Author: Kat Lee
Challenge/Prompt: 1_million_words Say What Friday: "It's beginning to (blank) a lot like (blank)." and fffc r17.23: Icy
Word Count: 1,446
Date Written: 5 December 2017
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to Marvel Comics and Disney, not the author, and are used without permission.
Author's Note: fffc mod and members, please pardon the lateness of this post. I tried to post it on Thursday, but LJ was giving issues and refused to allow me to post to the comm. Since then, both our phone and Internet have gone out at home. I'm actually making these posts today on my lunch break at work.
The ice cubes melting in his hot chocolate pull the whipped cream down until, to his startled eyes, there seems to be a heart forming in his cup! He stares at the heart for a moment, then stirs it quickly, takes a large sip that can warm his insides but never his own heart, and all but flees from the coffee shop in the mall. He stops again outside as an icy wind blasts the door but only merely touches his cheek. The wind caressing his cheek is almost like a kiss, and Judah finds himself murmuring aloud before he can stop himself again, “It’s beginning to look a lot like the Iceman has cometh.”
But he shakes his head and turns briskly to walk away from the mall, a place he hasn’t frequented very much at all since meeting the famous Bobby Drake. He should have known better than to allow his heart to get entangled with a superhero, mutant or otherwise! Having grown up in California, he knows too well the risks of getting involved with celebrities, and superheroes, they say, are even worse than models and actors. He had been in for a broken heart from the very moment he’d first asked Bobby out, and the fact that he had not turned away from him because he was a mutant, or a hero, had only intensified matters. This loneliness he’d felt for a week since Bobby had left him to go back to his team and, as Judah understood it, his adopted family was exactly his just rewards.
Judah blows out a breath, only mildly surprised at the light fog that accompanies it. Something is coming all right -- California is rarely this cold --, but whatever it is, it’s not Bobby. It may be one of his enemies or even an ally, but it’s not Bobby. Bobby’s back home all the way on the opposite coast, and Judah would have to be a fool to try to build a long distance relationship with someone he’s just met. He’d have to be a fool, but it’s not like that would be a first.
Isn’t that the whole reason, he reminds himself, why he wanted a short term relationship to begin with, why he’d purposefully sought out someone with whom he could not have a future? He had no hope of drawing Bobby away from the X-Men, or the East Coast, and that had made Bobby the perfect candidate. Yet now, he can’t seem to stop thinking about him.
He slips his phone out again and checks, but once more there are no new messages. How many times has he looked for one today? He must have glanced for a message from Bobby at least a hundred times, and he’d already done so a dozen or more times by the time he noticed a light drizzle of snowflakes falling while in class -- and the heart that had been drawn in the fog on his classroom window, like the heart that had been in his cocoa moments before.
He sighs, shakes his head, and puts his phone up. He’s being an idiot again. Bobby has a life that can never include him as more than a passing fling. He may be just learning about being gay, about being true to himself, but he has a life, a family . . . Heck, for all Judah really knows, he might even be one of those gay guys who tried so hard to be straight and make their parents proud that he has kids somewhere! A grin flashes over Judah’s face despite the dour thought. Bobby, with his great sense of humor and kind, huge heart, would make a great dad, far better than his own father had ever been for him and his brothers.
Judah stops walking suddenly and stares at the figures directly in front of him. “The Iceman cometh,” he says again, this time with more determination. He doesn’t shiver despite the unseasonable chill in the air, but he does gawk at the snowmen kissing in front of him.
And then, despite all his strict orders to himself to conceal his excitement, he squeals like a girl as Bobby’s head pops up over the top of them. “Too much?” Bobby asks, grinning, but his words are lost in Judah’s squeal. “I take it it’s not?” he asks, once Judah has hushed, moving around the couple and toward the handsome man with whom he’d thought he would only get to share a few nights.
“No! Not at all!” Judah wants nothing more than to run to Bobby and throw himself at him, but he holds back just barely. Now that Bobby’s back, he doesn’t want to scare him away by showing too much enthusiasm. He’s lost boyfriends before because he was far more committed to their relationships than they were. And besides, what is Bobby doing here? Is he here just for a mission, just long enough to save the world and then go back to his team/family in New York? “What are you doing here?”
Bobby tries not to pout, but the air grows considerably more icy around them. “I . . . I hoped you’d be happy to see me.”
“I’m not saying I’m not,” Judah speaks quickly but still doesn’t admit how excited he is to see him, not that his squeal shouldn’t have already told Bobby as much. “I’m just . . . curious.” He tries a different approach and asks more pointedly instead, “How long are you here?”
Bobby shrugs, and Judah notices that he has just the kind of muscles he likes. He’s strong, but his muscles aren’t so thick that they take away from the rest of him. He’s not a muscle man. He’s a sweet man, a kind man, a loving man, . . . the kind of man Judah could very easily build a future with if Bobby ever wanted him to.
“For as long as I have a reason to be here,” Bobby replies just as cautious. He inches closer, not taking his eyes from Judah’s face.
Judah stuffs his hands in his pockets. “Well, what reason do you have to be here?” he asks bluntly.
Bobby frowns. “I’d hoped that was obvious.” Judah looks at him and waits for Bobby to speak again before he, Judah, can say something else and mess up whatever this thing forming between them is meant to be, whatever Bobby wants it to be. “The heart on your window, the lightly falling snow, the heart in your cocoa,” Bobby lists and then jerks his head back to the snowmen behind, “the kissing, gay snowmen behind me?”
“Bobby,” Judah breathes but still doesn’t dare voice his new, greatest desire. He can’t ask him if he came back for him. It would be too much too soon. It would send anyone else running. It would be too stalkerish, as Bobby had once asked him if one of his texts shortly after he’d returned to the Big Apple had been.
Bobby shrugs. “Maybe I read things wrong between us,” he almost whispers. “I can go home if you want me to, but I -- “ It’s funny how fighting against every evil in this world, from Sentinels to Magneto to Apocalypse and Death itself, has always taken less courage than actually opening up and communicating about his feelings does. “But I’d rather stay,” he finishes in a rush.
Judah smiles. “I’d rather you stay too,” he says honestly. He steps closer. “Do you have . . . a place to stay?”
“I was hoping maybe I could bunk with you,” Bobby answers earnestly, “at least tonight?” He pulls his duffel bag more tightly up on his shoulder and steps closer again.
Each man more than half expects the other to turn and run, but they keep inching slowly closer. “How about more than tonight?” Judah offers in an emotional whisper. “Maybe . . . indefinitely?”
Bobby’s grin is as wide and warm as the California sun that is even now melting the snowmen behind him. “I’d like that,” he answers, “a lot.”
“I’d like that too,” Judah agrees. Reaching out, he moves to take his bag from him, but Bobby takes his hand in his and holds tightly to him. Judah gazes into his bright, joyful, brown eyes, barely believing this dream has come true, and then kisses him. Bobby welcomes him, his tongue slipping into his mouth and deepening their kiss. He drops his bag, and they hold each other right there in the city, in Judah’s city, before the world. They kiss and kiss and kiss until all the snow has melted and the sun has began to sink down, and then, still holding hands, they turn together to go home.