Notes: This fic wears many a hat. First, I blame Kielle and her dare to all to write an X-Men movie fic for I am above mere blame ;) Secondly, this was a chance to re-work Bobby's origin, and that had me salivating at the thought. THIRD AND MOST IMPORTANT, it is Kerrie "I Write the Best Bobby Drake Fanfic and I Got X-Men Monopoly, Nyah Nyah" Smith's birthday fic (don't quote me on that middle name, by the way)! HAPPY BIRTHDAY (three days belated)!

**Standard "Long As Hell" Mice Disclaimer**
Mice is in no way associated with the Marvel Comics Group. She is merely trying to write a story and this is all she has to show for it. A noble effort. Though she would one day like to be paid for writing, please donít send her any money (send mail to urmonkeyifudo@yeahright.com on instructions to send her money). Bobby Drake and others do not belong to her, but to the Marvel Comics Group and, uh...Fox. If you e-mail her, and ask her to archive this or any of her stories with the address of your archive, not only will she be MORE than gracious and will probably do something nice for you, like bake you brownies, not to mention permission to archive the story, but will love you to no end, and not the scary kind of love, either! Honest! In truth, she just wants to know where she can drool over the sight with her name. *G* If you want to e-mail her comments (read: FEEDBACK), do it at mice5k@hotmail.com. Good or bad, youíll still probably get some brownies out of the deal, but itís not really that great of a reward because she canít cook.

by Mice

Usually when I talk to Professor Xavier, all I can think is, "Can you hear me? Can you hear me, now? No? How about now? Okay, wink if you can hear me. Come on, don't be shy, this'll just be between us..." I mean, just how else are you going to act while listening to a telepath? It's just too tempting. However, he usually can tell that I'm not paying attention to what he's saying and interrupts saying, "Robert Drake, I am not going to read your mind today, tomorrow, or yesterday, now please pay attention!"

Today was a bit different. Today, the professor told me that it's pretty rare for a mutant to develop his powers before puberty and is usually a sign of impending responsibility. I think that's his way of complimenting me, I'm still not quite sure on that, though it's something to think about, and lately, I've been doing a lot of thinking.

Now that I think about it, I should have known my life was going to be different than others. For one, I was born in Germany. My father was stationed there during his Air Force days. It would be six more years before he'd retire and move back to Long Island.

I'm also the only child in my family, which was quite a miracle in itself. My mother was told that she would never be able to have children, however, after she hit forty, I came along. Mom always tells me that having me was the best orgasm of her life. I don't think that made my life any different, I think that just scarred it.

Another thing that's always separated me from everyone else is the fact that my mother's Jewish and my dad's Irish Catholic. Do you know how awkward it is to go to Hebrew school and being let out on St. Patrick's Day?

My father never really knew what to do with me. By the time I came into his life, he was kind of too old to do the traditional father/son things like play catch, fly kites, and fish. After work, after he kissed Mom, he'd come into the den where I was either watching cartoons or doing homework, he'd pat my head and asked me if everything was okay. Everyday up until I was sixteen. That's when I got "accepted" here.

It was July 15th, 1999 and the temperature was about ninety eight degrees. I remember it so clearly because it was my birthday and I was wearing a light blue sweater with only a t-shirt underneath. Ever since I can remember, I've always been inexplicably cold. It wasn't uncommon for me to go watch the fireworks on the Fourth of July in a parka and one of those funny hats with the ear flaps, but on my birthday, it always seemed much warmer than it usually was and I didn't need to wear as much clothing.

Mom and Dad have always searched for someone to help me, ever since I was fourteen and started to actually freeze things -- not the bits off frost that would always be on my eyelashes when I woke up because that's been happening since I was seven -- but actual things like books and dinner. It was getting harder for me to live a semblance of a normal life. A few weeks before my birthday, however, they finally found a place.

Now, when most kids turn sixteen, they go and get their license and, hopefully, a car and a party with all their friends. In case you couldn't tell, I wasn't one of these kids. My "weirdness" pretty much separated me from the rest of the kids at school, so my friends were pretty much limited to cousins and relatives who were all so much older than me, and for my birthday, my mother would serve ice cream cake (so no one would notice if it was frozen if my powers would flare up) and my relatives would in turn pinch my cheek, making it much redder than it already was and making me much more uncomfortable that I already was. Just because I was always cold didn't mean I was safe from sunburn. Good Lord, do you know what wool and sun block smell like?

This birthday, there were a few new people there. One was Professor Xavier and the other was Miss Munroe. Mom and Dad kept talking to them and pointing to me and they nodded. I remember Mom crying afterwards, and then Dad coming over to me and then giving me this great big hug, stroking my hair and muttered something about how everything was finally going to be okay for me.

Later, the professor talked to me privately about what he was talking about with my parents. He told me about his school and how his former students -- who were now teachers there -- were mutants just like me who couldn't control their powers. And at this school, there would be others like me.

After he was done, I understood why Mom and Dad were so happy; he gave them hope which was just what they needed. I just kept thinking about how he said that there would be others like me. I wasn't without my doubts, but my parents weren't the only ones that were hopeful.

We left for Westchester soon after that. I felt so nervous as we entered the gates, but in a good way. I couldn't wait to meet all these other kids who were like me, but when we got inside, there were no kids. The professor said that I was the first of the new roster, but tons of other kids would come shortly. It seems so silly now, but after everyone left, I threw a bit of a tantrum, privately, in my room.

Professor Xavier's promise of a lot of other kids coming to the school quickly was made good the next day; Kitty Pryde was coming up from Illinois. At first, I was dead set on staying holed up in my room like I had been for the last few days; I was still feeling hurt about being let down, and on my birthday on top of that! But as the car stopped at the door and Kitty came out looking at the front door ... I immediately recognized the look on Kitty's face. It was the same one I had when was outside the door. She didn't come here to find help with her powers, she came to find others who were like her; to find other people like ourselves and to not feel so alone. Then I realized that when she opened that door, she'd be disappointed, and all because I was locked away in my room, too stubborn to see a golden opportunity.

After a quick grooming session of an Altoid and some deodorant, I sped down the stairs to greet her. Scared her half to death, but she got over that when she realized she wasn't the only one here. Then she grinned when she learned that she wasn't the only Jewish student, either. And then later, she snorted milk through her nose when I began singing "My Baby Takes the Morning Train" as Eric Cartmen from South Park.

As the remaining days of summer went on, more and more kids came. At first, a new kid would arrive every day, but by Labor Day, they were coming in by the teens, and I made sure that I was there at the door to greet them and to assure them that they were not alone; even the ones that came in with other kids.

You want to know how I'm different and I'm not going to say the answer you probably think I should because I don't think I am different. Growing up, I always thought I must be some kind of weirdo or freak because I was so different, so when kids at school or in the neighborhood distanced themselves from me, I pushed myself further away, and when I got here, I learned not to do that. Nobody -- human or mutant -- wants to be alone in this world. The least a person can do is to honor that small, meager request.

"This isn't California, Lee, it's New York. And in New York, we pitch baseballs, not screenplays!" Bobby Drake hollered from his position on second base, sweating in his loose t-shirt and jeans.

"Just whose team are you on, you Long Island iced tea!"

"I call them as I see them, Lee!"

Jubilee, in a decidedly mature move on her part, turned and stuck her tongue out at her second baseman.

Bobby grinned as he turned to Amara who was ready to sprint to third base. "It's only a matter of time before that girl admits she's in love with me."

Amara promptly rolled her eyes as she ran safely to third base. Bobby kept his eye on Angelica as she eyed the distance between first and second base.

"Drake, heads up!"

Bobby turned just in time to catch a baseball that Jubilee had thrown at him. "What is it?"

Jubilee motioned to the dug out. "Mr. Summers wants to see you."

Bobby motioned to Sam in the outfield to take his place as slowly made his way to the dugout, a tight knot forming in his stomach. This has to be about that essay we did yesterday in English.

The assignment was to write about how they were different. Bobby thought he turned in a pretty good essay, but after reading yet another one of Kitty's Pryde and Joys, he tried to wish his essay away.

"Yes, Mr. Summers?" Bobby said calmly while repeating in his mind, "Please don't be about English, please don't be about English..."

"It's about the essay you did in English the other -- Bobby, you know I can't read minds, so stop thinking and pay attention."

"Yes, sir."

Scott Summers sighed before continuing. "As I was saying, this is about your essay you did the other day."

Bobby nodded. "I thought so. I'm sorry I didn't get it right, I thought--"

"Bobby, you had the best essay in the class."

Bobby blinked. "Wait, are you sure it was mine, then?"

Scott laughed as he nodded. "I showed it to the professor and he was very proud of you."

Bobby began to grin. "Really?"

"The reason I wanted to talk to you though is because while your essay was good, you had a lot of spelling mistakes and grammatical errors."


"I didn't want you to be disappointed by your grade -- you got fifty out of fifty for content, but only nineteen out of fifty for structure."


"However, it deserves an A, Bobby. So," Scott paused as he took out Bobby's essay from a folder. "I want you to go over your paper and correct what you can find. If you still need help, you can come to me when you're not busy and I can help you."

Bobby looked down on his paper and grinned.

"You're a good writer, Bobby, and with a little help, you could be a great one."

Bobby, still looking down on his paper, blushed. "Thank you, Mr. Summers."

Scott grinned as he began to leave. "I want to see that paper revised tomorrow, okay?"


"And don't let Jubilee give you any more lip out there!"

Bobby saluted as Scott walked away. "You can count on me, sir!" Bobby looked at his paper and all the comments in the margin that not only Mr. Summer's left for him, but the professor, as well. He placed his essay in his backpack before running back out to second base, sticking his tongue out at Jubilee as he did so.

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