Parties and Partners

"She doesn't even like me"

"Don't be ridiculous of course she does" Hank said firmly,
"She called me a geek"

"Nothing wrong with being a geek – I'm a geek" The Doctor said defensively,

"Besides, she was only playing" Logan cut in,

"How can you tell?"

"Trust me,we know a lot about girls" Hank said, managing to keep his face straight even with the Iceman sniggering behind him,

"Oh yeah? Then why aren't you going out with the girl that you fancy?"

"Er, Well I – you – there's – I don't – Now look, that's completely besides the point, Little Blue, we're discussing you're love life, not mine" Hank gave his son a gentle shove, "go and ask her for goodness sake, it's your birthday after all" He hissed. Ten year old Little Blue nodded, straightening out his waistcoat as he headed for the pretty girl with the pink ribbons on the other side of the party,

"I can do this, I can do this, I can do this" He chanted softly. Hank grinned,

"Remember to tell her you think she looks pretty!" He whispered as loudly as he dared,

"Why?" Little Blue hissed back over his shoulder,

"Chicks like it" Bobby called, the three men watched him cross the room,

"Don't watch" Rogue murmured, one hand over her belly as shejoined them, "you'll make him more nervous" En masse the three men turned their backs, "oh our little boys all grown up" Beside them Rogue flapped a hand in front of her face, reaching for a napkin. Obviously the pregnancy hormones are taking hold, Hank thought wirily, only a month along and she's weeping already,

"What? How's he doing?" He asked, only just resisting the urge to turn around and see for himself,

"He's making her laugh a lot…he looks pretty pleased with himself– oh"

"What? What?" Logan went to turn round only to be sharply turned back by the other two,

"She just kissed his cheek" Rogue squeaked, voice choked off by tears,

"I knew it" Hank said smugly. Logan scowled, handing Bobby over ten dollars, "you were taking bets?" He growled,

"Hey, I was on Little Blues side" Bobby said defensively. The Wolverine grabbed his shoulder, grinning at Hank even as he took a step back,

"I think this might be a good time to run, Icicle" The pair scattered. Hank was about to chase after them when he saw Little Blue wandering back over, a huge beaming grin on his face and a cherry lip gloss mark on his cheek,

"So…how did it go?" Hank asked, trying not to sound too excited for him. Little Blue looked up at him,

"I think I'm in love" Little Blue grinned hugely, exposing elongated canines and the joy he felt,

"Hooray!" Rogue swept him up, spinning him round, "how about we get some ahs cream to celebrate?"

"Can I have chocolate sprinkles on mine?" Little Blue asked, the pair looked up at Hank, who sighed and shrugged helplessly,

"You're the birthday boy…just don't get sick, Xavier McCoy!" He shouted after the retreating pair,

"Aw but that's half the fun" Rogue laughed back. Hank sighed, contentedly, turning as a hand brushed his arm,

"So…you know a lot about girls do you?" Rose asked – she finally was 'Rose' in his mind now, not 'Sphinx' – she was trying not to smile. Hank felt his ears blush,

"Um, er, er, you look pretty" In his minds eye his face hit his palm – smooth as ever McCoy. She laughed and stood just a little closer, enough that he could feel her body heat,

"Thank you" She smiled just a little shyly, her gaze dropping to the floor. She was wearing something silky and high necked, long sleeves that hid all her scars, gloves on her hands. The pair stood in companionable silence before Hank screwed up his courage and dropped on hand to his side, reaching out and tentatively taking hold of hers – oh please, please, please, please, please – she tensed completely, the glass of wine in her other hand shaking though her face betrayed nothing. Hank went to pull away, already berating himself for being a fool, when her grip tightened…and tightened. It was almost desperate. They stood that way for a long moment, neither of them speaking a word, until she gently, slowly, silently guided his hand around her waist, never once looking at him. Hank grinned, even though his heart was beating a mad staccato against his ribs and his stomach was attempting to do acrobatic tricks. He glanced across the room in time to see Bobby handing Logan back the ten dollars and the Wolverine grinned at him smugly. Blushing Hank turned away to see Rose smiling up at him with an odd look in her eyes – it took Hank a moment to realise it was the first tentative sparks of love. He pulled her closer to him. There would be a lot to talk about once the party was done, a lot of explaining and a lot of arguing too no doubt, but Hank also knew that there was going to be a lot of laughter and a lot of love. He raised an eyebrow as Little Blue turned to grin and wave at him, his face smeared with trifle as he pointed frantically to where he was holding hands with the pink be-ribboned girl beside him. Hank grinned back before giving him the thumbs up and pointing surreptitiously to Rose, Little Blue positively beamed and gave him the thumbs up in reply before turning away. Yes, he sighed contentedly, squeezing the woman beside him gently, the future is going to be an interesting place to be.


A/N -

Thanx t'ya'll who've reviewed. I've been most flattered that nearly all of you are also superb writers yourselves and those of you who aren't yet writers have simply marvellous taste in fics. So yeah, thanx y'all ;)