Disclaimer: This story is fictional, and says nothing about the orientations of any member of the X-Men, or any other character related to Marvel, any celebrity or otherwise. If you are under 18 or 21, or live in a country where it's illegal to read something like this, leave, though I seriously doubt you will. If you don't like the idea of two guys in a relationship with each other, or having sex with each other, what are you doing here in the first place?
X-Men and all related characters, Copyright Marvel Comics, Created by Stan Lee
Ryo placed the note gently on the pillow next to Jamie's head. He was withdrawing his hand with Jamie grabbed it. Or tried to, at least. Ryo instinctively dodged his hand away and Jamie only clutched air.
"Where are you going?" Jamie asked, rubbing his eyes and sitting up in bed. "Leaving without saying goodbye?"
"I'm going for my morning exercise," Ryo said. "I was gonna leave you a note."
Jamie yawned. "I'll join you. Give me a second." He quickly got out of bed and dressed in comfortable and loose-fitting clothes and pulled on a pair of soft cloth gloves.
Ryo raised an eyebrow. "Gloves?"
"It's too cold to sit and meditate near the pond until summer," Jamie said. "I usually do it in my room until summer. Also, there are other reasons to avoid the grove on a Sunday."
Ryo looked at Jamie questioningly.
"Kurt leads a short morning service in the area for those who want to attend," Jamie said. "Some of the Christians tend to be a little... overwhelming, I guess."
"Oh? Kurt doesn't seem like the type," Ryo said as he opened the door.
"Kurt's fine, don't get me wrong," Jamie said quickly. "He's one of the best people I know. It's some of the students that make me uncomfortable. They don't seem to like the fact that I'm a Buddhist." He closed his room door and the two of them made their way to the gardens in the backyard.
"That's odd," Ryo said. "I think Shiro or Leyu or Noriko would've mentioned something like that to me."
Jamie smiled. "You're not white. They don't expect people like you to be one of them."
Ryo just shrugged. They walked in silence until they reached the grove of trees around the pond. Kurt sat on the other side of the pond with several other students, and he waved at Ryo and Jamie, then went back to reading something out of the leather Bible in his hands. Ryo noticed a couple of the students pointing at Jamie and muttering.
Kurt noticed it too, and looked at them sharply and said something that Ryo couldn't hear. The two students glanced at Jamie one last time, then turned to face Kurt again.
"Don't let them bother you," Ryo said to Jamie as the other boy sat down under a tree in a lotus position. "Meditate them off."
Jamie smirked, then closed his eyes, his breath slowing, slipping into his meditation.
Ryo stripped off his shirt and turned his focus away for everyone, sending his senses out around him as he began his usual morning exercise ritual. His movements flowed quickly but smoothly as he let his body and mind work as one. He moved instinctively, his body trained in the movements every day since he was a child. Ryo felt his internal energy course through his body, energised as he finished off the last of the forms. He looked in the direction of the morning sun, then knelt down and bowed his head, silently muttering a prayer to Amaterasu, the sun goddess.
Ryo was suddenly aware of all eyes on him. With a slight grin, he bowed cheekily at his unexpected audience. The other students immediately looked away as they realised they had been caught staring. Kurt winked and waved his three-fingered hand at Ryo, then turned back to the students. After a moment, they all assumed a kneeling position.
Jamie got up from where he was seated. "That was an awesome display."
"Weren't you supposed to be meditating?" Ryo asked.
"I was the first half-hour," Jamie said. "I caught the last half-hour of your little show. I must say though, I wouldn't mind meditating on that."
"Such a flatterer," Ryo said teasingly. He glanced over at Kurt's little Bible study group and saw they were done praying. "Could I borrow one of your gloves?" he asked Jamie. He took Jamie's offered glove and jogged to where Kurt and his group were milling about. He strode confidently towards Kurt, the glove in his hand, hidden behind his back.
"Guten tag, Ryo," Kurt said. "And what brings you..." He stopped short as Ryo slapped him lightly across the face with the glove.
"Hey, you bastard," one of the students said, swinging a fist at Ryo. Ryo caught it with his palm without looking at the student, his gaze focused on Kurt.
A mischievous grin spread over Kurt's blue face. "Is that a challenge, Mister Summers?"
"This evening in the gym," Ryo said. "That way we have all afternoon to prepare."
"As the challenged party, I get to choose the weapons, ja?" Kurt's eyes sparkled with eagerness.
"I'll match you, whatever weapon or style you choose," Ryo said with a grin. He let go of the hot-headed student's fist, not bothering to glance the boy's way. The other students began whispering to themselves in excitement as Ryo and Jamie left.
Jamie was grinning as he trotted alongside Ryo. "You sure know how take advantage of a situation."
"What do you mean?"
Jamie glanced behind at the group of students they left. "They were already in awe from your exercise, and now you've given them more to talk about. They'll start spreading rumours and your already considerable reputation will grow. It's a proven fact of history."
Ryo stopped short. "That reminds me, I have to get some history notes from Theresa. Some perspective history class thing that Miss Braddock put me in." He clapped Jamie's arm. "I'll go get the notes from her and I'll see you back in your room." He jogged off before Jamie even managed to shrug.
Bobby knocked on Ryo's door again, this time more heavily. He was starting to get worried. Ryo would normally be back from his morning exercises by this time. Not that he'd been keeping track of Ryo's schedule, Bobby told himself and hoping the delusion would hold. He pounded the door again for good measure and was relieved when he heard footsteps on the other side of it.
The door swung open and Bobby smiled to greet... "Julian?!"
Julian rubbed his head, glaring at Bobby. "What do you want, Drake?" he snarled.
"Where's Ryo?" Bobby asked.
"I don't know," Julian said, closing the door. Bobby jammed his foot in before the door shut.
"What do you mean you 'don't know'?" Bobby demanded. "What did you do?"
"Oh, it's automatically something I did that made him run off last night, isn't it?" Julian said, making a face.
"He ran off last night?" Bobby asked through gritted teeth. His temper was beginning to rise. When Julian ignored that question, Bobby knew something was up. "What the hell did you do to him? If you hurt him, I swear I'll..."
"Do what?" Julian sneered. "Throw ice cubes at me? You'd better bloody mind your own business, Drake."
"Don't you dare close that door on me!" Bobby shouted, bashing his shoulder into the closing door. The impact caused Julian to stumble and Bobby used that advantage to enter the room.
Julian clenched his fist. "That does it!" He swung his fist at Bobby, catching the more slender boy on the cheek, knocking him easily to the ground.
Bobby got to his feet and swung his own fist at Julian, who dodged it easily. Julian jabbed Bobby's stomach twice, followed by a hook punch to the same cheek he had his previously. The pain from the punch and the bruise combined floored Bobby once again.
"I don't even need powers to beat you," Julian sneered. "Boxing's good enough for a wimp like you."
Bobby gingerly rubbed his swelling cheek and rose unsteadily to his feet. He wobbled slightly and tried to maintain his balance while Julian watched him, shaking his head. Bobby focused on Julian's sneering face, all his anger channelled into his fist. He sung his fist straight towards Julian's face with a roar. Julian caught Bobby's arm with his own.
"Next time," he whispered dangerously, "learn to mind your own business." He struck Bobby's solar plexus, knocking the wind out of him.
Bobby groaned as he slumped to the floor sideways, fighting for consciousness. He heard Julian spitting and felt the warm saliva dripping down his cheek over his bruise. His vision was blurred and he heard more than saw Julian leaving Ryo's room.
Ryo glared angrily at nothing in particular as Jamie held the ice pack on Bobby's cheek. "He won't get away with this."
"If you clench your fist any harder, you'll break that bottle of smelling salts," Jamie observed. Ryo sighed, then tossed the bottle to Jamie and continued glaring into space, mulling over his plans. Almost everything was set up the way he wanted it.
Jamie glanced at Ryo. "Don't let it bother you. The teachers will deal with it tomorrow and give him more punishment on top of what he already has. Just remain focused and calm. You've got a match later in the evening."
Ryo sighed. "You're right." He observed Jamie's movements closely, then focused his powers on Jamie's reading the aura signature. He normally didn't like using this part of his power, but it served his purposes now. He shrugged off the minor prickling under his skin as his energy changed to copy and match Jamie's. Ryo knew the process was done when his vision blurred. He felt blind and defenceless, but he shoved those feelings aside.
Jamie noticed him staring. "What?"
Ryo faked a smile. "Nothing. Just taking in the sight."
"Like what you see?" Jamie struck a pose.
Ryo grinned. "Yeah. Too bad he's unconscious."
Jamie chuckled and held up the bottle of smelling salts. "That can be rectified in a bit. I just want to get most of the swelling and pain out of the way before waking him up."
Ryo sniffed himself. "I'll go take a shower first. I'm starting to smell of sweat."
Jamie just waved him on. Ryo walked to his closet to take a fresh set of clothes. A quick glance revealed Jamie wasn't watching him. He applied slight pressure with his finger on the wood and a small, flat chip dropped into his palm. While his clan had trained him in many mind techniques to prevent and mislead psychics, many of them carried the tiny chips around with them. The chips emitted a powerful psychic-blocking field which came in handy. He palmed the chip and closed the closet door.
Ryo locked the bathroom door behind him and placed the chip on the bathroom counter. The blurred vision was starting to get to him, but he resisted the urge to activate his powers. He used the powers he copied from Jamie to create three clones of himself. Time to set the plan in motion.
Ryo got into the shower and switched on the water. Silently, two of the clones removed the plate glass windowpanes from the small windows. The moment the four slim glass plates were removed, the third clone grabbed the chip and was hoisted up to the tiny window by the other two clones. He squeezed through the small opening with little difficulty and began scaling down the side of the building, the old-style red brick walls creating an unlimited number of hand- and foot-holds for Ryo's trained movements.
The two remaining clones silently replaced the glass panes, then were re-absorbed by Ryo. He smiled grimly as he continued his shower.
Julian originally ignored the incessant knocking but finally opened his door just to give the irritant a nice punch in the face. He was not in the best of moods today. His arm fell limply by his side the moment he opened the door, however.
"Ryo? You're the last person I expected to see at this time."
"I came to apologise for last night," Ryo said. He shuffled his feet and fidgeted, not catching Julian's eye. "I over-reacted. It's just that what you did reminded me so much of my late boyfriend, and I'm not ready for a relationship right now."
Julian smirked. "I wasn't expecting a relationship either. I just thought you'd like to have some fun. Where'd you get that idea?"
"Well, the cuddling from the first night wasn't exactly very distinctive," Ryo said defensively.
"Means to an end, dude," Julian smiled a half-smile. He opened his bedroom door a bit wider. "Wanna come in?"
"Nah," Ryo said, a coy smile on his face. "I've got something better in mind. Follow me."
Julian glanced down at his sweatpants. "At least let me put on a shirt."
"Not necessary," Ryo said, trotting off. He turned around and beckoned to Julian. "Come on."
Julian shrugged and followed after Ryo. That guy was certainly a mystery to Julian, but he was glad that Ryo was coming around to his way of thinking.
Ryo led him to a quiet part of the grove in the large backyard. "Take your pants off."
"What, here?" Julian asked. "Aren't you afraid someone might see?"
"Not in this area," Ryo said. "And Kurt's group left a while back. Come on, Julian. Show me why you're called Hellion."
Julian felt a grin growing on his face. And that wasn't the only part of him growing. He took his shoes off slowly and tossed them to Ryo one by one. He made a show of stripping off his sweatpants, knowing he wasn't wearing anything underneath. He loved Ryo's playful grin as he flung his sweats at the Asian boy, who caught it deftly and hung it over his shoulders.
Ryo advanced on him, hugging him tight and running his hands all over Julian's sweaty back. He playfully pinched Julian's nipples and winked. "Wait here. You're gonna have plenty to be excited about." Then he disappeared around a tree. Julian smiled as he imagined what Ryo must be doing. He wanted to take a peek, but when he took a step closer, Ryo called out from behind the tree telling him to stop and be patient. Julian sat under a tree nearby and let his imagination run wild, and he stroke himself slowly waiting for Ryo.
Phase one was complete, the clone thought to himself. He dripped Julian's sweat from his arms into the small bottle. The psychic-jamming chip was in place and there was only one thing left to do. The clone reviewed the original plan and decided to adjust it a little. Instead of meeting his original back in the room, he would activate Ryo's original power instead, cancelling the copied Jamie's powers. While he knew his original had training against psychic probes, he worried that Professor Xavier's powers would be too great for Ryo. It was easier if the original had no memory of this at all. With that in mind, he made his way towards Theresa's room in the girls' wing of the mansion.
Julian was beginning to wonder what was taking Ryo so long when a sonic blast went out, Theresa's high-pitched shrieks. His first instinct was to investigate, then he realised he was fully naked. Grabbing his shoes, Julian put them on and hid behind some bushes, hoping it wasn't something that warranted a search of the mansion grounds. It would certainly be embarrassing if he were found this way. He had a sick feeling in his stomach though, and Ryo's absence wasn't helping much at all.
He waited for a few minutes to see if it was safe when he heard voices. A large group was coming his way, most of them teachers. Julian quickly hid among the bushes again, wishing and hoping that none of them would see him. Luck wasn't on his side today.
"He's in the bushes." Logan's gruff voice. Julian heard him sniffing, then Logan stomped towards him. A few quick slashes left the bushes in shreds and revealed Julian for all to see. Logan held up Julian's sweatpants, his wild face seemingly more fearsome due to his scowl.
"Who is it?" The speaker's voice was a melodic tenor with a slight Irish lilt to it. "Let me see who's the bloody little shite of a bastard that tried to take advantage of my daughter."
Julian's heart sank as Sean Cassidy came into view. The strapping Irishman was known for his stern demeamor, and with his face red with rage, he was more fearsome than Logan at that point. Theresa hid behind him, tears streaming down her face as she glared at Julian with hate-filled eyes. Jubilee was at her side, consoling her friend.
"What do you have to say for yourself, Mister Keller?" Professor Xavier asked. Julian glanced around at the crowd. Except for Theresa and Jubilee, the rest were all members of the faculty. Julian avoided the cold gaze of his squad mentor, Emma Frost and looked instead at Professor Xavier.
He mustered his confidence. "I don't know what you're talking about."
"You don't know what we're talking about?" Sean's voice rose in his anger. "You enter my little girl's room, strip your bloody pants off and start fondling her as she sleeps, and then when she screams, you run here and hide in the bushes. Does that fucking refresh your memory?"
"Prove it," Julian scowled. "Give me one shred of proof."
"I'll give you a whole lot of it," Logan snarled, pushing Julian's sweats into his arms. "I believe that's yours? The whole room smells of your sweat and your trail leads here."
"Calm Logan, Sean," Professor Xavier said. "Let the boy explain himself."
"I was framed," Julian said, suddenly understanding. "Ryo framed me. He lured me out here. I bet you'd find his scent in that room too."
"There was, but it's faint," Logan said.
"Ryo was there," Theresa said quietly. "He came early this morning to collect history notes from me."
"That's right," Jubilee said. "We chatted a while before he left too."
"He planned this," Julian yelled. "He was here with me, check his scent or something."
Logan sniffed around. "His scene is here," he said. Julian smiled smugly. Logan eyed him, then continued. "There was another student with him too. Both their scents are faint."
"Ryo and Jamie were here this morning," Kurt said calmly. "Ryo was exercising and Jamie was meditating. He challenged me to a duel in the evening after my morning service with the Bible study club."
"He has an alibi again," Sean said, eyeing Julian closely. "One wonders why you have something against him. He rejected an advance from you, maybe?"
Julian ignored Sean's insinuation. No sense in incriminating himself further. "Look, just find Ryo and we'll get it all sorted out."
Emma placed her hands on her temples and closed her eyes. "He's in his room," she said, her voice cold as always.
Ryo felt his energy revert back to its normal state and he activated his powers on their lowest level, as was his habit. Without them, he needed to wear glasses or contacts, so he kept his power on at all times. Thankfully neither Jamie nor Bobby had noticed his eyes weren't green during the time he had copied Jamie's power. He guessed the reason why the clone would have dissipated instead of getting reabsorbed back. It was always easier to hide something small than something big.
"Ryo, you want another cookie?" Bobby asked.
"Man, you've just about cleaned my entire snack storage out," Ryo laughed. "Might as well finish it all."
"I like the way you think," Bobby laughed, tossing Ryo a roll of Oreos.
Jamie intercepted the pass half-way. "No more junk food for Ryo, he has a match tonight." He tore the packaging open. "Also, I didn't get to eat any of the Oreos just now."
"Who asked you to take a dump at that time?" Bobby laughed. "Sit on the throne, don't get a bone."
Ryo shook his head. "That's lame, man. Is that the best you could come up with?"
Bobby opened his mouth to answer, but was interrupted by the knocking on Ryo's door.
"I'll get it," Jamie said. "I'm closest." He opened the door looked at the group in surprise. "Professor?"
"Is Ryo there?" Professor Xavier asked. Ryo and Bobby exchanged glances, and Ryo walked to his door.
"Is something wrong, Professor?" Ryo took a quick peek at the crowd in the hall. The Professor, Miss Frost, Mister Wagner, Logan, Mister Cassidy and Mister McCoy were all there, with Theresa, Jubilee and Julian. "Err, why don't you all come in?"
"Cut the act, you little bastard," Julian snarled. "You set me up just now in the grove."
"Julian." The Professor's voice carried a hint of warning.
"That's impossible! Ryo and I have been here all morning and afternoon taking care of the invalid over there," Jamie said, pointing at Bobby. Dressed only in his slacks, the bruises on his torso and face were obvious to all present.
Professor Xavier focused his eyes on Bobby. "Who did that to you?"
Bobby glanced up at Julian slightly, then turned his eyes away quickly. His actions were noticed by Mister McCoy. Hank placed a blue, furry arm firmly on Julian's shoulder. "I think you have a little more to answer for, Julian."
Julian's eyes widened as all the teachers turned to face him. "I a-actually..." he stammered, "don't have a good reason for that," he admitted. "But I didn't do the rest of the stuff. You can't prove it, and I know Ryo set me up for it."
Ryo shook his head. "I was here all afternoon."
Julian pointed at Ryo accusingly. "It's his word against mine!"
"So it is," Professor Xavier said, dragging the words out. "Ryo, would you consent to my reading your mind?"
Ryo glanced uncertainly at Bobby, then back to the Professor, a worried expression on his face.
"Something to hide, Ryo?" Julian sneered.
"Yes," Ryo snapped back. "Sensitive information about my clan."
"Don't worry, son," the Professor said. "I won't dig around in there. I just want to know what you did all day."
"Read my mind too, Professor," Bobby said. "Then you'll know Ryo wasn't lying."
"Mine too," Jamie said. "All three of us have been here all day."
Xavier nodded once. Ryo felt the Professor's presence in his head sorting through the details of the morning. Ryo cleared his mind and focused on his shower, leading the Professor subtly away from the memory of the clones. It worked, and the Professor moved on, scanning quickly through the day's activities with Bobby and Jamie. When Xavier withdrew his presence, Ryo wanted to cheer in delight and sigh in relief at the same time. He did neither, keeping his face neutral as the Professor moved on to Bobby and Jamie.
"They're telling the truth," Xavier said. "Their stories match up, and they have been here all day. Bobby's memories raise more questions for you, Julian. What exactly did you do to Ryo last night that made him run off from his own room? And why did you attack Bobby without provocation? All those will have to be looked into."
"The more you tried to accuse Ryo, the more this whole situation reveals more about you than you like," Sean observed.
"Why don't you get the Professor to read my mind then?" Julian sneered at Sean. "Go ahead, ask him to tell you the whole, bare truth from my mind."
"Julian, that's enough!" Emma said sternly.
"Go ahead, Professor," Julian said, ignoring Emma's command. "Go ahead and read my mind."
"That won't help you at all," Xavier said sadly. "There is no way to determine the truth of your words since you're effectively blocked from psychic probing."
Logan snarled. "No wonder he was so cocky. I say he's guilty as charged. All evidence points towards him, and the one he accuses has an alibi. And more charges against him of assault against another student."
Kurt shook his head sadly. "As much as all the evidence points his way, I say innocent until proven guilty. Until he's ready to remove the psychic block and let the Professor get his story, I will not condemn him, no matter how damning the evidence."
The Professor nodded in agreement. "I will consider this case under investigation. Meanwhile, I will have to add to his existing punishments for his assault on Bobby."
"He's guilty," Sean snarled, hugging Theresa close to him. "All evidence points to him, and he obviously has something to hide if he's blocking his mind from psychic probing."
"My decision on the matter is final," Xavier said to Sean. He turned to Emma. "I trust you to keep a very close eye on Julian."
Emma nodded once, then turned her cold eyes on Julian. He looked down at his feet, though his face remained defiant.
Hank held out his arms and motioned to Bobby. "Come along, Bobby. Let's see if we have something in the medical bay to get rid of those wounds. Although I have to admit they were rather well taken care of."
"Well, he did have two dashingly handsome nurses waiting on him hand and foot all day," Jamie said with a wink.
"A fact I shall gladly take into consideration should the need arise," Hank said, putting his arm around Bobby's shoulder and leading him towards one of the many hidden elevators in the school.
Ryo looked over at Theresa and went up to her. "I'm really sorry about what happened."
"It's alright," Theresa said, smiling at him. "He didn't do much, and I'll get over it."
"I'm sorry you had to go through it," Ryo said, taking her hands. "I wish there was something I could do to make up for it."
Theresa smiled kindly. "It's not your fault at all."
"It is my fault," Ryo said. "I started this whole thing with Julian, and matters just blew out of hand." He motioned slightly with his head at Hank and Bobby as they disappeared into a hidden elevator. "The only people who got hurt by it were all innocent and not involved at all."
Theresa shook her head slowly. "Don't beat yourself up about this. I'll get over it. I think you should get your rest and do your best for your match against Kurt later."
"You'll be alright?" Ryo asked, sincerely concerned.
"I'll be fine," Theresa said, smiling again. "We Irish folk are made from harder stuff than you think." She played up her accent, making it more obvious. Ryo gave her a quick friendly hug.
"Aww, how sweet," Jubilee said in a mock romantic tone. "Bobby's gonna be so heart-broken now that his soulmate left him for another redhead. Should I tell him now or after he gets out of the sick bay?"
to be continued
I honestly wanted to end the chapter with the match,
but the mood just didn't match the rather serious tone of this chapter.
I know some (okay, ONE) of you complained about the pacing, saying it
was a little slow and not so action-packed. Well, this is going to go
at the pace I want it to. It also means more chapters for you guys
because, as some of you know, this story has a fixed beginning and
ending. So enjoy every bit of it while you can. Trust me, there'll be
enough action in later chapters to satisfy everyone. The mansion
doesn't have to be attacked in every single chapter. :P
Oh, and for those who know how to view sources, there's a special treat for you.
As always, I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org