Truckin'

When you're big in Japan, you don't have to worry about crazy Southern women.

Boy, I wish I were big in Japan. I have never seen a woman without a hormonal imbalance go from hot to cold so quickly. Then again, maybe I'm overexaggerating since I seem to be somewhere in the crux of Rogue's emotional upheaval. I haven't totally cut myself off from her. even though that is pretty damn tempting. Though basically she and I are only in the same area together for her lessons. With added Longshot or Mrs. Summers to make sure she takes this stuff seriously now. Joseph keeps asking if he can lend a hand. I'm a little leery of that. There's some history between those two I'm not quite clear on, but I can't turn away a hand offered in help.

I do manage to avoid other social situations with Rogue by taking care of other business with everybody else. My little plastic card of purchasing power is whimpering from going out with McCoy and Reyes to stock up medical supplies. You have no idea how hard it was to talk both of them out of buying a big machine that neither could satisfactorily explain what it does in plain English. If I don't understand what it does and have a feeling it isn't going to be used all that often, I'm not going to buy it. They can both beg Chuckles when we finally get him back to the mansion.

Speaking of which, Timoth called this morning about a possible lead. He had nothing confirmable yet because it looks like Charles keeps getting moved. I'm surprised Timmy is keeping a personal eye on this one. Then again, a lot of the contracting jobs Black Horse Inc. gets is from Chuckles. That may explain why Timoth sent my little sister undercover to get better information. I have a funny feeling there may be a charge later for doing this.

Anyway, after taking care of the medical supply run and talking even more with McCoy, who is now firmly convinced he needs to get me in a lab for a little study, I managed to escape to the Great Outdoors. Only to be slyly hoodwinked into helping Storm plant things. And considering all the recent events, that was a pleasant way to spend the day. However, I am so glad I do not get sunburns. Because I would be very much burned. Especially when I shed my shirt in a show of manliness. I don't think I impressed anybody around here, but it did feel nice to have a breeze blowing across my skin.

Playing in the dirt set my mind at ease for the first time in awhile. Hopefully Ororo will have some more planting to be done tomorrow.
  • Current Music
    Alphaville - Big In Japan
Truckin'

Everything on the earth has a purpose, every disease an herb to cure it, and every person a mission.

I'm not Rogue's herb. No matter what she thinks. I can touch her, yes, but that isn't a cure. I think it's a bit of a curse. For both of us. I am not interested in her in the least bit. She's a nice lady, but really not my type. I can see why Lucky loves her, but she doesn't really pluck my feather.

So that made running into Rogue when I was going to the kitchen to forage for food kind of problematic. I don't like being looked at like I'm the greatest thing since color TV. That's a high expectation, and I know I'm not going to live up to it. I was just hoping to walk by her like I normally would, but nooooo, she had to stop me.

She did it under the pretense of wanting to know how everybody else was doing. I kept my tongue from telling her to go check out for herself; they could probably use the Ms. Sunshine happiness she was giving off in waves. I gave a brief, terse response which I had hoped had given her just enough details for her to go off and see the others and leave me alone to eat. It didn't. My reply was enough to make her look slightly concerned and ask if I was all right.

I kind of overreacted when she reached for my hand, probably to try to comfort me. Instead I abruptly yanked my hand backward out of her grasp. And into the wall. Which really hurt. I bit my lower lip to keep from whimpering.

This of course made Rogue even more concerned. She commented that she didn't have cooties when it came to me. When she made to step closer to me, I made the rest of my body join my hand against the wall. More surface area slapping against the wall doesn't hurt as much. Except for bumping the back of my head.

I admit it now, I bumble. Quite well. I held my hands up to keep her from following me and tried to explain that I just wanted to eat a little lunch and then get on with my normal day. I don't think she got my emphasis on the word normal. Meaning I wasn't looking for a status quo change in our relationship. I was at the mansion to help her control her powers, not be the oddball who would be the only person to touch her. Doesn't really help with healing that way.

She said she could whip something up for me if I wanted. In fact, she was heading to the kitchen herself. (I doubt that as she was walking in the opposite direction from the kitchen. I think I was supposed to be flattered but only ended up being more aggravated.) I didn't call her on going the wrong direction, but ultimately just accepted her offer of food. The less I have to cook, the better, and it was just bad to not accept food when offered to you.

I gestured her down the hall toward the kitchen and only peeled myself off the wall when she started toward the kitchen after a bit of hesitation. I think I had thrown her through a loop by not suddenly falling madly in love with her and sweeping her off her feet to have some private touchy-feely time. As we made it to the kitchen, I had resolved to always have somebody with me for Rogue's lessons. Since she knew I could touch her, I figured I needed somebody she knew her powers would affect. She doesn't want people bouncing around inside of her head, so she might focus if the danger of absorption is there.

In fact, the most likely candidate was Longshot. I knew it would be no problem for him to join in on the lessons. Maybe I'd also scout out one of the other X-Men to continue with her lessons when Charles got back. I did have life outside of Westchester that I had to get back to eventually.

So lunch went by with a heaping side dish of uncomfortableness for me. Rogue became a bit more wary with me every time I squirmed in my seat. I tried to broach the additional person being added to her power lessons but she sort of threw me off by quickly asking if I knew what I meant to her now.

I don't think she appreciated the answer of "an easy way out." In fact, that made her kind of angry. She started to get a little red in the face and a little loud as she demanded to know if I had any idea how long she had been waiting for someone like me.

I tried to gently counter that she really hadn't been waiting for someone like me because she would have been all over me when we first met. [Well, when we were introduced after she and I had collided that auspicious first day.] I was trying to go for the whole liking me for my personality, not my powers stuff, but again I didn't get far with that. I think somewhere in her mind, she had already whipped up this fairy tale story with me as the charming prince and her as restricted beauty. Rogue couldn't understand my line of reasoning, even though I tried damn hard to get it across to her. I didn't raise my voice to counter Rogue's level, but I never really got a word in edgewise until she had stormed out the room. Watching her walk out, I knew I had failed and things from then on were going to be harder for me when dealing with her.

I proceeded to bang my head on the table until Ororo walked in and asked me what in the world I was doing.
  • Current Music
    Dean Martin - Ain't That A Kick In The Head
Truckin'

It feels like I've been sleeping for 8 months.

You know the feeling, right? It's like bliss for the first two months part of the night. After a day in the snow, tangling with the DC, I felt like I needed to sleep that long, but then the dreams turned. It felt like one of my fighting days, hip deep in bloody water and not able to wake up. (Which would, what, bring it up to Wolverine's neck?)

I can still feel what's left of that restless sleep. I'm sitting here, quite awake and my arms still want to pull the gun closer. My legs just feel damp and cold. It's lingering much more than I'd like. Then again, this entire day is lingering more than I'd like.

So, backtracking to this morning, when my mind and body let me finally wake up from the unending sleep, I found Lucky sitting on the floor next to my bed, dozing. I know when I went to bed last night, he wasn't there. So I decided to wake him the gentlest way I knew how.

I don't think he appreciated the noogie at all.

Anyway, when I ask him why he's sleeping next to my bed, he says the entire mansion's been restless all night. Reyes has been making rounds to all the wounded that we didn't cart off to the hospital, which would have been everybody but Worthington. Well, Drake and Betsy also, but they just went with Worthington to keep him company at the hospital. I suppose Drake went in the back way to sit with his friend as the nurses might question the walking ice cube visiting the man who once had wings. Everybody else was licking their wounds or comforting whomever.

Well, except Marrow whose method of making somebody feel better was to tell them to be glad it wasn't her who hurt them. She would have been more thorough. She fled down to her basement after a nasty altercation between Wolverine and Sam on her behalf.

Lucky said that nobody had been sleeping well so he went to check on me. I had appeared to be sleeping okay, but he noticed that my dreamcatcher wasn't out. So he plunked himself down as my dream protector until I awoke. I appreciate the gesture, and I'm glad he's watching out for me. But I don't think he could ever replace my dreamcatcher. It does a better job than he does. Though he is right. My dreamcatcher has totally disappeared. I think I'll tear my room and then the mansion apart to find it before bed tonight.

So, I got up and had a somber breakfast with a bunch of somber people. Well, except Rogue. She was in fine spirits for some reason. Maybe Joseph had done a good job comforting her or something. I would, of course, find out how extremely wrong that observation was later.

After consuming food and living with a surprise inspection by Cyclops of my business here with the X-Men, Lucky and I went with Reyes to check up on the wounded. Mrs. Summers only has a few minor scrapes and light bruises left. Reyes said due to the miracle that is my blood that even those wounds will be gone by this evening. (Which they are.) Mrs. Summers was rather inquisitive as to how I came to be at the mansion and how I met Longshot. I think it's more scary to be gently interrogated by her than deal with the meticulous questions from her husband. Reyes, who will be my patron saint someday if my soul is ever redeemed, bailed me out of too many more questions with the need to check up on McCoy and possible give a little more blood to help him on his path to recovery.

McCoy is looking better. His body is slowly pushing whatever modifications Spiral did out. Though that did cause some more wounding in itself. So I sat down and gave a pint for the team. Talked with McCoy on what I've done with my blood thus far and what limitations I know of for it's use. He seemed all keyed up to start doing some experiments while he was in that makeshift hospital bed. I ducked out as Reyes distracted him with status reports on everybody else.

It was as I was making my way to the kitchen to make a light lunch for myself that I ran into Rogue. My day, which actually hadn't been so bad thus far, firmly went downhill from there.
  • Current Music
    Led Zepplin - Stairway to Heaven
Woods.  Danger.

So what exactly happened you say?

Sorry for the abrupt end on the last entry. I still needed a full night's sleep to process exactly how I should report that I screwed up. I didn't get a full night's sleep, but I'll give it a shot anyway. Oh, and if I don't give all the details, that's because I can only give you what I remember clearly. Lots of stuff got lost in the heat of the moment.

Though I'll note if I had heard any screaming I wouldn't have been sitting in those damn trees, waiting for . . . something. I don't know what I was waiting for. Maybe my courage to stop being strangled by a heightened common sense.

Anyway, I was keeping watch on the only house that wasn't demolished. See, I'm never the type of guy who can think he can take down an entire team of people by himself. I've been a part of a well-oiled team and know that's just not possible. Well, unless you're a god or something. I'm sure Zeus coulda walked in there, taken the DC out, and romanced Mrs. Summers before breakfast. But then, I don't also have an ego the size of Russia neither.

Can I say that it's freaking cold in Alaska, especially when you're not completely dressed for it. My hooded sweatshirt and jeans weren't exactly letting me not chatter my teeth as I scouted out the situation. The chattering of my teeth was almost enough to block out the rumbling that I heard in the distance. I thought maybe Bracht was tunneling right up to me. Then he'd squish me in a chasm of his own creation. He's inventive like that. The rumbling, as I found out, was Bracht, but he wasn't coming up to get me. He and Shadow were handing the National Guard, police, and armed forces who were trying to get into the area.

So by the time the sun goes down, which really wasn't all that long. I'm freezing my butt off. But it's dark enough for me to do some scouting up towards the house. The house was dim but not dark, which left a light on somewhere. Tromping around in the copse of woods, I found an ideal way to approach the house. I quickly decided not to use that because it felt like a trap. At the time, I had no clue where Shadow was and he could pick me off at some point. I crept up to the house via a harder route that often had me on my belly in the snow. It got worse when snow got down my pants, but I made it to the house. Oh, I forgot to mention. I had no weapons outside of this nice stick I picked up in the woods. So, I'm lurking outside of this house with a lone stick to protect me.

I get a peak inside and see little. Well, shadows and mess, but no people. I start to slide up to a window. I'm tall enough that it'll be the best, not obvious way to get in. As I was fiddling with the window, I got the feeling that something was very, very wrong. I was quickly proven right as somebody kicked my head into the window. So that element of surprise I was working for? Gone as my head sends glass all over the interior of the house.

I'm bleeding pretty good when I stagger back and swing my stick wildly. I don't connect with anything and when I get the sense to look, I find a very smug, white-haired, teleporting freak smirking at me. Needless to say I tried to shove my stick down Spiral's throat.

Didn't succeed so much at that task. Luckily, the X-Men showed up to stop Spiral from kicking my ass too severely. Lots of fighting ensues and the temperature drops even lower as Storm makes it into the house and finds something she really, really didn't want to find. I didn't want to find it later, but I did.

Anyway, the weather outside gets worse as traps are sprung and the X-Men fight like there's no tomorrow. I could understand why the DC was there, but I had no idea why Spiral was there. And she was the problem I had a lot of when she started casting some spells. She missed Longshot who was her intended target and hit Rogue who was having some problems dealing with Zephyr. Let's just say when Spiral amplifies your powers enough that they start to eat you from the inside out, it's very very bad. I think it woulda been bad for Lucky if it had hit him, as it would be hard to pull off a lucky feat while you're stumbling around in pain. He could work off the energy I'm sure, but Rogue didn't have that luxury. And as my luck would have it, whatever Spiral's spell was meant to amplify, it decided to latch onto Rogue's absorption power.

So if somebody didn't give it something real quick to try to absorb, I had a feeling it would start going from skin contact to an airborne tragedy. So, swallowing my desire to stay out of the X-Men's lives as much as possible, I decided that the person she should try to suck dry was . . . Longshot! I just threw him right up there and watched him get sucked dry 'til he was a husk. Easy to do too as he weighs about as much as a paperweight. Now he weighs less than the little urn we have for him on the mantle.



Gotcha.

I chose myself of course, people. Ever the martyr when everybody else is better suited doing something productive. The only problem I had was that Rogue managed to get hit in midair and didn't go down afterwards. So I had to jump up, catch her boots and pull myself up her body. I don't she really cared where my hands went, but I tried to be careful. I don't think she cared because she was silently screaming in pain, but it's the thought that counts, right? Anyway, pulled myself up, hoped I was right about the extent of my powers, and kissed her.

Ok, I admit that wasn't the gentlemanly thing to do, but my hands were busy trying to hold me on her. I guess I could of just pressed my cheek against hers, but I didn't think of that. I have a feeling in the long run, the cheek-to-cheek thing would have been a wise move. Teachers really shouldn't kiss their students.

So I was kissing Rogue and feeling her powers trying to suck me into her skull and not succeeding. No matter how much Spiral pumped up the amplifier. Well, until she pumped up the amplifier enough that the energy had to release. Which it did. Sorta sent me into some tree and knocked me out. Damn mystical powers.

When I woke up, the X-Men had won. Well, sort of. It wasn't without a price.

McCoy got tinkered with by Spiral so he's got some deformities he didn't want as she didn't finish. I tried to heal him as best I could as his wounds were fresher, but we still got to wait to see how it takes.

Mrs. Summers was worked over by Lash and really needs to rest. I did what I could about the whip marks, but I don't know about what all those jolts of electricity did to her.

Drake got blasted through a wall and is having troubles powering down. He joked he's had problems like this before. He really got off the lightest. Ororo said he should be able to power down completely within a day.

Cyclops has to sleep at night knowing he couldn't help his friends and wife when they needed help the most. He had to hear it all. I don't envy the man in the least.

And Angel came off the worst. He was the first to get hurt grievously by the DC so I couldn't heal as much with him as I could the others. His legs were rebroken. That I could fix because that was a recent development. The one I couldn't help with, is making me feel the worst.

His wings are a total loss. Especially since they're not connected to his body anymore. And we weren't the ones who did the amputation.

I'm sorry, Charles. I'm so sorry. You asked for my help and I let you down.

I should have seen the signs, found some way to stop them when I first got wind the DC was making noise, but I didn't have the foresight to see the problem until your students got hurt.

Gods, do I need a stiff drink.
  • Current Music
    John Cougar Mellencamp - Rain on the Scarecrow
Truckin'

When the Coyote eats your chickens while you sleep, don't be so damn surprised.

I am so sore, it's not funny. I think the parts of me that were forcibly detached have grown back. I'm still walking funny though. There's also too many damn stairs in this mansion.

So, yes, I'm back at the mansion after following the Destruction Company right up to their intended targets. Followed them like they planned. Color me chagrinned.

So I was in Seattle last time had time and energy to record something. It went steadily downhill from there. I got to Vancouver on a flight so bumpy I thought we were riding on an annoyed bronc. Staggering off the plane and trying to keep my lunch inside my body for a bit longer were top orders of the day. Checked into a hotel near the airport and checked to see if any more of BHI agents had spotted more DC action. Nothing. That was not making me happy in the least.

Stewed a bit in the room when my phone rang. I stared at the phone for a bit because I had no expectations of anybody calling me on the room phone. Unless the BHI guys had hit pay dirt. I picked up the phone and got disappointed. It was just Longshot.

He said he had a very bad headache and knew that something was terribly wrong with Betsy. I panicked shortly thereafter, demanding he tell me exactly what the hell he meant. Only in nicer, stuttered words. See, I'm kinda sorta responsible for the X-Men in some tangential way of me accepting Xavier's plea from jail. Something like that in English. But I also have the problem of the DC running amok and doing weird things on the West Coast. The DC is a concern because they've never been major players, but they look to have amassed the power to give it a shot. Since I've had the most experience dealing with them of anybody remotely tied into the superhero set, I figured they were my problem. Sometimes I overestimate myself by a bit.

So anyway, I've got an achy Longshot on the phone saying all the objects he touches are dead to him and he feels more hollow than he normally does. I have no clue what that meant, but that's what he said. He asked if I had felt it, too. I thought about it for a second. Nope. Hadn't felt a thing except a bumpy plane ride recently. Lucky 'oh'ed and asked if I thought I might need some help. I said I could handle it and the conversation tapered off.

So, I ran around Vancouver for a day, trying to find anything new on the DC. Nothing until I get back to the room. There's been a sighting of an elemental disturbance heading right into Alaska. Boy did I feel silly. I mean, what did Vancouver have that could compare to Alaska? Plenty, but it didn't have the OrigiFive there. All relaxed and not expecting a bunch of killers heading straight for them.

I quickly get on the horn and tell Longshot to round up who he could as the shit had just hit the fan and splattered me with brown bits. I then left immediately for the Summers' residence. Or more accurately, the vague area where I thought it was since I never really paid attention to the address to send postcards or anything.

Most exciting thing I can think of during the rental car drive up there was hearing some weird reports about ravens attacking people in Anchorage. See? This is what happens when you piss off Nature. She strikes back before you obliterate her some more.

Get to the spot where I think the Summerses are staying and have my worst fears confirmed. The DC is there and they're in the Summers home. I knew it was the DC because who else would let their earth elemental flatten all the other houses nearby. Then again, the DC knew they were probably dealing with me and well, I need all the pointers I can get. Still can't get the image of that young woman smashed through her bay window and one with one of Bracht's earth walls. Those dead eyes brought back too many memories.

I set up camp in a wooded area and waited. Me waltzing into the house that was too quiet was a recipe for disaster. Though it was quiet enough around there, I expected Mrs. Summers to pop out of the house taking the trash to the curb or something. That didn't happen.

What had happened and would happen make me feel like I failed you, Charles.
  • Current Music
    Guns N' Roses - Knockin' on Heaven's Door
Truckin'

You can go a long way and still realize that you went right past home.

Yep. I went right from New York, passed by home, and am now sitting in Seattle. I'm here to check out the curiously strong hints of Destruction Company activity. I figured I better do it myself before the X-Men get dragged into it again. Though I don't believe the last time was my fault exactly.

So as I sit in the land of Starbucks, I realize I despise water strained through dirt-consistency grounds. I want a nice , tall glass of chocolate milk. All they got around the airport is the dumb plastic bottles for milk on the go. Plastic does not compare to a frosty glass! These people are supposed to be so advanced, huh?

Anyway, don't have to time to sight see as my dustbeater or whatever leaves in a half hour. I'd go down to that neat fishmarket if I had more time. There'd be some cool pictures to take back to the kids if I had the chance.

I called the mansion to check up on the X's. Same ole, same ole. Storm, Maggott, Wolverine, Reyes, Psylocke, Cannonball, and Marrow have disappeared. Must have gone off on some dire task and forgot to tell the other three people living in the house. Rogue is not worried, so Joe ain't either. Longshot told me he thinks they went some where that was far away but important to Storm. Or so he admitted to figuring out when his psychowhatsit acted up when he went into Storm's room to see why everybody was hanging out in there.

So the X-Men take care of some problem while I play sleuth. Hopefully, I just find out that all these telltale signs of DC activity is just some weird coincidences. That way I can swing by home on the way back to New York. I want to see the kids. It's been to long.
  • Current Music
    Some other plane's boarding call.
Truckin'

Well, eight hours of sleep does fix some things.

My tongue is whole! And . . . Reyes has her new laptop! She likes her shiny toy. It's even the right color. So, suffice it to say, I'm back on Reyes' good side. I'll hopefully be even more on her nice side if those data retrieval specialists do some magic to her previous laptop. If not, I'll still be slightly on her good side, better than where I was a few days ago. Don't want to on the bad side of a woman who has access to rubber gloves and needles.

I've spent the better part of today either sleeping or avoiding Rogue, in person and as a topic of conversation. I know Ororo means well, but I just don't want to talk about it. I think there is some of my miniscule manly pride that riles at being beat up in one punch by a lady. Then my brain comes in and says "Excuse you, unreasonable ego, but this is the woman you have watched rip an unsuspecting fender off of your van." So my ego gives up.

But on further reflection . . . I could have handled that better. I had been in a similar situation with Sherlyn. Well, not totally similar. Rogue doesn't know if Gambit is alive or dead; I kinda knew my wife was dead. Pools of blood and unseeing eyes sort of tip one off to that. And well, I learned my blood doesn't work on a corpse. So there's some learning to be had from life's big tragedies.

I don't know what's worse though, knowing or not knowing. With not knowing you have some hope at least. And well, Gambit is an X-Man, so there's a pretty good chance that if there's no body, he's alive. I'm also very good at rationalizing to myself, aren't I? But soon Rogue may know, and she'll have to deal with the outcome either way. I can at least hope for the safe return of Gambit so somebody can get on with her lessons.

I just hope that Rogue finds out either way soon. She needs to accept the consequences of her actions, which is a large part of why she can't touch. Sometimes, an over bountiful conscience hinders in more ways than zealousness. Like in angst factors. So with this event in the books, we've managed to make an even bigger emotional jumble than yesterday. I have a funny feeling that two steps forward brings us three steps back. So by the time we get around the world in about 15 years, Rogue will have a handle on everything in a backwards manner.

So, anyway, Longshot and Joseph have been keeping Rogue company today. Longshot may have been working on her lessons with her, but I frankly don't care. Punch me once and I'm done with you. It's going to take a whole hell of a lot for me to forgive behavior like that. I don't care if it was just an off night for her, she was just extremely tired, or was just running on fumes. I've heard all the excuses before. Though I think the difference will be that Rogue's sober, might make a difference later, when I'm not sore.

Got a call an hour or so ago from Blackhorse Inc. Apparently some members of the Destruction Company have surfaced in Northern California. Details were sketchy on exactly what they were doing there, but the guys at BHI promised to keep me posted on the DC, especially considering my past with them. The one verified person seen was Lash. Hard to miss a woman who has whips come out of the palms of her hands.

So a half hour later, I get a call about some unusual aquatic disturbances off the coast or Oregon. BHI reps though it could possibly be Tsunami playing at something. They were at least nice enough to get me the heads up. Timoth dispatched some of his local agents to see if they could find anything else. They found nothing. I'm not surprised. His West Coast employees are either programmers or artists; they're not really trained for investigative work.

Though if the DC continues to go north I'm not feeling good as to where they may end up. I think I'll make a trip up to Vancouver to see if the DC has started any carnage up there. I can't see a reason for them to go any further north than that. Alaska doesn't hold much that would interest them. It would be nice to put an end to whatever they got up their sleeves before it's in full swing. It would be a first for me.

So, tomorrow morning, I call and see what I can set up to get me up to Vancouver and leave the X-Men on their own for a bit. I think they can handle it. As long as they keep the metal pots out of the microwave.
  • Current Music
    The Doors - Touch Me
Truckin'

For my troubles, I get a punch in the face.

I feel like a character from Mike Tyson's Punch Out. Yeesh. Especially nursing a sore face. I'm so glad that it has never been listed as my best attribute.

So, I guess I could sum up what happened since my last entry, or bitch and moan about my sore head. Since bitching and moaning in any audible manner so I could get pity lovin' hurts, I'll sum up. [Also, cause I'm seriously deluding myself that any of the women here are interested in giving me any pity lovin'.]

Like I said in the previous entry, I was going to wait around and "talk" to Rogue about whatever it was that she was doing every night. I was hoping it was something simple like she was addicted to porn and went out to some seedy theatre every night to quench her hunger for flesh flicks. But nooooo, it had to complicated personal stuff with a former X-Man that happened before I ever set foot here.

However, I wasn't alone in waiting for Rogue to return. I had Lucky and Yankton to basically sit back and shoot the shit with. Of course, the fact we were doing this in Rogue's room may have raised some eyebrows, but oh well. When Rogue showed back up, slightly rosy-cheeked I wondered if she looked at the two guys and the puppy and thought this had to be the one of the normalest interventions in superherodom ever.

I will admit that I was glad Lucky was there because he'd been Rogue's teammate for a while and definitely knew her better than me. I had been hoping he would step in if I hit the wrongs buttons.

So after the usual Southern exclamation about finding two guys and a dog in her bedroom, Rogue asks why we're in her room.

Well, since she asked...

I start with no preamble, no preface, or other bidding. I'm not a public speaker. Never plan to be. I tell Rogue that her current obsession is not helping anything. She balked at it being called an obsession, but I plunged forward. I start to tell her how we can possibly handle her recent illicit needs. I think the surprised eyebrow lift she gave me was priceless. I think all at once, I angered her and confused her.

She wanted my definition of illicit. I started, with a bit of a stutter because I wasn't prepared for this sort of questioning and the big speech I had worked up in my head chose that moment to hide where I couldn't reach it, to describe in as unoffensive terms as I could manage flat-footed the act of going to a porn house every night. You have to be very careful when describing this to a woman who is a head shorter than you and only has to bring her arm up slightly to do serious personal damage to the family jewels.

I was told rather quickly: "I'm not disappearing to watch porn! I'm out lookin' for Remy!" Please note exasperation in that text.

I had to switch tracks rather quickly, though I swear I could hear Lucky behind me dying of silent laughter. He had to have been laughing so hard he wasn't making a sound. So I use my embarrassing mistake as means to explain that well, you can't go back in time to fix your mistakes. Albeit I think hers was a tad more serious than porn accusations. I was not too sure because I have never really inquired what happened between the time Bastion cleaned out the mansion and I drove in through the gates for the first time.

Rogue told me she was thankful for the concern but I should get out of her room as soon as possible. Not in those exact words, but you get the drift. This is where I summed up my courage and told a woman who had probably saved the world more times than I can do chin-ups no. Thus, I got the evil glare.

I tried again to point out that she can't fix a mistake on a continent as big as Antarctica or wherever. Whatever happened, happened and if she dwelled on it she had no shot in hell of getting control of her powers, which I believe requires a bit of emotional stability. Rogue stepped toward me looking none too pleased that I was still standing in the middle of her room and told me that what she had done to Remy was more than a mistake. This would be where I wisely chose not to use the phrase "oh, go cry me a river" in front of her. Though, suffice it to say I was sympathetic to her while still appalled at the love-induced obsessiveness, I guess you could say. [This is where Chuckles would mumble something about a pot and kettle and black, I believe.]

Anyway, instead I used the complete sentence: "So, you're going to waste your time and energy by looking for something that isn't there?"

Of course, by this point I could see little steamy wafts of annoyance leaking out of Rogue's ears. She vehemently denied that she was wasting her time. This is really where Longshot would have said or done anything outside of holding Yankton back and quietly watching with a now somber face. [At least Yankton still loved me. She was ready to viciously tear into the ominously approaching Rogue's boot.] If I was wrong Longshot could have said something, and I would have backed out, but he didn't so I persisted.

I asked when global positioning had become one of Rogue's mutant powers, because she was really going to need something like that to find anything in a giant land mass of white. If it was a recent adaptation, I would gladly add it into the database for Chuckles when he gets back. However, that small bit of wit was lost when she insisted that she would find him.

How far do people have to go to show that when a superhero really wants something for him or herself that it has a snowball's chance in hell of happening? If there's one thing I've learned from hanging around Lucky, it's that good stuff happens for having good motives. The rest is just a crap shoot with the odds stacked against you because there are 6 billion others in line.

Back to Rogue, I should have noticed that pushing her any further would not have been in my best interest for that night. It was nearly 5 in the morning, she was probably exhausted from flying around and looking for the white rabbit in the midst of the snowstorm and she probably needed some sleep. Her fists were tightly clenched at her sides. But I had to go and say the three words she didn't want to hear. "No, you won't."

It was followed by a quick and threatening "get out." I didn't heed this and stepped closer to look down at her and try to use the only physical advantage [my height] I had over her to put a little force behind my words. This Indian learned that if you stepped into a pissed woman's personal bubble, you really ought to be prepared to face the consequences.

I don't clearly remember exactly what happened next outside of my body breaking her door off its hinges. The wall across the hallway was not nice and soft either. So this would be where minor hell breaks loose. Between the bells ringing in my head, the hall spinning in three directions at once, the general throb of my chin where she had to have hit me, and the loud and fevered barking of Yankton, I was willing to just black out. I know that's a really bad choice considering the load of stuff I've had done to me when I was unconscious, so my instinct tries to keep me awake. I try to pick myself off the floor but the hall has only settled down to spinning in only two directions, neither complimentary to the other.

Something wet starts to dribble down my chin. I wiped it away thinking it was the worst time in my life to start dribbling. Well, as I tried to get myself off the floor, part of the cavalry showed up. There's a lot of concern as I'm bleeding from somewhere. I couldn't tell where at the time as the world was still rocking around me. I tried to tell the X-Men they could handle their own shit from now on, but that came out as a unintelligible gurgling to my ears, and I dribbled more down my chin.

After I stumbled into the wall for the third time, Reyes comes on the scene. She put one of my arms around her shoulder and helped me toward the infirmary she and McCoy had set up. I think I heard Rogue say something behind me and I tried to reply that she could take care of her own damn lessons and for somebody to help pack my stuff because I was leaving. All I really think I did was gurgle a bit more and dribble a lot.

The first thing I can clearly remember after that is sitting on the table in the Infirmary and looking into Reyes' eyes. I think she was checking something out.

"You know that's another reason that mouth guards are worm, outside of protecting teeth that is," she says in that doctor tone that says she's going to tell me if I guess it or not.
I play the just in the coherent and still addled guy with a simple: "Oh?"
"Yeah. So you don't bite off some of your tongue."
"Wha?" I looked down and saw that I had not been dribbling saliva but blood and there were red stains everywhere down the front of me. Though more worrying was that I got some on Reyes' shoes. I swear I have some deep, hidden psychological need to mess with her stuff. "Oh shit. I'm sorry about your shoes. I'll get you new ones."

She tells me there's no need; they've been through worse. She then tells me that the bit that I bit off is already starting to grow back and I should be good by noon at the latest. Though it's still bleeding a bit. She said she could staunch the flow so I didn't have to keep spitting out blood. I didn't reply. I just opened my mouth.

Do you know how hard it is to say thank you in English with a mouth full of medical stuff? Though Reyes must have come from a large family because she understood my mouthful speak.

So, here I am now, waiting for my mouth to heal before hitting the sack. I admit I could have handled things better, but I'm not going to lose sleep over it. It's in the past now, and I can't change it. Unless I get some nifty time-traveling powers. But if I get those, I don't think a disastrous argument with an X-Men is going to be my top priority.

I mean, I do have sympathy for Rogue, but come on. Gambit [that is the Remy she's talking about right?] is an X-Man. Or was. Whatever. He's probably still alive and coming this way. X-Men, former or current, are worse than cockroaches. You think they're dead, but they're actually sneakily hiding under your sink.
  • Current Music
    Metallica - Fade to Black
Truckin'

Things have been quiet . . . too quiet.

I believe this is where someone cues the ominous music.

The OrigiFive [as I called them late last night after a few too many beers] seem to be having fun up in Alaska. Well, except for getting attacked by ravens or crows or something. I don't know. Ororo got that part of the call, I got the part where Mr. Scott Summers gets to grill me. I prefer to be done medium rare with sauteed onions and a little garlic salt. As opposed to telling somebody yet again how I knew Chuckles and why I haven't been on the X-scene before. I don't think Summers believed me. Of course, I wouldn't believe a guy who by the end of the conversation was using monosyllabic words for most of his expression. What can I say? I was tired, and the 24 pack Logan had dropped off was calling to me.

I can look forward to another week free from Drake's practical jokes. Just long enough for me to set up something juvenile and grand in his room. Maybe Maggott will have some ideas to help. He likes a little mischief now and then.

Let's see, who else is at the mansion, currently?

Marrow still scares the shit out of me. She has to be testing me or something. Finding bird carcasses on either side of my pillow was not the world's greatest way to wake up. Though I have to give her marks for planting them without waking me up. She knew exactly to time it was when I was sleeping off the last of the 12 beers I had. Of course, waking up with a strangled sound of surprise [I didn't scream, more of a choked "YARG!"] only to see Ms. Personality crouched on my dresser directly across from me was the best topper. She tried to cruel, mysterious, and witty in about 5 words. She got a dead bird thrown at her head. I also made the comment she try killing a strong bird like a chickadee or something. Not these mamby-pamby robins. Note to self: Need to get myself a new bed. The last one is splinters and quite uncomfortable to sleep on now.

Maggott is still trying to get somewhere with any one of the ladies. I fear that he has yet to learn my path in things. Don't be charming, these ladies have already seen it all. Though I have to give his slugs a round of applause. I have a feeling Yankton has been chewing on various things, and the two creepy crawlies have eaten those items afterwards. I think that's why I'm getting complaints of a lot of things going missing. especially since they were last seen on puppy-level.

Reyes should be getting her new laptop tomorrow. Then she can stop tormenting me with the mentions of hands with bad circulation and a full medical check-up in the cold medlab.

Guthrie is surprising me. He's one of the few people Marrow doesn't try to peg a bone shard between his eyes. I may ask him to talk to Marrow about her possessiveness of the lower levels. Maybe I can get her to just range in the open area of the women's dormitories down there, so I can get at least some of the others parts down there sadly up to the snuff I can get them to. But if I ask him, it will be when he gets back. He got a letter from San Fran this morning and kind of flew off. Hope nothing's too terribly wrong.

The Incredible G-String Woman! is not around currently, so I can get away with chuckling as I type that. Anyway, she went out shopping. I am terribly indebted to her. Betsy's kicking in a bit of cash to help get the mansion back to snuff. We've got it looking pretty by now, but it's got a ways to go. Anyway, I find she's one of the best people to do some combat training against. She doesn't hold back as a default, and I heal well. I need to be on my toes better if I continue to hang with this X-Posse [which sounds incredibly Western of me. Bad Dakota. No fry bread for me.]

I have not seen hide nor hair of Logan since he dropped off the 24 pack I won via poker. He's promised me a rematch, but that doesn't seem very do-able as he's off gods know where, though most assuredly in trouble and fighting his way out of it. I think I'll nominate him for busiest X-Person of the year. I don't know how he fits all the adventuring into one year.

I've been spending a bit of time around Ororo [which could be why Marrow is tormenting me with dead birds]. With the weather enforced to be nice-like she's been doing, there's been a lot of time for landscaping work when I get done with my business for Blackhorse Inc. So I've been outdoors with Ororo a lot. Planting stuff in her garden, pruning bushes and trees, installing a tasteful fountain [totally not my idea. I don't know where Betsy bought it. I want to know how cubby, winged kid peeing into a clam shell is tasteful, but that's what Betsy claims]. At least Ororo came up with some plans for arrangements around the fountain. Those look nice next to the peeing fat kid. I've also been talking to her about taking a few of Rogue's lessons since I've seemed to hit a rut. She asked if I had lesson plans; I laughed and told her my vague notes were in the top part of the blue milk crate. She's checking over my notes currently and will get back to me. I sense a little tension between Rogue and Ororo. Might have something to do with a certain Cajun popcicle in Antarctica that hasn't been seen in a while. But that's just a guess from some terse words heard outside my door last Tuesday.

Joseph . . . well, I know he means well, but he's following Rogue around and occasionally getting in the way of the lessons. If I need help with something lesson-like, I call on Lucky. No biggee. I know Longshot and Rogue have a history and she probably trusts him more than me. He isn't too bothered by the occasional failure where he gets a little absorbed. I know he's nothing but warm feelings for her [You should have heard Lucky on the van trip to New York. Urg.] But Joseph is an unknown variable for me. Don't know the guy too well, and he mainly keeps to himself. That and he's gone to New York the past few days to look for something. Longshot came by asking me what a big, metal donut was so important for Joseph to get. I have no clue. Though Joseph was definitely a help in getting that metal fountain into position. He's pretty decent I guess. Just don't know him to well.

Rogue is . . . not doing well. She's getting more and more distracted. I was supposed to keep an eye out last night to see if she disappeared to wherever the hell she's been going. She probably did. But the call of beer was a bit too engrossing last night. Especially as I celebrated beating Logan in poker for once. [Penny ante adds up several days in a row, you know.] Anyway, plan on waiting around tonight to either talk to her or figure where the hell she's going. I know I probably will regret being this nosy but it's affecting her lessons, whatever she's doing. Though I more concerned now because Lucky mentioned he was concerned about her.

Longshot is getting better at potty-training Yankton. We've almost got her getting outside before she pees all over our feet and legs! An improvement! I think he's supposed to give her a bath tonight. I want to see the aftermath of that. Wet leather and wet puppy are such complimentary smells! Though I have told Lucky that from the size of Yankton's paws we may get a large dog. Not like Great Dane huge, but Black Lab big. I'm just hoping Yankton's got some basset hound blood in her, so I don't have to go make the doggie door even bigger. [I think Angel was questioning the security of having a doggie door out the kitchen. I told him if he wanted to wheel her out every time she had to pee, be my guest. Besides, we know doors don't stop villains anyway. They think walls and ceilings are perfect for punching holes through.]

Me? I've been busy earning my paycheck with occasional afternoon trips to New York to earn my paycheck while Storm goes to a greenery to spend it. Don't ask me. It just works. Anyway, I've measured out the size of the spare attic space we have. I think I could have the best apartment of my life in that space. And when I leave, somebody like Logan can move into it. Anyway, sent the size specs down to one of my buddies at BH, he's drawing up multiple plans to see what strikes my fancy. Meanwhile, I have to talk at least Storm into letting move up there. If she says yes, it'll be easier for the rest of the X-Men to accept it. Well, maybe except Marrow. Then again, she's our little ray of sunshine. [Sarcasm doesn't have a good font, does it?] Oh, I also got Longshot unwittingly addicted to anime due to a care package sent from my sister and the kids [How they got anime at the Sioux Nation Superstore is beyond me]. If I hear Lucky go "Ew! Gross!" at Tetsuo one more time, I'm going to hide my Akira tape where he'll have trouble reaching it. 1

So, Chuckles, if you're reading this, congratulations! we got you out of the clink. Though currently, it doesn't look good for us finding you. I've gotten desperate enough to use some contacts I have from my old job. Just hope it doesn't rain shit down on me from doing so. I know some of the guys from back then don't think too keenly of me. But I'll find you, Charles. I just need a break. Maybe I should ask Marrow to rub Longshot's belly for luck before running very quickly in the other direction. Ah, the joys of dealing with the humorless.
  • Current Music
    The Rolling Stones - Paint It, Black
Truckin'

Now let me teach you "Whiteman hump much buffalo in the mountains"in Lakota....

Ok, the next time I hear anybody claiming he/she/it is a god, I'm going to hide under my bed and not come out until Ragnarok is over. I have no clue how to say how long ago it was since I last posted an update, because it feels like somebody did the twist time and screw things up schtick. That and I believe I just spent around 24 hours sleeping like the dead. It feels like forever, it probably wasn't. I'm not going to look at a calendar other than to verify that I have indeed missed Mardi Gras again. This makes it, what? Eleven years in a row? Someday, I'll make good on the promise to go back.

I don't know what possessed me to ride along with the rest of the X-Men to the great Northwest to deal with a goddess hell-bent to punish guys wearing leather. Luckily, I wasn't wearing leather or spandex, so she was slightly kinder to me and didn't try to kill me on the spot. I also remember ducking and running through the woods wondering why we just didn't let the Avengers handle this. Then there was the "Oh, yeah! They're handling a big fight in the Pacific Ocean." With what I had no clue, the news wasn't too specific with details, but I'd rather be filled full of arrows than drowning in salt water for some reason. Besides, we had a former Avenger with us. Which reminds me to buy McCoy a round or seven, for basically pulling the X-Men's collective butts out of the firing range. I really got tired of dodging behind the transfixed corpses of loggers. Who knew goddesses liked fuzzy guys?

Anyway, suffice it to say when the X-Men have to deal with the Greek gods again, I want Chuckles to be back and myself long gone. I'm sure you'll get more detailed reports from Ororo and McCoy [if you have a dictionary handy for McCoy's $50 vocab] on the rest of the events. I think I did well enough among the X-Men. Even though I was tagged out in the middle of the big challenge or whatever. I think it was the middle. I don't know. McCoy was the big man of mythological knowledge, and thus a vital part of dealing with what Zeus was throwing at us.

Though I must admit I found this highly amusing. A big godly man throwing a fit because his powers weren't up to snuff and he couldn't get a piece of Ororo. [Note to self: Go back and change the wording before Storm reads this.]

Anyway, I had no clue where Lucky disappeared throughout this whole debacle. He's not being very talkative on the subject, and he knows full well that I'm not going to push him on it. [Though it doesn't stop me from possibly talking Rogue and/or Ororo to talk to him.] It will either come out in due time or not at all. The only thing that matters is that he's present and seemingly not bothered by whatever happened. Though I've noticed with these mutants seeming to be ok is not particularly ok.

Take for example, Rogue. She better be thanking the Greek gods for the interruption. I'm near to nailing exactly what's bothering her. Her performance in lessons is starting to flag off. Something's bothering her, and she's losing sleep over it. I haven't brought this up to anybody else's attention yet. Though I may talk to Lucky. He normally gets to the heart of the matter quickly, sees things I normally dismiss as important and the prove to be so. It's an annoying trait for him, let me tell you. He's never learned to be smug about it, so I never have reason to slap the back of his head.

Another example would be Worthington. I think the wheelchair, even though temporary, is not making him a happy camper. Though he seemed well enough to go with McCoy and Drake up to visit the Summerses in Alaska. Betsy agreed the change in scenery would do him good. [I think his brooding was starting to affect Betsy. She wouldn't react much when I called her "the Incredible G-String Woman." I miss the days where she'd at least try to kick my ass.]

Though Reyes found out I trashed her laptop and tried to make up for Betsy's lack of buttkicking. She was sneaky and did it under the guise of a training exercise. I only escaped because I told her a new and better one was on the way, and I'd pay the exorbitant fees to try to retrieve any data on the brand new doorstop that she didn't have backed up.

For now, I'm going up to what was once a storage room in the attic and poking around. It's basically empty. So, maybe I can finagle it so I can have a temporary office and room up on that side. [Ororo still holds domain on the other side.] I think I can work it out. That way I can leave rooms that were Chuckle's alone and not have some X-Men resentment rain down on me or something.

-D
  • Current Music
    Stevie Nicks - Edge Of Seventeen