Disclaimer: None of the characters are mine. None. Nada. Zip. This is a very odd idea I had one night.
It all started one afternoon, while Lance and Pietro were having an important discussion. Fred was in the kitchen, eating whatever he could find in order to tide him over until dinner. He was so bored he actually listened to bits of the other two mutants' important debate.
"No way, Pietro. I say Kira Nerys from DS9 could kick Seven of Nine's butt any day of the week!"
"Are you nuts? Do I have to go over this again? She's got the catsuit, the cool Borg technology, the catsuit!"
"Big deal. So does Kira, plus she's a former terrorist. She blows stuff up!"
"Oh and wiping out entire planets doesn't count?"
"As a drone. Brainwashed. Like you, if you had a brain!"
Fred sighed, taking another bite into a Twinkie. He wished those two hadn't spent their computer class period surfing the net for pin up pictures. Every time they did that they ended up in the dumbest arguments. These arguments were so dumb they actually made him feel intelligent. He really did not want a repeat of last week's, "Baywatch Classic" vs. "Baywatch Hawaii" debate.
The back door opened and out of the corner of his eye, Fred could see Todd silently creep in, holding something in his hands. "Okay, okay." Todd was muttering to himself. "Gotta little more to go. Just a few more feet and we'll be in my room. Keep it down, okay?"
"Hey Toad, whatcha go there?"
Todd jumped. He obviously thought Fred was too busy eating to notice him. Fred smiled to himself. A lot of people made that mistake.
"N-Nothin'," Todd smiled nervously. "Well, gotta go."
Fred effortlessly grabbed him by the shirt and picked him up with one hand. "What's in your hand Toad?"
"Hey, hey, put me down! C'mon big guy!"
"Hey what's going on," asked Pietro. He and Lance entered the kitchen.
"Toad's got somethin'!" Fred told him.
"Oh! Goody! Let me see! Let me see!" Pietro jumped up and down.
"No, No! Be careful! You'll hurt him!" Todd squealed trying to protect his prize.
"Him? Show it!" Lance ordered. Todd cringed and opened his hands. They looked at what they held. "A frog?" Lance asked.
"They were gonna dissect him in the senior biology class," Todd explained. "I snuck in there and freed all his friends too, but he was too scared to run! I decided to take care of him."
"So that's what happened in the girl's locker room," said Pietro. "I heard a lot of screaming in there and some remarks Pryde made about the Toad's relatives. Made gym interesting."
"Fred, put him down," Lance ordered. "Toad, get rid of it."
"No! No!" Todd was close to tears. "Why can't I keep him?"
"Yeah Lance," Pietro said. "I mean he's practically family! Look at the resemblance."
"Please Lance," Todd pleaded. "He's so little! He needs me!"
"What he needs is a pond to swim in and some flies!" Lance argued.
"I've got the flies covered!" Todd spoke up.
"Yeah and we've got a bathtub so he can swim in that!" said Fred.
"We can build him an aquarium or something!" said Pietro. "C'mon Lance. I think it's time the Toad had a little responsibility! Now Toadie you have to promise to feed it and take it for walks and…"
"Okay what's going on now?" Mystique walked it. "Oh yes. What is this?"
"It's a frog," Todd said in a little voice. "I found him. Can I keep him?"
"Yeah, okay," she sighed. "As long as that thing stays out of my sight. What's one more amphibian around here?"
"Yay!" Todd shouted happily. Pietro and Fred followed him up to his room.
"So what's it's name?" asked Fred.
"Harry. Harry the Frog." Said Pietro. "Why Harry?"
"He looks like a Harry."
"Hey, he's right. He does look like a Harry."
Lance looked at Mystique, "You really don't mind?"
"As long as it keeps that slimy little lunatic out of my sight I don't care if he keeps a pet giraffe in his room!"
Mystique was sitting in the dining room, going over bills. "Let's see, hmmm. Electricity, water, cable, explosives, lab equipment, chemicals, fire insurance, phone bill, missile defense bill…What's left?" She looked to her left and saw a large bill. She held it up and it traveled all the way down to the floor. "Oh yes, the food bill. I swear the entire continent of Africa could feast for a year on what those boys go through in a week!"
"Hey boss! Whatcha doin'" Pietro sauntered in, wearing a brown safari outfit complete with pith helmet.
"I'm dancing the mambo with Ricky Martin. What does it look like I'm doing? Speaking of looks, what are you up to now?" she said, looking him over.
"Oh I'm gonna take the Toad and Harry down to the park later on. We thought he'd get a kick out of it. Maybe find him a girlfriend or something."
"Lovely. And the reason you are dressed like the Crocodile Hunter?"
"I gotta look the part!" Pietro continued in an Australian accent. "Today we're going into dangerous territory. We might come across some dangerous creatures."
"Such as men in white coats with nets and straightjackets," Mystique rolled her eyes.
"Aw Mystique, ya gotta admit, the little guy has never been so happy!" Pietro told her looking at the checkbook. She slapped it out of his hand. He shrugged and continued. "You should see his little face when he's with him. He just lights up and plays with that frog for hours. I don't think he's left his room for the entire week he's had him."
Mystique looked around. "Really, a whole week. Hmm. You know it has been almost pleasant around here. I think my sense of smell has come back. Now if we can just find a hobby for the rest of you…So where is the little frog? I am referring of course to the one that can actually speak in sentences."
"Toad's giving Harry a bath."
"I'm sorry, I didn't hear you correctly."
"No he is. No soap of course. He even got him the cutest tiny rubber ducky."
"Okay, I'm outta here!" Mystique got up and started to leave. "If anybody needs me tough. If Magneto calls, tell him I'm out blowing something up."
"Jawol!" Pietro made a salute. Mystique could not leave the house fast enough.
A few hours later, three of the boys from the Brotherhood were frantically searching the house. Lance shouted up the stairs, "Pietro, how could you lose a frog?"
"It was an accident. He got off his leash. How was I supposed to know he'd slip out?"
"I knew it, I knew it! I knew this would happen the minute the little toad brought that other little toad into the house!" Lance grumbled, checking the bathroom.
"Uh, Lance, he's a frog not a toad," Fred collected.
"I know that! I was…forget it! It's a good thing Toad's not here. He'd go ballistic."
Pietro came downstairs. "Here Froggy! Harry! Here boy!" he whistled.
"Pietro he's a frog, not a dog. Frogs do not come when you call for them. Dogs do. We have been over this. Like frogs do not belong on a leash."
"It was gonna be a surprise for him! I made it myself!"
"Oh lord, I am surrounded by lunatics. Look we still have less than an hour. Good thing I came up with that idea for Toad to get some groceries. But if we don't find him by the time he comes back, you are gonna be the one to tell him!"
"You lost him, duh!"
"You're the one who scared him! Everything was just fine until you nearly stepped on him!"
"Just look for him, I mean how far can a frog go? Fred, did you see anything?" he asked Fred who was carrying a sandwich out of the kitchen.
"He's not in there. Boy, looking around sure gives you and appetite." He made his way to the living room sofa.
"Blob, breathing gives you an appetite," Pietro snickered looking on top of some shelves.
Fred sat down on the sofa. Immediately there was a loud croak followed by a squishing sound. Lance and Pietro turned slowly and looked at Fred. Fred had a very odd expression on his face. He got up a little and looked under his seat. He looked back at the other two. "I think I found him."
The next day there was a strange sight in the Brotherhood backyard. They were standing around a little square hole. Todd was wearing a black suit, carrying a small box and whimpering. Lance and Mystique were wearing black as well. Fred didn't have a suit but he wore a black armband and was sobbing openly. "I can't believe we are doing this," Lance groaned.
"Shut up! This is for Todd," Mystique hissed in his ear.
"WAHHHHHHHHHH!" Fred bawled.
"Not to mention Fred," she groaned.
"Pietro do you have to be dressed like that?" Lance asked.
Pietro was dressed like a priest complete with a clerical collar and robes. "Somebody's gotta officiate." He shrugged.
"Where does he get these outfits?" asked Mystique.
"He makes them himself. It's one of his hobbies," Lance told her.
"Wonderful. His father will be thrilled with that little bit of information."
"Can we get on with this before we all drown?" asked Lance glaring at Fred.
"Fine, Lady and gentlemen," Pietro spoke with an Irish brogue. "We are gathered here today to honor the life and mark the passing of one of God's creatures. Harry Tolensky, beloved companion of Todd Tolensky and mascot of the Brotherhood as been called home. Let us pray."
"Oh god," Lance moaned rolling his eyes.
"One at a time Lance," Pietro told him. "Harry was a good frog. Actually he was a great frog. A frog among frogs. He will be missed by all who knew and loved him."
"This is not my life," Mystique muttered under her breath. "This is not my life."
"Lord, please take this good and brave creature up where he belongs," Pietro continued. "Up to that great swamp in the sky. Where he will spend all day hopping from golden lillypad to golden lillypad, feast on juicy flies on silver platters, and sing in the heavenly frog choir. It is his just reward for a life given in service to his fellow members of the Brotherhood. A life smushed out of existence…"
"As I was saying, a life taken in a horrible accident. This poor creature, this poor helpless noble creature was taken from his devoted master…thanks to a tragic mishap. When Harry accompanied his fellow Brotherhood members on a scouting mission to the mansion to the most vile of his enemies, the X-men."
Mystique mouthed 'What?' to Lance who pretended like he knew nothing.
Pietro continued. "He came with us for luck, unfortunately his was bad. While on the mission, he managed to find his way into the danger room."
Todd began to whimper and tears started to form. Fred blew his nose and bawled even louder. Mystique put her head in her hands. "I do not believe this," she moaned.
"I know it's hard to believe that he's gone," Pietro covered. "It was heartbreaking, to see that little guy squashed flat by that two ton weight."
"WAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH!" Now both Todd and Fred were sobbing openly.
"But, it is not important how he died…" Pietro began.
"Wanna bet?" Mystique grumbled.
"But it is important on how he lived," Pietro continued. "Let us remember all the good things about Harry. I will never forget the many hours I watched him and Todd hopping around. Using his tongue to catch flies. Oh wait, that was Todd. Anyway, Harry made Todd happy during his life."
"His very short life. Ow!" Lance winced when Mystique elbowed him.
"Does anyone else have anything to say?" Pietro asked. "Fred?"
"You gotta be kidding! Ow! I mean, Harry…was cool. Good guy."
"Well, he kept Toad out of my hair for a week. That's good enough for me!"
Todd sniffed and looked at the box. "Goodbye Harry. I love you. I'm gonna miss you. I promise you this, I'm gonna get those jerks who did this to you if it's the last thing I ever do!"
"Oh don't worry Toad," Mystique glared at the others. "They are going to pay dearly. Mark my words."
"Okay moving on now," Pietro looked a little nervous. "We now return Harry to the earth. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, good thing he's not metal otherwise he'd rust."
As Todd put the box in the hole and placed flowers on top of it, Pietro took out a kazoo and played "Taps" on it. Lance got annoyed and took it out of his mouth. He threw the kazoo into the bushes. Pietro looked very annoyed but didn't say anything. Fred still cried. Mystique quickly buried the box and put a little homemade marker at the top.
"Can we go in now?" asked Lance.
"Yeah. I put out some sandwiches and stuff," Todd shrugged.
"A wake for a frog. Now I've seen everything," Mystique groaned. "Come on boys, let's go inside and have lunch."
"I'm not hungry," Fred said.
The others stood in shock. "Now I really have seen everything," said Mystique.
"Aw Freddie, don't be like that man," Todd came up to the large boy. "Y'know Harry wouldn't want you not eat 'cause of him. I never told you this, but after me, he liked you best. You were his favorite. Really."
Fred stood there for a second with a shocked look on his face. Then he bawled the loudest cry any of them had ever heard. He ran off, the ground shaking as he ran.
"Fred, stop running you're going to ruin the foundation!" Pietro ran after him.
"Boy, he really loved Harry didn't he?" asked Todd.
"I need a drink," Mystique groaned.
Author's note: No frogs were harmed during the writing of this story. Warning: there may be a very deranged sequel in the works. HA HA HA HA HA!
Mystique comes out again:Okay, this person writing this stuff needs some therapy and I really mean it this time!