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FF: Empathy (A) PG-13

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  • Cherry
    Summary: When the line between fantasy and reality starts to blur, how can you tell where dreams end and memory begins? Thanks to: Charon MMM, who did a
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 9, 2001
      Summary: When the line between fantasy and reality starts to blur, how can
      you tell where dreams end and memory begins?

      Thanks to: Charon MMM, who did a wonderful job beta'ing

      Disclaimer: Not mine. Enough said.

      Archive: Go ahead and take it, though I wouldn't mind if you dropped me a
      note to let me know where.

      Note: Though this is in four parts, due to the stupidity of my email addy,
      it's meant to be read as one thing.


      When he awoke, he could feel the fire still burning merrily, the heat from
      it gently warming his cheek. He lay perfectly still, keeping his breathing
      even, as he looked for what had woken him. He couldn’t smell anything out
      of place, and no noises drifted to his ears from the dark around him.

      No noises at all, save the sputtering of the fire. The night life was

      He waited, patiently. Nothing changed. He finally cracked one eye partly

      Standing on the other side of the fire was a young girl, partially obscured
      by the flames. She stood, unmoving, gazing at him steadily with deep
      vibrant eyes the colour of a summer sky on a hot day, shocking against her
      pale skin and white blonde hair. She’d known the second he awoke, though
      he'd kept up the pretence, one eye open only enough to watch her. She said

      She carried no scent, though she looked as solid as he himself.

      The wind shifted suddenly, and the fire blazed up. When it died back down,
      she was gone. He was out of his sleeping bag in an instant and where she
      had stood, straining his senses for any hint of her identity.

      There wasn’t a single track in the campsite, save for his own.

      Then the wind was whipping past his face, carrying the scent of turning
      leaves, hot asphalt, and exhaust. Shaking his head, Logan gave himself a
      mental smack as he snapped out of it, thankful that he hadn’t lost his
      balance on the motorcycle. His healing factor would look after him, but it
      would still hurt like a bugger if he crashed. The dreams were coming even
      during the day now. He had no control over them, couldn’t even feel them
      coming on.

      He’d hoped that they’d stop after he left Xavier’s, but in the two months
      since then, they’d only increased in frequency. He’d been free of them for
      almost two years. Now he wondered if he should’ve told Chuck about them,
      let the man take a few laps inside his head, trying to figure out what had
      caused them. They’d started suddenly, a bit more than three years ago,
      brought on by nothing that he could pin down. They’d ended just as
      abruptly, not bothering until he was saved by the weather witch and one

      The worst part of it was, back then, he had never been able to remember
      them for long after waking, just that they felt incredibly real. Now, they
      seemed to blend with the weather witch’s soft voice and white hair, the way
      that Marie had looked at him when she’d said that she couldn’t touch
      people. Now they haunted him incessantly.

      Opening the throttle up, Logan accelerated, pulling easily up to the car
      that shared the road with him. The man inside flipped him the bird.

      Logan grinned at him, and popped his middle claw. The man’s face contorted
      in shock, and Logan moved the motorcycle out in front as the driver swerved
      on the road.

      “Jackass,” he muttered under his breath.

      Leaving the car behind him, Logan roared down the old highway. Just
      enjoying the feel of air in his face, he followed the road where it led,
      trying to clear his head. He turned onto the interstate, weaving among the
      heavier traffic on Scott’s liberated bike. When it grew too heavy, he
      pulled into the lanes and impatiently waited.

      *I gotta be getting near a big city,* he thought. He hadn’t been paying
      much attention to where he was going, not really caring, but being slowly
      drawn here. Looking around, he saw a sign that read Boston City Limits, 20
      Miles. It hung slightly crooked on orange posts.

      Recognition stirred within him, and he felt filled with the echoes of a
      sudden need to hurry. “Time’s running out,” he whispered. The conscious
      part of him knew that this was the remnants of memories long past, buried
      under the amnesia. But that part was being submerged in alien feelings,
      worry for someone, and something akin to panic rising up in him. He pulled
      to the shoulder and gunned the motor, speeding towards the rising buildings
      he could see faintly, off in the distance.

      By the time he actually reached the outskirts, he was thinking rationally
      again. He was in a huge city, his cash reserves almost depleted. He
      couldn’t set camp in the park, couldn’t hunt for his food. He’d need to
      find a place to chain the bike, a chain, a job.

      The thought of turning around, or driving right through Boston never
      crossed his mind.

      He was already in too deep.


      “Jack,” the mutant known only as Mastermind started as he walked into the
      huge office. The man seated in the leather chair raised his hand,
      motioning the telepath to stop. He continued to look out the plate glass
      window, at the city bustling fifty stories below them, as he finished his
      call on the headset.

      He spun the chair around to face his subordinate, hanging the headset over
      the corner of the flat screen monitor. Rubbing his dark hair, the man
      asked, “What is it, Mastermind?” His cultured voice was heavy with a
      Bostonian lilt.

      “Well, sir, I’m afraid you’re not going to like this. He’s back in town.”

      “Who?” the other man asked in exasperation. He took a look at Mastermind’s
      face, and knew. “Does my daughter know?”

      “No, I checked her blocks. They're still holding strong. She’s under

      “Good. Does he remember?”

      “I don't think so, but I’m afraid to go too deeply into his mind. He’s
      been in contact with a very powerful telepath. I don’t want to take the
      chance that he’s still under surveillance, but if I had to hazard a guess,
      I’d say that he has no idea.”

      “So by acting, we might create a situation where there was none?”


      “Keep up passive scans on him. I want to know what he’s doing, who he’s
      seeing, what he’s eating. We’ll leave him alone for the time being, see
      how it develops. But if there is the smallest sign...”

      “I understand.”

      “And Mastermind,” the man continued, his cold voice stopping the mutant as
      he headed for the door. “When we are here, I’m always Robert. And to you,
      I’m always Mr. Frost.”

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