Summary: A hurt/comfort with Bobby and John
Disclaimer: I own nothing and am getting no money.
A/N: I use Hank McCoy again
Bobby Drake, aka Iceman of the X-men sat down at the conference table. He was a full fledged member of the team, had been for a couple months now. Professor Xavier had some news he wanted to share with the team and had called this little meeting. Around Bobby sat the other X-men; Cyclops, Jean Grey, Storm, Wolverine, Beast, Nightcrawler, and Rogue. "Magneto and Mystique have been apprehended" Xavier began. A video played on the screen at the center of the table. It showed Magneto and Mystique being led away from a big old house by an army of soldiers. The older man was unconscious and the blue woman was very heavily restrained. Somehow they'd been found out. A surprise attack on their current base had left them both detained.
"Excellent news" grinned Cyclops. Bobby could feel the pleased air in the room. A major obstacle to their goal of peace was gone. He should have been pleased too. But Bobby was interested in something else, an old friend. There was no sign of John anywhere.
When the room cleared after the meeting Bobby dawdled, and when he was alone popped onto one of the computers. All the information on the raid was pretty easy to access. The footage they'd been watching was actually a news clip. He didn't even need most of the computer tricks Kitty had taught him in order to get the photos taken at the scene. Everyone was just so darn proud about defeating Magneto.
Bobby scanned each picture carefully for a sign Pyro had been with them. There was nothing, not so much as a spare lighter or an abandoned pair of jeans. Bobby was sure John hadn't been there. John had been his roommate; he knew all too well that when John lived somewhere you knew it. Months after the defection, long after the room had been emptied of his stuff, Bobby would still come across a lighter, a pack of matches, a sock, something that said 'John was here'.
A little more digging, this time using quite a few of Kitty's tricks, and he found out where Magneto had been before this. That was a little harder to find as no one wanted to believe the house next door had harbored mutant terrorists. He was so engrossed he didn't hear the door open or Hank come up behind him.
"More than a little interested in Magneto's capture?"
Bobby jumped in surprise. "Uh, yeah" he shifted uncomfortably. Hank was a cool guy, they'd kinda become friends. Bobby didn't want to lie to him, but his interest in someone who'd walked away from the X-men and into the arms of their enemy was hard to explain.
"It's unusual to find you doing research Bobby"
"Bobby, you are one of the worst liars I have ever encountered." Bobby looked a little hurt. "Don't feel badly, it's an honorable trait to be inept at deception."
"May I ask what you're looking for? I may be able to help."
Bobby sighed, "John, I was looking for John."
"Yep, I think I've found him."
"And the reason you wished to find him?"
It's stupid, but, there has to be a reason he wasn't at that base with the others. I just want to know why."
Hank could have lectured him about this being foolish or dangerous. But he could see how important this was to his young friend. "Call if you require assistance." He gave a knowing smile and left.
Bobby stood in front of a large manor house. His stolen motorcycle was parked behind him on the street. This was where Magneto had operated not long ago. It was clearly occupied, that was unfortunate. There would be no touring for signs of John. A middle aged fat man was sweating profusely as he mowed the lawn.
"Hey!" Bobby called from the sidewalk. The man looked over and turned off the machine.
"I'm looking for the people that used to live here." The man rolled his eyes.
"Moved out of town" he bent to restart the mower. He pulled the cord once, twice, then paused. "I think Lenny down at the motel said something about the kid still being here, that the old guy dumped him off." He turned to look Bobby in the face again, "That's all I know kid, I ain't trying to talk to Lenny any more than I have to. I just know about the kid because Lenny thinks we're friends." He shook his head and Bobby was pretty sure he heard a mumbled, "Idiot". He yanked the cord hard and the grass chewing beast roared. Obviously the conversation was over.
Lenny was pretty easy to find. Bobby walked until he came across a Motel, likely the only Motel around since small towns rarely have thriving tourist industries. It was a typical little motel on the edge of town. As soon as he pushed open the glass door to the office a bell tinkled and a man emerged from the back. The man had slicked back curly black hair and wore a huge grin. He also wore a name badge that clearly proclaimed "Assistant Manager Lenny".
"Hello Son, you're a little young to be having a fight with the missus. What brings you here?"
"Hi" Bobby said. "I'm looking for one of your guests. John Allerdyce." Lenny ran his finger down the list in front of him.
"Sorry, no one under that name"
"He's a kid about my age and height, brown hair?"
"I'm not supposed to let people bother my guests."
"He's the boy the old man left here." Lenny's face changed and Bobby smiled. Apparently Lenny was not thrilled with the situation.
"Oh that kid. His father put him in one of my rooms, paid for 2 weeks and left. I haven't seen the kid since, hasn't so much as been to the ice machine."
Bobby knew Lenny liked to talk; he could work that into some answers. "When are the 2 weeks up?"
"It was up 2 days ago. The night manager, Shawn, said the kid came into the office at midnight and paid for another 3. Shawn said he looked like death warmed over. Even if he wants more time I'm throwing him out tomorrow. It's just too weird. I'm not some druggie flop house."
"You think he's doing drugs?"
"He's a kid ain't he? No offense to yourself, you seem like a nice enough kid. Why do you want him anyway?"
"He's a friend?"
"You going to take him away?"
"116, 4th on the right after the Coke machine" With that Lenny disappeared into the back to wait for a real customer.
Bobby knocked on 116 with no answer. He turned the knob and peaked inside. John lay on the bed, eyes closed, restlessly moving, and breathing awkwardly. Sweat literally dripped down his face and gave all his exposed skin an unhealthy sheen. Bobby had never seen John sweat before. His low moaning sounds were interrupted by a dry hacking cough. He seemed so weak the energy needed to make such a sound seemed disproportionate.
He went in and shut the door behind him. John gave no sign he noticed. Iceman knelt on the bed and pressed a hand to Pyro's forehead. He was on fire. Not just his normal warmness, this was a serious fever. Bobby gently slipped the thermometer from the bedside table into his former friend's mouth. The mercury rose steadily, past 101, past 103, past 106 without a sign of slowing. Bobby could feel the panic growing in his chest, that was too high, even for someone with a body temperature like John's, this had to be dangerous. The little silver line came to a halt at 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Bobby was shocked, the panic in his chest was spreading throughout his whole body and he could feel himself freezing up. He had no idea what to do.
John coughed again, a ragged horrible sound. The moan that followed was worse, louder than before and clearly a response to pain. Bobby backed off the bed and paced a little circle, wiggling his fingers as he tried to figure out what to do. This was not what he expected.
John started mumbling. Bobby rushed back to his side, "Yeah Johnny?"
"Mom…stop it…stop it…I'll be good"
"Crap, nightmares" Bobby thought. He gently shook his friend, there was no effect. John continued talking, growing in volume despite the hoarseness of his voice.
"No, please! Just leave me alone." Bobby couldn't take this on top of trying to deal with the fact John was a very sick mutant.
"Wake up Pyro!" he yelled at the top of his lungs, this time shaking him pretty vigorously. It did have the desired effect as brown eyes flew open to meet blue.
But they were unfocused; Bobby could tell immediately his friend was still trapped in the dream. His fever was making him hallucinate. John sneered. "I'm not gonna take it anymore you bastard!" He rolled off the bed onto his feet, sending Bobby back a few steps. "Not from you, not from her, no one!" He searched himself for the lighter. Bobby searched too, both spotted it on the night stand at the same time. But John was faster and with a fluid motion that seemed unaffected by the diseased crumbling of his body, a bloom of fire rested in his palm
He faced Bobby and with a sneer pulled his arm back to launch the fiery orb at whoever he seemed to think Bobby was. But, just as suddenly as this hallucination had taken hold it released. "Bobby?" he asked softly, snuffing out the fire with a twist of his wrist. "That you?" He sunk back down onto the bed. "I don't…" a cough interrupted his sentence and when it passed he clutched around his chest as he spoke. "I don't feel so hot…no pun intended."
Suddenly he fell back on the bed, convulsing. "Damn" muttered Bobby. He rapidly pulled out his wallet and shoved it between John's teeth. He'd heard it was what to do when someone was seizing. Of course he'd also heard not to bother, that it wouldn't stop a person from swallowing their tongue. Or was it biting their tongue? Bobby gave a frustrated sigh. He felt so inept. He didn't know what could happen, how to stop that from happening, what was happening now, what he should be doing. The wallet thing was probably doing more good for him, letting him think he was helping, than it was for John. Scooting around behind John he held the fire manipulator firmly around the chest until the shaking stopped.
John lay limp in his lap, unconscious after the episode. How long had he been like this! If he had time to waste cursing the Brotherhood for abandoning Pyro he surely could come up with some real doozies. The situation was serious, a fever of 110, complete with hallucinations and convulsions. Bobby reached around and picked up John's wrist, the pulse was way to fast.
He needed to get the fever down. No, first he needed help. He couldn't take John to a hospital, Pyro was a mutant terrorist. But Hank McCoy was a doctor and he would certainly have a better way to help John than an average young man who got a C in biology. He pulled out his X-men communicator and flipped it open.
"Iceman to Beast" After an agonizing pause there was Hank's warm voice.
"Yes Bobby? Did you find your friend?"
"God Doc, Uhm, he's not doing good. He's got a real high fever, coughing, uhm his breathing is funny too."
"Define 'Funny'" Hank was all business, in full doctor mode.
"They're short and fast, not natural. And his fever is serious, like 110. "
"Has he said anything about his chest hurting?"
"He hasn't really been too together, said maybe 20 words total since I got here. But sometimes he's got his arm across it, like he's holding it."
"It could be pneumonia, I'll need to come down and take a look."
"Good. Is there anyway you can come without letting everyone know what's going on?"
"I shall be discrete Mr. Drake. Try to get that fever down. Beast out."
The room was silent. Get the fever down. He could only think of one way to cool John down. Hopping off the bed he crossed the room to the little bathroom. Bobby spun the knob and water poured out of the tap, quickly filling the tub. He dragged his fingers through the water, chilling it more. Cold water might be able to lower his body temperature, break the fever.
Turning back to the main room he could see John, arm across his chest again, moaning lowly. His eyes were open and he wasn't screaming. The sight gave Bobby hope.
"Johnny?' he asked approaching the bed.
"Bobby?" he sounded so weak, it was a voice grated raw from coughing and it just seemed so out of place in the vibrant John. "That you man?"
"Yeah, I'm here"
"I hate to be the one to tell you this, but you're sick. You need someone."
John laughed a little, the best he could manage. "I hate to be the one to tell you this but we're on different sides. I'm a bad guy and you're a good guy, your obligation to nurse me back to health is gone."
"Shut up and get undressed."
"Oh, I see. I knew that was all you wanted. You missed my bod."