Over the next week I learn to love my new arrangement. It's win win for everyone really. I don't lose a boyfriend or a best friend. Scott doesn't lose a girlfriend. The X-Men don't lose a member. John doesn't lose a friend. Everybody wins! Maybe carrying on with keeping this a secret was a good idea!
"I told you it would be!" John's thoughts cut into my mind.
"Hey!" I protest. He's really gotta stop snooping in my head!
"Relax, sweetcheeks." I sense his growing smile. "You coming out or what?"
"I'll be right there, just spending some time with Scott." I reply happily.
"Evelyn, you do realize he's asleep, right?" His sarcasm is obvious.
"Sometimes it's just nice to watch him sleep." I sigh, looking down at the testing boy beside me, his glasses askew. "He looks so peaceful, you know?"
"Ugh. Soppy romance!" John complains. "I thought you were fun?"
"I am!" I reply quickly. "Being with Scott is fun."
"So is spending time with me! Hurry up!" His thoughts remind me of a whining child.
"I'm on my way. Calm down!" I slip out of bed and into some comfortable jeans and a basic t-shirt. "Why do you want me there so quickly anyway?"
"Tonight you finally claim your prize!" Oh, I'd completely forgotten about that. "Tonight I tell you our plan!"
I soon reach the park, intrigued as to what he has to tell me. I see a small spark behind a tree and rush over.
"John, I can't-" I stop in my tracks when I see Voltage leant up against a tree trunk behind him. I switch to use our connection. "What's she doing here?"
"She's part of the plan, you know that." He replies mindlessly.
"So, I'm assuming your X-Men never figured out how I escaped." She walks towards me slowly. "I always knew that boyfriend of yours wasn't the sharpest tool in the box."
"Shut up, Jasmine!" I growl.
"Don't call me that!" She lunges forward to grab me, but John quickly steps in, standing between us. I ignite my right hand. If that bitch attacks, I'm ready.
"Come on." He says simply. "I mean, I enjoy a girl fight as much as the next guy, but now is not the time!"
"Keep her away from me!" I order telepathically.
"She's like a sister to me, Evelyn. Why can't you two just get along?" I hear the small amount of pain in his thoughts that he so desperately tries to hide.
"Well, she did push me out of a window."
"The sooner we talk about everything, the sooner you can get away from her, yeah?" He pushes.
"Fine." I speak aloud.
"Just tell her, John! I don't want to be around her longer than I have to be." She steps back slightly and crosses her arms like a moody school kid.
"The feeling's mutual." I mumble.
"Okay so, this plan, yeah?" He turns all of his attention to me.
"Yeah?" I start to get impatient now.
"Basically, these small attacks me and Voltage have performed have been a direct way of saying 'mutants are here whether you want us or not', right?" He explains quickly.
"Right..." I reply cautiously.
"They've just been part of the build-up." He takes my hand and leads me other to a fallen tree trunk where he sits us down. Voltage follows mumbling something unintelligible about lighters and red hair.
"A build up to what?" John's words have peaked my interest now.
"State leaders from all over the US are meeting up to discuss the mutant issue in two weeks’ time, I'm sure you've heard."
"Yeah?" I push to know more. Where's he going with this?
"If that meeting goes ahead you know they'll have us all in chains, right? So we decided - if they want monsters, we'll give them monsters!"
"You're going to attack them?" My voice is quiet.
"No. We are." His smile grows.
"What?" He can't be serious.
"It's the only way they'll take notice." The pride doesn't leave his voice.
"No. It's not." I feel my frustration grow. "You're destroying everything the X-Men stand for!"
"You really think the whole 'superhero' thing is working? Watch the news, sweetcheeks. Everyone is saying the only reason you guys can get rid of any of these problems, is because you started them!"
"No. It's not like that!" I protest, pulling back from him.
"Oh, really?" I stand quickly. "I don't recall your best friend reacting so sweetly when she found out about you."
"She was just scared. That's sort of understandable!"
"No. She thought you were a monster. Everyone who sees your pretty uniforms thinks you're monsters." He stands up and takes a step towards me; I counter it with a step back.
"No! Stop trying to justify this stupid idea!" I snap.
"They won't take us seriously if we don't-"
"Shut up!" I yell, my hands bursting into flames.
"Calm down, Evelyn. What the hell is going on with you?" He reaches out towards me and I quickly step back. "I thought you wanted to be bad?"
"Attaching a building full of innocent people isn't bad - it's murder!" I feel the flames burn higher up my arm.
"Innocent?! You've gotta be kidding me!" He holds his hands out, manipulating the fire from my grasp. I quickly stop the burning, the fire fizzling from existence between us. Without the crackling of the flames, the silence is eerie.
"I can't do this anymore." My voice is monotone, void of all emotion. "You're not who I thought you were."
"You lost the right to use my real name the day you assumed I would murder people for you." I quickly switch to speak telepathically as I walk away. "Goodbye, Pyro."
"No! Wait!" He quickly catches up with me, but I keep walking.
"What's wrong, John? She not man enough?" Voltage's smug tone speaks up. I send a large ball of raging fire towards the tree she is leant against, she squeals and jumps away, narrowly dodging it.
"Ardor," I notice the flames leave the burning tree, as John retrieves them. "You can't go! Please!"
"I hate you, John." Is my only reply.
"Please!" He repeats. "You don't understand. We need you! I need you!"
"So do the X-Men. And I will always choose them over you." I state strongly. "Don't follow me. Never contact me again."
"But I love you!" I stop walking when he says the words but do not turn to face him.
"You are less than nothing to me now, John Allerdyce."