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2220FIC: Aftershocks Take 1: Wednesday, 5 A.M.: 1/1: PG-13: St. John, others, St. John/Bobby

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  • Jenn
    Feb 28, 2001
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      Okie-dokie. Back up to par. I'm responding to feedback next. Honest.
      I'm appreciative, definitely!

      jenn

      Title: Aftershocks Take 1: Wednesday, 5 A.M.
      Author: jenn (jenn@...)
      Codes: St. John, others, St.John/Bobby, (pre-L/R)
      Rating: PG-13
      Series: On Love and Lust at Mutant High #15
      Summary: In which St. John knows a hell of a lot more than he's telling.
      Author Notes: There are only two absolutes in stories--a beginning and an
      end. So I decided to be different and start at the end. We'll get to the
      beginning later.
      Dedication: Sare for the beta and the good advice. Love ya, darling.
      Archiving: List, otherwise ask.
      Feedback: With soda. I'm pathetically easy to please.

      *****

      It was five in the morning and St. John had gotten exactly, no more than,
      but exactly, one hour of sleep that night. He was grumpy, tired, and on
      that fine edge of exhaustion and hyper-energetic, and he felt himself
      quiver as he used his foot to coax the chair from behind his desk and sit
      down.

      Sitting was good. Laying down would be even better, but he knew himself
      well enough to know that the second he was prone, he'd be out like a light,
      no matter his emotional state. Which, considering he had to be up in less
      than an hour for kitchen duty, was probably not the brightest idea.

      And why the hell did everyone come to his room? Shit, they had rooms of
      their own. They wanna have a war council, they could damn well do it
      somewhere else.

      "We got a problem."

      Remy and Kitty had shown up only a few minutes before, suspiciously at the
      same time, but Jubilee, stretched out on his bed, didn't react, so he had
      to assume either she didn't care (which damn it, she did, he knew she did)
      or that she'd just been earlier than them. Currently, she was searching
      under his bed for snack food (she knew he kept a constant supply for
      emergency munchie-moments), and emerged with a bag of potato chips clutched
      triumphantly in one hand. He wasn't even sure they were good anymore--on
      the other hand, they were sealed up in a foil baggy, so maybe potato chips
      were like Twinkies and lasted forever. Who knew?

      "Does anyone know when they left?" asked Kitty, pulling herself up by
      Jubilee and helping herself to a chip. Dollars to donuts neither of them
      had been asleep all night either--though he doubted that Rogue had anything
      to do with the first few hours. Kitty had been practicing her sleight of
      hand for future shoplifting endeavors since the Mall Incident (more put out
      by the fact she'd failed than the entire punishment business). Hell, he
      knew Jubes was still sort of pissed she hadn't been able to go. Probably
      thought if she'd been there, it would have gone smoother. Which it very
      well might have--Jubes could talk them out of any situation under the sun.

      "Nope. After dinner--I ate with her and she seemed fine," said St. John
      quietly, kicking absently at the bed before bracing a foot on the mattress
      and balancing himself on the back legs, using the desk to brace the back of
      the chair. "So was Bobby--they said they were going to the library and do
      some research."

      Oddly, they took that at face value. He had to wonder about their
      perception.

      "Okay. So they disappeared after dinner, but before bedchecks at
      midnight."

      Their punishment for the Mall Incident had been curious in its creativity.
      Mandatory lights-out at nine (which was easy to avoid), bedchecks at
      midnight, bedchecks at three (easy, again, and he suspected Xavier knew
      that), up at six for kitchen duty (whoo-hoo). Their mornings still
      belonged to Logan, but their afternoons now belonged to Mr. Summers, who
      taught a class on ethics (God help them), after which everyone but Rogue
      had about two hours of relatively free time before dinner. Relatively
      being the key word--the rec room or their own rooms, under direct adult
      supervision--and St. John and Co put their foot down at the idea of any of
      the teachers sitting in their rooms, so it was the rec room, period.
      Restriction to not just campus but the mansion itself. No shopping, no
      cruising, no going outside to go swimming. Period.

      Rogue, lucky her, didn't even get that--her extra sessions with Logan had
      been extended until fifteen minutes before dinner, and after that, she had
      her usual sessions with the Professor twice a week. Though she wasn't
      complaining, and St. John supposed that if the Professor's idea of
      punishment was to make her stay in Logan's company, Rogue was definitely
      rethinking the merits of a criminal lifestyle in a favorable light.

      The Professor definitely had an odd sense of humor. Had to give him
      credit.

      "How'd you cover for Bobby at nine?" asked Kitty curiously. St. John
      shrugged.

      "He's not on restriction," St. John answered coolly. He was the only one
      that was. Jubilee was still grounded for the candy incident. Good ole
      Bobby, miniature Mr. Summers, an example to them all of good behavior, and
      St. John had seen the look of horror on Bobby's face when Mr. Summers had
      actually said that out loud in front of what seemed to be most of the
      school at dinner the night they'd been picked up. Bobby, not a bad mark on
      his record (except for that little spitball-and-plasma incident awhile
      back, and really, that had been in the name of science). St. John knew Dr.
      Grey suspected that even if Bobby and Jubes hadn't actually participated in
      the Mall Incident, they'd known about it (which all four co-conspirators
      denied), but nothing could be done with suspicions, after all. So Bobby
      was perfectly within his rights to wander off if he wanted to, though
      certainly he still had a curfew that required him to be in bed on weekdays
      by midnight.

      This was a weekday. It was five, no Bobby. No Rogue. Therefore, probably
      together, and St. John bit down on his lip as his eyes circled the room.
      For once, his mutation was being very quiet--possibly because it suspected
      that in this particular instance, St. John probably wouldn't be very
      interested in controlling it.

      "How'd you cover for Rogue?" St. John asked Jubilee, trying to sound
      interested, and Jubilee frowned.

      "It was easy, and that's odd--you know Dr. Grey wants visual confirmation
      and all that. I just turned on the shower when I heard her coming and said
      she was in there and that Logan had called her late to talk to her, so
      she'd only just gotten back. She looked all odd and didn't even check, you
      know? I guess she didn't do any of her telepathic crap either, because she
      never said a word, just left."

      St. John nodded slowly and Kitty pulled out another potato chip, crunching
      morosely.

      "How long 'as Logan been pacin' downstairs?" asked Remy softly.

      "Since bedchecks," Kitty stated. "He woke us all up and you're just lucky
      he didn't think she'd be in your room. He asked us all kinds of
      questions--seemed really more growly than usual, ya know?"

      "Yeah, I imagine. He wasn't too happy to see Bobby gone from our room
      either." St. John took a breath, let it out evenly. "He asked me three
      times where he was--like I was hidin' the information or somethin'."

      "Which you would have if you knew, and he knows that," Jubilee said
      practically, ducking her head to check the bag for another chip.
      "S'okay--we got a thirty minute interrogation from Scooter that was pretty
      damn funny. Logan ordered the whole house searched and Scooter said he was
      overreacting to the incident." Jubes looked thoughtful. "Though I gotta
      wonder--you know Logan doesn't care when Rogue acts out. He didn't even
      care she was helpin' shoplift, you know, just got pissed that she got
      caught. And he snuck her out of here after curfew twice so they could play
      pool in town. So why the hell is he freaking about it now?"

      St. John shifted a little and tried to get comfortable. When he looked up,
      all eyes were on him. Oh wow.

      "Huh?" God, did he sound defensive.

      "What do you know, Johnny?" asked Jubilee suspiciously. Fuck, they knew
      him too well. "You're takin' this way too calm, boy-o."

      "Nothin'."

      Kitty shifted closer, eyes narrowing.

      "If you did, you'd never tell on Bobby." Her voice was thoughtful, low.
      "God knows what's between you and Roguey, but you--"

      "There's nothing between me and Rogue."

      Jubilee's eyes went down, freezing briefly at his collar.

      "You got her lipstick on your shirt, Johnny." A pause. "How'd you get
      lipstick there?"

      St. John started, knowing he looked guilty, and glanced down at the white
      collar of his shirt. Imprinted it was a smear of red. Definitely in the
      shape of lips. Definitely, he should have changed clothes, but he hadn't
      really thought ahead much either.

      "Maybe I like lipstick." Oh wow, that was sooo bright. He could talk his
      way out of a lot of things, but not that lipstick. At this point, he was
      too close to exhaustion to care.

      Remy sat straight, eyes narrowing, and both Kitty and Jubilee as one jumped
      off his bed. Before he could think--and why the hell had he let them sit
      on his bed without checking it first?--they jerked back the sheets and Remy
      stood up, slowly walking over to see the smears of lipstick across the
      sheet and he knew they could smell the very lightest trace of her perfume.

      And there was no way he could talk his way out of that perfume or that
      sheet.

      "Johnny--"

      "It's not your business," he said sharply, getting up. Before he got five
      inches, Kitty was blocking the door, arms crossed over her chest, watching
      him, dawning suspicion on her face. Jubilee took his right, and Remy was
      already moving into center.

      "Logan was in here for awhile--he smelled somethin', didn't he? What the
      fuck is goin' on, Johnny?" Jubes said slowly, working it out. "You know
      somethin'. You know where they are."

      "Fuck if I do." He was bracketed--wow, they really were learning from
      Logan, this was a classic attack pattern. All he had was the wall behind
      him. "They left, I wished their asses well, and that's all there is to it.
      You wanna make somethin' more, feel absolutely free to get the fuck outta
      my room to do it."

      Even he was surprised by that last line, and blinked at himself, wondering
      when he became the type of person to take out his anger on someone else.
      Kitty drew back as if he'd hit her, but Jubilee reacted true to type.
      Grabbing her shoes from beside his bed, she turned to the door

      "Gotcha, babe. Fuck yourself, Johnny. I don't need this crap. We'll find
      out on our own. If you don't feel like puttin' out the energy to be
      worried that they disappeared without tellin' a person where the fuck
      they'll be, you just sit here and we'll do the work. Got it?"

      "Trust me, Jubes, they're fine. Rogue's gettin' a little practice in on
      Bobby and he's stupid enough to fall for it."

      Their reaction was nothing short of shock.

      "She's not into him like that."

      "She changed her mind, apparently. You see them 'round here?" St. John
      wanted them to leave, leave now--his temperature was rising, because they
      were making him think about it, and he couldn't do that right now, he just
      couldn't. Running his palms down his pajama bottoms, knowing the burn
      wouldn't stop until he could center himself, he took a breath, trying to
      bring everything under control. Keep his voice even. "They left--I don't
      know where, but I do know why. She wants to fuck around with Drake, she
      fucking can. I'm not her keeper and I'm not his. So I don't give a good
      fuck what they do. So get the hell outta my room and leave me the hell
      outta it, 'kay? You wanna play private eye and cater to Rogue's little
      personality quirks, feel oh so fucking free, because I'm done with it, got
      it?"

      "Johnny--"

      What the fuck would it take?

      "Get the fuck out, Kittycat. All of you. I'm not interested--I don't
      care. Get it this time? I. Don't. Care. Get out."

      For a second, he almost thought they might stay. But Jubilee, clutching
      her shoes, turned on her heel, grabbing Kitty by the arm and pushing the
      door open. One glance from Kitty, before Remy blocked his view, and then
      the door closed with ominous care, and St. John sat down on his bed,
      shutting his eyes tight and hating, hating, hating, that anything could
      make him feel like this.

      "Fuck her if she wants to play like that."

      Talking to himself couldn't be a sign of anything good, but he didn't much
      care about that either. Laying back down, he rolled until he buried his
      head in the pillow, still smelling the lingering traces of Rogue's perfume.

      The End

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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      --She has all the passion and attraction of airplane noodles.--Nacey's
      opinion of Jean's wild side