Title: Excuses
Author: Jordanna Morgan (librarie@jordanna.net)
Archive Rights: Please request the author’s consent.
Rating/Warnings: G.
Characters: Various.
Setting: General.
Summary: Not all parents find the prestigious Xavier School worthy of their approval.
Disclaimer: Marvel and Fox create the characters that sell. I’m simply playing with them.
Notes: This 650-word ficlet was written in response to a story prompt on LiveJournal. The first sentence was provided by my friend Skybright Daye; it was then my task to write a continuation of it. The result is not entirely what I expected, but it is hopefully rather amusing. Just don’t take it too seriously, because it was written on the quick, and merely for fun.
A passing reference is made to Sally-Rose, an original X-kid I created several years ago. If you want to know more about her, look up my story April Fools.



There were any number of complications that arose from running a superhero team and a boarding school out of the same building.


Most of them, at least, were not terribly difficult to surmount. Missed classes (on the part of teachers rather than students) could be made up on the weekends. Potentially destructive technology could be kept safely under lock and key in the sublevels, accessible only by a retinal scan. And if any hostile parties should happen to drop in unexpectedly on occasion… well, they tended to find themselves greeted with a much more violent enthusiasm than they expected.


But there was one dilemma that never ceased to pose an awkward challenge for Charles Xavier and his staff: visits from parents of prospective students who had no idea that their own child—much less the entire student body of the school—possessed mutant powers.


Especially when those powers were, for the most part, less than perfectly controlled.


Naturally, great efforts were made to hide the signs of abnormality. Vigorous campaigns of cleaning and repair took place before such visits of parental inspection, and physically obvious mutants such as Doctor McCoy and Kurt Wagner would stay out of sight for the duration. But a school was a very fluid environment, with unpredictable and sometimes thoughtless, if well-meaning, young inhabitants—and every now and then, inevitably, certain evidences were missed.


“We’re having a little trouble with the air conditioning,” Jean Grey explained hastily, guiding Mr. and Mrs. Sherman around a ten-foot patch of ice on the floor of the entryway, as Bobby Drake folded his hands and tried to whistle innocently.


Mrs. Sherman frowned in distaste and discreetly surveyed her heels, to make sure her designer pumps had not accidentally made contact with the frozen puddle. Mr. Sherman merely raised his eyebrows and adjusted his tie.


“One of our younger students decided her teddy bear needed a bath,” Ororo Munroe offered, fighting back a blush over the vivid blue fur in a bathtub drain.


Mrs. Sherman’s lip curled slightly. Mr. Sherman decided he had liked his tie better where it was before.


“A fuse blew out in the stereo,” Scott Summers said glibly of a scorch mark on the wall of the rec room, as Sally-Rose sheepishly slunk past him and out the doorway. “There was just a little bit of a fire—but we got it put out right away.”


Mrs. Sherman let out a dubious huff. Mr. Sherman yanked off his tie and rubbed the back of his neck.


“The Professor’s cat ain’t housebroken,” Logan stated flatly in the TV room, noticing the Shermans’ stares at the disquietingly long and deep claw marks that scarred the arm of the sofa he was lounging on.


Mrs. Sherman made a disgusted noise, squeezing her purse strap in a well-manicured stranglehold. Mr. Sherman used his tie to mop the beads of sweat that had broken out on his brow.


“The student who sleeps here has, I’m afraid … a tendency to suffer rather violent seizures in his sleep,” Professor Xavier said carefully, after his horrified guests discovered the padded straps on a bed—used by Warren Worthington to prevent his wings from unconsciously spreading and knocking things over at night.


Mrs. Sherman gasped. Mr. Sherman twisted his tie around his hands like a garrote.


“I’ve seen enough!” Mrs. Sherman exclaimed indignantly. “I don’t know what’s going on around here, but I’m certain this is no environment for a child. Not only will our son never set foot in this place, we’ll report you to the child welfare services. We’ll even write to our senator!”


Mrs. Sherman stormed out, and Mr. Sherman followed her.


Professor Xavier listened thoughtfully to the slam of the front door downstairs. Then a faint, crooked smile crossed his lips.


“By all means,” he said politely to the air. “I’m quite sure Senator Kelly will be interested in your charges.”


© 2009 Jordanna Morgan - send feedback