1963-06-02 - A Conversation of Fire and Ice
Summary: In which Bobby and Alex have a conversation on the future, in many contexts.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
alex bobby 

Bobby graduated at the end of last semester and hasn't decided what he's going to do next. But he's not going to worry about it any time soon. It's July, he doesn't have classes, and it's hot. He's at the lake wearing just a fitted square cut swimsuit. Currently already soaking wet, he climbs up an ice ladder which leads to an ice slide that goes out into the middle of the lake and dumps him into the water from ten feet up. Good fun!

Alex was out for a run, he does that quite a lot these days, and that has him in a light jumpsuit that happens to be over his x-men suit, which is one layer more then anyone would sensibly wear. Still, he apparently has his reasons. As he comes into sight of Bobby's pivate ice park, he slows down and shakes his head, unable to do anything but grin. "See, that's not exactly fair. You can make a water-slide whenever you want. There's some kind of major cosmic injustice to this that needs rectifying."

"I know, isn't it great?" Bobby grins over his shoulder before he throws himself head first down the slide. Landing with a splash, he swims underwater till he gets to the shallows and walks out, shaking his head to get the water out of his eyes. "Your turn!"

There's a pause, and Alex seems to be considering it, but then he shakes his head with a rueful tilt to his lips. "I shouldn't. I have so much to do. I was getting in a run before heading to the Danger Room for some practice, before reviewing the Professors notes on something he asked me to do." That said, he does take a few steps forward, reaching a hand out to touch the ice of the stairs. "I've been kind of procrastinating." he admits.

"It's summer!" Bobby points out. "This is when you're supposed to have fun. You can always use the Danger Room late, right? And read those notes once the sun goes down." The ice is nice and cold and isn't so much as dripping despite the heat. "When was the last time you slid down an ice slide into a lake?"

"Says you, you've just graduated. You're free! For now." Alex grins at this, giving a bit of a helpless shrug, "Eventually, summers stop being free and are just months where its hot." And then he looks left, and right, and weighing options. He suddenly laughs lightly, "Never, though. I suppose it would be a crime to not take advantage. A learning experience. Besides." And with that, he shrugs out of the top of his jumpsuit, and steps out of the bottoms as well; he folds it a bit neatly and lays it on the ground before peeling out of the upper part of his containment suit with its circular energy focuser thing on the chest. "Does it take much to keep it going?" he asks, curiously.

Bobby, thought he's looking at Alex, is carefully not watching the undressing. At the question, he glances at his ice structure and shakes his head. "No, I don't even really think about it. I just don't want it to melt and it doesn't. If I didn't care, I suppose it would. Or it would go away of I wanted it to."

Alex, at least, has boxers on, and boxers aren't all that much different then a swimsuit. "That's impressive. For it to maintain by a simple act of will, despite the constant pressure of the environment to equalize the temperature gradiant. It might not seem like very much but that's a lot of energy you're controlling without really thinking about it. Very impressive." He's warm in his compliments, but then? He'll climb up the ladder. A little bit carefully, testing each step, just in case like, the ice doesn't like him as much as it likes Bobby.

The ice likes Alex just fine. So does Bobby for that matter; he's just not going to let on though he can watch a little with Alex's back to him. "If you say so. I don't really get how we do what we do. It's enough that we can. What was that thing on the front of your shirt?"

"The containment suit channels the supercharged plasma that I release from my body— the energy conduits channel it to the front panel, where its focused and directed in a useful direction. You know, forward. Ideally, at the bad guys. Instead of randomly in every direction around me in a show of extreme and indiscriminate destruction." Alex glances over his shoulder with a quick grin, winks, and more confidently he climbs up, "Here we go." A little skeptically, and then voosh! He's sliding along very cold ice into the lake. And laughing as he does so.

That explanation is simple enough for Bobby to get. "Why don't you have it channelled to something on your hands? Then you can point around and fire instead of having to turn your entire body?" And then Alex is sliding down and he grins at the sight.

All wet and grinning, when Alex climbs back out of the pool after a swim back, he shakes his head and sends droplets flying, "We might try that, right now my goal is to not require the suit. The suit's more to train me to control the flow myself. But why the middle?" And he pats his chest, right in the middle, "Most of the plasma comes out here, I suppose because that's where most of it is stored in my body. The plasma's always there. I can feel it now, and it wants out. My arms are rather thin and pushing it through that seems harder. But maybe in the future I'll try that."

Bobby looks at the chest and arms in question and nods. "Okay, makes sense I guess. So you can't aim it now? Or you can but it's hard?" He knows all about being able to do thing but not getting it quite right. Some things took months and months to get right.

"I can, but its hard." Alex winces a little bit, lifting a hand to run through his hair, watching Bobby with a curious tilt to his head. "Especially if I'm trying to hit hard. To aim it without my suit I need to keep the discharge small. Focused. That's extra hard because its a lot easier to just release a flood, you know? The energy wants to be let out. It'll surge out if I let it. But then so much is going that it just goes off in every direction." He gestures to the ladder, "Were you able to do that sort of stable ice structure from the start?"

Bobby shakes his head. "Nah. It all takes training and practice. But you're older. I just figured…" He shrugs and heads for the ladder again. "I'm Bobby by the way." He's seen the other man around over the years but six years makes a huge difference and they never talked.

"Alex. Havok." Alex smiles, nodding a bit and watching as Bobby moves to the ladder, "And hey, jeez, I'm only 24. But, I was a late bloomer. After an… incident when I was a kid, I managed to suppress it until college, when I discovered I have something of a temper when drinking, and a temper is not a good idea for my particular power. Then Charles found me after I got into a bit of trouble. It took awhile before we managed to get my suit, before that attempts at training control were a bit fruitless. I might be a slow learner."

"Iceman." No surprise with that codename. "Mine started at the normal time." Bobby says as he climbs the ladder. "But yeah, the Prof had to bail me out too when I got into trouble. I lost my temper and froze this guy in a block of ice. He had it coming."

Nodding in understanding, Alex says in an even voice, "Guy kidnapped me and my sister. I incinerated him. I know the feeling. Though the trouble I got in, in college, was just a stupid bar fight which resulted in the bar kind of exploding a bit." He seems a little sheepish about that, but shrugs helplessly. As Bobby climbs up the ladder, Alex takes the opportunity to scope him out from the backside.

Bobby goes down the slide feet first this time then strokes toward shore. "It happens." he says once he's walked out. He's helped the Prof get some mutants over the years when a teenager would reassure whoever it was. Explosions are not uncommon. "Wasn't your fault. Well, it was but you didn't mean it. Kind of thing happens to us till we get our powers under control."

"Oh, I know." Alex nods his head, crossing his arms over his chest and watching as Bobby returns, a quick and encouraging smile touching his lips. "Fortunately, I've got enough control these days that spontaneous disasters don't happen. So. You've graduated. Have you thought about what you're going to do next?"

Bobby walks over and leans against the slide. Ugh. That question. "No. Well, sort of. I'm going to stay and be an X-Man of course. I owe it to the Prof. Not to mention that we're needed. But I don't know what else. I don't think I'm a good enough musician to be one. And there wouldn't be time to do that and also this. I should go to college I guess but…" He shrugs.

Alex can't help but grin, approaching Bobby and giving him a light, playful shove at his shoulder, "Good that you're sticking with us, but you don't have to devote everything to the X-Men. If you want to be a musician, I'm sure you can make it work. College? I liked college, though it was tough going and dealing with what I had to deal with here— but you've got a leg up on me, you've already got things under control pretty well."

Bobby grins and swats Alex' arm away. "It's not that I want to go to college. I just can't think of anything else I want to do. I do like playing and I'm okay at it but I know I'm not good enough. I'm really good at skiing but that's almost cheating."

"That's part of the point of college. Taking a variety of classes. Figuring yourself out." Alex shakes his head with a wry grin, "Meeting different people and doing different things. You don't have to get serious about a major the first two years. Heck, I didn't go to college planning on going into a geophysics specialty." That said, he goes back to crossing his arms over his chest— not having pockets is problematic, "Is it almost cheating or do you cheat? Besides I'm not sure if using our mutation counts as cheating. Its natural, isn't it? Not that mine is of any particular use. Well, I can expertly not get electrocuted if I put my mind to it."

"Dunno." Bobby admits. "I might be using my powers to smooth the way without really thinking about it. Going fast is fun. Going fastest is even better." Reaching up, he pushes the water out of his hair front to back. "I suppose I could try college and do what you said, take different classes and see what I like."

"I've never even been skiing. I should try it sometime. I can see the appeal of fastest, though." Alex seems curious about this, but he shrugs his shoulders a bit and turns around, going over to crouch down and get his jumpsuit, "It doesn't hurt. Worst case scenario, you learn something new and decide its not really for you. Suggestion: don't try to pledge a frat. Its not worth the hazing at all."

Bobby snorts at that suggestion. "Me in a frat. I don't think that would work well." When Alex turns his back to him and crouches, he grins and forms a snowball in his hand. "Think fast." he says and throws it at him.

"I tried, but yeah I lasted a whole two days of shit before I started having very serious thoughts about incinerating the entire frat. So yeah, I made a life decision and dropped that like hard." Alex's grin is wry, and then he's rising and turning, "What?" And having not thought about it, he gets hit square on with the snowball. For a moment he's stunned, and then he bursts out into laughter, "You jerk."

Bobby laughs loud and hard as he grins at Alex. Yeah, a frat would be a bad idea. Once the laughter trails off into snickering, he says "Maybe I'll look into the community college and see what they're offering. It's pretty close so getting back and forth won't be a big deal."

Nodding with encouragement, Alex grins through the laughter, his eyes showing mirth even if he only chuckles softly, wryly, thinking back to those unpleasant couple of a days. This while he slips back into the jump suit, though he doesn't bother putting on his containment suit now. "Yeah, I commuted to NYU. It was a bit of a pain. But even that's doable. Starting with community college is probably easier, too. You can work your way up and just explore options easier there."

"And cheaper." Bobby adds. Though the Prof would probably pay for tuition just as they do for the school here, especially for X-Men. "But yeah, get my feet wet." He nods, looking at Alex and biting his lip before he says "You uh… Want to hang out some time?"

"Cheaper's never bad." agrees Alex with an easy smile, lifting his suit and draping it over his arm as he regards Bobby's question for a moment, "Sure. That sounds like fun, hanging out, I mean. You're a musician so you have to like music? Are you into Jazz at all? I admit to being something of a Jazz hound." For once he seems a little bit nervous.

"Oh yeah. I love jazz." Bobby agrees, smiling in relief when he gets agreement. "And soul and rock. A bunch of stuff. You like Bob Dylan? I love Bob Dylan. I just got his album when it came out a couple months ago. I'm trying to teach myself the chords."

Smiling more broadly, Alex enthuses, "Jazz is my favorite, really, but I like all kinds of music. Bob Dylan is amazing. Dylan is like hooked into the people, the world, its like he's speaking what everyone's — well most everyone — is feeling." He lifts a hand up again to run it through his blond hair, flicking off some droplets of water again, "So, music is definately in our plans then."

"Very cool." Bobby smiles broadly. He looks over at the slide then back to the mansion and starts heading toward the latter. "You want company in the danger room?" Behind him, the ice slide starts sublimating into vapor.

Glancing back at the slide, Alex has to chuckle softly, "And you just wish it away. Like I said, very impressive." Then he's turning, and heading towards the mansion as well, "Sure. Company would be good. Maybe we can see what happens when fire and ice get thrown at the same thing. I'm guessing a lot of steam, but you never know until you try it. Its interesting how things interact. Have you met Amara yet? Lava girl, and I can shake her hand without any discomfort at all."

"I'd let it melt normally except it'll weaken and someone might climb on it and get hurt." Bobby explains. "I've been here since I was fifteen. I've met pretty much all the students to some degree." It's an afterthought when he adds "She's pretty fine."

"She's pretty what? Oh, right, yeah I guess. I was distracted by the earthquake. Fortunately she had it under control. I was just asking because she's pretty new. Charles is going to have me help train her, since I'm more or less slightly immune to her abilities." Alex sounds a little bemused, shaking his head as they walk along, nodding his head, "Smart. Ice isn't exactly the most stable material, especially in this heat. But it can still be terribly sharp when it breaks. Still, you should get a bunch of the younger kids out there and have a snow day in summer. Good for morale."

"I could do that." Bobby agrees. "There's still a bunch here who haven't gone home for summer. Who aren't welcome home." he adds sadly. "So this is their home now. "Do your parents know about you?"

There's a skipped step as Alex tenses, and then after he hesitates a moment he relaxes, though his expression does turn a little troubled, "That's complicated." He is silent for a moment as he walks ahead, "My parents died in a plane crash, along with my brother. My adopted parents… Our relationship was never… /right/. They had a son before me and kind of … well. I was a replacement. They weren't very happy that their replacement ended up a mutant. We don't talk anymore, though I do talk to Haley— my adoptive sister— from time to time."

Bobby immediately reaches out to touch Alex's shoulder. "I'm sorry. I'm glad you and your sister are okay." Or okay compared to the parents anyway. As he walks, a sheet of ice forms over him in seconds and then disappears again, leaving him completely dry.

Alex gives a slightly strained smile to Bobby, but he does nod his head, and then he notices the ice, blinks, and he is startled into a laugh, breaking the mood. "That's also unfair. Then again I bet I could figure out how to release just enough plasma to dry up, I'm just not gonna try it outside of the Danger Room. I keep my outside experiments limited."

Bobby glances over at Alex and frowns in thought. "I could probably do it if you wanted me to. I've never tried. But I draw moisture from around me to create ice so…" Trailing off, he thinks about how to go about it.

"I've figured I'm basically immune to heat. I could sleep in an oven and wake up refreshed. I'm pretty sure that doesn't apply to cold,… So if you wanna try?" Alex grins suddenly and gives a brave shrug, "I'm always curious how our abilities interact. Just be careful if you do. I absorb energy, and cold seems to be about taking energy away; ice is scientifically a less energetic state of water. So I'm pretty sure you could turn me into an iceblock if you wanted. So don't do that."

Bobby comes to a stop and faces Alex, still frowning. "I've never tried to specifically target moisture to absorb before. I'm not sure I can." He glances up at Alex's face a moment before looking back down. "I don't want to absorb it from you." That would be bad. "This should work though…" Lifting a hand, he reaches forward, hesitates, looks up at Alex, back down, hesitates another moment then put it flat against his chest. "Gonna be cold for a sec…" He warns. Radiating out from Bobby's hand, a very thin sheet of ice starts spreading across Alex's chest, wrapping around his back, over his shoulders and stomach, down his legs and up over his head. And then it sublimates and is gone, leaving him dry.

"Yes, let's not do that one either." Alex nods his head with a bit of enthusiasm at not having moisture pulled out of him. He looks a fair bit nervous over this procedure, but he clenches his jaw and gives an encouraging nod. And then there's ICE spreading over his body, and he can't help but shiver, and there's one moment there where he has to fight back an urge to panic, but then, the ice is gone and he's a bit shivery. He looks down, and then grins broadly, "Shit that was weird as hell's bells." He reaches up to rub at his chest, sorta wonderingly, tilting his head up a bit to bask in the sun. "Gimmie a second I feel the urge to drink some cosmic rays after that, before we head inside."

Bobby steps back and drops his hand. "Huh. That worked. I thought it would but I've never done it before. Not so thin to someone I didn't want to put in a block of ice." He looks quite pleased with himself at that. "It's fun to find useful things to do with it."

Grinning still, a bit hyped up after the experiment, Alex inclines his head quickly, "I appreciate you not wanting to to put me in an ice block thing. You're right, though. Finding new applications IS fun. Its part of what I like about this place. Besides the chance to help my people, the chance to just… figure ourselves out, you know? Where no one will judge." And then he heads forward, tugging open the doro and offering Bobby to head on first.

Bobby leads the way inside and then down into the X-Men's base to where the danger room is. He goes into the extra fortified area then looks over at Alex. "What did you have in mind?"

"I don't know. I'm not sure what you can do, besides make ice." Setting his clothes down, he lifts up his containment jacket and starts to slip into it, "I was going to see if I could get a controlled burst going tonight, which might take a few tries, but if we're seeing what happens when plasma meets ice, I should suit up for that. Do you like… just point and freeze things? Or throw like.. ice spears?" His expression is sheepish, "I don't really know anything about ice except I like it in my tea. Could get a target dummy and see what happen when a plasma beam hits something you're trying to freeze."

"Why would you put ice in tea?" Bobby asks but then shakes his head. Not important. "So basic testing then. And yeah, I can do that." he answers as he flips the switch to turn the lights on in the Danger Room. "We can experiment with ice when you're done."

"It's something they do in the south. A friend of mine introduced me to it. Though they like a lot more sugar then I do in it." Then Alex rolls his shoulders, and since Bobby suggested he try his thing first, stops putting the suit on, an instead leaves it in a neat pile just outside. He glances at Bobby, then into the danger room itself, "You should stay here, because like, if I don't get a controlled burst, it's likely to spread out from me in a series of concentric circles kinda in every direction."

"Which would make you try that much harder to keep control right?" Bobby points out. "So maybe I should come with you and give you one more reason to get it right." He's not moving quite yet though, waiting to see what Alex thinks of the idea.

Alex looks hesitant, uncertain, "I mean, my thing? Its two things, really. On the one hand my body absorbs energy. It does this naturally. This is more cool then it sounds like, because throw lightning at me and I drink it up. But then it somehow converts it into plasma. Plasma is superheated matter. How I manage to not die full up of superheated stuff in my body is a miracle of mutation. But letting it out is a fundamentally destructive thing. It has absolutely no use but being incredibly destructive. Your thing is ice? You can make a ladder. You can do more then just destroy. So I figured I could trust you to give it a try. Me? I'm no good for doing anything but destroying things." He shrugs slightly, glancing away, "Havok is a good name. Its not a good idea."

Bobby just nods. "Okay, you know your powers better than I do. I'll take your word for it that's it a bad idea. Go do your thing. Hit it right between the eyes."

Alex looks hesitant, and he wrinkles his nose, and looks a little annoyed, then a little frustrated, then he grunts, makes an expansive gesture, "Screw it, come on in. I can probably at the very least keep it all directed forward. Even if its not channeled down right into a proper beam, if you're behind me you should be fine. I'm not a kid who explodes buildings anymore."

Bobby stands up and grins as if he's not risking being blown up by plasma. "Cool. I'll ice up to be on the safe wide." Once he steps into the long room, he fashions a large ice arrow pointing toward the giant ice smiley face he then creates at the far end. "There." he tells Alex with a hint of a grin. "Let's do this."

Leaving his shirt and suit behind then, Alex laughs and heads into the Danger Room proper, Alex rolls his shoulders, flexes his back, arms and hands, his eyes focused on the target. He looks as if he's getting ready for a workout more then anything mutantastic. He pads back and forth a bit, shaking his hands out then clenching them again, his expression becoming very, very serious. Looking back, he checks to see if Bobby's got his ice on, "Ready?" His grin is a bit excited, really.

Bobby follows Alex in and watches him pace. Once it seems he's ready and gets in position, Bobby walks over to stand directly behind him so they're almost touching and reaches forward, his arms angled out a bit. "Almost…" Ice starts to build up into walls, angling toward the sides. "Don't melt the ice." he says then steps back once the walls are formed and ices up. Fire when ready."

Alex glances back, grins at the sudden appearance of the ice wall, and closes his eyes. "Let's do this." he repeats the other's words from a few moments before. Breathing deeply, he flexes again and this time… A light shimmers up out of his skin, blue and bright, it seems to come right out of his skin like mist, only more energetic. It begins swirling around his body in the figure of two cris-crossing circles, and going faster and faster. Then he thrusts his arms out to try to form a channel, and the blue light burns brightly and surges forward. It isn't the perfect beam he was going for, instead a series of bright blue swirling circles that fly randomly out in front of him, burning into the walls, floor, slicing the target clean in half, but doing damage just sort of general all the way ahead of him. Panting, the plasma fades, and Alex crouches, leaning on his knees, and breathing. "I got the target." he says, a little embarassed.

Bobby can't actually see much of what's going on from his vantage point. Damn it. So it's only once the Alex cuts loose and things get destroyed that he feels free to walk forward and to the side. Yup, those are some melted ice walls. "You sure did. You sure you can't do that with your hand?" he asks and moves in front of Alex. "I mean…" Reaching forward, he makes a big circle in the air in front of Alex. "Chest. Large. No focus to it. Arm, narrow, pointable. It's like trying to be accurate with a… geyser or something instead of a, ummm. Not a geyser. Oh, a fire hose."

Alex look skeptical, but thoughtful, "I can try? It always seemed … centered on me. The plasma radiates out of my body, and its centered at my core, and I do use my arms, I just use them to sort of create the conduit. Trying to direct it all through one narrow channel of an arm, that sounds like…" He laughs softly, "If I wasn't pretty sure I couldn't burn up, I'd say it sounds like if I tried that it would burn me up from the inside out and I'd lose an arm." He purses his lips, "But I could try. You know I've always thought that if I could figure out a way to channel enough plasma down it would turn into thrust and .." He grins, finding that exciting, "But right now, without my suit, its hard enough to channel straight forward. Shooting out of my hands might be an advanced topic."

"You just lost a bunch of energy right? So you're not quite as full and it should be a little easier to control." Assuming that's how it works. Some do, some don't. Bobby steps forward to put his hands on Alex's shoulders and turn him to the side then takes an arm and brings it forward toward the target. "You might be right. Who knows till you try. I've been using my powers since I was thirteen when I got em and started practicing with them cause they were neat. So this isn't totally new to me; I've helped train some of the kids. Though not anything like your power." he admits. "Give it a shot. But this time I'll go into the control room."

"Oh, I have plenty of reserves left. It takes quite a bit to tap me out." But then Bobby's putting his hands on Alex's shoulders and turning him, and he blinks a moment, then smiles. "Okay. I'll give it a try." he says, his voice a little deeper, but he nods again, "But yeah, this time the control room is totally a good idea. Thanks. For the help, I mean. I'm still not an expert at my own thing yet, which is just slightly embarassing." A quick grin and a helpless shrug at that.

Bobby shrugs. "How long did it take you to learn… umm, whatever it was you said you studied." He wasn't paying that much attention to academic talk. He claps Alex on the shoulder and creates another smiley face. Once that's done, he heads for the bunker. "Good luck" Cause trying new things can get dangerous no matter who it is.

"Six years, total. I was barely able to get my masters in two." Alex says this absently, even as he rolls his shoulders, takes a deep breath, and concentrates. This time he takes much longer to get started, but he does eventually extend one fist out towards the target, and the bright blue energy seeps out of his skin and begins to swirl around him. And then the light swirls around his arm and shoots out towards the target. For a moment it seems like it might work— it seems more surgical then the last blast, the beam narrow, but it cuts through easily enough… and then the swirling blue energy around his body suddenly explodes, sending arcs of burning plasma off in every random direction all around him. Grunting, Alex stumbles down to his knees, shaking his head, looking dazed. There's like, fires all around now. Ahem.

Bobby pokes his head out of the bunker. "You okay in there?" he asks. "That was a good first try. You only lost it toward the end there when it got away from you. I think once you managed to control how much energy you release that you'll be able to do that with no problem. Or maybe keep trying to do that will help you manage to control how much energy you release. Smaller hole to pass water through so you can't send the same amount of water out at once."

Shuffling back up to stand, Alex rolls his shoulders some, "Its takes a lot more out of me, trying to control it, but it has potential. Yeah, I need to work on controlling how much plasma is ejected, instead of just a full powered blast." That said, he walks towards the door, "What to try seeing what happens if we both hit a target at once now?" He seems quite curious about that.

Bobby walks back out to meet Alex and forms a sheet of ice on the floor to put out the fires. "At the same time? It would get even more destroyed? And probably be lots of steam as the ice melts."

"Or, I don't know. Take turns." Alex shrugs, slipping into his containment suit, "I'm curious if its stream, or like, fog. Steam's hot, fog's cool. Fog's also useful in certain circumstances. But I'm not sure what would happen when superheated plasma is introduced to ice— the damage isn't always from the fire exactly, but the shockwave that comes from the rapid temperature variance." He rolls his shoulders again, turns, and without any build up, flexes and holds his arms out to the side. The blue energies swirl around him quickly for a moment then surge a surge of pure blue radiance strikes out violently and directly against the target. It doesn't so much cut it in half as annihiliate it. It barely takes concentration with his suit on.

Bobby starts looking curious now. "I don't know. Being able to call up a fog, or steam, on demand could be useful. Let's find out how." Since Alex is using his suit, he doesn't bother icing up. And whether he's in his X-man uniform or just the swimsuit, it's all the same to him. "Let's start with a wall." he suggests and they can spend the next few hours trying different things.

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