This is an AU of my Mutant!AU. I had this whole short written out for how David dies. Then I reached the point where I had to kill him and I went “NOOO, it’s too mean I can’t kill David!” and so I wrote an AU version where he succeeds.
“David” Elizabeth signed as she stepped in to the man’s eye line, “They know who we are. Someone sold us out.” David nodded in agreement waving a piece of paper with five names on it at her. Dropping it on the desk he signed back quickly.
“I am aware, these are the people who both knew of the plan and would have had their position made at risk of discovery if we went ahead. I think we should carry on.”
“Of course you do. It’s suicide, David, you might think that your father’s position will protect you but this is one step to far. We need to step back and let things go for a while.”
“If we step back now hundreds of mutants will die just because the government think that they are expendable.”
“There is a difference between being a sympathiser and being an terrorist and we are about to cross that line. When they didn’t know we were involved it was fine but know they know our names. They won’t care that you are an industrialist millionaire. You are funding terrorist activity and we will end up dead. “
“It’s a risk we have to take.” David signed finally, firmly slamming his hand on the desk to make it clear he was done with the conversation. The other people in the room flinched at the bang turning to glance at their leaders before turning back to their jobs.
David cleared his throat and carefully said, in a clear voice that spoke of hundred of thousands of dollars worth of speech therapy,
“On the 23 of October 1990 the United States of America sent a deployment of 300 none-human military assets in to Iraq it has since been deemed too expensive to transport those assets home. When troops are recalled to the States the equipment will be destroyed. “ he looked around the room before continuing, “They may know who we are, Elizabeth, but those ‘assets’ are human. And as much as I can fight in congress or lean in the President’s ear they refuse to change the way they see them, the way they treat them. We do what we planned. This is a rescue mission. We aren’t coming home after this and no one will extradite to the states. We save them and keep them safe.” David let his voice drop to the point only Elizabeth could hear him. “He’s my brother. Dad always acted like John died when they took him but he is my baby brother I can’t. I can’t pretend that he doesn’t exist. It was always my aim to save him so saving a couple dozen others at the same time is a bonus. I can’t let them murder him. Even if I do have to lose everything to do it.” His voice cracked and he blinked several times. “ Two genetic quirks in our family. If you have one then you buy what you need to overcome the prejudice and sound ‘normal’ the other strips you of everything even your humanity. How is that fair? How is it right?” Elizabeth wrapped a hand around his shoulder and waited for him to look at her.
“My flight’s in an hour. I’ll be waiting for you when you get to the border. Everything is set up and the Swiss government just gave me permission to smuggle one plane full of stolen American military assets into their country.” David smiled at his old friend as she signed at him, “I had to make sure you knew the risks. David? Today isn’t a good day to die, OK?” He nodded and pulled her into a tight hug. Letting go he lent on his desk and signed, “See you in two days, Lizzie-bug, love you.” Elizabeth smiled and as she walked away she wished every person in the room good luck and told them how their families would be waiting for them when they arrived.
– – –
David sat on the plane surrounded by men and women dressed in heavy combat gear armed with tranquilliser guns and half a dozen other tricks to leave people unconscious quickly. The man who had trained them moved through the plane calming nerves and giving pep talks even as he checked gear and adjusted vests and helmets. Eventually he reached David and crouched in front of him speaking clearly so David could read his lips.
“Be prepared for anything. We’ve been over this but I’m going to say it again. We might have to knock him out and drag his ass screaming out of that camp. He might fight and he might keep fighting for a long time after we save him. So if someone shoots his ass. Do not stop to argue just grab him and haul ass to the plane, okay?” David nodded even though he knew it was a rhetorical question. Hands slid over his equipment and after a few second he is given a thumbs up and the man moves on.
Several hours later David felt the rhythm of the plane change as they started circling to land . Silently he prayed that the codes they were given check out and the base let them land without trouble. The whole plan resting on information that may already have been compromised when they were sold out. A green light fills the cargo area they are sat in and David smiled as the woman next to him pumped the air. Final checks start happening as though they had done this a thousand times. As the plane bumped into the tarmac people begin to take position and David stepped to the front of the queue briefcase in hand the half dozen people dressed as private security dropped into position next to him. The plane stopped and he began to go through a routine well worn through endless repetitions during weapons tests. ‘No reason for anyone to suspect this is anything else’ he thought as the door opened and the CO of the base greeted him with a nod and a smile. As David reached him the men on either side of David shifted to behind the military escort and at the nod from one of them David pulled his fist back and punched the general straight in his smug, asshole face.
His people start pouring off the plane even as the general pulled a gun on him and David smashed another punch into the man’s head, then another and another and another. Until the man was down and stayed down. A hand wrapped around his upper arm and hauled him up and off the General, pushing him in the direction of the barracks. He caught up with his group and knocked the safety off his gun as they charge the first room.
Nearly an hour after it started David watched as they haul the last mutant they could find on to the plane. Behind them a convoy from another base appeared and David shouted for someone to get them off the ground before they ended up in another fire fight. For, what felt like, the first time since he got back on the plane David took a breath. One of the men holding the tall, slim mutant up signed one handed. “Found him in the back of a helicopter, unconscious. Not us.” David frowned at the last bit and walked over to crouch next to the cot they were strapping his brother down to and winced as he realised the young man was covered in bruises, his face swollen and almost unrecognisable. Silently he nodded his thanks to the two men and grabbed one of the medi packs they had brought with them. Fishing through he found a wet wipe and began to clean the blood from John’s face, whispering apologies as the other man flinched away from every touch, slowly coming around.
He brushed his gloved fingers over John’s face brushing his hair out of the way and bit back tears when his brother nearly climbed out of his skin at the touch, clearly expecting the hand to be ungloved. Unfocused eyes opened and after a few seconds John’s mouth opened then closed without forming words, out of the corner of his eye he saw John’s fingers form DAVID? hesitantly. David smiled, nodding as tears betrayed him and slipped from his eyes splashing on to John’s face causing yet another huge flinch even as the younger man smiled sliding back into unconsciousness
Beneath his knees David felt the plane engines change to their usual pattern as they reached altitude and began the short journey out of US controlled airspace. Looking around the plane he felt a great deal of pride as he saw his people clinging to long lost family members, friends and occasionally touch starved strangers. The red light in the cabin changed to green as they finally flew over the border into safety and a few people cheered. Even as he smiled at their success his heart broke as the men and women they had rescued flinched away from the sudden noise and movement.
Six long hours after they took off and nearly 4 hours after John had woken from his unconsciousness in panic begging almost incoherently for his brother until finally David had risked it and slipped his glove off, then John’s glove off and let his brother cling to his bare wrist like he had as a small child. One of his people tapped his shoulder and signed. “Bern, 20 mins” before walking off to finish telling everyone else. They had realised quickly that general announcements caused more trouble and upset than any of them ever wanted to deal with. He felt John’s grip on his wrist tighten slightly and glanced down at the sleeping man. He smiled as he realised that John still looked comfortable and content, curled on one side like he always had. Deciding it was probably best if John was awake before they landed he gently began to prod at John by thinking his brother’s name over and over loudly in a manner John had once described as’ uniquely frustrating’. In an almost unconscious move that David could sense everyone else on the plane watching, John lifted one hand and swatted at his brother before catapulting backwards and away from David to huddle in the corner muttering something over and over. Glancing at the person closest to him he watched as they mouthed ‘Sorry’ to let him know what John was saying. Sliding next to his brother David let their knees touch and, when he didn’t flinch away, their shoulders. Moments before they landed David offered John his hand and sighed with relief when his brother took it.
Elizabeth stood on the tarmac waiting for the plane to finish taxiing, the bus behind her ready to take everyone home, as the exhausted looking rescuers and rescuees exited the plane she congratulated, thanked and comforted as needed until finally David appeared at the top of the ramp next to a man who was unmistakably the man the little boy, that she had met once and had seen so often in David’s carefully protected and hoarded photos, had grown into. As they walked across the tarmac Elizabeth was amazed to realise that that they were holding hands, skin to skin. She sighed with relief as she realised that she might not have to hold her best friend up when he realised his brother was broken beyond their ability to heal. That perhaps John wasn’t as hurt as she had always feared. David stopped next to her with a grin and the far too thin and bruised man next to him lifted his head and with out quite meeting her eyes murmured.
“I remember you Lizzie-bug”