Author: Kat Lee
Character/Pairing: Bank (Bobby/Hank), hints at possible Logan/Kurt
Challenge/Prompt: 1_million_words Number Challenge: 3 and A to Z Challenge: I
Warning(s): Talk of Prejudice and Hatred Crimes
Word Count: 1,458
Date Written: 30 April, 2016
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to Marvel Comics and Disney, not the author, and are used without permission.
He groans wearily as the sirens blare throughout the mansion yet again. His boyfriend's up like a flash, which is surprising for Bobby Drake. Even at their current age, Henry has to pull him from the bed whenever a mission calls them into duty this late at night or, rather, early in the morning. He didn't fall into bed until four o'clock himself, having spent the last several hours pouring over his research concerning the Legacy Virus in vain.
His bout of research was, of course, after another mission that left his spirits soured. He had needed his time to immerse himself into work that actually might prove meaningful, but he'd failed yet again. He's still no closer to curing the virus than the politicians in charge of the White House are to putting a woman in the most powerful seat in the land. Of course, it doesn't help the single female candidate's changes that she, having been rescued by the X-Men in a past mission, secretly no longer hates and fears the number one minority on everybody else's hate list, Hank's own race, homo superior or "muties" as the general public calls them.
The heathens they save are mostly enthralled by the Legacy Virus. They think it is God's right hand coming down to smack the mutant population back into their place as bottom feeders. They fear what they do not understand. First, it was the blacks and other colored races. Then, it was the gays, and now, it is yet again Hank's own people, mutants.
Of course, they don't know about the virus what he does. Their feeble minds will never be able to accept that it is a virus geared solely towards mutants or that God, if He is everything Hank's cherished mother always tells him He is, isn't prejudiced. The few who are aware that Moira MacTaggert has contracted the virus believes it's simply more justice by their loving God, a curse cast upon the mutant-loving scientist to put her, along with her "muties", into their rightful place.
They don't care when a mutant child cries; they don't care when a mutant dies. But so, Hank knows, it has been throughout all time. There has always been a people who has been forced underneath the general populace, enslaved to do their bidding or worse. He thinks of Kurt, nearly beaten to death for being a "Devil" before Xavier reached him. He thinks of Magnus, his human wife and first child born to their deaths because of Magnus' differences. He thinks of those who have thrown rocks, bricks, rotten fruit, and anything else they could find at him simply because he dared to walk out on "their" streets in broad daylight long before he created the image inducers. He thinks of the teenagers who died last night at the hands of the Friends of Humanity because the X-Men didn't reach him in time.
Bobby's zipping through their room when Hank remembers the teenagers. He can still hear their cries, their sobs. They begged for mercy but none was given. None is ever given. One of the bastards of the FOH was a father to two of the kids, and he killed them any way, screaming and cursing at them as they took their last breaths for bringing an abomination underneath his name. Hank's blue fingers curl into fists; his claws scratch his own palms. How he would have loved to have wrapped his claws around that bastard's throat!
Wolverine got to him, though, before even the Professor could call him away, but it was still too late. The children were still dead, killed yet again by hatred and prejudice, the two greatest sins, Hank sternly believes, there has ever been. For a moment longer, he clings to the safety of his bed, wondering what helpless mission they are about to be sent on within the next several minutes. The last few have not been successful. It's a discouraging fact, but without them, Henry knows multitudes more would die.
Every one of his team mates is a reminder that they can save lives. Every one of them was reached in time, often as in Kurt's case, just in the nick of time. If it wasn't for men and women like them, if it wasn't for men like their dear Professor who has saved them each at least once, their race, their people, would have no hope. It's that thought that finally pulls Hank's tired, aching muscles from his bed.
He trudges into the bathroom, still bleary eyed. He's only barely aware of the fact that his breath is visible for his boyfriend left the shower icy cold again, but he's got no time for a shower. Lives are at stake. Every second he spares here could make them a second too late to the rescue of whoever needs them so badly now.
He splashes hot water onto his furry face, grabs a towel, and dries off, but as he lowers the towel, something else in the room actually does catch his attention this time. It's not his breath, or the fact that Bobby left globs of toothpaste in the sink again. (He can't very well complain about that when he always leaves globs of his own fur in the tub.) Instead, it's the glistening, blue white icicles in the room that catches his attention and holds his gaze riveted for a moment.
Slowly, he lets his gaze travel over his boyfriend's intricate, but fast, work. Bobby's always amazingly fast. Hank would almost think he might have a latent ability for super speed, if he hasn't secretly clocked him before. Bobby's designs of snowflakes and roses swirl through their bathroom, starting at just above the sink, sweeping over the walls, and finally coming together in the tub. There is the message he inscribed for Hank to find.
For a moment, Henry just gazes at the word, a silly, sweet smile caught on his face. If he bothered to think about it, he'd know humans would run from him even now. He's still got his natural, blue fur coat of course, but more to the effect, his fangs are hanging out of his wide open mouth. He breathes in the icy atmosphere, hears the final warning bell, and knows he must run.
Still, he lingers one second more, transfixed. I LOVE YOU, Bobby wrote, MY HERO. He fails and fails, and yet still, his love calls him his hero. Finally, Hank runs to catch up with his team, but on the Blackbird, Hank steals another moment and leans close to Bobby, snuggling his furry head against his shoulder. Bobby gently bobs his head down against Hank's, rubbing him, but stops when Henry looks at him. His big, yellow eyes are full of his desperately imploring, whispered question, "Why?"
Bobby blinks. "Why what?"
"Your message, dearrrest," Hank purrs uncertainly.
Bobby smiles. "Because you are my hero," he answers matter of factly. He reaches up and scratches his cheek, the very spot he knows always itches. Hank barely resists tapping his foot against the jet plane's floor. He does rub against Bobby's touch and deepen his purr, but yet, he's still not satisfied with his answer.
Bobby knows. "You may not always win, Hank, but you always try. You put more effort into trying more things to help our people than anybody else we know, and you never stop. You never let yourself be defeated . . . " They both think, for one more moment, of last night. " . . . as long as you can. As long as there's something to fight, you fight. You try. You strive."
He shakes his head. "And if there's anything more that makes a real hero than always trying no matter what, never giving up and always trying to better our world, I don't know what is." Bobby leans close and kisses him deeply and sweetly. He breathes against his blue lips, "And I don't want to know. I love you, Hank, and you," he blushes and shrugs, "are my hero."
All this, of course, has been said in whispers. They know Logan can hear them. They know he's probably snarling in disgust, never realizing he's actually watching Kurt pretty intently right now, but they don't care. Hank, especially, doesn't care. He needs this moment.
He takes Bobby's hand, squeezes it, and is about to say something more when they feel the Blackbird begin to descend. He looks up, -- he's ready to fight again now --, but still, he holds to Bobby's hand. Still, he holds to his hero's hand. He'll tell him one day, but not today. Today, they have lives to save, and the Beast is ready to fight again.