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Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8

Drawn to the Lodestone Rock - REVIEW THIS STORY

Written by Dandelion
Last updated: 01/02/2007 02:01:11 AM

Chapter 5

He turned to look at Remy with an incredulous look. "That's me." Remy nodded. "But how? Why?"

"Now Eric, you came here for a reason, whether you know it or not. This place figures pretty big in your life." He looked at some of the pictures idly.

"Why won't you just tell me?" Eric asked, still looking at the portrait.

"Because, I haven't known you for that long and I wouldn't want your mem'ries colored by what I tell you. What if something I thought you done was vitally important, but to you it was something you barely remember? How would that make you view t'ings? No, no. I'll give you straight facts, but dat's it. And I can't even give you straight fact 'bout most t'ings. All I can do is open the door for you. You got to find your own way in."

Eric nodded. "Why was I here? Why does my portrait figure so prominently?"

Remy leaned against the wall. "You were headmaster here for a time. While Xavier was away."

"Where did he go?"

"Space." The minute the word was out of his mouth Remy realized how ludicrous it sounded. 'Space', like Magnus would believe that.

Eric turned and fixed Remy with a look that clearly said 'Yeah, right.'

He held his hands out. "Trust me on this, it can happen. I been there myself. So have you."

Eric looked at him disbelieving for a moment, then shrugged and turned back to the pictures. "So, why did I leave?"

"I don't know. 'Sides, whatever the reason, it was yours. I 'pect you didn't share it wit' anyone. You never seemed to me to be the most open person in the world." He paused. "But that's just my opinion, how would I know for sure?"

"I get the feeling I didn't lead a very envious life." Eric said quietly.

"Dat would depend on who you talked to." Remy replied slowly.

"Do you know anything about my past?" Eric moved away from the photographs.

"I know a few sketchy things. Nothin' I'd stake your mem'ry on. I figure it come back to you when you ready for it. Don't need me muckin' up your mem'ry." Remy folded his arms across his chest, waiting for Eric's next move.

Another picture caught Eric's eye. A man in red and purple, with a flowing cape and a strange helmet on his head. He was surrounded by a globe of blue energy. It looked pretty similar to whatever it was he jolted Remy with earlier. "That's me isn't it?"

Remy nodded.

Eric went to take a closer look. "What am I wearing on my head?"

Remy joined him in leaning over to peer at the photo. "Well..."

"What is that a bucket?"

The tone in which he said it was so unexpected that Remy was caught completely off guard and heard himself laughing before he even realized what was going on. Magnus leaned close to the photo, one eyebrow arched in an apprehensive, critical gaze. Remy was still chuckling when Eric continued. "I shudder to think what my code-name was. I did have a code-name, didn't I?"

Remy nodded, trying to stifle his laughter.

"Oh, of course I did. You said earlier that you didn't know my real name for a while. What was it?"

Remy's laughter died away and an uncertain look crossed his face.

Eric shook his head. "Never mind what it was. Please tell me it wasn't...Bucket-Head."

Remy just looked at him for a moment. His eyes bright and his mouth twisting in an attempt to stifle the new wave of laughter that was welling up inside him.

Eric face turned on an expression of mock horror. "It was wasn't it? It was and you don't want to tell me."

Gambit didn't quite have the strength to hold back anymore. He sputtered out a choking gasp, then peals of laughter came bursting out of him. He shook his head vehemently. "No, no. Dat wasn't your codename." He put his hand on Magnus' shoulder. "But don't go thinkin' nobody called you dat."

Eric face had a sour look on it. "Oh, like I can blame anyone. I'm wearing a BUCKET on my HEAD!" He pointed to the picture and then his head with the stressed words. He looked again at the photo. "How embarrassing."

Remy gestured to another photo.

Eric eyes went wide. "I spoke too soon, I see. God above, what is THAT?!"

"From what I understand, you wore that for a time."

"It's purple with a great big M on it." Eric spoke dispassionately. "It's Purple with a Great Big 'M' on it."

Remy chuckled lightly. "So it is."

"What did it stand for? Moron?" Eric joked then shook his head. "Very attractive that. A great big 'M'. I can imagine what people thought. I actually went out in public like that?"

"Well, to be honest. I guess you didn't get anyone pokin' fun at you, Lensherr. You've always been pretty intimidating."

Eric obviously didn't believe him. "I have a big 'M' on my chest and a bucket on my head. How intimidating is that?"

Remy shook his head, his grin fading. "Wasn't the outfit, Lensherr. Was the man."

Eric sobered and turned his head back to the photo. "Magnus."

Remy's head snapped up. "Hmm?"

"The M. It's for Magnus right?" Eric's voice was flat. "Magnus is part of my name, right?"

Remy nodded. "Magnus is your name. Had enough for one night?"

Eric nodded silently. "I remembered something, anyway."

Remy left him at the bottom of the stairs. Eric was glad. If he had gone the whole way he would have felt like a prisoner. He felt sort of like one anyway. At least Remy had let him alone so he could reflect on what he had seen. Eric Magnus Lensherr, at least he had his name now. He returned to his room and straightened the sheets and blankets. Crawling under the covers he let his mind wander over the day. Jean, Betsy and Hank were pleasant. Eric had very much appreciated getting out of the room and out into the fresh air. Hank did a marvelous Katherine Hepburn impersonation. Funny, how Eric could remember her. Couldn't remember his own name but he could recall Hepburn. Still, while he had enjoyed every minute he had spent by the lake he had noticed the threesome tactfully avoiding any subject that might cause him to ask questions. If he did ask anything, they changed the subject immediately. He had pressed and Jean had only told him "Now isn't the time."

Whatever that meant.

Remy hadn't exactly been open. But he had at least let Eric have a chance at remembering who he was. The room with the pictures was strange. He hadn't expected to see himself there, looking so different. The man in the portrait was him, but there was something in him that Eric knew wasn't there now. That man had been through wars.

The jokes about the costumes had been fun. He knew instinctively that Remy wasn't someone who had done much laughing in his life. And he knew the man that he was hadn't done much either. They both needed it. Maybe it was payment for Remy showing him that part of his life or for not holding the magnetic attack against him. Maybe it was just to help him out. He wasn't sure. He was just glad he did it.

He lay on the bed and closed his eyes again. He had regained a part of himself. It had been a good day.

Remy found himself in the uncomfortable position of actually liking the man. As if he weren't in enough trouble as it was. The situation with Rogue and his already much too shady past were all marks against him. Now, he found himself actually liking the X-men's archfoe. He supposed the safe thing to do now would be to distance himself from Magnus and leave the whole thing be.

But he was never one to do the safe thing. Or the right thing for that matter. He was pretty much on a streak. He lost his wife, lost his home, lost his brother, lost his family, lost his love - why not go all the way and alienate everybody? He grinned sardonically. <There's that dark humor Remy.> Of course, the fact that Magnus actually had a sense of humor - and that it was good - had completely shell-shocked him. He was able to poke fun at himself in a way that Remy had certainly never expected of Magneto.

Suddenly, Remy was faced with the fact that Eric Magnus Lensherr was far more than he had ever given him credit for. And he liked him - he was even close to respecting him.


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