DISCLAIMER: Since it's rather obvious that none of this is owned by me I think we can all agree that there's no reason to get shirty over ownership rights. They belong to Marvel.



"... selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors," she read, looking at him with an odd look on her face. He shrugged, face impassive, and she felt a chill somewhere inside her grow. He was never impassive.

"What do they do?" she queried, understanding that they must be somehow sinister.

"Cause somnolence, anhedonia, suicidal ideation an' dysphoria," he said blandly, and she raised an eyebrow. "Make me sleep too much, take away the joy in just about everything, make me wanna off myself an' depress the hell outta me," he explained, and she nodded and carried on reading.

"Prognosis is poor, spontaneous regression not expected, progress sporadic and prone to frequent relapse." He motioned her to carry on reading.

"Is additionally prone to manic episodes and anxiety attacks which trigger firesetting behaviour in the patient. Manifestation of psychoinfantilism not pinpointed; patient has as far as is known always suffered from severe Impulse Control Disorder. No records are available from early to late childhood. Patient should be carefully monitored and any episodes should lead to a tightening of security; patient is considered highly volatile and dangerous if in possession of a source of fire. Patient is not allowed to own, carry, or handle any of the following: matches, lighters – this is your file? This is you?" she asked, giving up her reading when she saw the rather extensive list of things he was apparently not allowed to have on his person.

He made an evasive gesture. "It's no' me – jus' wha' they think of me," he said quietly.

She looked from the manila file-holder to his face, the guarded look it bore, the shuttered eyes and said,


He remained sitting while she ducked under the bed and rummaged around, pulling out a battered file that resembled the one already in her lap except for the fact that her name was on the front and it was thicker than his. He looked at her questioningly.

"I don' need ta see yours luv. I know there's nothin' wrong with yer," he began, but she stilled his protests with a look and opened the file, thumbing the pages until she found the one she wanted.

"... Patient suffers from advanced Antisocial Personality Disorder. Must be kept under sedation or in confined conditions at all times, must at no point be allowed to move her hands. Patient is violent, with no regard for those around her, and is not suitable for group therapy or any activities where physical/verbal contact is required of her. Patient is volatile, dysphoric and suffers to a degree from Intermittent Explosive Disorder. Patient displays mutant abilities that express themselves when she is able to move her hands freely and during explosive/severely agitated episodes. Patient is unable to control these. Patient requires heavily stuctured daily routine and must be kept isolated as much as is possible..." her voice broke and she folded the papers together again, her hands fidgeting atop the manila coverings.

"They left me in the dark," she clarified, and he nodded.

"I know they did luv. They had no right." She looked at him gratefully.

"You understand," she smiled. "They did it to you too?"

He shook his head, a pained look in his eyes. "Didn' let them – escaped an' ran til I didn' know where I was anymore. Came out here..."

She looked at him under cover of her fringe and said, "You don't sound glad you escaped..."

"I.. hurt someone... when I left there... They told me they were gonna put me in isolation – put me in the dark and cold... I'm a firebug love, I couldn' handle the idea... Silly sheila who tol' me had a fag in 'er 'and when she was talkin' to me an' I had the whole place in flames in seconds... An' her... An' probably a bunch of other people as well..." he looked away from her and she put a tentative hand on his, letting herself feel the warmth of his skin.

He was always warm where she was almost always cold, like that cramped little box at the asylum had been cold.

"I know you didn't mean to do that, St. John," she said, and he beamed at her, the life and intensity in his clear blue eyes catching her off guard. There's never been anything so vibrant in the hellhole her father had condemned her to. Or so alive...

"You said it right," he said, almost ecstatically, and she laughed at him. "And y' laughed!" he seemed beside himself with joy, and she shook her head. "This one of your 'manic episodes'?" she teased, and he cocked his head as though peering into his emotions seriously.

"No," he said finally. "I'm just glad y' smiled at me. Y're a pretty thing when y' smile... An' when y' don'..."

She looked away, hurt. "Don't say things like that, I don't like it," she said sadly, and he bowed his head.

"Y' deserve t' hear the truth, luv. Wanda. Figure everyone else y' know's been bullshittin' y' fer years an' y' deserve t' hear somethin' y' can take t' the bank fer a change," he said, no remorse in his voice, just a vague sadness that she had taken it badly.

"You're not afraid of me, are you?" she asked suddenly, and he laughed.

"Luv, I'm scared shitless of y'! I think y're the scariest thing I've ever seen, an' I'm a big fan o' horror flicks! I jus' don' think y're scary fer the same reason everyone else does... I know y're not insane or have some disorder or whatever that goddamn file says is wrong with y'. There ain' a thing wrong with y'. Y're bloody perfect an' y' deserve t' be told so. Y're a freakin' goddess luv. That's why I'm afraid of y'. I know I ain' worthy of y'."

She blushed fiercely and tried to protest, call him a liar, tried to find the hatred to hex him, but she couldn't.

"Your file says you're a liar and you should be on medication," she reminded him, and he made a derisive noise in the back of his throat. It made her shiver.

"Nothing in that thing is worth believin' except the fact that I'm a pyromaniac with the power ta control fire an' sometimes it gets outta hand cos I can't stop myself. That's it."

His tone was hard and cold and his eyes blazed at her, daring her to defy his statements. To call him a liar again.

"I'm sorry," she whispered. He ran a hand through his hair and shrugged again.

"Don' be. I jus' wanted you ta see fer yourself what other people have said about me. Those files are on record, anyone in the world can go an' look me up an' see all that shit. I wanted you to see because I know they can do the same thing to you and I thought you'd understand..."

"I do!" she said breathlessly, her voice not her own, rushing over itself to reassure him, to right the wrongs the system had done them both, to mend the hurt even though she hadn't caused it. She realised she hadn't ever bothered to feel that way about anyone else before.

"I'm glad you showed me, I wanted to see, I wanted to understand... I – I felt like you knew, and this is why... It's not your fault!" He smiled at her, something in his eyes that made her feel far, far too hot.

"It's not your fault either luv... No one will ever say that again... I won' let them..."

She didn't know what she was doing before she'd done it and then she felt rather than knew for certain that her lips were on his, that her upper body was pressed against his hard, lean, muscled torso as she leant over and into him from her former crosslegged position on her bed.

He didn't respond, but when she put a hand on his chest and levered herself away from him, he breathed in quickly and he closed his eyes tight shut. They snapped open and his gaze was flitting over her, over her face, and his hands were shaking and she felt it becasue his fingers were tracing fiery paths over her cheeks, down her neck, and he was talking far to fast, his voice rough and urgent.

"You didn' mean that luv – you didn' mean it – why'd you do it? You don' know – y' can't know what y' do ta me – Bloody hell woman –"

And then she'd kissed him again, and he was on his back while she leant on his chest and supported herself with a hand over his head, his arms encircling her waist as he reciprocated her irrational gesture and she felt lightheaded and ill and too wonderful to grasp what she'd done, what she was doing – doing to him, he'd said. What was she doing to him? She had no idea what he'd meant, she'd never done this before, never felt this searing, sticky heat in her stomach, radiating out to every point in her body, and she pulled back, breathing hard. He looked at her dazedly, she realised there was a point of blood welling on his full lower lip and she bent her head and licked it away. He shuddered against her, his eyes flickering shut again and she adjusted her position on him and pushed her hand through his hair.

"Stop it..." he rasped, his voice three kinds of frightened and underlined with a kind of need she hadn't heard anyone use before.

"I don't want to," she replied, kissing him again carefully, not wanting to hurt him again.

"You – y' can' do this Wanda... please don' do this," he pleaded, his hands slipping up under her scarlet tank top, and she kissed his cheek.

"Why can't I kiss you? I want to..." she felt ashamed at how petulant she sounded, but he didn't seem to notice.

He looked at her levelly and stroked her cheek, cupping her face in one hand. "I wan' y' too much luv... Y' don' know what y' doin' to me – y' don' know what you wan'," he said quietly, breathing erratically, and she lowered her gaze to his wrist.

He had thin white scars on it, running all the way around as though he'd been tied with something and resisted it.

"What do I do to you?" she asked, and he sighed and closed his eyes.

"Y' make me feel like I can be a better person... Y' make me feel like the world ain' such a hellhole after all... Y' make me feel..."

"Is that bad?"

"Oh hell, Wanda! I'm not good enough for ya, I'm –"

"I like you," she said, lowering her lips to his again, her left hand somehow suddenly at his hip, tracing the bone downwards to his jeans.

"Luv, don'," he begged, but she continued regardless of his breathless pleas, cool white fingers playing over the taut planes of his stomach, the finely sculpted muscles there twitching under her blind scrutiny.

"Wanda..." She kissed his neck gently and placed her hand flat in the middle of his chest under his soft cotton shirt, and said,

"I'm not doing anything."

He laughed shakily and looked at her accusatorily. "Y're drivin' a bloke round the bend luv, tha's what you're doin'!"

"Don't you like it?" she asked, her head tilted to one side, and he smiled at her, the warmth in her stomach glowing until she was certain he could see it – or at least feel it.

"Too much darlin'," he said ruefully, and she pouted.

"Then why won't you touch me?" she pressed on, and he sighed and looked up at the ceiling.

"I wan' to luv... more than anythin'... You've no idea how much I want to..."

She put a fingertip on his lower lip and said, "As much as I want you to... I really want you to... I can feel it here," she said softly, putting her hand over her creamy white stomach, and he smiled at her.

"I want ya ta feel it here," he said, moving her hand to rest above her heart, and she laughed at him.

"There? I've felt it there for so long and I was too afraid to tell you – I didn't know what it meant... It's easier here," she moved her hand to point to her tummy again, "because I'm not really in control when I feel it there..."

"That's the point luv, he said with raised eyebrows, and she sighed.

"Where do you feel it?"

He grinned. "Honestly? My whole body's on fire luv."

She grinned back, licking her lips. "So let me feel it..."

"I wan' to, but –"

"You won't hurt me, you'd never hurt me on purpose. I want to feel, and I want you to touch me... If you wanted the same thing you'd do it."

He shook his head sadly. "I'm trying ta protect you Wanda. I don't want you to regret this..."

She laughed. "I'm with you. You won't let me regret it! Touch me..." Her index finger dipped below the waistband of his jeans, sharp fingernail dragging across oversensitised skin, and he groaned.

"Bloody hell..."

"Touch me..." she whispered, and he succumbed to her crimson lips, wrapping both arms around her and pulling her closer as he prayed to whatever God might be listening that this was not a dream and that she wouldn't hate him tomorrow.


She woke slowly, and when her eyes were fully open she felt the sensory assaults sleep had been staving off for her. She ached deliciously, her whole body crying out to her for acknowledgement, and she luxuriated in it for a moment before she was met by the intoxicating scent of warm skin and something else, something hot and dry and mouthwatering. A warm, heavy arm lay across her middle and she moved her head to look at it's owner, who was unsurprisingly looking right back, blue eyes burning into her. No word was spoken for a moment as she realised she was being observed as if she were unfathomably precious and possibly of divine origin. She blushed.

"Morning..." she mumbled shyly, and he kissed her in response.

She put her arms around his neck and deepened it, the aching inside her calling out to be worsened.

"I love you," he said huskily into her hair, arms cradling her gently, and she sighed contentedly.

"I love you..."

"Nothing to analyse, nothing to label..." he added.

"I love you..." She felt little embarassment at the fact that they were so close and neither was dressed, but she did feel tingly all over, and she lightly bit the side of his neck.

"I want you," she said insistantly, and he pulled back to look at her.

"You sure abou' that luv?" She pulled him closer again and whispered in his ear.

"Stop analysing and do what you want..."

"That would be you darlin'," he whispered back, sending shocks through her as he manouvered her about slightly.

"But you shouldn' call yerself a 'what'..."

Laughing turned to moaning before she knew she was laughing at all, and as the fire between them turned into an inferno neither of them even remembered that they were supposed to be cold, calculating, uncontrolled mental patients. All they knew was that fire and passion were never meant to be controlled, and words on paper and liars and cold didn't exist anymore... They did.