Title: Sweet, Sweet Surrender
Summary: He used to sneak into her room every night to kiss her while she was sleeping, giving her a glimpse of his secret feelings in her dreams. (RYRO) (two-shot)
A/N: Post X3. This was supposed to be a one-shot, but due to the length it has reached, I've decided to turn it into a two-shot instead. Now, I'm no newcomer to writing fanfiction, but please be aware that this is my first Ryro. You'll have to bear with me as I develop Pyro's character as how I perceive him to be throughout my fics. Funny story, when I first sold my soul to the Ryro fanfiction universe, I became rather obsessed with the movie verse Pyro...to the point where I was convinced that I was in love with Aaron Stanford, the actor who plays him in the movies. I've managed to dwindle down to a simple fan now, but I do admire both the actor and the character for bringing me one of the little joys in life: Ryros.
Disclaimer: I do not own X-Men.
The beating of his heart sounded thunderous to his own ears as his blue eyes, glinting in the moonlight that streamed through the nearby window, scanned her innocent sleeping form. It would be an understatement to say that she was beautiful in her sleep. She was much more than merely beautiful…
Her pale skin glowed in the same moonlight that lit his eyes, giving off a soft, ghostly look about her. Long brown hair fanned out over the pillow that cushioned her head, her trademark white streaks flowing over the darker shade. She was currently positioned on her back with her legs tangled up in the sheets, her arms loosely hugging her torso, and her face angled a little to the left, towards her pillow. Her attire–a less-than-modest dark violet nightgown–only served to increase his already rapid heartbeat. There was an expression of complete peace on her lovely face, and a small contented smile pulled the corners of her lips upward, suggesting the presence of a pleasant dream. Her chest rose and fell with her rhythmic breathing, and her eyelashes fluttered a bit as the dream continued.
What he was gazing intently at, however, were her lips. Rose red, soft, full…and kissable. They contrasted sharply with the paleness of her face, red complementing white. Yes, he knew them well. Very well.
He took a step forward, only to pause again as more of his courage dwindled away in the wake of her very presence. That annoyed him a little, and a scowl began to form on his face. Why the hell was he so nervous? It wasn't like this was the first time he'd done this. In fact, this was probably the hundredth time he'd snuck into her room.
Only…circumstances were different this time.
Muttering a curse under his breath, he strode quietly to the side of the bed, his eyes never leaving her face. He hadn't seen her this close in almost a year, and the sight of her brought back emotions he'd worked so hard to suppress while serving Magneto. They came rushing back with a vengeance, rekindling the fire within his seemingly stony heart. There was something about her that had always ignited the life inside him, and this time was no exception. Pleasant warmth spread throughout his body as he gazed down at the sleeping young woman before him.
Reaching out a tentative hand, he gently ran his fingers over the soft waves of her hair. The familiarity of it dispelled his anxiety and made him bolder, and soon his fingertips began to slowly make their way to her face. He never hesitated as he traced her jaw line, reveling in the foreign feel of her skin against his.
Closing his eyes, he fought the tidal wave of remorse that threatened to overcome him. Even as he touched her face in loving strokes, images of the burning clinic flashed through his mind. He had confronted her ice prick of a boyfriend, trying to get a rise out of him as they stood in the crowd of anti-cure protestors. His frustration, irritation, and anger at realizing that she was taking the cure all boiled down to his losing control.
He had snapped. It was too much to take, and he couldn't take anymore. Choosing Bobby over him…never seeing him as more than a platonic friend…taking the cure…and…
He lifted his hand away from her as he saw himself send a blast of fire at the clinic. The building had exploded, and people promptly began panicking. He recalled his following horror at what he had done. Was she in there? Had she been hurt? Had he hurt her?
And then he'd fled, leaving Iceman fearfully fighting through the crowd to find her. He didn't want to know if she was all right or not. He didn't want to know if she was even alive. He didn't want to know that it was his entire fault if anything had happened to her. Like a coward, he'd run away. He was the pathetic one after all.
The small sound she made in her sleep snapped him out of his reverie and brought him back to the present. He watched her sadly, wishing so much that he could turn back time and do things over. He wanted to go back to that very first day in Ororo Munroe's class, where his first attempt to impress her had been squandered by that asswipe Iceman.
He glowered at the memory.
Enough, he thought to himself, focusing on the slumbering figure on the bed. He had been so relieved upon learning that she was all right, but that did not dispel his guilt at possibly endangering her life.
After a few more minutes he was considering simply turning on his heel and leaving, but a single word flowed from her lips and froze him on the spot.
"John…" she breathed softly, still asleep, his name sounding tender in her husky voice.
He shuddered slightly as the familiar melodic drawl sent tickles down his spine. It had been so long since anyone had called him by his birth name, and hearing it in her sweet voice sent his body temperature rising even higher.
So…she dreamed about him? A cocky grin spread across his face. Wonder what kind of dream she's having?
Her small whimper quickly replaced the grin with a frown. Her face had started to scrunch up in apparent distress and she was mumbling something else. Curious, he strained to listen.
"Don't leave me…please…"
His breath caught in his throat. That single phrase did it. Leaning over, he planted both palms on either side of her head on the pillow and brought his face an inch from hers. How could he have left her behind? How could he have been so blind with rage that he'd risked hurting or even killing her? His eyes scanned her face and for a moment he lost himself in the memories of them when they'd been friends. Her innocence and charming smiles had always been both endearing and alluring, especially whenever she teased and poked fun at him during the times they spent together. She had been the one thing that was right in his life…only now was he beginning to realize that.
He studied her lovely features once more before softly capturing her lips with his, sighing inwardly in content. He had missed this. A lot. How he lived without this for nearly a year he didn't know. All he was aware of at the moment was how soft and wonderful she felt, how sweet she tasted, and how his body was responding.
Her even breathing told him that she hadn't woken. Seeing this, he deepened the kiss, running his tongue over her lower lip and gently tangling his fingers in her hair. His heart began doing flips as the seconds passed and the absence of her mutation allowed him to continue touching her without fear of absorption. And touch her he did.
Maintaining the kiss, he ran one hand over the exposed parts of her body, lingering on her throat and shoulders. It traveled down her right arm as his lips moved south to her neck, where he left a trail of feathery kisses. She smelled faintly of warm vanilla and the scent, mingled with her own personal fragrance, nearly drove him to his knees.
God…if only she knew what she does to me…
He had to hold himself back from jumping into her bed when she shifted a bit and a little moan escaped her parted lips. He was breathing heavily by this time, and he knew he had to stop before he went too far. Even in sleep she was irresistible, and his body was telling him so as his hands ventured dangerously near forbidden waters of their own accord. He forced them back to their original position on the pillow and he gave himself some time to recover and slow his racing pulse.
Finally, he leaned in once more and brought his lips close to her ear, whispering, "I'll never leave you again."
As if those words had lifted a spell, her eyes slowly fluttered open. He raised his head to regard her calmly, remaining hovered over her. Now gaining consciousness, she stared up at him with wide doe eyes, the recognition gathering in their dark depths. Her lips moved a few times, but no sound came out.
Despite himself, he gave her a small grin. "Hey."
"John…?" she finally managed.
He nodded, starting to feel the strain in his muscles as he stayed in his current position. She solved his problem, however, by bringing up one hand and soundly slapping him across the face. The shock of the action rather than the pain propelled him back away from the bed and landed him on his rear.
"Ow!" he growled, rubbing his stinging cheek. "What the hell was that for?"
She sat up, her eyes now flashing angrily in the moonlight. There was also a bit of confusion mixed in there as well. "What are you doing here?" she demanded warily.
The question was open to interpretation. What was he doing back at the mansion? After the battle at Alcatraz, someone had apparently dragged his sorry ass back to Xavier's institute–against his will, might he add. What was he doing in her room in the middle of the night? Well, that one would be a little more difficult to explain…
"Hello to you, too," he ground out dryly, glaring at her from the floor. She was so much cuter when she was unconscious. "You're not one for saying 'welcome back,' are you?"
The dark look she shot him could have killed. "What are you doing here?" she repeated, this time sharply.
He rolled his eyes and picked himself up. There was something about her initial lack of enthusiasm at his return and her suspicious tone that annoyed the hell out of him. He was unable to stop himself as he snapped maliciously, "Well since you took the cure and are now a touchable, worthless human, I thought I'd come in and see for myself if it was worth it."
Her wary expression changed to one of outrage and…sorrow? He mentally kicked himself as he saw the hurt spread over her pale face.
Way to go, you ass, he berated himself. Two minutes into your first conversation after a year apart and you're already upsetting her.
He was contemplating how to apologize (without actually saying "sorry") and get himself in her good favor when a mask of emotionless indifference suddenly replaced her offended expression. Her eyes were narrowed and darker than ever.
"Spare me the lecture about my being a traitor to mutants," she said coldly. The iciness of her voice took him aback. "What I do is no concern of yours, Pyro. Your opinions mean nothing to me." The words were absolutely dripping with venom.
He was staring at her, not bothering to hide his surprise at this new hateful attitude. Huh. He had been so certain that she'd counter by throwing his betrayal of the X-Men back at his face. He didn't expect her to look at him as she did now, a quiet fury burning in her brown eyes. What was she pissed off about? Other than him visiting her at this ungodly hour, that is? If anything, he was the one to be rightfully angry at her for taking that damn "cure" in the first place and turning her back on her own kind.
So he retaliated in the only sensible way. He switched to asshole mode.
Crossing his arms and leaning against the wall next to her headboard, he sneered at her and ignored her stony gaze.
"Well someone's got their panties in a twist," he mocked in his infamous arrogant voice. "Let me guess…you took it, you regret it, and now you have to live with it. Am I right?"
He searched her face for any sign of emotion. To his disappointment, there was none.
"Drop dead," she hissed in the same tone.
"I would…"–Almost did, he thought in irritation as he recalled Iceman freezing his hands, head butting him, and leaving him for dead during that last battle–"…but I guess it's my invincibility that prevents me from doing so."
"Death would suit you."
"I'm sure, but it ain't happening any time soon." He studied her for a little longer and then decided to change tactics. He didn't like this side of her at all. The only logical explanation for it would be that something had happened during his absence, and he had a feeling that it had to do with more than her taking the cure.
His eyes roamed her body, settling on the cleavage that her nightgown so generously exposed to him. He smirked characteristically as her mask finally began to slip and she flushed when she realized the target of his leering.
"At least now Icedick can finally enjoy what he's been denied all this time," he said, a suggestive note lacing the sentence. "What with you no longer having poisonous skin and all, I'm sure he didn't hesitate to get into your pants once you came back–"
He had shifted his gaze to the other side of the room and quirked his eyebrow cockily in order to emphasize the pettiness of his words as he said all this. That was why he never saw the pillow flying at him. It hit him in the face with surprising force, almost knocking him backwards.
"You ignorant, perverted jerk!" she yelled, completely ignoring the fact that it was approximately three in the morning and there were other residents in the mansion sleeping. "You don't know anything."
He impatiently flung the offending bag of fluff away from him and strode the two steps forward to stand mere inches from her. "Just what the fuck is all this about, anyway?" he asked her heatedly, bending down so they were at eye level. No more games, he had to know what was wrong with her. "What the hell is with the attitude? I mean, yeah, a lot's happened and everything, I left the X-Men and became Magneto's subordinate, blah, blah, blah…but shit, why are you so goddamn angry?"
She had raised her hand to slap him again, but he caught her wrist this time and squeezed it painfully. She let out a sound of protest as he caught her other wrist as well.
"Answer me, Rogue," he ordered as she struggled against him. Her legs were no help to her as they were still tangled in her sheets. Even though, she was putting up a pretty good fight. She even managed to wrench one wrist free for a second until he caught it again.
Abruptly, her body stilled, tensed. Her head was bent forward so that her long hair shielded her face from him. Still holding her wrists, he crouched down so that he could try to see her past the auburn and white tresses.
"…you," she mumbled from behind the hair.
She lifted her head, the icy façade completely gone and her face transformed to an expression of complete melancholy and helplessness. Her gaze was softer now, so much more like the Rogue he remembered. The sadness in the gaze tugged at him, and he felt all annoyance and anger dissipate immediately.
"I can't hate you," she said in a small voice. The shine in her eyes foretold the coming of tears.
He felt some sort of protective instinct telling him to envelop the girl in an embrace, but he pushed back the impulse to listen to what she had to say. "Rogue…"
"Pyro." She took a deep breath and valiantly fought the tears that were beginning to gather. "Did you have to leave me?"
If it were possible, he could have sworn that he'd forgotten how to breathe. "What?" he choked, trying to remember how to bring air back into his lungs.
"You don't know how much I regretted letting you walk out of the jet at Alkali Lake," she told him quietly. "You don't know how worried I've been all this time, wondering if you were safe or if you were being treated well. Then, after the battle at Alcatraz, they told me that you'd been knocked out and your chances of surviving were rather slim…"
He swore softly, making a mental note to find out who "they" were and scorch them for causing her this distress. Something else was puzzling him, though. Why had she been so worried over his well-being? When he had been a student at the institute, she had never indicated that she thought of him as anything other than a friend. Not once.
"And now here you are, popping up from out of nowhere and acting like you weren't a casualty in that horrific war, being a total jackass to me, after all the anxiety you put me through…" She trailed off and shook her head as if not quite believing the audacity he had to do such a thing.
He only gaped at her like she'd lost her mind. "Hey, you put yourself through that anxiety. Anyway, why would you care about me that much?"
"You were my friend, why wouldn't I care?" she returned.
The answer didn't satisfy him. He detected some unspoken element to that proclamation, but decided not to pursue it. He didn't dare to hope that maybe, just maybe, somewhere along the way of their entire relationship, she had upgraded him to more than simply a "friend" in her mind…
A/N: The last part will be up soon, I just have to finish the last few pages. I've basically chopped this fanfic in two, so it will pick right up. Feel free to provide constructive criticism and/or comments.