FIC: A Sea Change (Unexpected 11/12)
- A Sea Change (Unexpected 11/12)
Anjuli Radavan stood in her kitchen making dinner.
She wondered if anyone would eat it, and whether
they�d speak to each other at all at the table, if
they did. No one seemed to be in a good mood except
for the babies.
It had been clear to Anjuli that something was wrong
between Jean-Paul and Adam from the first she�d seen
them in the morning. They both looked exhausted, but
their tense and angry manner with each other suggested
that Wendy�s surmise of how they�d spent their
sleepless time was far from accurate. She wondered if
Adam had not taken the news of Jean-Paul�s exposure
well. Anjuli offered to take Ezra and Hank out
together for a while. She wanted to give Ezra�s
fathers a chance to talk about whatever was on their
minds, without feeling like they were in a goldfish
bowl in her currently crowded home.
It was an unseasonably warm day and she managed to
keep both babies happy outside for well over two
hours. When she got back, she couldn�t really gauge
whether things had improved between the couple.
Jean-Paul had immediately taken Ezra into their room,
saying he was going to put him down for a nap, and
then hadn�t emerged for a long time. Adam had
followed Anjuli and Hank around the apartment,
offering to help with housework and errands, and
seeming on the verge of asking or telling her
something, but never bringing up what was on his mind.
She�d eventually sent him to the corner store, Hank
going along in the baby backpack, babbling happily to
himself as he pulled Adam�s hair.
Meanwhile, Oliver and Logan had left early in the
morning for Chevy Chase, before anyone else in the
household had gotten up. They returned mid-afternoon.
Anjuli had been about to ask how the visit had gone,
but one look at Oliver�s face made clear that such a
question would be unwelcome. He had walked off
without a word into the room he and Logan were
sharing, and hadn�t emerged yet. Logan had gone out
without an explanation or specified destination, but
was now back and in the living room, on the phone, his
voice mostly a low grumble. Every now and then he
raised it and Anjuli could hear �What the fuck are you
talking about?� and �Don�t give me that Field Leader
shit!� and finally �I�m coming whether you like it or
not!� followed by the sound of a phone being hung up,
hard. More grumbling, although presumably to himself,
and then the sound of the door slamming.
So, here she was, stirring the dal makhni, checking on
the chicken and the rice, and wondering if anyone
would be around to eat it and what the conversation
would be like if they did all sit down to dinner.
Adam and Hank returned, interrupting her thoughts, and
she took charge of her baby while Adam set the table.
Everyone staying at Anjuli�s was at the dinner table a
few minutes later, save Logan, who had not yet
returned. There was not much food consumed and almost
no dinnertime conversation. Oliver had come out of
the bedroom looking for Logan while Adam was setting
the table. �He went out a little while ago,� Anjuli
told him. Seeing his downcast expression, she added,
�Is there anything I can help you with?�
�No, I just need to talk to Logan.� The phone rang at
that point. �Maybe that�s him,� Oliver said
hopefully, but it was Scott, also looking for Logan.
Anjuli promised to give him the message.
After dinner, Adam hovered again until finally Anjuli
couldn�t take it anymore. �Is there something you
wanted to talk to me about, Adam?� she asked.
�I just wondered if you needed any help with... No, I
didn�t. I wanted to ask you about your healing factor
concentrate. Jean-Paul told me you�re giving him
She nodded. �Are you worried? I think it�s perfectly
safe,� she said. �I haven�t done the kind of large
scale trials that would convince the FDA, of course.
And I probably won�t � not for a long time, at least.
We�re not looking to market this.�
�Can you imagine trying to sell a drug made from the
blood of mutants in the current political climate?�
�Good point.� He thought about that. �Made from the
�Yes, and that�s another reason we can�t market it.
No way to do large scale manufacture at this point.
How many mutants are there with Alpha Level Healing
Factor? Not a whole lot, that�s for sure. Luckily,
their mutation is such that they can donate regularly
� I think Logan�s pretty sick of me sticking him with
needles, but he doesn�t have to worry about blood
loss. Still, there�s no way to do this on a large
scale until we can synthesize it.�
�But you think it�s safe? Jean-Paul�s okay getting
�I�m quite sure of it. I�ve taken it myself.�
�Yeah, it�s kind of a medical researcher tradition �
you have to be your own guinea pig for things like
this. Hank and I would have been our own first
subjects,� she added with a sigh. �So we could try it
on one mutant and one non-mutant. As it is, Jean-Paul
is the first mutant I�ve given HFC. But I�m
monitoring him carefully, and he�s having no adverse
side effects. There might even be some positive
ones,� she added with a smile, �but I wouldn�t be
likely to notice them. You might.�
Adam decided not to ask about that one. �Can I get
it?� he said.
�What?� She wasn�t sure she heard him correctly.
�Would you give me the HFC injections, too?� he
clarified. �For HIV.�
�Adam, I know it�s a very frightening illness,� Anjuli
began, patiently and slowly. �But I really don�t
think you�re at risk. Jean-Paul had one exposure and
he probably is not infected, but we�re doing what we
can to make sure. But you � well, even if he is
infected, you can�t get it from casual contact, you
know. And I�m assuming you know how to prevent sexual
�Come on, Anjuli � I�ve been out for over 10 years. I
know a thing or two about HIV. I�m not worried about
getting it from Jean-Paul,� he said, voice slightly
exasperated. And then added, a little sheepishly,
�But I haven�t always put what I know into practice.
I had unprotected sex with someone I don�t know.�
Seeing her expression, he added, �I�m sorry. I don�t
mean to embarrass you.�
�I�m not embarrassed,� she replied, cheeks reddening.
�Okay, I guess I am embarrassed, but that�s okay. I
see why you want the HFC.� She paused. �Umm, does
Jean-Paul know you�re considering getting the
�Yes, he knows all about it. He suggested I ask you.
We talked about me getting PEP, too. Yeah, I know,
but he thought Jean would bend the rules and give us
an extra prescription. Anyway, I don�t think that�s
necessary or really advisable, given the
circumstances, which I won�t go into unless you want
�No, no. It�s fine. But you do think you should get
�Yes. If you don�t think it�s too risky, I�d like
�It�s still new. There may be risks we don�t know
about. But I feel confident of it. I think I
understand enough about how it works to know it�s
safe. I wouldn�t take it myself if I didn�t feel that
way. Jean-Paul�s due for another injection tonight.
Just give me a little while to get Hank settled. Then
I�ll do you both.� Adam thanked her, relief evident
in his voice.
Logan showed up a while after dinner. As soon as he
did, Oliver accosted him. After a brief whispered
conversation the two of them went out for a long walk.
When they got back, Anjuli noticed that Oliver
appeared to be considerably calmer. He went off to
bed shortly thereafter. When Anjuli retired to her
own bedroom, Logan was sitting in the living room,
staring at the telephone and scowling.
It was late that night that Scott called again, this
time managing to talk to Logan. It didn�t start off
�What the fuck do you want, Cyclops?�
�I wanted to talk to you, to explain why I can�t have
you along on this mission.�
�I don�t need any explanations. It�s an order, right?
�You�re not part of this one, Logan.� So, I�m not
part of it. Never mind that I�ve got the skills you
need and I�ve covered your back often enough that you
know I can.�
�Of course you can, Logan. There�s not a combat
mission where I wouldn�t be safer with you on it.
That�s a fact. But I can handle this one without you.
And I need you where you are now.�
�What are you talking about?�
�I don�t know what we�re going to find in Idaho, at
Sacred Honor�s compound, but there�s a new wrinkle,
something we just found out. There�s a mutant there �
in the compound. We don�t know him; we don�t know
what his powers are. But you know how mutants glow on
Cerebro�s screen? That�s how they stand out? Well,
this one�s all lit up like a Christmas tree. Very
�Who could he be?�
�I don�t know. Charles and Mac have no idea, either.
We�ve batted a few possibilities around, each more
far-fetched than the last, but we�re getting nowhere.
We won�t know anything until we�re actually there.
I�m worried. Sacred Honor has gotten more and more
mainstream over time, more closely tied to the
government. They haven�t changed � it�s people like
Marley that have moved things in their direction.
What if the government is in communication with them?
What if they�ve even given them one of their mutant
prisoners, someone with a power they can use? Someone
who�s been drugged or brainwashed or tortured enough
to do what he�s told.�
�Do you think that�s what happened?�
�I don�t know, but how else does a mutant get to be
there? And if that�s the case �if they�re in with
Marley and his cronies in the Senate and the House �
well, what happens when we infiltrate? We�re trying
to get the evidence about the plague attack without
them knowing, but we can�t count on getting in and out
without detection. What happens in Washington,
particularly, if they do know we got in there, if word
gets back? How safe is Anjuli then, or anybody with
her? She�s known to have ties to mutants. We thought
of offering her a place at the Outpost when the war
started. We didn�t because we thought she could be of
use to us there, and we figured we could get her out
if needed. Well, she�s been living in DC on borrowed
time in some sense since this whole thing started.
Her time could run out and what I�m doing tomorrow
could be what makes it run out. I can�t just leave
her � and the rest of the people in that apartment �
with nobody. No one to take care of them, to protect
them. If you�re not there � if you come with us - who
gets those people out?�
�Hey, there�s Jean-Paul.�
�He�s hors de combat. Injuries from the last
�He looks okay. Are you sure?�
�Yeah, Mac says he�s out of commission. I don�t know
what the story is. I was surprised � I didn�t think
he was hurt that badly. At first Jean said he�d be
fine and now she�s not talking, just saying Mac knows
best. Look, Jean-Paul can be a help to you if need
be, I�m sure. It wouldn�t be the first time he�d
worked injured. But, Logan, I need you in charge
there in case we have to evacuate them. And it�s not
going to be an easy group to move. You�ve got two
babies, two people with absolutely no combat training,
Oliver who can help a little, and Jean-Paul who�s laid
up, at least somewhat. I need strong leadership there
if we have to evacuate. I need you. I�m counting on
�Thanks. If you get a call from me or Charles that
it�s gone badly, you�ve got to leave at once � it
doesn�t matter where you go as long as you take them
all somewhere you can�t be found. And if you don�t
hear anything from either of us for 24 hours, then
leave. If we can, we�ll be in contact.�
�Okay, you can count on me.�
�I know, Logan. I do. Every mission. Every day...
How�d it go with Oliver?�
�He�s a mess.�
�All the more reason you should stay there.�
�Yeah, yeah. You made your point, Cyclops. I�m
�What happened? Is she trying to reconcile?�
�No fucking way. Not a kind word, not a question
about how he�d managed for five years. Stood as far
away from him as she could. It was like she was
totally repulsed by him.�
�So what did she want?�
�She had something for him. An envelope of papers
from his father. Suicide note, among other things.�
�Christ! Why would he do that to Oliver? Just what
he needs. It�s not enough that he�s kicked out at
fourteen and hears nothing from them for five years
and then his father shoots himself. He has to leave
the suicide note for Oliver.�
�Yeah, well it gets worse.�
�His father was a mutant.�
�Nah. He�d been hiding it � fighting it � all his
life. And he felt he couldn�t anymore. So, instead
of facing up to it, he blows his brains out. Now
there�s something to do to your nineteen-year-old
�I can�t believe it. Oliver must be a wreck.�
�Yeah, he is. He�s read it all � it�s all these
journals saying how he was gonna �get over� it, be
�normal.� It�s disgusting. And his mother � hard to
believe there are people like that. All she was doing
was fulfilling her husband�s last wish. Wouldn�t talk
to Oliver at all, wouldn�t even own up to having a
mutant husband as well as a mutant son.�
�Did he get to see his siblings?�
�Nah. They weren�t there. She wouldn�t say a word
about them. Just �take this and leave.� Oliver wants
to talk to them, doesn�t know what they were told.
He�s worried that some of them are gonna be mutants,
too, and what�ll happen to them then. Will she turn
them in? Will she try to get them to hide it?�
�Or suppress it like their father did? Jesus, Logan.
I really thought she must be sorry, that�s why she
wanted to contact him.�
�Well, think again. I swear I wanted to run her
through. You know how my hands get itchy sometimes,
hard to keep the claws in? It was all I could do to
keep them in and not do her then and there. I would
have, too, if I didn�t think it would just make things
worse for Oliver.�
�What was his father�s gift? Do you know?�
�Yeah, flight. There�s all this stuff in the journals
about resisting it, never flying. Can you imagine?
Able to do something like that and you don�t even let
yourself? And then the last few years, sneaking off
�Did he have wings?�
�No, he looked perfectly normal. So he could pass.
Nothing to cut off.�
�Except part of his soul.�
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