The English Teacher
by TaleWeaver

Being a mutant at Xavier's mansion does not an X-man make. I don't even have a codename. It always seems to surprise new students when they find that out. I'm a mutant, I teach at the school, why aren't I out kicking ass for the benefit of humanity?

Well, for a start, my mutation's really 'pretty lame', as Artie might say. Certainly nothing remotely spectacular. I simply say that the mutant god was in a funny mood when it made me. I get all the disadvantages of being a mutant - public prejudice and so forth - and none of the advantages. My mutation isn't offensive, like Cyclops, or defensive, like Colossus. It's certainly not something that can be used for either, like Jean or Storm or Bobby. It's not even something useful for intelligence gathering, like Rogue, or that blue skank who works for Magneto. As a mutant, I make a good teacher.

Correction. I'm a damn good teacher.

There are reasons why I'm the official vice-principal of Xavier's school. I teach a wider range of students than anyone else, from the few under-twelves we get here, right through to the graduating class. When Xavier's off to Washington or New York or over to Muir Island, who do you think gets things done around here? That's right - me. I make sure everyone's teaching certification is up to date (or in Storm's case, still up-to-date forged. She isn't actually qualified, having played Goddess in Africa during her adolescence as opposed to being in high school). I make sure that the IRS still counts us as a non-profit organisation (do you have any idea how much Charles saves on income tax that way? Enough to run most of his cars, including the Bentley). I make sure that the domestic staff have been fully background-checked for both mutant sympathies and discretion (Okay, having two telepaths on staff helps there), and keep them happy so they don't quit over Jubilee'! s little prank with the yoghurt in the washing machines.

Dealing with all that I do, and not being on the team, I'm one of the few staff members who live off-site. Which saved me a lot of trouble during that whole Special Forces raid. It was all over by the time I came over for the Sunday afternoon training session. Boy, did I have to grovel to the cleaning service after that! I spent roughly half my annual salary paying them and the repair teams double-time, and the mood everyone was in when they came back, I don't think they even realised that the mansion should have been wrecked. While I'm sure there was an excellent reason for that wall of ice in the office corridor, it cost a fortune to fix the panelling and replace the flooring.

Not to mention needing to ship in a counsellor from one of the allied schools, thanks to Jean. Charles had enough trouble dealing with himself, Scott, and even Logan, and I was busy with Rogue and Bobby over John leaving. Damn, I'm going to miss Pyro. He was the best writer in the school - the only student in years who could make a living at it. But now Rogue's work has gone from very good to outstanding. So I have a fairly good idea of at least one thing that happened right before he left.

But even though I could make a fortune in certain private companies, there are reasons beyond anything I owe to Charles why I'm not. I really do love it here, and I love teaching. I'm one of the few students who actually would have qualified as 'gifted' in the non-mutant way - Hank always said that I was the only person in the school during his whole time here who understood everything he said. (Which reminds me, must ask if he's invented that low-cal Twinkie I asked him about.)

My name is Argent Finder. I can stand in the garden, the street, or even on the deck of a ship, and tell you the location and size of every deposit of metal ore within five miles and how pure it is, no matter how far underground. I can hold a penny in my hand and tell you the percentage of copper, bronze, and nickel to four decimal places. But my real gift is for teaching, and there's no better place for me to do it than at Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters.


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