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FIC: Ulterior Motives (R, S/J)

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  • loonylittlewitch
    Title: Ulterior Motives Author: Lisea (loonylittlewitch@yahoo.com) Author s website: http://www.freewebs.com/draakkon Rating: R Pairing: S/J Summary: Jean s
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 25 6:31 PM
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      Title: Ulterior Motives
      Author: Lisea (loonylittlewitch@...)
      Author's website: http://www.freewebs.com/draakkon
      Rating: R
      Pairing: S/J
      Summary: Jean's been attacked and taken from the mansion.
      Notes: Thanks to H. and Quidam, my betas! :)

      ***

      Scott dropped the basketball as soon as he heard one of the kids say
      his fiance's name.

      "Mr. Summers, someone's taking Ms. Grey away!" the youngest, 6-year-
      old Sarah said. 10-year-old Jake was right behind her. "They took Ms.
      Grey!" They were scared and out of breath.

      Scott knelt down and grabbed Sarah's shoulders. "Who's taking her?
      Where?"

      "At the lake!" both said in unison, "There were men and they came
      over the wall and..."

      Scott told Bobby to take the kids inside. He immediately took off
      towards the direction of the lake, where Jean had taken the kids for
      an outdoors science lesson.

      At the lake, he spotted the discarded net Jean and the kids had used
      to capture small insects by the shore. Turning his head, he barely
      saw the headlights of a speeding black van before it disappeared
      around a corner.

      "Shit!"

      ***

      Jean didn't have time to react to the attack. She didn't even know
      anyone was after her, until a tranquilizer dart had hit her back. And
      by that time, it was too late, and she fell on the ground. The only
      thing she registered was the kids running towards the safety of the
      mansion. The drug worked too fast to let her have a chance of
      alerting Scott or the others.

      By the time Scott had found out about the attack, her unconcious body
      had been thrown into the back of the van, and by the time he'd
      reached the lake, they were too far to catch up to.

      ***

      "I'm sorry, Scott" the Professor said, wheeling through the giant x-
      doors that lead to Cerebro.

      "You couldn't find her?" Scott's mind was flooded with worst-case
      scenarios, most of them had Jean lying in a puddle of blood.

      "I found no trace of her, I'm afraid. Maybe if I'd returned
      sooner..." The Professor was just as shaken as the rest of the
      mansion residents, but he was hiding it somewhat better.

      It was Scott who was pacing. "So what do we do?"

      "I will keep looking. The rest of you, make sure the children are
      safe. I take it you've have already instructed them not to go outside
      the mansion?" Seeing their nodding heads, Xavier continued, "Good.
      Scott, make sure the security systems are working flawlessly."

      "Already did that, Sir."

      "What would anyone want with Jean?" Ororo asked, leaning against the
      wall. "It could've been anyone of us, or the children who were with
      Jean when this happened. Why not take them all?"

      "It appears they had no interest with the children. Jean is a known
      genetics researcher, maybe that is part of their motive"

      "So why can't you find her?" Logan interrupted. "Is she dead?"

      Scott glanced at him, his visor flashing red for a second. Jean was
      alive, until proven otherwise. He knew she was alive, feeling her
      faint presence at the back of his mind. And she had to be alive when
      they'd get to her.

      "There are a number of possibilities. She may be unconcious, or in a
      shielded environment. But I doubt they would have killed her at this
      point, considering they went after Jean only."

      ***

      Jean woke up, groggy, drugged and dizzy.

      She shook her head a bit, hoping the fogginess in her head would go
      away. But it only made the spinning worse. She looked around, and saw
      what looked like the dirty, white walls of an empty room. She was
      tied to a chair in the middle of the room, and there was nothing else
      around, no objects she could turn into weapons with her telekinesis.

      She pulled on the ropes which held her wrists behind the back of the
      chair. They were tight, not enough to stop the blood flow, but tight
      enough so she couldn't move her hands.

      Whatever she had been drugged with was interfering with her focus, so
      her telekinesis was out of the question. Trying to reach out through
      the door with her mind to find some signs of human life didn't prove
      to be a success, either. All that was in her head was a grey fog.

      And it scared her to no end. In her past, whether in mental
      institutions or at Xavier's school when she was younger, she had
      never been a prisoner of her own mind. Suddenly, she felt
      claustrophobic.

      The door opened and a man and woman, dressed in formal suits, walked
      in and stopped in front of her.

      "Dr. Jean Grey. What a pleasure to make your acquaintance" the woman
      said, in a surreally pleasant voice. The man walked behind Jean, and
      took a chair to bring it to the woman.

      The woman sat down with a file folder on her lap, facing Jean. Taking
      out a cigarette and letting the man light it, she took a long breath
      of smoke and blew it on Jean's face.

      "What do you want?" Jean held her breath until the smoke had passed.

      "I'm Ms. Parker. I've been watching you, and your... school."

      "I suppose I'm expected to ask why?" Jean asked, trying to shed the
      haze her mind was in.

      "The room's feeling a bit spinny, isn't it?" Parker asked. She took
      out a small syringe, half-full of green liquid. "It's a wonder what
      modern medicine can do. One can even block out a telepath's powers."

      "What do you want?" Jean repeated, becoming irritated at herself for
      being so helpless.

      The woman ignored her and opened the folder on her lap instead. She
      held out a surveillance photo of Scott, playing basketball with the
      kids, completely oblivious about being observed, apparently just
      before they had attacked her. It made her skin crawl.

      "Quite an interesting specimen, wouldn't you say? Oh, what I wouldn't
      give just to have him on the examination table, to see what makes
      him..." Parker took a long inhale of the cigarette, and blew the
      smoke out slowly, "...tick."

      Jean said nothing, as Parker was not willing to answer her questions
      anyway.

      Parker took out another surveillance photo, this time of the
      children. It showed Peter drawing while Jones watched over his
      shoulder. "Just how many people live at this facility, Dr. Grey?"

      Jean didn't respond. The man grabbed her hair and pulled her head
      back. Jean grimaced in pain.

      "How many?" Parker leaned forward, and reaching over, moved the
      glowing tip of the cigarette along her cheekbone. She screamed in
      agony, trying to move her head away from the cigarette, but the man
      behind her didn't let her succeed.

      Parker took back the cigarette, and continued smoking it like nothing
      had happened. Only the red scar and the tears on Jean's face were the
      only proof of the torture she had just gone through.

      "How many?" Parker asked again.

      Jean looked up at her defiantly. "Thirty... fourty thousand. Don't
      tell them I said so."

      Parker, slightly irritated, stood up and slapped her face, hard
      enough for the chair to move and the wound on her cheek to rip open
      and start to bleed. "There's no reason to make this more difficult
      for yourself. You'll never see that school again" Parker had walked
      behind her, and now leaned over to her ear. "But you'll see your
      fiance again, very soon. I have my men working on that as we speak."

      Jean's face went pale, and the hairs on the back of her neck stood
      up. The empty chair in front of her started to shake as she struggle
      to send it flying towards the other woman.

      "Tsk, tsk, tsk. We can't have that, now, can we?" Parker said, taking
      out the syringe and sticking the needle into her arm. The woman
      wasn't a doctor, judging by her administrations of the drug. Or she
      might have twisted the needle around just for the hell of it.
      Regardless, the needle ripped through her skin, and the chemical
      burned in her veins. Almost instantly, her mind was back in the grey
      fog she had quickly learned to hate.

      ***

      Occasionally he found himself staring out of the window. But for all
      it was forth, a blank wall would have served just as well.

      Scott was keeping himself busy with the Blackbird, making sure it was
      ready for take-off the minute they had a location on Jean. He had
      even brought his uniform and had thrown it on the co-pilot's seat.

      Just like he had done on the previous three days.

      *Scott?* The Professor's voice echoed in his head.

      "Is it Jean?" Scott asked out loud.

      *I haven't found her yet. But... there's something else. Come up to
      my office.*

      Scott got up, and walked through endless hallways in the sub-
      basement, waited for the elevator, then walked through more endless
      hallways until he finally found himself staring at the door to
      Professor Xavier's office. He forced himself to turn the handle and
      step inside.

      Xavier was sitting next to a TV set, and Logan and Storm were sitting
      on the sofa.

      "What's going on?" Scott asked.

      Xavier held up a video tape. "This arrived in the mail a few minutes
      ago. It was dropped in our mailbox, with no address on it, just this
      note" The Professor handed Scott a small piece of paper.

      Dear Mr. Summers,
      Your fiancee is missing you.
      Here's something to remember her by.

      Even the note itself sent cold chills along Scott's back. "What's on
      the tape?"

      "I have not seen it yet. We were waiting for you" The Professor said,
      his feelings going out for the young man.

      "Play the tape."

      "Are you sure you wouldn't want to watch it alone first?" Ororo asked
      gently.

      "Just play the tape."

      "Very well" Xavier said, put the tape in and sighed heavily as he
      pressed play on the remote.

      The TV screen flickered for a few seconds, then a black-and-white
      video feed showed up. Jean was sitting on the chair, fresh wounds
      visible on her face. Some of them were caused by cigarettes, some by
      knives. Her face was barely recognizable under all the dried blood
      none of her captors were inclined to wash away.

      "Fucking bastards" Scott exhaled. Seeing her face had nearly caused
      his knees to fail, and he sat down on the chair next to the sofa.

      On the TV screen, Ms. Parker walked over to Jean, standing behind her
      and facing the camera. "Good afternoon, Mr. Summers. I believe I've
      found something of yours." Parker inhaled the smoke of her cigarette
      again. "I'd like nothing more than to have the two of you re-united.
      There's a set of coordinates on the piece of paper you're holding."
      Another breath of the cigarette. "We'll be waiting, don't take too
      long. To make it simpler, the longer you take, the worse the
      condition you'll find her in" For emphasis, she put out the cigarette
      on Jean's arm. She gasped in pain, but found no energy to scream
      anymore.

      Scott unfolded the piece of paper, and found the coordinates inside.
      He immediately took off for the door to put the coordinates into the
      Blackbird.

      "Scott!" Xavier stopped him. "I understand you want to find her as
      soon as possible, but you need to clear your head. Going out there in
      your current emotional state won't do any good, for any of us,"
      Xavier's knuckles were white from holding onto the armrest. As much
      as he felt for Jean, he couldn't take the chance of anyone else
      getting hurt.

      "You heard the woman. The longer we wait, the more they'll do to her.
      I'll clear my head in the jet" Scott opened the door, and was gone.

      ***

      Scott waited impatiently in the pilot seat, fidgeting. The others
      were wasting time putting their uniforms on.

      Two minutes later, Logan and Storm came up the ramp and took their
      seats, Storm sat in the co-pilot's seat, looked at Scott. He was
      upset and his visor glowed red.

      "We're set to go" Scott said quietly. He wanted to snap at them for
      taking so long, but managed to keep it to himself. It wasn't their
      fault, and the logical part of his brain still insisted they were
      working as fast as they could.

      Logan glanced at him, his feelings going out for him. As much as he
      loved Jean, he knew Jean would always choose Scott. He'd hate to be
      in his shoes if Jean was never coming back.

      ***

      "Scan it."

      "The bunker is surrounded with four foot thick walls of concrete. The
      inside walls..." Storm looked at the terminal, and gasped in shock.

      "What?" Scott demanded, growing more and more impatient every second.

      "They're telemantium."

      Scott looked at her, as shocked as she was. "Fuck."

      "What's so important about telemantium?" Logan asked, wondering about
      the other two's reaction.

      "Telemantium is a metal alloy that blocks the powers of a telepath.
      The walls of Cerebro are made of it..." Storm explained, only to be
      interrrupted by Logan.

      "As is Magneto's helmet." Realization struck him. "If we go in there,
      Xavier won't pick us up. Just like he couldn't pick up on Jean."

      "They knew what they were doing" Scott said blankly, staring at the
      terminal, then pointing to the side of the bunker. "This side looks
      like the entrance point. That looks like the power generator" he
      pointed to a another construction on the other side of the
      bunker. "You two take out the power. I'll handle the entrance."

      Logan looked at him. "You sure it's a good idea to split up?"

      "Fuck, Logan! Can't you just take an order for once and not argue
      about it?" Scott lashed out at him.

      Logan answered more calmly, "I can take an order just fine. As long
      as you're thinking with your head, not your heart."

      Scott sighed. Logan had a point. "I know what I'm doing. Storm's
      lightning can take out the power generator, but not through this"
      Scott pointed to the concrete walls of the generator. "You need to
      break in."

      "We'll do it" Storm assured him. "And you?"

      "Hell will break loose as soon as you set off the alarm. The only way
      for the security teams to come out is through the main entrance"
      Scott pointed to the entrance point. "I'll take care of them."

      "I find it odd that there's no patrolling teams around" Logan
      said. "There should be at least someone guarding the power generator."

      "Maybe they're short staffed. It's a small bunker" Scott thought
      aloud. "In any case, it gives us a chance."

      ***

      Scott took up position as Logan and Storm headed for the generator.
      They made their way in through the cover of the trees, the branches
      scratching their faces. By the time they got to the generator,
      Storm's face was covered in light red lines, whereas Logan's face
      didn't show any signs of damage.

      "Still no one around" Logan said, listening to any sounds that might
      have given any laying troops away. "something's not right."

      "Well, we still have a job to do. Here's the door."

      They came to a locked door that had a "high voltage" sign. Logan shot
      out his claws, sliding the lock in two. The useless parts of metal
      fell to the ground, and Logan yanked the heavy metal door open.

      "What the..?!"

      ***

      Scott was ready, waiting to hear a boom in the distance as the
      generator blew up. What was taking so long?

      Anxious to get to Jean as soon as possible, he didn't notice the two
      men moving up from behind him. The other man raised a rifle and
      fired.

      Scott felt a sting on the back of his neck, and before he could
      react, unconciousness overtook him. The last thing he registered was
      Logan's voice in his earpiece.

      "Cyke, the generator room's empty. It's a trap. Cyke?"

      ***

      Jean's captors had taken her out of the chair when she could no
      longer find the energy to hold her head up anymore. She had been tied
      to the chair for two straight days, no being able to move, not having
      the chance to clean herself. Her pants had been a mess. Finally, her
      torturers got tired of the smell, cut the ropes that held her
      motionless, replaced the chair with a matress, and her clothes with
      simple overalls.

      Jean was in and out of conciousness, Ms. Parker only allowed her
      enough water to keep her alive for now, but she was steadily
      dehydrating. The had kept her constantly medicated, and she hardly
      remembered what it was like to hear someone's thoughts other than her
      own.

      Parker came in, flanked by two guards. The yanked her up from the
      matress, forced her to stand up. Parker stepped up to her, lifted her
      chin so she could look into her eyes.

      "I have someone here who'd like to see you," Parker said in a mocking
      tone.

      That said, Parker let go of her face, and Jean's head dropped. The
      guards dragged her out of the room, through a sterile white hallway,
      and threw her on the floor of another empty room, identical to her
      previous one, save for a large window on the wall. The view was to
      another room, in which Scott was held.

      Two guards in the other room were finished securing him. They had sat
      him down on a chair in the middle of the room, his hands tied to the
      armrests. He was still in uniform, and fighting against the binds.

      The guards tied Jean to the chair in the same manner as Scott. They
      were facing each other, with only the window between them. Scott
      noticed her wounded and weakened form, and Jean could see Scott
      mouthing her name, but no sound came through. The room was
      soundproof, but Scott could hear everything that was said in the
      other room.

      Parker circled around her, pleased with her torment of seeing her
      fiance as helpless as she was. Silent tears fell down on Jean's
      cheeks, burning every time the salt came in contact with the wounds
      on her face.

      "Ah, the happy reunion" Parker chuckled. She held up a small mirror
      to her face. Jean looked at her reflection, for the first time seeing
      the burn marks and cuts criss-crossing on her face. She looked
      terrible.

      "Think he'll ever touch you again? Look at how hideous you look. And
      you'll look even worse by the time I'm done with you" Parker
      whispered in her ear.

      Jean cried silently. She had a point. Even though the wounds would
      heal in time, and Scott loved her nevertheless, they'd still leave
      scars.

      Scott listened to Parker's voice in the other room, and watched how
      Jean's body shook in the chair. He struggled uselessly against the
      ropes.

      ***

      Logan and Storm had managed to avoid the troops. In fact, they didn't
      seem to be interested in the two at all. They hadn't had any trouble
      getting back to the jet.

      "It was all to get Scott" Storm told Professor Xavier through the
      radio.

      "First Jean, now Scott. What could their motive be?" Xavier sounded
      as puzzled as they did.

      "There's more. The bunker is shielded with telemantium, so using
      Cerebro is pointless" Storm continued.

      "Storm, return to the mansion. You'll need more hands to get them
      out. Logan, stay behind to keep an eye on things over there."

      "Like hell" Logan stomped over to the radio. "Let's just go in and
      get them the hell out!"

      "Logan" Xavier said sternly, "whoever these people are, they have
      gathered a lot of intelligence reports. They knew where and when to
      take Jean, and they knew the strategy Scott would use. These are not
      people to be underestimated."

      Logan sighed. "So just who is she picking up?"

      "Iceman and Colossus. I believe they will be of most use to you."

      "They're kids!" Logan shouted through the radio.

      "They know how to handle the situation. Scott has been training them.
      That's the end of this discussion, Logan. Storm, I expect you back at
      the earliest."

      ***

      Scott had been stripped out of his uniform. They had drugged him,
      too, but with a slightly different drug, designed just for him. In
      Jean's case, her body worked, but the mind didn't. For Scott, it was
      exactly the opposite.

      He fought them in his mind, as they stripped him bare and sat him
      back on the chair. Ms. Parker took a long look at his body.

      "Mmm. Tasty."

      Scott slowly lifted his head to glare at her. Jean, in the other
      room, heard everything that went on on the other side.

      "I can see why the good doctor likes to fuck someone like you. But
      then again, she likes to fuck anyone. She seems to have taken a
      liking to one of my guards."

      In the opposite room, Jean lifted her head.

      None of the guards had touched her.

      ...that she knew of.

      Suspicion crawled up into her mind. But what if?

      She saw Scott looking at her, and the look on his face broke her
      heart. He looked at her as if she had been damaged, broken.

      Jean tried to fight through the haziness in her mind, reaching out to
      feel her body. Her crotch didn't feel sore, but she had been cut, hit
      and kicked all over, so it was hard to tell for sure.

      She fought the drug, trying to force herself into focus. It had been
      hours since the last injection, another was coming any minute. This
      was a chance to fight. The grey mist gave way to intense white spikes
      in her mind's eye. Success was near, control, control, control...

      ***

      Somebody had hurt his girl.

      That's all Scott could think about, even if some part of his brain
      still registered Parker talking to him, playing with his mind.

      "Now, be a dear and tell me something. How many mutants are currently
      at the facility?" Parker's sweet, honey-dripped voice whispered to
      his ear. He didn't reply.

      "Well, of course I could always send in the guard again" Parker said,
      almost cheerily.

      Scott tensed up. To let his girl get raped or give away the X-Men? He
      wished they would just kill him on the spot, instead of facing the
      choice between the two.

      "Time's up, big guy" Parker said, and walked over to the side of the
      window to press a control. The window went black, neither of the
      captives could see each other anymore. Parker motioned to the guard
      standing by the door in Scott's cell. "She's all yours."

      "NO!" Scott struggled frantically against his bonds.

      ***

      Jean tensed after hearing Parker's orders from the other room. The
      door opened and the guard stepped in, stopping in front of Jean. He
      grabbed her arm, took out the syringe and stuck the needle in her
      arm.

      She concentrated, whimpered as the chemical burned in her vein.

      Scott, at the other side, tensed up as his imagination was serving
      him with visual images of his fiance being ravaged.

      Jean closed her eyes, focusing on her arm. It took all her carefully
      mustered-up control to feel the liquid in her arm.

      The guard left, leaving her alone. She raised her head, and reached
      with her mind to contain every drop of the drug. The blood didn't
      flow and she had to move fast before there'd be something worse to
      deal with. Gently but surely, she started to force the drug out of
      the small puncture on the inside of her elbow.

      First there was a drop which was steadily growing in size, then the
      droplet began to run down on her arm. After a full minute, there was
      finally a steady stream going down her arm, and the blood was flowing
      again. After the last of the drug she had managed to get out of her
      system, she sighed in relief. Now all she had to do was wait for the
      old dose to completely wear off.

      ***

      Scott was anxious, oblivious to what was going on in the other room.
      It was painfully quiet.

      Parker took great pleasure of seeing his torment, and lit up a
      cigarette. "Probably has her mouth full" she said, as if making
      trivial small talk. Scott glared at her.

      "Oh, you must be so angry at me" Parker said with an arrogant
      smile. "I'd just love to see the look in your eyes."

      "Funny. That's what I was thinking too" Scott replied.

      Parker laughed. "Finally he's showing signs of an attitude! I must
      remember to get the guards to play with your lover more often."

      Testing the binds one more time, and finding them secure, Scott hung
      his head. He wanted desperately to get to Jean, to hold her, to try
      to keep her safe. It tore him up inside to know there was nothing he
      could do.

      ***

      Outside, Logan was watching the entrance. He kept calling Jean's name
      in his mind until he remembered she wouldn't be able to hear him
      anyway. He kicked a stone over in frustration.

      Inside the bunker, a man entered Scott's cell with a surveillance
      photo in his hand, which he offered to Ms. Parker. She glanced at the
      photo of Logan waiting outside, barely visible from between the trees
      and the undergrowth.

      "Where's the other one?" Parker asked impatiently.

      "We don't know, Sir. Even the scanners aren't picking anyone else up."

      Parker glanced at Scott. "What's the strategy, X-Man? Are they going
      for reinforcements?"

      Scott glared at her. "Why don't you figure it out yourself, bitch?"

      Parker gritted her teeth, and turned to the guard. "Go put a bullet
      through her hand. Let's see if that makes him talk."

      Stupid, Summers. So fucking stupid. Scott gritted his teeth in
      despair as the guard left the room. Parker turned the switch on the
      wall. The window turned transparent and they could see each other
      again.

      Her head down, concentrating on getting the drug out of her system,
      Jean barely registered the door opening. She looked up, and saw the
      face of her fiance. Nothing could have scared her more than the
      expression on his face. In sudden rush of panic, she tried to squirm
      free from the restraints. The guard grabbed her wrist, forced it flat
      against the armrest and put the gun to the back of her hand. Jean had
      had barely enough time to understand what he was doing when he pulled
      the trigger.

      Soundproofed wall aside, she could still hear Scott screaming on the
      other side. The pain was intense, the blood flowed freely down the
      armrest, into a puddle on the floor. She couldn't feel her fingers
      and everything from the wrist down was a burning pain.

      "Now the other" Ms. Parker's voice came through the audio.

      "Alright! I'll tell you!" Scott yelled. He couldn't bear to see her
      lose her other hand, too.

      "What are they doing?" Parker leaned in, looking into his eyes
      through the ruby quartz. Scott took a deep breath, apologizing in his
      mind to everyone at the mansion.

      "Logan stayed behind to keep an eye on things, and to report to them
      if anything changes."

      "And the woman?"

      "Storm's taken the jet back, probably to get reinforcements" Scott's
      voice broke, and he swallowed hard.

      "What kinds of reinforcements?"

      Scott breathed hard, not wanting to betray the kids. Parker got ready
      to signal the guard.

      "Probably Colossus, and Iceman. They're the best new members on the
      team."

      "Colossus?" Parker took a file. "Ah. Piotr Rasputin. Organic steel.
      That would come in handy, I must remember to set up the dissection
      table. And Iceman..." Parker circled him, and leaned over his
      shoulder to whisper "I could always use someone to fill my drinks."

      Scott lifted his head. "They'll kill you on sight."

      Parker lit up another cigarette and blew the smoke on Scott's
      face. "Everyone's out to kill me, sweetheart. Now if you'll excuse
      me, I'll go have a word with your lovely girl."

      ***

      "Good evening, Ms. Grey. Or is it morning, it's so hard to tell
      underground," Parker sighed. Jean had been released from the
      restraints and thrown on the floor. She was clutching her wounded
      hand and had wrapped a strip she'd ripped from the dirty overalls to
      stop the bleeding. However, it wasn't very effective.

      "Here, this might help stop the bleeding," Parker said, putting out
      the cigarette on the wound.

      Hearing Jean scream in agony made Scott cry helplessly in his empty
      cell.

      "Let's get her up. Get Cyclops as well. Before we have some unwanted
      guests, let's move to the Beta Site," Parker said to the guard. The
      guard nodded in acknowledgement and taking two other guards with him,
      moved into Scott's cell. There they untied him and shackled his hands
      behind his back after dressing him in overalls similar to Jean's.

      Parker yanked Jean up by her wrist, and she gasped from the pain. The
      wound needed to be cleaned, sterilized and bandaged, and she needed
      at least a first aid kit, but she knew they'd never give her one.

      In the hallway, outside the cells, Jean and Scott were close enough
      to touch each other for the first time since she'd been taken from
      the lake. Moving down a long, white hall Parker pulled Jean along by
      her arm.

      "The plane's ready and waiting, Ms. Parker," the pilot said as they
      entered the hangar. There was a helicopter and a private plane
      standing by, and as the helicopter was boarded by three men, Parker
      with her guards and captives boarded the plane. While Parker sat in
      the comfortable passenger section, the guards threw the mutants into
      the cargo area at the back of the plane. As uncomfortable as they
      were, they finally had some time for themselves. The guards didn't
      stay with them since they were considered harmless, Scott with his
      hands tied behind his back, and Jean drugged out of her mind.

      Only Jean wasn't that drugged anymore.
      ***

      Logan saw the plane and helicopter take off. The chopper came out the
      hangar first, circling around the bunker. Once the pilots saw Logan's
      figure in the woods, automatic weapons fired at him.

      Logan dived behind the trees. The bullets sprayed on the tree trunk
      and the ground behind him, and one even found a way into his
      shin. "Shit!"

      The chopper went by him, coming back around and over his head
      continued North. The plane rose from the runway behind the bunker and
      continued in the direction of the chopper.

      Helpless, Logan stood up to watch the planes heading towards the
      horizon. "Fuck!"

      ***

      "Are you okay?" Scott asked Jean in the cargo area. She was sitting
      up against a shipping crate, holding her wounded arm. Scott bit his
      tongue. "Sorry, that's a really stupid question."

      "Shh," Jean said, gritting her teeth. She took off the strip that was
      laughingly called a bandage and threw it in the corner. "Your
      overalls are cleaner. Can I get a strip?"

      "Help yourself. I'm a pretty tied up at the moment," Scott tried to
      make a joke of it, but failed.

      Jean crawled closer, took a hold of the fabric and ripped. She
      wrapped the strip around her hand, which was a complicated procedure
      considering she only had one hand to spare. She pulled the knot as
      tight as possible, then sat next to Scott and helped him to sit up.

      "Are you okay?" Jean asked him, looking for bruises, burns or cuts.
      He didn't have any, whereas Jean was another issue. She had gotten
      Scott's share, too.

      "I'm fine. It's you I'm worried about," Scott said, looking at her
      scarred face. Jean looked down.

      "Most of it will heal," Jean whispered quietly.

      "What about those that won't? What about..." Scott trailed off,
      looking at her legs.

      "Scott, they didn't touch me. Not that way. It was just a way to fuck
      with your mind."

      "Are you sure?"

      "I think so."

      "You think?!"

      "Scott, I was drugged, I wasn't even concious all the time! I don't
      remember it happening, and I don't feel hurt," Jean said, cupping his
      face with her good hand. "Maybe the what-if's were more powerful than
      the actual deal."

      "But I heard them. I heard the guard, I heard you screaming."

      "He gave me a dose of a drug they'd been using to keep me
      defenseless. It shut down my telepathy and telekinesis."

      "Past tense?" Scott looked up, hopeful. He held out his handcuffed
      wrists. "Can you do something about these?"

      Jean moved over to have a better look. "Yeah, past tense. It wore
      off, and I got the new shot out of my system. They don't know." Jean
      concentrated, the little pieces inside the lock of the cuff turned.
      It clicked open.

      Scott flexed his arms. "They drugged me with something, too," he
      tried to move his fingers to his visor. "My mind works, but the body
      doesn't. Or it does, but... it's just a little sluggish," Scott
      sighed.

      "Can you aim and fire?" Jean asked.

      Scott took a moment before answering. "Efficiently? I don't think so."

      "Let me see," Jean said, and reached with her mind to blend with him.
      Through his mind, she made him move his hand to his visor, carefully
      pressing his fingers against it.

      "I can patch up your movements. When you want to fire, just act
      normally. I'll take it from there. Okay?"

      "Okay," Scott reached over with the intention of cupping her cheek.
      Noticing the scars, he decided against it, but ran a finger over the
      undamaged patch of skin over her cheekbone. "Just remember, I will
      take you home. Whatever it takes."

      "Good, because I really want to get home, and to my lab. I need to
      get this treated before it becomes infected," Jean said, glancing
      down at her bandaged hand.

      "How bad is it?"

      "It went through, and the gun was against the skin. The bullet made a
      clean way through, but... There's some damage from the gun powder
      itself, and it's gone deep into the epidermis. I'd need some alcohol,
      some actual bandages..." Finding comfort in her medical expertise,
      she trailed off into silence.

      "I saw a bottle on the plane. And there has to be a First Aid Kit on
      the plane, too.

      "We're airborne. I need to get into the cockpit, can you handle the
      people on the passenger area?"

      "Yeah, I can handle it."

      "Then let's go."

      ***

      The guards and Ms. Parker swung their heads around as the door to the
      cargo area was blown away by Cyclops' optic blast. Jean was right
      behind him, holding out a hand to yank the guns from the guards
      before they could fire them.

      Parker stood up to stop them from getting into the cockpit, but Jean
      froze her in place. The guards were thrown against the walls, the
      impact knocking them unconcious.

      "Not feeling all that powerful now, are you?" Jean asked. Scott went
      over to the cockpit door. Turning to have one last look at Jean, he
      opened the door and stepped in.

      The pilots turned around to see the intruder. The co-pilot stood up
      and tried to fight Scott off barehanded. He threw a punch at Scott's
      face and missed. Even though Scott was still disoriented with his
      body, he delivered a kick to the co-pilot's stomach and a blow to the
      neck. The co-pilot was out for the count.

      Scott leaned over to the pilot. "Piss off."

      The pilot held on to the controls. "Ms. Parker?"

      "Crash the plane!" Parker yelled over her shoulder from the passenger
      side, never taking her cold eyes from Jean, who was keeping her from
      moving.

      Without hesitating, the pilot steered the plane downward towards the
      forest-covered ground. Scott grabbed onto the seat while Jean and
      Parker were knocked over on the floor. Scott quickly used the side of
      his hand to knock the pilot out. The pilot slumped over the controls
      and Scott sat in the co-pilot's seat then switched the controls over
      to his side.

      The plane was still loosing altitude even though Scott had succeeded
      in regaining control of the plane. He needed time to correct the
      course, but even if the plane started to level, it was still hurling
      towards the ground.

      "Scott?" Jean called as she and Parker were scrambling off the floor.

      "We're going to crash. Brace yourself!" Scott said deadpan. He
      continued to pull the control, and though the plane was leveling out,
      it wasn't enough. After doing all he could, he pulled his head down
      between his knees and put his hands on the back of his neck. In the
      passenger area, Jean and Parker were doing the same as they felt the
      plane strike the tree tops.

      ***

      Logan watched the plane go down; first as a freefall in the sky and
      then again as it tried to gain some altitude shortly before
      disappearing into the forest. Immediately, there was a loud explosion
      and a ball of fire

      "Jean!" he flipped the communicator open. "Storm, get your ass down
      here. They took off in a plane... it's crashed. About ten miles
      North," Logan said as he started running towards the crash site.

      "How bad is it?"

      "I don't know, there was an explosion and there's a fire over there.
      Looks like someone might have tried to get it up before the crash."

      "Scott?"

      "Probably."

      "Then there's a chance they might be alright. If anyone can crash
      land a plane, it's him. We're on our way," Storm said, and the line
      went static.

      ***

      "Scott?" Jean said, coughing from the smoke. The right wing was on
      fire and the smoke was pouring through the broken windows. Parker
      shook her head, with a nasty laceration on her forehead from where
      something struck her head.

      "Scott?!" Jean called again. She got up, having no injuries to add to
      her previous ones, and made her way into the cockpit climbing over
      the rubble in the isle. She found him on the co-pilot's seat
      unconcious. "Scott!"

      Scanning telepathically, she gently brought him back to conciousness.
      He stirred, disoriented and slightly nauseous. "Jean?"

      "Hey. You have a slight concussion, but we need to get out of here.
      The plane's on fire," she told him, helping him up.

      "Are you alright?" he asked, holding his side. He apparently had some
      other injuries too. Jean tried to bend over to look, but Scott
      stopped her. "If the plane's on fire, it might explode any minute. We
      need to get out, then you can play doctor."

      Jean sighed, but let it go. "Fine. And don't worry about me."

      When they got out from the cockpit, they found Parker reaching for a
      gun. She got a hold of it, swung around and aimed, and had a clear
      shot to Scott's head. At the same moment, flames tore the back of the
      plane open and spread to the back of the passenger department,
      blocking off the exits.

      "Put the gun down. We all want to get out of here, and it looks like
      you could use some help," Scott said to Parker, turning around
      towards the cockpit. He looked at the window, opened his visor and
      blasted the window broken. The flames grew, feeding off of the
      additional oxygen.

      "Come on," turning around, he helped Jean get on the co-pilot's seat
      to climb out of the window. Against his better judgement, he held a
      hand out to Ms. Parker. "Ladies first."

      Parker stood up and refusing his hand, climbed on the seat to get out
      of the plane. Sparing one last look at the flaming plane, Scott
      followed the women out of the window and they made their way away
      from the plane.

      The flames finally took over the plane and it exploded, resulting in
      a shockwave that knocked all three of them on the ground.

      Parker pulled out the gun and her cell phone. She dialed while
      pointing the gun at Scott and Jean, eyeing them both. "Well, as nice
      as it's been, I think I'll leave you two to rot," she said and put
      the phone to her ear. "Mike, get your ass over here."

      "But we were just starting to get along," Scott said, his voice
      dripping with sarcasm. He was holding his side, and Jean suspected he
      might have a few broken bones.

      They heard the blades of the chopper shortly before it appeared above
      them. A ladder was thrown down and securing herself on the it, Parker
      glanced at them one last time. "I'll be seeing you later."

      The chopper rose as Parker climbed up, leaving Scott and Jean to
      watch it disappear behind the trees.

      ***

      Parker sat on the passenger seat, and lit up a cigarette. Reaching in
      her breast pocket, she took out two vials, both full of blood. One
      was labled "DNA sample: SS" and the other "DNA sample: JG".

      Parker smiled. "Oh, I'll be seeing you later indeed."

      ***

      Jean made Scott lie down on the ground, carefully stripping him to
      his waist. His side was bruised, and pressing on it made Scott wince
      in pain.

      "You've definately broken something. We need to get to the lab."

      "Storm and Logan were with me. After I got caught, Logan stayed
      behind while Storm went back to the mansion, to get Peter and Bobby.
      Logan must have seen the plane go down, someone will find us," Scott
      explained while Jean was examining his side.

      He kept watching her face.

      "Does it look that terrible?" Jean chuckled, sensing what had made
      him so quiet all of a sudden.

      "Yes."

      Jean looked up at him.

      "It does look terrible. I hate what the bastards did to you," Scott
      said, carefully sitting up so he could face her. "But you're still
      Jean. The wounds will heal, we'll get over this and everything will
      get back to normal."

      Jean sighed. "I hope so."

      But she also knew the scars would always be there.

      ***

      Logan ran all the way to the crash site. Even though he trusted Storm
      when she'd said Scott could've got them down safely, he was
      terrified. He knew what he'd seen.

      The branches hit his face, leaving red marks only to be healed a
      second later. The wind had turned and he was close enough to feel the
      smoke in his lungs.

      "Jean?" he called out, blinking his eyes rapidly. Healing factor or
      not, the smoke still stung.

      "Logan? Over here!" Jean's voice came through the smoke curtain. She
      was close, only a few dozen feet away.

      He found them on the ground, Scott lying on his back and Jean sitting
      beside him, with his head on her lap. Logan's blood ran cold once he
      saw what had been done to her face. "Jeannie..."

      "Is Storm coming?" she asked, changing the subject. Her hand was
      stroking Scott's hair.

      "Yeah," Logan said. She and Scott had been through hell together, and
      Logan understood if she was anxious about Scott. "She's coming. She
      should be here any minute."

      Jean nodded, looked at Scott and raised her head to look at the sky.
      She could already hear the Blackbird's engines.

      It wasn't long until the black frame of the jet appeared over their
      heads.

      While Storm was landing the jet on a clearing nearby, Jean spoke
      softly to Logan. "Can you help me to get him to the plane, please?"
      She kept her head down and was avoiding looking directly at him.

      Logan nodded and took Scott's arm to swing it over his shoulders.
      Jean did the same, and they got up slowly. Scott bit his lip to keep
      him from wincing.

      Seeing Scott wounded, Peter opened up the medical bed on the wall of
      the jet. Logan and Jean laid him down on it. Having nothing more to
      do, Bobby ad Peter took their seats, while Logan hovered around her.

      "Don't you have anything else to do?" Scott snapped at him, watching
      him watch her. Logan gave him the finger and handed her a water
      bottle.

      "Here, you could use some," he said, watching her take the bottle and
      bring it to her lips. She gave the bottle to Scott.

      "Logan, go sit down. You're in my way," Jean said and continued
      bandaging Scott's side by using her only working hand and telekinesis.

      "You'll need someone to take care of that hand. And..." Logan trailed
      off, quickly looking away from her.

      "I'll take care of myself, my hand and my face once I've made sure my
      fiance is alright, Logan. Now stop hovering and get your ass to a
      chair," Jean said, looking up at him and using her face for shock
      value. It made Logan shut up.

      ***

      A few weeks later.....

      "Hey."

      Scott looked up from his papers. "Hey."

      Jean gave him a faint smile, closed the office door and walked over
      to him. The wounds on her face had healed, but were still visible.
      Her hand had gone through an operation as soon as they got back, but
      she still wore the cast.

      The scars would never be completely gone.

      Jean sat on his lap, careful not to put too much pressure on his
      side.

      He wrapped his arm around her waist. "You okay?"

      "I'm fine," she lied. She'd spent the past half an hour standing in
      front of the mirror in their bathroom. How can she stand in front of
      the Senate again, looking like this? Would Scott trail kisses on her
      bare face again?

      Don't be stupid, she scolded herself, of course he would.

      "Jean?" He turned her head, making her look into his eyes. "What's on
      your mind?"

      "You know what's on my mind," she said, tapping his temple.

      "I want you to say it out loud."

      "Scott...."

      "Jean, speak to me. You haven't said a word about it since we got
      back," Scott said, letting her look away. "It can't be healthy."

      "The Professor already gave the psych speech."

      "He was right to. Jean..."

      "Scott, she's still out there! What's to stop her from coming after
      us again? Maybe after the kids?" she got up and started to pace
      nervously.

      Scott got up to grab her arms. "If she comes here, she won't get out,
      not after what she did to you. I promise you."

      ***

      "Ms. Parker? The results are here," a scientist in a white lab coat
      stood at her office door.

      She filled her lungs with smoke and released it slowly. "And?"

      "We're good to go. The virus is active."

      A satisfied smile grew on Parker's face.

      On her desk sat the two, now empty, blood vials.

      "Very good. Very good indeed."
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