Title: Familiar Stranger
Archive: Yes, please
Fandom: X-Men (The Movie)
Pairing: Bobby (no pairing)
Rating: PG-13 (language)
Category: let's say a week after canon movie events
Disclaimer: Not mine, not making money, just for fun... Stan Lee, Marvel,
Fox, yadda yadda blah blah blah...
Summary: Bobby learns about how Mystique got on school grounds and freaks
Bobby paused outside of Professor Xavier's office door
and tried to push back a wave of apprehension.
Fruitlessly, he wracked his brain to figure out just what it
was he had done wrong this time. Nothing specific
presented itself to him.
He'd done fairly well on all of his recent tests and
papers... well, except for the French test, but he was
scheduled to take a make-up exam on Friday. And as
for the practical jokes and rough housing, he and John
had been keeping it to a minimum due to the recent
stress that everyone had been under after Rogue's
sudden disappearance and the Professor's ill health.
So, what could he want that required a private
Figuring that there was only one way to find out, Bobby
pushed open the big oak door and walked inside.
Professor Xavier was sitting behind his desk with a small
frown marring his normally serene face. The desktop
was littered with grainy photographs.
"Um... You asked to see me?"
Professor Xavier looked up and his dark eyes looked
onto Bobby's blue ones. For a second, Bobby forgot to
breathe. The professor seemed so unassuming and
common until you saw his eyes, then you became
instantly aware of his _presence_ and the sense
_power_ that he radiated. The telepath blinked and
the spell was broken.
"Yes Mr. Drake, please... come in and have a seat.
There is a matter... of some delicacy that I wish to
speak with you about."
For a quick moment, Bobby wanted to run far away. To
hide from whatever it was that Professor Xavier wanted
to talk to him about. Something deep inside *knew*
that it was going to be... bad. Instead, he took a
trembling step forward into the room and practically
collapsed into the chair across the big wooden desk
from his mentor.
A look of sadness and sympathy crossed the professor's
face and Bobby felt a chill race down his spine. Without
even realizing it, he swallowed a sudden lump of fear
that had collected in his throat.
With a soft sigh, Professor Xavier picked up the
photographs, turned them around to face Bobby and
laid them out on the desk for him to see. He looked
down at the slightly blurry black and white photos of
the students engaged in various activities. They were
obviously stills taken from several of the security
cameras placed around the school. Each one had a
date-time stamp on it.
And each photo had one other thing in common. He,
Bobby Drake was in every single one.
Some of them, the ones that showed himself with John
and Kitty were familiar to him. He clearly remembered
that day and he could probably even retell the
conversation if given a moment or two to remember it
But the others... it was if he'd never seen them before.
Which was odd. How could he *not* remember them?
That was him in the photos. He turned confused eyes
on his teacher.
"Um... Professor? Was I... I don't know, sleepwalkin' or
something? I mean... I don't remember this at all. *Or*
Bobby pointed to the two photos that were the most
disturbing to him. They showed him walking down a
gray metal hallway with doors that had big X's on them.
He was *certain* he'd never seen a hallway like that in
A pained look crossed Professor Xavier's face.
"This is not easy to say, nor will it be easy to hear.
However, I feel that you need to know. For your own
safety, if nothing else."
Xavier paused for a moment, and Bobby could see
that he was gathering his thoughts. He squirmed in his
chair slightly as a ball of dread began to grow in his
"I'm sure you've heard everything that has been on the
news lately about the mutant known as Erik Magnus.
You also know that he was the man that kidnapped
your friend Rogue to use in his scheme. What you, and
most people for that matter, do *not* know is that Erik
Magnus had the help of several mutants."
Bobby nodded his head. He _did_ know that. Everyone
did. Magneto had the help of two mutants. Sabertooth
and Toad. Bobby was confused, what did that have to
do with the strange photos and the weird hallway?
"Yes, yes. Sabertooth and Toad. I know all about them.
No... I meant Mystique."
Bobby felt a moment's irritation at the professor reading
his mind and answering his unspoken question until he
realized that he had no clue who this Mystique guy
"Mystique. She's a mutant. A shape-shifter. We don't
have a whole lot of information on her... but we *do*
know that she is very dangerous. Deadly even. And she
can take the form of anyone who is reasonably near to
her in size. We don't know if she has to actually _touch_
a person to be able to duplicate them... or if simply
seeing a picture is enough. What we *do* know is that
she used *your* form to get onto school grounds,
frighten Rogue into running away, and then, finally, to
A small part of Bobby's mind was aware that Professor
Xavier was still talking to him. Talking about tracking his
memories to see if they could figure out if Mystique had
been in touch with Bobby before the 'incident' and also
about security measures to ensure that it didn't happen
again. But Bobby wasn't listening. His mind shut down as
soon as he had heard that this... BITCH had taken his
form to *hurt* his friends.
His mind supplied him with vivid memories of all the
students, himself included, being frightened that
Professor Xavier wouldn't recover from his sudden
collapse. He could also clearly recall Rogue's trauma
after she'd been found and returned. He had been witness
to her flip-flopping from inconsolable grief to
inarticulate rage and back again. He remembered sleepless
nights of praying to a God he barely believed in to save
his mentor and friend.
And that EVIL SCHEMING BITCH used *his* face to do it.
Guilt and fear and pain and _anger_ built up in his
mind. It grew inside of him, and traveled down his
spine. From there the anger turned into a white cold
rage. Icy tendrils of helpless frustration and needless
pain traveled outward to reach the very surface of his
body. He felt _cold_ and hard and angry. He was cold
inside and cold outside. His world was frozen in
"Oh my god..."
Somehow, that softly spoken whisper of disbelief and
awe pulled his mind out of its maelstrom of pain. He
opened his eyes to look into the shocked face of his
teacher and mentor. Bobby felt a brief surge of confusion
as to what could be upsetting Professor Xavier.
And then he looked around.
In his anger, he'd lost control of his powers to create ice
and snow and cold. The room temperature had dropped
dramatically and a thin layer of frost coated every
object in the room. A wash of embarrassed remorse
washed over him and he was about to apologize.
Then he looked down at himself. And SCREAMED.
He had turned himself into solid *ice*!
In a rush of overwhelming _terror_ Bobby felt the world
spin erratically and then everything was swallowed
up in darkness.
Voices. Somewhere close.
Slowly, with a vague sense of disorientation, Bobby
slowly slid out of sleep and back into awareness. He
could hear Professor Xavier talking to... Dr Grey?
"I always knew that he had the potential to be rated as
an Alpha Level Mutant, but he's only ever demonstrated
the gifts and power surges of a Gamma Level Mutant.
"Yes, you can see the changes in his brain waves
clearly. He's always had a strong reading on the
Gamma Level and a fairly decent one on the Beta
Level. His Alpha Level readings have always been...
faint. There, but faint. Now however, the Alpha Level
readings are *very* strong."
Bobby heard the shuffling of graph paper and
wondered exactly what they were talking about. He
knew that mutants, and their gifts, were assigned levels
due to the strength of their power... but what did the
specific designations mean? What was such a big deal
about being Alpha Level anyway?
"Yes. I see. I think that the trauma and stress, combined
with a surge in hormones left over from his recent
growth spurt combined to bring him into... maturity.
We'll need to start training him and teaching him to
control and adapt to this new manifestation of his
A sudden horrifying memory rose up in his mind. *Ice!*
With a wordless scream, Bobby sat up in bed and
ripped away the thin blankets to see... flesh. Pink,
whole, unfrozen skin. Not ice.
With a *huge* sigh of relief, Bobby sank back down
onto the bed. Only to find that Professor Xavier and Dr.
Grey were standing over his bed and that he was in
what appeared to be a hospital room.
"A dream. It was just a bad terrible dream."
Professor Xavier and Dr. Grey exchanged a look over
him that he couldn't quite understand. Sadness, joy,
excitement, worry... all that and more. Then, the
professor turned to look at him and he offered a gentle
smile of compassion.
"No Bobby. I'm afraid it *wasn't* just a dream."
END: Familiar Stranger
---as seen on a bumper sticker---
Duct Tape is like the Force. It has a light side and a dark side, and it
binds the universe together.