This story takes place shortly after Rogue and Magneto's wedding in the Age of Apocalypse.

Disclaimer: This is a work of fanfiction. The character's herein are the property of Marvel Comics and there is no intention to infringe on their copyright. No money is being made from this story. No animals were harmed during it's creation and all stunt people were professionals registered with their union.


AGE OF APOCALYPSE:
The Amazing X-Men:
Bundle of Joy
Part Two of Three: The Strawberry Incident
By Orla

Erik was woken by something prodding into his side and hissing in his ear. As his sleep-fogged brain cleared he realised the hissing was someone whispering in his ear - specifically, his wife.
"Erik, are you awake?"
"Am now."
"There's something very urgent Ah have to..."
Urgent connected with pregnant and Erik was instantly awake.
"My God! Rogue, is it the baby? Are you in pain? Just stay calm, I'll get Ororo and..."
"Erik..."
"Don't try to talk beloved, I have it all under control, you'll be just fine."
"Erik..."
"Still perhaps you should lie down again..."
"ERIK!"
"Yes, my love?"
"Ah am not in pain!"
"Oh, then..." Erik's eyes widened. "Is it Apocalypse? He has discovered..."
"NO! AH'M HUNGRY!!!"
"Hungry? Is that all?" Erik stared at her in complete bafflement. "Then why wake me up? Rogue, you don't need my permission to make a midnight snack."
"Well, what Ah want isn't in the house."
"We have all sorts of nutritional food."
"Ah want strawberries."
"Strawberries?"
"Yes. Ah must have some."
"Rogue, we are in the middle of a war, 90 per cent of America is practically a wasteland. Strawberries are not really part of the essential diet - I certainly haven't seen any for years."
Rogue's eyes filled with tears. "Erik, Ah have to have some, please."
"But there aren't any to be had." Erik yawned. "Beloved, surely this isn't the best time for this conversation? It's 3 am and we have a long day tomorrow - you don't _need_ strawberries."
"Ah want some! Ah want some!" shrieked Rogue at the top of her voice. She began swatting her husband with a pillow. He scooted out of range as the blows became harder.
"Rogue! Keep your voice down! You'll wake the whole house!"
"Good! Why should they all be able to sleep when Ah'm stuck here with a cold unfeeling man who won't do this teeny little thing for me?"
"It is not a 'teeny' thing!" Erik shot back.
"Ah think yoah just being mean!" Rogue turned on the water-works full blast now. "Y'all don't love me anymoer cause Ah'm blowin' up like a balloon!"
Erik eyed Rogue's still-flat stomach. "You're only two months pregnant dear."
"Don't ya dare change the subject - AH WANT SOME STRAWBERRIES - NOW!!!"
*Bamf* Nightcrawler teleported into the room.
"Mein Gott!" he cried, "Is someone being murdered in here?"
"Not yet," muttered Erik. Then louder he said, "It's alright Kurt, Rogue and I were just having a discussion."
"Loud discussion mein freund, _everyone's_ awake now."
"Rogue, you see that this silly..."
"SILLY?! Ah hate you! All Ah ask..."
Kurt backed away as Rogue continued to rail at Magneto. The bedroom door was flung open at that point to admit Pietro and the other X-Men into the room.
"What's going on?"
"Is it an attack Mr Creed?"
"What's with Rogue?"
"I think they're havin' some sort of argument squirt."
"Father, what is..."
"Pietro!" Erik grabbed his son's arm and pulled him over to the side. "Do you have any idea where strawberries can be found?"
"Strawberries?!"
Storm overheard them, "OH, so Rogue has cravings does she?"
"Oh great," said Pietro. "Something _else_ you forgot to tell us Ororo!"
"Well, I would have thought that you would have already
known all of this Pietro, you after all, are so very clever."
Pietro flushed. "Ah, well, alright... so I'm not an expert."
"Erik!"
Magneto turned to face his raging wife. "Yes Rogue?"
"Here!" She threw a pillow and blanket at him. "You can sleep on the couch! Ah don't want you _near_ me anymore!"
"Pietro, son, I would appreciate some help." Magneto whispered.
"Don't look at me father. _You_ got her into this condition."
"Your filial piety is touching. Now either help me out of affection, or under orders!"
"Thanks so much," Pietro turned to the others and mouthed the word 'Strawberries'.
"Rogue wants what?" cried Dazzler. "Doesn't she realise how hard it is to get fresh fruit of any kind?!"
"I don't know, why don't _you_ tell her." suggested Pietro.
"Cause she sure as heck ain't listening to Magneto," added Iceman.
Dazzler eyed Rogue who was continuing to harangue Magneto whilst tearing a chair to bits.
"Ummm... I think I'll pass on that."
"They'd still have fruit and stuff in England wouldn't they?" asked Clarice.
Silence descended. Everyone turned to look at Blink.
"What?"
"Ya had to say it didn't ya?" muttered Sabretooth.
"Aha!" cried Rogue. "I knew there'd be some around!"
"B-but..." spluttered Pietro. "That's so far!"
"Don't you love me anymore either?" Rogue turned tearful green eyes on him.
Everybody looked accusingly at Pietro.
"What did _I_ do?"
Storm shook her head. "We can't just go to England, not without the permission of the Human High Council."
"Yeah," said Morph. "Serve up one fast fried mutant team courtesy of Sentinel caterers!"
"Did you have to describe the situation like food?" Erik demanded.
"Oops. Sorry."
"Then call them!" snapped Rogue. "If Ah don't get any strawberries Ah'm gonna make your lives all miserable!"
"Like she's not doing that already," muttered Dazzler.
"Ah HEARD that."
"Urk!"
Magneto looked at Pietro, Pietro looked at Magneto. "Well..." they said together, each knowing that they would bear the brunt of Rogue's rage if she wasn't satisfied. "I suppose we'd better make the connection."
Rogue squealed and embraced Magneto rather savagely. "Ooh! I love you, I love you!"
"That's nice beloved, could you please stop squeezing me? It's becoming difficult to breathe."
***

Pietro finished making the connection to the Human High Council. Moira Trask's face filled the screen.
"Well X-Man," she said. "What's the emergency?"
Pietro cleared his throat. There was absolutely no way that this would come out _not_ sounding ridiculous. "Uh... well... do you umm... have any strawberries handy?"
Moria stared at him. "Did I hear ye right? Strawberries?! Is that why ye called me on the emergency line? Risking detection by Apocalypse's forces??!!!!!"
"Er... yes."
"Strawberry picking isn't in me job description mutant!!" Moira exploded.
"Actually, this is very important."
"You're joking."
"No."
"What is it then? A matter of life and death over strawberries?!"
"Yes," Pietro sighed. "Look, just give us permission to come in, get some strawberries, and get out. Really, we won't get in your way."
"Permission denied." snarled Moira, and broke the transmission.
"Damn." Pietro turned and smiled weakly at the others, who had been watching from the doorway. "Who wants to tell her?"
Sabretooth snorted in disgust. "Ya buncha cowards, I'll tell her, I ain't scared of Rogue."
Two minutes later Sabretooth returned with the remains of a metal lamp and tray wrapped around his head and shoulders.
"Wow," said Morph. "She didn't hurl you into orbit - she must like you Vic."
"Shut up Morph."
***

In the bedroom Magneto was trying to soothe the distraught Rogue.
"Beloved, we will get them, I promise!"
"Ah have to have them... soon!"
Magneto straightened his shoulders. "Alright," he said. "I wouldn't do this for anyone but you my love."
He went to the communications room and connected with an obscure number.
Gambit's face appeared on the screen. "What's dis? Why _you_ callin' me Eric?"
"This is very serious Remy."
"It'd better be."
"Do you know where there are any strawberries?"
"W-What?"
"Do you..."
"Yeah I heard you... but I t'ought you were jokin'. What d'ya want strawberries for?"
"Just answer me, yes or no?"
"Well, no. Try Worthington."
"Thank you."
Remy just looked at Magneto as if he though his former friend was insane (a concept he was beginning to entertain) and closed the line.
Eric left the room and called to his son.
"Try Worthington! Speed is of the essence!" There was an earth-shattering crash from the direction of Magneto and Rogue's bedroom.
"You don't have to tell me twice father." Quicksilver turned and was gone, running at top speed all the way to Heaven, the prestigious nightclub run by the King of neutrality - Warren Worthington, the Angel.
***

Warren was half-asleep, his eyes closed and his mind at ease. A sudden rush of wind startled him and he opened his eyes to see Quicksilver standing over him. "Pietro? What are you..."
"I'll make this short Worthington," snarled Pietro. "I want some information... NOW!"
"If it's about Apocalypse's new base then I..."
"No, it's not that."
Warren frowned, "What else about Apocalypse's activities do you want to know?"
"This has nothing to do with Apocalypse."
"Then what?"
"Where can I find some strawberries?"
Warren shook his head, "I'm sorry, I can't have heard that right. Strawberries?!"
"Yes. Those little red fruits that taste very good with cream."
"I know what they are! Why do you want them _now_?! It's 5 am!"
"I _know_ that, but it's very important!"
Warren shrugged, convinced Pietro must have been hit over the head with something very hard. "I don't know of any you can get freely."
Quicksilver's shoulders slumped. "Damn. We're toast."
"But," amended Warren. "We sometimes get strawberries from, er..."
"From who? TELL ME!!!"
"From McCoy."
Quicksilver stared blankly at him. "McCoy? The Beast? You mean that there are strawberries inside the pens?! In _Sinisters_ territory?!"
"Uh... yes. How desperately do you need these strawberries?"
"_Very_ desperately."
***

Scott Summers, aka Cyclops, and his brother Alex aka Havoc returned from an audience with Sinister to find that someone had made a new entrance to the pens. The two prelates rushed inside and found the Guthries - Sam and Elizabeth - directing guards to clear up the shamble of a raid.
"What happened? Who did this?" asked Scott.
Elizabeth sighed, "It was the X-Men sir. They just hit us, bam! It was so sudden."
"Did they destroy anything of value?"
Sam frowned, "That's the funny thing sir. They blew a few things up, but nothing critical."
"Perhaps it wasn't the X-Men," suggested Alex.
"No, it was definitely them," replied Sam. "Ah saw Storm just as they were escaping, and there were a number of the others too."
McCoy came running out. "The garden's been hit!" he cried.
"What?" Scott stared at him.
"You heard me, my one-eyed friend. Those annoying rebels have decimated my garden! Especially the fruit areas - not a single strawberry remains!"
Alex laughed, "It almost sounds as if those pathetic rebels had attacked specifically to steal our fruit!"
Scott shook his head, "That's ridiculous Alex. Why would they risk their lives for a basket of fruit?"
"Well, big brother, _you_ come up with a better explanation."
"Uhhh..."
***

"Was it necessary to do _that_ much damage to the base Pietro?"
"Ororo, do _you_ want them to think we broke into the pens, risking all our lives, for the sake of a few strawberries?"
"Uhm... you do have a point."
Quicksilver, Storm, Sabretooth and Wildchild returned to the mansion feeling footsore and weary. But they had triumphed.
In a small covered basket Pietro held twenty perfect strawberries. But as they entered the mansion they encountered Blink and Morph who rushed up and ordered them to be quiet.
"What's up?" asked Ororo.
"Did you get the strawberries?" whispered Blink, ignoring the question.
"That we did pup," said Sabretooth. "No more tantrums tonight!"
"I'll take these to Rogue," said Pietro.
"Uh, you can't." said Morph.
"Why not?"
"Well... uh... Rogue's asleep."
"WHAT?!"
"Shhhhhhh! She fell asleep half an hour ago." Clarice looked apologetic. "I think the craving wore off."
"'Wore off'?" Quicksilver was incredulous. "We break into the heart of Sinister's operation to get these bloody berries and she goes to sleep??!!"
Clarice bit her lip. "Maybe she'll want them later?"
"Give me strength," groaned Pietro.
"Oh well," said Morph, eying the strawberries. "Pity to let that beautiful fruit go to waste..."
"Don't even think it Morph."
***

Next and final part: It's seven months later and time for the X-Men to attack Apocalypse's base in order to protect the survival of the refugees. Guess what else it's time for? :-)



 
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