Hi all! I know it's been a while, but I have this chapter and I'm working on chapter 7 (which will be extremely funny... just you wait). Some of you may notice the slightly different email address. Same as before, it's just a yahoo account now. I got tired of hotmail and yahoo groups not mixing. You can reach me at either. (If I can ever get hotmail to load again.)

Frozen Pop
by Shade

Day Ten: Getting to Know You

Smoke was barreling off the Chargrill at a merciless rate. William Drake swatted the air around him trying to get a smoke free breath. He was failing miserably.

"You doing all right over there dad?" Bobby asked from the picnic table.

"The day I need grilling help from an Iceman is the day they put me into the ground, son."

"I'll remember that when I have to put you out again, Smokey."

"Burn one meal and they never let you forget it," came the reply from a puff of smoke with legs.

Bobby leaned in next to BJ, Remy, and Jean-Luc and whispered, "Actually it was one meal, his apron, and half the grass in the yard."

The boys giggled and Jean-Luc let out a loud bark of laughter.

"I won't even go into what his hair looked like afterwards," Bobby continued.

"That's enough, Bobby," Maddie warned from her spot under the big maple. Gambit sat beside her sipping lemonade.

"T'anks for havin' Papa an' I over, Mrs. Drake," he said.

"Oh don't worry about that, Remy. I never did get the chance to thank you for watching over William that night after the attack. I was so afraid that they might have come back to finish the job."

"Your husband did a brave thing, ma'am. De honor was mine."

Maddie patted the young man on the hand and went back to rocking in her patio chair. Gambit grinned at the man in question and then got up and headed over to Bobby and the boys.

"It look like it gonna take a while, non? Why don' we get in a quick game of ball?"

"Yeah!" BJ yelled enthusiastically. Little Remy nodded his approval as well.

"I have an idea son," Jean-Luc said with a mischievous smirk. "Why don' the boys an' I play against you an' Bobby, eh?"

"Aww, come on, Papa! Dat wouldn't be fair."

"Yes it would!" BJ insisted. "Besides, you hog the ball when you play with Remy. Ain't that right, Remy?"

"Uh huh."

Maddie looked up from a novel she was reading, "BJ, don't use `ain't' the word is `isn't.'"

"Yes, ma'am."

Five sets of male eyes rolled at the grammar lesson. After a bit more arguing, it was decided that the boys would play with Jean-Luc and Bobby and Gambit would take the ball first. While the two X-Men headed to the other end of the yard with the football, Jean-Luc kneeled down between the boys.

"All right, dis is the planů" he whispered and explained his play to the boys. There was much giggling and peeking back at the X-Men.

At the other end of the yard, Gambit sighed, "Dat don' look good, mon ami."

"What, your dad?"


"Oh come on, he's just helping the boys figure out what to do."

"Dat's what's not so good, non? You don' know my pere. He's a devious man."

"And Wolvie always wondered where you got it from."

"Very funny, but you no' going to be laughing in a minute, just you wait and see."

In a minute the boys yelled that they were ready. Jean-Luc's trademark smile was even bigger than usual. Gambit hiked the ball to Bobby and quickly ran down the "field." To Bobby's surprise, Jean- Luc and the boy's didn't rush him. In fact, they didn't move much at all. Bobby quickly tossed Gambit the ball and ran towards Jean-Luc to give Gambit a little defense. The Cajun X-Man was also keeping an eye on his father. In doing so, he completely missed the patch of ice that sprung up in the grass at his feet. He saw sky, he saw his feet, and then, after landing, he saw stars.

Jean-Luc's face leaned over him and said, "I'll take dat ball if you don' mind."

Bobby was barreling at the thief at full speed. He saw the older man take the ball from a dazed Gambit, but before he could tackle, the ball sailed over his head.

Remy was standing near what had been decided was the end field. He was doing just as his grandpere had told him. He saw the older him go down hard and BJ snicker from the backfield. Bobby looked clueless. Suddenly, the ball was flying at him. He caught the throw with a grunt and stepped across the imaginary line.

"We win," Jean-Luc said simply.

"Hey! Nobody said we could use powers!" Bobby whined and helped Remy up.

"Oui, but you didn't say we couldn't either, non?"

Before Bobby or Gambit could respond to this, William yelled through the smoke.

"Dinner's ready!"

BJ held his plate and stared up at his adopted grandfather. While Jean-Luc had been much more accepting of the boys, and Maddie had doted on them, William had kept a bit of distance.

"What do you want, a hamburger or hot dog?"

"Um, what are you going to eat?" BJ asked.


"I want what you're going to eat."



William sighed and put a hamburger on BJ's plate. The boy smiled back up at him, and for a moment, he felt thrown back in time. How many times had Bobby stared up at him and smiled like that? How many of those times had he been gruff with the boy?

"Come on, I'll help you put your stuff on it."

He took the plate in one hand and a small hand in the other. William helped BJ climb up on a chair next to the folding table with all of the hamburger fixings.

"What do you want on it?" he asked.

"What are you going to put on yours?"

"How did I know you were going to ask that?"

"I don't know."

"Well what do you like on your hamburgers?"

"I don't know."

"Haven't you ever eaten one before?" BJ dropped his head and looked a bit upset.

"No," he whispered, "I don't know what to do."

"Oh. Well don't worry, I'll help you."

Across the yard, Maddie sat beside Bobby and nudged him in the ribs with her elbow. Bobby, who was in the middle of a story, gave a slight yelp. When he turned to his mother he saw her staring over towards the house. He looked and saw his father bending over BJ and smiling. The boy looked thrilled.

"Is he actually smiling?" Bobby asked in a stage whisper that had the whole table watching William and BJ.

"I think so," Maddie whispered back loudly.

William straightened and helped BJ back to the ground. When they turned to head back to the table, he realized the whole lot of them were watching him.

"What?" he asked gruffly and led BJ over to the table.

"Ah! Dat reminds me. Remy here tol' me about you having to cancel your second honeymoon plans to come home," Jean-Luc said as the rest of the table tried not to snicker.

"Yes," Maddie sighed, "we missed the cruise."

"Well if you had just called back," Bobby mumbled under his breath.

"Well, I have some friends in de travel industry, and, well, here."

Jean-Luc pulled out an envelope from his coat that was draped across the picnic bench. He handed it to Maddie and watched her gasp as she opened it.

"What is it?" William asked.


"What? LeBeau, I thought we talked about handouts. It doesn't suit the boys and it certainly doesn't suit us."

Jean-Luc raised a hand in defense. "It's no' a hand out, mon ami. I got de cruise company to give you a refund on de tickets. I thought dat since you didn't get to go on your cruise maybe you could use de money right here. Dat's why I made reservations for you both in de honeymoon suite of de Millennium Broadway in New York."

Maddie gasped again and William began to protest again, but Bobby quickly cut him off.

"What a great idea! Mom has been nagging me to take her into the city to do some shopping. Plus, you guys could see a show, and just spend time together. I think it's a great idea. I mean, I feel bad that you guys cancelled your trip to come home because of me."

"Oh William!" Maddie said and looked hopeful.

"All right. All right. I know when I'm licked. What about the boys though?"

"That's right. We just met them. I'd hate to just run off and spend a week away."

"Don' you worry about dat, Mrs. Drake. I thought of dat too. I have a suite at de hotel an' Remy, Bobby, an' de boys can stay wid me. If you want to do somet'ing wid them, they'll be right dere. Besides, dere are all kinds of neat t'ings for de boys to do. Dere's de zoo, an' museums, an' t'ings. Dey'll have a great time."

"We can go too!" BJ said with a huge grin.

Remy looked hopeful as well.

Jean-Luc laughed, "Oui, you can go too."

Everyone started talking excitedly, but Bobby remained silent. Somehow, the thought of BJ and Remy loose in New York made him uneasy.

continued >>

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