Former PenName: crazy4horses

A/N: I know, I know . . . I haven't updated this in awhile. I am SO sorry. Major blockage. This chapter is dedicated to the person who told me this story was their favorite. I've looked and looked but I can't find who to give an appropriate shout-out. You know who you are.

Dear anger, you made me so high
You were faithful to show up on time
Such a flame that was burning in your eyes
I let you go
But you're still chasing

Dear X (You don't own me)

by Disciple

What The Hell?

Ch. 13

Choices

John stood at the edge of the roof, various memories running through his head. They were the reason he was there, at the edge, ready to fall.

He closed his eyes in an attempt to stop the memories that were flooding him; however that just made them more vivid. Through his memories he felt as though he was reliving all of the major events in his life in just minutes. Those were the occurrences that he decided molded his life to what it was. Would he have changed certain things if he could? Sure—though he would never admit it to anyone—but there was no point in dwelling as the past would remain in the past. Everyone had to live with the decisions they made—good or bad.

John opened his eyes and looked down; drops of water fell in front of his eyes from dangling strands of hair, plummeting to the ground like liquid grenades. Heights didn't bother him; however, Robin's screech did. It was like she knew he was up to something. He slightly smirked at that thought. He pushed the wet hair from his eyes and wiped his face with his sleeve. Eventually the good memories started to surface. There weren't that many, but they were significant, and if he ended his life, there wouldn't be anymore to come. He'd been fighting his whole life: to belong, for purpose, to exist, and now he had to fight for his gift. A gift that was labeled a curse by many; John swore to himself that he would fight; and if he died trying, it would be worth it. He closed his eyes again. The rain continued to fall and cleanse.

"John?" Bobby spoke quietly, moving cautiously towards his roommate. He stopped to give his friend a reasonable amount of distance. His stance indicated that he would be prepared for anything.

John's eyes snapped open. He eventually turned around slowly. "I was just thinking," he said quietly, stepping away from the edge.

Bobby gradually stood casually. "I hate to ask, but . . . you were going to jump . . . weren't you?"

John sighed and lowered his head, "I was thinking about it," he admitted and then glanced at Bobby, "but that's not the answer."

A crack of thunder made both boys flinch.

"After you," Bobby said, "Unless you'd like to be the lucky one out of a million to get struck by lightning."

Once back inside, John ran his hand through his hair again. "I'm drenched." He wrung the tail of his shirt; water hit the floor creating a small puddle. "We're going to leave a trail of water behind. Not the best new power if you ask me."

"I could always freeze it." He shrugged. "Someone is bound to slip either way."

"In that case, you'd be the first person to blame," grinned John. "Where's Robin?"

"With Logan." Bobby answered nonchalantly.

His jaw dropped. "Seriously?!"

Bobby straightened out his back and walked tall. "He didn't have a choice because I didn't give him one."

"You've finally grown some balls. I'm proud."

"Shut up." Bobby said, pushing his roommate.

"How did you find me?" John asked.

"It took some time since we live in a mansion. First, I ran to the main entrance, asked around. No one had seen you. If you were planning to leave you wouldn't be concerned with who saw you, so I ruled that out. Then—"

"Wait." John faltered asking the question that was on his mind. "Did you run into Rogue?"

"No."

"Good."

"Even though Rogue never told me, I still knew it was her favorite spot," Bobby shrugged. "I'm a little surprised she told you, but I get it."

"If I had jumped . . . what would you have done?"

"I would have saved you." He replied, matter-of-factly.

"How?"

"I've learned a few things since you left." Bobby said cryptically, but remained modest. "Besides, if I tell you . . . you won't believe me."

John looked at his roommate but Bobby kept his gaze straight ahead. "You need to show off more often, Drake."

They rounded the corner and stopped short with a simultaneous squeak from their footwear as Logan was coming towards them. The boys gave each other a quick glance before turning back to the person coming their way. The always fearless Wolverine looked like he was holding a newborn baby in the palms of his outstretched arms. Bobby and John never saw him so uncomfortable. It was amusing, though they didn't dare show it. Logan handed Robin over to John and then gave an icy stare to Bobby.

"What?" Bobby asked with an attitude to his tone.

"For that… I'm giving you fifty hours in the danger room."

Bobby crossed his arms, rolled his eyes, and drawled, "You cannot be serious."

"One hundred." Logan eyed the two boys in front of him and asked, "Why are both of you soaked?"

John opened his mouth to explain but Bobby beat him to it. "Earlier I was out doing a mixture of things. I didn't know it was supposed to rain. I ran into John on my way out and hurriedly asked him to help me move stuff. We weren't even out there that long."

Logan eyed them both and grunted. He went between the two young boys and clapped Bobby on the shoulder. He couldn't see, but Bobby made a face.

As soon as the older mutant was out of earshot, John said, "Thank you for not spilling the truth even though he knew you were spewing total bullshit. I'm relieved he didn't press." He lowered his voice, "What happened on the roof stays between us."

"Understood." Bobby rubbed his shoulder. "Wolverine is going to kill me."

John grinned, "Can I watch?"

The ice mutant wanted to scowl, but did the opposite instead.

John shifted his weight at the brief moment of silence. "We better change out of these damp clothes."

Bobby nodded. "There are sweats in the locker room, which is where I'm headed anyway. I'm going to the gym to get a head start because that man will break me if I don't. I can feel the bruise starting to form on my shoulder. He barely even touched me!" He took a few amble steps away and turned around to face John. "Before I go . . . are you sure you're okay?"

He thought about it for a moment before answering the question. "Honestly, I'm not sure, but I do know that I don't need to be observed twenty-four-seven or locked up in a padded room."

"Okay." Bobby turned around. As he strode away, he said sternly, "Don't make me encase your lifeless body in ice, Pyro. I'd do it too because I know you'd hate it."

Goosebumps started to appear on John's arms. It wasn't due to the threat, but he was still wet and his roommate dropped the temperature, which indicated that the warning was not a bluff. No matter the tone, when it came to Bobby you could tell he meant business by the temperature. The brunette exhaled and watched his breath swirl upwards until it disappeared. John quickly glanced down at his trembling feathered friend and then headed in the direction of his destination.

With each step, his sneakers made a wet squishy noise. A few students John passed along the way to his room asked him why he was wet, but he ignored the questions and the whispers. He entered his room, gently closed the door and placed Robin in the shoe box. John peeled off all of his damp clothes and stuck them in a corner on his side of the room. He put on a fresh pair of boxers and padded into the bathroom to dry his hair as best he could with a towel. Immediately after, he rolled into bed, and placed his entwined hands behind his head. John's stare was vacant, but rock-solid. His gaze shifted from the ceiling to a familiar Zippo that he tossed into the trash. He would've shoved it into a drawer, but he didn't feel like getting up. He stared at it until his eyelids got heavy and gave out.


John was awoken by a sudden pull to his skin. His eyes snapped open as he yanked his arm away from Rogue. He yelled at her at the top of his lungs, "YOU HAD NO RIGHT!" He felt completely exposed among other feelings. Still half naked, he stood on one side of the bed and she stood on the other.

"I'm not going to argue because you're right . . ." she paused, "but I knew something was going on with you. As your girlfriend, I had to know." She took a step forward. He took step back.

He looked at the floor because he couldn't bear to look at her. "Get out!"

"Do you think yelling at me is going to scare me or drive me away, John? I told you that I love you. I still do."

"Get out." He repeated, but calmly this time.

Rogue waited a few moments before taking a few short steps to the door. She twisted the knob opening the door less than half way and looked over her shoulder at him. His gaze remained on the floor. She shut the door in front of her and locked it. She wouldn't; couldn't walk away from him. She couldn't leave it alone. She wouldn't. Confidence and determination filled her veins with each step towards her seemingly broken boyfriend. She cupped his face in her hands. The fire and anger in his eyes were replaced with shame and defeat. "John," she waited until he met her eyes before she continued, "you have nothing to be ashamed about. You didn't go through with it. I understand that you feel empty, but you are still the smart ass I fell in love with. It took a little time, but I saw through you . . . eventually. I'm trying to tell you that I care. It's the reason why I betrayed you. I wish that I could use a different word, but it's apt for the situation and there's no reason to sugarcoat it. I know what I did; I heard it in your voice earlier. Truth be told, I knew how you were going to feel, but I made a choice." She fell silent for a few heartbeats, holding her gaze, refusing to look anywhere else. "Please . . . say something," she pleaded.

He always knew she was different than the other girls. It's the reason he was attracted to her from the start. Most would've exited after being ordered to leave. She didn't. He always thought he was destined to be alone, but yet, she was here, and he was trying to make her leave. He realized it was the anger taking over once again. She once told him not to bottle it up as nothing good came from it. It was time take the advice he was given and let the anger go.

"I love you too, Rogue." After those five words were spoken she dropped her hands from his face and he leaned in to kiss her, cupping her face this time. After the kiss, he gently kissed her forehead and then embraced her. "If I didn't have you," he paused, "my prized possession would still be in a garbage bag somewhere."

That made her smile. It was his way of saying he cared. She knew he did, but a little reassurance never hurt. The couple disentangled. Rogue hooked a finger on the elastic to his boxers. Her smile grew wider as her eyes slowly navigated from his body to his face. His expression emulated hers. She continued to smile as she guided him towards the bed by his underwear.

A/N: Motivate me: review!