Same tedious disclaimers, different tedious story. No sex here. Virtual chocolates, kisses and cheese to everyone who wrote me, vaguely interested in this sequel. I seem to have run into a rather large writer's block. See results below. Picks up immediately after A Nunnery left off. Picture if you will: There was Xavier, pushing and pulling into Magneto’s touch. There he was, devouring Magneto while begging to be crushed in his arms. There was Wolverine, his mouth a tight line, his gaze at once indifferent and betrayed.

by Lucrecia Borgia

The silence threatened.

Magneto pulled back from the embrace and now sat next to Xavier. Eyebrow arched speculatively, his glance drifted between the two men. More curious than uncomfortable, he kept a hand at Charles' back, as his arm rested on a  sofa cushion. He didn't press, didn't soothe.

Xavier was well aware of the strangely assured warmth at his back, and, reluctant to break contact, leaned into it imperceptibly. Words failed him. He blinked at Wolverine, silently pleading for patience he knew he didn't deserve. He briefly considered reaching out to Logan's mind: that intimate contact may reassure the other man of Xavier's loyalty and affection. The psi abilities enveloped where words were distant and coarse. Xavier dismissed the consideration; such a move would violate Logan, and Logan realized it.

Logan also realized the lingering caress at Xavier's back. The steady, unapologetic glances from Magneto and the imploring set of Xavier's countenance infuriated him. Shock gave way to familiar anger. Xavier sensed the change in disposition, and was unable to maintain eye contact. He furtively strained his head away from both Logan and Magnus,   looking at the carpet.

No longer able to take visual cues from Charles, Magnus looked directly at Wolverine. He saw Logan's arm reach up a split second before it descended in a quick, efficient arc. Magneto deflected the blow, twitching his head at the glint of metal in the claws. Charles gathered further into himself, almost crouching near the sofa's edge. The move took him out of Magnus' touch, and the break seemed to liberate Magneto.

Wolverine was incensed. He was convinced of his right--Charles betrayed him, with Magneto. The overwhelmed disgust made its way from the pit of his stomach to his throat, his arms, his legs. Later, he knew, the doubt would settle in his knees and jaw. They would buckle and fall, and he wanted to be--he had to be--alone for that break. Now, this sort of righteous outrage was a comfortable moral position for Logan, and he relied on comfortable application: violence.

He lashed at Magneto, at Xavier. The claws were drawn, muscles tightly defined in his compact form. Logan's lips were drawn back in a snarl that displayed more than sharp white teeth. The strained tendons drew attention to the angled set of his jaw, the furrowed brow, the eyes wilder than Magneto had ever seen them.

Magnetically fielding the blows for both himself and Xavier taxed Magnus. Wolverine, wild and uncomplicated, was far more intimidating than Magneto would admit. He had rarely faced an enemy--and Wolverine was an enemy--so feral. His most significant adversaries were not animalistic or passionate. They were sure, calm, workmanlike. Their strengths were efficiently divided and efforts carefully meted out for optimum results. They, completely without irony or the cackle of cartoon villainy, beamed at their destructive accomplishments.

"One may smile, and smile, and still be a villain." The invasive thought was as clear to Magnus as if Charles spoke it aloud. It was the first thing Charles communicated to him since Wolverine's intrusion. Magnus welcomed it, the provoking banter of their earlier conversation grounding him in the present bizarre scenario.

Wolverine would never be a Nazi. He was too invested in himself. Magnus knew this rage wasn't fueled by any moral disappointment that Xavier betrayed his dream and let the X-men down. Magnus knew Logan was betrayed personally. Knowing full well the superior extent of Magnus' powers, knowing he couldn't harm either man, Logan's intense fury wasn't pragmatic. It was passionate. And unyielding.

This time Charles spoke aloud, startling Wolverine, who hadn't appreciated how his friend composed himself almost immediately upon the attack. "Logan."

Harsh, labored breaths replaced the swinging arms and jabbing legs. Logan refused to look at Charles, instead still cautiously eyeing Magneto. Magnus resumed his hastened glance between the two men. He, too was exhausted, though more adept at disguising it. Wolverine, he realized, didn't disguise anything.

Charles, for the first time, looked sharply, swiftly, at Magnus. "Logan . . doesn't disguise anything."

Wolverine was oddly relieved at not being directly confronted. He wasn't sure how to approach Xavier. He didn't want to make it simple for Charles to dismiss him, to placate him. He knew, almost unconsciously, he didn't want to alienate or harm Charles in a way that was detrimental to the X-men. His breathing slowed as he listened to Xavier talk about him.

"He can't disguise anything with us, Magnus," Charles continued. He returned his gaze to Wolverine, though still ostensibly addressing Magneto. "Because of you. You took his invulnerability when you hurt him. He knows either one of us could do it again. He knows with you it's a very real possibility, and my loving you tacitly accepts that, and the difficult, implicit trust he has for me . . "

Magnus chuckled. Leave it to Charles to analyze Wolverine in full attack mode. Wolverine then struck Xavier with a force neither one prepared for. Wolverine cringed before any real damage was done to Xavier's scalp and ear, where the claws struck him. Magneto was horrified at his own inability to act, and moved toward Wolverine. A clear, inner "No" stopped him. It was enough. Charles didn't waver. He continued to look at Logan.

"It's a flesh wound. My skull and my skin are thicker than you give me credit for, Logan."

Wolverine opened his mouth to apologize. He couldn't. He wasn't sorry. He wanted to hurt Charles. He wasn't sure he had. A persistent thought nagged at him: he behaved just as both Charles and Magneto expected him to. They had the upper hand.

But then he looked at Charles, utterly sincere and strong, and knew he gave Charles the upper hand. He trusted Charles.

Reading his body language was easier than reading his mind, Charles mused as he reassured his friend, "I'll never leave you, Logan. This", he gestured with a wry graciousness familiar to both Magnus and Logan, "is my home. My home. I will not betray it. I will not betray you."

Wolverine's wrath faded, but his sense of betrayal did not. "You," he spoke slowly, unsure of how to phrase, "betray . . yourself." He paused. He didn't want to condemn Charles, didn't want to examine the source of his betrayal. He didn't want Charles, not sexually, but to have that part of Charles' life--the only part he didn't share--invaded by . . this man, this villain, this terror . . broke his heart. His spirit. But surely Charles knew that. Surely Magneto knew that. "Please," he began.

"Yes," Xavier said, anticipating Logan's train of thought, not sure of the precise language. Please love me, trust me, assure me . . .

Logan surprised him by shaking his head. "Magneto," he started again, barely able to keep the sneer from his lips as he repeated the request, "please stay away from him. Please. Just stay away from him." Logan's voice was steady, firm. He was asking, not ordering, refusing to plead.

"Yes," Magneto found himself saying. "I'll stay away from him."

The blood dripping from Xavier's wound slowly stopped. Magnus sped the healing process without drawing attention to the act. It was a flesh wound, but the gash was deeper than Charles allowed, and it must have pained him. Magnus frowned in empathy. Charles inhaled and nearly gawked at his lover. The response came as much as a surprise to him as it did to its speaker. Magneto longed to embrace him, to comfort him. Instead, he shrugged minutely, and left.

Wolverine didn't trust himself to move. Charles didn't want to. The gash in his skull started to pound, and he didn't do anything to stop it. It was diverting, to focus on the pain. "He just went upstairs, Logan. He's not leaving." Throughout the ordeal, Xavier maintained a facile psychic contact with Magneto, and followed his movements upstairs.

"I don't care what the hell he does." Wolverine realized it was true.

"I do." A pause, then a slightly more emphasized, "I have to."

And Wolverine realized that was true, also. Perhaps this was the result of   identities so inextricably bound with each other. He idly speculated at his own relationship with Sabertooth, visibly winced and nearly snorted. Perhaps not.

"I love him, you know." Charles' voice remained wary, but its retained its knowing, almost smug, timbre. His absolute surety consoled Wolverine more than words. Charles wasn't questioning his ethical parameters.

"I don't care."


"I don't care. I don't care." He was pacing now, shaking his head. "I want him away from you." Talking to himself as much as Xavier, his voice was monotone. "I don't care. He's . . away from you. I don't care." Nothing else mattered.

Xavier shifted nearer his chair, realizing only now how cool the evening had become. He wanted to be with Magnus. He wanted to touch him, to feel Magnus' mouth on his, to feel the muscles in Magnus' arms tensing around him, to inhale Magnus' scent, to sense Magnus' pectorals expand with breathy signs. He wanted to be with Magnus, whom he realized was leaving, after all. Magnus was keeping his word.

"I'm going upstairs . . "

"I don't care."

Xavier quickly lifted himself to the chair, and left. He wasn't sure if the sounds he left were sobs or growls. It didn't matter.

PART THE THIRD: Alas, poor Magnus, I knew him biblically, Logan.
Whatcha think? Huh? Huh? Tell me ( and the next one won't be so boring. Promise.