(Disclaimers and such found in chapter 1)
Immediately, Kurt went searching for Bobby and found him sitting in
the kitchen with Rogue. They were drinking hot cocoa and studying
for an upcoming science exam. "Good day Bobby and Marie, are you
able to talk to me for a moment?"
"Sure." Bobby politely said as Kurt sat down across from
them. "What's up?"
"Piotr tells me that you and him are in a disagreement about ze
Christmas decorations for outside. Is zere some vay you can come
work something out?"
Bobby shrugged his shoulders. "I guess
I know what Pete wants me to
do and what he's drawn on paper would make a beautiful ice
sculpture, it's just that the whole nativity scene he's got in mind
is so serious! I mean, yeah I know what Christmas is really all
about! And I don't have a problem with that; it's just that there a
fun side to it too."
Kurt nodded his head. "I understand vhat you are saying Bobby, zis
time of zhe year should be joyous; but even you said that Piotr's
idea would be make a beautiful ice sculpture and he can't do it
without you. I'm sure if zere was something you really wanted done,
you could go to him for help. Even ze great "Iceman" needs help once
in a vhile, ja?"
Bobby's eyes seemed to brighten, "Um Rogue
I left my red note book
back in the lab. Could you get it for me?"
Rogue knew when she was being chased off and looked on
suspiciously. "OK," she warily agreed and got up to leave for the
lab. When she was gone, Bobby leaned in closely to speak quietly to
Kurt. "Funny you should mention `needing help'. You see there is
something I've been dying to do, but there's no way I can myself and
the x-men don't think it's worth going to war over." Kurt was
beginning to sense he would be adding yet one more item to his `to
get' list. But
"Go to war?" he asked cautiously.
"See, when Rogue first arrived here she wore a scarf around her neck
all the time. It was the only thing she had from her mom. Anyways
when the brotherhood kidnapped her, Toad snatched the scarf and now
he as it. I know how much that scarf means to Rogue and I would do
anything to get it back for her."
Kurt nodded his head. "If you vill help Piotr, zen I vill help you."
"It's a deal!" Bobby cheered and shook heads with Kurt.
Later on, Kurt meekly walked into Cerebro and waited quietly for
Charles to say something to him first. "Yes Kurt, you have a
pardon the interruption Herr Professor, I vas hoping you could
help me find someone."
"Oh?" Charles asked as he took off Cerebro's helmet to give Kurt his
full attention. "Who is it you wish to find?"
"I wish to find ze mutant called Toad. I have a very important favor
to ask of him."
Kurt fully expected Charles to demand he explain what kind favor he
was wanting from Toad and for what purpose it severed, but instead
Charles nodded his head and put the helmet back on his head.
"Very well; one moment please," the Professor then began to use his
concentration to look for Toad. In no time he had his location and
gave the address to Kurt. "Danke schoen Herr Porfessor."
"Kurt," Charles calmly explained, "for the moment, we are at peace
with the brotherhood but that does not mean they can be completely
trusted. Going to their lair might become very dangerous, so please
be very careful."
"Yes Herr Professor, I vill." Kurt politely assured him and left the
Professor to his usual business.
Kurt traveled alone until dark to the brotherhood's lair. It was a
farm house out in the New Jersey country side. The area surrounding
the Brotherhood's secret hideout almost reminded him of the peaceful
and serene German country side except he couldn't shake off the idea
of how easy it would be to commit a murder out here and no one would
He bravely walked up to the front door and knocked. He knocked
again; and then again. Finally Pyro answered to the door, holding a
medium sized fire ball in his hand. He was just about to throw the
fireball at the unsuspecting trespasser when he saw it was Kurt. "Oh
geez!" John yelled in surprise upon seeing a familiar face, and
dropped the fire ball on the floor, stomping on it to put out the
flames. "What the hell are you doing here!?!"
Kurt was too busy thanking God for sparing him from Pyro's fury to
answer his question right away; a moment later he cleared his
throat. "Guten abend; is zhe mutant named T
"Kurt was about to state
his purpose for being there when Sabretooth strolled up, stuffing
handfuls of potato chips into his mouth. Kurt looked up to see the
seven foot monster staring curiously at him. "Don't be rude," the
felinoid lightly smacked Pyro on the back of the head. "Invite the
Kurt overlooked Sabretooth's remark and graciously accepted the
offer to come inside. "A hello, I am Kurt Wagner but in ze circus I
was known as Night Crawler." Sabretooth stretched out his hand still
covered in potato chip crumbs, "Name's Sabretooth and this here is
"I already met the guy, dumb-ass. He's one of the x-men now." John
said it as if it was a warning. "One of Charlie's Angels huh?" said
the cat-like man with a hint of curiosity. "So what business you got
"I am here to zee your colleague named Toad; he iz here ja" Kurt
responded with a little nervousness. Sabretooth stuffed another
mouthful of chips in his mouth and turned to John. "Go get him." As
Pyro walked up the stairs the two men could hear him grumbling
something about not understanding when, why or HOW he became the
"You want a beer?" Sabretooth offered as he led Kurt into the living
room. "No thank you, I vill be here only for a moment." `I hope,' he
thought to himself. Soon Pyro returned down the stairs with Toad
following close behind.
"Are you Toad?" Kurt asked upon seeing the greenish amphinoid hope
down the stairs. "None other." Toad replied as he began to eye Kurt
"I have an important favor to ask you," Kurt continued. "You have an
item that belongs to someone else and I was hoping you vould be so
kind as to return it, please."
For a few brief moments everyone stood quietly, waiting for Toad's
reaction. "Blimy! Do all you Krouts have balls the size of
coconuts?" Toad finally sneered.
Kurt's face would have been flushed it his colored had allowed
it. `God loves the unlovable,' he reminded himself before continuing
his discussion with the amphibinoid. "It is something of little
value to you of zhat I am sure, you wouldn't even miss it."
"And what exactly is this item you came looking for?" Toad asked in
rancor. Kurt's stomach churned but tenaciously he stood his
ground. "You have a scarf zhat you took from zhe girl named Rogue.
She vould like it back."
Toad grinned tauntingly. "So the poor little mutie girl is
missing `er scarf aye? Well that's just too bloody bad now isn't
it?" Toad then walked over to the middle of the living room floor
and cricked his neck as if he was preparing to fight. "And what a
stupid thing to come here and die for."
Kurt's heart leapt into his throat; Charles' warning was not in
vain. But before he even had a chance to reason with Toad, the green
mutant jumped at him with all his force. *BAMPH*
The teleporter vanished in front of everyone's eyes and suddenly
reappeared at the other end of the living room. Toad spun around and
saw Kurt smiling at him. "Argh!" he charged at Kurt again only to
run into the teleporter's blue smoke once again. Pyro and Sabretooth
both stood off to the sides laughing to themselves at the sight.
Kurt reappeared this time squatting on the couch. "Please, zis vill
get us no vhere," he tried to rationalize with Toad only to make him
angrier. "I could kick your ass into a blue pulp if you'd just stay
in one place!" and he charged at him again.
*BAMPH* and once again Toad met only more blue smoke, only this time
he hit the couch so hard that he knocked it over on its back. By now
Sabretooth and Pyro were laughing their butts off. "What's wrong
Toad? Is the x-chump too quick for you?" Pyro taunted cruelly. "Yeah
Wart, he's got you making complete ass outta yourself!" Sabretooth
roared. Toad got up and quickly checked to see if his throbbing nose
"Well, if you bloody wankers would cover the room maybe he wouldn't
have anywhere to go!" Sabretooth shook his head. "Nothin' doin'! We
got nothin' ta do with this fight Wart; besides it's too damn funny
watching you chase after the freak."
"Toad," everyone turned around to see Kurt standing in the entrance
way. Desperately he tried one more time to talk to Toad.
"Just here me out
" But alas no sooner did Toad see where Kurt had
teleported that he charged at him again, and again Kurt teleported
out of harms way. Kurt was now hanging from the chandelier.
can't ve discuss zis
" and Toad followed after him. *BAMPH* Now
Kurt was halfway up the staircase.
" now he was at the top of the stairs, and Toad was
still in hot pursuit. *BAMPH* By now Toad was beginning to realize
that the only way to catch Kurt was to figure out where he'd
teleport to next, and so he kept charging up the stairs to meet the
teleporter as he rematerialized at the top of the stair case. But
Kurt fooled Toad and instead, and teleported back to the bottom. "
"You might as well give up Toad." Pyro tried to bring his colleague
to his senses. "You're never going to catch him."
"Can and will!" Toad seethed in fury. But just as he was about to
leap off the stairway, he heard a coughing sound behind him. "A-hem,
Toad, there had better be a good explanation for interrupting my
afternoon reading time."
Magneto spoke calmly from behind as he walked out of his bedroom and
headed toward the staircase. Toad's fury was quickly replaced by
one of the x-men came `ere looking for trouble..."
Magneto raised his hand to stop Toad from saying another word as he
started to walk down the stairs to see which x-men was foolish
enough to walk into his lair. Erik's face brightened and a wide
smile streaked across his face. "This is the x-men you're so worried
about?" he chastised the amphibinoid. "Why this one could make a
profession out of pacifism." He mused as he continued to walk down
"Please forgive my brother's rudeness, Night Crawler isn't it? We so
seldom entertain guests that he forgets his manners. Now exactly
what brings you here?"
Kurt could feel his heart rate slowing and the adrenalin in his
veins begin to ease somewhat as he began to realize that once again
his life had been miraculously spared. "I have come here to ask zhe
mutant called Toad if he vould return an item zhat he stole from one
of Xavier's students."
"Stole?" Magneto repeated defensively. "That's a very drastic
accusation you are making Night Crawler. You have proof of this
Kurt shook his head. "No, but I assure you Herr Magneto, Toad took
Marie's scarf and she vishes to have it back."
"That's a ruddy lie!" Toad snapped. "The bird gave `er scarf to me
as a souvenir," he mocked sweetly. Kurt's face showed his anger but
he courageously remained calm. "Vell in any case, she vants it back!"
"Now that's a bleeding shame ain't it! I'd like to `ave a few things
returned to me, but you don't see me whining about them now do you."
Toad retorted as he went to the living room and turned the couch
upright. `Ach, mein Gott!When will this end!?!' Kurt began to wonder.
"Perhaps Toad," Kurt spoke speculatively. "If you vould be so kind
as to return Marie's scarf to her, zhen who knows? Perhaps zhat vhat
you have lost, vill be returned to you." Kurt's kind words only
brought dark memories to Toad's mind. "That's not `ow it works for
me, bloke. It never works out for me!" he spat bitterly.
Suddenly, Kurt felt an over whelming sense of compassion for the
young green man. "Tell me Toad, vhat did you loose?"
For a moment or so, Toad stared angrily at Kurt, suspicious of the
blue mutant's motives. "Oh, let's see
" he snapped sarcastically. "
for a start, MY PARENTS! Oh, then there were all my childhood chums,
oh wait a bloody minute
I never `ad ANY! A decent `ome where I grew
no wait, I didn't `ave that either! An encouraging tutor, a
caring teacher oh that's right
I never `ad one!"
"Waa, waa, waa! See what you started freak," Sabretooth interrupted
with a rude snort. "Now he'll be bitching about his pathetic life
for the rest of the damn evening!"
Toad turned his attention to Sabretooth and glared at the blonde
haired brute. "I know
" Toad concluded. "I'd settle for just getting
back me bloody Star Wars collection!" Sabretooth chuckled as he
rolled his eyes. "You're STILL crying about those dolls?"
"They're action figures!" Toad stressed. "And it took me a bloody
lifetime to collect `em all."
"Vhere are zhey now, Toad?" Kurt interrupted. Toad shot a bitter
glareat Sabretooth who grinned maliciously while scratching his
beard. "Oh, I buried Toad's toys somewhere out in the yard."
Kurt then took this opportunity to weave a deal. "Toad, if
Zabretooth returned your dolls, ah
I mean to zay, action figures
back to you, vould you zhen give back Marie's scarf?" But before
Toad could reply Sabretooth interrupted. "Why the hell should I give
back Toad's dolls? He's always buggin' the crap outta me!"
"Oh you're just sore `cause Mags won't let you take off for
Christmas." Toad sneered at Sabretooth.
Kurt sighed. "Zabretooth, if you got the holiday off, vould you
return the action figures back to Toad?" Sabretooth shrugged his
shoulders. "Whaddya say Mags?"
Magneto looked at everyone in the room as they looked at him holding
their breath waiting for his answer. "Why does it all come down to
Kurt humbled himself and approached Magneto as he stood motionlessly
half way up the staircase. "Mein Herr, I come to your home today not
merely to retrieve a young woman's scarf, but rather to make a small
child's Christmas vish come true. I am appealing to your sense of
kindness and good vill to zhose less fortunate; to help zhose who
must depend on the generosity of strangers because zhey are unable
to help zhem selves. So many have already pledged zheir assistance,
each contributing something to make a little girl's dream come true.
Vill you please say "yes" to your subordinates' request zo zhat I
can bring all zhe pieces of vhis miracle together and fulfill Gott's
By now, he was standing just a few steps below the man of magnetism,
making Magneto seem to be so much taller then Kurt. For a moment,
Magneto's face seemed to soften a bit, as he looked down at the blue
mutant's eyes. He calmly even compassionately reached out and put
his hand on Kurt's shoulder. "What's in for me?"
"Well you knew that was coming," Pyro commented under his breath.
"Why should I agree to this?" Magneto rudely mused. "It seems to me
that everyone will be profiting from this arrangement except me."
More than ever Kurt believed this had to be a great and magnificent,
though perhaps somewhat tedious test sent from the very throne room
of Heaven itself. At that exact moment in time Kurt couldn't tell if
he wanted to laugh or start screaming! "But, mein Herr, you vould
not be losing anything either." He calmly reminded Magneto.
"Hmmm, true," Magneto replied. He paused and thought for a moment,
thinking over the situation. Under normal conditions, telling
his "subordinates" to piss off would have been a breeze, but he
could not risk having Kurt going back to Mutant high and telling all
of the young potential recruits that Erik Lehnserr was a hard-ass to
"You say others have offered their assistance as well; am I then to
assume that you have promised all of them something in exchange for
their help?" Magneto began to scrutinize Kurt like a criminal
lawyer. Kurt quietly nodded his head and Magneto continued.
"Now I'm not trying to be difficult Night Crawler, but I had made
plans which require Sabretooth to accompany me as my body guard.
However, I do not wish to be the one to unravel this tapestry of
promises you have so brilliantly weaved. So
" he paused briefly for
a moment considering his next words. "If you can grant me something
that I would find valuable enough alter my plans, perhaps I could be
persuaded to let Sabretooth go away for, oh say a week or so."
Suddenly everyone in room brightened, or at least Sabretooth did, as
Magneto tried to think of something he would be willing give up for
his loyal attack dog. "Ah, I know;" he put his index finger to his
lips thinking over his moment of enlightenment as he finally settled
for something he both actually wanted and yet he knew would be a
challenge to acquire. "For some time now I've wanted a copy of
the "Commentarii di Caio Giulio Cesare" by Agostino Ortica. My
German is a bit rusty but in English that translates
to "Commentaries by
"Commentaries by Julius Caesar;" Kurt interrupted coolly. "I have
studied Latin for many years Herr Magneto." Magneto merely raised
his eyebrow in dull surprise.
"I see you took the time to educate yourself in something other than
walking the tight rope. I assure you Night Crawler, finding a copy
of this book will take much more effort. For a start, I insist on
having a copy that was printed in 1528 which undoubtedly will not be
easy to find. However
" Magneto's voice rang of arrogance. "I'm sure
it should be no great challenge for a miracle worker such as you."
Kurt returned to the X-mansion feeling utterly frazzled. He knew
that if push came to shove he could count on Bobby and Piotr to
fulfill their end of the bargain which would ensure Logan fulfilling
his. However it seemed so terribly wrong for them to be denied their
rewards. Kurt knew deep inside that if he were to pass this "test",
then he must see to it that all involved would receive payment for
their efforts. But where on Earth was he going to find a rare
sixteenth century book on such a short deadline? As desperately as
he wanted to solve the problem tonight, the answer would have to
present itself tomorrow.
Kurt slowly walked inside to find most everyone had gone to bed. It
had been a long a grueling day and as Kurt walked up the stairs, the
only thing he could think of was crawling into bed and starting it
all over again tomorrow.