Rating: T for profanity, snarking, sexual references
Characters: Scott, Jean, Logan, Warren, Darwin the Beagle. Kitty Pryde, Rogue and Jubilee cameos.
Summary: Four people, one dog and all the snarking you can fit in a minivan.
All the usual disclaimers apply. Don't own them, a making no money off them, and as far as I'm concerned, X3 never happened. Many thanks to Rachel Martin64, who besides doing her usual bang-up beta job, suggested the ending for this. Many virtual Cupcakes to you, chica.
"I knew this was going to be a disaster," Scott said darkly. "Didn't I tell you this was going to be a disaster?"
Jean patted his leg. "Just drive, sweetie."
"I feel like a mutant Ward Cleaver," Scott complained. "Here I am in a minivan with my wife, our two bratty kids and our badly behaved pet Wolverine."
"Fuck you, Junior," Logan retorted from the backseat.
"Who're you calling 'bratty'?" Warren put in.
"He's right, hon," Jean said. "Darwin's not bratty."
"I don't know why you're so pissy, Summers," Warren said irritably. "I'm the one suffering here. I'm the one jammed in the back of a minivan with a Wolverine and a beagle, both of whom appear to be shedding."
"Fuck you, Tweety," Logan said.
"Both of whom are scintillating conversationalists, too," Warren said, prying his seat belt out of the dog's mouth. "Remind me again what we're doing here?"
Scott sighed. "Jean and I are going to pick up Kitty Pryde at JFK. She went on a vacation with her parents. You're here because you're visiting the mansion and Jean says we don't see enough of you. Logan's here because he lacks the social skills to know when he's not wanted."
"And the dog's here . . . why?" Warren asked, jerking his cufflink away from the beagle.
"For you," Jean said. "He can protect you from Logan, who finds you annoying."
"I ain't the only one," Logan put in.
"THIS dog's going to protect me?" Warren asked, eying Darwin, who was gnawing on the sleeve of his Italian lambskin jacket. "So if Logan attacks, I'm supposed to chuck the dog at him and run, or what?"
"Just use him as a shield," Scott advised. "Logan won't hurt Darwin."
"Well, at this rate, I just might hurt him myself," Warren said irritably. "Jean, your damn dog is eating my Rolex. Make him quit it."
"Just push him away and say 'No' in a firm voice," Jean said. "If that doesn't work, tap him on the nose and keep saying 'No.'"
"She tries that approach with Logan and it doesn't work," Scott interjected, "but we think Darwin's smarter."
"Well, now he's eating my belt!" Warren cried. "What the hell? Don't you feed this damn animal?"
"Oh, for fuck's sake," Logan snapped, reaching over to pull the beagle toward him. "I'm starting to see why Summers hangs out with you, Tweety. Next to you, he almost looks like a man."
"This from the guy who spends his spare time whipping up gourmet meals for a puppy," Scott said. "Any truth to the rumor that you watch the Food Network for inspiration?"
"Wait a minute, wait a minute," Warren interjected. "He cooks for THE DOG?"
"Oh, you haven't heard this?" Scott said. "He's like a hygienically challenged Betty Crocker. He makes custom meals for Darwin. For Christmas the kids are getting him an apron that says 'Kiss the Cook.' Or a nose-hair trimmer. They can't decide."
"I think it's very sweet that Logan cooks," Jean said. "No wonder Darwin loves his Uncle Logan. He knows that Uncle Logan loves him right back."
"I do not love the fucking dog," Logan said irritably. "And I'm not his goddamn uncle. He's a fucking pain in my ass. He begs for food all the damn time — and you wanna tell me why you two starve the poor little guy? He's always hungry, and that chow you feed him tastes like shit — and he trashes my room and chews up my stuff and he's always fucking underfoot — and just how goddamn stupid are you, Birdbrain? Can't you see he wants you to rub his belly? Stop messing with his fucking ears, you simpleminded shit — and we'd all be a lot better off without the mutt, is what I'm saying."
"Well," Scott said dryly. "I know I'm convinced. And mildly alarmed that you speak with obvious authority on what the dog's kibble tastes like."
"Fuck you, Scooter," Logan snapped. "You don't know shit about dogs. Or about anything else, for that matter."
"I know enough not to eat dog food, Cousin It," Scott said.
"Listen, you stuck-up little — " Logan began.
"Boys!" Jean said. "We're going to be in the car a long while, could we not come to blows in the first 10 minutes?"
"Jean's right," Warren said. "Let's reminisce. As I recall, this isn't the first time the two of you have thrown me in with foul-smelling carnivorous animals intent on doing me harm. Remember the time you dragged me to the Westchester County Fair and I nearly got eaten alive?"
"Oh, for God's sake," Scott said. "Not this again. That was years ago."
"It wasn't that bad," Jean told Warren. "You just overreacted. Hank and Bobby took Warren to the petting zoo area," she told Logan, "and they had these sheep and goats and a llama, I think, you could pet. It was all very friendly, the animals were very docile — "
"Docile?" Warren said with a snort. "DOCILE? One of them lunged and attacked my coat!"
"Well, you just had to wear a cashmere coat," Scott said. "It probably thought you'd murdered its cousin."
"Here I am, being mauled by this awful mutant monster sheep-thing —"
"Better known as a goat," Jean put in.
"— while my so-called friends ignore me and my cries of distress. Scott was busy groping Emma Frost in what he apparently thought was a surreptitious manner, while Jean hung out with Hank and bitched about Emma and tried to convince everyone, including herself, that her feelings for Scott were purely sisterly. Which is disturbing on oh-so-many levels, if you think about it. And Drake, that little S.O.B, stood there and LAUGHED."
"As I have told you repeatedly and you don't seem to want to believe," Scott said, "we didn't realize you were in trouble."
"How could you not have heard me screaming?"
"We did hear you screaming," Jean said. "We assumed you'd stepped in manure again. Or seen someone with a mullet. You know how you get."
"Very funny," Warren said sourly. "I tell you, it was horrifying," he told Logan. "Not least because the creature's odor got into my clothes. I had no idea a healthy living thing could smell so bad. This was before I met you, obviously."
"Warren?" Jean asked, pinching the bridge of her nose as a headache started. "You're holding the dog, right? Between you and Logan? Tell me you've got the dog between you and Logan."
"Jeannie?" Logan asked, flexing his hands. "Is this overgrown parakeet too fucking stupid to know I could kill him, or is he just suicidal?"
"Actually, it's neither," Warren said. "It's just that Scott very helpfully pointed out that it's silly for someone with wings" — he rustled his — "to be nervous around someone who hates to fly. Get on my nerves, Chewbacca, and we're going for a ride."
"Try it and I'll gut you," Logan growled.
"Gut me and we BOTH plummet to earth and die horribly," Warren said cheerfully.
"Listen, you feathered freak, you lay a goddamn hand on me and — "
"Did you not hear me say this was going to be a disaster?" Scott asked Jean. "Was I not clear on that?"
"Just drive, dear," Jean said wearily. "I can't break up the fight right now. I'm busy trying to telekinetically tie my tubes."
"Good move, darlin'" Logan put in. "The last thing you want is a rug rat with his DNA. You want me to pull the stick out of his ass and beat him to death for you? I'll do it. Be my good deed for the day."
"Logan, if you want to do a good deed a day," Scott said, "start with showering. Anything else is gravy."
"Bite me, you tightassed, anal-retentive prettyboy," Logan said.
"Jean, you're right," Warren said in a tone of wonder. "He IS obsessed with Scott's ass."
"Told you," Jean said.
"I am not fucking obsessed — " Logan began.
"Jean says you are," Warren interrupted. "Jean says you talk about it all the time. Jean also says that you've taken to addressing Scott as 'Love Muffin' when you think the two of you are alone. Scott, could you please not swerve the van like that? It's unnerving, and I think it might make the dog puke on my wings. Thank you."
"He does NOT call me — " Scott began.
" — fucking LOVE MUFFIN!" Logan exclaimed.
"And how long have they been finishing each other's sentences, Jean?" Warren asked. "And are you starting to feel threatened by this?"
"Take the mutt up front, Jeannie," Logan ordered, popping his claws. "I'm carving up a chickenshit for dinner."
"Well, the sentence thing is new," Jean told Warren, "and Logan actually calls Scott 'Cupcake,' not 'Love Muffin,' though that's very cute, too. I might use that, now that I think about it. 'Come here, Love Muffin.' 'Meet me upstairs in 10 minutes, Love Muffin.'"
"Try, 'Don't blast us all to dust in a fit of pique, Love Muffin,'" Warren suggested.
"Warren?" Scott said. "You do realize I can't miss at this range, right?"
"But no, I'm really not feeling threatened," Jean continued. "If Logan ever lays a hand on my Love Muffin, I'll rip him limb from limb."
"Good girl, Jean," Warren said approvingly. "Defend your property. Just like you wanted to when we were all at the county fair and he was jailbait and getting busy with Emma Frost."
"That bitch," Jean muttered.
"Could we not start with — " Scott began.
"See, Jean was in a bad mood even before we left for the fair because Dr. Lensherr — this was before he went Magneto on us — had been making chicken hawk comments," Warren told Logan. "He knew she was interested in Scott — strangers on the street knew she was interested in Scott — and he was having conniptions. Dr. Lensherr, that is. Scott was having nonstop sex with Emma Frost, and the rest of us were having nightmares about the whole situation. I can't tell you how glad we all were when Scott got legal and Jean could jump him without Erik calling the cops."
"Hon?" Scott said to Jean. "Are you starting to remember why we only see Warren once every couple of months? Should I take the veins standing out in your neck as a yes?"
"A CHICKEN HAWK?" Logan said incredulously. "MAGNETO called her a CHICKEN HAWK? Un-fucking-believable. "
"Oh, you didn't know that?" Warren said. "In Magneto's world, Jean's a sexual predator and Scott's a baby chick in need of protection. I'm guessing you didn't pick up on that during the Liberty Island adventure? No matter — subtext isn't your strong suit."
"Chicken hawk," Logan repeated, shaking his head. "Jeannie, darlin', I'm just saying that when a psychopathic mass-murdering freak like Magneto tells you you're a perv, there might be something to it, you know what I'm saying? Drop the Boy Wonder back in his playpen, get yourself a real man and everyone's happy. Junior'll be weepy for a while, the wuss, but he'll hook up with the Frost bitch and forget all about you. Otherwise, it looks like you finally got yourself a code name."
Warren sucked in breath audibly.
"I have this theory that Logan's healing factor has blunted his sense of self-preservation, if not outright eliminated it," Scott said.
"Well, he's definitely not the brightest bulb in the mutant chandelier," Warren said. "Isn't this the guy who says you're only in charge because you're pretty?"
"Logan has a lot of interesting theories," Scott said dryly. "Imagine the X-Men as run by Wolverine: No one ever bathes, and instead of Cyclops, Angel and Jean No-Name, we go by 'Cupcake,' 'Tweety' and 'Chicken Hawk.' We'd go around rescuing dogs from veterinarians, scratching ourselves in vulgar places and saying 'ain't.' "
"Suddenly your Hitlerian management style doesn't seem so bad," Warren agreed.
"Speak for yourself, Birdbrain," Logan said. "I'm the guy who has to risk his life every day going on missions with Mrs. Robinson and her boy toy."
"Darwin?" Jean called, twisting around in her seat. "Come up front and sit with me, sweetie. There's a good little dog. Mommy needs you to look out the window while Uncle Warren and Uncle Logan beg for their lives. Then we'll buy you a new squeak toy. Won't that be nice?"
"Oh, for fuck's sake, Jeannie," Logan said. "I ain't the one who told you to go to bed with the Boy Scout. You got these pervy midlife crisis urges, you gotta stop groping the kid and — "
"Remember, Jean, I never called you a chicken hawk," Warren said self-righteously. "That was Dr. Lensherr. I mean, yes, I might have made some irrelevant clucking noises around Scott before I realized how good his aim was and how bad your temper was, but you should know by now that I personally have no problem with you groping Scott, as long as you don't do it when he's driving and risk getting us all killed. Emma used to do that, and it was scary. She used to grab his — "
"Has it occurred to either of you in the backseat brain trust that it's not physically possible for both of you to use a single beagle as a shield?" Scott asked. "Has it occurred to either of you that Jean's a telepath, and that if you piss her off badly enough you'll find yourselves standing atop the baggage carousel at JFK belting out 'I'm a Little Teapot'?" He paused. "On second thought, don't listen to me. Continue sharing your every thought. Logan? You were saying?"
"You know what?" Jean said. "I think I've heard just about enough. From all three of you. No one else is allowed to talk. You hear me?"
"What'd I do?" Scott said in a wounded tone.
"You slept with Emma Frost," Jean said.
"But that was YEARS ago! You and I weren't even dating then!"
"Some crimes have no statute of limitations," Jean said acidly.
"You tell him, Jeannie," Logan put in. "Don't take any shit from the tightassed twerp. He oughta be showing respect to his elders, and that sure as hell includes you."
"That's right!" Warren called from the back. "He's a bad Love Muffin!"
"That's it," Scott said. "I've had it. Here's what we do," he told Jean. "I pull over, we throw them out of the car and let them find their own way home. The kids can bet on who makes it first, and we'll call it a lesson in geography, probability and not pissing off people who can hurt you badly."
"Well," Jean said grudgingly, "I do need you to drive the van while I watch the dog. But Darwin enjoys their company, and I hate to upset him. I'm sort of leaning toward your 'I'm a Little Teapot' idea. Or making them think they're beagle puppies and Darwin's brothers. Except I worry they might eat the van."
"You could make them re-enact scenes from 'A Charlie Brown Christmas,' " Scott suggested. "Logan could be Snoopy. He could do the happy dance."
Jean hesitated. "Go on," she said.
"Now wait just a fucking minute — " Logan said.
"Oh, suck it up, Chewbacca," Warren advised gleefully. "This is what you get for being so obnoxious. How stupid do you have to be to piss off a telepath? Go on, Jean, do it, do it!"
"Warren could be Woodstock," Scott said. "He could flutter around while Logan does the happy dance."
"People, please, get real," Warren said, suddenly alarmed. "There's no way she's going to — "
"Well, we couldn't have Snoopy without Woodstock," Jean said thoughtfully. "And I think Darwin would enjoy 'Peanuts,' what with the beagle connection."
"I ain't believing this," Logan said. "Jeannie, are you out of your goddamn — "
"I'm sure Warren wouldn't mind entertaining the dog," Scott told her. "It's the least he can do after calling us names and sharing the most intimate details of our lives with Logan, who's probably going to hash it all out with Emma one day. Imagine that, hon. Logan and Emma discussing our relationship. And we'll owe it all to Warren."
"Scott?" Warren asked urgently. "Is Charles aware of this deeply repulsive reptilian streak you're exhibiting?"
"Probably," Scott said offhandedly. "Here's what we do," he told Jean. "I'll pull over, you put the whammy on them, they perform and we'll be back on the road in time to buy Darwin a toy before we pick up Kitty. It's perfect."
"It is not fucking 'perfect'," Logan snapped. "First of all, I ain't fucking dancing for your fucking dog, second of all, I'll rip your prettyboy guts out if you don't shut the hell up, third of all, it ain't my fucking fault Jeannie's a pedophile, and fourth — "
"Oh, this just gets better and better," Warren muttered, slumping in his seat. "I could have stayed back at the mansion where Hank was experimenting with explosives and it was safe, but noooo."
"Mind-wipe them so they don't remember it," Scott urged Jean. "It's good practice. Charles always says you need more practice with your powers."
"Practice is a good thing," Jean said meditatively.
A Backstreet Boys CD was blaring through the Mazda's stereo speakers when Jubilee drove into the central terminal area of JFK airport and waved down Kitty Pryde in the crowd milling at the curb of Terminal 7.
"Hi, Jubes," Kitty caroled, scrambling into the sports car with her carryon bag. "Hi, Rogue! Hey, I thought Mr. Summers was going to meet me in the baggage claim area. I waited, like, forever!"
"Change of plans, chica," Jubilee said, popping her gum. "Whattaya think of our ride?" she asked, indicating the Mazda proudly.
"I can't believe Mr. Summers let you take his car!" Kitty marveled.
"He didn't have much choice," Jubilee said, grinding the gears as she threw the afflicted vehicle into second and everyone lurched forward in their seats. "It was Professor X's idea. The grown-ups — Mr. Summers, Dr. Grey, Wolvie and Mr. Worthington — are busy getting yelled at back at home. They're, like, gettin' grounded or something." She cackled. "It's so cool."
"MR. SUMMERS and them are in trouble?" Kitty breathed. "What happened?"
Rogue shook her head. "They were coming here to get you, and I guess Professor X was keeping an eye on them in Cerebro — he wanted to make sure they didn't kill each other or something," she said. "And they did something that got him really mad."
"What happened?" Kitty asked again.
"I dunno," Jubilee said. "I couldn't hear much — you know how thick the mansion doors are. Something like they stopped for peanuts and Dr. Grey did some kinda telepathic ethics thingy to make Wolvie happy and they were gonna go to Woodstock and it's all Emma Frost's fault." She shook her head. "X-Men are weird."