I stare intently at the target propped up against the wall of the training room, around fifty meters away from me. I conjure up pictures in my mind of Scott in trouble, in pain. It's not difficult; I've seen him in so many negative situations recently. I think of my actions on Tuesday, my rampage, Warren. Warren. I shudder at the thought of my actions, but allow the strong guilt to rise to the foreground of my mind. This is what I need. I feel my heart begin to beat faster and faster, telling me that my emotions are burning undeniably strongly. This is it! I fling my right hand towards the target and... Nothing. I flick my fingers about in an almost comical manner, but still, nothing. I sigh. Damn it!
I must've have been in here for at least an hour now. I have been trying to create fire without the use of my hair, like I did when I freed myself from the rope restraints in the surveillance room. But nothing has worked.
I take a deep breath and adopt a strong stance before trying again. I run through the emotions in my mind. Loss - leaving my old life behind. Relief - Scott is finally okay. Guilt - my actions on Tuesday. Frustration - Jean thought it was okay to kiss my boyfriend. Rage - that man tried to use and kill Scott. Passion - I cannot keep my mind off how much I want him. And finally, the strongest of my emotions - love. Not only for Scott, by for my mother, for Sara and my other close friends, and now, maybe even a small amount for my fellow X-Men. We've been through a lot together; it's difficult not to get immediately attached.
I channel all of these emotions to the forefront of my brain, this time deciding to close my eyes instead of keeping them locked of the target. I feel my heart rate rise again, the beats pounding in my ears. Now!
My eyes flick open and I thrust my hand forwards, more forcefully now. Damn! Nothing again!
"Argh!" I scream in frustration, clenching my fists and lighting my hair, searching for something to take my anger out on.
"You look kind of hot headed today, Ardor." I turn my attention to the doorway, where Bobby leans against the door frame smirking. The frustration immediately begins to fall away. I can't be angry around Bobby! I take a few deep breaths and the heat around my face fades away.
"Ha ha. Good pun, Iceman." I say his name in an overly mocking tone.
"Whatcha doing?" He moves into the room.
"Training." I say mindlessly, turning my attention back to the target in front of me.
"I can see that. What's wrong?" He comes closer but stops about two meters away. Is he still scared of me?
"Bobby," I take a step towards him and notice him pull back slightly, barely noticeably. He is still scared of me! "After the other day... I guess I thought we were okay?"
"We are! I mean, we always have been but... Ummm..." He sighs. "After seeing you so vulnerable in the hospital, I questioned the way I thought about you. Was it right to scared of someone so fragile?"
"Is that an insult?" I raise my eyebrows. Fragile? Seriously?
"No! God, no! I just mean, I thought I'd realized that I didn't need to be afraid of you. But that was before I remembered what you can do... I guess what I'm trying to say is... Well, I think I'm ready to be close to you as Evelyn, but not as Ardor."
"What does that mean?" I feel my lips moves into a confused pout. Aren't Evelyn and Ardor the same person?
"Like..." His eyes trail upwards searching for the words in his head. "Like, when you're just Evelyn, just hanging around the institute as my school mate and friend, I don't think I'll ever see you as a threat again. But when you're Ardor... When we're training, when we're out on missions; I still don't think I'm ready for that."
I nod. "I guess it's a step in the right direction. Thanks for giving me a chance, Bobby."
"Thanks for not thinking I'm a complete dick, Evelyn." We both laugh. "Anyway, what are you trying to do? Maybe I can help?"
"Oh! Training! Yeah." I suddenly remember why I am in this room. "When I was tied up, after I went to find Scott, I managed to ignite my hands without the use of my hair. And I haven't been able to do it since." I can hear the embarrassment in my voice. I should be able to know and use my powers correctly.
"I can help you with that, actually." Bobby sounds shy, I guess it's because this is training. I'm now technically the Ardor personality that Bobby fears.
"Seriously?" I try to make my wide grin as friendly as possible. He relaxes slightly.
"Yeah," he still sounds tense, however. "I used to have a similar problem."
"Really?" I try to soften my expression more. Damn clashing mutations!
"Ummm... Yeah. When I first discovered that I was a mutant, I couldn't use my powers with encasing my entire body in ice." Suddenly, his skin becomes cover with a thin overlay of ice. "Like this."
"Woah!" I move forward at the command of my curiosity, but stop myself when I remember Bobby's previous confession. I just need to give him time. "That's amazing."
He shrugs and the ice disappears. "But after a month or so, I had trained myself to work with it and control it."
"How?" I am more than noticeably eager.
"Copy me," he commands, standing parallel to me, at a ninety degree angle from the target. He pushes his right arm out towards the target. I copy quickly. "Now visualize your ability."
"Imagine the flames traveling from your hair. Imagine them flowing through your blood stream, trailing down your arm." I pull a face. This is all a bit weird.
I close my eyes. Okay. Traveling from my hair. Hmmm. I first try to picture the flames in my body, feel them behind my eyes. Once the picture is strong enough, I begin to attempt to move the fire. Flowing through my blood. Okay. I feel the warmth spread down my face to my neck. It's working! Trailing down your arms. Almost there. I edge the flames in my mind closer to my waiting fingers until they reach their destination.
Now, I take a breath. This is it. This could work. One. I imagine the flames pushing against my fingertips, trying to escape. Two. I retract my hand slightly. Three. I thrust it forward and will for the flames to burst out, and, to my surprise, they do! I did it! I watch the fire as it speeds across the room and ignites the target. I squeal with excitement, before focusing my mind to pull the flames back to me, so they don’t burn up the whole institute.
"Bobby! You did it!" I cannot suppress my grin as I turn to the boy beside me. "I can't thank you enough!"
"You did it, Evelyn, not me." He laughs. "You don't need to thank me; I've been a bit of a dick to you."
"No, you haven't." I smile gently, resisting the strong urge to give him a hug. "I understand why you don't feel comfortable with my mutation. And I'm really grateful for what you just taught me."
He shrugs. "Anytime. Keep practicing and you'll be able to do it even quicker."
I can't help but feel a bit stupid. I'm getting lessons from a boy at least two years younger than me. But above that, I'm undeniably impressed - this boy is amazing!
"Thanks again, Bobby. You wanna go raid the kitchen?" I wink at him. He laughs.
"Sounds like fun!"
"Evelyn!" Scott bursts through the door. "Why aren't you in bed resting?"
"I wanted to train. I was bored stuck in there alone." I shrug casually and walk towards him. "Bobby's been helping me with controlling my powers."
"Jesus, Evelyn! Do you have any idea how worried I was?" His body is noticeably tense; he's pretty annoyed with me. Sometimes I wish he wasn't so damn over protective.
"Relax, Scott. I'm fine." I run my index finger across his strong jawline as I pass him and exit the room. "Bye, Bobby!" I call back cheerfully, and hear the boy's sweet laughter in return. I think he might agree with my thought of Scott being too protective!
**Oh my gosh! Chapter 50! I’ve never managed to write this much ever before! I guess I’m just way too in love with Scott to get bored of this story. xD Thanks for reading! Let me know what you think. :)**