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FIC: Insatiable Curiosity (What’s Past is Prologue 13/18)

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  • Mo
    “I need money, Warren. And I need you to keep quiet about it.” “Well, that’s getting to the point. How much do you need?” “I don’t know. I need
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 30, 2005
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      “I need money, Warren. And I need you to keep quiet
      about it.”

      “Well, that’s getting to the point. How much do you
      need?”

      “I don’t know. I need the best criminal law firm you
      can find me. And whatever they charge, that’s what I
      need.”

      “Scott. What’s going on?”

      “It’s a long story.”

      “What did you do? Kill someone?”

      “Not lately.”

      “Very funny. What do you need a criminal lawyer for?”

      “It’s not for me. I need this for my brother.”

      “You have a brother?”

      “Yes, his name is Alex.”

      “Younger or older?”

      “Younger. Two years.”

      “How is it that we’ve been friends since high school
      and I never knew you had a brother?”

      “I haven’t seen him in close to twenty years. He needs
      my help. He’s in federal prison.”

      “For a crime he didn’t commit?”

      “No, then it would be easy and I wouldn’t need the
      high priced legal talent. He did it, all right. And a
      few others as well.”

      “So... maybe he needs to serve his sentence.”

      “I have to get him out. Whatever it takes. I can’t
      explain. I’m sorry, Warren. I know this isn’t the time
      to ask for money, but I need your help.”

      “I’ll find you a lawyer. And a way to pay the fees.”


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


      “Rick? It’s Jean-Paul Beaubier.”

      “I didn’t expect to hear from you.”

      “I enjoyed talking to you the other day.”

      “Are you calling about the article on the memorial
      service?”

      “No, I wasn’t. I did read it, though.”

      “It’s nothing personal.”

      “I didn’t take it personally. Hey, it’s okay, copain.
      I’ve been called worse things than ‘menacing’ before.”

      “I didn’t mean you. I didn’t mean any of you as
      individuals. It was just the whole spectacle. I’ve got
      nothing against mutants, really. But you’ve got to
      admit, there’s something frightening about a private
      army with powers the rest of us only dream about. And
      no government oversight.”

      “We meant to impress, hein? That was the point of
      being there in uniform like that. There are all
      different kinds of impressions. A display like that is
      a two-edged sword. We were supposed to give a
      demonstration of power. Depending on how you feel
      about us to start with, that power can be comforting
      or... menacing, hein? I happen to know we’re the good
      guys. I can’t expect you to know that. At least not
      yet. Maybe if you got to know us better you’d realize
      that. Or at least got to know me better. When we met
      you said you’d like to get to know me.”

      “Why are you calling me?”

      “You called me.”

      “Yeah, and you never called back.”

      “I’m sorry about that. I wanted to, but I didn’t think
      I should. After I met you, I heard your name back in
      Westchester. Heard you were writing about the X-Men. I
      got worried. I started thinking I’d gotten set up,
      n’est-ce pas? That you’d known who I was when you came
      up to me in the bar that time.”

      “I didn’t. I had no idea. I just saw you, was drawn to
      you, attracted to you. I wanted to get to know you.”

      “I believe you. I realized afterwards you would have
      been a lot more persistent if you’d been after my
      information. Instead of my body, that is. You asked
      questions – you reporters can’t help yourselves, hein?
      – but when I said I didn’t want to answer, you
      accepted that. So, I figured you didn’t have any
      underhanded purpose in picking me up. Just the usual
      one.”

      “I... I had a good time with you, Jean-Paul.”

      “Moi aussi. Rick, I didn’t feel I could call you
      before. Not the way the other X-Men were talking about
      you. Maybe you don’t have anything against mutants.
      Your paper does. And the way the rest of the team was
      talking here, they would have thought I was a traitor
      if they’d known I’d talked to you. Or known what else
      I did with you. I didn’t want anyone to know. And I
      wasn’t just worried about what others would think,
      bien sur. I was doubting myself, worried that I’d
      misjudged you, been taken in by someone unscrupulous.
      But... I kept thinking about you.”

      “I’ve been thinking about you, too.”

      “Bien. Now the story’s done. It’s written and I don’t
      have to worry about slipping up and telling you
      something about the X-Men you might twist to your
      paper’s anti-mutant purpose. And, vraiment, I didn’t
      think the article was so damning, or even that unfair.
      Maybe I’ve got a thick skin. Maybe I think I can still
      convince you I’m a good guy. Or maybe I was reading it
      remembering having a good time with you... Anyway, I’d
      like to see you again. I don’t know if you’re
      interested.”

      “I am. I’m very interested.”

      “I still can’t talk to you about my work, hein?”

      “I understand. I won’t ask. Well, I’ll try not to.
      You’re right; I have trouble not asking questions.
      Partly the job, partly just my personality. I’m the
      original Elephant’s Child.”

      “Watch out for dangerous crocodiles. Ah, but you like
      danger, n’est-ce pas? Maybe that’s why I didn’t mind
      being called ‘menacing.’ I knew who was saying it.”

      “Just tell me to shut up if I ask things I shouldn’t.”

      “I can think of ways to keep you too occupied to ask
      questions.”

      “That sounds very promising.”

      “Can I come see you this weekend?”

      “I’d love that. Will you... fly here?”

      “Oui. Easiest way for me to get around. Give me your
      address.”


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

      “Who was she?”

      “She’s just a friend of mine, Jamie. Her name’s
      Crystal.”

      “Why haven’t I heard anything about her? Why won’t you
      tell me anything about her?”

      “There’s nothing to tell. Just somebody I knew before
      I came here. I haven’t heard about everyone from
      before you came to Xavier’s, either.”

      “If I knew somebody like that, I would have said so.
      RoseAnn, I don’t even think she... he... I don’t think
      that was a woman.”

      “Well, she’s kind of working on that.”

      “What does that mean?”

      “Crystal... she’s a guy, but she likes being a girl
      sometimes. I don’t know. I don’t really get it. It’s
      just how she is. You know, we’re not exactly normal
      ourselves. It’s not like we should be criticizing
      people who are a little different.”

      “I’m not criticizing him... her... I’m criticizing
      you. I’m your boyfriend. I thought I knew you. Now I’m
      starting to feel like you had a whole other life I
      knew nothing about.”

      “That’s ridiculous. Don’t be so melodramatic. Just
      because I didn’t mention Crystal, suddenly I have this
      secret life?”

      “Crystal sure isn’t somebody from your old school. So
      how does she know Nick? And what’s this about him
      looking all over for you?”

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

      “When are you leaving?”

      “Tomorrow. I'll just be there overnight. 'Ro won't be
      back until after I am. You’re in charge while I’m
      away. Take care of them, Logan.”

      “Maybe somebody else should go. That Kapell is still
      after you. What if he hears you’re going to Indiana?”

      “It’s a risk, I know. I’m doing this as quietly as I
      can. I’m going by commercial carrier, not taking the
      Blackbird. But it’s got to be me. I have to see him.”

      “Do you really think you can get him released?”

      “One way or another. I have to. I’d rather do it
      legally, if I can. It’s my fault he’s in there.”

      “You didn’t hold up a liquor store at gunpoint and
      take a customer hostage when the cops showed up. He
      did.”

      “If not for me, it never would have happened. None of
      it. While I was spending my teenage years here, under
      Charles’s protection, he was in prison. And it’s my
      fault.”

      “Come on, Cyclops. It’s not your fault. You didn’t
      know he was there. You didn’t know what happened. And
      you weren’t exactly living in some teenage paradise
      yourself. You were blind and on the streets for over a
      year, and then forming the Professor’s combat team.
      It’s not like you had it so easy.”

      “Well, he should have had it easier. I just... I just
      want to help him. I want to give him another chance.”

      “What will you do if you can get him out?”

      “I’ll offer him a place on the team. I can give him a
      job, a home, something to do with his life.”

      “What makes you think he’ll even want to be an X-Man?”

      “I don’t know if he will or not. I can ask, can’t I?
      It’s what I’ve got to offer. He’s my brother. I’ll
      give him what I’ve got to give.”

      “I don’t know, Scott. He’s not the little kid you
      remember. I read the dossier Adam put together. Any
      way you look at it, your brother Alex is a hardened
      criminal. A loner. Out only for himself. Not
      interested in your grand vision.”

      “Gee, Logan, why would I think somebody like that
      could be an X-Man?”

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

      “Anjuli? It’s Adam.”

      “Hi! Are you and Ezra settled back in?”

      “Pretty much. He’s missing Hank something fierce,
      though. He keeps looking for him. So hard to get into
      his two-year-old brain that you and Hank are in New
      York, and we’re in DC. He keeps thinking Hank’s just
      in another room.”

      “Yeah, Hank’s the same way. I feel bad, almost like
      splitting up twins or something.”

      “Westchester’s definitely the best place for you. On
      general principles I try not to agree with my mother,
      but she’s right this time. And Ezra’ll be there half
      the time, at least.”

      “At least? Are you moving to New York, too?”

      “Maybe. I’m putting out feelers about jobs, anyway. It
      seems too hard to raise Ezra together if we’re living
      this far apart. Lots easier for Jean-Paul and me than
      for normal couples. Super speed comes in handy for kid
      hand-off, but still. Jean-Paul can get called off to a
      mission at any time, just as easily on his time with
      Ezra as on mine.”

      “There are always plenty of people to take care of him
      here if Jean-Paul has to leave. You know I’m always
      glad to, and I’m not the only one.”

      “Yeah, but I want to be with him when I can. That’s
      what was so great about the three of us sharing a
      place. We all keep weird hours and have unpredictable
      schedules, but with three of us, somebody was pretty
      much always around at night. One of us could always be
      with the babies. I do think it’s great that there are
      plenty of folks in the X-Men to care for Ezra, but I
      don’t want to rely on them. I’d rather Ezra’s with me
      when Jean-Paul’s away. Also, I’ve got nobody here, if
      I’m called away on an assignment.”

      “So, if you might move here... and I hear you and Jake
      aren’t seeing each other anymore... Any chance of you
      and Jean-Paul getting back together?”

      “I don’t think so. I’m not saying I haven’t been
      thinking about it, but I’m worried that I lost my
      chance.”

      “Why do you think that?”

      “Well, for one thing, where is he right now?”

      “I don’t know. Away for the weekend, somebody said. I
      didn’t hear if it’s a mission or what.”

      “Well, I heard it’s a date. Dates that last a whole
      weekend start sounding like relationships, you know?
      Not that it’s any of my business what he does. Not
      when Ezra’s with me. But, like I said, I think I lost
      my chance. I don’t know that we could have made a go
      of it, anyway. Too much happened. I'm sure it's for
      the best we broke up. Still, I do miss him. Don’t tell
      him I said that, okay?”

      “Okay.”

      “Any progress on the mutant toddler front?”

      “I’ve checked and rechecked Jean’s tests. I can’t see
      any errors. The theory’s sound. I don’t know what it
      means, though.”

      “What’s Hank’s skin color now?”

      “Café au lait. His old color. Not a hint of blue. He’s
      been back to normal – if this is normal for him – ever
      since you left. Maybe the color change was just a
      temporary thing and it’s over now? But I still don’t
      get it. What would make a two-year-old turn blue? How
      can there be any explanation other than a mutant
      coming into his powers?”

      “I think I know the answer Anjuli. I think a mutant is
      coming into his powers. Just not Hank.”


      Mo
      Mofic Website: www.angelfire.com/comics/mo
      www.livejournal.com/users/mofic




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