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  • Linda J
    Well here s the next chapter for the story. Finally. I m really sorry that its so late. And as some of you know my computer crashed a while back and I ve had
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 13, 2003
      Well here's the next chapter for the story. Finally. I'm really sorry
      that its so late. And as some of you know my computer crashed a while
      back and I've had to rewrite everything I had been working on.
      BUT any way, here is the next chapter for those interested
      and thank you for being so patient. -Linda J.


      CHAPTER 15

      The sun had set, and from both ends of the street Graydon could be
      hear the other kids on the block making their way from door to door.
      In a way he was glad no one ever dressed him up like some `freak' and
      paraded around town like an idiot. He silently watched the kids as
      they made their way passed him while he hid from their view. Not that
      it seemed unusual for him to be unnoticed. Every where he went he was
      ignored; every where that is except for the Friends of Humanity
      meetings which he now attended faithfully.
      Though Floyd and Connie were still his foster parents, William
      Stryker had taken a great interest in Graydon. He even went as far as
      to encourage the boy to call him grandpa and like any other
      grandfather, Stryker lavished presents on Graydon; clothes, games,
      CDs, but his favorite gift from grandpa was this bee-bee gun.
      Through a tiny crack in the window of the camper shell on the back of
      Floyd's truck he watched the fools parade around as they made their
      way to his foster parent's front door and yelled "trick or treat!"
      just as Connie would open the door.
      Graydon sneered at them with a hateful glare and wished every one of
      them dead. Right now it didn't matter if they were normal or mutant.
      He hated the mutant children because they were taking over the world
      right in front of normal people's noses, and he hated the normal
      children for having normal parents, normal homes and normal lives;
      something he had never known.
      If only Floyd would let him try out the flame thrower he bought at
      last week's rifle convention. Just the thought of seeing half of
      those miserable brats scattering about with their backs ablaze,
      screaming in agony as the rest ran for their lives in terror made him
      feel all warm and tingling inside.
      Graydon took a drag from his cigarette and blew the smoke out of the
      cracked window. He saw a very young little boy perhaps three years
      old holding on to his father's hand as they carefully approached the
      front door dressed up like the cowboy from that stupid Toy Story
      movie. The tyke needed his father's help to climb the porch steps.
      Patiently the darling little tot waited for Connie to answer the door
      after he weakly tapped on the bottom window of the screen door.
      Slowly, Graydon carefully stuck the nose barrel of his bee-bee gun
      out the crack and took aim at the small child's head.
      "Twick or tweat" the little boy chirped as Connie offered a giant
      bowl filled with candy for the boy to dig into. Connie closed the
      door and the child turned to proudly show his dad his rewards.
      Then suddenly the small boy dropped his bag to the ground and reached
      for his right eye. He gave a blood curdling scream as blood began to
      pour from his eye socket and ooze through his tiny hands.
      "OH MY GOD!" The father screamed realizing his son had been badly
      injured. "Somebody call an ambulance! My son's been hurt!" he
      screamed as Connie came to the door. When she allowed the man and his
      injured son to enter her home, Connie caught sight of Graydon's lit
      cigarette as he closed the camper window shut.
      Graydon could hear the hysterical father from where he was but could
      not make out what was being said as the boy still screamed in pain
      and from fright.
      For a split second Graydon feared he would be in grave trouble and
      feared of what would happen to him now.
      `The bitch better keep her fucking mouth shut.' He thought to himself
      as he took one last drag on his cigarette before putting it out and
      left the camper to retreat back into his room.

      Sabretooth wasted no time hurrying Claire away from the art room and
      down the hall toward the stairs. The Halloween party was in the
      parlor room on the main floor which was still on the other side of
      the mansion. But then for no apparent reason he stopped dead in his
      tracks and looked around. He knew the Professor had cameras surveying
      the hallways and he was sure that even now he and Claire's movements
      were being recorded; yet this may be the best and only chance he
      would get to test something out.
      He knelt down to speak to face to face with this little girl who had
      for some unknown reason taken a liking to the murderous mutant. "Say
      pumpkin," He was careful to use a soft and gentle voice. "We're
      running late and I don't want the Professor thinking I've kidnapped
      you. Um… say Claire..." He paused for a second as if he had just come
      up with an idea. "This power of yours...does it work only for you or
      can you use it to move other people too?"
      Claire hesitated for a second as she considered what he was asking of
      her. Marshall had warned her to be very careful about letting others
      know of her ability for fear that they may take advantage of her. In
      fact the only reason she let Sabretooth find out about her power in
      the first place was she honestly thought he was being starved to
      death in his room. But to Claire, Sabretooth seemed so sweet and
      caring in his own unique way. `Guess the cat's out of the bag any
      way.' She reasoned to herself.
      "I've never moved anyone as big as you before Mr. Creed; Just
      Marshall and me a couple of times when there were some bad people
      chasing us;" then she added in an optimistic voice, "but I'm pretty
      sure it would work for you too."
      Sabretooth was happy to see the child already understood what he was
      suggesting and gave her a fatherly pat on her head and
      winked. "That's my girl."
      The child shyly smiled at him as she turned around and held her hand
      out front of them. "I'll put us across the hall in the dining room so
      that we won't be seen."
      Then magically, a mysterious circle appeared from thin air; glowing
      slightly as it grew larger and larger.
      Sabretooth stood to his full height and marveled at the amazing
      sight. Then suddenly the thought of jumping through a worm hole in
      the very fabric of time and space itself sent a shiver down his spine.
      "S-so we just- go through that huh?" He tried hard to cover his
      "Ugh-huh." She said as she took his huge hand into her own. "It'll be
      alright, Mr. Creed. You'll see it's a piece of cake." And she began
      to move toward the hole bringing him along with her. He swallowed
      hard. "A piece of cake…" He whispered as if he was expecting those to
      be his last words.

      Meanwhile, Mercy had gone to the drama dept and was fiddling around
      the in the props closet. `Guess I could always go as Juliet's
      mother.' She seriously considered while she held up the medieval gown
      for a moment. `Naw…that's not what I'm in the mood for.' She then
      came across some white sheets used as backdrops recently. `Well I
      could always go as a marshmallow.' Mercy thought sarcastically to
      herself before she closed the closet door. She turned around and from
      the corner of her eye she caught sight of the newest backdrop the
      kids were making. It was a 70's themed mural that was to be used in
      the coming up variety show. Mercy started bouncing up and down on her
      heels and clap her hands tickled that her inspiration had finally
      come. `Perfect!"

      Sabretooth closed his eyes as he and Claire walked into the hole and
      then as quick as the blink of an eye he found himself and Claire in
      the mansion's dining room which was now dark and still. They could
      hear the laughs and voices of those just outside in the hallway and
      in the kitchen area which was adjust to the dining room. Carefully,
      Sabretooth and Claire ducked out of sight and crept toward the room's
      main exit. Cautiously he opened the door just a crack and waited
      until he and Claire could leave the dining room undetected. Once the
      coast was clear, both of them slipped out into the hallway and got
      behind a small group of teenagers who were heading for the parlor.
      They walked into the parlor which was elaborately decorated to make
      the room look like it had been deserted for decades. Cobwebs with
      fake spiders in them hung heavily from the chandeliers and curtains
      while fake dust covered nearly every piece of furniture in the room.
      The room was dimly lit except for the dance floor which was
      attractively lit up with portable multi colored track lights from the
      ceiling. Skeletons, coffins, and fake bats added to the theme of the
      None of this impressed the felinoid in the least but what did catch
      his attention however was the loud hard rocking music of NO DOUBT
      that was blaring into his super sensitive ears. Yet even this was not
      going to destroy his good mood.
      Victor was thrilled at Claire's cleverness. It was becoming clear to
      him that she was used to secretly teleporting herself around right
      under everyone's nose. His little test had worked with raving results
      and now he knew he had the winning ticket for his safe return to
      Magneto's fold.
      He thought nothing could have brought him down from his elation; that
      is until the moment a panic stricken Claire turned around and grabbed
      his leg and squeezed it with all her might.
      "Please Mr. Creed…" the overly shy child cried as she buried her head
      into the felinoid's shin. "Take me back to my room! I can't do this!"
      Suddenly Sabretooth felt his old nature rise up
      Within him as the urge to backhand the child across the face tingled
      its way up his spine and down his right shoulder. The sensation was
      very similar and every bit as involuntary as the tingly feeling one
      gets when they hit their funny bone.
      Deep inside he didn't wish to harm the girl he only wanted to teach
      her not to grab him by surprise again. He successfully fought against
      the urge to strike Claire but he couldn't stop himself from growling
      ferociously at her as he tried to shake her off of his leg. "Grrr-get
      off of me!" He growled angrily at the innocent child who clung to his
      leg as if she was hanging onto a tree trunk during a raging storm.
      Her eyes were squeezed tightly shut to keep from seeing all those
      people she imagined were staring at her. She had no intention of ever
      letting go.
      From the other side of the room, Scott who was dressed up as the Lone
      Ranger and Jean dressed as a saloon dance hall girl saw what was
      happening and immediately went to the rescue, though it seemed to the
      heroes Sabretooth was the one in need of rescuing.
      When he saw them approaching, Sabretooth stopped shaking his leg. He
      put his hands on his hips, and angrily huffed as turned his head away
      softly growling to himself while Jean knelt down and began to coax
      the child away from him.
      "Claire," Jean used her best bed-side manner. "How about you come
      with me and we'll pick out your trick or treat bag. Then you can
      start going around the room to pick up treats from all the tables."
      Sabretooth could feel Claire's grip loosen a bit as she listened to
      Jean's calm and soothing voice. "And there are lots of games to play;
      besides I'm sure Dr. McCoy and the Professor would want to see you in
      your costume. Did you know they are tonight's judges for the best
      costume contest? And as cute as you look Claire, I don't see how you
      can loose."
      Claire was still holding tightly onto Victor's leg and she still had
      her face pressed hard against his shin, but she did manage to open up
      her eyes a bit to look and see if Dr. Grey was being sincere.
      "Do you want to know where Marshall is?" Jean then thought to ask.
      Claire raised her head up and looked around the room. "He's over
      there behind the sound system. He's our DJ tonight."
      Claire looked over to the large speakers the school had just
      purchased for the party and sure enough she saw Marshall or at least
      she was sure it was Marshall. As far as Claire knew no one else would
      ever dare turn them selves into a red and orange octopus looking
      creature with bright blue hair. To top it off he was wearing a
      gangster rapper's outfit. He looked like something right out of the
      Men in Black movies and the sight of him made her giggle.
      Jean then held her hand out for Claire and gradually the child let go
      of Sabretooth's leg. Jean then walked Claire over to the front of the
      room where several bags that the kids had made earlier were displayed
      on a table and the two began searching for Claire's own bag.
      Sabretooth was glad to have the ordeal over and done with and so was
      Scott. However Scott wasn't ready to just brush the incident off as
      if it were nothing. Even though he was slowly becoming a friend to
      Sabretooth, Scott knew that he was still a wild and dangerous
      feral. "Are you going to be alright?" Scott questioned the felinoid
      in a no nonsense tone of voice.
      Victor shook his head. "I'll be fine." He tried to sound reassuring
      but instead it came out sounding cold and rehearsed. His hands were
      still on his hips as he turned away and looked for some dark corner
      to lurk in.
      Scott then thought to add, "Will you do me a favor, Sabretooth? If
      you start to feel like you might go berserk, tell someone first.
      Everyone here just wants to have some fun tonight; not end up in a
      blood bath alright?"
      Both men knew perfectly well Scott did not mean it as a joke.
      Sabretooth nodded his head without looking back at Scott and went his
      It was bad enough that Sabretooth wasn't allowed to perch while
      indoors, but in his costume's long robes he could not turn one of the
      chairs backwards and sit in it the way he liked. So he settled for
      standing silently behind the one of the tables with his arms folded
      over his chest and scowling at everyone who dared to reach in for
      some candy.
      Scott left Sabretooth to stand alone and went back to join up with
      Jean as she was helping Claire pick out a large and delicious looking
      red apple.
      "I think I want this one." Claire cheerfully mentioned as she reached
      for the apple of her choice. She had apparently recovered from her
      panic attack.
      Just then Kitty, who was dressed up like a deranged clown came up and
      offered to take Claire around to the other tables with her. "I know
      you're a doctor Jean, but the only time a kid wants an apple on
      Halloween is if they pull it out of a barrel full of cold water with
      their teeth!" Kitty flatly declared.
      Jean smiled and rolled her eyes. "I understand, Kitty I was a kid
      once upon a time. However speaking as a doctor, I don't know what's
      worse- putting gobs of white sugar into a young child's body
      especially this late at night or letting her stick her head into a
      tub full of germ infested water with her mouth wide open."
      "Party popper!" Scott teased as he came up from behind. Jean turned
      to see him grinning from ear to ear. "In that case Scott, the next
      time there is a flu outbreak, you can go around and take everyone's
      vitals." Jean then reached up and pulled the cowboy hat down over his
      visor, and chuckled. Scott politely readjusted his hat and as soon as
      Jean's back was turned he grabbed one of the ice-cubes out of his
      drink and tried to slip it down her dress. She moved away just in
      time, but he was at least able to sprinkle droplets of cold water
      onto her back which made her simultaneously scream and laugh.
      Charles who was sitting close by carefully moved his chair out harms
      way. He was dressed up royally in a King's attire. He smiled
      contentedly as he watched the grown x-men behaving like children once
      more. But as soon as he found an opportunity to speak to Scott
      without interruption Charles reached out his mind to him.
      *I see Victor has had trouble dealing with the added stress of being
      here tonight.* Charles telepathically spoke to Scott and Scott
      like wise answered the Professor in his head. *Should I have him
      return to his room?*
      Charles thought hard on the idea for a moment before giving an answer.
      *No I feel the danger has passed but be watchful of him all the same.*
      Charles paused for a moment as he tried to get a better look into the
      felinoid's mind. Then with an insightful look on his face Charles
      excused himself from their company. "Please excuse me for a moment."
      And with that he headed towards Sabretooth to speak with him
      personally. Scott fought the urge to join him but knew that if the
      professor had wanted him to follow he would have asked Scott to do
      During this time, Sabretooth had been watching the merry group across
      the room from his quasi post with casual interest. Though He wasn't a
      conceded man, nor was he terribly shy, he was more than happy to
      stand back and observe how people interact, rather than join in with
      them. True, there were times when he dreamed of what being popular
      would be like; having people act like they were actually glad to see
      him once in a while would be nice. And he frequently fantasized about
      pretty women handing him their phone numbers instead of spraying mace
      in his face. But as much as all that sounded appealing, he was
      content to leave well enough alone. He may not be loved, but he could
      cause a crowd to panic just by walking into the room. He was feared
      and that alone was a very powerful feeling.
      He casually glanced around the room. It was amusing to see all the
      different costumes. Kitty dressed up in shades of black white grey
      and red as a psycho clown from hell, Scott dressed up in what had to
      be the one costume best suited for him both physically and
      personality. Jean was the perfect counter part to her heroic sheriff
      in a brilliant gold satin can-can dress with a red boa and red
      feathers in a small and frilly hat. Over on the other side of the
      room he saw Storm dressed like an Arabian Princess. She was playing a
      game of `What's that smell?' with some of her more devilish and
      sadistic students. They had her blind folded and were putting
      different objects underneath her nose; everything from a bag of
      popcorn to pair of stinky socks. `And these frails kicked my ass?'
      He cringed in humiliating silent shame.
      Watching Storm playing the game made him think of a game he could
      play by himself while he stood there alone. He tried to guess who was
      who without depending on his sense of smell. He didn't count the
      professor of course sense he was in his chair dressed as a medieval
      king from England nor Hank who did little to disguise himself but
      wear a pair of gag glasses that had bushy black eyebrows, a huge
      honker of a nose, and a great brushy black mustache.
      He was able to pick out Jubilee easily enough who was dressed as a
      gypsy just so she could keep her large loop earrings in place and he
      was able to pick out Curt, John and Tabitha easily as they strolled
      around as the famous trio, Harry, Ron and Hermione. Alison Blair was
      dressed as Madonna her idol and Lance was Kid Rock.
      Sabretooth was very pleased with himself for having come up with this
      game to pass the time on another boring job that only the big, mean
      and stupid guys get stuck with.
      Then suddenly in front of him was a teenage mummy completely covered
      from head to toe in strips of cloth. Her costume was made from a
      sheet her and her roommates tore into shreds and tea-dyed to give it
      the "aged" look. The girl said nothing to him as she stared coldly at
      him and very cautiously reached in the bowl to get herself a handful
      of candy. Sabretooth didn't need his sense of smell to recognize
      Rogue. He knew her by the hatred she had for him in her eyes. It then
      occurred to him that in spite of how much history the two shared with
      one another, neither of them had ever said one word to each other-
      ever. He returned her cold stare as she returned to Bobby's side who
      was dressed as a vampire. Slowly, a slight twisted grin rested itself
      on the corner of Sabretooth's mouth as he considered someday telling
      the southern belle of her beloved Logan's blood stained past.
      When Sabretooth did see Charles making his way toward him his heart
      nearly stopped from fright. It felt like he was back in the caves
      having facing Magneto again.
      Even though Victor never feared physical punishment from anyone he
      did fear or more exact dread having his feline pride kicked around
      like it was a ball of shit; which happened pretty much every time he
      ever dealt with `master of magnetism'.
      "Good evening Victor. I'm glad to see you and Claire made it here in
      time." Charles spoke in a kindly manner as he approached the felinoid
      who stood motionlessly across the table from him.
      Victor thought of his plan to pluck Claire out of the old man's
      caring hands. `He knows!' He looked down into the man's eyes and gave
      him one of his tiger like grunts as acknowledgement. Sabretooth knew
      when to play it cool.
      "Victor I'm sure you are aware I did not come over here for small
      talk." Charles spoke up.
      `Oh shit! He really does know!' Sabretooth began to break into a
      nervous sweat.
      "I can sense there is some kind of conflict going on side of you
      right now, as if there is something bothering your conscience. And
      even though I'm glad to see you having a possible emotional break
      through, now is not the best time for it to surface." He paused for a
      moment to give Victor the opportunity to give a reply but the
      felinoid said nothing. He didn't need to read the villain's mind to
      know there were ulterior motives for him being so eager to play by
      the rules. Charles had worked with dozens of different personalities
      over his years of reaching out to the unreachable. The Professor knew
      that in reality there was little difference between Victor and
      another certain other feral who had visited his home lately.
      "Victor, you're welcome to stay here as long as you feel you stay in
      control of your emotions. But no one will think poorly of you if you
      decide to leave early." Charles could not have sounded any less
      unlike Erik if he had tried and it confused the felinoid a bit. For
      as much as he demanded respect from everyone, it made him suspicious
      when someone freely offered it to him. He looked hard at the old man
      in the wheel chair and started to say something. But just then
      Sabretooth noticed a bunch of kids making a fuss over someone coming
      into the room. It was Mercy and apparently her costume was making
      quite an impression.
      When she finally came into view he quietly studied her costume. The
      first thing he noticed about her costume wasn't her wings but the
      headband she wore on top of her head. It had two very large puffy red
      balls swaying freely from long thin springs to look like antennas.
      They were exactly like the ball of purple fluff she had teased him
      with a few weeks ago in his first faculty meeting. She wore a black
      shirt and pants for her body and the wings were harnessed to her back
      in a way so they could bounce slightly as she walked. They were about
      four feet long from top to bottom and were made from very fine sheer
      white cotton cloths with Wild vibrant colors splotched haphazardly
      every where like they had gone through a paint ball war. And as if
      they weren't eye catching enough, Mercy had also sprinkled glitter on
      them. She had even painted swirlly lines around her eyes with bright
      purple and pink glitter paint and wore extra long eye lashes for
      Sabretooth cocked his head slightly as he looked at her with great
      interest. He forgot all about Charles sitting there and what he was
      thinking of telling him; for that matter he forgot about everything,
      the music, the noise, about Rogue and even about Claire.
      No, this wasn't love or lust that he was feeling; in fact she wasn't
      even especially beautiful. But she was pleasing to look at all the
      Sabretooth wasn't aware of Charles, but Charles certainly was aware
      of Sabretooth and his curious reaction to Mercy in her vibrant colors.
      "She certainly has a colorful personality." Charles ventured to say
      in his usual dry humor.
      Victor looked down at the man. "Yeah, nothing shy about that one."
      "I agree. Mercy isn't afraid of what people say or think of her, and
      that is her strength. Claire however is quite shy, perhaps even
      pathologically; yet she too has her own unique strengths. Wouldn't
      you agree?" Charles wondered how Victor would answer this question.
      Even this didn't prove to Sabretooth that Charles for certain knew of
      his intentions. And if this was the professor's way of tricking him
      into giving his secret away…well that just shows how dumb the old
      crippled frail was. But still there was something that had been
      burning inside of Victor ever since he arrived at x-mansion and he
      couldn't hold it in another minute.
      "Look Chuck," even though Victor spoke quietly his voice was full of
      rage. "I've been alive longer than you. And I wish to God things
      could have been different for me. But I'm too old and too mean to get
      mind fucked by the likes of you. I've been someone's lab rat too many
      times and I've been lied to by the best of them. So save all your
      psychological bullshit for someone who wants to change."
      Charles remained calm however. "Don't forget Victor you were the one
      who came here looking for help."
      Sabretooth raised his finger to shake it in the old man's face, but
      then slowly lowered it as he realized Charles had made a point.
      Victor's voice softened a bit but he still spoke with great passion.
      "Alright professor, you got me there." He then sighed as he leaned up
      against the back wall. "I've been nothing but a slice and dice
      machine for so damn long that I don't remember what life was like
      before that." He then held his hands up to examine them
      himself. "Look at these, Chuck. Tell me I ain't supposed to be a
      The professor softly commented, "You can be what ever you want to be,
      Victor. What you do with your uniqueness is your choice to make and
      your choice alone. That's what we try to teach these children here."
      Victor slowly turned his head and looked at Charles for a moment
      before saying anything. "Choices Chuck?" Victor finally asked in a
      near whisper. "Let me tell you about choices. Once upon a time I at
      least tried to give a damn about myself. I wanted to put my talent to
      good use. So I became a special ops man. If it wasn't for me all of
      you here would be speaking German. And you wanna know where it got me
      Chuck? Strapped up to some God damned lab table where scientists
      experimented on me day after day until they thought they had killed
      me! By the time I escaped I could only see in black and white, my
      healing factor was gone and I know those sons of bitches cut out a
      chunk of my brain!" He huffed angrily. "So what do you have to say
      about that?"
      "Thank you."
      The two men quickly turned around to see Mercy standing across from
      them on the other side of the table.
      "What did you say?" Sabretooth asked in a startled voice.
      "I said `thank you'." Mercy repeated. "I have a hard enough time
      speaking English, learning a foreign language would just be too hard
      for me."
      Sabretooth growled for a moment. He felt a little uneasy about her
      knowing this much of his personal life and he wasn't quite sure if
      her gratitude was sincere or sarcastic. "You know Mercy;" He decided
      to say. "I don't know what your problem is but I bet it's hard to
      Mercy put her hands on her hips. It was the first time he had
      insulted her jokingly or other wise. "Is sarcasm just another service
      you offer Tiger?"
      Sabretooth wasn't any where near being angry enough to strike out at
      Mercy with his claws so far any way. In fact all this verbal teasing
      was fun for a change.
      "I'll try being nicer if you try being smarter." Sabretooth wondered
      why he couldn't think of these great lines whenever Toad was around.
      "Do you know what the difference between men and government bonds?"
      Mercy asked the felinoid half way jokingly. "A least the bonds will
      Luckily for Victor, he remembered a joke he had read in last month's
      issue of playboy. "Well do you want to know how I can tell when a
      woman is about to say something smart? When she starts her sentence
      with, `A man once told me…'"
      Charles in the mean time sat back and observed the two carry on like
      little children.
      "Yes thank you, Tiger. I'm challenged and refreshed by your unique
      point of view."
      "You know what Fluffy? The fact that nobody understands you doesn't
      automatically make you an artist."
      Charles finally decided it was time to interrupt. He was smiling from
      ear to ear and apparently he had been well entertained by them. "You
      two are really quite good at this. I haven't this sort of comedy
      since the honeymooners went off the air. Have you considered making
      this a skit for this variety show you're organizing Mercy?"
      Sabretooth and Mercy just looked at each other for a moment in shock.
      Finally Mercy spoke up.
      "You want to?" She looked at Victor waiting for his answer. He
      shuffled his feet around. "Do this on stage huh?" Mercy nodded her
      head. "Uh-huh."
      Sabretooth looked away and scratched his chin. `Hell I jumped through
      space like it was nothing, so how bad could going on a stage be?'
      "Yeah, sure." He finally agreed. "So how much will I get paid?" -TO
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