"The Player on the Other Side" (WIP, CH.3) Scott [PG-13] X1 and X2
- 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
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
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.
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
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
"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
"Go." Invoking an old in-joke, Charles added, deadpan, "Take the
"Well, gee, thanks, Pop. You sure you trust me?"
Charles smiled faintly. "I know where you live."
- 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
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."
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?"
"On Liberty Island. You shoved Jean in my face and you took my visor.
"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,
"Go to hell."
"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
"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
"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
"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
"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? 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
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
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.