Title: Sudden Havoc
Author: tarotgal
Fandom: X-Men: First Class
Rating: G
Disclaimer: I have no claim over these characters. They’re not mine. I get no money for this.
Summary: Alex is feeling off; he copes the best way he knows how.

Author notes: For symphonyflute. Happy birthday, sweetie!



Sudden Havoc


This was stupid. One little cold and his aim was way off. During the last practice, Alex had thought maybe it was his target malfunctioning or maybe it was because he’d sneezed right when he’d sent out an energy burst. So he’d suited up to try again today. And it had gone monumentally worse. The sort of worse that required two whole fire extinguishers to everything except for the dummies he was trying to destroy. The only thing that could account for that was the fact that today he felt like shit.


He rubbed his nose on his sleeve and headed up to his room. In the time since Charles and Erik had shown up at his cell, he’d learned what it was like to be around people, to start trusting people, to not be afraid of himself around people. But when he felt like this, it seemed a lot better to resort to his usual solitary confinement. No one to pester him, no one to smother him, and no one to get infected by him.


Sniffling, Alex appropriated the tissue box from the bathroom. Then he tucked himself into his bed with the plan of sleeping through the worst of this cold.




His dreams were not peaceful. Over and over, he saw the face of the man who had kidnapped him and his sister. And he saw what he’d done to the man. He’d hugged Haley to him afterward to keep her from seeing. But he’d seen. He’d hoped that being sent to prison would make him feel accountable and keep it from haunting him at every second, but all it had done was leave him alone with his thoughts. He couldn’t not remember. And it always came back to him in his dreams.


Alex woke up a little past midnight with hunger pains and a stuffiness in his head he just couldn’t deal with. He spent twenty solid minutes curled up around the pain and trying to clear out his nose enough to breathe without coughing. By the time he managed to keep his nose from literally dripping visibly, his throat was so raw from coughing and clearing it that he wasn’t sure he’d be able to swallow much food at all.


But he still grabbed his bathrobe and headed down to the kitchen. His brain was hazy and dulled from the cold, so it didn’t seem at all strange that the lights were on at this time of night. He opened the fridge and started rooting through. Orange juice was a good start. Maybe some eggs, too. Fried. No, scrambled. He got the milk out as well.


Then he paused, feeling the need to sneeze and realizing far too late in this excursion that he’d left the tissues upstairs. Pressing his sleeve right up against his nose, he tried to hold it off. He caught his reflection in the metal fridge handle and would have scowled at himself if not for the sneeze that was taking over his entire face. “heh-heh-IHTCHttttttt!” The sneeze made him cough and snuffle and cough again. And, God, he had to blow his nose again. He tore a paper towel off the holder above the sink and emptied his nose into it repeatedly, even though the thing filled up again after each blow.


“Bless you.”


Alex nearly fell down he was so startled. Just short of that, he ended up slamming himself against a drawer and cabinet, tripping over himself. He saw Hank sitting at the eat-in kitchen table in the nook beyond the counters. Hank had a pad of paper and a pencil out and was surrounded by files and books. He had his shoes and socks kicked off and sat with his feet—such as they were—propped up on a chair. Gross.


“What’re you doin’ here, Bozo?”


“Working. I kept running into walls in my lab and thought a change of pace might be nice. Well, that and a chocolate milkshake. There’s about half a glass left in the blender if you want some.”


He wouldn’t have wanted some before, but then hank had to go and mention it and suddenly a milkshake sounded like it would feel so good on his throat. Before he could figure out how to respond, though, the tickle in his nose was back with a vengeance all its own. He cupped the paper towel securely around it. “hffff-SHTTTttttttt!


“Bless you again. Alex… are you coming down with something?”


Alex shook his head. “Uh-uh, I’ve got subthig already. Subthig f… fadtastic.”


Hank frowned and set his pencil down. “Come here. Let me have a look.”


Alex made a face. “Ew.”


“No.” He laughed. “Idiot. I’ve got a medical degree, among others. Let me take a look at you. I probably have something you can take.”


Alex didn’t move. He wasn’t sure he wanted Hank of all people scrutinizing him, especially as he wasn’t feeling his best. He couldn’t exactly fight the guy off, though. And suddenly Hank was springing to his feet on the chair and leaping over the counter, landing right in front of Alex. Hank reached up to the swinging overhead light and angled it to shine brightly down on Alex.


With the light right in his eyes, Alex’s nose prickled with need. “heh-hehEhfshhhhhhh!” He turned his head just in time out of instinct, though later he realized it would have been hilarious to sneeze right in Hank’s face.


“Bless you.” Hank waited for him to blow his nose again. Then he started the inspection. He checked the man’s forehead for fever. He looked in both ears and felt the sides of Alex’s face for swollen lymph nodes. He had Alex open his mouth and say ‘ah’ for as long as he could without coughing. Then he turned and poured the rest of the milkshake into a glass. “Here. You drink this. It’s just a cold. Nothing serious. But I’ll go get you some medicine.” He patted Alex’s upper arm and disappeared down the hallway.


For a moment, Alex worried that Hank was actually going to tell Charles or Erik about this. And before he knew it, he’d be standing there in the middle of the kitchen with everyone staring at him. He thought about ducking out and retreating back to his room. But, damn it, Hank knew where that was too.


When Hank returned, Alex was glad to see he was alone and carrying a whole armload of things he deposited on one of the counters. Boxes of tissues, cough drops, decongestants, pain killers. Then he went through the directions of how much to take and how often. “You want me to make you something to eat?”


Alex shook his head. “Why’re you beig so dice?”


“Because you’re too sick to be an asshole to me.”


Alex didn’t really mean to be a jerk. Well, okay, sometimes he did. But it was Hank. “heh… heh-Ehhshuhhh!”  He rubbed at his nose, but that didn’t help.  “h’KSchhhh! Sniff! Baybe I’d feel better if I were beig ad asshole?”


Hank tried and failed to hide his smile. “Just stick to the decongestants, Havok. And sleep. Get as much of that as you can. I’ll tell the others to steer clear.”


Alex scrambled some eggs and had half a dozen pieces of toast before heading back to his room. Full and feeling a little lightheaded, he collapsed back into bed and let the silence of the room put him to sleep.