Title: Lost Innocence
author: Pat Phillips
Summary: Jean, Ororo, and Logan try to
save a runaway girl. They fail by just
a few minutes. Jean and Ororo lose a
part of themselves that Logan lost long ago.
Rating/warning & pairing: Rated R, Jean/Ororo, Logan
I do not own the characters of Jean Grey,
Ororo Munroe, or Logan. Instead, they are
the property of Marvel Comics.
As a firm believer in property rights, it's
only reasonable that I specify that my use of
these characters should in no way be interpreted
as a threat to Marvel's ownership of them.
All of my fan fiction, including this story,
is a not-for-profit venture. After all, when
you get down to it, who would pay for this stuff?
Note that this story assumes that there was
significant period of time between the defeat of
Magneto and the Brotherhood at the Statue of Liberty
and Logan's leaving to investigate the Alkali Flats
facility. During that time Jean, Scott, Ororo, and
Logan conducted missions for the Professor. That
may not be exactly canon, but it allows for some
The story is definitely rated "R" for violence.
It's a bit on the dark side.
We lost a little girl in Reno.
We were just too late.
Lisa ran away from home when her skin turned red.
Dear gods. That was all. She didn't have a power in the world. No
way to attack anyone. No way to defend herself. She was just... red.
It was a warm, neon-lit night in Reno. The three of us were dressed
as tourists as we conducted our search. We were being careful to not
attract attention, which meant that we were moving slowly. An hour
earlier, we had caught a glimpse of Lisa just before she got onto a
city bus. That was enough. Jean was tracking Lisa telepathically as
we combed the downtown. In addition, Logan had her scent. We were
solidly on her trail and I was sure we would have her in about a half-
"Oh, no," Jean suddenly whispered.
Both Logan and I caught the tone of her voice.
"What's happening?" I asked.
"Two men. They're hurting her..."
Logan exploded into a dead run, slamming his way through a foursome
of tourists who were strolling along the sidewalk just ahead of us.
One man was knocked completely to the ground. All thoughts of being
careful were abandoned. Jean and I were right after Logan. I had to
leap the cursing man that Logan had knocked down.
Suddenly, Jean wasn't with me, and I heard her scream, "Ororo!". I
glanced back over my shoulder. She was kneeling in the middle of the
sidewalk, her hands pressing against her temples. The people Logan
had scattered had forgotten their outrage and were trying to help her.
I left her. That was hard. But I left her.
It didn't take us more than a few minutes, but it was too late.
I trailed Logan to a run-down area just north of the downtown.
Turning into a trash-strewn alleyway. I saw the small, still form of
a girl lying on the pavement. Logan was crouched motionless over
her. Gathering up my courage, I stepped closer and played a penlight
over the girl. Up until now, Lisa had been just a name, an out-dated
photograph, and a distantly glimpsed figure. Close up and in person,
she was a slightly chubby teenaged girl with curly black hair. Her
clothes were scuffed and worn. Someone had partially stripped her
shirt from her body. Lisa had used makeup in an awkward effort to
make her hands and face appear normal. But with her shirt missing,
you could see her skin was a dark red color.
There was a brighter shade of red splattered around her body. A
trickle was running into a grate in the alley floor.
I heard a noise. It was Jean, who was standing in the mouth of the
alley, staring past me at Lisa's body. She seemed frozen for a
timeless second, back-lit by the diffused red light of a neon sign.
Then the professional instincts of a doctor forced her to come over
and check the body, although we could all plainly see that Lisa was
Still in a crouch, Logan shifted out of Jean's way and then sniffed
the cement that paved the alleyway. He glanced towards Jean and I.
Logan was in a dark, flat-eyed, state that I'd only seen him in a few
times before. You couldn't really say he was enraged. In fact, I
much prefer Logan's rages to this. In his mind, he had already begun
It was my responsibility to stop Logan from doing something
terrible. The X-Men have a cause. We work for a better world for
both human and mutant. I believe in that cause with all my heart.
Revenge and brutality aren't a part of that cause.
"You have eight hours until we absolutely have to leave town," I
heard myself say to him.
He nodded and stalked out of the alleyway.
Having betrayed my cause, I turned to Jean.
"Jean?" I said softly. She was kneeling by the girl's body.
"I was with her while it happened," Jean said calmly. "I made sure
she didn't feel too much pain."
That was definitely not good. I'm a weather witch, not a telepath.
But Professor Xavier had warned me about what happens to a telepath
when they are linked to someone who is undergoing trauma. They
experience most of what the victim experiences.
I took Jean gently by the shoulders. She finally stopped staring at
the body, got up, and followed me out of the alley. We walked ten
blocks, both of us sliding back in our role as a pair of tourists.
From a pay phone, I did my best to conceal my accent as I reported
the murder to the police.
We went back to the hotel. Jean and I had a room together. Logan
had a room of his own on another floor of the hotel.
Jean reported back to the Professor telepathically. It was an
unusually long session.
I took a long shower. I was going to have to be strong for Jean,
which meant I had to get my tears out of the way. When I got out of
the bathroom, Jean was sitting in one of those vinyl hotel chairs.
She still seemed very composed and that was beginning to make me
"Give me your jacket," I said. She was still fully dressed.
She did as I told her. I laid her jacket on the bed. Then I pulled
up another chair.
"What was it like?" I asked.
Jean finally looked at me, her face terribly distant, "She was
frightened of being different. She was frightened that people would
see her skin. She was frightened that her family didn't love her
anymore. She was frightened of death. And in the end, she was
screaming for her mother."
Then, thank the gods, Jean finally started crying.
Although we are of the same age, I had once been like an older sister
to Jean. Then things changed between us in a way that this isn't the
time or place to explain. That change was necessary, but in every
change there is gain and loss. I held Jean against me throughout
that terrible night. I rocked her, and stroked her hair, and
whispered words to her in a language she doesn't know. For one
night, I was her big sister again.
The next morning Jean was quiet, but functioning. I couldn't say
that she was "better". I could say that the immediate crisis had
Logan was waiting for us in the lobby of the hotel with his bag
packed. He had nothing to say. When his eyes met mine, he nodded
once. I tried to pretend that I didn't know what that meant.