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"Tales of the Twilight Menshevik"

Stories in this series:

Sisters under Their Skins
Midnight Sun
A Year in the Life
October 6: A Night 2 Remember
A Day's Work
Late Summer Interlude
The Time the Twain Shall Meet
Message to a Grandchild
Ergo Bibamus 1: Eat, Drink and Be Merry
Lights in the Dark
Between the Woods and Frozen Lake
Ergo Bibamus 2: There's a Tavern Near the Town
Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Someone Blue
Valentine Allsorts
The Ballad of Trish and Henry
Rogue's Fairy Tale
Magneto, My First Love
To My Dark-Haired Lady
The Raven and the Oriole
Trish -- A Rapture

Val and Ray at the Movies
March 2002
July 2002

Tales of Future Twilight
Ergo Bibamus 3: Drink to Me Only With Thine Eyes
They Will Always Be Penny and Max to Me
Getting to Know You
Fourth Thursday in November
The Iceman's Tale
Pictures at an Exhibition
The Survivor Has a Different Kind of Scar

Twilight Yet to Come
Hang on to Your Ego
Strange Headfellows
Sonnet for Magnus
Between the Winds

DISCLAIMER: This is an unauthorized work of fiction using characters that are (c) & TM by Marvel Comics Group. No profit is being made on this story, so I'll invoke The Marvel Readers' Bill of Rights (for the full text see Stan's Soapbox in some of the May 1998 comics, e.g. Generation X #38):
"8. The right to practice scripting and drawing our Marvel characters for your own pleasure and amusement."
The story is (c) Tilman Stieve ( You can download this and copy it for your entertainment, but don't sell it for profit, or Marvel will set their lawyers on you. Please do not archive this on your website without informing me first.
Eat, Drink, and Be Merry belongs to the continuing series, the Tales of the Twilight Menshevik; it interconnects with a few other stories, but should be understandable on its own. Within the series, it comes before Lights in the Dark and Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Someone Blue.
You can find the other Tales archived on "Fonts of Wisdom," "Down-Home Charm," "MissyRedX: The Average Website," and "Stacy's Fan-Fiction Page."
WARNING: This story features references and brief descriptions of sexual acts between consenting adults and of sexual fantasies. If you are too young to read them or if such descriptions bother you, I must ask you to wait until you're old enough.

Ergo Bibamus 1:
Eat, Drink, and Be Merry

La Casserole d'Or is a fancy-shmancy nouvelle cuisine place where stuffed shirts and rich tourists mingle and eat expensive dishes in small helpings arranged in decorative patterns on oversized plates by snooty waiters. Normally I'd stick out like a half-eaten poutine on a birthday cake, but Jeannie's casting a telepathic illusion around us we look like a couple of young stockbrokers or some such to the staff and the other guests. I still feel ... not so much out of place as uncomfortable, as I usually do in surroundings like this. I know how guests are supposed to behave here, but it does take an extra effort.

And yet, when I look towards her by my side, this uneasiness is exorcised, overwhelmed by the wonder and happiness of being with the woman I love. Half a year ago I would not have thought that possible. I had resigned myself to the fact that Jean would cleave to Scott and I might as well forget about seeing the potential for anything more than friendship between Jean Grey-Summers and myself. But then nobody could've foreseen that Cyke would be so stupid as to cheat on his wife. Okay, I understand that he took the disappearance of Cable hard -- even though my guts still find it hard to identify Nathan Dayspring with the cute little rugrat Madelyne (Scott's first wife) presented to us when we got back from Magneto's trial. But Iall that mattered to me was that he hurt Jeannie while he wallowed in guilt over Nate and Maddy.

When she found out that he'd cheated on her, she turned to me. I did my best to comfort her, and one thing led to another. My denied feelings for her returned with a vengeance, and she too rediscovered the attraction she had felt for me the first time we met.

If it had been anyone else but Red, I think I would've done what is called the gentlemanly thing and resisted the urge to take advantage of Sparky's stupidity. (Scott hates it when I call him that because he and the penguin on This Modern World wear the same goggles). But what can I say? I was able to give her comfort, and being with me made her feel better, leastways so it looked to me.

After some days she started going between the sheets with me -- I wasn't sure whether it was something she felt obliged to do, as a kind of reward, or because she sensed my body's eagerness, or whether it was something she genuinely needed and wanted as she told me, but far as I could judge it didn't take long to develop into something real. Not that it wasn't bloody amazing just as far as the purely physical sex went. My recuperative powers can be a challenge to a partner, but Jean rose to it magnificently.

Jeannie calls our furtive meetings trysts now. The first was a fumbling encounter, I was so in awe, almost unable to believe my luck, that I was in bed with Jean. Whatever doubts I had about her own ardour were removed in the occasions that followed. Yesterday we spent all afternoon in bed together, then ordered a couple of pizzas, and then went on making love till she fell asleep.

We had our dessert in the morning, then we went out into the woods, talking and mindspeaking. And now she's taking me to the poshest restaurant on this end of Lake Champlain.

We put up our coats and go to our table. After we settle down, she adjusts the illusion she's projecting so that we both see each other as we really are. I'm kinda relieved to see the calluses and hairs on my fingers again, and I much prefer Jeannie red-headed and not a blonde. But when I look up from my hands I start. She is naked above her waist.

She grins at me, pleased that she managed to surprise me. "I know this place isn't you," she whispers, "so I decided you're entitled to a little treat. Besides, you said that when it comes to people, what you see is less important than what your other senses tell you, so it shouldn't really be that big a difference for you."

It's true, I said that. And the sight of a beautiful woman naked can be less exciting for me than one fully wrapped up, depending on what I smell. In fact, perhaps the hottest moment for me yesterday was when we acted out my fantasy with her as the doctor examining me -- she was wearing a white lab overcoat and I was the one whom she could not wait to get undressed. She reacting to the sight and touch -- part play-acting, part for real -- tearing off my pants and ravishing me on top of the sofa that doubled as our examining table. She kept most of her clothes on, left my hands to burrow under her red woollen sweater until my fingers found their way into her bra to play with her big puckered nipples.

Jean catches that mental image and smiles with the memory. "You know, if someone had asked me what your big sexual fantasy about me was, that is not what I would have expected. But you're sweet," she adds with both eyes twinkling, "it's not every man who sits in front of a bare-bosomed woman and fantasises about her being dressed. Even if it's not as innocent as it sounds."

We chuckle, and a waiter walks up, unaware of Jeannie's true attire, to bring us our menus and the wine list. There was a time when I would have put the latter aside and immediately ordered a brew, but I don't have to play the backwoodsman all the time. Jean has taken me here so we can enjoy ourselves, she likes an occasional good glass of wine, and selects a bottle of a not-too-expensive Australian one with some French name, chateau de Wollomolloo (or nearly). Either she's an expert or she picked it out of the sommelier's brain, at any rate he is pleasantly surprised and effusively approves of her unorthodox choice.

We place our orders for the food, and then we have to wait, but that is no problem. I can take in the lovely view before me: Jean's wavy, long red hair, the sparkling green eyes beneath her arching eyebrows, the pretty little nose and full lips (she did not bother to put on lipstick today), the determined chin. The throat is enhanced by a string of pearls that also accents her full, milk-white breasts with their pale points. Also, we have tons of things we can talk about, even if we avoid some of the obvious topics. Such as what Scott and Elizabeth are up to right now or whether we should feel like relaxing our guard now that Magneto has been our 'ally' for over a year. Not that there isn't a little gossip about some of the other team-mates:

"You know," she says, "I rang up Hank yesterday morning." Hank McCoy -- the Beast -- is currently wearing his Avengers hat and living in the mansion near Central Park, but he's one of Jeannie's oldest pals, she likes to phone him whenever there's an Avengers mission in the news, to see if he's all right and to gossip. "He was still in bed, and I heard Trish's voice."

"Guess this means they really did make up," I shrug, "well, good for Ms. Tilby." That TV journalist is not my favourite person, but since Jeannie clearly is happy for her old friend, and I am happy to be with her, I am inclined to be indulgent. Let them stay together for all I care, we know where we stand, so we don't have to get into a debate every time we meet. So even if she does become a permanent fixture in the X-tended family, we should be able to handle it.

Those last thoughts were very close to the surface; Red catches them, smiles, and changes the subject. When we're together, she likes to quiz me about my life, which can be a bit of a problem seeing how little I remember myself of the years before Heather and Mac found me. Sometimes I allow her to probe in my mind, hoping that because I trust her as I do she might be able to find and open locks in there that Chuck with his greater telepathic gifts did not touch. But that's out right now, because that job takes a lot of concentration on her part, and that might lead to her inadvertently interrupting the illusion she projects and revealing to all our true looks. Not to mention her state of dress.

So I just talk. Tonight Jeannie is interested in a part of my life that I do remember, one that even falls into the years after she first met me, but she knows very little about: Mariko. She only met Mariko Yashida once and very briefly, because Shiro only introduced her to me after Jean had been put in that cocoon at the bottom of Jamaica Bay, and Mariko was killed not long after Jean and the other four original X-Men again took an interest in us latecomers and our friends. "But I sensed there was a change between the Mountain Man Sam act you did when we first met, and the kind of man you had become by the time the old and new X-Men were reunited," she says. "It made me wonder if your late fiancee had anything to do with it."

"Yeah, she did," I reply after a while. "She was a special lady. Maybe it was because she didn't see me doin' what I do in a scrap when we first met, but she never was afraid, of me of her feelings for me. Even later, when I was forced to kill her father."

"Guess we two started off on the wrong foot," she muses, "of course looking back... You were overcompensating for your ... unfamiliarity with the others. And being around Scott seems to have given you this testosterone rush which did not always make you the most endearing person. Not that you didn't strike a distinct chord with me even at our first meetings..."

"Well, cousin Shiro, even with the chip on his shoulder, did not have quite the same conflict potential as a suspicious boyfriend. Not to mention your ol' pals Warren and Bobby."

"No, they didn't like you much, did they?" I snort and she giggles prettily. But then our train of thought is interrupted as one of the waiters begins to serve us. Before the first course we get an unannounced 'amuse-gueule', a small serving of shrimp ravioli. Then the soups -- onion for Jeannie, bouillabaisse for me. She likes to savour the taste, and listens almost in silence as I tell her of how Mariko and I met when the X-Men ended up in Japan after hitching a ride on a freighter after we got out of the Savage Land back in '91, and how she soon after travelled to New York to see me again.

Red was right about one thing: With Mariko I never felt the need to come on as strong as I did with her during my first days in Westchester. But there were other reasons. For one thing Mariko radiated equanimity, with her I never had that sense of an irrepressible passion beneath the quiet surface that I immediately sensed in Jeannie. But that had been what attracted me to Jean, so why didn't I miss it in the woman I was going to marry? Guess Mariko appealed to a different part of me, the same way Scott appealed to a different part of Jean than I do. Not that I'm going to mention that comparison now.

When we get to the main course, the subject of Jubilee crops up somehow. A week or so before Thanksgiving, Kitty Pryde came over on a brief visit to help look into her disappearance, and she managed to find a message the youngster had left behind in a bar where Jubes and I had met just before she vanished. Not that far from here, in fact. "Well, she says she's going to be at Crossroads again for her birthday, now all we can do is hope she'll be there."

"When will that be?" Jean wants to know.

"December 18th. I'll be goin' there with her classmates, Emma, Irish, an' maybe some of the X-Men. You wanna come?"

"Maybe," she hesitantly says. "If she returns I'll be able to see her in Salem Center or Snow Valley. But I don't really know her all that well, so maybe she prefers to be there just with her friends?"

It was a really crazy story we got from the kid's letter and her diary (I confiscated that and gave the others an edited version -- hey, it was the thing to do, and everybody kinda looks on me as Jubilee's ersatz dad anyway.) An interface with another universe and a contest for survival that none of us remembered, and after we read what Jubilee wrote, all that came back to my and the others' memory was a few hazy incidents. And unfortunately no one else kept a diary during the time. Actually, Rogue told us that her foster-mom's lover, Val Cooper, keeps a diary almost obsessively, but since she works for the government, a lot of us didn't want to involve her. And then Jubilee found a way to return there to follow her swain.

"I'm beginnin' to suspect she ain't comin' back soon, if the way she gushed about this Robin fella in her diary is any indication."

"Imagine, we all thought she still had that major crush on you," Jean says, "and then it turns out her Mr. Right had dropped into her bed from another universe. Guess she really was an X-Man -- her love-life is crazy enough to fit in."

"In a way I envy her. Wouldn't mind leavin' to another universe with you, Red."

I'm not entirely joking, and she has the tact to mull the idea about before she replies. "It's a tempting thought, Logan love." She leans forward and kisses me on the cheek, and she sighs. " I don't begrudge her finding her happiness there, if that's what she did. But unlike her we can't always do what we want. Trite as it sounds, we're needed here. But I'll try to make time to go to see Jubilee with you and the others. It may be the last chance."

We then move on to less serious subjects and our spirits rise. This is our last evening together until we can arrange another 'tryst', which we probably won't be able to do before the New Year. We are having a good time, some would almost say too good a time, but it is a situation that can't last -- we can't keep it secret forever, and some day we either have to stop meeting or come out to the others. But I sense it is still too early to hash that out with Jean, to ask her if she wants this to remain an episode, or if she wants to be together with me permanently and get a divorce from Scott. It is up to her to decide, not just because I want her to be happy, but also because I'm not sure which alternative scares me more. So I dismiss that fleeting thought and return to enjoying the food and Jean's company.

And then the desserts are finished and it's time to go. As we leave the building Jeannie is in a buoyant mood and momentarily drops her telepathic illusion when we pass the headwaiter. His eyes bulge at the sudden flash of her superior teats, but he manages to hold on to his tray and not let it drop.

Outside, the sun is setting over the lake. We stand closely together on the shore and watch. I put my arms around her from behind, accidentally on purpose letting my hands rest on her breasts. She's still not wearing anything under her coat, so I can feel her heartbeat very well. But it has become very cold, as you'd expect from Vermont in late November.

Standing together is all very well, but after a while it's not enough, and almost by their own accord my hands begin to cup, to stroke, to squeeze. Jean doesn't mind, but says: "What's the big idea, Logan?"

"Just tryin' to be helpful, darlin'. You're startin' to freeze. Just look how stiff the tips o' your teats are from the cold."

"Hmmm, you sure that's just from the cold, Logan dear?"

"Have anything in mind, Jeannie? We did my fantasy yesterday, what's yours?"

She pauses. "Fantasies aren't always what a woman actually wants to live out. Or that you can, even if you want to. And you might not like it." When I insist on knowing, she shows me, telepathically.

Her warning was not entirely unfounded, but her fantasy once again shows she is wilder inside than most of her team-mates want to believe. It turns out she has often dreamed about a threesome with her and two men. But that doesn't bother me so much, nor does the fact that after a number of sexual permutations her fantasy ends with her watching her two partners having it off with each other -- been there, done that -- what bothers me is that the two men are me ... and Cyclops.

"Too bad Scott and I'd rather make war than love," I try to joke. "Whew that's some fantasy, Jean. Had it long?"

"And others like it. When I was a teenager, I wrote little X-rated stories about Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock, and later I sometimes fantasised about Scott and Warren. And you know what the funny thing is? Both Scott and Warren probably know what it is like to be on the receiving end of a penis through mind-linking during sex... with me and that Braddock... nimbo."

The intensity of the images she showed me got me so aroused that she drives into an empty side-road on the way to our motel and laughingly 'takes care' of my hard-on "so you can walk tall and upright when we go into our room." We then discover that she needs it now, too, and it becomes quite a lengthy session. Raw, impatient, with both of us not bothering to take off most of our clothes. After two times on the backseat (we left the condoms in our room, but she improvises with a telekinetic sheath) the windows are sure steamed up.

There is often something manic about the way we X-Men enjoy ourselves -- take Remy's high-speed motorbike rides around midnight, or Rogue's clubbing, or 'roro's joy-flying, or Hank's pub-crawls... no wait, he no longer does that, now that Wonder Man is gone. Possibly a touch of the 'Seize the day, tomorrow we may all be dead' we've come to expect from people in our line of work. Maybe that's also a big reason for Jean's and my hyperactivity during the past two days.

At the finish I notice a few salty droplets falling down onto my face. When a couple of them end up on my tongue, I am surprised they're tears, not sweat. As someone said (no doubt Henry McCoy knows who), post coitum omne animale tristis.

During the rest of our drive to the motel, Jean is strangely silent, which gives me more time to reflect on that fantasy she showed me of her and me and Scott. She's definitely not over the big lug yet, and the more I think about it, the more it not only bothers me, it worries me. It makes me realise I'm actually scared shitless that she might leave me. And a cold fear arises in me that the fuss Jean made over me yesterday and today, the big dinner, the indulging of my fantasies, could in the end lead up to just that. Now that I think about it, the last two times I saw Sparky and Betsy, they did not seem to lust for each other as obviously as a month ago. Maybe Jean also sensed that, and is thinking about forgiving him. Maybe she wanted to give me one last great time before trying to win him back. And the other little signs, those tears? Could they have been because of the impending parting of our ways?

By the time we enter our room, I've made up my mind I may not have another chance to turn this around, to appeal to Jeannie, to tell her I want to stay with her for good, maybe even marry her... But she stops me dead: "Logan, we have to talk."

I have a bad feeling about this, my instincts sound an alarm, but I submit to the inevitable.



Notes: This story is the first of a trilogy of stories where Logan goes to eateries or drinking establishments with ladies of his acquaintance. Bibamus is also the French nickname for the mascot of the Michelin tyre company, and since that publishes the most well-known guide to gourmet restaurants, it is only fitting that the first story is set in a posh restaurant. And yes, Logan's fantasy was inspired by 'the movie'. This Modern World is a cool weekly radical satirical strip by Tom Tomorrow (Dan Perkins).

Chronology: Should you keep track of the Twilight Menshevik timeline, Eat, Drink and Be Merry is set in late November 1997, following on the crisis in the Summers marriage that began after The Time the Twain Shall Meet. The story of Jean and Logan continues, first in Ergo Bibamus 2: There's a Tavern Near the Town and after that in Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Someone Blue.

This story was first published in Tales of the Twilight Menshevik: The Second Collection, which was produced for the 150th mailing of the MZS-APA in December 2000. The MZS-APA has a website at


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