DISCLAIMER: "Between the Woods
and Frozen Lake" is an unauthorized work of fiction using
characters that are (c) & TM by Marvel Comics Group. No
profit is being made. The story is copyright of Tilman Stieve
You can download this and copy it for your entertainment,
but don't sell it for profit, or Marvel will set their lawyers
on you. Please do not archive this on your website without
informing me first.
Warning: There is a little sexyness in the final two
parts of the story, but it's not really that explicit, so
I feel a bit silly to mention it. Still, some people may regard
it unsuitable for children.
Introduction The following is a companion piece to
in the Dark", which can be found on the same website.
The White Queen and Iceman are the main characters. It should
be comprehensible on its own. However, it belongs to a series
of stories, the Tales of the Twilight Menshevik.
**Acknowledgment** Thanks to Denise Keppel for an idea
that is so plausible and compelling that I'm beginning to
think it's what Scott Lobdell intended all along.
Between the Woods and Frozen Lake
A Tale of Robert and Ms. Frost
It was early in the afternoon of December 27 when, after
a longish drive from the airport at Fort Hope, Emma Frost's
vintage Cadillac drove up between snow-covered trees to her
estate in Northern Ontario. The big white limousine passed
through a wooden gate next to an antique cast-iron street-lantern
and stopped inside a cobbled courtyard. The chauffeur, a pink-skinned
giant in a gray uniform, got out to open the door for the
head of Frost International and her guest for the holidays,
a former accountant and current X-Man called Robert Drake.
Another servant, the chauffeur's twin except for his green
skin, opened the mansion's massive wooden portal to let them
in. The courtyard had been specklessly cleared earlier that
day, so the newly-arrived Americans did not have to watch
"Wow, that is some place you have here!" said the
young superhero as he got out of the car. And so it was. Though
somewhat smaller than the Xavier mansion that had over the
years become Iceman's home, this building looked a lot more
imposing. Its dark gray granite walls could really be said
"My father had bought it from the original owners who
had it freighted here from England," the White Queen
replied as she oversaw her two servants unloading the suitcases
and Bobby's backpack from the car's spacious trunk and carrying
them inside. "They obviously were new money," she
added, "which explains why they chose a building that
had been pretty much spoiled in its last major rebuilding,
about a hundred years ago. It's not exactly Xanadu, but it
comes close. But father mainly wanted it for the location."
It looked totally out of place here in the wilds of Northwestern
Ontario, although it seemed rather in keeping with Emma Frost's
image as an Ice Queen, an image that was common enough among
the traders on Wall Street, the executives and secretaries
of Frost International's administrative hierarchy, and not
least among her students at the Massachusetts Academy, the
Xavier Institute's branch in Snow Valley. While no way near
as huge as Charles Foster Kane's palatial home, there were
elements of a castle to this place. The towers with their
conical roofs were just what you would expect from a place
where Hans Christian Andersen's Snow Queen felt at home. Fittingly,
the roofs were thickly covered in snow. Bobby shuddered involuntarily,
which was all the more noticeable for as the X-Men's Iceman
he was impervious to cold.
"Guess this 'castle' looks a bit more inviting in the
summer," he said lamely, immediately regretting it. Almost
nobody ever gets invited here, he thought, and the first thing
you do is tell her that you find her retreat intimidating.
Great going, Drake! And of course, after that thought had
flashed through his mind, it was immediately followed by another,
only too familiar one: Did Emma catch that telepathically?"
Emma, however, gave no outward reaction to his embarrassment,
and answered: "Yes, the flowers in the garden make a
world of a difference," as if she saw nothing out of
the ordinary in his remark. Maybe the training he had gone
through with Jean and Betsy actually did help him to improve
the shields around his mind. She motioned him to enter the
building, and Bobby did so, barely managing not to stumble
over the threshold with his mind so occupied.
Once inside, he found himself inside a two-story hall furnished
in mock-Tudor style, with wood-paneled walls, huge oaken beams
on the ceiling, and a gallery all around at the upper floor.
As Emma Frost proceeded through the formal sitting-room towards
her study, the green-skinned giant led Bobby upstairs to show
him to his room. Passing through a dark corridor, the two
reached a large bedroom furnished with an antique four-poster
bed. Before going inside, Bobby turned back to look inside
the open door the room on the other side of the corridor,
Emma's he surmised as it was already lit up and ready. It
looked like the work of a modern (but not really post-modern)
designer, no doubt an expensive one. Just as the mansion looked
out of place in its surroundings, this room looked out of
place in the mansion.
As Bobby unpacked his backpack, he pondered about this. Why
would Emma have had such a room put inside this historic,
or at least pseudo-historic building? Did she want to give
concrete form to her feeling out of place in her family? He
looked around. The wardrobe, bookshelves and chests looked
as antique as the bed, but he suspected the chairs were reproductions
-- they had too few visible signs of wear and tear. The coffered
ceiling was of dark wood, as was the paneling that reached
halfway up the walls. On the long wall opposite the window
were two old paintings, a man and a woman, probably husband
and wife, in Elizabethan costume. The third painting, next
to the door was more recent, a Norman Rockwell portrait of
a slim man in an old-fashioned business suit, maybe Emma's
Boston Mandarin grandfather. The gray-haired tycoon looked
sternly from the gold frame, as if he was displeased to see
a mere middle-class mutant in his estate. Bobby grinned at
him, thinking of the way his own father had repeatedly indicated
his displeasure with the female friends he had brought over
to the Drake family home. What would the elder Frost have
said about him? "At least he's not Irish, like those
confounded Kennedy boys"?
Bobby's mind wandered off on another track. For years he
had felt uncomfortable when he visited at home; it took a
long time for him to realize that his father was an discontented
man who harbored many prejudices. He had always been dissatisfied
with his son, silently resenting the fact that he was a mutant.
Only about a year ago had the two reconciled, after his father
had stood up in a political rally to oppose Graydon Creed's
message of hatred. He had been beaten up by some of the thuggish
element of the Friends of Humanity afterwards, and Bobby had
rushed to his bedside to wait for him to recover from his
coma together with his mother and some of his teammates. Rogue
had been with Bobby when he woke, almost as if fate had wanted
to help heal the hurt of the acrimonious parting when Rogue
and Iceman had last seen him before.
Willie Drake then had tried to be a kinder and more considerate
father. He went out of his way to be friendly to Emma Frost
when his son started to spend more time with her. Ironically
that caused a temporary rift between Bobby and the Queen as
Bobby had expected his father to worry about him dating a
woman who was seven years his senior and had a not undeserved
reputation as a 'mind-witch', and so he grew a little suspicious
when that did not happen. For a moment he had suspected Emma
of subconsciously using her telepathic powers to ensure William
and Madeline Drake's approval. When he had asked Jean to make
sure that she hadn't, Emma did not answer his calls for two
days. Then she abruptly relented and decided that "when
you're a telepath you have to make allowances if people feel
antsy around you." Cutting short his profuse apology,
she said that if he felt she was worth the risks he knowingly
entered by being with her, she couldn't well blame him for
just being prudent where his loved ones were concerned. But
that lay in the past, and his parents, who had unknowingly
caused their first major spat, were at the moment on the Bermudas
for Christmas and New Year's Day, at Emma's expense.
Bobby was roused from his reveries by Emma knocking on the
doorframe: "I trust you find everything satisfactory?"
Her tone was soft, yet self-assured, with the accustomed slight
ironic undertone that somehow only rarely seemed to be totally
absent from the White Queen's utterings.
"Oh! Er, yes... Of course," he stuttered. "I'll,
er, just check the bathroom." He did, almost stumbling
over his own backpack in the process.
"Will you please relax, Bobby," said Emma. She
walked up toward him and held him by the hand. "I know,
this place can be a bit intimidating at first, but you'll
get used to it. And to him." She inclined her head towards
the portrait. "Grandfather was very formal and imposing,
but once I got past that, I found it easy to love him. I was
devastated when he died."
Bobby was a little surprised at the emotion in her voice.
He knew there was no love lost between Emma and her parents
and that there was less tension between Clinton and Gingrich
than between Emma and her younger sister Cordelia. Somewhat
hastily he had extrapolated that all family relations among
the Frosts conformed to the surname.
"How old were you when that happened?"
"Nine years," she replied. She looked at him, with
the poker face that was her favorite expression. "Is
there anything that would help you be at ease?"
He looked puzzled. Was she making fun of his unease in the
imposing surroundings? Verrry probably. A grin appeared on
his face: "Oh, I generally like to unwind practicing
the Sousaphone. Got one here?"
She smiled back at him daintily: "I believe there's
a trombone in Cordelia's room that she no longer uses. And
if I'm not mistaken, there's still grandma Jane's old harp
in the attic..."
"Nay, milady, 'twill not do," Bobby theatrically
declaimed, "but ne'er fear, I shall endeavoureth to maketh
Emma Frost smiled. "Well, your cryogenity, they've prepared
a little snack for us, if you'd care to adjourn downstairs?"
During the crisis imaginatively called The Onslaught (after
the evil psychic being begotten through a fusion of the dark
sides of Professor X's and Magneto's personalities), the White
Queen had brought her students here to her Canadian estate
to keep them safe. She had acted instinctively and telepathically
made them do as she told them, as she had for a moment been
overwhelmed by the backwash of Onslaught's overpowering presence.
It had been a most embarrassing experience for the normally
so self-assured headmistress. For a few seconds, her haughty
exterior crumbled as she apologized to her students for her
But there had been another, somewhat more comical embarrassing
moment: During their enforced 'vacation', Emma Frost had attempted
to cook meals for everyone and discovered that she wasn't
even up to making a tomato and cheese omelet. Determined never
to make a fool of herself again, she had taken a crash course
in cookery. And on this, the first evening of Robert Drake's
stay, she applied herself to preparing a dinner -- not much
for herself, as she had let herself go a little more than
she had intended at the Academy Christmas meals, but something
a little more substantial for Bobby.
The work went rather well, all things considered. Bobby,
accustomed to kitchen duty from living at Xavier mansion for
so many years, insisted on helping her, but she would have
none of it. She only permitted him to sit with her in the
kitchen and talk. She made a slight show of wanting to do
it herself, but she really was glad he joined her in the kitchen.
But her unaccustomed fashion accessory -- an apron -- exorcised
the Ice Queen persona she normally showed to the world. That
and the informal surroundings of her modern kitchen were quite
conducive for a more relaxed kind of conversation. Very much
in contrast to the halting approach earlier in their relationship.
Their mutual interest had started when Emma woke from the
coma she had fallen into in a battle which had cost the lives
of her entire first class of students, the Hellions. She had
been cared for in the X-Mansion's medical center, and one
day there had been a malfunction (caused by one of the seemingly
never-ending series of attacks on the X-Men's home). Bobby
had been standing next to her comatose body at the moment
of the power failure, and when the lights came on again, his
body was taken over by her psyche. It was a traumatic experience
for both of them. In Bobby's body she had managed to elude
the X-Men and escape to the Frost International skyscraper
in Manhattan, only to discover that the Hellions were all
dead. Overwhelmed by grief and blaming herself for their deaths,
she had tried to commit suicide by provoking the guards to
shoot her. But luckily (as she now saw it) Charles Xavier
had telepathically prevented that and saved her life. It was
because of this trauma, the remorse over failing to protect
her original charges, that she then agreed to become the headmistress
for Xavier's new junior class, Generation X.
For Bobby, the experience was traumatic in three ways: firstly,
there was the experience of losing his own body to another
person's psyche that was very much like rape. Then there was
the realization that he had come within a whisker of dying
because Emma tried to commit suicide. But what galled him
most at all at first was something else: In the short time
that she had possessed his body, and without having any experience
of his powers, she had used his power of freezing matter and
creating ice structures more imaginatively than he ever had
in a superhero career spanning several years. So for him his
anger was immediately mixed with shame over what he felt was
his own inadequacy. By pushing his potential to the limit
Emma had, in his estimation, rubbed his nose in the fact that
he could and should have done much better in the past.
They got off to a rocky start. When Bobby asked her to help
him develop the potential as Iceman, she flatly and brusquely
refused, telling him that he would have to do it by himself.
She only gave him another taste of the potential of his power
by briefly taking control of his body telepathically. And
she did it in a way that made him feel she thought he was
worthless as a person and a superhero if he failed. In the
end that turned out for the best -- the kick in the face he
felt proved more efficacious in motivating him than a more
solicitous attitude on her part would have been -- but it
had hurt. Bad. But he never was able to put her out of his
Another part of the problem was that if there was one thing
that Emma Frost wanted to avoid almost at any cost, it was
showing weakness. It therefore took quite a while until she
mellowed her scornful harshness towards him. She only relented
after a second confrontation. Using his powers in new ways
(such as freezing the bloodflow to her brain) he had tried
to force her to help him after he had been badly wounded while
in his ice form. Goading him on in a mocking tone, he helped
him face up to some of his personal demons and to take a risk,
helping him to help and heal himself. Only then, when he lay
exhausted, his head cradled on her lap, did she allow him
to glimpse some of her true feelings. For the first time she
consciously called him Bobby, and she even apologized, after
a fashion ("I'm sorry. I guess.") for pushing him
so hard. Some time later she finally dared mention that she
had almost killed him in her suicide attempt, something that
still gave Bobby nightmares, but which he was now willing
to forgive as she had been totally engulfed in despair at
After that he not only had to ponder this glimpse at the
surprisingly likable personality she hid inside her hard shell,
but that he had also felt a quite different attraction to
the elegant Bostonian. Which was not surprising considering
the way she looked after her body and dressed in ways designed
to show it off to its best advantage. With a shock he realized
that for him the intimidating White Queen was beginning to
transform into Emma Frost, an intriguing, beautiful woman
he would like to know better.
Although the ice between them now had broken (figuratively
speaking), it took a while until he mustered up the courage
to ask her out for a date. Emma too seemed to take a fresh
interest in the new Iceman and said yes. It was not the most
smooth of dates. Bobby was busy as much with analyzing his
own feelings as with discovering what kind of a person Emma
Frost really was. He was still wrestling with nagging doubts
if his obsession with her was telepathically induced, but
even though he had decided to take the plunge, he was somewhat
inhibited on their first evening out. As was she, for having
fought most of her life to be strong, she found it hard to
open up to another, and risk betraying her inner weaknesses.
They had dinner in a fancy restaurant together and afterwards
went to see the Barber of Seville in the Metropolitan Opera.
Much of that evening's conversation was small talk and gossip,
almost anything to avoid more serious matters. As she always
did when she thought she had given away too much of her more
tender emotions, she tried to give a spin on what had been
said before that would make a listener unsure if she had acted
from selfish or unselfish motives. Only when they went for
a little dessert after the performance did they open up to
each other. Bobby actually got her to admit how much her former
and present students meant to her and what regrets she now
felt for having failed to protect the Hellions or for having
tried to hard to reshape some of them according to the needs
of the Hellfire Club and her desire to rise in its ranks.
Although, she said, in the case of Warpath and Firestar that
ironically worked out for the better, as it drove them away
before they would have been killed by Fitzroy. Afterwards,
when he dropped her off at the Massachusetts Academy in Snow
Valley, she said:
"Guess you got me to let on more than I'd have liked,
young Robert. Remind me never again to underestimate an accountant's
conversational skills." Then her mouth curled up in an
wicked little smile. "Do you think I should better erase
those memories from your mind?" It was a cruel kind of
joke, one designed to scare away. When she saw his shocked
speechless expression, sensed his feeling of betrayal, she
immediately regretted it.
"I-I'm sorry Bobby. I'd n-never touch your memories."
A nervous hand flew up to brush back an undisciplined strand
of her straight platinum blond hair. "Please be patient
with me..." And she stretched forward to cover his lips
with hers. It was their first hesitant kiss.
And the following days photos of it were plastered all over
the Academy and the Mansion. Jubilee had secretly lain in
wait with a camera. Bobby was mortified and Emma was not sure
if she should be annoyed or amused. In the end she gave Jubilee
extra credit for shielding her thoughts well enough so that
her headmistress had not noticed she had been awake.
It did not become easier quickly. Slowly, haltingly, with
unexpected hitches and breakthroughs they learned to trust
one another, to appreciate and cherish each other as persons.
Within a matter of months they finally began to trust each
other with secret traumas and shames. Emma told him of her
traumatized childhood, how her parents had her committed to
a mental asylum when at the onset of puberty she started hearing
voices in her head. Because they had been too ashamed of what
they took as their daughter's mental illness, they did not
consult an expert like Charles Xavier (who just at that time
had begun treating Jean Grey). Instead, they shunted her off
into an exclusive 'clinic'. It was a place where many wealthy
families sent children who suffered from depressions or eating
disorders, but its dignified exterior hid corruption within.
Some of the staff doctors were little better than charlatans.
For almost three hellish years Emma was at the mercy of abusive
guards. Finally, one day it came to her that if she could
the thoughts of others, maybe she could get others to listen
to hers. That day she psionically asked, almost begged the
guard who came into her cell to take her out. The success
was overwhelming: The man carried her out, clubbed down anyone
who stood in their way, in the end even set fire to the building,
allowing the young girl to escape in the confusion. She succeeded
in training herself in the use of her telepathic talents,
but in the process she hurt a great many people. It would
take years for her to learn to exercise self-restraint.
Bobby too had cause for regret over hurting people. His break-up
with Opal Tanaka. Not telling Jean that Scott was married
and thereby becoming in part responsible for Madelyne Pryor's
descent into hate and madness. But perhaps most of all his
involvement in the setting-up of X-Factor, Inc., which set
out to secretly save mutants by posing as mutant hunters,
but probably did more hurt than good by fueling hate in the
public (its mutiphobe television ad campaign probably was
the biggest before the advent of Graydon Creed) and fear among
mutants (there were cases of closet mutants being so scared
of being sought out and captured by X-Factor that they committed
suicide). At the time the original members of the X-Men had
come back together because they distrusted the others for
associating with Magneto, who then was the New Mutants' headmaster
in Charles Xavier's absence. So sure were they in their condemnation
of the other X-Men, that they did not even bother asking them
to explain or justify themselves, but immediately set about
to implement a scheme cooked up by Cameron Hodge, whom they
trusted because he was a friend of Warren's. But in the end
it was revealed that while they were trying to operate with
a hidden agenda, they had themselves been deceived by Hodge,
who actually was the leader of an anti-mutant terrorist group,
The Right. In the end they found that to a large extent they
had helped move forward his agenda, and when Warren had apparently
committed suicide, most of his millions ended up in Hodge's
war-chest. With 20/20 hindsight Bobby realized that he and
his friends should have recognized the flaws in the X-Factor
scheme Hodge had worked out immediately, and that he really
should have stayed in closer touch after leaving the X-Men,
gotten to know them personally instead of largely ignoring
them, as he had done. Later he discovered that in some cases
X-Men he had at first despised, such as Rogue, a former member
of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, would become close and
And during one of these talks he had finally admitted to
himself and to her that he was in love with her.
Now Bobby Drake and Emma Frost almost took it for granted
that they would talk about most things, and today the atmosphere
between them was so unconstrained, that they pushed the envelope
As Emma had forbidden him to help her, Bobby teased her a
little: "You know, Emma, I must say I'm surprised how
well the domestic look suits you. I think I could get used
She gave him an ironic smile: "In your dreams, Drake.
You know I'm not the June Cleaver type."
"Awww," Bobby said in mock disappointment. "But
seriously, have you ever thought of having a family, you know,
kids of your own?"
Emma almost dropped a saucepan.
"Hey, what's the matter Em, you've gone chalk-white."
Bobby was nonplused by this stronger than expected response.
"So you don't want to have children. It's not that big--"
She silenced him with a glance. "No, it's not that."
She paused awkwardly, evidently wrestling with herself what
she should say next. at last she swallowed.
"Bobby, promise you'll keep this to yourself?"
He nodded, unsure where this conversation was suddenly going.
"I already have a child," she stated matter-of-factly.
"WHAT?" That was unexpected. Bobby did not know
what to ask first and sputtered: "How--? When did it--?
What happened to--?"
She sat down next to him at the kitchen table, nervously
brushing her hair back from her forehead. "You remember
I told you about my time in the clinic? Well, one of the guards
especially would ... rape me from time to time, whenever he
felt like it."
Bobby made a move to comfort her, but she wanted to show
she was strong enough to face the memory of those moments
of her greatest powerlessness, of her pain and humiliation.
She had gone through that ordeal alone and did not need this
offer of sympathy.
"He always used condoms, but one day one obviously tore.
I was fifteen. A short time later I discovered how to use
my psi-powers and escaped. And a few weeks after that I discovered
I was pregnant." She poured herself a glass of wine and
took a sip.
"As you can imagine, I was not too sorry that the guard
who had impregnated me had died when the clinic burned down.
I decided to have the baby. My waters broke the day I turned
sixteen, and I gave birth to my daughter the day after."
She took another, larger sip. "Some women are old enough
to be a mother at that age, but I was not one of them. I would
not raise her. I was having enough trouble learning how to
handle my powers, how to stop hearing everybody's thoughts
in my head all the time."
"You gave her away? I'm--"
"Sorry?" she said, finishing his sentence. "Well,
I'm not proud of what I did, but I looked after her. Saw that
she was raised in a good family. The best in Boston."
The last remark sounded derisive.
Bobby was about to ask if she still sometimes saw her daughter,
who now must be about as old as...
His mouth fell open the sudden thought.
...Emma's younger sister.
"Cordelia..." he whispered.
"I'm impressed," she said after a short pause.
She had been about to tell him, but he had deduced it himself
from her allusions. "Yes, it is she. My darling baby
sister, the child my parents had so unexpectedly so late after
the first." She rushed to finish the account: "I
was angry at them for abandoning me, for putting me in the
fix I was in. I felt it was only right if they should take
care of Cordelia. So I altered their memories and perceptions.
It took a while to get the hang of it, but I had lots of time
as I wasn't leaving our home once my condition became visible.
Finally, after Cordelia was weaned, I handed her over to mother
and went out into the world on my own."
She breathed in deeply: "After that, I saw Cordelia
and my parents only rarely. Birthdays, Christmas, that sort
of thing. I was busy carving out my new empire on Wall Street
and planning to take over the world as part of the Hellfire
Club's Inner Circle. Then, a few years back my parents died
in a stupid car-accident, and I had to look after Cordelia
again. But I wasn't very good at it -- we had become strangers.
I did not dare tell her the truth. I don't think she'd take
it well. Truth to tell, I think she hates me. Even as her
sister. If I told her now, she'd blame me for everything bad
that happened to her after I left her. So I'm still basically
waiting for the right moment..."
She wiped a tear from her eye. This time she did not refuse
the arm Bobby put around her. "I worry about her, Bobby,"
she said, "she is up to something. I don't like the company
she keeps. She keeps secrets from me..."
"She can do that?"
"Yes, sometimes it happens with close relatives. Scott
and Alex Summers are immune to each other's powers, and so
it is with Cordelia and my telepathy -- maybe even all telepathy."
She finished her glass, but did not refill it. She laughed
bitterly. "I guess I shouldn't be surprised. She is very
much like her mother when she was her age..."
She fell silent. Bobby felt he had to say something. "You'll
find a way, Emma, I'm sure..."
She smiled at his optimism, his confidence in her. "Shut
up, Bobby, just hold me."
They sat in silent embrace for a minute, during which time
Emma regained her composure. She then returned to her self-appointed
task of preparing dinner.
"That was a lovely meal," said Bobby Drake as he
leaned back contentedly in his chair and laid aside his napkin.
"But you must promise me to let me prepare breakfast
"I'd say that's a wonderful offer, but are you sure
it has nothing to do with the fact that I have only a glass
of orange juice for breakfast?" Emma smiled ironically.
"Are you sure your up to squeezing a couple of citrus
"Just a glass of juice? But land's sakes, Emma, breakfast
is the most important meal of the day!"
She rose and walked up to him, running her fingers through
his unruly hair: "Oh Bobby, I wish I had your secret
mutant power to ingest food without gaining weight!"
He grinned, looking at the remains of the meal on the table.
"Come on," she said, "let's go sit down by
the fire. Do the romantic winter evening bit. We even have
the right weather."
Outside there was a minor snowstorm, just enough to provide
a counterpoint that made sitting in front of the stucco-decorated
fireplace even more cozy. They sat in leather-upholstered
rockers, Bobby with a mug of hot steaming cocoa and Emma with
a glass of herbal tea. As they sipped their drinks they covered
a wide range of topics, but at last they gravitated to what
had brought them here: their growing closeness and attraction.
"I must say, Bobby," Emma cautiously began, "you're
gutsy. Judging by the present form, it does not look too good
for telepaths having a lasting relationship. Doesn't that
"Now that you mention it, it does look pretty bad. Professor
X failed with most of his women," Bobby knew of three:
Moira MacTaggert, Gabrielle Haller, and Amelia Voght, "and
when he finally found his soulmate, they conduct their relationship
at a distance of millions of light-years most of the time.
Jean and Scott always looked like the perfect couple, and
now their marriage is on the rocks. And Betsy and Warren just
split up. Haven't kept track of what Rachel is up to these
"At any rate, from what I hear, she does not have a
steady boyfriend. Or girlfriend, for that matter."
"But does that have so much to do with the telepathy?"
Bobby wondered. "In Professor Xavier's case I think it
might have, a few times. But Jean would probably have found
out in any case. Scott never was a good liar."
"Do I make you afraid, Bobby?"
"Well..." he hesitated. "I know what you can
do. But no, I'm not scared of you. It's like with the other
X-Men now: You're powerful, but you'd not harm me intentionally."
It was a disarming declaration of trust. For Bobby, Emma
had become a new person. Emma, long accustomed to call her
own motives into question, both to make herself a mystery
to others, and because she often was a riddle to herself,
did not know how to reply.
"You're sweet," she finally said, and kissed him
on the cheek.
"I know. A big softy. I really should change my name
from Iceman to Slushy." His lips found hers and he went
into a deep kiss.
Slowly Emma responded. Their tongues began to play with each
other. And he heard her telepathic 'voice': *Do you want
Bobby pulled back from her lips to speak: "I thought
that was why we're here." Was Emma having second thoughts?
It might be conceivable, given the trauma of her ordeal in
the clinic. Maybe she only liked to talk about sex. Just because
she used to dress like a dominatrix didn't mean she actually
enjoyed sex. Come to think of it, was there ever proof she
had sex after Cordelia's birth?
"Oh, it is ... one of the reasons we came here,"
Emma replied, adding telepathically: *And as you're wondering
-- having been raped as a child did not stop me from developing
an appetite for sex. I went wild for a few years. Guess you
could say I overcompensated.*
Well, kinky sex is what the Hellfire Club is associated with
most in the public eye, Bobby thought.
Emma smiled at him naughtily and took off her shoes and jacket.
*Of course in those days I still erased my partners' memories
afterwards, which is why there have been no 'kiss-and-tell'
stories.* Slowly she unbuttoned her shirt, starting at
the bottom. Without bothering to unfasten the top ones, she
drew the it apart, revealing her upper body and the lacy bra
she was wearing. It was -- of course -- white. Her hands moved
to open the clasp in her cleavage, and it popped apart. Her
full, soft breasts bobbled free.
They were every bit as large as he had imagined them to be,
but deprived of their support, they separated more and fell
lower than he had expected. Bobby guessed that was a legacy
of Emma's teenage pregnancy and birth. The big nipples in
their wide pink, oval areoles pointed up towards him. The
sight aroused him no end, as he could feel in his crotch.
Her bosom's natural wobbling was so much more attractive than
the siliconized 'perfection' of so many of the performers
in the porn videos he had watched. Although her breasts had
not been left totally in their natural state -- he had not
expected to see that both nipples were pierced and decorated
with platinum rings, but neither was he really surprised.
Emma amusedly arched an eyebrow at his unguarded thoughts,
which immediately put a damper on his ardor. She reassured
him: *Relax, Bobby. Familiarity with pornography is nothing
to be embarrassed about with a former member of the infamous
Hellfire Club. And it's not as if you did not enjoy the more,
ahem, unorthodox stuff. When we had our little talk in my
private office, I think you rather enjoyed having me spread-eagled
During that showdown she had delighted in injecting sexual
innuendo when he tied her up in ice shackles. It was as if
she was pretending they were playing a game. And in retrospect
he found that incredibly arousing, even though Emma had not
worn her old dominatrix get-up, but something that for her
"If you'll let me, I'll link us," she said, "it's
only fair you should also know what I feel..."
Bobby nodded and grinned, gritting his teeth. In for a penny,
in for a pound, he thought. No more worrying about the telepathy.
As he quickly started to undress, he suddenly felt himself
suffused in a wave of her emotions and sensations. Seeing
himself through her eyes, sensing the way she felt attracted
to his body took some getting used to. He had up until then
rarely thought about his own or any other man's body's sexual
attractiveness, and now he suddenly experienced the feeling
himself. Emma's feelings, he reminded himself. They sure made
him see himself in a different light. Compared to her semi-aristocratic
elegance, he had always felt awkward and clumsy, but now he
knew some of what she saw in him. At least the physical aspects.
Although he was not one of the team musclemen, he was in
very good shape through regular exercises and Danger Room
workouts. But that Emma was especially drawn to his well-toned
back intrigued him, as in guy talks with Hank and the others
it was generally the biceps and 'the gluteus maximus' that
got mentioned as being especially attractive to women.
*Oh, but you do have a cute butt,* Emma could not resist
replying to that last thought as she shed her skirt and panties.
At last they both sat naked on the bearskin rug (*tacky,
but nice* as Emma put it) before the fire. Bobby took in her
beauty. Although not as muscular as Storm, for instance, her
body was well toned and proportioned. An assemblage of incredible
He raised his hand to her left breast and tentatively tugged
on one of the nipple-rings, lifting it up. "Doesn't it
hurt having a ring there?" he asked.
"Only if you pull too hard."
He immediately let go, and the breast fell back down, jiggling
most enticingly. She chuckled. *I had them done in my early
days in the Hellfire Club. But I still like them, although
I now only wear them enough to preserve the piercings. But
I thought you might enjoy them. Even though everybody and
his sister has all sorts of body parts pierced.*
You wouldn't also have your navel pierced? I don't see a
*A ring through my navel? Now that would be sick.*
She smiled. *Wellll?*
He leaned forward to kiss her, first on the mouth, then all
over her face, beginning a trail down towards her throat as
her hands caressed the back of his head, her fingers ran through
his hair. He held her in his arms and moved his lips lower
towards her torso. Emma pushed her breasts together and raised
them towards his face.
As he took the tip of one of them in his mouth, he felt how
the sensitive nipple reacted and how it increased Emma's feeling
of arousal, thanks to the mind-link. His own body reacted
immediately and he had to pause. It was an overpowering feeling,
and if he didn't watch out, their lovemaking would be over
before it had properly begun.
"Don't worry, Bobby, it'll be fine. Trust me,"
Emma reassured him. *Now I wonder what it'll feel like
with you icing up your lips...*
Late that night, Bobby lay exhausted in Emma's bed, a broad
nutty smile on his face. It had been incredible. They had
been at it for hours, beginning on the rug before the fireplace
and ending in Emma's bedroom -- after Bobby had carried her
on an ice-slide jaunt through the garden and up to a second-floor
window. The telepathic feedback had enabled them to attune
their lovemaking to each other almost perfectly. Rhythms,
angles, places to touch -- all these could be found and adjusted
immediately for a maximum of mutual pleasure, of ecstasy Bobby
had not yet experienced. And by using her psi-control on his
pleasure-centers, she had excruciatingly held back his release,
drawing out the experience to undreamed-of lengths. Now they
were both satisfied. And a little sore.
Emma had got out of bed to pick up a shapeless old sweater
and put it on for the night. It was a far cry from her normal
sharp and stylish fashion wear, but Bobby liked it. It made
her more accessible.
She got in under the silk-covered blanket beside him, resting
her head on her right arm and looking down fondly into his
eyes. Her left hand lay on his chest, idly playing with its
sparse growth of hair.
"You've really spoiled me for all other women, Em,"
*Thanks for trusting me with the link.*
At least it demonstrated there's an upside to living with
a mindreader, he thought. "You know," he said, "I
guess when you're a telepath you can get to a person's core
quicker than anybody, but it can ruin your social life when
everybody thinks he has to guard his thoughts in your presence.
I suppose the hardest part is learning not to use your powers."
Especially when you have to learn to use them by yourself.
Emma nodded. *I'm glad we could open up to each other,
that you are a friend as well as a lover, but I think we also
should work a bit on your psychic defenses. Charles Xavier
gave you some training, but that was mainly battle-related,
not what you need when you want to live with a telepath.*
She yawned. "But that's a matter for another day."
Emma leaned forward, and they kissed goodnight. Soon she
"Nighty-night, Em," he whispered. And for a while
he continued to look at the beautiful form of the sleeping
woman with the disheveled platinum blond hair, until he at
last fell into a deep slumber himself. He really looked forward
to waking up beside her in the morning.
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