Author: Kat Lee
Character/Pairing: Bobby/Hank, Jean, past Scott/Jean
Challenge/Prompt: fffc r18.22: Cozy
Warning(s): Cannon Character Death, Spoilers
Word Count: 1,532
Date Written: 27 November 2018
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to Marvel Comics and Disney, not the author, and are used without permission.
“Bobby,” Jean’s gentle maternal voice coaxed the Iceman to crack his brown eyes open.
Bobby grunted as he peered around him. He couldn’t see Jeannie, but he heard her voice speaking to him as clear as day. She must be behind him, and he really didn’t have the energy left to turn his head to look.
“What are you doing?” she asked.
“Whuzzit look like?” he returned, letting his tired eyes slide back closed again.
“Wouldn’t you rather be in your bed?”
“No. I like it here. Fire’s nice and warm.”
With his eyes closed, Bobby couldn’t see the fire brighten and grow. He heard its crackling, but all that did was continue lulling him back to sleep. He never would have dreamed the library could be such a cozy, warm place before falling for Hank.
“You know,” she remarked, gently teasing him, “you’re covered in blue fur.”
“No outfit’s complete without it.” He grinned at his own joke and fell back asleep.
Jean huffed as she gazed down at him. She could telekinetically lift him and carry him to his bed, but that would defeat the purpose. It would probably only wake him up, as she had learned it did when she moved the Professor after he fell asleep in odd places. She’d had to learn to leave Charles wherever he lay and simply cover him with his blanket. She couldn’t move Bobby, not without waking him, but she certainly could resolve his other problem.
She moved quickly to the laboratory and stood there behind the X-Men’s most brilliant Scientist for at least five minutes without him recognizing her presence. She shifted her weight slightly, just enough to make a noise that should be caught by Hank’s superior hearing, and folded her arms in front of her ample chest. “Henry -- “ she started when he still didn’t acknowledge her.
“Jean,” he retorted without turning to face her, “as much as I appreciate your companionship, especially these days, I fear I am quite busy right now -- “
“Yeah,” she agreed, “but you’re not busy doing what you should be doing.”
He lowered the beaker he’d been carefully examining and finally turned to face her. “And what,” he inquired, piquing an eyebrow in question at her, “is that supposed to mean?”
“Henry . . . “ She sighed and lowered her arms to her sides. “Hank,” she said, gazing into his deep, yellow eyes, “we only have so much time on this Earth. And yes, what the X-Men do, and what you’re trying to do, is important, but we shouldn’t do it at the risk of ignoring everything else that is important to us.”
“I -- I am afraid I do not follow.”
“Yes, you do. You just don’t want to,” she said knowingly. “You know exactly what I’m talking about. And who you left behind in that cold, lonely library the moment he closed his eyes.”
Hank sighed and put the beaker back down onto his desk. “Robert and I do not always see eye to eye -- “
“Neither did Scott and I! And for crying out loud, look who he’s with now!”
The lab suddenly seemed a good fifteen degrees hotter. Hank cleared his throat and pulled the collar of his white lab coat away from his furry throat. He wisely, however, did not make a verbal comment on the rising temperature.
“But do you know,” Jean continued, “what my greatest regret is? It’s not that I died saving the world, none of the times I did it.” She shook her head. “It’s not that I miss my friends and regret that most of you can not see or hear me now unless like Bobby, a few minutes ago, you’re barely conscious. It’s not even that I never got to give birth to my own children, to Rachel -- “ Her voice cracked. “It’s that I didn’t make damn certain that Scott knew how much I loved him. He ended up with Emma Frost, Hank! Frost, of all people!” She shook her head again, this time at herself. “And I practically drove him into her evil arms!”
“What are you saying?” Hank questioned. “That you think Bobby’s going to go to somebody evil?”
“No. Not again. He’s learned his lesson about trying to date women. That’s not where his heart belongs. His heart, as much as you sometimes abuse it, belongs to you, McCoy, and you need to do better with it. If you were to die tomorrow, somebody else would still eventually find the cure for the Legacy Virus. But if you die tomorrow, who will be there for Bobby? If you die tomorrow and you have to look back at what you did tonight -- “
Hank sighed. He lifted the spectacles from his furry face, folded them carefully, and placed them into his pocket. He rubbed his eyes.
“What will you think about most about what you’ve done tonight? What will you regret?”
He knew she was right, but he still did not like to admit it. “I . . . I will have wished I had spent more time with him,” he admitted after a long moment.
“Then do it!” she exclaimed. “Stop talking to me! Stop trying to find a cure for something that’s not going to be cured until the good Lord above is ready to give us the answer! Stop wasting your time in this lab, and go be with the man you love!”
Hank lifted his fingers from his tired eyes. He gazed at her both thoughtfully and lovingly. “You really were like a mother to us, Jeannie, or at least like a big sister.”
She smirked, but the grin that followed was genuinely heartfelt. “And like a big sister, if you don’t do what I’m telling you to do with your own best interest at heart, little brother, I’m going to kick your furry, blue tail!”
He laughed; the deep, warm sound resonated in the cold, metal laboratory around them. “I’m going! I’m going!” He grinned widely and bounded away from his seat. Pausing at the door, he looked back at her. She was already beginning to fade from his vision, but he knew she’d hear and see him just as he knew she was always with them, regardless of rather or not they could see and hear her. “Thank you, Jeannie, for always looking out for us.” He winked and left the lab.
Moments later, he pulled Bobby up into his arms and curled his massive, furry bound around him as he sank back into the chair in front of the fireplace, now holding him once more in his arms. Bobby came to just enough to murmur, “Blue, . . . I had the strangest dream . . . “
“It was not a dream.”
Bobby’s eyes popped open. “It wasn’t? You mean there really are people made of ice cream? Not snowpeople, but ice cream people?”
Hank laughed. Once again, the deep, warm sound filled the room. It made Bobby grin. “Oh, that. That was definitely a dream.” He chuckled and fondly ruffled Bobby’s brown hair.
Their eyes met. Hank’s furry hand came down to caress Bobby’s cold cheek. “I -- I thought that perhaps you had been visited by someone with our best interest at heart, a big sister so to speak.”
Tears glimmered in Bobby’s eyes, but he didn’t let them fall. His grin, however, seemed somewhat sad. “I don’t know about that,” he lied, not wanting to think about that particular dream. Had it been a dream, he wondered now, or was she really still there, still caring for them after all this time? He wouldn’t doubt it, not from Jeannie especially. He shrugged. “I knew you’d be back.”
“I’ll always be back for you, Rrroberrrt,” Hank whispered huskily, purring his lover’s name. He kissed him long and deep and then just cuddled with him before the fire. Bobby’s head rested against his massive shoulder, and soon he was dozing again. Hank stared into the flames of the fire, his own words echoing in his mind. He would always come back for the man he loved until, like Jean, there came a day when he could not return physically.
Jeannie was right, he realized: being with Bobby, even if he was asleep, was far more important than anything else he could spend his treasured time doing, even looking for a cure for the deadliest virus there was. He remembered what she’d said about the virus and the cure that would eventually be found for it and wondered if she was right. As a man of science, his Christian faith in which he’d been raised often floundered. He wondered if God was watching over them, just waiting for the right time to give them the answers they so sorely needed.
Then a new thought came to him, and he grinned. If God was watching over them, maybe God was a female like Jean. It took a certain maternal touch, after all, to know sometimes what boys needed, especially when they did not want to acknowledge the truth themselves. Maybe God was a She. It would make sense. No one watched over them like the mothers of the world. Smiling, Hank held Bobby close and eventually dozed back off to sleep himself.