Before the Blast

Summary: A look at the lives of the X-men before the explosion separates them and destroys the team. Reviews welcome and appreciated!

A/N: After seeing Wolverine and the X-men a dozen times, I've always wished they'd done a "before the show" type episode. You know, a look into the team's lives before the beginning of the series. The little snippet in Episode 1 was never satisfying enough for me, so I wrote this to give the show some background. (Maybe if there'd been a season 2, they would have made such an episode, BUT WE'LL NEVER KNOW NOW! Stupid show writers….)

I almost forgot my disclaimer: No, no, and no. Thank you.

oOo

Chapter 1:

Wolverine enjoyed nothing more than hearing the groans of his students in his early morning Danger Room sessions. Well, slashing buildings to bits was high up on his list, so maybe this was his second favorite.

It was 6:30. Nice and early. Wolverine smirked as his morning class—Angel, Bobby, Kitty, and Kurt—shuffled in. Kitty was leaning on Bobby, looking half-dead, and Bobby was icing up, a sign that he was barely awake himself. Angel ruffled his wings and stretched for a moment. He seemed semi-alive. Kurt looked the most alert out of the group, but he wasn't happy about being dragged out of bed at such an early hour.

"Alright kids. We're gonna warm up with Program Brawler. Level 3," Wolverine instructed, making sure he sounded extra chipper and perky. It pissed the kids off.

Bobby yawned and pushed Kitty off his shoulder. "Can we warm up with, you know, sleeping on the floor for half an hour?" he suggested.

"No, now quit yer whinin," Wolverine barked. "I don't care how tired you are. This'll build character."

He strode across the room and stepped into the elevator, taking him up the control panel. He set up the program and hit START. The room quickly turned into an obstacle course. Angel spread his wings and flew out of the way of most of the obstacles. The others were slower to respond. Bobby flung a few ice crystals at some incoming claws then leaned against one of the walls and put a layer of ice over himself, shielding him in a case. Kurt stuck to idly dodging objects. He didn't bother with the usual acrobatics. Kitty moved around half-heartedly and phased through everything that came at her. Angel did little more than hover around and dodge flying obstacles.

After a minute, Wolverine got very annoyed with his students lack of enthusiasm. He opened up the control panel again and made some adjustments to the program. He smiled and watched as a few seconds later, the entire floor collapsed, and the students fell into a basin of ice-cold water.

"Aaaah! Logan!" Kitty screamed, doing a furious doggy-paddle. Bobby woke up—startled—but didn't seem too alarmed. Ice cold water wasn't so bad for him. Kurt landed in the water and quickly teleported to a wall and hung onto the rungs of a built-in wall ladder. He shivered and shook himself off like a dog. Angel didn't fall in, but he got soaking wet from the splashes of the other students.

"Logan!" Angel screamed.

Wolverine just shrugged. "It builds character, remember?" He set to work on shutting down the program. "I sure hope you're all wide awake tomorrow morning."

oOo

The older students were sitting around the table, eating breakfast. Kitty, Kurt, Bobby, and Angel didn't really feel like talking. They were all secretly plotting horrible forms of revenge for their teacher. Scott was quiet as usual, and Jean shut up because she could feel the tension in the air.

"Well, ah guess everyone woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning," Rogue piped up after a minute. She didn't like awkward silences.

A few of the students glared at her.

"Yah think?" Bobby grumbled. "Just be lucky you didn't have a DR session at 6 freaking AM."

"That bad, huh?"

Kitty shivered at the thought. "Logan dumped us in a freezing cold pool because 'we weren't awake enough' or whatever," she grumbled.

"What? It builds character," Scott chimed in with a cheeky smile.

Everyone else turned at him with death glares. "Shut up, Summers."

Scott shrugged innocently.

"What?"

oOo

The day went by normally. Scott and Jean had a fight (for the fifth time that week), Rogue sulked because Logan was thinking he might take off for a few days. Bobby iced up the floors to the kitchen and tripped Storm—twice. That didn't end well. Dr. McCoy spent the day in the lab. The Professor finished reading a book in his study. Since it was Saturday, the students had a break. Most of them went outside to play 'mutantball'.

"Alright guys, who's got the bats and balls?" Scott said, leading the students onto the baseball diamond in one of the backfields of the estate. Peter held up a baseball bag.

"I do."

"Great." Peter threw the bag onto the grass and Scott rooted through it for a nice bat. "Ok guys, I want to see a nice, clean game."

Everyone stared at him. "This is us you're talking about, right?" Kitty pointed out. "We don't play nice. Have you seen some of the guys? They cheat all the time."

"Oh, I know," Scott sighed. "I know."

"I call team captain," Peter announced. No one was going to argue with him. Scott looked around.

"Kurt, you're the other captain, alright?"

Kurt smiled. "Fine vith me." He and Peter began selecting teammates.

"Why do you get to be captain and not me?" Bobby grumbled after being picked onto Kurt's team.

"Because I'm older und wiser zan you," Kurt replied, smiling triumphantly.

The two teams, "The Murderous Penguins" and the "Pink Ponies" (you can guess which one was mostly guys and which one wasn't….) assembled on the field. The Penguins were first to bat, so Kurt gathered everyone in a huddle.

"Anyone want to take out Scott so ve can play zis our way?" he said.

"I can take care of Mr. Military," Kitty offered. "What's the game plan?"

"Use anything and everything to get an advantage," Angel offered up.

"Sounds good to me," a boy named Thomas agreed.

"Ok then."

Angel was first up to bat. While was preparing, Kitty snuck around behind Scott and pulled him down into the ground. She phased him up to his neck and walked away from the very angry young man. A long string of cuss words poured from his mouth. Kitty just shook her head and walked off.

"Scott Summers. Who knew you could use such language?"

At that point, everyone cheered, because Scott made life more difficult and they were glad to be rid of him. Jean, who was sitting on the sidelines, did nothing but smile and shake her head. "Some loyal girlfriend she is," one of the students remarked.

The game then commenced Scott-free. The two teams let loose all their dirty tricks and sneaky cheats. The Penguins used a boy named Sean who could move rocks to take out some of The Ponies. The girls had Lily, who could slow down objects around her, such as other people, or flying balls for example. Both teams were pretty evenly matched.

After the second inning, Storm came outside and hustled everyone inside, because she sensed a thunderstorm coming.

"Aw, why can't you make it go away, Mrs. Munroe?" Bobby asked.

Storm glared at him. "If you hadn't iced the floors and made me trip, maybe I wouldn't have a killer headache and therefore not want to move the storm," was her cold reply. "Now inside. Hop."

A few of the students gathered around in the rec room to play a board game. Scott and Jean went somewhere to make out. Storm went inside to tend to her plants. After thirty minutes, the storm got bad, and the power went out. Luckily, there was a girl, "Beamer", who could supply electricity, and she acted as a generator for a while.

oOo

"Ageist."

Angel stared at the Scrabble board. "Dude, that's not a word," he remarked.

Kitty sat back. "Oh yes it is," she smirked.

"What's it mean?"

"It's like being racist or sexist, except with age. Ageist."

Angel squinted at the board in disbelief. "Nope. I don't believe you. That's not a word."

"Yes, it is, Warren," Kurt said quietly from a nearby couch. "I remember it from 11th grade vocabulary." He glanced up from his book and gave Angel a firm stare.

Angel bit his lip stubbornly. "Fine. Whatever. Ageist is a word."

Kitty punched the air. "Woohoo! One for the girl."

Angel huffed and sat back. "My turn." He put down the letters I and A after an M.

Kitty cocked her head. "Mia's not a word."

"Missing in action. Yeah it is."

"It's an acronym, Angel. That doesn't count."

"Yes it does."

"No, it doesn't."

"Kurt!" they both growled, looking for support.

"It's not a vord, Warren," Kurt said dismissively. "Acronyms aren't allowed in Scrabble. Sorry."

Angel sat back again and crossed his arms, his expression resembling that of a frustrated 5 year old. Kitty just sat there grinning like a Cheshire cat.

"I don't want to play anymore," Angel admitted after a few minutes. His total score was 55. Kitty's was 147.

"Vell, find something else to do, zen," Kurt suggested, closing his book. He hadn't gotten much reading done with all the bickering going on.

"Sleep sounds good," Angel offered. "I'm still tired from this morning."

"No kidding," Kitty added. "If Logan ever tries to get me into a DR session that early again…."

"Hey, I bet ve can make sure he doesn't," Kurt said, climbing off the couch. "Warren, go get Bobby. I have an idea."

oOo

It was 3:45 AM. Kurt's alarm went off, quickly silenced after the first loud screech. He crawled out of bed and sat on his comforter for a moment, trying to shift his brain into gear. After a minute, he stretched and padded across the room to wake up Angel.

"Come on, mein friend. Let's go," he whispered, nudging Angel in the shoulder. Angel groaned and opened one eye.

"Wha time ees eet?" he muttered.

"Put it this way—you vent to bed about three hours ago."

Angel closed his eyes. "Oh. That early."

"Ja."

Kurt scurried off to find Kitty and Bobby. They woke with the same lack of enthusiasm that Angel had. Bobby nearly kicked Kurt out of his room, and Kitty tried to swipe him in the face, only she was so tired that her hand phased right through his head.

Three minutes later, they were all up and ready to go.

Elsewhere, Logan was sound asleep in his room. He rolled over in his sleep and exhaled loudly. Just then, there was a knocking at his door. A moment later, it came again. After a third time, the sound surfaced Logan to consciousness and his eyes shot open. He looked around for a moment before crawling out of bed and shuffling to the door. Who wanted him at 4 in the morning?

Logan opened the door to see Kurt, Kitty, Bobby, and Angel standing on the other side. They were all in full DR uniform. Their eyes were bright. There was a smug smile on their faces.

"What is it?" Logan gargled, half-awake.

"Oh, you know, just time for our early morning DR session," Kitty chirped sweetly.

Logan blinked. "It's not even four in the morning."

"Uh huh."

Logan glanced at his students and growled. "I need my sleep. Come back in a couple of hours."

He turned to go back in his room, but Angel grabbed him by the arm. "We want our session now. You did say you wanted us to be more awake, and so here we are," he said innocently.

Logan, realizing this was a fight he was going to lose, sighed and said, "Fine. Lemme get my uniform."

He came out about two minutes later to find his students still standing right outside his door "Let's go," Kitty sang, leading the way.

Logan just sighed again.

They arrived at the Danger Room and Logan crossed the floor to the elevator. It was broken (no thanks to a little help from Forge). Logan turned around and growled. "I don't believe this."

"Must've happened last night," Angel said, winking at Kurt and Bobby.

"You can always take the stairs, Mr. Logan," Bobby offered.

Logan glared at him. "All seven flights of it?"

"Unless you know another way to get up to the control panel."

Logan pushed open the door to the stairs and began climbing.

Kitty and the others chuckled as soon as he was gone. "I hope ve get a break after this," Kurt grinned.

"Yeah. Like a week's break from DR sessions," Bobby threw in.

"This was a great idea, Crawler," Angel sighed happily.

"Does anyone feel a bit bad for doing this?" Kitty wondered. "I mean, we're not being very nice—dragging him out of bed at 4 in the morning just for a prank."

"Kitty, Kitty, Kitty," Angel said with a wide grin. "Think of it this way: it builds character. And Logan loooovves building character."

oOo

Yyyyyyeeessshhh I finished chapter 1. Gah, and I finished moving into my new house. I can't believe I had the time to write this. But here it is! Now that things have settled down, I can write more. Chapter 2 is coming, I promise! Oh, BTW, thank you to everyone reading my stuff. Much appreciated. You guys are amazing.

-The Ember Raven