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FIC: Seasons of Growth Chapter 3

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  • novemberotica
    Title: Seasons of Growth Chapter 3: In a Room Without a Light Author: November Tuesday Email: novemberotica@yahoo.com Rating: NC-17 for sexual stuff and
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 23, 2003
      Title: Seasons of Growth
      Chapter 3: In a Room Without a Light

      Author: November Tuesday

      Email: novemberotica@...

      Rating: NC-17 for sexual stuff and naughty words, violence and rape

      Summary: Rogue's first mission

      Continuity: Series begins 3 years after X1.

      Disclaimer: Marvel, Fox, Brian Singer yadda yadda yaddaÂ…

      Archive: Sure, and if it's someplace other than list archives, please
      let me know.

      Feedback: is my lifeblood. Please please please!

      Author's Notes: Thanks to N. E. Star for beta.

      "My body is cut and broken
      It's shattered and sore
      My body is cut wide open
      I can't stand anymore..."
      --The Cure

      It was September. Rogue looked at her class notes and tried to
      distract herself from the fact that she was a few thousand feet in
      the air, moving at nearly a thousand miles an hour, on her way to her
      first mission.

      She was able to forget it for stretches of about three minutes or so,
      then Blackbird One would lunge through some turbulence and she would
      feel like vomiting again.

      It was her first mission, and even though she was going in as B-team
      backup, a medic, it was no less real.

      This was a combined A and B team mission, which meant there was a
      chance of combat. The other B team members were veterans: Bobby had
      gone on his first mission two months earlier, and Darla the nurse
      probably wasn't even getting off the plane so she was really the only
      one suffering through the unique anxiety of being on their first

      To make it worse, neither Jubilee nor Kitty was on this mission.
      Having her girls around would have lessened her anxiety, but it was
      Scott, Jean, Hank, Storm, Darla, Bobby and Rogue.

      The plane started to descend through the clouds. It was raining.
      Rogue cast a glance at Storm who was meditating quietly. Rogue envied
      her centeredness. She clutched the armrests on her chair and made a
      mental note to ask Hank for Dramamine next time.

      It was the standard pick-up-a-scared-teen-mutant run, with a twist.
      There were two mutants. A brother and sister. They had manifested the
      same day. The hitch was that they were supposedly in Klan custody. In
      particular, two well-armed Klansmen with very long criminal records.

      When they landed in an old alfalfa field and scoped out the old barn,
      there were no white-hooded thugs in sight.

      Scott sent in Jean and Storm to make sure the place was secure.

      The place smelled of fear and earth and horses. There was nothing but
      a hysterically sobbing teenage boy with his hands tied back around a
      post, and the body of a girl left half-naked and face down on the
      dust floor.

      "Are you Carter?" Jean said to the boy, kneeling to look for a pulse
      on the girl`s neck. There was none. She was cold.

      The boy nodded without really looking up. He was shirtless, skin pale
      and white with violet muddy bruises. Storm saw fresh blood on his
      face. He was shaking. The rainy September morning hadn't yet lost its
      chill, and the rain wasn't helping. His lips had a bluish tinge.

      "Where are they?"

      The boy took a breath, as if he were trying to steel himself to talk.
      To be strong. "They're gone. My stepdad left in his pickup truck a
      half hour ago."

      "Are they coming back?"

      "No. She- they freaked out and bolted. They won't be back."

      Jean tapped her comm device. "Rogue, come out."

      "What happened, Carter?" Storm asked gently. She knelt and blocked
      his view while Jean gently rolled the dead girl over. It hadn't been
      long, long enough for the body to cool on the drafty barn floor, but
      no rigor had set in and the girl was lithe and supple as she had been
      in life, with the exception of her left arm, which was twisted at a
      wrong angle.

      "I didn't mean to." Carter said and began rocking back and forth.

      Rogue walked in to the barn. Saw the half naked girl. ~She's dead.
      He's freaked out. I've got him, you get her body into the Bird.~

      Rogue was familiar with the inside of barns and she could smell
      horses. She searched for, and found, an old horse blanket.

      She had only seen a dead person once before. Her grandmother had been
      in a coffin, arranged just so, makeup causing her to look slightly
      more vivid than she ever had in life, one step removed from the
      grandmother of her memories, lending the funeral a surreal quality.

      This was nothing like that. The girl looked a bit like her friend
      Hannah from home. Her eyes were gray, pale and open, reflecting the
      light from the doorway. Rogue reached and with a finger shut one eye,
      then the other. The skin was cool, but not so very different from her
      own. The girl was impossibly, painfully real.

      The horse blanket had seen better days, dirty straw matted to it,
      parts frayed away to expose the lining. But it was all she had, so
      she covered the body with it and went back to the plane for a

      "One casualty, one dead." She reported to Hank, marveling that her
      voice sounded steady. "He has bruises to the torso, a bleeding lac on
      his eyebrow, and nothing else that's apparent yet. Can someone help
      me bring in the body?"

      Scott nodded and followed her out.

      "I didn't mean to," the boy said again.

      "Didn't mean to what?" Storm asked quietly.

      Rogue lifted the girl's feet while Scott lifted her by the shoulders.
      Her weight as they placed her on the board was a sensation more
      intimate than touch and Rogue thought she now fully understood the
      significance of the word "pallbearer."

      "They were raping her. I tried and I tried but it didn't work- I
      think they were hopped up on meth. They would close their eyes but
      they would just keep going. She was screaming, she was in a lot of
      pain from her arm. So I used it on her." He seemed to crumple in on
      himself. "I only meant to put her to sleep for a little while, until
      it was safe. I didn't want her to have any pain." He buried his face
      between his knees and sobbed more.

      Storm remained, muttering soothing things, and once Scott and Rogue
      had taken away the body Jean knelt and sawed at the bailing twine
      that held his hands and ankles with her knife. The twine was
      unbearably itchy and painful against her skin and she couldn't
      imagine how it must feel to Carter, who had been tied like this for
      almost two days.

      Rogue and Cyclops took the body back to the Blackbird. When Carter
      looked up for the first time, he saw Scott's visor, Storm's white
      hair, and their leather uniforms. "Who are you?"

      His gaze landed on Rogue, who didn't look a day older than he was, at

      Rogue stepped forward, discreetly motioning the others back. Jean
      finished with his hands and he gingerly brought them around to his
      body. His muscles spasmed and cramped. He turned his hands over,
      front and back, shook them a little. He wrapped his arms around

      "You ever heard of Charles Xavier?" Rogue asked, kneeling down to
      face him.


      "We work for him. You're safe now. My guess is that you don't wanna
      stay around here."

      "Damn straight!"

      "We'll take you back to our school, for now, get you some medical
      treatment, and after that if you don't want to stay we'll take you
      wherever you like."

      "Whatever. Just get me the fuck out of here." He was scared,
      traumatized, and exhausted and he'd heard the South in her voice,
      slight from years in Westchester, but there nonetheless. Like called
      to like, ever so softly.

      "Carter, I'm Jean, I'm a doctor. Before you get up, can you tell me
      what all of your injuries were?"

      "They beat me up, kicked me." He didn't mention the other, the way
      his ass was smarting. It was too painful.

      "I need to make sure you don't have any broken bones. I'm gonna have
      to touch you, okay?"

      He nodded. Jean quickly ran her hands over his ribs, over both arms.
      He winced several times. His wrists were bloody and raw where the
      baling twine had been. She did the same to his legs, which she had

      "Okay, Carter, I think you have a few broken ribs and we can fix
      that. Look here." She shone a pen light in his eye, then the other.

      "Did they hurt your head?"

      "Yeah." They hurt everything.

      "Did you pass out at all?"

      "I slept for a little bit last night."

      "Good. Pupils equal round and reactive, no LOC." she said to Rogue,
      who nodded.

      "All right. Think you can stand up?"

      He nodded. He was a bit dizzy. "When was the last time you ate and
      drank?" Jean asked as she and Rogue helped him to his feet.

      "Night before last."

      "Okay. We'll get some fluids into you, help you feel a little

      "Where's Chrissy?"

      "She's coming with us."

      He started sobbing again. "Can you cover her up - I just- she needs
      to be covered up. I know it's stupid and she can't tell the
      difference but-"

      "Carter." Rogue said.

      It was the first time Jean had heard her use that calm, authoritative

      Carter stopped talking and looked at her.

      "It's not stupid. I covered her up with an old horse blanket, ok? I
      wanted to cover her too. When we get back we'll change it for a sheet
      or something better."

      He nodded and followed them out of the barn. Rogue unzipped her
      leather jacket and put it over the boy's thin shoulders.

      He saw the Blackbird and blinked. They walked across the furrowed
      field, Jean at one side and Rogue at another. They climbed the stairs
      and he looked at the gleaming console of the cockpit. Scott smiled at

      On the way back Rogue stole glimpses at Carter. He was not a boy at
      all, but a young man, not a year younger than she was. With a shirt
      over his broad shoulders and the blood wiped from his face and some
      color in his cheeks he didn't look so bad. He had a quality that
      Rogue found appealing.

      He glanced up and saw her looking. His eyes were almost black,
      swimming full of light among darkening bruises. She gave him a tiny
      smile. He didn't smile back.

      Chapter 4 is up at novemberotica.com.
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