Nightmares and Monsters: part 14

by Misty

They all turned at the squeak of the door hinges. Several very apprehensive gazes aligned on the flurry blue man that entered shortly after. Hank took off his glasses and rubbed his tired eyes. Between worrying over Gambit in the infirmary and his constant work in the lab, he had only managed to sneak in a few hours sleep in as many days. It didn't look like he'd get the opportunity to nap any time in the near future either.

He sighed as he looked at the X-Men gathered in the War Room. "Well...he's still not awake so I can't make any guesses as to his mental condition... but physically everything seems to be working fine. Gene scans, x-rays, blood tests, they all match up with how his body functioned before save three noteworthy exceptions. First, our occasionally feral friends eyes have begun to change color, as Storm was gracious enough to notice. His normally blue eyes are now a rather bizarre shade of red with little blue swirls surrounding the pupils. I'd wager that in a short time, they will turn completely red. Second, the catscans are registering that he has an awful large amount of brain activity going on for someone who's just been 'resurrected'. He's thinking real hard about something folks, but I truly have no idea what it could be. I wouldn't suggest that the Professor or Jean attempt to telepathically contact him yet, however; they could hurt him more than help him. And last but certainly not least, Logan's life signs no longer register on any conventional equipment. The only things that worked at all are Cerebro, the Shi'ar equipment and just plain old-fashioned stethoscopes and eyesight. According to the standard 'non-alien' equipment Logan is legally dead. And yet his lungs and heart continue to function on his pre-established level. It's almost as if someone he was being purposely cloaked against any modest means of discovery...

"And that leads us to the million dollar question, my friends: why did Dark Riders take him at all? It has become clear that the "attack" on the girl was simply a fabrication to draw us out of the woodwork, as it were. But was the only reason for the ruse this sorry abduction? They had to know that we'd come for least to claim his body. I just can't see why they'd go through all this trouble!"

"Easy Hank," the Professor soothed. "When do you expect him to wake?"

Rubbing the bridge of his nose, Beast visibly pulled himself together. "Based on his previous rate of healing before his abduction? I'd reckon anywhere from twenty minutes to a half an hour. That is if we wakes up at all."

At that, everyone suddenly seemed to find something more interesting to look at than Hank and his worried expression. Silence rained in the room for several long minutes until the crack of Jubilee's gum broke the quiet.

"That's okay," she whispered to the arranged adults before her. "He'll wake up in ten, just to prove you wrong Blue..." Her trembling lips betrayed her steady tone and confident words.

"Oh, child." Storm hugged her tightly with her good arm and smiled encouragingly. "He will be fine, you'll see. Isn't he always?"

Jubilee grinned back. "Yeah... You're right 'Ro. Everything'll turn out cool."

"All right people." Cyclops stood and attracted their attention. "The way I see it we have two options. One, we stand around here, moping, waiting for Wolverine to wake up, or two, we can do something constructive. I say we 'question' our white-eyed guest down in the detention center. I'm willing to bet that she has some answers."

"Right," agreed the Professor. "Hank, you stay in the infirmary and notify us if there is any change. Cyclops, Jean, you join me in questioning the girl. Everyone else," his voice grew softer, "try to relax. I know that you're on edge, we all are, but there's no rushing these things. I want no waiting by the door or getting in Hank's way. That includes you too Jubilee. Relax. What happens, happens." And with that, he turned and headed out the door and into the hall.

As everyone the group began to dissipate, a certain teenager mumbling darkly, Rogue stopped Hank with a light touch on his arm. "Doc...uh, I know this is gonna sound shallow o' me what with Wolvie an' all, but...well, Ah didn't get a chance ta ask earlier.."

Beast chuckled warmly and patted her gloved hand. "It's all right Rogue, you don't need to ask. Remy is doing fine. Like his hirsute compatriot, he has not yet awoken but his wounds are on the mend."

With a sigh and a grin Rogue relaxed a great deal. "Thanks Doc. Ah'd appreciate it if ya'll let me know when he wakes up."

"Definitely my dear. You will be the first to know. Know, you'd better follow the Professor's orders and enjoy some sweet repose. You've had a very long couple of days."


Cyclops caught his wife's arm as they left the War Room and pulled her close. His voice was low, so that the others wouldn't hear. "Jean, are you all right?"

"I'm fine Scott, really."

"Jean...You've been completely unresponsive to your side of our link. What's wrong? Is it about Logan? Is that it? Are you worried that I won't understand how relieved you are that he's alive? That you feel for him-"

"No Scott, it's not that at all."

"Then what is it, honey? If I can help you I want to."

Jean's jaw twitched and a tear escaped her right eye and slid down her cheek. "You don't know Scott..."

"Then tell me. Please"

As words failed her Scott felt the golden curl that was her mind return to his thoughts. He repressed a sigh as she reset their mind link and mentally fed him what her stubborn, trembling lips could not.

I felt him DIE Scott. In my his. There's no way you can fake that...that horribly EMPTY feeling when someone close to you is gone. That little girl killed him, Scott, no matter what Hank's tests say otherwise. I don't know what that thing is you rescued, whether it's just a shell or something else, but I'm telling you it is NOT Logan!