|Turn Away and Slam the Door|
|Season 6, Episode 18|
50 Shades of Grey
Welcome to New York
-How great does this feel?- Jean looked at her teammates. -We are finally taking a break, the five of us.-
-I should probably be working on a cure for the Legacy Virus but I enjoy being here with you, guys.- Hank commented.
-Way to ruin the moment, Hank.- Iceman commented.
-I thought I was accentuating it.-
Magik walked past them, now a permanent Xavier’s school student after the destruction of Utopia.
-I salute our new classmate’s unbelievable hotness!- Iceman raised his milkshake.
-Bobby!- Jean exclaimed, sitting up.
-What?- Robert asked, confused.
-Um…- Grey stood up. -Come over here…-
The two mutants got away from the group.
-What?!- Bobby asked,
-Why do you say things like that?-
-What? About Magik’s hotness? Because she is.-
-No, I know.- She waved her hand. -And believe me, she knows. But…-
-You know…- She shrugged.
Iceman stared at her. -What’s happening?-
-Bobby… You're gay.-
-What? Why… Why would you say that?-
-Because I’m a psychic. I can read your thoughts.-
-Don’t… Hey, d-don’t do that!-
-Sorry! Ever since I have new powers…-
-You’re thinking it right now.-
-I’m not doing anything.-
-I’m thinking it because you keep saying it.-
-I said it because you were thinking it.-
-Shh! No!- He put his hand up at her, creating an ice wall between them.
Jean remained silent for awhile, and then looked at her friend. -It doesn’t matter to me or to anyone else… It’s just…-
-Why everyone is so in love with you, I have no idea.-
-Yeah, because you’re gay.-
-Waaaaaaay too soon.-
Iceman put his hands behind his neck, and looked down. Then, he looked at his friend. -Maybe I’m bi.-
-They say everybody is.-
-But I think you’re more… Full gay.-
-Yeah… I know.- Iceman sighed. -I thought… I really thought I was crazy.-
-Or just not… I don’t know. Sorry I yelled at you.-
-That’s one of the good things about nowadays. I don’t think anyone here cares.-
-Not like back then.-
-That’s probably true.-
Jean hugged her friend tightly, who hugged her back.
-I don’t know what I want to do with all of this yet.-
-It’s no one’s business until you say it is.-
-Except for, it seems, you. Nosy b*tch.- He whispered.
-Thank god for me. You overcompensating dork.-
-We never hug.- Iceman commented.
-Because you are so so so cold… Seriously.-
-Sorry.- Iceman let go of his friend. -Hey, do you think Angel is gay?-
-Oh, well. He’s too pretty, anyhow.-
-I know. It’s a little annoying.-
Kitty Pryde knocked on Bobby’s door.
-Yes?- The young man inquired from the inside.
-Can I come in?-
-Uh… Yeah… Sure.- Iceman shrugged, sitting up.
-You have been… Distant, lately.-
-Yeah… I guess.-
-Some people at the school have their own hypotheses… But it cannot be, can it?-
-Did she tell you?- Bobby stood up.
-What is going on, Bobby?-
-Goldballs says you’re gay.-
Bobby looked down.
-Is that true? And you told Jean?-
-I didn’t tell her! She…-
-When do you think we would discuss it? Never?-
-I can’t really place this whole “I’m gay” thing on my terms having to save the world on the reggo… I haven’t even had the time to tell my parents. So, yeah… I’m sorry I opted to avoid having a hard and exhausting conversation with you.-
-I could have been there for you… I thought we were friends. I even thought you had a crush on me. And when you distanced yourself… I couldn’t help to blame myself. “What did I do wrong?”. I’m just trained to look at every situation… Dating, being an X-Man… And assume I left something in a deficit. The moment Goldballs suggested it, I went: “Oh! He’s gay. Okay.” But… But you didn’t talk to me, so I just felt rejected and left out of your process all over again.-
-Why are you here, then? To blame it all on me?!- Bobby turned around.
-I wanted to check in… Make sure you’re okay. Maybe I’m not your go-to person for these things anymore, but I wanna make sure you have someone. Believe it or not, your friends and family want more from you than cracking wise at inopportune moments. Plus, maybe half your jokes actually land.- She chuckled.
-Strength in numbers, baby.-
-I mean it. Talk to people. Talk to your friends here. And maybe… Then talk to your parents.- She smiled, walking out of the dorm room.
-How will I even find the right guys to talk to?- Iceman asked Jean and Beast, lining up to walk into a club.
-That’s not going to be a problem.- Jean commented.
-No, like, what if there aren’t any gay guys around?-
-Bobby, we’re in Miami.- Hank reassured him.
-Okay, this conversation is… No.- Jean shook her head.
-Yeah. So?- Bobby asked.
-So…- Hank nodded.
-What, is Miami supposed to be full of gay guys?-
-The whole world is full of people, Bobby. All kinds of people.- Jean explained. -Let’s just say Miami is particularly full.-
-And plenty of them will be more than happy to talk to your pretty pink face.-
-That assumes my mouth will be capable of making words, Jean.-
-You’re doing it right now.-
-You guys don’t understand. I tried flirting in school… With girls or whatever. Back before I came to Xavier’s. Even went on a couple ill-advised blind dates. One girl called me a poop tornado. To my face.-
-The difference here is that you’ll actually be attracted to the people.- Jean pointed out.
-You get to stop trying to be something you’re not… And just be.- Hank explained.
-Yeah… That’ll make it LOTS easier.-
-Look, Bobby, we aren't out here looking for the love of your life.- Jean looked at him. -Not tonight anyway. You’re just here to talk to so many guys, you can’t help but get better at it. Quantity over quality, just this once. And, yeah, awkward rejection is the name of the game. But after awhile… You’ll accept that as part of the process. If it happens… When It happens… You smile and walk away.-
-Sounds great.- Iceman rolled his eyes.
-We will be right here with you. Hank’s your interesting blue and furry friend with knowledge about any subject. And I do a mean devil-may-care Quentin Quire impression that will keep any conversation rolling.-
-The perfect wingmen.- Beast smiled.
-You’re in good hands, Bobby Drake.-
-Oh my God…- Iceman commented, as soon as he stepped into the club.
-Go time.- Hank smiled.
-Just be yourself.- Jean advised him.
-Umm…- Bobby approached three guys, standing around a table. -I… I… I like turtles.-
-What, man?- One of them asked.
-I, um… Didn’t think about what to say before I got up here and then…-
-Uh, oh.- Jean muttered,
-Abort. Abort.- Hank ordered.
Jean walked to Bobby and pulled him away, as the guys laughed at him.
-Dear God… Why would I ever…- Bobby put his hand on his forehead.
-My fault. Totally my fault. We threw you into the deep end. But no, it’s good. Now we got super awkward out of the way, has to be easy from here. Just… Let me do the heavy lifting this time.-
The three mutants approached another group of four guys.
-Can you nice people tell me if I have something horrible going on with my face tonight?- Jean asked. -Nacho cheese all over my chin or whatever? Because… I’ve been in this club twenty minutes and can’t get a single boy to even look at me.-
-Wrong club, sweetheart.- A blonde guy laughed.
-So you’re saying I might have to buy my own Red Bulls tonight?-
-Yes, ma’am. Afraid so.- A redheaded guy with glasses chuckled.
-I suppose I can live with that… But which one of you is footing the bill for my friend Bob…- Jean turned around, but Bobby wasn’t there anymore. Jean spotted him leaning against a wall and walked towards him. -Bobby! What happened to you? Those guys were super nice.-
-I dunno. You guys were hitting it off and I was just standing there in the back like a weirdo. Felt like I was in the way, so…-
-Please, stop. This isn’t that hard. You know how to talk. I’ve seen you talk for hours and hours nonstop, while everyone else just listens to whatever it is.-
-This is different.-
-It really isn’t. Stop worrying about hitting on people and… Do Bobby. Do you.-
Bobby approached two guys on his own. -Hey. So… My friends back there sent me over here to meet you guys because I’m terrible at flirting and they think I need more practice.-
One of them smiled.
-Don’t we all?- The other shrugged.
-But, like… Practice doing what exactly?- Iceman continued. -Shirtless dancing? Interrupting strangers’ conversations with my non-existent pickup lines? Like… “Hey pal, I dig how that t-shirt’s just the right amount too tight for you. Wanna make out?”. Quantity over quality, Jean? Really? Does that sound like me in any way? I eat mac and cheese with nuggets every Wednesday cause it’s easy and then I never have to think about it…-
-O-kay, then.- Hank put his hand on Bobby’s chest. -Nice to meet you, fellas.-
-What'd I do?- Iceman asked as Beast pulled him away. -I thought that was going well.-
-It was… At first. You were just maybe over-sharing a little. But that’s no biggie. We’ll go dance it out.- Henry led Robert to the dance floor. -See, Jean’s a talker, but this right here, this is how I deal.-
-Even when I’m in a dark place… The music just melts it all away, you know?-
-Yeah. Yeah. This is way easier.-
-Lets me forget all about the Legacy Virus. And trying to find a way to stop the Phoenix Force. Out here I don’t have to think about that at all. Don’t have to be a scientist. Don’t have to be me. Don’t have to be anyone.- Unconsciously, the guys gathered around Beast, whose dancing skills outshone Bobby’s. Iceman walked away from the dance floor.
-Yeah… I should’ve warned you about that.- Jean shook her head slightly. -Never compete for a dance floor with Henry McCoy.-
-He’s an accidental scene-stealer. But it’s not like you came here to dance anyway, right? Let’s switch gears and try…- Jean put her hands on her arms and rubbed them slightly. -Or… Maybe you should take a minute to collect your thoughts.-
-Sounds good.- Bobby walked over to the bar.
-Ooh, I know that look.- A blonde guy sitting next to him commented. -Somebody’s well-meaning friends have tried to set him up.-
-In a manner of speaking.-
-Two of them.-
-Eeek. That is just never good. Top Gun, man… Ruining young men since 1986.-
-Oh, my stars and garters…- Hank muttered. -Where is he?- He asked Jean Grey. -I didn’t mean to… It’s just been a bad week and the music sort of…-
-Evan, shh… Look. Turns out all we had to do was make him miserable enough to wander off on his own.-
-We’re pretending that was on purpose?-
-But Beast’s laser thing doesn’t like, knock Unus out or whatever. It makes his untouchable powers crazy strong. Now he can’t touch anything. So Unus is chasing this piece of pie around the room, freaking the eff out.-
The guy in front of Bobby laughed loudly. -You guys beat Unus the Untouchable with pie?- He asked, looking into Bobby’s eyes.
-Well, the lack of pie. But yeah, we totally did.-
The guy placed his fingers on Bobby’s closed fist, which was resting on the bar.
Suddenly, Bobby’s body was covered by ice, freezing the bar and the guy’s arm.
-Holy Hell! I’m sorry. I’m so sorry!- Iceman ran away from the bar and out of the club.
On his sprint out, he crashed against a Latino guy in a yellow and black shirt, and both fell against the trash can.
-Hi…- The other guy smiled at him.
-Hey…- Iceman giggled, his body going back to normal.
-Heh. So... What was that about?-
-I um… Was just talking to this great cute guy in there.-
-Congratulations?- The guy looked at Bobby, standing up.
-Yeah, then I… Completely froze. Freaked out and ran away like a crazy person.-
-Ha. Sounds about right.- He helped the mutant up. -My first crush was on the high school wrestling team. Therefore, obviously, so was I. Yellow spandex singlets and sweaty vinyl mats. Wrestling practice was my jam. Spent three months flirting and play-fighting with that kid… Before finally getting up the courage to kiss him. After which he promptly punched me straight in the teeth. I literally dropped out of school the very next day. G.E.D., here I be.-
-Don’t be. Wrestler boy came out a couple years later and tracked me down online to apologize. Humiliation is a rite of passage. There’s a reason they call it a crush, right?-
-So, yeah, welcome to the club.- They looked at each other for awhile. -Listen, I could stand here staring into those ice blue eyes all night. But a friend of mine is in a bad way around here somewhere and I really need to track him down.-
-Oh. Yeah. Sure.-
-Please, don’t make me bounce without learning your name.-
-Mine’s Romeo.- He waved at the mutant, running away. -I normally tell people it’s just a name and not to read too much into it… But this time, I think I’ll leave that up to you.-
Suddenly, a moth-like creature flew towards them from behind Bobby, knocking him over.
-… Hello.- Romeo looked up at the monster, holding his left hand out at him.-
-Romeo, get down!- Iceman yelled, his body covered in ice again. He held out his hand at the monster and fired an ice blast.
-Wha… Bobby, no! No. No. No.- Romeo muttered.
-Weird, terrifying moth creature, YOU COME BACK HERE!- Bobby ordered, as the monster started attacking the civilians at the club.
-Heavens…- Hank commented, as he and Jean walked out of the club.
-Can’t we have ONE NIGHT out at the club? Just ONE NIGHT of peace?- Jean asked.
-I’ll help Bobby with that thing. You handle the bystanders.- Jean ordered, as she and Beast separated ways.
-Hey, Bobby, what did I miss?- Jean asked, approaching her teammate and using her newfound cosmic fire against the moth creature.
-Met a boy. Things were going great… So great! Then, obviously, this thing happened. It’s cool, though. I think he’s watching.-
-You guys! No! Bobby, it’s fine! You just… Leave him alone!- Romeo yelled, trying to catch up to the X-Men.
-Pretty sure we look mad cool right now.- Iceman smiled.
-Almost certainly.- Jean nodded. -But let’s try and wrap this up before someone gets hurt.-
-Stop. Stop. STOP! PLEASE! JUST! STOP!!!!!- Romeo screamed, trying to climb onto Iceman’s ice slides. Once he got to the mutant, he punched his back, throwing him off the ice. -Legit sorry about this, Bobby. But you guys are making it…-
-WORSE!- Romeo leapt from the ice block and grabbed the monsters’ fur, looking into its eyes. -You are okay. It's my fault this happened. I was trying to find you and got… Distracted. Please. Calm down. I’m here. You’re okay. We can help you.- The monster calmed down, holding Romeo and bringing him safely to ground level. -There we go. Good.-
-Um… So…- Iceman looked at Romeo.
-I suppose that counts as a win. Eh, Romeo?- A voice asked.
-Though, if I’m honest, not your best work.- The Inhuman Princess shook her head slightly.
-My bad, Crystal.-
-It isn’t like you to be so sloppy.-
-What’s happening right now?- Jean asked.
-No idea.- Bobby shrugged.
-Those are Inhumans.- Beast explained.
-Won’t happen again, boss.- Romeo apologized.
-Good.- Crystal nodded.
-I was a little late getting here, then the X-Men showed up and…-
-X-Men? Well then…- Crystalia looked at the mutants. -I suppose that explains it.-
-Mutants… Hmph.- Gorgon grunted.
-So… You’re an Inhuman.- Bobby asked Romeo.
-I am… A student. A runner. A Gamer. And, believe it or not, a recovering pick-pocket. But yes, I’m also an Inhuman. It’s a lot like being a mutant. Except there’s a weird cocoon thing involved… And for some reason the world has chosen not to hate and fear us… Yet.-
-Right… So, I guess you used your powers on the moth guy back there? To calm him down so fast?-
-Seems like. Or, maybe I just didn’t attack him with a bunch of ice and fireballs.-
-That’s not… We weren’t trying…-
Romeo laughed. -I know, Bobby. Despite what the internet thinks, not all Inhumans hate the X-Men. You guys were clearly trying to help. You were just sort of awful at it.-
-I’m emotional empath.- Romeo said, walking away while typing on the phone. -I can sense and manipulate people's emotions. Calm them down. Warm them up. Whatever. It's really useful with new Inhumans like him. People tend to come out of the cocoon pretty ramped up. Scared and confused. So sometimes I patrol with Crystal. I run in first and do my thing. Then the others scoop them up.-
-It’s a living.-
-So… That’s why I felt so comfortable with you… Earlier.-
-I just… I thought…-
-That we hit it off like gangbusters? That the whole thing was scary easy and now you really want to grab some late night french fries?-
-Can you not make fun of me right now? Cause, like… I crashed and burned with a dozen guys in there tonight. And Jean says it’s all just practice and doesn’t matter, but that felt worse than any beating I’ve ever taken. You were awesome and different and yes of course I want to buy you all the french fries. So if you could just look up from your friggin’ smartphone for ten seconds to let me down easy… I would really appreciate it.-
-Oh, this isn’t my phone.- Romeo turned around, tossing the phone at Bobby. -It’s yours.-
-Wha…- Bobby looked at the screen, and a new contact had been added under “Romeo”.
-Gotta go back to work now, but you should definitely call me sometime.-
-Recovering pickpocket?- Iceman looked up as him, as he boarded the R.I.V.
-Recovery is a process, X-Man. I get a little better every day.- Romeo smiled, as the Vessel’s door closed in front of him.
Bobby smiled at his phone.
-So…- Jean started.
-What happened there?- Hank inquired.
-Digits.- Iceman smiled widely, as the other mutants high-fived each other.
- This episode's name alludes to Iceman coming out and slamming the closet's door shut. This same line was part of Frozen's song, "Let It Go". Many found parallels between the lyrics with coming out, and Elsa, the character who sings the song, can control ice just like Bobby.
- This episode is based on All-New X-Men Vol. 1 #40, All-New X-Men Vol. 2 #13 and Iceman Vol. 3 #2.