Disclaimer: Marvel owns them all, I merely borrow them for a slight holiday. The holiday in question also does not belong to me.

Notes: This is... sort of in past continuity. Somehow, in some way... It certainly isn't current continuity.

One Card is Worth a Thousand Years
by Ana Lyssie Cotton

"I don't understand."

"You do, too."

Nathan Summers attempted to pout and look cutely at his longtime partner. The mercenary known only as Domino raised an eyebrow. "Don't try that on me, buster."

"But it works."

"Sometimes," She allowed, then shifted away from him before he could try anything physically persuasive.

"I still don't understand, though."

An eye roll was his answer, then she snorted, "I'm not explaining this again, Nate."

The rather large man huffed a sigh. "Oh well. I was just gonna try."

She crossed her arms, "Uh. Huh. Now get on your mission, Messiah."

He glowered at her.

"Before I kick your ass." She smirked.

"Yes, Domino." He said, trying to sound like an obedient child. She raised an eyebrow, and he decided it might be time to leave. "Bodyslide by one to Muir Island."


Rachel Summers was getting down with her bad self, flying through the air to the music of the stars in her head. It was a wonderful experience, more magical than anything else had been for a while. Even her parents' wedding--her almost-parents, the two people on this planet that she loved more than anything. Not that this Scott and Jean Summers were her parents. Probably.

Something touched the pyschic plain around her, and she paused in mid-pirouette to survey the island far below herself.

There. A momentary flare of mental power. Telepathy, something else. Something that felt... familiar.

She reached out for it, touching gently, and was shocked as she recognised it. A mind she knew, had known, would know. ::Hello?::

::Ah. There you are.::

Telekinesis tugged at her ankle, pulling her down to a remote section of the island (this wasn't difficult, most of Muir was pocked with tiny secluded coves and inlets). Giving in to the tug, she drifted down, curious. The mind touching hers wasn't hostile. More, peaceful in a way.

Stepping off the air, Rachel looked around, trying to spot the person who'd attracted her attention. "Hello?"


That voice... She whirled, staring at the man who stood there. He was... Nathan Summers, but different than when they'd last met. More mellow, in some way. "Come for another ass-kicking, Cable?"

"No." He half-smiled at her, "It's good to see you, Ray."

"Riiight." She crossed her arms, and glared, "So, what is the purpose of this visit?"

"I... need you to sign a card."

"A card."

He held it out to her, taking advantage of her slight confusion. She took it mechanically, curiosity getting the better of her. Besides, what could go wrong? Her parents were now officially her parents. Life was great.

Reading swiftly, she smiled, "Is this for who I think it is?"


"Gimme a pen."


Chaos Bringers don't normally lounge, as a rule of thumb. Relaxation makes you look lax, and underlings tend to attempt to take advantage of that. And blood is so hard to get out of white carpet. So Stryfe wasn't lounging in his throne. He was... sort of sitting sideways, one leg thrown carelessly over an arm. The armor barely fit, and he had already almost poked his eye out.

Once. But no one else saw that. Well, he wouldn't be telling anyone he had. Not unless someone cloned him from the dna scattered all over the palace.

A footstep scraped nearby, and he threw himself to the floor, rolling to come up facing the direction, mind and weapons ready.

"You." He blinked, half in disbelief. "You dare..."

"Calm down. I'm not here to--"

Telekinetic bands wrapped around the man facing Stryfe. "You shall be silent, Dayspring. You were a fool to come here alone and unarmed."

Dayspring raised an eyebrow, "Unarmed? What makes you think that?"

Frowning, Stryfe finally realised the man was older than he should be, "Old man, don't play games."

"I'm... well, okay, I sort of am."


"Look--ow. Look, I just need you to, uh, sign something?"

Baffled, Stryfe stared at this older version of his enemy. "What?"

Pushing against the bonds that wrapped him, Nate brought out the card and held it up, "It's simple. Just take this silver pen, and sign."

Against his better judgement, Stryfe reached for the card, and read it. He looked at Dayspring. He looked at the card. He looked at Dayspring.

"Just sign it, Stryfe."

"What is the purpose of this card?"


The Chaos Bringer studied the piece of thick paper for a time, then finally shrugged, "I understand this not at all, but I suppose..."

"Good. Try not to scrawl over Ray's."


Late night, a dimly lit apartment. Domino shifted, curling into Nate's side more. Vaguely content was a good thing, sometimes. On the television in front of them, some be-muscled idiot pranced about, changing time.

"It wouldn't happen like that, you know."

"Hrm." She looked up at him, "More guns, more blood?"

"Yeah." Nathan looked down at her, "Sleepy?"

"Mm. Maybe." She paused in the act of slipping a hand under his shirt. "Hey, did you ever do that card thing?"

"As requested."

"You look shifty, Nate."

He shrugged, looking uncomfortable. "I wasn't expecting... It's just... He..." He shook his head. "Never mind. Let's go to bed."


A hand slid down her arm, "I could make it worth your while."

"Ooh. Bribery. I like that in a man."


Sunlight was creeping across the bed, drifting into eyes as it warmed the bed's occupants. Eventually, it woke at least one of them up, and pulling on a robe, Jean Grey-Summers padded into the bathroom to brush her teeth. Behind her, a faint grown from Scott proved he was awake, and she smiled as he followed a moment later.

"Morning, Mrs. Summers."

"Morning, Mr. Summers."

They shared an intimate smile, then both attended to various needs. Toothpaste was used kinkily at one point. Once clean and refreshed, they headed up to the mansion kitchen, intent on making breakfast. When you have twenty people who live and sort of live in one place, it's good to get breakfast started early.

Once breakfast was begun, Jean left Scott in charge of the pancakes and wandered out to get the mail.

Monday mornings were always interesting days. Extra mail for the weekend, Bobby's Sports Illustrated, Rogue's Victoria Secrets catalogue, and Remy's Cheese catalogues were usually delivered then. Regular as clockwork. Flipping through the various letters, she blinked when she came to one for Scott. It was addressed in a firm hand, to 'Scott Dayspring Summers'.

Wandering back into the kitchen, she handed it to Scott and took over the pancake flipping chores.

He opened it, the sound of the envelope opening loud in the silence of early morning. She glanced at him, then dumped a stack of pancakes onto the warming plate and stuck it in the oven.

A soft gasp of surprise made her look back at Scott while she poured another batch into the pan. "What?"

"This..." He sat down in a chair, bewildered. "I can't... I don't understand."

Jean reached out for the card he held, and blinked. "It's a Father's Day card."

"In September." Scott half-smiled.

"Sounds about right, for this family," Jean pointed out, opening it and reading the inscription. "'To Scott, you weren't always there for us, but we wouldn't be here without you'. Hrm. Touching."

"It's the thought that counts." He grinned crookedly. "Rachel had some nice things to say."

Jean blinked. "Rachel has been gone from our timeline for three years."

"Hrm." Scott tilted his head to the side, "I begin to suspect my time-travelling son had a hand in this."

"I always thought you Summers boys were machiavellian."

He reached out and caught her around the waist, pulling her down into his lap, "Well, I'm sure you can think of ways to reform me, Mrs. Summers."

"Mmm. Possibly. It could take years, though."

She bent down and kissed him, sliding her hands around to his back.

Behind them, smoke rose from the unattended pancakes.