Fiction: Strange Hungers
Pairing: John/Bobby (this isn't a friendship fic)
Rating: R ish
Disclaimer: I don't own the characters, they belong to Marvel and
Feedback: Please to raggedyredd@...
Author's Notes: This is my answer to the Challenge in a Can, which
was: St. John- wanting- test tube. This also doubles as my second
contribution to the Fast, Loose and Lovely Pulp Fiction Title
challenge. Originally I had intended this to be a very humorous and
fluffy piece... Well, it didn't quite work out that way. Also be
aware that this is my first time every writing a same sex pairing, so
please be kind in your judgement of such. :) This hasn't been beta
read so no flames please.
John sat in the little cafe down from the loft apartment he
shared with his spouse pondering over the strange feeling of wanting
that had filled him over the last year. No matter what he did, the
intense longing never seemed to leave him. If only he could figure
out what he longed for.
For the most part John had finally found peace in his life,
and more importantly within himself. He'd long since given up being
part of the super hero/ super villain scene. He'd tried both sides of
that particular career path and had found that no matter which side
he fought on people died. That was the nature of his power: to
destroy, and after a time destroying things no longer appealed to
him. So he'd given it up to indulge in a secret fantasy... to write.
More successful than in his wildest dreams, John wrote of the
trials and tribulations of being a mutant in a world that hated them.
He wrote human interest stories full of triumph and more often
despair. He'd managed to top the best-seller's charts with his last
four books. Quite a feat for a mutant that at one time was a highly
His personal life was better than great. He had more there
then he could ever possibly be properly thankful for. He was married
to the X-man of h dreams, Bobby Drake, who was the light of his life.
His total opposite in powers as well as disposition, Bobby was the
only person on the planet with the ability to complete him.
And he feel complete, but there he was still feeling as if
there were something missing from his life. Running through a mental
list in his mind, John still couldn't find the missing piece, until a
child ran past the cafe window. A child! That was it! That is what
was missing from his life; what was missing from his marriage.
Astonished John leaned back in his chair. Wouldn't that be something,
a child of their own?
His mind raced ahead. Obviously it was physically impossible
for two men to produce a child, but science today was amazing. To
have a biological child they would just have to find a clinic, and a
surrogate mother, and a woman to donate her eggs. Then they would
have to decide which one of them would be fathering the child. Of
course there was also the option of trying to adopt. Suddenly John's
thoughts stood still. What if Bobby didn't wan't kids or wasn't
Quite obviously it occurred to John that he needed to have
this discussion with Bobby before he rushed on making plans. John
prayed that Bobby was open to this idea, as the need had been
building in John for so long that he felt as if he were about to
That night, waiting for Bobby to return home from some X-
mission, John fidgeted around the apartment trying to get everything
just right. He had already finished cooking a romantic dinner for two
complete with candles and music, now all he needed was for his life-
mate to walk through the door.
Almost as if on cue Bobby pushed open the door, still clad in
his X-men uniform of black leather. Catching the soft sound of the
stereo that usually only he used, Bobby warily stepped inside and
closed the door, his eyebrow crinkling in concentration. He knew
immediately that something was up. John was ever the stereotypical
writer, rarely coming out of his writing induced fog long enough to
bother with anything romantic unless there were something big going
on. In fact, the last time that Bobby could remember John going to
such lengths was a few years ago when John proposed after same-sex
marriages were legalized. Allowing himself to get momentarily
distracted, a smile slid over Bobby's face as he remembered that
John tensed as Bobby came through the door. How was he ever
going to explain this right? He was a writer, his gift was words. Why
were those words failing him now?
Bobby stood there and watched as nervousness then panic
flitted across John's features. Forcing his smile to remain in place,
Bobby asked gently, "What's the occasion, husband?"
John cleared his throat twice before answering, once for
nervousness, and the other because it never ceased to redirect the
blood flow in his body to see Bobby clad in black leather. "I...
um... This.. I've had this feeling... um.. no.. I mean..." After
several false starts John trailed off unsure of how to go on.
Bobby started towards the stairs leading up to the loft
where their bedroom was to change out his uniform, his eyes never
leaving John. He stayed silent, a feeling of apprehensiveness
wrapping itself around him, but knowing that if interrupted, it
would take even longer for John to compose himself. He also knew that
taking care of the necessary routine tasks would give John the moment
the needed to gather his thoughts.
Completely flustered by his earlier attempt, John waited for
Bobby to return downstairs and settle himself on the kitchen counter
before changing tactics. "Bobby, how do you feel about children?"
John made a show of trying to be casual about the question but
Bobby, unsure where the line of questioning was headed,
debated. Did John have a child that he didn't know about? Bobby
hesitated slightly before answering, "I like kids okay, why?" Bobby
didn't bother to try and make his question casual, but nor did he
make it accusatory. His suspicions went on high alert when he seen
the relief on his partner's face.
John could tell by the look on Bobby's face that he was
botching this whole thing, and that if he didn't get to the point
soon Bobby was going to combust. "Um, Well, like I tried to say
before, I've been feeling that something was missing for the last
year or so when today, it finally occurred to me that we should
consider becoming parents. That is I really would like for us to have
a child... a baby." John rushed out. He then went on to list
possibilities and choices about adoption and test-tube babies.
A look of relief passed over Bobby's face as he threw up a
hand, as if to stop John's words. "Whoa! Wait a minute Johnny. You've
obviously given this a lot of thought, but I assume you brought this
up because you wanted to discuss it with me. However, my love, you
are not giving me a chance to speak. You're carrying on a monologue."
Hope warred with despair in John's face, "You think its a
horrible idea don't you. Its okay, you can tell me." His tone of
voice conveying that it was anything but okay.
"Johnny," Bobby said gently as he jumped off the counter, and
made his way over to wrap his arms around his husband's waist. "All I
said was slow down, so that I could actually from and possibly state
an opinion. Which I haven't done yet. This is heavy stuff. Definitely
not anything to rush into. Now, let's enjoy this meal you've
obviously went to some trouble to prepare, and table this discussion
until after dinner. Okay?"
Bobby's voice acted as a balm on John's frayed nerves. He
took a deep breath and nodded. He knew Bobby was right. There was no
reason to rush him into an immediate decision. Like their mutant
powers, Bobby's decisions were often made with a coolness that often
escaped John's whose own choices tended to be made with a hot-head.
John leaned into Bobby's embrace, thankful that he had made
it home from a job that was anything but safe. He led them toward the
table where they talked of the trivial daily things that filled up
their lives. John's writing, and skirting around Bobby's mission. As
the meal came to a close the conversation slowly shifted from the
mundane to the more serious discussion of before.
"So," Bobby began, "What brought this sudden desire for
"Its really not so sudden," Johns said as he began to clear
the dishes from the table. "I've been feeling a need for something
for a year or so.. I just figured out what for, today. Although, I
guess I've been absently gathering information on it for about 6
months. The information was actually to be used in a future novel
that I was considering. The more I think about it though, we have so
much love Bobby. It only seems natural to extend that love to a
Having helped clear away the dishes, Bobby once again settled
himself on the kitchen counter, saying, "Yeah, but Johnny, how would
we find time fo a kid? We're both workaholics, and with me being a
part of the X-men, I never know when or if I'll be coming home. Do
you really think it would be fair to a kid?"
"Bobby, we could still be good parents. Its not perfect, and
we may have to rearrange a little but I already do most of my work
from here, and if necessary, I can take up to a year or more away
from my work. Its not like we're hurting for money. Besides your
experiences with the X-men and at Xavier Institute would only serve
to make you an even better father. I'm not saying that it'll be easy,
but I really believe that it would be worthwhile." John stood in
between Bobby's knees with his hand on Bobby's shoulders.
Bobby considered for several long minutes before slowly
saying, "Here me out and don't interrupt, okay?" He waited for John's
nod in response, before continuing, "Where I'm not as enthusiastic
about this as you are, I don't feel that I child would be an
unwelcome addition to our lives. However, I am going out of town
tomorrow morning on a mission and should be gone for a few days, so
anymore serious discussion on the subject will have to wait until
Where as it wasn't a complete green light, at least it wasn't
a huge stop sign... merely a speed bump, John thought. "Deal. And
thanks for at least considering it." He said happily planting a kiss
on Bobby's mouth.
Gently extricating himself, Bobby slid off the counter to
wrap John in his arms. "It really important to you, so of course I'm
going to consider it. Although, if we were to go through with it, I'm
more for adoption the the test-tube Frankenstein route. Maybe
adopting a mutant."
"Frankenstein! Bobby, that's just not right." John playfully
hit Bobby in the shoulder before saying, "I don't know about adopting
a mutant though. Most mutants don't develop their powers until
puberty, and I wanted to start at the beginning, not jump in half-way
through the game."
"Well, we'll look into all the options. If we did have a
child, which one of us would be... um... donating to the cause,"
Bobby stammered, obviously uncomfortable with the idea.
"You." John stated having already thought it all out.
"Why me?" Bobby squeaked.
John looked at Bobby and grinned, "Well, how bad could it be
to have a child that looked as gorgeous as you do? Besides, if mutant
powers are hereditary, I'd rather our child got your powers."
Bobby decided to leave that alone, as mutant powers was a
sore point for them. "You know, they can test for the X-gene in
"Yeah, but how popular is that?" John asked.
"More popular than you might think." answered Bobby darkly,
not wanting to divulge the details of his recent and upcoming
"Hmm... So when did you say you were leaving?" John said
softly as he pulled Bobby to their bedroom.
"Tomorrow," came his muffled reply.
The next morning John discovered, much to his disappointment, that
Bobby was already gone. Slightly annoyed, John wandered into the
kitchen where his annoyance gave way to amusement as he spied the
carefully folded piece of paper on the counter. Opening it he read:
Sorry, I didn't wake you, but I figured that after last night you'd
need your rest. *wink* Besides, I knew that I'd be late if I
lingered at all this morning, and you have the most perfect ways to
get me to linger. Try not to stress over the baby thing. We'll talk
it all out when I get home.
I love you,
p.s. There are fresh donuts in the microwave.
Taking Bobby's advice John threw himself into his work and
tried not to stress over children, but the more he tried not to think
about it, the more the feeling of wanting deepened.
Bobby found that he couldn't take his own advice. His every
other thought was of having children with John. The more he thought
of it, the more he liked the idea. He wondered what his fellow X-Men
"Earth to Iceman. Are you finished with those files yet?" The
irritated voice of Cyclops finally filtered into Bobby's brain.
Focusing once again on the task in front of him, he shook is
head in answer. Scott turned from what he was doing and shined his
flashlight in Bobby's direction. "Is something wrong? You're awfully
distracted?" Scott asked with concern that was uncharacteristic while
on a mission.
For a moment Bobby debated upon whether or not to tell his
friend and team-leader what was bothering him. "Its just that Johnny
and I have been seriously talking about having kids. You know either
adopting or going the test-tube baby route. I gotta come to some kind
of decision soon." Bobby rushed the words out just as he closed his
hand on the file that they had come for. He held it up, causing some
of its contents to fall on the floor. Reaching down, Bobby picked up
what looked like some kind of receipt. Wondering what for, Bobby
flipped open the thick file, and read through the first several
pages. What he found caused the color to drain from his already pale
face. Hurriedly he flipped through several more pages in the file.
Clutching the folder, he leaned back against the filing cabinet
causing a loud bang as the drawers closed against his weight. For a
brief second Bobby thought his lunch was going to make a sudden
Cyclops, concerned, rushed across the tiny airless
office, "Iceman! Are you okay? What's wrong? What's in the file?"
Bobby took a gasping breath as he fought the urge to vomit.
Wordlessly he handed over the file and said, "There's hundreds of
receipts in there."
At first Scott was puzzled until he read the first receipt in
its entirety. Scott's face hardened and the thin beam of red light
emanating from his visor shone brightly.
Bobby croaked, "How could they sell their own children to a
research facility. Some of them are only babies."
Scott thought for a moment that he may have to carry the
other man out of the office building they had broken into. His own
insides were churning with anxiety and shock, so he was relieved when
Bobby mechanically followed him out.
Once they were back on the Blackbird, Scott turned to Bobby
and said, "For whatever its worth, I think you and Johnny would make
great parents, no matter how you go about having a child."
At any other moment Scott's support would have sent Bobby
over the moon. Cyclops had advocated strongly against him having a
relationship with John; not because they were gay, but because John
had served Magneto. But today getting Scott's acceptance didn't phase
him. He was too busy turning over the files contents in his mind. He
stayed quiet for much of the flight. Thinking.
Finally he said, "Its horrible that mutant children most of
them not even near the age of manifestation are being bought and sold
like cattle to mad scientists. I'm sure some of which belong to our
government. How could parents do that? Just because they're X-gene
positive doesn't mean they'll ever manifest!"
It was an old argument. One that fear-filled parents
obviously weren't heeding. They had no wish for a potential time bomb
to be housed under their roof. Scott looked up from the controls and
said softly, "We'll go after them, and we'll save as many kids as we
The sentiment, no matter how heartfelt, did little to ease
the weight upon their hearts. When they arrived back at the School
they broke the horrifying news to their fellow X-Men. Professor
Xavier, predictably was extremely troubled by the news, as he'd been
fighting against this very eventuality. He asked for a few hours to
gather his own information with the help of Kitty Pryde before the X-
Men planned any rescue missions.
Precisely three hours later he returned with his own
disturbing news. The facility locations listed in the files coincided
with the addresses of orphanages that had opened and closed within
the last year, with the exception of one. In the case of each
facility the children were all transferred to the one orphanage that
had not shut its doors, and it was located only a few miles from the
Xavier School for Gifted Youngsters.
All of the X-Men were grim. News that a mutant research
facility trafficking in children was not welcome news, especially
when it was located scant miles from their own location. It angered,
and frightened them that something like that could operate under
their noses. The silence and tension in the room was almost tangible.
Rogue broke it by saying, "When do we leave?"
Quickly putting together a plan that included a team of
medical personnel to be standing by, they were ready to go.
Darkness had fallen. Clouds covered the moon. It was
difficult to see anything beyond a few inches. Outfitted in enough
stealth gear to make a Navy Seal envious, the X-Men were preparing to
launch their rescue of the children. The air around the building
seemed to hold a sinister feeling, making everyone jumpy. They chose
to enter through the front door. Shadowcat phasing through, and
opening it for the others.
Once inside, the smell of urine and feces assaulted their
nostrils, and underneath there was the stench of death. It was enough
to bring Kitty and Bobby to their knees. The rest of the team:
Cyclops, Storm, Wolverine, Rogue and Beast ventured down a long dark
hallway, leaving Iceman and Shadowcat to catch up. The hallway turned
sharply left and opened into a large open bay. This is where the
smell emanated from. Caged-in bunk beds filled the room. They
contained what appeared to be small skeletons. Human skeletons. Rogue
gave a strangled moan and choked out, "My nightmares are filled with
death-camps like this." For a moment, you could almost see the
haunting images of World War II footage of the Nazi camps transposed
over the grisly scene in front of them. As they walked past rows and
rows of lifeless children Bobby had to shift into ice form to keep
Exiting the room, they entered into what appeared to be
a 'nursery', which consisted of cribs and incubators shoved
haphazardly into a tiny room. It seemed to be deserted but when they
made to leave Wolverine pointed toward an isolated crib in the
furthest corner. Since Bobby was the closest, he tentatively made his
way over to the crib, fearing what he would find. As he reached down
into it, the small form moved. He quickly shifted back to human form,
and allowing a moment of hesitation, he pulled back the dingy blue
blanket covering it. What he found was a baby of relatively healthy
appearance considering the room they had just passed through. As he
picked up the tiny child and held it to his chest, Storm gestured
that she would take the child. He shook his head and moved to follow
his team-mates into the last large room. They found it virtually
abandoned save the two gaunt, but living, teenagers strapped down to
The only other worthwhile things they found at the facility
were files listing names fo actual research labs that other children
were shipped to. Wearily, defeated, and sick at heart the X-men moved
the teenagers to the Blackbird, along with all the files. As they
left Rogue lingered in the doorway and murmured in German a prayer
for the tortured souls of the dead children. Bobby wouldn't
relinquish the infant, choosing instead to cradle it to his chest. It
was one of only three survivors of over a hundred children, and to
think that this was all started with a tube of blood to test for the
X-gene made Bobby far colder than his ability to turn into ice ever
Once back at the School, they were greeted by a sad, and
impossibly old looking Professor Xavier. Medical professionals rushed
the teenagers to the med-lab, and urged Bobby to bring the baby by
for an exam, while the rest of the team updated the professor. Xavier
muttered something about perhaps Erik being right after all, before
his face settled into the calm facade that they knew so well. After
they were dismissed Bobby took the now crying baby down to the med-
lab to let Hank take a look at it. Hank ran some testes and
pronounced that the baby boy was a little malnourished, but in fair
condition, more than likely sustaining no lasting effects from its
time at the facility. He approximated the baby as being no more than
a month old. With that diagnosis, Hank moved to the lab next door to
check on his teenaged patients.
Several hours later Bobby was found still in his uniform,
feeding the now clean baby, by Professor Xavier. Bobby barely glanced
up from the baby's serene face when Xavier spoke, "I was told that
you haven't left his side since you found him."
Bobby didn't answer right away. Their comfortable silence was
filled with the quiet sucking noise of the baby eating from the
bottle. Abruptly Bobby, said, "What's going to happen to him?"
Xavier studied Bobby carefully as he answered, "We'll place
him with a suitable family." The professor noticed how Bobby's arms
instinctively tightened on the boy.
"What about me and John? Are we suitable?" Bobby's bright
blue eyes looked up, filled with hope.
Professor Xavier's face showed no surprise, but he asked
gently, "Before you take on the responsibility of this child,
shouldn't you talk to John?"
Bobby's gaze turned once again to the child in his arms.
Indecision about leaving the child alone while he called John evident
in his face.
"The wonderful thing about babies, is that they're portable,
Bobby. Take him with you." Xavier felt a small lightening of his
heart as he watched the absolute love that shone so brightly in
Bobby's eyes for this child that had only hours ago come into his
Murmuring softly, Bobby strode from the room with the child
tucked securely against him. Professor Xavier watched the young man
disappear down the corridor as he felt Scott's presence come up
behind him. Conversationally he said, "Bobby wants to take the child
home with him."
Scott nodded, saying, "Good. I was hoping that he would.
Bobby and John will make great parents."
Once again another small weight lifted off of Xavier's
overburdened heart. Charles was glad to know that Scott was finally
accepting of Bobby's choice in a mate. He hoped, for Bobby and the
baby's sakes that John would agree to taking in the child. He could
see that Bobby's heart was already lost to the tiny bundle.
John reached out a sleepy hand and picked up the phone,
mumbling, " 'lo"
"Johnny?" Bobby's voice seemed unnaturally loud over the line.
This put John into instant wakefulness. Glancing at the clock
next to the bed, he saw it read 4am. "Bobby? Where are you? Is
something wrong?" John's voice was laced with panic.
Bobby sighed, instantly making the decision not to go into it
over the phone. "Johnny, Calm down. I'm okay. I'm at the School.
Everyone on the team is fine. I have a lot to tell you, but not over
the phone. I want to ask you something really important, but I'd
rather do it in person. I can't come home right now though."
"Oookay... You are making absolutely no sense. Are you sure
you're okay?" John's voice was suspicious at this uncharacteristic
"I'm okay, I swear. How soon can you get here?" To John,
Bobby's voice still sounded odd.
"Give me an hour." Without waiting for a response or saying
goodbye, John hung up the phone. He didn't bother changing out of his
flannel pajamas, choosing instead to stick a coat on over them. He
hurriedly packed a pair of clothes for himself and Bobby in an
overnight bag, slipped on shoes, grabbed his keys and headed out the
door. He knew that having a car in the city was a ridiculous expense,
but at this moment he was supremely glad that Bobby had insisted on
one. He took the roads as fast as he dared, arriving at the school
about 55 minutes after he hung up on Bobby.
The school was just beginning to stir, and John caught the
aromas of breakfast as he passed by the dining hall. He headed
immediately for Professor Xavier's office, but upon finding it empty
he headed for the lower levels, hoping to catch someone who knew
where to find Bobby. As he passed room by empty room, his frustration
level grew. For the first time in many years, the urge to burn
something swelled up in him. Instead, he let out a half sigh, half
growl, and made his way to the main med-lab. Finally someone! "Hank,
do you know where Bobby is?"
"Hello, John. Nice to see you. Bobby, I believe is still in
med-lab 2." The usually jovial Dr. McCoy was quite obviously subdued,
which caused John to panic even more.
He nodded at Hank, before heading to the other lab. As he
walked through the door, he saw Bobby's head peeking over a
chair. "Bobby! Thank God you're okay. I was so worried. You sounded
so strange on the phone." Coming around the chair John noticed the
rest of the X-men gathered around and sent them a sheepish smile,
before turning back to Bobby.
"John, I told you I was fine." Bobby's expression was
slightly puzzled. Looking up he gestured for the others to leave the
room. Once the room was clear Bobby said, "Johnny, meet the littlest
At first John was puzzled, his gazed still locked on Bobby's
face, but then he noticed the tiny bundle in Bobby's lab. "Who's
"Ours if you want him." Bobby went on to explain the child's
circumstances. When he was through John had tears in his eyes.
Instead of directly answering John said, "What should we name
Bobby said, "How about Matthew? It means gift from God."
John nodded as he took the little boy from Bobby's
arms, "Hello Matthew. We're your new dads." The wanting inside John
shifted. Now all he wanted was to keep his mate and their new child
safe from all the horrors of this world.