Wilderness Experience

Rating: T for profanity, snark and complete lack of plot

Characters: Scott, Warren, Logan. Many others mentioned.

Summary: Scott's enthusiastic about camping. No one else is.

All standard disclaimers apply. I own no one and nothing but Darwin the Beagle and Lola the Siamese cat. I deny the existence of "X3," I haven't seen "Wolverine" and my grasp of canon is iffy. Odds are I'll be laid off soon, so good luck trying to sue me. Many thanks to Rachel_martin64 for the beta. Is she awesome or what?

Wilderness Experience

By ridesandruns

"You know what they say about insanity, Scott," Warren intoned.

Logan looked up from his beer and snorted. "That it involves listening to you, Birdbrain?"

"Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Much like attempting to have an intelligent discussion with you, Logan," Warren said pleasantly. "Or in Scott's case, dragging people camping and expecting it to turn out well."

"Stop being so negative," Scott said from his spot on the rec room couch. Lola, his Siamese cat, sprawled in his lap, butted her head against his hand and purred as he petted her. "It'll be a nice weekend trip. A bunch of older students with a group of highly trained, extremely intelligent adults. Plus Logan. What could go wrong?"

"You really don't remember the last time you dragged us all camping?" Warren asked. "You were inches away from a multistate killing spree. At the end, midway through a hellacious death march you termed 'a little hike,' I innocently asked you why you made us do it – "

"No," Scott interrupted. "Midway through an hour of you whining, 'My feet hurt.' 'I want water.' 'My apple sprayed on me and now I'm sticky.' 'There's dirt out here.' 'It's windy.' 'The sun's too hot.' "

"— I innocently asked you why we were doing it, and you whipped around and shrieked, 'Because it's relaxing!' You were so stressed your glasses were doing that strobing thing and we were all sure you were going to blast us." Warren turned to Logan. "It was a precursor to what his mood would be when you came into our lives."

"You went camping with Tweety, Summers?" Logan asked. "You're dumber than I thought."

"Camping helps build character," Scott said stubbornly. "We all learn things about ourselves. It was on a camping trip that Bobby learned he could take on his ice form, remember?"

"He learned that because he mistook your bag of wasabi peas for green M&Ms and threw a handful into his mouth at once," Warren said. "Get it through your head, Summers – nothing good ever comes out of your camping trips."

"Plenty of good things come out of my camping trips," Scott countered. He smiled. "Jean and I finally got together on a camping trip, remember?"

"Jesus Christ," Logan said incredulously. "Tell me you weren't wearing a Boy Scout uniform."

"Shut up, Hairball," Scott snapped. "She wanted to go camping, and things just kind of happened. The whole thing was kind of an accident."

Logan snorted. "Jean being with you is more of a natural disaster, kid. It's a freak show. It's – "

"Actually," Warren interrupted, "it was a plot. Scott and Emma had just broken up, and Jean was all set to make her move. So she invited him camping to get him alone. But because Scott was oblivious to all this – to this day he insists their relationship was all his idea – he invited Bobby to go camping, too."

"Jean was not 'making a move,'" Scott said icily. "And I asked Bobby along because he's like my kid brother and I thought camping would be good for him."

"And Bobby begged Hank to come because he was afraid of the dark and didn't want to admit it to Scott," Warren went on. "And Hank asked me to come because he knew Jean would be pissed – hell hath no fury like a sexually frustrated redhead – and he figured she'd be more likely to take it out on me."

"Can't imagine why," Logan said. "It ain't like you're annoying or nuthin'."

"We did have some minor problems on that trip, but it had nothing to do with me and Jean, much less any 'plot,'" Scott said. "It was mostly a lot of whining by people who clearly didn't understand what camping entails."

"No," Warren said. "It had to do with your Hitlerian management style, which was then in its embryonic stages. It's gotten worse since."

"This is what happened," Scott said, exasperated. "We went off on a nice little trip upstate, and apparently I was the only one who'd ever been on a camping expedition. Or outdoors at all, apparently. So there I am, trapped in the middle of the woods with someone who's convinced he's about to be eaten by bears and begging me to check him for ticks every few hours – "

"Bobby," Warren clarified.

"– someone who feels compelled to point out the potential dangers of every piece of flora and fauna he sees, apparently doing his level best to convince us we're all about to die – "

"Hank," Warren said.

"– someone who's complaining about missing a weekly pedicure appointment – "

"Jean. No, wait – I think that was me," Warren said, frowning.

" – and someone who's whining nonstop about the absence of running water and air conditioning in a state park."

"Oh, right – that was me," Warren said. "And I had a point. Skipping showers is bad enough, but skipping showers when you're sleeping on dirt? Who the hell lives like that? Besides you, obviously," he told Logan.

"Fucking candyass," Logan said. "What's your idea of roughing it? Giving your butler an afternoon off?"

"Kindly keep your attention focused on Scott's ass," Warren said. "Contrary to what you may think, I know how to 'rough it.' I once spent three whole days in Queens, for God's sake." He shuddered. "What I remember best about that camping trip – well, one of the things I remember best about it, besides the misery, the fighting, the bugs and the yelling – is that when it came time to go to bed, everyone wanted to share a tent with Scott. Jean, so she could jump him; Bobby, so he could survive the bear attack he was sure was coming; and Hank and me because we couldn't get our tents pitched. I hadn't seen so much jockeying to sleep with Scott since that time Betsy, Emma and Jean were under one roof."

"Who's Betsy?" Logan said with interest.

"Never mind," Scott said coldly.

"She's another member of Scott's telepathic harem," Warren said. "She's a model. Don't mention her name when Jean's around unless you want stitches."

"What is it with Prettyboy and the 'paths?" Logan marveled.

"He's got telepath mojo," Warren said. "He gets pissy when people comment on it, though."

"Could the two of you shut the hell up?" Scott snarled.

"See?" Warren said.

"So anyway," Scott went on, "we all ended up sleeping by ourselves because of all the fighting. And poor Bobby spent the whole night freaked about bears, thanks to Warren and Hank telling him they were coming for him because he was the youngest."

"That's not actually what happened," Warren said. "Drake's an idiot, and he failed to grasp the sophisticated jokes Hank and I were making about Jean trying to get into your pants."

Scott looked at him blankly.

"C'mon! All the talk about predators preying on the young? How dense can you be?"

"You really gotta ask?" Logan said. "What, you think Jeannie likes him for his brains?"

"Go to hell," Scott said.

"Well, you may not have gotten it, but Jean did," Warren said. "That's how Hank got that scar above his left eyebrow."

"Sounds like it was worth it, though," Logan put in.

"So let me get this straight," Scott said. "You scare the hell out of poor Bobby when you're really just trying to yank Jean's chain."

"Well, yes, but it's not as mean as you make it sound," Warren said. "We were really just trying to piss off Jean. Freaking out Drake was kind of an unexpected bonus."

"So on that camping trip you learned Tweety's a sadistic little shit, huh?" Logan said.

"Show a little gratitude," Warren said. "I'm trying to warn you of just how horrible this trip's going to be. So you don't start whining when Scott forces you to do a 10-mile hike up a mountain carrying his demon cat in a backpack."

"Get real," Scott scoffed. "Lola's not coming. You know she doesn't like the outdoors. She and Darwin are staying home."

"And a chill just ran down my spine," Warren muttered. "Under no circumstances am I baby-sitting Beelzelbub the beagle and/or Satan the Siamese cat, you understand?"

"Give it a rest," Scott said. "Our pets are not that bad."

"Your dog is a four-footed force of destruction and your cat is pure evil," Warren countered. "Even Logan's terrified of her."

"Like fuck I'm terrified of her," Logan snapped.

"Logan's not terrified of the cat," Scott clarified. "He's terrified of the jet. He's merely afraid of the cat."

"Fuck you, cupcake," Logan said. "I ain't the one shitting my pants about pet-sitting. Christ, Birdbrain, could you be a bigger wuss?"

"I suppose so, yes," Warren said. "I could start baking cookies for the dog. Found any new recipes lately, Rachel Ray?"

"Fuck you," Logan snapped. "They ain't cookies, they're biscuits."

"How Anglophilic of you," Warren said.

"The professor said he'll watch Lola," Scott broke in. "And Jean probably won't even go – she's got some experiment going – so she'll watch Darwin herself."

"Oh, Jean will go," Warren said. "She's seen the way Missing Link looks at your ass and she's seen 'Brokeback Mountain.' Trust me, she's not letting the two of you run off into the wilderness without her."

"Summers?" Logan said. "If I gut him right here you'll clean up the mess, right? Feed his guts to the cat or something?"

"Don't be ridiculous," Scott said. "First of all, Lola won't eat raw food. Second of all, that rug's not Scotchguarded."

"You know, the wit in this room is on a par with the joys of camping with Scott and listening to him and Jean go at it like bunnies in their tent while the rest of us ate sodden S'mores in a downpour and listened to Hank reel off the symptoms of Lyme disease and all the places ticks carrying it could hide on our bodies," Warren said. "No, wait, it's not even that good."

"Why do you care so much if Scooter goes camping or not?" Logan asked. "It ain't like he's drafting you into going. I'm the one who's gonna have to watch Captain Tightass make the kids put up tents fucking counterclockwise or whatever the hell he's bitching about."

"And I'm the one who's going to have to listen to Logan tell us that real men trap game in the zippers of their sleeping bags," Scott said.

"I'm the one who has to listen to the whining," Warren said. "It doesn't matter if I'm there or not. Everyone bitches to me. Mark my words, Scott – by the time you come back from this, you and Jean won't be speaking, teenage friendships will have shattered, and you'll be begging us to get you a Wolverine piñata for Christmas. And worst of all, I'll be molting from the stress of hearing about it."

"Don't be an idiot," Scott said. "I can build a Wolverine piñata on my own. Go to the Danger Room and call up Scenario 5 to see. Or Scenario 7. Or anything from 4-19, really."

"Don't go camping, Scott," Warren urged. "It's illegal to inflict cruel and unusual punishment on others."

"Oh, for God's sake," Scott snapped. He sighed and rubbed his forehead. "You know, listening to you bitch has kind of soured me on this. Maybe we shouldn't do this now." He brightened. "You know what would be good? Whitewater rafting! We can take the kids down a river somewhere."

"Right," Warren said, nodding gravely. "Whitewater rafting. All of you going down a river in an inflatable boat with a twitchy guy with knives in his hands and at least one kid who can generate electricity. What could go wrong?"

"Just why the hell are you always so negative?" Scott said.

Warren snorted. "It's something I learned on your camping trips."