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6071FIC: A Sea Change (Unexpected 11/12)

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  • Mo
    Nov 16 9:01 AM
      A Sea Change (Unexpected 11/12)

      Anjuli Radavan stood in her kitchen making dinner.
      She wondered if anyone would eat it, and whether
      they�d speak to each other at all at the table, if
      they did. No one seemed to be in a good mood except
      for the babies.

      It had been clear to Anjuli that something was wrong
      between Jean-Paul and Adam from the first she�d seen
      them in the morning. They both looked exhausted, but
      their tense and angry manner with each other suggested
      that Wendy�s surmise of how they�d spent their
      sleepless time was far from accurate. She wondered if
      Adam had not taken the news of Jean-Paul�s exposure
      well. Anjuli offered to take Ezra and Hank out
      together for a while. She wanted to give Ezra�s
      fathers a chance to talk about whatever was on their
      minds, without feeling like they were in a goldfish
      bowl in her currently crowded home.

      It was an unseasonably warm day and she managed to
      keep both babies happy outside for well over two
      hours. When she got back, she couldn�t really gauge
      whether things had improved between the couple.
      Jean-Paul had immediately taken Ezra into their room,
      saying he was going to put him down for a nap, and
      then hadn�t emerged for a long time. Adam had
      followed Anjuli and Hank around the apartment,
      offering to help with housework and errands, and
      seeming on the verge of asking or telling her
      something, but never bringing up what was on his mind.
      She�d eventually sent him to the corner store, Hank
      going along in the baby backpack, babbling happily to
      himself as he pulled Adam�s hair.

      Meanwhile, Oliver and Logan had left early in the
      morning for Chevy Chase, before anyone else in the
      household had gotten up. They returned mid-afternoon.
      Anjuli had been about to ask how the visit had gone,
      but one look at Oliver�s face made clear that such a
      question would be unwelcome. He had walked off
      without a word into the room he and Logan were
      sharing, and hadn�t emerged yet. Logan had gone out
      without an explanation or specified destination, but
      was now back and in the living room, on the phone, his
      voice mostly a low grumble. Every now and then he
      raised it and Anjuli could hear �What the fuck are you
      talking about?� and �Don�t give me that Field Leader
      shit!� and finally �I�m coming whether you like it or
      not!� followed by the sound of a phone being hung up,
      hard. More grumbling, although presumably to himself,
      and then the sound of the door slamming.

      So, here she was, stirring the dal makhni, checking on
      the chicken and the rice, and wondering if anyone
      would be around to eat it and what the conversation
      would be like if they did all sit down to dinner.
      Adam and Hank returned, interrupting her thoughts, and
      she took charge of her baby while Adam set the table.

      Everyone staying at Anjuli�s was at the dinner table a
      few minutes later, save Logan, who had not yet
      returned. There was not much food consumed and almost
      no dinnertime conversation. Oliver had come out of
      the bedroom looking for Logan while Adam was setting
      the table. �He went out a little while ago,� Anjuli
      told him. Seeing his downcast expression, she added,
      �Is there anything I can help you with?�

      �No, I just need to talk to Logan.� The phone rang at
      that point. �Maybe that�s him,� Oliver said
      hopefully, but it was Scott, also looking for Logan.
      Anjuli promised to give him the message.

      After dinner, Adam hovered again until finally Anjuli
      couldn�t take it anymore. �Is there something you
      wanted to talk to me about, Adam?� she asked.

      �I just wondered if you needed any help with... No, I
      didn�t. I wanted to ask you about your healing factor
      concentrate. Jean-Paul told me you�re giving him

      She nodded. �Are you worried? I think it�s perfectly
      safe,� she said. �I haven�t done the kind of large
      scale trials that would convince the FDA, of course.
      And I probably won�t � not for a long time, at least.
      We�re not looking to market this.�

      �Why not?�

      �Can you imagine trying to sell a drug made from the
      blood of mutants in the current political climate?�

      �Good point.� He thought about that. �Made from the
      blood? Literally?�

      �Yes, and that�s another reason we can�t market it.
      No way to do large scale manufacture at this point.
      How many mutants are there with Alpha Level Healing
      Factor? Not a whole lot, that�s for sure. Luckily,
      their mutation is such that they can donate regularly
      � I think Logan�s pretty sick of me sticking him with
      needles, but he doesn�t have to worry about blood
      loss. Still, there�s no way to do this on a large
      scale until we can synthesize it.�

      �But you think it�s safe? Jean-Paul�s okay getting

      �I�m quite sure of it. I�ve taken it myself.�


      �Yeah, it�s kind of a medical researcher tradition �
      you have to be your own guinea pig for things like
      this. Hank and I would have been our own first
      subjects,� she added with a sigh. �So we could try it
      on one mutant and one non-mutant. As it is, Jean-Paul
      is the first mutant I�ve given HFC. But I�m
      monitoring him carefully, and he�s having no adverse
      side effects. There might even be some positive
      ones,� she added with a smile, �but I wouldn�t be
      likely to notice them. You might.�

      Adam decided not to ask about that one. �Can I get
      it?� he said.

      �What?� She wasn�t sure she heard him correctly.

      �Would you give me the HFC injections, too?� he
      clarified. �For HIV.�

      �Adam, I know it�s a very frightening illness,� Anjuli
      began, patiently and slowly. �But I really don�t
      think you�re at risk. Jean-Paul had one exposure and
      he probably is not infected, but we�re doing what we
      can to make sure. But you � well, even if he is
      infected, you can�t get it from casual contact, you
      know. And I�m assuming you know how to prevent sexual

      �Come on, Anjuli � I�ve been out for over 10 years. I
      know a thing or two about HIV. I�m not worried about
      getting it from Jean-Paul,� he said, voice slightly
      exasperated. And then added, a little sheepishly,
      �But I haven�t always put what I know into practice.
      I had unprotected sex with someone I don�t know.�
      Seeing her expression, he added, �I�m sorry. I don�t
      mean to embarrass you.�

      �I�m not embarrassed,� she replied, cheeks reddening.
      �Okay, I guess I am embarrassed, but that�s okay. I
      see why you want the HFC.� She paused. �Umm, does
      Jean-Paul know you�re considering getting the

      �Yes, he knows all about it. He suggested I ask you.
      We talked about me getting PEP, too. Yeah, I know,
      but he thought Jean would bend the rules and give us
      an extra prescription. Anyway, I don�t think that�s
      necessary or really advisable, given the
      circumstances, which I won�t go into unless you want
      me to.�

      �No, no. It�s fine. But you do think you should get

      �Yes. If you don�t think it�s too risky, I�d like

      �It�s still new. There may be risks we don�t know
      about. But I feel confident of it. I think I
      understand enough about how it works to know it�s
      safe. I wouldn�t take it myself if I didn�t feel that
      way. Jean-Paul�s due for another injection tonight.
      Just give me a little while to get Hank settled. Then
      I�ll do you both.� Adam thanked her, relief evident
      in his voice.

      Logan showed up a while after dinner. As soon as he
      did, Oliver accosted him. After a brief whispered
      conversation the two of them went out for a long walk.
      When they got back, Anjuli noticed that Oliver
      appeared to be considerably calmer. He went off to
      bed shortly thereafter. When Anjuli retired to her
      own bedroom, Logan was sitting in the living room,
      staring at the telephone and scowling.

      It was late that night that Scott called again, this
      time managing to talk to Logan. It didn�t start off

      �What the fuck do you want, Cyclops?�

      �I wanted to talk to you, to explain why I can�t have
      you along on this mission.�

      �I don�t need any explanations. It�s an order, right?
      �You�re not part of this one, Logan.� So, I�m not
      part of it. Never mind that I�ve got the skills you
      need and I�ve covered your back often enough that you
      know I can.�

      �Of course you can, Logan. There�s not a combat
      mission where I wouldn�t be safer with you on it.
      That�s a fact. But I can handle this one without you.
      And I need you where you are now.�

      �What are you talking about?�

      �I don�t know what we�re going to find in Idaho, at
      Sacred Honor�s compound, but there�s a new wrinkle,
      something we just found out. There�s a mutant there �
      in the compound. We don�t know him; we don�t know
      what his powers are. But you know how mutants glow on
      Cerebro�s screen? That�s how they stand out? Well,
      this one�s all lit up like a Christmas tree. Very

      �Who could he be?�

      �I don�t know. Charles and Mac have no idea, either.
      We�ve batted a few possibilities around, each more
      far-fetched than the last, but we�re getting nowhere.
      We won�t know anything until we�re actually there.
      I�m worried. Sacred Honor has gotten more and more
      mainstream over time, more closely tied to the
      government. They haven�t changed � it�s people like
      Marley that have moved things in their direction.
      What if the government is in communication with them?
      What if they�ve even given them one of their mutant
      prisoners, someone with a power they can use? Someone
      who�s been drugged or brainwashed or tortured enough
      to do what he�s told.�

      �Do you think that�s what happened?�

      �I don�t know, but how else does a mutant get to be
      there? And if that�s the case �if they�re in with
      Marley and his cronies in the Senate and the House �
      well, what happens when we infiltrate? We�re trying
      to get the evidence about the plague attack without
      them knowing, but we can�t count on getting in and out
      without detection. What happens in Washington,
      particularly, if they do know we got in there, if word
      gets back? How safe is Anjuli then, or anybody with
      her? She�s known to have ties to mutants. We thought
      of offering her a place at the Outpost when the war
      started. We didn�t because we thought she could be of
      use to us there, and we figured we could get her out
      if needed. Well, she�s been living in DC on borrowed
      time in some sense since this whole thing started.
      Her time could run out and what I�m doing tomorrow
      could be what makes it run out. I can�t just leave
      her � and the rest of the people in that apartment �
      with nobody. No one to take care of them, to protect
      them. If you�re not there � if you come with us - who
      gets those people out?�

      �Hey, there�s Jean-Paul.�

      �He�s hors de combat. Injuries from the last

      �He looks okay. Are you sure?�

      �Yeah, Mac says he�s out of commission. I don�t know
      what the story is. I was surprised � I didn�t think
      he was hurt that badly. At first Jean said he�d be
      fine and now she�s not talking, just saying Mac knows
      best. Look, Jean-Paul can be a help to you if need
      be, I�m sure. It wouldn�t be the first time he�d
      worked injured. But, Logan, I need you in charge
      there in case we have to evacuate them. And it�s not
      going to be an easy group to move. You�ve got two
      babies, two people with absolutely no combat training,
      Oliver who can help a little, and Jean-Paul who�s laid
      up, at least somewhat. I need strong leadership there
      if we have to evacuate. I need you. I�m counting on


      �Thanks. If you get a call from me or Charles that
      it�s gone badly, you�ve got to leave at once � it
      doesn�t matter where you go as long as you take them
      all somewhere you can�t be found. And if you don�t
      hear anything from either of us for 24 hours, then
      leave. If we can, we�ll be in contact.�

      �Okay, you can count on me.�

      �I know, Logan. I do. Every mission. Every day...
      How�d it go with Oliver?�

      �He�s a mess.�

      �All the more reason you should stay there.�

      �Yeah, yeah. You made your point, Cyclops. I�m

      �What happened? Is she trying to reconcile?�

      �No fucking way. Not a kind word, not a question
      about how he�d managed for five years. Stood as far
      away from him as she could. It was like she was
      totally repulsed by him.�

      �So what did she want?�

      �She had something for him. An envelope of papers
      from his father. Suicide note, among other things.�

      �Christ! Why would he do that to Oliver? Just what
      he needs. It�s not enough that he�s kicked out at
      fourteen and hears nothing from them for five years
      and then his father shoots himself. He has to leave
      the suicide note for Oliver.�

      �Yeah, well it gets worse.�


      �His father was a mutant.�

      �You�re kidding.�

      �Nah. He�d been hiding it � fighting it � all his
      life. And he felt he couldn�t anymore. So, instead
      of facing up to it, he blows his brains out. Now
      there�s something to do to your nineteen-year-old
      mutant son.�

      �I can�t believe it. Oliver must be a wreck.�

      �Yeah, he is. He�s read it all � it�s all these
      journals saying how he was gonna �get over� it, be
      �normal.� It�s disgusting. And his mother � hard to
      believe there are people like that. All she was doing
      was fulfilling her husband�s last wish. Wouldn�t talk
      to Oliver at all, wouldn�t even own up to having a
      mutant husband as well as a mutant son.�

      �Did he get to see his siblings?�

      �Nah. They weren�t there. She wouldn�t say a word
      about them. Just �take this and leave.� Oliver wants
      to talk to them, doesn�t know what they were told.
      He�s worried that some of them are gonna be mutants,
      too, and what�ll happen to them then. Will she turn
      them in? Will she try to get them to hide it?�

      �Or suppress it like their father did? Jesus, Logan.
      I really thought she must be sorry, that�s why she
      wanted to contact him.�

      �Well, think again. I swear I wanted to run her
      through. You know how my hands get itchy sometimes,
      hard to keep the claws in? It was all I could do to
      keep them in and not do her then and there. I would
      have, too, if I didn�t think it would just make things
      worse for Oliver.�

      �What was his father�s gift? Do you know?�

      �Yeah, flight. There�s all this stuff in the journals
      about resisting it, never flying. Can you imagine?
      Able to do something like that and you don�t even let
      yourself? And then the last few years, sneaking off
      and flying...�

      �Did he have wings?�

      �No, he looked perfectly normal. So he could pass.
      Nothing to cut off.�

      �Except part of his soul.�

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