I've taken Ale's advice and have decided that this is fine. Marvel characters.

The Kinda Change that Hurts
by Lise

"Get the hell outta my face, Wolverine." Bobby glared at the shorter man, and tried to sound as serious as possible. Yet another person trying to find his breaking point was not what he'd wanted to do that afternoon.

Logan grinned at him, and it wasn't quite a snarl. "Yer cussin', Drake?"

Bobby prayed for patience, knowing that if he blew up, they'd just ask more questions. "Look. If you'd like to argue with me, or play therepist--"

"I don't wanna get in touch with yer feelings, Drake. You'n me have a training practice. Or did ya forget?"

Bobby's face lost some of its hostility. He said shortly, "Alright. Fine."

He gestured to the doors. "You coming?" Bobby followed him inside.

Logan set up the sequence to be a standard 'lots of robots, places to hide, take'em all out' routine. They weren't going to be competing directly against each other, but from time to time, Logan was supposed to test Bobby's reflexes however he saw fit.

"Now, I'm gonna be pullin' shit on you, Drake, got it?"

Bobby nodded. "Yeah, and I know this is where I prove myself ready, too. Let's just get on with it."

The holo-projectors flickered to life, and the amalgamated wrecks of different suburban wastelands flared up around them. Bobby immediately shifted into ice-form, gazing around for the first hint of trouble. Logan, he noted dully, had already vanished.

Good. The first wave of programmed targets came towards him. He fended them off fairly easily, and stood there waiting for the next batch, or if he was lucky, a sneak attack from Logan himself.

The air shivered, and then the shorter man flew out at him from behind a crunched up car, knocking him off his feet and the wind out of him. Bobby grunted, and only his ice form stopped the potential concussion.

Logan stood up, looming over him. "Not very observant today, Drake."

In response, Bobby flung a pillar of ice at Logan's position. He dodged, but not completely, and it knocked him backwards. More was already forming to encase him, trap him, when his claws cut through and he jumped backwards. Logan folded his arms over his chest, and stared at Bobby, who was puffing.

"That the best you can do? Yer training's really slipped in the last year."

Logan didn't precisely say Remy's name, but it hung in the air, like smoke from a phantom cigarette. Bobby created an ice-slide right up to where Logan was standing. He stared angrily at him, shifting back into flesh. "I'm just getting started."

Then, he punched him.

In hindsight, it probably wasn't the most effective means of trying to wipe Logan's smile off his face. It also wasn't the most effective way to try and wipe the events of the last few weeks out of his mind. But Bobby did it anyway.

And immediately regretted it, when Logan hit him back. It was only a fraction of his power, but it sent Bobby sprawling onto the pseudo-concrete, feeling ashamed. He gathered the cold around him, and dropped the temperature of the air around Logan several degrees, forming frost in Logan's new mustache from where his warm breath was exhaled.

He stroked the stubble growing from his chin, watching Bobby with a carefully maintained blank stare. "Aren't you going to tell me to hit you again?"

Logan blinked. "Why?"

"Isn't that the point of this exersise? To see how I'll hit?" He let go of the air molecules, effectively raising the temperature by degrees. "You are assessing my reinstatement to 'active' status, to borrow a military term, right?"

Logan grunted. Bobby strode up to the controls angrily, and switched the program off. "Come on, Logan. Just assess me, stamp me, whatever, and let's get out of here!"

The shorter man grunted again, and shook his head. "Ain't that easy, Drake. It's never that easy."

"It's still none of your goddamned business."

Bobby was ready to storm out the doors, when Logan's quiet voice broke through. "Don't bother, Drake. I'm telling Slim to keep you inactive for now."

This time, hitting him did no good, and just sent Bobby flying across the room. Logan kept up the scuffle for a few minutes, and Bobby actually landed a few good kicks. Eventually, though, Logan threw him down hard enough to merit dizziness, and a pale color to the cheeks that would take a while to fade.

Logan's face was full of a flicker of emotion, mostly regret, when he said, "Kid, there's only so many people ya can push away. The rest go by proxy." He offered him a hand up, which Bobby took mechanically. His voice got a little gruffer, and he added, "You ain't the only one who's dealing with something."

Bobby wiped down his uniform, and carefully ran the towel over his face to get all the sweat. He tried to muffle his voice in the towel so that Logan couldn't really hear him. "I'm not trying to get special treatment."

Logan tilted his head, and said, "What's that?"

Bobby glowered internally, hating the fact that Logan was making him repeat himself. He knew the man had good enough hearing that he knew exactly what had been said. "I'm not trying to get any special treatment. And I didn't ask you to comfort me, so really, it's fine, you can stop now."

Logan chuckled, deep in his throat, though his eyes were sad. "No, ya didn't. And it's kind of a shame."

Bobby slung the towel over one shoulder, and ignored how much his back and neck ached. He didn't answer Logan, just went out the door.

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