Summary: After John is shot, Bobby loses control. (mid X2)
Fandom: X-Men Movieverse
Pairing: Bobby/Rogue, Bobby/John
Disclaimer: I own nothing. Marvel owns some of it, Fox the rest.
Original Story: Frosted World, by mayachain
Notes: I know medicine doesn’t work that way. Roll with the comic book science.
Officer Derek Fuller has a wife, two kids and a dog. He loves the job. He loves his brothers (and sisters), on the job. He would lay down his life for any of them, and he’s always hoped that if it came to it, he would be equally willing to sacrifice his life for a civilian. He can handle all of it - the domestic disputes, the children - god, somehow he’d learned how - but nowhere in his job description did it say superhero.
He’s a cop. A goddamn cop - trained to fight crime and uphold the law. When they gave him a badge and a gun, they never told him that one day he would be facing down four mutants, and that three of them would be kids. About the same age as his oldest.
Looking into their eyes he just sees kids, ordinary teenagers - and that’s what scares him the most.
He thinks about Dina, who’s going through one of those phases, where her parents are clearly responsible for everything from her bad hair days, to global warming and the increasingly distant threat of thermonuclear war. He loves his kids. He thinks, no he knows, that they’re amazing, special people, but when he imagines them armed with these terrible powers, he’s scared.
And one of them, the blond kid, he looks like this is all some sick joke - like this shouldn’t be happening at all. Like the world just woke up crazy one day. Derek knows that look, man, he’s seen it in his own eyes plenty - because one day he was just a cop, and the next, this day, he’s supposed be fighting mutants. And he can’t shake the thought that there is something wrong with the world. There’s something terribly fucking wrong, when the greatest threat to mankind goes from fossil fuels, to a ticked off teenager who can destroy a city in under sixty seconds.
So when one of them just sprouts claws from his hands and comes at them, he raises his gun with his brothers and he damn well shoots.
The mutant drops. Hits the ground hard, and heavier than he should have. His claws, Derek thinks, were metal - is that even possible? The girl moves to check on the clawed mutant, and Derek keeps his gun up. They all do.
The kids are stunned. Like his own would be, he thinks. Each one of them is somebody’s kid. Somebody’s precious, mutant child - except the blond one, who says it’s all a mistake, that they can work this shit out. The one who’s only realizing now what the score is.
Derek wonders what he would do, if he was faced with that choice. If one of his special and amazing kids were a mutant - what would he do?
The jumpy kid, the one with the lighter steps down from the porch, and Derek knows he doesn’t have any more time to think. Somebody’s precious mutant child is about to try something, and Derek is going to have to stop him. That’s his job.
“You know all those dangerous mutants you hear about on the news?”
Yeah, he thinks. And then he shoots.
Rogue hears the shot. She doesn’t see it because she’s checking on Logan, who still hasn’t moved. She’s waiting for a sign. Waiting for him to wake up, and find a way out of this.
Yesterday she welcomed him back to the mansion. She got to introduce him to Bobby. She was so happy to see him again. There’s something about knowing that he’s around, something important. Even when the only thing he sees is Dr. Grey.
The other X-Men are actually, technically more powerful than Logan. Though none of them are as terrifying as Magneto, or as incredible and well, terrifying as the Professor. Logically she knows that they should be even more capable of protecting the kids than Logan, but he’s the one who saved her. He’s the one whose been in her head. She knows him better than anyone. Knows that he never backs down, never gives up. That’s how she knows he’s going to wake up and get them out of there.
That’s when she hears the shot.
John is still falling when the temperature starts to drop.
The lighter slips from his limp hand, hits the ground and falls closed. A small clatter that’s all too loud. She moves to his side, staying close to the ground. Trying to be unthreatening. To say with her body that she doesn’t want to hurt anyone, she just wants to help her friend. The cops still have their guns trained on them. Rogue tries not to see them, to see only John, but she can’t banish the guns from her peripheral vision. The guns that are pointing at her. Her parents raised her to respect cops, to go to them when she needed help - every day it gets harder to remember what it was like to be able to reach out for help, and not have people turn away. Not look at her with hate.
Rogue runs her hands over his body. He’s warm, which is good, but it may be because of his powers. She’s had first aid training like the rest of them, but mutant physiology is difficult to predict. And the way Bobby is dropping the temperature, faster than he’s ever been able to, she’s worried that whatever is keeping John warm - which is good, she remembers - might not be able to keep up. She wishes, god, she wishes that for once she could give something, instead of just taking, because Logan is right there, and if she could just give John a little of his powers, everything would be ok.
There’s a lot of blood. She presses a hand to the wound, hard - pressure is important. She has to stop the bleeding. John’s body doesn’t seem to understand that because it just keeps pumping out more, all over her gloved hand, until it finally gets with the program and stops. Her glove is soaked through. With her free hand she claws the ground blindly for his lighter.
She can’t panic, she doesn’t have time for that. “John?” she asks, and hears her question echoed by Bobby. And he sounds nothing like Bobby. Nothing like she ever thought Bobby was capable of feeling - so cold. Colder than the ambient temperature that he’s still dropping, dropping so fast that frost is forming all around them. The grass, the porch - everything is quickly turning white. It doesn’t bother her - she has enough of his powers left that it’s not even uncomfortable - but it can’t be good for the bodies.
Yesterday she was welcoming Logan back, and introducing him to her boyfriend. Today, right now, she’s looking after her friends’ bodies.
“You shot John.” She doesn’t have time to look up. To look at what Bobby’s doing, what he’s planning. And part of her doesn’t care - maybe the cops deserve to be scared a little, at least, for what they’ve done.
“John?” she asks again, and this time she gets a little moan in response. “You’re awake!” He blinks open his eyes - they’re sticky like he’s been sleeping, but he opens them and gets them focused on her. “I need to keep the pressure on, but when I let go, can you stop the bleeding?” She holds up the lighter and he gets what she’s saying immediately. He nods, just the barest incline of his head, but there’s no doubt in his eyes, so she trusts him.
Bobby’s shouting now, but she can’t look up. She doesn’t hear the words - she can’t. Rogue doesn’t have time, because she and John need to stop the bleeding.
“Ok, John. On three.” He blinks his assent, too stunned, too tired maybe, to nod. “One.” She flicks open the lighter. It catches the first time. “Two.” That’s actually the first time she’s been able to do that. John should be impressed. “Three.” She moves her wet, gloved hand, replaces it with the lighter. John grabs onto that tiny flame and amplifies it. For once he doesn’t try anything big and bold, just focuses down.
“Hot as you can, John.” The tiny flame turns blue and Rogue wants to drop the lighter, but she doesn’t want to drop it on him. She doesn’t know if he can be burned or not, especially when he’s hurt. The wound turns colour, a sickening purple.
She thinks she can smell him.
“Stop!” Rogue moves the lighter away, tosses it in the grass somewhere. She can pick it up for him later, but right now she wants it away from his body. “You did good.” He lets his head drop back and hit the ground. John’s eyelids flutter closed. Delicate - nothing about John should be delicate. “You did great.”
And he did. The bleeding has stopped, but the bullet is still in there. Rogue doesn’t know when help is coming, or even if it is. Logan - she checks - is till out. He should be up by now, but he’s still out, not moving at all. And Bobby - Bobby is doing his best one-man impersonation of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, and maybe Rogue should stop her boyfriend from going to the dark side, but right now she just wants to keep John from dying in her arms. She doesn’t even like him.
So she’s not going to look where Bobby is looking - where the cops are, a voice inside her says - she’s not going to look, because there is only so much she can handle at a time, and she is going to fucking save John’s life first. Then she can think about the rest of them. At least for now they aren’t shooting.
She’s going to get the bullet out. She’s going to get it out, and wrap the wound with a makeshift bandage. Logan is going to wake up - they’re going to stop Bobby from losing his mind, and then they’re all going to run.
“John?” He doesn’t answer and she’s grateful for that. Grateful too, that by some strange miracle, John and Logan managed to get shot and fall right beside each other, because it makes this part easy. She takes hold of one of Logan’s arms - it’s not stiff yet, too early for that - draws it across his chest to John’s. She’s really glad that John is unconscious for this part.
He’s turned the world to ice.
It feels good. Right. Like he’s fulfilling some need that he didn’t know existed until just now. He’s always so careful, so conscious of how their powers could hurt normal people, and even each other. He’s not perfect - he plays stupid tricks like the rest of them, tries to impress people, but he always held back.
He’s not holding back anymore.
His ice covers the porch, the lawn and the cops who shot at John. His friends he leaves in a circle of relative warmth. Bobby doesn’t want to hurt them any more than they’ve already been hurt by the humans. He doesn’t want to hurt them ever.
The humans - he’s never made that kind of distinction before. The professor doesn’t approve of that kind of thinking, and Bobby’s always agreed with him. But when he looks into the eyes of those cops, the ones who shot his friend, he can’t help but draw a line between them and the people he cares about.
His ice covers the cops. It’s just a thin shell, really. Nothing that will cause serious damage, but they’re scared. Bobby can see it in their eyes, the only things not covered by his ice.
Behind him, Rogue works on John. She does something - cauterizes the wound? He feels the temperature spike. Hears John moan.
“If he dies,” he says. “If he dies, I will freeze your blood.” Bobby can see the terror flash in their eyes, so clear he can almost feel it, and not one part of him cares, except the small part that’s glad. That wants to see more. The ice around them gets a little thicker. He didn’t do that consciously.
He knows that he’s in trouble now. He doesn’t care. He pictures closing the ice over their eyes, cutting off their meagre oxygen supply. It would be so easy.
“Bobby stop!” Rogue. He blots out her voice. Reaches out to the ice around their bodies and feels it - he didn’t even know he could do that. He sees the knowledge in their eyes now, they know. They know that it would only take him a second. Just a thought.
Behind him, the temperature spikes again. Bobby doesn’t need to turn, to know that John is awake - he can feel exactly where his friend is. Bobby’s impressed at his control, under the circumstances, but he’s not interested in listening. He lowers the temperature, compensating.
John stops trying to argue with him. Bobby feels John’s attentions move away from him, to trying to melt the ice around the cops. He’s trying to save them. It’s funny, he thinks. Bobby’s always had to defend them to John. Now John’s trying to protect them from him.
John pushes harder, but Bobby’s much, much stronger than him. John just doesn’t have the energy to really fight him. Somehow that makes it worse, makes him angrier - that Bobby’s best friend is too weak to even argue with him.
He wants so badly, to-
Ronnie watches the creepy old guy, instead of his brother. The last thing he wants to look at is Bobby. When he goes down, Ronnie can’t stop looking at the body.
He called the cops. It was the right thing to do. His brother is a mutant, and it was the right thing to do. He stares at the body in his front yard. Keeps on staring when more shots ring out. He registers, distantly that Bobby’s friends are on the ground but he keeps his eyes fixed on the old guy with the claws.
Finally, his mother gasps - takes this agonized breath, like it’s the last one she’ll ever get. Her hand moves, wild, to her mouth. Covering her lips. He doesn’t hear what she whispers.
His front yard is ice, like someone up-ended a snowglobe. It was green the last time he looked. His brother - Bobby - did this.
Ronnie looks away, back to the body. It’s still there, still exactly where it was when his eyes left it - until it shakes. The body twitches. Moves, jerkily, but it definitely moves - until the creepy old guy gets up and walks up to his brother. Puts his hand - absent visible claws - on his brother’s shoulder. Bobby doesn’t react right away. Then he relaxes, turns to the old guy, and beyond to his friends lying on the ground.
Finally the ice starts to melt. Ronnie thinks he might need to change his pants.
There’s part of him that thinks it’s some kind of cosmic judgement. He finally tells his family that he’s a mutant and they call the cops on him. He acts like a dick on his first meeting with Logan, and the guy gets shot, and then has to stop Bobby from doing something terrible. He’s grateful, really. So damn grateful that Logan was there. It almost kills him to admit it, he’s been resenting the man for so long.
And John - his friend. His best friend. He thinks about John, and-
Bobby cuts off that line of thought.
It’s only Bobby’s selfishness that lets him think it has anything to do with him. His brother called the cops because he’s ignorant and scared. His parents too. Bobby keeps telling himself this. It’s what he thinks the professor would say. He tells himself that Logan getting shot is just Logan - he’s the kind of guy who runs into the line of fire, even when there’s no one to push out of the way. That’s what Rogue loves about him.
He tells himself that he would have lost it just the same, if any of his friends had been shot. If Rogue had been shot. No difference. He tells himself that John getting shot had nothing to do with the things inside Bobby’s head.
He stares out the window of the blackbird, and tells himself this over and over. Beside him, Rogue sits with her arms folded across her chest. There’s at least two inches of space between. It’s not that she doesn’t want to support him, or that she can’t. But it’s like ever since he really let go, there’s this wall of ice between him and everyone else. He couldn’t help but flinch when she reached for his hand. He was happy when she turned back to Logan.
He’s wanted to touch her for so long. He’s wanted her, wants her even now, but he can’t stand the thought of even her gloved hand touching him, and he doesn’t know how to tell her in a way that doesn’t sound crazy. Assuming that she doesn’t already think he’s crazy. He gave her enough reason to.
It’s just that he can’t stop remembering - what it did to him, seeing John hurt - and wondering, if there really would be no difference if it had been someone else. He can’t stop wondering if maybe, he did something wrong. In addition to losing his temper, and using his powers to hurt people - and god, it hits him again. This knot of shame, and anger, still so much anger at them, at himself, even at John, that keeps grinding inside of him, like it could just rip him apart. He wishes he could be like before, made of ice - everything was so clear and easy - but he knows he deserves to feel this way.
"Bobby." He looks away from the window. Dr. Grey stands over him. She looks tired, he thinks. "He’s going to be ok."
He isn’t sure how to feel. Beside him, Rogue is silent - she’s fallen asleep.
"We’ll talk later," she says, somehow making it sound like a threat. "For now, just get some rest." Bobby’s tired enough that sleep shouldn’t be a problem. That doesn’t keep him from worrying about the dreams.
John doesn’t remember being shot. He remembers threatening the cops after they shot Logan. He remembers after, when Rogue saved his life. That memory is kind of fuzzy, because he was in and out of consciousness. What he remembers most clearly is Bobby.
Bobby completely freaking out. Icing up the cops and fighting with John, when he tried to stop his friend from hurting them. John doesn’t know what to do with that memory. In it’s own way it’s more troubling than the blankness around the shooting. Dr. Grey says that memory loss is a normal and natural response to trauma. But Bobby is never deliberately cruel. He’s too much like Mr. Summers that way. He has his jackass moments like everyone but he isn’t-
He isn’t a killer. Not like John is, or like he could be.
That’s why Bobby is so important.
What scares John is that Bobby cares so much, and that he’s got all this stuff going on inside that he never shows John, or Rogue, or anyone, as far as he knows. He didn’t listen to them when they asked him to stop - he didn’t have to. John felt him, really felt Bobby for the first time, and knows just how much power he’s hiding. How much Bobby doesn’t want to hide it.
He only stopped when he was done with them.
Dr. Grey says the cops should be fine, just some minor ice burns. One case of mild hypothermia. John would have done worse. He had in fact been planning to do worse.
What scares John, is wondering what will happen next time someone gets hurt. Wondering what else Bobby has hiding inside of him.
What scares him most, is how much he wants to find out.