A Long-Awaited New ArrivalStarted by Lawrence Cutter at Apr 06, 2020 8:18 AM
November 23, 2023
There was barely a sound, just the faint pad of his feet on the carpet as he made his way down the stairs, accompanied by the faint swish as his tail twitched, indicative of Lawrence's current mood. It had been a little while now, enough time for both of the recent arrivals, Shaali Evans and her brother John to have settled in, getting to know everyone and to become known by them and finally make the decision that this was somewhere they could feel comfortable in, at least enough to call home. It was only natural then that once such a decision had been made, that someone else would be arriving, another member of their family, Shaali's own daughter Crystal.
It was an admirable thing, reaching out and accepting the responsibility to care for a child, giving them the love and support and stability a family could provide, choosing to be a mother and taking a child as your own when for whatever reason, their birth mother could not or would not be able to do so. Though even for this short period of time in which he'd been starting to get to know Shaali. Lawrence wasn't surprised she'd have made that choice, the warmth and compassion displayed by the woman evident from the very first time he'd seen her, and from what she'd said about Crystal the love she felt for her daughter was plain to see.
With what he'd heard of Crystal, Lawrence was looking forward to meeting the little girl for himself, even if at first he'd been debating whether it would be wise that his face be one of the first she'd see. His appearance...could take a little getting used to, his height, the fur, fangs and claws and the whole hyena aspect could from experience be an intimidating, even frightening first encounter no matter how careful he was. Fortunately, such first impressions were more or less forgotten sooner or later, though the last thing he wanted was to scare Crystal.
Yet, in the end, he'd decided it was important that his face might be one of the first she'd see. Crystal was like him, looking different to most and having manifested her mutation at an early age. Already though she'd been through traumatic experiences, rejected by her parents for being different forced to survive on the streets before she was taken in. Seeing him, or others like the playful little fairy Amp or the furry blue Hank she'd see that here she'd fit right in and well, most of the younger residents were no longer frightened of him after the first piggyback ride.
If he hadn't been lost in thought, he would have smelled her or maybe not with the illusion of invisibility, if she didn't give herself away with a giggle. It looked though like she could get away with it and now they were at the bottom of the stairs there was no real harm that could come and besides, if he looked like a hyena, sometimes Deirdre couldn't resist seeing if he laughed like one.
The yip might have been partially from surprise, and the yelping giggle very reminiscent of a hyena could have been simply being startled as he felt the fingers through the thin layer of T-shirt and through the fur, finding that spot just under the ribs where he was sensitive. A growl, that one Logan would give if you were unwise enough to take his beer, that wasn't effective when Deirdre knew him only too well. Instead, Lawrence pulled up to his full height, glancing at Deirdre with narrowed green eyes.
"We should make a good impression, we are after all responsible adults," he rumbled, in his best attempt to sound stern. Deirdre for her part, dropping the invisibility illusion just smiled and looked towards the door.
"Oh, she'll be here very shortly looking at the time," Deirdre said in her lilting tone, settling now to wait and welcome the arrival of the little girl whom hopefully would settle in nicely to her new home.
Lawrence for his part was fully alert now, giving a little sniff of the air and pricking his ears as he looked around to see if anyone else would join them in the welcoming committee. Just so long as nobody had seen the 'indignity' he'd suffered a moment ago.
Flick. Click. Ignite.
Mind the burn.
She jumped up, waist-length dark hair moving with the momentum of spinning around to start pacing back and forth. Blue eyes full of amusement watched from where he remained seated in the waiting area of the same Airport they'd arrived in a few weeks earlier, John shaking his head at his adopted sister.
"Shaali, settle down. She'll be here soon," he assured her.
"I should've gone back over to travel with her. You know how dangerous air travel can be, what with all sorts of things going wrong with the plane itself. Then with Crystal being a mutant and..." John flicked the lid of his Zippo lighter open and shut loud enough to get her attention. When she turned to look at him he had that expression that told her she was worrying about nothing. Shoulders relaxing a bit she sat back down beside him. "Okay, so, she's with Mum, she'll be fine. I should stop stressing."
"Yep," Pyro answered, smirking.
"It's been three weeks, John. I mean, seriously, you know how long that is for a mother, let alone a child. I know she was safe with Mum but leaving her was not easy."
"Tell me about it," the firebug agreed. "Didn't realize it would be so hard either. When did we suddenly become adult enough to parent?"
Shaali laughed. "Aww, are you missing being called Uncle Pyro every five seconds?" she asked.
John glanced back down at his lighter, smiling. Yes actually, he was. He'd had some pretty good things happen to him since becoming a part of the Evans family and he could honestly say having that little girl come into his life over a year ago now was among the best of them. It probably had a lot to do with the fact he'd been abandoned at a young age himself. He'd wanted to protect her from experiencing a foster system that quite often used up every ounce of strength a kid had and spat them out with nothing at the end of it. Thankfully, for him, he'd found one of the foster Mums on the other end of the scale, those that actually did give a damn about the children they were taking in.
"She should be here soon. I might ring Mum, see how things are going?" Shaali said, reaching into her pocket to pull out her phone.
"Didn't Nicky say she'd call us when they were..."
Sha's mobile began to meow... yes, meow, her ringtone that of a cat and as it got louder, other people in the area began to look at them. The Healer grinned. "Hey Mum," she greeted, "How's she going?"
"Hi Honey, right now the little one is fast asleep. I almost don't have the heart to wake her up since it's rather cute how she's leaning up against me," Nicky explained.
"Any trouble at all?" Shaali asked, at the same time picturing what her mother was telling her about.
"No. A few looks of curiosity. One person did give us a wide birth when we were walking towards the ticket booth back in Oz but overall, quite an uneventful flight. Oh, looks like we are landing. I better go..." Nicky said.
"Okay, Mum, I'll see you soon!" Shaali's enthusiasm clear.
Nicole hung up the phone and reached down to gently shake her metallic skinned, adopted granddaughter awake. "Crystal, sweetheart, we're here."
She had been scared at first during the trip to the airport, and then from the entrance to the booth. She was scared that people might cause problems for her grandmother, whom she knew to be a very nice and kind lady. Fortunately, things were calm, which she was happy about, which allowed her to turn her mind to other things. Now in the air, she could feel her excitement grow, at the thought that at the end of the flight, she will be in her mother’s arms again.
The young girl knew her mother was safe, she was a healer, plus she had her Uncle Pyro there to keep her safe. On the plane in the air she looked out the window, also adorably waved to the ground, “Bye-bye Australia,” was said, before she turned her attention to watching child-appropriate shows on the screen in front of her. Eventually, she started to get bored with that, and not to mention exhausted as well. So the lights were dimmed and the screen was darkened and quiet. She soon found a spot leaning against her Grandmother and fell asleep. The dreams that she had gone through were mostly good dreams and especially fun ones.
When her grandmother began talking, she began to stir into wakefulness slowly but surely. Her grandmother’s warm hand was used to gently shake her which helped her wake up just as she heard her voice. She yawned a little, her right hand moved up to cover her mouth. She looked up at her grandmother and smiled at her. “Oh, Morning, Grandma!” she said to her Grandmother, remembering that although she did tell her good morning before the flight, she thought since she had fallen asleep she should do it again.
Crystal tried to keep her excitement in check, but she was having a hard time doing so. She couldn’t wait to go hug her mother and of course her Uncle.
Shaali studied the faces of all those walking out of the boarding terminal, waiting for the familiar one that would abate her anxiety but set her happiness levels skyrocketing. Beside her, John too was looking very forward to seeing that flash of ruby coloured hair he was so used to. His outward signs of this were far more reserved than Shaali's however, who had, by now turned and gently clasped his arm in anticipation at least twice.
"You squeal in my ear, I can't promise fire won't be involved," he warned her, clearly joking.
"Oh come on, it's my little girl for crying out loud," Sha responded, eyes twinkling.
John held up his phone, preparing it to start recording. "Yep, I know. Just be aware you'll be on camera so anything too embarrassing is going straight on YouTube," he promised her.
"Don't. You. Dare. Not with Crystal in it."
Pyro tried to keep a straight face as he said, "Oh, it's gonna happen," the curl at the very corners of his mouth giving him away. "Okay. Okay. I'll blur out Shrapnel and just put you on there."
Nicky held Crystal's hand, keeping her close, the older woman ever cautious of those around them as they made their way out of the plane and down the terminal hallway. People had the weirdest ideas about what a mutant really was and for those with obvious mutations, many acted like they were diseased or something. Nicole had handled a few of those types in her life, adopting one from such a family and now a Grandma to another. Thankfully, she hadn't been given a chance to confront either John or Crystal's parents. Had she'd had some time alone in the same room with them Nicky wasn't sure she'd have been able to hold back how she really felt. The same was happening now, a protective glare returned to anyone whom she caught looking at Crystal the wrong way.
As the two left the plane, Crystal had made sure to stop by the windows in order to say her required greeting to the American land, much like she had said her farewells to her Australian home. She followed her Grandma, holding her hand as she stayed close. She didn’t plan on leaving her Grandma until she not only caught sight of her mother, and Uncle, but also once they were on the same level and no one was in the way.
“Big hug,” she said it was mostly to herself, but Nicky could hear her. “That’s what I’m gonna give. Give mommy and Uncle Pyro a big hug,” she said, making sure her plans were known and set as the two walked. The light of the morning shone through the windows, and they caused her to sparkle as she walked, sending reflections away. She just giggled at how cool that was until they got to the end of the boarding terminal.
It was fortunate that the people around them gave them a wide berth because it meant they weren’t stepping on peoples feet, and also it allowed her to see other far more important people. Fortunately, by the time they had gotten to the area where her mother was, a lot of the passengers had collected their bags, so it wasn’t that full.
The moving stairs took the two down to the main level, where her poor Grandma was basically abandoned, when Crystal released her hold and ran as fast as she was able, towards her mother. “Mommy!!!!” she called as she did so, and prepared to jump into her arms, or prepared to be picked up and held, which she did as well, giving her a bear hug that only a 10-year-old can manage.
Once she had her fill of hugging her mother, she turned her attention to her Firebug uncle. “Uncle Pyro! Thank you for making sure to keep mommy safe!” she said, moving her arms out to give him a hug too.
This was it! The moment they had been anticipating for the past three weeks. Whether it had been here in America because the school they'd been checking out proved to be worth staying at for while or back on home turf, either way, a familiar little girl was soon spotted on the escalator next to her Grandma and it was all Shaali could do not to push past anyone in the way of getting to her. The cry of Mummy brought tears to her eyes, the Healer scooping her up and holding her close. "Oh, my baby, finally. How I have missed you!"
John's smile belied the bad past he'd experienced, often catching himself and wondering for a moment if it was all real. There would always be that part of him that believed he didn't deserve it, very quickly overtaken by the emotions of a moment he'd managed to capture in its entirety on his mobile phone. Leaning in to greet his adopted mother, he simply grinned. "Hey Nicky," he said, never actually calling her Mum even though she meant so much to him and he did see her that way.
Nicole gave him a quick hug, soon laughing softly when little arms were held out to also give him a cuddle. John didn't just want to hug Crystal while she was in her mother's arms, so he gently tugged on her until he felt Shaali release her hold so he could properly reciprocate how much of a void there had been without her. "Hey little one, did you miss me? You missed me, didn't you," he said.
"Oh my goodness I am so glad you are both safe," Shaali told her Mum, taking the opportunity to give her a quick kiss on the cheek.
"Quite an uneventful trip really. I have to admit I'm a little surprised," Nicole explained.
"Mama's girl, Uncle's favorite Niece,Grandma's angel! And the Youngest Motorcycle Rider"
As the ten-year-old was scooped up, she buried her face into her mother, her arms had a good hold on her mum’s body, as her own tears came out. She was so happy to see her mother, so happy that words could not describe it. “I missed you too! Equal the amount you missed me,” she told her after pulling her head back to talk to her mother. She knew, of course, the amount Shaali missed her was very high indeed. She was so happy that there was no trouble on the plane or at the airport that they had left.
As she interacted with her mum, she heard John talk to her grandma, and then she wanted in on the love he was getting too. She heard her grandmother laugh softly and eventually she was in his arms now that Shaali had released her. At his question, she crossed her arms over her chest and looked at him as sternly as possible. “You actually doubted that I wouldn’t miss you?!” as if that was the most scandalous thing she had ever heard. “You’re the bestest of the best Uncles in the whole world, Uncle Pyro, of course, I missed you,” the ten-year-old told him before she allowed herself to hug him. He kept her mother as well as himself safe, she loved and missed this guy a great deal.
As she held her Uncle, she heard her mum and Grandma Nicky talk. She too was glad they made it safe with no trouble.
“All I can say to that is what a relief. I know not everyone dislikes mutants but…” Shaa’s words trailed off as her gaze went to her daughter in Pyro’s arms. “I can’t help but worry sometimes.”
Nicky nodded, “I know honey,” she acquiesced. “You weren’t the only one.”
“Hear that?!” John said, eyes bright with cheek. “Apparently I’m the bestest Uncle in the world. You two need to remember that.”
Shaali smiled. The three people that meant the most to her were now all safely in the same place. It may have sounded overly sentimental to some but the Evans family was together again. She couldn’t really describe how that truly felt… deeply satisfying perhaps a good starting point.
“We better get going now, I guess,” she announced and instantly fell into mother mode the moment John gave his niece another quick hug then put her down. “Crystal hun, you need anything before we go? Toilet first… are you hungry or can you wait until we get there?”
“Oh, that reminds me,” Nicky suddenly said, her attention now fully on Pyro. “Your baby will be delivered directly to the mansion within the next couple of days. The transport company will ring you when it’s on the way.”
The relief on John’s face was palpable, mixed also with a touch of warning. “About time. Kind of dying without it here. They better handle her properly too. Any damage or even a scratch…” he flicked open his lighter for effect without the actual taking control of the flame it ignited.
“Ok, no, you’ll put in a proper complaint with the ones we paid a fortune to deliver the bike, John,” Nicky said.
Closing the lighter John grinned. “Yeah, yeah, I know.”
Being in the arms of her Favorite Uncle, she felt happy. He was safe, her mother was safe, they were all safe and she was so happy to know this. Her mother was a very nice woman, she could tell this by the simple fact she was worried about her. Her grandma was also worried, but Crystal didn’t feel worried anymore, they all were safe.
At her Uncle’s outburst, she too smiled, she was telling the truth, he was the bestest uncle in the world, of course, it was totally lost on her that he was her only uncle but that didn’t matter. He was nice and she loved him.
She was certain that Shaali was happy to hear him say that, and eventually, she went into mom mode while Crystal let herself get hugged one last time before she found herself at her normal level of view again. “Yeah, I gotta use the not yet big girls room, and the rest can wait later, though I am starting to feel thirsty,” she told her mother.
So as she went to do what she needed to, she heard her grandma tell John about his baby, she knew was his motorcycle. She knew how much he loved that thing, and she thought it was neat too.
Sometime later, she was in the car with her family, having gently pulled Shaali to join her in the back since she wanted to be closer to her. They were soon on their way to the mansion. “I’m excited to go there, I mean its an actual mansion which is cool! But there are nice people there right?’ she asked her mother, and of course her Uncle.
"Yes, without a doubt, honey," Shaali assured her. "And they are all looking very forward to meeting you."
Admin Note: Storm post combined in with Amp due to Heidi playing her back when this was written. Storm is now played by Guiga.
From down the hall came the unmistakable singing of the school’s resident fairy. As cute as the petite creature was, Amp was not blessed with a proper singing voice. Her songs, always made up, were always off pitch and a few octaves too high for most to find enjoyable. Her only saving grace was the amount of love she managed to shove into each horrible note.
“I’sa singing-g in de halls.
I’sa flying-g in de halls.
De Cuddly Puppy yips in de hall
with de Precious Goes Poof.
And we waits for the widdle precious to comes-s!”
She finished with a spin in the air and a poof of glitter.
Amp smiled brightly at Lawrence and Deirdre, “Good morning sweet precious’. Look what I found in the crafting room!” Exceedingly proud of her discovery, she held up a clear container of silver glitter. The bottle was just over an inch high, but it was an arm full for the small pixy. “It is glorious!” Reaching in to grab another handful and tossed it into the air. “I thinks new widdle precious will loves it,” nodding to herself with great pride. She was certain that the glitter would make for the perfect welcome.
Storm left the kitchen with her second tall cup of tea in hand. She had already spent the morning working in the garden, always preferring to water the plants before the morning dew was gone. She was freshly showered and on her way to her office to finalize Crystal’s school schedule when something on the floor caught her attention. Something was catching the light spilling in from the windows, it was too small to be a dropped coin, so she worried it was a stray staple. So many of the kids ran around without shoes on, she was worried that a little foot would pay the price for someone who was too lazy to drop a dis-guarded staple in the garbage.
As she crouched down Strom realized that her initial impression had been wrong. “Glitter,” she sighed to herself. Living and working in a school glitter was an unfortunate part of her life. Looking down the hall she noticed another glimmering spot on the floor. More glitter, she discovered as she moved down the hall to investigate. It didn’t take long for her to notice the pattern of glitter on the floor every 20-feet or so. It felt intentional, so she followed the glitter trail as it wove through the mansion.
Drawing closer to the foyer she heard voices, coming from the same direction Amp had arrived Storm appeared. “Good Morning Lawrence, Deirdre, Amp,” greeting each in turn with a pleasant smile. She took a sip of her tea as she glanced around the floor, “Have any of you noticed silver glitter on the floor? I keep coming across piles of it in the halls.”
Having failed to notice the bottle of glitter Amp held. Though at the mention of glitter the other two could see Amp move the bottle behind her back trying to hide it.
A superhumanly acute sense of hearing wasn't always a blessing, especially when you could be particularly sensitive to higher frequencies and when discordant sounds could be particularly grating. It was almost enough to set Logan's ears ringing, was definitely enough to startle him into almost popping his claws. The slight twitch in his wrist was sufficient that a freshly opened can of beer, instead of pouring down his throat, deposited itself over his boots.
"Damnit, Tink," Logan growled under his breath, just avoiding uttering certain choicer words as the little fairy flew merrily by, singing and it seemed quite oblivious to his presence and carrying something, a small clear container of...was that glitter. Wait, she was... she was...
Logan's attempt to duck and cover, throwing up an arm was quite unsuccessful, only compounding the problem as he knocked off his Stetson into the bargain. He could only glower after the fairy as she flitted on her merry way.
Normally Lawrence would have been more than happy to let Amp perch on his shoulder or head, or just flit around as much as she liked but at present, he was attempting to keep his distance. The way she was tossing glitter around, if any of that got on his fur it would be a real job to get it out and with Crystal likely arriving soon it wasn't like there'd be time for a shower.
"You might want to save some until she arrives," Lawrence said, feeling a sense of relief as he caught an approaching scent, Ororo hopefully would manage to restore some order.
Deirdre for her part couldn't help but smile, even as she regretted that for all her enthusiasm Amp wasn't a naturally gifted singer, though with all the heart she put into it that was a real pity. The glitter though that did give her an idea, something for when Crystal arrived to give her a proper welcome, maybe an illusion of some sort.
"A unicorn maybe? Yes, I don't think there's a little girl who doesn't like unicorns," she mused, as she watched Amp tossing the glitter and was only distracted from her reveries when Ororo arrived, giving her a smile and a brief wave before returning to her musing.
"Good morning Ororo," Lawrence replied to her when she arrived, frowning as he spotted Amp moving to hide the bottle behind her back.
"I can't say I noticed any piles on the way down here. Sounds to me someone just borrowed it to have a little fun though I'm sure no harm was intended," Lawrence twitched an ear, "I'm sure whomever took the glitter will put it back and maybe help out with cleaning up the mess."
Deirdre noticing Amp's actions, considered a moment and decided to help her out.
"Like a shadow in the night, a tube of glitter fades from sight," she whispered, quietly enough only Lawrence might have heard, as she cast a simple illusion, the tube of silver glitter now invisible perhaps to Amp's surprise.
Muttered growls and squelching sounds heralded the arrival of another, as Logan trudged his way on socked feet to join the others, his damp boots dangling from one hand, a grimace on his craggy face and a now empty beer can still held in his other hand.
Most noticeable about Logan was he was rather sparkly, glints of silver in his thick mutton chop sideburns, shimmering in his unruly hair. some even on his shaggy brows or the stubble on his chin, or where exposed by his rolled-up shirtsleeves on the hair on his arms. Lawrence for one would definitely sympathise with Logan's predicament even if he wisely kept quiet.
"There ya are, Tink," Logan growled, sounding more tired than angry, "Gonna have ta have a word with ya darlin'."
With the bottle of glitter tucked behind her back, Amp was unaware of the covert assistance Deirdre had provided. She simply smiled brightly as Ororo and Logan appeared. “Good Morning Windy Precious. Amp still finds your cloudy white hair so beautiful,” she assured the weather elemental with a confident nod.
As Logan gestured for Amp to come closer, her smile didn’t falter. She truly loved all the Precious in the mansion, no matter what their appearance or temperament may be. “Growly Precious is so shiny today. So very lovely,” she informed him with great approval as the silver glitter in his sideburns caught the morning light. As she moved closer though she could smell the beer causing her nose to wrinkle in protest.
There weren’t many smells the pint-sized pixy disliked, but beer was one of them. “I loves Growly Precious so very much, but this morning Precious does not smell like to woods and motorcycle like Precious normally does.” She moved close enough to fluff Logan’s sideburns, trying her best to comfort him after delivering such harsh words. Her small hand struggling to hold the glitter without both hands.
As Amp flitted closer, Logan was already thinking that having a word with her probably wasn't going to have the desired effect. He was definitely living up to her nickname for him though, growling when she remarked about him being all lovely and shiny, never mind if it got him disapproving glances from the others. The fairy was a true innocent, she loved everyone and was almost indefatigably cheerful, utterly cute and adorable but in Logan's view, she could be bloody annoying at times.
"Yeah shiny, wonder how that happened?" he muttered sarcastically, shaggy eyebrows flaring as he frowned before his lips twitched in the faintest approximation of a smirk when Amp expressed her displeasure at his smell. The smell of beer was rather permeating his person, boots in particular after he'd ended up spilling it over himself.
"Well, that's down t'ya Tink, since ya made me spill my brew over myself... Hey!" Logan gave a deeper growl, boots and the empty beer can falling from his hands as he took a step back, almost slipping with his wet socks finding uneasy purchase. He waved one hand, attempting to ward off any further attempts by Amp to go anywhere near his sideburns.
"How many times do I have t'say? Don't touch the whiskers!" Logan actually snarled, definitely not in the mood for tolerating anyone even Amp from touching his facial hair. Almost immediately he regretted it, if he'd actually managed to frighten her he'd be feeling some guilt for that, not to mention earning himself lectures from Ororo, Deirdre, Lawrence and probably Xavier.
"Sorry, didn't mean ta... yeoww!" Logan had taken a step forward, wanting to apologise when he heard a crunch underfoot and felt a jolt of pain something sharp having penetrated the thin layer of the damp sock and digging painfully into the sole of his foot. Just his luck the glitter had given him more trouble and healing factor or not it certainly hurt.
"Please let me help. I can heal you."
The excitement in the car was palpable, Shaali gently squeezing Crystal’s hand every so often and glancing over the top of her head at John. At long last they were not only together again but about to introduce the young girl to that part of the world none of them had really had the chance to get to know, and for Shrapnel, it was imperative she realized she wasn’t the only obvious looking mutant out there. That, and while at the same time giving her daughter another big smile, she was thinking how wonderful it was going to be for her to have so many others to interact with.
“Crystal, look,” she said, pointing beyond the gate. “You can’t see much yet, but around that bend, it’ll open up. Made my mouth fall open when we first got here. So much I still haven’t explored yet. We’re going to have a lot of fun doing that.”
From behind the wheel, the only other one of them familiar with driving on the opposite side of the road, Pyro chuckled. "Yeah, I'm guessing the both of you are going to get lost in that hedge maze soon enough. Maybe with Crystal there, they'll be willing to show us around the areas off limits to us too."
"We have to be part of the team for that first, John," Shaali said.
"Part of a team of what?" Nicky asked, looking between them all from the front passenger seat.
"Ah, can't say too much sorry, Mum. Just what you are already aware of, that we were right in suspecting there is way more to Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters than the public will more than likely ever be privy too," the Healer explained.
Crystal felt the warmth from the hand that she had held as well a the times it was squeezed every so often. The ten-year-old began to snuggle closer to her mother but still secured by the seat belt. She had to admit, driving on the left side was very different and quite odd, but she knew she would have to get used to it. She felt so happy being there beside her mother, and silently she closed her eyes to rest them before she heard her mother speaking to her again. She opened her eyes to see that they were there, for the most part. She looked at the gate her mother was pointing to and she watched to see the sight that her mother had first seen.
She blinked when she heard John talking. “Hedge maze? A big one?’ she asked, of course, it could be bigger than her, but likely she figured it wouldn’t be bigger than her mother. She had a feeling she knew the kind of games she could play in there. “Mummy is a good person and a hero, so maybe a team of heroes?’ she asked before finally, they were at the gate, and her eyes caught sight of the cool sign at the side and the appearance of the gate. She smiled thinking it looked cool. “We’re there?” she asked her mother for confirmation of what she was seeing.
"Yep," Shaali answered, looking very forward to seeing her little girl's reaction when they reached the turn and finally caught sight of their main focus in the distance. There were so many other gravel roads going off in other directions it would be easy to get lost if they hadn't thought of that in the plan and made it clear exactly where most visitors first needed to go. "Can you imagine how long it would've taken to build this place?"
"Probably as long as it took us to get everything we eventually wanted on our property back home," Nicky ventured. "Maybe even..." her words trailed off and she gasped as the car turned the corner. "My gosh, that is breathtaking! I am really looking forward to meeting this Professor Charles Xavier now. The man has such good taste."
John snickered. "Really, Mum?"
Nicole sideways glanced at him. "What? He does. Look at this place! You can't tell me you both didn't have this kind of moment when you first arrived?"
Smirking, John just nodded. "Yeah, okay, we did and if I remember correctly your daughter got so emotional she started to glow."
Laughing, Shaali pointed at the open spaces beyond the trees lining the driveway. "See Crystal, so much to explore," she told her then added, "Yes, well, it certainly was a cause for an extra special amount of electricity in the air."
Ororo just sighed. Arms folded across her chest as she listened to Logan scold Amp. She would hold her tongue until she saw how the resident heart with wings responded to his sharp words.
When Logan waved her off Amp pulled both hands close to her chest, more specifically over her heart. Which caused her to drop the bottle of glitter she had been trying to hide. If Deidre’s spell still held, it would explain how Logan managed to step on something that was naturally so shiny.
If Logan’s words cut the fairy too sharply, it didn’t show. Amp’s loving gaze never wavered from the gruff man. “Maybe five more times,” she answered when he asked how many more times he’d have to tell her no. “If Growly Precious could tell’s me where I can loves on Precious it will help me remember to leave your lovely whiskers alone,” nodding her head in agreement with herself. Yes she liked that answer never much.
She let out a gasp, like a mother does when her child runs into the edge of the table. “Oh Precious,” instantly flying down to the ground to clear out what had hurt Logan. “Amp can look and fix boo-boo for Precious,” gesturing for Logan to lift his foot so she could make sure he was ok. Healing factor or not, a boo-boo was still a boo-boo to the pint-sized pixy.
“If only the rest of the world could respond to harsh words the way she does, with caring compassion, we’d be in a much better place,” Ororo commented. Her eyes on Logan who was the king of harsh words. There wasn’t any question that the man was having a bad day, but most of the time she though he heaped it on himself with how he usually handled it.
"Logan, maybe just take a moment," Lawrence kept his tone firm but even, as he took a step forward, deciding now it was probably time to intervene if necessary. Despite the growling and snarling he didn't think for a moment Logan would hurt Amp, not intentionally but accidents could happen especially with Amp on the ground, and he could picture Logan losing his balance and tragedy striking.
Still he was a feral himself, could understand the instincts and emotions though he was lucky he didn't seem to have it to such an intensity, not the degree of his brothers or his father in his younger years. Logan's injury, well that was an occupational hazard he understood all to well, with his paw-like feet and general lack of suitable footwear. On the other hand, Logan was around a century older than him and lashing out at someone as innocent and sweet as Amp, even verbally that didn't sit too well for him.
"You can frickin loves on me all ya want some other time, just not right now," Logan growled more harshly than he'd intended, as Amp then got the brilliant idea to land right next to him and want him to lift his foot up, the last thing he was going to do when he was half afraid that he could slip and end up hurting her.
"It'll fix itself...it's okay, look, it's fine," Logan insisted, taking a step back and gritting his teeth as it drove broken shards deeper into his foot. It would heal in minutes, well once he'd gotten those shards out but painful until it had. Leucrotta getting up close was making him feel crowded, and then Ororo had to go and lecture him when he was already feeling bad enough.
"Yeah, yeah, yeah, heard it all before...mean old Canuck being a jerk to everyone," he growled under his breath, then turned and stepping carefully around Amp and Leucrotta, he limped off, feeling a need for fresh air and once he was more than a few yards away letting rip with a volley of curse words, of impressive variety and varying degrees of vulgarity, none particularly suitable for young ears.
"Well, good thing Crystal's not here yet to have heard all that," Lawrence muttered, before he settled into a crouch beside Amp stretching out a hand as an invitation for her to hop onto his arm if she wanted.
"I hope he didn't upset you too much Amp, though I'm sure he's going to feel bad about it later. Knowing him he'll have a few hours brooding then he'll come and find you to say sorry and you can pet his whiskers all you want," he told the small winged flyer.
Deirdre turned to Ororo, now she was sure Logan was safely out of earshot and a little guilty that her earlier illusion might well have exacerbated the situation. "I'm sorry Ororo, but I think this was my fault. I well, I didn't want anyone to get in trouble, not when they'd no ill intent, just thought the glitter would make a nice greeting for a little girls arrival. I placed an invisibility illusion on the glitter and...I'd better apologise to Logan as well, maybe later when he's not being quite so colourful with his language."