- CHRISTMAS! Presents! And an ICE-TREE to top it off. They're reveling in it...and in the HUMANS' adulation! While the world is filled with human and mutant monsters...who want nothing more than their destruction!
- -- Archangel
Appearing in "Gifts!"
- Trish Tilby
- John Grey
- Elaine Grey
- Madelyne Pryor-Summers (Appears on a computer screen, TV, or hologram only)
- Unnamed New Yorkers
- Lieutenant Craig, Sergeant Miller and other policemen
Synopsis for "Gifts!"
Following their battle with Apocalypse, X-Factor brings their young charges back to New York following their being stranded in Virginia and they arrive to their new temporary headquarters, Apocalypse's ship and to a media circus. Rusty and Skids note that Scott and Jean are finally openly in love with each other. Having been made prepared for this, Rusty (wearing a mask due to the fact he's still wanted by the government, Skids, Artie, Rictor, Boom-Boom and Leech talk to the media, explaining what mutants are and showing off their various abilities. X-Factor then presents a gift to the people of New York in the spirit of the holiday season: Iceman uses his powers to create a giant ice sculpture of a Christmas tree on the top of the Empire State Building. When X-Factor, the kids, and Trish Tilby are lowered street level by Jean's telekenisis, Scott and Jean notice as Artie and Leech are distracted by store front windows full of toys. They feel bad as all the presents that they had accumulated for them this year were crushed when Apocalypse's ship crashed on top of their old base. While watching from the rooftops, Warren Worthington is furious that the humans now give X-Factor adulation. Having seen enough he flies off into the distance.
As X-Factor walks the streets, Scott's attention is called to a television report about the X-Men's battle in Dallas, Texas. He is shocked to see that his wife Madelyn is alive and well and her final words before sacrificing her life to save the world are that she still loves him and to tell him to find their son. Scott is horrified to see his wife seemingly die and cannot deal with the situation in front of the press and excuses himself. Jean herself has been rocked by this revelation, not only because Madelyn's seeming survival and death but also because of the X-Men's death when they were like family to her, she also needs to be alone and leaves Iceman and Beast to bring the kids back to base.
As Iceman makes an ice slide so that they can all ride back to their ship, they pass through all the areas heaviest hit by Apocalypse's forces and a hospital of sick children. When they arrive at the ship they are surprised to find that not only has the city donated a Christmas tree to them. Upon entering the ship, the children marvel at the advanced technology, and their inquisitiveness into how everything works upsets the Beast, who used to have the intelligence to explain how things worked. When Boom-Boom makes an off the cuff comment about Beast's diminishing intelligence Rictor almost starts a fight with her when they are broken up by Beast who tells them that they shouldn't fight at Christmas. When they catch a report by Trish Tilby, Tilby tells the world of the sacrifices that X-Factor made to save the city, including Hank's loss of intelligence and that the children's Christmas presents were destroyed along with their base. Hearing the bit about his intelligence, Hank misinterprets it as Trish making fun of him and becomes sad once more.
Meanwhile, in the town of Annadale-On-Hudson, John and Elaine Grey watch the news coverage. Elaine is upset because one of the members of X-Factor resembles their daughter and John tells her not to get her hopes up. They get a Christmas surprise when Jean knocks on their door. After explaining how she "survived death", they talk about her sister Sarah who had gone missing. The Grey's tell their daughter that they were in England and only learned about her disappearance when they came home and figure she's gone into hiding. Jean tells them that with the current anti-mutant atmosphere it's not safe for her to return home until things clear up and leaves promising them that she will find her sister.
Back at X-Factor headquarters, the children get a special delivery of presents by the truckload donated by generous New Yorkers. While the children are elated at all the charity, Leech becomes sad when he remembers all the children in the hospital and they all agree (although Tabitha requires some convincing) that they should do something good and donate their presents to the sick children. Causing a distraction to the police on guard outside, they sneak out with the gifts and head toward the hospital. When Jean returns to the base, she finds that the children are missing and wakes up the others. The children find themselves in trouble when on the way they are confronted by a gang of street thugs led by a man named Snake. They attempt to rob them and the children are about to defend themselves with their powers when X-Factor arrives and sends the hoodlums packing. When the children explain what they are doing outside of the ship, Jean cannot stay mad at them and the rest of X-Factor agree to deliver the presents to the children in the hospital. There, Marvel Girl is happy to see that Cyclops has returned. However, Scott tells her that he needs to leave and find his son.
While X-Factor has been busy, so have been the forces of Apocalypse. In an unlikely show of good will, Apocalypse and his remaining Horsemen have been spending the day repairing the ship and leaving it as a gift to X-Factor, as reward for their earlier victory. Having returned to their own base, Apocalypse and his minions raise a glass and wish X-Factor a merry Christmas, and vow that it will be their last.
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