| Claw woke up that morning like usual. She searched through her closet looking for something suitable to wear in the bright sunshine that she saw outside her window. Tired of looking through all the clothes she snatched out a pair of cut offs and a tight fitting shirt on which the back there was a stallion, hand drawn and given to her by a friend a while back. On him it had come to his mid riff, but after convincing him that style was out by 1985, he gave it to her because it fit her normally. It was comfortable, and simple when she had no patience.She went downstairs, and not everyone was dressed quite so casually. Her two best friends in the house, known to most as Wolverine and Gambit, but to her just plain old Logan and Remy, were eating a quick breakfast in their full costumes."What's up?" she asked, confused."Trouble," was all Logan said, and swallowed the rest of his toast while reading the paper."It’s the guilds." Remy added, since he had already finished his food."Oooh. Sounds like fun. I invited?" She said, walking up behind Remy and gently playing with his hair. She started to work it into a braid, but he waved her hands away."If you're willing to risk it, you're there, Petite.""Don't call me that! I'm not THAT short," she said, folding her arms. Logan snickered and smiled at her. "Don't you say a word, Logan, you're shorter than me after all.""Did I say anything?" he asked, looking innocent.
She gave him a "I oughtta smack you" type look, and said "Guess I'm there." In the blink of an eye she was in her costume. Her costume changed frequently, but today it was the normal one. Mainly black, but with a purple streak that ran down the middle and stretched out to her arms, kind of like Rogue's costume without the jacket and in black and purple instead of yellow and green. A gold belt hung loosely at her waist, but yet tight enough so that it wouldn't fall off. It was a gift from Batman, her uncle, and it contained room for all sorts of things, but besides smoke bombs and such hers also held a whip and a radio (useful when you’re searching for someone and bored to tears). Her gloves and boots were long and black. The whole thing was form fitting giving her room to move and still be comfy at the same time. It was also bonded to her skin, so that it worked in the same way as her invulnerability did, and would not rip as easily (saves money and time for getting new costumes plus saves the embarrassment of something showing that's not supposed to in battle). "I'm ready whenever y'all are," she said, grabbing her own piece of toast and went to make a phone call.
She didn't have to. Her phone was already ringing. "Hello?" she said, picking it up, knowing full well who it was.
"Hello, Dick." She sighed. She was about to call him, but she was getting tired of this, she had meant to call him just to tell him she would be away for a while. But now if he called then he wanted to talk, and there was only one subject of which they had spoken for the last two weeks.
"Explain to me again why we had to break up?"
"I just don't understand. I did everything I could, and it isn't anyone else... so why leave me?"
"Don't you see you did too much?! It's one thing to be loved, and it's another to be worshipped and smothered! I would love to get married and have kids and all that other stuff as much as the next person, but I'm only 24! I wanna go out and see the world, and I want to do whatever I want and spend time with whoever I want... and I don't wanna have to worry about taking you along or hurting your feelings!"
"And this isn't hurting my feelings?!"
"Dick, it's the only way. Now I'm leaving for New Orleans today... please do not follow me. I'll have Logan and Remy with me, I'll be alright. I'll call you when I get back."
"Logan and Remy. Oh that's comforting. I don't suppose either of them will flirt with you."
"If they do it's none of your god damn business! GOODBYE, Dick!" And she slammed down the phone. She fell back on her bed and sighed.
"Breaking up sucks, doesn't it?"
Claw looked up, and saw the red haired woman standing in her doorway.
"You're very observant, Jean."
Jean smiled. "I try." She wrapped an arm around her, giving her a squeeze. "Don't worry about him. I'll talk to him while you're gone. Get him to calm down, I promise."
"Thanks, Jean," she said, and got up. Jean had always been like a mother to her, even though their difference in age was not too great. And she was also good friends with Dick, so maybe she could talk some sense into him. "Seeya later." she said, and walked away to meet with her two friends.
"C'mon slow pokes!" she cried, as Logan and Remy slowly got up from their seats. "C'mon, c'mon, c'mon!" she said again, jumping up and down.
"Ok, little miss impatient. Perhaps you'd like to get us there in the blink of an eye then?"
"I was hoping you'd say that..." she said, and by the time she had finished the sentence they found themselves on the street of New Orleans. The three of them then became serious, knowing the dangers they were entering. Gambit pulled out his bo staff, and Wolverine and Claw extended their claws. One can never know what may be lurking around the corner in the middle of the night when the guilds were at war. "So what exactly is up?" she asked them telepathically.
"That’s just it" Remy said communicating back to her in his head. "We don't really know. But people are dropping like flies, most of them young women, and the whispers say the guilds are involved."
"Oh, how fun. Nothing like a good mystery. So what are we looking for then?"
"Anything that looks like it shouldn't be happening, darlin'" Logan replied. "I suggest we split up but keep in touch, ok?"
They all nodded to each other, and then broke off in opposite directions.
Claw creeped slowly within the shadows, looking about her. After a while she became tired of walking along the walls and just walked out in the middle of the street. What was she afraid of anyway? They want women... let them come at her, she was practically immortal anyway. Or at least so she had always thought...
She felt a slight dizziness in her head, but she tried shoving it out of her mind. Something about it made her think of the words "black hole" but she wasn't sure why so she just ignored it. It was then that they were upon her. Her eyes blurred, and at first it seemed like there were hundreds of them. When a few of them stepped closer though they came into focus and she could fight them clearly. She moved into a defensive position, and began to fight them in her normal style, a mix between martial arts, street fighting, and almost animalistic moves. There were four of them about her, and she was doing well, but it seemed the dizziness was growing greater and greater the more it went on. She tried telepathically calling out to Gambit and Wolverine, but her thoughts just traveled out into space, being heard by no one. It was then that she lost consciousness completely.
She woke up, in a strange room, in different clothing, and with the feeling that there was another presence in the room. Instead of bothering to look around in the dimly lit room, she did a quick telepathic scan of the room. A man, close to her age. She turned and faced him.
"You're awake, I see."
"Who the hell are you?"
"I don't see why that should matter. You're safe here, your wounds are clean, and I can get you something if you are hungry."
"Where am I? Why'd you help me?"
"You're in a motel room, I thought it would be best to get you off the streets."
"I told one of the maids you had been jumped a few blocks away, she gave you a night shirt. I was making sure we weren't followed while she cleaned your wounds and helped you into clean clothes", he explained.
"If I'm one thing it's a gentleman", he said, cutting her off. "You're ok now, just chill, rest, relax. You were putting on quite a show out there, you know."
"I was cornered, I could have gotten out, someone.. something broke my concentration."
She felt awkward and out of place, so she sat up. Seeing the bandages on her arms, she took them off, knowing that by now she was fully healed. He walked towards her then, letting himself become more clear in the dim light, though he still molded in with the shadows quite well. He had light brown hair down to his shoulders, deep green eyes, light complexion, and of average height and build, taller than her she could tell and in appearance more muscular. His clothes were completely black, and he moved silently, and if she didn’t know better she would say he was floating. He was quite attractive to her, but she decided to not let that show just yet.
"You shouldn't do that, I'd leave those on for a few days at least", he said with the beginning of a frown.
"Don't worry.. you don’t understand, I'm okay, just a few scratches." As the bandages fell away, he could see no sign of a cut, only a pinkish color where a small scar had formed.
"What the hell.. who are you?"
"I asked first", she said, with a sly grin.
"Kenneth. Kenneth Sigon. You don’t know me. And I sure as hell don’t know you. Now.. may I ask who you are?"
"I'm known as Claw."
"I was right, I don't know you."
“Oh well, pity. But that’s ok. You do now, and we will meet again,” she said, with the snap of her fingers she changed from the nightgown to her outfit that she was wearing before. She noticed him blink with amazement, and she gave him a teasing smile and left the small room.
She stepped out onto the streets, having a good idea of where she was. Not exactly the best neighborhood, but her guard was tripled now, and she would be ready for anything. She jumped up, and let herself begin to fly, rising above the buildings. She scanned as far as she could for Gambit and Wolverine, knowing they couldn’t be too far off, though who knows how long she had been asleep. It wasn’t too hard to find them, and it wasn’t too far away thanks to her flying ability. She got there fairly quickly, sailing into the window of the warehouse she had found them in.
"Hey, guys, find anything?" she said as she landed beside them. They were in an area where they were nearby where they needed to be, without being too close to worry about being spied on.
"Nah, chere, nothing really. A few rumors, but nothing more than what we already know. What happened to you? Our connection got severed."
"Oh I found something alright. Blondish-brown hair, green eyes..." The two of them stared her down, obviously not interested. "And he's a mutant! I'm not exactly sure what he does but he moves really quiet and he clouds up my telepathic ability. He's a good guy, too, he helped me out when I ran into a group of these idiots." she decided to leave out the part that he had to save her.
"Idiots? What'd they look like?" Gambit said, leaning closer. Claw shrugged.
"Dressed in black, all using different weapons, looking like a ninja or assassin. Oh and one of them had a badge on that kinda looked like this." she said, scratching the image in the dirt.
"That's the assassin's guild alright. Those are elite forces too. They must have known they were going up against someone difficult."
"So what do we do?" Wolverine asked, getting a little impatient.
"We can't just go straight into the guild, that would be suicide. I can try and talk to the thieves' guild, maybe we can get someone to help us. They might know a good way to get in."
"Kenneth Sigon." Claw said to herself.
"What?" they both looked at her strangely.
"That was the guy's name. He must know something about the guilds, 'cause he was trailing 'em. He might be able to help." Gambit's face crumpled up in thought.
"That name's familiar... can't place it though."
"Let me help," said Claw, and peered into his mind, making a quick scan for the name, and projecting everything right back to him.
"I don't know much, he only really appeared when I had pretty much left New Orleans. They call him the Nightfall. Kind of like they call that guy the Batman. He's known more as a legend than fact, though most who see him don't always live to tell about it. He's a creature of shadow who takes human form, so says the legend. But he's probably just a mutant who can change into some kind of shadow. His touch is the feel of death, and his daggers mean doom. He mainly attacks criminals and such, but I wouldn't wanna mess with him."
"He seemed nice enough..."
"Be careful, chere. That's all I'm sayin'." He tipped his head to her and then headed out the door.
"I wouldn't worry too much." Logan said, "I'm sure there have been more horror stories about Claw then there are about Nightfall. Besides, Remy was a former criminal anyway..." Claw gave a wayward smile, though the comment hurt her slightly. Her appearance and anger did much to scare people, but it wasn't something she was proud of.
"You know what the funny thing is? He's never heard of me. I just think it’s funny that the place where I was born no one knows my name. But someone must know of me, or otherwise they wouldn't have sent those people. But how could they do it so quickly. And why?"
"Calm down, darlin'. No need to worry about that right now."
"Thank you, daddy." Claw said jokingly, putting her head on Logan's shoulder. With their similarities and large difference in age, Logan had always been somewhat of a father figure to her. She had known him off and on since she was eight years old, and ever since then he had been the perfect person to talk to.
"I'm gonna just have to go out and find him. Shouldn't be too hard finding a void. But first I'm starving." As if he had his own mind reading skills, Remy then appeared, a bag from McDonald's in his hand. They all ate up rather quickly, the three of them known by friends to eat like horses. They then split up, Claw out to track Nightfall and the other two off to the thieves guild.
It wasn't too hard to find him, scanning the area for either his name or the void. Surprisingly to her, it was by the name which she found him. Must be his apartment, she thought to herself, sitting on the window sill. She peered in, seeing no one, but feeling his presence nearby.
Deciding against literally breaking in, she simply teleported herself to right inside. She heard the faint sound of running water coming from the direction of the master bedroom. Shower time, she thought, and giggled. Hm.. he was a gentlemen.. I guess I should do the same for him. She creeped into the room, and quietly layed down on his bed. Comfy. I'll just wait here until he gets out. Claw had to keep reminding herself she was here on business, for she had the urge to put on something more revealing and a whole lot of charm. I haven't been like this since... she breathed out a long sigh, thinking of Dick. She pushed it out of her mind, it was too much to think about. That was the whole point of breaking up, right?
The water in the shower turned off, and he walked out drying his hair so that at first he didn't notice her laying there so silently. Looking out of the corner of his eye he saw her foot on the bed, and sat up straight with a start. His eyes widened when he realized it was her, and he almost seemed as embarrassed as she was, standing there with only the towel around his waist.
"What do you want?" he said, frozen.
You on the bed right now! her mind screamed at her. Shrugging off the thought and the nervousness, she looked at him again, and said, "Information. Sorry for the inconvenience, but I didn't know how else to contact you. You were following the assassin's guild, I was hoping you could tell me if you knew what their latest little scam was."
"Lately the guild has taken it upon themselves to get rid of me. I don't see why that would concern you at all. I've been trailing them lately, following their patterns, as far as I can tell someone very important hired them to kill you. I figured I'd lend a hand. I was not aware you had special abilities.."
"What's that chain around your neck?" Claw asked him, walking up to him and placing the diamond ring around the silver chain in her hand.
"Nothing of any importance to you." he said, snatching it from her hand. Gently scanning his mind, Claw saw most of the answers to her questions.
"I'm sorry." she said, more for the truth then her curiosity. "Are you seeing someone right now?"
"No, and I'm not interested," he replied to her crossly. She let out a sigh. Always getting your hopes up... stupid girl. She thought to herself, and in her feelings of low self esteem and guilt she scratched at her arms with her extended claws, knowing full well it would do nothing to her invulnerable skin except leave a slight sting. He looked back at her, and he even seemed a little concerned. Realizing he had noticed, she calmed herself and began to speak again.
"My friends and I are going to be in town until this thing is settled. Maybe they know who it was that hired those guys to kill me, they were gathering information of their own. Here. This is a tracking device. If I'm anywhere in the city you'll be able to find me if you need me. And even afterwards you can just press that button and page me. I'll come see you no matter what's up." She gave him a quick smile and blinking her eyes disappeared from sight.
When she opened her eyes again she was back in the warehouse, but Logan and Remy were nowhere in sight. Oh well, might as well wait. She laid down on a small cot in the corner, wishing she was lying beside Kenneth in his nice warm bed instead.
She woke up with Remy's smiling face in hers. She hadn't seen such a large smile on his face in a long time.
"What?" she said, feeling defensive.
"I just never realized how peaceful and defenseless you look when you’re sleeping." he said, laughing. She pushed him away and got up, stretching.
"Ok, wise guy, y'all find anything or what?"
"Little. The thieves guild don't like me too much anymore. But they did want an end to the murders that have been occurring lately. Bad for business, y'know?"
"Yeah, y'know. Guilds don't believe in stealing off a dead body."
Claw groaned. "I should've known."
"From what they say the guilds have someone big working with them. I think the thieves have worked with him too, but they don't know his name. All they said was he's too evil for words, but he pays a good price. They haven't really seen his face. Just his glowing red eyes."
Claw felt her temperature rise, her fists and teeth clench, her eyes glow with hatred, and her claws and fangs extend. With a voice that was deeper and more scratchy than her normal voice she spat out the word, "Sinister."
"How can you be sure, darlin'?" Logan asked.
"I know it. He paid those assassins to come after me. He hates me, and he does not exactly care for either of you. I wonder if he's behind the attack on Nightfall too.."
"So what do we do now, chere? Call in the recruits or take it out on our own?"
"Call in the recruits. We'll take him out before he knows what hit him. And the first person to call would be-" and before she even finished her sentence, the tall and lanky Wolf appeared before them.
"You're correct, Claw. It's my father alright." Bastard son of Sinister, subject to experiments before he was even born, Wolf's powers mirrored Claw's, and he even had some of her DNA within him. For this she referred to him as her "brother" though their connection was more mysterious than that, as they often thought the same thoughts and experienced each other's pain. Besides her powers, which were slightly weaker than the original, he also had a "holding" power, with which if he touched something or someone, at his will they would be stuck to him, unable to break free. He was a man bent on revenge for his father and protecting Claw, and he always had two monitors in his home, one following each of them. Therefore he was often a great help to anyone whenever Sinister was involved. He swept a clawed hand through his nearly nonexistent brown hair and asked, "Should I go and give everyone the message? X-men, Batman, Nightwing?" The last was really the one in question, as he was Dick, Claw's old boyfriend.
"Yes, all of them. I wanna bust right through this asshole. Oh, and here," she said, handing a note which she had just scribbled to Wolf. "Bring that to the address marked on it. Nightfall may or may not wish to help us. I don't know if he's into that kind of thing." Wolf gave her a sigh, and then disappeared.
A minute later, Kenneth heard his doorbell ring. He found the note right outside his door. It said:
I'm sorry about tonight. I shouldn't have just walked in, and I sure as hell shouldn't have asked you those personal questions. Thank you for your help though. We found out who the guy is. A whole bunch of my partners and I are going to be converging at a warehouse in the city about ten blocks away from where you are. Feel free to come by and bust some ass with us if you'd like. Don't know if you've heard of the X-men or not but despite what the rumors say we're just trying to help people. If you come you don't even have to make yourself known if you don't want to. You're good at hiding in the shadows, after all. I know you're probably wondering why you should trust me, and I don't blame you. But I can tell you that once you've gained my friendship I'll be there for you to the death. No matter what I do, I'm always there for my friends. I'm sorry about everything again... you should feel special I rarely apologize. I'm hoping we can start all over again next time. Please find it in your heart to forgive me.
AngiePS It occurred to me I never gave you my real name. It's just everyone calls me Claw during "business" time that I don't think about it. "Alrighty, guys. Alfred informed me that Bats and Robin are in the middle of a case right now, but he said he'd get in touch with Nightwing, and the X-guys are assembling. At least Rogue, Beast, Storm, Jean and Cyclops are. Don't know where everybody else is. I'm guessing they'll get here by tomorrow, so that gives us some time to find his direct location and figure out how to reach him." Wolf said, returning back to Claw, Wolverine, and Gambit. "Which means I'm going home to find out as much as possible. I'll get back to you as soon as the guys help me find a definite location." Giving a salute, he disappeared from sight again. A few moments later, both Claw and Gambit gave out a sigh. "Poor little babies with your ex's," Logan said with a chuckle. Remy had been dumped by Rogue approximately two weeks ago after finding out some not so nice things in his past. "Shut up!" They both said simultaneously, which only set Logan into laughing some more. But the angry looks on their faces when the two of them rose and began to move slowly toward him was enough to make someone as confident as Logan shut his mouth. "Sorry, guys. It was just kind of funny how you both did it at the same time, that's all. Believe me, I've been there plenty of times before." Eventually the three of them settled down to sleep away the rest of the night. Claw's sleep was rather sound, until she woke up... She felt the holds on her, the chains about her, and the glass that encircled her. Opening her eyes, she felt her sleepiness fade as she heard screams in the background. It was a scream of "no," a scream of a voice that was familiar. "Wolf?" she asked, confused. And then the pain began. It was incredible. She felt it throughout her entire body, growing worse with every second and every movement she made. It was as if even the simple things like breathing, her heart beating, her blood flowing, her thoughts forming, all brought on their own pain. It then occurred to her, looking at her skin, that she was being forced into a metamorphosis of sorts. She began to scream, a scream so loud and painful that the building which she was in shook. The glass must have been shatterproof, however, for it would not budge. Through tears of pain she eyed Wolf, in a desperate struggle with Sinister. Sinister had a shield around the machine which was attached to her, and Wolf was trying to get past it and him to turn it off, apparently at the same time fighting off mind control. His scream matched hers in intensity if not in pitch. It was then that the door across the room burst open. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that the wall burst open. A large number of people ran through, rushing at Sinister and Wolf, coming to Wolf's aid. Despite the blur that covered her eyes from the tears Claw recognized all of her friends and hoped they could help her soon, for the pain was unbelievable. She closed her eyes, and after what seemed like hours the machine was finally turned off, as her screaming stopped she heard the protests of another who was in obvious defeat. "Damn you!" he spat, and as always, disappeared. "Who is she? And where's Claw?" she heard Nightwing ask. Confused and saddened that someone she knew so well did not recognize her, she attempted to speak up but before she could speak Wolf took her in his arms and said. "Do not worry. I shall take care of her. And I will find Claw as well. Thank you all for your help. I'll get back to you as soon as possible." and they disappeared away. Back in Wolf's headquarters centered in Tokyo, he set her down gently on a bed. "Wolf, why did you-" "Angie, please, sh." He said to her. It was dark in the room, and she could barely see. He took her hand, and joining in a bond with her as they often did he began to heal her. She began to feel better almost immediately, and she went to thank him when she saw the disappointment and anger on his face. "What's wrong? TELL ME!!" she yelled, shaking him. "Please, calm down. I want you to remain as calm as possible, and then go take a look in that mirror." She walked over to the mirror on the wall, not sure what he was getting at. Turning on the lamp beside it to get a better look, she shrunk back in horror. What stared back at her was ten times the monster than she had ever appeared to be before. Her facial structure and features were similar, but she had changed drastically. Her skin was dead white, with a small diamond around her forehead and black around her eyes. Her teeth were all sharp fangs, and her tongue lizard-like. Even her clothes had been altered to something similar to Sinister's costume. Tears began to fill her dark red eyes, as she felt Wolf's hand on her shoulder. "Oh God..." she whispered, looking at him in light. His skin looked as if half of it had peeled away, revealing white skin underneath, with the same diamond (though faded) and some black around the eyes. His eyes themselves seemed as part of them had burst and a reddish black fluid had covered half of them. He remained in his suit that he often wore, though it seemed as if it had been burnt for it was now black. Simply, any cells in his body which were duplications of hers had changed, and everything else had remained the same. It gave him a horrific appearance, as if he had a disease. In Claw's opinion however, she looked much worse. "The clothes we can always change... and we can always shapeshift for a while... and perhaps it shall be temporary... or perhaps we can find a way to rid ourselves of this. I figured you would not want the others to know... that is why I brought you here. We can stay here for a week and see if it goes away. Father seemed pretty upset that they turned off the machine.. it was obviously not complete."
 I lived in cut off jean shorts and X-men t-shirts around this time. Only a 14 year old would think this is important enough to be worth a mention.
 This is a not at all subtle reference to the shirt worn by Bill S. Preston, Esquire in Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure. He is in fact the friend she mentions here.
 Seeing these two names together makes me think immediately of my cats now.
 Didn’t I just say they were both eating breakfast?
 Because this is something I always wanted to do to Gambit’s pretty hair. This urge did not last into my adult years when I actually had a boyfriend with long hair.
 This fantasy version of me gets to be about 5’4” I believe. I think I was still holding out hope that I might grow taller than my current height.
 You gotta love these over descriptors. But clearly I had very specific ideas about my color swapped total rip off costume.  You gotta love the nice casual way this fact is thrown in there.
 Power #1!
 In case the whole “Batman is her uncle” thing wasn’t a clue, this is in fact Dick Grayson.
 So! Much! Drama! And totally how a 24 year old would handle this situation.
 Power #2!
 Power #3!
 Power #4!
 Power #5! (It’s referencing a healing factor. Because of course.)
 This isn’t a power as much as just a talent, but boy, isn’t it advanced?
 I’m trying to imagine a motel where the maids would change unconscious patrons. I hope they don’t actually exist.
 Now is the time to be honest and say this is a character designed by my boyfriend at the time. I made some changes to his original ideas though. We originally were going to write this story together but he became frustrated with me because my character was too powerful. I fiercely denied this at the time and “finished” the story on my own.
 Power #6! (It was mentioned before, though the prior “blink of an eye” could have just been reference to changing quickly. Here we see she can in fact teleport clothing just like she teleports people.)
 Power #7!
 Requisite weakness that makes our Mary Sue not too perfect.
 It’s very important to insert your headcanon details into your fan fiction.
 Dear, you just entered the man’s house without permission. Are you seriously patting yourself on the back for not checking him out in the shower?
 Now she’s embarrassed? And wouldn’t he be royally pissed instead?
 Once again, way to cross the line. The ring once belonged to his fiancee who was murdered and sent him in a quest for vengeance.
 And here I bring my actual bad habits and traits of the time into the story as well. A little painful to read now.
 Because in my view, Claw was a more logical obsession for Mr. Sinister than Cyclops or Jean Grey. In all fairness, a mutant with that many powers probably would be!
 My other original character in this story, who is actually even more perfect than Claw, as you’ll see shortly. Also, he is named Wolf because he was originally based on Lupin III, though he no longer shares any traits with him here.
 And he didn’t help Claw earlier when she passed out because... reasons?
 Well, look at that, self awareness!
 This had in fact happened in the comics around the time I wrote this. They kissed before the M’Kraan Crystal swept through to create the Age of Apocalypse, and Rogue absorbed memories she didn’t like.
 Oh yeah, power #8, you bet!
 Write a fight scene? What, are you crazy? No, the bad guy’s defeated, just trust me on this.
 We’ll call this power #9. It’s related to them sharing DNA and both having the healing factor.
 I actually really love this idea. The major flaw is that the X-men should have seen Wolf like this and therefore made the connection of who she was. But let’s pretend he shapeshifted to hide his appearance, because…
 Yup, power #10
 And here I hit a wall. I really loved this idea of the transformation, I just had no idea where to go with it. I still love the idea, really, even if it is a little silly, and would no doubt involve them gaining even more super powers.
And there you have it. Pretty cringe-worthy in places, I know. It's amusing to me to read some of these things because I thought I had Claw acting so grown up, I mean she cursed and everything, so clearly she was mature, right? Now she seems more like a cartoon character, as silly and unbalanced as Harley Quinn (who doesn't appear in this story simply because I decided to go more X-men with this story than Batman). Beyond the childishness, there's a lot of flaws, like over-describing some things and not fully explaining other details. Claw's constant use of "wanna" comes off less like an accent and more like a writer who doesn't realize that's not a word. Wolf I think I handled a little better - his stilted wording is supposed to show that he was mostly raised in isolation. But once again it's not really explained at all and may just come off weird. My characterizations of the X-men and Nightwing don't seem off, but they're also so barely there that you can't even properly judge them. Claw is the textbook definition of a Mary Sue, and I can't believe I once shrugged off the idea that she was too powerful. She can do practically anything. I'm amazed I didn't find a way to get her to use the Phoenix Force somewhere in the story too, just to top it all off. That said, it does make me feel a little better about The Hinges of Destiny. There the characters get their powers dropped down to just claws and telepathy/telekinesis, and the fact that they're different from others who only have one power is a plot point that serves a purpose. Claw/Elizabeth still has a temper, but it's one that doesn't make her look so mentally unbalanced, and she handles relationships better. She's the main viewpoint character but she's not so wonderful that everyone is in love with her. Wolf/Max is still an oddball, but once again it's in a much more realistic way, and he's just determined to make a difference in the world rather than literally stalking people with video cameras. I think it's safe to say that if I ever find another story in me, these two will make an appearance again in yet another form. They've been with me so long, and in a lot of ways I see them as the female and male sides of myself. This version is a childish, teenage version, but fortunately we've all grown up a bit since then. If you'd like to provide some feedback on anything else you think does/doesn't work here, feel free to do so, but realize that if you're just going to be nasty I will delete your comment.