Author's Note: This is the last chapter! I was going to write another story arc, but I'm busy with school and other things now. I feel like this is a good place to leave it off anyway. Hmmm... I may actually write a sequel if enough people want it. would you rather have it take place right where this one leaves off, a couple years in the future, or when X-Men 1 takes place?

I'm still up to suggestions and criticism. I will go back and edit things if need be. I'm starting a new story which I've had a really good idea for, but unfortunately it's not about the X-Men. My next story will be so much better if you have any feedback for me! I will personally respond to any reviews as long as they are not anonymous!

Chapter Fifteen: The End

It had been three weeks since Scott's release from the hospital, and he was beginning to slowly heal. The pain had waned down, but Scott was still enjoying the bliss of being half hopped up on pain meds. The sensation of floating on the backs of mystical unicorns came to mind, but Scott could not be sure because he had never actually experienced anything like it. While he watched TV and acted a bit loopy, the other students of Xavier's Institute for Gifted Youngsters ran laps around the school grounds. Even the teachers were running—as superheroes, they needed to keep in top shape. Working up their stamina would help them save the world.

Scott yawned and leaned back in the couch. Every time somebody else walked into the room, he would switch the channel back to the news, but even he enjoyed a comedy every now and then. Class had started in the institute, and he needed a break from the intense curriculum championed by Hank.

Nearly everyone wanted to kill Dr. McCoy or skip class, but it was hard to play hooky in a school with only a few students, but at least Scott was exempt from all of the physical activity until he was fully healed. His arm was out of the cast and barely sore, but his leg was taking longer to heal, and he still needed the pain medication. It was difficult to move without jostling his leg, so Scott was perfectly fine reclining on the couch. His ribs were past the stage where it would hurt to breathe, but they still felt a bit tender.

Kurt and Jean came into the room, panting and wheezing, and collapsed onto the floor. Scott glanced at them, but decided to keep his legs outstretched, therefore hogging the couch.

"How was your run?"

They both glared at him, but ignored his comment. Scott had noticed a pattern in everyone's behavior since he had returned—if he asked for something, he would get it, and no one could stay mad at him for anything because they pitied him. Maneuvering himself so he could reach his crutches, Scott grabbed them and swung himself off the couch.

"Hey, Scott. Where are you going?"

Scott did not miss the concern in Kurt's eyes. Everyone was treating him like an invalid, and he was beginning to get sick of it.

"To the kitchen. I'm hungry, so I'm going to grab a snack. Do you want anything?" In all honesty, Scott did not know how he would bring any food back with him, but he wanted to show Kurt that he was capable of doing things on his own.

"That's okay. Why don't you go back to the couch where you were comfortable, and I'll go to the kitchen and get you something. What do you want?"

"No, no, I'm fine. I'm not sure what I want yet, so I'll just look to see what there is. You don't need to get up. I can do this myself!" Scott's every word dripped with venom.

Jean cocked a perfectly red eyebrow, but did not say anything as her green eyes filled with unease. Her one-on-one telepathy sessions with Emma were helping her learn to control her powers, and she was no longer reading everyone's mind all of the time. She understood that most people considered their minds their most private place, but she could not resist delving into Scott's mind and calming him down.

Realizing that he was being unfair to Kurt, who only wanted to help, Scott leaned on his crutches and made his way to the kitchen in silence. The two other young mutants sighed and went upstairs to shower. They only had a half hour before afternoon classes started, and Hank taught pretty much every class. It had not taken long for Erik and Emma to realize that the furry mutant was the only one really qualified to be teaching anyone. Although it was strange having older teens in the same classes with the younger ones, Sean and Alex were able to help Kurt, Jean, and Scott with their lessons while learning at the same time.

"Scott is not allowed to leave the school grounds anymore," Alex announced to Sean.

"Isn't that a bit harsh?" Sean asked, raising his eyebrows. "You're not his dad or anything…"

"I'm his older brother, and it's my job to protect him. I may have failed in the past, but I will never let him out of my sight again."

"I don't see him right now, so I'm assuming you can't either."

"Well, he's in the school, and I don't want to make him hate me or anything."

"How do you know that he's still inside the school if you can't see him?" Sean pointed out. He smiled, amusing himself in torturing his blond-haired friend.

"You're right! I better go watch him like a hawk!"

Rolling his eyes, Sean watched his friend run off towards the stairs. He slightly regretted sending his friend off, but he really enjoyed teasing the other man. Now alone, Sean left the room and wandered down the hallway until he reached a closed door where hushed voices could be heard inside.

"I, for one, am fully behind your decision. I've always thought that all of this subterfuge and secrecy was unbecoming," Emma said.

"Only when it doesn't suit your purposes, of course," Erik pointed out, "but thank you anyway. The real question is: should I tell the students first, or do they not need to know?"

"You should definitely tell them!" Hank exclaimed. "It would be wrong to keep something this big from them!"

"Why don't you ask Sean? He's a student. Come in, Sean!" Emma shouted so she could easily be heard from outside in the hallway.

The young man entered the room to Erik's sharp glare, Emma's amused smile, and Hank's furry blueness. They seemed to be deep in conversation over a serious topic, and Sean could only wonder why he was not invited to the discussion in the first place.

"I've already contacted the newspapers. It's not up for discussion; I would only tell the others as a courtesy…" Erik explained.

Furrowing his eyebrows in confusion, Sean asked, "Wait- what?" He turned to both Emma and Hank, but they just smirked at him and offered no further explanation.

"Did you really think that we would keep our existence hidden forever? Like cowards?" bellowed Erik, "We are not cowards! And the humans will find out about us on our own terms. I will announce the existence of mutants on live TV for the whole world to hear. They would find out eventually, so we might as well reveal ourselves while we still have the advantage. It's just so ineffective to recruit one student at a time. If we were known to the world, young mutants could just come here and enroll in the school!"

"The good news is that they won't believe you anyway. And who would come all the way to some Westchester on the word of a crackpot who believes in superhuman beings? At least we know that there won't be any angry mobs chasing us with pitchforks." Under his breath, Sean added, "Because you'll just shove their pitchforks up their asses with your magnetic powers."

Either ignoring the last comment or not hearing it at all, Erik tried to make a snappy comeback. "Then I suppose I'll have to make a grand entrance at the Daily Bugle building. Maybe flying through the top floor window while wearing a cape will work?"

Sean decided that Mr. Sinister had most definitely messed with Erik's mind and tried to communicate his thought to Emma, who just rolled her eyes.

Erik smiled and let out a dry chuckle, stalking out of the room. He had many plans to make; he needed to control every factor of the big reveal. Mulling it over, he decided that it would be best to tell the other mutants in advance. Mass heart attacks would be quite unbecoming of a school. As Sean, Hank, and Emma looked on curiously from the door, Erik felt quite powerful. Perhaps he would delay the reveal for a little while longer, just to have something to hold over their heads.