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!
"What are the results Doc?" I asked.
"Your powers are, of course, varied, as I had originally thought." Hank said, "You control molecules...at a molecular level."
"I don't need the for Dummies version."
"It appears that your psychosomatic..."
"Okay, for Dummies version please." I said.
Hank smirked, "You control molecules. You can make them speed up, slow down, stop, disperse...It is troublesome, the rest of your powers, are tied to that. Your secondary mutant is telepathy, which allow many different powers with that. You can psychically mimic certain powers." Hank said.
"If I can do all that...why can't I do all that?" I asked, "And what about the pheromones?"
"There is a very small amount of pheromones emitted by your body. Not enough to fake love, but enough to attract."
"And all this time, I thought it was my bubbly personality." I joked.
"I remember when I first encountered you, you were sixteen and an Omega, now you are older and beyond any Omega I know. Maybe at the Jean Grey level." Hank smiled.
"Great. Just...great." I sighed.
"Are you sure you don't need counsel?" Connor asked as we walked down the corridor to his office, "It had to be very traumatic."
"I'm good. I mean, it's not like he was ugly." I shrugged, "I mean, yeah, he almost raped me, but he didn't."
"You never should have gone in alone." Connor said, "Next time..."
"Oh, I'm itching to put the pounding on that dick."
Connor looked at me.
"Okay, I meant Sinister Jr."
Connor looked ahead.
"I meant kick that Sinister wannabe's ass." I said as we entered my office.
Once we got in my office, I stopped when I saw Perry standing by the desk. He turned to me from the window quickly.
"Dad." Perry smiled.
"Holy...I thought you were gone." I said, walking closer. I stopped when I noticed someone was in the chair, "You brought a friend?"
When my chair swiveled around, I was in pure shock. I didn't know what to do or say. My father, Louis Mason, was sitting in the chair. I hadn't seen him since before I was sixteen. He looked older. Definitely older. We'd always shared a resemblance, but I denied it. The story, if you haven't heard, is that Apocalypse possessed him while he was dating my mother and I was the result of that. It was very confusing. He wasn't my dad, he was my father. My donor. All this brings me to the point I'm going to make.
"What in the Hell are you doing here?" I near shouted.
I wasn't happy to see him.
"I hear my son is in trouble." Louis said.
"Your son? Really? I haven't talked to you since I was just turning sixteen. I'm now twenty one." I frowned.
"Relax, dad, I brought two people with me." Perry said, signaling behind me.
Max walked in, staring at all of us. I felt the most awkward sense of awkwardity.
"Anybody else shocked to see Pane's dad?" Melissa asked.
"He never said much about his dad." Raiden said, "I'm sure it's not as bad as it seems."
"He doesn't strike me as the type of guy to have a father." Declan said as he played Guitar Hero, "And not because he's gay. Because...Well, I guess...nevermind."
"You should stick with Guitar Hero, hun." Melissa smirked.
"I thought I was hun!" David smiled.
"You are babe."
David nodded, "I can live with that." He smiled.
"Why now? Why would his father come now? He's been dead more than a few times." Raiden said.
"I'd say that would be Perry." Melissa said.
"And Max? Not that I'm totally opposed to seeing him..."
"Perry, for sure." Melissa said.
"Well, I don't like it." Declan said, "Gives him an excuse to cheat. Oh my ex is back and my new is gone. I think I'll slip and fall on my ex's di..."
"Stop!" David protested.
"Look, I'm just being the realist. We need to keep them apart." Declan frowned, "We all know how Jace feels about Pane and Pane feels about Jace, they deserve to be together. I say we put together an operation or two."
"You are so young." Raiden said, "Those things never, and I do mean never, work."
"We gotta do something." Declan said, "I say we..."
"Please try to remember that Max is our friend, too." Melissa said quickly.
"Fine, then it can't get bloody." Declan said, "We have to do..."
"Nothing. It's his life. If it's meant to be, then it will be." Raiden frowned, "I wonder what's taking so long."
"Maybe they're all making with the warm and fuzzy." David said optimistically.
They all took a moment."
"Okay, maybe there's a brawl." David said.
In my office...
"You can't be a part of this." I frowned, leaning on the desk.
"I'm your father." Louis said, standing, "I'm here to..."
"Could have fooled me. I haven't even seen you since I was like sixteen." I frowned.
"I called. You didn't answer." Louis said.
"Forgive me for being mad. You call every six months and then disappear again." I frowned.
"You guys, we don't have time for this." Perry said.
"What?" I asked.
"Apocalypse." Perry said.
"Another one?" Connor asked.
"The one." Perry said.
"What?" I asked.
"Not an Apocalypse. The Apocalypse. Your half-father." Perry explained.
"Hey!" Louis protested.
There was quiet contemplation and fear. Apocalypse. Last I heard, the attempt to raise him had been thwarted by me and the team. I just assumed that with Sinister gone, the raising of his master would cease. Stupid me. I was rattled. If Apocalypse was coming back, this was the farthest thing from good news I could think of. I admit, Apocalypse may be the only villain that would have me quaking in my stylish, yet affordable shoes.
"My God, do you mean that someone is trying to raise him?" Connor asked.
"He's already raised." Perry frowned, "He's a child."
"A child?" I asked.
"It's better not to ask." Perry said, "The X-Men team X-Factor found him and shot him."
"Yay, so no danger?" I asked.
"They didn't kill him." Perry said.
Connor and I exchanged glances.
"Do they know this?" Connor asked.
"No, it's on a need-to-know basis." Perry said, "The X-Men's team is covert."
"So, how do you know?" I asked.
"I searched through the X-Men's files in the future." Perry said.
"You've been back to the future?" I asked.
"No." Perry said.
"No? That's all? You can't explain yourself?" I asked.
"I've studied the files many times in the future." Perry explained, "Being a former X-Man..."
"You were an X-Man? How intriguing." Connor said.
"How come I never knew? And where have you been?" I asked.
"You never asked." Perry said, "And I've been searching for pages in Destiny's Books."
"You're telling me you found some? Everybody's been looking for those." I said.
"No, not enough." He said, putting pages on the desk, "Some have been reduced to rubbish. Smudged pages and random quotations."
"I'll take a look." Connor said, taking the papers and leaving the office.
"Is he...your..." Louis began.
"No." I said quickly, "Why is he here?"
"He shared a body with Apocalypse." Perry said, "He remembers most of the experience."
"He can't stay. Learn what he knows and get him away from me." I said, leaving the room.
"Just come and he'll be better." Louis said.
"I had to say something to get you here." Perry frowned, "Some things he'll never forgive."
"Are you saying..."
"Things can't be forgiven, but people can." Perry said, walking out of the office.
I looked away from the window, though not directly at him. I looked to the floor. He stood there, alive and well. I wondered how he could bring my father here. Not only did I not want to see him, but this put him in considerable danger. I wouldn't wish that on anyone.
"What was that? He's your dad." Perry frowned.
"He hasn't been a dad." I said.
"If we're being technical, neither were you." Perry said.
I opened my mouth to say something, but couldn't form words.
"I didn't mean it like that...I just meant..."
"I make this life or death choice in the hopes that one day you can understand it and you can't." I said, "Huge ironic joke inserted."
"I was angry. I'm not. You need to put that aside."
"Do you know why I did what I did?" I asked.
"Yeah, Sinister was chasing me." Perry said.
I looked back out the window, "Wasn't just Sinister. If I had kept you, you would constantly be in danger and I have lost so many people. Sometimes it's the bad in the world and sometimes," I turned to him, "It's me."
Perry was thinking.
"There's not a day...a second where I don't think about you. I don't feel regret and want to call up Richard and tell him to come back and then I look at my life and...I made a mess of it. You were better off with a father who could be a father." I rambled, "I made a huge choice and someone got hurt. I was the best parent I knew how to be."
"And so was your dad."
"I made that choice because..."
"You were scared." Perry said, "So was he."
There was a long silence between us.
"I didn't mean to make you think about...or second guess what you did. You saved my life. I can appreciate what you did." Perry said, "But you would have made a kick-ass father." He said, turning to leave.
"Kid's right." Max said, walking in eating a sandwich.
"Oh God, what are you doing here?" I asked.
"Hello to you, too, sexy." He smirked.
"Why'd you come back? Is this the `I helped Pane wreck his life' comeback tour?" I asked.
"Hey, I just apologized. You were the one ripping my buttons off with your teeth." Max said.
We both glanced at the door to see Jace. I was beyond shocked and a little embarrassed. I wanted to run up and hug him but I knew that this moment, this exact moment was not that moment.
"Hearing details...didn't think my life could suck anymore." Jace said.
"This must be the boyfriend," Max said, wiping off his hand and extending it to Jace, who simply stared at him.
"Max this is Jace, Jace..."
"He's cute in a twilight-y sort of way." Jace said, "A downgrade."
"Whoa. No handshake for you." Max said, retracting his hand.
"It didn't happen like that." I frowned, "There was Saki. And did I mention Saki?"
"Whatever, you're not my problem anymore." Jace shrugged.
"I'm not your problem?" I asked.
"Charming...and I'm the downgrade?" Max asked.
"You're my boss and I needed to tell you I was back." Jace said, turning to leave.
"Jace." I said.
He stopped and looked at me before looking to Max and leaving. I felt extremely hot and out of place. It was embarrassment. I felt it quite often these days, but it wasn't until now that it actually affected me.
"That was totally harsh." Max said, "He's a piece of work."
"After what we did to him, can you blame him?" I asked.
"Yes, actually." Max said, "He wasn't doing something right." He said, leaving.
I groaned and leaned on my desk. This was shaping up to be a really bad day. Really bad.
"So, you've been hanging out with Pane?" Jace asked.
Jace and Declan were practicing Declan's empathy. They were supposed to be doing a silent exercise but Jace had been asking Declan about his experiences while Jace was gone.
"I don't know, he feels really bad..."
"Whose side are you on?" Jace asked.
"I have to take a side?" Declan asked.
"Sorry, I...it's just hard." Jace said, "Do you think he's really sorry? Or was this...you know..."
"He's sorry." Declan said, "Doesn't mean you should run right back. Just means he knows what he lost."
"Right." Jace said, "Maybe I should cut him some slack."
"Yeah." Declan said, "Now can we get back to what we're doing?"
"Right." Jace said.
"So, you're gay?" Louis asked.
I sighed and looked up from the large file on my desk, "If you have to be here, can you not speak." I frowned.
"Listen, you can hate me, but you will respect me." Louis frowned.
"Because you raised me that way? NO...let's just take a trip back, you were...where, exactly?" I asked.
"No, that's a serious question." I frowned.
"Look, I was young and I knew your mother and aunt could take care of you..."
"I've heard that before. Sucked the first time." I frowned.
"It's the truth. I didn't know how to be a dad." Louis said, "It's harder than it looks. You should know that."
"Don't you dare bring Perry back into this!" I frowned.
"Why not? You did what was best for him, didn't you?" Louis asked.
"I did the only thing I could do for him." I said viciously, "Do you know how much I want him? To raise him but I can't. You decided that you couldn't raise me because you were afraid of being a bad dad. You were no dad at all!"
"And you are? I think you had the same fear and the same reflex." Louis frowned, "I think you were afraid that you couldn't cut it."
I nodded angrily, "There is no talking to you." I sighed.
"Because we're so much alike." Louis said.
I chuckled angrily, "We're nothing alike. Nothing. And if you ever thought differently, correct yourself." I frowned.
"Right. You can say what you want, but the apple doesn't fall far from the tree...hell, you even look like me." Louis said.
That was the last straw.
"Okay, get out of my office." I said, "Do what you do best and leave."
He smiled and left. He was the most infuriating man I'd ever met! I mean, the nerve of him saying bullshit like that! I'm not like him, nothing like him. I face my fear! My fear was faced. I meet my fear and say, "Hey, fear, how are you doing?" whereas he ducks and runs.
Connor walked into Raiden's office, where Melissa sat opposite Raiden, who sat at her desk. When he stepped in, both girls immediately stopped talking. There was an awkward silence between them. Connor questioned whether he should have come in at all. Maybe their marital problems should be left at their condo. He hadn't expected Melissa to be there.
"Melissa, could I have a word with my wife." Connor asked.
"Wasn't your wife when you were hiding secrets." Raiden said, "Actually, I was but you didn't care."
"Mel." Connor pleaded.
"We're not finished, you can come back later." Raiden frowned.
"Look, I'm not in this..." Melissa said, standing.
"Nothing to be in." Raiden said, standing, "Now sit."
"Go, Mel." Connor said.
Melissa groaned, "I'm leaving. I've got a date anyway." She said, scurrying out.
"Now look what you did!" Raiden frowned.
"Are we really going to do this?" Connor asked.
"No idea what you're talking about." Raiden shrugged.
"I didn't tell you because it wasn't my secret to tell." Connor frowned.
"But you knew, which means I should have known!" Raiden said loudly.
"Ever since we moved up here, it's been...no, before that, you and him are all close. It's supposed to be..."
"Are you jealous?" Connor asked, amused.
"No! I just...whatever happened to the three of us against the world?" Raiden asked, "Now we're the world against...what the Hell are we against?!"
"The world." Connor said, "Look, I'm sorry. We just got close when you left. We're all we had."
"Where does that leave the rest of us?" Raiden asked.
"Very much relevant." Connor said, hugging his wife.
"But I'm not jealous." Raiden pouted.
"Of course not." Connor smiled.
"I need you to tell me where you've been." I frowned.
"I've been finding out about what's coming." Perry frowned.
"And what's coming?" I asked.
"You really have lost yourself in this world, haven't you? Scott said..."
"Nothing that begins with `Scott said' is good." I frowned.
"Scott thinks that working for a bigger group is throwing you off your game." Perry said, "I think he's right."
"How many times have I saved the world now?" I asked, "If anyone's not on his game, it's Scott."
Perry was silent.
"I know he's your dad, but..."
"More of a father than some people." Perry said.
"You're angry with me?" I asked, "What did I do now?"
"People like us don't have the luxury of being normal." Perry said quickly.
"Bullshit! Whoever said that is..."
"You said it, dad." Perry frowned, "And you were right."
I turned away from him, "So, what, it's my fault that you didn't have a normal life?" I asked.
"You made a conscious choice not to be a part of it." Perry frowned.
"It was for your own good. I knew that Richard would...keep you safe." I said slowly.
"Kinda like your dad." Perry said quickly, "I forgave you. I think it's time you forgive yours. Apocalypse is coming back."
The words I had been dreading. I knew that he wasn't dead, but I thought he was going to be gone for a while. Well beyond my time.
"I put bullets in his head." I frowned.
"We both know that he's not that easy to kill." Perry said.
"What's his plan?" I asked.
"Bringing Apocalypse back." Louis said.
I turned to see him at the door.
"No one wants that." Louis frowned.
"What do we do?" I asked.
"We find the quickest way to chop of the head of the beast." Perry said.
"How do we do that?" I asked.
"I'm going back off the grid. I need more information." Perry said, "I need to know everything."
"You can't just disappear again! We need to regroup and...you're not going back out there alone." I frowned.
"He won't be alone." Louis replied.
"So, you're taking a tire technician?" I asked.
"We can watch each other's backs." Perry said, "Don't worry so much."
"I'm your dad. I'm always going to worry." I frowned.
"Well, dad, grandpa is watching over me." Perry smiled.
"I'm going to be the grandfather to him, the way I should have been a father to you." Louis said.
"How will I contact you? Or you me? How do I know if you need me?" I asked.
"You'll know." Perry said, hugging me.
Louis walked up and stood in front of me.
"Anything happens to him, you're dead." I frowned.
Louis nodded. He and Perry walked to the door and I stared at them.
"I forgive you." I said slowly, "I forgive you."
Louis stopped and turned to me, "You said it twice." He smiled.
"The second time wasn't for you." I said.
Louis nodded and he and Perry left the office. I walked over to the window. I pondered on how much I used this window lately. I was sure that nothing was right. Perry and Scott were right. I had become disconnected with the world. I sat up here with all this new technology and all this intel and I missed everything that made me great in the first place. I had come from a school and I was now leader of a covert team that saved the world. I was a long way from home. There was no obvious way back.
"Are you okay?"
I turned to see Jace. He was standing at the door. I told him to come and sit down. I closed the door and came back to him, leaning on my desk. There was a long silence.
"Is this the part where you want me back?" Jace asked, "I'm back, I just don't know..."
"No." I said quickly.
We both stared at each other.
"The only thing I ask is that you forgive me." I said, "I don't want you back. You once told me that saving people is my art. We can't be together."
He looked stunned. Not what he was expecting at all.
"What?" He asked.
"Turns out I'm not just a walking death magnet...I hurt everyone that ever gets close to me. And I can't do it anymore." I frowned, "I can't let my feelings for you get in the way of mission, either. Romance, for me, isn't possible. People like me don't have the luxury of being normal. At all."