brbsoulnomming: (Bobby - not a perv)
Bri ([personal profile] brbsoulnomming) wrote2009-02-27 08:09 pm

What Becomes of Us

Title: What Becomes of Us (7 of ?)
Author: Bri
Rating: R
Word count: 3,468
Characters/Pairing: Bobby/John, other couples include OCs
Summary: He missed them more than anything, but except for Johnny, they were still X-men. He was on the run from them, too. Post X-3, Bobby makes a decision that changes everything.
Notes: Told mainly from Bobby's POV, and for the first few chapters, the story bounces back and forth between the present and backstory.
Previous parts: One Two Three Four Five Six

A/N: This chapter has the last of the past/flashback parts, so all future chapters will be just in the present. And also, John'll definitely be coming back next chapter.


January thirteenth. Bobby was twenty-one. It wasn’t quite as big of a deal as it would have been back at the Institute, because Bobby’d been working in a bar for awhile now, but he still wanted to go out drinking on his birthday. So he headed down to the rec room, but when he got there, Zephyr was the only one in there.

“Hey handsome,” she greeted with a grin.

“Hey gorgeous,” he replied, flashing her a smile. “Where is everyone?”

“Dunno. I just got off work,” she said. “Shade’s working, but no clue where anyone else is.”

Damn. He’d been hoping to recruit people. “Do you want to go out and get some drinks?”

She blinked at him, then smiled. “Sure. Where do you want to go?”

“There’s a bar called Silko’s that looked good, and it’s within walking distance,” he replied. It’d seemed like it was a higher-class bar, so it was a few neighborhoods over, but it was still pretty close.

“Sounds perfect,” she said. “Just let me run upstairs and get pretty real quick.”

Bobby grinned at her. “You know, saying stuff like that just makes me want to be cheesy and tell you something like if you get any prettier, you’ll be fending guys off all night,” he teased.

Zephyr laughed. “Who says I want to fend them off?”

She headed upstairs and was back in about ten minutes. They walked down to the bar, chatting cheerfully, then waited behind a line of a few people to show the bouncer their ID’s.
When it was Bobby’s turn, the bouncer took his ID, swept his gaze over it, then handed it back with an added, “Happy birthday.”

Zephyr blinked at him. “It’s your birthday?”

“Um. Yeah,” Bobby replied.

She swatted him on the shoulder. “Why didn’t you tell us? We would have thrown you a party or something!”

He gave her a sheepish smile. “I didn’t want to make a big deal out of it?”

But a big deal was made, because once they sat down and ordered drinks, Zephyr apparently texted everyone to let them know that it was his birthday, and there was an emergency party planned at Silko’s. It wasn’t long before the whole rec room group began to trickle in, joining Zephyr and him at the bar. They also all insisted on buying Bobby drinks, lots of them, and as the night wore on and they moved from bars to clubs, he found himself very, very drunk. A couple of people went out on the dance floor and tried to drag him out, but Bobby begged off and escaped out the front door for some fresh air.

It wasn’t like Bobby didn’t normally think stupid ideas were good ones, but when he was drunk, it just got worse, and eventually he had the bright idea that he should call Johnny. So he pulled out his cellphone and dialed Johnny’s number, the old one, the one that Bobby’d called hundreds of times and Johnny’d never answered. Bobby had no idea if he even had the phone anymore, but he called it anyway.

Johnny must’ve kept paying for it, or had the calls forwarded, or something, because when Bobby dialed and let it ring, he got the same old voice message he’d always gotten, the one that’d been there for over two years. It sounded just like the old Johnny, because it was the old Johnny, mocking at him from the other side of the phone. Bobby frowned at nothing until he heard the beep.

“Three years is a long time to have the same voice message, even for you, Johnny,” he said, even though he was maybe exaggerating a bit there. “Never answer your phone. Don’t even know why I bother calling. But hell, it’s my birthday, can do whatever I want to do.” He laughed. “And that meant getting a whole lot of free drinks. Everyone’s wicked eager to get you bazo on your twenty-first.” He must have been really drunk, because he was slipping back into his old Boston accent without even thinking about it.

Bobby shifted his grip on his phone and continued conversationally, “So I discovered that places that have names that start with A are bad. Because, like, Alaki Lake and Alcatraz both start with A and those are the places where I had the worst days of my life. Lost the same people on both places, too.” He paused. “No, wait. Only lost you the first time, I got you back on Alcatraz. Except I didn’t, did I? Not really. Only thought I did, but thinking it was enough to lose you again. Where the fuck are you? Do you have any idea what I gave up for you? No, you know, you have every idea, you just don’t care enough not to ditch me during your own rescue.

“Hope you’re happy. I hope you’re fucking happy, Johnny, because I,” his voice got soft, even softer in contrast with the shouting that the rest of that had become, “I have no idea what to do.” He sounded lost, alone and confused, even to himself, and he hated it. “It wasn’t supposed to be like this.” Ugh, and that was even worse. Irritated, and drunk enough not to care about what kind of ending that was, Bobby hung up. It wasn’t like Johnny would ever get the message, anyway.

For a long moment, he stared at the phone in his hand. Then he glanced back up, looking in through the windows of the club. He caught sight of Cass and West dirty dancing, and Sam laughing at something. They looked like they were having fun, and for a moment Bobby wanted nothing more than just to join them, be drunk and crazy and forget about everything. But his phonecall to Johnny had opened things back up, and he just couldn’t. So he texted everyone to let them know he was heading home, and then tried to remember the number for a taxi service.

Before he could, Dani emerged from the club and headed over to him. She looked completely sober, and he vaguely remembered something about her being the designated driver.

“Come on, Bobby, I’ll take you home,” she told him.

He shook his head. “Can’t. Don’t have one anymore.” Then he paused. He hadn’t meant to say that. “I, um. Don’t want you to miss out on the fun,” he said lamely.

She smiled at him, brown eyes filled with understanding as she slid over his first comment as though he hadn’t even said it. “Don’t worry about it. I’m just gonna drive you back and make sure you get in your apartment okay, then I’m headed back here. Can’t leave Riley alone with the rest of the drunkards, after all.”

He nodded, grateful, and slipped his cell back into his pocket. “Thanks, Dani.”

~*~

Two weeks after his birthday, and it was cold, but it’d stopped snowing, and Bobby had his windows open. It wasn’t like the cold bothered him, after all, and he’d been locked up in his room for the past two hours trying to write this stupid paper. He’d needed the fresh air. He was taking a break, thinking about walking to the store and picking up ice cream or something, when the smell of cigarette smoke drifted in through his window. He crossed over to it and looked down, and saw a figure leaning against the wall of the building, face obscured by a hoodie, and the dim glow of a cigarette.

Later, he’d realize his thought process had been stupid. It’d been over six months since he’d last seen Johnny, and it wasn’t like he didn’t know that other people smoked. But for so long, cigarette smoke had meant Johnny, and Bobby was heading out of his apartment and down the stairs before he could think things through. He walked outside, moving towards the smoker. Jeans, brown leather jacket over the hoodie, right height...Wrong gender. He faltered as he got close enough for the smoker to realize he was there, and turn towards him.

Ryn’s green eyes looked guiltily at him, glowing slightly in the light of the cigarette. “Can you smell the smoke from your room?”

“Yeah,” he replied, trying to cover disappointment and feeling stupid.

“Sorry,” she told him. “Want me to move?”

“It’s okay,” he said, shoving his hands into the pockets of his jeans. “My best friend used to smoke.” Probably still did, actually, but somehow it seemed appropriate to use past tense when talking about Johnny.

“Oh.” She fell silent for a moment, then offered him the open end of a pack of cigarettes. “Want one?”

“Sure,” he said. “Thanks.” He was pulling one out of the box when his brain caught up with him and informed him that was probably a pretty stupid decision. It was really moving slowly tonight. He blamed his paper.

Bobby took the lighter she held out to him and held the cigarette between his lips as he lit it, then gave it back to her before taking a drag.

She raised her eyebrows at him. “Your friend the only one who smoked?”

He shrugged, both sheepish and vaguely pleased that he was still able to smoke without coughing up a lung. Johnny’d...well. He didn’t really know what Johnny’d think, not the Johnny who was off somewhere doing who the hell knew what. But the old Johnny, the one Bobby knew, he’d’ve been pleased. Smug. “He shared cigarettes with me a few times.” It’d been more like Johnny pushed cigarettes on him and teased him about always being the good boy until Bobby’d gave in and smoked with him occasionally to shut him up, but whatever.

She grinned a bit. “So he was the corrupter.”

Bobby stared at her. “Huh?

“That’s the way it works with best friends,” she replied, flicking ash off the tip of her cigarette. “One of them is more innocent than the other and the other one’s the corrupter. Until they’re both equally corrupted, and then they end up in jail together or something.” Her grin widened. “You know that expression, a good friend will come bail you out of jail, a best friend will be sitting right there next to you going, ‘dude, that was fucking awesome.’”

He smiled, amused. “I was never really all that innocent,” he told her, despite the fact that he knew he pretty much was.

“Guess he didn’t have much work to do, then,” she replied, tilting her head away slightly to blow out smoke.

“So which were you, corrupter or corruptee?” he asked.

“Corrupter,” she said, winking at him. “I was bad from the day I was born.”

He grinned. He hadn’t really been expecting a serious answer, everyone in the group seemed pretty guarded with their pasts. It was different than what he was used to, but he liked it. He meant he didn’t have to answer any uncomfortable questions or volunteer any information.

They fell silent, and he glanced down at her hand and noticed that she was still holding the lighter. Bobby stared at it as he breathed in smoke, from his cigarette and the fainter scent of secondhand smoke, and he expected to hear the familiar click woosh snap sound that always came from lighters in hand. He waited for it, almost anxiously, and only when it didn’t come did he manage to jerk himself back into reality.

For a brief moment, he was ready to ask her to play with the lighter. Just for a little bit, just so he could hear it and see the flame and bring back something that had once been normal, first annoying and then comforting. But he didn’t, because he realized how lame and maybe even a little crazy that sounded almost as soon as he thought of it. Part of him knew that he was thinking about Johnny way too much. He tried to reassure himself that it was only natural, that he’d think constantly about the person who’d caused his current situation, the person he’d given up everything for and wasn’t around. But the more he told himself that, the more it sounded like an excuse, and the less he believed it.

He missed Johnny even more this time around, maybe because he didn’t have the Institute and other old friends to fall back on when Johnny’d left. Maybe because for a few brief days, Bobby’d actually thought that he and Johnny were going to be back together again. Not quite best friends the way they used to be, but together anyway, the two of them on the run. Or maybe Bobby’d just waited too long to start talking to people again, spent too long being alone, and had gone a little crazy. Maybe it was a little of both.

Ryn didn’t seem to notice that his silence was the silence of someone contemplating whether or not they were crazy, so Bobby figured there was at least that. He finished the rest of the cigarette and gave her a smile in gratitude, then turned to head back to his paper. As much as he’d been frustrated by it before, right then, he’d gladly work on it if it’d take his mind off of Johnny.

~*~

He drove to New Jersey and ditched the car, leaving his current cell phone on the front seat. Before, when he’d thought Johnny might have been with him, he’d been planning on just driving. West, as far away as he could get, maybe all the way to California. But no, he realized keeping the car would be a bad idea, make him easier to find, so he gathered his things and got on a train. He had a new plan now, leapfrog around, move back and forth in a combination of trains and buses. Bobby decided on a set amount of money he could spend in total traveling, then divided it up for a maximum he could spend in each place. Then he bought a ticked to the furthest place he could get in the current direction he wanted with the amount of money he had to spend. He slept in train and bus stations while he could and once in a run-down motel when a bus ticket for the furthest place he could get at that bus station cost less than the amount he’d allotted himself for the trip.

It was over a week before he used the last of his allowed money to buy a bus ticket. Bobby ended up in Canton, New York, nearly eight hours away from Westchester. That marked the end of his travel plan, so he had to come up with a new one. Move from plan to plan, that would keep him focused, stop him from just dwelling on what he’d done. A place to stay. He needed a place to stay, so he started looking through the Classifieds. There were a couple that looked promising, so he picked the cheapest and checked it out.

And then quickly moved on to the next cheapest, calling the number in the ad. He spoke to a woman named Tessa, who agreed to meet him in an hour, then he headed out there.

The building was three stories high, run down, but in way better condition than the first place he’d looked at, as well as in better shape than most of the other buildings in the neighborhood. It was the kind of neighborhood that made him slightly nervous, and glad he’d rented a locker at the bus station to stow his bags. The front door was locked, so Bobby pushed a button next to it.

“Yes?” a female voice asked.

“I, uh. I’m Bobby Drake,” he said. “I spoke with Tessa about an apartment?”

“Oh, right, hold on.” There was a minute of silence, then the door opened to reveal a woman who looked to be in her mid to late thirties, with long, wavy, vibrant green hair and wary green eyes. She looked him over, then held the door open for him. “Come on back.”

He followed her to a door next to the stairs, then into an office where another woman was waiting.

“Have a seat,” the green haired woman said, gestured to a chair in front of the desk before she sat next to the other woman. “I’m Lorna Dane, and this is Tessa Sage.”

There was a pause, and Bobby offered, “Bobby Drake,” even though he’d already introduced himself, because it seemed like they were waiting for him to say something. Or maybe not, because the silence stretched on for another few moments. Tessa was looking at him like she could see through him, and Bobby shifted his weight. It was eerily similar to the look of a telepath and Bobby instinctively strengthened the mental shields that Dr. Grey and Professor Xavier had worked with him on. It was a bit of a ridiculous gesture, he knew, but that didn’t stop him from shielding, focusing on just the thoughts he wouldn’t mind being picked up.

“So,” Tessa said after a minute. “You’re looking for a one-bedroom?”

Bobby nodded.

“When did you want to move in?” she asked.

“As soon as possible,” he replied. “I just got into town.”

Tessa nodded. “Let’s get you an application.”

“I, um. Don’t have any references,” Bobby admitted, then figured he probably should’ve kept his mouth shut.

Lorna and Tessa exchanged amused glances.

“Few people here do, but you’re one of the only ones to actually tell us that,” Lorna told him. “You have money for a deposit and first month’s rent?”

Bobby nodded, and within an hour, had an apartment. It came with furniture, but Bobby didn’t trust the mattress, so he reluctantly decided to use some of his money to buy a new one. And maybe new cushions for the couch. Until then, he had blankets and a pillow, he could just sleep on the floor.
He had so little stuff that it took almost no time at all to get unpacked, and then he found himself sitting in a strange apartment in an unfamiliar town with no idea what he was doing. The enormity of what he’d done, of everything he’d left behind, hit him hard. He tried to ignore it, focused on setting up his apartment, and even applying for late enrollment at Canton University, hoping the school work would take his mind off of everything. He knew that all he was doing was pushing things away, delaying dealing with them, and that he’d have to deal eventually, but not right then. He just couldn’t bear to face the fact that he really was alone.

~*~

Kitty –
You’re probably pretty pissed at me. No wait, scratch probably. And there’s nothing I can say in a stupid note to change that, nothing I can say in general. I’m so sorry Kit. You’ve been my best friend and you’re the only one who’s never left me. I’m sorry I had to do this. I’m sorry I’ll never get to take you to the beach I’m sorry I can’t be there for you when you need it I’m sorry this is my last note to you and all it is is filled with apologies and sap. I want to send you off with a joke but I keep thinking of lasts and its not good for joking. I don’t want lasts with you, Kit. But I have to do this, even if you don’t get it I hope you don’t hate me. I’m gonna miss you. Whose gonna make fun of my hair and stand around being so short I look like a giant? Not helping. Point, summed up: I’m sorry. I don’t wanna leave. I have to. Miss you like hell. You’re short and I have perfect hair.

Love always,
Bobby.


Pete –
I don’t know what to say, man. You know I suck at this writing thing especially when I have to say good bye to my best friends. There’s no way to do that. I kinda think I’m doing the coward thing writing notes to you guys but yeah, don’t know what to say. Made my decision right or wrong and I have to live with it. I’m sorry you do to. I’m gonna miss you wicked bad, Pete. Take care of yourself and watch out for Marie and Kit and Jubes.

- Bobby


Jubes –
Yeah, I know. You hate my guts. Miss you anyway, sparkler.

- Bobby


Marie –
When I said I loved you I never lied. I’m sorry for everything.

Love,
Bobby


Ororo, Logan, and Hank –
You taught me to do what I think is right. This is what I had to do. Sorry for letting you down.

- Bobby



A/N the Second: The notes at the end are the letters that Bobby left in his desk drawer back at the Institute, for anyone who was wondering.

[identity profile] coffeeordeath.livejournal.com 2009-02-28 11:58 am (UTC)(link)
Yay for chapters!!!!!! I loved emo drunken Bobby! And the letters were awesome!

[identity profile] brbsoulnomming.livejournal.com 2009-02-28 11:58 am (UTC)(link)
hee! Thank you! I'm glad you liked it. <3

[identity profile] chosenfire28.livejournal.com 2009-02-28 12:41 pm (UTC)(link)
First off, I am beyond in love this story. I remember reading it awhile back and was so happy to see that it had been updated. This is the best written Bobby POV I've come across and I can't wait till you get the next chapter out. I love the way you write Bobby with his new set of friends, and I love them which is rare cause usually I hate OCs. You make them work though. This story is sad and heartbreaking and filled with just a teeny bit of hope that keeps me reading. Keep up the amazing work and get the next chapter out as soon as you can. I want to read it :D

[identity profile] brbsoulnomming.livejournal.com 2009-02-28 01:03 pm (UTC)(link)
:D :D Thank you! I'm so glad you don't hate the OCs, I always have such doubts about putting them in.

And OMG, thank you so much for the compliment about Bobby's POV! I love writing him so much, I'm happy I seem to be doing a good job.

[identity profile] inootz.livejournal.com 2009-02-28 01:39 pm (UTC)(link)
I liked the letters at the end. Drunk Bobby leaving messages for John is just ):
That and him wishing Ryn would act like John...

Poor Bobs.

Can't wait for John in the next chapter!

[identity profile] brbsoulnomming.livejournal.com 2009-02-28 01:47 pm (UTC)(link)
Thank you! :D And yus, Bobby misses John a ridiculous amount. For the sake of his sanity, it's a good thing John's coming in soon.

[identity profile] inootz.livejournal.com 2009-02-28 01:49 pm (UTC)(link)
*Prepares for an eventful reunion* Please?

[identity profile] nexusofcrisis.livejournal.com 2009-03-10 06:18 am (UTC)(link)
Excellent work. Really. Excellent work. I wanted to thank you for updating this. It's fantastic, authentic, and believable. I don't have enough good things to say about this. Please, please continue.

[identity profile] psuedo-catalyst.livejournal.com 2009-09-28 11:14 pm (UTC)(link)
Hey--know you haven't posted recently, but I haven't seen this till now and suddenly I'm hooked, and hoping, praying you haven't abandonede this--that there's an updat in the works, somewhere, because this is FANTASTIC, and the message left on John's phone made my heart melt, and you're wonderful and I'm incoherent, want more. Please?