And down we go the rabbit hole....
Disclaimer: Don’t own BTVS or the X-Men. Joss and Marvel do.
Author’s Notes: All I can say is…Damn! Didn’t expect the feedback I’ve been getting on this fic. Actually, to be honest, I was expecting this fic to end up in quarantine and a familiar voice screaming for my banishment from this place (still expecting it since it is that time of year). But seriously, thanks to everyone who’s reviewed. And to address the whole thing with Xander letting Emma and Erik into his memory…don’t worry. There are some places telepaths and would-be mutant masterminds are not meant to be without a guide. Honestly, I still can't believe the reception this fic got.
Oh…and finally…I know I said this before…but you can BLAME SEMET. It was their stories that gave me this damn idea. It’s all his/her fault (not sure if they’re a guy or a girl).
Speaking of which…when are we going to see that White Knight or Back to the Blacks update?
Anyway...I'm taking some elements of Marvel U canon and trying to twist and tweak them to fit the "First Class" movie-verse. Granted, it's not straight canon (like Azazel's origins in this setting are different than his comic origins obviously) but some similarities will be seen as well as some differences. Like I said to someone else, the "First Class" film is basically a familiar 'verse that was rebuilt from scratch and it was one hell of a ride.
Oh...and did I mention that SEMET is to blame for this?
Erik never thought of himself as a heavy drinker. He learned a long time ago alcohol dulled the senses and, in a life or death situation, a dull edge could result in fatal consequences. However, there were times when he needed a drink just to take the edge off a little and calm himself before he engaged in a course of action. When he tracked Schmidt to that cantina in Argentina and encountered two of Schmidt’s associates, he drank a little beer to take the edge off and then calmly killed the two men and the bartender who had a rifle pointed at him.
The night before that fateful day he and Mystique parted ways with Charles, he drank a little brandy to once again take a little of the edge off because he had a pretty good idea that things were going get really ugly. And they did get ugly….really ugly.
But now, after what he experienced a few hours ago, Erik Lehnsherr really needed a drink and was now sitting alone in the dimly lit dining room of the beach house with an open bottle of scotch and pouring himself a second shot-glass. He put the stopper back on the bottle and lifted up the shot-glass, swirling the dark amber contents as he thought about the trek through the mind of one Alexander Harris.
Erik was surprised when the young man willingly invited them to enter his mind via Emma’s telepathic abilities. Although, in hindsight, Erik wondered if he or Emma would have survived such an experience if Xander had not been there to guide them. The first shock was the revelation from Xander that he was from almost fifty years in the future, which explained why the boy seemed ‘a little off’.
At first, Erik found the experiences harmless, almost amusing, particularly when he saw the versions of himself that Xander was familiar with. The stories behind the characters’ origins varied, but Erik saw a lot of similarities that hit too close to home. However, he found two things that amused him. One, the ‘movie’ version of himself was played by a Shakespearean actor and he couldn’t help feeling a sense of pride and being impressed by the performance of this Sir Ian McKellen. He was also stunned that, in this reality, Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings” books were made into movies and that this Ian McKellen also played Gandalf as well.
The second thing was the fact that, in all the incarnations of himself and Charles, Charles was bald! The one thing that really bothered him about this ‘fictional’ version of Charles was that he was in a wheelchair and, in most versions of that character’s history, it was Erik’s actions that put him in that wheelchair. The amusement faded even more when he witnessed his older self abandoning a de-powered Mystique who had tried to protect him.
However, the amusement was completely buried when Erik realized that this Alexander Harris was from the future. Well, maybe not THE future, but A future of another reality and that world was a very dark one. Most of the boy’s life rushed by them in a blur like water in a moving stream. Then the stream was suddenly replaced by a roaring tidal wave and Erik Lehnsherr, for the second time in his life, experienced horrors that were almost as dark and terrifying as the ones he experienced in the camps. He saw the final days of Sunnydale and how Xander lost his eye. He watched as many people died around him and felt the helplessness Xander had. He witnessed some of the horrors Xander had seen in Africa, both of demonic and human origin, and was beginning to wonder how this boy retained any of his sanity.
However, what Erik didn’t realize was, that while he was seeing the young man’s memories, Emma was actually experiencing them. This revelation became apparent when she screamed and Erik was hit with a splitting headache before the world suddenly exploded in white light around him.
When the light faded, Erik found himself on the floor of the guest room of the beach house. He quickly got up and looked over to see Emma on her hands and knees on the other side of the bedroom, throwing up. He then looked over at Xander and saw the boy twitching, eyes closed. The door to the room burst open and Mystique barged in, flanked by Azazel and Riptide.
“Erik, what happened?” Mystique asked.
Riptide walked over to Emma and knelt down to help her up.
“We’re okay, Raven.” Erik then looked over at Emma who, with help from Riptide, managed to get back up, though she was shaking. “We are okay, aren’t we?”
Emma nodded, but still trembled slightly. “Erik,” she rasped, her throat raw from screaming and throwing up, “I’ve seen things, done things, and felt things…but nothing like that.” She reached up with her one of her hands, rubbed her left eye and blinked a couple times. “I felt it, Erik…I felt that bastard rip the eye out….I felt…” Her voice trailed off and she stumbled out of the room.
Azazel and Mystique had seen to their guest and realized that whatever happened had knocked Xander unconscious. Azazel was certain that the boy had slipped into a coma; but when Emma recovered enough to return, she determined that Xander was merely unconscious but something was blocking her. Erik, for a moment, had considered asking Emma to see if she push her abilities and see if she could get a peek but thought better of it. If what had happened to her was a result of Xander Harris willingly inviting them into his mind, Erik didn’t want to know what would happen if Emma tried to get in uninvited.
So now, here Erik was, a few hours later, sitting alone at the dining room table, preparing to throw back another shot of scotch observing the amber fluid as he swirled it in the glass.
“Not right,” rasped a voice from the shadows. Erik looked up to see Azazel pulling up a chair to join him at the table. “The young man…something is…different.”
“On that, I will have to agree,” Erik said, trying not to snort derisively at the obvious statement. “For a normal, Alexander Harris is very different.”
“No.” The red skinned mutant shook his head. “You are wrong, he is not…normal.”
“He’s not a mutant,” Erik said, “if that’s what you mean. Emma would have sensed it if he was mutant.”
“And I am certain he is not exactly human either,” Azazel countered. “He is…unique.”
Erik lowered his drink and stared at the man for a moment. “What is it Azazel?” he finally asked. “What is it about our guest that has you so concerned?”
Though Erik barely knew the man, he realized that while Azazel was man of few words, he would only speak with purpose and those words tended to carry a lot of weight. So when the red mutant seemed to hesitate, it was a sure sign that something bothered him. Azazel sighed as he placed a shot glass of his own on the table, opened the scotch bottle, and poured. “I come from a very superstitious people,” he said. After he filled the glass, he placed the bottle back on the table and picked up the glass. “Given my appearance, there were some who believed me to be a demon and tried to kill me. However, there were others in my people who protected me, for they believed that the true darkness had yet to come.” He then gulped down the shot and closed his eyes as he set the glass back on the table. His eyes were still closed as he continued to speak. “Even vhen the Nazis came,” he opened his eyes and looked at Erik with a look of certainty, “slaughtered most of our people, they still did not believe the true darkness had come. I do not need to tell you about that time, because I know you have lived through it as I had.”
Erik nodded, his gaze momentarily focusing on his forearm where the numbers had been etched into his skin. “Go on,” he said.
“I will be honest, I never believed in the stories. For one thing, the main prophecy never came true. Legends talk of a prophecy regarding a being called the Dark Seer. He was called other names in the prophecies…the Dark Seer, the Outcast Warrior, The One Who Sees, the Half-Blind Hunter of the Damned.” He chuckled bitterly and shook his head. “As a small child, I enjoyed listening to some of the village elders talk about this being. A stranger with no home, vith one eye, who would appear to fight the oncoming darkness that threatened to destroy us all.” He shook his head again. “A damn myth, nothing more, I never gave it much thought as I grew older. During the war, I had other things to concern myself vith, like surviving.”
“We all did,” Erik said, his tone cold and neutral as he pushed back the memories of those nightmarish years in the camps. “Some more than others.”
“No such stranger appeared vhen the Nazis came.” There was a hint of bitterness in Azazel’s voice as he spoke. “No hero to help fight the evil that had become a blight upon this world and threatened to kill us all.” Then the bitterness gave way to an emotion Erik didn’t Azazel was capable of…fear. “Legend say the Dark Seer would appear before the darkness would awaken once more and attempt to consume the world. When that man…Xander….dropped out of the air…I can not help but vonder.”
“Coincidence, Azazel,” Erik said. “I understand your concern, but do not let superstition override your judgment.”
“I agree, Erik,” Azazel replied, “but hypothetically speaking, vhat if the legends had some truth to them?” He paused for a few moments to pour himself another glass of scotch. “If they are even remotely true, then vhat kind of darkness is rising to consume us?” With practiced ease, he swallowed the second shot and placed the glass back on the table as he got up out of his chair. “It certainly boggles the mind, doesn’t it?”
Erik watched Azazel walk off into the shadows and then returned his attention to his own drink. The rational and pragmatic side of him wanted to simply dismiss Azazel’s words merely as superstition, but some of them rang true. And just for argument’s sake,
he thought, what if they are true? If Xander is the Dark Seer and he is to herald the coming darkness of Azazel’s myths, what exactly is it and how could it possibly be worse than what I’ve experienced or imagined?
Then a more uncomfortable though suddenly hit him. What if I am that darkness?
The moment it crossed his mind, he immediately dismissed it. No,
he thought, never again
. He then drank his scotch and set the glass on the table, pondering a third glass as he remembered the alternate versions of himself Xander Harris had shown him.
The white void sucked. Seriously, it did. Xander only experienced once before and that was fairly recently, but he still stood by the assessment that the white void sucked. Mostly because he was falling and landing face first on the ground of the white void.
He wasn’t quite sure what happened. One moment he was showing two of his captors the highlights of his memories when all hell broke loose, literally. He heard Emma Frost scream and was suddenly hit with a migraine from Hell as the world dissolved into a field of white that he was falling through until he did a face-plant into the ground.
“Dammit!” he snarled as he rolled onto his back, rubbing his nose. “That fucking hurt.”
“Of course it did, Dweebo,” snapped a familiar voice. “Now get your ass up off the ground before I plant my heels in a location that will hurt you even in the afterlife.”
Xander sat up and saw the last person he’d ever expect to see. “Cordy?”
“Yeah, Xander, it’s me. And what the hell were you thinking? Inviting two complete strangers, particularly those two, into your head?” Coredelia Chase shook her head disapprovingly as she watched Xander get up from the ground and dust himself off. “Xander, haven’t I taught you ANYTHING?”
“Well, gee, let’s see…nope…not really.” Xander then laughed. “I never thought I’d say this, but I’m glad to see you and hear you yelling at me again.”
Cordelia’s expression softened and she nodded. “You too,” she said, “but it doesn’t change the fact that you almost got yourself and those other two mentally shredded. If I hadn’t stepped in, all three of you would have been vegetables right now. The Powers may have changed you, but they also booby-trapped you, Xander.”
“Booby trapped?” Xander didn’t like how that sounded. “How exactly…and wait…they CHANGED me?”
“Well, I wouldn’t say changed, they sort of tweaked what was there and…well….I kind of threw something in there as well. But yeah, they booby trapped you. They had something set up in case you willingly let someone enter your mind.” Cordelia held up a hand to fore-stall any argument. “Don’t worry, I took care of that problem. Listen carefully, I can’t stay long and I just wanted to warn you.”
“You’re not going to start speaking cryptic, are you?”
“Something like that, Xander. You always were one for apocalypses, but this one is a big one. The Powers threw you here because it’s really not in their jurisdiction and really don’t give a damn. They figure whatever happens and, since you’ll be stuck here and out their hair, however it ends doesn’t matter. They only threw a few things in here to take you out without breaking the rules.”
“Can’t answer that, dweeb. Sorry.” Cordy smiled sadly at him. “I just hope your inner fan boy remembers some of that crap you used to read, because that’s the only way you’re going to survive.” Then she turned and began to walk away. “Take care of yourself, Xander.”
“Cordy, wait!” Xander started to go after her when the white void suddenly flickered out of existence. Then he found himself in complete blackness, except he could hear something…the rush of water, like an ocean. He opened his eye and blinked a couple times. The felt something wet stream down his cheek and realized it was a tear drop.
And, suddenly, he remembered something she had said to him. Dammit! What did she do to me?
Somewhere in Egypt
The Stone Man stood there. He wasn’t sure how long he had been in that cavern, staring at the intricate carvings of this otherworldly sculpture that marked this place as belonging to his master. It could have been hours, days, months, years, centuries…it didn’t matter. For he was eternal, his accursed master saw to that. While he stood there, awaiting to carry out his master’s plans, the Stone Man stood there, a living statue of stone, patiently awaiting the next step of his masters plans.
Sometimes, he would dream…visions of what would be or could possibly happen if certain events were to unfold. Dreams of his master’s conquest, dreams of his master’s downfall, and dreams of him winning his freedom from the creature that had enslaved him to this cursed existence. However, his master always seemed to circumvent whatever plans the Stone Man had quietly put into place. It was almost an eternal dance that the Stone Man would certain would truly go on for eternity.
Until one day ago…when the Stone Man felt something. The visions he had of various possibilities suddenly shattered like glass, leaving him with only one vision…a solitary figure who walked towards him, shadows trailing behind him, creatures of darkness screaming for mercy before crumbling to dust. And just as suddenly, the man was now standing in front of him.
The Stone Man had no idea who this stranger was, but he had the bearing of a warrior who had fought many battles, one of them costing him the loss of his eye. For a moment, the One Eyed Man and the Stone Man stood there, looking at each other and saying nothing until, the One Eyed Man pulled out a sledge-hammer and smiled as he spoke.
“And this is how it ends.”
The last thing the Stone Man remembered was the sledgehammer coming down onto his face and then oblivion…
“No,” the Stone Man said as the vision faded and he found himself back in his cavern. “This is NOT how it will end…I will not let it.” His gaze then shifted to the red stylized scarab emblem that was his master’s symbol and also the symbol of his masters followers: The Clan Akkaba.
His master may still slumber, but Clan was out there, around the world, active and preparing the world for their master’s return. The Stone Man would send orders out to various cells of the clan, they would find The One Eyed Man, The Destroyer of Visions….and they would kill them. And then
, Ozymandias thought to himself, a smile forming on his stone lips. I will have my vengeance on you, my master.