prodigalflame: (Default)
[personal profile] prodigalflame
The roommate search wasn't completely awful. There were two possibles John thought he could bear to live with, and two others who were so inoffensively bland as to be offensive.

Emily was a bubbly little thing, all blond tips and cheeky giggle; and Tim was tall, pleasant, with a strong handshake and just the hint of a knowing smirk. Either of them could do, would do; neither had clued into his cheesy 'X marks the spot to your new place' in-joke he'd put on the poster, with a very distinctive X-symbol. And well, that just meant some more hiding, another day spent under the radar and with his head down - and John had never done particularly well at 'low key.'

So he'd fobbed the both of them off for another few days and lo, some 'Drake' had texted him. Hence why John was plumping couch cushions in the middle of the afternoon, with dishes clean and stacked, pizza boxes all in the recycling and his notes and marking neatly organised on the coffee table - people wanted to live with model students, didn't they?

"What else, what else...?" he muttered to himself, looking around the place. Porn was stashed, bathroom cleaned, laundry stuffed in the hamper: everything as tidy as it got with him. Which wasn't half-bad, these days.

Date: 2014-11-14 11:55 am (UTC)
cold_blueeyes: (boy next door)
From: [personal profile] cold_blueeyes
Well, getting here hadn't been too difficult, that was one note in its favor, already. Bobby checked the text on his phone to make sure he had the right address, then headed up the walk to the front door. The place looked nice enough, and the street seemed quiet. Now he just had to meet the owner.

He knocked at the door, looking around at the surrounding houses, then a few moments later, knocked a second time before shoving his hands into his pockets and getting a smile ready as he heard movement on the other side.

Date: 2014-11-14 12:17 pm (UTC)
cold_blueeyes: (surprise)
From: [personal profile] cold_blueeyes
The 'nice to meet you smile' froze on Bobby's face for a moment and then faded away, replaced by shock. "...John?" he said softly, feeling like he suddenly couldn't get his lungs to work properly. Something was keeping him from breathing properly, making him light-headed. "Uh. I. I guess, yeah." He hadn't seen John in years, and that cocky, angry man he'd battled with seemed nearly gone when he looked at his old...friend-turned-enemy-turned-potential-landlord? This day had just gotten incredibly weird. "I mean. I'm here," he added, as if he felt the need to justify his affirmative.

Still reeling from the surprise of running into John again, his brain couldn't parse the other part of what he said. "180?" he repeated, confused.

Date: 2014-11-14 12:38 pm (UTC)
cold_blueeyes: (Default)
From: [personal profile] cold_blueeyes
Bobby did indeed close the front door, a mechanical action that fortunately didn't really require a coherent thought. He followed John silently, glancing into each room as John pointed them out, but for the most part he couldn't take his eyes off of John. How was he here, in London, in this little house, instead of...in a cell, or--or--he didn't even know what. Maybe he should have kept better tabs over the years, but it had been a painful subject, and those that would know to mention it knew better than to mention his name.

"Oh, right. Yeah, I--I just know what everyone knows," he murmured, then frowned. "Did he--the Professor contacted you, too, right?" Xavier would have wanted everyone to know, including former students that had ran off to be come mutant supremacist terrorists.

Date: 2014-11-14 01:03 pm (UTC)
cold_blueeyes: (so pretty)
From: [personal profile] cold_blueeyes
"Oh. I don't...really talk to them very often," Bobby admitted, feeling a flush of shame as he said it. He should talk to them, he knew, but he was trying to move forward. To find a place in the world that didn't involve being a hero. He hadn't been able to hack it, and it wasn't something he was proud of. He wondered if Kitty had said anything to John about all of that. He didn't think she would, but then again, he didn't think she and John were talking, either.

He leaned on the side of the doorway, eyebrows arching in surprise as John showed off the kitchen. "This is all awfully domestic," he remarked. Somehow he couldn't quite match up his memories of John with everything he was seeing. It didn't compute, nearly as much as John being here didn't compute.

Date: 2014-11-14 01:20 pm (UTC)
cold_blueeyes: (accountant)
From: [personal profile] cold_blueeyes
Bobby straightened and walked into the kitchen cautiously, his eyes moving to the lighter as it was set on the counter. It wasn't the familiar old one John had always carried at school, but it wasn't the fancy wrist igniters he'd had at Alcatraz, either. It was simple, unadorned. Again, not what he would have expected.

He reached for the other beer and removed the top, pausing for a moment as he realized he didn't have to hide what he was here. A faint smile curled his lips as the glass frosted over in his hand, then faded away again as he looked at John. The only question he could think to ask was the one that had been running through his head from the moment the door had opened. "How are you here?"

Date: 2014-11-15 02:13 pm (UTC)
cold_blueeyes: (Default)
From: [personal profile] cold_blueeyes
Prison, Bobby had known about. The rest of it--that was all news. "They gave you the cure?" he said, mouth twisting in subconscious distaste at the word. The very idea that they needed to be cured was bad enough, but the thought of John getting it involuntarily, of having that part of him taken away against his will...

John had done some bad things. Things Bobby didn't approve of, and would have a hard time forgiving. But that--that was a step too far. "Wow. I didn't know. I'm sorry." He couldn't look at John suddenly, and his gaze darted around the room, finally coming to rest on the fridge door. "...I guess that makes it your turn for a question," he added with a small half-smile.

Date: 2014-11-16 01:46 pm (UTC)
cold_blueeyes: (surprise)
From: [personal profile] cold_blueeyes
"That sucks," Bobby said simply, because he wasn't sure what else he could say to something like that.

At John's question, Bobby froze for a moment, then slowly lifted his drink to his lips, still staring at the refrigerator. "I don't know what to tell you, man. It was chaotic that night. We were all trying to evacuate as many people as possible, so. Someone must have thought you were worth saving." He shrugged and took another swallow.

Date: 2014-11-16 02:28 pm (UTC)
cold_blueeyes: (straight shooter)
From: [personal profile] cold_blueeyes
Bobby sighed quietly in relief and followed as the tour resumed. He listened as John pointed out amenities and then shrugged at his first question. He couldn't think of any specifics he really wanted to hear about at the moment. What he'd already heard had disturbed him quite enough for one day, thanks.

The second question made him snort quietly. "If I wanted that, I wouldn't have followed you into the house, Allerdyce." Now that some of the initial shock had worn off, he actually thought it might be nice living here, getting a chance to reconnect with John, healing some of the wounds of the past--on both sides, maybe.

Date: 2014-11-16 02:46 pm (UTC)
cold_blueeyes: (straight shooter)
From: [personal profile] cold_blueeyes
Bobby heaved a heavy sigh and started up the stairs. "When I went to college, before the whole "No one knows about mutants" thing, I wanted to be anonymous. Fresh start, you know?" John should understand that part, at least. "So I changed my name. To Drake Roberts. I guess I can change it back now, huh?"

Date: 2014-11-16 02:58 pm (UTC)
cold_blueeyes: (Default)
From: [personal profile] cold_blueeyes
"John Anderson? Talk about anonymous. Why didn't you just go with John Smith, really take that generic name thing to the max?" Bobby asked as he reached the top of the stairs and turned as instructed, looking around at what may well be his new home.

Date: 2014-11-27 11:01 am (UTC)
cold_blueeyes: (Default)
From: [personal profile] cold_blueeyes
When John came up behind him and stayed there, close, so close, Bobby stiffened. He was already overwhelmed, trying to process everything he'd already been told today, along with the very fact that he was here in John's house and seriously considering renting a room from him, and the sudden awareness of the warmth of John's body (had he always been that warm? Was it an aspect of his mutation? Or was Bobby just imagining it all?) close enough that a half-step back would have them touching--it was more than he was ready to deal with, just yet. So he went stiff under John's touch, nodding woodenly along with whatever John was saying. "Great." He took a slow breath. "Let's see it."

Date: 2014-11-30 11:21 am (UTC)
cold_blueeyes: (accountant)
From: [personal profile] cold_blueeyes
Bobby didn't feel cold. It was a part of his mutation. But when John pulled away, he felt the loss as a chill that nearly made him shiver in its absence. Which was stupid, because it was his own fault. He'd stiffened at the touch, of course John had pulled away. It hadn't been because he didn't want it, though. God, this day had gotten confusing. Part of him wanted to just back up and not ever come here--but that was mostly because he felt like his head was spinning and wouldn't stop. There was just too much to take in and he needed somewhere quiet to sit and process it all.

And then John gave him that very thing. He watched his old friend walk away with a small frown, then shook his head and went into the bedroom, looking around a bit before sitting on the edge of the bed with a sigh.

So John was here. In London. With a room for rent. It was almost as if something had steered the two of them together again, fate or destiny, if he believed in either of those, which he didn't know whether he did or not. But he was here, and John was here, and the reunion that he'd dreaded, that he'd been sure would never happen, had happened--and the world hadn't ended. Sparks hadn't flown, or at least not literal ones, but--but there was definitely something there, something he hadn't felt before, or at least not strongly enough to explore it more.

He closed his eyes, rubbing the bridge of his nose with his fingers as he processed all of this. This wasn't what he'd come to London to find, but it had found him.

After what felt like a long time but was probably only about ten minutes he took a deep breath and stood up, pulling the bedroom door closed behind him. He followed the path that John had taken and stopped at the doorway to the kitchen, looking at John in silence for a long moment, studying him, trying to pick out all of the smaller changes in his face, his posture, his demeanor. Trying to find all the ways he'd grown up, but also trying to find the boy he'd known at school, at the same time.

Date: 2014-11-30 12:04 pm (UTC)
cold_blueeyes: (so pretty)
From: [personal profile] cold_blueeyes
Bobby smiled faintly, even chuckled a little as John pointed out he didn't do things the easy way. "Okay," he said simply when John was done. "I'll stay." He didn't know what this new thing between them was, if it would come to anything more or not, but--he had decided upstairs that that was something he definitely wanted to find out.

Besides, the thought of having somewhere safe, somewhere where he could be completely and utterly himself, not having to be on guard all the time to remember not to use his powers where anyone could see? That alone would make John's offer almost too appealing to pass up.

"I mean...I want to stay," he added, not wanting John to think that he was just going along with this, wanting him to know that he really wanted to be here.

Date: 2014-11-30 12:41 pm (UTC)
cold_blueeyes: (boy next door)
From: [personal profile] cold_blueeyes
"I don't have all that much. I had to fit it all into a couple of suitcases," Bobby pointed out. "I've only been here for a few days. I can just pick it up from the hotel and come back--or I can stay there a few more days, if you're not ready for me to move in yet. And don't worry about the desk. I'll get to it at some point." Now that he'd made his decision, he felt much better, no longer off-balance and reeling. His smile grew as he watched John, curious to see how this would work out. They'd been roommates before, after all. He knew they could do it. But that had been before...before. They were both different people now, clearly.

It would be interesting to figure it out, anyway. And certain to not be boring. Not when it was himself and John involved. Not a chance.

Date: 2014-11-30 01:03 pm (UTC)
cold_blueeyes: (so pretty)
From: [personal profile] cold_blueeyes
Bobby caught the keys and nodded. "Thanks." Honestly, the idea of staying alone in a hotel room for another night really wasn't all that appealing, so he would happily take John up on that offer. "I'd like to."

He tilted his head at John's next question. "Accounting," he corrected, then asked mildly, "Have you been checking up on me?"

Date: 2014-11-30 01:35 pm (UTC)
cold_blueeyes: (so pretty)
From: [personal profile] cold_blueeyes
No, no one had tattled, and not just because John had made them promise not to. John had been an off-limits topic around Bobby for years. And then, of course, there was the fact that he didn't talk to either of them as often as he should. That made it pretty easy to keep secrets from him, not talking to him. He flinched slightly and then summoned up a smile again, snorting quietly. "Back home? Sure. I don't know the laws and stuff over here, though, so you might want to find someone else."

He liked being an accountant. It was safe, it was reliable, and he was actually pretty good with numbers. John could mock that decision all he wanted. It was one of the few Bobby was 100% sure had been the right one.

He wondered if he should go then, get back to his hotel, pack his things and return later, but he wasn't ready to go just yet, so he took a deep breath and came into the kitchen, leaning against the counter next to his beer bottle from before. "You want me to fill in anything they might have left out?" he offered with a crooked half-smile. "I mean, now you can just come right to the source."

Date: 2014-12-01 10:02 am (UTC)
cold_blueeyes: (boy next door)
From: [personal profile] cold_blueeyes
"I mean, there might be a workshop for it or something on campus. I'll check it out if it means a free month's rent," Bobby replied with a little grin.

The flinch hadn't been remotely about that, but since he really didn't want to explain what it had been about, had been hoping John wouldn't notice it at all, in fact, he was fine with letting that assumption remain uncorrected. "Deal. Can I get it in writing? So that when I smack you later there's no dispute that it wasn't consensual."

"Yeah, basically. I'm good at math, I like it, and...it is normal. That's what I want. That's..." he looked away and shrugged, gripping the edge of the counter tightly. "That's why I left...well, all of it. I just wanted normal. There's nothing wrong with that." The defensive edge that crept into his voice on that last sentence belied the words, though, or the emotion beneath them, at least. He felt guilty for wanting a normal life where he wasn't expected to save the world. Storm had been completely understanding and supportive when he'd left--but that had almost made him feel worse.

Date: 2014-12-01 10:50 am (UTC)
cold_blueeyes: (Default)
From: [personal profile] cold_blueeyes
Bobby really didn't need it. His parents were paying for all of this, including the rent. But that didn't mean he would object to taking the money and using it to buy something for himself in exchange for doing John's taxes. If he could figure out how, here. He could at least do anything that came up for US taxes, come April.

He hadn't actually realized what he'd said until John shot him that look. Then he blushed and looked down with a little groan. "I did. Sorry, totally not what I meant," he murmured, shaking his head at himself. He reached for the napkin and unfolded it, one eyebrow raising as he read the words John had written. "...Thanks," he said with a little smile, folding it again and tucking it into his shirt pocket.

The smile faded with John's next words. "Yeah." He took a deep breath and then realized that painful as he personally may find it, talk of the school was unavoidable. May as well get the exchange of information over with now so it didn't have to keep coming up over and over. "So have they asked you back? Since you got...pardoned and all of that, I mean? For a visit, or a job, or...anything?"

Date: 2014-12-01 02:33 pm (UTC)
cold_blueeyes: (Default)
From: [personal profile] cold_blueeyes
Yeah, Bobby definitely wanted a second beer if they were going to discuss Westchester. He grabbed it, chilling it as he opened it and taking a swig.

He looked at John with an air of faint surprise as he listened. Outreach with kids wasn't exactly what Bobby had expected to hear about. Although it was mutant kids, which was a little easier to believe. He nodded, sipping his beer again. He wanted to ask why it felt wrong, but at the same time, he didn't want to draw out this particular topic any longer than necessary. "Cool. So you were a T.A., huh? For what?" School. Talking about college was much safer and easier ground. They should talk about that, unless John had questions of his own or steered the conversation back to the other school, the one he both missed and was afraid to ever see again.

Date: 2014-12-02 04:42 am (UTC)
cold_blueeyes: (straight shooter)
From: [personal profile] cold_blueeyes
Mutant studies. It wasn't even surprising, really. While Bobby had wanted the anonymity they had all been abruptly granted earlier this year, it figured that John would want to be right in the middle of letting everyone know all about mutants. He probably enjoyed his notoriety, even--although living under an assumed name probably limited that somewhat.

He wasn't going to judge, though. It sounded as though John had actually done some good in that area. It sure beat trying to kill off anyone that wasn't a mutant--or anyone that protected them, even. Himself included.

"That's cool. So...what are you studying now?" he asked, frowning a little. "I mean...what did it become, when everything changed?"

Date: 2014-12-02 06:58 am (UTC)
cold_blueeyes: (Default)
From: [personal profile] cold_blueeyes
Bobby nodded. It made sense, in a way. And seemed like something John would enjoy. It was strange to see him like this, all grown up and mature, but strange in a good way. And from time to time there were still glimpses of the John he'd known, the John he'd considered a friend, and it gave him hope that they could find that again.

"Yeah, I took a gap year. Worked for Habitat for Humanity, building houses in Wisconson." He rolled his shoulders and straightened, taking another sip of his beer. "Yeah, I can do that. Check out of the hotel and come right back. But you don't have to go to any trouble for me. Take-out is fine." Though part of him was curious. He could see even now how well set up the kitchen was, and he wondered if there was some new aspect to John he was going to discover. Picturing him hovering over boiling pots, tasting the sauce to check the seasoning, the stuff he'd seen on cooking shows that he'd only half-watched--it was a strangely domestic mental image. "So you cook, huh?"

Date: 2014-12-02 07:59 am (UTC)
cold_blueeyes: (happy)
From: [personal profile] cold_blueeyes
Bobby glanced at his shoulder and chuckled a little, finding himself somewhat pleased that John had noticed. He wondered what it meant that John had noticed--and then wondered what he wanted it to mean.

There would be time to ponder that further later, though. "Yeah, sure. If you need anything fixed, I can probably do it, now," he said with a shrug and a faint smile. "Just let me know."

He rolled his eyes at John's ridiculous response to what had been a simple question. "Whatever, rock god. If you want to make us dinner, I'll handle dessert," he suggested with a gentle smile. He started toward the door, bouncing his new keys in his hand, and then turned back to add with a crooked grin, "That is, assuming you still like ice cream."

Date: 2014-12-02 08:24 am (UTC)
cold_blueeyes: (Default)
From: [personal profile] cold_blueeyes
Bobby was smiling as he headed toward the bus stop, and he continued smiling as he turned back at John's call. "...Thanks." He watched John head back into the house and added quietly, "I'm glad, too." Still a little confused, but definitely glad.

He laughed at himself and shook his head as he turned again and started on his way. This was going to be...interesting, that was for sure.
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