4243/It's Finally Cold Enough

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It's Finally Cold Enough
Date of Scene: 29 November 2020
Location: Breakstone Lake
Synopsis: Bobby begins the creation of an ice maze near the lake and shows Julio what he's been working on.
Cast of Characters: Bobby Drake, Julio Richter

Bobby Drake has posed:
The school year has been progressing apace with students having long gotten into the groove as well as the faculty. The weather has been getting colder as the last vestiges of warm weather fade away, leaving mostly varying degrees of chill as the autumn holidays come and go and winter threatens to come soon to New York. Now is the time that Bobby begins the time honored tradition of littering the grounds with ice sculptures. Why? Because most of the time they will last longer due to the ambient chill in the air.

Which means that is what he is doing right now, crafting an ice maze that wends its way along one side of the lakeshore, the chill walls thick enough and high enough to withstand the warmth of the sun during the day and maintain their integrity. He builds it slowly, bit by bit, having started at the center and slowly making more convoluted paths outward.

Julio Richter has posed:
Whether Julio is in a groove or a tailspin is probably a matter of perspective. His academic situation is what it is, and what it is is an unbelievable amount of work. He had thought he was catching up on a lot over the summer, but that courseload bore the same relationship to his current schedule that normal summer classes do to the regular academic year.

His availability has been poor, to say the least. It doesn't help that his usual outdoor haunts are so brutally inimical to warm-blooded creatures at this time of year. When he meanders toward the lake, he's bundled up in a scarf, earmuffs, and beanie -- and that's just from the neck up. The rest of him is mostly obscured by a big brown overcoat, which comes from a store Piotr recommended, so that the maximum amount of warmth can be redistributed to each according to his need. This is accessorized with mittens and big stompy boots; the latter are more impressive visually than in their construction, as their likely market was disaffected goth kids rather than polar explorers.

Bobby Drake has posed:
Bobby's been around, though of course busy with teaching his classes, tutoring students, a number of missions to go out and help struggling mutants here there and everywhere as a member of the X-Men, and while he's certainly always been happy to help tutor Julio in whatever area he might need help -- their schedules have often been at odds with one another. It's only because it is a holiday weekend and he hasn't gone home to spend it with anyone because his relationship with his family is strained, that he is here and somewhat at loose ends, and so -- ice sculptures.

He is smoothing another wall into place when Julio approaches. He can hear the crunching of boots on snow and ice, sense his presence across the ground cover before he arrives. Turning away from the wall, he grins a little crookedly. "You look.. well bundled," he says as he approaches. He doesn't seem to mind the cold -- for obvious reasons.

Julio Richter has posed:
"There is room for just one frozen boy in this relationship," Julio answers, voice muffled by the scarf, as he crunches to a halt next to Bobby. "I don't want to bite your style, so the alternative is many, many coats." He sighs in a wistful little puff. "Remember when I went around in tank tops and flip flops all the time? I should have appreciated those times more when they were happening."

He leans sideways and bumps his shoulder against Bobby's. "So, working on your ice palace? Is this more of a Frozen thing or a Narnia thing? The volcano lair I'm planning for the summer is definitely a James Bond villain situation, so no judgment from me. I just want to stay informed."

Bobby Drake has posed:
Bobby can't help but laugh at that and wanders over to lightly tug at Julio's coat, closing him into it tighter to keep him warm, but also grinning at him. "I will happily continue to be the frozen boy in this relationship," he replies and then reassures, "Spring will come. And the tank tops and flip flops will return." He then turns to look back at the sculpture and grins at the shoulder-bump, returning it in kind before he considers. "It's more of a Bobby's Method of Meditation thing. I'm not sure it's anything other than just some fun for the kids to play in when it's done." He smiles a little wryly. "But no judgment on the Volcanic Villainous Lair." He wonders. "Did you come all the way out here to find me?"

Julio Richter has posed:
"No, it was such a lovely day out, and I just love cramming myself into sixteen layers of clothing. Much better than the warm embrace of the big fancy mansion where all of my friends live and there are a million kilos of thanksgiving leftovers to eat," Julio answers. His accent makes sarcasm extra subtle, which really enhances the effect of the dry humor once you work out that he's using it.

One mittened hand rises to rub between Bobby's shoulder blades. "Of course I came to see you. I have been letting school work kick my ass and make me a bad boyfriend. How are you doing?"

Bobby Drake has posed:
Bobby rolls his eyes just a little and chuckles. He can certainly tell Julio's sarcasm, more than familiar with it, and it makes his eyes dance just a bit as he turns then to lightly pull him closer. "Why don't we head back in, then, where there are a million kilos of leftovers and a warm fire before you turn into an ice cube. I won't even make you walk through the ice maze with me." How generous. The hand between his shoulderblades makes him smile, leaning comfortably into the touch. "I'm good. This is my time of year, after all. Busy, but I needed a little break." He then shakes his head, "You are never a bad boyfriend. School comes first. I'm not going anywhere."

Julio Richter has posed:
"No! We should go through your maze. I want to see what you've been working on," Julio protests, seeming sincere now. "I've got all the layers on anyway. I might as well put them to use." He gives Bobby's back a little pat, then slides his arm firmly around the other man's waist. "For your break, you can show me around your frozen palace. Then when we go inside for coffee or cocoa it will be even better. You should be proud of all this work you've done. I promise I won't go flying off a ramp and nearly drown this time."

Bobby Drake has posed:
"There aren't any ramps into the lake in this one," Bobby reassures Julio with a little laugh when he promises not to go drowning himself in the lake. He slips his arm around Julio in return and turns to wander into the maze. The walls are decorated here and there with little alcoves in which there are ice sculptures of everything from small mammals like squirrels and snow bunnies, to more elaborate creations like a gingerbread house sculpture. There are a couple of ice benches here and there, and even an ice fountain that drips with icicles. He's clearly been working on it a little bit at a time for several days now, adding a piece here and a piece there as it expands outward.

Julio Richter has posed:
As Bobby leads him through the bends of the maze, Julio snuggles up, both out of affection and to pool their bodyheat -- unbalanced as that bargain might be. But when they arrive at the elaborate, detailed sculptures, he darts away to give each a close inspection, making quiet appreciative noises and marveling at the workmanship.

"Dios mío," he breathes as he peers at the crystalline facets of the fountain. "Bobby, this is amazing! These details..." He shakes his head. "I'm proud of myself when I can make a stump of rock to sit on. You're an artist! How long does one of these take to make?"

Bobby Drake has posed:
Bobby is more than happy to snuggle in close to Julio as they walk through the maze and the sculptures, though he lets him wander off to go look at them, drifting along behind him. He smiles a little crookedly as Julio inspects the details. "I mean, it's sort of cheating. I don't actually sculpt anything, I just create the ice in the form that I see in my head." It would be far more difficult if he had to actually cut away a block of ice like a real sculptor.

He cups his hands and draws the ambient moisture from some nearby snow between them and begins to form a rough oval shape which then develops another slightly oval lump on top, with two more elongated ovals, and a tiny round bump in the back, until a small rabbit takes shape there between his palms. The entire thing takes perhaps thirty seconds to create. He offers the ice bunny out toward Julio. "You can place that one," he grins.

Julio Richter has posed:
Julio accepts the bunny gently, handling it with as much care as he would a living creature. There aren't any free plinths nearby, but he goes to one that is already occupied and sets the rabbit on the ground behind it, peeking out as though tentatively sniffing the air just outside its burrow.

"It's not cheating! I guess it's easier than using a chisel, or whatever, but that doesn't mean it doesn't take skill," he answers, perhaps a bit defensive of his boyfriend's work, even if that means slapping down criticism from his own boyfriend. "An opera singer might not play an instrument, but she still works hard and has incredible talent."

Finally, he returns to Bobby's side and nestles up beside him. "I wish I could make something this beautiful," he says, before poking Bobby teasingly in the belly. "And you were going to let me miss it because it was a /little cold/."

Bobby Drake has posed:
Bobby grins at Julio's choice of location for the bunny, seeming to approve. "It did take practice. I couldn't do really detailed things in the beginning. I could barely control my own form and was like a snowman with legs." He'd already told Julio that story, so there's no embarrassment in it. "But you've seen how my ice form looks. It's me, down to the small details, just in ice. I couldn't really do that to that level of detail at first. As I learned to shape myself and create more detailed shapes out of ice, I learned how to make the sculptures."

"Maybe you can," he says as Julio nestles up against him. "Maybe with stone in time as you learn to control your own abilities?" he suggests. Then he smiles wryly at the poking and says, "I wasn't going to drag you around in the cold if you wanted to go back in. But I'm glad that you wanted to."

Julio Richter has posed:
"I do have an eye for your details," Julio answers with a hip bump and a teasing smile, hidden behind his scarf but visible in his eyes. "And you know I'll be checking your work. I'm the resident expert." His arm gives Bobby a snug squeeze. "Like I said, you're an artist, and nothing proves that quite like the fact that you're just as sexy when you're an ice cube."

He reacts to Bobby's guess about his own potential by noncommittally leaning his head from side to side. "It's possible, maybe, but I can't imagine I'll ever be able to do such beautiful details as you do. And even then, it would just be rocks. Maybe I could change one rock into another kind of rock? That would be kind of cool, little gems or something."

As for being dragged around in the cold, he shrugs and answers, "I'm glad I toughed it out, too. This is really amazing, Bobby." He leans in to give him an affectionate peck on the cheek. "I'm very proud of your work here."

Bobby Drake has posed:
Bobby smiles and leans into the squeeze, "I will take that as a high compliment coming from someone who so deeply longs for shorts and flip flop weather." He studies Julio's reaction to his guess, curious as to what he might think about it. "That would be pretty cool," Bobby grins. "Then you could make some cool gems and we can add them to the fish tank." Because why not? He can't put ice sculptures in the fish tank. That would definitely not make the fish happy.

Bobby grins at the peck to the cheek and says, "I'm glad that you stayed to see it. Thank you." Then he tugs Julio gently back toward the exit. "But I think you've definitely earned some cocoa and to not have to hang out here in the cold for much longer."

Julio Richter has posed:
"I've never tried turning one rock into another," Julio says thoughtfully. Then he grins and adds, "But I'll give it a try for the fishtank." He pauses for a second, considering something. "Also, unlimited wealth. But mostly the fishtank."

He smiles and continues, "I'm glad, too. But I certainly won't say no to some cocoa and a fire." He wiggles in a little bit closer and adds, "Especially with the right company." He allows himself to be steered, boots crunching across the frosty ground in step with Bobby's stride.

Bobby Drake has posed:
"You should sometime, just to see if you can do it, if nothing else," Bobby encourages, always supportive of trying to test the limits of what one can do and seeing what applications it might have. He smiles a little wryly at the mention of unlimited wealth. "Maybe that, too."

"Then let's go get warmed up." He turns his steps toward the school and heads in that direction, contentedly leaning into Julio as they return to the warmth of the mansion.