"The next time you feel like showing off?" The professor's gaze pinned them where they stood, disappointment and disapproval magnified beyond words. He implicated them both in the prank, regardless of who had started it and who had only tried to mitigate its effects.

"Don't," he said finally, dismissing them with a turn of his head. "It's time for us to go."

Bobby released a breath he hadn't realized he'd been holding, waiting for Scott's gaze to rake over them sternly before he fell into step behind the professor. The others followed, but for Storm who waited pointedly while they joined their classmates. She was right behind them as they made their way through the still and silent crowd.

"Did you see the look on his face?" John whispered, poking him in the ribs as they shuffled along with the others.

Bobby flinched away, shoving his hands in his pockets. "Shut up," he muttered, shooting a furtive glance back at Storm. They were in enough trouble already.

"Come on," John insisted. "It was classic! Didn't mean for the fire to get quite that big, but, you know--"

"You could have hurt him!" Bobby glared down at the ground. John had been getting steadily more obnoxious since they'd arrived, culminating in the cigarette explosion, and they'd be lucky if they weren't grounded the second they got back.

"With you around?" John sounded way too casual about the whole thing, and Bobby couldn't for the life of him figure out why. "Not a chance."

The pyrokinetic flirted with Rogue, sure, and he liked to make his point as much as the next person, but this was a little beyond the norm. John knew when to back down and let it go. Or at least, he usually listened when Bobby told him to back down and let it go. If he hadn't been showing off for Rogue, what was he trying to prove?

"Heads up," John hissed, bumping him to avoid the suddenly mobile passersby. The hallway came to life around them as they turned the corner, and Bobby saw the glint in John's eye before he even opened his mouth. "Hey, wanna make me a snowball?"

"Can't you just pretend to be normal for one afternoon?" The words burst out of him before he thought, and he saw the reaction flicker across his friend's face too quickly to read.

Then John looked away, hooking his thumbs in his pockets as he unconsciously mimicked Bobby's defeated posture. "Normal isn't everything, Drake." His voice was strangely subdued.

Run Away