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"The Player on the Other Side" (WIP, CH.3) Scott [PG-13] X1 and X2

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  • rachel_martin64
    Title: The Player on the Other Side Characters Ch. 3: Charles, Erik, Scott. Charles/Erik. Logan gets talked about behind his back. Erik makes a nasty
    Message 1 of 2 , Nov 13, 2003
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      Title: The Player on the Other Side

      Characters Ch. 3: Charles, Erik, Scott. Charles/Erik. Logan gets
      talked about behind his back. Erik makes a nasty insinuation.

      Summary Ch. 3: Scott loves Erik Lenscherr. Also, he hates Erik
      Lenscherr. It's a problem.

      Summary WIP: A popular officer is framed for the destruction of
      Alkali Base. His friends band together to ruin the mutant they
      consider responsible.

      Rating Ch. 3: PG-13

      Note Ch. 3: The Corvair was famously described by consumer advocate
      Ralph Nader as "unsafe at any speed."

      Author: Rachel Martin

      E-Mail: Rachel_martin64@...

      Archive: Archive anywhere.

      Disclaimers: The X-Men belong to Marvel and 20th Century Fox. No
      copyright infringement is intended and no money is being made.

      Feedback: Feedback is welcome. Critical comments will not be
      misinterpreted as a flame.




      III.


      The last time he spoke to Erik Lenscherr was the first time he saw
      Lenscherr in his plastic prison.

      Logan, still hanging about the mansion after the Liberty Island
      mission, supposedly waiting on Charles' recovery, had not understood
      why Scott would want to visit the man who had almost murdered Rogue.
      The Wolverine had expressed his objections most colorfully. Scott had
      not bothered to reply. Logan would move on and out of his life in a
      matter of weeks, of that he was certain. He, unlike Charles, would
      never have shared the secrets of the Institute with a drifter, and he
      certainly would not share with Logan the history that he and Charles
      and Erik held in common.

      Logan would leave. Scott wondered if Jean would leave with him. He
      felt surprisingly little emotion at the prospect. He'd loved Jean
      since he was a boy. Surely he should feel something other than
      exhaustion at this moment? Well -- shadow-boxing was exhausting work.

      Scott was tired all the time these days. Tired of being an object of
      pity. Tired of being the subject of gossip. Tired of living in dread.
      He was tired, period. He wanted to be put out of his misery.

      And if Jean chose him? She had another thought coming if she thought
      they would just slip back into their old, comfortable routine as soon
      as Logan took off. Scott could not pretend their relationship had not
      been permanently altered. Oh, he didn't doubt Jean had been
      physically faithful to him. Was he supposed to settle for that?

      "I'd offer you a penny for your thoughts," Charles said lightly as he
      motored into his study. "But I'd guess they're worth at least a
      quarter apiece."

      Scott shook his head and forced a smile for the man he considered his
      father. He thought about Erik Lenscherr, supervillain, psychotic, the
      man he considered his other father. Scott Has Two Fathers, he thought
      wryly. Now there's a title for the children's section.

      Scott loved Erik Lenscherr. Also, he hated Erik Lenscherr. It was a
      problem.

      "I was thinking..." Scott rubbed his jaw awkwardly. "I was thinking
      I'd like to go visit Doctor Len -- Magneto."

      Charles paused. An expression of -- what? -- flicked across his face
      too quickly for Scott to identify. It was quickly replaced by a look
      of polite disinterest.

      "You hardly need my permission, Scott."

      "Yeah. Yeah, I do."

      "I myself intend to visit Erik." The old man shrugged. "I can hardly
      fault you for doing the same."

      "That's not an answer."

      "Really, Scott, I'm not concerned you'll join his cause."

      Trying to get an honest answer out of a psychiatrist could be hell.

      "Charles," he said helplessly.

      Charles motored around his desk and appeared to become instantly
      absorbed in the contents of his in-box.

      Scott stood irresolutely a moment. Awkwardly he turned toward the
      door. He took a step.

      Abruptly he turned back and strode around the desk. Ignoring Charles'
      irritated glance, Scott knelt beside the wheelchair. He exhaled, a
      deep breath he had not known he was holding, and leaned his forehead
      against the old man's knee.

      The spring morning seemed to melt away around him. He could almost
      hear the autumn rain pattering against the windows. He could almost
      smell the aromatic smoke of an oak fire in the grate. He could almost
      feel Charles rubbing his temples, trying to relieve the headache that
      he had never suspected would plague him for the rest of his life. He
      could almost hear Erik's voice as he read aloud from the techno-
      thrillers and sci-fi novels that Scott was supposed to be learning
      how to read in Braille.

      Erik. Poor Erik, whom he had loved second-best, and who had known it.

      He felt Charles' hand on his head, gently tousling his hair, and he
      looked up.

      "Go." Invoking an old in-joke, Charles added, deadpan, "Take the
      Corvair."

      "Well, gee, thanks, Pop. You sure you trust me?"

      Charles smiled faintly. "I know where you live."
    • rachel_martin64
      Ch. 3 con t Scott opened his mouth and listened in disbelief to the words that fell out. Guten Tag, Herr Doktor. Furiously he snapped his mouth shut. Magneto
      Message 2 of 2 , Nov 13, 2003
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        Ch. 3 con't


        Scott opened his mouth and listened in disbelief to the words that
        fell out. "Guten Tag, Herr Doktor."

        Furiously he snapped his mouth shut. Magneto deserved no courtesy. He
        had sent Mystique to poison Charles. He had callously jeopardized
        Rogue's life. He had nearly killed millions of New Yorkers. He had
        rescued Scott from juvenile jail.

        Scott knew then and there he was fucked, but the hatch to Magneto's
        cell had already been sealed behind him.

        "If it isn't young Scott." Lenscherr looked genuinely curious a
        moment before he assumed a bored, faintly mocking
        expression. "However did you manage to slip the leash?"

        Scott glanced aside. He touched his glasses reflexively, as if
        Lensherr possessed the power to yank them off his face. Lenscherr was
        the reason the ruby quartz lenses were no longer set in a soldered
        lead frame. Lenscherr was the reason he'd had every silver filling in
        his head replaced with ceramic. He thought of the hours spent in the
        dentist's chair. Good enough reason to hate Lenscherr.

        "Something I wanted to ask you," he said.

        "Oh, dear." Lenscherr sighed theatrically. "Must we re-hash the
        Liberty Island fiasco? A fiasco due to your interference, may I say."
        He pushed up one sleeve and pointedly gestured to a rainbow of
        bruises.

        Scott felt instantly sickened. He said, almost inaudibly, "I didn't
        want to hurt you."

        "I was counting on that." Lenscherr spoke lightly enough.

        Breathe, Scott told himself. Breathe. Ororo swore this yoga shit was
        good for something. Breathe. He was not going to weaken. He was not
        going to feel guilty. Magneto had brought the attack upon himself.
        He'd left Scott no choice. But the attack upon Charles -- "How could
        you hurt Charles?"

        Lenscherr rolled his eyes. "We've had this discussion." He adopted
        a sing-song voice. "You see, son, sometimes Daddy and Daddy would be
        happier living apart than together -- "

        "I'm not -- " Scott restrained the urge to punch the old
        bastard. "I'm not talking about you moving out of the mansion. I'm
        talking about you sending Mystique to poison Charles."

        The old man blinked.

        "Well, really, boy," Lenscherr drawled. "Collateral damage, you know.
        This is war, after all."

        "Yes," Scott said gravely. He could feel his legs actually wobbling
        in relief. He grabbed hold of the extra chair in the cell, spun it
        around and sat down. "Then you'll be sorry to hear that Charles has
        made a full recovery."

        "Quite sorry."

        The two looked silently at each other. Scott decided he couldn't
        spare a teaspoon of pity for his old housemate Raven, who had once
        tormented him nearly as horribly as that Jason Stryker.

        "Well, if you're done boring me --"

        "Something else I want to ask you. About Liberty Island."

        Lenscherr sighed. "Let me guess. You want to know how I could
        conceive of such a dastardly crime against humanity."

        "Why did you take my visor?"

        "Excuse me?"

        "On Liberty Island. You shoved Jean in my face and you took my visor.
        Why?"

        "That's your question?" Lenscherr looked amused. "Really, Scott. You
        have a limited amount of time here. Are you sure there isn't some
        larger issue you'd like to address?"

        "It's the only other question I have. I understand why you did
        everything else you did."

        "Ah. There is hope, then." Lenscherr fell silent.

        "I'm still here."

        Lenscherr looked up, distracted. Slowly he began to smile. "Didn't
        Miss Grey appreciate my little practical joke?"

        "I know *I* didn't appreciate it."

        "But Scott, I did it for you. Tell me, does she still try to snatch
        the glasses off your face when the two of you are becoming, ah,
        intimate?"

        "Go to hell."

        "You're welcome."

        "I could have killed her."

        "But let's not discuss the cost of reconstructing the mansion after
        one of your romantic trysts with Miss Grey. This Logan fellow -- he
        has joined your little band of merry men, hasn't he?"

        Still angry and embarrassed, Scott shrugged. The drifter was not
        putting down roots in his backyard. To that end, he had begun leaving
        his bike out on the drive with the keys in the ignition.

        "A fascinating individual. Nature so obviously intended him to be a
        man of peace." He held up his hand at Scott's incredulous
        expression. "Oh, yes. Consider his mutation. It is purely defensive
        in purpose."

        "I. . . I suppose it is."

        "But he was nurtured by the American and Canadian military."
        Lenscherr leaned forward and tapped Scott's right temple. He said
        softly, "And Nature so obviously intended you to be a man of
        violence."

        "I'm not a walking cannon," Scott said harshly. "I'm not a slave to
        my mutation. I'm more than my mutation. In fact I happen to be a
        teacher."

        "Your facility with numbers is for the purpose of target
        acquisition." Lenscherr waved away Scott's profession. "One's
        mutation and one's self are inextricably entwined. I respected your
        true nature. I would have nurtured it."

        "Turned me into a killer, you mean?"

        "Scott, you are a killer," Lenscherr said patiently. "It was Charles
        who turned you into something you are not. Charles could not love you
        as you really are. He had to remake you into something more
        acceptable to him."

        "Bullshit," Scott said angrily, and then got angry at himself for
        getting angry. Goddammit, why did he let Lenscherr manipulate him?

        "Truth. Charles re-educated you as thoroughly as the Army re-educated
        Logan."

        "I didn't spend the past nine years in obedience school. I'm not an
        animal, and neither is Logan." *Did I just say that?* "Enough of this
        nature-nurture shit. You're leaving something out of the equation.
        Free will."

        "Free will? You?" Lenscherr laughed heartily. "Tell me, with whom are
        you most involved? Charles and Jean. Two telepaths."

        "They don't control me," Scott said tensely.

        "And as I recall, young Miss Frost was quite taken with you as well.
        How is it you've managed to attract not one but three telepaths, boy?
        Haven't you ever wondered about that? Can you possibly think it's an
        accident, or a coincidence?" Lenscherr shook his head. "You and I,
        people like us, we attract people like them. We are disciplined.
        Rational. We process our thoughts in an orderly manner." He smiled
        unpleasantly. "Is Emma as subtle as ever? At least you need not fear
        any unwelcome advances from Charles."

        Scott stared stupidly at Lenscherr.

        "Oh, he confessed all to me in a fit of angst one evening. I must say
        I was unflattered, but never concerned for your safety. Charles has
        always been too weak to be a threat to anyone."

        Lurching out of his chair, Scott turned and pounded on the hatch of
        the cell until he attracted the attention of the guards in the
        antechamber. Lazily one guard put down his paper and got to his feet.
        He shuffled unhurriedly down the catwalk connecting the antechamber
        to Magneto's cell.

        "And you needn't worry Jean will stray. Well, I expect she will
        stray, but she will always come back. She's addicted to you. Did you
        think it was love?"

        And then, mercifully, the guard was finally unsealing the hatch of
        the cell. Scott stopped himself from bolting through. Have a little
        dignity, he thought furiously.

        He turned and said, coldly, formally, "Guten abend, Vater."

        Jesus H. Christ, he thought a second later.

        Scott stood, dumbfounded, staring at Lenscherr. He couldn't believe
        the words he'd heard, even though they'd fallen out of his own mouth.
        He stared at Lenscherr, and in that moment, he became truly afraid of
        the man.

        Lenscherr smiled. "I'm sure we'll talk again." His smile
        broadened. "Mein Sohn."

        Scott strode rapidly past the guard, through the hatch and down the
        catwalk.

        He never set foot in Magneto's cell again. He never could bring
        himself to do so, not even, as he discovered, to save Charles.


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