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5284FIC: Some Friends Aren't Friends

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  • G R
    Aug 19, 2003
      The Love Letters Series, Part 1: Friendship�s
      Sacrifice, Part 2: One of Those Dreams. Part 3 is
      where a plot actually develops, and John actually gets
      to be involved in the action of the story.

      Title: Some Friends Aren�t Friends

      By: X


      Disclaimer: I own nothing, I am getting no money, I am
      no threat, please don�t sue me.

      Summary: Captured by the anti-mutant Friends of
      Humanity, John writes to Marie so he can die with his

      A/N: I used the challenge �St. John Allerdyce-
      Ecstatic- Pencil� this time. The random set once
      again generated by http://www.dymphna.net/challenge/ .

      John Allerdyce walked along the street, carrying his
      grocery bag. Mutant terrorists or not the Brotherhood
      still needed milk, eggs and bread. The brown paper
      bag balanced against his hip John flicked his lighter
      on and flipped it shut in his usual manner.
      Floosh�click, Floosh�click, Floosh �click.

      �Dirty Mutie� was a snarled comment behind him. Some
      kid, about John�s own age had a teenage girl with
      green hair and a spiked collar trapped between his
      arms and the wall of a house. Tears streamed down her
      face. Her eyes caught his, pleading with him to help
      her. John was not heartless; he couldn�t let this go
      on. He put down his bag and made big strides across
      the lawn.

      �I�m not a mutant. It�s hair dye.� whimpered the girl.
      �Not a mutant� The boy only smiled coldly. He wasn�t
      going to stop, it didn�t matter if it was because he
      didn�t believe her or if he did but didn�t care.

      �You want a mutant? You got one� Pyro pushed the boy
      against the ribs knocking him off the girl. The kid
      looked up at his attacker and found him holding a
      large ball of fire, the flame danced around his
      fingers, not harming him in the slightest. He raised
      the fire, ready to throw it at the delinquent. The
      girl screamed and bolted. The hoodlum took off in the
      other direction.

      John smiled a little to himself and clapped his hands
      to put out the fire. Then he calmly went to retrieve
      his groceries. He continued on his way to the latest
      hideout. Passing a house on a corner that sported a
      sign about something he heard the same jerk he had
      earlier, �There�s the mutie!� John rolled his eyes
      and turned in the direction of the voice. There were
      four guys, the one from earlier the youngest. Without
      saying anything they all charged at John. Dropping
      the groceries Pyro pulled out the lighter and sent out
      a wave of fie, driving three of them back. But the
      fourth ducked, rolled forward and came up directly in
      front of the mutant. �F***ing freak� he tried to
      wrestle the lighter away. Pyro kicked up and knocked
      the thug back. Then he let loose more fire. It sent
      that attacker back but two of the others made their
      way up. Pyro saw them approaching, noted the young
      hoodlum from earlier trying to hide behind a nearby
      tree. The mutant whirled around and threw an arm up
      to block the man who�d tried to stab him in the back.
      The knife cut cleanly into the flesh of his forearm
      and made him take a step back. The approaching two
      had reached him and he had to twist hard and conjure
      up fire fast to send them back yet again. Blood
      flowing freely Pyro�s vision darkened around the
      edges. Fighting was getting hard. Then he felt the
      worst thing, his lighter being ripped away. He
      blinked and focused to see the young guy with his
      lighter. Pryo growled and felt the attackers clamping
      around his arms.

      �You are messing with the Friends of Humanity, Mutie.
      You don�t stand a chance.�

      Pyro growled and struggled as hard as he could. �Let
      go of me!� He could see where they were leading him
      as they made their way through the house�s basement.
      There was a corner tiled with a tub atop it. Pyro
      hated the idea of drowning more than any other method
      of death. He struggled even more.

      �Shut up mutie� was the response harsh in John�s ear
      before he felt the pain of having the back of his
      knees kicked and the tiled floor rush up to meet him.
      Then he felt something worse, the edge of the big tub
      hitting him in the chest and sliding forward. The
      next thing he was aware of was being under the cold
      water. He bucked as hard as he could, struggling with
      all he had against the three men who held him. His
      lungs burned, his eyes burned, his head was getting

      Then the pressure let up and his head broke free of
      the water. He greedily gulped for air until they
      pushed him back down. He pulled up as hard as he
      could but it was useless. They let him fill his lungs
      again and re-dunked the young mutant. This continued
      until the struggling lessened and it was obvious
      they�d drowned a lot of the fight out of the kid.
      Incoherent, stumbling, and breathing heavily they
      easily slammed him against the white wall next to the
      tub. One of the Friends appeared with a camera and
      snapped a couple of pictures of the pathetic wretch
      they�d reduced the mutant to. They�d add this to
      their �guest� book. A black book used to bolster
      moral of the small minded and intolerant FoH by
      showcasing how many and how badly the group had stuck
      it to the muties.

      Once he�d been defeated and photographed there really
      was no more use for the wet, bleeding, shaking thing.
      They pulled him roughly from the wall and into one of
      their containment chambers. The chambers were the
      modern equivalent of a dungeon. The mutie could rot
      down there and no one would even realize it.

      He lay on the cold floor, thinking. They�d gotten
      him. It made him so mad, stupid humans! Breathing
      had become easy again; the stunning effects of nearly
      drowning had passed. But, his arm still throbbed.
      John sat up and tried to examine the wound in the dim
      light. It was still bleeding. He knew was going to
      have to stop the bleeding or bleed to death. Not
      quite prepared for that slow fatalistic death he
      committed to cauterizing the wound on his forearm. It
      was going to be a nasty scar, but hey, chicks dig
      scars. He�d been striped of his jacket but still had
      the rest of his clothes. In his boot was a spare
      lighter, a cheap blue Bic that would serve his
      purposes. He�d need metal. Luckily, living with
      Magneto had taught him that metal was everywhere. The
      room was bare stone, nothing there. He used his good
      hand to dig through his pockets and came up with a
      multiply folded Chinese food menu, his wallet, and a
      ticket stub. He looked at what he had in his hands,
      no metal. Discouraged he noticed his watch. Dropping
      the other items he unbuckled the watch and turned it
      over. It was just a cheap-o Timex thing, tiny
      engraving under the claim to be water resistant to 50
      meters and the mention of www.timex.com said,
      �stainless steel back�.

      Heating the metal until it was red-hot he pressed it
      to the leaking wound. It would probably never tell
      time again. Well, it didn�t look like he was in a
      position to be making future plans anyway. His
      screams echoed off the walls and it took every ounce
      of will power to finish the job, burning the skin
      closed along the entire jagged cut, before collapsing
      into the dark bliss.

      Mark opened the cell door a crack and
      peered inside. That dirty mutant who�d shown up the
      previous afternoon was lying motionless on the floor.
      It was about his own age and had put on quite a show
      before they�d taken him down. It was a dangerous
      animal; he couldn�t believe those government bleeding
      hearts didn�t see that. Luckily he did. Luckily he
      also had found this group. In the Friends of Humanity
      he could meet with others and find ways to silence the
      mutant threat. Mark turned back to his friend, Regis,
      and nodded.

      Regis hoisted the mutant to his feet and Mark slapped
      him across the face. It moaned a little but made no
      attempt at standing or defending itself.

      �Wake up Mutie� the �Mutie� still didn�t come to.
      Regis pressed smelling salts into his friend�s hand.
      Mark wafted them under the mutant nose, causing an
      intense shudder through their victim. That display of
      life was all Mark needed. He slammed his fist into
      the mutant�s face as hard as he could. It made Regis
      stumble back. Mark smiled to himself. A bruise was
      already forming and his ring had caught the lip making
      it leak blood down the firebug�s chin. Mark looked at
      that crimson dribble and used his thumb to wipe it

      �God, I love to see you bleed Mutie.� Regis shifted
      John�s weight so Mark could line up another shot. The
      mutant was boneless; the shift had flopped his head
      forward but made no effort to lift it.

      �Wake up damn you!� cursed Regis, giving John another
      jostle. Mark took a fistful of dark hair and twisted
      his enemy�s face towards him. He brought a knee up
      into the mutant�s stomach, then chest, then face. The
      brutality was rewarded by a moan slipping past the
      mutant�s lips. Regis smiled. �He�s got a little life
      left in him.�

      Pain filled brown eyes drifted open. He was still
      alive and he had never been in such pain. He�d had
      the stuffing knocked out of him before. Before
      Xavier�s he�d been a homeless runaway. He�d been
      young, and alone. This dangerous combination ensured
      he usually wound up with the short end of the stick
      and in the dirtiest, roughest places. But previous
      beatings weren�t like this; there were whole areas of
      his body that were just numb with pain. He couldn�t
      see straight, everything was blurry and dark. All he
      wanted to do was curl up and sleep, even though he was
      pretty sure he�d never wake up. John wanted to live,
      he really did. But it just didn�t seem like that was
      in the cards.

      Regis dropped him roughly onto the ground. The
      Friends of Humanity kicked the still form, it didn�t
      try to defend itself, didn�t try to protect itself.
      They jabbed their boots into the tense body of their
      victim until they were satisfied with the amount of
      blood on the floor and the mutant�s pale skin was
      appropriately purple and black.

      �Damn Mutie that showed him.�

      �Yeah� Mark laughed. �He knows who�s in charge around
      here now. The humans!�

      He didn�t know how long he slept, hours or days.
      Since it didn�t really matter he didn�t waste time
      wondering. Eventually Magneto might notice that he
      hadn�t seen young Pyro around in a while and start to
      look for him. It was an idea but John didn�t have
      much hope for rescue. His head hurt, his arm throbbed
      painfully, and he was thirsty. John listened to the
      silence around him and groaned. He hated it when
      things were too quiet. John theorized that at least 3
      hours passed as he lay on the floor, looking at the
      ceiling and listening. He hated the silence. He
      strained to hear even the slightest sound. But the
      walls were thick and there wasn�t so much as a
      scurrying rat. Eventually his ears picked up on
      footsteps. Someone was coming!

      He thought about getting up and made an
      attempt to do so. He got to his feet but his center
      of gravity did a complete shift and he found himself
      on the floor again. He couldn�t stop the moan that
      slipped past his lips. He hated how weak they�d make
      him. He refused to let them see him lying, unable to
      move, because of their hands. John carefully rolled
      onto his front. From there it was a slow push to his
      knees a deliberate crawl to the wall outcropping by
      the door. He pulled himself to his feet just as the
      door opened.

      When the guard, an ape-like man that smelled like
      he�d slept in a bar ashtray, brought in his little
      bowl of cold broth John immediately noticed the
      glorious yellow tool in the pocket of his shirt. It
      shone like a beacon to the distraction starved young
      man. He needed that pencil. Reacting immediately
      with a �plan� Pyro punched the man in the face. The
      man punched him back. He watched the pencil fall and
      roll into the corner. The Friend of Humanity
      continued to pummel Pyro a little longer, then left,
      leaving the precious writing implement behind. There
      never was someone so ecstatic to get a dull, chewed
      on, yellow pencil in his hand.

      When John got his head together again he sat up with a
      low groan. The goon had done damage to his already
      damaged body. The cold broth that had been left in
      the corner and had miraculously not been knocked over
      in the scuffle would be his only sustenance for quite
      some time. He was sure after the stunt he had just
      pulled it was unlikely they�d come back into the cell
      for any reason other than hurting him further. John
      crawled over to the fallen pencil and smiled to
      himself in triumph. They wouldn�t be able to deny him
      a last hand hold on sanity.

      He searched his pockets for something he could write
      on. In his pocket was a Chinese food menu, his only
      source of paper. He silently praised the higher power
      that made him never empty his jeans pockets, even to
      do the wash. The paper was fuzzy around the edges
      from its journey and creased crookedly since he�d
      folded it up and shoved it in his pocket fast when
      Magneto called. A weak attempt at a smirk crossed
      John�s face. He�d never gotten around to getting that
      General Tso�s chicken. It was Rogue�s favorite and
      he�d never tried it. This menu had General Tso�s
      chicken circled because he was finally going to order

      He was prepared. They might be able to destroy his
      body, but he was going to die with his right mind.
      Needing strength for his plan he crawled to the bowl
      and with great restraint, drank the cold, salty broth
      slowly. He set down the empty bowl and picked up his

      He hated silence. It was driving him crazy. Silence
      made his mind wander to unhappy places, the times in
      his life, years ago, when the silence was a warning
      that curses, threats and violence were imminent. He
      desperately needed to break the silence, to distract
      his mind. Writing was something he had done a lot as
      a kid. It was a quiet solitary activity, sometimes
      just being quiet and out of sight could spare you a
      beating. Writing was also a way to get stuff out.
      He�d needed to do that a lot growing up.

      So, brandishing his dilapidated writing tool he
      attacked the rumpled, folded menu and wrote.

      Dear Marie,

      You�re no doubt wondering why I�m writing
      you a letter. Sure we were friends, but friends come
      and go, I left you all and joined the enemy. But
      Marie, you�re not a friend I could just let go. I�m
      writing to you because I�m dying. They have me locked
      in this little cell, it�s dark, I�m so thirsty, and
      I�m too dizzy to stand. But, worse than these pains
      is the silence. Alone in the quiet with my thoughts
      they plague me more than any physical wound or
      ailment. I am writing to you because I need to make
      peace with this world before I enter the next. I�ve
      never let you know just how important you were to me;
      how important you still are. Marie, the friendship we
      had was one of the closest I�ve ever experienced. Our
      fun times, the talks we shared late at night, sitting
      in the game room after everyone was in bed, you let me
      be just how I wanted and never looked down on me or
      treated me like a child. I�ve kept my feelings for
      you secret. I would never want to hurt Bobby, another
      important friend, but as I�ll be dead by the time your
      eyes follow these words I think I can be honest.

      I care about you more deeply then I�ve let you know.
      I�d have waited for you. I�d have found a way around
      your powers. A creative mind is an amazing tool
      against any problem. They�re a part of you so I even
      love the gift you hate. But I never acted on these
      feelings. The reasons for my secrecy are complex. I
      fear giving them will only make me seem like a coward
      giving excuses. Still, even though my vision has gone
      blurry, I can see I am dying and will be cold and gone
      by the time you read this. So, there is no reason to
      fear the repercussions of my declaration. I stepped
      away, hid my true feelings for you.

      The relationships in my life had never been
      successful. My true parents weren�t good for me, the
      families after them really just temporary
      acquaintances. My friendships with you and Bobby were
      the only proof I was even capable of caring for people
      and having them care for me. I couldn�t risk the
      friendships by sharing how special you make me feel
      Marie. I couldn�t tell you about the feelings that
      just being near you invoked in me.

      I love you Marie. I�ve never said that to anyone in
      my life. But I mean it, what I feel for you must be
      love because it is wonderful, exquisite, and
      beautiful. I can�t imagine anything better than the
      way I feel when I see your smile, when your shoulder
      brushed against mine as we walked down the hall, when
      you shared your excitement over your latest training
      success. You were a bright spot in my life while I
      was at the institute and have remained one even now
      that we are far apart and on different sides of a war.

      I don�t begrudge Bobby for acting when I was
      tentative. While I was being cautious he made his
      decision to act. I did nothing to challenge him and
      even now hope he is making you happy. As my vision is
      getting worse and I can actually feel the end of my
      life within an arm length I suppose I can make my that
      my dying wish. I want you to be happy Marie. Even
      though it wasn�t meant to be that I be the one to
      bring you that happiness, I sincerely hope you find
      it. You deserve to be happy. I�ve seen doubt in you
      that breaks my heart. Your mutation keeps you
      separate, never lets you too close to others. But you
      are an amazing, beautiful individual that deserves to
      be happy. Do whatever makes you happy Marie.

      You will always have my love,


      John smiled at his work. At least he had
      done something. His vision was swimming now; it was
      so hard to focus. It was getting dark as well;
      everything was gray and turning black. He felt his
      face hit the floor, he�d collapsed. As he slipped
      into unconsciousness, expecting to never return, he
      thought about Marie.


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