Disclaimer: The concept of the Subreality Cafe belongs to Kielle. Wink-Wink & Nudge-Nudge belongs to Abyss. The gaggle of Askani belongs to Alicia McKenzie. I have no idea who created the Bouncer. Kethry and Dave are mine, y'hear? Everybody else belongs to whoever wants to claim them. Probably Marvel. Don't sue me, I'm only in the 10th grade. All of my money goes into comics anyway... I redid this a little bit due to some advice from Andy Blumson after trying not to die of mortification at the mistakes I made (admittedly there most likely weren't very many *but*...). Feedback would be much appreciated.

____________________________________________________________________________

An Encounter Of The Strange Kind

by Firebird

A figure wandered under the overhang and proceeded to wring rainwater out of her hair and tail. The Bouncer noticed that she was tall, slim, had brown hair that reached her waist, green catlike eyes...and the tail of course.

"Is this the Subreality Cafe?" she asked the Bouncer.

"Yes."

"Oh good," she said with obvious relief. "It took me hours to find the place."

After about two minutes of questions -- Was she a fictive? Yes. Did she have any weapons? No, etc -- she was in.

After getting a pot of strong coffee and a mug, she took an empty table and settled in to see who else was there. She had noticed that it looked like an Irish pub earlier.

There was a couple of tables pushed together that had a variety of Gambits, Cables, Wolverines and Dominos playing what looked like a cutthroat game of poker. At another table, there was three or four Pete Wisdoms comparing notes on various Shadowcats. At another table, there was an early lineup of X-Force. And scurrying across the floor was -- she blinked -- a pair of bunny slippers?! She looked again. Yes, those were definitely what she thought she saw.

"I take it that youíre new here," a voice rumbled above her. She looked up. Towering over her was Cable -- one of him anyway.

"Uh-huh."

"I thought so," he said, putting down *his* coffee pot and mug before he took the seat across from her.

"All of the regulars know that this is my table."

"Well, donít expect me to be in a hurry to leave," she said dryly.

"Oh?" he said ominously.

"You know flonging well that there aren't any other tables available," she retorted.

He glared at her, the kind of glare that sent most sane people running off in search of a place to hide, but she stood -- or rather, sat -- her ground. After a moment he stopped glaring at her and started grinning instead.

"Most people would have ran for the door," he commented.

"I've seen scarier things," she said dryly. "That, and the table full of Wolverines were taking bets on when I'd run for the door."

"How did you hear them? Theyíre on the other side of the room."

"The joys of enhanced senses." ~And telepathy.~

Cable blinked. ~What's your name?~ he asked.

"Kethry Shaw," she answered.

She looked at the group of people coming in the door and looked down hastily. Cable looked up too, and saw the group of Askani.

'Oath, I hope they're not after me again,' he groaned inwardly. 'What is, is,' he sternly told himself.

He turned his attention back to Kethry.

"Is there a reason that you looked away from them?"

Kethry mumbled something under her breath.

"I didn't hear that."

"Um, I sorta insulted one of them."

"Oh?"

"Basically, I told Hana -- the one working for Sanctity -- that as far as my Writer and I were concerned, she and Sanctity could shove it. Also --" she telepathically told him the rest, causing him to choke on his coffee.

"I wish I could have seen the look on her face," he said gleefully after he recovered.

"Judging by the looks on their faces, the other Askani agreed with me," she said, her lips twitching. Then she looked past him.

"Oh, shit. I think Iím gonna go hide now."

He looked over his shoulder and felt his skin crawl.

"Oath, mind if I joined you?" he muttered.

The party of Askani was headed their way. They both acted as if nothing was wrong and unconsciously held their breath as the group of Askani passed them.

"Guess they must not have noticed us," Kethry finally commented.

"Or the nicer ones decided to take pity on us," Cable responded.

Kethry glared at him then looked at him speculatively, smirking.

"What?"

"Just wondering if you have a Writer at the moment," she said innocently.

Cable was immediately suspicious.

"Why?"

"So that maybe my Writer could give yours some creative advice as to giving you problems to deal with. Or better yet," here she gave him a toothy grin, "she could take over the writing herself."

She looked down when she heard a 'skrrt' and hastily shifted position to sit Indian-style until the bunny slippers left.

"That," Cable informed her, "was Wink-Wink and Nudge-Nudge the --"

"Cannibalistic bunny slippers," Kethry finished for him.

"My Writer told me about them although I didn't believe her at the time."


A somewhat blurred young man came over to their table.

"Hi Kethry, mind if I sit down?"

Kethry squinted at him for a moment.

"Dave? Is that you?"

"Yeah."

"Go ahead."

She turned to a slightly annoyed-looking Cable.

"Cable, meet your uncle David."

He just stared at her, surprised.

"My Writer came up with the idea of a third Summers brother."

Dave took over. "Since she hasnít written any stories either about me or with me in them, I donít really exist yet. All she did was write down some basic stuff about me and that was it."

Cable looked appalled.

"It's not that bad -- actually maybe it is -- but at least I don't have to put up with the things Kethry has to."

Cable looked out at the crowd for a moment when he heard an outraged sound and looked back in time to see Kethry disappear in a burst of Phoenix Force flames.

"Obviously her codename is Phoenix as you can see by the flames. Looks like out Writer needs her for some more work. I better bug out too," Dave said.

"Hold it. Who's your Writer?"

"She's Firebird," Dave replied before he stood up, put his chair back where he got it and strode off.

That was, Cable mused, one of the stranger things that had happened in his little corner of the cafe. He shrugged and downed what was left in his mug before refilling it with more coffee.


Back To The Marvel Page