Pairing:John/Bobby, strong John & Rogue friendship
Warnings: character death
Summary:In another universe John chose to stay with the X-Men and Bobby chose Magneto. The results weren't pretty to say the very least.
A/N:This story is an remix of Fallen From Grace. It's very similar but I'm much happier with the ending now
‘Don’t you feel ashamed or guilty?’ Bobby asked as he stood in front of Mystique and Magneto. Mystique hid her grin behind her hand, but Magneto merely raised his eyebrows.
‘Feeling guilty for what?’
‘For hurting people.’ Bobby answered as if that was self-evident.
‘There are things that people like you will never understand.’ Magneto replied calmly.
‘Unlike John?’ Bobby had seen them speak and felt wary because John sometimes moved before he thought and speaking with their enemy was not something Bobby would like him do without caution.
‘Your friend is different than you. He’s not gullible.’
‘He’s a pessimist. Hating everyone won’t solve anything.’ Bobby argued, but he got the distinct feeling that the man in front of him suppressed the urge to roll his eyes. Mystique, however, had not the same reservation as Magneto and snorted:
‘Your family abandoned you because of what you are and yet you still believe in the goodness of the world?’ She would have said more if Magneto had not laid a hand on her arm. Bobby turned around and swore to himself that he would punch John as soon as no one was looking.
‘You always do as you’re told?’ And with a last glance at them John left into the cold winter landscape of Alkali Lake. Rogue looked at him, lost, asking him to do something, but Bobby’s thoughts were occupied otherwise.
There are things that people like you will never understand
You always do as you’re told?
Your family abandoned you because of what you are and yet you still believe in the goodness of the world?
Your friend is different than you. He’s not gullible.
‘I go.’ Bobby left his place at Rogue’s side and grabbed a jacket from the same place as John. Rogue went after him.
‘He’s John. He’ll manage.’
But how could he tell her that this was not about John, but about what the man, who had nearly killed her, had said? Bobby, who had never been good at explaining, took her gloved hand for a moment and said:
‘We’ll be back in no time. If I wait longer and he gets lost out there, no one will ever find him.’
Bobby may not be very good at explaining but he was a better liar than everybody gave him credit for.
He didn’t find John. When Bobby left the jet, John was long gone and any trails that he might have left were destroyed by the wind, but he was determined to find him. Outside here was the perfect opportunity for Bobby to punch John for making him embarrassing himself in front of Magneto.
However, he didn’t find John, all he found was the man from the Mansion, Stryker Logan had called him, chained to a helicopter. When he came nearer, Bobby could see that blood was dripping from his jacket.
Bobby knew that Stryker was one of the really bad guys that made Magneto look like a scout selling cookies and saving kittens from trees, but Bobby had also been raised to be compassionate (which was the main reason why he put up with John in the beginning). Bobby moved to remove the chains as Stryker suddenly screamed even though nothing had touched him and another voice told him:
‘Move away from him, boy.’
Magneto stood mere feet away, with Mystique at his side.
‘But he’s hurt.’ Bobby argued.
‘This man planned the annihilation of every mutant on this planet.’ Magneto said with a look full of detestation.
‘But…’ Bobby said helplessly, the words stuck in his throat. The pain earlier was still too fresh, too alive to ignore.
‘You tried to kill Rogue!’
‘A necessary evil and now that I’ve seen the flaws my plan had, I’m glad you rescued her.’
‘But you were willing to scarify her.’
‘From what I’ve heard, you were quite content to let your friend kill some police men.’
‘I couldn’t have stopped John.’ Magneto merely raised an eyebrow at this obvious lie.
‘And they had shot Wolverine!’ was out of his mouth before he could stop it. Mystique tilted her head and grinned.
‘And what makes you so better than us then?’
Booby opened his mouth to say something, anything really, but there was nothing. He dropped his gaze.
‘Nothing.’ He admitted to the snow, then he looked back up.
‘Is this what you told John?’
‘I didn’t have to tell your friend anything. He knew already.’
‘I want to know, too.’ Bobby said briskly. Mystique whispered something to Magneto but looked at Booby the whole time. Magneto answered her and then also looked at Bobby.
‘Fine.’ He said and Booby followed him.
‘Hey.’ John greeted Rogue as he stepped back into the jet. He was shivering and had snowflakes in his hair.
‘Where’s Bobby?’ he asked her, looking around.
‘He wanted to look after you.’ She told him, looking worried.
Whatever one of them had wanted to say next was drowned out by the noise that came from the dam, where some severe cracks had appeared.
‘They’re still there. We need to help them!’ She cried.
‘And how?’ John countered: ‘And don’t tell me you can fly that thing.’
Rogue looked at him.
‘Oh, hell.’ Muttered John and climbed into the seat next to her after he closed the ramp.
‘I’ll kill you if this doesn’t work.’
John knocked at Rogue’s door but entered before she could say anything. She sat on her bed with her hair streaming over her bare shoulders and her eyes were dark and red. John could sympathise with her. They had all heard the news after all.
‘Hey.’ He said tentatively. He had never been good at this.
‘Hey.’ She answered. He sat down next to her.
‘I should have stopped him.’
‘It wasn’t your fault. No one knew that Bobby would suddenly become a psycho.’
‘He thought that you would go to Magneto.’
‘Well, Bobby never knew me as well as he claimed.’ John said, playing with his lighter. He shivered and yearned to draw a flame from his lighter, wrap it all around him until he wouldn’t dream of frozen corpses anymore.
‘He loved you.’ she told John while she stared at her gloved hands. It weren’t the white gloves Bobby had given her. She and John had burned them after the first corpse showed up.
‘He wanted to please everyone at once. It wouldn’t have worked out.’
‘Maybe if you’d talk to him, then he’d…’
‘He wouldn’t. There are places you can’t come back from and murder is definitely one of those places. You know that and I know that.’
‘I don’t know what I should do if I ever see him again.’ She confessed. She was so beautiful and vulnerable in her helplessness that John had to look away.
‘You could knock him out and then we’ll hide him in the basement until he feels better. Or maybe we can get the Professor to change his memory.’ Rogue cracked a half smirk at that but then asked:
‘Would you kill him? I mean if you two meet on the battlefield or something, would you do it?’
‘I would do what I have to do if I want to survive. He’s not Bobby anymore.’ John told her solemnly:
‘I don’t know. And I hope I’ll never have to know.’
‘Yeah, me too.’
John searched through the protesting crowd. Wolverine had told him where Rogue went, what she was about to do. John had sneered at the mere idea of giving his power up but Wolverine had told him in no uncertain terms that he wasn’t Rogue.
He bumped into someone and before he could say anything that person grabbed him by his shirt.
‘Now, Johnny, Johnny, Johnny.’ Bobby’s grin was as cold as his eyes as he cocked his head: ‘You were the last person I expected to be here.’
‘Let me go, Iceman.’ John said coldly and tried to yank his shirt from Bobby’s grip, but Bobby didn’t let go.
‘Are you scared, Pyro?’
‘No.’ John gritted out between his teeth, but he shivered involuntarily. Bobby looked as if he was completely mad.
‘Oh, I bet you are, stupid, scared little Johnny.’
‘You’ve gone fucking psycho.’ Bobby yanked John against a wall and leaned close, too close for John’s comfort.
‘He said you’d understand, but you didn’t. You didn’t come, but I did and I do.’ Bobby’s eyes shimmered. Yes, John thought, he’s mad.
‘You were too scared.’ Bobby breathed into his ear and pressed himself against John.
‘Maybe I’m not comfortable with killing people.’ John said in a neutral tone but his body reacted to the familiar feeling of Bobby’s body against his.
‘I can teach you.’ Bobby whispered: ‘Come with me. I know you want to. I can feel it.’
John shoved with all the strength he could muster and sent the other stumbling a few metres.
Stunned, Bobby looked at him and for a moment he looked like the boy John had once known. He shook his head, then turned around and left without looking back.
When he woke up, John felt pleasantly numb. He recognised the mansion’s infirmary and guessed that the dark, blurred shape next to his bed was Rogue.
‘Hey.’ She said softly: ‘How are you?’
‘Numb, but I’ll take a hazard guess and say that I’m not dead yet.’
‘No, you’re not. Piotr carried you.’
‘What’s the last you remember?’
‘Bobby.’ John shivered: ‘He turned to ice. He took my hands and sneered at me. Said that I had my chance.’
‘He didn’t see me from behind.’
‘Did you kill him?’
‘No, just drain him.’
‘You didn’t do it, then.’
“No, I did.” She showed him his bare hands: “Afterwards. Do you blame me?”
“Just a bit but the Professor explained to me that your mutation would likely drive you mad and....” He trailed off: “Where is he?”
He’s here in the mansion, in the basement. They’re still debating what to do with him. The Professor could’ve…but that’s impossible now.’
‘I’ve met him.’ John said quietly: ‘At a clinic while I was looking for you. He has gone mad, Rogue. He only looks like Booby anymore. There’s nothing anyone could do, I doubt that even the Professor could’ve helped him.’
‘We have to help him then. He was our friend.’
‘Didn’t you listen to me? There’s nothing we can do. Nothing! Nothing at all! Bobby is gone no matter how that man down there looks like.’ John’s voice was close to breaking.
‘I think there is something we can still do for him.’ Rogue looked at him and her voice was dead serious. What a bad pun, John thought.
The door slid open. Since only X-men were allowed in this part of the basement, none of the doors were locked.
The room looked a lot like the infirmary upstairs, only there was only a single bed in here and the person on it was restrained. John swallowed hard and felt Rogue’s hand slip shyly in his. He gripped it hard as they approached the bed.
Bobby looked peaceful in his sleep. His eyes were closed and his breathing was slow and hypnotising.
“Will he wake up?” Rogue asked in a small voice.
“As drugged up as he is I would doubt it.” John tried to give her a brave smile but failed: “They won’t understand.”
“Logan will.” She answered confidently and in any other situation John would’ve rolled his eyes but he didn’t.
“How-“ Rogue began but stopped.
“I don’t know.” John squeezed her hand: “You don’t have to do this.”
“Yes, I do. He was my friend as much as he was yours.”
John took a deep breath before asking: “There is nothing else we can do, is there?”
“No, there isn’t.” Rogue confirmed but there were tears in her eyes.
“If I had just gone with him-“John began and stroked Bobby’s short hair affectionately: “Maybe I could have-“
“Don’t!” Rogue stopped him. John nodded. He visibly collected himself.
“Turn off the monitors, would you?” While she did it he carefully took Bobby’s pillow away from under his head. He and Rogue, standing on both sides of the bed, took the pillow and pressed it on Bobby’s face.
He barely even struggled.
They tidied up and from the doorway it almost seemed like Bobby was only sleeping.
In the elevator Rogue curled herself against John and said in a tiny voice:
“You said that there’s no coming back from murder.”
“It wasn’t murder,” John whispered into her hair which was sprinkled with his tears: “it was an act of faith.”