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!
I stood at Scott's grave, waiting for him to tap me on my shoulder and reveal himself to me. I had been crying. Who hadn't? I found myself kneeling at his grave, asking him why he had done what he did. Why it had to be him to reach out to me, why didn't I realize that I had to get back in my body sooner?
The Hollow <I'd hate to see what we do to our enemies.>
I looked up to see him standing a few inches from me, but said nothing.
The Hollow <How do you live in such a world?>
"I adapt." I said.
The Hollow <The only good thing you can do is to end it. End it all. I felt the remorse, the pain...it is unbearable.>
"Always is." I said, "I remember all the people you killed, even though I wasn't there. I hear them screaming in my head. You don't have to feel it."
The Hollow <I felt it. Unbearable, remember? The only thing...>
"Is to end us." I said.
"I need to lock this bad boy up." I said, "He's seeping into my conscious."
"I am not sure if that will help, it is only a matter of time before..." Professor Xavier said.
"You don't understand! He's telling me to do stuff. I can feel him in my head, encouraging me to do...bad things." I said, "I need it out of our head."
"Our?" Hank asked.
"Professor, perhaps it is wise if we take action." Ororo said.
"Yeah, Chuck, this thing should be locked away." Logan said.
"And it will be." Professor said, "It will be difficult, but it is my belief that it can actually happen. You are all dismissed."
As the X-Men left the room, I didn't bother look at them for fear that they might kick my ass. Of course they didn't see it as my fault that Scott was dead, but they were afraid of me. Not me, just what I could become. When I finally looked around the room, I thought I was alone until I felt a hand on my shoulder.
"Ya comin, kid?" Logan asked.
"No." I said, "I need some...time."
"It wasn't you." Logan said.
"I have the memories of what happen in here...It's like I lived it, so yeah, it was me." I explained, "I wasn't even in my body..."
"Where were you?" Logan asked.
"You could call it Hell." I said.
"You're gonna be alright, bub." Logan asked.
"I can hear those people screaming." I frowned, "Begging me. And the worst part...I can see Scott's face."
Logan was silent, then spoke, "It gets easier." He said.
I looked at him, "I don't want it to get easier, Logan." I said.
"You're a good kid." Logan said, "Ya could never do what we do."
"We?" I asked.
"The rest of us." Logan said.
"My future scares me." I said.
"You're lucky, we were getting ready to take ya powers." Logan said.
"Maybe you still should have." I said, leaving him behind.
"So, he's back? That's good right?" Raiden asked, "If that's true, then why is everyone so sad?"
"Scott Summers died, remember?" Connor asked, looking at her peculiarly.
"He died? What do you mean? When? Pane knows?" Raiden asked.
"You were..." Connor stopped, "What was I talking about?"
"I think we were talking about...I don't know." Kelly said, looking perplexed.
I walked right into them.
"Hey, Pane, what's up?" Connor asked.
I just stared at them.
"Dumb question. I mean you just got hijacked by a supernatural being that kicked all our asses." Raiden said.
"Right." I said, "You guys, I'm not in the talking mood."
"Oh. Well, yeah..." Raiden said, "Maybe later."
Connor nodded and they walked away.
"Looked atomic." Bobby said, standing behind me.
"I have my foot in my mouth a lot." I said.
"At the risk of sounding like your mother, are you okay?" Bobby asked.
"That's a good question." I frowned, "I killed Scott."
"Who?" Bobby asked, "It wasn't you."
"What do you mean who?" I asked.
"Look, I've got some business to take care of, but how about we meet later?" Bobby smiled.
"Sure." I said quickly.
"It's like no one knows about Scott, like they don't remember." I said.
"Scott?" Rogue asked.
I sighed, "Summers, Cyclops..." I said.
"You sure you're alright?" Rogue asked, "You look sleepy."
"Yeah because I've talked to most of the X-Men and none of them remember Scott." I said.
"Who is Scott?" Rogue asked.
I looked at her oddly, "Nevermind." I said, turning and walking away. I walked until I came upon Professor Xavier's office. I reached to knock, but couldn't.
"Come in." Professor said.
I entered his office to be greeted by his warm smile.
"Hi." I said.
"Is there something you needed, Pane?" Professor smiled, "You'll never know how good it is to say that."
"Do you remember Scott?" I asked.
"Yes." Professor Xavier said.
"Then why doesn't anyone else?" I asked.
Professor Xavier just stared at me, as if he were surveying me, "Someone is manipulating their minds." He said.
"But who?" I asked.
"You." Professor said, "Your mental signature is everywhere."
"Me? I didn't..." I said.
"Then it is your subconscious." Professor said.
"Why are my powers doing this?" I asked.
"Your guilt." Professor said, "It is manifesting in a most tragic way."
"So, how do I stop it?" I asked.
"You don't." Nick Fury said in the doorway with Captain America and Ironman said, "We do."
I looked at them, "How can you stop this?" I asked.
Nick took a step towards me, "Many higher ups want you dead." He said.
"Lemme guess, you do, too?" I said.
"No." Ironman said, "We think you should be studied."
"Used?" I asked.
"We need to find out more information on you." Cap said.
"Manipulated." I said, "What is it about this power that says come and use me? And whoever said I wanted all this?"
"It's not like that, we just..." Nick said.
"Want to study me? Confine me into a box? Sorry, but I really don't like being caged." I frowned.
"Caged? You'll be free to move as you please." Nick said.
"Enter Hellboy." I said. There was a ringing in my ears and I fell to one knee, "Oh God!" I shouted. I could feel them, all of them, squirming inside my head, all speaking at once, feeling at once...all thinking at once! It was overpowering me.
"What's wrong, is he okay?" Cap asked.
Professor Xavier concentrated on my mind, "He is being overloaded...I must..." he concentrated harder, straining to subdue me, but he was losing.
"I can feel them all." I said, "They're all..." I closed my eyes and put my hand to my temples, concentrating on what my mind must look like. Sleep, I thought. And soon I was drifting.
"He shall stay at the institute!" Professor Xavier said. He, Logan, and Ororo stood arguing with Ironman, Nick Fury, and Captain American.
"He's not yours anymore, Charles, he's the state's now." Fury said.
"He's not some mental case, bub." Logan sneered, "He went through something..."
"Killed people." Ironman said.
"That was not him!" Ororo said, offended, "That abomination is..."
"Locked away inside of him." Nick said, "Sorry, but we can't take that chance. We just got a report back from Reed Richards; he says something is causing a major catastrophe! Somebody opened a rip in reality that could destroy everything we hold dear."
"I believe there may be a way to dissolve our problem." Professor said, "If I can alleviate his strain, I may be able to stabilize him."
"Meaning?" Fury asked.
"Lighten his load." Logan growled.
"I can't hold him, it's all happening too fast!" I said, losing my mind, "I'm causing all this."
They looked at me. I jumped from the table and telekinetically pushed my way through them, stumbling through the metallic halls until I reached the garage where Forge was. Before he could say another word, I waved my hand, causing him to fly backwards and skid across the floor, colliding with a sickening thud! I moved towards the machine, but Logan jumped in front of me.
"Think about what you're doing, kid." Logan said.
"The voices...they have to stop!" I shouted.
"We don't even know if this machine'll work! Forge said it was temporary!" Logan sneered.
"I made everyone forget about Scott." I said.
"Who?" Logan asked, puzzled.
I lifted him in the air and threw him, but stopped when I felt a rumble in my mind. I turned to Professor Xavier and stared at him.
"Do you think this will make any of the crimes that the Hollow did just?" Professor asked.
"They happened, I can't take them back. It's not enough." I said.
"That is correct, do not do something that you might regret." Professor Xavier said.
"But it's a start." I said, telekinetically starting the machine! When it hit me, it felt cold, like something was sucking away my soul, but then there was warmth, then nothing. I fell to the ground, staring up them. Immediately after, the machine fell to pieces!
"Kid..." Logan said.
"I did it." I said.
I was packing my clothes when Logan came in. At first, he watched as I packed my life into suitcases. I didn't know he was there. I gave up all my powers, which wasn't the smartest plan, but it was all I had left to do.
"Ya know." Logan said, causing me to jump, "Just cause this is a mutant school doesn't mean ya have ta go."
"Don't sneak up on me, it's new." I said, "And what would I possibly do here?"
"You could teach." Logan said.
"Teach what?" I asked.
"Hey, if I can teach here, you can teach here." Logan smirked.
I chuckled, "Four years of College didn't prepare me for this." I said.
"You could use that degree..."
"To do what? I'm a smart kid, so I could go back to college or do something almighty and important...but I won't. I found my calling chasing the bad guys."
"Without any powers? Kid, I know you're a trooper, but..."
"Logan, I've watched the world change for years now and the one thing that stayed the same was me. Poor, tortured powerful Pane. I think I'm finally changing." I smiled.
"Maybe changing isn't always a good thing." Logan said, "Would Scott want you to go?"
"Scott would want me in a box." I frowned, "And Sinister and Apocalypse keep saying I'm the next step in Evolution and evolution is changing."
"If it's what you have to do..."
I walked to Logan and softly took his hand, "I know you're not touchy feely or gay or...You're like my knight and silver bones." I smiled.
"And I wish I could stay here, with all my friends and be safe, but...hey, I've missed so much. It took me years to realize that a normal life wasn't in the cards for me. I had a boyfriend, was going to college, and was...living a lie."
"Is this about Slim?" Logan asked.
I sighed and sat on the edge of my bed, "I killed him, then tried to erase him from the history books. I'm a great boyfriend." I said.
"Scott loved you." Logan said, "He died, trying to bring you back."
"I think being here, I forgot that there is other heroes out there. I forgot that I'm just one." I smiled.
"I'm always here, kid." Logan said.
I stood, walking over to Logan and kissed him, letting my tongue be wrapped in his, his musky smell half burning my nose. I was lost in him for a minute before I regained my tongue.
"And there's no chance you'll stay?" Logan asked.
I shook my head, "Not this time, James." I smiled.
"He is stubborn, Logan." Ororo smiled at the door.
"I'd better get going." Logan said, walking away.
"Thank you, O." I said.
"For what?" Ororo asked.
"For being a good friend. I didn't really think there were many African American superheroes, but you taught me that we're pretty powerful." I smiled
"Yes, we are." Ororo said, "Professor wants to see you before you leave."
"Kay." I smiled, "Anything in particular?"
"I have no idea." Ororo said.
I finished my packing and headed down to the Professor's office. I walked inside his office to Raiden and Connor already there.
"He's going to ask us to stay." Raiden said.
"We need to talk alone." I smiled.
Raiden and Connor left.
"It will be dangerous, what you're planning." Professor said.
"I'm not a mutant and since I have some skills, we're going to open up a detective agency. Mutants and Supernatural beings." I explained, "They're excited."
"And you're not?" Professor asked.
"I'm terrified." I said, "There are two mutants and a depowered guy. I'm the weak-link for the first time."
"Do not underestimate yourself," Professor said, "I wish there was something I could do to get you to stay. It just will not be the same without you."
"I'll visit." I said, "And write, hell, I'll call. Logan wouldn't have it any other way."
"Yes, he has become somewhat attached to you." Professor said, "Bonding over lives lost."
"I've got nine lives." I said, "I'll never truly be gone. I just won't be able to talk to you with my mind."
"So, you're enjoying your newfound liberty?" Professor asked.
"I am." I said, "I have a proposition for you. Whatever kid I find that needs help, he's yours."
"That is indeed generous." Professor smiled.
"I just don't like kids." I smiled, doing something that shocked both of us, giving him a hug.
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Well, if you liked it please tell me so I can start work on the next one. I really need feedback, especially if you like it. If you don't, I need advice and suggestions, please.