He glared at the insult, despite it being incredibly true. [b "Excuse me for not wanting to sit around on my ass while my team is being held hostage by a government who wants us eradicated. But Charles fucking Xavier believes that he can pacifist his way through this to join mutants and humans together."]
He dabbed the cigarette out and huffed. Training sounded better than nothing. [b "Don't hold back,"] he brushed past her out of the room.
Erik led the way to one of the training rooms in the basement of the manor. Some things definitely hadn't changed. It looked identical to when the original team had been practicing together. He guaranteed that if he wandered into the firing range down the hall, there would still be scorch marks from Alex's failed laser tests.
[b "I'll let you pick. Powers training, or hand to hand combat?"] he turned to look at her as he rolled up his shirt sleeves.
It wasn't like a sledgehammer this time, it was like hammer, which was an improvement. His flair was something else but she didn't flinch only gave him an unimpressed look. Crossing her arms across her chest she rose an eyebrow yet. [b "Maybe because you're being a raging dick,"] Kenna said flatly. It was slow but she could feel the clocks moving from Ororo, Charles, and Hank, those who had been members for longer.
[b "Some people even consider communication. I know he's working on something, I can feel it, not very well but I can. Now...other than bitching at me, maybe we could do something productive like a little training,"] Kenna sighed. She still liked him on a more personal level, but also was one of the few to not put up with bullshit.
[b "Best of luck!"] he called after her, beginning to feel the calming effects of his medication take hold. He wandered in the direction of his room for a much needed nap.
Erik, on the other hand, was practically spitting nails by the time Kenna showed up. [i "Does anyone here understand that this isn't something we can do delicately or take our time with?"] he snapped, not looking up from the blueprints. [i "We need to be striking with everything we've got."]
He grabbed for a cigarette from the metal tin. [i "I'm trying to light a fire under their asses, but no one seems to want to take this seriously. Charles has them all convinced that they can do this peacefully, or whatever bullshit he's concocted in his classrooms."]
He took a long drag of smoke before finally meeting her eyes. [i "You said they were going to help us. When does the help start?"]
[b "I think it's going well, he usually only says positive things. So far I can keep some feelings at bay, and others not so much...So, I guess it's getting there,"] Kenna shrugged, inwardly the conversation was still strange. People being taken, powers, whatnot everything that others didn't talk about. [b "He's very straightforward about his intentions it's reasoning and emotions behind that's hard."]
Might as well get this over with and she was in need of more training. She was getting the mental part down, and had learned the danger room, she just wanted to do more. [b "Wish me luck. I'll see you later, Tristan."]
Friends, mutants and conspiracies. It wasn't a bad lot in life.
Tristan gave a small laugh. [b "I know he's expecting you, but I think you have a few minutes before he comes stomping through here looking for you."]
He leaned back against the wall and tucked his hands in his pockets. [b "How are the lessons with the Professor going? It can take some getting used to. Especially if you're not used to being the one having your thoughts made public."]
Truth be told, he still wasn't used to it. More than once, Charles had made a group announcement in their heads without warning and Tristan had nearly dropped to the floor in surprise every time. [b "The good thing about Erik is that he's up front about his expectations."] He frowned. [b "At least I think he is. Sometimes he's harder to read. I thought we were making progress in there, and then it went away the second he started asking questions."]
If it wasn't for the training that was given by Charles, she'd likely have a headache all the time. The tension was very thick and Erik was likely enjoying this. Granted she hadn't talked to him much over the last few days. The fact that he wanted to see her was surprising.
Kenna had a hard time not feeling what he was, and couldn't fight that off. [b "You were in the big facility? It's for the best, we couldn't do this without you..."] She said, knowing they couldn't he was the key to it, she just was the medium between both sides.
Looking she felt a small sense of dread. [b "I don't know...since the training with Charles he's pushing opposite. Think I should go in there now or slack off with you for a few minutes? Personally, I'd like to see him beg."]
It was unnerving having Erik in the mansion. Tristan hadn't been this on edge since his first mission months back when he'd first been recruited to help bring students to the Institute. Hank had given him Zoloft tablets to keep himself sedated enough that the ground wasn't trembling wherever he went.
He'd had the displeasure of working with Erik that morning, going over schematics and blueprints that the young scientist had procured for them, detailing every room in the lab. Tristan had asked Hank where he got them from, but the blue mutant had just jumped over the question instead. He was fairly sure every bit of the process had been illegal.
When he'd been left alone with Erik, the metal-manipulating mutant had begun asking questions. Some far too personal. What was it like in those tanks? The electo-therapy? How far would they go to break you? [i "I bet you'd like to string up the men who put you through those tests,"] Erik had said. [i "Make them suffer for making you suffer?"]
Tristan had ended the session and was rapidly moving towards his room when he'd bumped into Kenna. He pulled the little orange pill bottle from his pocket and popped a sedative. [b "I'm fine,"] he couldn't quite meet her eyes. [b "Just agitated from the blueprints. I didn't realize just how big that place is until now."]
He nodded in the direction he'd come from. [b "Erik's probably still in there. He seems curious today. A bit too much. He seems to like you though. You may have better luck than the rest of us,"] he gave a small smile.
Over the next few days it didn't go any better, Erik was unpleasant and Charles was growing agitated despite not showing it. He still somehow kept a cool, rational head. True to his word Charles helped show her how both focus as well as keep some distance so it wasn't overwhelming. In just the matter of three days she already felt some calm sinking in.
Passing Tristan she tilted her head having that look that his mood was off, and she felt it too. "What's with the look?" She asked. "You've had that since Erik's got here. Speaking of which, he's asking me to meet him. Should I be scared?"
Against his better judgment, Erik's lips pulled into a small smirk. [b "Charles. It's been a while. I see you're running a nice little pre-school now. Never pegged you for a kindergarten teacher."]
Charles let the comment go, ever the peacekeeper. [i "I can at least make sure they know how to read and write before teaching them how to control laser beams being shot from their eyes."]
[b "And I see you've sent your best-trained bunch to collect me. Gold stickers for them all,"] he retorted.
Tristan's face scrunched at the jab. Storm stepped forward with her fists clenched. The overall mood was anything but welcoming. [i "Let's take this to my office. Wouldn't want any young ears overhearing our discussion,"] Charles turns his wheelchair to head back inside.
[b "Yes, wouldn't want them to overhear that the world isn't all sunshine and rainbows waiting to love them,"] Erik grumbled as he followed.
While it wasn't the worse headache, Kenna was thoroughly done by the end of the little excursion. The woman could have extraordinary patience at times and the other times it was non existent. [b "Then maybe it's a good thing you're here to show them how it's done,"] Kenna expressed with veiled annoyance.
There would be a lot to learn. Control and balance from Charles and from Erik she wanted to learn how to fight. Seeing Charles move down, though there wasn't an expression she could feel the emotion coming off of him.
[b "I'm very glad that you could come, old friend. Would you like to come inside?"] Charles asked before looking to him. [b "Thank you Tristan, Ororo and Kenna for what you've done."]
The vibes off of them was unlike anything, she had to step back for a moment.
Damn her for being stubborn. [b "Fine. The mansion it is,"] Erik grit his teeth.
No sense in stopping to pick up Azazel and Toad anymore. While he didn't trust Charles' students, there was no question that Charles himself would ensure that the meeting would go as peacefully as possible, meaning that Erik could leave at any time he desired without being followed.
He didn't need directions to the obnoxiously large mansion. The property was permanently stuck in his mind. A moment of his past that he was both proud of, and wanted to forget. The children filling the lawns, however, was new to him. His face soured. [b "And to think this used to be training grounds for a group of misfit heroes,"] he grumbled, thinking of the team he'd helped train. [b "Now it's a daycare."]
[b "I'm an empath, Erik. Most of the time I know other people's heads better than my own and I hate it,"] Kenna replied tartly, unable to hide the way it bothered her. If Charles didn't know her ulterior motive she'd be surprised. [b "Well, this is going to be fun."]
It wasn't, it was kind of like like feeling a battle of waves. There was both sides and their emotions that was on the verge of a headache. How they got him to agree, was beyond her.
[b "Then we will go to the mansion,"] Storm said finally, not trusting that Magneto would actually do as he says. She was going to be sure to see him at least go there to the best of the ability.
Oh yay, the woman thought with a sigh. She was just hungry and wanted to sleep.
Erik raised an eyebrow. [b "With them for less than a week and you're bonding. Go figure. Charles works quickly. Let's get this over with, shall we?"]
He noticed Storm and the young man grow tense as they approached. [b "At ease, cadets. As fun as it is to constantly be at war with you, I think we can all be adults about this. At least, until I figure out the next step to getting more information that I need."]
Erik gestured for them to follow him to the black sedan parked outside. [b "Azazel acquired it to blend in more,"] he explained when the two X-Men looked warily at it.
He looked to Kenna. [b "We have a hotel room nearby, where Azazel and Toad are waiting for me. They stand out a bit too much. If you're going to have back-up for this meeting, I think I'm entitled to it as well. If you want to talk, get in the car."] His standoffish attitude was back with Charles' students present.
[b "Tristan escaped and somehow still functions mostly normal. There's a lot in there. I hate the fact that I know all this...anyway..."] Kenna rubbed the back of her neck before she gave a shrug. It wasn't his fault, she was just a built in detector. Rising an eyebrow in surprise that he wanted to talk further. [b "Please, these people are creeps."]
Rising from the seat she waited for him just in case it was a ruse to get rid of them. It still puzzled her why he talked to her, nice to his level. Was it possible that Charles was right?
[b "After you..."] She said clearly not sure where to place him. There would be quite a bit to discuss, too.
Erik tapped some ash from his cigarette, exhaling smoke through his nose. [b "If you asked the quivering twig over there for help, I'm afraid you're more likely to die. Not the most stable, that one,"] he clicked his tongue in disappointment. [b "Then again, he's the only one of Charles' students who doesn't seem to want to murder me on sight, so I guess your choice was a good one after all. I'd hate for my waiting around here to go to waste."]
He finished his drink and cigarette. Had lost all hope that he was finally getting somewhere. [b "Thank you for telling me this has been one giant waste of time,"] he rubbed at his temple in annoyance.
[b "Shall we have this conversation here, or somewhere that your friends won't stand out quite as much?"] he asked, glancing over her shoulder at Storm, who definitely did not fit in with the mob scene around them.
It was no doubt Charles' idea for them to be there. Always the better man, trying to aid those who would no doubt turn their backs on him if it meant their own safety. Perhaps he would pay his old friend a visit to talk him out of getting involved in something that couldn't be done without spilling bloodshed.
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