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Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5

A Friend in Need - REVIEW THIS STORY

Written by Paws
Last updated: 01/05/2008 11:51:22 AM

Chapter 1

The wind whipped through the cables rattling them together like dead and dried bamboo stalks. It made him smile slightly, even as he watched the shallow ripples that it made in the ever spreading pool of blood in front of his face. His limbs were leaden, and he’d given up trying to get up minutes ago. At first he’d been surprised when Logan had just left him after getting what he wanted. Upon reflection he supposed that he couldn’t be bothered to finish a dying man. Why do a job that will be done for you? He sighed, painfully, coughing a bit, tasting the bright tang of blood on his tongue.

“Y’ get them, Stormy.” He breathed out and let his eyes drift shut.

The battle had become pitched a lot quicker than she’d expected, and in the opposite direction that they’d hoped for, despite being outnumbered as they were. Even with the power that she unleashed amongst them all, she was having a hard time holding them off. She turned to Angel, who was grounded out of necessity. “Get Colossus up. We’ve got to get out of here now. It’s only a matter of time before Sinister overcomes us with Emma’s shielding down.” She spared a look around as she sent a bolt of lightning spidering in front of her, lacking the time to take more precise aim at anyone. “Have you got any idea where Kurt took Logan?”

Warren kept one arm up, shielding his eyes from the debris that was whipped up. “No. I think they’d have to go outside though – he couldn’t risk teleporting blind in a place he doesn’t know, and they aren’t in the room.” He half shouted, in order to be heard over the winds. He knelt, shaking the prone man in front of him roughly, glad when he stirred. A smaller man he may be able to handle, but he doubted they could so much as budge him in this form.

“Get back. There is no point in continuing this fight; I can barely hold them back as it is.” She felt strong regret at not having gotten Rogue out, or the baby, but she had been an x-man too long to continue to waste time in a pointless venture. All it would do is get her or her teammates seriously hurt or killed. Well, more than they were already. “We have to reach the jet, and reach Emma by radio if we can’t re-establish the telepathic link. Hopefully she can pinpoint where they ended up. “

Piotr was able to pick himself up with a helping hand from Warren, the two of them fighting to stay afoot in the power of the winds, even as she kept the majority of them out front. A shock wave blast nearly caught her unaware as she watched to make sure that Piotr was ok. Cursing at her inattention, she threw herself to one side to avoid it. Rolling up into a kneeling position, she sent lightning at Arclight, grimacing as she realized that the palm of one hand was bright red with blood. Sparing a glance over she realized the source was a slumped figure a few feet from her, half hidden in some shadows and wires. When she could spare another moment to take more than a glance, she realized that it wasn’t Kurt or Logan, but that did little to ease her.

“Oh bright Goddess.” The amount of blood pooled beneath him made her wonder if he was even alive. His eyes were bare slivers, not fully closed but still unseeing, his mouth slack. So many conflicting emotions ran through her, but no matter what he had done, she still couldn’t turn from him. “Warren! I need your help!”

He turned back, questions written across his handsome face, as he fought to keep his wings tucked against him in the maelstrom.

“I can’t carry him.” She gestured at the prone figure. “You and Pio...” She was cut off by his snarl.

“Leave him here. He’s made his choices.” Warren had already turned back.

“You know I cannot!” She sent another focused gust at the nearest marauder. “If you will not help, then I must. I will not leave him here.”

“You can’t honestly be thinking about jeopardizing yourself for this traitor! I may have tolerated him after Antarctica, but I think that siding against us with both Apocalypse and Sinister would be enough to see where his true nature lies.” Warren was fuming now, a face that she knew well.

She was spared when Piotr turned back, and pushed the cables aside reaching out for Gambit.

Warren turned his attention off her, but she could still hear him arguing even as they continued backing up, but her main focus had to be on the ones in front of her.

“This is crazy! We’re getting wasted down here and we’re going to risk being captured or killed for him?” Warren paused for a significant moment. “Or for his body!”

“It is her choice, and she will jeopardise herself if I do not. We will take him.” Piotr’s voice rumbled through, pragmatic as he often was, and she thanked him for it, even as her heart bled to match the stain still on her hand.

There was another large blast that broke off chunks of the ceiling above them, peppering them with bits of metal and concrete. She dimly could hear snatches of what Sinister was yelling at his team, something rather uncomplimentary by the sounds of it, involving the idiocy of bringing the whole complex down on all of them. The less than unified front gave her the gap that she had been looking for, and she turned to run.

Warren led the way up the ramp, firing up the engines and starting to close the ramp as she followed Piotr up it. She had no time to pause as he knelt down, laying the body to the floor of the jet. She was tossed in her seat as the jet was rocked by a blast. “Radio Emma. I’ll take us up.” She commanded Warren, flipping switches with desperation, knowing that they wouldn’t be able to withstand much longer of the beating that they were taking from outside. Warren was helping as much as he could with readying the jet, even as he talked with Scott over the com.

With a shuddering groan, the blackbird finally lifted, the rending screech of large chunks of debris sliding off her hull making her teeth grit, and hope that nothing was punctured or vitally damaged.

“Emma says that they are about a mile east. She says that we have to hurry.”

“I am hurrying.” She snapped out uncharacteristically. Taking a deep breath, she nodded to Warren as she turned the nose of the jet in the right direction. “Can she tell us when we’re over them?”

“Yes.” He paused for the moments that it took to fly out. “Here. She says take it down here.”

She did so, hoping that she wasn’t burying them in the back drifts of snow that were kicked up as she set it down. “Where are they?”

Warren was already up out of his seat, a somewhat glazed look over his face as he stumbled to the rear. After this many years, she recognised the look of someone having an internal conversation well.

‘Quite so’. The carefully modulated British tones of Emma slid across her inner ear. ‘You merely had to get out of the range of Sinister for me to pick you up again.’

‘What happened? I thought that you were supposed to keep him from having contact in the first place?’ She touched Piotr’s shoulder, her gaze carefully avoiding the figure on the floor, stilling the air before them all as she stepped off of the plane, her eyes seeking darker forms against the stark white.

‘You are really feeling entirely too catty for someone in your position, Storm.’ A small pause. ‘They are about one hundred feet ahead. It wouldn’t do for me to set you right on top of them now, would it? As for the rest of it, there were some unforeseen complications. We are dealing with it. I cannot imagine how you all managed to survive without my support this long, if this is how your missions went.’

She didn’t bother sending an acknowledgement back, instead surging ahead. Warren was the first to reach them, bending over Kurt as Piotr took Logan. She let out a slight gasp at the spreading pink of the snow under Kurt, and Logan...she couldn’t remember many times that she’d seen him this injured. ‘We’ll need medical help.’

‘I’m aware of the situation. I’m already spiking their adrenaline centers.’ A sense of irritation flowed along their connection. ‘Just bring them in quickly. You haven’t much time.’

The men had already picked up their burdens, Warren cradling Kurt as Piotr slung one of Wolverine’s arms over his shoulder, the tall Russian while still looking somewhat unsteady himself. She tore her cape off, pressing it to the wound on Kurt’s shoulder even as she walked beside Warren. “There has been too much blood-shed today and it was all for nothing. Sinister still has Rogue and the child.”

“No, he doesn’t.” Logan’s voice - harsher than usual - cut through her train of thought. “At least not the kid. Cable’s got her.”

“Nathan?” She spared him a glance, balling up more of her cloak to press more of it over the already saturated bit of cloth. “But I thought he was supposed to be dead?”

“You of all people should know that no one around here stays dead darlin’, especially not someone of that stock.” He rasped out, his boots rattling unevenly up the ramp behind her and Warren. A low growl brought her eyes back to meet his again. “Do you want to explain why there’s a half dead crawfish on board?”

“He’s alive?” She thought that Warren had said something about a body – she’d buried her grief, and gone on with what was necessary, feeling at least she could give him a decent burial rather than having him end up on a dissection table.

“Not for long. It’s not a mistake that I’m planning on making twice.” She could hear the snick of his claws releasing, even though she knew that he had to be in great pain with his healing factor disabled.

“No Logan.” She left Kurt to the care of Piotr, moving to block the two remaining men. She stared him down for a long moment, the burnt and blistered skin of his body adding to the frightfulness of his expression. She held her place though, her face immobile.

“If you don’t want to watch me gut him, fine. But toss him outside to rot with the rest of them. He’s made his choices ‘Ro, and they weren’t to stick by us.”

She took another step forward. “He is my...” She was going to say brother, but was he anymore? She didn’t know what she felt. Remy had stood by her, been her closest confidant for so many years, but he’d not even spoke to her before he’d left for Apocalypse. Just the fact that he’d left willingly...it was all too confusing. Then to rejoin the marauders, after everything that he’d gone through for that – everything he’d done in the past with them.

‘Well isn’t this nice. Shall I pour you all a cup of tea for your chat? Would you like earl grey or orange pekoe? Cream? No? ’ Sarcasm dripped from each syllable. ‘I’m currently trying every neuro-chemical trick that I have up my sleeve to keep Nightcrawler from bleeding out from that wound in his shoulder. I suggest that you do not further test my skills, even as a gesture of faith in my competence.’

Logan’s gaze slid past her to Kurt as she looked to Warren with a command to start taking them up. She turned back to one of her best friends in the mansion. “We don’t have time for this Logan.”

“Fine. “ The word was ground out, more a snarl than not. “Doubt he’ll make it anyway.”

She breathed in a sharp breath of relief, watching as Logan settled beside Piotr, ignoring his own pain to start field dressing Kurt’s shoulder. The jet shook as they lifted off, a long line of blood trailing down the floor as the nose was pointed upwards, Warren fighting to gain them as much altitude quickly as he could to avoid more conflict with the marauders. The air was thick with it; Kurt moaning slightly as Logan packed gauze into his wound.

So it was left to her then to save Gambit, if she could.

Retrieving the other med kit, she knelt beside the still and pale form, rolling him over as she stripped his coat from him best as she could. The fabric of his Kevlar was soaked, and gave unpleasant sucking noises as she cut it off of him. What could stop bullets hadn’t come close to stopping the three neat holes that pierced his chest through, frothy bubbles rising from the topmost wound as he took shallow, barely visible breaths. His lung is punctured: her training supplied as she watched the bubbles, even as she realized there was no way that it couldn’t be with the placement of the wounds. Tearing open the package of gauze she paused one long moment as her hand hovered over his labouring chest. Am I just being selfish in trying to save him?

She pressed her hand resolutely downwards, ripping another package open with the help of her teeth as she continued to apply pressure with the other. What reason she was doing it for didn’t matter. She had to try.


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