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20 July 2006 @ 12:43 am
You've Got to Go There to Come Back - Chapter 8  
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 all-time first fic, and lovethiscity was only recently created purely to post it. 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?

Another author's note specifically for this chapter: I'm not a fan of making original characters for fanfics, but I searched high and low for a Marvel mutant with these particular powers and found none, so this is what I ended up doing. Hope you guys don't mind. Any feedback you have would be great, and THANK YOU to everyone who's been reading so far! You guys make my day.


Chapter 8: “What can you do, Charlie?”

“Who needs stairs when you’ve got me?” Warren said smugly, carrying me by the arms.

“Good God, you overgrown chicken! You nearly gave me a heart attack,” I said in half-mock anger, as Warren, who had swooped down from the mansion’s roof with me, dropped me on the lawn.

“I always thought these were more swan-like, myself,” Warren said, extending both his left arm and wing.

“Overgrown pigeon, then,” I said, crossing my arms.

“Ugh. Pigeons. Rats of the skies,” he said with a disgusted look on his face.

“Rats of the skies?” I repeated incredulously. “Wouldn’t that be more like… crows? Or something?”

“Hey,” he said, pointing a finger and ruffling a wing at me. “Don’t even get me started on crows.”

I couldn’t anyway, even though I was about to, because our banter was interrupted by the approaching parade from the ambulance.

“Hello, boys,” said Storm.

“Hey, kids,” said Wolverine.

“This is John, and this is Warren,” Storm said, and I noticed that a woman with brown-blonde hair was also there. “This is Mrs. Shields, and of course, Charlie.” Charlie, who was in the wheelchair, waved. He was looking a lot better, and without him screaming his head off with blood everywhere, I noticed he sported a pair of rather bushy eyebrows for a kid.

We all said our hellos, and as we approached the mansion, Charlie’s mother gasped, and said, “This is an amazing-looking place. You know, I think I may have driven by here once or twice, but I’ve never seen it this close before. It’s beautiful.”

“It was Professor Xavier’s pride and joy, but not before his students…” Storm began, and the two of them started talking about the school. She’d probably give them both the whole official tour and all later. I idly followed the group from behind, hoping to find out more about what had happened. What was I going to do, go back my room, and then wait a few days to read about it in the paper?

The adults had stopped in the large downstairs common room, which looked more like a living room. “As for Charlie’s attendance at Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters, we can further discuss your possibilities either here, or I can show you the headmaster’s office, whichever you’re more comfortable with,” Storm was saying. Then aside to Wolverine, she said, “Logan, will you go on ahead to that meeting room upstairs?” He nodded, and ran up the stairs.

I hovered above the conversation for a few minutes, wondering if I should leave. Storm was explaining that while Hank McCoy wasn’t officially on the school’s staff, he had been a large part of founding it and knew about the way it worked. Hank took Mrs. Shields to the office when Storm told them that she wanted to talk to Charlie himself. Then she looked at me and said, “John, would you mind joining us for a few minutes? We’d like to discuss a few options with you as well.”

I didn’t have too many clues as to what she was talking about, but I had a few guesses. Every so often Storm would try to talk to me about community service, which the state was stupidly requiring for my sentence, even though I couldn’t leave the house to do it. “Sure,” I said, and sat in an empty armchair.

Before Storm said anything to me, though, Charlie spoke first and looked me straight in the eye. “I owe you, big guy,” he said to me. “I owe you my life. Thanks for what you did.”

I shrugged. I wasn't used to gratitude being directed at me, and certainly didn’t really know how to respond to something like that, so I just simply said, “You’re welcome,” a little stiffly. I was glad to have helped him, but I wasn’t about to be hailed as a hero and still be a prisoner at the same time. Just felt weird somehow.

Storm said, “John, we’ve talked over some possibilities for your community service. Charlie and I had a chance to talk at the hospital, and while I haven’t run this by anyone with the rehabilitation program yet, I have something in mind for you.”

“Oh yeah?” I said challengingly. “Is it something I’m going to be able to be able to get done and over with fast?”

“Not necessarily,” Storm said. Her tone was forceful. I could tell she’d made up her mind about something. “Charlie may be facing some criminal charges, but he will probably just have to go through all of the red tape and bureaucracies before they let him go. I’d like for you to help set up a program at the school that will help kids like Charlie, people who have been victims of discrimination far more than usual.”

And… that meant… doing what, exactly? “Okay…” I said slowly. “So… what is it that you’re telling me to do?” I’d been flicking my lighter open and closed this whole time – which I patted myself on the back for remembering to bring back from the infirmary – and Storm looked at it disdainfully. I wondered if she’d talk to Wolverine about the fact that he’d given it back to me.

“I’m not exactly telling you to do anything right now, John, but you do realize that you will not be eligible for parole if you don’t have anything to show for involvement in community service, don’t you? I’m trying to help you.” She looked exasperated, but so was I. Yeah, I wanted to get out of here, but I vaguely felt like this hadn’t been part of the deal. They had told me about this catch a day after I was given my sentence. Probably because mine had been a special case that needed some details worked out, but still. I was annoyed.

“Yeah, yeah, I know. So all right then, what’s this going to be about?”

“It will be a form of rehabilitation, but a little different from yours, of course. It will be about adjustment to a way of life that involves the philosophy of this school – Xavier’s philosophy – which is peaceful coexistence with humans. It will be extremely difficult for people who have been exposed to discrimination already.”

I was incensed.

“How exactly do you plan for me to be involved with such a thing when, let me check, I don’t believe in it?”

She must have been ready for me to ask something like that. “Because I am in charge of your rehabilitation as well. You are a resident of Xavier’s School, and you are expected to respect it, if not follow its ideals. When you leave these grounds, I can’t do a thing about what you want to do with your life, but it’s up to me and everyone else here to make sure that you don’t ignore this way of life while you reside here. You may not agree with us that reintegrating these ideas into you is for your best, but yes, it is in fact a requirement that you are a helping hand while you’re here.”

It sounded like a very long-winded version of, “As long as you’re living under my roof, you’ll follow my rules.”

Whatever. I was used to that. My father, Magneto, now Storm – I’d never see the end of it, so I just resigned myself to it. I was still angry – at her, at the state and their idiotic rehabilitation program, at Xavier – but I fought with the idea in my head until I decided that, yeah, I wanted out of here more than I wanted to stand up for my principles. After that I could do all the standing around I wanted, minus metal anklet. I seethed in my fluffy armchair.

I glanced at Charlie. He had shrank back in his wheelchair, looking uncomfortable and like he wanted to pretend he hadn’t really been listening to us. “So,” I said. “Guess you’re my first victim, huh?”

He grinned. “Hey, I’m alive. It’s all that matters to me right now.”

“So, Storm, what happened, anyway? And you’re not going to leave me to figure this out on my own – I don’t even know exactly what you want me to do with this… program, or whatever it is,” I said.

Charlie’s face darkened, and said, “Yeah, it’s not a pretty story.”

Storm looked at him, and said quietly, “John doesn’t have to know for now if you don’t want him to.”

Charlie replied, “You saved me, man. Hey, I know I don’t know you too well yet, but you’re way up there in my book already.” He looked at Storm and said, “It’s okay with me,” and continued, “I was in the city today, and some… some bigots just started trash-talking with me and I was by myself, so I tried to talk my way out of it but they wouldn’t let me.” He paused. “My mom knows I’m a mutant. She’s not, but she’s friends with some other mutants too. So she’s never been too secretive about it, and I guess word gets around, so these creeps from the Friends of Humanity knew… that’s where those guys were from.” I nodded.

“So I was trying to leave, and then one of them grabbed me and started beating me up. They all did. They just started picking up things like rocks and trash or whatever and it got pretty bad… the leader of that little group was the one who stepped on my arm,” he said, indicating his cast. I just listened, transfixed. Did stuff like this really manage to get this out of hand right out there in the street?

“Yeah… so… I tried to run. It turns out that there were more of them. You know, some of the Friends of Humanity people had hoods over their heads, but some completely random people off the street started helping them, too! There were a lot of people pretty soon, and I was just… on the bottom of a dogpile for a few minutes. I wanted to use my powers, but… I just couldn’t. I couldn’t do that.”

I was entirely curious now. “What can you do, Charlie?” I said.

“I teleport,” he said simply.

“Wait, then why couldn’t you –” I started to say, but Charlie continued.

“I can’t teleport just myself. Believe me, I’ve tried loads of times. But no matter what I do, I have to switch with someone. So I guess I’m not really a teleporter. I’m… a switcher. I can switch physical positions with anyone, or I can teleport to a location that I want to go to, but I’ll just sort of unconsciously switch with the person nearest to that place. I don’t always know who it’s going to be.”

I let out a low whistle. “Interesting.”

“If I’d switched with anyone they would’ve started getting the beating,” he explained. What a kid. I bet if I had his power I would’ve switched with anyone I could think of. I had no one to care about, really.

“Couldn’t you have just switched with one of them?”

“I guess, but, look, I was panicked, and getting beat senseless, and all I wanted was to get away. I just didn’t even think of it then.”

So, his power was kind of like Nightcrawler’s, except – “It was you!” I exclaimed.

“Huh?” he said.

“You! You switched with Wolverine!” Storm nodded at me.

“Heh, oh yeah,” he said a little sheepishly. “That was me. I didn’t do it on purpose. I told you, I don’t always know who I’m going to switch with. I can’t really remember… I think I was trying to get to somewhere near this school, but my power just randomly picked a person close to it, I guess. That’s why I tried to switch back as soon as I could. I can usually figure out how to switch with a person I’d switched with immediately before, so I can return them to wherever they were.”

Storm and I both nodded. It sounded kind of reasonable, given the fact that mutant powers weren’t always all that predictable. Then I remembered how convinced Wolverine had been that Professor Xavier had been trying to reach out to him. “Does Wolverine know?”

Storm shook her head sadly. “He was giving blood while Charlie and I were talking. I will tell him soon.”

“I see,” I said. “So then what happened?”

“Ah… yeah,” Charlie continued. “So then I managed to crawl out, and I thought I could get away by climbing on a roof. I climbed up a fire escape, but there one of them followed me. This guy had a knife. He was the one that gave me… you know, the cut that you closed up for me.” He looked at me with what I deduced was a grateful expression.

Then, even though he had lowered his head, I could tell that tears were starting to form in his eyes. “He was about to stab me in the heart. I pushed him away, but he was still right there, of course.” Charlie was a fairly big guy. I could see how he could do that.

He leaned his head into his good, unbroken hand and sobbed softly, “Then I threw myself off that twenty-story roof.”

My jaw must have dropped. “And switched with him,” I finished for him.

The tears were definitely falling now, and Charlie nodded, but my eyes widened and I had to admit to feeling pretty impressed. That sounded pretty gutsy. I liked his style, even though he was weeping about it now.

Charlie shook his head violently and repeated the phrase he’d used in the school infirmary. “I didn’t mean to. But he wanted to kill me.” Storm laid a reassuring hand on his.

I wasn’t sure if I could tell him what I really thought of what he did. I glanced at Storm, and picked my words carefully. “Well, Charlie… I’m not going to tell you that you did the right thing. But hell, man, you stood up for yourself, is what you did. Can’t let someone just kill you in cold blood like that. I mean, he was gonna kill you.” Uh-oh. I’d started rambling.

But Storm didn’t make a move to stop me. Then again, she was angry too. I could tell, because she changed the subject. “John, we have a place for you to work. There’s a room upstairs that used to be a meeting room, and it needs some cleaning up first, but it will serve the job.”

“Of course,” she added quickly, “we don’t expect you to do it alone. We do want you to help with the clean up, but there will be lots of people working on the room, as well as helping you with the mutant rehabilitation.”

I was leaning forward in my seat with my arms resting on my knees, and nodded. I got up, and said, “I’ll check it out, then.”

Storm seemed satisfied with this, and got up as well. “Charlie, would you like to catch up with your mother?”

“Yeah, great,” he said, wiping away the last of his tears, and shakily started standing up.

“Hey, you don’t need that thing?” I said, pointing to the wheelchair.

“Nah. Not really,” he said. “They just made me leave the hospital in it, so that I wouldn’t, you know, fall over and sue for a billion dollars or whatever.” I wondered if he was just faking his light attitude, or if he really was just like that. If it were the latter, he’d be a pretty good pick to start off with – I wouldn’t have to do as much as I would have to with a kid who was out for bloodthirsty revenge.

I actually knew which room Storm had been talking about, but I hadn’t been in it. There was a room that was closed off upstairs, so that had to be it. When I got there, the door was wide open and I slowed my pace as I stepped inside.

“Whoa!” I exclaimed when I saw the room. “Some cleaning up?! You gotta be kidding me. That’s what Storm said!” I said to Wolverine, who had just put down some pieces of lumber to direct Colossus. The entire room was covered in dirt, and wooden boards everywhere. One of the walls looked like it was barely being supported, as I could see the beams that were inside it. The area around the hole had peeling wallpaper and pretty much all of the walls were cracked. Some of the older students, Bobby, Rogue, Jubilee, and Betsy included, were sweeping or clearing away boards. I noticed that there was a broken window as well, and as I stepped a little further into the room I left a footprint behind.

“What the hell happened in here?” I asked Bobby, who was standing the closest to me.

He gave me a glare, but answered me. “Freak optic blast accident. You don’t even wanna know.” I stared at him. He looked like he was trying to hide a smile.

I rolled my eyes. At least the jackass was talking to me, but now he was just making dumb jokes. “Logan! Hey, Logan?” Logan, who was standing with Colossus, finished loading some boards into Colossus’s arms, and grabbed a load for himself. He was pretty engrossed in a conversation with Colossus, too much to have overheard my exchange with Bobby. “Logan?” He turned around to look at me.

“Yeah,” he said.

“What the hell happened here?” I repeated.

He said through the cigar between his teeth, “Freak optic blast accident. Ask Bobby. He knows more of the details than I do.”

I let out an exasperated scoff, and picked up some boards.

There was a dolly in the hallway that was being used by those of us who hadn’t been blessed with Tinhead’s powers, so I loaded the boards onto it. I didn’t exactly mind, though – I was generally okay with the way I was built, even though I guessed I could use being a little bigger. The look worked for Colossus, but just a little bigger for me would be nice. Warren approached me, and said, “Hey. They got stuff I can help out with in here?”

I snorted. “Probably. It’s a disaster area.”

“Okay,” he said, and started to walk through the door, but bumped his wings into the doorframe. I unfortunately hadn’t noticed this until he started backing out of the doorway and turning around, hitting me full in the face with one of his monstrous wings.

“Hey, watch it, Bird-boy!” I hollered.

“Sorry!” Warren protested, scuttling through the doorway sideways.

I just shook my head. I then started doing more picking up, and was just getting into a rhythm of cleaning when I wondered where Kitty was. Almost everyone else our age was helping out with the clean up in the meeting room, except her. Not that I minded her not being there, I was just curious.

***
Author's note: Freak optic blast accident, you ask? Yeah, I am a Zoolander fan... haha... Also, I'm sorry to anyone I disappointed with the absence of Xavier's return! Fear not, readers.

Chapters: 1 and 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 6 , 7
 
 
 
Jess: zoolander - so simplehazy_crazy on July 20th, 2006 08:38 am (UTC)
Eeee great chapter!! I like the story of Charlie and his mutant power - very interesting =)

Ah, I love Zoolander!

Can't wait for you to continue.
Iris: zoolander - merMAN... merMAN!sleepall_day on July 20th, 2006 08:42 am (UTC)
Heh, thanks! I guess even mutants, too, can't not die in freak gasoline fight accidents.
pat_nosferatupat_nosferatu on July 20th, 2006 10:29 am (UTC)
Nice chapter:) This Charlie guy is quite interesting person and he has unique powers.
I love it that Warren and John are kind of friends (John's names for Warren are gorgeous and funny;)
Can't wait to read more and see more Kitty/John action!
Iris: i am not obsessed with steve finleysleepall_day on July 20th, 2006 05:24 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I'm glad my use of an OC isn't annoying you, then, and yeah, I guess his powers ARE unique! After all, I wanted to use an actual character at first, but I couldn't find a mutant from the comics that actually had those powers.

John's names for Warren are gorgeous? Really?

And Kitty/John action, you ask? Ask and you shall receive! Mostly because I've already planned out this fic :D
Faiya Zanziaannavignola on July 20th, 2006 11:17 am (UTC)
Awesome chapter! I like Charlie's powers, and he did do what he had to in order to live. . .

hehehe - Poor John with his new 'job'.
Iris: pyrosleepall_day on July 20th, 2006 05:25 pm (UTC)
Ah, thank you! I don't like OCs in fanfics usually, but I'm glad you like his powers, because I couldn't find a mutant in the comics that had them. Sooo I just resorted to making up a character.

Thank you for the comment!
Teganshadowcat47 on July 20th, 2006 12:57 pm (UTC)
Great chapter! I liked it a lot. Awesome job! Update soon!
Iris: behhrrrooozz :Dsleepall_day on July 20th, 2006 05:25 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I'll try!
Crystal: supernatural - dean rocking outpetitebelette on July 20th, 2006 02:30 pm (UTC)
That was in Zoolander?!

I feel like a horrible fan! I love that movie! What part was it in?

This is definitely different. :D Hrmmm, I'd love to see how John ends up being a counselor of sorts. Where's Kitty? :( I was wondering where she was off to, too!

I'm seething in my fluffy armchair, really.

Hehehe, that line was very funny to me for some reason.
Iris: zoolandersleepall_day on July 20th, 2006 05:11 pm (UTC)
Oh no, it was just a reference to the "freak gasoline fight accident," remember? :D

Heh, I like that you caught that line :) It is kind of silly-sounding. Thanks for the comment!
Crystal: supernatural - dean good timespetitebelette on July 20th, 2006 05:55 pm (UTC)
Oh! Ahahahahaha. Orange mocha frappaccinos.

Welcome!
Iris: zoolander - mugatu - derelicte!sleepall_day on July 21st, 2006 08:17 pm (UTC)
HAHAHAH, you have no idea how much you made me smile by saying "Orange mocha frappucinos" like it was an actual response to something... well... I guess i'm just being weird :P
Crystal: supernatural - trusty sidekick geekboypetitebelette on July 21st, 2006 11:27 pm (UTC)
Hehe, I'm random, I can't help it! :P You're not weird! Well. We write fanfiction. We're both weird! So it's okay. :P
Hailey Burdenskepticalwriter on July 20th, 2006 03:10 pm (UTC)
LOVED IT!

*snickers*

I like Charlie for some reason... Though, I am wondering where Kitten is as well....

I really like your usage of characters, but john is still the center and everything! LOVE IT!

KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK!
Iris: christian bale - pimp squint.sleepall_day on July 20th, 2006 05:12 pm (UTC)
I really like your usage of characters, but john is still the center and everything!
Ah, thanks! I was hoping for something like that, so I hope it keeps working :)

Thank you for reading and for the comment!
{oh these tumbled stars}: x-men - pyro - don't think i'm a mistaketumbledstars on July 20th, 2006 05:50 pm (UTC)
Wow, this was a terrific chapter! And what a cool ability Charlie has!!

Hmm! Where's Kitty? Not that he minded her not being there, he was just curious! ;) Right, John! Keep telling yourself that!
Iris: kiefer bwsleepall_day on July 20th, 2006 06:21 pm (UTC)
Hahahahahah, exaaacctttly. You know just what needs to be said to him :)
onewaystreet64 on July 20th, 2006 06:54 pm (UTC)
this was a really really good chapter. I can't wait for the next one!
Iris: figgins - booyah!sleepall_day on July 21st, 2006 10:53 am (UTC)
Thanks! I hope you like the next one, too.
lux_apollo on July 20th, 2006 10:28 pm (UTC)
I love the idea of forcing John to rehab others! It is hilariously ironic, and so perfect a punishment for him, though it leaves much openings for him to misbehave!
Iris: pyromaniacsleepall_day on July 21st, 2006 10:53 am (UTC)
Heh, he'll be grumbling the entire way, I'm sure :)
sharkiesharkbait_ha on July 20th, 2006 11:16 pm (UTC)
I like the OC.

I like the fact that Storm is forcing John to rehabilitate others. haha...so funny

Can't wait for new chapter!
Iris: pyro - feversleepall_day on July 21st, 2006 10:54 am (UTC)
Ooh, great, I'm glad you're not annoyed by him. Thanks for reading! I hope you like the next chapter too.
giving my life to a rainbow like you: adam brody: hii bitcheshep_hey on July 23rd, 2006 08:26 am (UTC)
i didn't get to read this entire chapter, because i suddenly realized that i'm late for this thing i'm going to and i haven't showered or done anything today, so i'll finish it when i get home later. i did, however, notice one thing.

okay so this new guy's name is charlie. and he has bushy eyebrows. charlie! bushy eyebrows. coincidence? i think not.

i think it's safe to say, that you've subconsciously been thinking about our very own (and very hot) charlie simpson.
Iris: christian bale - pimp squint.sleepall_day on July 23rd, 2006 08:29 am (UTC)
*pimp squint* Hell yeah.





... is really all I have to say. :D

(Anyone who reads this fic will subliminally turned into a Charlie Simpson faaannnngggiirrrllll.) (End subliminal message.)
beee_summer on July 28th, 2006 07:15 am (UTC)
“Good God, you overgrown chicken! You nearly gave me a heart attack,” I said in half-mock anger, as Warren, who had swooped down from the mansion’s roof with me, dropped me on the lawn.

“I always thought these were more swan-like, myself,” Warren said, extending both his left arm and wing.

“Overgrown pigeon, then,” I said, crossing my arms.

“Ugh. Pigeons. Rats of the skies,” he said with a disgusted look on his face.

“Rats of the skies?” I repeated incredulously. “Wouldn’t that be more like… crows? Or something?”

“Hey,” he said, pointing a finger and ruffling a wing at me. “Don’t even get me started on crows.”





haha...i loved that part!
beee_summer on July 28th, 2006 07:18 am (UTC)
oh yeah,awesome story!