|What: Bobby and Sam meet up at a diner in the city to chat.|
With everything going on at the mansion, even someone who's happy to be back needs a little time to get away from it all. That's why Bobby Drake is in jeans and t-shirt today in good old New York City. And since he said he'd spend time with his friend, Bobby's brought Sam Guthrie along to an old favorite diner of his. One that's cool with the whole mutant thing thanks to a certain frosty hero saving the whole place and the owner so many years ago. In a booth in the back, Bobby leans back in his seat. "I promise, this place is great, Sam."
"If anyone knows his fries and burgers, it's you. I trust you, man." Sam slides so he can put his back to the wall and stretch his legs a little. The diner is comfortable, a little dinged up around the edges, just the way Sam likes things. He's always afraid to move in a place that's too shiny and fancy. "It's just good to see you again. I feel kinda weird being back at the mansion--everything's so same-y and yet not at the same time."
"I know what you mean, Sam," Bobby remarks, taking his sunglasss off and setting them on the table. "I was surprised when I came back too. It's weird how easy it is to slip back into things and then notice all those little different bits."
"You mean like Jean?" Sam takes a menu out from behind the sugar and napkin dispenser and flips it over and over without really reading it. "I'm not bright but I didn't miss how people got all quiet when she did that trick out by the lake. And people are just... off. I don't have a word for it other than that."
Bobby tenses slightly but it passes quickly. He takes his menu as well even if he knows what he'll be getting. "Jean...is a lot bigger of a change," he says. "She died. I mean that's half the reason I came back...for the service," his eyes drop to the menu even if he isn't reading. "And now she's suddenly back and all...fiery and more powerful than she's ever been before? It's big," he takes a deep breath and looks up. "Off? Who's been acting off?"
"Wait. What? Jean was... and she came back?" Sam blanches. "Well, hell. That's somethin'." He looks really, really rattled. Suddenly, he's interested in the menu.
"Wait, you didn't know?" Bobby asks, suddenly wondering if there's more truth to what Angel said than he thinks. "Man, I've really got to talk to the Professor sometime," he mutters, shaking his head. "But yeah. She was gone, Scott was a brooding mess, and then suddenly...meteor shower for no reason. This huge one was going to crush us...and then Jean goes all I am the Phoenix on it from nowhere."
"Wow. No, I didn't know. Ma was the one who contacted the Professor about me coming back. I haven't had much contact with anyone since I got home." Sam rubs a hand over his face, then pushes the menu away. "Are the onion rings here any good?" Out of the corner of his eye he's caught the waitress coming their way. He's fidgety, like he wants to say more, but they need to order.
"Man," Bobby sighs. He's going to be contacting people soon nowo. "Best in the city, Sammy," Bobby brings his smile back. When the waitress comes over, Bobby flashes a grin and has a little friendly banter with her before placing his order. He falls silent as he waits for Sam to order his food too.
"Onion rings, rootbeer float, cheeseburger." Sam gives the waitress a smile. "Thank you, miss." Once she's gone, Sam turns his attention back to Bobby. He shifts in his seat, fiddles with the menu again.
"If I tell you something, will you... not tell anyone else?"
Bobby pauses, not expecting that. "Sure thing, Sam. You know you can trust me," he replies, a bit worried about his fellow mutant now.
"I wasn't going to say anything but this is bugging the hell outta me. I thought I was crazy but then you said Jean was dead and came back and..." Sam is nearly babbling but he forces himself to slow down and take a breath. "Before I came up to the mansion, I chickened out on my first try coming back. Ended up staying the city and the next day I went to Bryant Park. I love that place. Anyway--I swear I'm not crazy, Bobby--I saw Doug there. We used to go there and... there he was."
Bobby leans a little closer, wondering what Sam is about to tell him. At first he thinks its just about coming back. He chickened out a little too and spent a day with Hank before rejoining the school. But then Sam drops a bombshell. "Doug as in Ramsey? Cypher? He wasn't all fire birdy was he?"
"No. Just Doug. Older, but so am I. It wasn't just seeing him." Sam rubs his hands over his face. "I think he saw me first. He bolted. I didn't even do anything, but he ran. That--and when he looked back--I knew it was him. I get that someone might look like Doug, but this guy moved like him. I chased him but he grabbed a cab and was gone. I thought I was going nuts but if one person can be not-dead, why can't another?"
Bobby runs a hand through his hair and lets out a sigh. This is definitely not information he expected. "I don't know. Maybe he did come back," Bobby makes a little ball of ice just to occupy his hands. "What do you want to do though, Sam? Try to track him down again?"
"I don't know. I'll just... he obviously didn't want me to find him, maybe I should respect that. It was just eating at me that I saw him. He's why I left and then I come back and there he is. I wasn't going to say anything about it but then you said what you did about Jean, and..." Sam gestures vaguely. "I guess I just wanted to say something. In case there was anything else I didn't know."
"Maybe he was just scared?" Bobby shrugs, turning the ice ball into a small sculpture of Jean and Doug without paying much attention to it. "We should keep an eye out for him regardless of if we actually track him down," he says. The icy mutant then smirks a little. "Sorry, as far as I know, the X-men haven't gotten into the raising people from the grave business. This is as big a shock to me as it is you, man."
"Well, at least you don't think I'm crazy... not for THAT reason, anyway." Sam grins at him, looking relieved. "You're right, though, we should keep an eye out. If it was that hard for me to come back and people knew I wasn't dead, and that is Doug, it's gonna be way harder on him. Did I catch something about you having been gone, too?"
"Yeah, but there are plenty of other reasons, Cannonballs," Bobby jokes, grinning right back. "Yeah, I left the school for awhile. Went to college, spent some time being a kick ass hero in California, and now I'm back."
"Well, good timing for me, coming home when I've got you around to make me look good." Sam leans back in his seat, pretending to play it cool and buffing his nails on his shirt, obviously much happier now. "How long were you gone?"
"Make you look good? Please, I look so awesome it rubs off onto those around me, not just you," Bobby laughs. He shrugs a bit at thee question. "A couple years."
"Any reason you left? If it's private, I get it." Sam looks over his shoulder to see if their food is coming. "I'm just glad to know I'm not the only one who needed a break."
"I was fighting with Scott and the Professor and everyone else, really. It got too much so...I left," Bobby replies. "I needed time away from the X-men to just be Bobby. So I finished school, made some friends, and..." he thinks a moment. "Well...I missed people. My new buds are great and all but they're not you and the others. Our team out there broke up anyway."
"I can see fighting with Scott. He's just like that. Rules-y. Good that you had a team to hang with. I was up to my ears with the kids--it was kinda like having a team." Sam laughs at that and shakes his head. "Lot of fighting and scrapping and yelling. It wasn't so different being away. I still got myself into scrapes now and again, trained all the time for this and that. Hope things go better this time, for us both."
"Things are going good back home for you?" Bobby's happy to hear it. He smiles, pausing the conversation just long enough foor the food to arrive. When the waitress goes, Bobby looks back to Sam. "Things are going better so far aside fromt the crazy we mentioned earlier," he smirks. "And if things get bad enough, you and me can just start our own X-men."
"Back home is good. We paid off the last of Pa's medical bills and Ma's doing a lot better with the kids able to fend for themselves. Once I put the new roof on the house, she kicked me out." Sem munches on an onion ring. "These are awesome. Our own X-Men... yeah, we could totally do that if we had to. But no spandex uniforms, okay? I don't want my ass to look fat."
"She kicked you out? Harsh," Bobby winces, eating his french fries. He snorts at the talk of spandex. "First, your ass looks fine. Second, if you don't want it to be fat, work out. Not making a special uniform since you wanna be a couch potato," he teases, reaching across the table to give Sam's arm a playful punch.
"Hey. I do work out, man. Firehouse workouts are killers. I don't have a rescue dummy to work out with anymore. Maybe I should get you to stand in." Sam reaches over and steals a french fry, then offers Bobby his onion rings. "You're about the right weight. All you have to do is lie there. You can manage that, you're smart enough."
Bobby smirks as he takes the onion ring. "Oh what a charmer," he pauses to eat that ring of oniony goodness in one. "Just lay back and let me show off how muscular I am, you'll enjoy it," he jokes, doing his best Sam-impression.
"Works every time." Sam laughs at him. "Actually, I really want to get back into the Danger Room to work out--there's only one Danger Room out there. I missed that like crazy even though I used to hate it. Remember when I'd just pinball all over the damn thing when I was trying for evasive maneuvers? I thought that was gonna be my name forever. I think I was more dangerous than that room."
"Oh, you're such a flirt," Bobby laughs. He grins at the mention of the Danger Room. "I missed it too. One of my buddies out west set up a high tech gym for us but it just wasn't the same," he pauses, drinking some of his soda. "Well, Pinball. How about you and me hit the old D-Room tomorrow morning? After Scott's done with his morning stick re-inserting down there that is."
Sam nearly chokes on his rootbeer at Bobby's description of Scott's morning routine. "Some things don't change, do they? Yeah, once he's done his thing we should take it over. I suck way less than I used to."
And that near choke just makes Bobby grin. He loves to get reactions out of people with his jokes. "The more things change, the more they stay the same," Bobby replies, doing a Hank-impression now. "Yeah? Well we'll see if that's true or if you're all talk."
"Please. I am all action." Sam gives him a lofty look. "We'll see if you can handle my action. I'm thinking -no-." Bobby will probably kick his ass--Sam knows that full well--but, hey, there is guy etiquette to observe here and that means big talk and trash talk.
"Then how about we put some stakes on this," Bobby suggests. "Think about what you want to bet, we can settle on the terms tomorrow," he says with a cocky smile. He was confident he would win but he was enjoying the banter.
"I don't know if it'd be fair to take more than your dignity from you." Sam winks at him. "But I'll think about what else I want if I win." They might both end up picking up the pieces of the Danger Room as punishment when they're done, if Sam's powers go wrong again, but he's willing to take that chance. It's good to be back.