Fly the Passive-Aggressive Skies

Rating: R, for profanity

Characters: Scott, Logan, Charles

Scott and Logan take the Blackbird for a spin.

All standard disclaimers apply. I have no money, make no money (just ask H&R Block!), intend no copyright infringement and am not worth suing. Honest.

Professor Charles Xavier stirred some sugar into his tea, sighed happily and savored the sounds of a happy Saturday morning at the Xavier School: birds chirping in the trees, children laughing on the grounds . . . and profanity being shouted down the hall, followed by the tromp of heavy boots as Wolverine and Cyclops approached the professor's office as they made their way up from the hanger.

" . . . think Chuck is gonna say when I tell him how his golden boy behaves when he's not there to see?" Wolverine said to his team leader as the men burst into the office, making Charles wince.

"Oooh, I'm shaking," Cyclops said sarcastically. "Go on, tell him your version of reality. I'll help him interpret the bluster, the profanity and the preverbal grunts. No, wait, he has telepathy. He'll figure it out on his own. I'll just stand here and count how many times you can curse in a 10-minute period."

"Fuck you, cupcake," Wolverine snapped.

"One," Cyclops said with a smirk.

"Gentlemen, PLEASE," Charles said, pinching the bridge of his nose. He felt his good mood dissolving faster than the sugar in his tea.

Wolverine shot a menacing look – even by his standards – at Cyclops and launched into his tale.

"So Captain Tightass is supposed to take me up in the jet and teach me emergency maneuvers in case I ever have to land the goddamn thing, which could happen any damn day now if Junior Flyboy doesn't learn how to lead a fucking mission without getting us all maimed," Logan began.

"Four," said Cyclops. "Five, if you count 'tightass.'"

"Shut up, asshole," Logan said.

"Six," responded Cyclops.

Charles massaged his temples as a headache took root. "So you got on the Blackbird and . . . " he prompted.

Logan continued. "So before we get on the jet Jeannie comes by to say goodbye to the Boy Wonder – Christ, you'd think we were going to fuckin' MARS the way they carry on – and to make sure he has on clean underwear or whatever the fuck it is. Shit, if she wants a kid, she should adopt one, not marry one, you know what I'm saying?"

"Nine," Cyclops put in. "No, 10."

"So naturally, I say hey to Jeannie, because a woman like that is hard to ignore – that little red skirt of hers is somethin' else, Wheels – quit grinding your teeth, One-Eye, it's pissing me off – and it is my fault if Mrs. Robinson sometimes wants to talk to someone who's past puberty? Sooner or later she's gonna get tired of waiting for the Boy Scout to sprout chest hair, you know?"

"Twelve," Cyclops said through gritted teeth. "Because I'm counting 'Mrs. Robinson.'"

"Hey, I call 'em as I see 'em, kid," Wolverine said. "So we take off, and Junior has his panties in a bunch because of me talking to Jean. And because he's a dick and too much of a pansy to fight me like a man – he's a dick, but he's not stupid, he knows I'd whip his prettyboy ass -- he starts pulling shit in the fucking jet that nearly gets us killed. The bastard."

Charles felt the headache spread, kudzu-like, through his cranium.

"At least nineteen," Cyclops said, "but with all the lies it's getting hard to keep track. They're very distracting. Nobody 'nearly got killed' professor. He's having another one of those breaks from reality. I should have landed the jet outside and let him chase squirrels for half an hour before coming to see you. I apologize."

"Bite me, asshole," Logan sneered. "Tell him your version. And let's see you lie to Daddy Mega-Brain."

Cyclops flipped open his data pad and began to read in a bored monotone. "At 0900 hours we lifted off from the hanger and executed a simple turn. Wolverine informed me that my parents were never married. At 0920 I demonstrated the difference between a barrel roll and a corkscrew turn, and Wolverine insisted that my mother and I are engaged in an incestuous relationship. At 0930 I demonstrated the jet's ability to take a 90-degree dive and Wolverine encouraged me to acquire a goat and perform an act I'm pretty sure is both physically impossible and illegal."

Scott paused in his recitation to eye his teammate balefully. "Who'd have thought a guy with a healing factor would be such a wuss?"

"Who'd have thought a guy without one would be so mouthy?" Wolverine shot back. "I'm telling you, Chuck, this kid shouldn't be allowed to lead a SING-ALONG, never mind a mission. He can't fly for shit, he's a fucking sadist –"

"Actually," Scott broke in condescendingly, "Jean says I'm passive-aggressive."

"You almost got us fucking KILLED --"

"Please," Scott said with a snort. "You were never in any danger. What about your almighty healing factor?"

"The healing factor won't help if you slam us into a goddamn CANYON WALL, Captain Kangaroo!"

"As I explained repeatedly on the jet, Logan," Scott said patiently, "if we hit that hard, it'll only hurt for a second." He turned back to the professor. "See what I mean about him being a wuss? And what's the profanity count up to by now? I get 24."

Charles rubbed his forehead. He felt his headache increase exponentially, good mood long gone, and he struggled to remember his telepathic ethics as he toyed with the notion of making both men think they were puppies. Quiet, possibly sedated, puppies. "Now gentlemen, if you'd only –"

"He puts the jet through these spins and dives, just TRYING to piss me off," Wolverine spat. "And he's ENJOYING it! He flips the fucking thing UPSIDE DOWN and he's fucking smirking the whole goddamn time!"

"And how exactly would you have known that?" Cyclops retorted. "Your eyes were shut the whole time. And stop whining about how hard it was for you. I haven't been able to take the Blackbird up in WEEKS, and when I finally do, I have to contend with you screeching like a howler monkey." He paused, then muttered under his breath, "You big baby."

"A howler monkey?" Charles inquired.

"Yes," Cyclops confirmed. "Like the ones we saw on the Discovery Channel. I'd imitate the sound for you, Professor, but I can't make my voice high enough."

"I can help with that," Logan snarled, popping a claw. "He finally lands the jet – feels like we've been fucking SHOT DOWN, let me tell you – tells me if I puke on his precious plane I have to clean it up. I finally get off the goddamn thing, lucky to be in one piece, and then a herd of fucking KIDS comes in to help with the jet. They see me, they think it's fucking HILARIOUS -- "

"By then he was huddled on the floor of the hanger, whimpering 'I love the ground,'" Scott explained. "He couldn't say anything else. I figured it would be a while before his language skills returned. His throat was probably sore from all the shrieking, too. We're up to 32, by the way."

"And if you think I'm ever getting in a plane with this tightass, one-eyed fucking sadistic prettyboy bastard freak again –" Logan sputtered.

"Notice," Scott told the professor, "his language skills are fine again. Thirty-six, at least."

" – you're out of your freakin' mind," Wolverine finished. He glared at both the professor and Cyclops, then stormed out of the room, slamming the door behind him and resolving to find a way to program the Danger Room drones to look – and bleed – and SHRIEK, goddammit -- like Cyclops.

Scott and Charles faced each other silently for a long moment, with Cyclops looking everywhere but at his mentor.

"You did say he might feel more comfortable on the jet if he spent more time on it," Scott began.

"So you were merely trying to demonstrate the Blackbird's capabilities?" Charles inquired.

"Of course, Professor," Scott said, trying -- and failing -- to look innocent.

"I see," Charles said. "You know, Scott, to a less trusting soul, it might seem like you were, as you told Warren the other day, intent on 'making that hairball scream like a little girl' as retribution for taking your motorcycle, as well as for other offenses."

"That too, Professor," Cyclops said serenely.