Nothing Much At Stake.
Billy is currently trying to consider if using his powers against the teaming of his little brothers against him would be too terrible. He wouldn't kill them, after all; perhaps just spell them to stop being such a pain in the ass, or just spell them silent so he can actually hear his thoughts every now and then when the doorbell rings. He's still trying to fight the two monsters that have been forced unto his life away when he recognizes the voice of the person speaking with… his mom! Damn!
"Yeah, we kind of study together and, you know, share hobbies and…" For half a second he's tempted to snort: Teddy is a terrible, terrible liar and Billy makes a note to ask him how the hell he has managed to keep his mom from finding out about him being a mutant and – as short as it was – a Young Avenger when he can't obviously stop from squirming, but then there's the urgency to get in there before his mom starts doing something either Motherly or Psychologist-y and, yes, priorities.
And, then again, the squirming might be because his mom is probably fixing Billy with her Psychoanalyzing Glare, which is enough to send you into taking out the trash even if it's not your turn and cleaning your room, let the room need it or not. There's a reason why Billy is almost certain that he inherited his powers from his mother, after all.
"Hey, Teddy!" He interrupts the third degree, throwing the remote towards the couch to let the fight for it be held between the two little beasts, smiling to the blond teenager. His mom raises an eyebrow and Billy avoids asking her a 'what?'. So he's happy of seeing Teddy, even after he had more or less said he was quitting the whole relating with the human race as soon as possible, so what?
"Theodore was looking for you." His mom says, and Billy hopes she's not going to start telling him to tuck in his shirt or comb his hair. Teddy smiles a little, leaning towards a side to be seen, hands behind his back, as proper as one can be.
"I was passing by." Teddy says, shrugging a little, and Billy smiles at him. He's about to tell him to come in when he takes notice of his mom and the way she's still looking at them, only to be distracted when something breaks in the living room and he knows when to take advantage of the situation.
"Mom, we're going to take a walk."
"Come back before dinner." His mom says, giving Teddy a sharp smile that has more to do with his little brothers in so much trouble that he doesn't envy them even for a second. "Theodore, it was a pleasure."
"Pleasure's mine, Mrs. Kaplan." Teddy calls after her back, and they hear the starts of his mom versus the pests before Teddy fixes wide blue eyes on him. "Is it just me or she hated me?"
"Nah. I think she might actually like you." Billy says, walking down the steps besides Teddy, trying not to sigh. "She didn't start analyzing your clothes or posture immediately, after all." He grins a little instead, tucking his hands in his jeans. "… passing by?"
And Teddy laughs, shaking his head. "I did. Um. Yesterday. And I had to pass through the street so I could actually call in, so… that counts, right?"
Billy can't stop from laughing too. Teddy's laugh is contagious in a way that Billy has never found in another person, and he thinks that should be weird, only it isn't.
"So, what's up?"
"I just thought of coming to see how you're doing. Y'know." Teddy shrugs, hands dangling. His arm is brushing his, and Billy kind of wishes he had worn something of short sleeves. "I called Cassie yesterday."
Billy loses his smile a little, focuses on the sidewalk and their shadows mangling together in a long, almost formless shape. "Oh. I should call her, too. How's she doing?"
"She says she's fine." But Teddy's voice sounds unsure, and when he glances at him, the blond's face is drawn in worry.
"You don't think she is."
"I think… she doesn't know how to feel." Teddy shrugs. "Neither of us knew Iron Lad much, but…"
"We miss him."
"Yeah." One of Teddy's hands move through his hair, and the sunset light shivers over his piercings. Billy makes the note to also ask him about that. He might get one, too. Maybe. It does look kinda neat.
"Guess you can relate, huh?" Billy asks, more to fill the silence, but he immediately wishes he could kick himself. He almost spells himself to do so, too, but Teddy shrugs.
"Not really. We met Iron Lad. I didn't meet my dad."
"Hey, I'm sorry. I shouldn't have asked." Teddy shakes his head and smiles.
"Nah, it's okay. I don't mind people asking about him, it's just… I miss Iron Lad, even if we didn't know him for long. I don't know how to miss my dad… and when I say that, people usually give me The Face."
"The 'Oh, that poor orphan boy' face." Teddy sighs, shaking his head. Billy worries that he's going to get distracted by how it seems to melt with the way the sun is going down, but he focuses instead in Teddy's eyes. "It's either that one or the 'Such an ungrateful kid!' if I ever dare to mention I don't feel sad about him."
"Well… it's hard to get sad if you don't remember someone…" Billy ventures, and he sees Teddy act startled for a moment before he nods.
"Yeah." Teddy gives him a soft smile, barely a whisper over his lips. "It's the first time I tell anyone this."
Billy hopes he's not blushing at that look and he looks ahead, clearing his throat. "Um… Does your mom talk about him?"
"Not really. I guess it's still hard for her." Teddy shrugs. "I'm sad that I didn't get a chance of meeting him and doing all the Father-and-Son stuff, but… you know. Not sad about him, as awful as that sounds."
"It doesn't sound awful." If anything, it makes him think that perhaps next time his dad offers to do something together, he won't blow him off so quickly, after all. He ventures a glance to Teddy and finds Teddy looking back at him, so he goes back to staring at the sidewalk. He looks around and turns back: he did say he'd go back for dinner. Teddy follows in silence, and he risks breaking it again. "Guess… there's dad-stuff that needs a dad, right?"
Teddy laughs. "You wouldn't believe how awkward it can be to have your mom give you The Talk."
"Oh, I know." Billy shudders. "I had my dad and my mom gave it to me. Mom thought it might be too traumatic so while dad gave the physiological one, mom gave the sentimental one."
"Man, and I thought I had it bad." Teddy laughs, moving a hand to his shoulder and squeezing. Billy tries to glare but it's not really happening, so he just resorts to snort.
"Yeah, yeah." Teddy takes a while before moving his hand away, which is the only reason why Billy risks talking. "You and your mom are close, then?"
"Pretty much, yeah. Well, it's hard not to be when it's only us." Teddy laughs again, bumping his arm gently against his. "I keep telling her to get a boyfriend."
"Tried to show her by example?" Billy asks, only half joking. Teddy's face is so startled that Billy is ready to apologize for saying that before Teddy nods and clears his throat.
"Uh… no, not yet. I'm still in the hints-stage of the deal… but I think she knows, kinda." Teddy clears his throat again, and Billy copies him, tries to get his hands deeper inside his jeans if only to stop the prickly feeling on the palms he gets. "What about you?"
And, for a moment, he thinks about saying he has no idea about what Teddy is talking about, but he has never really hidden who he is: it's one of the main reasons why he had to deal with fists so often, after all, and this is Teddy with warm, trusting blue eyes focused on him. He shakes his head.
"I'm still working them through the 'Not Studying Medicine' thing. I don't think they're ready for any other coming out just yet."
They walk in silence after that. Billy wants to tell Teddy that it's the first time he has come out and said it out loud: that even if he has had a while to come to terms with the fact that he likes guys, and that he has hear it from assholes since he was in Elementary School, it's also the first time he's actually admitting it. Perhaps because of that, the walk back home seems much shorter.
"Well… guess I should go." Teddy says, and now it's he who has his hands inside his jeans. Teddy has an almost hesitant smile, as if he really didn't want to go just yet. Billy knows the feeling.
"Do you want to stay for dinner?" He hears himself asking, something that he never does, mainly because he thinks that subjecting his family to any other person is just too cruel and because, yeah, the whole not-liking-people-thing that he has been doing for a while.
Teddy seems as if he wants to agree before he shakes his head. "Thanks, but mom's probably waiting for me; I don't like letting her have dinner alone."
"Yeah, and, well, I think it was dad's turn to cook so I think it's better that you don't risk it yet." Billy shrugs with a grin that Teddy shares. He glances towards the door, Teddy looks down the street and neither of them moves yet.
"Maybe next time?"
He nods, don't caring if it seems too eager. "Sure." Teddy grins and starts walking down the street, and before Bobby can start kicking himself or telling himself the thousand and one reasons why this might be the worst idea he has ever had, he speaks up. "Teddy!" When the blond turns around, Billy rubs the back of his neck and tries to not squirm. He's (was?) a superhero and he has magic powers and he can kick serious ass. Asking someone out is not (or at least, shouldn't be) that hard, all things considered. "Um… you free this weekend?"
Teddy blinks, the starts of a smile on his face. "Yeah. Why?"
"Wanna do something?" Billy shrugs, trying to make it sound casual and smooth and not as if he had thousand of ants crawling over his skin. "Dunno. We could hit the movies, grab something to eat…"
The face-splitting-grin that Teddy gives him is more than worthy the ants, though. "Yeah, sure, that'd be great. I'll call you later, yeah?"
"Sure." He's says again, suddenly feeling as if he was flying or dreaming or both. If this ends up being another one of those dreams-realities he suddenly has and he's floating in his room, hell, it's gonna hurt when he wakes up. "Bye, then."
Teddy raises his hand, still grinning; it's only when he raises his hand too and looks until Teddy goes down the next corner that he realizes he's grinning as much as Teddy was and he doesn't quite care. Not even when his brothers start teasing him about it is enough for him to stop doing so.