Five Times St. John Fell in Love with Bobby and One Time He Wishes He Didn't
"I'm Bobby. You're my new roommate."
Staring at the naive smile on the boy before him, St. John knows that he is absolutely going to hate this place. For the life of him, he can't remember why he let his cousin send him here. The entire place is too off and it even smells weird, like stale ice.
He moved around the boy wordlessly and stood in the center of the room he would be staying in, hopefully for not too long. Neither of the beds looked used at all and St. John had to wonder if this roommate of his actually slept in here. This kid had no posters on the walls or socks on the floor. This smiling brat didn't even give him any indication which bed was already claimed. Frustrated, St. John threw his knapsack on the floor by the window. He crawled under the covers on the bed furthest from the door. It had been a long flight from California and he didn't want to deal with a nosy kid. Until he fell asleep, he didn't speak to the other boy,
The kid hadn't tried to talk to him, for which he was thankful. He didn't want to burst his innocent little bubble that he had been placed in. The kid would find out eventually that nothing was really right in the world, but until he wanted to be cried at, St. John would keep his mouth shut around these sheltered kids. Someone else could do it instead. Though, St. John really appreciated that he hadn't tried to pry like that Asian girl had the second he walked in the door with Mr. Summers.
St. John woke up in the middle of the night because he heard rustling. The wide-eyed boy stood with an armful of his own socks and underwear. He was in the process of carrying them from the chest of drawers at the end of St. John's bed to the one closer to the door. The little brat hadn't even said which bed was already claimed and now he was trying to move his stuff as if he had never been in that bed during the middle of the night. St. john sat straight up in bed. Bobby just smiled apologetically at him and whispered about waking him up before grabbing a stack of folded jeans and making another trip.
"Hey, roommate," the kid whispered. "I put an extra blanket at the end of your bed. Sometimes when I dream, I lose control of my powers sleeping in an ice cave can get kinda cold. If you want, I can talk to Professor Xavier in the morning and have your room changed. All my other roommates got new rooms pretty easy."
St. John could only think about how sweet this boy could still be even after having all his roommates run out on him. It explained why he got one of the only two-person rooms in the whole mansion. But St. John couldn't help but dwell on that trusting smile and finally noticed that no matter how many teeth he showed everyone, it never touched his eyes. He was taken aback by Bobby's eagerness to please and put others before himself.
So, instead of answering with words, St. John reached in the darkness for his bag and pulled a cheap yellow bic out. He grabbed the fire in his hand and held it out to show his roommate. Bobby's smile nearly blinded him in the dark room and this time it really did reach into his sparkling blue eyes.
St. John questioned whether or not he could actually grow to like this boy. And from the knot in his stomach as their eyes met, he decided that he already did.
The first morning St. John woke up at the mansion, Bobby led him downstairs to get breakfast. Bobby informed him that some of the older kids cooked breakfast for the younger ones. Today, a girl who made the best omelettes in the whole world, according to Bobby, would be cooking and it was her last semester of school and she would be leaving so he just had to have her breakfast at least once. St. John had to agree that the green-haired girl named Lorna did make a great omelette. However, something ridiculously akin to jealously pooled in his stomach at the way Bobby smiled at the older girl and he found himself unable to eat any more.
After the quiet breakfast, Bobby, clearly not expecting a response, simply stated, "You never told me your name."
"St. John," he readily replied, earning another toothy smile.
"Sin-jin," Bobby repeated, tasting the name on his tongue.
St. John smirked, "Close. Say it faster and more slurred. Sinj'n."
"How do you spell that? I've never heard it before."
St. John used his index finger and traced the letters on the table.
Taken aback, Bobby nearly yelled, "If it's spelled Saint John, why in the world don't you pronounce it that way?"
"Because then it's not my name," he shrugged.
"Can I call you Sin, or Sindy, or..."
"No! My name is St. John."
"How about Sinj? That could be your codename! Fire singes things right?"
"But if it is my name, then its not my codename, is it?"
Bobby looked crestfallen. Something inside St. John made a shattering sound and he wanted nothing more than to return that happy-go-lucky smile to his roommates face. St. John sat up a little straighter and huffed, an action he knew he would be mocked for, but would gladly do if he could hear Bobby's laughter again.
"My name's Pyro anyway."
"Pyro? Why not something cool like The Roaring Flame or Flamethrower? Something awesome and powerful!"
St. John fought the urge to tell Bobby that only he thought they were cool and instead came up with a better excuse.
"Because simple is better most of the time, Iceman."
"Iceman," Bobby's eyes lit up like the Fourth of July. "That really is so much better than The Freeze Master."
St. John let out a good heartfelt laugh, not daring to try and keep it in.
Every time he was made to introduce himself after than, he made it simple and called himself 'John.' Though, Bobby insisting that he be different, decided that he was the only one allowed to call him Johnny. Rightfully so, as St. John would have singed the shirt off anyone else who tried.
Bobby never grilled St. John about himself like some of the girls did. Instead, he'd throw out a question or two that he didn't mind answering carefully concealed within Bobby's ramblings about himself. St. John never questioned why Bobby asked his questions that way, or why he found himself so ready to spill all to his roommate.Though, St. John never once heard Bobby telling anyone else about any of the details that he gave him. It was always, "If you want to know about John, ask John." As of yet, none of the other even knew his real name like Bobby did.
So, when they were working on their history assignment, and Bobby was prattling on about how annoying his little brother was and how he was lucky if he didn't have one, St. John threw his pen onto the floor between them and propped himself up on his elbows to glare at Bobby. Bobby, who looked about ready to cry in fear of angering his friend, let his mouth hang open in mid-word. He feared that he had annoyed Johnny to the point where he finally wanted to switch rooms after a long two months with him.
"Say it," St. John demanded, his accent slightly slipping.
"Just ask your questions."
Bobby suppressed a sigh of relief, "Do you have any family?"
"That's it, mate? Yeah, I used to live with a cousin here in the States. But, after me parents accident, I haven't really had a family. Proof of that, me cousin sent me here cuz he didn't want to deal with a troublemaker like me with no inheritance."
Bobby quickly sat up and stated, "You're Australian."
"Yeah," St. John sighed. "I noticed."
Bobby watched his roommate cover his accent up again and smiled. The revelation sparked a bigger interest than St. John had expected. Surely sweet, innocent Bobby wasn't going to mock him like all his old classmates back in California. St. John was genuinely surprised by what came out of Bobby's mouth next.
"I undastand. It took me two months ta stop talkin like this. I cova'd it up afta they laughed at me sayin 'wicked' all da time. And I only eva once called a soda a tonic, but I took a digga when they sta'ted pointin and laughin at me."
St. John smiled at the secret of which he was just granted knowledge. They made a pact that whenever they were alone, they wouldn't hide who they were and where they came from.
"So, how long have ya been hea?"
"Since I was eleven... A few short of three years ago."
"Yous thirteen? Me, too! Awesome."
And thus, their conversations continued. Until one day when St. John was telling Bobby just how many wild kangaroos he had actually seen and then Kitty walked up. She greeted them at the foosball table where the boys were playing and St. John immediately shut up. She had attempted to make conversation with the Aussie, but St. John just pushed her away with a snotty remark.
"Why do you want to know where I came from? I don't go sharing my personal life with just any pretty face that talks to me, ya know?"
St. John hadn't really meant it as a compliment to Bobby, but as Kitty stormed away, Bobby's eyes sparkled brighter than ever. St. John resisted calling Bobby a weepy girl and went back to the game they were playing. However, he silently wished that he could make his roommate smile like that at least once a day. St. John's heart tightened at the thought, and he found himself losing the match.
St. John Allerdyce was known for getting into trouble by pulling pranks. Robert Drake was known for being able to talk his fellow mutants out of beating up his best friend. It was a system that truly worked and with it, they both had quite a few laughing sessions.
Bobby was a good boy who hadn't once gotten himself into trouble this far into his stay at the school. Sometimes, though, he really itched to play a part in one of the pranks. St. John could also see that, but had to explain each time he got that glint in his eyes that Bobby couldn't be a part of it. It Bobby knew of his plans, he couldn't get St. John out of trouble because with prior knowledge, he should have been able to stop him.
St. John watched Bobby jump around their room in excitement one evening.
Bobby had known something was up when St. John sat straight up in bed at 2 a.m. and began laughing very loudly. Since then, Bobby hadn't been able to sleep. He recognized the look in his friend's eyes. Bobby also knew that Piotr's 18th birthday was just around the bend. St. John knew that Piotr was expecting some nasty prank out of him on his birthday and was already preparing for it. He also knew that Bobby had put all of it together in his head.
"Bobby," he stated calmly. "I need you help on this one."
Thus, the bouncing.
They sat and talked quietly, sipping hot chocolate in the kitchen. Discussing a sleepover that happened about a month ago. Anytime that anyone came near, they'd shut up and just grin stupidly at each other.
Jubilee had recently came in and warned John that Pete was expecting his pants to be set on fire and had already taken precautions. The boys giggled like schoolgirls as she walked away.
As the kids were giving Pete a party in the activities room, St. John handed a small package to the birthday boy. The gift was slowly opened, but revealed a perfectly innocent bottle of cologne. St. John claimed that Bobby had picked it out, leaving suspicion behind. As the party progressed, Bobby suggested watching a movie. He quickly slipped it into the player, leaving no time for anyone to protest.
A gurgled yell slipped from Pete as he realized that the hand holding the bottle of vodka was his own. He only vaguely remembered the night that the boys invited him in to their room for drinks that they would deny ever raiding from the teachers.
The girls sat watching horrified as Pete ripped off his shirt and began singing a Russian ballad that he drunkenly proclaimed to be dedicated to his love for Kitty.
"Bobby," St. John fake gasped. "I didn't know recorded that, you dog!"
"Drake! Allerdyce! I will kill you!"
Bobby started laughing and ran from the room, grasping St. John's hand on the way. As they tore down the hall away from the giant angry Russian, Bobby slicked the floor behind them with ice. When they heard a loud crash, the pair paused only for a moment to look behind them.
Kitty shrieked, "Piotr! Are you alright?" And she knelt down to him.
Vaguely, the two heard Marie yelling after them about Bobby letting John convince him to do something like this. St. John barely was able to wish Pete and Kitty long lives and lots of children before Bobby was dragging him away again.
They made it to their room and slammed the door. They slid down the door, still holding hands. The two panted between jagged laughter. St. John realized that he had never heard Bobby laugh like this before and he promised himself to let his friend in on all his pranks from then on. Bobby's voice, sounding so genuinely joyful, struck each note of the song in St. John's soul with precision. He squeezed Bobby's hand, still trapped in his own, and felt his heart skip a beat when Bobby returned the gesture.
St. John lay sprawled out with his school books on their bedroom floor. Bobby the same next to him. These quiet moments were all they had anymore ever since Rogue showed a minor interest in Bobby Drake, then he turned back into the good guy who wore fake smiles that never reached his eyes. St. John cherished these few moments that they had alone together with their work, where they didn't have to pretend. St. John would let his guards down and so would Bobby.
But Bobby didn't have any more questions to ask. St. John feared that Bobby knew everything and was now bored with him, or worse, he had lost interest in knowing anything about him.
"Why ah ya so good at English?"
Bobby's questions actually surprised him. St. John hadn't been expecting any inquiries past "what's number twelve?"
"I just like writing, mate. You know that."
"Yeah, but... is it a talent, o' do you put effa't into it?"
"Same as you with you math, I guess," his Australian accent easily flowing in this private situation, still not faded after seven years in the States.
"Can you help me with this, then? I still don't get it."
"Bobby, you don't have to beg."
St. John went on to explain why objective writing was used in the essay rather than subjective and what the strengths of it were for the subject matter. Bobby merely nodded, but he looked like he understood. They continued working in silence on their respective assignments. St. John heard Bobby stop writing long before he spoke again.
"Is that what you want to do? Write?"
"I'll write novels. Maybe do some articles or essays for extra cash. I'm sure my books won't sell much."
"What kinda books?"
"No, mate. More like... Poe, yeah? We read some Poe a few months back, remember?"
"He's kinda twisted."
"Yeah, I guess. But his poems about his wives are so tragic and beautiful."
Bobby simply nodded, as if trying to remember, rather than agreeing. St. John returned back to his math. Occasionally, he'd struggle and ask Bobby for help. Bobby always willingly gave it. Tonight, however, he seemed a bit distracted from St. John's point of view. He barely wrote another sentence in his workbook after John explained his chosen career.
"I have a wicked awesome idear, Johnny."
"When you sell millions of books, you'll be rich. You'll need an accountant to keep track of you holdings, right?"
"Yeah, I mean, we'll probably be livin' togetha afta weer outta school, right?"
St. John sat down his pencil. Slowly, he turned his head to look at Bobby who's shoulder brushed his. The kid, even after all these years, wore a wide and innocent smile on his face.
"Yeah, Iceman and Pyro living under one roof," St. John asked sarcastically. "You'd hate living with me."
Bobby's face fell, but not nearly enough to appease St. John's insecurities.
"Besides, what about Sheila?"
"Yeah, Sheila. She wouldn't want to look at my ugly face every time she came over for a date or to see you."
"Yeah," Bobby slowly agreed. "She does seem to hate you."
And St. John forced himself to look away, knowing that if it were just one year ago, Bobby would have insisted on their friendship being stronger and more important than any girl. And that they just HAD to live together or else the world would be thrown off it's axis.
St. John realized that all relationships were bound to end up this way, silently fading or violently breaking. He just wished he hadn't opened up and spilled his personal life to Bobby's pretty face. He knew from day one that leaving would be that much harder had he made any friends here. Bobby anchored him here for five years, four years and fifty weeks longer than he was planning on staying. He had fallen in love and now it was tearing him apart to think about leaving, but he knew that if Bobby sided with Rogue rather than him one more time, he wouldn't have a place here anymore.
Even though he wasn't finished with his algebra homework, he shut his book. St. John crawled off the floor and into his bed by the window. As he drifted off to sleep, he thanked whomever was listening for the museum trip tomorrow and the canceled classes.
Somewhere between boarding a helicopter with Magneto and setting fire to flying cars on Alcatraz, strike St. John /strike Pyro realized that he had filled the hole in his heart with a love for power. Now, he wished he had spent more time falling in love with writing, music, or bloody puppies, for all he cared. Power though true and visibly present in this situation, was exactly the wrong thing.
strike St. John /strike Pyro fought against his old love with his new love. His wrist lighters clicked to life and he smiled at the feeling. He pushed Iceman back with his unquestionable power. His strength brought Iceman down to his knees.
Simultaneously, the hole in his heart sealed and filled with his own power as he pushed Iceman further.
But Iceman couldn't let him be at peace. He had to play the good guy. He had to overcome the bad guy and impossible odds to save the day. strike St. John /strike Pyro knew that he should have seen this coming. Now, he really wished that it was impermanent flowers that he fell in love with.
Iceman showed him power. He turned himself into solid ice and didn't even leave a drop of himself behind as Pyro held his blaze on him. The Iceman froze him. strike St. John /strike Pyro very nearly cried when he felt his carefully sealed heart rip to shreds with Iceman spoke about him leaving. strike St. John /strike Pyro felt torn. HIs new love failed him, as every relationship and love was bound to do. His old love was in essence his new love.
As his vision faded to black, strike St. John /strike Pyro whimpered. He felt cold arms scoop him up and carry him away.
And in his subconscious, he could only with that Iceman could love Pyro as much as St. John loved Bobby.