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.

Chapter 8 Sweet Dreams are made

Despite the fact that Cecelia had given Rahne a strong sedative that was supposed to prevent dreams, Jean Grey could still feel Rahne’s pain, her nightmares. They were far less pronounced, and certainly not enough to affect any of the telepathic students by any means, but they were there all the same. And Jean couldn’t stand it anymore.


- After what she’s suffered thru, she deserves at least one pleasant night- Jean thought to herself. She thought about the moral implications of what she intended to do for a moment, but decided in the end that helping Rahne took precedence over some abstract ideals. This time, at least. She used her telepathy and reached into Rahne’s mind. Unlike with Frost, Rahne’s mind didn’t attempt to eject or resist Jean. For one thing, Jean was the person who brought Rahne back from the brink of death when they first rescued her. In doing so, Rahne’s unconscious mind ‘trusted’ Jean, as opposed to Frost who had attempted to brainwash Rahne before. For another thing, Jean was far more gentle than Frost when she attempted to enter Rahne’s mind, gently coaxing her way in, rather than forcing herself in. She didn’t bother to look around as she entered Rahne’s nightmare. It was just Rahne’s mental recreation of the torture she had suffered, and Jean had already seen it first hand. Using her powers, she dispelled it completely.

-I’ll have to ‘bring up’ some of her happier memories if I want her to have a good night’s sleep-Jean thought to herself. She reached out with her powers and ‘called’ forth memories from Rahne’s mind that she had a pleasant and positive emotional attachment to. Jean was sho to to find that Rahne had so relatively few. Her earliest memories were of abuse, both physical and emotional by the Reverend Craig, who raised her until she was a teenager and filled her mind with self-loathing. Jean found that Rahne’s life was one of constant struggle, from reconciling her faith with her powers to learning that the only family she had was dying of an incurable disease, and that she had never given up or stopped believing in the goodness of man. Jean put aside her sympathy for Rahne for a moment and created a dream for Rahne, where she was having a picnic with her old friends from the New Mutants. But the moment she stopped concentrating on it, Rahne’s dream degenerated back into the horrific nightmare she was having before.

-The trauma’s so deep, it’s hard to dispel. It’s going to take some effort to get Rahne’s mind to ‘accept’ the dream I made for her.- Jean thought to herself, -Well, I knew this wouldn’t be easy when I started-. She concentrated, and went about reconstructing the pleasant dream she created for Rahne.


***

Dani squirmed uncomfortably in her seat, “ Why couldn’t we have taken the Black Bird instead?”

“ We’re just going to pick up a few things out of your dorm, Dani. This van will do that just fine. Just sit back and enjoy the ride.” Logan replied.

“ Couldn’t we just go a little faster?”

“ There’s something called the speed limit, Moonstar, and I’m already a good ten miles over it. Unclench, willya? You might pass a diamond you keep this up. I know you’re concerned about Rahne, but Jeanie will take good care of her. The whole point of this trip is so you can cool down some, remember?”

“ Easier said don done, really. Rahne brings out the mother in me, even after all these years. Logan… I have to ask you something, did you know?”

“ Know what?”

“ You know exactly what I’m talking about, Logan.”

“ I did know that Rahne was raped? I suspected she was, yeah.”

“ So why didn’t you tell me?” Dani asked, trying very hard not to sound accusing.

“ ‘Cause I really, really hoped that I was wrong. I didn’t want to think that they did something even worse to that poor kid than cut her up like a turkey at Thanksgiving. That’s why I didn’t tell you, and I’m sorry I didn’t. But again, isn’t the point of this trip to be for you to stop worrying about Rahne? At least for ten freakin’ minutes.”

“ I know, Logan, I know,” Dani pressed the recline button on her seat and leaned back, “ If you wouldn’t mind talking about it, what helped you overcome what Weapon X did to you?”

Logan bristled a little bit. He normally didn’t like to talk about his ‘dark time’, but it wasn’t something he was afraid to talk about either, when he had too, that is.

“ Don’t know how much it will help ya’ really, but sure. The kindness of strangers really. When Mac and Heather found me in the woods, I was completely out of it. I attacked them for no good reason really, but they managed to take me out. They would have been within their rights to put me down right then and there, but they didn’t. They brought me back to their cabin and, luckily, managed to reach my humanity. Rahne just needs someone to help her thru this, a shoulder to cry on. You and Jean will do fine.”

“ I hope.”

“ Let’s talk about somethin’ else, okay? Something half way pleasant, at least.”

“ Alright. So… how exactly did X-Stacy become an X-man? Did you guys forget about the half dozen mutants that you already trained? I’m sure any member of Generation X would make a better choice than some mutant prostitute. I mean, I’m sure Husk, Siryn or Sunspot would have worked in a jam!”

“Well, she did alright against the Church of Humanity… and we were short handed at the time,”

“ Yeah, so? You could have called me, or Jubilee or someone! Come on! ”

“ Promise not to tell?”

“ Tell what?”

“ Promise not to tell?” Wolverine asked again.

“ Sure. I promise.”

“ Bobby bribed me into talking the others into letting her join.”

“ Iceman? I thought he was gay?”

“ May as well be, what with his luck and all,” Logan muttered under his breath, “Nah, He’s just desperate. Really, really desperate. He promised to buy all my Cubans for a year and clean my bike whenever I needed it for the next six months. He made me promise not to tell, too.”

“ So how exactly did you talk the others into letting her in?”

“ I just told them about the deal I made with Bobby!” Logan smirked, “ I had my toes crossed!” They both enjoyed a good, long laugh at that; the first one Dani had really had since she learned what had happened to Rahne.


***

It was around five o clock in the morning when Jean felt Rahne begin to stir. Jean had spent the better part of the night creating and recreating a pleasant dream for Rahne, so she was a little relieved. It was hard work, after all. Jean nudged Rahne on the shoulder to fully wake her.

“ Rahne, I need your attention for a moment, sweetie. I need to tell you something.”

Rahne opened her eyes, attentive but silent.

“ I’m going to move you out of here and into a bedroom in the guest house. I think you’ll like it there better.”

“ I thought that ye an’ Scott lived there. I…I don’ want tae burden anyone.” Rahne said softly.

-I can’t believe she’s still able to think about others after what’s happened to her- Jean thought to herself, “ You’re not a burden on anyone, Rahne, and you won’t be. I just think that you’ll be more comfortable there than you are here.”

“ But, I don’ think that I’m strong enough tae walk right now…”

“ That’s not a problem, Rahne. You just relax and let me do all the work, okay?”

Jean used her telekinetic powers to lift Rahne slightly in the air and wrapped Rahne carefully in her blanket to keep her warm. Jean then picked her up, holding her in her arms like a mother might carry a young child. Once they were outside, Rahne tugged at Jean gently on the shoulder to get her to stop.

“ Is anything wrong, Rahne?”

“Ah don’ mean tae be a bother, but… ken I see… the sun rise? I… havenae seen it… in so long…”

“ Of course, Rahne. I think I can even give you an even better view.” Jean said. She took to the air with Rahne and hovered over the mansion. As the sun came out over the horizon, Rahne, for the first time in a long time, started to shed tears of joy. For her, the sunrise drove home the fact that she was finally, finally free, if only physically. Free from the labs, from the pain, free from the living hell she had been thru for the last three months. To tell the truth, she never expected to see it again after she had been captured, and so it was easily the most beautiful thing she had ever seen.

“ Thank ye so, so verra much.”

“ Any time, Rahne. Why don’t we get you to yourm som so you can get some more rest?”

“ All right.”

Jean took Rahne to her room and carefully laid her down in the queen-sized bed. Jean decided not to tell Rahne that the bed had been hers and Scott's before they had decided to move Rahne in. Jean carefully placed Rahne on her back in bed and placed two pillows under her legs to elevate them and improve circulation. She then pulled the comforters over Rahne.

“ I’ll be back in a few hours with your breakfast, okay Rahne?”

Rahne didn’t respond, she was already fast asleep. Jean scanned her tathiathically and was pleased to find that Rahne’s sleep was peaceful. Jean tucked her in and left. She almost turned the lights off before she caught herself.

-She’s deathly afraid of the dark now, remember?- she reminded herself. Jean went to hers and Scott’s room to try to catch a few hours of sleep before she had to get up and make breakfast for Rahne. She programmed the alarm clock to wake her up in about an hour and laid down in bed. She blinked, and heard the alarm go off.

-Already!?- Jean sighed. As she pulled herself up, she crushed the alarm clock into a little ball with her telekinesis. It was annoying, and every X-Man had a spare alarm clock in case they destroyed their’s.

***

Some people were, by nature, morning people. Cecelia Reyes was one of those people. She was awake by five thirty in the morning and fully awake at six. And so, she went about making the coffee for the schoolteachers and making her breakfast.

“ I hate you, Cecelia Reyes. You have no right to look so well rested this early in the morning.”

Cecelia turned and saw Jean Grey, who looked very, very tired, “ Eh, what can I say? I used to always work the morning shift. Want some coffee, Jean?”

“ For the love of god, yes.”

“ I noticed that you moved Rahne this morning. Why didn’t you move her last night when she was asleep?” Cecelia asked as she handed Jean a cup of coffee. Jean took a long gulp, and sat silent for a moment.

“ I just didn’t want Rahne to wake up in an unfamiliar room all of a sudden. I don’t want to think about how she would have taken it.”

“ I don’t mean to pry, but why are you going to such lengths for Rahne? You didn’t know her all that well before this happened, after all.”

“ I’ve had some time to think about that, last night. A lot of reasons, I suppose. Moira was a very good friend, to both the X-men and me. I know she would want us to look after her daughter for her in her place. Given everything Moira did for us, I think it’s the least we can do. Rahne was also an early student of the professor’s in the New Mutants, and we always look after our own. But the main reason, well, have I ever told you about mine and Scott’s twenty two year old daughter, Rachel?”

Cecelia nearly choked on her coffee, and took a few seconds to catch her breath. Jean just smiled and wished she had a camera to record the look on Cecelia’s face, it was truly priceless.

“Uhh, Jean, I’m your doctor, and I can say for a fact that you’ve never given birth. And for you to have a twenty two year old daughter…that would be physically impossible considering your age! What on earth are you talking about?”

“ True, I never have given birth. Although me and Scott have four biological children, all of whom are now grown adults.” Jean took another sip of her coffee while Cecelia just stood there, looking completely bewildered.

“ It’s a long story, so I’ll try to summarize it as best I can.”“ Ju“ Just about your daughter, though. I don’t know if I want to hear about all your other kids you have running around, my head just might explode.”


“Alright. You know what alternate future realties are, right?” As she started to explain, she reached out with her powers and took out a box of pancake mix from the cabinets and the milk from the fridge.

“ Hank has told me something about them. A future that might be, but isn’t guaranteed to come to pass, right?”

“ Right. Rachel came from a reality where…she had a… traumatic upbringing before she escaped to our time.” Jean decided against telling Cecelia how Rachel was forced to hunt down and kill other mutants. Mainly because Rachel never liked to tell anyone about it herself and Jean wanted to honor that, but also Jean was still ashamed of how she had treated her,

“ When I first met her, for mainly selfish reasons, looking in retrospect, I rejected her in every way a person, a mother could. It wasn’t pretty. We eventualeconeconciled, but before I could really get to know her, she was gone.”

“ How did she die?”

“ She, well…it’s… complicated. I guess long story short, Rahne just reminds me so much of Rachel. A young woman in incredible pain who needs someone. And I don’t want to fail another young woman in need again.” By now, Jean had already made the pan cake mix while talking to Cecelia. She turned an eye on, placed a skillet on the eye and poured the batter in, “ And like I told Hank, it needs to be done.”


***

When Jean’s alarm clock went off, it not only awoke Jean, but it woke Rahne was well. But Rahne didn’t mind it in the least. She had spent enough time asleep already as far as she was concerned. And she felt a lot better emotionally after her ‘confession’ to Dani.

-I shouldnae blamed muhself for what they did t’ me- She sighed. It was foolish and irrational, looking back. In truth, it wasn’t a conclusion she came to immediately. Her rape and her body’s subsequent betrayal had left her hurt and confused, to say the least. That pain was then combined with her grief over the death of her mother, which was made even worse by the daily torture and humiliation she suffered at the hands of the guards and doctors. She needed someone, anyone to blame for her pain and suffering. And like Reverend Craig, her foster father had taught her so long ago, she was to blame. Because she was touched by the devil, a demon, and the daughter of a whore.

-I wonder how he would react if he learned his former ward was cut up like a prize steer of the sakes o’ humans everywhere- She thought bitterly. Craig would always go on about how mutants were demons and that they needed to be wiped off the face of the earth for the sake of all god-fearing men. In fact, Reverend Craig went so far as to trying to lynch his ward immediately after she manifested her mutant ability to transform into a red wolf. Had it not been for Moira MacTaggert, Rahne’s foster mother, he would have killed her without a second thought.

-Well, he’s ruined muh life enough, and he’s nae aboot tae do me anymore harm- She thought to herself. Rather than brood about what had happened to her, something she couldn’t change, Rahne decided to see what she could still do. She knew that the damage done to her body was pretty extensive, but she was hopeful. She felt stronger now, far stronger than when she had been before, when depression was completely overtaking her. She attempted to lift her legs off the pillows, but couldn’t get them more than six inches into the air before the effort became too much.

-I’m as weak as a newborn babe now- she thought to herself. Half of her knew that she would physically never be the same. She had worked alongside the best doctors in the world as Moira’s lab assistant, after all, and she had learned a thing or two about the body. But half of her strongly refused to believe she would never fully recover. Not after the life she had led, the adventures she’s had.

-I’ve gone toe t' toe with the demons o’ hell, the M.L.F, Hell’s Belles and all kinds o’ scum. Who am I supposed t’ go from that…- Rahne tried and failed to lift her legs two more inches off the pillow, -…t’ this?-

***

When Jean brought Rahne her breakfast, she didn’t bring Rahne just pancakes. She brought Rahne banana pancakes, eggs, bacon and a bowl of melon, as well as a glass of milk and orange juice. It was enough food to choke a horse and took some effort to prepare, but Jean didn’t much care.

-She can eat what wants, and that’ll be fine-She thought to herself as she placed the food on a tray designed to let a person eat breakfast in bed. She walked out of the kitchen and took the food to Rahne. As she opened the door to Rahne’s room, she could sense that Rahne was awake.

“ Hope you’re hungry, Rahne, because I made the best breakfast I know how to make.”

“ Ye shouldnae have, Jean. I’m nae all that hungry, really…”

Jean set the tray down in front of Rahne, “ It’s alright dear. You just eat what you can and don’t worry about the rest, okay? I’ll be outside doing a little house keeping. Just ‘call’ me when you’re done or if you need me, alright?”

Jean left, and went to lie down on her bed while Rahne ate her breakfast, though she made sure not to fall asleep. After roughly forty minutes…

*Jean? I’ve finished…*

*I’ll be right there, sweet heart*

When Jean entered the room, she was surprised to find every last bit of food was gone from Rahne’s tray. Jean could barely hide her astonishment.

“ Muh metabolism… is a little faster than most people’s…” Rahne explained, a little embarrassed by the fact she had eaten so much in one sitting.

“ So I see.” Jean said. She lifted the tray with her powers, taking it out of the room and setting it down in the kitchen without leaving the room.

“ I don’ mean tae sound ungrateful, but where’s Dani? She’s always hoverin’ aboot, frettin’ aboot me…”

“ She had had some things she needed to take care of in New York. She should be back later tonight.”

“ That’s good. I’ve been placing such a weight on her shoulders, wit’ muh problems an’ all…”

“ Don’t say that, Rahne. We’re your friends, we care about you and you need our help right now. Sometimes, it’s just that simple.”

“ I… suppose.”

“ Are you ready to talk about what happened?”

“ Nae really.”

“Are you willing to talk about what happened?”

“ I…I think so…”

Jean took Rahne’s hand in hers gently and placed her other hand on Rahne’s shoulder to reassure her, “ I think you should try. We can stop whenever you like, but I think it would help a lot if you told me what happened.”

Rahne took a deep breath and a moment to collect herself, and began to describe the torture she suffered while she was held prisoner. Over the course of an hour, she described how the doctors would cut her stomach open to examine it’s workings while she was awake. Rahne went on to describe how they pulled her fingernails out while she was in her human form, and then forced her to transform into her half wolf form, so they could do it all over again. Rahne explained why she was now afraid of water, because of how the doctors placed her in freezing cold water half a dozen times to induce hypothermia to, in their words ‘better study it’s effects on the body’. Rahne described how certain guards would touch her sex while masturbating in front of her. Apparently they found her bound and bloodied form an erotic sight. Rahne had barely described three weeks captivity before she couldn’t continue anymore. Despite the painful emotions and memories she had drudged up, Rahne still felt as though she had a great weight had been lifted from her shoulders. Finally, someone, anyone knew how she suffered and cared… and Jean searched for something, anything, to say that would be comforting, reassuring and wouldn’t sound cliché’, but before she could say a word…

“ Why did I survive, Jean? Why did I live… when everyone else… they took… died?” Rahne sobbed, “ Why do I …always live… while everyone around me… dies?”

“ I don’t have an answer for you, Rahne, I wish I did. But it isn’t your fault that you survived and others didn’t. You were lucky to survive yourself, Rahne. There was nothing you could have done for those other victims, you know that.”

“ It’s just that…isnae fair that I lived… when all those other poor souls died like they did! I could always hear the screams… of those the doctors were torturin’, even thru the walls, even when I slept! I… ken still hear them now! It’s jus’ nae right…Maybe I shid have died with them…”

“ There was nothing, and I mean nothing that you could have done for the other victims of the labs, Rahne. You didn’t kill them, and you couldn’t have saved them. I know it’s hard to accept, but sometimes you can’t save everyone. Please, don’t blame yourself for something you had no control over.” Jean said forcefully.

“ It’s just that…muh… I…why…why does god hate me… so… much?”

“ God doesn’t hate you, Rahne. He just works in mysterious ways.”

“ DON’T GIVE ME THAT! That’s all anyone seems tae say about all the pain and suffering on earth!”

Jean was taken back by the force of Rahne’s statement, but not nearly as much as Rahne herself seemed to be…

“ I’m…I’m sorry fer snappin’ at ye like that, Jean. It’s just that… that’s all I’ve e’er heard… whenever I ask why? Why does muh father hate me? Why was I orphaned twice before muh nineteenth birthday? An’ I…am …so… sick …and… tired o’ it!” Rahne choked.

“ I know sometimes it’s hard to accept or believe, Rahne, but it’s truer than you know. I admit that I’m no expert on theology, but I’ve seen enough to in life to convince me that god does indeed work in mysterious ways. When John Walsh’s son was murdered, he started a program that has brought hundreds of criminals to justice and saved countless lives…”

“ On Fox, no less.” Rahne remarked.

“ See my point?” Jean joked, trying to break the tension, “ Who would have thought that one woman refusing to give up her seat on a bus would have sparked the civil rights movement? The events of September 11th have certainly helped bring this nation together, too. I’m sure Moira never expected to find “…the sweetest child in all of Scotland running from a mob of fools…” when she went for a walk all those years ago.”

“ I guess. It’s jus’ that, they cut me up… like a…a lab rat and stripped me o’ muh dignity as a woman, as a human bein’! They violated me… in any an’ every way they could! They had no right to do what they did t’ me! What good ken possibly come o’ that?”

Jean looked Rahne in the eyes, and cursed the fact that she wasn’t a better liar, “ I don’t know, Rahne. I really don’t. But that’s not my concern. My concern is making you better and helping you heal. I don’t care much about anything else other than that right now.”

“ I don’ think that I’ll ever be the same again…” Rahne sobbed.

Jean put her arm around Rahne’s shoulder and gently pulled her closer,

“ But that doesn’t mean you won’t ever be better. I do believe, with all my heart, that the weight we carry on our shoulders can only make us stronger.”


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