Babysitting Blues

by Shockwave


“I can’t believe this! I wish he had killed us instead!” exclaimed Rictor.

“I don’ do babysitting!” complained Meltdown angrily. Her boyfriend, Samuel Guthrie aka Cannonball tried to resist the urge to laugh. He managed not to laugh, but his lopsided grin irritated his furious girlfriend. “I can’t believe you find this funny, Guthrie!” she yelled.

“Calm down Tabitha! Ah mean what did ya ‘spect?” Now he did start laughing.

Siryn poked her head into the kitchen, where all this was going on. “Ye think the punishment is funny, ye should go listen to Cable cursing up a storm!”

“You’ll have to put your ear to the door though,” said Jimmy who was behind his lady love like her faithful puppy, as usual.

“He’s cleaning it up, and he’s nae the least bit pleased!” she said laughing.

“Makes me kind of wonder what’s in there...” said Jimmy as he and Siryn walked down the hall, headed for the practice yard because Domino had caught them with their ears stuck to Cable’s door.

The whole while James and Terry had been there, Meltdown had stood their with her arms crossed doing a slow burn. By the time they left, her face was quite red and she looked ready to explode. Rictor had been watching her the whole time, unlike Sam who wasn’t able to stop laughing thanks to Siryn and Warpath’s comments. He knew that Tabitha in a temper was worse than anything the Irish were said to be, with his temper combined! She looked royally pissed now! He probably should leave the room and let her talk to her ‘boyfriend’ in peace, but he wasn’t exactly in a good mood himself and if there was a little trouble in Sammy’s paradise he wouldn’t mind too much. So he tried to make himself invisible on his countertop perch.

When Cannonball finally stopped laughing (a good 5 minutes later), Meltdown decked him, and Rictor wasn’t disappointed with his decision to stay. Good ol’ Sammy looked completely shocked. “Look mister X-Man, is it too much to ask for a little sympathy instead of hysterical laughter? It’s bad enough that yer never around anymore, but do you have ta spend all yer time laughing at the mistakes I make?”

“Look Tab, Ah didn’t mean...”

But she wouldn’t let him get a word in edgewise. “ImeanyourunaroundwiththoseXwomenallnowwatchingthemjumparoundandstuffsoIguessyoudon’tcare! Notimeforyourgirlfriend,notwhenyoucanogleyourchildhoodfantasies!!!Wellyouknowwhat?” she was yelling really loud, and her words slurred together the way they tended to do when she shot her mouth off. She was poking him in the chest and he has backing away from her. “Go back to ogling your bimbos, Guthrie! You don’t have a place with X-Force or me anymore!” She whirled around and spotted Rictor on the counter. ‘Shit she saw me!’ he thought frantically. She grabbed his arm and yanked him behind her. “Let’s go Ric. You don’t want to be in the same room as this scum.”

“Ah never ogled anyone!!! Tabitha! TABITHA!!!!” But she had already stormed off, dragging Rictor behind her.

The punishment that Cable had given Rictor and Tabitha for going through and destroying several things in his room, including some of his *snicker* magazine collection [This happened in the fan-fic Cable’s Room], Cable had assigned them to babysit the X-Babies (ol’ Charlie had trouble getting a sitter because they are.. well X-Brats). So Cable had told Prof Xavier that Rictor and Meltdown would love to watch the kids while he went and had a hair transplant. Charles had jumped at the chance, so they were going to have to head over to the X-Mansion that afternoon. Now, when the X-Men who happened to live in that mansion, heard that Charles was stuck with the X-Babies for the weekend they all arranged to be on a mission in Japan (namely to find good sushi and let Wolvie beat up a few hundred more ninjas). Luckily, Cable was too busy cleaning his room (like a good little boy *snicker*) so Domino was going to fly them over to the Mansion. When she landed the PACRAT on the lawn (leaving burn marks on the petunias), Xavier was already in the car and peeled out of there as soon as Rictor and Meltdown set foot on the grounds (no he wasn’t driving, Cecilia the doc was). The X-Babies came tearing across the lawn toward the PACRAT and Domino shut the doors practically on their rears and took off.

“Look mes ami! Cest unca Rictor an auntie Meltdown!!!” cried baby Gambit.

“Where’s our food, bub?” yelled a little Wolverine as he leapt on Rictor and extended his claws.

“Uh... I’ll go get it!” he stuttered.

“Good idea! Ah’m soooo hungry!” cried a little baby Rogue.

“Wet’s twy to maintain some order hewe!” lisped baby Cyclops.

“I’m missing my cartoonies!” yelled Storm, firing a lightning bolt at Meltdown. Two very harassed X-Force members ran to the mansion to satisfy the little babies demands before they got hurt (them not the babies).

“Ummm... Ric?” Tabitha was sitting on the couch, with Rogue laying on the coffee table needing a diaper change.

“Yeah?” asked a soaking wet Rictor. Wolverine and Cyclops had been fighting in the tub again.

“How do I change this baby without getting knocked unconscious and her absorbing my memories and powers?”

“Good question!”

Gambit ran by, chasing Storm with a deck of cards. “One more game of go fish, cherie!” he yelled.

“No! You cheat!” she yelled back, running away from the dastardly mutant baby.

“Youchangeher, I’llbreakupGambitandStorm” said Meltdown as she dashed after them.

“A baby shouldn’t get my memories,” she yelled behind her.

“My memories aren’t all pure and innocent either,” grumbled Rictor. He winced as he undid the diaper. “Haven’t done this since I changed baby Cable! Should have put acid in his little bebe jumpers.”

“Go to bed!!!” he yelled into the little boy’s bedroom.

“Wolvie’s poking me!” complained Cyclops.

“Iceman has cold feet!” said Gambit.

“Can I have a glass of water?” asked Iceman.

“I want a story about a buncha ninjas getting beat up!” exclaimed Wolverine.

“NO!!!” yelled Rictor.

Wolverine jumped out of bed and grabbed Rictor by the shirt. “Read me my story now!” he growled.

“I don’ wanna heaw a ninja stowy,” whined Cyclops.

“Can it bub,” growled Wolvie menacing him with his claws. Gambit charged the sheet of the bed he had to share with Iceman (not enough bed’s for each, plus imagine if you had to run from room to room!). It blew up, and Iceman started to cry while Gambit chortled happily.

“Madre de Dios, salva me!” said Rictor covering his face with his hand.

Meanwhile, over by the girls section... “How come Rogue gets her own bed, when I’m more important!” exclaimed an indignant Baby Jean.

“Because Ah’m prettier than ya’ll are, Red!” retorted Rogue. Jean stuck her tongue out.

“MY name means beauty,” said Ororo.

“Yeah, but we aren’t in Africa now. I’m the former supermodel,” said Baby Psylocke.

“This isn’t a !@#$%^& beauty contest!” exclaimed a very frazzled Meltdown. All the babies gasped. Meltdown yelped as she felt something spank her hard.

“You don say those words!” cried Baby Jean.

“You a very bad little girl!” said Baby Storm.

Finally, Meltdown couldn’t stand it anymore. She made a basketball sized time bomb and it hovered over the babies. “That’s it!! If you don’t shut up and stop bickering I’ll blow the whole place up.”

“No yah won’t,” said Baby Rogue, sounding a bit dubious.

“Oh yes I would! Unlike you babies I’ve already lived a considerable portion of my life! If I have to die to get a little peace and quiet then SO BE IT!” The room was completely silent. “Good, now go to sleep or else!!!” Because the little X-Babies had exhausted themselves messing up the mansion all afternoon, they were asleep in about five minutes.

Exhausted, Tabitha collapsed on the couch. Unfortunately, that was were Baby Iceman had ‘lost’ his whoopee cushion. She jumped up at the noise and started cursing. “Nice language, especially in a house full of babies,” said Rictor.

“Shut up!” she said irritably.

“Sorry, I’m on edge.” Since he actually did look sorry, and exhausted, she let it slide.

“So how did you get the little brats to sleep?” she asked.

“I used my powers to rock them to sleep. And shake all ideas of mischief from their tiny little heads,” he added with a grin.

She smiled back. “I doubt the Prof would like our using our powers like that.”

He shrugged. “Who cares? If he wanted to object, he should have taken care of them.”

“Yeah...” she looked around at the mess. There was water, cards, slices of sandwich, and other debris all over the place. “I guess we should clean all this up,” she sighed.

He looked around. “Yeah, we’d be in worse trouble than we are now if Charles dies of a heart attack.”

With these thoughts in mind, they started to pick things up. ‘Fake barf? Must be baby Icy’s’ thought Tabitha. Rictor’s thoughts drifted along another course of thought though. He watched her short hair droop forward as she bent to pick things up. ‘She looks so good it hurts’ he thought. He didn’t stand a chance with her though. He never really had.

She saw him looking at her with sad eyes. “You okay, Ric? Those brat’s didn’t do any permanent damage did they?” she asked trying to make a joke of things as usual. ‘That was dumb’ she told herself. ‘He looks like he’s hurting and now he’ll think I’m making fun of him. This sort of thing is why we were never closer friends’

“Yeah, I’m fine,” he said shrugging and turning away. An hour later, and the finished cleaning everything. They sat at the kitchen table, even more tired than before (if possible).

“At least the fridge is well stocked,” she said, handing Rictor a soda.

“Yeah, with tofu for Storm, doggie treats for Wolvie, spicy food for Remy....”

“Is something else bothering you Rictor? I mean, not to say that moody is not like you, but... We’re friends you know...”

She had changed so much! She still tried to brush things off like she didn’t care, but she was trying not to. She was like an angel to him! Tabitha had been a prostitute, a loudmouth (heck, she still was), had no respect for authority, but to him she was still sweet and pure and so damn beautiful! When he thought of how wonderful she seemed to him he almost wanted to cry. That wasn’t normal for him. He used to push feelings like this away, bury them inside where no one could use it to hurt him. But he had been hurt anyway, over and over. He couldn’t hang on to that anymore, it wasn’t working. He needed to talk to her, to tell her. He opened his mouth, and was suddenly tongue-tied. His mouth was dry, he didn’t know how to say what he wanted to express. “Tabitha... I...”

‘This situation is silly, she thought. I don’t want people to pour out their problems to me, I have too many of my own! Sometimes I don’t even know who I am! I should brush him off, tell a joke, mouthe off again.’ But she couldn’t. Rictor had been there from the beginning. They were never really that close, but he had confided his love for Rahne in her. He had trusted her enough to ask her to go with him to try and get her back. She had failed him then. He never told her how it was with Rahne, but he was bitter for so long. They had both been close, but hidden away inside themselves. Could she turn her back on the chance to change that? But she had so many problems with men... Her daddy... Sabertooth... So many others that she had trusted... Even Sam, the kindest most loving soul on earth hadn’t really understood her. But Ric had suffered like she had. She had always thought of him as a man. Everything about him was intense and manly. That’s why she was afraid of him. She stared into the brown eyes that stared into hers. She thought she could see his whole soul in those eyes. It scared her so much...

They stared into each others eyes, communicating without words. There was a connection between them, they could both feel it. They were both afraid of it. Without realizing it, they both moved closer to each other. “Ric,” she whispered as their lips met. It was the most intense kiss either of them had experienced. All their fears, hopes, insecurities, and dreams were poured into it. It wasn’t a sweet kiss, inside they were to bruised to be sweet. There was something electric in that kiss though. It was what a kiss was supposed to be, total surrender. The giving of your essence to another. It was something that would change everything... But not too soon.

At that moment, Professor Charles Francis Xavier got home. He wasn’t sure where the X-Babies might be about so he had come in through the kitchen and arrived at the least opportune time (he has a habit of doing that). Rictor and Meltdown pulled away from each other guiltily. Before either of them could say a word to Xavier or to each other, the X-Babies burst onto the scene. (As it happens, Wolverine the troublemaker had only pretended to sleep. He woke the others and prepared them for a military strike on their unfortunate babysitters). All thoughts of attack fled the little babies minds (short attention span, ‘specially after bedtime) when they saw ol’ Charlie with his full head of hair (and you thought the transplant would be a failure?).

“AHHHHHHH!!!!!” screamed baby Jean.

“Dere’s a monster on unca Charlie’s head, mes ami!” screamed Gambit in the closest he could manage to terror.

“What shoul’ we do?” asked Cyclops.

“Let’s kill it!!!” yelled (you guessed it) baby Wolverine.

“NOOOO!!!!” Screamed Xavier. He ran from the room, screaming for help (which the babies were more than glad to offer).

Meltdown burst out laughing. “Did-did you see the hair?” she said giggling helplessly.

“How could I miss it!!! HAHAHA!!! It looks awful!” Rictor was laughing so hard his eyes watered and his stomach was killing him. (Hey, I said the transplant was successful, not pretty). Meltdown laughed so hard she fell to the floor and started rolling around. “You look like... HAHAHA... a pig! In mud!!!”

“Oh yeah?” She tripped him. He fell to the floor and she shoved him against the refrigerator.

“A pig pinned you!” she giggled. He laughed with her. Then he got up and helped her rise as well. They heard Charlie scream.

“Should we help him?” he asked in a mirthfilled voice.

“Nah! Hair that bad deserves to be ripped out! What was he thinking!” They laughed. His arm was around her shoulder. She acted like she didn’t notice, but didn’t push him away. Rictor had never been so happy in his life. “Well, if the Prof is home, I guess we can leave,” she said.

“Yeah, but let's call for Domino somewhere far away from this house and those kids!” She laughed. He loved the way her eyes shone. He had never seen her so happy, and felt glad he was with her to see her like that. “Think this’ll get us in more trouble?” he asked mischievously.

“What can they do to us that’s worse than this?” she asked with a shrug. Together they walked down the drive and into town to call for a pickup, after some well earned coffee.

continued in Washing Day

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