Shapeshifting/ 3 time Mother of the Year Award Winner
Group: X-Factor [Staff]
Member No.: 1,258
Joined: 7-May 11
JP Havok and Mystique
His expression didn't change but a woman as schooled as Mystique would be able to read his shock and anger in the sudden stiffening of his shoulders, and the clenching of his fists at his sides. Looking at her steadily, and as calm as a man like him could manage, Alex said, his voice tight, "All right, Mystique, I'm not jumping, but I'm about to, so you might want to make me step back off the ledge."
A smile, a pained, fake one albeit, but a smile nonetheless was really the only sort of expression she could muster. Those bright orange eyes that sat glowing in her skull angled up at him. "I'm not proud. I was once, but now, I'm very much not. For weeks now, no, nearly a month now if not more, hell I don't even really know, I've been, running, and I can't take that any more." She looked to him and thought of how paper thing this would all likely sound to him, and the irony did not escape her that all of her past successes were likely to be the things that robbed her of what little Sanctuary she would find here. "I'm no longer welcome in Magneto's circle." She laughed. What more could she do? "It seems that Magneto himself is no longer welcome in his own circle."
She stood up, keeping her hands where he could see them. "I'm coming to you not as an enemy now but a fugitive and, as distasteful as this is to my palate, a repenter." She finally found the gumption to look him in the eye. "I'll understand if you don't wish to believe that, and, if such is the case I'll be on my way. I just... felt that for once in my life I owed someone the truth." Her face remained somewhat blank there in the dark, though her tone was desperate.
"I am too optimistic for my own good, Mystique," Alex echoed her earlier words, "But something is wrong with Magneto, and I've heard it from more than just you. I don't know what's happening here, and I don't know that your reasons for all this are as altrusitic as repentance, but, and this may come back to bite me on the ass, but it seems to me that there's more advantage than disadvantage to have someone like you with us." He folded his arms over his chest and said,
"Tell me though, just because you aren't Bucket Heads moll anymore, what makes you think I believe that you're now a champion of truth and justice, because underground cave lair or not, we're still technically the white hats here, and you tend to be a little darker in your modus operundi."
A feeling of slight relief washed over her. At least Alex wasn't clueless to the fact that something had gone south. It made her wonder, then, just what all he'd gotten up to in her time away, in the time since her escape. In the weeks since her escape from Sanctuary she'd been lying low, perhaps too low, so absorbed and so deep in her cover as Foxx that she hadn't paid attention to much else. His question was fair enough, and she curled her lips in a smile, giving him a sidelong look for a moment before speaking, "Full disclosure? I don't think you'll believe a word I say. That's my bed that I've made and I'll have to lie in it. Until four months ago I'd have likely laughed at the notion that I'd be here, asking a Summers boy for refuge."
The smirk faded before she continued. "That was before three months of mind shattering psychic and physical torture the likes of which I'll be lucky if I can ever forget. All for one stupid altruism that sought to condemn me to the whole of my supposed circle of allies. Erik Lensherr is dead, Alex. I served him, not this puppet King that sits in his place. I served his dream, his notion of mutant supremacy, but this man is a would-be murderer of children, a maniac who doesn't even share Magneto's basest of inhibitions, and despite past mistakes I'd like to at least show that I'm trying to learn from them."
She finally lowered her hands. "I realize this is all hypocritical, but I've had a bit of an epiphany in those months of deprivation that I'm still seeking to sort out in my head. That's what you do isn't it? Help people sort things out?"
The more Alex heard, the tighter his fists at his side clenched, and the higher the temperature rose in the small cave. "This altruism that you're talking about? You got Jac and Joseph out, didn't you? She was vague about it all, because she knows we wouldn't be very welcoming if you sent her to us, but you did, right? Who is this Joseph that his very existence is driving Magneto out of his mind?"
He didn't address the rest of her comments. Not yet.
"Joseph is... complicated." She said, rubbing her head. "I was never an Acolyte, Alex, but I was perhaps at times more powerful than any of Magneto's chosen four. I was privy to some... anomaly, an unregistered mutant out in Sanctuary's wilderness. He was just a child, Havok, just a boy, and I could read in Erik's voice that he wasn't seeking him to help him." She sat back down, not really wanting to delve too deeply into those three terrible months. "While he had me in his secret little chamber her let slip a few details, how much of it was true I'm not sure, but Joseph is some sort of clone, grown and destined to be harvested so that Erik can extend his hold over the Brotherhood."
She hunched over, her blue skin going white again, hair moving from red to that strange white blue, and when she looked back to Alex, she shook her head. "He wants the boy so he can live forever."
"Then, he doesn't get the boy," Alex said, and he didn't say it like a threat. He said it like it was just a certainty. This was probably what people like Mystique found so frustrating about those 'Summers boys.' They believed in the world that they saw in the future, and they believed that they could make it happen with the sheer power of hard work and great will. Perhaps it was so. Perhaps it was so.
Alex brought his hands to his head, scrubbing black gloved fingers through tousled blond hair, and he said, "Mystique, you're asking me to forgive the woman who drove me to betray my own brother, who tortured him for days before he was found. You're asking me to trust a woman who makes her living on distrust. How am I supposed to know what to do here? Ironically, Scott would be the best person to ask, and he's the last person I'd go to with this."
"Look, Alex, I understand, if you want me to leave, I'll leave." She stood up, now fully in the shape of Foxx. "I put together this little deception because I know a message from me would be looked on with suspicion. I..." She let out a laugh, shoving her hands into the pockets of her jacket. "I'm so sick any more, Alex. Sick of running, sick of lying, bored and sick and tired. In three months, three entire months, all I could think about was getting out, going somewhere, disappearing forever, free to live life quietly until oblivion, but I don't want that, not really."
She paced around, scuffing the floor. "I'm going to tell you a secret, Alex, one I've never told anyone else. It's around a hundred and forty years I've been on this planet, and for almost that entire time, I've been lying to at least one person at any given moment. I've begun families, I've abandoned them, I've borne and fathered children, I've both ended and saved lives, and during all of that time, even when I was fighting for something that could be called a universal good, I was lying. To myself, maybe, mostly to others. I've done terrible things, things I'd rather forget about than atone for, and I'll not say I've had some born-again epiphany. But if this is how Magneto is doing business now, through tyranny like this, perhaps it took a taste of my own medicine to pull the wool from my eyes."
She looked down, at her feet. This was the most embarassing little thing.
"I loved him, Havok. I really, honestly, did. It was one of the very precious few truths left in my life, and now it's gone."
"You're playing on my sympathies, Mystique," Alex said, "Look, you don't have to go, ok? Something's wrong with Magneto, we've known it for a while, and now with all this other stuff crashing down around us, these monsters, the lockdown, the explosions... We can't really afford to stand on old grudges. I'm sorry, but you're right. This is what we do. Not just help people, but help them find redemption. You stay with us, and you have to play it my way. Is that something you can do? Can you help those who need help, even if they're human? As you probably guess, I'm not doing things entirely legally, but the laws I'm breaking aren't fair anyhow. No killing, no torture, and no mutant supremecy. Just helping those in trouble. This something you want to do? This something you think you can stick with? Because Mystique, I'm not kidding. This bites me in the ass, and I'm going to see which is faster, your healing or my heat. Understood?"
She bit at her lip and turned back to face Havok, Foxx fading away once more and Mystique taking her place again. She stepped towards him and looked him up and down for a moment. "Havok, I'm no hero, I never have been, I said that already. But despite that, I can try to be something I'm not, it's what I'm good at." She let out a deep breath and clicked her tongue. "Not some champion of justice, not even a good person, I think I'm far past that, but I think that given the right time, the right place I can... be a... an alright person who does good things." Raven rolled her eyes at herself, then looked at him, holding a hand out. "You've my word, for all the little that counts for, you've my word."
"Words mean nothing," Alex said, taking her hand, and he had banished the immense heat that he had been summoning, "Prove it with actions." Shaking his head, Alex smirked, "I should have my head examined for this. Mystique, do you know why I'm going to trust you here? Because you did all this for a kid, clone or not, he's still a kid."
She took firm grip of his hand and nodded. "I have kids, Alex." She let go, then shrugged. "I've a no kids policy. Erik knew that. His wild monkeys could tear through them, but I refused to. Why I let it happen around me I'll never know but the day Erik Lensherr asked me to bring a child to him knowing full well what he'd do to it, that's the day a great many things changed."
She looked to him. "I was a good person once, believe it or not. I fought for this country during World War II." She stood there, giving a mock salute. "World War One as well, the my involvement there was relatively brief." She shook her head. "We all fall sometimes, I suppose."
"Call me an optimist, but I like to think that when you fall, the only thing to do is climb back up," the blond said with a shrug of his own, "Do you know that I tried to kill myself after Apocalypse? I tried to hang myself because I couldn't bear to face what I'd done, what I'd been made to do. Warren cut me down and told me that it was the easy way out. Falling's easy. Ending it all is easy. Redemption? That's a real bitch."
"Tell me about it..." She said, that false voice fading back in over her words. "Suicide? Alex, come now, that's not the Summers way, is it? I mean honestly, it's written in your code that you've got to make anything half again as difficult as anyone else." It was a comment born of an intense need for some levity. It was, for her tastes, getting entirely too sappy. "Now, do forgive me this one little deception." She motioned to her shifted form. "I'm not entirely certain the rest of your team will be so... accepting. And I think it would break little Shortpack's heart."
"If the team finds out who you are, they'll be convinced I'm one of the green scalys, so yeah, don't worry about it," Alex smirked. "Don't make me regret this, Foxx. I'm one of the good guys but I'm not called Havok because I'm incredibly temperate."
Foxx's eyes, golden brown once more gave a blinking stare. "The only thing I hope you'll regret from this is ever making that pun." She ran her hand through her hair, "But, y'know, thanks..." She said. "I'll uh... leave you to your rocks."
She turned then, heading back the way she came, feeling like the kid who'd just owned up to his teacher for stealing her chalk. There was a lightness about it though, a feeling of a burden lifted. Maybe the first of many.