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FIC: X-Book 2 Shadows and Steel, PG-13, Chpt 26

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  • Kathleen
    Title: X-Book 2: Shadows and Steel - Chapter 26: Touch and Sight By: Kath713/Leen713 Rating: PG-13 (violence, language) Genre: Crossover, SPOILERS FOR X2
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 9, 2004
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      Title: X-Book 2: Shadows and Steel - Chapter 26: Touch and Sight

      By: Kath713/Leen713

      Rating: PG-13 (violence, language)

      Genre: Crossover, SPOILERS FOR X2

      Summary: See Chpt 1

      Disclaimer: I own nothing in regards to the Marvel characters or
      any character from a previously published source portrayed in this
      story.

      ***

      Chapter Twenty-Six:

      Through the sky over Westchester, New York, Rogue skillfully guided
      the small aircraft towards the mansion. It was not as large as the
      X-Jet, but held herself and her two unconscious passengers
      comfortably. Her gloved hands held the controls firmly and she
      reached for a switch above her head to activate the communication
      radio.

      Peter's voice responded back, acknowledging her impending arrival
      back to the school. Dr. McCoy was waiting to take the patients
      directly to the medical bay, which he and the students helping him
      would have to do the long way since Kurt was not returning with
      Rogue.

      Her hands felt hot and nervous in her gloves, but not because of any
      anxiety about landing the craft safely, only out of concern for her
      passengers. After Alkalai Lake, the importance of training all the
      X-Men in piloting their various aircrafts was clear, and Rogue had
      been quick to learn the many subtleties of professional flying. Her
      first flight had been out of necessity as the dam of Stryker's base
      was breaking, and she felt no less urgency during this flight.

      Rogue glanced back at the others and her eyes found Bobby's sleeping
      form. He was leaning back in one passenger seat, strapped securely
      so his head would not be jerked around in flight. The expression on
      his face was not one of peaceful slumber, but troubled and
      frightened in relation to the last thing he saw before loosing
      consciousness.

      The hard, focused look on her face softened slightly as she noticed
      the bruises beginning to appear on his neck. Water from melting ice
      dripped from his hair and hands and she hoped his own cold touch
      would be soothing to those wounds. She wanted so much to be able to
      comfort him when he awoke. Hold his hand as Henry treated him in
      the medical lab, touch his forehead to check for fever, place more
      than light kisses on the abrasions and bruises...

      Rogue's hands formed into tight fists around the aircraft's controls
      as her expression changed again. The warm light in her eyes turned
      cold and bitter, and she turned back away from Bobby quickly before
      that bitterness could focus on his face.

      She did love him, for his kindness, his honesty, his silly humor,
      and most of all for his dedication, to her and to the X-Men. Even
      when everyone else in the school was afraid of her, Bobby had been
      the one who had taken her hand, drawn her out of the pit she had
      been buried in since running away from home.

      Her mistrust of everyone (except Logan) had kept her from being
      close to her classmates right away, but Bobby just kept hanging
      around, inviting her to dinner every night for weeks, so properly
      like he was asking her on a date...until he finally did ask her on a
      date, off campus, to the movies. They had not been able to kiss
      that night, but he had not let go of her hand for the entire film.

      Then, at Alkalai Lake, Bobby had been the one there the whole time.
      He had been the one to go back with her and help Logan during the
      attack on the mansion. He had been the one who stayed with her on
      the jet. He had been the one, again holding her hand, as they lay
      in pain during the attacks.

      Bobby had been the one to walk up to Logan, take the hand of the man
      she thought of almost as a father, and say proudly without
      hesitation that he was her boyfriend, no matter what anyone else in
      the school thought.

      Rogue gritted her teeth, and tried to force all of her hostile
      thoughts away with those memories. The other students knew about
      her power as much as she knew about their powers. They knew her
      limitations with physical contact, and the whispers about how she
      and Bobby would ever do certain things did not fall deafly on her
      ears.

      Though, Bobby never mentioned the gossip, never seemed to care what
      anyone else thought. Whenever she was just with him, that was
      enough. But, Rogue could not deny the lingering doubt that
      someday...it would not be.

      She then thought of the flirting Remy LeBeau with an amused, but
      slightly angry grin. He was annoying, but entertaining to say the
      least, especially since meeting her Wolverine 'bodyguard.' She
      wondered if he would still pay her such attentions, if he ever knew
      that those attentions could never be fulfilled.

      ***

      Mary stood next to Henry McCoy and watched the small jet lower
      slowly into the landing bay. She shivered and folded her arms as
      the cold night wind blew down through the large entrance in the
      ceiling. As the jet settled, Henry nodded to her and Peter and they
      rushed over to the craft.

      As Henry tried to walk faster, his posture bent forward. Mary
      noticed that he used his long arms once or twice to accelerate this
      pace. Not as if he was crawling, simply as if his massive form
      moved more naturally in that almost animal-like stance. The motion
      was not awkward or comical, but smooth and professional, the walk of
      a doctor.

      They reached the jet just as Rogue lowered the back platform and
      stepped out.

      "They're in there," she said pointed back into the craft, "Storm and
      Bobby. Unconscious, but they seemed to be breathing ok..."

      Henry nodded and he and Peter climbed aboard past her. Each
      unbuckled and lifted one passenger easily, carrying them quickly off
      the jet and towards the main hall.

      "What happened to them?" Mary asked and Rogue shook her head.

      "I'm not sure," she said, "When we got there...Cyclops and Logan
      were the only ones on their feet. There was...God, there was a
      giant robot destroying a house..."

      "A robot?" Mary asked, and then her voice fell, "What did it look
      like?"

      "Like a person," she said, "A giant metal man who attacked them and
      used some kind of tranquillizer to..."

      "Not metal..." Mary said softly, her eyes becoming distant.

      "What?" Rogue asked and Mary shook her head.

      "Not metal...or that man...Magneto...he could have stopped it,
      right?" she asked and Rogue shrugged.

      "I guess so," she replied and then added angrily, "Unless it was his
      machine..."

      "Sentinel..." Mary said quickly, "It's called a Sentinel. That was
      the last part of the vision today. But it was the general's...not
      Magneto's..."

      "What general?" Rogue shouted, a little louder than she intended,
      but her tone did not faze Mary at all. Her face was somber and dark.

      "I don't know. It...didn't say his name..." she said and then met
      Rogue's eyes with concern, "Where are the others?"

      "Following the robo...the Sentinel," Rogue answered, "It took Gambit
      and some others. Magneto was following it, too."

      Mary frowned in worried thought and then shivered again.

      "I have a feeling...that following that thing is a
      really...really...bad idea..."

      Rogue's face once again became hard and focused, "Let's go."

      She turned quickly and began to march back up the platform into the
      jet.

      "Wait..." Mary replied with surprise, "We can't go after them."

      "If you feel they're in trouble, then they might need our help," she
      said.

      "What do you mean we?" Mary asked, "What the hell good would I do
      against a giant robot? Besides, it was just a feeling, not a
      vision..."

      Rogue walked back down and put a confident hand on her friend's
      upper arm.

      "I'm learning to trust your feelings, Mary," she said, "You should,
      too. And, if we are going to be attacked by a giant robot...you're
      feelings would do better there than here."

      Mary raised a cynical eyebrow, "The Professor would not like this..."

      Rogue smirked, the expression sure and cocky, just like Logan.

      "You can ask him when we get there," she replied, and pulled her
      along into the jet.

      Mary hesitantly strapped herself into the co-pilot's seat. This
      would be her second flight ever, and she prayed Rogue was a steady
      driver. Rogue began flipping switches to start up the jet again,
      and it shuttered as the engines flamed to life. Mary grasped the
      arms of her chair tightly.

      "Don't worry," Rogue said with a grin, "Logan's the one who taught
      me how to fly."

      "Right, the same Logan that tears the motorcycle up and down the
      road," Mary said and then took a deep breath, "There are bags
      around, right...just in case..."

      Rogue laughed at Mary's worried but comical expression.

      "Under the right arm rest," she replied, and then changed the
      subject to help the other girl relax, "Hey, did you think of a code
      name yet?"

      Mary blinked quickly and shook her head, "Um...no, I haven't really
      thought about it..."

      "Well, you're on a mission now," Rogue said, beginning to lift the
      jet into the air, "I need to know what to call you."

      The jet jerked forward and Mary closed her eyes.

      "How about 'Airsick'?" she said with weak grin.

      Rogue smiled back, "How about 'Alethia'? Dr. McCoy said she was a
      Greek goddess of truth."

      Mary tilted her head thoughtfully, "Um.that's ok, I guess, but...ah,
      oh, God..."

      The jet was beginning to gain altitude and her stomach suddenly
      shook hands with her esophagus again. Rogue smiled sympathetically.

      "How about just Mary?" she asked.

      "That works, too," Mary agreed, closing her eyes.

      The moment her lids fell, the image of the Sentinel rose in her
      vision again. Emotionless, cold, empty...dangerous. Its orders,
      now benign, compared to what it was capable of.

      Mary quickly opened her eyes, forcing herself to manage the motion
      sickness and focus on her work at hand.

      A world of work...ahead of all of them.

      ...To be continued...
      ***
      Archived at www.fanfiction.net/~leen713
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