Title: Blue And Yellow
Pairing : John /Bobby (Pyro/Iceman)
Rating: PG- 13
Summary: John considers the many possibilities of wanting to stay.
it's a feeling that you cannot miss
"I can take you down with one hand tied behind my back and with a blindfold on." John says seriously, though the half-truth makes him want to laugh. It's 2 AM and he's in bed, lying on his back staring up at the whiteness of the ceiling. Bobby on the floor in a sprawl, looking tired. John thinks he's close to falling asleep.
Bobby snorts, "I doubt that."
"I don't." John says as he shifts closer towards the edge of the bed. One arm dangling haphazardly and if he extends it enough, his fingertips could almost touch the skin of Bobby's neck. Wrap his hand around it and tighten. But he doesn't. He gets this fullness in his chest and he swallows thickly. Instead he says, "You know why? Cause you're a wimp Bobby."
Bobby's eyes smile though his mouth doesn't move. He looks up at John, all knowing eyes and dry lips and he flings his arms around himself, tangling them like vines across his chest.
"You're much more of a wimp than me."
Then he's tilting his head and looking at John in that sort of way that made the ache in his fingers recede.
"Shut up." John rolls his eyes, shifts again so he's looking precisely into Bobby's face. The veins in his cheeks like tiny leafless trees branching into the epidermis. You'll have to squint to see them.
John says as matter-of-factly, "Fire melts ice."
"Melted ice puts out fire." Bobby says, trying not to smile, but it's John who does. Mouth stretching around teeth and it hurt because he didn't want to, because he's keeping it in.
"Whatever," John laughs, finally. The sound of it making the fullness of his chest feel not-quite-full. "I can still beat you up the old fashioned way."
Bobby gives him a dubious look from beneath his eyelids. "Oh?"
"Yeah." And John reaches out for fistfuls of Bobby's shirt. It's cotton, threadbare from too many trips to the washing machine and John tightens his fingers so that Bobby's shirt rides up a little more.
"You're an ass." Bobby says calmly, looking at John's hand. "Really, John. You are." Then he's pulling John down, gripping his shirt and not letting go. John lets out a surprised gasp when he topples to the floor, and then he's on his back breathing heavily. The back of his head hurting a little, but it's a funny sort of pain.
When he opens his eyes again Bobby's lying on his side grinning. Outside, John can hear rain draping over the windows and Bobby's firelight eyes have some blueness to it. Or well. Something like that. Like a frozen beach. He's never noticed it before. John thinks he's giving it too much though so he looks away quickly.
"When did it start raining?" He asks. He's thinking about fireflies shimmering in the trees, coming alive like lighter-sparks. Though much later, when the rain has let up. Tiny streetlights in the dark, outside, it's like setting burning down a house. Combustion or a chemical feeling. John gets that sometimes. Only when he's around —his throat tightens.
Bobby shrugs quietly. "Couple minutes ago, maybe. You were much too busy being an idiot to notice."
John snorts. He wants to clench his fingers around Bobby's neck but not to punch. He should sleep. It'll do him a lot of good.
But then settles for pulling him by the front of his shirt again and pressing him face-first into the floor, Bobby's arm twisted behind him. John's knee digging deep into the small of his back, and his grip on Bobby's arm is not exactly i>too /i> firm that it'll hurt him but John's a little terrified that maybe he's being a little too rough on him.
But Bobby doesn't struggle, and when he pants it doesn't come out sharp and painful. And John says, "See. You're the wimp Bobby."
He shrugs. "Whatever you say, John." He sounds tired.
"You're too easy."
"Wait till you see me in the morning when I'm not half-asleep."
"You wanna go to sleep?" John asks but he makes no move to get up. Bobby's got freckles, sprinkles of it on his back—very small. Then tiny hairs very light like, well, the rain outside.
Bobby doesn't answer for awhile. "Are you going to let me go anytime soon?"
The telltale smell of candy hearts heavy in the room, and John thinks, maybe. "Do you want me to?"
But Bobby doesn't answer, and his breathing starts to even out.
John gets up and sits cross legged next to him, takes out the lighter from his back pocket. Bobby's fallen asleep on his bedroom floor. Meanwhile, he waits for the rain to stop. Then he can sleep too. Or not.
and it burns a hole through anyone
John doesn't like talking about existential things. He doesn't like talking about life or the possibility of love. He doesn't like to talk about freedom or justice even though he thinks mutants deserve both (or all four) because he's been screwed a hundred times over and he knows, in the end, there's no point. Take or be taken. Kill or be killed. You gotta stick up for yourself because nobody else will.
Xavier doesn't think the same way though. Sometimes John thinks maybe he's become too cynical for his own good. Or maybe, he thinks too much. Or it could be, Xavier's just really stupid.
It's after dinner when Bobby's invited himself to his room for the third night in a row when John says anything he's ever felt before. Bobby's lying next to him on his bed with his legs tangled in the unmade sheets, and they're not touching because Bobby's in the farthest corner of the bed, rubbing his arm through the cloth of his sweater.
And Bobby, he's just so, so self conscious about things like that, sometimes. John thinks there's something vaguely intimate about them lying together like this. The smell of candy hearts and the sweetness of caffeine still sticking to Bobby's tongue.
"It's all right, you know." He says and Bobby looks at him, half-way.
John shrugs. He doesn't really know what's going on here, and he can't really say what he wants to say. He crosses his arms, too.
Bobby asks again, "What's all right?"
"This, I don't know. This whole thing." He gestures to the distance between them and doesn't meet Bobby's gaze. "It's all right to touch me or whatever. It's not like we'd explode or anything."
"You want me to touch you?" Bobby asks. He has to do that. He could've just shut up about it and left it like that: all awkward at the edges like teenage angst was supposed to be, thriving and hoping and desperate, but no. Bobby's… Bobby.
John shrugs. "Don't be stupid, Bobby. I was just saying."
Maybe Bobby was offended because he kept quiet after that. "Yeah well, sometimes I wish I was born normal." He says much later when John thinks he's probably fallen asleep on him again.
John doesn't really have anything to say about that. He thinks about Rogue. How Bobby can't really touch her. Maybe it was better that way. Maybe not.
"Yeah you know what would be cool though?" John says after.
"Setting the school on fire and then running away from here." It's the truth. And there's romance to it, even. John doesn't really want to hurt anybody but it'd be nice to see something big go up in flames. It'd be like July fireworks, or exploding stars. Maybe everyone from a mile away can even go watch.
Bobby shakes his head. "You're crazy." He says, then smiles genuinely so the lines on his face show. Dimples. He goes quiet.
"You shouldn't do that, though."
"Do what? The school burning or the running away part?" John asks. He tilts his head to look at Bobby whose eyes are shut. It's a different view from up-close. Like seeing him for the first time. John doesn't really know.
Bobby shrugs with one shoulder. He says, eyes still clamped, "The running away part, mostly. I mean, you've got a home right here. Friends. Aren't you happy?"
"So I burn down the school but don't run away." John says. No I'm not happy, at the tip of his tongue but he bites down on the overwhelming taste of bitterness.
"Don't do the burning part, either."
"It's not safe, not for anybody." He looks at John again and gives him a meaningful look. Well, it's not like John's planning to kill anyone but then Bobby adds hastily, "Not even for you."
"And why'd you care if it were same for me or not?" And John knows he's probably making too much out of it and chances are Bobby's just gonna shut up and not answer him. But he's feeling too restless and talking makes him feel more in control. Maybe he likes that to a certain extent.
Until Bobby goes on ahead and mumbles something like, "It's what friends do." And everything goes to hell.
"Maybe I should just go back to my room." Bobby says quickly when John doesn't respond. This sort of camaraderie, it's not something John's used to, but John knows it's just Bobby's way of saying he cared or whatever the screwed up equivalent for it, was. Still, it's not, it's nothing John's ever had to deal with growing up. It knocks him off center like a punch in the gut.
"Do you want to go back to your room?" He asks.
Bobby pauses to think quietly for a moment. He says, "Not really. Do you want me to?"
John shrugs. It doesn't take much deliberation.
by the way your words were faded
One Saturday when Xavier is feeling particularly lenient, an hour and a half after noon, Bobby takes John out to go see The Breakfast Club in some place in down town New York. And Rogue doesn't know, not really. She thinks they're off to do some stupid boy-thing like play arcade games so she doesn't ask questions. Much.
And John hasn't seen The Breakfast Club, ever, and he's really not the movie-type. But then, Bobby knows all the lines to the movie and he'd said John would love it so he figured, what the hell. So they buy popcorn that's too stale and sit on the very back row with a good view of all the kids making out in the front.
John talks about how he'd like to pelt them with popcorn or make the fire alarm go off and Bobby says in that Bobby-sort-of-way of his, "Just leave them alone, grandpa." And that makes John smile.
Forty five minutes into the movie is when he notices something.
"You're wearing my sweater." His fingers are sticky, covered in butter and he wipes them on the worn knees of his jeans.
Bobby says, "Yeah, I am." And he shrugs, crossing his arms, sleeves pulled to his knuckles, like maybe he's cold. "Everything else was in the wash, so. Picked up the nearest thing I could find. You okay with this?"
"It's not like I could ask you to take it off, anyway." John tells him, and he can't help but feel a little weird. It's his sweater that Bobby's got on but it looks sort of different on him, brand-new or second skin.
Bobby smiles quietly, and there's a laugh somewhere in the coolness of his eyes. "I know." He says.
Later, when the movie is almost over but not quite, John ducks in his seat and asks Bobby if he wants to see something neat. Bobby says, "Sure," and flicks popcorn at him and laughs.
Much later, John goes to buy candy.
The cemetery gates rotting — there's something to be said about being in the midst of all this decay. It's almost six and Bobby's lying half under the shadow of a headstone, his (John's) sweater hiked up to his chest. John leans over him against the headstone, his hair hanging in front of his face like vines.
Bobby makes a lame attempt to joke. "Nice hair." He says. "Very Kurt Cobain,"
"I've been meaning to get it cut," John says defensively, and he leans back, fishing for candy in the back pocket of his jeans.
"Nah, keep it." Bobby insists. "It's kind of nice." He reaches up to tug at the twisted strands of John's hair and laughs. "It can be really helpful at times, trust me."
"Yeah, well, helpful when exactly?" John asks, tossing Bobby a lollipop. Bobby catches it before it hits his chest. Unwrapping it he says vaguely, "You know, times," And John is left to wonder what the hell Bobby could mean by that as they spend several minutes not talking again.
Then Bobby looks up at him, limbs all twisted like branches and with candy stuck to his mouth and says, "Maybe this is the perfect time for you to run away."
John blinks at him, not quite expecting spontaneity that uniquely belonged to him, and not Bobby.
Bobby lets out a sigh. "I know how much you hate it there."
John shrugs because it's not entirely false, either. He hates it but it's not like he's got anywhere else to go.
He looks up the sky and it' slowly darkening. They have to be home before curfew. They could just grab dinner on the way, take out, maybe. John knew a place where they could get the best pizza, cheap.
He says, "It's getting late." Bobby nods, gets up quickly and dusts the grass off his jeans.
rather waste some time with you
Later in Central Park Bobby asks him the same question. "So you're not just going to pick up and leave right?" His hands jammed in his pockets and he both looks hopeful and sad. John's fingers curve instinctively against the lighter inside the pocket of his jeans. He considers lying, but then again, this is Bobby and Bobby just knows these sort of things.
He looks up at Bobby, shrugs with his face.
It's a busy night in New York and you can get a little crazy sometimes, but John knows this has nothing to with his fisting the front of Bobby's (his own) sweater. His fingers fitting there neatly and Bobby's eyes widening when he thinks John's going to punch him or something.
But John doesn't and instead, he kisses Bobby very quickly. Bobby's lips a little dry and chapped and they taste like candy with a hint of butter. He steps back after, swallowing thickly, and they start walking again like nothing has happened.
Bobby tries hard not to smile too wide or let the lines of his face show. Meanwhile, John feels like there's ice underneath his skin. And it's kind of all right—this whole uncertainty thing with Bobby.
"So you're not leaving huh?" Bobby asks.
John chews on the inside of his cheek, briefly. He shrugs again. "Maybe I'd rather stay," He says.
Lyrics in italic belong to "Blue And Yellow" from The Used.