A Long-Awaited New ArrivalStarted by Lawrence Cutter at Apr 06, 2020 8:18 AM
November 23, 2023
I loves all my Precious no matter what
Amp’s lower lip jutted out in a pout as Logan refused her care and hobbled off still limping. She hated to see those she loved in pain, but Logan had asked for space. Even though space wouldn’t make her happy, Amp knew each precious needed different things to comfort them.
Glancing over her small blue shoulder she saw Leucrotta’s extended paw. Though flying was as effortless to the pixy as breathing, she wasn’t one to refuse affection in any form. Her sad feet carried her into his palm, where she sat down and used his thumb to steady herself. “Thank you Cuddly Puppy,” brushing the fur on Leurotta’s thumb. “Will Cuddy Puppy help Amp get Growly Precious a feel better gift? The can and bottle they put beer in is too heavy for me to carry. I tried once and dropped one. Then I tried to get Little Precious to help me,” one of the young residents. “And I got yelled at cause little ones aren’t supposed to be holding beers,” her head shaking to the side to emphasize her lesson learned as her eyes looked towards Ororo.
Ororo made a point of keeping her gaze away from Logan as he stepped away. His emotions were frazzled as it was, she didn’t want to risk egging him on by accident. Her hand raised to her mouth for a moment, resisting the urge to comment about Logan not getting blood on the floor. The idea of introducing a new student to their new home, complete with bloody footprints was not appealing. She shook her head as she saw the blood where Logan had been standing mix with the glitter.
Hearing Deirdre speak she turned her attention towards the woman, “I appreciate the apology, but I have a feeling that no one is really to blame. It’s simply a result of many living under one roof. A number that we are about to increase once again.” Smiling at the thought of how these new additions will change life in the school moving forward. “Deirdre, I’m still learning the extents of your gifts, do you have any tricks that can help with the glitter and small amount of blood in the foyer? I’m not sure how much time we have left to clean before our new residents arrive.”
"Please let me help. I can heal you."
The look on her Mum's face was priceless, Shaali laughing a little and gently nudging John to get his attention. Pyro glanced up from a clearly excited Crystal and smirked. Nicole's reaction was pretty much the same as theirs had been, except Shaa knew her Mum would be extra happy because it just so happened to be the right time of year for all the flowerbeds to be in full bloom.
"The architecture is superb," Nicky voiced, brown eyes very desperately trying to take in everything all at once. "Is that..." and her question trailed off as she stepped back to get a better look. "Oh, who is their gardener because that is stunning!" she said, referring to the vine that was covering the castle rampart.
"I knew this would happen! Mum's in gardening heaven," Shaali said, grinning.
"And that's just the outside," Pyro added, motioning to the entrance.
Shaali nodded, giving Crystal's hand another squeeze. "Okay sweetheart, let's do this," and she led her under the archway, taking those few remaining steps to a destination that had felt like an age to reach.
With the double wooden doors now opening, John caught a lingering smell of... was that beer? "Hey, who's got a stubby and hasn't bothered to share it with me?" he asked, the smirk palpable, not clicking that his Australian slang may not have been fully understood. "Oh, and we're here," he announced.
Shaali moved into the foyer first, gently pulling her daughter along behind her as she glanced between those who had thus far gathered to greet them. In all honesty, for now, this many could possibly be enough considering how overwhelming all of this must have been to the ten-year-old.
Nicky came in behind her family, the older woman soon stopping, staring at the giant hyena man, before blinking a couple of times. "Crystal, honey, you clearly have nothing to worry about anymore," was all she said.
"See what's in his hand, Mum?" Shaali asked.
Nicky took a closer look, finally spotting Amp. "It's a fairy..." she started to say, then gripped her granddaughter's shoulder. "Oh my goodness, Crystal, it's a fairy mutant! How is it that we had never heard of this place before?"
"Mum, meet Amp, Lawrence, Ororo, and Deirdre," Shaali finally introduced.
Nicky smiled, nodding once. "Nicky, or Nicole," she verified for them. "Shaali's Mum if my name ever escapes you."
Shaali gently urged her little girl forward. "And this is who I've been talking about and missing so very much. My daughter, Crystal."
"Mama's girl, Uncle's favorite Niece,Grandma's angel! And the Youngest Motorcycle Rider"
Crystal was awestruck as they came close to the school proper. It was so huge, bigger than she was, bigger than her mother, uncle and grandmother were. Yes, this was a mansion, and if she hadn’t known that before, she would have mistaken it for an actual castle instead. She pretty much imitated her grandma here as she took in the sight before her, also trying to see the beauty that would be her new home.
Soon they were heading into the mansion, and immediately the sight was different, for starters, there was a man that looked like he was partly a Hyena, and it made her feel better that she wouldn’t be the only one who didn’t look normal. “Yup yup!” she said before her mother turned her grandmother’s attention to what Lawrence had in his hand. Her eyes widened when she saw what was there. It was a fairy, that clearly was a fairy! There was no doubt about that.
Soon the introductions were had, and she learned the names of the people around her. “Hiya! I’m Crystal! I’m a friendly girl so any friend of my mummy and uncle Pyro is my friend too, I hope!” she said happily with a sweet smile on her face.
The miniscule form of the faerie alighted onto his palm with barely a tickle, Lawrence watching a moment as she steadied herself using her thumb before beginning to brush the fur. His ears pricked as she spoke, referring to him by her chosen nickname, which though strictly speaking was a little misleading he'd long since accepted that once Amp had chosen a name for her precious then that was it, so Cuddly Puppy it was, even if hyenas were more closely related to cats.
"Well Logan does like his cigars, maybe one of those would be easier to carry and there's the really fancy sort, Cuban cigars, and I could help you, " Leucrotta considered, thinking that maybe it might not be the best idea, at least not with Ororo in earshot. A quick glance though showed that she seemed to be in conversation with Deirdre, so maybe she hadn't heard.
Relieved at least that her apology was accepted, if perhaps not considered entirely necessary Deirdre for a moment considered her gift, thinking some days she was still learning new things, perhaps not even yet having discovered the full extent. For her it was as much art and imagination, weaving dream and glamour as she'd put it and she wondered if it was much the same for Ororo with controlling the weather.
"I can weave a simple illusion, just need to find the right words," she closed her eyes a moment then smiled as she composed the rhyme, "Though there's barely any time to clean, let unpleasant stains remain unseen."
A simple illusion and the spots of blood and glitter on the floor promptly vanished leaving the illusion of a pristine floor, though Deirdre noted she'd have to remember to dispel the illusion later and there'd still be the job of cleaning to do. At least though she'd worked the illusion just in time, with the arrival of Shaali and Pyro, along with an older woman whom was introduced as their mother Nicki, and finally the little girl they were here to welcome.
Lawrence hung back a little, still keeping an eye on Amp though he suspected she'd probably be fluttering off momentarily to greet her new precious. Of course though he drew immediate attention, though to his relief it seemed that while his appearance was momentarily surprising it at least on this occasion he hadn't caused anyone to react with fright.
"Hello, I'm Deidre Lockhart, and I've heard a lot about you both, so it's lovely to meet the two most precious people in Shaali's life..well aside from her brother of course," Deirdre gave a small giggle as she greeted Nicky and Crystal, giving Shaali and Pyro a smile before she had a thought, and for the moment stepped to one side considering the idea.
"Pleased to meet you likewise and I hope you all had a pleasant journey. Anyway as you can see, myself and my charming little friend here are two of the more distinctive residents of the mansion, so here you're free to be yourself," Lawrence rumbled softly, stepping forward and holding out his other hand though wasn't sure if Nicky or Crystal would accept the offer of a handshake.
"Ah I forget, I'm Lawrence Cutter though you can call me Larry..." he glanced around, seeing Deirdre looking deep in thought and thinking he'd probably leave the rest of the introductions to Ororo. He did however briefly step over to Shaali and Pyro.
"Logan was here but he's not in the best of moods right now, so he left. Perhaps best you missed him, his language wasn't the most suitable for young children," Lawrence thought it best left at that.
"Glitter glimmer, silver shimmer," Deirdre whispered the words as she wove the illusion, and with a wave of her hand shimmering silver sparks materialised in the air dancing in lazy arcs, and little glowing orbs of silver light began stately pirouettes around Crystal, as through her illusion Deirdre provided the welcome that Amp had earlier intended, though this way, no mess would be left to clear up afterwards.
I loves all my Precious no matter what
Amp continued to pet Lawrence’s thumb in contemplation as she listened to his suggests for an apology gift for Logan. “Growly Precious does like his smelly sticks,” she voiced. She looked up to Lawrence, her pout slowly turned into a smile. “I’s think the smelly sticks would be perfect ‘sorry’ gift for Precious. Would very much like Cuddly Puppy’s help buying them,” quick to accept the help Lawrence offered her. She gave his thumb a “big” hug of appreciation.
Deidre’s illusion took root just as the front door opened. Ororo placed an appreciative hand on Deidre’s shoulder, whispering a “thank you,” to their magical resident. It would complicate their desire to put Crystal and Nicky at ease if blood was the first thing they noticed. Sparkles and smiles were far more appropriate.
Amp stayed in the palm of Lawrence’s hand. Her little blue hand clasped over her mouth, trying to contain her excitement at seeing Crystal. She was trying her best to wait her turn and not run over everyone else like she had a tendency to. Her little body wiggled with bottled up energy. However all self-control went out the window the moment Deirdre cast her glittery illusion. Amp let out a shrill, “SQUEEEE!!!” of delight. Instantly darting into the glitter as it, and now she, danced around Crystal. Her own glitter trail adding to the sparkle of it all. “Is so shiny and sparkly. Just like new Precious. Precious have such bright hair. Is alive with color,” she gushed as she nuzzled a lock of Crystal’s red hair. Amp will take good care of Precious,” nodding as she looked over to Crystal.
Ororo smiled as she watched Amp’s excitement. Seeing that Crystal was thoroughly occupied by their blue pixy, the white haired women moved to Nicky. “Mrs. Evans. I’m Ororo Munroe, Vice Principle of the school,” extending a hand for a formal greeting.
"Please let me help. I can heal you."
There was a distinct smirk on John's face, watching his foster Mum try to calm her excitement about the little fairy mutant long enough to keep up with and respond to all the very kind and welcoming introductions. The older woman nodded at Deidre, her gaze soon moving to regard the man that was so uniquely mutant hold out his hand.
"Yes, ah, I think it's safe to say that might be a slight but very pleasant understatement," and Nicky gladly shook his hand. "I am also sure I can speak for Crystal when I say I am very pleased to meet all of you too." Her attention then went back to Amp, "And, you..." she began, her face once again lighting up with that classic look of something being so adorable they just couldn't handle it. "Oh my goodness, you are just too precious. Too cute!" she gushed.
Shaali and Pyro exchanged a glance with each other, grinning from ear to ear. In that same moment, Deidre wove an illusion that made the immediate area around Crystal glow and shimmer with such beauty John, Shaali and Nicky couldn't help but stop what they were doing and just stare at all the glitter and movement for a few moments. The utter awe they were feeling was only added to when Amp let out her squeal of delight and flew up to dance amongst the illusion as well. What a way to make someone feel so welcome!
Amp's promise to her daughter brought tears to Shaali's eyes. It was something the abandoned little girl needed to hear more often, shown that no matter who she was or what she looked like there were people out there who would care for her. It was true, Shrapnel's immediate family was made up of, in part, two mutants. Yet, both had no distinct mutations as the ten-year-old had so no one would ever be the wiser. Now, as the healer took in those who'd chosen to be there to meet them, her gaze falling on Deidre for a moment, silently mouthing "Thank you," she knew Crystal would never have to fear for her safety ever again.
“Mrs. Evans. I’m Ororo Munroe, Vice Principle of the school,” Nicky nodded towards the lovely lady with white hair, lifting her hand to complete the greeting. "Hello. I am very happy to finally put a face to a name I've heard so much about," she informed her. "My daughter can't help but admire a fellow electrokinetic. Albeit in a different way, of course."
"Mum, shoosh," Shaali said, a little embarrassed. "Don't..." the healer looked a little uncomfortable. "All good things, I promise," she assured Storm.
"Mama's girl, Uncle's favorite Niece,Grandma's angel! And the Youngest Motorcycle Rider"
Crystal turned her attention to the man that greeted both her and her grandmother. She could see that he was right, he and Amp were unique in their appearance, and while neither of her three family members had done anything that made her feel uncomfortable here, she felt comfortable, here where people who looked different. She shook the older man’s hand since she knew that would be polite before she became distracted.
Her eyes widened at the sight that now floated around her, glitter appeared to be flying around her, and it had made her feel special that someone did this for her, and then Amp’s sounds caught her attention and her actions. Thanks to the light she was shiny now, especially her hair, which Amp loved. Her smile only widened when she heard what she had to say next. The sweet kind small girl wanted to protect her! That was so nice of her.
“Thank you Amp!” she told her happily “Mum, I think I made my first friend,” she said to her mother as she watched mesmerized by everything.
As the fairy hugged his thumb in her way of showing thanks. Lawrence nodded even if he might be having some second thoughts about the 'smelly sticks'. Even with the healing factor it was still a little concerning the amount that Logan could get through given half a chance without giving himself a nasty bout of lung cancer. The smell as well for those with sensitive noses, Lawrence amongst them, could also tend to be a little overpowering. Still no going back now and it was for Amp in the end.
"It'll be easiest if I buy them, but they'll be from you and I'll make sure Growly Precious knows that and I'm sure he'll thank you and if he knows what's good for him he'll be sorry for being such a grouch."
For Deirdre she'd nodded as Ororo had thanked her, just glad that she'd been able to be helpful, giving a quick smile as Nicky shook hands with Lawrence. Her friend always did seem to be a little unsure on first meeting someone even though you wouldn't need more than a few minutes to see he was a gentle giant.
Even better of course was seeing how her other illusion was received, just as delightful and exciting for Amp as it would be for Crystal and at least allowing them to experience the magic and wonder without the mess that glitter could leave. Shaali's smile thanking her was met with one of Deirdre's own before the illusionist was distracted with one of the most adorable moments she'd seen in a long time, Crystal making her first friend at the mansion with Amp and one that Deirdre wanted to make sure that she remembered.
Lawrence was watching the display as well, absently stroking at his palm with a claw, always feeling a little ticklish when he'd had Amp on his hand. Only once the illusion had come to it's conclusion with a final coruscating display of dancing silver sparks that slowly descended to the ground before vanishing, did Lawrence look up over towards Ororo. Deirdre and the others.
"I guess we should maybe go ahead and start showing our new friends around the place now? I mean there's lots to see and lots of others whom I'm sure will be just as eager to meet such a lovely little girl and her charming grandmother," Lawrence grinned one of his inimitable hyena smiles.
"Yes, that sounds like a good idea," Deirdre nodded. She turned to Ororo then and whispered quietly to her, "I'll stay back if you like and get the mess cleaned up."
Lawrence had turned to Nicky and Crystal to address them both, "So, where would you like to see first? Kitchen maybe if you'd like a drink or anything to eat, or maybe where you'd be staying? Or would you want to start the tour yet? Whatever you wish, I'm your man...well gnoll in any case."
Not all of us can control our powers.
Scott waited silently while sitting over the corner of the bed. He wore jeans, a white shirt and a brown leather jacket with common sneakers on his feet. Jean was getting ready at the bathroom. He couldn’t really complain as his wife was possibly the fastest woman on the planet to get her hair perfect the way she liked. She should be almost done, but he wanted to make sure. "Jean, we'll be late."
"No, we won't, Scott. They're not even at the front gate yet. Plenty of time." Jean's eyes turned from fiery to green as she stopped tapping into the Phoenix Force to see where the newcomers were at the moment during their journey there. Her voice was just loud enough to reach Scott through the opened door. She was in the process of disentangling her hair telekinetically. No need for hairbrushes on her dresser.
"Okay." Scott's left foot, which was hanging over his right knee, started to jiggle. The waiting game was never his forte. At least, he knew it was never too long. "What's her age? Crystal's, I mean…" Jean had talked to Shaali and John more than he had the chance to do during the three weeks since their arrival at the mansion. Not that he wasn’t interested in them. He was there to welcome them too. It was more a question of too many other things to do leaving not enough time for him to get to know them better.
"Ten…" Jean sighed. Kids. They reminded her of small Nathan and how much she adored to be a mother to her boy. "She'll find many friends of her age here." She completed trying to get that previous thought out of her mind.
Scott sometimes wondered how everything would be had them had another child. Not that Nathan was spoiled nor ever misbehaved. It was just a thought that crossed his mind on occasion and it had just happened. He knew it was the same with Jean. "Don't you wish we had another kid?" He left it in the air after almost whispering it to himself.
Jean needed not eyes to see or ears to hear. She picked up Scott's intention and emotions effortlessly through their psychic link while letting her own pass through as well. "Sometimes I do, but we made the best choice at the time." That was the truth. Their lives weren't exactly safe. Even though E.X.O.D.U.S. did bring a sense of security, problems never really stopped happening altogether and the X-Men had never been completely disbanded.
"Yes. We've made the sensible choice." He knew his agreement wouldn't come as a surprise. There were a lot of discussions by the Breakstone Lake about the subject when they were younger. "Just don't make the girl's mother jealous." Scott joked and then chuckled.
"I don't think Shaali will mind if I drool over her daughter just a bit." That was the moment Jean entered the bedroom and chuckled at Scott's position and his jiggling foot. "I didn't take all that long. Just ten minutes total." Jean was wearing an aqua jumpsuit she had just zipped up telekinetically and low-heeled black boots.
"Healers tend to band together, don't you?" Scott quipped as he stood up. "I'm not complaining at all." He smiled at her as he closed the distance between them to give her a kiss. "Let's go?"
"I'm sure she'll allow you to drool over Crystal as well, dear." As she knew for a fact he would certainly do, just not so overtly as she would. She smiled at him after the kiss and nodded for them to leave. Her eyes flashed fiery again before returning to their usual green color. "Now they are at the front gate. We'll get there just in time."
They left their bedroom and started to walk towards the mansion's foyer. Suddenly, Jean stopped while going down the stairs, grabbing the rail for a moment to steady herself as she winced after sensing pain. Not from herself, but another person already at the foyer.
"Are you okay?" Scott asked worried, but soon he saw Jean's semblance returning to normal. "Who's hurt?" He knew what it meant. She was sensing another's pain. It happened a lot for him not to know immediately it wasn't something with her.
"Logan. He'll heal without my help." Jean stated the obvious. "They're getting to the front door," Jean revealed after picking up psychic presences just outside the front door.
"Let's speed up a little then," Scott suggested and after Jean nodded her agreement, both started to go down the stairs a bit faster than before.
Soon, they were at the foyer. Not too late. The introductions were just taking place. Jean approached Crystal and Nikki first, waving while appreciating Deirdre’s beautiful illusion. "Hello, I'm Jean Grey-Summers. Teacher and one of the school's physicians." She introduced herself to both and then kneeled to get to Crystal’s eye level. "Though your mom can heal you fine, I'm here if you ever need me. Okay?" She offered herself to be there for the little girl, which would surely extend beyond moments of need.
Scott wasn't too much behind Jean and let her introduce herself first. He was smiling broadly, but not waving as he approached the two newcomers. "Hello, I'm Scott Summers. Also a teacher here." He introduced himself and decided not to touch the subject of also leading a team, as that wasn’t for kids. Maybe when Crystal was older. Much older. "Mrs. Evans. Pleased to meet you." Scott offered Nikki his hand for a handshake as he knew Jean would ignore the older woman in favor of the child for a while and they were there representing the school. Being polite was a very important part of it.
The sound outside the closed bathroom door was crinkling paper and feet rushing over so she could knock again. “Come on Mummy, hurry up! I need to give this picture to the new girl right now,” came the almost whine from the other side. Lorna sighed, touching up her eyeliner. “We’ve got plenty of time, Dawn. Now stop it, please,” her words firm but still full of understanding at how excited their daughter had been ever since learning another little girl was coming to the mansion. She had already taken a shine to Shaali, considering the healer had instantly started doting on her the moment they met, it very obvious just how much she’d been missing her own child over those three weeks they were not together.
“Papa, tell Mummy to hurry up,” could be heard as Dawn walked away from the door towards her father.
“Don’t you dare,” Lorna said to herself, smirking.
"Oh, dear. Let's just wait a little bit. I'm sure your Mama is almost done." Marcos tried his best to settle the situation and calm down his daughter's excitement, even though he knew it wouldn't be effective. "Come here. Let me get your ponytail straight again." His offer a trial to get Dawn's attention on something else.
“No,” Dawn outright said, bouncing around the room than actually doing as her father had told her. “See this,” she began, for the umpteenth time that morning, “I have to get it to Crys… Crystal soon so she knows where to go to find all my favourite places in the mansion,” this she hadn’t revealed yet, because she’d yet to stand still long enough to actually show either of her parents the drawing properly. “That’s the hedge maze, the observratry, the gazebo, the lake…” her words trailed off when she heard her Mum finally open the bathroom door. “Oh, it’s about time!” she said, an attitude clearly present.
“Hey, this doesn’t just happen naturally, you know?” Polaris said, motioning to her look as a whole.
Marcos got closer to Dawn and kneeled to look her in the eye. "It's a beautiful attitude to want to help another get settled in a new place, but it's not okay to misbehave with your Mama." Marcos was fast to reprimand his daughter's behavior with a serious, but not harsh tone of voice.
"You look great!" He eyed Lorna appreciating the end result of her efforts. He wasn't jealous. Their relationship had passed through all kinds of hardships and resisted. There was no point in it to his estimation.
Dawn just looked at her father. Having one parent telling her what to do was bad enough, now, she had two. She huffed a little; brown eyes glancing at them both, watching as her Mum gave her Papa a kiss on the lips and said, “Glad you approve,” reaching for her classic style, black, studded jacket. She had more than one by now, a few of them in different darker colours.
Dawn’s eyes lit up. Oh, being bossed around or not, who cares! Her Papa was back. They were both there and… “You finished with the attitude yet, little one?” Lorna asked.
She nodded vigorously. “Yes Mama,” she quickly said. “I promise. I didn’t mean to, really.”
Lorna caught Marcos’ gaze. “Considering who her parents are, she really doesn’t have a chance,” she said, obviously meaning there had to be a little of their spunk in there somewhere.
"I always liked your style, Lorna." Marcos confessed what both of them already knew after reciprocating her kiss. He just chuckled at the following scene. "No chance at all." He agreed, still grinning. "Come on. Let's go then." He extended both his hands so the women of his life could take them before they left the room towards the foyer.