Title: Clinically Insane - Chapter 1
Rating: R maybe, but probably PG-13
Summary: Dr. Susanne Carlson is a very competent psychiatrist, and St. John Allerdyce is her toughest case yet, but perhaps his previous peers can help her solve the mystery, especially Kitty Pryde.
Disclaimer: I don't own St. John Allerdyce (Pyro) or Katherine "Kitty" Pryde (Shadowcat) or any other members of the X-Men. I don't own X-Men. I don't own insanity... or clinics, for that matter. I do, however, own Dr. Alanna Carlson because I did make her up.
Author's Note: Well, there's not really any Kyro in this first chapter, but there are hints which I'm sure everyone who's looking will find. I'm not sure how long this story will be overall. I'm guessing five chapters all about the same length for now, but I make absolutely no guarantees because I have this thing where the stories just keep getting longer and I can't help it.
WARNINGS: Lots and lots and lots of foul language. I think it might be rubbing off on me, too.
"How have you been in the past day, John?"
"Have you ever wondered what it'd be like to be clinically insane? I have. Do you find that a bit odd? Is it crazy to think about the possibility of being crazy? But then there's the theory that crazy people don't think they're crazy, but, if I go by that, that means I'm not crazy… but then isn't it all right if I'm crazy because the fact that I think I could be crazy means that I'm not crazy?"
"Is this what you've been thinking about?"
"What is there really for me to think about?" His voice was derisive and cruel yet humorous (or at least in his opinion, as he laughed dastardly).
"You could reflect on your actions."
He scoffed at that. "Yeah, 'cause thinking about how I'm such an asshole all the time really raises my self-esteem. That's exactly what I need right now." The sarcasm had disappeared from his voice. "No offense, lady, but that's not something I enjoy thinking about."
"I never said you would enjoy it."
"You can say that again."
Silence reigned for a moment.
"So what's the point of these little sessions we have, anyway?"
"I have to assess you, Mr. Allerdyce."
"Yeah, I got that, but just cut the bullshit and skip to the part that's actually true."
"But it is true, John. I must assess you before it's decided what to do with you. Now I want to talk about your past."
"Good for you. You can go ahead and do that on your own, too—and I know you can 'cause you've got my files. It's not like anything I say on any matter other than Bucket-Head's actions that you won't already know about. Isn't that convenient for you?"
"I was thinking about the first time you discovered your powers."
"Yeah, have fun thinking about that, lady."
"I've read the file, yes, but I'd like to hear it from your point of view. Please enlighten me, John."
He doesn't say anything for nearly a minute until, "Lots of fire."
"That's not enough, John."
"Even more fire. Fuck, lady, it's not like it's any of your goddamn business."
"Well, it is now. Mr. Allerdyce, it's been my business since the day I was assigned to you. Now answer the question." This was the first time her voice had changed since the beginning of the session. It was no longer calm and serene but rather dangerous and demanding.
"I've told this story before," he said begrudgingly.
"Yes, to a man that's currently dead. Professor Xavier isn't here to vouch for you."
"Don't look at me that way. It's not my fault he kicked the fucking bucket."
"I've always wondered why you weren't there, though."
"Keep on wondering, then."
"Why weren't you there, John?" she asked directly.
"I was busy."
"With what? Had Magneto asked you to watch over the Brotherhood?"
"I was busy." His voice was forceful and firm. It was obvious he wouldn't say anything more on the matter.
"You seem very adamant with that statement."
He rolled his eyes. "Great observation."
"Now, tell me about when you discovered your powers."
"It was warm."
"I recall it being in January."
"You 'recall'? Yeah, 'cause you were really there."
"It was warm."
"Yes, we've established that."
"I don't really remember it."
"You think you're going to get away with just saying that?"
"But I don't."
"Then tell me what you do remember."
He hesitated, and, when he spoke, his voice was monotone, almost nostalgic in a weird, twisted way. "The heat. The smell of searing flesh." He paused, not wanting to continue but did anyway. "It was so damn, fucking hot, but it didn't hurt. It just, sort of, was. It felt different, but it didn't feel bad."
"How many were there?" She didn't have to clarify further on her question. It was the same question that everyone asked him, and he replied without missing a beat.
"Sixteen. Three babies: a boy and identical twin girls. Six teenagers: four boys and two girls. Seven adults: the owner, three employees, and three parents."
He scoffed again. "Of course."
"What happened? How did it start?"
"I don't remember. Something about a popcorn maker. I couldn't control it."
"Did you know any of the people?"
"Who were they?"
He was apprehensive once more before saying, "My friend, Cody, was one of them."
"And the other two?"
"You know from the file."
"I want to hear you say it, John." Her voice had returned to that consoling voice she used, but it wasn't comforting in the least.
She sighed in slight frustration. "When you can say it out loud, you can come to terms with what happened and deal with it in a more civilized manner. Now, who were the other two?"
"They were my parents, all right?" he snapped indignantly. The sound of a chair hitting the floor came as he jumped to his feet.
"Calm down, John."
"Listen, lady, stop telling me to fucking calm down. That's the seventh time in the past two days, and I'm fucking tired of it. Haven't I told you a million times that I don't like talking about this?"
"Yes, you have, but that doesn't mean we're going to stop talking about it. This is important. You can't push it away behind years of anger and frustration."
"But I've already done that, haven't I?"
"It's not healthy."
He laughed mockingly at that. "You think I don't know that? Jesus, I may be a jerk but I'm not an idiot."
"Then why do you do it?"
"Oh, fuck, like I'm supposed to know that. It's just… I don't know—easier, I guess."
"How did you feel afterward?"
He paused, noticing that she had changed the subject again, before, "In pain."
"Well, I had third degree burns all over my body and my lungs were filled with smoke. You guess. It hadn't hurt before but it certainly hurt after."
"What about when you found out about your parents and Cody Hamilton?"
"I don't really remember. I don't remember being told but I know that I was told. I think I was just… numb."
"Why were you numb, John?"
"Oh, fuck, lady, like I'm supposed to know that? Come on! Cut me some slack here."
"Why should I?"
For a moment, he doesn't say anything, until, hesitantly, he says, "All right, so you've got a bit of a point there."
"After you got out of the hospital, what happened to you?"
"What do you think? Orphanage. Duh."
"Did you make any friends there?"
He laughed curtly at that. "No."
"And why not, John?"
"Because! I don't have to justify myself to you."
"Actually, John, you do."
He rolled his eyes and sighed in frustration. "Fine. I just didn't want any, all right?"
"Because, in times of need, humans cling to the most reassuring thing they can find, which is usually another person in the same sort of situation as they are in. Yes, most other children wouldn't be in the exact same situation, but there are still things in common you'd have with them. And I thought it quite obvious that you were in a time of need."
Snide laughter ensued. "Oh, yeah, time of need, cling to someone. You've really got me pegged, lady. I don't know how you did it… only not. I don't cling to people, lady, so get the hell over it."
"How did you get from there to here?"
"I don't know. I was moved around a lot. Partially burned down one of the orphanages I was staying at. Somehow, they just shipped me off to America."
"Where in America did you end up?"
"Somewhere," he answered evadingly.
"I know you ran away, John," she said omnisciently. "Like you said, it's all in the file. Now explain to me how and why."
"Just because. You don't need to know every single thing about me."
"Yes, I do."
"Fine, you don't deserve to know every single thing about me."
"Now that we're on the subject of what people deserve, I have another question. Tell me, John, what do you think you deserve for everything you've done? For all those people you killed? For 'being a jerk' every single day? For abandoning the X-Men? For trying to kill your best friend?"
"Ex," he corrected immediately, "ex-best friend."
When he didn't say anything further on the matter, she said, "I thought so. Now, how and why?"
"How? Quite easily. Why? Because I wanted to."
"The more you push, the more I push back. Just tell me."
"I just did tell you."
"John!" she groans forebodingly.
"Yes?" he asked innocently, growing a small smirk.
"John," she continued more calmly, her voice firm, "we have to talk about this more seriously. You need to be able to talk openly about your past."
"And you need to fuck off. But it's not like we'll both get what we want, so…"
"So you should just answer the questions."
"I don't want to 'just answer the questions'."
"It doesn't matter what you want anymore, John. This is bigger than just you."
"Oh, what? You're going to start talking about nobility and all that shit? Listen, lady, I don't give a fuck about anybody else, so you can just fuck off."
"I'm not going to just 'fuck off'. Answer the goddamn question."
"Ooh, don't lose your cool," he taunted, smirk widening.
"Why did you leave? I know that you made it safely to the United States of America and then you were on your way toward a different orphanage, one in New York City. Why did you leave?"
"I don't know," he shrugged indifferently. "Seemed like a good idea at the time."
He wouldn't say anything else.
"John, answer the question."
"I don't know," he repeated in frustration. "Fuck, I figured it'd be safer out on the streets."
"How would it be safer? John, you'd die."
"I don't understand how you can talk about self-preservation and then not care if you die."
"Not many people do."
"Explain it to me."
"I can't explain it. It just is."
"Why would it be safer on the streets if there was a higher possibility of your death?"
"I didn't mean safer for me! Jesus Christ!"
"If not safer for you, then for whom?"
"So you do care about others."
"Apparently I did then. Don't know why. Nobody cares back."
"I care, John."
He laughed scathingly—and quite loudly, too. "No, you don't! Fuck, lady, you can't hide that from me. This is all bullshit, you're only here because you were assigned to me, and you don't give a damn about me, and I don't give a damn about you! So let's get back to your papers, so you can write down all the boring, tumultuous bullshit-drama that's my life."
Dr. Carlson pauses the tape and stares at the screen of her last session with one St. John Allerdyce, also known as Pyro before he lost his abilities after Alcatraz. "As you can see," she says, glancing at the other inhabitants, Ororo, Logan, and Hank, "he's still very adamant about having the freedom to keep his emotions and past a secret from everyone he can. But he's slowly breaking down. This was the first session in which I actually got him to speak about why he ran away and the day that Professor Xavier found him and took him to the school. He refuses to talk about certain people, though."
"He was 'busy'?" growls Logan, furrowing his brow at Pyro's choice of words. "What the hell does that mean?"
Carlson hesitates before saying, "I'm not sure. I asked him about it later on, but he still wouldn't say anything more. From what I can tell, it's something very private that he doesn't want anyone else to know about." She glances between the three others standing there with her and says, "Want me to continue the tape?"
"Sure," says Ororo apprehensively.
She presses 'Play,' and the scene on the television continues.
"How long was it between the time when you ran away from the orphanage and when you met Professor Xavier?"
"It wasn't that long. Maybe a week or two."
"What made you go with him?"
"I beg your pardon?"
"I didn't go with him. I told him no. But then the idea got too tempting. I was alone, and, quite frankly, I was desperate. I had nowhere else to go, and, since they were all other people like me, it didn't sound half-bad. So I hitchhiked there, and he just welcomed me in with open arms—pretty fucking stupid on his part, if you ask me."
"What do you mean?"
"I haven't changed that much since then, you know. He should've been able to tell."
"Yes, that's nice. Now, I want to talk about your relationships with other people."
"I wouldn't really call any of them 'relationships'."
"I wasn't referring to any sexual relations."
"Good. I don't like to talk about that."
"Is there anything you do like to talk about, John?"
"With you? No."
"Is there anyone you'd like to talk to?"
He snorted derisively. "I don't trust anyone you send through that door."
"Then we'll return to my questions. Tell me about your relationship with Robert Drake, your now ex-best friend."
"I don't want to talk about Bobby."
"And I don't."
"How did you meet him? It's recorded that he was already a student when you arrived at the school."
He didn't say anything.
"Come on, John. We're going to talk about it eventually, so why not get it over with?"
"I don't want to talk about Bobby," he repeats dangerously.
She sighed in frustration but moved on nonetheless. "How about Marie D'Ancanto?"
"Skunk-girl can suck Bobby's…"
"…for all I care."
"Jubilation Lee?" she tried again.
"Needs to learn to shut the fuck up."
"Piotr Rasputin?" she suggested.
He smirked at that. "You know, I've always wondered what temperature steel melts at."
He stiffened at the name until he forced himself to relax and say as nonchalantly as possible, "So, seriously, when am I getting to the fucking mental institution?"