Home | Forum | Mailing List | Repository | Links | Gallery
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14
Chapter 15
Chapter 16
Chapter 17
Chapter 18
Chapter 19
Chapter 20

Faith and Dreams - REVIEW THIS STORY

Written by Valerie Jones
Last updated: 04/26/2007 02:10:47 AM

Chapter 12

The night sky was completely obscured by heavy clouds, but the darkness was so thick that the gray masses were invisible until the edges were lit by internal flashes of lightening. Wind gusted across the mansion grounds, the air uncommonly warm. It made the trees rustle and laid the long grass down with a sighing sound.

Dana ignored the fingers of air that pulled at her hair and clothing as she watched the gathering storm. The air had an electric quality, a sense of waiting wrath that fit her mood perfectly.

A shadow passed overhead, resolving itself into human form as Rogue settled to the ground beside her. Dana snorted softly and shook her head. It was still a bit surprising, but she was rapidly growing used to people flying, freezing, shooting lightning bolts and speaking to her inside her head. Rather than feeling awed, she was instead annoyed at the interruption. She’d come outside specifically to get away from the mansion’s residents, and to get a handle on the anger that churned inside her.

"Ya all right, sugah?" Rogue’s concerned expression was illuminated by a flash of lightning. The companion thunder cracked like a rifle shot across the sky.

Dana crossed her arms. "I am not a child." She glanced at Rogue. "I don’t enjoy being treated like one."

"Nobody thinks that."

Dana felt a drop of water in her hair as a sporadic raindrop found her. She didn’t have an immediate reply because she knew that Rogue spoke the truth. Dana had argued with Charles for almost an hour, and had lost simply because of the overwhelming logic. She looked up at the sky.

"Mulder might be up there."

Rogue followed her gaze. "Maybe, sugah. But we’re not goin’ up there ta go lookin’ for him." She brushed her windblown hair away from her face. "Not now, anyway. This is gonna be a hit an’ run operation."

Dana chewed on her lip as her frustration threatened to overflow once again. "I know that." But as much as she understood the reasons that the X-Men would not allow her to go with them, it didn’t change how desperately she wanted to. She was afraid to look too closely at the reason she felt that way, but she knew that her heart demanded that she take every chance, follow every lead that might bring her to Mulder.

After a moment, she pushed the confusing emotions away. The decision was made. A fat raindrop struck her on the cheek and she grimaced.

"This is going to be some storm. Are you sure you’ll be able to fly in it?" She hadn’t yet seen the modified SR-71 the X-Men apparently operated, but the weather was steadily worsening. Pretty soon, no aircraft would be wise to venture into the air, but she knew they had been talking about using the storm to cover their flight.

Rogue smiled. "We’ll be fine." She put her hands on her hips and looked up at the clouds. "Storm’s done herself right proud."

Dana was momentarily confused, until she remembered that Ororo’s code name was Storm. A jagged bolt of lightening streaked across the sky, branching into a dozen paths of brilliant light. Dana turned to Rogue.

"Ororo did this?" The awesome fury building in the blackened clouds seemed impossibly powerful for any human being to claim to control.

Rogue nodded. "Electrical storm’ll hide Joseph’s magnetic signature until we’re well inta space." She sighed. "Unfortunately, it’s gonna do some damage down here-breakin’ tree branches an’ bringin’ down power lines an’ such. But, it’s takin’ long enough ta build that hopefully folks’ll have the sense ta find shelter before it really lets loose."

Dana chewed on the implications of that for a few minutes. What would it be like to be born with a power like Ororo’s? How much damage could a single mutant do? The possibilities her imagination conjured were frightening.

She turned her thoughts back to Rogue’s original comment. She’d walked out before the plans had been finalized, so she’d missed some of the details. "Can Joseph really lift an aircraft into orbit?"

Rogue’s gaze unfocused for a moment, and Dana was suddenly aware that she had somehow touched a sensitive nerve.


The other woman shook herself and gave Dana a wan smile. "Sorry, sugah. It’s just a lil’ ironic is all."

"What is?"

Rogue shrugged. "Well, the last time we went inta space like this, it was because we were goin’ after Magneto."

Dana waited a moment before prompting, "And Magneto is...?"

Rogue’s smile turned rueful. "Ah guess ya wouldn’t know, would ya? He’s-he was, anyway-- a very powerful mutant with control over the Earth’s magnetic field. He stole some nuclear missiles from a Russian sub he’d sunk a while earlier, an’ was threatenin’ ta use ’em if the humans didn’t leave him alone. So the X-Men went after him on his space station ta make sure he didn’t get the chance."

"A mutant terrorist?" Dana was suddenly overcome with an urge to find an encyclopedia of world events. The history of this alternate Earth had to be absolutely fascinating. "What happened?"

"The short version?" Rogue caught up her long hair in one hand to try to contain it as the wind whipped back and forth. "Magneto nearly killed Logan, an’ the Professor was forced ta wipe his mind ta stop him. Then we barely made it back ’cause the Blackbird kept tryin’ ta break up durin’ re-entry. It took just about everything Jean had ta keep it together long enough ta get us on the ground."

A burst of rain blew into Dana’s face and she shivered. "I think I’ve missed the irony." She wasn’t sure she could even get her mind around the events Rogue described so blithely.

Rogue cocked her head. "Well, we’re fairly certain that Joseph is Magneto." At Dana’s expression of surprise, she smiled. "He’s lost about twenty years an’ all his memories, but the face an’ the powers are the same."

Dana watched as Rogue turned back to the storm, her gaze once again distant. "Those were some scary times, sugah. We went ta Avalon knowin’ that some o’ us probably wouldn’t be comin’ back, an’ afraid ta think about who it might be. For a couple a days there, it felt like the whole world could end in an instant-" She snapped her fingers. "An’ now ah’m startin’ ta get that same feelin’ again." She sighed softly. "Makes me glad Remy’s stayin’ here this time."

Dana bit back a question. She was fairly certain that the last comment hadn’t been meant to draw a response.

Rogue seemed to sense the direction of her thoughts, though. She glanced over at Dana, her mouth turned upward and hinting at wicked humor. "Man’s got more guts than brains. Someday mah stripe’s gonna go gray from worryin’ ’bout him."

Dana couldn’t help but return the smile. She could no longer count the times Mulder had gotten hurt in his various escapades. Not seriously, most of the time, but she could never completely suppress the twinge of worry she felt whenever he was out of sight. Of course, it had gone both ways, she reminded herself. At least, she hoped it had.

"Ya got somebody like that, Dana?" Rogue was watching her with patent curiosity.

Unaccountably, Dana flushed. She shook her head. "No. Not really. Not like-you two." Though the state of their relationship was somewhat questionable, the passion that sparked between them was unmistakable.

"Not even ya partner?"

"No! Of course not!" Dana was aware that her vehement response had just incriminated her in Rogue’s eyes, and she wondered where the sudden burst of emotion had come from. Suddenly tired of the personal conversation, she sighed. "It wasn’t like that."

But for some bizarre reason, it was important to her that Rogue understood, so she continued, "I guess I... loved him, in a way, but we were friends. Partners." She struggled to put her feelings into words. "It wasn’t about passion." Unbidden, a memory returned to her, of the time she’d told Mulder that she would die for him. She’d meant it, and her emotions at the time had been so strong that she’d nearly screamed it at him. A little voice inside her whispered that, perhaps, it might have been more about passion than she wanted to believe.

"We didn’t have a--a physical relationship." It came out as a protest, but she wasn’t entirely sure if she was trying to convince Rogue or herself.

Rogue gave her a strangely knowing look. "That don’t mean anything."

Part of Dana wanted to just stop the conversation right there. Examining her feelings was always a dangerous, confusing thing. She much preferred the dry dependability of fact and reason. But for the first time, she felt like she’d met women who understood her life-her pain, her dreams. And if there was any wisdom she could gain from them, perhaps it would make dealing with the confusion in her heart a little easier.

"So how can you tell the difference between love for a friend and..." she searched for a word, "...real love?"

Rogue laughed sourly. "Ah have no idea." She looked down at her feet, seeming suddenly abashed. "Me an’ Remy have... kissed... exactly once."

Dana raised a skeptical eyebrow, which Rogue didn’t notice. "Ah’d like ta kill him for it, but, since ah kissed him-" She shrugged. "Ah can’t." Then she raised her eyes to meet Dana’s. "Probably the single worst thing that’s ever happened ta me, for reasons that’d take forever ta explain." She shoved her hands into the pockets of her short jacket. "Ah still love him, though. Ah’m just not quite sure how." She gave Dana a wry smile. "Ah guess that puts us in the same boat."

Dana was spared an answer as the skies opened up and poured the rain out over them. Dana was soaked before she could recover from the shock of the cold water. The torrent was so heavy that the mansion disappeared from sight, as did the trees and the more distant lake. There was something exhilarating about the rain, though, the tremendous power of the storm that now raged full force around them. She stared at Rogue, surprised by the sudden sense of kinship she felt with the other woman. It was a bond born not only of their candid conversation, but also of the bizarre circumstance that now had them standing in the midst of a downpour together, soaked to the bone and resembling a pair of drowned rats.

She found herself grinning as she shaded her eyes from the rain with one hand. "It looks like we could use that boat right about now."

Rogue spluttered with laughter and then looked down at herself. "Ah’d better get goin’ or they’ll leave without me. Cyke’s gonna throw a fit about me drippin’ all over his Blackbird, anyway." With a friendly wave, she rose into the air.

Dana lost sight of her almost immediately in the rain, and felt a pang of sorrow. If what Rogue had said was true, there was a chance it would be the last time she would see her. Or any of them.

Berating herself for her pessimism, Dana turned toward the house.

"Dey gone?"

Dana paused in the medlab’s doorway, surprised by the sudden question. After a moment, she reached over and flipped on one of the sets of overhead lights, illuminating the room. "I thought you would be asleep."

Remy raised a hand to shield his eyes. "Didn’ feel like it, I guess." He continued to watch her as she walked up to his bed, and Dana realized that he was still waiting for an answer.

"They left about twenty minutes ago." Dana had stopped by her room for dry clothes and a towel before coming down to check on her patient. "How are you feeling?"

"De usual."

Dana noted the dark circles beneath his eyes and the gray tone to his skin and decided that that was probably a lie. He was exhausted from that afternoon, which he’d spent in the den with the rest of the X-Men, and though it wasn’t quite midnight, he was still awake.

"You should try to get some sleep." Dana was ready for some sleep herself after the eventful day, and she was perfectly healthy. "I’m going to lay down over there," she motioned to one of the empty beds. "So just yell if you need me." After some debate, Charles and Scott had elected to include Hank in their mission to provide the world with irrefutable proof of the Racth’zai’s existence, which left Dana alone to take care of Remy. That was fine by her, but made her unwilling to be separated from her patient by a hundred feet of earth and metal.

Remy gave her a questioning look. "Y’ not gon’ wait t’ see how t’ings go?"

She shook her head. "Charles said it would be several hours before they achieve proper orbit, and probably a while after that before we hear anything from them." The X-Men would be operating under strict communication silence to avoid detection before they were ready. "I was going to try to get some rest until then." Mostly because the waiting would kill her and sleeping seemed like the best way to quickly pass the time.

He made a noncommittal sound and reached over to the small table beside the bed to pick up a deck of cards lying there. He shuffled them easily and then pulled the lap table over and began laying them out in some kind of solitaire. "It gon’ bother y’ if I leave de light on?"

Dana watched him in consternation. He was still in a fair amount of pain and obviously exhausted, but he appeared determined to wait out the hours before they would hear from the X-Men. Intuition told Dana that he was deeply disturbed and she guessed that it was out of fear for his friends. Considering what he had suffered so recently, it wouldn’t be surprising at all if he believed the same could easily happen to one of them also.

"I guess you’d rather be up there with them." She felt awkward making such an obvious comment, but it might do some good to get him to talk and she didn’t know what else to say.

He didn’t respond, but continued to lay out the playing cards with amazing precision.

Dana frowned when it became obvious that he was ignoring her. "Me too," she admitted quietly.

He looked up abruptly, expression hard, guarded. But then the expression disappeared and was replaced by something far milder. "Y’ don’ seem like de kind t’ wan’ t’ go gallivantin’ off into space, chere." There was even a note of teasing in his voice.

Dana gave him an appropriately sour look. The message from him was clear-Don’t push, and don’t dig too deep. So she kept her response light, though she was certain he understood that she didn’t like the silent agreement they’d just made.

"I just want to find Mulder."

"Y’ really t’ink he’s still alive?" Remy went back to his cards and Dana was grateful not to have to meet his gaze. It was an innocent enough question, but carried tremendous significance for her.

"I... don’t know. But I’m going to find out."

The silence stretched more comfortably between them this time, and Dana watched the unfamiliar version of solitaire with mild interest. Remy paused in the middle of laying a card down, as if caught by a sudden thought.

"Y’know, dey not gon’ let y’ go wit’ dem next time, either."

Dana looked at him in surprise. "What do you mean by that?"

Remy shrugged and laid the card he was holding in its place. "Y’ not a mutant. Y’ got no powers an’ no trainin’ f’ bein’ out in space. De X-Men ain’ gon’ risk y’ life like dat."

Dana didn’t have an immediate answer. What he said rang very true, and she hated it. But less than a week ago she would have sworn that she would never have the opportunity to go into space, let alone actually do it. This world was so completely different from her own. The existence of mutants made so many seemingly impossible things possible, even ordinary. But within that reality she was woefully unprepared, as Remy put it, to go gallivanting around.

She looked at him. "So what do the non-mutants do?"

He shrugged. "Wear power armor an’ carry high-intensity laser weapons, mostly."

Dana pursed her lips, thinking. But she knew what she wanted to do long before she asked herself the question.

"So, where can I get those?"

To her surprise, he began to chuckle.


GambitGuild is neither an official fansite of nor affiliated with Marvel Enterprises, Inc.
Nonetheless, we do acknowledge our debt to them for creating such a wonderful character and would not dream of making any profit from him other than the enrichment of our imaginations.
X-Men and associated characters and Marvel images are © Marvel Enterprises, Inc.
The GambitGuild site itself is © 2006 - 2007; other elements may have copyrights held by their respective owners.