|Bobby And Emma's Excellent Adventure
Author: Mr Sinister PM
Bobby Drake & Emma Frost were hoping for a great night out... but you can always count on dimensional anomalies to mess up those kinds of plans, can't you? Chapter Six Now Up!Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Adventure/Sci-Fi - Chapters: 6 - Words: 22,754 - Reviews: 12 - Favs: 5 - Updated: 09-14-05 - Published: 09-24-04 - id: 2069449
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Bobby & Emma's Excellent Adventure
Chapter One: Reeking Of Awesomeness
Manhattan is nice this time of the evening – there's less going on than there usually is, because everybody's gone from work, and just getting back to their apartments so that they can change and come back out again for the evening. That's why Emma and I chose this time to come out for a little while – well, I say "chose", but what really happened was that Emma ordered me to take her out so we could do something fun. So I pulled on some smart clothes, waited for Emma to get dressed up and put her make-up on, and then sat in the back of her limousine making out with her until we got into the city. So here we are, walking through the bright lights of the big city and trying to find something to do. I'm picking through a carton of cheap Chinese food with a pair of plastic chopsticks, and Emma is busily trying to ignore my noisy eating.
"I still can't believe you can eat that, Bobby," she says, glancing at the lumps of sweet and sour pork nestling in oily egg-fried rice. "It's not exactly… healthy, is it?"
"Nope," I say, picking up a piece of pork and popping it into my mouth before the chopsticks let it plop back into the carton. "That's why it's so great, though, don't you think?"
Emma rolls her eyes. "No, I don't. I always preferred French food over this kind of thing; it always seemed a whole lot more edible – and a lot less fattening."
That makes me laugh. "Hey, I'm an X-Man, baby – I don't need no stinkin' diets! Fighting guys like Apocalypse and Sinister is the best exercise regime anybody could think up."
"Yes, well, I'll take Jane Fonda any day," Emma shoots back. "She's a whole lot less lethal than En Sabah Nur, after all."
"You obviously haven't seen her when she's angry," I reply, swallowing a clump of spicy noodles. "You really wouldn't like her when she's angry."
Emma raises an eyebrow. "Oh, shut up, Drake." Then she spots something up ahead and grabs my arm, almost spilling the rest of my Chinese out onto the sidewalk. "Come on – I've just spotted where we can spend the evening." She points in the direction she wants us to go, and I can see a packed bar with glowing X-shaped neon signs bolted to the outer walls, and with two huge men in black suits, sunglasses and overcoats stood outside the doors, their arms folded over their massive muscular chests. Truth be told, it seems like a pretty regular bar from the outside, but as I get closer I can see that it's nothing of the kind – the patrons are all fairly obvious mutants, with scales, fur and talons all featuring quite regularly in their appearances. Even the doormen are mutants, their foreheads decorated with looping horns like those on a ram, and their legs showing reverse-jointed knees under the pin-sharp creases on their pants. They seem to be identical twins, since they both have the same basic appearance, but they both have unique, individual aspects to their clothes and faces (for instance, one has a curling tribal tattoo around his left eye), so it's easy to tell them apart. As Emma gets closer, they both bend at the waist and push aside the line of people waiting to get in.
"Evening, Miss Frost," the tattooed one says in a deep, surprisingly relaxed tone, before he nods in my direction. "Is he with you?"
"Yes, Charles, he's with me." I used to come here a lot when I was younger, she explains to me as she speaks. They all know me here, so it's a lot easier to keep a low profile if I want to – if I don't want to be found or disturbed, they'll arrange it for me. "His name is Bobby Drake – if he comes back here in the future, I don't want him being given any trouble, is that clear?"
"Yes, Miss Frost," Charles replies, nodding, before he holds the door open and lets us both walk in. I can sense we're being given a lot of dirty looks from the people who are waiting in line, but Emma doesn't seem to be giving them a second thought. I guess she must be used to that by now, though, so it shouldn't really be too surprising.
Just ignore them, Emma sends to me. Don't let them get to you.
I'm not, I think back to her. Can we start talking again, now?
Emma chuckles lightly. "If that's what you want." Then she prowls closer to the bar, shifting people out of the way just by nodding at them (which makes them wander off looking like they've just dropped a ton of acid, before they come to a few feet away, wondering what the hell just happened to them. She pulls out a stool at the bar and hops elegantly up onto its padded top, clicking her fingers for service. When the bald, scale-faced girl behind the bar comes over to her, she orders a glass of white wine for herself and a tall, cold beer for me, and then leads me over to a table in the corner, where she sits on the closest seat and sips her drink as if she doesn't have a care in the world (and to be honest, I don't think she does, really). "So, Robert, what do you think?"
"I think it's a nice place," I say, honestly. "Is it just for mutants? I haven't seen one really ordinary human in here since we arrived."
"I hate to tell you this, Bobby, but you look like an ordinary human," Emma reminds me, "and I hope I do as well." She pauses. "Although if I ever hear you calling me 'ordinary', I'll scratch your eyes out."
"Thanks for that, Em," I tell her, thanking my lucky stars that she probably wouldn't follow through on that threat. Probably. "So is this a mutants-only club?"
"Not exactly," Emma replies, swallowing a small mouthful of white wine, "but mutants are pretty much the only people that come here. Normal humans don't like mixing with us freaks, it seems."
I shrug. "Their loss – hey, hot chick, twelve o'clock."
Emma turns slightly, without being too obvious about it, so she can glance at the person I'm talking about – a black-haired girl with rainbow-coloured skin and two thin, shiny butterfly wings growing from each of her shoulders, who is drinking her Shirley Temple through what looks like a long hollow tongue. Her pretty face glitters with multicoloured stripes as light reflects off it at different angles, and with every movement she makes she sends puffs of fragile scales into the air, which shine just as brightly as the rest of her. Her almond-shaped eyes are divided into dozens of tiny segments that are partially obscured by long fluttering lashes, and two thin, delicate antennae hang down over her eyebrows. Emma purrs with interest, and says "I always knew I liked your taste in women, Bobby. Do you think we should invite her over for a drink?"
"You're the boss, honey," I tell her, getting up off my chair. "I'll make the introductions, shall I?" I'm just about to turn away when Emma reaches forward and grabs my right arm just above the elbow.
"I don't think so," she says, chuckling. "You'd better just leave this to me. I know how to sweet-talk women… unlike you."
"Ouch. You really know how to compliment a guy, you know that?" Emma laughs, and then sashays over to where the girl is standing, swinging her slender hips and oozing sex all over everything she touches. I watch her introduce herself, see her shake hands with the girl, and then see her lean closer to the other woman in order to (I guess) whisper something in her ear. Of course, knowing Emma, she just as easily might be sucking on the lady's earlobe, but we'll see what happens from here on in, I suppose.
It doesn't take long after that – whatever Emma was doing – for her to come back to the table with the butterfly-girl in tow. "Bobby," she says when she arrives back at her seat, "this is Lisa Burrows. Lisa, this is my… friend… Bobby Drake."
"Hi there," the butterfly girl says to me, in a voice that sounds almost musical, in a way. "Nice to meet you, Bobby."
"The pleasure's all mine," I say, taking the hand she's holding out and bringing it to my lips momentarily (hey, who says Gambit has to be the only charming rogue in the X-Men?), before I pull out the empty stool across from me so that Lisa can sit and put her Shirley Temple down on our table. She takes another look at the two of us together, and raises a dark eyebrow, her rainbow-coloured skin rippling with colour as she does so, before she points at us with one slender finger.
"If you don't mind me saying so, you two don't… um… don't look very much like mutants to me," she says, curiously. "I didn't know humans came here."
"They don't," Emma says, in a matter-of-fact kind of way. "I'm a telepath."
"And I'm Mr Frosty's big brother," I chime in, icing up both my hands and dropping a couple of ice cubes into my glass. "We're mutants, all right."
Lisa nods thoughtfully, sucking a small mouthful of her drink through her long flexible tongue and shrugging. "It must be nice to be able to blend in," she says, dropping her gaze a little.
Time for some patented Drake magic, I think. "Trust me, kid," I begin, trying to sound as encouraging as I can, "blending in is over-rated. And besides, if I were as beautiful as you, I'd be proud to show off who I was."
Lisa's rainbow-coloured features shift their colour so that they glow a little more brightly, and she bites her lip bashfully. "Thank… thank you," she says, sounding a little taken aback.
Settle down, Bobby, you've embarrassed her now, Emma sends to me while giving me a sharp glare. "You'll have to excuse Bobby," she says aloud. "He gets a bit… overenthusiastic… around pretty girls."
"No, no, I liked it," Lisa says, before she smiles at me in a shy sort of way. "It was nice of you to say that – thank you."
Take that, Emma, I think triumphantly. I rule and you drool! Emma gives me a glare that could almost boil meat off a bone, which means it's time for me to shut up.
"So, Lisa," Emma says without missing a beat, confident that she's made her point, "where do you live?"
"Mutant Town," Lisa says, shrugging. "It's cheap enough there that I can afford my own place, and besides, I don't get things thrown at me all day long."
"Yeah, I can see why that would be a bonus," I agree, feeling slightly guilty about my exclusive housing arrangements. "Emma and I live in Westchester." I can sense an angry retort about to come from Emma, so I add "Well, Emma lives in Boston, but she visits me a lot."
"Westchester, huh?" Lisa replies, looking thoughtful. "I hear it's nice out there – not many cars. Must be nice not to have to breathe smog all day long."
"Oh, it gets pretty rough out there sometimes," I say. I figure that's ambiguous enough not to give away what really goes on at the school. "I mean, I hear the phrase 'I'm gonna bust a cap in your ass, bitch!' at least ten times a day. It's a rough neighbourhood – kinda like Harlem, but with more trees."
Lisa laughs, a delicate, trilling sound that sounds like a cricket's song. "I didn't know it was that bad. You must have quite a few stories to tell."
"You bet I do," I reply, getting into the spirit of things perhaps a bit too much. "You can join up my bullet wound scars and make a picture of a puppy dog. I call him Scooby-Doo."
"Wasn't Scrappy the puppy?" Lisa asks. I put a finger to my lips quickly, as if she's just said something really dangerous.
"Don't say that name!" I whisper. "Don't ever mention Scrappy-Doo, or he'll come and eat your pets in the night! Seriously, that thing was evil incarnate. He ruined the cartoons and even that piece of crap movie made fun of him."
"I'll take your word for it," Lisa chuckles, drinking some more of her Shirley Temple.
Emma gets up from her seat. "Excuse me," she says. "I have to go to the bathroom." I'll be back when you stop making an idiot of yourself, Drake. With that, she prowls off towards the ladies' room, leaving me alone with Lisa, who points a concerned thumb in her direction.
"Don't you want to go after her?" she asks. "She seemed pretty pissed-off."
"Ah, she's just annoyed because I made you laugh," I say, waving a hand nonchalantly. "Emma's like that – she has to do everything first. She'll be okay."
"You're sure about that?" Lisa seems unconvinced. "I don't want to cause an argument between you two –"
I touch her gently on the shoulder and look her directly in her segmented eyes, trying to seem as reassuring as I can. "It's okay, kid, really. Emma'll be back when she's cooled off, I guarantee it."
"Sooner than that, I think," Lisa says, gesturing with one multi-jointed finger towards where the door to the ladies' room is. "I think she's found herself another new friend." I turn to see what she's pointing at, expecting to see Emma hanging off the arm of another man – but when I see who she's really with, the hairs on the back of my neck spring upright faster than Hank on Christmas morning.
The air shimmers around her, as if she's got studio lights focused on her from every direction at once. Her six arms are arranged like the petals of a flower, each one of them holding a glass of what looks like vodka, and her armoured body slides through the crowd as if they aren't there.
"Hello, screwloose," she says as she reaches our table, an almost impossibly-wide grin creasing her features. "Been a long time, hasn't it?"
"Spiral," I reply as politely as I can, even though every part of me is begging me to grab Emma's hand and run out of the bar as quickly as possible. "What can we do for you?"
"Lord Mojo wants you to help him out. The other Spineless Ones are getting restless watching reruns of the X-Men, and he needs some new primetime shows to keep their attention."
I frown. "Couldn't he just… I dunno… make some new shows that don't have the X-Men in them?" It's a stupid question, I know, but it had to be asked. "Maybe the Spineless Ones would like that better?"
Spiral snorts, as if I've just said the dumbest thing in the universe. "You don't understand, screwloose. Lord Mojo has to give the public what they want, and what they want is more X-Men."
Lisa's shimmering face crumples into a confused frown, and she looks at me, puzzled. "Wait... you're an X-Man?"
"Yeah," I say, reaching into a pocket so that I can draw out my comm. badge and show it to her. Given that we've just had our cover blown by a dimension-hopping TV addict with shiny eyes and several metal limbs (and given that I talked to the addict using her name instead of saying "Who the hell are you?"), I figure it's pointless to try to pretend we've been victims of mistaken identity. Besides, if Emma's at all worried, she'll most likely do some memory surgery later on… "Better leave now, kid, or you'll just get sucked into this whole stupid situation. And believe me, if that happens, you'll never live it down…"
Lisa gets off her stool and begins to back slowly away, when one of Spiral's six arms suddenly snakes out and grabs her tightly by the wrist. "Oh, you're not going anywhere, little butterfly," Spiral cackles, a crazy light shining in her ice-blue eyes. Lisa struggles against Spiral's grip, but the other woman is stronger by far, and has five other hands to use, so it's a pretty one-sided contest in the end. "Like a moth to a flame," Spiral snickers, giggling like she's just taken in a lungful of laughing gas. "Let's just hope your wings don't catch fire, shall we?"
With that, she snaps the fingers on all of her other hands, and the bar melts away around us, replaced by blotchy lumps of light and colour, and some weird noises that I can't quite identify. That only lasts a few seconds before reality fades back in, and I can see something other than a bad special effect. The four of us seem to be in the Savage Land, with dinosaurs stomping through the undergrowth all around us and huge flying reptiles gliding through the air over our heads. "You brought us to the Savage Land?" I ask, trying my hardest to sound unimpressed. "What a waste of time – I've beaten everything this place has to offer with one hand iced up behind my back."
Spiral grins nastily. "Whoever said this was the Savage Land, screwloose? This is the Cretaceous period, 65 million years before you took your first turn on centre stage." She wags a forefinger at me, as if I'm a child who's been caught stealing cookies. "You should know there's always a plot twist before you get to the happy ending." Then she spreads her hands and gestures around her, like a director moving her actors. "If you can survive for long enough, I'll take you somewhere else."
"How about you take us home right now?" I say, taking a step towards Spiral and icing up both of my fists, making sure that she gets my meaning. She blinks once, and then bursts out laughing again.
"And miss the chance to give Lord Mojo a smash-hit for the new fall season? That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard, even from you." She snaps her fingers and a small, buzzing camera pops into existence over her left shoulder, and then hovers quickly over to where Emma, Lisa and I are standing so that it can take in my anger, Emma's fury and Lisa's fear all in one sweeping movement of its lens. "This camera will be your window to your home," Spiral explains. "Please Lord Mojo, and he'll bring you home faster. Fail to please him, and you'll be dinosaur food sooner rather than later – that I can guarantee." She cackles loudly, snaps her fingers, and then steps into the portal that has opened behind her. Before it closes, though, she turns and says two words: "It's showtime."