Note: This is the third in a series. The other two can be found at amoung other places. :)
List people: Um. Should I release the first two?

You can all thank GirlySkin for this. She's the one who got me editing again. ;) The whole thing isn't done yet; expect more parts in a few days. Many thanks to Lise and Sascha, who are the bestest JandB beta'ers! Oh, and FEEDBACK!
Archiving: Unless you have blanket permission, ask first. If you don't know if you have blanket permission, ask me. ;)

For Kael. Just because.

Hey, all! I started trying to match this story to continuity... but Continuity had a nervous breakdown. So now it's set between the Scott dead/Apocalypse thing and everything else, 'cept that I'm making up my own X-team to use. Heh. It goes like this:
Wolverine, Scott, Jean, Storm, Rogue, Gambit, Iceman, Warren, Psylocke (who did NOT switch powers with Jean--that happened after Scott died), Beast, Cannonball, and now Jamie. Everyone that I just kicked off the team? Reyes and Marrow and Kitty, Kurt, all those guys? If they had a team before, figure they went back to it. If they didn't, figure they're on reserve. ;)

It has also been brought to my attention that in X-Factor Jamie says he's from Kansas. Well, in FF (where Jamie first appeared) it says New Mex., and since that's what I used before that's what I'll stick with.

Uncharted Waters 1/6
by JB McDragon

"Do you think they'll like me?"

Bobby didn't even try to suppress his smile. The question had been asked--and asked, and *asked.* He'd never had someone worry so much. It was really cute. "You've met them."

"No, I've fought with them occasionally. Heard about them from others. Knew Scott's brother. But I haven't met *them.* What if they don't like me?"

Bobby looked up from his magazine. His started to stretch his legs out, then felt them bang against the seat in front of him. "I think they'll adore you."

"*Seriously!*" Jamie said, slanting Bobby a dirty look. Brown hair fell in his face, obscuring one eye.

Bobby laughed and reached over, flipping the lock behind Jamie's ear. "You weren't this worried about meeting my parents!"

"You didn't talk as much about your parents," Jamie muttered. He sighed and slouched in his chair, legs seeming to nearly fold in half in the small space. "Besides, you don't know how worried I was about that. You weren't there."

Bobby smiled slightly, nodding an acknowledgment to that. He wished he had been there, and in silence he reached out and brushed the back of his hand across Jamie's cheek. "You've met Hank. He likes you."

Jamie nodded, staring at his feet. "But that's different. Hank is... he's my doctor."

"He wasn't your doctor until after you met him."

"But I met him before I got 'involved' with you, so it didn't worry me."

Bobby shrugged and settled more comfortably in his chair, propping an ankle on the opposite knee. "The X-Men will love you, Jamie. Everyone likes you."

Jamie snorted at that and looked out the window while clouds passed by.

Bobby smiled slightly, turning back to his magazine. He could have sworn it was the same magazine in all airplanes. Like the others, it had nothing of interest.

The plane shuddered. Bobby dropped his magazine, grabbing the armrests, his knuckles turning white as his stomach clenched. A memory flashed through his mind so overpowering it seemed to dwarf the reality around him. Screeching metal, sudden pain, panic, a frantic bid to save lives as the smell of blood soaked the air--

Bobby pulled a ragged breath into his lungs, realizing that his hands had iced over. He flexed his fingers, shattering the thin layer, and watched as Jamie's hand covered his own, squeezing comfortingly. He slowly relaxed, purposefully reminding himself that this plane was safe, and not about to crash.

Blue eyes flickered upward and saw brown ones watching him with concern. "Are you okay?" Jamie asked softly.

The turbulence passed, and Bobby let his breath out in a shudder, smiling painfully. "Sorry. Just startled me, is all."

Jamie nodded, but didn't release Bobby's hand. Bobby smiled wanly and turned his wrist, fingers interlocking with Jamie's.

"I'm impressed you even got back in a plane, after what happened with the last one," Jamie murmured softly.

Bobby turned to look at him, trying to put on a brave front. "Yeah, well. Most planes don't wreck, right?"

"Right," Jamie agreed firmly.

Bobby nodded, licking his lips. He sat for a moment, then glanced back at Jamie, trying to divert his mind. He didn't want to remember the plane crash a month and a half ago. It had been less than fun. "You remembered your toothbrush, right?" he said in a falsely unconcerned tone. "'Cause I'm not sharing mine. That's gross."

Jamie's mouth quirked upward. "You'll kiss me, but you won't share a toothbrush? I don't see the logic there."

"It has nothing to do with logic," Bobby answered. "It has to do with ickiness. There is a high ickiness factor in toothbrush sharing."

Jamie laughed. "Yes, I remembered my toothbrush," he answered.

Bobby grinned fondly and ran the knuckles of his other hand across Jamie's cheek. "I love you."

Jamie turned into the caress, kissing Bobby's fingers. "I love you too," he said, and was unable to even make an attempt at suppressing his silly grin.

"You've been okay lately? No bad feelings?" Bobby asked softly, worried.

"Mostly good," Jamie answered truthfully. "Hank's pills have helped a lot. And you've helped more."

Bobby smiled, sighed, leaned back to wait for the plane to get to New York. "I'm glad." After Jamie's bout of severe depression, he'd been watching the other man like a hawk. It frightened him to think that it could happen again, and Bobby wondered if that was the shadow he saw on occasion in Jamie's deep brown eyes.

"What if they don't like me, though?" Jamie asked very softly after a moment, refusing to meet Bobby's gaze.

Bobby started to laugh. As plaintive and worried as Jamie sounded, it was still funny that he could worry so much. "Then I'll move to Washington with you and get a government job," Bobby finally answered, grinning. "But they'll like you."

Jamie looked forlorn. "If you say so," he sighed at last.

Bobby smiled, and squeezed Jamie's fingers in his, putting as much assurance as possible into his eyes and voice. "I say so."

"If we're lucky," Bobby said, hefting his backpack over his shoulder and pulling Jamie's duffel bag from the overhead compartment, "Hank will have been pulled out of his lab, and he'll pick us up. But that's not likely. It could be Remy, but I really hope not. Warren wouldn't come--he has a hard time driving with his wings. But maybe... Jean. Scott'll be busy, unless he wants to check you out personally first." He glanced back at Jamie, saw the way his face turned white at that. "But it won't happen," Bobby said quickly, smiling reassuringly. "Scott will be too busy."

Bobby started down the narrow plane corridor in a hurry, eager to get out of the cramped space, Jamie at his heels. They twisted back up the asle, which was congested with people and suitcases, then headed out of the plane and down the short, rattling ramp leading from the craft to the airport itself. Bobby hurried, unable to stop the relief that flooded his body as he got off the plane. Quickly, trying to ignore his anxiety, he started talking again.

"It might be Rogue, but... well, probably not," he said, deciding it was best not say she was still getting used to the whole gay-thing. "Maybe Ororo. Or Logan. Nah, not Logan." Bobby glanced over his shoulder, saw Jamie still looked ill, and continued in his idle ramble. "Probably won't be Betsy. She doesn't do things so mundane."

They rounded the last corner, and Bobby sighed inwardly as he saw Scott standing there, his normal nearly-unreadable expression on his face. Why had Bobby made that crack about Scott wanting to check Jamie out first? Now Jamie was going to be all tense and uptight.

"Hi, Scott," Bobby said with little enthusiasm.

"Hi, Bobby. Welcome home," Scott said, smiling. His eyes couldn't be seen beneath the bright red glasses, but his head turned slightly toward Jamie, who hovered just to the left of Bobby's shoulder. "And you're Jamie. It's nice to meet you. I'm Scott," Scott said, holding out a hand to shake. His leather jacket stretched taut across his broad shoulders, blue shirt tucked firmly into his pale, worn jeans.

"Hi," Jamie murmured, smiling slightly as he shook Scott's hand. "It's nice to meet you. Alex spoke highly of you."

Scott's mouth twitched upward, wryly. "No he didn't. But thanks."

Jamie blushed. "Well, he spoke of you. And some of it was good."

Scott grinned then, a flash of teeth in an otherwise serious face. "Right. Well, let's go home, shall we? I'm supposed to pick up Chinese for lunch--Jean says the cooks are all going on strike, and she doesn't trust those of us who aren't the cooks to make anything decent."

"I can cook," Jamie offered hesitantly, as they started down the wide halls.

"For this many people? How 'bout we just let you get settled, and then you can show us your talents, okay?" Scott said, the words gentled by a smile.

Bobby relaxed. He'd forgotten how good Scott was with people.

"Sure," Jamie answered. He glanced at Bobby, and Bobby smiled encouragingly.

"Hey, Scotty," Bobby chirped, earning a dirty look from Scott, "aren't those the jeans Jean keeps saying she's going to throw out? They've got paint on them."

Scott smiled slightly. "Yeah, these are them. She can't throw them out as long as they're on me, can she?"

Bobby chuckled. "Good point. Hey, let's go to Peony's for Chinese."

"I was thinking El Gorditos."

"That's Mexican," Bobby pointed out dryly, taking a hop-step to match Scott's longer stride.

Scott, without seeming to notice Bobby's hurrying, slowed down. "Yeah. I like Mexican."

Bobby sighed and rolled his eyes. "Jean should know better then to send you to get food!"

Scott grinned, teeth flashing, and blatantly changed the subject. "Shall we go get your bags?"

Bobby smiled, glancing over at Jamie. Jamie was grinning, though it was still a nervous sort of uncertain grin. At least he was smiling.

Bobby knocked gently on the door of the spare bedroom they'd assigned Jamie, then opened it without waiting for an answer and peered in. "How are you holding up?" he asked in a tone just above a whisper.

There was a monosyllabic answer from the figure that lay face-down across the paisley bedspread. The brown trenchcoat had been discarded and left in a heap at the foot of the bed. Somehow, both trenchcoat and man looked oddly similiar.

"Jean wants to throw you a 'welcome to the X-Men' dinner. You up to that?"

This time it was a two syllable answer.

"Was that a yes or a no?" Bobby asked, leaning farther into the room but not quite stepping inside.

The figure on the bed whimpered. The tiny noise was a pitiful, heart-bleeding sound.

Alarmed, Bobby stepped into the room and closed the door behind him. He walked quietly across the thick, rose-colored carpet of the guest room and sat down by Jamie's legs. "Are you okay?" he asked, putting a hand on Jamie's demin-clad calf. Bobby felt cold suddenly, and didn't like the way Jamie looked so small in the middle of the bed.

Another tiny little noise, muffled in the blankets.

Bobby's mind worked frantically. He wished he knew what Jamie was thinking and feeling, knew if he should try to give the man a hug or make him laugh. Finally, he opted for the laugh. "Do you want me to go beat them up for you?" he asked solemnly, leaning down on his elbow in order to get closer to Jamie's head.

Jamie's shoulders shook in tired laughter, and Bobby relaxed. Jamie turned his head and looked up at Bobby. "No," he croaked.

"I'll do it," Bobby said gravely. "Just say the word." He watched as a slow, tired smile entered Jamie's eyes, barely touching his lips, and wondered what the man was thinking. There was so much love in those large brown eyes, it was almost painful. A slender hand reached out to Bobby, fingering the short locks of hair, letting them slide through graceful fingers.

"Would you really?" Jamie asked almost wistfully,his mind seeming to be farther away then their conversation.

"For you? Anything," Bobby answered with a warm smile, his heart still fluttering nervously for Jamie. The fluttering changed to a warmer, softer feeling as Jamie continued to play with his hair, as if transfixed by the movement of light over the blond hues.

"They all have so many *questions,*" Jamie sighed, his mind suddenly back from wherever it had gone. "And I haven't even met them all yet!" He withdrew his hand and crossed it under his head, turning away to face the window in front of him. "I think Sam hates me."

"Sam doesn't hate you," Bobby answered, using his elbows to pull himself up the bed until he was at the same level Jamie was at.

"Yes he does."

Bobby sighed. "What makes you say that?"

"He looked at me funny."

Bobby opened his mouth, closed it, opened it again, then shook his head and tried to keep from smiling. He remembered the look. Jamie walked in, Bobby introduced him, Sam smiled warmly, but distracted. He was helping Warren move furniture. "If anything, he was just admiring your darkly good looks."

Jamie's Blush crept stealthily up his neck.

"Stop," he murmured quietly.

Bobby complied, resting his cheek on his arm and looking at Jamie fondly. "You want me to tell Jean to schedule dinner for some other day?"

Jamie sighed and rubbed his eyes, then shook his head. He appeared to feel better, if weary, and Bobby wasn't as concerned anymore. "No. Might as well get this over with, right?"

Bobby laughed. "That's the spirit!"

Jamie let his ribs expand and fall with another great gust of air, then he pushed himself up to his knees. "What time is dinner?"

Bobby closed his eyes briefly, calling loudly for Jean. She answered swiftly, and Bobby asked about dinner time before opening his eyes again to look at Jamie.

Jamie's head was cocked, hair falling in his deep brown eyes. He looked curious, almost as if he wasn't quite sure what to make of something.

"What?" Bobby asked self-consciously.

"What were you doing?"

"Talking to Jean. She's a telepath. It's good for that sort of stuff."

Jamie blinked, then nodded. "That's really cool. So what time is dinner?"

Bobby opened his mouth, grinning as he heard Jamie's stomach growl. He managed to keep from making a comment, and answered, "In an hour."

Jamie sighed and flopped back on the bed, arms outspread as he landed on the pillows on his back. "I'm going to starve."

Bobby chuckled and tilted his head, eyeing the sprawled figure before him. He was hungry too. But dinner wasn't going to solve it. ~God help me. Living with Jamie without pushing him faster than he wants to go is going to be hard. I think I need a shower.~

Jamie smiled painfully at the regal woman before him. He felt trapped. Cornered. Like a wild animal caught between an ugly, gun-toting hick and an angry grizzly bear. He even knew what an ugly, gun-toting hick looked like close up.

"I lived on a farm," Jamie said, still managing to keep his smile. Bobby had left him in the kitchen *alone* with these sharks. Sure, he knew they were sweet, kind, caring, considerate women on the *outside,* but everyone knew that the more dangerous of the species was always the female. And sharks always smiled before they took a great big bite.

"Really? Sam grew up on a farm, also." She smiled. Chocolate skin split, revealing white teeth in perfect rows. Shark's teeth.

Jamie grinned back, though he could feel it was ringing false. His skin felt almost itchy with nervousness, like at any moment he would leap out of it and run through the halls, skin-less. That blackness inside himself, that hollow feeling that tried to swallow him reared up, whispering at him that he had to leave, and leave now because these people would be hurt if he stayed. He would kill them and they didn't care about him anyway.

"Piotr, in Excalibur, was on a farm in Russia," Jean commented.

Jamie smiled, fiercely trying to shove down the blackness. These people were nice people. He wasn't going to kill them just by being here. "Lots of farm-types here, then," Jamie said lightly, trying to engage himself in the conversation.

Where was Bobby?

"Hi, Jean," a male voice called. Footsteps, light by normal standards, entered the kitchen.

Jamie glanced up and saw Scott, dressed in baggy sweats and a wet T-shirt.

"How much longer until dinner?"

"You smell, Scott," Jean answered, looking at him warningly as he strode into the room. Jamie leaned forward slightly to keep from touching the tall, dark haired man as Scott passed. If Scott touched him, he'd have to supress the making of a dupe, and his head hurt too much for that. Better to dodge.

"Can I have a kiss?" Scott asked, grinning sweetly as he approached Jean and leaned closer.

"Scott!" Jean shouted, grabbing the towel hanging on the stove and flicking the end of it at his sunglassed face.

"Just a little kiss?" Scott pleaded, then jumped and yelped when the tip of the towel caught his hip.

Jamie grinned, the empty, sickening fear forced back by the easy love that filled the room.

"Jean! That wasn't nice! I think I really need a kiss to--"

"You're not getting anything until you go shower, buster," Jean answered in a dangerously low voice, though her green eyes were sparkling.

"I love you," Scott countered, smiling mischievously. His grin reminded Jamie vaguely of Alex, and Jamie wondered which parent they'd gotten that trait from.

"Out! Out of the kitchen--you're ruining the good smell of my pasta sauce!"

"Jamie said he could cook," Scott said, slightly serious now. He stepped back several steps and hovered behind Jamie's chair.

Jamie leaned forward and twisted slightly, keeping Scott in his line of vision so he could move if Scott tried to touch him.

"Really?" Jean asked, eager.

"Actually, I can only barbecue well," Jamie clarified, smiling.

"Good enough," Jean declared as Scott left the room.

Jamie turned his full attention to Jean, keeping his ears attuned to the hallway in case anyone else came up and he'd have to supress his powers.

"You'll be part of the cooking staff," Jean continued, gesturing with her ladle in an absent-minded way. Tomato sauce flew to land on the sink, and Jean ignored it as Ororo grabbed a rag and cleaned it up.

"Okay," Jamie agreed, nodding.

"There's not a lot of people on the cooking staff. You should know, by the way, that Bobby can't cook. In fact, he's not even allowed in the kitchen after that Rice-A-Roni fiasco." Jean rolled her eyes. They flickered upward, to a spot above Jamie's head, and she smiled again. "Hello, Logan!"

Jamie jumped as a hand clapped down on his shoulder, his heart thundering. For a moment he was so startled he forgot to breathe, and when he remembered it was in a painful rush. He hadn't even heard the man come up.

"You must be Drake's friend," Logan growled, then jumped back suddenly when someone landed on his foot.

"Hey! That wasn't nice!" Jamie shouted, glaring up at Logan from his spot on the floor.

Jamie cringed. He'd released his powers completely, not thinking anyone was there. "Jamie, get off the floor," he mumbled, feeling his face burning as his dupe looked indignantly at Logan.

"Jamie has a headache, you know," Jamie said, standing up as he rubbed his butt and glaring at the diminutive man.

Logan was unreadable, though his eyes kept flickering from Jamie to, well, Jamie.

"And you made me fall on the floor! There's only one chair there, and both of us can't fit in it! If you're gonna create a dupe--"

"Jamie," Jamie groaned, reaching out for the copy. He could *feel* the others' eyes on him. He was downright itchy with the knowledge.

Jamie stepped away. "No! I want to tell him a piece of my mind!"

"*Give* him a piece of your mind, and he's gonna make *you* into pieces if you don't--"

"And furthermore, you shouldn't go around triggering other people's mutant powers just for giggles sakes, you know," Jamie continued.

Logan crossed his arms over his chest, apparently bemused. "Really?"


"Jamie!" Jamie hissed. He lunged at himself, but the angle was wrong and he missed.

The duplicate gave him a dirty look and stepped farther away, putting a chair between them. "And for another thing, you people are terrifying poor Jamie, here!"

"That's it," Jamie growled, getting up out of his chair and bolting for the dupe. "The only person who's doing anything bad here is you!"

"I am not!" Jamie protested, dodging around the chair.

"This is very strange," Jean murmured quietly.

"You're embarrassing the heck out of us," Jamie hissed, trying to get his copy to come out from behind the chair.

"No I'm not!"

"Yes you are! Look at this! You're making it seem like I can't even control my powers!"

The copy Jamie stopped and braced his hands on his hips. "He's the one who dropped me on my butt," he said, glaring at Logan.

"You're the one acting like a child," Jamie snapped through clenched teeth.

The Jamie-copy folded his arms across his chest and pouted. "Humph. Fine. If you feel that way, I'll stop helping."

Jamie rolled his eyes. "Thank goodness," he said, then reached out and watched his duplicate dissolve at his fingertips. "I'm so sorry," he sighed, too horrified to turn around and face Ororo, Jean and Logan. The X-Men. The very good X-Men. They Who Had No Trouble Whatsoever Controlling Their Powers X-Men. Jamie felt sick. They were probably going to think he was some sort of amaturish idiot. And he wasn't even sure amaturish was a word.

"Do your duplicates disagree with you often?" Jean asked, and she didn't sound disapproving at all. She sounded... curious.

Jamie turned slowly to look at her. She had her arms crossed, the ladle over the counter. Sauce dripped onto the white tile, and Ororo, standing nearby, wiped it up.

"Yeah," Jamie said at last, feeling his blush all the way down to his toes. "They usually do."

"Amazing," Jean said, and she truly looked interested. "They're like other people?"

"They didn't used to be," Jamie answered after a moment. "And the more I make at one time, the less personality they have. But... well, after I got Legacy they started acting more and more like different aspects of me, and it doesn't seem like that's gone away."

"Fascinating," Jean said, and Jamie thought she really meant it.

His blush started to fade, and he smiled hesitantly. He stuffed his hands into his pockets and smiled shyly. "You really think so?"

"Absolutely," Jean answered. She started to gesture with the ladle, and Ororo took it away. Jean didn't seem to notice. "If they're different people, then how do you know what to expect of them? Do they ever refuse to do what you say?"

Jamie slowly sat back down at the table, still slightly uncertain. Was this some sort of test? "Well," he answered slowly, finally deciding to respond honestly and hope it was the right answer, "there was this one time that a dupe was separated from me for a long time? He turned really evil. Started working with The Nasty Boys and Sinister--even re-absorbed me. I didn't know that was possible, but then I re-absorbed him from inside... it was weird. But, obviously, he refused to do what I said."

Jean was nodding, eyes wide. She moved away from the sink and sat down at the table. Ororo took her spot at the stove. "There's so much about your power we don't know. Well, I don't know. Maybe X-Factor does." She smiled impishly.

Jamie found himself grinning back. "None of us ever really thought about it, I guess."

Jean frowned for a moment, then nodded. "We'll have to figure some of these mysteries out," she said with a smile.

"Hey, Jean, are you moving in on my beau?" Bobby asked as he walked in the door.

Jamie felt suddenly warm all over, and he twisted to beam up at Bobby. "Hi," he said, holding onto the back of his chair.

Bobby put his hands on Jamie's shoulders and bent to kiss him. "Hi yourselves," he said, eyes twinkling.

Jamie glanced back self-consciously, uncertain of how the others were going to take him and Bobby. Jean, however, was grinning at the kiss, while Logan still looked implacable, and Ororo had missed the whole thing, looking at the sauce.

"You two are cute together," Jean said, winking as she stood up. "Careful, Bobby. That one might get lured away."

Jamie blushed, and Bobby wrapped his arms around Jamie's shoulders. "You going anywhere?" Bobby growled into his boyfriend's ear.

"No," Jamie murmured back, still blushing.

"Good." Bobby kissed Jamie's cheek, then stood and walked to where Ororo was adding spices. "Smells good, 'Ro. Can I have a taste?"

Ororo smacked him with her hand, never looking away from the sauce.

Bobby made cutely mournful faces at her and sighed heavily, but Ororo only cocked an eyebrow at him and wordlessly threatened to spoon-slap him once more.

Bobby moved slowly away from the sink. "Guess that's a no," he sighed pitifully, looking once more at Ororo--who only eyed him silently--then hooking a chair with his foot and plopping down. He grinned at Jamie, winking.

Jamie smiled back and looked down at his hands where they lay on the table. Already his blush was creeping back up his neck. "So how many more people do I have to meet?" Jamie asked, settling himself more comfortably in his chair.

"There's Betsy," Jean said, pulling spices out of the cupboards telekinetically, "And Rogue."

"LeBeau," Logan said in a low voice.

"And the members who visit often, but don't live here," Bobby added, nodding as he eyed the sauce once more.

"Cecilia," Ororo volunteered.

"Kitty and Kurt," Jean added.

Jamie tried to smile, felt that it was pitiful. "Oh. Is that all?"

Logan chuckled. "Yup," he said, "that's all."

"And what about X-Factor?" Jean asked, grinning. "Do we need to worry about them storming in here? I know if Bobby had gone there most of us would have bombarded the place until we were sure he was being taken good care of."

Bobby rolled his eyes, but was unable to completely suppress his smile.

Jamie grinned, looking enviously at Bobby. "No. I mean, Lorna and I never really talked, and my friend Guido is in space, and I haven't really seen anyone else 'cept Forge. He might call, but he knows all of you pretty well, and he's a busy guy. We didn't get along great anyway. Mostly ignored each other."

"And what about your family?" Jean asked, hopping up to sit on the counter and hand Ororo spices.

Jamie's face froze, and he felt suddenly cold. He glanced at Bobby, who was watching him intently out of big blue eyes.

"Not a concern," Bobby said quietly, after a silent moment.

Jean hesitated, looking from one man to the other. Jamie just looked at his hands, praying she wouldn't keep asking questions. Finally, Jean nodded. "Oh," she said. "Well. Why don't you boys go round up the others? Dinner'll be ready in five minutes."

Bobby nodded and stood, moving away slightly to give Jamie room to do the same.

"Thanks," Jamie said, smiling. He edged around the chair and then out the door, waiting for Bobby. "You have a cool family here," Jamie said when the other man emerged.

Bobby grinned. "Yeah. They're good people. C'mon, let's get the others."

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