**Standard Mice Disclaimer**
Mice is in no way associated with the Marvel Comics Group. She is merely trying to write a story and this is all she has to show for it. A noble effort. Though she would one day like to be paid for writing, please don't send her any money (send mail to urmonkeyifudo@yeahright.com on instructions to send her money). The characters of Bobby Drake, Hank McCoy and Jubilee, belong to the Marvel Comics Group. Holland, Jacob, Bert, Cliff, Hollis, Annie, and Nan are of my own mind. Any archiving of this story that is unaware of her attention will be ily received (Read: Tikki Curse). If you e-mail her, explain your intentions to archive the story and address of your archive, she will be more than gracious and will probably do something nice for you, like bake you brownies, not to mention archiving the story. She just wants to know where she can drool over the sight of her name. If you want to e-mail her comments, do it at mice5k@hotmail.com. You'll also get some brownies out of the deal, but it's not really that great of a reward because she can't cook.

God ... er, Dog
by Mice

Chapter 3

Bobby Drake casually woke himself up at the ten o'clock hour. He turned his lazy carcass over to put on a pair of pants, and found Bert standing on them and staring at him, resembling a Precious Moments figurine gone horribly wrong.

"Hey, Bert." Bobby nonchalantly ran his finger's through the young boy's afro. "I pity the foo' who mess widjou."

A voice cleared in the hallway. "Hey, Bobby, I got news for you ... you're white."

Bobby went to clear the sleep out of his eyes. "It looks like Holland Bass, but she's smiling, cordial, and almost witty ... not as scary as I thought it would be."

Holland entered Bobby's room, picking up her son with the utmost motherly affection while maintaining a most sinister grin. "It's still early yet." Holland began to smooth over Bert's hair. "And, you have a message. Your friend Hank called an hour ago."

Bobby nodded and waved to Holland and Bert as they left. He went to the kitchen to the only available phone in the house and called up his best friend.

"Hank!" No answer. Annie Peckenpaugh took a deep breath and let loose again. "HANK!!"

"Judas Priest, Annie, I think they heard you in Brentwood!" Bobby Drake cringed over the phone.

Annie rolled her eyes. "Hank, Bobby's swearing like a sissy, hurry!"

Bobby rolled his eyes. "Talk to me, Annie. What's going on around there?"

"Oh, same old, same old. Or at least I think, I've been too busy reading ... I never get out. You think if I was going to be a mutant, I could get a cool, all encompassing power, but no! I wind up making the Xavier Wall of Shame for the Not-So Gifted Youngsters."

Bobby chuckled. "Hey, I worked for, like, minutes on that certificate for you!"

"Yeah, I appreciate you using the picture of me wearing the Christmas angel on top of my head at New Year's." A sigh. "Well, mine isn't as bad as this Doug Ramsey guy's picture. I don't think clothes like that were ever in -- wait, here's Hank."

Bobby heard a rustle of something, then, "You know perfectly well that Passions is on--"

"I'm not the one who called Bobby, Hank ... and what's going on?"

"Ethan kissed Theresa."

"You liar!"

Bobby cleared his throat. "Can we get back to me?"

Hank smiled sheepishly. "Tell me what happens?" Annie nodded and scurried away to the rec room.

"Isn't that a soap, Hank?"


"Hank, you detest soaps."

Hank rubbed his tired eyes. "She got to me, Bobby. I don't know how, but somewhere between studying astrophysics and ancient architecture of Babylon, Annie has managed to hook me on all sorts of, for lack of a better word, 'crap'."

Bobby put his hand over the receiver and looked to a half asleep Jubilee making her way to the kitchen. "Hey, Jubilee, get this, Hank said crap."

Jubilee stopped in her tracks and looked at him. "Did hell freeze over and someone not tell me?"

"I heard that. Tell Miss Lee that--"

"HANK!!" Annie bellowed.

"Hold on, Robert." Hank covered his end of the receiver. "WHAT?!"


Another stray voice in the mansion; "Oh mah lord, Luis is wet...!"

"Yeah, and in a towel!"

Bobby shifted his weight and leaned against the pantry door. "Uhm, Hank, is there a closet you want to come out of?"

Hank grunted. "If you ever did see Miss Sheridan Crane in a sweater ... not since Lana Turner, Bobby! Tune in at two p.m., and you shall see." Hank's ears pricked up as he heard a faint rustling of wrappers. "If you will excuse me for a moment, Robert, I advise you cover the receiver and hold it away from you." Hank cleared his throat and took a deep breath. "I BETTER NOT SMELL TWINKIES ON YOUR BREATH, ANNIE!" A giggle. A sigh. "Ah, back to you, Robert. I just wanted to see how all is faring."

"Faring fairly well." Bobby turned to the living room to find Holland shaking in anger and trying admirably to keep herself in check.

"All right, who put the plush Blue with a butcher knife in my bed with the note?"

Jubilee looked over to Nan and the two shared a secret high five.

"Things are faring just fine."

I know everyone says this about their family, but mine are completely insane. I mean, first you have the Drake's, who are so conservative that if you even so much as sneeze, they will hire a lawyer and make sure no one else will ever know about it.

The major difference between the Drakes and Basses, besides one being Catholic and the other being Jewish which some would say is the real major difference, is the name thing. The Drake's have reasonable names, and no more than one pet name. My father is William or Willie (yeah, real wild nick name). I'm Robert or Bobby. It's Mary or Mare. Joel or ... Joel. However, the Basses ... first, their names suck. I'm sorry, but I can't believe Uncle Jacob and Aunt Hollis named their only son Heathcliff. Incredibly lame. And nick names? Holland has a million. Holl, Holly, Andy, Hollandaise, Ho Ho, Jacqueline ... I think I'm the only one who calls her Holland.

Ridiculous, isn't it? Even my mother was subject to it. I don't know of too many, but I saw several signatures in my Mom's yearbook saying, "To Mad Dog..."

Don't get me started with Nana.

Robert or Bobby. Or Iceman, but that shouldn't count. I say, if the name is used when your primarily in spandex, it doesn't count.

And to tell the truth ... I think that name is kind of lame. I mean, my mind wonders all over the place when I hear "Iceman". Like ... I remember once, we were fighting Magneto. I had caught him by surprise with an ice attack, and he said, "Who was that?"

And I, obviously not thinking, said, "The Muffin Man!"

I wish I had gotten a better code name. My original choice for a code name, again not thinking about it when I blurted it out, was Snowballs.

Five equally horrible names later, never to be repeated, the Professor had had enough and told me it my code name was Iceman, end of story.

I should have had Uncle Jacob and Aunt Hollis give me my code name.

"We just got a letter! We just got a letter! We just got a letter! Wonder who it's from?"

Bobby strolled into the living room and saw an absolutely enthralled Bert dancing along with an image of Steve and Blue on the television and barely passing for alive Jubilee. "Come on, J, I'll take you to Promenade--"


"We can eat, go to the beach, shop--"


Bobby did a double take. "Jubilee?"

"Dude, Bobby ... be quiet."

Bobby could hear the wheels turning in his head. She refused shopping. Great. I'm going to get therapy bills saying how my family has retarded her mind.

Jubilee's head snapped back to Bobby as a few small children were now present on the screen. "You were saying, Bobby?"

"Jubilee, wild guess here, but do you like this show?"

"Blues Clues? Oh, my God, yes! I've never been out of class to be able to watch it, but, wow! It's really a good show!"


Jubilee rolled her eyes. "Okay, got me, this Steve guy is really hot."

"The dork in the rugby shirt?!" Jubilee smiled dreamily. "Yeah. Ain't he a doll?"

Bobby began to ramble. "But he's ... he's a terrible dancer ... and ... and ... he's so slow ... and ... he's ... he's a dork, Jubilee!"

Jubilee's smile grew. "I know! Oh, Bobby, look at that nose! Oh, GOD, that nose is perfect!"

"It's huge!" "I know!" Jubilee batted her eyes shyly. "I like big noses."

Bobby crossed his arms wisely. "Paige didn't tell you that old wives tale about how you can measure a guy by measuring 'from the tip of the hairline to the tip of the nose', did she?"

"'That's how big it grows'? That one?"

Bobby nodded. "I assure you that it isn't true."

Jubilee shook her head. "Oh, pee-shaw, Bobby! That's just stupid! I just like -- oh, he's on again!" Jubilee's attention snapped back to the television.

"Time to get out our--" Bert and Jubilee shouted together, "Handy dandy notebooks!"

Bobby gawked at the two enthralled kids and mouthed, "'Pee-shaw'?"

We all used to live in the same neighborhood, and I'd play with Cliff, Holland's brother. It was like I had the little brother I had always wanted and the older sister ... well, I had the little brother I had always wanted. That lasted until I was six; they up and moved to Seattle when I was six. I don't think I remember why.

Nana and Poppa moved to Santa Monica while I was in junior high -- basically when I stopped going to Hebrew school.

Poppa had a heart attack and died a month after I began college. A later, I came down to L.A. and met up with Warren and some other people and did the super-hero thing again, but also enabled me to be close to Nana. I promised my mom I'd look after her.

See, you will notice a pattern here. I go to visit Nana in my mother's stead. Always. This is because they're relationship depends on them not seeing each other, talk to each other minimally on the phone, always saying how they miss the other, and then bitch about each other when the other is out of earshot.

I am all for this. When the Drakes fight, it's a good, low volume verbal thing. When the Basses fight, it's all or nothing. Everything comes out. Old grudges that should have been forgotten, drudged up again, disapproval of the other's taste in decorating (especially hurtful, believe it or not), and when it gets really bad ... the nudity happens.

This has only happened once, but it was horrible. When Nana and Poppa were visiting us from California once, Nana and Mom got into an argument in no seconds flat. Then, Nana got so upset and began to shout, "What do you want from me? The clothes off my back? Here, take them!" Then Nana just ... took off her dress, showing her old lady underwear, old lady knee highs ... just old lady-ness. I guess that's pretty derogatory, but, I was hitting puberty, and that was a huge speed bump.

It has been a useful image, though. See, some guys think of baseball to put the little-guy-who's-not-so-little downstairs to sleep, but for me, I've seen my grandmother in her old lady underwear and that is how I am able to wear spandex around women.

The phone rang again and Holland raced to answer it. "Bass residence."

"Jubilee..." Bobby began in a sing song voice. "If you leave to go out with me, I'll let you look at shoes ... I'll even buy you a pair...!"

Jubilee whipped her head around. "Even if it's at Nordstrom's?"

Bobby nodded. "Even if."

"Cool. I wasn't even watching t.v. anyways."

Bobby gave her a dark look. "I'm changing that to I'll buy you a pair of shoes at the bargain bin at--" Bobby paused, noticing that his cousin had stopped talking. He turned and saw her sobbing on the floor, phone lying next to her. "Holland, what's wrong? What happened?"

"Pork Chop?" Jacob Bass entered the kitchen to comfort his daughter, who just pointed to the phone. Jacob picked it up. "Hello?"

Bobby went down to help Holland up. "Holland, who was it?"

Holland looked at him and whispered, "Mom."

Bobby opened his mouth to speak, but shake his head for a while instead, hoping the appropriate word would fall out of his mind and into his mouth. "Shit."

Jubilee looked at a suddenly fragile Jacob hanging up the phone. "What, what's the big deal? So your wife was little late getting here--"

"Twenty-one years isn't a 'little late', Jubilee," Jacob calmly explained to her.

continued >>

Author's Notes: For those who don't know, i.e., been under a rock, Blues' Clues is one of the most popular children's shows out there. It features Steve, a young guy, and his pet dog, Blue. And yes, Steve is pretty hot. Why do you think I know the mail song, because it's catchy? Also, Passions is a really horrible soap that you can't help but get addicted to. I'm guilty of that. And trust me, when Luis is shirtless and wet and in a towel ... it's something to holler about. And finally ... things get bitter.

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