Omake 3: Nascent Requiem
"God save us – everyone. Will we burn inside the fires of a thousand suns for the sins of our hands? Sins of our tongue? Sins of our father? Sins of our young?"
– The Requiem by Linkin Park
The two of them had opted not to bring a table for this particular trip. Dr. Nemesis and his team had truly outdone themselves; a simple cloth, spread upon the grass beneath them, sufficed.
After all, Illyana Rasputin did say that this would not last long and, cryptic though she may be, she never lied.
"Are you sure this is the time?" Scott asked. He trusted Illyana, but still he needed to be sure.
A small part of him found that this particular event happening on this particular day was somewhat apt but mostly ironic. Beneath everything he felt about this one moment, though, was a sense of surrealism.
Had his former home always look this blue?
"Maybe." Illyana replied without any care. With all the time they spent in each other's company, the ever-observant Illyana learned to read him. She could tell Scott was nervous.
But that didn't matter.
Like a sentry, the young woman stood proudly beside him with both hands resting on the hilt of her soulsword. Her blue eyes were intent on the blue planet before them. With such majesty apparent, she couldn't help but romanticize the sight.
Earth truly was such a lonely planet, surrounded only by twinkling balls of gas.
"Is it so hard to believe?" Illyana finally turned to him. Though her eyes were deplete of the malicious gleam they once held, her stare was still hard. No measure of happiness could ever truly erase the scars of her unusual rebirth.
"In a way." Scott admitted with a crooked grin. It was clear that he was musing loudly at this point. "Earth has gods-"
"Thor is no god. He is simply extraterrestrial." Illyana supplied.
"-and people that can reshape reality according to their will."
"These very beings create new realities, new worlds, with their presence." Illyana pointed out succinctly. "If Franklin and David had more time, then Earth might stand a chance."
It went without saying that casualties were unavoidable.
"I should have warned them."
"You did. Brand, Erik, Nathan and everyone else made their choices." The younger mutant patiently reminded him as she tucked a lock of gold behind her ear. "It is not your responsibility."
Scott was silent. Deja vu washed over him; he and his most trusted friend had this conversation so many times before.
"Am I doing the right thing, Illyana?"
Illyana couldn't help but snort. "I am the worst person you can ask such a question."
"But you are my friend. What you say does matter."
"Then you are doing what I feel is right. You gave them a choice." Illyana spoke with no small amount of finality.
Scott worried far too much.
Relaxing, she took a seat next to him. "Whatever the case, you have me."
A rumbling chuckle left Scott's chest at Illyana's self-confident declaration.
"I do have you." He repeated mirthfully as relief washed away his anxiety. Glancing at her with twinkling brown eyes, he couldn't help but point out jestingly, "But I thought you said time-travel is for the selfish."
"I never denied our similarity." Limbo's ruler bestowed upon him an amused smile. The picnic basket disappeared from Scott's side before appearing between Illyana's waiting hands. "Apple cider?"
"Please." Scott answered pleasantly, inwardly still impressed by the degree of fine control Illyana had over her powers. He held out his hand as if gripping a cup, and in another flash of Illyana's hellfire, a cup of apple cider was between them. Very fine control. "Thanks."
Illyana merely nodded before browsing through the assorted sandwiches they had packed for this excursion.
A myriad of rainbow colors, tiny specks steadily growing against the encompassing blackness of space, caught the Illyana's eye. Her heart could not help but thunder, and exhilaration curled her lips into a grin.
Taking one delicious bite and settling herself closer beside Scott, she mused out loud, "You know, I always thought Ruby inherited her villainous streak from Emma."
"Villainous?" Scott repeated, amused at his conspirator's casual declaration. His brows knitted as he thought about his daughter, and Scott found the description humorously apt. "We should have brought Ruby."
"Her gloating would have been insufferable." Illyana pointed out before shrugging and curtly gesturing at the rapidly approaching titans with her head. "But yes, she would enjoy this."
Scott hummed in agreement. He caught sight of what the both of them returned for. He lifted the apple cider to his lips to disguise his awe.
The Celestials were as majestic as they were ominous.
"So, villains?" Scott turned to his companion with quiet smile.
It was odd, the feeling in his chest.
"Of the most human kind." Illyana nodded.
"And what manner of evil is it that Ruby and I partook in?" Scott asked dryly but in amusement.
"Apathy." Illyana languidly shrugged. "The greatest evil that can kill man."
It was the complete disregard to the reality around one's self.
Everyone had the right to turn a blind eye as children burned in front of them. Everyone had the right to turn a deaf ear to the cries of the people savaged by war. Everyone had the right to remain silent even when just one sentence could save the world.
In the end, everyone has the right to choose the path of apathy, but it may as well be the one choice that must never be chosen.
"How many years have passed since then?" Scott questioned. The creators of the multiverse did not look any different from their last encounter—when his Extinction Team wrested the Dreaming Celestial's head from Nathaniel Essex's machination.
"Not any more than one." Illyana supplied.
There was movement planet-side. Scott and Illyana watched as the Dreaming Celestial soared past the planet's meager atmosphere and met with its kin.
"They're conversing." Scott posited when the Celestials appeared to just stare at each other.
Illyana's eyes narrowed when the Dreaming Celestial turned to their direction, and she stood to her full height. "It's coming this way."
Hellfire erupted around Limbo's ruler. Illyana's soulsword burned even more intensely; her eyes began to glow as her horns sprouted from her forehead and her hooves replaced her feet. The Darkchilde snarled warningly at the swiftly approaching giant, and she raised her weapon in a ready stance.
"At ease, Illyana." Scott advised from where he remained seated. His eyes did, however, harden.
The one once known as Tiamut the Communicator among his kin stood before the two travelers. It gazed down at the tiny specks before it. Though ants to its eyes, the Dreaming Celestial remembered these particular two.
Though words were not spoken, Scott understood what it was the cosmic god came for.
"This world is no longer under my protection." Scott rescinded the proclamation he once made—when he was younger and more foolish. Delusional.
To think he had cared about just one small, cancerous planet so much that he placed its needs over those of the people that mattered. It was truly arrogant of him to think that he could unite a world that clearly wanted to be much further apart from its neighbors.
It was fortunate that, as it turned out, this world was not the template.
It was just one of many.
The Dreaming Celestial appeared to glance between the demon and the mutant before it left in silence and rejoined its peers. Strangely, Scott could feel a sense of disappointment coming from the giant humanoid.
As one, the Celestials disappeared into the blue planet.
"There is a sense of irony to all this." Scott broke the silence that had fallen between him and his companion.
"Oh?" The hellfire around the Darkchilde dispersed and Illyana returned.
"Prophecies." Scott said cryptically and glanced at his watch. "The Mayans were right. Cable was right."
The Fifth Host began.
Scott and Illyana watched in silence from the little hamlet they had built on the Blue Area on the Moon. Their eyes were transfixed on the planet as the Celestials mete their judgment.
The two watchers knew that this would be something they would never forget. Never had they seen, even with all the experience they had, a sight so majestic but tragic.
"Six minutes." Illyana commented as the Celestials left the reborn planet.
Scott glanced at his watch again. "Indeed."
A small part of Scott felt disappointed. It was over far more quickly than he had anticipated. There was no dramatic final struggle; no last ditch save; no Hail Mary. The world just ended—and now another stood in its place. With how quickly the Celestials came and went, one might even think nothing happened at all.
Could such a change happen in this short a time?
The answer—the truth—lay before the watching pair, however.
Earth was no longer what it was.
This was the true power of gods; unfathomable but nonetheless real.
"Your thoughts?" Illyana prompted her contemplating companion. The thundering of her heart hadn't ceased yet, and she quietly swallowed deep breaths to calm herself. "You still have me."
Scott still had his chance to change the fate of the world he was born in.
It took Scott moments more before he could gather his thoughts, and moments still to find the words to describe the utter nothingness he felt.
"There is a quote. Gandhi." Scott solemnly began, still mindful of what had just transpired. "It is better to be violent, when there is violence in our hearts, than to put on the cloak of nonviolence to cover impotence."
His companion rolled her eyes.
"Impotence is the least of your character. You have me." Illyana reminded him again with a small amount of impatience trickling through. "And you are you."
"Yes. I know." Scott nodded and slowly faced his companion.
Illyana's heart skipped a beat.
His chocolate eyes were nothing but serene.
"But I feel normal."
"Yours eyes remain clear." She pointed out as her trepidation subsided.
"They are." He answered.
Illyana gazed at him with playful blue eyes. "You have truly become a villain."
"…Is that bad?" Maybe Scott should have been disturbed by how quietly joyful Illyana sounded, or even by his own hesitation.
"No." Illyana shook her head reassuringly and smiled at him, "Your daughter smiles brightly whenever she sees you. How bad can you possibly be?"
He found Illyana's distinct brand of logic very acceptable.
"Then this is good enough for me." Scott gulped the last of his apple cider and savored its tangy aftertaste.
It scared him to think he had changed this much but, really, he couldn't care about every little thing anymore. He had his own life now, and he'd live it however he pleased.
Finally standing, Scott brushed the moondust off his person before gathering all that they had brought. "Whenever you're ready, 'Yana."
They both still had work to do, and their loved ones still waited.
"Then let us return home."
Illyana found that the old Logan she had condemned to his fate was partially right. Scott could change the world, but he had chosen not to. However, that was not her problem, nor Scott's.
They were no longer heroes.
She was just Illyana Rasputin, and he, just Scott Summers.
And that was enough.
A/N: This has been rotting in my computer long enough. This was one of the numerous omakes I had planned- extensions of Distant World. Unfortunately, The Search for Cyclops grew to such unplanned proportions. I had wanted to post this after the 2nd Omake, and even after the 3rd and 4th to stay true to my fanfiction chronology but, well, I wanted to update this story.
I hope you can all see by now where The Search for Cyclops is going. Rest assured, it will get done (for whatever it's worth now that things have come full circle). This progression was already in the making since last year, no thanks in small part to all the (crazy) people and the Mayans likely running out of stone to write on...
...or did they? Dun-dun-duuuun!