Disclaimer: These characters are not mine, they're KJ's. Well, I suppose they're technically Marvel's, but KJ is much nicer to them. :) No money being made. D'oh!
Many, many thanks for the amazing KJ for continous inspiration, the fantabulous Kael for beta reading above and beyond the call of duty, and the cute Kiko, for spending a week at my house and making me feel better when I was sick. And getting me to post. :)
This is for my sister, for no reason in particular other than that I love her, and I'm continuously amazed how well she faces a 'world that hates and fears' her. Love ya, Katie-bird.

*Open minds.

Blizzards in Hell
by Heatherly

"Fucking fags!" The shout carries across the park from the flannel clad man in a hunter's jacket.

Two lips break contact as the owners react. The taller of the couple leans back and rolls his eyes, muttering an expletive under his breath. The shorter sighs, and his face becomes downcast. Both ignore the hunter but watch carefully as he retreats back to his car, mission accomplished.

Leaning back against the tree, the shorter, blond man watches the squirrels play, pensive. His partner leans back as well, watching his face closely.

"You ok?"

"Yeah." He thinks a moment then shakes his head. "No. It'll never end, will it?"

"Whatcha talking about?"

"The hate."

A shrug. "Maybe, maybe not. Dey'll always find something else to hate."

"And if he'd come closer? If he'd noticed?"

A puzzled look.

He clarifies by indicating the pair of dark sunglasses. Another shrug is the response. "It would've been something else to hate, right? Two reasons instead of one."

"S'pose so."

The blond shifts position to look earnestly into his lover's eyes. "So why aren't we fighting that too? We just fight one kinda hate. There's so much more out there!"

A cynical laugh. "We just superheros, we not God."

"Yeah, well God's not doing a hell of a lot, is he?"

"Don't think dat's his job."

He blinks. "What do you mean?"

"S'pose there is a God. He makes us. Gave us free will, right? Free will means we screw up, an' it's our fault. He s'posed to fix it when we make mistakes? How we gonna learn if he does that?"

He considers. "Yeah...but what if we don't know how to fix it? What's the point of letting us live all screwed up with no chances of ever getting it right?"

"Dere is a chance, though, dat's the point. People don't want to always hate, dey try to change things. Dat's why you got activists and protest groups–"

"And none of them ever make a difference. And we don't make a difference. Attitudes aren't changing about mutants. They're not changing about fags. They're not changing about nig–"

"Don't say dat. Laws get passed. Attitudes do change. It not gonna happen overnight."

"Is it gonna happen at all?"


"How can you be so sure about that?" He reaches up and pulls the sunglasses off. Conflicted blue eyes meet calm red on black ones. "With everything that's happened to us? To you? To the team? Is it any different now than it was five years ago? Is it really any better?"


"But how?"

A soft smile. "I have you."

Blue eyes open wide then quickly look away. A soft blush rises. "How...I mean. I...thank you, and all, and I...you know...you know I...about you, too...but...but how does that make it better?"

"Cause I know it's worth it. Dat the ‘Dream', whatever the hell it is, dat it means something. It don't matter if dere's peace on earth, and people stop hating each other. It don't matter if people stop caring about who loves who. It don't matter if you stop the hate unless you got something to replace it with. I fight on the team not to stop people from hating, but cause I got people to fight for. An' I'll fight for people to stop hating us not cause it's a good thing, and it's moral an' ethical an' all; I'll fight cause it's for you. You're the meaning." The red-black eyes look away, then back. He continues more calmly. "Fighting to stop hatred is an abstract. I don't fight for abstracts. Fighting because I wanna keep the people I love alive and well, dat's the meaning. Dat's the point."

"You don't just fight to stop hate, you work to make love?"

A wry grin. "Yeah. ‘Sides. You never gonna stop people from hating completely. An' you have to have a little hate..." He waits.

Blue eyes roll. "So you know what love is?" His partner nods. He laughs softly. "That whole, gotta have darkness so you can see the light thing?"

A shrug and nod. "Dat's the idea, anyway."

"So the hate'll never stop?"

"Nope. Not till dere's blizzards in Hell."

He thinks, and slowly a smile spreads across his face as he leans in to drop a quick kiss on his lover's lips. "But it doesn't matter if they hate us, because...hey. I got you babe."

His partner groans. "Not if you start singing, you don't."

The pair rise and walk out of the shaded area, arms defiantly intertwined.

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