On the Wings of An Angel
Title: On the Wings of an Angel
Pairings: Xander/Storm, Xander/Warren, Scott/Jean/Logan
Disclaimer: I do not own Buffy the Vampire Slayer or the X-Men.
"Fate of the X-Men" part 4
Winter in New York. Graymalkin Lane. The Xavier Institute for Gifted Children.
Xander sat in front of the fire, his eyes distant as he stared at the log burning in the embrace of the flames.
With a sigh, he sent a wisp of Power out, braiding three tongues of flame together, blue, yellow and orange wrapping around each other. It was so effortless, the ebb and flow of energy slipping from him to warp the supposedly solid reality around him.
Sometimes he surprised himself with how much his power had grown over the last two years, but mostly he dealt with it in as blase a way as possible. He thought that if he pretended that he wasn't totally freaked out by what he could do, eventually he would become used to it.
The study door opened and there was the sound of footsteps approaching the couch where he sat. He didn't look up, already knowing who had dared to deface his solitude.
With a rasp of wings brushing the arm of the couch, Warren sat down next to him. "What are you doing?"
"Nothing," Xander said.
"So, I haven't seen you in awhile," Warren said, trying almost too hard. "What have you been up to?"
"You know, same old, same old. Saving the world. Fighting evil. Being possessed by megalomaniacal madmen bent on the subjugation of all mankind."
"So, another day in X-Menville, huh?" Warren snorted a laugh. "And everyone wondered why I felt the need to leave the group."
"Maybe you had the right idea," Xander said.
"What, you're really thinking about leaving?" Warren stared at him in shock.
Xander shook his head, his attention still outwardly focused on the fire. "Naw. It's too late for me to leave and find some other kind of life. This is who I am. I AM an X-Man. Charles has wrapped me up so tight in the ideals of the whole thing that there's nothing else for me. I'm stuck. But at least you got away."
Warren laughed, though it sounded suspiciously like a barely muffled sob. "Away to what? What do I have, Xander, what do I really have? Sure, I'm running a multi-million dollar corporation, but what else do I have? At the end of the day, I go home to an empty apartment. I have no one that I can really trust. I just kind of drift along holding myself in check with nothing that really matters to me and no one to care about."
"You still have us," Xander said. "Whenever you want, you know there's always a place for you here."
Warren snorted. "But what does that really mean, huh? All those reasons why I left, they're still there, pressing me in, holding me on the outside of everything. I'm not a real member of the group and I never will be, not anymore."
"What do you mean?" Xander asked, making a flame disappear from one end of the log to appear on the other.
"I've got these huge giant wings, so everyone in the world can just look at me and know that I'm a mutant," Warren said. "But what else have I got? Sure, I can fly, but that's pretty much it. That's why I couldn't stay with the X-Men, I was just a hindrance. Someone else that Scott had to spread himself thin to protect. That's why I had to leave. I couldn't take putting you all at risk anymore."
"Spare me," Warren said. "I know that compared to every other X-Man I'm useless. I can fly, so what. I have no real powers and I never will. I'm useless."
Xander forced himself not to look at Warren. If he looked, he knew that his eyes would give his guilt away.
With Warren seated next to him on the couch, Xander stared into the fire until his eyes began to blur and images seemed to form in teh heart of the flames. Images of the past, of the terrible thing he had committed in the name of Charles Xavier's precious dream.