Fandom: X-Men (The Movie)
Pairing: Bobby (no pairing)
Rating: PG-13 (language)
Category: let's say a week after canon movie events
Disclaimer: Not mine, not making money, just for fun ... Stan Lee, Marvel, Fox, yadda yadda blah blah blah...
Summary: Bobby learns about how Mystique got on school grounds and freaks out...

Familiar Stranger
by Scorpio

Bobby paused outside of Professor Xavier's office door and tried to push back a wave of apprehension. Fruitlessly, he wracked his brain to figure out just what it was he had done wrong this time. Nothing specific presented itself to him.

He'd done fairly well on all of his recent tests and papers ... well, except for the French test, but he was scheduled to take a make-up exam on Friday. And as for the practical jokes and rough housing, he and John had been keeping it to a minimum due to the recent stress that everyone had been under after Rogue's sudden disappearance and the Professor's ill health.

So, what could he want that required a private meeting?

Figuring that there was only one way to find out, Bobby pushed open the big oak door and walked inside. Professor Xavier was sitting behind his desk with a small frown marring his normally serene face. The desktop was littered with grainy photographs.

"Um ... You asked to see me?"

Professor Xavier looked up and his dark eyes locked onto Bobby's blue ones. For a second, Bobby forgot to breathe. The professor seemed so unassuming and common until you saw his eyes, then you became instantly aware of his presence and the sense power that he radiated. The telepath blinked and the spell was broken.

"Yes, Mr. Drake, please ... come in and have a seat. There is a matter ... of some delicacy that I wish to speak with you about."

For a quick moment, Bobby wanted to run far away. To hide from whatever it was that Professor Xavier wanted to talk to him about. Something deep inside knew that it was going to be ... bad. Instead, he took a trembling step forward into the room and practically collapsed into the chair across the big wooden desk from his mentor.

A look of sadness and sympathy crossed the professor's face and Bobby felt a chill race down his spine. Without even realizing it, he swallowed a sudden lump of fear that had collected in his throat.

With a soft sigh, Professor Xavier picked up the photographs, turned them around to face Bobby and laid them out on the desk for him to see. He looked down at the slightly blurry black and white photos of the students engaged in various activities. They were obviously stills taken from several of the security cameras placed around the school. Each one had a date-time stamp on it.

And each photo had one other thing in common. He, Bobby Drake was in every single one.

Some of them, the ones that showed himself with John and Kitty were familiar to him. He clearly remembered that day and he could probably even retell the conversation if given a moment or two to remember it all.

But the others ... it was if he'd never seen them before. Which was odd. How could he not remember them? That was him in the photos. He turned confused eyes on his teacher.

"Um ... Professor? Was I ... I don't know, sleepwalkin' or something? I mean ... I don't remember this at all. Or this."

Bobby pointed to the two photos that were the most disturbing to him. They showed him walking down a gray metal hallway with doors that had big X's on them. He was certain he'd never seen a hallway like that in his life.

A pained look crossed Professor Xavier's face.

"This is not easy to say, nor will it be easy to hear. However, I feel that you need to know. For your own safety, if nothing else."

Xavier paused for a moment, and Bobby could see that he was gathering his thoughts. He squirmed in his chair slightly as a ball of dread began to grow in his stomach.

"I'm sure you've heard everything that has been on the news lately about the mutant known as Erik Magnus. You also know that he was the man that kidnapped your friend Rogue to use in his scheme. What you, and most people for that matter, do not know is that Erik Magnus had the help of several mutants."

Bobby nodded his head. He did know that. Everyone did. Magneto had the help of two mutants. sabretooth and Toad. Bobby was confused, what did that have to do with the strange photos and the weird hallway?

"Yes, yes. sabretooth and Toad. I know all about them. No ... I meant Mystique."

Bobby felt a moment's irritation at the professor reading his mind and answering his unspoken question until he realized that he had no clue who this Mystique guy was.


"Mystique. She's a mutant. A shape-shifter. We don't have a whole lot of information on her ... but we do know that she is very dangerous. Deadly even. And she can take the form of anyone who is reasonably near to her in size. We don't know if she has to actually touch a person to be able to duplicate them ... or if simply seeing a picture is enough. What we do know is that she used your form to get onto school grounds, frighten Rogue into running away, and then, finally, to poison me."

A small part of Bobby's mind was aware that Professor Xavier was still talking to him. Talking about tracking his memories to see if they could figure out if Mystique had been in touch with Bobby before the 'incident' and also about security measures to ensure that it didn't happen again. But Bobby wasn't listening. His mind shut down as soon as he had heard that this ... BITCH had taken his form to hurt his friends.

His mind supplied him with vivid memories of all the students, himself included, being frightened that Professor Xavier wouldn't recover from his sudden collapse. He could also clearly recall Rogue's trauma after she'd been found and returned. He had been witness to her flip-flopping from inconsolable grief to inarticulate rage and back again. He remembered sleepless nights of praying to a God he barely believed in to save his mentor and friend.

And that EVIL SCHEMING BITCH used his face to do it.

Guilt and fear and pain and anger built up in his mind. It grew inside of him, and traveled down his spine. From there the anger turned into a white cold rage. Icy tendrils of helpless frustration and needless pain traveled outward to reach the very surface of his body. He felt cold and hard and angry. He was cold inside and cold outside. His world was frozen in absolute anger.

"Oh my god..."

Somehow, that softly spoken whisper of disbelief and awe pulled his mind out of its maelstrom of pain. He opened his eyes to look into the shocked face of his teacher and mentor. Bobby felt a brief surge of confusion as to what could be upsetting Professor Xavier.

And then he looked around.

In his anger, he'd lost control of his powers to create ice and snow and cold. The room temperature had dropped dramatically and a thin layer of frost coated every object in the room. A wash of embarrassed remorse washed over him and he was about to apologize.

Then he looked down at himself. And SCREAMED.

He had turned himself into solid ice!

In a rush of overwhelming terror Bobby felt the world spin erratically and then everything was swallowed up in darkness.

Voices. Somewhere close.

Slowly, with a vague sense of disorientation, Bobby slowly slid out of sleep and back into awareness. He could hear Professor Xavier talking to ... Dr Grey?

"I always knew that he had the potential to be rated as an Alpha Level Mutant, but he's only ever demonstrated the gifts and power surges of a Gamma Level Mutant. Until now."

"Yes, you can see the changes in his brain waves clearly. He's always had a strong reading on the Gamma Level and a fairly decent one on the Beta Level. His Alpha Level readings have always been ... faint. There, but faint. Now however, the Alpha Level readings are very strong."

Bobby heard the shuffling of graph paper and wondered exactly what they were talking about. He knew that mutants, and their gifts, were assigned levels due to the strength of their power ... but what did the specific designations mean? What was such a big deal about being Alpha Level anyway?

"Yes. I see. I think that the trauma and stress, combined with a surge in hormones left over from his recent growth spurt combined to bring him into ... maturity. We'll need to start training him and teaching him to control and adapt to this new manifestation of his abilities."

Abilities? Manifestation?

A sudden horrifying memory rose up in his mind. Ice!

With a wordless scream, Bobby sat up in bed and ripped away the thin blankets to see ... flesh. Pink, whole, unfrozen skin. Not ice.

With a huge sigh of relief, Bobby sank back down onto the bed. Only to find that Professor Xavier and Dr. Grey were standing over his bed and that he was in what appeared to be a hospital room.

"A dream. It was just a bad terrible dream."

Professor Xavier and Dr. Grey exchanged a look over him that he couldn't quite understand. Sadness, joy, excitement, worry ... all that and more. Then, the professor turned to look at him and he offered a gentle smile of compassion.

"No Bobby. I'm afraid it wasn't just a dream."


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