Xander felt comfortably numb, the adrenaline high having worn off and the alcohol doing a good job of making a hash of any higher thought processes that reared their ugly heads, which would explain why S’ym had been able to convince Xander of some truly insane possibilities.
A massive thump shook the ground as a massive cargo container hit the beach, its chutes slowly collapsing to the ground.
Some dimensions were so difficult to enter you had to wait for the stars to align, and then you had to perform a blood sacrifice to beings more picky than a French Maitre d'. Limbo, or rather Belasco's Limbo, however was so easy to enter that most mutants who had the ability to teleport instinctively passed through it, like it was a shortcut to Downtown, making it ten times easier to teleport, just as it was designed to be.
Reed Richards could probably have jury-rigged something with a nine-volt battery and a dollar and three cents worth of parts from Radio Shack to create a portal into it. Stephen Strange, Sorcerer Supreme for the X-Men's home dimension simply scratched himself and yawned, before waving a hand and opening a portal into Limbo with less effort than most people expend opening a car door.
Stepping through into a tunnel that stunk of sulfur and looked to be volcanic in origin, he read the signs carved into the rock above various caves and realized he was in the demonic equivalent of a mall, albeit an empty one. "Eye of Thundera, give me sight beyond sight," he chanted, causing the golden eye clasp on his red cloak to suddenly open, slamming a wide-angle scan of the dimension directly into his Frontal Lobe.
Doctor Strange winced and made a mental note that the eye of Agamoto did not like to be called the eye Thundera, and that he really should stop watching cartoons and drink some coffee before going to take care of any problems he'd been called to handle. The eye snapped shut and he rubbed his temples before taking to the air, his flight a bit bumpy which he was sure signified that his cloak of levitation was laughing at him.
Following what he'd sensed earlier, he followed the tunnel out into what could only be described as a tropical paradise, except for the obvious gigantic tracks of either birds or lizards of some kind. Making himself invisible, he followed the well-beaten path of countless demons to...a beach resort?!
Stephen stared about him. The place looked like Club Med as envisioned by the Flintstones. The hotel was a large stone structure with the doors made of thick wooden planks. The pool looked to be a natural hot spring with steam rising from it, and all the beach chairs and tables scattered about were obviously made from roughly carved boulders. The only thing that didn't fit was a large metal cargo container that appeared to be set up as a bar. A couple of massive speakers blared the Beach Boys from the top of it.
Approaching closer, he saw what appeared to be a very formidable purple demon drinking with a dark-haired teen and sharing a drumstick that looked to have come from the mythical Roc. Scanning the boy, he saw he was even more closely linked to this dimension than Illyana was. Nodding to himself, he dropped his invisibility and approached.
"Trouble, kid!" S’ym said, snatching Xander's soul sword and getting ready for a battle.
Xander looked over and saw Dr. Strange. "Nah, he's a good guy. Probably just stoppin' by for lunch."
Much to his embarrassment, Stephen's stomach growled loudly. "Actually, Illyana sent me to find out where all her demons were vanishing to, but I wouldn't say no."
"Ah, the Boss sent you? Well pull up a seat and dig in then," S’ym said, setting the sword down and going into the bar for another pitcher of beer. When he got back, he found Stephen eagerly digging in.
Illyana's eyes widened and darted about.
"Problem?" Xavier asked.
"I can feel my demons again and Dr. Strange, but...I also feel someone else," she replied.
Before any more could be said, the air rippled and tore.
"I wish they all could be California girls!" sang the duo who stumbled through the portal.
"I found your problem," Dr. Strange said.
"Uh, huh?" Illyana replied.
"Yeah, this guy," he said, proudly pointing at Xander.
"He's your new roommate!" Earth's Sorcerer Supreme said.
"What?!" chorused most of the mutants.
"Gotta go," Stephen announced suddenly. "Earth's champion has been summoned!"
Stephen vanished in a burst of light, leaving the portal hanging in the air behind him, Beach Boys music just audible in the background.
"You don't smoke, do you?" Xander asked Illyana curiously.
"How about some introductions?" Xavier suggested.
Xander held out a hand that was suddenly holding a shiny silver sword, but before anyone could respond, he held it straight over his head. "I am He-Man!" he announced, before falling over backwards, leaving the sword stuck in the ceiling.
"If we have to have a male roommate, at least he's a cute one," Kitty, Illyana's current roommate, said. "Is that blood around his lips?"
Logan shook his head. "Barbecue sauce."
"We are not putting him in your room," Scott said firmly.
"If the Earth's Sorcerer Supreme tells me something, I'm inclined to listen," Illyana dryly, ignoring the silent cheer of her hormones.
Logan nudged Xander 'til he opened his eyes. "Kid, wake up! How do we close the portal?"
Xander's eyes shot open and he bounced to his feet, a look of panic in his eyes. "We have to close the portal!"
Staring into the portal which showed a group of demons playing volleyball, he sighed. With a serious look on his face, he scanned the rest of the mutants until his eyes landed on Scott. "We need to close the portal, or the entire world will be dragged into hell."
"What do we need to do?" Scott asked.
Xander stood him in front of the portal. "Your sacrifice will not be forgotten."
Xander's soul sword vanished from the ceiling and appeared in his hand as he thrust forward, running Scott through while pushing him into the portal. Scott fell backwards and out of sight. "Damn, he was too much of an asshole to qualify as human," Xander said in the sudden silence as he stared at the portal, which hung unchanged.
The New Mutants started laughing their asses off as Scott's voice came through the portal, "What the hell was that for?"
"Soul swords only harm magical beings," Illyana explained to the shocked adults.
"I needed a blood sacrifice to close the portal," Xander replied. "And, I couldn't sacrifice myself because I've already sacrificed myself to close the last portal to Hell I ran across, which landed me in limbo. So, I looked over everyone here and realized you are the person I'd miss the least, being a sanctimonious asshat who is always trying to make everyone conform to your morals."
Scott stepped back through the portal, clearly pissed, a mood not improved by the many nods he was seeing from the younger students. Xander cut his finger with his sword and flicked the blood at the portal, closing it instantly. "Huh, that was easy. Illyana, could you open the portal again, he was not supposed to be on this side when I closed it."
"You'll just have to put up with him like everyone else," Logan said with a grin.
"I could've stayed in Limbo, but no, I had to return to Earth," Xander muttered. "I hadn't even finished that drumstick me and S’ym were splitting."
"S’ym's a big eater, I doubt one drumstick would've fed you both," Illyana said, amused.
"It was a Pterodactyl drumstick from my side of Limbo," Xander said. "We were having a big beach party."
"Well, we'd better get you to bed, it's getting late," Illyana said, curious but realizing his answers would be a lot more understandable in the morning when he was sober.
"You're not going to take advantage of me while I'm drunk are you?"
"I think we can control ourselves for one night," Kitty said with a grin.
The girls laughed as they led him off. Scott objected again, but the three ignored him.
"Cool your jets," Logan ordered. "Strange doesn't give out orders arbitrarily, even while plastered."
"Putting a teenage boy in a room with two girls is just asking for trouble," Scott argued.
"He's right," Hank said dryly. "They could have ‘The Sex’ and then the world would end."
"They are underage," Scott said firmly.
Ororo and Amara gave him a look that called him an idiot without words.
"In this culture they are underage, even if they are legal in your native cultures," Scott replied reasonably.
"Actually, local laws say as long as it's consensual and they are within a couple of years of each-other it's legal," Hank pointed out.
"Just because it's legal doesn't mean it's right," Scott argued.
"And, illegal doesn't mean immoral," Hank replied. "You are simply going to have to learn to respect other people's morals."
"My moral values are backed by the church," Scott said firmly.
"Which has always changed its moral stance to keep up with the times," Hank said bluntly. "The Catholic church's silent support of slavery and Hitler being two very good examples of how far they'll go for power, and even the Ten Commandments fail the test as they've been 'reinterpreted' to fit modern mores. You can't claim moral superiority by following in the footsteps of hypocrites.'
"The Church may have buckled under to political pressure and have participated in great wrongs in the past," Scott agreed. "But even if there are hypocrites controlling the Church, the morals they teach must benefit society as a whole and work as a healthy guideline to living in modern society to continue drawing in and supporting their worshipers. Eighteen has been decided on as the age of adulthood for two reasons, one, sex always carries the risk of pregnancy and eighteen is the safest age medically to start having children, and two, because by eighteen you'll have already graduated high-school and have the basic skills needed to survive on your own. The Church pushes for marriage because it provides a more stable environment for raising children than a single parent can provide."
"And, the fact that we have technology that makes unintended pregnancy a rare occurrence?" Hank asked.
"You always have to prepare for the worst, and as X-Men we will be looked up to by others. So, for the sake of others, we have to provide a good example," Scott said firmly.
"I think the cultural bias of your morals makes your 'good example' a point of contention rather than a role model," Hank said with a sigh. "But, I can at least see where you're coming from."
"I learn far too much at meals," Bobby said, shaking his head. "And, I'm half convinced you guys set it all up to trick me into learning things outside the classroom."
After the rest of the New Mutants had left, Mirage asked "Was this a setup or do you guys try and turn your lives into a soap opera?"
Wolverine chuckled. "It's real. Why do you think I spend so much time on break from this place?'
"My head hurts," Xander groaned when he awoke.
"Then don't drink so much next time," the brunette mutant in the next bed said with a yawn as she woke up with the blonde girl tangled about her.
"What? Oh yeah!" Xander said as the memories hit him.
"Illyana is like an octopus when she sleeps," Kitty complained, trying to untangle herself from her blonde roommate.AN: Typing by Lucillia!