Very much NSFW fic continued from yesterday:
Fracture Forty-three: Shattered past
They were rounding up the Monsters one by one. It was hard work, and most of the other Masks needed to rest and recuperate. Some had to do so after each Monster.
Poor, wounded things. Crippled and incapable of handling life outside of a torture chamber. They didn’t know what to do with safety, always waiting for pain to descend from above.
They responded well to Kitty, but they still had a hunger to kill, or destroy. He couldn’t trust them on the outside.
This latest one was a puzzle. He just gave up and headed for the new cage. He seemed almost - happy. Kurt escorted him in to the enclosure that held several of his fellows. Then he saw why he was so happy.
The Monster was holding a little gem of hope. He showed his fangs in an unfamiliar smile and said, “Forgiveness…” in his guttural voice.
The others in the enclosure clustered around it like frozen men around a campfire.
“Yes,” Kurt whispered. “It is beautiful.”
Das Kinder tugged on his pants. “I found this,” he said, and shared a shard of memory…
It was the dawn of his eighth Adoption-day, the day he traditionally celebrated his coming of age, and already someone was screaming. He hadn’t even woken up, yet. Unfair.
Yawning, he stumbled outside in his pyjamas to find Mama and Papa at the gate, talking animatedly with the village constable. He could already hear bits of the conversation. Horrible. Monstrous. Jakob Weiss. Murder.
The constable fell silent the minute he saw Kurt.
“I was asleep, I swear!” Kurt protested. “Whatever it is, it wasn't me!”
Herr Schwartzmann laughed. “I never said it was, Kurti.”
“Kurt,” protested Kurt. “I *am* eight, now.” Technically, he’d been eight for a couple of months, but on that far more quiet anniversary, he spent an afternoon praying for the wellbeing of his genetic parents, wherever they were. “What happened to Jakob Weiss? Is he here?”
Everyone went very, very quiet.
“Sweetheart, Jakob Weiss is dead. Something got to him last night. Herr Schwartzmann was saying - he’s barely recognisable.”
Kurt could feel the Archivist stepping up to report the actions of all the monsters. Nothing, all across the board. Still, the ghost of Justice would be vindicated.
“Can I see?” he/they asked.
“No,” said Papa. It was flat denial.
“I don’t understand,” said the Archivist, through his mouth. “He's only dead.”
“That’s one of mine,” said Kurt. “The Archivist will probably be grateful he has one less to sort, ja?”
Das Kinder nodded and smiled. “I also found one of the old nightmares,” he said. “You know the one we couldn’t always remember? Well. It’s right here.”
“All of it?”
“*All* of it.”
Kurt knelt to see. They’d only ever remembered bits and pieces before.
There was an old man standing over him. He was safe in bed, but he cooed at the man. (Kurt recognised him as Magneto)
“Now, shhh…” said the man. “Your mother’s just gone to sleep. Shh, now. We’re going for a little walk.”
Two giant hands picked him up, and he wriggled in midair before the man settled him into a carrying-hug. He tried the man’s shoulder for food value on general principles and kept trying to grab his hair. He got the man’s ear several times, so that was just as good.
The man put him on a cold table underneath a bright, shining thing that he couldn’t reach. After a few tries of reaching it, he gave up and sucked on his foot and then played with his tail.
“Initiating stage one enhancement,” said the man.
And then green light came from the shining thing, and his whole body hurt.
“So that was why…” Kurt said, hoarding the memory of the nightmare. The equipment he didn’t recognise as a baby, he knew now. Magneto had put him into some sort of DNA lab, for ‘enhancement’.
But what did he *do*? The memory of his body was exactly the same, then and now. Did he actually do anything, or did Mystique somehow rescue him from being altered?
There were only two people who knew for sure, and Kurt had no particular desire to talk to either of them.
Still, he had to wonder if there was a third who knew something.
Professor Xavier *was* very good at keeping secrets.
Raven soaked in the hot water and was really, *really* glad that she didn’t need very much sleep. She and her son had one other thing in common besides their colouring, and it wasn’t a good thing to share. Both of them had been rented out to the curious when they were children, both of them had been molested.
She’d put it together when Magneto arranged for their one day together after becoming sick of her misery. She easily figured it out because she knew all of those mannerisms. Therefore, she’d played a mother to the hilt, making their day together something special. Something worth remembering in his dark times.
Had she known about Hess and her habits, she’d have killed the gypsy scumbag then and there - right in front of her son - and not cared.
As it was, she was content to stop the abuse when she could. A simple mother’s duty to her boy. It took her a year to sneak away from Magneto, and almost another to track down the gypsy, Jakob Weiss. In the process, she’d found that he’d married into the tribe, and was gypsy only in name. The Romani as a people had far more respect for their children.
The man wanted more money if she wanted 'seconds’ in the 'off season’, explaining that it was extremely difficult to get the lad away from his family once he was home.
Raven transformed into a demon-monster and almost flayed him alive.
He fought. She enjoyed it.
She left a note, just in case anyone else had similar ideas. She wrote it in careful and formal German, in Jakob Weiss’ blood.
“The same curse will visit anyone who rents out children.”
Raven had been up in the foothills by the time the screaming started, and watched the disturbance below her with the same detachment as a child would watch an anthill. She could just pick out the tiny blue figure in the neighbouring village.
“I know it’s a little late, my son,” she whispered, “but happy birthday. You’re free of him.” Then she blew him a kiss, and walked away. The curious could just remain curious from now on. There would be no more unscrupulous middlemen; and quite a few Romani tribespeople on their guard against the bolder members of the inquisitive.
At least she’d done that right.
And now, she could 'curse’ Hess, and her cronies, to the best of her ability. Raven’s revenge was slow, but at least it came. As surely as death.
The back of his chair bumped up against the heart monitor, and his reach across to both Kurt and Jean was awkward, because Kitty refused to leave his side. Xavier reminded himself that it was only physical discomfort and prepared himself for another effort at reconstructing Kurt from the inside.
Even though it was inadvisable, he had to help. No matter what the cost to himself. Kurt was his student. His responsibility. And now, his patient. Charles Xavier could do no less than his utmost.
He cleared his mind, and with Jean’s help, entered the whirring maelstrom that was Kurt’s current psyche. Monsters still roamed loose. Shards of memory flew about, immersing both of them in a flood of recall when they hit.
_The look on his parents’ faces when he said, “He’s only dead.”_
_The exhilaration at the freedom that his holowatch represented._
_Flying on the trapeze._
_How it felt when Kitty screamed at him._
When he came out of the barrage, he had lost contact with Jean, and surrounded by personas. Fight had him in an elbow-lock.
Kurt was looking pissed off to the extreme. “We found an old nightmare,” he said.
_The lab. The green light. The pain._
“We find it interesting that this nightmare matches the start of Rogue’s nightmares. I’m sure you know the one.”
Inadvertantly, he thought of it. The baby crying. The lab. The monster named Eric Magnus.
“Thank *you*,” said the Archivist, taking the slip of memory from him.
The Perfectionist appeared over his shoulder and compared the two views. Remarkably alike.
“Now. Be honest, Herr Professor,” said Kurt. “We have you. We'll *know* if you lie. Did you know?”
“Kurt, please,” said Xavier. “You need help. Jean’s Lost in your head.”
“She’s safe,” said Kurt. “Off playing in happy memories with das Kinder.” He took a breath as the Perfectionist leaned on Xavier's shoulder. “Did. You. Know?”
Xavier sighed. “Yes. I knew. And I - chose… not to tell you.”
Kurt’s assembled masks glared at him.