The Super-Uncanny Adventures of Bobby and His Amazing X-Girlfriends
by ValKerrie

Chapter 3: Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

"HA, HA! Take *that* you little... blue... pixelated... THING!"

"I didn't know they could explode like that..."

"Yah! I got the raft! Look at my little guy dance!"

"Have you ever played this game before?" Bobby asked cautiously.

"Nope. Why?"

"Because you've been playing for twenty minutes and you already have the magic sword and five parts of the Triforce."

"I'm gifted," Zelda remarked, leaning back against Bobby's battered couch.

"Are you sure this game wasn't named after you or something? Dated one of the programmers?"

"Nope. Whee! Lookit that, I beat the dragon thingie!"

"So how are things going across the hall?" Bobby asked, kicking an empty box of Cookie Crisp under the couch.

"Good," Zel commented. "I'm rooming with Lev, and Margie and Cloud take the other room. It's a little crowded in there, but it's fun. We watched 'Mask of Zorro' last night. Fast-forwarded through all those inconvenient scenes without Antonio in 'em."

Bobby shook his head. That one fell under the "Didn't Need to Know" category. "So, uh... How's Lev as a roomie?"

Zelda squinted at the tv. "Nice enough. I think she was some kind of techie back on her planet, so we get along pretty good. She's got this weird 'touching' thing, though."

Bobby's eyes widened. He was intrigued. Any girl became 100% more interesting with a "touching thing." "Oh?" he asked, trying not to sound interested.

"Get your mind outta the gutter, Eskimo Pie. There's this big thing on her planet about not touching. She's really neurotic about it."

Bobby frowned. That wasn't fun, after all.

"So, has she ever men--"



"Is there any particular reason you're giving me the third degree, or are you going to back out with a stammered denial of any interest in Lev?"

"I-- er--"

"Okay, thank you."


"You forgot her and are wondering what you missed out on."

Bobby turned red. "You've been talking to the other girls."

"Yes, I have. That's what girls do. And I'm warning you, if you hurt Levvy, you're getting a cybernetic fist where the sun don't shine, got it?"

"Yes, ma'am."

Zelda hit the Pause button, and slung her arm around Bobby. "Don't get me wrong, Popsicle. I love ya to death, but she's my roomie, and she doesn't even *understand* romantic love. Not including whatever you did to her, which she won't tell me about. So *don't be an asshole.*"

Bobby thumped back against the couch. "Thanks, Dr. Laura. When are you going back to work?"

"When I can get someone to hire a dead girl," Zelda sighed. "I am never, never, *never* working for a global-spanning, multi-zillion dollar, evil corporation again. I had to beg with my mother for twenty minutes before she'd believe I wasn't dead."

"Hmm... think I could get HyrulTech to convince my mom that I'm dead? I have to go over there for dinner in an hour."

"Ugh," Zelda commented. "Lucky you."

Bobby rolled his eyes. "Remind me to make sure I'm wearing clean underwear before I leave. She *checks.*"

Zelda snickered and shook her head.

"That's IT! I'm DONE with women!"

"Get out of here, Warren, I mean it," Bobby groaned.

Zelda blinked, then turned around. "Who's he?"

"Zelda Lincoln, meet Warren Worthington the Third. War, meet the Legend of Zelda Champion of the Universe."

Warren squinted, then blinked a few times. "Hey, you got a chick! No wonder you want me out. Heh. Go, Bobster."

"Shut up," Zelda snorted. "I live across the hall. Hey, didn't you go to Bobby's school?"

"Don't you remember Zel? I dated her when we were sixteen?" Bobby tried to spit out quickly.

"No. I didn't pay attention to your social life. You know what Betsy did to me?"

"No, Warren, I can only guess. Look, I have to be at my parents in an hour, so you can't stay here."

"I flew all the way from SoHo!"

"Well, you can fly yourself *back* to SoHo. You can't stay here."

"Sure I can. You have ramen, right?"


"Look, I'll just hang out, eat some ramen, play with your Star Wars toys--"

"You are not touching my action figures!" Bobby barked. "I had to get a new set every time the mansion got blown up, and I am *not* buying another set because you keep trying to bend their limbs into funny positions!"

"Hey, that was Jubilee."

"I think not! Look, you're not playing with 'em, you're not eating my food, and you're *not staying here.*"

Warren squirmed uncomfortably. "But I don't have any place to go."

"You're outta luck," Bobby informed him.

Warren pouted for a second. "MARGIE!"

Marge stuck her head in the doorway, as though she'd been waiting for a cue. "Hmm?"

"Bobby won't let me stay in his apartment 'cos he needs to go eat dinner with his parents."

Bobby rolled his eyes.

"That's okay," Marge smiled. "You can stay with us until he gets back."

Bobby blinked.

Zelda blinked.

Warren beamed

Bobby adjusted his tie. It was the Calvin and Hobbes tie. The one that still smelled like barbeque sauce, even after attempts by Storm, Betsy, Rogue, Jean, Scott and Sam to wash it. It was his favorite tie.

He smoothed his hair down. It was looking relatively... flat... today. He rubbed some spit in for good measure.

Shirt was clean.

Pants were... kinda clean.

Shoes were... Converses. But all he had were the Converses, his Accounting Shoes and some old boots from miscellaneous uniforms. And these made him run faster and jump harder. He might need that.

Bobby wandered out into what he dubbed "his Rumble Room," where Zelda was whupping Warren's rear at Tank Pong.

"Ah, we've dug out the Atari, have we?" Bobby mused.

"Eat it!" Warren yelled, slamming his finger down on the controller. His shot reflected perfectly and destroyed his own tank.

"Game, set, match," Zelda announced.

"I'm leaving now," Bobby put in.

"No, you're not," Zelda replied, leaning down to hit the restart button. "First, you're going to change your pants and tie, comb your hair and put on the Accounting Shoes.

"Don't wanna," Bobby whined.

"Whoa! She did that without even looking at you!" Warren exclaimed brightly. "That was cool! I'm glad Betsy can't do that!"

"She's not my girlfriend!" Bobby snapped. "And I'm a big boy. I'll wear what I want."

"Not if you want a big ol' lecture from your mo-om," Zelda singsonged, blasting Warren's tank again.

Grumbling, Bobby stomped back into his room.

Three minutes later, he emerged, wearing a blue-and-yellow-striped tie, the only clean pants in his closet (which he had been *saving,* dangit,) and the accounting shoes.

"Do I meet your approval?" he grunted.

Zelda paused the game, and turned around. "Ummmm..."

She hopped over the back of his couch, spit on her hand, and slapped his hair down. "Perfect!"

"I already did that, "Bobby informed her.

"My spit is better than your spit," Zelda informed him seriously

Maddie Drake bustled around the kitchen, happily.

After all, it was Sunday.

And Sunday meant that Bobby Darling was Coming to Dinner.

"William!" she called.

"Just a minute," her husband called back, grumpily.

William Drake stood in his bathroom.

He was wearing his Babe Ruth tie. The one he'd been wearing when he won $25 in the office Superbowl pool six years ago. It was his favorite tie.

Pants were clean.

Shirt was... kinda clean. But the tie covered that.

He was wearing his old Accounting Shoes.

William smoothed down his hair. No luck. Grimacing, he spit in his hand, and tried again.

He was halfway down the stairs when Maddy called out, "Change your shirt and tie, then get in here so I can fix your hair, William!"

William headed back up the stairs

As Warren walked through the door, he was narrowly missed by a large piece of flying lasagna.


Lev looked up from her book, and squinted at the wall. "It embedded itself in the wall. Does that count?"


"Don't throw it so hard!" Cloud called from somewhere else in the apartment.

"I'm home, we can all be normal now," Zelda said hopefully.

"Did you bring Warren with you?" Marge called, leaning out of kitchen.

"Yup," Zelda replied, plopping down on the couch next to Lev.

"Warren?" Cloud chirped, bouncing out of her bedroom. "WARREN!"


"Wow! Hugs!"

"I haven't seen you since the Defenders. How was the Living Nebula business?"

"Dull," Cloud sniffed, flipping her hair over one shoulder. "That's why I'm here."

"You don't still turn into a guy, do you?"

"Um... no. I tried being a guy for a while, and there was just too much anatomy. It's more fun to be a girl. Plus, I can paint my toenails, now."

"That's cool," Warren replied.

"Are you staying for dinner?" she asked.

"I sure am."


Warren beamed.

Then he glanced down at where Lev had her nose stuck firmly in the pages of her novel. Warren couldn't see its title, but the cover was pink, and he knew what that meant. Furthermore, he couldn't remember much of X-Factor's jaunt to Lev's home planet, but he *did* remember one crucial fact-- Lev hated him.

"Hiiii, Leeev," he said.

"Greetings, Archangel," she replied, trying to drive her nose further into the book.

"How are you, Leeev?"

"Why does he have to be here, Marge?"

"Because Bobby isn't home and he didn't have anywhere to go."

Warren smiled winningly.

"Stop staring at me," Lev grumbled.

Warren grinned wider. This evening was going to be even funner than he'd imagined

Bobby squirmed a little as he rung doorbell. Even after two months of weekly dinners with his family, he still felt fidgety. At least he didn't have that weird urge to throw up that he used to get. No, the urge to throw up usually didn't spring up until after his mother had forced the fourth helping of mashed potatoes on him.

The door opened, and Bobby's father stood in the doorway.

Bobby looked at William.

William looked at Bobby.

They both wore neatly pressed (by someone else) tan pants, pale blue dress shirts, yellow-and-blue-striped ties, and the exact same pair of shoes.

"She's finally learned to project herself over long distances, hasn't she?" William whispered conspiratorially.

"She possessed my neighbor," Bobby replied in the same tone.

"William? Is that Bobby at the door? Bobby Darliiiiing!"

Bobby braced himself for the inevitable Maddy Drake collision, and managed to keep his feet when 130 pounds of aproned mother plowed into him. He'd been practicing.

"Oh, Bobby, you look so *nice* for once! William, look how nice Bobby looks!"

Bobby and his father shared a Look. It was going to be one of *those* nights

"... and as she passionately pressed her lips against his, she knew that he was her own husband, this time for real."

Lev blinked.

She turned the page.

She turned the page back.

She threw the book across the room.


"Oh, relax, dinner's almost ready," Marge replied.

"What's wrong?" Zelda asked, cocking an eyebrow.

"STUPID BOOK!" was the only coherent sentence Lev could force out of her mouth after an hour and a half of romance novel.

"Nuts, I thought for sure you'd like that one," Cloud frowned. "*I* liked it."

"I thought it had a lot of good character-driven action and intense symbolism," Warren put in. "Granted, _Undercover Husband_ is no _Priority Male_, but these days, you take what you can get."

The girls stared at him for a moment, then went back to ignoring him, as usual.

"What was wrong with it?" Cloud asked, as Lev's breathing started to return to normal.

"I didn't get it."

"Well, what didn't you get."

"Okay, this guy is a law-enforcement officer, right?"


"And the girl has witnessed a murder, right?"


"And it's his job to keep her safe from the murder and his cohorts, right?"


"So *why* is there *no danger*? The law-enforcement officer spends all his time touching the girl. He never uses his gun. He never tracks down the bad guys. Yet, there is a three-paragraph description of his *nipples*! If he'd gone out and tracked the bad guys down at their *obvious* hide out, he wouldn't have had to pretend he was her husband, and they could have avoided the whole thing!"

Cloud blinked.

Zelda blinked.

Warren blinked.

"I think you missed the point," Cloud finally said.

"No, I *know* you missed the point," Warren nodded.

Lev ground her teeth.

"Lev..." Zelda started slowly. "Did you actually *read* the parts with the touching?"

Lev blinked. "No. I skipped those. Well, except for the part about the nipples."

Zelda retrieved the battered copy of _Undercover Husband_, and handed it back to Lev. "Maybe you'd better go back and reread a little."

Bobby fidgeted in his chair, and wondered when the mashed potatoes were coming.

"So how's work?" his mother asked curiously.

"Good," Bobby shrugged.

"How's that nice girl? Laura, is it?"

Bobby made a horrified face. "Laura's... fine..."

"Oh, I like her, Bobby. You should ask her out."

Bobby's father squinted at him. "The one with the curls?" he mouthed.

Bobby nodded.

His father made a horrified face.

Bobby had to bite his tongue to keep from laughing out loud.

"Is that nice Mrs. Mellipoulos still looking after you?"

"She sure is, Mom," Bobby replied. "I did shuffleboard with Mr. Mellipoullos and the girls last Wednesday. Then she made us gyros."

I want a gyro, William thought to himself. "Your father loves gyros," Maddie comment. "But they're *bad for his heart*!"

"I didn't say anything!" William defended.

Maddie started to plop her bowl of potatoes down on the table, when she suddenly froze. "The girls?"

"Huh?" Bobby asked, already reaching across the table in search of the proffered spuds.

"You said something about 'the girls.'"

William took the opportunity to make a mad tuber snatch.

"No, I didn't."

"You said you 'did shuffleboard with Mr. Mellipoulos and the girls.'"

"Oh, those girls," Bobby mumbled. "Don't worry about it, Mom."

"'Don't worry about it, Mom'?"

"Pass the gravy," William asked.

"I got some new neighbors," Bobby excused quickly, passing his father the gravy boat.

"How many? How old? Are they married? What do they look like?"

Bobby sighed. He should have seen this coming.

"Four, my age, no, and they look like girls."

"There are four single girls living in your building? Bobby Drake, why haven't you asked one of them to dinner, yet?"

"Because I've already dated all of them," Bobby snorted.

Maddie blinked.

William shoved some potatoes in his mouth. "Don't look so shocked, Maddy. You're the one who's always begging him for grandkids."

"DAD! No, I dated them... before. One of 'em I dated in school, one when I was in the Defenders... remember Margie who used to live next door?"

"Oh, that nice red-headed girl," Maddie sighed. "What ever happened to her? Didn't her house blow up?"

"Uh... yeah. She moved to... Ohio... for... a while. To, uh... be closer to her dad." Bobby cringed, and grabbed for the plate of chicken.

"Strange girl," William grunted.

"Well, aren't any of them interested in getting back together?" Maddie asked hopefully.

"NO," Bobby insisted. "Not in the slightest. Ma, isn't there something else we can talk about?"

Maddie fidgeted, then helped herself to some vegetables. "Did you see that article in the paper about the big explosion at HyrulTech? That's only a few blocks from your building. Is everything okay?"

"The explo-- oh, right. I did hear about that. Nope, everything's peachy."

Maddie beamed. "Good. We worry about you, your father and I. I was half-scared you'd do something foolish, and run out to try and stop those awful men."

William suddenly peered at Bobby over his glass of milk.

"Uh, no. I, uh, don't do that, anymore, Mom. I'm respectable, now, right?" He grinned nervously.

William turned his attention back to his food.

Maddie's smile returned. "That's just what I like to hear!

Lev rested her chin in her hand as she chewed on Marge's lasagna.

She was never sure if she just disliked Earth cooking or if Marge was just a horrible cook. She glanced across the table.

Zelda and Cloud were discreetly sneaking chunks of food onto each other's plates when they suspected the other wasn't looking.

Must be Marge's food.

Warren, on the other hand, was shoveling it into his mouth like there was no tomorrow.

"Marge, look at that!" Lev exclaimed, pointing horrified, towards the kitchen.

Marge fell for it.

Lev dumped the contents of her plate onto Warren's.

"What?" Marge demanded.

"I thought I saw Mrs. Whitehouse sunbathing topless on the third story deck," Lev blinked innocently.

Zelda and Cloud shot her dirty looks.

Warren kept on eating.

"Pass the garlic bread?" Lev asked brightly.

"I can't eat after *that* mental image," Zelda announced loudly, pushing her plate away.

Cloud blinked. "Me, neither."

Marge looked at the reddish lump on her fork and frowned. "Er... I..." she put her fork down. "Has the woman never heard of the ThighMaster?" she grumbled contritely.

"So what do you want to do tonight?" Cloud asked boredly.

"Robot Wars is on!" Zelda exclaimed, exchanging a high five with Lev across the table.

"That show is boring. I could destroy all those robots," Marge sniffed.

"Thank you, Daughter of Oblivion," Zelda replied, rolling her eyes.

"Isn't it a little... sad... that our lives have been reduced to this?" Cloud asked hesitantly.

The other three fidgeted.

Warren kept eating.

"I'll... be... finding work, as soon as I can..." Zelda excused pathetically.

"I'm still trying to get that counting thing down," Lev put in. "And I need to reread that book."

"The Daughter of--"

"Stow it, Marge," Cloud interrupted off-handedly. "Let's face it-- when it's not shuffleboard night, and Bobby's not around to pester, we don't have much of a life."

"Who needs Bobby?" Lev sniffed.

"We need a hobby," Marge decided.

"What, like crocheting with the old ladies in the rec lounge?" Zelda frowned.

"I thought, perhaps, drag racing, but if you prefer crocheting, that could work, too."

"You should become superheroes and fight crime," Warren put in. "Can I have some more lasagna?"

The girls looked at each other. The contemplated it. Then they passed Warren some more lasagna

Wipe, wipe, wipe, PLUNK. Wipe, wipe, wipe, PLUNK.

"Bobby, darling, be careful with those, they were Grandma's."

Bobby swiped the dish towel around the plate, and PLUNKed it on top of the others. "Yes, Mom."

"How have you been eating at home?"


"How many meals a day?"

Wipe, wipe, wipe, PLUNK.

"Three," Bobby lied.

Wipe, wipe, wipe--

"None of those horrible noodles, right, Bobby?"

Bobby's shoulders hunched quickly.

"Maddie, if he wants to eat those nasty--"

Bobby froze, waiting for the racial slur.

William trailed off, glancing quickly at his son. "--thirteen-cent noodles, it's his business," he finished gruffly.


"Well, they aren't healthy, William," Maddie scolded. "Look at this, Bobby, you're getting squishy in the middle!" With that, she poked a forefinger into Bobby's gut.


"You're getting a beer gut to rival your father's, young man!"

"It's not a beer gut!" A Frito gut, maybe, but not a beer gut.

"I think you should go to the gym."

Wipe, wipe, wipe, PLUNK.

"I can't afford to go to a gym."

"It doesn't cost a damn cent to run around the block," William added, grabbing a plate out of the drying rack, and PLUNKing it on top of Bobby's stack.

PLUNK. "That's right, Dad. It doesn't."

Bobby shot his father a bemused look out of the corner of his eye.

"It doesn't cost a damn cent to sit at home and watch golf on the television, either, does it, boy?"

Father and son grinned winningly at the most important woman in their lives.

"Oh, *honestly*!" Maddie exclaimed, her apron flapping behind her, as she stomped off in search of a clean dish towel.

The four girls sat at various points around the room, staring at each other. Then they stared at Warren.

"Well, what do we need to be a superhero team?" Marge demanded.

Warren scratched his head. "Well, first you need a mission. And it needs to be dramatic. Like the X-Men's mission is to protect a world that hates and fears them. And the Avengers are Earth's Mightiest Heroes. Which isn't really a mission, but you get the picture."

The girls nodded.

"To piss off bad guys?" Lev guessed.

"And look cute while doing it?" Cloud added.

"To kick ass?" Zelda suggested.

"To protect the world from devastation and unite all peoples within our nation?" Marge put in. She knew she'd heard that somewhere, though she wasn't entirely sure where.

"No... you need something snazzier," Warren frowned.

"Snazzy?" Zelda blinked. "Warren, we're based out of a Port Jefferson retirement home. How snazzy do you want us to get?"

"We can work with this... we can work with this... Protecting the elderly... Safeguarding the senile..."

"Please, Warren!" Lev broke in. "We want to kick ass and take names, not get good P.R.!"

"And look cute while doing it!" Cloud added exuberantly.

"To kick ass, take names... and look cute while doing it. I like it," Zelda announced. "Margie?"

"I always look cute."

"There. We have a mission. What's next?"

Warren blinked. It was... original. "Secret hideout."

"Bobby's place. Check," Zelda continued.

"A cool team name."

"The Defenders," Cloud chirped.

"Been done."

"The Offenders," Zelda grinned.


"The Pretenders?" Marge guessed.

"They were a band."

Warren stroked his chin. "You need something... snazzy, again. Like... like Bobby Drake's Amazing X-Girlfriends!"

The girls blinked at him.

"No," all four of them chorused at once.

"Why not?"

"I refuse to be a part of an X-Team," Marge wrinkled her nose.

"We aren't even mutants," Zelda added.

"It makes me sound un-datable," Cloud sighed.

"I don't want to be associated with Bobby," Lev finished.

Cloud blinked slowly, considering Lev's statement. "I got it! We can be Bobby's Angels!"

"Yes!" Marge exclaimed gleefully.

"Isn't that going to give his secret identity away?" Zelda asked, raising an eyebrow.

"Iceman's Angels, then," Cloud grinned.

"Count me in!" Zel hooted, giving Cloud a high-five.


The other three girls looked at Lev.

"But you love Charlie's Angels, Levvy!"

"I refuse to see why we need Bobby's name in our title."

"Because he's gonna be our leader," Cloud put in matter-of-factly.

Warren nearly choked.

"The Daughter of Oblivion--"

"She's right," Zelda shrugged, cutting Marge off. "I mean, he and Cloud are the only ones who have any sort of real experience at this, and Cloudy's badly out of practice. I mean, we sure ain't letting Warren on our team."


Lev fidgeted. "Does... everyone else like it?"

Three enthusiastic grins.

Lev sighed. "Oh, fine. But if anyone gets go-go boots, it gets to be me!"

Bobby frowned.

His father really had him in a tough spot.

He was trapped.

Totally, completely, miserab-- oh, look at that.

Jump, jump, "King me!"

William Drake uttered a rather nasty curse.

"It appears the son hath exceeded the father," Bobby proclaimed triumphantly.

William triple-jumped him, taking out two of his kings.


"Been meaning to ask you something," William said, picking up the captured checkers.

Bobby looked up.

"About that explosion."

Bobby blanched.

William glanced behind the doorway, making sure Maddie was still contentedly folding laundry in the other room. "What the hell is wrong with you, boy?"

Bobby blinked, leaning forward. "Say what?"

"You think we sent you to that fancy-schmancy school to meet girls? You're a career superhero, and here, you're letting buildings in your own hometown get blown to smithereens. I heard those terrorists got away with some kinda super-tank armor."

Bobby blinked. "But Mom said--"

"Oh, forget your mother. You've been to space and back in time and all that nonsense. You can certainly handle a few terrorists."

"But I thought you thought--"

"Bobby," William said, leaning back in his chair, "I may not agree with what you do with your life, but for God's sake, son, if you're going to do something, do it right. And accounting ain't worth it. It was for me, but not for you."

A tiny smile jerked at the edge of Bobby's mouth. "Gee, Dad..."

"I mean it," William grunted. "Next time you here explosions, you better go running-- sliding-- whatever the hell it is you do..."

Bobby grinned, scratching the back of his head. "Well, it was kinda hard, that time, Dad."

"And why would that be?"

"Well... seeing how I was already *in* the building... and was, um... sort of, uh, indirectly *responsible* for the explosion..."

William grinned, and reached over to slap his son on the back. "That's my boy! Heh, that's my son..."

"I want the blue! C'mon, Cloudy, give it!"

"No! You can't design a costume! You've got an exo-suit!"

"I'm drawing me in my I-Suit."

"That's you?" Marge asked, leaning over Zelda's drawing. "You seem to have an abundance of chest."

"Shut up!"

"I need the orange," Marge sighed dramatically. "Let me think... who has ALL of the orange crayons...?" She stared pointedly at Lev.

Like a deer sensing hunters, Cloud's head shot up. "LEV..."

Lev crouched closer over her picture.

"Give it to me, Lev!"

Warren took the opportunity to steal the "Sky Blue" from Cloud before Zelda could get it.

"Lev, just-- Hi, Bobby!"

Lev looked up, and Cloud stole her picture.


"Lev! Look at this!"

"I know what it looks like."

"It looks like *every single* outfit you owned on your home planet."

"Does not. See, it's got a pouffy bit there, and--"

"Yellow and orange do NOT match."

"Yes, they do. And since I do fire--"

"Yellow and orange do NOT match," Marge reinforced.

"It's my costume, and--"

"And *we're* the ones who have to look at it. Ditch the color scheme, chica," Zelda said, crossing her arms.

Lev stuck out her lower lip. "How about just a little yellow and orange?"

She got four steely gazes in return.

"Are you sure you have to go? You could spend the night..."

"Thanks, Mom, but, no. I have to be at work in the morning."

"Oh. Well, you can borrow one of your father's suits, and--"

"I'll be fine, Mom."

"Take some leftovers?"

"Sure, Mom."

"Let me get you some tupperware!"

Mrs. Drake dashed off to the kitchen to fetch Bobby some Rubbermaid.

"Good call, taking the leftovers," William nodded.


"It's all about compromise. You take the leftovers, maybe you won't get lectured about being single."

Bobby raised one eyebrow. "What, does she have a chart somewhere?"

"In her underwear drawer."

"I'll let you win at checkers forever if you get me a copy.

Warren's forehead wrinkled in concentration.

He shook his head, causing a few pieces of blonde hair to wobble back and forth.

He squinted.

He turned _Undercover Husband_ sideways.

"You got to the nipple part, didn't you?" Lev accused.

"Yeeeaaahh..." Warren said slowly, wrinkling his nose.

"You know..." Zelda said slowly. "If we're gonna be a superhero team..."

"What?" Cloud asked.

"Someone's going to need pink hair."

All the girls looked at her.

"Every super-team has one person who has hair that isn't a real color. Either they have some sort of weird streak, or they're prematurely white, or they've got some... non-hair color. The X-Men have all three."

"That's because we rock," Warren noted.

"That's because you have a million people," Cloud smirked. "Omigosh, you're right! Moondragon didn't have any hair! And there was Seraph-- she had pink hair."

Zelda nodded sagely.

"Oh, that's weird. I think you're right," Warren shuddered.

"So who's it gonna be?" Cloud asked, narrowing her eyes. "I can't dye my hair. For some reason, when I go between regular and nebula form, it just goes back to blond."

"You can't see my hair," Zelda pointed out.

Marge looked at Lev.

Lev looked at Marge.

"MARGE!" Lev announced, a split second before Marge yelled,


"Sorry, Levvy," Zelda shrugged. "Margie's our token red-head. Looks like it's gonna be you."

"But I don't want pink hair! I'll look like Seera! It'll clash with my uniform!"

"PERFECT," the other three chorused.

"You're faking! You don't even have any pink hair dye!"

Zelda smiled slowly. "Try me."

Yawning, Bobby stuck his key in the lock.

He missed.

It fell on the floor.

He wondered if he was awake enough to bend down and get it, or if he should just fall asleep against the door.

And then he got tackled by Cloud.


"That sick o' Warren already, huh?"

"Guess what!"


"We've decided to make a super-team, and we all drew costumes, and we gonna be 'Bobby's Angels,' er, 'Iceman's Angels' and you're gonna be our leader--"

"That's nice," Bobby yawned, groping around for his key, Cloud still hanging onto his back.

Slowly, Marge walked out of their apartment, and closed the door behind her. "Things aren't going so well in there."

"What happened?" Cloud asked.

Bobby raised one eyebrow.

Warren suddenly shot out of the apartment, slamming the door behind him.

Bobby yawned again. Wait-- had Cloud just said something about superheroes?

"Well..." Marge drew out slowly. "Lev's not human, right?"


"So the dye didn't exactly take... so Zelda just... added more..."

"LET ME OUT!" Zelda yelled, banging on the door.

"And you know how Lev has real curly hair...?"

"Dye?" Bobby blinked. "Superheroes?"


"Well, she doesn't anymore."

There was a gentle tapping on the door, and Warren slowly backed away.

Lev walked out, her mid-back length, curly, blonde hair now waist-length, straight, and pink. And dripping.

Behind her, Zelda clutched her scorched nose, looking rather embarrassed.

At that moment, Bobby's key slid into the lock, and he fell into his apartment, face-first, Cloud still on his back.

"Wake me up in the morning, Ma," he mumbled, then buried his face in the carpet, and went to sleep.

continued >>

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