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FIC: X-Book 4: Of Politics..., PG-13, Chpt 19

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  • Kathleen
    X-Book 4 -- Of Politics, Tacos and Other Things that Give You Indegestion Chapter 19: A Little Favor to Ask By: Kath713/Leen713 Rating: PG-13 (violence,
    Message 1 of 1 , May 9, 2004
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      X-Book 4 -- Of Politics, Tacos and Other Things that Give You
      Indegestion

      Chapter 19: A Little Favor to Ask

      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
      story.

      Reviews: Any feedback would be great and is appreciated!

      ***

      Chapter Nineteen:

      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
      him.

      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'
      tonight..."

      Erik laughed quietly, "No, I don't think I would. Is it...the real
      thing?"

      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
      him again.

      "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
      Erik.

      "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
      mutants..."

      "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
      in mind."

      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
      polite smile.

      "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
      with!"

      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
      similar powers."

      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...

      ***
      Archived at www.fanfiction.net/~leen713
      *NOW COMPLETE!*
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