The Xavier Institute, Central Park, New York – too early in the morning:
'Whoa. How are you already in job mode post-workout?' Kitty Pryde asks Bobby “Iceman” Drake as she finds him in a living room putting pen to paper. Bobby informs Kitty that he is writing a letter. 'A letter? Like to throw in the mail?' Kitty asks. 'Yes. Mail of the snap persuasion. To my parents' Bobby reveals. 'You're gonna come out in a letter? How very heroic' Kitty remarks. Bobby tells Kitty that it is heroic, as every time he talks to his parents, some catastrophe happens, so if he sends a letter, there is no conflict, and if there is no conflict, there are no casualties or property damage – so this is the most heroic option. 'Emphasis on conflict avoidance' Kitty remarks, before agreeing that it might be the best bet for his folks, let them process and not put them on the spot. 'Sidebar: Have you seen Zach?' Kitty asks. 'West Covina's whiny teenage mutant with a heart of mineral pyrite?' Bobby replies. That's the one. He didn't show up for Danger Room training' Kitty reports.
'Oh...' Bobby begins. 'What?' Kitty asks him. Bobby reveals that he realizes now Zachary totally bailed on his class yesterday – which only happens when he is homesick and wants to game all day. Bobby jokes that the only reason Zachary comes to class is so he can amp his powers in control and preserve his precious motherboard. 'I bet you three dollars he's in his room and I bet you six dollars it smells like farts and BO' Bobby jokes.
But when they enter Zachary's room, they find it slightly dishevelled, with no sign of Zach. 'Oh, this is boding less and less well' Bobby remarks. 'Bobby... did we lose a kid?' Kitty asks. They head back out into the corridor, and Bobby suggests that Zach might be enjoying Central Park. 'Or maybe there's a missing underage mutant who doesn't fully know how to use his powers lost in Manhattan' Kitty proposes. 'Yeah, or that' Bobby agrees.
Bobby asks what is next and suggests they use Cerebro, but Kitty tells him they should sort out the last time anyone saw Zach. 'You looking for Z?' a young woman with dark hair and a yellow scarf around her neck asks as she and Anole approach Kitty and Bobby. Kitty addresses the young mutant as Michaela and informs her that Zachary has missed a few classes. 'Have you seen him?' she enquires. 'Not IRL, but – when in doubt, stalk social' Michaela replies, holding up her mobile phone, which shows a video of Zachary:
'What up, dubya, dubya, dubya!' Zach exclaims, announcing that he is loving his new haircut, and that he has got to look “fly” for his last night in Manhattan. Zach tells his viewers that his “homie” is getting him some custom threads, and that he is going to take him to the dopest spot in all of NYC. 'Greenwich Mean Time!' Zach shouts, adding that he heard Tony Stark goes there when he wants to feel real fancy. 'Special shout-out to the main man for hooking it up, show the webs some love, Da -' Zachary begins, before someone knocks him and he drops his phone, although it falls to the floor with the camera pointing up and continues to record: 'Yo, what gives? You made me drop my phone!' Zach can be heard saying. 'What did I tell you about that?' someone asks, their hand can be seen pointing at Zach, who replies 'I know, but I couldn't wait for a new one. I'm never in ritzy spots like this!' Zach exclaims. Suddenly, the other person slams Zach against a wall. 'OW!' Zach calls out. 'If you think taking videos of a store is interesting, then you're beyond my help' the other person mutters. 'No! No! Please!' Zach calls out, before the phone stops recording.
Bobby rifles through his closet while Kitty sits at a computer and reports that Greenwich Mean Time is one of those elite members-only clubs on the Upper East Side. 'This place makes the Soho House seem as exclusive as a Duane Reade...' Kitty remarks, while Bobby pulls his shirt off, Kitty points out that, tactically speaking, they have no clue how many people have Zachary. She adds that the lady at the atelier could barely give her a straight answer, she was all giggles. Kitty declares that the city is already giving her enough hassles getting the Institute set up, and exclaims that they can't have a missing person on their watch. Kitty supposes that she could phase into the club, but realizes that if Zach is being threatened, his powers may make hers wonky again. 'Kitty...' Bobby calls out, but gets no answer. 'I don't eant to come barging in...but if Nightcrawler teleported a small team -' Kitty begins, but Bobby calls out to her again. Kitty turns to him as he tells her that worrying about one student acting like a teenager is above her paygrade, and calls her “Katharine Anne of Xavier Gables”. 'I've got a pretty keen idea... always go for the path of least resistance' Bobby smiles, looking very handsome in a dinner suit.
Later, night glows over Greenwich Mean Time on the Upper East Side, where, at the service entrance, Bobby knocks on the door and quickly creates a large ice sculpture in the shape of a horse. 'We don't need any more bartenders ton -' the man who opens the door begins, but Bobby interrupts him: 'Ohmygodohmygodohmygod. Please hurry up and let me in. I'm already 20 minutes late and my boss will murder me if this sculpture starts melting on the crudites' so the other man lets Bobby in and points towards the kitchen. 'I hear you, man. These people will sack you if even your tie's a little crooked. Cut through the kitchen'. Bobby smiles at the man and thanks him, telling him that he is a lifesaver. Bobby makes his way through the kitchen, then tosses the ice sculpture in a trash bin.
Bobby makes his way into the large crowded club, walking past people who are dancing as the lights flash around them. 'Well, Zach, you're certainly in cahoots with some frivolous folks' Bobby remarks, before he sees Zach sitting on a sofa with some others. Bobby wonders if this is a front for the Hellfire Club. 'Did the Brotherhood get bougie?' he asks, when suddenly, someone reaches out and puts a hand on Bobby's shoulder: 'Hey, Snowflake... may I have this dance?' they ask. Bobby turns around and sees Daken standing behind him, wearing a white suit. 'Daken' Bobby mutters, before Daken takes Bobby's right hand and holds it up, and puts his other hand on Bobby's lower back, while Bobby puts his other hand on Daken's shoulder. 'Why so tense?' Daken asks. 'I know what you're capable of' Bobby tells him. 'So? I know what you're capable of, I saw how big you got with the Apocalypse Seed in you – that's not stopping me from wanting to swing' Daken responds.
'You have my student' Bobby frowns, but Daken tells him that Zachary wasn't his to have – that the kid is a free agent. 'He's a minor, and I'm pretty sure the drink in his hand is not ginger beer' Bobby adds. Daken smiles and tells Bobby to lighten up. 'Baby Z seems much happier at the Daken Institute of Higher and Higher Learning... where the curriculum requires seeing the sights, tasting all that the world has to offer... and doing a few odds and ends while we train in Madripoor'. Bobby and Daken's lips move closer to each other, only a couple of inches apart, as Bobby asks 'You know what the nice thing about hating you is, Daken?' to which Daken asks 'It makes you want me more?' 'I just froze you from the inside out... without a single qualm' Bobby announces as his right hand appears iced-up, while Daken stands frozen on the dancefloor, his skin becoming a blue tone. 'Sonuva -' Daken mumbles.
Bobby smiles and pulls away from Daken. 'Great work with those charm powers' Bobby calls out as he walks across the dancefloor. 'I can't deny the hold you have over me right now' Bobby adds. 'Killlll... you...' Daken utters. 'I can't keep the guy I came here for waiting' Bobby smirks, searching the dancefloor and the club. Bobby wonders 'Where did that walking RPG character go?' Bobby looks up to a balcony and sees Zachary. 'Started from the bottom. Now he's here' Bobby remarks, while Zachary has the attention of several others who are sitting with him, 'Everyone is always so doom and gloom about being a mutant. But I don't see what the drama's about... in fact, I think people are nicer to me since I came here to be a mutant' Zach tells the others, adding that his hero name is gonna be Zach Attack.
Bobby arrives on the balcony and calls out 'It is you! You're the guy – the one who does the videos online with “High School Musical” singalongs with your puppet collection!' Zach looks over, 'Huh?' he asks, as Bobby asks 'Can you leave a voice message for my friend? He'll expire!' Bobby exclaims. Zach walks over to Bobby and backs him towards a wall asking 'What the literal hell, teach. You're being a marshmallow!' to which Bobby asks 'Are you fricken kidding me? Life isn't a video game. The “edgy cool guy” you followed here will use you, throw you under the bus and then sell whatever body parts are intact to the black market'. Zach asks Bobby if this is why he is so sad and lonely all the time – because he follows students everywhere. 'Excuse you?' Bobby snaps, grabbing Zach by his wrist. 'My friends aren't comprised of screen names that end in a “123” or a “69”' Bobby declares, telling Zach to come on, that they are leaving.
But Zach narrows his eyes and shouts 'No' and declares that he is having fun now. Bobby's hands ice up as he frowns and tells Zach that he must be mistaking him for the sociopath murderer downstairs who thinks laissez-faire is a rock and roll star. 'I will take you out of here in shackles if I have to' Bobby warns Zach, who tells him to try it. 'Ice knowing you!' Bobby jokes as he raises a hand and attempts to surround Zach in ice, but his powers short circuit. 'You're on thin ice now – the hell?' Bobby asks. Zach smiles and asks 'So, you know how you can turn the volume up and down on an amp? Daken taught me how to do that in one day. Your power's as limp as your zingers, teach' Zach declares as Bobby looks at his hands, which revert to his natural skin colour.
'No disrespect to Ms Pryde and all – I just deserve a curriculum where I get to, y'know, use my powers?' Zach remarks, adding that multiple-choice quizzes and 20-minute Danger Room sessions are not giving him the real-world skills that he needs. 'We're a school. We know what we're doing' Bobby frowns, before asking Zach if he seriously think Daken is going to take care of him. 'He gets me, man. Sorry-not-sorry' Xach replies, announcing that he has a flight to catch, and tells Bobby to have fun learning the frug. 'The frug – and you're calling me old?' Bobby replies.
'Yo, Snowflake!' Daken calls out, popping his claws, he looks very unhappy and moves towards Bobby, punching him off the balcony.
'Watch out!' Bobby shouts as he falls to the dancefloor below and creates a large pile of snow to cushion his fall. 'I know I froze you, but still – eh, who am I kidding. I'm just sore you thawed so quickly' Bobby mutters, removing his dinner suit, revealing his X-Men costume underneath. 'Get in my way any more and my claws get a tour of your esophagus' Daken warns Bobby as he leaps off the balcony towards Bobby, who replies 'I'm so sure' while raising an ice-shield, which Daken slams into, and attempts to crack it open with his claws. 'Why you gotta be so cold?' Daken asks. 'Ugh, interactive theater? So two years ago' a woman mutters as she films the battle on her phone.
Bobby creates an ice-tower, which rises up over the dancefloor, and kicks Daken from it: 'Because you won't take “no” for an answer!' Bobby exclaims as Daken falls backwards, but shoves his claws into the ice-tower. 'Looks like you need some company down there!' Bobby calls out as he creates several snow-men, which drop down towards Daken. 'Not my type' Daken replies, before he is tackled off the side of the ice-tower as the five ice-men slam into him as Daken adds that it is nice to see Bobby has got an imagination. Bobby uses the ice-tower to rise even higher – and bursts through a skylight over the dancefloor, where he appears on the rooftop. 'Zach! Please!' Iceman exclaims as he sees Zach moving towards a helicopter.
Iceman tells Zach that he knows that what Daken is offering him sounds exciting, but warns him that Daken will hurt him, as whenever he is done making use of Zach and his powers, he will get tossed away. 'He'll make it so we won't be able to find you when that happens, Zach' Iceman adds. 'Gonna feed you all ten of your ******* fingers, Iceman' Daken snarls as he climbs onto the rooftop. 'At least I'll have lived!' Zach calls out. Iceman creates several more snow-men to keep Daken occupied as Zach asks 'You know long I've been at the X-Mansion or whatever and I never left Central Park?' Bobby points out that Zach has been glued to his laptop the whole time.
'Maybe I needed someone to show me the world, did you think of that?' Zach asks, to which Iceman declares 'I'm sorry, but a members-only nightclub is not “The world”, Jasmine'. 'You fools ruined my life and Daken is showing me a way of living I can get with' Zach snaps. 'I’m serious, Teach' he adds as he raises a hand to Iceman, disabling his powers and causing Bobby to revert to his human form .'I'm out!' Zach declares as he climbs into the helicopter. 'Well, now what?' Daken asks after the snow-men disappeared. The helicopter takes off and Daken remarks that it will be at least a few more hours until he can charter himself another 'copter. 'Wanna play truth or dare?' he grins. Bobby returns to his ice-form and tells Daken to get out of his way, and that he doesn't care what life hacks he taught Zach today, he can't mess with his powers and keep that chopper in the air.
'Whoever's been doing your PR sucks, Snowflake... I THOUGHT YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO BE FUN!' Daken shouts as he leaps towards Iceman, claws at the ready, Daken growls, to which Bobby mutters 'Whatever' and ice crackles between his hands as he starts to form something. He starts running towards Daken as well, then shouts 'UP YOURS, DAKEN!' as he throws the object he was making – a large snowflake – at Daken, which pins him to a wall on the rooftop. 'ZACH! ZACH!' Bobby calls out, creating an ice-sled to chase after the helicopter, but it gets too far away from him. 'Crud. Cruddy, crud, crud' Bobby mutters to himself, while Daken groans as the snowflake continues to impale him, drawing blood. 'Come here. Let me try charming you one more time!' Daken calls out as Bobby slides back down to the rooftop. Bobby leans on the snowflake that sticks out from Daken and remarks that he is trying to sort out where he let Zach down. 'You ruined my suit -' Daken begins.
Bobby interrupts, admitting that he wishes he could blame Daken, but he knows in a lot of ways Zach was right. 'We're trying to protect these students, but I screwed up. I didn't invest or try to engage him on his level' Bobby realizes. Daken grimaces and exclaims 'Please... please jam an icicle into my temple if you're going to talk about pretty white kid problems'. Bobby leans harder on the snowflake, forcing it deeper into Daken's body, causing him to scream. 'In a lot of ways, I envy you' Bobby informs Daken, remarking that Daken just does whatever he wants and no one can stop him. 'You basically stole Zach from the X-Men by saying “yolo” in a cute suit. 'Yes, the formalwear looks good on you' Bobby adds, before walking away from Daken and telling him that swagger can only get him so far. 'We'll get our student back. Have fun festering' Bobby exclaims.
'How's this bravado working out for you?' Daken calls out to Bobby, telling him that he can smell the insecurity on him – the nervous energy. 'That macho ice armor is about as convincing as a sweaty-pig covering his stink with gas station cologne' Daken snaps, wishing Bobby good luck getting any of those x-teens to fall in line with a leader who reeks of fear. Bobby frowns as Daken tells him that given his current approach, he would be accomplishing a lot more if he spent the rest of his life on the North Pole packing ice than trying to change anyone with his idea of heroics.
The next morning, Bobby returns to the X-Mansion, holding his dinner suit over his shoulder, he walks in and sees Kitty sitting at a table. 'I can explain -' Bobby begins, but Kitty interrupts him, telling him that it is all right, and that people are bound to surprise him. She adds that she is relieved. 'Relieved? Zach sucked to be sure, but in an annoying kid way...' Bobby begins. 'Wait. What are you talking about?' Kitty asks. 'Uhh – you first' Bobby tells Kitty, who informs him that he has visitors. 'What?' Bobby asks. 'Don't spoil all the fun, Kitty' a voice calls out. 'Surprise!' Madeline Drake smiles as she and her husband William enter the room. William frowns and tells Bobby that his mother made the impossible happen. 'I heard you, baby. We're here. I'll make us breakfast, and then you can give us the grand tour. What do you say to that?' Madeline asks. Bobby doesn't answer, so Madeline calls out to her son, who suddenly bursts out 'I'm gay'....