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

A/N: Writer's Block buster for the "post anything you write" challenge. An AU drabble based off of an ... apocalyptic future. A zombie apocalyptic future.

*after being very thoroughly chastised (I still claim to be right), for this story, view Onslaught as the movie version of Jean's Phoenix. For more information on Onslaught, I recommend Wikipedia. :)

Rating: T. This particular entry to this universe is not gorey.


Onslaught's Prayer


Every night before I sleep

I pray in case of death, God my soul will keep

For the World is bleeding and the pits are dark and deep,

And the monsters walking want my flesh to keep.

-x-

He was already up the stairs at the first syllable of the first yell.

"Daddy Erik! Daddy Erik!"

In all honesty, he didn't sleep anymore.

"Erik!"

And he no longer cared about the doors he burst through – dents and splinters were the fashion now.

He slammed into Ororo's room with fear that his blood cells had begun to breed by habit and no longer obeyed, breathing frantic even as his eyes sought out the tiny figure of his youngest charge. He didn't move more than two steps into the room, braced against the abused doorframe even as the echo of the door hitting the wall reverberated painfully in his ears. Ororo was there, small and quaking so violently that she wasn't standing still, staring out of her large window. Outside, the screaming sky, red with anger and death and misplaced brutal violence, churned with brilliance and smoke – small slivered strips of orange admitted to morning, remnants of a Sun that no longer gave a damn.

"Ororo," he called out softly, beckoning. "Liebling." She turned toward him slowly, mouth slightly agape, her eyes as shockingly white as her hair, a tribute to her fear. But the weather did not heed her call – no rain fell, no wind blew – the climate completely gone. "Come away from the window," he commanded firmly.

"They're – they're outside." Her lips trembled; she didn't move. Her white walls were awash with a faint glow of the red of the sky – there were several reasons he had ordered all of the children to keep their curtains drawn. "Erik, they're right outside."

"Not even close," he assured, and now he did move. Ororo, only seven, was new, recovered only a few weeks ago on one of Sean's missions that had gone so, so very wrong. She knew in theory that they were safe, but she still feared – the fear of a survivor whose salvation had come far too late, and with too much blood. He approached her carefully, aware of her tension, eyes trained solely on her, ears blocking out all other sounds of horror other than the rasp of her shallow breathing. Her polished dark skin was worryingly pale, her shaking more pronounced, eyes still white-on-white and desperate. Careful schooling kept the flinch from his face at the sight of the shadows dancing across her body as he knelt before her, and clasped her hands.

"Ororo," he beckoned again, squeezing her small fingers warmly. "Ororo. I promised you, didn't I? And you know that-"

"They're right outside-," she began to protest.

"- he will not let them in."

The child instantly silenced. And almost as if on cue, a powerful wave of pure contentsafetylovemineminemine washed through the room. Over the house, extending outside. Passionfuryangerrage powerpowerpower, Erik could feel it all– the wretched screeching moans of the damned and the hungry that had been building outside gave way to inhuman screams of pain.

The shadows across Ororo's shoulders mimicked and exploded like confetti, more red painting the sky. The walls. He bit his tongue hard enough to taste his own blood. He wondered if one of them had been Sean.

"Onslaught," she breathed. A bitter smile twisted onto Erik's lips as he brushed her hair away from her face.

"You are safe here, Child," he whispered – promised – repeated – swore. A strand of fierce foreign familiar agreement touched his mind, and with a wave of his hand the metal rings drew the curtains closed once more. The walls became white again immediately.

The Human race may have fallen to their governments' own attempt to erase the Mutant population – inhaling the released airborne fumes meant for his people – but that did not mean his children had to endure the sight of the horrific inhuman creatures they had become.

'Zombies,' a helpful voice added, known and yet tainted and unfamiliar. 'Alex calls them zombies. Do try and keep up, Magneto.'

Erik scooped Ororo up, holding her close though her eyes were already returning to normal, and ignored the information.

"Back to sleep with you," he whispered as she clutched to his neck, burying her face in his shoulder. "You can cuddle with Hank. He's still in bed. And I believe Scott and Jean are alread there." The Beast, their Abolisher – only children could look at him and still see who he was anymore. Even Ororo, who had seen it. "I have things to do."

Charles. Friendbrotherlover. Still locked down in Cerebro, white-faced and eyeless and all power.

Onslaught.

Savior. Stranger.

"Thank you, Daddy," the little girl whispered against his skin.

"Just do not open the window again," he replied as softly, and felt her nod. "Say your prayer again."

She obeyed, and tucked in place, she did not see him finally fall to his flinch as her voice carried down the hall and into him.

"Every night before I sleep

I pray in case of death, God my soul will keep

For the World is bleeding and the pits are dark and deep,

And the monsters walking want my flesh to keep.

But God is fair, and God is kind,

For while I suffer, and while I cry, he sent me Onslaught,

To protect my kind."

'Charles.'

'I'm still here.'


A/N:

A short side story to a story I haven't written yet.

Thoughts?