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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


Written by Monica Tamaru
Last updated: 01/02/2007 02:01:11 AM

Chapter 6

                Jean put her hand over his mouth and tilted her head towards the door. Light footfalls sounded on the thick carpet that lined the hall.

                “Ororo,” Remy breathed. He pulled the comforter back down, and they closed their eyes, pretending to be asleep. There was a soft knock on the door before it was opened. Ororo peeked in and shined her penlight towards Remy’s bed. She caught sight of Jean’s flaming tresses.

                “Jean, come with me. You can’t stay here,” she whispered, gently shaking the girl. Jean mumbled something incoherently before stumbling to her feet. Remy cracked open an eye, looked from Ororo to Jean and back again before turning on his side.

                Jean allowed herself to be led back to her room. Theresa had already moved back to her own room, so Ororo watched like a hawk as Jean snuggled into her own bed. When the door finally closed, Jean sat up wide awake. Time to get down to business, Jean thought as she began going through her drawers and packing things away. Neither of her roommates stirred.

                Remy did something that he hadn’t done in a long time. He was up and dressed by the time breakfast was served. He was waiting at the bottom of the main staircase, drumming his fingers on the banister. As the students began to drift towards the cafeteria, he moved against the wall, staring at the top. Everyone moved around him as if he didn’t exist. He was invisible. Just the way he liked it.

                “When are we leaving?” Jean asked from behind him. Remy turned to glower at her.

                “Why didn’t you come down the main stairway?”

                She shrugged. “I surprised you, huh?” A huge grin broke across her face. “Finally!”

                “Now is not the time for all of that. We’re leaving after breakfast. Are you packed up and ready to go?” He had a sour look on his face as they joined the steady stream of people into the cafeteria.

                “Yup.” They silently got food and found a table secluded in the back of the room. The noise floated all around them, but they didn’t speak another word. Jean was thinking about having to move around again. Just when she thought there would be some stability in her life, it was all crushed to pieces. Remy was trying to figure how they would drop out of sight. As far as he could tell, the school had agents everywhere. The first problem would be getting out of state. As the warning bell rang, Remy and Jean looked up at each other. Brown met green, and they knew that through everything else, they would be together.

                “Ready?” Remy asked, his mouth pulled into a grimace. His worn trench coat was around his shoulders although the day was warm. His black duffle was under one arm and Jean’s laptop was under the other. Jean had a black sweatshirt tied around her waist and her hair was tied up in a ponytail. She kept looking up nervously at Remy.

                “I guess so.” They walked nonchalantly out the door and straight towards the gate. Someone yelled at them to stop, but they simply walked a little faster. By the time they reached the gates, they were at a dead run.

                A yellow cab pulled up to the gate just as Remy jerked it open. As he realized that no one was chasing them, he slowed down. Then grinded to a halt. Jean slammed into his back.

                “We’re too late,” she moaned slumping against him.

                Erik Lensherr stood towering over his stepdaughter. He was a handsome man, with wavy silver hair and piercing blue eyes. Everything about him screamed money, class, and importance. He gave the kids a lazy smile, and reached towards Jean.

                They tore away from there as if they had the devil on their heels.

                Xavier grimaced as he watched Remy and Jean take off. The planning was almost perfect. If only they would have given him another couple of minutes…

                “Welcome, Erik,” he said warmly. “Let me show you to your suite.”

                Erik paused at the strain he detected in Xavier’s voice, but answered with a winning smile. He didn’t even notice as Scott and Logan took off after his stepchildren. As he lugged his bulging bags into the mansion, he congratulated himself on being so lucky. Claiming those little brats would gain him a small fortune.

                Scott and Logan were running the streets of New York, fast on Remy and Jean’s tail. They were headed to the heart of the city, and Logan was feverishly hoping they caught up to them before that happened. He refused to let the kids get the best of him again.

                Scott was wheezing at his side. “They gotta slow down, right? I mean, they can’t keep up at this pace, right?”

                Logan rolled his eyes as he stopped to look down the streets. “There! They went into that restaurant!”

                When they reached the entryway to the eatery, Jean and Remy were nowhere to be found. The local patronage barely looked up as Scott and Logan nearly broke the door trying to get in. The manager pulled himself out from behind the counter and sauntered over to them.

                “Party of two?” He scratched his belly and pointed to an empty table.

                “You see a couple of kids come through here?” Logan asked, glaring at the man.

                “Nope. Don’ like kids. Never ken pay.” He wasn’t intimidated. He leaned against the counter. A couple of the men nearby stopped what they were doing and looked up with interest. A huge man with bright orange hair stood in the back just in case he was needed.

                “We just saw them run in here,” Scott said evenly. The whole place was silent. The man took his time answering as he stepped back behind the counter.

                “We don’ have kids here.” His gaze was fixed on the security screen. A few seconds passed before he said, “Now you can check the place.”

                Logan and Scott looked at one another before racing out the door, hoping for a glimpse of them. There was nothing. They wandered around the area, checking down the various alleys and darkened doorsteps.

                “I know where they went,” a youth said hoarsely. He was a scraggly looking boy, with greasy black hair sticking out from under a beat-up baseball cap. He had a dirty yellow tee shirt on. Track marks scarred his arms.

                “Who are we looking for?” Logan asked cautiously. He didn’t really have time for the strung out kid to be messing with him.

                “The girl with the red hair and her brother. They used to hang around here all the time. I can tell you where they went – for a price.”

                Logan and Scott conferred.

                “He’s obviously high on something. I don’t think we can trust him,” Scott said. He didn’t want to give the boy money to use for drugs.

                “We need to grab those kids. If we don’t use his information, we’re screwed. Unless you have any better ideas, I’m using him,” Logan said stubbornly. He turned to the kid.

                “I’ll give ya fifty bucks…”

                Remy and Jean huddled on the bed in the motel. They were tired from running and tense from fear. The room was ugly. Paint hung in strips on the wall, the bathroom was more brown than white, and Jean was sure she saw something big and black scuttle into the wall. Remy had picked the lock to get in, and now they simply sat, too tired to do anything else. The window was pushed wide open, and they stayed close to it, ready to run at any second.

                Remy had his coat pulled tightly around him even though it was eighty degrees outside. His hair was in his eyes, but he didn’t notice. He stared straight ahead, though his head was angled toward the window, hoping he could catch any sound of the mess going on outside. His hands were playing with a beat-up deck of cards. He shuffled them over and over and over again.

                Jean sat beside him, her legs folded beneath her. Her hair was in a messy braid with an old baseball cap shoved over it. She sat perfectly still, scarcely breathing. Her mind was furiously thinking, though. Her face was scrunched up in concentration.

                “You think Tracks saw us?” Jean whispered the thing that had weighed heavily on both their minds for the past few minutes. She turned to face her brother.

                Remy didn’t answer, but his hands stopped moving.

                “You know, we should get out of here. He’ll know where we went. We should go to the arcade, the mall, anywhere else!” She was quickly losing her cool and began to rock back and forth.

                Remy nodded, and pulled her to the window. “You need to calm down. We’re going to go down the fire escape, and then split up. You head toward the street faire in Greenwich Village. I’ll meet you there in two hours.”

                Jean eyed him suspiciously. “What are you going to do until then?”

                “Get us a fucking way out of this mess.”

                Once they were safely down the fire escape, they quickly moved in opposite directions. It was time to play the waiting game.

                “Why aren’t you coming? Don’t you care that your roommate’s missing?” Kitty asked incredulously. They had just been introduced to Remy and Jean’s stepfather and told of their disappearance. Kitty was quickly changing and putting her school things away.

                Marie was lying on her bed, a book in front of her face.

                “They were on the streets for all those years, I’m sure they’re fine. If they wanted to stay here, then they wouldn’t have left,” she reasoned simply. “If they want to be here, then they’ll come back.” The book never wavered an inch from her face, her head never turned the slightest bit.

                “They could be hurt, or worse!” Kitty said, with growing frustration. She still didn’t know her roommate after all these years. She saw how different they were and wondered how it came to be.

                Marie was thinking the same thing. Kitty came from a well-to-do home, had never known want, or hunger, or betrayal. She also didn’t see beneath the surface. Marie had noticed that they never spoke about any other family. Having run away from home herself, she didn’t really wonder why.

                “They’re not hurt, they just don’t want to be here. Think about it for a second. They go from total freedom to all these rules. Yes, there is a price to total freedom, but to some people, it’s worth it.”

                “They just need to give it a chance. They’re just kids. Of course they need someone to look after them. I’m gonna go help,” Kitty said defiantly, stomping out of the room.

                Marie shrugged, and turned back to her book. You just can’t reason with some people.

                “I don’t know why I’m being dragged along,” Bobby whined. He flopped on his bed and threw a rolled pair of socks at his wall. “It’s not like I care if they’re gone.”

                Peter smiled. “I told you to enroll in the art class with me. Not only do I get out of this little trip, but I’m totally surrounded by pretty women.”

                Bobby glared. “That doesn’t help me now, does it?”

                Peter shrugged. “No, not really. Think of it this way, at least you get out of this place for a while. I swear they don’t want us to experience life outside these walls!”

                “Why do you think they ran away? You would think that they’d be falling all over themselves to stay here. I heard they were living in an alley up near Harlem.”

                “You just can’t tell about some people. Perhaps they just wanted to get out of here. Remy’s jumped the wall before. I don’t know what all the fuss is about. They’ll probably be back for dinner.” Peter was gathering his charcoals and paper.

                “Well, here I go. To the airport. My favorite place to spend an afternoon. At least I get out of Scott’s class later,” Bobby said glumly. “How the hell are they going to catch a plane? They don’t have any money.”

                I hope we don’t find them at all. Everything was just fine until they started poking into things! Maybe Xavier should take them to go see Starsmore…

                “Don’t worry, Kitty. Xavier is sure that they were headed this way. Just keep your eyes peeled,” Ororo said comfortingly. She patted the girl on the shoulder affectionately before taking off to the upper floor of the airport.

                They had just gotten word back from Scott and Logan that they had lost the trail. Xavier had lost his legendary cool and was screaming into the phone. Ororo and Hank quickly dropped what they were doing to help out. Classes had been cancelled and the school was left to Moira MacTaggert, the counselor, and Cece. No one said a word as the Mercedes pulled up to JFK Airport.

                Erik and Xavier went immediately to airport security and began asking about the kids. If it had only been that simple. Ororo had been walking around with a knot in her stomach ever since those kids had arrived. She personally believed that if they were lost forever, things would be for the better. After all, what could they know, and who would possibly believe them?

                Remy quickly headed toward Broadway. He was praying that M was sticking to her schedule. Nobody turned a head at the scruffy looking kid walking through the university. In the middle of the library at NYU sat Monet St. Croix eating an apple, a book in her face. She looked elegant in an ivory colored sweater and black slacks. She sat alone.

                “M, I’m in trouble,” he said, handing her a disk. He plopped down into a chair next to her.

                “That doesn’t surprise me. What’s this for?” she asked, pocketing the disk and marking her place in the book.

                “I need you to go through these files and see what they mean. If I’m right, it could show that the Xavier Institute is a front for some government agency.”

                “So what. I doubt anybody will care about that. People are used to the government hiding things.”

                “This time they’re using kids. People will care. Just do me a favor and go through these. Pull out the most convincing sources and send it to my mailbox.” He paused. “Oh yeah, and if you don’t hear from me every three days, assume the worst has happened and fucking go after those bastards. Get your father involved. I trust you, M.”

                Monet just stared at him. “Anything else you need, Rem?”

                “No. Just make it happen.” He pulled her into a desperate hug. He had a feeling he wouldn’t see her again for a very long time – if ever. She stroked his hair and murmurmed something comforting. He was her best friend. He was her only friend.

                Monet held him close. “Take care of Jeannie. And Remy.” He turned to face her. “Take care of yourself.”

                As he left, she gave a silent prayer for his safety, and then opened her book again.

                Jean was tired of wandering through the endless stands of jewelry, clothing and baked goods. She sat on the curb, trying not to get worried about how much time was passing. Nobody paid attention to her. She absently fingered a silver cross before moving on. She had been in a church once. It was snowing outside, and the doors were open. She and Remy fell asleep under one of the back pews until one of the clergy kicked them out. She decided then that God didn’t exist.

                “You ready to go?” Remy said from behind her. He fingered the cross as well, then lowered his head for a brief prayer. It was something the two had spent hours debating.

                “Yes. Finally,” she said, hiding the fact that he startled her. She was pretty sure he knew anyway. “Where are we going?”

                “To California.”

                “We got a lead on those kids you wanted,” a security officer told Xavier. They had been at the airport for hours with no luck. Xavier had sent Ororo and Kitty to the other airport an hour ago. “They took Greyhound to New Jersey.”

                “Thank you,” Xavier said between clenched teeth. Of course there were other ways out of he city, but he had been so sure they couldn’t leave. Unless they had help…

                Xavier pulled Erik to the side.

                “Call everyone together. Then we have to talk.”


                Once they were at the mansion, Erik and Xavier met over Scotch.

                “Who do they know out of the city?” Xavier asked.

                “Nobody I know,” Erik said, smoothly. “Well, they took care of my cousin’s kid for a little while, but she’s just a baby. They never told me what happened to her, and I didn’t really care. Still, they haven’t seen her in years. I’ve been watching them like you asked.”

                “Can we use her as bait?”

                “I don’t know. I don’t even know where she is. Like I said, they only watched her for a year at most, and then got rid of her.”

                “What’s her name?”



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