aragorn: (Pensive)
Blues Drive Monster ([personal profile] aragorn) wrote2012-06-03 08:19 pm

(no subject)

Title: Tabula Rasa
Fandom: X-Men: First Class (Sabra La Tau-verse)
Characters: Raven, Erik, Charles
Rating: G

Set in a Sabra Bad End continuity, where Charles and Erik never come home.

---

Charles was the first to disappear.

It happened on the beach. She had been watching, paralysed in place, as the missiles spiralled up and down as Charles and Erik fought, knowing she should do something, but what? And for whom? She’d seen Charles get hit and fall down, saw him start to get back up... and then he was gone. She hadn’t even blinked - at least, she was nearly sure - but he was there one second and not the next.

She had screamed his name then, and Erik had looked back. She’d seen him freeze as he swept the area, trying to locate the other man, and came up with nothing. She knew he’d let go of the missiles then. She knew, because none of them ever so much as scraped those ships, but she didn’t remember seeing it happen. All she remembered was everyone starting to yell, and argue, and fear.

They had fled the beach. Somehow Erik had convinced Shaw’s mutants to get them out of there. He would have left Moira behind, if not for Sean grabbing her wrist at the last second. Raven didn’t care. They’d left without Charles, because Charles was nowhere to be found, even when they’d looked as far as they could. It wasn’t just Raven who’d seen it happen; the others had too. No one could explain it.

She had paced in her room that night, opened and shut the window, and finally sat rigid on the bed. She said nothing. She listened to the faint thumps and bangs coming from upstairs, where Erik was venting his frustrations. She didn’t go to him. Charles was missing.

He came to her, the next day. They agreed they had to search. They agreed neither knew where to start. It could have been the work of another mutant. They grilled Azazel for information, whether he knew of other mutants with abilities like his own, whether he’d teleported Charles somewhere without deigning to tell anyone. But he knew nothing. Hank suggested combing the beach again, in case they’d missed something. Alex threatened Azazel, utterly convinced he had something to do with it. Sean retreated, saying nothing. Erik snapped at them all, bringing them into line, and put forth a plan of action.

And so they searched.

They were at it for weeks, with no success. All the while, Erik and Raven kept council, dividing up duties, keeping Shaw’s mutants under watch, reminding the others that they were in this together. Tensions ran high, and every time they came within a whiff of human authorities their hackles raised and they retreated. Erik did not rule out human interference. It could well be them who had orchestrated Charles’ disappearance, no matter what Moira claimed to the contrary.

One night, Erik came into Raven’s room, and said he had no idea where Charles was. But he knew someone who might. Especially if given the use of a tool like a rebuilt Cerebro.

When they went to the CIA base to retrieve Emma Frost, Raven had started to hope. She didn’t like Frost, but she knew she was their best chance of finding Charles. She trusted that no matter what happened, Erik wouldn’t rest until he found him, and he would lead them out of the dark.

Erik’s disappearance hurt all the more for it.

She had turned on the steps out of the CIA to shout something to keep Sean in line, Emma merely smiling brightly, but when she had turned back to tell Erik to hurry up, he wasn’t there. Something inside her turned to ice. It couldn’t be happening again. She whirled, yelling at Emma, telling her to find him. Never mind he’d had the helmet on, never mind Azazel had been nowhere near him at the time.

Never mind Erik had promised to keep things together.

Emma couldn’t find him, even knowing what his helmet felt like. His mind wasn’t present, and neither was the void space the helmet projected. Alarm bells ringing behind them, they could hear shouts from inside the building, and Raven knew their time was nearly up. She swallowed, stood straighter, and told them all to link up with Azazel. They fled.

Raven took the lead, then. No one questioned it. Hank and the others looked to her automatically, and while Shaw’s men were more wary, they didn’t comment. She planned their next moves, she consulted Emma and Azazel about more wide-ranging searches, she interrogated Moira about what to expect in government retaliation. She was strong and immovable.

But hope continued to dwindle, and when she was alone, in her room in the mansion, the room she and Charles had had sleepovers in and the room where she’d forced Erik to sit down and drink some tea before he fell over, she could feel herself coming apart. She was frightened, her oldest friend and newest companion were gone without a trace, and she couldn’t do this alone. She only wanted them back.

And so when a strange figure appeared with nary a whisper in the corner of her room one night, and started to talk, she found herself listening. The stranger offered Raven her hand, and smiled, understanding.

‘Would you like to make a wish?’

---

The Blank watched the young woman in the cylinder, blue skin so similar to her own, and heard her repeat the same message, over and over.

‘Find them. Bring them back. … be proud.

I do this willingly.’


---

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