Two tired and one not so tired X-Men trudged along the path to the Subreality Café, their one-stop
rest in-between fan-fic parts.
"Gosh, Ah'm tired-stiff!" Rogue complained.
"Don't tell me, ma chere." Gambit was dragging his feet beside her. "Gambit's going strong and I
love doin' it wid you but so many?" That last came out as a squeak.
"Ah mean, that secret agent one was kinda cool -"
"So's dat western one -"
"Only because yah could play Zorro and dupe Lila with it, sucker. But what about the one where I
had brains -"
"Or dey beautiful one where I had only ten years wid you-"
They had to admit that there were some good times.
"Still-" The both of them echoed in unison and sighed.
Hank McCoy, the third member of their party chimed in, "I on my part, crave a new leash for my
personal life. Trish has been delegated as Trash and Siku appears to me as so many incarnations that
it's a wonder I'm not suffering an identity crisis for her."
"A father's got to be proud of his little girl, but hey, Up There!" He raised his voice, looking at the
sky. "I'm hoping if I can just have more of a life to lead?"
Everyone's got to agree that they were really hard-used by those fanatic writers. This time all three
gave a big sigh as they covered the last few steps to the door.
The bouncer was there as usual but he was dressed differently today. And sadly, it must be
whispered that he could do with a little dignification. He had a green party hat and a red-white
striped vest on. Pinned to his breast pocket was this big cardboard tag with the word MR.
WELCOME scrawled on it. But the most incongruous part of this costume was a metal detector he
carried in his right hand.
Resisting the impulse to laugh, Rogue asked, "Yah got to be the new mascot for the change in
hospitality policies, Sugah?"
He gave her a sour scowl. "It's Kids' Night Out tonight, Stripe. All the children of the X-Men are
holding a gathering tonight."
"And Murphy's Law happens to pay a visit," Hank mused.
"Wat's with dey metal detector?"
"Some of these buggers come from alternate futures where they own their personal street gangs."
He pointed to the pile of pistols, shotguns, lasers and rocket launchers at the corner; there were
enough to equip a small army. " Look at the stuff they got. Maybe you should guide them a bit, huh?"
"I'm afraid it's out of our jurisdiction, old friend. These kids belong to writers of the Projected
Pessimism Movement. And we're either dead or hiding in those stories."
Rogue didn't know what to expect when she opened the door. She certainly wasn't anticipating any
the extremely warm receptions.
Ten pair of eyes, in the predominant colours of green and glowing red, looked up at her entrance
and promptly went, "Momma!"
"Oh Mah Lowd! So many?"
Hank snickered beside her. "I can see that the both of you have been very busy. Thank God I've
only one daughter even if I need a schedule to keep track of her ages."
"Dis be no time for joking, mon ami. Hey cherie, I don't remember dat one!"
"That's because its Jimmy, stupid! Mah son with Magneto. Wait a minute, he's no fan-fic!"
"And dey other one?"
"It's Cory. Yah went MIA for several years and he grew up. Now what's with that little boy?"
"It's my son wid Belle."
"Who's Belle -"
Hank approached the bar, leaving the extended family to sort out their various parentages. The rest
of the X-Men were there, staring glumly at their drinks.
Logan beckoned with a waving hand while Sam and Bishop, for the lack of better things to do,
stared at the fast-growing crowd. Okay, so it was a fib, the rest of the X-Men were not really at the
bar. Hank followed their gaze and saw that Rogue and Gambit weren't the only ones coping with
For one, the Summers Clan dominated a substantial corner of the room and he could see the various
incarnations of Rachels and Rachels-to-be, Nathans and Nathans-to-be, piled on top of one
another. The kids were wearing nametags with their names and the identities of their parents
inscribed on it and Hank swore that he could see at least Rachels One, Two and Three.
There were also as many as five or six blue kids running around even though Siku was not one of
them. Marvelling at their numbers, he wondered about Kurt and Warren and the unmentionable.
He was almost certain he played no part in any of their conception when he saw Jean dangling a
furry blue kid from her knee and Scott's angry gaze aimed at his direction. Suddenly, Hank
remembered an infamous tryst with several leading ladies and blushed red-hot beneath his blue mat.
"But Denise and Krista are in the process of writing and these kids are not even born yet!" He
"They're all here waiting to be born, bub." Logan ordered a beer for him. A little blue girl skipped by
as Hank was sipping at his drink. He spluttered when he saw that she was wearing a nametag
bearing Storm's and his name.
Logan nudged him. "No hope of escaping from yer responsibility, eh?"
"Umm, she's doesn't have a name."
"Simple; she's waiting for her parents to name her soon. And that would be you, bub."
"At least most of the little tots have their parents identified. See that bunch over there?"
He followed Logan's finger and saw another group of kids standing by themselves. They had names
but there was nothing to indicate their parents' identities. "Their writer's been teasing his audience so
long, they still don't know who their parents are."
"At the expense of sounding like a megalomaniac, does anyone happen to know where Siku is?"
Sam smiled. "Don't worry Beast. The last time Ah heard, she's coming. She's gonna be late because
of the number of stories she's starring in. The writers have been running her ragged."
"Indeed," Bishop chipped in, "Jean has been complaining that she is always pregnant."
Hank gave one last look at the unruly mess before directing his attention to his drinking companions.
"So what are you three doing here?"
"Welcome to the Bachelor's Club, Furball."
"I'm sure you men must have sowed a wild oat or two in your careers." Hank protested.
Bishop and Sam looked at each other, abashed.
"Speaking of which," Hank tried another tactic. "Shouldn't Bobby be prime candidate for the club?"
Logan laughed aloud. "The Icicle's got more cards up his sleeve than yah'd guess."
Hank scanned the room once more and found his best friend at the far corner of the room, playing
with two light-haired kids. He nearly choked when he spied Emma Frost presiding over the happy
Sam followed his gaze. "You know when Ah saw 'em, Ah was thinkin', The White Queen? Never
knew Bobby had it in him."
"Some writers seem ta think they'd make a great couple."
The doorbell rang and Hank couldn't help but brighten up when he saw a sixteenth year-old Siku
"Over here, Sunshine," he called.
"I wish you'd stop calling me that, Dad," an embarrassed Siku pointed out.
"Can't help it, sweetie. I've got to keep track of so many of you." Hank offered as apology. "By the
way, I heard that you've been really busy."
She gave a depreciatory smile. "Not this version. The writers seem to like the younger me better. I
chose this version today so I could get off a little earlier."
Siku jumped as another one of Hank's new progenies ran pass. "Dad!" Her face contorted into
mock anger. "I thought you said I was your favourite!"
Her father scratched his fur sheepishly. "It's one of those pesky situations writers get us into.
Sunshine, you'll realise that I'm not only Dad to so many kids; I often have to play guardian to kids of
the other X-Men as -."
Hank felt a small hand tug at his trousers. "Hanks, you haven't read my diary yet."
"I'm told I'll be visiting you soon, Vicky," He patted her head. "And do remember that it's Hank and
not Hanks, dearie."
From his other side, came a high-pitched, self-important "Hrmmm..." And he found himself looked
down into a blue furry face.
"Are you Hank?"
The boy pointed to Scott. "Mom says that he's my dad, but why do I look so much like you?" At
this point, he began looking forlornly at his fur.
Hank was beginning to sweat. Looking around to escape the situation, he saw Kitty Pryde
approaching with another furry blue kid.
He could hear Siku and the rest laughing in the background. Rogue and Gambit's predicament
looked positively serene now.
"By the Goddess, Henry. You must see our daughter-"
Okay, now for the long disclaimers. The adults, as always, belong to Marvel and are used without
Rogue and Gambit being secret agents. This one's right on top because I simply can't remember
either the title or the author's name! If anyone knows, can you please email to me? I'm really, really
sorry about it.
The cool Western story with Gambit seducing Lila Cheney, is called Stranger in Black by Angela
Gambit's beautiful decade with Rogue and Cory, their son comes from Betrayals and Paradox Law,
both written by Valerie Jones.
Dah Rogue wid der brains from Sleepless Nights by Karolina K. Phillips. Doh!
Siku belongs to Darqstar. 'Nuff said. Belle, Gambit's first girlfriend comes from A Fairytale, also by
I apologise in advance to Adam Bourret for this. He's the writer who keeps back identities of the
parents (at the point I've read, anyway) and one of the forerunners for the afore-mentioned
Projected Pessimism Movement. All refer to the story, The Morning After.
LOTSA references: Blue furballs and any other kid that doesn't belong to the other disclaimers are
from Boil a lot of Water, Bub! by Denise Keppel & Krista Schneidereit (Can't wait for the other
Denise & Krista are properties of themselves. (I hope!)
Vicky is from Vicky's Diary by me! *boo, hiss, hiss*
And lastly, the Subreality Café concept is by Kielle.