Peter lounged casually on the sofa, lazily eyeing the gray panels that were keeping the whole room together.
Earlier that morning, he received a message from Professor Xavier to proceed to the briefing area located at second sub-basement of the mansion at 15:00 sharp.
For whatever reason, Peter had no idea. He had reached full recovery three days ago, and he had honestly been making his best efforts to keep himself out of trouble since then. He was also being perfectly agreeable to the professor, even though he was really itching to make an off-handed comment on his new look, shiny head and all. What, Peter even agreed to answer some aptitude test and attend whatever classes were available . . . though he might have dozed off for several occasions. But hey, at least he made sure to take a seat at the back; he wasn't that noticeable and distracting, right?
If there was something that was making Peter believe that the professor was not intending to bid him a farewell speech and shove him out to the streets, it was the presence of another mutant in the same room, whose hair color was much like his, if only some shades lighter.
"So, you have any idea why we're called here?" Peter asked, looking at the woman across from him.
She simply shook her head, not looking away from the magazine she was holding. "Not really."
She was a newcomer much like him, and although she was formerly an enemy, Peter believed that she was most likely making an effort to fit in and be a responsible student. But he was no telepath, so just to be sure, he had to ask. "So, did you manage to get yourself into trouble for the past few days?"
"Why do you ask?"
He shrugged. "Nothing. I've just been thinking what might be the reason for this, you know, sudden conference."
She flinched a bit, and her fingers immediately made its way towards her lips.
"Oh no," she muttered as a look of worry enveloped her face, the magazine lying on her lap completely forgotten, "I-I haven't been attending the classes for the last two days. New York is very different from Cairo, you see, and I might have become . . . too excited . . . in venturing this place. . ."
Well, shit. Should he start packing his things and say hello to the basement, his old friend?
Ororo wasn't dealing with the whole predicament any better than him. "Where would I stay? How would I go back to Egypt?"
Poor girl. Maybe if she was desperate enough, he could offer to bring her back to Cairo, though it would probably be the least comfortable bullet train ride she'd ever experience. Although, would there be anything to go back to after the literal apocalypse?
Before he could voice out any of them, the giant X-doors of the room slid open, revealing Jean alongside the laser-eyes dude—Cyclops, was it?
Peter sighed. Good to see that he wasn't the only troublemaker around. Might as well make a club and be the club president or something. "So, what did you guys do?"
The two looked at each other dejectedly.
"We have our theories," Jean said, fiddling with her fingers nervously, "but Scott and I are not entirely sure ourselves."
"For one, we might have—" A blue puff of smoke suddenly materialized in front of Cyclops, startling him completely. Oh man, the look on his face was totally hilarious. "AAAUGH! For the love of—! Kurt, stop doing that!"
"My greatest apologies," Kurt said earnestly, clutching both hands over his head instantly.
"Well, that confirms one of our theories," Jean said, ignoring the discourse between the two, "The professor found out about our recent little joyride to the mall. Using one of his cars."
Wait, hold up. Weren't these guys the same people he saw riding the car when the mansion exploded? And they absolutely had the balls to do it again?
Peter laughed. They were his kind of people!
"But—but why isn't Jubilation here, then?" Kurt pointed out, scanning the whole room.
Scott crossed his arms, eyebrows creasing in deep contemplation. "Well, maybe the professor decided to overlook because she has such exceptional grades."
"But Jean is also a bright student, is she not?" Kurt countered, pacing back and forth the room fretfully.
"Maybe the professor is fed up with my mental earthquakes," Jean muttered in utter misery.
"Have we overstayed our welcome?" Ororo added, who was already sulking and covering her face on the magazine pages, crumpling it.
Peter shook his head, before deciding to stand up, sticking his hands inside his pockets. It had been amusing at first, watching them, but now he actually felt sorry for them and enough was enough.
"Ladies, men, relax," Peter announced, bringing all of their attention to him, acting like the actual impromptu president of the troublemakers' club. Besides, he was technically the adult there. "Everyone, breath, okay? We're not actually sure what would happen to us, but let's try to relax, okay?"
And so they did. Peter was actually proud of himself.
But everything went down the drain when the door opened again, revealing Raven in her majestic blue glory, along with Professor Hank, also in his majestic blue glory.
"Hello, everyone. I'm sure you all know why you're here," she said with no humor whatsoever.
Peter gulped, hard.
"Let us wait for the professor, shall we?" Beast said, looking at the five of them with the same look as Mystique. Zero humor. Nada.
"So, what do you think is our verdict?" Jean said mentally. When all four of them looked at her, Peter realized she must've done some sort of five-way mental communication line. Totally rad.
"Alex would totally be disappointed in me," Scott voiced out, hiding his face on his hands in shame.
"Do any of you know how to process a passport?" Ororo said with total melancholy in her voice.
"Guys, please!" Kurt interjected, "Let us listen to Professor McCoy and just wait for the professor!"
Peter glanced at him, shrugging his shoulders while looking at Raven, who was busy typing something beside Hank. "Or you know, maybe you could ask your mommy what's really happening."
Confusion washed over Kurt's expression. "'Mommy?'"
This time, all four were looking at Peter.
"What, they both have blue skin!" Peter said defensively. It could've been just him who saw the similarities, right?
"But she is my hero, though," Kurt said.
"Same," Peter, Ororo, and Jean replied in unison. Scott only nodded in agreement.
"Wait, guys, he's coming," Jean said, panic evident on her face.
"What should we do?" Ororo asked frantically.
"Apologize!" Kurt said with conviction, his tail behind him wagging.
The blue demon was probably right, as much as Peter hated to admit it. He was liking the place, and he'd actually want to stay if given another chance.
As soon as the door opened, all five of them bowed down their heads, shouting in unison, "We are sorry, professor!"
"I will attend my classes from now on!"
"We won't borrow your car without permission ever again! The Lord is my witness!"
"And I'm going to plant a new tree beside the favorite one that I destroyed!"
"I won't bother you and the students and the mansion with my dreams again, I swear!"
Then all four were looking at him, expecting him to say something special too. Darn.
"And uhh, I'll try not to make fun of you and your head and maybe not bother you anymore . . . maybe?"
The professor was speechless. So was Hank.
Mystique, proving to be the hero they always thought her to be, broke the silence. "Um, weren't you guys informed that you are chosen to be the new X-men?"
And that was the story of how the reformed X-men was born, and how Professor almost fell over his wheelchair.