mayachain: (x-men)
[personal profile] mayachain
Title: How to reintegrate into society in about forty weeks (part 4/6)
Pairing: Bobby/St John
Rating: PG
Summary: Half a year ago, St John Allerdyce escaped from his prison in the Xavier Mansion's cellar. He is one reluctant mutant teacher.
Notes: Timestamp to How to escape from prison in 210 days.
Thanks to [ profile] evilsincarnate for looking it over for me!

Six Months

It lies not in our power to love or hate,
For will in us is overruled by fate.
When two are stripped, long ere the course begin,
We wish that one should lose, the other win;
And one especially do we affect
Of two gold ingots, like in each respect:
The reason no man knows; let it suffice
What we behold is censured by our eyes.
Where both deliberate, the love is slight:
Who ever loved, that loved not at first sight?

“Who Ever Loved, That Loved Not At First Sight?” by Christopher Marlowe

St John has avoided this ever since he started out, has put off entering the library to take a good look at Professor X's books since Bobby said he was allowed. If Pete hadn't bodily dragged him into the dark-lit room, he doubts he would have entered it now.

It will take weeks to get a full overview of the potential stored on these shelves, although St John exiles the entire Shakespeare collection on principle, first thing. He remembers the awe the room inspired before it turned into resentment, cannot help but be honestly impressed, now.

He basically spent six months imprisoned with dead poets as his only company. Once everything calmed down, it felt natural to bring up the texts he had learned by heart, starting with citing Lord Brooke Fulke Greville at Sid's funeral. He had been both bemused and pleasantly surprised by the group of about seven children that had gravitated toward him, eager to escape recent memories and to discuss and share their thoughts.

“You should think about a grade system,” Kitty urges him again and again, a standard that can turn the meetings into a real class, but St John refuses to do that. These children have had enough adults hammering in their heads with views that were best for them, and he won't judge beyond their willingness to learn, won't let meaningless numbers curb in their passion. Luckily and perhaps more surprisingly than it should be, not only has his decision got Bobby's reluctant backing, but Pete's as well.

Moving along the rows of books, St John takes note of the authors he recognizes, resolves to go back to the ones he doesn't. He sneezes once or twice, ignores fingers gray from dust and is unprepared when his exploration of the shelves goes further than Xavier would ever have let him go, thoroughly unprepared to uncover several thick volumes with the inscription Eric Lensherr in them.

“It's all upstairs,” Bobby had told him the very day he took him prisoner. Somewhere in a remote corner of the Mansion's attic, there are four boxes holding sixteen-year-old Pyro's possessions. St John doesn't want any of it back, is not even interested in taking a quick look. But the thought that they are there, that it has been seven years, that they were kept even when Bobby moved out of their once-shared room... It means something, meant something even when Pyro ignored Bobby throughout his imprisonment, even if St John still hasn't found the words for all that meaning entailed.

It never occurred to him that Professor Xavier, a man more than capable of keeping track of everything that went on under his roof, must have let Bobby do with Pyro's things whatever he wanted, must have encouraged him because once, eons ago, he had done the same.

He stays on the carpeted floor for the rest of the afternoon, staring at the hand-written, familiar curves of the name. He doesn't react when the door finally opens, doesn't acknowledge the footsteps that come up behind him. When Bobby crouches down in a tailor's seat, he angles Ernest Rhys' Marlowe collection to the side and waits. “Top of your reading list,” Bobby says, and St John's shoulders relax a fraction.


* * *

Nine Months
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