1964-12-04 - The Amazing X-Mites?!
Summary: When magic becomes meyeh and X-Men become the size of X-Mites the boys go riding the rails and roaches while the gals climb a tree and wait for the sugar plum fairy to knock off the shenanigans.
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jean-grey able wither logan rogue 

Cotton Tails and Silver Bells

Stand-alone Story

Title: We Blame This On Doug

The setup in the library was fantastical. Something sweet and awesome that the children all gathered around. It was the talk of the house, not of the century, though some people leered and added their own addition of makeshift paper dolls and sweet little dodads to bring the city to life.

Sally Rothchild, was one of those people. A little bit of this here, and a little bit of that there.. and a sprinkle of glitter from her own webbed wings brought it to life at random intervals. For in the morning, the city was abuzz. The paper dolls would walk around like normal people, the paper puppies would bark. The paper kittens would hang in the tree and meow for help and the paper fire engines would come to the rescue.

Magic at its purest form, and she called the teachers to witness! And.. elders.

Jean, Logan, Wither and Rogue all stood around it, Jean with her hands upon her hips, her head scratching, her eyes bright yet slightly worried as she looks to the others.. a mumble cast from the side of her lips..

"Maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaybe we should call Strange.."

It's not common to find Scarlett in residence at night, or day, in the Institute. Even less so in the holiday season, when her activities turn decidedly philanthropic. Or less so, given she wears a dress that probably came straight from a runway and wears her hair in a smooth chignon. It's all so utterly different from her usual bohemienne look, right down to the delicate mesh covering decollete and her arms, that the students might even recognize her. She cleans up pretty well. So, apparently, does a train set. "Not entirely necessary, and he is occupied at the moment." Trust her to have an inkling about her master, but that's one thing or another the oddest of the Sorcerer's apprentices should know. Don't ask how.

Her fingers reflexively shiver, unable to really resist a lazy trace here and now. Maybe she really longs for wine, but no vintage of grape or moonshine stands a chance of denting her metabolism. Drunken libations to forget are not in the cards for her, now or ever. Pressing her lips together, she tilts her head and asks dear little Sally, "How long will this last for? Look at the kittens, how charming. Can we touch, or is it only make-believe?"

Wither just marveled at this. He was grinning ear to ear, "Yeah, call em. He won't want to miss this, this is great! Woah they're so lifelike." He looked at Scarlett with a concerned look, "Oh yeah, good point." He dug his gloves out of his back pocket and looked for one of the tiny paper animals making small clicking sounds with his tongue to call one over like it were real. "I'm gonna go with if I pet the puppy? Not long." Hey, sometimes one had to have a dry humor about these things. "Soooo we know how this workss because this is pretty fantastic. Whose gift is this?"

Logan isn't exactly as vulnerable to whimsy as Scarlett. If anything, he's wary of the developments. Cutesy's all well and good until it's trying to cut your throat after all. Or maybe he's just not feeling at his best at the moment. He tries to keep a bit of Christmas cheer but he's a bit of a humbug by nature.

"Strange is already here an' in spades," he mutters, not having made the acquaintance of the sorceror in question himself. "Just make sure they don't magic tinkle all over the carpet or else Chuck's liable to throw a fit about the antiques."

Sally, excited about her little creation (added on to Douglas') flits and hovers above ground, holding more clay in her hands as she prepares to mold a baker. A baker! A town always needs a baker to bake clay things that taste like dirt and the bottom of someones shoe! Cause they're clay!

Jean doesn't look put off, but she does wrinkle her nose, but at least the Student of Strange could help with this.. little.. thing.

Sally, addressed as she was, grins. "As long as I want it! Or as long as I'm alive and got glitt'a in me wings! See!"

Perhaps that was the sirens song, just a little demonstration had Sally flying above the heads of those gathered, sprinkling them with magic dust, which gets all in their hair.. their clothes.. their.. skin..

"YAY! APART OF THE PROJECT! YOU CAN HELP ME BUILD!" Sally says.. but.. as she says it.. she seems louder. Like she grabbed a microphone and her little voice began to boom..

"Uh.." Jean states, looking at her hands and up.. up up.. up up.. way up! SO FAR UP that she falls right upon her ass…

"That frickin kid made is mini's!" (imagine her high pitched squeal when she says this.. Sally hears it! Naturally!)

Great, what the world needs, Tinkerwolverine and Thumbeljeana. Add the death-touch of Wither and the soul bite from Scarlett, that town doesn't stand a chance.

It's quite enough to make the redhead reconsider her future fate for a moment, and glance to the bracelet hidden under her pretty gloves. Her shoulders twitch at the sprinkling dust from those wings, and for but a heartbeat, her pupils disappear behind the green wash of her skin. Even a fingerprint as diminutive as her current one can cause trouble. "Let's hope no one decides to make snow." Bobby better not be around.

On the other hand… "We can still chop down the trees, right?"

Wither's voice was a half octave higher. The world grew big big as they grew itty bitty. Honestly he seemed to take this in stride. Unlike many he was really bereft of attachments and said sounding slightly more like a chipmunk, "Awww this is great!" Aren't tehy adorable? TIny death-bug sized Wither like a flea in the Bubonic Plague. Yup. Just what the world needed. "Man, think of all the things we can do at this size. Sally, what's the project?" His eyes lingered to Logan with a shrug, "Is this honestly the weirdest thing that's happened to any of us? If we're stuck like this for a while you can help me shred ribbon and wrap stuff for people." Weirdly the doom blossom could be rightly optimistic when he wanted to be. "Think Bobby could make snow for us if we asked?"

Logan snorts, "Ain't been a tree yet I couldn't chop down. I used t'be a lumberjack, once upon a time, didn't you hear, darlin'?" he says.

He closes his eyes to keep anything that gets sprinkled out of his eyes, shaking a bit like an overgrown cat to try and get some of the magic dust off of him, "Careful there, little bit, I ain't exactly prime sparkle material, ya ken? Old Man Logan's just fine the way I am," he says. He turns and narrows his eyes at Wither, "I ain't exactly rankin' 'em. I had enough weird an' woolly fer a few lifetimes as it is."


There was that. Sally wasn't able to keep her attention on the little ones for too long, for she was already buzzing her way out the door.. singing the song of cherry plums and .. food. "I'm hungry.." Is all the little girl said, her backside shown as she flitters out of the library, leaving the tiny little mini-me's to their own devices.

Jean stares for a moment, mostly at Wither, unable to even form a sentence or even think of this as a good thing. Yes, their voices are higher, they are tinier.. and well..

"I… uh.." Yes, she kinda sorta leader of the X-Men was just.. lost. "Maybe.. lets just go find some place to sit until she comes back. Make the best of it! She doesn't know any better. Plus, why not get a safe train-ride in, seems like every time we step foot outside we're getting our butts kicked.." And with that, she starts walking..

Scarlett clasps her hands together, desperately focusing all her somewhat formidable will upon smothering the urgent, dire need to smile at Logan. One must not speak of the lumberjack songs of the far west, or imagine how craft herpes looks like when a man is in a rage. Not yet. Not entirely, as she closes in towards the other member of Team Redhead. Her own dulcet soprano, already quite warm, can escalate to near shattering ranges in pipsqueak octaves. She isn't hitting the whistle register openly but she sounds like a flower faerie of bonny England.

"We could always follow her out, but kitchens provide unique hazards at this size. Notably an abundance of places to be squashed, or crushed, and I hate to think about our current bone density." She brushes her hands down her dress, one that ends shorter than she might like, and takes to the air slightly. "Bobby can hold the snow until we are safely away from puppies ready to maul us." Her role as lookout is an easy one to establish, especially when she isn't so worried about the trees or the train as other things. "Do we have to push a button to make the train work? I can take you, Logan, if you want to give it a good smack. Or…"

She frowns. Mind the pause, the fact her dangling high heel barely clings to her toe, a deadly projectile, given it has a stiletto heel. Mind that below, Wither! "Those are feelers! Ew! Who brought in a train set that has insect passengers?"

Wither got a little wide eyed as they neared the train and -woah, freaky! "Bugs like tooootally different up close don't they?" The boy from Atlanta was not exactly daunted by a bug though they were considerably more dangerous to the tiny than when he was the size of a normal fella. Then his gloved hands waved at the bugs, right, being nice counted… he hoped? Before taking a shoe to the shoulder "Ah!" He didn't know what it was at first so he grabbed it and looked up to tell Scarlett of the loss before very quickly lookinga way in case "You um- Ms. Scarlett, I got your shoe. I mean hey, faerie things have tiny bugs as friends right. I'm sure they're um… They might be friendly. Bugs are social creatures right soooo we'll jsut be… social." He looked around and back to Jean and Logan, "Doug and I built trains but I don't know anything about needing tickets to ride one. If all goes sideways we'll jsut ride a beatle." The grin widened giving Logan tha t look of c'mon at least you have to find that fun. Maybe not the ladies, but Logan he held out hopes for. "I'm gonna say hi and if they get mean I'll pet em."

Logan isn't particularly pleased. He's had enough short jokes to last a lifetime already and he's not keen to add a few more genuine ones to the pile. He nods at Rogue's suggestion and finally speaks aloud, his gruff tones grown elfish against his better judgment, "Jean, darlin', I know you got rules about this sorta thing, but things are gettin' a mite outta hand. Mind control that little bugger into makin' this right," he says.

He pops his claws with a tinny *SNIKT*, prepared to take out anything that might decide he and the others look like a tasty snack. "You say hi all ya want, kid. But if they get mean, they're shishkabob."

Basic roaches were.. well basic. From such a high vantage point, they were little critters that were easily stepped on or looked over. Even missed. But here? That is not the case.

For once, Logan had a point. Jean could reach out and force Sally to fix this problem, but even as she presses her fingers to her forehead, and squints her eyes really tight.. "I can't get a range on her, we're going to have to wait it out.."

Still, seeing the roaches up close were a little bit daunting. She almost had a means to run, but instead.. she attempts to direct her mind-reading/control towards the insect that was present. "It doesn't feel angry or threatened.." She murmurs quietly. "..it -is- hungry.." Though, about that train, she wasn't sure if they should ignore the bug or go for it. "I think we should hide inside and wait for her to come back. Or someone.." Letting up off of the roach, she takes a long glance around, even as the thing skitters right towards the group!

Scarlett nonetheless has reason not to remain in sight of those roaches. Give her someone who apparently can awaken a damn space shark inside her and make her consider her fellows with a pitiless black eye, no problem. Common bug? She's in the tree, beside one of the paper cats, peering out from the fake leaves. The tree has promise until the small train comes around. That, of course, was the plan. Plans never happen right.

Not when the bug bugs out, and comes bounding off after the most delicious meals. Glitter-covered Logan is in the way, however, and she makes a rather disgusted nose. "Thank you for the shoe!" See, she announces herself, but she is not coming down without good reason. Because those legs are fuzzy and ew.

The 'roach coach' is generally a proverbial statement. A van or bus that stops by workplaces with barely edible food. Able has taken this concept and turned it on its ear. A la 'Honey, I Shrunk The Kids,' he's mounted one of them and is using a thin slice of steak dangling from a stick to urge it forward. Yesterday's lunch. When he reaches the others, he pulls back his lure far enough to stop his ride. "Nice to see I'm not the only one," he quips. "But trust me, if you fight with them, things get worse, not better."

He dismounts and gives up his lure to the roach that's served as his ride. Despite his words, he's very careful about getting out of the way in a hurry. Luckily, his roach is happy to scurry off with its prize in its mandibles.

One he's clear, Able affects a cough into his fist. "Anyone have any idea how we can get out of here? I'm tired of being the size of a tic tac."

Wither pipped up feeling helpful, "If it's hungry we coud find it something to eat but- oh… well crap. I guess then we're feeding bugs in the house and encouraging them to stay. Awwww dang." Such harsh language from someone that sounded like Tommy Little. He undid the strap of the shoe and hooked it to his belt. It was hard to work with one hand occupied. Taking his life into his hands he pointed to Logan, "Those kinda sound like toaster springs at this size. That's kinda terrific, man." It was the little things that made him happy. When the doc rode up on a bug he shielded his eyes and looked up without looking, and pointing to Able, "See it works. We can get them away from ya. I think it'll be alright. heya Doc. So lng asno one tries to eat I think we're… mostly alright. I mean sorta gives one new perspective on teh world. Kinda nice to appreciate how big the house is around the holiday and also not…being stepped on." He paused and asked cautiously, "Illyana doesn't have that cat around does she?" Oh yes he went to go investigate the buggo.

Still distracted enough to hold the attention of the bug, Able rides in which causes it to nearly stir into a hectic space. But once the other bug leaves with it's treat, Jean finally relents and allows the bug to wander and piddle about, right beneath the makeshift tree of where Rogue stands.

"These things are hard to pin down.." Jean comments idly, but it doesn't stop her from being a 'nurturing and affectionate' being, reaching out a hand to lightly.. -patpatpat- the mongrel. Perhaps the most shocking thing, is that the third pat, the roach rears up and lets out a loud chittering noise, rubbing it's mandibles together at an annoying pace as she shoots a look towards Able..

"What.." She starts, then takes a few steps back. "..it said that you had food! It called it's kids!"

And at that point? Jean herself tries to scramble up the makeshift tree to join Rogue from being overrun by.. roachy minions!

Scarlett has no desire to remain anywhere near that tree with the roach mobile on the move towards her. She dives in an aerial somersault away from the leafy construct, knees tucked to her chest and thoroughly out of the way. That sproing up into the air has a purpose, damn the dress and everything. She reaches down to grab Jean, halfway inverted.

"Up we go!" Unnecessary to mention that, but the warning helps because they both have to tumble a bit like a yin-yang spun on a record player — slowly — for the bohemienne to twist around upright. The arm bracketing Jean's waist never falters for all that the other redhead sometimes demonstrates an alarming capacity for aerial maneuvers that involve yoga asanas. In another life, she might have been a brilliant ballerina or invented Cirque du Soleil.

Today, she really doesn't like bugs. Up a little higher, she says, "Great, we became the supermarket for all insect life in a few dozen yards. Now might be the time for Bobby, or else I'm going to have to find Sally to put this back, won't I?"

But miss Logan in action, and the Withering and Able duo? Never.

"HAD. Past tense. Fed it to my ride," Able groans and chucks a thumb toward the roach that's departing with the last of yesterday's steak sandwich. "Don't tell me they're about to come looking for more."

He unslings the long, cylindrical document case that he perpetually carries around his shoulder and cracks it open. Inside is an antitque trench gun and a British cavalry saber, both dating back to to the first Great War. Tiny as they currently are, they're still effective. "Okay," he says. "Sounds like this is about to get fun."

Wither arched an eyebrow at Able and jsut slowly took off his gloves jamming them in pocket and then the coat. "Glad we built those trees sturdy so they don't tip over on ya. That's- aw crud, Not sayin anything about y'all jsut the sturdiness of model trees and… awwww bugs." He was not digging out of that hole. He frowed at the rearing bug and said to Doc who he was sure had read all the small handful of student files, "Remember, this don't turn off." Okay time to get handsy with some bugs.

It was a funny little thing, the mandibles of the one that still remained were itching and transmitting the signal, waiting until the moment for the others to arrive. In the distance, all those legs sounded of thunder, and with Rogue's help, Jean was already up in the tree. Let the men do all the dirty work!

At first, a baby skitters out into the open, it's big, black eyes focused on Able.. watching as he readies the pistol for use. Then the other set of eyes lay upon Wither. They were the only two that were visible, for the roaches lack the necks to even look upright!

'Uh oh! The STOMPERS are here!'
'The Stompers!'
'NO! IT is the messiah! HE who wears skin who procures tiny eats!'

The conversation flowed as many, many roaches begin to gather, hiding behind the one who communes with the Elder.

'Yes! The eats!'
'You meen shoogar?'

Jean rubs her temples, her face burning red hot, clearly irritated by the voices around her.

"Dr. Able, you and Wither are saviors. They think you're bringing shooga? Sugar and.."

The door to the Library opens, and a large pair of feet step close to the train set and city.. the loud sounds of smacking is heard. If they all look up, they could see the aimless look of Sally from above.. who currently drops breadcrumbs into the city which make the roaches scatter almost immediately.

(Sally came with the light..)

"Forgive me, Jean, but I'm going to take things into my own hands for a moment." This may be entirely out of the ordinary, but Sally McStampy needs to deal with the faerie first.

She touches her brow with her fingers, saluting Jean neatly. If this is a terrible idea, she will no doubt on fire in that glittery frock. Legs together, no need to give anyone a terrible flash of insight, she bolts up out of the tree in front of the sweet little girl. Pretty webbed winged princess, pay attention! It's not as though she can emit a halo but she can swing round in a flare of flame red hair, braids shot by tiny little flowers. Today's, mimosas. Because all need drinks afterwards and that flower is convenient. Her spritely approach swings up in front of the mutant girl. "This is so very pretty! Sally, hello!" The piping trill of her soprano is quiet but hopefully that girl can hear.

"May I have a little more glitter for my dress? You've made everything so very detailed, but…" She pinches her hem and floats up to the girl's shoulder, one easy fall to those wings. And Scarlett has experience with wings. Razor sharp ones trying to stab her, but hey, it counts. Distraction over here. "May I?" She even curtseys, hands out to the sides. Oh, bad little Soul-Thief.

Though he has a gun in one hand and a sword in the other, Able hesitates. He slings his shotgun around his shoulder and reaches into a pocket. Not only does he have a large chocolate bar, he has a huge handful of sugar packets from his morning coffee.

Quickly, he starts breaking the packets open and scattering the contents in front of him. Every so often, he breaks off a square of chocolate as a treat for his pursuers. When he's backed against the train station, he halts and holds the last few squares of chocolate out as an offering to the nearest cockroach. "Be good," he urges, "and you have my word that I'll feed you and yours candy until it comes out your ears. But test me…" the doctor squeezes the handle of his saber. "And we'll have a very different conversation. I wish it weren't true, but I've killed bigger things with smaller weapons."

Wither had his hands held out threateneing to hug and pet anything that came close. OH if only those bugs knew. At least they didn't identify him at this height as soemthing bad. Hey that was a plus. "C'mon lil guys, you can have my share. I can't eat anyways. We just want to ride the train." He glanced to Jean "Wiat that was the goal right?" No Kev, it was to be large again and go back to- oh nevermind.

The goal was to wait it out, to ride the train and have a little fun with the little magical gift they received. But that was not so!

With Able dishing out treats to distract and mystify, Rogue handled the big Mc. Sally who.. goes wide eyed and happy all of the sudden.

"WHY YES!" She screeches out, her voice booming, no matter if Rogue touches her! She was already sprinkling fairy dust abound!

You get dust!
You get a sprinkling of dust!
You get more dust!

Jean, cringing as she was, hangs onto the tree until she feels herself stretch. It wasn't the good stretch mind you with your le— wait.. but stretch none the less! It was a tingly feeling, then as if someone were pulling the limbs and filling it right out.

No sooner than Rogue may have touched her, and no sooner than her sprinkling her fairy does everywhere.. -everyone- who has previously been shrunken now suddenly grows to their original size! In fact, the shenanigans were so silly this day, that those of the manse now know that there's an insidious roach problem that needs to be dealt with.. or does it?!

Jean, who once clung to a tree for dear life, falls upon the floor on her butt, one foot kicking out to knock the train off it's track to spill OUTWARDS and away from the city, keeping it free of damage.

But that wheel though!


Rogue goes home.

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