Disclaimers: All characters belong to Marvel. No profit is being made. Props to my betareaders for everything they had to endure. Feedback and flames are welcome.
"Good evening, my fair lady. Do you mind if I sit down? Ohhh ... I think I pulled something in that last Danger Room session.
So - here it is. The finest bottle of Dom Perignon I could lay my hands on. Just as we agreed.
Perchance, might you remember that rather foolish bet we made? I knew you would.
Well ... you win. Congratulations are in order I suppose. You win. You got it first, just like you said you would.
You know, I have this strangest feeling - as if I have been running for the proverbial end zone for ages, but when I get there I suddenly find that I no longer possess the ball. Odd, wouldn't you say?
Have you heard about Senator Kelly? The latest unofficial news have it that the distinguished Senator was first brainwashed by the mutants and then killed by their agents. Preposterous ... and yet surprisingly how many people believe it. How many want to believe it. But we won't let them. We will not. We MUST not.
I know you must have had a considerable amount of visitors lately. Hah ... I would wager you never knew so many cared. Practically the whole X-Clan is here. Except for the X-Force kids. From what I have been able to ascertain they are somewhat - what is that popular vernacular that Robert is so fond of? - pissed at us. I am not sure whether anyone has told you yet ... I am sorry, Moira, but Peter Wisdom has passed away. I'm sorry...
Rahne is doing better. Much better, the depth of her feelings for you considered. I believe she no longer cries herself to sleep... not every night at any rate. In fact I think that the call to X-Force did some good. On both sides. I would not be surprised if Sam decides to come after all.
You probably think me mad, sitting here talking to you, as if you were still alive. Not the case, I am afraid. I am not insane ... just very, very inebriated. Hah ... Surprised you, didn't I? Let me tell you, it wasn't an easy feat - my mass is somewhat detrimental to easy intoxication by the method of alcohol consumption. In fact I think it set back my funds considerably. But - I persevered.
I'm still working on the data you bequeathed to Charles before your passing. Dr. Reyes is assisting me. I am confident that in a matter of weeks I shall be successful in developing a universal vaccine for all the strains of the Legacy. But today ... today I just couldn't stay indoors. Have you ever listened to the Prokofiev's 5th? Do you remember that "pregnant pause" before the music would reach its crescendo? That's the feeling around here now. I don't know why, but ... I feel as if the Change is coming.
Kitty is still missing. Jean has been spending hours with the Cerebro but so far - no luck. I believe that she latched on to this quest as the last shard of hope. If Kitty is alive after all ... why not Scotty? Heavens, I miss him ... It seems that every day brings nothing but news of fallen comrades. Perhaps we are getting old...
I don't think Nathan will remain with us for much longer. In fact I think that he has stayed till now is a testament to the power of his will. He's restless. He and Logan, both. So alike in some ways those two... It is becoming something of a familiar ritual to have two pots of coffee ready and waiting for them, long after everyone else has gone to sleep. They prowl through the mansion grounds like caged predators.
Logan has been frank in his self-diagnosis. I believe he's correct. He IS overdue for one of his "walkabouts." He always dealt with pain better alone. One on one...
Nathan is a different case. He's never subscribed to Charles' Dream. Vocally opposed it on numerous occasions, in fact. The ... passing of Scott is not enough to reverse a deep-seated philosophical doctrine that Nathan holds about mutants-human relations. I think ... he will stay for a little while longer. He needs to deal with the remnants of pain, with the doubts he has about his place in the world... but eventually he shall leave. He's much too much of his own man. Once he realizes that he cannot honor Scotty by trying to become him - he'll go. I hope Jean sees that.
I think Remy does. Our ragin' Cajun is surprising many people. Himself not the least, I believe. They nod grudgingly and remark how remarkably quickly he matured when thrust into the leadership role. Well ... I think you know my views on that. Or was that Charles who spoke to me on the topic? Hmm... Be as it may, Remy is doing well. As I said, I believe he always had the potential. Pity he never recognized that, for all of his outward self-assuredness. He's driving himself into the ground ... Trying to fill Scott's shoes much in the same way Nathan is. To put it succinctly ... Remy has got to get himself a life. Oh, yes. Our resident charmer is steadily turning into a monk. He is still maintaining the appearance but ... I chanced upon him the Sunday last, at the wee hours of the morning, sleeping in the War Room with the dossier on Shaw as his pillow. Too typical of his working habits lately. He doesn't trust our newest resident, I am afraid.
Tessa Niles. Late of the Hellfire Club. A charming young lady, who is proving very useful in many respects, but in others ... Well, let us just say that she reminds me increasingly of the redoubtable Ms Frost. Which is not a bad thing per se, but...
Ah, I mentioned Emma ... Which brings us to another mutual acquaintance, doesn't it? I suppose it was inevitable. Has he come to see you yet? If not, he will. Sean is ... well, Sean is Sean. It is beginning to sound sadly repetitive but perhaps he too is buckling under the strain. In some ways the news of Everett was the worst of all for every one of us. It has been a long time since the Dream claimed a child ... Piotr took it very hard. Sean ... Well, he can tell you himself.
It's so quiet here. Hah. It is rather disturbing, but one of my fondest recent memories is that of a rather spectacular confrontation between Remy and our ever-mysterious Southern Belle. Truthfully, I could not say with any amount of certainty whether they are currently in their 'on' or 'off' phase. The tactical situation of that particular corner of our universe changes far too drastically, far too frequently for my modest intellectual abilities to keep track of.
Their ... umm, confrontations have not lost the umm ... legendary zest. I think Remy's tactics are working a little too well on Rogue, of all people. I am not sure whether he really did finally had enough and decided to have a little vacation or if it was just the judiciously applied alcohol on the shirt but ... It was memorable. Lifted the spirits of the mansion considerably. I do believe Charles will have to call a mason about the western wall again, however. That girl still doesn't know her own strength.
I'm afraid I am in a disadvantaged position to judge her leadership skills, since I have not had much opportunity to observe it in person, as of yet. Of course that hardly precludes a little second-hand speculation, does it now? Oh, really, Moira ... Everybody is entitled to a little character flaw. I like to keep abreast of things ... Or as Robert, rather unkindly in my opinion, once called it - gossiping. Gossiping, indeed! How rude. Hmpph!
But getting back to our beautiful flower of the South. Steel magnolia perhaps ... For a startlingly capable tactician, I'm afraid Rogue has a rather appallingly atrocious cinematographic taste. I wonder if that too is a carryover from her foster-mother ... Ms. Darkholme is still in a hospital. Steadily getting better. Rogue has been ... reserved in her comments on the situation. In fact ... why, that tricky devil! I do believe that Remy provoked her on purpose. Hmm ... I must admit it worked like a charm, even if Rogue's unresolved emotions when given an outlet did almost landed my esteemed Cajun leader in the room adjunct to Mystique's.
Robert is still missing. I decided to take the liberty to call his parents but they also only had a brief visit from him, several weeks ago. His email messages, which he sends with the usual regularity, or rather lack thereof, seem to indicate that he's in a rarely good form these days. I notified him of the present happenings ... No doubt we shall be seeing him shortly.
Hmm ... Upon reflection it seems that my comment in regards to "all of X-Clan" being here was a trifle misleading. So many people absent. So many missing friends ...
We have not heard from Warren for a long time now. I simply do not seem able to reach him. The headquarters of his corporation are either as much in the dark as I am or are being extremely uncooperative. I hope he is well.
Heavens, but it is easy to breathe here. Not like the mansion ... Did I mention that already? My apologies. It is as if we are drifting ... So much has happened lately. Crisis after crisis, after crisis ... no time to pause and take a breather. It is as if we have lost our center ... Tempting as it is to venerate Scott by saying that it was his death that shook us so ... I don't believe that to be the case. It was a heavy blow ... but we started drifting long before.
We deal with such gigantic problems so often that it deadened us. Every casualty just numbs us farther. Ever since ... Antarctica, I suppose. We are still a family, the feeling of closeness is still there but ... more and more it is mingled all too well with that of an outnumbered army ... And I am afraid. Afraid that this siege mentality will come true.
I hope that my instincts prove true. I sincerely hope that the Change is coming. I pray it is. Amusing ... me, a man of science, praying. I haven't done it in close to twenty years, you know. Hmm ... Methinks that our mutual hirsute, swashbuckling associate is rubbing off on me. Although I must say that the patience of several of our friends are being worn rather thin by Kurt's formidable composure. But he too is hurting even if he does not show it. For all that the tenants of his faith maintain that it's all a part of a Plan, it has been a little much for him lately. Scott, Kitty, you, Pete ... He was closer to you and them, much more so than many of us. But you know Kurt. His accent gets stronger, the scenarios in Danger Room get a little more piratical and he goes on. Remarkable man, in many ways. I wonder if it is really the faith that makes him so or vice versa ... We talk more often of late. He too confesses of having some forebodings about our future. The feeling of a coming Change.
May it come soon.
Slowly but surely we are falling apart, rotting from inside out while appearing the picture of strength on the surface ... And I am afraid. I am afraid and I am drunk. I am drunk ... and I wish Bobby, Warren and Scott were here."