Magnetic Personalities
An X-Men: Evolution Fanfiction
By Jaelle and Orla


Chapter Eleven: Chaos in Cairo

Disclaimer: All belongs to Marvel. etc, etc, etc. Damn it all.



Cairo


Pandemonium reigned in the streets of Cairo as people fled from the figure of Apocalypse hovering in the sky. All but a few.

"Look, up in the sky!" Bobby said sourly.

"It's a bird," said Ray.

"It's a plane," said Roberto.

"No, it's a bloody great big blue mutant!" Pyro finished. "Can we get on with it?"

"Do NOT set fire to the city!" Erik scowled at him.

"Spoilsport," Pyro kicked a stone.

"This is not good," Storm looked around, "we need to calm people and evacuate the area." She looked at Wolverine and Erik. "My team can handle that."

"Go right ahead," Logan said, barely avoiding being trampled by several panicked storekeepers and a camel. "My team will collect Angel. Sam, you're up!"

"Cool!" Sam brightened.

"_Try_ not to get killed," Logan said wearily.

"Ah'll be fine! Ah'm invulnerable when Ah'm blasting, remember?"

Logan nodded and waved his team forward, "Alright people, try not to injure him too badly."

"So what do we do?" said Kurt, as Logan's team left.

"Well, there's always Apocalypse," Gambit pointed out.

"So, you would dare to oppose our Great Lord?" a new voice boomed from behind them.

Erik's team turned to see three figures standing before them.

The speaker was a tall, broad-shouldered man with chalk-white skin and red eyes. On his left was a blonde woman dressed entirely in white. And on his right was a young boy with haunted eyes.

"Let me guess, you're the Horsemen?" Pietro asked. "Or should that be Horsepeople?"

"This is not the time to be politically correct," Kurt said, eyeing the Horsemen warily. "These people mean business."

The blonde woman smiled and extended a hand. "Don't you feel the urge to fight?" She asked sweetly.

The group looked at each other. "Uhhh... no?" Kurt said.

"Well often I have the urge to strangle Pyro in his sleep," Gambit said cheerfully. "But chere, I'm a lover, not a fighter."

 Pietro and Kurt made gagging noises.

"Who writes _your_ dialogue?" Rogue demanded. "Because your pick-up lines need work!"

War's expression darkened and a look of intense concentration twisted her face.

"It won't work," said Erik. "Just give it up!"

"Oh, the mental blocks! Of course!" Colossus exclaimed.

Erik sighed. "I was trying to keep that a secret Colossus."

"Oh."

War glared at them. "There are other ways," she hissed. "My Lord Apocalypse has made my powers stronger than ever!"

Around them rocks, pots, and other objects shuddered and rose into the air.

"Oh great, telekinetic, wonderful," Pietro sighed. "Where's Jean when you need her?"

"ATTACK!" Pestilence roared, and charged.

**

"Bow to our Lord! Behold his glory!" Angel continued his slow progress across the city of Cairo, shouting out the word of Apocalypse. "Tremble before him! He is..."

"Shut up!" Sam yelled as he cannonballed into the other man. "I liked you better when you were just a playboy pretty boy!"

"How dare you strike His herald?" Angel twisted out of Sam's grip. He drew a sword from a hidden sheath on his back and struck at the young mutant.

Sam yipped as the sword impacted on his blast shield, and shattered. "Phew."

Angel flew back, a frown on his face.

"Now be a good boy Warren and just come down," Sam said, curving around to tackle him again.

"NEVER!" Warren dodged. "I will never abandon our Lord!"

"Oh well, Ah asked you nice," Sam shrugged as he went past. "Bobby! You're up!"

Down on the ground, Bobby grinned and sent a lasso of ice shooting towards Warren, entrapping the other mutant and started to pull him down.

"NO!" Warren struggled desperately.

"Unhand my Herald!"

"Uh-oh," Kitty gulped as Apocalypse appeared. "I don't think he's happy."

Logan growled. "Damn… Sam! Get your butt down here!" he ordered.

But Sam wasn't listening. Taking a deep breath, he cannoned into Apocalypse with all his power.

To no effect.

"Young fool!" unharmed, Apocalypse swatted Sam aside, sending the young mutant careening head-first into a building with a huge crash.

Logan swore. "Ray, Roberto… keep him busy," he ordered quickly. "But don't get too close. Jamie, Kitty…"

"We'll check on Sam!" Kitty said and ran off immediately with Jamie in tow.

Ray and Roberto did their best, attacking Apocalypse with everything they had, but to no avail. Apocalypse deflected their attacks with almost insulting ease, seemingly protected from their powers.

Bobby stumbled back. "I'm iced-out…" he gasped, looking at Wolverine. "What do we do? Nothing affects him!"

Logan snarled. "Why the f…" his eyes widened as a thought occurred to him. "Rogue… he absorbed all our powers from her…"

"Then… how do we defeat him?" Bobby looked around. Ray was still firing away desperately, Roberto was unconscious and Kitty had yet to return with Sam and Jamie.

"This is not how we planned it…" Wolverine growled. "Where's Storm? They should've evacuated the area by now… and Erik's team? Where the hell are they?"

//Logan,// Xavier's voice echoed in his mind. //Storm's team is on their way. Erik's team has encountered a slight problem…//

***

"Bloody hell!" Pyro set a jet of flame shooting towards War and watched in exasperation as she deflected it, setting another building on fire.

"What did I say about not setting the city on fire?" Erik roared.

"It's not MY fault!!" Pyro yelled. "Sh…!" he yelled as a vegetable cart hurtled towards him. Luckily Kurt grabbed him and they teleported out of the way.

Erik didn't respond, he was too busy maintaining a magnetic shield around his team, deflecting the barrage Pestilence was hurling at them. Also, his attention was on the young Famine who had already proved to be a dangerous adversary despite his appearance. Apparently the boy had the power to reduce organic matter to dust. Pietro had brushed against him and was now lacking one sleeve of his costume. Erik hadn't seen what this power would do to humans and didn't want to find out. To make matters worse, the minions had minions.

"Did this guy watch too many horror films as a child or something?" Rogue complained as a figure that could only be described as a zombie mummy lurched towards her. She threw an explosive at it. "I mean, ew."

"Tellmeaboutit," Pietro commented as he flashed past. "And my costume's ruined!"

"Too bad it wasn't your mouth," Rogue muttered, leaping away from another two zombies. "Little help here!"

Colossus rushed up and promptly reduced the zombies to small pieces.

Rogue looked at the remains. "Yuck."
 
//Rogue,// Xavier's voice sounded in her mind. //I can't contact Erik, is he wearing his helmet again?//

Rogue glanced at where Erik was battling Pestilence, along with Gambit.

//Yeah, but he kind of needs it right now. We're under attack from all three of the Horsemen. Aren't there supposed to be four of them… AH!//

//Rogue? ROGUE!//

Rogue screeched as Famine's hand came down on her arm, and her clothing began to crumble away. She wrenched away and grabbed his hand involuntarily. Her gloves dissolved and suddenly her bare skin met his.

They both screamed.

**

Scott ran around a corner at a speed that almost matched Pietro's. His heart was hammering in his chest, but he pressed on. Behind him were Evan, Todd, Amara and Rahne (in her wolf form), above flew Storm and Jean. They could see Apocalypse ahead, and the flashes of light indicating their friends attacks. Scott could see the flashes were getting weaker and weaker.

//Scott!// Xavier's voice in his mind startled him and he faltered slightly.

//Professor? We're on our way to help Logan…//

//Send someone to help Erik's team… they're pinned down by the Horsemen.//

Scott swore. "Evan! Rahne! You need to help Erik's team!" he yelled. "Professor X will give you directions!"

The two younger mutants nodded and peeled away from the main group, heading to the right. Scott continued his run and arrived just in time to see Ray collapse, completely spent.

Immediately Scott sent a full force eye-beam at Apocalypse.

"You are all fools," the blue mutant sneered. "You cannot defeat me. I am Apocalypse, I am invincible!"

"Forgive us if we still try," Storm sent a barrage of lightening at him.

"I'm so glad to see you guys!" Kitty emerged from a building. "What does it take to stop this guy?"

"Let me try," said Amara, powering up.

"Are you alright, Kitty?" Scott asked quickly.

"I'm fine," she said. "But Sam's out cold, I can't move him… Jamie's with him."

"Roberto's out too," Logan limped up, evidence of an ugly fight still present on his face. "Ray and Bobby are pretty much drained."

"This is not going according to the plan," Scott snarled. "We were supposed to grab Warren, take down the Horsemen, and _then_ attack Apocalypse all at once!"

"When does anything ever go according to plan?" Logan pointed out. "Welcome to the real world kid. Jean, see if you can get Warren. At least we can do something about him. Scott, Amara, back up Storm."

"What do you want me to do, yo?" Toad asked.

They all looked at him.

"Just... try not to get killed."

"I can do that."

**

Erik flinched as he heard Rogue scream. It nearly cost him his head as Pestilence swung a huge fist towards him. He threw the man back with a magnetic pulse and looked over his shoulder.

"Oh no..."

Rogue and Famine's hands were locked together. Both had expressions of extreme pain on their faces. To one side, Kurt was trying to tug Rogue loose, but they seemed trapped in some sort of power feedback.

"Of course," Erik murmured. "Touch. Both activated by touch..."

"WATCH OUT!" Pietro yelled. Running over, he grabbed Erik and threw them both clear as a huge boulder smashed onto the spot where Erik had been standing. "Gambit! Pyro! _Do_ something about that woman!"

Gambit sighed and caught War's eyes. "Why fight me, chere?" He smiled, exerting all his fascination power. "We could dance a better dance than this."

It was enough to make her hesitate, long enough for Colossus to slam into her, knocking her out.

"She's down!" The large mutant called, before wading back into the zombies. Gambit nodded and waited until his compatriot's attention was elsewhere before wandering over to the fallen woman and smacking her hard in the head twice with his staff.

"_Now_ she's down," he murmured. "Sorry chere, but you can't be too careful in this business."

"Good," Pyro said. "Now can we take the big guy down please?" He was slowly backing up in the face of Pestilence's attacks.

"On my way to help you mon ami!"

Kurt tried once more to pull Rogue free of her lethal grip on Famine. "Rogue! Rogue! You have to let go!" He called. *Please, please don't let her get stuck with these powers permanently,* he prayed.

"Needsomehelp?" Pietro ran over, Erik flying behind.

"I can't get her loose!" Kurt wailed.

"Break his fingers," said Erik flatly.

"I can't do that!" Kurt was shocked.

"Then I will," Erik reached out, creating a magnetic barrier around his gloved hand, and forcibly pried Famine loose. There was an ugly cracking sound as several fingers snapped in the process, but the deathgrip was broken.

The second the two mutants were separated, they both collapsed into unconsciousness.

"I got her!" Pietro grabbed Rogue as she fell, forgetting that his sleeve and glove had been dissolved earlier. Bare skin touched his.

"Oh shi... hey wait a sec." He paused. "She's not absorbing me!"

"Or dissolving you," Kurt said. "Don't drop her, you idiot!" He grabbed Rogue and slowly lowered her to the ground. "Their powers must have cancelled each other out." He checked her pulse. "She seems to be okay."

Erik let out a long breath. "I am tired of this game." Turning, he faced the only remaining Horseman, who was under siege from the Acolytes. "It is time to finish." He gathered all his power and raised his hands.

Metal emerged from every possible area, from the street, from the buildings, even from underground, forming two huge walls on either side of Pestilence. Narrowing his eyes, Erik slammed his hands together. The two walls met.

"Umm..." Kurt stared at the block of metal. "Wow. Remind me not to get you mad."

Erik did not respond to his comment as he gently took Rogue into his arms.

"Let us go and face Apocalypse."

Just as that point, Rahne and Evan arrived.

"We're here to back..." Evan faltered. "Oh."

"Go with Colossus," Erik ordered them. "Make sure the remaining Horsemen will not rise again."

"But not in the way that Pestilence won't rise again!" Kurt added hastily. "Just, you know, lock them up or something?"

"Why, what happened to Pestilence?" Evan asked.

Pietro and Kurt glanced at the large block of metal lying on the ground. "Well, let's just say that he's not going to be getting up any time soon," Pietro said slowly.

"Oh."

**

Storm continued to hammer Apocalypse with lightning bolt after lightning bolt. Behind her, face twisted into an ugly expression of hatred, Angel hurtled towards her, clearly intent on harm. However, before he could reach her, a powerful, invisible force encircled him, dragging him downwards.

"Got him!" Jean said through gritted teeth. "But he's fighting me."

Angel struggled, managing to stabilise his descent, and even starting to move upwards again. Sweat dripped down Jean's forehead as she fought to hold onto him without hurting him, but she could feel herself weakening against his determined efforts to escape. Suddenly a blast of power surged past her, and encased Angel's wings in ice. With a cry of rage the winged mutant tumbled to the ground, his fall cushioned only by Jean's telekinesis.

Bobby smiled weakly. "Got him," he said, slumping to his knees. "Sorry I can't freeze him totally though."

"Don't worry about it," Jean said. "With his wings trapped he's pretty much stuck."

"Until the ice melts," a harsh voice pointed out.

Jean and Bobby turned to see Erik and his team approaching, Rogue carried in Erik's arms.

"Thank God you're here," Jean said. "We really..."

"Gambit, make sure Angel stays down," Erik ordered, ignoring her. "Pyro, remember how I told you not to cut loose?"

"Yeah."

"I take it back. He's all yours."

"All riiightt!!!" Pyro exulted. He ran into a building, making his way up to the roof so that he could get a clear shot.

"Pietro, go with him and keep him out of trouble."

Pietro blurred off, muttering something about "impossible".

"Hey blue guy! Take some of this!" Pyro screeched from the roof, letting loose with a huge burst of fire.

"Um, excuse me," said Jean. "Who made you boss?"

Erik looked coldly at her. "Do you _want_ to defeat him, or not? We have no time to be nice. And in answer to your question, Xavier did. This is _my_ team." He lowered Rogue gently to the ground, and tenderly brushed her hair out of her face.

Jean and Bobby looked at the unconscious girl, glanced at each other and plastered helpful expressions on their faces. "What do you need us to do Erik?"

Behind Erik, Kurt gave them both a big thumbs up and mouthed, "Good plan."

"Kurt, go find the others, we need to enact the plan now."

"I'm on my way!" Kurt saluted and disappeared.

"Rahne, see if you can find any of our fallen."

The wolf growled and ran off. Erik looked over at Bobby. "Iceman, is your power completely drained?"

Bobby smiled weakly. "I can go on a bit longer. If you let me rest a few minutes I should be fine."

"Good," Erik nodded. He looked up into the sky where Apocalypse still battled the others. "We need to bring him down to the ground."

**

"Scott!" Kurt teleported near to his friend. "Erik's rallying the others, can you keep him busy for another couple of minutes?"

"Barely," Scott replied. "Tell him to hurry."

"I don't have to tell him, believe me," Kurt replied. "Just be ready."

He ported away.

**

"ERIK!" A chorus of voices sounded out.

Erik turned to see a small army of Jamies running towards him, being led by a wolf.

"We're so glad you're okay! You're not injured are you? What's going on?" Jamies pelted him with question. He raised a hand and they quietened. "You need to move back out of range."

"Okay, but we brought Cannonball back!" One of them piped up, and seven or so Jamies moved forward, carrying Cannonball, who was awake and looking rather miffed.

"Ah'm not a show and tell toy, put me down!"

"Can you fight?" Erik demanded.

"Just point me in the right direction," Sam responded.

Kurt appeared next to him. "Wolverine's bringing the others. Scott, Amara, and Storm are keeping him busy, but they don't have much time left."

"What's the plan bub?" Wolverine ran over to Erik.

"We bring him down," Erik said grimly. "Jamie, I need you to look after Rogue and Roberto."

"YES SIR!" Yelled all the Jamies.

Erik activated a comm link. "Charles, are you ready?"

"Give the word Erik."

Erik looked around at his assembled forces. "NOW!"

**

"Fools! You know that you have no chance!" Apocalypse swatted away yet another one of Pyro's fire blasts. "Bow down before me and I may yet allow you to live, serving me. I…"

His words were cut off by a roar and an explosion as a missile impacted on his back. For a brief moment, he wavered, clearly stunned.

"Sam! Go!" Jean yelled through her comm link from her seat in the X-Jet. She looked at Xavier. "Another missile?"

He nodded grimly. "Sam will be alright."

Apocalypse soon found himself under attack from a combination of telekenesis, missiles and Cannonball. Roaring with rage, he fought them off, but they attacked again and again, joined by Storm's lightning bolts, Scott's eye-blasts and Pyro's fire. Slowly they forced him lower.

"Insignificant insects!"

Flinging his arms wide, Apocalypse unleashed a burst of pure energy that flattened everything in its path and sent the X-jet spinning away.

"Get down!" roared Erik.

Everybody flung themselves to the ground as the wave roared over them. High above, Pietro grabbed Pyro and sprinted out of the building as it collapsed into rubble. Invulnerable within his blast field, Cannonball could not stop himself from being forced back, but managed to grab Storm and get to safety.

"You will pay for your defiance!" Apocalypse stood at ground zero, glaring at Erik and the others as they got to their feet.

"Maybe, but we're going to make you work for it," Gambit replied with a smirk.

"And who among you is going to stop me?" Apocalypse sneered.

A huge metal figure crashed into him, knocking him down.

Colossus loomed over him. "I am Colossus," he introduced himself.

"And I'm Wolverine."

Apocalypse barely avoided the flashing claws. Logan grinned at him.

"Does that answer your question, bub?"

"Insects! Begone!" Apocalypse sent Wolverine and Colossus tumbling back.

"Together people, we attack _together_," Erik reminded them all.

"When?"

"Now."

**

Rogue slowly stirred and opened her eyes. "Ow..."

"Are you okay?" Two Jamies peered at her worriedly.

"I don't know, Ah'm seeing double."

"Oh, that's just us," the Jamies nodded.

"Right." Rogue sat up, rubbing her head. "What's going... oh." Her eyes widened as she stared at the pitched battle taking place several blocks away. "What happened to the city? Where are we?"

"Apocalypse, and on top of a building just outside of the damaged area," Jamie replied.

"We carried you up here!" Another one said proudly.

"Roberto too," another piped up.

"Not Toad though, he just came with us," the first one added.

"Aw man, our guys are getting creamed," Toad moaned.

"What are you doing here?"

"Well, they told me not to get killed, so here I am, not getting killed."

Rogue sighed. "Typical." She got slowly to her feet. "Well, Ah guess they need mah help." She looked at the unconscious Roberto. "Ah'm sorry about this, but Ah need it more than you do." She laid her hands on his face. "Just a touch more… there."

She lifted her arms to the sun and smiled as power flowed through her, washing over her as a black fire. "Stay safe up here, Ah'll be..."

"Ummm, hey Rogue?"

"Yeah, what?"

Toad fidgeted and held out a hand. "Take my powers too."

Rogue stared at him. "What for?"

Toad shrugged. "I dunno, maybe it will come in handy. I'm pretty agile you know."

Rogue's face softened. "Thanks Toad."

"Do I get a kiss with that?" He asked hopefully.

"Ah'm not _that_ grateful. Besides Erik would kill you," she grinned

"Oh yeah, don't kiss me then."

Rogue examined his crestfallen expression and sighed. She bent down and quickly kissed him on the cheek.

Toad convulsed and collapsed, smiling slightly.

"Do you want mine too?" Jamie offered.

"No thanks, we need someone to look after these two, and you're it," Rogue smiled gently at him. "Be careful!"

"You too!"

**

Apocalypse tossed Quicksilver aside and laughed. "You cannot win, give up now."

A black figure barrelled into him, sending him skidding backwards. He swiped at it, and it leapt over him and viciously kicked him from behind.

"Hi sugar!" Rogue grinned. "We're not the giving up types. We're more the kicking your butt types." She dodged another power blast. "In fact, I'm the taking your power and kicking your butt type." She grabbed his arm.

Nothing happened.

"Oh shoot."

"Rogue, get back!" Scott called out. "Your power can't affect him."

"Well duh! Kind of noticed that!"

Apocalypse stared at her. "You are the one who woke me."

"Yeah, don't remind me," Rogue groaned, leaping backwards. "I'm guilt-tripping about that enough already."

"You are the one I have searched for," Apocalypse smiled triumphantly. "At last! My final Horseman! Death, arise! You shall be mine!"

"Excuse me?" Rogue exclaimed.

"EXCUSE ME?!" Erik yelled from the sidelines. "Get away from her!" He sent a pulse of magnetic energy towards Apocalypse, who brushed it aside.

"You are mine! You are Death." Apocalypse advanced on Rogue, shrugging off all the others attempts to stop him. Rogue snarled and punched him with all of Roberto's power, but didn't leave a mark. She pulled her hand back for another punch, and felt the last of her borrowed power drain away.

"Shit."

She backed away. "Um... I don't want to be Death, thank you very much. I may dress like a Goth, but it's really not my thing."

"It is your destiny."

"Well thank you Darth Apocalypse, but mah Destiny is actually somewhere else, and Ah think she'd object to me being Death."

"You spurn your rightful calling?"

"Um, yes."

"Then die."

Apocalypse gestured and Rogue suddenly found herself flying backwards, smashing her into the remains of a wall. The wall collapsed on her impact, covering her with fragments of mud brick, canvas and wood.

"Such is the fate of all those who defy the will of Apocalypse!"

"NO! ROGUE!" Kurt screamed, teleporting over the pile of debris covering his sister. "Rogue! Speak to me! Rogue!"

"Oh my God," Kitty breathed.

"I can't hear her," Jean said to Scott.

"Dead?" Scott asked in a stunned voice.

Gambit and Colossus both turned to look at Erik.

Visible magnetic energy crackled all over his body. His eyes glowed blue, and his face looked like it had been carved from marble. He did not need to articulate his feelings of rage and loss, the air vibrated with the emotions.

"Apocalypse," he said quietly. "You're going to die now." He walked towards Apocalypse, the others moving out of his path as he advanced.

//Erik, don't! It's suicide!// Xavier yelled mentally. He tried to reach inside his friends mind to calm him down, but the rage was so intense that he could not reach him.

Apocalypse sneered in the face of Magneto's anger. "This is why I will always triumph over insects like you. You allow your feelings to rule you, and that makes you weak."

"Shut... the hell... up," Magneto said pleasantly, before he struck out with his fist, magnetic power surging from it. The punch sent Apocalypse tumbling to the ground.

Apocalypse stared up at the man who had just knocked him down, and Magneto smiled coldly.

"Impossible, how can you hurt me? I should have the ability to match your power!"

"Newsflash, Rogue didn't manage to get _my_ power," Magneto raised his hands and made a ripping gesture and Apocalypse screamed as he was torn in half.

"EW!!!" Kitty screamed.

"GO ERIK!" Kurt howled, from where he was digging Rogue out. "Kill that bastard!"

Magneto stood over Apocalypses body. "You weren't _that_ tough," he said scornfully.

Mocking laughter filled the air as Apocalypse's body reformed and the blue mutant once again stood whole. "Did you really think it would be that easy? I am Apocalypse! I am the strongest."

"We'll see," Magneto replied, lashing out with another burst of power. "If I have to turn the world off its axis and destroy the magnetic poles to get rid of you, then I will."

"I don't think he's following the plan anymore," Bobby said.

"I've got her!" Kurt yelled. Ray and Sam joined him, pulling Rogue out of the debris.

"She's alive!" Ray breathed, seeing Rogue's chest rise and fall with slow, shallow breaths.

"Don't tell Erik yet," Kurt said fiercely, holding his sister to him protectively, his eyes fixed on the continuing battle between Magneto and Apocalypse. "I want him to take that son of a bitch down!"

No one else could get close to the combatants now. The air around them crackled with deadly energy and in the centre Magneto threw everything he had at Apocalypse and more. The ancient mutant fought back, but it was clear that Magneto's attacks were causing him a great deal of pain and forcing him to retreat. With a howl of rage, Apocalypse sent a concentrated burst of energy at Magneto, enough to punch a hole through a man's body. Only Magneto's shields saved him, but he was sent hurtling back several metres, smashing into Colossus.

"Attack!" Scott yelled, ripping off his visor and cutting loose. Around him the others poured their energy and power into one last effort, forcing the weakened Apocalypse back.

"This is not the end!" Apocalypse cried and fled into the sky, still barraged by attacks, and vanished into his ship. The vessel glowed and then was gone.

"We did it…" breathed Jean.

//Professor? Have you…?//

//Yes, Scott. Hank is prepared.//

"All right, people!" Scott turned to his weary comrades. "It's not over yet."

"No," Erik got to his feet. "Now we have to finish it," he gestured and his helmet flew into his hands. "For Rogue's sake, I will not let him succeed."

"That's lovely, sugar…"

"Rogue, I…" his eyes widened and he turned to see Rogue being supported by Sam and Ray. She smiled weakly. "Guess what, Ah'm alive."

Without a word, Erik strode over and took her in his arms, heedless of the onlookers. "I thought I'd lost you…" he murmured into her hair.

"Not that easy," she said, laying her head on his chest. "Now… let's finish this."



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