Categories > Movies > X-Men: The Movie > Bittersweet Memories

Chapter 5

by demonascreamin 0 reviews

Scoffing quietly I lock eyes with Charles before replying “peace was never an option.”

Category: X-Men: The Movie - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Angst,Drama - Characters: Magneto,Professor Xavier - Warnings: [!!] [?] - Published: 2011-10-19 - Updated: 2011-10-20 - 2481 words

Chapter 5

The mansion was far too quiet in Rogue’s opinion, even for a Sunday afternoon.

Normally the courtyard would be filled with the younger students enjoying a game of basketball or soccer or whatever other game they fancied at the moment. The older students would gather in the game room, above childish games, instead they would squabble over control of the TV or a turn at the foosball table. However, now a strange quietness befell the entire place.

Rogue silently criticized herself for not joining John, Bobby, and Jubilee in their impromptu trip to the lake, but it was too much of a risk to swim with them. Too much exposed skin, and she didn’t want to hurt anyone least of all her friends.

She remembered faintly Jean mentioning a trip to the zoo with a few of the younger students, but she couldn’t remember all the details. Frowning she drew a hand through her hair; she couldn’t possibly be here all alone, could she?

Slipping on a pair of shoes she decided to venture out of her room to see if there was anyone else here.

Walking down the hallway she noticed that most of the dorms were closed signifying the occupants were not there. Walking down the stairs she did spot Piotr showing Kitty one of his drawings in the foyer, but she didn’t want to intrude. There’s nothing worse than being the third wheel.

Going back upstairs she ducked down another hall making a series of turns until she found herself in an area of the mansion she was not familiar with. Eyes darting across the hallway she tried to catch her bearings when she spotted something familiar; the danger room.

She grinned realizing that she had found a back hallway; she’d been at the mansion nearly a year and she was still discovering new things. Continuing down the new hallway she ran her hand against the wall.

She was halfway down the corridor when her hand ran against a door that gave way inwards. Retracting her hand quickly Rogue threw a look over her shoulder to see if there was anyone else nearby before she stuck her head into the new room.

Cautiously she took a step inside the doorway letting her eyes roam over the new area. It looked to be a private study of some sort, but clearly it had fallen into a state of repair.

There was a bookcase on the left wall; heavily coated in dust, the curtains, maroon in color appearing slightly medieval, hung lifelessly blocking out any incoming sun, in the center of the room was a table with a chessboard, two chairs on opposite sides with an end table holding some antique lamp.

Walking closer to the table Rogue noticed that the pieces were not in starting position but already arranged in the middle of a game. She noted the fine layer of dust that draped across the entire board; obviously the game had been abandoned long ago.

Dragging her hand lightly across the edge of the table Rogue felt a pull of familiarity at the back of her mind. She shook her head, there’s no way this could be familiar, this was the first she’d ever seen of this room, and chess was not her forte. Discarding the nagging pull Rogue removed her hand from the table wiping her dust covered hand on her jeans.

Biting her bottom lip her eyes fell to the book she had previously overlooked that lay in one of
the chairs. Tilting her head she squinted at the worn cover to read the title; The Once and Future King.

Picking up the book she lightly drew her hand across the front attempting to smooth out the tattered cover. The book was well worn; it was obviously a favorite of the Professor’s. The corners of several pages were dog-eared and the binding was cracked. Towards the center of the book a large section looked to have water damage, the pages were a yellowish color, the edges warped giving the book a bloated look.

The Professor had the money to buy a new copy, and yet he hadn’t. This book must have a lot of meaning for him to have kept hold of it in this state Rogue thought as she turned to book over in her hands.

Wiping down one of the chairs Rogue lowered herself taking a seat opening the book in the process. Her eyes scanned the page ‘The Sword and the Stone’; her mind automatically jumped to the tale of King Arthur and she quickly flipped to the next page eager to read.

Drawing her knees to her chest Rogue rested the book on the arm of her chair as she flipped another page. Entranced with the words floating off the pages Rogue slouched down in the chair to get comfy as she continued to flip through book.

She fought off a yawn wanting to read more about Wart and Cully, but her eyes began to rebel against her and soon she found her eyelids drooping.

Words began to run together and Rogue soon found herself lost in the characters Robin and Little John; her brain, no longer able to keep the storyline straight, began to shut down on its own accord. Yawning once more she felt her hand tremble under the weight of the book as her eyes slipped shut.

Her eyelids felt like they’d been glued shut, and it would take far too much energy to reopen them so Rogue didn’t even bother to try, she just shifted in the chair bringing her arms to wrap around herself letting her mind begin to drift.

It’s nearly ten and I know we should be in bed fast asleep right now because tomorrow we face Shaw, and yet here I find myself having a nightcap with Charles in the midst of a chess game.
Martini glass in hand I take a sip allowing a smirk to grace my lips as I watch Charles survey the board.

“Cuba. Russia, America. It makes no difference,” Charles voices evenly as he moves his queen.
The silent check is implied, and he doesn’t bother to voice it, instead he retracts his right hand bringing his fingers to clasp together as he rests his forearms on the top of his knees.

“Shaw has declared war on mankind, on all of us,” he continues giving one last look to the board before averting his eyes.

‘Mankind, not us.’

Shifting in my seat I extend my arm to the end table relinquishing my drink as I scoot forward in my chair.

Hands grabbing the armrests, Charles pushes himself backwards crossing his legs in the process to emit an air of dignity.

“He has to be stopped,” Charles iterates with a sense of finality in his voice.

Sinking into the seat of my chair I let my eyes roam the board before flicking my gaze upwards to eye Charles.

“I’m not going to stop Shaw,” I state calmly earning a wary look from Charles whose brows are furrowing in confusion.

“I’m going to kill him,” I finish leaning forward to take his queen with my king.

I can’t help the smugness that creeps into my voice as I continue. “Do you have it in you to allow that,” I ask as I toy with his queen before placing it on the edge with the other captured pieces. Leaning back I lock my eyes on Charles looking expectantly trying to gage his reaction to my statement.

A small scoff leaves his lips and he leans forward once more arms resting on his knees, but he doesn't say a word.

‘Fine, we’ll play it your way.’

“You’ve known all along why I was here Charles,” I press trying to earn some type of reaction.

His eyes are fixed staring intently on his half-drunk brandy glass. He’s refusing to look up but I can tell by how his shoulders are tensely hunched he’s nearing the edge of his resolve and my reaction is quickly approaching.

“But things have changed,” I start slowly. “What started out as a cover mission, tomorrow mankind will know mutants exist.”

‘And now for the salt in the wound.’

“Shaw, us, they won’t differentiate.”

Charles’ head snaps up at my last words. His eyes, normally blue and full of light are now a steely shade of gray as they stare at me in a calculating gaze.

“They’ll fear us, and that fear will turn into hatred.”

Charles’ brow is furrowing in deep thought as he begins processing what I‘ve said and before I can finish speaking he is shaking his head in disagreement ready for a rebuttal. “Not if we stop a war,” he counters. “Not if we can prevent Shaw,” he adds with a wave of his hand. “Not if we risk our lives doing so,” he says locking eyes with me.

It nearly makes me laugh. He fully believes that they’d care if we risk our lives. We’re just pawns to them, completely and utterly dispensable. Once Shaw is done, they won’t need us, and yet he’s trapped in the illusion that we’re the world for these people. People who have already proved time and again an inability to protect let alone trust their own, why would they risk anything for those of us who are different?

“Would they do the same for us,” I ask leveling my gaze letting perhaps more bitterness than necessary to seep into my question.

“We have it in us to be the better man,” he sighs trying to feed me that righteous mumbo he’s always preaching.

“We already are,” I bite out forcefully. “We’re the next stage of human evolution, you said so yourself, I add quickly.

‘Two can play at this game.’

He’s obviously caught on to what I’m doing, reversing his words on him, because now he’s shaking
his head again only this time with more conviction.

“No,” he voices as he picks up his brandy glass he shakes his head as if to get me to stop pushing the subject. It’s only one word, but the sharpness with which it’s been spoken should key me into the fact it’s a touchy subject and perhaps I’ve pushed too hard to get my point across. Then again I’ve never been one to back away from confrontation.

“Are you really so naïve as to think that they won’t battle their own extinction?”

His eyes are fixed on the board between us, intently staring at the pieces eyeing a move we both know he’s not going to make. He’s refusing to look up, but I’ve never been one to fight fair and I’m going to get my reaction.

“Or is it arrogance,” I bite out disdainfully.

That seems to have done the trick. His eyebrows raise in a mixture of shock and confusion as his eyes focus on me.

“I’m sorry,” he asks words lacing with incredulity. I’d obviously offended him or at least struck a nerve with my last statement.

“After tomorrow, they’re going to turn on us,” I state quietly. “But you’re blind to it because you believe they’re all like Moira,” I bite out. Her name rolls off my tongue like an unfavorable taste and I just barely suppress the urge to cringe in disgust.

Straightening in his chair Charles shifts his head so his chin is pointing out defiantly. “And you believe they’re all like Shaw,” he forces out coldly.”


But being cold is just not in his nature and he’s letting out a sigh as he leans forward in his chair. Hovering over the board he looks me in the eye and in a very measure voice starts to speak.

“Listen to me carefully my friend,” he starts giving a pause to make sure he has my attention.
“Killing Shaw will not bring you peace,” it’s said with an underlying hint of pleading.

Pursing my lips I consider this information before allowing my lips to curl upwards in a half smirk. Scoffing quietly I lock eyes with Charles before replying “peace was never an option.”
Scott is leaving the danger room toweling off his face when he first notices the open door halfway down the hallway.

He frowns when he realizes which room it is; the Professor’s private study.

The room is rarely in use now, it usually remains sealed off. To his knowledge it only gets used about once a year, when the Professor spends the afternoon in there looking over the chessboard that’s been paused mid-game for years now and occasionally flipping through the worn pages of a book left on a chair that’s seen better days.

Nobody questions why he disappears to the room, he’s sacrificed enough time to accommodate everyone else, an afternoon to himself is warranted if he so chooses.

However today is not the usual day the Professor visits that room, that information alone makes the open door a rather daunting image for Scott.

Tossing the towel over his shoulder Scott warily makes his way down the hall to the open door.

Hand poised on the edge of his visor Scott peers inside ready for any oncoming attack from the inside of the room.

He allows a small chuckle to fall from his lips when he sees Marie slouched in one of the chairs the weathered book pressed against her chest. No intruders, well not the violent type.

Dropping his hand from his visor Scott edged into the room. Carefully extracting the book from Marie’s grasp he placed it on the end table before moving closer to scoop the young girl in his arms. Sleeping in a chair would do a number on anyone’s back, no matter how young they were; Scott thought it best that he take her back to her room.

Shifting her carefully in his arms to get a better hold he tried his best not to jostle her too much. Judging by the dark circles under her eyes he would venture that she hadn’t been sleeping well, and if she had finally managed to fall asleep far be it from him to wake her.

Backing out of the room he nudged the door closed as he turned in the direction to the student dorms where Marie was staying.

A soft groan escaped Marie’s lips and her brow creased in anxiety causing Scott to pause his movements. Soon her face relaxed and her breathing evened and Scott took his cue to continue to her room.
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