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FIC: X-Book 4: Of Politics..., PG-13, Chpt 17

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  • Kathleen
    X-Book 4 -- Of Politics, Tacos and Other Things that Give You Indegestion Chapter 17: A Few Magic Words, A Little Puff of Smoke By: Kath713/Leen713 Rating:
    Message 1 of 1 , May 8, 2004
      X-Book 4 -- Of Politics, Tacos and Other Things that Give You

      Chapter 17: A Few Magic Words, A Little Puff of Smoke

      By: Kath713/Leen713
      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!


      Chapter 17:

      Pyro was sitting on the roof of the Malloys' home, lazily flicking
      his lighter open and closed as he watched the sun setting over the
      Long Island skyline. Magneto and Mystique had retired to talk
      privately (or whatever they did privately), and he was not sure
      where Toad had disappeared. So after he had eaten and napped, Pyro
      began exploring the strange building until he found a stairwell that
      lead to the roof.

      From the ground, the upper most part of the house had seemed open
      and bare. However, to Pyro's surprise, he found an elaborate deck
      and patio overlooking the suburban area. It looked as if it had not
      been used for a while, and Pyro figured it was mostly occupied
      during the warmer summer months.

      All the deck's furniture had been covered with large tarps, so Pyro
      found a place to sit on one broad ledge, where he could wait for one
      of the others to call him back down. He hated waiting, not knowing
      what the plan was or what they would do next. Here he was, finally
      off the Brotherhood's island, and he still had to wait.

      The idea of being in New York again was a little strange, and tried
      not to think about Xavier's school. This was the closest he had
      been to West Chester in over eight months, but the bright lights of
      the Big Apple still stood between him and those memories, and he
      focused on the sights of the great city instead.

      Magneto had hinted that Pyro may get the chance to see some of those
      sights, but he was not sure how possible that would be. From where
      he sat, Pyro could still make out a few passing cars and pedestrians
      going about their business below him. Random strangers, men and
      woman, maybe mutant or maybe not, he really did not care. It was
      just nice to been somewhere different, outside of the Island's
      monotonous gray and silver walls.

      Pyro hoped they would get the chance to stay for a while.

      As the sky grew darker, several small outside lights began to
      flicker on, and Pyro decided to head downstairs to see if anyone
      else was around. Sebastian Malloy was, according to Magneto, a real-
      live vampire...but the dark haired man had not seemed threatening or
      really all that scary. Pyro chuckled to himself as he headed down
      the steps and wondered if this `vampire' would be more interesting
      at night.


      Sid was in the main living room watching the evening news when Pyro
      appeared from the guest room hall. He glanced over at the boy with
      surprise and Pyro gave him a friendly nod and grin.

      "Hey," Pyro said, and the pointed behind him with his thumb, "Cool

      "Thanks," Sid said, still sounding a little sleepy, "It's great on
      the fourth of July..."

      "Yeah, I bet," Pyro said, sitting down nearby and leaning forward
      casually with his elbows on his knees. He stared at the television,
      and saw what Sid had been watching.

      A report on the CBS evening news was just ending, and by the
      footage, Pyro guessed it was about what happened in Chicago. He sat
      back in his chair and folded his arms, glancing at Sid
      uncomfortably. Pyro did feel bad about what happened to their house
      (not that it was the Brotherhood's fault), and he wondered how angry
      Sid was about the whole situation. He just could not predict how
      either of the twins would react to anything. In less than forty-
      eight hours, they had been through more shit than Pyro could have
      imagined and they just seemed...used to it. Like it was
      normal...another part of their day...

      "How long have you been able to control fire?" Sid suddenly asked
      him and Pyro glanced at him with surprise and shrugged.

      "Since I was twelve..." Pyro answered and then frowned, "I
      think...at least, that was the first time I knew I was controlling
      the fire..."

      Sid nodded, but did not reply.

      "How long have you guys had your powers?" Pyro asked.

      Sid smiled, sad and almost nostalgic, "As long as I can remember..."

      "Oh, right," Pyro said, "You guys are second generation, huh?"

      Sid tilted his head thoughtfully, "Third actually...or maybe more..."

      "Your mom was the Firestarter," Pyro continued
      enthusiastically, "Could your dad move glass, too?"

      Sid glanced over at Pyro, and sighed, hesitant to reply. Before he
      could speak, Rebecca wandered into the room, cradling her shoulder
      with a look of pain on her face.

      "Hey, Sid," she began, "Where's that stuff the Lady gave me? The
      pain stuff?"

      "Me and Toad brought it up with the other luggage," Pyro answered
      quickly, and walked toward the front door, "It's in one of these

      Rebecca followed him and Pyro handed her a small white bottle with a

      "Thanks," she said with relief and wandered toward the kitchen to
      get water.

      "No problem," Pyro replied, "How's it feelin'?"

      Rebecca smirked through her obvious discomfort, "Ask me in about a
      half hour minutes...once these meds kick in..."

      "Yeah, right," Pyro laughed, just as the flat's front door swung

      Sebastian Malloy stepped inside, also looking as if he had just
      woken up. He was in a state of dishevelment that fell mid-range
      between Sid's evenly pressed casual khakis and Rebecca's fluffy and
      comfy pajama pants.

      As he came around the corner, Sebastian spotted Rebecca walking out
      of the kitchen. Pyro, remembering the earlier phone conversation,
      took a step back, not wanting to be anything more than a spectator
      for this exchange.

      "Hey, kid," Sebastian said, turning toward Rebecca.

      "Hey, Bas," she replied with a strained smile.

      "Hurts?" Sebastian asked, glancing at her slung arm.

      "Like a bitch," Rebecca replied.

      "They give you anything to take?" he asked.

      "Taken," she replied with a nod.

      "Change the gauze?" he asked.

      "Just did...and Sid checked the back of my shoulder," she replied.

      "Good?" he asked.

      "Good," she replied.

      "Classes?" Sebastian asked, narrowing his eyes menacingly.

      "Missed `em," Rebecca replied, "Deal with it..."

      Sebastian shook his head and grinned before hugging her around her
      good arm.

      "Thank God you're both okay," Rebecca heard Sebastian mutter
      quietly, his voice hitching a little bit.

      "Aww..." Sid said from across the room, "And here we thought Billy
      the Bloody was the only over-emotional dead guy..."

      Sebastian scowled comically, "Keep it up...and see if I buy new
      another BMW..."

      Sid frowned and smirked, "You didn't buy me the first one..."

      "Don't be a smart ass," Sebastian said, "I'm gonna have enough to
      deal with tonight with listening to your bullshit..."

      Rebecca glanced at Pyro, "You might start missing the quiet of the
      Island real soon..."

      I doubt it, Pyro thought, though he grinned as he listened to the
      three Malloys bicker.

      After a short time, Magneto and Mystique appeared from the back
      hall, assuming by the increasing volume of the chatter that their
      hosts had awoken. Pyro glanced at Magneto expectantly, but the
      older mutant simply nodded at him reassuringly and then followed
      Mystique to the same sofa they had occupied earlier in the day.

      Rebecca was seated next to Sid on the couch across from them.
      Magneto glanced up at Sebastian, who was pacing behind the twins,
      almost protectively hovering, and glaring at his `guests.'

      "Well..." Magneto began, "It's good to see everyone is well. I've
      looked forward to this gathering for a long time..."

      Sebastian paused in his stride, "I'm sure. But I think we've all
      been introduced and we can skip formalities. I want to know what
      happened...from the time you set foot on our property to just a
      moment ago when you so confidently took a seat in our one intact
      living room..."

      Pyro had to suppress a laugh as Sid and Rebecca rolled their eyes in
      perfect time, identical annoyance on their faces. Rebecca sighed
      and put a hand over her eyes. Magneto, however, took Sebastian's
      words quite seriously.

      "Fine..." Magneto said calmly, "I will explain...and if I recall
      something incorrectly or untruthfully, your niece and nephew will be
      able to add their own experiences."

      Magneto began to speak, telling all the events from the time the
      Brotherhood arrived in Chicago to the flight to New York just that
      morning. His words were carefully chosen and well spoken, assigning
      blame for the incident on `General' Stryker and his men, with very
      little room to doubt otherwise.

      Rebecca was listening as the medicine she had taken slowly took the
      edge off her pain. She was inwardly amused by how Magneto had told
      the events in the house before the Sentinel had arrived. She really
      could not point out anything he said that was a lie, but, she had to
      admit that he had a way to make the truth favor him and the
      Brotherhood. She did not bother to correct or add to what Magneto
      said, though Sid did chime in about loosing his sports car.

      An hour or more passed before Magneto was finished, and Sebastian
      had barely moved the entire time. Even his blinking had all but
      stopped. Magneto again wondered at the change in the man since his
      unnatural transformation, and Sebastian's suspicion did not leave
      his eyes.

      "Have I told the events well?" Magneto asked to the others around
      him, "Or have I left anything out?"

      "No," Rebecca answered firmly, "You guys showed up, giant robot
      showed up, X-Men showed up, then scary secret base, X-men left, you
      guys left, giant robot...well..."

      She grinned, one-shoulder-shrugged, and glanced up at her uncle.

      Sebastian shifted his glare down toward her.

      "It's not funny," he said and Rebecca nodded.

      "My shoulder agrees with you," she replied with a sigh, "But it's
      done, we lived...hooray for us..."

      "Indeed," Magneto said, "And a new threat to mutant kind has been..."

      "Don't start, Lensherr," Sebastian interrupted, "I listened to
      enough of your propaganda and terrorism years ago and I'm not
      listening to it now. I'll be damned if you're going to start
      selling that liberation bullshit to my family again."

      The twins both looked up at their uncle with surprise, and then
      toward Magneto. What did he mean...again?

      Magneto narrowed his eyes as sudden fury rose in his chest. He
      suppressed it with a good deal of will power. He knew this was how
      the conversation with Sebastian might go, but the idea of a mutant
      from a mutant family who had lived long enough to see the injustices
      towards mutants in the world could call Magneto's life work
      propaganda and terrorism. Well...no matter. Let the undead mutant
      say what he likes. Let him rant and scream...get all old vendettas
      out in the air. It would only make the tension in the room
      greater...put strain on the two children Sebastian cared
      about...stress seemed to bring out the best in their powers...

      "Very well..." Magneto said calmly, "What would you have me do then,
      Sebastian? Apologize, formally and humbly? Fine...I am sorry the
      actions of myself and my brothers brought hardship upon your family
      again. It was not intentional and the consequences are regrettable."

      "Lensherr," Sebastian began, "You and your lackeys broke into my
      home and attacked a helpless young woman..."

      Rebecca shifted her arm angrily, and muttered, "I'm not helpless..."

      Sebastian continued, "...who is completely clueless to what you're
      all about and why you would be interested in our family and the
      Council again..."

      Magneto did not look away from the raging creature, but felt the
      temperature in the room rise. Rebecca was glaring forward, and Sid
      glanced at her with surprised concern. He felt the change in the
      room as well.

      "...then you draw the fucking SHOP or Systems Operations or whatever
      right back into our lives again!" Sebastian continued
      vehemently, "Knowing the fragile state of my niece and nephew
      because of what has happened in our past!"

      Rebecca suddenly sprung to her feet and faced her uncle in fury.
      The motion was so fast, so unexpected, that Mystique and Magneto
      started with surprise.

      "Shut up, Sebastian!" she screamed, and the air around them suddenly
      grew heavy. Rebecca was clutching her shoulder, her control on her
      temper weakened by the new pain that exploded down her injured arm.

      "Just shut the fuck up!" Rebecca continued, "I am not fragile, damn
      it! And you don't need to bring up what happened to me every time
      someone starts talking about the Council or about mom!"

      On the last word, a grouping of dried flowers burst into flame
      behind Sebastian's back. Sid was on his feet the moment the fire
      began, lunging for the nearest extinguisher.

      However, Pyro was quicker, simply holding out one hand, and
      commanding the fire to stop.

      The room was silent for a few eternal seconds, the bitter smell of
      the smoking bouquet floating through the air.

      Rebecca was breathing heavily, with her eyes closed, her left hand
      holding onto her right shoulder. She leaned forward, and began to
      cough. Sebastian's anger faded as quickly as the flames, and he
      glanced at Sid nervously before speaking.

      "I'm sorry, Bec," he said, "I didn't mean..."

      Rebecca held out her hand and shook her head. He fell silent.

      "Don't..." she said, and kept her eyes down as she spoke, "I'm
      sorry...I just...lost my temper..."

      She moved quickly toward the kitchen, and no one spoke again until
      she had disappeared around the corner. Sebastian glanced at
      Magneto, and saw concern on the other man's face.

      "Erik..." Sebastian began, "This...we shouldn't be doing this now.
      You brought my family back...and I'm grateful...but I won't pretend
      I don't have suspicions about your motivations..."

      Magneto nodded, and put up a fa├žade of mutual regret. Inwardly, he
      could not have been more pleased. He pushed at Sebastian, and
      Sebastian had pushed back. Rebecca in her weakened state had become
      upset, and her emotion drew out her power. And Pyro...saved the
      day, unknowingly achieving Magneto's reason for bringing him along.

      "I understand," Magneto said, `accepting' Sebastian's apology, "And
      I do hope...we may someday move past our differences...for the good
      of your family...and mine..."

      Magneto made a motion toward Mystique and then toward Pyro. The
      boy's purpose in the mission would be decided in the next few
      hours...depending on whether or not Sebastian allows him to stay...
      but Magneto would be sure that discussion was privately between
      himself and their `host.'


      Rebecca stumbled into the kitchen and let the door swing shut behind
      her. It was dark, and that was fine. Her hand was shaking as she
      searched for the glass she had used earlier. Her shoulder was
      screaming in protest every time she moved, but that was okay...it
      was something to focus on. With focus, came control.

      She picked up a glass from the kitchen table and moved toward the
      refrigerator. With some difficulty, she was able to pour water from
      a pitcher into the glass, though most of it splashed out over her
      arms. That was fine too. The water was cold, and shocked her back
      to reality. Coolness against her burning skin.

      "Do you want a hand with that?" a voice suddenly asked from the
      shadows, and she turned her head in surprise.

      Toad was crouching near one open window, and had been listening to
      the conversation in the other room with no desire to take part in
      it. If Sebastian's words had infuriated Magneto, then what Toad was
      feeling was a hundred times that. He had seen part of a movie about
      vampires once, and he was considering how difficult it would be to
      make a wooden stake and then shove it in the bastard's chest.

      Then, the temperature change. He had felt it almost as quickly as
      Sid. It had been the same in the tunnels of the base, and when he
      smelled smoke, he knew what had happened.

      Rebecca squinted to see him in the dark and then shook her head.

      "No...I'm fine..." she said shakily, "I just...lost my

      Toad heard her swear several times under her breath and glanced
      toward the kitchen door.

      "Yeah, right..." he muttered, and then added cynically, "Good thing
      Pyro was here..."

      "Huh?" she said.

      Toad shook his head, "Nothing...just let me know straight away if
      I'm pissing you off..."

      Rebecca chuckled and took a sip of water, "You'll know...hopefully
      before you catch on fire. Don't suppose you have any `fire
      extinguishing' powers, huh?"

      Toad shook his head, but smirked, "Maybe if I spit on it enough..."

      Rebecca moved to the kitchen table and sat down. She looked at him
      curiously, and Toad shifted uncomfortably.

      "What is it?" she asked.

      "What is what?" he shot back.

      "That spit or whatever," she asked, "What you used on the shrieking
      mutant in the tunnel...what is it?"

      Toad shrugged, "It's what I do."

      "And your regular saliva dissolves it?" she asked.

      "If it didn't I would bloody well choke on the shit then, wouldn't
      I?" Toad answered and glared at her. Rebecca smiled and nodded.

      "Guess so..." she replied, as the kitchen door swung open again and
      Pyro came it.

      "Hey," Pyro said, "They wanted me to check on you..."

      Rebecca waved her hand, "I'm fine...don't worry about it."

      Pyro nodded and took another step forward for the door to close. He
      watched her carefully for a moment, and sensed the lack of heat
      around her. The fire had come from nowhere...just nothing...and
      then it was there. For Pyro the experience was not frightening, the
      feel of fire just erupting out of control almost euphoric.

      "Would a PMS joke be in bad taste right now?" he asked and Rebecca
      laughed again.

      "After the save you made back there, Johnny-boy," she said, "You can
      make any jokes you want."

      "Just because, y'know, damn I thought Mystique was bad, but..." Pyro
      was continuing, until he heard another voice laugh from behind him.
      He turned in surprise to see Toad smirking, his gold eyes gleaming
      wickedly in the dim light.

      "Don't let her hear you say that, mate," Toad said.

      Pyro chuckled, but still sounded nervous, "Not in this
      lifetime...cause I'd like this lifetime to last a little bit

      Archived at www.fanfiction.net/~leen713
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