Character of the Month

Character of the Month:
Mistral

Member of the Month

Member of the Month:
Rodentfanatic

Thread of the Month

Thread of the Month:
You Can't Take
The Razorback

Featured Plot

Featured Plot:
Nova Roma

 
Add Reply
New Topic
New Poll

 Dinner for Two - This Isn't a Date, Mar 8th, 8:00pm | Closed to Tagged
Slate
 Posted: Mar 7 2018, 04:55 PM
Quote


This isn't a date.

The phrase that had become something of a mantra had lodged itself in Shane's head and had been set to repeat for the past two hours as he struggled to do something as simple as pick out what to wear. Should he dress casually or should he dress up a little bit? Should he do something different with his hair than normal?

Why was a totally-not-a-date outing so complicated? They were going to Harry's, of all places, so things shouldn't be as difficult as Shane's brain was making them out to be. Shane had considered the idea of taking Bobby out for sushi, considering his friend's claim that he could pretty much eat anything, but he had decided against it. Choosing someplace that was familiar to them both had been his idea simply because it was a kind of neutral ground. Both of the men were familiar with Harry's and that might help alleviate any potential awkwardness. If things got weird then they were simply two friends spending time in a place they'd been numerous times before.

Or that's what he tried to tell himself.

After having sent Bobby the texts asking if he'd like to go out somewhere he had not received a response and had spent several hours wondering many things. Were his messages sending properly after the weird time warp shenanigans of the Savage Land? Was Bobby simply busy and had no time to reply? Was Bobby not at all interested and just didn't feel like replying? The extreme latter, that Bobby lacked interest, was the one that had worried him the most, but Shane felt that if he wasn't he'd have simply said so. Bobby wasn't generally the type to beat around a bush or remain silent. When the replies finally came three hours, thirty minutes, and twelve seconds later (if the time stamps and his own personal mental counting were accurate) he had felt a huge wave of relief, followed by an entirely new wave of a totally different kind of anxiety.

This isn't a date.

He needed to calm down. If he showed up to take Bobby to Harry's as a big ball of anxiety then the man would clearly suspect something or become uncomfortable himself. So while he showered Shane considered several things:

You're already friends with Bobby Drake. He knows you. You don't have to worry about not getting along with him.

Things will be fine. It's just a night out with someone you like. Someone you've really liked for a long time.

This isn't a date!

The shower and the series of silently repeated phrases had served to calm Shane's nerves well enough. His intentions were to tell Bobby that he liked him (as in liked liked him) but he realized that even if the feeling wasn't the least bit mutual that didn't mean that they couldn't still be friends. Even great friends. Though he'd probably never pass Jean as the man's best friend he would be okay with just having the guy being closer to him than he was. The distance that they had, and the bit of distance that he had long had even with those who were somewhat close, was entirely his fault and had been on his way toward rectifying that when he had wound up in a magical land of lost world craziness, dinosaurs, carnivorous plants, evil gods, and sound eating psychic monsters. Having been trapped there for what felt like one thousand, two hundred, and forty one days was another reason that he simply needed to be more open with the guy and with people in general. There was never any way of knowing when it would be too late.

Eventually Shane found himself dressed and ready, having taken things just a slight notch above absolutely casual, knowing that Bobby generally dressed as casually as humanly possible even when it didn't make sense to do so, and kept his hair brushed simply as he usually did.




Wanting to make the night as worry free as possible for Bobby, Shane had driven them to Harry's. Being a weeknight there were plenty of booths available, and after they were seated and had placed their drink orders Shane casually glanced over the menu despite knowing it well apart from the occasional changes. His appetite upon returning to the normal world was still somewhat finicky. Three years worth of days eating anything but comfort or junk food made him almost not want either. He knew however that once he had some of the food at Harry's he might be fine with it again. Still, it was difficult to find something that he really wanted from the menu this time, which had never really been a problem before.

“So,” he said, finding his anxieties had faded a decent bit now that he was actually sat face to face with Bobby, “how have things been with you? I'd say it's been far too long but... it's really only been about a week or so.” Shane felt that being asked about his time in the Savage Land was inevitable, and he would answer any questions his friend had regarding the weird place if asked, but for the time being he wanted to keep things simple.

“What's new with you?”


Iceman
PM
^
Iceman
 Posted: Mar 10 2018, 11:35 AM
Quote


It had been a few days since those who had gone missing returned from the Savage Land. Bobby had given them space instead of launching a barrage of questions at any of the three X-Men who'd been there the longest, so most of what he knew was second or third hand information. Apparently time worked weirdly there, or at least the sense of how much time passed, if Jean was to be believed. Which Bobby did, of course, because he'd known his friend for nearly twenty years and she'd never steered him wrong. Hadn't always managed to keep Bobby from steering himself wrong, but the cryokinetic had full faith in Jean's ability to know things.

Tonight would give Bobby ample opportunity to find out what all had happened in that place though, since Slate had asked him if he wanted to go grab food with him. That was basically an open invitation to ask all the questions, right? They did agree to be honest with each other only a couple of weeks ago, and Bobby felt that came with the permission to badger Shane about his time in the Savage Land. Like asking him who had actually decided to call it that, though from what he'd heard about it from other people it seemed like as apt a name as any.

By the time he and Shane arrived at Harry's, Bobby's mind was completely focused on food instead of asking questions though. When he'd been invited to go eat something, Bobby had assumed that it would be around dinner time, not that he'd have to wait until half past hunger before getting his food. Of course he could have just grabbed something around actual food times, but then he hadn't wanted to ruin his appetite for when they did get to Harry's. Bobby had been visiting that place for nineteen years now, and loved the food there way too much to consider eating anything else.

Once they'd sat down at one of the booths, Bobby took only a cursory glance at the menu to see if anything new had been added that he'd like to try. With how often he'd been there, he could probably recite most of the food Harry's had to offer from memory, so the menu wasn't really necessary. Quickly deciding that, nope, there was nothing new there that he wanted to try, Bobby put the menu down again and turned his attention towards Shane, who was wondering how things had been with him. It was nice of his friend to ask, of course, but Bobby hadn't been the one trapped in some strange, isolated tropical area near the South Pole, so what had gone on in his own life was a topic he was just going to gloss over.

"Oh, nothing much," he told Shane, "you know, same old, same old. Taught some math, did some bookkeeping, herded some students around when the Brotherhood came knocking on our front door because Logan thought keeping HardWire in our basement was somehow not the dumbest idea ever." Maybe next time Bobby could play the Original Five card to make sure it wasn't Logan who called the shots while Jean was gone. Between his choice to keep HardWire at the school and what he'd done to Luca, Bobby was not looking forward to seeing what kind of stupid decision the stabby Hobbit would make next.

With a light wave, Bobby dismissed the subject that Shane had started things off with. "But enough about me, and how completely mundane my life has been." Well, mundane if you ignored the attack on the school, but with how often it occurred "Trouble finds the X-Men" pretty much was mundane by now. "How about you? Have you been adjusting well to your return to the school?" It would have been a silly question had Shane only been gone for a few days, like how it had felt to Bobby, but apparently that wasn't what it had been like for the geokinetic. "The switch from feeling like you spent three years in some jungle to being back in the civilised world can't be easy."
PM
^
Slate
 Posted: Mar 10 2018, 12:34 PM
Quote


Shane should have known better than to think that putting off discussion of his time in the Savage Land would have been tolerated for even five whole minutes once he and Bobby had actually begun talking. Not that Iceman dismissing talk of himself and the attack on the school was any kind of a surprise in this case, as Shane had fully expected the conversation to steer itself toward that tiny little sliver of hell in Antarctica sooner rather than later. He also didn't mind, really, because he was actually happy that Bobby was interested in what had happened and how he was doing. Just not so immediately.

For a moment Shane finishing making his decision on what to eat, going for something simple rather than something elaborate or complex so that he could see how well his appetite would acclimate to the food he was once used to. "Sorry," he said, setting the menu down, not intending to leave Bobby hanging for even a whole thirty seconds, "but apart from food choices I seem to be getting back into the swing of things okay. I'm kind of surprised you didn't ask me about that before I drove us here." It had been figurative years since he had been behind the wheel, so he was surprised that his ability to pick it back up hadn't been brought into question. Then again, he had driven prior to their outing since their return and had done fine.

That being said, Shane had been adjusting okay enough. Some things were a bit strange and sleep had been a bit spotty here and there with his trained instincts to sleep lightly sometimes kicking in and waking him at the slightest of noises, but all things considered he wasn't struggling too much. "It's not like with the de-aged. For them it had been like being shot over a decade into the future and having to learn all new tech and world developments. For me it's basically returning to a world I left only a week ago. Nothin's really changed around here. I am havin' to get used to there being fewer things trying to kill or eat me on a regular basis though."

There was a lot more to it than that, and Shane felt that it would be impossible to fit all of what he had to say or describe into an evening's conversation. Despite the dangers, the Savage Land had been a truly awesome place. Apart from being trapped there he was honestly kind of glad to have seen it. The time spent had been wonderful for training, both physically and mentally, and he felt far more capable than he had before he had gone. "It was both an amazing and terrifying place. I had to learn to hunt and how to really survive. Probably put my power to use more there than I ever have here too, so I feel like I'm probably better off for it."

But as his thoughts drifted further into his time away, he found himself trailing off a bit. The pros of the place had paled in comparison to the cons, and as he considered everything that had been weighing on him then he came to the realization that he really had missed everyone who hadn't joined them on the initial expedition. A few days for everyone else was fine and all, but Shane hadn't seen many of them in years. "I think the biggest problem," he said, his eyes slightly downcast, "was that after a while I felt like we were gonna be stuck there for the rest of our lives. It was unexpected -gettin' trapped there and all- but after a while I realized how much I really missed everyone." Glancing back up, meeting his friend's gaze, he added, "I'm glad we were rescued. I really missed you."
PM
^
Iceman
 Posted: Mar 11 2018, 05:13 PM
Quote


Bobby's eyebrows quirked up when Shane put down his menu and commented on how, food choices aside, he was settling back into things well enough. Out of everything, Bobby would have imagined that would have been one of the easiest things to get used to again, considering how many easily available options there were here versus what he imagined were not all that many options back in the Savage Land. Like, nothing that you needed to kill with your own hands, or any other things that had that "Will this kill me if I eat it?" mysteries surrounding it. Well, except anything Jean prepared, but Shane had been around long enough to know the risk of trying the redhead's attempts at cooking. Even Bobby wasn't that desperate to get out of preparing food for himself.

Slate mentioning that he was surprised Bobby hadn't asked about how he was doing before he let him drive to Harry's drew a chuckle from the cryokinetic. "I hadn't actually considered how long it had been since you'd driven a car," he said. "Consider me retroactively concerned, but relieved now that you didn't just swerve us off the road and into a tree." Granted, the man of ice and the man of rock were sturdier than most, but Bobby would still rather avoid any traffic accidents.

"As for the food, just--" Bobby gestured towards the menu in front of Shane. "Pick a thing. Not a lot you can go wrong with at Harry's." Picking up his own menu again, Bobby gave it a closer look than he had before. "I mean, a lot of this basically comes down to "We killed this thing, please eat it", I can't imagine what you had available to you in the Savage Land. Here's a scientific fact for you, but you can't verify any of this with Hank or Jean." Putting the menu down again, Bobby folded his arms and flashed Shane a smile. "There are four basic types of meat. Beef, pork, poultry and other. Not counting fish, I mean. Everything you might have eaten in the Savage Land fits into one of those groups. Wild boar? Pork. Primordial jungle cow? Beef." Bobby wasn't actually sure if any of those were actual things down in the Savage Land, but lacking actual knowledge did not keep him from making examples. "Dinosaurs?" Bobby shrugged lightly. "Probably chicken." The point Bobby was trying to make was that meat was meat. "Also, anything you don't finish, I probably will. Years of going out for food with Warren "You know what? I think I'll just stick with the salad" Worthington has me trained like a boss at this sort of thing."

As Shane went on to explain how it wasn't a huge adjustment for him to make, Bobby nodded along with his words. That made sense. "Makes sense that it was easier for you because of that. Sort of a relief actually, I imagine, to find out that the world didn't just move on three years while you were trapped in there." That would have sucked. Even just missing two weeks after the Berto incident was something Bobby had not been happy with, and that was nothing compared to how much Shane would have missed had the same amount of time passed outside of the Savage Land as it had inside of it. Granted, had that been the case he probably would have been rescued a few days into his stay there, instead of not until several years later from his point of view. "And you know what they say... Be careful what you wish for," Bobby added with a grin. "Before you know it, something will try to kill and eat you." He was joking of course, but compared to the lives most people lived, that of an X-Man involved a lot more dangers of the "Attempted murder" variety.

"So, you're probably an expert on camping now," Bobby figured when Shane explained how he'd had to learn how to hunt and probably had a much better handle on his powers now. It was mostly a joke of course, a comment meant to keep a discussion that could easily turn downwards light, but there was a core of truth there too. Being forced to survive with the barest of resources available could really make everything else look easy by comparison. Bobby's attempt to keep the mood up could only carry so far though, what with Shane deciding to get all real with him for a moment by pointing out how much he'd missed everyone, including him. "Yeah, that must have been hard on all of you," Bobby sighed, his expression faltering a little. The thought of everyone being trapped there, not knowing whether they'd ever see those they cared about again, that just sucked. "I can't even imagine what it must have been like for Merry," he added, his thoughts going out to his shapeshifting friend for a moment. "You know, having three siblings back home that she must have been worried sick about."

Bobby fell silent for a moment, his gaze falling down to the table. "Not that I'm saying you didn't have it bad, of course!" he was quick to assure Shane when he realised how what he said must have sounded, leveling his gaze with the other X-Man's again. "I bet there were tons of times where you, just one hundred percent done with the sweltering heat down there, just went "Man, I wish Bobby was here to turn down the heat a little" and then, sadness, because no Iceman for you." Bobby pouted for a second, but then his lips twisted back into a smirk. He was right back to trying to lighten the mood, not wanting what he imagined was one of Shane's first nights out since returning from the Savage Land to be a total downer. "We missed you guys as well," Bobby added with a smile. "You know, it was only a couple of days from our perspective, but still! We were sort of worried something bad had happened to you." Which had, in fact, been the case, but Bobby was still making an effort to focus on the positives here.
PM
^
Slate
 Posted: Mar 12 2018, 11:15 AM
Quote


Shane had been mostly joking when he had remarked about his potentially questionable ability to drive after having been away for so long. That night hadn't been the first night he had sat behind the wheel since his return home, so he hadn't really been worried. It was mostly a bit of fun at the fact that Bobby was questioning his ability to adjust but overlooking something as important as that. “It's like riding a bike, Bobby,” he said, flashing a smile to show that what he was about to say wasn't at all serious, “after not doing it for a while you'll probably only fall off the road about seven or eight times before you get the hang of it again.”

Shifting his eyes back to the menu as Bobby began comparing some of the things he had encountered in the Savage Land to things he could order off of the menu, Shane couldn't help but to smile. Almost giggle even. It was hard to deny that the comparisons made sense to a degree. There had easily been some variations of pork, beef, and just about any other kind of meat on hand as long as he had the patience and skill to hunt for it, so what it really boiled down to was the quality of the meat itself and how it was prepared. For the most part there had been an unfortunate lack of good seasonings in that little sliver of Antarctica, so that would likely be the biggest change. “You know, you're right. I might actually just go with the biggest burger they've got... sans vegetables. Those don't belong on my burger.” That was probably a good place to start. Since he had returned he had eaten a reasonable variety of things, but nothing as comforting as a massive comfort meal.

As the conversation went on, Bobby's mention of Merry and how difficult things had to be on her made Shane feel just a little bit selfish. Whereas he had been missing a select few people in particular (including his own parents, of course) Merry had been missing siblings with whom she lived. In truth things probably had been harder for her. She was the one who had asked the four of them to join her and to help her, and while Shane would do it again in a heartbeat he wasn't ignorant to the fact that she had felt that their getting stranded was her fault. He hadn't held that over her head (not intentionally, at least), but the idea had flashed across his mind a number of times over the past few years during some of his more depressive moments.

Bobby was quick to sort of correct himself, pointing out that it wasn't only bad for Merry, and Shane tried his best to accept the fact that the Iceman wasn't intending the remarks as belittling his own misfortune. That the remarks had been delivered with a degree of levity didn't come as a surprise, and that was in fact just one part of being around Bobby that Shane had come to miss, but it wasn't easy for Shane to see much humor in the subject. Still, he put on his best smile despite wondering if the man really understood what he was getting at with all of this.

“Yeah,” he said with a bit of a nod. “The heat was pretty bad. Sometimes I'd simply transform to rock because it meant I wouldn't have to feel it anymore. Granted I pretty much lost my overall sense of feeling, taste, and need to sleep at that point, it still helped with the heat.” It still sucked though.

Their server –a familiar brunette who Shane easily recognized, whose eyes ran up and down him momentarily as though she was just seeing him for the first time– arrived to take down their orders, and Shane briefly interrupted his train of thought to place his before giving Bobby the floor. Once their respective orders had been placed and their menus taken Shane returned his attention to his friend. Without a menu to use as a means of looking away, he would have fewer options if things grew awkward.

“As much as I missed you,” he said, trying his level best not to sound too direly serious, “I wouldn't have wished that on you at all. Despite the fact that I'm probably awesome at camping and have better survival skills than I've ever had before, it was pretty terrible a lot of the time. Not that it didn't have its moments –I've got tons of pictures and video to share sometime– but I'm glad you didn't get trapped there.” Now he found himself having a bit of a tough time forming words. He had invited Bobby out for the night so that he could fully open up to his friend, but of course he was failing at that. Expressing that he missed him and that he wouldn't have wished the same fate on the man were well and good, but they weren't quite what needed to be said.

He would simply have to go for it. Honesty and all that.

“Bobby,” he said, after taking in a long breath through his nose. “I've got somethin' I've been meanin' to tell you. I had a chance after your... return... but I wasn't brave enough for it. And then I wound up trapped for what felt like three years, feeling like I'd never see you again. I think that's the world's way of tellin' me to get off my ass and say something.”

His forearms began to tingle as he mustered up the continue. It was now or never. The promise of the truth had been made, so....

“I missed you a lot because... I like you. I mean like like you. I have for a while–” how long exactly was hard to say, really “–but just never really had the balls to say anything. Bein' cut off from you for as long as I was basically helped me put things into perspective. So... yeah... that's... yeah.”

Now Shane just wished that the drum beat that was his heart would slow down a bit.
PM
^
Iceman
 Posted: Mar 13 2018, 02:36 PM
Quote


Catching up with Slate was nice. Even though it had only been less than a week from Bobby's perspective, the man had gone through so much in that small amount of time - three years worth of experience and adventures - that it was good to just sit down together, have some food and talk about everything. How Bobby should have really reconsidered letting Shane drive; about what an adjustment the shift back to regular food was, even if Bobby didn't think it needed to be all that difficult; about the difficulties of actually coping with living in the Savage Land; to how much he'd missed everyone. And still Bobby felt like they'd only scraped the bottom of the barrel, but they had an entire evening left ahead of them, so he was sure he could poke Shane's brain about plenty of Savage Land related topics. After taking a brief moment out of their conversations to place their orders, they carried on discussing just that.

Even though Shane got a bit more serious then, telling Bobby that he wouldn't have wished being stuck on the Savage Land on him, Bobby managed to still keep things lighthearted. That was just how he rolled. "Just don't invite anyone to see a slideshow of your stay in the Savage Land," he told Shane with a light chuckle. "That's the old people way of showing others where they went on vacation. Best to just... I don't know, do you have an Instagram? Instagram could totally work for that. I hear that's what all the young folks are flocking to these days, and not just to post pictures of the food they eat." But probably mostly just that.

Trying to keep the mood light only went so far though when Shane seemed intent on keeping things serious. Okay then, Bobby could do serious if he had to. Kind of. "Shane," Bobby said stoically when the other man said his name in a way that made him unsure if he wanted to actually hear what came next. Folding his hands together on the table in front of him, he offered his friend a warm, encouraging smile nonetheless. Whatever Shane had to say to him, Bobby was sure that it wasn't actually that big of a deal. His friend was a worrier, prone to overthinking things that didn't need so much thought, and beating himself up over them. Bobby would just hear him out, and then set him at ease just like he had last time. He totally had this.

Or did he?

No.

No he did not.

He most certainly did not "have this".

Bobby could feel the heat rising within his chest when Shane told him he liked him, which was of course not something that naturally happened to him. Without any conscious thought, he immediately used his thermokinetic ability to counter that sensation, the temperature in Bobby's immediate vicinity dropping precariously in just a few tenths of a second. The moisture in the air at Harry's began to solidify against his skin, forming a thin layer of ice not dissimilar to the ice armor Bobby used to create before his full transition into ice. On the tabletop, around where his folded hands were resting, ice began to form as well, slowly starting to spread from there. All the while, Bobby remained completely oblivious of what he was doing. Where he was normally keenly aware of shifts in temperature and especially the presence of any ice, his mind was in a completely different place right then.

Realising that he'd just gone silent, which was not the way to respond to this sort of confession, Bobby let out an awkward sounding. "Okay." Was that any better? It probably wasn't any better. But that was the only thing resembling a concrete thought that he'd even managed so far, after what Shane had told him, so that was all that he even had the hopes of putting to words. Beyond that, all that he could have managed would have just been a waterfall of nonsense, and he kept that all bottled up inside to spare Shane the bother of trying to make sense of it. There was just so much going through Bobby's mind right now that stringing anything of it together was beyond hope, so "Okay" was going to have to serve as his initial reaction.

"That... that sure is something," he managed then. It really was. Bobby had known Shane for fifteen years now, ever since he was fifteen years old and the geokinetic sitting across the table from him was no older than twelve. In all that time, Bobby had never considered Shane as even being an option for anything beyond friendship. Hell, prior to a couple of months ago, Bobby hadn't even opened himself up to the fact that he was, in fact, gay, something he hadn't actually done anything with since then. Sure, he had accepted it as a fact, and actually talked about it rather dismissively when he discussed it with Shane a while back, but it had only not been much of anything to him because he hadn't really had to deal with it. He had simply continued being his happy, single self, with his sexuality being a complete non-factor until right this moment.

"I mean, that's something to consider," Bobby added, though his words really didn't bring much to the subject at hand, just like they hadn't before. The chance that he would actually utter anything that would was slim, not when he suddenly found himself put in a position that he had not seen coming at all. He had not been thinking about this for over three years, like Shane had. Instead it had just been tossed in his lap unexpectedly, and he felt like he was being forced to navigate the incredibly complex maze made out of feelings to actually find out how he felt in no time at all. It wasn't something he could do. Bobby was a very amicable man, who got along with basically everyone and was an excellent shoulder to lean on for those who needed his support, emotional or otherwise, but he was not good at sorting out his feelings. Not when he had time to prepare for it, and definitely not when he didn't.

Not having any time to sort out how he felt when Shane had so long to do it almost seemed unfair, and it made Bobby want to excuse himself before he said anything that fit with how unfair this felt to him. He liked Shane, there was no question in his mind about that, but how far that went? That was not something that he could figure out on the spot. Not with Shane sitting right across from him, and not when he was having what was basically some kind of cryokinetic panic attack. "Is it warm in here?" he wondered, tugging on the collar of his shirt, letting out an awkward laugh. It was, of course, not warm in there at all. While nowhere near the bitter, freezing cold of Bobby's body at that time, the rest of Harry's interior was quickly falling in line with the cryokinetic's current mental state. "Maybe I should step outside for a bit," he suggested, planting the palms of his hands firmly on the table and rising to his feet. Yeah, that seemed like it would be a good idea. Just go outside, get a breath of fresh air, try and get himself sorted out and maybe just run back to Xavier's to hide under a blanket in his room.
PM
^
Slate
 Posted: Mar 14 2018, 01:47 PM
Quote


At the mention of a slideshow being something that old people would do Shane suddenly felt a bit silly. During his impromptu meeting and subsequent lunch with Wanda and her eerily familiar looking brother Pietro he had more or less done exactly that. Proving to Pietro that the Savage Land did indeed exist and that he and Clint had both wound up there at various points in time for various lengths of time required nothing less than photographic and video evidence. No fewer than six thousand or so photos and numerous videos well taken. “I do not have an Instagram,” he said before pausing, his eyes narrowing as his expression turned momentarily thoughtful. “Oh wait, I think I do. I've just never used it.” Instagram was one of the many social media platforms that just didn't really strike Shane as necessary when things like Facebook had built-in photo albums –not that he'd post his Savage Land adventures there. Some things didn't need to get out to the more general public. If people got wind of the place then countries might start sending exploration parties to the little bit of time-warped hell in Antarctica. They didn't need that disaster on their hands.

Unfortunately the conversation didn't remain light, as Shane's need to admit the truth to his friend had pushed him to actually doing so. Immaturely at that. Telling someone that you “Like like” them was essentially no better than sitting in class and passing a note asking if a person liked you, complete with check boxes for “Yes” and “No.”

Why was he so damned STUPID?

Bobby's initial reaction made it abundantly clear that he wasn't taking the revelation well, and as the temperature in their vicinity began to instantly plummet Shane was worried that the man was going to have some kind of a breakdown. The words falling out of Bobby's mouth made things no better, and only made clearer that Shane should have just kept his dumb trap shut. This was a mistake. A big and apparently dangerous mistake. Despite it being so cold around him Shane felt the heat of guilt as he tried not to watch the layer of frost forming on Bobby's skin and then across the tabletop.

If he could take it back, he would have.

Bobby didn't deserve to be put on the spot like he had been.

Everything that fell out of the cryokinetic's mouth struck Shane as rhetorical, and he had no real suitable response to any of it apart from the man announcing that he might want to step outside. It would probably be best that he did... for the sake of Harry's Hideaway at the very least. At that moment Shane almost wouldn't care if he was frozen solid. “Um... uh, sure,” was all that he could manage as he sank a bit into the seat.

Watching with worry as his possibly soon to be ex-friend (due to the awkwardness that now hung between them) departed Shane felt his stomach knot and his chest tighten. Once Bobby had left the diner Shane exhaled, awash with a feeling of full-body numbness that wasn't caused by the cold.

“God dammit Shane,” he said to himself, propping his elbows on the frosty table and resting his forehead on his fists. “Always a fuckin' idiot.” To him this was yet another instance of diving face first toward an end goal rather than taking things one step at a time. It was little different than asking Julian Keller completely blow him to pieces without first starting small to be absolutely sure that he could rebuild his rock body. Another colossal dumb, performed by the utterly spectacular idiot Shane Michael Adler.

All he really wanted to do at that moment was sink into a hole in the ground, bury himself, and assimilate the minerals around him, essentially becoming one with the ground and just staying there so that no one would have to see his stupid face.

When their server approached wearing a concerned expression Shane almost didn't notice. It wasn't until her voice called out to him that he looked up suddenly. “Hey sweetie, is everything okay? I saw your friend leave, and from the look of things and the sudden cold snap I'd say something must have happened.”

Oh, right, she was a regular server. She knew what they could do.

Heaving a weighty sigh, Shane said, “I'll be fine. I just... ran my dumb ass mouth like I always do.”

The woman chuckled, which to Shane seemed wildly inappropriate considering what he had done. If Bobby had decided to leave entirely he wouldn't be surprised. Why was that so funny? “You guys are always getting into some kind of trouble aren't you? I'm sure that whatever you said, you'll both weather it and be fine. Yeah, I know you sometimes mouth off or speak before you think –people talk. Trust me, it'll be okay.”

“I–” he started before cutting himself off momentarily. Yeah. As much as things sucked at that moment he was certain that he and Bobby would both survive. Their friendship however remained in question. Sighing once more Shane said, “I s'pose you're right.”

“I know I'm right,” she said with a strange level of confidence, “but you just let me know if you need anything. Your order will be out soon.” The woman then looked to Bobby's unoccupied seat and said, “What about your friend? You still want his order out?”

Turning his eyes momentarily toward the unoccupied space, eyeing the now melting frost on the surface of the table, Shane said, “Yeah. Keep it comin'.”

In the worst case he could always take it to go and give it to Bobby later.


Iceman
PM
^
Iceman
 Posted: Mar 17 2018, 05:17 PM
Quote


Leaving Shane sitting by himself at their table at Harry's felt like a shitty thing to do after the confession he'd made, but Bobby knew that he needed to step away for a moment. As he had gotten up from the table, he had become aware of what he had subconsciously been doing to the temperature inside the bar, so going outside at least for a bit was a good idea. Then once he was out there, Bobby could figure out what the heck he'd do next, because honestly he had no idea how to handle himself in this situation. All he could do was awkwardly make his way towards the exit, the thin layer of ice breaking and falling off of him as he went along. "Sorry," he muttered as he caught the eye of the waitress he passed on his way out, who clearly wasn't happy with the mess he'd left for one of the staff at Harry's to clean up.

Once he was outside, Bobby sat down on the edge of the sidewalk, resting his elbows on his legs and burying his face in his hands. He couldn't help but feel like he'd just messed up spectacularly, hurting the feelings of someone he cared about just because he was so out of touch with his own feelings that he hadn't been able to give the man any kind of answer. Did he like Slate? Sure, he'd known him for nearly fifteen years and had always liked him just fine. Did he like-like him, to borrow a very elementary school type of phrasing from his geokinetic friend? No. Freaking. Clue.

It just wasn't something he'd ever considered before. Friends were friends, and Bobby Drake was clearly not wired to have thought of them as anything else. Considering that Xavier's was pretty much the extent of his social circle, it was no wonder that he was pretty much perpetually single and took so long to even figure out that he was gay. There had just never really been anything to bring that out in him. Then, once he did finally come to realise it, he had immediately tossed it in the "Eh, not important" box and shoved that under the bed. He was comfortable with it, or at least that's what he'd told himself,

Maybe he just needed to stop telling himself anything, and actually reach out to someone. Bobby didn't need validation, but his reaction just now sure made it clear that he needed to talk to someone, at least about what had just happened. Grabbing his phone, Bobby briefly considered the options. As always, the other original X-Men came to mind first, but one by one Bobby dismissed the idea of calling them. Jean was good at a lot of things, but this sort of thing did not strike Bobby as being in her wheelhouse. Warren would probably just tell him to stop worrying and go for it, which Bobby didn't like the sound of that. Beast was likely to approach this too scientifically, and Bobby was neither interested in hearing about the clinical approach to like-liking anyone or in hearing too many big words right now. His brain was full enough as it was. Scottie... Scottie probably hadn't even figured out how to shave yet, Bobby was not going to go to him for advice on anything.

Arsenic was obviously the best option for him to call, Bobby decided quickly. And so he selected his former mentee from his list of contacts, brought the phone to his ear and crossed the fingers of his other hand hoping that Corks would answer the phone. "Corks, hey!" Relief washed over him when he heard Corks' voice on the other side of the line. Without pause, Bobby started explaining just what had gone down. "I need your help. I'm at Harry's with Shane, on what I thought was just dinner but seems to have taken a turn towards being a date?" Okay, so maybe not a date, but if he'd admitted to like-liking Shane himself, and the jury was very much still out on that one, then it totally would have been. "He just said he like-liked me - yes, I know that's a very mature way of phrasing it - and I sort of freaked out? Like, iced over started turning Harry's into a big freezer until I stepped outside freaked out." Bobby paused to take a breath. "You've got like, twenty seconds to give me your best advice. Go!"

"Okay wow, we're twelve and we are like-liking people now," Gert told him, then just kept right on going because she knew him well enough to know he was serious about the twenty seconds. "I think you just have to be honest, however you feel about that idiot you need to tell him, if you like-like him, if you're just not sure, if maybe you just are unsure because you don't really date. Whatever it is Bobby just be honest, even if you're afraid to hurt his feelings just say it- Because he deserves to know. He got his feelings off of his chest and now it's your turn to tell him how you feel and if if you want to go out with him again, can you please tell Shane that Harry's is not the place for a first date?"

Bobby winced a little at those last couple of words, but he couldn't really argue with "Just be honest". That had been what he had promised Shane he would do a couple of weeks ago, after all, and now that he'd taken a moment to step outside and have Gert lecture him, he could probably manage. "Thanks, Corks," he told his former mentee. "Though just for the record, this isn't a date, so he didn't actually take me to Harry's for that." And whether or not that was true, Bobby was just going to cling to the idea of this not being a date to keep his nerves in check. "I'll let you know how things go," he added, "...or call you again in five minutes in case I mess up and need a ride back to the school." Though maybe it would be better if he just used his ice slide to get home in that case, so he'd have some time to reflect on his own idiocy. But for now, Bobby was just going to stay positive and assume he wouldn't screw up. "Take care Corks."

Getting up from the ground, Bobby slipped his phone back in his pocket and headed back into Harry's. Making his way to where Shane was still seated, now with most of their order on the table, Bobby sat down and smiled at his friend. "Sorry about all that," he apologised. "I guess I just lost my co--" Bobby paused, holding up a hand to buy himself some time to consider his words. "Marbles." That did suggest he'd just gone crazy, but it beat an unintentional ice pun. "It just caught me by surprise," he began to explain. "And I felt pressured to confess feelings of my own, or tell you that I don't have any, but honestly I'm just not sure either way." It was kind of a non-answer, but it was really the best Bobby could give right now. "I've just... y'know, never considered the option of--" In lieu of words, Bobby just gestured at Shane. "And that's not really something I'm going to figure out at Harry's over chicken tenders and mashed potatoes." Which, by the way, Bobby really wanted to just destroy utterly, so if Shane could take Bobby grabbing a chicken tender and putting it in his mouth as his cue to talk, that would be great.
PM
^
Slate
 Posted: Mar 18 2018, 10:56 AM
Quote


Perhaps their waitress was right. The woman had known many of them for years and had likely heard many a story from everyone and anyone from Xavier's who happened to wander into Harry's, so there was little doubt that she at least knew enough about them to be able to confidently assume that things would be okay. Shane wasn't so sure himself, but he was at least willing to give the idea the benefit of the doubt.

Left wondering if it had been his juvenile choice of words, the seemingly unprovoked admission of feelings, or simply the idea that Bobby didn't feel that way about him, Shane sat trying his best to simply shove what he could away. The less he dwelt on what had happened the better, though that was easier thought than done. Made even more so by the fact that shortly thereafter their orders had begun to arrive, reminding Shane even more of the fact that his friend was no longer there.

Resting his head on one hand propped up on the table Shane began drumming the fingers of the other across the tabletop, wondering if he should simply ask to make the order to go. Because he knew it would be a hassle to box everything up after the fact he'd have left a larger than normal tip, but after a few moments of silent deliberation his eyes caught sight of the door opening and Bobby stepping through. Shane straightened up, not wanting the man to see him in the funk he had dropped into. When Bobby sat down with a smile Shane did his best to mirror the expression, being genuinely glad that the man hadn't simply bolted entirely but still nervous about whatever might be said about his confession.

In Shane's eyes an apology wasn't really necessary. He had dropped a minor bomb into Bobby's lap and the man had only reacted in one of many possible ways. Had he overreacted? Possibly –it could have been handled without nearly freezing the place– but he wasn't going to judge the man for being so taken off guard by something he had clearly never expected nor considered. The last thing he wanted was for Bobby to feel pressured.

“Don't worry 'bout it,” he said when Bobby had almost (but not quite) admitted to losing his cool. He didn't want to come across as dismissive, but he hoped that not making a huge deal out of what had just happened might make things a bit less awkward. The smile on his face did grow just a bit when Bobby revealed that he actually wasn't sure whether or not the feelings he had were shared. While that wasn't exactly an answer, it wasn't an outright denial, so there was still a chance. Shane had no doubt that figuring such a thing out would take time, and he told himself that it was only right to give Bobby whatever time he might need to decide either way. If the feelings weren't mutual he hoped that they could salvage the kind of friendship they had enjoyed only a few minutes prior.

“I shouldn'tve dropped that on you so suddenly,” he added once Bobby had finished speaking and began eating. The fact that his friend's appetite seemed to be pretty much intact could have been a good sign. Maybe not however, since it was probably pretty hard to ruin Bobby Drake's appetite under normal circumstances. “I'm sorry I did. Puttin' you on the spot was the last thing I wanted or needed to do. I just felt like I needed to say it and was having a hell of a time findin' the right time.” That it had taken an absurdly long time even without the Savage Land's time warp factored in was something he'd keep to himself, because that was only likely to add more unnecessary pressure to the Iceman.

On that note he would drop the subject unless it was brought up by Bobby. With the truth off his chest he could at least be happy in the fact that his friend hadn't completely fled and was still willing to be around a colossal idiot. “I'm glad you came back,” Shane said, picking up his burger and preparing to take his first bite, his appetite returning enough to at least try it. “I really didn't want to have to get all of this to go –it's never anywhere near as good reheated.”

Taking a bite of the burger, Shane slowly began chewing, allowing himself to appreciate the flavors and seasonings that he had missed for so long. While meat had existed in the Savage Land (in absurd abundance) it wasn't quite the same as having a well seasoned burger on a lightly toasted bun with actual condiments. The flavors, while familiar, almost seemed somewhat foreign after so long of going without. It was amazing.

After he swallowed he said, “Holy crap this is awesome. You have no idea how much I've missed this.” It was probably a minor thing to someone like Bobby, who basically subsisted on anything and everything that could be classified as comfort or junk food, but he hadn't been deprived of it for a ludicrous amount of time.

“So I won't show you a boring slildeshow,” he said, hoping to drag the conversation back into more neutral ground, “but is there anything you want to know about where we were? I've got a crap ton of stories... many of which involved me probably nearly gettin' killed. I mean, but not all of them. There were good things too. Just... lots of scary stuff too.”
PM
^
Iceman
 Posted: Mar 22 2018, 01:19 PM
Quote


"It's okay," Bobby assured Slate with a slight smile when the man fretted about unexpectedly telling him that he like-liked him. He had been caught by surprise and handled it rather poorly, but while he had thought it was unfair to just put him on the spot that way, Bobby wasn't quite sure how Shane could have handled it better either. No matter how he had done it, something would probably have frozen over and Bobby would have walked off the way he had. The way the cryokinetic mutant had responded was pretty much on him exclusively, not on Shane. "We made a promise to be honest with each other a while ago," Bobby reminded his friend. "That was just you doing precisely that. It's probably for the best that you got that off your chest instead of mulling over it endlessly. Now I just need to--" Bobby brought a hand up to tap the side of his head, "--wrap my own brain around it." It could take a while. Outside of math problems and balancing the books, wrapping his mind around things wasn't always Bobby's forte.

Where he'd been more or less having a panic attack a couple of minutes ago, Bobby quickly settled down again now that the air between the two had been cleared and the subject shifted from like-liking people to like-liking food. That was something that Bobby could easily agree on with Shane. And while Harry's was hardly gourmet cooking, it was damn fine food nonetheless. If anything could get Shane back into the habit of eating like people, Bobby was sure this would do it.

He actually watched as Shane took a bite from his burger, letting out a chuckle as he could more or less see the process of tasting real food again happen on the other man's face. He didn't even need to hear Shane say how awesome it was to know that the burger was greatly appreciated. "That good, huh? I get it." Grabbing a chicken tender, Bobby took a bite from it and then continued talking. "Remember, I was made out of ice for a month. I know, it's not three years of Savage Land cuisine, but a whole month of no food at all really makes you appreciate being able to eat." Hurray for functioning taste buds and an actual digestive system that worked. "You should try one of these too," Bobby suggested, nodding down at his chicken tenders. "They're good. I mean, even if dinosaur tastes like chicken," and Bobby didn't know if that was true, "I bet they weren't as crispy and delicious as these."

When Shane went on to change the subject back to the Savage Land, probably a better choice than discussing their feelings some more (for the time being, at least), Bobby took a moment to give some thought to what he might want to ask about, a light frown creasing his forehead. "I'm... not sure?" he said after falling silent briefly. "I mean, from what little I've heard about it so far, it sounds absolutely crazy so I have no idea where I'd even start with questions. Dinosaurs?" The intonation of Bobby's voice technically made that a question, but it wasn't a very good one. "Maybe you can just... tell me whatever story you'd like to share?" It wasn't like he didn't ask anything specific because he didn't care, Bobby just genuinely didn't know what to ask his friend.
PM
^
Slate
 Posted: Mar 23 2018, 10:56 AM
Quote


Shane hoped that after the initial shock of getting the truth out that things would settle a bit, and he was grateful that Bobby seemed to be calming down and more or less returning to his normal self. That the man brought up their recent mutual decision to be more honest with each other and that Shane was literally just making good on his word was a plus. The decision to be more open and honest with his friend had been made in an effort to bridge the gaps between them a bit and for Shane to stop keeping so many people at arm's length.

“Just take whatever time you need,” Shane said, not wanting Bobby to feel pressured. Coming to Harry's and speaking from the heart had been a bit of a gamble in the first place. Putting unfair pressure on Bobby to try to get a response from him would have probably negated any progress that might have been made and/or put an actual strain on their friendship. Shane had been sitting on the truth for a long time –waiting a little bit longer for Bobby to sort out his own thoughts on the matter wouldn't hurt him.

As their focus shifted from awkward revelations to devouring comfort foods Shane's nerves began to settle. While he had nearly lost his appetite before it was quickly returning after Bobby's return and their subsequent exchange about what had happened between them. Having an audience while he tasted his first burger after his return to the modern world was a bit strange, but he completely understood why Bobby might be fascinated by watching him eat. Shane hadn't been too sure that he'd the food at Harry's anymore after spending so long without having decent seasonings, mass produced bread products, or anything of that sort, but he was glad he was wrong. The burger was crazy delicious.

Following his initial bite and expression of awe, Bobby mentioned as a reminder that he had been frozen through for a solid month and unable to eat. The evolution of Shane's own mutation had been somewhat different, with less noticeable effects and mere suspicions until he had finally lost an actual part of his body; Bobby had been forced to endure a much harsher evolution. “Oh yeah, that had to suck,” he said, feeling that his words were actually pretty insufficient. Anyone who knew Bobby would know that contrary to his build the man loved to eat –and on that note, so did Shane. “What was the first thing you ate when you were able to again?”

Shane briefly hesitated when Bobby offered up one of his chicken tenders for a taste test, mostly because he didn't want to deprive his friend of the chance to enjoy his whole plate. He wouldn't deny the man the chance to see him enjoy something anew again however, so after a moment of deliberation he selected one of the smaller pieces and gave it a try. The crispiness was more or less exactly as he remembered from the last time he had eaten the tenders at Harry's, with the breading not being overly seasoned and the chicken inside not being hot enough to burn one's mouth like it was at some restaurants. “Yep, you're right. These are a lot better than what we had down there. Not that dinosaur meat was bad or anything, but we didn't really have the necessary stuff to fry any. Pretty much everything was roasted, raw, or maybe boiled. I can apparently make one hell of a cooking pot out of stone.” It wasn't hard to make what was essentially a deeper than usual bowl, after all.

His offer to tell some stories from his stay in the Savage Land was met with a bit of hesitation. There was so much to tell that it came as little surprise that Bobby would have a hard time trying to pick out any one thing. The fact that he wasn't there and had little real idea of what he could even ask about didn't really occur to Shane immediately, but was something he realized when Bobby tossed the conversational ball back to him. “Guess it's hard to narrow things down when there's so much that you don't know,” he admitted. Dinosaurs were probably the least interesting thing about the place, strangely enough. “Okay, then I'll tell you about how and why we went there in the first place and where we wound up living.” That was probably a good place to start. Other stories could come later.

So between bites Shane explained how Merry had sent him a text one morning, how he and the others had met behind Harry's, and the reason that they were going to teleport across the globe with the aid of an active member of the Brotherhood. The fact that they had found themselves stranded in the unfamiliar jungle wasn't new news to anyone, but he shared that along with their initial frustrations and confusions. As he spoke things began coming back to him vividly, recalling nearly every detail as though he had just arrived there yesterday. He told Bobby of the fortress that he and Calvin had created, with Trevor and the others ultimately helping with things like aqueducts and quality of life additions.

Telling the story was a lot less stressful than living it, but as he spoke he realized just what the experience had really done for him. He explained that shortly after arriving the group realized that they didn't really have enough food to last for all that long, and had gone into how he had come to rely on his powers for things like hunting and survival. Some of the more boring details were left out, but after covering the basics of their first couple of weeks in the Savage Land, Shane shrugged and said, “I've gotta admit that as much as it sucked bein' stranded there I did learn a lot. I've probably made more progress with my power training there in a few day—years than I have in a long time.”


Iceman
PM
^
Iceman
 Posted: Mar 27 2018, 10:19 AM
Quote


Green eyes shifted sideways momentarily when Slate asked Bobby what the first thing he ate was after he was able to do so again. "Something healthy, of course," he lied, before meeting Shane's gaze again and offering him a grin. "It was waffles," he admitted. "After I had my little... meeting with Roberto, I went to see Gert and she offered to make me waffles. They were vegan." Somehow Bobby managed to sound disappointed about that, even though the waffles were fine. It was just that in his head, this meant they would have been even better had they been made the regular way. "They were good, but it would have been ice cream if I'd picked for myself. No particular flavour, just... whatever I got my hands on first." He was a total cliche when it came to that, the cryokinetic who loved ice cream, but Bobby didn't care. Nothing beat a good frozen treat, and he was definitely going to be murdering one after he did the same to the chicken tenders and mashed potatoes.

"Maybe boiled?" Bobby echoed when Shane told him about the different ways he'd had food down in the Savage Land. "That sounds like something you'd want to be sure of," he said jokingly. "I mean, I guess maybe you don't have to worry about?" Bobby gestured towards Shane, before grabbing another chicken tender. "You know, with the whole rock thing you've got going on now? Though who knows, maybe any condition you suffer from will still be there once you turn back to flesh." It seemed kind of hard to test that out, Bobby couldn't imagine Shane would be too keen on Hank infecting him with some kind of horrible bacteria just to see if it would still be there after switching to one of his mineral forms.

As Shane started to tell him about his time in the Savage Land, Bobby rested his arms on the table between them and found himself leaning forward ever so slightly, eager to hear about all of his friend's adventures down there with Merry, Trevor and the rest. He still had trouble wrapping his mind around the fact that it had been over three years for them, and couldn't even imagine everything that he had gone through. The how and why part of it was... well, disappointing wasn't the right word for it, but that was how Bobby's expression read when Shane told him how Merry had contacted him, how the lot of them had met behind Harry's and how they then found themselves stranded in the Savage Land after Clarice pointed them there. Valid information of course, but that was all stuff that Bobby already knew about. It was why the X-Men had come looking for them in the first place.

The fortress was something that piqued Bobby's interest more, to hear about how Shane and Calvin had used his friend's geokinetic abilities to make a home for themselves when it became clear they were stuck down there. Sure, what Shane was telling him felt more like setting the scene rather than telling him any actual stories, but the idea of carving out a home in some mountain was pretty cool. It was something Shane could do that Bobby had never really considered, but that made sense given that "Got stuck in some primitive jungle land" wasn't a scenario that would just come to mind.

"It makes sense that you discover more about yourself when you're put in a situation like that," Bobby said when it seemed like Shane's story was over for the moment. "I mean, the same happened to me once I pulled myself together after Roberto blew me up. Extreme situations giving a new perspective, I guess." Both situations sucked, there was no doubt about it, but hey, silver lining! "I'm not sure all that counts as a story though." Bobby gestured at Shane with his left hand. "More like the first page in what I imagine is a very interesting book. So, tell me..." Grabbing another chicken tender, Bobby leaned back against his seat and regarded Shane with a curious twinkle in his eyes. "What were some real adventures you had down there? I think I've got the broader picture now, five people trapped in a wild, dangerous land, living it up Robin Crusoe style, mutant edition. But what specific Shane things did you do?"
PM
^
Slate
 Posted: Mar 29 2018, 02:05 PM
Quote


The little bit of a story that Shane told Bobby wasn't entirely meant to impress, but rather to establish the scene. Naturally Iceman was quick to point that out, wanting him to get to something with real substance. That was one of the things that Shane liked about the man –even if he wasn't jumping up and down demanding story time he was very clearly interested in what he had to say. The hardest part would be choosing exactly where to begin.

Actually that hadn't been hard. He'd already sort of started. The stage was set and the players in place. All he needed to do now was decide exactly what story he'd tell. There were so many. Sure there were days at a time when nothing of note happened outside of hunting for food, refining their living situation, and trying to combat the ridiculous heat, but there were so many wonderful and terrible things to describe. Luckily Shane had a burger to stuff in his mouth (one normal sized bite at a time, because he wasn't actually a savage) while he decided where to start.

He would leave the subject of Null alone for a bit, with the event having been so recent and fresh in his mind and the creature being so utterly terrible that he didn't really want to discuss it at that time, but after a few moments of deliberation and a quick drink of water he looked squarely at Bobby and began:

“Not too long after we arrived we all set out to explore the place,” it might have sounded like Shane was simply further setting the stage, and in a sense he was, but it was extremely necessary in this case. “I stayed in my normal form as I traveled, using my Forge-custom phone to record things as I went. At first it all just seemed like a normal jungle territory like you'd see in movies or documentaries but anytime I came across signs of animals I was pretty blown away by them; they were huge.” With that Shane spread his hands apart as though to emphasize how huge huge was. “I'm talking hoofprints the size of a Mini Cooper. So at that point I was wondering just what the hell could have made them, but I was kinda hoping to not find out.”

Holding up a finger, Shane took another drink of water before he shrugged and rolled his eyes theatrically. “Of course I found out. It didn't take a long time of following the tremors that reached me to find something that looked like some kind of monster ram. I mean I don't really know what it was, but it was big and muscular and had horns and was angry, so that's probably the best thing I can equate it to. I know that probably doesn't sound terribly impressive or scary but the thing was seriously as big as your average four bedroom suburban house. Naturally I was pretty much scared shitless, but before I made any moves I saw that it was antagonizing –probably trying to kill and eat– a group of people who looked like they were natives. From the looks of them they were hunters who had found the worst kind of prey or had seriously messed up. One of 'em was hurt.”

Again he paused, not wanting his food to get cold. Part of him may have also found some kind of joy in keeping up the suspense, but mostly he was just hungry. Having gotten over most of his anxieties saw a return of his appetite. When he was ready, which didn't take long, he resumed: “I wasn't about to leave 'em to die, even if I didn't know whether or not they'd see me as a threat. I mean, what kind of X-Man would do that? So in an attempt to distract the ram-monster, or'Ramonster' –that's what I'll call it from this point on– I made a pretty big portion of the ground behind it sink a bit to trip it up –basically a shallow dirt pit to disorient it. As it slipped in and struggled to get out I rushed over to the hunters. At first they were scared, and hell if I know what they were tryin' to say, but I managed to convince them through gestures that I was there to help. One of the hunters pointed to the pit I had made and said... something... and after a few seconds I realized that he wanted me to do whatever it was I had done to make it deeper so that they could actually kill the Ramonster. So I did. With its hind legs trapped in a deeper dirt pit it couldn't do much but flail about and the hunters made short work of it.”

Though it was one of his earliest brushes with danger in the Savage Land, Shane was surprised at how vividly he recalled it. There might have been a few minor details that had escaped him (he couldn't quite recall how many hunters were present) but the major gist of the story was still pretty much there in his head. “Afterward they did regard me with a bit of suspicion, but I did what I could to make sure they knew I meant 'em no harm. I even raised the ground I'd sunk to help them get the Ramonster out. Not that they were going to drag the whole thing back to their settlement. I did help them gather what they needed and they had beckoned me to follow. I was reluctant at first, but... you know... their basic weapons would have been nothing had I rocked out. So I followed them to their village. It was small, but surprisingly efficient. They had no refrigeration so the Ramonster was to be their meal for the evening. I had no idea what they were saying at the time –kinda picked up a bit over time through further run-ins with the tribe– but I did help them to set the injuries of their companion before I left.”

All in all it probably wasn't the most amazing tale he could have told, but he had learned that starting with the big finish wasn't always the smartest idea. If he began with things like Null, the labyrinth, the shadow beast, or even the Marauders then everything else might seem less impressive. Dramatic buildup was sometimes important. “We made alliances with more tribes over time, but that was just one of them. Part of our deal was that we hunted outside of their territory, and I did my best to honor it.”

After taking another big bite of his burger, Shane sat back and smiled. “There is so much more where that came from, but I don't want to start with the biggest and best stuff right away –that'll make stories like this seem silly.”
PM
^
Iceman
 Posted: Apr 2 2018, 01:02 PM
Quote


Pulling his chicken tenders closer, Bobby settled in his seat as Shane began telling him a story from his time spent in the Savage Land. Grabbing one of the tenders, he bit off a piece and chewed on it as his green eyes focused on the man across the table from him. Now, something with hoof prints the size of a Mini Cooper sounded more like it! Bobby hoped that Slate wouldn't just follow up his "I was kinda hoping to not find out" with "And I didn't" because honestly he would have just reached across the table to slap his friend. Thankfully it didn't have to come to that, because Shane actually did find the source of it, describing it as a... monster ram? Bobby had no idea what to think of that. When he thought big, angry beast with horns, his mind went straight to either a bull or a bison, but then he hadn't seen the creature itself and he trusted Shane to know the difference between a sheep and a cow.

"Wait, it was how big?" Bobby asked incredulously when Shane compared its size to an average four bedroom house. That had to be hyperbolic. Sure, things used to grow big in like, the prehistoric, but that just sounded impossibly large. "And it was trying to do whatnow?" he added in an equally disbelieving way when Shane suggested it was trying to kill and eat a couple of the Savage Land's natives. A carnivorous ram the size of a house. Man, Shane had better have pictures of this animal because it was sounding completely outlandish to Bobby based on his description. Of course the entire Savage Land sounded ridiculous, and he had no reason to doubt anything he'd heard about that so far, but still. Flesh eating sheepers was a bit much for Bobby to just accept as a possibility.

He appreciated the story of how Shane had helped the natives kill the beast though, even if the name that he gave it made him quirk up his brow. Ramonster? No. Just no. Bobby would have told Shane to leave the nicknames to him, but honestly he wasn't sure what he'd call something like that either. He wasn't sure if he would be able to come up with something even if Shane did have a picture to show him. He kept quiet as Shane continued his story, chewing through several chicken tenders and helping himself to much of his mashed potatoes, not speaking up again until his friend finished his story about the Ramonster giant mystery creature and hinted at there being more stories to tell.

"Okay, so. I have some questions" Bobby folded his hands together as he regarded Shane with bright green eyes. "First of all, Ramonster? I'm very disappointed in you, I just want you to know that," he teased, managing to keep a straight face for only a few seconds before his lips spread into a smirk. "Secondly, was it really a giant carnivorous ram? Like, a giant sheep with sharp teeth and an appetite for man flesh?" It was clear from Bobby's tone and the expression that his face had twisted into that he was finding this very hard to believe. Which was really saying a lot considering that he'd had very little trouble accepting everything else that he'd heard. It was just... sheep were floofy and adorable, even if their scary demon eyes were the stuff of nightmares. "And finally, what did the giant ram taste like?" Bobby was just going to refer to it as that, instead of the name Shane had chosen for it. "I mean, assuming you stayed for dinner?" It didn't actually sound like he had, which Bobby could... sort of understand, given that he didn't really know the tribe at all. Not that it would have stopped Bobby though, he'd have been down for some barbequed giant sheep monster.

"So, what better stuff do you have?" He wondered next. "Not that I'm suggesting that story wasn't good." Bobby pointed towards Shane then. "Those were your words, not mine. Oh!" Realising that he'd forgotten something, Bobby quickly backpedalled from wanting to hear another story. "Before you tell me about the biggest, best stuff... do you have a picture of the giant ram?" Bobby would understand if Shane hadn't actually found the time to snap a picture of the thing while people's lives were in danger, but it couldn't hurt to ask.
PM
^
Slate
 Posted: Apr 4 2018, 02:14 PM
Quote


So maybe the giant beast wasn't really trying to eat the hunters. After all, Shane had arrived later in the encounter. It was entirely possible that they had antagonized it and it was merely defending itself. Regardless, the tribesmen were in trouble and Shane had stepped in to help them out. And now that Bobby mentioned it, it was hard to recall exactly what the thing looked like. It was huge, had massive horns, and was angry, but he couldn't easily recall if it was more ram or bull. Either way, he hadn't eaten any of it, so there was that. “I didn't get to eat any of it,” he admitted with a shrug before leaning over a bit to gain access to his pocketed phone. “And seeing as you're basically asking what it looked like I figure I'd show you. That wasn't the only one that I saw, and I've got tons of pictures of animals from there.”

He had agreed not to make a slideshow presentation out of it, but Bobby had essentially asked for it. “I've got lots of stories,” he said, tapping his way into his gallery and into the various subsections of Savage Land photographs. Having so many, he had deemed it necessary to sort the images by type, whether they be flora, fauna, or whatever else there might have been. “In over three years there was plenty of time to explore and run into the worst stuff. Of course, there were some pretty awesome things too, but there were some genuinely creepy monsters there.” Null being perhaps the creepiest of all.

Once he had located a collection of pictures of the giant horned beast, Shane tilted his head, narrowing his eyes slightly before he turned his phone to show his friend. “I'm not really sure if 'ram' is the best adjective. I mean it's big, has horns, and... I'm not a biologist. Either way it had a temper and that first one was really really upset.” In the photos he had snapped of this beast encountered later stood numerous large trees. While that in itself wasn't necessarily the best way to get a good idea of just how big the thing was, there were also several photos of its hoof-prints –some with Shane standing at the edge of them or in the middle to show just how big they actually were. “And I assure you no one would wanna be kicked by that –I'm sure it'd even send a fully armored Piotr flying.” Despite the fact that when rocked out he could throw armored Piotr, the man was still heavy by the numbers. Kicking something of that size and density would be extremely difficult or painful to one's foot.

Perhaps things hadn't gone quite as Shane had hoped that night, but he was easily willing and able to admit that they had at least gone well enough. Bobby had had a minor meltdown and he himself had felt completely foolish, but things had been smoothed over well enough. If they could move past his confession at the very least, Shane would be okay. If that's all that happened, then at least he won't have lost a good friend and someone he admired. So for the rest of the evening Shane was content with sharing some of his stories, saving some of the best ones for another possible time, but still giving Bobby some pretty crazy tales.



Iceman
PM
^
1 User(s) are reading this topic (1 Guests and 0 Anonymous Users)
0 Members:

Topic Options
Add Reply
New Topic
New Poll


 


 

RPG-D


skinned by missy at atf, caution, & shine.
cfs by black and code script by nicole.