X-men Evolution Fan Fiction / X-Men Fan Fiction ❯ BurnOut ❯ Chapter 11 ( Chapter 11 )
[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
Rogue was nauseous. She knew where she was - the medical bay. But everything felt wrong. For a moment, she thought she was she was pinned to the ceiling looking down at the floor. Thick metal bars slatted up and down her body held her in. Her hair hung in the air. Either the rest of the world was messed-up, upside down, or she was. Rogue considered her history and bet she was the one misaligned.
Dr. MacTaggert entered the room, “What were you girls doing?”
“What do you mean?” Rogue asked.
“You don't remember?”
Rogue closed her eyes and the image of Jean Grey passed out on the ground in front of the Gazebo materialized. Above, mid-twilight had set in, dying the clouds crimson. Using Jean's powers she soared into the sky; she could go anywhere. She flew towards the setting sun. Marveling at the brilliant sphere she saw millions of colors, more than she ever thought existed, swirling inside billions of sparks, boiling in vast oceans of fire.
Out of nowhere, blustering storm clouds massed in front of her, darkening the horizon. Turbulent winds spun into a funnel at her feet. It sucked her down. She struggled to break loose; lightning crackled at the tip of her nose.
“Storm had to use some rather extreme measures to bring you down, Rogue.”
It was the Professor.
“Is Jean here?” Rogue asked.
“No. She's in her room resting. Apparently, she's all right,” Moira answered, using a control to tilt the bed until Rogue was in a nearly upright position.
“Was this your idea or hers?” Charles asked.
“She was afraid she'd burn anybody she touched. I told her to try me…” Rogue had to concentrate to keep from drifting back into blackness. “I thought if I absorbed some of that energy she'd feel better.”
Her sight flitted from the Professor's inverted head to Moira's. Dr. MacTaggert was static, her eyes locked on Xavier's. She was talking to him, without making a sound.
The incident may prove useful, Charles. Jean was knocked out for a good twenty minutes…
Rogue was hearing their thoughts. And the Professor knew it. Abruptly, he turned from Moira and faced her.
“Rogue, you need to sleep,” his words bore into her mind.
Unable to wrest her eyes from the Professor's, Rogue heard Moira prepare an injection. She couldn't even squirm. Xavier held her in his paralyzing gaze. Would Jean have been able to pull out of this one? A cold sensation spread over her from a quick prick in her shoulder.
* * * * * * * *
The material was entirely restored. What remarkable fabric. Expensive, she was sure. Angela inspected the folds and fastenings of the upper portion of Warren's costume. It hooked together below the wing on each side, she reckoned. Every shirt he wore must be custom designed. She heard rumbling outside. A car pulled up.
“Angie! Ange!” For the first time in her life, the voice she heard struck her heart with fear. Jen had shown up early with the twins.
Angela wrapped Warren's clothes up in a large beach towel. She couldn't take them to him yet. If she so much as hinted the other cottage was unlocked, Jen would scoop up the kids and race over to look inside. And she didn't want to imagine what her friend would do if she discovered a winged mutant wearing nothing but one of Angela's towels. She put the bundle back in the drier to lessen the chances Jen or the kids would find it.
“You gonna open this door, Ange?”
On the other side of the screen door with her mommy bag slung over her shoulder, Jen clenched Amber in one arm and held Jayson's tiny hand with the other. The children wore matching t-shirts. His was blue with yellow letters and hers was pink with white. The same message was emblazoned on both: “Jesus Loves People, Not Mutants.”
Angela opened the door and took Amber into her arms while letting Jen and Jayson inside. Jen started in on the subject of the day - the failed marriage of their old friend Vera, whose husband, Tim, allegedly ran off with a teen-aged meth head. Angela lured the five-year-olds into the TV room with milk and animal crackers. Jen closely trailed her back to the kitchen, ceaselessly describing the problems she had seen from the beginning with Vera and Tim's relationship. Jen always followed her around everywhere. How was she going to get away? The Angel must be wondering where she was.
“I think Vera should call the cops on that little slut. If they picked her up they'd find that crystal on her and hopefully arrest them both,” Jen proclaimed, putting her bag down on the table. Angela wondered if Jen's snubnose .38 revolver was inside.
“Jen, I gotta go pee. I'll be right back, okay. There's iced tea in the fridge,” Angela said, backing out of the room.
Angela walked past the door to the bathroom and stopped at the laundry machines. Quickly snatching the towel containing Warren's clothes, she jogged to the backdoor on the other side of the living room.
She yelled to Jen, “Forgot somethin' in the truck!”
“You need somethin' from the truck to pee?” Jen hollered back.
Angela didn't answer. She leapt onto the grass and ran to the other cottage. After taking a moment to slow her breathing, she went in. Wearing terrycloth around his waist, he was perched on the edge of a chair in the darkest corner of the room.
“Sorry it took so long. My friend and her kids just got here,” she told him, handing him the bundle.
“I saw. Thank you.”
“I have good eyesight.”
“Well, I'll be on my way. But um…you should go as soon as you get dressed. My friend doesn't uh, understand mut…”
“I know. I saw them.”
“Oh, the t-shirts. They're pretty awful. So, um, good-bye. Happy flyin' back to wherever…”
Warren took her hand, “Thanks again.”
Angela, holding the beach towel, closed the door of the cottage behind her and turned to walk back into her normal life. Her heart was pounding. She knew Jen would ask about the smile that spread involuntarily across her face. She was only a few steps away when Jen opened the backdoor and came outside.
“What were you doin' over there?” she asked.
“I left this in the truck,” Angela explained, presenting the towel.
“The truck's out front. You're comin' back from that cottage,” Jen pointed at the other house.
While she searched for a passable response, Angela realized all she needed to do was distract Jen for a few more minutes. Warren would go out through the front door. And after he had safely taken off, she wouldn't care what Jen or anybody else thought about what she'd done that day…
It was Toby, calling her from the boat fifty yards from the landing. Something was wrong. Even from this distance, Angela could see panic on her husband's face. Where was Doug? She and Jen rushed to the dock. As the craft drew closer, Toby's expression became more horrible. Within seconds the women saw why. Doug was squinched into the cavity of the vessel. He was covered in blood.
“Angie, Jen, thank god you're here… He got shot, in the arm. There was an accident…with his gun…”
“Doug!” Jen cried.
“Angie, get the truck and pull it down here. We'll get him to the emergency room…Jen, I promise…”
“Try to put pressure on the wound,” Angela advised, giving Jen the towel.
Angela ran into the living room on her way to the kitchen to get the key to truck. Amber and Jason were laughing at Dinosaur King playing on TV. They were suddenly quieted by Toby's voice booming from outside. He was yelling at the top of his lungs.
“You get the HELL outta here, FREAK! You will NOT TOUCH him!”
Angela whipped around, opened the door and looked out at the pier. A flying man with wings like an angel circled the boat.
“Tell me where the nearest hospital is… So we can save his life!” Warren tried to shout sense into the people below.
Toby clocked the Angel with his Remington Wingmaster Shotgun. Angela knew her husband had never seen anything with wings he didn't want to shoot. A picture of Jen's mommy bag on the kitchen table flashed into her mind. She needed that .38 revolver.