Title: You Smell Like Rain
Author: Harmonie (firstname.lastname@example.org) Summary: What would have happened to the X-Men if the Mutant Registration law was past? Rating: PG-13 for violence
Characters: Nightcrawler, Storm
Disclaimer: All X-Men characters belong to Marvel and Fox. Not mine. Feedback: Pretty please.
Notes: I may be playing with the X-Universe a bit, please forgive.
You Smell Like Rain
It could have been dark outside or it could have been the middle of the day. For all he knew the sun's burning lust for earth had been shattered and floated away from the fair planet...for all he knew, the moon followed. It didn't matter though since he sat in a room with no windows and no doors. The white walls glowed and pounded the unnatural light into his eyes. He felt too clean, too white. He could hear a faint buzz singing behind the walls. He placed his face against the wall as well as his palms and stomach. He could feel the buzzing and started to hum along. Perhaps he could swim away on the electrical current that seemed to cradle his body. The buzzing soon stopped and he stepped away from the wall, sitting on the floor and leaning the side of his face into his hand. He was to be forever trapped in this sterile hell. He wanted to escape. He would escape.
He laid down on his back and spread his arms out on the ground. His skin fought with the tiles, trying to slide softly but only squeaked in sharp quick motions. Cold. He could feel his body melt into the tile and disapear. But it didn't. They wouldn't let him. It was always cold. His movements were that of an old man, even though he was still young. His muscles were weak and he tried to remember how long he had been trapped in that prison. The memories eluded him as they always did. He let out a heavy sigh, numbers were so foreign now. His hand reached up and touched the wall. All he knew was this room. All he knew was white, dry, cold air. It had been a long time since he had seen the others. Not after what he tried to pull. Not after he almost got out. But the next chance he would get he knew just what to do...
His fingers crawled down and then went back to its place. He stopped, and the sudden urge to get out of there was almost unbearable. He closed his eyes and concentrated, picturing the cold hallway just outside. His body would evaporate and he would find himself outside. But it didn't happen. There was a wall that he couldn't get past. He concentrated, exerting all his mental energy. He couldn't get out. They wouldn't let him. With a strangled gasp, he gave up. As his hand hit the tile, the metal bracelet around his wrist clanked. For a few seconds it buzzed, a red light blinked, and the next moment his chest jolted up and his head hit the floor. His body shook violently and his lungs were cutting into each other. His heartrate quickened and it felt as if razors were passing through his arteries. He tried to scream but he couldn't breathe. Everything just twisted inside him and he yelled through his eyes. The room was darker but he could see the men looking down on him from the ceiling. He clenched his teeth and swung his head back and forth. His pupils disapeared and gave way to complete yellow iris, glowing with an unnatural light. He could feel his blood travelling up his throat and dripping from his ears. The drops made pleasant splashes on the white tiles. Dirty. He smiled and then his body fell like a dead weight to the ground.
"Interesting reaction," the nurse said.
"He's never bled before, something is wrong," the colonol said, turning the light switch back on.
"Why can't we talk to him? It would save so much time! Perhaps if we told him-" the doctor started.
"He must not remember," the colonol interrupted.
They looked down upoun Kurt, his body still twitching. Kurt lifted his hand and wiped the blood from his mouth. He looked up at the doctors and stood up. The blood ran down his deformed hands and fingers like water. He looked at his hand and then placed it on the wall. Epiphany. The blood flowed from his hand and down the wall. He laughed and spat on it.
"He has gone insane," the nurse whispered.
"Call the janitor," the colonol said then hesitated, "and then take him to the hall with the others. I think he is ready to interact again."
Kurt panted in excitement. The walls bled and he danced in the middle of the room. Suddenly a magnetic force pulled his wrist bracelets to the back wall. He stood there, shaking and laughing demonically. He stopped for a second and moved his head back and forth, listening attentively like an animal would. He dropped his head, staring at the ground and the crimson splashes dotting it. Clinking noises were coming from the opposite wall and then the wall slid up to reveal a long white hallway. Two men stepped into his room, completely dressed in white, grabbing his bracelets and attaching them together behind his back. Kurt cowered as they tried to cover his hands with a rough wool material that aggravated his skin. He screamed and tried to escape their grasp.
"Hold him down."
"Just drag him."
They sucessfully put the gloves on and dragged him out of the room by his bracelets. Kurt winced in pain as the cold metal sliced into his wrists. With every step the two men took the metal kissed his wrist and then licked the blood. He left a carmine trail behind him on the tiles. The blood from his wrists dripped down his arms and when it reached his fingertips it dropped to the ground. He laughed in between his cries and the two men shook their heads.
"The baths?" One man grinned and pulled Kurt's hair. Kurt grimaced in pain and wrenched his head away.
"Colonol Stryker said straight to the hall," the other said.
Kurt swung back and forth until the two men dragged him into a large, spacious room. The ceiling had no limits, there was only the sky. Large windows stretched from the ground to the sky and he could see the sun. The men dropped him in the middle of the room and took the wristbands apart. Kurt wrapped his arms around his legs and brought them to his chest. He rocked back and forth, pressing his face against his legs and then peeking his eyes out while uttering a joyous laugh. He shook his head and his hair stuck to the caked blood. The sun rubbed his face and Kurt stood, tipping his face up so that the sun might hug him and pull him into the sky.
After a few moments he smiled widely and looked around the room. He then noticed others, children and people his own age, staring at him. His smile easily turned into a frown and he crawled away under a nearby table. They all stared at him and he winced, crying and clinging to one of the table legs. His gloves kept slipping from the wooden posts so he wrapped his legs and tail around it as if he was holding his mother and suspected to be pulled away by strangers. He tried to hide his face behind the post and kept knocking his nose against it. The blood stained the post and the others stared. His cries came to a sudden halt when he looked carefully at them.
They were all dressed in white, the kind of white he used to have until a few minutes ago. Some of their heads were shaved and had a metallic brace attached to their skulls. Others had some clamped to their eye regions, necks, legs, and arms, very akin to his own bracelets. Some were sitting in white chairs playing cards or chess. Some were just talking. They looked calm. They looked sad. They looked at him.
"Are you all right?" someone said from behind him and put its hand on his shoulder.
Kurt jumped to the side and swung himself around the post to face the intruder. She was a woman dressed in white garb with the same pure white hair as her dress. She was kneeling on one knee, peering under the table. She also wore the gloves that he had on. Her eyes seemed to be filled with so much sorrow. Kurt crawled towards her on all fours and leaned in closer to look into her eyes. She smelled familiar. She smelled like rain. He smiled and hugged her. She fell down onto the other knee and hesitated before she wrapped his arms around him. Kurt hugged her for a few more seconds and after letting go he reclined back to sit in a crouch. He tilted his head and then smiled again.
"You're bleeding. Did they hurt you?" she asked.
Kurt looked down and saw that his whole shirt was dyed a sickening red shade. He looked up again and shook his head, spitting on the ground. The tiles surrounding him was an orangish colour. He frowned and clanked his metal wristbands on the floor. She then looked back at her, waiting for her reaction.
"Are you new?" she asked.
He shook his head.
"I've been here for nearly six years, I would have known if someone like you was here," she stated while pulling him out from underneath the table. He did nothing but smile.
"Can you speak?" she asked, as she led him over to a sink basin by the washrooms. She wet a wash cloth and wiped his face. She didn't seem to be affected by his demonic face. It comforted him.
He ignored her question and looked up towards the sky. His eyes shifted back and forth, scanning the room. Tables and chairs covered the floor but besides that, everything was bare and sterile. Most of the others huddled in the corners, whispering and pointing up towards the ceiling. Kurt looked at the people and then the ceiling, trying to see what they saw.
"It's such a sham. That's where the doctors meet to observe us. Pretty good hologram, isn't it? I'll be glad when I can go back to my room where they don't watch my every move," she said. Kurt's childish pose straightened out and he looked around suspicously.
"They vatch me," Kurt whispered and his voice cracked as if he hadn't spoken in years.
"What did you say?" the woman asked, amazed at the tone and foreign lilt of his voice.
"My room is like this, white, clean, inhuman. My ceiling is made of glass and they vatch me," Kurt said in a hateful tone.
"How long have you been here?" she asked.
"I don't remember not being here," he answered, then went back into his crouched position, looking more like the animal he appeared to be.
"Well, surely you must know your age," she said, amazed.
"They mouth numbers such as 26 and 27. I must be one of those," Kurt responded in a serious tone yet rocking back and forth like a mental patient.
"26, but they way you...I mean, why act like..." she began.
"It is very important that they keep me stable. As long as they keep me stable, they keep me in that hell," he said while widening his arms out.
"Quiet, they are coming," Kurt interrupted as he froze and looked at the door.
Two doctors and a man in a black suit walked into the room. Kurt dropped to the ground and rolled around the floor. The doctors walked in his direction and he rolled upoun their feet and clawed at them like a cat.
"Just as I thought," the man in the suit said.
"With that amount of isolation it was only a matter of time, Colonel," the other doctor replied while shaking his head.
"Kurt, I've seen you made a new friend. This is Storm, Kurt. Can you say Storm?" Stryker said in a baby voice.
Kurt grinned and grabbed his toes while rocking back and forth. Stryker smiled back and they began to walk away.
"Are you sure this is okay?" One of the doctors whispered to the other.
"What else do you suggest?" the tall one answered as they left the room.
Kurt stood up and washed his face and hair in the sink. He scrubbed violently against his face and the gloves. The material seemed to tear at his skin but then the gloves started to tear apart. He took the hole in the fabric and looped it onto the sink faucet and pulled. The glove slipped off, leaving a rash on his indigo palms. He did the same to the other hand. Storm stared at him, flabbergasted.
"See that door at the end of the room near those bald children? Ve have around 20 seconds to make our vay out there until they realize vhat's going on. Wolverine, over there, is going to distract them. Hopefully ve vill have enough time to unlock the door and after ve get through there is a ventilation shaft..." Kurt explained. His tail wrapped around to face him and he grabbed it. Storm didn't know what he was doing until he slid out a tiny, metal rod, almost like a bent out paper clip, from the skin of his tail. She stared at him.
"Escape? You really are insane! The bracelets...they will send an electrical shock through and...who's Wolverine? How did you talk to him?" Storm stuttered, staring at the ceiling.
Kurt shushed her, calling her attention back to him. "Can't you remember?"
"Before? Before this?"
She stared at him then shook her head. "...This...This is all I know."
"Don't you remember being a child? A young girl?"
Again Storm shook her head.
"I don't either. They have stolen our memories from us. I don't know vhy. I thought it vas for being...vhat I am...looking like this...but I see people who look like you...normal...and they have also been imprisoned here. Vhy? I can't remember."
"Maybe to protect us?"
"From vat? Ve are different from everyone else...Can you do things, Storm? Things no one else can?"
"...yes...but they won't let me..." she stared at the bracelets on her wrists.
"Ve vill get out of here. The last time I tried to escape...they kept me, by myself, for so long. I vanted to die. But before I met a man. He says his name is Wolverine. He and I promised to escape the first time we could. Now we can."
Storm bit her lip and looked nervously up at the ceiling.
"Don't look up there! Wolverine and I stashed tools up in the vent shaft. I can cut off yours in time but you have to cut off mine vhile they are electrocuting me. I can only survive for I minute and 39 seconds under the shock so you have to be precise where you cut. Wolverine can cut his. See the blue wire, cut it and cross it with yellow," Kurt said while waving to a rather, rough looking man with very thick metallic gloves on the other side of the room.
"Wait, what's going on? I want to escape as much as the next person but..." Storm began.
"Vell, here's your chance," Kurt answered.
Suddenly a loud roar shattered the silence and a table was thrown across the room. The man, Wolverine, was throwing tables and chairs at the sky. One stool hit the sun and the sky flickered and came out all together. Instead, there was a glass wall where several doctors looked out. The stool hit the glass and it broke, doctors falling through as well as some electrical equipment. Kurt grabbed Storm's arms and ran across the room. Glass was falling on their heads and cutting their bare feet. Storm tried to slow down but Kurt pulled her forward at his speed. Storm was screaming in pain as the glass slit her feet and stuck in between her toes. Kurt's eyes remained motionless even though his feet were leaving behind puddles of blood. They reached the door and Kurt took out the paper clip. He quickly and efficiently stuck it in the lock and opened the door. Storm looked behind her and saw doctors lying on the floor, some with large peices of glass protruding from their rag doll bodies. She couldn't help but crack a smile. 'May they die a slow, bloody death,' she whispered.
Kurt grabbed Storm's hand and pulled her into the hall. They ran down a couple of feet and then Kurt stopped. He jumped up and punched through the ceiling to get to the vent. As he came back down to the ground, he turned around. "Vhere's Wolverine?" Storm looked back and saw four doctors getting up and running towards them. Kurt jumped gracefully up into the vent and disapeared from Storm's sight. It then occured to her. 'That bastard used me and Wolverine to slow them down!'
She had nowhere to run, and she watched the doctors run faster towards her. Storm winced, waiting to be electrocuted when suddenly the doctors were swept off their feet as Wolverine threw them into the wall. Storm could hear the sickening crack of their heads hitting the wall. Wolverine turned to her and said, "Tell him to come back for me next time. I'm not finished yet." Then he ran off, and she could hear him attacking the security guards. Storm turned to the vent hopelessly but instead found a long, blue tail reaching out of the missing ceiling tile.
"Grab hold of my tail!"
Storm grabbed his tail and he pulled her up.
"I think he has some unfinished business."
"Let me see your wrists," Kurt said, taking wire cutters out of the tin tool box. Storm held out her wrists and Kurt jammed a screwdriver into the side of the bracelet. A small spark rushed through Storm's body and her head hit a metal beam. Kurt then took the wire cutter and snipped the blue and yellow wire and crossing them. As he was about to twist them together his chest puffed out and his head fell back. His wrists dangled helplessly at his sides and the red lights on the bracelets were blinking. Storm watched in horror for a few seconds as he shook and fell down. The electric shock had begun. Storm twisted the wire together in her own bracelet, freeing herself, and then took the screw driver from beside Kurt. She sat on Kurt's chest to keep him still and she tried to jab the screwdriver in the same spot that Kurt did. She looked back at Kurt's face and saw the blood dripping out of his ears. Her head swung back and focused on the bracelet. She jammed it open and cut the wires. The electric shock seemed to intensify in his body and he shook more violently. She crossed the wires and then twisted them together.
Kurt stopped moving. His motionless body lay sprawled out beneath Storm and blood dribbled out of his mouth. Storm got off his chest and picked him up, trying to get the blood out of his throat and lungs. "Oh God, Oh God..." She struck his back furiously over and over until Kurt coughed, spitting out some blood. His body twitched sharply, still affected by the shock. He turned over and pulled himself away from Storm and crawled weakly on all fours for a few seconds towards the end of the shaft. He reached back and grabbed Storm's hand when they reached the end of the shaft and with his last ounce of strength pushed his body through the vent. They tumbled into the air, limbs flying out everywhere, only a cold river below them. Nightcrawler pushed Storm to his body and closed his eyes. He pictured the shore in his mind, the cool grass, the damp ground. They both disapeared in a puff of blue smoke and landed on the opposite shore. Storm laid down upoun the grass in shock for a few minutes, staring up at the moon and stars. Kurt shed a tear and reached his arms up as if to catch one of the stars. Storm laid there quietly. Her mind raced and she had so many questions. Words couldn't describe what she felt, what she had felt, and the pain. She wanted to ask how he had organized the escape, how he survived the shock, where he had found that fantastic power and if he could help her with her own, but it seemed that only one question could spill from her mouth.
"Vhat do you mean?" Kurt asked, still staring up at the stars.
"Why did you grab me, why did you help me escape?" Storm panted.
He took her hands in his and he pulled off the gloves. She felt a power churning in her, a power she couldn't remember or define, but as they held hands, she could feel the energy of the world outside. She could feel the clouds and the air as if they were passing through her instead of around. Storm focused on it, trying to remember what it had been like before. Slowly, her eyes glazed over into white and she could feel small droplets of rain fall down on them from the sky. Storm blinked and opened her eyes, dumbfounded by what she had done. Kurt smiled.
"You smell like rain," Kurt said, then stared up at the stars again.
Storm stared blankly at him, unable to understand what he had said. She gazed at him for a moment and then looked across the river to the large cliff-side concrete fortress from which they had come. She had never seen the outside of it before. Red lights were flashing through all the barred window and she suddenly wondered if Wolverine was okay. She smiled and took in a heavy breath. She laid back down, knowing somehow that he was. Freedom was only the beginning.
If you enjoyed this story, please send feedback to Harmonie
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