Wolverine tore the last circuitry out of the generator and looked
around for a way, any way out of here. The mixture of mutants and
humans had him pinned in this blasted room so he was dammed if he
wasn't gonna take advantage of it and trash their little toys while
he was here.
The wall behind him shuddered and then blew in. Storm strode through
the opening. She smiled at Logan. "I trust you have left something
for use to do."
"Your locator!" sang Rogue from the corridor beyond, "now get your
hairy butt out here and tell us where they're keeping Jean and
Wolverine was already in the corridor before he pulled up
sharply, "Cyclops!" he exclaimed, "I didn't know he was here too."
They ran down the corridor, searching for a way down a level where
Wolverine knew the main part of the complex to be. Storm blasted
electrical energy back down the corridor behind them to discourage
"We were ambushed in the swamps. I believe they got him while he was
attempting to help me."
Wolverine grunted. "Here," he snarled slashing open the doors to the
elevator shaft. He looked down, "you carry Rogue I can get down the
Storm nodded and without further talk they descended emerging in the
same way that had entered, with a rending of adamantium claws.
"Welcome to the twilight zone," muttered Logan as he took in a
corridor identical to the one above. As Storm moved to go one way he
stopped her. "This way he said at last pointing in the opposite
direction, I can smell Jean she came this way."
Sinister looked up in annoyance as the door was flung open. Gambit
stood there staring at the scene inside. "Gambit, find Danvers and
assist her. Now." He snarled when the man failed to respond
"Gambit don't think so mon ami," Gambit said softly, slowly advancing
into the room. "Gambit got a clear head right now and he don' think
you been straight with him."
Sinister stood and his eyes flashed silver for a moment, freezing
Gambit where he stood, but the man shook it off.
"No, homme that wont be working again. The lady here she done
something that made me remember." He looked square at Jean. "Gambit
owe her for that, and don't like what he been doing for you just
lately." In a flash he had a charged card out and flung at Sinister.
The man shimmered for a moment then shrugged off the blast with no
apparent difficulty. "You forget Gambit, my molecular structure is
unstable. Your particular type of energy or a mere physical attack is
useless against me."
Gambit grinned without humour. "Fair enough," he muttered and lunged
for Jean, tearing her free of the Chair and shielding her back toward
"No," she cried, "Scott."
He looked past Sinister to the lab beyond. "Gambit come back for your
friend Chere, but right now he get you out eh?"
"Think again swamp boy," came a snarl from behind.
Danvers punch knocked Gambit straight through the wall and into the
corridor beyond. He slithered to a stop at Storms' feet.
"Forget him he's one of them," snarled Wolverine as Storm bent to
"No Logan," yelled Jean "he tried to help me". She struggling with
Sinister as Danvers advanced on the four.
Gambit opened his eyes to stare into the prettiest ones he'd laid
eyes on in a long while. "Sugar, you sure picked a strange moment to
switch sides," muttered Rogue when she was sure he was alive.
"That's what I said to your friend there a while back," he muttered
gesturing at Wolverine.
Danvers smiled nastily. "Ooh look, it's the weather woman haven't
we met before when I kicked your ass?"
Storms eyes went flat and she slammed the woman back with a hurricane
force blast of wind, mortar crumbling at the impact. Wolverine used
the distraction to slip past them and go after Sinister, who had
dragged Jean back toward the lab. As he entered Sinister drew a cane
from the workbench, yanking out the concealed sword within.
"I do not have time to tarry with you fools," he muttered.
"Make time," said Wolverine flatly looking around quickly to check on
Jean. She was slumped on the ground, groggily trying to stand. He
could see Cyclops beyond her, still securely restrained to some sort
of contraption. He rolled to avoid a jab at his midsection and
slashed backward as he came to stand. The hiss of sparks as his claws
slid of the other mans body startled him.
Sinister grinned savagely. "Your pathetic little kitty claws will not
effect me" he snapped as he lunged again. Logan stepped inside the
attacked and used a shoulder throw to slam the mutant into a wall.
"Well, they ain't all I got," he muttered circling, ready for the
The battle between Storm and Danvers surged to and fro in the
corridor beyond. With every step Danvers seemed to gain the advantage
as she kept the quarters too tight for Storm to use her lightning
without injuring those around them. Gambit launched an attack from
behind, but as fast as they appeared to hurt her she recovered. There
wasn't a mark on her, her skin seemingly indestructible and her
physical strength without measure. Rogue could only look on
helplessly as the Cajun was slammed into a wall with such force she
heard his ribs break. Still he struggled to his feet, swaying with
exhaustion. Storm likewise was far from fresh and not nearly
recovered from her earlier battle with the black woman. Flinging
Storm into Gambit and advancing on them, Rogue finally saw her
chance. She leapt onto the woman's back and touched a bare hand to
her neck. She meant full well to break the contact swiftly but the
mutant howled in rage and grabbed her wrist in an iron grip.
Rogue screamed as the bone broke and she couldn't pull free. The
other woman arched in pain, suddenly aware of the danger but unable
through shock to let go. In seconds that seemed to span a lifetime
for Rogue she was suddenly standing in the corridor with the other
woman at her feet. Other woman, herself? She didn't know anymore
where she ended and the other creature began. She was torn between
the desire to destroy those before her and the sure knowledge that
they were her friends. She wasn't even aware she was screaming,
crying out until Storm bore her gently to the floor and tried to
comfort her, crooning nonsense words to try to get her back to
reality. Finally she subsided, watching as Rogue simply rocked back
and forward with a blank look on her face, silent tears running
freely now. She looked at Gambit who was clearly in no fit state to
"Stay with her," she instructed "but don't touch her bare skin."
He swallowed hard and nodded, stunned by what he had just witnessed
and took the girl into his arms ignoring the pain in his
chest. "C'mon petite, don cry. Gambit look out for you chere."
Storm staggered into the room beyond. Jean had managed to free Scott
of the machinery Sinister had been using on him, but could not
release the metal restraints that held his now unconscious form to
the lab table.
"Take over here," grunted Wolverine as another attack with his claws
failed and he spun away to use them to better effect on freeing
Scott. Storm lashed out with gale and then ice to little affect.
Sinister simply changed his molecular structure to withstand the
attack. With Scott slumped in Jeans lap beside the table Logan
charged back into the fray to help her and was nearly fried when
Sinister avoided a lightening strike she launched at him.
"Hey, watch it sister," he yowled as he dived aside.
Storm swayed on her feet. "My apologies Wolverine," she muttered
panting, "I'll ask him to stay solid next time."
Scott opened his eyes slowly, barely aware of anything, his body
almost numb with the shock and shivering wildly.
"Easy," he heard Jean say in his ear. "Don't try to move love."
He could taste coppery blood in his mouth. *Bit my lip * he thought
detached, as he became vaguely aware of the combat going on around
him. He felt Jean ease him down to the floor, as she struggled to her
feet trying to focus her power to send a mental blast at Sinister.
Her head still felt like it was packed in wool and the resulting bolt
lacked focus or power. She doubted the mutant had even felt it.
Scott somehow found the strength to get to his hands and knees, still
shaking violently and craned his head up to view the carnage in the
room. He was barely aware of lifting his hand to his visor but the
resulting blast caught Sinister squarely in the back driving him to
his knees. The blast had only been a weak one but Sinisters cry of
pained outrage bore testament to its effectiveness.
"Hit him again," screamed Logan, his claws slashing and this time
With a shudder Scott complied, this one weaker than the last but if
anything more effective. It seemed Sinister folded in on himself,
something about the particular energy from Scott's optic blast
affecting him and his ability to manipulate his molecules. As Storm
lashed him with a final blast of lightning he simply shimmered and
disappeared. Jean knelt beside Scott, who had slumped motionless to
"Is he gone?" asked Storm stunned.
Logan pulled his aching bones upright, "We're out'a here," he
growled. "Let Chuck figure out what happened to him."
Storm nodded, "I'll help Rogue and Gambit" she said quietly looking
Logan ran a hand through his hair, glancing at Scott. "That Gambit
guy okay?" he asked.
Storm smiled wryly, "as well as any of us," she muttered.
He nodded once then turned back to Scott and Jean and squatted down
beside them on his haunches. He cleared his throat gruffly. "He
Okay?" he asked.
Jean had tears in her eyes as she looked up at him, shaking her head
softly. "I don't know, he's hurt badly. We need to get him to proper
Logan touched her shoulder. "Kid's got balls, he'll make it," he said
gruffly as he shouldered Scott's limp form. "Christ," he
muttered "who the hell decided to call him slim" he grumbled.
Gambit led an almost comatose Rogue toward the parking garage on the
upper levels, assuring them that there would be an all terrain jeep
there. They made it back to the Blackbird, whereupon Jean busied
herself with the wounded and Storm settled in to the Pilots seat
calling ahead for the Professor to get things ready to meet them.
Logan looked at her askance as the jet rose into the air. " I thought
you didn't like this thing?"
She flashed him an irritated look. "I don't but Scott can't do it,
Jean is too distracted right now and that leaves me. I don't like it
doesn't mean I can't."
Logan made his way back to where Rogue and the Cajun sat. Jean had
bound up his ribs and when offered the chance to accompany them had
"Why not," he said softly staring at the swamp, "lord knows I can't
stay here with the thieves guild out for my blood now."
Logan had taken Rogue into his arms and held her during the exchange.
At Gambits questioning look he shrugged. "Kid and me got a history,"
he said and that was that.
Storm had recounted the battle in the corridor to them and he worried
for the girls sanity.
"The professor will help her," Storm had assured them.
Gambit glanced back to where Jean sat. "Your friend, he gonna be okay
"He ain't exactly my friend," replied Logan wryly.
Gambit raised an eyebrow and as Logan wandered back toward the pair
he shrugged. "Could'a fooled me homme."
Logan looked up from where he say on the corridor floor. Storm
straightened up too as Charles Xavier exited the medical ward of the
mansion. He regarded the two long and hard.
"I thought I asked you two to get some rest," he chided them gently.
Neither said a word and he sighed. "Rogue will be fine" he said
quietly glancing back at the door. "She was overwhelmed by the
memories of the mutant she absorbed. Unfortunately the contact was
too long and will have somewhat more lasting repercussions but with
help she should be able to adapt."
"What do you mean," snapped Logan suddenly worried.
Xavier fixed him with a look. "It would appear that she has
permanently absorbed the woman's powers and now has a whole new set
of challenges to overcome."
" Logan muttered.
"She can fly now?" asked Storm stunned.
Charles smiled. "In time as she learns to control it yes. It was her
mental well being that I was more concerned with but I am satisfied
that she will come to terms with this as she has the more unfortunate
incidents in her past. She is a very strong young woman for all her
youth. Gambit will be staying with us for a while at least. I've been
able to determine that he was under Sinisters illusory influence for
several years on and off. He too has done a lot in that time that he
must learn to live with but I think he will make a welcome addition
to the group here."
"Lock up your belongings," snorted Logan. "What makes you think he
can be trusted in a team?"
Xavier smiled. "It was not so long ago that similar concerns were
expressed about your ability to be part of a team."
"There's nothing wrong with a thief," Storm smiled serenely.
He looked at her askance.
"I have known a few," she said struggling to keep her smile off her
face "and been one," she added at last.
Logan regarded her for a long while before turning back to
..?" he prompted.
"Does it cost you so much to be concerned Logan?" asked Charles
He shrugged, "we ain't expected to like each other keeps you lot on
" Ahh," said Charles with amusement in his eyes. "Scott will be fine
with rest." he said finally. "The tests" ,he used the word as if
something distasteful had settled in the air about him, "were
debilitating enough as I'm sure you can understand. Using his power
in such a weakened state very nearly killed him. Now get some rest,"
he said forcefully.
Jean gently brushed a stray lock of hair from Scott's forehead,
regarding the sleeping man intently. She had removed his glasses
briefly, something that she knew he would not have approved of but
now more than ever she wanted to look on him without them and fix his
features in her mind. "You almost went away today," she said
softly "and I don't think I could bear that." She leant forward and
kissed him lightly on the lips before putting his glasses back on.
The errant lock of hair slipped down again and she smiled.
"Stubborn," she murmured. "Always so stubborn."
She sat in silence for a while, just watching him sleep. She looked
up startled as a shadow fell over her in the dimly lit room.
"Sorry," Logan said simply. "Didn't mean to scare you."
She sighed and folded her arms about herself. Smiling nervously she
stood. "You know that the professor thinks he's still alive?" she
asked quietly glancing at Scott.
He shrugged. "Next time we know what hurt him. Paybacks a bitch they
"Shouldn't you be in bed," she said smiling warmly at last.
He shrugged, "figured you could use the rest and I slept already."
At her startled look he quirked an eyebrow. "Don't go readin'
anything into this" he said at last, "just get some rest. I'll watch
over our glorious leader for a while."
As Jean left the room with a final lingering look at the sleeping man
Logan settled into a chair beside the bed with his feet up on the
cabinet beside it and arms crossed over his chest.
Feedback always welcome.