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Title: Scalpel
Author: Victoria P. []
Summary: The child is the father of the man.
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: All X-Men characters belong to Marvel and Fox; this piece of fan-written fiction intends no infringement on any copyrights.
Archive: Lists, Muse's Fool. Please ask. I'll say yes.
Feedback: Yeah, baby.
Notes: Thanks to Jen, Pete, Melissa, Dot, and Meg. Summary comes from "My Heart Leaps Up When I Behold" by William Wordsworth. This is a response to Khaki's opening line challenge: "His blood dripped from the counter like spilled milk."


The doctor's blood dripped from the counter like spilled milk.

Erik smiled thinly at his captors. They had strapped him down, but he could still fight back. He didn't need his hands to make the needles bend, the scalpels dance to his tune.

Since the day they'd separated him from his parents, he'd known he was different from them. Weak, they were, and easily cowed.

He was special.

He could fight back.

He couldn't quite explain *how* he manipulated the metal, why it obeyed his commands, or the sheer joy that flooded him upon doing it. He just knew that he could, and so he did.

The doctor spat something at the guards, who approached warily. They had beaten him every day for the past three weeks. But he had beaten them, too, made their guns useless. And without guns, without the certainty in their own superiority, they were nothing; bullies who'd been frightened by his mastery of their weapons. He never let them see his fear; he recognized that that would only make them strong again, and he couldn't afford that.

He knew that his time with the upper hand was dribbling away, that each day they were learning more about him, and soon they would realize that he could only control metal, and glass implements would appear to tease out his secrets.

But they didn't know that yet. They still approached with needles to drug him, and scalpels to cut him open, to see what made him different from the other inmates, whom they treated like refuse.

He was determined that they wouldn't learn, wouldn't pry the enigma of his powers from his mind or from his flesh.

The guards held him down, their hands imprinting fresh bruises on his already battered body, and the doctor, the cut on his hand now bandaged, approached with a grim smile on his face. Two of the guards grabbed Erik's head, forcing his mouth open and holding his nose shut.

The doctor dropped a large pill down his throat and he gagged, trying not to swallow, not to let them win this round. The soldiers clamped his mouth shut and wouldn't let him breathe.

Finally, lack of air made him give in. As he waited for the pill to take effect, he narrowed his eyes and quietly, with great concentration as his vision blurred and his limbs grew heavy, bent all the instruments on the counter.

The last thing he saw, as his eyes fluttered closed, was the doctor's frown as he realized his scalpels and specula were useless, twisted into one giant heap of scrap metal.

His mind was his scalpel, and he planned his cuts well, determined to survive at any cost.


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