Author's Note: I didn't change much as far as action of this episode goes. If you remember the episode well you may very well skip this chapter, except if you want a novelized and more in-depth look at what I think happened... and some bonus or extended scenes.

BUT I moved the whole thing to winter. I figured it doesn't work with the 'pool party' at the end of the episode, but I didn't want to get rid of the scene, so I simply moved it from outdoor to indoor. I need to make the whole action of X-Men: Evolution last actually the right time for Scott and Jean to graduate in the episode when it happened in the series and keep them at least a year older than some of the folk (Kurt, Kitty, Evan and so on)... They've got little time to rest between one event and another, unlike the cartoon would have you believe. Especially in this particular episode.


Ororo followed her sister and her sister's husband onto the tribunes. All rows were filled with families, friends and siblings of the players, but they got themselves a good spot, which - wasn't that hard when you're related to one of the night's greatest stars.

There was a lot of buzz before, but once the judge whistled to inform teams that the game is about to begin audience became relatively calm as everyone's eyes turned to the court.

It was round 4, merely half a minute to the end and 81-82 for the guests.

"Daniels, over here!" player number 32 waved at the boy who passed the ball to him. Everyone watched as the white haired boy managed to avoid four players from the opposite team and throw the ball, however audience gave out a disappointed moan when it bounced off the basket and was grabbed by a rival.

Even Vivian and Richard were shouting at top of their lungs, giving instructions to the players, Evan especially. Ororo peeked at them amused; "Is it always this exciting?" she asked leaning closer to Rick so he could even hear her among the chaos.

"No, this one's a real nail-biter" the man replied.

With only a dozen seconds left the disappointed yet hopeful fans of PS 104 were raging, one good shot would be all it'd take to turn that coin around and Evan Daniels was in for the win. He got ahead of his fellow player number 32 as the silver haired boy retrieved the ball from their rivals, he heard their coach yell at him to pass the ball, and so he did. Evan could see for a second the anger cross Maximoff's face when he had to give that ball up, but there was no time to think about it - soon as the ball was in his hands he headed straight for the basket.

With a corner of his eye he saw the clock ticking down the last five seconds. 'It's now or never' he thought.

At this point it was impossible to tell who will win - if Evan fails to score or scores for just one point, PS 104 will lose or draw, if he manages to get 2 or 3 points they win the finals and are granted the title of the best basketball high school team of year 1995 in the entire New York State. All eyes were on him now.

Even Ororo couldn't help but cheer for her nephew. "You can do it Evan, shoot! Shoot!"

Three seconds to the end, Evan saw the boy trying to get in his way from the right and knew he can't avoid him; instead he jumped up sending the ball flying towards the basket just in time before he crashed into the rival.

Eyes of the audience were on the ball, everyone gasped.

Ororo's eyes however went with Evan who fell back due to the impact. She saw thick thorns cut through the skin on his arms from the inside and as he hit the ground they tore into the floor.

In the very last moment the ball landed in the basket scoring PS 104 three point and making the crowd go wild.

Ororo only peeked at Vivian and Richard but they were too engaged in cheering to notice the unusual phenomenon. It wasn't at all odd, since the spikes only appeared for less then a second, and a very heated second at that. She could see Evan worriedly examine his arms as the rest of his team closed in on him, but the unusual pieces were gone. A little dazzled still he let the team lift him up to celebrate his winning move, and with the danger of exposure gone by now, Evan quickly joined in on cheering, calling out and gesticulating in victory.

Ororo relaxed as well, nobody seemed to notice or acknowledge what happened. But it does not mean she won't mention it.

Only one person didn't cheer for the young Evan, just watching coldly from a few feet away from the rest of the team. Ororo saw him just watch the celebrations unfold, critical and unpleased. She could assume he didn't like the way his teammate stole the spotlight, but something told her it's not the bottom of things.

Perhaps someone saw what happened after all.


Episode 5: SPEED VS SPYKE


Evan didn't hurry with his usual after match routine. He took a quick shower, dressed up and messily packed all his gear to the tube-shaped training bag. The teammates as they passed by always dropped a quick congratulations on his final score, by now it felt like every player has at least said a reminiscence of a thank you.

Except one.

"I should have known you'd hog all the glory."

Evan turned around to see the locker room was already empty except for him and Pietro who approached him, appearing to harbor anger.

"What are you talking man?" Evan asked as Maximoff approached him. "Everyone knows that you're-"

"Everyone knows that if it weren't for me you wouldn't have had that last shot" he cut it offensively. "I could have just taken it myself."

"Hey, that was a great pass, man" Daniels responded not letting the boy tick him off, "but there's no way you could have made it down the court in time for a shot."

His words seemed to frustrate Pietro, he seemed to almost mentally smack his own self for letting it come down to this. "Hey dude, I got moves you can't even imagine" saying that he made it around Evan to the other side of the dressing bench so quickly Evan hardly managed to keep up with looking, "and I'm through holding back just to make guys like you look good."

Poking Daniels in the chest when he addressed him Pietro turned away and headed for the door, leaving Evan just a bit confused and surprised. But he didn't bother with it much, shaking it off he continued to pack up his bag.

"Seems like that boy has been competing with you ever since you were babies" he heard another voice and looked up to see a white haired woman enter the room.

"Hey Auntie O., what's up!" he called enthusiastically. "Where's dad and mom?"

"Waiting outside. I think the boys' locker room makes your mother nervous."

"Right" he looked back down to where he worked with his bag. "Some game, huh? I thought you won't show."

"And miss my favorite nephew's big game?" the woman wrapped the boy in a hug. "Not a chance" she laughed.

"M-hm, thanks again for coming, Auntie."

But the laughs were done right here and as the woman pulled back her expression grew more serious. Feeling what's coming Evan looked away and tried to pretend he doesn't see it.

"Evan, are you alright?" Ororo asked in a gentle, worried voice. "I've been concerned about you lately. You know, about the things we've discussed before" with a comprehensive look on her face she sat down at one of the benches.

"Yeah yeah" the boy waved his hand blowing it off. "No problem, Auntie O., everything's cool."

"Even, I saw what happened to you out there tonight, when you fell" her look was caring but demanding.

"Hey, it's no big deal" the 15 year old shrugged. "I got it under control, I-ah…" about to sneeze he squinted and lifted his hand to his mouth. "A-choo!"

The sudden tightening of his muscles caused a decent amount of foot long spikes to shot out of his body in all directions. Ororo, remaining unharmed, just peeked at one of them that drove into the steel locker to her left. The look on her face said more than words – he certainly does not have it under control.

"Bless you" she said calmly.

"Busted, ha?" Evan snorted with a grimace.

"Big time."

xXxXxXx

With a black leather bag draped across her chest and resting against her hip, Fallen walked past the more colorfully dressed crowd that bustled around the mall. Taking no time to step by in any of the window shops she headed straight for the fountain in mid section of the ground floor. Still a dozen feet away she was noticed by the blonde boy sitting on the ledge of it.

He got up and waved at her casually. Twisting wires of her earphones she tucked them into the bag and zipped it just as she got to him.

"Hi" she said.

"Yeah, hi, Fallen" he smiled friendly. "So, um, I was thinking, how about we study in the KFC?" he pointed with his thumb to the said fast food restaurant a few shops away down the aisle. "They have this cabin type of tables so we wouldn't be bothered."

She peeked behind him at the place. "That works."

They quickly made it there and both started looking at the menu. "Are you getting anything?" the boy asked.

"The chicken box and fries. I couldn't handle smelling it and just sit here studying" she stated, searching her bag for money. As she pulled it out the boy offered his hand.

"I'll oder and you can hammer down that last compartment for us."

The girl gave him the amount he'd need to pay for her part, Noah nodded and went to the end of the line as she headed to the table. A few minutes later the boy joined her carrying their food. He placed an extra milk shake in front of her. "I didn't order that."

"It's on me, no worries" he seemed relieved to sit down.

Fallen right away grabbed one of the chicken wings from her box and took a small bite. "Did you bring your book?"

"Yeah, I sure did" the boy picked up his backpack and searched it for a moment. "I already went over our scene because I'm terrible at remembering stuff. And we have little time left to study it."

"Sorry about that. I was busy throughout the week" Fallen grimaced. Trainings, Jean being kidnapped and everything school related there was really little time and energy to meet up for Shakespeare studies.

"Nah, I get it" Noah waved her off as he leaned above the book and grabbed a chicken wing as well. "How are others doing with their lines though? Did you hear from Scott? He got a tough one to work with."

"Actually he said he and Rogue will finish learning their lines separately" she shrugged.

"Hah!"

Fallen looked up critically at his outburst of joy.

"I won 10 dollars" he explained. "I made a bet with AJ about whether Scott and that goth chick will end up studying saparateley. You know AJ?" he asked. She looked confused. "Tall guy, black, looks older than he is? We always hang together."

"Uh" Fallen grimaced slightly. "I'll be honest, I hardly pay attention to people in my classes most of the time so I rarely even remember who's in my class."

"Oh" Noah smirked. "At least you remember me."

"The teacher said your name when he split you and Amanda to pair us up."

"WELL" Noah made a baffled expression. "There was absolutely no need for you to say that and make things awkward. Could've pretended you actually remembered me."

"Sorry to burst your bubble" she smirked amused.

He grinned, glad she got that it was a joke. "Anyway, among all the Tinas and Toms it'd be nice if you remember me from now on" Noah took a big sip of coke. "And AJ. He's my best pal, I'll introduce you."

"You think if you bought me a shake the next step is to introduce me to you friends?" she asked with a serious face as she sipped on the said shake. "That's a commitment."

Noah looked worried for a moment, like he said something wrong. She bursted out with suppressed laughter. He laughed shortly as well. "You're definitely meeting AJ."

xXxXxXx

"I still can't get over that last shot, son" Richard remembered as he flipped deliciously looking pieces of meat that grilled for a while now. "What a beauty. You're gonna remember this game for a long, long time."

"Yes, wasn't it exciting?"

Evan, who was sitting a dozen feet away on back of a chair waved a victory sign in his parents' direction.

"I'm surprised your parents went through with this grill idea even though it's December" Ororo said amused.

"Yeah, I see what you mean, Auntie O. But it's warm like it's spring or something."

"It is. The winter's very mild so far. But what truly amazes me is that you've kept concealed this long" sitting right in front of him one another chair she spoke low enough for the absorbed parents of the boy not to hear from the distance.

"I'm telling you, I got it covered" Evan assured pressing his hand to his heart. "A few points, a few spikes, I mean so what?" he spread his arms, "this is New York."

"Evan, you need to take this seriously" Ororo frowned, unpleased with his easy way of thinking about something she knew could have serious consequences. "Xavier's Institute can offer you training."

"I don't need training, man" irritated, Evan got off the chair. "I can take care of myself. Anyone messes with me" he demonstrated his ability by forming six hooked spikes on one of his forearms. He swung his hand as if at the imaginary enemy. "BAM!"

Ororo peeked behind them at Richard and Vivian, but they were chatting with each other and didn't see their son's deeds.

Turning back to the young boy she frowned and lifted his spiked arm. "No, Evan. You mustn't use your powers like that. You have to learn control."

"Hey, I've got control" pulling his arm away from her he had the spikes dive back into his skin. "See? Everything's cool."

"Like in the locker room?"

"Alright" Evan turned his face away, peeking at her with discontent, appearing kind of offended. "So it's not perfect yet."

The woman put a hand on his back. "I think we'd better continue this conversation with your parents."

"Like I didn't know that was coming" he muttered. "Look, can this wait till after school tomorrow? I mean this is a big night for them."

"Get 'em while they're hot!" they heard Richard yell and both looked back to see the man carry a plateful of steaming pork fresh off the grill. Both him and Vivian were dressed up nice and had smiles plastered to their faces since the early afternoon.

Evan was right. Ororo turned back to him. "Alright."

The 15 year old rose to place a kiss on the woman's cheek before running off to the deliciously smelling meal. The woman watched him high-five his father on his way to the table.

*Ororo, how's it going with your nephew?*

Hearing the familiar voice in her head she turned away for a moment and brought hand to her forehead. *Just as I feared, Professor* she thought back. *He's stubborn.*

*Alright, we'll go to plan B. Scott and Jean will arrive tomorrow. By the way… Cerebro detected another mutant signature at the game tonight, but couldn't get a clear reading of it for some reason. Did you notice anyone else there unusual?*

*Maybe* she grimaced slightly at the memory of the boy she saw in the locker room. *But I'm not certain yet.*

*Very well. Keep me informed.*

xXxXxXx

+Following day+

The classes were over, finally the school day came to an end. Evan found it difficult to focus today, still slightly excited after previous day victory and distracted by the thought that Auntie O. wants to talk to his parents about his developing mutant abilities. That given he was looking forward to the basketball training in half an hour, it seemed like the best way for him to ease the tension and postpone the conversation.

With no rush he headed to his locker for cash. He needed a little energy boost before the training would begin. He felt anger stir in his guts when after opening his locker and checking his walled he realized it's empty.

"Aw man, not again!" he exclaimed shoving the walled on the floor and shoving the locker closed.

"Something wrong?" Evan shifted back with a gasp as he saw Maximoff right beside him, despite he never noticed him approach. The boy wasn't there just a second ago.

"Where'd you come from?" he asked surprised.

"Yeah, that's a question you should be asking on the basketball court" Pietro had quite an eerie smirk on his face as he watched Daniels with arms crossed on his chest.

"Hey, look, I know you're fast, man" Evan admitted as the boy circled him with a winner's expression. "You were really busting some great moves last night."

"A-ha!" Maximoff abruptly pointed his finger at him. "You finally admit that I'm better than you."

Still not losing his cool, but getting quite annoyed by the teammate's snobby behavior Evan waved him off. "I said you were faster, not better. I still got a few tricks of my own, you know."

"Sure you do" Pietro quickly grabbed the empty wallet and pointed at it with an amused frown. "Like getting ripped off for the second time this month. What's up with that?" he almost sounded compassionate at this point so Evan decided to ignore the mocking undertone.

"Yeah, and I even changed the combination" he pointed his thumb at the lock.

"Hmm. It sounds like a bona fide mystery, dude."

"Yeah, but I'm gonna trap this sleazeball" Daniels grimaced with anger.

"Sure, Daniels. But you're gonna need some bait" as he said it Pietro pulled out four 5-dollar bills and handed it back to him along with the empty wallet.

"Hey!" the 15 year old was genuinely surprised and in a positive manner this time. "Thanks man!" he took the offering from Pietro. "I'll get it back to you on the Wednesday" he placed the walled and most of the cash back in his locker, closed it again and grabbed hands thumb to thumb with the other boy. He felt like maybe Pietro is actually giving up on this entire 'always trying to be better than you' agenda and they could become friends. He gave him a single wave as he headed to grab some food before the training. "Catch you later!"

Pietro watched him walk away and a frown appeared on his face. "Not even on your best day, Daniels" he muttered to himself. "You'll never catch me."

xXxXxXx

+Around the same time, Bayville High School+

"Alright, next up is..." the teacher ran his eyes down the list of students he paired up for Shakespeare. "Kurt and Amanda."

Just hearing the two names in one sentence made Fallen want to roll her eyes, but she managed to stop herself and just peeked at Wagner as he got up from the seat beside her own. He didn't seem to express any particular emotions as he approached the front of the classroom and stood four feet in front of Amanda, his face remained quite blank.

The teacher confiscated the poetry books both of them brought along, and seated himself at the edge of his desk. "Go ahead."

Fallen started sketching rough swirls on side of her notebook as soon as the two started reciting their lines in poor acting voices. That was until she felt someone tap her back with what felt like tip of a pencil. She looked back to see Noah and his deskmate, who both should be on the other end of the classroom but apparently snuck here when no one was looking.

"Hey" the blonde boy said.

"Hi?"

"We're up next" he whispered as he pointed his pencil at the teacher who was sitting back to them. As they were the two pairs rearranged at the end, the teacher also had them noted down at the end, Kurt and Amanda being second to last, and her with Noah closing the list. "But I think we got the easiest lines of all."

She shrugged.

"Anyway" Noah pulled back and gestured to his friend. "This is my mate, AJ. And this is Fallen" he gestured back to her.

The girl nodded her greeting as the boy smiled at her. He was tall and black, looked like he was perhaps 19, not 15 as he actually was, just as Noah said. "Hi" she just said. Right after she did Kurt returned to the desk and they heard the teacher call out;

"Last but not least, Jennifer and Noah. Come up here and put your books on this pile while you do."

xXxXxXx

+Evening, Queens, NYC+

"Man, don't give up, do you, Auntie O?"

"That's because she loves you" Jean leaned forward on the sofa. "She's concerned. We all are."

"This certainly explains why you're always coming home with holes in your clothes" Vivian said from her armchair next to the two arrivals.

"We always knew this was a possibility, Vai" Ororo shifted away from the sofa as she approached her sister. "While you did not receive the mutant gene as I did, we knew it could show up in future generations."

"It's really not so bad, Mrs. Daniels" Scott tried to sound light. "Having special powers can be really pretty cool sometimes."

"Oh yeah?" Evan cut in. "I'll tell you what, Shades. Let me see what you've got that's sooo cool."

"Evan!" Vivian frowned.

"Sorry, mom" the boy sighed.

"No, really, it's okay" Jean side glanced at her distressed teammate. "It's just… Scott's powers aren't really what you'd call indoor friendly."

"Okay. Whatever" Daniels stated. "Look, man. I like it right here and I'm not going to some home for freaks. "Now if you'll excuse me" he turned away and headed for the stairs, "I got school stuff to take care of."

His mother got up. "Even…" but as she approached the staircase she just saw him disappear on the first floor and heard his bedroom's door shut behind him.

Jean and Scott stood up from the sofa.

"Well" Grey said. "That went well."

"Yeah" Scott agreed with a grimace. "And I thought we were really making a connection there."

"I apologize for my son, Mr. Summers" Richard stepped towards them. "He's obviously dealing with a lot right now. I'll talk with him."

Just as the man was about to walk away Scott's attention was draw by Jean's gasp. Her hand was lifted to her forehead, that being an obvious sign she's receiving some telepathic impulses.

"Hey, he's going out the window" she said.

They all rushed to stop him, but when they emerged on outside Evan was already disappearing behind the corner down the street, and they all knew they have no chance of catching up with him.

"We really need to work on our sales pitch" Summers concluded.

xXx

Having left his family's two-story apartment, Evan skated his way down to the Far Rockaway neighborhood where his school was located. All the lights in the building were off and doors were locked, but Evan knew a little window near cafeteria that was always open to let out the smell of food. He managed to get in that way and then made his way to the hallway where his locker is.

Everything seemed perfectly normal. Nobody was around, no strange noises, and the light from the outside illuminated everything well enough that the darkness wasn't even remotely unnerving.

Evan placed his skateboard against the lockers and netled himself behind them as not to be seen by any possible intruder. "Okey, sneak-thief, you want to play tonight, the spike man is ready" he said to himself letting a couple hard bones poke out around the outer side of his exposed arms before he crouched to comfortably wait, but remain ready for a fight.

At first there was nothing, the quiet and stillness remained undisturbed. The thief clearly hasn't arrived yet, if he would at all. But then a strange breeze swept through the hallway, it came seemingly from nowhere and ripped a few posters loose from the walls.

Evan looked around confused; no doors and no windows were left open as far as he could see. So where-

It swept again, stronger, and oddly enough left numberlocks of the lockers turn so quickly their buzzing sounded like restless hive. "What the heck?!" Daniels couldn't believe his own eyes and the breeze was turning into a storm.

Almost at once all the lockers shot open loudly and their contents flew out getting caught in the wind that swirled it into a little tornado that rushed into his direction. He backed against the wall as books and pencil cases started hitting him.

"What's going on?!" he never saw anything like this, a tornado inside a building? No, it must be someone or something doing it. "Whatever it is, it stops now!" not up for being harassed by flying objects he proceeded to create and mount long, bone staffs to create a makeshift barrier between himself and whatever was happening.

Just as he was finishing a human form suddenly appeared on its other side and Evan jerked back surprised. The surprise turned into dowright shock when he saw who was standing there. Dressed in a mint and silver, skin tight overall was his salty teammate. "Pietro?!"

Maximoff had a satisfied smile on his face. "Call me Quicksilver. Like the outfit? Made myself. Took about quarter second" he spoke fast, his words blurring into one slur that Daniels could barely understand. He momentarily examined his 'wall of bones' and felt the structure. "Well, would you look at this. Seems my old pal has a few tricks of his own. But as usual-" he stepped back to then disappear in a blur.

Strong wind swept up all of the spikes flying them in the air.

"-not as good as mine!"

Daniels turned around suddenly hearing Pietro behind him. Maximoff looked proud of himself. "You- You've got powers too?!"

The white haired boy smacked himself in the head in a mocking manner. "DUH! Finally!" he leaned closer to the shorter boy. "Remember Daniels. Anything you can do I can do better." Then out of nowhere he pulled out what Evan recognized as his own wallet and pulled out the four 5 dollar bills. "Mind if I take that back?"

Evan took the emptied wallet back. He came here to fight for his money but right now he was more confused than angry. "But- why would you want to rip me off?"

"Gags man! For the challenge!" Pietro put his hands up shrugging. "Look when you move as fast as I do" he momentarily moved behind him before turning into a mint-tinted blur or swirling air, "there ain't enough things to do with my time I gotta entertain myself!" he halted in front of him and lifted his head higher with a mocking chuckle. "And you thought you could stop me. Well-"

His eyes weren't quick enough to acknowledge it but Evan suddenly was looking another way and red burning sensation made him realize he was slapped on the face.

"-no you can't" Pietro finished.

Daniels lifted his hand to the itching cheek and a determined frown returned to his face. "Don't bet on it!" he growled pulling back to produce a long spear from his hand. But before he could take a swing with it Pietro disappeared from his eyes and he was instantly pushed from behind to land flat on the floor. "Ah!"

"Too slow" Pietro stated. "What a surprise" he pretended to yawn.

Just as Evan started to pick himself up he heard police sirens closing in. He looked back at Maximoff who's face now grew oddly cold, same as his voice;

"You know what, I think you're gonna need some more time to work on those powers of yours" then the smirk was back, a lot darker than before. "Maybe I can arrange it."

"What do you mean?"

Pietro leaned over him. "Can you say… scapegoat?" and then he was gone with a gust of wind that sent the scattered papers flying for the last time.

Daniels turned around to see if he's still anywhere to be found, but he gasped when instead of his baseball teammate he saw two police officers opening the door at the end of the corridor full of students' belongings sprawled on the floor.

xXx

Half an hour later Evan was sitting on a cold bench in the police station's temporary arrest waiting for his parents to arrive and bail him out, if that's even an option given the heavy charges. Eventually he heard the door open, but what he saw wasn't only his parents come in, but also his aunt and the two mutants sent by that Professor.

"Evan!" his mother gasped approaching the bars that kept him locked. "What happened?!"

"Well… Welcome to the downside, pal" said the guy who earlier introduced himself as Scott. "Misuse your powers - go to jail."

"It wasn't me, man!" he was frustrated.

"Hey, I believe you, Evan" the redhead assured with a light smile. "In fact I know you didn't do it."

It was his aunt's turn to chime in; "Evan, please listen to me. Let us help you."

"So we'll make you a deal" Scott stepped closer to the bars. "The Professor will use his influence to get you out of here aaand you give the Institute a shot. What do you say?" he reached into the cell but Daniels just gave his hand a glare and shifted away crossing his arms.

His parents stood to a side and clearly wanted to give the others room to persuade him into agreeing. They were clearly buying in on the theory that his aunt had going about him needing to go and learn how to control his powers. But he was just fine these last couple months, his powers didn't need to have learned he was a mutant like his mom's sister.

Right now however, the cat was out the box and he was literally stuck. It seemed like they finally got him in a situation where he's got no say. "Like I've got a choice" he said spitefully looking at Scott's hand.

"Hey, hey! You've always got a choice" the boy objected. "We just want to help you make the right one."

Evan sighed - it is what it is then. "Okay" he took Scott's hand and gave it a squeeze. "Deal."

xXxXxXx

+2.12.1995, Saturday+

"So, like, where's this new guy?" Kitty asked when everyone sat together for breakfast before training. The only person lacking beside Ororo herself, was her nephew.

"Still sleeping" Professor Xavier replied sipping on a morning coffee. "He had a rather… difficult evening."

"I think he knows who really trashed those lockers" Scott said. "Did he tell you?"

Professor shook his head. "No. And I'm not going to pry. He'll tell us when he's ready."

Right after the statement the man came to realize that some of the gathered probably already know exactly what happened and his eyes moved to Kurt and Fallen who sat three and four chairs away to his left. They both noticed his gaze but focused their eyes back on scrambled eggs on their plates. The man also averted his gaze before it could appear curious to anyone else at the table.

"If you ask me, he's looking to settle that score personally" Logan stated. "Pass the sausages, Red."

Jean stopped eating her own scrambled eggs for a moment to levitate a big plateful of requested food along the long table.

"Ew" Kitty grimaced as it passed her on the way to the man sitting beside her. "That stuff, like, totally plugs your arteries, you know."

Logan smirked with amusement. "I appreciate your concern" he said, still extending his claws to grab three sausages at once and then dropping them on a side of his plate.

"I suspect you may be right about Evan's intentions, Logan" the Professor rubbed his chin with slight concern.

"Yeah, trust me, Chuck" the man looked up from his food. "I may not be able to read minds, but I know what a boy's thinking about when he's been wronged."

Xavier's eyes again brushed over Kurt and Fallen who seemed to have those knowing looks on their faces. His own knowledge acquired from the wasn't detailed enough and he didn't have any didn't include any recollection of what happened around this time. Which didn't mean they don't know.

"In any case…" the man again looked at the others. "It might be best if Evan had other things to distract his mind. I've already enrolled him in Bayville" or at least had this arrangement with the Principal that they will postpone signing and delivering proper documents to after christmas and let Evan attend right away. "Scott, could you introduce him to the basketball coach?"

The pace should keep his mind clean of setting scores with whoever used him as a scapegoat the other night. Enrolling at school right away and joining local basketball club instead, along with trainings should keep him busy until he's ready to let go of the bitterness towards the situation.

"Sure" Scott smiled at the idea. "After that last game he played in New York, coach will jump at him!"

"Good. And let's hope that Evan's desire for vengeance is short-lived."

xXx

Evan watched them from up the stairs leading straight into the dining room. He heard Professor Xavier's words, but didn't like them one bit.

Scores should be always settled. He didn't like that it was made impossible for him because he was made to move in with a bunch of idealistic preps.

Vengeance is a right that was being denied to him.

He felt his skin harden and the anger caused a dozen of sharp spikes to grow over his arms and back, cutting through the material of his night robe.

Frowning, he turned around and headed back to the room that was assigned to him yesterday at late evening when he agreed to come for those few days before christmas to 'assimilate' before the break.

And the Christmas break couldn't come any faster. He anticipated returning to Queens and getting back on that lying bastard, Maximoff.

He would not get away this time.

xXxXxXx

Eventually Evan never made it to the common breakfast and the plate prepared for him remained untouched. Kitty and Jean were now finishing cleaning up in the kitchen with Ororo and Fallen sitting at the table and drinking coffee.

"I don't know how you can enjoy this taste, seriously" Kitty said looking over her shoulder at the two.

"I don't" Harris responded. "But when I need to be up from early morning I need a placebo to keep me going. I don't sleep well at nights."

"I guess you and Kurt have that in common, huh?" Pryde sounded genuinely interested in their relationship for the last few days.

"Yeah. How do you know?"

"Oh, um… It's just that, like, back when you were- in coma, I guess… I came across Kurt in the kitchen at night a few times. It didn't seem like something he only did because of the, uh…" she tried to be tactful about it, "the difficult situation with your health."

Harris smirked softly. "Yeah, I guess he really lives up to his codename."

"Good morning, Evan" Ororo said causing everyone to look towards the door as well. The boy standing there was rather short, had a dessert-chocolate complexion similar to his aunt and carefully shaved, bleached hair. He didn't look very pleased to be here;

"Yeah, mornin', Auntie O."

Monroe didn't let his expression discourage her as she smiled and gestured to everyone as she respectfully introduced them. "This is my nephew that I told you about, Evan. Evan, you already know Scott, and these two ladies are Kitty and Fallen."

"Hi!" Kitty smiled at him, happy not to be the newest one on the team anymore.

Fallen waved slightly as she held her cup of coffee with the other hand. "Welcome."

"Yeah, thanks" he responded in a similar manner that said it all about how much 'joy' he felt for being here. "Is there any leftovers from breakfast?"

"We saved you a solid portion" Scott gestured towards a plate covered by a silver lid that sat on the island counter.

"Sweet, thanks" and again, he didn't sound eager at all, but he did sit down and pull the plate of the eggs and bacon closer.

"You might want to heat it up in a microwave" Pryde suggested.

"I'm good."

"...Okay" Kitty turned back to the dishes muttering to Scott something about him being grumpy and completely unlike his aunt.

For a moment there was silence and Evan didn't show any interest in them until he asked; "So what do all of you do? Mutant stuff, I mean."

Fallen felt like Scott gave her a short look. But it was hard to tell.

"I like, walk through objects and walls" Kitty responded, and with her irritation right now it sounded like she was actually trying to brag. "It's called phasing."

"I have optic beams. Most people would call it laser" Scott stated.

"Oh? How does it work?"

"If I remove my glasses my eyes goes bazooka."

"That's… tough. Cool, though."

"You would have known already if you didn't bail on us the other day."

"...Yeah" there was little to no remorse in his voice. "What about you?" he turned his face to Fallen.

The girl looked like she hoped he'd get too caught up on Summers to move on to her. However that didn't mean she was going to hide the truth. "I'm not a mutant."

"What?" Kitty and Evan asked at the same moment.

Daniels raised his eyebrows. "But the school was supposed to be for mutants. So what are you doing here?"

Well. Some part of truth anyway.

"Yeah, I mean" Kitty stopped drying the dishes to fully look at the other brunette. "I never thought to ask about your powers but I thought, like… Everyone here is a mutant. I mean, like… that's the idea, right?"

Before Fallen fully opened her mouth to respond, Scott cut in. "She's related to the Professor."

And again she could just feel his eyes on her, carefully examining her. "...Yeah."

"Her boyfriend just so happened to be recruited into the team and she tagged along" Scott added.

Still the hard stare.

Even Ororo had a concerned glisten in her eyes as she peeked at Fallen like she wanted to ask her not to give in to the lure. Of course she knew she can't give Scott the answer that he wants - that he's right to doubt her because it really is all a bunch of lies. But she was surprised with his sudden mockery of the 'story', though one disguised with friendliness.

Evan seemed to sense something was on and his eyes skipped to Scott to then return to the brunette in a much more critical manner.

"Fallen."

She only now noticed Professor Xavier at the doorstep. "Yes, sir?"

"May I have a word with you?"

The girl felt Scott's attentive look intensify, so obvious even despite his eyes being concealed. The boy didn't say a word but she still felt his eyes firmly on her as she slowly got up and emerged into the main hall behind Xavier.

When they were far enough not to be overheard, the man looked her in the eye; "Would you or Kurt happen to know anything about the circumstances of Evan's situation from last night?"

The girl bit her lip looking back at the teen briefly. "Well… Yes. But we thought you gathered all the necessary information from Kurt's memory already, so if you chose to change any events-"

"I did not acquire this particular information" the man interrupted. "In fact I only got a brief glance at major events that Kurt's mind assumed to be particularly important."

"Oh."

"I only ask because right now Evan is charged with serious crimes, and while none of us actually believes he commited it, we can't do anything until he chooses to name the real thief in front of the court. Instead he seems to want to seek vengeance, but if he steps out of the line the tiniest bit and gets caught, I might be unable to once more stop him from being taken before court, which is unlikely to spare him a lengthy sentence. Ororo and the boy's parents are worried about him, and frankly, so am I."

Harris grimaced uncomfortably. "That's bad. But does it mean you want me to fill you in on what really happened?"

"First of all, Fallen, I would want to know if our interference is necessary to spare the boy undeserved punishment."

The brunette looked towards Daniels again as he was being chatted up by Kitty. After a moment of remembering the events as seen on the show, she turned her eyes back to Xavier;

"I don't think you need to worry, Professor. Everything will resolve itself if we just let it play out" then she added in an absent voice; "Besides, I don't think Magneto would let us change much even if we tried."

The Professor's eyebrows raised with surprised at hearing the monicker brought up now. "Magneto?"

The girl looked at the man seriously again. After a short pause she grimaced and responded in a lowered voice; "Like I already said, it's probably best to leave it alone."

xXxXxXx

+11.12.1995, Monday+

"I'm honoured that you've come" Principal Darkholme was sitting behind the desk in her office.

"I'm not here for your little… 'student body meeting', Mystique. Behold" as the man said the device he put on the desk flickered and a foot long 3D hologram of a slender boy started turning around its own above it.

"Ah" the woman put her hands together with a sinister expression looking at the laggy image. "So this is the speed demon I've been hearing about."

"Pietro Maximoff" the man's deep voice had a hint of something she couldn't put her finger on. "He is of particular interest to me. I have waited for just the right moment to approach this young man, and now is the time."

The woman's eyes shifted away from the hologram and to the large figure beside her desk. "Then we shall extend the hand of friendship to the boy."

"It will not be that easy" the helmed concealing the man's face in shadow turned from side to side as the man slowly shook his head. "He believes he needs no one. However, there may be a way" his hand slipped out from under the long cape and as it turned, another hologram shimmered beside the previous one. This time it was of a dark skinned boy with blonde hair.

But what does he have to do with the speedster? "Yes…?" she asked.

"Young Pietro has long had a grudge rivalry against Evan Daniels."

So this is how it is. The woman's face shifted into a mocking smile as she remembered where she saw the boy before. "The new student Xavier enrolled here last week."

"Yes…" there was ominous satisfaction to the man's voice. "Pietro has recently taken the advantage in that competition, and I believe Mr Daniels would like to… settle the score."

"Well then" she turned to the two holograms in front of her. "I know just how to bring them together."

"Excellent" the calm yet satisfied mannerism to the voice was chilling. "Then I will take it from there."

xXx

Louise collected and neatly stacked the documents from her desk before hugging it against her chest as she walked past the students waiting in front of the Principal's office. She tried to appear on ease, but this particular group made her feel anything but.

The large boy with anger management issues rested against the front of her desk, the rebel she already recognized as Alvers was leaning back by the printer, next to him on the chairs was an unkempt, lithe boy with unhealthy complexion, and - sitting one chair away and clearly trying to put a distance between herself and the three boys - was a grumpy goth girl with white bangs.

None of them even pretended to be friendly with one another, leave alone with the secretary. She didn't try to strike any conversation either, she only told them to wait outside just like Principal Darkholme asked.

At last the office's door opened and the woman's cold stare swept over them before she stepped aside gesturing for them to come inside. Without a word, much less eagerness, they entered the room and each found a spot for themselves as the Principal returned behind her desk.

She shapeshifted to her natural, blue form and swept her eyes over them critically once again before speaking up; "How is your training going?" she asked expectantly.

The looks of confusion, irritation or disinterest were the best response she could hope for.

"Just like I thought, then" she stood up to look out the window as her voice turned more mocking than per usual. "You're just a bunch of losers."

"HEY" Lance stepped up. "What do you even expect us to do? Don't you think we would be doing better if we at least KNEW what we're supposed to be doing?!"

The woman sharply turned her head to him. "What I want you to do is take time of the day to fucking practice your powers and learn to work as a team."

"How exactly?" Lance hissed leaning down to put hands on her desk with gaze as sharp as her own.

"Tell you what, Alvers" she turned around and leaned over the desk from the opposite side, leveling eye to eye with him. "Not by sitting with drinks in your hand all day and proceeding to TRASH the house."

The boy's fists clenched. "How about you stop telling us what NOT do to and start telling us what you actually WANT from us!"

"Yo, Alvers, don't anger boss lady-" Todd tried to chime in gently but Lance threw the nearest object at hand towards him. He managed to duck the metal hole puncher, but at this point he decided to ditch the seat directly behind him and join Rogue in the back of the room. And for heaven's sake keep his mouth shut.

Lance turned his gaze back to meet Mystique's. The woman straightened and crossed her arms. "Here I thought you would be more self sufficient than that. Clearly I was wrong, you're just a bunch of little kids who need to be let by a hand" he nearly sapt it in his face.

"Ah don't mean to stop ya from killin' each other, but why am Ah even here?" Rogue asked from the back.

The woman's gaze wavered before she shifted it to the girl.

"I would hope to put you on the team... when they're ready to be called one. But at this point" Mystique shifted her eyes back to Alvers. "They still haven't earned that kind of title."

xXxXxXx

+Following day, 12.12.1995, Tuesday+

An elaborate construction swirled around the simulator of the Danger Room, like a flat, metal pavement curving up and down, left and right, angling sideways and thus creating the skating track of any extreme skating tricks fan.

At first Evan watched it with all the glee in the world, after all it took him a week and a half to talk Xavier into letting him incorporate skating into his training. Luckily a little demonstration of his actual skating skills and telling him how it could be useful finally earned him a try.

Maybe just because Xavier had enough of listening to him complain. Whatever works.

It was fun to finally get what he wants, but at the same time it was really exhausting.

"This is your fifth run, Spyke" Summers said looking at the boy catching his breath.

Scott and Kurt were with him at top of the skating route, Jean was way down in the middle of the construction where she made sure all the four runs he had so far were difficult to finish, meanwhile Logan supervised everything from the ground.

"You want to take a break?"

"No time for breaks, man" Daniels stood straight again and turned to the two boys. "You got me here to train, so let's train."

Wolverine smirked and waved his hand to hit it. "You heard the man. Let's roll."

If Evan will be able to show them that he's good enough to stop training, maybe his aunt will stop insisting he should be at this Institute all in all.

With that thought pushing him forward he jumped off the edge to the steep path below, thrusting his skateboard under his feet in the air. The route went rapidly down before turning to a side, angling just enough to keep him from flying off into the air. He reached Jean who telekinetically sent five heavy balls the size of a head flying in his direction. He ducked avoiding collision with them. She brought them back around persistently so he produced a few spikes from his forearm and proceeded to shoot to destroy them once and for all.

But then Cyclop's beams blazed behind him, on, two, he escaped, but then one finally exploded just under his feet. He felt the energy separating his skateboard from the ground and he went flying along with it. Lucky enough the ground was close enough that his pride was hurt more than any part of his body. For a moment he couldn't get his head around what just happened.

"Not too shabby, Porcupine" he heard Wolverine and looked up to see the man offer his hand to him. He even smirked, which - short as his presence at the Institute was - Evan knew was a serious prize.

He couldn't help but also smiled slightly as he took the man's hand and let him help him up to his feet again.

Suddenly someone switched on the speakers from the control room; "Spyke! The coach just called" they looked up to see Kitty behind the glass. "Says you gotta come to the gym. You got a game tonight."

Daniels grimaced with slight confusion and proceeded to remove his skating helmet. "There wasn't one on the schedule."

"Well, there is now" Pryde shrugged slightly. "Coach says principal Darkholme put it together last minute. Says he wants you suited up in, like, one hour 'cuz you're starting against PS 104."

Evan's eyes widened. "...My old team…?"

Summers descented down to them and immediately exchanged worried looks with Jean. A moment later Kurt teleported beside Logan as well and both watched him warily. It's like they all expected him to go off like a bomb upon hearing these news.

And maybe they were right.

xXx

The yellow school bus marked 'PS 104' arrived at the back of Bayville High. As soon as Pietro found himself in the front of the vehicle he heard the familiar voice;

"Hey, Maximoff!"

The speedster put his hand on his hip as he got off the bus. "Well well, out of jail already?" he asked approaching him while he looked around the place. "Or is this miserable dump part of your punishment?"

Daniels relaxed his fists only to prepare to grab the taller boy. "We've got a score to settle, Pietro!" but before he lunged at him he was pushed to the ground from behind.

"As usual, too slow!" Maximoff snapped his fingers at him. "Props for the attitude. Might be hope for you after all, Daniels."

"What's going on here?" suddenly someone put a hand on Pietro's arm, he looked back to see a tall boy with sunglasses accompanied by a red haired girl.

Evan got up from the ground looking pissed off. "Nothing I can't handle!" he snapped at them.

Jean grimaced knowingly. "Is this the guy who was stealing from the lockers?"

Daniels closed in gesturing at Scott to let go off Maximoff and leave. "Stay out of this!"

But Summers wasn't remotely phased, he looked down at the white haired boy who still had a smile on his face. "That true?" he asked.

"Actually, yeah!" Pietro shoved the boy's hand off his shoulder in an instant that surprised Summers. "I trashed those lockers. What, you gonna do something about it?" he pushed his fingers into the taller boy's chest mockingly.

Summers regained his composure and frowned slightly as he grabbed the cocky boy's forearm. "Look, I think you better come with us-"

He hardly noticed when he was pushed back and had no time to recover from hitting his head against the pavement.

"I don't think so" Pietro stated.

Daniels' anger turned into a fury. "That's it, Pietro! You're going down this time!" he lunged towards him but the speedster disappeared from the way at the last moment to be standing aside and watch Evan fall to his face instead.

"Uuh, sounds like a challenge!" he mocked. "Come on, Daniels! Let's see what you got!"

Just as Evan lifted his head off the ground he felt a quick surge of pain over his back and his face got pressed against the ground painfully. Only then he realized that Pietro ran over him. That fucking bastard literally ran. over. him.

He ignored the pain in his head and got up quicker than ever in his life. "Trust me, you're gonna find out!" he said through clenched teeth. Grabbing his skating board and helmet he stormed after Maximoff.

"Man, that guy is fast…!" Summers whispered after he and Jean saw Pietro nearly disappear completely as he blurred his way down the street within an instant.

"We can't let Evan do this alone!" Jean said. It all made sense now, how the real thief managed to get away and use Evan as a scapegoat for his crimes.

"When you're with the X-Men, you're never alone" Scott responded nodding his head to where Daniels almost disappeared out of sight on his skateboard. "Let's go!"

xXx

It seemed like Pietro made sure to be just fast enough to let Evan stay on his tail. He'd move quickly enough not to be noticed but then stand and wait until he'd catch up a bit before dashing off again. The game of a cat and a mouse seemed ridiculously fun to him, which only further fueled the other boy's fury.

"Give it up, Daniels!" he heard him laughing in the distance. "You're out of your league!"

"Not this time, Pietro!" Evan called back almost reaching him on the skateboard. "It's time I win one!"

Maximoff waited for him to approach and moved away at just the right time to push him off; his speed caused the impact of his blows to be much more effective and Daniels crashed into the nearest building's wall, head first. For a moment his lights went out, then he heard himself moan low as he tried to lift up.

He heard Pietro's voice just above him; "You call this a challenge? You can't even touch me no matter what I do! Check it out, spike-boy, say goodbye to 'Bayville'" his voice was somewhat muffled and unclear, and by the time Daniels' senses were back and he opened his eyes, he saw the damage left with the kind of speed Pietro was using to dash down the streets; lights bursting, cars turning due to the force, most windows suddenly shattered all over the place in cacophony of noise now just now started to register in his ears.

That was the image exact Jean and Scott found when they caught up to him.

"We have to stop him!" Jean looked around the mess.

"I've tried!" Evan responded angrily. "He's just too fast!" he removed his helmet and threw it on the ground. "I thought you said all that training stuff would help!"

"Training's just one part of it, Spyke" Scott grabbed Daniels' shoulder. "Teamwork's another. A-"

He cut off as all of them heard a terrible scream from one of the flat which's windows were trashed and saw an old lady looking out at the devastated street. Before they could think whether it's worth the effort to calm the old lady, they heard the 'whoosh' of Pietro returning their way. Suddenly they felt wind strong enough to bring them to their knees in attempt of not being pushed over.

But the wind didn't stop, instead it proceeded to circle around them like a building tornado filled with trash picked up from the street.

Scott immediately remembered the similar situation from not so long ago when Rogue absorbed Storm's power. Much as the situation was different, damage was alike the solution could be the same: remove the cause of the wind current.

"Jean!" he called shielding his mouth from the gusts of air trying to suffocate him. "He can't run if his feet are off the ground!"

Grey got the cue and shut her eyes tight to have her hands free and put them against her forehead. "On it!"

She focused trying to locate the invisible speedster within the wind but he was too fast. Instead she focused on lifting the entire rushing air and a moment later the wind dissolved and they all could see Pietro wiggling his feet in the air; "Hey, what's going on?!" he called out surprised.

Now having the speedster in her grip Jean was able to hold him up with more ease until he started to wiggle so quickly he became but a blur hanging in the air. A little tornado started rising again.

"Ugh… I can't hold him!" she warned.

They could hear his laughter from within the swirling air. Grey completely lost grip of him, could barely sense him within the air. "Hold on to this baby!" he called from the abyss. "It's TWISTER TIME!"

The wind picked up even stronger than back when Rogue let Storm's powers loose; now even nearest cars couldn't hold their own and rolled across the street like plastic toys. The three X-Men were just far enough to withstand another second before the air shoved them across the street. Lucky for them they hid against the lampost and metal post office box bolted to the pavement, and they managed to grab onto them before the wind current would bring them into this twisted carousel.

"LOOK OUT!" Evan called seeing a car being trashed across the street just behind them. Luckily it passed barely scratching Scott's foot.

"SPYKE!" Summers yelled holding onto the lampost just above Daniel's. "LOCK AND LOAD!"

Remembering the training Evan knew what that means. Cyclops released an optic blast straight into the heart of the tornado, the moment it came across Pietro the wind stopped and Maximoff was shoved back against the second store of a building.

By the time he crashed down to the ground Evan was already on his way over. The second Pietro stood up he pinned him against the brick wall with a good dozen spikes around his slender frame.

The speedster started groaning and trashing his head around. "I can't get loose, I can't get loose!"

Evan crossed his arms with a smirk. "Not so fast now, are you Quicksilver?" he said mocking the monicker her used just before he used him as a scapegoat.

"Yeah well, what good to you, Daniels!" he rolled his eyes before bringing back the same annoying smirk. "You still can't prove I had anything to do with you getting in trouble, can ya?"

"Ooo… Sounds like a challenge" Spyke continued to mock him as he pulled out a hand sized device from his pocket. "I got it all right here. Check this out" he pushed a button and Maximoff could hear his own voice:

"Actually yeah. I trashed those lockers. What, you're gonna do something about it?"

Pietro's parted lips closed after a moment. Looked like he doesn't have a witty comeback this time.

Summers squeezed the younger boy's shoulder. "Good shot, dude. Looks like some of that training did pay off."

Police sirens sounded somewhere in the distance. Daniels looked his two teammates and they nodded before all three of them ran into the nearby alley leaving the speedster stuck against the wall.

"Hey!" the heard his voice call after them as police cars' lights started growing on the walls. "Hey! Let me go! HEEEY!"...

xXx

"HEY! You gotta let me outta here!" Pietro went from one side of his cell to the other trying to pull on every single bar. None of them felt even remotely loose or bendable. "I want OUTTA HERE!" he shouted in between groans of effort as he put his feet against the bars trying to affect them in any way.

Then the air started to become more crisp and almost electric, it was like the bars hummed belows his hand, shuddering slightly along their own melody. Startled, he let go and fell back with a gasp.

As he sat up and looked beyond his cell he saw a dark figure consumed by the shadow of the room. Even so he didn't fail to recognize the broad-shouldered man under the long cape and smooth helmet.

"You…" he whispered under his breath.

"It is good to see you again, Pietro" the man said. His voice was matched the mysterious appearance. "Even under such… distressing circumstances."

The shock washed away and Maximoff bolted up and grabbed the bars again. "Yeah well! You can make them a lot less distressing, you know! Come on, move it!" he started to wrestled against the metal again.

"...Still impatient" the man's voice was almost nostalgic. "But you have grown much, Pietro. And I have need of your services… If you think you can handle the job."

Maximoff rested against the bars as he watched the man approach, light never quite reaching his face.

"Hm" he snickered. "Sounds like a challenge. Okay! Whatever you want! Just- let's bail this jail!"

"Very well" from under the purple came appeared a gloved hand. The air seemed to become dense and the bars under his hands seemed to shiver, so Pietro stood back. Just then the bars completely deformed and without being so much as touched they created a big opening right before him.

The man reached his hand toward him.

"Come with me" he said low.

Pietro felt a smile grow on his face again as he stepped through the distorted bars and reached for the man's hand.

xXxXxXx

"Guys! What happened out there?!" Kitty asked as she ran up to Jean, Scott and Evan who all disappeared a dozen minutes ago. "You look terrible."

"We had some… trouble, a little down the street" Jean responded still trying to calm her hair from the rapid wind shoving it them over the place.

"Is everything okay?" Fallen asked following after Pryde.

"It's fine now. Isn't it, Evan?" Scott asked watching the younger boy expectantly.

Daniels took a deep breath and finally smiled. "Yeah."

Fallen looked back at Kurt who just joined them in front of the school. He sent her a questioning look to which she responded with a discreet nod of confirmation. A barely visible smile crossed Wagner's lips before he examined the three teammates.

"Aw man. Did you get caught up in a tornado or something?" he asked gesturing at Jean's head. "I mean… if it's a new fashion trend to wear hair like that then…"

Grey grimaced and gave calming her hair another heartfelt try.

"You must tell me what happened" Pryde chuckled slightly. "But first, we need to fix this mess!" she grabbed Jean's wrist and proceeded to pull her into the building.

As the two females disappeared Wagner turned to Daniels and pointed his thumb towards the gym. "By the way, Evan, the game starts in a few minutes, I think you should get ready."

"Right! The game is still happening" the boy grabbed his forehead for a moment before heading off. "Thanks for the reminder, man!" he gave Kurt's back a firm pat before running off to get changed.

The smile vanished from Wagner's face when he turned back around to be met by the cold expression and deep arch on Summers' face. Briefly glancing at her he could tell Fallen is also feeling the judgement leaking off their leader.

"Something wrong?" the german tried to appear confused about Scott's critical look at him.

"Caught up in a tornado', huh? Funny you would say that" but there was no 'fun' to the taller boy's tone.

The smile on Kurt's face wavered only for a second, but he tried to mask it with confusion. "Why?"

Scott seemed to analyze the pair for a moment before responding; "It's as if you saw it happen."

Then he slowly headed towards the gymnasium leaving the couple at the school's backyard. The two watched him for a moment before turning to each other;

"Did I say too much?" Wagner asked low.

xXxXxXx

"Congratulations, Evan."

Daniels sat up on top of his bed when his aunt appeared in the open door of his new room. "What on? We didn't win the game."

Monroe shook her head a bit with a smile. "Not the game. Although you were great. But I mean what happened before the game."

"Oh" the boy rubbed his neck. "Destroying the entire street and all that. So Scott or Jean told you."

The woman first off raised her eyebrow before chuckling. "They might have left out the part where anything got destroyed."

"Oh. Then forget I said anything."

She shook her head smiling a bit. "They did however say that you proved smart to record the boy who really trashed lockers in PS 104 confess to his crime. The local news also confirmed he was captured and the recording was found on him. I must say… I'm impressed."

The 15 year old shifted a bit. "...He would have gotten away if not for Jean and Scott" he admitted.

"And that, Evan" she put her hand on his shoulder, "is why we work as a team. I'm glad you got a taste of that tonight."

After a moment she picked up again;

"Actually, Kitty came up with an idea for how to celebrate your joining our team" the woman smiled. "I assume you brought some swimwear with you?"

xXx

"There's nothing better than a pool party in middle of winter, is there now?" Wagner asked with a wide smile on his face as he took in the view of the sparkling water and surrounded by summer-like exotic views provided by the simulator of Danger Room.

"I know, right!?" Pryde grinned as she proceeded to rub sunscreen into her arms.

"Katzchen, this sun isn't even real. I don't think it's going to tan you."

"Which is all the more reasons why I love it!" Fallen commented from where she was sitting on the edge of the pool with her legs dipped in the semi-cool water.

"Why, you don't like to tan?" Kitty asked.

"Did you take a look at the way I dress?" Harris asked but then took a second look at her green bikini borrowed from Jean who had a spare, one-size-fits-all set beside the one piece she was wearing right now. "I mean, when I'm wearing my own clothes that is. I'm never pale enough to suit my preferences anyway."

Pryde grimaced shrugging. She didn't see how Fallen could consider herself 'not pale enough', but then again Kitty never opted for wearing black like the other girl so she just accepted that their fashion choices were on opposite sides of the scale.

"Whatever. I don't know if this hologram can tan but, but I like, won't waste my chance if it can" she put away the sunscreen and proceeded to crawl on top of a floating bed off the edge of the pool.

Meanwhile Evan swam up to Jean and Scott. "Hey… look, I think I owe you an apology… you're actually not that terrible."

"Oh, how nice to know we could be worse" Jean smirked giving Summers an amusing look.

"Haha, yeah, that's some progress."

Daniels chuckled along. "Anyway. Thanks."

"Hey. That's what a team is for" Scott smiled at him.

Evan responded with a smile as well before turning around in the water and calling out; "Hey, Wagner!"

Kurt looked away from Fallen with whom he was chatting.

"I hear you're the acrobat of the group! How about a little diving challenge?"

The boy's face lit up with a wide smile. "Ooooh bring it on, mein Freund!"

"Loser takes over the other's turn at doing the dishes!"

"You don't think you actually stand a chance, do you!"

Fallen just saw Jean smile at her and shake her head as the two boys got onto the shore just to run back and take a far leap into the water. She responded with a similar smile right before water from both their jumps simultaneously splashed into both females.

"HEY!" Kitty called out as cold water sprinkled her back.

"Not bad" Evan said the second he surfaced and returned to the shore. "But you haven't seen nothing yet!"

Then he took another dive curling himself into a ball. This time the impact flipped Kitty's mattress causing her to yelp just before she fell into the water. Wagner saw her surface looking angry. But oh well, he wanted to spare her that but since the damage is already done…

"You were asking for that!" he called to Evan and proceeded to teleport a few meters above the pool to then dive all the way from up there. This time Kitty knew what was coming and yelped, bringing the mattress up in front of her to avoid being hit by water, which did very little to actually help with that.

Jean and Scott, unlike Pryde, weren't bothered by the two boy's constantly causing waves.

Daniels arched his eyebrow at Kurt. "Okay, man. I don't think I can top that one."

"Was there ever any doubt?" Wagner smiled widely.

"Fine, I guess you win" Daniels waved him off as if it didn't phase him, but there was a hint of amusement to his eyes as he swam back to the shore where Professor Xavier watched everything in his pastel hawaiian shirt and Ororo by his side.

"This simulating room rules."

"I'm glad you're enjoying yourself, Evan" Xavier smiled at him. "Also congratulations. I understand you've been cleared of all charges."

Daniels lifted himself over the ledge and climbed out of the pool. "Yeah, it feels good to have it off my record. Hey… thanks for your help, Professor."

Suddenly there was a loud splash and they looked back to see that Kurt apparently teleported Fallen right over the pool and dropped her in. Xavier shook his head with a smile turning his eyes back to his newest student; "We're just glad to have you with us."

"Thanks" Daniels rubbed his neck feeling a little awkward at how welcoming everyone seemed despite his initial hostility. He then turned back hearing Kurt laughing and saw him swim to the edge of the pool as quickly as he could while Fallen was still disoriented. He reached out to him to help him quicker get out of the pool. "Heck, man, I think you're going to be single now."

Wagner still had a wide grin on his face as he looked back just in time to see the look on Fallen's face as she started swimming towards him; "TRUST ME, HE WON'T LIVE TO BE SINGLE!"

"Welcome officially on board, Evan" Kurt said taking the opportunity to shake Evan's hand before waving back at Harris who almost reached the shore. "I gotta run before she kills me though!"

He hurried away. "YOU CAN RUN, BUT YOU CAN'T HIDE!" Fallen shouted after him as she climbed out of the pool.

Just as she raised to her feet Evan hard this brilliant idea to help his new friend and shoved her right back into the pool and jump in right behind her.

Charles chuckled; "It would appear your nephew is going to fit in just fine, Ororo."

"Yes" the woman watched as Harris proceeded to struggle against Evan who continued to pulled her back into the pool while Kurt mocked that she can't get him alive and performed a victory dance on the shore. "But one must wonder… is that a good thing?"

Next time on X-Men: Revolution…

So a part of our story seemed to come the full circle - we reached the time when Forge was previously freed from the pocket universe of his making. This time around, the problem of him being stuck isn't there to begin with, however - the laboratory is still standing and this time we're (probably) smart enough not to blow it up again. But then again, we were supposed to be careful about changing events, and here we are basically erasing the plot of an entire episode… And I think we all can feel it in our bones that it is bound to affect more than this single situation.

Look forward to episode 6.0: "Middleverse"