Title: The Artist Eye.
Author: Erika
Pairing: Green Lantern/Iceman.
Rating: Slash m/m
Disc: The X-men characters are owned by Marvel and company. The JLA characters are the property of DC comics and their associated companies.
Feedback: funhapjoy@yahoo.com
Summary: Follows, 'Bobby's World.' An X-men is lost in the DC universe.
Beta reader: Mofalle, who allows me to kidnap her and jamwired who makes me work really, really hard.
Series: Heroes and Circumstances.

The Artist Eye
by Erika

A month had passed since Bobby had joined the JLA, and Kyle had to admit he was a bit jealous to the ease in which Drake got along with the other members. Maybe it was his past experience with the X-men, but Bobby, a.k.a. Iceman, was now part of the team, fighting along side them as though he had been doing this all his life.

But it wasn't just during their missions that he got along with the JLA members; he was also able to build friendships with them outside of work. He played practical jokes with Plastic Man, pulling some stunts even Kyle had to admit were daring and death defying. That Batman and Aquaman had not yet killed him was a miracle in itself. Drake had even created the Oreo cookie midnight run with Martin Manhunter and introduced J'onn to Twinkies. In his spare time, Bobby shared picnics with Diana, making everyone speculate where that relationship was headed. He also threw snowballs at the Flash and actually hit his target on several occasions. Bobby later revealed that a friend, Quicksilver, had once helped him practice.

With Superman, however, Kyle had noted that Drake seemed more reserved calling him the Fearless leader and on some occasions, when Superman used his heat vision, One-eyed. Kyle suspected Superman was secretly pleased to be compared with Bobby's mentor. It was only with Kyle that things were strained; both of them were still trying to find equal footing and for some reason unable to reach that point.

"So," he asked Wally who had come to relieve him of Watchtower duty. "Where's Drake?"

"Haven't you heard?" Wally asked him, a faint grin forming on his lips.

"No." Kyle wondered if he really wanted to know, because he could claim ignorance when Batman or Aquaman came hunting for Drake. Kyle still remembered what had happened when Drake had frozen Batman's cape and the silence that had followed.

"He's in Gotham." Wally informed him mischievously.

Oh, god. It got worse. "Doesn't he know that ..."

"Batman invited him." Wally told him.

"What?" He couldn't have heard that right.

"Yeah, gave him the documentation he needed to pass himself off as an accountant and told him he should apply to Wayne Tech."

"No." Kyle denied. Nobody. Nobody traveled into Gotham. Next thing he knew they would be telling him about Drake's upcoming marriage to Diana.

"Really." commented Wally, and it was then that Kyle realized that he had said the last statement aloud. "Actually, I think if that were to happen, Arthur would definitely kill him," chuckled Wally. "Hey, Kyle, how come you and Bobby aren't ..."

"Best-buds?" Kyle finished for him.

"Oh ... maybe your ring isn't the only thing that's green." Wally commented knowingly upon hearing the sarcasm in Kyle's voice.

"Shut-up, Wally."

"Look, I'm just saying you should try to hang out with him. I mean, Kyle, he did save your life."

Kyle left Wally in the Watchtower. He could still hear his friend's reproach. What is wrong with me? Am I really so jealous of Bobby Drake that I refused to be friends with him? It was true. Drake had saved his life, risking his own in the process, and he was the one who had brought Drake to the JLA's attention but ... Kyle still remembered how Drake had welcomed Wonder Woman's comforting embrace. At the time, J'onn had been reading Bobby's thoughts and emotions, so the whole team had been able to hear and sense how Drake's initial attraction to Diana later turn to confusion and then sorrow. Once they were able to find out who he was and the team had gotten past Drake's cockiness, he'd been accepted by them -- the JLA becoming the X-men family Drake had recently lost. All of them had tried to get along with Drake except Kyle who was still finding it difficult to get to know the guy. Kyle looked at his ring. Maybe it was time he got to know Drake. What would be the harm? he thought as he walked toward the portal that would transfer him back home.

Two weeks later.
Titan Tower.

Bobby was in the pool, teaching Liann, Roy Harper's daughter, how to swim. He was having fun enjoying himself on this holiday weekend. He had a job working as an accountant for this high-tech company. He had friends. New friends who accepted him and had helped fill the void left by the family he had lost. But he still felt lonely, like he didn't belong. He wondered whether the hurt would ever go away.

"Uncl' Bobby. Uncl' Bobby." The little girl cried out as Bobby lifted her up.

"Come on, munchkin. We better leave the pool before we start turning into prunes." He took her out of the pool and wrapped a towel around her.

"Hey, Drake!" Liann's father called out from the terrace.


"Liann, Hon. Jesse is inside. She's waiting to take you out for some ice cream." That was all he needed to tell his daughter who squiggled out of Bobby's arms to the ground, running inside.

"Kids." They both said, sharing a grin.

"Hey, a bunch of us guys are going out tonight. You're welcome to join us."

"No, that's okay. Thanks for asking." While Bobby was thankful for the friendship offered, he found that right now he wanted to be alone. A part of him still felt like he had betrayed his friends, his former teammates. People weren't replaceable. //Then why do I feel like a traitor for making new friends?//

"You're sure?" Roy asked him. Arsenal just kept staring at him, and whatever he found there made him back off for now. "So, Bobby, I have been meaning to ask you ..." Bobby prepared himself for the worst. This was after all Roy, the Titan's prankster. "What's Gotham like?" Bobby just found himself staring at the other man, not understanding the question. "I mean, none of us heroes are allowed into Gotham without Batman's permission or being chaperoned by one of the Bat-members and ... well ... I hate to say this, bud. You ain't a member."

"Actually, now that you've mentioned it, I haven't really run across any of them. I've kind of been busy being Bobby Drake."

"No news yet as to when you could go back home?" Roy gently asked.

"J'onn is working on it."

Roy touched Drake's shoulder, offering his support. He hoped to never experience what Bobby was going through. To lose everything. Everything.

"Bobby, you're sure? I mean, you don't want to join us?"

Bobby smiled. "Yeah. I have to go back to Gotham anyway."

"Look. Stay. Tomorrow is still a holiday. We're probably going to have a barbecue or something."

"Roy, I don't think ..."

"Hey, if you're lucky, the bat family may even make an appearance." Both of them knew that aside from meeting their mentor, Batman, Bobby still hadn't met Nightwing or Robin, the younger members of the Bat-clan.

"They'll be here?" Bobby asked.

"Oh, yeah," Harper reassured him, instantly dismissing the possibility that the Bat-clan may not show up. "Come on, Ice-boy." Roy pulled Bobby toward the Titan Tower. "Hey, have you ever played darts?" he innocently asked the other man.

"Actually, I was pretty good ..."

Three hours later.

Kyle entered the Titan Tower only to discover that it was virtually empty. Only Vic had bothered to stay behind. After some discussion, Vic had informed him that Drake was outside probably near the waterfront. Kyle found himself looking for Drake, silently searching for the misplaced X-man. He found Drake near the beach, talking to an ice sculpture.

"Hank," Kyle heard Bobby say. "I miss you. I mean, the Leaguers are nice and all, but they're not you guys. You know?" Drake paused as though gathering his thoughts. Hearing Bobby's words, Kyle found himself pausing not wanting to reveal his presence to Drake. Instead of moving forward towards the beach, Kyle instead looked at the 'Hank' sculpture. So this is what Beast looks like, he thought. From where he hid, Kyle could see Drake creating another ice sculpture. This time it was that of a woman.

In a way, Kyle thought, she resembled Diana. Kyle could now understand Drake's fascination with the Princess. The female ice sculpture had wavy long hair; she was tall and slim. A smile hovered over her lips, but unlike Wonder Woman, she wore a full-body costume with an X clearly marked in front.

"Hey, Jean, guess what? I'm making friends. I'm even working as an accountant for a guy that could give Warren a run for his money. Looks department too," he snickered. "The boss is also a bit dippy. I wonder if having so much money has something to do with it? Because for a while there I was thinking he was Warren's doppelganger."

Another figure was made beside the two ice sculptures already on the beach. Kyle could see as Drake with his outstretched hand created a sculpture in front of him. A small whirlwind of snow rapidly came together to form a muscular being who gazed upon the night sky. The form was that of a man, an angel to be precise, whose wings were expanded, readied for flight.

Kyle looked down at his ring. It seemed he and Bobby shared a few things in common. Kyle glanced back at Drake, noting how the light of the full moon reflected off the ice sculptures.

"Warren, my feathery friend, I've met this Greek Goddess with a bod ..." Bobby whistle softly. "I'm saving her for you, bud. Okay maybe not, since you're still with Betsy." The whistling continued. "I'm actually thinking she might be perfect for Logan. You know, her softness to smooth his rough edges. Her name is Diana, and she's my friend. You can stop snickering. It's just my luck," he moaned playfully. "All the great babes just want to be friends with me, Bobby Drake."

Even from this distance, Kyle could hear the pain and longing in Drake's voice. Unconsciously his hands tightened into a fist, part of him becoming jealous at Drake's feelings towards the Princess. He watched as Bobby walked a bit further down the beach and away from the ice sculptures.

Kyle found himself grinning when Bobby paused to wiggle his toes on the wet sand, but his grin soon faded when Drake looked to the ground, picked up a pebble and angrily threw it back in the water. From where he stood, Kyle could clearly see the way Bobby's shoulders hunched somewhat in defeat. Drake picked up a stick and on the wet sand wrote the word 'X-men.' Kyle watched as the tide came in and erase what Drake had written.

A few minutes passed and Bobby turned back towards the three ice sculptures.

"I wanna go home, Hank. It's been a month, and I still miss you guys like crazy." Drake fell silent.

Kyle saw him again approach the 'Hank' sculpture. Drake hugged it, turning into Iceman the second his fingers touched the ice.

The loneliness of this act went straight to Kyle's heart, and without a second thought, he called out to Drake. "Bobby."

Drake turned around and immediately the three ice figures turned into water, hitting the sand and wetting it.

"Green Lantern." Drake acknowledged him.

Kyle slowly approached him, and they both stood staring at each other. Kyle realized he would have to make the first move. "Actually, my name is Kyle Rayner," he offered, revealing his face behind the mask.

Drake -- who had changed back to his human form -- continued to look at him, measuring Kyle's words and actions. Kyle moved closer to Drake and with the use of his ring created an image of Alex, his dead girlfriend.

"I never wanted to be a superhero. I was happy drawing comic books, having a perfectly normal life when this Guardian thrust this ring upon me." He paused and met Drake's understanding eyes. Brown warm eyes. "I thought it was all fun and games, and then ... then I lost Alex."

Kyle found that he couldn't look at Bobby anymore, and instead he gazed out towards the water, feeling the slight breeze, letting the sound of the waves hitting the shore calm him. "She was the world to me. The reason I breathed. The reason I woke up in the morning. The one I held in my arms at night. She died because of me," he whispered softly.

Bobby moved forward and his hand gripped Kyle's shoulder, offering comfort. "I was too inexperience, to cavalier, to young. I almost didn't survive losing Alex. I ... I just want you to know that if you ever need someone to talk to, someone who knows what it is like to lose their world ... I'm here. Okay?" Kyle didn't know what else to say in the continued silence. Maybe this was a mistake. He turned around to leave, but Drake called him back.


He paused. Drake walked up and stood in front of him. Kyle noted how Drake continued to look at the ground. "Thank-you." Bobby told him, finally glancing up. "It hurts, you know."

"I know." Kyle confirmed.

"So, you're an artist?" Bobby asked.


"Comic book?" Drake smiled tentatively.

Kyle was surprised to see respect and shyness in Bobby's eyes. He really was not used to seeing either expression directed at him. Impulsively Kyle offered, "Bobby, would you like, that is, I can show you my sketcher -- if you're interested?"

"Yeah, I'd like that."

They both moved in unison, walking back towards the Titan Tower.

The silence that before had been antagonistic now had a more comforting feel to it.

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