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15 May 2010 @ 02:56 pm
Highlander/Xmen Crossover 5/5  
Immortal X, remember that one? No? Don't blame you, it's been a while! If you need to refresh your memory you can find the series collected here.

Big thanks to strangevisitor7 for the beta.
Anyone you recognise isn't mine, I'm just playing in someone else's yard for a bit.

Lessons Part 5

The flight back to Westchester was taken in silence and, in Richie's opinion, seemed to take far longer than the flight out. Most of the others were asleep except for Storm, who was the designated pilot, and Richie, whose thoughts were too jumbled to let him rest. But Richie felt that Scott was awake; could feel his eyes staring accusingly behind his visor.

Richie wondered how he was going to explain everything to the others. Would they still accept him now they knew that Immortality had strings attached? Would they be able to accept a killer in their midst? More importantly, he had lied to them all, and he didn’t see how they could ever trust him now. As soon as the X-jet touched down, Richie slipped away.

Logan found Richie in the garage, sitting on his motorbike with one hand on the handlebar and the other rubbing the back of his neck. He looked up as Logan approached and smiled weakly.

“Going somewhere?” Logan asked. Richie shook his head.

“Not really. Thought a ride might clear my head; help me figure out how to explain everything to the others.”

“Why don’t you start by explaining it to me?”

Richie sighed and looked at Logan, who seated himself on the hood of a nearby car, causing it to bend.

“You have to understand, I never meant to lie to any of you. At first I didn’t know how much I could trust everyone, and now I know how much the Professor hates killing…I’ve done some things I’m not proud of, things I’d rather forget,” Richie said. Logan laughed at that.

“Ain’t we all, bub? I know I don’t remember much, but what I do ain’t pretty. And the Professor, he’s pretty good at forgiveness.”

“But what about the others? Scott seems to hate me already…”

“Scott’s grieving. We all are I guess, but Scott and Jean were… He’s just trying to deal with it in his own way. And failing,” Logan explained, the corner of his mouth twitching in amusement. “Don’t take Scott's coldness personal. He takes a while to warm to people in general.”

Richie could understand that, but it didn't make Scott's apparent disapproval any easier to handle.

“I know I told you and the Professor that I never had a choice when I took a head, but that wasn’t exactly true. When I was younger, angrier, I went after people who pissed me off, people who deserved better.”

Logan nodded and looked thoughtful for a moment before speaking.

“You say that’s in the past? Then let it stay there. Chuck’s explained the Game to the others, now you just have to explain the light show. It’ll take some getting used to, but they’ll come around, eventually.”

“You mean like Paul has?” Richie laughed humourlessly. “I’ve done a great job there, haven’t I? Maybe it would be best if I just left.”

“Don’t you dare!” Rogue said, making Richie jump. She stepped from the doorway where she must have been listening. “You’re a part of this team now, Richie; you can’t abandon your responsibilities.”

“Besides, what about Paul? Can you abandon him? You can’t expect him to leave everything he knows,” Logan reminded him.

“I think he’d be better off without me. He hates me,” Richie replied with a shake of his head.

“MacLeod must have been wrong then, to put such faith in you,” Logan replied and stood up to leave. “And so was the Professor. Odd; Chuck ain’t wrong often.”

Logan walked over to Rogue and gently nudged her toward the door. They were a few paces away from it when Richie caught up to them.

“That was a low blow you know,” he said. Logan shrugged.

“What you gonna do about it, kid?” he asked with a grin. Richie grinned back.

“Wait ‘til we’re in the Danger Room again.”

*-*

It was several hours later that Richie left the other X-Men to find Paul. He found his student outside, enjoying the last of the evening’s sunshine with some of his friends. He was smiling and laughing, but that soon stopped when he felt Richie’s approach, which hurt Richie. He had hoped the two of them might become friends, as he and Duncan had, but Paul seemed to still resent Richie, perhaps even blame him a little for the way his life was going.

Richie stopped ten feet away from the group, not wishing to intrude on them. Paul muttered something to his friends and then walked over to Richie. Without a word, Richie led Paul inside to an empty classroom.

Richie grabbed a couple of chairs and motioned for Paul to sit as he did the same. He didn’t speak for a second, still trying to gather his thoughts.

“Is this going to take long?” Paul demanded.

“I just thought I should let you know that I had to reveal my Immortality and the Game to the X-Men. I didn’t tell them about you, that’s your decision to make, but they know I give you one on one lessons. Eventually they’ll probably figure it out for themselves. I just thought you should know,” Richie trailed off lamely. He waited for any kind of response from Paul, but none was forthcoming. “Look, Paul, I know we haven’t gotten off to a great start, but I was kinda hoping we might be friends.”

“Seriously?” Paul said, a look of distaste on his face.

“There’s more to both of us than Immortality, and I thought we could, you know, hang out maybe,” Richie said. “Go see a movie, maybe? I hear the new Tarantino’s pretty good.”

“You like Tarantino?”

“Course! Who doesn’t? Man, I remember going to see Reservoir Dogs when it came out, it completely blew my mind. I’ve seen every one of his films, even Four Rooms.”

“Dude, that one blows. Hard,” Paul said. “I mean, Tarantino’s the man, but that film bites ass.”

Richie chuckled and nodded, feeling like maybe he had finally found some common ground.

“So, have you seen the new one yet?”

“No, course not. I’m under age, remember? Sixteen forever,” Paul replied and Richie realised he’d said something supremely stupid so he quickly tried to repair the mistake.

“That’s okay, I can get you a really good ID. It’s actually an important lesson for every Immortal to learn, no matter how old you look. Every so often you have to change identity so you need to know how to build a new one. It used to be easy, you could find infant deaths from about the right time and just assume their identity, but with the internet and everything life has got a lot harder for us,” Richie explained.

Paul actually looked genuinely interested in what Richie was saying, instead of the sullen respect that he usually demonstrated in training and Richie realised that he’d been too focussed on sword training. Paul was relatively safe from the Game while he was at the school, so it was time to maybe relax that a little and start to teach him the other aspects of being an Immortal.

“So, being a good hacker is an essential skill?” Paul asked. Richie nodded.

“Mortal law is more like a guideline for Immortals. It’s best just to follow your own moral code, do what you believe is right. If you think stealing is wrong, then don’t steal. But, if you think it doesn’t hurt anybody and you need the cash…”

“Have you stolen?” Paul asked and leaned forward. Richie was pleased that Paul was finally interested in what he was saying to him and grinned.

“Occasionally. Nothing huge, just a little to see me through a tough patch. Not long after my first death I had a pretty public accident in France. It meant I had to stop being Richie Ryan for a while. Meant I couldn’t get a job until I had a new identity and left France, but I had to eat,” Richie answered. Paul looked thoughtful for a moment or two, and then stood up.

“So what you’re telling me is that becoming Immortal makes it okay to lie, steal and kill people?” he demanded, suddenly furious. Richie was dumbstruck. Paul shook his head and marched out of the room.

“Paul!” Richie called after him, but he let him go. He banged his head against a nearby desk a couple of times and then just sat there, head on the table, and sighed. He’d really thought he was getting through to Paul this time. He looked up to see Scott standing in the doorway.

“Come to mock my teaching skills?” Richie asked as he stood up. “Because, frankly, I can’t find a reason to argue right now.”

“Actually, I came to apologise,” Scott answered, amusement tugging at the corner of his mouth. “I should have given you a chance, but Logan and I…well we aren’t best buds, and you came here on his say so, and you aren’t even a mutant…I should have trusted the Professor,” Scott finished weakly.

“Is it really such an issue? That I’m not a mutant?”

Scott thought for a moment, rubbing the back of his neck absent-mindedly.

“No, no, I just… outsiders can’t understand what we go through.”

Richie bit back the cruel laugh forming in his throat, but he couldn’t withhold the heavy sarcasm as he spoke to Scott.

“You mean having an ability that you could use to do great good, but that you have to keep secret because most people would hate and fear you if they knew? No, I’ve no idea what that feels like."

Scott stared at him, as if seeing him for the first time, and then shook his head and broke into an embarrassed grin.

“I’m sorry. Can we start over?”

“Sure. Hi, I’m Richie Ryan, good to meet you,” Richie said with a smile and held out his hand. Scott chuckled good-naturedly and took the proffered hand.

“Scott Summers, and it’s good to meet you, too.”
 
 
 
jolinar_roshajolinar_rosha on May 17th, 2010 11:40 am (UTC)
be still my heart! you updated!!!

me likes. me likes a lot. But you do realise that now that you've updated and reminded me how much I liked this story (I believe it was the 1st one of yours I read, back in FF. net :P), you'll have to give me more, right? :P

oh, by the way, the link to the rest of the story comes up as a blank page... to me at least.
But, I don't want to be a pie,: rich & loganidontlikegravy on August 3rd, 2010 11:06 pm (UTC)
*facepalm*

One day I'll actually manage to post a fic without cocking up the html. One day. *g*

Thanks for the comment hon, and sincere apologies for the reply!fail. mea culpa (I seem to be saying that a lot lately!). Anyhoo, Immie!Ianto and Watcher!Abby have precedence at the moment, but I have also remembered how much I love this series and Richie is feeling a little neglected, so hopefully there will be more when I get back from Canada. (Maybe the Canucklehead himself will inspire me while I'm there, eh?)
(Anonymous) on May 23rd, 2010 03:18 pm (UTC)
YAY!
i´m incredibly happy that i accidently stumbled upon the 5. chapter here - please post it on ff.net too, ok? thats where i - and i bet a lot of others too - have it on alert and are eagerly waiting for updates. aside from that: nice chapter, i like that scott finally pulled the stick out of his butt and wants to give richie a fair chance - and paul should definitely follow that example. i mean, its not richie´s fault paul is immortal nor that he died that young, all he tries is helping the boy! and about stealing: guess paul is too immature - or simply grew up too sheltered - to realise that sometimes one is forced to do things one doesn´t like to survive. richie, growing up on the streets, made this experience early on....in my minds eye i can SO see adam/methos meeting paul and give some of his patented sarcastic comments about the kids idealistic worldview, sort of a reality-check *grin* anyway, i hope you´ll update again soon!
Peya Luna