An Infinite Number of Stuffed Bunnies

Disclaimer: None of them are mine except Michael, etc, etc・ The rings mentioned are from the X-Men story 'Coming To Terms', by me, which can be found at Fonts Of Wisdom (

Jubilee wondered if there was any chance she could get someone to sneak a taser into her hospital room.

Failing that, a rope ladder and a getaway vehicle would do nicely. Oh, sure, a rope ladder wouldn't be much fun in a nightshirt and a bunch of intimately placed stitching, but given the alternative.....

"Abooboo!!" Warren cooed. "Who's a handsome little baby? You are!"

Jubilee wondered if she could get away with demanding the return of her son.

"He's so TINY!" Jean sighed, touching Michael's cheek gently. "Oh, you're so precious!"

It had been like this for hours. Her room had been stuffed with X-types, all making cutesy noises and exclaiming over her child's adorableness. It had been fun at first, but it had now been nearly two hours since Jubilee herself had gotten to hold him, and the excitement was wearing thin.

"My turn." Hank cradled the baby in two huge hands. "Hello, young Michael. What do you think of the wide world so far?"

Michael looked up at him with wide eyes, and cooed uncertainly. He was immediately drowned out by a tsunami of coos and giggles and 'Aww, isn't that adorable?!'. His mother pouted. Nobody was paying any attention to HER.

"Hey, p'tite." Remy strolled into the room, Rogue and Marrow right behind him. "Still visiting hours, I see."

"Yup." Jubilee sat up a little straighter. "Did you bring us a present?"

"Always, chere." Remy grinned, fishing in his coat pockets. "Here a present for de baby, and dis one's for you."

"Ah helped pick them out." Rogue said brightly. "Go on, open them!" Jubilee opened Michael's gift first, and beamed. Instead of the omnipresent stuffed bunny (of which she had enough to supply an army of babies), it was a pretty mobile of suncatcher crystals. "Remy, Rogue, this is beautiful!"

Remy beamed. "Me'n Roguie t'ink it'd give de baby somet'ing to look at while he's in his cot, non? Keep him amused."

"He'll love it." Jubilee smiled, holding it up to scatter tiny rainbows across her pale blue blanket. Then, laying it down gently, she reached for the other present. It was wrapped in pale yellow tissue paper, and instead of a ribbon was tied with a narrow, delicate white silk scarf. Jubilee untied it carefully, smoothing the silk as she laid it aside, then unfolding the tissue paper to reveal a large, square, black velvet box.

She opened it carefully, and gasped. A heavy, twisted golden necklace glittered with diamonds, suspending a single deep-blue sapphire pendant. Matching earrings lay in state in the center of the shimmering circle of gold. "Oh, wow・ Remy, this is beautiful."

"Well・" Remy took her small hand gently. "Y' a mother and a lady now, petite. You should have at least a few jewels, and de sapphires match your pretty eyes, non?" He smiled, and leaned down to kiss her forehead.

"Thanks." Jubilee hugged him tightly, her eyes misty. "I・ thanks."

"Y'welcome." He closed his eyes, hugging her gently. "Y' mean a lot t' me, petite. Y' know Remy always be here f'r you and your baby."

"I know." She kissed his cheek, and smiled.

"What about me?" Rogue smiled at them. "Ah helped pick it out."

"Thanks, Rogue." Jubilee reached out to squeeze the gloved hand, smiling. "I love it."

"No need ta thank me." Rogue grinned. "Just let me hold that li'l angel o' yours."

Jubilee chuckled, and pointed to the huddle of X-people. "That I can't help ya with. Yer gonna hafta fight yer own way in."

While Rogue went to coo over the baby, Remy dragged Angelo outside. "Wanna talk t' you, homme."

"Okay," Angelo permitted himself to be towed, looking rather resigned.

When they were well down the hall, Remy let go and turned to him. "Jus' got one question, Angelo. You plannin' on marryin' de petite?" Remy gave him a stern look.

"Yes," Angelo said promptly. "If she agrees, of course."

"Dat always a consideration," Remy agreed. "Y'can never be quite sure. Anyway.... dere somet'ing dis Cajun wanna give y'. Two, actually." He poked Angelo in the chest with one finger. "First, de warning. If y' hurt her, Remy'll kill ya nice and slow-like. Know Logan probably already say dat, but it still gotta be said, oui?"

"Si. It's what friends are for." Angelo agreed, knowing that since he would never, EVER hurt Jubilee, he was perfectly safe.

"Good. We take de threats and warnings as given, den." Remy nodded. "Now..... if y' gonna get married, y' gonna need rings."

"I know." Angelo blinked. This wasn't something he'd expected to have come up...... unless, of course, the thief wanted to sell him one, which would be a good idea, since Ange wasn't exactly independently wealthy.

"Well...." Remy reached into his pocket, and pulled out a small bag. "Remy want t' give you and Jubilee dese."

He tipped them out into his palm. Two plain gold bands, and one delicate sapphire-and-diamond engagement ring. Remy touched them gently with one finger. "Dese belonged t' my birth parents. Dey were left t' me, but I didn' get dem until a few months ago." He smiled sadly, stroking the rings gently, "Got dese, a letter, an' a locket."

"They belonged to your parents?" Angelo gazed at them.

"Oui." Remy straightened. "An' I wan' you and Jubilee to have dem, on de understanding dat dey go t' Michael when y' gone, right?"

"But...." Angelo shook his head. "If these are all you have from your parents, you should keep them-"

"Non." Remy shook his head positively. "Jubilee de one person who never lose faith in this ol' Cajun. She like a little sister t' me, an' I wanted t' give her somet'ing special." He sighed, and looked up at Angelo with a resigned look in his eyes. "See, Remy...." His lips twisted wryly. "*I* can' be fatherin' no children, see? Dere ain't nobody t' inherit these little things, an' there never will be. Dat being so, ain't nobody else I'd rather give them to." He smiled, then. "Besides, Jubilee de only one with little enough fingers t' fit."

"I... thank you." Angelo swallowed a lump that had suddenly appeared in his throat. "They're beautiful. She'll love them."

"Hope so." Remy tipped the rings back into their bag, and held it out. "Y' hold onto dese until de right time comes t' ask her."

Angelo took the bag, handling it reverently. Remy stuffed his hands into his pockets, looking a little lost. "Are you sure about this?" the younger man asked.

"Oui. Thought a lot about it." Remy nodded. "Still got m' mother's locket. 'f anyt'ing happen t' me, it's goin' t' Roguie."

"Good." Angelo tucked the bag carefully into a pocket. "I.... thanks, amigo." He patted Remy awkwardly on the shoulder.

"Welcome." Remy grinned, and slung a comradely arm around the other's shoulders. "Now, let's go and take a look at dis boy of yours, hahn?"

In Jubilee's room, the crowd was being ushered out by a wonderfully officious nurse, of whom Jubilee was becoming fonder by the moment. Only Rogue and Marrow, as the most recent arrivals, were allowed to stay for a few minutes to see the baby.

Rogue cuddled the baby gently, cooing soft nonsense. Marrow perched on the end of the bed, and inspected Jubilee with some interest. She'd never admit it, but she admired the upworlder girl's courage in having her son, despite strong opposition from several of the X-Men.

"Hi, Marrow." Jubilee smiled, and wiggled her toes under the blankets. "Look. They took my cast off."

"Bout time." Marrow looked at the baby, then back at Jubilee. "Did you need stitches after pushing that out?"

"Yes." Jubilee winced. "That's a BAD place to have stitches, take it from me."

"Whatever." Marrow looked at the baby again. "It looks better this morning. Less dead."

Rogue grinned mischievously. "Oh, he's quite alive. Here, you hold him." And without further ado, she plunked the baby into Sarah's arms.

"No! I don't WANT to hold it!" Sarah insisted vehemently, holding the small body with awkward stiffness.. "Take it back!"

"Nono, y'all have a little turn." Rogue insisted, grinning. "Ain't he adorable?"

"Yeah, yeah, cute sausage, Jubes. All pink and... and squashy looking. Okay, I held it, somebody take it now!"

Rogue and Jubilee both started to laugh at the increasingly panicked look on Sarah's face. Scowling, she looked down at the baby in her arms. "Will you cry or something already? Tell them you don't like this, they'll listen to you!"

Michael looked thoughtful for a moment, and smiled a gummy smile, reaching for the curved bone projection that extended across her cheek.

Sarah looked closer. "It doesn't have any teeth yet."

"Not yet, thank goodness." Jubilee winced. "I'm telling you, breast-feeding isn't nearly as much fun as it sounds."

Marrow settled herself more firmly on the bed. "More fool you. Are its eyes going to stay blue?"

"Don't know that yet either." Jubilee smiled fondly at her baby. "And he's a him. His name is Michael."

"Well, I still say he looks like a bald monkey." Marrow sniffed, apparently remembering that she had a reputation to maintain. "Or maybe a baby rat. All pink and wriggly."

Rogue glared, and Jubilee giggled. She could see right through the crusty Morlock. "He'll grow out of that."

It was at that juncture that Remy and Angelo strolled back in, chattering companionably. Rogue immediately jumped up, reaching for the baby. "Remy, you just got to see this little guy! He's SOOO adorable!"

Marrow promptly turned her back on the southerner, glaring. "Shove off, corn-pone. It's still my turn." She touched the dark fuzz on top of Michael's head with an exploratory fingertip. "It's half bald. Is it supposed to be like that?"

Rogue stared, her jaw dropping, and Remy grinned. "At least give Remy a look, p'tite." He leaned down to gaze at the tiny face. "Hey dere, little guy. Y'like de world so far?"

Michael looked up at him and yawned, little eyes closing. Remy smiled. "Dat bad, hahn? Guess you've had a busy morning."

"We both have." Jubilee said sleepily, holding out her arms to Angelo, who settled on the bed beside her and hugged her gently. "EVERYONE had to hold him."

"Den bot' of you get some rest." He pried the baby out of Marrow's reluctant arms, and deposited him in the small crib. "We be back later, 'kay, p'tite?" He leaned over to kiss Jubilee's forehead. "Angelo, you take care of dem, mon ami."

"Always." Angelo gazed with deep satisfaction at the girl snuggled into his arms.

Jubilee was already asleep. The others smiled, and tiptoed away.

* * *

"It's about time." Jubilee groused.

"Oh, hush. You've only been in hospital for four days." Angelo leaned down to kiss her gently. "Now keep a low profile, or the nurses will conspire to keep you here." Jubilee smiled up at him, and folded her hands sedately in her lap, widening her eyes innocently. "That's right." He ruffled her hair gently, and took hold of the handles of her wheelchair. "Time to go."

"What about Michael?" Jubilee asked anxiously. "Aren't we going to get him?"

"Logan's getting him now." Angelo wheeled her out of the hospital room, into the sunny hall.

Jubilee sighed, leaning back in the chair. "I wish we could go home." She tilted her head back to look up at Angelo. "Don't you?"

"Yeah," he nodded. "But you know they're only letting you out on the condition that you go straight to the 'Westchester Medical Facility', nudge nudge." he grinned, and leaned down to kiss her upturned face. "Michael still might need medical supervision or whatever, and you know you're going to need physio for a while. I just want two to be taken care of properly."

"Same here." Logan appeared beside them, a tiny blanket-wrapped bundle in his arms. "Glad we're agreed."

"Michael!" Jubilee held out her arms. "Come to mama, sweetie." Logan deposited him in her arms, and she cuddled him gently. "That's my little angel...." Michael cooed, waving a tiny fist, and his parents sighed in happy unison. "He's so beautiful..." Jubilee whispered. "Isn't he beautiful, Wolvie?"

"Just like you, darlin'." Logan reached down to touch the waving hand gently.

Jubilee giggled. "That's just what Ange says."

"Yeah, well, he's right," Logan said gruffly, as the little pink starfish of a baby hand closed around the tip of his finger. Michael gurgled softly, fingers flexing, and Logan had to clear his throat before speaking again. "We're all lookin' forward ta havin' ya home again, darlin'."

Jubilee chuckled, cuddling Michael close. "In other words, everyone's lookin' forward ta having a good chance to swipe my baby and gush all over him." She kissed Michael's fuzzy little head. "It's a good thing I'm breast-feeding, kiddo, 'cause if you were drinkin' formula I'd probably never see ya again."

Angelo stretched a tendril of skin down to touch the baby gently. "Don't worry, querida. We'll still get to see him when his diaper needs changing."

"True," Jubilee said comfortably. "Anyway, if he's gone too long I can always get Sarah to steal him back. She likes him."

Angelo and Logan shared a dubious look over Jubilee's head. "Darlin', she says he looks like a really ugly monkey."

"See? She likes him." They rounded a corner, and nearly ran headlong into a herd of X-Types, most of them X-Forcers who hadn't gotten in on the 'family' claim. "Duck and cover, guys, it's an ambush!"

"Ha ha." Sam held out his arms. "Can Ah hold him?"

"Just for a minute." Jubilee handed him over reluctantly. "But hold him careful."

Sam snorted gently. "Jubilee, Ah of all people know how ta hold a newborn." He cuddled the baby gently. "Ain't you a cute one, huh? You got your momma's pretty blue eyes and all."

"Flattery won't get you a longer turn, hayseed." Jubilee shifted in her wheelchair, wincing. "Just be glad yer a guy, and can never give birth."

"Ah AM, believe me," Sam said devoutly. "Ah take a little moment ta feel grateful for it every time Ah remember." He jiggled Michael a little, and the baby cooed happily. X-Force gathered around, fussing with the awkward interest of those who don't spend much time around babies.

"Hi, kid." Dom looked over Sam's shoulder, and touched the baby with one exploratory-but-noncommittal finger. "Welcome to the madhouse." Michael looked up at her with wide eyes, and she smiled. "I hate to tell you this, but you picked one hell of a family to be born into." He stared for a moment more, then beamed at her, a huge gummy grin spreading over his face. She grinned back. "Oh, fine. Doubt me. You'll learn soon enough."

"Yeah." Tabitha nodded. "Just wait until your powers kick in and *you* get your first spandex suit." She looked up. "Hey, Lee, do you know what powers he's going to have yet?"

Jubilee shrugged. "Nothing."

Roberto frowned. "What do you mean, nothing?"

"Nothing." Jubilee reached up to take her son back, cuddling him protectively. She looked up at the assembled crowd, a defensive look in her eyes. "He's not a mutant."

"He isn't?"

"No, he ain't." The defensiveness was in her voice, too. "So what?" There was a moment of awkward silence. Over at the checkout desk, Angelo and Logan turned, the inbuilt center-of-my-life radar signaling that Jubilee was upset.

"So nothing." Sam patted her shoulder gently. "He's a strong, healthy baby, and no-one could hope for more than that."

"That's right." Dani seconded hastily. "He's adorable, Jubilee. You're lucky."

"I am." Jubilee hugged him tightly, her body still tense. "My baby's perfect. And I don't care whether he's a mutant or not."

"It doesn't matter," Angelo agreed, coming up to kneel beside her, hugging her gently. He glared at the assembled X-Types over her shoulder, holding Jubilee and the baby protectively. "He's our baby, and we love him, right, Jubes?"

"Right." Her voice was muffled in his shoulder.

"Time to go." Logan took hold of the handles of her wheelchair, giving the crowd a look that indicated that they had two choices - move, or be run down. "Ya know Hank said you'n the baby need lotsa rest, so we gotta get ya home as soon as possible."


Once in the jeep, Logan looked at her in the rearview mirror. "They didn't mean no harm, darlin'."

"I know." Jubilee hugged Michael gently. "I just wish they wouldn't jump to conclusions about it, you know? They all just assume that he's gonna be a mutant and then when I say he isn't they act like one of his legs fell off or something."

Angelo hugged her gently. "This is the third time," he explained, scowling. "You should have seen the look on Worthington's face. Like he smelled something bad."

"Well, I don't care," Jubilee insisted. "He's my baby and I love him."

"I know," Logan agreed, reaching back to touch her knee comfortingly. "I do too, ya know that."

"Me too." Angelo stroked her hair.

Michael grizzled softly, and Jubilee smiled. "He's hungry. Aren't you, angel? You're hungry, yes you are・" She started unbuttoning her shirt.

Logan slapped his eyes back to the road and kept them there.

* * *

Marrow stared, an expression of slightly pained fascination on her face. "Does that *hurt*?"

Jubilee settled Michael against her stomach, and shot an amused look at the ex-Morlock. "Sometimes. Not much, though."

"Huh." Marrow tucked her feet under her as she sat at the end of Jubilee's bed. "Catch *me* doing that." She had, early on, figured out that everyone else left when Jubilee was nursing. This left her a clear field for a stream of questions and observations on babies, motherhood, and all things pertaining to both.

"You'll have to get pregnant first," Jubilee observed, most of her attention on her son. He flailed a tiny fist, and she caught it, holding it gently in her free hand. "Stop hitting Mommy. It won't make the milk come any faster."

Marrow reached out to touch one chubby foot, bared in preparation for the bath he was due for right after his lunch. "He's got flat feet."

"He's got fat feet, is what he's got." Jubilee smiled indulgently. "Cecilia says it's normal."

"He's got fat everything," Marrow agreed. "Even his knees." She inspected the knees in question. "They've got dimples on them."

"I know." Jubilee kissed the fist she still held. "And on his fingers and toes, too. Aren't they adorable?"

"They look weird." Nevertheless, Marrow tickled the bottom of the small foot gently, and smiled when he kicked. "Good reflexes, though."

"Good." Jubilee lifted him up against her shoulder, rubbing his back gently. "You got a burp in there for Mommy, angel? C'mon, do one like Grandpa does." Both girls giggled.

"You *want* him to sound like the old man?" Marrow shook her head.

"Only a bit. The burping bit." Jubilee balanced the baby against her shoulder with one hand as she juggled her clothes back together with the other. "We don't want you talking like him, do we?" she cooed to Michael. "No, we don't want you talking like Grandpa, because Grandpa has a potty-mouth."

Marrow giggled, trying too late to turn it into a grunt. Jubilee grinned knowingly at her, and the ex-Morlock gave in and smiled. "He's not THAT ugly," she admitted, tickling the small foot. "For a bald monkey."

Jubilee kissed her son's fuzzy head, and closed her eyes. "Sarah?"

"I'm only letting you call me that because you let me hold the monkey," Marrow cautioned, lest anyone think she was going soft. "What?"


Marrow blinked. "For what?"

"For not acting like Michael's, like, defective or something just because he ain't a mutant. I mean, you of all people have an *excuse* ta think like that and yer one of the only people who ain't doing it. They don't *mean* to, but they do." She gazed down at her son's tiny, slightly smushed face. "And he's *my baby*, but they act like that ain't enough."

Marrow opened her mouth to explain that in the dimension where she'd grown up, Michael would have probably had his head beaten in with a rock within an hour of birth, but decided that that wouldn't cheer Jubilee up much. She closed her mouth again, and wondered if she should mention the current rather tense state in the mansion, involving suspicions vis a vis infant sentinels who were suspiciously un-mutant. No. Also not reassuring. And telling her that the baby was really as beautiful as she thought *would* be comforting, but it would obviously also be a filthy lie.

Taking a rather nervous breath, she settled for a tentative hug and an awkward pat on the back.

"Thanks," Jubilee murmured into her shoulder. Marrow sat back hurriedly, looking terribly embarrassed, and Jubilee grinned. "Don't worry. I won't tell anyone."

"You do and I'll gut you and keep the monkey myself," Marrow threatened. She liked the monkey. It was always so pleased to see her. And it was clever, too. You could tell by the way it screamed when the cueball held it.

"Not while I'm still breathing, you won't." Angelo ambled into the room. "Jubes, it's time for you to go down for physiotherapy." He held out his arms. "That means it's my turn. Gimme."

Jubilee chuckled, and handed the baby over. "He's been changed, fed, and burped, so he should sleep soon," she said, swinging her legs over the edge of the bed. "Marrow? Crutches?" Marrow pushed them over, eyes still on the baby. "Thanks." Jubilee still needed them for things like・ well, walking anywhere further than the bathroom, really. This was not, however, a weakness in *anyone's* eyes・ at least not anymore. The one time anyone (anyone being Meltdown) had dared to make a disparaging comment about Michael's lack of mutantness, Jubilee had hit her so hard with one of the crutches that she hadn't regained consciousness for nearly twenty minutes.

Marrow had heartily approved. She didn't like Meltdown (mostly because the blonde girl was competition), and considered Jubilee's reaction to be quite restrained, all things considered. The fact that Jubilee had been punished with the loss of 'crutch priviledges' for two days, and Tabitha had only been taken to the infirmary, struck the Morlock as being deeply unfair. So she'd fitted a wheelchair with a makeshift battering ram, and she and Jubilee had had a highly entertaining day playing 'Lurk in the doorway until someone we don't like comes along then run them down'. Jubilee's crutches had been returned after only a few hours, and a petition circulated to the effect that they never be taken away again.

Angelo had laughed himself sick over the whole thing, and had helpfully stood down one end of the chosen hall, holding Michael and cheering every time they scored a point.

Back in the present, he kissed Jubilee's forehead gently. "Don't push yourself too hard," he said softly, cupping her chin in his free hand. Then he kissed her again, rather more thoroughly Michael, sandwiched between them, sighed and shot Marrow a resigned look over his father's shoulder.

She really had to stop collapsing in giggles like that. She was going to ruin her image.