by Mara Greengrass

AUTHOR: Mara Greengrass
AUTHOR'S EMAIL: [email protected] Feedback is better than chocolate.
PERMISSION TO ARCHIVE: Sure, just let me know.
CATEGORY: Gen, humor
RATINGS/WARNINGS: G SUMMARY: Sometimes folks just need to lighten up a bit, don't you think?
DISCLAIMER: The X-Men characters belong to Fox, Marvel, and many other people with expensive lawyers, not me. I'm just borrowing them and I promise I'm not making any profit whatsoever off of fanfic. Heck, I'm lucky my husband hasn't had me committed yet.
NOTES: Thanks to Eiluned for the beta. Also thanks to my sister Naomi for being in graduate school, to Jessica for co-authoring the anthropology version of the exam 'lo these many years ago, and Avi for helping with this version.

Despite the sunny spring weather, doom and gloom pervaded the X-mansion. Long faces could be seen everywhere, and even Bobby and Jubilee were subdued. This was strange because it wasn't Monday morning, no evil mutants had attacked for weeks, and there was still no sign of mutant registration. What was blighting the students' lives? It was final exam time at the Xavier School for Gifted Youngsters.

Frowning, Ororo surveyed the children in various dejected postures around the pool. "This is ridiculous," she said to Logan, who was immersed in _Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance_. "The students are thoroughly prepared for their exams. Why is their level of anxiety so high?"

Logan looked up from his book long enough to comment, "Kids. Exams. Natural enemies."

Inside the mansion, Jean and Scott were having a similar conversation in Scott's office. Scott was trying to look sympathetic, but secretly yearned to get back to writing the calculus final exam.

"I simply cannot stand this any longer," Jean said. "I have a whopping headache from all the angst."

"I know, dear," Scott said, valiantly resisting the urge to pat her on the head and say "There, there."

"I mean, it's not like they didn't know exams were coming. And the majority will do fine, anyway."

Jean's incessant pacing around his office was beginning to give Scott a headache. He stifled unworthy thoughts and said, "It's just the natural order of things. If they didn't groan and complain and angst, people might think they actually *enjoyed* school or something."

"Heaven forbid," Jean said, finally flopping down in a chair. "But I'm telling you, if people don't lighten up around here, the Professor and I will be completely insane before you can say 'mutant killing spree'."


Bobby slouched his way down the hallway, thinking murderous thoughts about English tests. He was about to walk out the front door when he noticed a few pieces of paper on the floor. This shocked him out of his introspection.

"Geez, there's *never* anything on the floor around here, what's this?" He picked up the papers and stopped dead in his tracks when he saw the heading: Mutant High Final Exam. He didn't stop to read the rest, just folded the pages and took off for his room at top speed.

Bobby skidded down the hall into his room, slamming the door behind him. Then he unfolded the pages and eagerly began to read. After the first line, he looked puzzled, a few lines later he was grinning, and by the end of the page he was laughing.

"Mutant High Final Exam," Bobby read aloud with relish. "Question #1: Describe human mutations from 1 million years ago until last Tuesday. Do not exceed 50 pages."

"Question #2: You have been kidnapped by Magneto, Sabertooth, and Toad. All you have on you is two sticks of chewing gum, a nail file, an Indigo Girls CD, and a key ring. Describe how you would escape using your mutation."

"I've got to make sure everyone else reads this," he said to himself. Grinning, he tucked one copy under his pillow so just a few tantalizing inches stuck out. "Okay, that takes care of John."


"Psst, Jubes," Bobby said, sidling up beside Jubilee in the hall.

Jubilee leaned against the panel wall. "What's up, Bobster?"

"C'mere." Bobby dragged her into an empty classroom. "Look what I found." He flashed the paper so only the top line could be seen.

Jubilee's eyes widened. "What the..."

"Here, read it and pass it on," Bobby said. He ducked out of the room.

"Question #3: Describe the meaning of life. Include examples." Jubilee laughed. "Question #4: If Wolverine jumped from the top of the mansion, how fast would he be going by the time he hit the ground? (Assume 100 pounds of adamantium and 185 pounds of Wolverine.) For extra credit: Estimate his injuries and how long he would take to heal."


"Kitty, was this paper here a minute ago?" Rogue looked at her friend and looked back at her seat in the dining room, where someone had placed a folded piece of paper. Kitty shrugged her shoulders. "Anyone see who left this?" Nobody had, so Rogue unfolded it.

"What is it, Rogue?" Kitty asked.

Rogue read aloud, "Mutant High Final Exam Question #5: Explain the history of mistreatment of minorities around the world. Include Mutants, Blacks, Jews, Koreans, Native Americans, Christians, Hindus, Poles, Hispanics, Muslims, Untouchables, Chinese, and the Irish."

Kitty grabbed the paper. "Question #6: Why? For extra credit: How?" The kids at the table laughed.

Ororo was passing by and overheard her. "What's that?"

"I don't know, Ms. Munroe, someone left it on Rogue's chair."

"Can I see it?" Ororo read the paper, her lips twitching with amusement. "Can I borrow this, Rogue? I'll give it back later."



Logan found a copy on his bed. He paused to count the number of students who knew how to pick locks, took a guess, and then sniffed. Yep, Jubilee. He picked up the paper.

"Question #7: Design a space station capable of holding up to 1000 mutants. Provide diagrams of living spaces, trajectory and flight path, and sprinkler systems. Include plans for defending the station against humans, Sentinels, and aliens."

That Jubilee was certainly a smart kid, Logan thought.


Back in the dining room, Ororo was reading choice bits aloud to Jean, Scott and the Professor:

"Question #8: Compare and contrast the Bible, _Mein Kampf_, _Das Kapital_, and Magneto's magnum opus _Homo Superior_. Give specific examples of similarities and differences and include page numbers."

Jean choked on her milk at the last line, and a grinning Scott patted her on the back.

Ororo continued, flourishing her hand in the air dramatically. "Question #9: Create a Grand Unified Field Theory and explain how it applies to the Professor's baldness, Storm's flower garden, and the stick up Cyclops' ass."

At that, both Ororo and Jean collapsed in laughter, leaning against each other for support. The Professor hurriedly hid his smile behind a drink. Students were staring, except for those with copies of their own, who passed them around to the perplexed.


By the end of the day, everyone in the school had seen the supposed final exam. Despite protestations to the contrary, everyone was sure the authors were Bobby, St. John, and Jubilee.

"I wish we *had* written it," John said to Bobby. "The question is, if we didn't, who did?"

Back in his office, finishing up the physics exam, Scott smiled, satisfied. Another mission accomplished.