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Behind the Throne

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This story is No. 3 in the series "Scarlet Phoenix". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: The X-Men have a White Queen… and behind that White Queen is a formidable power.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Marvel Universe > X-Men > Tara-Centered(Moderator)JoeHundredaireFR1535,11413212,19618 Nov 1028 Jan 12No

Grinderhouse (Tara/Laura Kinney)

Title: Grinderhouse
Author: JoeHundredaire (
Rating: PG-13/FR15
Disclaimer: Right, I actually went and checked to be sure this time… after being passed around like a slut at a frat party over the past few years, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel: the Series, and all associated characters now belong to Warner Brothers. With a myriad of writers, artists, and editors, actual rights are a nightmare when you go near a comic book universe. Suffice it to say that Marvel Entertainment LLC owns all of the property printed in their comics, along with the television and movie adaptations of said same property. Not mine, don't sue, and so forth and so on.
Summary: Idle hands are the Devil's playthings.
Joe's Note: A bit - okay, a year and two months - of a delay between the last chapter and this one. Oh well. Better late than never, yeah? Another day, another FFA nommed on. And yes, I know it's Mindee/Irma depending on who you ask but I've been calling her Ivette to match with the creator's wishes for the sisters to spell out S-P-I-C-E since before Mindee was named, much less retconned into being Irma. Not changing anytime soon. Sorry.

     Reaching up to fiddle with her hair, Tara Maclay-Frost rolled her eyes as she watched the reflection of her wife pace back and forth behind her. "I wonder if this is how some of the other teachers reacted when the Five-in-One enrolled in the school."

     Emma Frost-Maclay abruptly came to a halt, turning to stare incredulously at Tara's back. "Are you actually daring to compare our daughters to that… creature… the others brought back to the school with them?"

     "She's not that bad, Emma." Once again giving up on what was quickly becoming a war - one she'd yet to win a single battle in - against the red tiara headband thing that she'd inherited from Wanda along with the rest of her Scarlet Witch garb, Tara rose to her feet and crossed the room, wrapping her arms around the blonde's waist. "From what you've told me, she had a horrible upbringing and has been living on the street since she escaped Weapon X. Of course she's going to have a few rough edges that need to be sanded down. All I'm saying is that there are plenty of people here who didn't like you but gave the girls a chance to prove themselves despite… well, even before we knew for sure, it was hard to ignore what they were. Okay, fine, you don't get along with her father. Brother. Whatever Logan is. Don't take it out on Laura. Don't be Snape."

     Mouth opening and closing slowly, Emma let out an incredulous, choked laugh. "Are you seriously trying to use Harry Potter against me in an argument?"

     Tara shrugged before kissing the corner of her wife's mouth and offering her a coy little smile. "Technically, we're just disagreeing. Not arguing. But yes. I figure I might as well get something out of the fact that you keep assigning me to supervise Movie Night. Is it working?"

     "…maybe." Emma gave Tara a soft kiss on the lips before pulling away and walking over to the desk they shared for when one of them brought a bit of work 'home' to grade in privacy. Then she stiffened, turning around and stalking over to the door of their rooms, throwing it open to reveal… "You!"

     Laura Kinney reached up to remove the fat cigar from her mouth, letting out a puff of smoke before gesturing to herself using a hand holding… was that a can of Molson? Tara moved to take a position beside her wife, ready to intercede if things got out of hand, and eyed the can of beer. Where the heck had that come from? "Me?"

     Watching as a rather prominent vein on Emma's neck pulsed, Tara decided that perhaps intervening sooner rather than later would be best for everyone involved. Reaching out, she hooked her fingers in the waistband of her wife's pants and gave a gentle tug backwards, slowly pulling Emma back into their room before scooting around and taking the blonde's spot in the doorway. "Laura… why are you wandering around the school drinking and smoking? Especially since one is against the law and the other is against the rules here?"

     "Bored." After a moment's pause, Laura pointed off down the hall. "And I'm taking the cigar outside. Not everyone can heal their own lung cancer."

     Tara blinked. Well that was surprisingly considerate of her. Still against the rules, but considerate all the same. Something she couldn't always say about Logan when he indulged in the same vice. "I see. You do know that you're too young to legally smoke, even if you do take it outside, right?"

     After considering Tara's words for a moment, Laura shrugged in response. "If Father didn't want me to smoke, he'd hide his cigars better."

     Scowling, Tara shot a look over Laura's shoulder at a door two down the hallway from the suite she and Emma shared. It looked like someone need to have another talk with their resident supercentenarian about properly storing - and securing - certain things. "Oh? Where were they?"

     "In a metal box inside a safe in his closet under some dirty clothes. I sniffed them out pretty easily."

     That brought Tara up short. Okay, so maybe Logan was doing an above-average job in that department. He just hadn't taken into account that he now had to be able to hide things from… well, himself effectively. "Ah. I'm guessing you stole the beer from him too?"

     Laura nodded. "There's a mini-fridge full of it in his room. Which reminds me, I think I owe him a new lock to replace the one I cut off."

     Did they sell adamantium combination locks? Because that was pretty much the only thing that would keep Laura from repeating this sort of behavior at will. Assuming she didn't just copy the combination down before giving it to Logan like the smart girl Tara knew she was. As she stood there, pondering what to say next, her wife's voice drifted into her mind. 'So, who do we yell at first?'

     'I don't think we need to 'yell' at anyone, sweetie. We've never had a student quite like Laura, so he never had to worry about something like this happening. It's not his fault. As for Laura… if she's only doing this because she's bored and can't think of something better to do with herself - which is when Logan does it, meaning she's probably just imitating the only influence she has - I bet finding her something to do will be all it takes to keep her from doing this again. But yelling at teenagers just encourages them to misbehave more. Which would be why I'm now in charge of disciplining our daughters, if you'll recall?'

     'Ah yes. Very well. Although tomorrow we're going down to the pound. Maybe if I get you a real pet, I can keep you from adopting any other undesirable strays…'

     "…when did Mister Logan shrink and grow breasts, Mom?"

     "And why's he making lunch for us today?"

     "Not that we mind. She's much prettier than Mister Logan is…"

     "Much less hairy, too."

     "Which is strange considering how long her hair-hair is."

     Putting one hand on Laura's shoulder, Tara looked up from the kitchen island and narrowed her eyes at her three adopted daughters. "That's enough, girls. Laura here decided to be nice and help me prepare sandwiches today - unlike three particular residents of this mansion that I keep asking, might I add - and doesn't deserve to be mocked for it. Or for who she's related to or looks like. Now, are you going to be nice to her or are we going to need to have another night of discussions about winning friends and influencing people?"

     Celeste, Ivette, and Phoebe Frost shook their heads rapidly. "We'll be good. Scout's Honor." Tara didn't buy the innocent looks they gave her - and she wasn't sure Scout's Honor meant anything considering the girls had never been Scouts of any variety - but she was willing to let it go… for now. Turning to Laura, Celeste held out a hand. "We weren't trying to be mean to you, no matter what Mom says. It was our way of trying to make a joke while poking her about not being polite enough to introduce you around when you showed up. Forgive us?"

     "Okay." With that, Laura returned to the long line of tomatoes arrayed in a line on the counter, her hand blurring into motion as she used the one claw protruding from her fist to cut them into even slices exactly one-quarter of an inch thick. "You should help your mother prepare lunch."

     "She's not our mother."

     "You call her 'mom'."

     "She's our step-mother."

     "You should help your step-mother prepare lunch."

     Chuckling nervously, Ivette fluidly shifted from flesh and blood to glistening diamond as she reached out, poking one tomato so that it rolled into place beneath Laura's furiously working claw, pulling her hand back and returning to her natural state as the red orb was reduced to perfectly uniform pieces. "Well, we were thinking about it, but we're kinda afraid to now."

     "You slice…"

     "You dice…"

     "You'd make julienned Cuckoo…"

     "Can we call you the Laur-O-Matic?"

     Tara bit her lip to avoid laughing at the expression on Laura's face as she paused in her work, looking up from the tomatoes to stare at the triplets uncomprehendingly. Well, she thought, this had the potential to end either very well or very badly… but it least it'd keep Laura busy for the afternoon. If her girls and Laura managed to solve each other's 'lack of friends' problem in the process? Icing on the cake. "Pull your hair back and then wash your hands, girls. Laura may have the vegetables under control, but someone needs to sort out bread, meat, and cheese for the sandwich station."

     A low rumble of discontent radiated from the triplets' minds but they complied with Tara's order, using white scrunchies to secure their blond locks in ponytails before taking turns washing their hands. Making her way over to where a dozen loaves of bread were awaiting her attention, Ivette picked up a slice of bread and then jabbed three fingers through it. Before Tara could chastise her for wasting food, she turned to Laura with a grin on her face. "Look, I'm a member of the Friends of Humanity!" The dark-haired girl tilted her head to one side curiously, and Ivette's grin widened. "You know, inbred?"

     …okay, that was kinda funny.

The End?

You have reached the end of "Behind the Throne" – so far. This story is incomplete and the last chapter was posted on 28 Jan 12.

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