"Hey, Elle, is this all of the ice cream that we have for the party?" Jay asked as he looked over from where he was getting things out of the freezer, and pulled out two gallons. I don't think it's going to be enough."

"Oh, great." Elle grumbled. She knew she should have locked down the kitchenette when she had seen Frank the Pug earlier. She looked down at her list and sighed, adding another thing to be done. "Just put it on the table to thaw a bit. I'll go and find someone to make an ice cream run."

"There you are." she said when she finally tracked down her partner a bit latter. "Why aren't you helping get ready for the party?"

"It's supposed to be a surprise, isn't it? I don't think Zed's going to be very surprised if he looks out of his office and sees everyone scurrying around with balloons and streamers, and that cake is going to be a dead give-away. I thought I would stay out of the way, make it more of a surprise." X chuckled.

"You just don't want to help us out is all." Elle said. "But I've got something I need you to do now. Frank demolished the ice cream we had for Zed's birthday. I need you to run out and get more. He's a list."

"What? You want me to go and lag all of this back?" X looked at the number of items on the list in shock. "I'll end up with frostbite!"

"You won't if you're quick about it. Now get moving, you're the only agent who actually isn't doing something to help with the party today."

"All right, all right." X said after a moment. Normally he would have given Elle a hard time for at least twenty more minutes before agreeing, but the way the little blonde was looking, he had a feeling that twenty minutes would result in him loosing his ears. "Just don't start that cake without me. For something made on this planet, it actually looked pretty good."

"Thank you, X." Elle sighed and then did something that she didn't think she ever would. "I'm sorry I've been going around snapping like this. It's just that everyone wants things to be perfect for Zed. The poor man never gets a chance to enjoy himself. He deserves this party."

"I know, Little ears, and you have my word, I'll be on my best behavior." X told her. "I'll even go and gather the ice cream for you without causing any trouble with the incompetent humans that I'm sure that will be behind the counter down at the supermarket."

"Thank you, X." Elle said. She wasn't going to argue about the incompetent remark. She had been forced to visit that supermarket all too often while getting party supplies together to disagree with X. "And I promise, we aren't going to start the party without you."

"See that you don't. I don't want to miss that cake." X said as he turned and headed for the garage and the SUV. He just hoped the vehicle was big enough to lag all of the ice cream on Elle's list home.

"Just perfect." X grumbled as he parked in the last row. All of the good parking spots were taken, and the store was packed with people, that he was sure waited until they knew he was coming to drop in. He would probably end up stuck in line forever, behind people who needed a price check on every item, people who changed their mind at the last second, and people with crying babies. Maybe he could convince the clerk in the ten items or less line that a massive purchase of ice cream should count for only one item?

He had just stepped out of the vehicle when the back door popped open, and four figures came spilling out.

"Worms?" It had to be them. There was no one else that size, although he couldn't say for sure because of the human suits that they were wearing, those of four human children. "What are you doing here? And where did you get those human suits?" Zed had been firm so far in his refusal to issue human suits to the worms, citing the danger that having them loose on the streets would pose to Starbucks.

"We got them from Agent V down in costumes. She didn't mind. She was working, getting everyone's good suits all ready for the party." one worm said.

"You mean that you waiting until her back was turned, and ran off with four human suits." X grumbled. "Well, I hope you know that I am not driving you by the nearest Starbucks. I know about the trouble the four of you caused, when you tricked Jay into taking you there. The neuralyzer couldn't take away that sort of horror from those poor people."

"We just wanted some joe. What's wrong with that?"

"But we didn't want to go to Starbucks. We came to help with the ice cream."

"Yeah, Elle left off the best flavor!"

"Mocha Java Jive!"

"No, Crunchy Coffee Bits!"

"You have no taste! Everyone knows that Sumatra Supreme rules!"

"Who cares? We can fit them all in!" the fourth worm said as he came hurrying back lagging a cart that X had a feeling was used for moving groceries in from the delivery truck.

"Worms, get back here!" X shouted as they took off for the store. "There's a list!"

"That list is just a suggestion. Besides, are you going to let Elle boss you around?"

"With the temper she's in? I'm attached to my ears, thank you very much." X grumbled as he hurried after them. Did this store have an aisle with pet supplies? Maybe he could invest in four leashes to get the worms under control.

"Elle?" X called as he pulled into the garage nearly two hours later. With the lines, and then the need to drag the worms out of the coffee aisle while there was still java for the rest of the shoppers, and money in the MIB budget, it had taken X that long to make it back to headquarters. He was surprised that Elle wasn't waiting, ready to chew him out for being late with the ice cream. And he didn't want to think about what she would say when she saw all of the flavors that weren't on her list.

"I got your ice cream, and your coffee." X grumbled as he let the worms out of the back and thrust a bag at each of them. "The least that you can do is help me get all of this down to the party. He was already late. It was supposed to have started an hour ago. "Leave the coffee here. You can come back for it later."

"Party? Do you think that Zed will open up his personal stash?" one of the worms speculated.


"Hey, be careful!" X shouted as the four raced off, before shaking his head and starting after them slowly. It would serve them right if they ran into someone and spent the party with Zealtor, getting their antannae straightened out from a crash.

X had just reached the main floor when he heard a wormy sounding gasp, and a second later, the four came racing back.

"X! X, it's a disaster! Come on! You've got to see!"

"What? Did U find the karoke machine?" X asked, shrugging the worms off and heading for the main room anyway, to see what had them so excited. If U was trying singing, he was going to have to arrange for a little accident for the annoying agent. All of the others, at least those with functional ears would thank him for it.

"Elle, I got the ice cream." X called as he came in, only to have the bags he was carrying slip from his fingers as he spotted what had alarmed the worms so. The floor was covered in a sea of black bodies, every agent in headquarters was lying collapsed and unconscious on the ground.