Telepaths are a pain in the ass
Disclaimer: Don’t own them, just borrowing them for fun.
Author’s Notes: Yep…this fic is still going. Just to warn you, the Hydra fight is not in this chapter, that’s the next one. Not sure what I think of this chapter. I was half asleep when I wrote it, so I might have gone off on a tangent and started writing something about goblins drinking mochas and scotch. But seriously…thanks to everyone who has been reading. I’m still in shock about the kind of reception this fic has gotten (and it hasn’t been tossed in quarantine either!).
Oh…and, in case I haven’t said it yet this chapter: BLAME SEMET
She had closed all the curtains to her room, thrown up the strongest psychic shields she could, laid down on her bed, and closed her eyes, hoping that would at least make the visions and experiences stop. Unfortunately, all it really seemed to do was make the nightmares more vivid. Though she wasn’t in the mind of Alexander Harris that long, she was there long enough to experience most of what he had experienced…the good, the bad, the humorous, the bizarre, and the just downright crazy. Were she not fighting to keep her sanity, Emma Frost would be wondering how their unexpected visitor ever kept his. It seemed the young man’s life got darker and darker, ending in a fiery and briefly painful death before ending up here.
And then she would experience it all again whenever she fell asleep. At one point, she had taken to raiding the liquor cabinets, over indulging on the alcohol in hopes it would knock her out. All that did was make the nightmare’s come more quickly.
So, now, she simply laid there, preparing herself for yet another experience of having her eye ripped out or experiencing the various tortures by some insane warlord in Africa or some angry demon lord. There was no way…no way…
A knock at the door suddenly brought Emma back to reality.
“Frost,” it was their visitor, “you in there?” GO. AWAY.
She wasn’t sure if she said the words or telepathically sent them.
She heard the door open and then shut. “Can’t do that, lady. You’re poking around in my head is keeping me awake and we need to deal with that.” However, the light was still left off. “For what it’s worth,” she heard him say as he pulled up a chair to sit next to her bed, “I’m sorry. I didn’t know I was booby trapped; if I had, I wouldn’t have even let you inside.”
“I thought I told you to go away,” she said.
“You did, but the problem is, we’re still connected. I can still feel you poking around in there and you’re still having nightmares.” He reached over and turned on a lamp on the bedside table, the sudden brightness causing Emma to flinch. “For some reason, we still have some connection and it’s causing us grief…well…you more than me, and we need to take care of that.”
Emma pushed herself up to glare in Xander’s direction. “And how do you propose we do that?”
“You know, even in a dimly lit room, you look hot.” Even though he was smiling, there was grim determination in his eye. “Seriously, though, we gotta’ deal with this now, but I don’t think you’re going to like my idea.”
“And what exactly is your idea?”
“Well, it consists of you directly linking to my mind again.”
Emma’s bitter laugh echoed slightly through the room. “Excuse me,” she snapped, “but that’s how it all started!”
Xander nodded in agreement. “True,” he said before shrugging his shoulders, “but we can either try my idea and end this problem, or you can go insane experiencing the worst bits of my life over and over again until you snap and kill yourself, or someone puts you down.” Emma looked at him again, and noticed the serious expression on his face. Whatever humor he had there was gone. “I’m not booby trapped anymore, but we gotta’ do something about this link.”
Emma was about to tell Xander to go to hell, but decided that probably wasn’t the best course of action since, according to the memories she did experience, he had already been there…or at least in the general neighborhood. After thinking about it for a few moments, she finally nodded reluctantly. “Fine,” she said, pushing herself up to a full sitting position, “let’s get this over with.”
“That’s the spirit,” Xander softly chuckled. “So, how do we-” He was cut off as Emma suddenly reached up with her right hand and touched the side of his head. Then the world suddenly disappeared around them in a flash.
“…do this,” Xander was saying before he noticed that his surrounding had changed. He blinked and looked around, noticing that he was in a still all too familiar place that still haunted his worst nightmares despite the fact the real town had fallen into a sinkhole. However, Emma standing next to him in white silk lingerie…that was different. Surreal, different…and kind of cool actually, if he wasn’t standing in the middle of an abandoned city street during the city’s final days. He looked around again and saw the abandoned coffee shop on the corner he and Willow would sometimes go to after school back in a more innocent time. Shit, ‘more innocent’? Doubtful…we were just ignorant.
“Oh god,” Emma cried softly, dropping to her knees. “Not again.”
“Hey, hey,” Xander caught her and brought her back up, “it’s okay, I’m here. Stay with me, okay?”
A soft growl got his attention and he turned to see Hyena standing about ten feet away, yellow eyes flashing angrily as she glared at…well, Xander wasn’t sure what Hyena was glaring at because there was nothing there. “What is it, girl?” he asked.
In response, the Hyena angrily circled around a small area of the ground a couple times before walking over to where Xander was, then turning around and assume a defensive sitting position, growling angrily at the whatever was spooking her. The canine creature then turned and glanced at Xander, letting out a soft whimper for a moment before looking back to face off whatever had set her off.
“Xander, what’s going on?” Emma asked.
“I’m not sure,” he said, “but I get the feeling we’re not alone.”
“You got that right, boy.” Both Xander and Emma turned around in the direction of the voice and Xander felt a moment of fear as he recognized the psychotic dark-haired preacher standing in front of him, flanked by a couple Bringers. “I see you’ve been consorting with the devil’s whore. Gotta’ admit, she’s kind of enjoyable, especially when I rip her eyes out…she’s also a better screamer than you.”
Suddenly, Xander’s fear evaporated, burned in away in a wave of anger that he shared with Hyena. Yes, he had nightmares about Caleb and those final days in Sunnydale, but he had seen far worse since then, and now he was certain of something else as he stepped forward. “Nice try, whoever you are, but you’re not Caleb and I’m not in the mood for mind games.”
“Oh, but it is me, boy…I’m in your nightmares every night…she just happens to have a permanent doorway here now.” Caleb suddenly lunged forward at inhuman speed, obviously intending to take Xander by surprise…only for Xander to calmly step aside and catch the psychotic preacher’s arm with one hand, then bringing his own arm down Caleb’s, breaking the man’s limb.
“That’s right,” Xander, said, stepping away as the insane preacher clutched his injured arm. “You’re a nightmare, a dream, something I can now manipulate and control.”
“Kill him!” Caleb was practically screaming the order, but the two Bringers seemed hesitant to approach Xander.
Xander smiled and shook his head. “Hey, Caleb, you ever seen the first Matrix movie?” The two Bringers started to charge Xander, but Xander merely shook his head and softly spoke one word. “No.” The Bringers suddenly seized up, roaring defiantly, but Xander was certain it sounded like they were screaming before the two monsters crumbled to dust, blown away by a heavy gust of wind that was now blowing through the city street, leaving the broken Preacher to face Xander alone.
“You can’t be doing this,” Caleb snarled in defiance, but Xander could see the fear in the man’s eye. Hell, he could practically smell it. “It’s not possible.”
“Oh, but it is possible.” Xander gave the man an evil grin. “You see, The First isn’t here…we beat it…and you. You’re dead and the only way you exist now is through bad dreams. Dreams that have long been locked away and buried by much worse shit I’ve encountered since then. You’re not even the real Caleb, just a damn tool.” Xander paused for a moment, then shrugged. “Okay, I admit, he was a tool as well, so I guess you two have that in common. But right now, you’re just being used as a diversion and a weapon…and that ends now.” The wind suddenly began to gain strength and then boarded up storefronts lining the streets suddenly exploded as two funnel clouds descended out of the sky and began to tear the city around them apart.
“Xander?” Emma looked around at the destruction around them, but for some reason, she didn’t feel fear or dread. In fact, she didn’t feel any breeze at all. Instead, she heard a soft growl and a yip from the Hyena who was now standing next to her and licking her hand.
“It’s okay, Emma,” Xander said as he took a couple more steps towards Caleb who had dropped to his knees. He reached into his jacket and pulled out a tiny little box with a flashing red button that had a radiation symbol beneath it. “This little hellish dreamscape is about to be renovated.”
“Harris…you can’t do this. You shouldn’t be able to do this.”
Xander shook his head and gave the preacher a savage grin. “Times change, people change, and you’re still dead, Caleb. Get used to it.” He pushed the flashing red button and the entire town vanished in an atomic explosion, vaporizing Caleb and Sunnydale, the light blinding Emma and Xander for a few seconds before dying down. Moments later, Xander, Emma, and Hyena were standing on what could only be described a plane of glass that seemed to stretch for miles.
Emma was speechless, having just witnessed what she thought was being ground zero of an atomic explosion. The hellish town that haunted her mind the last couple days was gone.
“Oh, it’s not gone,” Xander said as he walked back up to her. “It’s just been dealt with and locked away in a hell of its very own.” He reached down and scratched the Hyena behind the ears who playfully nipped at him. “Yeah, you’re right,” he said to the canine creature, “maybe that was a little overkill, but it was fun.” The Hyena whimpered and, to Emma’s surprise, seemed to roll her eyes in annoyance as if to say “What else is new?”
Xander smiled and shook his head. “So…that should deal with the nightmare part,” he said. “But we’re still connected it would seem.”
Emma wasn’t sure what to say at that. Xander was right, they were still connected, but she was no longer being assaulted by his violent memories. “So what was your brilliant idea to break it?”
Xander thought about it for moment. “To be honest, I had thought doing this would work, but you know something,” he paused for a moment and gestured with his arm, causing the world around them to ripple, “that psychotic bastard may have been onto something.” The rippling stopped and a large wooden door now stood in front of them.
“What’s that supposed to be?” Emma asked.
“A crazy idea, but I think it might work.” Xander grinned at her. “It’s something that’s been around for thousands of years in the history of mankind…it’s called a door.”
Emma glared at him again. “Very funny,” she deadpanned. “I can see that it’s a door, what exactly is it for?”
“Believe it or not,” Xander chuckled, “I got this idea from a book, but I think it will work. Caleb said that you have some permanent doorway to my mind. So, using my twisted imagination, we got a heavy wooden door.”
Emma gave him a skeptical look. “You’ve got to be joking,” she said, though part of her was hopeful that this would work. “What makes you so sure this will work?”
“I‘m not entirely sure if it will or not.” Then Xander smiled again. “Now, honestly, I don’t mind the idea of you running around in your underwear in my head for all eternity, but if this works, at least we have some way of shutting down the connection, or at least blocking it off. And, at the risk of sounding corny, if you believe enough, maybe it will come true.”
Despite herself, Emma laughed. “You’re right,” she said, “that was corny.” Then she reached for the door and pulled it open to see a pulsating and swirling sea of light behind it. However, there was something about that seemed soothing, inviting, calm. She turned to look back at Xander who was standing there, scratching the back of the Hyena’s head. “You’re sure about this?”
“Well, look at it this way, Emma,” he said, “if it works, you’re outta’ here and we won’t be sharing nightmares. If it doesn’t, then once you step through, you’ll just end up back here and we’re back to square one.”
“Not helping,” Emma snapped, but there was a hint of amusement in her voice. Then she turned her attention to the doorway and stepped right through it, disappearing into the pulsating light. The next thing Emma knew, she was falling, images and memories flying past her so quickly that everything became a blur. Then she heard what sounded like a door slamming shut and her world suddenly went dark.
Xander smiled after he closed the door. Apparently his idea worked. With a wave of his hand, the glassy landscape he was standing in vanished to be replaced by a beach. The doorway was still there, sitting in the sand, but it remained close and Xander was certain that it wouldn’t open for awhile…and it had to be willingly. Hyena gave him a questioning yip at that thought and he only shrugged.
“Who knows, girl…maybe,” he said. Then his smile faded as he turned around. Sensing what he was doing, Hyena growled, letting Xander know that she was prepared to back him up. Xander looked down at her and nodded before speaking. “Okay, I don’t know who you are, but I know you’re here and that shit you pulled with Emma…wasn’t cool.”
There was no answer, but Xander could sense someone was there. He had his suspicions, especially given the world he was in, but he couldn’t be sure. “Okay,” he said, “either you show yourself, or we do this the hard way.” After a few more moments of silence, Xander decided he had enough of this, closed his eye, and concentrated. Then he sighed, opened his eye, and brought his hand up, willing a throwing knife into existence. “Okay then, hard way it is.” He suddenly turned and threw the knife, which sailed several feet before suddenly embedding itself into something.
There was a cry of pain and a man in his late twenties or early thirties sitting in a wheelchair suddenly appeared before falling out of his wheel chair and onto the sand.
“Well, I’ll be damned,” Xander chuckled, “Charles Xavier…and you have hair!”
“That was uncalled for, Mr. Harris,” Charles Xavier winced as he pulled the knife out of his shoulder.
“Do me a favor, Chuck,” Xander snapped. “Ditch the wheelchair, you don’t need to pretend to be a cripple here in the mindscape.”
“How long had you known?” Xavier asked as he got up and brushed the sand off his three piece suit.
“About you? Probably the moment I realized where I was and who I was hanging out with. As for knowing about you poking around in my head, Hyena picked you up awhile back.” Xander made sure to stay several feet away from the other man. While he was certain he had some advantage, he knew that Charles Xavier was a skilled telepath and could probably negate whatever advantage Xander had. “So tell me, what was your plan exactly…exploit my link with Frost and drive her insane?”
“That was not my intention,” Xavier replied, “I was trying to learn about you.”
“So manipulating key parts of my memories and using them as weapons to break her down…that was just a side benefit, right?”
“Actually, no. Those happened on their own. I would have intervened, but I didn’t want to let her know that I was poking through her head.” Xavier then answered Xander’s glare with one of his own. “Besides, it was all I could do to prevent from being overwhelmed myself.”
“Oh, I see…so you just stand by and let her suffer just to learn about the unknown.” A cruel smile tugged at the corner of Xander’s mouth. “The great Charles Xavier…honorable man, letting some poor girl suffer through hell just for some information. Damn…you’re more of an asshole in this world, aren’t you?”
“I wouldn’t be one to talk, Mr. Harris,” Xavier fired back, “given who you’re associating with.”
“Oh please, spare me the holier-than-thou speech, Xavier. I know who I’m currently ‘associating’ with and, just to let you know, I won’t be ‘associating’ with them for much longer. I have other things to do and getting stuck in your petty little philosophical disagreement with Magneto is not on my ‘to do’ list.”
“I would hardly call the situation petty,” Xavier snapped. “You have no idea-”
“No,” Xander said, cutting the telepath off in mid-sentence. “YOU have no idea what’s going on. I mean, seriously…what exactly do you know about me?”
“If what I got from Emma Frost is to be believed, you’re from another world or dimension,” Xavier replied. “Which, I might add, is very remarkable, if it’s true.”
“Oh, believe me, Chuck…it’s true. And I know a lot about your world. Some things are different, but I know enough to tell you that neither you, or Erik for that matter, have any idea what’s coming.”
“What’s that supposed to mean, Harris?”
Xander smiled at him. “Oh, the usual,” he replied, raising a hand. “Conflict, wars, genocide, and hair loss. Now, get out of my head.” A blue bolt of energy exploded from Xander’s hand and slammed into Xavier’s chest, sending the telepath flying back and appearing to disintegrate as he was kicked out of Xander’s mindscape. Xander sighed and shook his head, looking over at Hyena. “Oh yeah, he’s going to be a pain in the ass, isn’t he?”
Hyena’s playful cackle was his only answer.
The darkness Emma found herself in began to fade as she blinked her eyes a couple times before the dimly lit room took shape around her. She sat up and looked around, realized that she was back in her bedroom. Xander was still there, slumped in his chair, still unconscious. She reached over and gently shook him by the shoulder. “Xander.”
Xander’s head rolled to the side and he began to snore slightly.
“Xander,” she said again, a little more forcefully. Then she slapped him lightly on the face. “Wake up!”
“Wha-huh? 42!” Xander said as he regained consciousness. Then he blinked a couple times and looked at her. “Emma? Did it work?”
“Am I having violent and brutal flashbacks of your life? No. So that must mean it worked.”
“Wow…seriously, it worked?”
Emma nodded and smiled. “Yes it did. Although, I’m curious…where exactly did you get that idea for the door?”
Xander gave her a sheepish grin. “Well,” he said, “would you believe I got it out of a comic book?”
Charles fell out of his wheelchair and landed on the floor hard, the first indication that he was back in the real world. He had never been kicked out of someone’s mind before, let alone by someone who was not a telepath. There was the sound of someone running down the hall before the door to his study opened and Hank McCoy entered.
“Professor Xavier, are you alright?”
“Yes, Hank, I’m fine,” Charles replied. “I had a mild mishap.”
The blue furred mutant raised an eyebrow at that. “A mild mishap?”
“Fine,” Charles admitted, “it wasn’t mild and it hurt.”
“I’ll say,” McCoy replied as he helped Charles back into his wheelchair. “Poking your head where it doesn’t belong?”
“Not exactly. I was trying to figure out what the hell it was I sensed a few days ago.”
“Well, did you?”
“And I think I might have annoyed him.”
Author's notes: Okay...and that ends yet another chapter. And no, Xander is not some mega-telepath. He was just protecting his mind.