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

A/N: Writer's Block buster for the "post anything you write" challenge. Just an added drabble that takes place during the same time (or maybe … an hour before?) of the original piece. I had to post it. Absolish/Beast/Hank has such a story I had to hint at. :)

And thank you all so much for your reviews! I'm glad you like the universe. ^_^

The Abolisher

"One day, Mrs. McCoy, your son will go blind."

"There's …there's nothing that can be done?"

"I'm afraid not. But never fear – society has grown more accepting and accommodating of the disabled. Henry will be no burden. At least he will have no physical deformations."


Life is nothing but cold bitter irony most recently delivered in the screams and violence of mankind, and they walk as though they eternally drag their sins behind them with chains across their shoulders..

And he rips through them like his is blind, bathes in their tainted blood and roars in fury at the taste of audacity to attempt.

The Abolisher, the people call him – the blue demon of mercy. The Beast. The one who falls from the sky and tears the Inhumans to shreds – pulling melted skin from decaying bone and slicing through the smaller ones as though they're nothing more than wisps of smoke in his path. The Abolisher has no feelings, no thoughts – he is an animal, the beast that everyone proclaims him to be, and he doesn't care that what he destroys was oncecouldpossiblybeagain just as human as he is. Because under the red sky and on the breaking ground he isn't human, either.


Instantly, his eyes snap open, molten amber against the black of his bed sheets, and lock on to the figure whose head is sticking tentatively through his door. A small flash of red, rattling breaths, no small amount of fear that was far too common these days, and … yes, the antique vase on his side table shaking just slightly.

Jean, then. Ten years old. Red hair, brown eyes, and a telekinetic ability that agitated Charl-Onslaught, as much as it endeared him. A long, thick scar that ran down the underside of her jaw, through her throat and to the middle of her chest. The intended victim of an Inhuman, it had been slicing her open when Beast had jumped from the hovering Blackbird and right onto it. And that had been his first image of Jean, unconscious and dying and covered in thick darkened blood of his victim and fuck!—he had picked her up and carried her across the destruction of their mission, their battlefield, and sewed her back up right there on the plane. She had woken up as the last stitch went in, strong and dying, and stared at him – blue, murderous, unhuman him – and there had been no fear.

Like now.

"What are you doing up?" He whispers back, already sitting up, already reaching for his glasses because he isn't blind but it's not simple, and sees her in clearer focus. Looking at him, beseeching him, pale hands wringing his nightdress in a tight worried grip and pleasepleaseplease – "Jean..."

"Please, Hank?" There's just the smallest touch of a quiver in her voice; she bites her lower lip, looks down. The Abolisher would ignore her. Beast would snarl at her.

A quiet moment, and then a sigh.

Hank reaches out for her. "Come on – watch you don't trip on the rug. Here, do you want—alright, then." Offers of the larger pillow are foregone as the little girl burrows tightly against him, burying her face into the crook of his neck, clutching tightly to his fur as she shivers. Part of him growls at the contact, but Hank just sighs, pulls her closer, and whispers, "Did you say your prayer?"

"Yes." And that's it. It's so routine that it hurts. Domesticity in Hell.

They say the children come to him because he's safe – Alex jokes it's because he's like a giant teddy bear. Angel and Darwin say it's because he's the first one they see when they find them. Sean says – said, used to say – it's because Hank is just … safe. Protecting. Still warm, somehow – intact where the rest of them have ripped open their chests and pulled out their hearts to use as weapons. He's pretty sure it's because, this far down in the mansion, his room is the only one without windows. Because there's nothing about him that can be comforting.

Raven would disagree. Raven would say, had said, much the same as Sean. She had laughed and smiled and kissed him and told him he was perfect. Raven would be angry, if she could hear him now. But Raven isn't here - no one knows where she is, not even Onslaught - and so she couldn't.

And she hadn't seen, doesn't see, the way he rips through the once-humans and bathed in their blood and calls it easy.

He stays awake – stares at the ceiling, dark and cold and metal – and next he knows ten-year-old Scott is silently padding up to his bed, head piece in place and shuddering so violently it's clacking. Scott, who has an older brother, who has Alex, slowly slinks into his bed, timid as usual, waiting for rejection that stings Hank's mind. He tucks the boy into his other arm. He doesn't ask, doesn't comment.

There's probably something poetic about this. Something Charles would have loved to comment about, in that understanding, slightly smug way he did. Children cuddling up to the big bad monster who lifted them up and avenged them.

"You're okay," he breathes to Scott, pulling him closer. To Jean, still asleep but restless, aware of the other child. "Everything will be alright. It'll be alright."

They don't answer, falling asleep against him like he's worth something.

In an hour, the mansion, fortified with iron and steel and metalmetalmetal, will pulsate with fury and protection and an underlying sense of something he can't name. Jean will shift with a whimper, telepathic backlash, and his door will open. In an hour, Erik will wait until Hank acknowledges his presence as non-threatening, and then come into his room, tiny little Ororo asleep in his arms, and carefully lay her across his chest, where she will snuggle into her fur and sleep without nightmares. In an hour, he will observe Erik, and see a shimmer of someone not real – of Charles, untainted and standing and sad – standing at the man's shoulder, watching him like he did before … before. In an hour, Erik will nod and return to Cerebro and Onslaught. He will leave Hank.

Hank, with the children asleep and trusting against him.

And tomorrow, Hank will slaughter more.


"One day, Mrs. McCoy, your son will go blind."

Stunned silence.

"There's …there's nothing that can be done?"

"I'm afraid not. But never fear – society has grown more accepting and accommodating of the disabled. Henry will be no burden. At least he will have no physical deformations."

"Well … yes, I suppose. There is that. Hank's a good boy. Blindness, while cumbersome, is nothing compared to having a child so … inhuman."

A boisterous laugh.

"Else you would have to put him down."


And I don't even like zombies … but I guess I dig mine. Er, anyway. Yeah. I'll get you that longer piece … or more drabbles. Or something. I'm in the middle of typing everyeveryeverything I've got written, but I wanted to share this piece now (instant gratification, who said I wasn't greedy?), and okay.

Let me know what you thought? :)