Hello, everyone. Long time no write! Does anyone even remember me? If you do, then here's a cookie. It's been a little over a year and my writer's block is finally gone (somewhat) and, more importantly, I've finally updated Red Witch's fanlisting! Hopefully I can stay up to date on it now...not to mention get myself caught up on all our favorite mutant's actions! I'm sure once I get caught up and completely back into the fold, more stories will be coming!

X-Men: Evolution? Nope, don't own it. G.I. Joe? Nope, don't own that either. The Misfits Universe? Still a nope. That belongs to the wonderful Red Witch (praise and worship her as she deserves!). Adam, Carly, and Roxie? Well, those are mine and if you wanna use them, go right ahead (and let me know so I can read what you have the Insane Little Monkeys do!), I don't mind. So let's see...you now know what I do and don't own. Oh! And the inspiration for this one goes to the 90s sitcom Living Single (which also doesn't belong to me) and the episode "Shrink to Fit." And, before I get to the story, if you haven't noticed, I've added a few new links into my profile. Those links are to pictures of Adam, Carly, and Roxie, just in case you're interested. There's also one of (teacher) Jaye (who doesn't appear in this story). Check them out if you wish to.

Three Rings and a Mutant or Send In the Clowns

The various members of the Misfits were lounging around the living room of their house, enjoying the peace and quiet that Pietro and Adam's absences afforded. It wasn't often they were out of the house, but this just happened to be one of those times and the others were going to enjoy it as long as it lasted.

It didn't last too much longer as the front door slammed open and Pietro took a few steps into the house before spotting them. "I don't want to talk about it!" he said in a loud, frenzied voice, before bolting up the stairs and into his room.

Almost in unison, the others turned their heads from the stairs back to the front door as Shipwreck, Roxie, Adam, Claudius, and Barney entered the house.

"What was that all about?" Althea asked, voicing the question they were all thinking.

"I'll bet I know," Carly piped up. "He was attacked by a clown. Clowns are evil, you know. I told you someone would get attacked by a clown!"

"He didn't get attacked by a clown," Todd replied with a shake of his head. He then turned to look up at Shipwreck and Roxie. "Did he?"

"No, he didn't," Roxie replied. "There were no attacking clowns."

"She's just saying that so we don't get scared," Carly whispered to Todd. "Clowns attacked him."

Adam rolled his eyes as he put the babies in their playpen. "You need therapy, Carly. He wasn't attacked by clown...I don't think."

"See! I told you!" Carly said, feeling her point proven. "The clowns attacked!"

"Clowns didn't attack!" Roxie, Adam, and Shipwreck yelled the response.

Carly scowled back at them. "Well, it could happen. They're evil, you know."

"If clowns didn't attack, what happened?" Lance asked, shooting Carly a look telling her to shut up.

Shipwreck and Roxie sat on the couch and relaxed back against it.

"It's a bit of a long story," Shipwreck said after a few moments of silence.

"It's tragic," Adam added. "And...traumatic...and hilarious!" At that last statement, he burst out laughing.

"Knock it off, Adam!" Roxie ordered him in her stern voice. "It isn't that funny."

"I'm sorry. I know it isn't," the light bender replied, his voice contrite. He turned to the others and mouthed, 'yes it is!'

There were another few moments of silence. "Well, come on! Someone tell us what happened!" Althea burst out.

"Alright," Shipwreck sighed. "It all started two days ago when..."

"We know that part," Fred pointed out.

"I know you know that part, but it's best when explained from the beginning. Now are you all going to shut up and let me tell the story?"

"Yes, sir," they chorused, some more reluctantly than the others.

"Alright then. Now as I was saying, it all began two days ago at breakfast..."

&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&

Two days ago...

"The circus is coming! The circus is coming!"

All the residents of Misfit Manor (and Carly, who had decided to eat breakfast with them) looked at an excited Quicksilver as he stood jumping up and down just inside the kitchen, a sheet of brightly colored paper clutched tightly in his hand. He lost their attention just as quickly as he'd gotten it in the first place.

"Didn't you guys hear me?" Pietro asked his voice bordering on a whine.

"Yeah, yeah, yeah. The circus is coming," Lance replied, not really all that interested.

"Exactly! Why aren't you guys more excited?"

"I guess no one likes the circus as much as you, Pietro," Cover Girl answered. "Now sit down and eat your breakfast.

The white-haired teen sat in his usual chair and pouted. How could no one else be as excited as he was? All the bright colors, the clowns, the elephants, the attractive women in spandex and sequins...

Adam watched him pout for a few moments. "All right! Let me see what you have there, you big pouter."

"Thank you!" Pietro handed the flyer to his Filipino friend. "The big top opens in two days. Do you want to go?"

The black-haired youth considered the question. "I'll think about it," he finally answered. "I like a circus as much as the next guy...though, obviously, not as much as you."

"Can I see that for a moment?" Shipwreck asked, holding his hand out for the advertisement, which was promptly handed to him. He studied it a few moments. "This might make for a good teem bonding experience."

He looked up to get feedback on the suggestion and was met with only four interested faces (Pietro, Trinity, and, to a much, much lesser degree, Adam) and several horrified ones-both kids and adults-staring back at him. The horrified ones looked close to mutiny if he were to force them to go.

"All right, you win. No team expedition to the circus. How about just a Delgado family bonding experience? Carly, we can invite your mom and you can come along."

"But we're not Delgado's," Carly replied.

"But if I play my cards right with Roxie, maybe someday I will be!"

Carly and Althea locked gazes. Neither wanted to entertain that thought nor the thought of going to the circus.

"Are you sure about this, Dad?" Althea asked. "Remember what happened the last time there was a Delgado family trip to the circus."

The father and daughter both immediately turned to the triplets, who looked back with their most innocent faces.

"What?" Daria asked.

"It's not as if any permanent damage was done," Brittany added.

"Yeah. The Ringmaster was only out for a couple of hours," Quinn shrugged.

"True, but we got sued for that little trick of yours," Althea snapped. "We don't need to go through yet another litigation!"

"I have an idea," Carly supplied, not certain she really wanted to know what caused the Ringmaster to pass out. "Why don't you and my mom take Claudius and Barney and have yourselves a nice little date. Althea and I will look after the triplets so you can enjoy yourselves."

"That's an excellent idea," Althea beamed. "Who knows, maybe it's a right card to play?"

"I don't know...are you sure you two don't want to go? Look at the flyer," he prompted, sliding the advertisement toward the two girls.

Carly glanced at the paper and screamed. "Clown!" She jumped away from the table and ran out of the house, screaming hysterically the entire time.

"What was that about?" a stunned Shipwreck questioned.

"She has a little fear of clowns," Adam answered, completely unconcerned having gone through that multiple times before. "Could anyone please pass the milk?"

"Can I go on the date with you?" Pietro asked hopefully.

&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&

One Day Ago...

"Why can't I go to the circus with you?"

"That makes the 28th time this morning," Xi commented.

"If he says it any more, I think I'm going to hit him," Lance groaned. "It's getting more than just a little irritating."

"Nonstop yesterday," Todd added. "And 28 times today and we've all only been up for a half-an hour!"

"Why not? Can I please go?"

"Twenty-nine," Fred sighed, rolling his eyes.

"Dad, please let him go with you," Althea pleaded. "He can help you look after Claudius and Barney so you and Roxie can spend a little alone time together."

"Would you really want to entrust your little brothers to the care of my brother?" Wanda asked her, not sure how much faith should be placed in her sibling.

"You may have a point," the water manipulator considered.

"I'll go along to help," Adam reluctantly volunteered.

"You will?"

"Anything to get him to shut up. He's driving me nuts! Maybe if he's allowed to go, he'll be too happy to speak."

"Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease?" Pietro's voice was heard once again.

"Fine! You can go!" Shipwreck relented. He looked at the other Misfits. "Dogs everywhere must've been in pain just then."

"Yay, I'm going to the circus!"

Carly walked in and watched Pietro jumping up and down in excitement. "I wouldn't, if I were you. The clowns will eat you, you know."

"Who cares? I'm going got the circus!"

&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&

This Morning...

Roxie looked around the living room of Misfit Manor, where the entire team, save Pietro, was gathered. "So it's just Shipwreck, Pietro, Adam, the babies, and myself who are going? Doesn't anyone else want to come along?"

"No thanks," was the responding chorus.

"For as excited as Pietro was about going to the circus, he sure is taking his sweet time getting ready to go," Shipwreck commented.

"He's been ready and waiting to go for the past three and a half hours," Lance informed him. "He's been waiting outside.

"Is it time to go yet?" Pietro asked, popping his head through the doorway.

"Yes, it is," Shipwreck sighed as the white-haired boy grinned and broke into song.

"We're going to the circus! We're going to the circus!"

"And this is before he gets any sugar into him," Adam snickered, placing first Claudius, then Barney in their stroller.

Carly opened her mouth to speak but was cut off by her mother. "Yes, dear, we'll watch out for the man-eating clowns. We won't be eaten."

"Watch out for the ones that just attack, too," the feral added helpfully.

"We will," Shipwreck stated with a roll of his eyes. "Everybody ready?" he asked before teleporting them all to the nearest town and the circus.

"We're at the circus!" Pietro called out happily. "The colors, the smells...the circus freaks. You just gotta love it!"

"Do you think it's possible we can keep him away from all sugar and caffeine products?" Roxie asked as she and Shipwreck got in line to purchase their tickets.

"Are you nuts? That's impossible!" Adam answered. "C'mon, Pietro. Rein it in a little or you'll wear yourself out too soon."

Pietro looked at him and rolled his eyes. "That's not possible. This is the greatest day of the year."

"Here are the tickets," Shipwreck said, walking up to them. "The show under the Big Top begins in forty-five minutes. Be on your best behavior today. As Althea has pointed out, we don't need to give the lawyers of the world any more business than they already get from us. That goes double for you, Pietro!"

"Alright, alright. I'll behave. Can we get going already? I wanna go to the circus!" Pietro stated, once again doing his excited, bouncy dance.

"Wait just a minute," Roxie replied. "If we get separated, we'll meet back here at, let's say, three o'clock. And keep an eye on the babies if they're with you. They're young and can't take care of themselves as well as you can. Alright?"

"We'll take good care of them," Adam assured her. "Now let's get into the circus before Pietro has a heart attack."

Shipwreck handed them all their tickets and they entered the circus grounds. Pietro immediately began tugging on the light bender's arm, urging him to hurry up.

Adam rolled his eyes and grasped hold of the stroller and glanced at the grown-ups. "You two have a good time. I'll keep an eye on these three." He sighed and turned to follow Pietro off into the crowd.

"Alone at last!"

Adam heard Shipwreck's happy statement before he got too far from the two adults to hear them any longer. He glanced down at the babies. "Why did I choose him as my guardian again? I'm not sure whom I pity more: you two for not having a choice in your guardian or me for actually choosing him. Now where's the speed demon?" He looked around and spotted his friend waiting in line for some popcorn. "I guess he can't get into any trouble getting popcorn, can he?"

The light manipulator stood a few feet away from the popcorn vendor, unconcerned about any trouble happening. That was just about the time the popcorn machine began to vibrate and emit some black smoke.

"That can't be good," he murmured just before the machine blew up, sending popcorn raining over the area. "Nope, that wasn't good at all."

Pietro stalked over to him, a pout on his face. "I didn't do it!" he immediately defended himself. "You saw it, I didn't do a thing."

"You won't get in trouble, I promise," Adam replied. "You really didn't do a thing."

"Oooh, who's that?"

"You have the attention span of a fruit fly," the Filipino boy groaned before turning to see who his friend was looking at. "I give, which one?"

"The blonde in the sequins," he answered. "Isn't she gorgeous."

"Do you mean the one with her legs behind her head?"

"Yes. Don't you just love contortionists?"

"They are intriguing, aren't they?" Adam noticed Pietro begin to walk away. "Where are you going?"

"To grace her with the wonder that is me."

The black-haired teen looked down at the babies again. "His ego knows no bounds. I don't think she's going to be all that interested."

He was soon proven right as he noticed the blonde contortionist rolling her eyes. Pietro didn't seem to be getting the hint as he continued laying on his charm. Unfortunately, he didn't notice an extremely muscular man walk up behind him until he tapped on his shoulder.

"I think that's her boyfriend," Adam told the babies.

Pietro soon made a quick retreat back to where the three mutants were still standing (or in the babies' case, sitting). "She already had a boyfriend."

"I figured," Adam snorted. "Come on, let's go get these two some cotton candy."

After getting Barney and Claudius their cotton candy, and some for Pietro, he led the group over to a nearby bench. "Pietro, I've been wondering something. Why are you so darn excited about the circus?"

"What's not to be excited about? The circus is a wonderful place to be. All the joy, fun, and friendly clowns."

"I'm serious, what's the deal?"

"I went to the circus a few times when I was younger. There was always a portion of the show where the clowns chose someone from the audience to join them for a while. I was always overlooked and I want to be in the show!"

Adam just stared at him for a while. "You are, quite possibly, the most insane person I've met in my life. Well, not including Carly when she's on catnip."

"No one's more insane than her on catnip. Or Todd on butterflies. Or you on B.A.'s coffee."

"Whatever. You're just determined to be the Clown's helper, aren't you?"

"Yes, I am. Today is the day. Today I'm going to help the clowns!"

"Well, your mind is completely made up, so I can't see how it won't happen." And if it didn't happen, then they'd all have to deal with a pouting Pietro for at least a week. He glanced at his watch. "It looks like it's almost time for your chance. It's time to meet Roxie and Shipwreck at the Big Top."

"What are we waiting for? Let's go!" Pietro asked as he began to jog toward the Big Top.

"Never again. Never, never again am I going to the circus with that guy. He's insane," Adam mumbled as he began pushing the babies toward the Big Top at a more sedate pace.

"There they are," Quicksilver pointed out, spotting Shipwreck and Roxie.

Bender merely nodded and followed. "You'd better pray the clowns want to be his friend," he whispered to the two adults when he got near enough. "He's driving me nuts and it'd be nice to have a break."

Roxie threw him a sympathetic look and took over pushing the stroller. "Are you two ready to watch the show?" she asked as they entered the Big Top.

The group found seats near the center of the tent and settled in to watch the show. It wasn't long before the clowns came out and began to do their routine.

"Here it comes!" Pietro murmured excitedly. "The clowns are going to choose an assistant!"

Adam glanced at the adults as the firefighter clown began to make his way toward their section of the audience. "Don't ask," he whispered. "You don't want to know."

He'd barely gotten the whispered statements out before Pietro began shrieking and jumping up and down in triumph. "I'm going to be the clown's assistant! I'm going to be in the show!"

"Again, dogs in a thirty mile radius are howling in pain," Shipwreck winced.

"Is this why he's been so excited about the circus?" Roxie asked.

"Yes," Adam answered, watching Pietro climb into the hook and ladder of the little clown fire engine.

The little vehicle did a few laps around the ring before the engine began to smoke. Shortly after the smoke began, the fire engine began to speed up and veer out of control before it made a sudden stop, catapulting Pietro off the hook and ladder and straight into the hind end of Puddles the Elephant, who'd been standing nearby. Puddles let out an ear-splitting trumpet as he literally got the bejeezus scared out of him.

"Did that really just happen?" Adam asked in surprised as he looked down into the ring. The only thing he could see of his friend was his white head sticking out of the top of a mound of brown manure.

"We should probably take him home," Shipwreck said, staring down into the ring.

"Just as soon as the finish digging him out, that is," Roxie added as the clowns finally shook themselves out of their shocked stupor and started to free their no-longer-excited assistant out of the mess he was stuck in.

&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&

Present...

"How long did it take to get him out?" Todd asked, trying his hardest to suppress his laughter.

"About an hour. It might have gone quicker if the only shovels available hadn't been the tiny clown ones," Roxie answered, shooting the teens a disapproving look. "It really isn't that funny."

"Are you kidding? He flew into an Elephant's rear end!" Althea laughed. "I actually kind of wish I'd been there to see it."

"Shh!" Xi hissed. "Here he comes."

"I still don't want to talk about it," Pietro stated, a pout on his face as he flopped back in one of the chairs.

"I told you clowns were evil," Carly told him.

"I should've believed you. They cause nothing but pain and suffering," the speedy mutant agreed.

"Pietro, I have something for you," Adam said. "I saved it for you." He handed his friend a folded up piece of paper.

Both Pietro and Carly looked at the program from the circus and screamed. "Clown!" They both immediately began to scream hysterically and ran out of the room.

"It looks like Psyche Out is going to be busier than usual for the foreseeable future," Lance sighed.

The End

Did you enjoy it? I hope so. Sorry if you didn't...my skills are still a little rusty. That will work itself out the more I get back into writing. Anyway, I'll get to the reason for this little endnote. This is a "camping year" (a.k.a. "family reunion year") and I will be gone from June 30 to July 9 and I hope to get some writing done in that time. I have a few vague story ideas, but nothing definite. So I'm appealing to you for your assistance.

First, send me any ideas of things you'd like to see (you can email, use the review function, or leave a comment on my LiveJournal) and I'll work on them. Anything at all...I do aim to please (though it remains to be seen whether or not I actually accomplish that).

Second, some of the vague story ideas I have involve family and it has occurred to me that I can get some input from you all on it. Families for most of the Misfits/Original Brotherhood aren't really mentioned or known about. So, since I will have to deal with my insane family (only a few of whom I really wish to see), why not have the Misfits deal with insane families as well? What I'd like from you is as follows: any suggestions for family situations for these guys to go through or even for whom their parents should be. For example...who are Lance's parents and who would you like them to be? Todd's? Xi's? Okay, Xi doesn't exactly have family, just the Unit he was created with, but we can always bring some more in, can't we? What about Adam? We know Carly's mom, but who's her dad? I have some vague ideas, but I'm all about pleasing people and this is one of those times. Send in those suggestions, whether they're for a person in the X-Men/Evo/Joe/etc. universe or just an idea about the type of person! (And it would be helpful if you would include a little description or references for the people if they're actually people from various universes...I've never read the comics or watched the various cartoons, so I know only what people tell me and the stuff I read/reference for myself or what was stated in the X-Men movies.) If any of these questions/family things have already been discovered/explained in RW's fics, let me know. After all, I've already mentioned that I'm still catching up and so I don't really know anything that's happened after halfway through This Soap Opera Called Life (which I have completely restarted so I can actually remember what's going on because I left of, I believe, right in the middle of Evan's trial). I'm reading as fast as I can and hope to be caught up soon (and it would go more quickly if I could get my hands on one of the laptops but the chances of that happening are slim and nil).

Also, I hope that by the time the next story comes out, I'll be sufficiently reminded of the characterizations of the two Angels, Spyder, Arcade, and whoever else has joined the Misfits since I last read the stories to bring them into this universe so I can stop feeling guilty over ignoring these wonderful characters.

Anyway, I'm here and will be listening to your requests, suggestions, and ideas!