Disclaimer:Marvel owns the characters. (Except Joséfina Lopez. She's based on a character I created years ago, so I can claim her.) Led Zepplin owns "The Rain Song." No suing.
Summary:On a trip with Generation X to Las Vegas, Nevada, Bobby Drake and Emma Frost grow closer. Gives the story behind Emma and Bobby's relationship as presented in my series "Back Where the Sun Can Find You." J
Feedback and Archiving:If you like it, please let me know! Like all writers, I live off praise of my work! But if you hate it and want to tell me, just remember to be nice about it so I won't cry. J Send all comments to firstname.lastname@example.org or send me a message on AIM to RavenMarieLeBeau. As always, you can post this at any site you'd like to, just let me know where!
Author's Note:Personally, I think Emma and Bobby would complement each other nicely, so I wrote this. J Well, that and Bobby's cool (no pun intended) and needs more fanfic about him. This one's for you, Heather. Also, I'd just like to state that Everett Thomas is not dead in my story, and I don't care that that isn't canon. I think it's stupid the way they kill everyone off in the Marvel Universe, and I choose to no longer acknowledge the pointless killing off of major characters. J
Cold Day in Vegas
By: Addie Logan
Robert Drake, also known as "Iceman," stared out the windshield with a sour expression on his face trying to remember why exactly he'd agreed to come back to the Massachusetts Academy to teach math on a permanent basis. He'd been stuck in the same building with Emma Frost every single day, and she'd made that more unbearable than he'd even expected. He'd been able to handle it, though. But this—this was much worse. Now he was stuck in what was, as far as Bobby could figure, some sort of tour bus, with her. Sitting in the driver's seat with her in the passenger's to be exact. He wished Sean had stayed up front instead of going into the back to give Emma a chance to get away from the kids for a bit. At least he could've had a conversation with Sean. As far as Bobby was concerned, he could probably turn to stone by just looking at Emma, as bitter as she'd been recently.
Bobby felt trapped in that bus with the White Queen beside him and the various members of Generation X just past the partition behind him, being louder than even Bobby had thought was humanly possible. Bobby tried to figure out where the blame should lay, and he finally decided to place it on Jubilee. This whole "graduation party in Vegas" idea had been hers, after all. And then she'd somehow found a way to convince Bobby to accompany them, even though he'd only been teaching at the Academy for about six months. Bobby glared at his surroundings a little more. Yes, this was most definitely Jubilee's fault.
"Why don't you pay less attention to personal angst and more attention to the road, Robert," Emma spoke up.
"How'd you know what I was thinking?" Bobby demanded to know. "Were you reading my mind?"
Emma rolled her eyes. "Please. I've seen your mind before and frankly, it wasn't that interesting. It wasn't your thoughts I was reading this time—just your facial expression."
There was an awkward silence, which Emma broke by asking, "Do you want to hear the radio?"
"Does that mean you'll stop talking to me?" Bobby asked.
"Yes," Emma answered.
"Then yeah, turn it on."
Emma reached over and switched on the radio, frowning at the talk station Sean had had on when he'd been up there earlier. "I don't see how anyone can stand listening to this stuff for too long, especially when driving. It would put me right to sleep," Emma muttered as she switched from AM to FM.
"Really? I always pegged you for the type that would listen to NPR," Bobby said.
"I thought you didn't want to talk to me."
Emma went through the stations until she found a song she liked and sat straight again. Bobby gave her a quick, surprised glance. "You like Led Zepplin?" he asked.
"Love them," Emma said, turning up the radio a little bit.
"Wow. Never pictured that," Bobby said.
"Well, Drake, I bet there are plenty of things that you don't know about me," Emma replied.
"A lot more than you don't know about me after spending all that time hanging out in my body." Bobby snapped.
Bobby's sudden sharp tone put Emma on the defensive. "I did not inhabit your body in order to learn anything about you. I didn't care a bit about what was in that weak mind of yours. You just happened to be there and your mind was easily accessible."
"You have got to be the biggest bitch I have ever met," Bobby said through gritted teeth.
Emma shrugged. "You say that like it's a bad thing."
Bobby decided to turn his attention away from Emma Frost and on the song. After all, it was one of his favorites.
This is the springtime of my loving-
the second season I am to know
You are the sunlight in my growing-
so little warmth I've felt before.
It isn't hard to feel me glowing-
I watched the fire that grew so low.
It is the summer of my smiles-
flee from me Keepers of the Gloom.
Speak to me only with your eyes
it is to you I give this tune.
Ain't so hard to recognize-
These things are clear to all from
time to time. Ooooh...
I've felt the coldness of my winter
I never thought it would ever go
I cursed the gloom that set upon us...
But I know that I love you so
but I know that I love you so.
These are the seasons of emotion
And like the winds they rise and fall
This is the wonder of devotion-
I see the torch we all must hold.
This is the mystery of the quotient-
Upon us all a little rain
must fall, Just a little rain?
*** *** ***
Bobby slung his suitcase on the bed in the hotel room, then sat down beside it, bouncing on the mattress a few times to test it.
"Satisfactory for ye, Bobby?" Sean asked from the other side of the room.
"Yeah, I guess it'll do," Bobby said, lying back.
"Don't wanna be here, do ye?" Sean observed.
"Not with her," Bobby said, staring up at the ceiling.
"Aw, Em's not all that bad," Sean said. "An' I coulda sworn I saw the two of ye getting' along from time ta time."
"Not recently. She's been in her 'bitch from hell' mode ever since I got to Massachusetts."
"She grows on ye after a while." Sean grinned.
Bobby rolled over to face Sean and propped up on his elbow. "Can I ask you something?"
"Aye. What is it?"
"Did you and Emma ever have a, um, romantic relationship?" Bobby asked, his voice getting softer as he spoke.
Sean hadn't been expecting Bobby to ask that. "Me an' Emma? No, we've never had anythin' like that. She's been more like—a sister ta me. Why?"
"Just curious," Bobby said, rolling over to stare at the ceiling again.
"Would ye have been jealous if I'd said yes?" Sean asked.
Bobby sat straight up and looked over at Sean. "Jealous? Are you crazy? Jealousy. Heh. Be more like pity."
Sean laughed. "And all this time I could've sworn ye were attracted ta her."
"You're crazy all right," Bobby said.
"Are ye tellin' me ye haven't even as much as noticed Emma?" Sean asked.
Bobby turned slightly red, something Sean noticed but decided not to comment on. "Well, it is kinda hard not to notice a woman who parades around in skin-tight leather all the time," Bobby said.
"So ye are attracted ta her."
"Yes. NO! Stop it!" Bobby said, turning redder.
Sean sat down on the bed across from Bobby's. "I think she may be attracted ta ye, too," Sean said.
Bobby raised an eyebrow. "You're not scoring any points towards sanity here," he said.
Sean chuckled. "I'm serious. She did ask ye to be her date that time ye were teachin' at the Academy before."
Bobby rolled his eyes. "That? That was nothing. Emma only asked me because I was there. Told me she'd have taken The Toad if he'd been there instead of me." "You were the closest available body seems to be her excuse quite often," Bobby thought.
"Did it ever occur ta ye that maybe she just said that ta cover up the way she really feels?"
"Jeez, Sean, you're a complete headcase."
"Just somethin' ta think about, Lad."
Bobby started to say something else, but was interrupted by a knock at the door. "I'll get it," Bobby said, jumping up and making a break for the door. He was glad to be saved from the current topic of conversation. He groaned when he saw who it was. "If it isn't the Wicked Witch of the West," he said.
"Robert," Emma regarded him with a nod. Then she pushed right past him to get into Sean. "The children are getting anxious. I believe it's time we go down there and get this over with."
"We're not children anymore, Miss Frost!" Jubilee yelled in from the hallway.
"Remind me of that in ten years," Emma called back. "So can we go now? I am not keeping up with them in a casino by myself."
"Aye, let's go," Sean said, standing up. "Come on, Drake."
Bobby sighed, asking himself for what must've been the millionth time since they'd left Massachusetts why he was doing this to himself. "Okay, I'm coming. Give me just a minute."
*** *** ***
The recently-graduated Generation X stood in the hallway, waiting impatiently for their teachers to come out and take them downstairs. "I don't see why we have to wait for them at all," Jubilee muttered. "Just 'cause Frosty apparently thinks we're still children…"
"You're only eighteen, Jubilation," Monet St.Croix said in her usual "holier-than-thou" tone. "Legal or not, you are still a child."
Jubilee rolled her eyes. "Unlike you, since you're like sooo much older than me. What is it anyway, M, like three years?"
Monet just turned away, her nose stuck high in the air.
"It doesn't really matter so much," said Joséfina Lopez. She was the newest member of the team, only being there about a year, but she'd made fast friends with the other members of the team—especially Angelo Espinosa. "They probably won't follow us around once we get downstairs. After all, there are seven of us and only three of them."
"Chica," Angelo said, wrapping his arms around Joséfina's waist and pulling her back to him. "I know you haven't been around so long, so I'll forgive you this once. Three of them, seven of us, I know, but you have to remember—Ms. Frost is a telepath. She doesn't have to be physically in our presence to be following us around."
Joséfina shrugged. "I still think y'all are whining over somethin' that isn't going to be much of a problem once we get downstairs."
"We have to whine over something, Gel,"Jonothon Starsmore projected psiconically. "Just wouldn't be the same if no one was whining."
Joséfina sighed. "Sometimes I wonder why I even bother sticking around with you guys," she said.
Angelo leaned in close to her ear and whispered, "Porque me ames." Joséfina giggled.
Emma, Sean, and a rather dejected looking Bobby Drake filed out of the hotel room and into the hallway. "Can we go now, please?" Paige asked.
"Yes, Children, come along," Emma said, taking the lead.
Generation X took off down the hall after Emma with Sean and Bobby trailing behind. Sean clapped his hand over Bobby's shoulder. "Try not ta act quite so cheery," Sean said.
"Are you sure most of the team is in their twenties? They're acting like a bunch of middle-schoolers," Bobby said.
"Ye're one ta talk," Sean said.
Bobby gave him a shameless smile. "What's your point?"
"C'mon, Em's gonna need our help," Sean said, walking a little faster.
"Oh yes, let me hurry so Emma Frost won't be in any way inconvenienced," Bobby grumbled.
Sean gave Bobby a look over his shoulder and Bobby sighed, speeding up—though only by a little bit.
*** *** ***
"Could you at least pretend to be enjoying yourself?" Emma asked, walking up to Bobby who was currently sitting at the bar, sulking. "You're projecting misery so strongly that you blew my winning streak."
"Gee, sorry, I'll try to work on that," Bobby grumbled.
"Robert, really, you were not brought here as some sort of punishment," Emma said. "If you'd get over yourself long enough to take a look around, you'd probably actually have fun. After all, there are beautiful women everywhere, and I'm sure at lease one of them is drunk enough to notice you. Hell, you might even be able to find one drunk enough to marry you."
Bobby glared at you. "You think you're funny, don't you?"
"Not particularly." Emma gestured for the bartender to refill her drink. "Look, all I'm trying to say is, there's no point to wallowing in self-pity for the entire trip. It's only going to be a few days and then you'll be back in Massachusetts, wishing you were here again so you could suffer in a more colorful atmosphere."
"I hope this isn't supposed to be a pep talk, 'cause if it is, you're lousy at them," Bobby said.
"Let me buy you a drink," Emma said.
"You're not my type," he said, wondering if maybe such a statement would drive her away.
It didn't. "Funny, I always thought your type was simply 'breathing,'" Emma countered.
"And desperate," Bobby replied with a sour frown. "You forgot desperate. All the women I end up with are apparently desperate. And even then I'm not good enough for them. Yep, if you're breathing and desperate, then just come see ol' Bobby Drake for awhile, boost your ego from lookin' at what a miserable excuse for a person he is, then dump him as quick as you can."
"You're drunk already."
"Just a tad."
Emma sighed. "A lot of help you've turned out to be, Drake."
"Hey, I've been keepin' an eye on the kids!" Bobby said. "Why the little firecracker ran by with like five guys only a minute ago…said something about going with them to a room upstairs…"
Emma's eyes widened in horror and Bobby began to laugh. "Gotcha there, Em," he said. "Jubilee's right over there at the slot machines with Paige."
Emma's glare would've chilled Bobby to the bone had he not already had the ability to drop his body temperature below freezing. "Not funny, Robert."
"I thought it was," Bobby said, finishing off his drink and quickly ordering another. "You're payin' for that one," he told Emma.
"Fine," Emma said with an exaggerated sigh. "Are you just going to sit here and drink all night?" she asked."
"That was the plan, yeah," Bobby said.
"I'm leaving then. I'll be back to check on you in a bit," Emma said, getting up.
"Fine, Mom," Bobby muttered.
Emma sighed again as she walked away.
*** *** ***
A few hours later, Sean came up to Emma and pulled her aside. "Em, there's a slight problem," he said.
"No, I mean really drunk. Can't even stand up straight. Some people are tryin' ta get him ta leave, but he won't budge. He's insistin' he's Frosty the Snowman, and he'll melt if they move 'im."
"Dammit," Emma said. "I'll go get him." She stormed away from Sean and over to the bar. "Time to go, Robert," she said, going into his mind and planting the thought that he wanted to follow her.
Bobby stood up, feeling woozy. The room began to spin, and he leaned heavily on Emma for support. She muttered something about how undignified she felt at the moment as she drug him upstairs.
"Where'd your key?" Emma asked once they reached Bobby's room.
"My pants' pocket, I think," Bobby told her.
Emma looked up to see a security camera pointed right at them and knew she wouldn't be able to retrieve the key telekinetically. "Can you get it?" she asked him.
"I don't think so," Bobby slurred.
"Damn you, Drake," Emma hissed under her breath as she reached into Bobby's pocket to get the key.
"Why, Emma this is all so sudden," Bobby teased.
"Can it," she growled as she got the key and unlocked the door. She helped him into the room and onto the bed.
Emma started to leave when Bobby called out to her, "Emma, could you help me get my shoes off—please."
Emma sighed and rolled her eyes, but she went over and took off Bobby's shoes. "I hope you have the headache from hell in the morning," she said.
"Love you, too," Bobby replied. "Hey, Emma?"
"I'm not taking off any more of your clothes, Robert."
"No, I just wanted to say thanks for helpin' me up here."
Emma gave him a slight smile. "You're welcome."
"You should smile more," Bobby told her. "You're so beautiful when you smile. Not that you're not beautiful all the time. You look amazing even when you're glarin' at me."
"Oh, really?" Emma asked.
"Yep. You've got to be the most beautiful woman in the world, Emma Grace. Sometimes I just can't help but watch you. That's what I was doin' tonight, you know. And the more I realized I could never have you, the more I drank," Bobby said.
Emma's eyes grew wide. She wasn't quite sure how to take his comments. After all, he was very drunk and liable to say just about anything. "Go to sleep, Bobby," she said.
"Yeah, okay," he replied, closing his eyes and immediately passing out.
Emma gave him one last glance before hurrying out the room.
*** *** ***
Emma leaned up against the wall right outside of Bobby's door. Had he meant that? She'd figured he was attracted to her—most men were, after all—but she hadn't quiet expected that. Emma shook her head. No, he didn't mean it—couldn't have meant it. It was simply the alcohol talking, nothing more. She smoothed out her clothes and walked proudly down the hall, vowing to forget that particular conversation with Robert Drake had ever occurred.
*** *** ***
Bobby woke up with the headache from hell. He opened his eyes, but quickly shut them in order to stop the onslaught of light. He tried to say something but discovered he could only groan.
"I was wonderin' when ye'd wake up," Sean said.
Bobby groaned again.
"Not feelin' too great, are ye? Figures, seein' how drunk ye were last night."
Another groan. Suddenly, Bobby jumped out of bed and ran into the bathroom, his hand over his mouth. After a few minutes, he crawled out and back over to the bed. "How…how did I get back up here?" he asked.
"Emma took ye," Sean said.
"Bet she loved that," Bobby said.
"She was complainin' a wee bit when she came back downstairs. She seemed more out of it than anythin' else, though," Sean said.
Bobby frowned. "Out of it? How?"
"I don't know, she just was not her usual chipper self," Sean said, the last part tinted with sarcasm.
Bobby sat up and began digging through his suitcase in search of aspirin. "Hope I didn't say anything stupid."
Sean grinned at him and tossed him a small bottle of pills. "Nah, I doubt you'd ever do somethin' like that."
Bobby glared as best he could as he tried to swallow the pills dry with his cottonmouth. "Remind me never to drink that much again."
Someone knocked loudly at the door, and Bobby knew it was Emma. "I hate her," he grumbled.
Sean answered the door and let Emma in. "Aye?"
Emma smiled slightly. "How's Robert feeling this morning?" she asked.
"I'm great," Bobby answered for himself. "Never been better."
Emma walked in, and couldn't help but smile at the sight of a rather disheveled Bobby. "Good morning, Dear," she said. "Or should I say good afternoon."
"Really? That isn't what you said last night," Emma said with a smug smile.
"What?" Bobby somehow managed to turn ever paler.
"You told me I was beautiful. The most beautiful woman in the world, as a matter of fact."
"Yep. Said you wanted to run away with me," she told him.
"Okay, now I know your lying."
Emma laughed. "Get up, Drake. The children are begging to go out sight-seeing and I want you to come with us."
"You're the Devil in white leather," Bobby told her.
"I've never denied it. Now get up before I send Jubilee in here."
Bobby stood up and waited for the room to stop spinning. "Have I ever told you how much I hate you?"
Emma just smirked. "I'll be back to get the two of you in about ten minutes. Hurry up and get ready."
Emma left and Sean tossed Bobby a small bottle from the minibar. "This'll help, Lad."
"Uh-uh. I'm not making that mistake again."
"Ye are miserably hung over and about ta go sight-seeing with Emma Frost and all of Generation X."
Bobby downed the bottle in one gulp.
*** *** ***
Generation X and their teachers walked together down the Vegas Strip. "It all looks so different during the day," Paige said.
"Day or night, I've never seen anythin' quite like it," Joséfina commented.
"Don't have anything like this in Grand Saline, Texas?" Angelo asked, taking her hand.
Joséfina shook her head. "Nope. We don't have much there. Just a lot of salt."
"I like it better at night when it's all lit up," Jubilee said.
"Of course you do," Monet said. "People like you always like things when they're nice and shiny."
Jubilee glared daggers at her. "You'll be eating those words after I finish college and become a sophisticated young lady," she said, crossing her arms over her chest.
Paige and Jono exchanged a look at Jubilee's comment, and Monet just rolled her eyes and said, "Riiight…"
"Why are you going away to college anyway?" Everett asked. "Why don't you just stay on and study at the Academy with the rest of us?"
"Because I'm ready to get out on my own," Jubilee said. "I've been with either you guys or the X-Men since I was thirteen. I'm never going to grow up until I have a chance to take care of myself."
"You're never going to grow up," Monet said.
"I'll grow up before you stop being a stuck-up bitch who thinks she's a thousands times greater than she is," Jubilee replied.
Monet's eyes grew wide at Jubilee's comment. "Jubilee, that wasn't necessary," Everett said.
"Don't you dare defend her to me, Ev," Jubilee snapped.
"I'm just saying…" Jubilee stormed off before Everett could finish his sentence.
"Hey, Ice Dude," Jubilee said, walking up to Bobby.
"You come to torture me, too?" Bobby asked.
"Nope. Just felt like talking to someone interesting."
"Fighting with Monet again?"
"You shouldn't let her get to you so much," Bobby said.
"I know," Jubilee said, "But it's hard. Everyone sees me as such a kid, and whenever I try to grow up, they just push me back down, tell me to stop trying to bite off more than I can chew. It's like I have no choice but to be some immature slacker forever, y'know?"
Bobby nodded. "Trust me, I understand completely."
"Is that how you feel, Drake?" Jubilee asked.
"Sometimes, although it's not as bad anymore," Bobby said. "That's one of the main reasons why I left the X-Men for so long and went to get my degree. To prove to myself that I am an adult. Now that I know that, it doesn't matter to me as much what the others think."
Jubilee smiled. "That's one of the same reasons I'm going away for college. Otherwise, I'll always be the sassy mallrat who follows Wolverine around whenever she can, thinking she can somehow be his equal."
"Well, more power to ya, Girl. Hope you find what you're looking for," Bobby said.
"Thanks, Drake. Hey, by the way, did you really put the moves on Frosty last night?"
Bobby's eyes grew huge. "Huh?"
"I overheard her telling Sean that you said something to her right before you passed out, and she wasn't sure how to take it since you'd been so drunk. From the way she was talking, it sounded like you'd hit on her or something."
Bobby grew completely pale.
*** *** ***
Bobby stood outside Emma's door, poised to knock. He didn't really want to talk to her, but he had to know what he'd said to her the night before. Or would it just be better to follow the old adage, "what you don't know can't hurt you?" Bobby wasn't sure if he really did want to know what he'd said; after all, he did find Emma attractive, and as drunk as he was who knows what he could've come out of his mouth.
Bobby had stood at the door for several minutes when Emma finally flung it open. "What do you want?" she asked. "I've sensed you standing there for five minutes now, and frankly, your presence is starting to grate on my nerves."
"What did I say to you last night, Emma?" Bobby blurted out, afraid if he didn't ask her now he'd never have the courage.
Emma smiled. "Nothing."
"I can tell you're lying."
"I already told you earlier," she said.
"You honestly want me to believe I asked you to run away with me? I wasn't that drunk, Em," Bobby said.
"Okay, you didn't say that," she said, "But you did tell me I'm beautiful."
"Is that all?" Bobby asked.
Emma considered telling him the rest but decided to be kind and spare him. Well, that and she didn't really want that statement out in the open between them. "Yes, that was all."
Bobby breathed a sigh of relief. "Oh good. I was afraid I'd said something really incriminating."
The doors to the rooms where Generation X were staying opened and the young mutants ran out into the hall. "Hey, Ms. Frost, it's dark," Paige said. "You told us we could go back downstairs when it got dark!"
Emma sighed. "It's still only dusk."
"That's good enough!" Joséfina said.
They all looked at her. "Please?" the begged in unison.
"It frightens me to think that you are all old enough to vote now. Come on, we can go down if you'd like. Jonothon, go get Sean."
Jono gave a quick nod then hurried down the Sean's room.
"You're actually letting me go back down after last night?" Bobby asked, wondering if maybe he could get out of spending any more time in that casino.
"Yes," Emma replied. "But I want you by me at all times. I'm not letting you out of my sight."
"And they say I'm as cold as ice," Bobby said.
"Could be worse," Emma said.
"How?" Bobby asked.
"You could be stuck with one of your ex-girlfriends all night," Emma replied.
Bobby got an image of hanging out in the casino with Opal Tanaka and shivered. "Okay, you're right," he conceded. "It could be worse. Although not by much."
*** *** ***
"Despite what you may think, Robert, I get no satisfaction from your misery," Emma said after putting up with a pouting Bobby for two hours.
"Good, I was hoping I wouldn't be the only person here who'd spend the whole night unhappy," he said.
Emma wanted to scream he was getting so annoying. "Why?" she asked. "Why are you doing this?" she asked.
"Because I don't want to be here," Bobby replied.
"Neither do I," Emma told him, "but you don't see me sulking."
"Sorry, I'll do my best to be a little more perfect like you," Bobby said.
Emma sighed heavily.
"You do that a lot," Bobby commented.
Emma sighed again.
"I need a drink," Emma said.
"What do you know, me too!" Bobby said with mock enthusiasm.
Emma started to sigh yet again but caught herself. She walked towards the bar with Bobby following close behind.
*** *** ***
Two hours and several drinks later, Bobby and Emma still sat at the bar together, laughing hysterically. Emma stopped and frowned. "What were we laughing at?" she asked.
"I forgot," Bobby replied.
Somehow, they both found that uproariously funny as well, and began to laugh again.
"You know, Emma, you're not so bad when you're plastered," Bobby said.
"Same to you, Bobby," she said, raising her glass. They did a quick toast and then the giggles started again.
Bobby sat his glass down. "Can't you like telepathically prevent yourself from getting drunk?" he asked.
Emma took a sip of her drink then answered, "Yeah, but this is just too much fun."
"Most fun I've had since I got here," Bobby said.
Emma looked up at him and met his gaze. "You're cute, you know," she said.
"That's the alcohol talking," he said.
"No, really," she insisted. "You may be the Iceman, but you sure are hot."
Bobby grinned. "Definitely the alcohol talking."
Emma got up off the barstool. "Let's go somewhere," she said.
"Where?" Bobby asked.
"I don't know, just out of this casino. I'm sick of being here."
Bobby stood up and linked his arm with hers, partly for support and partly because he had the sudden urge to be as close to her as possible. "Lead the way, Frosty."
*** *** ***
Bobby woke up with a splitting headache. "This is starting to become a habit," he grumbled. He forced himself to sit up and take a look around. After a few seconds, he noticed something was wrong. "This isn't my room…" he said. Bobby looked beside him to see Emma Frost, fast asleep. "Well, shit," was all he could manage to say.
Emma began to stir. Her eyes opened slowly and she blinked them into focus. She became aware of the fact that Bobby Drake was sitting right next to her and jumped up, pulling the sheets up to cover herself. She immediately regretted her sudden action, and sat back down. "I don't feel so good," she said, cradling her head in her hands.
Bobby reached out and gave her shoulder a gentle squeeze. "I do believe that's probably the understatement of the century."
Emma looked up at Bobby's hand and noticed a distinct piece of jewelry that hadn't been there the night before. "Um, Robert, look at your hand…" she said.
"What about my hand?" he asked. Then he saw the ring and his face went white. He looked down at Emma and pointed. "You have one, too!" he screeched.
"Dear God, how did I get trapped in such a cliché?" Emma asked.
Bobby stopped freaking out long enough to give her a puzzled look and ask, "Huh?"
Emma sighed. "We're in Las Vegas. We got drunk. We got married. And if I remember correctly, the ceremony was performed by someone impersonating Elvis Presley. How much more of a cliché can there be?"
"You know, if this wasn't so freaky, it would be funny," Bobby said.
Emma looked around the room and saw random pieces of furniture overturned and their clothes strewn all around. "Well, at least it looks like we had a good time."
Bobby gave her a mock-leer. "Don't you remember, Baby? I was the best you ever had."
Emma rolled her eyes. "Somehow I doubt that."
"You insult my manhood."
"As many times as it's been questioned, I'm surprised you have any left to insult."
Bobby frowned and began to hunt down his clothes, putting them back on as he found them. "I'm going now," he said.
"Now?" Emma asked. "Robert, you can't leave now."
"Why not?" he asked as he sat down on the bed and began putting on his shoes.
"Because we need to talk about this!"
"What's there to talk about?" Bobby asked her. "We got drunk and we made a mistake. Now all we have to do is have the marriage annulled and forget this ever happened."
Emma chewed on her bottom lip but didn't say anything. Her silence made Bobby nervous. "Em? Emma?" He turned around to see her eyes starting to fill with tears, although she was trying to hold them back. "What's wrong?" he asked her. "Besides the obvious I mean."
"You're rejecting me," she said.
Bobby looked at her with apparent confusion. "Huh? How am I rejecting you? We made a mistake that many people who have gotten drunk visiting Vegas have made. It's nothing personal."
"Yeah, you're right," Emma said. "Now leave so I can get up and get dressed." Bobby hesitated for a second and Emma yelled at him, "I said leave!" He hurried out of the room before he felt anymore of her wrath.
Once Bobby was gone, Emma began to cry.
*** *** ***
Sean stopped Joséfina, Angelo, and Jubilee as the three of them walked downstairs towards breakfast. "Any of ye seen Bobby?" Sean asked. "He never came back ta the room last night."
Joséfina and Angelo both shook their heads. "I haven't seen him since we left our rooms yesterday evening," Joséfina said.
"Last I saw of him was last night. He and Frosty were leaving the casino, arm in arm" Jubilee said.
As fate would have it, Bobby picked just that moment to walk out of Emma's room. "Uh, good morning?" he said as he noticed the four pairs of eyes staring at him.
"What were you doing in Miss Frost's room?" Jubilee asked.
"None of your business," Bobby said as he stormed down to his room and went inside, slamming the door behind him.
Paige and Monet came into the hallway and joined the others. "What's wrong with y'all?" Paige asked, noticing the shocked looks on her friends' faces.
"Bobby just came out of Ms. Frost's room," Angelo explained.
"Omigod!" Paige exclaimed. "You don't think that they…"
"Of course not," Monet cut her off. "Emma would never do something so distasteful."
"So wearing white leather and carrying around whips is considered tasteful now?" Jubilee asked.
"Much more tasteful that a yellow raincoat," Monet snapped back.
"Behave, Lassies," Sean said. "And whatever did or didn't happen between Emma and Bobby is for them ta discuss, not us. Come on now, let's get Everett and Jono and go down ta breakfast."
*** *** ***
Once Emma stopped crying, she felt foolish. What had she expected out of Bobby? He was right, they'd made a mistake, and the only way out of it was to do their best to erase it. Why had she flipped out on him like that? The answer suddenly became crystal clear in her mind, and Emma began to cry even harder.
She was in love with Bobby Drake.
*** *** ***
Bobby sat alone in a chair in his hotel room trying to figure out exactly what had just happened. He'd gotten drunk, made a rather large error in judgement, and now he was married to Emma Frost, a woman whom had done much to make his life miserable. Still, he'd never been able to bring himself to really hate her for anything she'd ever done to him, no matter how hard he'd tried. To be honest, he'd actually always found himself very attracted to her and had even caught himself wondering if they'd work as a couple.
"Guess I know now," he said to himself. Bobby frowned. No, he didn't know. They may have been husband and wife, but they certainly weren't a couple. They were going to get this marriage annulled, and that would be the end of it. Bobby frowned harder as he thought of Emma's reaction when he'd brought that up. He would've thought that she'd have been the first one to mention the subject of annulment, but instead she'd accused him of "rejecting" her when he said something about it. Bobby couldn't figure out what that could possibly mean.
"Women," Bobby grumbled.
*** *** ***
Emma and Bobby avoided each other for the rest of the Vegas trip, and it wasn't until they were back on the bus on the way back to Massachusetts that they had to spend any time together. But even then, they didn't speak a word to each other and worked it out so they'd never have to be up front alone together.
Once they were back to the Academy, Bobby stopped Emma on her way up to her room. "We need to talk," he said.
"I've already called my lawyer. We have a meeting with a judge on Monday to discuss the annulment."
Bobby was surprised that Emma already had everything set up and hadn't even spoken to him about it yet. "Uh, what time Monday?" he asked.
"Okay. I'll be ready."
"Good. And, please behave yourself. I don't want to be embarrassed any further than I already am."
"Sure, Ms. Frost. I'll be on my best behavior."
Emma gave him a quick nod then turned around and disappeared up the stairs.
Bobby watched her go.
*** *** ***
Bobby sat next to Emma and her lawyer, nervously running his finger under his too-tight collar. He'd never like suits. They'd been just about his least favorite thing about being an accountant.
So far everything had been going well. The judge had agreed to grant them the annulment, and he was now already in the process of having the papers drawn up. "Guess it pays to have the amount of wealth and power that Emma does," Bobby thought.
They were getting their marriage annulled on the grounds that both parties considered the marriage to be a joke at the time of the ceremony. Bobby laughed silently at how simple that was. All he'd had to do was say it was a joke, and the marriage never existed. It was like Bobby Drake, the official jokester of the X-Men, pulling the ultimate prank.
The Judge came back into the room and presented Emma and Bobby with a piece of paper. "Now if you'd both just sign here…" he began.
Emma stood up and pushed the paper away from her. "I can't sign that!" she exclaimed. "It wasn't a joke to me! It may have been a joke to Robert, but it wasn't to me. I meant it! I meant every word of those vows!" She ran out of the room without looking back.
Bobby glanced between the judge and the lawyer. Simplicity had just flown out the window, or, as it would be, run out the door.
*** *** ***
Bobby ran outside trying to find Emma, but she was already long gone, as was the car she'd come in. He suddenly felt very worried about her, hoping that she'd be able to drive in the emotional state she was in. He ran to the parking lot and got into his car. He had to find Emma before anything bad happened to her.
He'd been on the interstate for about ten minutes when he hit traffic. "It isn't rush hour yet," Bobby said, looking at his watch. "Traffic shouldn't be this bad." He had a sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach, and he pulled over to the side of the road. He got out of his car and saw Emma's, smashed into the railing on the side of the road. He ran over to her, opened the driver's side door, and found her unconscious, her head bleeding. "Em…Can you hear me, Emma?"
"Dammit," Bobby cursed when she didn't respond. He was about to grab her cellphone and call 911 when someone tapped him on the shoulder. He looked up to see a tall man in an EMS uniform.
"It's nice of you to try to be a Good Samaritan and help her out, but you're gonna have to move along now," the man said.
"She's my wife," Bobby explained.
The man nodded. "In that case, you can come with us, but stand over there while we get her out," he said, pointing to an out-of-the-way spot.
Bobby nodded and walked over to watch them as they pulled Emma from the car. "Please be all right," he whispered.
*** *** ***
Emma Frost woke to find herself in a hospital room. "How…how did I get here?" she asked, trying to sit up.
A firm hand pushed her gently back down on the bed. "Don't try to sit up," she heard a familiar voice say. "You had a car accident. You need to rest."
"Bobby?" she asked, looking up at the person beside her.
"Yeah, Em, it's me," he said.
"Why are you here?" she asked.
A nurse walked into the room, cutting off Bobby's answer. "Ah, I see you're conscious, Mrs. Drake," the nurse said. "How are you feeling?"
"Uh, my head hurts some…" Emma replied, unsure of what exactly she should say.
"I can fix that," the nurse said, changing the bag of Emma's IV drip. "You got a nasty bump on your head and a few other bruises, but nothing major. You should be out of here within forty-eight hours."
"Good. Thank you," Emma said.
The nurse smiled at both Emma and Bobby, then left the room. "Mrs. Drake?" she asked, once she knew the nurse was out of earshot.
Bobby blushed. "I told them I was your husband so they'd let me stay with you," Bobby explained. "I didn't think you should be alone when you woke up."
"Bobby, about back at the judge's office…"
"Shh…" Bobby cut her off. "Not now, Em. You need to rest."
"Please, Bobby, I need to say this one thing," she said. When he didn't say anything to stop her again, she continued. "I ran out of there because I wasn't sure if an annulment was really what I wanted. When I took over your body that time, I learned so much about you, one thing being that you are just about the kindest, most giving person I have ever met. You have a beautiful mind, Bobby, and a beautiful soul. I guess a part of me fell in love with you then, even in the midst of everything else that was happening."
Bobby reached down and brushed a piece of hair off her face, careful not to touch her bandages. "Get some rest, Em," he said softly.
Emma nodded and closed her eyes.
*** *** ***
Emma walked into her room, glad that her stay in the hospital had not been any longer than it was. Bobby had been by her side the whole time, and Emma had almost gotten used to being called "Mrs. Drake." But she knew it wasn't real, and it wasn't something that Bobby wanted. She looked down at the packet of papers in her hands that she'd asked her lawyer to send over. She knew what she had to do.
"If you love someone, let them go," she said between her tears as she signed her name to the annulment papers.
*** *** ***
Bobby was surprised to hear a knock at his door, and he was even more surprised to open it and find Emma standing there. "I thought you were going to get some rest," he said.
"There was something I had to do first," Emma said, handing Bobby the papers.
"What are these?" he asked.
"Look at them."
Realization hit Bobby. "Emma…"
"Look, I know I freaked out over this whole marriage thing, but you were right in this first place. This was all one big mistake."
"Do you really feel that way?" Bobby asked.
"Yes," Emma replied, hoping she sounded strong.
"Too bad I don't," Bobby said, taking the paper and tearing it into pieces.
Emma looked at him in shock. "I love you, Emma Frost," he said, pulling her closer to him.
"Bobby?" Emma said, stopping him from moving any closer.
"What is this going to do to my 'evil bitch' image?" she asked.
Bobby laughed. "I'm sure we'll think of something," he said, pressing his lips to hers.