London, down a deserted alleyway which a wooden sign stuck up next to it indicates the alleyway as a “Seekrit Hydeowt”. ‘Tonight’s the night, fellows! Tonight…we strike back for the copious abuses heaped upon us! Tonight…we shall at last have our revenge! REVENGE!’ cries a cloaked figure known as the Executioner to his teammates - the Crazy Gang! Standing around a barrel with fire to keep them warm, newspaper is scattered all around them. ‘Revenge. Yes…well’ begins the Knave of Hearts, before the Jester exclaims that it sounds like smashing good fun, before asking the green cloaked figure who exactly he is.
‘Orf wiv ‘is ‘ead!’ cries the rather round Red Queen, while the imbecile Tweedledope just utters his trademark ‘Hyuk!’. A face semi-obscured by the green cloak grimaces as the Executioner declares that who he is, is insignificant, but that what he wants is all that matters. ‘And what I want - is the DEATH of Captain Britain!’. At that moment, one of the newspapers lying around blows past, with the headline that reads: Scientist and socialite Brian Braddock to marry!
Meanwhile, elsewhere in London at Braddock Manor, home of the aforedoomed Captain Britain. Piotr “Colossus” Rasputin is watching an old black and white film in the small theatre, when suddenly, the pensive Colossus is visited by his long time friend Kurt “Nightcrawler” Wagner, who tells Colossus that he has been looking for him all over the manor. Kurt ads that Brian’s bachelor party is about to begin, and asks Piotr what he is doing in here all by himself.
Colossus replies that he cannot face Brian. ‘Because his bride-to-be had a crush on you while he was away?’ Nightcrawler asks, pointing out that it is not like Colossus and Meggan did anything, ‘Uh, did you?’ he asks quietly. ‘Of course not! I never would!’ Colossus replies, to which Kurt asks what there is to worry about, and tells Piotr to put it out of his mind. Nightcrawler reminds Piotr that this is supposed to be a festive occasion, and that as Brian’s best man, he is honor bound to make sure everyone “parties hearty”.
Kurt suggests Colossus come and live a little for once, and warns him that he will not want to miss the surprise he has cooked up inside Brian’s “cake”. Kurt teleports away just as the film finishes, and Colossus thinks that perhaps Kurt is right, perhaps he is overhanging this, as the wedding is still on for tomorrow. Nevertheless, Colossus doesn’t think that makes it right, as he feels husbands and wives should not hide such secrets from one another. Making his way out of the small theatre, Piotr decides that if Meggan is too frightened of the consequences to speak up, then someone should tell Brian the truth. And that someone, is unfortunately him.
Meanwhile, in her bathroom, the elemental Meggan is wearing a robe and has a towel wrapped around her head to dry her ankle-length tresses. Holding a bar of soap in her hands, she practices a speech to herself in the mirror: ‘Brian, my love - not, that’s plain awful. My dearest Brian - mmm not that either, too corny. Sweetheart…I know this is a peculiar time to mention this, but -’ she is interrupted by Brian, who asks ‘But what, Meggan?’ as he enters the bathroom.
Startled, Meggan drops the soap into the sink full of water, and as she spins around, the towel around her hair unravels. Brian, also just in a robe, leans against the door frame and smiles, while a sheepish Meggan exclaims ‘Oh, um…it’s just…uh…just you, Brian’, before asking Brian if it isn’t bad luck for the groom to see the bride before the…the…her voice trails off. ‘The wedding?’ Brian offers, before going over and putting his arms around Meggan, asking her since when he has been one for silly superstitions, before pointing out that they have been apart long enough, so from now on, the two of them are a team. ‘Nothing will ever come between us again’ Brian declares. Meggan leans into him. ‘Right. Nothing’ she replies with a worried look on her face.
Shortly, Brian and Meggan walk through the sprawling manor, and Brian asks Meggan if something is bothering her, as she seems a bit preoccupied. ‘Just pre-wedding day jitters, I suppose’ Meggan replies. Brian smiles and begins to open a double door as he tells Meggan that this may help her get over them: ‘SURPRISE!’ shout four of Meggan’s friends - Kitty “Shadowcat” Pryde, Rahne “Wolfsbane” Sinclair, Linda McQuillan a.k.a. Captain UK and Dr. Moira MacTaggert. ‘A bridal shower? For me!’ she asks, before getting all snuffly and exclaiming that this is the nicest thing anyone has ever done for her.
Kitty, with her pet dragon Lockheed on her shoulder, phases through the door, asking Meggan not to open the presents without her as she would hate to miss anything. Brian turns to Linda and remarks that he doubts Kitty will be missing very much. Linda turns around and snaps ‘Don’t think I can’t recognize that chauvinist tone, Brian Braddock!’ Linda peers at Brian from above her glasses and remarks that her clearly expects them to sit around darning socks like elderly church marms, while he and the other boys “whoop it up” and gawk at scantily clad bimbos. ‘Well, for your information…I didn’t take a leave of absence from my duties as Captain UK of Earth-839 to spend the evening sipping tea and cooing over toasters!’.
‘Look! A toaster!’ Meggan exclaims after opening a present, before Moira asks where Kitty is with that tea. Captain UK just grunts and pushes her glasses back up, before storming away. ‘You were saying…?’ Brian jokes, before turning to Meggan and blowing her a kiss, he informs her that he is off, but will see her bright and early, “Mrs Braddock”. ‘See ya’ a somewhat forlorn Meggan replies. Rahne realizes that Meggan hasn’t told Brian yet, to which Meggan exclaims that she can’t tell Brian as he will call of the wedding and never want to see her again. ‘He’ll absolutely hate me!’.
Linda asks what Meggan has to tell Brian, to which Rahne replies that Meggan had feelings for Colossus. ‘The Russian? Oh, he is cute!’ Linda replies. Meggan hangs her head, asking if she must be the bearer of bad news, and if one of them could tell Brian, as it might hurt him less. Meggan adds that it would mean so much to her. Moira reminds Meggan that she is not a child anymore, but almost a married woman, so it is time she stood up for herself. ‘Amen, sister!’ Captain UK exclaims while playing with the olive from her martini.
Meggan replies that she knows, but that the thought of losing Brian scares her so much. ‘There must be someone who can help me, someone who understands the bind I’m in! Someone…’ just then, Kitty phases back into the room and notices everyone looking at her. ‘I missed something…didn’t I?’.
Meanwhile, ‘To Captain Britain - long may he bear the standard!’ exclaims Kurt, raising his glass to toast his long time teammate. Brian, Colossus, Calvin Rankin a.k.a. the Mimic and the techno-organic Douglock all follow suit. Cigar smoke fills the room, and Douglock repeats Nightcrawler’s quote, though somewhat slurred and with a few hiccups. Colossus remarks that liquor is nothing to be trifled with and suggests to Douglock that he has had enough. ‘Who - hic! - me? Naaaaaa’ Douglock replies.
Douglock pours himself another glass of vodka and explains, still very slurred, that is alien physiology is resilient enough to handle this terrestrial drink, and adds that vodka is the vilest substance he has ever ingested, ‘But I am strangle compelled to consume - more?’ suddenly, Douglock falls forward and smacks his head down on the coffee table. ‘Don’t say I didn’t warn you!’ Colossus exclaims. ‘Is it dead?’ asks Mimic. ‘Nein, but he’s going to wake up with a nasty hard drive hang-over!’ Kurt replies. Mimic picks Douglock up and asks if there is anywhere in particular he should put him. ‘Third door to the left, Mimic, he can sleep it off in my old room’ Brian replies.
Shortly, Mimic has put Douglock down on the bed in Brian’s old room, and with his cigar hanging out of his mouth, begins to look at all the photographs and newspaper clippings framed in the room. Mimic thinks that Brian is a smart fella, and that perhaps Brian can help him be normal some day, though he knows Brian has no reason to. ‘Why, I’m as much an alien as that thing passed out on the bed. Alone. Always alone’. Calvin picks up a photograph of the original Excalibur - Captain Britain, Meggan, Nightcrawler, Shadowcat and the long absent Rachel Summers - and thinks to himself that it must be nice having friends and family, recalling that he sorta had that once with the X-Men, but that he was too wild back then and couldn’t keep it together enough to be a team player. ‘I wonder if those kids realize just how lucky they are to have each other…cuz I sure do’.
Meanwhile, just outside, Tweedledope chases after his hat which is blown along the ground by the wind, while the Knave of Heart’s asks the green-cloaked mystery to tell them who he is. ’If you’re to be our proper leader, we have a right to know!’, but the new Executioner replies that it is a surprise, and one long overdue that these costumed buffoons will not soon forget. Now be quiet before you betray our presence here!’ The Jester whispers to the Knave of Hearts that this one is certainly cryptic, ’I was never so cryptic when I was leader’ he remarks, only for Knave to stare Jester right in the face and snaps ’You were never leader! I was!’
‘Were not!’ Jester snaps back. ‘Were too!’ ‘Were not!’ The Executioner turns to them, ‘Will you please shut up!’ he shouts. The Crazy Gang all look up to an open window, where Shadowcat can be seen. The Red Queen and Tweedledope continue to follow the Executioner, with Jester and the Knave brining up the rear, and Knave whispering that he was never so sensitive a leader. ‘You were never leader!’ Jester snaps. ‘Was so!’ ‘Were not!’ they continue to argue.
Inside, Kitty turns away from Meggan, declaring that there is no way she is getting involved. Meggan asks Kitty ‘Why not’ and points out that Kitty has known Brian almost as long as she has, and is like family, so Brian will listen to her. ‘Besides, you understand what I’m going through. I don’t want to lose Brian like you lost -’ Meggan stops herself from saying “Wisdom” as a forlorn Kitty stares at her, Meggan quickly apologizes, ‘I never meant…’ she begins, until Kitty tells Meggan that she does understand what she is going through, and remarks that there is nothing more painful than losing someone very special - someone you love - because of feelings you couldn’t control.
Kitty exclaims that she had to learn that lesson the hard way, and tells Meggan that she would do anything to spare her the experience of it, ‘But I can’t’. Kitty wraps an arm around her friend, and Lockheed gives Meggan a sympathetic look, while Kitty tells Meggan that she has to be able to do this by herself. ‘Trust me’.
Meanwhile, ‘Lucky man, aren’t I?’ Brian remarks to Colossus, who is holding up a photo of Meggan and Brian in their swimsuits while on a beach. Colossus gasps and spins around, shifting to his armored form. Brian, smoking a cigar, tells Piotr that there is no need to armor up on his account, and that he is just making polite conversation. Colossus asks Captain Britain to forgive him and explains that he was startled, before handing Brian the photo and remarking that he was admiring the photo, adding that he and Meggan both look very happy.
‘We were. We are. I hope we always will be’ Brian replies, declaring that Meggan is his world, and that he doesn’t know what he would do if anything ever came between them again. ‘I can imagine’ Piotr quietly replies. Brian picks up on Piotr’s strange behavior and asks if there is something on his mind. ‘What makes you say that?’ Piotr replies anxiously. ‘Alcoholic’s intuition’ Brian replies, remarking that the face Colossus is “wearing” usually means something is wrong. Brian adds that whenever he got that way he would seek the answers to his problems in the bottle, because he couldn’t find them within himself, never once realizing those are all the wrong answers.
Colossus replies that he is no alcoholic, and informs Captain Britain that he has had a bad experience - a beating from the Juggernaut - while under the influence. Brian replies that he isn’t saying Colossus is an alcoholic, but that he thinks there is something knowing away inside him, something that he needs to get out. ‘Badly’. Colossus frowns and thinks to himself that the truth may ruin Brian, but that someone must tell him. Brian begins to leave the room, until Colossus asks him to wait, and announces that there is something.
Brian pauses in the doorway while Colossus leans on a table and remarks that he does not know how to say this - on the eve of Brian’s wedding night no less - ‘But while you were gone, I - U fell for Meggan. I loved her’. Colossus turns around and says that he is sorry. Brian doesn’t look at Piotr, he just puffs out a heap of cigar smoke and remarks ‘Really’.
Back outside, the Crazy Gang stand at the door to Braddock Manor, and Jester exclaims that he is not so certain that this is a wise idea. ‘Right’ replies the Executioner, remarking that before this scheme goes any further, they need to get one thing straight. ‘Who’s the leader here? You…or me?’ he asks. The Jester smiles and replies that he used to be the leader, to which the Knave of Hearts shouts ‘You were not! I was!’. ‘Rubbish!’ Jester replies, before declaring ‘That’s it, you - I’ve had it!’ and the two begin to fight. ‘Get off me! Get off me!’ Knave shouts, while Tweedledope just grins, thinking this is all hilarious, and the Red Queen spouts her usual ‘Orf wiv their ‘eads!’. The mysterious Executioner slaps his hand against his forehead and remarks that this is so mortifying, before deciding that if you want to do something, you have to do it yourself, he then rings the doorbell.
‘There he is! It’s about time!’ Captain UK thinks to herself, before telling the other women that it sounds like they have got company, and that she wonders who it could be, before giggling. Rahne pours Moira some more tea and remarks ‘That Linda’s a bawdy one, isn’t she, Mum?’ ‘Aye, Rahne, that she is’ Moira agrees. ‘I’m going to owe Privateer Albion for this favor, Roma bless his exhibitionist soul’ Linda thinks to herself as she walks to the door. ’After all, what fun’s a bachelorette party without a - stripper?!’ Captain UK is shocked when she opens the door, expecting to find Privateer Albion, she is instead greeted by the squabbling Crazy Gang!
‘What the bloody -’ Linda begins, until she is smacked over by Tweedledope who is tossed aside after biting Jester’s leg. The fight spills over into the lounge where the bachelorette party is going on, and Moira frowns upon seeing the Crazy Gang, ‘That’s nae quite the “company” I was expecting’ she remarks to Rahne, who shifts into a wolf form and growls. Captain UK smacks the Knave of Hearts over, ‘Any day now, ladies?’ she exclaims, while Knave tells her that wasn’t very nice. ‘What a bunch of Looney Tunes’ Wolfsbane exclaims, before asking who these clowns are.
While Tweedledope plays with Meggan’s new toaster, Jester leaps over Wolfsbane, remarking that he is the only clown here, and that they are not the “Looney Tunes” but the Crazy Gang. ‘What, you’ve never heard of us?’ he asks he adds. Shadowcat phases as the Red Queen tries to punch her, remarking that Rahne is lucky enough not to have crossed the Crazy Gang’s path, unlike the rest of Excalibur, before asking what is going on, as she thought they were done with crime. Knave replies that they were, until their new leader led them here, not that he is sure why still, before adding that he supposes that is what leaders do, ‘If anyone should know, it’s me, I was leader once!’
‘You were not! I was!’ Jester shouts. Linda interrupts the squabbling by asking where this “leader” is now, while Tweedledope carries Moira over his shoulder, and the toaster under his other arm, ‘Hyuk! Hyuk! Hyuk!’ he exclaims while rushing away with her. ‘Take your stinking paws off me, ye dirty ape!’ Moira shouts, while Lockheed chases them.
Meanwhile, Nightcrawler teleports into the kitchen where a massive cake awaits. ‘I touched it, gross!’ ‘Eeek! Get it away from me!’ come the cries from the lounge, but Kurt just thinks that it sounds like the girls are having a rather sordid soiree in there, ‘Well, what’s good for the goose…’ he decides as he wheels the cake out of the kitchen, thinking that the guys are going to love this, he does not here the muffled cries coming from the pantry, where a scantily clad woman sits bound and gagged by pink bands of energy.
‘And now, meine herren, for something completely different!’ Kurt exclaims as he enters the room where his friends are. Mimic motions to the cake and whispers to Captain Britain, ‘Watch out now, you lucky dog! Hot stuff comin’ thru!’ ‘I say, this is a rather unexpected surprise. I wonder what other surprises Kurt has in store!’ Brian exclaims, when, suddenly, the Executioner bursts through the top of the cake along with balloons and streamers, shouting ‘A surprise for which you will pay with your very life, Brian Braddock!’ The Executioner claims that he has waited too long to avenge himself upon Brian, but now the wait is over. ‘Now - it’s time to die!’
Brian ducks as the Executioner swings his weapon around, ‘Resist at your peril, oaf! Submit and your death may be a swift one!’ Brian thinks to himself that with the Crazy Gang’s Executioner here, the rest of those daft dementoids must be around somewhere too. Colossus grabs the Executioner’s scythe-like weapon and informs him that this is a private party, so that it would be in his best interest to leave. ‘Hey that’s mine! Give it back you tin-plated terror!’ the Executioner exclaims, Nightcrawler tells the Executioner that they will give him his toys back once they have had a good look at him, and teleports behind him to pull off the Executioner’s cloak. ‘No! You mustn’t!’ the Executioner shouts. Kurt points out that the Executioner is awfully bashful and remarks that he surely wouldn’t be naked underneath - but he is, however the fact that the Executioner is sitting atop the cake naked is not what shocks everyone the most - that would have to be the fact that it is former Excalibur member Feron!
Feron, looking highly embarrassed, places his hands in front of himself and mutters ‘Um…er…uh…hello’. Brian asks Feron what in the world he is doing here, to which Feron replies that he would rather not say, as it is too humiliating. ‘You’ll get over it. Now, spill’ Brian exclaims, grinning, to which Feron mutters that he supposes this cannot get much more embarrassing, and frowns as he reveals that it all began when Captain Britain had disappeared into the Timestream.
(Shown with flashback illustrations)
Feron reminds everyone how Meggan had fallen into a deep, dismal state, and that there seemed no way to bring her out of it, but he figured his arcane abilities would suffice, not realizing just how powerful her empathy could be. ‘Her despair infected me…overwhelmed me…and I, too, succumbed to grief’. Feron explains that he was unable to maintain his corporeal form, and the tide of the waterfall eventually whisked him away from Braddock Manor. Feron reveals that being one with the current, he was channelled every which way throughout the British isles until he emerged in a strange and wondrous land.
‘A place called High Street’. Entering High Street through a drain, Feron remarks that he had been called there for a reason, an unknown purpose that immediately became apparent as soon as he saw “them” - the Crazy Gang. ‘They say death comes to us all, old friend. We hope you’ll come back for us, someday, too’ Knave said as he tossed the Executioner’s robes away. Feron tells the others that if he was to have his revenge, he needed allies, ‘Sycophantic lackeys who would fall upon his every command and worship the ground above which I must forever hover! I got the Crazy Gang instead’ Feron mutters, explaining how he stole the discarded robes of the Executioner and then appeared before the bumbling Crazy Gang.
Kurt asks Feron why he need allies for revenge against Excalibur, reminding him that they are friends. ‘You were my friends, before you ignored me. Before you forgot all about me!’ Feron exclaims as he puts the robe back on. ‘You attacked us because you wanted our attention? That’s positively daft!’ Brian exclaims, to which Feron replies that they don’t understand, as he was born for a greater destiny than the rest of them. ‘The monks who raised me taught me this lesson!’ he boasts, telling Brian that he cannot imagine what it is like being told you’re special all your life only to discover that perhaps you’re not all they said. ‘It’s a rude and painful awakening to realize you’re a nobody’.
Nightcrawler tells Feron that they have all experienced those feelings, and points out as those monks showed Feron what makes him special, as did someone who helped them realize their unique potentials. Mimic remark that Kurt is right, and tells Feron that even now they are all still learning how to best use that potential. ‘We never stop learning, actually’. Colossus adds that the desire to change and become a better person than we were the day before is what makes a person truly special.
Feron smiles and puts his hands to his face, ‘Really? You meant it? I’m not nobody?’ he asks, before floating up into the air, ‘I’m somebody!’ he shouts, before crashing into the ceiling. ‘That’ll leave a mark’ Kurt jokes, while Feron calls out for someone to help him down.
Shortly, the merriment ensues at a much more civil pace. Lockheed and Jester show their affection towards the cake-girl who was rescued from the pantry, while Tweedledope receives some toast, ‘Mmm! Eats! Hyuk!’ he exclaims. Everyone else goes about chatting to who they wish, while Captain UK approaches Mimic, who is looking at a photo album, and tells him that he is much lovelier than Privateer Albion, and asks him if he fancies a mutual go at “the full Monty” upstairs. Calvin pauses before asking Linda if she is usually this forward with men. ‘Only the big ones’ Linda replies.
Kitty whispers to Meggan that she better get it over with soon, to which Meggan asks ‘Now? Here? In front of all these people?’ Kitty replies that there is no better time than the present. Meggan agrees, and remarks that if she is truly going to be “Mrs Brian Braddock” the rest of her life, then she must be completely open and honest with her husband, however painful the truth. ‘Scared?’ Kitty asks. ‘Terrified’ Meggan replies. ‘Not about getting married, I hope!’ Brian remarks as he comes over and takes Meggan’s hand. ‘Uhm, no - of course not’ Meggan replies.
‘Good’ Brian replies, before asking Kitty to excuse them as he needs to speak with his blushing bride-to-be. ‘Uh, yeah. Sure, I was just gonna see if Tweedledope wanted to…uh…dance…or something equally nonsensical’ Kitty replies, while thinking to herself ‘Good luck, Meg - you’re gonna need it’.
Colossus keeps watch of Meggan as she and Brian leaves the room, and Meggan turns to face him also. Piotr turns to Kurt and remarks that he hopes he did the right thing lying to Brian like that, as he fears he has made a terrible mistake’. ‘You did what your heart felt. There’s no right or wrong to that’ Kurt assures his friend, adding that he certainly would appreciate that above all else and is sure Brian would too. Colossus points out that they will soon see if Kurt is right, to which Kurt exclaims that he thinks this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship, for all three of them. ‘Hyuk!’ exclaims Tweedledope.