"And so it came about that in college I was unjustly accused of being a politician, because I was privy to the secret griefs of wild, unknown men."
- The Great Gatsby
Come hell or high water, Iceman would not admit - out loud, anyway - that he felt anything toward Maverick, save for vague, persisting animosity.
Still, he secretly hated himself for the tacit connection between Maverick and the dreams he'd been having lately. You know the kind - the ones that come on like a sudden storm, leaving you to place a box of Kleenex and a bottle of lotion on your bedside table and batten down the hatches.
Private self-loathing was nothing new to Iceman.
Maverick was a slut in name only. Really, what he craved in the deep recesses of his gut was the emotional connection his absent father and distant mother had been ill-equipped to provide.
He knew better than to think that Charlie was anything but filler, anything but white noise to pacify his libido. She had big dreams that almost certainly did not involve him - or anyone other than herself, for that matter.
"Keep your hand out of the cookie jar."
That was Slider's pearl of wisdom on the subject of Maverick.
And Iceman agreed, not being someone who practiced self-control loosely. He carefully crafted an external image that was sure to not match the one in his head, and reveled in the suffering this caused him.
None of this is to imply he wasn't happy. He was happy on a pathological level, where perfectionism meets obsession. Iceman worked his kinks out in his flying, and that was good enough for him.
Maverick had no self-control.
The idea of purposefully denying yourself the good in the world was, to him, prima facie absurd. He had a life to live.
The Iceman situation was a little trickier, because for all of his macho posturing, Maverick was wary of being the dolphin caught in that particular tuna net. He intercepted looks from Goose - what are you doing, Mav? - and made drunken, overly sincere promises not to go down that road.
But at the end of the day, who was he to ignore Iceman's eyes on his body?
Who was he not to look back?