Both the adult and teen mutant complements are different in this version, but most things still play out the same. Including the broad strokes of the Harmony/Remy subplot, despite the fact that Remy isn't around anymore this time. How does that work? Well, you can stick around and find out. Also, my primary all-purpose beta is dealing with a death in the family and so if you see anything that might be - or is obviously - off, let me know in a review so I can fix it.
November 20, 2011
In the Back of a Limousine
Watching as a helix of white and yellow pizza boxes spun lazily above her lap, Betsy let out a low whistle. "Nine pizzas? How many girls are at this little party that Cordelia has us catering for her?"
"Including us? Thirteen. Although the ninth and tenth girls sorta invited themselves, so I don't know if we should hold them against Cordelia. And Mom and Mother will be there, of course, but I'm pretty sure they're who the pasta and salad are for. When you don't count us, though, you're looking at six pizzas spread over ten girls. That's a little more than half a pizza per girl, and these pizzas aren't exactly huge. Or if she eats like Professor Logan… exactly half a pizza per girl with Willow eating all the leftovers." Rachel's quip set the other girls to laughing as she reached out with her own telekinesis, pulling the top three pizzas from the stack and her parents' dinners onto her own lap before moving three of the remaining pizzas over to Ivette's. Checking the receipt, the corner of her mouth twitched upward. "Looks like Mother's already starting in on her 'you can't take care of yourself so I'll do it for you' kick with Mom."
Tugging the receipt out of the redhead's hands, Ivette silently mouthed items to herself as she descended the list, pausing when she reached the one in question. "Huh. Yeah. I mean, obviously I don't know Professor Grey as well as you do because you're her daughter and I'm the daughter of someone she hasn't gotten along with since… ever. But 'linguini with clams and lemon cream sauce' seems a bit… fancy… for her." Handing the receipt back to Rachel, Ivette grinned impishly. "On the subject of Professor Grey, though… do you think I can get away with calling her Jean from now on? I mean, she is the mother of my half-sister. Or maybe… how do you think she'd feel about Mom? My sisters and I can use Mom for her and Mother for Emma, just like you do."
Rachel could only shake her head at that. "Actually, she won't mind. Let's save that for after I break the news about my 'father' to her, though." Looking back over at Betsy, she raised an eyebrow as she watched the purple-haired girl peek into each of the three boxes still floating above her lap. "Betsy? What are you doing?"
"Looking for mine." Frowning, Betsy closed the top box of her pile before reaching out towards the topmost of Ivette's three, receiving a slap on the back of her hand for her trouble. "Ow! What? I'm hungry."
Ivette tapped one finger against the seat next to her. "It may be a rental, but Mother would still kill me if I let you get greasy pizza handprints on the white leather seats. And secondly? I don't have your pizza. Rachel does. If you want to try and go through her to get it, be my guest."
Eyeing the redhead uncertainly, Betsy leaned forward a bit and checked the labels on the three pizzas hovering over Rachel's lap. "I'd better not be the Habanero Carnitas and Meat Cravers is probably a heart attack in a box, which leaves… Roasted Garlic Chicken? Why would you-"
"Because I know you love it?"
"…I've never even had it before. Or anything else from California Pizza Kitchen, for that matter. How can I possibly love it?"
Rachel sighed. God damned future knowledge. It wasn't like she'd had a chance to interview everyone about every last detail of their life before she'd come back. How was she supposed to know when Betsy discovered her favorite kind - and source - of pizza in the whole wide world? Well, it was Betsy. When in doubt, deflect by way of a lewd joke. "It's a white pizza, Betsy. Everyone knows how much you love creamy white stuff going down your throat."
"Oh, Rachel, you are a classy bitch."
"What can I say? This one babysitter of mine was a horrible influence when I was growing up." The limousine slowed to a stop outside of the Rosenbergs' house and Rachel waited patiently for the driver to come around and open the door for her before letting her share of the pizzas drop into her hands and sliding out of the car. After waiting for the others to form up next to her - and using her telekinesis to overwhelm Betsy's, forcing the girl to carry her boxes the normal way - Rachel began walking towards the back door of the house. Not only did it just plain make sense to bring the food straight to the kitchen, but it meant there was a zero point zero zero chance of walking into some sort of drama. Pinning the boxes against her hip with one hand, Rachel used the other to twist the knob and push the door open. "Mom, we're-"
"Listen, Emma, last night was a mis… an accident. It's not going to happen again, and it's certainly not worth having a total change of heart about me over. Not to mention that it's just plain weird to see you being this…" Jean trailed off before raising her hand, upon which Emma's was resting. "Touchy. You don't even touch your own daughters."
Emma's response made Rachel bite her lip hard to keep from laughing aloud. "I'm from Boston, darling, not Charleston."
"What does..?" Jean trailed off and groaned. "Oh for Pete's sake, Emma. For someone as classy as you supposedly are, your mind seems to spend an awful lot of time in the gutter. You and I both know I didn't mean it like that. I meant literally. You. Don't. Touch. Them. At all. Ever. Except for maybe fingers brushing against theirs when you hand them something. You don't hug them, or put your arm around them, or pat them on the back when you're proud of them, or anything. You're completely non-tactile. And yet after this morning, you won't stop touching me. It's… more than a little weird, to be honest."
Shrugging, Emma ran her fingers along the underside of Jean's arm, making the redhead shiver. "Well, before this morning I didn't know how delightfully warm you are. And there are… other reasons." Turning her attention to the three teenagers standing in the doorway, she smirked. "Speak of the devil. Rachel. I don't suppose you have any thoughts on my sudden interest in getting close to your mother, do you?" 'After all, even if nothing here affects your future and you've been 'trolling' everyone all this time, you do want to see this world's versions of your parents together… don't you?'
Rachel rolled her eyes at that. 'Compromise. I'll tell her the truth… the whole truth. Who I am, but also where I'm from. She'll know it's a possibility, but if you actually want it to become reality, you're going to have to work for it.'
Emma contemplated that for a moment before nodding and Rachel approached the kitchen table, setting her burden down. Taking a step to the right, she leaned in and put both hands on Jean's shoulders, drawing her mother's attention away from Emma. "Okay, now try not to freak out."
"Why would I…" Jean trailed off as Rachel shifted, transforming from flesh and blood to her ruby form. Mouth working silently, Jean stared at her daughter for nearly thirty seconds before finally managing to engage her brain again. "…oh."
Returning to her normal appearance, Rachel waved her hand back and forth in front of Jean's face a few times before sighing. "Great. I broke her. All right, you just… sit there staring off into space. Exactly like that. Perfect." Pulling out the credit card she'd used to pay for the food, Rachel handed it to Emma before nodding in her mother's direction. "If she faints, try and grab her before she can bounce her head off the table. Or the floor. She's the brains of this operation."
Emma, much to Rachel's surprise, looked more curious than argumentative at that. "According to who?"
"You. Her. The quintuplets. Ororo. Bruce. Um… everyone else who knows both of you."
"Ah. What does that make me, then?"
"The money, the eye candy, the fashionista, and the common sense."
"…I can live with that." Emma slid her credit card into her cleavage before reaching over and poking Jean in the middle of her forehead, snickering softly. "She's taking this rather badly, isn't she? I'll wait a few more minutes and then give her a jolt to see if I can restart her brain. So, what was the final damage?"
Pulling the receipt from her pocket, Rachel scrutinized the bottom. "More than it would be at home, but not by much. Sales tax is a little higher. Um, total came to $158.93. Which isn't that bad, when you consider how many pizzas we bought and from where. Plus dinner for you and Mom." Surrendering the receipt to Emma for her inspection, Rachel moved her parents' dinners off the top of the stack of pizza boxes before gesturing to them. "So, are they ready for us - and dinner - or are they still dealing with the whole 'holy shit, my friends are mutants' thing? Do they know we're coming? Do they know you're here, for that matter?"
The response came from behind her, rather than from Emma. "Yes, sorta, and maybe." Well that was about as clear as mud. Rachel shot a look back over her shoulder at Michelle, only to find herself blinking at the girl's newest look. The shapeshifter had traded in her chin-length, Frost blond hair for a riotous mass of red curls, a handful of strands pinned back away from her face using the green barrettes Cordelia had given her. Which meant no getting answers the easy way. Damn. "Yes, they've dealt with the mutant thing. Including Janet being one and me being blue because hey, fuck secrets. They know that pizza is arriving with 'friends who are running late', but we didn't tell them it was you because… well, they don't know you. What'd be the point of saying 'Rachel, Betsy, and Ivette are bringing pizza'? And Cordelia mentioned 'guests in the kitchen' when talking at Janet, but I'm not sure anyone caught it. So…" Trailing off, Michelle's eyes slid over to something down and a bit to Rachel's left, drawing the redhead's attention to where her 'father' was poking at her dinner. "Is that a salad? Doesn't that defeat the whole purpose behind calling out for pizza?"
"I didn't call out for pizza. I called out for a salad." Emma gestured to the container in front of her, stuffed to the brim with field greens, apple slices, diced chicken, and grapes. "Ergo, salad."
"…guess that makes sense. Seriously, though, who calls a pizza joint to order a salad?" Michelle groaned as Emma raised her hand. "I walked into that one, didn't I?"
"Like Helen Keller in a maze." Gahh! Rachel whirled around, watching as a blonde girl - Gwen, if she was remembering what she's seen in Michelle's memories correctly - wandered into the kitchen and made her way over to the fridge. How the hell had the girl snuck up on… a green barrette glinted in the light and Rachel sighed. She'd noticed that Michelle seemed a bit more… tangible… to her powers than she had before but hadn't thought anything of it. Evidently the shapeshifter had given up at least one barrette, giving her friend a modicum of protection and allowing the blonde to sneak up on her. Well that was just embarrassing. "You know, I just realized something. You shower with the rest of us after gym class." Gwen leaned against the left door of the fridge as Michelle slipped past her with a vaguely affirmative noise, opening the other door and sticking her head inside. "So, do you look?"
Grinning, Michelle emerged with a can of soda, tossing it to her friend. "Of course I look, Gwen. I'm a straight boy living in a girl's body. You don't think I'd pass up a chance like that, do you? Most boys my age would sell their souls and their mothers for a chance to see what I've seen." Gwen puffed up in outrage, but was shot down a second later by Michelle's next comment. "After all, Cordelia's really hot. Who wouldn't want to stare at her all naked and wet?"
Gwen's jaw dropped and then she shifted her soda to one hand, balling up the other and punching Michelle's shoulder. Hard, if the redhead's whimper was anything to go by. "Cordelia's definitely rubbed off on you too much. You are such a bitch."
"I could say something there that would have you blushing as red as that Coke can, but I'll let it go just this once. And besides, you hang out with me. You obviously like it." As Gwen pondered that, Michelle ducked back into the fridge, emerging with a twelve pack of Coke in one hand and a box of Diet Coke in the other. Her eyes slid over to where Ivette and Betsy were leaning against the kitchen counter, and then on to where Rachel and her parents were clustered around the kitchen table. Raising her hands, she grinned. "So. Lunch Ladies. Shall we lunch?"
November 20, 2011
Rosenberg Household - Living Room
"Wow. I can't believe I'm meeting Emma Frost. I mean, you're the richest woman in America. CEO of Frost Industries. You've been a Playboy
centerfold twice already, and modeled for Maxim
and the Swimsuit Edition
"Sounds about right. Although I generally prefer to focus on my accomplishments as a businesswoman and an educator. Not that I regret my pictorials; far from it. They just don't tend to make for sustainable intellectual conversation." Perched carefully on the arm of living room's sole recliner, Emma held a plate of pasta in one hand and a fork in the other. Twirling the fork, she gathered up some linguini and raised it to the lips of the redhead sitting beside her. "Open."
Opening her mouth to reply, Jean was cut off when Emma shoved the fork between her lips. Eyeing the blonde balefully, she chewed and swallowed before reaching up to bat at the fork. "I can feed myself, you know."
Emma ignored her, loading the fork back up before raising it to Jean's lips again. "Tell that to someone who hasn't seen you naked, darling." Quite predictably, the redhead opened her mouth to reply only to find it stuffed full of food. As Emma slid the fork free, leaving Jean to grumble unintelligibly around her mouthful of pasta, the blonde turned back to Gwen. Who, given there were three mutants in the room whose powers she didn't know, was doing her best to not even think about the particularly juicy piece of celebrity gossip she'd just been exposed to. As of an interview only two weeks ago, Emma had been officially single. And yet she seemed incredibly close to Jean and had seen the redhead naked. If they weren't dating, then… gahh. She needed to stop thinking about it because with her luck, one of the non-Frost mutants was a telepath who could pluck such thoughts from her mind even with the barrettes and then- "But enough about Jean's nutritional failings. I take it you're one of my many… fans, for lack of a better term?"
"Well, I mean, not of your Playboy
work or anything. Because I'm a girl and straight and too young to buy it anyway but it's mentioned on your Wikipedia page and if you google your name, all of the sample images that come up are from your pictorials and holy crap, I'm channeling Willow." From the other side of Michelle came a soft growl as the others snickered, and then a hand reached around Michelle's back and swatted Gwen upside the head as she took a deep breath, trying to compose herself. Just be yourself, she thought. Emma probably wasn't going to impressed with her no matter what, but there was no need to make it worse by acting like a spaz. "I just think it's really inspirational that you can be so pretty and rich, but smart too. I mean, usually the only time you hear about an attractive woman having more money than God is when she married some old guy who died a few years later. But you're rich because you built a company from scratch. That's… wow. Doubt I'll ever be Yale material like you - or Playboy
material either, for that matter - but it sorta gives me hope, you know?"
Emma blinked slowly before offering a hesitant smile. "Well thank you. I wish my daughters were more like you. Esme wants to go to Juilliard for the guitar, Celeste, Ivette, and Phoebe are planning to follow the wrong set of my footsteps and get teaching degrees, and Sophie wants to become a graphic designer for some odd reason." Leaning forward, she stabbed at the salad resting on Jean's lap, bringing a forkful of greens up to her mouth. "Hmmph. A musician, three teachers, and an artist. Where did I go wrong?"
Gwen glanced over at where Ivette was sitting between Rachel - who was supposedly Jean's daughter but had a very Emma-esque face, in Gwen's opinion - and the British girl Betsy. Who was still staring at her for some reason. Weird. Whatever. Grabbing her plate from the arm of the couch, she nibbled on a slice of the California Club pizza she was splitting with Harmony as her mind raced, trying desperately to find a new topic of conversation before she lost Emma's attention entirely. "So… umm… are you on a special diet or something? What's in that salad? Because you're in almost every magazine's top ten hottest women this year and so if you have any good eating tips you could share, I would be amazingly grateful and-" Please, God, somebody shut her up. Why the hell was she Harming out? It was Emma Frost, her idol, sure. But surely she was capable of acting like someone whose IQ exceeded their band size, right?
Snorting, Jean pried the fork out of Emma's hand and helped herself to some more of her dinner. "Emma's on the seefood diet: she sees food and she eats it. Or at least she was. Now she sees food, shoves half of it into my mouth, and then eats the rest." Reaching up, she jabbed the shaft of the fork against Emma's collarbone. "I still can't believe you made me eat an avocado for breakfast. I hate avocados."
"It's like the girls' Brussels sprouts phase all over again. They're good for you, making them a necessary evil. Next time, eat the avocado first and then use everything else to get the taste out of your mouth. Honestly. I'm starting to agree with Rachel about which of us is the one with common sense." Reclaiming her fork, Emma turned her attention back to Gwen. "I should probably start by pointing out that my figure is a bit on the… lush… side and my eating habits are geared towards helping me maintain it. Not to mention that as a mutant, my caloric intake needs to be a minimum of half again that of a flatscan. Are you really sure you want to be getting dietary advice from me?"
Gwen frowned as she pondered that one. While Emma's more voluptuous form was admired by many, it wasn't exactly a good fit for a cheerleader. Or a cheerleading uniform, for that matter. On the other hand, as she'd told Michelle when they first met? She was only a cheerleader as a last resort since her parents wouldn't let her participate in any other sport. If her squadmates pitched a fit because she gained a pound or five, she could always turn in her uniform. She'd actually been pondering quitting lately to spend more time focusing on schoolwork, since she doubted she was good enough to get into college purely on her ability to wave a pom-pon. Would be a good excuse. And… Emma was staring at her. Um. Wait. All she had to do was listen. There was no saying she actually had to take the advice she was given. "Sure?"
After staring at Gwen oddly for a few seconds, Emma shook her head and gestured to her dinner. "Well, first we need to calculate your target caloric intake. If you have a physical coming up, you can ask your doctor… or you can be a typical American and turn to the Internet for medical advice. Google 'caloric intake'; a lot of sites have calculators that can help you figure it out. From there, it's just a matter of learning to plan your meals so that you get as close as possible to that number on a daily basis without looking like Ron Weasley. My dinner tonight is actually a great example: a Waldorf Chicken Salad. Normally a Waldorf salad doesn't come with any protein, so adding some is a quick way to raise your calorie count without people noticing. After all, plenty of salads have chicken on them." Stabbing the fork into her salad again, Emma showed off a piece of chicken before popping it into her mouth, chewing, and swallowing. "Another trick? Dressing. Luckily for me, something mayonnaise-based is traditional with a Waldorf. If you have a choice? Aim high. Nobody blinks at salad dressing. Drizzle those calories on. I got extra lucky tonight: the walnuts are candied. Sugar equals calories."
Before Gwen could follow up with another question, Harmony called out to them from across the room. "Isn't Waldorf one of the Muppets? You know, one of the two mean ones who sits there with his buddy making bad jokes and laughing at everyone?"
"Yes, dear, I'm eating a Muppet. They're very juicy if you cook them right." Emma looked her food over before stabbing a fat piece of chicken, bringing it up to her mouth slowly and making a show of biting into it.
Harmony's eyes went wide as she stared at Emma in horror. "Oh my God! You monster!" All other conversation in the room came to a screeching halt as everyone turned to look at Harmony. "What?"
Leaning forward, Emma tilted her head to one side as she gazed at Harmony in a combination of awe and disbelief. "How on Earth have you managed to avoid choking on your own saliva, child?"
"Well, I am really good at swallowing. Or at least that's what guys tell me." Furrowing her brow, Harmony pondered that. "Which is a weird compliment to give, don't you think? Oh well. A compliment's a compliment. I'll take it."
Seated on the floor in front of Harmony, Brittany tilted her head back so she could stare up at her fellow blonde. "…are you serious? I get that one, and I'm pretty sure my GPA is a negative number." Shaking her head, Brittany helped to herself to another bite of pizza before addressing the rest of the room. "Also, for the record? I may be dumb, but even I didn't think Emma was eating a Muppet. Didn't know what was in a 'Waldorf' salad until she explained it, but I knew what wasn't. Seriously, Harmony, even ignoring the fact that she said the meat was chicken? Look at it. Do you see any fluffy white stuffing? Or… whatever the outside of a Muppet is?"
Harmony leaned forward, swatting at the back of Brittany's head before planting her elbows on the girl's shoulders and resting her chin on one palm. "Well no. But she could have eaten those parts first."
"What else is there?"
"How am I supposed to know? I've never murdered and dissected a Muppet." 'Wow, and here I thought Regan was the dumbest blonde I'd ever meet. And people wonder why I'm so eager to dye over my own blond.'
Gwen just barely managed to keep from jumping when a foreign voice intruded on her thoughts, looking over at… well, there was only one non-blond dye job in the room at the moment and its owner was staring at Gwen with glowing violet eyes. And even her mental voice had a British accent. Weird. 'Don't ask me how that works, because every time Frosty tries to explain it to me, my eyes glaze over. So, apart from getting knocked out, keeping Willow sedated, eating pizza, and watching movies… what's there to do in this town?'
There were probably very interesting stories behind the first two things on that list and… Gwen looked away from Betsy, eyes falling on where she'd already lost Emma to conversation with Jean, the pair bickering softly as the blonde continued to feed her companion in between bites of her own salad. Interrupting them wouldn't win her any points and besides, it wasn't like the mutant quintet was leaving in a few minutes or anything. She could talk with Betsy, get those stories, fulfill the Brit's curiosity about her hometown, and then go back to pestering… err, questioning Emma. Although before they went any further… 'I thought these barrettes Michelle gave me would keep you out of my head?'
And the fact that Michelle and Cordelia were wearing telepath-blocking accessories should have been a bit of a hint that there was at least one in the house, huh?
Betsy shrugged. 'Even all six wouldn't keep me out if I really wanted to get in. Neither would Cordelia's little tiara, no matter what she thinks. They do give you some resistance, though, so if you wouldn't mind taking them off..?' 'I… guess.'
After all, what was the worst that could happen? Betsy could already get into her mind as it was. What could she do unimpeded that she couldn't do after powering through the barrette's blockage? Unclipping each, she handed them to Michelle before returning to her stare-off with Betsy. 'There you go. As for Sunnydale… most of our businesses are open twenty-four hours a day.
Which makes a lot more sense now that I know vampires and demons are real, let me tell you. I wonder how many of the third-shifters are actually demons and vampires who've gotten bored with the whole 'grr, kill all humans' thing.'
Shaking her head, Gwen focused back on the subject at hand. 'Um… I doubt Cordelia's Claire is in, but I'm sure there's someone over at 19 Blue who could fix those roots of yours.' 'For the love of… you know what, fine. Let's go get my bloody roots done. Maybe then people will shut the fuck up about my hair.'
"Christian Bale was in The Prestige
with Rebecca Hall. Two years later, Hall did Frost/Nixon
with Kevin Bacon."
"Damn. Too easy. Think, Aura, think. Oh! Cordelia, your aunt did that limited release lesbian romance movie, right?"
"Oh God, I never should have told you guys about that. Yeah, Under Your Spell
"Wanda Lehnsherr, then."
"Easy. Her love interest was Portia de Rossi, who did Cursed
with Jesse Eisenberg, who did Beyond All Boundaries
with Kevin Bacon."
"Christ, a Bacon number of three. Is there anyone in Hollywood that man hasn't worked with yet? Um… oh God, Willow! Who's that girl we saw on G4 the other day? You know, the skank with the dead eyes?"
"…pretty sure that describes half the girls that network hires, but I'm guessing you're thinking of Sasha Grey."
"Yes! The porn star! Let's see you connect her to Kevin Bacon!"
"Hmm. That one, I need to look up online. And the Oracle of Bacon says she's got a Bacon number of… three? The Girlfriend Experience
with Kimberly Magness, Magness did Madison
with Paul Dooley - whoever that is - who was in Telling Lies in America
with Kevin Bacon."
"Jesus. That's it. I quit. Unless… hey, haven't you appeared in a few movies? Emma Frost."
"I slept with him."
"Huh. That was quick."
"I believe that's what I said afterward, yes."
As Aura rose from the couch to pop in the third movie, she pulled out her cell phone and peered at the screen before frowning. "Hey Willow, where are your parents? Shouldn't they be here by now?"
Pressing the 'Info' button on the remote, Willow's eyes sought out the upper left corner of the screen. Huh. Her parents were indeed forty-five minutes late and counting. "I… don't know. Stuck in traffic, maybe?" Looking around, she noticed that the room was four people emptier than it had been at the beginning of their little girls' night in. "Anyone seen Gwen and Betsy lately? Or Brittany and Santana for that matter?"
"Brittany and Santana left about halfway through the first movie to go back to their… original plans." Ivette smirked before shaking her head and continuing. "As for Betsy and Gwen… they're not in the house. Or the yard. Or anywhere else within a hundred feet of the house. Other than that, I can't tell you much."
Letting out a sigh, Emma shook her head in disgust. "At least with Betsy along, Gwen will have some protection from Sunnydale's nightlife. And since they're both girls, I don't have to worry about them forgetting to use some."