This story was entered in the X-Day 2003 competition. Eight people rated it in the competition. Its final rating was 6.
"Please can we go, Scott? Please?"
Seven teenagers of varying ages looked at the Fearless Leader of the X-Men with hope in their eyes. Scott Summers looked back at them. He wanted to say no. He wanted to say yes. He wished Charles wasn't in Scotland. He didn't want to have to make this decision.
"Let me get this straight. You guys want to go to NYU tomorrow for the day so you can watch a their football team play the first home game of the season?"
Jubilee nodded animatedly. "Yeah! Please can we? It's only an hour from here..."
"And you want me to just say yes and let you go by yourselves, is that it?"
"Well..." Candra looked at the floor and shuffled her feet.
Scott sighed. "I'm afraid I can't let you go by yourselves, guys. It's too dangerous. However, if you can find a chaperone I approve of, I'll let you go. Fair enough?"
"Yeah!" All seven teenagers agreed, before racing off to find a suitable chaperone for their planned outing. They knew exactly who to ask and found him in the kitchen, searching for twinkies.
"Hey Bobby! You like football, doncha?" Rob asked.
"Of course. Who doesn't? Why?" Bobby Drake replied.
"Well we want to go to NYU tomorrow to watch the football game and Scott will only let us go if we have a chaperone...wanna come?" Jubilee asked.
Bobby's eyes lit up. "Do I?! Do crows fly? Of course I'll come! I've been trying to talk Hank into coming with me, but he'd rather stay holed up in his lab all day. I'd love to take you guys!"
"Awesome!" Anna exclaimed. "Let's go tell Scott we found our chaperone!"
~7:55 p.m., Scott's Office~
"Absolutely not." Scott was adamant.
"But Scott..." Rachel protested. "Bobby likes football and was going to go anyway...Why can't he be our chaperone?"
Scott looked at them and frowned. "Oh he can be a chaperone...he just can't be the only chaperone. And I will not let any of you go if he is the one driving."
"Jade can come with us! She loves football!" Antione grinned. "And I know she doesn't have any plans for tomorrow...she told me herself. She's waiting for Remy to come back from New Orleans..."
"If Jackie agrees to go and be responsible for the van, then you all may go, Bobby included." Scott nodded.
"Better go ask her, before it gets too late, guys." Bobby suggested. The teens nodded and hauled him down the hallway with them.
"Shirow, you ask her!" Candra insisted.
Shirow looked puzzled. "Why me?" He asked.
"Because your sister's part of the Thieves Guild. She's as bad as Remy...can't say no to a request made from a Guild member even if she wants to." Rob explained.
Shirow sighed and shook his head. "This is too much." He reached up and knocked on the door to Jackie's room.
"C'min!" Jackie's thick Cajun accent floated out to them. Shirow led the small group into the room because none of the others would make the first move into her room, which was cluttered with things from New Orleans and Louisiana to remind her of home.
"Uh...Jackie? We were wondering something..."
Jackie, who was laying on her bed flipping through a photo album and randomly inserting pictures from her latest trip to the Big Easy, looked up and surveyed her friends with those eerie purple-on-black eyes. "What d'you need me t'do?" She asked with a raised eyebrow.
"There's a football game we want to go to at NYU tomorrow. Scott says we can't go with just Bobby as a chaperone because he doesn't want Bobby driving the van. Will you come too?" Shirow asked, his dark eyes pleading.
Jackie blinked. "You want me to what? Drive you to NYU for a football game? Why me?"
"Jacks, admit it, you love football." Bobby laughed. "You wanna come. You're just stalling."
"Okay okay...tell Scott I'll drive." She shook her head, her auburn hair swishing around her shoulders. "De t'ings I do for you people amaze me sometimes, y'know dat, right?"
"Hey Jackie when are we leaving?" Anna yelled down the hallway from her room. The entire wing heard her, including Jackie, who shook her head and laughed.
"We're leavin' when I say we're leavin', Anna." She yelled back.
"And when's that?"
"Twelve-fifteen." Jackie replied. "Did'ja hear dat, Candra?"
"Yeah, I think everyone on our floor heard you too, Jacks." Candra replied from the room she shared with Jubilee.
"Could you let de boys know? I want everyone to meet in de main entrance by ten after twelve an' not a second later."
Another voice joined them, causing the three girls to break into a fit of laughter. "D'yall think maybe yah could tone it down some? Ah'm tryin' tah read here!"
"Sorry Rogue!" Jackie yelled, amid giggles from Anna and Candra and several other girls on the floor. "We'll try to keep quiet! Didn' mean t'bother you!"
"Jackie..." Rogue warned.
Jackie ran out of her room, down the hall and stopped outside Rogue's room. She poked her head inside. "Man, you sure are touchy when Remy's away, ain'cha?" She asked and dodged a shoe that flew towards her head. "I really am sorry, t'ough!" She said, beating a hasty retreat down the hall.
~11:45 a.m., Main Entrance~
"Remy, I'm not sure I can allow this..." Scott protested. "You didn't give us any notice and this kind of thing is relatively unheard of..."
"Scott, relax. Dey ain' gon' steal anythin'. I jus' brought 'em here for a little time 'way from de Assassins. Bot' sides need a break from each other." Remy explained, his red-on-black eyes sparkling mischievously.
"But Remy..." Scott protested. He really didn't like the idea of the infamous New Orleans Thieves Guild spending even five minutes inside the mansion, especially when neither Charles nor Jean were there to keep a telepathic eye on them. He was imagining all the things in the mansion of value that weren't nailed down or under lock and key and the very idea of it made him nauseated.
"Scott, I personally guarantee nothin' will be stolen." Remy assured him. "An' jus' b'cause dey're t'ieves don' mean dey steal everythin' y'know. I almost feel like I should be offended."
"Remy!" Jackie interrupted them, sliding down the railing of the large staircase and bouncing to the floor, a huge grin lighting up her face. Her eyes grew wide when she saw the six thieves assembled behind their patriarch and she smiled even brighter. "Ooh hey! You brought de fam! An' you left de bad half home! Good plan!"
Scott shook his head. "Jacqueline...the stairs..."
"What 'bout dem? Dey broken?" Jackie asked.
"If you used them, you'd know the answer to that, wouldn't you." Scott sighed. "Why don't you use them? It sets a bad example for the students. You're supposed to be a role model for them."
"Slidin' down de bannister's more fun." Jackie pouted. "B'sides, I was in a hurry. An' we've all seen what happens when people try to hurry down stairs. Dey usually end up fallin' on deir faces an' makin' fools of demselves in front of everyone. I didn' wan' do dat."
"You're impossible." Scott commented. "When're you guys heading out, anyway?"
"You t'ink? I was gon' for hyper an' annoyin'...but impossible works too." Jackie replied. "An' if Bobby isn' late, de van's pullin' out at twelve-fifteen sharp. Of course, Bobby's got a habit of bein' late, so I'm actually aimin' at twelve-thirty. I figure if I tell him to be ready by twelve-fifteen, he'll show up at twelve-thirty. Either way, we won't be late for de game."
"Sounds like good logic to me. Just please, whatever you do, no matter what he says, do not let him drive."
"Scott...I was wit' dem de last time he drove, remember? Don' worry. He ain' drivin'."
"What are you talkin' 'bout?" Remy asked, puzzled. "An' where are you goin' today?"
Before either Jackie or Scott could answer the question, seven teenagers bounded down the stairs, all with something violet in their attire. They wanted to support the NYU football team. They were closely followed by Bobby, also wearing violet. "We're ready!" They yelled.
Jackie looked at her watch and then back at her traveling companions. "It ain' time yet."
"Jackie...?" Remy prompted.
"We're going on a road trip to NYU for the first home game of the college football season." Anna explained.
"And Jackie's driving us!" Jubilee finished. "Because Scott won't let Bobby drive."
"Why not?" Theoren, one of the thieves, piped up.
"I don't know." Bobby pouted. "It's not like I don't have my license or something."
Jackie and Scott exchanged glances. "Bobby, I got two words for you. Crush concert. Ring a bell?" Jackie asked.
"Well yeah...but nobody got hurt..." Bobby whined.
Scott rolled his eyes, although no one could see it behind his glasses, but said nothing. Jackie turned to Remy and the thieves. "Since you guys haven' heard dis story yet, earlier in de summer, de gang here wanted to go to see de band Crush, who were doin' a concert, also at NYU. Bobby an' I were assigned chaperone duty, an' Bobby drove. He drag raced our van with a couple of girls in a Ford Explorer almost de entire way from here to dere, an' when de race was over, he stopped where dey stopped an' was flirtin' up a freakin' storm wit' dem. Den deir boyfriends showed up an' Romeo here almost got his head ripped off." She glared at Bobby. "An' who had to rescue your sorry butt from dose defensive boyfriends, huh, Drake? Me. Because you couldn' leave well enough alone an' be responsible for once."
"I said I was sorry..." Bobby muttered.
"Well dat's why you can' drive. An' I don' care what you say or how much you whine, I am not lettin' you drive today."
"Aww..." Bobby complained. "Not even jus' 'round NYU?"
"Robert Drake, do not make me hurt you today." Jackie warned, her eyes flashing.
"Since we're all here..." Rachel began. "Could we maybe get going? I know it's early, but..."
Jackie looked at her watch again. "I s'pose, yeah. Go wait in de van. I'll be 'long in a minute. An' Bobby, don' get any ideas. I have de keys in my pocket."
When they left, Scott looked at her. "You won't let him drive, right?"
"Do you know how humiliatin' it is to be a girl an' have to rescue a guy from two other guys b'cause he's been flirtin' wit' deir girlfriends?" Jackie demanded. "He ain' drivin'. If I had my way I'd revoke his license, but to give him credit, he does know how to drive." She shook her head. "I better get out dere b'fore dey set de van on fire or freeze de engine or somethin' equally screwy."
"Uhm...Jackie?" Claude asked.
Jackie's eyes widened. "Mon Dieu, it actually talks!"
Claude shot her a look. "Jackie..."
"Sorry Claude. I really couldn't resist. I've maybe heard you an' Genard say thirty words total in de whole time I've known you. When you actually say somethin', it's a bit of a shock. Now, what's on your mind, mon ami?"
"Can we go wit' you? To de football game?"
Jackie frowned, thinking. "How?"
"Drive?" Emil quipped.
"In what?" Jackie demanded. "De only one of you who has a license is Remy."
"Since when did dat ever stop us?" Emil deadpanned.
"Scott...if Remy drove de second van, dey could come." Jackie suggested, pointedly ignoring Emil's one-liners. "Can dey?"
"Oh I don't see why not, as long as Bobby doesn't drive." Scott gave in and handed Remy the keys without protesting. He was glad the thieves wanted to go to the game. It meant he didn't have to worry about them stealing Charles out of house and home.
"So...we're goin'?" Claude asked, his green eyes lighting up.
"Oui, I guess we're goin'." Remy said.
"All right! I ain' been to a football game in forever!" Claude was almost jumping up and down he was so excited. Both Jackie and Remy stared at him. Neither of them had ever seen him so hyper.
"Dat's it. We're cuttin' him off. No more caffeine or sugar until he returns to normal. An' den we really should monitor his intake." Remy laughed.
Suddenly, Jubilee raced back into the mansion. "You guys! Come on! We're gonna be late!" She yelled. "What if we get stuck in traffic or something?! If we do it's all your fault for talking so danged much!"
"Gotta cut her off too..." Jackie mumbled. Scott, Remy and the thieves laughed. "Jubes, relax. Remy an' de Guild are comin' too. Dat's what was takin' so long. We're ready now."
"Cool! The more the merrier! But let's go already!"
"Jubilation, stop talking in exclaimation points." Scott said. "You'll have Jackie changing her mind about going due to a headache."
"Sorry. I'm just excited. It's the first game of the season and we're actually going. It's a big deal." Jubilee made a concerted effort to keep her voice normal and actually succeeded, much to Scott's surprise.
Scott looked at Jackie. "Good luck. I think you're going to need it."
"No kiddin' mon ami. No kiddin'."
~5:45 p.m., NYU parking lot~
"Aww c'mon Jackie! Just let me drive to the Burger King...please?" Bobby begged.
Jackie turned to the thieves and crossed her eyes and then returned her attention to Bobby, amid laughter. "Bobby, I promised Scott I wouldn' let you drive, an' b'sides, I don' want you to! You'll get us in trouble...'gain!"
"No Bobby. If I wouldn' let you drive 'round de campus of dis here university, why would you t'ink I'd let you drive anywhere else?"
"Please?" Bobby was reduced to begging. He really wanted to drive.
Jackie shook her head firmly. "Bobby de answer is no. Now get in de damned van or you're walkin' home."
"Shotgun!" Antione yelled.
"Only as far as the restaurant, Firebird!" Candra countered. "I already called it for the drive home, because Rob got it on the way here."
Remy looked at his younger sister sympathetically as she closed her eyes tiredly. "Wan' switch vans, ma soeur?"
"No, Remy, I'm fine. Spendin' too much time wit' 'em gives me a headache, but I promised Scott I'd be responsible for gettin' 'em here an' back safely an' dat's what I'm gon' do. You take care of de Guild." She walked around to the drivers side of the van. "See you at BK."
"Oui." Remy replied, going to the other van, where the thieves were waiting patiently and teasing Claude about how many hotdogs he ate during halftime.
Remy followed Jackie out of the parking lot and they met up at the Burger King they'd seen several blocks away. Scott had given Jackie and Bobby enough money to get the teenagers and themselves supper on the way home. They were quite the sight, sixteen people standing in a huge cluster inside the Burger King lobby, all trying to see the menus and figure out what they wanted to eat. Remy and the thieves went to one cashier, while Jackie, Bobby and the teenagers went to a second. It took them longer than they would have liked to get everyone ordered and paid for, but eventually, they succeeded and were occupying a large space in the dining room.
Part way through supper, Emil threw the wrapper from his straw at Bobby, who was sitting at the table beside him. Bobby, a glint in his eyes, promptly threw it back, but his aim was off and it ended up hitting Genard instead. Within seconds an all out straw wrapper war was going on between the two tables, as when Genard threw it back at Bobby it hit Rob. Rob's attempt to throw it back hit Candra, while Candra's attempt hit Mercy. It was chaotic and hilarious.
Jackie and Remy exchanged glances. Jackie nodded and Remy gave Theoren a signal. Theoren nodded in agreement and promptly put his fingers to his lips and blew. Hard. Everyone at the two tables froze in mid-throw and stared at him.
"Don' look at me I'm jus' de whistle blower." Theoren said. "Remy an' Jackie called it."
"Guys. Dis is a restaurant. Can we try to be civil, please? Save de funny stuff for when we get back to de mansion, okay?" Remy said.
Bobby looked at Emil. "He started it!"
"I know. I saw him. If you knew him, you wouldn't be surprised." Remy laughed. "He's as prone to t'ings like dat as you are. In fact you'd probably get 'long pretty well, come to t'ink of it. But it's gettin' late. It's time we got home, b'fore Scott has a canary an' sends out a search party."
"He'd do dat?" Mercy asked.
"Dat an' much, much more. De man's as anal as Theo is 'bout some t'ings." Jackie giggled.
"Should I resent dat comment?" Theoren asked the ceiling.
"Nah. He's more anal dan you sometimes." Jackie reassured him. "But Remy's right. We should hurry up an' get home."
Shirow got up and went over to Jackie. "Jackie?"
"Yeah kiddo?" Jackie always called the younger mutant kiddo. He was Zoe's younger brother, and Zoe was one of the thieves. Jackie had promised Zoe she'd look after the teen while he stayed at the Xavier School.
"I know you promised Mr. Summers you'd get us all home safely, but would it be okay if I went in the van with Remy and the Guild on the way home? I want to see Zoe some more."
Jackie smiled. She knew it was difficult for him, being in a country so far away from his homeland, Japan, and going to a school in New England while his sister lived in Louisiana. "I don' see why not, Shirow. I know Remy will get you back safely."
"Thanks." Shirow smiled back and went to join Zoe with the other thieves.
Five minutes later they were back in the vans, pulling out of the Burger King parking lot and heading for home.
As Jackie had predicted on the way home, Scott was waiting for them in the main entrance of the mansion when they returned. They had run into some bad traffic and it took close to two hours to drive home. Jackie laughed when she saw the look of relief that crossed Scott's face when he saw them.
"If you were dat worried, you coulda called us, y'know. Bot' Remy an' I had our cell phones on."
"I didn't want to be a pain..." Scott replied.
"Right. And bears don't crap in the woods either, Scott." Bobby joked. "You were just afraid that they'd get mad at you for not trusting them and and hang up on you."
Scott looked at Jackie quickly. "You didn't let him...?"
"Of course not. He begged an' whined an' refused to speak to me de whole way home, but I didn' let him." Jackie laughed.
"Good." Scott turned to the teenagers. "Did you have a good day?"
"Yeah!" Seven voices exclaimed as one.
Scott nodded. "I'm glad. Professor Xavier called earlier and was quite pleased to hear you'd all gotten out to do something fun. But you should get to bed soon...we had to reschedule your Danger Room training session that was supposed to take place this afternoon for tomorrow morning at 8 a.m."
"Well you wanted to go to the football game." Scott held up his hands in defense. "What else were we supposed to do?"
The teenagers shrugged and went up the large staircase as a group, following Bobby, who still wasn't talking to Jackie, leaving Scott with Jackie, Remy and the thieves. Scott looked at Remy. "Remy?"
"Ororo took it upon herself, after yelling at me for being a heel...her words not mine...to make sure there were some guest rooms prepared for your family. They are all quite welcome to spend the night here with us."
"T'ank you, Scott. Dat's very nice of you. R'mind me to t'ank Stormy later." Remy replied. "Where're de rooms?"
"Dere's a vacant room next to mine..." Jackie remembered.
"Yes, and that is the one Ororo prepared for the ladies here. And Remy, the other two rooms are near yours. One is across the hall, the other is next to yours." Scott looked at the four men and laughed. "I'll let you guys decide who sleeps where. And one other thing, Rogue and Logan went out and rented a couple of movies. You're all welcome to join us in the T.V. room at 9 p.m. if you wish."
"Cool." Jackie said. She and Remy led the way up the stairs and upon splitting up to go to the different wings of the house, agreed that they'd all meet in the T.V. room in time for the movies. They did so and spent the rest of the evening watching "Enemy at the Gate" and "Sleepers" with Scott, Ororo, Rogue, Logan, Hank and Bobby, who was there under protest and refused to speak to Jackie the whole night.