What if during Warren’s recovery, after he has decided to stay at the mansion for his own sake and is put on 24 hour watch, he begins making the best of his ‘grounding,’ and starts hanging out with Hank down in the labs. Hank said it would help his confidence- both where he had too much, and where he too little. It would give him something to do while his wings grew back. It would keep his mind off of the prominent anger in his head. Sort of like therapy, as he would help Hank with expirements, medical treatment, and cleaning around the school. Warren needed a new leader in his life- someone REAL to look up to and guide him.
Now what if Hank then soon realized Warren’s terrible fear and anxiety around the new jet being built one day, when he has Warren come down to help him with a few things on it. He would see how much trouble the memories and fear and nightmares were giving the winged mutant, and decide to make that the next goal on the list of Warren’s recovery.
So what if then, he decided to start bringing Warren down to work on the jet every day with him. The angel wouldn’t want to upset the only mutant around that didn’t hate him, and would unwillingly agree and follow him down each time. But slowly, as the months would go on, Warren would begin loosening up around the formerly threatening machine. He would see all the parts that went into it- how it worked, how to turn it on, how to turn it off. How it flew- just like him, but not quite. How it was controlled, and how exactly Jean had taken it down that terrible day. He would see how simple it all turned out to be- and where all the exits were if ever another emergency occurred. He would see and help hank put the weapons and extra gadgets inside, and soon, when the new X Jet would be finished, Warren would now know the machine inside and out; less and less afraid by the day.
But then, what if Hank wouldn’t stop there. Warren’s continuous flinching and still unease would not be enough for his satisfaction, so he would decide to go further.
So what if then, he teaches Warren to fly it. By now, Warren’s wings have grown fully in. He doesn’t need the jet at all to reach the sky, but Hank still makes him try. And Warren agrees only because now he looks up to Hank- now he trusts him. Now he sees Hank as family; the doctor hadn’t wronged him yet, and Warren suddenly finds a brand new confidence in his head that he hadn’t noticed before.
Warren would have a panic attack the first time- Hank having to nearly force him into the chair and put his white-knuckled grip on the controls. The angel would go pale and sweaty and quiver with a gasping chest as he took hold of the steering, and allowed Hank to bring the suddenly gigantic jet to life around him.
“I’m right here Warren, you know I wouldn’t hurt you. If you can’t do it, just let me know and I can take over.” Hank would get set up right next to him- relaxed and easy as he would put the headphones on with him and take his controls.
The jet would move, and Warren would find himself in a mad panic as his hands nearly crush the new handles. He wouldn’t last long the first time- his wings opening and his eyes closing against his will as he instinctively yanks the controls up. Hank would then turn off Warren’s side; flying on his own but leaving the angel sitting next to him. He would test out the new pieces and parts of the jet, and talk to Warren as he flew them around. The angel would keep his grip tight on the steering and his eyes securely closed as he nods to Hank in response, until the doctor sighs and looks over at him.
“Warren, open your eyes. Look, we’re just flying…” he’d speak softly.
Warren would then slowly pry open his eyelids, to see only white clouds and blue sky through the windows in front of him. He’d huff a shaky laugh, but close them again and finally wish to go back.
Hank would let him, and return to the mansion.
But as the days would go on, Hank would take him out more and more. Day after day, until Warren was finally able to steer and fly all on his own at Hanks side- laughing hysterically as he suddenly sees what he can do.
And then what if- after Warren has mastered the new jet with Hank and figured out how to give it command and make it do what he wants it to do- the X Men are sent on a mission across the country. Warren would be with Hank as they prep the jet and ready it for take off- but before the angel can step back out to let them leave, Hank gently grabs his shoulder, and sits him down in the chair. The X Men would be confused and bewildered as to why Hank would trust Warren with such a job, but all it takes is one confident, calm look from the doctor, for Warren to know that he can do it. He’s ready.
So what if then Warren is able to fly with the X Men- fly them in the jet that nearly killed him just a year and a half ago. The X Kids would he astounded at the sight of the confident winged mutant controlling the machine that once caused him so much pain. And then what if, after a few more runs and a few more missions, Warren finds himself joining them in battle- leaving the jet to then fight at their side with out realizing he’s even joined them; living in the adrenaline and new found security.