A/N: All the info about Cape Cod in the last chapter comes from my experience last summer. I worked at one of the summer camps as a counselor in Mashpee which is known as the home of the Wampanoags. Justin was boy I worked with and another boy I nearly went out with had the last name of Bower. So that's a bit of fun for ya
Also, can anyone figure out just what Justin's mutation is yet? Also, what in the world does a Russian accent sound like?!
Part Two: Of the Devil Himself
The ride home in both the van and the Blackbird was full of excitement as each mutant asked question after question of their new recruit. Justin was patient with all their questions, growing more comfortable with them by the minute. He amazed the younger ones with his enhanced hearing and sense of smell. Apparently with the loss of sight, his other senses immediately went to work compensating for it.
"You'll need a codename," Amara suggested, very excited to be sitting next to the good looking new mutant.
He burrowed his eyebrows in confusion behind the duct tape still firmly attached to his eyes. "A what? What for?"
"Whoa, calm down, Princess," Bobby laughed before she got carried away. "He hasn't even decided to stay with us yet. Wait till he unpacks his spandex first."
The blind mutant chuckled good-naturedly. He liked these mutants' banter. It made him feel more like a boy his own age rather than a step-father killing mutant. "Ok, now I'm just wicked confused. Care to explain?"
"I don't see why not," Scott agreed, wishing to make the boy more comfortable. "We have plenty of time before we get back. Rogue, you want to do the honors?"
The goth girl shrugged and straddled her jet seat backwards to face the recruit. Justin's attention was on her as he heard her move, eager to learn more about this strange group of friends and comrades. Rogue's book wasn't getting much better anyway, and if she had to hear one of the younger girls flirt shamelessly with the poor boy again, she would drain the lot dry. "Ok, Justin, ever hear of Superman…?"
-3 Hours Later-
"And this is your room," finished Professor Xavier, gently guiding Justin through an open doorway. "To your right is Kurt's room and to your left is Bobby and Roberto's. You may ask them or any of us anything if you ever need something. I would still feel better if you weren't rooming by yourself…"
"I know, and thanks, sir. But I would feel better if I were alone. Just in case something happens. I don't want to hurt anyone. Not again." He shivered slightly in remembrance. Adam's face when he saw that damned painting…
"I understand. Once you're settled in, you and I can try to see what exactly your powers entail. Hopefully with that knowledge we can work on controlling them. I'm sure you would not object too strongly to regaining your eyesight?"
Justin smiled slightly at the thought of being able to see again. "No, sir, I would not."
Xavier wheeled further into the room, guiding the boy to the bed so he might sit. "From what I have seen so far in the brief session we had a few minutes ago, I believe your powers are triggered by the sight of human beings. When I peered into your mind, I saw pieces of the incident with Adam and your mother, the one that triggered your latent powers to manifest." He spoke carefully, knowing the subject was a sensitive one to the boy. The wounds were still so very fresh.
Justin's smile disappeared as he tapped his cane to find the bed. "How does that help me?"
The elder mutant smiled gently, though the boy could not see it. "It means that you do not need to keep yourself blinded while there are no other people within eyesight."
"But there are always people around, sir. This is a mansion with a dozen people living here."
"Yes, but not in your room. If you keep the shades over your window and your door shut, then I see no problem in uncovering your eyes in here."
"Really? You mean that? No one will be able to come in will they?" His voice was strained, caught between hope and despair.
"Let me take care of the other students. I'll speak to them about this room being off-limits. Now, unfortunately, I must go to see to some papers. Please make yourself at home. In the morning we can see about registering you into our local school."
"Ok. Goodnight, sir. And… thanks for everything."
"You're very welcome, my boy. I have already shut the shades for you. Goodnight."
The moment the door clicked shut, Justin carefully unstuck the duct tape from his eyes, wincing at the pain this caused. He was half afraid that the blinding pain would shoot between his eyes again, like the time he last watched his step-father beating his poor mother. The pain that warped his vision into that of his worst nightmares. The pain that compelled him to release his visions into his art, haunting him until the last brush stroke.
His eyes were still closed tightly though the tape was gone. Calling out to make sure no one was within eyesight, he opened his eyes. Pain lanced through his eyes again, causing him to panic, believing the professor had been wrong. But when no urge to pain came, nor any terrifying vision, he tried again. He nearly laughed at his own stupidity. The pain had been no more than that of a lot of light coming into eyes that hadn't seen in many days.
As he looked around at his new surroundings, Justin vowed to never take his eyesight for granted again. Losing it was akin to cutting off an arm or leg, and just as important. But it needed to be done lest it destroy someone else. He couldn't take that risk.
Walking up to some houseplants placed around the barren room, he marveled at the uniqueness of them. Large flowers bloomed from spiraling blue-green stems. He had never seen such beautiful plants. They would make a nice painting.
Justin made a mental note to ask the professor in the morning if he could get his old painting supplies from home. It would be nice to keep his skills up. Especially if he would be attending his arts school one of these days. One could not let oneself fall behind no matter what.
"Thanks again for agreeing to show me around the school."
Rogue and Kitty shrugged at the overly polite boy. "Like, it's ok, Justin. Bayville High can be hard to navigate all by yourself. It, like, must be extra hard when you can't see."
"Th' only new students that come here nowadays are mutants," Rogue added. "No way th' assholes 'round here would leave yeh alone."
He nodded in agreement. The few times he had been left alone, Justin had seen just want these Bayville students were like. He didn't have to do or say anything. He was immediately put on the 'black list' just for being acquainted with mutants. Used to being rather popular, the knowledge that he was automatically hated didn't sit well with him.
He rubbed the bridge of his nose wearily. This had been one of the longest days of his life, and it was only the first of many. But it was finally over and he could look forward to a session with Xavier and finally the solace found only in his room. He couldn't wait to begin painting again, so he hoped the professor would go for the idea of shipping his supplies over.
"How is your visor holding up?" asked Kitty as they made their way outside. Justin's free hand touched it absently. Ever the quick thinking, the professor pulled some strings and had the visor made yesterday while the new mutant was getting acquainted with the mansion. Designed after Scott's battle visor, these allowed no light in, effectively making him as blind as he was with the duct tape. Only this was much more comfortable.
"Still a bit loose, but the professor said it could be adjusted. I'm just afraid it'll slip and fall off."
"Well they were made really fast," Kitty explained. She looked up at the back of the visor. "Like, let me have a look."
"Afternoon, cherie!" sang a merry voice from the crowd of departing students.
Rogue groaned aloud, reluctantly looking up form her amused observation of Justin and Kitty. She found the source of her annoyance standing not three feet away. It appeared that whatever pride had been damaged the other day was fully repaired. Eyes covered by the usual sunglasses, Remy certainly swaggered like the same old thief.
"Ah though Bayville didn' have a rat problem no mo'," she replied turning her back on him. It was a Tuesday and she hated Tuesdays. She didn't need him to put a further damper on her day.
Aw, yeh don' mean dat, do yeh, mon chere?" he murmured in her ear, startling her. He was much too close for her comfort. "Not after yeh said such doux t'ings t' Remy de othe' day."
Furious, Rogue swung around to glare at his smug face, unwilling to back off only because she knew he would only invade her personal bubble again. "Ah said Ah liked yo' eyes. That don' mean Ah like yeh! Now get th'…"
"Yeh neve' said yeh liked Remy's eyes, chere. Yeh said Remy shouldn' hide 'em." His grin grew wider. "Now yeh like his eyes?"
Kitty couldn't help but chuckle at her poor friend's growl of frustration. That boy certainly had a gift. He could get Rogue all flustered in no time at all and quicker than anyone she knew. He also seemed to have a guardian angel looking out for him. Few people got Rogue worked up on purpose and lived to tell about it.
"Who's that?" asked Justin, hearing two Southerners going at it. "Another student?"
Kitty giggled again. "Nah. That's just Remy. He's a mutant too and lives to, like, drive Rogue nuts." She leaned over to whisper conspiratorially in his ear. "They are like, so going to get married. The day we went to get you, she was…"
"Kitty!" shrieked Rogue, mortified, "if yeh don' shut yo' trap right now, Ah'm gonna…"
"Quoi, cherie? Is de thought o' marryin' dis t'ief so horrible?" Remy teased mercilessly.
The goth sighed, feeling very much ganged-up on. "Why meh?" she groaned to the heavens. "What did Ah do in mah past life that was so terrible?"
Sensing the worst was over, Kitty returned to Justin's visor, still trying to tighten it. Whatever the stupid thing was made of, it didn't want to give. Gritting her teeth, she strained at it, making this task her own personal mission. Justin tried to make her give it up, but she was too involved to listen.
Meanwhile, the amused Justin just let Kitty do as she pleased. He was content to listen to the bickering of the two Southerners. They really were rather amusing, talking, or in their case yelling and teasing circles around each other like it was a game. And each seemed determined to win. He decided he would like it here in New York after all. There certainly was never a dull moment.
Kitty jerked on the strap one final time. If this didn't help, she would admit defeat. If they wanted to make it home in time for the daily Danger Room session, they would have to hurry. As she jerked it, she felt something give finally. And she watched in mute dread as the entire visor came off.
Justin's confusion at her sudden gasp turned into horror as his blind eyes were given sight. Recently exposed to the light of his room, the pain from the sun was not so terrible. But as he gazed onto the still bantering forms of Remy and Rogue, the searing pain from before came back. It was as though a nail were being pounded into the space between his eyes, making him want to faint. And yet, no matter how he tried, he could not look away from the terrible sight before him.
It was just like before.
And just like before, he feared he would cause another life to end.
"Justin? Hey, Justin, yeh ok?" Rogue finally noticed the other boy, taking her eyes from Remy at last. He was staring at her and the Cajun as though he'd never seen a human being before. And his eyes… where Remy's eyes were a glittering dark beauty, Justin's eyes, well… they were the prettiest things she'd ever seen. They were a swirl of the lightest blue and lavender and their gaze felt piercing, like they could see right through her. They glowed in an inhuman light, fixing her on the spot. Feeling no movement from the Acolyte beside her, Rogue assumed he was equally caught.
"Chere?" she heard a distant voice whisper. A hand came to rest on her shoulder, but she barely felt it, still paralyzed by Justin's eyes.
The small movement broke the spell the formerly blind boy seemed to be under though. He shut his eyes tightly and covered them with his hands. "Kitty!" he cried. "My visor!"
Rogue visibly sagged when she was released from her own spell, needing a few moments to collect herself. What in the world just happened? The hand that rested lightly on her shoulder strengthened its grip as though to keep her upright. She wasn't too sure she didn't need it.
"What de hell was dat, chere?" Remy asked, pinching the bridge of his nose with his free hand.
She shook her head, watching as Kitty fetched the boy's visor, all the while apologizing profusely for her clumsiness. "Ah… Ah'm not exactly sure." Rogue saw the Cajun continue to rub between his eyes, hand shaking a little. "Yeh ok, Swamp Rat?" Justin's powers were still a mystery to her; all she knew was that his eyesight triggered them. And the last person he looked at had killed himself shortly after. Who knew what was going to happen now that Justin had had a good long look at the two of them?
Remy stopped rubbing, staring at her through his sunglasses in surprise. "F-fine," he replied, too amazed at her concerned tone to think up anything witty. "Feels a bit like yeh zapped Remy while he wasn' lookin'."
Her eyes narrowed in contemplation. "But, Ah… Ah didn' absorb yeh. An' Ah feel…" was this disoriented, groggy feeling that of her victims when she drained them?
"Yeh too, non? Merde, whateve' dat homme did, it wasn' somethin' Remy wants t' try again."
She silently agreed with him. But as neither of them were being driven to madness or suicide, she didn't think too much on it. Right now, the main concern was poor Justin who was kneeling on the ground, trying to get his bearings now that his visor was back on. Kitty sat at his side, silent now, but her large blue eyes filled with tears at the thought of hurting her new friend. Rogue moved to go help them, but Remy reached out for her hand much in the same way as he did in the bayous of New Orleans.
"Are yeh alrigh', mon chere?" he asked her, once again invading her personal bubble as he leaned in closer to her. With the fuzzy haze still clouding up things, Rogue could only respond with the truth.
"A bit weirded out, but yeah, Ah'm fine. Nothin' a good nap late' won' fix." She looked back to him, frowning at what had been bothering her for a while. The gothic girl decided to voice her complaint, knowing she could blame it on the aftereffects of Justin's powers later if confronted about it. "Why do yeh wear those stupid things all th' time?"
"Quoi t'ings, chere?" Now he was even more confused by this girl.
"Th' sunglasses. They're stupid."
He burrowed his eyebrows and frowned. His free hand absently moved to secure them even more firmly onto his face lest they suffer the same fate as the new mutant's visor. "Why does yo' frere wear his watch?" he replied with a lightness he didn't feel. This was a far from comfortable conversation for him.
"Cause he's stupid," she shot back reaching a gloved hand to his face, noting absently that he let her do so without so much as a flinch at covered, yet deadly skin getting so near. "Ah thought yeh didn' hide, Cajun."
"Oui, but dis Cajun ain' in no mood t' scare de filles away 'fore he woos 'em." His attempt for humor fell on deaf ears.
Rogue only shook her head and removed the offending sunglasses, tucking them in her pocket. "If yo' filles are gonna be scared by what yeh are, then they ain' worth yo' time. They're jus' eyes, Swamp Rat, ain' nothin' t' be scared or ashamed of. Kurt's bein' silly 'bout it too. Lets people talkin' get t' 'im. Ah learned that if yeh do that, yeh'll jus' be miserable an' scared yo' whole life."
He smiled sadly, "Never knew yeh cared, cherie."
She crossed her arms, but the weakness of her body sort of diminished the intimidating look she was going for. "Ah already told yeh Ah don'."
"Mais, what if Remy said he didn' believe yeh?"
"Yeh can believe whatever yo' lil twisted mind wants t' believe, but…" she was stopped by Remy's gloved finger on her cheek. Impulsively, she drew away. That boy needed a lesson on personal territory quickly or he'd find himself with a broken hand.
His uncovered ruby eyes were warm as he looked at her, hand slowly returning to his side. "Merci ma chere," was all he said.
What in the world was he thanking her for? And why was he looking at her like that? Rogue grew uneasy and found she couldn't hold his gentle gaze anymore. "Whateve'," she grumbled. "Do what yeh want. But don' wear yo' stupid glasses in front o' meh again. Ah don' trust people who hide who they are from meh."
He opened his mouth to reply, but was cut off by a harsh yell. "Get away from her! Don't touch her!" Justin's voice was hoarse as though he had been screaming for a long time. Even though his visor was safely attached once more, Rogue still felt as though he could see her and know all of her deepest, darkest secrets just by kneeling there in the grass.
Never one to appreciate being told what to do, the Cajun thief narrowed his demon-like eyes at the newcomer. "Quoi?" he demanded.
"Remy, is it?" the boy's voice was slightly less frantic, but no less commanding.
"Oui," Remy's voice equaled in coldness to Justin's.
"Just stay away form Rogue. You don't understand…"
"What are yo' powers?" the Southerner asked curtly. "What did yeh do when yeh saw Remy 'n Rogue?"
Justin looked taken aback and his face blanched. "I only saw you and Rogue. Do what I say, Remy, and stay away from her."
"Porquoi? What did yeh do?!" his red eyes were beginning to glow slightly. This kid was freaking him out and Remy LeBeau was not freaked out easily.
"Look, Justin," Rogue tried to calm the boys down, not wishing for a fight. "Why don' we jus' go back t' th' mansion an'…"
"You're killing her!" The blind boy started shouting, startling the late students who were still filing out of the school. "You're killing her and you don't even… you…" His face slacked and it looked like he would collapse at any minute. Kitty pulled on his arm to help him stand.
"Like, let's go, Justin. That's enough fun for one day. See you late, Remy. C'mon, Rogue." Kitty's voice shook, trying to retain some sanity for the group.
Rogue took one last confused look at the Cajun at her side before running to catch up with her friends. Remy watched them go, unsure of what to make of the new mutant.
One thing was sure: Magneto would not be happy with the outcome of his mission at all.
Justin stumbled into his room, ripping off the damned visor as he shut the door behind him. His headache was only getting worse, threatening to make him black out. It was worse than last time with his mother and Adam. But then he had gone upstairs and painted whatever came to mind just to work out his frustration. The result had been the monstrosity that killed the unsuspecting step-father.
He sat next to one large exotic plant, just struggling to breathe normally. It had been nearly impossible to hide this from Rogue and Kitty who were both terribly concerned and bewildered. But they didn't need to be burdened with this, especially Rogue. He had said too much already.
'Justin, are you alright? I sense you are very distraught.' The Professor's voice filled his mind.
"I'm alright, sir," he replied out loud, not even trying to convince him it was the truth.
'Did something happen today at school?' Now he sounded real concerned. The boy wondered if the elderly man had to worry this much about the others?
'Usually,' Xavier chuckled. 'But don't worry about that. Just tell me what I can do to help you.'
"Um… yeah," he was slightly afraid to ask, but the professor's kind words convinced him. "Can I have some painting supplies brought over from home? I… had an accident with my visor."
'Who did you see?' Xavier didn't sound angry with him in the slightest. Only concerned for his students' welfare.
"Rogue and some guy called Remy. It's just like before with mom and Adam."
'I think you'll find your supplies waiting for you on your bed. Your mother took the liberty of mailing them over after you left.' Justin looked over to his large bed. He hadn't even glanced that way when he stumbled in. There they were, a dozen canvases and all his beloved oils and brushes. He fell out of his mental inventory by the professor's voice again.
'For now, I think it's best if you don't tell anyone what you saw or show them your painting when you're done. We do not yet know what the effects your powers will bring about.'
"I agree," he nodded, reaching for the nearest blank canvas. "Thank you, sir."
'Not at all, Justin. Take all the time you require.' Then as quickly as he had entered the boy's mind, he left.
Justin took a pencil to begin the preliminary sketch. He decided to begin with Remy as it was the unfamiliar mutant whose image stayed with him the longest. And whose image he most wanted gone. As he sketched, he discovered he couldn't seem to get the proper shape of anything. The more he concentrated, the less like the image in his mind it became. How had he done it last time?
Oh, yes, he had just let it flow from his mind. Just let it happen as one might let water flow through their fingers. He reached deep into the recesses of his aching mind for the sight of the two Southern mutants.
The terrible wickedness of Remy's demon eyes made him shudder involuntarily. Keeping the image firmly behind his eyelids, he let the hand move on its own. Sketching his second mutated painting. And once started, he would neither sleep nor eat until finished.
"Well? What did you find out?" Magneto demanded of his henchman. Gambit had been assigned to keep an eye on the new mutant recruited by the X-Men. But since his return, the Acolyte had been tight-lipped about the whole thing. Leaving him to wonder what sort of powers this boy possessed. And how they could be used to his advantage.
"Not much. Like Remy tol' yeh," Remy replied testily from his perch on am arm of the sofa. He contemplated a game of solitaire on the adjacent table, occasionally reaching over to move a card.
"And what is that supposed to mean? You were gone all afternoon."
"'Xactly what Remy said, monsieur. De garcon blinds 'imself an' freaks out when he sees people. Don' know why yet.
The magnetic mutant sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose in frustration. "Very well then. Tonight your new mission is to sneak into the mansion to learn what you can. This time do a bit better than 'he blinds himself.' Understood?"
Gambit frowned at the order. Visiting the mansion where lived a dozen trigger-happy children just to check in on that weird kid did not pull his fancy. However he knew that angering his employer would not be very bright. "Oui," he answered curtly. "Remy get what yeh need, monsieur."
"Good," Magneto nodded in approval. "See that you do." Having no more need for his Acolytes, he made his exit, leaving the three in peace.
Pyro looked up from his Scooby Doo episode. "So should I change the sheets in the guestroom, mates?" he asked, grinning. The thought of having a new Acolyte was obviously appealing to him. Remy and Piotr, however, were not so thrilled.
"Somethin' tells Remy dat ol' Buckethead won' wan' dis one," he said as he went back to his game.
"Do you know what the boy's powers are?" Piotr asked as he drew on his pad of paper.
"Non, not 'xactly. Mais, what would Mags wan' wit' a fou garcon? Remy go t'night, but it won' help dat much." He smiled to himself as he lifted the Queen of Hearts from his hand to place beneath a black king. Visiting the mansion didn't have to be all business, did it? Non, he could spare a few minutes to his chere. Whether she knew it or not.
Tonight would make for a very interesting evening indeed.
End Part Two
Excuse My French! (Nuwie, please be gentle if I make mistakes :) )
Doux – swee
Quoi – what
Merde – shit
homme – guy, man
frere – brother
filles – girls
merci – thank you
Porquoi – why
Garcon – boy
Fou – crazy
A/N: Yes, the cure and cruelness and all that fun is coming soon. I STILL need to set it up a bit more or it won't make sense. Let's just say that we will see Remy's change in attitude in the next chapter and possibly talk of a cure.
I'm going to start doing this in my different chapters of different stories to tell what else my readers are into. Ok, so today's question will be an easy one: When I yell the word 'Osuwari!' what do you do if you are wearing a certain rosary? For those of you who do not speak Japanese, Osuwari means 'sit'.
Review time! Yay!
Isandahalf: lol, I'll do what I can to please you. Unfortunately, I'm about as quick as a slug on depressants, but what can ya do? Also, I would like to point out that I've see your name as a reviewer on every Romy I've read. Seems we have similar pastimes, non?
Sleepy26: Glad to hear it!
Nuwie: Yes, I know my French is badly. Fortunately he doesn't speak it all the time, non? Snape is called Rogue in French? You French speakers are a strange lot, did I ever say that? Oh, and is my dictionary helping? And did you want me to make a Star Wars one?
Star-Of-Chaos: I like your name. Yes, he does have an interesting mutation. Any idea what exactly it is yet?
Giggleboxsam: Your wish is my command
Sangofanatic: Not quite, but getting there Keep guessing.
Ms.RogueLeBeau: Lovely name, mademoiselle! I hope you enjoy this chapter too.