Joe's Note: While there was a chapter similar to this in the first version, I extended it significantly in this rewrite because Rebekah does have a bit more information to convey and has a more complex conversation with Xander. It's actually broken into two parts here to keep things manageable: this chapter and Chapter 6, with Chapter 5 being used to catch up on the other Young Avengers and Xander's companion.
Xander watched in disbelief as one of his wives hustled the other two out of the room… and God, wasn't that the weirdest thought he'd ever had. Granted, he'd entertained some fleeting thoughts of polygamy during that whole love spell incident, and who wouldn't dream about keeping a few when every woman in town was trying to get in your pants? Hell, he'd had dreams for months after that about Cordelia having actually fallen under his control due to the spell and him keeping her along with a good half of her fellow cheerleaders as a scantily-clad harem. But that didn't mean he would have ever done something like that in real life. Except… somehow it'd ended up happening. So evidently, it did mean he'd try it in real life. "Uh… Rebekah? Can we do something about their nudity? I don't think we'll get to talk long if someone calls hotel security about the random naked girls roaming the hall."
Snickering, Rebekah grabbed the sheet off the bed and walked back over to the door, opening it before tossing the sheet at her two exiled companions and slamming the door shut again. "You know, it's kinda funny if you think about it. Last night they were three sheets to the wind. Now they're one sheet to the hall." Xander just stared at her and she shrugged before wandering back over to sprawl out on the bed in front of him, utterly unconcerned with her own nudity. "Eh, sounded funnier in my head. Wonder if there's anything in here for me to wear? Although, come to think of it, I wonder when they found time to double back here and change into costume. They started the night in street clothes. Eh, something to ask them later if I actually decide I care. Talk now? Oh, and call me Bekah. Rebekah is what the adults call me when I'm in trouble."
Personally, Xander wasn't too sure if being sheet-clad in the hall was much of an improvement over being naked but he wasn't going to argue with her. Mostly because he actually wanted to get somewhere as far as resolving the entire mess and this was progress. Sorta. Barely. "Okay, so, Bekah… you want to stay married to me for 'several reasons'. Apart from the sex thing - which I'm flattered about, really, I am - let's hear 'em. Because the only way I might ever possibly consider staying with a wife I accidentally picked up while drunk was if she had a really, really good reason why I should." Not that he expected her to have one, but he was a bit curious to hear what she could come up with to be honest.
"Well if the fact that you'd be getting a sexy, superheroine wife with a naughty streak wide enough to make a porn star blush out of the deal isn't a good enough reason for you? Simple." Propping herself up on her elbows, Rebekah rested her chin on her hands and stared up at him, giving him a magnificent view of the tops of her bare breasts. "Do you do what's right or what's easy?"
It took a moment for the question to penetrate Xander's breast-fogged mind but when it did, he didn't even have to think about his answer. Granted he had done a few dubious things in the past, but in general… "What's right, Miss Dumbledore. Which, correct me if I'm wrong, would be getting the annulment so you can go on with your life without being stuck to someone you married as part of a drunken mistake when you were nineteen. And what were you even doing drinking at your age?"
Letting out a snort, Rebekah ran her fingers through her hair as she looked away. "Yeah, well, wait until you hear the full story before you get freaked out by the underage drinking part. And what I'm about to tell you doesn't go outside the room. Kate and Cassie don't know what I'm about to tell you. Outside of a few of the Avengers and one girl on our team, nobody does. You'll be the first non-superhero, period. Am I making myself clear?" Xander nodded his assent and Rebekah took another deep breath before meeting his gaze. "I'm… not actually nineteen years-old. I'm more like two and a half. I'm an artificially aged lab rat baby. As best Mister Fantastic can tell, they took DNA from Jessica Drew - the original Spider-Woman who's an Avenger right now - and blended it with DNA from Julia Carpenter - the black and white Spider-Woman. Then they used the combination to fertilize an egg they'd somehow managed to harvest from Mary Jane Watson. You know, the supermodel? I'm sure it's been nagging at you, why I look so familiar. Everyone I meet comments on it. Kate hates me for it; she misses being the prettiest girl on the team."
Out of all the things that had raced through Xander's mind in the few seconds he had to contemplate what her grand secret was, that wasn't one of them. It was reassuring to know he wasn't going insane, though. He'd had the hugest crush on Mary Jane Watson back in high school and had noticed the resemblance earlier, but had shrugged it off as something to ponder later. After all, one of the Slayers he supervised in Cleveland was a dead ringer for a Hollywood actress, and Willow could have been the twin of that hilarious nympho chick from American Pie. With six and a half billion people in the world, sometimes people just looked like each other for no good reason. Then something occurred to him. "Okay, this might be a dumb question here… but if you're two and a half? How can you talk, dance, do… you know, other things…"
"It's hard to explain. Basically, I was programmed. I can only remember my last few days in the lab before I was rescued, but they mentioned 'resetting' me - meaning I'm pretty sure they wiped my mind so a telepath couldn't poke around and find information about who made me - and then they reloaded certain memories. I'm guessing they had access to Jessica Drew at some point because they managed to download all her memories into my head, but on the other hand I know that it's her life and I don't think it was me doing any of those things." Rebekah tapped a finger against her chin as she thought. "Then there's stuff I know isn't hers because it's definitely Julia's, and then there's some that I have no clue who it came from. It's almost like the Matrix. 'I know kung fu' and all that. They did something to me, and then I knew things. Like if you really cared, I could tell you the names of all the coolest pop stars from the last four or five years in order of their hit singles, or the fashion trends for about the same length of time."
Xander nodded, trying to process the fact that the young woman in front of him was the product of something that seemed like a bad science fiction movie, when something horrible occurred to him. "Did they program you to, err, you were pretty wild last night…"
That made Rebekah shake her head, which in turn made her breasts jiggle and distracted Xander to the point of almost missing her answer. "No, and I'm kinda glad there isn't anything like that because… well, think about why they might have had that kicking around in my head, especially since they could memory wipe me at will?" Xander did the two plus two and realized what she was implying before shuddering. Point taken. "They put a lot of effort into flirting and seduction programming, though. Probably because it helps me out with one of my powers… and I should probably stop talking about the whole programming thing because it makes me sound like a creepy robot girl or something. But long story short, I've been sorta building to a boil and last night was my first chance to finally let loose and… well, I guess I just went wild. Not that you seemed to mind."
"Oh. Okay. Wait a minute." Xander's jaw dropped, and it didn't even have anything to do with her planting both hands on the bed and pushing herself up as she arched her back, completely exposing both breasts to him. "Last night was the first time you got to let loose… in a while? Or at all? As in last night being your first time having sex? Because if you lost your virginity to me during drunk sex… I am so, so sorry. I mean, I lost mine to a chick who threw me out of her motel room as soon as we were done, so I know it's not always flower petals, candles, and romance, but you should at least be able to remember doing it."
Rebekah giggled, sliding off the bed and closing the distance between them before sliding into his lap. "I'm not. I mean, I may not remember all of it, but what I can remember? It was fucking awesome. Pun intended. Seriously, even if you do manage to divorce me, I'm going to follow you home just so I can try for another round of that. If I'd known sex was so great, I would have skipped the toys and gone straight for the real thing. Eh, at least it wasn't my money I wasted."
"Yeah, I spent a bit of time at Avengers' Tower since it was neutral and secure territory where I could meet my 'mothers'. Let's just say that for a billionaire who fights crime in a super-advanced suit of armor? Tony Stark really sucks at keeping track of his credit cards. And his admin and I got on like a house on fire, so she didn't tip him off until after I was gone." Leaning forward, Rebekah pressed her chest against his as she snuggled in to rest her head on his shoulder. "So, how about it? Hot young wife who will give you lots of sex, enjoys casual nudity, and can lift your entire car into the air so you can work underneath it. How can you pass that up?"
Arms instinctively wrapping around Rebekah's body, Xander hesitated for a moment as he stared down over her shoulder at her amazing ass, and then slid his hands up to rest in safer territory: her back. The phone started ringing and Xander relaxed his arms a bit so she could pull away, but when she made no move to go and answer it, he mentally shrugged and tightened his grip. "I'm still waiting for you to tell me where the 'right or easy' part comes into this, you know. So you're a lab baby. I came from two people who should have been neutered to keep them from reproducing. And my friends in high school? My best friend Willow spent roughly three hundred and fifty days a year living alone in her house, Buffy's parents divorced right before she came to Sunnydale, and Cordelia's parents ditched her and ran for the border when the IRS came calling about their unpaid taxes. We all have our issues."
Rebekah pulled back a bit, staring at him with an incredulous look on her face. "Are you serious? Fine. You want to know why I want to stay married to you? Because I don't want to run around with the Young Avengers anymore but, to be incredibly unladylike for a moment, I'm fucking stuck with these idiots. The Avengers are so set in their ways, they can't comprehend that I'm not Jessica Junior or Julia Junior. That I might want to go to college and make friends and get a degree and find a job, instead of stuffing myself into spandex and running around saving the world. Or the city. Whichever. And so they grabbed me and this teenage girl version of Wolverine and stuffed us into the Young Avengers so they'd only need to spy on one team instead of monitoring the Young Avengers and Laura and me all separately. Well, that and they think I need help adjusting to the present day. My memories of being nineteen are from… yeah, let's just say America was on the original four space shuttles and leave it at that. More than a few years out of date. I know pop culture from the last few years so I can sorta kinda blend in, but I'm about as smooth as a Terminator when it comes to hanging out with people my own age. Definite adult-in-a-teen-body syndrome. They thought me spending time with other superteens would help. Although why I'm a Young Avenger and not at the X-Mansion is beyond me. Especially since that's where Laura was hanging out before she got shipped down to New York City." The phone stopped ringing for a few seconds before starting anew and she growled, thrusting out one fist and unleashing a blue blast of energy that destroyed the plastic annoyance. "There. All quiet now. Where were we?"
"I was at 'not seeing how me letting throw your life away with me is the right thing to do', but I've since moved on to being a little scared of you on top of that."
Emerging from the bathroom, Jenny Altman scowled as she padded over to the bed, tugging at the back of her panties all the while. She could never quite tell what the problem was: were they supposed to feel like this and she wasn't used to it because she wasn't really a girl, or had she grown her ass too big for her underwear again? She looked over at where her boyfriend-turned-girlfriend was holding up two different pairs of earrings as she looked back and forth between them. She hadn't seen Anya having such problems so far on this vacation… which was a little weird when Jenny thought about it. Sighing, she looked down at the t-shirt and skirt laying on the bed waiting for her. "Remind me again why Jenny and Anya came along for the weekend instead of Teddy and Billy?"
Without looking away from where she was debating between pentacle earrings and a pair of ruby pendants, Anya Kaplan responded to her boyfriend's query. "Well for one, how many men did you see in the audience of American Storm or Thunder from Down Under?" Jenny blinked; why the hell would she have been paying attention to fellow audience members at two of Vegas's best all-male reviews? "Secondly, after the others ducked out, it went from a 'team weekend' to a 'girls' weekend' and so Billy and Teddy would have stood out a bit. And finally, you told me you used to do it and what better place to satisfy my curiosity than where what happens stays? Besides, like I said, you've turned into a girl before. To make guys like you, if I remember correctly. So if anyone should be complaining about feeling weird like this, it's me. Am I complaining, Jenny?"
"Well no, but-"
"Then should you be complaining, Jenny?"
"I guess not, but-"
"Alright then." Selecting the pair of pentacle earrings in her left hand, Anya placed the other earrings on the desk and began the delicate process of putting them on. Jenny was mildly impressed; Anya had actually managed to shift into a form with pierced ears, while Jenny usually just pushed them through her ear and then let her enhanced healing take care of repairing things. When she was done, Anya stood up and ran her fingers through her mane of black curls before gesturing to her body. "There. How do I look?"
Jenny stared at Anya in helpless confusion, not having any clue what the right answer to that question might be. She didn't look at girls. Well, she obviously looked at them because otherwise she'd constantly be running in to half the population of the planet, but it wasn't like she'd ever considered them on an attractiveness level or even an aesthetic one, and so she had no way of judging whether or not Anya looked pretty today or was a train wreck on two legs. "Erm… like a girl?"
Whatever the right answer was, judging by the withering glare Anya shot her, that wasn't it. "You're so helpful sometimes. Anyways, hurry up and get dressed. While you were in the shower, I called down to the both of the girls' rooms - called Kate's twice, even - and even tried Kate's cell. Nothing. And it's after ten. I'm getting a little worried. She should have swung by to drag us out running or something by now."
Offering a little salute followed by a sarcastic eye roll, Jenny tugged the purple t-shirt on before tossing the black and purple tartan skirt on the floor so she could pull it on. Inwardly, though, she was analyzing and then rejecting Anya's worries. Granted she didn't know Laura very well and her knowledge of Rebekah was limited to shallow, superficial things because the redhead didn't tend to let others in… but they were with Cassie and - above all - Kate. How much trouble could they have possibly gotten themselves into?