In Time, My Love ; Thunderblink AU
Summary: An AU where mutants aren’t hunted and John, Lorna and Marcos own a training/rec centre for mutants.
The second John walks into the Mutant Underground, he’s accosted by Leanne, their twenty-year-old overly perky secretary, and she’s rambling at a pace that should be her superpower, so he puts a hand to her shoulder and reminds her to slow down.
“Oh, sorry!” Leanne makes a gesture like she’s conking her head with an invisible hammer. “My mouth just runs and runs away from me. Mama says I was born without a filter.” She laughs loudly. “This one time, when I was sixteen, my teacher told me –”
“Leanne,” John says, voice firm and a little exasperated. This is a song and dance they do every morning.
She smiles apologetically. “Right, umm… Marcos says you have to go meet him in Training Hall B as soon as you get in. Life or death or something.”
John nods his thanks and makes his way through the building. It’s been nearly ten years since Marcos, Lorna and him began the Mutant Underground as a place for young mutants to train and learn to control their powers safely. Since then, it’s grown into a hive for mutants of all ages to congregate and offer their services to one another. They even have a new wing dedicated to counseling and therapy. That hadn’t been his idea though, nor Marcos or Lorna. It was hers.
As if summoned by just thinking of her, his phone beeps. A Twitter notification.
if anyone sees my bf, can u pls punch him 4 me? what kind of savage finishes the milk and puts it back in the fridge! #timetogettinder
replying to @bbblink
wow. dump his ass #thunderwho
Rolling his eyes, John quickly types a reply. Marcos can wait.
replying to @bbblink @magnetqueen
kind of rude, babe. you’re asking people to break their hands for you 😏 (lorna, does 15 years of friendship mean anything to you!)
He met Clarice nearly five years ago to the day. He’d been out walking his dog when he found her surrounded by a gaggle of kids. She was beautiful, the kind that made you stop and stare for a little while, but that hadn’t been what drew him to her. He maintains to this day that the second he fell in love with her was when she shouted across the park, “Michael, I swear to god if you don’t stop that, I’m going to teleport you into the damn Grand Canyon and leave you there!” Thankfully, John hadn’t needed an opener to meet her. Zingo did all the work.
Suppressing the smile that always came with thinking about his long-time girlfriend, John pushes the door open to Training Hall B to find Marcos standing in the centre of the hall, staring up at the ceiling with a perplexed expression.
“Uh… buddy, you alright?”
Marcos startles and turns around, his eyes glowing for a fraction of a second, before he lets out a deep breath. “Shit! You scared me.”
“You asked me to come…”
“Oh… yeah, I did, didn’t I?” Marcos looks panicked and that makes John feel a little nervous.
“What’s going on?”
“I think I’m going to do it,” his friend says definitively, turning his gaze back up at the skylight. “Yeah, yeah, I’m going to do it.”
John is still thoroughly confused. “Do what?”
“It,” Marcos says, narrowing his eyes as he glances back to John. When he doesn’t respond, his friend sighs. “Ask Lorna to marry me!”
“Oh!” John laughs in relief. “I thought you were going to leave the Mutant Underground or something. You looked so freaked out.”
“I am freaking out!” Marcos snaps, still as frantic as before. “This is a big deal! Wouldn’t you be freaking out if you were about to ask Clarice to marry you?”
The very idea has John’s throat going dry. “Yeah, but… but that’s different. You and Lorna have a kid together! You’ve been together for forever.”
Marcos rolls his eyes. “Still terrifying, man.”
“Right, so why do you need me exactly?”
“I’m going to ask her here,” Marcos says, gesturing to the hall. “Creating this place is kind of how it all began and so I need you to clear your classes after 3 today so I can set up.”
John salutes. “You got it. Need any help?”
With a list of tasks to do, John backs away and leaves Marcos to ruminate alone in the hall. As he’s finding his way back to the administration wing, he takes out his phone again to find even more notifications.
replying to @thunderbird @magnetqueen
ur so smug, arent u? what if i do get tinder! i’m a hot ass catch and i bet i can find a man who replaces milk cartons!
replying to @bbblink @thunderbird
i can help! (ily john but tinder sounds fun)
@bbblink does not bluff. she actually got tinder (but then deleted it 5 secs later) @thunderbird
replying to @magnetqueen @thunderbird
i’m gonna shower in purell tonight. how do single ppl do this? #thankgod4johnproudstar #sorry #lornamademedoit
John swipes out of the Twitter app to pull up her number. She answers on the first ring.
“Don’t be jealous,” Clarice says without greeting. “Unless you get jealous over dudes named Chad, who thinks going to the ‘gym’ is an appropriate interest. I mean what the hell is that about? Also, what’s up with the fishing photos! Is this like some new single white man thing?”
John laughs. “I wouldn’t know. I’m not single or white.”
He hears her exhale down the line and his heart does that dumb little twist of pleasure every time he makes her laugh.
“Well, if you were ever thinking about breaking up with me, now you can’t because I refuse to be single ever again,” Clarice says, and he can hear the smile in her voice. “You’re stuck with me, Thunderbird.”
“What a shame,” he says, teasing back. “So no more tinder?”
Clarice makes a gagging noise. “No. And remind me to stop listening to Lorna. Oh, by the way, have you seen Marcos? Lorna says she’s been trying to get in touch with him all morning.”
“He’s busy right now,” John says. He hates lying to Clarice, but it’s not his secret to tell. “He says he’ll call her after he’s done.”
“Okay, I’ll let her know.” There’s a second of silence before Clarice says, “he’s going to ask her to marry him, isn’t he?”
“What? How did you know that!”
“One, I’m smarter than both of you; two, Marcos has been extra squirrelly lately,” Clarice lists out. “And three, you’re a bad liar.”
John laughs, bright and loud. “Shit, well… yeah, okay. But you can’t say anything to Lorna.”
“Oh yeah, that’s totally what I was about to do… But it’s crazy, right? Lorna and Marcos getting married?”
“They live together; they’re raising Aurora together. I think they’re already married, Clarice,” John points out.
“I know, but it’s still… weird,” Clarice repeats.
“Not everyone is as allergic to commitment as you are,” John says, smiling as he continues to walk through the corridor leading to his office.
He hears her huff. “I’m not that bad. I’m living with you, aren’t I?”
“It only took four and a half years,” he reminds her, clicking the door shut behind him and walking over to his desk.
“And in another four years, we can talk about getting a dog,” Clarice says, cheery like she’s just made a very funny joke.
John rolls his eyes. “We already have a dog.”
She chuckles. “Yeah, yeah… okay, you’re distracting me. Go do work. I’ll see you tonight. Don’t forget to buy milk! Love you, bye!”
She hangs up before he gets a chance to say he loves her too, but his attention has already diverted to the object in his other hand, the lights above him refracting off of it in a spectacular display of rainbow hues. John isn’t exactly a romantic, but a year into his relationship with Clarice in an uncharacteristic moment of pure spontaneity, John went out and bought a diamond ring. It doesn’t matter to him when or how it happens, but he knew then just as he knows now that she’s it. Clarice Fong is the only person he’ll ever want to spend the rest of his life with and he’d be happy to wait another four and half years just to ask.