1963-07-30 - Of a Potential Future
Summary: Erik, Jean and Crystal have an encounter around the threatening vision Jean shares with Moira, Logan and Erik. Things get a bit tense before Crystal and Erik are able to calm Jean down.
Related: Thine Mind's Eye
Theme Song: None
jean crystal erik 

The hour is late. Erik may have feigned sleep, but his restlessness eventually got the better of him. In utter silence, he left Crystal in bed, adorned in pajama pants and his sleep shirt, and made for the bunker beneath the mansion.

Now, he stands within Cerebro. His hand rests upon the chair where Charles usually sits while operating the device, but his eyes are scanning the room in a thoughtful manner. The sphere he carries with him floats above his left shoulder; in his right hand is a half-finished glass of cold milk.

His expression is darkly contemplative, as if something weighed heavily upon his shoulders.


Crystal left early in the morning to visit the city as she often does, trusting to fate that she might yet chance upon her sister. It's a feeble hope, but she tries all the same. When she came back to the mansion today, though, she was downright disheveled. Her dress was dirty, there were even a few tears. And there was actually…rubble in her hair. She went directly to take a long bath, then was asleep before he even made it to the room.

It's part of why she wakes in the middle of the night. Falling asleep too early, she stirs at his absence. It's the sphere that gives him away. It has a unique signature, one that she follows to Cerebra, wrapped in a silk robe. "Erik?" she says softly from the entrance to the chamber. "Is everything all right?"


The expression both softens and becomes concerned. Erik turns, looking toward Crystal with a smile. He doesn't answer yet, instead choosing to set the glass of milk down upon the console.

"No, my dear. I'm afraid everything is not all right." He beckons for her to come out on the platform, rather than lingering in the doorway.

"It's about the young telepath, Jean Grey," he tells her quietly. "We… were given something. A vision. A look into her mind." His expression darkens. "And the thing that haunts it."


Crystal steps inside, walking along the pathway on near-silent bare feet. "She reminds me of my cousin," she admits in a low voice. "The same look in her eyes, of carrying the weight of power that could be too great for one person. I didn't realize there was more too it than just that, though."

Without the reverence the X-Men have for the device, she sits on the arm of the chair, hands folded in her lap as she looks up at him. "What is it, then? And how do we put it to rest?"


Quiet nights often lead her to wander. Wander somewhere.. anywhere.. especially here. She too, was barefoot, dressed down in her own nightgown and robe, not a glass of milk in her hand but a plate that carried chocolate cake and a few pieces of a brownie square. Eesh. Whoever taught that woman to cook needed to visitJean forever. While Crystal's cake was eaten, and the woman on her mind, happenstance brought her to pass the opening of the door to cerebro itself.

And before she pressed across the threshold to -not- enter, she stops just outside of it once her name was heard. And she listens.


"Yes," Erik agrees. "Great power, without the wisdom of age and maturity. It can be a burden to carry." He speaks of it as if he knows the struggle only too well.

There is a pause when she sits on the chair. Why is his knee jerk reaction to ask her not to do that? It's just a chair, after all. Easily exchanged with another. Erik smiles a bit at the irony of it, appreciating that Crystal at least can look at the item for what it is; just a chair.

Her question, however, that draws the smile to a chilled halt. "Crystalia," he tells her quietly, and moves closer. "I am not sure it can be put to rest." He looks her deeply in the eye, troubled. "It… showed me things. Things that haven't yet happened, but will. Either will come to pass, or… or could come to pass. I cannot be certain, beyond that I know this is a thing that cannot be ignored."


"Prophecy, then." Crystal considers that for a long moment, searching his features. "Erik, I know you're an intelligent and well-read man. I know you know the moral of every story that ever included a prophecy. The harder you try to avoid or or try to bring it about, the more likely to are to doom yourself."

Leaning forward, she reaches for his hand. "Whether it will come to pass or not, it's knowledge. How did you feel about what you saw?"


Jean remained silent against the wall, her fork quietly scraping against the plate as she listens with a frown. Just when she was about to take a bite…

'Are you worried?'

Jean jerks just a little, her fingers tensing against the plate, fork thrust into the air from the shock which she tries to grasp with her hands. It bounces off her middle finger then flips within the air, her eyes squinting to halt it's fall to the floor.

'You're frightened. Take my hand..'

Jean reaches out to pluck the fork from the air to grasp it tightly with her fingers. She was suddenly .. not so hungry.


Allowing her to take his hand, Erik fixes Crystal with an expression that is clearly conflicted. "I saw myself killing the man who murdered my mother," he tells her. There's more to the story, yes, and it may come in time. His eyebrows rise. "How am I supposed to feel about that?"

Its a rhetorical question. Vengeance is bittersweet. He'd left the institute, the X-Men, for a full year, searching far and wide for the man who'd killed his mother. He'd returned here with a case of beer for Charles, and the intention of putting behind his tortured past onceand for all. To no longer be consumed by revenge. To be the good man, to help rebuild the X-Men.

Only to have that thing reopen an old wound.

"It is not something I wish to do. Not any longer," he tells her. "I know what such an act would do to me. And yet, now that I consider such potential for justice, I…" He looks away, shaking his head. "I see it, burned into my mind, like fire."


It's a hard question to answer. Crystal holds his hand, then stands up from the chair, reaching up to cup his cheek with her other hand. "I'm sorry," she says simply. "To be reminded of it…" Trailing off, she shakes her head and looks away, which is when she catches sight of Jean at the entrance.

"Jean, honey," she greets the girl with a small smile. "Looks like it's a night for people having trouble sleeping. Is everything all right?"


That brings a little frown upon her face. She no longer wanted the food, she really no longer wanted to stand in the doorway to hear anymore. Eavesdropping was wrong, no doubt, but hearing how badly he felt from the shared things they all saw? Made her feel worse. Glum as ever, she takes that step ahead until she hears her name once more, her eyes widening as she turns towards the two with a slight smile and a wave of her fork.

"Ah.. I just got hungry, is all.." She lies quietly, taking a step into the entrance butremaining there, her eyes upon the two with a pinch of scrutiny.

"I can help.."
'I can help..'
"With.. what you saw."
"I mean.. I've only heard of it done but I know I can do it."
'Make them both forget that this ever happened.'
"It's.. easy."
'You're asking permission when you can just..'


Erik looks to the open doorway, and nearly recoils when he sees the young woman standing there. He does care for her. He's concerned for what she is dealing with, for whatever it was that he, Moira, and Logan witnessed.

However, the manner in which she speaks has him forming a frown.

The room trembles for a moment, metal panels in the perfect sphere vibrating. The smaller sphere, which hovers over his left shoulder, begins to undo itself. There's a visible distortion in the air around it, a focused and primal magnetic force that rips the unique metals apart. Only this time, rather than forming armor for his torso, the strands of coppery silver begin forming a sphere around his head.

"No," says Erik, with a coldness that surprises even him. "That is not something I wish to allow you to do, young one." He holds up a hand toward her, not in a threatening manner but in one that seeks to give her pause.

The helmet tightens around his head, a pattern inverse to that of the walls that magnify Cerebro's telepathic power. It would seem that, in the mission to the Westchester Sanitarium, Magneto was given the birth of an idea… an idea realized by the vision he saw of his mother's murderer.

The helmet, forged freshly in the moment, does the exact opposite of what Cerebro's walls accomplish. Rather than amplifying telepathic power… it mutes the effect, essentially blinding Jean from whatever is inside Erik's mind.


"You're a bit lost from the kitchen," Crystal points out with a small smile that fades as Erik starts to form the helmet, brows furrowing. Stepping back, she instead walks toward Jean, giving the plate a glance. "Though I'm glad to see you found the cake."

She looks over her shoulder at Erik, wincing slightly at the motion. Getting thrown into a building will give you a stiff neck, apparently. Rubbing a hand at the back of her neck, she turns back to Jean. "It's kind of you to offer, Jean," she says gently. "It's just that some things…Sometimes the easy way isn't the best way."


Jean's eyes immediately dart upwards within the room as it begins to shake. Her fingers grow slack enough for the plate to drop and shatter, it's contents spilled upon the floor in a slopped mess, her feet taking a step into the glass and right through it as she moves forward. Her shoulders were lifted, and soon her gaze falls to the small sphere that unravels and begins to form around his head. It wasan almost blank expression in which she regards Erik, her head tilting at a slightly odd angle, her lips parting to speak but she was halted by Crystal's approach.


'Even now, they defend against us. This is no place for you here.'

She brings her arm towards her chest, her fingers clutching the cast to bring herself a little bit of pain against the doctors orders. "No.. I mean I just.. I really just wanted to help. He seemed bothered." She gestures towards Erik, the visage of him just a touch frightening. She's seen who he will become. "I.. know this. I mean… it's not easy but.." She takes another step back, her eyes slightly wide. "You.. you all don't have to do that.. that.. that thing with.." She gestures at her head. "I won't hurt you guys!"


Slowly, Erik lowers his arm. He watches Crystal and Jean carefully, the lingering concern and defensive posture remaining for a few moments, in spite of the dampness that comes to his eyes.

Then, with a deep sigh, his posture becomes less stiff. "Jean…" he shakes his head. "I know that you have no desire to hurt us." He takes a few steps forward, empathy in his voice. "What you showed me, it is something to cause concern. It's not something to be afraid of, but rather, to be wary of." He keeps himself at a fair distance, for he can tell that she feels threatened by him, and that makes him sad.

"We all have the same capacity to be something ugly. Just as we have the same capacity to be something beautiful." He shakes his head. "You're right. I am bothered." He angles his head slightly, and smiles though the earnestness is clear in his voice. "Are you not? Speak honestly with us, now."


"Jean, sweetie, I know." Stepping carefully around the broken pieces of the plate, Crystal holds an arm out to the other girl, inviting her into a hug. "Erik knows, too. He's not afraid of you, Jean. He's afraid of what he may have learned about who he is as a person. Truths about ourselves are always more unsettling than truths about others."

She holds her other hand out toward Erik, bridging the gap between the two of them. "It sounds like this was unsettling for everyone. But none of it has truly happened yet. So perhaps we should reconsider our worries."


"But wary and afraid are nearly the same thing!" Jean nearly shouts out, the glass that remains upon the floor sliding, colliding with each other for a mere few seconds before it all stops. While she wasn't angry, she was upset. Upset at herself more than anything else. Her eyes immediately shoot towards the floor, her shoulders slumping, her head nodding almost agreeable to that inner voice within her head. Almost. For when he asks her to speak honestly? She slowly shakes her head.

But with Crystal's arm out, she leans into it. There was a certain calm to her, absolute warmth. Her hands bunch up against her own chest as if she were trying to burrow into the woman, her eyes closing. "He's.. right to be worried, though.. with a coin. A coin. Arbeit Macht Frei. You can't let that go. It's stuck there.." She presses her finger right in the middle of her forehead.. tapping.. tapping..

"And it's always there now. Since those people in the Sanitarium it's always there. Before it was just dreams but now it's a quiet voice. Just speaking. Telling me to leave. Telling me that it's exposed. Telling me to .. to do things."

She pulls away to look at Crystal. "Every day it.. it's talk.." She stops, swallowing, then shakes her head. "I'm bothered. So much that.. I know you could do it. If I beg you." She looks up towards Erik. "You'd do it. You won't hesitate. I know you."


"Nearly," Erik answers. "And yet entirely different-" The last word seems choked off. He looks between Jean and Crystal, silently chiding himself for his strong demeanor. It clearly isn't the best course of action right here, right now.

In the space he gives, Jean again speaks out about what they saw. Her words seem disconnected, but Erik understands. He knows how and why she chains things together the way she does; he saw the fire, the way it took interest inhim.

The helmet loosens around his chin, allowing Erik to reach up and remove it from his head. He tucks the item under arm, then walks closer to the two. "Jean Grey," he says, softening the authority in his voice until it's just barely there, like a strong wind rather than a tornado. "Do not speak in such a way. We are mutants." He looks to Crystal. "Inhuman." Then back to Jean.

"We don't have the luxury of giving up."


"Jean." Crystal tightens her arm around the girl, and in that motion is all of the determination, all of the trust in love that's driven her to continue to search for her sister for years without giving up hope. "Shhh. You are stronger than this." She leans in to press a kiss to her brow, right where she's been tapping. "You are not the only person ever to have power and have to fight the madness that can come with it. You are not alone. We will not leave you to it. We will always be here, and we will be with you, even if that means we're with you and with it."


"I know.. I know.. I know.." She says to them both. For the past few days she's been hit from all sides. Shown revelations that were simply right there, easily shown to her and matter of factly. There was an overwhelming amount of support and.. she felt lucky. For the first time she felt lucky and oddly enough?

It was quiet. That rolling storm behind her eyes slowly fades, all the pieces were fitting into place and she was scared still, but she had a family. Though there was still a quiet worry, a quiet worry that comes with the lift of a mans hand and the coin that twirls above his palm..
And the fact that her proclimation was put aside for words to not give up. All of these terrible thoughts were her own doing now, and it shook her.

"Please.. do.. don't tell Professor Xavier? He.. he's dealing with so much and his heart is broken. He doesn't need this too." If anything, those in this room could handle her.


Erik finally closes the distance then, and comes to rest his free hand on Jean's shoulder. He looks toward Crystal for a long moment, sharing with her an expression of concern and sadness. "Okay," he tells Jean, agreeing (for now) not to tell Charles.

"You know, I find that chocolate cures all manner of ailments," he offers. "I happen to know an old family recipe. Best hot chocolate this side of the Berlin Wall." Eyebrows lift in mock conspiracy. "My treat?"


"Our secret," Crystal agrees with a nod, looking back at Erik with a small, grateful smile when he makes his offer. "I would love some hot chocolate," she sighs. "And maybe an aspirin. Jean, if anyone ever tells you that getting thrown into a wall isn't so bad, don't believe them. And when you fly, keep your back to something softer than a marble facade."

That terribly pertinent advice dispensed, she turns the girl toward the doorway, using a breath of Air to sweep the broken pieces of the plate out ahead of them.


Relief, it was etched over her face. It felt good. It felt great. It doesn't matter that she's silently crying, but those tears could be considered happy with the way she smiles at the both of them. "Yes. Chocolate is the best." She finalizes, listening to Crystal's advice with the utmost seriousness. "I can't fly though.." She confesses. "Though.. don't fall in a crowd either, right?" She lifts up her broken arm, even her fingers were still black and blue, but fading. "That hurts too. Oh.. and never be too desperate to drink coffee.." She says as they walk.

"I seriously sipped, said ow. Sipped again. Said ow. Sipped again.. said ow…"


With a look to Crystal, Erik's eyebrow arches. Thrown into a wall? That explains a few things. He'll have to find out later.

"Well, this time," he tells Jean, "We'll be certain to allow it plenty of time to cool."

As they walk, Erik reaches forth to touch Crystal's waist. He looks to her with burdensome gratitude, and walks along with them with his arm wrapped around her and a watchful look given over Jean Grey.

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