Well, Hank's hopefully in the next movie and you can't have
Hank without Bobby! So, here's my version of their first meeting.
The clock said 12:45 and I knew that I wasn't going to get to sleep anytime soon. This used to happen to me a lot. Mostly my insomnia had to do with worry over school, or when I found out I was a mutant. I worry a lot for a guy my age. I don't as much anymore, not since Professor Xavier asked me to come to his school. Only every once in a while, I still can't sleep sometimes. I guess I worry about my parents now that I'm away at school. It must have been one of those nights.
I decided that a glass of milk might help. My mom always seemed to think that a glass of milk could fix anything.
"Mom, I'm failing history." "Have a glass of milk, dear."
"Mom, the kids at school make fun of me." "Honey, have a glass of milk."
"Mom, I'm a mutant." "Here, dear, have some milk."
"Mom, the Earth is being sucked into a black hole." "Here's some milk, sweetie. Want a cookie?" You get the picture.
Only, this was the first night that I was glad to have had insomnia. That was because I was the only person to get to see him. At the time, I didn't know what was going on. I knew that it was late and that it seemed kind of strange that Dr. Jean, one of the nice people that worked here, would be coming in at this time of night. She wasn't alone. I quickly ducked into one of the dark doorways in the adjacent halls because I didn't want to get caught after lights out. What I saw surprised me. She was leading a large figure in a big black cloak upstairs to one of the faculty bedrooms.
The cloak wasn't surprising. I'd heard about a lot of obvious mutants that took such precautions to keep from being recognized as one. What I didn't understand is why someone would want to hide themselves when they knew they were in a place just for mutants.
I quietly followed them upstairs, my quest for milk forgotten with my curiosity. The figure set down his two large suitcases as Dr. Jean opened the door to show him the room. They were speaking very quietly and I couldn't make out a thing. It was when the figure bent down to pick up his suitcases that I saw. His hands were huge. They had claws for nails, but what was really shocking was the dark fur that covered them completely. I couldn't really tell in the soft lights of the hall but the fur appeared to be ... blue?
I silently ducked back around the corner and leaned up against the wall. The cloak, the size, the hands, they all made me think of an old TV show that my mom used to watch. It had Linda Hamilton in it. It was really sappy but the main guy looked kind of cool with that lion make-up. The title filtered back into my mind as I remembered, Beauty and the Beast. It looked as though we had our own Beast now in residence.
I turned back into the main hall to go to bed when I ran right into a very unhappy looking Dr. Jean Grey.
"Bobby Drake, what are you doing up this time of night and sneaking around, no less?"
"I was just going to get some milk, Dr. Grey." I looked back towards the Beast's door. (I couldn't help but think of him as that.) "I saw you and I was worried. I wanted to make sure you were all right."
"I'm perfectly fine, Bobby, now get to bed." I turned back towards the boy's hall without an argument. She stopped me before I even took two steps.
"Oh, and Bobby, please keep what you saw between the two of us, okay?"
"I'll talk to you about it tomorrow."
"Yes, ma'am." I went back to my room confused and positive that I wouldn't sleep a wink.
The next morning during Mr. Summer's history class, Dr. Jean stepped in and asked me to come with her to the Professor's office. Jubilation, who prefers to be called Jubilee, did a quick "oooh." John, who I jokingly call Pyro because of his powers, felt the need to speak up.
"What'd ya do now, Snowflake?"
"Nothin', " I replied softly, knowing full well what the Prof and Doc wanted to talk to me about.
"Leave him alone, John," Rogue spoke up in my defense. I was glad that we were still getting along. After Mystique had said those awful things to her using my face and voice, I figured she'd never speak to me again. When the X-Men brought her back, after Magneto had nearly killed her, we had a long talk. We worked everything out. Of course, after the talk she had slapped me on the back and complained about needing a beer, but I'm pretty sure that was Wolverine talking. That took some getting used to. Her acting like Mr. Logan was kind of weird.
So, Dr. Jean led me to Professor Xavier's office. I had at least one class a day in there with him, but seeing him alone still unnerved me. The Professor is nice and all, it wasn't that. It's just he can read minds and I feel sort of strange because most of the time I'm not thinking about anything. I wonder what he thinks about that? I wonder if he thinks I'm dumb or something.
"Ah, Bobby," he said wheeling his chair around the desk to sit next to Dr. Jean and me. "I heard that you encountered our visitor last night."
"Yes, sir. I didn't mean to. I just wanted to make sure that Dr. Grey was all right. It was pretty late, sir." It sounded stupid the moment it left my mouth. Dr. Jean was an X-Man. She has really awesome telek ... whatever you call it. The last thing she needed was me trying to save her. She's just so pretty that sometimes I forget she could beat me up one side of the Empire State Building and down the other if she wanted to. I saw the Professor and Dr. Jean exchange an amused look. Great, they probably thought I was an idiot.
"It's all right, Robert. It's just that our visitor doesn't want to be disturbed. He'd rather not let the other children know he's here."
"Why? Who is he?"
Dr. Grey answered, "His name is Dr. Henry McCoy. He's a geneticist that specializes in mutants. He came here to work on a study with me. I know that you can keep this a secret. Can you do that for me, Bobby?"
"Yes, ma'am. He's a mutant like us, isn't he?"
The Professor nodded, "Yes."
After they were convinced that I wasn't going to tell the other kids, they told me I could go back to class. I had a million questions, but I knew that it would probably be better to ask Dr. Jean later. The last thing I wanted was Professor Xavier to think I was nosey. I was nosey, of course, but I'd rather have Dr. Grey know it than him.
The next few days were pretty normal. I noticed Dr. Jean taking trays of food from the cafeteria after she ate. I knew where the trays were going. I didn't have a chance to really go to her and ask her about the Beast, I mean Dr. McCoy. (I just couldn't get that image from the TV show out of my mind.) I was going nuts. I wanted to know more about this strange Doctor.
My chance came almost a week later. I was having trouble with my history paper. I hated history. At dinner I saw that Mr. Summers was finished eating, he was watching the students and just relaxing a bit. Since he taught my history class I thought it was a good time to ask for some help. It seems like Mr. Summers is always bending over backwards for the students.
I really like him a lot. If I had an older brother, I'd want him to be just like Scott, er ... Mr. Summers.
He was all too happy for me to join him. I was asking him some questions about my paper when Dr. Grey walked up.
"Hi, Bobby. Scott, Ororo and I are supposed to leave now for our trip into town with the Professor. Could you take Hank's dinner to him?"
"Well, Jean, I'm almost late for class as it is. Where's Logan, maybe he can take it?"
I knew that Mr. Summers didn't like Mr. Logan. Jubilee said it's because Jean has the hots for him. I didn't really believe that Dr. Grey could like anyone as gruff as him. Rogue said he's okay, but he's never been nice to me and I've tried.
"I have no idea. You know how he is. He could be anywhere."
"I can take it, Dr. Grey. I'm done with classes today."
"I don't know, Bobby. Dr. McCoy is very private. He might not like that."
"He's got to eat, doesn't he? If he won't let me give him the tray, I'll just leave it by his door."
Scott spoke up, "Well, he's the only other person that knows, so it doesn't look like we have much of a choice. I'd better get to class."
"Yes, Ororo and the Professor are waiting on my in the car."
"Don't worry, Dr. Grey. I won't let you down." She gave me a warm smile and I almost melted, no pun intended.
Early evening is free time. Most of the kids hang out or do homework after dinner. With most of the students downstairs and all of the faculty elsewhere, the hall was pretty much deserted.
I went to the Doctor's door and knocked. A very deep, throaty "who's there" came from the other side after a moment.
"Bobby Drake. Dr. Grey sent me with your dinner. She had to go somewhere with Professor Xavier."
There was silence from the other side. Finally, I heard a curt "leave it by the door."
"It'll get cold," I said not expecting and answer. I waited a bit, but there was no noise or sign the door in front of me would open. I sighed in defeat and bent down to set the tray on the floor. As I did so, the light under the door went out. I was disappointed until I heard the knob turn. I stood back up with the tray still in my hands. The door opened and I saw nothing but darkness.
"Bring it in and set it on the bed," that deep baritone asked form behind the door.
"Oh-kay," I said stepping into the pitch-black room. The door closed partially behind me causing it to get even darker.
"Dr. McCoy, I can't even see the bed much less set this on it."
"Two small steps in front of you and one foot down."
So he could see in the dark. I wondered what else the mysterious Beast could do.
"Can't you just turn on the light."
There was a pause. "I don't wish to startle you. It's best this way."
"Heh, you obviously don't know who you're talking to. I'm a member of the horror movie generation. I'm desensitized."
I still didn't move towards the bed. I heard a deep-exasperated sigh behind me. The door clicked shut and finally, the light was turned on. I stepped forward and set the tray on the bed. Slowly, I turned around.
His hairy ape-like arms were crossed over his huge barrel chest. He was very ape-like except for his hands and face that were more werewolf-like. He was apparently covered head to foot in a dark blue colored fur. Perched on his nose were some very thin wire frame glasses that looked ridiculously dainty compared to the rest of him. His large feet were bare and I could imagine that he'd have a hard time finding shoes.
After I looked him up and down, I smirked.
"Well that's kind of a let down."
"You built it up so much I expected something with more mucus or kinda black plague like. Instead, you're more or less a giant Cookie Monster."
He squinted his blue eyes at me. They were a much darker blue than my own.
"Are you quite finished? You can go now."
I ignored his dismissal and held out my hand.
"I'm Bobby Drake."
"Are all the students at this facility as impetuous as you are?"
"No, I pretty much have the corner market on that."
"You must be the sneaky student that Jean told me about. The one from the night I arrived."
"Guilty." He still hadn't shaken my hand so I let it drop to my side and began to look around the room.
"I do hope that you don't plan staying here all evening."
There were a lot of books lying around. I started reading some of the titles as I replied. "I thought I'd wait until you were done and take the tray back. Personally, I hate eating alone."
"Funny, it's something that I would enjoy right about now." He must have realized that I wasn't going to budge until he was done eating.
He gave another one of those exasperated sighs and settled on the bed next to the tray.
"I snagged you an extra brownie. I figured you being such a big guy and all, you wouldn't mind," I said still reading book titles, or trying to at any rate. Some of them had words so big in the title, I nearly went cross eyed trying to read them.
"Thank you, but I only eat cookies," he replied giving me a sour look. On his face it looked sort of funny. I gave him my best smile.
"So you do genetics, right? That's what Dr. Jean said."
"You're working on something with her?"
Man, he was harder to talk to than Mr. Logan. Maybe he just didn't like teenagers. One of the books caught my eye.
"Hey this book is about the Mayans."
"Don't touch that please," he said and took another bite of his mashed potatoes.
"It's just I have to do this stupid paper comparing Mayan scientific achievements to Egyptian ones for Mr. Summers' history class. I hate history."
"George Santayana once said, 'Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.'"
"I know what he means. I'll probably be repeating it next semester at this rate."
For the first time since I knocked on his door, Dr. McCoy actually smiled. "I don't think that's exactly what he meant."
"I just wish it was something easy like math. You know, where you can figure it out. History's just remembering stuff. It's boring."
"Some people would say that math was boring."
"Yeah, Jubilee, she goes here, she has a really hard time with math. I help her out some."
"Then if you like math so much, why don't you do your paper about that?"
"But it has to be about history."
"The Mayans and Egyptians had some of the most advanced mathematical systems. They understood basic geometry and trigonometry years before any other culture could even dream about it. How do you think they built all those pyramids?"
"Really?" I asked sitting on the foot of his bed. He put down his fork and reached out taking the book from my hands. I watched him open it and flip through a few chapters. Finally, he handed it back to me.
"All that you need to know about Mayan mathematics is in that chapter. You'll have to find the Egyptian equivalent on your own. They surpassed even the Mayans."
"You mean I can borrow your book?"
"If you promise to take care of it. It's a first edition. I know the author."
A glint on the nightstand caught my eye. It was a photo of a brown haired man in glasses standing between an older couple.
"Who's that?" I asked.
"My parents and I," he answered laying the picture down on its face where I couldn't see it.
"Taken before your mutation, huh?"
"No, it was taken last year."
I could tell that something had upset him. The smart voice in the back of my head screamed at me not to ask why he looked different now. For a moment, we had actually been getting along. Then I blew it. He had gone back to eating his food and ignoring me. I don't know why but I just started talking.
"I was thirteen. I really liked Tracy, this girl in my class. She'd been dating Paul, this jerk of a bully. Anyway, one day I asked her if she wanted to go to the mall with me since the class was talking about how her and Paul had broken up. She actually said yes! I couldn't believe it! Turns out she just wanted to make Paul jealous, but I was too happy to see that, you know?
"So Tracy and I get dropped off at the mall by her dad. We walked around for a little while and then decided to get something to eat. The mall was two stories and the food court was on the top floor. We sat next to one of the glass railings so we could watch all the people down below. I hadn't even taken a bite of my cheeseburger when Paul showed up with a bunch of his buddies. He started harassing us. Tracy actually looked happy because he was jealous. He pulled me out of my chair and starting shoving me and threatening to beat me up.
"I kept wondering where the security guards were. Normally, you can't even walk into the mall without them telling you not to loiter. There wasn't one in sight.
"Paul kept shoving me. He'd moved around to where I'd been sitting against the glass railing. To this day, I still don't know exactly what happened. I just know that I tried to shove him back and there was this pillar of ice in front of me. I didn't know where it came from. Tracy was screaming and looking down over the broken railing. My powers had kicked in and I'd knocked him off the second floor.
"All of the sudden, a security guard was putting me in handcuffs. I tried to talk to Tracy, but she called me a freak and ran downstairs to Paul. He'd broken his right leg in three places, dislocated his shoulder and his back was really messed up. I heard that he was in traction for four weeks. That was my first date.
"There was a trial. I was a minor so I only talked to the judge. The mall had videotape of the whole thing so it was ruled an accident. My parents got the brunt of it. I was asked not to come back to school. I couldn't go outside because people kept throwing rocks and bricks at our house. That's when the Professor and Mr. Summers showed up. I was so ready to leave by then that I packed that night. My parents had to move later because people actually started shooting at my house. They live pretty close now, so I get to see them on the weekends. Mr. Summers drives me over. He even said since I have my permit now that he'd let me drive this weekend."
I hadn't looked up since I started talking. Eventually, I looked up at Dr. McCoy. He had the saddest look in his eyes.
Very ashamed, I said, "I don't know why I told you all of that. I don't think I've told even one of the kids here."
"Have you ever been on another date?" he asked quietly.
I shook my head. "I'm not very good with girls. They just want to be my friend or something."
The knock at the door startled us both. It was Mr. Summers. I was surprised that we'd been talking for a couple of hours.
"You're not still bothering Dr. McCoy are you, Bobby?"
"I'm sorry, sir." I replied getting up to leave.
"He's all right, Scott."
"That's okay, Dr. McCoy. I'd better go start on my paper anyway." I held up his book and headed for the door. Scott moved out of the way.
I heard Dr. McCoy speak, "Bobby?"
I smiled, "Sure, Hank. I'll bring your book back tomorrow."
The End... :)