A Teaching Moment
Rating: T for profanity, snarking
Characters: Scott, Warren, Logan, Jean, Darwin the beagle
Summary: Lessons in unlikely places.
All standard disclaimers apply. Don't own them, am making no money off them, etc.
Kudos and chocolate to Rachel, my kick-ass beta.
A Teaching Moment
"Let me get this straight," Warren said. "You knew she cooked it herself. You ate it anyway."
"It was our anniversary," Scott said defensively. "She went to a lot of trouble, and I wanted to be appreciative. Besides, it was CHICKEN. How hard can it be to make chicken?"
"You didn't notice the pink? How could you not notice it was the wrong color?"
Scott pointed to his glasses wordlessly.
"And you didn't think it tasted funny?" Warren said in disbelief.
"Well, kind of," Scott admitted. "But she doesn't cook that often. I wanted to be supportive."
"But you KNEW she made it herself," Warren said again. "And you ate it ANYWAY." He shook his head. "I wouldn't let that get around, Cyclops. It doesn't say much about your decision-making abilities, you know what I'm saying?"
"Give it a rest, Warren," Scott said wearily.
Scott Summers had food poisoning. After spending three days throwing off ballast from both ends and beseeching assorted deities for a speedy death, he was sitting in the rec room, 15 pounds lighter, with an IV in his arm and an anxious beagle by his side as his fiancee/chef/poisoner made him soup in the kitchen and he explained his predicament to his bewildered friend.
"So what's up with Einstein?" Warren asked, indicating the dog. "She poison him, too?"
"Darwin," Scott corrected as the beagle whined softly and nestled closer. "He's just worried. When I was stuck in the bathroom, he stayed with me and howled every time I threw up."
"So he's got laryngitis now?"
"Funny," Scott said. "Very funny."
"He was probably calling for help, you know," Warren said. "Either that, or he knew what was coming and was trying to warn you."
"For the tenth time," Scott said between gritted teeth, "she didn't mean to do it. How was Jean supposed to know I'd have a bad reaction to the medicine?"
"Right," Warren said, nodding sagely. "It's not like she has a medical degree or anything."
"Shut up, Warren," Scott said. "My stupid mutation affects my stupid metabolism, and sometimes things happen, OK? You know this. I don't know why I have to repeat all this."
"It helps me polish my material so I can tell the story to others with panache," Warren said blithely. "So she gives you drugs and . . ."
"And I start hallucinating," Scott said wearily. "In between the shitting and the vomiting."
"Well, first I thought the walls were melting," Scott said. "Then I thought the wallpaper was pulsating. I was pretty sure it was sending me messages in Morse code. And through it all I thought Wolverine was singing show tunes in the main hall. Tap-dancing, too. The scariest thing was that he wasn't half bad."
"Go to hell, One-Eye," Logan said, entering the rec room with a beer.
"You're an ingrate, Wolverine," Warren scolded. "Here Scott is telling you that your mysterious past may well contain a stint in musical theater, and are you appreciative? No, you are not."
"Fuck you, Bird Boy," Logan said, settling into an easy chair, grabbing the remote and turning on the TV.
"Personally, I think you'd make a fine Curly in 'Oklahoma!' " Warren said. "Didn't you say he was singing 'Oklahoma!' Scott?"
"He was," Scott said gravely. "Until he segued into 'I Feel Pretty.' That's when the projectile vomiting started."
"You two pretty boys don't shut the hell up and let me watch hockey, you ain't gonna be pretty much longer," Logan growled.
"This is why no one likes you," Warren told Logan. "Poor interpersonal skills."
"This why you're not on the team," Logan said, flexing his hands ominously. "Suicidal urges."
"This is why Spider-Man works alone," Scott snapped. "Just shut the hell up, both of you, all right?"
"Cranky, cranky," Logan said. "Calm down, kid. Have a beer."
"Go to hell," Scott groaned. "Don't mention beer. Or food."
"No problem," Logan said, an evil gleam in his eye. "Piece of cake. Easy as pie."
"Knock it off, Logan," Jean said, entering the room with a bowl of soup. "If you bother Scott, I will hurt you."
"Really?" Logan said. "Whatcha cooking this time, Jeannie?"
"Don't let him get to you, Jean," Warren said soothingly as Jean settled next to Scott on the sofa, brushed the hair off his forehead and handed him his soup. "Look on the bright side -- you've finally got a code name: Lucrezia Borgia."
"Shut up, Warren," Jean said.
"You're going to eat her soup?" Warren asked Scott. "You just don't learn, do you, Summers? I'm going to buy you a food-taster for Christmas."
"Shut up, Warren," Scott said.
"You know, Jean, this wouldn't look so damning if you'd gotten sick too," Warren pointed out. "But since you didn't, it just doesn't look good. No wonder the dog seems nervous. Don't worry," he told Darwin. "Your food comes from a can. Let's pray Scott's soup did, too."
"We really need to train the dog to attack people," Jean told Scott.
"He's a beagle, hon," Scott said, stirring his soup warily. "It'd be like trying to teach Wolverine how to bathe."
"Eat your soup, Junior," Logan said. "Otherwise Jean might get the idea you don't trust her cooking." Scott shot him a dirty look. "I'm just waiting for it to cool off," he told Jean feebly. "I'm sure it's delicious. Campbell's, right?" he added hopefully.
"So first you poison the kid with undercooked chicken," Logan said, "then when that doesn't work, you try to kill him with drugs." He shook his head in disgust. "Jesus Christ, Jeannie, just back a car up over him next time. It'd be neater. Quicker, too."
"Cut it out, Logan," Jean growled. "You know it was an accident."
"Does Chuck know about any of this?" Logan asked.
"No," Jean said, grimacing. "He won't be home until tomorrow."
"Can I be there when you tell him?" Logan asked eagerly.
"Shut up, Logan," Jean said.
"Hey, Red, I give you points for creativity," Logan said. "Most women looking to get out of marrying Captain Jailbait would just turn him over to Child Welfare. You got style." He raised his beer to Jean in a toast. "Here's to you, Mrs. Robinson."
Jean leaned over to kiss Scott on the forehead, tuck his blanket more tightly around him and give the dog a reassuring pat. Then she rose from the sofa slowly, an ominous glow in her eyes and a vein pulsing at her temple.
"Big mistake," Scott told Logan, spooning soup, his appetite suddenly improving. "My girl can kick your ass."
"She can not," Logan scoffed. "What's she gonna – Jean! JEAN! Hey, cut it out! Hey! JEAN!"
"See, normally he just shrieks like that on the Blackbird," Scott told Warren. "And those flailing motions? We see those a lot during takeoff. Less so during landing."
"What about the clanging sound when he hits the wall like that?" Warren asked with clinical interest. "Is that from his bones or the claws or what?"
"Hard to say," Scott said. "Could be his brain rattling inside his head." He adjusted his arm as Darwin whimpered and attempted to crawl into his lap. "Oh, calm down," he told the dog. "She'd never hurt you. As long as you don't call her 'Mrs. Robinson' or eat her cooking, you're safe."
"And if the kids wander in?" Warren asked, raising his voice to be heard above the screeching. "You're OK with them being exposed to graphic violence?"
"It's a teaching moment," Scott said. "Never piss off a redhead." He used his spoon to gesture to his IV stand. "Look what she did to me when she was trying to be NICE."
FYI: Lucrezia Borgia was a noblewoman from the Italian Renaissance whose three husbands and various lovers died under assorted gruesome circumstances. She was said to be a master poisoner. Hugh Jackman performed the role of Curly in "Oklahoma!" And you really can lose 15 lbs. in three days from food poisoning.