Pain Has Scarred Him for His Sin

- Do -
It is John's first real food in days and he devours it readily.

"Y're name, homme."

John stops and stares at Remy. For once, he's at a loss. "She called me John," he finally says.

Remy nods slightly. Shiro gives a dark-eyed look full of understanding.

"Y' got a handle?"

"Pyro." John grimaces. "Not sure—"

"Pick later," Shiro says, the straight shiny dark hair of his Japanese heritage falling into his eyes and obscuring the darkness further. "When it doesn't hurt.”

"Dishes won't wash demselves," Remy says abruptly, pushing away from the table.

John scrapes off the last food onto his fork and eats it, then follows Remy into the kitchen. "I'll help."

"Bien," the devil-eyed mutant responds. "Y're s'posed to."
- You -
"Where do the scars come from?" John asks, gesturing toward Remy's hand as he passes him a clean dish, dripping water.

Remy arrests his motion, pulls the dinner plate back toward him and stares down at his scarred hands, the crisscrossed web of pain in red and silvered skin. He narrows dangerously bright red eyes at them, and John thinks the irises are burning.

He's never been afraid of fire.

"De charge," Remy says softly. "Firs' few times I blew t'ings up, I didn' let go in time." His voice is a mere whisper of its usual confidence and his eyes are far away. Then they narrow in on John with a laser-like focus, the soft, shimmering burn suddenly sharpening and congealing into a brightly distinct ring of bloody color. "Y' live, mon ami. Y' learn."
- Want -
John looks at Shiro then. "What's your power?" he asks. In the course of mere hours, he is coming to know these people and something about them fits him better than any of the places he's been before.

They ask questions, but they don't demand answers. They help each other, but they've all been burned.

Shiro shrugs, eyes on the table.

Remy watches closely. "We're none o' us team players, mon brave. We fight our own fight, pick our own battles, keep our own counsel, non?"

"Yeah." John places a dry cup in the cupboard. He gives a half smirk in lieu of something more genuine. "You learn."
- To -
All lessons in the Cajun's household seem to start in the kitchen.

They are washing up the breakfast dishes in the morning when Remy hands him a soapy cereal bowl and asks, "How d' y' walk?"


Amusement dances in the blood red eyes and John starts to feel a little concerned.

"How do y' walk? Is it hard? Can y' control it?" He holds out another plate. "Hurry up, mon ami."

John hurriedly places the dry dish in the cupboard and grabs the next one. "I just walk." He rinses off the soap and dries the plate almost haphazardly.

Remy squints toward John's hands with a disapproving eye. "Not really de point, hein?" he says in that confusing way he has of mixing French with English. "De point is, does it get y' where y' want t' go?"

He holds out a cup.

John makes no move to take it, staring, almost frozen, at the Cajun.

"Y're gettin' distracted," Remy says dryly.

John takes the cup. No. Walking has never taken him where he wants to go. He slowly rinses the suds down the drain.

Remy's hands are still. "Now, how d' y' powers work?" The voice is calm and quiet.

Somehow John doesn't think that's the point. "What are you getting at?" he demands as he clanks the last dry dish into the cupboard.

Remy leans back against the counter's edge, an annoying smirk edging at his mouth. "I ain't goin' t' tell y' how to control y'r powers, homme. Don' matter. Don' matter if you want t' let dem all out or hold dem all in, hein?"

John narrows his eyes at him.

"Where d' y' want to go?" Remy continues. "Figure dat out. Den figure out how t' get dere."

He mutters curses and put away the dish towel.

And learns.
- Be -
John lies on his borrowed bed, staring up at the ceiling. It's night. Crickets chirp somewhere outside.

He sees her face in the flames above his head and he considers the pain that has scarred him for every sin he's ever committed with his powers.

"Pick later. When it doesn't hurt."

He rolls over onto his side.

It still hurts.

"Know where y' want t' go. Den figure out how t' get dere."
- Saved -

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