Never Give Up

Pairing: Bobby Drake/Remy LeBeau (Iceman/Gambit)
Category: Fluff, hurt/comfort, developing relationship, pining
Rating: PG13
Summary: Treasure what you have now, not when it's too late...
Notes: I needed this to get my mind into the right gear -- this was merely meant as a prologue for an x-men/Smallville x-over that obviously never saw the light of day *g*

'You are *such* an idiot, Drake'

Throwing his towel on the bed, two seconds later following suit, sprawling on his back, eyes closed, Bobby sighed. 'Actually, idiot doesn't even *begin* to cover it. Now, fuckin' moron's more like it.'

Danger-room session had gone fine, absolutely, if nothing else, it kept his mind focussed on what he was doing - instead of what he *wanted* to do. With only a skeleton crew present at the mansion, the place hadn't exactly been crowded. Deserted was more like it. He'd felt good after the workout, enjoyed the lingering feel of adrenalin. Yes... that had to be the explanation - he'd been high on adrenalin.


'Just keep telling yourself that, Drake, over and over again, and maybe, just *maybe* you'll convince yourself.'

Whatever it had been, Bobby promised himself that he'd never use the communal showers of the mansion again. Especially not when there was the slightest risk of running into Remy...

'Don't think about it, dammit! Nothing happened and he doesn't know - doesn't suspect.'

Bobby sighed again. He needed a shower, and time to clear his mind. Going into his own bathroom, he turned on the lights, rolling his eyes at his reflection in the mirror. Blond bangs falling down over his eyes. He needed a haircut...

The thought brought back the image... Remy hadn't been around for weeks and Bobby hadn't run into him until the shower. And for a second he hadn't recognized his team-mate. The almost shoulder long hair had been shortened. Not too much, but enough to change familiar looks. The contours of the face... sharper, chiselled... The water flowing down, darkening the short auburn hair, slicking it to the skull. Head turned upward, eyes closed, back straight, untamed wrapped in a moment of serenity...

Bobby swallowed hard and tried to scold himself for sounding like a bad poet. The memory, though, the memory of Remy in the shower, naked... He really should have left at that point, instead of staring at the mesmerizing display in front of him.

Back turned to the door, muscular body relaxed. Wonderfully shaped shoulders, not too broad or bulky, tanned skin - equally tanned all over, as he couldn't help noticing. Pale scars here and there... Bobby couldn't move, couldn't close his eyes, as Remy began turning around, blinking water out of his eyes.

That's all Bobby saw, as he finally regained control of his body - well, more or less, and fled the room, not stopping until he'd closed his own door.

Another sigh escaped him as he stepped into the hot spray. Figures he'd go and fall for a guy who was 110% straight. Sure, Remy would flirt shamelessly with anything that had a pulse, but from there to actually doing anything that had a pulse, including Bobby, was an entirely different thing.

Against his will, Bobby's mind returned to its heart's obsession. And with that his body reacted to it as well. Bobby looked down and rolled his eyes. 'Oh God, no.' Why was this happening to him? Why not to someone else? How could he meet those red eyes with the knowledge that it was those he saw every time he closed his? A strangled noise escaped him. 'Someone up there hates me...'

Deciding around lunchtime to allow his growling stomach to convince him that leaving his room was necessary, Bobby went to the kitchen. Remy rarely hung around any of the common rooms, so it seemed safe enough. He drew a relieved sigh as he entered the kitchen and found only Jubilee there.

"Hey, Icicle!" A broad grin greeted him. "What's up?"

"Not much at the moment, Jubes," he answered her with a smile of his own, if a little strained. He went to the fridge and opened it. Ah, cold pizza, highlight of the day.

"Well, you be sure to tell me, if there is any, right?" Jubilee waved over her head as she left him to himself. Bobby shook his head, wondering if she was capable of as much mischief as he'd been at her age. Well, probably more, if he were to risk a wild guess.

Sitting down at the table, Bobby was glad that there weren't that many members in the mansion at the moment. As much as he loved the feeling of belonging to a large family, he really enjoyed easing down on the stress and just enjoying life for a change. Swallowing the last piece of pizza, licking his fingers, he promised himself to forget this mornings unease. He was fairly sure he could pull it off. It wasn't like it was necessary for him to spend time around Remy.

The inter-com *biiiped* loudly. Bobby put the dish in the washer and punched receive. "Yeah? 's Drake."

"Bobby, would you meet me in the library?" Ororo's voice came through.

"Um, yeah, sure. I'll be right there Ororo." Wondering what was going on, he made his way down the hallway.

He felt like just turning around and leaving again when he entered the library. Ororo was there -- so was Remy.

'Shush, Bobby. You can do this.' "You called?"

"Yes Bobby." Ororo turned to him, a light smile on her lips. "I just got a phone call from one of our contacts in the city."

So it didn't seem to have anything to do with him. And Remy's face didn't reveal anything - not that it ever did. Then again, maybe Bobby was just being paranoid. "Yes?"

"We have a possible mutant sighting." She leaned against one of the chairs, long white hair falling softly over her shoulders.

"What about Cerebro?" Bobby concentrated on her, trying not to look at Remy.

"Nothing, but then again, without either the professor or Jean, it isn't extremely reliable."

"So, field research." Not that Bobby minded. Not at all. Except this time, it was with Remy. He hoped to God that he'd be capable of keeping his mind on their assignment.

"Oui, hands on experience, de only way to go." Remy's red eyes still didn't show anything but their usual smile.

Bobby ignored the comment. Remy hadn't mean anything by it. Of course he hadn't.

Ororo shot him an odd look, but continued. "I'd like the two of you to check it out." She handed Remy a slip of paper with an address.

"No problem, 'roro." Remy nodded, "You just leave dis to us." He turned his attention to Bobby.

Who in turn wished he hadn't, almost squirming, telling himself that Remy *wasn't* checking him out.

"You ok, mon ami?" Remy frowned, watching him with an odd look on his face.

"Yeah, um. I'm fine." Bobby steeled himself. There was no reason for him to feel so insecure around Remy.

Remy shrugged, though kept stealing glances at him. "Ah'll... just go grab some stuff -- meet you down front, Drake." And gone he was. Bobby let out a relieved sigh as he turned to leave as well.

"Hold on a moment, Robert, can I have a word with you?"

Bobby stopped, wondering what Ororo might have to say to him that wasn't meant for Remy

"Is something wrong?"

"Um, no? Not that I know of. Why?"

"You seemed... uneasy for a moment."

"I..." Bobby trailed off. He couldn't risk telling anyone, especially not Ororo, since she was a close friend of Remy's. Or could he? She had never given him cause to think that she'd ever tell anyone a shared secret - on the contrary. To her, honour and trust were very important issues, so maybe...

"There is something..." Bobby stopped when he heard a soft knock on the door. Ororo seemed slightly annoyed with the interruption, but acknowledged it.

A friendly, blue furry face peeked through. "Could I have a word with you, Ororo?" Hank offered Bobby an apologetic smile.

"Just a moment, Henry." She turned her attention back to Bobby. "You were saying?"

"It's... not important." He wasn't about to spill his troubles in front of Hank, even if the man was his friend. Besides... Remy was waiting for him. Fleeing the room before Ororo could say anything, Bobby hastily made his way back to his own quarters, suiting up and then back downstairs to meet with his team-mate.

He came down the front stairs as one of the schools dark cars pulled up in front. Remy leaned over and pushed open the passenger door, staying in the position, resting across the seat where Bobby would be in just a moment. A friendly smile softened the thin lips and the red eyes just visible as Remy tilted his head to look above his shades, were like they always were. At least, Bobby could try to convince himself of that. Not that he'd ever studied those eyes! Or even thought about them! 'God, Bobby, you're so pathetic it hurts.'

Remy watched him with a puzzled look on his face, then sat back in his own seat, waiting for Bobby to get in.

They pulled out of the driveway and Bobby couldn't quite shake the feeling that Remy kept watching him from behind the dark shades, while still keeping both eyes on he road. 'Ah yeah, paranoia is such a wonderful ting.' Bobby closed his eyes. And he was supposed to be a seasoned fighter? One of the original first x-men? And here he was, practically reduced to an insecure schoolboy -- or maybe even girl -- considering the crush he had. Well, no one could blame him, anyone could see the way Remy walked, talked and he was a valuable member of the team. He'd made a lot of mistakes in the past -- but he'd made amends, still did -- trying to fit into the team if not the 'family' they were. Considering the obstacles he'd had to overcome, it was amazing that he was still there -- and now -- even acted as field leader when he wasn't tending to the guilds of Assassins and Thieves in New Orleans. Bobby wondered for a moment if Remy actually ever slept, which set of a bunch of very interesting, however inappropriate images.

As he stole another glance, he caught Remy looking at him -- strangely. 'Na-ah -- he doesn't know, he doesn't know...' Bobby swallowed hard and quickly looked ahead instead. He noticed the movement as Remy's attention returned to the traffic, almost making Bobby sigh in relief.

"Is dere somet'in' you'd like to tell me, Drake?" The light drawl sounded... well, a little puzzled.

Bobby twitched in his seat. "Well... Eh, no?"

Remy shrugged, checked the street signs and finally pulled into a vacant parking spot. He stepped out of the car, and Bobby was partly relieved and partly deprived. He'd enjoyed Remy's company, but it was slowly getting harder for him to act as if nothing was amiss.

Bobby was startled out of his thoughts as Remy ducked his head back inside. "You coming, mon ami?

Bobby shook his head to clear it. "Yeah, coming."

The building loomed over them in the light of the setting sun.

Remy tried the door, but it turned out to be locked. He shook his head as Bobby gave him a questioning look. Even the Prince of Thieves wouldn't dare trying to break in through the front doors facing an open street. Remy motioned for an alleyway next to the building. Bobby drew a deep breath and followed his team-mate around the corner.

Dark and smelly was all that Bobby needed to describe the narrow space between the two neighbouring structures. They walked, fully alert, toward the shadow of an entry at the end of the alley.

Suddenly everything went from silent as a graveyard to noisy as a battlefield. Shots were fired and Bobby instinctively turned to ice, prepared to fight his way out of what had been a set-up. A split second before the change was complete, however, he was sure he felt an odd sting and spreading heat in his side, but promptly forgot about it as his body was cooled and his skin transformed to it's mutated state.

A flurry of motions, objects being thrown in the same heart beat as they were charged. And if Bobby hadn't been caught up in trying to spot whoever was firing at them, he would have definitely enjoyed the display of pent up energy flowing through the sinewy body, the glimmer of mischief mixed with determination he knew was in the red glowing eyes.

Something whistled past his ear, and a split second later, Remy slammed into him, carrying them both through the old door in the building with his own momentum. "Another sniper ," came the short explanation.

Bobby tried to concentrate on the current problem, instead of the fleeting moment of heat, as Remy let go of him and continued deeper into the building. It was dark and Bobby cursed the fact that his ability to see in the dark was nowhere near as good as his team mate's.

"Don't dawdle, mon ami." Hot breath against his ear and a hand on his arm, a hand that was quickly lifted again. "Drake!" Whispered annoyance.

'Huh?' Ah, of course. Turning his arm back to warm flesh and bone, , realizing that physically guiding a Popsicle wasn't the most comfortable thing in the world, Bobby still kept the rest of his body in it's icy state. Couldn't bee too careful. Some sick, little part of his mind hissed and revelled in the feel of the warm hand returning to his arm. Bobby shook his head, this was hardly the time for such thoughts. Then, a light squeeze that Bobby could interpret in a million and one ways.

#Don't worry, you're not alone#

#Trust me, I know what I'm doing#

#I know...#

'No!' Bobby forced himself to pay attention, as Remy lead him up the stairs. They met no resistance, for which Bobby was eternally grateful. His mind was racing, and he knew how dangerous this could be, in a situation where he needed to keep cool... no pun intended.

Bobby felt a little dizzy, but still turned back at the top of the stairs, forming an effective barricade no one could easily get through. He watched Remy take the ladder to the roof with unease, feeling a strange urge to stop him. The *clank* of boots on the metal steps rung strangely hollow and distant in Bobby's ears. Then Remy was gone. Bobby leaned against the wall. The hallway seemed to be swimming. Bobby squinted -- little did it help. His hand slid down his chest to his hip -- and somewhere in his mind he was wondering why his usually smooth icy surface felt... imperfect.

He looked down and slowly it dawned on him. He'd been shot -- just as he'd managed to ice up. His breathing sped up. Oh god! Oh God! Oh... A wave of nausea hit him and he was glad that he'd been leaning against the wall. This wasn't good. Bobby could feel the unconsciousness tugging lightly at the back of his mind.

This couldn't be it? Could it? Fear welled up inside him. Not just for his physical state -- but the fact that he might never get to tell Remy how he felt about him. His vision seemed to darken, but he could make out the figure rushing to his aid. Strong arms caught him, as his legs seemed to have given up the idea of supporting him.

"Re-Remy?" Hoping it wasn't their attacker, Bobby tried to focus on what he needed to get through. "Remy, I need... want t-to tell you..." God, it was hard to speak. "I... I like you... a... a lot." Bobby reached out to touch his friend's face, wondering if those were tears on Remy's cheeks, or if his eyesight had finally gone down the drain. It seemed that Remy was yelling something at him, but nothing made it through to Bobby, who was slowly losing consciousness. His last thoughts were how beautiful Remy looked when he was angry.

Bobby came slowly back. Something was tickling his cheek. Painfully slow he tuned his head and squinted in the low lights of the infirmary. His heart jumped as he recognized the auburn hair. Remy was sitting next to the bed, leaning forward, head resting on Bobby's pillow. Oh. Breathing in the spicy scent of his friend, too tired to wonder or try to remember what had happened. He closed his eyes and smiled -- hoping this dream wouldn't be gone when he woke up.

Something woke him. Bobby kept his eyes closed, recognizing Ororo's and... Remy's voices. Whispered argument that was easily carried to Bobby.

"'roro, Ah'm perfectly serious." Stubbornness, anger and worry was fairly clear in Remy's voice, and Bobby was quite sure that the only reason why he was picking it up, was that the thief didn't seem to bother concealing it, thinking only Ororo could hear him.

"Remy, please," Ororo answered in a strained voice. "It's ridiculous -- it would make it just as much my fault for sending you out there in the first place."

"Non, it's not!" Remy sounded frustrated and the soft whisper of movement told Bobby that he was probably pacing back and forth. "You gave us an assignment, of which Ah was in charge -- and Ah got Bobby hurt."

Somehow Remy using his name, not Drake, not Iceman, and not, like Ororo mostly did, Robert, sent a pleasant heat through his body. Just... Bobby. Then Bobby frowned, tempted to make his consciousness known, because the fact that he'd gotten hurt seemed to be tearing at Remy. Badly.

"Remy, you can't blame yourself for this!" Ororo's tone was controlled, but beneath it she seemed as worried as Remy was. The com suddenly *biiped* and Bobby heard Ororo being asked to come to the danger room. Good, Remy was there -- alone. Bobby hoped he wouldn't be leaving as well.

"This topic isn't at its end yet, Remy." Ororo's voice was stern as she left the infirmary.

Bobby kept his eyes closed as he heard the door whoosh closed. 'I hope Remy didn't leave as well.' Then again -- it might be better if he had. Bobby wasn't sure he could face Remy's guilt right now. Besides, he wasn't entirely sure of *what* he'd said to Remy before he'd passed out.

It was hard to fight the temptation of looking, especially when Bobby was sure he felt a presence next to the bed. He managed to keep perfectly still even as fingers traced his cheeks, jaw, neck...

"God, Ah'm so sorry, Bobby..." It was barely a whisper.

Bobby finally chanced a peek from under his lashes. As Remy's eyes opened again, Bobby quickly shut his. Another caress and a brush of lips against his forehead.

"Ah... Ah love you, Bobby, please don't die on me before Ah have a chance to tell you."

It was almost inaudible, but it made Bobby's heart act like he'd been running a marathon. He finally found the courage to open his eyes. "I won't..." he whispered.

Remy froze, his red eyes widening visibly. "Bo-Bobby?"

"Yeah." Bobby struggled to bring his hand up to touch Remy's face, but failed halfway there as he was still fairly weak.

Blinking in surprise, Remy caught his hand an brought it to his lips with a questioning look.

"God, yes, Remy... I..."

Remy shook his head. "Hush, rest." His eyes softened, "we'll talk when you're feeling better."

"Promise?" Bobby wanted nothing more than to believe those words.

"Promise," Remy replied as he leaned forward, finally kissing Bobby.

So sweet, tender and trusting. Bobby wasn't sure if he'd ever been kissed like that before. Like he was fragile -- like he was a piece of priceless art. Like being studied. Parting his lips, Bobby turned their kiss into something a little less innocent. Moaning at the loss as Remy pulled back, Bobby looked at his... friend? Boyfriend? Lover? The possibilities seemed endless.

"Ah better go now, befor' McCoy kicks me out o' 'ere."

Bobby nodded, realizing just how tired he still was. "I'll see you later then?"

"Of course," Remy assured him, brushing another swift kiss against his cheek.

Watching as Remy walked out the door, Bobby sighed contentedly.

"I see we're on the road to recovery..."

Bobby closed his eyes, sank back on the bed and groaned. "Don't say a word, Hank. Not. One. Word."

"Now would I do a thing like that?" Hank sounded awfully innocent.

"Yes, you big, blue furball, you would." Bobby couldn't help grinning. "Now go away and let me get some rest." And as Bobby drifted off to sleep, he could have sworn he heard Hank commenting on what a cute couple they made...

The End