A Simple Holiday Meal
- A SIMPLE HOLIDAY MEAL
By Linda J.
Christmas fic for `05
RATING: PG-13 for strong language and violence
TIMELINE/UNIVERSE: movie, takes places after X2
SUMMARY: The brotherhood of evil mutants gather around the table for
a holiday meal.
FEEDBACK: Oh please. oh please, oh pretty, pretty please!!!!!
Normally the table Magneto sat in front of was used for much more
important business to advance the brotherhood's agenda. `This is a
conference room, not a dining room,' the mighty man of magnetism
groaned silently to himself as he quietly sat back in his chair,
legs stretched out under the table, crossed just at the ankles. With
his elbow propped up on the arm rest, he leaned over to one side
just a bit, lightly resting his cheek on the tips of his fingers; a
look of puzzlement and perhaps some displeasure could be seen on his
tired face. He quietly observed Toad, who was setting five
decorative plastic plates around the large metal oblong table while
Pyro came behind him and set up the plastic eating utensils along
with green napkins next to the plates. It was not the sight of these
two young men working together in harmony that Magneto found mildly
peculiar, but to see a candy cane sticking out of Toad's mouth like
a cigar just seemed a bit out of place.
"It's kinda odd for her to do something like this, isn't it?" Pyro
mentioned as he reached in a grocery bag and retrieved the plastic
glasses. "Odd indeed," Magneto sighed, breaking his silence but not
his aloof composure. "Yeah, Blue's always full of surprises, ain't
she Mags?" Sabretooth bellowed as he strutted into the room, taking
his place at the far end of the table.
"That's the most I've `eard you say in a month!" Toad pulled out the
candy cane and smacked his lips. "What's got you in such a jolly
mood?" The felinoid said nothing, then tilted his head back and
opened his mouth wide. He put a can of "Reddiwip" up to his lips and
pressed the nozzle to release the creamy sustenance of decadent
Still stretched out and leaning in his chair, Magneto focused his
unhappiness on the daring and impertinent thug. "We've discussed
this matter of you calling me "Mags" at least a hundred times,
Sabretooth. But I suppose a creature of your intellectual powers
would need to have something repeated at least a hundred times more
before it would find its way into that huge but essentially
ineffective cranium of yours." Sabretooth looked out across the
table, his mouth so full of whipped cream that it oozed out from the
corners of his mouth. Had anyone else dared to insult him like this
they would have never lived long enough to insult him again, but
Sabretooth merely grinned at the old man and licked the escaping
cream from his lips and beard. "It ain't my brains you keep
me `round here for Mags."
Magneto almost seemed disappointed by Sabretooth's lack of anger and
quickly looked away, shifting his weight to the other side of the
chair. "At least that's one thing we agree upon." He then turned his
attention back to the more irritating situation at hand. "Does
anyone have an idea of how long this little get-together will take?"
"Why do you want to know, Magneto?" Mystique wondered as she walked
in the room carrying a roasted turkey on a silver platter; its aroma
instantly filling the room. For a moment or so all the men in the
room, including Magneto, just stared at her with lust in their eyes,
but for once it was not for her bare blue body. "You haven't made
plans for this evening, have you?"
"Maybe," Magneto grumbled under his breath.
"So change them," she softly commanded. "All the years we have
worked together, we have never shared a holiday meal."
"And the problem with this is ?" Magneto gently jibed.
"Nothing per se," Mystique explained as she set the turkey on the
table. "But aren't you always telling us how much like a family we
are?" The old man's eyes fluttered a bit as he sat up in his chair
to get a better look at his dinner. The bird itself was enormous and
caramelized to perfection; full of stuffing and sitting on a
luscious bed of leafy lettuce, colorful dried fruit and orange
wedges arranged around its sides. "I may have vaguely mentioned
something on the topic. Is that " a faint sound of hopefulness broke
through his gloomy demeanor, " apple and wild rice dressing?"
"Mmm-hmm," Mystique nodded enticingly. "We also have potato and
carrot latkes with scallion sour cream sauce, green bean casserole,
cranberry sauce "
"Whole or jellied?" Toad anxiously interrupted.
"We have both," Mystique proudly declared. "There's also ..."
"Gravy?" Toad again broke in as Sabretooth stood up and leaned over
the bird. inhaling deeply. "I sure hope you made plenty of gravy."
"Made? I didn't make any of this," she indignantly informed him. "It
just so happens that this bountiful feast comes to you already
"Oh great," Pyro suddenly looked quite upset. "In others words, this
is all glorified cafeteria food."
"This don't smell like no cafeteria food!" Sabretooth purred,
picking up a grape from the silver platter and popping it in his
mouth. Suddenly a very sour expression covered his face. "I think I
found a bad one."
"I didn't have time to run all over the store and find real fruit,
Sabretooth; those are fake." Without hesitation he spit out the blob
of wax onto the floor and kicked it under the table. "I knew that."
"Damn the bloody fruit," Toad urged. "I need to know if we have
"Yes of course," she reassured him. "Does a gallon of gravy sound
"Just a gallon?" No one could tell if the amphibinoid was being
sarcastic or skeptical.
"It better be," she fearlessly warned him. "Besides, I bought enough
food to feed even this little army, there's..."
"What about pumpkin pie?" Pyro was now the one to interrupt.
Mystique sighed in frustration. "Yes, we have pumpkin pie. There's
also cherry and chocolate cream. There's also..."
"Oh, what about eggnog? Did you get eggnog?" Pyro impatiently
interrupted. This time, however, Mystique didn't answer.
"OK, you," she grabbed Pyro around the collar and began to pull him
out of the room with her. "You just volunteered to help me bring all
the crap to the table."
"It's not e'ry day we get to sit back and relax for a bit." Toad
took off his leather jacket and folded it over his seat then plopped
himself down in the metal chair. For a moment or so the three men
sat around the table listening to the faint sounds of clanging metal
and Pyro complaining coming from the kitchen. "Wouldn't you two
rather be doing something else tonight?" Magneto proposed, hoping
that if Toad and Sabretooth were to leave then Mystique might give
up on this whole ridiculous idea spending a little quality time
together. Suddenly Sabretooth's eyes became quite dreamy as he gazed
upwards. "Well there is this little cathouse in town I've been dying
to check out "
"Ahem!" Toad faked a cough and gave him a hostile look.
"Oh yeah," it was as if the felinoid suddenly remembered
something. "Sorry Mags, but we promised Blue we would stay here
The felinoid's answer seemed to depress the old man, and he sighed
hopelessly, "Oh joy." He then looked back toward the turkey. "Well,
perhaps it will not be completely intolerable." Just then, however,
the noise of Sabretooth spraying more whipped cream into his mouth
and hearing Toad slurp his own saliva from his candy cane caught his
attention, "or not."
"Hey," Magneto figured Toad must have been getting bored waiting
when he recognized the antagonistic tone in the amphibinoid's
voice. "You're gonna share that, right?"
"Hell no, Wart" Sabretooth sneered back. "Just keep suckin' on that
teeny little stick of yours."
"Yeah, chum?" Toad was almost gleaming with mischief. "I've got a
stick you can suck on, and trust me, it ain't a bit teeny!"
"Humph," Sabretooth grunted. "I got one already and it's ten times
bigger than yours! Wanna see?"
Magneto just rolled his eyes as Sabretooth reached into a pocket in
his leather trench coat and pulled out a candy cane stick which was
a good ten inches long and about an inch thick. "See Wart, it's
called a Big Jim." The giant seemed quite proud of his prize.
"Big Jim, huh?" Toad taunted. "My girlfriend likes to call mine
For a moment Sabretooth seemed a little confused. "Ah, no, I mean
the candy's called "
"How nice," Magneto groaned. "Is this what you ruffians consider
lively dinner conversation?"
"Hey Mags," Sabretooth grinned devilishly. "So what do you call
"I beg your pardon?" Magneto sat up shooting Sabretooth a very
insulted glare. "You know," Sabretooth then glanced down at his own
groin. "Your shlong "
"Your wanker; your dick..." Toad added. "Your cock." Sabretooth went
straight to the point.
"I understand perfectly well what you two degenerates are talking
about," Magneto spat angrily and looked away, disgusted to the core.
"C'mon Magneto," Toad lowered his voice and leaned in closely as he
continued to taunt. "We're all buds here. We won't laugh."
"Toad, I assure you it's only out of morbid curiosity that has me
wondering why you suppose you would laugh." Magneto cocked his
"Well you know," Sabretooth almost whispered as he chose his words
carefully. "In case you call yours something unique."
"Unique?" their leader repeated in a huff. Toad decided to speak up
on Sabretooth's behalf. "What `Tooth is getting at is you're a man
of high standards right? So it's rather hard to believe you'd name
your cock Bill or Ted "
"You're absolutely correct about that." Magneto admitted.
"Oh, so you DO have a name for your cock!" Toad's eyes glimmered
with wicked joy. Just then Mystique and Pyro came into the room
carting the evening's banquet on a rolling tray. "You left me alone
with the children, Mystique! You know how I despise being left alone
with the children," Magneto sneered at Mystique as she started to
place a large bowl of mashed potatoes on the table in front of him.
"You know how they get when they've been eating sugar," she coolly
reminded him. "Oh, is that their problem," Magneto rolled his eyes
and groaned. "I could have sworn it was that they are both witless
"Alright you two," Mystique began to chastise Toad and Sabretooth as
if they were her sons. "I won't have either of you ruining this
"Yes mama," Toad mocked as he reached over and grabbed a Brussels
sprout from the bowl. "Yeah, whatever Blue," Sabretooth conceded as
Mystique tapped him on the shoulder.
"Here, you, carve," she ordered as she handed him an electric
carving knife. "And this time, use this."
Mystique gazed upon the table loaded up with a feast fit for a king
and rendered a smile, entirely pleased with her accomplishment. "You
know, for never doin' somethin' like this before, you did a damn
fine job, Mystique," Sabretooth warmly complimented her as the rest
of the men agreed. "Thank you very much, but I'll have you know that
there was a time when I did this sort of thing quite often."
"You, as a `appy `omemaker," Toad shook his head. "I woulda never
"Yes," Magneto joined in the conversation. "Mystique has lived many
a life." Mystique's smile broadened even more. "I do recall a time
when I had to wear an apron; however, I find I'm much more
comfortable with entertaining royalty and other heads of state." She
then raised her glass of wine for a toast. "Here's to a better and
"Anything would be an improvement compared to our past," Pyro
reminded everyone. "You're a fine one to talk," Toad scoffed. "When
it comes to suffering, you `aven't a bloody clue."
"Hey, I've had it hard too, you know," Pyro insisted. "Yes, I'm sure
all the X-men got together every night, tied you up, beat you and
then threw you into a closet," Toad argued back.
"I didn't live there ALL of my life, Toad; it just so happens I come
from a really shitty "
But the instant he saw Magneto calmly raise his hand, Pyro went
silent. "I agree, no one should doubt your personal history was
nothing short of pathetic, Pyro; but since Mystique has gone through
the trouble of putting together this elaborate meal, and even though
I still see no real value in any of this, we should all show her our
appreciation and keep our tongues. Understood?"
"I say let `em argue." Everyone looked down at the other end of the
table where Sabretooth happily sat in front of what could have very
easily been his second plate full of food. He then tried to talk
with a roll he had crammed into his mouth. "If their lips are busy
flappin' that just " he swallowed the roll, " leaves more food for
the rest of us."
It didn't take long for Toad to stop picking on Pyro and set his
sights on Sabretooth instead. "Didn't you ever learn any manners?"
"Manners manners " Sabretooth tried to recall mockingly. "Nope;
musta been out that day."
"Obviously," Pyro murmured under his breath as he watched the
felinoid chomp down a turkey leg, bone and all. "You eat like that
all the time?"
Sabretooth took another bite from the leg and gave Pyro an odd look.
"And it doesn't cut up your mouth or at the very least the lining in
your stomach?" Pyro curiously wondered. "Healing factor," Sabretooth
simply replied, taking yet another bite. *crunch*
"Well now that the family pet has shared what was on his mind,"
Magneto tried to regain control of the conversation and lifted his
glass, "I believe Mystique has made a toast, and we should "
*knock knock knock*
For a moment or so everyone at the table exchanged confused looks
with each other. "I thought this was a secret lair!" Magneto snapped
angrily as he put down his glass. "X-men." Sabretooth's eyes
narrowed after sniffing the air. "Can we kill `em?" Sabretooth then
"Well let's find out what they want first, shall we?" Magneto calmly
stated as he got up to answer the door as a very sad and heartbroken
Magneto valiantly opened the door to a porch full of obnoxious do-
gooders. The instant he saw them his stomach churned and his
patience grew thin. "And to what do we owe this untimely
"Happy, merry Kwan-Hana-Christ-ka-zaa-mas!" Jubilee sputtered out,
trying not to giggle. "Gesundheit," Magneto mocked unhappily. "What
on earth do you think you're doing here?"
"Oh, show some holiday spirit, Erik!" Charles chuckled from his
wheelchair. "We're not here to start anything, just to spread a
"Yes," Scott plainly explained with a peculiar smirk on his
face. "We just want to wish you and your lackeys, I mean your
followers, a happy, merry Kwan-Hana-Christ-ka-zaa-mas,"
"And just what in God's name is Kwan-Hana-Christ-ka-zaa-mas?"
Magneto repeated impatiently.
"We're going out of our way to be politically correct this year,"
Rogue dryly informed him. "Well stop it!" he yelled back. Mystique
then came up from behind him and smiled. "You're letting the cold
air in Erik; invite them inside."
"I don't want to," the so-called alpha male complained under his
breath. "Oh, don't be a humbug," as she quickly stepped in front of
him. "Please make yourselves at home."
In an instant the X-men were inside and brushing off the snow from
their clothes. "We'll only stay for a minute," Storm mentioned as
she spotted a certain blonde-haired villain. "No need to rush off,
we have all different kinds of pie," Mystique tempted with a smile.
"Did she say pie?" Bobby spoke up then out loud. "Hey everybody,
It didn't take long for those at the table to see the stampede of
teenagers heading their way. "Bloody `ell, we're under attack!" Toad
shot straight out of his seat. "We're not, but our dessert is," Pyro
quickly corrected him as he watched his former classmates make a
beeline toward the pie rack. Sabretooth meanwhile sat in his chair
growling. "Now can I?" he asked Magneto referring to the question he
had asked earlier. Magneto's face suddenly brightened as if to
"You'll do no such thing!" Mystique commanded. "Magneto says it's
OK!" Sabretooth argued. Mystique merely walked over to the pie rack
and started handing out plates. "We can all show a little good will,
can't we?" she remarked strangely as if she were sending a cryptic
massage. "But I don't see how killing "
"Mystique said no mate, now just drop it," Toad reminded him in a
quiet but very serious tone. Sabretooth frowned considering the
number of mutants he would have to face alone and reluctantly gave
into his colleague's wishes. He glared viciously at Marie and
growled, "Yer just damn lucky you ain't a bunch of Jehovah's
In just a matter of a few minutes there were a dozen or so kids as
well as the other guests standing around Magneto's beloved metal
conference table making light conversation and chowing down on
pie. "So," Scott dared to ask as he stood dangerously close to the
felinoid, "you don't like Jehovah's Witnesses?" Sabretooth shoveled
another mouthful of candied yams into his mouth and thought about
the question. "Oh for the most part they're OK," he took another
bite. "But the older ones can be a little tough and chewy."
"You're kidding, right?" Kitty asked Sabretooth in disbelief.
"Does that look like the face of a kidder?" Toad chortled
disgustedly; he could hardly believe he had to point out such an
obvious fact. Kitty turned to give Sabretooth a good look just as he
turned to look at her with a broad smile and licked his lips. "S-s-
scott, I wanna go now."
"Yes Scott, I think we should leave before we wear out our welcome
here," Charles commented politely and in a flash the X-men left as
quickly as they invaded, leaving behind an array of dirty disposable
plates and forks. "Well that was fun." Pyro noted sarcastically.
"Whoopee," Toad added with equal disdain. "Yes," Magneto included in
a tired worn voice. "I hope you are happy, Mystique; I don't think I
can take any more of this `celebrating'."
"I know this little holiday celebration I planned hasn't been
entirely wondrous, but I for one would like to have at least a few
favorable holiday memories in my life." Suddenly Magneto seemed
remorseful as he began to realize how important it was to Mystique
that he not only participate but enjoy what she had coordinated for
him and his `brothers'. "My apologies Mystique, I really do
appreciate all that you do for me, and this dinner is no exception;
it's just that I'm not really accustomed to looking on the brighter
side of life, as it were. So, where are those latkes?" as he seemed
to perk up and forced himself to smile. "And I believe I'd like some
of that white meat, Sabretooth."
For the next several minutes or so the dinner went splendidly; that
is, until Toad decided it was time to reminisce. "Speaking
of `bad `olidays'," Toad mentioned as he greedily smothered his
mashed potatoes with ladle upon ladle of gravy, "did I ever tell
you `ow I used to spend Christmas in the orphanage?" Pyro, who was
still a little sore at Toad for his earlier remarks, immediately
spoke up. "Only every chance you get." Toad looked up from his plate
for a moment and glared at Pyro.
"Not that your stories of being rejected and mistreated as a mutant
child aren't fascinating, Toad, I mean, for being someone who has
lived a sheltered life I can only imagine the shame and disgrace you
must have suffered growing up."
"You think you're such a clever li'l shit don't you?" Toad viciously
concluded. "Yeah, pretty much." Pyro agreed sarcastically.
"Oh won't you two grow up!" Mystique snapped impatiently. "Haven't
either of you figured out by now that we've all had it hard? We all
have our own scared lives, our own wounds that never healed."
Mystique lectured them in a huff. "But that's what separates us from
the X-men. Those pussies haven't had it rough, they're either too
pretty, or too rich, or too cowardly to have ever seen humanity at
its worst. And if they did, they weren't smart enough to figure out
they needed to get just as ruthless in order to survive."
"An easy life makes one weak," Sabretooth spoke in a musing tone as
he lifted his head and gazed off into space. "Only by the fires of
tribulation may a will of iron be forged." A moment later however,
his concentration was broken by the deafening silence around him. He
looked at those surrounding him with astonished faces. "Vic, that
was remarkably deep," Mystique gasped, seemingly impressed.
Sabretooth then glanced at Toad and Pyro who just sat there with
their mouths partially open while Magneto studied him
suspiciously. "Ah, yeah," his voice no longer sounding as
philosophically profound as it had a moment ago. "I think I got that
from a fortune cookie."
"Clearly that would be the case." Magneto seemed satisfied with
Sabretooth's explanation. After all, to consider his loyal attack
dog as having any real wit was not absurd, but ridiculously
absurd. "I'm just amazed you were able to comprehend the meaning
well enough to see its significance and apply it to this situation."
The big cat-man gave no response, but smiled to himself instead.
For the next several moments little more was said as the dinner
gradually came to an end. "Well, Mystique," at last Magneto seemed
relaxed and at ease, "I must say that I have found this evening to
be rather pleasant. I can't recall the last time I enjoyed spending
time with all of you. Thank you."
"Ah, are you getting all warm and fuzzy on us, Mags?" Toad cooed
teasingly. "Perish the thought!" Magneto surprising smiled and
lightly joked back. He didn't even seem bothered that Toad was now
repeating Sabretooth's favorite form of rebellion. "But when I
compare you scoundrels to those whom I've had the extreme
displeasure of knowing, I feel as if I'm among gods!"
"Oh, Charles is a bore," Mystique added to the conversation, "but
surely you don't think THAT little of him do you?"
"Of course not!" Magneto defended his friend. "I was mostly
referring to the homo-sapiens, like those who ran that little
plastic bubble in which they kept me imprisoned, for instance."
"Prison guards," Sabretooth nodded his head as if to agree. "Those
bastards really know the meaning of "season's beatings", don't they,
Mags?" Magneto leaned over his plate resting his elbows on the table
and took a long drink of wine. "So true," and the old man's face
suddenly seemed far too worn and weary for even a man his age. His
eyes gazed upward though he did not seem to be focusing on anyone
there. He took another drink and swallowed slowly; the jovial
atmosphere now was replaced by an eerie and very somber mood.
Magneto hardly noticed Mystique give Sabretooth a quiet nod to which
he got up and headed for the door. "Well Erik," Mystique announced
decisively. "I think it's time we gave you your present."
"Present?" he repeated stiffly. "Yeah," Toad spoke up bashfully. "We
all feel kinda bad that while we were all out having fun, you were
in that plastic shit hole." Feeling a bit humbled himself, Magneto
offered a subtle smile. "My brothers, you have nothing to feel
guilty about. Those days were bleak indeed, but not just for me, I'm
sure. Even though I was being led to believe that all of you had
been killed, I never stopped believing that someday one of you would
rescue me from that hell. I never lost hope on you, just as I'm sure
you never lost hope on me." He then surrendered an awkward grin as
he saw the irony in his words.
"But you haven't seen what we got you yet!" Pyro said with a twisted
smile. "Would you like a tiny `int?" Toad teased as he pulled out a
small tape-recorder from his pocket and hit the play button. "Who,
who the hell are you freaks? Get the fuck outta my face unless you
want some trouble!" a vaguely familiar voice came from the recorder
that was quickly followed by the sound of gunshots being
fired. "Holy shshshsh " Static was the last sound to come from the
A peculiar look of curiosity and mischief crossed Magneto's
face. "Yes, that voice does ring a bell," he confessed amusingly. "I
just can't quite put my finger on the name." Just then Sabretooth
came strolling in with a large bundle slung over his shoulder; the
sound of muffled cries coming from it. "Blue tried to get me to wear
a Santie Claus suit, but that's where I drew the line. Well..." he
tossed the bundle onto the floor in front of Magneto. "Here you go
Mags! Merry Christmas!" For a moment or so, Magneto looked at the
bundle that was in the obvious shape of a bound man squirming and
yelling, then at his fellow evil mutants. "Well, ain't you gonna
open it?" Toad asked excitedly. Magneto slowly but curiously removed
the hood covering the man's face to reveal someone whom he was quite
familiar with. "Mister Reed, isn't it?"
Magneto's expression of true delight was a stark contrast to that of
terror on his captive's. "Yes, I believe that is correct," Magneto
assured himself, then looked up at Mystique. "How on earth did you
know about my friend here?"
"When I downloaded the files from Stryker's computer, I read that
Mr. Reed had been transferred from your prison due to the excessive
and unauthorized use of force." Magneto chuckled at her answer a
bit. "Oh, not that Stryker really minded Mr. Reed taking his
frustration out on me of course, but he did nearly kill me once or
twice as memory serves and at the time I was still of importance to
the Colonel's plans."
Magneto then turned his attention back to the bundle on the
floor. "I must say, Mr. Reed, no one could match your brutality, not
even that buffoon Laurio. Yes, I really should congratulate you; you
would have made an outstanding officer in the SS. Was he any
trouble?" he then asked his colleagues.
"Not after he lost these." Sabretooth pulled out a bloodied rag from
his pocket and threw it onto the table close to Magneto who
carefully unfolded it to find what looked to be a set of
testicles. "It's times such as this, Sabretooth," he said with a
certain amount of pride, "that I remind myself why I keep you
around. And as for you, Mystique, I can't believe you went through
all this trouble just for me."
"Oh it was nothing," she sheepishly smiled and appeared to even
blush, in a shade of blue of course.
"Yeah, when I saw those X-men come in I thought the gig was up for
sure!" Pyro gasped excitedly. "So did I!" Toad agreed, almost
"I'm fairly certain Charles suspected we were up to something,"
Mystique joined in. "I'm sure they came over in the first place just
to see if they could uncover the plot."
"Well there's no point in wasting time," Magneto said with a
smile. "What do you say we take my new `toy' outside for a little
target practice? Pyro, would you like to go first?"
"Sure you don't mind?" the young man asked eagerly.
"No, of course not!" Magneto happily replied. "Say, I have an idea;
all of you did such a fine job putting this together for me, why
don't you take Mr. Reed outside and wait for me while I clean off
the table and put the dishes in the machine?" As Magneto began to
clear the table, he could hear the joyous laughter and conversations
coming from his followers, mixed in with the terrified screams and
pleas coming from their hopeless victim. `A little too much fire
from tribulation may forge the will of iron, but maybe perhaps it
also warps the hearts of gold,' he somberly thought to himself and
for a moment and even considered sharing it with his companions.
"Oh why spoil their fun," he finally concluded and went outside to
share in the villainy.