**Standard Mice Disclaimer**
Mice is in no way associated with the Marvel Comics Group. She is merely trying to write a story and this is all she has to show for it. A noble effort. Though she would one day like to be paid for writing, please don't send her any money (send mail to urmonkeyifudo@yeahright.com on instructions to send her money). Bobby Drake, Jubilee, Warren Worthington and Hank McCoy do not belong to her, but to the Marvel Comics Group. Annie Peckenpaugh and Harpo Lubbock are of her own mind. Any archiving of this story that is unaware of her attention will be ily received (Read: Tiki Curse). If you e-mail her, explain your intentions to archive the story and address of your archive, she will be MORE than gracious and will probably do something nice for you, like bake you brownies, not to mention permission to archive the story. In truth, she just wants to know where she can drool over the sight with her name. *G* If you want to e-mail her comments (read: FEEDBACK), do it at mice5k@hotmail.com. Good or bad, you'll still probably get some brownies out of the deal, but it's not really that great of a reward because she can't cook ... except for spaghetti. She makes goooooood spaghetti.

Author's Note: This is part of a larger series called, "Everyone Says I Love You". For this story, if you want added fun, play "Spot the Marx Bros. reference!"
Also, this is Kerrie "Twinkie Dog" Smith's birthday fic (five days early, even!) Welcome to your twenties, Kerrie! Now, hurry back from summer camp so you can read this!

Kerrie's Sites:
B.U.C.K.S.H.O.T. - http://www.buckshot.fanspace.com/
Bobby's World - http://www.bobbysworld.fanspace.com/

Shower her with e-mail on July 15th. Not that she'll be here -- curse you Camp Minniwinnihaha!
Okay, I don't for sure if that's the name of the camp...

Also, the series can be found at Alyson Hurt's site (who is my next summer birthday victim...)
(un)frozen - http://alykat.hispeed.com/unfrozen/

Happy Birthday, Kerrie!

"Hank, why am I here?"
"Because I wanted to expose you to some culture, Annie."
"Then why am I here, Hank?"
"Because it's your private box and you love the opera, Warren."
"Then why am I here, Hank?"
"Because ... why are you here, Bobby?"
"Because he wanted to wear his powder blue tux again."
"Then tell me why I'm here, again?"
"West Wing was a rerun, Hank."
"Thank you, Annie."

A Night at the Opera
by Mice

ACT I - The Scent of a Woman

She was the Duchess Anna Gina of Transylvania and she walked with the grace of a million ballerinas on the red velvet carpet. She smiled gaily to each and every young man that walked past her and they in turn smiled in approval. The Duchess made her way to the stairs, each one a fluffy cloud elevating her higher and higher into--

"Caught ya! Are you all right?"

Annie Peckenpaugh of Pallas, Wyoming groaned. "I'm fine, Bobby. My dress is just a bit too long, and I tripped ... how much of a spectacle did I make of myself?"

"No worries," Bobby offered while making sure her dress was clear so she could continue to walk up the stairs. Then, he gesticulated to his left. "That guy's fly is open."

"There?!" Annie whipped her head around in delight. "That is a long fly!"

Bobby gently took her arm. "Careful, Annie. You don't want to trip again, do ya?"

Annie took the moment to grin. "We clash horribly." She pointed to the deep green of her dress -- the only color she liked wearing for many reasons -- and then pointed to his powder blue tux. "I must admit though, I am a fan of that tux. You could have gone for something that whispered class, but instead, you went for something that screams that you‘re here. I like it." Annie punctuated her statement with a thumbs up.

Bobby opened his mouth to say something else when Hank came up.

"Most riveting soprano--"

"Renata Tribaldi."

"Best known for her work on--"

"La Boheme."



Hank reached over and gave a quick hug to his student. "I'll quiz you further on tonight and perhaps you could share your thoughts about what you thought of the opera."

Annie blushed slightly. "Sounds nice."

Hank waved them both good-bye.

"Doesn't it get boring?"

Annie snapped out of her daydream and looked at Bobby. "Does what get boring?"

"Studying ... I mean, don't you ever want to take a break?"

She shrugged. "I have my ways, Bobby."

"Just seems like a lousy way to develop your power, is all."

She shrugged again. "It's not that great of a power to begin with ... can I tell you a secret, Bobby?"

Bobby's eyes lit up as he leaned in closer and caught the scent of her perfume. "I always want to hear secrets, Annie."

"I keep hoping that maybe my power goes deeper than memory. I've read some cases where a mutants powers happen in stages and soon as one is developed, another one can surface, and seeing as how I haven't developed any of my power, I think I have a good shot at this theory."

"Like, what sort of power do you think you'll grow into?" Bobby said, frowning a bit. He liked Annie's powers they way they were; a twenty-four hour surveillance camera with a cute face. He shuddered to think of what happened to Jean Grey-Summers. She started off as a simple telekinetic, then gained telepathic powers and then ... Annie wasn't cut out to be an intergalactic force of nature.

"I don't know, but I'm dying of curiosity." Annie smiled. "Hank thinks I'll gain more of a power the more we study."

Bobby grunted. Ever since Hank came back from his trip, he and Annie had spent every waking moment together. They ate together, they slept together ... well, in separate beds, but they slept in synch. The real reason Bobby was here at all was to spend some time with Annie. So far, this was the most they had talked in the past two weeks.

Reaching the top of the stairs, with no further near slipping disasters, Bobby leaned in close and whispered, "You smell nice, what is that?"

"Thanks," she blushed, embarrassed at being caught being a girl. "It's ... uh ... I don't remember..."

"Bobby, tell me I'm not seeing what I'm seeing!" Warren came in and broke up the moment.

"What aren't you seeing, Warren?"

"Do you see that woman with Hank?"

Both Bobby's and Annie's heads whipped to Hank's direction.

"She looks funny," Annie said simply, not liking the woman instantly.

"Oh, God, it came from the nineties!" Bobby giggled.

"So I'm right?"

"Warren, if that isn't Cyber, then I'm really Gary Coleman."

"That's a good wager."

Annie pouted towards Warren and Bobby. "Who's Cyber?"

Those two simple words that formed a question made the two grown men laugh like seven year-old boys who had just heard their first dirty joke.

"The last member of the New Defenders," Warren began before sighing. "Ah, now those were the days ... New Mexico..."

"Scantily clad nebulas..."


"The Frog..."

Warren's face broke out into a grin. "Hey, Bobby, tell me can you feel it? Tell me can you feel it? Tell me can you feel it, because the heat is--"

"That wasn't funny, Warren, it hurt like hell!"

"Glenn Fry's solo career?" Annie asked innocently, all talk of the New Defenders flying way over her head. Hank hadn't let her access the files out of what she believed to be pure embarrassment.

"Show her your chest, Bobby!" Warren with a bit too much excitement and enthusiasm. So much so that the various opera patrons turned around to look. "It's okay, I'm his boyfriend, Lance."

At that, Bobby's red face began to laugh again.

"I don't think I want to know..." Annie concluded while shaking her head.

Hank came over to his three friends with a woman in tow. "Is the heat still on, Bobby?"

Warren once again howled with laughter.

"Annie, there is someone I would like you to meet, Dr. Emily Clay-Poole."

A gray clad Emily reached out her hand to the vibrant clinging green Annie. "How do you do, Miss Peckenpaugh?"

Annie growled to herself as she shook her hand. "I'm fine. Yourself?"

"Can't complain."

This statement and this statement alone would set the tone for the entire night.

Jubilee blushed as she noticed that she was the only female present that was wearing a short red dress. Normally, standing out in a crowd wasn't something Jubilee minded, but tonight, she just wanted her kinda boyfriend to notice her.

She looked over to him as he was acquiring two sets of opera glasses. He owned his tux. And it looked good on him. He pulled his hair back into a pony tail, though didn't look slick and stupid when Gambit pulled his hair back. It was nice, soft, and subtle.

"Is he still buying the glasses, Jubilee?" a voice from the cell phone she had in her hand asked.

"Yes, Angelo."

"Are you biting on your finger nervously?"

"Yes, Angelo."

"Still embarrassed to be the only one in a short dress?"

"Yes, Angelo -- wait, no. Some guy is here in a powder blue tux. I feel a bit better."

"That's good. I saw you before you left, girl, and you looked good. Lubbock knows it, too. You have no reason to worry."

Just then, her garter rang. "Hold on, Angelo, I got another call..." Jubilee placed her leg on the bench and retrieved her phone. "You‘re saying hi to my thigh," she answered.

"Are you wearing the short red dress?"


"Is anyone else wearing a short red dress?"



Jubilee took a deep breath. "Nan, if this doesn't work--"

"Billie, have no fear. You have a crack team of experienced women here to help you out."

"Chlora and Marie are there?"

"They don't have lives. Without me, they'd be nothing."

Jubilee heard a bit of a protest in the background.

"Marie, you know you'd just be watching another Millionaire rerun if you weren't here, so pipe down!" Nan spat. "Oh, and my cookie is here for you, as well."

Jubilee blinked. "'Cookie'?"

"I adopted a cookie. I found him on a beach. He wants to help you, too. Just think of us as Mission Control."

Jubilee smiled. "Will do, Nan. Bye." Jubilee clicked off that phone and returned it to its place. She took her other cell phone and put it to her ear. "Harpo's coming back, Ange. I'll call you later."

"Just breathe, Jubilee. You'll be fine."

Harpo came back to his date, all smiles. "You are one popular girl."

She took one set of the glasses into her hand. "People tend to miss me."

Harpo smiled sadly. "Ah know Ah will."

"What do you mean, ‘ya will'?" Jubilee's eyes narrowed.

"Mah aunt wants me ta fly back home during break next week."

"You've only been here for two!"

"You did meet mah Aunt Hollis, correct?"

This ended the argument.

Act II - The Balcony Scene

There was little to be pleased about pertaining to the seating arrangement in Warren's box. Annie sat up front, intently watching the opera that developed before her eyes. Hank was next to her, smiling at how much his student was liking the opera. Next to Hank was Cyber, Dr. Clay-Poole, who's power was to assimilate the personality of oatmeal.

Annie was correct in her theory about power expansion, Bobby thought. Cyber was a prime example.

Bobby had a lot of time to think of this principle, since he was seated right behind her, Warren behind Annie and Hank. Cyber had joined the team right at the end of the days of the New Defenders. In fact, she might have been the reason why the New Defenders disbanded. Her powers were nifty, Bobby couldn't disagree with that. Cyber's natural organic body was replaced by a technological design that was also organic. She wasn't made from soft, easily destructible tissue, but by a synthetic that wouldn't tear or break or bleed.

She also had some affinity with electronics, but that bored Bobby. The synthetic body was what had interested him most. He wasn't attracted to Cyber and didn't have a crush on her, but he did have a long standing and embarrassing adolescent fantasy about having sex with a robot.

It was just too bad about the oatmeal thing.

This is where Annie came in. Annie had a robotic like mind. Annie spouted facts like Seven-of-Nine on Voyager. Annie was cute like Seven-of-Nine on Voyager. Annie knew who Seven-of-Nine on Voyager was.

And she was sitting happily next to his best friend.

Bobby turned his attention to elsewhere in the opera house. He spied a couple of old women sitting a ways away, nothing too interesting there ... he saw two elderly gentlemen holding hands, nothing to hold his attention ... he saw Jubilee waving her hands to get his attention with a date right next to her, nothing too out of the--

His head jolted back and his eyes went wide. His jaw gaped open a bit. He made a grand shrugging gesture at her, indicating his astonishment of seeing her there.

She made a motion for them to talk in the lobby.

He made motion to Annie and Hank and made out with his hand and then gagged to show Annie's crush on him.

She made a motion for them to talk in the lobby.

He pointed to Cyber and made little snoring sounds.

Warren picked him up by the collar and escorted him to the lobby.

Intermission - Cue the Dancing Hot Dog, Popcorn, and Candy

Jubilee was pacing around, fidgeting with her fingers, waiting until Bobby found his way to her. When he finally did, she saw he had Jordan Almonds.

"Where did you get those?"

"Before we came in, I went to the theatre across the street and paid an usher to get me some," Bobby said with a full mouth. "Want some?"

"Ye--no, Bobby, I want to talk to you. It's about your cousin."



Bobby's brow scrunched. "Joel? Mary?"



"No, that guy I'm with ... he's your kinda cousin."

"Whatchu talkin' ‘bout."

"His name is Harpo Lubbock...he's Hollis's nephew and we're sorta dating."

"Dating?! What happened to Everett?!"

"He never paid attention to me, especially since Wendy--"

"I thought he was going out with Marnie!"

"Dude, Marnie is old news!"

Bobby huffed and snorted. "Wait ... you're going out with a Lubbock?"

Jubilee nodded. "That's exactly what I thought when it happened, but he's so cool, Bobby..." Jubilee squinted her eyes. "He's like you, but he's cute."

"Thank you, that makes my heart full."

"You will notice he's not wearing a powder blue tux..."

Bobby answered that by eating more Jordan Almonds. "So, why the need for a pow wow?"

It was Jubilee's turn to huff. "Because I don't think he likes me. We've gone out a few times, but all he's ever done is kiss me on my forehead and held my hand a few times."

Bobby stopped in mid-crunch. "Hetheeze duhn waff?!"

Jubilee blinked. "Uhm..."

He cleansed his palate. "He's done what?!"

"I told, you, nothing much..."

Bobby chuckled. "Nothing much ... oh, silly, silly, inexperienced girl! He wants you so bad!" Bobby paused and looked directly into her eyes. "No sex!"


Bobby shook his head angrily. "What is with you girls? If a man doesn't rape you on the first date, it doesn't mean anything? You know, sometimes a kiss on the forehead is a want for something more. We're looking for an in. You got to encourage us on!"

"So you think I should do something more gutsy?"

"Women in general, not you. No sex!"

"I said okay!"

"You know, some of us are cuddlers ... we like to cuddle and it means a lot ... sometimes more than sex ... don't tell Warren or Hank I said that."

Jubilee led him to a bench to sit down at. "Do you need something to drink or something, Bobby?"

He shook his head. "It's just that there's this girl--"

"You're hot for Annie, aren'tcha?"

"How did--"

"Dude, I could major in Bobby Drake's sign language." v"She likes Hank."

"I got that, too, Bobby. Make out with your hand much?"

"Like I never caught you doing it..."

"And like I never caught you doing it..."

The two sat in embarrassed silence.

"Robert's right, Billie. The boy does want you."

Bobby looked around the lobby. "Nan's here?"

"Look at her thigh, Robert."

Jubilee covered his eyes. "He'll do no such thing!" She removed the phone from her garter and put the phone up to her ear and uncovered his eyes. "Perv."


"Billie, if you want him to do something more than to just kiss your forehead, you may have to take the lead again. After all, who asked who out first?"

"I did."

Bobby brightened. "You did?"

"I did."

"Then if you want that Lubbock -- I still cannot believe you're dating a Lubbock -- to kiss you, knock some sense into him again and grab him by the ears and pretend he's your hand!"

Jubilee blushed. "All right..."

"I think you'll be fine without your garter phone for the rest of the night, Billie. Give the phone to Robert."

Bobby took the phone carefully from Jubilee's hand and tentatively put his ear to the phone. "Yes, Nana?"

"Many things, Robert ... so many things that I just don't know where to begin..."

"Powder blue tux!" Jubilee encouraged.

"Oh, Robert..."

"It looks GOOD on me! It goes with my eyes!"

"Robert, your eyes are brown."

"They're blue, Nana."

"Robert, don't you correct me! I was there when you were born, and your eyes were as brown then as they are now."

Bobby blushed. "Nana..." Bobby looked over to Jubilee who was staring intently at his head. "Jube?"

Her eyes went wide as she made a discovery. "YOU WEAR COLOR CONTACTS!"

Bobby's blush deepened. "Not so loud!"

"I just never noticed, I always assumed, just like everyone else...!"

"Oh, Robert ... maybe if you showed this Annie your brown eyes, she wouldn't be with this Hank."

"Hank has blue eyes!"

Jubilee snorted. "He also has blue fur, Bobby. Are you going to dye your hair blue?"


"Listen to my Billie, Robert, she's smart."

Jubilee beamed.

Then, the doors opened and the real intermission began.

Intermission II - Cue the Tap Dancing Can

"And then I realized that he wasn't talking about trichitillomania, but trench foot!" Dr. Clay-Poole and Hank giggled.

Annie sighed. She was bored. Very, very bored. She turned to the other side of her to come in close contact with Bobby Drake who's eyes had gone from blue to two monogamous lime green and pink almond shapes.

Annie was always decidedly less bored with Bobby around.

"So, what do you think of the opera?"

Annie smiled as she leaned up to Bobby's head and ate one of his eyes. "It's really beautiful, and, if you were inside watching it, you'd know that."

Bobby grinned and was going to play off of her words when Hank came back over. "Annie, what are you doing next Thursday?"

"Aren't we covering basic biochem?"

"Not unless you want to be able to use your knee to play soft ball again."

Annie's jaw dropped, exposing her lime candy shell covered tongue. "How?"

Dr. Clay-Poole smiled. "I have time in my schedule and it's a simple procedure."

"Consider this a gift, Annie. Please." Hank leaned over and kissed her on her forehead.

The two doctors left, speaking more of "ologies" and "manias", and leaving Annie a little light headed.

"Hey, Bobby, can I ask you something?"

Bobby nodded, eating his formally pink and almond eye.

"Hank and that woman ... are they dating?"

Bobby had to swallow hard. He knew that Cyber had a bad crush on his best friend. A horrid crush. This knowledge would crush Annie.

Bobby also knew that Hank hated Cyber with the white hot intensity of a thousand suns. For him to even contact her after all these years was a gesture of caring on his part to Annie. This knowledge would encourage Annie.

Bobby had a choice. He could listen to the Good Bobby on his right shoulder, or give into Bad Bobby who was sitting to his left.

"I don't know."

He went with I Don't Know Bobby. I Don't Know Bobby usually did most of the talking.

"Could you find out for me?"


That was I'll Do Anything to Make the Girl Happy Bobby. He hadn't heard from that Bobby since Opal.

"Hey Annie, can I ask you a question now?"

Annie smiled as she playfully hit him on the shoulder. "Shoot, slugger."

"Do you have a thing for Hank or something?"

Annie's face fell and she began to fidget with her hair. "No ... not really, I mean, I can't, can I? Do you think he could have a thing for a thing like me? Because I'm kinda hoping..."

Bobby nodding, hoping that she couldn't tell that he wanted to throw up and scream at the same time. "Annie, I don't see a possible reason why Hank wouldn't be interested in someone like you."

Her eyes narrowed. "Uhm ... thanks."

"I just meant that you're different--"

"Thank you for reminding me, Bobby."

"Annie..." He watched her as she walked towards the bathroom and mentally kicked himself.

"Robert, you have much to learn," a voice sighed from his thigh.

Act III - A Child of Four Would Understand This

Jubilee smiled as she returned to her seat, full of nervous energy. She knew what she had to do, but wasn't sure if even she had the guts to go through with it.

"Hey Harpo?"

He turned and smiled. "Yes?"

"I think you need to stick your tongue down my throat."

He straightened up. "Will you repeat that?"

"You‘ve got to be kidding."

He sat back and brought a hand to his lips. "Wondering why Ah haven't kissed you?" She nodded quietly. He reached over and took her hand and made her look into his eyes. "Jubilee, do you have any clue why Ah'm at Xaviers?"

Jubilee's eyes opened up a bit more. "So it's not just because you're a rich kid?"

Harpo shook his head. "Ah'm empathic, Jubilee. Ah know what any given person is feeling at this given moment. Like, take them for example." Harpo pointed across the way to Bobby, Annie, Hank, and Dr. Clay-Poole. "The one in gray would do anythin' ta get the stocky man in glasses inta bed with her. The guy in the powder blue tux is upset because the gal in green is interested in his best friend. He doesn't want that ta happen because he cares for her a lot, but he doesn't want ta hurt her. And the gal in green...?"

Jubilee nodded, fascinated. "Yeah, what about Annie?"

He smiled. "You won't tell your friend, will you?"

"My friend?"

"Bobby, right?"

"How did -- right, you're an empath. That's what all this is about. I just want you to know that you kick ass at this."

Harpo smiled before continuing. "Ah shouldn't tell you."

Jubilee pouted. "Tell! He likes her so much, Harpo, and if you could have seen his ex--"

A dark cloud went over Harpo's face.

"Wow, you are good."

He took a deep breath and sighed. "The green gal's afraid somethin' bad. She's consciously settin' herself up for failure."

"Hank doesn't like her, huh?"

Harpo shook his head. "He does. But he has other things in his life right now. This girl, though ... she got burned pretty bad the last time. She's looking fer something that can't possibly work, and that's why she's pursuin' that guy ... and there's something about blue fur and pancakes ... that Ah can't make out.


Harpo shrugged. "Now, Jubilee, if Ah can tell all that from them sitting all the way over there, don't you think Ah know all about Ev?"

Her breath shortened as she winced in pain. "Oh. So you know everything, then..."

"Only what you keep repeatin' in your head."

"And what's that, if you know so much?" she snarled.

"'Ev didn't like me, why should he?' That runs in there," he pointed to her head, "a lot. Ah also know that you're scared, Jubilee. Have you ever been kissed before?"

"I think you know the answer to that."

"Ah was just feelin' like a know-it-all." Harpo grinned sadly. "The point is, Jubilee, Ah know your nervous and no matter how many times you psyche yourself up for anything more physical, Ah know that you're scared and Ah don't want ta do that ta you."

"So you do like me?"

Harpo chuckled. "What do you think?"

"What do you think I think?" She smiled. "Seeing as how you already know what I think."

"You want me ta say it out loud for you."

She blushed and looked down to the ground. More than anything, that was what she wanted to hear: an admittance of feeling.

"Jubilation Lee, Ah like you." A grin spread across his face as he heard her next thought. "Ah do want you. Do you know how bad it's been killin' me tryin' ta find harmless places ta kiss you on?" He leaned over and stroked her hair a bit. "Ah just don't want ta push you inta doing anything you don't feel ready for."

Jubilee smiled. "Can you hear what I'm thinking right now?"

Across from them, the guy in the blue tux looked at his kind of cousin with his tongue down his pixie's throat with only one thought on his mind: "No sex!"

Act IV - Someone Get Me a Child of Four

The opera was over. Annie and Hank were talking intently about the libretto and the performance off in the distance. Warren was off somewhere, probably flirting with some woman or another. This left Bobby with Cyber.

"Robert, I have a question..."

Bobby growled and thought to himself as he watched Annie and Hank, Where else have I heard that tonight?

"It's about Henry. Do you think he would consider seeing me on a more intimate basis?"

Annie began to laugh as Hank tickled her neck. Cyber stood in front of the scene, oblivious to the care free giggles and soft skin that was being touched.


Bad Bobby had prevailed finally.

Warren shook his head as he heard his friend lie to their old teammate. "Bobby, what are you getting yourself into..."

He turned to go and give his friend a lecture when Jubilee and her date stopped by him. "Mr. Worthington?" the boy asked.


"Tell your friend Bobby 'Galatea.'"

Warren shook his head again. "I don't understand."

"The fragrance that girl is wearing is called "Galatea". It's been on his mind all night." And with that, Jubilee and her odd date left him with a little wave. He looked over to Hank and Annie, who was still in a fit of giggles and squeals over Hank, who was almost glowing at the attention. He turned and saw Bobby taking in the entire scene with a horrible look of pain across his sensitive face who was talking to a sadly hopeful Emily Clay-Poole who was obviously thrilled with the fact that she could finally go out with Hank. He watched as Jubilee and her date waited for a car to be pulled around, his arm around her and their lips pressed against the other's.

Life was changing dramatically for his friends and Warren was the only one who was aware of it.

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