———————- Headmaster’s Office ———————

Emma Frost Summers looked out of the window of the office she shared with her co-headmaster and husband Scott Summers otherwise known as Cyclops leader of the X-Men. She thought to herself that for once she had reached some semblance of peace in her life. For years she had struggled with her past failures, her Hellions while she was with the Hellfire Club and then again with the Massachusetts Academy. At least some of the students from the latter had lived she mused. It had taken her the past three years and the devotion of the man she loved for her to get past all that.

Although reluctant at first she now felt comfortable as a member of the X-Men and was incredibly proud of her new protégés, the latest incarnation of the Hellions. She had been overwhelmed at the gesture made when Julian had adopted the name for his own. He was devoted to her as a student and she was incredibly happy with his leadership of her squad. They had won the field season tournament again this year and they all deserved something special for this. As she thought about what she could do to show her appreciation she felt a familiar presence enter the room behind her.

“Hello darling” she said demurely still looking out the window.

“I guess that’s one of the drawbacks of being married to a telepath. You lose the element of surprise,” said a strong male voice.”You should know you have been married to two” Emma teased. She loved to rile up her lover and watch him get angry at her little barbs. It made the making up that much sweeter. She had no qualms about grating his nerves today. She had an inkling of why he had come to find her.

“I just had a word with Shadowcat,” said Scott apprehensively.

“Really and what did little Kitty have to say today?” came her sarcastic reply.

“Emma please, I need you two to behave civil to each other if you are going to work together,” he replied.

“Fine, fine,” she sighed “So what’s up Miss Moralities butt today?”

Rolling his eyes skyward Scott realised that that was probably the best he was going to get from his wife in her current mood. “She is claiming you favoured your squad and graded other students unfairly in your Ethics exam”. He paused to watch her reaction.

Emma seethed inside at this remark. That jumped up brat had gone too far. Her students had genuinely deserved those marks and Kitty was just picking on them because she liked to nettle Emma in any way she could. She had never fully accepted Emma as part of the X-Men and had nearly quit the X-Men when Emma had been made co-headmaster of the school. Then when she, Emma, had called her squad the Hellions, Kitty had nearly attacked her claiming she was making a joke out of the Professor’s ideals. Emma had not cared. If Kitty could not accept a former White Queen of the Hellfire Club as a fellow X-Man yet could accept mass murderers and ex-brotherhood members that was her hypocrisy and had nothing to do with Emma. Of course Emma did nothing to put Kitty at her ease about the situation with her racy remarks and elitist attitude.

“Well Headmaster Summers what do you think. Do you believe that I have acted in an un-ethical way in grading my ethics exam transcripts?” she said putting him on the spot and emphasizing the sheer irony of the statement.

“Emma you know that I don’t believe you would do such a thing. I just wish that you could behave in a way that convinced Kitty of the same thing” he replied.

“And how exactly should I go about doing that” she snapped back “You know that girl has been looking for a reason to discredit me. My students did better as I expected them to do. That girl has some serious issues with me teaching that class”.

“I guess she finds it ironic that a White Queen of the Hellfire Club that she has battled many times is teaching a bunch of impressionable young children morality” said Scott grinning at Emma’s who was getting more and more indignant with each word she said.

Emma nearly turned to slap Scott when she heard that but then saw the grin on his face and realised that she had forgotten that she was not the only one who knew how to push buttons.

Scott laughed at her and said “Don’t worry, I’ll have a word with her and explain that you are a paragon of morality and your ethics are unquestionable. Then to stop her from hitting me let her check the manuscripts. I just wanted to make sure you agreed before I did so”.

“You have my consent Headmaster Summers” she coyly replied. Smirking at him over her shoulder she beckoned him over to her. He walked up and Emma put her hands around his neck. She felt the tension ease out of Scott’s body and knew with a smug satisfaction that only she could get him to do that. No one else could get the Boy Scout to relax like she could.** I’ve been thinking that maybe we could take a trip together** she sent slipping into their comfortable mind bond that had formed between them as their relationship had grown.

**Hmmm. What did you have in mind** he replied.

Emma detected a little mischief behind the thought and sent a series of mental images to Scott. She nearly fell over laughing as his jaw dropped when he received them.

**I think I could go for something like that** he agreed after composing himself a bit.

** I thought you might** she thought ** There is this little place I know that is ……..**. Abruptly Emma’s mind was filled with searing pain. She had never felt a psionic attack this strong before. Her defences were quickly being overcome. She faintly sensed that Scott was feeling the exact same pain through their link and she quickly severed it. Trying to block the agony blazing through her head she focused the remainder of her energy on who was conducting this attack. Just before she blacked out a face appeared in her mind’s eye. It looked vaguely familiar but Emma couldn’t quite place it. Then her world went black as she slipped into unconsciousness.

Scott fell to the floor where he began to throw up. His head still reeled from the pain he had just experienced and the room was spinning. Fighting the blackness creeping in at the edge of his vision he crawled over to where his wife had collapsed. He had heard the scream as Emma’s mind had been fried and had experienced everything she had until she cut him off. Thinking about it she had probably saved his life and he marvelled at the strength of the woman that she could still function rationally through even that experience. Reaching her body he felt for a pulse and sighed with relief as he felt the steady beat of her heart. He checked her over and then picked up the unconscious X-Woman and ran to the now shattered window. Looking outside everything appeared to be fine. He decided that the best thing to do was get Emma to the infirmary and check that this was an isolated attack. Running out of the room he ran down the empty corridors to the elevator that led to the infirmary. Just as he was jabbing at the button to summon the lift he felt a tremendous jolt run through the building knocking him to the ground and causing him to drop Emma. Looking around he noticed cracks in the walls and plaster dust drifting down from the ceiling. He doubted very much that this was an earthquake. Just then the Estate’s proximity alarms sounded.