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Prodigals #14b: Cradling the Cactus Tree 1/1 [Scott, Remy, Marie]

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  • Katt S.
    (continued from 14a; disclaimers and details found there) You have just entered The Danger Grotto café_freak has entered the room SuperPunk7 has entered the
    Message 1 of 1 , May 29, 2003
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      (continued from 14a; disclaimers and details found there)

      You have just entered "The Danger Grotto"
      caf�_freak has entered the room
      SuperPunk7 has entered the room
      SuperPunk7: Sorry it's been so long.
      SuperPunk7: I had more papers and jetlag to get over. It�s the only thing I
      hate about flying.
      caf�_freak: I figured that or you were busy with your boyfriend
      SuperPunk7: Boyfriend? What boyfriend?
      caf�_freak: tall skinny rich
      caf�_freak: jonothan starsmore
      SuperPunk7: *lol* Jono's hardly my boyfriend. We're roommates here.
      SuperPunk7: The papers think he's going out with any girl he looks at twice
      caf�_freak: if you say so
      SuperPunk7: I know so. I'd never seriously go out with him.
      caf�_freak: why not? he sounds like the guy every girl wants to bring home
      to ma and pa
      SuperPunk7: For one thing, we all know that my parents have no problem with
      my boyfriends; it's me they don't like.
      SuperPunk7: For another
      caf�_freak: for another what?
      SuperPunk7: Sorry, had to think. It's going to sound stupid and all soap
      caf�_freak: we used to live in mutant high. that's about as soap opera as
      you can get
      SuperPunk7: *lol* True enough.
      caf�_freak: so spill already, river rat
      SuperPunk7: If you're going to call me names, I don't see why I should bare
      my heart to you
      caf�_freak: not bare it just give me a little peek
      SuperPunk7: You get enough peeks at bare women to last you seven lifetimes.
      caf�_freak: not that much. maybe five
      caf�_freak: thanks for the compliment though
      SuperPunk7: Prick
      caf�_freak: bitch
      caf�_freak: and you still haven't told me why you can't go out with
      SuperPunk7: Tenacious, aren't you?
      caf�_freak: sure
      SuperPunk7: I can't say we didn't try to go out but something was missing.
      caf�_freak: something was missing?
      SuperPunk7: I told you it was soap opera-ish.
      caf�_freak: no no. just what was the something?
      SuperPunk7: I don't know! Maybe I just got spoiled living in the mansion but
      I always felt like I needed to prove something when I went out with him.
      SuperPunk7: Like I'm very normal or very NOT normal or something.
      SuperPunk7: And then there's the no-kissing, no touching bit. It was just
      way too hellish. Not like when we used to hang out when, y'know, we could
      flirt and talk and it's fine. It would be relaxed, no real pressure.
      SuperPunk7: With Jono, we were either really good friends who couldn't touch
      under the pain of torture or a couple of really horny people who had nothing
      to say to each other. Nothing in between. Am I making any sense?
      caf�_freak: I guess
      caf�_freak: your asking the wrong guy
      caf�_freak: I'm allergic to relationships. I get rashes.
      SuperPunk7: *rotfl* You left that one wide open for an insult but I'm not
      going to take it 'cause it's too easy.
      caf�_freak: your too kind
      caf�_freak: I gotta go. Work.
      SuperPunk7: Take care, y'hear? Don't let anything bite your ass unless you
      ask it to.
      caf�_freak: you offering?
      SuperPunk7: *lol* Go to hell, swamp rat
      caf�_freak: after you mud pie *kotc*
      caf�_freak: has left the room
      SuperPunk7 has left the room


      I led Remy over to the east wing where the sickbay was. He was in fine
      swamp-hick form today. Matched luggage under his eyes, his wrinkled coat
      reeking of tobacco and alcohol, his hands grimy, and his jaw mangy. His
      accent had been plied on thick enough to drown a rhino. It was no wonder he
      almost got kicked out. I swear, he gets his rocks off on annoying authority

      �How smart was it to threaten the guy who owns the building?� I asked to cut
      his nervous silence.

      His card shuffling stuttered for half a second. �Didn�t threaten him. He
      grabbed me first.�

      �Remy,� I began in my knee-jerk teacher voice but, seeing his cards flip
      around double-time, I decided it wasn�t quite the time for it. Unless I
      wanted to be the punching bag where he let off the steam that was so
      obviously sizzling under his skin. �How did you know?�

      �Xavier. Gave me a ticket with a mental voicemail. Gonna kill the Internet
      with that. Should charge--�

      He came to a full stop in front of the sickbay windows. My mental shields
      prickled slightly at the same time that I saw his eyes flare up behind his
      shades. I reacted before thinking, grabbing Remy�s coat. He slipped through
      it easily enough, sprinting into the room and leaving me with five yards of
      ugly, smelly pleather.

      �Get those things offa her!� he shouted at the stricken nursing student as
      he yanked on the straps binding Marie�s wrists to the bed. �Get them the
      hell off!�

      I tried to wedge myself between Remy and the bed without success. �Remy, she
      asked for them.�

      �The hell she did!�

      �She asked for them,� I repeated as firmly as I could, �in the five minutes
      or so that she was lucid. Or rather, that Erik was lucid.�

      �Erik?� Confusion loosened Remy�s grip; he still kept his hands over the
      straps however.

      I tapped my forehead. �Mind-Erik. The psychic residue of Erik Lensherr. He
      was smart enough to realise that a hundred scared people in a body of a
      teenager with the considerable magnetic, healing, and possibly psionic
      powers might be dangerous in a school.�

      The commotion woke Marie up, the sleeping pill ineffective against her
      metabolism. She cringed away from Remy.

      �Who the hell are you?� she snarled.

      Remy dropped his arms. The heavy Brooklyn twang had thrown me in for a loop,
      too, the first time I heard it. He stepped back, and again, then spun on his
      heel to glare at me.

      �Fix her.�

      �The only thing needing fixing around here is you people.� Marie/Carol
      writhed against the straps. �My head hurts so fucking much. Why don�t you
      give me more drip?�

      �We�ve told you before, Ms. Danvers,� I said. �Marie�s body breaks down
      drugs too quickly.�

      �I don�t give a flying fuck about her body!� She yanked viciously on the
      hand straps, biting back grunts of pain. �I couldn�t give a fuck what all
      you people do with the rest of your time. Just get me the hell out of here
      and back into my own goddamned body, all right?� Her face collapsed into
      something like fear, then hardened right back into defensive anger. She
      shifted her attention back to Remy who was still in shock, motionless with
      his hands in his pockets. �Who�d you say he was again?� she asked me.

      I tried not to smirk but it snuck out anyway. �He�s supposed to help you get
      out of there.�


      You have just entered "The Danger Grotto"
      SuperPunk7 has entered the room
      caf�_freak has entered the room
      SuperPunk7: I thought you were going to be on last night
      caf�_freak: sorry, last job took a while to finish. I crashed as soon as I
      got home
      SuperPunk7: All parts still intact?
      caf�_freak: and in perfect working order thanks. wanna test them out and
      SuperPunk7: Sugar, I�m afraid of wearing out your parts.
      caf�_freak: you can certainly try, sher
      SuperPunk7: It would be awfully hard with you all the way there and me here.
      caf�_freak: it�d be hard all right but I think I can manage
      SuperPunk7: *g* You�re hilarious
      caf�_freak: I was aiming for irresistible
      SuperPunk7: Your aim sucks
      caf�_freak: oh it�s sucking you were wanting. you could of just said so
      SuperPunk7: Remy! You�re staining my innocent virgin eyes!
      caf�_freak: bullshit. your horns are showing under your halo
      SuperPunk7: Darn it, they just don�t make them like they used to
      caf�_freak: guess not.
      caf�_freak: what are you up to?
      SuperPunk7: Just unpacking my last bits of stuff. Did I tell you we were
      going to Scotland for the RhadaSquat concert?
      caf�_freak: yeah in a week right?
      SuperPunk7: Yeah. We�re leaving Sunday though �cause we still have to drive
      there and then we have to find a good camping spot close to the stage.
      SuperPunk7: And we�re going to be seeing a lot of the villages around the
      area. You�d like them; they�re your type of place.
      caf�_freak: yeah?
      SuperPunk7: Yeah. Quiet, grannies knitting, sheep chewing
      caf�_freak: a 24/7 party in other words
      SuperPunk7: *lol* Yup.
      SuperPunk7: Dang. Gotta go again. Josh found a bigger, comfier couch for the
      commons room and we have to go pick it up.
      caf�_freak: sure thing. take care, sher
      SuperPunk7: Always. You, too.
      caf�_freak: always
      caf�_freak: has left the room
      SuperPunk7 has left the room


      I tried not to fall into the stereotypes of British nobility but the
      Braddocks were making it unbelievably hard. Lord Brian and Lady Betsy
      Braddock were like ice statues, perfectly poised, perfectly coiffed,
      perfectly articulated vowels. As co-owners of MIA, they had to join the
      committee. I sat beside Remy across from the Professor and Dr. MacTaggert.
      Beside her was Marie/Carol and Carol�s boyfriend. I don�t think the
      professor wanted them there. He sat a little too stiffly in his chair. Not
      that Marie/Carol and Col. Rossi looked comfortable either surrounded by

      �As you all know,� the professor began, �Lady Elisabeth and I have been
      attempting to help Marie separate Carol�s personality from her mind.
      Unfortunately, we have been hampered by many factors, not the least of them
      being my familiarity with Marie. Usually, the problem will resolve itself in
      a few days as was the case with Logan three years ago.

      �However,�--and now the professor passed around stack of blue folders that
      had been sitting in front of him--�it appears that the situation is a bit
      more complicated.� His gaze flickered towards Marie/Carol. �Ms. Danvers has
      a latent mutant power--�

      �What?� Marie/Carol jumped out of her chair, slamming her fists on the
      table. With difficultly, Col. Rossi pulled her back down. �I don�t have any

      �Ye were latent,� said Dr. MacTaggert. �Yuir power hadnae been triggered.
      Ye�ve read the literature, Carol?� At the reporter�s nod, she continued,
      �Marie�s gift caused yours tae come. That�s where the problem is.�

      The professor took up the conversation. �We�re not sure what Carol�s power
      is at the moment. We cannot analyse it because it has gone inside Marie.�

      �Gone inside?� repeated Lord Braddock.

      �It is as though someone spliced Carol�s genes with Marie�s,� the professor
      elaborated. �Marie�s body will likely display a secondary mutation for as
      long as this is applicable.�

      I interrupted at this point. �How can a psychic residue affect her body

      Dr. MacTaggert and the professor exchanged looks. �We dinnae know,� the
      doctor confessed.

      Marie/Carol threw up her hands. �Fantastic! I thought you guys were supposed
      to be experts.�

      An expression common to all teachers came over Dr. MacTaggert�s face.
      �Mutants are new on the evolutionary scale, Ms. Danvers. Since we are an
      ethical research station as well as a school, progress is slow.� She sighed,
      adjusted her glasses, and shuffled the papers in her folder.

      �What do I have to with all o� this?� Remy�s question startled everyone.
      He�d been quiet since Marie/Carol woke up, exuding anti-socialism like cheap

      The professor smiled one of his knowing little smiles, the kind of smile
      that meant something different to everyone. �According to my records and my
      telepathic sweeps so far, Remy, you are the only one of Marie�s friends who
      hasn�t touched her at all.�

      I reared back to look at Remy. �You�re kidding.�


      You have just entered "The Danger Grotto"
      SuperPunk7 has entered the room
      caf�_freak has entered the room
      caf�_freak: didn�t think you�d be online tonight. aren�t you heading out in
      the morning?
      SuperPunk7: I couldn�t sleep
      caf�_freak: why?
      SuperPunk7: I don�t know. Excitement?
      SuperPunk7: Maybe a little nervousness, too
      caf�_freak: what for?
      SuperPunk7: All those people at the concert. I�ll be covered, of course, but
      things could happen
      caf�_freak: true that.
      SuperPunk7: Geez, thanks a lot. You were supposed to say something like
      �Don�t worry, it�ll be okay� or �Nothing could happen to you.�
      caf�_freak: I say that and you�ll float around without a care in the world.
      have fun but be careful.
      caf�_freak: would be a shame if you accidentally absorb a physics professor
      or something.
      SuperPunk7: At a rock concert?
      caf�_freak: a drunken physics prof. scary thought
      SuperPunk7: Only slightly less scary than a high physics prof
      caf�_freak: you trying to give me nightmares, girl?
      SuperPunk7: Sorry. You�re right. That was just mean.
      caf�_freak: if your really that worried maybe you shouldn�t go. could be a
      SuperPunk7: A sign? Since when have you believed in signs?
      caf�_freak: since forever. like the first time I saw you. you had this halo
      looking thing around your head because of the sun and your skunk stripe.
      caf�_freak: I knew straight away you were gonna cause me a load of trouble.
      SuperPunk7: *lol* You�re so full of it, swamp rat.
      caf�_freak: yeah, I know you can�t resist me
      SuperPunk7: that just goes to show you how irresistible *I* am. You think
      it�s all your plan. Soon you�ll be offering to build me a castle with your
      own two hands.
      caf�_freak: if I had to pick something to do for you with my own two hands,
      building houses wouldn�t be it.
      caf�_freak: rogue?
      caf�_freak: hello?
      caf�_freak: rogue I was teasing. I didn�t mean to embarrass you.
      SuperPunk7: You didn�t.
      SuperPunk7: What kinds of things would you do to me with your own two hands,
      SuperPunk7: Remy?
      caf�_freak: I saw some real thin leather gloves in a store in manhattan
      once. they felt softer than anything.
      caf�_freak: I�d have you lie down on your stomach on something kinda
      scratchy so you could tell the difference between my touching you with the
      gloves and the rug under you
      caf�_freak: rogue?
      SuperPunk7: I�m here
      caf�_freak: should I stop?
      SuperPunk7: No. Are you gonna give me a back-rub?
      caf�_freak: and a leg-rub and a neck-rub and an arm-rub.
      SuperPunk7: And an bum-rub?
      caf�_freak: if you like.
      SuperPunk7: I like.
      SuperPunk7: What if I want my other side rubbed?
      caf�_freak: go ahead and turn around.
      SuperPunk7: Then what?
      caf�_freak: I�d start massaging your feet first cause they�re probably the
      sorest. right on the pads at the base of each toe and inside the arch over
      and over again
      caf�_freak: Then I�d move on to your ankles to the back of your knees one
      leg at a time.
      SuperPunk7: *g* That tickles. Couldn�t you move higher?
      caf�_freak: higher?
      SuperPunk7: Yeah. Somewhere around my thighs
      caf�_freak: your wish is my command, sher.
      caf�_freak: your skin�s a lot softer there ain�t it? soft as the skin behind
      your ears. I remember how you used to do that little shiver when I whispered
      in your ear
      SuperPunk7: I always shivered when you talked
      caf�_freak: where else would you shiver if my put my mouth against it?
      SuperPunk7: If you don�t know where, you�ve been faking all these years
      SuperPunk7: Maybe we should play a guessing game
      caf�_freak: How do you mean?
      SuperPunk7: I�ve got my hand where I want you to whisper. You have to guess
      where it is.
      caf�_freak: I think I�m gonna like this game.
      SuperPunk7: I�m not done explaining the rules
      caf�_freak: sorry
      SuperPunk7: Every mistake you make, you have to take something off.
      caf�_freak: I know I�m gonna really like this game.
      caf�_freak: Is it on the back of your neck?
      SuperPunk7: Nope. Off with your shirt
      caf�_freak: it�s gone. is it on the small of your back?
      SuperPunk7: No. Are you wearing shoes?
      caf�_freak: socks.
      SuperPunk7: Take one off
      caf�_freak: you�re going from shirt to socks?
      SuperPunk7: It�s my game. I get to decide.
      caf�_freak: all right. I got a naked left foot. is it on a breast?
      SuperPunk7: Which breast?
      caf�_freak: left
      SuperPunk7: Nope
      caf�_freak: right?
      SuperPunk7: Not that either. You owe me another sock and a belt
      caf�_freak: I�m not wearing a belt
      SuperPunk7: What are you wearing then?
      caf�_freak: beater, jeans, shades
      SuperPunk7: No underwear?
      caf�_freak: what do you think?
      SuperPunk7: Wouldn�t you like to know? Hmmm, I�ve always liked your shades
      caf�_freak: you know I�d rather die than give any of my shades up. choose
      something else.
      SuperPunk7: beater
      caf�_freak: it�s yours. your lucky there�s a heatwave going around. is it on
      your lips?
      SuperPunk7: Lips?
      caf�_freak: yeah is your hand on your lips
      caf�_freak: or your bellybutton
      caf�_freak: that dip on your neck that you like to touch when your nervous
      caf�_freak: rogue?
      SuperPunk7: You�ve just run out of clothes, sugar
      caf�_freak: like I said there�s a heatwave
      SuperPunk7: Why don�t you ever call me Marie?
      caf�_freak: I thought it was reserved for full-time teachers and hairy
      SuperPunk7: Cajuns are descended from Acadians who were from Canada
      caf�_freak: you calling me hairy?
      SuperPunk7: Maybe.
      caf�_freak: so was I right about the lips?
      caf�_freak: or any of them
      SuperPunk7: North or south lips
      caf�_freak: I hope it�s the north lips. I been aching to kiss those since
      caf�_freak: rogue?
      caf�_freak: rogue, you there?
      caf�_freak: marie?
      SuperPunk7: I�m here
      SuperPunk7: Want to come and visit Cambridge sometime? I bet I could ask Mr.
      Summers to buy you a ticket.
      caf�_freak: I�d love to sher
      SuperPunk7: Good. I�ve gotta go, sugar. See you when I see you.
      caf�_freak: sweet dreams river rat
      SuperPunk7: You, too, swamp rat.
      SuperPunk7 has left the room
      caf�_freak: has left the room


      Remy was out of the room like a shot. Cigarette smoke trailed behind him
      thick as a steamboat stack.

      �Hey!� I caught up to him, rethinking my plan to grab him and drag him back.
      He looked ready to rip a limb off. It was disturbingly Logan-esque. �Where
      are you going?�

      He stopped. My arm smacked into him. �He--� Remy snapped an accusatory
      finger back at the open conference room door. �--wants to mess around in my

      �You know why. We need detailed thoughts of Marie, thoughts that she doesn�t
      have, to help her psyche focus and gather,� I said. �Whatever the professor
      sees, he won�t tell anyone.�

      �I don�t care if he�s the fuckin� Pope. I ain�t lettin� him in my head. Not
      for anything.�

      I crossed my arms. �Not even for Marie?�

      He yanked the cigarette out of his mouth, looking everywhere but my face.
      �Fuck.� Taking one final drag, he flicked it away then rubbed his face with
      his hands. �Summers, I... He�s gonna take my memories and empty them in her

      �I know.� I tried to sound conciliatory.

      �You know?� If anything, he looked ever more enraged. �You talkin� like it�s
      transplanting a fuckin� tulip, Scott! It�s my *mind*! I got things in
      there...� He swallowed, his Adam�s apple too visible against the strained
      tendons of his neck.

      A quick look around showed an adjourned council heading in our direction.
      Marie/Carol looked scarily determined. So I yanked Remy into another empty
      room and locked the door. He slapped the lights off. My visor picked up the
      faint light coming in through the tinted windows, making it possible to
      track Remy in the room that would have been pitch-black to my everyday
      glasses. He walked to the back corner of the room and crouched on his
      haunches, head in his hands.

      �He�s gonna copy everythin� I ever connected t�her,� he whispered when I sat
      down beside him. �Even some things that ain�t totally... My thoughts... I
      can�t let no-one see them, Scott. �Specially not her.�

      Which was why he hadn�t even risked a second of touching her. Christ. I
      didn�t care if I had to take on an entire city; I was going to blast
      everyone who did this to him. How was I going to talk him around this one?

      �Look,� I started a few minutes later. �You�ve been chatting with her
      lately, right?�

      �How�d you-- oh.� He smiled, a small smile but a smile nevertheless. �I
      figured it was you who gave away my email. Hackin� skills, my eye.�

      �Guilty as charged.� I stretched my legs out, getting into a comfortable
      pose. �You should know more than anyone what she�s like.�

      �She runs.� His jaw clenched stiff.

      �But she always comes back.� I almost patted his back but my hand could only
      hover for some strange reason. He was so strongly hostile it was like a
      force field around his body. I did some of my own jaw clenching. Slowly, my
      hand curled over his shoulder. It felt like granite. �And even if she
      doesn�t...� Christ, this was going to turn into a Growing Pains moment,
      wasn�t it? How frickin� embarrassing. �Even if she doesn�t...�

      Remy hiccoughed. Bending double, he lowered his forehead against his crossed

      There was no way in hell I could get the Growing Pains phrase leave my lips.
      Some situations were too important for clich�s no matter how true. So I just
      squeezed his shoulder and willed the hostile aura to Go Away.


      You have just entered "The Danger Grotto"
      SuperPunk7 has entered the room
      caf�_freak has entered the room
      SuperPunk7: Guess where I am?
      caf�_freak: timbuktu?
      SuperPunk7: Clever.
      caf�_freak: that was going to be my next guess
      SuperPunk7: The concert�s in 20 hours. I�m in my tent. I thought it would
      filter the eau du weed but no such luck.
      caf�_freak: as many people as that smoking up you�ll need industrial sized
      fans. maybe a jet engine
      SuperPunk7: *lol*
      SuperPunk7: I was hoping you�d be online. I wanted to talk to you
      caf�_freak: about?
      SuperPunk7: The other night.
      caf�_freak: ok
      caf�_freak: marie?
      SuperPunk7: Hang on, I�m trying to figure out what to say.
      caf�_freak: ok
      SuperPunk7: This is so dumb
      SuperPunk7: I�ve written a gazillion essays and I can�t write this down.
      caf�_freak: need a dictionary to help you spell it?
      SuperPunk7: *g* More like Bartlett�s Quotes.
      SuperPunk7: I can hear what I want to say in my head but when I try to write
      it down and send it, it looks really dumb
      SuperPunk7: Trite.
      SuperPunk7: I wish I could just take you inside my head and show you what I
      SuperPunk7: Remy, please tell me I�m not weirding you out.
      caf�_freak: no
      caf�_freak: no weirdness
      caf�_freak: me too, sher
      SuperPunk7: You too what?
      caf�_freak: what you wanted to say. me too
      SuperPunk7: You sure?
      caf�_freak: never been more sure of anything in my life.
      SuperPunk7: Good. Me, too.
      SuperPunk7: So I�ll see you soon, okay, sugar?
      caf�_freak: real soon, sher
      SuperPunk7 has left the room
      caf�_freak: has left the room

      (poopy... This was long wasn't it? If I'm not careful, I'll be writing epics

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