A/N: Posted 15/07/2017.
"Can we maybe deal with this once we've finished off the Russians?" Indiana tried to divert the conversation away.
Mutt desperately wanted to argue, but the sound of shouting had them both looking over to the fray. He huffed and nodded, "it's not over."
Mutt dashed off to help Havok who was dealing with two at once, grabbing a gun on the way. He hadn't quite figured out the quick way of checking out how many bullets were left so he hoped that it was still loaded. As he headed to the fighting he quickly angled himself so that he wouldn't hit anyone by accident and opened fire. He felled three before he got a little too close for comfort and instead swapped to using it to bash people around the head.
It didn't take long for them to mop up the last of the soldiers, even when their fighting turned to desperation. Erik dropped the last man and only then did the few in the fight turn to look at each other.
"Anyone else want to hurl?" Mystique asked, and she did look a little grey.
"Maybe later, I want to get out of here first," Havok agreed.
"How is everyone?" Charles asked as he backed away from the pile of bodies.
"A few scrapes but I am good," Mutt nodded tiredly. "Fancy letting Mom know it's safe to come back?"
"On it," Charles quickly put his fingers to his head but immediately dropped them again. "She's already here."
"What? She knew the plan," Mutt scanned around for her.
"She must have had her reasons, this way," the telepath led the way and the five of them headed back from where Mutt had dashed in.
They got back to Spalko's body, and Havok whistled at the sight before clapping Mutt on the shoulder, "that must have been a fight."
"Indiana helped... where is he?" Mutt searched around.
It didn't take long for them to find signs, a large chunk had been ripped out of the door of one of the tents, a quick check inside revealed it to be too dark for anyone to be likely in there. But around the other side there were three people waiting.
"Indy!" Havok said as he dashed forwards.
"What's going on?" Mutt asked as he moved forwards.
"Sorry I couldn't keep up kid," Indy grinned ruefully and tried to sit upright but Marion whacked him on the head and forced him down again.
"If you move again I'm getting Charles to knock you out," she ordered and turned back to her work.
"What's going on?" Charles asked more forcefully.
"This idiot got himself shot and was in danger of bleeding out, so he called us," Marion explained. "If he had any sense he would have called sooner."
"Sorry I was a little busy trying to get to Mutt," Indiana grouched as he tried to look at what they were doing.
"Oxley is busy sorting out the other cuts where Spalko got a little happy with her rapier," she continued as she shoved Indiana's head down again.
"And he's definitely not as good at sewing as you," he winced at a rather forceful tug.
"I'm stopping the bleeding, that's better than nothing," came the cultured voice of Oxley as he worked.
"Have you got the bullet out yet?"
"No," Indy groaned as Marion dug in a bit further.
"I can help with that," Erik moved around to his side and put his hand over the wound.
They saw Indy judder slightly, and then Erik moved away and held out the offending item.
"Well that was easy," Marion said happily.
"For you maybe," Indy spat out.
"Oh quit whining, at least you don't have to worry about Sallah doing this, or having to rely on Captain Katanga finding you a medic," Marion started stitching the wound up. "We don't have anything to deal with major internal bleeding so hopefully it missed anything vital. You've got to keep it clean and dry."
"We have a second option," the man on his back said in a resigned tone.
"Seriously Jones?" Marion stared at him and stopped stitching.
"I've seen what happens to gunshot wounds that get infected, and there is no way we are going to be able to keep it clean enough over the next week until we make it out the jungle," he rubbed a rather dirty hand over his face tiredly.
"Alright," Marion squeezed his shoulder then looked up at the group. "We're going to need a clean knife. Can one of you look for a medical kit? If someone else gets just any knife as well in case they can't find one. Alcohol couldn't hurt, it'll either disinfect the equipment or it'll help with the pain. Something for bandaging will be good too. Can someone get a fire going just over there?"
"So..." Indiana said when the others had headed off looking for their objects.
"Spit it out Jones, it'll keep you occupied for a few minutes," Marion smirked at him.
"You know what we talked about a few nights ago? I may have accidentally let slip about it," he said vaguely.
"The fact that you walked out on your unborn son?" Oxley chipped in from down by his knee.
"Yes," Indiana sighed heavily. "And for the record I didn't know Ox. If I had I would have been back straight away. And it might be a bit late but I'm determined to be there for him now."
"We'll see about that," Indiana glared down at the bowed head of his once friend, but the tone Oxley used had been a bit more relaxed than before.
"Anyway, I may have accidentally let slip in front of Mutt," he waited for the inevitable explosion.
"How did that just slip out?!" Marion hissed, making sure to keep the volume low.
"She was going to stab him in the neck!" Indiana countered. "I kind of panicked and it just slipped out, I said 'not my son,' I think."
Although Marion did want to shout at him, the fact that he had slipped whilst defending the son he barely knew did make her anger abate slightly. "You do realise that is not going to be a fun conversation to have."
"We'll get over it when he decides he wants to talk, although hopefully not in five minutes," Indiana noticed people coming and quickly changed the subject. "Do either of you remember the way in?"
"They took a boat in to the lake, then vehicles to here. Hopefully there is at least one usable jeep or truck we can take to get to the lake. I think it was a commandeered boat so it might still be at the lake," Marion caught on and worked with him instead of arguing back.
"We'll search tomorrow, you'll need to rest today though," Erik insisted as he held out a couple of bottles.
"Or I could just drink those," Indiana grinned and reached for a bottle.
Marion gently smacked his hand away. "You'll still risk pulling stitches if you do."
"Well you're not as fun as when I met you. Which one of us was the one who won a drinking competition against a six foot bloke?"
"Definitely not you, you're terrible with your alcohol," Marion smirked with pride.
"Only compared to you," he turned to Erik. "Trust me, never ever try and win against her in a drinks challenge, she will wipe the floor with you."
Erik chuckled and stashed the bottles well out of arms reach to Indiana's dismay. The others quickly returned with their items and after ten minutes everything was ready. For privacy those not necessary moved away and the three that were left heard them discussing what to do about the camp.
"So, how do you do this exactly?" Marion only sounded unsure as the knife was in the flames.
"Seriously, only now you say you don't know what you're doing?" Indiana almost sat upright at that.
"Don't worry, I can do it," Oxley gently tapped her shoulder and she moved out the way.
"Just don't jab too deep," Indiana joked as Marion grabbed his hands. "That's not a good idea."
"Shut up Jones," Marion gripped his hands tighter so he couldn't let go.
"When we get back are you going to make an honest woman of Marion then?" Oxley asked.
"What the hell Oxley?"
Both of them reacted in surprise, which seemed to be what the older man was wanting. Whilst Indiana was distracted he brought the heated blade down.
"That didn't sound nice," Mystique winced at the sound of screaming.
"It served the job," Erik said without turning round. "Now, the camp we can probably leave and nature will take care of it. But we need to bury the bodies."
"That's going to take days to dig enough holes," Mutt gazed around.
"One mass trench will do it, and I think we can cheat a bit," Erik tested his own theory.
"Graves?" Havok asked as he walked past and saw Erik manipulating a spade easily.
"We can't leave them," Erik insisted.
"Oh I agree, but there's a much easier way of doing it," Havok walked off to an open space away from the majority of the camp and looked down whilst stretching out.
There was a lot of noise and light as he burnt a huge trench in the soil, but once he ceased channeling the energy a huge gouge in the earth was left. "See? One trench."
"Show off," Erik dropped the shovel he had been using.
"Just because someone stole your thunder for once," Mystique laughed.
"We'll still need to dig the soil back over them," Havok patted the taller mutant on the shoulder in a consoling manner.
With all the soldiers wearing some kind of metal it didn't take Erik long to move everyone into the trench and then he set about filling the hole in. By the time he was done the camp looked a lot less grim, and the others had started making themselves more at home. Charles handed him a cup full of clean water and a plate of hot food.
"We seem to be moving in on the far side of the camp, there's the kitchen tent and Mutt and Mystique set about converting the mess tent to our quarters for the next few days. I don't know when we will be able to travel with Indiana so it's probably a good idea what they've done."
"Smart kids," Erik agreed. "They'd make good survival teachers at your school."
"We aren't going to teach the kids to fight," Charles insisted.
"Not that kind of survival, but camping skills and stuff. Extracurricular topics, the stuff fancy schools normally offer," Erik put his empty hand up in defence.
"Mutt still needs to officially finish school," Charles said with a thoughtful look on his face.
"And he might not be a mutant himself but he's had enough dealings with us and he doesn't seem afraid," Erik carried on that line of thought.
"We'll see when we get back home," the telepath nodded and lead the way to where the others were.
Luck finally smiled on them when Mutt and Havok found the two jeeps, and after a little tinkering they sputtered into life. With plenty of room between them for more than the eight of them Indiana managed to argue their departure for the next day.
"I'll be lying down the entire time," he pointed out. "I won't have to move so I'll be resting just as effectively as if I was lying in this bed."
"Getting out of here is the safest idea, for all of us," Oxley agreed reluctantly.
"We leave tomorrow then," Marion and Charles agreed.
And when it came time to travel Oxley offered to drive one jeep whilst Marion, Mutt, and Indiana were in the back of it, whilst the others piled into the second jeep.
"So, what did you mean when you faced Spalko?" Mutt asked after they had been moving for about ten minutes.
"I meant what I said," Indiana said honestly.
"But Colin was my dad," Mutt protested and looked to Marion for support.
"Colin and I got together when you were three months old," Marion sighed. "He immediately fell in love with you and happily took you in as his own."
Mutt refused to look at either of them as he tried to wrap his head around it. A few times it looked like he was going to speak, only to huff and fall silent.
"How long were you going to keep this from me?" he asked in a barely controlled tone.
"In truth I never saw the need to bring it up, we were a good family and I never saw a need to ruin those happy memories," Marion admitted.
"Why now then?" Mutt snapped.
"Because of my telepathy, I may have accidentally found out at any time. Marion thought it was best to tell me now rather than me finding out at an inopportune time," Indiana defended her.
"Like when you have a sword to your throat?" the youth sneered at him.
"I can apparently be a bit impetuous and forgetful," his father apologized.
"A bit?" Marion snorted.
"Alright, very," Indiana huffed.
"Why did you leave?" Mutt quickly changed the subject.
"You've seen the kind of life I lead, I didn't want to risk your Mom in this kind of mess. And I thought she'd be better off not constantly worrying whether I would come back," Indiana admitted.
"Well you failed on that account," Marion chipped in.
"Hey this was Oxley's fault, not mine."
"I'm sorry Mutt," Marion gently squeezed the arm of her son.
"I didn't mean for you to find out that way, but I'm glad you know," Indiana said softly, all joking aside.
"Because it explains why I am going to be appearing a lot more in your life," Indiana stated, then quickly continued when it looked like Mutt was going to protest. "I'm not going to try and make you change everything you are to become what I wanted in a son, but I would like to know what kind of person you are. Colin did a fantastic job of raising you and I'm not going to try to take his place, but I have a right to get to know you."
"You had that chance over the last twenty years," Mutt shot back.
"And had I known that you had existed and that you were mine I would have been there like a shot. I can't undo the past, but I can try to work on the future," Indiana said evenly.
Mutt didn't reply but he did eventually nod in acceptance. Neither Marion or Indiana could hide their relief that the conversation went better than they had expected.
Getting back into America was just as easy as getting out, thanks to Indiana's expertise in dealing with smugglers. Although Marion, Mutt, and Oxley initially wanted to head straight back to their own lives Indiana managed to convince them to meet the rest of his friends. With plenty of rooms spare in the mansion they were immediately settled in and ended up spending a week resting and blending in with the mutants.
Beast had been busy and had almost completed a new Cerebro in a small tower in the grounds so Charles and Erik threw themselves into planning a school. Although he debriefed the military on the Russian fiasco and was free to return to his old lecturing Indiana found himself hesitating.
"You know you would always be welcome here teaching some of our subjects," Charles' voice pulled him out of his thoughts.
"You really are serious about this school idea," Indiana turned to look at him.
"It's nice to know your control is stable, having secrets is refreshing," Charles smiled.
"We've got Them to thank for that," Indiana agreed. "But seriously?"
"There were hundreds of mutant children out there in America alone, fearing what was happening to them and what their families would think. If we could help them learn control then there is no reason that they can have a normal adult life. Having you on board would be invaluable both for teaching experience and support for students," Charles tried to convince him.
"I haven't work with young teens before," Indiana said with a hint of apprehension.
"Well there's always a first for everything. Plus who wants an easy life?" Charles smiled. "Think about it."
Indiana turned back to the window where he had been looking out onto the grounds. At the far end of the lawn the younger mansion occupants were roughhousing. Mutt, Havok, Banshee, and Darwin were all wrestling whilst Mystique and Angel laughed at them.
"If it helps your decision," Charles interrupted his contemplation once more. "Mutt's agreed to stay and teach engineering, on the condition he finishes his own studies."
A/N: Well I think that is as good a place as any to finish the story.
I want to thank all of you who stuck with me and read this all, I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. As always, double the thanks goes to anyone who followed or favourited or reviewed it too. Watching the numbers rock up does make writing all the more easier as you know that others out there appreciate your work!