Title: Fur
Author: Shade (starwoman007@yahoo.com)
Disclaimer: All characters depicted belong to Marvel Entertainment Group and 20th Century Fox. I am not making a profit from this work.
Rating: PG for language
Summary: Hank is still a hidden secret at Xavier's, but Bobby hopes to change things in order to help a mysterious new student.
Feedback: Much appreciated.
Notes: This story occurs in the X-Men Movieverse and is a sequel to my story "Bobby and the Beast" which can be found at (un)frozen. I've had several people ask me to continue the new friendship of Bobby and Hank. Last time, Bobby told his story. This time, Hank gets to spill his guts. Translations appear at the end. Thanks to all the Icekateers that continually inspire me, and to my friend Kristy for the beta.

by Shade

I'm staring at the rounded wall. It's really the door to an elevator, but the students aren't allowed to use it. The thing is, I really need to use it. If he hadn't moved down there, this wouldn't be such a problem. I've been staring at the stupid door for a while now trying to figure out how to get it to open. Wishful thinking isn't working so far.

"Bobby, what are you doing?"

I jump at the voice beside me. It's Dr. Grey. I suddenly realize I have no idea how long she's been there. I wonder if she's figured it out.

"Um, nothing?" I try. She raises an eyebrow and I know that probably wasn't the right answer. "I need to go downstairs," I say instead.

"Students aren't allowed down there, you know that."

"It's important, Dr. Grey. I need to talk to him."

"Oh. About what?"

I look at the toes of my sneakers and try to think of some other reason but the truth. He's not going to want to hear the truth.

"It's a personal matter," is all I can come up with.

Dr. Grey smiles and whispers, "Guy stuff, huh?"


"Well, I suppose you could go down with a chaperone."

"Know any takers?"

Her reply is the door suddenly opening on its own. Dr. Grey steps in and turns back to look at me. I quickly follow her in.

As the door closes, I ask, "How'd you do that?"

"I'm gifted."

I immediately hate the hallways down here. They make me think of a hospital or a prison or something. I'm not even going to go into what those crazy metal "X" doors make me think of. I follow Dr. Grey down the maze of identical halls and try my hardest to remember the way. Anything to keep my mind off of the conversation that's about to happen.

It was two months ago that I accidentally came across one of Xavier School's secrets. Our school has a lot of secrets. Mainly that it's not really a school for "Gifted Youngsters," but one for mutants. My secret is that I'm the only student on the grounds that knows about the special guest who lives downstairs.

We stop in front of one of the metal doors and it slides open. Inside is a state-of-the-art laboratory. It looks like something out of the X-Files. Everything is stainless steel and cold, but not necessarily clean. Every surface has something on it. There are papers and computer print-outs everywhere. The main lab table has a computer humming away with an electron microscope next to it. There are all sorts of vials with many different colored liquids. A coffee cup sits abandoned next to a stack of books. The place looks shiny and new and yet lived in at the same time.

Dr. Grey walks toward a regular old wooden door and knocks. I look through the glass panel and see an equally piled office. A large blue figure sits in an enormous leather wingback chair with a book in his lap.

Hank looks up and smiles when he sees Dr. Grey and me. He waves her in. I take a deep breath as she opens the door.

"You have a visitor."

"Bobby! Come on in! Pull those papers out of that chair and sit."

Dr. Grey steps out of the way to allow me inside. She pats my shoulder as I pass, and I wonder what she thinks I need to talk to Hank about.

"I'll leave you two alone. Hank, I'll be in my lab when you're done. Just buzz me and I'll take Bobby back up."

"Thanks, Dr. Grey."

"It's okay, Bobby, just don't make a habit of it or I'll hear from the Professor."

I watch her head out and for the millionth time wonder exactly what I'm going to say to Hank. Originally, he wasn't thrilled that I had found out about him being at the school. I'd be afraid of other people too if I was a huge beast-like creature covered in blue fur. That train of thought only makes me think about why I'm down here.

"So Bobby, I haven't had the chance to see you much since they got the lab finished, but you know the saying, 'No rest for the wicked.'"

"Yeah, I guess."

Hank smiles at me. It's a frightening expression if you don't know him. You'd think he was ready to go for your throat if you didn't look into his eyes. Most people just see all those teeth, but his eyes are really soft and gentle.

"How have you been?" he asks. If I didn't know better, I'd think he knew I was uncomfortable.

"Fine. I'm doing better in history. I never did get the chance to thank you for helping me study for the midterm."

"I'm pleased that you are doing better. History really is a rewarding subject if you take the time."

"Uh huh."

"Would you like some coffee?"

"No thanks."

"How about a doughnut?"

"I'm not hungry."

"How about an explanation of particle physics?"

"No, I'm not ... what?"

I watch Hank raise a bushy blue eyebrow. He's smirking, or at least I think he's smirking. It's hard to tell sometimes.

"Would I be wrong in suggesting that you're a tad distracted?"

Damn, he does know I'm uncomfortable.

"I need to talk to you about something, but I'm afraid of what you'll think about it."

"The only way to be sure is to come out and tell me."

I run my fingers through my hair. Why is this so hard? I know why. I'm afraid that I'll make him mad. Hank has turned into one of my best friends. Ever since I spilled my guts to him the night we met, we've gotten close. It's weird to think that someone ten years older than me is my best friend, but it's true. I can tell him about anything. Plus, he knows tons of stuff. I think I'm good for him too because I can tell he gets lonely. Dr. Grey and Mr. Summers and all the other teachers at Xavier's know him, but I don't think they really know him like I do. I don't want to mess that up.

The whole time my mind runs through all of this, the room has been silent. He's just sitting there waiting for me to talk.

"I want you talk before the whole school."

"What?" he asks, surprised.

"You know, give a lecture."


"No, hear me out. I know you don't like people to see you and you're worried about what they think, but this is important. Things have changed up there recently. You've been down here the whole time so you don't know."

"What has changed?"

"We got a new student. He's from Germany, I think. Anyway, he's ... well ... he's kind of like you."

Hank sits back in his chair and looks at me. I can tell his big ol' brain must be churning, but I can't read his face. I plow on.

"His name is Kurt. He's got blue fur, but it's shorter and darker than yours is. It's almost like a navy blue velvet dress my mom once had. Anyway, he's got pointy ears. Plus, he's only got three fingers on his hands, and his feet are different too. He's even got a tail. Kitty screamed when she first saw him. She thought he was some kind of blue demon or something. The rest of the kids won't go near him or talk to him. Some of them have even started doing some real mean things to him. I tried to be nice to him so he'd have at least one friend, but he just won't trust me after some of the things the guys have done to him."

I pause, but Hank still hasn't moved or said anything. "Hank, I just thought that if you gave a lecture to the school or something, they'd see how cool and smart you are. You're a Doctor and a genius and everything. If they saw that, they might give Kurt a break. Plus, if he saw you, maybe he would be a little more confident."

I let out a breath and wait. What if he kicks me out of his office and never wants to talk to me again? Worse yet, what if I've made him more sad than angry?

"Bobby, I'm happy that you want to help this young man. You have a good open mind and a giving heart. I was worried that you'd judge me when you first met me, but you didn't. Unfortunately, not everyone is so forgiving."

Hank slowly rises and steps over to the door. He stares out at his lab, but I can tell he's not really looking at it.

"I'm not asking you to do this just for him. There's always going to be some assholes out there. You can't change that. But if you keep hiding down here, you're going to miss the good people too, the people like me."

Hank turns to look at me. He's giving me that critical eye that adults use. He's never treated me like a kid before. That's one of the cool things about him. We've always been equals, but I can tell he's going to finally play that card now.

"You're young, Bobby. You don't know what the world is really like yet."

"Don't give me that," I interrupt. "I know all about the world. I was the one in court for attempted manslaughter when I was eleven, remember? This isn't good for you! You're too smart for this! If you can't even face a bunch of teenage fellow mutants, how are you going to face the rest of the world? I worry about you. You're my friend. I hate seeing you holed up down here like you're some sort of monster."

"Aren't I, though? Do you really think that if I just ignore how I look that everyone else will? It doesn't work like that, Bobby. I know."

I watch Hank walk back to his desk. He leaves his back to me. I want to scream at him, but I know it would only make things worse.

"My mom always told me that you have to face your demons. Well you've got a blue one upstairs now. If you don't face him, then all those assholes have won. I'm sorry if I upset you."

I quietly open the door and step into the lab. There's an intercom by the main door. I'm not sure how it works so I just start pushing buttons.

"Dr. Grey?"

I push two different buttons before I get an answer.


"I'm ready to go back up, now."

"Okay, I'll be there in a minute. Is something wrong?"

"Only with the universe," I say and take my finger off the button.

The sun feels good against my face, so I leave my eyes closed and just sit still for a while. It's been two days and I still feel awful. School and classes have gone on normally, but I haven't been paying much attention. Mr. Summers even had to yell at me during Math because my mind was wandering.

I finally open my eyes and stare at the younger kids playing soccer out on the grass. Rogue is waving at me from the other side of the yard but I just shake my head at her. She gives a little pout and turns back to Johnny and Jubilee. Maybe hanging with them would make me feel better, but I doubt it.

"Nice day, isn't it?" a voice says behind me.

I turn and look up at chair behind me. The Professor smiles slightly and rolls up beside me.

"It's okay," I reply.

"The sun always feels warmer to me after the rain."

"I wouldn't know. I'm the ice guy, remember. I'm better in a cold climate."

"Seems like the climate has been unusually cold around you lately."

I look over at him, startled, but he's still just watching the kids in front of us.

"Let me guess. Dr. Grey told you I was upset."

The Professor grins and says, "She's always been the worrying type."

"So you came out here to get the 411, is that it?"

"I came out here to enjoy the day. Why did you come out?"

"I have some stuff to think about."

"Have you been thinking a lot?"

"Ah, Mr. Summers also told you that I wasn't paying attention in class," I sigh.

The Professor smiles again, but he doesn't say anything. I know that he could find out anything he wanted by just looking inside my head with his powers. There isn't anything I could do to stop him. The funny thing is, he's just not that sort of person.

"I asked Hank to give a lecture to the school. It didn't go over too well."

"Why would you want him to give a lecture?"

"So Kurt would know he wasn't alone, and so Hank wouldn't be."

"Interesting idea."

I sigh again, "Too bad it blew up in my face and now Hank probably won't ever talk to me again."

"Friends don't stop being friends just because they disagree."

"I don't know. I'm worried that I hurt his feelings more than anything."

"The truth hurts sometimes, Bobby, but we should never let that stop us from telling it. I'm sure everything will work out in the end."

"I hope so, Professor."

"Now, we should enjoy this fine day for the sake of those who can't."

There is just too much dust up here. I've only just come up the stairs and already I'm coughing my head off.

"You're lucky I don't have asthma or this would probably kill me," I say in between coughs. There's no answer.

"All right. I'm good at talking to myself too. It's a really nice day out. Even the Professor went outside for a little while."

Again there's no response but I can hear him moving around a little bit.

"Why the attic?" I ask after I finish another coughing fit. "I mean the basement, sure. Heck, there are a million places to hide around here. On a day like this I'd even hide outside in the woods. If you like, I could show you a few places. That is if you're still into the whole hiding thing."

"Leave me alone," a soft voice says from behind some boxes.

I can't see him back there because he blends in so well with the dark.

"So you do talk, and you have that sexy accent thing that the girls all go crazy for. I envy you, man." I sit down and lean back on the crate. I hear his sigh on the other side of it.

"Yeah, annoying aren't I?"

"Why did you come here?"


"Your friends need me downstairs for another of their pranks."

"Buzz. Try again."

"You feel sorry for me," he says with a touch of anger.

"Buzz. You only have one more guess to win the grand prize."

"You're a, how do you say, a jerk?"

"Bing, bing, bing. Congratulations! Tell him what he's won, Bob!"

There's more movement behind me, and I turn to see a navy, fuzzy face peer around the corner at me. His eyes are a bright yellow, which contrasts with his dark face.

"Hi, want to go out and enjoy the weather?" I ask.

"You're mad."

"I'm in a good mood, actually."

"That's not what I meant."

"I won't tell if you won't."

From sitting with my back to a crate, I end up sitting with my back to a tree. Kurt's up in it somewhere. He's a natural climber.

I look up and say, "You're really good at that."

"I've been climbing since I was five."

"That's young."

"My hands and feet are made for it. Having a tail doesn't hurt either."

"You mean you were born like you are?"


I shake my head.

"You must have been hell on babysitters," I finally say.

There is a snort from up in the tree. At least I'm slightly amusing him.

"What did you think when the Professor asked you to come here?" he asks.

"I'm pretty sure the first thought was, 'Thank, God.' I was in a bad scene at the time."

"I was happy where I was."

"Really? Where was that?"

"A circus. They were my family."

"Damn! Really? That is so cool. What did you do?"

"I was an acrobat, but..."

"Man! But what?"

"It was a small circus. We weren't making much money. The owner decided we'd make more if I was..."

"Let me guess. Freak show, right?" I asked and looked up at the tree. The young German nodded.

"Bastards. Is that why you came here?"

"Yes. From one freak show to another, I guess."

"Yeah, I've always thought we needed a barker at the gate."

"I wasn't thinking of the rest of you."

"You're only saying that because you haven't had to share a room with Johnny. Talk about weirdness. You should see him bite his toenails. It's disgusting. Plus, whenever he has a racy dream he sets his sheets on fire!"

There is a burst of laughter from the tree. I look up in time to see Kurt fall from the limb he was laying on. Before I can react, I realize that he's hanging upside down by his tail still laughing his head off. I laugh myself.

"I'm telling you, it's true! He keeps an extinguisher on his nightstand. It happens so often, when it does I don't even wake up anymore!"

We laugh for what seems like forever. After a bit, Kurt comes back down and sits beside me. I want to reach over and touch his arm just to see what it's like.

"Kurt, can I ask a weird question?"

"As long as it isn't of a sexual nature."

I chuckle. Already he's pegged me for a dirty mind. Of course, he's right.

"Can I feel your fur? It's nothing funny," I add quickly to prevent any misunderstanding.

Kurt smiles and holds out his arm. I reach over and sort of pet it.

"I was right. It's just like my mom's velvet dress, only softer."

"It's strange. Everyone I've ever met has been frightened of me, but they are always curious about it, too."

"I have a different reason for being curious."

"What is it?"

I sigh, "Can't tell you. Maybe soon, but not right now."

He eyes me. I really want to tell him about Hank, but I made a promise to the Professor. I look down at my watch and realize that it's almost dinnertime.

"Hey, we should probably go in. It's time to eat."

Kurt looks away before he says, "You go ahead."

"Aw, come on! You can sit with me. They'll leave you alone, or I'll give them all ice wedgies!"

"Very well."

We get up and head back towards the mansion. I walk slower because Kurt's a little shorter than I am. I can almost see the tension grip his body the closer we get to the cafeteria.

"Relax, you're used to getting up in front of an audience. Don't let it get to you."

Kurt smiles. "You're right. I just have one question. What is a wedgie?"

I chuckle and lead him in while explaining the physics behind childhood torture. I'm not sure he gets it, but at least he's relaxing a little. We go through the line and grab some grub. When we step into the dining room there is utter silence. I feel like I'm in one of those old westerns. I can almost hear the swinging doors banging behind me. The only question I have is should the piano player get it first?

I can feel Kurt start to tense up beside me again. I look over at him and wink so that the others can't see. He smirks slightly, stands at his full height, and walks toward the middle of the room. The empty table is the center ring and the tightrope is waiting. That's an act that is really hard to follow. I can feel every eye in the room watching me now. I nod and smile at the people I pass like a senator during re-election. As soon as I sit down beside Kurt the silence is broken into a thousand whispers. Bunch of stupid gossips. I look over at my usual table. Johnny, Rogue, Jubilee, and Kitty are all looking at me with something like disappointment. I have to remind myself not to flip them off. Instead I motion for them to join us. They all turn back to their food like they didn't see it.

What if they don't want to be my friends anymore? I know I'm going to hear from Johnny when I get back to my room tonight, but then again he can't ever shut up. I like them. They are my friends. Why can't they see that what they're doing is wrong? Why can't they see that they're acting just like all those humans who hate us? I go back to my food and wish I could ask Hank all those questions. He always manages to explain things to me, but thinking about Hank bums me out.

"Is something wrong?" Kurt asks.

I sigh and look over at him.

"Nah, I'm just thinking too much again. You'll find that I do that a lot."

"If you'd rather not sit with me, I'll understand."

"No! It's not you, really. I'd never do that to you, and you shouldn't have to understand stupid things like that."

"Perhaps if you tell me what is wrong. Perhaps I could help."

"That's just the thing, " I reply, "I can't tell anyone."

"If you say so."

Before we can continue, Mr. Summers stands up from the teachers' table and calls for attention. The room quiets down again. All of the teachers and the Professor are sitting up there. Even Mr. Logan is slouching at the end of the table. It's kind of odd because there's usually only one around to watch us during dinner.

"I have an announcement to make," Mr. Summers begins. "Tomorrow there will not be a second period. Everyone should assemble in the ballroom for a special program. All homework for your second period classes should be turned in before you go to the assembly. Please be prompt. That's all."

"Do you have assemblies often?" Kurt asks.

"No. There's only been a few since I've been here. It's odd. I wonder..."

The next day I reach into Ms. Munroe's office to lay my homework on her desk before I'm supposed to be at assembly. I've done a good job of avoiding my "friends." The night before I pretended to be asleep when Johnny came in so I wouldn't have to get a lecture about hanging out with Kurt. During first period I kept my face in my book to keep from talking to Kitty and Jubilee. I know I can't keep doing this forever, but I'm better off for now. The ballroom is already pretty full when I get there. I look around a bit trying to decide where to sit. Rogue is saving a place beside her and she looks right at me. Apparently, the spot is for me. I'm not sure if I should take it or not. I see Kurt slip in through the opposite door and take a seat next to the wall. Despite the crowd there is a sudden ring of empty space around him. I want to scream at them all. Instead, I turn away from Rogue's questioning look and head to sit with Kurt.

"Hi? This space saved?" I ask louder than is probably necessary.

Kurt gives me a funny look and says, "No. Sit down."

The teachers come in one by one. First is Mr. Summers. He's always early or right on time. He starts circling the room talking to students and making sure no one is acting up. Storm comes in next and sits on one of the chairs that make a row facing all of us sitting on the floor. A couple of girls get up and go to talk to her. Mr. Logan wonders in from the back and leans against the back wall. I didn't think that he was the type to sit with the other teachers. The only classes that the Professor has talked him into teaching are Phys Ed. and Self-Defense. Finally, Dr. Grey comes in, following the Professor. There is a space between the row of chairs for his wheelchair. He maneuvers into it quickly. All of the conversations quiet down and Mr. Summers heads back to the front of the room. The Professor waits for him and then begins to speak.

"I thank you all for coming. Today is a very special day. We have a guest speaker who I hope you will all enjoy."

On this last sentence, the Professor looks right at me. I can't help but grin at him. A gesture he returns. I look over at Kurt.

"Remind me to tell you all about my secret after this," I whisper.

The Professor looks toward the far door and everyone turns to look with him. To my utter delight, Hank stands in the doorway clutching some papers. He's wearing corduroy pants, a shirt and tie, and a dark brown sport coat. I've never seen him look so nice. He pushes his tiny wire-rimmed glasses further up his furry blue nose and walks over to the Professor.

"Students, this is Dr. Henry McCoy. He is a medical doctor with several degrees including those specializing in biochemistry and genetics. He's been working here at the school with Dr. Grey on the preeminent treatise on mutantcy. I've asked him to speak to you today not about his work, but his experience as a successful mutant in society. Doctor."

"Thank you, Professor Xavier. As my friend has stated, my name is Dr. McCoy, but most people just call me Hank."

I watch his eyes sweep the crowd in front of him, and I know he's looking for me. Finally they settle on Kurt and me. I can tell he's nervous, but somehow the sight of my other blue friend and my goofy smile urges him on.

"Like most of you, I was born a mutant. But I haven't always looked as I do now. I was born in Illinois, and was a large baby. My initial mutantcy were above-normal sized hands and feet and enhanced agility. I also had increased strength. I'm not sure if my intelligence is related to my mutantcy. I would hope that it is just a gift tended with hard work instead of a twist in my genetic code. Due to my abilities, I was a star player on my high school football team. I didn't know about mutants. This is before the condition was commonly known as it is now.

"I entered college at the young age of fourteen and studied in a variety of fields. It was during my education that I discovered what I was. This discovery led my interest into the sciences. I wanted to know more about genetics, biochemistry, but mostly about mutants. I wanted to know not only why I was different but also how I became so. I worked very hard, and earned my degrees.

"A year ago, after I had finished my studies, I took a job doing genetic research at a place called the Brand Corporation. It is a private company that does some research in the area of mutant genetics. While I was there, I isolated a serum that seemed to hold the key to mutantcy. It brought out a genetic change in samples that had latent mutant tendencies. In simpler terms, there are some people who carry mutant characteristics, but are not mutants themselves. All of your parents carried these latent genes, enabling you to be mutants when you were born. My serum triggered these latent genes into dominant genes. In effect, it made my test subjects, ordinary lab rats, into mutants.

"Unfortunately, before I could do more testing, my colleagues discovered what I was working on. They realized that I was a mutant. They thought I was trying to 'infect' them with my serum. The prejudices they held blinded them, and they destroyed my office. I was drugged and captured. Mr. Brand, the head of the corporation, injected me with my own serum. It reacted with my own dominant mutant genes and further evolved me..."

Hank pauses and looks down at his notes. The papers he holds in his hands are shaking. I know that he hadn't always looked the way he does now, but I had no idea the horror story that went with it. I want to run up there so bad and comfort him. I look around the room quickly. Everyone is staring at him with rapt attention. My head jerks back around as Hank continues.

"I was sick and in pain for days as my body began to change. I grew the fur that you see now. My large hands and feet changed into more bestial claws. The strength, agility, and dexterity that I was born with practically doubled. Suddenly, I didn't blend in anymore. The secret that I'd kept for so long was now obvious to anyone who looked at me. I found myself an outcast in places that had once welcomed me. Colleagues that I had worked with during my schooling suddenly pretended they didn't know me. I couldn't find work. I couldn't go back to school. My life, it seemed, was over.

"That's when I got a call from Professor Xavier. He asked me to work with Dr. Grey. I had corresponded with her before, but I'd never met her. I certainly didn't know anything about this institution. I'd had a lot of rejection. I didn't want to face you, because I was suddenly frightening to people. I wasn't sure how any of you would react to me. I told Charles that I would come here, but it would have to be in secret. I didn't want anyone outside of the faculty to know about me. It was obvious I didn't know much about Xavier's because I was discovered by one of you the night that I arrived."

This admission sets off a flurry of whispering. All the students are murmuring trying to figure out who it could be. I ignore it because Hank's looking right at me with a smile.

He says, "I was upset at first because I didn't realize the gift I had received. I made a friend, my first real one since becoming the beast you all see before you. He didn't seem to care about how I looked. And maybe, just maybe, he made me realize that I didn't have to care about how I looked either. I've always believed that what was on the inside counts more than outward appearance. I just never had so great a test as when this happened to me. I've never thanked that friend for bringing me back to myself again, and I feel bad about it.

"I don't think that this is the speech the Professor expected of me, but I am glad that I got the chance to talk with you all. Charles has been trying to get me to join his staff in educating you young scamps. Perhaps I do have some wisdom to share with the new generation. I may not be much older than most of you, but I certainly feel older than my years. I thank you for your kind attention."

There is still a lot of whispering, and I'm not sure that everyone has figured out the lecture is over. I'm too busy staring at Hank to realize that Kurt has stood up beside me. The sudden noise of his clapping startles me and I look up to see him applauding. Without a second thought, I stand and join him. Slowly, but steadily the rest of the student body also rises and applauds. The noise is deafening before we are through. I can tell that Hank is embarrassed. Not too much later, we are let out of the assembly. I'm surprised at the number of students that crowd around Hank to talk to him. I stay by the wall with Kurt while Ms. Munroe runs them all off to class. When the last student is gone, I pull Kurt up to the front of the room.

"When did you change your mind?" I ask with a smirk.

"When the Professor made me take a walk in the woods with him yesterday afternoon. He assured me that no one would see us. What he didn't tell me was that the woods were already occupied by two certain persons."

Kurt looks up and asks, "You were watching us yesterday?"

"For a little while. Might I make a confession? I've always wanted to run away to the circus."

This makes Kurt grin. I think he's relieved that he's not really alone in the world. I know I would be. Heck, I know I am.

"Sie müssen mehr erklären mir über Ihre Tat,"* Hank says.

Kurt replies, "Ich würde zu glücklich sein."**

I'm completely lost at this point.

"You guys better not be talking about me."

Hank and Kurt both laugh at me. I'm pretty sure they're not going to tell me what they said, but it doesn't matter. Hank seems to be a big hit with everyone else. Hopefully, this'll help Kurt also make some more friends. Especially, if he shows off some acrobatics later.

"I'm glad you decided to do it," I tell Hank.

"I'm glad you decided to give me the kick in the pants I needed. Of course, you've been doing that since I met you."

"You love it," I say snidely.

"Bet on it."

The next thing I know, I'm in a giant bear hug. I can't get my arms all the way around him, but I don't think he minds. When we finally let go, I can see the Professor sitting in the doorway watching us. I give him a quick smile, which he returns. It couldn't have gone better if we had planned it.

* I want to hear more about your act.
** I would be happy to.

-(main) - (biography) - (discussion) - (stories) - (pictures) - (links) - (updates)-