I got so much AMZAING feedback after Hypothetical my ego required me to write a sequel. At the moment this is a one-shot, but if people like it I might continue it.
This is what happens when you combine Skins, The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy and an overdose of Boyzone (In my defence I maintain it was a moment of pure nostalgia. Wait, no, I have cancer. I can damn well listen to Boyzone if I want!)
Disclaimer: I don't own X-Men. Nor do I own a time-bending Flux Capacitor or Dr. Who. Which is quite sad. Because David Tennant is quite ravishing.
Beta'd by aiRo25writes
St John Allerdyce was bored. Beyond bored. Brain-wrenchingly so. The stage of boredom that follows the hours of press-ups and sit-ups; the thoughtful reading of all the noteworthy twenty-century authors on TIME magazine's list, the list that you always meant to fulfil but never had the time to until now; the colour-coordination of the sock drawer; the renaming of the night sky after Smurfs and Pokémon; the carving of the name into the skirting board just beneath the bed; perfecting the look of aloof yet sexy brooding; and the cleaning of that area under the bed were the dust bunnies have their picnic only to discover a lone sock, which required the complete reorganisation of said sock drawer. Yes, it was that kind of boredom. John lay on his bed, too fucking bored to twiddle his thumbs. Just the thought of such an exertive excursion into futility sent shivers down his spine. Or, it would have, had he not been too bored to shiver.
Christ. To think that barely three months ago he had been out there doing stuff. Serious stuff. The kind of stuff they'd still be talking about in fifty years, stuff that would go down in history. So what if he was on the bad side. At least he had a side.
Now what did he have? Broken wrists and Friday nights spent in the company of the Guinness Book of World Records.
It was a misnomer, you know, the Guinness Book. There was, in fact, no Guinness, nor any alcohol of any shape or form, involved at all. John thought this most unfair. Personally, he felt that if someone was arsed enough to read the damned thing they deserved, at least, a pint in compensation for the irretrievable hours spent dwelling on the number of Smarties one can eat with chopsticks in one minute. Those were precious hours, never to be repeated.
Not unless you happened to have a time-bending Flux Capacitor parked into your garage or answered to the name of Dr. Who.
Which John didn't.
Not that he actually read the Guinness Book of World Records. Oh no. He had not yet sunk that low. He would rather gouge out his own eyes with an ice-cream scoop, slit his wrists with rusty butter knives and toast destruction with a quart of battery acid before he succumbed to that.
But it was close.
Part of the problem, he supposed, was that his current predicament was mostly of his own making. Not the joining of the Dark Side bit, but the following isolation. The hours in the skulking in library, at one with the dust; the endless Danger Room sessions; the time spent on the roof, doing nothing, just feeling angry at the universe for being so inconsiderately big – resulting in his ultimate insignificance. No one had sentenced him to it. Storm and Logan were happy for him to roam around the school. They had even allowed him keep his lighter. But by saving his life, they had killed him even so. What was the point in rebelling if you were allowed do it? Then it wasn't rebelling. It was conforming. Rule-abiding.
Urgh. Just urgh.
John sighed, flicking his lighter open. His fingers were stiff and uncooperative after their stint in plaster. The old fluid grace was long gone.
Look on the bright side. Something to do with all this time on your hands.
Time on your hands. A darker stain than blood.
Of course, he could socialise. Could. Should. Wouldn't. As the Wolverine had most eloquently put it last time John complained about his incarceration, citing the UN's Universal Declaration on the Rights of the Child on his behalf, "Well, you shoulda thought of this before ya went on a murderin' rampage, bub."
Murdering rampage? What was he? A fucking Viking?
He and Rogue had talked briefly the previous week and it hadn't ended that well. John's eye was still black. But, on the other hand, Bobby had taken to standing rather than sitting after a nasty encounter between John's patella, a rather loud crack and his––
John's train of thought was interrupted by a sharp knocking on his bedroom door. Sighing, he swung his legs off the bed and stumped across the room, yanking open the door.
"Well, well, well," John drawled, a smirk crawling across his face as he leant back against the doorpost, arms folded. "Look who's come crawling back."
Rogue glared at him. "Ya gonna let me in?"
John's smirk contorted into a sneer. She was angry at him? What the fuck? On what grounds? Yeah, okay, maybe he would have understood it if he had ignored her since the library incident, if he had given her the cold shoulder for a week, if he had sulked in his room and refused to talk to anyone.
If he remembered correctly it was Rogue who had been avoiding him like he was a plague-infected flea residing on rabid rat suffering from Mad Cow Disease, and not the other way around.
Though, on the sulking part …
John pretended to consider the matter. "Maybe I will … Then again, maybe I won't."
"Quit playin' games and let me in," Rogue growled in a most Wolverine-like fashion, attempting to barrel past him.
John, vertically challenged as he was, was used to contending with The Blob, and so was highly practised in the art of blocking an undesirable someone from entering a room which they very much wished to access.
"What's the magic word, sweetheart?"
"Let me in, asshole."
"Tsk tsk, Roguey." He heaved a dramatic sigh, shaking his head. "Didn't try very hard there, did we?"
Rogue's scowl warmed the cockles of his heart. "Fine then … Please."
"Harder," John sang.
"Pretty Goddamn please with a cherry on top."
"Well, if there's a cherry involved, how can I say n–– Ah!"
He expected a lot of things from Rogue but a slap was not one of them. Southern belles, in his experience, just didn't go for such drama. He ruefully rubbed his smarting cheek as Rogue elbowed him aside, stalking into his own room, smirking like the cat that got the cream and the canary and the beef stroganoff your mother put on for dinner and the dessert too. Crème Brule, perhaps. Or lemon crunchie pie. Not being a cat lover himself, John wasn't exactly sure what sweet treat was required to entice such a self-satisfied grin from a pussy.
Pussycat, that was.
Though he himself was quite partial to apple pie.
"Usually," John began in a loud and obnoxious voice, watching from the doorway as Rogue made herself at home in his room. He rubbed his cheek ruefully. He would have a lovely black handprint there in the morning to match his black eye. Very bad-ass. "When you bitch slap someone, you walk out of their room and not into it."
Rogue rounded on him, furious. "Shut up, John. For once in your life, just shut the Hell up!"
John bristled. "What the fuck is your problem, Rogue?" he spat.
"My problem?" Rogue seethed. "My problem... "
And before John's very eyes all the fight seemed to leave her, rushing from her body like blood from an arterial wound. She visibly deflated.
And, of course, he was not concerned in the slightest.
Rogue was standing there in the middle of the room, her mouth working furiously but emitting no sound. John couldn't tell if she was upset or angry or just practising her fish way, he felt the moment merited an act of extreme chivalry. Swearing under his breath, he approached her with the same amount of caution one would when sneaking up on a hungry tiger playing with an active nuclear bomb – across a crocodile infested swamp laid with landmines while in clear view of cannibalistic natives armed with those weird bamboo shoot blowdarts things.
Quite cautiously then.
She was, after all, a hormonal girl. And he was, after all, an insensitive jerk, who planned to haphazardly produce a demon spawn or two in his time.
"My problem is that … watching a horror movie but the real horror was watching Bobby and Kitty … eat each others faces in the corner and – and – and." What John had thought would be very hard was the easiest most natural thing he had ever done. He put his arms around her. She rested her head against his chest, and they stood there, together, her sniffling into his shoulder. "Ah couldn't stay there and watch that, Johnny. Ah couldn't … Right in front of meh …"
Absently, he stroked her hair. It was soft, so soft, like liquid silk. It slipped through his fingers like water, sunshine, moonbeams, sand, rainbows, falling stars, bars of soap when you're rushing in the morning but badly need to wash, everything that you always wanted to hold, to touch, but couldn't. He lifted a few strands upwards, marvelling on the effect the light had upon them. He had always thought her hair to be brown. Yes, a nice brown, of course, but still brown. But it wasn't. It was mahogany and chestnut and russet and chocolate and espresso and pecan and all the colours he thought were too intricate and fiddly to exist.
"And Ah didn't wanna go play guinea pig for Jubes or bother Piotr and Warren down in the Danger Room …"
Did it make him odd that all the colours corresponded to food?
"And Logan – he ain't talkin' tah anyone right now."
Did that mean, subconsciously, he wanted to eat Rogue?
Sure, Rogue was one thing – but her hair? He wasn't very experienced in the realm of eating hair, but so far as he knew it wasn't that appetising.
"And … And … Ah thought of ya." She raised her head, staring up at him with streaming eyes. "And how ya made meh laugh."
John pulled her in close. Her wet cheek against his throat. They were the perfect fit. "I would never cheat on you," he whispered into that hair.
"D'you want me to kick Bobby's ass?"
Rogue giggled. "What? Third time lucky?"
"Third time lucky, excuse me?" John spluttered indignantly. "I won the last one hands down." And it was true. He had kept his hands down for the whole thing. John was a lot of things, but plain stupid wasn't one of them. And trying to punch a block of ice with less than stable wrists is plain stupid. So he played dirty, just like daddy taught him.
"Ya cheated." Rogue didn't sound very disapproving.
"So did he," John protested ardently. "He head-butted me. See the scar!" He jabbed a finger at his forehead.
Rogue kissed her fingertips and pressed them to the thin white line. As she touched him, tiny electric shocks rippled across John's skin … He moved an inch closer and she moved a foot back.
"And ya made sure he'll nevah have kids."
"I suspect I'll get notification of my Nobel Prize any day now."
Rogue laughed and glanced around the room. She clapped her hands bracingly. "So? Whatcha doin'?" Her eyes fell on the Guinness Book of World Records lying abandoned on the bedspread. She picked it up and leafed through it. "Gawd. Ya must be pretty bored if ya're readin' this crap."
John yawned widely. "You have no idea."
Rogue sat down on the bed, the book open in her hands. "Wanna know how many Watermelons some guy from Italy crushed with his head in one minute?"
"Twenty-two. And guess how long it took some English guy tah eat a twelve-inch pizza?"
"I have no idea."
"C'mon, Johnny. Guess."
"I don't know. Ten minutes."
Rogue snorted. "I've seen Jubilee eat faster than that! C'mon. Put some effort intah it! Guess again."
John thought longingly of battery acid cocktails, flavoured by arsenic with just a hint of cyanide and sprinkled with hydrogen peroxide. Rat poison would also work. "Five minutes."
"Four minutes and fifty-six seconds," Rogue promptly informed him.
"Bully for him then."
"Oohhh," she cooed. "This one's good. Listen to this. Anita Cash built the tallest sugar cube tower – 140.5cm."
John thought he did most admirably in faking a look of extreme interest. Though upon further inspection in the mirror, he just looked severely constipated. "Oh wow. My life is now complete," he deadpanned. "I need no longer search for deeper meaning in anything because I know that the world's tallest sugar cube tower is 140.5cm."
Rogue snapped the book shut and John breathed a sigh of relief.
"Well, hardy-har-har," she snapped. "Ya know, Ah'm touched by ya'r enthusiasm, Allerdyce. Touched."
Something in John's brain reconnected itself in a hurry. Touched, did she say? Touching he could do. "If you want to be touched, you've come to the right pla–– "
"Ah've just had the best idea!" Rogue cried out in jubilation. Her whole face lit up. It was like a light had been switched on behind her face and Heaven's light came streaming out her eyes and the angels were cavorting above her head, harps out, singing Hallelujah, well maybe there's a God above, but all I ever learned from love was how to shoot at someone who outdrew you. It's not a cry you can hear at night, it's not somebody who's seen the light; it's a cold and it's a broken hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelu-ooooo-ooooj––
"Johnny? Are ya listenin' tah meh?"
"What? Yeah." John thumped back to reality with a bang. "Yeah? You were saying? Eureka moment? Yeah. Listening." After years of spacing out in class, he had perfected the art of soaking in verbatim without noticing for future regurgitation.
"Ah said Ah've just had the best idea," Rogue exclaimed excitedly, bouncing up and down on the bed. The Guinness book remained threateningly open.
John groaned. "Why don't I like the sound of this?"
"Don't be such a party pooper. It's a great idea. And it'll be fun, trust meh."
Yes, crucifixion was looking very enticing now. Preferably upside down. On a burning cross. In Siberia.
Rogue took a deep breath. "Ah'm gonna make the world's biggest sugar cube pyramid!"
It took John a while to recover from that.
He chose his best Storm voice to try dissuade her from what would surely a deeply scarring experience: firm but kind, a voice of logic and reason without losing sight of youth. "You know why this is a shit idea, Rogue? Because it's really obviously a shit idea."
Rogue smiled a steely smile. She threw the book at him. "Ah'm gonna get the sugah. Don't go anywhere."
Go anywhere? This was his fucking room.
"Wait a minute! Why are you bringing it in here?" he asked in panic. John and sugar a long and unpleasant history.
"Because, St John, dear," Rogue began in a crazy dictator voice programmed to have all men in the vicinity bending to her will, "tonight is Friday, and Ah wanna have some fun."
John groaned and rolled over onto his back, throwing his hands up over his face. He poked himself in his already black eye and swore with much vigour. Why? Why him? Oh, Father, why have you forsaken me?
Rogue pushed herself to her feet, scowling down at him with her hands on her hips. "Ya got a problem with fun?"
"I have no problem with fun, Rogue. My problem is that what you and Iconstitute as fun are quite different," he drawled in bored monotones through his fingers. "In fact, they're polar opposites."
"Oh yeah?" Rogue raised her eyebrows. "How so?"
John sat up. "Well, for Friday night kicks I would generally go for raiding Logan's beer stash, getting fuck drunk and testing the limits of gravity, preferably in the company of several shameless females. Though a good thriller is always a safe beat, and writing a novel, Hell, even reading a novel. You, on the other hand, enjoy making like an Egyptian and building sugar cube pyramids. Like I said, different."
Rogue considered his answer for a moment. "Ya forgot one thing."
"Oh, enlighten me, please," John drawled. If his words were a towel, you could wring out the sarcasm and have enough to fill a swimming pool. You would also have a damp towel, which gives way to a whole host of possibilities… "The suspense is killing me."
"Ya're gonna be makin' the sugar cube pyramid too!"
For the first time in a long time, St John Allerdyce lived up to the duplicitous piety of his saintly name and began to pray.
So? Did you like it? Should I continue?