Tristan stood close enough that he could faintly hear the Professor speaking. An old habit resurfaced as he raised his hand and began chewing on his nails, purely out of anxiety.
[i "A move needs to be made, and fast. Hank has been monitoring police scanners, and things are going to get ugly in a hurry. Whatever they used at that town square is not their only weapon powerful enough to bring him down in time before he hurts someone or himself."]
Sabertooth's ear twitched in acknowledgement, tensing as he imagined Erik's potential destruction.
[i "I know that you've said many times over that you aren't picking sides, and I'm not pushing for it. But you are going to need our help, Kenna. I can send a small team to be damage control while you make contact with Erik and try to get this resolved. The three of you won't be enough, I'm afraid. The authorities outnumber you greatly, and we need to minimize casualties."]
This wasn't the place she wanted to be, not what she wanted to do. Least of all, dive deeper into becoming The Siren. Watching as Tristan held out the phone, she debated on refusing to answer, perhaps escape somewhere cold and spend the rest of her days with the money they had gotten.
Taking the receiver slowly she placed it to her ears. Going to the wall, she leaned against it, bracing herself for the worse.
A bar, that was where she needed to be, a bar and an uncomplicated bed with an uncomplicated guy.
Tristan looked at his feet, knowing that Sabertooth had a point. Unfortunately, he couldn't completely agree with Kenna that manipulating him would be wrong. If he was posing a danger to innocent lives, then they would have to do everything they could to stop him.
[b "He barely tolerates me, Kenna. He's not going to listen to what I have to say. If Sabertooth tries to talk him down, he's going to see it as a betrayal to the Brotherhood,"] he sighed, running a hand over his eyes as he felt a headache coming on.
Before an argument could break out, the shrill ring of the phone pierced the tension. After a pause of confusion, Tristan rose to answer the phone. Before he could speak, Charles Xavier's voice broke though. [i "I can use Cereboro to track mutants all over the planet, Tristan. I found your safe house the first day you were there. You three have been plastered all over the news channels across the country."]
[b "Professor, we-"] Tristan stammered, only to be cut off again.
[i "This is going to get ugly rather quickly, Tristan. Put Kenna on the phone, please. I must speak with her if we're going to get to Erik before anyone else is hurt."]
Silently, the young man pulled the phone from his ear and held it out to his companion.
Kenna flinched at the word 'manipulate' despite it being true. The word felt murky now as she sloshed the drink around in her hand. It had been true, and now it felt further from the truth.
"He's our friend, a strange friend, but our friend. And friend's don't do that to each other. Right, Tristan?" Kenna asked looking to him, hoping he'd tell her something on the moral side. She stood up and turned off the television, leaning against the door frame.
"Maybe...we should just...talk to him? Let him feel this and then try to end this," she said hopefully finishing the drink. "Who wants to go first?"
Tristan held an ice pack to his face, trying to soothe the black eye Erik had left on him when he'd attempted to comfort the grieving man after a lengthy escape in the armoured truck. Neither of them were quite certain where Erik was at the moment, but both were confident that he'd be capable of taking care of himself should trouble arise.
[b "I can't say I wouldn't react in a similar fashion if one of my friends was killed in front of me,"] Tristan sighed, getting to his feet to press the power button on the television. [b "We just have to figure out a way to pull him back from the edge he's on, without any more fatalities."]
Sabertooth had been sitting silently with his back against the wall, eyes closed and breathing deeply. [i "Words aren't what he needs,"] the beast grumbled.
[b "Oh, he speaks,"] Tristan snipped. [b "You know him better than we do. Why don't you enlighten us on how to deal with him in this situation?"]
Sabertooth's eyes landed on Kenna. [i "You manipulate people, right? Their emotions? Channel his emotions in the right direction to get his focus back, instead of letting him swirl in his own vortex of negativity where he's only going to look for a fighting outlet."]
"Do we need to watch the news now?" Kenna asked at the sound of the television. Another safe house in a smaller town in Washington. She rubbed her temple, all that activity was catching up, especially after attempting to calm Erik down.
"We could lose him over this, Tristan. Just see him go off and it will be on our hands who he hurts because we thought if we stayed low to the ground we could do this."
Naturally, Erik wouldn't be here, needing the space and them to figure out the next move.
Tristan risked Erik retaliating, and grabbed him by the shoulders. [b "Erik, it's done. We can't do anything for him anymore. If we stay here, they're going to take us out too, and then this will have been for nothing,"] he tried to reason with him.
[i "They deserve to die for what they've done. I told you it was only going to get worse for our kind,"] Erik looked dazed, as if he was staring right through the other man.
[b "Be that as it may, now is not the time to do this, alright? Get up,"] he forced Erik to his feet. [b "Saber-guy, can you help me out here?"]
Sabertooth was quick to step in, taking Erik's arm from Tristan's grasp. [i "What's the plan?"]
Eyeing one of the armoured trucks, the younger man sighed. [b "Our best bet is getting away in that, until we can ditch it and get to safety."]
Slowly rising to her feet, she couldn't look away from the body. She hadn't ever seen a dead body like that before. It was the first one. At least there had been peace, the whirling emotions he had felt, and the pain he had gone through.
Looking past them she slipped between the people that were still panicking.
This had to end, she couldn't do this for much longer.
Erik finally joined them, dropping to his knees beside his long-time friend. Blob's eyes turned to meet his. [i "Scared, boss,"] he choked out, blood spilling from his mouth.
[b "Listen to Kenna,"] Erik pressed a hand to his face. [b "You're going to feel at peace, alright? You've done well."]
Sabertooth remained close by, tossing glances their way between fighting police officers back. Erik's shield against the bullets kept the four of them safe from any gunfire. [i "Guys, we have to go,"] Tristan murmured, seeing more police cruisers coming around the corner.
Blob's eyes went blank as the young man spoke, and the gurgling for air stopped as his heart did. Erik sat silently staring down as his lost friend, easing the man's eyes closed.
There was more attention coming. More sirens and they'd bring those darts that neutralized them. Erik needed to be here more than a heist and playing house. What could they do?
Kenna placed the bag down by Tristan before putting a hand on Blob's forehead. Attempting to not grimace at the touch of the sweat she smiled down to the giant man.
"It's going to be okay, you won't feel much of this at all," she whispered softly. Unable to form more contact, she began reaching through the layers of the mind to try and find the calm. "You're all so brave...sticking by your own rules...being what you are so proud."
They really didn't have much time.
Tristan bolted to where Blob laid among the rubble, blood pouring from the gaping wound in his chest. [b "Hey hey hey, don't move, alright?"] he rested a hand on the fallen mutant's shoulder, feeling his heart hammer in his chest as Blob gasped desperately for air.
[i "Is...bad?"] the larger man gargled through the blood building in his throat.
[b "It's...uh...it's more than a scratch,"] Tristan nearly gagged at the sheer volume of blood loss.
[b "Erik, he needs you over here right now!"] he called to the still distracted mutant. [b "Listen, Blob, this is going to suck, alright? I have to try to stop the blood."]
Removing his flannel shirt, Tristan pressed it to the wound and pressed down firmly, causing Blob to howl in pain. While he knew it wasn't going to save him, Tristan didn't want him to die thinking that they had given up on him.
It was only a matter of time that there was a fight between them all. Why it took getting that money first, happened, she wasn't sure. It was getting difficult to keep up the manipulations on so many people.
She watched this for a moment, wondering where that adrenaline kick was. Nodding to Tristan she stepped forward.
"I know this is not how we want it to go down. And this was not supposed to happen," she started towards him. "We need to get our head back in the game, though. And then we can help your comrades more, okay?"
She knew this wouldn't likely work, it was worth a try.
It was impressive how quickly everything had gone to shit. [b "On it,"] Tristan answered her, bolting for the door.
The chaos outside was disorienting for a moment. Tristan scanned the crowd, looking for any sign of Erik, ultimately spotting him being swarmed by police officers. [b "Oh goddamnit,"] he took off in a sprint.
Ducking behind a police cruiser, Tristan slammed his palm to the ground, focusing on the tremors. A few officers fell to their knees, off-balance. Darting forward, he grabbed one of the guns someone had dropped as Erik was tossing cars around like a tornado. [b "Erik, enough!"] Tristan fired a few rounds near the cops, forcing them into ducking for cover.
He just had to keep them away from Erik, until he and Kenna could talk him down. [b "This isn't the plan, Erik! Stop it!"]
"Tristan, can you make sure he doesn't do anything, well him? We're going to need it for getting into these pharmaceuticals and hurt the companies involved," Kenna said, the panic was a perfect cover. Leaving Erik for a moment, it was necessary for the end game.
It was easier, the woman was easy to influence and soon there were more bills than she ever had. It was probably the wrong time but it was the only chance.
"Erik! We need to go!" She called out knowing he might not listen.
Tristan ditched the ice cream in a garbage bin. [i "Might as well hit up the bank before they put it on lockdown."]
Erik hesitated before following, hearing sirens in the distance. He was confident that his men would be able to handle the authorities, but he wasn't comfortable with not standing by for back up. Still, he went with the two.
Tristan didn't miss the way the bank manager scowled as he looked them up and down, straightening his own tie as though their mere presence had made his Windsor knot crooked. The man's hand dropped to rest near the phone on his desk, ready to phone security should they step out of line. [i "I'm not feeling very welcomed. How about you guys?"] he muttered to his team, eyes straying to the two security guards stationed on either side of the counters.
Erik was getting antsy, waiting in line for the banker. The sirens were blaring now, on-scene and filling the street with cops. His fists clenched at his sides, hearing the gunfire. Despite knowing his two teammates could handle the onslaught, it was infuriating to be on the sidelines. He managed to ignore it, until he felt a rumbling under his feet. [b "What are you doing?"] he snapped at Tristan.
The younger man shook his head. [i "This isn't me,"] he swore.
The roar of a diesel truck reached his ears. [b "Fuck,"] he snapped, moving away from Kenna and Tristan to rush for the exit.
Outside, Sabertooth and Blob were surrounded by a circle of police officers. An armored military truck was stationed behind the swarm, with a turret aimed at the two mutants. Erik's eyes widened. [b "No,"] he lurched forward, but they'd already open fired.
Blob was struck through the chest by the energy beam fired by the cannon of a gun. Erik threw an arm out, forcing the barrel to aim at the sky before it could fire at Sabertooth, who let out a roar and leaped at the nearest group of officers. Erik forced a shield around himself, stopping the incoming wave of bullets as he sent cars flying at the running officers.
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