We Were Only Foolin' last edited by pikahyper on 06/24/19 06:37PM View full history

The New Mutants raced out of school and teleported away.  Arriving in town, they changed into regular clothes and attended a high school dance at Salem Centre High School.  Sunspot immediately found girls to dance with, but Cannonball received vocal taunts about being a dweeb.  Magma called them dogs, but Cannonball shrugged it off caliming that they would all die of jealousy if they knew he was dating rock star Lila Cheney.  They tried to dance, but the music immediately stopped.

Meanwhile, Shadowcat was angry a local high school boy who had spent time chatting her up in an attempt to get closer to Magik.  Cypher had to remind Warlock to keep a human form whenever his curiosity caused him to stretch out of shape.  When a local jock wouldn't accept 'No' for an answer from Mirage, Warlock grew in size and spoke like a gangster's mug to scare him away.  She laughed and thanked him.  However, when Warlock asked if she would show him how to dance she kindly refused and left.  Stepping into the car park she could sense that something was wrong.  She called for Brightwind and while waiing for him to arrive she saw an X-Factor bumper sticker which reminded her of the anti-Indian slogans she saw back home.  

When Mirage flew away on Brightwind, she was spotted by a local high school student.  He created a sculpture of Mirage out of light, but when he heard voices approaching he destroyed it.  Magneto and Principle Hogarth appeared and asked what he as doing.  He snapped he wasn't doing drugs and just wanted to be alone.  Just as Principle Hogarth tried to send him back in to the dance, Shadowcat appeared.  Princple Hogarth introduced Shadowcat to Larry Bodine and suggested that they dance.  Shadowcat pulled Larry back inside with great enthusiasm.  Magneto complimented Princple Hogarth on how she handled her students.  She claimed she was jealous that Magneto could focus his attention on a small group of students, but he reassured her that it was just as difficult.

Larry and Shadowcat were on shaky ground.  She was appalled by Sunspot making out with a girl in a shadowy corner, but she was just as offended when Larry said he wouldn't try anything like that in public.  He went to get them both punch, and they both thought about how stupid they'd been because of their nerves.  At the punch bowl the local students were spiking the drink.  They were making 'Mutie' jokes, and when Larry approached they accused him of being a mutant.  Shocked and scared that they'd discovered the truth, Larry vehemently denied it.  As he left, the kids decided to play a prank on him.

Shadowcat & Larry were tipsy from the punch.  They strolled through the school together, but Larry found an X-Factor flier on his desk.  Someone had written a note on it threatening to call X-Factor.  Nervously he shoved it in his pocket and pretended it was just first date nerves.

Later, Larry had joined Shadowcat and the New Mutants outside a nearby bar.  The other New Mutants giggled and debated over how silly Larry was, and Wolfsbane stated how she thought he was a perfect gentleman.  Larry and Shadowcat continued dancing, and later joined the others around the patio table.  Larry was nervous and tried to make conversation.  He began telling the same 'Mutie' jokes he'd heard by the punchbowl back at school.  However, he didn't know that the New Mutants and his date were all secretly mutants too.  With each joke they grew more moffended until they just stood up and walked out on him.  Shadowcat was furious with him and dumped him, but Wolfsbane looked back on him with curious certainty.

Larry went home.  The house was dark and he was alone.  He picked up the phone, but put it back down thinking about how it was only to be used in an emergency.  Deciding to get drunk he opened his parents' liquor cabinet, but spat it back out as soon as he tasted it.  He went up to his room where he admired the light sculpture of the Challenger shuttle that he'd made earlier.  Thinking about Shadowcat, he created a light sculpture of her, but it soon vanished.  As he thought about the X-Factor flier, Wolfsbane watched him from outside.  She had confirmed her suspicions about Larry, and jumped out of the tree to go home.  However, the phone began to ring and when Larry answered it a mysterious voice threatened to turn him over to X-Factor.

The next morning the New Mutants were fooling around in the kitchen, and Magma used her powers to cook breakfast.  Just as Wolfsbane arrive and was about to tell them about Larry's mutant powers, Magneto entered the room with a grim expression.  He announced that Larry Bodine had killed himself.  The New Mutants continued with their day, each of them thinking about what had happened.  During a Danger Room session, Mirage reflected on how her Valkyrie powers had given her a sickly sensation, but she didn't realise what it was to try and prevent it.  Magik Teleported away just as Sunspot was about to grab her.  He believed that Larry was a coward for running away from his problems, while Magik wasn't bothered by it as he had made his decision.  Sunspot caught her, but she sent him to Limbo where he was tied up in chains before being returned to the Danger Room.  Warlock battled with a sentinel as he tried to understand why someone would wish to extinguish their own life glow.  Magma burned a sentinel as she considered how lonely Larry must have been, and that among her people suicide was an acceptable means of atonement.  By the time their training session had finished, they realised that they had each other to help with any problems.

Across town, Shadowcat phased into Larry's home.  His parents still hadn't returned,  so she was alone.  She ventured up into his bedroom where she discovered the light sculpture of the shuttle.  She was touched by it's beauty and tried to touch it.  However, it immediately vanished on contact.  Shadowcat began to cry at how the last remnant of Larry's amazing talent was gone because of her thoughtlessness.  She cried as she wandered down to the living room.  When she sat on Larry's favourite chair she found the X-Factor flier stuffed down the cushions.  On the back of it she read Larry's suicide note.  Just as she tried to say how sorry she was, Wolfsbane appeared.  She confessed that she had discovered Larry's secret and wanted to tell everyone.  However, everyone was asleep by the time she got home so she just assumed it could wait until morning.  When they thought about what a tragic waste of life it was, Wolfsbane began to howl in pain.  Her cries were heard outside as Larry's parents arrived.  They couldn't bare to go into the house where their only child had killed himself.

At Salem Centre Mall, where the New Mutants had previously made so many friends, Wolfsbane stalked her prey.  Wearing a wide-brimmed hat and a trench-coat to hide her transitional lupine form, she had followed the scent of the people who had written on the X-Factor flier.  The kids from the punch bowl gathered around a table in the food court.  One of them dismissed Wolfsbane's growls as just a dog, but another wished that it was a werwolf come to tear out their hearts.  They argued among themselves as they tried to justify what they had done.  Just as Wolfsbane was ready to use her claws Cannonball, Mirage & Shadowcat found her.  They pointed out how much pain the high school kids were already in, and that they would suffer with it for the rest of their lives.  Wolfsbane was desperate for physical retribution, but they convinced her that it wouldn't be right to honour Larry in that way.

The next day Shadowcat prepared to give a speech in honour of Larry Bodine at a memorial held at Salem Centre High School.  Cannonball and Mirage accompanied her for moral support and said that they would back her up if she decided to reveal the truth about them being mutants.  When she took the stage, Shadowcat put on her new glasses for the first time and began to talk about how none of them really knew Larry at all.  She talked about how she was labelled as flat-chested, four-eyes, a snob and Xavier freak.  Her message was that although they are just words, labels can hurt people.  She was clear about how Larry had been hurt by people calling him a 'Mutie' because he was one.  She cried as she spoke and finished by saying that the only thing that mattered was her name.  After that, everything else was just labels.


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