Thicker than Blood: Chapter 2-4

by 2280

Claire walked into the conference room, the cloths she took from a traveler yesterday were a bit big on her slight frame, but they were easy to move in so she could make a quick get away if she needed to. She slimed her jacket over her slacks before she moved into the crowd looking for her prey.

Both mutant and FOH alike were in the room, each observing an invisible barrier in the center of the room. If not to make the event run smoothly then because of the massive attack team positioned outside the building ready to stop any trouble that would erupt from inside the room. A resentful peace had been established, if only within these walls for only this day. Claire, who was not used to being around this many people felt slightly out of her element. She looked through the sea of faces to see if she could see anything important. However her 5-foot frame did give her a good vantage point, giving her a view of shoulders instead of faces.

"This is fucking great. I wonder if this could possibly get any more difficult?" She closed her eyes and let her senses take control. She inhaled deeply, taking in the scents of the room. She was almost overpowered by the smell of so many different colognes and perfumes, however there were underlying scents beneath them. She inhaled again focusing on those smells. Many of the people here were anxious, some even fearful. It hung in the air like an overpowering inscence. She could smell gunpowder somewhere in the room, someone was packing, but it would be almost impossible to tell whom in such a large room. Besides, as long as they weren't shooting at her she didn't care. She couldn't find a scent that she remembered, but that didn't surprise her. Suddenly she realized that someone was walking up to her.

"You ok petit? You don' look so well."

Claire turned her head the right and looked at the questioner. He was tall, she came up to his chin. He was about to lay a hand on her shoulder until she looked at his hand and then back at him and he withdrew it.

"I'm fine."

"You sure, cause you sure look like you was gonna tip over there for a secon'. Maybe you should go and get some air, no?"

The annoying man gave her a peculiar look, his eyes fixed on her face. There was something about him that gave her pause.

"I'm fine, really," she said more gently this time. "I guess the tenseness of the room is just getting to me. It looks like things could erupt any second." As she spoke she glanced around the room. People from the FOH gave him no notice, but several people on this side of the room were looking at him. A slender red-head who was standing next to the stage was watching him while she kept glancing at her watch, a tall broad shouldered man with a strong nose glanced at the man next to her before returning his attention to the woman with an odd white patch in her hair.

"Yeah, this is a less than welcoming place, can tink of a lot of other places I would rather be."

"I wouldn't miss this for the world." A slow smile spread across her face. "How much longer before it starts?"

"I tink dat it start in about ten minutes."

Shit, that doesn't give me a lot of time, she thought to herself. She scanned the room again but could find no sign of him.

"So, do you have a name?"


"A name? Do you have one?"

Claire looked at him suddenly, unsure of his intentions. "Why?"

The man simply smiled at her, " I like to know who I'm talkin to when I'm wid a beautiful woman such as yourself."

Claire almost snorted, but held it back deciding to play along. " Well aren't you a terrible flirt," she said raising an eyebrow at him.

The man chuckled, "Dats the only ting dat I'm terrible at chere."

"Really? Well then you can call me Wildfire."

"Wildfire? That's an unusual name chere, how did you get that?"

She turned to face him and crooked her finger at him so he bent down and she whispered into his ear, " Because I burn hotter than anything else you've ever come across. You can't put me out, you can't control me, so the best thing to do is get out of my way and hope you don't get hurt."

Before the man could reply he was yanked back from behind.

"Come on Gumbo, this show is about to start. Quite playing around."

When Claire straightened she was looking right in the face of the man she came to find. To her credit she didn't give any reaction, instead she looked at him taking in his pointed hair, his blue eyes, and more importantly his scent. The man simply nodded to her before he turned to walk towards the stage, the man she had been talking to her turned and smiled apologetically.

"Sorry chere, duty calls. Perhaps we will see each other again?"

"Count on it." She said with a small smile.

He gave a momentary pause before he smiled in return. "Until next time."

Chapter 3

She had stood next to the wall for the better part of two hours, preferring to be near the perimeter of the room that an easy target in the center. The two people on stage had been 'debating' for the better part of two hours. Debating very loudly in fact so they could be heard over the din of the crowd. It was starting to give her a headache, and she was getting decidedly cranky. She wanted to rip the throat out of the guy next to her who had been bumping into and muttering under his breath for most of the debate, but decided that it would defiantly go against her stay inconspicuous plan. Instead she watched
him and the people he interacted with. He walked amongst the crowd, talking to people he knew here and there, but he kept coming back to the redhead. They would bow their heads together and talk, obviously they were very close. She started watching the redhead too, to see what she did to see if she could predict her actions. There was a roar from the crowd and the guy next to her started muttering again. Claire gritted her teeth as the redhead walked though a side door next to the stage, and returned a few minutes later, she was holding her hand to her ear and talking.

"She must be wearing a mike." Claire muttered to herself.

"What was that?" The guy next to her inquired, only to receive a dirty look in reply. "Geez, sorry. . ."

Claire walked past him and slowly walked towards the door, once she was sure no one was looking she slipped inside. The other side contained a hallway with doors lining the hallway. She slipped into the first doorway and waited.

Jean sighed as she nodded to Logan and started towards the door. The debate was loud, and she could feel the fear and hatred from everyone in the room. This wasn't going as well as it could, but it wasn't going as bad as expected either. She didn't have the heart or stomach for this, right now. She leaned against the door as she closed it, she wished that Scott was still here. Before no matter how bad it got it would be bearable, because they would face it together; but now he was gone. He had left her to face things alone, and frankly she didn't know if she was up to it.

"You ok Red?" Logan's voice rang in her ear through the ear piece.

"Yeah," she sighed, " just taking a breather for a second. I'm on my way to see what is wrong outside. I'll be back soon."

"I'm counting on it darlin'. Over and out."

Jean stood up and started walking down the hall, but suddenly she stopped. As she peered down the hall she knew that something wasn't right.

"Is anyone there?" Suddenly she sensed something behind her, and as she turned she felt something hit her in the side of the face, hard. She hit the ground stunned. She looked up to see a small woman with long brown hair standing above her.

"Only us ghosts sweety," was all she said as she swung the makeshift wooden club down at her. Jean didn't even have time to call out before it hit her and then there was only darkness.

Logan looked at his watch again, it had been 30 minutes and Jean hadn't come back yet. He was starting to get worried. He looked around him and saw Peter and nodded his head towards the door, indicating to the Russian that he was leaving for a second. The Russian nodded in return before returning his eyes to the stage. Logan pushed his way through crowd fighting the urge to grab the nearest member of FOH and throttle them for what they had done to Jubilee, but he knew that wouldn't do any good and possible cause the kid more hurt than anything else. She didn't need that now, especially from him. He sighed heavily as he opened the door and stepped into the hallway. The closed door shut out some of the racket allowing him to think. He started walking towards the street, but paused when he smelt something. Two scents, one was Jeans, the other was vaguely familiar but he couldn't place it. Either way who ever the owner was they didn't belong back here.

"Jean?' he spoke into the mike on his wrist.

Only silence answered him. His eyebrows drew together over his head.

"Jean? Can you hear me?"

"Sorry," a soft harsh voice answered him, "Jean can't come to the headset right now, she's - tied up - at the moment; but if you leave a message at the beep she'll be sure to get back to you. Beep."

"Listen asshole, I don't know who you are, and I don't really care. But if you don't tell me where Jean is right now you are in for a whole world of pain!" Logan growled into his mike.

"Big words, lets see if you can back them up. I've got your queen, your move, lets see if you can get her back." The voice cut off and then there was nothing but static.

"Damnit!" Logan slammed his fist into the wall next to him. After he gained control he spoke into his mike. "Nate?"

"Yes Logan?"

"We have to leave, there's a situation."

'Logan, we can't just leave in the middle of this, what if a battle breaks out."

"It's Jean."

". . .I'm on my way."

Chapter 4

Nate and Logan stood at the base of a building near the shore. It was old and about ten stories tall. From the looks of it it hadn't been used for anything in years. It was a perfect place to take someone you kidnapped.

'You sure this is the place Summers?"

"Yes, her signature is coming from the top, it's weak so she must be hurt."

'For whoever did this's sake they better pray she's ok. You got a way to get up there?" Logan turned to look at the man next to him. His white hair and technoorganic arm standing out in the moonlight.

Nate looked at him, " do I have to do everything?"

"Why do you think that I brought you along? Your charming personality?"

With a snort Nate used his telekinesis to lift them off of the grounds and bring them up to the roof. Logan's eyes narrowed as he spied someone sitting on the ledge of the other side.

"I was wondering when you were gonna get here." The voice from the transmitter called out.

"Sorry to keep you waiting."

"Not a problem."

"You go find Jean, I'm gonna deal with her."

"She's in the pigeon coup, she should be fully awake soon, Nate is it?" The girl across the roof called as she pointed to her left. Nate nodded but didn't move, so the girl simply shrugged her shoulders and turned back to Logan.

"So how you gonna deal with me?"

" I can think of a lot of ways girl, and none of 'em are pretty." He popped his claws out of his hands. With her distracted Nate moved towards the chicken coup to see if Jean was inside.

"Come now, is that anyway to greet me?" The girl started walking towards him, as the breeze shifted he caught her scent.

"If you think I'm gonna greet you any other way your crazy." The girl simply nodded. She was close enough for him to see a bitter smile on her face.

"If I had a dollar for everytime someone said that."

'That they weren't happy to see you?"

"That I'm crazy." She stopped two arm spans away from him.

"Yer the girl that Gumbo was talking to." The girl simply nodded, "What do you want with Jean?" He growled.

The girl raised one thin eyebrow, "Jean? I don't want anything with her ."

Logan's eyes narrowed dangerously, "Then why'd ya take her? Think long and hard girl, this answer could save you or bury you."

She simply looked at him for a moment, and then she started laughing. It was a hard harsh laugh. "You can't kill me Logan, hurt me perhaps, but never kill me. As for Jean I took a guess that she was the easiest way to get your attention. Guess I was right."

"That you were, now the question is now that you have it what you gonna do with it?"

Nate flung open the door of the chicken coup to find Jean lying inside. He picked her up and brought her out. As he set her down and started to untie her bonds she started to stir.

"Don't move Jean, you look like you've taken a blow to the head. Just lie still, Logans taking care of her." Nate brushed his hands over her hair as her eyes focused on him.

She turned her head to see a girl walking towards Logan who was standing in a fighting stance with his claws out. "Wha. . What is she doing?"

Nate looked at the scene before them, "not sure Red, but I know full grown men who wouldn't approach Logan when he's like this, gotta give her credit, the girl has balls."

"Nathen," She grasped his arm, "you have to stop him before he does something he'll regret!"

They both turned when they heard her laughing, and saw Logan slowly getting ready to attack.

"Sorry Jean, I'm not getting in the middle of that."

They both watched as Logan leapt towards the girl and caught her in the chest, "You have to Nate! You don't understand, she's. . ."

Logan caught her full in the chest, but she was ready, she used his momentum against and flipped him over her, rolling and landing neatly on her feet while he flew to the ledge of the building.

"Come now, that just in poor manners. Is that anyway to treat family?"

"I don't have family girl." Logan said as he got to his feet.

"Really? Are you sure? Funny how a man missing most of his life can make such a statement isn't it?" She sneered at him. "Not that it matter much, you won't be around long enough to figure it out anyway."

She suddenly leapt into the air and attacked him, he heard Jean cry out to him.

"Logan! DON"T!"

But it was too late and he knew it, his arms were already up as she conveyed the truth of the girls statement to him. His eyes widened as he felt the impact of her body hit him and felt the blood pour out of the wounds were he punctured his chest. He tried to pull back, but she held on and their force carried them over the ledge of the building. He looked up at her as they were falling, she was having trouble breathing but she didn't look away from his eyes. The entire way down her bright blue eyes held his in their intent glare and he realized his mistake. However he didn't have time to contemplate his mistake because hi body hit the water and darkness consumed him.