Continued from yesterday, concluding today:
‘I want… I want respect,’ said Jason at last, 'I want to get what I deserve, to live proper. Like you said…er…. boss, I’m better than those bums, I got powers. Why the hell should I live in the streets?’
Magneto nodded. 'Well said,’ he rumbled, 'and you’re right, it is a great injustice that people such as us should be treated so by the Flatscans. That we should be abused, abandoned, imprisoned, burned, tortured, even killed when we, in truth, are far more deserving of this earth than they. Listen, let me tell you about this place, about our future…’
Pietro, forcing his body into a more relaxed position allowed his mind to drift away from his 'father’s’ usual speech.
Damn, he was still getting used to it.
Well, Magneto certainly looked the part of his father, but in other ways…
'What did you see, Pietro?’
The question came from Wanda, his twin sister. The woman who, for all the fights they had been in over the last few days, mattered more to him tnan anyone in this world.
'You,’ Pietro lied, 'naked. Kid’s got some imagination.’
Wanda’s eyes widened, a look of mixed disgust and horror creased her face.
Pietro grinned, 'Just kidding.’
Wanda snarled, not amused.
Things had changed a lot between the two in the last few years, had started to change as soon as they met Magneto.
They’d owed the guy a favour, a big favour, and so Magneto forced them to join the Brotherhood. Fine.
Or fine by Wanda, anyway. She’d always been into the repayment of debts, it was an honour thing for her. For Pietro, though, it was a different matter. He’d never believed in any of this 'honour’ crap, and though he had little love for humans, Magneto’s methods had always seemed somewhat… extreme.
Hence his big mistake. So yeah, he’d sold Mags out. When things had gotten tough, when it came to the crunch, when the big bomb was all ready to go off, he’d cracked a deal with the X-men.
I’ll help you, I’ll give you a chance to stop the bomb, to bring down the big guy, and you let me and my sister get off free.
So that’s what had happend. He’d stopped the countdown, had stopped the bomb 0.5 seconds before detination, and had done it without Magneto knowing. Without his siter knowing.
Then he had grabbed her and gone, skedaddling outta there with his sister, Cyclops’s blast 'conveniently’ missing them as he sped by.
They had escaped. Escaped Magneto, escaped the X-men, escaped the Brotherhood.
But Wanda was’t an idiot, she had some suspicion that Pietro had betrayed the Brotherhood and part of her hated him for that.
She was one for honour, was one for fullfiling duties, she had bought some of Magneto’s dream and had thought far better of him than the independant Pietro had.
She’d been almost happy when the Master of Magnetism found them again. She’d been willing to rejoin the Brotherhood, even when Pietro had said he didn’t intend to, citing the he had no wish to put his neck on the line again.
Well, this time Bossman came with new chains, new revelations.
He’d told them that they were his children, had supplied proof via genetic testing.
Pietro didn’t know what to make of that, but he did know that now there was no way to talk Wanda out of joining, to stop himself from joining. Ever since he could remember he’d wanted a family, a real family of blood and bones. Now he had one.
And what a screwed up one it was.
A domineering father, a sister who suspected (rightly so) that he has betrayed the Brotherhood, and a dead mother.
Pietro was trapped.
His only hope was that Magneto would never find out about the betrayal, because if he did then son or no son, Pietro Maximoff’s life wouldn’t be worth diddly squat.
He just hoped Wanda loved him enough to keep quiet.
Looking over at her now, however, her usually thick lips contracted into a narrow line of anger, her body stiff, her head turned away from him, he wondered if he should start making out a will.
Professor Xavier sighed into his coffee and tried to ignore Dann’s enraged rantings in an effort to read the morning paper. He was failing thus far, and had he been able, he would have danced with joy when Remy entered and broke the monotony of the government aide’s voice.
“Yo, Prof., we got a situation downstairs.”
“I’ll be right there.”
“I haven’t finished - ”
“But I have, Mr. Dann. If you have more insults to hurl at my X-Men for not incriminating the Legion of the Unwanted into this mess, then please write me a memo and I will treat it with all due respect and decorum.”
After the door had shut on the elavator, Remy gave a low whistle. “How you keep your cool wit’ him, Professor? Given half a chance, I’d'a rammed a bo where de sun don’t shine a long time ago, rather 'den listen to him mouth off all de time.”
“Alas, but I must endure or else face the wrath of his superiors, Remy. Dann is… less than easy to work with, but at least his is a devil we know.”
“Work with, or work for?”
The answer evaporated when the doors dinged open onto the lower levels and both feet and wheels emerged. Remy led the way to the observation room of the DR, and pointed below where Jean sat on the floor, clutching her stomach. Scott knelt nearby, while Alex, Piotr and Ororo milled around with worried expressions. They were all in uniform, having been in the middle of a training session with the interruption occured.
“'Ro hit her wit’ jus’ one tiny punch, an’ she double over like she have her guts ripped out. Remy come to fetch you when she wake up, since she not speakin’ much as of yet.”
Charles flipped on the intercom. “Jean? Are you all right?”
'It… it’s nothing sir,’ replied Jean, 'please, I… I slipped before and… um… I hurt my stomach. It wasn’t much but I didn’t want to mention it, I thought we had enough problems without worrying about a silly bruise.’
Xavier looked at her, his dark brown eyes piercing her to the bone and she knew her lie had not worked.
You’re lying Jean, and I don’t have to be a telepath to know it. You don’t want to talk about this in front of the others? Fine. Come to my office directly. Understood?
'Get yourself to the med-bay,’ ordered Xavier, 'and give yourself a checkup.’
Jean nodded and followed the professor out, she was still clutching her stomach and her steps were wobbly.
'What the hell was that about?’ asked Havok, and Scott frowned. He wasn’t sure, but he had his susspicions. In the darkness, Gambit’s eyes glowed, his hand tightened on his Boe Staff.
'Why didn’t you talk to me about this?’
Xavier was currently turned away from her, gazing out into the guardens surrounding the mansion. She could not see the expression on his face, nore sense his emotions. He was blocking her expertly.
'I… I didn’t… I don’t know,’ she said at last, 'I suppose I didn’t want anyone else involved with this. It was my problem, I was going to solve it.’
'You were embarressed,’ translated Xavier, his voice cold, 'you thought that this… situation was shameful, you were ashamed of what you and Nightcrawler did and tried to hide it from us.’
'Yes sir,’ said Jean softly, 'yes I suppose… I suppose you’re right.’
A breeze ruffled the grass outside, it was still sunny but in the distance, beyond the guardens and the distance grey clouds were gathering.
'Are you angry with me, sir?’ asked Jean at last.
'Angry?’ repeated the Professor, 'no. Dissapointed, yes, upset? Certainly, but not angry. You didn’t trust us, Jean. You didn’t trust me. I’ve been your teacher, your… dare I say it, your mentor, for over ten years now and you didn’t trust me. You could have come to talk to me about this at any point, at any time. But you did not. To be frank, I am hurt, Jean.’
Jean cleanched her fists, biting back the the tears that were threatening to develope, 'I just didn’t want to hear a lecture,’ she said, her voice unusually high and broken, 'I knew what I was going to do would be… I knew that some would think it was wrong. But I didn’t want the child, sir. I didn’t need someone else second guessing me. I thought… I thought if I went to talk to you then you would talk me out of it or stop me and I… I… I…’
She broke down at this point, crying silently as she forced back the wails that were building up in her chest.
Xavier turned away from the window and towards her, there was sorrow in his eyes, but also love.
He put a hand on her shoulder, 'I would never force you to do something you did not want to do, Jean,’ he said, 'I do not agree with your decision, but I do respect it. I just wish you’d talked to me first.’
’S-s-s-so, you… you understand?’
'Yes, Jean, I understand. But I fear that your decision may not entirly be without consequences. I only hope that you are strong enough to face them wisely, and that you learn from this.'
Ororo was half-dressed when Jean entered the changing room. She cast her teammate a wary eye, and didn’t press when Jean chose not to initiate conversation.
A few tense minutes passed in silence.
“Ororo, I…” jean bit her lip. “You’re going to hear some things about me soon that you won’t agree with. But I want you to know that I’m still going to pull my weight with the team. No matter what anyone thinks of me, I won’t let you guys down.”
She finished dressing quickly and left in a flurry of hasty footsteps.
Ororo stared blankly at the spot on the bench her friend had vacated, blinking long lashes and wishing for the first time in her life that their powers were reversed.
This is, alas, as far as we wrote. I think the whole thing broke down into plans and funny versus serious arguments, etc. What we were going to do with Kurt&Jean’s baby was one thing.
This, and my other interactive fics will be going up on Google Drive, shortly after this post goes up. Stay tuned.