Smutmuffin Applies For A Date
Title: Smutmuffin Applies for a Date
Author: Terri
Rating: PG, mention of instant coffee not suitable for sensitive readers
Disclaimer: I don’t own them. And I’d like Marvel to know that I’d be willing to offer a bundle for a lease on Hank ;)
Archive: Dolphin Haven, Peep Hut, Agony and Ecstasy - anyone else, please ask ;)
Feedback: Please? With some Grizzly Claw dark roast on top? Good, bad, and ugly welcome…….
Summary: Jubes tries to set up Hank with one of her friends. There’s just the matter of a little paperwork first…….
Comments: I am an unrepentant caffeine addict. My favorite form of the drug is coffee. That, plus Autumn’s opening line challenge, and my own recent dating experiences inspired this. There was a little bunny lurking at my heels ever since Autumn issues the challenge, but when Cappuccino asked if I at least got a good dinner out of my last bad date, and I replied that no, but I should’ve known he was trouble when we met for coffee and he ordered a teensy-weensy cup of mild blend and then drenched it with milk and sugar. Sigh. I really must be more perceptive. Coffee preferences can tell you a lot. But anyway, Cappuccino responded with a bunny, and then it ganged up on me with Autumn’s bunny and, well - let’s just say it’s not pretty to see a grown woman brought down by two teeny rabbits ;) One last note: the coffee preferences stated herein do not reflect - well, they actually do kinda reflect the preferences of the author, but I hope those of you who like dried creamer or instant coffee aren’t too terribly insulted ;)


“Smutmuffin is not a word that is appropriate to this situation.” Hank squinted down at the yellow-clad girl currently ‘helping’ him fill out the application form on his desk. Frankly, Hank had never had to fill out a written application form prior to asking someone for a date, and, while the scientist in him thought that it was very rational and prudent of any potential datees to require this sort of information, the part of him that was weary of dating weirdoes was objecting quite vociferously to actually complying with the job-interview-like procedures. However, Jubilee had assured him that her friend from college was ‘like, totally cute’ and that she wasn’t really weird, she’d just had a lot of bad dating experiences. Hank could certainly relate to that. Being big, blue, and furry didn’t always attract the normal, well-adjusted ones. “Perhaps we should come back to this question.”

“OK, what’s next?” The application form had already requested the names and contact information for three prior girlfriends or friends who happened to be girls (the form indicated that references from female relatives were NOT acceptable), a copy of a blood test showing that you were free from all the usual social diseases, and a picture. Hank wondered if any of this woman’s other potential applicants had ever gotten past that part and to the 50-item questionnaire he was currently filling out.

“Ah……….here we go. Questions twenty through twenty-eight request information about your coffee preferences. Ah, Jubilation - coffee preferences?”

“Oh yeah - Keli is serious about her java. You’d better answer those carefully, Hankster.”

“All right. Question twenty. Size. Ah - size?”

“Heh. I’m glad she said these were about coffee or you’d be blushing through that fur about now.” Hank blushed a little anyway. “She means what size coffee do you order when you go out? I’ll give you a hint - ”

“No, no hints. If we are to truly serve the intended function of the application, I should reply with the utmost honesty, so that she may ascertain whether she is genuinely compatible with me. Now - size of coffee - yes, that presents a problem: varying nomenclature for maximally sized coffee containers abounds.”

“Just say venti. You’ll sound all classy, and Italian.”

Hank thought about it for a moment, and, again in the spirit of honesty, decided to go with a different answer given that he considered himself neither Italian (although he wasn’t too sure about the lineage on his mother’s side - he hadn’t completed his genealogy project yet) nor classy. He considered himself a rather bright engineering doctoral student, and his reply to the question about size of coffee should more closely reflect that. “I believe I shall respond - ‘I endeavor to order the size which will contain the greatest number of coffee fluid particles.’ What do you think?”


“Hmph.” That whine told him what she thought, but he decided to go with that answer anyway. “Question Twenty-one. Strength. Strength of the brew, yes?” Jubilee nodded. “Strong enough to significantly assist in maintenance of my conscious and vertically upright state but not potent enough to strip the finish on my desk should I have the great misfortune of spilling a drop.”

“You couldn’t just say ‘pretty strong,’ could you?”

“That would be an incomplete, and also boring, answer. Question twenty-two. Additives. Ah - like cream or sugar, correct?” Jubilee nodded. “On occasion a few drops of cream - not milk, not half-and-half, and never, ever the dried particles masquerading as coffee ‘creamer.’”

“No sugar?”

“No sugar, no artificial sweetener, no chemicals of any kind. Coffee is not meant to be sweet. Should one require liquid sweetness, one should partake of a nice glass of Kool-Aid or some such beverage.”

“Gee, I never knew you had such strong opinions on it.”

“I have never had occasion to comment on my coffee predilections prior to this procedure.”


“Next question - number twenty-three. Time of day. Ah, yes - there is no moment in the diurnal cycle during which coffee is unwelcome. Number twenty-four. Frequency. Hmmm. I would say two, at minimum and eight at maximum.”

“Eight? You’ve had eight cups of coffee in one day? No wonder you bounce off the walls sometimes.”

“I assure you, it is my mutation, not my coffee consumption, that has given me the super-human agility occasionally on display in our Danger Room sessions. Moving on - question twenty-five. Whole bean or ground? I must be honest and reply that I prefer ground coffee for my in-home consumption, although I admit that the whole bean form, freshly ground just prior to brewing, does result in a beverage of the utmost quality. I suppose that I am a bit indolent; I do not wish to go to the effort of grinding my own beans. You know - these really are quite revealing questions. Your friend must indeed be quite perceptive and quite in tune with human - and mutant - nature. Is she a psychology major, by any chance?”

“No - I just thought she did this to try to get me to stop setting her up with losers - er, I mean, my wonderful friends and acquaintances. And that one guy I met at the gas station.” Hank gave her a look. “What? She needs some lovin’! She can’t spend her whole life in the library!”

“Jubilation - what have you told her about me?”


“I - I have a sudden feeling that the appellation, ‘Jubilee’s friend,’ may not carry a positive connotation.”

“Oh - well, I didn’t really tell her anything. She wouldn’t let me get any words in edgewise, she just handed me the form and gave me hers to give to you when you were done.”

“Ah, I wondered if she was going to complete a similar procedure.”

“She should - I mean, fair’s fair, right?”

“Correct. So, back to the application. Question twenty-six. Instant? Instant?! Surely she does not mean to ask whether I partake of instant coffee!” Jubilee only shrugged. “No. Never. Not while there is a spark of life in even one of my bodily cells. To the last, I shall resist thee, heinous crystals; with my last breath I shall grapple with thee; from Hell’s heart, I stab at thee!”

“Sheesh, Hank - no instant, I think she’ll get it.”

Hank only gave her a raised eyebrow, an expression he’d picked up from Logan and given his own intellectualized spin. “Question twenty-seven. Convenience store or espresso bar. Hmmm. Both. Selection is dependant upon mood, occasion, amount of time available, location, and acuity of need for the beverage. Question twenty-eight. Favorite brand. Oh, dear.”


“There are far too many to choose a favorite. Coffee - she is a dark mistress, but one that abounds in diversity. How could I favor one delectable incarnation of the Goddess Of All That Is Caffeinated over another? To do so would be to deny the glory of the bounty of beans that each in its own way delights and satisfies my Epicurean nature, even if it would also serve to deny my own indecisive disposition on this topic.”

“Well……….put that down.”

“Ah - an excellent idea. I shall do so. There. Finished with the coffee section, on to question twenty-nine. Sleeping conditions - hot or cold. Ah, an interesting question to put to one who is furred……”

“Hank - what about the one we skipped - I still say ‘smutmuffin’ is a great - ”

“I am *not* indicating that ‘smutmuffin’ is among my ‘special skills.’ Perhaps she was asking for job skills…….”

“Nah - I think she was asking for some ‘get the job done’ skills, if you know what I mean big guy, and I think ‘smutmuffin’ captures it very nicely, even if I totally do say so myself. Not that I would know, but - you know. You kinda look like a smutmuffin.”

“You know,” Hank mused, almost-naturally using Jubilee’s vernacular, “Perhaps I can complete the application on my own. Thank you very much for your help, Jubilation.”

Jubes knew a dismissal when she heard one, even if it did come under cover of a ‘thank you.’ She shrugged. “OK, you’re on your own. Let me know when you’re done, and I’ll give her your forms tomorrow.”

“And if she requests a date - pending her approval of the application, of course - you shall let me know?”

“Immediamente. Good luck, Hankster!”

Hank waited until he was sure Jubilee was really gone - he wouldn’t put lurking around and hoping to hear him talking to himself past her - before continuing the application. It *was* a little weird, but he was actually having quite a bit of fun with it, and maybe that boded well. He was, after all, more than ready for a little change in his dating luck.

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