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Post by Elfdame » Mon Oct 13, 2008 5:47 pm

"All's Fair" or: "The Re-appearing Act"

~~ ACT ONE ~~

Kurt and Logan relaxed in easy chairs in the drawing room of the Xavier mansion. They were taking a break after having built a platform for the talent show portion of the Institute's upcoming Halloween celebration.

"Whatcha dressin up as, fer the party? An Elf, maybe?"

Kurt snorted his derision. "Nein, mein Freund. I was thinking more along the lines of a circus performer."

"Now that shows some originality. Pass me a brewski." Kurt tossed a can to the hirsute man; Logan placed it on the end table to settle for a moment before popping the top. "I heard Jean and Scott were goin' as Li'l Abner and Daisy Mae."

In unison the two said, "Not likely," then shared a chuckle.

"Perhaps we should go as something on a theme."

"Like what? I don't like that shifty look in yer yellow eyes."

"Oh, Frankenstein and his creation."

"Which one of us is the monster?"

"Well, myself being a natural-born German, I assumed I would be the good Doktor."

"Your birth wasn't nothin' natural. How 'bout we go as Starsky and Hutch?"

"Ach, you've been watching those late-night TV-Land reruns again. Perhaps I could be Jack Sparrow, and you … erm, Davey Jones?"

"Too much makeup. Gotta keep it simple. Easy to take off if we have some good-lookin' guests who might want, y'know, a tour of the place." He took a swig. "If you get my meanin'."

"How about Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. You have the ninja training."

Logan's expression said it all.

"Butch and Sundance?"

Wolverine waved the suggestion away. "Ain't really us, is it?"

"I've thought of a perfect solution. I go as a juggler, and you as a lumberjack. Get one of those rubber axes to tuck in your belt, and you have a costume."

"Brilliant, Elf," Logan said, then gave a dramatic sigh. "Don't know why I bothered askin' ya. 'Sides," he reached for some cocktail wieners, "you were one o' them flyin' fellas, weren'tcha?"

"Ja. An aerialist. But in the circus, everyone learns to juggle sooner or later."

Logan looked askance, finding the Little Smokies had been scarfed by the fuzzy blue guy, and settled for a bowl of popcorn, coating the mound with garlic-butter spray as 'Crawler continued his explanation.

"One cannot help but pick up various skills, especially if one is curious as well as confined to the circus by fear of being harmed for being a mutant."

"I'll toss you some of these empties and see how good ya are."

Kurt bounded to the stage, ending in a handstand, and winked at Logan. "Ready."

Logan lofted a trio of cans one at a time toward Nightcrawler, who caught them one-two-three and kept them spinning in the air, using his feet.

"Too easy," the juggler said, removing one hand from the floor.

In response, the runt grunted and tossed a TV Guide at him, which the blue man assimilated into the mix without missing a beat. Logan grunted again. "Showoff."

Kurt answered with his wide white smile and tossed the magazine to his free hand and back while keeping the crumpled cans cascading in a complicated circuit.

Wolverine hefted his ashtray, thought for a moment, and lobbed it at Nightcrawler, spattering him with a fall of ashes like grey snowflakes.

After a few moments, Kurt threw all the objects in sequence at Logan, ported behind the chair, and caught them before they could hit his friend.

"Think yer so special, do ya?"

"Merely a few tricks I learned along the way."

"I can do stuff, too."

"No doubt."

The burly fellow collected some of the cans from the pile around his boots. "Go over there and catch these."

Nightcrawler did as instructed until his arms were overloaded and a few cans clattered to the floor.

"Put 'em down on that table so you'll be ready." He lofted several more empties, duly caught and deposited on a small dinette table which would later hold some of the evening's snacks.

"Now, throw 'em to me and call the claw." Wolverine pulled his mask all the way down so it covered his face, thought better of it, shoved it back like a hoodie, and shut his eyes.

"First right," Kurt yelled, aiming the aluminum projectile high.

SNIKT!Logan felt the tiny rush of air and swiveled to catch it in the claw between the middle and forefinger of his left hand, then opened his eyes. "Let's get this straight. My right or your right?"

"Um … you call it?" He gave his best ingratiating grin, canines sparkling.

"Okay, you say 'right' and I'll go for the left. This," he waved the open claw, can still embedded, "will be my first, and this," the one by the pinky slid out, "is last. Got it?"

"Ja, ja." He swirled several cans in the air, barely seeming to watch them as they danced in figure eights. "Let the games begin."

The beer cans came fast and furious, but Logan caught them all, each on the claw announced by his friend, scraping them off against the chair arm to make room for the next. "I could do this all day and not break a sweat," he boasted.

Suddenly he was wet. Dripping wet. Foamy wet.

Beer-soaked wet.

And the Elf was hugging his own sides in laughter. "Trick or treat – you've been tricked!"

Wolverine merely frowned. A perfectly good beer, wasted. "No use having Charley all over our skin about leaving a mess. Get me a trash bag, and while you're at it, a coupla towels."

"With pleasure, my friend." Snickering, Kurt wandered off in the direction of the kitchen. When he returned, Wolverine had piled the offending objects in a loose hillock.

"Alright, Elf, you hold the bag and I'll shovel 'em in."

As the last of the aluminum cans skittered into the bag, Wolverine lunged at Nightcrawler, bowling him over and pinning him to the ground. In one hand he held the garlic butter bottle, with which he began to spritz the supine form. "I'll see your 'trick or treat,' and raise you a 'turnabout is fair play.'" In half a heartbeat, he was talking to himself. Actually, talking to a violet cloud of rotten-egg fumes. He wasn't sure which was worse: being doused in beer, smelling the bamf exhaust, or the knowledge that the greasy essence of garlic spray would linger on him, at least until he had time to shower it off.

Before Logan could finish these olfactory musings, Kurt reappeared, perched on the shorter man's back. "Are we even now? Let's finish this childish game and begin planning our party antics. We have to come up with something they'll talk about for months to come!"

As it turned out, truer words were never spoken.


[Edited on 20/10/08 by Elfdame]

[Edited on 20/10/08 by Elfdame]
"Humanity is a parade of fools, and I am at the front of it, twirling a baton." From Chapter 9 of _Brother Odd_ by Dean Koontz / from Chapter 10: "Life you can evade; death you cannot."


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~~ ACT TWO ~~

Post by Elfdame » Thu Oct 16, 2008 1:22 pm

"Kurt, you look splendid!"

"Thank you, Storm." He placed a light kiss on her hand, then straightened. "And your Marie Antoinette costume is beyond compare." He leaned in for closer inspection. "Ach, it must have taken hours with the hairspray."

She smiled. "It's a wig, you silly man. But whom does that tuxedo represent?"

With a flourish of arms and a low bow, he announced, "Harry Houdini at your service."

Rogue traipsed by. "Ah c'n only imagine what mischief you're gonna make at the talent show tonight."

Kurt waggled his eyebrows and gave a predatory smile. "I'm still in need of assistance, and you look lovely as Catwoman."

She tilted her head as if posing for the camera. "Needed something with gloves an' such, an' it covers most everything that wants coverin'."

"So, will you help me in my act?"

Rogue shrugged. "Sure, why not." Her eyes narrowed. "What I gotta do – y'ain't gonna saw me in half or nothin' are ya?"

"Nein, nein, Liebchen. It is merely a matter of surrounding me with a web of chains, securely locked."

"Good, 'cause I'd hate to see you ruin a perfectly good saw on li'l ol' me." She gave him a playful swat on the shoulder. "Just let me know when you want me and I'll be more than happy to lock you up good 'n' tight, sugah. Might even have to break the chair to get ya out."

"It won't be as simple as that," he sniffed. "I will be tied up and placed into a … type of trunk. That will have chains over it."

"No problem for a 'porter, though." With a wink she turned to leave, saying, "Gotta check on Remy, heaven knows what kinda mess he's gettin' into without me. And it's way more fun gettin' into messes together."

Storm chuckled. "Those two. Sometimes I feel I am in charge of a nursery school." Her fingertips glanced across his soft cheek. "Then there are you and Logan, the two bad boys."

"We aren't so bad, are we, 'Ro? A little playful perhaps."

"Not so bad at all," Storm almost purred, as the second bad boy joined them. "And who are you in nothing but a leopard swimsuit?"

"Charles Atlas," Wolverine said, "also known as 'The World's Most Perfectly Developed Man.'"

"So ... are you two a pair?"

Logan looked at her for a few moments, appearing to judge her meaning.

Kurt sidled further between them, facing Ororo. "Ja. They both used the same bodybuilding techniques. Of course, Houdini was a showman, whereas Atlas was more of a ... show-off."

"Yeah." Logan slugged back the last of his longneck. "It was a better idea than going as Little Bo Peep and a blue longtail sheep."
"Humanity is a parade of fools, and I am at the front of it, twirling a baton." From Chapter 9 of _Brother Odd_ by Dean Koontz / from Chapter 10: "Life you can evade; death you cannot."


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Post by Elfdame » Sun Oct 19, 2008 1:33 am

In Which Is Introduced Our Special Guest Star

Scott "Slim" Summers, thinly disguised as James Bond, pointed with his shaken-not-stirred martini at the newcomer. "Okay," he said, ruby-quartz Persol sunglasses trained on the guy in the Spider-man outfit, "I get your costume, but who are you really?"

The figure shifted on his red-and-black-covered feet. "I came as myself."

Wolverine sauntered up to the pair. "One wallcrawler's bad enough. Who in Hades invited you here?"

"Um, you did." His voice quavered slightly. "Remember? After I saved your butt at the Super-Secret Mission Nick Fury Said He'd Kill Us If We Ever Mentioned?"

"Oh, yeah," the man in skimpy trunks said, scratching the back of his neck. "I was kinda punchy at that point, all them tranks and woozy-gas and stuff." He clapped Spidey on the back with such force it almost threw the web-slinger off balance. His eyes narrowed under their bushy brows, a predatory smile crept across his face, and after a short moment he tossed an arm around the arachnid's shoulders, leaning up a bit to do so. "So here ya are with a pile of free eats, a room full of hot chicks, and plenty of mutant pals to joke around with. Figure ya owe me a little somethin'?"

Scott grimaced. "Uh-oh. Telepathic message from You-Know-Who." He backed away. "Gotta go."

Wolverine snorted. "Dull as a ten-year-old knife. Anyways, you up for doin' a favor?"

"In addition to the errand you already had me run?"

"Didja get the special webbing from Gumby?"

"Yes, but I had to convince Dr. Richards it was for a really important experiment."

"It is, Spud-man. It's fer determinin' how long ol' Crawler will panic before he realizes it's quick-dissolve."

Spidey didn't have the heart to tell Wolverine he'd made the webbing himself, and also felt it prudent not to disclose the fact that it came with a few modifications, such as lavender scent and glitter.

* * *


"Und now, ladies and gentlemen, for your entertainment, I present myself, The Great Houdini, in one of my amazing, death-defying escapes!"

Bobby Drake turned to Ororo Munroe and muttered, "That guy was in the circus way too long for his own good."

Storm gave an indulgent smile and whispered back, "At least it shows a little more panache than playing 'Frosty The Snowman' on a xylophone of icicles."

Bobby pretended to pout. "Thought it went over rather well, myself."

"Shuddup so I can hear the Elf ask for volunteers," Logan growled.

"I said, may I have two volunteers from the audience?" Kurt was ignoring the raft of raised hands, peering with his golden eyes at Wolverine.

"Uh, pick me, pick me," the hirsute man said with a noticeable lack of enthusiasm.

"Very well, and … ah, another gentleman from above the Northern border, that will do nicely. Come, my friends, bring forth the receptacle."

Wolverine and Northstar, who looked stunning in his James Dean getup, wheeled a rectangular shape to the left side of the makeshift stage in the middle of the drawing room. From opposite ends, they reached in tandem to the linen tablecloth and twitched it off to reveal a casket on a gurney. A few of the junior X-men gasped.

"While they prepare the coffin, may I have one more volunteer to bind me hand and foot with strongest chains of iron?"

"Ah c'n do that, Ah s'pose," Rogue announced. Slinking to the front, her shiny, skin-tight black outfit undulating with every movement, she picked up the chains as Kurt stood on a dining chair. "Shoot, sugah, these ain't nothin' a-tall." At Kurt's pained expression, she winked. "Leastways, not f' me." Turning to the spectators, she addressed a young woman whose costume bore strange resemblance to hers. "Kitty, hon, y'all wanna come help us up here?"

Kitty, giggling, came to stand by Rogue. "Before you say a word, I am a Cat Burglar. Get it? Cat Burglar." She picked up a chain, and her arm sagged under the weight. "Wow. These are the real deal, Fuzzy."

"Of course," Kurt replied. "No tricks for me in this performance. It will be a treat for the audience."

The audience was sprinkled with mutterings of, "Yeah, right," "Sure, sure," and "There any whiskey left?"

Bobby Drake raised his hand.


"Didn't Harry Houdini die on Halloween?"

Storm, arms folded across her lovely chest, pelted Iceman with a miniature cloud of hail and sleet.

After securing Nightcrawler with the chains, Rogue handed several large padlocks to Kitty, who snapped them on with flair and an evil glint in her eye.

Kurt tried to remember any practical jokes he'd played on the girl lately, but none came to mind. He was safe. He hoped.

Rogue threw him over her shoulder, flopped him into the opened casket, and waved at him. "Bye-bye, sugah! See ya soon."

Suddenly Spider-man descended upside-down from the shadows of the cathedral ceiling. "Happy trails, Nightcrawler," he said, and spurted webbing up and down over the supine form.

"<Was ist das?> You crazy bug, what do you think you're do---"

The rant was cut off by a clot of webbing precisely aimed at his affronted blue lips.

Northstar smiled, slammed the lid of the coffin, and helped Wolverine wrap the entire thing in chains, looping them around the bottom of the gurney. Kitty again affixed the padlocks.

"Mff mfff wff bf woof wwwff!" could clearly be heard emanating from one angry mutant inside the coffin.

Wolverine faced his friends and announced, "An' now, just to prove the Elf's playin' all fair 'n' square, no hijinks 'r nothin', Northstar's gonna relocate the casket."

The slender dark-haired man took hold of one end and began to spin it around, going faster and faster until he and his burden were nothing but a blur.

"Gonna turn inta butter if he ain't careful," Rogue said with a roguish* grin.

With a mighty hum of velocity, the casket shot out of the room and ended up at the swimming pool. The illumination from the pool lights gave the assembled revelers a clear view of Kurt's prison rocking back and forth on the edge. It tilted, tipped, and began to plunge.

The crowd gasped, uncertain if this was part of the stunt or not. Each knew his or her power could save Nightcrawler, but was it necessary, or would it ruin one of his perpetual practical jokes? Nobody wanted to be the spoil-sport facing his sour German expression.

Before it could slide all the way, twin strands of full-strength webbing shot out and caught on the furthermost edges of the coffin. Spidey, perched on the side of the mansion, gave a temperate tug on the sticky strings and guided the oblong back to safety at the pool's side. His mask turned to the partygoers assembled in the parlor. "Should I leave it there, or balance it on the diving board?"

~~ To Be Continued (Lord willing) ~~

*(forgive me the pun, fellow Scrawlers; I couldn't help myself)
"Humanity is a parade of fools, and I am at the front of it, twirling a baton." From Chapter 9 of _Brother Odd_ by Dean Koontz / from Chapter 10: "Life you can evade; death you cannot."


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~~ ACT FIVE ~~

Post by Elfdame » Mon Oct 20, 2008 12:22 pm

Disoriented by dizziness, fuming with frustration at the double-cross, wrapped in webbing which bore a suspiciously non-masculine scent, Nightcrawler of the X-men tried to take stock of his quandary and plan a way out.

Oooh! He felt his tight chamber moving again, slipping rather more rapidly than seemed salutary, until a hitch stopped the motion and he felt his container moving backwards, the rattle of wheels dimly heard as they found purchase on ... concrete? A smell drifted through the air holes … chlorine. Those rascals! Almost ended up taking a swim. His head was certainly swimming from the gyrations and the webbing's designer scent.

He could still end the scene with aplomb. If only his head would quit spinning. He was to have reappeared standing on the chair as he'd been before the chains were put on. His moment of triumph, sadly delayed by that malodorous miscreant and his spider-suited sidekick. He'd show them!

Picture the room, he told himself. Picture.The.Room. He shifted side to side; the webbing began to evaporate. It was only a harmless prank. Still time to redeem myself.

He took what, except for the overwhelming floral odor, would have been a cleansing breath, and imagined the chair under his feet.

In a cloud of brimstone and lavender, The Incredible Nightcrawler bamfed back — straight into the bull's-eye of a giant spider-web. Instead of taking his bow, he twitched and squirmed, arms caught in an awkward angle, feet likewise glued, although his tail wormed its way free to sway behind him in a vain attempt to pull the sticky threads away from his shoulders. His eyes grew round as searchlights upon seeing his friends, each of whom was taking aim with an over-sized water balloon.

He could jaunt back to the safety of his room – but he'd never live it down.

One after the other they pelted him until he hung, dripping, the spade of his tail flicking droplets which fell in random patterns on the grand piano against the wall behind the stage. One late-coming balloon exploded, setting the pleats of his saturated dress shirt on fire as only a mutant's talent could. Immediately after Gambit's offering, a slushy snowball hit him squarely in the chest, dousing the flames while causing his fur to stand on end and his muscles to ripple as it slowly slid down the front of his tux in a chilly glob. He owed a restrained smile to Iceman, and paid the debt with his usual good grace.

Wolverine flashed a claw on either hand and cut his friend loose. Nightcrawler frowned at him, then recollected the others, and gave a brilliant smile.

"A most amusing, although unexpected, conclusion." With a flourish of his tail, Nightcrawler gave a deep bow to rousing applause.
"Humanity is a parade of fools, and I am at the front of it, twirling a baton." From Chapter 9 of _Brother Odd_ by Dean Koontz / from Chapter 10: "Life you can evade; death you cannot."


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Post by neling4 » Mon Oct 20, 2008 4:43 pm

LOL! Good story, Elfdame. Poor Kurt. He needs some cuddling, I think.: :rachel:love

Or maybe a :beer
R.I.P. Nightcrawler. 1975 - 2010


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Post by Elfdame » Mon Oct 20, 2008 5:03 pm

I dunno ... he gave Logan a beer and look what ensued ... a dozen pages of mayhem ...

Thanks for reading it. Yours is way cuter, but I need to write different things from time to time, and this was a Challenge I couldn't turn down!
"Humanity is a parade of fools, and I am at the front of it, twirling a baton." From Chapter 9 of _Brother Odd_ by Dean Koontz / from Chapter 10: "Life you can evade; death you cannot."


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