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Once More, With Mutants

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[Scene: The brotherhood are planting a bomb in a CIA compound. Raven walks through the compound, flicking from disguise to disguise.]

[To the tune of “Going Through the Motions”]

Raven: Every single day, the same position,
Fighting for supremacy.
Thought that I could say I’d found my mission,
And I would be free,
But this isn’t me.
I thought leaving home would make me grown up
But I should have known
That it would still be a deception
My life’s a façade,
Homesickness keeps catching me off-guard.

[In the background Erik tap-dances across the shot. Raven jerks a thumb gloomily towards him.]

Raven: Once I used to think that his magnetic
Powers made him just my type,
Now I kinda feel he’s just pathetic,
Not worth all the hype,
Angel: All he does is gripe,
Raven: Wanna take a swipe.
The Brotherhood: She might still insist a terrorist is what she wants to be,
But we can see through the deception,
All she left behind,
Emma: Come on, I can read her goddamn mind.

[CIA goons attack. Diverse stabbing and dismemberment ensues.]

Raven: I know Charles is bound to miss me,
While I fight the cause… where is he?
Azazel: May I ask you out…?
Raven: I’m busy. Will I always be…
living a deception,
knowing it’s a sham?
I needed something new,
I thought our cause was true,
But please just tell me who… I…. am.

[CIA facility explodes in the background]

 

*Beginning credits*

 

[Scene: The X-Mansion. Hank is in his lab. One by one the others enter looking more and more bewildered as they work out that everyone’s been bursting into song. Eventually Charles declares that something must be done.]

[To the tune of “I’ve Got a Theory”]

Charles: I’ve got a theory, that it’s a mutant,
A frightened mutant child who needs our help and kindness
Hank: I’ve got a theory that it’s an implant
Something the CIA designed to make us mindless
Alex: I’ve got a theory we should fix it quick,
‘Cause when I hear Sean sing I want to hit him with a brick.
Sean: It could be Erik, evil Magneto… [He glances at Charles]
Which is ridiculous ’cause Erik he was persecuted
Mutant strength and liberty and brotherhood,
And I’ll be over here.

Hank: I’ve got a theory, it’s scientific…
[Alex and Sean yawn theatrically]
Alex: I’ve got a theory…
Hank: [Rocking out] Scientist aren’t dorks like everybody supposes,
You’ve got no reason to make jokes and call us bozos,
And what’s with all the attitude?
What do you think is so great about you anywaaaaay?
Science, science it must be science!
[Pause]
Or maybe magic.

[Erik and the Brotherhood enter stage left.]
Erik: I’ve got a theory it’s the human race,
And so I really feel that we should kill them just in case.

Charles: I’ve got a theory, that you’re an asshole.
[Pause]
What are you doing in my mansion?
Erik: Alright, alright, just keep your pants on.
Help stop this noise, Please I implore,
Or I’m on track for World War Four.

Brotherhood: We’re asking you to help us fight it.
We’ll see it through if we’re united.
Our points of view may not align,
Our boss shot you.
Charles: [Very tightly] Thanks, but I’m fine.

X-men: What are you doing in our mansion?
Brotherhood: Will you please, please just keep your pants on?
We need your freaking help.
Hank: [quietly] Yeah, you need science.

***

[Scene: X-Mansion. The teams have dispersed to do research and reconnaissance, leaving Charles and Erik standing awkwardly in the library.]

[To the tune of “I’ll Never Tell”]

Charles: This is the jack who shot me in the back, a killer of men.
We once played chess, I made him wear a dress, I thought we were friends.
But he left me to bleed. Paralysis? That’s all I need.
Although I must concede…
[Pauses, shakes his head]
I’ll never tell.

Erik: Look at him there with his nose in the air, so sure that he’s right.
He’s so naïve, I can’t make him believe that we need to fight.
He has no mutant pride, he’ll always take the humans’ side,
But I’d still like to ride…
[Coughs, blushes]
I’ll never tell.

Together: ‘Cause there’s nothing to tell…

[Both start dancing (Charles doing tricks with his chair)]

Charles: He’s smart, he’s snarky, he keeps his teeth so sparkly,
I think that they look sharky.
Erik: Charles, that isn’t a word.
Such sweet emotion. He pulled me from the ocean,
The things he does with lotion make my eyes go blurred.

Both: Absurd! We’re rival factions
Erik: All affection’s a distraction,
Charles: This is no time for attraction,
Erik: I don’t get no satisfaction,
Both: And it might feel like hell,
But god knows I’ll never tell.

Erik: Who knows what this is? But cupid never misses.
I’m longing for his kisses and I wish I was dead.
Charles: I’m so frustrated, I need to be sedated,
I want to see him naked all spread out on my bed.

Erik: We’ve said, we’re not together.
Charles: Now or ever.
Erik: You’re the cutest of the X-men
If you like my turtlenecks, then
Why won’t you let me… sex you up?

[Both: Look, we’re dancing mutants!]
[An elegant set of dance moves ends with Erik sitting in Charles’s lap]

Charles: We mock.
Erik: We jeer.
Charles: Our enmity is clear.
Erik: That’s why he’ll never hear how I really feel.
Charles: His acts have riven this world we have to live in,
But though he’s not forgiven he is still my ideal.

[They gaze into each other’s eyes.]

Both: It’s real, this love between us,
Concealed from others and from ourselves.
Erik: Does he still think that I’m debonair?
Charles: Will he love me when I lose my hair?
Erik: But of course we’re deadly rivals and we’re fighting for survival.
Charles: He’s a murderous extremist (with a quite gigantic penis).
Erik: He’s a traitor.
Charles: An excrescence.
Erik: I’m revolted by his dress sense.
Both: Yes, perhaps we once were best friends, but today we repel,
So god knows I’ll never tell.
I swear that I’ll never tell.

Erik: He’s not in my heart.
Charles: Not in my dreams.
Erik: Better apart.
Charles: Just what it seems.
Both: I’ll never – tell.

***

[Scene: The Mansion. Hank is back in his lab, reading scientific papers as research on the singing problems. Alex is prowling in the background, poking at experiments, occasionally jogging Hank’s elbow, and generally making a nuisance of himself. Hank is doing his best to ignore it.]

[To the tune of “Let Me Rest in Peace”]

Alex: [Quietly] I died, when they locked me away,
I thought I’d never smile again, my world had turned to grey.
But now that I am here with you I might just be okay…
Oooo—oooh

[He looks hopefully at Hank, who is engrossed in his reading and paying no attention.]

Alex: You’re blind behind those ugly specs.
You think I’m here to bully you, you don’t see the subtext.
Would it be different if you knew I’m scared to be direct?

Alex: It’s you that made my life secure,
I don’t feel like a monster or a menace any more.
But sometimes I still think that I should walk right out the door.

[He knocks over a rack of test tubes. Hank turns, exasperated.]

Hank: Just let me read in peace!
Let me read in peace,
Don’t be such a jerk.
I hope you know you’re ruining some fundamental work.
Why do you love to torture me? It’s driving me berserk!
So let me read in peace.

[Sticks his nose back in his journal]

Alex: You think, you’re ugly ’cause you’re blue,
But I like you the way you are, why won’t you catch a clue?
I’d show you now, please tell me how,
I don’t know what to do!

Hank: [Irritably, still not listening] Just let me read in peace!

Alex: I get, that you’re upset,
But I’d make things right, if you’d just believe,
I can’t wear my heart upon my sleeve.
I wish I could be everything you need,
I would be your knight on a noble steed.
I try so hard, I can’t succeed,
So I’ll just leave…

[Alex stalks out. Hank sighs.]

Hank: [Sadly] Let me read in peace,
Can’t you leave me be?
I know a geeky scientist is all you’ll ever see.
You make me want to lock my heart and throw away the key,
So let me read in peace.
Just let me read in peace.

***

[Scene: Charles is alone in the Cerebro room, looking at the printouts from his latest session. He runs his finger down a list of names.]

[To the tune of “I’m Under Your Spell”]

Charles: They live their lives like blind men, children alone in the wood,
If I could only find them, bring them where they’re understood,
[He looks up at Cerebro on its platform]
You know it’s my goal,
That’s why I gave you my soul.

You made me your slave,
What else can it be? I feel how you’re using me.
You’re everything I crave,
Won’t you set me free? Give me back my liberty.

I send my mind out flying, you let me travel so far
So I can hear them crying, help them wherever they are
And your power grew,
Greater than anyone knew.

You made me your slave.
Thought I’d won the war, but I didn’t know the score.
Every child I save
Costs me something more. That’s what you were hoping for.
You’re not what you seem

[Musical interlude. Charles wheels himself up the ramp to the platform. He puts on the Cerebro helmet.]

Charles: I should have seen
That you were not a machine.
You made me your slave,
When you came alive, there was nowhere left to hide.
You hijacked my brainwaves,
But I will survive, and if Erik’s by my side,
I want to succeed…

[Charles focuses, finding Erik through Cerebro]

I want to suuc-ceed
I want to suuc-ceed
I want to suuc-ceed
I want to suuc-ceed
I want to suuuc-

***

[Scene: The mansion gym. Raven is training a la Buffy, punching bags, kickboxing, etc. Erik lounges against the wall watching her thoughtfully, turning his helmet over and over in his hands.]

[To the tune of “Standing in the Way”]

Erik: I’ve known animals in human skin,
Wiping out the ones who don’t fit in,
I see those monsters and I know I’ll be their twin,
If I…

Charles thinks harmony’s the holy grail,
He trusts that justice and right prevail,
And if we follow him we’re sure to fail,
But I…

I wish I could shape your passion, and keep you at my side,
Wish I could take advantage of all your youthful pride,
Wish I could ma-ake you what I am inside,
But I’m standing in the way.

You’re not broken by the things you’ve seen,
You have the power to intervene,
Don’t take his path or mine but something in between,
And I…

I wish I could be the leader, and rule over the land,
Wish I could see the future, and take my final stand,
Wish I could free-e our people as I planned,
But I’m standing in the way.
I’m just standing in your way.

Raven: Erik? Did you say something?

***

[Scene: The Cerebro room. Raven enters, trying to find Charles.]

[To the tune of… Dawn’s two lines.]

Raven: I want to say I’m sorry…
Come on Charles, are you there?

[Cerebro suddenly lights up. It’s tentacle-y connections things lash out and capture Raven. Others tap down the ramp and yet more pull Charles’s wheelchair out from behind the machines. He’s slumped in it, pinned by more wires, his eyes closed and his face slack. Raven struggles and calls to him.]

[To the tune of “How You Feel”]

Cerebro: Why’d ya run away, why’d ya say goodbye?
Won’t you come and say, why you left him there to die?
Now you’ve finally – made your way back,
Ain’t it time for a little payback?
Not a one of you, don’t deserve to fry.

[Raven fights against the tentacles but they hold her fast.]

Cerebro: You don’t realise, I’m the life he made,
I won’t hear lies, I will hear the serenade,
I made you be singers and dancers,
So we could finally get to the answers.
So take my advice, end the masquerade

You don’t know how it feels, girl.
You don’t know just how it feels, girl.

Raven: [spoken, uncertainly] So… you’re part of Charles? You want to help him find answers?

Cerebro: [Laughs] All his reveries, they are much too dark.
What he does to me, makes me want to... strike a spark.
I was born from his pain and fury,
And I’ll give him his blaze of glory
You’re the enemy, I’ll take you all apart.

[Charles rolls further forwards. His eyes are still closed. He smiles.]

Cerebro: He’s much too sweet to take the heat,
And make you pay the price,
But it’s my show, and you should know,
That I’m not playing nice.

Cerebro: You don’t know how it feels, girl…
Raven: Look, you creep, I’m Mystique, and I’m sick of this bullshit
Cerebro: …to live life on four wheels, girl.
Raven: You’re inside Charles’s mind and you’ll find you’ll regret it,

Cerebro: You think just because he’s your brother,
He still loves you one way or another.

Raven: Let him go, or you know, that we’re so gonna make you,
Cerebro: Your boy Charles is all for repressing,
But he’s got issues I’ll be addressing.
Raven: You’ll be beaten, defeated, Magneto will break you.

Cerebro: [spoken] Magneto?
Raven: [defiantly] Yeah.
Cerebro: [spoken]At last!
I’ve found him. He’ll come here
And I’ll show him just what he’s done.
I want to see Erik Lehnsherr burn.
Cerebro: [sung] Not a one of you, don’t deserve to fry!

***

[Scene: one of the mansion’s many lounges. The X-Men and the Brotherhood, plus Erik, have congregated. After a lengthy discussion (argument) about the next steps of the investigation they realise that they haven’t seen Charles or Raven for a while. Emma, on the outskirts of the group, is looking suspicious. At Erik’s prompting she admits that she can sense something odd in the mansion.

The music swells…]

[To the tune of “Walk Through the Fire” (imagine a more upbeat version…)]

Emma: I reach for Charles and there’s a stranger there,
His soul and consciousness are skewed,
What can this be,
That’s looking back at me?
I think we’re really screwed.

Hank: I think he might be in danger there,
Cerebro’s broken, there’s no doubt,
Alex: I always said,
That thing fucks with his head,
We’ve got to get him out!

[The X-Men jump to their feet]

X-Men: So we must prove that we’re heroes,
Sean: We’ll take your breath away.
X-Men: We must prove that we’re heroes, and save the -

Azazel: He’ll always be our enemy.
Angel: One who’ll never understand.
Riptide: Oh come on guys, I think he’s kind of nice,
Brotherhood: [They shrug] We’d better lend a hand.

[Cut to…]

Cerebro: But can’t they see? I’m the hero,
Who’ll make the villains pay,
Yes, it’s me that’s the hero, I’ll save the-

[Cut back to the scene. The Brotherhood and X-Men stride forwards. Erik hangs back, cloak billowing angstily.]

Erik: What will I do when we’ve found him?
Dare I use my powers around him?
I can’t risk it happening again.
Angel: Boss, sometimes you need a kicking.
Sean: Come on, dude, the clock is ticking!
All: This is not the time for manly pain!

X-Men: We’ll stand beside him, he’s our mentor and our guide,
So we will prove that we’re heroes…

[Cut to…]

Cerebro: Now all as one, they come to me,
Allied to tear my Charles away,
To free his mind, but very soon they’ll find,
That he will choose to stay.

[Cut back to the scene. The combined forces march down the ramps towards the Cerebro room.]

Emma: I’m not feeling good vibrations.
Hank: Must have futzed my calculations.
Erik: Am I going to lose my dearest friend?
Riptide: Can’t say that I’ve really known him…
Azazel: …but our boss would like to bone him.
Angel: Guess that he’s our brother in the end.
Alex: It’s time to go down there and have the final showdown
All: Where we’ll prove that we’re heroes,
The fight is underway,
So we will prove that we’re heroes,
And save the da-ay!
Save the da-ay!
Save the da-a-ay!
Save the day!

Cerebro: [Spoken] Showtime!

***

[Scene: the Cerebro room. The troops storm in. Raven, still wrapped in tentacles, calls out to them, but as they enter Charles, who’s still wearing the Cerebro helmet, reaches a hand to his temple. They all judder to a halt, except for Erik, who is protected by his own helmet. He exchanges threats with Cerebro, who guilt-trips him about Charles’s injury while another sneaky tentacle (plastic) creeps around the side of the room. Finally the tentacle whips out and pulls off Erik’s helmet. Erik stands frozen for a moment before turning to the others, who are still unable to move, and then to Charles.]

[To the tune of “Give Me Something To Sing About”]

Erik: Life’s a song, set in a major key,
Because you all agree,
That’s how it’s meant to be.

You’ll survive whatever fate may send,
If everyone pretends,
That there’s a happy end.

[Cerebro’s tentacles attack. Erik fights them off with his powers. He turns to Charles, whacking at tentacles as he sings.]

Erik: Put on a - brave face,
Take it like - a man,
Hold your head - up high,
Never let - it show,
You know,
You can,
Be just like other boys,
Live every day with all its joys,

You don’t need songs,
You don’t need songs,

[Alex and Hank join in with backing vocals]

Erik: You need something to sing about,
Alex and Hank: Ah-ah-ah-aaahhhh!
Erik: But what is there to sing about?
Alex and Hank: Ah-ah-ah-aaahhhh!

Erik: Life’s a dance, and we all have a ball,
A glittering dance hall,
While you sit by the wall.

Oh my friend, it’s written in your eyes,
I see how you despise,
The smiles and the lies.

Erik: [Mockingly, gesturing at Charles’s chair] Take it step - by step
Go the ex-tra mile
You can walk - on air
Stand up tall - but there’s
No where
To run
How could I let you down?
You should have left me there to drown,
I’ve always known,
We’re all alone.

[A silence]

Erik: [Hopelessly] Nothing’s the same,
Don’t waste your time
Pretending that I’m
Forgiven.

I know I’m to blame,
It’s plain to see
That I cannot be
Forgiven.

I’ll never be forgiven.

[He spins on his heel into a dance pose.]

Erik: You need something to sing about.
But what is there…?

[He dances frenziedly until sparks from Cerebro are fizzing around him, all the metal in the room is trembling and his body is smoking (more so than usual, heh), ready to burst into flame. Everyone watches in horror. Suddenly Charles reaches up, tugs off the Cerebro helmet and throws it to the floor. He spins his chair towards Erik and catches him by the hips, forcing him to stop. Erik falls to his knees in front of Charles.]

Charles: Life’s not a dance,
Can’t kick up my heels,
But I can still feel
I’m living.

Give me a chance,
I’ve mountains to climb,
But you’ll find that I’m
Still living.

I know I’ll go on living
If loving you is living.

[Erik raises his head and Charles leans forwards, cups his cheek and kisses him. The others watch, looking mildly uncomfortable.]

[After an awkward pause where the kiss goes on and on, Cerebro sparks and flails his tentacles angrily.]

[To the tune of “What You Feel (reprise)”]

Cerebro: Well, I gotta say, I am kind of pissed.
Things are not okay, just because you guys have kissed.
Thought you needed me as your saviour,
[Petulantly] You know what? Screw you Charles Xavier,
You just run away, like I don’t exist….

[His tentacles droop and all his lights go out.]

***

[Scene: Outside the front of the mansion. It’s a little while later. Things have been said, decisions have been made. Erik gives Raven some last advice on leading the Brotherhood. Charles tells her he and Erik will always be there to support her. (More gratuitous tear-shots.) Now Raven stands between Erik and Charles, with the Brotherhood on one side, the X-Men on the other.]

[To the tune of “Where Do We Go From Here”]

Raven: Where do we go from here?
Erik: Where do we go from here?
Charles: The past is done,
And we’ve just begun,
To approach a new frontier.
All: Where do we go from here?

Brotherhood and X-Men: Now that new roads appear,
[Raven steps forwards, turning to face Erik and Charles]
Raven: Now that our choice is clear,
[The X-Men and the Brotherhood move to stand with her]
X-Men: We’ll join the fight,
Brotherhood: We can make it right,
Both: And no one will live in fear.
[They turn to Raven]
Tell us, where do we go from here?

Erik: [To Charles] I’ll always hold you near.
Charles: Won’t let you go, my dear.
Erik: There’s much we’ve lost
Charles: But it’s worth the cost,
Both: So we sound our victory cheer
[They join hands] And we know where we’ll go from here.

[Final curtain]