Disclaimer: 'Mutant X' and its characters = Not mine. (And I'm not overly happy about that!) Lexi and Izzy = Mine.

Author's Note: This story takes place five months after 'Babysitting'.

Words in / / = Thoughts.


New Years Day.

"Happy Birthday to you. Happy Birthday to you. Happy Birthday Lexi and Izzy. Happy Birthday to you."

The twins, now at the advanced age of three, clapped their hands at the end of the adult's performance.

"Vewy good." Izzy beamed at them.

"'Cept Other Grandpa." Lexi added. "His singing huwts my ears." She complained, putting her hands over her sensitive feral ears.

Nicholas Fox turned a bright shade of scarlet. Adam beamed at the little girl and the four adult mutants did their best not to burst out laughing.

The bleeping of the computer drew Adam out of the room before he could taunt the older man.

"Lexi, that wasn't a very nice thing to say." Shalimar scolded her daughter gently.

"But it twue!" Lexi pointed out, not bothered in the least by her mother's mild rebuke.

"But you shouldn't say it." Brennan tried.

"You say to tell twuth." Izzy leaped to her twin's defence.

"You wan' us to say lie?" Lexi asked, perplexed.

Brennan turned to his wife with a pleading expression on his face, silently begging her to rescue him. Shalimar shrugged, unable to see a way out of his ethical dilemma.

"It's not true, is it?" Nicholas asked, more than a little miffed. "I'm a good singer, aren't I?" He turned to his daughter, whose expression now strongly resembled that of a deer in headlights. "When you were little, you used to like it when I sang to you, didn't you?"

"Guys," Shalimar said a silent prayer of thanksgiving when Adam entered the room with a solemn expression on his face, sparing her the task of answering. "I'm afraid I've got some bad news."

The four mutants exchanged an unhappy glance. Their thoughts were as one.

/You've got to be kidding me! /

* * *

"So, Kane," Nicholas's lip was curled into an unpleasant sneer. "Do you make a point of sending my daughter out on these life-threatening errands of yours during every milestone in her children's lives?"

"For Heaven's sake, man!" Adam exploded. "It's not like I plan these things! I don't control the GSA's activities!"

"Funny how these things almost always seem to be cropping up whenever I'm visiting." Nicholas commented bitterly. "A suspicious man might think that you planned them deliberately to keep my daughter away from me."

"If you bothered to open your eyes you'd see that I would never put Shalimar – or any of my team – at risk unnecessarily." Adam snapped. "But of course, that would be too much to expect of you." He added dismissively.

Considering that his opponent was probably the most intelligent man alive, Nicholas was at a decided disadvantage in a battle of wits and he knew it.

"You'd think that you'd be happy with stealing my daughter from me." Nicholas said petulantly, returning to his usual grievance. "But do you have to try to alienate my granddaughters' affections as well."

"I don't have to try, Other Grandpa." Adam retorted smugly. Although he would never have admitted it in a million years, he rather enjoyed these verbal sparring matches with Nicholas. Although the other man was not Eckhart's intellectual equal by any means, he matched and even exceeded Adam's white haired nemesis in terms of their shared hatred of him.

"You have an unfair advantage." Nicholas might as well have been pouting. "You're here all the time. You spend more time with them than I do. They just know you better, that's all. If they had to choose between us, I'm sure I'd win hands down."

"It's not a contest!" Adam protested.

"Why? Do you think you'll lose? Are you afraid?"

"Of you?" Adam laughed. "Izzy has a pink stuffed bunny I find more intimidating than you!"

"That's it!" Nicholas leapt to his feet in rage. "You know what this means, don't you, Kane?"

"I do."

Both men glared at each other, unwilling to be the first to look away.

/This means war! /


I know that it's short but it's just the Prologue. The next chapter will be longer, I promise.

Next Chapter: Adam and Nicholas don't realize that they have made a fatal mistake by leaving the twins alone.

Don't be afraid to review.