t h a n k s: To everyone at the Corner, especially River, Lise, Jono, KG and Mel. Merci beaucoup, people!
d e d i c a t e d t o: River and Lise.
c h a p t e r _ t h r e e
Something unexpected always happens. It's a rule. Sometimes a good one, sometimes a bad one. But always true.
As I found out when I opened my door and discovered Remy LeBeau outside it. I had very much not expected that. In fact, if you told me to give you a list over people I doubted would ever knock on my door, Remy LeBeau would have been on it along with James Marsters and John Cusack.
He looked nervous. "Could I come in?"
I looked blankly at him. The day after I've gotten two serious headaches, one upon the other, my mind is pretty much on the 'tree good, fire bad' level. It takes a while before I react to anything. After what must have been at least a couple of minutes, I realized who I was looking at and managed to string a sentence together. "What are you doing here?"
"Inside?" he questioned.
There was another pause as I processed that, then I shrugged and held the door open. "Sure."
He walked inside and ended up standing in the middle of my livingroom, looking at me. I followed him and looked around to see if the place was a total mess as usual. Yup. Books in piles everywhere. Videos, magazines, comicbooks, all spread about. Dirty dishes on the table along with two used paracet boxes, folinacid and iron pills. I looked back at him.
"Want to tell me why you're here now?" A thought hit me. "Or how you knew how to find me?"
"Oh right." He thrust his hands into the pockets of his trenchcoat and came up with a CD. "Here. You left it in the computer room."
"You came all the way here to give me a CD?"
He didn't reply.
I shrugged and sighed. "Okay. Just... Put the CD on the desk or something. I'm going to find me some pineapple soda. Want some?"
I walked into the kitchen to get the soda. I came back with two glasses, the bottle of pineapple soda and a bowl of licorice. While I'd been in the kitchen, he'd sat down on the one seat in my couch that wasn't covered with magazines, and was now looking around the room. I put one of the glasses infront of him.
"So," I said as I poured soda into the glass. "Why are you here?"
"Merci. I'm not sure," Remy LeBeau said slowly.
"You're not sure," I repeated. "I see."
We sat there sipping in our soda for a bit.
"Pete says you're gay," he said abruptly.
"Mmm." I nodded.
"When did you know? Dat you were gay?"
"I don't know. Thirteen, fourteen, something like that. Why?"
I like to think that I'm usually more perceptive than this, but give me a break, all right? It was taking all my consentration just to catch what he was saying and not zoning out.
"I'm not," he said, fidgeting a little.
I blinked. "No?"
"Non." He shook his head. "J'aime les filles."
Even in this state I had no problems translating that one. So he likes girls, eh? I blinked some more. "And what would you call St. John?"
He paled. "Je ne compreds pas toi..."
"Do you know what my mutant power-thingy is?"
"Non..." he said slowly, suddenly suspicious.
"I see secrets. And I've seen yours."
Okay, okay, not the best way ever to reveal mutant powers, and yes, I see now that it was somewhat melodramatic, but you have to realize that the foremost thing on my mind right then was calculating how many pineapple sodas I had left. I have to get them sent to me from Norway, you see. Specially importet and all.
Remy turned chalk-y and seemed to rediscover his English. "Have you... Have you told anyone?"
"Of course not."
There was a long pause where I did a mental count of how many pineapple sodas there were in my cooler and Remy stared at his hands. Or at least I think he did. It's a bit hard to tell when he's wearing shades.
"You won't tell anyone, will you?"
I could tell from his tone of voice that he didn't really believe that.
"Nope. Who would I tell, anyway?"
"Would it be so bad," I asked. "If anyone found out about you and John?"
"Because... Because it would, okay?"
"You might be surprised."
"No." He shook his head a couple of times. "No. I won't be. And please don't tell anyone."
"All right." I looked over at him. "Just out of curiousity; Have you and St. John ever really talked about things? You know, like... 'Hey, John, I think I'm in love with you.' 'Really? Well, Remy, I reckon I'm in love with you too'?"
His face twisted into a grimace. "I'm not that fond of being 'umiliated, thank you very much," he said bitterly. It's strange listening to him sometimes. He seems to drop and adopt accents at the blink of an eye. It's kind of schitzo, really.
"Humiliated? What do you mean?" I frowned at him.
"Don't you get it?"
"It's not about love and stuff like that. It's about sex. Fucking." He poked at a pile of Dick Francis books on my table. "He'd just laugh if I said something like that"
Oh god. Angst.
I really wasn't properly prepared to deal with that.
I took a deep breath and did my best. "I don't think you're right about that."
"Oh yeah?" he snorted. "What do you know, anyway?"
"A whole lot more that you think."
"You've been using your power on us?"
"Well, it's hard to avoid when you keep bumping into me." I leaned forth. "I still have no idea what you're doing here, but if you want my advice, you go back to the school, find St. John and tell him that you're in love with him."
He took a sip of his soda. "And what, in your slightly deranged opinion, is John going to reply to that?"
"I love you?" I suggested.
"Well, okay, maybe not. But something in that area, I'm certain of that at least."
"What makes you think he won't just laugh?"
"I see secrets, remember?"
He digested that. I went to see if I'd remembered correctly about the amount of pineapple sodas in my cooler. Pineapple sodas and licorice. Two of my not-so-secret vices.
I'd just stepped inside the cooler when the phone rang. I grumbled at what the sound did to my head and wandered back into the livingroom. I found Remy hovering over my desk.
"It's the school," he told me.
I quirked an eyebrow in question.
Not really what I was asking, but it was perhaps somewhat difficult for him to know why the school was calling without answering the phone. I picked up the phone. "Olsen."
"Mr. Olsen, this is Ororo Munroe."
"I'm calling you because something has..." she paused. "Happened here at the school."
"Yes. And I was wondering... Is Remy LeBeau with you?"
"Yes, he is. Why? What's happened?"
She gave a sigh of relief. "Oh good. Kitty said she thought Remy was going to visit you, but I wasn't sure. It's so good to hear he's all right. He is all right, isn't he?"
"Yes, of course he is. Miss Munroe, what's happend at the school?"
She hesitated. "I'm afraid the school has been under attack."
"What?! Who would... Is Kitty all right?"
I didn't believe her. "Are you sure about that?"
"No. No, I'm afraid not. Kitty is certainly well considering the circumstances, but she's not all right. Not at all."
"Oh my god." All sorts of horrible possibilities flew through my head. "Is there anything I can do?"
"Actually, yes. Would you mind looking after some of the kids for about a day or so?"
"Of course! ...How many kids?"
Remy poked me before Miss Munroe had the chance to reply. "What's happened? Is John okay? The Smog?"
"No more than eight, counting Remy," Ororo Munroe said.
"All right then. Oh and... Is St. John Allerdyce okay? And the Smog people?"
"As far as I know, yes."
"John's all right," I told Remy. "Could Allerdyce be one of the kids you send to me?" I asked Miss Munroe.
"Is there anything at all I can do for Kitty?"
"No, I'm afraid not. I'll let her know you asked for her."
"Okay. Good bye."
Remy LeBeau, St. John Allerdyce, Jubilee Lee, Bobby Drake, Ali Blaire, Japheth something-or-another, Rain Sinclair and Warren Worthington III.
In my apartment.
Not a chance.
The second they arrived, I grabbed them and dragged them with me to Kay's Corner. I had a feeling I needed the backup with these eight.
Everybody looked up from whatever they were doing as we entered.
Kallie blinked and stopped typing. "You know, I didn't mind Jana, or Roland, or Mai Lee, but don't you think eight at once is a bit much?"
I quickly filled her (and the others in the close proximity of Kallie) in on what was going on while the teens wandered about. Hopefully without causing any mayhem.
"You are going to protect _them_?" Ron looked like he didn't know whether he was going to laugh or cry.
"More like look after..."
"Tell me they're not going to set the Corner on fire," Kallie said pleadingly.
I didn't say anything.
"Well, at least three of them can set stuff on fire... But Pretty Blue Eyes can make ice," I said hopefully.
"And the others?"
"Haven't a clue."
Moric eyed me. "Didn't you bring someone to Galynne's too? And then they set her forest on fire?"
"Um..." I smiled.
"Alex!" Kallie and Moric exclaimed while Ron shook his head.
"I'm going to get my katanas," Ron said. "I have a weird feeling I'm going to need them."
I looked after him as he walked out of the Corner, muttering to himself, then spun around as I heard Jana's voice.
"HEY! KEEP YOUR WHATEVER THEY ARE AWAY FROM ME!" Jana was shouting at Japheth, who was leaning over her shoulder and leering. The 'whatever they are's were crawling on the floor behind him.
"Eany and Meany," Japheth said. "Their names are Eany and Meany."
"I don't really care what they're called," Jana grumbled. "I just want them away from me. Far, far away."
I figured Jana could take care of herself and looked around for the other kids. Rain stood beside me, looking worried. Ali, Remy and Warren sat on the counter, looking bored. Bobby and John had found themselves a computer and seemed to be having a lot of fun. Jubilee... I looked around again and finally spotted her over by the pillows. Ah. Jubilee was chatting with Rick.
...Arguing with Rick.
Maybe I should call the school and see if I could send the teens back home? Before I was killed by both the kids and the Cornerians, I mean.
I went to rescue Rick. Or Jubilee, depending on who's temper went off first.
"Is there a reason you're eyeing the guy with the shades?" Rick crawled across the pillows over to me. "Besides a sudden urge to cradlesnatch?" I rolled my eyes at him and he snickered. "Well?"
"You remember me telling you about this secret I'd gotten and--"
"Oh yeah," he nodded. "Romantic sap and all that."
"I was talking about him and the blond guy. Next to Pretty Blue Eyes over there."
"Pretty Blue Eyes?" Rick laughed.
I turned dark green. "Well, it's true!"
Rick eyed me.
"No! God, he's what? Sixteen? Get serious, Rick!"
"Angel is 240," Rick said. "Granted, that's television..."
"But back to Shades and Blondie. What's their problem?"
"In short? They're seventeen."
"Ahhh," Rick nodded. "What are you going to do?"
"Yeah." I looked at him and grinned. "I'm thinking Remy might fix things between them."
"Why am I thinking you've got a finger in on that?"
I grinned brighter. If I was right, I should definitelly get an A in meddling in other peoples affairs.
^ Niek ran a finger down Loke's ...^ I stopped typing and frowned. This wasn't working. Help. I needed help. And inspiration. I glanced over at Remy to see if he was doing anything particulary mooky. Nope. Still sitting on the counter, talking with Ali Blaire. Damn. I looked over the computer to see if John was doing anything besides kidding around with Bobby. Nix to that too.
I sighed and tried again. ^ Niek grinned devlishly, his hands roaming all over Loke's body. Teasing.^ Hmm. Progress. I frowned. "Hey, guys?"
A collective reply going in the lines of "Hmm? Yeah? What?"
"Could you give me another word for cock?"
"Penis," Moric said. "Why?"
I looked at the story. "No, doesn't work. I'm writing on the SciMonster again. Niek and Loke and them there."
"What do you need it for?" Stace asked. She was snuggled up against Ellis on the couch. I wondered if they'd moved at all since last night.
"A sex scene. And it's not working."
There was a strangled sound from the computer across from me.
"Too easy even for me," said Stace and grinned.
"Does everything I say sound vaguely obscene?"
"Yeah, pretty much," Rick agreed and leaned over my shoulder to read what I had written. "Erection?"
More strangled sounds.
"Didn't you say you were going to write two more chapters before they had sex?"
"Evil fictives," I said shortly. I swear I heard Niek and Loke snickering in the back of my head. Evil, I tell you. Evil. Grumble. Mutter. Rassumfrassum.
"Ahhh," Rick nodded. "Hard on?"
Rick shrugged. "Then I out of ideas."
"I want Iz. Iz would know." I sighed. "When is he coming back?"
"He'll be back the day after tomorrow." Rick patted me over the head.
I gave up on Niek and Loke and logged out. Was probably about time I made another round around the Corner and checked on the Xavier teens anyway. I walked around the table to make sure St. John and Bobby was still sitting there. They were. And they blushed furiously when they noticed me looking at them. Why? Who knows.
I nodded at them and wandered over to the counter where Warren sat crosslegged, reading through a leaflet. I jumped up on the counter. "Hi. What'cha doin'?"
"Reading." He held up the leaflet so that I could read the title. 'Slash and Oz by Risa Kahn'. One of Izzy's then. Possibly Rick's.
Warren shrugged. "Readable."
Hm. Possible convert. I should tell Rick. I nodded at him, jumped down from the counter and wandered off to find Rain. Whose name was, according to St. John, actually Rahne. Just go with it.
She was doing homework.
No, seriously. She was. She'd found herself a free table and was now sitting there surrounded by books. Doing... I looked. Math. Ick. Now there's a subject I dropped as soon as I could.
She looked up and smiled. "I'm doing homework."
"I can see that. Very... studious of you. If that's a word."
She smiled again and blushed faintly. "Thank you."
I grinned at her and continued on my 'check what the teens are up to' trip.
Japheth was arguing with Jana over something while Jasmine (who was busy playing Tekken) gave them indulging glances from time to time. I stood and looked at them for a while.
"...Electra? Seriously, Japheth, what are you on?"
"What do you have against Carmen? Huh?"
"Gee, where do I start..."
"You have no taste."
"Au contraire, unlike you I actually have taste!"
"No problem. Three words; Catherine Zeta Jones."
Jana gave a disgusted sigh and poked Japheth in the chest, and I wandered off to find Remy and Ali. I already knew where Jubilee was. As loud as she was, she was pretty hard to miss. She had found a tv and Ricki Lake and was busy commenting on everybody's fashion sense (bad, worse and ohmygod).
Talk shows... I am never, ever going to understand los americanos fascination with the thing. It's, well, embarrassing, quite frankly. Oh well, somethings are not meant to understood by me, I suppose.
I finally found Ali and Remy in the supply closet, shouting rather loudly at each other.
"Ali, it doesn't matter!"
"Like hell it doesn't!"
Ah. Remy had finally broken up with Ali. About time in my opinion. Maybe he could go fix things with John later. When Ali was done shouting. ...Which could take a while...
I decided to just leave them and go pester Montgomery or something.