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FIC: Missing Links Should Remain Missing (1/1) St. John (response to the "They died instantly" challenge)

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  • Laura Barnett
    Title: Missing Links Should Remain Missing Author: Crystal Claire Rating: PG -- maybe PG-13 for some language. Category: Foof with some St. John angst thrown
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 8, 2002
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      Title: Missing Links Should Remain Missing
      Author: Crystal Claire
      Rating: PG -- maybe PG-13 for some language.
      Category: Foof with some St. John angst thrown in for good measure.
      Summary: "They died instantly."
      Disclaimer: The X-Men aren't mine -- I'm just taking them for a spin. Please
      don't sue me.
      Note: In response to Khaki's opening sequence challenge.

      ***

      They died instantly. And that was one of the best things about video games,
      St. John thought as he thumbed the control, taking out four ghouls in the
      virtual alley displayed on the rec room TV. They didn't keep on fighting
      the Brotherhood or the FOH'ers like some feral version of the Energizer
      Bunny or Wile E. Coyote. No, they laid down and *died* like they were
      supposed to.

      He grimaced to himself. No, he really didn't want to see the man dead.
      There wasn't a lot to like about Logan, but would he want him dead? No.
      Back in Canada? Yes. Definitely, yes.

      After four years of being a supportive friend, Johnny's friendship with
      Rogue was just beginning to blossom into something more. Despite what Kitty
      and Jubes might believe, he was the one who nursed her through her crush on
      Logan, her turbulent romance with Remy, and the emotional roller coaster
      ride that ensued as she learned to control her mutation. And then there was
      the horribly cruel break-up with Stephen. Idly, he wondered for the
      hundredth time how Stephen had reacted to seeing *Stephen Harris Sits Down
      When He Pees* scorched onto the university's football field on homecoming
      weekend. It had been risky but hearing Rogue's laughter followed by an "I
      love you, Johnny" -- punctuated with a very memorable kiss -- made it
      entirely worth the black eye and broken nose he suffered later from the frat
      boys. Yes, life was good.

      Until the next day, that is.

      His football field antics were completely overshadowed by the latest campus
      rumor. Apparently, someone had paid a midnight visit to the fraternity
      house and put the dumb-as-rocks jocks through a now legendary, what could
      only be described as Logan-style, hazing.

      And it had to be true. Those fraternity boys never even looked at him funny
      after that. More importantly, they treated Rogue like a queen, offering to
      carry her books and opening doors for her. Yes, Johnny had been completely
      upstaged, and the Rogue-St. John relationship slipped torturously back into
      the realm of the "non-date" movie habit with Johnny occasionally sitting
      hopefully through a romantic comedy here and there.

      Now, eight months later and midway through the summer, Johnny, Rogue and
      their fellow Gen-X'ers were back at the mansion, college degrees in hand.
      They were finally considered adults and that was supposed to be good.

      Except it wasn't. Rogue was no longer considered "jailbait" by The Missing
      Link.

      "What's up Johnny? You got slaughtered," Bobby said, giving his shoulder a
      shove. Johnny looked up at the TV. He was out of lives and Game Over
      flashed annoyingly across the screen.

      "Crap." He tossed the controls aside. He saw Bobby's expectant face and
      shrugged. "Just got a lot on my mind."

      "Are you going to take up the professor's teaching offer?"

      Johnny answered with a non-committal grunt. He glanced around the rec room
      looking for an out. He didn't want to have this discussion right now.
      Jubes and Dani were playing a game of chess. Piotr and Kurt were playing
      foosball. And predictably, Kitty had her nose in a book.

      Bobby, like most of the occupants of the room - actually all of the
      occupants aside from himself -- had accepted teaching positions at the
      school. The student population had been growing with leaps and bounds. A
      large addition was being built to accommodate the influx of new students,
      but the curriculum, and consequently, the teaching resources also needed
      expansion.

      Johnny's major had been in Physics. Originally, he had decided on Chemistry
      as his major, but one small explosion in the university's lab had convinced
      him that might not lead to a successful career with his particular
      "talents."

      It's not like he wasn't thinking about taking the position. He belonged
      here and this was his family. He'd have to decide soon though. August was
      just around the corner and the professor, though never one to push, needed
      an answer. He felt he'd probably stay, but it would be hard - more
      difficult than the past four years - and he considered himself the master of
      persistence and endurance. He'd perfected art of secretive longing.

      However, hiding his feelings was also getting increasingly difficult as
      Rogue and Logan grew chummier. In less than two months, Logan had usurped
      his position as confidant-extraordinaire. And now they were *dating*.
      Surprisingly, no one, not even Scott, was having a stroke about it, and that
      was just damn annoying.

      Johnny heard the heavy thud of footsteps and looked up to see his nemesis
      enter the rec room. Faded jeans and a tight black t-shirt wrapped the
      testosterone-filled, muscle-bulging body that belonged to the Wolverine.

      "Jubilee, have you seen Marie?"

      "Wolvie! You can't take Rogue out looking like that," Jubilee moaned as she
      pulled out a brush from her purse. "Come here."

      Logan growled in response and didn't budge.

      "Doesn't matter. It's a brush, not a magic wand." It just slipped out and
      now there was nothing but an eerie silence draped over the rec room.

      As soon as he said it, Johnny wished he were dead. His second thought was
      *Be careful of what you wish for.* He surreptitiously glanced at Bobby who
      was pale and wide-eyed. No support there. He turned his gaze back to Logan
      ready to face the music. Logan's face was completely blank.

      Logan turned and headed out of the rec room. "Outside Pyro," he called over
      his shoulder.

      "Dude! What were you thinking?" Jubes clapped a hand to her forehead.
      "That woulda been funny with Mr. Summers. But with Wolvie? He doesn't have
      a sense of humor. You know that!"

      "Not true. It's just a twisted sense of humor," Dani interjected.
      "Remember that time he took a bite out of Toad and said he tasted just like
      chicken."

      ***

      Logan was waiting for him on the porch. On his way from the rec room to the
      porch, Johnny had come up with a new strategy. Provoke Logan. He was sure
      Rogue wouldn't take kindly to the Wolverine taking a bite out of her best
      friend. He took a seat on the swing.

      "You don't like me much."

      "And Mr. Summers said you were slow on the uptake." To his dismay, Logan
      chuckled and then blew cigar smoke in his face. Okay, second-hand smoke was
      considered dangerous, but not exactly something Rogue would get up in arms
      about.

      Logan took another puff and then popped his neck. He almost looked
      uncomfortable. "Y'know, I'm sorry about this."

      "What?" This wasn't going as planned unless Logan normally apologized
      before kicking ass. He was weird, but Johnny didn't think he was that
      weird.

      Logan stubbed out his cigar, and then reached behind 'Ro's potted plant. He
      pulled out two Molson Goldens, popped off the bottle caps with a single claw
      and offered one to Johnny. "You've been a good friend to Marie, and I know
      you have feelings for her."

      Johnny accepted the beer uncertainly and mulled over a number of responses
      before settling on one. "Yeah, I do. I don't know why though. She really
      does some annoying crap like when we hold hands, she plays with my
      fingernails."

      Logan grunted and nodded. "Yeah, but she doesn't let just anyone hold her
      hand."

      Johnny took a swig of beer. "And come to think of it I don't much care for
      her condiment choices either. French dressing and french fries weren't
      meant for each other."

      "I think the bad taste in things French was just a passing phase." Logan
      paused. "But I don't really like the way she just reaches over and changes
      the radio station when I'm driving. And I'd really rather go permanently
      deaf than listen to Country music. A healing factor isn't all it's cracked
      up to be."

      Johnny smirked. "Well, if the Country music bothers you, wait until you
      hear her snore. It's like a chainsaw on steroids."

      Logan almost launched himself off the porch railing. "How do you know she
      snores?"

      Johnny couldn't prevent it. He jumped and added hurriedly, "Road trip to
      New Hampshire junior year. That's why I sometimes call her Buzz." Johnny
      knew he was being scrutinized closely, but then Logan just nodded
      thoughtfully.

      "Did she ever make you paint her toenails?"

      Johnny burst out laughing. He couldn't help it. "No," he finally squeaked
      out.

      Logan set down his beer on the railing and held up his hands. He popped the
      claws. "I mean, c'mon, do these hands look like they were built for dainty
      work?"

      "No, they certainly don't."

      Logan retracted the claws and picked up his beer and finished it. "And why
      on earth does it take her an hour and half to get ready? Can you answer me
      that?"

      Johnny shook his head, the slight pain of jealousy returned. "She doesn't
      spend that kind of time primping for just anyone."

      "Hmm. I guess that's true."

      Johnny downed half the bottle before his next question. "So where are you
      taking her tonight?"

      "Going casual. Movie and then Harry's."

      "Don't let her rope you into a game of quarters. Healing factor or not, she
      'll kick your ass." Rogue could roll the quarter down that lovely straight
      nose of hers and it would bounce on the table and land perfectly in the shot
      glass.

      "She could try," Logan retorted with a mischievous grin.

      Johnny stood and leveled his most serious look at Logan. "You know, if you
      break her heart, I'm going to be there to pick up the pieces."

      "Uh huh. And I'd probably get my ass toasted, too."

      Johnny smiled and raised his beer bottle to Logan. "Okay then. Thanks for
      the beer. I have to go see the professor now."

      Logan returned the smile. "Good."

      ***

      End.
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