Hello, all! I'm Anatui. Well, this is my first X-Men fanfic, and I just thought I should let you all know that the only stuff I know about it is from the movies and little bits and pieces I've gathered from various other sources. Also, it's been a long time since I've seen any of the three movies, which I love very much and would like to own but regretfully don't. So, please, if anything's wrong with this, please tell me about it.

This is strictly non-romantic. If you're looking for some Ryro, please look elsewhere. This is from Pyro's perspective with first person and present tense.

Thank you for reading,

Anatui


Change

Empty. I feel so empty inside. If I were a girl, I'd probably cry. But I'm not, so I won't. I'm too strong for that. Even without my fire… but, damn, my powers were my whole life. Without that, I'm just plain John Allerdyce—a rather boring person if you ask me. But no one ever does ask me, so I guess my opinion doesn't even really matter.

This world is so very cold. Of course, it is winter, so it's supposed to be cold. But the world always feels colder to me than it does to other people—I just know it does. I suppose that's because of the fire within me, but, even without it, it still feels just as cold. What does that mean? Does it mean that the Cure wasn't completely real, that is was only temporary? Or is that all just false hope?

The sound of another's footsteps coming through the chilly night echoes through the empty street. I don't look up to see the person, not sure whether I want to see the person or not. They'll probably just walk away anyway, right? But they don't. The person stops right in front of me, and the world seems to stop whenever I hear the voice speak.

"John?"

That's the first time anyone's called me by my birth name in a long time. My first thoughts are to ignore the person, act like I didn't hear it—or, rather, like I still don't answer to that name. And I suppose I don't, but this is really the first chance I've had to find out whether I do or not.

But, now that I think about it, I recognize that voice. I don't have to think about that rather obvious accent or, now that I know who it is, the strong but also very feminine stride. It's Rogue—well, I guess not anymore. She's Marie now, isn't she?

I hesitate before allowing myself to look up at her. "What?" My voice is rough but still strong, and I'm thankful for that. Oh, I guess I do still answer to it. Sometimes, I surprise even myself. "What do you want?"

She's just standing there on the sidewalk, frozen on the spot, obviously startled to see me. I don't really care, though. "What—what are you doing here?" she finally gets out.

I shrug at that. It's not like I really know anyway, so how could I tell her, even if I wanted to (which I don't)? I look back down at my hands, which are currently fiddling with the bottom of the zipper of my jacket. It's not like this task is all that interesting, but I'd rather look at that than at her while just continues to stare at me in disbelief.

"Why are you so close to the mansion?" she asks, trying again to get an answer from me.

To tell the truth, I didn't even know that I was close to the mansion at all. I'm in a big city and I don't even remember how I got here. I just came. That's all there is to it. So I just shrug again.

She heaves a sigh at my disobedience and begins to move again. At first, I think she's going to leave me here to my thoughts and serenity—all right, I definitely don't have any serenity, but she doesn't know that. Instead, she moves toward me and sits down next to me on the stone stair.

I roll my eyes at her audacity. "So," I say, trying to at least partially clear the air, "what are you doing out here in the middle of the night?"

When she speaks, her voice sounds resigned. Something's up with her, and it almost scares me. Not because something is bothering her but because her voice sounds so much like mine whenever she talks like that. Like we're both resigned to some fate we don't want to accept but we know it's the truth despite our wants and hopes. So cold, so sad, so broken… so empty. In that respect, we're just alike. But, in another, we're very different. She gave in and took the Cure. The only reason I was Cured was because the people that imprisoned me for a short period of time after Alcatraz were too afraid I'd kill them if they didn't. Cowards if you ask me.

"Moping."

I raise an eyebrow at that curiously. "Why?" I can't help but ask.

"Bobby and I had a bit of a fight," she sighs.

"Iceman not happy that you're not putting out now that you can?" I snap, not caring for the fact that she brought him up.

She obviously recognizes what I mean behind that because she says, "Hey, you asked." Hmm, she has got a point there. Doesn't mean I'll ever let her know that, though. Besides, it's not like she doesn't already know she does.

Not having a response to her statement, we sit quietly for a little while, and I begin to drift back into my pensiveness. Until she speaks again.

"John—"

I interrupt her this time. "That's not my name," I snarl irritably.

And I suppose, in the strictest of sense, that's quite true. In a way, I'm still John Allerdyce, but, at the same time, I'm not him at all. He was a boy—an impatient, annoying, broody, pyromaniac boy, but a boy nonetheless. That boy ceased to exist when I became Pyro completely and utterly, when I joined the Brotherhood.

"Then what is your name?" she snaps back.

"I don't know," I answer quite honestly.

It's true. I'm not even Pyro anymore. He died with the Brotherhood—and that certainly doesn't exist anymore. Magneto's Cured. So is Mystique. Without the two of them, there's really nothing else. I'd be the only one left, but, to tell the truth, I'm not a leader. I'm not a follower either, though. I'm not even really independent. I don't know what I am. I don't know who I am. So what's the point anymore? Besides, who would there even be to follow me if I were to take control of the Brotherhood?

"John," she begins again, settling for that name even though I hate it, "have you ever seen the movie Sabrina?"

All right, where the hell did that come from? "What?" I ask, furrowing my brow, utterly confused and rather taken aback.

"Sabrina," she repeats as if I hadn't heard it the first time. "With Audrey Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart and William Holden."

"I haven't watched any recent movies," I say half incredulously.

She lets out a small chuckle at that. "I wouldn't say it's recent It was made and released in '54." When I don't say anything in response to that (no idea what to say to that!), she continues. "It's about a girl named Sabrina. At the beginning, she thinks she's in love with William Holden's character, David, but she later falls for his older brother, Linus, played by Humphrey Bogart."

"This has a point, right?" I ask with a small roll of my eyes. But it's not like I don't have all day. There's nothing I really do with my life.

"Yes, hush. Anyway, Linus is a boring businessman that doesn't let anything get in the way of his work unless there's nothing he can do about it but that's rare. David, on the other hand, is an idiot. He's one of those guys that doesn't go to work and only likes girls that look pretty."

"So you're saying that, if I'm to get a girl to actually fall in love with me, I should become a boring business man?"

"Hush, John!" she snaps in frustration. "What I'm trying to say is that, despite all his flaws, David is my favorite character. You know why? Because he's a dynamic character. He changes. At first he's a rash, conceited, stupid idiot, but, at the end of the movie, he turns out to be a good brother and a good friend and an overall good guy. He realized he wasn't in love with Sabrina and he let his brother have her because he knew that his brother was in love with her."

Now I see what she's trying to change. She wants me to go back to being that same boy that was actually her friend. She doesn't understand, though. I can't be that person anymore, even if I wanted to. John's dead. So I just say, "I'm not changing for you, Rogue," and turn away from her.

"I'm not asking you to," she insists.

I snort at that.

"I'm not. I'm just saying that, if you're not going to change for me, or for Bobby, or for anyone else at the mansion, or for the entire mutant race… or even yourself, John—if you won't change for any of us, who will you change for?"

I shrug off her statement. "I won't change for anyone. I won't change. There's nothing to change. I just am who I am now, even if I don't know who that is. Period."

We sit in silence for a while, allowing all that was just said to sink in fully, until she finally pushes herself to her feet. "Well, I best be getting back. I probably won't see you again either, will I? Then goodbye, John." I don't look up until she's already nearly out of sight on her way back toward the mansion and the school that I know I can't go back to but sometimes—rarely—wish I had never left. Damn, what a night.


Well, again, thank you for reading. I'd love a couple reviews!

Anatui