Rating: T for profanity, snarking
Characters: Jean, Logan, Scott, Emma Frost, Darwin the beagle
Summary: Jean and Emma don't get along. It's a catfight with a dog. Jean's POV.
All standard disclaimers apply. Don't own them, am making no money off them, etc. I also don't acknowledge X3 in any way, shape or form. Cupcakes to Rachel for the beta.
I hate her.
I've often thought that Emma Frost's true mutant power has less to do with telepathy and more to do with her ability to reduce me to a 13-year-old. The mere mention of her name, never mind her actual presence, makes my hair limper, my chest flatter and my feet bigger. Or so it seems.
Scott is no help. He doesn't hang up on her when she calls, he doesn't delete her e-mails unread, and he stubbornly refuses to simply tell her she's a whore who disgusts him. If I make this request of him, he gets this pained I'm-getting-a-migraine expression and offers up lame excuses like "We've known each other since we were kids," and "She's an asset to the team." Ask the man for any reassurance that he loves me, not Emma, and the best he can do is point out that he never asked Emma to live with him, and he certainly never asked her to marry him.
Which is true. But which would mean oh so much more if he'd just tell her she's a slut and that he finds her repulsive. And if he could manage to do it in front of a room full of people – during dinner here at the mansion, say – well, that would help, too. But no.
As I said, she turns me into a 13-year-old. A petulant 13-year-old.
So on her most recent visit to the mansion, Emma has been spending time showing off in Cerebro ("Really, Charles, it's so simple a child could use it. It's hard to believe any intelligent person could struggle with control."), reminiscing with Hank and Warren ("And do you remember the time Jean Grey got dumped by that boy with psoriasis who said she was frigid? And when she came home in tears, she walked in on Scott and me in the rec room? Look, you can still see the mark where she ran into the wall!") and shoving her breasts into Scott's face at every opportunity. ("Darling, tell me – does it look like I'm getting a rash? It's very faint – look closer.")
And Scott, that dummy, just mumbles and stammers and runs off to fiddle with the Blackbird or his bikes while Emma sweetly reminds me that he probably loves to tinker with his vehicles "because a man likes to feel something responsive under him."
So what does an intelligent, educated, successful thirtysomething woman do when faced with an ego-mauling? She retreats to the sunroom to share a pint of strawberry ice cream with the only male in the house unimpressed with Emma's cleavage. And she tries really hard not to dwell on the fact that said male happens to be castrated.
"At least you're not falling for her act, right, sweetie?" I say to my beagle, who snuggles beside me on the couch, lays his head in my lap and regards both me and my ice cream with naked adoration. "You're such a good boy, Darwin. You see right through that witch."
I dig a chunk of strawberry out and feed it to the dog. "You know what she's really like, don't you? You know if anything ever happened to me, she'd be on Scott like a boa constrictor on a baby rabbit. That bitch. She can't wait to get her scaly coils around him. And you know what that would mean for you? Two words: wicked stepmother. You think she's going to buy you Cheese Nips? She'd probably eat them in front of you and not offer you a single one. And that'd be after she took away all your toys for sheer spite. Picture Cruella DeVil from '101 Dalmatians.' Only with beagles."
"Jeannie, what the hell is the matter with you, telling the poor mutt that?" Logan demands, stalking into the room. "You trying to give him nightmares? Ain't nothing gonna happen to you. Ain't nothing gonna happen to him, either."
"I'm trying to teach him that certain telepaths are not to be trusted," I tell Logan as he seats himself in a chair. "That there are evil people just waiting to swoop down and take what isn't theirs."
He gives me a knowing look. "Uh-huh. Freaking out over the Frost bitch, huh?"
"She and Scott used to be an item," I tell him morosely. "She'd like nothing better than to get him back."
Logan rolls his eyes. "Just what the fuck did they do together anyway? Alphabetize the kitchen cabinets? Realign the grass blades?"
"No," I answer dryly. "They were far too busy having loud sex all over the house. You have no idea how awful it is to have to listen to someone you care about go at it with someone you despise. Night after night."
"I can imagine," Logan says sourly, rubbing his ear. "Believe me."
"The thing that kills me is that she doesn't even value Scott for who he is," I continue. "It's not like she understands how sweet and sensitive and – "
"Could we please not go over the wonders of Captain RugRat?" Logan interrupts. "Just because I got a healing factor don't mean I can't puke."
"Sorry," I tell him glumly.
"This ain't like you, Red," Logan says.
"Sure it is. You just haven't seen my jealous, insecure side. Emma brings it out. What exactly is it with men and their fascination with big breasts?"
"You're making too much outta this, Red," Logan says. "First of all, if the kid was obsessed with tits, he wouldn't be with you. Second of all – Ow!" he shuts up abruptly as a book sails across the room and whacks him in the head.
"Not. Helping," I tell him between clenched teeth, digging at my ice cream.
"Jeannie, you got that kid so whipped he can't see straight," Logan says, rubbing his head. "He ain't gonna run around on you. But he's an uptight dick, and you deserve a lot better, darlin'. Just dump him back in the kiddie pool once and for all and get yourself a real man." He attempts to look winning.
I roll my eyes. "Kurt's not available, Logan."
The sunroom door slams open, interrupting me. "This," Emma hisses, storming into the room with Scott on her heels, "is too much."
Well, speak of the boa constrictor.
"We have a little situation," Scott tells me. "Did Darwin get away from you this morning? Was he wandering around upstairs?"
I shrug. "Maybe. He and Charles were playing for a while, then he was down with me in the lab. I don't know where he was in between."
Emma gazes at the dog with such venom that Darwin, who'd switched into turbo-tail mode at the sight of Scott, abruptly tucks his tail between his legs and buries his nose in the crook of my arm.
"Clearly," Emma says icily, "he was where he shouldn't have been. Destroying my property." She shoves a wet red scrap of something-or-other at me.
"Darwin ate something of yours?" I guess, trying to sound sorry.
"It's my bustier!" Emma snaps. "The one you like so much, darling," she adds, turning to Scott.
Scott looks flustered. Logan snickers.
Oh yes, the bustier. The red leather bustier that Emma, who generally wears white, was strutting around in all day yesterday when she suddenly seemed to develop inner ear problems. She managed to keep losing her balance and falling into Scott chest-first, and Scott, ever the gentleman, kept catching her instead of letting her fall splat on the floor. How could I have forgotten?
"How much damage could one beagle do?" I ask. "It's not like there was much to it to begin with."
"Well, just look at it!" Emma cries, thrusting the soggy scrap of ragged leather at Scott, who flinches back and attempts to look anywhere but at it. "He's shredded it! It can't be worn now!"
"Well, it probably shouldn't have been worn before," I say. "For one thing, it was about four sizes too small."
"I must have bought your bust size by mistake," Emma snaps.
Scott shoots me a pleading look that rivals Darwin's. "If you buy a new one and send us the bill, we'll be happy to pay for it, Emma," he says soothingly. "We're sorry he got into your things in the first place."
"She must not have shut her door all the way," I tell Scott. "And she probably left her clothes all over – she's always complaining that she doesn't have her own maid here." I smile sweetly at Emma. "I remember how Scott always used to say you were a slob. He hated it."
"Really, dear?" she responds icily. "Funny, when he talks to me, he never mentions you. It's like you don't even exist."
"Emma," Scott interrupts nervously. "Emma, Darwin had a bad habit of chewing leather when he was a puppy. He ate one of Logan's belts, a bunch of Jean's shoes and part of one of my uniforms. We thought he'd outgrown it, but obviously he hasn't. We'll keep a closer eye on him, but you really need to be careful about shutting your door."
"Well, I can understand that Jean would have a hard time keeping up with a puppy," Emma concedes. "Goodness, at her age mobility is at a premium. Look at her now, loading up on ice cream to ward off osteoporosis. A younger woman couldn't possibly do that without it going straight to her hips."
I know there's a prison movie where someone uses a spoon as a deadly weapon. Now was it jammed in the eye or the carotid artery?
Scott's getting his migraine look, so I swallow hard and attempt to act mature.
"You shouldn't have any trouble finding a new one," I tell Emma reassuringly. "We can always take you into the city and ask a prostitute where she shops. Or you can just ask the people who sold you your breasts."
"Jean – " Scott begins.
"Would you like to meet my doctor, Jean?" Emma asks sweetly. "He might be able to help you." She casts a scornful look at my chest. "He'd probably give you a discount out of pity."
"Emma – "
"I'd be happy to talk to your doctor," I tell Emma between clenched teeth. "You can even listen in, and we'll speak in small, simple words so someone who barely passed biology can understand."
Emma glares at me. It's clear she's torn between flying (further) into full-blown bitch mode and attempting to play the damsel in distress for anyone dumb enough to fall for it (Scott). She opts for the latter.
"Scott, I just worry that if that dog is chewing things, he might one day bite a person," she says, all professional concern. "He could bite a student. Think of the risks, darling."
Outraged, I open my mouth to defend my sweet beagle, but Scott beats me to it.
"Darwin would never bite anyone," he says firmly. "He can be destructive, but he's never aggressive. He'd never attack anyone."
"Eh, he might chomp on her," Logan puts in, speaking for the first time. "He might think she's one of his toys – she sorta smells like plastic."
Scott bites his lip. Emma whirls to shoot Logan a withering look.
"Jean, I suggest you muzzle your mongrel," Emma says coldly. "And your beagle." She turns on her stiletto heel and stomps off.
Scott turns to glare at Logan. "Thanks for helping."
Logan looks wistful. "I was waiting for them to start rolling around on the floor clawing each other. Maybe ripping at each other's clothes."
"You're a pig," Scott snaps.
"You're a dick," Logan says. "I can't believe they're fighting over your uptight ass. I thought Chuck's ethics kept him from messing with people's minds?"
"Don't you have someplace to be, Logan?" Scott inquires, gritting his teeth. "I seem to recall it's time for your monthly flea dip."
"I think Darwin needs to go o-u-t," I break in.
"O-u-t?" Logan repeats incredulously.
"That spells 'out,' " Scott informs him.
"I know what the fuck it spells," Logan snaps. "I ain't getting why you're spelling it. The mutt doesn't know any better."
"Jean likes to pretend he does," Scott says. "Much the way she likes to pretend she doesn't have to breathe through her mouth when she's around you and your apparent aversion to soap."
"Ain't my fault I make your girl pant," Logan says. "Christ, someone needs to."
"Sweetie, could you please just take the dog for his walk?" I ask Scott. "And if he vomits up or otherwise expels pieces of Emma's slutwear, please give it to her with my compliments."
Scott sighs, readjusts his martyred expression and leaves the room with our bouncing, barking Frost-repellant.
"Darlin'," says Logan. "I've said it before. I'll say it again. You. Him. Why?"
"Don't start," I say, digging into my ice cream again.
"Kinda funny that the mutt starts chewing leather again, dontcha think?" Logan says after a few minutes.
"No, not really," I respond. "You know how he is – into everything."
"Kinda funny he got into Barbie's room, though, dontcha think?"
"Darwin," I inform Logan haughtily, "is an exceptionally wise and sensitive little dog."
Logan gazes out the window to where Scott is attempting to drag Darwin past a stone turtle statue in Ro's garden while the beagle barks his head off. Turtles upset him, poor baby.
"Uh-huh," Logan says. "Wise. Sensitive."
"Well, he is," I insist. "Dogs are very attuned to people. Clearly he senses that Emma is an evil and disgusting person, and clearly he wants her out of his home."
"Uh-huh," Logan says.
"His chewing up her bustier really isn't as random as it seems," I say. "It's just his way of saying, 'I want you away from me and mine, you slut.' "
"Yeah?" Logan says. He looks at me and taps his nose. "After gettin' a whiff of that thing, I coulda sworn what he was saying was, 'Someone opened Frosty's door and poured gravy on her leather whatsis.' "
"Well, that would be the subtext," I say demurely. "Care for some ice cream?"
There are definitely benefits to feeling like a 13-year-old.