Rating: T for profanity, snarking
Characters: Scott, Logan, Jean, Hank, Darwin the beagle
Summary: Scott and Logan run errands, oh my. Jean's POV.
All standard disclaimers apply. Don't own them, am making no money off them, am not worth suing, etc.
A 21-beagle salute to Rachel, the world's best beta.
The boys are back. I can hear the snarking – and the barking – as soon as the door opens.
"If anyone ever needed proof that you're a heartless bastard, Summers," Logan snarls, "they got it today."
"No one needs proof you're a cretin, Logan," Scott snaps back. "They've had it all along. But by all means, continue to build on your current body of work."
Scott and Logan took Darwin to the vet this afternoon. Nothing major, just my puppy's regular shots that I probably could give him myself, but I lack the veterinary license and the vaccines. They should have been back hours ago. Ordinarily, if Scott showed up hours late for anything I would be beside myself with worry, but I haven't felt any particular tension along our link. Just the usual mix of irritation, exasperation, hostility and the occasional fleeting murderous impulse – all of which are normal when he's around Logan.
"You're a piece of work yourself, you know that?" I hear Logan say, his voice sharp with annoyance. Nothing unusual about that, either. "You know how much Jeannie loves that dog, and you just don't care what happens to him. Wait till she hears about this."
"Of course I care, Missing Link," Scott says testily. "That's why I took him to the veterinarian. Though why you insisted on coming along is a mystery for the ages. It's not like there's anything of mine at the vet's for you to steal."
"Fuck you, cupcake," Logan growls. "I came along to keep you from screwing up the poor mutt any worse than you already have. Christ, you shouldn't be allowed to raise a plant. It's a wonder the mutt knows how to be a dog at all with you messing with him all the time."
"It's a wonder I haven't snapped and blasted you into a pile of hair, testosterone and adamantium dust," Scott says irritably, slamming the door. "You insist on complicating the simplest errands. What should be a no-brainer trip to the vet for Darwin's shots turns into a multi-hour odyssey of public humiliation all because you just can't – "
"You're home!" I call, coming into the hall. Darwin sees me and begins to bounce in place on his leash, wagging his tail and entire back end with glee. "I was starting to worry," I say as Scott unsnaps Darwin's leash and the beagle bolts to me.
"You should be worried," Logan tells me grimly as I bend to scoop up the dog. "You're marrying a heartless, unfeeling bastard." He helpfully points to Scott.
"Thank you for clarifying that, Logan," Scott says sarcastically, coming over to kiss my cheek as the dog slobbers on both of us and pants. "It's encouraging that you can identify me as Jean's fiance. This is a breakthrough moment for you."
"This could be a broken-jaw moment for you, Junior," Logan snaps. He turns to me. "This little dick let them torture your dog. And he didn't even TRY to stop them."
You'd think it would be hard to tell when a man who wears opaque glasses rolls his eyes. It's not. "Give it a rest, Chewbacca," Scott says. "Take your rawhide bone outside and go play."
"Scott – " I warn.
"You pompous, dog-hating little son of a – " Logan begins.
"Logan!" I say.
I hear someone's thoughts in the next room. Someone loudly thinking of molecular biology, Twinkies and Star Trek. "Hank!" I call. "Hank, come say hi to Darwin!" And God bless the big blue buffer.
"Darwin!" Hank carols, joining us in the hall. He shoves his glasses up his nose and reaches out a huge hand to pet the dog, who wiggles ecstatically. Darwin loves his Uncle Hank. "I trust you have been inoculated against rabies, distemper and other plagues of caninekind?" he inquires. "And that you're a model of beagle health?"
"Yeah," Logan puts in. "Tell them all about it, Summers. Tell them how you let a bunch of strangers hold the little guy down and stick needles in him, and how he started to scream – "
"No," Scott says condescendingly, "he yelped because the exam table was cold, and then YOU started to scream." He turns to Hank and me. "He pops his claws and starts snarling. The vet's terrified. The tech's terrified. And Darwin's sitting there eating cotton balls, oblivious. I hustle Nine Inch Nails out into the waiting room and spend the next 15 minutes convincing him not to go berserker. And convincing a cocker spaniel not to mate with my leg." He presses the heel of his hand to his forehead. "And people wonder why I get migraines."
"Stress definitely can be a trigger," Hank says sympathetically. "Although the latest research shows – "
"Darwin's OK, though, right?" I ask, hugging the dog tighter. He seems OK to me – warm, slurpy, wriggly. "The vet didn't find anything wrong with him, right?"
"The vet says he's just – " Scott begins.
"No, he's not!" Logan snaps. "He was freaked! I could tell! Anyone with a heart could tell! Android Boy just doesn't care!"
"He's FINE," Scott says between his teeth. "He needed his shots, and he got his shots. He barely felt it. I, on the other hand, continue to suffer." He taps his glasses ominously. "Maybe it's time for you to get a shot, Logan. I know I'D feel better."
"Screw you, tightass," Logan snarls. "He was suffering! Did you see the look in his eyes, you coldhearted bastard?"
"He's a BEAGLE," Scott snaps. "His eyes always look like that! If you'd quit leering at Jean for two seconds, maybe you'd notice!"
"So if the exam only took 15 minutes," I say, "where've you been? You've been gone for hours."
"When Darwin was done, I wanted to cheer him up – " Scott begins.
"See!" Logan says triumphantly. "You admit it! He was upset! You knew it all along, you dick."
"I wanted to help him get over the trauma of being seen in public with Wolverine," Scott continues grimly. "Something to which we can all relate. So we went to the pet store to get him a toy, and Logan, flummoxed by the complexity of the directive 'Stay here,' insisted on coming inside with us."
"He takes the dog into the store and leaves me in the car," Logan grouses. "Like Captain Tightass knows the first thing about what makes a good toy. If I didn't go in there, you know sure as shit he'd have bought the poor mutt Hooked on Phonics. Jesus Christ."
Scott shoots him an exasperated look and continues. "So Super Schnozz stakes out the dried pigs' ears, and Darwin and I go to look at squeak toys. And as we're trying to decide between the squeaky frog and the squeaky pig – we ended up getting both – "
"Like who the fuck wants a squeaky pig to chew on when he can have a real pig's ear?" Logan interrupts. "You know what I'm saying?"
"And Logan," Scott says, "who you'll notice continues to over-identify with the dog, decides this is the perfect time and place to detail all my imagined shortcomings as a leader, a mutant and a dog-owner – "
"They ain't 'imagined,' bub," Logan interjects. "Ask anyone. Ask Jean. Bet she'll be happy to tell you where you come up short. Now that she's examined me, she knows what a REAL man looks like."
" – while the other customers and the shop owners listen in," Scott finishes between his teeth.
"Oh, my," Hank murmurs.
"So prettyboy starts getting all pissy," Logan says, "you know the way he gets, when his voice starts getting higher? Like a girl's? Yeah, you're nodding, Blue, you know what I'm saying – and we start getting into it – and I'm winning, of course – and this guy, this older guy comes up with this other guy and their dog, and he – he says – " Logan sputters at the memory.
Scott smirks. "He tells us he and his partner used to argue all the time when they first got their dog." He pauses to let this sink in, and I can tell he's added a nuclear-grade weapon to his torture-Logan arsenal. "And I learned that Logan's healing factor can help him recover from an aneurysm pretty fast."
Hank gets excited. "Did you hear that, Jean?" he asks excitedly, jabbing me in the ribs for emphasis. "An actual aneurysm?" he asks Scott. "You're sure it was an aneurysm? What were the symptoms? What was the recovery like? Can you describe – "
"Hey, you were pissed off, too, Mr. Liberal!" Logan snarls at Scott. "Don't lie!"
"Oh, please, Logan," Scott says impatiently. "Get real. I don't care if someone thinks I'm gay. But I'm mortally offended that anyone would think I'd be slumming with the likes of you." He looks Logan up and down and sniffs disdainfully. "Like I'd be caught dead with big, dumb and hairy."
"And what," Hank asks ominously, "is wrong with big and hairy?"
"Nothing," Scott says quickly. "Big and hairy is good. Big and hairy's downright ALLURING. For some people. But could you ever see me with a bimbo? In all the time you've known me, have I EVER gone for a bimbo?"
"Bimbo?" Logan sputters. "Who the fuck you calling 'bimbo,' boy?" He jabs his finger in Scott's face. "First of all, I ain't gay. Second of all, if I was, I could do a helluva lot better than a pissy preppy shit like you. Matter of fact, you'd be damn lucky if I even – "
"How exactly," I ask Scott, "do these conversations turn so strange so quickly?"
"This reflects well on you, hon," he tells me seriously. "Trust me. I'm reiterating that I like smart women. Logan's a loser on both counts."
"You tightassed little twerp – " Logan begins.
"See, that doesn't help," I put in, struggling not to laugh. "Total strangers notice your obsession with Scott's ass. While I personally see the attraction, I can also see why people would jump to conclusions."
"I ain't 'obsessed' with prettyboy's ass!"
"Hey, don't knock it till you've tried it," I tell him. "On second thought, forget that. Stay away from my guy, Logan."
A vein appears in Logan's forehead and begins to pulsate.
"This is pretty much the way he looked in the store," Scott informs us cheerfully. "Watch, he'll start hyperventilating next. Then he makes these choking sounds."
Logan's making them now. His claws pop and retract spasmodically. I get the definite impression that his affection for Darwin is the only thing keeping him from killing Scott and me on the spot.
"Fuck you, Summers!" he says finally.
"Oh, everyone in the pet store thinks you do," Scott reminds him pleasantly. "Calling me 'cupcake' in public doesn't help."
"Well, I think 'cupcake' is sweet," I tell Scott. "I'm jealous that Logan thought of calling you that first. We were dating a good long while before I gave you pet names. But Logan's given them to you from Day One. Scooter. One-Eye. Boy Scout."
"Boy Wonder, Tightass, Prettyboy," Hank chimes in. "Pet names are a mark of affection in many cultures."
"I don't – I'm not – I never – " Logan sputters.
"You know, you're kinda cute when you're incoherent," Scott tells him. Logan takes an involuntary step backward.
"The Danger Room," Hank reminds Logan, "is empty."
And really, it's amazing how fast a man with an adamantium-laced skeleton can move when he's so inclined.
"You were right, hon," Scott tells me thoughtfully, scratching Darwin behind the ears. "You said he'd drop the nicknames eventually with the right motivation."
I sigh theatrically. "I'm always right, cupcake."
Note: This is in no way intended as a slam to slash or to the folks who write it. I saw two guys in a grocery store start screaming at each other over the best food for their bassett hound puppy, and one of the guys was sorta burly and hairy and the other was sorta skinny and pretty, and well . . .