"What do you mean Cheap Trick isn't available?" I asked the booking agent. "They're suppose to be here in two hours!"
"Hey, I'm sorry Mr. Exaver, their Yugo got a flat and they can't come up with the dough for a tow. But there's another talent that just came on the market last night around 9:30 who can be there in two hours."
"And who's that?" I asked skeptically.
"Never heard of him."
"The kids love him. Trust me. Besides, what choice do you have? Heh, heh."
What a weasel. Well, it was too late to argue. I still had to finish setting up for the party. I had decided to throw a victory celebration for my X-Men who have been working so hard the last few weeks dealing with all the various crises that have arisen.
By the time Bucky arrived and started singing, the main ballroom was already packed with people. They were dancing and talking and generally having a good time. I waved to Magdalena
and she came over to my side and gave me a warm hug.
"This was a wonderful idea, Charles!" she said. "Oh look, there's Vampirella
We went over her to say hello. Vampi put on a bright smile but she seemed rather sad. I was about to ask where Trunks was, but then thought better of it.
"It's so good to see you, darling," she said as she bent over and gave me a quick bite on my neck.
"And how is you pregnancy coming?" I asked.
"Oh, everything seems fairly normal at this -"
A loud crash nearby made us all turn. Vegeta
climbed up from the middle of the now ruined table and brushed off spilled crackers and dip.
"That was a cheap shot Wolverine
!" he shouted.
Weird green energy glowed all around his body and he leapt at Logan. The two went flying across the hall and smashed into something else that made a strange crunching sound. I think it was Colossus.
"That's odd," Maggie said to Vampi. "I thought Vegeta was in another dimension with Dr. Strange?"
"He must have come back for the party," Vampi suggested.
Another loud sound, this time a sharp slap followed by an 'ouch', made us turn in the other direction. Private Hudson
was rubbing his reddened cheek.
"If you all ever touch mah butt again I am gonna knock you into tomorrah!" Rogue shouted.
"Hey doll, I just wanted to say hi. I heard you absorb people's memories by touching their bare skin, so I was just making sure I touched you somewhere you had clothes. That's all."
"There's no safe place for you to touch me, creep!"
At that Rogue turned on her heel and stomped off. Hudson stood there looking hurt for a moment until Psylocke walked past. His eyes lit up and he trotted after her.
I reached out telepathically and contacted Jon the Intergalactic Gladiator's
mind. He was sharing a bowl of cheese dip with the Stepford Cuckoos
and Kitty Pryde
"Aren't you responsible for Hudson?" I asked him.
"Oh no! I'm just the designated driver. If I need a broom and ice chest to take the pieces home, that's fine with me."
I was about to ask him why he was drinking a Rolling Rock if he was the designated driver when Wolverine zoomed over our heads and crashed through a large picture window. Just then Gaia
walked in through the outer door and waved her hand. The window re-formed out of the thin air.
"Gaia! I'm so glad to see you up and around," I told her.
She came over and gave me a hug, too, though she seemed a bit distant.
"Are you feeling alright?" I asked.
"Oh, I feel all better thanks. It's just, well . . I have some thinking to do. Maybe we can talk later?"
"Of course, my dear. Whenever you like."
I was about to tell her that Cable
had been looking for her when Emma Frost
and the Scarlet Witch
walked in. I went over to say hello.
"Is that thing
gone from the basement yet?" Emma asked.
"Actually I don't - wait, there's Hank. Over there with Storm
." I waved them over and asked Hank if there was any development with his patients.
"Well the spurious Jean remains deep in her vegetative state. The extra Emma however has changed into . . " At that he waved his hand at Storm, who was looking rather meek and confused, not at all her usual regal self.
"What?" asked Wanda. "How can that be?"
"I have no idea," Hank answered.
"This should be simple enough."
Wanda raised her arms and spoke in some language I did not recognize. Strange multi-colored lights sparkled from her fingertips and slowly descended onto Storm. Her dark brown skin shimmered in the eerie lights. Once the last of the glow faded, Storm remained, completely unchanged as far as I could tell.
"Hmm, that's odd. This appears to be her true form," Wanda told us.
"Well as long as she's not me then it's really not my problem," Emma said as she lead Wanda into the crowd. I turned to watch as she hooked her arm in Warren's
and the two started dancing. Wanda smiled at Kurt
and they joined them.
I was about to ask Maggie if she wanted to take a spin on my lap when Vegeta hurtled past us, slamming hard into the wall. Wolverine came running up to him, claws drawn. Blood was dripping down his cheek.
"Logan!" I shouted. "This is a party. We are suppose to be unwinding!"
Vegeta walked up to his side, rubbing his chin. "This is how we unwind," Logan explained with a half smile. Vegeta whacked him in the back of his head and Wolverine hit the ground hard. I just shook my head and scooped up Maggie onto my lap. I set the chair to turn to the beat and we joined the dancers.