Don't Kid a Kidder

by Rosy the Cat

Disclaimer: I do not in any way, shape, or form own X-men and the various comics titles and movies, etc. They belong to Marvel. I do, however, own in the creative sense Margaret Kidder, her family and any other original characters I end up writing into this story. Steal anything of mine without permission, and I'll round up a lynch mob of my fellow writers. This story was inspired by Gevaisa's "Minion" and "Lady Doom," which both kick ass, as does she. Before anybody launches any protests, she knows quite well what I'm doing and she's probably more excited about it than I am. In fact, as of a few chapters back this story has joined continuities with the "Minion" saga. Huzzah for friendships in fandoms!

Chapter 12

July 22nd, 2005:

Dear Diary,

Well, here we are, back on our International Magical Mystery Tour! ...Or, well, heading back to school from Latveria. I did manage to stop by a gardening shop to pick up a potted Latverian Lilac for Grandma's birthday, which Miss Munroe says I can keep in the school's greenhouse until the day of the party. Yay! It made the whole plane smell ever-so-pretty, too.

Anyway, the trip back to the States was largely uneventful, though I did get to talk to Dr. McCoy about my assisting in the Infirmary--I WILL be getting paid! Yippee!--as well as further exploring his interest in starting up a tradition of School Plays. I cast my vote for musicals, personally, though I suppose that would mean that Xavier would have to start looking into developing a music and possibly a dance department. Miss Munroe mentioned possibly talking Alison Blaire into taking a job for such a purpose. I'm giddy in anticipation.

So...I've finished both of the books I packed, plus the ones I received as gifts, so I'm gonna try and nap until we land.

TTFN,

Margaret Kidder.

Carnation's POV...

Hehk is coming home! I heard it from Hahrii's own mouth! I could almost sing!

"Please don't," muttered the Purple Not-Cat. I flicked my tail at it dismissively. What does he know about Art, anyway? Barbarian. I think I'll go check out that one funny-smelling place I found yesterday...

Wait, what's this? My Hehk is home! Oh joy of joys!

Carnation Kidder bolted out of the room via the door's cat flap, Lockheed close behind him.

Back to Meg...

"High Ho, back to school we go," I sighed, scrubbing away a last eye booger while getting a better grip on my bags before crossing the threshold.

Kitty smiled at me, but it lit up into a grin at the sight of a REALLY tall black-haired guy standing in the entryway.

"Peter!"

"Oh, my Katya!"

And there was smooching. A lot of it. Gah. Fortunately my attention was diverted when I had to drop everything and catch a leaping cat, even as I side-stepped Lockheed the Purple Dragon, who was equally determined to greet his mistress. I sighed with relief and huggled my precious babykins close.

"Hello, my fuzzy darling. Missed me?" Carnation simply kicked his purring up a notch or ten and set to work re-marking me with his chin gland. "Aww, I love you too, Sweetie." At that point I managed to juggle the cat enough to get a firm hold on all bags again, and carefully made my way upstairs. I needed to unpack, and then get cracking on my class reading and homework. Thank God for weekends!

Carnation's POV...

Okay, so maybe I overreacted regarding Hehk being gone for a few days.

...Nah. But the important thing was that she was back now, and she's taking me with her for dinner downstairs. Yay!

As she seats us both, setting down her food tray, which includes a bowl of tuna for me, she turns to Hahrii and says, "Thanks again for watching Carnation for me, Marie; I think I would have gone nuts worrying otherwise."

"No problem, Sugah. He's an affectionate li'l thing," this was punctuated by her gloved fingers scritching lightly through my fur. Bliss.

"...Huh. Hey Marie?"

"Yup?"

"Do you know if your powers affect animals, or is it just humans?"

Hahrii blinked, and then looked at me. I looked at Hahrii and blinked.

"What? Do I have tuna up my nose?"

Hahrii slowly tugged at the black gloves she wore, baring pale skin. Nervously--I don't have the foggiest notion why she'd be nervous--she held the uncovered hand out in front of my nose. After a cursory sniff, I licked the hand and sneezed from the taste of dyed leather, then bumped her palm with my head.

"Pet me, silly. There's nothing wrong with you." At that point, she yanked the other glove off and swept me up in a hug, tears dampening my fur.

"Hey! I spent hours getting that to look right!"

Hehk was beaming at me, kissed the top of my head after Hahrii finally let me go, and carried me off to our den with promises of petting and playing. I don't know what the fuss is all about, but I guess I'll see if I can't find a present for my Harhahek tomorrow; I've missed her.

July 23rd, 2005:

Dear Diary,

Saturday! Glorious, most wonderful day in the week! A day of cartoons, sugary cereals, and sleeping in. I get a smile just thinking about it.

Beyond that, my plans for today consist of homework and relaxing with friends and my cat. I'll probably have to do something else at some point, but eh, I'll take things as they come.

TTFN,

Margaret Kidder.

I was right, of course. I'd just finished the chapter for Monday's English class down in the school library when Kurt told me Dr. McCoy wanted to ask me something. Turned out he was intrigued by my impromptu experiment with Marie regarding the limits of her powers, and that now she wanted a pet of her own to snuggle at whim. I recommended a Humane Society shelter that I'd volunteered at last year, and then had to scribble down directions. Marie went off on her happy way with Bobby into the city to pick up a kitten--she'd actually wanted a puppy, but I pointed out that her second-floor room was a bit of a way from any sort of reasonable outside access, whereas cats could be trained to use a litter box--and Dr. McCoy started quizzing me on what I already know of First Aid.

I start work on Monday after classes, two hours a day and three on the weekends. Yay!

July 24th, 2005:

Dear Diary,

Church. I'm determined to attend every choir rehearsal from now on, baring school breaks and weekend visits home or whatever. Sister Justine said she understood that I was still getting used to my different school schedule, and that she'd see me at Wednesday Mass.

TTFN,

Margaret Kidder.

July 25th, 2005:

Dear Diary,

Back to the classwork grindstone. Nothing much else to say.

Ooh, wait, yes I do! I forgot to mention yesterday that Marie's got a new kitty of her own: a little girl Calico named Pun'kin, based on the fact that Marie thinks she's, and I quote, "The sweetest li'l thang since Pun'kin Pie!" The cat can cause cavities, she's so cute; and her mother's just as bad with the baby talk.

I'm not nearly so bad, am I Pookie?

...And my cat's looking at me like I'm crazy, and heading out to be all manly and hunt. They grow up so fast.

TTFN,

Margaret Kidder.

July 26th, 2005:

Dear Diary,

Classes again. Homework to do, Lab Reports to type, inventory to take in the Infirmary, and a rough-draft of my first History report of the year due on Friday.

On an odder note, I had to rush Carnation to Dr. McCoy this morning when I found him having seizures next to the corpse of some weird hairless rat. Dr. McCoy thinks Carnation must have been bitten by a snake on his way into the school from out back with the rat, and collapsed outside my room. He gave Carnation a kitty-sized dose of anti-venom and told me to keep him still and quiet. I dropped the cat off on my bed snuggled in his blanket and tossed the freaky rat in the outside dumpsters before class.

I wonder why the rat was hairless; it didn't look sickly or anything, after all...

TTFN,

Margaret Kidder.

July 27th, 2005:

Dear Diary,

Carnation is feeling much better, now that he's had some rest and food.

Classes were normal, and the rough draft is progressing well. I've decided to write on the Puritans and their impact on modern laws and social interactions. I'm thinking about comparing their views of "Religious Freedom" to Magneto's views of "Mutant Equality," namely that "We want a place where we can live how we like, and then, once we're the majority there, we'll persecute everybody else!"

Seriously, I've been reading all sorts of accounts how Native Americans and Quakers and such were all treated like crap by the Pilgrims, that or forced to conform to their views. And everyone with any sense can see Magneto needs a swift kick to the patoot!

On a lighter note, Choir rehearsal went well; Sister Justine says that I should be able to join in on Sundays by August 7th. That's Sunday after next.

TTFN,

Margaret Kidder.

July 28th, 2005:

Dear Diary,

Dad called while I was working; school in the city was canceled due to Costumed Nutjob Attack again, so the family's heading out to visit Grandma, and will be by to pick me up for the weekend tomorrow. I won't be actually leaving until after Choir rehearsal, but yay, I get to have family time!

Classes. Blarg.

Oh, wait, yeah, about work: Sophia got freaked out by one of the little-er kids' powers making his ears suddenly grow like Dumbo, at which point she slipped on a horse turd someone forgot to clear off of the lawn near the stables--and no, it wasn't my horse's turd; I tend to stick to the marked trails, corrals, and the woods around the campus--twisted her ankle and got the wind knocked out of her.

I made a comment that maybe she shouldn't wear those stupid spike heels all the time, which got me a glare from Sophia and an I-agree-but-can-we-not-provoke-the-injured-snake-charmer look from Dr. McCoy. So I went and got an ice pack and some Ace Bandages. She still bitched far too much about the whole thing.

One last thing: after dinner, Carnation met me outside the dorm room with another "present," this one not even remotely normal. I swear, my soul to heaven, it was an over-sized blue salamander with orange spots. Want to know what was even weirder? It had eight legs.

At that point I dug out some old raggedy winter gloves, Carnation's kitty litter scooper, and a couple of paper towels from the bathroom. I used the scooper to move the freaky amphibian onto the paper towels, and then carried it to Dr. McCoy's office by the corners.

I got to help dissect the thing; it was really ooky, with what looked like three hearts and- I just can't describe it. Dr. McCoy's sending a DNA sample, along with some pictures from the dissection to an old colleague for a second opinion, but we're both pretty sure something nowhere near normal is going on. Especially since we caught Carnation going toe-to-toe with another hairless rat by the bathroom on the way to my dorm; a brief look at that sucker let us determine that Carnation wasn't bitten by a snake earlier this week. The hairless rats have poisonous fangs. Can I just say "GAH!" ?

TTFN,

Margaret Kidder.

July 29th, 2005:

Dear Diary,

TGIF! No truer words have ever been spoken, I think.

Well, I got my paper rough draft in to Kurt--did I mention he took over teaching the History classes from Miss Frost? He did, and he's the bestest EVAH!--and I think I did rather well. Here's hoping for some good feedback, at least, for my revisions.

Dr. McCoy surprised me by giving me the day off from work today, so I can spend more time with my family before we leave. Though that might just be Xavier pushing him to give out good PR, just in case one or two or all of the Dweebs end up Mutants (Gosh, that's a scary idea: The Triplets with super powers! Makes me cringe all over inside). In any case, he hasn't heard back from his friend about the hairless rat or the eight-legged salamander yet.

TTFN,

Margaret Kidder.

Well, classes are done for the day and my parents are here. Yippee!

My brothers have spotted Lockheed and are doing their best to scare the crap out of him, which has set me to chasing them around the first floor threatening them with death and dismemberment while simultaneously hoping that they don't cause irrevocable harm to the mini-dragon, because then Kitty might go Kung-fu on their behinds and cry. That would be bad because one, I don't want my friend to cry, and two, if the triplets get hurt my parents will blame me for not watching them close enough.

In any case, I finally managed to boost Lockheed up on top of a bookcase in the game room, and then sat the Dweebs in front of the TV with Game Cube controllers in their hands and Mario Cart loaded on the console.

And there was much rejoicing.

So there I was, sitting on a couch with my parents introducing them to Kitty, Marie and Bobby, when Bobby asked the inevitable:

"How the heck do you tell those three apart, Maggie?"

"Oh for pity's sake, Bobby, my name is MEG, not 'Maggie'. How many times do I have to tell you?"

Kitty spoke up, "Actually, I've been wondering that myself; I mean, Maggie just sounds like a closer derivative of Margaret, after all; more than Meg, anyway."

Mom took pity on me and explained, "Well, Meg's named after my mother, Magda and, while we did call her Maggie for a few years, it never really stuck." At the curious looks, she explained, "Maggie was my father's nickname for my mom, so calling for 'Maggie' tended to have two people calling back 'What' all of the time at family parties. That, and I'm a Phantom of the Opera fan."

"Long live Erik/Christine!" Mom and I both chirped, giving each other high-fives, to the amusement of all.

"As for the triplets," I continued where Mom had left off, "you can tell the difference based on their hair."

My friends stared at the guys, then gave me a weird look. Marie broke the silence.

"Ah, sugah, they all have buzzes."

"Exactly; it makes it more obvious."

I was still getting weird looks, with a side of incredulous, so I sighed and explained, "Noah, on the right," he freed one hand from the controller long enough to wave distractedly, "has a cowlick on the back of his head. When he's gone a bit too long without a haircut, it makes him look kinda like a cartoon duck, which is why his nickname is Ducky."

"Bite me."

"Back at'cha. William, or Billy, the one in the middle, has a cowlick in the front to one side. And Jacky--or John Marcus Kidder Jr.--doesn't have a cowlick; he's got a birthmark shaped like a goldfish cracker below his left earlobe on his neck."

"Wait, which one is Jacky?" asked Kitty.

"The one on the lef- Okay, where's Jacky?"

Billy piped up, saying "He said he had to go to the bathroom."

"Oh, just brilliant," I grumbled. "I'll go get him. Knowing my luck, the little booger's probably using the one near the dorm so he has an excuse to see Gustave and be annoying. I'll be back in a minute," this last bit said to my parents before I headed off upstairs.

Unfortunately, when I opened the bathroom door I found a glowing swirly blob that stretched across the doorway from floor to about chest height on me. The triplets, or one of the younger students, would have been just the right size. I double-checked my dorm for my brother, but upon finding no sign of him, and a hairless rat wandering into the hallway from the swirly-glowy thing, I kicked it back through, slammed the bathroom door shut, and called in the big guns.

"MOM! DAD! DR. McCOY! JACKY'S BEEN SUCKED INTO A GLOWY PORTAL-THINGIE! AND IT'S NOT MY FAULT!"

Author's notes: Eek! My muse is on a rampage! Why, why must it be so when I have a paper due tomorrow that I've barely started on, plus two more due on Thursday? WHY!

...Eh, I'm done for now. My muse had better stay away until Friday though, or I might go nuts.

Hahrii: Cat pronunciation of "Marie."

Harhahek: Cat pronunciation of "Margaret."

Hehk: Cat pronunciation of "Meg."

Ever listened to a cat's sounds? What most people describe as a "meow" actually sounds more like "rau" or an elongated form of the same. I freely admit I took a lot of my inspiration for Carnation's way of thinking from Diane Duane's Cat Wizard series. The book titles to that are "The Book of Night with Moon" and "To Visit the Queen."

As always, this is dedicated to my buddy/beta reader Gevaisa, who rocks!

So until later, thanks for reading and please review. Reviews, after all, put a smile on my face!

-- Rosy the Cat

9/25/06