That whole saying be careful what you wish for because you just might get it, yea, should have thought of that. I mean I did wanna spend the day with Jean-Paul, but I didn't think he'd say yes. It was totally unsurprising that he said no, it was almost a relief. I mean an entire day with him I'd probably self-combust, end up as a puddle on the mall floor. Basically I can't imagine not embarrassing myself and him thinking I'm stupid.
So imagine my surprise when he shows up to help drive the kids. I can't blame Jubes either, cause she can talk anyone into anything-it's practically another mutant power for her. No, this is all Worthington's fault. He's so so dead. I'm going to do worse then throw his cell in the nearest fountain when we get home.
"You can stop fidgeting now."
Leave it to Jean-Paul to manage to find a really fancy restaurant by the mall. I mean I feel underdressed here. I've got my whole normal looking going on, laidback: jeans and a T-shirt and everyone else well doesn't. Jean-Paul has no trouble fitting in cause he looks like he could pose for an ad or something. He's wearing blue jeans, a white shirt and a black sweater-his standard out of uniform look, and he looks great while I look like, I don't know, like a big kid or something. Not that I hate my look, usually I'm totally cool with it, its just I don't exactly feel comfortable here. We're chaperons on a trip to the mall, I was totally thinking food court. I'd be comfortable if we were at the food court.
"Thanks," I mutter sarcastically, "cause I was just waiting for your permission."
He arches an eyebrow and I must have watched one to many Star Trek's with Hank cause it does something for me, even though he has his hair covering his ears, and can I just say that it doesn't look right. JP looks funny without his ears, it's just not him.
Probably shouldn't upset the guy buying me dinner. I give him a grin, "Just a bit self-conscience."
"Because you're here with me?" he actually sounds pissed when he asks.
I stop looking out the window to study him. Doesn't he realize the whole world isn't against him?
"Um, no. Bit stuck up aren't you? Not everything is about you JP. Okay the poster thing totally about you."
Which was so cool. I hated that Magneto poster.
The pissed look is gone and trust me this is a good thing. I've been on the receiving end of his 'I'm going to beat the shit out of you look' and it's not reassuring.
He looks me over slowly and I try not to fidget, give him a kinda nervous grin, and he tells me I look good. Yea right, nice of him to humor me.
"Thanks," I mutter sarcastically as I tug on my shirt.
He steeples his hands, yep I've watch way too much Star Trek, no more Star Trek for me, "Robert, if there was a problem with your appearance have no doubt that I would have left you in your precious food court and come here alone."
Jerk. Part of me is starting to understand some of the rumors I've heard about him, the other part of me finds his attitude amusing. Scathing, but in a good way, there's definitely a bit of humor in the way he's almost smiling at me. I wonder what he'd look like with a real smile on his face.
"Robert, you called me Robert. No one calls me Robert, unless I'm in trouble or they're trying to be annoying."
"I believe I've heard Dr. McCoy use that name in reference to you before, to your face even and not in a condescending manner either."
"And I'm not?" he crosses his arms and sits back in his chair regarding me. There's something off about the way he's looking at me, like he might be insulted, but maybe not.
Um, great going Bobster.
"No, I um…I just. Hank's my best friend and I don't really kno…I didn't mean it as an insult."
The look on his face tells me he didn't take it as one and I can't help but laugh slightly. He was joking with me, JP was actually joking with me. Ha! The man does have a sense of humor buried under that whole angry at the world façade of his.
"So, it's Bobby okay?"
"Then you call me Jean-Paul."
I shrug before giving him a grin, "As you wish."
He doesn't get the reference and asks if I know what I want to eat. I have to admit that this is the other part of eating out with Jean-Paul that makes me nervous. If it was Hank, or Warren or even Scott, even most of the other X-men I'd have no problem ordering whatever, but the thing is I don't know JP (Jean-Paul he wants me to call him Jean-Paul), all that well. I mean I want to get to know him better, in lots of different ways and I really shouldn't let my mind wander like it is.
Ah, okay yea, getting to know Jean-Paul. I want to, I really do. Out of all the newer X-men he's the one I think will fit in best if he'd just take a moment to realize he could fit in, that he isn't the big freak he thinks he is.
What am I going to get to eat?
"Um," I shrug, "I'll just get whatever you're having."
Might as well try what he likes to eat. I hope he doesn't like anything disgusting, cause when I was younger I tried some of the stuff Warren pretended (I still maintain he was pretending) to like and some of it was gross.
This earns me another arched eyebrow look and he closes the menu to stare at me.
"Just less," I continue, "like half or a third of whatever kinda portion you're getting cause I've seen you eat."
"It's the high metabolism."
I shrug as nonchalantly as I can and tell him how I told Warren we should have an eating contest between him and Logan. I swear for a second that he almost smiles at that before telling me Logan would win.
"I have table manners, so yes I'm sure he would hold his own."
"I don't know Jean-Paul, when you're hungry and you get going it's kinda intimidating."
The waitress comes over with our drinks, Pepsi for me, Ice Tea for him. He orders while I look out the window and try to think of something else we could do today that won't have us both bored. I try not to smile when the waitress tries to flirt with him. For some reason it gives me this stupid thrill knowing that he won't try to pick her up and ditch me in the process-hey I've had that happen before, actually I've probably done it to someone once or twice, I've done it to him actually. Okay, thrill's gone.
Trying not to feel guilty I try to think of what I know about him and realize that I know near to nothing. I find it scary that I know more about him from my road trip with Rogue then I do in spending time with him since he arrived at the mansion. Also anything Rogue mentioned on him would be dated, since it's been a long time ago since she absorbed him.
I've heard some rumors about Alpha Flight. The best way to start a conversation probably wouldn't be to say hey I heard this rumor about your sister and Multiple Man and is it true.
"Um," I started. Smooth Drake, really smooth. I catch his eye and give him what I think is my reassuring grin but I'm sure it has to be stressed because I really wish he'd be making effort towards a conversation, but I can see I'll be getting no help. Sink or swim time Bobby, I can practically hear my Father say.
"So um, is it true that you kissed Rogue?"
Okay, judging by the look on his face that probably wasn't the best place to start.
"She kissed me."
"So it's true? I thought maybe it was just one of those things she made up. Not that Rogue usually makes stuff up, but well you know."
"And when exactly did she tell you this?"
"On our road trip, we had a road trip."
He raises an eyebrow, doesn't even ask when.
I look down at my hands trying to decide if I should explain or not, "We were both going through some stuff…"
"Care to elaborate?"
"She'd absorbed…it's probably not something I should go into, her thing, and I...um Emma took over my body and managed to use my powers better then me. We were both trying to deal and she needed to get away from everyone and so we did."
"We're you a couple?"
"No," I tell him trying to keep the venom from my tone, "Why does everyone just assume that? Rogue's my friend, she was going through something and I wouldn't try to take advantage of a friend. You know it rea…"
He reaches across the table and grabs my shoulder in an effort to calm me, make me pause, "Bobby, calm down. I meant nothing by it. It was merely an assumption."
He draws his hand away and I find myself wondering when was the last time someone just reached out and touched me like that, as if it was no big thing. I feel so isolated lately, and I have to wonder if that's just the way things are or if it's self inflicted and my way of dealing with my second mutation.
"You may not believe it, but I don't go after everyone that just comes along. I can keep my hands to myself," I tell him.
"My past experience with you certainly indicates that."
Sarcasm is obviously his friend.
"She used her powers on me," I slump in my seat. I really don't want to think of what a fool I made of myself over Josette. All these years with telepaths and I let her influence me. I feel like an idiot.
He shrugs and the waitress comes back with soup, salad and breadsticks. I've decided I like this place, most place don't give you that much food before your meal. I don't really like the soup, too spicy, so I set about eating my salad.
I'm halfway through, he's already eaten his soup, I've talked him into eating mine and he's partway through his salad when he asks me about past relationships, since he only knows of Josette. I mention Opal and then bring up the Lorna thing and mention that I know he must know about that, the whole school was buzzing about the comments she made about me at her bachelorette party and he was there. He stops eating to stare at me, "You heard about that?"
"Rumors run rampant. You should hear some of the things the kids say about you."
"I can only imagine. What exactly have you heard?"
"Um, well they call you Snape. They think that you…"
"No, Lorna, what have you heard in regard to that?"
"Jean-Paul, s'cool. I've already confirmed it with Jubes. It was like pulling teeth, but she eventually caved and told me."
"Hey, like I said s'cool. We were kids, I was maybe a little older then Jubes is right now," I trail off I'm not sure what else to say and I feel shitty and it's my own fault for bringing it up.
"If it's any consolation I've heard it from a reliable source that you're a superior kisser compared to Alex."
He talked about what it was like to kiss me with Annie? Is that hope I feel?
"So you wanted to know about Alex that badly?"
I have to be sure.
There's this flash of disgust on his face and he admits, "He's good looking, but not my type."
Yes! There is hope.
He shrugs, "Annie and I were merely talking, and it came up. I hope that doesn't bother you."
And there goes my hope crashing to the ground.
"Why should it bother me?"
This gets me a half smile out of the corner of his mouth and trying not to admire it I ask about him. Why isn't he out there dating? Now would be a good time for that hope to come back.
"You're joking right? When would I have time? Not to mention I'd have to explain who I am exactly, if the person I met doesn't already know. If they do know they only want to date me because I'm a bit of a celebrity and they have some misconception that that will get them something. Beside if I did find someone to date, the old man would be as bad as Eugene and probably expect me to bring them to the mansion for everyone to met, which would simply be a disaster."
Um, wow, didn't realize Jean-Paul had the ability to babble. Not only that but I'm suddenly struck by the thought that if we were dating that this would be our second date.
"Old man? Eugene? Sorry, Jean-Paul you lost me there."
This gets me another half smile, "Logan and Puck respectively."
"So you brought some guy home to Alpha Flight?"
I swear he's almost pouting, "Heather and Eugene talked me into it. I'd been dating this guy for three months and they insisted on meeting him."
I wait for a moment before pushing, "And?"
"It was a disaster," he pauses to press his lips together and shaking his head, "He simply didn't know how to take them. He liked Heather, everyone likes Heather. He didn't respect Eugene, to his face he did, but after he said some rather insulting things. He said Walter was simply a nerd with Hulk-envy and why anyone would have that was beyond him. When I attempted to protest he proceeded to insult my sister. I never spoke to him again, he was lucky I didn't lose my temper."
"Oh, sorry. That's…."
"There's no need to apologize, the situation had nothing to do with you."
"Still, that's, do you get that a lot, people teasing Alpha?"
"Occasionally," he gives me a small smile, "You never have."
I give him a shrug and laughter, "I'm not one to talk, ever hear of the Champions?"
He looks decidedly blank on the subject so I elaborate, "Warren started it, so don't ever let him tease you, he's not one to talk. Him, me, Hercules and the Black Widow, and…well let's just say it was doomed from the start."
I have this small moment where I remember saying something similar to Sam. He doesn't comment and the food arrives. Fettuccine Alfredo, nice. He does that spoon with the fork thing, that lets you roll your noodles around the fork, and I tell him he'll be broke of it before long. Then I have to explain that Warren doesn't do it anymore, unless he's eating out, Hank and I managed to break him of it. He tells me it'll never happen.
"We'll see," I smirk before mimicking how he's eating, like I want to look like an idiot in the middle of a restaurant. He comments on that and I tell him that the whole not eating noodles the fancy way will happen when we all have diner at the mansion. He's said he's experience enough of that with Alpha and we couldn't drag him to such a thing.
"Much like we couldn't drag you to the mall?"
He makes some grumbling comment on that and we eat. We make conversation and I end up talking him into splitting dessert with me, apparently his metabolism isn't good with a lot of sugar. So I get something rich in chocolate, he inists on chocolate, and let him have a few bites, he actually only has two. All in all it was good. I could definitely do the eating out thing with him again, if he gives me the chance to actually dress up first.
We head back to the mall and diner actually took so long we only have an hour and a half to kill. We stop in the bookstore for him, and he ends up buying a newspaper while I glance at the magazines. As we're walking out he pauses to look at the back of my shirt, "Bobby, what exactly is a Pumpkin King?"
I'm wearing my Nightmare Before Christmas shirt. It's got Jack on the front over a gravestone and on the back it says: That's right…I am the Pumpkin King.
"Jack?" he asks dryly.
"Yea, Jack," I tell him pointing to the front of my shirt.
He gives the skeleton on my front a slight frown, "That's Jack?"
"Ahhh yea. Don't tell me you never seen Nightmare Before Christmas."
"I don't watch cartoons." Wanna start? I know some really good ones.
"It's not a cartoon! Come on, it's a Tim Burton movie."
This seems to have him more confused. Great, what Tim Burton movie might he have seen?
"You know like Edward Sissorhands?"
He nods his understanding, "Then it's dark also?"
"I guess. It's hard to explain, but it's really good. I have it, we could watch it when we get home. We could make a night of it, with popcorn and pop and I've know where they keep Harry Potter stashed, you could finally figure out just what the kids are calling you."
This gets me my first real smile; I have to try hard not to melt. Jean-Paul should always smile, wow. He tells me that sounds like a good idea and yep I'm back to having hope.
I drag him into the store where I bought the shirt. It's sorta a punk/goth clothing store; Chamber would probably fit right in. We on the other hand kinda don't, but it doesn't really matter because everyone working there is nice. Too nice actually, the guy who greets us gives Jean-Paul a once over and then hits on me. Me, of all people! I freeze, no not ice-up, I just can't move and before I can stand there and fish mouth looking like an idiot Jean-Paul has grabbed my elbow and is pulling me down an aisle.
"Why exactly did we come in here?" he asks, giving the guy a glare.
I look away when I get winked at, couldn't he have hit on Jean-Paul? No, no, cause then I woulda been jealous and wouldn't of know how to react and, wait why is Jean-Paul still glaring at that guy and why does he still have his hand on my arm?
"Um, we're in the mall Jean-Paul, wandering into stores and looking around is what you do," I tell him carefully pulling my arm away, even though I don't really want to. Feel's nice to have someone get a bit possessive over me, "You okay?"
"Oui," he tells me before turning away as if nothing just happened and he really just wants to look at what's behind him. Which he quickly realizes is the lingerie section and takes a step back, in a 'I really don't want to be looking at this' sorta way, so it's my turn to grab him by the elbow and lead him over to the clearance section.
"I want to leave," he tells me.
"We just got here."
"The music is hurting my ears." The music is kinda loud.
I give him a yeah right look.
"It is," he insists, "I have really sensitive ears."
"Fine, let me buy these," I tell him as I finally get past the clearance section and find the incense I came in here for, they drive Logan nuts, its fun.
We leave and end up in the video store nearby where we kill time comparing different movies we've both seen till its three and we go to the food court to meet Jubes. I better get to meet this friend of her's, she promised, and it'll give me someone to focus on beside Jean-Paul as I'm beginning to find I just naturally want to pay attention to him and I'm not sure how he'd like that if it lasts all day.
It's only three; we're here till at least six.
It's going to be an extremely long day.