Disclaimer: This story features Archangel who is a trademark of Marvel.  No profit is being made out of this story and Jimmy belongs to me.

Author's Note: Many thanks to all the people who responded so warmly to this work of fiction and to all who gave me criticism and words of encouragement. This was the first piece of fan fiction I ever wrote and I really appreciate all the support they gave me.

A Night to Remember

By Alexis C.
Originally written in 1996
Revised in 2000

Lightning sliced through the chilly night air, splitting the sky into two.  It lighted up the sky illuminating a single figure swooping gracefully through the sky.  As if on cue, torrents of rain poured down from the sky.  It was truly a majestic and intimidating sight.  Thunder roared and children screamed in terror and fear while their mothers tried to comfort and console them.  The more imaginative children decided that someone up in heaven was watering the plants and trees on Earth and someone else was banging cymbals together and fearlessly crept out of bed to enjoy the magnificent sight.

However, no one noticed the solitary figure gliding through the stormy sky with almost lyrical grace except for a little child.  His eyes went as wide and round as marbles as he suddenly remembered the stories his parents had told him about spiritual beings known as guardian angels who had wings and would protect and guide you on the right path throughout your whole life.  Silently, he watched the figure, his eyes never straying.

Warren Kenneth Worthington III was soaring through the stormy air.  The cold bitter wind bit right through his clothes and into him, chilling him to the bone, but he did not stop.  The rain beat down on him fiercely, mercilessly and relentlessly, hampering him from soaring like a bird to his usual heights but still he pushed on.  The strength of the wind forced his eyes almost shut, sending his hair flying back and slowing him down tremendously and yet he persisted.  He needed to fly and feel free.  Once again, he was questioning himself.  Asking himself if the Dream was worth losing his original wings, doubting if the Dream would ever become a reality. All the efforts of the X-Men to protect humanity from misguided mutants seemed to have come to naught. "Normal" humans were no closer to accepting them then before. No matter how hard they tried, no matter what sacrifices they made for humanity's sake and no matter how many evil mutants they defeated, another menace to humanity would just mysteriously appear and threaten the survival of the whole human race all over again. And then what would happen? The mutant hysteria would rise to new heights leaving the X-Men even further off from where they started. Going on just seemed to get harder and harder.

Forcing his eyes open to make sure he wasn't going to go splat or anything, Warren's eagle-sharp eyesight suddenly spotted a thin ghostly face at a window staring at him.  His blood turned to ice and he stiffened immediately.  He dived down like a bird of prey that had its eye on a midnight snack and came face to face with a young child.  Silently, he took a long good look at the child, seizing him up. Raven-black hair, green eyes and an exceptionally pale complexion. The child was shivering and trembling in fear.  Silently, he chided himself for paranoid enough to think that someone had wanted to blow him out of the sky and for scaring the child.  Now the child would probably scream and his parents would come running in, stare at him and start yelling 'monster' or worse still 'mutie'.  But the child did not open his mouth.  Instead, Warren saw in his eyes wonder and happiness.

The little child watched his 'angel' with an innocent childish happiness, wishing that he too could fly.  Suddenly, his 'angel' turned his head in the direction of the child and stared, hovering in mid-flight.  To the young child, it felt like eternity before his 'angel' suddenly flew down towards him with his eyes blazing.  Terrified, he let out a little cry of fear and tried to make his legs work, but he was too petrified to move.  His 'angel' was now hovering just outside his window face to face with him.  His skin colour was blue and his wings were sharp and made of metal.  His long blonde hair that was drenched in the downpour made him look bedraggled.  His fear forgotten in the excitement of having an 'angel' so close to him, he blurted out with his eyes shining in excitement, "Please Mr Angel, could you come in and talk to me?"

Warren was taken aback.  He had expected the kid to scream or slam his window shut or something like that, but he certainly was not expecting this.  Numbly, he nodded and slipped through the window.  Why not?  After all it was not like the kid was gonna kill him.  Besides, he was curious to know what the kid wanted.  The kid stared at him as if he were a god for awhile then asked him in a tinny tinny voice, "Excuse me sir b-b-but are you r-r-really an angel?"

The last two words came out in a rush, so fast that Warren could not quite comprehend them.

" Huh?"

The kid repeated again, his eyes getting rounder by the minute, " Sir, are you an angel?"

Oh man, the kid really did think he was an angel!  Laughingly he replied, "I was once known as 'Angel' but that was a long time ago.  People now call me 'Archangel'."

" Oh wow!!!"  And all of a sudden, the kid's eyes bulged out and he choked and turned almost purple.  Warren watched him warily, wondering if he was going to puke or something.  Instead, he coughed and looked up admiringly at Warren, his eyes shining with pure delight.

" You... you mean you were so good that God promoted you?!" he squeaked.

Warren stared at him in shocked silence before bursting out in almost hysterical laughter.  The kid stared at him in fascination. It was Warren's turn to go purple now, purple with laughing.  Finally he stopped laughing and rolling on the ground like a maniac and sat up.

" Ahem... Cough... excuse me... hahahahahahaha!  Cough, cough, gasp... excuse me.  Well, to tell you the truth, I'm not an angel at all.  I'm a mutant you see and my friends call me "Archangel' because of my wings."

" A... a... mutant?  What's a..."  The kid's voice died off and suddenly, all the adoration that Warren had seen earlier in his eyes was gone.  In its place now, was a look of pure terror.  Warren's heart sank to his boots. If a heart could shatter into tiny pieces, his would have done so now.   This sweet kid that had thought he was an angel was a mutant-hater.  Grimly, he waited for the long anticipated scream.

The kid was crushed and confused.  This nice angel... er ...man was a mutant?
But his momma told him that mutants were bad, ugly, filthy and evil creatures.  His poppa had told him that mutants hated, hunted and killed humans!  They never told him that mutants could be clean, nice, handsome and friendly!  Why?  But maybe this mutant was just pretending to be good so that he could kill and eat him later!  But... this mutant seemed so nice.

He bit his lip and frowned thoughtfully as his mind churned. He struggled with the conflicting emotions that washed over leaving him more and more confused each time.  He took a quick look at Warren's face which had suddenly hardened into an emotionless mask.  Warren seemed cold, hard and unfeeling now, waiting for him to make his move.  But his eyes betrayed his rough exterior.  They were filled with pain and sadness so deep that the kid wanted to cry.  He made up his mind and began to open his mouth.

Warren saw the kid begin to open his mouth and braced himself for the ear-piercing screams of 'gene-joke', 'mutant-trash' and 'mutie' that he was sure to follow.

The kid opened his mouth and softly said," Hi, my name is Jimmy... w-what's yours?"  Silently Jimmy hoped and prayed that he had done the right thing.

Warren was startled.  First the kid... uh... Jimmy had treated him like a demi-god and then stared at him like he was the devil's minion and yet now he wanted to be friends?  Warren was unsure of what to do.  Finally he ran his fingers through his damp hair and smiled.

" Hi, I'm Warren and yeah, I'm a mutant."

They talked till early morning.  Warren told him about the X-men, why the group was formed and his adventures as an X-man.  Jimmy then told Warren about his parents and what they taught him about mutants.

The door slammed open.

" Jimmy it's time to wak... aaahhhiieeeeeeeee!"

Jimmy's parents had woken up.  And Warren's ears would be ringing for the rest of the day if he didn't go immediately.  In the twinkling of an eye, he was out of the window and soaring into a fresh new day.

" Uncle Warren!!!" Jimmy cried.  He felt furious, at the same time sad.  Why did his parents come in so early?  He and Uncle Warren hadn't finished talking yet! It wasn't fair!  And why had Uncle Warren flown away without saying goodbye?  He felt as if he had lost his best friend. Rushing to the window, he searched in vain for any sign of his guardian archangel. As his eyes welled up with unshed tears, he whispered," I'll never forget you or what you taught me about mutants Uncle Warren.  Never."

Warren smiled as he once again soared into the freshly washed blue sky.  All around him birds were welcoming the morning light with their songs of joy. The earth seemed to have been cleansed of all the darkness and ugliness that had marred its surface in the night. He himself felt reborn, and the hope for the future was once again burning in his heart.   Doubting Xavier's Dream would no longer be easy now that he had met Jimmy.

The End.