"Mom!" the five-year-old whined and squirmed in his seat.
"Nate, you are not getting out of that seat until you finish your broccoli," stated Jean matter-of-factly.
"No buts. And you're not touching the playstation until you finish your vegetables young man."
"Mom!" Nate whined insistently.
Jean walked over to the dining table where a stubborn Nate sat staring at his food.
Just like his father, Jean mused. She picked up a fork and stabbed at some bits of broccoli. "Open your mouth."
Lips pursed, Nate shook his head and tried to wiggle out of his seat. He contemplated crawling under the table, but Jean held him back with her telekinesis.
"You are not making me force your mouth open."
Reluctantly, little Nate scrunched his face, and with his eyes closed, permitted the broccoli entry into his mouth.
"That's a good boy."
Nate made a face as he chewed.
"Oh no, you are going to swallow that."
Obediently, he did so, with his mother staring down at him.
"See, that wasn't so bad."
Jean patted the boy's head and walked towards the sink, floating a pile of dishes behind her. "You'd better be finished when I'm done washing the dishes. I'm not going to have to feed you. I've got work to do."
"Yes Mom," Nate sulked and poked at his food, pushing it around the plate.
The water was running, and Jean had her back turned, humming a little as she washed the dishes.
Nate's eyes darted to the trash bin by the counter.
Come on, concentrate. You can do it. You've seen Mom do it. Nate stared at his plate, willing it to float over to the bin and empty itself of its contents. He had inherited his mother's telekinetic gifts at an astonishing age of four. Jean attributed it to the fact that both his parents were mutants, which probably lead to accelerated development of his mutation.
Eerily, the plate lifted itself into the air, and slowly, but wobbily, hovered over to the bin.
Just a few inches! Come on!
"Nate, are you almost..." Jean turned to address her son. "What on..."
Nate lost concentration and dropped the plastic plate. The remaining broccoli was scattered on the kitchen floor.
Nate winced and started for the door, only to be dragged back into the kitchen by his mother.
"But Mom! I really don't wanna eat it!"
Jean gave Nate a good spank on his behind. The little boy's stone-face broke out into an impish grin.
"Do I still get dessert?"
Jean tried to contain her frustrations. "Here," she handed him an apple. "Now go do your homework."
Nate frowned at the fruit he'd been handed as he made his way into the rec room to tackle his homework.
"And don't think about touching the playstation. I'll get Uncle Logan to check on you!" Jean called back.
Nate climbed onto a chair and sat himself down. He arranged his worksheet in front of him, pencil and eraser neatly to the right hand side of the paper. Jean had chosen to home school him due to the fact that his mutation clearly revealed itself at such an early age, and she did not want to expose him to the dangers of the outside world, dangers to mutants, that is.
Jean walked into the room as Nate was tackling his third sum. She looked over his shoulder. "Need any help?"
"Nah, it's just Math."
Just then, Logan walked in, beer in hand. "I get to babysit again?"
Nate looked up and stuck his tongue out at Logan.
"Make sure he finishes his homework, and doesn't touch the playstation." She eyed her son sceptically. "And finishes his apple." She stressed.
"At least it tastes better than broccoli!"
Jean glared at him sternly, prompting Nate to take a bite, albeit a small one.
"Someone's been naughty today." Logan grinned.
"I hate little green trees!"
"Anything, I'll be down in the lab. Have fun you two." Jean turned on her heels and left.
"So kid, whatcha doing today?"
Logan pulled out a chair, turned it 180 degrees and sat down, crossing his arms over the back of the chair.
Nate's appearance spoke disgust at Logan gulping down beer.
"Mind yer own business kid."
Nate returned his attention to his homework, pencilling his answers in a neat engineer's script.
3 + 5 x 4 - (5 + 6) = 12
5 x 7 + 8 - (6 - 9) = 40
"Whoa, for a kid of five, you sure know yer numbers."
"Nah, this is stuff for preschoolers. Everyone knows 1 + 2 + 3 + ... + 99 + 100 is 5050. I hope I can progress to algebra soon. This is getting boring."
Logan thought it boring too, and made his way to the couch to watch TV instead while the boy worked his way through his homework. After a few minutes of channel surfing, Logan decided that TV was boring as well, and switched on the playstation instead. Nate's eyes flickered toward the TV screen.
"Nah uh, do yer homework kiddo."
"But I'm almost done!"
"You know yer mother ain't gonna be too happy if I let ya get yer hands on this."
"Come on." Nate whined. Logan ignored him.
"I bet you can't beat me." There was an evil gleam in Nate's eyes.
"Oh yes I can."
"No you can't."
Nate plopped himself beside Logan and picked up the second controller. "We'll see."
Not wanting to be outdone by the boy, Logan accepted his challenge. "You betcha."
About a couple of hours into her research, Jean decided that was enough for the day. She still had to check on Nate. And she had that tingling hunch that he was up to not-so-much good.
"Whoohoo! Three wins straight! What have you gotta say for yourself?" Nate beamed and smirked.
"Nate!" Jean had just peered into the rec room.
"Why you little smart ass you..."
"Mom! He said 'ass'!" Nate pointed out.
"Logan! Nate, I thought I told you..."
Nate scrambled to the table and brought forth his homework. "See, I'm done. Aren't I entitled to some fun?" He flashed his most innocent smile.
Jean took a moment to skim through his homework. It was flawless; not a single mistake. She couldn't really fault...
"You've got half an apple left on the table."