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1. Not That Kind Of Mutant

The first time Spider-man joined in a fight the Avengers were doing perfectly fine with, thanks, probably nobody was more surprised than Spider-man.

"What is that?" Cap asked, when he saw the red-and-blue blur in the middle of the violent alien robots.

"Oh, fuck, get him out of there!" Tony yelled.

"I can take him out -- " Clint offered, but Tony called "No! He's a friendly, he's just a moron."

But they were in the middle of a battle and Spider-man was doing all right, so they ended up focusing on other things. The fight had ended by the time Cap caught up with the kid, obviously a kid, who was hanging out on a rooftop. The kid flinched and ducked, but Captain America was determined and fast, and he caught him by the scruff of his neck, picking him up off the ground. He flipped his body up, trying to do a backwards somersault over Cap's head, but Cap just shook him like a terrier.

"Try that again, son, and I will put you down permanently," he said kindly.

"I'm one of the good guys! Lemme go!" Spider-man said.

"You're a civilian engaging in a SHIELD operation," Cap replied, as Iron Man and Thor landed nearby. Natasha was hanging off Thor's shoulders, and Clint was clinging securely by an arm around Iron Man's throat.

"Come on," Spider-man pleaded. "Cut me some slack, I totally helped save your asses back there."

"Yeah, not so much falling for that," Tony said.

"What're you gonna do with me?" Spider-man asked warily. He was still dangling from Cap's grasp.

Two hours later, a SHIELD quinjet landed on the lawn of the Westchester mansion where the Jean Grey school for Mutants was located. By the time the door opened, Wolverine was standing in front of it, arms crossed.

"Present for you," Tony called, tossing Spider-man onto the lawn.

"Aw, fuck, again?" Wolverine asked, as the jet lifted off and Peter picked himself up off the ground. "What is this, the third time someone got it into their head you're a mutant? I gotta buy you another bus ticket home now?"

"Can I go play in the lab with Beast first?" Peter asked.

"You little fucker, you didn't tell on purpose."

"I got to ride in a jet with Captain America," Peter whispered. Logan rubbed his eyes.

"Fine, come on, we'll get a hot meal in you," he sighed.


2. Not A Mutant At All

Kitty didn't come to SHIELD often; she had an aversion to government agencies, especially those who liked to press-gang supers into battle whether they wanted to be there or not.

"I'd like it noted for the record that I am here as a diplomatic envoy from Westchester and a lot of people know where I am," she said to Clint. Doop, bobbing along next to her, nodded emphatically in agreement.

"Ms. Pryde, trust me, we want you to leave as soon as possible," he replied, opening a door for her.

"Well, that's reassuring. What's this all about?" she asked, stepping into the room. Tony Stark was sitting in the room with a sullen-looking teenager.

"Oh good! You're here. She's all yours," Tony said.

"Do you just randomly pick mutants up off the street?" she asked, and then frowned as she tried to get a read on the girl.

"No. But she keeps showing up at battles in makeshift armor," Tony said. "Throw her back in ten years, we'll take her."

"I don't want to go to Westchester," the kid said.

"Well, tough. You're an orphan who keeps getting in our way and Nick Fury put me in loco parentis," Tony said, as Doop leaned over and murmured in Kitty's ear. "I say you're going to Westchester."

"Doop says she's not a mutant," Kitty said, confused.

"No, she's just too fucking smart for her own good," Tony said cheerfully, heading for the door. Kitty stepped in front of it. Technically he was a foot taller than her and at least fifty pounds heavier, but he stopped. Well, good, her reputation preceded her.

"We don't accept ordinary children," she said. "That's the point."

"Oh, believe me, she's not normal," Tony replied.

"If she's so smart, you take her."

"Do I look like I have time to run around looking after a fifteen-year-old?" Tony asked.

"You're a billionaire."

"And you run a school. This is like your job. Take the kid! You took that Quint kid, maybe they can be roomies."

"But she's not -- "

Tony held up a check. It was made out to the Jean Grey School, from the Maria Stark Foundation, and there were a lot of zeroes on it.

"Take the kid," he said.

She sighed, taking the check out of his fingers. "Come on, kid, you're going to mutant school."

"Do you have pizza night?" the girl asked, as they walked towards the hangar, Doop floating in their wake.

"Tuesdays. Thursday is sushi night."

"You have a sushi night? That's awesome!"

"We do after I deposit this check," Kitty murmured.


3. Not A Free Agent

When Logan and Kitty opened the door, Thor was standing in front of them in full battle regalia.

He had a furious ten-year-old, in a domino mask, suspended by the cape from one hand.

"I understand this is where we bring striplings in need of a thrashing," Thor said grimly.

"I'll kill you with my bare hands!" the boy howled. "My dad's gonna kill you twice!"

Logan covered his face with one hand.

"I'll kill you too!" the boy yelled. Logan popped his claws. The boy went abruptly silent.

"I'll go call Batman," Kitty said, patting Logan on the arm.


4. Not Even A Sentient Being

"That's not a mutant. Or an alien. Or a super-intelligent child. Or a robot," Hank said.

"No, that's true," Natasha admitted.

"It is, in fact, a chocolate labrador puppy. I'm a scientist, so I can tell these things," Hank continued.

"But he's a super puppy," Steve said, cuddling the squirming furball. He turned the Captain America Eyes on Hank. Hank had heard about them from Tony, but they were even more impressive in person. "Look at him! That's a healthy, intelligent dog."

"We don't take pets," Hank said firmly.

"His brothers and sisters and his mother all died," Steve continued sadly. "The Living Laser blew up his pet shop. He has nobody."

"But we -- "

"He could be your mascot!" Bruce said brightly.

"We're a school, not a football te -- oh my," Hank said, as Cap deposited the puppy in his lap. It sniffed him carefully and then licked his furry face. "Well. He's certainly good-natured."

"His name is Senator," Cap said earnestly.

"I suppose we could look after him until we can find him a nice farm outside Westchester to run around in," Hank said, petting the puppy's soft ears.

"Well, if it's that much trouble, we can -- " Tony began.

"No!" Hank said, arms going around the dog tightly. "I mean. I am here already, after all. I'll take him back with me."

Behind his back, Natasha and Bruce high-fived.


5. Not Actually A Kid

"You saved him," Tony said after the battle, as Wolverine came into view. He had one arm around Cap, supporting him as the other man limped along. "You get to keep him."

"Blow it out your ass, Stark," Logan replied.

"I'm serious. He's just going to yell at me for not following orders and also for the amount of fried food I eat. I'm so done with you, I'm giving you to the Jean Grey School," he added to Cap.

"Not now, Tony," Cap said tiredly.

"He's all yours. What's tuition now? You know what, fuck it, I paid you five hundred large for what's-her-name, he's twice her size, I'll double it."

"Jenna is doing well," Wolverine said. "Straight As. She's dating a technopath."

"Is that her name? Awesome. Tell her to show Cap the ropes."

"We only take children," Wolverine replied.

"He's like a child -- "

"I am not like a child, Tony, and if you don't stop trying to give me away -- "

"You weren't my first choice, technically," Tony said to Wolverine. "Reed Richards wouldn't take him because he says he already has a Hot One."

"He did not," Steve protested, and then on consideration, "I'm not the Hot One!"

"Okay, you two, you can find some place to fuck it out," Wolverine said finally. "I'm going for a beer."

"I don't -- " "We aren't -- "

"Yeah, whatever, call me when you figure it out and I'll hit you up for a grant," Wolverine replied, disappearing.

"You have no idea what a relief it is not to be the Hot One for once," Natasha said to Cap, following Wolverine.

Cap and Tony stared at each other. It went on a long time.

"Son of a bitch, now I have to give the school another grant," Tony said finally.