A Gnarled Tree Keeps Growing




A rusty kebab skewer between his eyes could not feel worse. Scott pinched the bridge of his nose. "Just... drop it, Wolverine. Don't make me say please."

Logan cheerfully, expectedly, ignored him. "Nah. It's important, like getting to know your enemies. You never knew when crazed members of your past'll come around. Take a look at Chucky."

Scott had a brief mental image of a Charles Xavier Cabbage Patch Doll, torn and re-stitched, swinging a machete as his little plushie hoverchair floated down the hall.

Creative but sadly typical of your movie-viewing practices. said Emma. She sat beside him in the west-wing sitting room, the informal teacher's lounge. With them were Bobby in a bitter Halo contest with an online opponent, Rogue on the loveseat pretending to read, and Remy perched on the far arm of the loveseat pretending not to care what Rogue was doing. And of course, Logan who only braved this conversational topic because he thought Scott needed him on the team and would thus never act on the urge to blasting him to smithereens.

Logan launched into the main part of his offensive. "Let me know if I have this straight. Rachel is your and Jean's kid from a possible future. Cable is your and Madeleine's-- Jean's clone-- kid sent to the future by you and Jean when Maddy and now returned twenty years older than you with a messiah complex. Nate Grey was your and Jean's kid from a possible alternate dimension, literally made in a test tube by Sinister, also determined to splatter himself for the sake of the world. And Gumbo over there, is the test tube baby made from your and Sinny's genes. In Sinister's lab, natch."

He could tell where Logan was going with this. It was all in his smile.

"That makes you Gumbo's daddy." Logan gulped down the last of his beer with a pleased burp.

"But he doesn't want to sacrifice himself for anything," Bobby added.

"Have a beer, Ice-cube."

Bobby formed a miniature slide to catch the beer. Remy went green. Rogue went red. Scott calculated the force required to blast Logan's head into several thousand pieces, each one approximately 0.25 inches-cubed in volume. Accounting for the admantium and his truly bizarre hair growth, Scott figured a 77% blast-strength would be enough and reduce excessive damage to the walls. Matching vintage wallpaper was really hard and he wanted to avoid that as much as possible.

"Does that mean he gets you call you Papa?" Logan grinned, all teeth and bad attitude.

"Logan," Scott said through gritted teeth.

"I got a Papa," said Remy, affronted. Then, unfortunately, his tone turned. "But I can call him Daddy."

Scott shuddered. "This conversation ends now."

"What, before we bond?" Remy batted his eyes. "I'm hurt. I'm gonna go... shoot, what is it you Summers' do when you're hurt? There a country I can annex before dinner?"


"Maybe I can add a utility belt on my uniform."


"Already went time-travelling. Just gotta starch my jockeys and compulsively do sodoku puzzles."


"Then you gotta obsess about one woman and only one woman probably for the rest of your life regardless of the internal and external forces determined to keep you apart," added Bobby. "Oh wait-"

Rogue reached over and smacked him upside the head. "Do you like your head attached, boy?"

Seeing Remy's oh-so-casual grip on the couch-the same couch Bobby sat on-Scott said, "Don't even think about it, gumbo. Blow that chair up and I swear, I'll make you sorry."

Logan shook his head disapprovingly. "Scooter, you can't say that shit to your kid! What the hell kind of parenting manual did you forget to read?"

"Does this mean Emma's my step-mom?" Addressing her, Remy said, "When you gonna throw me cash and expensive presents in a doomed attempt to win my affections?"

Emma studied her manicure. "Half-past never looks good."

Remy clutched his heart. "Evil step-mother. Daddy--"

"Do <I>not</I> call me that!" Scott snarled.

"Scott, darling, the veins in your temples are throbbing."

"I feel so rejected. Anyone wants me, I'll be downloading screamo music into my iPod." Remy let out a long, soulful sigh that very nearly covered Rogue's giggles.

"If anyone wants <I>me</I>, I'll be making effigies if you all in the garage and setting them on fire," said Scott.

Bobby grimaced. "Ouch."

"You didn't defend me. You're one of my oldest friends; you're supposed to back me up."

"But... Scott, you <I>do</I> have a twisted family tree. I grew up around it and I still don't believe it. And to top it all off, Cable semi-adopted of a baby who may or may not be Jean reincarnated. How's that for twisted?"

Meantime, Remy whined, "Daddy, Auntie Emma's projecting images of you two having kinky sex in my head! Make her stop!"

Emma scrunched up her nose. "Oh, I am not, you swamp-ridden buffoon. Darling, can you please fumigate the house? I think Remy and Logan have been smoking indoors again. Or forgetting to bathe. It <I>is</I> about time for their seasonal dip into the horse troughs."

"Actually, considering his baby-fresh face and the fact that he probably has no body hair, I'm thinking Scott's the mom and Sinister's the dad," said Logan.

Rogue curled up on the couch and howled.

The room needed more hard, thick surfaces. Scott's optic blasts ricocheted best off that type of material and there simply wasn't enough in here to effectively shoot everyone down in one blast; it took three. By the third one, everyone had escaped save Rogue, still howling and clutching her stomach. No jury on earth would convict him.

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