And Happily Ever After

by Maelstrom

Summary: The team get “married” thanks to Banshee's meddling project, and Monet ends up with Jono as a “husband”!

Disclaimer: Like you need to know?

P.S. Thanks a bil to everyone who’s given me those tons of positive feedback on my first Monet story, Over Ice Cream, and I hope this second story lives up to the promise of the first one. Do send me feedback on whether it does, and once again, thanks!

It was a bright, cheery, peaceful day. Blue sky, green grass, birds chirping, flowers blooming, etc. A day to remind oneself that there was more to life than petty materialistic gains. And, as usual, the mansion was filled with amiable pleasantry from its residents.

If one is gullible enough to believe so.


“Aaaargh! It was an accident, I swear!”

“Lee, shut up for a full two seconds, will ya? Some of us would like to study?

“Fine, study Ev's anatomy here right after I sushi him with this cleaver! COME BACK HERE EV!”


“What did you do to upset the missus now?” Angelo grinned as Everett raced past him in search of a hiding place.

“Piece of advice, Ange!” he panted out before disappearing round the corridor, “never ever take the last piece of Oreos from the cookie jar unless you want your limbs dismembered and shredded to pieces in the most painful way possible!”

{{Isn't there only one painful way possible to get dismembered and shredded to pieces?}} Jono inquired, passing by.


“Like he's going to come running, chica?”

“Jubilee for heaven's sake SHUT THE CRAP UP!”

“Stay out of this, hayseed! This is a matter of pride, honor and Oreos! EV!”

Monet sighed. Intentions of enjoying a quiet, meditative day to contemplate certain things were now certainly out the window. She knew her teammates'd always been immature, but this time they were downright childish. How paradoxical it was that she of all people acted more older and mature than any of them. If they knew her true nature they'd surely be subdued to shame.

“Mr Cassidy,” she said as respectfully as possible, “perhaps it would be seen as your duty to maintain some degree of control around here?”

Mr Cassidy looked at her uneasily. Anyone would if they were told subtly what an average job they were doing. And what made it worse was that she was right.

“Tomorrow, lass. I’ll make sure everyone is calm and considerate and well-behaved tomorrow.”

“Not to sound discourteous, sir, but what is the relevance of tomorrow on today’s affair?”

“You’ll see, lass. You’ll see.”

Monet sniffed and turned away. Mr Cassidy was a nice man who did earn a slight degree of respect from her, but even so, “maintaining control” was not one of his strong points. He probably used the tomorrow excuse to buy time. She knew that. Monet St Croix knew everything.


“I am not pleased by yesterday’s conduct.”

All the students - most of them anyway - shifted uncomfortably in their classroom seats. Mr Cassidy looked like he was in one of his rare irate moods, and none of them felt like ticking him off any further, not even Jubilee. An angry redheaded teacher was bad enough; an angry redheaded Irish teacher was worse yet; but an angry redheaded Irish teacher with a sonic scream capable of splitting steel was Doomsday. His eyes were flashing glares in Morse code, and his hands were on his hips with fists clenched. Monet looked at this whole new change in Mr Cassidy. She was almost impressed.

“Ye all have to learn to get along with each other if ye’re t’ go out in the world, and stalking a person with a cleaver for finishing the last bit of Oreos is not acceptable good behavior.”

Jubilee flinched.

“Therefore I have come up with a new classroom project for all of ye to take part in, and I will see to it that ye come out of it with more respect and regard for the other person by the end of the project. Questions?

“Does it involve military school or penal punishment?” Jubilee ventured.


“Oh, good.” All - or almost all - of the students straightened in their seats with visibly relieved expressions. “So spill, Banshee,” Jubilee said, “what’s this project yer comin’ up with?”

“Firstly, all of ye are pairing up.”

“Okay, I’m taking hayseed. Perfectionist that she is, ’least she’s way better than Already Perfect Priss Mo -”

“No, with someone of a different gender.”

Jubilee made a face. “Well I’m not taking Ev. He ain’t forgiven yet!”

“After that Psycho movie rip-off you pulled with me at the shower yesterday, what makes you think I would want to be set up with you anyway?” the normally-well-mannered Everett shot back.

“You want another limb chopperoo, Mr Thomas?”

“Lee would you please pay attention to class -”

“Why worry, chica? I prefer watching them fight to a classroom project anyday.”

“Oh you would. You would.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“What do you think?

{{Wow, conflict’s beginning already. Looks like this day’s gonna turn out not so bad after all.}}

“Stay out of this, Jono!”

“Yeah, stay out of this, Jono!”

“Shut up, Skin!”

“Shut up, Ev!”

“Shut up, Paige!”

“Mr Cassidy?” Monet said tiredly, “If you feel like interfering anywhere during this point in time and conversation, you have my utmost support.”

The Irishman was already reaching boiling point - his face was now as red as his hair.


Silence. Wide-eyed, gawking, startled silence, yes, but silence all the same.

“All of ye with your respective partners now!”



Everyone - or almost everyone (seeing a repetition here?) - leapt out of their seats in a mad scramble to find their desired partners. Paige huffily took Everett, while Jubilee stuck her tongue out at the other girl and chose Angelo just to tick her off. Monet found herself and Jono looking at each other from across the room.

“I SAID -”

Jono rose and shuffled over to Monet’s side. He sat next to her, looked at Banshee, then at the other two couples, then at Monet. {{Quite a party, ennit, gel?}}

“Although normally I would applaud Mr Cassidy’s success in maintaining sanity in this room, I have to disapprove of his having to raise his voice to do so. It is such an obvious sign of inefficiency.”

{{Nice day it is too.}}

Monet sighed and turned to a not-so-red-now-pink Banshee. “Good,” he said in a tight voice. “All right, here.” He handed each couple an egg. This time all (yes, all) of the students stared at the eggs, at each other, then at Mr Cassidy.

“I think breakfast is already over, Mr Cassidy, sir,” Paige ventured.

“And I don’t like eggs either,” Jubilee said.

“These won’t be eggs. These will be your babies.”



“Ye’re going to spend the whole day living as a family. Your respective partner will be your spouse, and ye will be both looking after your baby.”


“This project will ensure ye get along with each other much better by the time this day is over.”


“Mr Cassidy, sir, you can’t be serious!”

“I can and I am.”

“B-b-b-but Banshee dude, I can’t be married to him! Like, he’s not my type!”

“Thanks a lot, chica.”

“No offense, Skin.”

“Oh gee, what makes you think there was any?”

“Mr Cassidy, this project is unreasonable and irrelevant to the purpose in mind.”

“Acknowledged, Monet. Now take care of your baby.”

{{Hey Banshee, if we’re havin’ kids without a proper marriage ceremony, these kids’ll be illegimate.}}


“That’s right!”

“So true!”

“See, Mr Cassidy? You can’t -”

But Sean Cassidy was beyond reason. “Fine!” he said, marching up to each couple in turn, “Paige, Everett, Jubilee, Skin, Monet, Jono, do ye, husband and wife. There. Ye’re married.”

{{That’s got to be the shortest multiple marriage ceremony in history.}}

“Hey, what happened to the part where ‘if any dude objects let ’im speak now or forever hold his peace’?”

“Edited out. This will all go into your grade. Ye have t’ maintain a positive family atmosphere, fix yourselves healthy meals for ye and your kid, and settle everything like mature, responsible adults. Take care of your baby. He/She is very fragile. Ye break him or her, ye’re in trouble. Here’re the duty sheets on what’s t’ be expected of ye in this project. I will be watching ye. Class dismissed.”

“I protest!”

“Me too!”

“Acknowledged. Class dismissed.”

The muttering students left the classroom with their nurslings in hold. Banshee collapsed into his seat, exhausted. Desperate situations called for desperate measures. Perhaps now he could finally get some well-earned rest and peace.

Or not.

“Sean I can’t believe you did that!! Without my approval too!”

“It’s just a harmless little project, Em,” Banshee said weakly.

“Harmless little project! How many married mutant couples do you know have an egg as a child and don’t resort to their powers when conflicts arise? Better yet, how many married teenage mutant couples do you know have an egg as a child and don’t resort to their powers when conflicts arise?”

“It’s good for them, Emma. They’ll have to think maturely and rationally for the whole day.”

“Maturely and rationally? Our students?

Okay, Banshee thought, so maybe redheaded Irishmen with sonic screams weren’t the worse of the lot. Blonde powerful psychics were. Especially those that dressed in white leather.

“It’s not as bad as ye think, Em.”

Emma gave a snort. “Fine. If that’s what you say. I think the mansion will be splattered with eggs and destroyed by the time this day is over, but what do I know? I wash my hands clean off the affair, Sean. This is your doing. You take care of everything. I’m not helping. And if you so desire, I will wait until the end of the day with an ‘I told you so’.”

“Uh, yes, Em. Certainly. Don’t worry, I’m sure everything will be just fine.”


“So why can’t we give sugar donuts to the tyke? They’re carbohydrates!”

“Yeah, and junk food! You want Banshee to give us an F, chica?”

Ah say we bring our baby for a walk!”

“And I say we stay at home and read it bedtime stories!”

Monet was fuming. This latest tactic of Sean’s was stupid, unreasonable, unintellectual, pointless and insipid. Improve relations among the students? Hah. This would make them worse.

As if things weren’t bad enough already. She glared at the egg beside her on the sofa. Such an inane project. She be a mother? She be married?

{{Shouldn’t glare, gel,}} a lax Jono said as he lounged on the other side of the egg watching TV, {{ain’t good for the kid.}}

“Oh, so you’re getting into this asinine project too?”

{{Nope. Hate it just as much as you do.}} He clicked the remote control.

“And our grades are going to depend on this,” Monet said in disgust. “Mr Cassidy’s concept of improving relationships is so mundane.”

“Monet, tell him!” Paige said, marching up to the trio with her egg in tow, an indignant Everett behind her. “Walks are good for babies!”

“You’re too much of a perfectionist parent,” Everett told her. “You probably want him to start training from now to be an Olympic athlete! A nice bedtime story will enhance a feeling of security for our son -”

“What makes you think it’s a boy??”

{{Do you have to conduct this argument in the vicinity of younger ears?}} Jono smirked.

Paige glared, then ‘covered’ her egg’s ‘ears’. “Monet!” she whispered fiercely.

“I am not bothering myself with such childish games.”

“We’re just askin’ advice from another couple!”

“I was referring to the project in general.”

Everett looked at the other couple. “TV?” he asked.

{{What about it?}}

“With a baby watching? With the program being America’s Most Wanted?”

{{Kid should learn ’is future, shouldn’t ’e?}}

Paige glared. “Some parents you are. Come on, Ev. We’re consulting Jubes now.”

“Jubes? Like she’s such a great parent?”

They left. Monet looked at Jono.

“Future?” she inquired.

He shrugged. {{I figured with the parents ’e got, that’s the most positive outlook for ’im yet.}}

Monet bristled. “Oh, you think so, do you,” she said coldly.

{{No offense to you, luv. I’m not talkin’ about you. You’d make a swell mother.}}

Monet opened her mouth, but nothing came out. She looked at the boy.

“I would?”

He shrugged. {{In spite of your quirks and oddities, yeah, I’d say so. ’Least you’re way better than I’ll ever be at this parenting stuff.}}

He said it with a gloomy resigned air. Monet would normally never have bothered to cater to Jono’s constant depression, but after the sort-of compliment he’d paid to her about her being a swell mother, she figured it was somewhat fair to amuse his melancholy mood for a while. Just for a while. “You think too negatively,” she said.

Jono raised an eyebrow. {{Unbelievable. Monet St Croix uplifting spirits? What’s the world comin’ to?}}

“I’m not uplifting spirits, I’m just stating the obvious. You should revise your way of thinking; your pessimism will rub off on the baby.”

{{I thought you said this project was asi-somethin’?}}

“Asinine. It is, but if I have to stoop to such depths in order to maintain my perfect grades, I will do so. Contrary to my better judgement.” She made a face. “As if I’m ever going to get married and have children.”

Jono chuckled. {{Oh yeah. I forgot. Boys are yucky.}}

They sat in silence as the TV displayed a psychotic serial killer on the run. Then, Monet said quietly, “What makes you think I will be a good mother?”

Jono shrugged. {{I dunno. Gut instincts tell me that. Not that I have much of a gut.}} He glanced at his torso in depression. {{If you’d just loosen up with the perfection bit a little, you’d bring up great kids. You probably weren’t ’alf bad yourself when you were a tot.}}

Monet was quiet. “I had to grow up pretty fast.”

{{Yeah, well, that happens a lot.}}

“Not really.” She looked at him. “What about you? What makes you think you would make a bad father?”

{{Yeah, like you need me t’ tell you. Look at me, gel. Not exactly Father Of The Year, eh?}}

“You’re too obsessed with your looks.”

{{Lemme put it this way, luv. No goodnight kisses from me. Kid can never see what I really look like, not ’less ’e wants to have nightmares for the rest of his life. ’E’s gonna get plenty of flak from folks too for havin’ a freak of a father. If I feel this bad about me, think how the lil’ guy’s gonna take it.}}

Monet didn’t reply. She leaned back, then looked at the egg. “Well, this is just pretend. This child is not going to suffer from any psychological damage thanks to its freakish parents.”

{{Freakish, gel? Perfect little you?}}

“That depends on your subjective perception of the terms ‘freakish’ and ‘perfect’.” She watched the police on TV shoot down a vicious murderer. “If you did have a face and body, do you think you would make a good father?”

Jono paused. {{Well. . . I dunno, gel. Maybe. Who knows? We’ll never find out, will we.}}

“You will. Now.” Monet deposited the egg onto Jono’s lap, to his immense surprise. “This is your baby. Your innocent, naive, loving baby. He doesn’t care if you don’t have a face or if people talk about you. He doesn’t care if your life so far has been an abyss of sorrow - well, in fact, neither do I, but that is besides the point. All he cares about is that you’re his father and you’re here to play with him now.”

Jono looked at the egg. Then he took it in both hands and gazed at it in silence.

{{We should probably name the little tyke.}}

“Very well. How does Pierre sound to you?”

{{Like some loaded guy’s mineral water.}}

“That’s Perrier.”

{{Wotever. How ’bout Adam?}}


{{Why not?}}

“I refuse to.”

{{You gotta have a reason for not wantin’ Adam!}}

“Fine. I’m his mother. I have a say in names. And Adam is not it. Period.”

{{Grmblgrmblgrmbl. . .}}

“What was that, Jono?”

{{Tom. ’Is name is Tom.}}

“Too common and shallow. No.”

{{How ’bout Jerry.}}

“You’re doing this on purpose.”

{{You got that right, gel.}}

“Let’s call him Jean-Luc.”

{{Jean-Luc? It’s a boy, for cryin’ out loud! We ain’t givin’ him no sissy name!}}

Monet sniffed resentfully. “It isn’t an emasculating name, if that is what you are implying. I think Jean-Luc would be perfect for him.”

{{Oh you would. You would.}}

“It’s either that or Etienne. Take your pick.”

{{Fine. Grmblgrmblgrmbl. . . if Angelo finds out about this I’ll never hear the end of it.}}

“Are you ashamed of your son’s own name, Jono?”

{{I’m his father, ennit? I should have a say in names too.}}

“You listed Tom and Jerry among your picks. Need I point out with dripping sarcasm the mediocrity of your choices? Because I can, you know.”

{{Fine then, you hate my name?}}

“No. What’s your name got to do with -”

{{Right, kid’s Jonothon Starsmore the Second. We call him Jono II. Problem?}}

Monet looked at him disdainfully. “So much for imagination. Although I’d have to agree that the name would indeed sound quite aristocratic in nature.”

{{Yeah, wouldn’t want your dad raisin’ a common-named grandkid, huh.}}

“Hold him properly,” Monet cut in harshly, looking at Jono II.

{{’Ow in heck d' you hold an egg - I mean, a baby properly?}}

“You cradle its neck - no, not like that! An outsider would probably think you're trying to viciously choke your own child. Which may very well be the case. Put your arms like this -” she briskly positioned Jono's arms into a suitable pose, “- hold still, and if you dare drop the egg I will forcefully insert the broken pieces into your throat via your nasal channel. There.” She placed the egg delicately into Jono's arms, as if putting the finishing touches to an oil-painting. “Perfect.”

{{I was right. You'd make a terrific mother. Albeit an agressive, pushy, domineering one.}}

“If you intend to engage in a sarcasm duel with me I assure you I can more than capably fend off all of your comments, leaving you in a depressed state of mind with a self-confidence level of zero percent. Not that you aren’t already in one. Would you like to go on, or may we continue with our project now?”

{{How romantic. Our first argument as a married couple.}}

“I’m not a particularly ardent fan of romance, thank you very much.”

{{So I gathered.}}

Monet rolled her eyes. Boys.

Jono cradled the egg in his arms for a while, gazing at it in thoughtful silence. Then he spoke.

{{Wonder which one of us ’e’d look like.}}

“Obsessed with looks again.”

{{Just curious.}}

“Curious to know whether he’ll turn out as freakish as his parents?”

{{Actually, no, but thank you for reminding me.}}

Monet rolled her eyes. “If you must wonder about its appearance, just use your imagination.”

{{So you’re generously assuming I have a good one?}}

She sniffed disdainfully. “No, that would be too generous an assumption. Very well, I will imagine it for you. Jono II will have a combination of both our best features. More of mine, since I have many best features.”

{{Ah, yes.}}

“He has. . .”


Monet’s eyes suddenly sparkled as she recalled imaginitive joys from younger days gone past. “He has slight wisps of hair on his head, brownish black, brown like yours but dark roots like mine, and we have the same soft hair. He has my perfect skin but in your fair shade, and your eyes, only his are not so sad. His shows how beautiful your eyes would be if you smiled a bit more, those same crinkly little lines at the edges of your eyes. He has the promises of looking handsome when he grows up, thanks to my genes and admittedly your good looks, and he always laughs when he plays with his Mommy and Daddy. He has my nose and my mouth and my laugh, and he babbles in French with an English accent thanks to you!”

And Monet St Croix squealed in laughter. She’d forgotten what it was to be a child and have fun. Playtime used to be spent playing games with each other, laughing and making up stories, running and playing tag. Ever since the incident they’d resorted to singular tasks such as coloring books. It didn’t occur to her until now that she’d missed those days, those times of innocence and naive happiness. Her childhood had been all too short-lived. Pity. The memories were nice. Most of them anyway.

But when she caught Jono looking at her strangely she remembered her current nature. She had a front to uphold. She stopped laughing and turned away. America’s Most Wanted was over and NYPD Blue was coming on. She took the remote control and switched the channel to one that showed a symphony orchestra playing Beethoven.


“Jono II needs sophisticated cultivation,” she said stiffly.

Jono was quiet. {{You should laugh more, gel. Suits you.}}

They sat there in silence. Behind them in the kitchen came yells and arising arguments from four certain teenagers. Neither Monet nor Jono noticed.

What Monet did notice was that Jono didn’t scorn her sudden lapse into her true age, nor did he laugh at how immature-un-Monet-like she must’ve seemed just now. Maybe she didn’t need to keep everything such a secret all the time. Maybe. But she knew better. Monet St Croix knew everything.

{{You ain’t ’alf bad, gel. You know that?}}

“I’m not bad at all.”

{{You know what I mean.}}


Jono put a cushion on his lap and placed Jono II gingerly on it. Monet noticed that he was patting the egg gently.

{{Y’ know, luv, when I first met you I didn’t like you at all.}}

“Most people are insecure around perfection.”

{{Uh-huh.}} He patted Jono II as he spoke. {{That was your attitude. That bumped me off. I thought you were too snobby and stuck-up when we first met. Too full of yourself.}}

“Thank you for informing me,” Monet said acidly, “I will be sure to return the favor likewise.”

{{That was ’alf the reason why I didn’t like you, gel. Your attitude. Other reason was that you were right. You were perfect, ’side from that attitude of yours. You got it all - looks, wealth, brains. Me? What do I got? ’Alf a face and no torso, messed up relationships. You got it all.}}

“My apologies.”

{{Including a sarcastic tongue.}}

“I was being sincere.”

Jono honestly wouldn’t have guessed. He glanced at Monet. She was now gazing at the television screen with a clear, light expression on - she was very much involved in the orchestratic melody. Jono thought her beautiful, though slightly troubled. If he wasn’t already thinking of someone else he would’ve liked her. This current, let-down-all-the-defenses Monet.

The symphony ended. Monet sat back with a satisfied sigh. Jono motioned gently to her.

{{Better tuck the kid into bed,}} he told her, nodding at the egg lying sleepily on the cushion. {{Early bedtime.}}

Monet nodded. They rose and went up the stairs, pausing only slightly to see two about-to-file-for-divorce couples fighting in the kitchen. Shielding Jono II from the unearthly dialogue no baby should ever be exposed to, they went to the spare room - Banshee had made that the ‘nursery’ for the eggs to be placed in that night.

Jono gently lowered the egg and cushion into the container with his and Monet’s names on it, then patted the ‘baby’. He glanced over his shoulder at Monet. {{Think we should sing it lullabies?}}

“As long as walks and bedtime stories are out of the question,” she said with one of her rare sincere smiles.

Jono smiled as well, or at least what could be seen of his face did. Then he turned and sang a lullaby that, long ago, before pain and unhappiness crashed into his world, comforted him into a reassuring sleep each night. Monet looked at the scene.

He finished, then straightened. {{Well, gotta go. MTV’s comin’ up soon.}}

“Ah yes. The loud drum-bashing, anguished screaming and violent depictments evidently have their own attraction. Enjoy yourself.”

{{I will. Goodnight, Monet.}}

“Goodnight, Jono.”

He went for the door.


He turned.

Monet paused. “I think you’d make a great father.”

He smiled, then vanished.

Monet St Croix turned to go as well, then stopped. She looked back at Jono II in the cushioned container. Then she went and sat down next to it. She hesitated, then caressed it and began murmuring in French an old fairy tale that used to be recited to her every night by her mother, long before death and fear set into her life. It was well into the night before she could finally tear herself away from the room.

Below her in the kitchen, meanwhile, similar ‘babies’ were being splattered against four raging teenagers.


“Remember, Em, Jono and Monet got an A each. This project wasn’t a total failure.”

“I’m aware of that, Sean, now clean up this kitchen!

Jubilee glanced over her shoulder at the scene. “Well,” she said, popping a handful of popcorn into her mouth as the teenagers lounged in front of the television the next day, “Mr C’s already givin’ us all F’s, so he can’t punish us for splattering the joint with the kids.”

“All of us except Jono and Monet,” Angelo said. “I wouldn’t have guessed it. Their kid got through the night alive.”

“I can’t believe it,” Paige wailed. “With all my family experience I should’ve aced this thing! Instead. . . this is all your fault, Ev! You’re an only child! I’ve got siblings! I should know more about what’s good for kids!”

“If you’ve forgotten, Paige, our egg was an only child. Therefore I should’ve had the key say in what went!”

Jubilee yawned. “You guys still on that? Jeez. Handle this like me and Ange. We splat the eggs at each other, then forget the whole thing the next day.”

“Yeah,” said Angelo. “Besides, eggs are good for hair.”

Everyone looked at him.

“Forget it.”

They returned their attention to the TV. Jono glanced at Monet. {{Never thought we’d make that great a team, of all people, eh, luv?}} he sent a private thought to her.

{{It went against all rational convictions,}} Monet telepathically agreed.

Jono psionically chuckled. {{I’m beginning to dig this fatherhood stuff. Don’t tell the others, though.}}

{{I won’t if you don’t tell them what happened yesterday.}}

{{What happened yesterday?}}

{{My not acting like myself.}}

Jono paused. He was about to send a psionic advice that she shouldn’t be afraid to show her true colors, but she met his look, and he saw something in her eyes that he’d never expected to see: a calm yet desperate plea. Gone was the usual confident, supercilious Monet. She was begging him. He was startled.

He managed to find his psionic voice. {{Sure gel. Whatever you say.}}

{{Thank you, Jono.}}

“Yo, Personality Duo!” Jubilee called. “What’re you two psionickin’ about?”

“It certainly wouldn’t be your business, would it, Jubilee,” Monet said calmly as she turned away to watch the television screen.

Jubilee glared and shot off a sarcastic remark. Monet fended this off capably. Others yelled at the two to shut up and watch the show. Jono just gazed at the scene, and at Monet in particular.

So many mysteries, so many secrets. So many questions, never any answers. Maybe Monet St Croix’s life wasn’t so perfect after all.

He turned and began to watch the TV with the others.


[ Main | What's New | Stories | Authors | Site Map ]