Woo-hoo! The sequel is finally here! Sascha and KJ have archiving rights. If you're not them, ask first (unless you already did and I just forgot).

First, I want to thank Sascha and Lise. They corrected, picked, poked, prodded and did everything else in their power to make me make this good. This story is dedicated to them with much loving thanks. :::HUGS:::

DISCLAIMER: Bobby, Jamie, Hank, Forge, etc. don't belong to me and I'm making no money off this. And if you're really so anal as to try and track me down and sue me, I say pttttthhhhhtt. This story deals with same sex relationships. Go 'way if you don't like that. It also has Bad Things happen. Ask me if you think you might not like it. (I don't want to ruin anything here, though).

Um ...what else? This is a sequel to "Bodies of Water," written for Poilass.

Quiet Waters
by J.B. McDonald

Chapter One

Well, there's hours of time on the telephone line
to talk about things to come,
Sweet dreams and flying machines
in pieces on the ground.

I've seen fire and I've seen rain
I've seen sunny days that I thought would never end
I've seen lonely times when I could not find a friend
But I always thought that I'd see you again.

-James Taylor, "Fire and Rain"

The wind ruffled through his hair, tossing it furiously about. Jamie smiled, feeling the sun on his face, one hand steering the car down the highway while the other played with the radio.

He was going to meet his lover.

Okay, so technically they weren't lovers yet. But they were two people who loved each other. So what did you call that if it wasn't 'lover'?

Something brash came on the station, and Jamie changed it with a flick of slender fingers. Inwardly, his mind chattered at him -- most of it consisting of "He's back! He's back!" His heart was in his throat, as it was every time Bobby returned. Somehow, a grin had plastered itself onto his face and wouldn't seem to give up its spot, but it didn't really matter.

Birds cried and wheeled above, and Jamie wished fervently that he could join them. To soar, at this moment, through the deep blue of the sky, playing with the clouds. Maybe he would be able to fly to Bobby's plane, meet him in the air.

The grin spread, irrepresibly. Jamie didn't mind.

The music station cut out suddenly, interrupting with an 'important announcement.' Jamie only barely listened to it, more interested in watching birds loop through the sky above.

Then, as if the entire world had been cut down to a two by six inch shred of space consisting only of the radio, Jamie heard "plane" and "crash."

The wheel twisted. Mock-leather rubbed against his hands as Jamie hit the brake and turned, hard. The strap of the seatbelt cut into Jamie's shoulder as his brown Datsun careened across two lanes, barely keeping from hitting a Camry. Jamie's car bumped onto the shoulder, screeching to a halt, and he turned the radio up in a panic.

"--not sure what happened yet, but witnesses say there was an explosion. The plane crashed near the airport, spun several times and finally came to rest in several pieces. It is not yet clear whether there were any survivors; the police have only just made it on the scene. In case you've just joined us, flight 314 from New York has crashed--"

Jamie dove for his brown leather backpack that slumped in the foot-area of the passenger seat, ripping it open and pulling out the flight number he was supposed to meet. It couldn't be 314. It couldn't.

He tore open the pamphlet, brown eyes searching for numbers. It couldn't be 314. Surely that wasn't the flight.

Jamie's eyes danced over the paper, finally arresting on the number. It couldn't be 3--


"Oh, I can't pick you up that day," Jamie answered solemnly. He tucked the phone between his shoulder and ear, folding laundry. "I'm washing my hair."

On the other end of the phone, Bobby laughed. "Damn. I'll just have to ask some other ridiculously gorgeous guy to pick me up at the airport then."

Jamie blushed, but valiantly ignored it. He put down a brown sock, picked up a blue one, and folded it with another brown one. "I think Forge is free." The blue sock winked out at him, and Jamie stared at it as if seeing it for the first time. Soundlessly, he re-folded the socks with their correct mates.

Bobby laughed again. "Seriously, though, James. Are you free that day? Or do I need to get another flight?"

Jamie snorted, and put a shirt into the pants pile. "No, I want you to pay a whole bunch of money because I think I might be going to the mall. Don't be silly. Of course I'll pick you up -- I mean, I'm the reason you're coming out here!"

"Well, it sure isn't the weather," Bobby laughed.

"And here I thought you loved Washington gloom!" Jamie grinned, dimples creasing. His shoulders felt wiggly just talking to Bobby, and he stretched them happily before putting his shirt back in the shirt pile.

Bobby chuckled, and Jamie could almost *hear* the shake of his head. "I'll see you in a week, then."


"Love you."

Jamie couldn't suppress his smile, and he knew it was utterly goofy. Bobby just seemed to find it so easy to say those words ... Jamie licked his lips, opened his mouth to return the phrase, his throat suddenly dry, and said instead, "Me too." He cringed and cursed himself roundly for not saying "I love you, too." Somehow, though, to say it was ... frightening.

"I know," Bobby murmured, and Jamie wasn't sure whether Bobby meant he knew he was loved, or if he really was aware of just why Jamie couldn't bring himself to say that.

There was a click of the phone, and Jamie hung up. Smiling, forcefully banishing all that stomach-tightening "I love you" nervousness, he walked to the calendar and circled the date in a red pen.

The air smelled like newly turned earth, and scorched grass, and human flesh. Like blood and death and twisted metal. Antiseptic and fear and that sick tang that came with gas. And sweat; human sweat from the crush of bodies behind the police barrier.

The noise rivaled the smell, that scent that would always be associated with disaster. There was wailing and crying and someone to the right sobbed hysterically. Cameras flashed, recording the devastation and human pain for others to gawk over and pity, saying things like "It was their time" and "wasn't that a tragedy?" The sound of shredding metal, a horrible cry as if the plane itself was in such great pain it couldn't be contained within that massive shell, still seemed to hang in the air, though no metal moved.

There was shouting and orders and wailing sirens, crashing instruments and plastic rattling, and under that the sound of zippers sliding up over dead bodies.

The air tasted of death. The metallic tang of blood seemed to ooze into every pore, until Jamie couldn't be free of it. A breath shuddered into his lungs -- he felt so COLD -- and carried the taste of rot and fear and panic.

This is my fault. I should have gone with him.

"Are you sure you don't want to come? The X-Men would love to have you. You could help Hank if you don't want to fight."

Jamie smiled and shook his head, playing with the edge of his trenchcoat.

"No, Bobby. I'm gonna work with Forge a while longer."

Bobby sighed and flopped onto the couch next to Jamie, reaching out and pulling the other man nearer. He wasn't satisfied until he had one leg on either side of Jamie, both of them sitting crosswise on the couch, Jamie's solid weight resting back against Bobby's chest. Bobby wrapped his arms around the narrow ribcage in front of him and rested his chin on Jamie's thick brown hair. "But I won't like having you so far away," he said petulantly.

Jamie's laugh rumbled back into Bobby's body, tickling him clear down to his toes. Bobby felt Jamie relax, muscles untensing as Bobby held him closer, protectively.

"Then don't leave," Jamie said.

Bobby sighed heavily, purposefully making his chest expand and bouncing Jamie. "But I want you with me at the X-Men," Bobby murmured, leaning his head down until he was breathing into Jamie's neck. He felt the shudder run through the younger man's body, and smiled. "The X-Men need me. And I need you." White teeth nipped delicately at the rim of Jamie's ear. Bobby smiled as he felt Jamie's breath catch. "I need you." A slow, wicked grin spread across Bobby's features as Jamie shivered. Then the grin vanished as an elbow was planted in his stomach.

"You are such a tease!" Jamie yelped, pulling away from Bobby and scooching to the end of the couch, blushing pure red and folding his legs up in front of him.

Bobby laughed. "Come with me, sexy," he pleaded, a smile still in his eyes.

Jamie shook his head. "No. Maybe later, but right now I'm working on something with Forge."

Bobby groaned heavily and twisted until his head hung off the front of the couch. "You're killing me!"

"I am not," Jamie laughed. "You'll just have to fly down and visit."


"What?" Jamie asked.

"Fly up and visit," Bobby answered, face turning red as the blood rushed to his head. "Washington is above New York."

"Whatever," Jamie said, shrugging. "We'll visit, and maybe -- maybe -- later I'll come up to the X-Men. Or you could come work with me and Forge?"

Bobby cringed. "Too much red tape," he mumbled, then sat up. "Not that I wouldn't love to work with you," he said softly, smiling in a more than slightly lecherous way.

"That's it!" Jamie yelped, blushing red and leaping to his feet. "I'm going back to my hotel to take a cold shower! You stay here!"

"But I need a cold shower too," Bobby laughed.

"It'll only make you happier," Jamie pointed out with a mock-glare.

Bobby smiled very slowly. "Especially if I shower with you."

Jamie's Blush was back. "God! You are in such a mood today!"

Bobby laughed delightedly and rolled off the sofa. "I know. Just feel good, that's all. Come back, James. I promise I'll stop teasing you."

Jamie looked at him suspiciously.

"Scout's honor."

"You were never a Boy Scout."

Bobby frowned. "Okay. On my pet bumblebee BuzzBuzz's grave. I'll stop teasing."

Jamie hesitated, eyeing Bobby. Bobby tried to make his blue eyes large and honest, though he couldn't quite squelch his smile. "Okay," Jamie finally grumbled, and walked slowly to sit back down on the sofa.

Bobby kicked a leg up back and pulled Jamie back down into his lap, cradling him against his chest. "I love you, you know," Bobby murmured after a moment.

Jamie shifted uncomfortably. "I know," he said at last, quiet.

Bobby kissed Jamie's ear (oh how he loved those ears!) and smiled, leaning his face against the other's head and breathing deeply of shampoo and that scent that was only Jamie. He would have to wait to hear his words echoed back. They seemed to make Jamie uncomfortable still. Bobby, however, was willing to be patient. "I'll fly up and visit a lot, then."

Jamie smiled and settled more comfortably against Bobby's back. "Okay."

"Someone come quick! Bring something to get this open!"

The shout was frantic, as were all the others, and Jamie couldn't seem to hear it. It all came so dimly to him, as though he stood at the far end of a tunnel and watched people he didn't know doing something he didn't understand. He felt so cold.

"There's ice over here!"

His world shattered. Jamie looked up.

"Get something to break this -- there's people inside!"

Jamie started forward at a walk, and soon found himself running. With each footstep another of himselves appeared and ran for the section of plane that was iced over -- from the inside.

"Get a medic team here, stat! There are people inside!"

The earth fled beneath Jamie's feet as he bolted toward the plane, ignoring the hands that tried to stop him, rolling under the yellow caution tape, splitting into more people with the impact.

The ice had shattered. They were pulling people out, people with blue lips and bloody faces, white skin contrasting frighteningly with crimson life. Some bodies were put to one side, dead, while others were carried to stretchers and surrounded by paramedics, carried off in wailing white ambulances.

Someone caught at Jamie's trenchcoat, grabbing him, strong arms wrapping around his shoulders and chest from behind. "You can't go over there," a low voice said, almost picking him up off his feet.

Jamie flailed his arms and legs, struggling furiously. "Bobby--"

"We'll find him if he's there," the man said, clinging to Jamie's writhing body. "Son, stop. You're adding more upset people to the already upset crowd. You're panicking people."

The words penetrated through Jamie's fog, and he saw, suddenly, as if they hadn't even been there before, that his dupes were causing a scene. Humans in the mass of people were screaming, and someone was ranting about how a mutant had crashed the plane.

Jamie took a shaky breath and reached out to the nearest dupe, reabsorbing him.

"Thank you," the low voice said, and the grip around his shoulders and chest relaxed. "We'll find Bobby."

Jamie nodded, shaking, and almost stumbled when the man put him back down on his feet.

"Sit here. You can stay this close. Get rid of these extra people."

Jamie nodded again and fell bonelessly to the ground, hands lax in the dirt.

The man came around, knelt before Jamie. "What does Bobby look like?"

Jamie tried to collect his thoughts as he looked into the black man's face, seeing eyes so dark they were almost black, and somehow so caring and worried it was almost Jamie's undoing.

"He has light brown hair," Jamie said at last, his voice a trembling whisper. "And ... he's taller than me. He has the most beautiful blue eyes..."

The black man nodded softly, a large hand dropping to rest on Jamie's shoulder.

Jamie took a shaky breath and closed his eyes. His face was cold, wet. His eyelashes were clumped together. The wind blew across the iced plane, turning cold as the warmth was stolen from it before whispering across Jamie and the crowd behind him. "He ... is muscular. Lots of muscles. And he makes ice." Jamie opened his eyes.

The black man nodded, his thumb smoothed down the edge of Jamie's hair. "Okay. I'm going to go look for him. You stay here."

Jamie nodded.

The black man stood and walked toward the plane, disappearing in the hole they had made in the ice.

The number of dead bodies was mounting, though there were now a few live people, too.

A small tangle of paramedics raced out, a body held between them. "Get a stretcher!" one of them shouted, and Jamie looked up hopefully.

Blue eyes met his, and then closed. But those blue eyes were topped with a rag of red hair, and the body was too small to be Bobby. The boy was laid on a stretcher and wheeled away, his blood-smeared face hidden by medics.

Jamie hugged his knees to his chest and watched, a small part of his mind calling his dupes to him and re-absorbing them swiftly.

The black man emerged from the wreckage, carrying a large body in strong arms. "Medic!" the man bellowed, and more people came racing up.

Jamie stood, breath held, watching until the black man turned to him and gave the tiniest gesture of his head.

Jamie ran, feeling his trenchcoat tangle around his legs. He bulleted across the torn earth as the man on the stretcher was wheeled toward an ambulance, paramedics already covering his face with a mask and sticking needles into his arms.

"Bobby!" Jamie shouted, stopping as he reached the ambulance.

"Sit in that corner," someone snapped, and Jamie leapt into the ambulance and planted himself in the far corner, hudddled down, giving the medics as much room as they needed to work.

He couldn't see Bobby's face beneath the blood. His hair had been soaked to a purple-red color, though crimson slush dripped from his bangs to land coldly on the floor.

Bobby's face beneath the blood was white. Not pale, and not light, but white. Blue lips were covered in a mask, and eyelids that had turned blue weren't moving.

Oh God. Help.

"You look cold."

"I'm not."

"I didn't say you were. I said you looked it."

"Bobby, I'm not cold!"

"You said that last time, too. Remember? When you started shivering?"

"...That was different."

"Riiiiiight. Y'know, Jamie, if you're cold, you have to say something about it."

"I'm not cold!"

"You're shivering."

"...Oh. I just didn't want you to be hot."

"I don't get hot. I can cool myself down."

"Yeah. Well."

"You, however, are very hot."

"No, you just pointed out that I'm co--oh. You meant--oh. Heh. Um. Thanks."

"You're blushing."

"Am not."

"Are too."

"Am not."

"Are too. Sexy."

"Well ... you're cool."

"Cold, thankyouverymuch."

"Jus' chillin'."

"Yup! That's me! The chillin' dude! And you're sexy."

"Stop that!"

"Heh. Sexy. You're blushing again."

"Am not!"

"Are too."

"Am not!"

He was not waking up. He looked cold.

Jamie reached out and touched Bobby's shoulder, gently. It was cold to the touch, though they said he was no longer in danger from dying of hypothermia.

"His resistance to that is amazing. He's lucky in that way."

Jamie blinked. His vision wavered, and he blinked again.

"None of the passengers that lived were completely unscathed. He has quite a few broken bones that will need time to mend. Most concerning is the head trauma. You are related, correct?"

"He's my brother," Jamie had said, knowing that 'boyfriend' wouldn't get him the information he needed.

"All right. The head trauma is what worries us most. There's no obvious damage, as is often the case. Unfortunately, there doesn't need to be obvious damage. I'm afraid Bobby is in a coma at the moment. There's no reason that we can see. Time will tell what happens."

Jamie bent, fingers twining with Bobby's limp ones, other hand trembling as he brushed a lock of hair from the sleeping face.

"I'm sorry, Bobby," Jamie whispered, choking. "You have to be okay, though. You have to. You're my only family, Bobby, and you have to be okay. You can't leave me unless I say I love you, and I didn't say that, Bobby." His grip tightened on Bobby's hand and he leaned closer, lips almost touching Bobby's forehead. Every muscle trembled, and his hand tightened on Bobby's fingers. His voice dropped to a whisper. "You can't die, because it's not fair. It's the rules, Bobby. If I say I love you, then you die, but I didn't say that. I didn't, so you have to wake up now. Please hear me. Please? Because if you die then ... " Jamie's voice broke, and he took a shivering breath before continuing.

"I'm sorry. I shouldn't have made you fly down and see me. I should have told you that people around me die, and made you leave. I should have loved you that much, but I didn't, because I'm selfish. So please don't die. I don't love you. I don't love you, so don't die. That's the way it works."

His voice broke, rose slightly. "I'm sorry. This is all my fault."

"Yeah," a deeper, whisky-roughened voice said quietly from the doorway. "It is."

Jamie looked up, startled. He blinked quickly and looked back down again, standing up and dropping Bobby's hand. "Sir," he said in a whisper. "Bobby's in a coma. They don't know when he'll wake up."

William Drake walked slowly into the room, like a man too filled with sorrow and pain to move.

"Where's Madeline?"

William was looking down at his son, moving achingly into the chair Jamie had vacated. Shaking hands spotted with age took Bobby's pale, unlined one and covered it, holding it up to trembling lips. "Talking to the doctor. You can leave now, Jamie."

Jamie flinched, then took a deep breath. He was aware, suddenly, of tears on his face. He grabbed the sleeve of his trenchcoat and wiped his cheeks. "I ... I was waiting for Bobby to wake up."

"Why?" William snapped. Brown eyes laced with fear flashed up, pinning Jamie in his place. "Haven't you done enough? Didn't you say just a moment ago that this was your fault?"

Jamie flattened himself against the wall. "I ... I ... suppose so. I'm sorry."

"That does a lot of good," William answered bitterly, looking back at Bobby. He chafed the hand Jamie had dropped, holding it between both of his callused, age-spotted ones. The heart monitor beeped quietly, and William's words could barely be heard above it. "You've done plenty, Jamie. Go away."

Jamie's heart stuttered in his chest painfully. "I'd like to stay with Bobby," he finally managed in a whisper. His voice, though quiet, didn't waver.

"You would. I know that." William was silent. His eyes closed, and when he opened them again they glistened suspicously. His voice was hoarse when he spoke. "Don't you think you've stayed with him long enough, though? You two boys say you're so in love," he laughed quietly, bitterly. "So in love you'll sacrifice each other. My son was happy before he met you, Jamie. He had a couple of nice girlfriends. He was starting to realize he didn't have to risk his life for other people. He could live normally." William's gaze shifted until he looked up at Jamie.

Jamie tried to take a step back, found himself against the wall already.

"Then he met you. How do you think other people treat him, thinking he's gay? He's not, you know. He had girlfriends. He has family and people who love him. I'm very sorry you were orphaned, but that doesn't give you the right to cling onto the first nice person who comes around, or try to take their family from them. How do you think the other X-Men treat him if he's gay? You think they'll be as likely to save his life if he's going to tarnish that mutant image they're working so hard for? You think other people are going to want to deal with him? And then you make him miserable, staying across the country, making him spend money he works hard to earn to fly up and see you. And because of you," William's voice broke, and he paused before continuing, quieter, "because of you, he's comatose." William looked away from Jamie, hands working on Bobby's cold, limp fingers. "Leave, Jamie. You've done plenty."

Jamie couldn't breathe. He hadn't thought of any of that. He didn't think that Bobby would have trouble with his friends. He didn't mean for that to happen. "I'm--"

"Sorry, I know," William whispered, and he didn't sound like the angry man he had a moment ago. He sounded weary. "Leave."

Jamie's chest felt constricted. He inched around the chair William sat in, then bolted for the door, running into Madeline.

"Jamie?" she asked, holding out a hand.

Jamie flinched away from it, shaking his head, and ran down the corridor.

"Ignore it."

Jamie pulled away from the hand clasped in his, twisting free. "But he said--"

Bobby sighed, captured that hand again, and pulled Jamie back toward him to lie down on the park grass. "It doesn't matter."

"Bobby, he called us--"

"Jamie," Bobby interrupted, looking up into tortured brown eyes. "I love you. That's what matters."

continued >>

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