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21 July 2006 @ 05:12 pm
You've Got To Go There To Come Back - Chapter 10  
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. Please let me know your thoughts! I'd really appreciate it :)


Chapter 10: “This could actually work!”

“Oh, my God!” Kitty exclaimed, and without another word, she jumped onto the kitchen island and leaped right through the ceiling. Sure, I’d seen her phase loads of times before, but I had to gape at that one. Charlie was even more astounded than I was.

“Come on, let’s get upstairs, too,” I said to him. He hobbled along after me, but kept pace fairly well.

Storm wasn’t in the old meeting hall anymore, but I could hear Kitty talking to her down the hall, so Charlie and I found them right away. They were in the office that I always used for my counseling with Amelia. I guess Kitty had already relayed the message, because when Storm saw us approaching, she said to Charlie, “What exactly did you hear them say?”

“Just that they were planning another attack. They were telling it to me, actually, I didn’t just overhear it, so I guess they weren’t afraid of some of us finding out about it. I don’t remember the exact phrase, but one of the guys that seemed like he was a leader – he said something like, ‘You muties better watch out – watch out for another attack. And next time it’s going to be bigger, a lot bigger, and sooner than you think.’ Something along those lines. So, there weren’t any specifics,” Charlie replied.

Wolverine was also standing nearby. Storm asked him, “Is there any way we can monitor any of their activities?”

“Probably. What’re you lookin’ at me for?” he answered gruffly. “I don’t do spy work. I’d like to skewer a couple of them right now,” he added, and with a snikt! extended his claws on one hand. I hadn’t been there when Storm told him about Charlie’s mutant power – but I know that it had really shaken him up and he was pretty upset about it. I figured he’d be mad enough about the news that the Friends of Humanity were planning another attack, but he’d been kind of on edge lately. I think he was genuinely distraught that it had been Charlie who’d teleported him.

Storm was shaking her head quickly, like she was trying to clear her thoughts. “No, no, Logan – we have to think this through. We have to find out where this attack is before it happens! If it really is going to be on a larger scale than what they did to Charlie – we have to prevent them, not try to stop them during it!”

I thought she was right, but didn’t say anything. Like they’d seriously listen to their resident convict.

“And just how do you think we’ll do that?” Wolverine said. “I say we go grab any known members we can – startin’ with that son of a bitch Graydon Creed – and I’ll slice some answers outta them.”

I wasn’t sure if he really thought that was the best thing to do, or if he was just talking… but of course, with him, you could never quite tell.

Storm sighed, and pulled over a chair to sit in. Wolverine was pacing, but the rest of us found some seats, too. Storm said a little quietly, like she was just thinking out loud, “We need to find one of them to question, but we can’t just go after them… that would make us the criminals…”

“Says who?” Wolverine exclaimed. “Wouldn’t we be doing the right thing, by stoppin’ an attack?” He wiped at his forehead even though it was cool inside the mansion – outdoors was another story, though.

“Not without proof,” I put in. He kind of glared at me, but didn’t say anything because I was right.

Kitty raised the question, “So how do we get the proof?”

Without breaking her gaze into empty space, Storm said, “I’m thinking.” I wondered if Storm and Wolverine would normally be letting us kids listen in on a conversation like this, much less participate in it, if they weren’t so obviously preoccupied with panic.

I decided to take advantage of the situation and asked, “Did anybody think of the possibility that it could be the school? Charlie was in this area, wasn’t he? I mean, there’s not exactly much bustling mutant activity going on in Westchester except here.”

“Who said we hadn’t thought of that possibility?” Storm snapped, and then said to the others, “It could be the school!”

I scoffed. “Yeah. That’s what I said.”

“Yes, you were right, but we can’t ignore any other possible locations,” she replied.

Storm furrowed her brow in concentration. I started flicking my lighter open and closed again, and she frowned at me and took it away from me, like I was still one of her students. I just pulled out another plastic one from my pocket and started playing with that one. I nervously sat back and desperately hoped that I’d be reading about the attack in the paper instead of running away from it.

Wait. The paper.

I stood up to get everyone’s attention. “We can draw some of the Friends of Humanity members somewhere where we’ll be ready to grab them.”

“How?” Storm said, looking annoyed. “And besides, we can’t just grab them. Remember what I said earlier?”

“We can if they were provoking us, can’t we?”

“And how would we create such a scenario?” she said, starting to look a little bit interested.

“Well, they tried going after Xavier a few years back, didn’t they? They just love those clean-cut, normal-looking mutants who are pretty well off in society. They want to bring those ones down, maybe even more so than the ones, you know, actually causing trouble.” I said the last part quickly, as I had actually been one of those. “And that time that Hank McCoy was given a presidential pardon? Oh, they were all over that,” I added.

“How do you know all of this?” Wolverine raised an eyebrow at me.

I held out my hands. “Hey. Something called the newspaper. Some of us actually read it.”

This seemed to satisfy him, because the next thing he said was, “So what’s your point?”

“My point is, every time they hear about some mutant being praised by the media, they go straight after them. What we’re going to do is set some bait.”

“Hold on. Nobody said we were going to actually use this plan of yours,” Storm interrupted. Like I said: they were really going to listen to their resident convict.

“What kind of bait?” Kitty asked. At least somebody was listening to me.

I started to pace like Wolverine, and said, “First we run a story about some wonderful, God’s-gift-to-humanity mutant that everybody loves, in the local newspaper. Then we wait for the FOH to hear about him and an appearance that he’ll be making, and spring the trap. We’ll be waiting for them.”

“There’s absolutely no chance that that’s going to work,” Storm said definitively. “For one thing, you can’t just print an outright lie in the newspaper! Do you realize how much trouble you can get in for that?”

“So? Newspapers print retractions all the time, don’t they? All we’d have to do is print one after we’ve caught them and say we were fed some misinformation or whatever,” I countered.

Wolverine, who had been pacing back and forth, was suddenly frozen to a spot. Storm was still looking disapproving, but Wolverine said to her, “Ororo… I think that kid’s on to something.”

“Absolutely not!” she thundered. “I will not put any of my students in such a dangerous position like that, after what happened to Charlie.”

I almost rolled my eyes. I thought being a part of the X-Men involved the risks of trying to protect people, or whatever it was their mottos were.

Wolverine grinned slowly, and then finally retracted his claws. “So don’t send a student.”

Somehow Storm didn’t seem confused by the person Wolverine was referring to, and said, “We may have to hurry if we want to prevent this attack. Since I can’t see any other way to do this, I will take the blame for the false article in the newspaper if our retraction is not accepted, although I hope it doesn’t come to that.”

She still wasn’t too happy about my idea, though, so she didn’t say much else, but I could see that Wolverine was definitely excited. Especially when Storm said, “You call him. He likes you better than everyone else, anyway.” The two of them started to leave the room – they were going to start working on this plan right away! Wolverine seemed like he was even impressed by my idea. He said to me, “You got it, kid!”

Kitty, Charlie and I were the only ones left. I was stunned into silence. “Wow, John,” Kitty then said. “This could actually work!”

“It could, but it could also get us all into a lot of trouble,” I admitted. “I don’t care what Storm says, she’s gonna find some way to pin the blame on me if this backfires.”

“Storm doesn’t lie about stuff like that,” Kitty assured me, but she was looking a little worried. “Still, I hope nothing goes wrong. I actually really like your idea. I hope it works.”

Three days later, two rather significant things happened. The first was the arrival of our bait. After Storm and Wolverine decided to set my plan into motion, there had been some talk of someone coming to the mansion to help out, but I myself didn’t hear much about it, other than the fact that he would be here soon.

I was extremely anxious to find out who it was – after all, this had been my plan. I wanted to be a part of its unfolding. I thought Wolverine would probably make sure that I’d be able to play some part in it, and as a matter of fact, he did. When he found out that I’d done some journalism work before – amateur work, really – he said that I absolutely had to help with the writing of the article. I ended up doing all of it, and made up a telekinetic mutant (I figured that was generic enough) called “Adam Weaver.”

Adam Weaver was like a saint – he’d done work at various charity events, used his powers to stop some burglaries and other crimes, and had participated in this year’s AIDS walk. He was an outstanding student at Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters, making top marks in all of his classes, and winning several county-wide track meets. And the main point the article was making was the announcement of a local appearance of his, where he’d be doing a book talk. I even had Kitty make a record for him in the school’s database. It scared me a little that she could just do that, but then I remembered what a goody-goody she was and brushed away the idea of her changing around people’s records.

I showed the finished article to Hank McCoy, who put on his glasses and, upon reading it, said, “Words, as is well known, are the great foes of reality. Joseph Conrad. Well done, young man,” and handed it back to me.

I just stared at him. I think that meant that he approved.

Then I looked up “Weaver” in Kitty’s phone book, and found over a hundred entries, of which about thirty just had the first name initial A. Perfect. I handed the phone book back to Kitty, who said, “Think this is going to work?”

“Who knows? For all we know I could be locked up by tomorrow night for printing such outrageous lies in a paper, since pretty much any little thing could get me locked up right now!” I snapped.

“Quit being so negative!” she coaxed.

As for our bait, a small, personal jet was arriving on the landing strip that the X-Men’s Blackbird used. I ran outside, not knowing at all what to expect. The hatch of the jet opened, and a thin, tired-looking man with black hair stepped out.

Morph!” Wolverine cried, and gave him a hug so hard that Morph struggled to get away, and then cackled.

“You should see your face!” he laughed. “It looks something like this,” he said, his voice – and his whole body! – suddenly turning into Wolverine.

Wolverine wasn’t fazed at all. Instead, he just said, “Do you have to say that every time I see you?” and gave him another hug.

I was pretty impressed, even though I’d seen Mystique shape-shift dozens upon dozens of times. “Nice,” I commented. I was always vaguely jealous of certain other mutants who didn’t seem to have a limitation like I did.

A bunch of the other students were started to gather near the jet, too, but since I was there with Wolverine, Morph noticed me first and said, “Who’s this young man?”

“Pyro,” I said.

He turned into me and repeated, “Pyro!” in my own voice. I recoiled. Mystique had never done that and it kind of freaked me out. Wolverine just laughed, and introduced me as the one who had actually come up with the plan to lure out members of the Friends of Humanity.

“He came here straight from Muir Island, in Scotland,” Wolverine told me.

“Er, thanks for coming out,” I said, not used to having to be polite.

“Anything for the X-Men,” he replied, having already reverted back to his normal form. “As long as it’s not Sentinels,” he added.

“Not this time, buddy,” Wolverine assured him. I didn’t know what they were talking about. Probably better not to ask.

The second event of the day was brought to my attention by Charlie. Storm had told him that there was an emergency and that he had to come get the phone on the common room line. I was there playing cards with Kitty – I couldn’t believe she tore herself away from her computer – and heard his end of the conversation. It was mostly filled with exclamations (“What?!”) and deity references (“Oh, my God!”), so I didn’t know what it was about, but when he’d hung up, he had a horror-stricken look on his face.

I looked at him questioningly. “My mom,” he said. “My house burned down. They… my mom and dad… they’re okay… but the whole house. Completely burned.”

That was a surprise to me. Especially since I usually don’t often hear of too many fires that I hadn’t caused myself, unless it was a forest fire.

Kitty had immediately jumped up and ran over to Charlie to comfort him. Just like her to do so, too. “I’m so happy your parents weren’t hurt!” she said. I was grateful she was there to do the sympathy talk, so I wouldn’t have to. Hell, she was pretty damn good at it.

I put down my cards guiltily when Storm, Wolverine, and Hank – who hadn’t left for his office yet – walked into the room. They were all eyeing me.

What?!” I exploded.

“John… you didn’t…?” Storm questioned.

“No, of course not! How could I have?” I said angrily, pointing to my anklet.

The three adults just kind of exchanged looks, and seemed to quell their suspicions. “No,” Hank said. “I don’t believe you were responsible – we were, as the saying goes, jumping to conclusions.”

“Thanks,” I said with a hint of sarcasm. “Look – it is summer. Haven’t you noticed that there are wildfires everywhere? I mean, you could even say that they’re spreading like…” I let my sentence trail off, and held my palms up in a “duh” expression.

Wolverine smirked. “Don’t worry, punk. I’m going to find out who did this. This could be the attack that they were talking about.”

“Could be,” I said, a little relieved.

It turns out that Charlie’s mom and dad had gotten out of the house before it spread too badly, and were offered a place to stay at the school until they found somewhere else. But Charlie’s mother was convinced that whoever had set the fire was after her, or her husband, and didn’t want to be near Charlie until they were sure he’d be safe. They were staying in a hotel somewhere.

The next day, Charlie had nearly reverted back to his normally optimistic self after he had several telephone conversations with his parents, assured that they were safe. Storm received word from the fire department that a large metal sheet had been found at the front of the house – Charlie’s parents had left out the back – with the words, “WE’RE NOT FINISHED” spray-painted onto it. I took this as a sign that the fire hadn’t actually been the larger attack that Charlie’s tormentors mentioned, and Kitty agreed. She's a smart girl, so it felt good to have her support on something like that.

Besides that bit of news, things had calmed down for the most part. My article was printed in the local paper under a pseudonym, so now all we had to do was wait for that “book talk,” which would be in a couple of days. I finally had a quiet moment to take a shower, when all of a sudden I heard a loud squeak above the running water. It sounded exactly like… my window!

Horrified, I put on a towel, cracked open the bathroom door, and grabbed my lighter off the dresser. I’d been right! They were attacking the school, starting with my room! Someone had opened my window and was attempting to climb in. We were too late!

I just stood there gawking like an idiot, until the trespasser had gone right through the window and landed on my floor. When he did, I screamed at him, which made him jump and scream right back. I recognized him. And he was no terrorist. In fact, he was one of the last people I ever expected to see again!

***
Author's notes: The Morph you see here is from the original animated series timeline. I hope it's not too much of a stretch - he wasn't featured as a very main character, so his continuity could easily be very flexible. One of the last times we see him in the cartoon, he was working with Moira MacTaggert on Muir Island, and returned to the X-Men to help, but not permanently.

Chapters: 1 and 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 6 , 7 , 8 , 9
 
 
 
cloremorbed: Frodocloremorbed on July 22nd, 2006 01:34 am (UTC)
Great chapter, as always! And you brought in Morph! I liked him in the cartoon, even though he was minor.
Iris: washburn is a distressed scowling bunnysleepall_day on July 22nd, 2006 03:38 am (UTC)
Ah, thanks! I kind of liked him too - he was actually quite interesting, and had that whole split personality going on... he definitely had issues. I'm glad that you actually know who he is. I don't think that he'd be the easiest character to remember unless you're familiar w/ the animated series.
Hailey Burdenskepticalwriter on July 22nd, 2006 01:41 am (UTC)
WHO CAME THROUGH HIS WINDOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!??????


I NEED TO KNOW! MORE!

Jeez, I'm addicted!
Iris: whoa there washsleepall_day on July 22nd, 2006 03:39 am (UTC)
uhohhh! Hmmm, who COULD it be? Any ideas?
sharkiesharkbait_ha on July 22nd, 2006 01:58 am (UTC)
OMG! WHO IS IT?!

I guess I'll have to wait...

But I'll take a guess...hm...its...hm...John's best buddy...from...uh...

Oh well. :D Glad you updated!
Iris: washburn is the adorablest smilersleepall_day on July 22nd, 2006 03:42 am (UTC)
DUDE! haha! I thought people would just be like, "oh, cliffhanger" but it's sooo cool to see that people have gotten into it :) But hey, you made a guess! That's interesting :P
lux_apollo on July 22nd, 2006 02:40 am (UTC)
Nice going. This could be very interesting... I like how you are making more of John's intelligence than most people do.
Iris: whoa there washsleepall_day on July 22nd, 2006 03:43 am (UTC)
Ah, thanks. Yeah, I don't see him as a dumb kid. I mean, yeah, he's a jerk in the movies, but he never really struck me as stupid, so I'm not going to make him out to be like he is. He's a complex character in my fic :)
lux_apollo on July 22nd, 2006 07:32 am (UTC)
I have never seen him as dumb. If he has academic problems, it's only because he doesn't care, not because he is stupid. It gives me vindication that I'm not the only one who feels this way about John. Personally, I think he's quite intelligent. Just screwed by life.
Crystal: sammy - pervertspetitebelette on July 22nd, 2006 06:14 am (UTC)
WHAT? WHO IS IT?

You're evil for this! Ahhhhhhh.

And I was also laughing hysterically at the picture of Pyro in nothing but a towel and screaming.

...and fantasizing.

OH my god, I'm so perverted sometimes I suprise myself.

I just stared at him. I think that meant that he approved.

LOLOL.
Iris: hmm... *strokes beard*sleepall_day on July 22nd, 2006 06:25 am (UTC)
Oh no! Hmmmm! Who do YOU think it is?

ahahah, well, I'm the one who wrote it, so I guess you're not the ONLY perverted one! (It was, however, a good way to explain why Pyro caught the intruder while that person thought nobody was in the room... plus, Pyro in a towel.)

haha, I am really glad that you caught that line. Beast is always spouting quotes :D
Crystal: ryan - o rly?petitebelette on July 22nd, 2006 06:30 am (UTC)
I don't know! I usually have a sixth sense about these things, but I'm seriously drawing a blank!

It was, however, a good way to explain why Pyro caught the intruder while that person thought nobody was in the room...

Excuses, excuses! :P

plus, Pyro in a towel.

And wet. Don't forget. Wet. :P

Hahaha, yeah Beast makes me giggle.

Have I friended you yet? I don't think so. Wanna friend?
Iris: jim carrey - heartsleepall_day on July 22nd, 2006 07:00 am (UTC)
And wet. Don't forget. Wet. Of course. An implied, but very important detail ;)

Have I friended you yet? I don't think so. Wanna friend?
Aw, that's nice of you! I don't mind, but if you really want to read my dumb posts about baseball, biochemistry (which is currently taking over my life - in a few weeks it'll probably switch over to molecular bio), and... um... other boring stuff. But yeah, if you're up to it, go for it! I'll add you right now :) Thank you for asking.
Crystal: x-men - *smirk*petitebelette on July 22nd, 2006 03:15 pm (UTC)
Are you kidding me? I don't hate baseball, but I'm completely a science geek. :)
Jess: pyro - john allerdycehazy_crazy on July 22nd, 2006 09:07 am (UTC)
Eeeee awesome chapter!! Nice to see some more comic references, too =) Particularly about the journalism stuff.

Why do I get the feeling the person who intruded was Magneto ?! Hmm... just an idea.

AND PYRO IN A TOWEL?! Lol I'm in heaven ;) Buhaha only joking.

Can't wait to read more!!
Iris: magneto - bad.ass.mother.fucker.sleepall_day on July 22nd, 2006 06:23 pm (UTC)
Hmm, but it's cool that you have a guess! Maybe you're right ;)

AND PYRO IN A TOWEL?! Lol I'm in heaven
He's still in it! :D

Thanks for commenting :)
pat_nosferatupat_nosferatu on July 22nd, 2006 09:48 am (UTC)
Man what a mean cliffhanger;) I loved it that there was more Kitty/John action. Can't wait to read more.
Iris: outfield of... TERRORsleepall_day on July 22nd, 2006 06:23 pm (UTC)
Hhaha, yeah, I guess so, although I wasn't expecting people to get too into it - but the update SHOULD be posted soon, I hope!
Teganshadowcat47 on July 22nd, 2006 01:24 pm (UTC)
Excellent chapter! I want to see what happens!!! Great job! Update soon!!!
Iris: outfield of... TERRORsleepall_day on July 22nd, 2006 06:24 pm (UTC)
Thanks for reading! :)
(Deleted comment)
Iris: busted - extra exceedingly fitnesssleepall_day on July 25th, 2006 02:27 am (UTC)
Omg, thank you so much - your comments mean a lot to me! It's very kind of you to say that I write him well. It's definitely a challenge!

Hmm, who COULD it be through the window? There must be SOME guesses! I have a feeling that you guys will be finding out pretty soon, though.