Again, not mine, but H.'s, so all feedback goes to
. :) Feel free to archive at XMMFF, others
let her know where it's going. :)
This story, among others, is also hosted at
Don't Move a Muscle
Disclaimer: I don't own the X-men people. Marvel, Fox, who ever,
Notes: The sudden mental image I got in a buss, screamed for this fic
to be written. My most sincere apologies.
And there is a supporting role of one Mrs. Waite. She is a
housekeeper I invented for an another fic (that you won't ever see
BTW) and since I needed one for this fic too, I recruited her. Don't
An award for "the most patient Beta" goes to Liz. Congrats! :p
Lorna was terribly sick. It had started with tiny shudders in the
morning but she hadn't given it much thought. She and Marie were
scheduled to work on their science project which was long overdue as
it was. So Lorna decided she couldn't get sick right now. She took
some aspirin to shake the headache and went to study.
Since Lorna hadn't been sick much during her life so far, she
couldn't know that the cold cared quite little when it was the
approriate time to be sick and when not.
So when the fever really hit with full force in the middle of the
afternoon, Lorna went down within minutes.
"Lorna? You don't look so good. Maybe you should go and see Dr
McCoy?" Marie said and walked closer to her desk carrying a pile of
books. They had been doing the research in the library which was
empty at this time of day.
Lorna would have answered Marie's question if she could have stopped
shivering, even for a moment. Marie placed the books in the table and
touched carefully her forehead. Even through the glove Lorna felt
"Do you mind finishing up?" Lorna managed to say through clattering
Marie nodded quickly. "Just go. You've got a fever, that much I can
Lorna stood up and sat right back down.
"What? Are you going to faint? I'd better come with you."
"No no. I just felt a bit dizzy for a moment. I'll manage."
Behind Lorna the metal lamps bent towards her like the flowers
towards the sun.
Marie took one look of Lorna's eyes which were shining from the fever
and the lamps bending and made up her mind in a second. This wasn't
"C'mon, up we go. Lean on me."
Lorna nodded and stood up, swaying only little. Then she sneezed hard
The lamps bent back and forth like their metal legs were made of
"Lorna, you've got to concentrate! Stop bending. Can you do that for
Lorna nodded carefully. Her throat felt like she had swallowed pins
and needles and her head was filled with cotton. The lamps
straightened and stood still like nothing had happened.
"Good. Keep doing that."
Marie led Lorna out of the library into the hallway. They didn't meet
anybody on the way to the elevators since the Professor wasn't at the
mansion today and there had been skip classes all day. Most of the
kids had jumped on a chance of doing what they wanted for a change.
Unfortunately not all.
Peter had offered to place the new refrigeretor into the kitchen. The
refrigerator had arrived a few minutes ago and he was just on his way
to carry it to the kitchen through the main hall. He was in his
organic metal form and carried the whole refrigerator with ease.
Marie never saw him coming from the corner and she didn't get a
chance to warn Peter.
Hank looked at the situation before him once more. He still had a
terrible urge to laugh but Peter's horrified eyes kept him from doing
"And it doesn't help if you chance back to normal?"
"I tried. No. I can carry her better this way."
Peter held his huge metal arm bended carefully around Lorna's waist.
Lorna was stuck to his side like a vine to an oak tree. Her head
rested against Peter's shoulder, her arm hung over his back and from
Lorna's shoulder to Peter's thigh they were like glued together. Her
feet didn't touch the floor.
"Lorna? Can you hear me? Lorna?"
There wasn't much response. Her eyes were closed and she only mumbled
something incoherent. Sometimes she shivered and then the hallway
echoed from a strange sound that resembled somebody shaking a tin box
filled with sand.
Peter's face grew even more desperate than before.
"You have to help her."
"Yes, of course. First I have to know excatly what happened. Marie?"
Hank turned to Marie who was standing little further off, covering
her mouth with her hand and a strained look in her eyes. Maybe she
wanted to laugh too.
Hank bit his lip. *You are a doctor, act like one*
"She... She complained a headache all morning but she took some
painkillers for it. So we continued doing our science project when
she started to shiver and she looked really feverish. I was just
about to bring her to you when...Well."
"That is all?"
"No, wait, she bent the lamps when she sneezed."
Peter gasped horrified.
"She is going to bent me?"
"I'm pretty sure that she can't do that."
Hank tried to put all his credibility as a doctor to his voice.
Actually, he had no idea whatsoever what would happen if Lorna
And like she had heard, Lorna opened her eyes.
There was a humming sound, like a big bell that had been gently
struck. Peter looked surprised and laughed.
Everybody looked at him.
" I'm sorry. It tickles. Lorna?"
"Lorna, let go. Can you hear me? Lorna?"
For a moment there her eyes had been fixated to Peter's face and then
she passed out again. Peter turned back to Hank.
"For starters, we should get you two somewhere else to be until I can
dislodge you. Peter, can you move?"
Peter tried to move his leg and by a halfway through the step he had
to admit his defeat.
"No, it's too heavy. The refrigeretor would be dragged with us and
there is just too much magnetism pushing against me already."
"Alright. We just have to work here. Marie?"
"Could you go and bring a blanket and a cup of hot water, sweetened
with something, if possible. Ask Mrs. Waite."
Marie nodded and left towards the kitchen.
" Peter, I'm going to call Mr. Summers to come here with you. If
Lorna wakes, try talking to her but otherwise, just relax and stay
calm. Can you do that?"
Peter nodded and Hank gave the whole situation one final look and
went to find the phone. Never a dull moment in this school.
When Marie came back to the hall carrying a mug and a blue blanket,
Scott was already standing next to Peter. Marie placed the mug in the
near by table and brought the blanket to Peter.
" Here. Let's wrap this around her."
Peter pushed with all the force he could muster and managed to move
his hand enough from Lorna that Marie got a chance to slip the
blanket around her shoulders. Then Peter's hand returned its place
like a steel trap snapping shut.
Lorna sneezed, Peter couldn't help but laugh and Scott watched all
this with a serious desperation.
"Where is Dr. McCoy?"
Marie asked but before Scott could come up with an answer, Marie
picked up something else. Sound of a motorcycle. The worst time
"It's Logan. Crap! I'd better warn him."
"Yes. Go!" Scott said without even noticing Marie cursing. One more
man with metal was just about the last thing they needed. Somewhere
outside Scott thought he heard Logan starting to laugh. Of course.
Not a sympathetic bone in that man.
"Lorna?" Scott's attention snapped back to the situation. Peter
talked as softly as possible to the girl in his arms. Lorna moved her
head just a bit from Peter's shoulder.
"Lorna? You have to let go. Try, please?"
"But I'm not
I don't hold anything," That was the most clear
sentance they had gotten out of her all this time. Lorna placed her
head back against Peter and sighed. She closed her eyes again. Peter
leaned against the refrigeretor with majestical slow movement. Peter
There was sharp laughter from a pack of children.
"It's lunchtime. Peter, I'm going to go direct the kids so they don't
barge in here. I'm sure Hank will be right back. Just hang in there."
"Yes," he said. Scott left and Peter closed his eyes too. He was
tired. Not by holding Lorna (she hardly weighted more than a feather
to him) but by the thoughts racing through his head. The presence of
her, so close, surrounding him like a shroud, made his heart leap in
the most peculiar way. Peter couldn't say how long he had stood in
this hallway but it did feel like a small eternity. And without
actually admitting the point, he wished it would go on for another
*Bad thoughts. Bad bad! She is sick and helpless! Is that a proper
way to act?* Peter scolded himself in his head.
It was Hank. He had changed his normal clothes to hospital greens and
he stood there, holding a red emergency pack under his arm and eyeing
"Yes? Did you come up with something?"
" I think so. I'm sorry it took so long, I had to read Lorna's
medical files first. I suspect by the sudden high fever, the headache
and the sneezing, that she might have a vicious form of influenza.
And that is a educated guess until I can examine her better. But, we
can lower her fever so that we can loosen her grip or she will be
coherent enough to do that herself. Good, Marie brought the blanket.
Did she get the water too?
" I didn't see."
" It's on the table, Hank. Did you come up with anything?" Scott
walked back to the hallway. There was a row of faces behind the big
windows, staring inside and Scott waved his hand to get the kids to
move along. The kids started to move slowly towards the dining hall.
Everybody wanted to see what was happening but nobody wanted to
ignite the wrath of Mr. Summers.
" Scott, good you're here. Yes, yes I did. I'll need your help if we
can peel her off from Peter. I phoned Mrs. Waite and she will ready a
guestroom for Lorna. We need to carry her there if she won't be
coherent enough to stand. Oh, and take all the metal items off,
clock, belt buckle, all."
" Why third floor? And what is the water for?" Scott asked and
started taking off his belt.
" Water is for the medicine cocktail I made for her. It would be
better if we could inject it to her, but the needles are made of
surgical steel so I don't think it would work. So we have to get her
drink it. It probably tastes awful but I didn't have time to work
with it that much." Hank went to get the mug, it's contents still
somewhat warm. He poured some white crystals in the water and waited
for them to dissolve completely.
" And the third floor?" Scott asked and placed his clock next to the
" Oh yes. We can't take her downstairs, there is just too much metal
in case her fever rises up again. We would be forced to peel her off
from everything and that isn't good for her, obviously. Her own room
won't do because influenza spreads easily so every child in that
floor could catch it too. I ordered a patch of influenza shots, I
just hope it isn't too late
So there is least people in the third
floor at the moment and Mrs. Waite assured me that one of the rooms
can be easily cleaned for metal objects. Or do you have a better
" No, that sounds like a plan. Peter, are you still all right? Not
" I'm good. Lorna? Wake up again, please? You have to drink this."
Lorna opened her eyes half way through and moved her head so she
stared at Peter's eyes again. If Hank hadn't come so close, Peter was
sure he would have given in for the temptation to kiss her. Influenza
or no, she looked beautiful.
" Peter, I'm going to pour this down her throat but since it's a bit
tricky angle, it will propably spill over you too. So don't get
"Lorna? Can you hear me? This is medicine and I want you to swallow
as much of it as you can."
Lorna opened and closed her eyes and Hank took that as a "yes". He
moved closer and placed his hands on Lorna's chin, trying to get his
hand in a good angle to pour the liquid. When he touched both Peter
and Lorna, it felt like touching a magnetic cloud of some sort. Hank
really wished that this would work because there would be no power in
earth that could pry those two apart if Lorna couldn't let go.
Hank started to pour a slow trickle, making absolutely sure that
Lorna was able to swallow. It looked like she had trouble doing so.
Her throat must hurt pretty bad. More evidence to back up the
Hank managed to pour almost half of the mug content before Lorna
refused to co-operate and the water spilled to the floor.
" Let's just hope that was enough. It should work pretty soon. Peter,
you have to say if anything starts to change. And Scott, when she
starts to let go, I want you to catch her, alright? No bumping her on
the ground or anything. Now I need to find Mrs. Waite
I'll be right
Hank left towards the elevators. Peter and Scott waited quietly
almost ten minutes until Peter straightened up from the refrigerator.
Scott moved closer, watching Lorna carefully.
Peter shook his head.
" It's lighter, but she still holds. I can't move my legs much."
They waited again. Suddenly Lorna's head lolled backwards. There was
a humming sound and she started to slide towards the floor.
Scott was ready. Before Lorna's feet touched the ground, Scott had
caught a hold of her and smoothly she fell into his arms. Scott
carried her to the nearest chair and placed her there carefully.
Lorna mumbled something in a low voice but didn't wake up much more.
With relieved sigh Peter turned back to his normal self and sat down
with a thud and placed his head in his arms.
Then Hank ran back from the elevator carrying a roll of bubblewrap
under his arm.
"Peter, how are you feeling?"
"Just a bit dizzy. How's Lorna?"
" She will be fine. I will take you to the medlab to have some rest
and I will do some test. Scott, wrap the blanket around her first,
then few layers with bubblewrap so she won't get stuck so easily and
then you can take her to the third floor. Use the elevator. Mrs.
Waite is waiting for you there. All right?" The commands came from
Hank with such tone that everybody felt nothing but relief that the
situation was under control at last.
Peter stood up with shaky legs and Hank left with him for downstairs.
Scott did as Hank had instructed. When he was finished, Lorna
resembled a butterfly cocoon. Her deep green hair struck as odd
against all the milky whiteness of the bubblewrap. All the time Scott
spent wrapping Lorna up, he kept talking to her with soft reassuring
voice so she wouldn't be scared.
When he heard the elevator to hiss back to the first floor, he just
picked Lorna up and got into the elevator. Just for a moment he had
doubts whether or not Hank's plan would work when the doors slid
shut, but nothing happened. The elevator hissed to the third floor
and Scott stepped out.
Mrs. Waite was waiting. "Oh poor dear. Please, this way Mr. Summers."
Scott followed Mrs. Waite down the corridor to the left wing. Mrs.
Waite had chosen the very last room and she opened the door for Scott
to go in first.
Mrs. Waite had done a good job considering the time frame she had
had. The lamps were gone, so were all the paintings with metal
frames. All the metal Mrs. Waite couldn't move, she had covered with
layers of bubblewrap. The drawers with metal handles looked like
little white clouds. Even the doorknob was covered.
" I did all I could. I got her pyjamas from her room as Dr. McCoy
requested. He said that you could leave her under my watch now."
Scott placed the sleeping girl on top of the bed and nodded to Mrs.
" Yes, of course. I'll wait outside until Hank returns."
Scott kept watch until Hank came back from the medlab and assured
that Peter was doing just fine.
But it took five days until he could say the same about Lorna.
Peter stood behind the door, still pondering if he should do this or
not. Finally he decided to knock.
" Come in."
Peter opened the door. Lorna sat on the bed, combing tangles from her
wet hair. There was bubblewrap everywhere and the artist part of
Peter's brain saw the perfect picture. An exotic sea mermaid,
brushing her green hair amongst the bubblewrap foam. The rest of his
brain, however, was a blank from the sight of her.
When Lorna saw him come in, she blushed fiercely and the comb dropped
from her fingers.
"Oh. Peter. Hi. How are you?"
"I'm fine. How are you? Oh. Here. I brought you this." He gave her
the flower he had spent almost an hour choosing from Ms. Munroe's
garden. Finally Ms. Munroe had just blucked one for him and sent him
on his way. It was a marigold with beautiful bright shade of yellow.
" Ms. Munroe said that type is called "Yellow Colosal". She thought
it was fitting."
Lorna smelled the flower and then placed it with other flowers from
Marie and the rest of the gang into a glass of water next to her bed.
" Thank you. It's lovely. Have a seat." Lorna moved a bit so that
Peter could sit next to her on the bed. Then they both fell quiet and
spent considerable time staring at their hands. Finally Lorna took
all her courage and looked at Peter.
" I'm sorry, about what happened. I really didn't mean to
Peter look at her eyes. She looked ready to burst into tears.
" Oh, don't worry about it. You were sick, you couldn't help it.
Really, it's all right."
" I have never been so sick in my entire life. I was really scared
you know. I just remember you asking me to let go, but I couldn't
understand what you meant. I was so sure that I was sleeping in my
own bed. It feels like a dream now."
"I'm just glad you made it. I was scared too, for you."
Lorna looked again to his eyes and smiled. "You were? That is so
sweet of you." Then she just leaned forward and pecked a kiss on his
cheek. Peter turned his head to right when Lorna was pulling back and
captured her mouth into a real kiss.
At first Lorna was just dumb struck what was happening but then the
kiss just drove all the logic out of her mind. Peter had natural
skill. He started slow and soft and touched just the perfect spot.
Lorna pulled back gasping for breath.
"I'm sorry! I shouldn't have done that! I'll
I'll leave. Now." Peter
blushed and tried to bolt to the door.
"Not quite yet, please." There was a small magnetic cushion against
the door and Peter stopped dead still against it. Lorna stood up from
the bed and walked to Peter who looked at her with desperate eyes.
"Bend down please."
He did so.
Lorna wrapped her arm around his neck and kissed him, this time
presenting her own expertise. She wasn't a novice either. There was
sudden shudder from Peter's part when she did the tiny darting to his
mouth. Lorna pulled back and smiled.
"Now you can leave, if you are afraid of the influenza."
" I had the vaccine you know." Peter said smiling and bent down to
kiss her again.