X-men Evolution Fan Fiction / X-Men Fan Fiction ❯ BurnOut ❯ Chapter 9 ( Chapter 9 )
[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
He was floating on his back. His splayed wings must provide additional buoyancy, she figured. Angela rolled off the boat into the water. Paddling with one arm and towing a life-vest in the other, she swam alongside his lean, muscular form. He certainly looked like he fell from Heaven. What was he doing here and why had he fallen? He was breathing, she was relieved to discover, but it sounded shallow and labored. She lifted his head and placed the life-vest around his neck. As she quickly tied the rope attached to the stern around his waist and the part of his back where his wings attached, she longed to let her movements linger into caresses.
After being towed the short distance back to the landing, the angel-man appeared to be stable. Angela pulled up under his arms to lift him onto the wooden platform. His eyelids twitched. He awoke.
“It's all right now,” she said, leaning over him.
He got up on his elbows and started to raise himself. Angela backed away as he unfurled his wings to their full extent. The alarmed expression on his face betrayed his fear.
His voice sounded shaky, “Where is this?..” He staggered.
Preston rushed over and steadied him. He leaned into her as she led him to the vacant cottage next to the one she shared with Toby. Most years the house would have been rented, but this summer fewer people had come to Devil's Lake. Finding it unlocked, she helped the limping, half-conscious Angel inside. After guiding him to the larger of the two beds, she watched him lie down. His outstretched wings exceeded the edges of the mattress; the tips brushed up against the walls of the room.
She didn't sleep during the remaining three hours that elapsed before her husband awoke anticipating the arrival of his hunting buddy. Instead Angela took a shower, changed her clothes, and made coffee. Toby was pleasantly surprised.
* * * * * * * *
Studying Jean's face, Rogue noticed her eyes had changed. Golden sparks spiraled inside her irises, glittering like fireworks.
“I can't stop thinking about him,” Jean said, drawing closer.
“I know how you feel,” Rogue stated honestly, starting to feel disoriented.
Rogue saw herself standing outside the Gazebo, on the edge of the cliff, staring at…Jean. The words psychic feedback rose to the surface of her spinning mind as she recalled their past telepathic encounters. She felt her feet leave the ground. Was she perceiving Grey's weightlessness or was Jean suspending her?
“You should leave me alone.” Jean wasn't shouting, but in Rogue's ears her voice echoed off the sides of the reservoir.
“It's too late for that,” Rogue replied tightly, dangling in mid-air.
“Why do you want to help me?” Jean asked, the spiraling sparks in her eyes growing into whirlpools of fire.
“You helped save all of us,” Rogue answered, trying to stabilize herself.
As did you.
“Well, that is what we're supposed to do. I can handle it, Jean. Talk to me.”
Rogue was transported. Floating high above the terrace, she beheld distant mountains of cottony clouds set against a gleaming blue sky. Turning her face in the direction of the afternoon sun, she saw something. At first she could barely distinguish him from the brilliant background, but as he flew towards her his iconic form made her heart skip a beat. In moments he was with her, sailing on the wind, staring into her eyes. He would do anything for her… As if a switch had been thrown on within her, Rogue felt a powerful current spreading out from her chest; it throbbed in her throat and burned between her thighs.
“Oh, god,” she moaned.
As Warren took her into his arms she began to smell his burning flesh. She was on fire but he wouldn't let go.
“Warren! Stop! Don't touch me!” Rogue cried, pushing away a non-existent, flaming Angel. Sensing Rogue's anguish, Jean instantly cut-off their connection. Rogue dropped to the ground.
She got up a moment later and brushed the dirt off the black synthetic material of her pants. “Give me a little warning next time, so I don't fall on my ass, all right?”
Jean was surprised by her rapid recovery.
“Jean, you aren't the first mutant to be scared of touching someone.”
“Maybe you're just seeing what you're afraid of. You've never burned anybody,” Rogue removed one of the gloves that protected those around her from the potentially deadly results of contact with her skin and held her right hand out to Jean Grey. “Why don't we try it? Touch me.”