X-Book 4 -- Of Politics, Tacos and Other Things that Give You
Chapter 19: A Little Favor to Ask
Rating: PG-13 (violence, language)
Genre: Crossover (with anything I can squeeze in), SPOILERS FOR X2
Summary: See prologue to book 4
Disclaimer: I own nothing in regards to the Marvel characters or
any character from a previously published source portrayed in this
Reviews: Any feedback would be great and is appreciated!
Several hours after the incident in the living room, Erik Lensherr
wandered up a short flight of stairs to the same deck Pyro had
discovered earlier. The difference was that Erik had not needed to
search for the roof's entrance. Unbeknownst to all except himself
and Sebastian, this building had once been part of a larger complex
that the Council had used for its New York City headquarters. The
facility had been abandoned, however, after the Council acquired
newer, and more luxurious, flats downtown.
Erik wondered what had prompted Sebastian to purchase this house and
keep it so well maintained for so many years. Perhaps it was to
have some sort of connection or memory of his former life before the
unfortunate circumstances that lead to his current (undead) state.
Before the responsibility of raising the twins was handed to
him...before his old life...and his old conscience...caught up with
As Erik stepped out into the night air, he spotted Sebastian
standing on the other side of the roof and staring out over the
twinkling landscape of Long Island. On the ledge to his left was a
tall bottle, and Sebastian held a short glass in his hand. Erik
approached quickly, making no effort to keep his presence as secret.
Sebastian did not react as the powerful mutant stepped up beside
him. Erik clasped his hands behind his back and also stared forward
across the city. By the coppery smell wafting from Sebastian's
glass, he guessed the vampire was indulging a bit more tonight than
usual. Then, as if to confirm Erik's suspicions, Sebastian took a
long draught before he began to speak.
"Erik..." he said in a greeting, though unenthusiastically.
"Sebastian..." Erik said, mimicking the tone, and then continuing
pleasantly, "This area is quite beautiful. On the Island, the
ground and ocean are dark, and the stars are what shine at night.
Here, however...humanity has drawn the heavens from the sky and
taken the stars for their own."
"Very poetic, Erik...I'll drink to that," Sebastian replied and
poured himself another glass of the crimson colored liquid, "I'd
offer you to toast with me but I doubt you'd want what I'm drinkin'
Erik laughed quietly, "No, I don't think I would. Is it...the real
Sebastian glared at the other man for a long moment before replying.
"As real as any other product that comes from a cow," he shot back,
and then he stared into the glass and chuckled, "Becca's broken into
the basement cooler a few times to label the bottles with things
like `O-Positive' or `Very, Very Rare Steak'..."
"But never human blood?" Erik asked directly and Sebastian glared at
"No, never," he replied firmly, but then added, "Not anymore..."
"I suppose the source of your sustenance would be of concern to your
family," Erik said, "Though the twins seem quite desensitized to
such things as...well, vampires, for example. They handled
themselves very well during the Sentinel's attack and our escape
from Stryker's base. They are well trained in the use of their
powers...in most cases..."
Sebastian dropped his glass next to the bottle and turned to face
"Most cases?" Sebastian replied, and then laughed
sarcastically, "You mean aside from the occasional instances of
gunshot wounds when defensive instincts take over. Or the more
frequent temper tantrums..."
Erik smiled, "I've come to learn a thing or two about pyretic
mutants over the past few months. Pyro can be...overzealous...about
his gift at times as well. Fortunately for the Brotherhood, the
boy's emotions cannot spark fires such as Charlie's could..."
"You mean, as Rebecca's can, right?" Sebastian said darkly, almost
suspiciously. He was weighing every word Lensherr spoke carefully,
having first hand experience with the man's convincing speeches.
"Of course," Erik replied with an apologetic smile, "Unfortunately
for you, Sebastian, it seems Sid is the one who inherited his
mother's cool temperament. If your arguments with Rebecca are
anything like those I witnessed between you and your brother...I
will make sure I am not in the immediate vicinity when they occur."
Sebastian returned an honest smile to Erik's musings, though he
still remained cautious. He had been thinking for the past few days
about what might have prompted Magneto and his Brotherhood to seek
out his niece and nephew. The true reasons why. But finding Erik
Lensherr's real motivations for his actions was always a challenge.
Sebastian knew the obvious facts, that their connections to the
Council could be useful to any former Watcher, that the Malloy
family (as mutants or otherwise) was quite powerful, and that the
Brotherhood needed to make allies in order to further their cause.
However, Sebastian knew more about Magneto's past than most other
people...and after tonight, he was considering another goal the
mutant leader may have in mind.
"Tell me why you're here," Sebastian said finally after a long
silence, "No bull shit, as Erik the Watcher or as Magneto the
messiah of the mutant race. Who are you really looking for?"
Erik stared at the younger man for a moment and did not reply.
"You're so interested in Becca and Sid," Sebastian
continued, "Charlie and Jay's kids, right? But were they really the
twins you were originally looking for?"
Erik still did not reply, but his normally unwavering confidence
faded slightly from his face. Sebastian had been clever as a young
man...but Erik knew immediately whom the vampire was referring
to...a possibility Mystique did not even know of.
"The Council has many resources...and keeps tabs on all of the
family lines..." Sebastian said, "Even of certain families who are
no longer considered qualified to be Watchers because they are
"Enough, Sebastian," Erik said wearily, and turned to sit against
the tall ledge of the roof. In that moment, the younger man saw
Erik both has he had been twenty-five years before and as he was
now, much older and more careworn, despite the confident presence he
upheld. After all, Erik had spent six months in the custody of
William Stryker following the Liberty Island incident, and the deep
scar on the back of his next testified to the torture he suffered
during that time.
"I'm sorry," Sebastian said picking up the bottle next to him
again, "You know me...I just want to do what's best for my family.
And...I figured you would want to do what's best for yours..."
"Very perceptive," Erik replied and then sighed, "And...I would be
lying if I said the thought of finding my children...had not crossed
my mind...more than a few times..."
"I can sympathize," Sebastian said honestly, "Believe me. And I
wouldn't care if you and your followers invaded the fucking Council
to find the records you need. Shaking them up a bit might be good
for them. But I'm not going to let you put the people I care about
in jeopardy again for any cause or personal crusade you might have
Erik regarded him curiously for a moment, "You don't think that
humanity's current perception of mutants puts the twins in danger?"
"They can take care of themselves," Sebastian replied quickly, "Most
of the time, anyway. You were right about that. But I don't think
responding to violence with only more violence is going to help make
life any safer."
Erik chuckled, "Now you sound like Charles..."
Sebastian shrugged and grinned, "Yeah, but even he still trains his
people for combat. The Council may not encourage mutants to train
with their powers, but I've made sure the twins can hold their own
in a fight. However...from my experience, the only beings on earth
that respond to pure violence are demons. Human beings, whether
they've got the mutant gene or not, still have a soul."
"Souls can also be damned," Erik replied darkly, "Go see the mobs
that gather outside the White House sometime. Read their signs and
listen to what they think should be done with mutants...and then
tell me that humanity doesn't respond to violence."
Sebastian stared down at the half drained bottle in front of him.
"And you really don't think there's any possibility of redemption
for them?" he asked.
Erik glanced over at him, the boy he once knew, now one of those
souls damned to an immortal life.
"For some..." he replied, "Perhaps...but not for all of them."
"And the ones who will never accept mutants?" Sebastian asked, "How
do you plan to address those people?"
Erik stood and turned to look out over the city again. His eyes
were cold, glinting like steel in the low light. The memories of
past injustices and torments created the carefully controlled hate
Sebastian saw in the man's face.
"We shall see," the older man said calmly.
Then God help them, Sebastian thought.
Erik glanced at him again, his expression changing quickly to a
"Though that does bring me to another point," he said, "Actually,
more of a favor..."
Sebastian frowned, but looked slightly amused, "Oh, really?
Replacing the house and cars and everything else isn't enough?"
"I'd like your permission for Pyro to stay here for a while," Erik
continued quickly, "While the boy is becoming a useful member of the
Brotherhood, he is still a boy. I'm afraid the Island is not the
most ideal place for a growing young man to learn about the world..."
He was interrupted by a sudden explosion of laughter.
"Lensherr..." Sebastian said, "You're askin' me to take in another
adolescent with power over fire? I just got Rebecca to stop
throwing fireballs at her brother a few years ago! And Sid still
instigates her to do it! He's figured out how to make these glass
shields that are fireproof or something. And they're
adults...technically. And you think I want another kid to deal
Erik nodded, "You've done well with the twins. Plus I believe it
would be beneficial for Pyro to train with an older mutant who has
Sebastian looked at him cynically, and paused a moment before
replying, "He blew up your training room...didn't he?"
Erik sighed and the vampire laughed again.
"Yeah, that happens," Sebastian said, and found himself actually
considering the option. There would be benefits for his niece as
well if she could train with another pyretic. But...should he risk
having one of Erik's Brotherhood in his home, no matter how young
and naive the kid was?
"I'll talk about it with Sid and Becca," Sebastian said
finally, "I'll let you know what we've decided tomorrow. I know
there's probably some other reason you have for having that kid here
but...I really don't feel like wracking my last few brain cells to
figure it out. Just remember what I said...I will not allow you to
put this family in danger."
"And I wouldn't want you as an enemy, Sebastian," Erik said and then
walked back toward the staircase that led back into the house.
Sebastian sat for a while longer on the deck, and watched the night
pass by as only an immortal could, trying to decide whether or not
to agree to Erik's request.
Magneto, he though, almost sadly, He calls himself Magneto now...
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