Title: The Perfect Moment
Author: Pat Phillips
Characters: John, Erik, Raven.
Summary: John decides that the time has come.
Category: Action-Adventure, I suppose.
Disclaimer: I do not own these characters.
Instead, they are the property of Marvel
As a firm believer in property rights,
it's only reasonable that I specify that
my use of these characters should in no
way be interpreted as a threat to Marvel's
ownership of them.
All of my fan fiction, including this story,
is a not-for-profit venture. After all, when
you get down to it, who would pay for this
Archive: Sure, but please notify me.
Spoilers/Continuity: Movieverse, post X-2.
Author's Notes: I've never liked John.
Never. He's a whining, self-centered punk.
So it surprised the living daylights out of
me when this story just sort of popped into
THAT PERFECT MOMENT
The campfire flickered and danced within its border of jagged, fist-
I tossed a couple of tiny dry twigs into the fire. It was more a
matter of something to do than anything else. Actually, the fire
was doing fine and didn't particularly need to be fed.
Then I went back to staring into the flames. Off in the distance,
something went 'Boom!' I didn't look. It wasn't thunder. Erik and
Raven were doing something to a Turkish airbase. The Turks weren't
big fans of mutants. So Erik was making his displeasure known.
Using my mind, I reached into the fire and forced a thin tendril of
flame to extend a yard or so above the main body of the fire.
Concentrating, I expanded it into a shape. It was a reasonably
accurate image of a young woman, dressed in cloak.
My fine control was getting better. I'd learned a lot since I'd
left the Professor and gone off with Erik. The Professor had been
big on teaching me how to control my power. Erik was more
interested in teaching me how to use it.
Staring at the image of Marie that I had sculpted out of flame, I
modified it so that her cloak seemed to slowly evaporate from her
body. Soon, she was nude. Not that I had ever actually seen Marie
in the buff, of course. Not that it would even be a good idea to be
around Marie when she didn't have any clothes on.
I wondered if the Professor had found some way to help her.
Were she and Bobby still together? I felt a smile flicker across my
face at the memory of Bobby and me talking about his... options with
Marie. That was the last real conversation I had with Bobby. After
that, it was all about Bobby and Marie and their oh-so tragic love.
With an unnecessary gesture of my hand, the image of super-heated
gas vanished and the fire was back to normal again.
I fed the fire another dry twig. Our camp was set up in a jumble of
huge rocks on the edge of a dry lakebed. Nobody would be able to
see the fire unless they walked deep into the outcrop.
There was another explosion -- this one bigger than the last. Then
I heard the distant rattle of automatic weapons fire. It was
quickly cut off. The plan had been for Erik to wreck all of the
aircraft and hanger facilities while Raven murdered as many of the
officers and their families as she could manage.
I began snapping a slim branch into pieces and throwing the
fragments into the fire. Doing that made it possible for me to
control the angry shaking of my hands.
For a little while, just for a little while, I had really believed
that Marie had followed me. She had joined Erik, and she had gained
control of her power, and we were together, and she was in the
shower with me.
After I came, Raven turned back into herself and began laughing.
That was the most satisfying punch I ever threw in my life. I
decked that blue bitch. But then Raven stood up, with the water
from the shower washing the blood away from her split lip, and she
beat me damn near senseless.
All in all, it was a helluva way to lose your virginity.
Screams in the distance? I strained my ears. It was a long way to
the base. Was that just my imagination?
But I could definitely hear the thudding of helicopter rotors. It
was heading towards the airbase, but would be over my position soon.
I reached my hand into the heart of the campfire and drew the flame
into me. Staring at the still glowing wood of the fire, I held the
flame inside me for long minutes as the chopper passed over me and
Then, with a sigh of release, I put the fire back. The flames
roared back into place, for a moment flash illuminating the cluster
of the truck-sized rocks that circled our small camp.
The radio clicked and hissed.
That was my signal, I quickly left the camp and ran to the edge of
the rocks. It took me a while to make them out. It was a moonless
night. But off in the distance, the Turkish airbase was blazing.
Eventually, I could make out their silhouettes against the flames as
they stumbled towards me.
Erik didn't look very good. Raven had a shoulder underneath one of
his arms and was half-dragging him along. He's not a young man.
And there have been more than a few times in the last year or two
that he took himself to the very edge of his strength. Like the
time he transformed Senator Kelly.
Or the time at the Statue of Liberty. Where he almost killed Marie.
I ran out to help, getting my shoulder under Erik's other arm.
Together, Raven and I began dragging him towards the camp. Our
pickup was presumably on the way. We just had to hide out for an
hour or two.
Raven was having problems too. Somebody had got lucky. She was
bleeding from a bullet wound in one thigh.
So Erik was exhausted to the point of being nearly unconcious. And
Raven was hurt.
It was here. Now. The perfect moment. The moment I had been
waiting for since I left the others. The moment that this was all
I helped them into the circle of rocks. Then I let go of Erik and
reached for the pack that had the first-aid kit.
Raven did the natural thing. The reasonable thing. The unthinking
thing. She saw the fire. And she sat herself and Erik down next to
Right next to the fire.
I dropped the pack. We wouldn't need the first-aid kit.
Time to go home.