Disclaimer: I own nothing. Not a thing. Oh, I do own Cookie.

The pressure was intense. Sweat dripped off Lance's forehead. He eyed Pietro, shaking a little from physical effort and Todd, who's hair clung to his face.

"And who will it be?" Freddy called from his position on the couch, "our three members have been going for four minutes now and still none have wavered! Who will be the next King of Handstands?"

"Freddy. Shut. Up," Lance said through gritted teeth.

Freddy ignored him, "will Lance be the first to go, or will it be Pietro? Will Todd remain King of Handstands for the fifth time running?"

"Not this time!" Pietro gasped out, "I will win this!"

"No you won't," Todd's breathing was definitely easier than the two older mutant's, "you don't have the stamina!"

"I'd give you the fingers but I can't lift my hand," Pietro hissed. For a moment he wobbled but then he regained his balance.

"It has now been five minutes," Freddy said, "our competitors faces are turning a fetching shade of red."

"Aaaarrgh!" Lance cried, jumping up and rushing at Freddy, "shut up, shut up, shut up!"

"Lance is now officially disqualified!" Freddy reported, "Pietro and Todd continue to battle it out!"

"You're going down Todd!" Pietro flashed a grin.

"I don't think so Quickie," Todd smiled, "seems you can't hack it. You're shaking."

"No Cookie no!" Pietro gasped, "bad kitty back!" Cookie, the Brotherhood's new kitten, purred and rubbed her furry body across Pietro's face. Pietro blew frantically at the fur blowing around his face, threatening to cause him to sneeze.

"Good Cookie," Todd grinned, "annoy the nasty Pietro." Hearing her name the kitten trotted over to Todd, mewing and rubbing herself against his arm.

"Ha!" Pietro barked out the laugh, "that's what you get for cheating!" Suddenly the speedster frowned. Pietro wrinkled his nose first one way, then the other.

"And it looks like Pietro is taunting Todd with some kind of facial manoeuvre," Freddy informed the non-existing crowd.

"Cookie come here," Lance called the kitten. Cookie trotted over to Lance, leaping into his arms and snuggling down. Pietro screwed up his nose again, closing his eyes and making all kinds of strange facial movements.

"What are you doing?" Todd frowned. His arms were shaking a little as well now.

"Aaaaa - " Pietro began, "aaaaaa - "

"A what?" Lance asked.

"Aaaaa - "

"A drink!" Freddy tried.

"A twinkie!" Lance guessed.

"Aaaaachoooo!" Pietro sneezed, over balancing and falling backwards.

"Watch out!" Lance yelled, leaping up and dropping a ruffled Cookie.

"No! Mystique's lamp!" Todd cried, flipping out of his handstand and rushing to grab it.


"We are so dead," Freddy gulped.

Pietro moaned. "I think I broke my head."

"You didn't break your head!" Lance yelled, "you broke something more important! Mystique's lamp she got from her little blue angel for Mother's Day!"

"Owww," Pietro said as he clutched his forehead.

"Do you think we could glue it back together?" Freddy asked, picking up a few pieces..

"Worth a try," Lance said.

"Come on then!" Todd yelped, "move, move, move, move, move!" Quickly Lance, Todd and Freddy gathered up the pieces and rushed out of the room.

"Ohh, my head," was all Pietro said.

Half an hour later

"Boys, what happened to Pietro?" Mystique frowned, looking from face to face. Pietro made an innocent face, made not so innocent by the fact that a huge purple and yellow bump the size of a small

egg was situated on his forehead.

"What do you mean?"

"Why do I even bother?" Mystique asked, "I can see something's happened. Why don't you just tell me what?"

"Cause we're optimists?" Freddy tried.

"Shut up Freddy," Lance hissed.

"Laaance?" Mystique raised an eyebrow.

"Pietro tripped on your garden gnome," Lance said, "do you know how dangerous those things are? We almost had to take him to hospital!"

"Why do I not believe you?" Mystique sighed.

"Cause you're mean?" Pietro asked.

Mystique glared at him. "Hey, what happened to my lamp?" The Brotherhood held their breath.

"It never used to sit over there." Mystique wandered over to the lamp, eyeing the boys suspiciously. She picked it up and examined it before putting it back down. "Well it doesn't look damaged. I guess I must have moved it. Very good boys, you stayed home alone without breaking anything. I guess I owe you lunch." She left the room.

"Phew!" Todd sighed, "that was close!"

"I'll say," Pietro said, pulling the damaged lamp from behind his back. "Good thing I knew were this came from."

"Good thing indeed," Lance said, scratching Cookie between the ears.

"Well at least I still have my title," Todd said grinning. "The only good thing about this accident."

"Nu-uh!" Pietro said, "I won! It was interference by Cookie in my favour!"

"But she interfered with me too!"

"Yeah, but you were cheating!"

"Was not!"

"Was too!"

"Was not!"

"Was too!"

"You want me to smack that lump of your's?"

"You wouldn't dare!"

"Wanna bet?"

"Bring it on Toady!"


"Oww! Jesus fuckin' Christ! That hurt!"

"Good! It was meant to!"


"I don't cheat! Let's have a re-match, come on!"

"All right let's!"

"I'll move the lamp," Freddy sighed.

"And I'll get rid of this broken one," Lance said, "before they try to use it as a weapon on us or themselves."

"Ready set Go!"

"You're going down bog-breath!"

"Don't bet on it Quickie!"