Disclaimer: I cannot lay claim to the Indy franchise… though I can claim I've seen the fourth movie four times in theatres and gone on the ride thrice.

AN: My second story outside of the LotR fandom! I'm trying desperately to get back into the fanfiction groove, and the plot bunnies suddenly attacked, so I thought (as I was beating them off unsuccessfully with a stick) I might as well test the waters… Enjoy!

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"Absolutely not!"

The authoritative shout rang through the house, startling the movers and causing them to nearly drop a heavy chest of drawers.

The person emitting this battle cry was none other than Indiana Jones, archaeologist extraordinaire. He stood directly on the threshold of his front door, arms crossed and hazel eyes snapping. He leveled a finger at the offender. "There will be no such thing in my house. I absolutely forbid it."

Mutt looked back at him, not moving an inch. "There's not a thing you can do about it, pops. Even Mom came around eventually."

"I refuse to believe it. Marion would do no such thing."

"Yeah well, maybe if you'd been around, you could have said something about it then! It's too late now, this isn't something that you can just quit"

"It's never too late, Mutt." Indy made calming gestures, overlooking his son's first comment. He was more focused on the thing cradled protectively in Mutt's hands. "It's just not healthy. Nothing like that will come into my house."

Mutt glared.

The movers, having deposited the chest of drawers in the living room, hovered behind Indiana, wondering if they would be ahead to just go out the back door in order to stay out of this mini-war, and trying very hard not to laugh.

The archaeologist sighed, fighting the urge to take a very large step back. "I simply can't believe Marion agreed to this."

"You're repeating yourself old man, getting a little sketchy with the memory? I can't believe you're going to pick a fight about this."

"It's 'Dad', Junior. And I have no problem repeating this: that thing isn't coming into this house."

The teenager flushed angrily. "Don't call me that. And don't call her a thing. She's got a name you know." He stroked the python's smooth head.



"Now I know we're not related. What kind of kid has a pet snake?" Indy's tone suggested the very idea was more sacrilegious than allowing a priceless ancient scroll to fall into the bathtub. Seeing Mutt's solid stance, the characteristic stubbornness that seemed to run rampant in the Jones' genes, he pointed. "You stay right there." Turning on his heel he went in search of the one person he could count on to make this six foot long, scaly problem go away.

--

"He keeps the snake."

Indy's jaw dropped. "What?"

Marion ran a hand through her hair and surveyed the new furnishing arrangements with a critical eye. "There's only one thing in this world that Mutt loves more than Bianca, and it's sitting in the driveway with the sun sparkling off the chrome. " She turned her gaze to her husband, who was looking equally shocked and discomfited.

"Actually, I'm not so sure he should keep that either."

"Jones!"

"Marion, he drives like a maniac. He'll get killed on it one day, if the snake doesn't eat him first."

His bride glared, a sure reminder that she was willing to battle this out, and likely to win. "Indy, if you try to do that, you'll drive him out of the house."

"He's old enough to get an apartment!"

"He's already upset about going back to school."

"No son of mine will be a drop-out! He's going to finish school, if it kills him and me both!"

And it probably will, Marion thought, shaking her head. Her boys were always at odds lately, whether it was over Mutt's choices in friends or clothes, or Indy's constant badgering to get ready to go back to school. Now it was over the snake.

"Look Indy," she said soothingly, "He bought Bianca with his own money three years ago. He looks after her, buys her mice—" the archaeologist flinched, "—he takes good care of her. It teaches him responsibility," she added as she saw her husband balking.

Indy softened. Marginally.

--

It was some hours later, with the movers finished and gone, that Indy found his crazy, snake loving son reclining in an easy chair and playing with his switchblade.

"Where's the uh…"



Mutt didn't even look up. "She's in her aquarium. In my room. Where she's going to stay. Got it Pops?"

Irritation welled, but Indy fought it down. Marion and her alternating admonitions and womanly charms (damn them!) still stood out in his mind. He wasn't going to let his son get under his skin. "Actually, that's not what I was going to say."

The switchblade stopped it's flipping dance. Mutt was quiet, but Indy knew his ears were perking. "I talked it over with your mom and—" his face twisted, "—the snake can stay."

Mutt sat up, staring in surprise. "Really? Uh, not that you could have stopped it anyways—"

"Don't tempt me, Junior." Indy turned to leave the room, saying over his shoulder, "And if that thing ever gets out of the tank and I find it in the bathtub, I'll have me a new snake skin belt."

The teenager sank back into the chair, eyes going dreamy with plans to employ if he was ever forced to do something horrible… like wear a suit to the first day of school.

--

End