X-Men, Team, 4th of July traditions at the Professor Xavier's school
Spark the Conscience - X-Men, team, PG
Some of the 4th of July traditions are obvious. Jubilee takes care of most of the fireworks, and when she gets tired, Storm is happy to take over by showing the fireworks of mother nature. The "Ooohs" and "Aaaahs" from their displays can probably be heard in the next county.
Scott is one of the best grillmasters outside of Texas, and the grill they use for cooking burgers and bratwursts for a hundred students probably deserves its own zip code. Those who look closely at the custom-made monument to flame-broiled meat might spy the maker's mark hammered onto one end: Trademark protected by Henry McCoy.
Logan can't really cook anything that doesn't come out of a can, so he assigned himself the "Making sure the students don't blow up the school in an excess of patriotic pyromania" patrol three years ago. Since then, they haven't had the smoke alarm go off once. Professor Xavier wanted to give Logan a medal for that, but concluded a six pack of beer would be more appropriate and welcome.
When Kurt started to visit them, he was more than happy to add some of his "Incredible Nightcrawler" routine to the festivities. When Gambit showed up, the inner showman couldn't resist adding to the chaos. Sometimes the students aren't sure whether they want to watch the light show or the acrobatic shenanigans.
One of the quietest traditions, though, is that throughout the night, students will light a sparkler and put them in the crown of the little Statue of Liberty that is placed in the garden every year. The Professor will gather them up later and sends them to Senators and Representatives, all with the same message:
"This represents the vote of a mutant celebrating the independence of our country."
For every speech he gives at every political function he can, the Professor suspects the burned-out sparklers have the greatest impact. Their numbers have been growing every year. One of these years, he thinks that his students will have another independence to celebrate.
Despicable Me, Gru & the girls, Gru's first grandchild is kidnapped
Appetizer of Destruction - Despicable Me, Gru and family, PG
For a long time, no one was stupid enough to try it.
In time, Agnes took over Super Silly Fun Land, with special day passes given to girls from Miss Hattie's. Edith, who hadn't met an act of villainy she didn't like, led teams of minions on heists. And smart Margo took over from Dr. Nefario, learning everything she could from the old man before he'd gone. Gru hadn't had such an excellent selection of weapons as he had under Margo's direction since old Nefario had been in his fifties.
Each of the girl's boyfriends had, in turn, gone through the full gauntlet of Gru's most stringent tests of sincerity. Any boy able to get through Kyle's "greeting," constant pranks from the minions, and Gru not-so-subtly threatening him with every weapon in a not-inconsiderable arsenal was able to pay court to the girls.
And no one had been stupid enough to go after Gru's family in all that time. Vector may have been a punk, but he'd been a skilled villain, and Gru had taken him apart for touching the girls. Most had taken the lesson to heart and confined their schemes to less dangerous targets.
So when a new villain, Hadron, had felt the need to draw Gru out by kidnapping Carrie, Margo's oldest, Gru needed to make another example out of the fool.
Edith and the minions tunneled into Hadron's fortress, and gleefully proceeded to use every experimental weapon Margo had to turn his defense systems into mulch. That was only the beginning. A bare appetizer of destruction.
By the time Hadron realized what was happening, he didn't realize that he was also going to have to face Agnes' pleading (something no one, villain or no, was immune to. Gru suspected her tears had supernatural weakening powers), Margo's latest and greatest version of the shrink ray, and Gru himself.
And Gru was not happy. When his girls were upset, so was everyone else, until he fixed the problem.
Hadron found himself shrunk to the size of a mouse and used as a target in one of the games at Super Silly Fun World. After watching Gru walk away, Carrie's hand in his as he guided the toddler back to her waiting mother and aunts, he realized he was the luckiest of men. He could have been given to Kyle as a chew toy!
Then Gru tossed him an evil grin over his shoulder, and waved at Edith. Hadron felt his eyes grow wide as an endless stream of minions poured around the game, each of them waving tickets to shoot at him over, and over, and over again...