Hit Women, Goats, and Other Vacation Blunders
L. Burke

"I will be busy putting my presentation together for the University of Paris for the morning.  If you need to contact me I will be conversing with a colleague for some last minute data.  I have left his name and number at the front desk.  Are there any questions?" Professor Charles Xavier asked addressing his five students who stood at attention in front of him.

"No, sir," came the response from all five of his students.

"Excellent.  Since we all are guests of the University, I expect you to be on your best behavior.  Do I make myself very clear?"

"Yes Sir," came the unified response of all his students.

"Good.  Dismissed.  Go enjoy yourselves, and remember I gave you all the checklist of historic sites for extra credit.  If you manage to find all the landmarks you get a extra ten points added to your grades."  Xavier looked straight at Bobby and Warren as he continued, "Some of you need the extra credit.  Robert after your delightful book report on the movie version of Moby Dick and Warren's insightful midterm . . . " Xavier glared at Hank McCoy as he snickered in Warren's direction.  "As I was saying, the both of you really should consider taking me up on this rarely offered extra credit.  All of you should consider it seriously.  You never know when you might need the points.  Scott, I read your written request and approved it.  Hank, Warren, you two are responsible for keeping track of Bobby.  Jean, that leaves you free to do the shopping you wanted to do.  Are there any questions on my way out?"

"No, sir," once again came from his students. 

Xavier quickly grabbed a bag from the pile of luggage.  "I will see you all later, then."  As his final word as he wheeled out the door, his final words drifted back, "And remember, everyone -- best behavior."

"Funny," Warren grumbled, "it almost sounded like he doesn't trust us."

"Indeed" Hank agreed.   "It did sound that way."

"I wonder why?" Scott said dryly.   "Could it be the Hong Kong drug lord we managed to get on the wrong side of the last time he took us out of the country?"

"Spend one night treed by a tiger, and you never forgive us.  You could have just blasted it," Warren grumbled, rolling his eyes at Scott.

"I could have saved myself a lot of trouble and just blasted you and Hank," Scott shot back.

"Now, I'm sure I don't want to know."  Jean declared as she grabbed her purse and headed out the hotel room door.

Scott Summers was having a very good time in Paris.  Professor Xavier was generously allowing him to make the seven-mile trip to the World War II battlefield.  Scott really wanted to see it.  Since he wasn't in a hurry, he was walking out there.  He could take in some of the French countryside on the way.   He was doing a report on the fall of Paris to the Nazis, and the battlefield to which he was walking had been the site of a key battle.  Getting to see it would help Scott visualize the layout of the land and the mistakes that had been made during that battle, adding some depth to his paper.  As an extra bonus, he didn't have to baby sit Bobby or keep Hank and Warren out of trouble.  Yes, this trip was turning out to be a good one.

He was about half way there when he saw the man.  He was hitting a poor goat with a rather large stick.  The man was calling it all kinds of nasty names and Scott flinched every time he hit the poor goat.   He was going to keep moving on his merry way when he looked over his shoulder and saw the guy hit the goat again.  Sighing, Scott turned around and walked towards the man and the goat.

"This sticks," Warren grumbled in Hank's direction.  "We could be hitting every club in Paris and we have to baby-sit Bobby and tour every lousy historic landmark in the city."  Hank for once just nodded in agreement.  "You know if we could find somewhere we could to stash Bobby for the day, we could hit the clubs."

Hank gave Warren a thoughtful look, "What kind of clubs?"

Warren smirked at him and whispered very quietly so only Hank could hear his response.  "You and I are old enough here to hit the naughty ones.  I happen to know a few of them."  Hank gave him a look, and Warren could tell the wheels were turning in Hank's brilliant little brain.

"Hey, guys, I think we need to take a left on the next street."  Bobby yelled back at them from where he was about a hundred yards ahead.  He was looking at a map.  Right then Hank looked at something across the street that had caught his eye, and stopped suddenly.

"I might have an idea.  Professor Xavier told us we had to keep track of him.  Implying that we just need to know where he is located.  You wouldn't have brought a roll of duct tape with you by chance?"

Warren nodded.  "We're traveling with Bobby.  Of course I brought duct tape.  Amazing stuff, duct tape.   It can take freezing cold and still stay sticky.  You have an idea?"

Hank nodded at him; "We'll need three sheets.  Let me do the talking.  "

Warren smirked at Hank, who Hank smirked back.  That's when they both called out "Hey Bobby, come back here and let us take a look at that map."

"Come on, you stupid goat.  Will you just move?” Scott Summers grumbled as he tugged on the goat's rope, trying to lead it.  "And to think most people bring home a miniature of the Eiffel Tower.  Oh no, not me.  I have to bring home a goat."

When Scott had approached the man and tried to communicate with him in his very broken French, things had gone badly.  Scott wasn't quite sure how he'd ended up buying the goat.  It had taken almost all the money Scott had brought along with him, but now he owned the ill-tempered creature.  Someday, he vowed, he'd learn to ignore the little voice that always got him in to these messes.  Next time, he swore to himself that he'd just walk away and mind his own business.  He looked up at the heavens and said out loud in exasperation, "How do I get myself into these messes?"

"Did I ever tell you that you're brilliant Hank?" Warren said, smirking as he and Hank walked back into the hotel to change cloths and hit the clubs.  "I'd never have thought of doing that." 

"Of course you wouldn't have," Hank said smugly.  "That's why I'm the genius.  The Sheik was very generous to watch our sister for the rest of the day while we attended worship don't you think?"

"Yes," Warren smirked back.  "We'll have to seriously consider his marriage proposal for our sister, don't you think?"

Hank and Warren were changed and just about to head out to hit the Paris clubs when Scott walked into the hotel room leading a goat. 

"Scott!  I thought you weren't getting back until late tonight?" Warren asked rather nervously.  Hank and he exchanged a look, hoping Slim didn't catch it.

"I had a change of plans, as you can see," Scott grumbled.  "I swear, she's the most ill-tempered creature I've ever had the misfortune to come across." 

Warren knelt in front of the goat and started petting it gently.  "I'm not even going to ask how you managed to get it past the hotel personal, or how you managed to get her.  Couldn't walk away again, huh, Slim?  Does she have a name?"

Scott glared at Warren.  "No, I couldn't just walk away.  Her owner was abusing her.  And no, I haven't given her a name yet." 

"Ill-tempered?  Then have you considered 'Jeanette'?" Hank asked cheerfully, trying to keep a straight face. 

Scott glared back at him.  "No," he said coldly, "But I'll be sure to mention to Jean that was the name you suggested and ask what she thinks of it."  Hank just flinched.  Scott tied the goat to the bedpost, then suddenly seemed to notice something and glanced around the room.  His eyes finally stopped, pinning Hank and Warren.  In a mildly dealy tone, he asked, "Where's Bobby?"

"So let me get this straight," Scott Summer said as he pegged his two teammates with a cold glare (even if they coulnd't see it).  "You were told to keep track of Bobby, so the two of you tied him up, gagged him, and posed him as your little sister, then approached a foreign dignitary while pretending to be members of his religion.  You said you were visiting from Spain, told him that you had no male relatives to take care of your 'sister,' and you wanted to attend worship services in which women aren't allowed.  You then asked if he could look after your 'sister' along with the rest of his harem, all so the two of you could hit the strip clubs?"

"When you put it like that, it sounds a little cold," Warren said rather sheepishly.

"In our defense, he was a very nicely educated man," Hank added.  "He even offered to take her off our hands with a marriage proposal because she was so quiet."

Scott took a deep breath.  "I hope you two realize what I'm going to do to you before I tell the Professor about this one."

"May I make one suggestion, O Fearless?  Before you proceed to trounce us both?" Hank asked a little too cheerfully.

"Anyone is allowed his final words," Scott replied.

"You may want to get your goat before Jean gets back from shopping.  She bit through the rope and headed into Jean's room a while ago," Hank informed Scott rather gleefully.  That's when Jean voice came roaring from down the hall, "What the hell is a goat doing in my room?  And what the hell is it doing eating my underwear!"

Scott just looked at Hank and Warren who were trying to keep a straight face and whispered to them very quietly, "I hope you both realize, I'm going to kill you very slowly?"

"Jean, I'm so sorry.  I just turned my back on her for five seconds.  She chewed through the rope.  I'll pay for anything that she destroyed.  I swear," Scott apologized as he tried to wrestle something out of the goat's mouth.  He gave it a good yank and ended up sprawled several feet away on his butt.  When he held up the bit of black lace and realized what it was, he started blushing.  "I think -- uh.  I Think this belongs to you."   He handed the little bit of black lace to Jean.

"How did you guess?" Jean asked dryly, taking it.  "Somehow I can't see Hank and Warren wearing that, can you?"  Scott blushed redder.  It was nice to see usually cool, calm Slim flustered.  But Jean still glared at Scott.  "Would you mind telling me how the goat got in to our hotel room?"

Scott looked at his feet and muttered.  "I'd rather not say." 

Jean tried to keep a lid on her quick temper.  "Okay.  How about her name so I can yell at her."

"Jeanette," Hank and Warren gleefully informed her from where they were standing in the doorway.  Scott groaned inwardly, vowing to kill Hank and Warren at the next opportunity. 

Jean took a deep breath and felt her temper hit full force.  "Jeanette.  I see.  What the hell are you doing naming a goat after me?"

Warren and Hank gave her completely innocent looks, and Warren said, "We told him he shouldn't do it, Red.  In fact, we told him it was downright mean."

Hank nodded in agreement.  "Just because you can be a little ill humored at times, a bit stubborn, that was no reason to name 'the most fouled-tempered, stubborn creature' Scott 'has ever had the misfortune to come across' after you."

Jean counted to ten; yes, control was her friend, or else the three men in this room were going to die tonight.  Scott suddenly pulled something out of his pocket and handed it to Jean.

"Here's all the cash I have.  It should be enough to replace everything 'Jeanette' destroyed.  You two," Scott glared right at Hank and Warren, "can go shopping with Jean.  I'm going to go rescue Bobby.  Looks like your plans for tonight are cancelled."

"We will endeavor to adapt, Fearless," Hank said cheerfully as Scott slipped the rope over Jeanette's head, and led her out of Jean's room.

"Come on, 'Jeanette,' we need to go rescue Bobby."  Scott shot Hank and Warren a glare and stated, "I'll deal with the two of you later.   Count on it."   And he marched out of hotel room.

"Well," Warren added cheerfully, "that went better than I thought it would."  Hank nodded in agreement.

Jean gave the two of them 'the look' and asked coldly, "What did you two do to Bobby now?"

Bobby Drake was not having a good day.  He was gagged and tied up with duct tape, and apparently.  duct tape could take super cold and still stay sticky.  He hadn't know that.  Well, you learn something-new everyday.  Oh, yeah -- he was going to get Hank and Warren for this one.  He had a sheet draped over him so it looked like he was wearing traditional Muslim woman's clothing.  Hank and Warren had duct-taped his hands in such away that it looked like his hands were folded in his lap, and then they'd gagged him with the stuff and pinned some of the sheet to hide it so it looked as if Bobby were wearing a veil, and only his eyes showed.  Yes, he was being a proper traditional Muslim woman, draped from head to foot and gagged so he couldn't tell anyone differently.  Only the evil thoughts of what he was going to do to Hank and Warren when he got out of this were keeping him sane through the experience.  And when that stopped working, visions of what Professor Xavier would do to them when Bobby snitched were even more appealing.

At least the Sheik was very nice.  He'd even decided that Bobby was too young to stay with the rest of his harem, so the Sheik was looking out for Bobby personally.  The Sheik was apparently visiting Paris to listen to Professor Xavier's lecture on the emergence of the mutant race.  He was polite, well educated, and very religious:  overall, a perfect host.  Bobby supposed things could have been worse.

He was trying to draw on his natural pool of optimism, telling himself that Slim or the professor would find out where he was and rescue him, when she walked into the room.  She was the most beautiful woman whom Bobby had ever seen, with long, flowing black hair, emerald-green eyes and a set of legs that would put Jean's to shame.  'Wow, lucky devil,' was the only thought that came to Bobby's mind when he got a good look at her.  She sauntered into the room where the Sheik was sitting by himself, and Bobby didn't hear anything for quite a while.  Then the Sheik came staggering into Bobby's room, and Bobby just stared in horror at the growing red stain across the side of the man's head.  As the Sheik fell at Bobby feet, the only thought that came to mind was, 'Not so lucky devil.'

"I believe I shall quote our youngest compatriot and ask, 'Are we done yet'?" Hank McCoy asked his red-headed teammate.  Warren wisely remained silent as Jean turned to glare at Hank. 

"No.  Now shut up, or I'm going to brain you."

"Don't listen to him, Red," Warren said.   "I'm more than happy to be shopping with you.  In fact, I'm more than happy to give an opinion on anything you may want to try on -- including the underwear you're buying to replace what Jeanette destroyed."

"Kiss up," Hank grumbled at Warren. 

Warren gave him a charming smile and said, "You bet."

"I hate men," Jean muttered.  "Using the whole male population as slave labor is looking better and better.  I knew I should have listened to my parents and considered that all-girls' school."

"I am hurt, Miss Grey.  You would never have had the pleasure of meeting the four of us.  I'm going to win the Nobel Prize someday.  Think of the bragging rights in being one of Henry McCoy's former classmates," Hank stated, blinking his eyes at her.

Jean shot him a look.  "Like I said, that all-girls' boarding school is looking better and better.  What else can go wrong?"  Right then a man ran up behind Jean, snatching her purse, and continuing down the street.  "Hey come back with my purse, thief!" she yelled.

"Well that was easy.  Shopping trip over," Hank stated gleefully.

Jean shot him a glare even as she sprinted after the guy, calling, "My passport is in that purse."

"You know our vacations are always interesting," Warren stated looking at Hank.

"Indeed.  Hopefullym I won't end up in a cobra pit again," Hank said.

"Shall we?" Warren asked.

"Indeed," Hank answered as they both started running in the same direction that Jean had.

"Will you please be quiet?" Scott grumbled down to Jeanette.  "You are not making this job any easier, you know that?"  The goat proceeded to ignore him and chew on the flower display in the front of the Sheik's suite.  "How do I get myself into these messes?" Scott asking, looking down at Jeanette as he gave her rope a yank.  "Trying to sneak past hotel security was bad enough without you trying to eat every piece of shrubbery along the way."  Jeanette once again proceeded to ignore him and continued eating the flower arrangement.

Glancing at the piece of paper he held, he muttered out loud, "This has to be the place."  Jeanette suddenly turned her attention from the flower arrangement and snatched the piece of paper right out of Scott's hand.  "Stupid goat.  I hope we're at the right room." 

When he tried the door, Scott found it unlocked.  "Finally.  Maybe something is going my way.  for a change."  Scott knocked a couple of times.  No answer, and he hated to do it, but after the about the tenth unanswered knock, he walked in.  "Excuse me?  Is anyone here?"

It was very strange that no one was here, and Scott figured he must have the wrong suite.  That's when he saw the blood leading into one of the rooms . . .

Jean had managed to corner her purse thief in an abandoned alley.  "Buddy," she stated rather calmly, "you picked the wrong purse to snatch.  You caught me on a really bad day."

Realizing that he had nowhere to run, the thief turned around and pulled out a knife.  Jean was unimpressed.  "Oh, look the big, bad purse thief is going to hurt me with his wittle knifie.  Should I scream for help now?" She asked, rather bored.  As the thief came forward.  he slashed the knife in a threatening manner.  Jean rolled her eyes and said sarcastically, "Oh, help!"

Scott followed the trail of blood into a side room.  He'd left Jeanette in the hallway, and now, carefully opened the door just a crack.  He saw a woman standing over a draped figure at whom she was aiming a gun.  An apparently dead body lay at the draped figure's feet.  "Bobby?" Scott blurted out.  The woman turned and fired in Scott's direction.  Scott leapt to the side as the bullet went buzzing by his head.

"Men are such lead heads, you know that?" Jean grumbled at her now restrained purse thief.  "I go to school with some of the biggest lead heads around.  I happen to like the biggest one, did you know that?  I mean what does it take for one guy to notice a girl?  What do I have to do?  Paint 'I like you' on my body and run naked in front of him?  Instead, he named a smelly, bad-tempered goat after me.  Would you mind telling me exactly what that means?"  To emphasize her words, Jean shook the thief who was stuck in her telekinetic field.

"I hate men!  I really can't figure them out, and I'm a telepath, too."  Jean glared at the guy she was holding still.  "Bet you didn't know that when you snatched my purse and tried to attack me, did you?  Next time, I'd think twice before trying to attack a telekinetic."  Jean just studied the guy carefully and rolled her eyes a little.  "Now what am I going to with you?  I can't just let you go because of my secret identity, but I can't report you to the police for the same reason.  I can't keep you in my telekinetic field indefinitely, so I guess I'm just going to have to keep you with me until you're ready to go to the police and confess without mentioning anything about me."

Right then, Hank and Warren came running into the alley.  Warren smirked at her.  "I guess you didn't need our help after all."

Jean rolled her eyes at them.  "It was just a mugger.  But I can't figure out what I'm going to do with him, now that I caught him."

Right them, Hank pulled something out of his coat and asked, "Duct tape?"

Meanwhile, back at the X-men's hotel room, Professor Charles Xavier wheeled in and headed for the pile that was his and his students' luggage.  "Where is it?  I grabbed the wrong bag.  My speech has to be in here."  Then it occurred to him/ "Scott must have it.  I grabbed Scott's bag by mistake.  So Scott has to have my bag with the speech, slides, and data."   He would have to track down Scott.  Well, how difficult could that be?

Scott went running, leaped, and knocked both Bobby and himself under cover as yet another bullet went buzzing by their heads.  Then ripping the sheet away, he revealed a gagged Bobby.  "This is going to hurt a lot," he warned, as he ripped off the tape.

"Ow!  That hurt!  But I'm so glad to see you!  When she pointed that gun at me, I thought I was a goner," Bobby said as Scott sawed the duct tape off Bobby's hands with a jackknife.  Another bullet whizzed past their heads from where they were hiding behind a table.

"Can you please tell me what is going on in here?" Scott asked.

"I Think the woman shooting at us just killed the Sheik.  She's trying to kill us because we can identify her."

"You know," Scott grumbled.  "Our vacations are always interesting."

Bobby just nodded.  "It'll be even more interesting when I get my hands on Hank and Warren for getting me in to this mess."

"On three?" Scott asked.

"Works for me," Bobby replied.

Right then they both heard the 'click, click' of an empty gun.  The woman cursed and said in French, "I'll take care of you two later."  And she ran out the suite's door.

Scott and Bobby just exchanged baffled looks.  "Yeah like we should be worried?" Bobby asked.

Scott just nodded.  "What type of incompetent hit woman carries only one clip?"

Cautiously, the moved out from behind the table and Bobby asked, "Is he dead?" looking down at the Sheik.

Scott knelt and tried to find a pulse.  "Nope, she missed.  Glazed him and knocked the man out cold.  Let's get out of here.  I'm sure security will be coming soon.  I need some time to figure things out and decide what we should do next.  I, for one, don't want to try to explain what both of us are doing in the here, do you?  Let's go find the others and come up with a plan.  We'll call the police once we get out of here."

"That'd be a very good idea," Bobby agreed, nodding.

They both ran quickly out the door, and Scott grabbed Jeanette's rope on their way.   "Come, Jeannette."

"Scott, where did you get the goat?  And why did you name it after Jean?" Bobby asked.

"Please, don't ask," was Scott's only reply as they ran down the hall towards the stairs.

"I think we should name him Eiffel in honor after the most renown land mark in all of Paris.  What do you two think?" Hank McCoy asked gleefully as he inspected their now tied-and-gagged purse thief.  The thief was fully restrained by the duct tape wrapped all over him.

"I agree with Hank.  Eiffel will make a great name, don't you think.  Eiffel?" Warren asked the thief.  Eiffel tried to reply with something in French behind the duct tape gag.  "Temper, temper," Warren shot back at him.

Jean glared at Eiffel.  "I told you.  You are going nowhere until you’re ready to confess your crimes to the police.  Until then, you're stuck where you are."  Then she looked at Hank and Warren.  "What am I going to do, now?  I can't very well drag him through the streets of Paris tied and gagged, can I?"

"I believe that Jean has a very valid point," Hank said with a thoughtful look on his face.

"I might just have an idea," Warren stated as he headed out of the alley.  "You two stay here and I'll be right back.  I think I know what we can do about our little problem."

When Scott and Bobby hit the stairwell, the hit woman was waiting to take a couple more shots at them.  They both jumped out of the way and her shots bounced wildly around the stairwell.

"Thought that every hit man knew you don't fire in cement stairwells," Bobby grumbled.

Scott nodded.  "The bullets are just as likely to hit you as your target."

"You think she has more than one clip this time?" Bobby asked rather calmly.

Scott rolled his eyes, "I should hope so.  I guess we're heading up.  At least if she's chasing us, she's not checking to see if she killed the Sheik."

Scott looked around for Jeanette, who was already three flights above them.

"Follow the goat," Bobby exclaimed as they both headed after Jeanette.

"You're kidding right?"  Jean Grey glared at Warren rather coldly.  "There is no way I'm wearing that outfit."

"Trust me on this one Jean," Warren looked at her earnestly.  "Wearing this outfit, no one is even going to blink at you leading around a tied and gagged man by a dog collar."

"Did you bring a whip, too?" Jean asked coldly.

"I hope so," Hank said, trying very hard to keep a straight face.  "It would be the only accessory to complement that outfit . . . or maybe a handcuff belt.  But that defiantly shouts 'cat-o-nine tails' to me.  Warren's right, though; no one is going to think twice."

"I think you picked this to see what I'd look like as an S&M cover-girl-of-the-month," Jean stated, glaring at both her male teammates.

"Look," Warren said coldly.  "I chose one to the few corsettes that would cover everything.  Do you want to just let Eiffel go?  Think of the next poor woman he may attack; she might not be so lucky."

Jean glared "You don't play fair.  Warren."

"I think Jean was wearing that outfit in a dream I had a few nights back," Hank saod aloud, ignoring the ongoing argument.

"Shut up, Hank," Warren grumbled, then to Jean -- "Look.  the choice is up to you.  You can always telepathically manipulate the crowds so no one will notice."

"That's too hard for me.   Give me the damned outfit," Jean grumbled as she snatched the black leather number out of Warren's hands.

Scott and Bobby hit the roof with the hit woman just a few flights behind.  She'd missed them the whole way up twenty-something flights of stairs and Bobby looked down at the ground.  "You wouldn't have a rope in your backpack would you?" he asked Scott.

Scott nodded as he unslung his backpack and opened it.  Then he got a very strange look on his face.  "What is it?" Bobby asked.

"Apparently, I have Professor Xavier's speech.  He grabbed the wrong bag this morning.  I have his . . . and he has mine.   With the rope," Scott stated quite calmly.  He glared at Jeanette, who'd taken notice now of the paper in the backpack.  "Don't you even think about it."

"Well, that's not good," Bobby announced.  "Do you think she'll manage to kill us at point blank range?"

"I don't know.  She didn't manage to kill the Sheik; I think our odds are really good."

Right then, the hit woman who'd been chasing them slammed open the roof door.  Bobby looked at Scott and asked, "Should we try the fire escape?"  Scott nodded as a bullet went whizzing by his head.  "I could also try to make the roof icy?" Bobby suggested, and Scott nodded once again in response.

"I have you both, now," the hit woman said in broken English.  Scott and Bobby both put their hands over their heads and turned to face her as she pointed the gun at them.  At the same time, Bobby concentrated on spreading ice all over the roof and under their feet.

"On three, Bobby," Scott stated quietly.

Right then Jeanette head butted the hit woman, who went sliding on the ice . . . and right off the roof.  Bobby and Scott carefully ran to the edge to look down.

"You think we killed her?" Bobby asked quietly, stunned.

Out of a dumpster in the alley below came some very loud French cursing.  Scott shook his head, "Apparently not.  And I don't think what she's suggesting is even anatomically possible."

Bobby looked around the roof.  "Scott?  Jeanette and Professor Xavier's backpack are both gone."

"After that goat," was Scott's reply.

"Not one word you two.  I swear, I'll kill you both," Jean Grey stated as she walked out of the shadows in the low-cut, tight-fitting leather number that Warren had bought for her. 

"Oh, you remembered the handcuff belt and the whip."  Hank announced gleefully. 

"It's not that bad, Red, honestly," Warren added.  "It just shows off a bit of cleavage.  I've seen worse.  Trust me, no one is going to think twice about Eiffel being tied and gagged." 

"I said, not one word."  Jean glared at them both. 

"Beat me, Mistress Grey, and make it hurt so good," Hank begged cheerfully. 

Warren stepped between Jean and Hank as Jean made a threatening stepped forward.  "Hank," he warned

"I think the spiked dog collar for Eiffel really pulls the outfit together," Hank continued, but Jean just glared and cracked her whip. 

Right then all three watched as Scott and Bobby ran past the alley, chasing Jeanette.  A few moments later they saw a woman waving a gun, covered in garbage, screaming for Scott and Bobby to stand still so she could kill them. 

"Our vacations are always interesting," Warren stated dryly. 

"Are you four just trouble magnets?" Jean asked. 

"Only sometimes.  After that goat!" Hank announced cheerfully.

"Okay, which way could they have gone?" Jean asked, looking down four diverging roads. 

"This is Eiffel's fault," Hank grumbled.  "He slowed us down so we lost Scott and Bobby."  Eiffel gave Hank a muffled reply behind his duct-tape gag.  "Temper Temper," Hank warned cheerfully. 

"Well, you try to keep up with two guys while wearing three-inch heels," Jean grumbled to her teammates. 

"Does anyone know where we are?" Warren asked glancing around the street that the three of them stood on now. 

"I thought you knew Paris 'like the back of your hand'?" Hank asked giving Warren an annoyed look. 

"More like he knows Paris like the back of his head," Jean muttered

"Oh, Miss Grey, that was a good one," Hank said, then, "Look, Jean, you're only getting a few shocked glances.  Oh, wait, that gentleman over there is wiping the drool from the corner of his mouth." 

"How polite of him," Jean snarled, glaring at Hank. 

"Will you two calm down?" Warren broke in.  "I do know Paris.  My mother comes here shopping all the time." 

That when a voice came from behind them, "Worthington!  We need to talk to you!"

"Oh, no" Warren groaned, "What are those morons doing in Paris?"

"Jeanette only ate the first three pages of Professor Xavier's speech.  He has a photographic memory so that shouldn't be a problem for him right?  I mean, she didn't get a hold of the data, and she just drooled on the slides a little?" Scott asked looking at his youngest teammate for reassurance.  Bobby's reply was muffled as he stuffed another hotdog into his mouth and washed it down with his third soda. 

"Thanks a lot, Bobby," Scott grumbled as he crinkled his nose at the hotdog Bobby was offering to share.  "No, thanks.  How can you eat those things after all the stories Hank told you about how they're made?  We're surrounded by some of the best restaurants in the world, and you head straight to the hotdog vender." 

"Well, we couldn't find a McDonalds," Bobby retorted.  "I think someone hasn't eaten today and his blood sugar is low, so he's being really cranky."  Bobby pulled a package of snowballs out of his pocket and offered one to Scott.  "Snowball?"

Scott glared at Bobby.  "I am not being cranky."  Bobby shrugged and stuffed a snowball whole into his mouth.  "I swear with the way you eat you must have a hollow head." 

Bobby shrugged again and gave him a grin.  "Nope, you’re not the least bit cranky.  You think we lost her for the time being?"

Scott nodded.  "On that last intersection over by the church." 

"That reminds me," Bobby announced as he pulled something out of his pocket and put a checkmark by three locations on his list.  "I only need to find one more place for my extra credit.  See?  Getting chased through the Paris streets by a crazy hit woman does have its advantages.  I've found most of the landmarks Professor Xavier listed."  Then Bobby's face lit up with a mischievous expression.  "At least I won’t get in to trouble for letting a goat eat his speech." 

"Stuff it, Bobby," Scott announced coldly. 

Right then, they both saw the hit woman running across the park.  She was running straight in their direction.  Scott sighed and said, "Here we go again." 

"Oh look, she took time to clean up before she tries to kill us again.  You think she got more ammo, too?"

"Probably."   Scott rolled his eyes as she ran towards them, screaming something in French.  "We know!" both Bobby and Scott shouted at once, rather dryly.  "You're going to kill us!"

"Well," Bobby added as they stood up, ready to run again, "I'm done eating.  I have one more landmark to find.  Ready for round three?"

"Listen to me, you three stupid morons.  I never dated your sister.  I don’t like your sister.  I never did anything more with your sister than file a restraining order against her."  Warren glared at the three huge men standing in front of them. 

"Let me see," Hank announced.  "Human-like appearance, ape-like brain.  I wonder how many water towers these three fell out of onto their heads?"

"Is your friend making fun of us, Worthington?"

"I wouldn't even think of it, my dear chaps," Hank announced, then turned in Jean's direction and mouthed.  'missing link.'

"Look," Warren jumped in, "this is some huge misunderstanding.  I don't know what your sister may have told you three, but trust me, it didn't happen.  I filed a restraining order against her so she would stop stalking me -- isn't that enough?"

"Not from the country they're from.  Alabama perhaps?" Hank suggested. 

"We're from Georgia, buddy."  

"I stand corrected."  

"Worthington, you dumped our sister and destroyed her honor, and we can't allow that to slide." 

"I never dated you sister, so how could I dump her and destroy her honor?" Warren retorted. 

"Are we seeing the real reason why you transferred to our institution?" Hank asked. 

"I see you dropped our sister for this red-headed slut," One of the brothers added, inspecting Jean rather closely. 

"Watch it, buddy.  I have a whip," Jean warned him with a cold glare. 

"I have a really easy way to settle this, Worthington."  The brother who appeared to be the oldest said, looking straight at Warren. 

"I'd love to hear it.  That way, your entire crazy inbred family would leave me alone."  

"We just beat the crap out of you and mess up your profile a bit, then you won't hear from us ever again.  Besides, we don't want you near our sister if you date women like her."  He gestured to Jean in her black-leather outfit. 

"What do you mean 'a woman like her'?" Jean asked now, narrowing her eyes dangerously.

The big man ignored her.   "You know, we'd pretty much given up looking for you since you transferred out of school.  We were just shopping here in Paris with Mom and Lord, and behold, there you were, running down the street."  

"Really," Hank added.  "What type of barbarians are you?  Messing up a perfect profile like that."  Hank gestured to Warren, then looked at Jean "What shall we do?  Warren's the pretty one." 

Jean glanced at Hank, amused.  "I thought I was the pretty one?"

"Nope -- you’re the hot-headed one," Hank announced. 

"Be quiet, you two," Warren said, then to the boys.  "Well, isn't today my lucky day.  We happened to find each other here in Paris, so we can settle this once and for all.  I'm not going to let you three mess up my face for something I didn't do." 

"That's why Momma McCoy always told me never to date stupid people.  The genes always breed true," Hank told Jean solemnly. 

"Look," Jean said.  "Could we settle this later?  We have two friends who someone is trying to kill." 

"What type of idiots do you think we are?" one of the brothers said defensively. 

"Do you really want to know?" Hank asked.  

"Worthington, do you always let your woman speak for you?  Why don't you do something constructive with that mouth, sweetheart, and come lay a big, wet one right here?"  One of the brothers motioned to his lips. 

Jean blinked.  Then she got 'that' look on her face.  Handing Eiffel's leash to Hank, she threw her hair over her shoulder.  "Why don't I show you boys some moves that will rock your world?"

Hank and Warren just exchanged the 'you think she's going to kill him?' look. 

Shooting Jean a leer, the brother said, "That sounds like a really good idea, sweetheart."

Jean walked towards them, and Hank wondered if they were going to have three bodies to hide. 

Professor Charles Xavier was being driven around the streets of Paris trying to locate his students.  Attempting to track them telepathically had drained him rather quickly, so he was doing it the old-fashion way.  And he wasn't having much luck at it, either, having only managed to follow where his students' telepathic signatures had been.  Now, he rubbed his head; he was getting a huge headache.  "I could have had tenure at Oxford," He muttered out loud to himself.  "What part of 'best behavior' didn't they understand?"  His driver gave him a pitting look in the rearview mirror.

That's when he sensed three telepathic signatures coming right at them.  "Driver, stop the car right now!"  The driver slammed on the brakes, just as a trash can containing three young men came rolling into the middle of the intersection, right in front of the car.

"Well, if you'd asked me I would have said that it was physically impossible to stuff three men that size into one trash can," Hank said.   "Isn't it amazing what you learn new everyday."  

"Don't you think rolling the three of them into oncoming traffic was -- how do I say it -- a little extreme?" Warren asked a bit sheepishly. 

"No," Jean replied. 

"I think all we need is for Jean to develop her powers a little more, and the four of us can retire from the superhero business.  She can use that outfit to distract criminals, then trounce them,."  Hank added cheerfully. 

"Shut up, Hank."  Jean warned.  "Or there's a trash can with your name on it." 

Right then, Eiffel tried to say something behind his gag.  Jean ripped the duct tape away, and Hank and Warren both flinched.  "Are you ready to go to the police and confess?" Jean asked Eiffel.  Eiffel said something in French, after which Jean just gave him a cold look and put another gag on him.  "I told you, you're not going anywhere until you’re ready to confess to your crimes." 

"Well, should we go find Scott and Bobby?" Hank asked, changing the topic. 

"You know," Scott said to Bobby dryly.  "We could shut her down in about five seconds if we just used our mutant powers." 

"What's the fun in that?  Think of all the exotic places we've seen when we don't use our mutant powers to get ourselves out of messes.  Remember 'mutant powers should be means of last resort,'" Bobby responded cheerfully.  "Now, where could that landmark be?"

"Exotic places?  The last time we got into trouble and couldn't use our mutant powers, I got treed by a tiger, then had to pull Hank out of a cobra pit."  Scott shot an exasperated look at Bobby. 

"So?" Bobby responded.  "You raised the bar for the rest of us.  I didn't know you could whip a snake's head off like that until you did it."  

"It's all in the angle," Scott replied dryly. 

"Where do you think she went?" Bobby asked, looking around as they jogged. 

"I honestly don't know.  I think we lost her at the last intersection," Scott responded.  "For how long, I have no idea."  Scott gave Bobby an annoyed glance.  "Would you mind telling me your secret?  Jeanette never followed me around like that." 

"I shared one of my hotdogs with her," Bobby explained.  

"You gave her one of your hotdogs?  Do you know what those things do to you, much less her?" Scott asked, giving Bobby a shocked look. 

"She likes them," Bobby said, sticking his tongue out at Scott.  "Are you going to help me find my last landmark or not?"

"Give me the map, and I'll see if I can find it." 

Right then, a car tore around the corner and headed straight for them.  They both recognized the driver.  "You know, I really do have to give her an A-plus for effort."  Scott said. 

"That's no fair, using a car like that.  It's against our unspoken rules," Bobby announced. 

"I think we should probably dive out of the way," Scott said as the speeding car bore down on them. 

"Nah," Bobby responded, "I can do something." 

"Bobby, don't," Scott warned. 

Scott knew he shouted a little too late as a thin sheet of ice formed across the road.  The car went sliding out of control and right in to a roadside fruit stand.  Scott flinched as six more cars hit the ice, too, and ended up in a huge pile up.  The road was completely blocked by cars now, and it was turning into a traffic nightmare, though thankfully, no one was badly hurt.  All the drivers got out of their cars and started inspecting the damage, while the hit woman got out of hers and vanished into the gathering crowd. 

"Whoops," Bobby said sheepishly, looking around.  "I don't think Professor Xavier is going to be very happy when he hears about this." 

"Remember, Bobby -- 'means of last resort?"

"Well, Scott and Bobby were both here," Warren stated, looking at the icy road, the pile up, and the traffic jam that was extending for miles. 

"What clued you in, Warren?" Jean asked dryly. 

"I don't know -- the icy road shout 'Bobby' to me.  I really can't say why."

"This is not fair," Hank grumbled.  "If they were planning on doing far-spread chaos and destruction, they should have waited for us.  I didn't get a chance to do any last time, being in the hospital with snakebite.  I feel cheated." 

"What trouble did you four get into in Hong Kong, anyway?" Jean asked, looking at her teammates. 

"We, uh, blew up a fireworks warehouse," Warren confessed. 

"Fireworks . . . explosives . . . " Hank said, looking at Warren.  "Hello!  You didn't wait for me!"

"Sorry.  Next time, if we plan to accidentally blow something up, we'll make sure we have our resident mad scientists is with us.  Jeez, you'd think blowing up the basement every other day, explosions would be boring to you by now." 

"Let's try to get out of Paris without blowing anything up," Jean said, shaking her head at her two teammates.  "Let's just find Scott and Bobby before they manage to get themselves into more trouble." 

"I'm sorry, sir."  Xavier's driver said.  "Apparently, traffic is piled up for miles.  The radio says it's die to an icy road."  The driver gave Xavier a confused look in the rearview mirror.  "That's has to be wrong, considering it's July.  I'm afraid we are going to be sitting in traffic for a while."

"Yes," Xavier stated dryly "The radio must have the information confused.  What could possibly make a road icy in July?"  Under his breath, Xavier grumbled, "Robert."

Jean, Warren, Hank, and Eiffel managed to catch sight of Scott and Bobby about six blocks from the 'accident' site. 

"I'm telling you, Bobby, that last landmark isn't on the map.  Professor Xavier must have written this list without looking at the tourist maps, because it's not on it," Scott was saying. 

"I need that extra credit, so we're going to find it," Bobby announced, sticking out his chin stubbornly. 

"Well, if you'd actually read the book, you wouldn't be in this mess right now, would you?"

"Don't rub it in," Bobby grumbled.

"Well," said a new voice behind them, "It's nice to see you two are all right.  Do you realize how hard it was to find you?"

Neither Scott nor Bobby looked up at Jean from where they were studying the map.  "Of course we're all right," Bobby said, "It was just a hit woman -- no big deal.  It's not like she's Magneto.  We're trying to find the last landmark for my extra credit."  Bobby looked up then and gaped at Jean's outfit.  "Jean?"

Catching the shock in Bobby's voice, Scott looked up, too, and Jean suspected that if his eyes weren't covered, she'd see him gaping, too.  His mouth hung open.  "Jean?"

Jean gave him a cold look back and answered, "Yes?"

Scott’s eyebrow went up as he got control over his surprise, and added dryly, "I hope they included a whip with that outfit.  Who's your friend?"  He gestured in Eiffel's direction. 

Jean blinked.  "Did he just crack a joke?"

"Indeed, a whip was included," Hank said.  "She has it on her somewhere." 

"You mean she can hide stuff in that outfit?" Bobby blurted. 

Hank continued, "Our dear friend, Eiffel, tried to steal Jean's purse, and when she chased him, he pulled a knife on her.  He's going to be our guest until he sees the error of his ways and is willing to confess his crimes to the police." 

Scott's eyebrow went a little further up his forehead.  "If he doesn't confess?"

Hank shrugged.  "I need a human subject for my gene splicing experiments.  We can keep him down in the basement lab."

Eiffel gave Hank a horrified look. 

Scott raised the eyebrow even further, and Jean suddenly reached two major conclusions.   One -- Scott Summers most definitely did have a sense of humor.  And two -- the guys were going to have quite a bit of fun tormenting Eiffel.  When Scott asked, "What about those pesky things called 'ethics'?"

"Blah, Blah," Hank replied.  "What's one life to further science?"

"Does this mean he has a live subject now so we won't have to go dig up anymore bodies in the middle of the night?" Bobby asked, getting into the fun. 

"I hope so," Warren said, dead-panning.  "Gruesome task."  Eiffel was looking at all of them as if they were monsters, and Jean was almost buying it herself.  Then again, had she ever been down in Hank's lab?  Warren gave Bobby an innocent look.  "Hey, not all Hank does is evil and horrible.  I happen to like my new set of wings."  Now, Jean knew for sure they were tormenting Eiffel. 

"I think I'll splice his genes with a tree squirrel.  What do you think?" Hank asked with an innocent, thoughtful expression on his face. 

"No, you should cross him with a bat," Bobby suggested gleefully. 

"That's a very interesting thought, Robert.  I will have to consider it."  And Hank nodded to Bobby. 

"I think we're all missing the point of who's going to take care of him," Scott pointed out.  "Look at what Hank does to his rats.  How long do you think Eiffel is going to survive?"

"Long enough to make him 'batman'?" Bobby asked. 

"By the way," Warren broke in, "where's this woman who was trying to kill the two of you?"

Scott shrugged.  "I think we lost her about three blocks from here -- why?"

"You know, if we could capture her, I'd have a breeding pair for my experiments," Hank said thoughtfully.  Eiffel gave Hank another horrified look. 

"Did anyone notice the flower vender heading this way?" Warren asked. 

"Yes," Scott said.  "It's not our hit woman, but he's looking nervous." 

"Maybe it's Jean in that outfit," Hank said.  "It's enough to make any man nervous." 

Jean glared.  "Stuff it, Hank.  I warned you about that trash can with your name on it." 

Right then, the flower vender approached.  "Excuse me?" he said in broken English.  "I have a bouquet of flowers for the two young gentlemen."  He motioned towards Scott and Bobby. 

"Of course we will take them, my good man.  How much do we owe you?" Hank asked. 

"Nothing.  They have already been paid for."  The vender nervously threw the bouquet to Bobby and started running away as quickly as he could. 

"Is it me, or is that gentleman in a big hurry to leave?" Hank asked looking at Bobby's bouquet. 

"Does anyone else hear the sound of a electronic timer?" Scott asked dryly. 

"This is really insulting.  What kind of amateurs does she think we are?" Bobby said, as Eiffel was giving them all a panicked look and trying to run away. 

Warren did a quick scan using his eagle-like vision.  "Hank, how much time do we have on the timer?"

"Sixty seconds."  Hank announced calmly. 

"Really a man should give flowers to a woman, not the other way around," Warren smirked. 

"Indeed.  Couldn't agree with you more.  We really should give these flowers back to her," Hank responded. 

"Two hundred yards to the left," Warren announced, and Hank angled the bouquet.  "A little more to the left . . . bingo!"

Hank let the bouquet fly. 

"You know you guys are rather comfortable with the idea of a woman trying to kill you," Jean commented as she watched the flower bouquet fly over a small park. 

"Hang out with Warren and his exs long enough," Bobby added in cheerfully. 

A loud explosion came from across the park.  Everyone just stood and watched as what looked to be a bronze, decorative plate landed at their feet among the other wreckage; Jeanette who was sitting next to them, chewing on the grass, never even blinked. 

"Oh, dear," Hank announced rather sheepishly.  "She must have thrown it into the memorial." 

"Well, no one was hurt," Warren said, "though Professor Xavier is not going to be happy about this.  I knew we left too much time on that timer." 

"Do you guys make it a point to take only pictures and leave only ashes?" Jean asked quite seriously.  Eiffel looked like he wanted to pass out. 

"You know -- I think that was the landmark I still had to find.  World War II Memorial."  Bobby looked down at the bronze plaque.  "That was it all right.  Let's see, built in . . . " Bobby glanced at his list, then at Scott.  "Professor Xavier wants to know when the building was bombed.  You think he'll take today's time and date as an answer?"

"I think he meant by the Nazis, Bobby." 

"How far are we from the hotel?" Jean asked her four teammates. 

"We're in the club district now," Warren informed her.  "It's really close to the hotels.  Probably about two blocks -- why?"

"I want to get out of these shoes.  I'm getting blisters."  Jean turned to Scott.  "What are you going to do with Jeanette?  She's not staying in my room."  Before Scott could answer, a voice rang out, "Worthington!"

Warren just groaned.  "Not these idiots again.  I thought we got rid of them when Jean rolled them into oncoming traffic." 

"I thought a seasoned pro like you knew better than to date stupid bimbos with older brothers?" Bobby asked gleefully. 

"Shut up, Bobby," Warren growled. 

"Those idiots really don't take a hint, do they?" Jean announced, rather annoyed. 

"Let's just avoid them."  Scott picked up his pace.  "We can stay ahead of them."

But right then, the hit woman jumped out of an alley about a hundred yards ahead.  She said something in French and started waving a gun at them.  Scott stopped.  "Then again, maybe not.  Change of plan.  We'll duck into a club and try to lose them." 

"You know, hanging out with you four, I see the classiest places," Jean said dryly as she inspected the club they'd ducked into.  "I mean, the pool of chocolate pudding adds something to the place that you just can't find in a four-star hotel." 

"Well think of it this way, Red."  Warren looked pointedly at her outfit.  "You fit right in." 

"I feel downright underdressed without a dog collar on," Hank added, looking around the place.  "Is this one of the clubs you were planning to take me?"

"I didn't even know this one existed.  Scott has the devil's luck sometimes," Warren added with a growing smirk on his face.  Two women with very little clothing on were jumping into the pool of chocolate pudding. 

"Men!" Jean muttered with disgust, rolling her eyes. 

"Look, everyone calm down," Scott said.  "I'm going to do some scouting around and see if we lost them.  Everyone just stay calm and stay out of trouble."  He handed Bobby Jeanette's rope and vanished into the crowd. 

"Well" -- Jean looked around -- "since we're under orders to stay put anyway, explain to me what you see in two barely dressed woman rolling around in pudding." 

"What?"  Warren and Hank both snapped their attention back to Jean. 

"Two woman rolling around in pudding?  What's so great about it?"

"I will try to explain it to you, Miss Grey," Hank answered.  "If you explain to me what women see in Jane Austin novels.  I appreciate many forms of literature, but I have never understood what a woman sees in Jane Austin." 

Jean opened her mouth to answer, then shut it again.  "Maybe these are secrets that are best left unknown to the other half of the species." 

"Those were my thoughts exactly," Hank replied seriously. 

"Hey, Bobby, isn't that the woman who was trying to kill you?" Warren asked, nudging Bobby. 

"That's her, all right.  She looks like she's targeting someone," Bobby said. 

"She has Scott in her sights!" Jean said after a quick scan.  "Scott doesn't know she's there."  Jean tossed Eiffel's rope to Bobby.  "Take care of him while I take care of her!"

"I got him."  Bobby announced as Jean took off towards the pool of pudding at a run.  Right then Jeanette gave her rope a yank, and it flew out of Bobby's hands.  Jeanette ran after Jean.  "Jeanette come back!" Bobby yelled, following the goat and dragging Eiffel along with him. 

"Did I tell you our vacations are always interesting?" Warren asked Hank dryly. 

"Indeed.  After that goat!"

"Where did she go?" Jean grumbled to herself.  She'd had the woman in her sights before, but then the woman had vanished into the crowd again.  Jean quickly scanned the crowd, but caught no sign of where she could have gone.  But scanning the crowd again, Jean saw her.  She still had her sights on Scott, and Jean knew she was never going to be able to warn him or get to the hit woman in time.

"Where could Bobby have gone?  I mean, a young kid dragging a man around by a dog collar while chasing a goat shouldn't be that difficult to find even in this crowd," Warren grumbled. 

"I don't know where he could have gone," Hank announced. 

That's when a very familiar voice rang out, "Worthington!"

"I thought we lost those morons."  Warren grumbled. 

"Apparently not.  They're really starting to annoy me, Warren," Hank said softly. 

"We find Bobby first, then we trounce them," Warren replied. 

"Deal.  Let's head towards the stage." 

Jean was about to shout a verbal and telepathic warning in Scott's direction when Jeanette came running down the center isle at full speed and head-butted the hit woman straight into the pudding before she could take her shot.  Jean blinked at Jeanette, who just sat down and blinked at the hit woman, who was cursing Jeanette quite colorfully in French.  Jean looked at Jeanette, who looked right back.  "Always send a woman, right Jeanette?" Jean asked the goat, who seemed to nodd back at her.  Meanwhile, the crowd was cheering loudly, and Jean jumped into the pudding pool after the hit woman.

"Is that Jean in there, decking it out with our hit woman?" Warren asked, coming to a complete stop on his and Hank's way to the stage. 

Hank blinked, then nodded.  "Two woman in an all-out cat fight in a pool of chocolate pudding.  I think I had a very dirty dream about that once." 

"You know, Hank, there are some things I just don't want to know," Warren responded dryly.  "That's our Jean alright.  Ouch!  She'd getting downright vicious." 

Hank chuckled.  "I think we should take note.  Woman are the deadlier of the species."

Jean hit the woman hard again and Warren flinched as the crowd let out another loud cheer.  "I'm just thankful she isn't taking that mood out on us." 

"Worthington!"  The annoying voice again.  

"Are you thinking what I'm thinking?" Warren asked Hank. 

"Indeed I am.  We can't let Jeannie have all the fun, now can we?" Hank responded with an evil grin. 

Jean grabbed the hit woman's long hair and hit her yet again, and the hit woman went down this time and didn't get back up.  The crowd went wild.  Jean just threw her pudding-coated hair over her shoulder and staggered to the edge of the pool.  "Never send a man to do a woman's work," she grumbled to herself.

Scott was at the edge of the pool, looking at her.  "Are you all right?" Jean nodded to him.  Right then, one of the three brothers who'd been bothering them came sailing out of the crowd to land, face-first, in the pudding.  "Oh, no.  Please, no."  She heard Scott groan as Hank and Warren tackled the other two, knocking them into the pudding pool after their brother.  The crowd once again went wild.

Bobby appeared at the edge of the pool with Eiffel.  "Get 'em, guys!" he shouted to Hank and Warren.

Scott sighed and muttered, "Why me?"  Then, he took off his backpack and jumped in next to Jean to go help Hank and Warren.  Jean and Bobby were so involved in what was going on in the center of the pool.  They never noticed Jeanette eyeing the backpack.

Scott hit his opponent hard, and the big man went face down into the pudding.  He didn't get up again.  Hank's was the next one to go down, and Warren's went down last.  That's when the voice rang out through the crowd, sending Scott's blood cold.  He could tell it had the same effect on Hank and Warren. 

"Would you all mind telling me what is the meaning of all this?  And why is that goat eating my speech!" Charles Xavier demanded from his seat in his chair at the edge of the great vat of pudding.  The crowd went deathly silent. 

A mutual, "Oh, boy," came from Hank and Warren, while Jean said, "Sir, we can explain."  That's when Scott noticed Jeanette up on the edge of the pool.  She'd managed to get Professor Xavier's speech out of his backpack and was eating it.  She'd even managed to dip it in the pudding for flavor.  Bobby was wisely staying quiet. 

Scott looked around.  Bobby still held Eiffel, tied and gagged by a dog collar and leash.  Hank and Warren were covered in pudding from decking it out with the three brothers, and were in the middle of the ring.  Jean was dressed as a cover model for S&M monthly and was covered in pudding from head to toe.  And Jeanette was eating both the speech and the data that Professor Xavier had to present in the morning.  This looked very bad.  But Bobby pulled his extra-credit sheet out of his pocket and handed it to Professor Xavier.  Scott wondered to himself why he had to be born so 'lucky,' as Professor Xavier started reading the list. 

Jean had just managed to shampoo the last of the pudding out of her hair and put a robe on when there was a knock at her hotel room door.  "Come in," she called.

The door opened and Scott stood there, looking a little uncomfortable and holding a couple packages.  He seemed unsure if he should come in or not, and cleared his throat.  "I can come back later.  When you're dressed.  If you prefer."

Jean shook her head.  "Come in, Scott -- though I thought we were all under house arrest until Professor Xavier decided what he's going to do with us?"

"We are.  I snuck out.  I wanted to drop this off for you."  Jean noticed he had a bucket of ice and a couple packages in one hand, and a bag in the other.  "I figured you could use some ice for the shiner and some Band-Aids for the blisters."

"What's in the bag?" Jean asked.

Scott cleared his throat.  "An apology.  I figured I owed you one for Jeanette, and for sending Hank and Warren shopping with you."  Scott handed her the bag.  "I hope you don't get mad.  I mean, I didn't know your size to replace what Jeanette destroyed, so I picked up something else.  I hope you like it.  I don't know if it's appropriate . . . "

Jean snatched the bag from out of Scott hands.  Inside of one box was assortment of French pastries.  Jean just smirked.  "Please tell me that there isn't any chocolate pudding in the middle of these?"

Scott shook his head.  "I don't know about you, but I don't want to see any chocolate pudding for a very long time.  Some day, I may even be able to eat the stuff again."  Jean smiled and chuckled in agreement.

Then she opened the next box as she asked, "So how is the sixth member of our team doing?"

Scott smiled.  "Jeanette is being retired to a beautiful country estate that a friend of Professor Xavier owns.  There, she'll live out the rest of her days in peace, officially retired from the superhero business."

"Well that's great news.  Eiffel had us drop him off at the nearest police station.  I think he confessed to every crime he ever committed.  I honestly don't know what to think about the fact he wanted to get away from us that badly.  He even told Professor Xavier he was looking forward to the quiet jail would offer.  Then he begged Professor Xavier never to release us on society."  Jean had finally gotten the last package open.  Inside was a beautiful emerald green silk robe.  She was completely speechless.

Scott interpreted her silence as a bad sign and started blushing.  "I know it's not appropriate, and you probably don't like it.  I didn't mean anything by it; you don't have to wear it.  I just thought I should replace what Jeanette destroyed with something, that's all, but I didn't know your size, and . . . "

"It's gorgeous."  Jean held up the robe so she could see the whole thing.  "I love the color!  But I can't accept this.  I mean, it's just too expensive."  But when she lowered the robe to see Scott, he was gone.  The ice was on the floor.  The Band-Aids and ointment for her blistered feet were on the bed.

But Scott was nowhere to be seen.

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