DISCLAIMER: Hey everyone! Merry Christmas!
Here's a fic to start off the holiday, I'm making no money and Iceman
is copyrighted to Marvel. Many thanks to my beta-reader, Dyce! (thanks
thanks thanks!) Someone said they wanted to see lots of X-Mas fics,
so I thought I'd write down as many as I came up with--whether or
not they all fit into the same continuity! :::grin::: Tell me what
you think! - J.B.McD.
Bobby walked down the sidewalk, huddled in his heavy jacket. What
a year it had been! He didn't even want to think about it. Times like
this he wished he wasn't a mutant. He kicked violently at a pebble,
hitting a pigeon and causing the whole flock of them to take off.
Behind him he could hear a large group of carolers singing "Angels
We Have Heard On High." What a laugh. It sure didn't feel like
any time to be celebrating.
"Here here, you're chasing my birds away!" a woman cried
from her spot on the bench. "And your face is ruining the whole
picture. If you must ruin it, at least sit down so I can look around
Bobby looked up, expecting to see some old lady. Instead it was a
young girl, dressed for business, feeding her sandwich to the pigeons
and sparrows that had gathered.
Iceman fell onto the bench, glowering.
The young woman glowered back at him. "Well, aren't you in the
spirit of Christmas," she said sarcastically.
Bobby just shook his head and looked away.
The woman frowned in concern. "Hey now, what's wrong? Your guardian
angel not looking out for you?" she asked with a laugh.
Bobby couldn't help but crack a smile. "It's been a rough year,"
he said at last, looking at her. Brown hair, brown eyes, sort of mousy
looking. Black business suit. Didn't look at all right sitting on
a run-down bench, feeding birds. "You work around here?"
She nodded, offered him half of her sandwich.
He shook his head. "No, thanks."
She shrugged and kept feeding the birds.
"On your lunch break?"
She smiled and winked. "Smart, aren't you? I work in the law
firm over there." she indicated with her chin, never stopping
in her feeding process. "I know what you mean about a hard year,"
she quietly. "I think I've filled my quota for roughness for
my whole life this year!"
Bobby laughed and nodded. "What happened?"
"My brother and his girlfriend were in a car crash. My father
had a heart attack and died. I had a miscarriage. My house was torn
down by a bunch of sentinels chasing some mutants."
"My goldfish died and I went broke trying to support my mother
and trying to repair my house while paying for my father's funeral."
She shrugged. "I'd say I have my health, but I'm afraid I just
found out I have cancer. I don't know what I'm going to do about my
mother if I die."
Bobby looked down at the pigeons. "Look at those little pigs,"
he said, smiling.
She grinned. "It's winter. They need food too. And I need to
take some time for myself." She screwed up her nose. "I
should be finding a place for my mother to live after I die."
"You say that like it's a certainty," Bobby said, frowning.
"It is. They can't operate on my tumor because it's in a spot
of my brain they can't get to. Or something like that." She shrugged.
"At least I don't have children."
Bobby eyed her. "You don't seem too upset by everything that's
She shrugged. "Fifty years from now, it's not going to matter.
These aren't world changing events. My dreams will live on in others,
so why sweat the small stuff?"
Bobby scratched the back of his neck, thinking. That didn't seem
like small stuff to him, but she had a good point. Lots had happened
this year, from Bastion, to Onslaught to that whole Shi'ar thing.
These were world-changing events--but what she said still held true.
No matter what happened to them, the world--and the dream--would still
go on. Look at Bishop, living proof of that. No one had died this
year. The heroes had returned. Joseph seemed to be on the side of
the angels--for once. Bobby's father was fine. Even Scott was okay.
Bobby looked up and smiled at the woman. "You're right. Why
sweat the small stuff. I think you've had a harder year then I have."
And you're here, not worried, even though you're going to die soon,
feeding pigeons, Bobby thought, but didn't say. "I think
maybe I'll take you up on that sandwich now,"
She smiled and handed it to him, then watched as he tore it apart
and fed it to the birds.
Bobby sat back and watched the carolers, horribly off key half the
time, but having fun. A squirrel grabbed a man's hat as he walked
under a low hanging branch, and the man swore at it, shaking his fist
as it ran higher, chittering. The snow started to come down again,
dusting everything with a white powder, muffling sounds and blanketing
things. Maybe life wasn't as awful as he'd thought.
Done with the sandwich, he sighed and stood up. "I guess I'd
better be going," he said, putting his hands in his pockets.
She smiled and nodded, waved to him.
Bobby started to walk away, then stopped and turned around. "Thank--"
he started to say. Behind him was the chorus singing "Jingle
Bells" quite cheerfully, and children played, throwing snowballs
at one another. Pigeons still pecked around in the snow, looking for
crumbs. And the bench was empty. Slowly he walked back, wondering
if he'd imagined the whole thing. There, sitting on the old metal,
was a small piece of sandwich. Bobby smiled. "I never even asked
her name," he said softly. "Thanks, anyway."
Bobby turned and walked away. He passed the choir, singing "Silent
Night" and waved. He shoved his hands in his pockets, found a
ten dollar bill, and handed it to the old man sitting on a step, counting
bottle caps. The man smiled and thanked him, and Bobby started to
Maybe life wasn't so hard.
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