titti: (Pyro/Iceman ani)
[personal profile] titti posting in [community profile] ship_manifesto
Title: Fire and Ice
Author: Titti
Personal Website: Titti's Realm

If there ever was a pairing that jumped from the screen of X 2, it's the Bobby/St. John. From the opening scenes, there was something between the two that appealed to many slashers. It was so natural that it is difficult to put into words.

I turned the question to fellow shippers, and (by [livejournal.com profile] vish) in one simple sentence captured who they are. She said:

I think it's the combination of the angsting, bad-boy with an attitude and the straight-laced, puppy-eyed but corruptible guy that appeals to a lot of B/J fans.

While at first this might seem to be based more on the visual impact (and damn, these two are good looking), the statement goes in fact to the heart of their personality.

From the start, we learn that they are friends, best friends. They isolate themselves from the rest of the students, and Pyro is comfortable to joke about Bobby's girlfriend (and we know that's not something that's done lightly).

Rogue : John knock it off.
Bobby : Will you stop showing off.
Pyro : What? For her? It's not my fault, if your girlfriend's getting excited

The tone and the accompanying smirk as Pyro says that tells us that he's more than comfortable with teasing both Bobby and Rogue.

At times, he carries his act a little too far, sounding cocky to the extreme. It's as if he's constantly reminding people around him that he's above the law, unafraid of the rules and people in authority.

Rogue : They told us to stay here!
Pyro : Do you always do as you're told?

Of course, as the movie progresses, we start to see behind the façade. The moment Magneto shows an interest in John, John is willing to follow.

This very point is the catalyst for many stories. What if someone else had paid attention to John? What if Bobby had discovered that he really loved the other mutant?

The question arises: why Bobby?

First, there is the fact that Bobby is just as secure in his relationship with John.

Bobby : [to Rogue] I'll try to find some clothes,
[to John]
Bobby : don't burn anything.

Bobby isn't scared or put off by John's cockiness; he doesn't back off; he's more than willing to fight fire with a little fire of his own (or maybe with ice). As [livejournal.com profile] ashe_frost pointed out in a discussion on [livejournal.com profile] dry_ice, Bobby feeds on John's reactions, and vice versa.

As a couple, they would never be bored together. In fact, with their constant questioning, they would force each other to grow up. It would be unlikely for them to 'settle', to fall back on a normal routine.

Bobby's strength when dealing with John doesn't translate in other areas of his life.

His parents don't know that he is a mutant. When they learn about the 'problem', they need time. The father isn't ready to accept him, and his brother is ready to have him arrested.

From the little we know about movieverse John, his family is not too happy with him either. Whether it's because he's a mutant or because of his attitude, we don't know, but certainly, like Bobby, he doesn't have supporting parents.

However, they react to the situation in very different manner. Until then, we had seen glimpses of Bobby's insecurities, but they become clear when he goes back to his family home.

During the same scenes, John's level of cockiness raises. He goes out of his way to show that it doesn't touch him, that he's above this. At first glance, it might seem like they are very different, however this is but one of the examples where their similarities lead to very different results.

This gives rise to the second point: they are different, but equal. The prime example is their powers. One commands fire, the other generates ice. These powers are at the opposite gambit, however they are both incredible destructive powers. (Bobby's sheet of ice stops trained soldiers at the mansion).

The startling difference is in how they use their powers. John is ready to blow up cars and kill cops (I'll have to admit that I wasn't too upset with him considering the situation. They had been attacked by a governmental agency for no reason.) Bobby uses his powers to help (he cools Logan's drink), to protect (the barrier to stop the soldiers from hurting Logan).

However they are both powerful, and they could negate each other's power without actually harming the other, if they so chose.

The third point is Bobby's choice of girlfriend. He is with a girl he can't touch and that makes us question what he really wants.

Wolverine : Who's this guy?
Rogue : This is Bobby, he's my...
Bobby : I'm her boyfriend
[shakes Logan's hand and freezes it]
Bobby : call me Iceman.
Wolverine : Boyfriend? How do you two?
Bobby : Oh, we're still working on that.

Can his choice of girlfriend indicate something else?

We all know that teenagers are governed by hormones. That's just a law of nature. However, Bobby stays with Rogue.

One theory, and the most loved among B/J shippers, is that he's really attracted to men, and more specifically John, but that he's afraid to let anyone know because of his insecurities.

He's already different. He lies to his family about his mutation. He doesn't think his family would understand. Given the situation, it's unlikely that he would come out, labelling himself yet again as 'different'.

On a side note, Bobby's incredible bad luck with women, his 'close' relationship with the Beast, and Northstar's crash on him (all in the comics) have provided enough subtext to classify Iceman as possibly gay.

The fourth point is that no one else seems to care about Pyro. With all the warning signs, one would think that one of the teachers would have noticed that John was searching for affection.

Even the Professor, who is the greatest telepath, does nothing to help and in fact, he easily dismissed John with a simple: "He has made his decision".

I honestly question whether a sixteen year old would understand the long-term ethical, political and practical implications of his actions. He saw someone who respected him and paid attention to him and because of that he was willing to follow Magneto.

There are others, less profound reasons why we like them.

They compliment one another. You have Abercrombie model Bobby and John who is short, scruffy, and awkward. And John is arrogant to the point of being unstoppable and Bobby's the one who's more unsure of himself. John is the bad boy, and Bobby's the one who gets the girl. And Bobby marks his territory. Which is really rather irrelevant, but you know it takes balls to freeze Wolvie. Yeah. Totally done now.

Oh, and plus they're hot.
([livejournal.com profile] ashe_frost)

There is no hiding that part of their appeal is the actors who played them on the screen. They are young, they are hot, and they look good together. Shallow, of course, but does it make it less valid? Heck no!

To compound on their hotness, it's the potential for angst. We know that Pyro will abandon the X Men. The possibilities after that are endless. Will he be unhappy with Magneto? Will he change his mind? Will he try to go back? If he does, we all know that he will turn to Bobby before going to anyone else.

In conclusion, there are many reasons to love this ship, but why is not as important as the pure enjoyment. Follow the links and you're certain to find something you like.

One final note, in comic books, the two have had very limited contact. Their comic book history is long and complex, and if anyone is interested in their comic biography, click here for Pyro and here for Iceman

Recs and Resources
Dry Ice Website
[livejournal.com profile] dry_ice
[livejournal.com profile] xmmff
The archives are not up to date and you'll find more stories in the lj communities.

- Overture by Wax Jism
- Anything by [livejournal.com profile] hackthis. You can find her stories here
- Untitled and Prodigal by [livejournal.com profile] nothingbutfic
- Fundamental Differences of Experience by [livejournal.com profile] kuria_dalmatia
- Project Mayhem by [livejournal.com profile] alfirin_kirinki
- Ink and Payload by [livejournal.com profile] alixnoor
- Auf Achse by [livejournal.com profile] makishef
- Always Hungry
by Jane St Clair n[livejournal.com profile] 3jane

Date: 2004-10-04 08:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] khirsah.livejournal.com
Hey! I found this very interesting and enjoyed reading your take on Bobby/John.

I was curious about this statement: However they are both powerful, and they could negate each other's power without actually harming the other, if they so chose. Do you think their powers are equal? What about Bobby's ability to create ice out of water in the air (and human body) while John has to rely on an outside source (such as his lighter) for fire? Does this cause an imbalance or does it equalize in another way?

Again, good work.

Date: 2004-10-04 08:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] khirsah.livejournal.com
*laughs* Much better than the idea of Bobby reforming his shattered body using other people's pee.

Thanks for the answer!

Date: 2004-10-04 10:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] khirsah.livejournal.com
Physically, yes, I think he's near indestructable. Possibly he'll have an extended life-span. I mean, logically he would but you never really know with X-Writers.

Date: 2004-10-04 09:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] viciouswishes.livejournal.com
Lovely essay. I really like that you highlighted them as complimentary to each other. I thought your point about Bobby's relationship with Rogue was very interesting, something that I hadn't thought of. But I haven't read a bunch of B/J, yet. ;)

Date: 2004-10-10 04:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wynterhawk.livejournal.com
Mmm. I really saw the heat between those two. I liked this essay too :)

Date: 2011-06-02 03:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fortheyoung.livejournal.com
I kind of love you right now because you didn't go all ROGUE'S A BITCH WHO MUST BURN IN HELL!!!!!111!!!!!!!1 On a side note I like to think that Pyro and Iceman go on double dates with Rogue and Wolvie. *whistles innocently*
Seriously though, well done and straight to the point, just how I love essays. :)


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