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FIC: Mutatis Mutandis (Unexpected Occurrences 10/12)

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    Mutatis Mutandis (Unexpected Occurrences 10/12) Scott Summers knew that Charles had important information to share. Charles had made that clear when he’d
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 16, 2004
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      Mutatis Mutandis (Unexpected Occurrences 10/12)

      Scott Summers knew that Charles had important
      information to share. Charles had made that clear
      when he�d called the meeting. Ordinarily, Scott would
      have used the time before the rest arrived to get
      advance notice on Charles�s new intelligence, so he
      could begin figuring out the implications for the
      mission he�d be leading. Not this time. Right now he
      was too distracted by his surroundings to even think
      to ask. Although he�d been living in Mac Hudson�s
      cabin � dubbed Alpha Flight North by Heather � for a
      few weeks now, Scott hadn�t been in the cabin proper
      much. Most of his time had been spent in the hidden
      underground extension � the meeting rooms, the labs,
      the dorm room he�d shared with Logan and now slept in
      alone, the workshop where they�d been reconstructing
      Cerebro from Charles�s old plans. This was his first
      time in the cabin�s living room. The first time since
      he and Logan had been here alone, plotting to kill
      Victor Creed.

      It was a large comfortable room, warmed by a roaring
      fire in the stone fireplace. Scott walked around the
      room, stopping to touch one of the flagstones before
      sitting down in the big armchair. He stared at the
      fire, remembering vividly the last time he�d been
      here. Sitting on the floor with Logan, in front of a
      fire just like this one, learning how Logan had killed
      the last man who loved him. He found himself
      re-experiencing the swirl of emotions he�d felt when
      he first heard the story of Yukio�s death and Creed�s
      role in it. He looked away from the fire and saw
      Charles looking at him intently. �Was I
      broadcasting?� Scott asked.

      Charles nodded. �So, this is where you found out?
      And when you decided Sabretooth had to die?�

      �Oh, I was pretty sure before that. But yes, hearing
      Yukio�s story sealed it. Or so I thought at the time.
      I thought I could make Logan�s demons go away if I
      killed Sabretooth.� Scott shrugged. �I know better
      now. They�re never going away. He�s learned to live
      with them. I�m learning, too.�

      �Scott, I feel I�ve been remiss in never saying this.
      I was wrong about � �

      But Scott didn�t get to find out what Charles thought
      he�d been wrong about, as the cabin�s owners walked
      into the room. �Sorry, we�re late,� Heather said, as
      she and Mac sat down on the couch, in between Scott�s
      armchair and the Professor�s wheelchair. �What�s up?�

      �As you know, I�ve been trying to locate mutants in
      various places in the United States using Cerebro, now
      that it�s operational,� Charles began, �Thanks to the
      hard work of Scott and Logan,� he added with a nod
      towards Scott. �I�ve found out some information that
      I believe is relevant to our upcoming mission, and
      wanted to share it with you and see what alterations,
      if any, we should make to our plans.� He gestured
      towards his Field Leader. �I don�t think Mac and
      Heather are fully cognizant of our plans as they
      stand, though, so perhaps you should fill them in
      first.�

      �Sure. How much do you know?�

      Mac answered. �We know that there is conclusive
      evidence that the militia group Sacred Honor
      instigated the War on Mutants by aerosolizing plague
      germs and starting an outbreak at a time and place
      that would point to mutant involvement. But what�s
      conclusive to us won�t necessarily be to the U.S.
      government or the American people. So we need to get
      the kind of proof that will make what happened totally
      clear and end this war.�

      �I don�t know that we can count on the war ending, no
      matter how clear the proof,� Heather interjected.

      �That�s true,� Scott conceded. �We can�t be sure.
      And we�re still trying to figure out what�s our best
      strategy once we do have proof, what�s most likely to
      end this. Do we go to the press? Do we bring this to
      the government? And, if we go with the government,
      how do we do that? Does Alpha Flight contact Homeland
      Security? Do we go to the FBI � where we still have
      some contacts we can use, from Callahan�s capture? Or
      do we go straight to the president?�

      �How would you do that?� Heather asked. �How could
      you possibly get the President of the United States to
      listen to a bunch of mutants?�

      Scott shrugged and looked at Charles, then back to
      Heather. �There are ways. Mind control,
      teleportation. We can get access to the White House
      if we need to. Will he listen to us if we do? I
      don�t know. I don�t know what the best course of
      action is, and I think we have to think that one
      through very thoroughly. You�re right, Heather � we
      don�t know that the federal government is going to end
      this no matter what we show them, and we need to show
      them in a way that makes ending it most likely. The
      way most likely to effect our safety and happiness,
      when we haven�t had either for a long time. That�s
      going to be a hard decision. But right now what I�m
      worried about is getting that evidence, and that�s the
      mission I�m planning. We�re going to Sacred Honor�s
      compound in Idaho and we�re going to take everything
      we can that proves what they did.�

      �Why do you think there will be any proof there?� Mac
      asked.

      �Adam Greenfield infiltrated them a couple of years
      ago as an undercover journalist. He tells us they are
      compulsive about recording and saving everything, that
      they have documentation of all their activities.
      They�ve developed a more mainstream presence since
      then, but he doesn�t think they�ve changed that
      practice. Adam says it was so ingrained in their
      subculture that it�s unlikely they�ve stopped. They
      just couldn�t have changed that much. I�m thinking
      we�ll find plans, documents, videos. It will show how
      they managed to commit their acts of bioterrorism and
      maybe even how they managed to acquire the bacteria,
      which is something we haven�t a clue about.�

      �Okay, so it sounds promising. Who�s going on the
      mission?�

      �Pyotr, Jean, Sasha and me.�

      Heather jumped in. �Do you need any of our people to
      join?�

      �No, I don�t think so. I�ve thought about that, but
      I�m trying to keep this small � we need to get in and
      get out quickly. I considered leaving Jean out, in
      fact, because we�ll have another psionic with us, but
      I think we do need her. She�s got combat skills and
      medical skills � both of which may be essential.�

      �Who�s the other psionic?� Heather asked.

      �Billy Halverson. You don�t know him. He�s not an
      X-Man, but he�s been sort of connected to Xavier�s for
      a while. He was living at the school and a student at
      Columbia when the war started. But he never
      registered as a mutant and he�s been passing as
      normal. So he�s been able to go back to what he was
      doing before he went back to school � working as an
      independent trucker. He�s our in to the Sacred Honor
      compound; he�s been delivering supplies there. They
      have no idea he�s a mutant.�

      �And he has psionic powers?� Mac interjected.

      �Very profound ones,� Charles said. �Telepathy,
      telekinesis, empathy - stronger and more varied than
      anyone I�ve ever met. He came into his powers quite
      late � or, more accurately, he was so defended against
      believing he is a mutant that he couldn�t acknowledge
      or use his powers. But he�s made huge strides in the
      past 18 months.�

      �You�ve been a wonderful teacher to him, Charles,�
      Scott said, his voice full of frank admiration.

      �I think he may well be teaching me soon.� Charles
      Xavier chuckled. �But Scott�s right,� he added,
      �Billy�s not combat trained, and he�s not a physician.
      He�ll be of great use to the mission, but he�s no
      substitute for Jean.�

      �Billy�s getting us into the compound,� Scott
      elaborated. �He�ll be delivering electronics
      equipment they�d ordered. But there will be a few
      X-Men in the truck, as well.�

      �Beware of Greeks bearing gifts?� Heather asked.

      �Well, in this case Norwegians, but the principle�s
      the same. So Charles, what did you find out with
      Cerebro? Is it going to stop us from sending a bunch
      of Trojan Mutants into the Sacred Honor compound?�

      �I certainly think we should go ahead with the
      mission, but you need to be aware of something. There
      is already one mutant in that compound, and he�s a
      most powerful one.�

      ********************

      �I knew it was too good to be true.� Adam could tell
      he shouldn�t say that, even as it was coming out of
      his mouth, but he couldn�t help himself. Oliver and
      Logan were gone all day, on their excursion to
      Oliver�s mother�s house in Chevy Chase. Anjuli had
      considerately taken both babies out to the playground
      to give Jean-Paul and Adam some time alone together.
      Alone in the living room of her Georgetown apartment,
      they sat far apart on the big couch, glaring at each
      other.

      �What was too good to be true?�

      �The kindness, the forgiveness, the understanding.
      The love. I should have known it wouldn�t last.� He
      realized he was digging himself in deeper, but he
      didn�t care. Jean-Paul had lashed out without even
      giving him a chance to explain and Adam was too mad to
      really think through what he was saying.

      �I�m not even allowed to be angry?�

      �No, you�re not. And that was your brilliant fucking
      idea, not mine. Negotiated Safety, right? No
      recriminations � if either of us does anything unsafe
      we just disclose and go back to latex. I told you it
      was really stupid.�

      �Merde! Adam, that is completely unfair. That was
      what? Two years ago? We�ve come a long way since
      then. Or at least I have. And you said you had,
      too,� he added. �You�re right. It�s stupid and
      unrealistic to think that we could just happily accept
      sex outside the relationship, that we could think only
      about the health issue. I know I couldn�t. I haven�t
      done it with anyone else since you and I met, haven�t
      even wanted to. And we agreed � well before we
      adopted Ezra � that neither of us would, and you know
      it. We stopped talking just about HIV and safety a
      long time ago � we were talking monogamy. You swore
      you were committed to no sex with anyone else. We
      made a promise to each other. It wasn�t just
      Negotiated Safety and - tabernac! - it wasn�t just
      me.�

      Adam sighed. �I know. You�re right, love. I�m
      sorry. I shouldn�t have brought up the Negotiated
      Safety thing. I wanted the same things you did. I
      wanted all kinds of safety � safety for our
      relationship, for Ezra, emotional safety. I promised
      you I wouldn�t do it with anyone else and I really and
      truly meant it. And then I fucked up in San
      Francisco. I�m so sorry. Really I am. I just don�t
      know how to respond to your anger,� he added, softly.

      �Well, maybe you just have to take it, mon ami. Maybe
      you just have to accept that that�s the way it goes
      when you do something like that. You cheat on me the
      first chance you get and you don�t want me to be
      angry? Even when you tell me you won�t have anything
      to do with him and then call him up as soon as my back
      is turned?�

      �I�m hardly doing anything behind your back,
      Jean-Paul. This whole fight started because I told
      you I called Jake. You wouldn�t know if I hadn�t said
      anything,� voice rising again. �You wouldn�t have
      known about any of this if I hadn�t told you. Give me
      a little credit for being honest about it, if nothing
      else. And, besides, what do you mean my first chance
      to cheat on you?� he added, defiantly. �We�ve spent
      at least half of our time apart, between my
      assignments and your missions. We�ve only been living
      together � or even in the same country - for a few
      months. I�ve spent a lot of evenings and nights
      without you, Jean-Paul. You think nobody ever came on
      to me before? I may not look like you, but yes,
      occasionally a man is attracted to me and lets me know
      it.�

      �And how many of them fucked you? Without condoms,
      even? Esti!� Jean-Paul was yelling now.

      Adam answered him softly, no anger in his response,
      just love and remorse. �Two, that�s all. Two in my
      whole life. I�ve never done it bareback except with
      two men. Jean-Paul Martin Beaubier, the one I love.
      My lover, my partner, the only man I had sex with for
      three years. The one I want to be with for the rest
      of my life,� he said, touching Jean-Paul�s arm
      lightly. �And Jake Patterson, a guy I don�t know at
      all, a stranger I met at a conference, a man I�ll
      never see again. I wish to God I hadn�t done it with
      him. I�m sorrier than I know how to say. I�ll never
      do it with him again; I�ll never see him again.�

      �Why did you call him?� Belligerence still in his
      voice, but softer now.

      �I wanted to find out what I could. His HIV status,
      mostly. And yes, I know,� he added, seeing
      Jean-Paul�s expression, �I can�t be sure he�s telling
      the truth. But I thought it was worth hearing what he
      had to say. And I�m pretty good at getting people to
      tell me things, figuring out what to ask to trip them
      up if they�re lying, putting together bits of
      information into patterns. I did that for a living
      for a lot of years.�

      �I know, Adam. You�re excellent at that. What did you
      find out?�

      �He thinks he�s negative. He hasn�t been tested
      lately but he�d had a negative test a couple of years
      ago. He says he�s only had unsafe sex twice since
      then, and both times with partners he knew to also be
      negative.�

      �That�s good. We can�t know for sure that it�s all
      true. He could be deluding himself; the guys he did
      it with could have lied about their status, but it�s
      encouraging.�

      �Yes, that part is.� Adam hesitated. �I asked him
      about what we did. I�ve really been trying, but I
      can�t remember it all. I thought he might know more
      clearly.�

      �Did he?�

      �Yeah. He says he remembered it all. He was
      surprised that I didn�t.�

      �So what was he able to tell you?�

      Adam took a deep breath. �He did fuck me bareback.
      He...he said I didn�t want him to. He said I tried to
      get him to use a condom. He apologized to me, on the
      phone. He said he should have listened, but he was
      high and didn�t care.�

      �What was he taking?�

      �Crystal, at least. I don�t know what else. I think
      maybe poppers or V. I don�t remember it all, and I
      didn�t think to ask him more about drugs.�

      �Crystal is what you had, too?� Adam nodded. �It�s
      bad news, Adam.�

      �I know it. It was a stupid fucking thing I did � all
      of it. Coming back to the hotel room with him, the
      sex, the drugs. Even just getting drunk like that
      when I was feeling mad and I should have known I was
      vulnerable. I really wish I hadn�t done it � any of
      it. I don�t know what to do to convince you of that.�

      �I�m convinced. It doesn�t make it feel okay, hein?
      I believe you�re sorry. But I�m still mad. And hurt.
      You betrayed me. You betrayed *us*. I can�t just
      turn that off because you�re sorry, comprends?�

      �Yes, I understand. And you have a right to be angry.
      I shouldn�t have said otherwise.�

      �D�accord.� Neither said anything for a minute.
      �Adam?�

      �Yes.�

      �I�m not just angry. I�m scared.�

      �Me, too. For both of us.�

      �I didn�t think we�d have to deal with this.
      Emotional safety? You�re right. That�s important. I
      liked what you said when we talked about making that
      promise. Do you remember? �A shared zone of sexual
      privacy.� I liked feeling that there was just the two
      of us in that zone. There�s something hot about
      thinking I�m the only one you do it with, hein?� Adam
      didn�t say anything. �Did you fuck Jake bareback,
      too?�

      Adam shook his head. �No. I didn�t fuck him at all.
      But if he does have it - and I think he probably
      doesn�t - him fucking me was the most dangerous thing
      to do, anyway. No condom, really rough, lots of
      blood. I sucked him off, too � not much of a risk
      there. Me fucking him would have been a little more
      than that, but not as bad as what we did do.�

      �I wasn�t thinking HIV, not right now.� Jean-Paul
      shrugged. �I was just wondering if there was
      something left that you�d only done with me.�

      �Oh, Jean-Paul!� Adam moved closer, put his arms
      around his lover. Jean-Paul sat still and
      unresponsive for just a few seconds, then his arms
      encircled Adam, too. They kissed briefly.

      Jean-Paul lay back onto the couch, pulling his feet
      up. Adam got on top of him, lying with his head on
      his lover�s chest. �I am worried about infection,
      too,� Jean-Paul said, after a while. �For both of us.
      I�ve had too much heartache from this disease.�

      �I know, love. And I�m so sorry to have added to your
      worries. But I think we�ll be okay � both of us.�

      �I do, too. But it�s such a hard thing for me. Adam,
      when I was first getting to know you, I didn�t know
      how to ask if you were negative. I knew I was falling
      in love with you and I didn�t know if I could handle
      it if you were infected. But I didn�t know what to
      say or how to find out.�

      �You did ask. Before we�d met in person, even. So,
      you must have figured out how. I didn�t mind telling
      you.�

      �I was so relieved.�

      �I was glad you were negative, too.�

      �I�m sure, but I think it was different for me, mon
      cher. It was not so long since Joanne�s death. I
      thought... I felt... I was so scared. I just could
      not face losing someone I loved like that again. I
      remember telling Walter... mon dieu!�

      �What, Jean-Paul?�

      �Oh Adam! I told Walter that I was so glad you were
      negative, because I really wanted you and me to be
      lovers. And...I said to him that I couldn�t have
      someone in my life with HIV, that I refused to go
      through that particular hell again.�




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