Chapter 25 - The begining of the end.

  Todd sighed as he walked along the halls of his fathers home. Well, his home now, he thought sadly. He didn't want to be here, but if it kept Sidney safe, it was worth it. He didn't sleep very well, despite the fact that he had slept on the most comfortable bed imaginable. Whenever he closed his eyes, all he kept seeing was Sidneys heartbroken face. The helecopter ride home hadn't  been his favorite experience either, his father had gloated all the way home, he wasn't happy to have his son back, just that his fortune was safe. Pickles on the other hand had remaind silent, probably upset that he didn't get to hurt Sidney, Todd just hoped that his father could stop Pickles if he decided to go after her again. Todd was wearing his colar again, this time he had just let it be put on him without a fight, he was tired of fighting and he missed Sidney so much. His father then let him have free run of the house and he had been exploring  for hours now, despite being born and spending the first three years of his life here, nothing seemed familiar, he really felt out of place with all of this wealth around him. He was exploring the ground floor when he came upon a door with elaborate markings carved on it. Todd ran his hand over the engraved wood before putting his hand on the handle and turning it. The door gave a cliched squeak as he pushed it open. The room it led to was an old dining room with a long antique wooden table in the middle. The floor was made of cobblestones and, adding the stone fireplace on one side of the room and the woven tapestries on the walls, the place looked like it should be part of a medieval castle, not a New York city mansion. Todd entered the room a little more, despite how old the room looked it had a homely and safe feel to it, not like the coldness that seemed to hang around the rest of his fathers mansion. He walked up to one of the tapestries, on it was woven the picture of a young woman and a unicorn lying by her side. Todd reached over to touch it, it felt old and worn under his fingers, like it was hundreds of years old. A sudden clatter made him take his hand off the tapestry and spin his head around in the direction of the sound. He saw a girl who only looked the same age as him, maybe a year older. She had firey red hair and electric blue eyes. She had dropped a tray of food, and looked shocked to find someone in the room.

"Och i am so sorry sir", she said, her accent suggested she was Scottish, "i dinnae expect to find someone in here".

She dropped to her knees and  started picking up the tray, food and sliverware that she had dropped. Todd walked over to her and knelt down and started helping her pick up her dropped items.

"Naw, its my fault", said Todd, "sorry, i didn't mean ta scare ya".

The girl gratefully took the items of food off Todd, she seemed surprised that she hadn't been yelled at.

"T...thank ye sir", she said with a slight smile, standing up.

"Please don't call me that", said Todd rolling his eyes, "i get enough of that from my dads servants. The names Todd yo, call me that".

The girl looked puzzled then smiled.

"Okay, thank ye..Todd", she said, "i take it ya crafty then?".

"Huh?", replyed Todd, blinking.

"Ye name", replyed the girl, "in Scottish, it means Fox".

"Oh, i didn't know that", said Todd with a smile, "boy did i get the wrong animal".

"Pardon?", asked the girl, "what do ye mean?".

"Never mind", said Todd with a wave of his hand, he didn't really want the whole household to know he was a mutant, not yet anyway.

"May i ask why the son of Daniel Toynbee would be doing in the servants dining room?", asked the girl, brushing a strand of red hair from her face.

"The..servants dinin' room?", asked Todd.

"Aye", said the girl, holding up her tray, "i was aboot ta eat me dinner".

"Oh", said Todd, "it looks more like a mueseum piece than somethin' thats used as a dinin' room".

"Its lovely isn't it?", the girl said, waving her free hand showing the general area around them, "most of the tapestries were brought from Britain when your grandfather came to America".

"My..grandfather?", asked Todd amazed, he didn't really know much about his family tree, he never really cared before, his hatred of his father had stopped him from bothering looking up his family before.

"Aye", said the girl, "me grandparents came up with him, me family has been in ye familys service for years".

"And you are?", asked Todd, realising he didn't even know the girls name.

The girl blinked, she seemed surprised that he even cared what her name was.

"I' names Tally", she said, with a smile, "Tally McGreggor".

"Pleased ta meet ya Tally", said Todd with a grin, "ya probably know that my birth names..".

"Mortimer Toynbee", said Tally, as i she knew the name all her life.

"Yeah", said Todd with a sigh, "but i prefer Todd Tolenski. So my grandfather was Scottish?".

"Och no", said Tally, "he was English, but me grandparents were some of his first workers. When he decided ta move to Amercia, they just came with him".

"Oh", said Todd as Tally walked over to the table, putting down her tray.

It was then Todd noticed something around Tally's neck. It was one of the collars which inhibited mutant powers.

"Your a mutant!", said Todd, more of a statement than a question.

Tally looked up wide-eyed, then felt the collar around her neck.

"I..i", she said, she looked terrified, "och, i am a mutant, but i never use my powers. I have had me collar for years, i would never use me...".

"Hey chill out", said Todd with a grin, pointing to his own collar, "i'm one too".

"Oh", said Tally, blinking, "but master David hates mutants".

"Ya got that right", said Todd, "but he hated me from the beginin' so i lost nothin'".

"But..but ye his son!", said Tally.

"That doesn't mean he's gotta like me", muttered Todd, "so, what can ya do?".

Tally looked around nervously. Before smiling slightly.

"I can disable mechanical things with me mind", she said modestly, "ye know, telvesions, radios, even guns".

"Cool", said Todd with a whistle.

"And what aboot yeself?", asked Tally curiously.

"Me?", said Todd, "oh, i got enhanced leg muscles, i can jump really high an' kick really hard. I got a six foot long tounge an' can spit slime. I can stick ta walls too".

"Wow", said Tally, "ye can do alot".

"Not as much as some people i know", said Todd, "one guy i know can cause earthquakes yo".

"Ye know...other mutants?", said Tally.

"Yeah", said Todd, "lots. Before i was dragged here i lived in an instatute fulla 'em. It's..a long story. But i would rather be there than here, i only came here ta save Sidney".

"Sidney?", asked Tally, "let me guess someone ye care aboot?".

"Yeah", said Todd, "someone i care about a lot. I made a deal wit' my father, my life fer hers".

"Thats very noble", said Tally, "ye must really love her".

"I do", said Todd with a sad sigh, "i just hope she's safe".

"I'm sure she is", said Tally, "that institute sounds like a wonderfull place. I wish i could have been there, what do they do there?".

"Well..", said Todd, "they teach ya how ta use ya powers. Its owned by a guy called Charles Xavier, hes a phsyic".

"Oh", said Tally with sigh, "it does sound like a wonderful place. Are there many other mutants there?".

"Theres tons'a 'em", said Todd with a grin, "if i ever get outta here, ya can come wit' me if ya like".

"I...i don't know", said Tally, "i would like to, but i have been a servant all me life".

"Then i think its about time ya started livin' fer yaself. My dads got plenty'a servants here, i doubt he'd miss one".

"Okay",  said Tally with a slight smile, "i would like to know how to control me power better. I have had this collar on for so long i...".

She was interupted by alarm bells sounding in the mansion.

"Och, what on earth is that?", she said, covering her ears.

"That would be the other mutants", said Todd with a smile, "come on, lets go".

"But what about these collars?", asked Tally.

"Ya got a hairclip?", asked Todd.

"Aye", said Tally, pulling a clip out of her hair.

"A trick i learned in Brooklyn", said Todd, bending the clip into a different shap.

He inserted the clip into the lock on Tally's collar, unlocking it. The collar fell to the ground, hitting the cobblestones with a clatter. As Todd opened his own collar Tally felt her neck.

"Och, it has been al long time since i felt my own neck, free from that blasted collar", she said with a smile, her eyes glowed as if electrically charged for a second, "thank ye Todd".

"Don't thank me yet", said Todd, heading for the door, "we gotta fight ta get back yet. I just hope the guys have a plan".




As Tally and Todd raced through the Toynbee mansion, the blackbird landed in the courtyard. As the X-men and Brotherhood jumped out, Daniel came striding out of the mansion, Pickles following close behind.

"What are you doing trespasing on my private property?", Daniel demanded, banging his walking stick on the ground in rage, "you heard my deal, Todd stays here. Now get out!".

"Sorry old man", said Lance, "were not leaving without Todd".

With that Lance, spread out his hands and rolled his eyes back. A tremor ran through the ground, knocking Daniel off his feet.

"Bad move kid", snarled Pickles, jumping forward.

Scott turned on his visor, hitting Pickles at full force, of course, it had little effect on him. Pickles was chuckling at Scotts effort, unaware that Kurt was creeping up behind him. Suddenly, Kurt grabbed onto Pickles' back.


The two disapeared in a cloud of brimstone only to appear again closer to the blackbird. It was then that Sabertooth jumped from the jets roof, landing on top of Pickles, forcing him to the ground. Pickles gave a roar and threw Sabertooth off him, but before he could stand up a Lepoard bit into his arm. It was Sidney, she snarled as she bit harder. Pickles gave a yelp of pain and trnasformed himself into a Sand cat, he was small enough to pull his forleg out of Sidneys mouth and stand away from her, where he changed himself into a cheetah. He gave a snarl, seeming to communicate with Sidney before darting off. Sidney changed into her normal form quickly.

"Quicksliver", she shouted, "catch him before he runs off".

Pietro nodded and sped off after Pickles, easily outrunning him.

"Far as you go puddy cat", said Pietro with a smile, blocking Pickles' exit.

Pickles gave a frustrated snarl before changing into his normal form. It was plain to see he was begining to tire.

"Its isn't over until its over", panted Pickles.

"Oh trust me, its over", said Wolverine, lashing out at Pickles with his claws. Pickles snarled and backed away. Suddenly, his wings sprouted from his back and he leapt into the air. On the wing membrane there was still a scar from where Sidney had attacked when the first met. This was the moment everyone had been waiting for, they knew that Pickles' only weak spot was those wings.

"Now Storm", shouted the professor from the gound.

Pickles slowed down his flight and looked around, hearing the rumble of thunder. Storm suddenly appeared out of the clouds, too late had Pickles realised his mistake. Storms' eyes flashed dangerously and she threw a lightning bolt at Pickles' right wing. The bolt stuck with a nasty crackle mixed with a roar of pain. Pickles plumeted to the ground, only to be stopped from hitting the ground by Jean Grey. She telepahically put his unconcious body on the ground. The professor sighed, he really didn't want to send another to Stokes, but he had no choice for the safety of the students. He put his hands to his temples and sent out a few powerfull phsycic blasts, to ensure that Pickles wouldn't awake during the journey. He gave a nod when he was done and Sabertooth and Logan carried Pickles into the blackbird between them.

"Now thats done", said the professor, a twinge of regret in his voice, "now all we have to do is find Todd".

There was a sudden gun blast and a scream of pain as Jean fell to the ground. Standing up and holding a mutant gun was Daniel.

"My son is staying here", said Daniel, "theres nothing you can do to get him out. You may have got rid of my bodyguard, but these guns will wipe out your entire student body Xavier".

"You can not keep you son a prisoner like this", said Xavier, "he has the right to live as he wants to".

"No he doesn't",  said Daniel, his eyes narrowing, "as long as i'm around, he has to do as i tell him".

Daniel smiled evily and cocked his gun at the group.

"Now who shall i shoot now?", he said with a smirk, then spotted Evan, "ah yes, the young boy who helped me get to my son in the first place. As your reward, you will be the first to feel this gun at full force, the first of many mutnats to die this way".

He chuckled and pointed his gun at Evan. Evan closed his eyes and waited. Daniel pulled the trigger. Nothing happened. Evan opened one eye to see what was happening. Daniel was hitting his gun with his free hand.

"What on earth is wrong with this blasted thing", he shouted, "how dare they give me a defective weapon. Never mind, i have more, i will hunt each and every one of you down, if it is the last thing i do".

"I don't think so pops", came a voice from behind them.

Everyone turned to see Todd and Tally standing by the entrance of the mansion..

"You", said Daniel spinning around, "you get back inside. And what is that servant girl doing outside? I'll shoot every one of you".

"No ya wont dad", said Todd with a smirk, "Tally here disabled all of the guns in the house.I guess you forgot that there was another mutant inside the mansion".

Todd leapt from doors, landing right in front of Daniel.

"Now Todd", said Daniel, falling over and scrambling backwards, "son. wouldn't hurt me., flesh and blood. You waouldn't want to hurt you dear old father now, would you?".

Todd frowned down at his father.

"No dad", he said, narrowing his eyes, "i won't hurt ya. I'm not like YOU. I'd hate ta sink ta your level".

"Oh, thank you Todd", said David with a smile, "i don't know how to repay you".

"Let me go", said Todd, "an' let Tally go too. When i get older i might just take over from ya, but i'm not ready yet. I don't want ta be here, i want ta be with them".

He pointed to where the Brotherhood and X-men were assembled.

"There more of a family ta me than yav'e ever been", said Todd, "just let me live my own life".

Daniel looked deep in thought for a while, as if considering what had been said carefully.

"Well", he said with a sigh, "you must swear to me that, when you are ready, you will at least give your duties as my heir a try".

"Fine", said Todd, holding out his hand, "ya never back outta a deal, remember?".

Daniel gave a defeated groan and shook Todd's hand. Todd then turned away and walked into the blackbird. The others followed suit, everyone just wanted to go home. Tally stood for a second, glancing back at the mansion.

"You are quite welcome to join us if you wish Tally", said the professor with a smile, "we always have room for others like yourself".

Tally blinked surprised, it was as if the man could read her thoughts, she guessed he must be Xavier, Todd had told her about him. She nodded.

"Thank ye professor", she said with a sight smile, walking into the blackbird.

"Welcome to the fold...Mecca", said the professor, wheeling after her.

Daniel Toynbee watched solemly as the blackbird took off and dissapeared into the horizon. He sighed and walked into his mansion as he walked inside he put his hand in his pocket and brought out a small picture of his dead wife.

"I'm sorry Lucy", he said with a sigh, "i did try".



Chapter 26 - Aftermath.




In Stokes maximum securityfacility, professor Xavier watched as the tube that held Pickles sank into the floor. Xavier sighed, the room that Pickles was kept in was next to that of his brother. The professor always felt a twinge of guilt whenever he put someone in here, he hated doing it, but he had no choice. The guard smiled and pressed the keyboard lock to open the door, stepping aside to let the professor wheel through. When the professor had got out of the facility, he went over to the blackbird where Logan was waiting. The students had all decided to go out to celebrate their victory, plus getting Todd back, and a new recruit, all in the same day. Logan wasn't too happy about letting them go, but the professor had allowed it, as long as they were back before cerfiew and weren't in the same state as the last time they decided to 'have a good time'.

"You ready to go home Chuck?", asked Logan, opening the jet's door to let the professor in.

"Yes", said Xavier with a chuckle, "i think its would do us all good to have a rest after that".

"Your not too bothered about putting Pickles into Stokes are you Charles?", asked Storm.

"I am a little disapointed that we couldn't bring him around", said the professor with a sigh, "but he was a danger to my students, and i must always put them first".

"Don't worry too much Chuck", said Logan as Storm started the blackbird up and it took to the air, "ya did ya best, ya should be proud. An think about it, ya brought the X-men and the Brotherhood together..errr...sort of".

"Yes", said Xavier, "i guess you are right Logan, at least we made the batlefield slightly smaller. But i think that the Brotherhood and the X-men will need to be able to work together in the future, i fear that our enemies will not have stopped with Pickles".

"Well we will be ready for them", said Storm, "i think the children have made an excelent effort in working together, i would have never belived it if i didn't see it with my own eyes".

Xavier nodded and chuckled.

"Well they still have their quarrels, but that is to be expected", he said, "but right now, lets go home and wait for their return. I just hope they are not as...intoxicated as last time.

"I hear that", said Logan, "i'm keeping a good eye on my hat this time".




Meanwhile, everyone was at the kareoke bar that the boys had been to, by the inststance of Pietro and Lance. They were all sitting around a table, laughing and taking a well deserved rest after all they had been through.  A bar man came walking up and pointed at Scott.

"Hey it's Barry Manillow the second", he joked as he put down a tray of drinks on the table, "you gonna sing again buddy?. Theres a big money prize fer the best singer tonight".

"Errr no thanks", said Scott, who looked like he wanted to crawl under the table and die, "i think iv'e had enough of Kaeroke for one lifetime".

"A prize mmmm?", said Pietro thoughtfully, "we should get Sid to do it, she'd win for sure".

"Really?", asked Kitty, "i haven't heard her sing".

"Your missing out Kitty", said Lance, "shes got real tallent. Speedy's right, shes a shoe in to win, where is she?".

"Vith Todd outside", said Kurt, who was making some sort of sculpture out of cocktail umbrellas and drinks mats.

"I'll go get her", said Pietro, "maybe she'll feel generous enough to give her dashing, god-like friend some cash once she's won it".

"You wish", muttered Lance, "as if she'd give you anything".

"Hey it's worth a shot, right?", said Pietro, heading for the door.

"Is Evan okay?", asked Jean, "after Sid snapped at him, hes been really quiet".

"A'h think Porcupine will be just fine", said Rogue with a chuckle, jerking her thumb to a table across the room where Evan was having an in-depth conversation with Tally.

"You think he's over Sid?", said Fred with a chuckle.

"I think so", said Kurt, looking up from his masterpiece.




Over at their table, Evan was having fun with Tally. He thought that Sidney had been beautifull but Tally, Tally was amazing.

"So youv'e been a servant all of your life?", he asked.

"Yep", said Tally, "it's gunnae be fun not havin' te do anythin' fer anyone, just do tings fer meself. It'll be a big change fer me".

"You'll get used to it", said Evan with a smile, "and you'll love the instititute. Theres a few rules and a cerfiew, but other than that, its great".

"I'm lookin' forward to livin' there", she said, twirling a finger in her red hair, "so i take it ye and Pietro don't get on".

"What would give you that idea?", said Evan with a nervous chuckle.

"Och, just the fact that ye seem te stare ech other out from time te time"., Tally said with a giggle.

"Yeah well...", said Evan, rubbing the back of his neck, "we kinda have an old rivarly that goes back for years".

"I see", she said with a raised eybrow, "well te tell ye the truth, he is irritain'. I mean, does he tink' he's god or somethin'?".

"All the time", said Evan, happy that Tally wasn't interested in Pietro.

"Och, i cannae stand guys like that", she said, making a face, "i prefer nice truthfull guys that aren't afraid of showin' their feelin's. But i do like extreeme sports, especially skateboardin'".

Evans heart skipped a beat.

"Really?", he asked, trying to keep up a cool front.

"Och aye", said Tally, "skateboardin's cool".

"Well, i board", siad Evan, puffing his chest out, "i love streat skating".

"Really?", said Tally, "ye will have te show me what ya got soon".

"Anytime", said Evan with a sigh.




Meanwhile, Sidney and Todd were outside the bar, cuddled up on a bench and taking in the beautifull night sky.

"I missed you so much", said Sidney, putting her head on Todds shoulder.

"I missed you too", he said putting his arms around her and giving her a hug, "that mansion had notin' on you".

"Well thank you", said Sidney with a chuckle, "what was it like there?".

"Borning", said Todd, "and i felt realy outta place. I'm not cut out fer posh livin'".

"Well i wouldn't want you any other way", said Sidney, "i don't think being rich would suit you".

"Me either", said Todd with a chuckle, "anyway i think i'm rich enought wit' you".

"Oh god, your not going to get all corny on me are you?", said Sidney,with a chuckle, rolling her eyes.

"Nope, i think that was it", he said with a grin, "anyway...".

"Hey guysguysguysguysguys", came the voice of Pietro, along with a sudden gust of wind.

"Hello Speedy", said Sidney with a sigh, "what is it now?".

"Ya didn't drink anythin' with sugar in it did ya?", asked Todd, crossing his arms.

"No", said Pietro, shaking his hed vigerously, "but theresakareokecontestandtheresabigprizeanditsmoney,thebestsingerwinsSidshoulddoit,getsomecash".

The couple stared at the overexcited Pietro for a second while their brains deciphered what he had just said.

"And you think that i'd win?", said Sidney.

"Of course you'd win!", said Pietro, throwing his hands in the air.

"He's got a point Sid", said Todd, "you've got the best voice iv'e ever heard".

Sidney blushed.

"Well..i guess i could give it a shot, i mean whats to loo...".

Before she could finish, Pietro had grabbed her and Todd's arms and raced them inside. In a milisecond,. he had dropped Todd off at the table and had taken Sidney right to the stage area. A woman was standing there dressed in demin jeans and silk shirt was waiting by the kareoke machine, looking very bored. Her hair was bleach blonde and she wore heavy makeup.

"We got another contestant for the kareoke contest", he said, pointing at Sidney.

The woman chewed her gum for a second before looking at Sindey.

"Fair enough honey", she said, "whats your name sweetheart?".

"Sidney Cageny", said Sidney with a smile.

"Pick a song", the woman said, handing her a sheet with songs on.

Sidney looked the sheet over for a second before smiling and pointing to a song.

"That one", she said with a nod.

"Okay", said the woman, programing the song into the kareoke machine.

The waman then stood up and walked to the stage and tapped on the mircophone.

"Okay folks", she said, "we have our final contestant for tonights big kareoke contest. Please put it together for Miss Sidney Cagney".

The crowd gave half-hearted claps while the table full of mutants cheered Sid on, even Tally and Evan had come out of their conversation to watch. Sidney stepped onto the stage and smiled, then the music started. The very second Sidney started to sing, anyone who hadn't heard her voice before,sat boilt upright, amazed.


"When I'm lost, in the rain

In your eyes I know I'll find the light

To light my way

When I'm scared, losing ground

When my world is going crazy

You can turn it all around, yes


And when I'm down you're there

Pushing me to the top

You're always there giving me all you've got

For a shield, from the storm

For a friend, for a love to keep me safe and warm

I turn to you

For the strength, to be strong

For the will to carry on

For everything you do, for everything that's true

I turn to you, yes


When I lose, the will to win

I just reach for you and I can reach

The sky again, I can do, anything

'Cause your love is so amazing

'Cause your love inspires me

And when I need a friend

You're always on my side

Giving me faith taking me through the night, yeah


For a shield, from the storm

For a friend, for a love to keep me safe and warm


I turn to you

For the strength, to be strong

For the will to carry on,

For everything you do

I turn to you, yeah, ohhh


For the arms to be my shelter through all the rain

For truth that will never change

For someone to lean on

For a heart I can rely on through anything

For the one who, I can run to, ohh I...

Turn to you...ohhh yeah


For a shield , from the storm

For a friend, for a love to keep me safe and warm

I turn to you

For the strength, to be strong

For the will to carry on, oh ohh

For everything you do

For everything that's true

For everything you do, ohh

For everything that's true

I turn to you".





After Sidney had finsished the crowd went wild. Sidney smiled and took a bow. The woman who had anounced her came back on stage with a grin on her face.

"Well ladies and gentlemen i think we have a winner!", she shouted down the microphone, "give it up for Sidney Cagney!".

She handed Sidney a cheque and walked her off the stage. Sidney was surprised to see it was for $500.

"Woah!", she said, looking at it, "thats quite a bit for a kareoke contest isn't it?".

"You earned it darlin", the woman said with a smile, "come with me, the boss want to see you".

Sidney blinked, surprised, but nodded and followed the woman to a door which read 'staff only'. She was eventually led to an office where a rather plump man dressed in what looked like cowboy getup was sitting at his desk smoking a cigar. His hair was very grey, but he didn't seem to mind in the least, though the steston he wore did looked very much like Logans.

"Well hello there little lady", he said with a grin, then turned to the woman, "is this the kid Flo?".

The woman who Sidney now assumed to be called Flo nodded.

"Yes she is Big Al", she said, putting a hand on Sidneys shoulder, "she's got real tallent this young 'un".

'Big Al' grinned.

"Great", he said with a smile, "i heard you singing out there, you were really something".

"Well..thank you", said Sidney a little shyly, "i'm..not in trouble am i?".

Big Al gave a booming laugh and Sidney suddenly realised how much he reminded her of Freddy.

"No honey your not in trouble at all", he said, "i'm Big Al and i own The Shack".

"The Shack?", asked Sidney, puzzled.

"yeah, thats the name of this club", he said with a grin, "were getting a new sign soon".

"Oh", said Sidney, "so..why am i here".

"Well", said Al, standing up, "this club has been around for a few years now, but we don't have anything to attract the younger generation. I recently lost one of my acts and was was wondering if i could offer you a job as one of our regular acts. You know, to get more youngsters in".

"Wow", said Sidney, "you want to offer me a job?. Signing?".

"If you'll take it", said Big Al, "can you play any instruments?".

"Well i can play the guitar".

"Have you got one?".


"Great, even better", said Al with a nod, "so you interested?".

"Well yeah", said Sidney, "but i'd have to talk it over with the professor first".

"Oh your one of the institute kids?", said Al, "what do they mean about 'gifted youngsters' in that place anyhow?".

"Oh, they just mean gifted in lots of different ways", said Sidney, quickly covering up, she decided it would be best to change the subject, "well if i am alowed, it would have to be after school and i'd need time to study".

"Don't worry sugar", said Al, "its only part time and your an artist. We work around you".

"OKay then", said Sidney, "i'm sure the professor will be okay about it".

"Well you give me a call asap", said Al, handing Sidney a card, "Flo, show her out would ya?. I hiope to see you again real soon Sidney".

Sidney nodded and followed Flo back to her table. After Flo had left, Todd looked over to her.

"So what was all that about?", he asked.

"Looks like i've got a job", said Sidney a smile spreading across her face.

"Really?", said Kitty, "that is like, so tatally cool. You are a GREAT singer".

"Yeahyeahyeah", said Pierto zipping over, "how much did you win. Huhuhuhuh?".

Sidney sighed and showed Pietro her cheque.

"Whooo!", he said with a simle, "what you gonna spend it on?".

"I don't know", said Sidney with a shrug.

"Well if your feeling generous...".

"I'm not Pietro!".

"Oh darn!", said Pitero, siting back down to sulk.

"Hey Freddy, have you got any relatives call 'Big Al'?", asked Sidney.

Fred looked thoughtfull for a second, something that was not a common occurence.

"Lets see Big Al, Big Al", he said, scratching his chin, "nope, don't think so. Why?".

"Oh nothing", said Sidney, "its just the owner of The Shack looks alot like you".

"Vhat the heck is 'The Shack'?", asked Kurt.

"This club, apparently", said Sidney with a shrug, "they say their getting a new sign soon. Big Al's the owner".

"So are you going to take the job?", asked Jean, taking a sip of her drink.

"Well, after i've asked the professor if its okay shure", said Sideny.

"Good fer you Sid", said Todd, "ya always wanted ta have a job on stage".

"Yeah", said Sidney, "it's still kinda sinking in, no doubt when it's sunk in, i'll be as restless, i'll be restless".

"Can we go home no please?", said Scott, walking over to the goup, "before anyone else asks me to sing Copa Cobanna again".





Later on, in the professors study, Xavier was mulling over what Sidney had told him. She was looking at him expectantly, this obviously meant alot to her.

"Well", he said with a smile, "as long as you keep up on your school work, i guess that you can take this job. I want you back home in time for cerfiew though".

"Oh i will be professor", said Sidney happily, "thanks alot".

"Your welcome", said Xavier with a nod and smile as he watched Sidney leave the study.

"They grow up so quickly", he said looking over at Storm, "how is your nephew Orono?".

"He's fine", said Storm, "he's fine, better than fine. He seems to have fallen for the new recruit, Tally".

"That kid falls for every girl he meets", said Logan with a chuckle, "at the moment anyway".

"Yes well, like i said, they ARE growing up, like it or not", chuckled the professor, "i think we must try to remember that they are no longer children, but young adults. We should start treating them as such".

"Do i have to?", said Logan, "i can scare kids alot easier than i can adults".

With that he walked off.

"Somehow i don't think Logan likes seeing them grow up", said Xavier.

"So he DOES have a soft side", said Orono with a laugh, "and i thought i'd never see it".




Meanwhile Sidney was walking along the hallway to the common room when she bumped into Evan.

"Oh hi", said Evan, backing away slightly, "i wanted to talk to you. I wanted to say that, well, i'm sorry for what i did, i really am. I didn't mean to take you and Todd apart like that".

"Its okay Porcupine", said Sidney with a smile, "if anything, it's brought us closer together. I got a present for you".

With that, she gave Evan a piece of paper. Evan looked at it, then gasped.

"But..but this is YOUR prize money", he said, "i can't take this!".

"You can and you will", said Sidney, crossing her arms, "i want you to take Tally out for dinner. I know you like her and trust me, i'm pretty sure she like you".

"Well....thaks", said Evan, blink.

"On one condition", said Sidney holding up a clawed finger, "you have to promise not to go after me again, got it. I'm with Todd and you have to accept that, move on, you already have a perfectly good girl who is just waiting for you to ask her out. Do we have a deal?".

"Deal", said Evan with a smile, "thanks Sid, thanks alot".

With that he ran off as Sidney entered the room, she caught Kurt, Rogue and Pietro scramling over to their seats.

"You know eavesdropping is pittiful", she said, sitting on a chair.

"That was a real nice thing you did Sindey", said Rogue with a smile.

"I can't belive you gave it to Daniels!", said Pietro, crossing his arms, "you could have given it to me! I would have given it a good home".

"Stop vhining", said Kurt, pulling a face.

"No i like to wine", said Pietro, "winewinewinewienwi....".

He suddenly slumped to the floor. Rogue was standing beind him with her glove removed.

"Thank you", said Sidney, "that was getting anoying".

Todd, Lance and Kitty walked in, Todd stoped dead and looked down at Piero.

"I wondered how long it would take someone ta snap yo", he said with a chuckle, "who did the honors?".

"A'h did", said Rogue with a smirk, sitting down again.

"Thank god", said Lance, "i don't think i could put up with him tonight".

"Evan, like showed us the cheque", said Kitty, "that was so totally nice of you Sid".

"Yeah well", said Sidney with a shrug, "i would ahve only usedit on stuff that would rot my teeth or my mind anyway".

"Well Tally's greatfull", said Todd, "she's never seen Bayville before yo. Heck she hasn't been outta the mansion much, dad kept his servants on a short leash".

"Oh yeah, are you okay?", asked Sidney, "i mean, i think you had more contact with your dad these past days that you ever wanted to have".

"You got that right", said Todd, "but hey, i survived, i doubt he'll bother us again yo. NOt without Pickles ta guard him".

"You guys are starting to be depressing again", warned Kurt, "but i can cure that".


"Why do i have a feeling of dread in the pit of my stomach?", said Lance.

"Because Kurt is, like, up to anything?", said Kitty.


Kurt reappeared with his arms full of board games.

"Anyone for a game of Risk?".


THE END, FIN, and any other way you want to say that its finished :)