Sitz!

Erik watches the Brotherhood's van drive away, lips curling in a snarl to bare pointed teeth, and plots to kill every last one of those traitors.

He doesn't remember why he thought democracy was such a great idea. Next time, it will be a dictatorship, and all of the new members (because of course the old membership will all be dead) will quiver under his boot heel.

Assuming he ever wears boots again.

They didn't bother telling him how long this would last; merely that they've voted him out in addition to voting to transform him into a dog.

The reason given for the former: they've tired of his 'insane Magneto logic.'

The reason given for the latter: none, but the hysterical laughter said enough.


When Erik beds down in an alley that night, he reflects that at least he's not a poodle, a sheltie or some other completely inane or poofy breed of dog.

At least as a doberman he still gives off that air of danger that's clung to him all of his life; and if he smiles that manic smile, it's liable to be even more frightening than usual.

That this is a comforting thought says something about how far he's fallen.


The next day, Erik wanders down the street sniffing some things - who knew there were so many interesting smells in the world - and marking a good number of them, when he hears a very familiar sound from several streets over.

Can it be?

Erik bolts across intersections, causing two collisions on the way (please; he's not going to be the kind of dog that gets hit by a car).

The sound, the creaking rasp of plastic spokes that have always made Erik's hackles rise, gets louder, and -

It is, it is, it's Charles.

Erik's usual meetings with Charles tend to be tense, over-formal; but for some reason, he now finds himself wiggling all over before he's even reached him, and rather than keeping the necessary distance between them he finds himself -

Whining, wagging his stub of a tail, and for some reason he can't stop himself from jumping up, planting his front feet onto Charles' unfeeling lap, licking his face frantically, crying and whining all the while.

"...Er. Hello there?" Charles says with a startled laugh.

He raises his hands, possibly to push Erik off; so Erik licks at his hands too, continuing to whine and thinking Charles Charles Charles oh yes Charles Charles Charles -

What. The. Fuck.


Several minutes later, Erik's superior mutant mind has managed to override his inferior dog mind long enough to stop licking Charles.

However, he is still standing with his front feet in Charles' lap, now nose-to-nose with him.

Charles looks nothing if not confused, which makes two of them.

Erik considers his options for a moment before sliding off Charles in order to sit casually down on the sidewalk. He also yawns, to make the point that Charles is really very boring. This point is somewhat undermined by the insanely strong urge to lift his leg to mark Charles' wheelchair, which urge he resists by sheer magnetic force of will.

"Aren't you a sweet girl," Charles says, reaching down to scratch behind Erik's ear - which feels obscenely good. "Where's your owner, I wonder? Someone must be missing you."

...Girl. Really, Charles.

Erik is just about to go ahead and piss on the damned wheelchair when a policeman and an animal control officer with a noose on a stick approach them.

"This your dog?" the policeman asks.

Charles glances back and forth between the two other men, then back down at Erik; and then he says, "Ah, yes. She's my, ah, service dog."

The policeman looks skeptical, as well he might, but still proceeds to cite Charles for a number of offenses including Erik not having a dog license, not being leashed, and since there are a number of witnesses to the accidents Erik caused he's cited for those too, which is going to be expensive since Charles won't have kept an auto insurance policy in his own name for obvious reasons.

Erik could feel bad about it, but doesn't, reasoning that Charles can easily afford it, the rich fuck.

Once they've gone, Erik waits until Charles is looking at him again, then lifts his leg pointedly on the wheelchair.

"Oh, so you're a boy dog, are you?" Charles says, sighing. "I really wish you hadn't done that."

Too bad.


When Raven finds them to drive Charles home, Erik can't help but growl at her.

All the trouble with the Brotherhood started with her, after all; post-Cuba, five years ago now, she lasted three and a half days exactly before losing her resolve and running home to Charles ("Don't you dare try to stop me, Erik! Charles is my brother. Yes, I know I was mad at him, but now that I've had the time to think about it I'm not convinced he even knows what we were fighting about. So I'm going to go enlighten him, we're going to fight about it, and then we're going to make up because that's what brothers and sisters do."). Once everyone else saw that there were no consequences for her defection, they decided they could do whatever the fuck they wanted to.

Erik has never forgiven her, and so yes, he growls.

"Bad dog!" Charles scolds.

Erik is appalled at how those words in that tone wound his dog heart. It takes much more effort than it should for him not to cringe or nudge his head under Charles' hand to beg forgiveness.

"Please tell me you're not bringing that thing home with us," Raven says.

"Oh, don't you fuss," Charles says. "I'm sure it will only be temporary, until we find his owner."


Erik agrees; this will be temporary.

He'll take the opportunity to indulge in a few days' worth of espionage, then leave again.

His going along with this has absolutely nothing to do with how nice it feels to have Charles scratch behind his ears (though it is very nice).


"We should call him Max," six-year-old Ororo says later that evening, once Erik has been introduced to all of the children and Raven has grudgingly allowed that he might not be going to eat them.

Erik is lying on the carpet by Charles' feet, with Ororo sitting on him in such a position that if he were to stand up he would be acting the part of a pony.

He's beginning to suspect that he would be a nice, quiet, demure pony, allowing it rather than shaking her off. This bothers him; if he's going to be a doberman-pony-thing, he really ought to be a demon pony, with black smoke pouring out his nostrils and eyes that glow red, a pony that throws off anyone who'd dare try to break him, then stomps them to death under his hooves.

Paws. Boot heels. Whatever.

He would comfort himself by thinking that this discrepancy has nothing whatsoever to do with the delighted way Charles says "Good dog, what a good boy you are!" when Erik first allowed an army of small children to come up and maul him. However, the thought that he might be enjoying this of his own free will is just as alarming, so he's not sure what justification to go with. For now, he'll just pretend there's nothing abnormal about this situation at all.

Ororo tugs on his ear, and every hair on his body stands up from the static shock of it until she lets go again. Erik comes very close to growling - not dangerously but reflexively - but if he does then Charles might say 'bad dog' again in that terrible disappointed tone, and so Erik contains himself for a reason that is totally different from...that one...

"Alright," Charles says quickly, likely to forestall young Scott from coming up with another winning suggestion such as 'Butthead,' "Max it is."

Erik sighs.


Erik intends to sneak around the mansion that night after everyone's asleep, but for some reason the idea makes his dog brain feel anxious, so he ends up following Charles up to bed instead.

All day long, whenever Charles has gone to the restroom, Erik has trailed along after him in order to sit outside the door. Whining has been involved on each occasion, as well as jumping on Charles upon his emergence in order to lick him in greeting (Erik has learned to anticipate this instinct, but so far he has failed to crush it in time).

Now, with the bedroom door shut, Charles doesn't seem to feel the need to close the bathroom door in addition, and so Erik follows him in with all the dog delight in the world at being included.

"...Really?" Charles says. "Aren't you the pervert?"

It's not Erik's dog brain that sniggers as he sits down on the floor and observes the proceedings with interest.

He hadn't realized how involved Charles' toilet habits are now, and stores that information away in case it comes in useful someday.

It makes him feel better to confirm that Charles really must have taken half an hour each time he went throughout the day; that it wasn't just Erik's dog brain deciding Charles was gone forever.

Erik watches him shower too, not feeling the least bit repentant about it.


Later, Erik takes up three-fourths of Charles' blanket by virtue of lying down on it.

There follows some debate about this, which involves Charles trying to pull the blanket out from under him while Erik stubbornly refuses to move.

Charles wins this round by gently scolding until Erik's dog heart wants to cry, then pushing him off the bed and not letting him back up until Charles has gotten himself situated.


The next morning, Erik eats Charles' left shoe, and is halfway through the right one by the time Charles wakes up.

Before Charles can utter 'bad dog,' Erik offers him what remains of the right shoe, thinking that it would be the best thing in the world if Charles would throw the shoe so Erik could bring it back, so Charles could throw it again, so Erik could bring it back, so Charles could -

What.

"You'd probably enjoy having some dog toys, wouldn't you," Charles sighs, looking mournfully around at the destruction.

This pings an entirely different set of instincts than 'bad dog' would have, and so, caught off-guard, Erik finds himself licking Charles' face to comfort him from his sad.

"Your breath smells like my feet," Charles complains.

Erik pants a huge dog grin, and revels in Charles' gagging sounds when he manages to get a good lick in at Charles' teeth.


Charles makes no headway on finding Erik/Max's nonexistent owner. Had there been an owner to find, he still wouldn't have, since his entire search consists of a single phone call to the dog pound telling them that he's found a black lab. After a few days of alternating between twiddling his thumbs and insisting to Raven that he's working very hard at it, really, he announces that the children will now be responsible for feeding and watering Erik, as well as taking him outside to do his 'business.'

"The responsibility will be good for them," Charles tells Raven.

"You're just too lazy to do it yourself," she retorts.

Erik snorts.


A week and a half after Erik's arrival, he sits on the front lawn watching as Scott and John compete to see whose power can disintegrate/burn up Erik's dog shit faster.

While Erik's mutant mind finds the pooper scooper thing that usually happens to be too undignified to be borne, he finds this hilarious.

If he weren't a doberman at the moment, he might consider worrying about what it means that his sense of humor is on par with that of a pair of ten-year-old boys.

Actually, no; he wouldn't bother worrying about it in any case. Funny is funny.

Scott wins, disintegration being a quicker process than burning.

It's a very good distraction for Erik, while it lasts, Charles and Raven having been gone for the last several days to bring back a new student ("No, Max, you have to stay here. It might not be safe for you. Now don't look at me like that, be a good dog and guard the house while we're gone." Unbelievable condescension.).


Charles and Raven return the following afternoon.

Erik feels them coming from twenty miles away. He whines at the front door (where he has spent most of his time sitting in wait since they left) until someone lets him out, whereupon he proceeds to wait just as anxiously out in the yard.

When the car turns into the drive, Erik dashes across the lawn to meet it, and lopes alongside until it rolls to a stop. Then he starts jumping up on the front passenger side window, thinking, Charles Charles Charles you were gone FOREVER Charles Charles Charles Charles -

Charles obliges him by opening the car door, and Erik's dog mind then makes even more of a fool of him for several minutes before he beats it back under control and backs off several feet to prove that Charles' decades'-long absence didn't bother him at all.

As Raven rolls Charles' wheelchair up from the trunk, Erik takes in the new mutant they've brought back, a timid little rabbit girl who's covered from neck to toe even though it's the middle of May.

She looks and smells frightened; but Erik knows what frightened of him looks like, and this isn't it. So, out of curiosity more than anything, he advances on her until her back is pressed up against the side of the car.

"No, Max!" Charles says warningly, just as Erik nudges rabbit girl's cheek with his nose.

Erik isn't sure what everyone expects to happen here, but nothing does, and both Charles and Raven let out relieved sighs.

Rabbit girl, on the other hand, shrieks loudly enough to make Erik flinch, then throws her arms around him and starts weeping against his neck.

...What.

"Isn't that fortuitous?" Charles says delightedly. "See, Raven, he's a therapy dog! You can't argue about keeping him now."

"Yes I can," Raven says, but it's not very convincing.

Erik figures out what all the drama is about a short while later, when Bobby develops an insta-crush on rabbit girl and kisses her on the cheek. The resulting kerfuffle, which involves rabbit girl accidentally setting half the living room carpet to ice while also having a fit of hysterics, is very illuminating.


"Sitz!" Jean says to Erik one day, with her hands on her hips.

The children have been so unsuccessful at 'training' Erik that they have moved on to German commands on the off-chance that, dobermans being a German breed, ordering him around in that language will magically make him obey.

Not going to happen; damned if Erik is going to sit, shake hands, fetch, play dead, or beg just because the children would find it amusing. It helps that his dog mind doesn't seem to understand words as such without a fair amount of repetition and incentive; the only thing it acknowledges otherwise is tone (hence why, when John says "good dog!" to him one day in the same tone usually reserved for 'bad dog,' it is very confusing to Erik's dog mind; and his mutant mind gloats when Charles scolds at John for "tormenting the poor dog.")

"See," Scott says to Jean as she pouts about Erik's lack of response to the twenty-third repetition of the command 'sitz!', "I told you he's too stupid to ever learn anything."

"He is not!" Marie shouts; she's finally come out of her shell long enough to have opinions and back them up with violence, which she demonstrates now through taking off her gloves and advancing on Scott with grabby hands outstretched.

Scott beats a retreat, as Charles says, "Now, Marie, we've talked about inappropriate uses of powers."

Erik wonders how this became his life.


At bedtime one night, Charles says, "I need you to stay out here for a bit."

Then he closes the door in Erik's face, abandoning him out in the hall.

Erik sighs a great dog sigh and lies down against the door, biting off the occasional whine when he can and mentally grumping at the ones that get out anyway.

A few minutes later - and it's soft enough that his normal ears might have missed it; but his dog ears miss nothing - it's painfully obvious from the sound of skin on skin alongside Charles' hitched breathing that he's jerking off.

Erik could wander away and give Charles his privacy; however, he reasons that a normal dog wouldn't, and so he shouldn't, in the interest of keeping in character, which suddenly seems like a very important thing to do even though he's spent massive amounts of time and energy these past few weeks trying to overcome his dog instincts.

Not to mention that if Charles won't let him watch, he'll just have to take the next best thing.

It's all very funny, right up until Charles gasps out, "Erik."

What.

What what WHAT.

And suddenly, it's not funny.

Because Erik has always wanted to fuck Charles senseless; but Charles has never once given off any sign of feeling the same, so Erik has never had the opportunity.

Erik is hung like a horse and built like a god, so he's always considered Charles' complete lack of taste to be the problem. It never occurred to him before now that it could just be one of those fucking martyr things Charles does (similar to "yes, Erik, I'm quite alright, take your new minions and go, I just won't mention I can't feel my legs until you've gone, I'm sure you couldn't possibly want to know that in order to help you make a major life decision here or anything!")

A few minutes later, Erik hears the shower going. A little while after that, Charles opens the bedroom door to let him in.

Erik scowls at him and doesn't move.

"Don't you want to come in? What's gotten into you?" Charles says, and stays there holding the door open for several minutes before saying, "Have it your way then."

He closes the door.

Erik feels the urge to whine welling up inside him, but managed to hold it off until his ears assure him that Charles has dropped off to sleep.

It's then that he lets it all out, whining and crying like someone has died, so Charles will wake the hell back up and let him in.


A few days later, Erik is disemboweling a stuffed chipmunk by Charles' feet while Charles writes at his desk, when Charles drops his pen.

Before Cuba, Charles was constantly dropping metal objects in Erik's presence, in order to marvel over Erik's dexterity when Erik maneuvered them back over to him; since Erik has been back, Charles hasn't dropped a single thing.

So it is that Erik's response is immediate and reflexive, a throwback; and nothing could be more disgustingly obvious.

"What -" Charles says, as his pen floats in the air in front of him.

Fuck, Erik thinks.

Charles' face lights up; a few seconds later, he schools his face into the distant expression Erik is so familiar with from their past meetings, but Erik can still smell his excitement. Charles isn't about to fool him, not anymore.

Charles wheels himself over to the window, opens and curtain and peers outside for a minute. When he turns back around, eyebrows knit together in confusion, Erik realizes the pen is still floating at the same moment Charles does.

Charles looks from side to side around the room, then looks at Erik. Opens his mouth, closes it, opens it again.

"...Erik?" he says, cautiously, as though he can't believe what he's implying by the question.

If Erik's going to go out, might as well act like he meant to do it.

He floats the pen into Charles' hand. Then he winks at him, which is a damned impressive feat for a dog.


"How in the world did this happen?" Charles asks later that afternoon, after he's spent a ludicrous amount of time first purchasing thirteen Scrabble sets, then gluing pennies to the back of each of the wooden tiles, finishing the job off by scratching in the pertinent letter onto the back of each penny so that Erik can distinguish between them by feel (Erik could have taken care of the last part, but it was more interesting to see whether Charles really would go through all that trouble).

THEY INJECTED ME WITH A SERUM, Erik says, bristling at the memory. The letter tiles wobble unsteadily in the air.

"What serum?" Charles says. "And who? And...why, exactly?"

IT WAS THE ONE WE TOOK FROM HANK'S LAB DURING OUR RAID LAST SUMMER, Erik says.

"That was you? Huh. And here I thought we'd had a burglary. Do go on."

LONG STORY SHORT, I DECIDED TO LEAVE THE BROTHERHOOD BECAUSE THEY'RE ALL A BUNCH OF INCOMPETENT ASSHOLES. THEY DIDN'T TAKE IT WELL, BECAUSE OBVIOUSLY NO ONE WOULD. AND HERE I AM, Erik finishes.

"...I feel like there has to be more to this story than that," Charles says.

LET'S PLAY, Erik says. He picks up his tug toy and waves it at Charles.

"...Alright? I suppose we could."

When Charles reaches for the tug toy, Erik waves it away again out of his reach, then brings it closer, then when Charles grabs for it waves it away again. He repeats this process several more times until Charles sighs and says, "Erik, really."

Then Charles crosses his arms over his chest and proceeds to completely ignore Erik.

His dog brain aghast, Erik plops the toy into Charles' lap. When Charles fails to react, he picks it back up and drops it in Charles' lap again. He does this a few more times before his mutant mind catches up and realizes this obviously won't work.

So then he paws at Charles' arm and whines.

"Oh, for God's sake," Charles grumbles. He looks down and picks up the tug toy, throws it off into the corner.

Erik bounds after it then comes rushing back. He dangles it tantalizingly in front of Charles, then snatches it away before Charles can grab it.


"Let me get this straight. You guys stole my serum, put dog hairs in it, and now you want me to fix you?" Hank asks incredulously, after Charles has explained the situation.

JUST SHUT UP AND DO IT.

"Be nice, Erik," Charles says in the exact same tone he usually uses to say 'bad dog.'

Erik's dog heart sinks while Erik's mutant mind glares; Charles is obviously doing it on purpose.

"Yes, Hank, please; if you wouldn't mind," Charles continues.

Erik refuses to let Hank touch him - he hasn't forgotten being strangled - and so it's Charles who ends up combing over Erik's back until he comes up with enough hairs for the job.


"Why should I?" Raven says when asked for her blood.

BECAUSE YOU OWE ME, Erik says.

"Why did you think letting him talk was a good idea?" Raven says to Charles.

"Really, I'm starting to wonder myself," Charles responds.


According to Hank, it'll take a few days to get the antidote right, so Erik finds himself falling back into a very similar routine to the usual, with a few exceptions - namely that his days are now completely filled with two-way conversation rather than Charles' usual absentminded monologues.

"How long did it take you to adjust to the changes in your eyesight?" Charles asks, one day when he's decided to ask Erik everything he can think of in the name of science. "I imagine that must have been a bit shocking."

IT'S NOT THAT DIFFERENT, Erik says. A LITTLE DIMMER, A LITTLE DULLER, THAT'S ALL. THE NOSE MORE THAN MAKES UP FOR IT.

Charles stares at him, then starts laughing.

"That explains so very much," he says.

WHAT?

"Dogs have dichromatic vision," Charles manages once he's stopped snorting. "They're colorblind. So Erik, if your eyesight isn't that different then that means -"

IF YOU DON'T SHUT UP ABOUT IT RIGHT NOW, I'M GOING TO LICK MY ASS AND THEN YOUR FACE, Erik threatens. He leaves out the part where he's already done so, more than once. He's saving that information as future ammunition.


Once the antidote is ready, it takes three hours to inject Erik with it, because he still won't let Hank touch him and Charles insists on taking that time to practice on oranges first.

I CAN TAKE IT, Erik points out. He doesn't know what all the concern is about, and he's not interested in waiting any longer.

"I'm sure you can," Charles says dryly. "But somehow I'd rather not take chances."

The injection goes off without a hitch until the moment that the needle actually pierces Erik's skin, at which point his dog mind wrenches all control away from his mutant mind; he screams, and lashes around at Charles, and all that stops him from biting the shit out of Charles is that Hank tackles him before he can.

WHAT? Erik says when he's gotten his dog mind to shut up about it. IT FUCKING HURT. WHY ISN'T IT WORKING YET?

"It might take a few days, hard to say," Hank says.


"No cookies until after dinner, you'll ruin your appetite," Charles says to Kitty one day a week later when he and Erik enter the kitchen to find her with her hand inside of the cookie jar.

Erik sits. When nothing happens, he stands up, then sits again. Then whines, stands up and sits again.

Charles looks down at him and asks, "Is Timmy down the well or something?"

COOKIE, Erik says.

Several days prior, Jean finally figured out how to motivate Erik's dog mind to cooperate with being trained to sit, which involves a copious amount of edible bribery.

"...You want a cookie," Charles says.

Erik sits, and does his best to glower, but it doesn't come across all that well, what with his ears pricked forward eagerly and his entire body quivering in anticipation.

Charles digs into his pocket for a dog biscuit.

I SAT FOUR TIMES, Erik points out. His dog mind isn't much for counting, but his mutant mind doesn't see why he should do four times the work for the same reward.

"I think not. You'll ruin your appetite. You and Kitty may both have one cookie," Charles says, probably to deter Kitty from pointing out that Max got to have a cookie before dinner.

Once she's wandered off, Charles wordlessly digs out three more dog biscuits for Erik.


Several days later, Marie comes up to Erik and kisses him on his nose, one of the many casual touches Charles is so pleased with ("you're such a marvelous therapy dog, Erik!").

It doesn't hurt, exactly - there's still too much dog to him for that - but Erik feels something being dragged out of him. When a handful of change levitates off the coffee table, he's not the one doing it.

Marie promptly dissolves into a fit of hysterics, which leads to Raven storming into the room, taking an inventory and then saying, "Did you two really not explain to her what's going to happen? Really? Really? Oh my God, just get out of here while I take care of this. You're both dead, by the way."


Half an hour later, Erik is back in his own body and naked in Charles' study.

The way this should be going is that Charles should be cross-eyed and drooling with lust (this is Erik, after all; nothing compares), but instead Charles has that same blotchy, miserable look Erik recalls from five years ago.

"Well," Charles says after a long moment, "I suppose you'll be heading out now, won't you. I must say, it's been nice having you around the place again -"

WHAT, Erik spells out reflexively before he remembers he can talk. "Shut the fuck up, you fucking martyr."

"...Excuse me?" Charles says, blinking.

Before he can say anything else, Erik has climbed onto the wheelchair to straddle his lap. "You heard me," he says, and kisses Charles hard on the mouth.

It takes Charles a moment to process this - Erik swears he can actually hear the gears grinding in Charles' mind - but once he does he kisses Erik back fiercely, not shy about groping his way up Erik's well-muscled thighs, and yes.

It's not long before Erik hisses, "Say my name," into Charles' ear, as he wraps his hand around Charles' cock.

Charles does.


Afterward, Erik is panting into Charles' neck when he hears himself say, "God I love you."

...What?

That's not the kind of thing Erik says, ever; his post-coital remarks are usually along the lines of 'Now get out.'

"...The serum must not have taken full effect yet," he rallies.

"Oh, I'm sure," Charles says, looking unbearably smug.

To prove it, Erik licks inside Charles' ear, then immediately starts gagging because Charles' earwax is foul.

Charles grins at Erik like he's won some sort of point here.


"For future reference, it doesn't always go quite that well for me," Charles says as Erik dresses in the set of his old clothes that Charles has apparently been keeping in his desk drawer for the past five years.

"It's me," Erik assures him.

"...That's not what I meant," Charles says. "I was trying to say that the, ah, mechanics are a bit come and go in that department for me. As a result of my injury."

Erik considers this, then shrugs. "You don't have to worry about that anymore," he says. "You're with me now."

Charles stares at him for a very long moment.

"Right," he says in a strangled voice. "You're a regular stud muffin, you are. I suppose sleeping with you will solve all the rest of my problems too, will it?"

"Yes," Erik says.

"...I believe I may have made a mistake."

Charles should count himself lucky that Erik is willing to put up with the stupid shit that he says sometimes.


When they finally emerge, Raven and Marie are waiting for them.

"Go on, dear," Raven says.

Marie looks Erik up and down.

"I HATE YOU," she says, looking for all the world like he's just tried to murder her.

Then she kicks him in the shin.

Who knew they make steel-toed boots in her size? Erik didn't before, but he does now.

"FUCK!" he howls.

"Erik, language!" Charles scolds.

"Hey," Erik says softly to Marie when he's stopped seeing red. For once in his life he actually does mean to say something comforting, but he's not given the chance because she throws her gloves to the ground, rolls up her sleeves and lunges at him.

That Erik ends up hiding behind Charles' wheelchair for protection means absolutely nothing except that the serum still isn't done changing him back yet.

epilogue

The solution to the Marie problem is obvious.

When they go to the shelter to get a new dog, she picks out a squat, densely built little rottweiler puppy, whom she names Jim.

Over the next weeks and months, Erik observes the new puppy's interactions with the children with more interest than he would ever openly admit.

Marie and the puppy are inseparable.

Both Bobby and Scott take an instant dislike to him; Jean, on the other hand, blows hot and cold, placing flower chains around his neck one day and the next day telling him to stay away from her because he smells. Ororo for some reason seems intent that the puppy choose between peanut butter or beef flavored dog biscuits.

On the puppy's first day home, Raven takes one look at him and says, "Oh, he's adorable!" but when she reaches out to pet him, he bites her, which puts an end to that.

One day Erik walks into the kitchen to find Charles exclaiming, "I really don't have to explain myself to you, you know," to the puppy. Charles refuses to disclose what that was about, but Erik suspects it has something to do with the almost human 'you people are insane' expression the puppy seems to wear most of the time.


Eventually, Marie decides Erik is worth talking to again. She renews their relationship through recounting the story of Old Yeller, which culminates in her pointing a finger at Erik's head and shouting, "BOOM!"

Erik counts it as a win, because at least she's talking to him again without trying to assault him.


Erik starts thinking there might be something funny about Jim around the time he grows his balls back after his second neutering.

In the end he decides to ignore it; it wouldn't do to get Marie all upset at him again.

Not that he cares, or anything.