When Milk Goes Bad, And Other Reality TV Shows
Disclaimer: No one and nothing in this story is mine. Well, except for the PJs with the glow-in-the-dark eyeballs on 'em, and they don't count. The characters are Marvel's, the world is 20th Century Fox's, Survivor is owned by CBS (or they sing the theme song to a Rocky movie, depending on who you ask), and while I do own a bag of Cheetos, I don't own the name.
It's what's commonly referred to as a history test. It's about four pages long and asks you to name dead people you don't really care about and dates that you're not going to remember five minutes after the test is handed in and historical places that will only be important in your life if Magneto blows them up during class.
It is evil, and it needs to be destroyed.
But my problem was that short of setting the mansion on fire, getting out of the aforementioned test was out of the question. Which meant heavy-duty all-night studying and, if need be, five or six . . . heck, maybe even seven . . . okay, about ten breaks or so just to release tension. California girls like myself don't work well under stress. Unless it's a leather sale, and then, all bets are off.
Now, here's where things get annoying. The plan was, me and the rest of the gang get together to study. We stay up late into the night pretending to study, but instead eat frozen Cool Whip and marshmallow fluff to see which will get us sick first. Then we think up ways to get out of the test the next day.
Miss Munroe just ambles into the common room at about four in the afternoon and says, "Who wants to go to the movies tonight?" Okay, I have to study, so I'm out. And I'm figuring, everyone else is lazy, too, waiting until Sunday night to study.
Ehhhh . . . wrong answer, Jubes, but you win this lovely supply of turtle wax and a duck. Congratulations! (Really, I've got to stop watching "Let's Make a Deal" on the Game Show Network . . .)
I should have figured John and Kitty would be able to go. I mean, John's usually first in line for quality troublemaking, but he's not stupid. And Kitty does homework for fun. Seriously. I've never seen anyone laugh in calculus class until I met Kitty. Well, unless you count Mr. Summers, but it doesn't count if it's maniacal.
So it's me, Rogue and Bobby left, and I'm thinking, "Still cool." But it turns out they'd been studying together. Like, a lot. Mostly without books.
At this point, I was desperate. All of the adults were somewhere that was else, half of the kids hadn't come back from going home for the weekend, and the rest of them were off to see whatever cheesy movie was playing this weekend.
(From what I could overhear, the leading contender was that lame Keanu Reeves movie that was playing. No, the other lame Keanu Reeves movie. No, the other one!)
I tried to make the others see it my way. I ranted for a good ten minutes, most of which involved bribery. I offered up my entire nail polish collection, my Girl Next Door and Dido CDs, the yellow jacket I got for my birthday, my Rasta Bear, and I even tossed money into the equation. But obviously, a jarful of pennies wasn't good enough for the rest of them.
Fine. Great. Whatever.
So I got settled in. I got on my favorite pair of glow-in-the-dark PJs with eyeballs on 'em and grabbed a bag of Cheetos and a glass of cherry soda from the kitchen. I popped one of my tapes with 'Survivor' episodes on it into the VCR in the TV room and stole Kitty's history notebook. (Hers was neat, precise, and perfectly organized. Mine was stuck together with gum. And there was nothing written in it. That made it *that* much harder to study from.)
I was ready. I was prepared. I had three of the four food groups at hand -- caffeine, sugar, chocolate and orange food. Let anyone who might stand in my way of defeating the dread history test face my wrath!
That's when the front door opened.
It slammed shut, probably unintentionally, what with the windy autumn night outside. Something heavy fell to the ground. I turned around on the couch to say something, and my mouth gaped open.
Logan stood in the foyer.
Somehow, I knew that facing my wrath wasn't going to scare Logan. He had faced wrath before, and it had faced him. And he had growled at it, and it had run away squealing for mommy.
I didn't know what to say to the guy. What was I supposed to say? I mean, jeez . . . I hadn't really talked to him when he'd been here the first time. And to be honest, I hadn't expected him to come back. Maybe Rogue had, but I was kind of picturing him shacked up with a female Elvis impersonator in Tulsa or something.
So I said to the only thing that came to mind.
See? That was easy. "Hi." Simple, classic, and most importantly, requiring no actual thought on my part.
He grunted a "Hi," and kicked his bag off to the side. He glared at me for a second, then at the TV as the theme song to "Survivor" played, then at the ceiling as he sniffed thoughtfully.
"Where is everyone?" he asked.
I squirmed as he stared me down. "Out."
"Do you know where?"
Now, my first thought, as always, was sarcastic. But you don't say anything like what I was thinking to a man who has "Made by Ginsu" tattooed on his hands. You say, "Nope," and smile brightly as if you're about to reach up and plant a refrigerator magnet on his forehead.
(Hmm . . . there's a thought. I wonder if that would work. I'm going to have to try that sometime.)
He frowned and twisted his neck, and a loud crack echoed in the TV room. Grimacing, I turned around and settled back down with my studying.
Unfortunately, he sat right down next to me on the couch.
I'll admit it. I wanted to have someone to hang out with tonight. But not Logan. I didn't even know the guy. And he was kind of skanky.
"So, which one are you?" he asked as he settled in.
I wasn't surprised that he didn't know my name. He hadn't exactly been Mr. Social Butterfly last time around. "Jubilee." He gave me a weird look, which, hey, I'm used to by now, so I added, "Jubilation Lee."
"Your parents. Were they hippies? Givin' you a name like that."
I rolled my eyes. "Yeah, the only ten-year-old Chinese-American hippies on the West Coast," I said, then glared at him and said, "Look, if you're looking for Rogue, she went to the movies with the rest of the gang. So can't you just, like, go read or play bingo or drink Ensure or whatever it is you old people do?"
From the expression on his face, I was pretty sure that he was getting a jones egging me on. "No, thanks. I'll just wait here," he said, lighting up a cigar before glancing at the door. Ah, I get it . . . waiting for Rogue. Right.
"Faboo," I said, flipping open Kitty's notebook and rifling through it. I flinched as a loud noise came from the TV -- some car commercial with a Metallica song on it. Luckily, it quickly switched back to "Survivor" and the hunt for tapioca.
We'd watched for all of about a minute before Logan yanked off his jacket and said, "What the hell is this?"
I chomped on a Cheeto. Cheetos? Cheetii? Never mind. "An episode of 'Survivor.'"
He eyed me across the couch. "You know the fat naked guy wins, right?"
"Shut up," I snapped.
"Weren't you ever taught to respect your elders, girlie?"
"Well, then, I should *really* respect you, huh?"
I couldn't help but smile. Served him right, huh?
He glanced over at the door once again. His dark eyes narrowed as he looked over at me. "When did they leave?"
I shrugged, stuffing a handful of Cheetos into my mouth. "Well, Miss Munroe took all the kids to a movie about two hours ago, and Professor Xavier's in one of those hot countries with lots of starving people in it, and Miss Grey went to visit her parents. Oh, and Mr. Summers is supposed to come back from New York City later." Suddenly, a thought occurred to me. "Hey, did you bring back his bike? 'Cause we all heard him crying in his bedroom for about a week, and for once, it wasn't after we heard Miss Grey laughing."
Logan's mouth twitched. "Was that supposed to be a joke?"
"No," I said. And for once, I managed to do it with a straight face.
And the guy actually smiled! I knew the guy was playing for the home team, but I mean, come on. I was pretty sure those weren't laugh lines on his face. I was kind of going for tearing-your-arm-off-and-eating-it-like-a-corn-dog lines. "Good," he said.
He didn't say anything for a minute, and I thought that maybe he'd forgotten I was there, like old people do. But then I noticed that he was staring at the screen, where Susan was talking. Susan drove me nuts. I mean, I liked her, and I'd been rooting for her up until that dumb speech on the last episode, but she talked as if her tongue was swollen. I mean, come on. Even *I* talk English better.
Logan scowled at the screen as Susan finished talking. "What did she just say?"
"Tapioca," I said, even though I wasn't entirely sure.
"Was it in English?"
"It sure wasn't in American."
"Can we watch something else?"
"I'm bigger," he said.
I crossed my legs and finished off my glass of soda in one huge gulp before saying, "So? I was here first."
"I have these," he said, whipping out those claws of his.
"I have the remote," I said, wiggling said piece of electronic equipment in his direction.
He stood up. "My legs aren't broken."
"I could fix that," I said, lifting my hands and aiming for the closest wall.
Logan cocked an eyebrow. "It wouldn't last long."
"It would if no one picked the wall up."
He opened his mouth to snap out a comeback, but stopped as a car's headlights passed across the roof of the TV room thorugh the windows. Logan frowned at me, then sniffed. His frown got deeper. I was almost positive that one more frown would make his face cave in. "Aw, hell," he muttered, right before Mr. Summers walked in the front door.
Mr. Summers froze, and I wasn't all that surpised by it. They never had liked each other that much. I mean, I think it was a jealousy thing. Not so much that Logan had a thing for Miss Grey, which he did, but more along the lines of Logan had much better hair than Mr. Summers.
"Logan," he said, stunned. "You're back."
Logan nodded and, frowning, shook Mr. Summers' hand. They glared at each other for the longest time before either one of them let go.
Oh, good! Tension! An excuse to make a run for it! I gathered up Kitty's notebook and the Cheetos, ignored the very existence of the glass, and dived for the VCR and my videotape.
"Finally!" I said, dodging around the guys. I offered Logan a smile and patted Mr. Summers on the arm. He gave me a weird look and I cringed as I said to Logan, "You play with Mr. Summers. I need to study."
The two of them looked at me as if I had lobsters crawling out of my ears.
"Okay, pretend to study," I said.
Same lobster faces.
Okay, fine. I was leaving. I ducked out into the hallway, but couldn't resist hanging back for a little eavesdropping. I propped myself up next to the door and listened, trying not to breathe too loud.
Mr. Summers went first. "What is it with you and adolescent girls? Do you have some kind of Mary Kay Letourneau thing I should be aware of?"
I thought I heard a growl from Logan. "You keep it up, and I'll stick that visor so far up your ass you'll need an ear, nose, and throat doc to get it out."
"Don't you think that's a little extreme?"
"Not really. I could shove it so far down your throat you'll need a proctologist --"
"Hey, while he's in there, he could look for that steel rod --"
"I said, point taken!"
The room went quiet all of a sudden, and I leaned forward as much as I dared. I thought I heard someone writing something, but I wasn't sure. Then I heard something rolling across the floor towards me.
My glass rolled out into the hallway.
Oh. Logan and the smell thing. Duh, Jubes.
I picked it up as soon as I heard the guys leave out the other door to the wing where the teachers' rooms were and noticed a piece of paper stuck in the glass. I pulled it out and unfolded it, frowning as soon as I read it.
You smell like fake cheese.
Cute. Really cute.
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