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27 November 2011 @ 01:15 am
You've Got To Go There To Come Back - Chapter 21  
Title: You've Got To Go There To Come Back
Author: Iris, “lovethiscity” at Livejournal
Rating: Fairly tame but around PG-13.
Timeline: Directly after Alcatraz events of X3.
Summary: After the fight at Alcatraz, Pyro is found and brought back to Xavier's mansion. For his criminal actions he has been given house arrest at Xavier's School and he must learn to adjust.
Disclaimer: I don't own X-Men or any characters used in this fanfiction. This story is just for fun, and any resemblances you find to actual people, living or dead, shows that you have strange friends.

Author's Note: I am not sure why I keep trying to finish this, but here I am, trying to finish this.

Chapter 21: “Guess it’s sheer luck we got him.”

No one got much sleep that night. Exhausted, all I wanted to do when I walked up the front steps of the mansion was crawl into my room, eat my food, and collapse into bed. But nope. There was stuff to be gossiped about and people to be fussed over. Much to my annoyance, I turned out to be one of those people.

“John!” exclaimed about half a dozen people as I stepped into the common room. Some of them got up and crowded around me as I plodded over to the couches. Everyone was talking at once, and I let myself literally fall onto the couch. Someone had started a fire in the fireplace, and if it weren’t so loud in there, it would have been so cozy. I tore into my bag of tacos.

In between bites I managed to give half-hearted answers here and there, whenever people asked me how I was doing or about the compound I was being held in. I looked around. A lot of the kids who had been slowly moving up into the ranks of the X-Men were there – Bobby was holding Rogue gingerly around the waist making sure to only touch clothing, Peter was sitting in front of the fire, and Kitty was perched on the arm of the couch. Suddenly I remembered their original mission, and sat up. “Where’s Hank?”

Everyone started talking at once, and it was hard to pick apart all the jabbering but I think the basic gist of it was that he was recovered. Damn. Way too much excitement in one night, I decided. I was just about ready to head to bed when I spied Rogue from the corner of my eye and decided, What the hell. So what if I would be shattering my aloof, don’t-give-a-shit-about-you-guys persona? I was way too curious.

“So, that other mutant... what’s the story?” I asked casually.

“His name is Josh Foley, and he’s in the hospital wing right now. Alive, but knocked out cold when I took his powers. But I have his memories,” Rogue answered. She sighed, and for the first time tonight looked totally beat. “That’s why they haven’t got him locked up or anything like that. He’s not exactly innocent, but, I guess more like – wrong place, wrong time, you know?”

“No,” I grumbled impatiently. “Explain.”

“This kid Josh, he joined up with the Friends of Humanity to impress a girl. And cause he thought it was the cool thing to do. He’s not really much of a hater down to the core or anything like that. But he found out he was a healing mutant, and another member of the group found out, threatened his life if he didn’t participate in the mansion attack. So that’s why he was there. He was hoping to slip out of the group eventually. Guess it’s sheer luck we got him.”

“Whoa, whoa. Threatened his life? A healer? Couldn’t he have just... you know. Right?” I asked, my mouth full of tacos.

“Swallow, then talk, John. And yeah, he would’ve been fine, eventually, but I suppose the thought of a knife to the eyeball could still scare a person. I mean, he’s still a kid, you know.”

“We’re still kids,” I mumbled. “We have a lot of shit to deal with, too.”

Then Bobby cut in, his tone a little less sharp that I would’ve expected when talking to me. “Well, we were pretty lucky. Rogue would’ve died without him.”

“And you,” she added quietly.

“Oh – forget it,” I said, embarrassed and unaccustomed to praise. And not quite liking the possibility of becoming a big old softy who saves X-Men. John, code name Pyro, who saves his own skin – that I could deal with. “I’m going to go sleep. You two cuddle and try to not to kill the Iceman in the process.” I stormed up the stairs, tossing the empty paper bag into the trash, and then called out behind me as an afterthought, “Not that I care or anything! But just, there’d be a huge puddle of water left behind and the way things are going, I’d be the one who’d have to mop it up!”