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“Allow me to do something?” Robert prods, and Ronald feels the familiar strum of dread grip him tight, the way the unknown has every day these past years, the way it always will around this mutant he’s found himself related to.

“What,” he braves to retort nonetheless, because while he firmly believes the things the man who used to be his brother can do are all potentially disastrous, he no longer takes as gospel that Bobby would intentionally hurt him. Not when they are just leaving Green Crumbs after a sort-of amiable consumption of chai tea. Not when they are far, far outside a combat situation.

“Take my hand?” Robert demands, albeit questioningly, and Ronald places a hand on his denim-clad arm, willing it to not betray how scared he is. Willing it to stop trembling.

There’s a feeling of cold surrounding him, but no ice is touching his skin, is not even forming under Robert’s jacket. No, the ice is underneath their feet, growing rapidly and suddenly pushing them up, he’s


flying through the night

sailing through the air in a sea of ice

fast, so incredibly fast

too terrified to scream

keeping his eyes wide open, and while if ever they reach safe ground again he will yell and shout at his brother for so completely ungluing him – while his knees are going to shake, and his legs will barely support him, Ronald will memorize every single second and, from a point of distance in a few days’ time admit, if only to himself, if only briefly, that it was – that it might be – pretty awesome.