FIC: Fragment: 1/3: Bobby, Bobby/ St. John: NC-17
- Title: Fragment
Author: jenn (jenn@...)
Fandom: X-Men Movieverse
Series: Love and Lust Outtakes #6, very post-Elemental
Codes: Bobby, St. John/Bobby
Rating: NC-17, slash
Summary: A not entirely accidental meeting in Canadian snow.
Author Notes: Don't ask. Unbeta'ed.
Archiving: Kylie's Data Annex, Indulgence. Ask otherwise.
Disclaimer: I don't own them. I accept this with very little equanimity
and much pulling of the hair and grinding of the teeth. Metaphorically
Feedback: Adored with coffee products of all kinds.
There was the way people fragmented, like safety glass in a late model car
during an accident. Not broken shards that cut through flesh and search
for blood, but just--vast traces of fine lines arrowing outward from the
center, visibly shattered, but still intact.
Like life, relationships, missions that started good and went bad. So bad.
So very very bad and God, did his head hurt. Like a tap dance by an
elephant with bad coordination and oh wow, he was he might he could just
lay here and *see* pink elephants in metal-heeled shoes right now and it
wouldn't surprise him at all.
Ten minutes ago, he'd hit the ground with something like relief, or God, a
hundred for all the hell he knew, and there was a cut on his forehead that
bled vivid red on the snow the last time he checked.
Long damned time ago, really. He could, maybe, be bleeding out, right here
and right now.
He could see the color if he opened his eyes, but that was just a stupid
idea, wasn't it? He was thinking metaphorically and he might be dying
concretely. It'd never been easy, granted. Not to be a superhero, not to
be Bobby Drake, and it really did make him want to laugh, maybe throw up,
maybe both, depending on the state of his stomach if he tried to move.
Thinking about it was quite enough to taste bile slicking on the back of
Swirling snow like shattered glass swirled over his face and Bobby grimaced
at the broken sound of the voice overhead. Snow, ice, cold air, natural
habitat for the boy on the ground who'd passed his twenty-eighth birthday
and still didn't see a man in the mirror when he looked.
Reflection in other people's eyes weren't any different, though, so he
maybe couldn't be blamed, not really.
"God, you just--fucking *lay* there." Disgust and frustration, and a lot
of old, familiar energy and heat somewhere to the leftish. Subtle
wrongness of feeling so fucking high right now, smiling like an idiot into
the blank whiteness. He could be dying. So far, it wasn't going too
badly, either. "They left. You. Here."
Bobby coughed, raising a gloved hand to his face. The air was colder than
he liked to admit--probably concussed and he was Iceman, remember, so
shouldn't he like the cold or something? Crap. Pressure trail over the
wound on his face, the widened edges of torn skin and muscle beneath, blood
slick and probably freezing--ten below zero and dropping and--oh, yes,
concussed. So fucking concussed. Odes of concussionary things could be
written. In his blood, come to think of it.
"Crap. Dammit, you--." And a hand on his face, brief and fast and *hot*,
like a branding iron or maybe just human flesh compared to where his body
temperature was right now, which was to say not even *near* the human norm.
"You're just--all of you. Are. Fucking. Morons. Can you walk?"
Heh. What an idea. Bobby opened his eyes, staring up, but only white snow
and vivid blue eyes, everything else a predictable smear of uncertain
color. His uniform felt scratchy, like it had suffered more than he did,
and he wondered if changing form and changing back so fast damaged it in
some unknown way he'd never tested. Wasn't like he could anticipate every
known situation, after all. Blame Scott. *He* should have anticipated it,
fearless leader-type person and premiere strategist and--
--they left? Without him?
Concussion, Bobby. You can be as idiotic as you want. Kind of a relief if
you think about it.
"Shit. You can't freeze to death." But there was a trace of uncertainty,
and an arm looped beneath his shoulders, pulling him upright on the snow.
Low hiss that Bobby couldn't help with the shift and the arm jerked him
closer, sending another sharp arrow of pain. Broken clavicle? Dislocated
shoulder? Who knew? Biology was a *hell* of a long time ago, like a lot
of things, but then again, also like a lot of things, it seemed to be
around the right time to revisit.
Body warm--hot--hot, kneeling in the snow beside him, melting around them,
and Bobby laughed, hard. It should melt, that was what things were
*supposed* to do when they came up against this man. God.
"Concussed and the idiots *left*. Shows where you stand in the hierarchy,
don't it, kiddo?" A ghost of feeling over his face, then easy motion of
being tilted somewhat south and Bobby groaned. "Dislocated shoulder, too.
I'd think you were trying to die, but hey, guess the hell what? I like you
living. Go figure."
Curling fingers around his good shoulder, and there was another jerk. On
his feet, swaying and the body was flat against his. Hot. So hot he
wanted to draw away and wanted burrow closer, and the wet was refreezing
onto him, into him, and he stumbled.
This was so pathetic. Iceman indeed. Call out the codename pickers and
tell them oh God how you fucked up. He felt like he was made of water.
Tired water at that. Waterboy. *That* would strike fear into the hearts
of the bad guys.
And bad guys were such relative things right now.
"Fuck. *Fuck*. Come on, Bobby, get with the program. I sure as shit
don't have time to babysit."
Bobby grinned, knowing he looked like an idiot and not really caring.
Johnny was always so--elegant when he slipped into profanity. Something to
do with Australian origins and the way the accent sometimes invaded his
voice without warning. Or, you know, concussion again. Heh.
"Like you're so busy, Pyro. Ass up and lost again." Couldn't help
laughing, and his ribs ached with it. "Note the Brotherhood is gone too,
buddy. Nice to see we're both deep in the shit."
"I can take care of myself, Drake. Come on." Arm around his waist,
supporting every step, and Bobby let him lead. Always did, come to think
of it, and it was frighteningly easy just to close his eyes and go with it,
second after second after second of dragging steps and melting snow around
them, and was there somewhere to go? "Fuck, Drake, come *on*."
It could be hours and Bobby was still laughing, even after he stopped.
--"I want you to meet someone, Bobby."--
--"New guy?" There was always hope--Bobby was tired of being the youngest
in the house, vast and depressingly empty, and Scott's hand was warm on his
shoulder, smiling down at him. Not so much older in body but in mind--God,
he could never have been a teen, like, ever.--
--"New guy. Your age, we think."--
--"He--what's his thing?"--
--"You'll see, Bobby."--
--Down outside, across the bright green lawn that Professor Xavier had
people maintain for him. Crystal clear lake in the background, and he
could see Jean waiting at the top of the rise, where the stairs were. Down
underground, the training center, where they went to practice, and Bobby
felt a hum of energy under his feet. They both walked him down, through
the long corridor and a tap at the door while they waited. Bobby looked at
the temperature gauge on the outside, like the one off his room just across
the hall. High, he thought, getting on his tiptoes to read the markings.
Celsius. Forty-five degrees and what was that in Fahrenheit again?--
--Two guesses on this kid, and the first one don't count.--
--The door swung open and Jean and Scott let him go in first. The
Professor was smiling, sheen of sweat on his forehead and on the pristine
white shirt--never saw that before. Movement in the corner, little ball
that consisted of too-large clothes and too-big eyes, brown hair and
straightening against the wall.--
--There was dust everywhere and Bobby began to feel sweat start beneath his
armpits and his forehead.--
--"Bobby." The Professor smiled, then half turned. "It's okay, Johnny.
Come here. I want you to meet someone."--
--The slim figure moved like someone walking barefoot on broken glass,
coming to the Professor's side. Thin, like he hadn't eaten in, like,
forever, and no smile, like he didn't even know how.--
--"Johnny, this is Robert Drake. He'll be your classmate." Bobby wasn't
sure what to do--shake hands?--but the Professor was always ready for this
sort of thing. "Bobby, this is St. John Allerdyce. He's the newest member
of our family."--
--Heat from the boy again, and tension, too, and Bobby took a slow step
forward. Blue eyes watched him warily. Bobby knew all about that.--
--"Nice to meet you.--
--"You, too."-- Soft traces of something not fully American in the low
voice, then a sideways look at the Professor, challenging and suspicious
and wow, how could someone *not* trust him? "I--we done?"--
--"For now. Bobby will show you to your room. Perhaps you might get him
equipped for classes, Bobby? Show him the grounds?" And there was *a lot*
in the Professor's face that Bobby just didn't know how to interpret, but
hey. New guy, his age. This was sooo cool, even if he didn't look too
--"Sure. You--um, come on. You can pick a room. There's the one beside
mine and it's--um, empty. There's a Playstation and uh, I'll show you."--
Not easy to talk to that face. Like what he said wasn't even registering.
--And couldn't help touching him--and hot, so hot, like it would burn
straight through is hand, that thin skin over power, so much power, but
wow, still cool. Fire. He grinned and the boy stared at him, wide eyes
and shock and stiff, before a nod and a jerk of his shoulders that didn't
seem to want Bobby's hand to move.--
--When they were out of the room, Bobby leaned closer. Johnny smelled like
char and ash and late summer outside, like something elemental and it
was--so cool. Like no one he'd ever met.--
--"You're--what, ice?" Johnny asked, and his voice was a little less wary.
Bobby extended a hand, glancing back to make sure that Scott wasn't
watching, then concentrated. Sometimes, weird things happened, but for
once, all was in working order. Water froze around his fingers and the
tiny ball wasn't perfectly spherical, but hey, close. Wow. "Nice."--
Hostility fading. Bobby nodded.
--"Come on. Miss Grey made cookies we're not supposed to know about.
Hurry before they realize the kitchen's not guarded."--
--And there was this--this *crack* like something was breaking, but it was
only a smile and Bobby grinned back.--
God knew where they were, but Bobby was relatively conscious when he took
in the hard dry thing he was laying on and the heavy blanket tossed across
him like an afterthought. Damp blanket, but hey, you took what you could
get, and it was probably better than nothing. Lifting his head, a spike of
pain arrowed outward over his eye and down into his chin.
Oh wow, that hurt. A *lot*.
Eyes closed, with only a glimpse of dancing orange and shadow, welcome to
Waking Up, X-Men Style, where there's always the possibility that you
Familiar voice, rougher than he remembered, but that could be the
concussion and near-death or whatever happened to him, and Bobby groaned
softly, closing a now bare hand over his forehead with care. Rough cloth
expertly applied and bound, like Jean had taught them, and the traces of
wet blood were congealing even now. His body felt heavy but he was alive,
or at least, very close to it.
Heat beside him again--intense heat, Memphis summer or maybe a Kansas
heatwave a long time ago, easy to identify because he'd fucked in heat like
this once upon a time, and Bobby opened his eyes again and looked up.
"We're being formal?" Twist of Johnny's lips into a smirk and Bobby half
sat up, rotating his arm before he remembered something had happened to it.
Residual soreness, but nothing he couldn't handle, and there were vague
memories of screaming and tears that flickered in the very back of his
mind. Touching his cheek, he felt the salty remains streaked into his
skin. "I got it back into place. Bruised ribs, a little muscle strain on
your back, no biggies. Okay except for your head--what, you wounded
mid-change?" A ghost of touch on his face and Bobby nodded.
"'Stique packs a punch when she's pissed." Couldn't do better than that,
not now. Memories were still dim and soft and well, he liked it that way.
"Raven doesn't like to be fucked over. Boys are getting the hide peeled
off them by inches thanks to today, by the way. I'm sure she's aching to
do the same to me real soon now. Good thing I'm not there. Should thank
you, I guess."
"Shoulda known you'd have an ulterior motive for being here," Bobby
answered, and coughed a little. Gentle, achingly familiar hands lifted him
upright when the cough didn't stop--strengthened, even--and blood was thin
and iron-sweet on his lip, but he was pretty sure that was just residual,
nothing damaged inside. Limp as a dishcloth--Dishboy? Hehehe. Therapy in
"Always, Drake." Slow, calming circles on his back, and Bobby opened his
eyes fully. Blue eyes, mess of dirty brown hair around a tanned face.
Golden skin even in winter, though Bobby remembered vaguely the rumor of a
recent Brotherhood operation in Australia that went badly. Blood dried in
patches on his face and uniform. Old lines of a jagged scar at the point
of the strong jaw, and Bobby reached out, running the tips of his fingers
over it. Johnny didn't flinch. "Long time ago."
Slow nod, careful not to dislodge his fingers either. A soft sigh he
didn't try to hide.
"Great. Fabulous. Dandy. Freezing to death by inches, thank you."
Belatedly, he seemed to remember to pull away, but it was like slow-motion
and easy to evade. Bobby couldn't give this up quite yet. The stubble
beneath his fingertips was soft, addictive to touch.
"Miss me, Pyro?" he asked, and Johnny stiffened. Edging away, patented
Johnny-doesn't-deal and Bobby had always understood why Johnny ran so fast.
He had so much to run from.
"Don't start. Not in the mood, Drake."
It was--strange. Like the safety glass of time was fragmenting, wires
going everywhere in his memory. Ten years and ten seconds difference, he
supposed, and a concussion in the bargain, but right now the fight was a
long way away and he shifted over on the mattress, pulling the blanket
down. Everything was pretty wrong with the situation--cold in the snow,
wounded in a fight he shouldn't have even been in, and locked in here, so
"Come on--you've got to be exhausted. We're on truce, aren't we?"
There was a long silence and Bobby forced his focus. The blue eyes were
unreadable unless you knew him well, and St. John Allerdyce was ten years
away as Pyro now. Still. Different uniform and different hair, maybe, but
the same movements of long fingers when he pushed his hair back, damp with
sweat, and the lines of exhaustion stood out plainly on skin ashy beneath
the tan. Closer to burn-out than Bobby had seen since--well, a damned long
time ago. The heat in those eyes had nothing to do with the power that
filled him, though, and it warmed Bobby more than any of Johnny's fires
ever had. "Fire will be fine if you sleep, Johnny. Where are we?"
"Shit if I know. Canada. Somewhere. I don't control that fire. If we
burn up, it'll be your fault."
"I'll take my chances."
St. John looked away, but he sat down on the edge of the mattress, leaning
over to pull off his boots, and Bobby heard them hit the floor. Bobby
studied the long line of Johnny's back, top pulled up to reveal a stripe of
golden skin. Bobby fought the urge to trace it with his fingers, let them
remember every line of bone somewhere besides the recesses of memory.
Johnny shifted his hips, looking down at him. It was there, all of it, and
the bitterness was just as powerful as when Bobby saw it on his own face.
"I don't like you still."
"Duh. And duh twice. Come on. We can try and kill each other later. You
couldn't light a match after all that cold."
Bobby was more amused than anything when St. John flattened a palm, a
little spinning ball of yellow-gold appearing in the center of his hand.
It flickered, and Bobby could see the beads of sweat, the way the blue eyes
dilated, brow creasing in concentration before he closed his hand and
"Mmm. Not now." And there it was--laughter like good Godiva chocolate,
thick and warm between them and Bobby shifted over until St. John was
stretched beside him. Easy thing to shift closer and Johnny didn't jerk
away, stiffening only briefly before melting, like the things he heated.
Hard, warm body beneath the slick uniform, and Bobby rested his head
against the strong shoulder blade, shutting his eyes.
There weren't any dreams.
Or there were, but they were real now.
"Now I�m grieving over a doomed love on a show I haven�t seen."
--Peggy, after reading CLex fic
"It's not like we're trading blowjobs for chicken nuggets here."
--Clark, You Get Fries With That, by Caroline