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FIC: Reality Check (RR #32)

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  • rimmette@earthlink.net
    Title: Reality Check Series: Unspoken RR #32 Author: Khaki Email: rimmette@earthlink.net Codes: Hank, Logan, Rogue, Moira Placement: After A Little Gossip,
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 3, 2001
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      Title: Reality Check
      Series: Unspoken RR #32
      Author: Khaki
      Email: rimmette@...
      Codes: Hank, Logan, Rogue, Moira
      Placement: After A Little Gossip, takes place during Silk and Steel
      and Square Pegs and Round Holes, On the Merits of Chicken, and Indian
      Summer. The majority occurs right after Jengrrl's newinstallment.
      Author's Notes: Ok, this fic is Vic's fault for making me
      contribute, jenn's fault for saying the concept was ok, and an audit
      client's fault for transforming all of my sweet, foofy plot bunnies
      into evil, angst-mongers with a few choice words. Me? I'm just an
      innocent by-stander.
      Archiving: RRindex at Indulgence and Muses' Fool

      *****

      Hank searched for Rogue the morning after his rather late and
      confusing visit with Bobby, but she was nowhere to be found. In
      fact, except for the occasional brief sighting, all of the mansion's
      adults appeared to be missing.

      After checking her and Scott's room, the roof, Ororo's arboretum, the
      boat house, everywhere he could think Marie might be, he abandoned
      the search and walked to Professor Xavier's office to share his
      experiences in Switzerland. The sound of voices drifting from the
      office stopped him. Scott and the professor were talking and from
      the few words he'd gleaned, it was a private discussion.

      Hank left them to their conversation, but before he was completely
      out of earshot, he heard a distinct bark of laughter. It sounded
      like Scott, but that seemed anathema to the serious tones he'd heard
      mere seconds before. Shrugging Hank resumed his trek to the kitchen
      for breakfast.

      "Hankmeister!"

      "Good morning, Jubilee, Kitty."

      "So...?" Jubilee said, drawing the word out into a sentence.

      "Yes, Jubilee?" Hank asked.

      "Who're you betting on?" When he didn't immediately answer, Jubilee
      sighed. "Bobby said he'd fill you in."

      "Robert and I did have a particularly perplexing conversation last
      night."

      "And?"

      "And, I am reserving judgement until I have at least spoken with the
      parties involved. Speaking of which, have either of you seen Marie?"

      "Not yet."

      "Sorry, dude."

      Acquiring his traditional breakfast, Hank excused himself and retired
      to his lab to review his Switzerland notes and to muse on the
      apparent only topic of conversation in the mansion.

      Of all the adults, he'd always felt closest to Marie. From her
      arrival, their relationship had quickly developed a comfortable older
      brother/younger sister dynamic that he encouraged at every
      opportunity. He couldn't help but feel somewhat remiss in his
      duties, leaving Marie to deal with such tumultuous occurrences
      without his support. He could only hope that he might be able to
      somehow help when next he crossed her path.

      As it happened, he didn't see Marie until the next night, and then
      there was no time for polite conversation.

      Hank had been enjoying a brisk walk that unusually warm night when
      the silence was broken with screams. He was so far away, he couldn't
      make out any words, but he knew that voice. It was Marie, and she
      was shrieking in utter panic.

      Running towards the lake and Marie's yelling, the words became
      clearer.

      "Logan!" Splashes... gurgling... "No!" More splashing. "Help!"

      "Marie?!"

      "Hank? Hank!" Marie shouted from the water, a few feet from the
      dock. "Help me! I can't... he's dying. I... I... just brushed
      against him... just a second and he... Help me! He's drowning!"

      Running down the length of the dock, Hank dove into the water without
      hesitation. After breaking the surface, he asked, "Where is he?
      Where should I be looking?"

      Marie quickly swam out of arm's reach from him, replying, "Right
      there... He's... Oh please, Hank, you've got to help him... He's
      dying! He's dying!"

      Hank submerged again and again, searching the depths of the lake by
      feel alone in the darkness of the night. Each time he resurfaced
      without success, he was greeted with more and more frantic cries from
      Marie.

      The last time he'd risen, though, she was silent, instead focusing
      her energies on covering her nude body with the oversized clothes
      piled on the dock. As soon as she was covered, she rejoined him in
      the water and they spread out their search.

      Hank didn't know how long it'd been before his hand brushed against
      an unresponsive limb lying on the silt bottom. Grasping it tightly,
      he swam to the surface.

      "I've got him."

      What he had, in fact, was a leg. Taking a moment to reposition the
      body in his grasp, he soon brought the man's lolling head above the
      water.

      "Logan?"

      "I don't know." Hank answered her unasked question, holding the
      unconscious man in one arm while swimming in broad strokes towards
      the dock with the other.

      Upon reaching it, he climbed the ladder and laid the body out on the
      wooden planks. Hank hadn't been a practicing physician for a while,
      but that didn't stop him from taking immediate action.

      The patient, Logan, had the all the classic symptoms of drowning:
      abdominal distension, bluish skin, unconsciousness. and no
      breathing. Hank performed a variation on the traditional Heimlich
      maneuver, trying to clear the man's lungs of as much water as
      possible, then he began artificial respiration.

      He checked, but found no pulse, so he began CPR. At least, he tried
      to begin CPR. The man's ribs refused to bend; his chest refused to
      compress.

      "That won't work. He... his skeleton's covered in metal," Marie
      provided.

      Without a pulse, Logan was as good as dead, and Hank could do nothing
      more to save him at the lakeside. He pulled the man's unclothed body
      into a fireman's carry and started running towards the mansion.

      Marie kept up with him, despite the clumsiness of Logan's drenched
      clothes hanging loosely on her smaller frame.

      Hank ran into the mansion, past Professor Xavier, past Bobby,
      Jubilee, and a gaggle of other students, into the emergency
      staircase, and down to the Med Lab.

      "Moira?" he called, not waiting for an answer before summoning a bed
      from the floor and lying the unresponsive man down.

      "Och. Hank, what happened?"

      "Near drowning. No breathing, no pulse. Patient has a metal
      skeleton so CPR's impossible."

      "Logan." Moira MacTaggert said in acknowledgement. "Attach the heart
      monitor, I'll get the paddles."

      "Moira, Hank, you've gotta save him. Please."

      Moira turned and shook her head. "Rogue, you cannae be in here.
      Wait outside."

      "But, Logan..."

      "We dinnae have the time for this. Let us concentrate on helping
      Logan. Please."

      Moira hurried Rogue out of the door and locked it behind her before
      returning to help Hank.

      The heart monitor's read out was flat, the tone steady and ominous.

      "He's in asystole. No cardiac activity," Hank informed her.

      "Charging ta 200."

      "IV in."

      "Clear."

      "... No change."

      "Charging to 250."

      "10 cc's epinephrine on board."

      "Clear."

      "... Nothing."

      "Charging to 300."

      "That's too high. You'll damage his heart."

      "I cannae make him more dead than he already is. Clear."

      "... No response."

      "That's it." Moira said, returning the paddles to the
      machine. "This is nae working."

      She hurried to the drawers in the far wall, withdrew a large
      hypodermic with a three-inch long needle, and returned to Logan's
      bedside.

      "Epinephrine," she said, reaching out her hand for the medication
      Hank held.

      After filling the syringe with a dosage so large that Hank gasped,
      she palpated Logan's chest, feeling for the space between the ribs,
      and plunged the needle into his heart.

      Driving the plunger home, she administered the full dose with
      immediate results. The flatline on the heart monitor spiked, and
      Logan took a deep, gasping breath. Coughing followed as his lungs
      cleared themselves of lake water, expunging pink, frothy sputum.
      After a few irregular spikes, his heart rate settled into a normal
      sinus rhythm.

      It had been close, but Logan had pulled back from the brink of
      death. With his healing abilities, it would take several hours, but
      he would recover completely.

      -----

      So, what does Rogue think? What do the other mansion residents
      think? Next?
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