DISCLAIMER: I do not hold ownership of X Men or any of the characters mentioned in this work of fiction, I am only using the ideas of them to fit in with a plot of my creation.

WARNINGS: Cursing and sexual references, also possible slash if made into a multiple chapter story.

Basically I'm writing this for three reasons:

Because I want to... obviously.

To perhaps encourage newcomers to write more stories that are John and Bobby centric.

I had the desire to write a story that explains exactly HOW John came about returning to the institute, opposed to just being there in the opening of the story. It just clears things up and makes it easier to read.

For the moment this story is intended to be a one-shot, though I'm rather eager to develop it too. So if you decide you like it drop me a line with what you think, carry on or not?

Thanks and enjoy the story!

Xavier's Mansion:

To say life at the mansion was at the moment was back to normal would be denying reality. To put things into perspective, it would actually be the equivalent of one claiming that Magneto was a total pacifist - get the point? Bobby despised the position he was in to the extent where he actually hoped, no, prayed, that somehow Charles Xavier would appear one day at the gates and fix everything.

They were short on team members, lacking adult staff due to the untimely death of the Professor, Jean and Scott, and the cure was causing uproar amongst the students due to the various attitudes towards it.

There were those similar to Rogue, (well Marie as she prefers to be called), who desired the cure to rid of the powers which were more like curses to them and often the people surrounding them. And then on the other side you had the proud mutants, much like Storm, who viewed the "cure" as a method designed to rid them of the qualities that make them who they are - mutants.

The fact that the government went about creating this cure simply implies that there is something wrong with them, here they were fighting for some sort of acceptance and they are encouraging them to take it in order to, 'make them normal! Wasn't the whole point of the X-Men to bring about peace and justice between mankind and mutants? From what Bobby could understand, rather than attempting to allow mutants into ordinary society, the government saw it fit to eradicate their kind completely, as though mutants would have no problem whatsoever with throwing away their gifts.

Of course not all mutants did agree, in particular the Brotherhood. This had caused a vast number of difficulties for the X-men and humans alike in recent months. Predominantly the horrific attack on Worthington labs. Here Magneto, charismatic leader of the troublesome Brotherhood, had devised a plan which intended the source of the cure to be destroyed and for them to get rid of any of it that was remaining.

Knowing of this the X-men had flew out in the jet in order to defend against Magneto's newly-recruited army. Despite being greatly outnumbered they fought valiantly and prevailed, well, sort of. Previously known as Jean Grey, the personality Phoenix had obliterated almost everything in the surrounding area, sparing few lives and holding no remorse.

This alone had caused what remained of the scattered Brotherhood to flee or perish, or those who had been reformed into humans due to the "cure" weapons, to be forced into living a human life. Magneto was unfortunate enough to be stabbed in the chest with some stray darts, by none other than Henry McCoy, the now resident doctor of the school. Why all this action was taking place Bobby was rather occupied in settling the score with his old best friend, Pyro.

He couldn't exactly continue to let the wayward teenager ignite cars that were crashing down all over the ground and setting the area alight could he? Pyro never did know when enough was enough. Anyway, to conclude with the retelling of the final battle between the two sides, Bobby had engulfed his whole body in ice and not-so-nicely head butted the unsuspecting Pyro solidly in the skull. After knocking the boy unconscious Bobby had left his old friend, and possessed no further knowledge about what happened to him. Dead, cured, escaped, imprisoned... dying?

Nobody knew. And leaving him there on the island was one of Bobby's biggest regrets, Pyro wasn't bad as such. It was hard to convince others that though, given the fact the the fire-mutant was the one blowing up clinics and finding it amusing, but he always was weird like that, too absorbed with power and destruction.

Regardless of all the wrong that Pyro had committed, Bobby still believed that John remained. And right now if he was still alive, was an extremely confused and lost young man. If there was one thing at all that Bobby could wish for, it would be the opportunity to make things right again, like they were before Rogue arrived, before Alkali Lake and before John left them.

That dream was going to be made available sooner than he realised.

Meanwhile, a sullen teenager stepped cautiously through a junk yard. As of late, Pyro had taken to keeping low, often searching scrapheaps like this for anything retain able. Today he had obtained a mangled, damp sofa, an old wooden and chipped table - which looked like a woodworm's paradise, and finally a cotton sheet that was ideal for sleeping with, and actually semi-dry!

All around, a pretty good haul. At the moment he was passing through the tip and making his way back to his temporary home, an empty block of flats in a run-down area in New York. The other homeless people there hadn't bothered him since he'd lit that guy's beard on fire, served him right too.

He supposed he should be grateful for the second chance he'd been given, after all not everyone made it off that island alive. After being knocked out by Bobby, which he was yet to attain revenge for, he had been out of it for what he assumed to be roughly a few minutes. Upon awaking he had been horrified at the scene before him, bodies being disintegrated and shattered like fragile glass.

Without a second thought and a tremendous headache Pyro had sprinted desperately for the uprooted bridge. The events of that day weren't particularly pleasurable to recall. After making it onto the bridge leading to San Francisco, he had had paused at the dangerous edge and considered jumping.

Pyro had never really placed himself into the suicidal category, he enjoyed the thrill of life. Even after being subjected to the one he had suffered, the thought of killing himself had never really crossed his mind. Perhaps out of minor curiosity they had existed, yet he can surely admit that they never lingered there for long though, they were simply pushed away like everything else.

Deciding on not adding to the countless amount of suicidal jumps off the notorious bridge, Pyro had continued on until eventually making it to the other side. Here he had begun his tiresome journey from state to state. After dying his hair and adorning some newly purchased clothes with what little cash he had remaining, he had begun hitching rides gathering money from various methods to pay for bus fares.

Somehow, subconsciously (as Pyro refused to admit that he was aiming for this destination in the first place), he had returned to New York, some miles away from the institute. Of course this was only a coincidence, he was never planning on going back...

To summarise his present state of living, Pyro had been degraded to utter filth, living off scraps of food like a street-rat and even stooping as low as to steal. Just like old times, eh? He'd considered journeying back to Xavier's numerous times now, only his pride wouldn't allow him. He was certain Bobby would get a kick out of that, Pyro the 'tough guy' pleading to be given permission to come back. Well fuck him, he wasn't going to give anyone that satisfaction. Pyro was a survivor, he had never needed anyone or anything, (not including his trusty lighter of course!), and he wasn't about to start now. No way.

A few days later...

He'd had enough. He was tired of the rooting through piles of trash, selling his body, stealing, fighting... the running away. Being plainly honest, there was a reason he'd ended up back here, and if there was anyone who would be willing to take him in away from this damn November rain, it would be the X-Men. They were always forgiving, and Pyro only hoped that that was still the case now that the Professor was deceased.

Running it over in his head one more time outside the gates of the mansion, Pyro analysed the thoughts and memories inside his head. Why should he go back to the Brotherhood? Magneto had left him there to die, just as he had left Mystique stripped of clothing and dignity on the hard floor of that convoy. It seemed that the only thing Magneto truly cared about was achieving his goal, and fighting for the cause that they believed in - regardless of any losses along the way.

He held no concern for those who were sacrificed. The support for that point was only intensified when he'd uttered the words, "that's why the pawns go first".

With one last sign of defeat, Pyro began what seemed like a walk of shame along the path that led to the huge entrance.

Arriving at the steps he gave a hesitant knock, though still loud enough to be heard through the solid door.

No answer. Unsurprising really, it was rather late, precisely 4:11 am. Pyro was undeterred though, and continued with his rapping upon the door, which after about a minute became more of a pounding.

Growling in frustration, Pyro pulled his leg back in preparation to kick the door. However he did not anticipate the two forceful hands that roughly gripped his shoulders suddenly from behind. Before he had the time to react, Pyro had been twisted uncomfortably into an arm lock and now had three adamantium claws hovering dangerously in front of his vulnerable neck, the sound similar to that of a deadly blade being unsheathed.

"You've got a lot of nerve showing your face here, Bub." Wolverine informed ferociously whilst holding a firm grip on the young man within his grasp, who wasn't making any attempt to break free. "I know." Pyro admitted weakly, "but I really have no where else to go."

While he looked the epitome of calm on the outside, Pyro's insides were not so together and his mind refused to let him forget about the precarious position he was currently in. Not to mention the fact that he couldn't take his damn eyes of those fucking metal claws that were about to tear their way clean through his bloody throat!

Grip relenting and composure faltering for a brief moment upon hearing the traitor's submissive words, Wolverine began to actually take note of the younger mutant's appearance. The word 'haggard' was an overstatement. The sight of the boy was very poor indeed: the blood stained clothes, the uncharacteristic scruffy hair and from what Logan could make out, Pyro's face was decorated in numerous cuts and bruises.

Did he mention that he also looked more Ethiopian than Australian? Regardless of the kid's condition Wolverine was far from welcoming the violent mutant back with open arms, and he was not willing to forgive so easily. Nevertheless he made a decision, and after harshly pushing Pyro out of his hold and making certain to keep his gaze lingering on the mistrustful teenager, he proceeded to retract his silver communicator from his jacket.

"Storm?", after about thirty seconds and a few prompts later a sleepy-sounding voice could be heard from the receiver.

"Logan, what is it?"

"You'll never guess who's decided to come crawling back, quite literally judging by the state of him... Allerdyce," Wolverine informed with something which Pyro could only identify as disgust and the tiniest hint of... concern in his voice?

A pause.


"Yeah, the one and only, you know? Cocky, troublesome, back-chatting, arrogant, attention-seeking, rude, obnoxious..."

"Logan," Storm warned.

"K Ro', what are we going to do with him? I suspect the authorities will want him, he is amutant terrorist after all." Wolverine cast an accusing glare at Pyro, much like the one he'd also been on the receiving end of that day he had given the Drake's lawn a makeover with flames.

However at the moment, he was too busy trying to retain a healthy body temperature to notice. Fire-mutants without a lighter and wearing nothing but a thin brown shirt and some jeans didn't cope well in –5°C weather!

He stopped blowing warm air into his hands though the moment he heard the word 'authorities'. Surely they wouldn't turn him in? Mild panic washing over him he lifted his head up quickly and began to protest, "no! You can't hand me over, please... I know I made a mistake and I'm sorry."

"Please, I've realised I was wrong to leave in the first place and I give you my word that it won't happen again!" He was pleading desperately now, anything to make them reconsider that option. God how he did absolutely loathe this lost boy act. In spite of this he convinced himself that it was necessary and fixed Wolverine with the most persuasive stare he could muster.

"Your 'word' amounts to shit in this world as far as I'm concerned," he spat. There was another short pause in which Pyro assumed was Storm talking, before Wolverine let out an affirmative and replaced the communicator in it's rightful pocket. Then withdrawing the same hand he thrust it out palm faced upwards, expectantly in front of him.

After gaining nothing more than a raised eyebrow from the shivering boy he began to explain impatiently, "lighter now."

"Oh," Pyro mumbled and shoved his hands into the half-filled pockets of his jeans, "I kinda lost it."

"What?" Wolverine questioned incredulously, hardly believing for a second that the person standing in front of him was speaking the truth, the kid was always fooling around with the bastard thing!

Pyro shrugged, "Some guys took it... I'm being honest and I'd appreciate it if you could politely stop giving me that death glare? I. Haven't. Got. It." He informed with emphasis.

"I'm under no obligation whatsoever to do anything you request, kid. Now you're just damn lucky that Storm's allowing you to..."

"She's letting me back?!" Pyro exclaimed, surprise evident on his broken features. After being subjected to so much negativity in the past weeks he'd grown accustomed to automatically assume the worst. Practically the story of his life.

"Don't get your hopes up too high. We've agreed to let you in tonight, you'll be questioned on the reasons for the actions you took, you'll prove you can be trusted, and well... we'll see where things go from there." Wolverine laid out the plan clearly.

With a grateful nod Pyro gestured towards the door, "you gonna let me in then? I think my toes are frozen... No really, I'm serious!" He added convincingly after Wolverine merely gave him a blank stare.

With a last scowl, though lacking the previous anger it possessed at the first encounter, Wolverine unlocked the doors and motioned for Pyro to move in front of him.

And thus begun the return of Pyro's... no. John's life.

Well there's the first chapter, they always seem to look good on your computer. Though the moment you upload it you can see so many mistakes! I don't actually have a beta reader though, so I guess it's not that much of a crime :)

Don't forget to leave me a review if you liked or purely despised, there's nothing an author values more than feedback after all.

- DeathRealm.