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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 8

                Ororo glared at the crying girl sitting beside her. Mothering instincts were foreign to her and she resisted the urge to slap the child.

                “Quiet, girl! Why are you crying?” She edged away from the child.

                “Y’re a liar! Y’ said I can see Jeannie!” Emma managed to glare up at Ororo as huge crocodile tears leaked down her face.

                “Jean is at my house. I told you that, child. Now be quiet.” Emma frowned at her, assessing her words. She finally decided to give Ororo a little more time and began to explore the limo. She pushed all the buttons beside her.

                “Stop it!” It was going to be a long day.

                Emma smiled angelically while spinning the radio knobs. Ororo sat and glowered.

                Jean and Remy stood at the school’s gates, waiting to be buzzed in. They stood hand in hand when the gates swung open. It was David vs. Goliath, the Yankees vs. the Mets. It was going to be a long shot if they were to succeed.

                Xavier walked slowly down the path, a smile plastered across his face, his hands fisted at his sides.

                “Welcome back. I hope your trip was good. I hear the weather in San Francisco is lovely this time of year.” He clamped a hand on each of their shoulders and led them quickly to his office. Some of students snickered as they were marched across the property.

                “Where is she?” Remy squirmed out of Xavier’s grasp once the door was closed and glared at him.

                “She’s safe.” He calmly walked around to the other side of his desk and settled into his chair. “And she will remain safe as long as you agree to a couple of base rules.”

                Jean and Remy stood side by side, looking ready to take on the older man. “What d’ y’ want?” Remy gritted out.

                He simply smiled. “Erik was right. You came quickly enough.”

                “T’at man stays away from us.”

                “You listen closely, child. I am going to tell you what is going to happen. You will rejoin your classmates, you will say nothing about what happened in the time you were gone, you will obey the rules of this house.” Xavier stood now, his eyes cold and hard. “Do not think that I will hesitate to deal with you with whatever it takes to bring you to heel.”

                “T’at man stays away from us,” Remy repeated evenly, not breaking eye contact with Xavier.

                “Stay above ground, and that should be no problem. Do you understand the terms?”

                Remy gave a curt nod.

                “Ororo, bring in the Frost girl and call the parents,” Xavier said into the speakerphone.

                Jean had felt sick with every word that came out of Xavier’s mouth. They weren’t going to be handled gently anymore. She felt herself shaking slightly, half from exhaustion, half from fear.

                The door swung opened and a frazzled Ororo was dragging a skipping Emma through the door. The sight of the little blonde girl was enough to make Jean sit down. The pent-up breath came whooshing out.

                “Jeannie!” Emma squealed, running into her open arms. Jean grinned and enveloped Emma in a huge hug. Emma gave her a quick kiss on the nose, and giggled as Jean tugged on a curl. Emma then wriggled away from her and threw herself at Remy.

                “Remy!” He was a little surprised at finding Emma crawling all over him. Quickly taking control, he lifted her and balanced her on his hip. She buried her face in Remy’s neck and played with his long auburn hair.

                “As you can see, she’s fine. Her parents will come pick her up. The whole incident will be blamed on you, of course. But of course, they’ll be forgiving because of your mental problems.” Xavier looked amused as Emma trying to get Remy to listen to her. He was diligently trying to listen to Xavier and Emma at the same time. It was too much.

                “We don’t have any mental problems.”

                “That’s not how I’m going to explain it.” Remy scowled.

                “Jeannie, come take Emma up t’ your room until her parents come,” Remy said, his voice bland. Emma gave him a sticky kiss on his cheek, then skipped over to Jean and grabbed her hand. Jean gazed worriedly back at him, but moved quickly to get Emma out of the office.

                “Y’ know what Jeannie? ‘Ro let me watch TV in de car, an’ I listened t’ music and had ice cream. I had fun, but I wanna go home now. Will y’ come wit’ me? I miss y’.” Emma was skipping down the hall, oblivious to the curious stares she elicited.

                “I miss you, too, Em. Come see my room. We’re going to take a small nap.” She pulled the little girl along quickly. Jean marveled over how much Emma had grown.

                Emma pouted briefly. “Okay. Then we can play? You can be the queen.”

-------------------- 5 Years Ago --------------------

Jean was tugging on her hair, furiously thinking away out of her current dilemma. Ever since Aunt Carrie died and Emma came to live with them, Jean had been trying to figure how to get the little girl out of the dysfunctional home.

“Are you lost, little girl?” The pretty lady smiled down at her. Jean was sitting on the cans of soda, waiting for Remy to finish the grocery shopping.

“No, ma’am. I’m just waiting for my brother.”

The lady had deep blue eyes that sparkled when she smiled. Her blonde hair hung straight down her back and white linen was draped across her body. Jean could tell that the lady was trying to look casual, but everyone could see the refinement in the way she held herself.

“Call me Sarah. It’s nice your brother is shopping for your mama. I’ve always wanted a child.” She sounded wistful and Jean felt sorry for her.

“You look like Emma. She has yellow hair and blue eyes, too,” Jean said frowning. They had a baby, this lady wanted a baby. It seemed so simple.

“Who’s Emma?” She took a seat next to Jean, ignoring the curious glances that were being thrown their way.

“My cousin. She’s with Remy right now.” Jean scooted a little closer to her. It seemed like forever since she’d had a woman to talk to. Jean began to ask a million questions to find out as much as she could.

“Jean, what are you doing?” Remy asked sharply, pulling her away from Sarah.

“Just talking with Sarah. Are you all done?”

 Sarah looked surprised when she was introduced to Remy. She had been expecting someone older. She opened her mouth to ask them why they were alone with the baby, but Remy cut her off.

“We need to go now. Take Emma, Jeannie.”

Sarah Frost watched as they sped to the checkout line and sighed.

“You need to be more careful about who you talk to. If they find out that Erik’s only in the house a couple of days a week, they’re going to take us away and split us up!” Remy scolded, putting the food into the fridge.

“I know, I’m sorry, but she was so nice.” she paused. “I think we should consider her for Emma.”

Remy was silent. He knew that they couldn’t take care of her, but somehow Emma had wormed her way into his heart. It had taken him a while to consider finding another home for her. Erik chasing him through the house with a garden rake had helped speed that decision along. They had compiled a small list of potential adoptive parents. Remy was going to make a decision as quickly as possible.

“I’ll check her out.”


                Emma snuggled next to Jean and yawned delicately. A small nap would be okay. She ordered Jean to leave the lamp on, though. She was afraid of the dark.

                “You are out of options. You are out of deals,” Xavier said, his voice cold. The door opened and the rest of the teaching staff walked in, followed by Erik and some people that seemed vaguely familiar. They surrounded Remy, their faces set.

                “This is Warren Worthington, the Third. He is head of Worthington Enterprises. They have been spotlighted in the media recently for their monetary support of presidential candidate, Graydon Creed. Sean Cassidy runs our senior school in England. He used to be head of security in the CIA. Raven Darkholme is the current president’s aide. She was in Congress for the eight years prior to her current position.”

                Since he didn’t pay attention to politics, and since they didn’t have a TV, Remy didn’t care too much. Ignoring the others, he asked Xavier, ”Impressive. What do you want from us? Once Emma is gone, there won’t be anything left to use a leverage.” He pushed down the panic he felt from the people crowding around him.

                “You know what I require. Just help us, and we’ll help you. I know how hard it was trying to keep Jean safe. Now you don’t have to worry. We’ll take care of everything.”

                Remy found himself lost in Xavier’s eyes. He couldn’t break away, and soon he found that he didn’t want to.

                “Non. Y’re doin’ somethin’…” Remy closed his eyes and leapt toward Xavier, a cheap knife clutched in his grasp. Before he could cross the expanse of the desk, he found himself being held back by the others.

                “Now, Remy, this isn’t at all what I had in mind.” Xavier sounded amused. He grasped Remy’s chin and made him look up at him. “Pay attention. We’re going to go up and get the Frost girl. Her parents should be here any minute. Then you are going to tell your sister to behave. Now, drop the knife.”

                Remy’s mouth dropped open in shock as the knife fell from his fist. The more he stared into those sharp blue eyes, the more he forgot to be surprised. A minute more, he stopped struggling.

                “Come along.”

                Jean looked at her brother, then back to Xavier. There was something strange in the way Xavier was smiling. And the way Remy didn’t even glance toward Emma. She decided to find out what happened in the office later.

                “The Frost’s are here. You will give Emma over, and then apologize for causing them grief. You have two minutes to say your good-byes.” Xavier pushed Remy into the room and closed the door.

                “Remy?” Jean asked softly. His eyes seemed unfocused and he was trembling slightly. She lightly placed her hand on his arm. He turned to her.

                “Jeannie? We’re supposed to be good now.” His voice was faraway, as if he wasn’t even aware he was speaking.

                “They drugged you!” Jean pulled him over to the bed and had him sit down. Remy lay down, and closed his eyes immediately. “Don’t move from here. I’m going to give Emma back to the Frost’s.”

                “Y’re ‘posed t’ apol’gize.”

                “Okay,” Jean soothed. She picked up the sleeping girl and started to leave the room.

                “We can’t run anymore.” His voice was sad and tired.

                Jean stared hard at him. “I’ll be right back. Try to remember what happened.”

                “Mommy!” Emma squealed, untangling herself from Jean to run to Sarah Frost. Jean felt a pang of loss as she looked from mother to daughter.

                “Thank you for bringing my baby back to me,” Sarah gushed. Tears brimmed in her eyes. She ignored the hard looks from her husband. “If you ever need anything, don’t hesitate to ask.” She stared at Jean, looking for a sign.

                Jean opened her mouth to speak, but Xavier forestalled her.

                “Jean’s father has enrolled her and Remy here to resume their studies.” He didn’t like the way Sarah was looking at Jean. At least her husband had the good sense to listen to him.

                “Come give me a hug goodbye, Princess,” Jean said softly. Emma bounced to her and gave her a big hug and a wet kiss on the cheek. “Come see me again.”

                “Where’s Remy?” Emma demanded.

                “Upstairs resting. Remember, you said goodbye upstairs.” Emma pouted, but went back to her mother. Jean watched as the small family left before running upstairs.

                “As you see, my method is full proof. Throughout the day, I will bring in some of my hardest clients and you can see for yourself how well it works.” There was polite applause and Xavier smiled. He was so close to having it all. “For lunch we will retire to the lower levels and Hank will bring you up to date on the Legacy virus.”

                “How long does it last?” Warren asked. He looked as if he had walked out of a catalog. His blonde hair perfectly swept back, his blue eyes had a mischievous look. It all belied the truly hard and cruel way he approached life.

                “That should last maybe an hour. The more sessions someone has, the longer it lasts. I will introduce some of the senior staff and they should enlighten you a bit more. Come now, let me lead you to the labs.”

                “He did something to my mind. I don’t remember much, but I was looking into his eyes, and they seemed to glow bright and I heard a voice that seemed to pound into my head, then nothing.” Remy was pacing the room when Jean got up there.

                “They’ll be watching us like hawks now,” Jean said, lying back on the bed. “Does M know what’s going on, yet?”

                “No, but she’s working on it. We just need to lie low for a little bit. Xavier messed with my head, and maybe he believes it would last longer than it did.”

                “I don’t like the idea of hanging around. Someone with that—skill—is exceptionally dangerous.”

                Remy sighed. “I know that, but like you said, we’re being watched. We’ll leave as soon as we can. Try to avoid being alone with that man. Otherwise, call me if you need me. I gotta go.”

                “Stay out of trouble, Rem.”

                “Always, Jeannie.” He winked at her before exiting the room. Jean wasn’t comforted by his agreement. She shook her head before racing after him.

                Logan growled at the message left by Xavier. Prepare section 023. He hated going into that place. Something about it gave him the creeps. Or maybe it was the somebody.


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