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 A Cold Shoulder to Lean On, Mar 16th, 8:30am | Closed to Tagged
Slate
 Posted: Apr 5 2018, 04:24 PM
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Everything sucked, and everything was going straight to down into the bowels of however many hells there were. Laura and Neena had been missing for over a week and while they finally had a lead, Weapon X wasn't the only problem currently staring the X-Men in the face. In fact, if the conversation with Backup from the future was to be believed then they had a much more serious problem approaching that had far more dire, actually world ending consequences. A problem that he had apparently caused by answering Amelia Bradshaw's summons to Nebraska at the start of February.

Shane didn't fully understand it, but he was feeling no small amount of guilt over what was happening. If he hadn't meddled in Broken Bow then apparently these things wouldn't have stirred. Wouldn't have hungered. Wouldn't have made Amelia and many more into their violent puppets. From the sound of things it was all simply going to escalate from there, and they absolutely needed to be ready for what was to come or they'd all suffer death or a worse fate.

The idea that he was the cause of what could potentially become the near to total extinction of mankind was no light burden to bear, and it weighed heavily on the geokinetic. Shane's only mistake had been caring about his friend enough to drop what he was doing to make an impromptu trip to the middle of nowhere, and that mistake had caused so much agony and tragedy.

And now he didn't really know how to fix it.

From the sound of it the people who were infected couldn't be returned to normal, with the change being a genetic rewrite rather than mind control. If Broken Bow was already being overtaken then what recourse did they really have? Destroying the nest was absolutely vital, and it really sounded like that meant destroying the entire town completely was probably their only option to wipe out the invading Brood.

Having left the War Room a half hour prior Shane had found himself mostly absently wandering the halls of Xavier's, pondering what to do. Beefing up security and defenses was important, but so was rest. Glancing at his watch Shane quickly ran the math in his head and realized that he was running on about twenty seven hours without sleep. Exhausted but at the same time incredibly wired, Shane wasn't entirely sure how to handle anything at that point. If the Brood attacked now he'd be a shambling useless mess. Eventually he found his way to the third floor, intent on more or less forcing himself to get some sleep. Perhaps a sleep aid might help there, or perhaps not.

Stopping outside of his room, with its missing door and broken frame, Shane cast a glance down the hall, toward Bobby's room.

Telling everyone what was going on had helped him to get his thoughts into some kind of order, but the man's head was still a muddled mess of tired emotions and confusion. While he had shared what he knew, there lingered a few incredibly heavy feelings of guilt and regret regarding a few very important things. Maybe talking to someone –being honest with and about himself– would help him. Clearing his conscience and simply talking might actually enable him to rest.

Before he really realized what he was doing his feet had dragged him over to Bobby's door and he was knocking on it. Iceman had been at the meeting in the War Room, so he at least knew what everyone else did, but of all of the people in the mansion Shane wanted to talk to him the most. While he had shared information he hadn't shared emotion –he rarely did, and it was usually bad when he didn't.

So... why not share?

When the door opened Shane couldn't even muster a smile, but managed a nod. He was simply too physically and emotionally exhausted to do much more. “Hey,” he said simply. “Can we talk for a bit? I just... I need to talk.”
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Iceman
 Posted: Apr 7 2018, 12:52 PM
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It had been quite the eventful morning so far, and the day was only just getting started. Following the meeting in the War Room, where tensions had run pretty high, Bobby had returned to his quarters so he could make sure he was prepared for the coming classes he had to teach. Or so he told himself at least. In reality he was just distracting himself from his own thoughts, from feeling like despite their efforts to provide the students with a safe environment for them to learn and develop in, they were failing spectacularly.

Trouble just always seemed to find its way to them, and although the kids had soldiered on through everything that had come their way, Bobby couldn't help but feel like they weren't doing enough to help them be ready to deal with everything that came their way. Part of him felt like they shouldn't have to, because unlike when he and the other four original X-Men were teenagers, there were actual trained adults to deal with these sorts of problems. The X-Men were there so the New Mutants could have some semblance of a normal life; Gold to go out and face the threats head on, Blue to make sure that their home and its occupants were safe. But when, time and time again, the students found themselves in impossible situations, Bobby couldn't help but feel like they needed to do more.

Despite his efforts to distract himself through mathematics, Bobby ended up sat in his room worrying about that, trying to come up with various ways of pushing the team he was responsible for - the Omegas - to be better. He had been around since the X-Men were founded, save for a brief absence when he attended college to pursue a degree in accounting, so he knew what went into that. Despite his laid back, jokester personality and seeming inability to ever truly grow up, Bobby generally knew what he was doing. He just needed to translate that into something that helped others to know what they were doing. On the notepad in front of him were various ideas jotted down, though none of them were concrete enough that he could do anything on short notice. He was getting somewhere though, he was sure of it.

A knock on the door distracted Bobby from his notes. Getting up from his chair, he walked over to the door and pulled it open to reveal Shane standing on the other side of it. "Heya!" he greeted the man brightly, though keeping his mood bright was a bit of a struggle considering the state his friend was in. Slate had been through a lot recently, last night's encounter with Amelia and this morning's meeting just the latest example of life putting the man through the ringer, and Bobby definitely sympathised. There wasn't a moment of pause before he agreed to let him come in and talk.

"Of course! Come on in, make yourself comfortable." Stepping to the side, Bobby gestured for Shane to come into his room, closing the door behind him once he'd done so. "Guessing this has something to do with the Brood thing?" Bobby was making assumptions here, but considering what they had just had a meeting about earlier, it seemed like a safe bet. "I'm sorry about what happened. With Amelia, I mean." Raising his arms slightly, Bobby considered offering Shane a hug for a moment, but then reconsidered. The man had come to him because he needed to get something off his chest, and talking was generally easier when you didn't have a Bobby with his arms wrapped around you. "Just don't beat yourself up about it, okay?" he said before Shane had even said a word. Prior experience made it easy for Bobby to assume that this was exactly what Shane had been doing. He had a tendency of drawing in all the guilt, internalising it and then chastising himself over it. Bobby just wanted to get a head start with trying to curtail that a little.
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Slate
 Posted: Apr 8 2018, 12:56 PM
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To see Bobby lighting up a bit was almost strange, seeing as the man had not long ago been in the War Room sitting in relative silence. Shane wasn't oblivious, nor was he a complete idiot. He knew what Bobby was trying to do, and part of him was glad for it. Unfortunately he had neither the emotional fortitude nor the energy to mimic the mood. He did however enter when his friend invited him in.

The reasons he was there were obvious from the start, and when Bobby mentioned the “Brood thing” Shane simply nodded. At the sympathetic offering about what had happened and what was happening with Amelia, Shane wanted to sigh but refrained. Bobby wasn't trying to bring up a sore subject; he was being nice and that was appreciated. Amelia was another thing he felt that discussing was necessary, but he really didn't know where to begin. There was so much going on and it had all hit him so fast that it had his mind spinning in so many circles that it would probably vomit in his brain case before long.

Shane managed to crack a small smile when Bobby told him not to beat himself up over the matters. Was he really that predictable? Yeah, probably. If there was one thing he had a habit of doing it was dwelling on perceived mistakes to a fault. This wasn't the first time, but if he could get things under control he would try his best to make it one of the last, though in this particular case that was one very tall order.

Making his way over to Bobby's couch Shane allowed himself to collapse into it as he contemplated where to begin. He didn't want to worry the man too much, but holding back his thoughts and worries on the matters at hand wouldn't be productive either. “I have been,” he said simply, feeling that starting with an honest statement would probably be best. “I'm gonna be honest Bobby... I feel like I failed her.”

That was the absolute truth of it in his mind. By being unable to stop Markus Grant from disturbing the nest of the Brood he had inadvertently allowed Amelia to become a thrall of the queen. There was no telling what had happened to the construction crew or Grant himself, but Shane had his suspicions. The whole of Broken Bow was likely under Brood control and despite it being a tiny town in the middle of nowhere, that didn't make matters any less serious. “If I had been able to find anything that could have allowed me to get a court order to stop Markus Grant –the man who wanted to build on that site out there– from messing with that land then this might not have happened.” That this could have or would have happened in the future regardless was lost on him at that moment, and despite Bobby telling him not to beat himself up over it he was doing just that.

There was more. Much more, and much more serious. Shane was having a hard time maintaining eye contact with his friend because he was doing the very thing that Bobby had told him not to do.

“I'm also sorry that I made so much noise last night,” he said, clearly referring to the damage he did to his room in his rage. “That's... not really me. When all of this stuff hit me I just.. kind of lost my shit. I'm sorry.” While he was apologizing to Bobby for being disruptive and possibly somewhat scary (he'd be terrified if the roles were reversed and a man made of peridot was bashing and crashing through one of the staff rooms) he was also doing so to call his own attention to it again. Rarely did Shane give in to his anger, but the flood of emotions that had washed over him after witnessing what he had at the hands of someone who had referred to him as her best friend was just too much to bear.

“After getting those messages in the Danger Room,” he went on, pausing for a few moments to find the proper way to phrase what was probably bugging him more than anything else, “I've learned that the control the Brood has over Amelia is... permanent. I mean I don't know how brushed up you are on your Morse Code, but Backup said that the things rewrite your DNA when they infect you. That means....”

That means that Amelia Bradshaw was on the way to becoming only Brood.

“That means she's gone. And I don't think my brain is letting me accept that.”



Iceman
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Iceman
 Posted: Apr 10 2018, 06:55 AM
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Following Shane to the couch, Bobby flopped down next to his friend, one arm moving up to rest on the back of the couch. His brow furrowed slightly as Shane confirmed that he had been beating himself up over what had happened, which was no surprise of course, then went on to add that he felt like he had failed Amelia. Bobby wanted to immediately pipe up and tell his friend that he hadn't failed her, but he kept quiet. Despite feeling like this was in no way Shane's fault, Bobby could see why Slate would think it was. Getting caught up in "What if?" and "If only I had--" and things like that was all too easy in a situation like this. Were Bobby in Shane's shoes, he would probably be doing the exact same thing as his friend.

Shane's first "If only..." caused the frown on Bobby's face to grow more intense. Maybe this was just Bobby grasping at straws to find a reason why Shane was absolutely in no way responsible for what had happened, but his first inclination when Markus Grant and what he'd done were mentioned was to jump up from the couch, go "Ah-ha!" and proceed to place all of the blame squarely in that man's lap. It was pretty easy to just blame someone you knew nothing about, especially if it helped support your notion that someone you did care about wasn't responsible for something horrible.

Bobby managed to keep from giving into that impulse, but he couldn't just not point out the obvious here. "Okay, so along that same line of thought," he started, gesturing towards Shane with his index finger, "what if this Markus Grant fellow had just decided to not disturb that land?" Bobby could only assume that he had been advised against it by Amelia. Wasn't that why Shane had gone out there in the first place? Bobby vaguely recalled that coming up at some point in the past. "It's not your fault that this happened, Shane," Bobby stressed. "It sounds to me like it would have happened regardless. At least now we're aware of what's coming." From what little Bobby actually understood of the situation, it would be a lot worse if they were caught with their pants down. Like, end of the world kind of worse.

When Shane went on to apologise for the ruckus he'd caused the night before, Bobby just shrugged his shoulders lightly. "Everyone loses their shit from time to time. Probably wouldn't be a bad thing if some people did it more often, instead of just letting it all bottle up inside." Bobby wasn't talking about anyone in particular there, it just seemed like it would be better to find a release now and then instead of letting things eat you up from the inside out. "You didn't hurt anyone," Bobby pointed out to Shane next, "and you wouldn't hurt anyone. That's what matters. Waking up because you're having a rough time beats waking up because someone forgot to tell Anna to lose our address and the Brotherhood comes a'knocking."

He offered Shane his patented, bright Bobby Drake smile then, but his light expression faltered quickly as his friend went on to mention how the change Amelia had gone through was permanent. That was quite a lot to deal with, and Bobby wasn't sure what he could say that would actually be of help to Shane. "I'm sorry," was all that he could muster on short notice, scooting a bit closer to Shane so he could give him that hug he'd wanted to give him the moment he showed up at his doorstep. Wrapping his arms around Shane, Bobby just sat there like that for a moment before he heaved a soft sigh. "You don't have to accept it right away," he told Shane quietly. "Something like this, losing a loved one, it can take a while to process it. No one's expecting you to just get over it and move on." He would have to be ready to deal with it when the time came for the X-Men to deal with these Brood creatures, but even if he wasn't he had about two dozen people who would have his back. "Give it time," Bobby added as he broke off the hug and moved back to give Shane some space, "and know that you're not alone in this. We're all here to help you deal with this. To make sure that these Brood don't take any more people we care about, too."
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Slate
 Posted: Apr 12 2018, 02:14 PM
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Bobby wasn't the first one to point out that what was happening wasn't his fault, and while Shane still felt that on some level it was he was beginning to understand the logic behind what he was being told. Even if he hadn't gone to Broken Bow Markus Grant would have simply tried to dig up the plot of land, disturbing the Brood nest regardless. And if Markus hadn't then something would have probably happened later on to stir them up. It was impossible to disagree with Bobby, especially now that Shane had had numerous people telling him that he hadn't caused this and despite some of the implications in the War Room that he was somehow at fault.

Jean, Gert, Cat, and now Bobby were all telling him that he hadn't done anything wrong and that it was at least better that they knew what was coming rather than potentially being blindsided by it later on. That was true enough, and Shane couldn't deny it. Knowing that an invasion was coming and having time to prepare for the attack certainly beat being taken and converted into a vile geokinetic alien monster and having his friends and loved ones likewise enslaved or killed.

Shane sighed as Bobby pointed out that everyone lost their cool once in a while. That was also true, but not usually of him. It was impossible to deny that he occasionally did let down his barriers and succumb to anger, but he was generally good at keeping things in check. One such time was when he had first lost a hand and he had hit “Jackhammer” without holding back –he briefly wondered whether or not that guy actually made it out of the bar that night, as he hadn't really considered at the time making sure whether or not he was okay. Either way, he didn't want to become someone like Logan, who lived in a constant state of simmering just below boiling and ready to explode at the drop of a pin.

Well, he'd never be that, but he did have a tendency to bottle things up. So maybe what he had done was healthy, even if he had chosen a poor place to begin his percussive therapy.

While an apology from Bobby was hardly necessary when Shane had mentioned that Amelia was doomed to her fate, that and the hug were greatly appreciated. Holding onto his friend for several seconds Shane felt the sting of tears that threatened to form in his eyes , but managed to hold them back by taking a deep breath and simply listening to Bobby.

Grief never sat well with Shane, and through the recent months he had come to learn just how poorly he tended to handle it. After Sunspot had vaporized Bobby completely he had tried his best not to let anyone see just how much it had effected him, choosing instead to put on a facade of being strong and in decently good spirits. That had clearly been a mistake, because he had probably not managed to fool many and had fallen into a pattern of making increasingly poor decisions culminating in what very well could have been suicide at the hands of Julian Keller. What was worse was that having his rock body destroyed had happened after Bobby had returned and after he had discovered his own personal biological changes.

Having made a promise to be honest, to be open and truthful with Bobby, Shane knew that he no longer had an excuse. Hiding his grief, his anger, and his frustrations was no longer something he could get away with. It wasn't like they weren't obvious anyway; everyone knew his patterns by now, and especially someone who he'd known since he was twelve years old.

“I know,” he said after a few moments of silence once their embrace had ended, his eyes shifting downward, latching onto but not really focusing on an area of one of the couch cushions. “When–“ he paused only briefly to choose his next word carefully, “when we lost you I handled it so poorly. I didn't really talk about it, or let anyone know how I felt or what was goin' on with me. I'm not gonna make another mistake like that. I'm done keepin' this kinda thing bottled up and makin' me make stupid decisions.”

Sinking a bit into the corner of the couch Shane brought his eyes back up to meet those of his friend. “It hurt. And it hurts now. But talkin' about it feels... I mean... it feels bad, but it feels good at the same time. I dunno. I guess knowin' that I've got people –friends– to help me makes me feel less shitty about all of it.”

Shane had once told Sam that he felt like he'd never had anything like what he and Berto had –had never experienced that kind of closeness with another person before– but maybe that wasn't entirely true. While he had kept people at what he thought was a safe distance in some ridiculous attempt to dull the pain of potential loss that didn't mean that he had let no one in. He had met Amelia in college and had come to legitimately care about her, and while they hadn't seen much of each other following their graduations –their lives taking them in very different directions– that feeling had never really abated. Now that the woman was suffering and losing herself he realized that it did hurt, but it hurt because he cared about her.

Emotions were weird and stupid.

Now that he was more aware of the folly of his previous school of thought regarding friends, Shane had begun making efforts to let more and more people in. Even if he never wound up having that one best friend that everyone seemed to latch onto he had several great friends who would drop whatever they were doing to help him, just as he would normally do for them.

“When the time comes,” he said, wanting to simply lay it all out, “I'm gonna have to end it.” What he was speaking of should have been obvious enough, and Shane knew he didn't need to spell things out... but part of him wanted to anyway, for his own mind to better process, perhaps. “She's apparently supposed to show up here with a host of Brood. When that time comes... I'm going to be the one to put her down. No one else.” Killing the thing in Amelia's body wouldn't change anything, but it might serve to give Shane better peace of mind. After the monster had made her killer her own mother it was hard for Shane to imagine that Amelia would want to go on with that knowledge, knowing that it could and would happen again. Knowing that she would ultimately be completely rewritten meant that Amelia Bradshaw was already more or less gone.

“Will you be here?” Shane asked, knowing that the question was probably largely unnecessary. While he didn't want Bobby to have to face off with this kind of threat he knew that his friend was serious about his duty as an X-Man. Iceman was one of the original five, and Shane knew that the man wore that like a badge of honor –part of the reason he admired him so much. “Will you be here to help me –help us– save the world from the Brood? Not that I even need to ask that question.”



Sunspot for the mention
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Iceman
 Posted: Apr 15 2018, 03:18 AM
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The first thing that came to Bobby's mind when Slate brought up his apparent death was "Sorry", as if being blown to bits by Roberto da Costa was something he needed to apologise for. It wasn't that, though, Bobby wasn't taking responsibility for what had happened to him because he'd had no hand in that other than not being as prepared to deal with the solar-powered mutant's drug fuelled rage as he felt he should have been. What he was sorry for was how it had made Shane, and others like him, feel at the time. Not an actual apology, but a showing of sympathy instead, something that Bobby Drake usually had in spades. At least feeling for other people was one thing he could manage, even if he struggled with how he felt about others, the prime example of that sitting right there with him on his couch. It had been over a week since Shane had told him that he liked him, and Bobby still hadn't figured himself out when it came to that. With everything that was looming over them now though, right now didn't feel like the time to worry about that. Bobby certainly wasn't in any hurry to bring it up again. Shane, like everyone else, had bigger things to worry about right now than whether the guy he like-liked like-liking him back.

"You know I'm always here for that," Bobby told Shane when he expressed how talking about how he felt made things better for him. "To talk, I mean. We did make a pact of honesty, or something," he reminded his friend. "And that shouldn't just be about being truthful, but about being able to talk about anything." That's what friendship was all about for Bobby, about having people who would listen to you when you needed to get something off your chest. Not even necessarily about sharing what was bothering you and getting some brilliant nugget of wisdom in return that made all of your worries go away. Sometimes just being able to talk about something was all you really needed to feel better.

Bobby's expression fell a little when Shane went on to say that when the time came, he needed to be the one to put the creature that had taken over his friend Amelia down. He averted his gaze from Shane's, looking towards the floor instead. He got where his friend was coming from, and that he felt that because she was his friend that he had to be the one to end it, but it just felt wrong. Shane was a sweet guy, someone who Bobby knew would never resort to killing to solve any problem, and that he felt it was necessary now just left him feeling uncomfortable. There was no other way to deal with this Amelia, the message making it clear that once the process started there was no reversing it, but that didn't mean Shane had to be the one to do it. Even with her body occupied by some parasitic, alien creature, Bobby was still worried that putting down something wearing his friend's face would break the gentle geokinetic.

Bobby was about to make mention of that when Shane asked him if he would be there to save the world from the Brood. Turning his gaze back to meet his friend's, Bobby furrowed his brow. "What?" he asked incredulously. Shane had already concluded for himself that it wasn't a question he needed to ask, and yet he'd done just that. "You really don't," he agreed with Shane, his tone sounding a bit harsher than Bobby had intended. "C'mon Shane, I've been doing this kind of thing for nearly twenty years. I fought Magneto when I was fourteen, back when you were still... wrestling calves on a farm in rural Texas." Bobby's expression softened then, his mouth twisting into a little smirk. He knew perfectly well that Shane, despite his Southern roots, was just as much of a city kid as he was, he just wanted to tease him a little.

"Even if this wasn't the potential end of the world, I would always have your back," Bobby stressed then. "You're my friend, so of course I'm going to be there. I can't think of anyone who wouldn't choose to be there, not just to protect the world from these Brood, but for you as well." It didn't feel like it should be necessary to point this out to Shane, but the man had a habit of bringing himself down, not limited to but including what he meant to the people around him. "And that means you don't have to be the one to put the creature that took over your friend's body down," he added. "I know that you feel like you should, and I even get that you want to because of what it did to Amelia, but you don't have to do it. I hope you know that. If the time comes, and you find yourself unable to do it, know that there are others who can do it instead." Offering Shane a warm smile, Bobby shifted his position on the couch a little so he could place his hand on the other man's shoulder and give it a soft squeeze. "I just want you to know that you're not alone in this, okay? We're all here for you."
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Slate
 Posted: Apr 15 2018, 11:14 AM
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It was always nice to know that he was free to talk to Bobby about anything, as they had previously agreed upon. Though the subject matter was grim Shane honestly did feel just a little bit better being able to get things out in the open. The situation with the Brood had him scared, and knowing that Amelia's fate had been sealed the moment she had been infected had him feeling like a complete failure. While the latter feeling likely wouldn't abate anytime soon, at least he was able to express it to someone.

But as seemed par for the course, Shane was once again set to partake in fillet of sole as he had so very smoothly crammed his foot into his mouth by asking his friend if he would be there. The question had been entirely unnecessary, but it had come out regardless, and Bobby's reaction –his tone immediately after the fact– made it clear how insulting it might have sounded.

Luckily Bobby seemed to understand that the question had been nothing more than an unneeded formality, and was quickly back to making light of things. For a brief moment Shane tried to imagine what life would have been like for him if he had in fact lived the way Bobby described. Wrestling calves sounded like a lot of work, and for some reason he was convinced that the calves would have won when he was younger. Now he could pretty much toss them even in his human form. Probably. By way of showing that he had no intention of correcting was was clearly a joke, Shane simply said, “Moo?” He managed a small smile then, that lasted for a brief moment at the very least.

Everything that Bobby said afterward made sense, but Shane couldn't help but to feel a sense of unease. Aside from the fact that there were others who would be there for both the world and for him, the talk about how to handle Amelia being host to a malevolent alien monster made his tenuously brightened expression darken. Bobby wasn't wrong. Shane didn't have to be the one to put an end to the alien and by extension his old friend, but a part of him felt that shouldering someone else with that burden would be unfair. He completely understood where his friend was coming from, and his view on the matter was something that Shane had to consider. If it came down to it and he couldn't bring himself to end this then he would have to rely on someone else to do so. The fact that they could and probably would made him both happy and sad at the same time.

Hell, he'd be hard pressed to request it from Logan, never mind anyone else.

“You're... right,” he said, the right side of his mouth raising slightly at Bobby's display of concern and reminder that he wasn't alone in all of this. “I think the biggest problem I have with that is that I don't want to burden anyone else with it either. I mean, you know me –it's not somethin' I'd wanna do. I met Amelia in college and she and I became fast friends. Doin' this is the last thing I want. But I feel like askin' someone else would just be wrong too, because I don't think any of us would really want to. Hell, I feel like even Logan probably wouldn't like doin' it.”

“But we'll see,” he said after a moment of consideration, his eyes darting slightly downward. It was a subject he didn't really wish to dwell on for long, but it was a necessary discussion. Everyone in the War Room for the meeting knew that the infection process was permanent, so it was likely known to all present that Amelia was as good as gone.

“I'm sorry if I offended you there,” he said, his gaze meeting his friend's again as he returned Bobby's shoulder squeezing gesture with one of his own. “As I said, I knew the question was unnecessary. Not sure why I even asked. I know you of all people –and the others– wouldn't back down from this... and I know you'd all be there for me. Just as I'd be there for you anytime you needed.”


Iceman
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Iceman
 Posted: Apr 17 2018, 04:24 AM
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Bobby nodded understandingly when Slate explained to him that he didn't want to burden anyone else with the task of killing Amelia. That wasn't something simple that you could just pass onto someone else, even if it was so difficult to do yourself. Bobby got that, he fully understood that Shane would struggle to put an end to someone whom he had known for years. This wasn't something that just had an easy solution, and Bobby wasn't really sure what he could tell his friend to help him feel less apprehensive about this. Infected by the Brood or not, it would still be him putting the final nail in Amelia's coffin, and there honestly shouldn't be anything he could say that would make it easy. Maybe a bit less difficult, but even then Bobby found himself struggling to come up with anything to say.

One thing Bobby was a bit more certain about was what he said next. "He'd do it though. I'm not saying Logan would like it..." As tough as the guy was, and as violent and bloodthirsty he could come across as at times, Bobby didn't think he was that sort of guy. That was more Sabretooth's schtick. "But I think he'd do it. It's terrible that it's come to this, but it's a necessity at this point and I think he'd know it. Betsy too, probably." Perhaps there were others too, but aside from Logan only Betsy came to mind immediately as someone who'd be more readily able to put a stop to Amelia than Shane was.

When Shane went on to apologise for even asking him if he'd be there when the Brood came, Bobby flashed him a smile that would tell him there was no harm done. It felt more like his friend just needed the reassurance than actually needing to find out whether Bobby would be there for him. "Standing together is how we keep managing to soldier on despite all of the bad stuff that tends to find itself our way." There seemed to be so much of it, especially in recent years, but Xavier's was still standing and as long as it did their ideals would live on, and he and the other X-Men would do whatever they needed to do to defend them. More importantly, they'd be there for their students, to educate them, protect them and do their level best to prepare them for a future that seemed to grow more bleak with every passing day.

"Sometimes I wish that we didn't have to all be in it together," Bobby went on, pausing briefly as he went over his own words in his head and wondered if it all made sense. He averted his gaze from Shane's for a moment, eyes focused on the wall across the room from where they were sat. "I mean, not so much the "in it together" thing, but the things that we end up being together in?" Okay, he wasn't sure if that helped it make more sense or just made things more confusing. "It would be nice if we could just have more good experiences to share," No apocalyptic alien invasions, anti-mutant bigots attacking the school, or mad scientists abducting their friends and students. Just something nice.

"Of course I've not been much help there," Bobby said as he looked back towards Shane. "Sorry I haven't really brought up what happened between us a week ago." He had thought about it of course, at great length even, he just hadn't gotten anywhere with it. "I just... don't know, and I'm not sure I'll ever figure it out at this rate." It didn't sound very promising, but Bobby and Shane had made a promise to be honest with each other and he was going to stick with that. "I think this is sort of the problem," he added as he gestured between the two of them. "We're friends. We interact like friends. My brain just really struggles to step away from the idea of us being friends, where it's been for the past fifteen years or so, and see you as an option for something more than that." Bobby felt silent then, his brow furrowing lightly as he once again went over what he'd said inside his head, not actually sure where that had come from. It made sense to him, and he was happy that he'd actually said what he said, he was just sort of surprised that he hadn't come to that conclusion before now.

"Maybe we should just... not be friends for a change," Bobby suggested then, not leaving enough of a pause between his words to allow Shane's mind to settle anywhere negative before he continued. "Just... go on a date. Do something that we probably wouldn't do as "just friends", and see how being in a situation like that feels?" Removing himself from situations where he just felt like "this is friendship, nothing more" and putting him somewhere he'd actually have to deal with something that was potentially more than that felt like the only proper way to go about this. "Not right now, of course," Bobby was quick to add, "and not until this situation with Amelia and the Brood is resolved, but... after that?" Bobby did very much want to sort out how he felt about what Shane had told him at Harry's just over a week ago, but he had his priorities in order. Alien apocalypse first, personal issues later.

"So, I guess I'm asking you out. Huh." It was an odd sort of realisation to come to for Bobby, especially considering what Shane had come to his room for, but here he was doing just that. "In the hopefully not too distant or apocalyptic future," he added, just to keep things vaguely optimistic.
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Slate
 Posted: Apr 17 2018, 12:53 PM
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Shane felt like he was trapped in a no-win situation. No matter how he played his hand when the time came, Amelia would lose and so would he. If he asked anyone else to do the job, including Logan or Betsy, then that would only be involving them where they shouldn't have had to be. Hell, no one should have had to be involved. Why did the damn Brood have to make a nest on Earth, of all places?

It was hard to say exactly how things would ultimately play out. In his mind Shane thought that he should be the one to put an end to it, but he didn't know for sure whether or not he'd be able to shoulder that responsibility when the time came. He would have to see, and he hated sitting on such an unknown. But he'd rather be questioning it than to be accepting the task without a second thought –that would be disturbing.

As the conversation moved on Shane was somewhat relieved, despite the fact that it was still set somewhat firmly on the coming Brood invasion. While he had regretted his phrasing, Shane was glad to hear that Bobby would not shy away from what was coming –not that he ever thought the man would. Having actual verbal reassurance had value however, as it made Shane realize that he wasn't alone, nor would he be. With as much bad stuff as they had to deal with it was always good to know that someone had his back, and as long as he could still stand and fight he would do the same for anyone on the team –or even those not on the team should they need protecting. Shane found himself nodding wordlessly to much of what Bobby said, not really having too much to offer by way of response. Everything his friend said hit the mark pretty well, even if some of it was unfortunately phrased.

When Bobby said that he wished that they didn't have to all be in it together Shane's brow furrowed and he made a face. Not the kind of face that implied that the words had offended him, because despite the phrasing he understood that Bobby meant that he wished that such terrible things didn't have to happen to them to necessitate standing together in battle. “Don't worry,” he said by way of reassuring his friend, “I know what you mean. As great as it is that we can stand together and face the impossible, sometimes I wonder what life would be life if stuff like that didn't happen to us. It almost feels like every time we try to relax or have a good time things somehow manage to go wrong.” Not that surviving such harrowing experiences wasn't good, but they were hardly good times.

Then the conversation shifted further, and as Bobby brought up what had happened between them at Harry's a week prior Shane's expression became a bit more thoughtful as he listened. Shane himself hadn't mentioned anything in regard to his admission since that night in an effort to give Bobby some time to figure things out without feeling pressured. Crowding the man would be a surefire way to make sure the man didn't like him.

What his friend was saying mostly made sense. They had known each other for so long that anything outside of being casual friends seemed foreign and admittedly almost scary. It wasn't that he was afraid, but things had been as they were for so many years that taking a step in a different direction really was new territory. Shane's confession alone had been opening a door that he'd been silently staring down for a long time (even longer considering the Savage Land's time warpery) but what lay beyond that threshold was unknown to either of them.

Shane almost balked when Bobby said that maybe they shouldn't be friends, but was relieved when the man immediately corrected and explained his logic behind the poorly phrased notion. The idea of going on a date of some kind was a nice one, and welcome surprise. Even if things didn't go quite as planned, or even if they somehow came to the conclusion that they should simply remain friends, at least an effort would be made. While the “what” was up in the air (and quite frankly up to Bobby because he was the one doing the asking) the “when” was something that Shane could very easily agree upon.

Managing a smile –a soft, genuine expression that seemed almost foreign to him considering how the last few days had gone, he said, “Yeah. I'd like that. Once we've settled this looming apocalypse business we should do something together. Something that's just... fun. To take our minds off of everything that's been happening. Fun and safe.” He should probably put more emphasis on “safe,” because he really, really wanting to do something with Bobby that didn't turn into some sort of super powered fiasco.

Not that they wouldn't face it head on, watching each others backs if they did.

“So I'm saying 'yes.' I'll go out with you after this is all over.”

Iceman
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Iceman
 Posted: Apr 22 2018, 01:24 PM
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For the briefest of moments, Bobby considered the option that Slate might turn him down. After all, Bobby had a meltdown (or rather, the exact opposite of one) when he'd been told Shane liked him, and refrained from telling him anything of the sort in return, then hadn't said a word on the subject for over a week. Bobby wouldn't have blamed Shane if he'd decided to just cut his losses and move on. Not that he was that type of guy, of course, and that's why Bobby only lingered on the possibility for a second before moving on from it. The smile that Shane offered him seemed to support that he was right to ignore his moment of doubt, and then he actually agreed to go out with him, earning himself a smile from Bobby in return. .

Something fun and safe. It seemed like the kind of thing that went without saying, but when Shane suggested that's what they do for a date, Bobby found himself nodding in agreement. With how hectic their lives often were, fun and safe seemed like the best idea, as basic as it was. "Well, that's a date then!" Bobby responded cheerily. A date without an actual date, but they could worry about the specifics of it once the Brood were actually dealt with. Hopefully it wouldn't be too long before they actually got to go out, though, because now that Shane had agreed to his proposal Bobby was actually excited about the idea. That was promising, right? Maybe that meant he did like-like Shane, to put it in his friend's own elementary school kind of phrasing, but Bobby was going to adopt a wait and see sort of approach instead of immediately blurting out how he thought he might feel. That seemed like the best way to approach this.

"Look." Bobby held up his hand for Shane to see then. "Note the distinct lack of ice," he pointed out with a hint of amusement to his tone. "And how the room is at a comfortable temperature instead of freezing over." Well, comfortable by Bobby's standard at least. Despite functioning just as well as anyone else did at standard room temperature, Bobby's quarters were usually a bit chilly compared to everywhere else in the mansion. "This counts as progress," Bobby proclaimed. Keeping calm instead of freaking out and losing control of his cryokinetic and thermokinetic abilities was a definite step forward.

"So, any ideas about what you might want to do?" Bobby wondered then. "I mean, I asked you out, so I feel like this should be on me to figure out, but I wouldn't mind some input. Just so I don't end up planning something you'll hate." Bobby felt he had a pretty good idea of what sort of things Shane liked, with how long they had known each other, but it couldn't hurt to check. "Like... ice skating," he added, chuckling lightly at that idea. Somehow he just couldn't imagine Shane wanting to hit the ice, or doing anything but flail, scream and slide right into everything when he did. It amused Bobby, but Shane probably wouldn't agree so much. "You should know that I'm an excellent teacher, though," he felt the need to point out. He'd even gotten Gert to get onto the ice, and his former mentee had done pretty well having no prior experience worth mentioning and plenty of apprehension about it.

"I'm not suggesting you make me a list of do's or don'ts." Bobby frowned lightly as he said that, wondering if that wasn't exactly what he did want to suggest. "But if you're so inclined, feel free to make one. That'd be super helpful." He didn't want to overthink this, but he didn't want to mess it up either and that required a bit more forethought than Bobby Drake usually rolled with.
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Slate
 Posted: Apr 23 2018, 11:25 AM
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“Well, that's a date, then!”

Hearing the words coming from Bobby was actually enough to make Shane feel somewhat giddy despite everything else happening. It might have been a little bit selfish of him to feel so positively about something when two girls were missing and the future of mankind teetered precariously in the balance, but he needed something of a distraction, even if that only lasted for a short while. Shane still had his priorities in the proper order. The world needed to be protected. If they failed then the date wouldn't even matter. But it was all the more reason to make sure they didn't fail.

It hadn't dawned on Shane until Bobby held up his hands and drew attention to them, but his friend hadn't literally frozen up over this nor had his room grown any colder than it usually was, and that in turn caused Shane's expression to soften further, showing that he may have actually been on the way to calming down for the first time in over a day. That was a good sign. It didn't matter to Shane that Bobby was drawing attention to it solely because his current mood and reactions were so drastically different from the day that Shane had admitted his feelings, sending the guy into something not unlike anaphylactic shock; what mattered was that progress was genuinely happening.

Upon being asked what he might want to do however, Shane was momentarily at a loss. He hadn't really had time to consider such things with the pending invasion and everything else happening. Fun just didn't sound like it fit anywhere on the menu. That didn't mean he couldn't toss out some ideas however, especially if it saved him from the embarrassment of ice skating. "Ice crashing eh?" Shane replied with a smirk. "I mean I won't doubt your teaching abilities, but I guarantee that my butt would get more mileage on the ice than my feet would. Probably like teaching a dog to juggle –just not a great idea." That wasn't to say that he'd totally turn down the idea of ice skating sometime, but it definitely wasn't high on his list of desired activities.

"I don't think it really needs to be all that complicated," Shane said with a smile at the notion of a list of do's and don'ts. "Every once in a while I don't mind going out for a drink, seeing a movie, or simple things like that. Museums can be fun sometimes, but that's because I'm a big rock nerd. Or just something as simple as going out of town with no definite ideas in mind." The extreme latter was probably the vaguest idea that he could imagine, but after he said it he was struck with a kind of inspiration. "That gives me an idea. Maybe it doesn't have to be something specific. What if, after we finish saying the world, we just... I dunno... take a trip somewhere? I don't mean to some fancy resort or some crazy getaway to another country –I just mean getting out of the city for a while. Maybe like a road trip –just taking a few days and going wherever and not worrying about everything here. I mean, after we save the world I figure we'd deserve to see some of it, right?" It may not have been the best of ideas, but it was something. It would get them out of the mansion for a while, away from all of the regularly scheduled insanity, and allow the two of them to just be themselves.

"I mean, I'm sorry if that's not helpful, but right now it's hard to focus on any one thing that I'd like to do."


Iceman
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