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


Chapter Twelve: The Showdown

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



Wanda paced angrily at the opening of the cave.

"I hate waiting," she said, stomping backwards and forwards.

Wanda paced back and forth on the ledge in front of Apocalypse’s tomb, apparently heedless of the cold, her eyes on the sky. Where are they? Where are they? She thought over and over again. What’s taking so long? Did they succeed or... Wanda shook her head. She didn’t want to think about the negative possibilities even though she felt the plan that had been hastily cooked up was full of holes and based on a lot of probabilities. Even though Destiny had predicted that, if weakened, Apocalypse would return to his place of awakening to rejuvenate himself, she didn’t fully trust the old woman’s prophecies.

“Wanda, come inside,” Lance called from the cave that served as the threshold to the tomb. “It’s freezing out there!”

“I’m fine,” Wanda snarled for the sixth time and continued to pace. “How’re they doing in there?”

There was a brief pause and a scuffling sound and then Lance popped his head outside again. “Forge says the chamber is nearly complete so we’re almost ready.”

“Almost,” Wanda muttered hollowly. She’d only met the young mutant inventor named Forge for the first time on this mission and was not as optimistic as the others that he (and Beast) could restore Apocalypse’s chamber so that it could once again hold the ancient mutant.

Lance shifted uncomfortably. “Well, I mean, it looks like things are going to plan. We haven’t heard from the others yet, but that’s good, right? So you should just relax. I’m sure they’re all fine.”

Wanda rolled her eyes as his rather pathetic leadership speech, but then smiled at him briefly. “Thanks,” she said. “Nice try.”

“Well... hey! Look I’m trying to be... oh shit.”

“What?”

Lance pointed at the glowing vessel which was now hovering above them.

“Oh.” Wanda said. “Shit.”

“HE’S HEEEEREEE!” Lance yelled, and dragged Wanda back into the cave.

“Let me go you idiot! We’re supposed to hold him off!” Wanda yelled.

“And let’s NOT do that on a ledge on a mountain-top!”

“I’m NOT going to let him set FOOT inside!” She wrenched away and stalked out to meet Apocalypse.

“Oh crap...” Lance followed her.

Wanda stood below the vessel, her arms folded and expression defiant. A door opened and Apocalypse floated out. He stared at the red-clad mutant before him.

"Hi there," Wanda smiled at him. "I just wanted to tell you, if you thought my father and Rogue were bad, you ain't seen NOTHING yet!"

**

“Can’t this thing fly any faster?”

“No.”

“I could get out and push.”

“Good idea.”

“Hey!”

“Shut up,” Erik said, holding Rogue tightly. “We’re going as fast as we can. Right Charles? We are going as fast as we can?”

“Yes Erik.”

Pietro sighed. “I still could go faster,” he muttered under his breath.

“What’s our ETA?” Scott asked.

“30 minutes if the engines don’t give out on us,” Storm replied.

“Well there’s a comforting thought,” Gambit sighed. “Anyone for a quick round of poker?”

“NO!”

**

Apocalypse deflected another hexbolt. “Your efforts are futile.”

“Yeah, yeah, we will be assimilated,” Lance said. “My God, do you all you supervillains get your dialogue from the same damn place?”

“Shut up and hit him,” Wanda snapped, firing again.

“Well,” said Lance, “the problem there is... he’s in the air.”

“Fine, I’ll get him down then,” Wanda snarled, and crooked her fingers towards her.

Apocalypse’s eyes widened as he was suddenly dragged downwards. “But... that is impossible!”

“Exactly,” Wanda smirked. “Hit it Lance!”

“Let’s rock!” Lance brought his foot down as hard as he could, and the mountain shook.

“You DO realise that we are on the edge of tectonic plate, don’t you?” Forge had just emerged from behind them, and was clinging to the ground with both hands. “The land here is VERY susceptible to...”

Tonnes of snow, dislodged by the quake, thundered down in a massive avalanche, striking Apocalypse directly and pushing him down the mountain before he could counter it.

“Alright!” Lance yelled. “I got him!”

“Now let’s make sure he stays down!” Wanda yelled. And several mountains suddenly lost their peaks.

Behind them, Blob stared out and then went back into the cave.

“Um...” said Forge. “We’re ready, by the way.”

“Well, looks like there’s no point,” Wanda said merrily. “He’s dead!”

Everyone peered over the edge at the mass of rocks and snow.

“Hmm...” said Forge. “You might be right.”

The debris stirred.

“Or not.”

“What does it take to KILL this guy?”

“Weren’t you listening you idiot?” Jubilee demanded from the entrance of the cave. “He’s basically unkillable.”

Tabitha emerged and nodded. “Yeah, we may have stopped him for now, but I think it’s only gonna be temporary.”

“Well that sucks,” said Blob.

“Hey, the more we stall him, the more time we give the others to get here,” Lance pointed out. “So... start stalling! Wanda! More mountains please!”

Wanda sighed. “Isn’t is somebody else’s turn? I’m tired.”

“I believe that’s our cue,” Tabitha said, stepping forward and holding out a handful of timebombs. “Jubilee?”

“Right on!”

**

“Got any twos?”

“This is not the time to be playing ‘Go Fish’ gentlemen,” Erik said sternly. Jamie, Evan and Gambit looked at him innocently.

Gambit smirked, “It’s just a technique to relax before the big battle! It’s... mental preparation.”

“Put the cards away Gambit.”

“We are now approaching our destination,” Bobby sang out. “Please make sure that your seats are upright and your tray tables are folded away. Thank you for flying mutant air.”

“Where’s Apocalypse? Do you think we got here before him?” Rahne said, staring out the window.

“Uh... wasn’t that a valley before?” Kitty asked, pointing out a flat expanse of snow and rubble.

“Never mind that, everybody out,” Scott ordered. “And be quick about it. We don’t want the Blackbird to get hit if something pops out of that mess. We don’t have any other way to get home.”

Five minutes later all those who were uninjured and still capable of battle, had joined Wanda and the others in the cave.

“Where’s Apocalypse?” Erik demanded. "How did the battle go? Did all go well?"

"Let me put it this way," Beast replied. "Thanks to Lance and Wanda, well mainly Wanda, it is possible that the Himalayas are no longer the tallest mountain range in the world."

Erik cringed slightly.

"Dat girl has one mean temper," Gambit said, whistling. Erik shot him a frosty look. "Even THINK of hitting on her Gambit and you will find yourself regretting it."

“He’s down, but not out,” Wanda said, ignoring the others, and panting slightly. “We’re all getting low on power though. I hope you guys have some reserves left.”

“All we have to do is lure him in,” Scott said. “We’re aiming for containment, remember?”

“There’s not much else we CAN do, idiot,” Pietro sneered. “If my father couldn’t take him out, no one else can.”

“I’m not sure whether to feel happy about that or smack him around the ear,” Erik muttered.

“Do both,” Rogue advised. “Then we’ll all be happy.”

The mountain shook.

“It wasn’t me!” Lance said.

The rubble blasted apart and Apocalypse emerged, unscathed and furious.

“How DARE you defy the might of Apocalypse?”

“Here we go again...” Bobby sighed.

“ATTACK!”

“Come on!” Kitty grabbed Rogue’s hand and dragged her away.

“Wait!”

“Rogue! Remember you’re the key to this whole thing!” Kitty pulled her along. “Hurry. You have to be in the inner chamber!”

“Erik!” Rogue yelled.

“Go!” He shouted nobly. “I’ll be alright!”

The battle began again, even more intensely. Blasts of power criss-crossed through the chamber. Again Apocalypse was able to deflect or absorb their blasts, and started to launch attacks of his own, specifically at Erik, the one person who had hurt him significantly.

“Try and draw some of his attacks away!” Scott shouted, ripping off his visor and blasting Apocalypse with his full power.

Erik made no comments as all of his power was focused into deflecting Apocalypses attacks. Finally Apocalypse, tiring of this game, sent out a massive pulse blast that knocked everybody aside, and retreated back past the main door and into the large inner chamber.

“Here he comes,” whispered Kitty.

“Yay,” muttered Rogue unenthusiastically. “Ah thought he’d be weaker by now. How the hell am Ah supposed to stop him if he starts blasting at me?”

Kitty sighed and held her bare hand. “Good luck.”

“Kitty, Ah...”

“You have to Rogue, you’re the only one. Hurry, we don’t have any time left.”

Rogue nodded, “Thanks.”

“Don’t forget me sis, you’re gonna need my power too.” Kurt leaned over and kissed her on the cheek.

“Danke,” Rogue whispered as he collapsed, Kitty a heartbeat behind him. Clenching her fists, Rogue squared her shoulders and looked up at Apocalypse, who was advancing fast on her. “Right.”

Apocalypse glanced at her with disinterest, before recognising her. “Have you come to accept my offer, Death?”

“The name is Rogue!” She snarled at him, and charged, teleporting at the last minute to avoid being hit by one of his pulse blasts. Reappearing behind him, she reached out with her bare hands and grabbed for his shoulders. Apocalypse lashed out with his arm, and Rogue managed to phase long enough for the blow to go through her without affect. Already she could feel his power beginning to flow into her, and she grimaced as his thoughts invaded her mind.

*One way or another,* she thought, *Ah’m taking you out!*

Apocalypse roared with rage, struggling to free himself from her grip, but the battles he’d already fought had taken their toll and now he was unable to resist her power drain.

Rogue began to scream as the memories and thoughts and the overload of power began to overtake her reason.

NOW! Xavier cried mentally, spurring the others to action. Rock warped around Apocalypse and Rogue, imprisoning the first and jolting the second free. Pietro sped forward, catching Rogue as she fell and spiriting her to safety, as he had already for Kitty and Kurt. Erik stepped up, gathering everything he had for the last attack. Drawing all the metal out of the rocks, he enclosed Apocalypse in a metal cocoon, and sent it hurtling into the sarcophagus, where Forget and Beast, who had snuck in during the battle, were waiting to lock it.

“No!” Apocalypse shouted as he realised what they had done. “I won’t be imprisoned again!”

But his cries were too late, as Forge and Beast snapped the lid shut, and Agatha and Wanda cast their spells to seal it.

“Everybody out!” Logan yelled. “We need to close those doors!”

The mutants scrambled for safety as Rogue was led to Mystique’s statue by Erik and Logan.

“Sorry to ask you to do this kid,” Logan said. “But Agatha says you’re the only one who can.”

“Huh?” Rogue said vaguely, still reeling from the masses of thoughts and memories she’d taken in just one day.

“To release Mystique, you have to touch her,” Logan said. “Just a small touch. That’s all you need to break the spell.”

“No,” Rogue said flatly. “Why should Ah? She deserves this.”

“We can’t seal Apocalypse without releasing Mystique,” Erik said quietly. “I promise, she will pay for what she did.”

“Not good enough.”

Erik sighed, “Look at it this way. If you release her, she’ll owe you a debt, and she’ll HATE that.”

“You can kick her butt later,” Logan added. “Let’s deal with Apocalypse first.”

For a moment, it looked as though Rogue would refuse, but finally she reached forward one more time, and gently touched Mystique’s arm. The statue shuddered and the stone melted away, leaving Mystique screaming. She stopped abruptly and then looked around, removing her hand from the lock.

“What?”

“No time!” Pietro dragged her away, and they all bolted through the doors just before they slammed shut.

“Lock it!” Logan shouted. “LOCK IT!”

Agatha Harkness stepped forward with the modified key and performed the final spell to seal Apocalypse forever.

Silence fell, as they all watched the door anxiously. Nothing moved.

“Is it over?” Kitty asked blearily.

“I think... it might be...” Jean said.

Agatha nodded. “Destiny agrees.”

“How do they know that?” Bobby whispered to Scott.

“I don’t know. Let’s not even ask.”

“So it’s over...” Kurt tried the words out. “Hey... it’s OVER!!!” He spotted Mystique, who was still looking confused. “MOTHER!”

Everyone let out a long sigh of relief, and slumped to the ground.

“I want a hot bath,” Jean moaned.

“And a week’s worth of sleep,” Bobby added.

“And chocolate ice cream,” Kitty said.

“We still have to block up the entrance and dispose of the key,” Scott reminded them.

Those with enough energy threw things at him. One of them exploded.

Erik cradled Rogue to his chest, “You did it,” he murmured. “We’re safe.”

“WE did it,” Rogue corrected. “See, you’re not such a villain after all.”

“Aww... group hug!” Bobby yelled. Erik and Rogue nailed him with twin glares of Death. “Shut up Bobby.”

“So, what do we do with Apocalypse’s ship?” Pyro asked, as they made their way outside.

“Huh,” Scott stared at it. “I suppose we can’t really leave it here.”

“Indeed we cannot,” Xavier said as he and Storm came into view, Storm carefully controlling the winds to ensure that his wheelchair did not fall.

“Such a powerful device cannot be left here unattended. It would be better to destroy it, rather than permit it to fall into the wrong hands.”

“Why are you looking at me Charles?” Erik bristled. “Surely I have proven myself to you by now.”

“I meant no offence Erik, but someone must ensure the vessel’s destruction, and I believe you are the best suited to that.”

“Well okay, go ahead and blow it up and let’s go home,” Rogue said wearily.

Behind her, the others were collapsing the cave entrance, and her words were almost drowned out by the sound.

Xavier and Eric exchanged glances. “I believe that Charles is about to tell us that it won’t be that easy.” Erik said slowly. “Such a device has survived for so long, and been through so much, we do not know what trying to simply blow it up will do.”

“So... what will you do then?” Rogue asked.

Erik sighed. “I’m going to have to take it far away, aren’t I Charles?”

“It doesn’t have to be you,” Xavier said suddenly. “I could do it.”

“Don’t be an idiot Charles,” Erik snapped. “You could take it, but you would never be able to get back. Only I can do both. It has to be me. Besides, if you went, who would look after your precious X-Men? ME? I don’t think so.”

“No...” Rogue murmured. “You’re going? When will you be back? How far will you have to take it?”

Erik sighed. “We’re going to have to err on the safe side Rogue. I’m going to be gone for a while.” He glanced at Xavier. “Can we have a minute please?”

“Of course,” Xavier started to herd the other mutants away. Wanda and Pietro hung back.

“Father?” Pietro questioned nervously. “I... I...” He stared at his feet.

“It’s alright Pietro, I understand,” Erik said solemnly. He looked at Wanda. “I’m sorry I’m leaving you again.”

“I’ll yell at you about it later,” Wanda said. “You’ll be back. You’re ALWAYS back.” She grabbed her brother’s arm. “Come on, idiot.” The twins walked off together, not looking back once.

Erik turned back to Rogue. “I’m sorry,” he repeated. “But...”

“You have to, Ah know. You have to save the world, because even thought you’re a villain you want to help mutant-kind... blah blah blah...”

“You’re angry with me.”

“Of course Ah am! But that doesn’t mean Ah don’t understand!” Rogue dashed tears away from her eyes. “Just come back, that’s all Ah’m saying.”

“I will. I promise, I will. Here, I want you to have this," Erik handed Rogue a ring.

"Erik," she gasped. "It's beautiful!" She slipped it on and admired it, before frowning slightly. "Isn't this one of the rings that was the key to Apocalypse's tomb?"

Erik blushed. "I found it there."

Rogue shot him a look. "You know, this is stolen."

"Is it?" Erik blinked innocently. Or tried to anyway.

"First you give me a stolen key ring, now a stolen ring. Ah sense a disturbing trend here." Rogue gave him an arch look. "Ah thought you were supposed to be rehabilitated?"

"One step at a time," Erik smiled. "Besides, I didn't steal them."

Rogue frowned at him.

"Oh very well." Erik sighed. "I promise that the next gift I give you will be purchased honestly."

"From money not gained by nefarious evil schemes."

"Don't push your luck."

Erik smiled and kissed her. “Take care of yourself Rogue. I love you.”

She stared at him and he released her, before flying up to the vessel. Moments later, it glowed and vanished, leaving Rogue alone.



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