I'm in the park in the dead of night. It's cold and it's lonely and I feel like I should be worried, scared even... But I'm not. I'm fuelled by anger. Anger at myself, for not fighting my power crazed thoughts more efficiently. Anger at my teammates, for not trusting me and thinking that I'd actually do that to Warren on purpose. Anger at Scott, for being so damn perfect that I can't stay mad at him for longer than five minutes when he's nearby. But mostly, anger at John. He's the one who started this whole mess. If it wasn't for him creating that fire, I wouldn't have had to absorb it, and I wouldn't have gone power mad and almost killed one of my best friends.
"I was beginning to think you wouldn't show." I turn quickly at the sound of the thick Australian tone.
"What would make you think that?" I smile at him and try to act like I don't want to burn his face off right now.
"Well, that boyfriend of yours was pretty protective. I didn't think he'd let you out to meet a strange boy in the middle of a dark night." He steps closer to me and I resist the urge to back away.
"He doesn't know I'm here." I lie. Scott has been checking up on me telepathically at regular intervals since I left the mansion.
"So..." He flicks his small, metallic lighter between his fingers. "What do you want to know?"
"I want to know why you set that street alight today." I try to keep my tone casual and friendly, but it is noticeably laced with anger.
"Call it a..." He pauses, thinking of the correct phrase. "Non-peaceful protest."
"Why? You could've killed people, Pyro." I try to stay calm. I use his alias in case we are being watched. I wear my full uniform, including my eye mask, to hide my identity. Whereas, the only mask John possesses is the darkness, that casts shadows across his face, to obscure his appearance.
"The humans," He waves his hand casually. "They will want to cage us like animals, experiment on us. I was just demonstrating that we refused to be pushed around."
"You hurt innocent people!" I am struggling to contain my frustration now.
"What do you think they would do to us if they found us, Ardor? Offer us cake and have a nice chat?" I can tell that he is slightly insulted by my comment.
"You're right." I sigh, keeping up my facade. "What do you propose we do next?"
"I can't tell you that yet." He states bluntly. "But I can tell you that if you and I work together, we're unstoppable."
That's it! There's no way I'm listening to this bullshit! I don't want to work with him. I swing my head, igniting my hair, which causes a smile to cross John's face. The smile quickly disappears when he notices the flames leap towards his leg. He screeches in pain, stumbling backwards, and trips, falling to the ground. Well, at least I've cleared that up - you can burn a pyrokinetic.
"What the hell was that for?!" He hisses, clutching his injured shin.
"Do you have any idea what you did today?!" I growl, the flames in my hair burning brighter and brighter. "I almost killed one of my best friends because of you!"
"What? I don't know what you're talking about!" He shuffles backwards on the floor; his fear is more than evident. "Please!"
"So you're a criminal and a coward!" I hiss, flicking my hands open at my sides and letting the flames dance in my palms.
"I just created the fire! What are you flipping out about?" He touches his burnt leg lightly and winces.
"Do you know how difficult it is to control your thoughts when you have that much power?" My tone is slightly softer now, but the anger is still evident. "I absorbed those flames to save the innocent people you were trying to murder, and I-"
"You couldn't control it?" He finishes.
"Exactly. And now my friends don't trust me. I'm all alone, because of what you did!" The flames climb in my hands.
"Please, Ardor, I'm- Argh!" He struggles to his feet, putting painful pressure on his injured leg. "I'm sorry. You were just in the wrong place at the wrong time."
Wrong place, wrong time? Is he kidding? I feel my muscles tense with my heightened emotions.
"I know why you came here." He says suddenly, taking me by complete surprise.
"What?" My eyes lock with his.
"Don't tell me you haven't felt it." He steps closer, and I respond by staying transfixed in our eye contact. "You know we have a connection."
"I know." I whisper the confession.
"We're connected telepathically. I know you've come here to take me back to your team - what do you call them? ‘X-Men’? But I also know you've come here for personal reasons." He dips his head slightly and continues his words, this time with the assistance of telepathy. "Obviously, you hurting your friend is a big thing, but there's something else, isn't there? You know that I'm the only one who understands you. Your perfect, good-boy boyfriend can only relate to you so much. He doesn't feel the way we feel. The way the fire makes us feel. He has no idea why sometimes you act irrationally - I do. You know this. That's why you're here."
"Yes," I admit, speaking out loud, not wanting John in my head any longer than is necessary.
"So, here's the deal," his voice speaks up in my mind again, his eyes not straying from mine. "If you hand me over to your team, this ends now. If you let me go, we can figure out this connection. And you'll still have someone who understands you wholly."
As I lose myself in our telepathy, I can't help but focus on his eyes. It's strange how something so small can mean so much. I've never been able to look into Scott's eyes. I can't. Being with John is so easy. I hate him, of course, but he's so addictive - so simple.
"Fine. Get out of here, now!" I command, questioning my choice as soon as John turns on his non-injured leg and limps off into the darkness.
"Scott?" I focus my thoughts on the telepathic bridge Jean built before we left. "He got away."
"Are you kidding me? How?" His voice sounds more than irritated in my mind.
"I just lost concentration for a second." The telepathic bridge is no way near as clear as the contact me and John just had. It feels so unnatural and awkward - I have to keep my mind on one thought for so long!
"We'll get him soon, Evelyn. I promise. " He sounds sincere and determined.
That's the thing, I think to myself, not focusing enough for Scott to hear, I don't want you to...