I guess I can see it now." Ronny said from beside me.

"See what?" I asked and turned my full attention to Ronny.

"I could see how you and John fit together, you're a pair. But I couldn't see how Trey fit in with you. Now I see it." Ronny said honestly.

"What did you see?" I asked curiously.

Before he could answer, we learched forward, then jerked to a stop.

"Ease out on the clutch. It just takes some practice." Logan was saying to John.

"I saw you, away from your family for the first time. You were alone and afraid. I saw John who came here to make peace with my brother and stayed. He felt like he was alone and didn't belong anywhere." Ronny said in thought.

"And what did you see in Trey?" I asked, really interested in Ronny's point-of-view.

"On the surface, I saw someone who had a family who loved him. I saw a guy who was trusted, respected and loved. But now I can see that he's just as alone as you and John... maybe more. No matter how much his family loves him... there's still a part that's empty. You two are filling that empty place in his life." Ronny said with difficulty.

"I never thought about it that way. I just went with my feelings." I said as we began to move out of the garage and into the driveway... at about 2 mph.

"You can give it a little more gas now. I'll tell you when to shift." Mr. Logan said in a casual voice.

"What happens if we get stopped by the cops?" John asked with worry.

"We get a ticket... and we pay it... then it's done." Logan said without concern.

"Oh." John said weakly and we started moving faster.

"What's it like?" Ronny asked in a quiet voice.

"What's what like?" I asked, turning my full attention back to Ronny.

"Being in love." Ronny said in a whisper.

"It feels wonderful sometimes. It hurts sometimes. It's confusing and crazy and makes me a little dizzy." I said in thought.

"It hurts?" Ronny asked with worry.

"Yeah. When I think about not being with them... it hurts. When I think about 'what if', it hurts bad." I said quietly.

"What do you mean 'what if'?" Ronny asked with concern.

"What if one of them, or both of them finds someone else? What if they decide they want to become a couple? What if I can't stay at this school?" I said and felt pain pierce through my soul as I put my fears into words.

"I never felt that. Wanting to be around someone so much that it hurts to be apart." Ronny said in thought.

"I hope you do someday soon. As much as it hurts, the good times make it worth it." I said as I looked in the rear-view mirror at the expression of panic in John's eyes as we left the school property and went onto the main road.

"Clark?" Ronny said hesitantly.

I turned my attention back to Ronny.

"Thanks for not treating me like a kid." Ronny said in a whisper.

"You're one of the guys. I don't think about your age at all." I said honestly.

"Yeah. Thanks. It's just... Everyone around me is growing up... finding partners... And I'm not." Ronny said quietly.

"You'll find someone." I said with assurance.

"You're not understanding me Clark. You're attracted to John and Trey. Bobby's attracted to Robert. Logan's attracted to Ms. Munroe. It's not that I can't find anyone, it's that I'm not even interested in anyone like that... I'm just a kid." Ronny said in a voice of defeat.

"Ronny, you're not just a kid. If you focus on what you're not, you're going to tear yourself up. Try focusing on what you are." I said in thought.

"What am I?" Ronny asked with a note of fear in his voice.

I thought about the question and could tell by the look in Ronny's eyes that my answer was very important to him.

"You're a good person who is concerned about everyone around him. You're a good brother to Bobby. You've got a really cool mutant ability... you're my friend." I finished with a shrug, hoping I hadn't done too bad at answering his question.

"Do you ever think of me... that way?" Ronny asked hesitantly.

"What way?" I asked, trying to understand his meaning.

"In a sex way." Ronny asked timidly and didn't look in my eyes.

After some careful thought I said, "No. I never have. But that's because I knew you weren't interested in me like that."

Ronny nodded in thought.

"Guys, we're here." John called out from the drivers seat, looking at us in the rearview mirror.

We spent a few minutes getting unfolded and out of the back of the truck. As we walked to look at the house, Ronny put a hand on my arm to stop me.

"If I was interested in you like that... what would you think about me?" Ronny asked with tension.

"Are you asking if I find you attractive?" I asked carefully.

Ronny nodded shyly.

"Yes." I said simply.

Ronny looked at me with an imploring look that prompted me to continue.

"Ronny, you're handsome, smart, kind, gentle, honest. If I didn't already have two guys that I was crazy in love with, I'd probably ask you out." I said, holding his gaze to show my honesty.

"C'mon kid. We're in." Logan said as he swung open the front door.

* * * * *

"I guess this is your room Logan." Ronny said as we walked into the master bedroom.

"Why you think that?" Logan asked seriously.

"Cause it's the master bedroom." Ronny said seriously.

"No. We're equals in this. I ain't startin out by taking the big room." Logan said firmly.

"Okay, who gets it?" Ronny asked in confusion.

"It'll be the spare. Maybe an office or a study room. We'll each get one of the smaller rooms. That way we start out the same." Logan said firmly.

"Okay. That's cool. Thanks Logan." Ronny said with a smile.

"No problem kid. John, what you thinkin bout all this?" Logan asked and turned his attention to John.

"I like it. I could call it home." John said seriously.

"That's all I needed to hear." Logan said and walked out of the room.

"What?" John asked quickly, following Logan.

"I just need to check out a few things, then I'm gonna buy it." Logan said as he walked through the kitchen and into the basement.

"What things?" John asked as he followed.

"I gotta look at the plumbing, electrical. I wouldn't mind having a look at the roof." Logan said as he looked around the basement.

"Look at all this space." I said, looking around the huge open basement.

"We'll need to get a washer and dryer." Logan said as we passed the laundry attachments.

"Gas heat." Dr. McCoy said with approval.

"I don't see any signs of water damage." Mr. Summers said, looking around.

"Water damage?" John asked curiously.

"Yes. When you look at a house that you aren't familiar with, you have to be concerned if it was built on a flood plane or on the natural draw of the land. If there were signs of previous water damage, it could mean that you'll have constant problems with flooding." Mr. Summers said as he looked around.

"Anybody seen a ladder? I'd like to check out the roof." Logan said as he walked upstairs.

"I can fly us up there." Ronny said timidly.

"Come on and show me." Logan said and walked through the kitchen and out the back door.

* * * * *

We stood around and watched as Ronny floated up to the roof, then a moment later, Logan rose and landed beside him.

"He's really a fast learner." I said to Mr. Summers in an impressed voice.

"Yes. He's incredibly powerful for a mutant who's just awakening." Mr. Summers said seriously.

"What's wrong?" I asked at his serious expression.

"Bobby's mutation was high alpha to begin with. Though we haven't gauged it recently, I believe he crossed over into the omega range. I think Ronny may be joining him there soon." Scott said with concern.

"What's wrong with that?" I asked curiously.

"Omega class mutants are capable of terrible destruction. They have to maintain exact control because their power can be overwhelming. Professor Xavier, Ms. Munroe and Andrew are the only omega class mutants we have at the mansion. Should Professor Xavier lose control of his ability, he could effect the minds of the majority of the state. Orroro could destabilize the weather of this entire state, maybe more. She's so powerful, we haven't been able to test her ultimate limit. I haven't thought of a practical way of testing Andrew's ultimate limit, but I suspect that if he wanted to he could put Brooklyn on the moon with a thought." Mr. Summers said as he watched Logan and Ronny on the roof.

"So that's why you have us practicing every day and are so careful to teach us control." I said in realization.

"Exactly. In your situation, a slip could hurt one or two people, but in Ronny's, he could potentially disrupt gravity for the state, maybe even the east coast by the time he fully matured." Mr. Summers said in thought.

"He's that powerful?" I asked in wonder.

"He's just come into his power. It generally starts with a trickle and increases until adulthood. Like with me, I started with heat vision that would melt candle wax if I stared long enough. As time went on, the beams became stronger until I had to wear sunglasses all the time. Finally I had to get special glasses because I kept melting the sunglasses." Scott said as he focused his attention on me.

"So you don't have control of your ability like I do?" I asked in fascination.

"No, when my eyes are opened, my blasts are going. I could control my ability when I was young but something happened... and now I can't" Scott said evasively.

"Now I control my ability with the shutters in my visor or by taking off my sunglasses." He said seriously.

"So that's why you have Alex teaching me instead of you?" I asked, not really thinking about that before.

"Yes. Even though Alex's ability isn't technically the same as mine and Alan's, from what I understand of it, the control is the same. Alan and I neither one have that type of control of our ability. Alex has good control and is the best one to understand what your feeling." Mr. Summers said as we watched Logan and Ronny float down to the ground.

"But Alan doesn't wear sunglasses." I said in confusion.

"Alan has a Borg device inside his head that controls his optic blasts. He can operate the device consciously, but it's still a device." Mr. Summers said as we walked to join Logan and Ronny.

"It's fairly new. Only one layer of shingles. I'd say it has at least five years till we have to re-shingle." Logan said in thought as we walked around the yard.

I looked at Ronny who seemed to be soaking in every detail of his surroundings.

"Okay, what's everyone think?" Logan said as he stopped abruptly.

"I like it." Ronny said in thought.

"Yeah. It's good. I couldn't think of anything else that I'd want in a place." John said as he was also looking around.

"A garage, but we'll deal with that in a while." Logan said as he started walking to the truck.

"Are you going to do it?" Mr. Summers asked as he followed.

"Yeah. I think so. The price is right. The place looks good. The guys seem to like it. Close to the school..." Logan drifted off as he automatically got into the passenger side of the Bronco.

The rest of us piled into the truck and Trey took the seat beside Ronny in the cargo space.

"You sure you want me to drive?" John asked hesitantly.

"That's why I'm sitting over here. Let's get goin." Logan said as he closed his door.

* * * * *

"Mr. Logan. Would you like to come with me to see my brothers? They were born yesterday." Trey asked hopefully from the back of the truck.

"You one of Alan's kids?" Logan asked curiously.

"Yes sir. I am Trey O'Seofon Summers." Trey said in a very respectful voice.

"You can call me Matt. And yeah, I'd like to meet your brothers." Logan said as he carefully watched John's driving.

* * * * *

"Welcome back guys!" Andrew said happily as we walked into the boathouse.

"Matt?" Alan asked in surprise when Logan walked in behind us.

"Doc says I'm cured." Logan said with a grand smile.

"That's great, come in. The family's all here. We were just about to sit down to dinner. Will you join us?" Alan asked as he shifted a baby in his arms.

"Yeah. I hear you got some babies to show me." Logan said, looking at the baby in Alan's arms.

"This is Thomas... William, will you get Chakotay? He should be ready for his dinner." Alan asked gently.

William hurried out of the room.

"An dis be Marguerite." Remy said with pride as he held his daughter.

"Whoa Cajun. How'd you manage that?" Logan asked in surprise as he walked to stand before Remy and Xander.

"Long story. But she got out of the hospital yesterday and the judge said the words over the final adoption papers today... we're officially her parents." Xander said with joy.

"She's beautiful." Logan said with uncharacteristic awe in his voice.

"She be a beauty." Remy said in confirmation.

Icheb walked into the room carrying bottles. He handed one to Andrew and one to Remy before taking a seat beside William and taking Chakotay into his arms to feed.

"Would you like to feed her?" Xander asked quietly, looking at Logan.

"Yeah, I'd like that." Logan said in a near whisper.

Xander shifted over to make room for Logan on the couch and gently took Marguerite from Remy's arms.

"As soon as the babies are finished, we'll sit down to dinner." Andrew said with a peaceful smile.

"How's the construction going?" Mr. Summers asked as he perched on the arm of the couch beside Andrew.

"Right on schedule. We should be ready to move in by this time next week." Andrew said happily.

"We're getting a house." Ronny said abruptly with a grand smile.

"Really?" Alan asked with surprise.

"Yeah. We looked at it before we came over here. It should be just right for all of us. I'm gonna get it taken care of in the morning." Logan said quietly as he fed Marguerite.

"She be finished." Remy said and handed a towel across to Logan.

"Lay her on your lap and rub her back gently to burp her. She doesn't like to be patted." Xander said with a gentle smile.

Logan did as he was told and before long, Marguerite let out a very delicate, lady-like burp.

"Janine, would you ask Robert if dinner is ready?" Andrew asked as he watched Alan burping Thomas.

Janine got up off the floor and hurried to the kitchen.

"Robert's cooking?" I asked in surprise.

"Yes. Remy show Robert what to do. He wan to try." Remy said quietly as he watched his daughter.

"The food is in the dining room awaiting us." Janine said happily from the kitchen doorway.

"Us?" Alan questioned.

"Robert prepared some food for us as well." Janine said happily.

"Gods protect us." Andrew said as he hung his head.

"What's wrong?" Logan asked curiously.

"Food... their bodies don't process it the same as ours." Andrew said brokenly.

"It's bloody awful." Spike said as he and Alex walked into the room.

"Yeah. That's about right." Alan said with a weak smile.

"Let's get these babies put down and get to dinner." Andrew said and stood, then put out his arms for Thomas.

"I'll stay with the babies while you eat." Lee said quietly. I hadn't noticed him before.

"No Dad. I'll stay with the kids. You enjoy dinner with the family." Andrew said firmly.

Lee looked like he was going to fight it, but then just nodded and went to the dining room.

Icheb and Logan each carried a baby to follow Andrew into the bedroom.

* * * * *

Dinner had been interesting. Robert cooked the food very well, but his combinations were unusual. Roast beef with potatoes, but they were sweet potatoes. I don't know what he used to season the roast but it was delicious. We also had asparagus with... gravy? I'm not sure exactly what it was, but it was very good and I ate until I was stuffed.

Then desert came and the real surprise. I've never seen so much Jell-O in my life.

But as it turned out, there was just enough for everyone. Apparently all Andrew's kids love Jell-O and each of them had second helpings.

Finally, dinner was over. Everyone headed for the living room as William, Icheb and Jimmy took care of the dishes.

I stopped just outside the dining room and said quietly to Robert, "Dinner was great. You're a really good cook."

"Thank you." Robert said shyly.

"What is your family doing for Thanksgiving?" I asked as I was assaulted with inspiration.

"Father says we will celebrate the holiday at the mansion. Dad says he will prepare food for us as well." Robert said happily as we walked and joined the others in the living room.

"You should talk to your fathers about preparing something for the meal. Your food is really good and I think everyone would enjoy it." I said honestly.

"Really? I will ask my fathers tonight." Robert said happily.

I nodded and took my usual seat in the floor beside the couch beside John.

Janine walked into the bedroom and a moment later Andrew walked out.


Trey moved to sit on my other side.

"I know you were planning on taking Ronny and John shopping tonight, but now that I'm out, I can do it." Logan said to Scott.

"Would you guys mind if you had a few more people on your shopping expedition?" Andrew asked hopefully.

"Who you got?" Matt asked as he took a seat on a sofa.

"My dad, my brother and my brother-in-law." Andrew said with a smile.

"Who?" Logan asked in confusion.

"You'll have to forgive Andrew. He's just so happy to have his father here and a new brother that he can't pass up an opportunity to say it. What he means is Lee, Spike and Alex would like to go clothes shopping with you." Alan said with a loving look at Andrew.

"Fine with me." Logan said and looked to John and Ronny who both shrugged noncommittally.

"Great. We're going to need to take two cars for the clothes shopping and a truck for the food shopping. Does anyone need anything from the grocery store?" Andrew asked the room.

"Jell-O!" Icheb, Trey and Jimmy said immediately.

"Lots of Jell-O, got it." Andrew said with a fond smile.

"Remy need to buy clothes too." Remy said shyly.

"Go ahead Remy, Alan and I will stay here with the babies. Some of the kids can go to help with groceries and some can stay and help with babies." Xander said tenderly.

Remy nodded and gave Xander a gentle kiss.

"Who's riding with me?" Logan asked the room.

Trey, John, Ronny and I raised our hands.

"Scott will be riding with you too. He has the credit card." Alan said to the group.

"Who's with me?" Alex asked the group.

Jimmy, Lee, Remy and Spike raised their hands.

"Clark, you got a minute mate? We need to have us a quick chat before we leave." Mr. Burroughs said seriously.

"Um, sure." I said and got up to follow him out of the room.

* * * * *

Mr. Burroughs closed the door of the dining room and asked, "First off. Do you have your story written?"

"Kind of. I still want to do more with it. But I think you'll get the idea." I said uneasily.

Mr. Burroughs held out his hand and I gave him the folded up piece of paper.

Those who are gone. My Friends.

My Friends - When I was alone, they came to talk to me.

My Friends - Depend on me when they are in need.

My Friends - Are popular and loved by all.

My Friends - Warn me away from others who would hurt me.

My Friends - Show that they care for me by including me in their plans.

My Friends - Are the only friends I ever knew... until now.

My New Friends - Talk to me, even when others can see.

My New Friends - Depend on me, but let me depend on them too.

My New Friends - Aren't just a popular image, they're real people.

My New Friends - Encourage me to meet others and support my choices.

My New Friends - Care for me, whether we do what they want or what I want.

My New Friends - Are the kind of friends that last a lifetime.


"Don't change a word of it mate. It's bloody brilliant just as it is." Mr. Burroughs said with a smile.

"Really?" I asked with wide eyes.

"Really. That's what I wanted to talk to you about. You've got talent as a writer. You can let your feelings show and not muck about. I was thinking of starting a school newspaper and wondered if you'd be interested  in being on it." Mr. Burroughs asked seriously.

"But... I'm not even sure if I'm staying." I said in wonder at the offer.

"This is a whole other thing from that. If you decide to go to the Wagner school or someplace else, that won't change this. You can still write for our paper as our lead reporter, you'll just email your article to me." Mr. Burroughs said with hope in his voice.

"Who else? I mean, how many others are there on the newspaper?" I asked as a million questions flooded my mind.

"Right now? You and me. But if you say yes, I'll be asking our next reporter to join us in just a moe." Mr. Burroughs said with a big smile.

[He wants me to write for the newspaper. He says I have talent. He chose me before anyone else. Even if I don't go to this school, he still wants me.] I thought frantically.

"Yes." I said firmly.

"Good. You'll never regret it mate. You've got what it takes, I can tell." Mr. Burroughs said and walked to the door.

"Jimmy, If you'll come here, I think I've got a job for you." Mr. Burroughs said with a smile.

"Yes Uncle Spike?" Jimmy asked happily.

"Come in. Clark has just agreed to be on the school newspaper as our lead reporter. I just wondered if you'd like to be on the paper too?" Mr. Burroughs asked kindly.

"Yes. Oh, thank you Uncle Spike." Jimmy said and hugged Mr. Burroughs close.

"So how do you want your 'by' line to read?" Mr. Burroughs asked, directing his question to me.

"I... I guess I'll just use my name." I said with question.

"Think about that mate. We're at a school for mutants. I'm going to suggest that we not use anyone's real names either in the 'by' line or in the content of the articles. It's just too risky." Mr. Burroughs said seriously.

I thought about using 'Kal-El' but it just didn't feel right.

"Can you come up with something for me? I can't think of anything." I said helplessly.

"Farm boy?" Mr. Burroughs asked weakly.

"No thanks, I was worried when I came here that I'd be called farm boy. I'm not going to name myself that." I said with a laugh.

"Why don't you ask Uncle Scott? He bestows mutant names, he could name you too." Jimmy said helpfully.

"Whelp's got 'im a good idea." Mr. Burroughs said as he nodded his head.

"What about you Jimmy?" I asked curiously.

"I'll ask Uncle Scott too. I do not believe I want my Borg designation associated with my writing." Jimmy said seriously.

"Why are you coming with us?" I asked curiously.

"I have been told that I have a good sense of style. Perhaps I could be of assistance." Jimmy said plainly.

"That'd be good. You saw what my sense of style looked like." I said with a grin.

"Some clothes look better on the hanger.' Jimmy agreed.

Mr. Burroughs laughed as he opened the dining room door and led us back into the living room.

To Be Continued...