The OutsideTheLines
Feature of the Month

"Holiday Drop-Ins"

By Matt Nute, Frito Muncher , and Indigo

DISCLAIMER: With the exception of the hosts, all characters mentioned within are property of Marvel Comics, and are used neither with permission nor for profit. We're not making any money off using ourselves, either. Technically, we could sue ourselves, but what would be the point?

BLAME: All of us, mostly Matt. He was feeling incredibly silly.


An unassuming Thursday, in northern Virginia...

"Pass the potholders!"

"I don't have them!"


"My hands are full! Do you just want me to drop the macaroni?"

"Set it down, Matt!"

"Where? There's stuff all over the counter."

"Put it here."


"Not in the sweet potato pie! Put it on the other counter!"

"GIVE me those potholders!"



As usual, chaos reigned in the kitchen of the small townhouse, colloquially referred to as the Virginia Vortex. Three cooks, with radically differing styles and approaches to Thanksgiving dinner, strove for the completion of their first holiday meal together.

"DAMMIT!" Indigo's voice rattled the shutters. "If I don't get some ROOM here, this twelve-pound turkey will quickly become twenty-four half-pound turkeys!"

In an eyeblink, Matt Nute and Frito darted out of the kitchen, to the safety of the living room. Surveying the disorganization before them, Frito began to clear the table and set out plates.

"We got tablecloths?" she asked. Matt shrugged.

"Upstairs, I s'pose."

Frito sighed."Would you GET them?" As Matt loped up the stairs, she blew a lock of hair from her eyes. "Men..."

Matt flipped through the linen closet, finally coming up with a white tablecloth. With a grin of achievement, he turned for the stairs. A noise to his right caught his attention. The bathroom light was on, but the door was cracked open. The noise of the sink could be heard.

"Frito," he joked, pushing the door open with his elbow. "Didn't hear you come up the stai--"

Instead of looking on the small brunette roommate he expected, Matt found himself nose-to-chin with a chalk-white visage. He looked up, evaluating the black-lipped grin before him. Matt blinked twice, stepped back, then took a quick check.

Ribboned cape. Check.

Silly forehead diamond. Check.

Evil (with a capital E) grin. Check.

"Hello." the visitor hissed. Matt nodded, then leaned down the stairs.

"Indigo!" he bellowed.

In the kitchen, Indigo looked up, brow furrowed. "What?"

"Sinister's in the bathroom!"

She paused, eyebrows arching independently. "Who's in the what?"

"Sinister... you know, Nathaniel Essex, paler than Twiller, silly-ass Lucky Charm on the forehead, genetic mastermind Sinister! In the bathroom, you know, the poodoo palace, the throne, the -"

"I know THAT," Indigo hollered back. She rubbed her chin thoughtfully. "Ask him if we're out of toilet paper."

Matt looked up at Sinister, who glanced over his shoulder and gave a quick thumbs-up.

"He says we're good!" Matt replied.

"Fine, then. Set another place for dinner."

"So, I'd sent the Marauders down to Barcelona for a spot of mayhem, and it hits me - I suddenly had this... craving."

"For turkey?"

"Yesss..." Sinister breathed sibilantly, his cape fluttering absently. "And, well, I'd heard the rumors about the food here, and..."

"Say no more." Indigo replied. "Sit down, I'll get you a plate"

Sinister grinned, showing prominent canines. "Excellent, and many thanks."

"Just don't TOUCH the cat." Indigo deadpanned, her face set in stone. "And if you're not doing anything else, Frito, could I get a hand with the macaroni?"


"I got the door!" Frito slid past Essex in the narrow hall, scampering to the front door. She tossed it open, then gasped in surprise, dropping the cornbread she had in her other hand. Quick as a blink, a silver tentacle snatched it from certain doom, lifting it back to her hands.

"Um... I don't mean to intrude, but Electro and the Sandman sort of bailed on me, and..."

Frito sighed, then smiled, opening the door fully. "Come on in, we've got more than enough food." As Matt came down the stairs, the new arrival waved. Frito grinned at her sputtering roommate.

"Matt Nute, Otto Octavius. Doc Ock, Matt. Make nice." With that, she darted back into the kitchen with the cornbread. The two men watched her retreat, then looked at each other.

"Wanna hop on the Playstation?"

"Got Twisted Metal?"

"Better yet, Army Men."

Doctor Octopus grinned, showing off a wide-toothed smile. "Splendid!"

A short while later, back in the kitchen, Matt and Indigo wrestled the turkey out of the oven as the sounds of Sinister and Octavius jostling each other on the couch could be heard.

"Gimme the remote!"

"No!" came the replying hiss. "Shania Twain is on VH-1!"

"I've SEEN that!" Octopus whined, but handed over the remote, frowning. A baritone chuckle could be heard, followed by the noises of channel-flipping.


Indigo looked up. "Back door?"

Matt nodded, reaching back to draw open the curtains. Slowly, and nonchalantly, he leaned his torso sideways and cocked his head to look eye-to-eye with the black-and-white figure dangling upside-down outside the sliding-glass door.

"We... desire... sustenance." a slight pause, as a long tongue licked over pointed teeth. "Please?"

Matt looked up at Indigo, who shrugged and nodded. Matt unlocked the door and slid it open, motioning the new arrival inside.

"C'mon in, Venom. Dinner'll be on in a few, Frito'll make introductions. Anyways, make yourself at home. Nosotros casa es su... um, web, I guess." Matt hustled the larger man through the kitchen, attempting to sort silverware and count plates mentally.

"We thank you, generous ho-." Venom snickered, skittering over the linoleum. "Ooh! Wontons!"

"HANDS OFF, SYMBIOTE-BOY!" came Frito's bellow from the hall. Chastened, Venom went off to a corner, sulking.

As Matt began carving the turkey, Indigo attempted to arrange bowls of cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, candied yams, and stuffing on the counter. Without looking, she whipped a spatula behind her, rapping Venom's knuckles as he attempted to slide a hand towards the covered plate of wontons.

"Leave. Me. Alone." she snarled. "I am COOKING."


"Doorbell?" Matt queried.


"Doorbell." Indigo affirmed. Matt set down the knife and made the trek from the kitchen, past the still-sulking Venom, over Doc Ock's tentacles, gently sidestepping Sinister's cape, and finally arriving at the front door.

"Can I help-?"




Matt sighed, inwardly making a note to string Abyss up by his toes the next time he ran across the wily Canadian. "Come on in, Apocalypse."

The oldest mutant on the planet coughed discreetly, brushing an enormous mitt over his blue- lipped mouth. "I HAVE.. UM... broughtadate..."

"Excuse me?" Matt raised an eyebrow incredulously.

"I HAVE BROUGHT A DATE. SHE IS WELCOME." The statement was more of a demand than a question. A quick glance outside revealed a purple cloak, talons, and feathers.

Matt, showing remarkable recovery, managed to pop his eyes back into his head and grinned. "Deathbird, of course it would be Deathbird. Well, I suppose we can fit two more in." He called back to the kitchen. "Indi...!"

"More stuffing!" was the only reply.

Upstairs, Frito rummaged through her closet, looking for a suitable blouse for the occasion. For just the three of them, a t-shirt would do, but this was Company. She decided on a white silk shirt, buttoning it up with a grimace.

"Only because I'm being polite..." she mumbled, before being interrupted by a dull scratching on the window. Reaching for her glasses, she drew up the window shade, then smiled broadly at the window.

"I was WONDERING when you'd show up!" she exclaimed with glee.

"Okay, anyone NOT from this planet, on the left side of the table. Um... okay, anyone not of this planet OR with an alien symbiote, to the left. Okay, and if you're over three thousand years old, to the left. Essex, Octavius... either of you left-handed?"

Sinister raised his hand sheepishly. "You have to ask?" Matt looked puzzled. Essex sighed. "‘Sinister', Latin. Meaning ‘of the left'." Matt scratched his head. Sinister facepalmed in response. "YES, I'm left-handed!"

Matt grinned. "Why didn't you just say so? You sit there, then." He pointed out a chair, then strolled back into the kitchen. Seconds later, his head popped back out.


"Grape juice!"

"Just a cola."

"J'kaal blood wine. Or a 7-Up, if you're out of blood wine."


"Dr. Pepper?"


"Wow, ‘I'm a mutant, he's a mutant, don't you want to be a mutant too?' eh?"


"Dr. Pepper it is. Venom?"

"We would like... milk. Chocolate, please."

"Chocolate milk, then."

"We thank you."

Re-entering the kitchen, Matt opened the pantry doors, then jumped back. A hunchbacked figure, garbed in a grey cloak and respirator, glared up with red eyes.

"I crave the genetic marrow of mutants! I yearn, I hunger!"

"Hey!" Indigo scolded. "There'll be none of that here. I spent hours slaving over this turkey, and I'll be damned if I'm running to the supermarket for mutant genetic marrow! You can have a drumstick, IF you're nice."

Emplate blinked, then nodded. Indigo smiled, then handed the wizened mutant a stack of napkins. "Then go find a seat and pass these out. Dinner..." she paused dramatically, "will be along shortly."

As Emplate shuffled out down the hall, Indigo eyed Matt. "And if any MORE show up..."

As if on cue, the doorbell rang.


"Doom has deigned to bestow his regal presence on your domicile for your petty American holiday."

Indigo glanced up and down at the iron-grey armored figure. She glared into his eyes, behind his impassive mask.

"Oh no." she exclaimed with a snap of her fingers. "You are not bringing that ‘Ruler Of All He Surveys, Curse Reed Richards, Incinerate My Lackeys' attitude into MY house. I don't CARE if you're the Monarch of Latveria, or if you're Willie Lumpkin!"

Doom looked down, chastened. Humbly, he lifted a package, neatly wrapped in aluminum foil.

"Doom has brought... chocolates. From Latveria's finest."

Indigo's frown dissolved, changed to a grin. "Chocolate! How did you KNOW!"

"Doom is Doom."

"Of course. And we JUST happen to have an extra chair!"

"Two, it seems." Sinister called from the living room. Indigo looked back over her shoulder.

"That's... right." she pondered. "Anyone seen Frito?"

Numerous fingers pointed towards the roof. Steeling herself, Indigo strode to the back yard.

Upon opening the door, she nearly collided with an enormous, purple, armored foot. She glanced up. And up. And up.

From under a red-and-purple helmet, glowing eyes blinked as a huge clawed gauntlet waved politely. Indigo stepped back inside for a moment.

"Onslaught is in my backyard." she murmured. "ONSLAUGHT is in my backyard. Onslaught is in MY backyard. Onslaught is in my BACKYARD." Having assured herself of that fact, she stepped outside once more.

"Frito!" she called. From the roof, her roommate waved, brandishing a hand of Magic: The Gathering cards.

"Be finished up soon!" Frito called. Returning to her game, she grinned. "Okay, I cast Terror on your Craw Wurm, and attack with my Phyrexian Ghoul for 2 to finish you off." She dropped her cards. "I win."

"BEHOLD MY MIGHTY HAND!" bellowed her opponent, dismayed at his loss. Frito stood, peeking over at his cards and sighing.

"Dude, you had two forests and a Fyndhorn Brownie. You are SUCH a scrub..."

Indigo shook her head, then held up a plate to the immense psionic entity. "Apple pie?" as she handed off the dish, she glanced back inside, shrieking.


"Okay, anyone to say grace?"



"By Sharra and Kythri..."


"(sigh) Frito, if you would?"

"Dear... um... whoever. We give thanks for... unusual guests? Yeah. Unusual guests. And good food. And... um..."

"And my personal tesseract, to fit us all around your meager table."

"Yes, thank you, Victor. Amen. Let's eat."

Later, Matt, Frito, and Indigo leaned back together on the couch, appetites sated. The familiar sounds of dishwashing came from the kitchen, followed by the occasional "Curse you, Saran Wrap!" and "LOOK, IT REALLY DOES SOFTEN HANDS WHILE YOU DO DISHES!"

"You made supervillains do the dishes?" Matt asked rhetorically, stretching his legs out. Indigo nodded.

"They ate my food, sat at my table, they can do MY dishes." she replied, a sly grin creeping across her lips. The three writers let loose a collective sigh, resting softly.

A loud, tree-shaking THUD echoed outside. Frito cracked an eye. "That BETTER have not been my car."

Matt glanced out the window, and gulped. "It's... NOT... your car."

Slowly, Indigo stood, opening the front door wide. She stared out at the street in front of her, filled mostly by huge, hot pink space boots. She looked up, catching the embarassed gaze of the Silver Surfer, hovering around his master's helmeted head. In a voice that shook windows, the Devourer of Worlds spoke.


Indigo sighed, motioning for the leftovers.

It was going to be a LONG holiday season, she could tell.

The End

Return to the Previous Features Of The Month Page

"Holiday Drop-Ins"
©Matt Nute, Frito Muncher, and Indigo
December, 1999

©David D. Amaya

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