OOC: I'm sorry if I posted this story twice - my computer did
something weird and I wasn't certain if it was sent.
Title: No More Empty Tricks (Some Kind of Boy story 18)
author: Tara Ann
summary: Jill talks to Magneto and tells John something . . .
Rating/warning & pairing: R for brief profanity. Pyro/Jill
*Characters do not belong to me except for Jill she is mine and
looks like Claire Danes.
** I've liked Pyro from the first moment I saw him in X2. He's
complex with confidence and vulnerability. I only hope I give St.
John Allerdyce the respect and understanding he deserves. He is the
boy with the soft edges and the palest pout.
turn my devotion from some kind of criminal
I'm the same bad boy I used to be
the soft edges of your face are burning into self-inflicted despair
I'll braid my hair for the rope to hang you
One fractured wrist, hard bruises on the face, and one broken
finger. When Jill looked up she didn't see John.
Magneto pulled the chair towards her hospital bed and sat down,
taking off his hat.
"Mystique heard your message on the phone and told me," he
"So he's not coming," said Jill; she frowned. Then she
smiled faintly at Erik. "Why did you come here?"
"Pyro is in Rhode Island on assignment. He'll return
Jill pushed the strands of her dirty blonde hair back with
her good hand. "He's going to be really pissed off if I tell him
"Tell me what happened." Erik's voice seemed the softest she
had ever heard it before maybe Magneto really was just a tired and
dangerous old man.
"It was the FOH," said Jill. She didn't look at him and
instead stared down at the blue cotton knit of her blanket. "I was
just walking in the street to get some Chinese jasmine tea and they
bombarded me with their stupid brochures. I told them to fuck off
and they started following me. They started saying I was a mutie and
a mutie lover and I turned around and shouted, `Yeah, maybe I am.
Now fuck off you idiot dildos!'
"One of them threw a rock at me. I guess it was a rock. It
really fucking hurt. Then they were pulling my scarf and I fought
them back, clawed their face raw."
She looked at Erik and waited for nothing.
Jill shrugged. "That's it."
His blue-grey eyes were steady. "Tell me everything."
"I kept fighting and then these two girls were screaming at
me, saying how dirty I was for fucking a mutant and that I was going
to burn in hell or whatever nonsense . . . I was fighting them and
then one of them said, `It's girls like you that ruin the rest of the
world by having mutie babies.' One of their boyfriends punched me in
the stomach and I couldn't fight, anymore, so I screamed, `Fire,'
because if you scream `help' no one comes . . . and the police came
and I called John. The Fuckers of Humanity got away . . . I guess.
I slapped one of those bitches red-hot. I think I broke her nose."
Jill laughed to herself. "I don't have to stay here
"Maybe you should," said Erik.
"No," she said, shaking her head. "I don't want to. I just
want to go home and sleep in my own bed with John." She looked at
Erik, her blue-hazel eyes confident. "We could tell him I was
mugged. I think they did take my money. Losers . . . I thought they
were gonna rape me or something."
"They could have killed you."
"It's not me they want to kill," said Jill. "I'm so scared."
Her chin was scraped, hiding her familiar scar.
"Miss LaBoy?" said one of the nurses. "Is this man family?"
Erik looked at the nurse and Jill said, "He's my grandfather."
The nurse smiled quickly and said to Erik, "You didn't sign
Then the nurse was gone and Jill rested her hands in her lap.
"I really want to get out of here," she said.
Erik was silent. Then he said, "Are you pregnant?"
His question startled Jill and she looked at him. "No. I
couldn't do that to him. He thinks he's not supposed to have kids."
She half-rolled his eyes and laughed with the silliness of the idea.
Then she watched Erik watching her. "For two weeks. I don't know
when I want to tell him." She stared at the blank television
screen. "I want him to be happy and prove to him that it's okay."
Jill's eyes focused on Magneto. "You don't like me with
him. You want to kill us. Everyone. You should. You feel
compassion in your own way. Don't make him want to kill me. If he
ever wanted me dead then I'd know he was gone."
She started to laugh. "I was mad at him for something stupid
and I cut my hair in the morning because he said he liked it long."
Her fingers played with the straight edges of her new
haircut. "It's just straight, like hay." She looked at him. "I
don't think you really hate me. John, he's so easy to love."
She was healing and they were making love.
"Tell me you like the way I feel," said Jill, holding his face while
he pushed inside her.
"I like the way you feel," he said, kissing her cheek.
"Tell me you need to feel me."
John opened his eyes and looked into her blue-hazel. "I do
need to feel you."
Then he looked away from her and came. She touched his
shoulder lightly and he pulled away, rubbing his face and pushing
back his dark hair.
"I just don't like looking at you this way," he said.
"The bruises are fading," Jill said. "I know they're kind of
ugly, but I'm still me."
"It's not the bruises," said John. "It's what's behind
them. I know you didn't get mugged."
Jill was silent and watched John get dressed, lick his lips, and grab
his shark-mouth lighter from the table. When he was gone she closed
her hand around her tiny crystal flame necklace.
The FOH's East side offices were demolished. People tried to
get out, but they could only scream while the flames consumed them.
No one had ever witnessed anything like it. The fire department
tried to get through, but the fire wouldn't let them.
When the incident was published in the newspaper Jill cut it
out and pasted it into her scrapbook. She pasted everything John did
in her scrapbook. She wasn't proud, but she wasn't ashamed.
Two more weeks and the bruises were finally gone. She sat on
the floor, looking through the pages in her book. She watched John
open the refrigerator, pour some orange juice into a glass, and drink
it down in five gulps.
He nodded. "Yeah. What are you writing for work?"
"The same rubbish like usual," he said. "Commercial
magazines are dead-end bullshit."
"What about your book?"
"It's going," he said. He noticed the navy blue pants
hanging off her small hips. "Are you wearing my jammies?"
"I like wearing your jammies." She smiled. "You never told
me you liked my hair and I didn't forget the helicopter ride you
John looked at her, holding the glass by his thigh. "I like
"No you don't."
He smiled and sat down beside her. "Yeah, I really do. It
doesn't matter how long or short it grows. Just don't shave it bald."
Jill laughed. "I wouldn't do that to my head."
He was wearing boxers and Jill didn't hesitate to touch his
"I never get to see your knees," she said. She started to
pet the back of his knees; then she kissed each one. "They're always
so warm. Do you like it when girls tickle your knees?"
He nodded. "I like to be touched. Where's Blazie?"
"Under the bed," Jill said.
"Does your little jellybean want to get licked tonight?" He
"Hi-def on the merry-go-round," she said.
John picked up her scrapbook and put it on the couch. He
stroked her knee with his fingertips.
"I just thought of this teddy bear I had when I was little.
I don't know why," he said. "He was my size and I named him Sergei.
My parents would talk to him like they talked to me because in my
mind he was real. Then when I got older I cut a hole in him to
experiment with and I felt really bad about it. My mom sewed him
Jill laughed, leaning her head against his. "Boys really do that
with their toys? What did it feel like? I'm certain he forgives
"We took one family portrait and I insisted on holding him. They
talked me into letting him go, but I made them take one with him,
anyway. It wasn't the one my mom put on the wall."
"I hate those portraits, the smiling and the pretending you like each
other when most of the time you really don't," said Jill. "Where's
"He's working late. I have to go to Japan. With Toad.
There's something we need to do."
"Can I go with you?"
"No," said John. "It could get dangerous."
"Maybe the next one," she said.
"Maybe," he said. "What do you want right now, Little Miss?"
"Hmm, I want chocolate and white carnivale whiskey. I want
to suck on black olives. I want you tie me up tightly with black
lace ribbons. I want to dance with Christopher Walken."
"I met him," she said. "Told him, `I one day hope to work
with you.' He looked right at me and said, `Thank you.' It's one of
my favorite moments ever in my life."
"You want to be an actress?"
"I thought I wanted to be famous, but I've realized it's not what I
really want and if it is then I've convinced myself it isn't. When I
was little I used to sit on the radiator and pretend I was Little
Orphan Annie singing out the window. I wanted to be an orphan."
"I think Gary Oldman is pretty great," John said.
"The only good thing in Harry Potter 3," said Jill. "Do you know
what the meaning of life is?"
"I don't know," she said. "How do you know people won't look for you
guys in the industrial laundry?"
"It's abandoned just like the church was and no one knows
we're there except for you and I know you're not going to tell."
"Nope, I'm not going to tell." Jill paused and stared at his
hand on her knee. "There is something . . . I met this woman today,
Darla, she's going to teach me how to knit. She had this pretty
poncho type shawl she knitted herself so I started talking to her.
Her son is twenty and she's super foxy, under forty, she's gonna
teach me because she said she liked me. I wanted to learn so I could
knit something for the baby. I'm pregnant. We're going to have a
She watched him, his dark eyes sleek; he took her fingers in
"You can say something or smile or pout," said Jill, tilting
her head to the side, trying to smile. "I didn't tell you "
"I know," John said. "I heard you vomiting in the bathroom.
I guess I thought it was some kind of stomach virus."
"Then tell me something . . . please . . ."
"I wish you could keep it," he said. His dark eyes turned to
her and they were the grayest black she had ever seen. His eyes were
brown, but they glistened like black ice dangerous and intangible.
"I guess I thought you wouldn't give up something you knew
you wanted." Jill pulled her hand away from his and stood up.
"I'll get your lighter for you. Why don't you just burn it
out of my womb right here?"
He glanced up at her, but he didn't look into her eyes. "Do
you think I'm evil?"
Jill collapsed on to her knees and punched his thigh. "No, I
don't think you're evil. You're my boyfriend and I fucking love you
and I really want to keep our baby."
She hugged herself, peering into his face.
"Look at me," she said. "Look at me, John. It's not gonna
hurt less if you don't look at me."
He turned his head to her and licked his lips.
"I'll go with you," he said. "Tomorrow."
John stood up, but she grabbed his leg, pulling at his
pants. She looked up at him and said, "You're gonna make me do this?"
"No," he said. "You don't really want to have some . . .
baby with me."
The blue-hazel of her pretty eyes had been wounded and her
once broken finger started to hurt.
"Don't you want to have some baby with me?" She spoke
softly; he had crushed her and she didn't want to breathe in the pain.
She let go of his pants. "You're a fraud. You want to fight
and you do fight, but you should rethink the things you're fighting
for. You said you would fight for me."
"You said you didn't want me to," said John. "Jill, if you
have the baby they'll just have something to hurt you with and take
away from me and from us."
She didn't want to listen to him.
"John, my family disowned me."
"You told them?"
"No," said Jill. "They just decided . . . they think it will
scare me. They didn't get all my money . . ."
"I thought you didn't care about your family," John said.
"I do," she said. "That's the problem, I only say I
don't . . . if I'm with you I'm okay."
John rubbed at his mouth, trying to figure everything out.
He knew it was his fault; the little match girl was going to burn
herself to death.
"Your sister must really hate me," he said.
Jill shook her head. "She'll only hate you if you hurt me."
"Maybe if you tell them they'll take you back or something."
"I'm only their daughter if I give you up," she said.
He watched her; she didn't seem afraid or worried, she seemed
fine. Her blue-hazel eyes were clear and uncomplicated. She didn't
want to cry and her strength grounded him.
"I'll take care of you," he said.
She stood up and took his hand. "Our baby?"
John looked at her, his eyes glazed in sleek
darkness. "There is no baby."
Her delicate hands pushed into his chest with sudden
frustration and he stumbled backwards.
"Don't be mean," she said. "What kind of fucking life are
you fighting for if you're ready to sacrifice the part that should be
"You don't understand!" he said. "You never will."
She shoved him hard for the second time, but he didn't want
to hurt her.
"If I let you beat me up will you feel better?"
"No!" said Jill. "I want to slap your face and suck the
blood out of your lips. I just want to love you and keep the baby.
It's what I want. I want it."
She turned from him, her slender arm hanging lightly by her
side. Then she collapsed herself into the couch. Her eyes glared
towards him; they suddenly dulled.
"If I don't have an abortion you're gonna break up with me.
The baby could live in the school. She'll be safe."
John laughed. "Safe? That's what you don't understand,
Jill. Safety is an illusion, just like tolerance and peace and
"Everything else? Like love?"
"No," he said.
"Do you want me to hate you?"
Jill sighed. "I'll do it. I'll do it because it's what you
pretend you want me to do. When she's gone, she's gone."
He looked at her, wanted to tell her not to.
"Your pout has never been so pale," she said. "If I slit my wrists
in the snow will you melt the blood into the ground?"
"You wouldn't slit your wrists," he said.
"How do you know?"
"You prefer to drown."
"The tightest corset seems like the perfect prison. I won't need to
breathe," Jill said. "Even the kicks and thrills seem intangible
tomorrow. Tell me John, how do you look at me with eyes so sleek and
kind and mean? Someone should name all the different shades of
grey. They would be sharper that way."
"They shouldn't have names," said John. "It would only corrupt them
into one-sided things."
"I wish you could tell me." The scar on her chin trembled sad like
her blue-hazel eyes. "The cream is dirty like my stockings. Your
eyes are the full moon painted black, the darkest mirrors I have ever
looked into. They singe and never shatter too loudly."
There was everything for John to say, but he held his tongue because
every word he could think of to tell her would sound wicked. He went
into the bedroom, got dressed, put on his brown leather jacket,
grabbed his shark-mouthed lighter, and left.
When he returned home she was in bed sleeping. He was
relieved. He thought maybe she would leave.
Lying next to her John couldn't stop thinking that there was
a baby breathing inside her, breathing with her. He started to
wonder if it was a little girl. Little girls liked My Little Ponies;
he couldn't separate them. He had never wanted one when he was
little, but he had always admired them and their big eyes. Pretty
eyes. In his perfect domestic fantasy he would buy his daughter one
in her favorite color.
He touched Jill's hip, casually resting his hand over her
womb, feeling her warmth. He wondered if she could feel it even
though it probably didn't have eyes or fingers or lips; he couldn't
"Maybe you're right, John," she said. "Maybe I don't
understand . . . I thought I did."
John Allerdyce wanted to tell her he loved her, but the words
didn't seem to make sense tonight. They made the kind of sense
neither one of them could comprehend and they didn't want to try.
"I thought we could have some kind of child," she said. "I
guess I thought you weren't coming home to me."
Some kind of child, he thought. He wished . . .
"No," he said. "I'm here."