Author: Pat Phillips
Summary: Like most boys his age, Mike
is a bottomless eating machine. He'll
do anything for a decent meal. And he
can't cook worth a darn.
Rating/warning & pairing/characters:
With the exception of Mike McWhirter,
I do not own these characters. Instead,
they are the property of Marvel Comics.
As a firm believer in property rights,
it's only reasonable that I specify that
my use of these characters should in no
way be interpreted as a threat to Marvel's
ownership of them.
All of my fan fiction, including this story,
is a not-for-profit venture. After all, when
you get down to it, who would pay for this
Readers of my other fiction may notice that
Mike is a minor character in "A Sacrifice
of Flowers". Note that this story assumes
that there was significant period of time
between the defeat of Magneto and the
Brotherhood at the Statue of Liberty and
Logan's leaving to investigate the Alkali Lake
facility. During that time Jean, Scott, Ororo,
and Logan conducted missions for the Professor.
That may not be exactly canon, but it allows
for some interesting stories.
There were footsteps coming down the stairs. I leaned backwards in
my chair so I could catch a glimpse of who was coming. Eventually,
I saw Marie get to the bottom of the stairs. She was wearing her
usual morning outfit: a long robe, gloves, socks, and a scarf.
Only the skin on her face and some of her neck was visible. She
doesn't like touching or being touched. She has good reasons for
I quickly ran over to the refrigerator and grabbed the bowl. It
held two scoops of vanilla ice cream and a spoon. Sitting back in
my chair at the kitchen table, I got rid of the news page and made
sure that the Sunday comics section was spread out in front of me.
Then I dug some ice cream into the spoon and held it up -- just off
to the side -- as if I were about to stick it into my mouth.
In the hallway, the soft footsteps were getting louder. I could
hear her robe rustling against her body.
I looked at her. Trying to look like I was surprised.
"Hi, Marie. What's wrong?"
She stormed over to me. The spoon was grabbed out of my hand and
thrown into the bowl of ice cream. Then the bowl was whisked away
and dropped in the sink with a crash.
"How often do you have ice cream for breakfast?" she asked in a
really angry voice.
"Well, not often. Maybe two or three times a week... Ow!"
She had rapped me in the center of my forhead with her gloved
knuckles. It wasn't really that hard. If you know anything about
Marie, then you know that she's tough as nails, but that there isn't
a mean bone in her body. She was just letting me know that she
didn't approve of what I was doing-- and that she was in charge now.
While I rubbed my forehead and grumbled, she got busy. A glass of
milk slammed onto the table in front of me.
"Look, Marie, you can't... Ow!"
That spot on my forehead was getting a little tender.
"Your choices are drink or die," she said firmly as she started
pulling stuff out of the refrigerator.
"Dang it, Marie, if you keep hitting me in that same spot, I'll get
a tumor or something," I groused as I started drinking. I was too
young for the other option.
She pulled off her gloves and her scarf. Otherwise, they would be
in the way. As Marie read the label on a package, she absent-
mindedly stood first on one foot, then on the other, pulling her
socks off with her toes and then kicking them into a corner.
That made me a little homesick. My little sister Mary does the
exact same thing. And she always gets in trouble with Mom for
leaving her socks in odd places. I miss her a lot.
Water was heating as Marie began mixed something in a bowl.
I'm probably a long way from being the first guy to notice this.
But Marie's really pretty. Even first thing in the morning, with
her hair messy, wearing a beat-up robe, and stomping around the
kitchen shooting me angry looks and ready to put another dent in my
forehead for any reason at all. Heck, maybe that's when she's the
Marie got to cutting, measuring, and stirring. Her accent was
suddenly a bit thicker as she growled words at me. She absent-
mindedly called me "Sugar", which was something I hadn't heard her
do before. I think that meant that a part of her was back home. A
part of me was home, too. On Sunday morning, Mom would cook
breakfast for Dad, Andy and me, while Mary usually snuggled in for a
little more sleep.
It took a while, but breakfast finally hit the table. Biscuits and
gravy, grits with butter, and eggs scrambled with peppers. It was
straight from Mississippi.
Marie made a few blood-thirsty threats about eating it all. She
also said I had to stay away from sweets for the rest of the day.
I ate while she sat across the table, sipping coffee, looking off
somewhere far away. I've never asked Marie about home. But she
sometimes calls herself "Rogue". I don't think that's a good sign.
When I got done, her head was still back home, and she automatically
reached for my plate so she could wash it. But I snatched it away.
Hey, fair is fair. As I cleaned up, Marie finished her coffee and
read the paper.
I was putting away the last dish, when she suddenly looked up at
me. Marie is a really smart girl. Not book-smart like Kitty, but
figure-it-out smart instead.
"Mike, did you just trick me?" she asked in a dangerous tone.
I refilled her coffee cup. Dad says that when a girl you like is
mad at you, you should kiss her butt a little -- and sometimes a
lot. It's a sure-fire way to calm women down.
"Suppose I say 'yes'," I said a little nervously, "Will you do
something to me that hurts a lot?"
But Marie was smiling now. Laughing instead of angry.
"Why, you little..." she said, shaking her head.
"Tell you what," I suggested. "Kitty usually gets up about this
time every day. Hide in the next room and listen. I'll bet I can
get pancakes out of her. But I sure hope she doesn't hit as much as