Disclaimer: Don't sue us.  We're poor and destitute urchins who have to survive by selling our fanfic on the streets.  The song 'Bad Reputation' belongs to the incomparable Joan Jett.  The X-Men belong to themselves. 

Rating: R

Summary: Unsatisfied with her life as a wife and mother, Jean Grey seeks out an unlikely companion. 

Author's Note: A 'missing time' companion piece to 'Back Where the Sun Can Find You'.  Please read that piece first.

Feedback and Archiving: Sure, why not.  Knock yourself out, kid.

Shameless Webpage Plug: Addie L.: www.angelfire.com/scifi/addielogan .  GambitG.: www.angelfire.com/scifi/nextx . 

Bad Reputation

By: GambitGirl and Addie Logan

I don't give a damn
About my reputation
You're living in the past
It's a new generation
Hey, a girl can do
What she wants to do
And that's what I'm gonna do
And I don't give a damn
About my bad reputation
Oh no
No, no, no, no, no, no, no
Not me
Me, me, me, me, me, me

And I don't give a damn
About my reputation
I never said I wanted
To improve my station
And I'm only feeling good
When I'm having fun
And I don't have
To please no one

And I don't give a damn
About my bad reputation
Oh no
No, no, no, no, no, no, no
Not me
Me, me, me, me, me, me
Oh no
No, no, no, no, no, no, no
Not me
Me, me, me, me, me, me

And I don't give a damn
About my reputation
I've never been
Afraid of any deviation
And I don't really care

If I'm strange
I ain't gonna change

And I'm never gonna care
About my bad reputation
Oh no
No, no, no, no, no, no, no
Not me
Me, me, me, me, me, me
Oh no
No, no, no, no, no, no, no
Not me
Me, me, me, me, me, me
Break it down

And I don't give a damn
About my reputation
The world's in trouble
There's no communication
And everyone can say
What they want to say
It never gets better anyway

So why should I care
About a bad reputation, anyway
Oh no
No, no, no, no, no, no, no
Not me
Me, me, me, me, me, me
Oh no
No, no, no, no, no, no, no
Not me
Me, me, me, me, me, me

Oh no
No, no, no, no, no, no, no
Not me
Me, me, me, me, me, me
Oh no
No, no, no, no, no, no, no
Not me
Me, me, me, me, me, me

*** *** ***

"This is all your fault!  I hate you!  I hate you IhateyouIhateyou!"

"Hon, you did have something to do with it."

Jean screamed at the top of her lungs. "Don't start with that now, you asshole. This is your fault. All bad things are your fault!"

"You wanted a baby, Jean."

"Well, you're the one who wanted to come to this frozen wasteland you call Alaska, and now I'm having the baby in the back of the fucking Blackbird!"

"Jean, you have to push now," said Beast, calm in the face of Jean's hissy fit.

"Fuck off, Hank!" Jean shrieked at an even louder volume as another contraction gripped her.  "I hate all of you!  You should all DIE!"

Beast raised a fuzzy blue eyebrow, but decided it was better not to argue with one of the world's most powerful telepaths when she was in labor. Scott reached down and took his wife's hand. "Honey, I love you. We are going to make it through this."

"WE? What's with all this we crap? I'm the one pushing something the size of a watermelon out of my…"

"Jean, I can see the head!" Beast exclaimed.

"Dear God," said Scott.  He dropped to the floor with a thud, presumably out cold. 

"Serves you right, bastard!" Jean screamed at his prone body. 

"Push!" commanded Beast.

"YOU push, you fucking sadist!" Jean yelled. 

"Jean," Beast replied. "If you'd simply push harder, this would all be over much sooner."

Jean began to push with all her might. "Wouldn't it be easier if I just telekinetically ripped this damn baby outta me?!"

"I don't believe that would be a good thing…"

Jean screamed loud enough that had Banshee been in the room, he'd probably be deaf.

"Got it!" Beast exclaimed.  "It's a girl, Jean.  A beautiful baby."

"I know that," Jean snapped, falling back on the bed and panting mightily.  "Why wouldn't she be beautiful?"  The baby began to cry as Beast clipped the umbilical cord and wrapped her in a pink hospital blanket emblazoned with an 'X'.  Jean moaned and put a hand over her eyes.  "Can you shut that off, Beast?  I have the mother of all headaches."  Hank looked at her askance, but concluded it must be the drugs talking, and leaned over to wake up Scott and show him his new daughter.

Two months later…

Jean was sitting in the bed, sulking. It was the first time since Rachel's birth that she'd gotten any of Scott's attention, and now he was gone again. Run to the store to buy more formula, he'd said.  Rachel was sound asleep in her crib, why the formula couldn't wait until morning Jean had no idea.  If she woke up hungry, well, she'd cry herself back to sleep eventually.  Hank had told her breast-feeding was best, but she'd consulted with her other doctor and he told her that it could possibly have a negative effect on earlier surgery she had had.

She heard Scott come in the kitchen door and put the formula in the fridge.  His feet sounded heavy on the stairs, slower than usual.  Jean quickly hid the book she'd been reading under the pillow, kicked off her footie socks and stripped off her huge Xavier School t-shirt, leaving just her bra and underwear.

Scott came into the bedroom and walked right past her, grabbing his nightclothes from the back of a chair and going into the bathroom. Jean crossed her arms over her chest and glared at the bathroom door, waiting for Scott to come out. When he finally did, he simply muttered, "night, hon," before turning off the light.

Jean made a frustrated noise low in her throat, then turned towards him in the dark, sliding one leg over his and running her right hand up the front of his pajama shirt.  "Hey, Slim."

Scott groaned. "Jean, I'm tired."

"I want you," she whispered in his ear.

"I know. Later. Sleep now."

Jean sat up, glaring at her husband's back. "Scott, I want sex. NOW."

Scott groaned again. "Jean, hon, I love you, but right now I'm just too tired. I've been with Rachel all day. A two-month old baby can really take it out of you." "Not that you would've noticed," he added to himself.  He didn't even care if Jean read his thought just then.  Jean squeezed his butt with one hand.

"Scott, this is not a negotiation.  I'm horny."

"I'm TIRED," he shouted, sitting up and turning on the light.  "Look, I was up at six am to boot up Cerebro for Storm's danger room run, and then I couldn't get back to sleep because the baby was fussy, and I've been teaching classes all day, and I took Ray to the park and played with her blocks and read her two bedtime stories and got baby puke on me at suppertime and now I WANT TO SLEEP!"

"Well I want to…"

"JEAN!" Scott yelled, at his breaking point. "Look, let me put it this way, as tired as I am, I probably couldn't if I wanted to."

Jean threw her hands in the air. "Great, just great. What, do you need a little blue pill now, Scott."

Scott flopped back on the bed. "Jean, just shut up and go to sleep."  She pursed her lips in a cute way, the way she had when they were in high school, and kissed him softly on the lips. 

"Sorry, hon.  Guess I didn't realize you'd had a full day."  He heaved a sigh.

"It's okay, Jean."  He slid an arm around her shoulder and switched the light back off.  "I'm just kind of irritable.  This whole baby thing is still a little confusing." 

"I know," cooed Jean.  "And you're doing such a good job for a new dad."  She nuzzled into his chest.  "I love you."

Scott was about to say he loved her, too, when he felt her hand sneak past his waist band. He grabbed her hand and moved it away. "Go to sleep, Jean."

"Slim…"

Scott stood up and grabbed his pillow. "Good night."

"Where are you going."

"Couch."

"Scott!"

"Good night!" he yelled again, before storming out and slamming the door.

Jean continued to sit up in bed and pout. Sometimes, she hated being married…

Rachel Summers-Grey did not want to drink her formula.  She let out a high-pitched sound and swatted the bottle out of Jean's hand, spilling the white substance down the front of her red Marc Jacobs sweater.

"Shi-oo-t," said Jean, turning the same color as the top. 

"Nah," said Rachel, a contented look on her face.  Jean sighed and thrust the bottle back in her daughter's mouth.  Rachel puffed out her cheeks to catch the liquid and then spit, nailing Jean in the face. 

"Whoopsie," said Jubilee, who was eating at the kitchen table with Wolverine.  "You not hungry this morning, Rachel?"

"Nah," said Rachel again, pouting. 

Jean glared at Jubilee. "This thing only eats for Scott," she said.

"Probably 'cause ya treat her like a 'thing,'" Logan remarked.

Jean glared daggers at him.  "Would you care to try?" she snarled.  Logan pushed his chair back from the table and came over, taking the nearly empty bottle from Jean in a businesslike manner.

"Glad to, Red."  He wiped the dribbles off Rachel's face with his bare hand and then put a few drops of formula on his finger.  He held it near the baby's mouth for a moment, and then deftly slipped the finger, with the formula, between her lips.  Rachel sucked greedily.  "Ouch," said Logan.  "Strong little runt."  He replaced his finger with the bottle's nipple.

"Geeeeee," said Rachel around the bottle, as she drank it down.  Jubilee burst into a round of applause at the table.

Jean gave her a look that clearly said, "If I didn't have the bug up my ass that forced me to follow Xavier's laws of ethics, I'd give you an aneurysm."

Jubilee returned a look that said "Well you do, so bite me." 

"She's still hungry," said Logan as Rachel drained the bottle and began to wail. 

"I swear to Christ above, this thing eats enough for three kids," said Jean.  "You've had enough!" she yelled at her screaming daughter.

Jubilee jumped up from her chair, grabbed more formula from the stove where it was in a pan to keep warm, took the bottle from Wolverine, refilled it, and gave it back to her husband. "Most of it's on your over-priced sweater, Jean," she said coldly.  Jean started to reply, but Scott came in, looking tired and hung over.  He was still in his pajamas and bare feet. 

"Morning," he mumbled, and then saw Wolverine holding the baby bottle.  "Um," he said.  Logan turned a dark shade of red. 

"Here," he said, shoving the bottle at Scott.  "I was just, ah, testin' the temperature." 

"Sure you were," Scott muttered. He mechanically took the baby from Jean and sat down to feed little Rachel. Rachel seemed much happier now that her father was in the room.

"Morning, sweetheart," Jean said to Scott. Scott didn't reply, keeping his focus on Rachel.

"How's my little ray of sunshine?" he asked the baby.  Scott, too, seemed happier when he had his daughter.  The ray of sunshine gurgled happily and spit up on Scott's pajamas.

"There's a problem in our marriage, Jean."

Jean looked up, surprised that Scott would have the guts to state the obvious so bluntly. "Whatever do you mean, my darling?"

Scott contemplated telling her exactly what he had been thinking about her recently, but decided against it. She'd only throw things—again. "It's about Rachel," he said, deciding to be as diplomatic about it as possible.  Jean smiled, almost in relief, it seemed.

"I've been wanting to talk to you about that too, hon…"

"And the way you're acting towards her," Scott finished.  Like a submarine hatch slamming shut, Jean's face fell back into a frown.  "Man the battle stations," Scott thought. 

"I'm a good mother, Scott."

"Yeah, maybe back in Victorian England when everyone had a nanny! You begged me to have a baby with you, Jean, and now you've just left Rachel completely to me. All you wanted was a pretty little baby to complete the façade of a perfect family, but now that she's born you treat her more like an inconvience!"

"Well, I didn't realize how much work a baby would be! I don't have any time for me anymore!"

"That's life, Jean. Face it."

"You don't seem to have any problem with spending all your time with you 'little ray of sunshine,'" Jean mocked.

Scott considered fleetingly taking off his visor and knocking her through a wall, but decided that would be a bad thing. "Don't tell me you're jealous of the time I spend with Rachel."

"I'm supposed to be the more important person in your life."

"You're messed up Jean. Get some therapy or something." Scott grabbed his coat and stated to walk out.  He turned back at the door.  "When two people have a baby, that's the consummate affirmation of their relationship.  That child should become more important than their life.  I'd die for Rachel.  She is my life now.  If you don't want to be a part of it, I really don't have a problem any more."

"You couldn't make it without me, Summers, and you know it. I'm what keeps you     strong. Without me, you'd still be the scared little boy I met when I first came here who didn't even have the guts to look at me."

"I wish you were still the girl you were then, Jean."

"Why?"

"Because I could love her." Scott walked out.

Jean waited for Scott to come back and apologize.  Maybe even cry a little.  It had happened before.  But an hour passed, and then two, and then four.  Soon it was almost one a.m.  Scott hadn't come back.  Jean slapped her book shut and went downstairs to lock the front door with a new code.  Serve the arrogant prick right if he had to sleep outside.

She went down to the main room and saw that Logan was still awake, watching television and drinking beer from a can in his crude, overly-manly way. Jean rolled her eyes, figuring he was probably watching naked midget mud wrestling or something like that. She was shocked to hear that he was actually watching CNN. She shrugged. Even people as perfect as her could be surprised.

An evil smile crossed Jean's face as she got an idea. She stomped on her own foot as hard as she could, making tears form in her eyes. She walked into the living room, sniffing.

"Hey, Red."

"Hey, Logan," she said sadly.

"Scott stormed outta here a few hours ago with some suitcases an' Rachel sayin' somethin' about how he couldn't stand bein' trapped in a Hell with Satan herself."

Jean's jaw dropped. "He…he said that?"

"Somethin' like that. Might've just been, 'I'm goin' to see my grandparents fer a while,' but I'm pretty sure he said the other thing."  Jean sniffled louder.

"I don't know why he's being so mean to me.  I'm trying my best.  I am!  I'm not perfect you know."  She cried a few tears. 

"Gee, ya think," Logan muttered. "I figure Scooter just wised up. You've been a bitch to him ever since Rachel was born. And not like you were exactly wife of the year ever since he finally came back from that whole Apocalypse mergin' thing."

"Well, I tried!" Jean said at a pitch high enough to make Logan wince in pain. "It wasn't easy with Scott always talking about himself and how being bonded with a homicidal maniac made him feel! I have feelings, too, you know! I want to be touched, loved, made to feel like a woman."

Logan almost spit his beer across the room at that last part. "Jean, the man almost died. He came back bitter and broken. Cut him some slack." As much as he'd hated Scott in the past, Wolverine understood what he must be going through this time.

"I tried," sobbed Jean.  "God knows, I tried.  But he'd get so violent sometimes, Logan.  So…unpredictable.  I was afraid for myself.  It's not easy to live like that.  It…it wears on you."  She dropped down on the couch next to him and buried her face in her hands.  "I want to love him, but I can't any more."  She looked up.  "Where's Jubilee?  Usually you two are glued at the hip."

"My wife is out with Rogue. She'll be back later."

"When?"

Logan shifted uncomfortably. "Uh, later. Or sooner. Could be any minute now."

Jean moved closer, batting her eyelashes. "You remember the sex between us, Logan?" she asked in a sultry voice.

Logan turned very pale. "Uh, yeah, um, I guess." The thought made him nauseous.

"Wasn't it great?" she purred. "I remember how you always made me scream."

Logan moved down the couch and Jean all but crawled to him. "You were the best I ever had, Wolverine. You were so…feral."

Logan had the urge to wear a pink shirt and watch ballet if it would get Jean away from him. "Yeah, I'm, uh, the best there is at what I do," he said flippantly.

"I know…"

"Look, Jean, I have to go. I promised Jubilee, I'd, uh, do the laundry." Logan hoped sexy, feral men didn't do their wives' laundry in the middle of the night.

"You're going to do her laundry?" She smiled. "Do me instead. We've done it in the laundry room before…"

Logan gave up all pretenses of wanting to put Jean off nicely.  He had the urge to scream and run as far away as he could get from her. "Look, woman. I have a wife. She's the best I've ever had, and to tell ya the truth, I wouldn't touch you again if I was the last male on earth and you were the last female on earth and I had to sleep with ya strictly fer the survival of the species."

"I don't believe that," Jean said. "Jubilee won't be home soon. She needn't know anything."  She leaned into him, tongue practically in his mouth.  "And if you want, I'll pretend I'm the last female on earth.  Rrow."

Logan all but threw her off of him. "Stay away. BACK!"

"Logan?"

"I don't want to have sex with you! Do ya hear me? Logan, Jean equal no sex! Got it!?"

"What are you saying, Logan?"

Logan let out a feral growl, one of rage, not sexuality.  "I don't want ta screw yer skanky ass, Red!  Ya read me?!"

Jean's lip trembled and she started to cry.

"Oh fer Pete's sake!" Logan yelled, sounding rather Canadian. He turned around and stormed upstairs, deciding that maybe if he left she'd just leave him the hell alone.

Jean glared at his back as he walked away. As soon as he was gone, she sat down to plot her revenge.

"Jean, are you sure you want to do this?"  Beast was standing in her doorway watching her pack. 

"More than sure," said Jean.  "Damn sure.  Thanks for that phone number, by the way, Hank.  That guy knew a really great divorce lawyer."  Beast shifted uncomfortably. 

"I can't help feeling rather like Shakespeare's Brutus in all this."

"Yeah, well, at least in Julius Caesar that lucky woman was barren," Jean muttered.

Beast looked at her in shock. "Jean…"

Jean grabbed her bag, slung it over her shoulder, then walked over and kissed Hank on the cheek. "Wish me luck, Henry."

"I'm afraid I can't do that," Hank said quietly once Jean had left.

"Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking.  We have some inclement weather conditions in Vancouver, so our flight to that destination, with continuing service to Anchorage, Alaska, is being rerouted to Seattle.  We are sorry for any delays this may cause in your travel plans."

"Oh shit!" Jean yelled, getting her weird looks from the people around her. She gave them her "daggers of death" look and they quickly went back to their random magazines, crossword puzzles, and cheap books.

Jean tried to get back to reading her Dara Joy novel and transporting herself into the realm of one of her favorite romance heroes—Viscount Sexton—but her mind was far too entrenched in real life for once. Seattle. What in the world was there for her to do in Seattle? She wanted to get up to Anchorage and tell Scott it was officially over before she had another mood swing and changed her mind.  She also had a set of papers, drawn up by Hank's lawyer, that challenged her soon-to-be ex-husband for custody of Rachel.  Jean smiled slightly.  She'd like to see what the courts thought of a mutant who could level mountains caring for a precious two month old.

Jean spent the rest of the plane ride smiling like the Cheshire Cat.

Seattle was gray.  Jean had only been there once or twice before, but she never remembered the city being this depressing.  Maybe it was because it was the dead of winter, but a permanent cloud cover seemed to hang over the ugly, uniform skyscrapers that made up the Seattle skyline.  In her bad mood Jean didn't noticed the evergreens, mountains and mist that softened the scenery and made it almost pleasant. 

Jean was fuming at the news she'd just received. The flight was delayed for almost two days. Something about a blizzard in Vancouver. They were Canadian—didn't they know how to deal with snow in a manner that it wouldn't inconvenience her? Now she was stuck in Seattle, which she decided was even worse than being stuck in Westchester. And now there were two days between her and phase one of operation end marriage.

Jean snatched the hotel information from the flight attendant's hand and stomped off, not even caring if she knocked into random people.  

All of the hotels the stupid flight woman had given her were booked.  Jean tried everything, screaming, bribery, batting her eyelashes, and even a Motel Six.  Finally, she decided she'd have to come up with something better. Maybe she could go to a bar and pick someone up, getting a room and revenge on her husband in one move. She'd have to be careful where she went, though. Cheap bars equaled nasty, un-doable men. Couldn't be something too incredibly nice, either. Nice bars equaled married men.  Jean instructed the cab driver to take her some place where she could have a 'good time'.  The driver suggested his apartment.  Jean switched cabs, and got dropped at The Black Room.

Inside, Jean knew almost instantly she was out of place.  The bar was done, as the name claimed, in black, with a cherrywood bar that was varnished to an almost blood red, and a dance floor that was lit by strategically placed blacklights.  She ducked into the women's room, ditched her Louis Vuitton purse and pumps, and took off her sweater to reveal her low-cut black tshirt.  She unpinned her hair and messed it up, trying to look wild and carefree. 

She went to the bar, batting her eyes at every man that walked by, but no one seemed to be paying her any attention. Jean wondered if it was too dark for anyone to see her, since there should've been men crawling all over her by now.

"You smell as good as always, frail."

Jean sat up straighter, her eyes wide. She knew that voice, but it couldn't be—could it? "Victor?" she asked meekly.

"The one and only," he said with a grin that managed to be feral and charming at the same time. "What have you been up to since the runt got a new whore?"

Jean looked indignant. "You have no right to talk to me like that," she said, trying not to appear afraid. She refused to turn around and face him.

Victor breathed in. "I can smell yer fear, frail. Smells good."  Jean felt her hands shaking and placed them palms-down on the bar to steady herself.  She turned slowly to look at Creed. 

"I'm glad to hear that, Victor," she said in what she hoped was a snooty and uninterested tone.  It came out fine except for the high-pitched squeek at the end.

"Heh heh heh," Victor said. "I guess I can see what the runt saw in ya. Ya look like maybe you were a good lay."

Jean felt her cheeks burn.  "I am not!" she shouted.  A real smile broke on Victor's face, and something that could have been a chuckle rumbled out of his chest.  

"Sorry to hear that. I was hopin' maybe I could test you out for myself. Ya got a real nice ass there, Red."

Jean started to tell him she would rather die than sleep with him—and then hope he didn't try to push that particular issue on either side—but then got a better idea. What better way to get her revenge on Scott and Logan than by sleeping with Victor Creed of all people. Besides, he looked sort of handsome.  His spiky blond hair was slicked back from his forehead, and he must have actually found a razor somewhere because his face was free of stubble.  He had on a nice suit, too…Cerruti, custom-tailored.  It was navy blue, and he was wearing a silk shirt and a powder-blue tie to complement it.  Jean conceded he was better dressed than any X-Man she knew at the moment. 

"You mentally comparin' me to the runt and figuring out that I'm really the best?" he quipped after she stared at him for a few moments.

Jean shook her head, as if breaking herself out of a trance. "No," she said, placing a hand against his chest. "Not really." She lowered her voice, making it as sensual as possible. "I just never realized how incredibly sexy and virile you are before."

Victor raised an eyebrow. Sexy and virile? Oh well, a woman was a woman, and this one used to belong to Logan so she had bonus points. Maybe he could convince her to wear a gag.

"Your place or mine, big boy?" Jean purred.

Victor winced inwardly, deciding a gag was definitely the way to go. "Um, not in the mood for any X-freaks tonight, so how about mine?"  She winked at him.

"Good choice.  You got a car?"

"Actually, I came here by leaping from rooftop to rooftop, using a large stick to propel myself," he said.  Jean fluttered her eyelashes over her impossibly green eyes. 

"Really?"  Victor wondered why exactly the runt had dumped this women and decided he had a few ideas.  He already wanted to get rid of her, and he hadn't even slept with her yet.

"No, not really. I have a car. Several in fact, although I can only manage to drive one at a time. Who do ya think I am, Gambit? I don't travel by stick."  Jean laughed and threw back her head, exposing her breasts.  Victor looked at them obligingly.  He wondered absent-mindedly just how much she had paid for them.

"I never realized what a wonderful sense of humor you have, Vic."

Creed suppressed the flare of rage, and wondered if she was really worth it. He could screw anyone he wanted, and, well, he wasn't sure if he actually wanted her. But she was Jean, and one of his top things to do before he died was to screw every woman Logan had—which made him a very busy man.  He grabbed Jean by the arm and hauled he after him towards the door.  "Come on.  It ain't gettin' any earlier and I ain't gettin' any hornier."

Jean looked offended. He ignored her and dragged her out of the club. The sooner he got this over with the better. Maybe he'd have enough time to find a better quality woman afterwards.

Jean was awoken the next morning—early—by something sharp jabbing her in the shoulder.  It was Creed's index talon.  She rolled over sleepily, going "Mmm?" in her sexiest bedroom voice.

"Out, frail. It's over, you were terrible, get moving."  Jean found herself on the floor, wearing nothing but a sheet. 

"What?  What?" she sputtered. 

"All right, squaky, you sound like a damn parrot. Get yer clothes on and get out before I decide to gut ya the way I should."

"But, um, you ripped my clothes off me last night, Vic. And you pulled me out of the bar so quickly last night I didn't have time to get my suitcase."

"Yeah, we all have problems," said Victor, extending the other nine of his talons.  "Get movin'.  I have things to do."

"I can't go out there naked!"

"Shoulda thought about that before ya ripped yer clothes on my talons. How about this. You keep the sheet. Smells like ya anyway, so I'd have to burn it."

"You're too kind," Jean said with a glare.

"Heh heh. You could make it into a toga if ya want."

"You're an asshole."

"Really, lady? Thanks for informin' me. Now get the fuck out of my house!" He growled at her loudly and set Jean running from the house panicking and clutching to the sheet.

Victor went to his bar, fixed himself a drink, and sat down. He grinned. It was only seven a.m. and already he was having a good day.

Jean no longer had the will to fly up to Anchorage. She had nothing but a sheet and was forced to call the mansion and ask them to come in the Blackbird and fly her home. She tried to use an illusion to make them think she was wearing real clothes, but she knew Betsy and Emma were both seeing right through it because they kept laughing. Why Betsy, Emma, and Wolverine were the ones to come get her was beyond her.

Logan watched Jean for most of the trip. "Why do ya smell like him?" Logan asked finally.

"Like who?" Jean asked with her innocent voice.

"Don't give me that shit. You know damn good and well who I mean."

"My personal life is none of your business, Wolverine. You left it."

"I was thrown out when you left me, Jeannie. Not that I'm not eternally grateful to you for that now." He made a little show out of turning his wedding ring around his finger.  Emma leaned over and put her hand on Jean's naked knee.

"Don't worry, hon.  We all make mistakes in that area sooner or later." 

"I didn't do what any of you think I did."

"Right, Jean whatever you say," Betsy yelled back from the cockpit. "I'm sure you didn't just shag the homicidal maniac that gutted me. Don't know why you felt like you had to run off and find someone else, though. Scott's such an amazing lover."

Emma paled slightly.  "Betsy, that's just sick to think about.  Even Sabretooth is better than Scott."

"You slept with him too, Frosty!" yelped Betsy, in high spirits. 

"Enough!" Jean screamed, standing up sharply.  "I'm not a slut!  I'm not!  I'm not!"  Emma picked up Jean's sheet and handed it back to her.

"Might want this for the rest of the ride."

Jean turned bright red, wrapped herself back up, and sat down. "I'm not a slut," she said softly.

"Maybe you're not, but your husband is. Ask any woman in the mansion," Emma said.

Wolverine snickered.

"Scott would never sleep with anyone but me!" Jean screamed.

"Poor man," Logan muttered.

Jean leaned miserably over the toilet as her stomach rebelled once again, the last of her breakfast coming back up.  "I haven't been this sick since I was pregnant with Rachel," she muttered.

Suddenly, Jean had a realization and started screaming.  Like a woman possessed, she fled the bathroom and raced down the mansion hall to her now-single room, nearly overturning her desk as she snatched her datebook. She flipped though the pages, trying to find the last time she had marked her monthly cycle. "No…" she said softly. "Oh, God, no."

Jean crumpled down into her desk chair. It was her worst dream come true.

She was going to be forced to have yet another child.

Snow was falling softly.  Rachel loved the flakes.  She'd sit for hours in the window seat, leaving chubby handprints all over the glass as she tried to catch them.  Scott was making himself cocoa and Rachel formula with a few drops mixed in.

Scott was thinking about how happy he was now that it was just him and Rachel, back in his home of Alaska. He heard a knock at the door and put Rachel into her little bouncing chair. "Daddy will be right back, Ray-Ray."

Rachel gurgled happily.

Scott went to the door, expecting it to be his grandparents home early from their shopping trip. He was sadly disappointed. "Jean! What the hell are you doing on my doorstep?" he screamed in surprise.

Jean looked terrible.  Her hair was stringy and her eyes were bloodshot, and she looked like she'd been sleeping in a cardboard box for about a month.  "Hi, Scott," she said. 

"Come on in, it's cold out there. Wouldn't want you to possibly become anymore frozen or anything."

Jean gave him a pitiful look as she came into the cabin. "Scott, please, don't be mean to me. I'm miserable."

"And I'm supposed to care, because, why?"

"I love you, Scott. Losing you has been awful."

"Is that why you look like you've been hit by a bus?"

Jean looked down. "Not exactly."

"Jean, what's going on?"

Jean wouldn't meet his eyes.  Instead she swooped across the living room and scooped Rachel out of her bouncing chair.

"How's my baby girl?" she exclaimed with a slightly manic smile.  Rachel opened her mouth as wide as it would go and emitted a glass-shattering scream.  Scott quickly came and liberated her from Jean's embrace.

"Shhh, Ray-Ray.  It's all right." He looked back over at his estranged wife. "Jean, stop avoiding my question. Why are you suddenly here?"

Jean took a deep breath. "We're going to have another baby, Scott."

Scott stared at her for a moment, trying to compute that which made no sense. "Um, Jean, unless you're carrying the second coming of Christ, you've been messing around on me."

"What makes you say that, sweetheart?" Jean asked, batting her eyelashes.

"Because," said Scott slowly and succinctly, "we have not had sex for a long, long time."  Jean's eyes went hard.

"Not for lack of trying on my part, Slim."

"Maybe if you'd been a better mother, then we could've shared responsibilities and I wouldn't have been so exhausted all the time."

"So it comes back to me, huh? Why is everything always my fault?"

"Because it usually is!" Scott screamed. "There, I said it. I feel better now."

Jean's eyes welled with tears.  Scott was so used to the reaction he didn't even notice it. 

"Look," Jean said in her patented quavering voice.  "I just came up here to settle my accounts, and get this off my chest.  I didn't expect you to forgive me or anything so drastic."

"The only thing I'm really worried about here, Jean, is the fact that another child is going to be spending his or her whole life being neglected by you."

"You aren't going to have to think about that, Scott. I'm getting rid of it."

All the color drained from Scott's face. "What?"

"I'm having an abortion."

"You can't Jean," Scott said.

"I have to Scott. You don't understand. I can't possibly have this baby."

"Jean, I know you don't like motherhood, but really—abortion?"

"Scott—the baby's father—he's…"

"He's who, Jean. Please don't say Logan."

Jean shook her head. "No. Not Logan. Close though."

"Cut the crap and tell me, Jean."

"Sabretooth."

Seattle was still gray.  This time, Jean hardly noticed it.  The taxi driver carrying her along the winding hill road didn't so much as glance back at his fare.  The one time he did catch her in the rearview mirror, he was stunned by what a beautiful picture she made.  There was just something serene about a woman and a baby.  The kid was quiet.  She gurgled or cooed occasionally, but she didn't scream like so many kids the taxi driver ferried around.  The mother sat stiffly, her face expressionless, as the houses along the road got larger and larger and eventually dead-ended at a brick mansion with a high fence. 

"This is the address, lady," the driver said.

"Thank you," Jean said coolly. "Wait for me, will you?"

"Sure thing, ma'am."

Jean walked up to the mansion, hoping she didn't trip some wire and get herself fried. She pushed the intercom.

"What?!"

"Victor?"

"Who the hell is this?"

"It's, um, Jean Grey."

"Didn't I kick you out, skank?"

"Victor, this is important."

"Please don't tell me you're here with the freak squad or anything."

"No, just me. Well, sort of."

"Sort of. What the fuck are you talkin' about, woman?"

"You'll have to come out and see."

"Fine, but if it's anything that pisses me off, I'm killing you and using your entrails to string my volleyball net."

Jean sighed when she heard the intercom click off. A few moment later, Victor walked out in all his shirtless, feral glory. "What do you want? I was havin' a good day, and now…" he stopped short. "Uh, what's that in yer hands?"

"Blankets," Jean said nervously.

"Wrapped up in the blankets, ya freakin' moron."

"It's a baby, Victor."  For the first time in her life, Jean saw Victor Creed at a loss for words.  The snarl dropped off his face, and his green eyes locked on the tiny bundle in her arms.  He looked completely defenseless for a split second, then looked back up at her. 

"Aw, hell, woman.  It's mine, isn't it?"

Jean pulled back the part of the blanket that was covering the child's face, and Victor saw his own eyes staring back at him, only in miniature. "What do you think, Victor?" Jean asked, a little too smug for Creed's tastes.

"Boy or girl?"

"Girl."

"Name?"  Jean quit faking a happy smile.

"There's no name.  This is your mess.  I brought it back where it belongs." 

Creed felt absolute disgust for Jean. He'd done a lot of bad things in his life, but this was one of the worst things he'd ever heard. What kind of mother didn't name her child for a month—or referred to the baby as "it" for that matter?

The baby thrust a hand out of the blankets and tried to clutch at Jean's hair.  "No!" she said sharply.  The baby let out a cry.  "Quiet!" Jean commanded.  The baby had both it's arms loose now, and was waving them, trying to hold on to Jean.  "Get OFF!" Jean shouted, raising a hand to slap the small head.

Victor snatched the kid away from Jean and wrapped the blanket more tightly around the baby. "You, out. Vicky and I are going inside where it's warmer."  Jean blinked. 

"Vicky?"  Creed snarled, showing his full set of fangs.

"You got a problem with that, bitch?"  Jean regained her composure.

"No.  Why would I?  I'm going now."  Creed reached out, snared the back of her prissy blazer, and hauled her back to his side. 

"Wait just a second." 

"What?!" Jean turned on him.  "You want the kid!  I don't!  Take the brat and let me go!" 

"Oh I will," said Victor with an engaging and somehow wholly terrifying smile.  "Just as soon as you tell me the kid's really mine."  Jean cocked her head.

"Excuse me? Victor, really, I need to get going. I have a cab waiting for me, and this is on the meter."

"Tell the cab to get outta here. Larry'll take ya where ever ya need to go. Just come inside while I wait for my lawyers."

"You have lawyers?" said Jean.  Victor grinned again.

"Oh yeah.  Mean ones."

It was nearly five in the evening when Jean finally escaped Creed's house.  He walked her out to the waiting Towncar and his driver Larry, who was wearing sunglasses even though it was quite dark.  "One thing," said Victor, catching her arm as she got into the back seat. 

"What now?" Jean sighed.  "I signed the papers.  Full custody to you, blah blah blah.  Aren't you satisfied?" 

"'Course I am," said Victor.  "But Jean?"

"Yes?"

"If you ever come sniffin' around my daughter again, if you ever do anything to try to hurt her, I'll find ya and I'll do things to ya you ain't even had nightmares about."

Victor smiled his creepiest smile and then left, leaving Jean shivering as she climbed into the car.

Victor shut and locked the door behind him, watching the taillights of Jean's car pull out of his driveway.  He could hear Vicky cooing on the loveseat where he had left her—barricaded by pillows, of course.  He'd watched enough of the six o'clock news to know about what babies were capable of.  Victor picked her up, discarding the smelly horse blanket she'd been wrapped in and swaddling her in his cast-off Armani jacket. 

"Bah," said Vicky. 

"Yep," agreed Victor.  "Bah."  He cradled Vicky more comfortably.  "Guess that's a start, hey kid?" 

"Bah!" said Vicky more loudly. 

"Gotta wait until Larry gets back for feedin' and things like that," said Victor.  "Much as it might appear otherwise, I don't know shit about babies."  Little Victoria Creed reached one tiny hand to her father. Victor's mouth opened when he saw the hand was sporting tiny claws. 

In a rare moment of emotion, Victor felt himself getting misty eyed. "Yer mine all right, kid."

Vicky grinned up at him. "Bah!"

THE END