Home | Forum | Mailing List | Repository | Links | Gallery
 
 
Chapters
Prolog
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 02:10:46 AM

Chapter 5

"Who are these people?" Jean asked as they stood outside the unmarked door of a nondescript apartment building. She carried Remy in her arms as if he weighed nothing, and Dana surmised that she was using a good deal more telekinesis than muscle.

Dana pounded on the door again. "Friends of Mulderís." She glanced at Jean. "Raving paranoids, all of them, but theyíre well connected."

Jean gave her an odd look, but didnít comment. Which was probably just as well, Dana thought. The other womanís temper had soured considerably as Remyís condition worsened. But she had refused to take him to any kind of regular hospital or clinic for treatment for reasons that Dana understood, though could not agree with. So they had made the drive back to Arlington in tense silence, with Remyís labored breathing the only interruption.

"Who is it?" asked a suspicious voice from behind the door, and Dana heard the sound of a hand on the inner latch.

"Itís Dana Scully." Briefly, Dana wondered what Mulder would have thought of her choice of refuges. More than likely, he would simply have given her that knowing grin and not said a word.

Dana caught a flicker of motion behind the fisheye peephole in the door before the latches rattled and the door swung part way open to reveal a sliver of Langleyís face, complete with hornrim glasses and long, stringy hair . He grinned at Dana. "What can I do for you, Agent Scully?" he asked brightly.

"I need your help." She looked over at Jean, drawing Langleyís eye in her direction. She watched as he absorbed the ravishing beauty, and then the injured man in her arms.

He glanced curiously at Dana, then stepped back and opened the door fully. "Come in." He watched the hallway as they passed him and stepped into what Dana had privately dubbed "The Lair". Unsurprisingly, both Frohicke and Byers were there. They looked up from something they were examining together under a microscope when she and Jean came in.

"In here." Langley crowded past the other two, leading them to a back bedroom. A mattress and box spring lay on the floor, surrounded by piles of books and papers. He kicked a stack out of the way, allowing Jean to take Remy to the bed. Byers and Frohicke followed them in, but hovered near the doorway.

Dana turned to Byers. Tall and well-manicured, he had always struck her as more of a professorial type than a conspiracy-monger, and she tended to trust him a little more than the other two.

"What kind of medical equipment can you get me?" Dana asked him.

She was pleased when he didnít hedge, but simply shrugged. "Tell me what you need."

Dana rattled off a list that she had been working on in her head for several hours. Much of what she wanted was impossible-namely an X-ray and a decent lab. But an I.V., suture, and the other things she needed were certainly available.

"Thatís an expensive list, Agent Scully," Frohicke said in his quietly unassuming manner. He stood in the doorway, watching them with keen curiosity.

Dana glanced at Jean who shook her head no. Jean obviously had a number of resources, but apparently a source of cash wasnít one of them.

"But perhaps we could arrange a trade?"

The eager expression on Frohickeís face made Dana instantly suspiciously. "What kind of trade?"

His leer was patently obvious. "A candlelight dinner, perhaps some dancing?"

Across from her, Jeanís eyes narrowed angrily.

They arenít altruists, Dana reminded her privately. Even Mulder hadnít trusted them completely.

I didnít realize that lechery was the opposite of altruism. Jean continued to settle Remy on the bed, her eyes down and focused on what she was doing. But the sarcastic bite of her words was not lost on Dana.

Thatís just Frohicke, Dana replied. Just wait. Heíll be hitting on you in a few minutes.

Iíll break his arm.

Dana cleared her throat to hide a smile. She had absolutely no intention of going on a date with that dirty old man. She would rather have a liposuction. But she was going to have to come up with something to offer them that was worth the money theyíd spend on medical supplies. She chewed on her lip as she thought.

Finally, she turned to regard him, allowing just the slightest hint of suggestion to creep into her voice. "I can give you something much better than a sordid evening of wining and dining."

Frohickeís eyebrows danced as he tried to decide just how much to read into the statement. He opened his mouth several times without ever uttering a word, and Dana was reminded of a goldfish. She watched him stoically, secretly enjoying every moment of his discomfort. Behind him, Langley and Byers traded grins.

Eventually, Frohicke found his voice. "What could possibly be better than an evening with you?"

Dana felt a stab of triumph. She had him. "How about this, Frohicke," she said in her most no-nonsense tone. "You three help me keep this man alive, and in exchange Iíll give you irrefutable proof of something youíve been searching for."

Frohicke frowned. "Proof of what?"

Dana refused to smile. It would ruin her credibility. "Proof of telekinesis as a viable physical phenomenon."

Frohicke turned to the others, and the three men exchanged silent glances as they tried to evaluate the worth of such proof. While they were occupied, Jean looked over at Dana, her smile hinting at wicked humor. Then Remy groaned, and her smile died.

Theyíre going to get a lot more than that if this fever gets bad enough to make him delirious.

Dana didnít get the chance to ask what she meant.

"Agreed," Frohicke said, sounding slightly regretful. Dana nodded, and Byers left. Had it been anyone other than one of these three, Dana would have insisted that he take a written list of the things sheíd asked for. But she had learned from experience that they were far more capable than they looked, no matter what her opinion of their various personalities. She was not at all surprised that Byers could recognize the medical terms she used well enough to be able to memorize a set of them.

The tension between herself and Frohicke was broken by the sound of the apartment door opening and closing as Byers left. Langley disappeared from the doorway, only to return a few minutes later with a small first aid kit. Frohicke left as well, most likely to go back to whatever their arrival had interrupted.

Dana thanked Langley, who gave her a helplessly goofy grin. "Telekinesis, huh?"

Dana opened the kit and was pleased to find a penlight and stethoscope among the rolls of bandages. "Patience is a virtue, Langley," she reminded him without looking up.

Clearly disappointed, he watched them for a moment more, then wandered out of the room. Dana was barely aware of him. Her attention had narrowed and was now focused solely on her patient. She had given him a very cursory examination in the basement of the house where theyíd been held prisoner. Now, she had a much better opportunity to asses the true extent of his injuries. The moist rattle of his breathing worried her, but there was little she could do for his internal injuries. Only time would tell her how extensive those were.

With careful fingers she explored his skull. This was her other area of concern. The matted blood was hard to see against his red hair, but it was easy enough to feel and she found two contusions, either of which could easily indicate a fracture. She picked up the penlight and leaned forward to check his pupils.

Dana sucked in her breath in poorly concealed dismay and sat back. The eye was filled with blood. Some kind of hemorrhaging from the blows to the head, most likely. And it had happened a while ago, too. The blood was already blackening, congealing, leaving only a small ring around the pupil that remained fresh and red. It was no guarantee, of course, but the chance of brain damage with that kind of hemorrhaging was high.

Jean watched her with a worried expression. "Dana?" There was a quiet fear there, and Dana felt inadequate to the task of telling her the bad news. It was one of many reasons she had abandoned the medical field in favor of the FBI. She might be very good with medicine, but she was horrible with people.

Quickly, she checked the other eye and was once again startled. It was identical, which was very odd. Head injuries were almost never symmetrical. Other discrepancies clicked into place in her mind. There was no blood leaking from either eye, which she would have expected. Also, the pupil had contracted in fairly normal reaction to her light. She frowned and looked more closely.

"Is this normal?" she finally asked Jean. She was forced to conclude that her original assessment was incorrect. Despite their color, there didnít seem to be any obvious damage.

Jean nodded. "Iím sorry. I should have warned you. Yes, thatís normal for him."

That explains his obsession with sunglasses, anyway. Then Dana cocked an eyebrow as her initial wash of relief turned to annoyance. "Is there anything else you should tell me about?"

Jean considered her gravely. "I donít... think so." She sighed and gave Dana an apologetic smile. "Weíre so used to mutant physiology that I forget how strange it can seem to someone else."

"We?" Dana continued her exam, but now half of her mind was on Jeanís words, and the implications she read there.

Jean seemed unaware of the intensity of her interest. "Mutants."

Dana paused. Mutants. As if it was the most ordinary thing in the world. She went back to work without further comment. But deep in her heart was the growing conviction that she would find out the truth about these mutants. No matter what the truth turned out to be. And no matter how long it took her.

"What do you think?" Scott eyed Wolverine speculatively. They were standing in a recessed doorway, across the street from a row of unremarkable warehouses. Rain fell in steady sheets just beyond their hiding place.

Wolverine snorted and shook the water out of his eyes. He was soaked from an hour-long reconnoiter of the buildings, though Scott knew the wet wouldnít bother him particularly. "Rainís washed most a the smells away," he said as he continued to dry his face. "But I found enough." He nodded toward the warehouses. "Third one down."

"Right." Scott touched the com badge pinned to his uniform and relayed the information. Lilandraís transport, hidden in orbit around Mars, had identified a transmission from one of the Racthízai ships to this location, and Lilandra had given it to the X-Men to investigate. So far, Scott was cautiously optimistic about her approach. The Shiíar Empress seemed content, for now, to observe, giving the X-Men and their allies the chance to uncover the truth and deal with it through human agencies. The last thing they needed was two alien species going to war in the skies over Earth.

Several X-Men joined them as he and Wolverine crept up to the warehouse. The sheeting rain had them all looking like drowned rats, but Scott ignored it and turned to Psylocke. "Anything?"

She shrugged. "Plenty. But nothing that I can understand."

"What do you mean?"

She pulled her long hair away from her face. "I can sense thoughts from at least twenty beings in there, but I canít tell you what theyíre thinking. Itís very fuzzy-indistinct."

"Racthízai?"

"I donít think so."

Scott frowned, wishing that Jean was there. Not that she could have told him anything more than Elizabeth, especially since Psylocke was the only telepath among them who had encountered this race before. But he trusted Jeanís ability to analyze a situation, and to catch the subtleties that he might miss.

"So whatís the plan, sugah?" Rogueís drawl held its Southern warmth, despite the weather. Her gaze, however, was calculating. Scott thought she was one of the strangest mixtures of naive girl and trained field operative he had ever met. Even after four years, he still had no idea what to expect from her.

He shrugged. "I have no idea. This is called ístirring the potí, people."

"And for this they pay you the big bucks?" Icicles dripped from Bobbyís ice form, but his grin was unmistakable.

Scott ignored the jibe since he couldnít think of an immediate rejoinder. He split them into two teams to cover the two entrances to the warehouse. Psylocke, Rogue and Iceman had the back door. He, Wolverine and Cannonball would take the front. He had no idea what they were going to do when they got inside-he would have to decide once he saw what was there.

Unsurprisingly, the front door was locked. It was made of reinforced steel, along with the doorframe. A small numeric pad next to the handle apparently controlled the lock.

"Guess they donít want visitors," Wolverine commented as he studied the door.

Scott fired an optic blast through the locking mechanism, severing the bolt. "Too bad." The door swung open and the three of them went through in a rush. Cannonball immediately blasted into the air, his fiery trail shedding much-needed light on the dim interior of the cavernous space.

The entire warehouse appeared to be filled with rows of equipment. Scottís gaze was drawn to the coffin-sized tubes filled with green liquid that were spaced evenly about the floor. Each was surrounded by a dizzying array of lines, tubes and computer screens. A technician standing beside one of the tubes looked up in alarm at their entrance. He didnít move, but his eyes grew wider as Scott and Logan approached.

"This is a restricted area. You should not be here," he said. To Scott, he sounded more bewildered than angry.

"Who are you?" Scott demanded.

"Edgar. Now, please, you must go."

"Why?" The guttural syllable from Wolverine sounded more like a growl than a word.

Edgar blanched slightly. "Because your presence here places you all in jeopardy."

Behind Edgar, Scott could see Psylocke and Iceman approaching. Rogue hovered silently above them, studying one of the cylinders. Something inside it thrashed suddenly and she jerked back in surprise.

Psylocke? he asked privately. She would have been scanning Edgar since she entered the building.

He is honestly concerned about our safety. She sounded puzzled. He considers us... valuable? Iím not sure if thatís exactly right. Heís very hard to read. Itís like heís not a real person. She paused. No, not real. Itís like heís not complete. There is absolutely nothing in his head that doesnít involve this lab.

What are they doing here?

Psylocke reached them, her strange gaze fastening on him over Edgarís shoulder. Take a look in one of the cylinders.

Scott moved over to look in the nearest one. There was something in there. Something humanoid, though it was hard to see through the murky liquid. But after a moment it turned, and its face floated close to the glass. Scott stared in surprise. It was a man in the tank, and he had Edgarís face.

Dana checked the flow on the I.V. one last time and then settled back with a sigh. She had done everything she could, given the situation. Jean watched her from the other side of the bed, the question on her face obvious.

Dana brushed the hair out of her face. "Iím not going to be able to tell you anything for a while, Iím afraid. My biggest concern is internal bleeding-without the proper equipment, I canít say how bad the damage might be." She caught Jeanís gaze and held it, trying to impress on her the seriousness of what she was saying. "If he starts to hemorrhage, he will probably die before we could get him to a hospital."

Jean lowered her eyes. "What is the chance of that happening?"

"I donít know."

Jean reached over to smooth a wrinkle in the sheet. "His temperature is still rising." Dana wasnít sure if she was deliberately trying to change the subject, or if she was truly that concerned about his fever.

"It will take the antibiotics a while to kick in. At the moment, though, heís not in any danger from that."

Jean shifted her position. "But we might be."

Dana blinked at the obscure statement. "What do you mean?"

"Remy tends to become very violent when heís delusional." She leaned forward to rest her elbows on her knees and twined her fingers together beneath her chin. "And given the highly destructive nature of his power, he becomes very dangerous as well."

"His power?" The blithe way Jean said that left her feeling a little apprehensive. "I take it those eyes and the ability to jump sixty feet without breaking a leg isnít the full extent?" She couldnít help the sarcasm that crept into her voice. Every scientific bone in Danaís body told her that these people couldnít possibly exist. There was no rational explanation for them or these "powers" Jean referred to so casually. But since they were right there, solid and real before her, Dana could find little grounds to argue. It was frustrating.

Jean responded with a tiny smile. "No. Remyís major power is called biokinetic charge."

Dana raised a skeptical eyebrow and Jeanís smile widened. "I donít know what it means, either. But in practical terms, it means he can blow things up just by touching them."

Dana had a momentary vision of the armored gate at the Turing-Rocheland facility exploding in violent ball of fire after being hit by the glowing objects Remy had thrown.

"Iíve seen that, I think," she said after a moment. "He threw something."

Jean nodded. "Probably a playing card."

Danaís gaze jumped involuntarily to Remyís face as the implications hit her. This man could turn a piece of cardboard into a weapon equivalent to a small missile? Jeanís concern about delirium was suddenly much more understandable.

"What... will you do?"

Jeanís expression was equivalent to a shrug. "I can contain the blasts in a kinetic bubble so that the building isnít damaged. But protecting both Remy and myself inside of that can be taxing."

The image her words conjured up was nothing short of frightening. Dana had seen these powers, had felt them. She had to accept their reality, no matter how impossible it seemed. Once again she wished Mulder could be there. This was the kind of thing heíd always dreamed of, and where Dana was frightened by the utter strangeness, Mulder would have embraced it without hesitation. She could just imagine his reaction had Jean lifted him down into that hangar. He would still be asking questions.

Jean was watching her curiously, and Dana tried to explain. "I was just thinking about-" It still hurt to say his name. "Mulder." Uncomfortable, she searched for a new topic before Jean could ask her any questions. Her gaze fastened on the ring on Jeanís left hand. "Youíre married?" She looked over at Remy.

Jean nodded. "Yes." Then she followed Danaís gaze and her eyes widened. "Oh. No. Goodness." She laughed, seeming somewhat embarrassed. "Yes, Iím married, but not to Remy," she explained after a moment.

"Oh." Dana wasnít certain what to say. She had completely misread them. "You just seem... close."

Jeanís smile softened as she looked toward the still form on the bed. "I guess we are. But itís not that kind of relationship."

Dana nodded and held her tongue. She was very curious, but she didnít know how to ask such a personal question without feeling like she was sticking her foot directly into her mouth. Jean didnít seem to notice as she stared at Remy. To Danaís surprise, she seemed to want to talk about it.

"I guess itís because we end up spending a fair amount of time alone together-usually when one of us is hurt." Her expression was distant. "Weíre pretty cautious whenever Remy is unconscious. He has a lot of skeletons in the closet, I guess, and they tend to jump out when weíre least expecting it." She idly twined a lock of hair around her finger as she talked. "Iím the only one who can really contain the damage, so I have to stay with him. Everyone else stays away so that I wonít have to protect them, too, which makes it easier on me. And Iíve overheard a few things that Iím pretty sure Remy hasnít told anyone else." She shrugged. "Given the circumstances, itís only right that I keep his confidence." She glanced briefly at Dana, then away. "In return, Remy always comes to visit me when Iím the one thatís down. Hank usually isolates me when Iím unconscious as well, for fairly similar reasons. I could blow out the minds of anyone in the vicinity, without ever knowing it."

Dana almost interrupted her, but bit her lip. As much as she wanted to ask what Jean meant by "blowing out" a mind, she had the feeling that the current topic was one she did not discuss easily, despite how much she seemed to want to.

"But Remy is... highly resistant to telepathy," Jean went on, apparently unaware of Danaís thoughts. "Heíll sneak in when Iím supposed to be in isolation and sit and talk to me. Or heíll steal the book Iím reading off my nightstand and read the rest of it to me. There were times I was trapped inside my own mind-I think I would have gone crazy if it werenít for Remyís voice."

She sighed softly and straightened. "I guess itís a kind of love, but itís not romantic." She made a helpless gesture, as if she were struggling to define the concept for herself as she explained it to Dana. "We just look out for each other. We... protect each other when each of us is most vulnerable."

Dana could only stare at her as the bottom dropped out of her heart. The words had brought into clear definition a feeling that had been haunting her. She had never been able to explain her feelings for Mulder-not to herself or anyone else. But there it was, laid out before her in perfect, luminous clarity. Relief swept through her as her uncertainty and confusion were abruptly resolved. I loved him, she thought in surprise.

 

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.