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Fic: The Ties That Bind - 1/2 (Bobby, Rogue, Logan, others)

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  • victoria p.
    Title: The Ties That Bind Author: Victoria P. [victoria_p@worldnet.att.net] Summary: Bobby makes a friend who reminds Rogue of someone. Rating: PG-13 for
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 1, 2001
      Title: The Ties That Bind
      Author: Victoria P. [victoria_p@...]
      Summary: Bobby makes a friend who reminds Rogue of someone.
      Rating: PG-13 for language
      Feedback: Always welcome.
      Archive: Sure, just let me know.
      Notes: Takes place about 3 years after the movie -- I figure “the near
      future” for 2006, and Rogue was 16. Thanks to the usual suspects for the
      beta and the help with how this whole thing should work.

      Disclaimers: Marvel & Fox own all recognizable X-Men characters. I own Ciel,
      but I don’t think she’s worth any money. Automatic Slims, Jeckyl & Hyde’s,
      the Slaughtered Lamb and the Gypsy Tea Kettle are all real places and all
      belong to their respective owners. The songs “The Ties That Bind” and
      “Thunder Road” belong to Bruce Springsteen. “Turn Turn Turn” belongs to the
      Byrds [who stole it from Ecclesiastes] and “Joy & Pain” belongs to Rob Base
      and EZ Rock, I think. Someone who’s not me, anyway. “Cecilia” belongs to
      Paul Simon and possibly Art Garfunkel, too.

      The Ties That Bind

      You been hurt and you're all cried out you say
      You walk down the street pushin' people outta your way
      You packed your bags and all alone you wanna ride,
      You don't want nothin', don't need no one by your side
      You're walkin' tough, baby, but you're walkin' blind
      To the ties that bind


      The whole thing started with a CD. Someone had left it in Bobby Drake’s
      stereo, and he had gotten hooked on the mix. It was more than just dance
      music – the deejay had combined some classics with the latest electronica
      for something that was both new and familiar.

      He asked around, wanting to know who had made such a perfect soundtrack for
      his life. At first he got nowhere, since the guys he lived with couldn’t be
      bothered to listen to any music released after 1994, even though they’d only
      been four years old at the time. “Kurt Cobain’s suicide was the end of rock
      and roll, man,” according to his roommate, Chris.

      But he was a popular guy at NYU – good-looking, funny, always up for a
      party. No one knew he was a mutant, and he planned to keep it that way. He
      was working his way slowly through the female population, and it was from
      one of them that he learned that DJ Seal was behind his CD obsession.

      “Yeah, DJ Seal works Thursday nights at Asia, over on Avenue B. She’s a
      student here, you know,” said Phyllis, one of the numerous girls in his
      Introduction to Psychology class who offered to take him out dancing so he
      could hear the mix live.

      So there he was on Thursday night, dressed in a cobalt blue shirt (a
      birthday gift from Kitty -- “It brings out your eyes,” she’d said. They’d
      been dating at the time.), black jeans and a black leather jacket. If there
      was one thing he’d learned at Xavier’s School (and his teachers might have
      disputed that he’d learned anything), it was that chicks dig guys in
      leather. Look at the way the girls swooned over Logan and Scott.

      The music was just as good in person; right now the hottest techno act was
      segueing into -- Chris would be thrilled -- Nirvana’s “Come As You Are.”

      He danced with the girls in the group, but his eyes wandered, looking for
      the deejay. He asked one of them, who said, “Oh, the deejay booth is up
      those stairs,” and she pointed to a nearly hidden spiral metal stairway at
      the front of the dance floor. He squinted through the strobe lights and the
      haze, trying to catch a glimpse of the person behind the smoked glass, but
      could see nothing.

      After a couple of shots of Jaegermeister and some beer, he decided he was
      going to meet his new hero. He smoothed down his blonde hair and walked
      purposefully up the stairs and, even with the alcohol-derived courage, he
      was nervous. His hands – normally cold – were sweaty. As he reached the top
      step, the door to the booth was flung open, and Bobby was a goner.

      He hadn’t been expecting a woman. That made him more nervous.

      She wasn’t beautiful really, he thought. She had an attractive face -- high,
      wide cheekbones gave her a severity softened by large eyes and full lips. A
      chestnut brown braid the thickness of his wrist hung almost to her waist.
      She wore a white tank top and blue jeans, which showed off a fit, trim
      figure. When he stood next to her, he felt tall -- he could probably rest
      his chin on the top of her head.

      “Who the hell are you?”

      “Bobby Drake,” he managed, wiping his hand on his pants and holding it out.
      She quirked an eyebrow, but shook it.

      “Well, shut the door, Bobby Drake,” she snapped. “It’s too damn loud.” He
      did as she asked and the music was suddenly muffled, the crowd very far

      “I’m a big fan of your work,” he started, but she held up a hand, moved the
      headphones around her neck to her ears, and did something at one of the
      panels in front of her. A new song came on.

      “Meat Beat Manifesto,” she said. “Great song.”

      “Um, I don’t know it,” he said, feeling ignorant.

      “It came out before you were born, little boy.” He bristled and she grinned.
      “It came out before I was born, too.” She motioned for him to sit in one of
      the chairs. “I’m Ciel. So you’re a fan, eh?”

      “This CD,” he pulled it from the inside pocket of his jacket, “never leaves
      my stereo. It’s, like, the soundtrack to my life.”

      She looked at it curiously. “What’s on it?”

      “Zeppelin, Moby, U2, everything,” he enthused.

      An odd look, anger maybe, crossed her face. “Where’d you get it? I made that
      for my bastard ex-boyfriend a long time ago.”

      He shrugged. “Someone left it in my stereo after a party.”

      She smiled. “I’d rather you have it than him.”

      He noticed she was kind of mood-swingy. “You’re kind of mood-swingy,” he

      She laughed. “You don’t say? How much have you had to drink, Bobby Drake?
      Are you up here on a dare?”

      “No, no. I love this cd so much, I had to come and meet you. I didn’t know
      you were a girl.” <Stupid,> he thought. <Just blow any shot you’ve got.> “So
      why DJ Seal? What’s your real name?”

      “Ciel is my real name, chief. C-I-E-L, like heaven in Latin, not seal, the
      cuddly animal that balances beach balls on its nose. Short for Cecilia.” He
      opened his mouth to speak and she said, “Don’t even. If I had a nickel every
      time someone sang to me, I’d be rich.”

      He was lost. “Huh?”

      “Oh, okay, go ahead, then. I thought you were going to sing to me.” He
      decided he was going to have to find out what the song was when he got home.

      “I just wanted to know if I could buy you a drink.”

      The smile returned. “Oh, let me buy you a drink, Bobby. I drink for free
      here. That way, they can justify paying me less than the other deejays. Just
      to warn you, though, I’m not a cheap date.”

      He stayed with her up in the deejay booth for the rest of the night, and it
      became a weekly thing. Nothing ever happened, and they settled into a
      comfortable friendship.


      The phone rang. Cecilia rolled out of bed to answer it. “What?”

      “It’s me,” Bobby said. “Some of my friends are visiting and I want them to
      meet you. Are you working tonight?”

      “It’s Friday? Yeah, I’m playing at the DKE party – they rented out a bar on
      West 3rd.” She gave him the address. “How many? I’ll put you on the guest

      “Five, including me.”

      “See you there.”

      “Ciel’s cool. She’s deejaying at this party tonight. I want all of you to
      meet her.” His gaze wandered over the others assembled in his dorm room:
      Rogue, Kitty, Jubilee, and John. It was like old-home week for mutants.

      “Another one of your hopeless crushes?” Jubilee asked, cracking her gum.

      “I’m wearing her down,” he said, refusing to rise to the bait. “She’s a
      couple years older than me, and she thinks it’s a big deal. I told her age
      doesn’t matter--” He was interrupted by Rogue, who appeared to be choking on
      her soda. “Well, it doesn’t, if it’s only two or three years. We’re not
      talking decades, here, Rogue.”

      “Sauce for the goose,” she replied tartly.

      He rolled his eyes. He didn’t want to discuss her on-again-off-again,
      not-quite relationship with Logan. It was too weird. It had broken his heart
      when he was sixteen, and occasionally, he still thought he and Rogue would
      be good together, but it was past and it was going to stay that way.

      “Whatever. We’re going to party tonight.”


      They got into the party without a hitch, and without having to pay. John
      headed straight for the bar, Rogue on his heels. She was going to school up
      in Westchester, and hadn’t been to any of the parties that went on
      regularly, since she had made few friends (being the shy, quiet girl with
      the gloves gave her a reputation for mystery on campus, and a certain cachet
      among the male population, of which she was unaware) and she was generally
      uncomfortable in large crowds for a number of reasons.

      But Bobby wanted to show them how well he was adapting outside the confines
      of Xavier’s, and they were all ripe for a good time. And they had one.

      At the end of the evening, Bobby led them to the deejay booth. As always,
      the door swung open before he got there. “Ciel!”

      “Bobby!” she mocked him.

      “How do you always know it’s me?”

      She shrugged. She looked the little group over, her eyes falling on Rogue’s
      gloves. “You must be Rogue. I’ve heard quite a bit about you.” She held out
      a hand as the southerner blushed.

      “Nice to meet you. Bobby talks about you endlessly.”

      “I think Bobby just talks endlessly,” she replied, smiling.

      “Hey! I resemble that remark,” he complained good-naturedly. He introduced
      the others as well. “I was thinking we could go to the Slaughtered Lamb or
      to Jeckyl & Hyde’s or something,” he said.

      “Automatic Slims,” Ciel replied. “It’s the best bar ever.”

      So they piled into John’s car and went to Slims, where they listened to some
      soul music from the ‘70s. “Don’t hear this stuff much anymore,” Ciel said.

      “That’s ’cause it’s old,” Jubilee replied.

      “Sometimes the old stuff is the best,” the older girl replied. “Al Green,
      Barry White, Thelma Houston -- you know when they play ‘Mr. Big Stuff’ we’re
      all getting on the bar and dancing, right?”

      “I don’t think so,” Kitty said, but she was overruled. She leaned over to
      Rogue, “I have to pee.”

      They made their way through the crowd, down the stairs to the restrooms.
      There was, of course, a line. “You’ve been awful quiet tonight, Rogue.”

      “Huh? Oh. Does Ciel remind you of someone? I swear I’ve seen her, but I
      can't place her face.”

      Kitty shrugged. “Not that I can think of. She’s not Bobby’s usual type,

      “Does Bobby have a usual type?”

      “Yeah,” Kitty said, “us.” They both giggled.

      When they came back, there were shot glasses lined up on the bar.

      "Oh, no," Kitty said, "I've had enough."

      At the same time, Rogue slapped a hand down and yelled, "Wild Turkey!"

      Ciel grinned at her. "Wild Turkey it is, Rogue." The bartender poured out
      bourbon for everyone.

      John, who was gaining a reputation at Stony Brook as a heavyweight drinker,
      smiled at Ciel. "You want another?"

      Her answering grin was wicked. "Line 'em up, little boy."

      She went shot for shot with him until he was standing on the corner, puking
      his guts out into an orange mesh garbage can. She stood watching him,
      sipping a cup of water. "You all right?"

      He looked at her, bleary-eyed. The others stood around, concern evident on
      their faces.

      "You might wanna rinse your shoes off," she said, glancing pointedly at

      "Eww, gross," Jubilee squealed. John stumped back into the bar, aided by
      Bobby, so he could wash the vomit off his shoes.

      "How are we going to get home?" Kitty said. "None of us are able to drive."

      "I can drive," Ciel said confidently. "Not a problem. Where are you all

      Kitty was skeptical. "You drank as much as John did. I don't see how you can
      be all right."

      "Advil and water," the other woman said, smiling mysteriously into her cup.
      "And John had a head start."

      "Can't we just stay at your apartment?" Bobby asked.

      "My place is barely big enough for one, let alone six. And my roommate would
      have a fit. She's a bitch to begin with, and if I bring home extra people,
      she'll never shut up. So, I can drive. Where am I driving to?"

      "Westchester," Rogue said mournfully. "We're going to be so hung over

      "Advil and water," Ciel repeated. "And a bagel. I'm never hung over." She
      looked at the little group standing on the corner. "Westchester, huh?" They
      nodded. "You, too, Bobby?"

      "I guess."

      “Scott’s going to kill us,” Kitty moaned.

      “Scott?” Ciel asked Bobby.

      “He’s, he’s--" Bobby stuttered, unable to explain about the X-Men, or even
      the school, really.

      “He’s like the second-in-command at the school where we live,” Rogue
      offered. “He’s really strict and since we’re all underage...” she trailed
      off and Jubilee drew her finger across her throat.

      They walked to where John had parked the car and piled in. “So you all live
      at a school? Like an orphanage? Boarding school? What?”

      Kitty and Bobby answered at the same time. “It’s a school for -- mutants,”
      she said. “Gifted children,” he said.

      “Okay,” she muttered, letting the mutant comment slide. She had her own
      secrets. Bobby sighed, thinking she hadn’t heard. She looked at John in the
      rearview mirror. “Hey, buddy. Johnny!” she snapped.

      His head lolled and he blinked sleepily. “Wha?”

      “If you puke while I’m driving, I will kill you.” She turned to Rogue, who
      was next to John -- Jubilee was on his lap. “Let him hang his head out the
      window.” Rogue raised an eyebrow. “Don’t give me that look. The smell’ll
      make me sick and then we’ll all be stuck somewhere between here and -- where
      the hell am I taking you people?”

      “Salem Center,” Rogue answered. “Fourteen oh seven Greymalkin Lane.”

      “You can give me directions?”

      “I can,” Bobby said, sitting up straighter in the front seat.

      Ciel drove fast, but well. John only needed to stop once, alongside the Saw
      Mill River Parkway, so he could get out and throw up. He felt much better

      They only hitch they ran into was upon exiting the parkway. “Shit,” Ciel
      muttered as she saw the flashing lights. “DWI roadblock.”

      The kids all exchanged worried glances. They most certainly had been
      drinking, Ciel more than most of them, though her driving didn’t seem at all

      “Shit, shit, shit,” she muttered, stopping as she reached the head of the

      The officer leaned into the window. “How you kids doin’ tonight?” he asked,
      wrinkling his nose.

      “We’re all good, officer,” Bobby began. “How are you?”

      Ciel shot him a dark look. “You need my license and registration, officer?”

      The cop nodded and she handed over her license; she took the piece of paper
      Bobby handed her and passed that along, too.

      “Powell, Cecilia L.,” he murmured. “And how do you come to be driving a car
      registered to Charles Xavier, Miss Powell?”

      “We’re all former students at Xavier’s School,” she said without batting an
      eye, “and he lent us the car to go out tonight, since it’s been ages since
      we’ve seen each other.”

      “Miss Powell, would you please step out of the car.”

      She sighed, undid her seatbelt, and climbed out. “I suppose you want me
      touch my finger to my nose,” she grumbled, stretching her arms out and doing
      as she said. The cop looked at her suspiciously.

      “Please come over here and walk a straight line, Miss Powell.” She did as he
      asked without faltering. “You reek of alcohol,” he said finally.

      “Johnny spilled beer all over me,” she lied. “I’m the designated driver. I
      stopped after one beer. That was over four hours ago.” She knew she was
      volunteering more information than necessary, but she was nervous. She didn’
      t know how these kids were going to react, how their “teacher” would react
      if they all got tossed in jail, and how she’d get out if that happened. She
      didn’t have anyone to call for bail money.

      The policeman still looked skeptical, but he handed her back the license and
      registration and said, “Be careful.”

      She got back in the car and smiled. “Yes, sir.” She drove off, muttering
      curses under her breath.

      “God, that was close,” Kitty muttered to Rogue, who was staring at Ciel,
      lost in thought. Kitty nudged her, “Rogue, did you hear me?”

      “What? Oh yeah, Kitkat, too close for comfort,” she replied absently.

      Kitty shrugged and leaned back.

      It was only a few minutes to the mansion from there, and they arrived in no
      time. “Well, kids, it’s been fun,” Ciel said, “but I’ve had just about all
      the excitement I can take tonight.” Then a realization struck her. “If this
      car belongs here, how the hell am I getting home?”

      The others looked at each other wearily, too tired or drunk to think. “Um,
      you can stay in our room tonight, and I’ll drive you to the train station in
      the morning,” Rogue offered as they all got out of the car.

      Ciel sighed. “I suppose that’ll do. Someone can lend me something to sleep

      “You can sleep with me, Ciel,” Bobby said. The others snickered.

      “Thanks, but I don’t think having you pass out on me is the way I want this
      night to end,” she replied.

      He looked offended. “I’m not gonna pass out. I’m at my peak, sexually,” he
      began, and then he realized what he was saying, and how loud he was saying
      it, when the front door opened and Scott stood there. He blushed red and
      shut up.

      “What’s going on?” Scott asked, walking out to where they all stood in the

      “Mr. Summers -- Scott -- this is my friend Ciel from school,” Bobby
      muttered. “She drove us home tonight because Johnny got a little, er,

      She smiled and held a hand out. “Nice to meet you,” she said. “It’s all
      right if I sleep here tonight and head out in the morning, right?” He
      nodded, taken slightly aback. “Thanks.” They all headed into the house.

      “Our room is this way,” Rogue murmured, heading up the stairs.

      Ciel followed behind the other three girls, calling out just before she was
      out of sight, “Oh, and nice shades.”

      “Ciel!” Kitty whispered.

      “What? They’re really cool. Though I think it’d be kinda hard to see, with
      it being night and all.”

      Rogue looked at her when they entered the bedroom. “Why don’t we cut to the
      chase,” she said. “We’re mutants and you know it.”

      Ciel shrugged. “Yeah. No biggie. Everybody’s got something that makes them
      different, right?”

      “What makes you different, Ciel?” Rogue asked.

      The other girl shrugged again. It seemed to be her signature gesture. “My
      impeccable taste in music?” she answered flippantly. “I’m dead tired, folks.
      Driving up here after drinking as much as I did was not as easy as it looks,
      and I need to sleep or I’m going to collapse. Is this the bathroom?” she
      asked, walking in and turning the light on. She closed the door.

      “Sure you are,” Rogue muttered.

      “What was that?” Ciel asked sharply, poking her head out.


      Ciel washed her face and brushed her teeth, with a toothbrush pulled from
      her backpack. “Where do you want me?” she asked when she was done.

      Kitty and Jubilee were already sprawled out asleep on their beds, still
      fully clothed. Rogue sat on her bed in pajamas and gloves, and pointed to a
      sleeping bag unrolled on the floor. Ciel slid into it and said, “Good
      night.” She was asleep almost immediately. Rogue sat watching her
      thoughtfully, before she too climbed into bed and slept.


      The next morning, Scott thanked Ciel for driving the kids home as he took
      her and Bobby to the train station to catch Metro North back into the city.
      She thanked him again for allowing her to spend the night and he thought it
      was nice that Bobby had made such a polite friend.

      Bobby cradled his head in his hands and flinched at every loud noise and
      bright light, while Ciel laughed. “Oh sure, laugh at my misery. How come you
      ’re not hung over? You drank way more than me.”

      “I told you, I don’t get hung over. I’ve got the constitution of a horse.”
      <There’s a flattering comparison,> she thought. <Oh well, you never liked
      him that way anyway.> He grumbled and she decided to change the subject. “I
      like your friends. Especially Rogue. She seems cool.”

      “She is,” he said. “You just like her because she likes Wild Turkey as much
      as you do.”

      Ciel shrugged. “You gotta take friends where you find ‘em. So how come you
      and she aren’t together. I can tell you really dig her.” She looked down at
      her shoelaces.

      He narrowed his eyes. “I’m so over her,” he began, “and anyway, she’s got a
      thing for Logan. Even though he still treats her like a kid.” He didn’t
      notice the way her head snapped up when he said Logan’s name.

      “Who’s he? A teacher, like that Scott guy? ’Cause he’s a cutie.”

      “Sort of. And you think Scott’s cute? Oh man. He’s married, you know.”

      “Oh well. The good ones always are,” she replied airily. He went on a long
      tirade about girls who only wanted bad boys or married men and how they
      always just wanted to be friends with the good ones. She let him rant, glad
      he hadn’t noticed her strange reaction.


      TBC in the next post
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