Fire Aches Beneath His Skin

- Didn't -
Pyro has been through enough horror and pain and fear in his life, he never thought there could be anything traumatic enough to trigger a secondary mutation. He's seen it all, been through it all.

He was wrong.

Just one slip—Pyro can't bring himself to think of the reason behind this aching beneath his flesh, this heat rolling about in his belly like a hatred, an unadulterated pain.


He slams his fist into the side of a building as he walks along in the darkness of a New York night. He's free. He's fire. He's--

He cries. No one can see him now.

He drops to his knees. The aching intensifies.

And the fires begin.
- You -
He was a little boy, frightened, merely six years old. His world came crashing down in the light of his birthday candles. They danced and grew and flickered into dragon-shaped flames, grew to consume the house, his home.

His parents' screams.

He couldn't save them.

St. John was left alone in the corner of his house as it burned down around him until he pulled himself out of the rubble three days later and left the bodies of his parents to find shelter of some kind or another.

No one wanted him. A mutant. A dangerous one.

He couldn't save them.

"No one even tried to save you?" she demanded, disbelieving, when he told her.

He shook his head at her sharply. "I didn't deserve to be saved, Kitty. I couldn't save them." The memories of that horrible, terrible day when he killed his own parents washed over him with unbearable heat.

She looked at him, her eyes wide and hurt. Her mouth glimmered in a frown, then smoothed out.

"I will," she stated calmly.

"What?" He narrowed his eyes in confusion. His gaze locked onto hers. "Kitty?"

Kitty reached out one slender hand and laid it on his chest. "I'll try to save you," she said.

He stared at her. She gave him a tiny smile, so genuine, so real, that touched the core of his being.

Slowly, he drew her nearer, gently lowering his head to hers.

"I'll save you," she murmured.

Then he kissed her.
- Know -
Magneto finds him in the park, flicking his lighter, making dancing shapes out of the fire.

"We meet again," the silver-haired mutant speaks, apparently having lost none of his stately dignity.

Pyro sneers at him, having nothing to say. He saw this man once as a savior, a sort of messiah. The dignity now is a mockery. The knowing eyes don't know anything about him.

There's no one left to save him.

Magneto steps forward. He doesn't recognize the threat. Or maybe he does. The lighter refuses to open again.

Pyro looks up.

"The war is not over," Magneto says.

Pyro scoffs. "I'm not a pawn in your war. Get a life." He stands up, starts to walk away.

He feels the pull, recognizes the draw upon the iron in his blood. He turns, feels the ache, the burn, the cries. He'll never be able to save them now. He gives into it. The fire draws upon his blood.

"Magneto." The word glints like a knife in the threatening tension between them.

Magneto raises one eyebrow, one hand. "You're mine, Pyro. I made you, strengthened you."

"You're wrong." Pyro laughs.

He makes no move for the lighter. He doesn't need to.
- It -
The fire leaps from his body, roiling up from the flesh, searing through his clothes without burning, creating more of itself as it billows outward and wraps around Magneto. The man is screaming, beating at the licking flames.

It's out of control now, and all of Magneto's release cannot stop what he has unleashed.

Fire burns. And burns.

And burns.
- Would -
Shiro Yoshida frowns intently at the television Remy had left on. "Remy! Come here!"

Remy LeBeau materializes silently by the couch. Shiro glances into the dark red irises glowing against the black in Remy's eyes. Those eyes had earned him the nickname Le Diable Blanc, the White Devil.

"Fires, hein?" Remy is a Cajun with a thick accent and peppers his speech with bits of French.

Shiro still doesn't know what half of it means, so he ignores it. "New York is burning," he says. "In patches. A moving focus. Sound familiar?"

Remy slips toward the coffee table, moving like a liquid shadow, catches up his bo staff from where it had been lying, gathers up the remains of a card game, pocketing the deck, and flings the words over his shoulder, "Don' wait up for moi. Goin' hunting."

Shiro stares at the screen before flicking it off. Another mutant out of control. If he could, Remy would save them all.
- Come -
Storm stands among the other members of the X-Men. Between the news reports and their friends throughout the city of New York, it is clear that fire has broken out in one of New York City's many parks and spread uncontrollably through almost a third of the city. The sky is darkening with ash. Emergency teams are evacuating the surrounding areas. Firefighters are pouring in.

"I will go," the weather goddess decides aloud. "We need rain."

The team agrees. No one else follows her though. This is not a mutant they will be bringing home.
- To -
The cold hard pavement scrapes his skin, and the heat rolls across the sky in blazing arcs, out of control. He's lost track of Magneto, of time, of the fires he's begun.

"I couldn't save them."

"Homme. Y' okay?" a strange, thickly accented voice calls through the flames.

John looks up through the hazy smoke and sees a man wearing a trench coat crouched in front of him, unafraid in the midst of the licking fires emanating from him.

"I couldn't save them," he whispers. The fire aches beneath his skin.

"I will," she stated calmly.

The man leans forward, offers a hand. "C'mon. We c'n help y'."

And rain starts to fall, first in little droplets, then hard, pelting down on him. He turns over, trying to feel it on his hot flesh. Benediction.

"I'll try to save you."

"Do you want t' be saved?" the man demands in the voice of one who knows just what he is asking. His red eyes blaze as though on fire.

"I couldn't save them."

John stares at this devil-eyed mutant before him with the knowing look, the all too knowing voice.

"Save me," he whispers.

A strong hand clenches his. He cannot help but see the scars as he is pulled from the last vestiges of fire dying in the rain.

"I'll save you," she murmured.
- This -

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