Disclaimer: Standard procedure…I only own Taryn, my OC, which is hardly a big accomplishment. I'd much rather own Aaron Stanford and Ben Foster, but oh well. You can't win 'em all.

This first chapter takes place right at the beginning of X2, just after Pyro's skirmish at the museum.


John Allerdyce was not always the most pleasant young man, especially when he was in a bad mood. After a certain incident at the Museum of Natural History and the long, tedious lecture that followed, he was certainly not in the mood for company. He had stormed up to his room and locked the door – not exactly a problem, considering that all of his past roommates had asked to be moved to a different room.

However, he wouldn't be left alone for long. After noticing a continuous clicking sound and finally the squeal of a hinge, a girl with shoulder-length brown hair and doe-like brown eyes came into the room. John sighed. He had expected Jean to come in to lecture him again, or worse yet – Storm. He was relieved to see the small girl, Taryn Lawson…who also happened to be his girlfriend of over a year.

"Hey," she said quietly. "I brought you some brownies." She placed the plate on the nightstand and sat next to him on the bed. He glanced at her and raised an eyebrow.

"Brownies?" he said questioningly.

"Yeah," Taryn shrugged. "It was my turn to make dinner tonight, so I saved you a few."

"I'm guessing you heard about what happened at the museum while you were off playing big sister to Jubes?" he said. Jubilee practically hero-worshipped Taryn, and insisted on them hanging out. Appreciative of the attention, Taryn almost always obliged. "Well?" John pressed after a few moments of silence. He looked confused upon seeing his girlfriend trying to cover up a smile.

"I just got a ten minute lecture for laughing my ass off," she said, rolling her eyes. "Apparently, apes on fire aren't funny."

That did it. John smiled and laughed along with her, then kissed her soundly on the lips. "You're the most amazing girlfriend ever. Period." He laughed. He relished the fact that she blushed profusely at the comment, and even more that she tried to play it off. He reached over and swallowed one of the brownies in two bites. "These are even better than usual," he said. "But you know what they'd be better with…" He jerked his eyebrows suggestively.

"John!" Taryn said, swatting playfully at his shoulder and pushing him onto the other side of the bed.

"Hey! I was talking about ice cream," John shrugged innocently. "Honestly, Taryn, get your mind out of the gutter."

Taryn rolled her eyes and got up, following him downstairs to the kitchen, which was conveniently empty since everyone had gone to bed. "You know, I think this is the only time it's ever quiet down here," she laughed, standing in the doorway and looking around.

John slouched down into one of the armchairs in the next room, and Taryn sat on the cushioned arm.

"C'mere," he laughed, pulling her onto his lap and kissing her once again, pouring out his appreciation for the fact that at least she, if no one else, was on his side. Taryn very willingly obliged, nestling closer to him until they both practically jumped out of their skin upon hearing someone clearing their throat.

"Logan!" Taryn said, jumping out of John's lap and straightening up, her brown eyes round and exuding an aura of extreme innocence. John knew, upon seeing that look on her face, that there wouldn't be trouble. "We were just…uh…" She seemed to be lost for words, so John leapt to her aid.

"Looking for –"

"Some loose change –"

"In the couch –"

"Under the cushions. Yeah."

Logan just rolled his eyes. "Look, kids," he said in exasperation, "You've got bedrooms for a reason." Taryn gave a small snort, trying to hold back a laugh, and John just smirked, just before Logan realized what he had just said. "I meant for sleeping." He said sternly, though his demeanor had now considerably softened. "Just keep quiet down here." With that, he turned around and left, mumbling about teenagers and hormones.

John and Taryn sat back down on the couch, and John suddenly huffed in frustration. "All those crap-faces hate us being together, you know." He stated.

"John—"

"It's true!" John snapped. "They hate that they gold-star, blue-ribbon, straight-A miracle child is throwing it all away for the resident screw-up. They're stupid." Taryn averted her gaze guiltily. John had always seemed to have a problem with the fact that despite her quiet nature, she always managed, however unintentionally, to make a big deal of herself in school. But John's tirade wasn't quite over. "And they keep us locked up in a little plastic bubble. We're not fucking sick—"

Taryn winced. John always tended to veer towards obscenities when he was mad. "Well, maybe it's safer—"

"Who gives a damn about safe?" John snapped back. Taryn jumped slightly, tongue-in-cheek, and John sighed deeply, putting an arm around her shoulders. "Taryn, I'm sorry. I just…sometimes I wanna get out of here so badly."

"Then why don't you?" she asked honestly, without any trace of resentment or accusation. John looked at her, and his expression finally softened again.

"Well, you're here…" he said. "I'm not gonna just get up and leave if you're still here, right?"

But if only he had known how wrong he would be.


Well, there's chapter one. Basically just a taster, bland & boring. The good stuff happens later, I promise.