Note: This is a sequel to 'A Night To Remember', written by Angela Cheong. It takes place sometime after 'Sabretooth Special'.
He heard a soft click as his parents switched off the lights in their room. He waited. 5 minutes. 10 minutes. 20 minutes ticked by. Yes! It's now or never. His parents should be asleep by now. He switched on his nightlight, got out of bed and stripped off his pyjamas. He shivered when the chill wind breezed into his room through the open windows. He quickly went over to his cupboard and threw it open, picked out a pair of clean shorts and pulled it on. Then he took his favourite Fantastic Four T-shirt and slipped it over his head, found some clean socks and put them on. His shoes were a little muddy but that couldn't be helped. He was ready to go.
No. Not quite. He frowned. Then went over to his bed and and arranged his bolster and covers till it resembled his sleeping form. Just like in the movies. Satisfied, he killed his nightlight and went on his way.
He got out of the house easily enough. His parents kept their keys on a hook at the back of the door. It was a simple matter to climb on his little stool to get at it.
"Westchester, New York? It's not too far," he heard his neighbour say the day before. A cab will take him there. He wandered along the sidewalk, hoping that all cab-drivers aren't asleep at home like everyone else in the world. He was in luck, an empty cab pulled up next to him when he flagged it down.
"I want to go to Westchester, New York. Please."
"It'll cost ya." The cab-driver groused.
Cost? He needed money. The thought had never crossed his mind. He couldn't go back into the house to get the money. His parents might notice. Well, maybe he could offer the driver some sweets when they arrived at their destination. He couldn't see why anyone would want money over candies. Yeah, candies will do just fine.
"Ok." His little head bobbed up and down. "I'll pay when I get there." He climbed into the cab. Finally, he was on his way to meet his 'Angel'. He had missed him so much. He had not seen Unca Warren since the night he flew into his room and told him wonderful stories about himself and his friends, the X-men.
His parents often told him how disgusting mutants were. Dirty, unkempt creatures that were the bane of society. The scums of the planet. A mockery of the human race. The devil's spawn. They had been shocked when they discovered Unca Warren in his room. They put him through a series of medical check-ups to make sure he had not been infected by the mutant. They even made him go for counselling, to make absolutely sure that his Unca Warren had not tainted his impressionable young mind.
Personally, he never could bring himself to see his Unca Warren as an evil mistake of nature. His Unca Warren was a thing of beauty, birthed from nature itself, bearing a divine stature. He remembered the first time he saw his 'Angel', swooping through the night sky like a bird of prey, filled with a grace that came naturally to him. Unca Warren had been drenched in the rain, his blonde hair in disarray, he was so cold that he turned blue. Yes. Blue.
Somehow, Unca Warren didn't quite fit the image of an Angel. Blue skin, metallic wings and a blue and white bodysuit took the place of the traditional halo, feathered wings and flowing white garment. Yet, he was far more formidable than the traditional angels. He was divine power personified. He was tangible, had a name, a home and friends, just like everyone else. He found himself being able to identify with this wayward Angel.
When he saw the evening news, he knew he just had to go and see his Angel. He saw an man-tiger attack his Angel. He couldn't quite remember but he thought the newscaster called the man-tiger 'Sabretooth'. Sabretooth was an evil mutant. He must be so, since everybody said so and since he attacked Unca Warren, a good mutant who was merely trying to make everybody, humans and mutants alike, co-exist peacefully. He saw Sabretooth rake his claws through Unca Warren's metallic wings, saw Unca Warren's metallic wings bleed. He never thought metal could bleed. He saw Unca Warren plummel down and all of a sudden, ice exploded onto the scene, encrusting Unca Warren within it's cold embrace. Unca Warren was hurt, anyone could see that. Since his guardian angel could no longer take care of him, he figured he'd just have to go and take care of Unca Warren till he's well enough to be his guardian angel again.
"We're here." The cabby announced. "Where exactly in New York do you want to go to?"
"Uhm...I-I'm not too sure...I just wanna see my Unca...he lives in New York with his friends in a big big house..."
"What?! You're not sure where you're headed?! Figures! Shoulda known better than to pick up a kid in the middle of the night. Pay up and get outta my cab!"
Hurriedly, he shoved his hands into his pockets and took out all the sweets he could find, then handed them over to the cabby. The cabby looked as if he was about to explode.
"SWEETS?! YOU GIMME SWEETS?! WHY YOU...WAIT TILL I GET MY HANDS ON YOU! NO ONE RIDES IN MY CAB WITHOUT PAYING FOR IT!"
Frightened and confused by the angry cabby, the little boy scrambled out the cab and darted away as fast as his short little legs could carry him. The cabby was closing in on him. He had never been so terrified in his life. His heart beat so fast that it was starting to hurt. He tripped over an empty beer bottle and fell, grazing his knees, he started to cry.
"Tsk, tsk. Frightenin' petite chillen, homme?"
The cabby snarled. "That little urchin rode in my cab without paying for it!"
"Take the money and go." An enormous shadow said to the cabby. The cabby stared at the 100 dollar bill that was thrust in his face, then at the enormous gun that the enormous shadow slung over his shoulders, swallowed and all but scooted off.
The enormous shadow moved towards him. The little boy shrieked and backed away.
"Bishop," the other man admonished, "y' be scarin' de petite homme." He turned to face him, " Hi dere. I'm Gambit, dis be my friend, Bishop. Wat's your name?" He held out his hand to him, his red eyes gleamed demonically. The boy huddled closer against the wall.
"I-I'm Jimmy. Y-you a mutant?" Gambit nodded. "...your eyes...they're special..." Gambit chuckled.
"Where do you live? We'll take you home." The big man, Bishop said. Jimmy eyed Bishop's gun nervously, then said, "I-I don't want to go home."
Gambit arched an eyebrow, "Y' ran 'way?"
"No, I...I'm visiting a friend."
"Where does he live?" Bishop asked.
"I'm not sure. He lives in a big house with lotsa his friends. All of them are mutants." Bishop's eyes narrowed, his grip on his plasma rifle tightened. Frightened, Jimmy threw himself into Gambit's arms. "Don't let him hurt me, please."
"Put dat gun 'way, pup." Gambit ordered. Surprisingly, Bishop obeyed, albeit grudgingly. Jimmy relaxed. "Tell me 'bout your friend chile. Mebbe I can help y' find 'im, non?"
"He's like you. A mutant."
"He's my guardian angel and he can really fly too."
"Warren." Bishop stated flatly.
Jimmy nodded excitedly, "You know Unca Warren?"
"Oui. We live wit' 'im. I take y' t' 'im."
"No." Jimmy glanced fearfully at Bishop again, wondering what he had done wrong this time. "We cannot bring strangers into the X-mansion. They're a threat. The safety of the X-men are at stake."
Gambit groaned inwardly. "Pup, dis here's but a kid. He's ain' no threat. 'Sides, you don' wan' to see 'im disappointed after comin' such a long way t' find Warren."
"That's not the point, LeBeau. This kid might talk. Who knows what he'll tell others of the X-men."
"I won't tell. Promise." Jimmy hasten to reassure Bishop, unshed tears shone in his eyes. "I just want to see Unca Warren. I saw him get hurt on the news...please Unca Bishop, I won't tell."
The steel in Bishop's eyes melted away at Jimmy's pleading voice. "I'll check with the others first." Bishop said, determined to maintain his stern exterior.
After contacting the other X-men and getting their approval to bring Jimmy back to the X-mansion, Gambit scooped up the scruffy kid and carried him all the way to the X-mansion.
Jimmy gaped. Unca Warren sure wasn't kidding when he said he lived in a big house. It was dark and had a touch of isolation about it. Gambit sensing his thoughts explained, "Most of dem are asleep." Jimmy nodded.
Bishop and Gambit escorted him into the infirmary where Warren was. Warren was lying in bed, reading a magazine.
"Unca Warren!" Jimmy's elated cry resounded through the quiet mansion.
Warren glanced up and saw a boy with a pair of mismatched socks , grazed knees, and unkempt hair racing towards him. Jimmy stopped short however, when he noticed the big blue furry bear next to his Angel. Warren looked startled, "Jimmy? How...?" Jimmy looked worried. Was his Angel going to reject him? Send him home? He sincerely hoped not.
Warren noticed his unease and smiled at him. It didn't matter how Jimmy got there, all that was important was that he was here. Gesturing to the blue bear, Warren introduced, "Jimmy, this is Beast, my doctor. Beast, meet a very special friend of mine." After a moment's hesitation, Jimmy went over and shoke hands with Beast solemnly, then asked him anxiously if his Angel would be fine.
Beast laughed heartily and replied, "I'm confident that Warren will be able to resume his 'Guardian Angel Duty' after a few more weeks of rest." Jimmy looked relieved. "I'll leave you two to talk." Beast said and left. Gambit followed suit.
"Unca Warren, does your wings hurt? You feeling ok? Were you scared? I miss you so much, you never came to visit! I was so worried about you when I saw Sabretooth attack you..."
"Whoa! Slow down little fellow! I'm fine. I'm an angel remember? I have God's divine protection. I'll never come to any serious harm."
"Really?" Jimmy eyes went big and wide.
Warren laughed, "As a guardian angel, I have to guard and protect other people. I'd be out of a job, if I can't even take care of myself."
They talked. After some time, Beast came in to treat Jimmy's grazed knees.
"Might I suggest that one of the X-men take you home soon, to save your parents from worrying when they find you missing." Beast interrupted politely.
Jimmy's face fell. "Hey. Don't look so glum, I promise I'll visit you after as soon as I'm well." Warren tried to lift his spirits.
"Angels never lie."
"Go on in homme, 'fore your parents wakes up."
"Take care of my Angel for me?"
"Make sure he comes to visit me when he's better?"
"Get Unca Bishop to put away his big gun the next time I visit you all?"
"Can I have one of those nice X-men T-shirts that Unca Warren was wearing?"
"I guess we can order a chillen size one f' y'...shouldn' b' a problem."
"Can you teach me how to become a mutant like all of you? I like your powers, very kewl!"
"Can you, Unca Gambit? Can you?"
From within the house...
"Jimmy? Are you out there? Who are you talking to?"
"Your parents are lookin' f' y', y' better get in quick."
"Be in touch, Unca Gambit?"
Jimmy went into the house, then peeked out of the window and waved fervently as he watch Unca Gambit revved up his Harley and rode away.
"Where have you been?" Double uh-oh.
"I went out to look for my guardian angel. He was sick...he had a fight with this really nasty mutant, the one on TV, Sabretooth..."
His momma smiled and ruffled his unruly dark hair, "Silly boy."
Children...they have such vivid imaginations. At least Jimmy's seeing mutants for what they're really worth...