Disclaimer: Since the good people who created Mutant X and its characters have not decided to transfer ownership to me - yet - they are not mine.

Author's Note: This story is set a few weeks after the events of 'A Little Problem', so you should probably read that first.

Dedication: This story is dedicated to tigereyes320, whose suggestion that I write an epilogue to 'A Little Problem' is the sole reason for this story's existence. Thanks.

Words in // = Thoughts

*

Chapter 1.

It had been three weeks since Shalimar had been restored to her adult condition and, much to her own disgust, her 'second childhood', as it had inevitably been dubbed, was still the subject of conversation and joke both in Sanctuary and in the Underground.

Jesse, whose distribution of the footage he had gathered of her as an infant had guaranteed that the incident would not be forgotten anytime soon and that Shalimar's spell as a one year old would go down in Underground history, lived in fear. Shalimar had made her intention to take revenge known and her threats were not to be taken lightly.

He always made sure to lock his bedroom door every time he left it, he never accepted any food or drink she offered him, he refused to spar with her and made a point of checking the chair in front of the computer for booby traps before he sat down.

So far, nothing had happened.

It was only a matter of time.

* * *

While Shalimar enjoyed Jesse's paranoia, she had more important things to worry about; namely her budding relationship with Brennan.

Shortly after she had been 'de-infantized', the two of them had finally sat down for a long overdue talk about their feelings for one another.

In the past couple of weeks they had gone out on a few dates, but kept their new connection secret from the rest of the team.

When the time was right, they had agreed, they would tell them.

* * *

Adam had kept to himself over the past three weeks, spending most of his time closeted in his lab. He did very little actual work and the team suspected that he was spending the bulk of his time brooding.

The playpen was still standing in the corner of the lab, he hadn't had the heart to remove it and it stood, still filled with toys, a silent memorial, as if its tiny occupant might be back at any minute.

Adam was feeling conflicted; he was glad to have the adult Shalimar back, but he missed her one year old self. If he could, he would have liked to duplicate her, keep the infant as she was and have his teammate back at the same time.

/I want to eat my cake and have it too./ He thought cynically.

He had destroyed the samples he had taken of the pathogen and erased all data pertaining to it from the computer system - he didn't trust himself not to give into the temptation to use it again.

/I don't have that right. It's Shalimar's life. I couldn't do that to her./

* * *

Emma was worried about him. The leader of Mutant X had been more attached than any of them to baby Shalimar and she could sense the depression he was feeling, the grief over the loss of the infant warring with his joy at having the woman back.

She knew that late at night, when he thought that the others were sleeping, he would sit in the rec room alone, watching the tapes that Jesse had made of baby Shalimar, a sad smile on his face.

She did not need her telempathic gifts to understand how he felt. At times she missed having baby Shalimar around, although she did not miss the mischief and the havoc she had always managed to create. For Adam, it was much worse. Out of all the tea, Shalimar was undeniably the one he was closest to. He had known her since she was a child and, in a way, a part of him still saw her that way.

The man needed cheering up.

Badly.

* * *

Her three fellow mutants were sitting together in the rec room when she entered. The television was on but nobody seemed to be watching it; Brennan was reading a book - Emma was willing to bet that it was Walt Whitman - Shalimar was watching Jesse, giving him her best predatory 'I'm going to get you' look and Jesse was squirming uncomfortably under her intense gaze.

"Hey, guys."

They all looked up as Emma entered, greeting her.

She got straight to the point. "Adam's really down, you guys. He's been like this for three weeks now. We really need to do something about it."

The two guys grunted something that might pass for assent.

Shalimar was concerned. "What can we do to help?"

"You could take the serum again." Jesse suggested hopefully. "You'd be all cute and small and not vengeful then."

Shalimar growled and flashed her eyes feral.

Jesse gulped. "Kidding, Shal, I'm kidding. It's a very bad idea."

He ducked a little as Shalimar reached for a book, half-expecting her to throw it at him. She seemed to take great pleasure in his confusion as she smiled innocently and returned the book to the shelf.

Ignoring Jesse's suggestion, Emma turned to Shalimar, the person most likely to have the information she needed. "Shal, Adam's birthday is coming up soon, isn't it?"

"Yeah, next week, why?" The feral's eyes widened. "You have gotta be kidding me!"

"What? What's going on?" Brennan asked, finally looking up from his book, a confused expression on his features.

Emma grinned at her teammates, delighted with herself. "I think we should throw him a surprise party."

Jesse and Brennan exchanged 'uh-oh' looks. Shalimar looked positively horror-struck.

"What?"

*

TBC.

*

Sorry it's so short and boring. I'll try to make the next chapters bigger and better.