Disclaimer: Here we have it, a brand new X-Men story from me. It focuses on the Rogue/Bobby/John love triangle. Three parts, a part for each character. I don't own X-Men, Marvel, John, or anything else used in this fic. Please, please read then review!

Third Wheel.


Chapter 1: Numb.


Click... Click... Click... Click...

Somethings never change. Pyro's compulsive clicking of his lighter was one of them. He didn't know exactly why he did, only that he did. It was a sort of comfort thing Pyro supposed.

Of course he never really thought in any great detail about why he did it. He didn't really think in great detail about anything he did. That was the way to madness. Some people thought the fiery pyromaniac just leapt into things, acting first and thinking later but they were wrong. Pyro used to think about things, used to think about them a lot. He would think about people and things.

Often he would think about pausing before rushing into a situation. It never got further thank thinking though. On Pyro's first day at the mansion he had somehow got labeled as 'Showoff, hot-head'. He wasn't really sure how it happened but something told him it was to do with the slight accident and subsequent fight he had with Cyclops that resulted in Pyro burning a large P in Scott's clothing, rather in the style of Zorro. It was just more simple to keep up the pretense of being someone who rushed in where angel's fear to tread.

Now though, he doesn't think much at all. Because all thoughts end up leading to her.

He hates her, he loves her. Hate. Love. Hate. Love. There was such a fine line. That's another reason why he doesn't think anymore. If he starts to think he may start sprouting philosophy and other such crap.

If he just acts without thinking then it's numb. Funny. If someone had asked Pyro a year or two ago wither or not he wanted to feel numb he would have laughed before setting their hair on fire. He would have said;

"Pyro loves the heat, the warmth, the passion."

Now Pyro didn't. Well, that wasn't true. He still loved the warmth of fire, the untouchable beauty - but there he was, thinking about her again. Sometimes on a long ride to there next mission with the brotherhood he would start thinking about the numbness that invaded his body. He usually gets as far in his thoughts as to wonder if this is how Bobby feels all the time before remembering that thinking is bad.

He faced Bobby in the last mission he went on. He doesn't like remembering that, the self righteous look on his one time best friends face as he prepared to fight. While the two battle, the powers evenly matched, just as Pyro knew they would be - she watched. Not obviously, she was fighting a member of the brotherhood at the time but all the same Pyro knew she was watching them.

Pyro wasn't stupid - despite what people thought. He knew that his fire power would cancel out anything Bobby threw at him and vice versa. He even knew that he could beat Bobby if he wanted to. Bobby was all technical no imagination, predictable. All Pyro had to do was use a move Bobby wasn't expecting and wham! One sleeping Popsicle. Not that he would do that - she wouldn't like it.


The Rogue.

One of the few things Pyro doesn't know is which of the two she watches. Part of him hopes that she watches him, to make sure that he isn't hurt or simply to admire his body. Part of him tells the other part, that she's watching her boyfriend, of course, ready to spring into action if Pyro does brake the unspoken rule.

The rule Bobby doesn't know about. He doesn't know that Pyro is in love with his girlfriend. He doesn't know that Pyro holds back when ever the two fight. He even doesn't know that Pyro saved Bobby's life a few weeks ago by telling Sabertooth to leave the battered body alone.

Sabertooth didn't like that. Pyro didn't care. It's not that he did it to save Drake's skin. He did it to keep her happy. She was the only one that knew about Pyro's unspoken rule outside of the brotherhood. All the brotherhood knew, after the Sabertooth incident. Only Magneto knew that it wasn't him Pyro was saving, it was her.

Though, it was a pretty good guess that The Professor knew about the rule. Pyro had a theory that Charles knew all about it, and that was why he always encouraged Bobby to fight Pyro. It was a way to keep all three of them safe.

Bobby called him evil the last time they met, called him a moronic bug that was too weak to stand up for what was right.

So after that comment which hurt him, Pyro sits and thinks about Bobby and how naive the ice user is, even as he tells himself that he's not thinking at all. What had Hamlet said?

'There is no good or evil; only thinking makes it so.'

That was it. That was why Bobby was wrong and naive. Bobby only saw the world as black or white, good or evil. Bobby wanted to destroy all evil. He didn't see the world as Pyro saw it, a world infused with all the shades of gray. Just because Pyro believed that Charles was wrong to think that mutants and humans would just accept each other without fighting. How did that make him the bad guy?

Pyro was all for the two races sharing the planet. He just thought that it couldn't be done peacefully. So he choose - not the other side - but a different view point. Besides if Bobby got his wish and destroyed all evil there would be nothing left in the world. For how can there be good without evil? He would have committed Armageddon. Which in it's own way was evil. Making Bobby the very thing he hated. Hate. Another emotion that was classed as being 'evil'.

Which was a lot of bullshit to Pyro. Storm hated, it didn't make her evil. If anything it made her all the more good. The whole thing about good and evil, being one or the other sounded like rubbish to him.

He wasn't the bad guy. He also wasn't idiotic enough to believe he was some fucking hero like Bobby did. To be a true bad guy you had to do a lot worse than having a different view to the people you know and to be a hero you had to do a lot more than any pitiful act Ice Balls could do.

She didn't think he was evil. Pyro cared about that small fact. It was told to him in the tiny look she sent in his direction after she found Bobby's body after the Sabertooth incident. Pyro had just turned his back for a second and when he looked back Sabertooth had begun to fight Icey. So after Pyro stopped Sabertooth killing him, he had sent little sparks of fire in the air, to make the X-Men think he and Bobby were fighting in that direction so that they would come and help. Pyro was sure that once they found Bobby and healed him, he, Pyro, would be cast as - those horrible three words again - the bad guy.

Yet somehow Rogue had known. She had even known where he was hiding, waiting to make sure his old friend was discovered. And that small smile she had sent him told the boy more that words ever could.

That was twice in one day that Pyro allowed himself to call her by her name. It was a guilty pleasure for him and also the source of intense pain. To call her by her name somehow gives Pyro something over her. Almost as if he could call her 'His'. Yet it also gives him pain for she was so far away.

On even rarer times Pyro even allows himself the luxury of calling her by her human name. The name that Bobby never called her.

He was a third wheel to Bobby. Only that and nothing more. Sure, Bobby was supposed to be his friend but Bobby knew, he knew for God's sake how much Pyro had liked her when she first came to the school. Pyro never made a move like had did to any other girl. And only Bobby had known what it really was. She had thought that Pyro had made a fireball and Bobby turned it into a rose. It wasn't like that. Pyro had made a fireball and was turning it into a rose. Then the 'master of Ice' had frozen his attempt solid.

Only Pyro knew how much that hurt. It was true that Pyro had been known around the school as a bit of a ladies man, yet any girl that Bobby showed the slightest bit of interest in was off limits to Pyro as far as Pyro himself was concerned. Bobby didn't feel the same way about Pyro when it mattered.

Maybe Pyro shouldn't have stepped aside without so much as a fight. He only did that to keep her smiling and laughing, just as he only set that boy in the museum on fire because of the comments made about her, not as it was commonly thought because the boy had nicked his lighter and that Pyro was a hot headed fool.

Though Pyro was strong enough to give her to Bobby he couldn't let her go. So he attached himself to them on most of there dates, hung out with them and general became a third wheel. She and Bobby were always too polite to say anything. Or maybe she enjoyed his company? There he was, second guessing every little thing that had happened between them. At this rate he really was going to go mad.

Kitty had been more than a little confused about Pyro's actions towards the couple. It was unlike him to stick to people like he stuck to them. But not even Kitty, with her active imagination and her less than complimentary take on him guessed the real reason. Pyro's courtship with the girl he loved had been so short that no one even knew he had tried.

The general opinion was that he was being a jerk. Which just reinforced the view that Pyro was a ignorant guy. Not that Pyro cared. He didn't care about anything by then, only her.

When Pyro left the X-Men he felt little regret. After all, why should he? All the teachers had branded him as a student who wasn't interested in school work and most of the pupils had him down as a show-off. The only regret he felt, was unsurprisingly aimed at the fact he was leaving her.

He had briefly toyed with the idea of trying to get her to come too, but dismissed it. Bobby would stop her and that would be that. So Pyro left them with little regret. At least, that is what he tells himself.

Even so he asked Magneto to wait high up in the clouds to make sure the X-Men got away safely. He even got Magneto to promise to lift the X-Men's plane if they couldn't get out in time. So Magneto did. That was something else they didn't know about Pyro. They thought Jean had saved them on her own, they had no idea that it was Magneto who had lifted the plane in the end, giving it a nudge to help her.

Pyro felt sad when Jean died. He had watched as the water had consumed her and felt sorry. She had thought he was a hopeless case true but it was her who lent him the books he had read late at night and it was her who had tried to save his love. So Pyro allowed himself to grieve. For Jean. But not even that can be kept clean from her, for all to soon the fire user's thoughts peel from the dead red head to the all too alive brunette.

Pyro would love to tell her how he feels, the heat in which he burns for her, but Bobby says that they are on opposite sides. And she would go along with that. Does it make the blindest bit of difference to Pyro's feelings towards her? The fact that he is a member of the Brotherhood and she is a member of the X-Men? Of course not, Pyro loves her all the same.

But Pyro is on a different side to her, the fire he longs for, the fire that keeps him warm. So he spends his afternoon's clicking his lighter and not thinking about Marie.

Click... Click... Click... Click...


There you have it, I hope you've enjoyed this part. Check back soon for Part 2!

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