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Fic: Rebuilding Burned Bridges (prequel)

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Mar. 30th, 2008 | 11:08 pm
mood: accomplishedaccomplished
posted by: mayachain in dry_ice

Title: Rebuilding Burned Bridges (prequel)
Author: mayachain (mayachain)
Featuring: St John, an old lady
Rating: PG-13
Summary: In Bridges, St John never fiddles with a lighter the entire time he's cooped up in Bobby's flat. Instead, he always uses a green, capped pen. This is the backstory of said pen.
Note: When I wrote this a few months ago, it disturbed me. And I kind of wanted to post it last week when it was Easter, but I didn't. Anyway, this is where Pyro's head is at after Iceman has stopped showing up at battlefields a few months prior, Mystique is trying to convince him Eric's mentally unstable, and he, Magneto and Madrox are about to attack a certain hospital in a few days' time.

Part 1 of Rebuilding Burned Bridges can be found here, all following chapters are linked internally. A short overview can be found in the During or after X3: Series section on mayachain's fic list here.





Rebuilding Burned Bridges, prequel

He sees the shop when their inconspicuous van rolls into the town, this town in a line of many they've driven through since getting Madrox out of prison again, the first since the one last night of which Magneto has approved. Pyro has stopped trying to learn the various places' names, stopped indulging in some childish notion of putting pins on a mental map proclaiming I've been there, and there, and there. He keeps track of their safe houses and the places stuff blows up, but this is just another town in a line of many in the middle of nowhere.

They've been given the rest of the afternoon off. After hours and hours of driving, Madrox has switched back to being one person only and slumped down on their double room's largest bed. Magneto has found a small café in which to drink coffee and read the newspaper. After being squeezed up between bickering, non-driving mutant doubles on the back seat for two days, St John has had enough of Madroxes to deal with even one sleeping one at the moment. He needs some space, some motion, and he has a destination.

Opting to go incognito, he leaves the contraptions on the smaller bed and puts one of his silver lighters in his pocket. Standing in front of the mirror, he flattens his tell-tale hair down with a cap, turning the latter upside down the dorky way after a second's thought. A pair of spectacularly non-flashy sunglasses, a white t-shirt and faded jeans - the twenty-something maybe-teenager glaring back at him looks unremarkable and unassuming. At the last moment, he puts on his oldest leather jacket, in fear of feeling completely naked.

He locates a small park hardly anyone seems to go to, and finds a large findling in the center of it that will do perfectly. Plan set, he walks around the town for hours, all the while acutely aware of the spot the shop is located. Several times, he passes it on the other side of the street and moves away again in wide circles, until finally it is approaching closing time and besides, his feet have had enough. One last time - town-hall, fountain, liquor store, stop.

The minute he opens the oaken door and peers inside, he cringes. Reconsiders simply retracing his steps and just using the one in the hotel room drawer. However, he already discarded that particular option when he left Madrox to drool on his sheets. This cannot feel cheap, no matter what it costs him.

Pyro's aching feet drag his reluctant body inside, and he resolutely tries to block out the assault of portraits of Mary, rose beads, crosses and slogans about our saviour awaiting him. He notices the distinct lack of "bind the spawns of Satan", however, and that is enough to prevent his sneer.

The old lady behind the counter eyes him suspiciously, but relaxes marginally when he doesn't start to insult or threaten her. When he halts in front of a bookshelf, starts tracing the spines with his finger and throws an embarrassed look at her, greyish green eyes filled with a shyness that to his mortification isn't entirely an act, her wrinkled face breaks into a delighted grin. She shuffles forward, and with a tiny, veiny hand placed benignly, amiably on his shoulder, she starts pointing out publishers, font sizes and recentness of translations.

"We also have His word in other languages," she says proudly, and St John flinches a bit when he can actually recognize and understand the writing on the Russian edition.

Ten minutes later, he leaves her shop with a seven dollar translation of the old and new testament, recent enough to be legible but not "all slicked out in that flashy new way, either". In his bag, there is also a small notebook with blank pages and a green, capped, palm-friendly pen. There's a surprising lack of printed holy paraphernalia on either, which the old woman explained with a wave of her hand and a "I know this jingle isn't everyone's cup of tea." The purpose of both items, as per her instruction, is for him to copy out the passages he likes the most. He feels a bit guilty at that, seeing that he doesn't have any intention to actually read the book.

Ten more minutes find St John back at the boulder in the middle of the tiny park. There's still no-one about, and he swipes a bit of dirt off the surface and spreads his purchases out on it. He stares at the notebook for a long while, then he snatches it up again and shoves both it and the green pencil into his jeans' back pocket. Then, he arranges the Bible neatly on the stone. It's not a pocket book, but not entirely a hardcover, either, and it looks nice, inoffensive, inviting the curious to take a look but not screaming bow beneath the truth of God at all. Maybe he'll find one like it again, and keep it.

Presently, however, he takes a step back and closes his eyes. Thinking of Mystique and the note she gave him, of Magneto in his café and Madrox back at the hotel room, of the attack they'll launch four days from now, he flicks his lighter and prays the only way he knows how.

*



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Comments {9}

theghostofher

(no subject)

from: theghostofher
date: Mar. 30th, 2008 09:38 pm (UTC)
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omg I love this
I dont know if I commented, but I read all of rebuilding burned bridges recently and absolutely loved it

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mayachain

(no subject)

from: mayachain
date: Apr. 4th, 2008 12:33 am (UTC)
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Thanks so much for reading! I'm glad you liked it!

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Profiterole

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from: _profiterole_
date: Mar. 30th, 2008 11:11 pm (UTC)
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I didn't expect that. I mean, John buying a Bible. I'm not too surprised that his way of praying is by burning it. That was sort of poetic. :-)

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mayachain

(no subject)

from: mayachain
date: Apr. 4th, 2008 12:35 am (UTC)
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He's one for surprises, John, isn't he?

I'm not too surprised that his way of praying is by burning it.
That was the part that disturbed me - because I could never do that myself - but for John, at least at this moment in time, it's the only thing that would work.

Thanks for commenting!

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(no subject)

from: twighlightr
date: Mar. 31st, 2008 08:08 pm (UTC)
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Your fics always leave me begging for more :) x

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mayachain

(no subject)

from: mayachain
date: Apr. 4th, 2008 12:35 am (UTC)
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Thank you! I'll try to finish Mystique's prequel sometime soon.

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Michael

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from: lux_apollo
date: Apr. 1st, 2008 05:36 am (UTC)
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Man, you were on fire (for lack of a better term) when you wrote this series.

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mayachain

(no subject)

from: mayachain
date: Apr. 4th, 2008 12:36 am (UTC)
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You think? *loves this comment*

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(no subject)

from: lux_apollo
date: Apr. 4th, 2008 05:04 am (UTC)
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Yes, I do.

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