Legend: Thoughts = <>
Stray thoughts = ()
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Ok, guys, all the disclaimers apply, that means all thanks goes to Marvel
For the X-Men, I'm just making the story. And I do read all the other
Stories and they're great, keep up the good work. They inspire me!
"Perry is out there somewhere." I frowned.
"I'm not sure how else we can help. We're trying as hard as we can." Connor frowned.
"My son's out there." I said.
"It's crazy that you have a son." Jace said.
"Maybe if we can find Olivia..."
"Pane, we've been over this, we have no idea where she is." Connor sighed.
"Maybe you need inspiration."
All three of us looked to the door, where Hope stood.
"I can't believe all the places you've been." I smiled, "It's crazy."
"I've heard about you." Hope said, "Scott, when he's not being a jerk, talks about you."
"Warms my heart." I smiled, "Berlin..."
"Yeah, that's where the next light is. And then Alaska." Hope said, "I need to go home."
"Another mutant?" I asked, "I miss home."
"You don't go back too often, do you?"
I just stared at her.
"You look like someone I used to know." I said, "Jean. Not that I expect you to be Jean or anything, I just...it's uncanny."
"I hear that...a lot." Hope smiled politely.
"Why'd you come here?" I asked, "I mean, it's a slice, but..."
"I needed to meet you. All the stories and stuff mean nothing if I can't envision you." Hope said, "You were the me before I was even thought of."
"Hope, we could never be one another." I said, "You've had a much harder life than I have. You're a rose growing from the concrete."
"We should really be going if we're going to make it to Berlin." Hope smiled.
"Have fun." I smiled.
I stood in my room, wondering how my life had gotten to this point. This was further than I ever realized I could go. This rabbit hole never quite reached the ground. No matter how far I fell, I never hit the bottom and I couldn't see the light anymore. I grabbed the lamp by my bed and smashed it against the wall! I pushed everything off my desk and walked over and started snatching things off the wall. I waved my hand and sent my trashcan flying across the room! I sat in my now disshelved room, trying to snap myself out of whatever this was. Connor walked into my room and stood at the door, surveying the destruction.
"He's gone." I mumbled.
"Would that be Richard or Perry?" Connor asked, walking to me.
"Pick one." I frowned, "I can't keep losing people I love."
"We won't. We're not losing anyone and we're going to find Perry." Connor frowned, "Look at me, we're not giving up. Ever. If we have to search for the rest of our lives, we're going to find him."
"What if we never find him?" I asked, "What if Sinister keeps him and does weird experiments on him? He's my blood. And I can't even get close to him."
"Scott sent over a news feed of Olivia." Connor said, "He used traffic cameras to follow her. She's no genius."
"We need to find out how much of my DNA he has and where." I said, "We need Raiden to do her disappearing act."
"She's up for it." Connor said, "We know of a very important headquarters that would supply all that information."
"Is Sinister there?" I asked
"No." Connor said, "but we'll find him."
"I think we need to raid this place now." I said.
Connor held out his hand and I grabbed it as he pulled me up. We walked back to the office and joined Raiden, Jace, and Melissa. Raiden looked as if she were waiting to say something but kept it to herself. Jace also had this look, but was never in danger of saying anything. Melissa looked disshelved. Not sexy disshelved, but she studied me.
"I think we're ready." Connor said quickly.
"I don't think you need to go anywhere." Scott said, appearing in the door.
"Scott?" I asked.
"You look like Hell." Scott frowned.
"Feel like it." I said quickly.
"Jace." Scott smiled.
"Scott." Jace said quickly.
"Reason you're here?" I asked.
"You're in danger." Scott said.
"They invented phones." Connor smiled.
"I had to make sure you were okay." Scott said, "All of you." He added.
"So, now we're supposed to believe you care about all of us?" Jace asked.
"This danger...wouldn't be pale with a red diamond, would it?" I asked.
"Not particularly. He's working wit..." Before he could finish, there was a loud bang before everyone was thrown off their feet! I looked up in time to see hands coming at my head.
"Pane?" Scott asked.
I opened my eyes to see Scott looking at me. Behind him was Professor Xavier, Logan, Ororo, Jean, Bobby, Piotr, Kitty, Alex, Lorna, and Beast. I rubbed my eyes, trying to remember the last thing I had seen. The hands. But it didn't...make sense.
"I can't believe it's you!" Scott said, grappling me.
"What happened, last thing I remember are hands and it took us off our feet." I said, very unsure of anything.
They exchanged puzzled looks.
"What?" I asked.
"You've been dead since Apocalypse's temple." Bobby said quickly.
"You're...kidding. Tell me you're kidding." I said, looking around. My eyes landed on my clothes. They were the same clothes from the temple. I pulled my hand up to my head and was shocked to feel an excess of hair. It was frizzy and dry and all over my head. I pressed my brain, trying to find any explanation for this. There wasn't any viable explanation for...this.
"You've been in a sort of stasis." Professor Xavier explained, "Hovering between life and death."
"I can't decide if I'm crazy or...I'm crazy." I frowned.
"Professor, what's wrong with him?" Ororo asked.
"He's experiencing dementia. His dreams were life-like. He truly began to believe them." Professor Xavier said to her.
"What? That...wasn't a dream. This is a dream." I frowned.
"No, Pane, this is the only thing that is real." Scott frowned, "You have to trust me."
I looked at them, still unsure.
"We're real. You died..."
"And I never woke up." I frowned, "I was just dreaming. All of that was a dream. It was all a dream." I said, passing out.
I opened my eyes again and took in the sight of Scott, Jace, Raiden, Connor and Melissa. I blinked a few times before the questions could be asked. Melissa ran to get water while Jace, Scott, Connor and Raiden looked at me, studying me also. Raiden was the first to ask me was I alright. I nodded and avoided Scott's gaze. I knew he wanted to ask me several questions all coinciding with am I alright. Melissa handed me the water and watched as I drunk it. I sat it down and looked at them.
"Anyone catch the bus that just kicked our asses?" Melissa asked.
"We're not sure." Scott said, "Sinister's not exactly forthcoming with information."
"Then how'd you know we were in trouble?" Connor asked.
"Let's call it an educated guess." Scott said, "Sinister isn't hiding some things, like his vendetta against you."
"So, he's coming after me? I thought Laura was going after him."
"You're his favorite." Scott said.
"Anybody actually see the bus?" Melissa asked.
We all looked to her.
"By bus I mean really powerful mutant."
"Just his hands." I frowned, "Rough and course."
"Are you sure you're alright?"
"I just need a nap." I said, "Can you guys..."
"Yeah, get all the sleep you need." Connor said.
"I'll help you." Scott said, throwing my arm over his shoulder and carrying me to my room.
"Is it crazy that I'm jealous again?" Jace frowned.
"No, I think it's the sanest thing I've heard all day." Raiden said softly.
In the room, Scott laid me down on the bed. I sighed and rolled over.
"I'm sorry this is happening to you." Scott said softly.
"Me too." I frowned, "I don't know if this is real."
"What?" Scott asked.
I was already sleep.
"Scott." Jace said at the door.
Scott looked up to him and moved to him, "He's asleep." He said.
"His mind is in turmoil. I didn't want to say anything in front of the others." Jace said.
"You were always a good captain."
"You think that's what he sees in us?" Jace asked.
Scott shifted uncomfortably.
"We shouldn't...I mean, that was a while ago and now me and him are..."
"Stop." Scott said, looking back to me, "As long as he's happy."
"He is." Jace said, "Very."
Scott chuckled, "I'm not here to take your boyfriend." He said.
"It's not why you're here, but I'm smart enough to know that it can happen." Jace frowned, "He loves you. And you love him."
"Doesn't mean anything."
"Scott, it means everything. But I was there from the beginning. I know your relationship. It's toxic." Jace said.
"Emma loves you. I love Pane. There's nothing other than that." Jace said, "I'm not letting him go...ever."
"I had him first and I had him best. I'll probably have him after you. I can't go back to that place with him. He's made that clear, so while you're here gauging my response, you should be more concerned with why his mind is in turmoil." Scott said angrily, "You win. He loves you. Great. He can't love me, not when he knows I'm unavailable."
"But that's exactly what you're not saying." Jace frowned.
Scott walked past him, "While you figure out how to get what you want, I'm going to help him." He said, leaving.
I woke up in the sterile room I'd grown to miss. The Med Bay. I rolled over to see Scott, sitting by my bed. It was dark but I could make out his visor. I'd know him from anywhere. And the smell of him, the intoxicating smell. I smiled a little.
"You're awake." He said, startling me.
"I didn't know if you were awake." I smiled.
"I'm glad you're awake. Professor scanned your dream, got a look at the world you've been living in." Scott said gently stroking my face, "I'm so sorry. I had no idea. We all thought you were dead."
"I was. I am. I will be." I said, "It's hard to communicate."
"Hank says it'll be a while before you're healed. Body and mind."
I started crying from confusion and fatigue.
"I know this is all taxing, but I'm here." Scott said.
"You know how we played out in the other world." I said.
"I do and that's not going to happen." Scott said, "I don't love Emma. Jean's alive. Mutants never lost their powers. The Mutant Registration Act never happened. All the lives lost in the other world never were lost."
"When I go to sleep...it's there." I said softly.
"Professor is working on something." Scott said.
"All those years were wrong and twisted. Wasted, even." I said, "They weren't real."
"No, they weren't." Scott smiled, "This is what's real."
"I am glad you're awake." Professor said, "It's so good to see you again."
"Glad to be seen." I smiled.
"Professor, it's time?" Scott asked.
"Yes, the mission is set." Professor Xavier said.
"Mission?" I asked.
"Though human-mutant relations are coming along nicely, there are people out there who don't believe in such a cause." Professor said, "The president is calling for mutant-human peace and we need to protect him."
"I want to help." I said.
"You're too weak." Scott said.
"I don't think I am." I frowned, "I feel fine."
"I don't think you'll win this, Scott." Professor smiled, "I must tell you that this is very dangerous. Magneto..."
"Been so long since I heard this." I said.
"Yes, in your world there are many other dangers." Professor Xavier said, "He and his brotherhood are still priority."
"Are you sure..."
"I'm okay." I frowned.
"Perhaps you would like to go to your room while Scott and I discuss tactics." Professor smiled.
I nodded. I got off the slab, with Scott's help, and walked around the mansion. I looked at the faces I'd missed, that I hadn't seen in so long. Butterflies filled my stomach as I passed the familiar places. They were intoxicating and proverbial. I made my way to my room, my old room. I stood outside for a second, unsure if this was real. It was a lot more peasible than the other world. I didn't know if I was awake or if I was sleep. It was hard to tell. These things I wanted to be true but this dream of my twisted mind. How could a dream be such a nightmare? It's not clear anymore. How could it be? All these shades of what used to be clouded my already cloudy mind. I turned the door knob and walked into the familiar room. It was just as I left it before I had left the mansion. I couldn't decide if this appariation was true. The room smelled how I remembered. It looked how I remembered. It felt...new. I left the door opene and walked over to the window, looking down at the kids playing on the lawn. It felt like forever since I'd seen this. Experienced it. It was a welcomed sight.
"It's been a while." Bobby said, causing me to turn, "I'm glad you're alive."
"I'm glad you're not with Mystique." I said softly.
"What?" Bobby asked.
"This has to be reality, right?" I asked.
"Of course." Bobby said, "Are you okay?"
"I'm majorly confused." I frowned, "My stuff is back at home."
"Yeah, you hadn't come back yet." Bobby said, "You do remember?"
"Like it was yesterday. You never forget the first time you died." I said, turning back to the window, "Or the second. Or the third."
"Reborn, like the Phoenix." Bobby smiled.
"The...no, the Hollow." I frowned.
"You still believe in those dreams?" Bobby asked, "The Hollow doesn't exist."
"Doesn't it?" I asked, "You think this is the Phoenix?"
"I think it's a miracle." Bobby smiled.
"Life went on without me, in any world." I chuckled, "The world didn't end with me."
Bobby looked haunted for a second.
"It was comforting. I'd almost forgotten what death felt like. What living death felt like." I said to myself.
"You remember things that didn't happen." Bobby said.
"If they happened in my mind, they happened." I said.
"You have to let go of that dream world." Bobby said, "You'll never be happy with that burden on your back."
"I can't ignore something that meant so much to me for so long." I said.
"In that world, you were dead for what, two years? And a clone ran around as you. Everything you loved betrayed you or died." Bobby said, "You can have everything you lost there back here."
I was silent as I turned to him. I stared at him.
"I didn't mean to make you angry." Bobby said, "I just came to see how you were since you'll be going with us."
"Getting better." I said.
"Us Omegas gotta stick together." Bobby smiled.
"I just need some time." I said.
"Sure thing." Bobby smiled heading for the door. He stopped and turned, "Did I mention I'm very glad you're alive?"
"See ya." Bobby smiled, leaving.
As I sat on the jet, I waited for the inevitable shock to wake me up to the other world. I hadn't fallen asleep. This was no longer a dream. It felt more and more real. The team sat up front but I found myself sitting at the back. I didn't feel all too social. Scott would look back every now and then from the cockpit. Bobby also checked on me from time to time. I found myself doubting either world. Both worlds were absurd. I yearned for a third world where none of this even existed. No mutants. No X-Men.
Wolverine stood before me. He was everything I remembered. Short, muscled and feral. Manly. Sexy.
"I came to make sure you weren't clawing your brains out." Wolverine smiled.
"You know me." I said quickly, "There's barely brains there."
"Sitting back here? I get it. I'm not exactly social myself." Wolverine said, sitting beside me, "Nothing personal to them, but I'm not gabby."
"At least you can heal fast. Took me years to heal." I smirked.
"Never thought I'd see alotta things." Wolverine said, "You coming back to life, mutants and humans getting along..."
"Hoenstly, one's more shocking." I frowned, "Mutants and humans...am I supposed to believe this is reality."
"I think you already do."
"It's a slow realization." I frowned, "But a fast fall."
"I missed ya, kid." Wolverine said, "Don't do it again."
"More plannin." Wolverine said, walking back to the X-Men.
Mutant peace was just a thought, a hope for those with lofty dreams. It didn't mean much in the other reality. Today would be a day that united everyone, but I could definitely see why certain people wouldn't want that. To be thought of as like everyone else...to be normal when you know you're exceptional...It could feel like torture. It would be torture. I had never thought of myself as overly exceptional. I knew that I wasn't like everyone else. No one was normal but I always felt different but maybe not exceptional. I was starting to like this reality; being awake. This had to be reality. There was no other option, no choice. I walked around the rally, sure of nothing. I listened to the president commend the X-Men and others. Professor Xavier, Scott, The Avengers, and the Fantastic Four stood by the president. I stopped and smiled up at Scott, who was smiling down at me.
"He never doubted that you would come back." Ororo smiled, standing next to me, "It's a wonder he's still standing. He took it very hard. It seems people come into his life to leave. You have that in common."
"In the other world..."
"I'm Queen of Wakanda. I could never see myself happy without fighting for what we fight for." Ororo said, "Though it sounds wonderful."
"You're happy there." I smiled.
"I'm happy here." Ororo smiled, "It's a pity that we must fear that others like us will sever our liberty."
"Magneto." I said, "I trusted him once. His agenda is the only thing he's loyal to."
"Perhaps he's just as afraid as we are."
"More." I said sadly.
"You guys see anything?" Bobby asked, walking up with Kitty.
"No, maybe Magneto has come to his senses." Ororo said optimistically.
"Yeah and maybe Logan's a cuddly puppy." Kitty chuckled.
We all chuckled.
"Summers definitely loves the spotlight." Kitty smiled.
"I'm sure there's somewhere else he'd rather be." Ororo said, smiling to me.
"...In our darkest times, we need to be together. By uniting humans and mutants, we ensure the survival of both races." The President said with a smile, "The X-Men, Avengers, and Fantastic Four have been three major super groups in uniting the world. They have take the time out of their lives to make our world safer and what kind of world would we be not to do the same?"
Those last words sparked something within me. The words were so otherworldly. The sounded so foreign. It sounded like something that could lead to real peace. Suddenly, a metal sphere ripped the stage apart and the president and all three teams were thrown! Magneto emerged from the sphere quickly and the microphone levitated into his hand.
"Perhaps, Mr. President, it has escaped you that we are not your equals." He said. He looked over the crowd, "We are not made to save you and your pathetic race. We..." his gaze stopped at me.
"Magneto." Mystique said walking from behind him. Her gaze went from him to me, "So, he's alive." She said with little shock.
The crowd was beyond appauled. Wolverine flew through the air and crashed by the stage. Sabretooth walked towards him with a very devious smile on his face. Ororo flew into action as Pyro threw Bobby to the ground! A slimey tounge wrapped around Kitty's foot and tossed her through the air!
"This will be our liberation. We will witness the death of the homo sapien leader." Magneto said.
Magneto's sphere turned into three spears (And no, the homophones were not lost on me). Magneto thrust his hands towards the president and the spears exploded towards the president, who was now standing! Without thinking, I threw my hands forward and a shield raised in front of him, causing the spears to turn into sand!
"Holy..." I trailed.
Magneto and Mystique looked to me. The crowd dispersed! They began running everywhere and I was knocked down to the ground!
"No!" I said, sitting up.
Jace and Scott stood, put off by my sudden awakening.
"What's wrong?" Jace asked, looking me over, "You've been sleep for days."
"I've been...sleep?" I asked.
"We've been monitoring you." Scott said, "We couldn't wake you up."
"The gang's out looking for the person who attacked you." Jace said.
"We know what he looks like?" I asked.
"No, we're keeping our ears to the ground." Scott said.
"I've got to go back to sleep." I said.
"What? No!" Jace said.
"What if you don't wake up for a few more days?" Scott asked.
"Trust me." I said, laying down, "I feel tired."
Scott and Jaced looked at each other. I closed my eyes again...
"He's not saying something." Scott said, "Go there, in his mind."
"I don't think I can." Jace said, "It's shielded. Whatever's going on his mind isn't scientific...it's mystical."
I awoke with a start and jumped to my feet. I looked around at the damage. Everything was broken. I walked further to the edge of the giant cliff and looked over to see the X-Men fighting the Brotherhood! Magneto stood over Wolverine and Cyclops. He was ready to make spears run them through when I threw my hand forward, causing them to stop. Magneto looked up to me and hovered higher to the cliff.
"It is, of course, bittersweet to see you again." Magneto said, "There is no way to save this day. Would you really be satisfied with being normal? To be their weapon of choice?"
"You mean, like I was your weapon?" I asked.
Magneto smirked, "Dead hasn't made you any less stubborn." He said.
"You can't do this. It's a second chance for all of us." I frowned, "This time, we do it right."
"I control magnetic fields..."
"...and I control everything." I said, "Because this was before that device and the power thingy."
Magneto looked confused. He landed on the ground in front of me.
"Can you really do what needs to be done?" Magneto asked, "I didn't think so."
A helicopter rose up from beneathe the cliff and Magneto floated up and into the helicopter. I couldn't let him get away. Beast pulled up with the mini jet and I hopped aboard. I ran to the cockpit.
"They're not getting away today." Beast smirked, "Hold on."
I grabbed the seat as we sped off behind the helicopter.
"I'll get us as close as I can." Beast said, manuevering.
"Get us on top." I said.
"On top?" Beast asked staring at me.
"On top it is." Beast chuckled.
As the jet moved on top of the helicopter, the hatch opened and I peered out of it. I pushed my hand forward, causing the blades of the helicopter to stop! I dove out and onto the the dock of the helicopter! I pulled myself up. Inside the helicopter, Mystique sat in the cockpit while Magneto rested.
"I could kill us all." Magneto said, "I could let this helicopter fall to the ground."
"I don't think you would." I said.
"You'd be surprised at what I would do."
"Actually...I wouldn't." I frowned, "I'm going to do what I didn't do. I'm going to save this world from you."
"Something is jamming the frequency." Mystique said.
"You can't be..."
"You'd be surprised at what I can do." I smiled.
Magneto threw his hand at me and a knife stopped inches from my face! I nodded and it flew to the cockpit and impaled Mystique, who slumped over! Suddenly, the clips from every grenades were taken off.
"It ends here with us." Magneto said.
As explosions went off, I dove out of the plane, narrowly avoiding most of the explosion! I was spiraling, in and out of consciousness!
Professor Xavier <I know now that unless you choose one reality, you'll forever be torn between them!>
"How do I choose?" I asked.
Professor Xavier <You must end one reality, sever your ties.>
"Kill them?" I asked.
Everything was silent. Everything...was silent. I sprang up from my bed and headed to the weapons locker. I grabbed the first dagger and headed towards the gang.
"This is mystical. It's all out of my range." Jace said.
"Are we sure it's mystical?" Raiden asked, "This just seems...we've never dealt with mystical."
"In his profile, it alludes to mystical potential, but nothing strong." Connor said.
"That's right, he is magical." Scott said, "Doesn't explain a whole lot."
"What if the mutant isn't a mutant." Melissa asked, "What if this guy is a mage."
"Mage?" Raiden asked.
"She's right." Jace said, "That would make more sense."
"So, what's the rube?" Connor asked, "What are they trying to do?"
"He...felt confusion." Jace said, "He was torn."
"Between what?" Scott asked.
"This world and another." Jace said, pausing, "Looks like he chose."
"What?" Melissa asked.
Jace dove on Melissa just before a dagger stuck into the wall where she once stood. Raiden and Connor were taken off their feet by an explosion! Scott readied his visor but was unprepared for what came next. I stepped into view. I waved my hand at the dagger and it flew back into my hand.
"What are you doing?" Scott asked.
"Choosing." I said darkly. I waved my hand and Scott flew through a glass pane!
"This isn't you." Jace said, "He made another reality...it's not real."
"But it is." I said, walking towards him.
"What?!" Melissa asked.
"The world, they made another and convinced him..." Jace stopped when I sliced at his chest!
"This isn't real." I frowned, "I have to get back to the real world."
"This is the real world!" Melissa shouted, "You're psycho, ya know!"
"This isn't how it's supposed to be." I frowned, "Nothing is right."
"That's what's real about it, you jerk! The real world is not perfect." Melissa said.
"You woke up years ago!" Jace said, "That world is what you want to live in..."
"Save the speech." I frowned.
"He's already heard it." Jace said.
"Stay outta my mind!" I frowned.
"Underneath, you know this world is real." Jace said, "You don't want to live in this world...but you have to."
"Why?" I asked.
"We need you." Jace said.
"We love you." Scott said, limping towards me.
I dropped the dagger and kicked it to him, "You shouldn't." I said quickly.
"This is all mystical backlash. No one blames you." Jace said.
"I need to sleep." I said, passing out.
"You're awake." Professor Xavier smiled.
I smiled too. There was a sudden hint of everything I needed.
"You've made your choice." Professor smiled.
"I can't stay here...this isn't real."
"To whom?" Professor asked.
"This world is...so much better than the other one." I said, "But I don't deserve this world."
There was silence.
"I missed this. The innocent time. When everything was new. When I was new." I smiled with tears,"I thought this would be a second chance to do everything right. I wished it. I've been wishing it for years, ever since I woke up. I wished so many things...I wish I'd never died...but I did. I did and I knew then that there was no turning back."
Professor listened in silence.
"This isn't that point." I said, "Everything I dreamed is this, but sometimes you have to choose everything you don't want. I'm so sorry." I said, slumping over.
"For what it's worth," Scott said as I walked up behind him, "I'm proud of you. You chose us."
"I chose me." I said, "I chose to move forward."
Scott watched me.
"All the X-Men stuff will be between you and Connor. You won't show up again. You won't communicate with me again..." I said, "I don't want to be in the same room with you."
"It's too much." I said, "You do this to me. I have my life semi-working and you come back and I'm nothing. I can't be around you anymore."
"That would hurt more."
"It can't. I didn't choose you."
"You never choose me." Scott said.
"You're married." I said, "I'm in a relationship."
"You need me. You're in danger."
"I'm always in danger." I frowned, "I can't be in the same room with you anymore. You're what I gave up."
"Don't take it personal..."
"How could I?" He said, angrily leaving.
I closed my eyes and prayed for strength. Nothing about any of this was right but I know that this isn't just science anymore...it's mystical too.
"Is it...permanent?" Scott asked.
"He chose, Scott." Professor said, "It is a pity for the world to lose one so soon."
"He's awake. He blinks."
"But he is still in a coma-like state." Professor explained.
"He'll never come back?"
"I'm not saying that. It will be up to him." Professor said grimly, "He chose the other reality. A choice that wasn't easy."
"We'll never know that reality, will we?" Scott asked.
"No, Scott, we won't." Professor said, looking over to Pane, who was in a straight jacket and looking off into the distance.