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15 July 2006 @ 11:21 pm
You've Got to Go There to Come Back - Chapter 5  
Title: You've Got To Go There To Come Back
Author: sleepall_day
Rating: 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 is just for fun.
Author's Note: This is my honest-to-goodness, first ever, never-before-done, I HAVE NEVER WRITTEN A FIC BEFORE. EVER. As in, I only JUST created lovethiscity purely to post this fic. I'm more of a graphics kind of a person. I absolutely never write. But I had this plot idea, and I just had to try it out, and I'm hoping against hope that it works. So I'd really appreciate it if you guys gave it a try and let me know how it goes, and if you'd be interested in reading more and whatnot. Feedback is the only thing you get in return for writing, is it not?

Any kind of feedback you could give to help improve the next chapter would be great. Thanks to everyone who read so far!


Chapter 5: “Heard it. Lived it. Bought the movie rights.”

It had been a long morning. I yawned as I made myself lunch. I wasn’t used to getting up early. Since I had nothing to do, I usually slept in and today was the first day I had to actually get up for something. And that something hadn’t been very pleasant. Today I had my first session with Amelia Voght, the nurse that was acting as my counselor. I’d planned on making it one hour of feeding her as much bullshit as I realistically could.

Beast had said that this counseling was one way of knowing whether or not I could be eligible for parole, but he hadn’t exactly said what the other ways were. I felt kind of like the entire staff was monitoring me on a surveillance camera without telling me that I did something wrong if I happened to. So I figured that this Amelia person was a ticket out of here. If I managed to convince her that I was on my way to recovery, realizing that the X-Men really were great people, couldn’t hate myself more for the terrible things I’d done, blah blah blah… maybe I’d be spending three years in this school instead of five.

But when I actually started talking to her, she turned out not to be one of those goofy “And how does that make you feel?” type counselors. And she didn’t really give me much of a chance to praise the X-Men and weep for retribution like I’d planned to. She started out by asking me how I felt physically. Then she asked about a dozen questions about my family, my schooling, and my friends. Most of it stuff I didn’t really want to think about again, unfortunately. I didn’t really want to talk about my family, but she wanted some background information on me. I’d said, “Don’t they have all this in my school records?”

Amelia looked like she wanted to roll her eyes at me, but just said, “John, I’m here to talk to you. I want to know what you have to say about all this. You can tell me things that school records can’t.”

I wished I could tell her to piss off, but I just resigned myself to my fate as a prisoner and swallowed some of my pride. I told her about how my parents were always pushing me even though I did fairly well in school, and how my father used to call me Potential Boy after I whined that all my teachers ever did was tell me that I had potential.

“John, have you ever felt that those weren’t just empty words?” Amelia put down her notebook.

“Heard it. Lived it. Bought the movie rights,” I shook my head at her.

“Really, refusing to listen to what other people have to say about you is the first step to truly becoming Potential Boy.” This time she really did roll her eyes. I grinned. Amelia wasn’t one of those do-gooder social worker types who thought that she could reach out to everyone. I figured she was only here as a late favor to Professor Xavier, and I didn’t think she was going to push me. I felt a little better about the sessions, but I knew I was still going to have to fake some my enthusiasm if I wanted this to work.

We talked some more, and Amelia changed topics by saying, “Looks like disappointing your family was an extreme sport for you,” and then dredged up the topic of my feelings on the house arrest. Well, it was more about how I’d been cooping myself up in my room rather than my feelings, which was immensely better. “So how’s the house part of the house arrest treating you, John?” she asked.

“What do you mean?”

“The house. The kids, your living situation, everything. This place wasn’t built to be a prison, you know.”

“Yeah, I know. But it sure as hell feels like it to me. And all the kids living here would rather I were somewhere else, so it’s not like I’m going to be talking to any of them,” I said defiantly. I wasn’t going to be made to socialize with anyone I didn’t want to talk to. It’s not like I wanted to be talking to Amelia, either.

“Well, whether you like it or not, John, this is your home now. You may as well treat it like your home.”

“I’m not going to spray graffiti on the walls if that’s what you mean.”

“It’s not, in fact. I mean that if you started thinking of this place as your home instead of your prison, you might enjoy yourself more. So, you told me that you’ve at least been spending some time in the kitchen, that’s a cool thing. But you might want to step outside your room a little more. How weird is it that you don’t know some of the people who are living in the same place as you are?”

I didn’t answer, because I was too busy thinking. Bobby had said that I wasn’t wanted here. Of course, everyone else was already thinking it; Bobby had just been the first one to say it out loud. Whatever. No matter what everyone else thought about it, I still belonged here. Hell, I was imprisoned here with a metal anklet that said I couldn’t go anywhere else! If nobody else thought that meant I was supposed to be here, then I decided right then and there that it was going to be their problem.

And at the end of the hour Amelia closed her notebook and said, “Right, John. Then I’ll see you in two weeks, and we’ll see how much you’ve lived up to your potential… boy.”

I actually laughed in spite of myself. “Bye, then.” I stood up to leave, and looked around the room a little bit. It was an office used by Professor Xavier sometimes, filled with slightly more personal, school-unrelated things than the larger headmaster’s office. They had kept the office exactly as he had left it. As I was leaving the door I noticed a small, chipped mug on a wall shelf the read “World’s Best Teacher/Telepath”. The “/Telepath” portion had been hand painted on.

“Jean made that for him when she was only fourteen years old,” Amelia said. “He drank out of it all the time.” She left before the tears brimming her eyes could fall.

I hated everyone responsible for putting me here, for letting me see the other side of the professor’s death. Things were a lot less complicated when I didn’t see things from all the angles. Magneto had always told me that I had to see the big picture if I wanted to help with the Brotherhood’s success. But things like that are easier said than done, and now that I was here I was going to get a first-hand experience at how difficult it really is to see different sides of the picture.

Then I was making lunch. The kitchen, if I timed it right, turned out to be a great place to be alone when I wasn’t in my room. Jean’s cookbooks were really starting to help, and sometimes when I couldn’t quite find what I needed, I felt like I could almost hear Professor Xavier’s voice telling me, “Keep going.” Whenever that happens, though, I feel dumb for thinking so because it was probably just an old memory from one of his classes. I remember I had one with him on literature analysis, and he asked me to talk about a passage from one of the books. I’d been on a roll, and then my brain just kind of blanked out, and he’d said gently, “Keep going.”

I felt a little embarrassed at that memory, and focused on my stir-fry to keep up a pretense of being occupied. When that had happened, I was grateful. I was grateful for a lot of things he had done, actually, especially when I first arrived at the school. It was amazing how he managed to take a personal interest in each and every student. Magneto was gone from my life now and the professor wasn’t around to hear it, but I suddenly wished I could take back what I had said about him. That I would’ve killed him. I shook my head at myself with a small smile on my lips. No, I wouldn’t have. If there’s one thing my life is lacking, it’s respect. Respect for myself, respect for me from others, and respect for other people. I haven’t found too many people that were deserving, and apparently not too many had found me deserving of respect either. Professor Xavier had been both.

I almost wondered why I said that to Magneto in the first place, and then I remembered. Oh yeah. Having a leader like Magneto is like having a parent like my father. Always having to prove yourself, showing him you can do better and constantly trying to one-up yourself. I smiled lightly again as I realized that had I had the guts to kill the professor, Magneto would’ve just found a reason to berate me for it.

Even though it was still kind of early in the day, Wolverine’s ravings about the Professor’s coming back had mostly died down. No one had actually seen him, not even Wolverine, so he stopped talking about it. Storm and Beast had both told him that they believed that he really had teleported somehow, since he was so sure of it. I was pretty sure I believed him, too – I’d never seen him so shaken up before, and he didn’t have a reason to lie, did he? But everyone, myself included, was pretty skeptical that the Professor had anything to do with it. I think Wolverine just wanted everyone to forget about that now. He didn’t like people thinking he was going crazy. Maybe he was. I’d never say it to his face, though.

Keep going, I thought, and finished cooking. Damn, when I cook, I really think way too hard. Definitely too hard if I had completely ignored the fact that the cookbook said, “Serves eight,” and made my food directly from the recipe. What was I going to do with all that food? I could freeze it and eat it later, but I had enough time on my hands to make more food and I would get sick of eating this. That got me thinking. Earlier, Amelia had asked me if I thought it was weird that I was living in the same place as a bunch of people I didn’t know. And I had decided that I’d spent enough time moping.

This was going to be a home for me instead of a prison. I thought I was going to fake all kinds of optimism when I went in for counseling, so I was surprising myself. I shrugged and decided to go ahead with a plan that was forming in my head. Besides, what did I care about what people thought about me? I was feeling good by the time I realized that I was coming back – old John, Pyro, the troublemaking firestarter who didn’t give a damn what people thought of him. Nobody could say anything. I was supposed to be here.

I found another bowl for the extra food and walked off into the hallway. What I’d planned to do was knock on each door until I found out who lived behind each one. Nobody was forcing me to do it, so I didn’t mind so much. This was my house now, wasn’t it? I had a right to know the basic layout of it. Or maybe I was just being nosy.

Door number one revealed Jubilee. She looked at me for a few seconds before venturing a wary, “Hi…”

“Hi. Want some food?”

“You’ve got to be kidding me,” she said, crossing her arms.

“No, it’s good. Really,” I said with a smirk. Nobody was going to believe I was knocking on doors just to be friendly. I was going to enjoy this.

“No thanks, John. I’m having lunch with some friends. You know. People who don’t turn their back on you,” she said, and started to close the door.

“Suit yourself, sweet cheeks.”

Behind the next door lived a little boy, Artie, who was just arriving as I was leaving the school. “Hey there, kiddo. I’m John. Want some food?”

“No, thank you.”

“What, did they tell you not to take food from strangers?”

“No. I know who you are. But they said that you were a petulant, attention-starved delinquent with defiance against authority figures and that statistics say that your present misbehavior will probably lead to many more serious crimes.”

I blinked.

“Do you even know what all those words mean?” I said, putting a hand on my hip.

Artie shook his head and replied, “Bobby told me that. Can I try some?”

I laughed at him while inwardly punching Bobby in the teeth. “Sure, have all of it,” I said, handing him the bowl.

I went several more doors, all of them containing people I didn’t know. So I introduced myself to about five more people, none of whom seemed to be that interested. I know for a fact that all the residents of the school had been warned about me, that I was a criminal, and that I wasn’t to leave the school grounds. These kids all knew who I was and what exactly I was doing here, and probably wondered why I had even left my room. I told some of them that I was taking a census. None of them bought it, of course, but one of the girls even played along until she got bored about two seconds afterwards.

I skipped the rooms I knew belonged to Bobby and Rogue. Hey, I’d already met them since my stay here. Then I knocked on another door, and it was answered by Kitty.

She gave me the same kind of once-over that everyone else had. “Hi,” she said.

“Hi, Kitty. Want some food?”

She was going to say, “No, thank you,” just like everyone else, and then I would say, “All right then. See you later,” and move on to the next door.

“What kind?”

“Huh?”

“I said, what kind of food?”

“It’s… beef stir-fry, it’s in the kitchen. You want some?”

“Sure, I’ll have some. But I have to get back to work afterwards.” That was more than fine by me. I hadn’t exactly planned on hanging out.

I took Kitty back to the kitchen, where she examined my handiwork for a second, and then served herself. “Thanks for the food, John.”

“I had too much anyway,” I replied airily. “It’s not like I made it for you.”

She gave me a look, and then bent down over her food and quietly said, “Thanks anyway,” icily enough to match Bobby's tones when he spoke to me.

We ate in silence until we heard some arguing in the hallway. I stared in that direction, until I realized that it was just frantic yelling and not arguing. Kitty got up and ran right through the wall, and then I could hear her voice joining the group of people out there. Not a minute later she phased right back into the kitchen, saying, “They found him,” with a confused look on her face.

Wolverine ran around the corner to come in to the room. “You were right,” he said, looking at me. “They found him at one of the locations you gave, but he got away.” I knew then who he was talking about: Magneto. The looks on their faces - there had to be something else they weren't telling me.

He still hadn’t been captured. I didn’t know whether to feel relieved, or feel like I was stuck serving house arrest time for nothing.

***
From the speed of this update, you'd never guess I have a biochem midterm on Monday. *death all around* You guys may not see another update for a couple of days, but I hope to get the test over with as smoothly as possible, so I'll be concentrating on that and then back to writing as soon as it's over. Thanks, and wish me luck!

Chapters: 1 and 2 , 3 , 4
 
 
 
giving my life to a rainbow like you: jake g: pretty creepy iconhep_hey on July 16th, 2006 08:43 am (UTC)
i wanted to comment on something in this chapter but forgot what it was and now i can't find it.

but i do want to say that i like how your chapters aren't 7385392875935 pages long. makes it easier to read.
Iris: jake goes sleepall_day on July 16th, 2006 06:44 pm (UTC)
Aw, I hope you remember. And yeah, it's easier to post things that are shorter, too, cause then the updates go faster!
giving my life to a rainbow like you: orlando bloom: sooo adorablehep_hey on July 16th, 2006 06:47 pm (UTC)
it wasn't a bad comment though, just something i liked i guess. oh well.

i miss Time For Dinner. :/
Hailey Burdenskepticalwriter on July 16th, 2006 02:25 pm (UTC)
I like the idea of John cooking for some reason.

*snickers*

I like this so far, can't wait for more!

Keep up the great work!
Iris: pyro - can the world survive?sleepall_day on July 16th, 2006 06:44 pm (UTC)
Hehe, yep, I figure, what else is he going to do with all that time until more stuff happens to him... which it will!

Thanks so much for reading! I appreciate it :)
lux_apollo on July 16th, 2006 07:30 pm (UTC)
Yes, I love chef John too!
pat_nosferatu: kyropat_nosferatu on July 16th, 2006 04:37 pm (UTC)
Wow really interesting and unique story:) I like your John characterization. Can't wait to read more.
Iris: pyrosleepall_day on July 16th, 2006 06:45 pm (UTC)
Thanks a bunch for reading, and for the comment! Glad you like the John in the story :)
lux_apollo on July 16th, 2006 07:30 pm (UTC)
I didn't comment on 3 and 4, but I enjoyed them a lot, as I enjoyed this chapter as well. Keep up the good work!
Iris: pyro - feversleepall_day on July 17th, 2006 09:58 pm (UTC)
Aw, thanks! I appreciate it, and I'm glad you like it :)
Crystal: x-men - kyro otppetitebelette on July 16th, 2006 08:56 pm (UTC)
John=love.

Kitty just going to sneak herself in this, isn't she? ;)
Iris: pyrosleepall_day on July 17th, 2006 10:01 pm (UTC)
Aw :)

Yeah, I guess so! Guess we'll just have to wait and she what she does...
Linea: pyro nsmnayerzish on July 17th, 2006 03:56 am (UTC)
:) Yay an update. I can't beleive this is your first fic, you're doing so well!
Iris: pyro - feversleepall_day on July 17th, 2006 10:02 pm (UTC)
Thanks! Personally I think it's really hard writing a fic, so thanks for the support.
{oh these tumbled stars}: x-men - pyro - o rly?tumbledstars on July 17th, 2006 02:24 pm (UTC)
I love how John is cooking, it's so cute!! This chapter was really nice - John's thoughts were very believable. I like your Kitty so far. Can't wait to read more and see what happens with the entire situation. OH! Also, John's counseling was great. Good job!
Iris: pyro - can the world survive?sleepall_day on July 17th, 2006 10:03 pm (UTC)
Ahahaha, yeah, but I figure John has nothing to do until something else happens to him. And he does have to adjust! I'm so glad you think his thoughts are believable though! It's really rewarding to hear that :) And glad you like the counseling part! Thanks again.
sharkiesharkbait_ha on July 17th, 2006 10:53 pm (UTC)
John is cooking? Awesome!

I love a guy who can cook. I love this fic.

Oh and I hope you did well on your bichem midterm...
Iris: benandowen - eee!sleepall_day on July 18th, 2006 04:46 am (UTC)
Thanks! I think the test went pretty badly, actually, even though I was studying really hard for it *sigh* blah. I better do well on the final.

:D I hope you continue to like the fic!
Jess: pyro - john allerdycehazy_crazy on July 18th, 2006 11:37 am (UTC)
EEEEEE I think I might have an obsession with the idea of chef!John soon LOL :P

Love it, I just love it =)

Now I'm going to read chappy 6 now! WOOT!
Iris: mystique&magneto! hee sort ofsleepall_day on July 18th, 2006 08:48 pm (UTC)
hahahah, yay! I'm glad you like chef John :) Thanks so much for reading this fic! I really appreciate that you started reading it :) I got all your other comments, and want to say thanks a LOT for leaving them.
Autumnpenelopeblack on July 21st, 2006 07:48 pm (UTC)
Oh, really liked this chapter. I liked John knocking on all the doors and everything. And I especially liked the John/Kitty interaction at the end. ;)