So, what are we going to do with him?
Disclaimer: Don’t own anything, just having fun. Xander is owned by Joss Whedon. Everyone else…Marvel.
Author’s Notes: Okay…yet another mocha induced frenzy resulting in another hastily tossed together chapter. Once again, I’m pretty much winging it, throwing in elements that I think will work. To be honest, I’m not too happy with how I portray Xander in this chapter, but I’m trying to write him from the PoV that he sees a bigger picture than most because of his perspective.
This also deals with that question Erik was pondering in a previous chapter.
Oh...and if I haven't made my self clear on this: BLAME SEMET FOR THIS FIC!
“So, what are we going to do with him?”
Erik was still pondering Riptide’s question, sitting in the living room of the beach house that had once been the property of one Doctor Wilhelm Schmidt/Sebastian Shaw, when a young Mexican woman entered, her body’s features seeming to melt as she grew taller and assumed her natural blue-skinned form. He didn’t bother to hide his smile when he saw the slight scowl on her face. “He recognized you, didn’t he?” he asked.
The blue-skinned shape shifter glared at him and nodded, clearly annoyed. “I wanna’ know how he knew.”
Despite himself and the situation he was pondering, Erik Lehnsherr laughed, truly amused by Mystique’s frustration with their human guest’s inhuman ability to detect Mystique. No,
he mentally corrected himself, not human…not a mutant either. Inhuman, perhaps?
He couldn’t help being amused by that last thought, unable to define what Xander Harris was, he created a new designation. However, the amusement died with a sense of irony as he remembered his time as a lab specimen for Schmidt/Shaw and recalled that the term ‘Inhuman’ has been applied to him as well. That thought, along with others, left Erik with yet another question. How much like Schmidt am I becoming?
He wasn’t sure he would like the answer if he truly came up with one. While yes, Erik did believe in the superiority of the mutant race, he was starting realize that he was following along in Schmidt’s footsteps and, if the memories he had seen in Xander’s mind had any truth to them, he didn’t particularly like where it headed. But they were works of fiction from that boy’s world, nothing more.
Yes, that was true, but some of that “fiction” hit close to home. While fictional and perhaps inaccurate, some elements were on the mark. Eric found it particularly disturbing that, in all the versions of himself that Xander was familiar with, he was almost always the one responsible for putting Charles in a wheelchair. Another disturbing sight was his older self leaving Raven behind after she took a power-nullifying projectile that was clearly meant for him. It was fiction, merely warped interpretation! Nothing more!
And yet, he couldn’t help wondering, despite the denials, how much truth was still buried in that fiction…
“And I have a foot growing out of my left breast!”
That snapped Erik back to reality. “I’m sorry, Raven,” he said, “I’m not sure if I heard that correctly.”
Mystique shook her head. “Just what I thought,” she snapped, “you didn’t hear anything I said in the last few minutes, did you? That…that…Xander…he saw right through me! And he’s not even a mutant!”
“Well, he’s not exactly human either.” Erik leaned back in his chair and gestured at the small metal globe sitting on a nearby coffee table, causing it to levitate. “Then again, Raven, why are you so surprised?” With another gesture, the globe floated towards him, stopping only a couple feet away, slowly spinning on its access. “So, anything special to report about our guest.”
“Well, aside from the fact that he met with an old man also missing one eye and suddenly vanishing into thin air for a few seconds with the old man before reappearing, the old man suddenly leaving, and then Xander leaving afterwards…not much else to report.” Mystique dropped into another leather chair opposite of Erik, a thoughtful look on her face. “Erik,” she said softly, “what exactly is he?”
“To be honest, Raven, I don’t know. If Charles were here, maybe he could-” Erik stopped himself in mid-sentence as he remembered what happened on another beach only a few weeks ago. For a moment, pain and regret showed on his face before he managed to push it aside and shake his head. “But that’s not an option, especially given what’s happened.”
“Erik, it was an accident.”
“And we don’t need to talk about it,” he said, finality in his voice, “ever.”
“Oh wow,” a now familiar voice chuckled from an adjoining hallway, “now THAT is a sure sign that whatever you’re talking about is eventually going to rear its ugly head and bite you in the ass eventually.” Erik and Mystique both looked up to see Xander standing in the entrance to the living room. “And believe me,” he said stepping into the room and pulling a wooden chair away from a wall to sit down on, “it’s better to deal with it head on right away than push it back, allowing it to grow and strike out at you at he worst possible moment.”
“And that is none of your business,” Raven snapped. The incident with Charles was also a sore topic with her and, while she had nothing against Xander, she still considered Xander an outsider.
Erik felt the same way, but he saw something in the young man’s eyes that he didn’t expect, understanding. “How much did you overhear?” he asked.
“Well, let’s see…if I heard it correctly, Mystique here was involved in a threesome that involved herself, Angel, and Azazel…and she had a foot growing out of her left breast. During that interesting speech, she also expressed anger at the fact that I could sense her no matter what form she took.”
“That didn’t actually happen,” Mystique half growled.
Xander smirked at her. “That’s what I heard,” he replied, then the smirk vanished. “And then you started talking about Charles. I’m assuming you’re talking about Xavier, right?”
“That’s none of your business,” Raven said again, hostility in her voice.
“Raven,” Erik said, shaking his head. “He knows.”
“He has no right, Erik, he wasn’t there!”
“No, I wasn’t,” Xander snapped, his eye momentarily flashing yellow and his voice almost sounding like a soft growl. All three of them paused for a moment, stunned by the event, but none more so than Xander. He closed his eye for a moment and took a slow breath. Then he opened his eye and looked both Erik and Mystique. “Okay,” he said, “now don’t get pissed at me, but I’m going to ask two questions and I want you to give me an honest answer. After that, you can get mad and then do whatever you want to me. First off, the incident that put Professor X in a wheelchair, did it happen already?”
Mystique blinked for a moment. “Professor X?”
“Sorry,” Xander said, “meant to say Charles Xavier, but he’s usually referred to as Professor X where I’m from.”
“Yes,” Erik replied, unsure of where Xander was headed with this.
“Okay…second question…and this is the hard one. Was it intentional?”
“No!” Raven started to lunge forward. “How dare you-”
“Raven, enough!” There was enough anger in Erik’s voice to make Raven stop and sit back down in her chair. He then looked over at Xander. “It was an accident,” he said coldly.
“Okay,” Xander said. “I’m not going to ask for the specifics because, as Raven pointed out, it’s none of my business. Just so you know, depending on what version you went by in my world, it could have been accidental or intentional. If it was accidental, then you weren’t trying to kill him, were you?”
Xander shrugged. “Fine…so you fucked up, people got hurt, and now you have to deal with it.” There was a faraway look in his eye as he spoke. “The question for you, Magneto, is this: what are you going to do about it? Are you going to let it consume you, taint any decision you might make, or simply push it away and try to not think about it? Trust me when I say I’m speaking from personal experience on that one. If you can’t bring yourself to live with your screw-ups, it will break you. However, don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting you suddenly make nice with Charles and his crew.”
Now that caught both Mystique and Erik off guard. “You’re not?” Erik asked.
Xander shook his head. “I’m going to let you two in on a little secret,” he said. “Where I’m from there is no such thing as a ‘perfect world’. Oh sure, you get some people who have that delusional belief, or worse, try to bring about their twisted version of ‘the perfect world’, by inflicting their beliefs on others and, if they can get away with it, slaughtering those they label as ‘the enemy’.” Xander looked at Erik again. “But I don’t need to tell you that, do I? You lived it.”
Erik said nothing in response, but merely nodded, not sure how to respond.
“And I’m sure,” Xander continued, “your world leaders said something along the lines of ‘Never Again’, right? Well, I got news for you people…in my world…it does happen again…over and over…just the names and regions change. Throw in the demonic and supernatural on top of that and, guess what…it’s still the same old shit.” Then he let out a bitter laugh. “Except in your case…a ‘perfect world’ would mean lousy storylines, crappy sales, and your writers would be out a job.”
“But we aren’t works of fiction, Xander,” Mystique said.
“True, not in this world, which means, if this is reality, then it’s back to the ‘same old shit’. The closest this world is ever going to get to a “peaceful” way of life is after a great cataclysm wipes a large chunk of the population out and humanity is forced to start all over and…newsflash…that includes mutants. Sorry, but it’s true. Those humans that hate your kind might see you as their enemy and you might see them as your enemy, but believe me when I say your little war with each other is just that, one war. There are things, actual beings, out there in this world that you aren’t even aware of yet that would make your little human/mutant conflict look like a damn walk in the park. Hell, I wouldn’t be surprised if they manipulated both sides just to weaken you both and finish off whoever’s left standing.”
“Going by your works of fiction, Alexander?” Erik asked.
“No,” Xander replied, “going by experience.” Then his tone softened a little. “Look, I’m not sure what all is here on your world, but I figure if you people are real, then a lot of the bad shit in your world is also here. What bothers me is that I don’t know how different things are and what is actively happening.”
“And what do you suggest, Alexander? That we abandon our dream?”
“Depends what your dream is, Magneto, you want to make the world a safe place for your kind, more power to you. Just don’t make the same mistake that others made by thinking they could only achieve their dream by killing everyone else to get it. That’s what happened to you in the comics, you ultimately became like the monsters that created you.” Xander paused for a moment, then shrugged as he remembered something else. “And no, Charles’s way isn’t the answer either. Diplomacy and negotiation is good and all, but it doesn’t work when you’re dealing with rabid monsters who want to either exploit or kill you. I guess your problem is that you were always willing to over-react and go for the kill and Charles lacked the balls to fight when he should have.” He shook his head again. “And while you two wage your little battle of ideals, the really bad creatures go about their business unchecked.” He then got up out of his chair, pausing to sniff the air. “Well, that’s my unprovoked tirade of the day. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to attend to something else.” He started to leave, but stopped in the hallway entrance to look over his shoulder. “By the way, just so you know, I’m planning on taking off soon. Not sure where I’m going exactly, but, honestly, I’ve got more important things to do than actually participate in what is just going to be one screwed up war with no winners, a lot of dead, and very few survivors. And from what I’ve seen so far, it looks like certain things in those ‘works of fiction’ are going to happen. What sucks is that I have the sick feeling some of my world’s actual history is still going to happen and I’m not sure if I really want to try to prevent it from happening.”
He then left the room, leaving a speechless Mystique and a thoughtful Erik Lehnsherr to think about what they just heard.
Wolfgang Von Strucker set the specialized binoculars down as he turned to address the men that were gathered on the deck of the small freighter that was anchored a mile off shore. He was impressed by the “night vision” capability of the binoculars and their range. It allowed him to make out the various defenses of the beach house that had once belonged to Doctor Klaus Schmidt and to examine the current occupants. They had lost contact with Schmidt, who had created an identity as Sebastian Shaw, a couple months earlier, but they knew he was active. It wasn’t until a few weeks ago that his organization had become aware of what Schmidt/Shaw had been up to, forcing Strucker to mobilize and assemble a strike team to bring the man down.
Ironically, Wolfgang wasn’t surprised by Shaw’s action. After all, Klaus Schmidt/Sebastian Shaw was the half brother of Johann Schmidt, Wolfgang’s former commander and founder of the organization, and Wolfgang wasn’t surprised that Shaw had his own plans. Unfortunately, those plans included getting rid of everyone except Shaw’s closest followers and Wolfgang could not allow that to happen. Ah, Klaus, if you only let us in on your plans, we probably would have supported you.
What surprised Wolfgang, however, was Schmidt/Shaw’s sudden death and most of his assets being taken. A reconnaissance team was dispatched and reported that the people involved with Shaw’s death were currently staying at Shaw’s beach-side manor house in Mexico.
Wolfgang took no chances when he learned that he was dealing with “super-powered” beings. Knowing what Schmidt/Shaw was capable of, he assembled an elite strike team and made sure they were armed with the best weapons Arnim Zola could provide. Zola requested that a couple of the “specimens” be captured alive, but Wolfgang made no promises. If these beings could take on Shaw, killing them would probably be the only option. My apologies, Arnim, but I will try to give you a relatively intact corpse.
He allowed himself a tiny smile and then looked down at the assembled force. “Gentlemen, I will be brief. Your orders are simple, kill everyone, secure the facility, and reclaim what is ours.” He then raised his arm, fist clenched. “Hail Hydra!”
As one the assembled men raised their right arms, mimicking their commander’s movement, shouting in unison.