DISCLAIMER: The characters belong to Marvel, but I think Kaylee's Mooks should be hers, after all this. She certainly loves them more. ;)
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Dedicated to Kaylee, for her birthday, with much love. :) A Crazy Kinda Way To Spend The Afternoon
By Alicia McKenzie
Bobby Drake was having a very strange dream, involving Hank, a sky full of clouds that were really Twinkies, and a line of miniature Sinisters doing the macarena. The real kicker was that they were singing along to the music. He thought he probably could have handled it, if they hadn't been singing. When they abruptly stopped dancing and stood at attention, breaking into the Marseillaise, he decided that it was probably time to wake up now.
Easier said that done, though, Clawing his way back to consciousness, he registered his own pounding headache, the hard floor beneath him, and the unmistakable cool weight of an inhibitor collar around his neck. His mind managed to make the rather elementary connection that the collar was a Bad Thing, implying other, even Worse Things. Bobby opened his eyes, blinking around blearily as he tried to remember what had happened.
Think, Drake-- Okay. He remembered. They'd been on a mission. Right. There'd been a group of leftover Genoshan Magistrates, trying to set up their own nasty little operation in South Africa. We traced them back to their base--I remember that. There'd been a fight, and--well, and then--
Okay, so maybe he didn't quite remember everything. As much as he tried to concentrate, it wasn't coming back. Obviously something had happened, though, for him to wind up collared, in a rather secure-looking cell--
His gaze fell on the familiar lean form sprawled a few feet away from him, wearing an identical collar, and all thoughts of why and where vanished so fast they wound up racing each other on the way out of his head.
"Remy!" he said urgently, scrambling over to his lover's side. Okay, he thought, fighting for composure. Pulse--yes. Breathing--good. No injuries he could SEE--also good. But that left all the possible things he wouldn't be ABLE to see, and for some reason, he was having a real hard time concentrating on the basics of first aid at the moment--"Remy? Can you hear me? Remy?"
He called his name a few more times, and finally, red-on-black eyes fluttered open, fixing on his face dazedly for a few, much too long moments. "Well," Remy finally muttered, almost speculatively. "Dat--went well." He reached up, long fingers brushing the collar. "Merde," he said, quietly but vehemently.
"Yeah," Bobby said, much more shakily than he'd intended. Joking--that was a good sign, right? "I don't even remember what happened. Are you sure you're all right? Nothing broken?" He started to check for himself, but Remy caught his hands, squeezing them tightly. Trying to reassure him, Bobby realized.
"I'm fine, cher--" Remy said firmly and sat up, moving so stiffly that Bobby winced in reflexive sympathy. "Y' don' need t'be worryin' 'bout me. Now, y'okay?"
"I'm fine, Remy. But you should take it easy," Bobby said earnestly. "You might be--"
"Bobby, I t'ink we got bigger t'ings to worry 'bout at de moment--" Remy frowned and reached out, touching the side of Bobby's face gently. "Are y'sure y'r all right? Looks like someone hit y'upside de head--"
Bobby swallowed, managing a feeble smile. "Fine, Remy, I'm fine--"
"You're fine, he's fine, we're all flonqing well fine," a voice growled from the corner. "So stop cooing over each other before you make me sick."
Bobby almost yelped. Remy merely looked around laconically. "Bonjour, Cable. Dey got y'too, I see."
"Actually, no. I'm really lying on a beach in the Bahamas. You're just seeing things," Cable muttered, shifting his weight as he were trying to get more comfortable.
Bobby stared at him, part of him not quite comprehending how he'd managed to miss the fact that Cable was there, and the rest of him more than a little abashed that he HAD. He'd been distracted, sure, but still, Remy had clearly known he was there. He hadn't seem in the least bit surprised. Well, how surprised should he have been? Any one with a modicum of intelligence would have noted the time-traveling mercenary sitting in the corner--
Cable directed a brief, more than slightly unfocused glare in his direction. "What, Drake."
"Um--are you all right?" It was the first halfway sensible thing that popped into his mind, so he said it. Well, he's awake and making nasty comments, that's a good sign--
"Just peachy, thanks for asking." It was a snarl, pure and simple, and Bobby couldn't help a flinch.
Remy squeezed Bobby's hand again, reassuringly, and then glanced back at Cable. "Y're not wearin' a collar," he observed.
"You know," Cable said, his words ever so faintly slurred, "I didn't notice that. I suppose the fact that the virus isn't currently running wild and turning me into something resembling an erector set was a tip-off, but thanks for pointing that out, Cajun. Don't know what I'd have done without you."
"But--if you're not wearing a collar--" Bobby started, then fell silent as Cable gave him a disgusted look and gestured at the bars, his left eye glowing dully.
The bars rattled. That was all. Given that Cable would ordinarily have been capable of tearing them apart telekinetically with very little effort--"Oh," Bobby said lamely. "Then how--"
Cable muttered something incomprehensible under his breath and rubbed at one muscled arm. Remy smiled faintly. "De drugged him, Bobby. Guess dat means dey wan' us all alive f'r somet'ing or ot'er."
"Oh." He seemed to be saying that a lot right now. "How exactly did we get here, anyway?" There. Much more productive sort of thing to say.
Cable gave him a faintly speculative look. "Guess that roof beam did hit you on the head. I thought it had." He shifted again, glancing out into the empty hallway outside their cell. "Short answer, one of the Magistrates brought the ceiling down on you and LeBeau. Logan and I were trying to dig you out, and--" He fell silent, staring vacantly into the empty air for a few moments. "Oath. Well, whatever happened after that. I don't see Logan, though--he must've gotten out."
"Dis is almost funny, non?" Remy murmured. "All t'ree of us, stuck in dis cell and not rememberin' how we got here--"
"Funny ha-ha or funny peculiar?" Bobby asked. The joke fell flat, but then again, he'd expected it to. "So," he said a little helplessly, as the silence dragged on. "Are we just going to sit here?"
Remy grinned. "Non, of course not." He proceeded to pull a lockpick out of his sleeve, and Bobby blinked. Remy's grin only grew. "Guess dey didn' bot'er searchin' us too carefully."
"I guess not."
"If dis one doesn' work, I'll try anot'er." Remy tossed a quick look back over his shoulder at Cable, who seemed to have found something very interesting about the ceiling. "No worries, mon ami. Dey haven't invented de cell yet dat Remy LeBeau can' find his way out of."
Cable grunted and closed his eyes. Bobby watched as Remy started to work with the lock. And watched. And watched some more while he went through two more lockpicks, beginning to curse under his breath in French.
"Remy?" Bobby finally asked, hesitantly.
"The lock must be rusty," Cable murmured from his corner, the words dripping with irony.
Remy gave him an evil look. "Don' rush me."
"Wouldn't dream of it."
The next few minutes were agonizing, as Remy fiddled painstakingly with the lock. But the curses grew less frequent, and Bobby leaned forward eagerly as Remy's grin began, ever so slowly, to return. "Almost dere--" Remy whispered.
The wrong door, one that was almost out of sight, down at the end of the hall, opened instead, and Bobby winced as two heavily armed men appeared with suspicious alacrity. One of them leveled his rifle at Remy, who sighed.
"Now, couldn' you have given me jus' one more minute, homme?" he asked.
"Throw your little toys out into the hall, mutie," one of the guards said harshly. Remy shrugged, and obeyed. Bobby wondered if he was being so accommodating because he had more stashed away, or whether he was just bowing to the inevitable. The guard stooped and picked them up, and then exchanged a few harsh words with his companion, who vanished down the hall for a moment, then reappeared with a folding chair on which he promptly sat, glaring at the three of them. The first guard shook his head, checked the door, and left.
"Well," Remy said, with a lopsided grin and another shrug. "I guess dis means no more hanky-panky with de door. And I was enjoyin' myself--"
"Shut up," the guard growled. "No talking."
"Non?" Remy tilted his head, inquisitively. "But don' y'think y'd get really tired of de quiet after a while, mon ami?"
"I said shut up!"
"Jus' cause y're holdin' us prisoner, don' mean we can' have a civilized conversation, non?" Remy said, almost wistfully. "I mean, dere are jus' SO few good conversationalists in our line o'work, mon ami."
"Remy--" Bobby muttered under his breath, half-amused, half-appalled by the way he kept baiting the guard. "I thought I was supposed to be the smart-assed one--"
"Not to worry, cher. De man is all talk and no action. See de size of dat gun? Only those with natural deficiencies need t'carry guns dat big--" Remy made a vaguely obscene gesture. "If y'know wha' I mean--"
"Oh, flonq you, Cajun," Cable growled from the corner. His eyes were still closed, and he looked like he was trying very hard to nap. Or concentrate on something. Bobby wasn't sure which, and he wasn't sure he wanted to know.
"No t'anks, mon ami," Remy said cheerfully. "But I'm touched by de offer."
The guard rose abruptly, smacking his rifle against the bars. "Shut the fuck up!" he snarled, his eyes a little wild. Bobby, at the moment, could sympathize. Just a little. "Don't make me come in there!"
Cable's eyes suddenly snapped open. "Oh, go right ahead," he invited, his voice very soft and his gaze, fixed intently on the guard, very sharp. "Come on in. We won't bite."
The guard blinked, and then flushed. "You're drugged, they're collared," he said, his dismissive tone not quite convincing.
"So?" Cable asked idly.
"So, mutie, if I tell you to shut up, you shut up, or I MAKE you shut up!"
"Like I said," Cable said, with a lazy, malevolent smile. "Come right on in and make me shut up. Bring the gun, if you want. I could think of lots of things to do with it even after I shove it up your ass and fire off a few rounds, you pathetic little flonq."
Amazing, Bobby reflected. His tone hadn't changed at all, throughout that whole thing. I should take notes--
"I'm quaking in my boots," the guard snapped. His hands were shaking, Bobby noticed with a strange little flicker of glee. Glee was not an appropriate thing to be feeling, the more logical portion of his mind pointing out. Not when his two cellmates, much as he loved one and walked softly around the other, were trying to outdo themselves in a little game of 'let's piss off the man with the very big gun'.
"I can see that." Cable's eye flickered, and the bars rattled again. The guard jumped backwards with a curse, and went running down the hallway. Cable grimaced. "Stab my eyes, I shouldn't have done that."
"You got rid of him, though," Bobby pointed out as Remy swiftly 'found' another lockpick in his uniform and fiddled rapidly with the lock.
"Yeah, but he's going to come right back here with a nice big needle to stick me with," Cable growled resignedly, drawing the back of his hand across his eyes in a curiously exhausted gesture. "I don't really feel like being drugged again, flonq it all, and they're going to take my little emphatic gesture there as a sign I need another dose."
"Unless we get out of dis place first, mon ami," Remy said through gritted teeth. "T'ink positively."
"You think positively, Cajun. I like being pessimistic."
The door at the end of the hall opened again, and the guard returned, with a friend carrying an even bigger run, and a nervous-looking little man in a white coat, carrying a little silver tray. The first guard glared at Remy, who swore and tossed his lockpick out of the cell as he moved back away from the door. The second kicked the lockpick away, almost absently, unlocked the door, and ushered the little white-coated man inside.
The first guard stayed out, his rifle leveled at them, Bobby noticed. Guess he got the fear of Cable put into him--
That was funnier than it should have been.
The doctor - if that's what he was - looked down at Cable rather diffidently. "If--you'll just give me your arm," he said, kneeling down and placing the tray on the floor. He picked up the syringe and the vial, and Bobby watched in sick fascination as the former slowly filled with a straw-colored liquid.
"If I don't?" Cable grated, and Bobby blinked as the second guard turned smoothly and pointed his gun in his direction. Remy, on the other side of the cell, stiffened. The implication was clear. "Well," Cable muttered. "Since you put it that way--" He extended his arm. The doctor injected him, quickly and efficiently, and then beat a hasty retreat out of the cell.
The second guard lingered for a moment, giving Remy a hard look. "Try that again, and you're going to be wishing I'd shot you."
Remy said something in French, icily, that Bobby was fairly sure was anatomically impossible. Although his French was rusty, admittedly, so he might be wrong. The guard shook his head with a snort.
"Keep it in mind, mutant. We may not want any of you dead quite yet, but that that doesn't mean we have to treat you with kid gloves if you give us any trouble." He gave Cable a measuring look, and then left the cell, locking it behind him and checking it before he left again.
It was a really conclusive sound, Bobby thought with a wince. He looked over at Remy, who was fingering his collar again, his expression flat, red-black eyes burning with frustration.
Frustration was apt, he decided grimly. Even if Remy did have another lockpick or three stashed somewhere, he wasn't liable to get a chance to use them. No, this wasn't going well at all. Our Heroes don't look like they're making the Daring Escape this time--
"Not so tough now, are you, mutie?" the first guard sneered, glaring at Cable as he took his seat again. He was still holding his gun like it was some kind of security blanket, though. "Figured that was all empty bluster."
"Still--welcome to find out," Cable muttered, but his eyes were fluttering, as if he couldn't keep them open. Bobby got up and half-walked, half-staggered over to him, kneeling down at his side. His head spun at even that slight effort, but he didn't like the look of how fast whatever that had been was kicking in.
"Cable," he said sharply. Cable's head started to sag towards his chest, and Bobby reached out, taking him by the shoulders. "Cable?"
"I'm--fine, Drake," Cable slurred, trying to pull away. But there was nowhere to go, given that he was already in the corner. He raised a hand as if to try and break Bobby's grip, but let it fall back limply to his side.
"You don't look fine." What the hell had they given him, some kind of sedative? What DID you give a psi to prevent them from using their powers without actually inhibiting them? "Hey," he said urgently as Cable slumped, his chin hitting his chest and not coming back up again. "Shit--don't go passing out on us, here! Nathan!"
Remy crouched down beside him, taking Cable's pulse. He was silent for a moment, red-black eyes thoughtful. "I t'ink he's all right," he finally said quietly. "Dey don't wan' him awake t'cause trouble until dey're ready t'start askin' us questions, dat's all."
"I hope you're right," Bobby muttered worriedly, and managed a weak smile. "I'd hate to have to explain to Scott and Jean if he wasn't--" he joked feebly.
"We'll jus' keep an eye on him, cher," Remy said reassuringly, shifting around and leaning back against the wall with a sigh. He smiled dazzlingly at the guard. "'Sides, look on de bright side. Jus' t'ink how much more attractive dat one would be after Jeanie gets finished breakin' him down t'his component atoms."
The guard shifted uncomfortably. Bobby blinked at him for a moment, and then burst out laughing. It wasn't funny. It REALLY wasn't funny. He just couldn't seem to stop laughing.
Remy slung an arm around his shoulders, and grinning at the guard. "Jus' an inside joke," he said amiably. "Nothin' t'worry about."
"Bobby." The voice was very quiet, but insistent. "C'mon, cher. Don' want y'dozin' off on me."
Well, that wasn't fair. He was so damned tired--why was Remy going to begrudge him a nap? It wasn't like he hadn't done his share, today. Whatever today was. He figured that was maybe a bad sign, not remembering what day it was, but he couldn't bring himself to get too bothered about it--
"Bobby." More insistent, this time. The sort of voice you didn't say no to--at least, the sort of voice HE didn't say no to. Not when it was using that particular tone, at least. He opened his eyes, blinking blearily as he reoriented himself.
Cell, right. He was in the circle of Remy's arm, head pillowed on his shoulder. Not a bad position to be in, all things considered. He'd be rather enjoying it if it weren't for the headache.
"Not sleeping," he muttered. God, I sound grouchy. What side of the bed did you wake up on today, Mr. Drake?
"Sure y'weren't." Remy's arm tightened around him. "Jus' don't do it again."
"Yeah, whatever--" Bobby looked up groggily, noticing that there was a different guard on duty, one reading what looked like a Stephen King book, of all things, and paying very little attention to them. "Change of shifts?"
"S'pose so. Either dat or dey're gettin' bored of jus' watchin' us, like I said dey would. None of 'em seem t'want t'ask us any questions yet."
No questions yet. That was a good thing. After all, it sort of ruined your day to get tortured for information. Bobby tried to turn his head to look over at Cable, but stopped mid-motion with a wince. "Shit," he complained weakly.
"You could say that, yeah," Bobby sighed, closing his eyes again, just for a moment. It's just a headache. Deal with it. "Cable all right?"
"Out cold, sleepin' de sleep of de just, whatever y'want to call it," Remy said, briskly. Too briskly, part of Bobby's mind said suspiciously. But the idea of grilling Remy about it wasn't particularly appealing. Waste of energy he didn't have, at least. "Kinda worried 'bout you at de minute, Bobby."
Bobby blinked as Remy shifted around to sit in front of him, one hand drifting in a light caress over the side of his face as he peered intently at him. "You don't need to worry," Bobby said automatically, but Remy shook his head.
"I'm bein' serious, Bobby. Cable said he saw y'get hit in de head. Y're not showin' any signs that'd tell me f'r sure whether or not y'have a concussion, but dat might be because y'were in ice form at de time." Remy's expression tightened. "I don' want t'take de chance," he continued, more quietly. "So you jus' stay awake, comprenez-vous?"
Bobby smiled faintly, taking Remy's hand and squeezing it. "Don't worry about me," he said softly. "Besides, like you said before, we've got bigger things to worry about."
Remy chuckled softly. "Y'know, Bobby," he said almost teasingly, "under better circumstances, it'd be interesting t'be locked up with y'. Opens up all kind of de most interesting possibilities."
Bobby blushed, and couldn't believe he was doing it. Talk about your change in subjects-- Remy moved back to sit beside him, sliding an arm around his shoulders again. "Well," Bobby said, trying for a nonchalant tone. "I did have this intriguing mental image, once--"
"Oh? Tell me more, cher."
"Umm--it's not the sort of thing you want to share with an audience," Bobby said as delicately as he could. At least, it wasn't the sort of thing HE would want to share with an audience. Any audience.
"Why not? Cable's dead t'de world, and de fan of tacky horror novels over dere isn't paying any attention to us."
"I'd rather save it for when we get home and the King fan and all his little friends are shipped back to Genosha so the provisional government can put them in prison like the pond scum they are," Bobby said suddenly, giving into a wicked impulse that was, strangely enough, as clear as day, in sharp contrast to the fog that lingered determinedly inside his skull. The guard looked up, startled and hostile, and Bobby waved cheerfully. "Yeah, pal, I'm talking about you. You, your friends, and your little dog too. If you have a little dog."
Remy actually snickered. "I t'ink you're getting de hang of it, Bobby."
"De right attitude to have in dese situations." Remy grinned at him fondly. "I knew y'had it in y'."
Bobby smiled crookedly. He was getting into this, absurdly enough. Maybe he DID have a concussion. "You keep sweet-talking me, Remy LeBeau, and I'm going to stop worrying about our audience." Out of the corner of his admittedly still rather blurred vision, he saw the guard watching them more closely, looking alarmed.
"Oh, cher--dat's all dat it would take?" Remy almost purred. "Den y'd better cover y'ears, because I'm going t'sweep you right off your feet--" The guard was blinking rapidly, and Bobby was trying very hard not to start snickering. Remy looked thoughtful. "Feet--y'know, cher, I've never told y'what gorgeous feet you have--"
#You know, I think I'm glad you and LeBeau prefer each other's company. Otherwise you might spawn.#
Bobby jerked at the sound of Cable's voice inside his head, and instinctively started to look around at him. Remy seized him, gently but quite firmly, and proceeded to give him what could quite fairly be described as a toe-curling kiss.
"Don' look around, cher," he murmured against Bobby's cheek as he finally drew back to let them both get some air. "Don' want t'ruin de game, do y'?"
Game? Bobby wondered wildly. Not that he was really objecting to the kiss--but Remy had said that Cable was still unconscious. And while this was fun, he wasn't really used to thinking about things like this as a game. Maybe he needed to broaden his horizons?
#I've been awake for the last fifteen minutes, letting the drug wear off. Keep doing what you're doing. The more distracted the guard is, the better.#
Distraction--was that what they were doing? Bobby snuck a glance over Remy's shoulder at Cable. Who really did look unconscious, damn it--
#Looks can be deceiving. And what, you think the whole public display of affection as a diversionary tactic is new? I was using it while you were still running around in diapers.#
That sort of comparison was really unfair, Bobby thought dazedly as Remy kissed him again. Especially given that he'd changed Cable's diapers, more than once--
#Do NOT throw that in my face, Drake.#
"Hey," the guard said a little uneasily, finally putting his novel down. "Quit that, would you?"
Remy looked around at him. "Go back t'dat book of y'rs, mon ami," he said amiably, and nibbled on Bobby's earlobe.
"I said stop that!" the guard blustered, getting up and coming over to the bars.
#Perfect,# Cable's voice said with a savage sort of satisfaction. His eyes snapped open, the left spitting golden fire.
And he blew out the front of the cell. The explosion itself was utterly soundless, but the scream of the bars as they were torn from their moorings and thrown into the opposite wall of the hallway was almost deafening. The guard didn't even have the chance to scream.
"Whoa," Bobby said dazedly, as silence fell again. "That had to hurt."
Remy looked irritated as he got up, pulling Bobby along with him, gently. Bobby wobbled a little on his feet, but the dizziness passed quickly enough. "Y'couldn't have been a little quieter, homme?" Remy snapped at Cable.
"Flonq that," Cable muttered, hauling himself awkwardly to his feet. He looked a little unsteady, still, but he still managed a credible stalk over to the guard's unconscious form. He tugged something off the man's belt as he bent to pick up the guard's still - and rather miraculously - intact rifle.
He aimed the small squarish object he'd retrieved first at them, and Bobby flinched, not sure what to expect until he heard the telling click from his collar.
"I'm in the mood for a little property damage," Cable growled as the two of them pulled off their collars. "And I really, really want to shoot someone." Remy opened his mouth, and Cable leveled a thoroughly evil look at him. "Don't even start to patronize me, Cajun. I'm in a shit of a mood."
He turned around and stalked down the hall. Bobby gave a half-appalled, half-bemused look, and his lover shrugged, a smile tugging at his lips.
"Should we follow him and make sure he doesn't kill anyone?" Bobby ventured.
Remy shrugged again. "Why bother?" he asked. "Wouldn' you much rather jus' watch?"
"Um, NO." The prospect of explaining to Scott and Jean how their son had gotten hurt had been an unpleasant one, but it wasn't nearly as bad as the prospect of trying to tell them why he and Remy had let Nathan go on a homicidal rampage.
"Merde. Y'know how much I love y', cher, but y'always got t'do t'ings
the hard way," Remy chuckled.
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