Disclaimer: I do not own X-Men. Marvel does.

A/N: This is something I've had floating in my head for a while. Inspired heavily by Linkin Park's "From the Inside" video, but not so much the song. Or maybe. And by Nehan_Shinzui34 , for mentioning wanting a sci-fi AU. Which ... this isn't, but inspired by her nonetheless. :)

Rating: T, overall M.

"You're nothing but a monster, Erik. Sick. You are Sick."

They shave their heads for this.

"Yes, Papa."

"Nothing can save you from this."

That is what the ink on their arms mean.

"Yes, Papa."


The rain floated over the trees as though gravity had no real control over the Earth - had no existence at all. Birds were silent, and the wind that swept through the leaves of the trees in violent passion had no voice of its own, yet somehow there was a mournful wailing in the air. Air that was stale, humid – restrainingly suffocating despite the moisture that fell, locking each and every soul in tortured place. The wailing its taunting, cruel lullaby, strong yet faint.

Faint, but haunting. Melancholical and shrieking yet soft enough to sooth a child to restless sleep.

But that was on the Outside - the rain, the wind - everything was on the outside of the Walls. The thick concrete Walls topped by thick unyielding barbed wire from which unsuccessful escapee flesh still hung. Over the compound there was no rain, and the soothing wailing, haunting though it was, was but a mere whisper of shattered hope here. A rope tied to nothing.

And so Erik Lehnsherr, nineteen and angry and already well aware of the pain life was wont to bring, ignored it.

As he ignored everything until the Human soldiers pushed he and his mother into their new home.

"It's quaint," his mother said appreciatively of the small room they were to call house. Her large brown eyes were warm and tired, identical to the smile she sent to Erik that he had to force himself to return.

'Wretched,' he silently translated "quaint" into, but nodded regardless. Because his mother, God bless her life and happiness, did not need to be here. Unlike Erik, his mother was not Sick. Her body was free of the contaminate that affected Erik's blood, and as such she was deemed "Human" and was quite free to leave whenever she wanted to. Erik's father, stone-faced and rigid, had already done so with barely a farewell, and Erik did not blame him, and would not blame his mother if she chose to follow the same path.

But yet she stayed.

"You should take the cot," he said instead, motioning towards the only padding in the room - a thick yet torn patch of stuffing and lice-infested cotton. It did not matter - they did not have hair. "I want to sleep by the door."

"Erik," his mother protested, but it was soft and light - an old argument. And she looked so very tired that his own bones ached in empathy. His smile turned a little more genuine.

"We have had a long day of travel." Travel - as if they had chosen to board the overcrowded train that had brought them here, as if this was all just some extremely extended vacation from life. "You should rest a while. I want to explore a bit." His smile turned slightly devilish, as it often did these days. "See how this place is different." A frown pulled at his mother's pale, tight face.

"Stay out of trouble, kochanie. " A warning that was more of a plead - their last compound had brought them witness to several Sick shot down in the streets for causing mischief.

"Do not worry about me, Mama," he chided gently, and pulled off his outer jacket for her pillow. His smile stayed in place, even as his bones twisted and crunched at the sight of her brittle form kneeling on the floor to sleep. Bald, thin, trembling in the breeze of the air that was not cold. "I know when to hide."

Among other things.


This started out as one giant, 1-entry piece. I broke it down.

Let me know what you thought? :)