10/19 Issue: Three Different Words

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10/19 Issue: Three Different Words

Post by Svartfreja » Tue Oct 19, 2021 2:55 am

Timelined concurrently to [Issue]Three Words.

<Bobby> The kids were asleep and Paige wasn't home. So, it was a normal night for Bobby, as he drank a beer and played a video game, Yoda curled up in an adorable ball by his side on the sofa.

<Carol> Carol had been good all day.... mostly. But she was still going around in circles in her head so she needed to have another awkward conversation. She landed a little hard on the sidewalk and winced as it cracked. Whoops. With a sigh, she changed out of her work clothes and started for the front door.

<Bobby> Blissfully unaware of the approaching stormfront, Bobby swore under his breath at the game, then let out a teeny tiny whoop of triumph. Yoda's head popped up and he looked around.

<Carol> She raised a hand and knocked... carefully. Was it past small people bed time? Probably. Paige's car wasn't in the driveway though.

<Bobby> Yoda tore off the sofa with a high-pitched yap that Bobby scrambled to shush. "Shit! Shitshitshit!" He was keeping his own voice down and trying to pause his game and not spill his beer. "Fuck!"

<Carol> Carol cringed. Right. Dog. Excitable dog. So much for being quiet.

<Bobby> "Yoda! Shhhhh!" The dog listened, a little, his feet scrambling on the tile floor of the entryway as he danced in front of the door. Bobby dissipated the liquid from the beer on his shirt, but now it just smelled like dried beer. Fuck. He opened the door and paused. Fuuuuck.

<Carol> "Hey... sorry about the noise maker..." she bent to pick Yoda up for a cuddle before he got excited again. "Can we talk?"

<Bobby> "Um. Yeah." He frowned and looked back over his shoulder toward the stairs. "The kids are asleep, so maybe outside?"

<Carol> "Sure..." she ruffled Yoda's big floppy ears before setting him back down.

<Bobby> Bobby stepped outside and Yoda circled Carol's feet, sniffing her.

<Carol> Carol watched the sniffy nose and waggy tail for a moment or two then let out a sigh, running a hand through her hair. "Rogue... told me what happened..."

<Bobby> Fuck. Fucking fuck. She'd sent him a text, that it had taken him forever to read, but he didn't expect Carol at his door. "...what did she say?"

<Carol> "That you were the sensible one that stopped things."

<Bobby> Bobby closed his eyes. "Yes, and it's not gonna happen again."

<Carol> "You're sure about that? No one's gonna drink too much and get all emotional?" Carol folded her arms, watching Bobby rather than Yoda now.

<Bobby> "Well I'm sure as fuck not gonna drink at all around her now, if she doesn't vanish into the wind." He crossed his own arms, leaning against the house.

<Carol> "Well I yelled at her a bunch for purposely sabotaging everything she has going for her right now and told her she better not run so..." She shrugged a shoulder, "She kind of seemed under the impression you'd never speak to her again anyway...."

<Bobby> "Speak to her? Well yeah, of course." Bobby rolled his eyes. "But make out with her? No!" He glanced over his shoulder at the closed door, shifting his weight. "Sabotage is what she does when she's afraid."

<Carol> "Yeah I made that point too... about the house and why it was a surprise rather than a plan... and then I told her you had no right to be mad about it," she paused, "Why are you mad about it?"

<Bobby> Bobby sighed and tipped his head back to let it thunk against the wall. "Knee-jerk reaction? He's... Tony-ing her!"

<Carol> Carol gave Bobby a forehead shot from the finger-gun. "That is not even a thing."

<Bobby> "Ow! Fuck!" He rubbed his forehead, shooting a look at the house because of his outburst. Yoda boofed softly. "It's a thing! You know it's a thing for those super rich fucks!"

<Bobby> "Money doesn't fucking mean anything to them so they just throw it at people like us!"

<Carol> "Tony's not like that..." Carol shook her head, "Buying a house for someone isn't something you just do on a whim, especially one that looks like Xavier's place. This is something he thought about to make Rogue happy."

<Bobby> "Sure, he wanted to make her happy, buy her affection and shit, but it's still just window dressing for people like him."

<Carol> "He's not trying to buy her affection - he's showing her his." Wow could people be dumb.

<Bobby> "Can't it be both?" He flailed a hand.

<Carol> "No because then it loses all meaning," she sighed, "He's not trying to lovebomb her like he wants her to join a cult. He's trying to give her reasons not to run the fuck away."

<Bobby> "How the fuck would he know she does that?"

<Carol> "Because his best friend is Sebastian and they talk to each other?"

<Bobby> She had a point there, so he closed his mouth. "Anyway. He bought her a fucking house and she freaked out."

<Carol> "Yeah but, like I said to her, if he'd talked to her about buying her a house she'd have run away before she even saw it. So which is better?"

<Bobby> "I don't know! Okay?! I don't know!" Bobby cut himself off and winced. Fuck.

<Carol> Carol blinked at him, eyes wide, "Why are you mad at me?" Because she was pointing out sensible things and he was too busy listening to his emotional things probably. "Look... you need to talk to her. You need to tell her you're not gonna shut her out... because if she runs, you're the only person that's gonna be able to get her to come back."

<Bobby> "I'm not!" He bit it off and swore under his breath. "Fuck." Bobby pushed off the house to pace on the porch. "Why? How? When I'm the fucking problem here?"

<Carol> "You're not the problem - her crazy ass and mysterious 'darkness' that she won't share with anyone is the problem. She uses it as an excuse to run and she's sounding like she's gonna do it again with Tony."

<Bobby> "As much as I hate to say it, Tony is the best fucking thing that's happened to her since Sam died." He sighed. "I don't know why she'd run when nothing is gonna fuckin' happen here." Bobby gestured at himself, still pacing.

<Carol> "Yeah, me neither but, if my pattern is anything to go by... and it might be, considering... when the pressure of doing well gets too much, self-sabotage is a thing that happens. And you're the only person she tells everything to so you know what she's always blaming when shit goes south better than anyone. She's expecting it to go south and it's like she's trying to speed up the process."

<Bobby> "Yeah, she's her own worst enemy... most of the time." He ran his hand through his hair.

<Carol> "She says she's going to tell Tony everything... I don't know what she thinks he doesn't know... but, whatever it is, I hope she waits long enough for him to process before she runs..."

<Bobby> Bobby stopped to stare at her. "What? What do you mean, 'everything'?"

<Carol> "She's going to tell him all about her mysterious inner darkness... and she's going to tell him about her slip up with you."

<Bobby> "Fuck." Bobby tried to turn to pace and tripped over the dog, punching the porch support beam instead. "Fucking - why?!"

<Carol> "Because he deserves to know!" Obviously! She decided to scoop Yoda up in case he got the foot again.

<Bobby> "Like, now?! Jesus..." He'd tell Shaw, and Shaw might well tell Paige, because he was a dick.

<Carol> "I don't know when she's planning on telling him everything... I just know she is." She scritched Yoda behind the ears a little, "Are you gonna tell Paige?"

<Bobby> "I... have to, but fucking hell, I have no idea how because I can't fucking explain it myself."

<Carol> "Just... I don't know... be honest... give her the facts?"

<Bobby> "Oh, like 'sorry, babe, I think I loved her before you?!'" He hissed.

<Carol> "Oooooor I got wasted on the roof and made out with my best friend because I'm an idiot."

<Bobby> Bobby made a face. "Or that."

<Carol> "It's the truth, right? You don't have to tell Paige about the being in love with Rogue part."

<Bobby> "...I should, but yeah, you're right." He sighed and turned to lean against the porch railing.

<Carol> "Should you? You know that'll kill her to hear..." Since he seemed not to be having any more outbursts, Carol set Yoda down again. "Bobby... I know it's none of my business... but are you happy in your marriage?"

<Bobby> "I dunno..." Bobby closed his eyes. "I'm not even sure if she is happy. When I came back from the toddlering she was pissed at me about it."

<Carol> "Maybe she was worried and it came out wrong... I do that all the time..." She moved closer and put a hand on his shoulder, "Bobby... you need to have a serious talk with your wife... get someone to watch the kids for the night... get her to take a day off work so she's not stressed out and just... talk... figure this out..."

<Bobby> "She doesn't take days off work." He banged his head against the porch support a few times. "I thought she was - I hoped she was just scared, she said she was, but I dunno. She doesn't get it. She never wanted to be an X-Man, so she just doesn't get it."

<Carol> "Make her take a day off... or get her on a day off in her schedule. She must get them..." Carol frowned, moving to step in front of him and prevent him from banging his head on anything else, "You need to talk... she has to know that this isn't healthy..."

<Bobby> "I don't know if she's so into work that she's just oblivious to everything else, or if it's her escape from this life." He stopped his bonking but gave her a frown in return. "Or if she's doing it to get away from me."

<Carol> "Well you're not going to know until you ask her... or a telepath. So you're going to have to make this conversation happen somehow. Even if you have to call in and book a day off for her."

<Bobby> "Oh, that'd piss her off for sure."

<Carol> "Then get her to take one. Ask Jess or someone to watch the kids... hell, I'd do it. You just need to talk and decide if you want to fix this or let it go..."

<Bobby> "Yeah, I know. I guess I've just been too chicken shit to talk it out with her."

<Carol> "You both have people that'll be there for you if it all goes to hell... but it might not."

<Bobby> "Me and Paige, or Rogue?" He frowned, shaking her off to pace again.

<Carol> "You and Paige... I'm inclined to think Rogue's mess is of her own making. I'm still mad at her."

<Bobby> "Yeah, she texted me. You put her through a wall?" This time, he knew to watch for the dog. Also the dog was sticking to Carol.

<Carol> "I lost my temper..." she shrugged, "Rogue held up way better than the wall."

<Bobby> "Yeah, I bet." He rubbed both hands over his face. "Fuck me. How did I get into this fucking situation?"

<Carol> "Alcohol was involved and bad decisions were made. It happens. But now you've gotta deal with the consequences like an adult... If you're not happy then find a way to be happy. If that's with someone that's not Paige... with Rogue even... do that. Just... do it right."

<Bobby> "It's... fucked up. Maybe I'm fucked up, but I had no idea she felt anything for me beyond friendship." He sighed. "I wish you two had never sent your damn texts."

<Carol> "Well before you go blaming me for that, that was her dumb idea too." She sighed, "You're not fucked up... life just has a habit of throwing you curve balls... And, I guess when it does that seizing on the impulse to be happy in the moment is understandable... but then you have to accept that might not last forever..."

<Bobby> "I had accepted that I'd never be with her. A long, long time ago. It was buried. Everything I'd ever felt or thought I did. Then... all of a sudden, that fucking text. And her."

<Carol> "You're both idiots, you know that right?"

<Bobby> Bobby's head snapped to look at Carol. "Please. You sent the text!"

<Carol> "What's your point exactly? You had years to notice she was in love with you."

<Bobby> "I didn't know!"

<Carol> "See my previous statement."

<Bobby> "What? You knew before she told you?"

<Carol> "Bobby, I'm pretty sure everyone knew..."

<Bobby> What? He just stared at her. "Nooo."

<Bobby> "Wait. But... what about me? Did you think I was in love with her?"

<Carol> Carol nodded, "Yep."

<Bobby> Bobby's brain ground to a messy halt and his ass hit the railing. "Motherfucker."

<Carol> Carol patted Bobby gently, "Kinda thought you knew... it was so obvious...."

<Bobby> He gave her a look that said it most fucking definitely was not obvious.

<Carol> "Don't make me repeat myself. I hate that."

<Bobby> "Yeah, yeah. I'm an idiot." Bobby frowned and stared at nothing.

<Carol> She sighed and sat down next to him, "Are you in love with Paige?"

<Bobby> "Yes," he said, without hesitation. "I know it's weird, but yes. I love her. She's everything good in this world that I'm not. Clearly."

<Carol> Carol shook her head, "No. I'm not asking if you love her... I'm asking if you're in love with her. It sounds the same but it's not..."

<Bobby> "Yes," he repeated. "I get the difference, and yes." He sighed. "I just... I wonder if I'm holding her back, somehow."

<Carol> She sighed, frowning a little in thought and leaning her shoulder against his, "How are you holding her back? Seems like you're doing the house husband thing so she can advance her career."

<Bobby> Bobby snorted. "Yeah, that's me. Mister Mom."

<Carol> "Hey, I'm not saying it's a bad thing... that life works for some people... but you're obviously not happy... I wish I knew what to say to help..."

<Bobby> "Originally it was just for her fellowship program, so there was an end date, but now it seems like it's just a thing and I dunno... I hate being that dick, but fuck." He closed his eyes and let his head thunk back again. "Apparently I am."

<Carol> Carol shook her head, "No that doesn't make you an asshole. It makes you a human that'd actually like to see the person he's married to..." The situation was really similar to the Hope and Obi situation apart from the roof incident. "You need to tell her that... before things get so bad you can't fix it..."

<Bobby> "Thanks for the attempted pep talk," he snorted. "I dunno... we might be at that point now."

<Carol> "Well... then you can't make it worse by booking her a day off and making her have that conversation, can you? If you don't want me kid-sitting... and I wouldn't blame you... I'm sure Jess wouldn't mind watching them and Miriam would love to have them over to play with..."

<Bobby> "It's not your babysitting skills I doubt." He rolled his head sideways to look at her with a faint smile. "I just... God I don't wanna hurt her..."

<Carol> "I know... but maybe she's already hurting and is just as afraid to talk about it as you are..." She chewed her lip, "Sometimes people just pretend everything is okay on the outside even though on the inside they're really wanting you to dig for the truth and hoping you figure that out without prompting."

<Bobby> "Speaking from experience, babe?" He sighed.

<Carol> "Maybe... but this isn't about me right now."

<Bobby> He laughed, but the sound was rough. "Yeah, I get you. Rogue and I have a saying... we're always alright."

<Carol> "Yeah... I'm pretty much that way... I'd rather help other people with their shit than focus on mine.... seems easier somehow."

<Bobby> "Of course it's easier. Means you never have to look inside, until you fuck something up hardcore."

<Carol> "I've done that plenty..." she looked away for a moment, thinking about Astrid. When was the last time she'd seen her? "I have a lot of stuff that I keep to myself... it feels wrong to dump it on other people."

<Bobby> That made him actually look at her, eyes narrowed a little in thought. "Yeah, how the fuck did you get in the middle of this?"

<Carol> She sighed, glancing at him before looking down at her lap, "Rogue wasn't the only one with a secret she needed to get out..."

<Bobby> Bobby's eyes widened. "...it's not me, is it?"

<Carol> That was so unexpected it made her laugh. "No, it's not you. You're like annoying brother territory."

<Bobby> He couldn't help but blow out a relieved breath. "That's territory I'm very comfortable with, and kind of thought I was there with Rogue, too... mostly." Bobby thought for a minute. "Chris?"

<Carol> Her nose wrinkled, "No.... been there already... and his not-wife already hates me."

<Bobby> "That's a whole new and totally literal meaning to scratching your eyes out." He made a face.

<Carol> "Yeah... they have an open relationship except where I'm involved. She also decides when I see my kid."

<Bobby> "Ouch." Bobby sighed. "Okay, I'm not gonna play the guessing game on it."

<Carol> "If you really wanna know I can tell you... but I figure you have enough to worry about without my drama... which is how I feel when I talk to a lot of people these days."

<Bobby> "Oh, why not? I already got wasted and spilled my guts to Xerox, so we may as well spread it around."

<Carol> She sighed, "It's Obi..."

<Bobby> "Shaw?!" His voice went up an octave and he swore at himself, shooting a look at the door.

<Carol> Carol pressed her lips together and nodded, "Yep. I know... Clearly I'm suicidal."

<Bobby> "Does he?! I mean-" Bobby's eyes bugged a little. "Oh, shit."

<Carol> "I'm assuming Hope doesn't know because my brain would for sure be melted... but Jess and Sebastian know."

<Bobby> "Oh, shit. D-does Obi know?"

<Carol> Carol nodded, "Yeah... Rogue wrote that text to him like I wrote the one to you. He's... in a similar situation with Hope as you are to Paige... but they're trying to work through it so I'm trying to be encouraging..."

<Bobby> "Yikes." Bobby shook his head. "Fucking hell. Hope has nearly lost her marbles over him a couple of times, so you do have a deathwish."

<Carol> "It's not like I decided to fall for him... and it's not like I didn't try to ignore it forever... It just won't go away..." She shifted uncomfortably, "I thought maybe telling him would help me move on... so far... nope."

<Bobby> "You said it's like me and Paige? So he's... like, with you?" Because he sure as fuck hadn't seen that one coming.

<Carol> "Nooooooooo," she shook her head, "That's never gonna happen. I mean, Hope works all the time and he never sees her."

<Bobby> "Fucking Starks," he said with a laugh, shaking his head.

<Carol> She laughed too, bumping his shoulder with hers, "Who'd have thought that amount of ego was attractive to some people?"

<Bobby> "Apparently really attractive." Bobby smiled at the bump. He jumped when his phone buzzed and fished it from his pocket. Anna. He licked his lips. Shit.

<Carol> Her gaze dropped to the phone and she chewed her lip, "Everything okay?"

<Bobby> "It's Rogue." He frowned and stared at the phone. "She wouldn't text me to tell me she's running for it."

<Carol> "You want me to go and leave you to it?"

<Bobby> Bobby closed his eyes for a moment, then checked the message. It was Stark's turn. "Holy shit." He turned the phone to her.

<Carol> Carol cocked her head on one side, "I'm gonna need you to translate."

<Bobby> He licked his lips, still mostly in shock. This was for the best. "Tony told her how he felt."
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Re: 10/19 Issue: Three Different Words

Post by Esynthia » Thu Nov 04, 2021 2:18 am

:bawl :bawl :bawl

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