Forgiveness Need Not Apply

February 25, 2018:

Piotr and Lorna chat and try to catch up, and instead Lorna gets irritated.

X-mansion

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Magneto, Zealot, Scott

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

Though it's been weeks since the battle of the bear, Piotr still feels like he hasn't quite fully recovered. Something about the magic, using the soul sword and encountering evil on that scale has shaken him up a bit more than he expected. This is hardly his first rodeo with fighting demonic beings, but using the sword was a first. He's been laying low at the mansion, teaching his classes, running through workout sessions in the danger room but spending more time than usual in his studio.

From the looks of him, he is on his way back from there now. He's dressed in a grey tank top that has lots of paint and other unidentified smears on it. His pants are tan canvas pants that are covered in a large assortment of colored blotches. His workboots are cleaner than the rest of his outfit, but not unscathed.

Piotr seems to be in a rather good mood though as he walks down the hallway towards the men's wing. He has an opened bottle of beer in one hand and Whodka riding on his broad shoulder. He whistles to himself as he makes his way through.

*

Lorna was popping in the Mansion once more from Genosha via Illyana's portal. She had every intention of checking to see if Pepper's package had been shipped over from Jamie's apartment. It was a hop of shipments and a mess, to make sure that she hadn't had to give out the Mansion's links to her. All of it was meant to hide her involvement with the X-men, hoping that as her time on Genosha became more public, that she could spare them that tie.

Things had been chaos for the green haired woman, and she walked with an armful of boxes to return to the portal once more. She wore just a simple pair of jeans and a black sweat-shirt. It was still too cold in Westchester compared to Genosha and the temperature change was dizzing.

She nearly colided with Piotr on her way and blinked, shifting her grip on her packages, looking distracted. "Oh, geeze. Sorry Piotr."

*

There seems to be a pile of boxes walking toward him. Piotr quirks an eyebrow and tries to lean around to see who might be behind the boxes and he smiles when he sees.

"Lorna! Here. Allow me to take those."

He hands his beer up to Whodka, with a stern shake of his head, warning the BAMF not to consume it, or at least not all of it. He doesn't really wait for her to agree to him carrying the boxes either. It's Pete though, he would do this for any of the female occupants of the mansion, and any of the guys who would let him.

"Where are we taking these? And how are you feeling? Hopefully the morning sickness has passed, nyet?"

*

Lorna smiled, letting him take the boxes without arguing further. It was a rare, but Piotr got away with more than most did—hugs and help were often aided. "If you're up for it, yeah. Sure. I'm just heading back to the portal to go back to Genosha." She shrugged lightly as she walked alongside Piotr and dragged her hands through her hair.

"Eh.. mostly. I've figured out what she likes, so that made navigating what foods to eat or not to eat." She grinned, settling a hand on her lower stomach. "Jean did a reading.. it's a little girl." She looked utterly comfortable with the words now.

*

"Aw Lorna, congratulations. This is wonderful."

Pete responds to the news that Jean has done a telepathic ultrasound of sorts and is able to know the baby's gender. He easily hefts the boxes and makes his way through the halls.

"I must confess, I've lost track of the mission in Genosha. Perhaps I will make a trip down there this week. It has been too long since I last checked in."

Thankful for the boxes that hide his face, he steals a glance at Lorna. He's questioning whether or not he should broach certain topics. He knows that Lorna has been getting closer to her father and while she is a trusted member of the team, things aren't quite the same with her as with anyone else. He diplomatically asks, "Are there any changes to the status of the country?"

*

Lorna could only smile at Piotr as he congratulated her, her green hair pushed back behind an ear as she walked. Still, as talk shifted toward Genosha and she grimaced faintly. "So far, it's slow going. I've managed to secure a trade deal with Tony Stark for relief supplies. Magneto wanted to trade the Stark tech he found on the island when he took over Hammer Bay. It's hard though, with the UN embargo. They're blocking the relief supplies on the pretense that Magneto hasn't gained security of the whole place. We've got the Magistrates to deal with and Zealot still."

Another, heavy sigh followed as she glanced toward him. "There are plans involved to get rid of Zealot but it's been difficult."

*

There are plans. Why does that not make Piotr feel better. Maybe because it makes him feel like he needs to ask this follow up question.

"Do any of these plans not end with us murdering him?"

The question is asked in his best disapproving older brother voice. A voice that gets a lot of use these days from his rapidly aged ruler of a hell dimension sorceress sister. Of course it may be a little on the judgemental side, but it's also full of concern and compassion. It's Pete after all.

Circling back to the talk of embargoes and Stark, Piotr asks, "Has Stark offered any help in controlling the situation? I am surprised that a non-mutant is willing to even get involved with Genosha. Far too often it feels as though we are the 'other' that the superheroes would rather not discuss." There is no bitterness in Piotr's voice. It's a situation that he understands the complexity of, but it's more surprise that maybe for once the X-Men will not be alone in dealing with an issue, simply because it happens to involve mutants.

*

Lorna's smile dropped off to fade entirely, leaving her expression cooler than it had a moment before as she tried to hide a cringe. "Scott and Nate talked about capturing him. The problems are that he controls morphic fields. Zealot will eventually become adapted to where ever he is. Magneto thinks about a year, possibly less, before he is able to connect to them once more. Though it might be possible his powers will be strong enough without them to make it difficult to hold him.." She pursed her lips as she felt her jaw tighten.

It went unspoken that her and Illyana did not agree with Scott and Nate on that.

It spoke volumes that she didn't look his way. Though as the conversation shifted along, she grimaced. "No. He doesn't want to get involved or be seen as helping Magneto more than he already has. Though he has offered to help with supplies." Her lips twisted, and she crossed her arms.

"No one wants to get involved and be seen to approve of Magneto if they can help it."

*

"To be fair to Stark, that includes the X-Men. Even if Magneto has changed his ways, we are still cautious of giving the man a hearty public endorsement."

Perhaps he can say that delicately. He would be a little more blunt were it not for Lorna and her relation to the man.

"As for Zealot. How many of us have powers that make us difficult to control? What if Magneto decides to take a turn for the less heroic? Should we simply kill him because it is easier? I know that Zealot took you captive, and has done terrible things to those people. However, I refuse to think killing him should be anything other than a terrible last resort." He shifts the boxes to smile at Lorna. "We should at least offer him the chance to reform. Maybe twice."

That's a joke. Or at least what passes for one from the big Russian. Seeing Whodka trying to drink his beer, Piotr growls at him "Nyet" and Whodka obediently stops and instead offers to hold the bottle while Peter drinks. It goes relatively smoothly, with the little imp spilling only a bit on the big guy.

"Spaseba"

*

Lorna's scowl deepens as she walks with Piotr and he points out the obvious. "We could do so much more for Genosha if we didn't get caught up on those ties. I don't hold it against anyone. I know there are very, very good reasons for it. I just.. I'm so frustrated, Piotr. People need more help there and they're not getting it. And against the Magistrates? Against Zealot?" She sneered, her expression darkening.

"Zealot thinks what they did was right. Using mutates as slaves. Torturing them. Using breeding programs and experimenting on people. I tried diplomacy with him. I met with him to discuss terms to solve Genosha's issues without bloodshed. And he tried to kill me. Me and my baby." Her voice was clipped.

"As far as I'm concerned, I tried the X-men's way. Alex, Marcos and I tried it. And we all almost died because of it." She swallowed a thickness in the back of her throat as she spoke and she shook her head.

*

"Lorna. If we kill all our enemies, how are we any different? What he did was terrible, but how many people did Magneto kill before he had a change of heart? I understand that it is not easy, and I wish Kurt were here to explain it better, but killing our enemies will eventually make us the bad guys. Even if we can justify it this once, it will set us on a path. And it will deny our enemies the chance to change their ways, like you hope Magneto has."

Perhaps that's an over exaggeration but really Piotr doesn't see killing the enemy as a plausible plan, ever. Yes, he has killed before in battle, but he has never set out to murder someone. That is a whole other beast entirely.

"And if you believe you have tried the X-Men's way then perhaps we failed you as teachers. The X-Men are heroes Lorna. We are not murderers."

This is very core to who Piotr is and to how he sees both himself and the team. As much as he knows Lorna is emotionally tied into the situation, when it comes to tough love, Pete ain't shying away.

*

Lorna's expression burned with color as she paused, halting her steps to look up at Piotr. "I'm not an X-man. I never claimed I was. Scott was the only one that tried to say that I still was. But I never belonged here. Not really. Everyone has always expected me to just become another version of my father." She pursed her lips, "And maybe I am. But I'll take that shame. I don't love my father, I hate him. He has never changed. But I'm willing to put my lot in with him because it means my child as the best chance at a better future." She reached up to take the boxes from Piotr, her lips twisting.

"Zealot had his chance. And he didn't try to give the same curtsey to the mutants he killed. The innocents trying to come to Genosha for a better life." She would try to jerk the boxes out of Piotr's grip.

"I'm not a hero, Piotr. I never was." She muttered, and made to leave with the boxes abruptly.

*

Piotr doesn't try to stop her. He lets go of the boxes with a deep frown on his face. He gives Lorna his best older brother look of disapproval and in a softer voice tells her, "Lorna. No one expects you to become like Magneto. Not the man he was, nor the man he is. If you want to stand by him, and raise your child there we will support you. And we all have."

He doesn't add what happens though if she starts doling out her own brand of justice. What happens if she decides to just wipe out the Magistrates and Zealot? Piotr knows exactly where he falls on that issue. And if he has to, he would fight against someone he loves like a little sister, in order to stand for what he believes in.

"I am not saying you need to forgive Zealot for his terrible crimes. Only that we can not murder someone simply because they are powerful and evil. And I do not believe for one second that you are not a hero Lorna. I see the work you are doing for those people. We all do."

With that, he accepts the bottle of beer back from Whodka and heads back to the kitchen to grab another one. He was already a little drained from his work, and now feels doubly so.

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