IN THE NAME OF SCIENCE

BY : hellion
Category: X-men Comics > General
Dragon prints: 4046
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.

Chapter 3 Awakenings

It had been nearly twelve hours since Rahne was taken into the X-Men’s O.R room, but there had still been no word on her condition. To Nightcrawler, Danielle Moonstar (whom Kurt called seconds after Rahne went into surgery) Professor X and Wolverine, who had been in the waiting room for most of that time, it was maddening.

“ What is going on in there, professor? How is Rahne?” Nightcrawler asked for what had to be the tenth time in as many minutes.

“I’m afraid I don’t know, Kurt. I’m afraid that if I use my telepathy, I might interrupt a delicate procedure. We’ll just have to wait.”

“ Wait! My best friend could be dying in there, and all you recommend is wait? Why the hell didn’t you tell me she was in danger! I should have come with you!” Moonstar snapped.

“ I didn’t want to worry you, nor did I know at the time that Rahne was in danger. We were fortunate enough to find Rahne before these people killed her along with the others they had kidnapped.” He explained, “ I felt that time was of the essence.”

“ And why didn’t you keep better track of her in the first place? She was one of your first students in the New Mutants and the daughter of your closest friend, the least you could have fucking done was make sure she was where she was supposed to be!”

Xavier was didn’t respond. He just looked away, completely agreeing with what Moonstar had said. John, Doug, Warlock, Sam, Illyana, Peter, David, and now Sarah, all former students dead now because he wasn’t good enough, strong enough or just wasn’t there for them. And now Rahne, his most innocence student…

“ The professor can’t be everywhere at once, Moonstar. Rahne’s got a right to live her life as she sees fit, and that don’t mean checking in with the Prof’ about everything she does.”

Dani took a deep breath and sighed. Logan was right, and she knew it.

“ I know, I know. I’m sorry Professor, I’m just a little high strung right now. First X-Force dies, and now this…”

“ It’s alright Dani, I understand. We all care for Rahne. This is hard on us all.”

As the Professor said that, Cecilia emerged from the O.R. She looked very tired, more emotionally than physically. She already knew the questions that they had, so she didn’t waste a moment.

“ We’ve finished up now. Rahne’s still in critical condition, but I expect her to pull thru. You can see her now, if you like.”

Cecilia led them to Rahne’s room. If they hadn’t known that Rahne had just come out of surgery, they would have never recognized her. Both her arms were in casts, as was her right leg, which was suspended in the air. Her hair was shaved away and her head was heavily bandaged. What parts of her body they could see was covered in stitches, staples and bruises.

“ Vhat did those butchers do to her?” Nightcrawler asked, unable to believe his eyes and barely able to hold his lunch down.

“ A better question would be what didn’t they do to her. I found that the bones in both her arms had been broken and had healed improperly. Not only that, but they were infected as well. I had to rebreak them to set them, only after I cleaned out all the all infection and draiall all the fluid that had built up. I’ve never had to do so many rebreaks on one patient before and I’ve never had to use so many pins and screws before, either. I also found evidence of blunt force trauma to her spine, kidney and ribs. Muscle and cartilage had been surgically cut as well as one of her lungs was removed…among other things. We were able to repair a lot of the damage and reattach the cartilage, but the ligaments in her leg were damaged almost beyond repair. I doubt she’ll ever be able to walk unassisted again.” She explained.

“ Among other things? What do you mean by that?” Moonstar asked. Dani wanted with all her heart to reach out and touch her bed-ridden friend, as though to comfort her in someway, but restrained herself. She didn’t want to make things worse…

“ I’d rather not say right now. Doctor patient privilege, you understand. Hank and Jean were able to reattach most of the damaged nerves and limit the damage already done to them but overall, Rahne’s very lucky to be alive right now. By all rights, she should have died on that island.”

“ Do…do you have any idea when she’ll wake up?”

“ Hard to say. I expect it to be a week, at the very least. She’s got a long recovery ahead of her.”

“I’ll stay with her then, until she wakes up. If it’s not a problem.” Moonstar said. It was more of a order than a request.

“ That would be fine, Dani. I would suggest that the rest of us retire for the day. This day has been hard on us all.” The professor stated. When the others had left the room, Dani pulled up a chair and sat down next to Rahne’s bed.

“Hey, Rahne, it’s me, Dani. I know it’s been a while since we’ve had a good long talk, and… I’m sorry about that now. I know we’ve grown apart over the years and I…I really regret that. You were there for me whenever I needed you, and I haven’t really repaid you for that. When you wake up, I hope to change all that. I brought a book to read to you that I hope you’ll like. So… This is the record of the ancestry of Jesus Christ who was the descendant of both David and Abraham…”

***

It was nearly three in the morning, yet Hank McCoy still hadn’t gone to bed. He was pouring over the data on the disk that Logan had given him, examining it in close detail once they had finished operating on Rahne. In truth, he felt like he was watching pornography, but without any of the gratification. He knew from Logan how the data he was looking at was acquired. How living men and women were kidnapped and tortured at the expense of the ‘greater good’. But after helping Cecelia operate on Rahne, he knew that Rahne needed every little bit of aid that she could get. Her body had atrophied from being strapped to a bed for well over a month, she was malnourished and strands of muscle had been surgically damaged. And that wasn’t the worst of it. They had found evidence of burns and frostbite, as well as bone marrow removed. Important internal organs were removed as well. They would have to wait until Rahne awoke before they would find out exactly what happened to her, but they already had a good idea what happened and they knew full well that it wasn’t pleasant.

-What kind of monsters were these people to do what they did to such a sweet and innocent child? - He asked himself. His thoughts drifted back to the time he had spent on Muir Island, working on a cure for the Legacy Virus. Most of the time, it was just himself, Moira and Rahne on that lonely island. She was so full of life, watching her mother like a hawk, making sure that the both of them never went too long without eating or sleeping. Whenever they hit a wall, Rahne buoyed their spirits by telling them to keep their faith up, that where there was life, there was hope. Despite the tremendous chore they had ahead of them, and the harsh reality they faced, her optimism was incredibly infectious. Her innocence, combined with pep talks rivaling those of Captain America’s, helped get Hank thru the day more than once. He felt that if there was anything he could do to help Rahne, it was his duty to do so. She had already lost so much. Too much. And so, he looked over the data again, hoping that it could be of use.

***


“Dacosta Industries, Roberto Dacosta speaking.” A voice said dryly. Roberto Dacosta, also known as the mutant hero Sunspot and heir to an incredible fortune, had a hard time hiding the fact that running a multi national corporation was dull and tedious work. The paper work never seemed to end…

“ Hey, Bobby this is Dani.”

“ Dani! How have you been?” Bobby asked, his spirits instantly buoyed by hearing the voice of his old friend and teammate.

“ Poor, something…happened.”

“ Why, what happened?” Bobby asked, noticing how depressed she sounded.

As Dani explained what happened to Rahne, Bobby began to feel a knot form in his stomach. While he wasn’t as close with Rahne as Dani was, she was still a good friend and he loved her dearly. What’s more, he always thought of Rahne as the sweetest, most innocent person he had ever known, someone who never should have been made to suffer in such painful ways.

“ You mean, she was part of Dr. Calvin’s experiments? My god…”

“ Yeah, she…wait a minute, how did you know that she was kidnapped by Dr. Calvin?”

“ Because it’s been all over the news, Dani, what he did! C.N.N, Fox, the Washington Post, everything!”

“ Oh, what did they say about what he did?”

“ Just that Dr. Calvin was performing obscene medical experiments before he took his own life. They also said that all the data that was gathered was purged by the doctors Calvin hired to hide their guilt. It didn’t help any, though. The authorities have more than enough proof with which to convict them. Shame, really.”

“ What’s that?”

“ That all those people had to die for nothing.”

“ Would you rather justify what they did you Rahne?” Dani growled.

“ No, I wouldn’t.” Bobby said. He didn’t agree with Dani, but now wasn’t the time to have a debate, “ So, no offense, why are you calling?”

“ I just needed to hear an old friends voice. Of all our old class members in the New Mutants, you were really the only one I could find. Shan is impossible to track down, Amara, and Warlock are god knows where and Sam…is gone.” Dani sighed. She still had a hard time accepting the fact that Sam Guthrie, her closet friend next to Rahne, had been killed.

“ Excuse me?”

“ What?”

“ Sam isn’t dead, Dani.”

“ Bobby, Sam is dead. He was killed in an explosion along with what remained of X-Force. No one could have survived that explosion.”

“ Well, you know that new X-Force?”

“ You mean those Judus’?” Dani hissed. Several weeks after the X-Force she knew had been killed, a new team calling itself X-Force had debuted. But they weren’t heroes like the old X-Force. They were media lap dogs, doing anything and everything to gain attention, and that including being incredibly brutal in battle “ What about them?”

“ Well, they recently held a press conference, where Sam, along with the rest of X-Force, attacked them.”

“ What! What happened?”

“ Well, Sam and the others beat the hell out them until one of the members, U-Go-Girl, teleported them away.”

“ Are you sure it was Sam? I wouldn’t put in past those bastards to hire actors.”

“ The Cannonball I saw on T.V made several references to a danger room, some guy named Cable and being a former member of the X-Men. I’m sure, Dani.”

“ Spirits, why didn’t anyone tell me? He’s was one of my closest friends, someone here should have told me! ” Dani snarled. Sam was officially on her shit list now, for pulling something like this.

“ They probably didn’t want to upset you what with Rahne and everything. But how could you… miss it.”

“ What?”

“ You haven’t been outside Rahne’s room at all, have you?”

“ How did you know that?”

“ Because you seem to have no idea about what’s going on in the outside world, Dani. What have you been doing all this time?”

“ Reading, singing, just being here in case Rahne wakes up.”

“ I didn’t know you could sing.” Bobby said teasingly.

“ I’m a fast learner.”

“ I believe it. Look, is there anything I can do for Rahne? I can hire the best doctors for her or…”

“ That’s alright, Bobby. We already have one of the best doctor’s in the world here, and with all the alien technology that the X-Men have picked up over the years, we should be fine.”

“ Are you certain there is nothing I can do for Rahne?”

“ Well,”

“ Yes?”

“ Hank told me that, thanks to all the damage done to the ligaments in her legs, she’ll never be able to walk without crutches. If it’s not too much trouble, could you buy a pair for her? I’d like to be prepared for when she wakes up, but I can’t go out and get them myself and the others are content to wait until she wakes up. I can spend you the measurements, anything you need.”

“ Dear god.” Bobby muttered under his breath. He knew Rahne well enough to know that she would never adjust emotionally to having to use crutches.

“ Of course, Dani. I swear to you as a Dacosta, I will get Rahne the finest crutches money can buy, and they will be there in two days or less.” Bobby didn’t care how stupid his promise sounded, so long as he was able to help Dani and Rahne.

“ Thanks, Bobby. I’m sure Rahne will appreciate it.”

As Bobby hung the phone, he cursed the fact that was prohibited from entering the U.S and that he wasn’t closer to Rahne. He knew that she would need all the friends she could get to help her recover, and he wished that he could be one of them. But since he wasn’t, he decided to do everything he could still do. He pressed the button to call his secretary,

“ Ellen? Cancel all my appointments for today, and find out who I need to talk to about buying a pair of crutches.”

“ Sir? Are… you alright?”

“ They’re for a friend,” Bobby sighed, “ Also, have my private jet prepped, just in case.”

“ Just in case?”

“ Just in case I can fly them to my friend.” Bobby explained angrily.

“ Yes, sir. Is that all for today?”

-No, I have to go and be sick now. Rahne…- Roberto thought to himself, “ Yes, that will be all.”


***


Of all the things Wolverine wanted to do in the world, this wasn’t one of them. But Bobby was right, it had to be done and he was the only one who could help do it.

-Sometimes it’s a pain in the ass being the best there is at what I do- He thought to himself. He walked down the halls to the elevator to reach the medi-lab. As he entered, he heard Dani reading soft

“…Then Jesus said, “ Believe me when I tell you…”

“…that anyone who does not enter the sheepfold through the door, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a rogue.” Logan finished. Moonstar looked at him, astonished.

“ You? The bible?”

“ I’m pretty well read. How’s the kid doin’?”

“ No change since she came out of surgery, but Cecelia tells me that she’s steadily improving. What are you doing here?”

“ I decided to stop by on the way to the Alley. Me and Bobby are going to try to find Callisto to tell her what happened to Marrow.”

“ It’s been ages since anyone saw her last. What makes you think she’s there now?”

“ It’s her home, and in many ways, she doesn’t have anywhere else to go. How are you holding up? You look like hell, Moonstar. You been getting enough sleep?”

“ Asked like it matters.”

“ It matters a lot. Don’t help Rahne none if you kill yourself before she even wakes up.”

“ That won’t happen. I’ve just been reading and singing to her while she’s in her coma. Cecelia told me that external stimulation is good for her, so here I am. Rahne’s gone the distance to help me every time I needed her, Logan, and I intend to do the same.”

“ I understand the feeling, Moonstar, but you won’t do anyone any good if you burn yourself out.” Logan said as he left the medi-lab. When he got to the huge metal doors that sealed the rest of the mansion off from the morlock tunnels, he was surprised to see Bobby Drake already there.

“ Thought you’d sleep in a little before we headed out. You feeling okay?”

“ Honestly, I just want to get this over with, man. It’s not every day I have to tell someone a loved one died.”

“ I know the feeling. I had to call Heather and Mac yesterday to tell them what happened to Kyle. She was pretty upset about how he died.”

Bobby formed his trademark ice-sleds and they headed down towards the alley. The trip was long and quite, for the most part. When they reached the main part of the alley, Logan signaled for Bobby to stop.

“ Do you smell her?”

“ Yeah, and something else.”

“ What?”

-Clik- Clik-Clik-Clik-Clik-Clik-Clik-Clik-Clik-Clik-Clik-Clik-Clik-Clik-Clik-Clik-Clik-

“Gun powder.”

“ Thank you, Charleston Hesston.” Bobby said as he saw nearly two dozen weapons with laser scopes trained on him from the shadows. “ At least their better prepared to defend themselves now.”

“ Callisto! We’re just here to talk!” Wolverine shouted.

“ What do you want, up-worlder? Come to look down your nose at us ugly mutants?” Callisto said as she stepped forward from the shadows.

“ I never did that before, and I don’t see any reason to start now.” Logan growled. Callisto was NOT his favorite person in the world…

“ So what do you want, Wolverine? Somehow, I doubt this is a social visit.”

“ It’s about Sarah, Callisto. She was murdered.” Bobby said.

“ What? Who killed her!?”

“ She was kidnapped, along with others who possessed a healing factor, by scientists who wanted to exploit their powers. They killed her while they were experimenting on her. I’m sorry.” Bobby explained.

“ Sorry? About what, boy? Life is pain and death is a release. She died like all the morlocks before her did, for nothing.” Callisto spat.

“ You can at least pretend you gave a damn about her!” Logan growled.

“ You think that just because I don’t break down crying that I don’t care? The Marauders took all my tears long ago, when they butchered most of our number. Life is hard for a morlock, and then you die. Marrow knew that. She wouldn’t cry for me, and I won’t for her.”

“ You heartless…”

“ We’re having a funeral for Sarah in a few days,” Bobby said, cutting Logan off, “ You’re welcomed to cand and attend, of course.”

“ That won’t be necessary. I will honor her in my own way.”

“ If that’s what you want.”

“ See to it that you honor her better than those the Marauders killed.” Logan muttered as he left.

“ What does it matter how I honor her? Her death was meaningless, after all.” Callisto growled.

Neither Wolverine or Iceman replied. They just headed back towards the mansion, disgusted by what they had heard. The fact that it was true certainly didn’t help any.


***


It had been over ten days since the X-Men had rescued Rahne from her captors, and she still hadn’t awakened. Cecelia wasn’t much concerned about it though. With the scanners the X-Men had, she could tell that Rahne’s body was quickly healing and most importantly, correctly. Cecelia decided to use the time Rahne was in a coma to use the technology the X-Men had to remove the scars from Rahne’s body. She had noted well over forty of them of all sizes before she decided to stop counting them. As she walked into Rahne’s room, which was filled with flowers, balloons and all kinds of get well cards, she saw Dani slumped over in a chair next to Rahne, asleep with a bible on her lap.

-It’s the same scene every morning-She thought to herself, -It would be kind of sweet if it wasn’t so harmful to her health-.

She nudged Dani on the shoulder to wake her.

“ Rise and shine, Dani.”

“ I did it again, didn’t I?” She asked groggily.

“ Yeah. I know you want to help your friend, but you might hurt your health if you keep this up.”

Moonstar stood up and stretched, her joints making very loud pops and snaps. “ I’ll worry about myself when Rahne’s alright. How were the funerals?”

“Storm gave a very emotional eulogy at Sarah’s, I think everyone could tell she was pretty torn up by her death. Bobby seemed pretty upset as well.”

“ I know. Storm was here earlier, visiting Rahne with the rest of the diary hunters. I just wish they didn’t have to leave so soon. How was Feral’s funeral? I wanted to go, but it just didn’t feel right. I did betray her trust and we weren’t exactly close before that, after all. I know she was a killer, but she had such a hard life growing up…”

“ As I understand it, only her sister Thorrn, her boyfriend and Cable attended.”

“ I’m sorry to hear that. How is Rahne doing? How is her recovery coming?”

“ As I explained to you and Jean, time and again I might add, her bones and tendons have healed at a remarkable rate, thanks mostly to hewerswers I suspect. Some of her healing factor must have ‘bled’ into her human form or something. I was actually surprised that I was able to take off her leg cast yesterday. I think we’ll be able to take the casts off her arms soon, though I may leave them on longer just in case.”

“ Any idea when she’ll wake up?”

“ Soon. I hope. It’s hard to say really, I’ve never treated a mutant werewolf before.” She replied.

“ Yeah, Rahne’s always been rather unique. Look, I’m going to get a bite to eat, I’m famished. If anything changes, call me okay? I should be back in a few minutes. ”

Cecelia just nodded in response. As Moonstar left, Cecelia wheeled Rahne’s bed into the main medical lab and placed her under what looked very much like a multi colored sun lamp. The X-Men called it a dermal regenerator, which prevented them from carrying permanent reminders of their mistakes in the danger room with them for the rest of their lives. According to the X-Men, it could heal scars, and some nerve damage, without leaving a mark in one session. But Cecelia was afraid of upsetting Rahne’s body chemistry after the massive operation she had performed to repair her body, and working together with Hank, they made a schedule that would work best for Rahne in her current condition.

“ I know this won’ke tke the memory of what happened to you go away, Rahne, but at least you won’t have to think about it every time you look at yourself in the mirror.” Cecelia said as she examined the controls to the dermal regenerator. She knew that she would have to plan a time when they could remove the scars from Rahne’s back, due to the fact that the regenerator could only heal the scars that it was directly exposed to. She was afraid that putting Rahne on her stomach might hurt her bruised ribs or kidneys, so she decided not to chance it.

Cecelia dawned her medical scrubs, out of habit, and turned the machine on. It hummed to life and bathed Rahne in a green light. Her scars, which by now were little more than slight lines on her skin, simply faded away, leaving no evidence that they had ever been. As she turned off the ray, she heard a slight moan coming from Rahne.

-She’s waking up! Thank god- She walked over to Rahne and stood beside her “ Miss Sinclair, can you hear me?” Rahne didn’t respond. She couldn’t. After being in a coma for so long, her eyes had trouble adjusting to the light and wouldn’t focus and she couldn’t concentrate on what Cecelia was saying. But despite that, Rahne could understand two things perfectly.

One, a woman in a medical uniform was standing over her.

Two, that she wasn’t restrained in any way.

“ GET AWAY FROM ME!” Rahne instantly shifted into her change form and she backhanded Cecelia with all her strength, knocking her clear across the room and into a cabinet of medical supplies, which collapsed onto her. Cecelia’s force field activated seconds before she was hit, so she was fine physically, but pinned under the supplies. She could see Rahne jump out of her bed and dash out of the room, but was powerless to stop it. Curiously, Rahne had changed back into her human form by then.

*Cecelia, this is the professor! I just sensed a flash of pain and fear, what’s going on down there? *

*Rahne just woke up and she still thinks she’s still being held captive! You need to seal this section off, keep the other students out of here, and get her friends down here fast! I’m worried that she may aggravate her injuries in her condition * Cecelia responded as she struggled to get out from under the shelf.

*Understood*

Within moments, Wolverine, Nightcrawler, Moonstar and Jean Grey were in the medical wing. They helped Cecelia out from under the supplies and planned their search.

“ Dani, you’re the one with the mental link with her, what’s going thru her head?” Logan asked.

“ She’s not in her wolf form now. I felt her change, and could feel her fear and panic. I don’t think she managed to transform for more than a few seconds. She wasn’t thinking rationally at all, just running on automatic. I’m afraid she might hurt herself in her condition!”

“ Jean? You got anything?”

“ Nothing. She’s radiating fear, but it’s so strong I can’t pinpoint the position. If you’ll give me a moment, though… ”

Logan was silent for a moment, as though his mind was somewhere else. “ Don’t bother. She’s at the far end of the wing, at onethe the exit doors. I can hear her poundin’ on them.”

“What’s the plan? How do we approach her? She’s scared out of her mind right now, and we don’t want to make things any worse than they already are.”

“ Jean and Moonstar are goin’ in first. We’ll hang back out of sight, elf.”

“ Is there something you’re not telling us Logan?” Jean asked. There was something in his voice…

“ Time’s wastin’.” He said. They hurried to the corridor where Logan said she’d be. Rahne was at the door in her human form, slumped up against it and crying, quaking in fear. Rahne could see them too, but couldn’t make out any details thru her tears.

“ Please, please… jus’ kill me… an’ get it over with. Ye’ve taken enough o’ muh life already. Don’ make me go back…please… don’ make me go back tae the labs…” Her voice was weak and hoarse, filled with desperation.

“ It’s okay furtop, you’re safe now. You’re at the mansion, Rahne, and no one can hurt you now.” Moonstar said as she and Jean cautiously approached Rahne.

“ Dani? Is… that, really you?”

“ In the flesh, Rahne.” Moonstar bent down next to Rahne and put her hand on Rahne’s shoulder, “ And we’re here to help you.” Rahne threw her arms tightly around Moonstar and cried in relief.

“ Oh god, I thought ye wouldnae come f’r me! I thought it was jus’ a dream!” she sobbed. Moonstar hugged her old friend to comfort her, and without meaning to, ran her hands over all the scars still on Rahne’s back. It felt like leather.

-Spirits, what did they do to her?- she thought. “ We need to get you back to the medical lab, Rahne. You may have hurt yourself running around out here.”

“ No! Nae more labs, please! I…I…”

“ Calm down, Rahne. I promise you Rahne, you’ll be fine. But we have to get you back to check you out. Me and Jean will be here right beside you the entire time.”

Moonstar, assisted by Jean’s telekinetic powers, picked up Rahne and toor bar back towards the lab. Both Wolverine and Nightcrawler stood back out of sight as the women walked past. Once the women were out of sight, Wolverine walked down the corridor to where they found Rahne and looked at the door.

“ You said you wanted me to see something, vhat is it?”

“Poor girl was terrified Kurt, look at what she did.” Logan pointed to the door and Kurt saw the blood smeared across it.

“ Did she…” Kurt couldn’t bring himself to finish his sentence.

“ She was so desperate to get out, she beat the door until her hands bled.”

Moonstar and Jean took Rahne back to the medi-lab where Cecelia was waiting. They placed Rahne back on the bed and tried their best to comfort her. Despite their reassurances, Rahne couldn’t bring herself to let go of Dani’s hand. Cecelia brought some anti-septic with which to clean the cuts on Rahne’s hand, but Rahne visibly trembled as Cecelia walked towards her. Cecelia ran one of the medical scanners over Rahne’s body, trying to determine if she had done any damage to herself in her ‘escape’ attempt. Though she wasn’t about to tell Rahne, Cecelia was surprised that Rahne was actually able to run away. It was nothing short of a miracle that she got as far as she did.

-She must have been incredibly desperate to just ignore the damage in her legs- She thought as she ran the scanner over Rahne’s body. She sighed in relief as the scan revealed nothing had been broken. The casts on her arms were stretched a little, but they were otherwise fine.

-Thank heaven for small favors. The only damage she may have done to herself was to her hands- Cecelia thought to herself. “ Hello, Rahne, I’m Cecelia Reyes, the resident doctor. I need to swab those cuts on your hands to prevent them from being infected.” Cecelia said in her most reassuring voice. Rahne still recoiled from her in fear.

“ It’s alright Rahne, she’s one of us.” Jean assured her.

Rahne hesitantly reached out so Cecelia could examine her cuts. Even with Jean and Dani there, Cecelia could feel that her presence disturbed Rahne.

“ It doesn’t look like you broke any bones, thankfully. Where’d you learn to punch like that?” She said, trying to make small talk. She had found it helped in the past to sooth anxious patients. Rahne, however, was completely silent, her eyes darting around all over the place, almost as if to make sure this was all real. She didn’t even acknowledge the anti-septic.

-Poor girl must have gotten used too much worse pain- she thought to herself, “ Is there anything you need while I’m here? How does your body feel?”

Rahne didn’t say a word.

“ I know your scared, Rahne, but I give you my word as an X-man you’re safe now. You need to answer Cecelia’s questions if she’s going to help you.” Jean told Rahne reassuringly.

“ Muh… throat hurts some, and it’s hard t’ swallow. I’m sore all o’er, but muh left leg hurts a lot.” Rahne said quietly.

“ I’ll take a look at your leg. Jean, why don’t you get Rahne a glass of water?”

As Cecelia examined Rahne’s leg, she couldn’t help but again notice the slight deformities in them. The untrained eye would have missed it, but she knew they were there. Muscles and cartilage had been damaged in Rahne’s leg and she didn’t want to think how long it would take for Rahne to make a decent recovery, if ever. She put that out of her mind as she found Rahne’s (immediate) leg problem.

“ It looks like you just sprained your ankle. You’ll need to keep off it for a few days, but it should be fine.” Cecelia said. –The scanner must have missed it because it wasn’t set to scan for sprains. Guess that’s what you get for relying on the tech here so much, Reyes-

Jean returned with the glass of water and gave it to Rahne. Rahne greedily drank it down, spilling most of it on herself.

“ T…thank ye, Jean. I’m… sorry fer hittin’ you, Ms. Reyes. I dinnae mean t’ hurt ye, I…I… mean…”

“ It’s okay, Rahne, I understand. I have a force field that protects me from any harm, so don’t sweat it.”

“ How…how did ye find me? I was in that horrid place f’r so long…”

Jean and Moonstar exchanged a nervous glance. They didn’t want to tell Rahne that her rescue was a case of pure, dumb luck. They weren’t certain how she would handle that in her condition.

“ Chuck got worried when you hadn’t checked in with us.” Logan said as he walked into the lab with Kurt. He was lying thru his teeth, but he didn’t care. He knew she needed to hear it.

“ We were so worried about you, Rahne.” Kurt said. He put his hand on her shoulder to comfort her but,

“ DON’T TOUCH ME!” Rahne screamed, almost involuntarily. The others were taken back by her powerful statement, and for a moment, didn’t know what to say.

“ I’m… sorry Kurt…I…I” Rahne tried to explain her actions, but she broke down into tears, weeping and babbling senselessly. Jean motioned for Kurt and Logan to leave as she and Dani attempted to calm Rahne down. It took a considerable amount of time, but when Rahne finally calmed down, she asked a question that she had been worrying about since she had realized she was safe.

“ Did… Kyle… make it oot tae?”

Jean looked at Moonstar dumbfounded. Who was Kyle?

“ You…were the only one to make it out of there alive Rahne.” Jean explained.

“ Oh.” Rahne didn’t seem to react much to the news other than with a single tear.

“ Are you hungry, Rahne?” Cecelia asked, but she already knew the answer. As far she could tell, Rahne was nourished intravenously for close to three months, and only enough to keep her alive. She had to be starving.

“A wee bit.”

“ I’ll go make you some soup, okay? Jean, why don’t we give Rahne and Dani some time alone?”

“ I’d like Jean tae stay…please?”

“ Alright Rahne, I’ll be back in a moment with that soup, okay?”


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