"Voltage?" My surprise is clear.
"I know! Weird, huh?" Jean replies.
"You have no idea."
"What do you mean?" She furrows her brow.
"Voltage is on my team." I whisper. I don't want the boys knowing this.
"What?! You're the other team? How? When?" She bombards me with questions.
"I guess. I don't know. It just happened. Pyro asked me to-"
"Pyro? Oh no. After everything, you went back to him? Is that why Cyclops is so uptight now?" Her words make me feel even more ashamed than ever.
"I had no one else." My voice is low and weak. "And yes, most likely."
"Oh, Ardor! You're kidding me, right?"
"No, it wasn't like that!" I protest.
"So, you haven't slept with Pyro?" I don't answer. "Ardor!"
"I didn't mean to. I was heartbroken and-"
"And Cyclops wasn't?" She cuts in, in a harsh whisper.
"I never meant for this to happen. I never wanted Pyro. It was always Cyclops. Always." I feel the lump form in my throat. No. Not now. Not here.
"I want him to forgive you, Ardor. I hate seeing him like this. But there's nothing I can do. And what you're doing with Pyro, that's not going to help." I begin to feel even more ashamed.
"I know, I-"
"Evelyn!" John's voice is in my mind.
"What is it?" I can sense his panic.
"We have a problem."
"Hey! Are you talking to him right now?" Jean sounds insulted.
"I have to go. I'm sorry." I head off back into the crowd quickly.
"What's the problem, John?" I stop when I see him about twenty feet away, being restrained by two cops. Our eyes meet.
"This." He replies bluntly.
"How the hell-"
"Stay hidden." He orders. "I need you to help me out here!"
"Get off me!" He yells, trying to pull free.
"Where's Voltage?" I ask. He flicks his head to the left subtly to direct my attention, without alerting the cops. I follow his eyeline across the street just in time to see Voltage send her elbow straight into the face of a young man in a cop uniform.
"Great." I think sarcastically. "What do you need me to do?"
"I don't need you, just your fire."
"Fine." I reply. "I'll go then."
"Evelyn." He warns.
"No, I know about the bomb, John." I snap.
"Yes, now. How could you hide that from me? What happened to the plan?" I thought we agreed. He went behind my back!
"Okay, okay. I'm sorry!" His desperation starts to show through. "Just help me out and I'll tell you everything. I promise."
"I'm just a lighter to you, John."
"No, I-" I hear a loud 'oof' as John kicks out at one of the cops. "I need you, Evelyn. I need you."
"Whatever." I notice him smile when I use the word that he has so often used against me. I decrease the distance between us and drop my eyes to my right hand to indicate where I will create the fire. Once I am close enough, I click my fingers, creating a subtle flame next to my thigh.
"Thanks, sweetcheeks." He winks at me and the flames shoot out towards him, taking me by surprise. Well, that's definitely a sexier way to do it than flailing your arms around! The fire splits in two, each ball of flames consuming the hands of each cop. John stumbles free from them and jogs up to me.
"Thanks for that." He whispers, before suddenly kissing me strongly. I pull back.
"What was tha-" A high pitched scream cuts me off. We turn and see Voltage striding towards us with a smug smile on her face. Behind her, the cop that was trying to hold her lies on the floor convulsing, a young woman knelt beside him, hysterical.
"Did you really need to electrocute the guy?" I raise my eyebrows at her.
"I did warn him." She smirks.
"We need to get out of here." John states, Voltage and I nod in return. We push our way quickly through the panicking crowds, sirens singing behind us.
Soon, we end up in a dark back alley. It's empty, thankfully, and we most likely will not be disturbed.
"So, when were you going to tell me there was a bomb, Pyro?" I demand.
"How did you find out about that?" He sounds irritated, which infuriates me even more.
"I was talking to-"
"I told her." Voltage cuts in. I nod.
"Exactly." I agree.
"I was going to tell you when it was appropriate." He turns his back to me and leans against the wall, his frustration evident.
"I thought we agreed we weren't going to kill them?" I yell.
"I've been in your mind, Ardor." He returns to face me. "I saw what that guy did to the X-Men the first day you met them. Do you really want that for all of us?"
"No, but that won't happen." I argue.
"It will! We're just weapons and circus freaks to them!" He steps closer to me. "Do you think I want to see them hurt you? To see them pull you apart in the name of science?"
"It won't be that way." I whisper, sensing his care for me.
"It will! That's why we need to show them we're not to be messed with." I feel him tense up and touch his fist gently to calm him.
"Please, stop this." I beg. "For me."
"No." He turns his face away.
"John," I whisper, guiding his face back to my own. "Please. This isn't right."
"But this is the only way." He protests, trying to avoid my eyes. I sigh.
"Okay, I'll make you a deal." I start. "If you stop this, I'll forgive you for everything. I'll give up on Scott, and you and I can leave here. We can go anywhere you want. I'll be yours for as long as you want me."
"Only if you stop this now." I confirm.
"I can't." He confesses.
"What?" No! He's gotta be kidding?!
"The bomb can't be stopped now." He whispers, as if he's ashamed of his actions.
"But you said it was a simple, generic, bad-movie bomb!" Voltage cuts in.
"So, you're telling me there's nothing we can do?" I try to keep the confidence in my tone.
"I'm telling you that now the bomb is set, we can't stop it. We just need to get everyone out, now."