FIC: Conversations Take 2: Lunch: 1/1: PG-13: St. John, Rogue, Logan, Scott, St. John/Bobby
- I'm behind on responding to feedback, and it's my own fault. Thank you
everyone and I'll be finishign up tonight. Promise. Thanks sooo much. I
do appreciate it.
Title: Conversations Take Two: Lunch
Author: jenn (jenn@...)
Codes: St. John, Logan, Rogue, Scott, St.John/Bobby, others (pre-L/R)
Series: On Love and Lust at Mutant High #11
Summary: In which St. John overhears too much and gets a little beyond
Author Notes: Sare Liz for title and beta. And for the commentary that
clarified at least for me what I'm trying to do. And the training room
just seems logical, you know?
Archiving: List, otherwise ask
Feedback: With coca-cola, it is lingered over and loved dearly.
He didn't want to leave that nicely cool body, and for an entire ten
minutes, St. John didn't after he awakened, aware the sun was much farther
in the sky than it had been earlier. Wrapped himself closer, burying his
head against the hard chest, feeling Bobby's fingers tangle sleepily in his
hair. It was innocent enough, he really believed it, and shut his eyes
when he brushed his lips along the sternum, feeling Bobby moan softly,
shifting a little closer.
For the first time, it wasn't play--even St. John recognized what was
moving inside of him wasn't just simple lust and affection and close
friendship with the natural sexual tension thing. He'd thought to himself
before he might be in love--now he knew he was. Knew it when he lifted his
eyes to see Bobby watching him, cool hands coming up to brush along the
line of his cheeks.
But Bobby loved Rogue, and St. John, for all his cavalier attitude on sex,
didn't want it this way. Which is why he smiled tightly, tearing himself
out of bed and going to the shower, pressing himself back against the cool
tiles that reminded him of Bobby's fingers with the water reacting to him
even set at cold, growing steadily hotter to match the temperature of his
body. He got back out, skin reddened, trying to control the burn in his
body that needed release so badly he knew anyone stupid enough to come
close to him would probably be vaporized. Bobby was gone and he went
through the closet, ignoring Bobby's bed, covered in a light sheen of ice.
Grabbed a t-shirt and his boots and jeans off the floor, went outside
looking for somewhere safe to vent.
Where he trained, of course. No place better.
* * * * *
Later, he'd have no idea how his instincts, which he didn't have many of,
truth be told, had gotten him out of the Mansion without running into
anyone. All the basic laws of probability said that he'd have to run into
someone, at least one someone, but maybe other people had better instincts
and felt it coming off of him. He had to release, he had to do it now, and
it took all his concentration to just get out, his body temperature already
warming his clothes.
One hundred yards from the school, the training center, down fifteen steps
into the cool underground that heated up the second he walked in. He
flipped the lights, punching in his security code, and faced the hallway
lined with doors, rooms where the students had first been taught to control
their abilities. The destructive-potential students, that is. Alpha class
kids. The ones that the world was careful never to know about. His kind.
It was built from solid brick overlaid with concrete--St. John had shown
early on that given enough time, he could vaporize those too, and had since
been reinforced with steel beams and Teflon, layered heavily with some
complicated chemical combination that even he had issues with bringing
down, though God knew, he hadn't even really tried yet, who knew for sure
anymore? The room was large enough to give him space, heavily ventilated,
and filled with objects that took time to wreck, time for his mutation to
wear itself out. He ignored the protective clothing the Professor had
stored in the outside closet, punching his codes into the door and walking
in, locking the door behind him and setting it for no entrance as long as
the temperature remained above a certain level--other mutants could easily
pass out when he was like this, or worse, though as yet no one had tried to
get in during training. Then turned and stared at a cinderblock until he
felt the rush of heat, close to pure pleasure, and it vaporized before his
He was stronger. And for some reason, he hadn't expected that.
But it wasn't enough, and he wasn't sure what would be enough--his
temperature didn't even drop a full degree, and he felt sweat break out on
his forehead as the room slipped above one thirty Fahrenheit and began to
climb. The rush was starting, this time outside his control, and he fought
it down, trying to focus on the mantra they all learned at the Professor's
It wouldn't control him--he wasn't thirteen and this wasn't Santa Fe.
Nothing on God's green earth was sending him back to that. Focus, focus,
focus, bring it down, bring it under control, what the hell did he know
about love anyway?
St. John let it go, and it happened faster, scaring him, staring at the set
of chemical-covered blocks that went up into water vapor that disappeared
almost instantly. Pure force, no finesse, he'd separated oxygen and
hydrogen into their component parts just by sheer strength. Stumbling
backward, he leaned up against the wall that could absorb the heat from his
skin, sinking down and bringing it under strict control, shutting his eyes
tight until everything went still inside of him. Just below, he could feel
it shifting, twisting, wanting out--but he wasn't controlled by his
mutation, his mutation was controlled by him. This was who he was, he
wasn't thirteen and this wasn't that abandoned building in Santa Fe.
And he didn't know a damn thing about love. Not a damn thing. But hell,
what kind of example did he have, anyway? He could barely remember his
parents, and what he could remember, their example of love had been to
leave him as quickly as possible with the first flared candle, with the
first realization of what he was. So it wasn't love--love was that weird
crap between Mr. Summers and Dr. Grey that sometimes creeped him out, and
what all the girls at the school called romantic just frightened him. He
didn't want that. He didn't want to be bound like that, didn't want to be
locked down--he wanted what he had, what was simple. Love was dangerous
and complex and caused fights in the middle of the night that woke them all
up and gave them headaches when Dr. Grey's shields slipped.
Calm, calm, calm, focus, focus, focus--slowly, he sank onto the floor and
wrapped his arms around his knees, shutting down everything but his focus,
the warming reality of the floor beneath him and the wall behind him,
bringing everything back under strict control. And with the control came a
flash of utter embarrassment, that for the first time in a long time, he'd
allowed emotion to overrule his reason--and all of it because he woke up
and looked at Bobby, and that was just fucked-up. Period. Maybe
No good reason at all.
Taking a deep breath, he stood back up, checking physical temperature and
ambient temperature both, then turning his full attention to his
objects--and this time, focused, focused, focused--the cinderblock went up
quick and easy--disturbingly quick and easy--but it didn't push for more,
didn't try to slither back out, and he shut his eyes after, checking
himself. For the first time, though, he wondered exactly what his
limitations really were. Given enough heat, enough raw strength, he could
break the bonds between atoms--and that scared him most of all. Don't
think about love, don't think about how destructive you really are. Don't
think. Focus. Calm Control. Shatter it, but do it with finesse, do it
with control. Nothing else. Don't think of anything else.
A few more runs, feeling his temperature slowly drop back into human range,
then one more flash that dropped him well below, he leaned against the
wall, shivering from the chill, drawing in a breath that was oxygen rich
and air that was a little too hot and a little too thick, but the
ventilation system had gone into overdrive to clear it out and the air
conditioning was coming on, cooling the room back down to something someone
besides him could tolerate. Sitting down, he crossed his legs and
rebalanced himself, remembering now with affection the Professor sitting
with him in this room, not giving a good damn about the danger he was,
telling him softly that one day, he'd be able to do it only by will.
Telling him he didn't have to be afraid, telling him that one day, he'd
learn to understand what he could do. Telling him everything would be good
now, he didn't need to be afraid. Handing him over to Bobby early that
afternoon and touching for the first time that cooling presence, a hand
against his shoulder.
The first time his temperature had dropped without the physical effort,
with that friendly hand that told him he wasn't alone anymore.
* * * * *
When St. John finally dragged himself back, he went straight to the rec
room. Jubes and Kitty were back, sprawled across the couch, both grinning
to see him. Bobby, an empty plate on the floor, was asleep at the other
end, and to his surprise, Remy had emerged from hiding and was trying very
hard to casually smoke a cigarette with Kitty using his legs as a pillow.
Without much thought, St. John climbed in the mass, resting his back
against Bobby's legs after quickly hugging both girls.
"You better believe it. So Wolvie is back?"
It had once been amusing to hear Jubilee refer to Wolverine as
Wolvie--humanized him just a little, made him that much less an
awe-inspiring object of fear. But not now--there was no way he could ever
associate that name with stalking animal who wandered the school at large.
No way. Not after seeing Dr. Grey in the hall, not after being the focus
of those extremely inhuman eyes. Not since--
St. John jumped, turning completely around on the couch, but Rogue was
already vaulting over, landing neatly between Jubes and St. John, and
Jubilee, after the automatic check of visible skin, gave her a hug, Kitty
following (and in the process putting a foot in Remy's stomach that he
didn't seem to appreciate all that much). Quick check--no Logan. Not
anywhere in sight. Didn't mean he wasn't in range somewhere, watching
them, ready to pick off the weakest of the herd--
--geez, St. John my boy, get over it.
Settling warily back, he found a smile and pasted it on, but Rogue could
read deceit and frowned briefly before turning her full attention back to
Jubilee and Kitty as they related their adventures in Los Angeles, and St.
John decided he was hungry and got up, waving off Rogue's questioning gaze.
Lunch should still be out and he wandered into the dining room--
--and of course, Logan was there.
"I'm not going to listen to this. You have no--"
"Cyke, you just don't get it. I have every right--she was here
conditionally. Period." St. John straightened at that, a little startled
by the cool tone--not the Logan in the upstairs hall. This was a different
one, a little cooler and a lot more controlled, dealing with Mr. Summers,
the very epitome of control and anality. Attitude switched accordingly.
"There was no condition--you left her here. You didn't want her, we took
her in. You weren't that worried when you left--"
"Conditionally." This time it was a growl that raised every hair on St.
John's body. And he, frozen by the doorway, couldn't move to save his
life. "I brought her here, you said you could take care of her. Trust--I
figured there were worse places for her to be--"
"Such as picking fights in random bars with you?"
Oh fuck, Mr. Summers, what the hell are you doing? But no real reaction,
and he stole a look at their faces--and Logan was smiling a little, just a
little. Leaning back against the wall by the far door, no visible threat
at all, but Mr. Summers looked guilty. He probably smelled like it
too--keeping a secret like this couldn't be easy. Vaguely, St. John
wondered if anyone had cleaned up the isolation chamber yet--or if Logan
even knew there was an isolation chamber.
"The idea of walking out with her has become more and more temptin', Cyke.
Don't get me wrong, I like my freedom--but I like her a hell of a lot
"And what the hell makes you think she'd walk on your order?"
Whoa--one, Mr. Summers used profanity, which in St. John's experience, was
utterly unheard of. No one would believe that. Two--did Mr. Summers know
Rogue at all? If Logan told her to jump from the damned roof she'd do it
without a second thought. Maybe that was what love was, roof jumping on
command--and that image almost made him laugh and it took a physical effort
to stop himself, aware that the two men across the dining hall weren't
gonna take his presence well.
A flicker of eyes and the ghost of a smile went his way--God, Logan knew he
was here. But didn't let him interrupt him, looking back at Cyke--Mr.
Summers, damn it!--as coolly as could be.
"You wanna test it?" The slowest smile, utterly confident, the smile of a
good bluffer--or someone who knew exactly what they were doing. "Rogue!"
St. John's entire body went utterly still as the two men's eyes met. The
rapid sounds of feet behind him, and Rogue emerged beside him, a curious
expression on her face. Didn't even notice him, which was damned odd, but
her entire focus was on the man across the dining room and she got halfway
to them before frowning, stopping. Both eyebrows jumped a little.
"You called, sugar?" Pure casual interest in a voice that her body didn't
reflect at all, and Logan locked eyes with Mr. Summers again, waiting him
out. Which Mr. Summers wouldn't risk--St. John knew that they didn't want
her gone, and even knew why--dangerous, dangerous, dangerous. She was
dangerous. Had to be watched, protected, protect others, all the crap the
X-Men believed in. Which he had thought he believed in, until he saw Rogue
in that isolation chamber, when a switch in his head had been thrown.
They weren't always right. In fact, they could be very, very wrong. And
Rogue shifted from foot to foot, taking in everything in front of her with
those cool eyes before slowly finishing her walk toward them, reaching out
a gloved left hand and touching Logan's shoulder.
Mr. Summers shook his head sharply and Rogue's head swung around, giving
him an equally cool, measuring look. Rogue, constantly testing, constantly
practicing, pulling up everything she knew and working out the problem. An
eternal student, even now she was learning from this, and St. John could
almost see the possibilities flashing in her eyes.
"I'm not playing this with you, Logan." And Mr. Summers turned, walking
stiffly out the door. Rogue watched him leave, eyes still a little
narrowed, before she flicked them up to Logan, and she was back to normal.
Or normal as Rogue got, which was with a smile and utterly clear eyes and a
watchful expression that meant she was thinking, thinking, thinking all the
"You need somethin'?" she drawled. "Or just playing alpha male with
"Playing alpha male with Scooter again." An amused rumble and Rogue
laughed a little. "Come on--you're gonna be in my class, I wanna see how
well you're gonna measure up. You feel like a little work-out?"
Rogue's eyes darkened thoughtfully and she nodded, and St. John saw Logan's
quick glance back at him again--and how did he get in these messes?--before
he followed Rogue out the far door. It took several seconds to think over
what he heard and he was halfway back in the rec room before the sense of
Logan's last little statement got through his skull and pounded like a
death-knell of hope.
"Oh God," he said, and shit, wasn't it obvious? Was he that stupid? Shit.
Jubilee, on the couch, sat up to lean over the back and stare at him as he
dropped over and landed on his back, looking up at the ceiling. "Shit.
Shoulda made the connection. We got a problem, folks."
The folks gathered closer and St. John gave the rapidly paling Remy a
quick glance, then raised himself on his elbows to look at them all.
"Two guesses who's gonna be teaching our combat class."
Nothing for a full second, and the sense of it penetrated them all at the
same time. Jubilee sucked in a breath and flopped down--landing on Remy,
incidentally, and St. John took that in with some interest.
"All of us in one class. Oh fuck, Johnny, what the hell are we gonna do?"
Shit, he wished he had an answer.
--Sociopaths are people too. And they generally enjoy life more.--Sare on
Logan During Email Beta of "Illusions Part III"
--There's a difference between logan liking the occational kill and him
practically writing a treatise on how it's the perfect solution to nearly
every problem under the sun...--Sare on Logan's sociopathic tendencies
during AIM chat, same beta
--"Have you ever found yourself so mad at someone that you had to either
fuck them or kill them?"--Logan on being reasonable (A Reasonable
Compromise by Fyrdrakken)
-- "Oh, that. I *mostly* like women � I'm just willing to be flexible
every now and then. Doesn't bother me any."--Logan on sex (A Reasonable
Compromise by Fyrdrakken)
--Hi, My Name Is Jenn, and I have Serious Issues with Marie wearing gloves
to bed. On Principle.--Sare on "Evil Plot Bunny #1: The Evil Sare
Tortures Jenn Via AIM One Night"