Author's Note: So. . . my pipes exploded at two o'clock this morning. Had to turn off the water and now we're waiting for things to thaw enough to turn the water back on. Whee.

Rights, royalties, ownership and the like continue to be missing. Might try to do something about that one of these days, but until then, this is for entertainment value only.

Although, judging by the fact that 'Homework' gets about a thousand hits days I post chapters to this, and 'Melding' gets only about three hundred, I'm questioning whether anyone other than myself receives entertainment. Hmm. Ah well, I'm enjoying writing this one. So there, hah.

Uhg. Where'd these guys come from anyway? Disturbing a totally successful shopping trip, so not cool. To the left, Bobby's set up a pretty good looking ice dome, and Kitty's busy phasing the not yet on the team kids into it.

"Got one!" The arms suddenly wrapped around Jubilee in a bear hug have this really weird kinda coating on them. More importantly, the arms pin her own above the elbow, which, yeah, sucks, but also? Stupid on the captor's part. Sharp jerk of her head forward and the red-tinted glasses perched in her hair fall over her eyes.

"Doesn't that just call for a celebration?" She has just enough movement to raise her hands over her shoulders, which is just enough movement to fill her would be captor's face with miniscule, explosive lights.

"My eyes!"

Predictably he lets go, and Jubilee dives forward, effortlessly flowing into a somersault that brings her back to her feet.

"Maybe we don't need you in one piece – sure bossman won't be too upset if you're. . . pierced." Creepy-Man starts to spin, and she's thinking some sort of super speed because he's barely a blur. Doesn't have time to react when that icky coating starts to break off, flying at her because -


"Thanks Bobby!"

"Code names, Jubilee."

"Whatever." More important is the fact that Kurt's here – battling with an asian woman who's gotta be on steroids – but Warren's no where to be seen. "Anyone call home? Back up would be nice."

The ice dome's sporting sharpened little bits of . . . something, and the posterboy for Stranger Danger's still spinning, more of the projectiles piercing both her protective wall and the dome. Jubilee's not sure how long ice can stand up to the assault, but Kitty's coming up out of the ground beside her.

"Yeah – tried to anyway. Looks like they've got some sort of signal jammer. Can't get 'em on the cell or the communicators."

The ice wall shatters, but Kit's got her arm and the rain of things pass harmlessly through both girls.

"Iceman – the dome!" Before Kitty's running and Jubilee's trying to hide behind a car.

"Plan, plan, need a plan, any plan. . ." Where the hell's Rogue anyway? The southerner's more tactician, powers or not. Girl's got a gift when it comes to using other people's powers all seamless and together – like. Which, y'know, completely makes sense, right?

Creeping on hands and knees, Jubilee peers around a beat up bumper. Steroid-Lady's got Nightcrawler, pushes him off and brings her hands together with a sharp clap that makes the very air shimmer and throws her teammate to the ground in a heap. Their only adult is down, which really? Not good. Not good at all if they can't call home.

"Plan, plan . . .yes, plan!" She's a bona fide X-Man isn't she? Keeping low, she weaves between parked cars, close enough to the Chyna-wannabe she only needs a distraction to grab her teammate. "Colossus, give 'Crawler's partner a dance, won't ya?"

A series of more concentrated than normal pafs – and the force of her multi coloured lights actually pushes the woman back into the metal-skinned Russian's incoming fist.

"Snatchin' the X-kids? So two years ago. Been there, done that, got the souvenir 'cuffs."

Kurt's breathing, but his eyes are closed and he's not responding when she tries to shake him. Damn, damn and double damn. 'Porting would be totally useful about now. Can't remember a single thing from those first aid classes, isn't she not supposed to move him? In case of internal injuries or something?

Colossus crashes into a car way to close for comfort, obnoxious alarm starting immediately.

"C'mon Blue, not a safe spot for a nap." Moving might jar something inside, but leaving him here when 'riod lady's claps make cars go all crumpled? Gotta be worse.

"Jubilee! Think you can drive?" Hears Bobby's shout as she hooks her hands under the older man's armpits and starts to drag.

"Well, duh!"

"Get Nightcrawler to the van, Shadowcat'll explain."

Moving Kurt suddenly becomes easier as a bed of ice forms beneath him. A look over her shoulder confirms that a second, narrow layer is forming along the ground in a trail from her position to the black van they arrived in.

"Roger, Captain!"

At least someone's got what might be a real plan. Good.

"You're so gonna owe me a gymnastics routine when you wake up." She mutters, sliding Kurt along the trail while still managing to avoid spin-top's projectiles.

The van's coated in another layer of ice, but Kitty pokes her head and arms out just as she arrives. One hand on her shoulder, another on Nightcrawler, and all three of them are in the van. The kids are all here too – huddled in the back seat.

Kitty maneuvers the unconscious one to a bench seat, kneeling on the floor beside him while she checks him over. Jubilee scrambles into the driver's seat, digging the extra keys out of the glove box.

"So. . . what's the idea?" As she starts the engine. Windshield's visibility is low, ice creating a fun house mirror effect. She jabs at buttons, trying to find the defrost.

"Food court entrance – that's where Rogue is, and I think she said Angel's down." Kitty tosses her cell phone to one of the kids in the back. "Not enough signal for a call, but texts are coming through. Siryn, start texting any of the senior team members, alright? SOS."

The girl nods, silent, and the kids with cellphones all start obeying Kitty's orders.

"What about Iceman and Colossus?"

"Iceman's frozen the spinning-shrapnel guy, and off to help Colossus disengage. They'll use an ice slide to catch up with us." A few minutes pause while the small dancer rummages in an open first aid kit and Jubilee takes a hard left, trying to remember which entrance is the food court. "Easy, Jubes!"

"Can't see through this ice!" But it's starting to melt, and Jubilee starts the wipers, jabbing at the wiper fluid button to try and speed the process. "Open the side door, I see Rogue!"

Slams to a stop with screeching breaks, throwing everyone inside forward with a muttered curse from Kitty.

"That ice is our shield – and I said easy! Kurt might really be hurt."

Rogue's astride a super cool looking bike, arms around the waist of the hottest piece of man-flesh Jubilee's seen in a long time. Which is saying something when she believes part of the x-gene's gotta be carrying extra sexy judging by the mansion's populace.

"Who's your friend?" But the green eyed girl ignores the question.

"Y'all go on – t'the mansion. There's cell signal back here – Beast's got the medbay set up for Kurt, an' this one's got 'telligence fer Logan, ain't lettin' him outta my sight."

The van shakes, causing the kids in the back to shriek before Poitr – no metal skin means no code name, right? – Climbs into the van.

"They are gone, as though they were never here."

Bobby's – no, Iceman, when he's still iced up – right behind him.

"Where's Angel?"

"Took 'em." Rogue tosses hair back from her face. "Ge'on outta'hehn, we're right behind y'all."

Pretty sure Iceman objects to that, but Rogue's stranger tosses a careless grin in Jubilee's direction and revs his bike. The noise is loud enough to swallow whatever reasoning is voiced.

Whooboy. This is gonna be real interesting.