Enquiring Minds 2/2
For disclaimers, etc., see part one.
That didn't take long. Logan's awake and not too happy about it.
He's rolled off the stretcher and backed away from Rogue and I, claws
up and teeth bared.
~Charles,~ I call out with my mind. ~He's awake.~
*Very well, Jean.*
"Logan," Rogue says, holding out her hand towards him in a comforting
gesture. "It's ok. You're safe."
He doesn't answer her, doesn't even acknowledge her presence. His
eyes are fixed completely on me.
"You... Needle," he grunts.
It's then that I realize what great danger I'm in. Anger,
frustration, and fear is pouring off of him in waves, and it's all
directed at me. I'd had to sedate him a few times for treatment and
to prevent him from harming himself. He obviously remembers.
He growls at me, and like prey before a predator, I freeze. I have
to get out of here, but if I run, will he chase me down? My heart
jackhammers in my chest as I look at those long, gleaming claws that
could slice through me without effort. I can't run, but I can't stay
frozen like this. I have to move. Putting my hands up in a
placating gesture, I slowly start to back away.
"Logan, I'm not going to hurt you. No one is. We've healed you.
His penetrating eyes pull away from mine as he takes in his
surroundings, sniffing and scanning the area. With one more
terrifying growl, he turns, running into the forest.
I watch him go, relief flooding me, when Rogue cries, "Logan! Wait!"
He doesn't stop, but instead of watching him go, Rogue picks up the
backpack of supplies we'd brought with us and runs after him.
"Rogue, no!" I call to the young woman, but she ignores me, following
his trail into the woods.
*Jean, let her go,* Charles speaks to my mind. *He will not harm
~Are you sure, Charles? The emotions I felt from him...~
*Were directed at you,* he said, completing my sentence. *Rogue is
probably the only person he'll trust right now. Let her try to bring
That's how it began. Every day for hours at a time, Rogue would
disappear into the woods. She'd take Logan food, clothes, blankets,
cigars, toilet paper, anything he needed.
I wanted to sit down and talk to her about his condition for days,
but I was either busy with Charles in the Med Lab or she was outside
with Logan. Then, one afternoon, I found her in the kitchen.
"Rogue, how's Logan?"
The young woman jumped, placing a hand over her heart as she turned
away from the refrigerator and closed the door. "Jean, you scared
me... Logan's doing better."
"Will he come back into the mansion?"
"He doesn't want to talk about it. He doesn't really want to talk
about anything. His camp has moved closer to the mansion, though.
That's a good sign."
"Yes," I agree and then decide to bring up the next subject. It's
been pestering me, on and off, ever since Logan's return. Sometimes,
I'd completely forget about it, only to have it come back in full
force when I was getting ready for bed or waking up in the morning.
"Rogue, how did you know Logan was in trouble last week? The
professor told us you came and told him to check Cerebro."
"Yeah, I had a dream where I saw Logan was trapped, but I knew it was
A dream? "Can you tell me exactly what it was like?"
"Uh, well, I was dreaming about Logan and then, all of a sudden, I
was in his head. All I could see was blood, concrete, and wooden
boxes. There was something on my back, and I felt pain, anger,
terror. I could hear Logan's voice in my head, and he was ranting
about being trapped and needing to escape."
That's exactly what it'd been like when we found Logan. How did she
"Have you ever felt anything like this before or since from Logan or
anyone else you've touched?"
She blinks at me, confused, and then says, "No. Never. But, he was
really in trouble, so he had to contact me, right? He just hasn't
needed to since."
"Maybe," I answer, not convinced.
I'd thought that maybe she'd believed him to be in trouble because
she naturally worried about him, and it'd just been a fluke that he
actually needed help. From what she'd described of the experience,
though, she had actually been in Logan's head.
We've done tests on her mutation and Rogue is not a telepath. From
what I can tell, part of her mutation makes her a touch-telepath,
absorbing other people's thoughts and personalities, but without
touch, she shouldn't be able to make contact no matter how desperate
someone is to reach her. Either the DNA tests are wrong, which I
doubt, or she had help.
Now there's something I don't want to consider. Charles and I are
the only telepaths in the mansion strong enough to connect two
ungifted minds, but why would Charles have given Rogue that
connection? If he'd known that Logan was in trouble, why didn't he
just send us to help him? How did he even know Logan was hurt in the
I snapped out of my reverie at Rogue's question.
"I'm fine, Rogue. If you have any problems or things you need for
Logan, let me know. Tell him that we all hope he'll come back in
She smiles at me and says, "I will," before opening the refrigerator
again and returning her attention to its contents, probably getting
something for Logan.
Weeks later, I enter the Med Lab to see a smiling Charles Xavier
being helped through his physical therapy by an equally smiling Dr.
Hank was one of Charles's first students, but like most of my class,
he left the mansion upon graduation. Over the years, he's become a
doctor and researcher of great renown, thanks to his genius and an
image-enhancing device that hides his mutant body behind a more human-
like projection. He's only returned to the mansion at Charles's
request to help in his recovery.
The smiling is contagious, and I find my ever increasing worries
about Charles flee as I join them in their happiness.
"Looking good, gentlemen."
"Yes," Hank said in agreement, "the professor is quickly mastering
the parallel bars and will shortly progress to a walker."
"I envy you your momentous discovery, Jean," Hank adds. "The
preponderance of research in this field has never led to a
satisfactory patient prognosis."
"It wasn't research, Hank, it was luck. You're welcome to read my
notes, but if you want to examine samples, I'm afraid there's nothing
Hank looked down at Charles with a puzzled expression. "I was led to
believe the donor still resides here."
"Yes, but he's suffered through a very traumatic experience. He's
not willing to come into the mansion, let alone be examined. The
only way we got the samples was because he was unconscious."
Hank looks even more confused. "But, from the meticulous data you've
recorded, I must conclude that several pints of blood as well as
spinal fluid was used in this cure."
Now, Hank's eyes widen in surprise and shock. "You extracted those
fluids without patient consent?"
When he puts it like that, it sounds so wrong. I hadn't felt any
regret or guilt when I'd done it, but now, I can feel my chest
clenching in remorse at my actions. What was I thinking? How could
I do that to a patient? Then I realize, I hadn't been thinking of
Logan at all when I did it. Not as a patient, anyway. More like he
was a means to an end, a way to heal Charles. Not even as a way to
heal all people in Charles's situation, just a way to heal him.
Hank and Charles are smiling again, and even laughing as they work
through the exercises. They've jumped, moved from one point in the
room to another without my noticing. I could've sworn I was just
talking with Hank about something... Now that I try to remember,
though, the thoughts float away, nebulous and unformed.
"Hank, were we just talking about something?"
"Yes, about Charles's remarkable recovery."
That sounds right, but it doesn't feel right. I thought there'd been
I wake up from a dead sleep in the middle of the night with one
thought on my mind: the military base was wrong. I'd just been
dreaming about how and where we'd found Logan over a month ago, and
the memory had overlapped with the thoughts I'd received the night
when I first met Logan, The base where we'd found him *couldn't* be
the place where he'd gotten his adamantium. There were clues, and
once I saw the events side by side, they became startlingly
Charles had told me that Logan left the mansion to search for his
past. What had he been doing in a place with no connection to his
past? What's more, how did that crate of rusted steel parts happen
to fall on him? An earthquake? Now that I think of it, that crate
was the only one disturbed in the area. The rest had remained in
I want to ask Logan about this, but not only is it the middle of the
night, he's still avoiding everyone but Rogue, and she doesn't think
he remembers much about what happened. If I want to know, I have to
Getting out of bed as quietly as possible, so as not to disturb my
fiancee, I quickly change into jeans and a T-shirt before slipping
out of the room.
For some reason, I feel time pressing down on me. I have to get to
Alberta quickly before something happens or my absence is noticed.
Even a turbo-powered car will take over a day. I could take one of
the mini-jets, but everyone in the mansion will hear the take-off. I
decide my best bet is to tow one of the mini-jets away from the
mansion with the 4x4 and then take off once I'm out of range.
It's 2:30 in the morning by the time I'm airborne, and it'll take
four hours of flight time to get there. However, the edginess and
apprehension I've been living with since we found Logan is fading
away now that I'm finally taking action.
It's a tank manufacturing plant. It has absolutely nothing to do
with Logan, nothing to do with mutants or experimentation at all.
Why did Logan come here searching for his past?
The plant is the same as we'd left it, and I'm right. The only crate
out of place is the one that struck Logan. When I climb the stacks,
I can see that the dust has recently been disturbed. Someone was up
here. Someone who pushed that crate down onto Logan. How could he
not smell them? Why did they do it?
I climb back down to look at where Logan had lain for so long. The
grooves his claws had made in the concrete were deep and numerous.
He must have been here for days trying to free himself, not knowing
if anyone would ever find him.
'Why?' I ask myself, and then everything comes together, and I have
my answer. Who would benefit from Logan's injury? Charles. He's
walking now because of what I'd learned while Logan healed.
No. He's like a father to me. He'd never hurt another person, no
matter what the benefits to himself. But then, he's the only person
who could have done it and who gained because of it.
*So, Jean. You've discovered my little secret.*
His voice came clear to my mind in the silence of the defunct plant.
~You hurt Logan and let Rogue see so he'd be rescued and you'd have
~Why, Rogue? She's not a telepath.~
*It wasn't meant to be a telepathic connection, just a vague sense
that something was wrong. Logan's emotions came through more
strongly than I'd expected.*
~Why did you do that to Logan? You always taught me never to use my
mind to control others.~
*No, I didn't. I taught you to use your powers for the betterment of
all people. I've controlled other's minds on more than one
occasion. You didn't balk when I controlled Sabretooth and Toad in
an effort to rescue Rogue.*
~That's different. You weren't hurting them or sacrificing them to
*I allowed Magneto to take Rogue in order to save the lives of all
those officers. I sacrificed her for the greater good.*
~No. You didn't know that she'd be hurt.~
*Erik wasn't taking her for fun. Of course I knew she'd be hurt. I
weighed that risk against the lives of those men and made a decision.*
~You didn't hurt Logan for the greater good. You hurt him to heal
*I have dedicated my life to the development of human/mutant
relations. Don't you think I'd be more effective if I could walk? I
could travel all over, not limited in any way. I could even fight
with the X-Men, and not send you children out to win my battles
~You hurt Logan.~
~Not mentally. Not emotionally.~
*He will in time. He's done it before.*
~You can't get away with this. I won't let you. You can't be
trusted to care for all those children anymore.~
*Nothing has changed, Jean. I'm still the same man who rescued you
from a life of insanity and taught you to block out and control the
voices in your mind.*
~No. I don't know you anymore. Scott and I are leaving, and I'm
telling everyone what you've done.~
*Frankly, Jean, how do you expect to do that?*
I'm suddenly struck by mind shattering pain. My mind is on fire
under his mental assault. He's been teaching me to control my
powers, but I'm not... I can't fight against such overpowering
strength. Still, I try.
I focus all my emotions, fear, betrayal, anger, remorse, and strike
him with them like a sword. His onslaught weakens under my barrage,
but then he gathers himself and strikes again, using my own emotions
as well as his own to bring me down. I can't breathe, can't feel,
can't think. There's nothing... nothing.
"Jean?" Scott's voice bombards my senses.
My whole body hurts, even the air aches where it strikes my bare
skin. I don't want to wake up. I want to return to the cocooning
nothingness I'd just been wrapped in. However, Scott's voice is
"Hank, I think she's waking up. Open your eyes, Jean."
He won't go away, until I do something, so I humor him, squinting my
eyes open against the bright Med Lab lights.
"Jean, thank heavens. We were so worried." Scott leans down and
kisses a fiery trail on my cheek. "You've been out for almost a
A week? What happened? What's going on? I try to ask these
questions and more, but my voice comes out as barely a squeak. Hank,
grabs a glass of water and puts the straw to my mouth. It's cool and
refreshing and I want more, but he pulls it away.
"Slowly, Jean," he admonishes before returning the straw to my mouth.
I take the fluid more slowly until I feel like I can talk.
"Hank? What? How?" I mumble.
"You succumbed to a high-grade fever. My bacteriological and viral
tests were unable to determine the cause, but your fever broke last
night and you appear to be recovering now."
"What... are you... doing here?" I gasp out.
Hank looks at me puzzled. "I came to help Charles's rehabilitation.
Don't you remember?"
"Jean," Charles says from off to my left. "Welcome back."
I turn in that direction to look at him, but where his face would be,
I only see his hands gripping a walker. My gaze rises until I meet
his eyes where he stands.
"He's... standing," I say, incredulous.
"Jean," Scott says, his voice betraying his worry. "What's the last
thing you remember?"
"Uh, yesterday... I splinted Kitty's ankle."
They all exchange worried glances and then Scott answers. "Jean,
Kitty sprained her ankle over a month ago."
"What? What... happened to me?"
"I woke up to find you gone last Friday," Scott answers. "It took
most of the day before we found you feverish in the woods."
I shake my head. No matter how hard I try, and I am trying... "I
don't remember," I croak out.
Charles hobbles towards me using his walker before putting a tender
hand to my forehead. "Don't worry, my child. I'll try to help you
find what you've lost."
His hand is so gentle on my wet brow, like a father's. I trust him