Genre: Comic Verse AU
Summary: Blade failed and La Magra was released, not as a god, but as a virus. Scott Summers leads the new Vampire race, while Kurt Wagner and Jean Grey lead the surviving X-Men in the fight for mankind's survival. Ensemble cast.
This Mortal Coil on Fanfiction.net
Chapters: one - two
They reappeared miles away, at least six jumps worth -- enough to leave Storm and her blood soldiers far behind, and enough to have Gambit retching as Kurt watched, his hand splayed on the Cajun's back,. Nightcrawler ignored his own pain and studied what splattered on the grass.
Taking advantage of Remy's weakened state from the 'port, Kurt gripped his arm and hauled him to his feet, shoving him against a tree and gripping his chin with one tri-digit hand, as his tail snaked over his shoulder to hand him a small bottle. Biting the cork out of the tiny flask that was engraved with a frosted cross, he squeezed Remy cheeks, forcing his lips to part, “Drink.”
Gambit – sicked and dazed – did as he was bid, and nearly choked on the stale water Nightcrawler filled his mouth with, but managed to swallow...and not immediately throw it up again.
Then he was roughly stripped, the entire time with a crucifix pressed against his cheek, his only thought -- beyond the pain and the anguish of losing Rogue and seeing the demon that Stormy had become -- was that this would be a mite more difficult if Bleu didn't have himself a tail.
Without expression, Kurt went over Remy body; his throat, his thighs, his wrists, even his most intimate of places...all the favorite hiding places of vampire feeding.
“I ain't been bit.” Remy coughed, but knew that it didn't matter what he said. This here was standard protocol. And he tried to convince himself that Kurt was being so rough because it was necessary, and not because he knew that Gambit had failed, and that failure had cost Rogue her life...and her soul.
“Open.” Nightcrawler held up a Eucharist and Remy complied. It tasted like cardboard and nothin' as it melted on his tongue.
“Okay, we're done.” Finally, there was a touch of tenderness, the tone of a worried friend in Kurt's voice, and his clipped accent softened. Gambit was too tired – of body or spirit – to offer any resistance or complaint as Kurt carefully helped him redress.
“Where we be?” It looked like some lightly wooded field. And Remy just wanted to have something normal to say. He slid down the tree, sitting on his heels and staring at the darkening sky.
“Upstate.” Kurt let a smile touch the corner of his mouth, “Here. I have a treat for you, don't tell Jean.”
He held out a small cigarette case and popped it open, and seeing at how badly Remy's hand were shaking, he lit it himself, and blew out a small swirling plume of blue smoke as he held the expensive cigarette to Remy's lips.
Gambit blinked, feeling worse at the small kindness, but took a deep drag anyway, closing his eyes as the nicotine and smoke worked its magic, dulling the razor's edge just a little bit. He closed his fingers around it and exhaled, casting his red-on-black eyes downward, studying the way the first ash fell. “She gone, Bleu. They'd tracked us and had us cornered...shot her with some net, took away her powers. There was jus' too many...too many.”
“I know.” Kurt said softly, sinking into a crouch and resting an arm around the man's shoulders, “I know...you did what you could, the only thing you could. You stayed alive. If you had done anything else. We'd be mourning you, too...and fearing what you'd become.”
What Kurt didn't tell him, because he'd find out soon enough, and he didn't want to add to the man's obvious pain, was that Kitty was missing.
He'd spent night before in their makeshift chapel on his knees before lit candles and the cross, begging God to spare her, to end this, to show him a way to fix this. To save those who'd been infected.
He couldn't afford a crisis of faith right now.
The fact that the vampires did react to holy items gave him some hope that God really was still there.
But right now, that's all he had. But it was enough. It would have to be.
Even his sorceress mother and sister believed in God, and that magic was part of his design.
So, to his faith he clung.
Even when the Soul Sword appeared to him, and broke his heart.
A piece of Illyana soul that had become a tangible thing, a weapon of enormous power. It had passed to Kitty upon the girl's death, and now...
He could feel it burning inside him even now.
But the darkness of the blade's influence was nothing to how he'd felt since humanity had fallen to this plague. He knew a secret, whispered to him by the mother who raised him when he'd gone to her for help, and reaffirmed by the mother who'd flung him as an infant to his death – he wasn't entirely human. And perhaps it was that strange bloodmix of mutant and other that offered him some protection against them.
And against the Soul Sword.
It offered him a second scrap of peace. Why would there be a need for a devil or his demons if there was no God? So one proved the existence of the other.
And by Christ Jesus, he would find a cure.
Even if it cost him his soul.
If he had one.
“Bleu, I'm ready.” Gambit straightened and crushed the spent butt into the heel of his boot. Kurt nodded and slipped the case into the Cajun's pocket. He was gentle this time, teleporting carefully, allowing Remy time to recover between jumps. It took two hours and as many cigarettes, before they were in the wood that belonged to the Were.
“I want you to see Hank.” Kurt said as the final smoke of his last teleport cleared, “And Remy?”
Gambit turned back, “Oui?”
“Don't give up on Rogue...or Storm just yet.” He pressed his hand over his heart, where the sword stung the sharpest. “It's a virus, it can cured.”
Gambit just shook his head, confused and exhausted, “I'm gonna go see Henri...maybe you should, too, non?
Kurt just patted his arm and headed toward his tent, leaving Remy shaking his head, “Least I ain't the only one who's losing his damn mind over all this.”
Jean yelped as the socket wrench slipped, skinning her knuckles for about the third time. Godammit! She kicked at the chassis of the jeep in frustration.
“Why don't you just use your telekinesis?”
“Shut up, Emma.” Jean muttered, glaring at the legs near her head.
“I'm just trying to help.” Emma said coolly, amusement only barely held in check. “It seems a waste of energy to continued to ...do whatever it is you're doing, instead of using your perfectly capable power.”
Why was it no matter how nicely Emma Frost worded something, it sounded like a damn insult?
“You're welcome to come down here and offer your expertise, Emma.” Jean snapped and sucked at her injured knuckle. To her surprise – and irritation – Emma slid beneath the jeep next to her instead of wandering off to annoy someone else.
“Alternator?” The once and probably future White Queen asked, peering up into the mass of wiring and
“Yeeeah.” Jean drawled, unsure of Emma's motivation. Surely she didn't really expect to help...did she? Wasn't her only purpose to trot around in her lingerie and be a big bottle blonde asshole?
“If you think this is lingerie,” Emma gestured at her jeans and long sleeved tee-shirt, “I shudder to think what you think is proper -- Prairie dresses and denim jumpers? A little Big Love, don't you think?”
“Get out of my head.”
“Of course, darling...I can understand how that can be disconcerting that can be now that you are bereft of your own telepathy.” Emma's smile was as sweet as cotton candy and just about as substantial. Jean sighed. She didn't feel like arguing with her. Not now. Not after what had happened.
And she didn't care one damn bit that she'd lost her telepathy.
“Kitty's missing. Rogue's been taken. Could you pretend to have a heart for five seconds.” Jean said flatly, forcing the bolt free using her TK, even though it wasn't as satisfying as using her hand and the wrench.
Emma was silent for a few minutes, “I didn't know.”
“Yeah, well now you do.” Jean yanked on the old alternator that was wedged firmly in place. A slim translucent hand slid up and pulled the part loose. Jean turned her head, Emma had taken her diamond form, her face was noticeable lacking its superior smirk.
“Now you do.” Jean said harshly and instantly felt bad, Emma knew loss. Her students had all been killed at one time. And she'd been headmistress at the Mass Academy long enough to develop loyalty among several young mutants. God, why was she being such a bitch? “Thanks.” She added awkwardly.
“The connections are corroded, they'll need to be replaced before you put the new alternator in.” Was Emma said before sliding out and leaving Jean alone.
Now who was the bad guy?
Scott Summers leaned back in his chair and scanned over Ororo's report. Ah, well. It would have been nice to bring the Cajun into their fold, but they had time. He was only mildly frustrated at the near miss of Nightcrawler, but really...could fledgling vampires even hope to compete with one of the Chosen?
Kurt Wagner would find his place among them.
As would she.
Kitty Pryde was sleeping, he'd brought her over himself, and given her to Shinobi Shaw as guardian. Their powers were similar, perhaps they could learn from each other. He wanted her to be trained as a Companion first, but her temperament was such that instant conversion was necessary.
Rogue, however, was a different – and challenging – new problem.
Eric had staked his claim on the beautiful Southern girl, so he left her conversion in the capable hands of the man who once called himself Magneto.
Shadowcat and Rogue were great prizes, and sure to flush Nightcrawler out. His best friend and his foster sister had been taken into their family, and knowing what he did of the elfin mutant, the German wouldn't sit idly by, he'd make a rescue attempt.
As would the Cajun.
Gambit and Rogue had been looking for Wolverine.
So had Scott.
Their paths crossed and he had been delighted to bring Rogue home to her rightful place among them. While he'd never really cared much for Remy LeBeau, the man would be an asset once brought over. It was a shame that he'd slipped from Storm grasp, but then that was the difficulty when the other side had a teleporter.
But Bobby had asked for him, which had surprised Scott, but who was he to deny his brother's only request, that Nightcrawler be reserved for the one who once called himself Iceman.
Maybe it was the ears.
Beaubier had been his first conversion, but it had gone bad. Northstar retained all of his humanity and fled, to Scott's astonishment. Bobby, however, seemed unaffected, claiming his only real concern was Nightcrawler.
Speaking of Nightcrawler, Kitty let him in on a little secret...perhaps a heartbeat too late, but still useful information. Kitty's Soul Sword went to Kurt upon her “death”. He knew little of the Soul Sword, until Kitty had converted and told him all she knew...including a few secrets about the German mutant she once called friend.
He passed that information onto Bobby.
Iceman had just smiled and walked out of the room, Scott could only imagine what he was thinking. Maybe he found that an exciting challenge.
Bobby was the strangest and cruelest of all of his converted family, he didn't even bother attempting to guess what was going on with him. If he wanted Kurt Wagner, he could have him. That was his right as one of the Four Chosen. Just as Scott would take Jean.
It was what was supposed to be.