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L. Burke

There's No Place Like Home 

DISCLAIMER: The characters belong to Marvel, and are
used without permission for entertainment purposes only.

"Scott stop being stubborn about this."  Hank McCoy stated looking at leader with quite a bit of exasperation.  "Don't tell me that our Fearless Leader is scared of a little cough medicine?" Scott Summers just continued to glare at his friend and doctor as he tipped a bottle that looked like it contained a red tinted tar around, "Not cough medicine, I know."  He croaked out barely through a very swollen sore throat.  All the while he continued to inspect the contents of the bottle.  He had a very bad feeling the medicine probably tasted as bad as it looked. "Will you please just take it.  If you continue to purist on fighting me on this I will go get Jeannie and if I remembered correctly you promised her you would be good and follow my orders."  That remark just got him another glare from the man sitting in the sickbay bed.  Hank just sighed and tried another approach.  "I will not be able to release you for tree trimming duties if you do not take all the medicines prescribed.  Jeannie is looking forward to this you don't want to wreck it for her do you?  Besides do really want to spend Christmas down here in sickbay?"  Scott just sighed and took the shot of cough medicine, proceeding to make a grimace, followed by gagging sounds. Hank just smiled at him, "Excellent.  I will go get Jeannie and we will get you out of here.  Stop worrying Scott all that is planned tonight is tree trimming what could possibly go wrong?"  Scott in response just gave Hank another glare.

He was stretched out on the couch when Logan and Storm walked in fighting.  Jean had just gone up stairs to finish her wrapping. "You are going to take that horrible Christmas display down before our guest come!  It is bad enough that you and Robert put the whole display up with duct tape, but add to the fact that you MISSPELLED the Christmas message, and the lights on one side of the house blink and the lights on the opposite side of the mansion do not, the whole display looks tacky and horrible.  We have guest coming in little under four hours, and you are going to take that display down." "Oh come on Ro, the display give the house character."  Logan just gave her a mischievous look as he stuck a cigar in his mouth and lit it up. "Oh it gives the mansion something alright, but character is not it. " Storm fired back, "You are not to hang up your beer can wreath either.  I don't care how many cases you had to drink to make it." "You are just trying to take all the fun out of my holidays aren't ya, Ro."   Logan grumbled. "I could start on the plastic elf on the front yard."  Storm added glaring down at Logan again. "The elf ain't my fault Ro.  He was on the front lawn minding his own business when a flaming turkey flew out of no where and accosted my poor elf.  I had to throw him in the lake before he melted too badly.  He still works, it just looks like he's got a leer on his face where the plastic melted a little.  I sorta like him that way gives him character." Looking out the window and seeing the elf himself Scott personally thought it looked about has friendly as 'Chucky' and the expression on his partially melted face would have given him nightmares as a child. "I will make you a deal Logan.  You can keep the display if you fix the misspelling, either have all the lights blinking or not blinking and sturdy the lights up with something more than duct tape.  The display as it is a flying hazard.  Do we have a deal?" Logan broke in to a big grin right them.  "Deal Ro, the blinking lights are already down.  Maybe I'll use them to light up an Angel somewhere.  What do you think?" Scott turned his head to see what Logan was trying so hard not to look at behind Storm's back.  When Scott finally saw it all he could do was blink.  There was Warren dangling in front of the living room window, wrapped up in the blinking lights, dangling from the roof, upside down.  He was mouthing the words "I am going to kill you" right at Logan.  Right then Scott decided he better go find the wire cutters.

He was in the kitchen trying to find the wire cutters when Rogue and Gambit started round two. "I thought you were a civilized Southerner, Gambit.  I don't care what you French people have for Christmas.  People from the civilized parts of the South have turkey or duck for Christmas, not some form of meat pie that we can't even be sure has meat in it." "If I remember where you're from Rouge what does Mississippi know about being civilized?  It is a FRENCH tradition to have the meat pie for Christmas.  Brings good luck.  With you doing all the cooking the X-men need all the luck they can get.  Besides you're just mad because everyone likes my cookies better than yours." Rogue just glared at him, "How about I show you what I could do with that meat pie of yours and while I'm at it the cookies too?  Besides the only reason that people loved your cookies is because I added some nutmeg to your gingerbread recipe." "You know you really are a barbarian."  Gambit threw back.  Scott must have made a noise looking through the drawer because that was the moment they turned his attention on to him. "Cyke what are you doing?  Your spose to be on the couch taking it easy doctors orders remember?"  Rouge said gently. Scott just smiled at her sweetly and croaked out "Need to find something."    Rogue just scowled at him. "Listen to me, Cyke. If Jean comes down and not finds you on the couch she will have both ours heads on a platter.  You for getting up off the couch and me for letting you.  Why don't you get back on the couch and I will bring you some hot cider and cookies out and Jean won't be any wiser." The thought of cookies and cider, mixing with the horrible aftertaste of the cough medicine that Hank had given him earlier, even the thought made his stomach churn.  Despite of his best efforts, the thought must have shown on his face.  He just shook his head and trying to find a way not to hurt Rogue's feelings. "Really need to find something.  Can't shallow cookies right now.  Take some cider though."  Scott croaked out really wishing that his voice was working a little better. "Really Roguee," Gambit grumbled  "As green as the poor man is.  He is either planning on playing the Grinch, or he just ate some of your cooking."    "Okay, that does it!  You and your meat pie is going out that window.  I owe you for the turkey Cajun." "Scott Summers I am giving FIVE seconds to get back on the couch!"  Jean voice roared out from Living Room.  Scott knew he was in trouble when Jean came marching in to the kitchen and just glared at him.  "What was so important that you needed to come back here?  You could have just asked someone to get what you wanted instead of breaking doctors orders."  Nathan who had walked in with her just gave him the "You're in trouble now" smirk.  Scott just glared at Nate and continued to shuffle through the drawer until he finally found the wire cutters. Jean just gave him a strange look and asked very calmly "Why do you need those?" That's when Galen's voice rang out from the living room.  "Aunt Jean you gotta come see this! Someone made a piņata of Uncle Warren and hung it outside in front of the living room!  It is just so cool! They strung lights around him and everything!  Come quick!" "I told you Ro, the blinking lights were already down.  Lighting up an Angel too." "YOU are about to face the wrath of the gods little man!" Jean took the wire cutter from his hands and said as she was running out the kitchen door.  "Get back on the couch right now!"

Scott was back on the couch sipping his cider when Professor Xaiver made the announcement.  "Since the individual responsible has not come forward and admitted to his or her crime of stealing a box of sour cherry candy canes before the tree is up.  The 'no canes off the tree' rule is going to be strictly enforced.   The sour cherry candy canes are now under look and key.   Until such time, the tree is up and trimmed.  Do I make myself clear?"  There was a collective "Yes Professor." from around the room Nathan who was sitting next to him on the couch just kept looking out the window, glaring at the elf on the front lawn. "That damned thing is going to come to life when we're all asleep and butcher us all.  Just looking at the damned thing is giving me nightmares, and I don't scare to easy."  Scott just nodded agreeing with him.  The elf did look like it was watching them.  Some of Kurt's more morbid tales of elves jumping out of the forest and killing little children came to mind. "The Hankster and I got the tree we need some help getting it inside."  Bobby called from the doorway. "You ain't never gona get it in through the door, Drake.  The tree's too wide."  Logan added cheerfully from the doorway. Bobby's response was to stick his tongue out at him and responded ,"Just wait and see we'll get it through the door." It took about half-hour to get the tree through the doorway and they got away with a minimum amount of damage.  It took the whole team to get the tree through the door. "Okay everyone on three!"  Bobby Drake shouted.  "One, Two.."  "Three!"  Everyone shouted as they yanked on the tree through the door.  Scott was sitting on the couch during the whole procedure.  As the tree, came through the door way with a loud 'crack'.  Scott was wondering how many branches the whole procedure broke.  When out of the corner of his eye he caught Jubes stick back on, one hundred-year-old door molding back on with her bubble gum.  Scott prayed that the professor didn't watch her do that, and added 'fix molding' to his 'to do' list.

"Why am I getting stuck doing this?" Bobby Drake called from where he was standing tottering on Hanks shoulders as he tried to adjust the star on top of the tree. "Because," Hank grasped out from underneath him, "You WERE the lightest around here.  Put some weight on Drake?" "Very funny."  Bobby sneered looking down at Hank from where he was standing on his shoulders.  "Is the star straight yet?" "Nope!" Logan called from across the room "I think we're going to have to get the duct tape for this one!"  "My offer to kill him and bury him in the snow bank out front, still stands Storm."  Warren added in from across the living room. "How about this, is it straight yet?"  Bobby shouted before Storm could comment on Warren's offer. "A little to the right."  One voice called out. "Now a little to the left."  Someone else called out "Perfect!"  Everyone called at once. "Yes!  Now I can get down now.  Oh no!" "Drake!"  Was the last thing Scott heard as Bobby, Hank and a twelve-foot Christmas tree came timbering towards his direction where he was sitting on the couch. "Scott Look Out!"  He heard someone shout right before his whole world turned green.

"Robert put that Candy Cane back on the tree!" "Aunt Jean, Aunt Storm, Uncle Logan is leaving a cold beer out for Santa instead of milk and cookies."  Galen called from where she was glaring at Logan.  "You are supposed to leave milk and cookies out for Santa Clause." "Not if Uncle Logan wants the forty pages of Ho Ho Ho's he asked for Kiddo.   That's why Uncle Logan is leaving Santa a beer." Galen just gave Logan a strange look with that comment, "How can Santa give you Ho Ho Ho's?" "Well," "Logan!"  Jean and Storm shouted from two opposite ends of the house.

"The lights are up and ready.  So everyone come on out and take a look as we fire them up for the first time. Coming Jeannie?" Jean just shook her head no.  "I am staying in here with Scott.  He can't go out in to the cold yet.  So I figure I would sit on the couch with him and sit this one out.  Thanks."  Jean just put her feet up on the coffee table.  Scott's head was in her lap. "You don't have to stay.  Can go out to see the lights."  Scott croaked out. "Don't have to stay in with me." Jean just smiled down at him.  "I am quite happy were I am Thank you.   Besides if my hunch is right I am going to get the best view right here on the couch with you.  Is everyone outside yet?" Scott nodded. "Good."  Jean reached under the couch and pulled a blanket out from underneath the coach along with a box of sour cherry candy canes, with one missing from the box.  Finally the last thing she pulled out from under the couch was a candle and some matches.  She wrapped the blanket around the two of them and handed Scott a candy cane.  "Think the show is just about to get started, just wait." Right then is when Gambit came running out of the kitchen chasing Rouge with a pie that was on fire?  "I am going to show you what I am going to do with my pie, you southern barbarian!"  They both ignored Scott and Jean on the couch and ran out the front door. There was a loud explosion from out on the front lawn.  As Jean and Scott watched a flaming elf head fly across the sky. "God damn it! The elf is on fire again." "I'll teach you to insult my cooking!"  "Don't let him put the flogging thing out!" "Put that snowball down Bobby or your going to get hurt!" "I say we bury him in the snow drift up to his ankles!"
"Okay everyone the switch get thrown on three."
Inside the house went completely black.  Jean lit the candle she had put on the coffee table right next to them and looked down at her husband, "There's no place like home for the holidays."  Scott just nodded and snuggled a little closer.  "I don't know about you I can't wait for New Years." "We have a date under the mistletoe at midnight." Scott muttered softly as he snuggled a little closer and started drifting to sleep.


Other Stories By L. Burke


Please Get Well For Christmas

There's No Place Like Home

Beneath the Floor Boards

We Will Always Have the Stars

Elves, Weirdoes and Ten More Degrees

What Could Have Been

The Suggestion Box

Friday Nights, Guy Talk, Stalkers and Other Strange Things

New Begginings and Second Chances

A Very Bad Day

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