Fandom: X-Men (movieverse)
Pairing: Bobby(Jubilee), John
Rating: PG-13 (for mature themes)
Category: pre-slash, teen angst
Disclaimer: Stan Lee is god, I am merely a pitiful mortal playing with his toys. I promise not to break 'em and to return 'em when I'm done. ::big shiny eyes:: So please don't sue me 'cause I ain't makin' any money from this. (Besides ... who would pay for it?)
Notes: For Vicky, 'cause she asked for more Bobby fic and for Jade Marmalade, slash cheerleader extraordinare. Christal ... I know you asked for Rogue/Remy ... but I'm still trying to figure out how to do that. Het is not easy for me. (Go figure...) I'll keep on working at it for ya luv!
Summary: Bobby goes to the Spring Dance held at Xavier's School for Gifted Children and eats his own heart out...

Spring Dance
by Scorpio

Bobby Drake stood in the shadows and nervously adjusted his shirt collar once again. With a jolt, he realized that he was fidgeting and yanked his hands away from his neck and shoved them into his pants pockets. Feeling the small plastic box deep in the right one, he pulled it out. Opening it without even thinking about it, Bobby shook out three of the tiny mints. For the fifth time in under an hour, Bobby found himself chewing on some tic-tacs.

At least he didn't have to worry about bad breath.

That didn't stop him from being totally and absolutely miserable. It didn't stop him from standing here in a corner slowly going bonkers while everyone else was enjoying themselves. And having fresh minty breath most certainly wasn't enough to get him what he really wanted.

Just what was it that he, Bobby Drake wanted more than anything else? Simple. One dance ... just one sweet slow dance.

Sighing at the unfairness of it all, Bobby looked out at the gaudily decorated gym with a critical eye. Crepe-paper flowers hung in bright, if tacky groups and multicolored streamers from all corners of the room met at the center of the ceiling, right above the mirrored disco ball that was spinning in slow circles. The disco ball threw rainbow hued sparkles of light across the room depending on which colored light was currently aimed at it.

At least the music wasn't too bad. The DJ had good taste and worked hard to entertain both the young students as well as the adult chaperones milling around the edges of the crowd. The open bar didn't hurt either. Granted, there was no alcohol being served due to the fact that the large majority of people at the Spring Dance were minors. Still, maybe a cool soda would help?

Bobby discarded the idea almost immediately. If he left to go get a drink, then he might miss something. He didn't want to miss a moment of watching. A moment of studying, of learning... of longing in quiet desperation.

With a sad sigh of hopelessness, Bobby fixed his attention back where it belonged, back on John. The guy was ... beautiful. There really was no other way to describe him. His handsome face was smiling, happiness radiating out of him to touch all those around him. His stunningly bright eyes sparkled with humor and joy, more dazzling and mesmerizing than any glittering disco ball.

And his body ... oh sweet ice, his lean and toned body swirled and swayed to the music as he danced with a small group of students in the middle of the dance floor to the jumping tune. He was poetry in motion, grace and beauty and joy all rolled up into one irresistible package. He was ... John.

Standing in the darkened corner by the bleachers, Bobby watched and yearned. He wanted to feel that luscious and toned body next to his. He wanted to swirl around in circles under the multicolored lights while gazing into John's big soft eyes. He wanted to hold and be held, to pet and stroke and touch. He wanted to tell everyone there that John was his and his alone. He wanted ... he wanted ... the impossible.

Bobby wasn't the smartest kid at school, hell; he wasn't even close to it. But he was smart enough to know that asking John to dance with him would be a one way ticket to a black eye, possible multiple singes, and the loss of his best friend. Bobby could live with the black eye, a few loose teeth and even a broken nose if he had too. And being best buddies with a mutant pyromaniac had taught him how to treat minor burns with limited fuss and minimal scarring. But the loss of John's friendship was more than he could handle. It would kill him as sure as a bullet to the heart would.

And even if John didn't reject him and his request for a dance ... the other kids would. Being gay or even seen as gay wasn't something that was easily accepted, even among mutants. One night in the rec room while watching an episode of Will & Grace would make that perfectly clear to anyone. And when it came right down to it, Bobby didn't want to do that to John.

Bobby had spent the better part of two years working through the fact that he was gay. He had learned, at least in his own mind to accept that as fact. Not an easy truth ... but neither was the ability to make it snow by just thinking about it. He himself felt as if he was ready to come out of the closet, to stop hiding who he was ... what he was. He was totally prepared for the anger and the hurt and the frustration. But could he lay that on John?

No. He couldn't. Even if John didn't see it as serious, if he merely danced with Bobby as if it were some sort of joke ... or even worse, out of pity, then the other kids would come down on John just as hard. Bobby didn't want that for John. He couldn't stand the idea of anyone hurting John ... especially because of him. So, he stood in the back, the shadows, and merely watched and dreamed. It was ... enough. For now.

The song ended and Bobby watched as the bodies of his friends slowed down and eventually stilled. They were all smiling and laughing. He couldn't hear what they were saying, but they all seemed to be having a lot of fun.

Inevitably, his eyes turned to focus on John. He watched as the most gorgeous boy he'd ever laid eyes on brushed a hand across his flushed forehead, wiping away a droplet of sweat. His long limbs were loose and limber and a slight bounce of a driving drum beat still spiked through his ever-moving frame. He was, simply put, beautiful.

Suddenly, music filled the air with a sweet haunting chord as the next song began. It was a popular song, one that spoke of forbidden love and unasked questions. Instantly, people began to pair off into couples to move in slow close movements across the hard wood floor. And as if God was trying to drive him insane, John chose that moment to turn and face him. Their eyes locked across the gymnasium and they each took a step towards the other.

Then a hand on his shoulder stopped him. Turning his head in a daze, Bobby found himself looking down into the dark friendly eyes of Jubilee. She was, for once, wearing a dress and she did look pretty. In a rush, Bobby remembered all of his well thought out reasons for not asking John to dance with him and came to the conclusion that he was full of shit. He was scared of rejection, plain and simple. Locking his heart down in a dark and cold cage of fear and self-loathing, he smiled down at Jubilee.

"Want to dance?"

The slight girl in the pretty red dress smiled up at him with her heart in her eyes and something in Bobby's soul cried out in silent pain. Closing his eyes briefly against it, he then turned and led her to the dance floor. In doing so, he missed the look of hurt and loss that crossed his best friend and one true love's face as John suddenly turned and fled the dance floor.


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