Title: Point and Counterpoint
[livejournal.com profile] summers_fling Recipient: [livejournal.com profile] imaginaryalice
Disclaimer: The characters and teams mentioned herein belong to their respective copyright holders. I intend no infringement, only a bit of harmless fun.
Warnings/Rating: PG, may contain excessive snark
Summary: While their mentors play chess, an X-Man and a member of the Brotherhood find themselves in a rare civil conversation.
Recipient's Request: his eyes, no battles, someone unexpected he can have an interesting discussion with like Wanda Maximoff (or if you want simpler it can be Logan)
Word Count: 1,407


Point and Counterpoint




“What color are your eyes?”

Scott looked up sharply at Mystique. Ordinarily, they passed the time in silence, glaring mistrustfully at one another while their mentors played their semi-monthly game of chess on the other side of the closed doors. This was the first time Magneto’s second had ever initiated conversation, and Scott was immediately suspicious. “Why do you ask?”

Mystique shrugged. “No reason really. It’s just that I’ve been you before,” and at this, her skin rippled until Scott was staring at his own twin, complete with ruby quartz sunglasses. “And I had to guess at the eye color.” It was unnerving to hear Mystique’s voice issuing from his own throat. “I prefer precision in my transformations; having to guess just annoys me.” She shifted back into her own form, looking at him expectantly.

He looked at her, head cocked to one side in curiosity. “What color did you guess?”

Her eyes flashed from yellow to a multi-hued hazel, and she shrugged again. “It’s a subset of brown,” she explained. “The most common eye color in the world. It felt like a safe bet, and if I was wrong, well… Hazel eyes have mixed pigment. It would be easy to change them without anyone noticing.”

“Not that they would,” Scott commented dryly, tapping his sunglasses gently, so as not to dislodge them.

Mystique inclined her head gracefully, acknowledging the point as her eyes reverted to their own color. “Was I right?”

He smiled enigmatically at her, but didn’t answer, turning his attention back to the closed door between them and the two older men they guarded. He nodded at the door, then looked sideways at Mystique. “What do you think they talk about in there?”

She raised an eyebrow. “You think they talk, X-Man?”

Scott blanched and flinched away from the door slightly. “I really don’t want to think about that,” he winced.

Mystique laughed derisively. “Typical. Flinching away from the realities of life when they don’t fit your perfect picture of the world.”

He raised an eyebrow skeptically. “Just because I’d rather not think about what the two men I see as fathers do behind closed doors, does not mean that I hide my head in the sand about the facts of life.”

She rolled her eyes. “Even parents have sex, you know.”

Scott winced. “Yeah.” He smiled wryly. “You know, they say that two of the most traumatic events in your life are first: realizing that your parents have had sex, and second: realizing that your children will have sex.”

Mystique winced, and a thought occurred to Scott. He cocked his head to once side, looking at her intently. “You have kids?” he asked. It wasn’t really a question. He had seen the brief look that flitted across her face.

“Yes.” She didn’t elaborate, and the silence stretched awkwardly for several moments. Finally, Mystique asked, in an obvious effort to continue the rare civil conversation between them, “What about you? Do you have any children?”

He chuckled softly. “Sure. About forty two of them.” Dark eyebrows shot up over yellow eyes, making Scott laugh outright. “Students,” he explained, trying to contain his mirth. “Including the ones that have gone on to bigger and better things.” He smiled, thinking with pride of his students who had graduated “Mutant High” and had gone on to take their places in the wider world.

Mystique nodded slowly. “I see.” They lapsed into silence once more. Scott’s mind began to drift toward the lesson he had planned for the coming Monday and the lengthy grocery list he was mentally compiling. He was so completely lost in the certain argument he would have with Jubilation Lee over the addition of soda to the list (“But you keep telling us to study, Mr. Summers. Caffeine and sugar help me study!”) that when Mystique spoke again, it took everything in him to keep from jumping.

“And so, Cyclops.” He glanced up at her and saw that she was looking at him intently. “Are you content to have your ‘children’ grow up into this world that you are trying to make for them?”

He raised a sardonic eyebrow. “I hardly think I’d be fighting for it if I weren’t.”

“You don’t have any doubts at all, then?”

“I wouldn’t be human if I didn’t.”

Mystique snorted derisively at his choice of words. “You lack faith in your vision,” she stated flatly. “If you can’t keep faith in it, what makes you so sure that you’re right?”

He smiled wryly. “Because most days, my certainty is greater than my doubt. You mean to say that you never have any doubts?”

She looked coolly back at him, arching one blue eyebrow. “Never.”

“Would that I were always so certain,” Scott murmured, staring into the distance. It was several moments before he spoke again, and when he did, it was quietly, almost to himself. “Sometimes, I worry that you’re right, and we’re wrong.” Mystique glanced sharply at him, and he laughed humorlessly. “Funny, isn’t it? The X-Men’s fearless leader wondering if the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants hasn’t got the right idea.”

She scowled. “I think ‘evil’ is a bit of an exaggeration.”

“This from the woman who is completely on board with setting up a caste system based on genetics? I’m fairly sure non-mutants would agree completely with the term.”

“You’re not a non-mutant.”

“No. I’m just one of the guys trying to protect them from you.”

“Touché.”

“Thank you. What about you?” Mystique looked at him quizzically, and he continued, elaborating. “Are you satisfied in the world that you’re trying to create? Is it the one you would want for your children?”

Her face took a closed expression, and Scott could tell that she was uncomfortable with the mention of her children. “I… haven’t seen my children in many years, but yes. I believe that that world I fight for will be to their benefit.”

“What if you’re wrong?”

“I’m not.”

“What if you are?” Scott insisted. He refused to allow her the easy out of blasé certainty. “What if your efforts to establish the superiority of mutants over humans turn into a non-mutant genocide? You will have become the thing you’re trying to prevent.”

“And what if your efforts to appease the flatscans lead to them finally passing that damned Registration Act?” she fired back. “So they can round us all up and put us into concentration camps? They’re not as helpless as you think, Cyclops.”

“And they’re not as dangerous as you think!”

“Oh, for God’s sake, open your eyes!” Mystique snapped, pushing a frustrated hand through her short red hair. “Look at Senator Kelly! Do you not see what one bigoted man with a little power and support can do? He’s scared half of the country into agreeing with him! They are at least as dangerous as I think they are.”

“Then we need to prove to them that we’re not the dangerous thugs he claims we are. You say we’re homo superior? Fine. Prove it. Treat them better that you say they would treat us.”

“You’re missing the point, X-Man,” she hissed, spitting the title as though it were a foul insult. “They are inferior. I don’t have to treat them better.”

“’If you want to see the true measure of a man, watch how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.’” In response to Mystique’s annoyed glare, he explained, “J. K. Rowling. Wise woman.”

“Flatscan,” she said, waving a hand dismissively.

“Person,” Scott snapped. “And what makes you so sure she’s not a mutant? The imagination that came up with Harry Potter definitely does not come standard in all models.”

She rolled her eyes. “I’ll take that under advisement.”

Scott sighed, leaning back in his chair and regarding her thoughtfully. “I take it I haven’t convinced you, then.”

“Have I convinced you?”

“Not on your life.”

Mystique inclined her head wordlessly to indicate that he had answered his own question. Scott smiled ruefully. “I suppose I can always try again next time.”

She laughed a little. “You’re welcome to try—provided you don’t mind an argument.”

“It does pass the time.” Scott’s voice was dry, but he glanced over at Mystique, sitting in an identical chair on the opposite side of the closed doorway, with humor in his eyes. She met his gaze and almost smiled. It wasn’t quite friendship, and not exactly a truce either, but it would do.


Finis.
.

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