X-Men Fan Fiction ❯ Dying Wish ❯ A Dying Wish ( One-Shot )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
A DYING WISH
A Generation X Fanfic

Written by Miyu, Vampire Princess


DISCLAIMER: All characters are copyright to Marvel Comics, Inc. and are used without permission. No money is being made.

AUTHOR'S NOTE: <<...>> indicates telepathic speech, *...* indicates inward thought. This story was submitted years and years ago under my real name to a few newsgroups that may or may not exist anymore. I was re-reading some of my old stories and thought about posting it. I donít think I ever got a lot of feedback on it before. Itís the original Gen X crew. Doesnít tie in to a particular issue, I think. Lots of drama and angst. Comments are encouraged and welcome.




"Emma, prep the med unit, stat!" Sean yelled into his headset.

Emma jumped up from her seat in front of Cerebro and ran over to the communications console.

"Sean, what's wrong?" Some no name mutant was on the rampage just outside of town. Sean said that the kids could handle it. Emma reluctantly agreed.

Obviously, they were wrong.

"The kids took some major hits, 'specially Paige." Emma cringed at that. She wasn't prepared to lose another student.

"I'll have it ready by the time you arrive." Emma paused. "Sean, how bad is it?"

She heard Sean's sigh through their comm link.

"Not good, Em. Not good."

*****

Paige lay inside a resuscitation capsule. Sean had brought her in and hooked her up right away. She was a mess, covered in blood with scraps of skin dangling from her shoulders and arms. With Emma's help, they were able to get her stabilized and cleaned up. But beyond that, they could only pray.

There had been no movement, no sign of recovery, in over 36 hours. Each of the students took turns watching over Paige. All but Jono, who kept himself locked away in the Danger Grotto.

The students had taken turns looking in on him as well. While he wasn't showing it, he took Paige's injuries to heart. He was closest to her when she was injured and felt partly responsible. He didn't try to talk with the other students when they came to see him, and surprisingly enough, they didn't try to talk to him. Even Penance kept her distance.

Jono sat under a tree by the little stream that ran through the Danger Grotto. It was one of Paige's favorite places. He had seen her jogging there a number of times -- those times when he couldn't sleep, or when he just had to see her.

<<Jono?>>

The British teenager jumped up from his spot and looked around him. There was no one there but him.

<<Jono. Help me.>>

He looked around one last time before running out of the Biosphere. He passed a surprised Jubilee who shouted at his back.

"Hey! Watch it! Where're ya going?!"

But Jono didn't pay attention to her words as he ran towards the medical center.

Jono practically broke down the door when he entered. It slammed so hard against the wall that it swung closed with a soft click.

<<Oh, sunshine.>>

He wasn't prepared for the sight of Paige lying, unmoving, in a hospital bed. Several different machines beeped and flashed at a constant rate. IVs and wires were all over the place.

She looked much worse than he had imagined.

*****

Sean stood behind the glass of the observation window in Paige's temporary room in the med center. He watched as Jono burst into the room.

Emma joined Sean in the observation room not more than a minute after Jono had entered the room.

"What's going on?" Emma asked in a whisper. "Jubilee said he ran from the Biosphere like a bat out of hell."

Sean looked at Emma, perplexed. "Not sure, m'self. Lad's been sittin' there since `e entered the med center."

They both watched as Jono took one of Paige's limp hands in his own. He held it close to his heart, but made no other movement, nor did he say anything. The boy just sat there and stared at Paige, eyes brimming with tears.

After a moment, he looked up at the observation window. He couldn't see through the glass, but he knew someone was there.

<<Please leave,>> he told the co-headmasters. <<This is personal.>>

Sean did his best to drag Emma out of the observation room. She made several comments about not wanting him to blow up the med center like he did the girls' dorm, then left quietly with the Irish X-Man.

Jono turned his attention back to Paige. He gently rubbed his fingers along the back of her hand.

<<Oh, gel. This is all my fault. C'n you forgive me?>>

<<Jono?>> Paige's voice whispered inside Jono's head.

Jono's eyes widened. <<Paige?!>> She was speaking to him telepathically? How was it possible? He closed his eyes and tried to focus on the source of the voice. It was coming from inside Paige's head.

His brows knit in determination as he carefully entered his teammate's mind. At first it was dark, like entering a theatre after the movie had started. Then bright lights began blinking around him. Each light representing a memory or thought.

He saw Paige's life on the Guthrie farm. Felt her love for her family, especially her brother, Sam. Pictures of brother and sister spending time together -- laughing, playing -- appeared before him.

He caught glimpses of the members of Generation X, the way Paige saw them in her mind's eye. Jubilee, the trickster. Ev, the ultimate good guy. Monet, the model of perfection. Mondo, laid back and relaxed. Penance, the quiet, bashful soul. Franklin, Artie and Leech, the spirit of youth.

Then he saw himself in the mirror of her mind's eye. He was dressed in his usual apparel, standing inside a great ball of light with his devil-may-care hair style falling into his face. And his face...it was whole! She didn't see him as a fraction of a man, or any type of dark, brooding monster. She saw him as a person.

Staring at his own chest in amazement, he realized it wasn't just Paige's image of him that was whole. HE was whole, too. Aghast at this realization, he didn't notice Paige's astral form appear behind him.

"Jono." Her voice was soft and unsure.

He whirled around, caught up in the feel of the wind against his cheeks and the feel of his hair against his nose. She was standing there, dressed in a white blouse and skirt. Her blonde hair floated about in the imaginary breeze, catching the light just so, that it shined like spun gold.

"Paige." His throat tickled as he actually spoke for the first time in what seemed like ages.

Paige blushed as Jono continued to stare at her. Jono also turned red, embarrassed that she caught him staring.

Paige looked at herself and her outfit, trying to figure out what was making Jono stare at her so. She saw her clothes, and looked at him curiously.

"Is this how you see me?" Paige asked.

Jono turned a deeper shade of red and looked at the ground. "Yes," he answered. "And you see me...like this?"

Paige smiled that innocent smile Jono had come to love about her. She tried looking him in the eye, but failed, and answered, "Ah...I always have."

Jono shook his head. She still corrected her speech, even in the astral plane.

There was an awkward silence between the two of them. Jono looked at Paige again to find her looking at him.

"Umm....." Jono started.

"Ah...I didn't mean for you to cause a commotion. I only wanted to see you," Paige said. "You never came to visit."

Jono frowned at Paige's words and turned away from her. The sensation of his jaw muscles moving was still a bit new for him. What was he supposed to tell her? That he blamed himself for what happened. That he couldn't bare to see her hooked up to all those machines.

*Tell her the truth, mate,* his mind scolded. *Get it out of yer system.*

"I...I'm sorry, luv," Jono said aloud. "I couldn't...couldn't bare t' see you so hurt." Jono's face made a pained expression. *There, you happy,* he told himself. *I can't stop trying to make the gel hate me, even here.*

He expected her to say something. But when she said nothing, he turned to look at her. He expected to find her walking away or crying. He was surprised to find her standing there, smiling at him.

"That's all right," she replied and shrugged her shoulders. "I don't think I'd want to see me either." Her eyes were downcast before she lifted them to look directly into his. "But I did miss you."

Jono had never realized just how blue Paige's eyes were. They were so beautiful, so full of life. He asked himself how he could ever lie to her, and answered by telling himself it wasn't her he was lying to all this time. It was himself, and he wasn't going to do it any longer.

Besides, it may be the last chance he gets to tell her...everything.

"Gel," Jono said. "There's something...something I've been meaning t' talk to you about."

Paige titled her head to one side. "Like what?"

*Dear God, she looks so beautiful,* Jono thought. He shook his head and replied, "Well...umm... it's about what happened a few months ago. In the dorm."

Paige's smile disappeared then. She remembered all too well what happened. And how bad she felt for Jono taking all the blame. It was time to get it all out in the open.

Jono noticed the smile waning and immediately wanted to kick himself. *Plonker, this isn't something you talk about to a dying person! Look how sad you made 'er now.*

As if reading his thoughts, Paige looked at Jono. Sadness turning her clear blue eyes a darker shade of blue.

"Ah...I'm sorry, Jono. You took all the blame and all I could do was say 'thank you'," Paige said to him. "I know things haven't been the same between us since then. And I don't blame you for hating me...." Her voice trailed off.

Jono was shocked. She thought he hated her because he took responsibility for the destruction. He quickly stepped up to her and grabbed her by the shoulders. He shook her slightly, trying to get her to look at him.

"It's not like that at all, sunshine." Paige looked up at him, confused. "Not like that at all." Jono smiled at her. "You...gel...you mean a lot t' me. Always 'ave. I...I couldn't let you take the blame."

Paige just shook her head at him. "No, you don't understand. It wasn't your fault. I should have--"

Jono put a finger to her lips. "Please. Let me finish."

Paige nodded, a little surprised.

"I...that night...I overreacted, and I shouldn't 'ave. I knew yer weren't drunk. I was scared, gel. Scared of the feelings that were running through me 'ead." He took one of Paige's hands in his and held it to his heart. She blushed slightly and ducked her eyes from his. "Scared of what was in me 'eart." Jono paused, a tear falling down his cheek. "An' during this last fight, when yer got 'urt, it tore at me 'eart. My very soul. Gel, I could never 'urt you. Never."

Paige reached up and wiped the tear from Jono's cheek. Her eyes were clear blue again, a smile on her lips. She was touched by Jono's confession, and her own heart reached out to his.

"Ah...I thought I had hurt you," she said, "And I couldn't forgive myself for that."

Jono found himself smiling down at her. He pulled her closer and wrapped his arms around her. She didn't protest, wrapping her arms around his waist. It felt good to have everything in the open. Even better to be standing close together.

After a few moments, Paige pulled away from him and sighed. Jono thought he was imagining it, but she looked tired.

Paige smiled up at him. "Now that everything is out in the open, Ah...I guess I can go."

"Go? Go where?" Jono was confused.

Paige's smile never faded. "Ah'm going to see my pa."

Jono frowned. Wasn't Paige's father dead?

*Dear God, no!* Jono's eyes widened. "Paige?"

"It'll be all right," she told him.

"No, Paige. It won't. Not fer me."

Paige looked Jono squarely in the eye. "It'll be all right, cause you'll make it all right. Stop being a victim, Jono. You've been one long enough."

Jono blinked and another tear fell down his cheek. "You're not thinking straight...." he said, remembering his words from that night in the dorm.

"Aren't I?" Paige held Jono's face in her hand. "Jono, would you grant a dying gal one wish?"

"Anything, luv."

"Kiss me."

Jono leaned over and placed his lips to hers. He wrapped his arms around her again, pulling her tighter against him. She responded in kind, pulling him closer to her. Neither wanted to let go.

When Jono broke the kiss, he wasn't in Paige's mind anymore. He was leaning over her body, her hand still in his. He traced a finger down her cheek. The machines around him had grown silent.

Except for one that hummed a monotone buzz.


END