Raven looked over as Alex leaned against the doorframe. She settled the weights she’d been lifting back down and sat up. Alex frowned and glanced at the floor, before he looked at her steadily, quietly, for a moment then asked, “Do you think he can do it, teach me control?”
“If anyone can it’s Charles,” she told him with conviction.
Alex let out a frustrated huff, “If? Do you think he can or not?”
“You know that’s up to you,” she pointed out. Alex glared, turned on his heel and began to stalk away. She caught up with him easily and pointed out, “You don’t get to ask such a loaded question and walk away.”
“Why don’t you…”
“Cruel words work on Hank,” she interrupted, “Does it bother you that they’re ineffective on Sean and me?”
Alex stopped walking, stared at her his jaw clenched. Raven resisted the urge to pull him into a hug, she wasn’t sure how he’d take that, especially since she knew they were both remembering that horrifying moment after Darwin had died. Alex had collapsed to his knees, unable to look away from the place Darwin had been. It’d taken both her and Sean to coax him up and out of the wreckage.
“It’s not your fault,” she reminded.
“I know,” he tried, but his words were hollow.
“Do you?” she pushed.
Alex looked away.
“Shaw killed Darwin,” she pressed.
Alex closed his eyes, “With my energy.”
“You couldn’t have known,” she insisted.
“The longer I’m here the better solitary looks.”
Her first instinct was to call Charles. She knew all it would take was one thought and the conversation with Alex would be over, Charles would try to handle this. Instead she found herself stuck, back in that moment when Darwin died and Alex had fallen over, when Sean had latched onto Alex, when she hadn’t been able to look away from the horror and regret on Alex’s face. The name on Alex’s lips hadn’t been Darwin’s.
“Who’s Scott?” she pushed even as part of her wondered if that was the wrong move.
Alex rocked back on his heels, “Don’t ask me that.”
“Stay for him,” Raven challenged, “If Darwin isn’t enough, if what Shaw did…stay for Scott. Figure yourself out enough that you stop thinking you’re going to hurt everyone.”
Alex looked away from her, “I do, hurt everyone.”
Raven waited, debated how to push and then just waited.
“What did I say about Scott?” he asked.
“You don’t remember?”
Alex shook his head slowly.
“You were asking for him, saying you couldn’t find him, that you weren’t supposed to lose him,” she answered. Frowning, not sure she should finish elaborating she told him, “You said you promised not to lose him and then you wouldn’t let go of Sean for the longest time.”
Alex frowned and for a moment she thought he was going to cry. Instead Alex shook once, clenched his fists and told her, “I did promise.”
“Family?” she asked.
“I don’t remember mine,” she shared, “I remembering being lost a lot and hungry before I met Charles, but I don’t remember my family at all.”
“The plane we were on with our parents was going to crash, there weren’t enough parachutes.”
Raven swallowed as the horror of that situation ran through her, she doesn’t need or want the details, not when she can see the aftermath in front of her. She gripped Alex’s shoulder, pulled him into her and held him as he shook again. Alex buried his head on her shoulder, held her tightly.
“Make sure Hank knows he’s lucky,” Alex whispered to her after a moment.
Raven wanted to offer Alex hope, point out that maybe Scott survived, that he could be a mutant too. They’d find him then, Hank could build another Cerebro. The possibility that she’d be offering false hope kept the thoughts from being spoken.
Instead she smiled as she thought of Hank, the possibilities that were before them.
She knew what to say.
“We’re your family now, even Hank,” she pointed out, “You can’t just go hide out in solitary because you think it would keep us safe. The day is going to come when we’re going to need what you can do and you’re going to have to be confident in your control.”
Alex gave her a brief hug then pulled away and asked, “So Hank’s the geeky annoying little brother?”
“Which one of you is older?” she smiled.
“Well you tend to annoy him,” she pointed out.
Alex smiled, it didn’t reach his eyes, but it was a start.