But Not A Real Snow-Man, That's Cruel 1/?
- Author's note: Yeah, okay, I've been kind of dead on the X-Men fic
for a while. But I made a real, honest-to-God stupid mistake -- I
read the EW article on X2 from the end of January. And you know
what Bobby did, that rat bastard? He peeked over my shoulder and
said, "Hey, would you look at that? I tell my parents I'm a
mutant. That could be funny. You should write that. *at my
ensuing answering sound of righteous indignation* What do you mean,
you already have five thousand writing projects to finish? Damn it,
you loved me in my comic-book version! I'm hot! And let me just
remind you that while I may not be legal, the actor who plays me is!"
In any event, this story is from Bobby's point of view, and the
characters encased within this story are owned by someone who isn't
me. Although I would be interested in buying Shawn Ashmore and his
brother, as they are identical twins and those are fun to play
with. (Besides, everyone wants to buy Hugh Jackman and James
Marsden, and I'll take what I can get.) Having no idea when this
happens in the movie, I've set it right before everything in the
movie starts. And I can pretty much guarantee that this is
definitely NOT how this will play out.
But Not a Real Snow-Man, That's Cruel
by Troll Princess
"Mom, I'm pregnant."
Huh. It's weird, how I can say something like that out loud, but I
can't manage to blurt out, "Mom, I'm a mutant." Of course, it's not
exactly like I have the parts to justify that pregnancy announcement
as fact, but hey, think of the funny mental image. Me, curled up in
a ball on the television room couch with my big old swollen stomach,
moaning away while the teachers and the gang go and get me Cherry
Garcia ice cream until I puke. And I'll look pathetic and sad and
everyone will feel sorry for my unfortunate teenage pregnancy and no
one with any sense will bother asking me if Dr. Freeze plans on
paying me paternity.
And I'll betcha it was Kitty who knocked me up, too. Bastard.
I can't help but frown a little at that, though, because like I
said, it beats that "Mom, I'm a mutant" thing. Yeah, okay, I
haven't actually gotten around to telling the parental units that
I'm the one who's been freezing the pipes every summer since I was
twelve, or that I was the one who cannonballed dead-center into the
local Polar Bear Club last winter. And hey, let's not forget "that
guy I know" that could make ice sculptures for my mom's country club
garden party for dirt-cheap. Yeah, watch me complain. I made out
like a bandit on that one.
But here I am, driving home for spring break, and I'm pondering how
in the hell I'm going to break it to Mom and Dad that I'm God's gift
to hockey leagues and ice skating competitions everywhere. (I'd
rather be pondering how to put pants on a monkey, but then again,
that's what I get for watching that much "Animaniacs" at such an
"Mom, I'm gay," I say out loud as I switch lanes for the off-ramp to
my house. Yeah, right. I'm trying to hook up with a girl I can't
even touch. If that's not astoundingly heterosexual, I don't know
It does start me laughing again, though. "Yes, Mom, I'm coming out
of the closet," I say as I make a right turn past my favorite
deli. "I'm a lesbian. You may not get any grandkids out of the
deal, but I've already got my own sitcom. And don't get snippy with
me, young lady -- you made me a lesbian. By the way, my friend John
wants to know if you'll make him one, too, if he gives you the yarn."
Oh, yeah. I've lost my mind.
And you're probably wondering what a guy like me is doing acting
like an adult during a week when, at the very least, I should be
acting like a toddler who needs to be fed at regular intervals.
Preferably by nubile bikini-clad Baywatch babes in Cancun, if I
really got to pick and choose, but from the swarm of hyperactive
moths that went flying out of my wallet in the general direction of
greener pastures, Cancun's out of the running. And yeah, I guess I
could have stayed back at the mansion with most of the rest of the
gang, eating enough Cheetoes to turn me Neon-Lit-Pumpkin Orange and
engaging in yet another Alias marathon with John. Of course, that
much junk food at one time makes my stomach burst into tears and run
screaming for its mommy, while there's only so many times you can
watch Alias with John before the drooling gets distracting.
I was planning on inviting at least one of the others to come with
me, but in retrospect, maybe it was a better idea just to leave them
all back at the chock-full-o'-mutants mansion. Considering that
where two students of Professor Xavier go, an equal number of evil
mutants, a battalion of fully trained soldiers, and giant laser-
shooting robots inevitably follow, you'll forgive me for being
cautious, all right? I'd rather not have the giant Reveal-O happen
because a large hairy man with fangs is growling at my brother
Ronny, a blue chick who looks a hell of a lot like me has just
finished off all of the milk, and angry neighbors are picketing on
One more turn, and I'm on our street, the same upper-middle class
stretch of cookie-cutter houses that would give anyone not born and
raised here a severe case of diabetes after one glance. Yeah, okay,
I'll admit it. Bobby Drake, home of the one of the biggest
groundswells of bitter teenage angst on the Eastern seaboard.
Should I bring up the girlfriend I can't touch again, or should I
just gesture wildly in the general direction of Westchester?
"Home, sweet home," I mutter, pulling into the driveway of my house
in the battered Chevy Corsica I'd gotten for my birthday two years
I don't really have to go in there, do I?
"Home, sweet, sugary, chocolate-filled, caramel-covered --"
I wonder how long I can sit in the car like this.
"-- Chunky-Monkey-flavored, sprinkle-doused, frosting-decorated --"
You may want to go to the bathroom now. I live with Jubilee. I can
do this for a while.
"-- fudge-drizzled, cherry-topped --"
"Bobby? Bobby Drake, is that you?"
I flinch at that, because from the sound of it, I've just been
spotted by my neighbor Mr. Guidolucci, and the last time I saw him I
was twelve and I accidentally froze his son Dino's tongue to a
flagpole in July ...
... and it is. Oh, God -- buddy, pal, compadre -- I don't remember
kicking a puppy or killing a nun, but if I did, I am so, <I>so</I>
"Hey, Mr. Guidolucci," I say, waving as I get out of the car. "Long
time, no see, huh?"
Mr. Guidolucci smiles at that, his floppy combover bouncing with
every waddling step. Either I caught him gardening or burying an
annoying relative, because he's carrying a trowel in his gloved hand
and he's dirtier than one of John's better jokes. "Where you been,
kiddo? Your dad keeps telling everyone you're at some special
school for gifted kids in Westchester, but you'd think it was Mars,
for all the times you come back to Port Washington."
Then he's got the cojones to give me this reprimanding look, like I
really shouldn't be such a stranger, and I've got to bite back the
urge to say that if I were any stranger, I'd qualify for membership
in the Insane Clown Posse.
"So, what's up with Dino?" I ask, even though I can safely say that
a.) I don't care, b.) it's definitely not his IQ, which explains why
he never bothered to tattle on me for that flagpole incident, and
c.) did I mention I don't care? It's called politeness, people.
Mr. Guidolucci smiles at that, but it's all tight-lipped and tense,
like when John told Ororo that if she spent ten bucks on a good box
of hair dye, she'd look exactly like Halle Berry. "Oh, he's good,
he's good. Good grades --" Translation: Last week, he got a D, and
the whole family's thrilled. "-- nice girlfriend --" Closet
lesbian. Or at least, she will be after dating Dino. "-- gets out
a lot --" Hasn't been home since June of 2000. "-- plus, he's got a
great afterschool job." Selling Ritalin to kindergarteners who want
to fit in.
I give him my best smug-child-genius-at-snotty-private-school grin,
then cock my head towards my house and say, "Well, I'd better get
inside, before the parental units go ballistic."
Mr. Guidolucci gives me a good-natured pat on the arm, leaving a
dirty streak in his wake, then wanders off to go back to hide the
evidence, or whatever the hell he was doing, and giving me an out so
that I can jog back to my house and make my way in through the side
-- which is locked.
Huh. Well, that's just not fair. William and Madelaine's baby boy
comes home for the weekend, and they lock him out? What'd I do? I
mean, aside from the forty-seven hours of back-breaking, mind-
numbing labor I've heard so much about, I'm practically a little
Maybe they didn't lock the front door. I'll go run and check.
Uh, I <I>do</I> live <i>here</I>, right?
I run back to my car, grab the house keys I normally don't have to
use to get inside, and let myself in through the side door. (Yay!
I really do live here! And they didn't change the locks, either!)
The side door opens into the kitchen, the sterile, gee-I'm-trying-
hard-to-be-cheery-aren't-I? decorating style that is my mom's forte
practically blinding me from my first gaze upon it. Mom's belief
when it comes to interior design is that a house should look live
in, but not <I>too</I> lived in, like a crumpled page ripped out of
the bedding section of the Sears catalogue.
"Hello? Anyone home?"
Okay, this is just great. No answer, the house is totally quiet, I
<I>did</I> tell my parents I was coming home for spring break (at
least, I could have sworn I did) ...
I duck into the living room, the blood-red walls making it look like
the Logan's-idea-of-a-good-time I'd been telling the rest of the
gang I'd thought it would. Frowning at the decided lack of parents
in the room, I peek under the bottom of the couch. "Okay, you're
not under the couch," I say ...
... right before a thought occurs to me and I smile, maybe more
because I actually had a thought on what was a technically a weekend
than anything else. "Maybe there's too many of you to fit under the
couch," I say loudly, contemplating Mom, Dad, Ronny, and a bunch of
our nearest and dearest stuffed into the bathroom with a huge
chocolate cake and brightly wrapped presents. Then again, I think
about surprise parties I don't deserve when I do something as simple
as manage to go a day without freezing anyone to a toilet seat, so
don't trust my precognative abilities too much, okay?
Still, it never hurts to look in the bathroom.
I head over to the downstairs bathroom, put on my best aren't-I-
surprised expression, then fling open the bathroom door. "Heyyy---
yaack!" I yelp, jumping at the sight of my little brother Ronny
standing on the other side of the door, staring at me like I've got
eels hanging out of my ears while he --
Wait a sec. What is he doing with that sock monkey?
Okay, you know what? I don't want to know. Bobby Drake, out of the
loop and proud of it.
"Jesus, Ronny, you scared the hell out of me," I say.
Ronny frowns at the intrusion, looking about twelve years younger
than the thirteen I've heard a nasty rumor that he is. "Oh, it's
"I love you, too?" I ask sarcastically, then point behind me towards
the rest of the house and say, "Where are Mom and Dad?"
Ronny shrugs, ducking past me into the kitchen and making me trail
along after him like a lost puppy. "Dad's got his weekly poker game
at the country club. Mom's shopping in the city."
Oh, you've got to be kidding me. "You mean, they knew I was coming
home today, and they didn't bother to stay home? Throw me a
surprise party? Maybe buy me an attack pony or something?"
Ronny stares at me for a long, loooooong minute as he grabs a bag of
Doritos from the cupboard, then, with a confused shake of his head,
he walks past me again and heads up the stairs.
So let me get this straight. I come home for the week because, hey,
look at Bobby with all of the mature thinking and the not wanting to
hide anything anymore and the total swallowing fear that my parents
will find out I'm a freak the same way John's did and the result
won't be half as pretty. And my parents, my loving, adoring
parents, decided stealing from the rich and giving to the clerks at
Macy's was more fun.
You know what I need right now? A nice, relaxing bath.
I don't think I need to say this out loud, but I haven't taken a hot
bath since I was twelve. Of course, I haven't taken a hot anything
for a long time, but this is probably one of my weirder quirks.
See, most people ... they get tense, they take a hot bath. They put
in bubbles and bath salts and a rubber duckey and everything's just
fine and dandy. Meanwhile, I'm filling the bathtub halfway up with
cold water and lugging ice cubes upstairs from the freezer to dump
into the bath. (And before you say anything, it's called a
<I>relaxing</I> bath because I don't have to make anything, okay?)
So in essence, what I experienced an hour ago in the privacy of my
own bathroom (and thank God for that) looked vaguely like that urban
legend about the guy whose kidneys were stolen. Sometimes, I half-
expected to open my eyes and see "Call 911" written on the bathroom
mirror in bright pink lipstick.
Anyway, once the bath started getting lukewarm, it lost most of its
appeal, which is why I'm currently standing in the kitchen in a T-
shirt and track sweats with my head in the fridge. Not because of
the bath but more because I know there are little Jell-O cups in
here, damn it -- or at least, in a kind and decent world, there
would be -- and I'm going to find them if it kills me.
Why? Because I haven't had dinner, that's why not. And the reason
why not is because it's --
Wow. It's ten o'clock already? Time flies when you're angsting
more than the entire cast of "Dawson's Creek", apparently.
And still no Mom and Dad.
Would you look at that? A complete and total lack of surprise.
I finally fish out the Jell-O cups that I knew had to be in the
fridge -- even if my parents were conspicuously absent from most
every important event in my life, the company that makes Jell-O had
always been there for me -- and dig out a spoon from the silverware
drawer, which is gratefully exactly where I left it.
Hopping up to sit on the countertop, I grab the phone, silently
debate whether or not making this phone call is going to make me
feel worse than I already do, then figure what the hell and dial.
It rings one, two, three times, and then finally, someone picks the
damn thing up.
What I hear on the other end of the receiver feels more comfortable
and familiar than anything I've felt since I walked in the door.
"I've got it, I've got --" *thunk* "Ow, you big heavy zebra-
striped hornball! I said I got it!" With a determined clearing of
her throat, Jubilee speaks directly into the receiver this
time. "Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters. You mutate 'em, we
"I thought Scott told you to stop answering the phone like that."
She groans at that, then says, "Okay, it's called Caller ID, ice-
chest. You left your phone number behind, remember? Besides, if
Scott's so worried about going incognito, he might want to remove
the giant Viewmaster that's attacking his face."
Point to Jubes, I think with a smile.
"So how's things on the homefront? Did you get disowned yet?"
"Not from a lack of trying," I say with a frown. "Is Marie there?"
"Oh, sure. Actually, she's been trying to grab the phone -- hey!"
A heavy rustling sound comes over the line, followed by a loud
squeal. "-- for the past two minutes, but I've been trying to see
if I could get her to go farther with me than she has with you --"
I laugh with amusement at that. "Wouldn't take much," I mutter.
"I heard that!" I hear, in a familiar, soft, yet growling Southern
More rustling. "Hey, let go of that, Mississippi! I don't know
where it's been!" A second later, there's an oomph, and finally the
voice I've been hoping for carries over the line.
"Hello. Bobby, you still there?"
Another thunk, then, "Well, come home! You're missing --"
"Jubilee, go away!"
"-- some quality prankage here! After you left, we put racing
stripes on the Professor's wheelchair!"
I can't keep myself from laughing at that one, and I'm pretty sure
it's the mental image of Professor Xavier done up like Super Dave
Osbourne that does it. Racing stripes? I'd like to think that was
Jubilee's idea, but if that doesn't have John Allerdyce written all
over it, I'll eat my superhero costume -- you know, when I get
one. "Do I want to even know how you pulled that off? Or whether
or not you took pictures?"
"It's called the twenty-first century, Frosty. Check your email."
What then follows is a muffled sound that I guess is the sound of
Jubilee getting elbowed in the stomach and flopping backwards over
the back of the couch.
"Ah don't know why John suggested we do it," Marie mutters into the
phone, confirming my suspicions. "The four of us are the only
suspects left in the mansion."
From behind her, I can almost picture Jubilee popping up from the
floor like the other half of a really lame comedy team as I hear, "--
and tassles on the armrests and a cute wicker basket with little
plastic flowers and a dirty deck of cards in the spokes --"
"Shut it, Jubilee!" Marie shouts. "If Bobby wants to know what
we've been doing all afternoon, he's going to have to pick up his
cold yet adorable butt and --" This time, she yells into the
receiver. And, ouch. "-- come home!"
I wince at that, then glance around my quiet, toasty-warm kitchen,
the only sounds in the house the constant zombie-killing special
effect coming from Ronny's room, and I can't help but frown.
You know, for a second there, I thought I <I>was</I> home.