Hello, kiddies, and welcome to….

Pyro's Christmas Dilemma

A very short X-men: Evolution one-shot fanfiction work by fudje.
The disclaimer telling you that the work this is derived from and its characters are owned by Marvel and not me was burned by the main character. Don't blame him, it's in his nature. He also set fire to the bit saying there's crude language in there. Again, in his nature — mine too.

On this the most terrible of Boxing Days (Hey, back home it didn't bloody well snow, ever, let alone Christmas and Boxing Day!), Pyro tossed what he'd found in his Christmas stocking from hand to hand. No, not the box of Dickheads¹ matches, but the lump of coal. He was still wondering where the Dickheads had come from, so he could thank them, but he had no doubt where the coal came from.

Of course, his parents had been too busy to ever tell him that Santa wasn't real. So when his powers manifested, St. John started being naughty just so he'd get coal in his stocking. He liked how it burned. The high spot of this year was that, yes, it was the first year he'd been bad enough to get coal. Or maybe He'd been good enough? It was what he'd had on his wishlist since he was fifteen. But he'd been told that bad children got coal….

Forgetting about it for a moment, he stopped throwing the lump he had around long enough to get out his matches and strike one on the side of the box. He grinned as the sulphurous flare cast a dark shadow on his hand, and then very carefully held the flame to the coal, amplifying its intensity so that the coal actually caught.

He then resumed what he was doing, tossing the now flaming lump of coal between his hands. He laughed at the blue sparks of dust that were swept of by the breeze.

Now he dropped the coal onto his foot, and started kicking it around like a hot Hacky Sack. Which it essentially was.

"Y' like what y'got for Christmas, mon ami?" asked a cheerful voice behind him.

Pyro carefully orbited around his flaming foot toy to face his friend and team mate, Remy LeBeau, who was for some unknown reason holding a clip board. "What do you think, mate?" he asked back, equally as cheerfully, before kicking the coal to Remy.

Remy didn't look to kick the coal, but instead checked a line on his note paper, which read Coal for John. He frowned at the next item on his list. The paints for Piotr had been obvious, and Sabretooth had been happy with his steak bone, the spirits alone knew what he'd want it for, and Pyro clearly liked what he'd been given, which was good as the thief had gone out of his way to get part of it there from Australia, but he didn't quite know how to find out what Rogue thought of the Emerald-studded choker. If she found out it was him, she'd probably assume he'd stolen it (which was stupid – he would never steal an item that was to be publicly displayed by someone close to him). He shook the frown off when a stray kick from Pyro almost hit him in the head.

If he could go just one week without needing new gloves, or a new coat, or staff repaired. Theo and Emil has taken care of the last one for him for a while by sending a shiny brand new titanium-steel alloy staff up there for him, even though Christmas wasn't really a holiday celebrated by the Voodoo practicing guilds. In truth, it was just like Remy playing Secret Santa to all three of the mutants teams in New York state. The External was probably in fits over it. He tucked the clipboard away into his coat. "Can y'be more careful of where y're kickin' things, mon ami?" he requested of Pyro, still holding the burning coal in his now gloveless hand.

The Australian grinned. "One day I'm gonna find out how you do that, mate," he said in reply.

"I already told y', John. Years of trainin'." Gambit charged the coal and threw it high into the air before turning and leaving.

Pyro laughed loud as it exploded into fragments small enough that they flew around on the draft created by their own fire. It meant that he could create a plethora of patterns with swirling, burning tendrils that were easier to manipulate than even the flow from his flamethrowers. Unfortunately, they also burnt out within a couple of short minutes. He took another lump from his pocket.

'I wonder,' he thought as he watched the pretty sparkles fly off the object of his affection, 'Should I be good and ask for more coal, or be real bloody naughty so I'll get lots and lots?'

¹A real brand of matches in Australia. Have you ever heard of Redheads? Right, well when Dick Smith (the man who rides his own personal train to his helicopter to go to work) got sick of the whole Australia-selling-all-its-companies-overseas thing and poured tons of money into still-Australian companies to put a "Dick Smith Foods" label on their products so that people would know they were Australian, one of the relabelled products was Dickheads. The label includes:
"We love our dickheads but you'd have to be a real dickhead to let our Aussie brands disappear overseas. A protest from Dick Smith Foods."
I'm not kidding. In related news, he's looking at buying Vegemite from Kraft. I hate the stuff personally, but it's pretty damn annoying to have an Aussie icon owned by Philip Morris.