IN THE NAME OF SCIENCE

BY : hellion
Category: X-men Comics > General
Dragon prints: 4036
Disclaimer: I do not own X-Men comics, or any of the characters from it. I make no money from from the writing of this story.

Chapt0 Te0 Ten Steps Back

“ Come on Rahne, smile! You’re about to go shopping with an unlimited credit card! That’s most women’s dream!”

Rahne didn’t respond. She just ran her hand over her stomach slowly. Unknown to everyone but herself, her wolf form gave her an enhanced feel for her body. Rahne could even feel the pins in her arms that were used to set her bones while in her wolf form, she could feel where the tendons and cartilage in her legs had been damaged and her stomach area felt odd. She couldn’t place her finger on it, but it never felt like that before. She should have asked Cecelia when she had the chance, Rahne thought to herself.

“ Rahne? You there?”

“ Huh? I’m sorry, Dani, what were ye sayin’?”

“ Never mind, Rahny. Nice view isn’t it?”

“ I… suppose.”

“ Come on fur top, try to cheer up some. I know it’s not easy…”

“ Ah don’ have much tae be happy aboot, Dani.” Rahne said flatly, “ An’ I doubt that I ever will again.”

“ Don’t say that Rahne, Try to remember the good times you’ve had. Remember when we hid air fresheners in Amara’s uniform? Remem,ber what happened when she transformed into her lava form?”

“ Heh, she smelled like burned strawberries for a week.” Rahne chuckled.

-She almost smiled- Dani thought to herself, “ Remember when the Professor found Bobby’s and Sam’s stash of play boy magazines?”

“ Aye, Sam turned a new shade o’ red!” Rahne snickered.

“ Yeah, and they both had to write a three page essay on why it was wrong to keep contraband from the teachers. Now that I think about it, I can’t remember what the professor did with the play boys.”

“ Gave ‘m t’ Logan, most likely.” Rahne commented.

“ That reminds me, did I ever tell you about the time me, Sam and Kitty spiked Wolverine’s cigars with marijuana?”

“ Excuse me? How on earth did ye accomplish that?”

“ Me and Sam talked Kitty into phasing some marijuana directly into Logan’s cigars. That way, he wouldn’t be able to smell it when he lit them up. For ten straight minutes, he was telling us how he fought off undead Nazi legions alongside Gandhi in India!”

“ How come ye or Sam never told me this?” Rahne asked, barely able to talk without laughing.

“ Well, Wolverine gave us three very good reasons not to.” Moonstar explained.

When they finally reached the mall, Dani was thankful for the handi-cap sticker. The mall was full, with people speeding all about looking for a parking space.

“ Place looks pretty crowded today. We need to work on our timing .” D.” Dani commented. She didn’t notice that Rahne was starting to shake, however slightly.

“ We…we ken always come back, Dani.”

“ Nonsense, Rahne, it’s not a problem.” Dani said as she pulled into a parking space. Dani carefully helped Rahne out of the car and helped her to her feet. They started to walk towards the entrance…

“ We’ll have to get you a decent wardrobe…”

“ Dani…”

“…a few pairs of shoes…”

“ Dani!”

“ …maybe catch a movie…”

“ Dani!! Please, stop!” Rahne shouted, almost in tears. Dani turned around and saw that Rahne was at least fourteen feet behind her. Other people were rudely brushing past her, threatening to knock her over and Rahne looked like she was about to break down and cry.

-She’s not that fast on crutches, you stupid idiot! - Dani yelled to herself. She sprinted back to her friend’s side.

“ Used t’ be, yuir the one who couldnae keep up wit’ me,” Rahne said miserably.

“ Times change. I know it’s hard now Rahne, but you’ll get used to it and adjust. It just takes time.”

“ I don’ think that’s possible.”

Dani couldn’t really think of anything to say. As Wolfsbane, Rahne enjoyed enhanced physical strength, speed that an Olympian would envy and agility that would put most professional dancers to shame. Now, it was made painfully obvious that Rahne couldn’t even walk at a normal pace, and her wolrm, rm, which was once her means of physical freedom, waw hew her only means to be physically normal. But as Wolfsbane, she would stand out like the elephant Man’s ugly brother in public. It was like going from driving a formula one racecar to driving a broken down taxicab in New York.

“ I promise you Rahne, things will get better.”

Dani, this time taking care to walk at a far slower pace, led Rahne into a nearby J.C Pennies. Rahne, at first, attempted just to buy whatever seemed the cheapest regardless of taste or fashion. She didn’t want to waste the professor’s money on herself, after all. With more than a little prodding, Dani convinced Rahne to buy herssomesome cloths that weren’t on sale and were cloths that she actually liked. Dani had to bite her tongue about how conservative most of the cloths were, though.

-Would it kill her to buy a tank top, or a pair of shorts? I mean, turtle necks?- Dani asked herself. After forty minutes, Rahne had bought herself about two weeks worth of cloths.

“ I think that’s enough now, Dani. We ken head back now…”

“ Don’t be ridiculous Rahne, we have barely started!” Dani debated on whether or not to tell Rahne that the Professor actually set a minimum on how much money they were to spend, and they hadn’t come close to reaching it, -I think I’ll hold off on that information for now. Hopefully I can get her out of her ‘I’m not worth it’ funk she’s in.-

“ Look, I need to run these cloths out to the van. Why don’t you sit over there on that bench, and I’ll be right back?”

“ All…alright. Hurry back, Dani.”

Dani sprinted back to the van, and piled the stuff in the back seat. She quickly returned to Rahne, and was surprised when she saw Rahne sitting on the bench, her head in her hands, crying and sweating terribly.

“ Rahne, what’s wrong, sweetheart?”

“ I…don’ know, Dani. I…I really don’. When you left, I jus’ felt so…so afraid and…anxious… I don’ know… what’s wrong with me…I’m losin’ me mind…”

“ No, you’re not Rahne. It’s called a panic attack, and it happens sometimes in cases of severe trauma. Hank filled me in on it a few days ago and, to be honest Rahne, I think you should get some professional help.” Dani explained as she sown own next to Rahne and rubbed her back to calm her down.

“ No.”

“ Rahne, I really think that you should talk someone who’s trained…”

“ No! I’ve already had muh body dissected, and I’m nae aboot t’ let that happen tae me mind! The last shrink I saw wasn’t even canny enough t’ even recognize I’d been turned int’ Pavlov’s dog!” Rahne said angrily, ere ere are only three doctors I trust in the world now, an’ one of them is dead. An’ what doctor could possibly understand what I lived thru? Jus’…stay with me while I calm down, alright?”

“…” And Dani did. After Rahne’s panic attacked passed, the two continued to shop. After a while, both of them got hungry and stopped at the food court. Dani started to become concerned about Rahne after she bought four pieces of pizza and totally consumed them, along with two 18-ounce cokes.

“ Umm, Rahne? You might want to leave some room for dinner, you know. Wolfing, pardon the pun, down all that food might ruin your appetite, you know.”

“ Oh…muh…lord…”

“ What?”

“ Dani, you sounded like a mother, jus’ then!”

“ Oops, sorry about that, Rahne. I didn’t mean too, honest. It just slipped out.”

“ Oh, it’s nae a problem. And don’ worry about me appetite, I’m still hungry!”

“ Well, I think you’ve had enough. Why don’t we take these back to the van and we can catch a movie before we head back.”

Once that was done, the two of them tried to decide on what movie to see.

-What’s something your average protestant fundamentalist would like?-Dani asked herself. Dani had a preference for action movies, but Rahne preferred movies with a lighter subject. After much debate, they decided to see ‘Ice Age’. When Rahne to tto the doors of the movie theater, however she stopped cold.

“ Rahne? What’s wrong?”

“ It’s …dark in there.”

Dani winced. When she suggested that they see a movie, Dani had completely forgotten about Rahne’s pathological fear of the dark…

“ If you don’t want to, we don’t have to go in Rahne…”

“ But…we already bought the tickets…”

“ That doesn’t matter at all. It’s just a movie, Rahne.”

“ Yuir right, Dani.”

“ So, do you want to leave?”

“ Not on me life. Like ye said, it’s just a bleedin’ movie. I’m not about t’ run away from it like some coward. Just…could I hold yuir hand while we watch the movie? Ah know it’s silly, an’ all but…”

“ It’s not silly or a problem, Rahne. Lets head in.”

When they went inside, Rahne was naturally a little tense. When the lighters were lowered to start the movie, she squeezed Dani’s hand a little bit harder, but she never broke down or felt the need to leave. After a little bit, she did something she hadn’t done in recent times. She laughed and enjoyed herself.

***

“ Well, I would say that was a day well spent. We got you some cloths to wear, saw a movie, and we’re still back at the mansion by six. Do you think you’d be up for eating dinner with the ‘senior staff’, Rahne? I know Kurt’s been dying to see you.”

“ I…I’m nae sure, Dani.”

“Please? The others really miss your company too, you know.”

“ I’ll try, Dani. I’m nae aboot tae make any promises I cannae keep. I jus’ hope the professor isnae mad that we bt sot so much.”

“ Trust me, Rahne, he won’t mind at all.” Dani said as she pulled the car into the garage.

“ Rahne, if you don’t mind, I need to do a work out before dinner. Do you think you can keep yourself occupied while I do that?”

“ I’ll be fine, Dani. I’ll ken just watch the telly in the rec room till dinner.”

As they parted, Dani debated on whether or not to just forget about a workout and stay with Rahne. Ultimately, she decided that Rahne didn’t need herbe wbe with her every waking moment anymore.

-I think she’s coming out of her shell now. Thank the spirits- Dani noted. But like many things in life,t wat was about to change.

***

Rahne looked around the rec room for the remote. Like most small things that people needed for day-to-day survival, it was currently M.I.A.

-Ah ken never find it went I need it- she grumbled, -And ‘Touched By an Angel’ has probably started already-

While she loofor for the remote, Rahne didn’t notice Jean and Cecelia enter the room, concern written all over their face.

“ Rahne, honey, we need to talk about something.”

“ Oh, ‘ello Cecelia, I been meaning t’ talk ye ‘boot somethin’,” Rahne said. She sat down, and fiddled with her hands some. She knew she had to ask, but she wasn’t sure she wanted to hear the answer.

“ About what, Rahne?”

“ Am I…am I pregnant? I’ve been so hungry lately, an’ muh stomach area jus’ feels odd…I don’ know how tae describe it really… an’; now that I think aboot it, I know I missed muh period, or at least I think I did…” Rahne asked nervously. Although she tried to hide it, just asking the question disturbed her a great deal. She didn’t want to be a single mother, after all. She did love children and if she was pregnant, she knew she would love the child with all her heart regardless of the fact that it would be a child of sin, but she didn’t want to be a mother just yet. “It’s the only reason I…ken think o’ f’rin’ in’ so hungry an’ all.”

Both Jean and Cecelia winced at the suggestion, and they exchanged a nervous glance at one another.

“ You’re… not pregnant, Rahne. Your large appetite is a result of your body attempting to build up its stores of vitamins and nutrients for your wolf form that it lost when you were recovering, it’s perfectly normal.”

“ Oh, that’s a relief,” Rahne sighed, “ I dinnae know whit I would do if I was pregnant. So, what did ye want to talk tae me ‘bout?”

“ As you know, when you were held captive, they removed some of your internal organs. Like one of your lungs and a kidney.”

“ An’… me tail, but aye, what of it? I ken live with what I have left, can’t I?”

“…”

-She doesn’t have the slightest clue where this is going- She thought to herself. –I don’t know if I can do this to her-

*We’ve put off telling her long enough* Jean told her telepathically, *But I’ll tell her, if that’s what you want*

* It…it is, I’m sorry, Jean*

“ Rahne, when you were held prisoner, they…they removed your reproductive organs. Specifically, your womb and ovaries were removed. I’m so sorry, honey, but… you can never have children.” Jean explained, “ That’s…that’s most likely why your stomach area feels odd.”

When Jean said that, Rahne’s face went pale and her heart stopped for a second. Those words hit her like a sledgehammer and her world came crashing down around her. Never have children. All her hopes and dreams for the future… No. It couldn’t be true, she thought to herself, it can’t be true. Maybe they made a mistake; somehow they had to have made a mistake…

“ What…are ye talking aboot? Are…are ye sure?” Rahne asked, still in shock.

“ Of course I’m sure, Rahne. I’m so sorry…”

“ So, I’m… nae a real woman anymore.” Rahne said emotionlessly.

“ Just because you can’t have children doesn’t mean you aren’t a woman, Rahne, a lot of women…”

Never have children.

“ Bein’ a woman… means a lot o’ different things… tae a lot o’ different people, Ms. Reyes!” Rahne growled, her eyes filled with tears. Without meaning too, Rahne had shifted completely into her change form. Rahne clenched her fists so hard that her claws dug into her palms and her hands bled, but she didn’t even notice or care. Any physical pain was completely drowned out by her emotional pain now, “ An’ I know what it means t’ me!”

Never have children.

“…Moira loved you deeply, Rahne, you know that…”

Never have children.

“ …And I love Nathan more than anything in the world…”

Never. Have. Children. Those words screamed thru her mind, cutting her to her very soul. Jean desperately d tod to comfort her by explaining how she loved Nathan, her own adoptive son, like her own flesh and blood and she tried to remind Rahne of Moira’s love for her, but Rahne would have none of it. To her, it was just a proof of the happiness of others, happiness that she felt she would never know now. Happiness she could never be a part of now for as long as she lived. Jean’s attempts to console her felt more like hot knives to her heart. Rahne collapsed to her knees. She couldn’t catch her breath and felt like she was going to throw up.

“ I know how much it meant to you, Rahne,” Jean said as she put her hand on Rahne’s shoulder to comfort her, “ But it isn’t the end of the world…”

“Shut up! Ye don’t understand! Ye can’t! Just…jus’ shut up an’ leave me alone!!” Rahne screamed. She smacked Jean’s hand away and ran out of the rec room, sobbing.


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