A/N: So, weird thing happened to me. Someone added this story to a community for original characters in X-Men fanfiction. I guess that they think because Northstar wasn't in the movies, I created his character. Oh, well.


Alternate


Sleep continuously evaded him once more.

Wearily, Jean-Paul closed his eyes once more and mentally counted to ten, hoping to drift off to sleep, but to no avail. He rose from his bed with a sigh, pulling on a pair of jeans and a fresh shirt, taking care not to wake Kurt, his roommate.

He opened the door silently and walked into the dark hall, moving forward until he found the staircase at the end and swiftly descended. The staircase concluded at the ground floor, a shared level between the boys' and girls' dorms; on the opposite side of the building, behind a different door locked to outsiders, was the staircase that led to the rooms the girls occupied.

Jean-Paul allowed the door to click shut behind him, locking upon his exit; he hadn't planned on returning to his room during the night anyway. But the noise seemed usually loud in the dark's quiet.

The vacant student lounge awaited him; it appeared that even Jones was sleeping that night. Setting his sights on the T.V., Jean-Paul wove around the foosball table and flopped down on the leather sofa. But no one else was present, and the night was late, so Jean-Paul rearranged his position so he was comfortably sprawled out over the cushions.

There wasn't much on television this late that captured his interest: he didn't really care for reruns of Family Guy or That 70's Show, the atrocity known as Glee was screening the episode in which Kurt and Finn battled for the yearbook title of "Most Hypocritical", the movies were mostly C-list slasher horror flicks, and E! was running a program about how Katy Perry thought she was more talented than Lady Gaga. As if anyone cared.

He flipped through a few more channels to find that the Discovery Channel was playing a special about "the mystery of twins".

Grief, exhaustion, and frustration cocooned over him, wrapping around him so tightly he could barely breath, yet he allowed to the program to remain on the screen.

He would never escape Jeanne-Marie. Everyday he was haunted by her image in the mirror, haunted by his own personal failings.

His head fell into his hands. This would be the rest of life. Waking up each day with the black cloud of guilt hanging over him, unable to remain his own person even while attending a school that held no familiarity of his twin sister. Despite his display of his individual personality, that continued to be negated for his image as a twin.

"Hi."

At first Jean-Paul though that he was dreaming when he heard the voice speak, but then he was unceremoniously joined on the sofa by none other than Bobby Drake, who smiled at him as if they were on friendly terms instead of merely classmates who disliked each other. How surreal.

He stared at Bobby, who was wearing a rugby-style T-Shirt and a pair of dark sweats: presumably, his pajamas.

What was Bobby doing here at this time of night? How long had he been watching him? Had he been spying from the shadows all along, but Jean-Paul failed to notice him?

"Hey," Jean-Paul returned, though he didn't especially want to talk to Bobby.

He turned away from his peer and stared at the television screen, though he was too aware of Bobby's company by his side to pay the program any attention. The other boy grated on his nerves, causing him tension that he couldn't explain. Really, it was as if Bobby's presence within the vicinity of Jean-Paul's person brought him undue apprehension.

And so, there was a simple solution: he just wouldn't spend much time around Bobby Drake, and if he did, he would just ignore the other. There was no need to bring this unnecessary stress upon himself.

"Jean-Paul?"

Ignoring Bobby Drake would be easier said than done, it seemed.

"Yes?" Jean-Paul bit back a sigh, though he was somewhat surprise by the absence of the usual rush of annoyance he experienced when he conversed with Bobby.

"I, um, well . . . I was wondering if I could call you 'J.P.', you know, as a nickname," Bobby stuttered.

Inwardly, Jean-Paul raised an incredulous eyebrow. Bobby was nervous while speaking to him? Was he honestly that coldly menacing in reputation? Maybe those rumors that he was a Satanist had something to do with Bobby's attitude.

And a nickname . . . that would suggest familiarity, which in turn would suggest friendship. Did he have time for these useless, simplistic concepts? All of this was much too friendly for his liking. This made him uncomfortable; he felt as if he should leave the room to brush Bobby off.

But he wouldn't be in Bobby's presence all that often from now, so he might as well throw a dog a bone.

"Why not?" He responded carelessly.

Bobby grinned back at him, and in that moment Jean-Paul decided to spend his remaining time on the sofa with his classmate, if only for one night.


A/N: Now you've read the entire story. So, what did you like? What did you dislike? Would like to see more about Jean-Paul and Bobby?

Also, does anyone have an opinion about whether this and "Speechless" should be slash stories? I curious to see what other people would say.