Hank blinked and peered over Jamie's shoulder, at the notes he was
making on a scrap of paper. They were supposed to be data notes, but
mostly it consisted of eyes and smiles and cartoon Icemen. And the
name "Bobby" written in different ways all over the paper.
Hank smothered his laugh and tapped Jamie on his shoulder.
"Hmmm?" the young man said, not really paying attention.
"Why don't you go get ready? I know you and Bobby have a date tonight,
and I wouldn't want to make you late."
Jamie blinked. "If you're sure you don't need me," he said, looking
around as if seeing the lab for the first time.
"I'm sure," Hank said, knowing that even if he did need Jamie, the
young man was going to be pretty worthless. "Go."
Jamie nodded and stood up, leaving. He reappeared a moment later,
took the lab coat off, hung it up with a sheepish grin and a dull
blush, and left again.
Hank chuckled and turned back to his work.
Jamie perched on the pier rail and ate his ice cream, watching Bobby
The night had been wonderful. They'd gone to a hole-in-the-wall,
completely casual little Italian restaurant. They'd talked about everything
and nothing, all at once. Jamie hadn't been happier in days. Just
being in Bobby's presence was like a balm, and he was able to forget
the constant nagging and uncertainties in the back of his mind. He
remembered why he had come with Bobby to the X-Men.
"Jamie," Bobby said, staring out over the water, "does it bother
you that I'm six years older? I mean, that's not really a lot -- but
sometimes it seems like a lot." He looked up, his blue eyes questing.
Jamie froze, the question taking him by surprise. He licked his ice
cream cone slowly, stalling for time. "What brought that subject about?"
he asked after a moment, careful to sound casual.
Bobby frowned and lifted one shoulder in a shrug, looking back out
over the ocean. "Your dupe. That whole thing this morning." He looked
up again, blue eyes searching Jamie's face. "Does it bother you?"
Jamie hesitated. "No," he said finally, honestly. "It only bothers
me if I think I'm bugging you or you think I'm too young or something."
Bobby grinned and turned around, leaning back against the rail. "It
never bothers me. I never think you're too young," he said happily,
sounding very relieved. "But after what happened earlier--"
Jamie frowned. He didn't like to think about that. He still didn't
know why his dupes were acting so strangely. "Some part of me feels
a little bit that way," he finally said, half frightened that Bobby
would take his words the wrong way, "but it's a very little part.
And I don't like that part."
Bobby stopped talking, and nodded slowly. "It's okay to be unsure,
you know," he said. "I think everyone is about something."
Jamie smiled and looked at Bobby. The starlight dusted his hair,
turning it the color of bleached seashells. "What are you uncertain
Bobby laughed. "Oh, God," he sighed, smiling. "What aren't
I uncertain about?" He stopped, and glanced up. "Well, that's easy.
You. But as for things I'm uncertain about ... every time we go into
battle, I'm afraid that I'll do something wrong. I don't know what
to do about my dad. I haven't spoken with him since the plane accident.
I'm uncertain whenever I try and cook."
"Is it half a tablespoon, or one to two tablespoons?"
Jamie rolled his eyes and shook his head, though his cheeks were
still creased with dimples. Bobby was smiling when Jamie looked back
down at him, and his heart stuttered into his throat, picking up the
beat and leaping around maniacally. There was so much love
in those bottomless blue eyes.
"We're gonna be late for our movie," Jamie murmured after a moment.
"Yeah," Bobby said, and blinked, looking away.
Jamie tore his own gaze away, looking out at the storefronts across
"How long have we been going out, Jamie?" Bobby asked as Jamie jumped
off the rail and started walking down the sidewalk.
Jamie had to stop and think about it. "We met over a month ago,"
he said at last, nodding and starting forward again. "Like, a month
and a half." He stopped and laughed, looking at Bobby with a grin.
"Almost two months ago!"
Bobby grabbed Jamie around his waist, swinging him in a full circle
before kissing him soundly and releasing him.
Jamie laughed. "What was that for?"
"I'm glad you live close to me," Bobby answered simply. "Think maybe
we could start seeing each other more?"
Jamie smiled a little, aware of how busy they'd both been lately.
Gathering his courage and then summoning it all up, he reached out
and took Bobby's hand in his. "I'd like that," he said softly, and
was brave enough to lace his fingers through the other man's.
Bobby smiled in the starlight and tightened his grip. Jamie moved
closer, and they walked down the street toward the theater hand-in-hand.
The mansion was dark when they got back. Jamie flicked on the lights,
while Bobby checked his pager. It hadn't gone off, but maybe it'd
been turned on sleep or something...
No, there was no emergency page.
"Here's a note," Jamie called from the kitchen.
Bobby walked through the door, pausing for just a moment to see Jamie
standing, his green trenchcoat swirling about his black slacks.
"It says that Warren, Jean, Scott and Betsy went out to dinner. Hank's
in the lab. Logan took his Harley and went 'riding.' Remy had a family
emergency, and grabbed a flight down to Louisiana, and Rogue, Sam
and Storm went flying together. Be back later."
Bobby blinked. Then he smiled. Jean had cleared the house for him,
that little sneak. "Want popcorn?" he chirped. "Watch a movie?"
"We just saw a movie," Jamie laughed.
Bobby shrugged. "We could play cards. I'm not tired."
Jamie paused, cocking his head to one side as he considered, then
Bobby made popcorn. When he was done he headed out to the den, where
Jamie was already sitting barefoot on the couch, legs folded Indian
style. "Poker?" Jamie asked, smiling.
Bobby grinned. "Mm," he murmured approvingly.
The light from the only lamp that was turned on was shining on Jamie's
black silk shirt, sending sparkles dancing and sliding across his
chest. Deft hands dealt cards swiftly, then Jamie scooped up his own
and leaned back against the couch.
Bobby folded himself into a cross-legged position, facing Jamie on
the sofa, the cards on the cushion between them. "Same rules as before?"
Jamie laughed. "Yeah. Loser wins."
The first round went to Jamie, and Bobby pouted. "I think I should
get a consolation prize," he said on a sigh.
Jamie laughed and leaned forward to kiss him.
Bobby had a hunch that that kiss was a lot more than Jamie had meant
to give, and when the younger man pulled back he was slightly breathless.
He cleared his throat three times before he was finally able to speak.
"No more prizes for the losers," Jamie said, and sat back.
Bobby blinked. Damn. What a kiss. He cleared his own throat and tried
to concentrate on his cards.
The next round went to him. He almost offered to give Jamie a kiss,
and then decided it was probably a bad idea, the way he was feeling.
They played three more rounds before Bobby realized Jamie had been
squirming. He watched closer, noted the other man kept rubbing at
his neck and upper shoulders. "You okay?" Bobby asked finally.
Jamie flashed a brief smile. "Just a little sore."
"From what?" Bobby asked, knowing full well Jamie hadn't been in
the Danger Room.
Jamie cringed. "Looking down at a microscope. Kills my neck. Hank
keeps saying he's going to make better ones and get rich off it, but
he says a lot of things." Jamie grinned, rolling his eyes upward.
Bobby smiled and stood, unfolding his long legs and watching Jamie's
brown eyes snap down to look at him.
"What are you doing?" Jamie asked, craning his neck curiously to
look at Bobby over his shoulder when Bobby crouched on the sofa behind
"Fixing those muscles," Bobby answered. He reached up and put his
hands on either side of Jamie's neck, then half-frowned and made Jamie
look straight ahead. Once the younger man was staying put, Bobby let
his hands travel back to the shoulders and neck before him, feeling
the tenseness there even beneath the green trenchcoat. "Gimme this,"
Bobby muttered, pulling the coat away and tossing it on the floor.
He thought he heard Jamie muttter, "That's gonna happen," but he
wasn't sure. Bobby ignored it and applied himself to making those
muscles release, smiling ten minutes later when Jamie finally relaxed
completely and sighed.
"That's so much better," the younger man said, letting his head roll
with the motion of Bobby's hands.
Bobby rubbed at a spot that was still tight, then ran his hands up
Jamie's neck and into his scalp, checking for tense muscles. None
there, so he brushed his hands down over that silk, over shoulders
and then arms, and down Jamie's back. Unfortunately, Jamie was relaxed
and no other knots needed to be worked out.
Bobby sighed, then couldn't help himself and sat forward to kiss
Jamie's neck. Goosebumps rose on the younger man's tan skin, and Bobby
grinned and kissed him again.
Jamie wasn't protesting. In fact, he was still leaning back into
Bobby's hands. So Bobby kissed him again, on his jaw, and then bit
He turned around, smiled swiftly, and kissed Bobby back.
Bobby let his hands slide up Jamie's chest, over that black silk,
and felt the other man do the same over his back. And then--wonder
of holy wonders -- there were hands inside his shirt, running
over bare skin, and his heart picked up triple time while other places
on him got even more excited.
Breathless, Bobby pulled away slightly to better get at Jamie's throat,
which the other man encouraged by tipping his head back, and to better
get at Jamie's ears, and his jaw, and his collarbones just beneath
that teasing black silk, leaving teeth and tongue marks on it all.
And then Jamie groaned. Bobby felt those hands stutter and tighten
against his shoulders, and he found he couldn't reach nearly enough
of the younger man.
Bobby's muscles were nearly shivering, and his breath--much like
Jamie's from what he could hear--was coming hard in his chest. He
pushed Jamie back--
And yelped as they both fell right off the edge of the couch in a
tangle of limbs.
Bobby, sprawled on top of Jamie, whose legs were still on the couch,
groaned and rested his forehead against Jamie's chest. He could hear
the younger man's heartbeat, staccato, against his ribs. Then Jamie
inhaled deepy and squirmed, trying to untangle his legs. Bobby muttered
beneath his breath, lifting himself up until Jamie could free himself,
then propping his upper body on his elbows, one on either side of
Jamie's flushed face, and looking down.
"Is your head okay?" Bobby asked after clearing his throat, and realized
his voice was still a lot hoarser than usual.
Jamie nodded wordlessly, looking slightly frustrated.
Bobby nodded. He licked his lips -- watched, fascinated, as Jamie
did the same. Such nice lips, those ... and such a wonderful tongue,
that ... "Maybe I should check it," he said, all consideration for
his possibly-hurt boyfriend.
Jamie nodded again.
Bobby cleared his throat, reminding himself that Jamie might be having
second thoughts (oh God please no) and he should probably give the
man a chance to back out ... "So we could either have Hank check it
in the medlab, or you could come with me back to my room, and we could
check it there."
Jamie licked his lips again--oh Lord what an unconscious tease! --
and said solemnly, "I think you should check it. In your room."
"You're sure?" Bobby asked softly.
Bobby nodded in return and rolled off Jamie, then turned to help
him to his feet. He kissed him again, and meant it to be fast, but
somehow it didn't end up that way.
"Oh, Jesus," Bobby groaned into Jamie's mouth. "Upstairs. Up. Upupupupup."
Jamie nodded against him, chuckling, and the two men stumbled up
the stairs -- somehow managing to never quite break contact.
When Logan came home the mansion was still dark. There were lights
on in the boathouse, and he could smell Warren, Scott, Jean and Betsy
all within. Rogue, Sam and Ororo were still out, from the sound and
smell of things.
Then Logan's eyebrows rose. Still from the smell of things, the boys
had definitely come home.
He walked cautiously into the living room, able to smell the arousal
in the air (and, dammit, what that did to his poor abused body!),
then smiled grudgingly when he saw the trenchcoat on the floor, sitting
guard with the popcorn, shoes, socks and scattered cards.
Logan sniffed the popcorn, found it unharmed, and ate a handful before
glancing up the stairs.
There was a black silk shirt on the rail of the first landing. Up
higher was a blue cotton shirt, piled on the floor. Logan didn't want
to know what he'd find past that.
He picked up the popcorn, shoved the shoes, socks and trenchcoat
to one side, swept the cards back into a neat pile, and flopped down
on the sofa. With one hand he snatched up the remote from the floor,
and with the other he cradled his appropriated snack. He flipped on
the television, paused as his keen hearing caught a thump from upstairs,
then sighed and turned the channel to something noisy. The boys weren't
what his poor abused body needed to be listening to.
He woke up with the feeling of warmth, and love, and comfort. And
Jamie stretched, feeling soft flannel sheets slide over his body,
and a soft feather pillow holding his head, and there was an arm slung
over his ribs.
An arm slung over his ribs?
Oh. Yeah. Jamie smiled and curled back into the warmth against him,
feeling legs tangle with his own sleepily. "You're awake?" he murmured,
eyes still closed.
Jamie smiled. That was just how he felt, too. So he turned over,
shoved his head up near Bobby's shoulder, wrapped his arms securely
around that other form, and went back to sleep.
They slept most of the morning. It was eleven before Jamie felt Bobby
get up. A moment later the bed sank, as if someone had just sat down
"Jamie," Bobby whispered into his ear, warm breath stirring his hair.
Jamie had to admit that it sounded tempting. But then, so did sleep.
He decided the shower could wait, and kept his eyes closed.
"Wanna shower with me?" Bobby asked softly, and bit his ear.
Jamie shivered, and cracked one eye open. "Is there enough room?"
he asked, his voice hoarse.
"Yeah," Bobby chuckled.
Jamie shivered again when those teeth kept nipping at his ear, and
then there was a tongue, and hot breath, and--
Jamie turned over and wrapped his arms around Bobby, pulling him
Bobby laughed as they landed in a heap on the bed together. "Is that
a yes?" he asked, hands wandering.
"Mmm," Jamie answered, grinning.
Well, his mind chattered as Bobby got back up and pulled Jamie
to his feet, now you can honestly say you're lovers.
And whatta way to lose your virginity. Jamie blushed just remembering
it, but followed Bobby happily into the shower.
The showering took a lot longer than it normally did for either one
"I was beginning to think you'd died in your sleep," Scott noted
dryly as Jamie walked -- shuffled, really -- into the kitchen.
Jamie smiled and blushed. Scott glanced at Jean, who was trying to
keep from laughing. She covered her mouth and left the room, leaving
only Scott, Jamie, and Sam.
Scott blinked behind his wraparound glasses. "Is there something
I should know?"
Jamie blushed even brighter. "No," he said, his voice rough. Scott
wondered, briefly, what might have caused it. There wasn't any reason
for Jamie to lose his voice that Scott knew of. Bobby and Jamie had
gone to a movie, not a concert.
Jamie walked, head ducked, to the cupboard with the cereal. He got
out Cocoa Puffs and two bowls, then poured one bowl with cereal and
milk, leaving the other bowl filled with just cereal. He carried his
breakfast -- though really, it was lunch -- to the kitchen table and
Scott eyed him. There was something here he should be catching ...
"What do you have on your neck?"
Jamie glanced down, pulled the collar of his black button-down shirt
away, and tried to glare at his neck.
"It's like a rash," Scott said, walking over and looking himself.
Jean, composed now, walked back into the room. She almost started
laughing again when she saw what they were looking at, and Scott glared
at her. He really didn't see what was so funny about a rash.
"Maybe you should get Hank to look at that," he was saying. "Maybe
you're allergic to something around here?"
"I don't think that's it, sweetheart," Jean said, her voice trembling
on a chuckle.
Scott glared up at her. She wasn't helping. And she wasn't sharing
through their link, either. "Then what do you think it is?" he growled.
Jean, still trying not to smile, came over to inspect Jamie's shoulder
and neck. She swallowed hard. Opened her mouth. Was obviously about
to start laughing, and so closed it again. She swallowed. Took a deep
breath, and finally said, "Scott, dear, doesn't that look like my
neck when you haven't shaved recently?"
Scott blinked at her. He didn't see what that had to do with -- oh.
He blushed brightly. "Uh, sorry Jamie."
Jamie had nearly buried his head in his food, and was red from clear
down his chest -- what they could see of it -- up into his hairline.
Sam's mouth twitched, but he continued resolutely reading the paper.
"Tell Bobby to shave," Jean advised Jamie, eyes twinkling.
Head still ducked as far as it would go, Jamie nodded.
Why didn't you tell me it was beard-rash, before
I embarrassed the both of us?! Scott hissed mentally.
I'm sorry, sweetheart! I didn't know for sure, though! And, well,
I didn't want Sam embarrassing himself then, by asking.
Scott grumbled mentally, but didn't say anything else.
Ororo walked in, as regal as always. She went to the refrigerator
and pulled out orange juice, pouring it into a tall glass. "Hello,
Jamie," she said warmly. "How was your date last night?"
Jamie blushed bright red. "It was ... um ... good," he muttered into
From behind the paper, there was a tiny muffled noise.
"Hey, guys!" Bobby chirped, walking into the room and looking considerably
more awake than Jamie. "What's up?"
Sam dropped the paper and started laughing. His forehead thumped
to the table, his shoulders shaking, his breath coming in gasps as
he fought to control himself at least a little -- and failed miserably.
"What -- what's up!" he laughed, tears running down his face.
Jamie slid lower in his chair. He was almost purple, he was so red.
Ororo lifted an eyebrow at Sam, whose face was buried in his arms.
"Ya'll didn't see the boys' wing last night!" Sam laughed
into the table. He turned his head until his pale blue eyes met Bobby's
deep ones. "You guys left ya clothes all ovah the floor!"
Scott's lips twitched.
Jamie was sliding down in his chair, and Scott was certain that at
any moment he'd slide right off and fall on the floor. Bobby stepped
forward, grinning impishly, and put his hands on Jamie's shoulders.
Scott nodded mentally. Good boy. Jamie needed some support.
"We were having too much fun to pay attention to clothes," Bobby
grinned. "Figured whatever guy was home first would pick them up for
us. Are they in your room, Sam?"
"The -- the laundry," Sam said through hiccuping laughter.
Scott moved forward just as Jean telepathically asked him to do something
before Jamie fainted from embarrassment.
"Hey, Sam, I need to ask you a question or two about that last training
session," Scott said, walking quickly and grabbing Sam's arm. With
a heave he hauled the younger man to his feet, pulling him out of
the room tripping and stumbling. Behind them, Sam's chair clattered
to the ground.
"What's up!" Sam cackled, nearly in hysterics as Scott dragged him
from the room.
Scott eyed him, trying not to laugh as they rounded the corner and
continued, away from the kitchen and Jamie's embarrassment.
Sam was still laughing when Scott left him in the den to compose
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