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What Becomes of Us

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Feb. 16th, 2009 | 05:26 am
posted by: briyamineko84 in dry_ice

Title: What Becomes of Us (6 of ?)
Author: Bri
Rating: R
Characters/Pairing: Bobby/John, other couples include OCs
Summary: He missed them more than anything, but except for Johnny, they were still X-men. He was on the run from them, too. Post X-3, Bobby makes a decision that changes everything.
Notes: Told mainly from Bobby's POV, and for the first few chapters, the story bounces back and forth between the present and backstory.
Previous parts: One Two Three Four Five

A/N: So it's, um. Been like, a ridiculously long amount of time since the last chapter, but I'm finally done with this one, and have the next one almost done! This one finally has some action in the past part. And there's a little section in the middle of the present part that cuts away from Bobby's view, so feel free to just skip over it. I wrote that part mainly for fun.


Finals week came, and Bobby had time for nothing except studying, writing papers, and working. Then it was over, and he suddenly found himself with a lot of free time. He took extra shifts at Rendezvous because, well, work was fun. He liked his job, liked getting paid to do things he’d been trained to do (well, some of them, there was a notable lack of missiles, giant robots, and other mutants using their powers at the bar). The people there were great, he liked joking around with Shade and Cass, flirting with Zephyr, snarking with Ryn over stupid things like who’d tossed the most people out that night, and even when he didn’t have a shift with any of them, most of his co-workers were nice enough. He was even starting to learn how to make drinks. He still had guilt, though, and if anything, his contentment at work made it worse. He shouldn’t be okay with doing anything but being an X-man.

He was starting to feel claustrophobic in his apartment, so when he wasn’t working, or playing hockey, or starting snowball fights, he’d taken to wandering. Which turned out to be a good thing, because when the free gym on campus closed for the holidays, Bobby had a nice path he could run every day. There were also the three flights of stairs in the apartment building that he’d started running up and down. He even started going through hand-to-hand combat exercises in his apartment, which was not quite the same when he was alone, but he remembered a lot of exercises that Scott and Logan had shown him. He didn’t need to train anymore, not really, but by then it was instinct. Habit, something he’d been doing since he got there, it was just increasing now that he found himself with no class or homework.

The fact that it was Christmas time didn’t escape him, and sometimes he found himself wandering at the mall and in stores just out of habit. And when he spotted Guitar Hero with a glittery Hello Kitty guitar, he remembered Kitty’d been hinting that she wanted it and bought it before he realized what he was doing. It happened again in line at the grocery store, when he saw they were having a special on packets of seeds for plants that Bobby knew were rare and pretty jars to plant them in. Bobby’d only ever seen them online before, at prices too expensive for him, so he pounced on the chance to get them for Ororo.

He’d always gotten his teachers presents, even before the Institute. It had been drilled into him by his parents, who supplied him with the money and called to make sure he was getting them something. In the beginning it’d been generic things, before he learned that Ororo liked plants, Jean was a sucker for Amaretto fudge, Scott always needed another tool or part for whatever he was working on, and while it may have been stereotypical, the Professor did indeed love books, of pretty much any kind. Even after his parents stopped calling to check, Bobby’d still gotten them things. But now the Professor and Scott and Jean were gone and there was only Ororo and he probably shouldn’t even be getting her anything. But he did, and after that it was only natural to buy Rogue and Pete and Jubes gifts, as well as some bags of candy for the younger students. At least he wasn’t delusional enough to buy Johnny a present, like he’d done the first Christmas after Johnny left.

Bobby headed back to the apartment complex with the last of his purchases, including two rolls of cheap wrapping paper to wrap them in. He was surprising good at wrapping presents, although he always tended to use a whole lot of tape, more than you’d guess looking at his presents. Johnny used to get frustrated and threaten to just burn the paper, and eventually Kitty’d stopped trying to open them, she’d just phased her hand through and pulled out the present inside.

When he stepped off the stairs onto his floor, he could hear a low murmur of voices, and just before he rounded the corner, he spotted Ryn and Riley out in front of her apartment. They were standing close together, close enough to touch, but Ryn had her hands shoved in her pockets and Riley’s thumbs were hooked through his beltloops. Ryn said something and Riley bit his lower lip, hiding a smile, and Bobby hesitated, not wanting to interrupt them.

He was reminded of Marie, with a fresh pang of longing, and he missed her desperately. There’d been so many times when they’d stood like that, close but not touching, after he realized that even touching through clothes made her uncomfortable and before he’d gotten the courage to show her that he could be careful, she could trust him. He’d settled for making her smile, making her laugh, first shy hidden ones and then actual smiles that still made his heart melt and the memory.

Bobby’d moved a little bit closer while he was thinking, or maybe their voices had gotten louder, but he could hear them now.

“I’ll make sure to keep her tank full and stuff. So, um. What time’s your flight tomorrow?” Ryn asked.

“Eight-thirty. So I figured I’d leave here around six AM,” Riley replied.

Ryn nodded. “I could, like, drive you,” she offered, her tone deliberately casual. “If you wanted. Cheaper than renting a cab.”

Riley smiled at her. “I’d like that.”

Ryn shrugged carelessly, a gesture at odds with the way she was smiling back at him. “Yeah, well. You know I love any excuse to go driving.”

Riley grinned. “You going to actually be able to be awake at six AM?”

Ryn snorted and shoved him playfully. “Shut up. I’ll just stay awake all night and crash after you leave.”

“I think I’ll drive on the way to the airport,” Riley teased.

“Just remember I’ll be driving your car all alone on the way back,” Ryn retorted.

Riley must have been heading somewhere for Christmas. Home, maybe, though with the way no one ever really brought up anything in their past here Bobby had assumed none of them really had one. He’d learned to tell, back at the Institute, which kids had places to go back to and which ones had no where else to go, just by how often they talked about their old lives and what they brought up. Bobby’d always been one of the few with a place to go back to, and it still felt weird being on the other side of that.

He wondered if this was a small bit of how Johnny’d felt, the first time that he cared that Bobby went home for Christmas. It was Bobby’s third time heading back during the winter holidays, but the first time Johnny hadn’t been there yet and the second time they’d just been roommates, not best friends. Johnny’d acted like he didn’t care, but the day before Bobby was leaving, Johnny hadn’t left his side. The morning of, Bobby was ready to say good-bye in their room, but Johnny’d offered to help him carry his bags to the car (because knowing Bobby, he’d trip and end up crushing himself under them) and he’d waited to watch the car leave, though when Bobby waved at him from the car, he’d refused to wave back. They made one lame, awkward phone call, then ended up talking every day on IM. Two weeks in, Johnny’d told him that he missed him (or maybe he actually said something like the room was too quiet without Bobby and his dumb jokes), but Bobby’d definitely said that he missed him, too. He decided that Johnny carrying his stuff was just a lame attempt at spending more time with him while making it seem like Johnny was doing him a favor.

If he hadn’t been going on quite so many tangents lately, Bobby might have question that overhearing a snippet of a conversation between two people who might have been on the path to becoming a couple reminded him Johnny. But he didn’t think anything of it, because lately everything reminded him of Johnny, of the Institute; he had a bag full of presents that might never be given to prove that. And he realized that he had no idea what Riley and Ryn were talking about anymore and it was probably time for him to stop standing in the hall. So he started forward, greeting Riley and Ryn as he walked by, and they separated slightly as they returned the greeting. Riley mentioned that he’d be leaving tomorrow and wished him a happy holiday, and Bobby said the same to him and told him to have a safe trip before moving on to his apartment.

A few days later, hanging out in the rec room, Ryn mentioned that she was planning on taking advantage of having Riley’s Jeep and heading to New York City.

Bobby perked up at that and asked, “For how long?”

Ryn shrugged. “Probably won’t actually be in the city for more than an hour. I just have a quick errand to run.”

“You mind if I tag along?” West asked. “A friend of mine has something for me. He was gonna mail it, but if you’re heading out there…”

Ryn nodded. “Sure. Anyone else want to come?”

“I would,” Bobby said before he could change his mind. “I’ve got something to drop off.” He couldn’t mail the packages from here, even if he didn’t put a return address on it, the post office would stamp them. And he wasn’t going to go near the Institute, but he could drop of the packages at the post office in the city, or scatter them in mailboxes.

“Count me in,” Cass said. “I don’t have anything to do, but I’m always up for a road trip.”

Shade, Zephyr, and Dani were working and Sam had gone home for Christmas, so Sunday morning it was the four of them driving down to New York City. The radio was on a country music station and Ryn sang along until Cass informed her that if she had to listen to another song about someone’s woman taking off with his truck and his dog dying, she was going to jump out of the car. West added that he’d do one better and throw Ryn out of the car, but Ryn just grinned and let the current song finished before changing the station. When they got to the city, they agreed to meet by a small café in an hour, and Ryn dropped them all off in front of it. West and Cass went off to go see West’s friend, while Bobby headed to the post office.

~*~

Ryn had pretty obviously wanted to be alone when she dropped them off and there was something about being in the City that seemed to unsettle Bobby, so after Ryn drove off, Cass went along with West. He walked only a few steps before pausing to stretch, almost cat-like, and Cass took the opportunity to enjoy the view. West may have been one of her best friends, but that didn’t mean she couldn’t be aware of the fact that he was really attractive.

“So do I get to know where we’re going?” Cass asked when he was done.

He grinned at her. “I thought you liked surprises.”

“When it leads to presents for me, you bet,” she replied. “Surprises in the City tend to be not as good.”

“Don’t worry. I’ll protect you from the bad surprises,” he told her.

She rolled her eyes. “I think you have that backwards.”

“You want me to protect you from the good surprises?” he asked.

She shoved him playfully. “Jerk.”

“Yup,” he agreed cheerfully. “But you’re the one hanging out with me. What does that say about you?”

“That I’m the best person in the world for hanging out with you when no one else will?” she suggested. “Or that I’m a masochist. Possibly a little of both.”

“Masochist. Definitely,” West told her. “We’re going left up here. Stay close to me, okay?”

She glanced over at him, trying to read from his expression if he was serious or just being a jerk again. He looked serious. Great. Why had she gone with him again? She should have followed Bobby instead. Of course, with the way Bobby’d seemed so nervous, he might have actually had drugs or something in the packages he’d been carrying. Scratch that, she should’ve refused to get out of the car. “So. Where are we going?”

“Just to see a friend,” West said.

“Uh-huh,” Cass replied. “And how do you know this friend?”

“Went to school together,” he said, glancing briefly at her before turning to look back at the street. “I grew up in the City.”

“Oh.” Until then, it hadn’t occurred to Cass that she had no idea where West was from. No one really talked about things like that. Which was definitely very okay with her. Still. “I grew up in Alaska.”

“Yeah?” he asked, smiling at her a bit. “Is there really snow there all the time?”

“Not where I lived,” she replied. “There was actually a lot of sun. Different hours than here, though, sometimes it didn’t set until eleven at night or so. Still really cold, though.”

“Huh,” West said. There was a moment of silence, then he grinned. “Guess that explains why I still kick your ass in hockey.”

Cass grinned back before rolling her eyes. “Trust you to make everything about hockey.”

“What else is there?” West teased, then took her hand and tugged her into an alleyway.

In the back right corner there was a flight of stairs leading down to a sturdy wooden door. West kept his hold on her hand as they walked down the stairs, then used his free hand to give a rhythmic knock on the door. Despite herself, Cass felt kind of nervous. Her grip on West’s hand must have tightened a bit, because West gave her hand a comforting squeeze. She glanced over at him again. He wasn’t looking at her, but she felt warmer where her skin was touching his, and she turned her gaze back to the door.

Footsteps walked to the door, then a male voice called, “Yeah?”

“Yo, Pick, it’s West,” West said. “Open up or I’ll kick it in.”

There was the sound of chains being fumbled with, then the door opened to reveal a skinny, nervous-looking guy with a purple Mohawk and covered in tattoos and piercings. “Hey, West, long time no see.”

He held up a fist and West bumped his knuckles against the other man’s, then headed into the room. Cass followed him and the guy closed the door behind them.

“This is Cass,” West introduced. “Cass, this is Pick.”

Pick nodded. “Any friend of West’s is a friend of mine. I know what you’re here for, right?” he asked West before Cass could say anything.

West nodded. “Why else would I drag my ass back here?”

Pick cracked a nervous grin. “Everyone drags their asses here, you’re the only one I risk shipping shit to.”

“And you know I’m eternally grateful,” West told him. “Thought I’d spare you the risk this time.”

Pick grinned again, clicking his tongue piercing against his teeth. “I’ll go get it. I’m the only one here, if you want to see your old room.” He disappeared into another room.

“You used to live here?” Cass asked.

“Yeah,” West said. “For a year or two. Before I moved to Canton.”

“You don’t want to see your old room?” she asked.

He shook his head, remained silent for a few moments, then said, “I saw enough of it while I was here.”

“Oh,” Cass said. She considered, then added, “Yeah. I know how that is.”

West was still holding her hand, so she gave his a squeeze, and he squeezed her hand back. They waited a few more minutes in mostly comfortable silence, although West seemed a little on edge just being in the place. Soon enough, though, Pick came back into the room holding a brown paper bag.

“Got it,” Pick said with a wide grin. “This for you or someone else?”

“Me,” West replied. “No one else is getting their hands on this.”

Pick nodded like he’d been expecting that answer and handed the bag over with hands that shook slightly.

“Thanks, Pick,” West said, letting go of Cass’s hand to hold the bag close.

“No problem,” Pick replied. “You say hi to Shade for me, yeah? Or is he not gonna know you were back here?”

“Nah, he knows I was stopping by. Just to see you, no one else,” West told him.

“The way it always is since you left,” Pick said. His eyes flickered towards the door.

“Good talking to you, Pick.” West started towards the door and Cass followed him.

“Always a pleasure, West. You come by again, Cass,” Pick said as he waited for them to leave, then closed the door behind them.

West shook his head. “He hasn’t changed.”

They started walking back to the café, and Cass toyed with one of her rings. She was generally pretty open minded about things, she’d gotten high with some of the others too much not to be, but this didn’t seem quite right. Marijuana was one thing, whatever this was was different. “Look, I don’t know what. I, um, if you…”

She trailed off as West cracked open the bag to show her the comic book inside.

“A Commander comic book?” she asked. And now she felt slightly guilty.

He nodded. “One of the rarest ones there is. Pick’s my source for all things comic-wise.”

Cass grinned a bit. “That’s so cool. I always liked the Commander. Clairvoyant and Jetstream were my favorites, though.”

West’s eyes lit up a bit. “I knew I liked you.”

~*~

Bobby was freaked out about being in the city and did his best not to draw attention to himself. Several times he decided this whole thing was a really stupid idea and he shouldn’t go through with it, but finally he dropped the packages in the next little blue mailbox he saw and quickly walked back to the café. He still had about forty minutes left, so he wandered in and out of the small shops around the café, doing his best to look casual, just another person doing some last minute Christmas shopping.

In one of the shops, he was scanning the small book section when he spotted a book with a black spine that had a blue flame darting across it. He pulled the book out, and discovered that it was a blank, lined notebook, bound in soft, supple leather that just begged to be petted. Orange, red, and pale blue flames licked across the front and back of the book. They looked so life-like that Bobby ended up just staring at them, and somehow he found himself walking over to the woman behind the counter and buying it.

After he left the shop, he had about fifteen minutes left, so he bought a cup of coffee in the café and attempted to hide in one of the booths. He glanced down at the plastic bag in his hand and sighed. Now he really did have a gift that was never going to be given. So much for not being too delusional.

Ryn showed up soon after that and he gratefully went out to meet her, sliding quickly into the passenger seat and closing the door behind him. If he looked nervous, she didn’t comment on it, and he returned the favor by not asking why her left hand was bandaged. Five more minutes passed and Cass and West appeared, the later clutching a slightly crumbled brown paper bag. They climbed into the car and Ryn took off.

Bobby lasted a little over three hours before his curiousity overtook him and he asked West what was in the bag. West grinned and reverently pulled out a comic book.

Bobby’s eyes widened. “Dude! Is that The Commander number thirty-four?”

“First appearance of Sonic Boom,” West agreed, his grin growing.

“Man, I’ve always wanted that one. How’d you find it?” Bobby asked.

“I have my sources,” West replied. “And? There’s even been some hints that I might be close to getting number eighty-two, the-”

“First appearance of Ferinus,” Bobby finished. “I have that one.”

West’s eyes lit up a bit. “Seriously? You have to show it to me. Ferinus was hot, man.”

“I was so in love with her when I was a teenager,” Bobby admitted. “You know she has her own series, right?”

“Yeah, I’ve got about half of it,” West said.

“Two-thirds or so,” Bobby told him. “Haven’t been able to find any lately.”

“I have them all,” Ryn spoke up. “Plus twelve of the annuals.”

“How’d you get the early ones?” West asked.

Ryn shrugged. “She was my hero growing up. Fortunately, she was my aunt’s, too.”

“Yeah, well, Clairvoyant could totally kick her ass,” Cass said.

West snorted. “Post-cognition man? What’s he gonna do, tell her where she’s been?”

“Yeah, he’ll tell her where she’s been, on the receiving of an ass-kicking. One bullet and she’s dead,” Cass replied.

Bobby considered. “I dunno, is Concussion working with her?”

They spent pretty much all of the rest of the way home discussing comic books, exchanging ideas and opinions, arguing about who could beat who. It was almost like being back at the Institute, talking to Johnny or occasionally Kitty or Pete or some of the younger students. Except this time, the discussion stuck to comic book characters, instead of eventually becoming a mix of the comic book superheroes and the X-men, or even sometimes including the people having the discussions themselves. Bobby had to keep himself a couple of times from mentioning that Storm could easily trump so and so, or even Bobby himself could wipe this guy out. He missed getting to say things like that.

A few days before Christmas, Bobby was watching a movie in the rec room with the others. But his mind was back at the Institute, wondering if Kitty had stayed or gone home that year, if she’d decorated for Chanukah while Jubilee decorated for Christmas, if they’d managed to suck Pete and Marie into helping this year, how Marie was doing, if they’d gotten Bobby’s presents. He didn’t even realize the silence as they watched the movie was slightly uncomfortable until Shade cleared his throat.

“I’m working on the twenty-fifth,” he said. “They bribed me with free alcohol of the really good kind, so if anyone wants to get together and have drinks, I get off at five.”

There was a pause, then Ryn said, “I, um. I’m making turkey, and there’s no way I’ll be able to eat it all, so. It’ll be done at seven. If anyone wants me to bring it down here.”

“I can have the drinks here by seven,” Shade said.

“We can, like, exchange gifts then. Since we’ll be there. For whoever’s there. Or we can do it later,” Zephyr said.

“No, that sounds good to me,” Cass said.

For the first time, Bobby wondered how long they’d been living here, how long they’d been friends. He’d sort of assumed it’d been like the Institute, that they’d known each other for years, another group of outcasts banding together, just older, harder, less super-powered. But from their hesitancy, the forced casual way they agreed to meet at seven on the twenty-fifth, he wondered if this was their first Christmas spent here as friends, maybe even the first one away from home. And he was curious. But he didn’t ask, because he didn’t want to answer any return questions about himself, and he’d learned from Johnny that sometimes questions about people’s past were unwelcome and met with hostility.

Bobby realized that he hadn’t thought about how Christmas worked here, he’d been too busy remembering Christmas at his parents and at the Institute, and it hadn’t occurred to him to get anyone here presents. It was too late to go shopping now, but he had a secret weapon, something that both came naturally and that he’d worked to be good at. Christmas Eve he made them all ice sculptures, taking care to make every detail perfect, each one tailored to something he knew the person it was for would like. It didn’t cost him anything, except some energy, most of the moisture in the air in his apartment, and some water from the tap. But it was the thought that counted, and anyway, he didn’t have any money after buying the gifts he’d sent.

The next day he put the sculptures in the jars that he’d wanted to send to Ororo, but couldn’t package them properly and didn’t want to risk them breaking, and kept them frozen on the way down to the rec room. He passed them out immediately so no one would wonder why they hadn’t started melting.

“Oh my God, Bobby, did you make these?” Zephyr asked, staring intently at hers.

“Yeah,” Bobby replied, trying to act like it was no big deal but grinning kind of proudly.

“They’re gorgeous,” Dani told him.

“Dude, they’re awesome,” West said. “How the hell did you manage this?”

“I’ve been doing it since I was twelve,” Bobby said, which was more or less true.

After a few more exclamations, they went to go put the sculptures in freezers so they’d be preserved, and it felt weird that he couldn’t just offer to keep them cold. But dinner was good, Ryn had made deep-fried turkey, which sounded weird but tasted great, and it didn’t feel quite as strange as he thought it would. He’d only had two Christmases at the Institute, not enough to get used to them, especially because for both, he’d been too busy thinking about his family and mourning the loss of Christmas there. Later, after he returned to his apartment with the CDs and comic books and other various things he’d gotten, he thought, at least he wasn’t alone.

And that made him think of Johnny, where he was, what he was doing, what Bobby was going to do with the notebook in his room. He wondered if he hoped more that Johnny wasn’t alone or that he wasn’t with the new version of the Brotherhood, and didn’t decide on anything except that he really wished Johnny was there with him.

~*~

Johnny was sleeping again when Bobby pulled open the door to the room he was being kept in. Johnny, it had to be Johnny, because Pyro wasn’t worth what Bobby was doing. He flicked on the light and Johnny stirred slightly, then jerked into a sitting position when Bobby threw a pair of sneakers at him.

“…the hell, Drake?” Johnny mumbled.

“Shut up and get moving,” Bobby hissed, pleased that his voice came out confident and commanding instead of panicky and uncertain.

“Fuck no,” Johnny replied, sleep clearing rapidly from his voice.

“You want to be handed over the government to be Cured and put on trial?” Bobby asked.

Johnny stilled, a look of terror crossing his face briefly before his expression became unreadable. Bobby realized right then that no one had told Johnny what was going to happen to him. He wondered if they’d been planning on telling him at all.

“They pick you to do this or did you volunteer?” Johnny asked.

Bobby rolled his eyes, resisting the urge to yell at him. He didn’t have time for this. “Yeah, I’m taking you out to give you to the government by myself at four thirty in the morning. Just fucking move, Johnny, or I’ll leave your ass here.”

Johnny didn’t say anything, but he rolled out of bed and pulled on a pair of jeans, then shoved his feet into the shoes Bobby’d brought. He eyed Bobby warily as he walked over to him, and Bobby shoved a worn gray hoodie into his hands.

“Stay close and don’t say anything,” Bobby told him, starting out of the room.

Johnny walked at his side, quiet and tense, and Bobby went back and forth between tunnel-visioning on the corridor ahead of them, like if he just kept looking straight ahead they’d make it out, and scanning every corner, every dip in the wall, every place that no one could really hide but Bobby’s paranoid mind saw people there, anyway. He didn’t know what he was doing, he had know idea what the hell he was doing, and for a moment he was ready to turn to Johnny, to tell him that they had to go back. To knock Johnny’s ass out, lock him up again, and just go on the vacation he’d told Storm was going on.

He’d never have to see Johnny again, never have to face the betrayal in his eyes. And even if he did, so fucking what? After everything Johnny’d done, Bobby owed him a few betrayals. Maybe if he dragged Johnny back to his cell now, they’d be even. Johnny’d left them, Johnny’d turned traitor, Johnny’d try to kill him, Johnny would have if Bobby wasn’t stronger, more powerful. Bobby’d already saved his ass once. Twice, if he wanted to count not killing him when he won their fight along with dragging him off the island. Bobby didn’t, though, because that wasn’t saving him, that was just not being him.

So this made two. Except it didn’t, because he was turning them around. He’d given Johnny false hope, now he could just take him back and go somewhere else and have fun while the government took his powers and then killed him. Whether he got life in prison or the death penalty or whatever, he’d effectively be dead. The trial thing was a joke, the best lawyer and all the character witnesses in the world wouldn’t do anything to change the fact that Pyro was a terrorist.

And he wouldn’t even have all the character witnesses in the world. Bobby wasn’t even sure he’d go on the stand for him. He’d risk his life helping him escape, throw away everything he had in the only home he had left so Johnny wouldn’t fall into the government’s hands, but he wouldn’t stand up in court and say that Johnny wasn’t Pyro, that Pyro wasn’t really all that bad, that he’d been misguided and didn’t know what he was doing. Johnny fucking knew what he was doing. Bobby was the one who was clueless.

The clueless leading the psychotic. And these were the things that Bobby should have thought over before hand, because he gave a short, bitter laugh and Johnny stared over at him like maybe he’d thought Bobby might know what he was doing but now had doubts.

Bobby sobered, schooling his expression into nothing, and ducked out of the secret passage and into the grounds at the back of the mansion. Johnny started looking around the grounds, but Bobby’d parked his car outside of the mansion’s gates and finally Johnny’s eyes rested on him.

“You got a next step in this plan of yours or we just gonna run like hell?” Johnny asked.

“Thought I told you not to say anything,” Bobby replied, resisting the urge to run and instead walking quickly towards the fence surrounding the mansion.

Johnny looked around again, and briefly Bobby worried that he was just going to take off. But then Johnny was moving after him, and Bobby picked up the pace he hadn’t realized he slowed.

“Why are you doing this?” Johnny asked, the question carefully devoid of any form of emotion.

“Because I’m not you,” Bobby replied. He’d just said it because it was true, but he thought he saw Johnny flinch. Maybe. It was dark, and he wasn’t sure, and Johnny didn’t say anything after that.

But it was true. It’d always been true, and there were times when Bobby hated that. When they were younger, there’d been times when Bobby wanted to be Johnny. Johnny was cool, Johnny always knew what to say, what to do, he always seemed like he was in control of the situation. The first time Bobby realized that Johnny could be just as lost and confused as he was, Bobby felt triumphant, pleased. Because it meant Johnny was like him, at least in something, and because it meant that Johnny trusted him, or was used to his presence enough, to admit that he did in fact have emotions and concerns beyond sarcasm and fire.

And yeah, Bobby realized that he was a girl sometimes, and no, he’d never mentioned that to Johnny.

And it didn’t matter, anyway, because now Bobby was glad he wasn’t Johnny and he was having doubts as to how like him Johnny really was.

And then it really didn’t matter, because the lights in the mansion went on and the alarms they’d had installed after Styker’s attack started going off and all Bobby could think was Fuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuck.

“I think they might have noticed I’m gone,” Johnny commented. “So whatever you’re planning on doing? Might want to do it now.”

“My car’s parked out a ways behind the fence,” Bobby told him. “We’re going there.”

It was probably time to start running now. Bobby raced towards the fence, moving quickly through the trees he’d been training amongst for awhile now. Johnny was slower, but not as much as Bobby thought he’d be, and Bobby wondered if he’d been training around trees, too. There was the fence, and Bobby iced stairs against it as they ran, then formed stairs down on the other side while they were going up the first ones. That, at least, he’d known how to do before Johnny even left.

They were halfway down the stairs when thick fog sprang up, and Bobby suddenly couldn’t see more than a few inches in front of his face.

“Shit,” Bobby muttered. “Johnny?”

“Here,” Johnny said from behind him.

Bobby turned, reaching for him, and ended up smacking his arm into Johnny’s chest. Johnny cursed, but Bobby didn’t apologize and instead just fisted his hand in Johnny’s sweatshirt and pulled him the rest of the way down the stairs.

“I can fucking walk, Iceman,” Johnny bitched.

“You don’t know where the car is,” Bobby replied.

“Yeah, and in this, neither do you,” Johnny retorted.

Bobby shoved his free hand into the pocket of his own sweatshirt and pulled out a flashlight, clicking it on. It wasn’t much, but the area was familiar, and he could figure out where he was.

“How the hell are we gonna drive in this?” Johnny asked as they started walking again.

“Carefully,” Bobby told him, and he thought he might have heard Johnny snort in amusement.

Lightning snapped nearby and Bobby jumped a bit, only slightly consoled by the fact that Johnny started as well.

“Fuck,” Johnny said. “They’ve got Wolverine tracking us, you know.”

“When we get to the car, it won’t be a problem,” Bobby said, but he started walking as fast as he could without tripping over things he couldn’t see.

Lightning struck once more, hitting a tree just in front of them. Both boys jumped again, and this time Bobby’d been on the edge of a drop and the ground gave way beneath his feet. His fingers tightened in Johnny’s shirt as he started falling, and he felt Johnny’s hands close around his arm as Johnny tried to pull him back up. It picked that moment to start raining, hard, and Johnny’s grip on him slipped and he went down.

It wasn’t as far of a fall as he’d feared, and he managed to stand up at the bottom of the hill banged up but okay, and still holding on to the flashlight.

He dimly heard Johnny calling his name, and he replied, “I’m okay!” before realizing that yelling was probably a bad idea.

Johnny must have realized it, too, because he didn’t get a reply. Bobby started climbing back up, which proved extremely difficult in the fog and rain. By the time he managed to get back to the top, Johnny was no where in sight. Bobby waited, then risked yelling for him, but got nothing.

He couldn’t wait any longer. By now, Logan had to be back at the mansion and tracking them. The rain would slow him down, but not much. Bobby started moving again, and eventually found his car. But no Johnny. It was a long shot, but Bobby’d been hoping that Johnny would somehow manage to find the car by himself. Bobby waited again, he wasn’t sure how long, until paranoia overtook him and he had to keep moving. He got in the car and took off, driving slowly because of the weather and because he was still looking for Johnny.

Bobby didn’t really expect to find him, though. Johnny was resourceful, and Bobby knew he’d taken off by himself. He’d probably caught some sparks when Storm’s lightning bolt had hit the tree, and Johnny was smart enough to keep the rain from putting his fire, even if that was probably why Storm had started it.

And it was better this way. It was better that they just go their separate ways. Bobby hadn’t known what they were going to do once they got out of town, anyway. He out drove the rain and fog, and knew that he wasn’t going to find Johnny. Bobby was surprised Johnny’d followed him that long. It was probably only because he knew Bobby had a car, and it’d be faster getting out with a car. Bobby’d thought he might take off at the first opportunity, that was why he’d put what would be his cell number in the pocket of the hoodie he'd given to Johnny.

And no matter how much he told himself he’d known, he’d prepared, Johnny was still gone. Again. And this time, this time Bobby had no one left.


Part Seven

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Comments {5}

VC

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from: xkourichanx
date: Feb. 16th, 2009 02:18 pm (UTC)
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oooooooh-aa ;-;

i think i love you :(

can't wait to hear more.

i kind of got lost in the beginning when all the OCs started piling up though, lol xD

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Bri

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from: briyamineko84
date: Feb. 16th, 2009 02:30 pm (UTC)
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:D I'm glad you liked it! I'm working on the next chapter right now.

And sorry for confusing you! >.< I was a little worried that it'd been so long that no one would remember the various OCs. Hope it didn't have too much of a negative impact.

Thanks so much for commenting!

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what do you call a fallen Angele?

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from: evildevilangel
date: Feb. 16th, 2009 07:58 pm (UTC)
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Oooh! (Hadn't gotten this far back in the archives, but am now all caught up) Very nice. Excited for the next part.

Ps. Love the names of your OCs and some of the references.

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ayumie

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from: ayumie
date: Feb. 16th, 2009 08:55 pm (UTC)
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God. What a cliffhanger. John is going to come and find him, right? RIGHT?! And then there'll be slashy goodness.

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Willow

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from: estel_willow
date: Feb. 27th, 2009 09:17 pm (UTC)
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Like I said at the end of last chapter, I'm hooked and this portion did not disappoint. I love the OCs, there aren't too many, just enough to make their inclusion important and worthwhile. They all have their own voices too, which is nice to see.

But poor, poor Bobby! All alone in the big, mean world. I like the foreshadowing; Bobby buying John a present even if it's 'never going to be given'. It totally implies there's gonna be a chance. Right? Because John'll turn up outta the blue or know someone that Bobby knows or something, right?

Looking forward to the next chapter! :D

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