- Work in Progress
- Abuse - Sexual
- Dark Themes
- Death - Child
- Death - Major Character
- Death - Minor Character
- Discussion - Child Abuse
- Discussion - Murder
- Discussion - Other Trigger Topics
- Discussion - Sexual Abuse
- Discussion - Torture
- Disturbing Imagery
- Permanent Injury
- Suicide - Attempted
- Violence - Canon-Level
- Violence - Graphic
- Violence - Sexual
- Action Adventure
- Alternate Universe
- Challenge Response
- Episode Related
- Fix It
Art by WaterSoter
Illyana Rasputin observed the small boy as his lips turned blue and his pasty skin took on a grayish tint. It wouldn’t be long now, she thought dispassionately. Too used to death to be bothered by this child’s, even as Noriko Ashida kept her eyes averted and David Alleyne hunched in on himself.
Dr. Reyes pressed on the small chest, breathed into his mouth in a steady rhythm. Beyond their small circle James Proudstar held tightly onto the mother who all but tried to lunge at the father, shouting the kind of language that was impressive in its originality. There were certainly several words in there that Illyana had never heard before.
The father, shoved to the other side of the living room, stood defiant in the face of her anger. His face and arms covered in scratches. Some were long and bleeding sluggishly, others were small, barely skin deep. It was easy to see which ones were done by whom, his wife in a rage and his son fighting for his life.
Elizabeth Braddock was keeping the man in place and far away from the son who he had tried to murder, and might yet succeed, and the wife who wanted to murder him in turn. And because the situation wasn’t bad enough, two Avengers stood by the door, despite the situation being a mutant issue and therefore none of their business.
“He’s not going to die.” Surge whispered to Prodigy, who had his fists clenched so hard his knuckles were white. She imagined he was considering doing the mother a favor and dealing with the father himself. If it were Illyana, she would have let the mother go and let her visit as much justice as she was able to on the father. She certainly deserved the opportunity. If the child died Illyana thought Jimmy might even slack his grip just enough to say she got away from him despite his super strength.
“C’mon, kiddo, c’mon, breath for me.” Dr. Reyes muttered as she did compressions. Off in the distance sirens wailed, coming closer with each passing second, but they would be too late for the child. The father might even be let go with barely a slap in the wrist. It wasn’t as if she hadn’t seen it before. It was why their teams were put together.
Search and rescue teams instead of sticking solely to defense and combat. Scott’s plan, when he was still himself and not . . . whatever it was he was now. Teams to look for mutants, help them if they needed it, offer them somewhere to go if they had nowhere else, save them if their own family, parents tried to murder them for being what they were.
It worked so far. Illyana had been for two outright rescues and one awkward conversation as the newly emerged mutant and his fiancé decided if she wanted to be with him. This would be her first death. Not the first their teams had dealt with, but it will be the first she was personally there for.
She glanced around the room, it was a nice place, she supposed. A cheery yellow on the walls, couches with afghans thrown carelessly over the backrest and cushions. Stairs that rose towards one side of the main door. The wall leading up to the second floor was covered in photos. Happy moments with and of their son.
Illyana wondered what the father saw now, after learning that his precious son was a freak. What he would see when he looked at those photos now? Would he think back on those memories with a melancholy air? Or would he see them and feel nothing. Crow that he had stopped his blood from being tainted.
A drop of sweat fell on the boy’s face. Dr. Reyes’ arms were shaking from the effort of continuing CPR. She exchanged a glance with Elizabeth and saw the same grim resignation in her eyes. The Avengers shifted, Illyana turned towards them. One of them had a very familiar face.
Hawkeye had his bow in his hand at his side, seemingly in a relaxed grip but Illyana could see the tension in his arms, the way his eyes shifted from the boy, Braddock and her. At the ready in case Illyana suddenly decided that she wanted to burn the world away after all.
Their eyes locked and she could see that he remembered what it felt like to burn. Saw it in the sudden perspiration gathering in his forehead and sliding down his nose. The way his adam’s apple bobbed and the muscles in his neck bunched up tight. She expected him to cower, to break eye contact and shuffle closer to his fellow Avenger. Instead his eyes became electric fire, glared at her as fiercely as a demon’s at their prey.
If they were to be enemies, she didn’t want to strike at someone so cowed by their remembered pain to fight back.
The door burst open but the police officers had some sense not to point their guns at them. Whether that was because the Avengers had warned them off or not, Illyana appreciated that this wouldn’t end in one of those barbed headlines. If for no other reason that she didn’t want the lectures even if Emma would smirk at her in that dark way that was more White Queen of the Hellfire Club than the White Queen of the X-Men.
The older of the two shuffled over to the Avengers, exchanging words in low tones. Pretty useless in a room with a mutant with heightened senses. What interested her was the way the younger officer was eyeing the boy, almost like it pained him to see someone that young dying by inches and be unable to do anything about it. Not a reaction that she was used to seeing in relation to any of them.
“C’mon, c’mon!” Dr. Reyes muttered, still trying the improbable and at that point, pointless. She almost wanted to tell her that she was wasting her energy on a corpse. Instead she stood and watched as the father was placed in handcuffs, none too gently, and led outside. The father as silent as he had been the moment their team had set foot in their home. The mother on the other hand had collapse in Jimmy’s arms. A sobbing and begging mess, no longer lunging for her husband, reaching for her son.
Illyana wondered if her own mother had reached for her in those final moments, when she was out of sight and they laid bleeding in the snow. She shook her head. It didn’t matter. She stood by Dr. Reyes, eyes locked on the happy pictures. The mother’s sobs and Dr. Reyes’ words blending into a dissonant sort of lullaby.
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