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!
Starbucks, 6 months later...
[Music (Iris -- Goo Goo Dolls) starts]
I stood in line behind a teenage boy and a teenage girl. They had been arguing for the last five minutes. I was in line to get coffee for the team. We'd come a long way from the office. We now had a mega futuristic office with a training area, a war room, a hospital wing, and much more. It was in a very tall building where Connor, Raiden and I live. They live on a different floor. They were married, so they had to get their own floor. It had been approximately eight months since I'd seen my baby and my ex. They were living comfortably in Utopia. I had faced the facts of everything. I had taken a leave of absence two weeks ago and no one knew I was back yet. I stopped by to get some coffee...and stumbled onto this conversation.
"It would be so cool, think about it. We could totally do things no one else could do and wear our underwear on the outside." The boy said.
"Yuck and be like, a mutant? No thank you. Then we'd have to go live on that island full of weirdoes. Honestly, they scare me." The girl said.
"Don't worry, I don't think many mutants stayed in the city." The boy said, "Even if they did, I'm here to protect you."
I smirked to myself.
"Besides, you've seen them. They all walk around in costumes." The boy said as he went to get their coffees.
The girl caught sight of me and nervously smiled.
I smirked at her and levitated the coffee into her hand.
[Music ends with ( I don't want the world to see me, cause I don't think they'd understand.)]
"How are you today, Mrs. Blaine?" Connor smiled as Raiden sat on his lap. Their eight months together had been the highlight of his life. He was very comfortable with her, he always had been. With everything that happened between them, he was never sure they would end up together, but now that they had, he couldn't see any other way.
"Even better than yesterday, Mr. Blaine." Raiden smiled. She was like a child again. A child who constantly has sex...ewww, gross. Wrong thought. She was happier now than she had been in a long time. She hadn't been able to completely control her powers, but she was getting much better at it. And the marriage had done wonders for everything about her.
"Oh, get a room." Jace chuckled.
"Just because you're not married..." Raiden smirked.
"...my boyfriend is on a magical retreat." Jace said, "But I do have a boyfriend."
"Right, and when does this mystical retreat end? I miss him." Raiden frowned.
"You guys, shush." Melissa said quickly, "The new boy is so cute."
"He's also eighteen." Connor said.
"Legal. And it's not like I'm some old lady...a cougar. I'm still in my prime and he is definitely in his...he's like that one guy...from 7th Heaven...Tyler Hoechlin." She said, dreamily.
"He's not old enough to vote." Raiden smirked.
"Okay, but is this part of your new pedophilia thing?" Raiden asked.
"Fine, call me a cougar." Melissa said.
"I like pedophile." Connor said.
"Yeah, it suits you." Jace smirked.
"When is your boyfriend getting back?" Melissa asked.
"Oh come on, it was all jokey." Melissa frowned.
"Wasn't very funny." I smirked, standing at the door with coffee.
"Holy cripes!" Raiden said, jumping off Connor and hugging me, "When'd you get back?"
"A few hours ago." I smiled, "Love what you guys have done to the office."
"We tried to make it as similar to the old office as we could...but, ya know, with new technology." Connor said, hugging me.
"This looks nothing like our old office." I smirked, "But I do like it."
"I was beginning to think you weren't coming back." Jace said, kissing me.
"Finding myself took a long time." I smiled.
"I thought it was about finding the magic?" Melissa said.
"Can't it be both?" I asked.
"I suppose it'll have to be." Connor said, "We have a case. One last Sinister raid."
"I'm totally up for it." I said, "But why do we need to find this base? I mean, Richard destroyed all the DNA." I said.
They all looked uncomfortable.
"Richard told his story, how he escaped and there was one base that couldn't be contaminated." Connor explained, "In this facility, there stands to be..."
"The clones?" I asked.
"More like the clone." Raiden said, "Richard had enough info to realize that there's only one clone."
"And you couldn't move out because..."
"We've tried, but it keeps moving but there's been a power spike." Jace said, "It's you."
"I can't let him live." I frowned.
"Sinister or the clone?" Raiden asked.
"Neither." I chuckled, "This is insane. I knew working for the Avengers and the X-Men was a serious...thing, this is insane. I just got back from my mystical walkthrough."
"Sorry to bombard you." Jace said, "It happens."
"This one last raid and I put this all behind me." I frowned.
"One last raid and nothing's left." Connor smirked.
I stood in my room, going through mail I'd missed. No bills, a real change. Letters from home, family and friends. There was an envelope with pictures of Perry and Richard at the Grand Canyon and one in France.
"They move around a lot." Connor said.
I turned to him, "I thought they were stayin in Utopia?" I asked.
"Nope. Richard thought it would be better if they didn't bring their problems to Utopia. He says that he'll stop running when the baby is old enough to go to school." Connor explained.
I nodded, "Just as well." I smiled weakly.
"You regret not going." Connor said.
"I regret having to choose." I frowned, "Having to make the choice that no one else can."
"You're good at it." Connor said.
"I'm winging it." I smiled.
"I really missed you, little buddy. I mean, me and Jace hit the gym and I love my wife...and Melissa is drooling over the new boy, but you're the person I'm closest to." Connor said, "Feels good to have you back."
"The new boy is kind of delicious." I said, "Do not tell Jace I said that."
"Don't worry, secret's safe with me." Connor chuckled.
"Six months ago, I was a wreck. Two weeks ago, time passed very quickly." I said, "I learned a lot but the thing I couldn't grasp is how to let go of Perry."
"You shouldn't let him go."
"I have to let him go." I smiled, "That's the difference between me now and me then. I know that someday, my choice is...the best gift."
"You're not going to cry, are you?" Connor asked, "Cause I hate seeing you cry."
"I'm ready to take this dick down."
"Sinister." I frowned, "He keeps attacking me."
"Are you ready to put this behind you?" Connor asked.
"What the frilly sun-colored hell." I said, looking around at Technicolor. Real, live Technicolor. There were some horses with horns and lots of green land under the Technicolor flowers, which were singing. There were bushes a few meters away and they were moving. The air was opaque, but I could see just far enough to see it. The sun was shining. I was in Technicolor Hell.
"Not quite." John said, stepping out from behind the bush. It was Pyro. But he was dead!
"Holy cats, am I dead?" I asked, "I can't be dead. Last thing I knew, I was getting on a plane..."
"We don't have time."
"Time? For what?" I asked.
John motioned to the horizon, which was becoming darker. The darkness was palpable. I could see it creeping towards us.
"What is that?" I asked.
"You're gonna honestly tell me you don't know what it is?" John smirked.
"Don't tell me it's gonna ran on my parade." I smirked.
"Smart-ass." John said quickly
"I honestly don't know what it is." I said quickly.
"It's...time to wake up." John said.
"What?" I asked. Suddenly, I jumped awake and looked up at Jace.
"Sorry. You were dreaming. We're almost there." Jace smiled.
I looked around. I was on a plane, at the back. Connor and Raiden were talking while Melissa was texting. Apparently while I was away, she acquired a nightclub. It was pretty lucrative. Turns out she is a business minded person. The new headquarters was very high tech and modern. It was also huge. Definitely wasn't what we were used to. Apparently, Rogue was going by Legacy, also. I had to come up with a new name. I had been on a retreat from the real world, but life went on in my absence. There were missions, apparently pretty easy ones. Jace seemed to be teaching the new guy, Mark, a lot. He had taken him on as an apprentice of sorts, though I didn't know what Mark's powers were.
"Are you okay, babe?" Jace asked.
I stared at him for a second before responding, "Yeah, I'm fine." I smiled.
"Hey, you picturing me as John Cena or Wade Barrett?" Jace smirked.
"No, Daniel Bryan." I smiled, "Wrestling. Used to love Chyna...but that's another can of worms."
"Isn't she a porn star now?" Jace asked.
"I'm heartbroken." I frowned, "Poor Chy."
"We're getting closer. You might want to get ready. Who knows what we're going to find up there." Jace said.
"Up there?" I asked.
"Apparently, he has a sky headquarters...didn't you listen in the briefing?" Jace asked.
"No, I zoned. Did we used to brief?" I asked.
"No, well yeah, we just didn't call it briefing. Everything's more official these days." Jace said, "You're okay with that, right?"
"I..." I said, looking up at the cockpit. We were nearing a very much floating installation in the sky. It was huge.
"It used to be S.H.I.E.L.D but they upgraded and this one ended up in his hands." Jace explained.
"It would be beautiful if it weren't such a misguided and unlawful abuse of science." I frowned, "How close can we get before detection?"
"We passed that minutes ago; he knows we're here." Jace said.
"And we're not scared?" I asked.
"We're not taking down all his troops this time, we're teleporting right in." Jace smiled.
"Ask and ye shall receive," Raiden said, walking up with Connor.
"Can you do that? You haven't seen this place." I said.
"My powers don't work like Nightcrawler or any teleporter. I displace myself in time." Raiden smiled.
"You rip open the fabric of time." Connor smiled proudly.
"Turns out we're all a little powerful." Melissa smirked, walking up.
"Who's going?" I asked.
"I can only bring one. I have limits." Raiden said, "If I could see where we were going, I'd be able to take more."
"But you two won't be alone in there." Connor said.
"We won't?" I asked.
"No. We got friends." Connor said, walking over to the cargo bay and opening the door to show a mob of robots. There had to be around twenty.
"Robots?" I asked.
"We're Avengers now and X-Men, so it was only a matter of time." Raiden said.
"Frakkin awesome." I smirked, "So, while we're in the heart of the place, the rest of you will be where?" I asked.
"Creating a diversion. Sinister's there. We need to make sure he doesn't escape." Connor said.
"What aren't you telling me?" I frowned.
They all exchanged worried glances.
"I'm a big boy." I said.
"There's a clone." Jace said.
"Another son?" I asked.
"No, Sinister used his last sample to remake you under his control." Connor said.
I felt very surreal.
"That's why this would be the last time." Raiden said.
"You okay?" Melissa asked.
"Of course." I said, "We've got to stop him."
"And we will." Jace smiled, "Still not too keen on letting you two go in alone."
"Ditto, but we gotta take him by surprise." Connor said, "Welcome back."
"An unknown craft?! Shoot it down!" Sinister barked, "The last thing we need. With project X-23 after me."
"We're tending to it, sir." The guard said.
"My plans cannot be insolvent! This plan is too important." Sinister said.
Suddenly, there was a pop before Raiden and I appeared. I took a minute to hurl all over the floor!
"You!" Sinister spat.
I stood and wiped my mouth, "Yup." I smirked.
"I thought you were away." Sinister said.
"Honey, I'm home. Why don't you come and give us a little kiss." I smirked.
"Get them!" Sinister said.
"I wouldn't." Raiden said, disappearing and reappearing behind him.
"It's over." I smiled.
"It's just beginning." Sinister smirked.
"You know, if you were a little less pale and the red diamond was gone, you'd be cute." I smiled, taking steps toward him.
Two guards raised their guns at me. They began firing but I threw my hand up, causing the bullets to stop in mid-air. Sinister looked pissed. The bullets dropped to the ground except for four, which flew back at the guards, taking them down.
"You've been a pain in my ass for way too long." I said, walking to him.
He held up his hand.
"Down." I said.
He lowered his hand. He then looked at his arm in shock.
"I believe you wanted something like..." I raised my hand, causing him to fly backwards, "that."
Raiden walked over to me, "How'd you do that?" she asked.
"I learned a few things." I smiled.
"What do we do know?" Raiden asked, "There's a containment facility..."
I walked over and grabbed one of the guard's guns and aimed it at his heart, "Stay away from my family."
He chuckled, "What about the family coming for you." He said.
"My twin or my son?" I asked.
"Your father." He smirked.
I pulled the trigger until there were no bullets left.
"Pane." Raiden said, pushing the gun out of my hand.
"I don't want to talk about it. That never leaves this room." I frowned, "His plan is dead, just like him."
"I'm going to say something and then we're not talking about it again," I said, looking to her, "Sinister is dead. I killed him. His plans are null and void."
Suddenly, guards came through the door accompanied by robots. I raised my hand but Raiden alerted me that they were on our side. I sighed in relief. Connor, Melissa and Jace came in. Connor latched onto Raiden and Jace hugged me.
"Nice work, babe." Jace smiled.
"We found something." Melissa said.
"As in another me?" I asked.
"No." Connor said, pushing a folder to me.
I opened the folder and looked through it. It was files documenting a clone but with more DNA from Apocalypse than I had. It was almost entirely him except for thirty percent. It detailed the process from which the clone was born, aged, and thrown into the world. There were pictures of the gang and off pictures of me.
"They trained him really well." Connor said.
"They trained him in every doe that tai can kwan." I frowned, "He's out there somewhere."
"Read on." Melissa said.
I looked back down and went further into it. He had checked into the gang's background.
"He was planning on rebuilding our team." Raiden said, looking over my shoulder.
"Did he...have DNA?" I asked.
"No other clones were found." Jace said.
"Apocalypse." Melissa said, "Some uber-mutant. He had notes on him too and his resurrection."
I looked to her, "What about it?" I asked.
"X-Force encountered him...as a kid." Connor said.
"He's back? As a kid?" I asked.
"They killed him." Connor added.
I sighed with relief, "Makes our job so much easier." I chuckled.
"I say we celebrate." Melissa said, "Maybe I can hit on our resident new hottie, Declan."
I nodded, "I could use a drink." I smiled.
I stood above the party. I was on the second story balcony, looking down at the dance floor. So many things had changed. We'd all changed and I looked down at Jace, who was dancing with Melissa. He looked so happy. Melissa was dancing with a very stiff Declan. I searched the floor for Connor. I felt so broken when I left and though I was mostly okay, a part of me still felt...incomplete. I felt like everything I learned meant nothing because I had...made mistakes. So many mistakes.
"Hey, what're you doing up here?" Connor asked, walking over to me.
"I thought I was in the mood to dance and drink but..."
"You still upset over the clone? We'll find him. We've got everyone available trying to find him." Connor smiled.
"No." I said.
"Then, what's wrong? You've been different since you left. I mean, I thought going away with Doctor Strange would have helped with Perry and Richard." Connor said, looking me over, "You never did tell us what happened."
I looked away from him and down at Jace, who was teaching Melissa how to dougie.
"Pane, what happened?" Connor asked.
[(Goo-Goo Dolls -- Iris) starts playing in the background]
"We didn't stay in one place. We moved around a lot."
Connor looked concerned.
"We were in Africa." I stopped.
"What happened in Africa?" Connor asked, "You can tell me. I.."
Tears were running down my face now. Connor put his hand on my shoulder.
"I didn't mean to...Max was there. Helping. Trying his hand at redemption." I said, "I forgave him."
Connor looked from me to the dance floor. I didn't have to look to know that he was looking at Jace.
"We were drinking and we slept together." I said, "I destroyed everything we could have had."
[Goo-Goo Dolls -- Iris ends with "When everything's meant to be broken, I just want you to know who I am."]