Thanks for the reviews! I never intended to kill off Professor X but I wanted him out of the way for a while to give the other characters a chance to take control. Hope everyone likes this one!
Bobby, Rogue, Kitty and Warren waited on the mansion lawn as the jet came into land. Moments later, its two occupants emerged: Moira MacTaggert and her fiancè Sean Cassidy, formerly the X-Man Banshee.
"Doctor MacTaggert,"Bobby greeted her. "Thanks for coming."
Before Moira could answer, Banshee fixed Bobby with a piercing gaze. "What have you done to my daughter?"
Bobby floundered and Kitty came to his rescue. "Therese was just trying to do what was right, Mr. Cassidy. We all were."
Banshee shook his head. "X-Men. Think you can change the world all by yourselves. I never wanted Therese to be part of this, I just wanted her to learn how to use her powers safely."
"And she can,"Kitty insisted.
"She's lying in that mansion half crushed. You call that safe?"
"Mr. Cassidy,"Bobby snapped. "I'm sorry that Therese got hurt. I blame myself for what happened to her and Peter just as much as you do. But you were an X-Man once and I think you still believe in the same things we do. Therese was just trying to do what was right, to protect her friends, same as we all were."
"Look, we don't have time to discuss this now,"Moira interjected. "I need to see my patients." She moved towards the mansion.
"Actually,"Bobby interceded,"I was going to ask you if you minded looking after the mansion. I don't think the Brotherhood will come back but someone has to keep an eye on the students."
"Well, of course, but where will you be?"
Bobby took a deep breath. "I'm going to Washington. It's where Pyro's going. And Logan and the others can't stop him on their own."
"Are you crazy?"Banshee asked. "You've only just survived one battle and you want to go and join another one?"
"Guess so." Bobby looked at his friends. "Kitty, Warren, you up for it?"
"We'll be there,"Warren confirmed.
"Count us in,"Kitty agreed.
"Okay. Show Moira and Mr. Cassidy to the patients, then get suited up and join us in the hangar."
Bobby watched until they had all entered the mansion, leaving him and Rogue alone on the lawn, before he turned to face her. "I wish I could go with you,"she said.
He gently stroked her bare arm. "I do too,"he admitted. "I like having you around. But…you'll probably be better off helping Moira here."
"Can you do me a favour? Take Leech with you?"
Bobby looked at her in surprise. "He's just a kid."
"Yeah, well, so were we once."
Bobby nodded. "I'll ask him." He kissed her gently on the lips, holding onto her hand for as long as possible before he headed inside.
Bobby headed up to the infirmary. He noticed Banshee had joined Jubilee in sitting by Siryn but decided to delay talking to either of them. Instead he turned his attention to Moira. "How are they?"
"Therese has several broken ribs and one of them's punctured her lung. That's why she's having breathing problems. It should be easy enough to release the pressure, then she'll be okay." She nodded towards Colossus. "Peter is a bit more of a problem. His metal form was beaten out of shape. I'm going to have to try and remould it and hope he's okay when he reverts back."
Bobby nodded in understanding before moving over to where Jubilee was sitting. "Jubes?" She looked up at him. "We're going to Washington, to try and stop the Brotherhood. I'd like you to come with us but…if you want to stay here, I understand. It's up to you."
Jubilee lowered her gaze. She was silent for a few moments, long enough for him to wonder if he should just take the silence as a refusal and leave. But then she looked at Banshee. "Do you think Therese would mind if I went?"
Banshee glanced at Bobby, who did his best to look as inoffensive as possible. Then he looked back at Jubilee. "I think she'd want you to do what you think is right."
Jubilee smiled at him. "Can you keep an eye on her while I'm gone?" Banshee nodded and Jubilee looked at Bobby. "I'm in."
Bobby and Jubilee donned their uniforms and headed down the corridor to the hangar. Waiting outside the door were Kitty, Warren and Leech.
Bobby nodded to his three friends. "We'll join you in a minute." Taking the hint, the trio headed towards the X-Jet. Bobby turned to Leech. "Are you sure you want to come?"
"Are you saying you don't think I'm up to it?"
"No…" Bobby thought for a moment, since that actually was what he was saying. "It's just I've already got two friends in the infirmary and I don't want to add you to them."
"I was the only one still standing after fighting the Marauders, aside from Jubilee. Surely that counts for something?"
Bobby sighed. "I'm not going to stop you, am I?"
"Okay, come on."
Pyro led the Brotherhood stealthily through the trees surrounding the Capitol building. He noticed the large group of soldiers patrolling outside the building. "They seem to have upped security. Wonder if they were expecting us?"
"The X-Men could have worked it out,"Scalphunter suggested. "Warned them."
"Sounds like them,"Juggernaut agreed.
"Then it's time to show them just how useless their preparations are. War."
War clapped his hands and the area around the soldiers exploded. Before they could recover, Pyro sent a wall of flame sweeping over them. Blob, Avalanche and Juggernaut ran through the carnage, knocking aside any soldier who tried to stop them. Avalanche hit the doors with a blast, desintegrating them.
The Brotherhood ran through the corridors. Vertigo hit a group of soldiers with a nausea burst, then Scalphunter gunned them down before they recovered.
"Blob, Juggernaut, War, Scalphunter, stay here and stop anyone coming after us,"Pyro snapped. "Vertigo, Avalanche…it's time we paid a visit to our elected representatives."
The X-Men could see the devastation caused by the attack as they flew over the Capitol. "Get us down fast,"Storm instructed.
Wolverine shot her a look. "You want to drive?"
"It looks as though we may be too late,"Gambit commented.
"Not yet,"Storm replied.
Wolverine shot a look back at Cable and Bishop, sitting silently in the rear seats. Cable had somehow acquired a big gun from somewhere and was resting it on his lap. Neither of them seemed to want to look at the other. "You want to talk to them?"he asked Storm quietly.
Storm turned round in her seat to address the pair. "You're clear on your instructions?"
"I know what the rules are,"Cable replied succinctly.
Bishop inclined his head at her. "I will follow you in all things."
Wolverine and Gambit exchanged a look. "I've got a bad feeling about this,"Wolverine sighed.