Good Dog

(PG, adult content) X3, Magneto/Pyro

After all, dog is god spelled backwards.

Notes: Not part of the FDoE universe. Occurs during X3, after Alcatraz

Unbeta'd, so all the mistakes are mine.

Disclaimer: Marvel owns the X-Men, 20th Century Fox owns the movie. Salut! I just took them out to play and I promise put them back when I'm done. I'm not making any profit just trying to get these images out of my head.

///***///

A strong hand gripped Erik's upper arm, bits of metal pressing through the fabric. He didn't have to look up to know who it was.

He had always considered Pyro ferociously yet charmingly loyal. Despite the expression on Pyro's face when Erik had chosen to leave Mystique behind, the flash of shock had been replaced by faith that it was the right thing to do.

Erik didn't preach to those in his inner circle. He expected them to understand. Talents, after all, were not restricted to mutant abilities; that was why after Liberty Island, Erik had vowed that he would only have those who understood that concept close to him.

"C'mon," the boy now urged him as the crowd rushed around them. He then pulled off Erik's helmet, unclasped the cape, and tucked both under his arm, the fabric wrapped around the metal. Pyro didn't say, 'So they won't recognize you' as he did it, just expected Erik to understand.

Always thinking ahead. Like Mystique.

Erik stumbled again, still weak and disoriented from the poison. He should have listened to the boy's suggestion those months ago about Kevlar armor, before they knew of this toxin. Stun guns and tranquilizer darts had been Pyro's reasoning, because that was what the boy had witnessed. However, the boy had dropped the argument completely when Erik had declared that their focus should not be on silly uniforms with silver B's on the collar.

Yet, if Erik had only listened, things would be quite different.

Pyro pulled Erik's arm over his shoulders and slipped a hand around his waist. He guided them to the middle of the pack of fleeing humans and mutants, effectively cloaking them with mass hysteria.

When they got to an abandoned car, Pyro opened the passenger front door and helped Erik in. The bundled helmet was placed at his feet. Once the door was shut, the boy raced to the other side, slid behind the wheel, and fumbled a few times with the key. Pyro didn't ask for his help in starting the car -- Erik wondered if the boy somehow knew -- and once the engine roared to life, Pyro quickly put it into gear and began driving.

Pyro didn't ask for directions either. He was simply getting them out of the war zone, living up to the vow he had made his first night with the Brotherhood. "I won't let them imprison you again," the boy had declared as he had stared at the numbers on Erik's arm. "They won't take you as long as I'm around."

Mystique had been thoroughly amused. A loyal pet, she had whispered to Erik later that night. A wonderful little pup to fetch your slippers for you.

Pyro turned out to be surprisingly obedient despite his youth and energy; unlike Toad or Sabertooth, Erik never had to hold the leash tightly. That was the mistake Charles had made with the boy, restricting him so much that he had to chew away his collar.

With the Brotherhood, Erik gave the boy a purpose, kept him by his side to watch and learn. That had made the boy the happiest, ensuring his loyalty and tempering his rebellious streak, and when Erik allowed himself to be affectionate, the boy preened from the attention.

A little young for you, Erik, Mystique had commented him the first night the boy shared his bed.

Everyone is a 'little young' for me, my dear, he had replied, amused by the slight jealousy in her voice. She had smirked a little before sauntering away.



Now, Erik glanced over, for the first time noting the dried blood on Pyro's nose and mouth as well as the swelling and bruising around his eye. He knew immediately that his boy had lost the fight against Iceman. A shame, really. His boy's emotions had obviously gotten the better of him.

Erik stared out the window, trying to get his bearings. He wasn't sure if they were on Highway 1 or Highway 101, since both led away from the bridge. He could tell that they were still in Presidio, though, and wondered what little haven the boy had planned or, like everyone else driving madly around them, just getting out. Away. Safe.

They weren't heading back to the compound; his boy wasn't that stupid. Pyro had been the one who suggested leaving Multiple Man as a decoy when they had abandoned camp, going so far as to talk it up until the other man couldn't resist the challenge.

Look, Mystique has to give those flatscans something, Pyro had reasoned but not once suggesting that she would betray them. It had been easy to reason that she had fed the flatscans bullshit to buy herself time. Erik refused to dwell on all that Mystique could tell them.

"Rest now," Pyro told him firmly, but his gaze didn't waver from the road.

Erik wanted to laugh at -- his boy giving him an order -- but instead followed the directive. The poison made his shoulder throb, his bones ache. For the first time, he supposed, he really felt his age.

He closed his eyes and leaned his head against the window.

His boy wouldn't betray him.

///***///

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