5178/Sorry about your door

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Sorry about your door
Date of Scene: 14 February 2021
Location: Bobby's Room
Synopsis: Julio's brain is crowded and his powers are malfunctioning, so clearly the only thing that could make the situation more complicated is getting his ex involved.
Cast of Characters: Julio Richter, Bobby Drake

Julio Richter has posed:
Julio has been avoiding a fairly obvious line of thinking for at least a week now, but with near-constant mental nagging from a certain interested party and an overall deterioration of his general situation, his resistance has been slowly wearing down. Finally, tonight, he finds himself in front of the door to Bobby Drake's dormitory, staring at the doorknob and shifting his weight uncomfortably from foot to foot.

He should really just knock. It was bad enough trying to decide what to wear. He must have spent half an hour trying to find just the right combination of garments to say, 'Damn, I'm hot, doesn't it suck for you that we're not together anymore?' but also 'I'm perfectly fine just the way I am and haven't been forced to reconsider anything about myself since we parted ways,' and also, definitely, 'I put no thought into this outfit at all because seeing you is just a boring thing that happens sometimes, no biggie.'

Julio left his dorm convinced he had found exactly the perfect combination of T-shirt, jeans, and sneakers to say all that. Now he's staring at Bobby's door, absolutely positive that he picked the neediest, most desperate and depressed T-shirt, jeans, and sneakers he has ever owned. He lifts his fist, then drops it to his side again, then shuts his eyes and counts to ten, trying to steel his nerves.

Inside the room, Bobby is first going to hear a strange stretching, creaking noise. Then he's going to hear a loud outburst of Spanish profanity in a very familiar voice. Then he's going to hear frantic, continuous pounding on his doorframe that won't stop until the door opens.

Bobby Drake has posed:
For his part, Bobby has been doing his best to give Julio the space he needed. He wasn't good at dealing with situations like these- usually when someone broke up with him, that was pretty much that, people who would occasionally see here and there, but not someone that... you know, would be under the same roof.

Even if that roof happens to be quite, quite large, as far as roofs went.

After the performance at Jubilee's talent concert, Robert has been taking it easy on the social side, in order to get caught up with all the necessary materials for classes, tutoring, etcetera. When Julio's hammering catches Bobby by surprise, he slides off the bed, across scattered books overflowing with bookmarks, and opens the door with an alarmed look. "What's going o--Julio?"

Bobby Drake, not having the benefit of dressing for the occasion, is clad only in shorts and a black tank-top. His usual 'lazing at home' attire.

Julio Richter has posed:
The door sticks oddly, resisting being opened in a way it never has before. The knob is harder to turn, the frame doesn't seem to fit properly, and there will be a strange scraping as it does finally swivel on its hinges. The picosecond Bobby actually yanks it open, he'll see Julio, looking utterly humiliated, blurt out: "First of all, yes, this is my fault." His hands are bracketing his forehead like he's got the migraine from hell, but one swivels out to gesture at Bobby's door.

It has, on the outer side, come alive: a chaos of branches and young leaves, the mottled scales of new bark, whorls and divots of wood growing past the bounds of the jamb, even tiny roots trying to dig into the carpet. Julio continues in a barely contained wail, "Lo siento. I looked at it too long and thought about it too hard and -- I'll just -- I'll find you a... new door? Or... something."

Without asking, Julio tromps over the threshold, clutching his head again. He walks up to the nearest chair facing the fireplace, about to sit in it, then suddenly thinks so loudly that somewhere in the building Jean Grey will have to pop an Advil, 'NOT THAT CHAIR,' and swerves sharply to drop into another one. He lands in an absolutely epic slouch, and a pitiful little voice rises up to say, "I need your help."

Bobby Drake has posed:
Bobby stares at the door for a few seconds, even reaching out to touch one of those branches and whorls. On one hand, Julio clearly had had a moment of manifested power, which was concerning. On the other hand, it was a very /impressive/ thing. "No, it's okay, you don't have to, Julio," Bobby says, doing his best to close the door as best he can. "Mom's terribly House and Garden and has been trying to get me in on it. She'll be pleased."

The Drake defusing approach is, of course, to resort to gentle humor. He approaches Julio's chair and kneels next to it, concern in his blue eyes. "Well, you're in luck, I happen to have cooked up an extra batch of help. Why don't you start at the beginning?" He asks. "Want some coffee? Hot cocoa?" He pauses. "The real kind."

Julio Richter has posed:
A handful of silent seconds pass. Then, weakly: "Cocoa, por favor." Part of Julio feels stupid and childish giving this answer, but the comforting gesture slides right past his defense mechanisms. Also, a bigger part of him wants to be comforted with desperate fervor. So. Start at the beginning.

"Remember the last time we talked, there was just...a lot going on in my life?" Julio asks, his voice pained. "It has gotten a lot worse. The door is because I, uh. I sort of ate an elder god's heart?" He holds up a thumb and forefinger, close together. "Normally I am this much of a dirt wizard. Now? I am //this// much of a dirt wizard." He throws his hands as wide as the arms of the overstuffed chair will allow. "I've never done this before. Uh. I guess that's stupid to say. Of course I'm not going around snacking on god hearts all the time. But I don't know if this is just for a while or I'll get used to it or it's forever or what."

The words tumble out of him in a rush, but then he stops himself. "Oh, jesucristo. I'm being rude. I should tell you, we are not alone. This is Daniel." He suddenly sits up straighter, and when he speaks again, his voice has lost almost all trace of its usual accent and risen in tenor by about half a register. "Uh. Hi? You must be Bobby," he says nervously. "So you two were--?"

"¡Basta, Daniel!" It's not clear how Julio just interrupted himself, but his voice is back to normal and his posture is terrible again. "That's... also a thing. That is happening."

Bobby Drake has posed:
As soon as Julio indicates assent, Bobby goes over to the small porta-fridge and pulls out some milk, and then walks over to one of the counters where a small machine has been propped, reading 'Cocomotion' on its logo. It's new. "Mom's gift," he mentions casually while he pours the milk in, and then a helpful dose of powder from an envelope so fancy, it doesn't have a visible logo. Single-origin bean cocoa from a little artesanal chocolate shop he stumbled into in town. It was delicious.

When the machine starts doing its thing, he ambles back towards Julio and nods, showing that he is paying attention. He does a remarkable show of /not/ showing too much emotion, as means of keeping Julio from getting even more agitated. He returns to the crouch by the chair, and he lets out a low whistle.

"Okay... so eating divine hearts has a tendency to give you a boot to your magic. That checks out." And not just because it was a logical effect in those RPGs he used to play when he had time. "And you've got a guest... hello, Daniel, it's nice to meet you!"

He's being friendly and welcoming, and it says a lot about his time with the team that, while it is unexpected for his ex-boyfriend to suddenly be /two/ people, it's not necessarily shocking. "I remember a movie with Lily Tomlin and Steve Martin like this," he muses. It was a good movie. Maybe he should show it to Julio.

... probably not. "Okay. On the magical side of things, we should consult some people. We've got them on the team, but we also know some people off the team, to see if this is a permanent upgrade or just a temporary power-up, to help you dea-"

He pauses, and then he smiles a little. "Sorry. I'm acting like I know what you want without asking you." He reaches over to put his hand on Julio's as a comforting touch. Then he remembers there is a third person in there, and he ends up by giving the hand a friendly pat. "I'm here to help. Do you want my advice, or do you want us to brainstorm and tackle this together? And, well... how did-" he waves his hands in the air, "our new friend end up moving in?"

Julio Richter has posed:
"That's what I wanted to talk to you about, actually," Julio answers, tackling the last question first. "I rescued him from a sort of soul prison. There were three people in there, and we needed bodies to get them out in. Daniel came with me, other people took the others. But we need to find their bodies so we can put them back and he can go back to his life and I can take a shower without feeling weird about it. No offense."

Daniel: "None taken."

Julio sits up straighter, as himself this time, and continues his explanation. "I mean, I have more magic advice than I know what to do with right now. I think you might be able to help in a direct way. See, the guy who stole these souls, he's getting his powers from Itztlacoliuhqui, the Aztec god of death and winter." The absolute trainwreck of syllables dances off Julio's tongue effortlessly. "His places of power are crazy, ridiculously cold. I know it's weird for me to show up asking your help." He pauses and sags. "And, uh, messing up your door and everything. But I thought you might be able to help us find where the bodies are hidden. I'll still have a weird god in me but at least Daniel will be taken care of."

Although he doesn't necessarily express it directly, Bobby's stable reaction to Julio's insane life developments reassures the younger man. He's not exactly chipper, or anything, but he's breathing steadily, thinking things through, and hasn't subconsciously brought any architecture to life in nearly a minute.

Bobby Drake has posed:
Bobby's frow wrinkles. "Julio, I'd be pissed if you /hadn't/ come to me for help. I may have screwed up, but I hope you have a better opinion of me than someone who wouldn't want to see you." He smiles a little. "How I feel about you hasn't changed. If you're in trouble, I'll come help you. If someone hurts you, I'll go Elsa on them. And it's not just because we're Xavierites either, although that's also the family you're stuck with." A broad grin, and then the young man stands up and walks towards the machine when it beeps. Soon, a mug of delicious and hot cocoa is presented to him. "Bean's from Ghana. They described it as having a 'fruity bouquet with a note of hazelnut' but I'm pretty sure she was having a moment of synesthesia."

Then he sits down on the chair across from Julio, once he's sure that comforting nearness isn't needed right away. "... and the showering thing. Yeah. I knew this mutant who had a similar problem a while back- a psychic mutant had gotten herself lodged inside her mind and it took a week to pry them apart. Had to shower with a bathing suit." He smirks a little, "I still have some of my /early/ suits if you don't have something to shower in." Realizing Julio might lack the backstory, he says - realizing it might make Julio laugh, "After the snowman stage with the trailing snow flurries, I was able to make my form closer to my body, but still a little on the fluffy side. During those days I would wear boots and... well. A speedo and a belt. Basically." Which wasn't too bad when he was in his ice form, but whenever he de-iced in uniform, it looked like he was the most hopelessly lost beach-goer ever. "Certain people used to joke it and call it 'The Ice-capade'. I won't say who, but suffice to say she is every bit the troublemaker you imagine her to be."

Hopefully, that helped Julio chuckle a little. "Okay, so we need to go and brave unbearable cold... which is good, since the cold never bothered me anyway. I imagine the level of resistance we might encounter is likely to be pretty formidable, no?"

Julio Richter has posed:
Julio takes the mug gratefully and leans over it, inhaling some of that fruity bouquet with a mystified expression. He takes a sip. "It's really good," he says, his voice sincere but still a little bewildered. He was not aware before this moment that gentrifying cocoa was a thing.

After another couple of sips, he looks up again and rolls his eyes. "Jesus, would you stop being such a baby?" he says, in Daniel's voice. "It's just a dick. I've seen them before. I've got my own -- somewhere."

He blinks a couple of times, then: "I let out so you could taste the cocoa," Julio mutters, himself again. "My mistake. No more cocoa for you." He sips again, regally merciless in his judgment.

"I should be OK," he finally says, to the offer of the old outfit. "I just, uh. Don't look. Wash by feel. But having a straight guy in my head has not been great for my dating life." He immediately feels a pang of guilt for bringing THAT up, so rapidly changes the subject. "We ran into Itztlacoliuhqui, yeah. We didn't have to fight him, at least, but..." His eyes lose focus as he tries to decide how much of that story to share, but decides there's just too much. "It was complicated. I'm not asking you to fight a god for me." Whatever their relationship status, Julio's protectiveness seems to have persisted, judging by the tone he uses. "I was just thinking you could maybe use your powers to find places that are unnaturally cold? That we could then check for the kidnapped people's bodies."

Bobby Drake has posed:
There is a brief look that passes across Bobby's eyes when Julio mentions dating, but it doesn't stay there very long. "Yes, I can imagine-" he says quietly and takes a sip of his own cocoa for convenient interruption.

"Fighting gods, not fighting gods. It's not like I won't be on board, regardless. In any case," he leans back on his chair, "How wide a net are we casting? By which I mean the territory- if we're going on an international hunt, we'll have to pack snacks. It'll also take longer."

"I am curious as to how your guest ended up in his predicament. Innocent sacrifice or...?"

Julio Richter has posed:
"Manhattan. Most likely just the Bronx," Julio answers decisively. "I don't think the corruption has gone past that very far. I guess there's a chance the bodies have been moved far away, but I don't think so. He was definitely not done when we got involved. There were nine empty cells still. How long do you think the Bronx would take?"

He takes a long breath, then continues, "He was tricked. Itztlacoliuhqui is working through a DJ called Winter Santos. He's kind of sketchy but he's loose with his money and it draws people in. They go to parties or try to make friends with him and then sometimes they disappear. We can find him, I think, by going to one of his parties, but my thought is that we should try to find the bodies during one instead, when we know he won't be there. Does that make sense to you?" He falls so easily into the reflex of trusting Bobby's judgment that he doesn't even notice he's doing it.

Bobby Drake has posed:
Bobby steeples his fingers and ponders this for a few seconds. "It's a good suggestion. Let's look at the pros and cons of it," he says, aware of Julio's deference. It's not that he isn't touched, but after their breakup he has been thinking of things. Of things Julio said. Getting out from his ex-boyfriend's shadow was something he could understand... even if part of him wanted- well.

"Let's put ourselves in his shoes. You wouldn't want to leave your 'cache' if you could help it, right?" he spreads his finger, "But, on the other hand, you do need to go out and acquire new... well, victims. Would you leave the bodies completely unguarded if you knew you wouldn't be there?"

He rubs his chins for a few seconds, and then says, "Couple of days, at most. If we're looking for /abnormally/ cold levels here, even in the middle of winter, they should be easier to detect, I think."

Julio Richter has posed:
"It's definitely not normal cold," Julio confirms.

"Fucking bone-chilling, like nothing I've ever felt," Daniel agrees, taking a fast sip of the cocoa before Julio can catch him.

"There are also these extremely cursed coins that are involved somehow," Julio continues, "but I don't know what they're for, yet. I can track them with my earth senses, though. Maybe we could look for spots where there are both? Coins and cold, I mean."

He holds the mug in his lap and rocks back and forth for a moment, then says, "You're probably right. I would be surprised if they weren't guarded somehow. But at least if he's not there, it's one less thing to deal with. And if I'm going to fight magic guards, now would be the time."

He holds up a hand, projecting first the shuddering aura of his mutant powers, then condensing that into the thorns and traceries of his magic. Unlike their usual gentle green glow, the lines and edges are blindingly bright, like tears in space that lead directly to the surface of a green star. They even seem to radiate a bit of heat, and there's a sound like branches creaking. He dissipates the power quickly, squinting against it. "Still overcharged."

Bobby Drake has posed:
Bobby frowns and hums tunelessly to himself for a few seconds. "Julio, I know all of this is very overwhelming. Don't worry. I'm Team Planeteer- I'm in. I'll start doing some sweeps in the target area tomorrow morning and see what I can sense... but you're all wound uo."

Tilting his head, she shrugs, "I mean, you have a reason to. Having someone in you must be stressing you. Your powers overarching. Your stress levels must be going through the roof."

He leans forward in his seat and clasps his hands, looking at Julio, "Are you sleeping well? Getting your nutrition on? That sort of thing."

Julio Richter has posed:
Julio stares at Bobby mutely for several seconds. His gaze unfocuses and his expression shifts a couple of times, and Bobby could get the distinct impression that //both// of the men in that chair are just staring at him in disbelief. Finally, he speaks. "Mierda, Bobby, are you kidding me?" he says, wearily. "I am eating when I think to. My sleep sucks. I mentioned the eldritch horror? I don't even know what eldritch means, but yeah, I had some nightmares. Do you know what it feels like to swallow a beating heart full of blue goo the size of a boat? I mean, it was some kind of metaphor, I think, but I still //felt// it."

He lifts one hand from the side of his mug and starts gesturing with it. "You remember Cipactli, right? The Caiman god who took over my body a couple of times, and I was scared shitless? Yeah." He bobs his head forward and grimaces. "He's still around, and when Itztlacoliuhqui was after us, he buried me alive in some kind of ghost dirt, not to scare me, to //protect// me. Cipactli -- with the mile-high tower of skulls -- was scared of this guy and wanted to protect me. No, I have not been sleeping well. What do you want me to do?"

Bobby's description of 'wound up' is certainly accurate. Also, his mostly decorative firewood is starting to sprout.

Bobby Drake has posed:
"I know you're dealing as best you can," Bobby says, holding his hands up, "I'm just concerned. You've got a lot to deal with, and sleep deprivation is detrimental to good judgement."

He stands up and walks over to Julio, once he notices the sprouting. He reaches over to put a hand on Julio's shoulder and kneels down by him.

"I'm not meaning to sound trite, but maybe you could use a massage. Or for the nightmares-" he pauses for a second and narrows his eyes, as if thinking about something. "You could talk to Jeannie and see if she could help. Nothing drastic by all means, but maybe she can help with something that makes you sleep sounder, at least for a couple of nights to refresh you..."

Julio Richter has posed:
Julio doesn't seem upset with Bobby, just kind of weary. Still, the turmoil is there behind his eyes. "I don't know, Bobby. I wish it were that simple. It was hard enough to get a place on the X-Men. I'm young, I'm new, I'm broke, I get airsick. I feel like going to Jean and saying, 'hey, I saw a monster and now I'm having scary dreams and I'm shitting myself' is not, um. What's the word?"

"Not a good look," Daniel offers helpfully.

"Si, a 'good look.' And a massage is..." He grimaces. "If you're offering, that could be pretty weird. For Daniel." Of course that's what he meant. Then he rolls his eyes and grunts in annoyance. "Actually, between the two of us, basically anyone would be kind of weird. One of us will be all, 'ooh' and the other one 'yuck.' You're right, Daniel, this is not bisexuality. This is hell." For what it's worth, he isn't flinching away from Bobby's touch. And the firewood has settled back down.

Bobby Drake has posed:
"A massage doesn't mean you strip naked and drape yourself across my bed, Julio," Bobby says in a completely serious, deadpan tone. And then he adds, "That's Thursdays." He gives the young man a smile. "... no? Tough room. But this is me worried about you, J, not trying to seduce you."

He gently feels the tension on Julio's shoulder, and says "Let me do my thing, and if by the end of it you aren't completely relaxed and snoring like a dormouse, I'll owe you some dessert."

"Keep your clothes on, but kick off your sneakers. Nooo sneaker marks on my sheets!"

Bobby stands up. Julio's pride was going to get in his way, but he knew better than to push it. There was another time to talk about reaching out for help- that Julio came to him at all was something he was thankful for.

Julio Richter has posed:
Julio looks deeply skeptical, but does kick his shoes off. Then, without leaving the chair, he swings around and points at Bobby with a much more determined expression than before.

"No butt stuff," Daniel says emphatically. "No touching, no rubbing, no nothing. I'm still in here." He falls silent, but then, after a second, looks a bit perturbed. It might be because Julio hasn't taken back over; when he speaks again, it's still Daniel. "Don't be messing with Julio, either," he says. "He's a decent guy. And he's still all knotted up inside about you." He falls silent again, and then looks //really// confused when Julio still doesn't surface. Surely a comment like that should have brought him to the surface, screaming with embarrassment -- but it didn't.

When he stands up, it's still Daniel wearing Julio's body. He walks to the side of the bed diffidently, then holds up that warning finger one more time. "Remember," he says, gravely, staring into Bobby's eyes. Then, he somewhat awkwardly gets into the unfamiliar bed.

Bobby Drake has posed:
Bobby's expression darkens slightly, showing a hint of anger. "I'll let that pass because you don't know me, Daniel," he says, "But I'm a guy f my word. And I care about Julio." He walks over to put the two cups of cocoa on top of his desk. "I'm not going to do anything to hurt him." He pauses, and then says a little more quietly, "He's not the only one knotted up."

And then, he approaches the prone time-share body. "Boring Bobby Trivia. I actually took some massage therapy courses. I briefly thought I could have it as a side gig to make money for college but-" he shrugs, "Kinda fell by the wayside when I manifested my powers and couldn't get a hold of them. Frosty massages apparently have the opposite effect when it comes to relaxation."

He will mostly target the tension on the shoulders, back and lower back with deft, accurate pressure and treatment. These are often the most problematic areas and the areas that tend to hold the most tension. When released, the relaxation can easily segue into a good, deep sleep. Hopefully.

He also combines the massage with quiet narration, speaking of trivial things and anecdotes with a low, soothing voice, in hopes of lulling him.

Julio Richter has posed:
Daniel doesn't seem to mind the anger, as long as his admonishments are being taken seriously. 'Frosty massages' does elicit a muffled snort of laughter, although it's not clear from which of the body's occupants. Neither seems to have much to say.

What's going to become apparent to Bobby very quickly, but not the guy(s) facedown in the bed, is that his massage is having more than the usual effect on his extra-crowded subject. First, the air is going to start to shimmer with bright, crystalline motes that fade in and out of view. Then, tiny dots will start appearing on his bedsheets and Julio's clothes. Bobby might initially think they're bugs and be grossed out, but if he looks closer, he'll realize as they grow past flea size that they're actually seeds sprouting from the cotton fibers. Next, the bed's four posts are going to crack their varnish and start branching, a canopy of tiny leaves appearing to shade the recumbent druid. If he lets this go on too long, Bobby might actually start to feel the floorboards creak dangerously beneath him.

Bobby will recall from his training that, traditionally, massage has at least partly been used to ease the flow of energies through the body. It seems that making Julio's mystical energies flow more freely is not without consequence, at the moment. It's really up to Bobby when to call it quits.

Bobby Drake has posed:
Bobby slowly looks around the room at the effects that the massage have had on Julio. He is briefly reminded of that Cocteau film of Beauty and the Beast, where the beast's castle was full of chandeliers carried by arms that jutted out of the walls, and the rooms in the castle were a mixture of garden and chambers.

It was a cool movie. However, he was certain the Professor would not appreciate the school turning into a tree house.

Right. So much for the traditional massage route. There was really no need to make anything /else/ flow at this point, so Bobby winds the massage down and steps back a little, surveying the canopy of leaves.


Julio Richter has posed:
Julio sits still and silent for a second, breathing deeply, calm and at peace for what feels like the first time in weeks. Then, slowly, he rolls his shoulders and then turns over onto his side. He rubs at his eyes and blinks blearily. There's a scent like a spring meadow in the room, motes of green and golden light winking in midair like pearls of dew, and a screen of bright young leaves over his head.

"Hijo de puta," he hisses.

Bobby Drake has posed:
"Don't sweat it," Bobby says with a slight smile. He reaches over and touches one of the leaves with his fingers. "I kinda like them. I've always wondered how a Disney Princess feels like when going to bed."

Blue eyes search for Julio's. "This is impressive. You're going to do some amazing things once you settle into your power. And it will happen. Remember, I've been there."

His room smells like a meadow, which is something he's tried to do through candles and those little wax heaters to very little result. Funny how things turn out. He sits down on the bed, looking a little like the puppy whose 'gift' was found in the corner. "At least you look a little more relaxed, so... profit?" He offers a smile.

Julio Richter has posed:
"Bobby, that's sweet of you, but..." Julio leans a little closer, giving him a jaundiced look. "/I'm sweating it/." He sits on the edge of the bed, props his elbows up on his knees, then raises his hands and leans the bridge of his nose against his fingertips to form a little A-frame over his face. "I got ghosts in my head, gods trying to eat me, Winter Saint hiding soulless bodies, my personal life is a mess, mutants are about to go to war with humans, and now I can't even control my pinche powers." His voice is more even than before, it has to be said: more resigned than frantic, so this certainly wasn't a wasted exercise.

He stands from the bed, stretching for a second -- the branches nearby seem to flex as he does -- and walks toward the door. "Let's just... one thing at a time. Let's get Daniel home. OK?" He turns at the door, giving Bobby an apprehensive look.

Bobby Drake has posed:
"We'll get him home," Bobby says, doing his best to sound more confident than worried. It's a good effort. "One thing at a time."

He stands up and grabs the mug of cocoa and walks over to Julio, offering it to him. "Still some in. You can bring the mug back tomorrow when we go cold-spot hunting. Anything you need, you ask me, okay?"

He glances over his shoulder, at Julio's handywork. "Now I should probably go, um... water my bed."

Julio Richter has posed:
Julio accepts the mug, looking down into it with an expression that is hard to read. "OK. I'll bring it back." Needless to say, he would feel weird having Bobby's stuff in his room at this point. More weird than he already feels. As weird as he currently feels, but with additional branches of weirdness?

God, did he have to think a thing like 'additional branches' right now???

Regardless, he does cast a slightly guilty glance at the fishtank that he got Bobby for his birthday. He's not the only one in knots. "I'll, uh, let you know if I think of anything," he says quietly. "Thanks for helping, Bobby. Good night."

It would be nice to say something like 'and with that, Julio disappears from the room,' but it would be simply unfair to the epic battle that actually takes place between Julio and Bobby's profoundly altered and barely functional bedroom door. Eventually, with much cursing, turning, yanking, and bracing, Julio leaves and Bobby is alone in the privacy of his room again.

Bobby Drake has posed:
You have to be the nice one, Robert.

The fish are fed, as per their schedule. The mug is washed, and what stray leaves there are, are gathered.

You have to be kind.

And the books are put into a neat pile on his desk, as he feels little need to read or prepare any further, the heart of it having gone out of him.

He is going through a hard time, Bobby. You must be considerate.

He sits down at the edge of the bed. His hands still feel warm from the massage. From touching Julio. For a moment, he even wonders if he could smell him, but that's merely wishful thinking. Hank is the one with the cat nose. He is the one who turns to ice.

/But who cares when *He* is having a hard time?/

Hiding his face in his hands, Bobby lets out a sound. It's hard to define it, except that it is strangled, and his muscles bunch up for several seconds, as if his entire body were contracting to keep something in. It happens a second time, and this time the floorboards creak again- but not because of verdant life.

Bobby Drake slowly lowers his hand from his face, and then hastily brushes at smething glistening on it. There are several ragged breaths, but outside of that everything else is remarkably quiet.

Then he looks up at the canopy and realizes that about a third of the leaves, the ones closest to him, seem to ahve been struck by rather brutal frost.

Guiltily, he slides off the bed and walks towards his desk where, after wiping his eyes one more time, he settles down to a thorough study of maps of the target area in question, in order to decide the best place at which to start the search the next day. He didn't have time to waste on dealing with how he was feeling. After all, he had to be... considerate.