The Groundskeeper

by Ryan West ([email protected])



        Well, here it is, my first attempt at a serious fic! Did anyone else ever wonder what happened to that groundskeeper from the first few issues of Gen X? The one Lobdell brought in from X-Men : Prime? Well, so did I. See, what I think happened is monet bumped into him while out on a stroll, and... Well, read on for details. ;-)

 Warning #1 : I don't remember all the specific details from way back when, and I'm too lazy to dig out my back issues to research... So you may notice some things different from how they were in the comics. Yeah, yeah, I'm awful, I know.

 Warning #2 : Things get pretty darn emotional down the line here, so be sure to bring a hankie or two in case of emergency.

 The Groundskeeper

         Monet St. Croix's stride was brisk and proper as she took her morning stroll across the school grounds. After some choice words with Emma regarding her thoughts on how the Academy's security system was below par, the Headmistress had so politely suggested that Monet herself do the patrol. Monet, of course, had agreed simply to refuse Emma the right to smirk in victorious satisfaction.

        A cool morning breeze rustled through her fine black hair, tossing wisps of ebony to and fro to dance beautifully on the wind. The solitude was pleasing, Monet thought. A brief refuge from the chaos and insolence of her fellow students.

        As she walked delicately along the lawn, Monet caught a glimpse of something new, something out of place. Just off to her left was a neatly raked pile of autumn leaves, reds and yellows and oranges all joined together to symbolize the beauty of the season.

        After a musing at the beauty of the pile, a new thought struck Monet. Who raked the pile so neatly at this hour? Sean? No, he was sleeping still as Monet had patrolled past his room. Paige? No, not even she would be up this early, nor would any of the other students. Perhaps Emma had finally taken her suggestion of some well-trained service staff to heart.

        As she floated closer to the pile, curious, Monet could feel the childish urge welling up inside of her. It was like a small army of butterflies raging within her with temptation and excitement, pushing her, pleading to her, calling for her. She tried to resist, to remind herself that a lady of her upbringing did not indulge in such frivolities, but the voice of reason did little good. Unable to resist, Monet St. Croix drew in a deep breath and leapt into the sculpted pile.

        Her girlish giggle was lost in the swoosh of fluttering leaves and the swirl of earthy colors. She felt as if she were at the center of a beautiful blizzard, the world beyond the delightful swirl no longer of any importance. Inside her own personal world she kicked and danced and squealed and played to her heart's content, until...

        "Ach! Me pile! Me beautiful pile!"

        Monet froze underneath the rain of leaves, alarm gripping at her heart. Danger was not the root of her fear, however... It was discovery, the thought of someone having seen her acting so childishly. As the leaves slowly settled, she saw a very distraught man, rake in hand, gaping in disbelief and frustration at the utter destruction of hours of work. Monet searched to recognize the vaguely familiar face, but her search bore no results.. The top of his head was bald, but the rest of his head made up for it with layer upon layer of bright, bushy red hair forming a mustache, beard and circle around his cranium. His posture was marred with a slouch and an overbite, his complexion a sickly yellow. As he stood gaping, chest heaving, the same winds that tossed Monet's hair so gentle sent the man's kilt fluttering angrily about his hairy knees.

        "Y'wee monster! What have ye done t'me pile!?" The man exclaimed, stalking forward towards Monet, rake bared menacingly.

        In an instant, Monet resumed her stature, standing firm and proper. Almost disgustedly, she plucked a leaf from where it had come to rest on her shoulder. "I have done nothing to your pile." She said primly. "It was in this state when I arrived. The more important question, I believe, is who exactly are you?"

         "Ach, lass, ah'm Groundskeeper Willie! Th' wee pasty lad hired me li'l while back."

         Monet raised a perfect eyebrow suspiciously. "I've never seen you before."

         "I have me shack out back in th' woods. Willie likes t'be alone."

         "I see. Well then, perhaps I should be on my way..." Monet began to step around the simple Scotsman, though found a rake held up to block her path.

        "Yuir one'a them mooties, ain'tcha?" Willie asked slowly, his tone low. "Willie's seen the things y' wee bairns here kin do."

        Monet hesitated, stepping away from the rake. More for fear of mussing her clothing than any actual harm it could cause. "Why, yes. I possess an array of superhuman abilities including flight, enhanced strength, telepathy, inc..."

        "Telepathy!?" Willie exclaimed. "Yuir one'a them, are ya? Well, don't be reading me mind between 4 and 5. Thah's Willie Time!"

        "All... Right." Monet's pristine features gave way to a look of mild confusion. "Wait... I have seen you before."

        Willie stiffened. "Ah dunnae know what yuir talkin' aboot."

        "Yes... I saw you on the news once! Monsieur Willie, you..."

        "Thah's enough outta you, y' cheese-eatin' surrender monkey!" Willie drew back his rake sharply and, with surprising force, brought it down across Monet's invulnerable form. She didn't so much as cringe as the rake shattered to splinters.

         "Willie, I assure you, your attacks are quite futile against me. Your horrible secret has been discovered."

         Gasping heavily with rage and terror, Willie clutched at the front of his shirt and tore the fabric clear from his body in one fluent motion. Chiseled muscles rose and fell with the sharp gasps of his chest. "Thah's where yuir wrong, lassie! There's nary a power alive thah can stop a greased Scotsman!"

         Monet couldn't help but smirk. One manicured hand reached out and, with a flick of her finger, sent Willie careening into the stump of a sturdy oak like a rag doll.

         "Willie, you've been revealed. You cannot hide in our school any longer. You must pay for your crimes... you must pay for what you did to that poor boy."

        Willie sat slumped against the tree, limp and battered, sobbing like a pitiful child. "Aye, the Simpson lad... Ach, I shouldnae killed the wee bairn, but... He wouldnae stay off m' grass, an' he blew up m' shack... Ach, m' precious shack..." Willie's words tapered off into sobs.

        Monet shifted uncomfortably. "Ahem... Willie, I... I'm sorry that things must be this way, but you committed a very serious crime, whether intentional or otherwise."

         "Ah... Ah know, lass... Yuir right. Willie's gonna turn himself in."

         "Good." Monet nodded with satisfaction, though deep within her soul, she felt a pang of sympathy for the poor immigrant. "Here, Willie... Let me help you up." She leaned down to help Willie to his feat, letting him rest his body weight against her as he hobbled back towards the Academy.

          "Will... <Sniff> Will ye tell yuir classmates about Willie, lass?"

          Monet paused to think for a moment, a thin smile forming at her lips. "No... No, I don't believe so, Willie. This can be our little secret."

 * * Fini * *

       All right, all right, I lied. I do that sometimes. ;-) I just wanted tosee the looks on your faces... But since that requires powers beyond that of mortal men (Yes, despite certain godlike attributes, I too am mortal) I want to see polaroids, people! ;-)