Disclaimer: The X-Men movie-verse, and all that comes with it, does not belong to me. The intruder, however, does. You can find out more about her in my story "Silent Spirit".

"Dang it, I forgot to lock the door," I muttered. "Curse that woman!" My then-girlfriend had driven up to the 7-11 that I worked at, to return the jewelry I had given her the past three Valentines Days, and I had headed to the bar after our spat. Her car came up during closing time, when I was locking up and the other employees had gone home. She was now my ex, and I had somehow forgotten to lock the side door. The one the customers came in was safely closed, but I had not locked the little entrance designed for the janitor. With my luck, some burglar, or worse, a mutant, would choose that night to break in and empty the cash register. Then my promotion would go up in smoke, and I'd be back to cleaning the toilets again. The manager didn't have much patience with me as it was.

To make matters worse, I hadn't remembered this until I was getting ready to turn in. Meanwhile the store had been abandoned for several hours. Mentally kicking myself, I climbed into the rusty heap of a car that was all I could afford. A few months earlier I'd been lain off from my old occupation as a computer programmer. Economy slump does that to you. A prickling of anxiety traveled down my spine at the thought of having to start job-hunting again, if my worst fears were true.

First I saw that the lights were still out, which gave me a relief. Someone could still be lurking in the shadows, though. Fingering the gun I held in my hand (technically I wasn't supposed to bring one to work, but I didn't take my chances), I carefully stepped in through the unlocked door and flicked on the lights.

A cry broke from the other wall. Not the yell I expected, but a high, piercing shriek. Sounded like a female voice. Losing my head, I shouted, "Stay right there! Don't move, or I'll shoot." Hearing sobs and hyperventilation, I decided it definitely was a girl. A rather young one at that, most likely in the next aisle, since I could hear her so clearly. Perhaps it was just a little homeless girl, stealing food to prevent starvation. Moving down the row I was in, I said, "I'm not going to shoot you if you stay there."

"What's the alternative?" replied the voice, shaking audibly. "Handing me over to the police?"

"Well, I will have to do that. It's my duty, after all." I was nearly at the corner.

"I haven't done anything wrong!"

"You broke in on the store!" Rounding the corner now. I could see the girl, and a new wave of panic took me. It was a girl, yes, but one with silver hair, and gray fur coating her entire body, with a pair of large sunglasses covering her eyes. She was backing up, retreating towards the exit. Her clothes were ragged, ripped, and dirty, and she had a backpack on her shoulders.

"Don't touch me," she said in a strangled tone, "I could kill you. Don't move." Her hands were stretched out menacingly. Quick as a bullet she dashed out the door. I saw a glint of silver as she sprinted into the night.

I couldn't have moved, being frozen with terror. Ever since I was little, mutants had been my deepest fear. People who could read your mind, fry your brain, or do thousands of other horrible things, had occupied my nightmares for years. My worries were heightened by the mutant attacks on the President, only a week or two ago, even though the President himself didn't seem to be worried about it. The government could say what it liked, but I didn't want to be around a mutant. I sighed in relief when I knew she was gone.

Hoping desperately that nothing irreplaceable had been stolen, I searched through the convenience store for missing objects. The cooler containing bottled water and juice had not been closed properly, and I saw that the pile of emergency first-aid kits was in disarray. Several ready-made sandwiches and energy bars were out of their places, with less than I remembered having been there. However, I couldn't discover any other vanished merchandise.

"Of course, the cash register's going to be empty," I moaned. "Farewell to the two-dollar pay raise." To my surprise, though, the register was still locked and undamaged. I unlocked it and counted the money. There was the same amount as before. My glance fell upon the counter. On it rested two five-dollar bills, some quarters, and a note. The note said:

"One orange juice, $2.50

"Box of bandages, $3.00

"Ham sandwich, $2.00

"Granola five-in-one Bar Pack, $4.50

"Keep the change, for any damage I might have caused. I won't come back for it. Sorry that I had to break in, but I know you probably wouldn't have been willing to sell me anything. Appearances tend to be against me, and I can't afford for anyone to see me just now. Given the choice I would've preferred to come in during regular hours, but that's not an option for me. Please don't say anything about this to anyone. Thanks." On the page were a few drops of either rain or tears.

I never did tell anyone about the late night visitor. For she had paid. And she hadn't hurt me. And she hadn't done anything wrong.