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26 September 2007 @ 07:46 pm
HL50 Prompt 47 Writers Choice – Teacher  
This is a crossover between Highlander and X-Men, and is part 2 of Lessons, the first chapter of which can be read here. This story is set shortly after the first story, Superheroes. I apologise again to any big X-Men fans out there, my canon is a mix of the comics, the cartoons and the movies, simply because I don’t read enough comics for them to solely provide my canon, so if I cause offence, I didn’t mean to. As for the Highlander fans, this is Denial simply because Richie had too short a fuse and I needed him to be more mature for this to work. So now I’ve thoroughly alienated half of the audience, on with the fic: ;-p

Disclaimer: I still don’t own X-Men or Highlander, more is the pity. I’m just having a little fun, no harm intended, so please don’t set the Sentinels on me.
Lessons Part 2 - Decisions
“So you were in the car that your foster parents died in? And you were unconscious but when you woke up you weren’t hurt?” Richie asked gently.
“Yes, how did you know?” Paul replied.
“Paul, your healing isn’t a mutant power. Gee, this is hard to explain. You’re like me, you’re an Immortal.” Richie replied. He could see that Paul was about to protest, so he held up his hand to stop him. “Normally everything that has happened to you is enough explanation but I think you need a demonstration. Could you ask Mr. Logan to come back in?” Richie asked. Paul nodded and went to the door. Logan and the Professor were waiting outside. “Logan, I need your help please. Professor, you should come in too. I wouldn’t normally reveal this to outsiders, but I think you need to know about Paul as well.”
Logan and the Professor entered and Richie whispered something to Logan.
“You sure bub?” Logan asked.
“It’s the only way.” Richie said and nodded. Without another word Logan swiftly produced his claws and stabbed Richie in the chest. Paul and the Professor started forward but Logan stopped them, as Richie’s lifeless body fell to the floor.
“Cool your jets. He asked me to do that. To show ya what he is. What Paul is. Just sit still and wait,” he explained to Paul. They all sat there in silence for a few minutes, Paul and the Professor growing more anxious as the seconds ticked by, their gaze flicking between Logan and Richie’s corpse. Then Richie came back with a gasp and sat upright.
“I hate that part,” he muttered, “Thanks for being so accurate,” he added to Logan, who nodded.
“How did you do that? I’ve never seen anyone come back from the dead, not even a mutant,” the Professor asked in wonder.
“As I was trying to explain to Paul, I’m an Immortal, and so is he. Immortals start life like everyone else; we age like everyone else, unless we meet a violent death. Then we cease to age and heal from any wound, even fatal ones.”
“Ah, and it was an Immortal friend of yours that provided Logan with the information about his past?” the Professor surmised. Richie nodded.
“I’ll never grow old? Never die?” Paul asked, amazed.
“Only if someone takes your head. That’s the only way we can die.” Richie said.
“Who’d want to take his head?” Logan asked.
“Other Immortals. We all have to take part in something called the Game. Nobody knows why or when it began. All we know is that we have to fight. In the end there can be only one.” Richie explained.
“Only one Immortal? I don’t want to fight though!” Paul cried, panicking. Richie tried to calm him.
“Don’t worry; we don’t all want to win the Game. Most of us just want to live in peace and quiet. I have lots of Immortal friends. But there are a few of us who are…evil. They enjoy the Game, enjoy taking heads and challenge any Immortal they come across. That’s why you’ll need to learn how to use a sword, to defend yourself.” Richie said patiently.
“I don’t think I can kill anyone.” Paul said.
“Don’t worry about that now. Hopefully your first challenge is a long way off.” Richie said with a grin. “I know it’s a lot to take in, especially when you’re so young.”
“Hey, I’m sixteen, you’re not much older than me!” Paul retorted. Richie sighed.
“I’m thirty four. But I became Immortal when I was nineteen,” he said. He watched as the pieces dropped into place, knowing what Paul was about to say as surely as if he was the telepath.
“You mean I’ll never get any older?” Paul asked. Richie laid a comforting arm on his shoulder. “Man, this blows!” Paul yelled and ran from the room. Logan made to follow him, but Richie stopped him.
“Let him go. It’s a lot to process. Poor kid, I know how he feels. I was really lucky, I knew about Immortals before I became one, and it still took a while for me to come to terms with it,” he said. Logan nodded.
“So this Game, that’s why you have that sword under your jacket.” Logan said. Richie pulled his blade from his coat and showed it to Logan.
“The only place I’m safe is on holy ground. Anywhere else I go, I might get challenged.”
“Have you taken heads?” Logan asked.
“Too many. But I had no choice.” Richie replied. Logan nodded his understanding. Tactfully changing the subject, Professor Xavier asked,
“So who will teach Paul this Game of yours? I would really prefer if he could stay at the Institute. I think he needs to maintain some sense of stability. It would be good for him to stay with people who will not judge him.”
“Older Immortals take on students and I know someone who might teach him. But I don’t know if he’d be willing to move here. Would you mind if I made a long-distance call?” Richie asked.
“Please, go ahead. We have so many students from all over the globe, one call won’t make any difference,” Xavier replied with a smile. He and Logan left Richie alone to make his call.
“DeSalvo’s Gym.”
“Hi Mac.”
“Richie! How’s it going? Have you found out why Logan wanted you there?” Duncan asked, concern clear in his voice.
“Yeah, I’m at a school. Logan’s a teacher here…kinda…and well one of the kids…he’s one of us,” Richie explained, “His name’s Paul, and he’s only sixteen. He needs a teacher Mac. He seems like a great kid.” Richie added, leaving the proposition hanging. Duncan chuckled.
“And you want me to take him?” he asked, “Sure, no problem. Can you bring him up here this weekend? I think he needs to start straight away.”
“Yeah, see that’s the problem Mac. There are really good reasons why this kid needs to stay in Westchester. Is there any chance you can move here?”
“Not possible at the moment Richie, I’m really sorry.”
“Can you think of anyone else who could do it?” Richie asked.
“You could.” Duncan replied. There was silence as Richie thought about this.
“Gee, Mac, I’m really flattered you think that, but I’m not ready to have a student. I’ve only been in the Game for fifteen years; I figured I’d need at least a century before…” Richie began, but Duncan interrupted him.
“Rich, you’ve faced and beaten some pretty experienced Immortals. You’ve got more skill, experience and wisdom than some people I’ve known for centuries. If anyone can teach this kid, it’s you,” he replied.
“I’m still not sure Mac, it’s a big responsibility.” Richie said.
“Immortals don’t just have one teacher. Yes there is always the first teacher, the one we have a special bond with, but there are many others we learn from in our lifetimes. Take you for example. You haven’t just been taught by me, you received lessons from every Immortal you’ve met; from that other Methos, from Amanda, from Kristin, and even Adam. You also gained experience from every Immortal you faced, and not just through the Quickenings. I think you’re ready to teach this kid what he needs to survive in the Game.” Duncan said.
“I’ve never thought about it like that. But really Mac, what if I screw it up?” Richie protested.
“Hey, are you questioning over four hundred years of wisdom?” Duncan asked. Richie laughed.
“Of course not, if you think I’m ready, then I’m honoured you think that Mac. But that kid’s really angry right now, and scared. How do I get him to trust me?” Richie replied.
“Have faith in yourself Richie. You can understand him better than anyone, know what he’s thinking and feeling right now. You’ll find the right words.”
“Thanks Mac. I’ll see you when I come for my things.” He made his goodbyes, hung up the phone and went out to find Professor Xavier.
He found him in an empty classroom a little way down the corridor. Richie knocked on the door and entered.
“Ah, Mr. Ryan, have you made arrangements for Paul’s tutelage?” Professor Xavier asked. Richie nodded.
“I’m going to teach him. I’m not sure I’m ready, but my teacher seems to think I can do it, and I trust him.” Richie replied.
“True wisdom comes from admitting what you don’t know and accepting advice from those we trust. I’m sure you’ll do your best for him,” replied the Professor with a smile, leading Richie out of the classroom and back toward his office.
“I’ll need to find somewhere to live, and a job. Do you know of any places that are hiring? I’ll do anything, but I’m a fair mechanic.”
“I have an opening on my staff. You could live here and teach.”
“Here? At the Institute?” Richie asked, astounded, “But what can I teach? I didn’t even attend college, so I can’t teach any regular classes. I’m sure there are better martial artists here, and I don’t have any powers, so the physical side is out. The only other thing I’m good at is breaking and entering.”
“You’d be surprised. You say you don’t have a power, but what is your healing? And with your training and skills you are just as adept as any of the pupils here. The students are taught many different disciplines, including aspects of armed combat. You would be a great help in training sessions as an enemy in scenarios. I think you would make an excellent addition to the staff. Besides, Logan is always looking for assistance in maintaining the vehicles here.” Xavier replied with a smile. Richie returned the smile, until he noticed the bloodstain he had left on the floor.
“I’m sorry about your rug,” he said, pointing. Xavier looked at it and smiled.
“Not to worry, I’m sure it will come out. Now, I believe you’ll find your student out by the basketball court. Just follow the voices of the children and you’ll soon come across him,” he said. Richie nodded and left.
He could indeed hear the yells of children at play, and he walked around the large mansion until he came to a basketball court. There, some of the students were busy playing a rough and ready game.
“Hey, no powers!” called one, as another flew into the air to put the ball through the hoop. Richie smiled and shook his head.
This is gonna take some getting used to, he mused. He spotted Paul sitting on a swing a little way off from the court and headed over to him.
“Mind if I join you?” Richie asked.
“s’free country.” Paul mumbled, not meeting Richie’s gaze. Richie sat on the swing beside Paul’s and waited in silence. “It’s not fair.” Paul said after a while.
“No. No it isn’t,” Richie replied, “Unfortunately we have no control over when we die the first time. I once met an Immortal who was hundreds of years old, but he still looked like a little kid. I know it sucks to stay looking young, but at least you’re a teenager. When you start learning to fight, you’ll build up muscles and that will help you to look older. And I’ll show you some tricks I’ve learned to fool people. It isn’t all that bad, honestly.”
“But what about when I fall in love? When I want to have children?” Paul demanded. Richie sighed. He had hoped this little sticking point wouldn’t arise for a while yet. He took a deep breath and tried his best to soften the blow.
“Paul, I’m sorry, but Immortals can’t have children.” Richie said.
“Oh, well, at least I can’t get some chick knocked up by accident! But then no grown woman will ever look at me, will she!” Paul retorted before getting up and running back into the mansion. Richie buried his head in his hands.
Oh man, what have I let myself in for? he thought, I’m never gonna be able to teach this kid, I can’t even manage ‘the talk’!
“Mind if I join you?” said a gruff voice. Richie looked up to see Logan standing over him. He nodded and Logan sat down, “Give him time bub. You’re a good guy, he’ll see that.”
“I’m not sure I can do this Logan,” Richie replied. Logan placed a hand on his shoulder.
“You aint alone in this, okay? Me and the Prof will help in any way we can. ‘sides, you’ve managed to keep your head this long. That says to me that you must be pretty good with that blade of yours.” Logan said with a grin.
“Yeah, not bad,” replied Richie, returning the grin.

Lessons continues in Part 3
She-who-enamels: headchairlillian13 on September 26th, 2007 07:11 pm (UTC)
You appear to have made um, many, many cut-tags to this... ;-)
But, I don't want to be a pie,: loganidontlikegravy on September 26th, 2007 08:15 pm (UTC)
Have I? Oh arse. LJ did it, not me, in my defense.

*toddles off to attempt to rectify*
I will call her George: Richiestrangevisitor7 on September 26th, 2007 08:18 pm (UTC)
Richie gets his own student - love this idea. Feel so bad that Paul will always be 16 - that sucks but at least Richie can relatel
I really like this series & looking froward to more.

Also - something wrong with your lj-cut.
But, I don't want to be a pie,: loganidontlikegravy on September 26th, 2007 09:27 pm (UTC)
Thanks, I hadn't noticed. ;-p

Seriously, thanks for the comments, I wasn't as sure about this part, so I'm pleased you like it.

I already have a scene for the next part in mind, but I really, really need to get the next part of Browncoats and Scabbards finished first!
she who is the teller of tales: black leopardlyl_devil on September 27th, 2007 06:48 pm (UTC)
Just read the entire thing (previous story and parts), and just have to say - awesome. Nice to see a grown up - and alive - Richie. :)

Also, it sucked being 16 the first time - I would hate to be that age forever. ugh!
But, I don't want to be a pie,: Richie2idontlikegravy on September 27th, 2007 07:25 pm (UTC)
Thank you for the great feedback. *bounces*

Yeah, I'm firmly entrenched in Denial now. :)

It is a nightmarish thought isn't it? 16 going on 500. *shiver*