Bodies of Water
by J.B. McDonald

Chapter 7

Bobby leaned against his tree, eyes closed, lawn mower sitting fifteen feet away. He'd been home for three weeks. He was seriously considering going back to the X-Men. He was trying very hard to forget about Jamie. (It wasn't working.)


He didn't bother opening his eyes. "Yeah, Mom?"

"You almost done mowing?"

"No, Mom."

"All right."

Wouldn't it figure that his parents would take out the shed in back, the tomato plants and fruit trees and plant grass instead? And the Cold that had been promising to come had passed over already. Bobby hated hot snaps.

The screen door opened with a rattle, like Colossus gargling rocks in his armored form. It banged shut almost as loudly. Footsteps were quiet through the grass, but Bobby could hear them. He took after his father that way.

Long strided, someone light. His mom hadn't announced who it was. Probably Warren, then. She didn't announce any of the original X-Men, and only Warren was that light and long strided. He'd visited several times already.

The footsteps paused just behind him. Bobby wiggled, scratching against the tree before settling.

"I should probably tell you that I died once," a hesitant, young voice said.

Bobby opened his eyes and tilted his head; saw slender legs encased in blue jeans.

"You know. In case I end up being a Summers or something."

Bobby smiled and slowly, slowly let his gaze travel up those long legs to narrow hips. A black T-shirt covered a muscled but slender chest, hands, stuffed into pockets, leading to shoulders that were small, but not too small. A slender neck went up to a face with a smattering of light freckles, a flippity nose, high cheekbones and expressive brown eyes. Dark brown hair fell in that delicate face, and a hand slipped out of a pocket to tuck the strand behind a small ear.

"'Cause, you know, that's important stuff."

Bobby nodded against the tree. "Then I should tell you that I've been in space. So I could be a Summers, though it's less likely."

"Oh. Yeah. Yeah, that's important." Jamie nodded solemnly. "I should tell you that I worked with a Summers."

Bobby frowned. "Me too. So, you know, it's highly likely that one or both of us somehow got Summers DNA or something."

"Yeah. Exactly."

Bobby nodded and contemplated the grass. Finally, he looked back up. "I'm willing to chance it."

Jamie itched his neck. "Me too."

Bobby sat for a moment more, then looked back up at Jamie. "But if you're the Phoenix, I'm going to be upset."

"Damn," Jamie said, shaking his head. "Guess I better go, then."

"No, no, wait," Bobby said as Jamie turned away. "I think I can learn to live with it."

"Okay," Jamie said, then crouched down.

Bobby looked at him, and smiled. "I thought you weren't going to talk to me again."

Jamie looked at the lawn mower. "I wasn't going to. I mean, not because I was mad, but..." his voice dropped to a whisper and he looked down at his shoes. "Bobby, you kissed me."

"I know," Bobby said, and couldn't suppress his smile. "I was there."

Blush. "I am very aware of that." Dark eyes flickered toward Bobby, still uncertain, but without denial, and without that shadow. "I could have ignored it for a long time if you hadn't done that. Well, if you hadn't done that and if I didn't have a dupe that really liked you..."

Bobby laughed.

"I'm serious. I mean, they're different facets of my personality sometimes and that one ... well, he didn't mind being gay. And he did mind that I was angsting."

"A sure sign that you're a candidate for a Summers," Bobby commented.

Jamie nodded solemnly. Then he blushed. "I couldn't stop ... I mean, every time I closed my eyes ... and whenever I got sad I remembered something you'd said."

Bobby looked at him curiously. "What's that?"

Jamie met his gaze, and for once his eyes didn't shy away. He was very solemn, but then started to laugh. He shook his head and looked away, dimples creasing his cheeks. "Damn. I was gonna give you some bull about something, but I can't keep my face straight." He dipped his head and shrugged, then looked back at Bobby, still smiling. "I'd remember different things. Sometimes a joke. Sometimes your face when you fell in the pond."

"When you pushed me in the pond," Bobby corrected, grinning.

Jamie just shrugged and smiled. "I did remember one thing, though. You said we were friends. And you said you wouldn't leave me." He grinned, looked down, back up, and blushed. "And you said I was gorgeous."

Bobby laughed. "You are."

Jamie shook his head and looked at Bobby. "I'm not. But it's nice to hear."

Bobby smiled, accepting that at least Jamie wasn't arguing with him quite as much anymore. With time, he'd start to accept it, maybe. "Know what I remembered?"


"I remembered that you pushed me in the pond."

Jamie laughed, brown eyes sparkling merrily.

"And I remembered that you're ticklish."

Jamie's eyes flew open, and he looked warningly at Bobby.

Bobby started to laugh again. "But mostly, I remember that you didn't tell me if you were gay or not." There was a question in his light blue eyes as he looked over at Jamie.

Jamie looked back down, then up, before gazing at Bobby. "Not like you see in 'The Birdcage.'"

Bobby grinned.

"But I never really had much choice in the matter. It just took a kiss to wake me up." An eyebrow cocked up. "Call me Sleeping--"

"Sexiful," Bobby interjected.

Jamie laughed, blushing. "Okay. Sleeping Sexiful. I was gonna say 'Jamie.'"

"Oh yeah," Bobby laughed, grinning. "We're gonna call you SS instead of MM."

Jamie laughed and rolled his eyes.

"You know what's a really good idea?" Bobby asked, feigning nonchalance though he didn't feel it.

Jamie looked at him expectantly.

"You and me having dinner. Lots of times. Together."

Jamie bit his lip and nodded. "Yeah. That's a good idea. If you can stand me for that long."

"Phshh," Bobby snorted.

"I don't have any experience at this whole gay-dating-thing," Jamie explained, looking worried.

"I only have a little. It's like straight-dating-things. Only with men."

Jamie grinned. "Oh."

"Know what's another good thing?"


"Kissing." Bobby grinned.

Jamie laughed, and glanced toward the house. "Your mom--"

"Will have to get used to it," Bobby answered, though he didn't really feel that sure of himself. He watched Jamie closely, seeing the war in the other man's eyes. He'd almost decided that Jamie was going to say no, and then the man turned towards him and scurried closer, ducking behind the same tree.

Jamie looked at him very seriously, though laughter danced in his eyes. "You're right," he said solemnly. "Kissing is another very good idea."

Madeline Drake looked up as her son entered the kitchen. "Is Jamie a friend of yours?" she asked, smiling as Bobby gathered two glasses and poured lemonade in them. "You boys have been out there all afternoon."

Bobby hesitated and put the lemonade pitcher down. His eyes were sparkling, and there was grass in his hair. "We have a lot of catching up to do. About twenty years worth on his part, twenty-six on mine."

"Ah," Madeline said. "So you two are new friends?"

Bobby picked both glasses up and leaned against the counter. He was frowning slightly, the way he did whenever he wasn't sure how to say something. "I like Jamie, Mom."

Madeline nodded. Bobby was looking at her closely, and she knew she wasn't having the right reaction. But she needed more information than that.

"I like Jamie a lot. And he really likes me. We like each other a lot."

Madeline smothered her smile. "Ah. Should I put an extra plate on for dinner?"

Bobby looked frustrated. "Mom, Jamie and I--"

She put a hand on his arm, noting the pink of the sunburn that was starting to stain his pale skin. "Bobby. Do you remember Opal?"

Bobby nodded.

"I do, too. I didn't like Opal. I like Jamie. However, the same rules still apply. He may stay as long as he likes. He has to obey the rules in this house, too. And you two may not share a bedroom. There are extra sheets in the linen closet. I'll put out an extra plate for dinner." Madeline turned back to the sink and ignored Bobby's blush. He reached over and pecked her cheek, then turned to walk out the door. He stopped half out, looking back.

"Um, when do you think is a good time to tell Dad?"

Madeline smiled. "Don't you worry. I'll tell your father."

Bobby nodded and left the house, banging the screen door. Out by the tree, Madeline could see a brown trenchcoat lying in the grass, and a slender male figure on his back on top of it, looking up at the clouds. She started to hum, and got out another plate.

The smile spread slowly across Hank's face, and then he nodded, pride swelling his chest.

"What is it?" Scott asked, looking up curiously as Hank grinned. Jean, cradled between Scott's arm and his side, cocked her head.

Hank, smiling, shook his head slowly, refusing to show anyone, and re-read his message.

To: Blue_McCoy@xaviers.edu
From: Iam_Notta_Moot_Ant@hotmail.com
Subj: Shtuff

hi, Hank! dad's doing better, mom's doing good. i may come back sooner than previously thought (oh please oh please oh please). mind if i bring a friend? Jamie Madrox--Multiple Man--is at loose ends since xfactor disbanded, and i thought that since he had legacy maybe he could help or something. i dunno. anyway, attached is a picture. later!


PS i'm in love.

PPS it's Jamie.

PPPS don't tell anyone yet, okay? he's shy, and i didn't tell him i was telling you.

PPPPS i really, really like him, Hank.

PPPPPS kissing is fun. get a friend and try it sometime. you have to leave the lab to do it, tho . . .

PPPPPPS this is the last PS.

Attachment: me_and_jamie.gif

The End.

continued in "Quiet Waters" >>

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