X-Book 4 -- Of Politics, Tacos and Other Things that Give You
Indegestion: Chapter One - Home Again
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!
As Rogue opened her eyes, she squinted at the medical lab's white
lights shining down from the ceiling above. She was groggy, but
otherwise felt like herself again. The brief trauma she experienced
when absorbing the mutant Cody Weinberg's power had passed. She
looked up at the vague forms around her with confusion.
"Where am I?" she asked and a familiar voice spoke from her right
side. He was holding her hand and smiling with relief when she
finally was able to focus her eyes on him.
"In the lab," Bobby said, giving her hand a reassuring squeeze, "You
guys got back a few hours ago. Me and Storm were already awake
Rogue's eyes opened wide as the events of the past day suddenly came
back to her. She tried to sit up quickly and Bobby supported her by
"Oh, God...I forgot...you two were unconscious...how do you
feel...are you okay? How is Storm?" Rogue asked, speaking quickly.
Bobby grinned and ran one hand safely down along her hair.
"We're fine..." he said, "Dr. McCoy said whatever sedative they used
wore off pretty quick...if we had known where you all had gone we
would have followed..."
Rogue sighed and smiled, but her eyes were rimmed with tears as she
hugged him around the neck. He heard her voice break a little as
she spoke close to his ear.
"What about everyone else?" she asked and Bobby held her close.
"They're all here...and safe," he replied, "They haven't given me
any details yet about what happened but..."
"It doesn't matter..." Rogue said quickly, pushing him back so she
could look at him, "The Professor will go over everything, I'm
sure...I'm just...I'm just..."
Rogue lowered her face and took a deep breath before speaking. When
she looked up at him again, Bobby used a clean, white cloth to brush
the tears from her cheeks.
"I just didn't want to lose anyone else..." she said, "Not like
before...I didn't want to lose any of you..."
Bobby leaned forward and gave her a brief kiss on the temple. Rogue
inhaled sharply as an icy shock ran down her spine and Bobby gave
her a sad grin.
"You haven't lost any of us," he said, "Me and Storm are fine. The
Professor and Cyclops are getting ready for that debriefing. Kurt
is getting the kids ready for taco night. And...Logan's been
harassing Gambit about the bourbon he has hidden in his room...said
he could smell it...and warned him about not sharing..."
Rogue laughed then and wiped her eyes.
"Yeah," she said, "I think Remy's officially part of the team after
Bobby nodded, "He's the one who brought you from the jet. He was
pretty worried...he hung around in the hall until Henry told him to
go upstairs and get something to eat."
Rogue bit her lip in exaggerated worry, "The Doc wasn't mad was he?
That we took off without telling him..."
Bobby grinned, "No. After he noticed you were gone, Peter said he
just shrugged and told him, `My boy, never get in the way of a
He quoted the doctor in a fairly good impersonation of his voice,
and nearly jumped out of his chair when the real thing spoke from
"Excellent advice, Mr. Drake!" Henry McCoy said with a grin, "Just
excellent! I'm glad my words are not falling on deaf ears!"
Bobby chuckled with slight embarrassment and McCoy directed Rogue to
hold her head up as he shined a small light into her eyes.
"So..." he began again, "How are you feeling? Headache? No.
Dizziness? No. Any spots interfering with your vision?"
"Not until just a second ago, Doc," Rogue said, blinking as the
after images of McCoy's light danced before her eyes. McCoy smiled,
"Good," he said, and then his face grew serious, "Professor Xavier
said he would like us all to meet in his office as soon as you feel
able. I imagine...we have a lot to discuss..."
Xavier picked up the phone on his desk, almost before it rang. He
had been expecting this call for hours, and addressed the caller
"Good afternoon, Mr. President," he said calmly, and heard McKenna
laugh on the other end.
"You know, I don't think I'll ever get used to that, Professor," he
replied, "I suppose you know why I'm calling."
"The incidents in Chicago and West Virginia," Xavier replied
"Yes," McKenna said, "I'm very much hoping you can tell me that
mutants had nothing to do with either."
Xavier spoke, "Unfortunately, our intervention was necessary. The
reports you have about a machine attacking a home are true, and
mutants, in fact, were residents there."
McKenna sighed, "And West Virginia?"
"The machine had taken three mutants captive," Xavier continued
truthfully, "We followed it, and discovered a hidden military-style
base. After the prisoners were recovered, we left the area just
prior to the explosion."
"Are any of your people responsible for that explosion?" McKenna
"No," Xavier responded, again truthfully.
"Alright," McKenna said, "Any explanation for why this machine was
created...or by who?"
"Beyond having the capability to take someone against their will, we
don't know why such a machine was created," Xavier said, "But we did
encounter the leader of those forces...and he claimed his name was
"But not William Stryker," McKenna said.
Xavier sighed, "Mr. President, I do still believe Colonel Stryker
died in the flood at Alkalai Lake. This...person...who was using
him, or his name, was also killed. Unless the remains can be
identified, I'm afraid we can only assume...it was not William
He heard McKenna sigh again through the phone. The President
sounded more than a little relieved.
"Were any of your people injured?" McKenna asked.
Xavier appreciated the President's concern, "No, thankfully. And
the residents of the destroyed home have also been taken to
"Yes, I know," McKenna said, and Xavier looked surprised, "We
located the owner of the property, and he said neither he, nor his
niece and nephew, were harmed. He had spoken to them just before
the local authorities contacted him."
This information was new to Xavier, but he simply continued to
listen as the President spoke.
"I doubt his insurance covers Martian invaders," McKenna said
cynically, but sounded more at ease, "I appreciate your honesty in
this matter, Professor. I still don't entirely condone your active
interference in such matters...but I do support the idea that the
situation may have turned out much worse without it."
"And I appreciate having your support, Mr. President," Xavier said.
Xavier heard him chuckle suddenly.
"You know," McKenna said, "I'm probably the only President who ever
wished he had something simple to handle, like Watergate...or the
Xavier smiled, and agreed, before exchanging departing formalities
and hanging up the phone. He leaned his chin thoughtfully against
"Why didn't you tell him?" Logan asked, and Xavier glanced over at
"About Magneto, you mean?" he asked and Logan nodded.
Xavier sighed heavily and glanced around the room at the X-Men. The
primary members were there, including Dr. McCoy, Bobby and Rogue who
came up from the medical lab only a few minutes before the phone
rang. Scott, Ororo and Kurt, as well as Logan had been waiting with
the Professor after discussing the previous day's events among
themselves all afternoon.
"I did not tell him about the Brotherhood's involvement in these
events, because I do not believe it would have been beneficial for
those who were involuntarily involved," Xavier explained, "The
Malloy family has had their share of difficult times in the past,
and I am positive that the Council will question them to no end
about what happened to their home. Hopefully, additional
interrogations by a federal investigative team will not be
necessary, since they have been in contact with Sebastian Malloy
"Do you really think they're safe with Magneto?" Storm asked
angrily, "The Brotherhood is obviously back to full strength. What
if he convinces them, or threatens them, to join up too?"
Xavier's face suddenly broke into a strange grin, "After seeing what
the children of Charlene McGee are capable of, I highly doubt Erik
would risk threatening either of them again. Besides, dealing with
their uncle may prove the most challenging of all."
"Do you know him?" Scott asked with a frown, and Xavier's eyes
almost twinkled with amusement.
"I believe `unfortunately' may be too harsh of a word," Xavier
admitted, "But not by much. As soon as Sebastian realizes it was
Erik Lensherr who `visited' his family, I do expect to receive a
call from him as well."
"Don't sound so thrilled, Professor," Logan remarked sarcastically
and Xavier sighed again.
"What about the other presence in the hanger?" Scott asked and
everyone in the room was silent for a moment as they remembered the
Xavier looked somber, "I honestly have no idea. I've never sensed
anything like it before."
"Was it a mutant?" Logan asked and folded his arms.
Xavier shook his head, "No, not a mutant. Whoever...or whatever it
was, it was certainly one of the most powerful beings I have ever
"And Mary stopped it," Kurt said thoughtfully, touching the rosary
hidden beneath his shirt.
Rogue looked over at him with surprise, but the others once again
fell silent. Xavier leaned back in his chair with a frown.
"Yes, she did," the Professor said, "But I doubt she even knows how."
"Where is she?" Rogue asked with concern.
"She's been up in her room since you returned," Storm said, "I've
checked on her a few times but she's been sleeping."
"When she wakes," Xavier said, "It may be a good idea for you to
talk to her, Rogue. You were unconscious when the `stranger'
attacked her. She may feel more comfortable discussing what
happened with someone who didn't witness the emergence of her new
Rogue nodded and gazed thoughtfully at the floor.
"We will continue to monitor this situation," Xavier finally said to
all of them, "If this new danger is a threat to us or anyone else, I
want to know if it appears again. I will utilize my governmental
resource to keep abreast of federal actions being taken. Otherwise,
I want everyone to keep a close eye on the news and internet
sources. We must be aware of how the public views these events as
well. Once I speak to Sebastian Malloy," Xavier sighed again with
annoyance before continuing, "I will also seek out sources in the
Council. They may be able to help us learn more about
the `stranger' himself."
They adjourned quickly, until the only one left in the room with
Xavier was Scott.
"Do you think we'll need to send a team after the Malloys?" Scott
asked, "Magneto may not be so willing to just let them go, despite
what he saw them do."
Xavier shook his head and smiled, again with strange amusement.
"No. Trust me when I say the Malloys will not need any assistance
in dealing with the Brotherhood," Xavier replied, "Erik is as
familiar with their family as I am. Not so much their mother, as
their paternal relatives. That particular family has been `watched'
by the Council for a long time, even before those children were
born, and they never fail to
entertain. My main concern now is with
our own students. I do hope Rogue is able to get Mary to open up
especially about her past
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*work in progress*