Author's Note: I've only seen two eps of X-Men Evolution, so this story may be a bit shaky. Still, in those two eps, Toad has kind of grown on me, hence this story delving into Toad's psyche. Also, for me, this is a very short story. I'm not sure whether or not I want to continue it, but if I do, it will probably get a bit slashy.

New Beginning

Todd Tolensky, as usual, sat outside by himself and watched the clusters of friends enjoy their lunches. People traded snacks and jokes with a type of camaraderie that he had always envied. Todd knew what everyone said about him. Freak. Disgusting. A failure. They didn't even try to get to know him, damn it! Why should he care what they thought when they didn't even take the time to learn about him?

Warm laughter swirled around Todd's ears and he glared over at Sommers and the X-Freaks. The Blue Boy was entertaining them all by dancing on the table. It wasn't fair! Blue Boy was even more of a freak than Todd, yet he was still able to find friends!

Todd Tolensky - the human toad - remained by himself. Even the Brotherhood avoided him. Glancing down at himself, Todd decided that he couldn't really blame them. He wasn't exactly the most useful member of Mystique's merry little band. He could hop around and slime things. Big whoop.

Jealousy seethed inside of Todd as Rogue sat down beside Sommers. "Traitor!" he wanted to shout. He wanted to remind the X-Freaks that Rogue had been a member of the Brotherhood first. He wanted to break them all apart, watch them tear at each other's throats. He wanted...

He wanted... To be a part of their little circle, no longer the outsider looking in; to know there was someone to stand up for him. Todd quickly snapped his mind from such musings. He knew that such acceptance was impossible for one such as him to find.

Todd was jerked roughly out of his self-pity as he was hefted up from behind. He started to kick and struggle, but with one good punch to the stomach, Todd folded into feeble submission. 'Football players,' Todd mentally sneered. 'Jocks! The prime example of the normal life that I'll never have!' Each of the boys surrounding Todd stood tall and strong, having the kind of features that belonged between the covers of teen magazines. Each face held a confident smile, the boys feeling safe in their strength of numbers. Todd shut his eyes, both to block out their perfection and to show helpless submission. Maybe if he just went along with him, they wouldn't drag him to the boy's room and give him a dunking in the toilet. Another blow came, and the inevitable whimper escaped Todd.

"Vhy do you do zhis?" a soft familiar voice asked, interrupting the jocks' fun. "Five on vone does not hardly zeem fair." Todd's eyes flew open in amazement. What the hell was the elf trying to do?

Kurt smiled his easy smile at the football players, but Todd could see a dangerous glint in his eyes that spoke quite plainly of impending violence. "Get out of here!" the blond guy, Lonnie, snarled, but Kurt merely stood his ground. Todd had to give Blue Boy points for bravery. Not many ever stood up to Lonnie and his crew.

At some unseen, unspoken signal, a dark-haired boy whom Todd wasn't familiar with broke away from the group and attempted to punch Kurt. Attempted, yes, but the attack never made contact. Kurt may not be as fast as Pietro, but Todd knew from personal experience that the elf was easily one of the fastest guys at school. With an easy leap and flip backwards, Kurt was out of reach and smiling infuriatingly. "Iz zhat ze best you can do?"

With a start, Todd realized that the fuzzy elf was providing a distraction. Turning, Todd spat into the face of his captor and wrenched free. Once his feet touched the ground, Todd leapt to safety. Glancing back across the grounds, Todd couldn't help but wonder why Kurt had helped him like that. They were supposed to be enemies, weren't they?