The Beauty of Ice, Fire, and Intellect

DISCLAIMER:  I lay claim to none of the X-men presented in this fic though I dearly would love to have a Hank of my very own to love, hug, pet, give plenty of baths to (i.e. molest), and force to do my chemistry homework.  *heavy sigh*. 

NOTES:  Anyhoo, I have to warn you that this is not the movieverse and it's not the regular comicverse either, it's their illegitimate child with a few genetic mutations because I was raised on the X-men cartoon that used to be on Fox.  So I'll mostly show the X-men that were in the cartoon (with a few others if I'm really attached to them) they're the ones I'm most familiar with…I just write them better.  I loved the idea of the X-mansion being an actual school with lots of kids being tortured with Physics so I'm using that.  Rogue (if she shows) most likely will be the sweet one from the movieverse.  Um…I'm waffling on whether I want them to have the scarily bright spandex from the cartoons or the really hot leather that was in the movie.  My god does Hugh Jackman look gooooood in leather.  Decisions decisions *sighs*  Okay…I can't think of anything else.  If you see any probs let me know and I'll adjust the notes *G*  On with the show!

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Ice was beautiful.

Almost as beautiful as the secrets of the universe laid bare from the onslaught of a scientist's determined prodding.  He didn't mean ice like you found in the freezer, though even that could be beautiful if you knew how to look beyond the monotony of what the naked eye could see.  Watching ice form beneath a microscope was…well it was worth seeing. 

But there was more to it, there was the way the light shone off it in the morning sun, more precious than diamonds because this would only last until the seasons changed again.  The way it could bring a slow insidious death yet at the same time bring to mind ice skating and laughing pink-cheeked faces.  The way it crept over everything in its path, coating the world in grace and elegance overnight.

Hank sat back against the porch posts, carefully setting his beer to the side.  Really if he drank much more he'd be composing mind-numbingly bad poetry.

Ode to frost.  

A few possible starting lines teased his brain and he resigned himself to actually committing it to paper later if only to get it out of his head.  He'd have to burn it afterwards; otherwise Bobby would find it. Then he'd be hearing bits and pieces of the choicer lines until he went gray. 

"Hank! What do you think!?"

Bobby stood beside his latest ice sculpture proudly, surrounded by the rapidly melting carcasses of a dozen others.  The short-lived creations of four hours of play being destroyed by the blazing summer sun. 

It didn't seem to bother Bobby though.  Getting Hank's opinion and approval for each one was enough to make his eyes dance as he moved on to the next with never a regret laden glance for his earlier works. 

Belatedly, Hank realized that he was supposed to give an opinion when he hadn't even looked at it yet.  He had been captured by the way droplets of water glided  down Bobby's bare chest, rainbow glitter dazzling his eyes when they caught the sun just right. 

Heaving a sigh he reached for his beer and looked.  His hand paused midair, the bottle forgotten, "It's…"

He wished he had his glasses on so he could polish them right now, and for that matter a shirt to polish them with.  But with the weather so hot, sitting outside with all his fur in just a pair of cut-off shorts was just a quark over the line into bearable.  A shirt was out of the question.

"It's very nice, quite…artistic.  Is that a…thong?"

Bobby was giving him a very familiar look. How was it fair that he got those, as Bobby had put it once, 'aww lookit the old senile person' looks normally reserved for parents and the elderly when he and Bobby were nearly the same age? 

"Okay that's it.  Mr. Big, Blue, and Baffled, you and me have a date with a Playstation 2 tonight.  What do you say?  We'll stay up all night, eat twinkies, rent some horror movies to make fun of and then play Silent Hill 2 and Fatal Frame until it's so late at night we both forget we've walked in on Jean and Rogue pre-coffee and can't actually be scared by anything else anymore."

After years of friendship, one learned that the key to Bobby was being able to skim over a conversation and pick out the pertinent facts.  Otherwise one may very well lose their mind trying to take in all the amusing but useless information. 

Skimming it, he translated it out to a simple explanation, the ice sculpture was something on a video game he hadn't seen.  Looking at it a little more closely, noting the large arms apparently strapped behind the things back and the lack of facial features…he began to wonder if he wanted to know.  "You bring the movies, I'll bring the twinkies?"

Bobby nodded excitedly and moved on to the next sculpture.  Hank hoped this time he'd be able to recognize what it was.  He scratched his cheek, stopping to look at his hand as he realized he was holding his beer still.  Maybe he _was_ getting senile.

Smiling to himself he drained the bottle and rose to his feet to fetch himself another from the cooler they'd brought out with them. 

"Hank! Get me one!" 

As if Bobby couldn't walk the two feet to the porch to get his own, but in the name of politeness.  He bent to get them and froze when a familiar dreaded tingle started to spread over his posterior, he couldn't feel the cold yet.  From years of experience he knew it would take a few seconds before the temperature dropped significantly enough to bother him.  Bobby liked to give him a little warning.

Bobby.  Was. Going. To. Die.

Beer all but forgotten, he straightened and hurled himself over the porch railing to land with deadly grace on the wet grass below, "Drake!"  It came out a yelp that he wished was a roar, but it was extremely difficult to roar convincingly when certain parts of ones anatomy that should never be exposed to ice were trapped in a pair of tight frozen underwear.

Bobby was laughing, almost too hard to remember to run at this point.  The brunette finally got himself moving; dashing away across the yard.  Hank wasn't quite sure what he was going to do to him when he caught him.  Strangling was too gauche.  Tickling though…tickling sounded perfect.

It was damn hard to chase someone when all you wanted to do was dance around looking ridiculous, while ripping off ones clothes to get away from the cold.  He would have, except the children were watching them, giggling. 

So he settled for chasing Bobby back and forth across the yard yelling pg rated abuse until he was finally close enough to execute a perfect tackle, sending them both rolling across the yard. 

He pinned him down to the wet grass before he could slip away, carefully running the tips of his claws over his sides searching out the most sensitive spots. 

"Hank! C'mon let me up! I'll be good!"  Bobby was laughing, trying to squirm out from under him while uselessly batting at the hands tickling him. 

"You, my young friend, need to learn to control yourself! My undergarments are not your toys!" 

Bobby just stared up at him, already wide grin managing to get even wider, as a few obviously naughty thoughts flickered through his head.  Then Bobby was laughing, really laughing.  The type, Hank knew from experience, which would continue until tears were running down his cheeks.

His only course of action was the ultimate in underwear vengeance.  The atomic wedgie.  Juvenile? Yes. But dealing with Bobby often required it.

He struck lightning fast before the mutant beneath him had a chance to react, lifting him easily off the ground so he could slip his hand down the back of his pants searching for the elastic band to whatever sort of undergarments Bobby preferred.  All he found was silken bare skin. 

He slipped his hand down further thinking…he wasn't sure he was thinking at all really.  At least nothing beyond how good Bobby felt and how firm the muscle was beneath his hand.

Bobby wasn't laughing anymore, he wasn't struggling either.  Their eyes met slowly and Hank could sense…a rightness in this.  Like his hand belonged there-no that wasn't quite right.  It was like his hand _could_ belong there if he wanted it to.  He wasn't sure how he felt about that, but Bobby had the bluest eyes and for now that was enough to think about.

"Hey Big Blue! C'mere! I need help!"  Hank could hear the pout in Jubilee's voice, she was probably taking him up on his offer to help her with her chemistry class.  It was enough to shatter the moment and make him thankful that his bulk hid exactly where his hand was. 

Bobby's eyes dropped away a faint blush lightly brushing across his features as Hank pulled his hand away and rolled off him.  "It was laundry day you know...I didn't have any clean clothes." 

"Is there anything else you want me to get from the store for tonight besides twinkies?"  Ignoring the lame explanation and moving on was the best peace offering he could make right now.

"Surge too. It's great for dipping twinkies in."  Bobby grinned joining him in acting like nothing had happened but Hank couldn't help noticing that his friend carefully stared over his shoulder.  Feeling disappointed somehow Hank nodded, "Your wish is my command. Until tonight Bobby."

It was hard to concentrate on Jubilee but thankfully he could handle high school chemistry in his sleep.

***

His room was a filthy mess.  Bobby fidgeted and tried to kick some clothes under the bed, tried being the operative word because there was already so many dirty clothes stuffed and forgotten beneath his bed that he could clothe an entire third world country.  At the moment the only third-world anything getting a chance at his things were the dust bunnies that were alive, kicking, and rapidly multiplying.

If he looked hard he could probably watch the beginnings of a new race forming, hopefully this one wouldn't have to suffer through a William Shatner dust bunny.  With a shudder he flipped off his tv which was playing old episodes of Star Trek, after flipping through a few channels of nothing again just to make sure it was still working.

He'd had an enlightening little chat with Gambit a few days ago about birds, bees, and why he'd glanced into the backseat of the cajun's car while on his way to his own and seen the redhead wrapped up in the arms of what was most definitely another man--or a woman on steroids.  _Lots_ of steroids. 

Ever since then he'd been noticing things…things like Hank.  Like Hank staring at him when he was busy doing other things, like Hank's hand on his ass yesterday, like the way Hank seemed to like having his hand in one of Bobby's 'naughty-don't-touch-me-there' places. 

And now he was beginning to notice that he hadn't exactly struggled to stop him.  Which was…wrong because he wasn't like that.  He didn't like guys, and he wasn't worrying about how dirty his room was like he thought he was bringing a date here either.  Not when the only thing happening was Hank coming over for twinkies, video games, and stupid horror movies.

Bobby attempted to kick some more clothes under his bed, and no it still didn't work. So he picked them up and cracked his closet door open just enough to stuff them inside without the mountain of forgotten junk already inside falling on his head.  He didn't really need to ruin the evening by cracking his head open…although if he were going to do it Hank would be the best person to take care of it.

Alright so maybe he was acting a little like this was a date.  He certainly hadn't cleaned his room for Hank before, if you could call this cleaning.  He could almost see Jean glaring at him in his head.

A knock on the door, oh god it was Hank.  His heart started beating double time and he wondered if his friend would be able to hear it. But calming down just wasn't an option, not after he'd _cleaned_ his room for the guy. 

With a jittery spring to his step he went to open the door and peeked out at…Gambit.

The Cajun stood or rather leaned against the doorframe adding new depths to words like loiter.  New depths that he'd already contemplated over the last few months when he was bored and seeing Remy hugging his doorway was still a new thing instead of being the norm like it was now. 

The only thing he wanted to contemplate right now was a certain redheaded mutant taking his whiskey and cigarette drawl, ass hugging jeans, and unbuttoned silk shirt that showed glimpses of toned chest elsewhere before Hank showed up. 

Considering the circumstances Bobby thought he could be forgiven for the fact that his voice was a little sharp when he spoke, because he knew from experience the cajun was like a cat.  When you wanted him there he was always somewhere else, and when you wanted him to get lost he clung like saran-wrap, "What?"

A slow honeyed smile spread across Gambit's face changing him from an exceptionally handsome man to an exceptionally handsome mischievous man.  Those red on black eyes were twinkling and Bobby had a feeling tonight was going to be a saran-wrap sorta night.

"Bobby! Just t'homme I want t'see!" 

Yep saran wrap.  Definitely.  Briefly he wondered if he could just freeze the rat and stuff him in his closet until _after_ Hank left.  With a sigh he decided he couldn't…there wasn't enough room in the closet.  Wait…he eyed Remy…he was pretty flexible…maybe he could fold him up and stuff him in one of his dresser drawers….

The Cajun waved a hand in front of his face, "Bobby, yoo-hoo y'home?"

Blue eyes blinked before focusing on the other mutant with a sigh and a reluctant smile because Remy was a friend too…even if he did want to stuff him in his drawer, "Yeah sorry, what Remy? I'm busy."

Remy smirked, "Wit' Hank."

"Hank's going to be here yes. For video games. Which means whatever scheme you're trying to drag me into forget it."

"M'not tryin' t'drag you into nothin'. Swear." It surprised him that the innocent angel routine was only ruined by the fact that Bobby knew better.  Remy had to be damn good to be able to pull it off without the devil eyes ruining it.  "Me n'th' boys were wonderin' f' you n'Hank were interested in a friendly card game."

The boys meant the older kids that Remy was teaching the hallowed ways of the card shark.  A friendly card game with them meant everyone cheated and everyone tried to catch the rest at it.  The best cheater won, lots of insults were thrown around as non-alcoholic wine coolers were guzzled and…it was actually a lot of fun even if he always seemed to get caught whenever he tried to cheat. 

Invitations were rarely extended and after a few months being allowed to play was beginning to take on a sort of superstar glory.  At least that was what the kids in his classes said when they were chattering before class, it seemed like Remy was always inviting him in.  As far as he knew Hank had never been asked…maybe he'd want to.  And the movies could always wait until after.

"Alright I'll ask him."  He hesitated before continuing, "We'll probably show up." Bobby  grinned and shut his door, completely missing the way Remy's eyes lit up.