tatty bojangles (apocalypsos) wrote in xmmficathon,
tatty bojangles
apocalypsos
xmmficathon

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Author: apocalypsos
Title: Feed Me To The Tabloid Monster
Rating: PG-13, for the occasional adult reference and some bad language
Disclaimer: These characters are in no way, shape or form mine, as they belong to Marvel and Fox, and I'm only playing with them for the duration of this story. (And maybe afterwards in a naughty dream, because the thought of playing with Bobby gives me a happy.)
Summary: Bobby and Rogue are married and want to have a baby, but things don't turn out quite the way they planned.
Written for: ladybug218
Pairing/scenario requested: Bobby/Rogue - post x2 - preferably them as adults, maybe with their own kids?
Warnings (if any): Mpreg (But it's funny mpreg, I swear.)
Thanks to: Everyone who volunteered to beta for me, and vivian_shaw, who was the only one who actually got to because I took so long. Mea culpa. ladybug218, I hope you enjoy. :)

********

Once upon a time, Frosty the Snowman and the original Mutant Hose Beast got hitched and decided to try making a very small person who cried. But seeing as how the original Mutant Hose Beast tended to shut down internal organ systems with a kiss, making a baby the usual way would be difficult. And to be honest, really painful to Frosty.

So Frosty's best friend, Hefty Smurf, suggested that the loving couple do something very gross with a turkey baster. This didn't go over well.

This didn't, however, keep the turkey baster in the kitchen from disappearing two days later.

So Frosty the Snowman and the original Mutant Hose Beast tried every kinky trick in the book, and even a few tricks that a very stodgy editor cut out before the book hit the presses, and then one day aliens showed up to artificially inseminate the pair and fucked the whole thing right up.

So, what do you think?

Yeah, I didn't think it'd make a good bedtime story, either.

********

The day I woke up pregnant, Rogue and I came to lying naked in the wrong bed. The wrong bed meaning Logan was still in it.

Coincidentally, waking up naked in Logan's bed with no idea how you got there is the third leading cause of death among males in this country.

Now, I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, "Bobby, wouldn't waking up naked next to Rogue be detrimental to your health?" And I'm thinking, "Yes ... yes, it would."

Well, apparently the aliens thought of everything. Or you know, saved all of their vast and impressive knowledge to remember one important detail while completely screwing up every other bit of their nefarious plan.

This is probably why I woke up on top of Logan. Naked.

Both of us were, in fact. In retrospect, whether I want it there or not, the porn in my head had a perfectly viable excuse for being there long after I managed to scrub away the mental trauma of the whole fun and exciting affair.

So anyway, bed. Rogue, naked. Me, naked. Logan, naked. And at least one of us was screaming.

Dear God, don't let it be me.

"Bobby, hon? Are you screaming?"

Damn.

Logan sat up so suddenly I tipped over and fell to the floor, taking the bedspread with me. Meanwhile, Rogue let out a yelp and rolled off the other side of the bed, taking the sheets with her. Which, when you do the math, left Logan much more naked than he started out.

Dear God, remember when I was fifteen, and I was in gym class and I wished that everyone on the planet could be naked so that I could see Stephanie Baker's and Gena Fratelli's breasts? Yeah, I take that back.

Logan grabbed the nearest pillow and covered up for Rogue's sake, then glared at the both of us and snapped, "What the hell are you two doing in here?"

Rogue scowled as she tugged the sheets to cover more of her skin. "The Macarena. What does it look like we're doing?"

Logan glared at her, and before an argument could start, I blurted out, "We don't know." Then I darted a quick, questioning glance at Marie. "Do we?"

She shook her head, calming a bit. "Last night you went to sleep in your bed and I went to sleep in mine." We sleep in separate beds right next to each other, just like Ward and June Cleaver. Though probably not for the same reasons, unless there's something about June they never told the audience.

"Right," I said, rushing over to Rogue's side before the disemboweling commenced and flashing Logan the sincere, lovable smile that had convinced my mother that maybe she didn't want to miss our wedding after all. "So neither one of us knows how the hell we got here, and since we didn't do anything major like make out with you, we'll just go now. Sound like a plan?"

Logan just sniffed. Since he wasn't sniffing over our prone, bleeding corpses, I decided to consider it a yes.

It was right about the time I started tugging Marie towards the door that I realized I was walking funnier than normal. Not to mention that my stomach felt all sore and stretched out and oh my God, I did not want to know what the hell that meant. Of course, the fact that my sudden realization made me stop short, which forced Rogue to bump into my back with a muffled, "Ow," didn't exactly make any attempt to ignore what the hell that meant any easier.

"What'd you do that for?" Marie hissed, rubbing at her nose where it had hit the bedspread as she frowned up at me.

"Uh ..." I grimaced, tried to think of the best way to put it, then turned away from the both of them and opened the bedspread.

Look, when you wake up nine months pregnant, there aren't many reactions you can have, and that goes double when you have the entirely wrong equipment for the job. You can scream like a girl, which I think is pretty fair even if you're a guy. Hell, it should be required if you're a guy who wakes up pregnant. There should be screaming, and then maybe a lot of babbling and crying, and much like a splinter in your finger or a javelin through the head, you should offer it free of charge to whoever will take it out of you as painlessly as possible.

So, when I tugged open the bedspread and saw my stomach for the first time, I did what any other red-blooded American male in my situation would have done.

I passed out.

********

When I came to again, I was still pregnant. I was also in the med-lab lying on a table, a decided improvement.

And just so you understand I hadn't achieved a new level of zen calm over this whole thing, my best friend was fondling my belly.

Right after John had gone off with Magneto and Dr. Grey had disappeared under a great big tidal wave, Hank McCoy moved into the mansion to take over as the medical expert and had promptly befriended everybody in the place with his wit and charm. Well, except me, because I was too busy moping for my best friend who'd decided being a criminal would be more fun. Sometime in between teaching the science classes and discovering whatever new germ-sized thingy he'd be famous for finding that week, Hank scrounged together a get-happy starter kit for me that would make any sane person bounce off the walls.

In summation, it is physically impossible not to be best friends with a guy who hooks you up with a "Top Secret!" DVD and enough Twinkies to fill a refrigerator box. Literally.

Squirming up onto my elbows and staring down at my stomach, which looked about ready to burst open and spew forth the Kool-Aid Man, I scowled down at it before glaring over at Hank. It was either squeal like a girl or be pissed, and I'd already suffered enough embarrassment. "Hank, what the hell is going on?"

"Well, Robert, it appears congratulations are in order. If my examination is correct, you're nine months pregnant."

Uh ... yeah.

You know, he didn't actually have to come out and say it.

I lie there and yammered quietly for a minute, trying to find words in the English language that I wanted to say only to have them scamper away cackling every time I got near them, then frowned and said, "I'm trying to think of what I'm supposed to say, and I'm coming up with nothing."

"Well, as far as I've been able to tell, whatever you've got in there is one hundred percent human. Which would make you the first recorded pregnant male in history."

"That's not funny, Hank," I snapped, letting him help me into a sitting position. Hey, you try getting up with a ten-pound bowling ball glued to your midsection. "Uh, what did Logan say about --"

"I belive he said something about needing to be more drunk for this and headed out to the nearest bar." Cracking a smile, he said, "I probably should inform you that your lovely wife has gone out to purchase a variety of party favors for the occasion. According to her, Logan might actually be persuaded to wear a funny party hat for something like this."

That got a dirty look out of me, and he added, "Come on, you have to admit that was at least a little funny."

Oh, God ... Rogue.

I'd almost forgotten about Marie in the midst of all the unnatural impregnation, which I figured was a better excuse than most. I suppose there was a reason she wasn't down here in the med-lab with me, but I was almost afraid to ask. The last thing I wanted to hear was, "Sorry, but she went to get a squeegee and a slicker for when the screaming creature bursts from your chest."

I gave myself a moment to let that particular mental image run away wailing, then said, "I can't get pregnant, Hank. There are certain ... parts you need to get pregnant that I don't have. You know, like a uterus and the part of the brain that thinks Orlando Bloom looks hot and not like a girl with a bad haircut."

"Maybe you've developed a new mutant ability," he said, with far too straight a facial expression.

"Please tell me it's an ice dispenser," I said with a groan.

"Alas, you're very much a pregnant man." Forcing himself to not smile, Hank grabbed a stethoscope from the nearby counter and moved back over to me as he put it on.

He reached to put the flat part against my stomach and I smacked his hand away. "How could that even have happened?"

With all of the seriousness he could muster, Hank plastered on a caring smile, placed a hand on my shoulder, and said, "Robert, did some boy get you into trouble?"

The fact that he managed to survive that night without physical harm or prank-enduced embarrassment after that remark is a miracle that still shocks the hell out of me. "Get this out of me, Hank," I said past gritted teeth.

Hank frowned, hesitating. "Well, I will need a few hours to plan and prepare --"

"How hard could it be? Crack me open, fish around, and when you find something that looks like a baby, take it out."

"I would like to study whatever it is that might have gotten you into this delicate condition before I remove the child."

"Delicate?! I'm the size of a brontosaurus. There's nothing delicate about me." Before he could stop me, I reached down, grabbed the business end of the stethoscope, and yelled into it, "Get it out!"

With a wince, Hank yanked the stethoscope away from me. "Perhaps 'delicate' was too strong a word, as it were," he said, taking the stethoscope off and putting it as far away from me as he could reach. "But really, Robert, a few tests before the procedure might be in order. If you've developed some sort of strange new --"

"No."

"-- maybe it would be --"

"No."

"-- a good idea to examine --"

"No."

"-- to engage in preventative measures to keep it from happening again."

"Take all the time you need," I said smoothly.

********

An hour later, Hank let me out of the med-lab with the sincere promise that I wouldn't give birth before he could run a few more tests. Then he ran off to play with the results he'd already gotten before I started yelling or spontaneously grew girl parts and passed the kid just for spite.

I made it up to our room in record time, especially considering it felt like I was smuggling a frozen turkey under my shirt. I ducked through the doorway and slammed the door shut behind me before any of the others showed up and asked me any more embarrassing questions.

The next thing I knew, a very small, dark-haired Southern woman had flung herself at me and was firmly latched on with both arms, her face buried in my shirt.

My arms immediately slid around her waist, and she trembled in my grasp. "Are you okay?"

"You mean, aside from the pregnant bit?"

I stepped away from her then, and she glanced down at my stomach before rambling on. "I wanted to go into the med-lab with you, but then Logan told me it might be better to wait up here and Hank said something about sitting in the front row of a Gallagher concert, whoever that is ..."

During all of this, Marie was shoving me gently towards my bed, forcing me to sit down like a mental patient in a daze. She sat next to me and stared down at my midsection as if I was suddenly going to erupt, then raised her gaze to mine and gave me an uneasy smile.

"So."

"So."

A long silence, then ...

"Remember that time Magneto abducted you and took you to the top of the Statue of Liberty and tried to use you to turn a bunch of people into mutants?"

"Yeah," Rogue said hesitantly.

"This is weirder."

A nervous laugh slipped past her lips, and before she could stop herself, she blurted out, "Can I see?"

"No!" She frowned and I added, "I don't mean, 'No,' as in, 'No!' I mean ... this is insanely weird."

Her dark brown eyes glistened with unshed tears, and she said, "Please?"

Aw, she was doing the puppy-dog eyes. She knew damn well what doing that puppy-dog eyes look made me do.

"I can't believe I'm doing this," I said, and tugged up my shirt to expose my belly.

She reached out and touched my skin with her gloved hand as if she still didn't believe it, then grinned and said, "I don't think it looks all that bad."

With her hand on my belly, I suddenly was having a had time finding any reason it looked all that bad, either.

A strange wriggling sensation danced inside my midsection, and we both flinched. "Uh, it's squirming," I said.

"They do that, Bobby," Marie said, unable to restrain a grin.

"Yeah, but not in me."

She stroked my rounded belly with barely hidden longing, and it hit me how often I'd seen that look in her eyes. Ever since we'd gotten married, she'd been dying to have a baby -- mostly because she wanted to be a mom, of course, but I always thought part of it had been because she'd been hoping a baby would be immune to her mutant ability. It was sort of like she was reasoning, If I can't find someone who's immune, well, damn it, I'll just make one!

Not that I blamed her.

"How do you think it got in there?"

I shrugged. "Beats me. Wrong turn at Albuquerque?"

She grinned wryly at me, her eyes twinkling past her thick dark lashes. "It could be worse, Bobby. Just imagine if the students were here right now."

I grimaced at the thought of what three dozen teenagers would do if I'd come walking into a math class today with a stomach the size of a VW Bug. I'd never been so grateful for summer break in my life. Not to mention the added advantage of Scott, Storm, and Kurt having taken the kids left behind on a camping trip. "Now you're just trying to give me nightmares."

"Is it working?"

"Pretty well, actually."

We exchanged a smile, and her hand fell from my stomach to grab my free hand tightly. Her fingers slipped between mine, and she gifted me with a sweet smile that almost melted my heart as she clutched my hand. Considering we still couldn't touch skin to skin for any longer than about seven seconds, this was practically getting to third base.

John once asked me before he left why I would even bother dating a girl I couldn't get anywhere with. This was why, the quiet little moments when I realized I'd never been more comfortable with anyone else in my life.

Well, that, and you really have no idea how kinky you can get with a wife you can't physically touch for more than a few seconds.

Uh, you probably didn't want to know that, did you?

A loud bang sounded from the front gate of the mansion, and we both frowned as we glanced in that direction. Rogue winced, and an uneasy chill crawled up my spine as I asked, "What's that noise?"

"Uh ... I think Kitty called Jubilee."

No, wait. This is my nightmare.

I paled and shot to my feet. "Oh, God. Morning sickness."

"You don't get morning sickness in the ninth month," Marie said, exasperated.

"I'm going to hurl," I declared as I waddled towards the nearest bathroom. "It'll be a geyser! Cascading vomit as far as the eye can see!"

"You don't have to throw up, Bobby!"

My stomach rolled, and I gagged. "Now I do," I muttered, moving as quickly as I could towards the safety of somewhere Jubilee couldn't see me. The last thing I needed was Jubilee witnessing this.

********

"Are you going to breastfeed?"

"No!"

"If you do, can I watch?"

"No!"

"Is Logan the father of your baby?"

I glared at the locked bathroom door. "Hell, no!"

It was almost possible to hear Rogue rolling her eyes. "Jubilee, please stop asking my husband annoying questions."

"I'm not going to stop until that dumbass --" She kicked the outside of the door, and I scowled as it shuddered a little from the impact. "-- comes out of the bathroom."

No one was watching me, but I still couldn't help but shake my head in defiance. Being seen like this by the student body was gaining a certain appeal, especially if the alternative was going out and having to be seen by Jubilee. If one minor fender-bender when I was eighteen had resulted in months of pranks at my expense, an inexplicable overnight pregnancy would undoubtedly involve shame on a global scale.

"Do you have a camera?" I called out.

"No," she said, "but I draw a mean stick figure."

"I'm serious."

"So am I. I can also draw happy stick figures and sad stick figures and --"

"Jubilee," Rogue said, in that no-bullshit voice that always made Hank and I stop telling dirty jokes at the dinner table, "keep it up and the gloves come off."

"What? It was just a joke. Admittedly, a lame one, but if I say anything too funny, the baby factory in there might self-destruct and we're going to be cleaning globs of snowman off the walls for weeks."

I winced and looked down at my swollen stomach. It wasn't that I didn't want the baby, I did. It was just ...

I mean, come on, how was it supposed to come out? In retrospect, if aliens were going to put a baby in the stomach of a guy, the least they could have done was install a zipper.

"You're just a ball of sunshine, you know that?" The way Rogue hissed that at Jubilee nearly made me burst out laughing, but the smile fled from my lips as I heard Rogue lean against the bathroom door and whisper, "Baby, please come out of the bathroom."

"Oh, for Pete's sake," Kitty groaned.

"Like you've never said that before," I thought I heard Jubilee mutter.

A second later, Kitty walked through the door and scowled at me. "C'mon, you, let's go," she said.

I narrowed my eyes at her. "Does Jubilee have a camera?"

Rolling her eyes, Kitty crossed her arms and said, "No, she has a camera crew. We're all going to put you on the six o'clock news with a big sign that says, 'I got knocked up in my sleep and all I got were these lousy stretch marks.' And after that, we're going to put the pictures on the Internet and sell the placenta on eBay."

I leaned back a little and eyed her suspiciously. "You keep using that much sarcasm and you're going to scar the baby for life."

She sighed heavily. "Okay, let's try this," she said, her tone of voice softening. "Bobby, you're really starting to freak Rogue out."

A wave of guilt washed over me. "Oh."

"Yeah, 'oh.'" A long, uncomfortable silence followed, which was only broken when Kitty leaned forward and stared at my stomach curiously. "I read a story like this on the internet once," Kitty said, poking me in the stomach as if the baby were going to poke an accusatory finger back.

"Do I want to know how it ended?"

"Probably not. Anyway, it's not like you got knocked up by an evil bald billionaire."

"Huh?"

"Never mind."

A moment later, what sounded like a small freight train bounded up the steps down the hell, and Kitty and I exchanged a look as Hank's anxious voice carried through the door. "Uh, ladies, you might want to come downstairs." Jubilee cleared her throat loudly, and one of them must have cocked their head towards the bathroom, because he almost immediately added, "And Robert as well, I imagine."

"No way," I called out. "I absolutely refuse to leave this bathroom --"

"There's a very strange man in the foyer who claims to know why Robert is pregnant."

The next thing anyone knew, I had barrelled out of the bathroom and down the hallway, but not as literally as you'd think for someone currently shaped like an actual barrel. "-- unless some stranger shows up knowing who knocked me up."

********

When Hank said there was a strange man at the front door, he meant it. And let's remember, you already take the word "strange" with a grain of salt when it comes from a guy whose experiments occasionally turn him colors not found in nature.

The man in question looked physically like Jerry Garcia down to the tiniest detail, with the single exception of his being three feet tall. Hell, he was even lugging a very small guitar on his back, although to this day I have no idea why. As for his clothes, apparently someone had mixed up Jerry and Elvis somewhere, because he was dressed in a sparkly blue skintight jumpsuit that was frankly scaring me a little.

The five of us got to the bottom of the steps and just gaped. It was our only defense, really.

I frowned and wondered whether now would be a good time to scream like a girl and run for the hills. I'd had so many viable opportunities in the past few hours to do it, and I really wanted to use at least one of them up before I ran out. And Jerry Garcia dressed up like Elvis in Vegas clothes is terrifying for everyone. Just trust me on that.

"Uh, hi," I said.

He beamed and waved up at all of us. "Hi, I'm Steve. I'm an alien."

No one said a word, and for the most part stared calmly at the guy as if waiting for his next statement. Frowning, he said, "That's odd. Usually, that gets a different response."

Kitty rolled her eyes. "Welcome to Xavier's, home of the different response."

The hair on the back of my neck stood up, and I put my hands protectively over my stomach. "You're an alien?"

"Yes, sir," he said.

"And your name is Steve?"

His smile faltered. "I'm sorry," he said, confused. "I assumed your first questions would be about your sudden pregnancy."

"You're going to get to that eventually, right?

"Well, yes, but --"

"Steve?!" I practically shrieked. Hey, I had an excuse for all the weird behavior, all right? Any more strange crap happened to me, and I was going to legally qualify for a lifetime supply of straitjackets in forty-seven states.

Rogue ducked between me and Steve and forced a smile. "Don't mind him, he's emotionally traumatized. You were saying about the baby ..."

"Right, then," he said, the gigantic overeager grin plastered back on his face. "I suppose you'd like an explanation."

Then Steve sat down with all of us in the TV room and told his story. It went a little something like this.

********

Once upon a time, there were a bunch of intergalactic tourists who ate a lot of Reese's Pieces and ran up enormous phone bills calling home and were easily bored. One day, the tourists stumbled onto a very pretty place full of idiots. And because they'd been watching too many Disney movies-of-the-week, they decided to do some nice deeds for some people in the very pretty place.

First off on their list were getting people laid and giving away a lot of legal tender in the form of precious metals and priceless jewels. The tourists were kind of like 70s game show hosts, in that respect.

Then one day, they stumbled upon Frosty the Snowman and the original Mutant Hose Beast, who were a cute couple and occasionally wore black leather outfits in a mostly non-dominatrix sort of way. So they decided to do a good deed for Frosty and the Hose Beast, which involved abducting them in the night, poofing their unconscious bodies up into their Satellite of Love, and whipping up a DNA cocktail with their cells. Which was all well and good, until they pushed a couple of buttons and figured out that sticking a mini-mutant into the Hose Beast might not be the best way to go about it. You know, because of the inadvertant suckage.

So the tourists figured, "What the hell? We've got to put it somewhere," and tossed the kid into Frosty. Which, after they mocked up a uterus in there, must have been like getting stuck inside a refrigerator.

Anyway, the tourists shoved Frosty into the nearest temporal microwave whosit and hit the "Full-term gestation" button, and the very next thing you know, Frosty's lying naked on top of He Who Must Not Be Pissed Off. And whenever we were ready, the very small crying person could be removed along with the fake uterus and everybody could live happily ever after, except for Frosty, who would officially be grossed out for the rest of his natural life. The End.

Yeah, that's not the best bedtime story to tell the baby, either.

********

What followed was quite possibly the most uncomfortable silence in the history of this planet, if you ignored the fact that Steve was still grinning like an idiot and staring at us as if he expected a hug, a cash reward, and a date with the first supermodel we could find.

Instead, Marie and I exchanged a confused look before I said, "So this is really our kid."

"Oh, yes."

"And you thought it was perfectly okay to put a baby in a man."

"I'm sorry, was that a problem?"

I scowled and was all ready to yelp something that would probably result in a declaration of intergalactic war, but Rogue quickly clapped her gloved hand over my mouth, forced a smile and shook her head. Hank, meanwhile, covered up a laugh with a choked cough and said, "Actually, females usually bear the children here."

"We figured that might be a possibility when we couldn't find the appropriate internal organs in your friend here, but after much analysis, we simply assumed they fell out."

Jubilee made a face and said, "I'm not even touching that one."

Rogue's hand finally dropped from my face, and I took the opportunity to say, "Well, if you could put a baby into a guy's stomach and fast forward nine months in a matter of seconds, don't you have a little machine with lots of dials and buttons that could give Marie's powers an off switch?"

For the first time, Steve allowed himself to frown. "Huh. We never thought of trying that."

Rogue made a sound in the back of her throat that I could have sworn was a growl, and I made a mental note that maybe I should do an inventory of just how much of Logan was still left in her head. "And how the hell did you expect it to come out? I mean, it's not like I have an ... exit door down there," I said, for lack of a better comparison.

"I'd say it's more like a water slide."

Every pair of eyes in the room glared at Jubilee, and she frowned. "Hey, everybody was thinking it. I was just saying it out loud for the benefit of the people who can't access Radio None Of Your Damn Business like some bald teachers I can think of."

Ignoring Jubilee's ramblings, Rogue stared at Steve with hope in her eyes. "Will I be able to touch the baby without ..." Her voice trailed off, and I reached for her hand without conscious thought.

"Yes, I believe so," he said, his smile returning in full force. "See, when we took you two, we also --"

The front door slammed open, and Logan strode down the hallway and into the TV room with all of the subtlety of a bull elephant. He took one cursory glance at the five of us, then looked from us to Steve and narrowed his eyes.

"Hey," he said. "Who's the munchkin?"

"Steve," Rogue said. "He's from outer space."

"Huh."

I didn't think it needed to be said, but I heard myself blurt out anyway, "He knocked me up."

Logan raised an eyebrow at that, then looked over at the five of us. "Do I want to know?"

We all shook our heads simultaneously in a creepy group effort.

He took one more look at Steve and grunted. "Definitely not drunk enough for this," he said, then turned on his heel and headed right back out the front door.

"What about Logan?" Hank asked. "Did you borrow him, as well?"

Steve cleared his throat. "You see, sir, we needed some of his unique enzymes to --"

Before any of us even saw it coming, Rogue shot forward, latched onto the little bastard's sequined collar and shook him like a "Viva Las Vegas"-themed rag doll. "Listen, you little punk," she said, her Southern accent thickening as she got more emotional, "we're not lookin' for you to get all dodgy with the facts, you hear me?"

She gave him a good shake in frustration, and he squeaked and vanished with a small puff of smoke.

We all stared at the empty space where a small, funny-looking alien had been dangling only a moment before, and Kitty stepped forward to examine the air in front of Rogue as if she'd find the guy hiding behind a pile of air molecules. "Oh, you've got to be kidding me," she muttered, exchanging an annoyed look with Marie.

"Maybe he got stuck in the couch cushions." We all looked to Jubilee with the requisite level of irritation and confusion looking to Jubilee required, and she blinked. "What? He's the right size for it."

Before anybody else could say or do anything to make this whole situation last any longer than it already had, I struggled to my feet and said, "Hank?"

"Yes, Robert?"

"If you take this baby out of me right now, I will buy you a box of Twinkies every day for the rest of your life."

"Consider it a deal."

********

I'd just like to point out that this story has more instances of me coming out of unconsciousness than I'd like. I'm just saying.

Thankfully, this time I was in much more of a fog than usual, which was probably a good thing considering how much extraneous junk Hank had to clean out of me before he could close me up. I didn't even want to imagine what the intern he'd called to come to the mansion to assist with the operation was thinking right now, but since it was a former student of Xavier's who'd undoubtedly seen some pretty weird crap, I was hoping for sympathy's sake that it was mostly "Ow" over and over again.

Somewhere in the happy haze of Anesthesia Land, I heard shuffling around me and a soft whimpering sound. Then Marie's quiet voice said, "Bobby?"

"Mmm-hmm?"

"You want to wake up and see the baby?"

"Mmm-hmm," I said, smiling broadly, then shut my eyes and told myself that it was probably the drugs that were making me want to add that I wanted to go to the zoo and throw popcorn to the elephants.

"She looks just like you --"

"Marie," Hank said from somewhere on the other side of the bed, "now might not be the best time."

"Because he's still in a lot of pain?"

"Well, yes. Not to mention he's on more drugs than Keith Richards for the entire year of 1972."

"Good point."

********

When I came to the next time around, I was dressed in my baggiest pajama bottoms and T-shirt and lying in the king-size bed in the room across the hall from mine and Marie's. It felt as if a gang of angry penguins had beat the crap out of me and pecked me over and over in my midsection for good measure.

Needless to say, there were stitches. Also needless to say, no power on this earth will make me tell you where they were.

It took me a good five minutes of alternating rolling around slowly and pausing to wince before I managed to get to my feet, and just when I thought the pain was going to die down, a new and exciting world of discomfort opened up to me the minute I stood up. Each shuffling step I took was agony, and all I could think was that if Marie ever got pregnant, she was going to have her own personal slave in yours truly, quite possibly until the kid was its third year of college.

"Ow, ow, ow, ow, ow, ow, ow, ow, ow, ow, ow, ow," I said as I walked across the hall.

"Are you going to say 'Ow' with every step you take?" Marie called out through our door.

"Yes," I yelled in between 'Ow's.

Finally, I reached the door to our room, and with as little waist-level movement as I could manage, I opened the door, ducked inside, and casually shut the door behind me.

What I saw then stopped me dead in my tracks.

Marie was curled up next to the smallest infant I'd ever seen in my life -- although it wasn't like I'd ever seen a lot of newborns up close -- and both of them were covered with a pink afghan Marie had bought on a whim the second the wanting-a-baby bug had bitten her. The baby lay sleeping, limbs sprawled out in all directions like she was going to take up all the bedspace she could manage. And, as far as I could tell, with the exception of a diaper on the baby and underwear on Marie, both of them were as naked as could be.

I sank down on my bed, in awe at the sight of Marie's fingertips hesitantly drifting over the soft baby skin. "You can touch her," I said quietly.

She burst out laughing at that, tears catching in her throat and her gaze firmly locked on our baby. "I can't stop touching her."

I looked down at the baby then, at the soft brown hair growing thick on the top of her head and Marie's snub nose in the middle of my facial features, and I fell in love at first sight for the second time in my life. "Who can blame you?"

And we lived semi-happily ever after.

For exactly three weeks.

********

Three weeks later, Rogue and I woke up naked in Logan's bed. Again. Some things should never become a habit.

The good news was that Logan had gone for a ride up to Canada to see some old brawling buddies a few days earlier and wasn't in the bed with us this time around. However, any thankful feelings I might have had died a quick death when I realized Rogue was lying right on top of me.

Normally, I would have rolled her off of me as fast as possible ... you know, if we made a habit of being stupid enough to sleep naked in the same bed. But a split second after I recognized our bare skin was touching all over the place, it hit me. No, not the tingling, draining pain of Marie's mutant powers sucking away my strength until I couldn't breathe.

Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

Her powers ... they weren't working. Just like with the baby, her skin touched mine and not a damn thing was happening.

My heart continued to race, except now the fast, steady thrum of it was due not to fear but to excitement. I savored the feel of her, the velvety softness of her cheek pressed against my chest, the warmth of her palm resting over my heart.

I made a choking sound in the back of my throat, and she wriggled on top of me. "Bobby, it's your turn to check on the baby," she mumbled, obviously not noticing what the wriggling was doing to very important body parts that were practically hopping up and down and waving their arm in the air like overeager fourth-graders.

I didn't move -- hell, didn't even breathe for the longest minute of my life -- then let out a harsh, shuddering breath as I realized I was still conscious. "Marie, wake up," I said, my voice cracking.

She yawned adorably, nearly rolling off of me, and I deliberately slid my arm around her waist before she could move away. She reached up to rub the sleep from her eyes, then looked down at me with a tired smile for the briefest of instances. Suddenly, her eyes widened, and she looked down at us in complete and utter shock. "Oh, my G--"

You didn't honestly think I was going to let her finish that sentence, did you?

Even though we were both pressing against one another as nakedly as possible, our kiss was hesitant and hungry all at once, the two of us wanting to go further but not sure if it was safe. When we'd been lying skin to skin for going on nearly two minutes and all of my organs were functioning -- some more than others -- it became brutally obvious that sometime during the middle of the night, the Mutant Ability Fairy had shown up and tweaked Marie's powers in every good way possible.

For a long time after that, the only one doing good things to Marie was me.

********

A while later, when we both decided we probably needed a short breather to look in on Rebecca and inform the others, I went up to check on the baby while Rogue threw on a robe and went on a kissing spree throughout the entire mansion. The good news was that she got a congratulatory bear hug out of Peter, a happy dance out of Jubilee, and an equally thrilled kiss out of Kurt. The bad news was the ecstatic squeal out of Theresa, who if the rumors can be believed will be getting a bushel of muzzles from the student body for the next ten Christmases.

She also got an offer for a day's worth of free babysitting out of Kitty. I'm pretty sure I still owe her a new car or a pony or something for that.

I wasn't about to question any more mysterious, impossible presents, but a quick peek in Rebecca's crib revealed a carefully folded note tucked under her afghan. Frowning, I double-checked to make sure she was still asleep, then opened the paper and read.

In big block letters, it said, SORRY ABOUT THE MIX-UP. WON'T HAPPEN AGAIN. PLEASE ACCEPT THIS BIOLOGICAL DIMMER SWITCH AS A TOKEN OF OUR REGRETS. SIGNED, STEVE.

I glanced over at the door as the girls' excited squeals came up the stairwell, and smiled as I crumpled the note and tossed it in the diaper pail. As mistakes went, I thought as I looked down on my daughter, this one wasn't half bad at all.

Just as long as we remembered to wash Logan's sheets before he got back.
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