TITLE: Contemplative Morning
SEQUEL TO: Broody Afternoon
AUTHOR: Scorpio
ARCHIVE: Want. Take. Have.
PAIRING: None; Beast, Iceman, Wolverine
NOTES: This vignette takes place after the story "Four Angry Mutants" by Andy Lane & Rebecca Levene published in the 1996 Anthology "The Ultimate X-Men."
DISCLAIMER: All things X-Men belong to the incomparable Stan Lee, God of the Marvel Universe. I am unworthy.
SUMMARY: Bobby tries to work out the real reason he was so disturbed by his reactions to Rachel Mostel's mutant pheromones. Hank listens.

Contemplative Morning
by Scorpio

"Why, good morning Robert. I must confess, I am pleasantly surprised to see that you are up and about so early this fine day. Usually, your preference for sleeping in late deprives me of your delightful conversation during morning meal."

Bobby watched as Hank practically bounced over to the coffee pot and poured himself a generous mug full, heavy on the cream and sugar. Several bagels and a jar of preserves made their way to the kitchen table, followed by a bright red apple and box of chocolate iced Pop-Tarts. A blue blur swished by as Hank went to sit down in the chair across from him, but his furry blue behind paused for a brief moment before hitting the seat.

"Ah ... Robert?"

Bobby glanced up from his cold cereal and flashed his best friend a halfhearted and wane smile.

"Yeah, Grover?"

A small frown marred Hank's normally cheerful features. He began to carefully slather a thick layer of blackberry preserves onto a bagel, one bushy eyebrow raised up in an arch of pure concern.

"If the dark circles under your eyes and the exhausted slump of your shoulders are any indication, I would say that you, my friend, have not been sleeping well lately. That physical evidence combined with the fact that you are awake at this particular time of the day, which is not a part of your standard operating procedures, leads me to the conclusion that whatever it is that is depriving you of your sleep, is still an obstacle to blissful slumber."

Bobby blinked at Hank for a long moment, his brain working overtime to translate his friend's long-winded speech into normal English.

"No, I haven't been sleeping very well lately. First, I can't fall asleep because of these thoughts just spinning around and around in my mind. And when I do finally pass out from exhaustion, I have dreams that wake me back up. Then I don't want to be asleep anymore."

Hank took a big bite out of his bagel, crumbs sprinkling down into his blue fur. His blue eyes gazed thoughtfully at Bobby while he chewed and then he nodded and took a sip of his coffee to wash it down.

"You know, Robert. Sometimes it helps if you talk about things such as these. When you pull out whatever is worrying you into the light of day, it doesn't seem to be as big or as bad as it does alone at night in the dark. Also, a fresh perspective might not hurt, either. Looking at an issue from only one point of view is sometimes the wrong way to go, because it limits you from realizing the entire truth."

Hank lifted his bagel up, but paused before taking another bite.

"You do know that I am always willing to listen, don't you?"

Bobby nodded on pure reflex at first, but then he seriously considered the offer. Out of everyone here, only Hank knew his secret and so, only Hank would truly understand the full impact of what he was suffering. Plus, it would feel good to get this off of his chest, even if only for a little while.

"It's Rachel."

Hank's other eyebrow arched up to join its mate.

Miss Mostel? Sophie's mother? Why, I assure you that any and all effects caused by her mutant pheromones have long since left your body. You are in no way, shape or form still under the thrall of her abilities."

Bobby grinned up at Hank and nodded.

Yeah. I know. And I am glad. The idea of having my actions and thoughts controlled by another is one that I can't really stand. It took me a long time to get past what Emma Frost did and Rachel stirred up a lot of those memories for me, but that isn't what my problem is. Mostly."

Hank picked up the butter knife and began to slather some jam on his next bagel.

"Oh? Well, what is the main issue that has you haunting these halls when you could be slumbering soundly in your bed?"

"I thought it was real."

Hank's hand paused over his bagel, the preserves dripping onto the table.

"You thought what was real, Robert?"

"My feelings. For Rachel."

Hank's frown deepened.

"I didn't know about her mutant powers, okay? I mean, I'd been telling myself for so long that if I just found the right woman, then I would be normal. Not gay. That all of those thoughts and feelings and ... and ... cravings about men ... about him, would just, I don't know, fade away. If I found the right woman."

Hank sighed. It was a sad and tired sort of sound. Bobby looked up into blue eyes brimming with sympathy and hurt.

"Then you met Miss Mostel and you ... felt something for her. An attraction?"

Bobby nodded glumly, his own eyes feeling suspiciously wet.

"Yeah. Rachel. I mean, she was so beautiful and ... and ... vibrant. And I wanted her. Badly. And I thought, I found her. The one. The one woman in all the world that could make me not be gay, not like guys ... him, in that way. Then I found out that it was a lie, a trick of her mutant powers."

Hank's large furry hand reached out and grabbed onto Bobby's own. It was warm, gentle and filled with compassion and strength. Bobby felt a surge of gratitude at the obvious display of friendship and support.

"Oh, Robert. I am truly sorry. I didn't even consider that when I was treating you for the pheromone poisoning. I should have realized that this would be an emotional injury as well ... forgive me."

Bobby gently squeezed Hank's big furry paw, a soft smile on his face.

"Nothing to forgive, Hank. Don't worry about it. I just wish it had been real, you know? I don't want to be gay. You know all about my issues with that, so I won't go into it again, but I just ... For a few hours, I felt ... normal. I felt like I had a shot at happiness and now I'm back to just dreaming and wishing..."

Hank pulled back his hand and picked up his bagel. He glanced pointedly at Bobby and gestured with the jam smeared breakfast food.

"Have you considered telling Logan how you feel? You might be pleasantly surprised by his response."

Bobby's head snapped up, a horrified expression on his face. He glanced out of the kitchen window beyond Hank's furry blue shoulder and saw his true heart's desire standing in the sunshine. He yanked his eyes back to his best friend's face and shook his head violently in the negative.


Bobby swallowed down his flare of minor panic. "No. I, um ... I don't want to do that. It's bad enough that I almost got him killed by jumping into the middle of a FoH meeting while high on Rachel's pheromones and making a damn fool out of myself in the process. I'm not planning on inviting Wolverine to rip open my chest and yank out my heart. Especially since he would most likely do that in a literal sense."

Hank took a bite of his bagel and shook his own shaggy head. After chewing it up and swallowing it down, he used the remainder of the bagel to point at Bobby's chest with.

"I think you are wrong, Robert. I think that you should tell him how you feel, but I can't make you, nor will I tell your secret. However, as your best friend and your physician, I am telling you right now that you can't continue on like this. You need to find a way to resolve this issue for yourself, if for no one else."

Bobby nodded.

"Yeah, Blue. I know."


Logan kept his eyes focused on Sophie as she ran across the side lawn, the brightly colored kite she was flying tugging at the string as it danced on the breeze. His ears, however, were focused tightly on the quiet conversation that he could hear through the open kitchen window.

"So ... the Icicle has got the hots for me, but he's afraid to tell me, huh? And issues ... what sort of issues...?"

For a long moment, Logan was tempted to storm into the kitchen and demand that Drake start spilling his guts, but he pushed that urge aside. This ... situation needed to be handled delicately. He needed to think about what he wanted to do so that things didn't get complicated beyond repair.

Sighing deeply, Logan rubbed his hand over his face and risked a quick glance in through the kitchen window to where Hank sat with Drake. And where, apparently, Drake was angsting over him. Turning back to face Sophie, Logan wondered how he should handle this ... and even more importantly, he wondered what he wanted to come about from this unexpected, if flattering, revalation.


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