**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, Gary, 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 4

Jacob brought a cup of tea to his mother. "So, what do you think she wants, Mom?"

Nan pursed her lips and shook her head. "I don't know and I don't like this ... Jacob, she left you with two kids to raise. No contact in over twenty years, and the shiska just drops back into your life? How in the world did she even hear about Cliff?"

"Well, Mom, Hollis has all sorts of connections, you know that..."

Nan snorted.

"I still love her, Mom."

"I don't understand what you ever saw in her--"

"Mom, not this again!"

"Jacob, the woman is an overbearing bitch!"

Jacob Bass's eyes flew wide. "Mom!"

"Jacob, you know how I detest swearing, but the woman is an awful, shallow, conceited piece of--"

"I know, Mom," Jacob said softly as he looked out the window. "But maybe Cliff's death has brought her back to her senses."

Nan cuffed her son on the back of the head. "Have you just completely lost her mind? This woman thrives on attention! She's getting off on the idea that she will be the poor mother who's lost her son, the detail that she left him before he left her completely forgotten!" Nan began to stroke her son's hair. "I'm sorry, Jacob..."

Jacob shook his head. "No, Mom, you're right. It's just hard not to care for -- what is it?" Jacob looked at his mother who was convulsing with laughter.

"Jacob ... can you imagine what will happen when she finds out that she's a grandmother ... and a grandmother of a minority at that? Oh, my, what's her country club going to say?!"

Jacob began to laugh gently. "I don't know how she's going to take Cliff's homosexuality..."

Nan began to ride another wave of laughter. "I can see her face at the wake, sitting with Cliff's friends ... especially that one that does Cher...!"

Jacob wanted to tell his mother that it wasn't funny, but just the thought of his wife being in a crowd of every single minority group that she hated, not being able to get out...


Jubilee sat perfectly still Bobby's rental car. She didn't dare speak. Not after what had just happened at his grandmother's house.

After they got a call from Hollis Bass, Bobby began to storm out of the house, Holland yelling at him all the way. During one of her taunts, he grabbed one of her wrists and spoke to her in low tones. After he released and began to make his way out again, Holland was rubbing her wrist.

And Jubilee had a choice. Stay in that house with yet another Bass on the way, or try to soothe Bobby's temper.

Jubilee snuck a glance at Bobby; his nostrils were still flaring. She snapped her head back into place, still afraid to make any sound.


Holland turned her head to see a woman running to her. Despite herself, she smiled and felt her breath quicken.

"Oh, mah goodness, Holly, will you look at you? You look -- is that a unibrow?"

Holland touched her impending unibrow gingerly and shyly averted her mother's eyes. "I'm sorry, Mom, I haven't had much time for myself, with Gilberto and all--"

Hollis Bass smiled. "So you have a man in your life. A Mex-Can? Holly..."

Hollis shook her head. Holly smiled again. "Actually, Mom, he's my son."

Hollis smiled through gritted teeth. "Well, if that just don't plum beat all..." Hollis looked at her daughter's hair. "Ah like your hair short..."

"But it's long--"

"Precisely mah point, darlin'. Nothing that a short trip to Neaman Marcus won't fix ... would you like ta stop there on the way home, honey?"

Holland blushed. "Well...sure, I guess..."

"But first, to the bathroom. Ah have some tweezers with me, and Ah don't think Ah can stand ta look at that thing anymore..."

Jubilee twirled the stiff phone cord of the pay phone awkwardly while watching her friend do absolutely nothing. "Hank, this sucks beyond sucking! He hasn't said a word, he's just sitting on a bench, watching Shalamaar, the psychic cat!"

"Is he taunting the psychic cat, Jubilee?"


"Then this is serious."

"Yes! Hank, he's not talking to me ... I need your help, I've tried everything I know!"

"Did you try the anecdote about the Professor's special cake?"

"I began it and he said, 'Heard it.' I thought it was good that he spoke, but he just grew more ... penciled."


"Yeah, what I said!"

"Did you try suggesting you two spend the day speaking in ridiculous Monty Python English accents?"

"Not even a smirk."

"Jubilee ... I'm at a loss -- hold on." A faint muffle. "Yes, Rogue, she's tried that! What? Oh, now that's just plain gross ... I don't care if it worked for you, she's not twenty one yet!" Another muffle. "Sorry. Everyone here seems to be at a loss, as well."

Jubilee nodded her head sadly. "Well, something will turn up. I better get off the phone ... there's a small group of Korean woman beginning to huddle around me."


"Phone's free."

One of the woman stepped up to her. "Oh, no! We don't want to use the phone ... you have a very pretty chin."

The other two nodded.

"Uhm ... look, I don't do foursomes ... I've never even had a twosome, and I am thoroughly heterosexual--"

"No, we just want to ... well, here. We meet every Monday. Come by." Leaving a pink flyer in her hand, the women left.

"'Pursuit of Happiness'..." Jubilee scanned the paper and grew more and more disgusted. "BOBBY!"

Bobby Drake slowly turned his head, face still frozen in anger.

Jubilee ran over to the bench, a rather incredible feat considering her feet were clad in four-inch platform shoes. "Read this."

Bobby took the pink flier and began to read out loud. "'Are you single? Divorced? Are you looking for your ideal love partner? Has love passed you by? If you answered YES to any of these questions, you are invited to join us for an evening presentation with...True Love Connections?" Bobby looked back to Jubilee who looked just as confused as she was. "I didn't think you looked that desperate..."

Jubilee's grimace slowly melted into a grin. "I think she saw me with you."

Bobby quickly grabbed Jubilee and kissed the top of her head. "Thank you."

Jubilee blinked several times. "For...?"

"Making me smile, silly. Now, let's go and get some food, okay?"

Jubilee nodded and got up with Bobby, but before catching up, she fished a five dollar bill out of her pocket and gave it to the psychic cat. "You do good work."

"Mom, I don't think I can breathe..."

"But you look simply lovely, honey!"

"My God, how did my--?"

"What the good Lord didn't give us in cleavage, he gave us with latex, cotton, and wire."

"I feel like an over stuffed pastry puff."

"Yes, but at least now you don't look like one."

"Bobby! Bobby! Bobby! Bobby!" Jubilee bounced up and down, pointing to an item on the shelf.

"I thought you wouldn't even consider buying anything in Target; we're just here to use the bathroom--"

"Yeah, well, that was five minutes ago, and this is now, or whatever. LOOK. Isn't it perfect?!"

"It's Steve doll from Blue's Clues."

"Yeah, and he TALKS!"

Jubilee squeezed his hand, and Steve said, "How did you get so smart?" Jubilee squealed and tossed her head back and forth.

"Isn't he just the best?!" She squeezed his hand again. "We are gonna play Blue's Clues...!"

"Ugh, no..."

She squeezed again. "You're AMAZING!"

She melted. "Bobby...! We HAVE to get this!"

Bobby picked Steve up and looked him over. "You're right. It is perfect."

Jubilee began to do a victory dance. "Yes!"

"Bert is going to love--"

"Uh uh!" Jubilee stopped and waggled a finger in front of Bobby. "Steve is my man!"

"I'm going to have to get two, aren't I?"

Jubilee squeezed his hand again. "You're AMAZING!"

"The doll never lies, Bobby."

"Mom, I don't think I can walk in these shoes ... they hurt my feet..."

"Holly, honey...stop complaining." Hollis smiled at her daughter.

"So, are we going home, now?" Hollis laughed. "Oh, honey, Ah'm not going ta Hannah's house, oh good God no! You just say the cutest things, Holly!"

Holly's smile fell a bit. "Oh. So ... you're staying in a hotel?"

Hollis nodded. "But, Ah want ta spend more time with mah daughter, if you don't mind."

"Of course not, Mom!"

"Good, because you desperately need a manicure. What do you do, girl, dry your hands with sandpaper?"

"I should have brought a camera--"


The beautician, Gary, smiled. "You are going to look super in blonde hair! I can't wait to see what it looks like."

"Well, I kind of enjoy the way it looks now, with all the tin foil."


"I'm sorry, Jubilee, but there's nothing here for me to read..."

Gary opened a drawer and withdrew some catalogs. "Here. Read these. I think you would look great in some of the clothes."

"International Male?"

Jubilee swooned. "After you're done with them, Bobby, let me look! The men in there..."

Gary smiled. "Tell me about it."

Bobby began to flip through, and before long, he saw something very interesting. "Hey, that's Cliff! Jubilee, look!" Bobby brought the catalogue to her. "See?"

"God, your cousin was a hottie!"

Gary looked at Bobby. "You're Cousin Bobby?"

"You knew Cliff?"

"I'm Boyfriend Gary! I show that catalog to people to show him off. Works for men and women of all persuasion, just about!"

Bobby smiled. "Wow. Cliff talked a lot about you ... I'm glad we meet before..."

Gary nodded. "It's nice to know someone else in the family ... I was worried about feeling a little too uncomfortable about tomorrow."

"You know Holland, though, right?" Gary turned on Jubilee's dryer.

"You noticed the imprint of horror she left behind, right?"

"She has that impression on people."

Jubilee craned her neck from under the dryer. "Are we bad mouthing the Red Light District?"

"Yes," Bobby and Gary said in unison. "Oh ... I wanna join in! Bobby, tell him about how I totally dissed her last night, and how witty I was and--"

"Get back under that dryer, girl," Gary gently scolded. "They'll be plenty of time for you and me to dish later."

Jubilee pouted and picked up the International Male catalog again. "Oooh..."

"So, I take it you and Holland don't get along all that much, Gary?" Gary crossed his arms.

"She's never fully acknowledged that Cliff was gay. She saw me as his 'good friend'. If you ask me, Holland is a bit..." Gary let out a few short whistles and twirled his finger around his left ear.

Bobby nodded. "I'll buy that. But you have to understand ... with Hollis as her mother ... Cliff did tell you about his mother, right?"

"The mother that abandoned her children with no explanation? Who vanished without a trace? Who showed no real feelings of love towards her children?" Bobby nodded again. "Not much." Gary smiled. "Do you think she knows about Cliff--"

Bobby raised his eyebrows. "Funny you should mention that. Guess who Holland is picking up at the airport today?" Gary picked up his pair of glasses and looked at the entry of the salon. "I'm guessing the rich bitch who just entered with Holland."


"And the unibrow is gone!"

"WHAT?" Jubilee bellowed from the dryer.

Gary and Bobby turned their backs so the two women wouldn't see them. "So, I get to meet my 'mother in law'..."

"I can't believe this. It figures, it just figures!" Bobby grunted.

"How do you mean, Bobby?"

"Look, Gary, I think it was for the best that Hollis left Cliff and Holland. I can't think of someone more unfit to be a mother. She's a selfish shrew, and I just know she's going to turn Cliff's death into something about her ... I mean, I know I was young when she left them, but, damn!" Bobby pounded his fist on a counter. "Sorry."

Gary put a hand on his shoulder. "Don't be. Cliff said pretty much the same."

"Holly, maybe we shouldn't be here..."

"No, Mom, it's okay. One of Cliff's old friends works here. It's okay -- wait, is that Bobby?"

"Holly, this place feels tacky..."

"But Gary was one of Cliff's best friends! You said you wanted to meet him--!"

"He's busy with Robert ... Ah don't want to bother..."

"But Mom--"

"Holland, Ah said Ah don't want to be here, don't question me!"

Holland began to bite her lip to keep from crying. "Okay, Mom." Hollis smiled.

"Thank you, Holly ... and don't bite your lip, it's tacky." Holland closed her eyes as her mother began to walk out. "Okay, Mom."

continued >>

Author's Notes: Yes, there is a talking Steve. I own one. And let me tell you, it's the perfect for the single gal who's a little lonely and needs to hear, "You are so smart!" every once in a while; it's a real boost to the self-esteem. The Korean ladies do exist. The pink flier exists. And they told me I had a nice chin. Go fig. "Shiska" is a term used to define a non-Jewish woman. Could be derogatory or not. On the Santa Monica Promenade, there is a Psychic Cat. Check it out if you ever find yourself in the area. And for those of you looking for some deep symbolism ... there IS a reason that there is no first person in this chapter...;)

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