What is love? tis not
Present mirth hath present laughter;
What's to come is still unsure:
In delay there lies no plenty;
Then come kiss me, sweet and twenty,
Youth's a stuff will not endure.
~ Oh Mistress Mine, from "Twelfth Night"~
by William Shakespeare
"Rogue?" Bobby knocked hesitantly on Rogue's door.
"Okay if I come inside?"
"Whatever floats your boat."
Taking her response as a "yes," Bobby entered the
room and closed the door behind him. Rogue lay resting amid
a mass of pillows and stuffed animals, confined to bed rest
for the next couple weeks.
"What?" she asked grumpily.
"Well, I just wanted to see how you were..."
"Ah'm fine. You?"
There was a long silence.
"What?" she asked again, exasperation
showing in her voice.
Bobby grabbed a nearby chair and turning it backwards, sat
down and leaned his arms forward against the back of the chair.
"Well, I was talking with Storm and Jean, and they seem
to think that you, as restless as you can be sometimes, might
be a little bored lying in bed here all by yourself doing
absolutely nothing for the next couple weeks -- that's at
least fourteen days."
Rogue spotted the mischievous glint in Bobby's eyes and decided
to proceed cautiously. "And..."
"And we've decided we're going to do a
big team bonding' thing for the team -- right here in
your room, in fact."
"Ah don't like the sound of this..."
"How do you like the sound of a two-week Pictionary/
Poker/ whatever-other-games-we-can- think-of championship
tournament, starring the X-Men and emceed by yours truly?"
Rogue looked at him with disbelief and gestured at her room.
"Everyone? In here?! There's no way!"
"No way they'll all fit, or no way you'll let us into
your sanctuary' for so long?"
"No, Hank's figured it all out -- the seating arrangement's
already been made. We won't be able to move too much, but,
hey -- it's supposed to be a big bonding experience, right?
And if it is a big bonding thing, and you
are a part of the team, then <gasp> --"
Bobby began imitating -- badly -- Rogue's accent. "--
Ah guess that means our li'l Suthern Belle heah is gonna hafeta
play hostess an' be sociable, huh?"
"I'm afraid you don't have much choice in the matter,
my dear." He grinned and motioned toward the door. "They're
already waiting outside."
"No, they aren't."
"Yes, they are."
"No, they aren't."
Bobby feigned injury at Rogue's remark. "I get the distinct
impression you don't trust me. I'm deeply offended by that."
"Tough, ice boy.' No way everyone's comin' in
here. No way, no how."
"Sorry -- You've been outvoted on this one." Bobby
moved to open the door.
"Oh, yeah? If you open that door, Ah'll -- Ah'll throw
every pillow on this bed at you! I will!"
"Suuuure." Bobby grinned at Rogue, a playful twinkle
in his eye. "That'll stop me."
"Ah'll wipe that li'l smirk off your face! Take that!"
Rogue took a large teddy bear and hit Bobby squarely in the
shoulder with it, sending him to the floor with a grunt. Taking
advantage of the situation, she followed up with a barrage
that included two stuffed raccoons, four throw pillows and
one white stuffed bunny that vibrated and giggled maniacally
when she squeezed its hand.
Frantic to find something to protect himself from the next
barrage of stuffed objects, Bobby grabbed a largeish pillow
in the shape of a yellow bear's head. Arms outstretched, he
stood and held the pillow in front of him. "Ha! Your
dastardly weapons have no effect against -- the Pooh Shield!!"
A pink giraffe immediately came flying at his knees with
considerable force, but Bobby was certain he heard Rogue giggling
as she launched a few more stuffed animals at him.
"Well, if you're going to play it that way..."
Bobby picked up the large teddy bear in one hand, keeping
the "Pooh Shield" in the other. "...then take
this!" Swinging his arm, he threw the bear
at Rogue, who giggled and screeched with mock panic as she
tried to dodge the stuffed animal.
"Ha! Missed me!" she cried. "Heads up!"
She grabbed the ruffled pillow under her head and threw it
at Bobby's midsection. He sidestepped the shot, and it went
skidding across the floor.
Doing his best Sean Connery imitation, Bobby said, "Your
weapons shall not frighten me, evildoer! The name's Bond.
Bobby Bond!" Then he launched his own assault
against Rogue, trying to keep her off-balance so she couldn't
throw anything of her own his way.
He quickly ran out of ammunition, though, and Rogue used
his momentary indecision to begin her own barrage of stuffed
animals and pillows on Bobby. When she, too, ran out of things
to throw, Bobby laughed and, bending down to pick up a particularly
large stuffed bunny rabbit, announced, "Your evil plan
has failed! My turn!"
"Not so fast."
Grinning evilly, Rogue pulled out the large pink pillow that
cushioned her back and tossed it with all her might at Bobby.
He ducked his head out of the way just in time, but the pillow
hit him full in the chest and burst on impact, sending him
flying to the ground in a flurry of feathers.
Logan, Jean and Ororo, waiting on the other side of the door,
had heard all of the commotion and finally decided to investigate
when a few stray feathers found their way under the door.
Opening the door revealed an unexpected sight:
Feathers were flying all over the room, carried by the breeze
that drifted in through Rogue's open window. Near the door,
Bobby was sprawled on the floor, surrounded by assorted stuffed
animals and covered almost completely with feathers. He was
alternately doubled over laughing and coughing up stray feathers.
Rogue was sitting in bed, covers thrown off, in a quite unladylike
position considering her nightshirt, pointing at Bobby and
holding her hand over her mouth as she shook with laughter.
Jean, Logan and Storm stood frozen for a moment in the doorway,
trying to take in what was going on. Logan broke the silence
with a hearty laugh. "Nice ta see the kid smilin' again,"
he said, walking out of the room. "I'll get the others..."
Jean and Storm heard him calling out "Party in Rogue's
room -- now!" from down the hall and across the mansion.
Logan's laugh also attracted the attention of Bobby and Rogue,
who noticed their onlookers for the first time. Bobby quickly
tried to brush the feathers off himself, and Rogue dived back
under her covers, snatching a stray pillow along the way,
in an attempt to pretend that she really had been behaving
"You were just supposed to warn her that company was
coming, not make a mess," Jean said, hands on her hips
as she talked to Bobby.
"And you are under doctor's orders not to overexert
yourself," Ororo told Rogue disapprovingly.
Bobby and Rogue looked at each other, their faces barely
masking the grins they were unsuccessfully trying to suppress.
"Yes, mommy," they said in unison before collapsing
into peals of laughter.
Jean and Storm rolled their eyes and, as if on cue, grabbed
stuffed animals off the ground and hurled them at the two
"troublemakers," who promptly threw them back in
mock indignance, sparking an even larger pillow fight.
"We're here, guys," Sam called from down the hall,
the sounds of multiple footsteps echoing behind him.
Beast bounded past Cannonball and leaped into the doorway,
only to be tagged by a stray stuffed tiger.
"Oh my stars and garters..."
To be continued...
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