**Mice's "God...er, Dog" Disclaimer**
Mice is in no way associated with the Marvel Comics Group. The characters of Bobby Drake, Hank McCoy and Jubilee, belong to the Marvel Comics Group. Holland, Jacob, Bert, Cliff, Hollis, Annie, Gary, Gene, Lucy, Peaches, Jentelle, Chad, and Nan are of my own mind. If you want to e-mail her comments or if you'd like to archive this series, do it at mice5k@hotmail.com. You'll get some brownies out of the deal, but it's not really that great of a reward because she can't cook.

This story is currently being archived at:
The Wolverine and Jubilee Page (http://www.wolverineandjubilee.com)
un(frozen) (http://alykat.hispeed.com/unfrozen/)
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The X-Zone (http://www.geocities.com/shatter_star15/xzone.html)

God ... er, Dog
by Mice

Chapter 8

Gene Ginsberg sat himself at the piano. "Now, uh..."

"Jentelle; soft J, outrageous elle."

Gene coughed. "Jentelle, yes. What song are you going to be doing for our Cliff?"

"Well, my selection for tonight will be 'Enough is Enough.'"

"I'm going to go out on a limb and say that you're gay, am I correct?"

Jentelle nodded and smiled brightly. "What gave me away?"

"Pink midriff?"

Jentelle laughed and patted his tummy. "Well, Britney said, "If you have it, flaunt it!""

"Did she?"

"Or something like that..."

Hank McCoy busily licked his fingers clean in the privacy of his lab. The Great Twinkie Famine of 2000 had been some hard times, but now, he was reaping the rewards in the form of golden sponge cake and creamy filling.

A giggle broke his meditative process. "Oh, if Dateline could see the world famous Dr. Hank McCoy now!"

Hank wiped his fingers on his lab coat. "Actually, Stone Phillips is an even bigger Twinkie lover than yours truly."

Annie pursed her lips, placed her hands on her hips, and began to tap her foot in mock amusement.

Hank grinned. "Now, my dear Miss Peckenpaugh, I'd like to think that you tore yourself away from your studies for more than to tease this old man."

"Oh, listen to you! About to turn thirty-one--"

Hank took off his glasses and looked her in the eyes. "Annie?"

Annie's face went blank. "Oh, that's right, I came in here to talk to you."

Hank nodded. "About?"

Annie pursed her lips again in frustration. "I can't say I remember, exactly..."

Hank laughed.

Annie narrowed her eyes. "Are you ever going to get past this whole laughing at me thing?"

"Forgive me, Annie, but I have always held it in my firmest belief that God didn't set out to be the creator of a universe but a comedian. It explains you perfectly.

Annie nervously began to play with the strings of her red hooded sweatshirt, bowing her head. "I'm not all that funny..."

Hank smiled at her. "I think you are."

Nan honked the horn once more. "If he isn't here in one minute, I'm driving."

With fifteen seconds to spare, a powder blue-clad Bobby came out of the house, and Jubilee was able to let go of the nervous breath she held. "So, Bobby, you get to talk ta Big Blue?"

"Na, just got Annie again." Bobby rolled his eyes as he put on his seat belt. "Hank'll never get the message."

"Why's that?"

Bobby sighed. "Jubilee, what do you know about Annie Peckenpaugh?"

"She's a hick."

"I don't think you can be a hick if you come from Wyoming."

"And I don't think you can be a good driver and go on about some hick from Wyoming, Robert," Nana huffed.

Jubilee mentally thanked Nan before going on. "Take it from someone who's actually lived on the west side of the country, okay you lame excuse for a pudding pop? The only people who are not hicks in the west are the ones whose state borders the Pacific, okay? So, you got your Oregon, your Washington, and your California, okay? Not hicks, okay?

"Now, Idaho, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Montana, and Wyoming? HICKS. Okay?"

Bobby tapped his hands nervously on the steering wheel and looked to Nan to see what she thought. Nan caught his eye. "She's a hick, Robert, now pay attention the road!"

"Okay! Well, then...besides from being a 'hick'--"

"I heard those quote marks, Drake!"

"Nana, did I--"

"YES, Robert, YES! Now, will you pay attention to the road?"

Bobby rolled his eyes for the millionth time that day. "All right, all right. Jubilee, I'll tell you later." The car was dead silent until Bobby reached for the radio.

Nan slapped his hand. "No radio, it's distracting."

Jentelle paced nervously in the restaurant. "Gary, have you seen Chad?"

Gary shook his head and held up his dog. "I'm more concerned about who put this sweater on Lucy," Gary narrowed his eyes. "As should the person who did it..."

Gary began to walk off, but Jentelle followed. "You don't understand, I'm doing a duet for Cliff, and Chad is going to be Barbara! You can't do 'Enough is Enough' with just Donna, it's a battle of divas!"

"Which is why you got Chad to do it?" Gary stated flatly.

"Underneath that straight laced accountant is a woman just waiting to get out!"

Gary began to rub his temples and plastered a smile on his face as he went over to his grandfather. "Pop, this is going to be the death of me!"

Gene turned to his grandson and put a frail arm on his shoulder. "But they're your friends, too, Gary..."

"I know, I know," Gary groaned. "But with Cliff--"

"He calmed you down?" Gene finished for him.

"Yeah," he added softly. "Don't know if you noticed, but the one thing all our friends have in common is that they're all high strung--"

"WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU DON'T WANT TO DO IT?!" Jentelle screamed at a middle aged man in a brown business suit.

"Now, honey, I understand that you're upset, but the dress you pulled out for me is just too revealing!"

"But it looks good on you!"

Gary held his hands up in defeat.

Holland walked into the restaurant with her mother dragging her. "Mom, this dress is tight--"

"And is that any way ta thank me for helping you look simply beautiful?"

Holland smiled. "You think I look pretty?"

"If you'd stop complaining and suck in your stomach, yes."

Holland began to wish for her grandmother's company.

Jacob walked into the restaurant with a feeling of dread. He knew his son was gay and he was as proud of him as he always was, "But do I have to be proud of an entire room?"

Jentelle rushed over to him. "Hi, there, honey! Listen, you wouldn't happen to be a fan of Barbara's, would you?"

Jacob narrowed his eyes. "Is that what you people are calling yourselves these days?"

Jentelle huffed her chest and ran to another man who was milling around.

"Hi, there, Mr. Bass!"

Jacob turned around to find the ever perky Peaches. "Well, Peaches Ann Herb, will you look at you! Last time I saw you, you were just graduating high school! What are you doing now?"

Peaches motioned to the restaurant. "I took over the family business, and I must say that it is doing extremely well, though I know how it could do better, of course..."

"And how is that?"

"You could convince that best friend of mine and daughter of yours that she should work for me!"

Jacob's face went blank. "Not to cook, right?"

Peaches smiled. "I'm not even that naive, Mr. Bass!"

"Not to wait tables, you know what a short temper she has, Peaches!" Jacob whispered.

"Now you're just trying to make me laugh!" Peaches grinned. "Mr. Bass, I'm talking about Holly singing here."

Jacob nodded slowly. "She would do so well at that..."

"I could work around her schedule with Gilberto and I could pay her well, not to mention the tips! You should see what our current singer gets and, not to be a meany or anything, she's really, really stinky." Peaches latched on to one of Jacob's arms. "Please, Mr. Bass! She won't listen to me!"

"I'll see what I can do, Peaches." Jacob gave the girl a hug when he saw his daughter and wife walk in. "Oh my..." he said softly.

Hollis caught Jacob's eye and hurried to a seat. Holland came over towards him. "Hi, Dad."

Jacob smiled sadly. "The dress your mother's?"

Holland nodded. "It's nice, right?"

"Your mother has good taste," Jacob added wistfully. "How is she, Holly? Do you think she'd let me talk to her?"

"I ... well, I don't know -- oh no."

"What is it, Holly?"

"Nana just walked in."

Jacob's mouth went dry and excused himself to go to the bathroom.

"Whoa, look at Jacob bolt to that bathroom!"

"Nana, that's not a very nice thing to say..."

"Robert, that's the privilege of old age. When you get here, you can be as rude as you want and still get 10% off your dinner at Denny's every Tuesday."

"Still don't think it's fair to make fun of Uncle Jacob ... you know how he hates confrontation ... he's nervous about what'll happen when you see ... her," Bobby said unsteadily for he himself didn't know what he was going to do upon seeing ... her.

Just then, someone grabbed Bobby by the arm and hauled him off.

Bobby turned around and saw his cousin, nervously biting her lip. "Holland! What is it why--" Bobby interrupted himself as he realized exactly where he was. "I can't be in the ladies room!"

Holland rolled her eyes. "Bobby, there are exactly five women here who can truthfully call themselves that, and only one of them is in here. It's all right."

Bobby grunted. "All right then, why did you want to speak to me?

Holland bit her lip. "I'm conflicted."

"You're just now realizing this?"

Holland stamped her foot. "Bobby, I'm being serious!" Holland took a deep breath before beginning again. "Bobby ... I'm beginning to hate Mom."

"I don't want to sound repetitive, but--"

Holland held up her arms in defense. "I know, I know, I know! I have no real right to be angry at her, but she makes me so made sometimes, and that just makes me feel guilty! I HATE feeling guilty!"

Bobby blinked a few times before finding the appropriate answer. "Huh?"

"Bobby, I have no reason to feel all this rage against her!"

"'No rage?' Holland, are you forgetting that she abandoned you--"

Holland placed a hand over Bobby's mouth to quiet him. "Bobby, I know why she left. Daddy told me a long time ago."

Bobby's eyes blazed as Holland released her hand from his mouth. "And you're not raising any hell about it? You, out of all people?!"

"I can't blame her, Bobby. I actually look up to her because of it!"

Bobby went to the wall and banged his head on it before returning to the conversation. "I can't believe you, Holland! You know what she did is wrong!"

Holland placed her hands on her hips and restrained herself from getting into a fist fight with her cousin. "It was her patriotic duty!"

Bobby raged. "To sleep with my father?!"

Holland's face softened as Bobby's soft echo lingered in the ladies room. "What?" she cried out in a meek voice.

Bobby's eyebrows knitted together in confusion. "I thought you said you knew, I..." Bobby's voice trailed off in a vain search to make sense out of it all.

Holland shook her head. "It's not true, Bobby, that's a lie! Why would my mother--" Holland shook her head more violently. "No. Whoever told you that was lying!"

"Holland," Bobby began in a low, even voice. "No one told me."


"I ... I saw them."

"But it can't be true! You must have been dreaming and thought it was real and--"

Bobby shrugged his shoulders uncomfortably. "That's what I thought for the longest, Holland, but my father and I talked about it recently ... it was no hallucination, it was real."

Holland began to pace around, trying to understand. "But Dad said she had to go into the witness protection program because she had testified against some Mafia people, and that's why we moved and she went away ... I never thought that or could ever think..." Holland began to cry. Bobby pulled out a pale blue handkerchief from his pocket and handed it to her to dry her eyes, though when she looked up to speak to him, they were still wet.

"That bitch. All these years I thought that she was a good person. I let her back into my life so goddamn easily because I thought she was a good person. Bobby, I let her cut my hair and boss me around about my clothes and life and other assorted shit because I thought she was a good person. I--" Holland closed her eyes. "That bitch."

Bobby took Holland's hand and helped clean her face. "Holl, don't do anything rash yet, all right?" Holland turned away from her cousin. "Holland!"

"Bobby..." Holland began in a weak voice. "I always thought that my mother loved me and if she could be with me, she would. I thought the least I could do for her now, when she came back to me, was to love her unconditionally they way she did ... the way I thought she did..." Holland slid her way to the floor and began to cry again, and in the tiniest voice that Bobby had ever heard from his roaring lion of a cousin, said, "Why doesn't my mom love me?"

Bobby helped her clean up once more and they made their way out of the bathroom.

After making sure that Bobby and his cousin had left, Jubilee unlocked the stall door she was in and finally began to breathe regularly again, staring at the room in awe of what had just transpired.

continued >>

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