saga/title/fandom: Fool (X-Men)

author: Khirsah

rating/genre: (NC-17) - Drama/Romance

warnings: slash, language, heated sexual content

summary: Bobby's good at making excuses.

comments/disclaimers:I do not own these characters. They are property of Marvel. Never mention Don Johnson in a fic. The moment it happened, all I could hear was that horrible song he recorded. Verily, I have suffered for my porn. Feedback of all kinds accepted gladly at erful Jean-Paul muse as well as Quiva and Ailei and their magnificent beta skills. Thank you all so very much. Special thanks to Framling for translating Quebec French for me. I'm experimenting with a new writing style and thought I'd feed my obsession while doing it. Specific spoilers for Uncanny X-Men 414, 415, 418, and 419. General spoilers for all others.

Standing in the kitchen watching the microwave count down the minutes, he's aware, in a way he doesn't want to explore, of Jean-Paul just a room away. There's the sound of the television: some nighttime drama with, thankfully, no laugh track but enough ridiculousness to make Jean-Paul snort and mutter at odd intervals.

"Ton amour est platte comme ton oestie de dépression de marde. Si ça t'fait mal d'rester, crisse le camp!"

He wishes he'd paid more attention in high school French. He wonders why he gives a fuck. He stares at the green numbers. 1:15, 1:14, 1:13.

The window's open and most of the cars are gone from the garage. The children are asleep, or really *should* be but Bobby's barely old enough to be parent to himself and he sure as hell isn't going to start playing father figure to a bunch of kids. Besides, he and fathers never really mixed.

Something he figures he has in common with Jean-Paul. One of the things. Not that he considers it. Or cares.

1:00. :59. The popping's so loud he can barely hear the television and he certainly can't hear the murmured commentary in French. He shifts from foot to foot, running a hand through his brown hair and figures maybe this weekend he'll remember to get it cut. It never seems important enough, but he notices it at odd moments. Standing in front of his mirror staring at the patch of ice that's taking over his chest and he looks up through long strands to think

// I may be dying. I may be turning into a fucking block of ice. I need to go to SuperCuts.//

Now he twists a strand about his index finger and listens to the quick pop pop pop of kernels bursting from their shells. The mansion feels oddly still around him and maybe that's what drew him down here in the first place. Maybe he just needs to hear something normal instead of the eerie quiet of a place that is never still, not even in the darkest shadows of 4 am.

Pop. Pop. The television making its way through the pauses. Channels changing: Jean-Paul must have gotten fed up with the drama. It didn't sound like his type of show anyway. Too many sobbing confessions of love. Bobby's confessed love two times in his life but he didn't cry during either of them. The tears came later, at the end. He figures Jean-Paul may have confessed love at some point, too, but he can't imagine him crying *ever*.

Pop and done. Bobby starts at the sharp beep, reaching up to open the microwave door and tug out the hot bag. Steam curls up at the edges and he's pretty sure a few kernels burned but not as bad as last time: he's getting better at paying attention. A little better. Good enough.

He goes to get the big bowl and opens the bag, pulling his face away from the sudden puff of butter-flavored steam. Upending the bag, popcorn spilling into the bowl and, yes, he has burned a few. He fishes them out with burned fingers and curses as he flicks them into the sink to lie in soggy, blackened little lumps. More salt and some garlic and, okay, a little cheese powder but not enough to stain his hands this time. Bobby grabs napkins and pauses by the refrigerator to get a soda. Pauses again and, well, why the hell not?, grabs two.

Bowl balanced on his hip, one soda under his chin and the other tucked in an armpit, Bobby leaves the kitchen and makes his way to the tv room.

Jean-Paul's changed the station to the movie channel. Something about a serial killer, Bobby thinks. Overweight white cops scratching their heads over mutilated corpses.

"Pop?" he asks almost idly as he sits down on the couch. Jean-Paul's in the middle so he can't keep from brushing their legs together. Not his fault. Not even his fault when it happens again as he shifts to put the popcorn on the coffee table and excavates the soda from his armpit. One good thing about his low body temperature: he hasn't warmed it any.

"Oui, merci." Their fingers brush as Bobby hands it over and, okay, that *was* his fault. But excusable. Jean-Paul barely glances at him, features cool and distant, eyes focusing back on the screen. Close-up of a dead girl. Laughably bad special effects gore.

Bobby shifts again, opening his drink. It spills a little over his fingers and he licks it off quickly, trying to become engrossed by the show. Ropey intestines and kidney and, really, the liver doesn't look like that. He wonders if he should be proud that he recognizes the liver or worried that he knows so very *well* what an eviscerated girl should look like.

Figures it's Logan's fault anyway and not worth worrying over.

Jean-Paul hasn't moved to his side of the couch and it's into the first commercial. First shared commercial, Bobby amends. First commercial between them and this horrible serial killer show. He flushes a little at the thought of anything being between them, then stuffs his mouth with popcorn as if that can silence his internal monologue. Annie shouldn't have told him Jean-Paul was gay. Sure, that was awhile ago and sure, he should have known-he wonders abstractly how he missed the fact that Jean-Paul had written a God-damned *book* about being a gay super hero-but still. It wasn't her secret to tell.

Not that Jean-Paul would have told him. Not that Bobby would have blamed him. He was cruel enough in the beginning as it was. Mocking. Rounding on him and daring to threaten him over leaving Warren to face the werewolves. Stupid of him. Warren was an X-Man. Jean-Paul was too. A teammate.

Shame is a funny thing. It feels a lot like butterflies in his stomach. It feels, oddly, like the way Lorna made him feel before she dropped him for Alex then went stark raving mad.

Like... electricity where they touched. Thigh to thigh and Jean-Paul really *should* have moved by now.

End of commercials. Fat White Cop 1 telling Fat White Cop 2 everything you already knew if you ever paid any attention to Magnum PI and Miami Vice. Stupid Hank with his stupid hogging of the tv-Bobby's youth was peppered with MASH and Don Johnson and the A-Team and, oddly enough, Mary Tyler Moore whenever Scott got control of the remote. It used to end up in confusing wet dreams where he was kissing Mary in a medic tent and trying desperately not to watch as Don Johnson rubbed his perfect bubble butt against Mr. T's swelling crotch.

No wonder he was so sexually confused. He'd never gotten over his early programming.

Another body and Bobby glances over to watch Jean-Paul's profile. He has a sharp nose that you could ski off of and an oddly-shaped mouth. The upper lip is thin and the bottom lip more full, making him look sulky and vaguely pissed off even when relaxing back in jeans and a tee-shirt. The silver and black hair is tucked behind pointed ears that always seem to draw Bobby's eyes. Never his hands, though he's always tempted. Always tempted.

A scream onscreen and Jean-Paul turns his head to catch him watching. Bobby flushes a little and reaches to grab the bowl of popcorn before turning back to meet those impossible to read blue eyes. He has the urge to say something mocking or nasty, but he bites his lip to swallow the impulse. No. No he doesn't want to start another fight, even in the face of Jean-Paul's ironically raised brow.

He holds out the bowl and Jean-Paul takes a small handful, nodding in thanks before turning back to the television, obviously choosing to ignore the minor infraction.

"Tu etes... bienvenu," Bobby tries. Hank always used to say that he knew enough to get himself in trouble.

Blue eyes looking at him again, head tilting as Jean-Paul laughs. Bobby has a moment to wonder whether he said something inappropriate-kiss me now?-before Jean-Paul explains. "I believe you mean 'de rien', otter pop," he says, taking a bite of the popcorn. His lower lip seems even fuller when he chews. "You have just formally welcomed me into the building."

"Well," Bobby says, offering the bowl again. "Welcome to the building, Tink!" He gestures dramatically, then, growing serious for a moment, he leans in. "And, you know. Welcome to the X-Men."

A dark brow arches. Jean-Paul could have been a Vulcan, Bobby figures, with the pointing ears and arching brows and, oh yeah, *thanks* Jean for the fucked up dreams about Spock and Orion slave girls. "You are a bit late with that one, mon ami."

Bobby shrugs, a little uncomfortable. "I know," he admits. "I... wasn't so eager to welcome you before. So, you know. Sorry and shit."

This earns a snort. "All right, what did you do?" he asks, turning more to look at him. Physical contact as thigh rubs against thigh and there are those butterflies again. "Have you iced my sheets and are trying to get on my good side before I go to bed?"

Setting the popcorn aside, Bobby raises his hands. "You have a *good* side?" he tries, smirking. Jean-Paul smirks back and arches that brow again. Bobby raises his own in an almost exact mimicry. "Mmmaayybbe." He drawls out the word.

Jean-Paul slouches down into the couch, lower lip thrusting out in a pout. "That is cruel."

"I am an unusually cruel man, Tink."

He glowers, affronted look at odds with the really rather ridiculous pout. "And what is this Tink business?" he demands, arms folding across his thin chest.

Bobby grins widely, feeling oddly comfortable even with the strange flutter of excitement. "I figure if you're going to call me otter pop, I've gotta have some kind of retort," he says. "Maybe not a *clever* one, but still. And, you know, with your ears, you kinda look like a fairy. Tinkerbell. Tink." He leans in, not allowing himself to think about it, and finally gives into the desire to brush his fingers across the sharp tip of those pointed ears.

Jean-Paul freezes, breath catching noticeably before he bats Bobby's hand away. "Do not do that."

"Why, does it tickle?" Fuck, he wants to touch again. His fingertips are tingling.

"I am not," the other man begins before waving off his own words. "Something like that," he finally relents.

And Bobby knows he'll get in trouble for it and he knows he really *shouldn't* but it seems as if his hand has other ideas because he's reaching out again to run his thumb over the tip and lightly pinch. "No mercy," he says, trying to ignore the quick pound of his heart.

Oh, *oh* Jean-Paul's body *jerks* as he gasps, hips pushing up before he suddenly lifts into the air, aristocratic features drawn into a dark scowl. "I asked you not to, Drake," he says, legs curing up a little as he floats there.

And, well, shit. The last thing Bobby wants is to start bickering with Jean-Paul again. He's not sure exactly what it is he *does* want, but sharp words and sarcasm and cruelty while, sure, easy as breathing to them both is certainly not it. "Sorry!" he protests, holding up his palms as if in surrender. "Sorry! I won't do it again, okay?" The other man is still glowering and isn't it *just* like Bobby to fuck things up? "I was just... okay, I fucked up, sure. But. I was just trying to be..." God, to admit it? Jean-Paul has a tongue like a scalpel and can slice away at him with a few carefully-chosen words. "I was just trying to be, you know. Nice. Playful. I was trying to make friendly." He sighs and shoves his hand through his hair, and yes, he needs a haircut *bad*. "I'm sorry. I. It didn't hurt, did it?" Vulnerable and truthful. He hasn't felt like this since he was a kid with scraped knees and a tear-stained face and more hope than he knew what to do with.

"... Non." He lands on his feet, sitting back down on the couch, further away from Bobby this time. Wary. Staring fixedly at the television.

A large part of him screams for him to leave it there, but he never was good at listening to himself. "Popcorn?" he offers, a little desperately. "Look," he tries when Jean-Paul brushes him off with an imperious wave, "I won't do it again. I won't put a fucking finger on you, promise. I was just trying to be..." He shrugs and slouches back, frowning. "You know. Friendly."

Still staring at the tv as if the movie were any good. "My ears... they are sensitive," he says finally. "I am sorry that I went... postal, oui?"

"No, it's all right," Bobby cuts in quickly. He turns to look at the television as well, feeling almost ridiculously relieved. "I'd do the same if you tickled me or something. I'm hella ticklish."

"I pity those who are ticklish," Jean-Paul agrees with a nod. "It is a horrible weakness."

Bobby snorts, relaxing. He finds himself breathing again and wonders when he stopped. "Hell yes. Hank used to use it against me all the time."

The dark cloud that passes over Jean-Paul's face is sudden and inexplicable. "I imagine it was useful for him."

"Yeah," he agrees, brow furrowing. "It'd keep me in line."

Jean-Paul nods sharply, lips pressed together. Something's pissed him off and Bobby can't quite figure what even when he traces over everything he's said. It almost looks like jealousy, but that's so stupid Bobby doesn't even really consider it. Who'd be jealous of his friendship, especially now? Thing is, it's been a long time since Bobby's been so... *nice*. He remembers being nice before, of course. He remembers being the kind of guy people liked to hang around. He remembers jokes that weren't mocking and tricks that would make people laugh.

People don't laugh as often now, including himself. Nothing much seems funny anymore.

"Jean-Paul?" His voice is almost shockingly tentative. He wants to curl up and take it back when the other man looks at him, sharp face a question.


He can offer popcorn again. Or make a dumb joke about the movie. Or say fuck it all and go to bed. He can avoid this.

"I didn't react to you being gay very well."

And now, of course, there is no going back: not unless he wants to run and confirm suspicions he's had about himself for years.

"Ah." A low noise. Not really asking for more explanation.

Bobby gives it anyway. "Annie called me a racist and a homophobe. She pretty much ripped me a new asshole." He sighs, breath making the long ends of his hair blow away from his downcast eyes. "Thing is... I'd never thought of myself that way before, you know?"

Jean-Paul watches him. Bobby never could read his expression.

"And I thought about it a lot. It made me angry, because that's how my dad always was and I never wanted to be that. I'd always promised myself I *wouldn't* be like that, and yet here I was treating you differently because I'd found out you were gay." He looks at his feet. "I really had a hard time dealing with that. After awhile, though, I figured that I wasn't reacting because I thought it was disgusting or wrong or anything. I mean, when I abstracted it and shit, it wasn't-sexuality wasn't what I was reacting to. When I thought about it-really thought-I. I didn't see anything wrong. I. It seemed. I mean, I could... Yeah." Crash and burn, Drake.

"I am glad that you are not disgusted by me," Jean-Paul says, voice flat.

Shit. This was the last thing he should have done. He's not finished explaining, but he's not sure he *can* finish. He's not sure he has the strength, the insanity, to go there. He knows what rejection feels like coming from a woman; he's not sure he wants to know what it's like coming from a man. Especially not a man like Jean-Paul. "You're mad now, aren't you?" he asks simply.

"No." Still flat, though a bit less so than before. "I do not know what you wish me to say to this."

"I guess nothing. I'm not sure why I'm telling you all this." He shakes his head and leans back, wishing he had his blue shades. "People always... you know, people always assume I'm gay." Cursing himself even has he says it. He should have taken the out. He should have made a break for it.

Both of Jean-Paul's brows arch and he says, "Perhaps that is why Lorna would not sleep with you."

Bobby's eyes snap open to meet Jean-Paul's. There's an odd, almost surreal moment when Jean-Paul *squirms* in his seat, obviously regretting what he had just said. But no. Jean-Paul never regretted being a bastard.

"Did-did she tell you that?" He's proud of how his voice doesn't squeak.

"She told everyone at the bachelorette party that she did not sleep with you." His voice is sharper now. Cutting in a different way. "The bitch."

"Jesus." Everyone? He drops his head into his hands, mentally checking off everyone who had been there.

There is a silence before a hand very tentatively touches his back. "I... I am sorry." Another silence. "I say things before I think about how they will effect people sometimes."

If he weren't so upset, Bobby would be amazed that Jean-Paul is apologizing. As it is, all he can do is think about Lorna. God. "I... I fucking know how to pick them, don't I?" He turns his head to look at the other man and Jean-Paul pulls his hand away, ears pinking a little. Bobby feels as if he's intoxicated or compelled somehow, painful words coming quickly. "I've never been with a girl who really wanted me. Even Opal, who I thought... No. And. Fuck it. Fuck it! I'm more than half a virgin and *no* one ever wants me and no one ever *will* and I guess I should just..." He shakes his head. "Learn to live with that."

"I w-I was very surprised that she did not sleep with you." He speaks carefully as if choosing his words precisely before saying them.

Bobby's lips twist bitterly. "You wouldn't be if you dated me," he says, perhaps truthfully. Part of him realizes just how *dangerous* this conversation is. Just how close it is to the conversation he'd promised himself he wasn't going to have with Jean-Paul. But he is feeling reckless, uncaring of consequences. Stupidly daring. "You wouldn't fuck me either, I bet."

Jean-Paul shakes his head and laughs.

Well. Rejection by a man feels amazingly just like rejection from a woman. "Thanks," he says, unable to hide his flinch. He should have known better. He *did* know better.

"Non," Jean-Paul says, still shaking his head. "I am a... catcher? Not a pitcher."

Well, like that changed anything. "Fine," he snaps. "You wouldn't let me fuck *you*." He can barely recall ever being this embarrassed.

"Perhaps if you sucked on my ear tips." And there, again, that sudden blush, this time stealing over his entire face.

Bobby arches his brows and watches as Jean-Paul mouths "Merde". He can't help but feel a little justified that he isn't the only one who regularly lets his mouth run away with him. "If that were an offer," he tries, vaguely diplomatic, "I would so be there."

Jean-Paul is still flushed but he snorts, amused.

Bobby smirks. So, he tried, even though he'd really had no *intention* of trying. And he'd failed. At least Jean-Paul is willing to let it be a joke. "Yeah, I know," he says, shaking his head. "I'll go to my early grave a virgin." He won't let that depress him. He just won't. A joke. He can do that. Early programming can't have deserted him completely.

"You must be desperate if you are hoping for a man to have sex with you after just realizing that you are not homophobic," Jean-Paul says in that ironic tone of voice that isn't *quite* hurtful yet teeters on the edge.

And, not thinking, Bobby retorts, "It's more you." And, well, fuck.

He expects Jean-Paul to give him a scathing look and a quick, sharp response. He doesn't expect him to stiffen like that, features going tight. "Do not joke about such things," he says darkly.

"I." Weakly. Flustered.

"I do not find it amusing." Jean-Paul stands, setting his soda aside. He looks down at Bobby, so still it's like he's made of glass and a single breath will shatter him into pieces. Bobby realizes with a shock that's almost painful that Jean-Paul is *hurt*, truly, deeply hurt. The fragile look in his eyes and the way he clenches his fists telegraph a vulnerability Bobby would never have expected from him.

A critical moment. Again, the power is Bobby's, completely, to either back away or to barrel forward into the thing that frightens and excites him. Makes his body tingle with anticipation. Is it worth it? Is it even possible? And, oh, Jean-Paul's face is so still and cold and yet... hopeful. He can't be misreading that. He sincerely hopes he's not. "I didn't mean it as a joke, Jean-Paul," and it is said and he cannot take it back. He can merely stare blankly at the television and hope his face isn't as red as it feels. He wonders if the tremors in his hands are obvious.

They remain like that for several minutes, Bobby unable to look up to meet the other man's eyes. Say something, say something he whispers to himself but he *can't*, he simply can't and he knows whatever he would say would simply make it worse.

Finally, Jean-Paul curses, breaking the silence. He mutters to himself in French, shifting from foot to foot as if filled overflowing with nervous energy. Then, faster than Bobby can comprehend, he slides forward and perches in his lap, pushing him back against the couch cushions with focused, nervous intent. He shifts, palms pressing flat against his chest and kisses him, biting his bottom lip with sharp white teeth, tugging harshly before pulling away.

Bobby stares, wide-eyed and blank, hands automatically moving to Jean-Paul's narrow waist. The look Jean-Paul gives him is expectant, as if he is waiting for denial or confirmation, but Bobby's mind is circling somewhere between 'Bloody hell, he kissed me' and 'What will it take to get him to do it again?'

Jean-Paul smiles ruefully and runs a thumb across Bobby's cheekbone before sliding out of his lap and standing.

"Wha--? Why?" Monosyllables. Kissed by a guy and he's plunged into monosyllables. Embarrassingly excited, too, but he doesn't think he should focus on that right now.

Jean-Paul shrugs airily, brushing it away with a flick of his fingers. "Everyone deserves to have a queer kiss some time in their lives."

Oh. Well. "So. That's the only re-okay. Well." And, fuck it, he shouldn't be disappointed, but he *is*. He *is* and when did he realize he wanted Jean-Paul so badly? Has he known before? Has he always known? Has he been hiding this from himself?

Jean-Paul runs a hand through his hair and shrugs, looking at the floor. Confirmation. Rejection.

Bobby fucking *hates* rejection. It's old by now.

"Well," he snaps, standing and trying not to glower too hard. He doesn't want this to turn into a fight even now. If they fight, Jean-Paul will be justified in holding this over him *forever*. Remember the time you threw yourself at me like a pathetic clod? Jesus. "I hope it wasn't too much of a *chore* for you." And, fuck he's bitter. He turns on his heel, needing to get out before he says something he'll really regret. Before he does something-not that he hasn't already done *plenty* and

"Non. Not in the way that you think."

The voice is quiet, but it stops him. He stares ahead, hands curled into loose fists.

Jean-Paul continues. "More..." and his voice sounds strained, as if he's forcing himself to speak. "More it was difficult not to devour you."

Long pause. Bobby realizes that he's counting his heartbeats which are coming too fast. He draws in a deep breath, trembling, oh God, he's actually *trembling* and... He can't describe how he feels. He can barely recognize it, but he has to say something. Jean-Paul is *waiting* to hear his reaction and his silence is so very damning.

Finally, Bobby forces himself to speak. "I freaked out over you being gay because I realized I was attracted to you," he admits, realizing its truth even as he speaks it.

"I have lo-liked you since I joined the team."

Bobby turns at this, wide-eyed and confused. "*Why*?" he asks, staring at Jean-Paul. "No one likes me." He doesn't care how pathetic he sounds.

"Bad taste?"

"The worst."

"It is very typical of me."

Bobby runs a shaky hand through his hair. "To pick the absolute worst person to fall for?"

Jean-Paul snorts. "The last man I was in love with was involved with my sister and could change into a big, hairy beast. You cannot beat my taste in men, I am afraid."


Sighs. "Oui."

"Well," Bobby says, shrugging helplessly. "At least I don't turn into a beast and your sister is nice and all but a-wait. Wait. Last man you were in *what* with?"

Jean-Paul stiffens a little. "I was in love with Walter."

Oh. Of course he just meant that. "I. Sorry. I misread the, uh, implication. I thought you were saying you were in love with me, too."

"Mm." He watches Bobby's feet.

Bobby colors and takes a step closer. This can't be happening to him and yet, and *yet*, it is. Counter to every odd he's laid against himself, it is. "I could fall in love with you." Dangerous words. Words he needs to say. "It's weird, but I always knew that, I think."

Jean-Paul looks up, eyes wide, and he looks so small and so very vulnerable. The vulnerability shakes Bobby to the core, makes his breath catch and his knees go weak in a way he thought only happened in romance novels.

"Like now," he breathes. "Right now. Falling just. Yeah. A little more."

"Mon Dieu."

And he really needs to stop this. He really *really* needs to before he starts singing or spouting off poetry and this isn't *like* them. They're not *like* *this*. The sarcastic prankster and the sharp-tongued cynic and this is not *them*.

"I'm an asshole. I have problems. I. You won't want to sleep with me after a week because I will drive you insane. I'm immature."

A breath. "I know."

"My feet are cold. I snore when I'm sick. My kisses are too wet. I'm inexperienced. I have no worldly possessions."

He cocks his head. "Are you actively trying to be a virgin forever, Bobby?"

"I'm actively trying to avoid yet more rejection," he protests. "I've made an art form out of being turned down."

"By trying to convince me to reject you?"


Jean-Paul laughs, dimpling just a little and Bobby is *dying* to flicker his tongue against that small hollow of flesh. "That is very strange logic, otter pop," Jean-Paul says.

"Oh, and apparently I'm not very bright," Bobby adds with a smirk.

"Ha. Nothing I did not know." He shrugs, still smiling. "When you cannot have, it does not stop you from watching."

"You've been watching me?" Ridiculous, somehow, that they were still standing at opposite ends of the room as if facing off. He nods toward the couch as he walks toward it, vaulting over the back to land on the cushions.

The other man strides over and sits down, close but not *too* close. "Do you think I just happened to know you were being attacked by the angry mud husband?" he asks, turning his body so that he's facing Bobby.

Bobby winces internally. "She was an empath," he says quickly, ashamed at the memory.

"She wanted to have sex with you."

"She did, and... that's all I could feel. It was like being drugged. I didn't mean to ditch you: I just... needed."

A one-shouldered shrug. "Annie was trying to set us up."

"Really?" He blinks, surprised. He would never have guessed.

"Oui. She guessed that I had a... crush on you."

Bobby smiles a little. "I wish she'd succeeded then."

"Non, instead she kissed you at Lorna's bachlorette party." His lips twist, bitter.

Bobby shakes his head quickly, reaching out as if to stop Jean-Paul. "Because I pressed her. Because..." He exhales a deep breath, trying to find the words. "Because I was so fucking lonely. I am. Lonely. And a big part of me figures that's just how it's going to be."

Jean-Paul shifts closer, reaching out to touch his hand. There is something open about his expression, something that scares Bobby a little. Jean-Paul isn't supposed to be this easy to read, but he is. Bobby can see the emotions flickering through his eyes as he murmurs softly, "You do not have to be."

There. An offer between them for Bobby to either accept or deny. He looks up to meet Jean-Paul's eyes, pressing up into the soft brush of fingers yet still so damned *scared*. "I am," he begins, not sure how to word what he has to say. His last warning. "I don't even know what to call it. Ill? Changing? Dying? Mutating?" A breathy laugh. "I don't even know what's *happening* or what it means for me."

Jean-Paul pulls away, paling rapidly. Stricken.

"When Black Tom skewered me, something happened," he begins, but Jean-Paul cuts him off with a violent slash of his hand.

"Dying?" he presses.

"I don't know." The worst part of it all is not knowing. "If it reaches down to my heart? Maybe."

"When Walter died, it almost killed me."

God, so vulnerable. So *hurt*. Why hasn't he realized this before? "I don't want to do that to you," he says, reaching forward to cup his cheek.

Jean-Paul pulls away, knees drawing up. He looks as if he's about to run, as if he's about to say 'fuck it' and pull away. He turns to stare blankly at the television, brows drawn together darkly and mouth pressed into a firm, unforgiving line. Bobby hovers, waiting, breath caught in his chest and very aware of how important this is. This moment.

Finally, Jean-Paul turns his head to look at him, eyes very dark. "Then do not," he says firmly, almost coldly.

Bobby salutes. "Aye, aye, sir."

Jean-Paul snorts, reaching out to tangle his long fingers into the hair at the nape of Bobby's neck. "You are a ridiculous man," he says, yanking on the long brown hairs, pulling Bobby closer.

Bobby's heart almost stops beating. A wild, sudden surge of panic, one hand reaching out to brace himself against the couch as he's drawn toward the uplifted face. He thinks, blindingly, 'I can't *do* this' as warm breath gusts over his mouth.

Jean-Paul pauses, mouth inches from his, so close Bobby's lips are tingling. His fingers are still gripped in his hair, but looser now. Waiting for Bobby. And, God, Bobby doesn't want to have to initiate this. He's been running on blind courage for the last thirty minutes and he's not sure how much he has left.

"Bobby?" Jean-Paul murmurs, and he's sure it's only moments before Jean-Paul pulls away, disgusted.

Bobby makes a low, soft noise, hovering above Jean-Paul and slowly falling apart. He wants this-wants Jean-Paul. He *knows* he does, and yet... and yet... When has he ever really taken something he's wanted without thoroughly fucking it up in the process?

"I'm a fuck-up," he whispers, leaning forward just a little bit. Not enough, but close. Very close.


"I'm..." Afraid. Afraid and what is homophobia but fear? But it isn't Jean-Paul's sex that frightens him, it is *Jean-Paul*. It is the ironic smile and cool self-confidence and everything that is exactly the opposite of anything Bobby ever was. "I'll ruin this."

A curve of lips that's almost a kiss by itself. "There will be nothing to ruin if you do not move, otter pop," he says and that name, that ridiculous almost insulting and yet not *name* is enough to make him laugh and lean in and


Lips moving against lips, fumbling a bit at first but smoothing out quickly. A brush of his bottom lip across the crease of Jean-Paul's mouth, tilting his head to kiss the small curves at each end and this isn't frightening at all. This is soft and easy and breathless as slender fingers loosen their grip in his hair and slide down the back of his neck, impossibly warm.

Bobby makes a low noise into the kiss, eyes opening so he can watch Jean-Paul. His lashes are softly fanned against his cheeks, his lids a delicate lavender. His eyes move beneath the soft lids and Bobby wants to slide the tip of his tongue along the curve of his lash, wants to cup his face in big, calloused palms and dip into the crinkled flesh at the tips.

Instead he opens his mouth and touches the flat of his tongue against the curve of Jean-Paul's bottom lip, curling up as his mouth opens with a gasp. His fingers dig into the couch when the other man's tongue snakes out to touch his, exposed and tender and so very *hot* Bobby's reeling from it. He presses in, closing his lips around the wicked, pink tip and sucks it into his mouth with a greedy moan.

The other man presses forward, one hand on his shoulder, the other hand bracing him as he pushes into the kiss, tongue sliding deep into his mouth and curling to touch his soft palate. Bobby jerks, hips arching involuntarily and nips at his tongue before beginning to suckle. Lightly at first, then harder when Jean-Paul moans and presses in close. Nails dig into his shoulder and he's light-headed as a gifted tongue fucks into his mouth. He presses his own tongue along the sensitive underside, pulling it in further, wanting more. He wraps an arm around Jean-Paul's waist, hauling him up and he's twisting in Bobby's arms, trying to get a better angle, snarling as he wraps his arms around Bobby's neck and just holds on. Bobby's not thinking, just *feeling*, tongues tangling hot and wet and undeniable.

He digs his fingers into Jean-Paul's hip, moaning into his mouth. He feels a moment of aroused confusion when something hard and so very hot presses against his thigh once, and then again and Jean-Paul's twisting helplessly when he brings his legs up and rubs against it and-oh. OH.

Bobby breaks the kiss with a strangled cry, eyes absolutely huge. Jean-Paul's eyes fly open, dazed arousal sparking with comprehension, erection pressed against Bobby's thigh.

There's a moment when they're just staring at each other, silent, before Jean-Paul slithers away, flush creeping up from his neck to color his face. "I... I am sorry," he murmurs, freezing when Bobby reaches out to grab his wrist, keeping him from pulling away.

"What?" Bobby asks dumbly. "Why sorry?" And, really, he *knows* but he doesn't want to admit he knows. He tugs, pulling Jean-Paul back against him, arms wrapping around his waist to keep him there.

"I did not..." he murmurs, pressing his face against Bobby's neck. He shivers but burrows in closer. "Did I press too much? I do not wish to scare you." He leans back enough to shoot Bobby an ironic grin.

"I'm *terrified*," Bobby admits, brushing back the silver-black hair. "I'm terrified and it's all new and I'm..." He can't say it, he simply *can't*, so he shifts his hips instead, pushing his erection against Jean-Paul's belly. Jean-Paul's eyes widen, then lower to half-mast, hooded and anticipatory and so very *hot*. Like he wants to devour Bobby, like he wants to lay him out and take everything. And, Jesus, if that isn't the sexiest thing Bobby's ever seen. "Ah." His brain is melting. "Ah, sex maybe not. Not yet. But, um." Hips move and, really, he's not meaning to rub against Jean-Paul like that. "Kissing's really nice."

"I suppose I can live with that," he purrs, cupping his face and leaning in to nip at his bottom lip, tugging hard. He smiles at Bobby's moan and flickers his tongue out, soothing away the sting. "I have been waiting quite a while and was prepared to wait much, much longer." He tugs Bobby's head back and traces the very tip of his tongue up the arch of his neck, sliding fully into his lap and straddling him neatly. His teeth rake along the skin, nipping as Bobby moans and twists beneath him. "Not too long?" he murmurs, sucking on the soft skin beneath Bobby's jaw, then just below his ear.

"N-Non," Bobby whimpers, hands moving up and down his back, hips moving restlessly. God, he's so *hard*, so impossibly hard and he can't remember it ever being like this before. Not even in his best dreams, not even in the admittedly *very* gay ones starring Don Johnson and *why* hadn't he ever done this before?

Jean-Paul's lips close over his earlobe, tongue flicking it back and forth as his hands move across his shoulders and down his sides. Bobby shifts, one hand cupping the back of his head as he turns them, pressing Jean-Paul against the arm of the couch.

Bobby shivers and shifts, guiding Jean-Paul's legs as they wrap around his waist, fingers digging into the muscled thighs. He turns his face and kisses below his ear. Jean-Paul's shivering from arousal or cold or *both*, hips arching. Bobby cries out when their erections brush for the first time, eyes squeezing shut and whimpers when it happens again, then again. He presses in hard, grinding, and is rewarded with a sharp cry.

"So good," he murmurs, drawing in a ragged breath. His hips push in, rocking in a slightly awkward, needy rhythm. His tongue traces up the curve of Jean-Paul's pointed ear, teeth raking gently as he takes the very tip in his mouth and tugs.

The reaction is immediate and shocking. Jean-Paul arches up into him with a sudden, harsh cry, erection grinding hard against his. Long fingers clench in Bobby's hair, holding his head stationary as he rocks up, panting. "Ah. Ah merde! S'il-te-plaît, Bobby. Mon Dieu, s'il-te-plaît!" Babbling in French now and Bobby's surprised but can only *go* with it, nipping and tugging and sucking, tracing the whorls with his tongue. He reaches down to grip Jean-Paul's twisting hips, holding them steady as he thrusts against him harder and harder and harder, growling softly as he pushes the tip of his tongue into the crease of the point, rimming it indelicately.

"Bobby," Jean-Paul cries, strands of brown hair tangled between his grasping, fingers. His voice is low and keening, his breath coming in quick, shuddering gasps. "Bobby... Merde, Bobby... You sha-oh, you shall make me...." He breaks off and makes a needy, hurt noise, twisting so hard he nearly throws Bobby off of him.

Bobby makes a low noise in response, trembling as he pulls back to meet Jean-Paul's eyes. His hips still for a moment, pressing in tight and he's so *wet* already, precome slicking his trapped cock, leaving a stain on his jeans. "Make you what?" he rasps in a voice that surely cannot be his. He reaches up, brushing a strand of hair back from Jean-Paul's face, heart freezing in his chest. "Fuck, you're beautiful."

Jean-Paul's hair is disheveled and his lips swollen. He licks his full bottom lip, drawing a whimper from Bobby as he watches it snake out at tease at the corners of his mobile mouth. He looks up at Bobby with half-lidded blue eyes, pupils swollen and dark as he draws in a deep, shivering sigh. "You could make me come like that," he replies between pants.

It makes Bobby's entire body clench, cock throbbing at the low purr in his voice. "Oooh. Oh. God. Um. Wow. Okay." He stares at him, stricken and so aroused he can barely think. He shifts, then whimpers when their erections slide together, eyes closing tight. "W-what now?"


He opens his eyes and looks down, still frozen above him; he's afraid that if he moves, he'll begin thrusting again. "What do we do now?"

Jean-Paul offers a lopsided grin, fingers ghosting over his face. "Making out was going spectacularly well," he offers wryly, thumb swiping over Bobby's lips before sliding back up into his hair. Hair fetish? Bobby wonders.

"Sooo," he tries, hand still gripping Jean-Paul's hip. He slides his thumb up under the white tee-shirt, pad brushing softly against his bare stomach. Jean-Paul mewls and licks his lips again and Bobby's afraid for a moment he'll come without being touched. "You want to, uh, you know, keep at it?" He flushes.

Jean-Paul smirks. "I do not know, otter pop. I am not the blushing virgin here," he points out, eyes glittering when Bobby scowls at him.

"Right," he huffs. "Fine. So, um. You want to go to bed?" He pauses, then flushes again, mind immediately breaking into a chorus of sexsexsexsexseeeexxxx. "Um. That came out wrong."

Jean-Paul laughs and leans up to brush their lips together, kiss amazingly soft and sweet and *fond*, as if, against all odds, Jean-Paul actually *likes* him.

Bobby melts against the kiss, giving in completely. He presses down, guiding Jean-Paul until he's laying down fully, Bobby on top of him and hard, can't forget *hard*, and kissing and just... giving *in*.

Jean-Paul's arms wrap around his neck and his tongue slides into Bobby's mouth and Bobby can't remember ever being this content with his life. He sucks on the other man's tongue again, letting his hips move and oh, yes, that's what he needed. He swallows Jean-Paul's whimpers, loving the sharp pressure of heels digging into his back. He suckles almost roughly, riding the small jabs, rubbing their sharp hip-bones together. Hands slide down his back, almost worshipful, fingers catching in the hem of his shirt and tugging up a little, revealing the curve of his back and he could do this forever, could do this every *day*. Forget morning calisthenics, forget fighting for mutant rights, all he needs is Jean-Paul's tongue thrusting into his mouth and Jean-Paul's hard cock rubbing against his and Jean-Paul's damndebly clever fingers sliding against the bare flesh of his stomach.




Bobby groans and breaks the kiss, sitting up and cursing darkly.

Jean-Paul remains sprawled across the couch, dark-eyed and debauched. "Bobby?" he asks, reaching up to touch his shoulders. His brows knit in concern.

"Jean-Paul," he says, flushed and a little horrified. He should have thought of this *earlier*, but of course he hasn't been thinking and then there had been kissing and *why* is this man's mouth so very insidious? "I... I didn't even really *tell* you. Well, no," he amends, babbling, barely able to form coherent sentences, "I told you but I was. Um." He's momentarily distracted by the way Jean-Paul looks below him and how very much he wants to be down there kissing again. "Vague?"

"I do not care, whatever it is," Jean-Paul declares, reaching up to pull him back down again.

"No, no," he protests, catching his wrists and pulling back up. "I have to tell you or it will be a nasty shock. When you, you know." Flush. "Get me. Um. Undressed?"

Jean-Paul shifts, smiling like cat with cream dripping from its twitching whiskers. "Soon, I hope," he purrs.

"Er." His brain short-circuits and he stares blankly, forgetting for a moment what he had been intending to say. What's so important that he has to stop this?

Jean-Paul shoots him a sly smile, reaching up to trace his fingers across Bobby's chest and oh, right, *that*.

"I'm turning into ice."

Jean-Paul blinks. "Turning into ice? Now?"

"No. Well, yes." He shakes his head as Jean-Paul sits up, attentive now. "I mean permanently. It happened when Black Tom stabbed me. Part of my chest is now, well. Ice." Jean-Paul's eyes widen. "It's been growing, though slowly."

"And they cannot stop it?"

Bobby shrugs. "Annie didn't even know what it was. It could be my second mutation and it could be... something else. It could just be my outer skin that's going to turn and it could be..." He shrugs again, a little uncomfortable. He hasn't talked about this with many people. "Everything."

"And that would kill you? To have your insides frozen as well?"

"We don't know whether, if it does, that will kill me or just make me... not need to breathe."

"Mon Dieu," Jean-Paul murmurs, stricken.

Slowly, a little awkwardly, Bobby tugs off his shirt and lays it across the back of the couch. He turns to face Jean-Paul, eyes closing as he opens himself to him. He has an odd sense both of being spied upon and of spying and he doesn't want to witness any of the emotions that may flicker across the sharp-featured face. He's aware of a quickly-drawn breath, then silence, complete silence stretching and stretching as he remains sitting there, open to the shocked glide of Jean-Paul's eyes.

He can see himself against the darkness of his closed lids. Pale-skinned and moderately muscular, shoulders broad enough, hips slimmer. Athletic though not ridiculously so, like so many of the X-Men. Faint dusting of freckles across his shoulders. A very few golden hairs curling low on his belly, leading down to the waist of his jeans. And, there in the center and spreading across his chest was gleaming ice. Almost purple it's so dark, light catching off of it and reflecting back. Shadows of his organs if you look close enough, which Bobby never can manage to do for long. A faint mist rises from it and the edges are shockingly smooth, melding into his skin like a shoreline.

Like a dark, frozen ocean surrounded by the continent of his flesh.

Finally, Jean-Paul sighs, breath catching just a little. "May I touch it?" he asks, and his arrogant voice is quiet now. Almost tentative.

Bobby opens his eyes and their gazes catch and hold, something so very serious passing between them. Something far more adult than their breathy protestations and needy fumbling. "It's cold."

And, there, an ironic brow arches and everything feels shockingly *normal* again, as if he could be mutating into a walking glacier but everything's okay so long as Jean-Paul can mock him. "It is ice, Bobby," he says evenly.

"I know, but... it's really cold. Like. Just. I." Helplessly, hopelessly tangled up and all he can do is nod. "Yeah."

Jean-Paul reaches out and touches the center of the ice. His fingers slide across it and Bobby can feel the light pressure, though barely: more a memory of touch than anything concrete.

"Is it too cold?" he asks worriedly as the other man presses his palm flat to the center. Mist curls around his fingers, snaking about his wrist.

Jean-Paul looks up. "I can withstand extreme temperatures," he reminds Bobby. His thumb slides over the ice, barely grazing a still-flesh nipple and causing Bobby to shiver, arousal not forgotten. "This is not too much for me."

"Good." And really, there's more he should be saying, but he can't find the words so he just lets Jean-Paul explore.

Jean-Paul slides his fingers across it and presses lightly against it and even leans in to flicker his tongue over the center. Bobby snorts, amused, and says at Jean-Paul's arched brows "You're lucky your tongue didn't stick."

"Oui," he agrees, amused. "I believe Annie may question that."

"I believe she'd have every ri-AHH!!!" Bobby cries, body arching up and head snapping back as one of Jean-Paul's fingertips traces along the very edge of where ice met flesh. A strange, shocking, consuming jolt flashes through him, making him twist and scream and press against that finger. Jean-Paul is frozen in shock as Bobby arches, hips humping up hard, chest heaving as he sobs. It hurts, *GOD* it hurts but it feels so fucking *good*, too, like an electric current filling his cock and balls and Jesus Jesus he doesn't know whether to cry or come.

Jean-Paul pulls his hand away and Bobby collapses forward sobbing, foreheads pressed together, hips still snapping up sharply. There's a steadily-growing wet patch from precome and his cock is straining against the zip, so hard it's almost unbearable, so hard he wants to curl up into a ball or maybe just rip down Jean-Paul's pants and shove up into his tight, beautiful body.

"Oh God," Bobby whimpers, eyes shut, entire body shuddering. The aftershocks are still running through him, making his cock twitch and his hands tremble.

"That was unexpected," Jean-Paul murmurs, hands soothing up over his back and shoulders.

"Fuck," Bobby agrees, laugh-moaning. "Yes. I... never traced th-the edge before."

Jean-Paul smiles and laps his tongue across Bobby's mouth playfully, causing him to whimper again. "I think outside the box," he says smugly.

He growls. "I'm so fucking hard I can't even *smack* you. There is no justice in the universe."

One hand massaging the back of his neck and the other sliding across his bare side. "I could fix that, otter pop," he murmurs in his ear, tongue flickering out to tease his earlobe.


"I could lick you in so many different places. Here." He presses a finger just to the right of the icy edge, making Bobby squirm hard. "Or here." Sliding his hand down, fingertip teasing over the curve of his ass. "Or here." Cupping his erection, making Bobby arch and cry up, hips undulating. "You like that I think," he murmurs, rubbing his palm against the slick material.

"You could have anything from me right now," Bobby gasps, cock straining against those clever fingers. They shift, thumb teasing over the head and he yowls, so close his body is thrumming with it. "Anything."

"I have everything I want right now." His head dips, tongue flickering over a nipple, drawing low, needy noises from Bobby as he grips the edge of the couch and tries not to fall or turn to ice or faint or just begin begging helplessly.

"C-close!" he chokes and oh, his balls are drawing up as his cock twitches in his pants, pressing against the zip as if trying to break free. "Jean-Paul..."

"Shhh, I've got this," Jean-Paul murmurs, taking the peaked flesh between his sharp teeth, hands sliding down to unfasten his jeans. He pushes the halves aside and slides a hand down, murmuring in appreciation at the slick stickiness. "Warmer than the rest of you," he breathes, fingers closing around Bobby's cock. He strokes up from the base, then adjusts his grip and pushes down, moan-chuckling at the cry that seems to rise from Bobby's toes. "That's it, chere, that's it." Again, a loose grip up and tightening as he pushes down, drawing out that deep, startled cry.

"Oh, oh. Oh God," Bobby pants, pushing into the strokes, helpless with them. "Oh God. Oh God." His body is alive with it, flushed red and thrumming. He shifts, trying to give more, trying to give everything. Jean-Paul's breath is so warm across his chest and his hand almost scalding on his cock and he's so close, so close, he's going to come all over Jean-Paul's hand and he's so *close*.

"J'tamie," Jean-Paul whispers, tongue snaking out to touch the silvery edge of ice, hand squeezing as he pushes it down.

Bobby screams as he comes, thrashing helplessly on top of his lover, hips driving down in a hard, desperate rhythm. He grips at the couch-back and Jean-Paul's shoulder, thinking don't fall don't fall OH GOD as semen splashes over clever fingers, colder than it should be, cold enough to make Jean-Paul shiver and smile.

Jean-Paul strokes him through the trembly aftershocks, one arm sliding soothingly about his waist as Bobby collapses on top of him. Bobby's drifting, barely aware for a few moments, content to lay there sticky and sated and listen to Jean-Paul's rapidly beating heart.

Finally he lifts his head and looks up, dazed. Jean-Paul shoots him a brilliant, toothy grin and squeezes his softening cock before letting go. He lifts his hand and looks at it, come making the palm glisten. "Mmm," he murmurs, tongue sliding over his palm. He looks so very pleased with himself, Bobby thinks. Almost devilish. "Now we should probably retire to a bedroom before someone wonders what the screaming was all about."

And, really, Jean-Paul is right but Bobby can't stand the idea of moving right now. He can't stand the thought of having shattered apart in the den in front of the television which has finally finished its horrible serial killer movie and has finally moved onto something good and getting up and heading away when Jean-Paul's erection is pressed high into his hip.

He shifts, making a non-committal noise, one hand going down to fumble at Jean-Paul's jeans.

"Bobby," he murmurs, voice even huskier than before, which Bobby would have said was impossible if he weren't hearing it. "Bobby," again as the button pops open and he slides down the zip. Jean-Paul shifts, breath catching, then moans when Bobby slides his hand down into his pants and wraps cold fingers around his erection. "Ahhh, oui, please," he chokes, hips pushing up. He's uncut, which is strange for a moment, alien to Bobby. He wishes he could push Jean-Paul's pants down further and lean in to see, but urgency has overtaken them so instead he grips his fingers and prays that he's doing this right as he pushes back the foreskin and strokes.

Jean-Paul bucks up, biting his lip to hold back his cries. Bobby leans in to kiss his jaw, his neck, finding a rhythm of strokes that has Jean-Paul whimpering and clutching his shoulders and shaking as if he's about to fall apart in his arms. His thumb slides over the exposed head of his prick as he strokes down the loose skin again, lips sliding across his temple and his silver hair before, murmuring nonsense words of affection, his teeth close again over the pointed tip of his ear.

Jean-Paul thrashes so hard he nearly bucks Bobby off, cock pulsing against his palm. He curses in French, hips jerking up, fucking up into the tight circle of Bobby's hand and moaning as Bobby sucks on his ear tip, entire body straining and tight and so very needy.

Bobby traces his tongue along the curved rim before biting again, squeezing his hand. Jean-Paul chokes back his scream but Bobby can feel it reverberating through his chest as his cock jerks in Bobby's hand and he's coming hard. Nails dig into Bobby's shoulders and his head is tossed back, eyes squeezing shut as his semen splashes over his fingers, hot and thick and God so beautiful. Bobby lifts his head to watch, eyes wide as Jean-Paul thrashes, body undulating up slender and graceful and arching toward him as if there's nothing he needs more in the world than Bobby's touch.

Finally he collapses back, breathless. Hair falls into his eyes, making him look so very young and Bobby gradually slides his hand up, shaken by the sheer force of what they experienced.

He leans in, heart pounding hard when Jean-Paul turn his head and opens his eyes to look at him. "Okay?" he asks shakily.


"Good." He presses their mouths together, kiss soft and remarkably gentle. A melting of lips and tongues and sated, shivering bodies.

Bobby leans back to smile down at Jean-Paul. Then, curious, he lifts his sticky hand and sniffs his fingers before tentatively touching the tip of his tongue to his palm.

Jean-Paul watches with bright, hooded eyes. "I have corrupted you well, grasshopper," he purrs, stretching languidly beneath him and, somehow, Bobby thinks this warmth is almost as good as the sex itself.

"Wow," he says, laying down. He curls his body up so he's only half on-top of Jean-Paul and even that is unbelievably delicious. "Give me two days and I'll be in love with you. Three tops." He kisses his temple, heart pounding. "So much I can't even breathe."

Jean-Paul tries to look solemn. "I like you in love with me, otter pop," he murmurs, stroking his fingers through Bobby's hair. "But I also like you breathing."

"Demanding git," Bobby huffs, then laughs when Jean-Paul pulls his hair.

"I have every right to be demanding," Jean-Paul says airily, lips curled into a happy, arrogant smirk. "I deserve the best."

"Yeah," he breathes, burrowing in close. "Yeah, Tink, you sure do."

"You had better get started then, if you desire to be good enough," and his eyes are twinkling and Bobby snorts, leaning in for another kiss.

"I hate you, you arrogant prick," he laughs, tongue sliding into his oooh so warm mouth.

"I know, otter pop. The feeling is, mmm, entirely mutual."


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