(December 22nd - the Xavier Institute for Higher Learning)
It’s a fairly nice day in upstate New York. Iceman looks at the recently rebuilt mansion and decides to make it a whole lot more festive. Using his ability to create ice sculptures, he coats the mansion with a layer of snow and ice, even creating a snowman near the Phoenix statue. He’s pleased with his efforts. Emma calls him telepathically, asking him to join the team in assembly. She and Scott are about to dismiss the students for winter break.
He enters the school, and finds Beast, Wolverine, Emma Frost and Cyclops seated, facing the students. Emma is pleased overall with how the students have acquitted themselves during their first term together, after a challenging beginning. On behalf of the entire staff of Xavier’s, she wishes them a restful holiday break with their family and friends. They all deserve it; every single one of them.
Wolverine hops on his bike and high-tails it, whilst Hank McCoy calls his old flame, Trish Tilby, and arranges a day out with her. He also enquires what she’s up to on New Year’s Eve. The students slowly make their way out of the mansion, including David Alleyne, who says goodbye to Kevin Ford. Kevin looks miserable, as the snow begins to fall for real outside his window.
Scott Summers enters Emma’s office to inform her that he’s just confirmed their flight, but Emma cuts him off as she’s on the phone. She is speaking to a Mr. Sawyer, who has apparently promised to take in Kevin this Christmas. He is backtracking on the deal, and Emma asks him how he thinks this will make Kevin feel. Mr. Sawyer is concerned about Kevin’s powers, but Emma tries to explain that he’s completely harmless. Unfortunately, Mr. Sawyer has children of his own; normal children. He hangs up, and Emma slams the phone down, calling him a bigot.
She tells Scott that they have a problem. “When don’t we?” he replies, trying to bring a little levity to the situation. Emma is upset, and is infuriated with Mr. Sawyer. Scott not only has the ability to deliver optic blasts, but usually has the knack of smoothing over the roughest of diamonds - usually. Emma is concerned that it’s too late to find Kevin another foster family, and wonders if they could take Kevin with them to Pleasure Island. Scott is clearly apprehensive. Pleasure Island isn’t the kind of place for children. Emma ponders on what to do. She can’t have one of their pupils moping around the Institute like some pariah. She turns and asks Scott, “It’s settled then. Would you like to tell Kevin, or shall I?”
Kevin is alone when the co-headmasters enter his room. Emma tells him a white lie about them staying in New York, and Kevin asks “But aren’t you guys going to Pleasure Island?” Emma speaks telepathically with Scott. It was supposed to be a secret. Scott replies that it was, but not to worry. He promises to murder Logan. Emma smiles at Kevin, and replies that it’s utter rubbish. In fact, she and Scott had planned a trip. She falters when she is unable to thinks of somewhere suitable, until Scott interjects with, “The Savage Land.” Emma continues, and explains that they’re postponing the trip to spend Christmas with him. Won’t that be fun? Emma asks. Kevin struggles for a response, but asks what are they gonna do, exactly?
(December 23rd - the FAO Schwarz toy store on Fifth Avenue)
Scott, Emma and Kevin arrive in the city, but Kevin still looks like someone ran over his pet rabbit. Emma tells him that when she was his age, her father would bring her to this store, and allow her to pick out any three toys. She asks Kevin to do the same. Kevin feels he’s a little too old for toys, but Emma picks up a doll, and asks whether that includes games for his X-Box. Kevin smiles. “Good point, Miss Frost.”
(later - outside Radio City Music Hall)
Having left the toy store, Emma gives Kevin a choice. They can either see Radio City’s rousing Christmas spectacular, starring the legendary Rockettes, which is her inclination, or they can see whatever bloated big-budget computer-generated so-called epic Hollywood has decided to inflict upon them this holiday season.
(later - The Loews Cineplex on West 42nd Street)
Emma’s is not that impressed that Kevin chose the latter, but Kevin and Scott both enjoy the movie. Fine, she says, but tomorrow she’s deciding what they’re doing.
(December 24th - Rockefeller Plaza)
The two X-Men are skating around the ice rink. It’s been years since Scott did this, but tells Emma it’s like riding a bike. You never forget how to do it. Emma asks him to just remember that he’s an X-Man, and to not embarrass them too much. Unfortunately, her warning comes too late, and Scott lands on his butt with a thump. Emma grins, and asks Kevin what he thinks of that. Kevin’s attention, though, is distracted. He is watching a couple with their child, skating around the ice. He can see how happy they look. Emma decides that, maybe, this isn’t the best place to be right now.
(later - The Flower District on New York’s west side)
Scott and Kevin pick out a Christmas tree for the institute. Tonight, the three of them will sing Christmas carols and decorate it. Kevin says he won’t be doing that; not with the gloves he’s wearing. His power is more negative than most of the students at Xavier’s. If he touches anything organic, it decays and rots. He literally has the touch of death and, at the moment, it is uncontrollable. His codename is Wither. Scott apologizes for not thinking. Emma emerges from a nearby shop carrying a pile of boxes, and following her is a shop assistant doing likewise.
(later - the Institute for Higher Learning)
The tree is placed in the corner of the room, and decorated with colorful baubles and lights. Scott sings Silent Night as he places logs on the fire, which he lights using energy from his eyes. Kevin is looking miserable again. He looks at his photo album, and at a photograph of him and his parents in happier times. Emma approaches him and explains that, sometimes, as people grow older, their mutations change or become dormant. She actually developed a secondary mutation. She changes into her diamond form, and sits beside him.
She’s been thinking. She explains that diamonds are organic - made of carbon. Of course, it would take an awful long time one dissolve, even if it were held by someone as powerful as Kevin. She leans in towards him, and adds that he shouldn’t tell any of the other children about this, because she wouldn’t want them thinking she has favorites but, if he likes, they could sit by the fire with Scott and he could hold her hand. Kevin asks if that would really be okay. “More than okay, Kevin,” Emma replies. Soon, the three of them are sat in front of a roaring fire, singing Silent Night. Kevin holds Emma’s hand and, for the moment, he is contented.