Summary: Professor X, Magneto and Mystique get de-aged to before the whole Shaw/Cuba debacle. The modern X-men have to cope. Set between X1 &X2, but assuming Magneto has escaped from prison and Wolverine is back at the Institute. Also, Sean and Emma run the Institute's sister school, the Massachusetts Academy. AU
Disclaimer: Don't own any of the recognizable character, just taking them out to play!
Author's Notes: Okay, so my knowledge of X-Men canon is…bad at best. I've read the paperback novels and the Generation X comics (I was a teen in the 90's and they had Sean, an Irish superhero, lol! My South Boston (we are a bit…aggressively proud of our Irish heritage) soul couldn't let me pass that up.), watched the 90's cartoon and have seen the movie. So, as I said, seriously AU fic. I figure the age thing is just…yeah, one of those things best not to think about. Also, I'm going with the premise that Alex is Scott's Dad instead of his brother.
"Fuck me sideways."
For once, Scott Summers couldn't even muster up the indignation to glare at Logan for swearing in front of the children (not that Scott harbored any illusions that they'd never heard such language before, but it was the principle of the thing), as he wholeheartedly agreed with the sentiment being expressed.
It was honestly the only way to sum up the current state of affairs.
Since Magneto's prison break a week earlier, the Mansion hummed with an almost palpable tension. Anti-mutant groups were howling for blood, using his escape as example of mutants flouting the law, trying to force the Mutant Registration Act through Congress.
As noted experts in their field, Jean Grey and Professor Charles Xavier had been inundated with requests to weigh in on the situation. Hank McCoy, one of the few publicly known mutants in a position of authority and respect, was scrambling to present a rational counterpoint to the Magneto issue, but for every appearance he made there were a half dozen shrieking members of the Friends of Humanity, a new hate group targeting mutants.
Even the youngest students on campus were aware of the tension. The older kids were doing their best to keep them calm, taking on more responsibilities as the adults were busy making new contingency plans. Since the Massachusetts Academy, the Xavier Institute's new sister school, was still in its nascent stage, only two teachers and seven students, Scott recalled him to Westchester. Strength in numbers.
Evacuation and escape plans were made, rendezvous points set and defensive training up to the senior students. As the student teacher ratio was far from even, upperclassman were assigned little ones to look after in the event of an incursion. From their grave young faces, it was clear they all understood the seriousness of the situation.
Then, as if they didn't have enough going on, Magneto contacted Professor Xavier, asking for a temporary truce and a parlay. He and Mystique arranged to meet the professor, "On the path, overlooking the lake. You know where."
For some reason he didn't care to explain (though Scott thought Sean Cassidy looked like he knew more than he was letting on), the Professor agreed to meet with them. Which was how a large percentage of the Mansion's population found themselves peeking out of windows, watching and ready to act in the Professor's defense should anything shady happen.
Magneto and Mystique had arrived with typical fanfare, floating in a magnetic bubble. They lit upon the gravel path, barely more than an arms length from Xavier. After greetings were exchanged, Mystique looked up at the windows and gave a smirky wave.
Rogue crossed her arms and huffed unhappily.
Down on the walk, the conversation seemed surprisingly simple and Scott wondered if he'd actually seen the brief smile he thought might have crossed Xavier's face. Then again, it could've just been a trick of the light.
They were all so focused on the enemies within their midst, that a bird landing nearby didn't even register. Or rather, it didn't register until it became clear that it was far more than a mere bird, morphing into a swirling vortex-like sphere of light that engulfed the Professor, Magneto and Mystique.
Some of the children cried out in surprise as the teachers led the charge down onto the grounds. Ever fearless, Logan attempted to rush into the light, only to bounce off as though it was solid. With a snarl, he then attempted to slash the surface with his claws, but this made no difference.
Scott did a quick, mental tally of the powers available. Jean and Emma Frost already appeared to be telepathically scanning the sphere and Logan's powers had already proved fruitless. Scott's own abilities, Ororo Munroe's, Sean's…without knowing what the sphere was, it was too risky to use their gifts. Perhaps Bobby Drake could attempt to freeze a part of it, just on the surface….
"They're in there," Jean said, face crumbling in concentration. "The Professor and Mystique, at least. I can't penetrate Magneto's helmet…They're…."
"Them, but different," Emma agreed. "More…chaotic. Unfocused."
"Knew we shouldn't have trusted them," Logan grumbled, stalking around the disturbance, trailed by Rogue, who told Bobby and St John Allerdyce with her.
Jean squinted. "No, Logan, Mystique seems as confused as…OH!"
The light flared and they automatically fell back, blinking to clear the spots from their eyes.
What they saw was… confusing, to say the least.
Yes, there were three people before them, all badly dazed, but…A young man with tousled brown hair sat in the Professor's wheelchair, a too large suit hanging off his slim frame. Magneto 's clothes and helmet couldn't fully disguise the youthful features of the man wearing them. Mystique… well you never could know with her, but her blue form looks different, softer, younger.
Which brought them back to….
"Fuck me sideways."
All in all, a completely appropriate response.
"Jean…" Scott began to ask her if what he suspected had actually occurred, but he was cut off by a shriek from Mystique. The blue woman, shaking off her stupor, seemed horrified to find herself nude and moved her hands to cover her private bits, even as she morphed into a fully clothed, blonde form.
Her shout seemed to galvanize the two men into motion. Looking up from the chair, the brunette said, "Raven, what's wrong?"
Even as he grasped the girl ( for she looked to be in her late teens to early 20s) by the elbows, the other man planted himself protectively in front of them, hands raised in a defensive posture as his eyes darted around, taking in his surroundings.
"Charles," he barked, causing the smaller man to spin, hand raised to his temple in an all too familiar gesture.
Most people wouldn't have even known what to make of the sudden jolt inside their skull, but for those used to the delicate, finely trained telepathic touch of the Professor, Jean or Emma, it was like being hit with a psionic 2 x 4. Rogue winced and held her head as Logan shook his like wet dog. Jean and Emma bull seemed intrigued while Scott tried to erect the walls in his mind as the professor taught him to do long ago.
The brunette eyes widened. "Telepaths," he breathed, staring searchingly at Jean and then Emma. She seemed to startle him. "You were in CIA custody! How did you escape?"
Emma raised an imperious brow, but her response was, for her, kind and tactful. "That," she mused, "is a long story."
"Professor," Sean said quietly, having gone pale beneath his shock of red hair. "What's the last thing you can recall?"
Ignoring the question, the taller man pulled the helmet from his head in annoyance and dropped it on the path, tension still clearing stance. "Calm yourself, Erik," the brunette - apparently, the Professor said, laying a hand on the larger man's arm. "I'm not sensing any ill intent from them… well, most of them."
As he said that, his eyes darted to Logan and 'Erik' followed his gaze, eyes widening. "What are you doing here?"
Logan looked slightly put out by that. "We should be asking you that."
Erik glared. "What does that mean? You're the one who rebuffed our recruitment attempt. And in a rather coarse way, if I recall. Something about, 'Go fuck yourselves'.
Now Logan looked puzzled and Mystique gave an amused snort, poking the teenybopper version of the professor in the ribs and muttering something that caused him to gently chide, "Raven, please."
Because of all the experience he'd had as an X-Man, Scott had a pretty good idea about the sort of craziness that had gone down today. In an attempt to reach a point of stability, where he wasn't going to have to worry constantly about Magneto getting jumpy and possibly impaling everyone with any metal object on hand, he asked, "What do you three think the date is? Because its June, 2011."
This seemed to further unsettle Magneto and Professor again squeezed his shoulder, repeating, "Calm."
It was Mystique, looking like a scared, pretty child, who answered. "September, 1962."
September of '62. That was before the rift between the Professor and Magneto. Before the world at large was aware of the existence of mutants. Before the Professor lost the use of his legs.
The Charles Xavier standing before them was clearly not paralyzed. It was good to see, even if Scott didn't entirely understand the temporal mechanics that made it possible. Timeline shenanigans always gave him a headache.
More of the students were creeping out the mansion, onto the grounds to see what was unfolding. Thankfully Pioter, Kitty and Sean's students were corralling them at a distance, trying to keep them out of the line of fire, should a fight break out.
"You're telling us that this is the future?" magneto questioned, doubt dripping from every word. "Time travel?"
Again, Sean spoke up. "To be honest, we don't know exactly what happened," he said, then shrugged. "But past experiences prevent us from a ruling that out."
X-Men did not lead normal, 9-to-5 lives.
"Good lord," Xavier suddenly breathed, looking at Sean and askance. "Sean…How….You…."
"Got taller," Mystique said, looking up at him and narrowing her eyes. "And if it's 2011, shouldn't you be older?"
The redheaded mutant shrugged. "Hit my last group spurred at 19... And we've actually found that many of us age at a slower rate than non-mutants….Emma's an example of that. Me, I just got caught in a time dilation field for a few decades."
Blinking, Xavier tried to refrain from gaping. Scott supposed that, to someone unused to the casual insanity of their lifestyle, Sean's offhand statement might have been the tiniest bit overwhelming. Hell, most of their long-term residence at the mansion tried not to think too hard about some of the things they did.
"Charles?" Magneto asked in a stressed tone, one that seemed at odds with the composed enemy they'd come to know all too well. Though it was pretty common knowledge that Magneto had once been an ally, it was still strange to see him seeking reassurance from the Professor, to see them standing together.
Exerting more pressure on Magneto's arm, Xavier finally urged him to lower it. His eyes were filled with the sort of wonder they never got to see their seasoned mentor express. "I believe them, Erik," he said and Scott was shocked that Magneto seemed to take Xavier at his word, scanning the crowd with less suspicion and more interest. Mystique was gazing at the students in a wistful sort of way.
"Professor," Scott said, stepping forward and extending his hand ignoring how odd it felt to be introducing himself to the man who was like a father to him, "I'm Scott Summers. I teach here and I'm field Cmdr. Of the X-Men."
"Alex's son," Xavier said with a smile, pumping his hand with enthusiasm. "Incredible. Charles Xavier…but then you know that…"
He then shook hands with Magneto and Mystique, who introduced themselves as Erik and Raven. Clearly Xavier sent some of his hesitation regarding them, but chose not to mention anything quite yet.
Highly doubting that they were actual time travelers, Scott figured it wouldn't hurt for them to hear some of what he knew Xavier and Magneto to have done since 1962. They were here and Charles was a telepath, so it wasn't like they were going to be able to keep a lot of secrets.
"Why don't we go inside?" he asked, motioning to the mansion. "That way the children can get back to their coursework and we can call Hank. He might be able to figure out what happened."
There were nods of agreement and sounds of disgruntlement from several of the children, but they were easily quelled. Right now, Scott just wanted to get everyone inside, get to a phone and call Hank.
If anyone would be able to explain how and why this happened and find a way to reverse it, it would be Hank McCoy.
Comments, pretty please?