Parental disappointment is the greatest motivator, and Nolan figures that that is why he is where he is now. He owes the depth of his emotions and his emotional loyalty to his mother, and his determination to succeed to his father. His soft-spoken snark, he figures he owes only to himself, and his intolerance of bullies to his years in school.
Nolan is an odd mix of loyal and paranoid, romantic and cynical. He doesn't believe in people, but he always wants to believe in people. He doesn't believe in the system and does not like to let injustices lie. He'll spy on people and do other shady things in the name of a good cause - what he deems to be a good cause, anyway. He has a moral compass, it just doesn't have the same lines as most people's - but when it comes back to bite him in the ass, he will be genuinely sorry and do his best to learn from his mistakes.
He has spent most of his life lonely, and so now, he is quite desperate for friendship. He often comes off as quirky and bizarre both in his general behavior and in his attempts at winning over friendships. His odd ways of interacting with people do not come from a sheltered, rich life, as he was not wealthy for most of his life, but from the fact that he has had very little normal interaction. He'll joke about how his best friend used to be his math teacher, but it's not exactly untrue.
Moreover, as a genius who graduated high school at 14, Nolan hasn't been around people his age for a long time. He welcomed the advancement, though, as pupils his age tended to beat him up and generally bully him. He is extremely intelligent, but the one domain where he truly strives is computers.
Since becoming the 16-year-old CEO of his very own, very successful software company, Nolan has begun to completely overhaul the way he presents himself. Gone are the geek outfits of old. Now he plays with the fashion codes of the elite to throw them back into their faces. His outfits might come off as ridiculous to most, but they're social statements, as far as he's concerned. Sadly, he won't have as much cause to wear them in Xavier's, since there's not much elite to poke fun at, so he might revert to outfits that are more simple (yet still stylish) in everyday life. But never fear; there will still be ridiculousness.
Nolan is a precog. For a couple of years now, he has had amazingly good instincts when it came to making the right decision, but he never noticed it as anything other than his luck finally changing, his instincts finally being right. It is only recently that he has started having visions, which, for now, cause him seizures. His visions are always about people he cares for, but he has no idea when they are set for. The longer they are, the more difficult it is to retain them, much like a dream slipping away from him. Training his mind will allow him to remember them better and to process their arrival seizure-free, eventually.
Genius in software, hardware, hacking, all things computer-y.
Fashion. Snark. Champagne. Friendship. Romance. Social networks. Hacktivism. Cooking.
Nolan was beloved by his mother, who sadly died of cancer when he was eight. His police officer of a father grew bitter after her death. Edward Ross had never quite managed to connect with his son, but it became even worse after his wife passed. Nolan was never into sports or any of the typically masculine things, and if they couldn't throw a ball around, Edward had no idea how to start a relationship with him. Nor did he understand why Nolan did not fight back when he was bullied, and he resented his son for being weak, always coming home with scrapes and bruises.
Nolan did not have any friends. His father did not care for him. But he would show them all, by focusing his considerable intelligence on his studies. Teachers finally realized they should advance him farther than the one year ahead he had been so far, and he ended up graduating high school at 14, having already taught himself a lot about computers. He was accepted into MIT and, while attending classes there, desperately tried to find someone to believe in his many software ideas - someone to believe in him, and help him launch a start-up company.
He did not find that person until he was 15, when he met Shinobi Shaw at a tech expo he had decided to attend at the last minute. To this day, Nolan still isn't sure why Shinobi decided to talk to him, or really listen, but he's incredibly grateful for it. Shinobi decided to invest in Nolan. Nolan dropped out of MIT to start NolCorp Software and Electronics and, with Shinobi's help (the Shaws were great at pulling the right strings), he managed to get emancipated. He became CEO of NolCorp. He'll tell you he's not surprised by their success, but the truth is, he still can't quite believe how quickly his small company grew, or how right he was to make this or that decision, over the past year or so. NolCorp's net worth is now 19.8 billion dollars, which is not just a little crazy to someone who's never had much money.
Nolan's adapted to the life, though. He now has a personal assistant, an apartment near Central Park, a house in the Hamptons, and a walk-in closet in each of his homes, of course. However, the only staff he has hired are cleaners, and obviously not full-time. He's become the business press's little darling with his precocious rise to the top and his unconventional business decisions.
On the other hand, his father has turned away from him even more ever since rumors started flying about that Nolan was gay. Nolan has neither confirmed nor debunked these rumors, because that's his private life, thank you. He is no longer in touch with his father.
Nolan has recently had his first bona fide vision, accompanied by a seizure, in the middle of a board meeting. He didn't know that it was real until it came true when his girlfriend broke up with him that night, after he came home from being checked out at the hospital.
But that had just been an odd instance of clairvoyance, a slightly too real déjà-vu, the weirdest of coincidences. He had probably just felt the break-up coming and his imagination had supplied his seizing brain with a surprisingly faithful account of the way it would go down, but that was it. Nothing more.
And then a couple of days later, Nolan had another vision, this one involving his friend Shinobi Shaw, looking older than he knew him, and some twenty-foot-tall robots towering menacingly above him. At least for this one, he was alone in his office. It was a good thing, because the vision came with a sense of dread he took a few minutes to shake, even after recovering from the seizure. Once he felt settled enough for that, he picked up the phone to ask his assistant to schedule him for an MRI - clearly he had a brain tumour - when she told him that a Professor Charles Xavier was here to see him. He was about to tell her that Professor Xavier , whoever he was, should make an appointment, when an old British voice sounded in his head, assuring Nolan that he really did want to see him now.
Well. Nolan was nothing if not terribly curious, and a quick Google search told him that the man was a leading geneticist in the field of mutant studies. The MRI - and his suspected tumor - could wait. He would see the Professor now.
Charles Xavier told Nolan that he was a mutant, and offered that he come over to his covert school for mutants so that they might look into how to help him with his visions. He had great hopes that Nolan could teach his brain to handle the visions better.
Nolan told the Professor that he would think about it. His MRI came back clear, and he had a third vision involving his PA making copies of confidential material. When he caught her at it, he fired her, then called Xavier. Yes, yes, he'd come and learn how to handle this before the seizures fried his brain, just give him time to arrange some teleworking to keep an eye on NolCorp.