I'm beginning to suspect I can have what I want where Bobby is concerned. Small things over the course of the day have led me to believe that my declaration to Annie that he's straight may have been misguided and this is not simply wishful thinking on my part.
"Can I ask you something?" he asks as we find a seat in an overcrowded, overly loud, area of the mall, his precious food court.
"You just did."
His response to my statement is to smile, most people I point that out to simply give me a dirty look. This is one of the reasons I find him so fascinating, he looks at things differently, usually more positively than most people, me included.
"Why do you put up with Keller? Cause honestly I couldn't."
He would ask something difficult. Should I give him honesty or something he would expect? Honestly would be easiest.
"I suspect in some rather odd turn of events Julian reminds me of myself at that age," I tell him.
Except for the boy being straight, thankfully I'm not.
Bobby's response is to give me a small laugh, "You were that bad?"
"I was worse."
His smile is tinged with laughter and disbelief.
"Believe me Bobby, I was far worse. I practically threw tantrums. I was horribly prejudiced."
"You?" he asks still grinning looking unconvinced as he absently reaches across the table and takes my hand. In an odd turn of events, my mind blanks. This doesn't happen to me, this never happens to me. My mind doesn't spin from a simple touch and leave me ready to stutter an ineloquent reply. Obviously he doesn't know me well or he wouldn't be asking that question.
"Yes, haven't you heard?"
"Rumors are sometimes only rumors," he teases as he presses something onto the back of my hand and releases me. I loathe the lack of contact, but pull my hand back to myself to regard the sticker he's pressed against the back of my hand. A white sticker with red lettering that reads 'Fabrique au Canada' over a maple leaf than 'Made in Canada' underneath.
"Keller is nothing. After all I'm not the one who takes care of the children on Saturday mornings when the younger ones insist on waking at an obscene hour," I change topics as I pull the sticker off and absently place it inside my wallet.
If Bobby notices he says nothing. He merely reacts to my comment, "You're comparing a kid that bratty to me doing Saturday morning cartoons?"
"It would appear I'm doing that, yes."
He shakes his head, "It's too easy. I just set out the number of bowls I'll need, leave the cereal on the counter. Usually each kid wants the same thing every morning, well unless you pour them all out the night before, than each of the kids'll want something different. After that I just crash on the couch and the first one down there wakes me up, I turn on their cartoons and make sure they get breakfast. Then I just doze on the couch or watch cartoons with them till they're done. It's probably the easiest job there is."
Someone obviously forgot to tell him that the last time he left on a mission they stuck Paige with that duty and the Rec Room ended up a disaster area.
I raise an eyebrow, "It's hardly nothing, and you manage to keep all the younger children in line."
"You just have to keep up with the gossip, know who to make sit on separate sides of the room."
I see. He can keep the job, I wouldn't want it. They couldn't increase my pay enough to make me do that job. I'm about to tell him such when Jubilee arrives with a flourish squealing, "Guess what?"
Bobby rolls his eyes, "What?"
His attention than diverts as the girl who was trailing behind Jubilee steps up to the table shaking her head. She's a small tiny thing, taller than Eugene yet shorter then Logan. Thin too. It wouldn't hurt her to eat something. Goth too by the look of the skirt and shirt combination, though it's obvious Jubilee's done her hair.
Bobby grins at her, "Hello, person who I've heard so much about, but don't know."
Jubilee squeals out an, "Oh! Bobby this is Corrie, Corrie this is Bobby and this is…"
"Is Slon," she interrupts softly tilting her head to regard me.
Jubilee looks confused and Bobby starts laughing. Her attention diverts from to me to him. She smiles, "You've read it?"
"Follow the series."
She drops into a chair beside him and they start babbling excitedly at each other, apparently it has something to do with Star Trek. Jubilee and I exchange an exasperated look.
The word mine floats through my head as they lean in and continue chatting. A wave of jealousy hits me. I need to calm, I have no claim over Robert. Still there is this frustration as they've both seemed to forgotten the other two of us sitting across the table.
Jubilee's face mirrors my frustration, "Hey! Stop!"
They pause to look at her.
"JP and I don't translate geek so ya two need to two slow down. Who's Slon?"
"Vulcan," Corrie answers. That I can at least understand. I've been referred to as 'Mr. Spock' to my face, yet how does she know? My ears are hidden behind my hair. Possibly Jubilee's inability to keep her mouth shut?
"The best kind," Bobby elaborates with a laugh, "It freaked me out when he started hitting on Burgy."
This comment starts their conversation anew and I glance at Jubilee wondering just how much she's told this friend of hers about where she goes to school. How much does this child know? Is she a mutant too?
Jubilee is silent, more silent than I'm use to seeing her, as she regards Corrie and Bobby still lost in their conversation. Oddly enough she manages to pout without looking ridicules before turning to me and saying, "Guess what?"
"Not interested, perhaps if you got Robert's attention you could gush your little heart out."
She sticks her tongue out at me. How mature.
Corrie glances at her and laughs brightly, "Why don't you say cause you been tryin' for at least a week now?"
Bobby grins, "What?"
Jubilee bounces in her chair, "I got Terry's phone number?"
"Terry," Bobby mummers thinking it over, "Oh that guy from…wait with the earrings and the…wait, what was he doing today?"
"Door greeter mostly."
There's a flash of worry on Bobby's face before he says slowly, "Don't take this the wrong way, but when Jean-Paul and I went there earlier…"
Jubliee's eyes have widen and she starts giggling, "Don't tell me you're guy he hit on earlier?"
Corrie smiles behind her hand, "He thought you two…"
"He's bi," Jubilee interrupts, "and he thought it'd be fun to mess with you."
"It wasn't funny," I cut her off.
She smirks at me before saying very slowly directing it at me, "He's a mild level empath."
Then she's smiling at Bobby, "Anyway I finally got his phone number, so cool."
"And with that I have to go," Corrie frowns looking at her watch before point to her hair and asking, "Would you help me with this?"
"Why don't you leave it?" Jubilee blinks at her in an innocent manner, if that's even possible.
"Jessi'll kill me. You know she doesn't like me hanging out with you. She'll bitch."
"Hate to break it to you, but your girlfriend's a bitch."
I was getting jealous over a lesbian? My day just can't get any better.
Corrie frowns as she begins to attempt to undo the elaborate yet stylish mess Jubliee has made of her hair as she defends herself, "My girlfriend is not a bitch. If you'd make an attempt to get along with her you'd…"
She lets out a frustrated noise as she hits a snag and Jubliee takes pity one her apologizing as she helps the girl let her hair down. After promising Jubilee a phone call the young girl heads out the door. Bobby watches her for a moment before turning to Jubilee and asking what her powers are.
"Powers?" Jubilee asks blankly.
"Um, yea, what does she do?"
Jubilee frowns, "She doesn't have any, but her girlfriend has these really off color eyes like amber. If she wasn't such a bitch I'd think it was cool."
"Why isn't she at Xavier's?"
"She wears contacts, blends. Bobby Jessi's like twenty-four I don't think going to school with us is what she has in mind."
The children slowly straggle into the food court in small groups to check in and remarkably they all show up. Jubliee's threat must have worked and after the last adolescent makes their appearance she tells us we'll be doing diner. Terrific.
She also decides to spend the rest of the day with Bobby and me which at first I find slightly annoying. I want to have time alone with him to see if my suspicions are correct, and I think having her along will hinder me.
It actually does the opposite.
She keeps giving me these well place looks and adding comments to his in a way that is telling me without simply coming out and saying it to see that I can have Bobby and to just go for it already. It's odd and by the time we get the children to the restaurant for diner I'm frustrated with the entire situation and have made up my mind to say something to Bobby.
Dinner is slow, too slow, and as there are only three of us chaperoning we have to sit scattered among the children, who are eagerly gossiping about their day, so I don't get an opportunity to speak to him until Jubilee asks us to get the cars as she does a finial head count.
The moment we're in the parking lot moving towards the car Bobby stops and turns to me. He steps in close, reaches up and pushes the hair away from my ears.
"That's been annoying me all day," he explains as he steps away slowly then heads towards the cars.
I follow him with my eyes a moment before joining him at the van I was driving. As I unlock it he opens the passenger door and pulls out Laurie's book running his hands over it as he tells me he's read it and asks whose it is.
"Laurie, I believe."
He smiles, "Do you know what she did?"
"No, but I'm sure you're about to tell me."
He grins in response before telling me, "She pointed out to Shan that we didn't have any copies of the book you wrote in the library."
"Is that why she came and talked with me about getting some?"
He shrugs, "I think she was planning it before Laurie said anything."
"Hmm," I respond before touching the book in his hand, "What about this, is it any good?"
"It's alright. It takes place in some sorta alternate reality where there aren't mutants and the world is run by China."
I would be interested why?
He continues, "The main character is this guy whose been genetically altered so he can pass as Chinese, but then his boss wants him to start dating his daughter and things get out of control, he ends up having to leave his job and go to…"
"Why doesn't he just marry the daughter?"
"Well he's gay."
"I see," I say even though I'm barely paying attention. I take a step in and remove the book from his hands, tossing it on the nearby car seat. I pull him closer by his hips and he doesn't say anything, doesn't utter a protest.
His eyes meet mine, than travel down to my lips before they drift upwards again to meet my eyes. He steps in so that there is no space between us and we're pressed against each other. His eyes are half closed.
I wrap on arm around his waist and move the other up to his face as I move in slowly. Every part of me is screaming to move in fast, to kiss him hard, but I go slowly, much, much slower than I want to.
He licks his lips just slightly and his eyes drift down to my lips again as his arms wrap around me.
His eyes meet mine, our lips are almost touching when he draws in a sharp breath and his eyes go wide.
"Kids," he whispers at me harshly.
"Kids," he reminds us both as he pushes me away and backs into the door. He side steps away from the doors his eyes never leaving my face. They're still wide in disbelief at my boldness, or shock that he almost reciprocated my coming onto him, I can't tell which. I don't even get to speak his name before the kids are piling out of the restaurant and into the cars and then we're driving back.
The entire drive all I can think is how I can't believe how wrong I've been. Me, have a chance with Bobby? Him, be something other than straight? Me, actually get what I want for a change? Me, not be alone? Am I delusional? I must be delusional.
As soon as we get back to the school the children pile out. I give Jubilee the keys to the van as she steps out of her own. Bobby's still sitting in his.
"You okay?" she frowns at me.
"Why wouldn't I be?" I snap. I don't want to play twenty questions with her, best to cut it off before she starts.
She shrugs and I leave not giving Bobby a second glance. I'll speak with him latter, at the moment I don't want to even look at him. I don't want to think about my mistake.
I'm halfway up the path to the mansion when hands go around me from behind.
Someone's jumped on my back and before I can react I'm surrounded by the smell that is Nightcrawler's teleportation and we're several feet from the path I was on in the woods. My half attempt to react to his grabbing me before he teleported us has us falling to the ground. I don't know why he's grabbed me, but we struggle for a moment before he pins me. I should have used my speed.
He grins down at me in mock shock before announcing to me that I'm not Logan.
"Such an easy mistake," I tell him with a sneer, I'm in a dreadful mood, "because there's absolutely no height difference."
"No," he tells me still grinning, "it appears I've captured Oscar the Grouch instead."
"Kurt, let me up!"
If possible his grin widens, "I don't think that's wise."
"Aren't you supposed to be watching children?"
"Nope! That's Corsi's job. Besides Scott and Jean came home early and I was more than happy to hand them over to them."
"You're so generous."
"I like to think so, besides they were mostly worn out anyway. Can't understand why, fencing is supposed to invigorate you!" His grin if possible widens.
"Perhaps you forgot to put that on the bulletin board."
"That could be it!"
He's still grinning and I'm still pinned.
"Am I going to be allowed up or should I just push you aside?"
He smirks as he raises his eyebrows suggestively, "There are so many ways I could take that."
What a perfect day, now the 'priest' is hitting on me.
"Elf, just what are ya doin' to Johnny?"
"Convincing him to join us!"
So he had reason to pin me and try to get my attention. At least someone in this place thinks ahead.
I tilt my head towards Logan's voice and find him leaning against a nearby tree smirking at us.
"Long day?" he asks.
"You could say that."
"Then unwind. Loser buys the beer for the next round. Don't take it lightly I don't let many people join me and the Elf," he informs me before he steps back disappearing or somehow blending in with his environment.
"I've already got the beer for this round cooling. So we drink after Logan has caught us. Try and keep up!" Kurt smirks before teleporting away.
I get to my feet glancing towards the path I can see slightly at the end of the tree line as I make a half attempt at dusting myself off. If they think I'm going to just join…I might as well.
My head feels like it's spinning, no churning, as we pull in and park the cars. I can still feel his hands on me and how close we were standing.
He leaves quickly.
He nearly kissed me. Jean-Paul almost kissed me and I stopped him. I'm an idiot! What was I thinking? I almost got what I wanted and I pushed him away? Why? I feel so stupid, but the thing about that moment was that when he leaned in I suddenly heard my Father's voice in my head 'is it too much to ask that you bring home a normal girl?' and I panicked.
Also there were kids about to come out of the restaurant and pile into the car and…and…
maybe I should go after him, try and explain. Maybe I can get a second chance. No, that's stupid!
'Hey, sorry I didn't kiss you, but I suddenly heard my Father's voice in my head.'
It just sounds so wrong.
Jubilee taps on my window and I jump startled, "You gonna leave or sit in this garage all day?"
I get out of the car and hand over my keys as I attempt a half-hearted joke. She doesn't buy it. She crosses her arms and scowls at me, "Just go after him already!"
I know what she means, but she really can't mean that I should go after Jean-Paul can she?
"What?" I ask blankly.
She growls slightly before ranting, "I went into his room and started going through his things! I did my best 'I'm a cute teenager humor me' routine and I maneuver it so you two'll spend the day together! Don't tell me all that was for nothing! Don't tell me you two are that blind!"
Play it cool, just play it cool.
"Um, Jubilee, what are you going on about?"
Play innocent, my minds screaming. Am I that blatant? Is he? Does he really….could he really, really, want me? Of course he does, he came onto me.
I'm stunned, my minds doing the blank thing.
Jubilee throws her hands up in frustration and as she starts to leave she goes into a rant about how adults never seeing what's in front of their faces.
"Hey! I'm not an adult! I protest that!" I yell after her after I've regained the ability to think.
"You sure about that?" she yells back.
"Hank and I promised Warren we'd never grow up!" I declare.
Except that we have, or he has. I have this sudden urge to go see Hank, it's been way too long since we just hung out.
Jubilee sighs and gives me a 'whatever' before hurrying off. I'm left alone in the garage. I look around and sigh to myself before running a hand through my hair. I debate with myself. Should I go after Jean-Paul and apologize, see if he wants to give that kiss thing a second try? Or should I not?
I open the door in time to catch the sight of Kurt pouncing on him from behind and bamfing them both away. I have to fight down a wave of jealousy. What am I think? That's Kurt, the 'I-wanted-to-be-a-priest-guy-so-bad-I-got-tricked-into-thinking-I-was-one' so there's no reason to get jealous.
I slam the door to the garage shut and slide to the floor.
I hug my knees thinking.
There was a moment in the video store where he dropped his attitude and we just enjoyed one another's company as we compared movies. We laughed as we talked. Then Jubilee tagged along and he was cold again.
Who am I trying to fool?
If I'd gone after him I'd probably have lost my nerve.
Why would he be attracted to someone who's turning into a gigantic block of ice?
Wouldn't he reject me as soon as he found out?
I'm never going to melt…but then neither will he.
All I'm going to do is freeze.
We're both just going to freeze.
Sue Penkivech – You're reviews always put a smile on my face. I love Bobby. I'm just starting to get into getting some back issues of The New Defenders. Have you read the Iceman series from the 80's?
Verthril – hope you found this cute too, or well it's suppose to be kinda angsty, but I hope you like it as well.
Dana – Well here's the last part of this story, hope you liked it as well.
Stormkpr – Thank you so much for all your support. I'm really glad as well that the JP/Bobby love seems to be spreading and more people are writing them. The more the merrier!
Polka Dot –Well they did have that Kick problem, but yeah I figure incense wouldn't go over to well with his sense of smell.
runefallstar – Well here's the last chapter. It's not that good, so no dieing, kay?
Acacia Jules – I love Hot Topic too. Actually my brother works there seasonally so we both love it.