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Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5

A Friend in Need - REVIEW THIS STORY

Written by Paws
Last updated: 01/05/2008 11:51:22 AM

Chapter 3

He had needed his rest after her visit, much to his disgust. He hated being injured or sick. Henry ended up waking him up from the nap coming in to tend to his wounds, changing the dressings in silence. He had kept quiet as well, not needing to have yet another pointless conversation. The rest of what he figured to be the afternoon was spent in silence interspersed with brief dozes that he wouldn’t allow to be full naps. He wasn’t at ease here in the infirmary normally and most certainly not now.

He could hear the faint drone of chatter as other visitors came and went, probably checking on Kurt. No one else came into his room though which he didn’t regret. There were too many factors in this equation and most of them were not positive. He simply wanted to bide his time and avoid as many personal conflicts as he could. If he was going to make a move, tonight would be the time to do it.

Another brief catnap was interrupted by Ororo returning, this time with a bowl of soup. It smelt like heaven. He had been wondering if they were going to totally forget to feed him with the chaos of caring for Kurt and everything, but his pride had kept his mouth shut. He watched as she readied the tray and picked up the full spoon, leaning slightly over the bed.

“Y’ have got t’ be kiddin’ me.” He looked from the spoon to her face. “I don’ even get a hand free t’ feed myself?”

She simply moved it closer to his face. “Not at this time, no. You could potentially use it as a weapon, and no one was willing to take that chance.”

“No one, eh? You on that list then?” He knew that he sounded bitter and that he shouldn’t take it out on her, but the situation was humiliating.

“I was the only one willing to come feed you other than Henry and he’s still busy with Kurt. He woke up about an hour ago.”

Realizing that he needed the energy he’d get from the food and knowing full well just how stubborn his Stormy could be he swallowed his pride and reluctantly opened his mouth, swallowing the spoonful obediently. “That’s good, neh? Kurt wakin’ up an’ all.” He was relieved by the news, but tried not to show it too much, keeping his words carefully neutral.

“Yes, it is. He doesn’t seem to have suffered any brain damage, which is thankful.” She fed him a few more spoonfuls. “Henry will be taking over feeding you tomorrow. I have to return to the city tonight.”

He nodded. “Suppose your husband will be missin’ y’.” His words were coloured with forced casualness. So much that he’d missed. He didn’t know how he would have handled her marrying and leaving the x-men if he’d been around anyways, so perhaps it had worked out for the best.

Her brow puckered slightly. “I was not aware that you knew of my marriage.”

“I was gone, chere. Not dead. It was in the papers and on TV. Woulda been hard to miss it.” He softened his voice a bit, though it was hard to do. “I didn’t get to wish y’ well. I hope that y’ are very happy with him.” The spoon clinked on his teeth the next time, the soup upsetting to spill down his chin. He made a slight face. “Y’ know...if y’ want t’ give that job up, I won’t complain. Got two fully functionin’ hands here.”

A smile was teasing at the corner of her mouth despite herself. “Thank you, I think I can handle this. I was just distracted.” She cleaned the mess up with a napkin. “And yes, we are very happy. I’ve been gone longer than we expected so I should really check in.”

“Mais oui. Can’t imagine he’d be very happy missin’ his wife.” The rest of the meal was spent in silence, but it had eased some at least, which he was glad for. They may be on opposite sides right now, but he had no desire for her to think of him with complete dislike. He didn’t know if he could handle her hate. She said a brief goodbye and he grimly watched her go. Hopefully someday he’d have the chance to explain all this but in the meantime he sharply felt the loss of her. But he’d gone too far into this to back away from it now.

He’d noted that the noise had died down during the time that he’d eaten. Good – it would be soon then. No one would expect him to make a serious move this soon into his recovery knowing the extent of his injuries, which made it the perfect time. It was the only shot he’d likely get and weak or not, he was going to take it.

He was interrupted by his musings by Henry returning to his room looking somewhat unhappy; his ears laid slightly back, a deep crease in his brow visible even through the fur. At first he assumed that was because he didn’t want to care for his sorry hide but when Henry pulled a syringe out of his pocket and reached for the IV port he was jerked out of his complacency. “What the hell is that?”

“A sedative.” Henry wouldn’t meet his eye as he injected it into the IV port. “I don’t normally approve of sedating recovering patients unless necessary as it taxes their resources, but you are a special case I’m afraid.”

He could think of many things to say about that but he didn’t suppose than any of them were very fair to say to the man who’d just saved your life. Especially because Henry was well read enough to likely understand the Cajun slurs he’d toss in there. The drug was already creeping into his system, making him feel warm and his eyelids heavy. “Emma thinks of everythin’ don’t she, homme?”

“Just rest. They’ll be down to speak to you tomorrow.”

Like he had a choice in the matter. He would have given a bitter laugh, but the darkness rose up like a wave and washed him away in it.

Merde, he hated drugs. What he did like about them was they didn’t work the same for him as they did most others. The good thing about his paranoia of the lab and his tendency to just hole up in his room to heal on his own was that Henry hadn’t gotten to see how he reacted to them. What he was sure was a dose meant to knock him out till dawn lasted only about half that. Sinister knew of that glitch in his physiology, of course. It had been how he’d personally discovered it - by waking up in the middle of a procedure. Not the most pleasant way to find out. Mind you Essex hadn’t been exactly bounding with joy over it either – he’d been the one confronted by a groggy but definitely conscious and vastly unhappy Cajun.

There was still enough of the drug in his system to make him feel dizzy and nauseous which just added to the joy of working his way through the buckles binding him to the bed. Once he’d freed one hand, the rest was a cakewalk. Removing the chest tube was a little less so, but he managed.

Stealing down the hall, he swiped a pair of scrub bottoms out of a cabinet. They were Henry’s, which meant they were huge but the drawstring waist cinched it in adequately and it beat the shit out of escaping with his ass hanging out of a gown. He may not have much dignity left, but he was going to cling to every last shred of it.

Eschewing the main door, knowing that area of the lab was covered with cameras, he headed for the nearest vent easily popping the cover off with the aid of a filched instrument. He cursed every wiggle and twist that he had to make in the tight confines of the metal tubing, glad that he’d taken a few minutes to slap on a quick thick bandage over the wound left by the drain. He could feel the gauze pads getting warm and heavy, knowing without needing to check that he had to be bleeding again. He supposed it was a good damn thing that he was getting out of there, because Henry would have his hide. Nothing pissed that man off like you undoing his hard work.

That only left the elevator and from there a quick hop, skip and a jump to freedom, such as it was. He peeked out of the vent, carefully watching the one camera rotate back and forth; timing it again just to be sure it was on the same schedule as before. He was going to have to do this quickly or he was good as caught because there was no way he’d be able to face a group of them in this condition. He waited till the camera was on its way to the outermost of its rotation before dropping lightly to the floor, fingers tapping quickly over the keys on the console at the wall next to the elevator. It beeped softly in acknowledgement and the doors to the elevator slid open, allowing him to slip in and close them just before the camera turned back. He sighed in relief; his eyes turning to watch the camera in the elevator which he knew would now be playing a pre-recorded clip for the time it took him to get upstairs. Nice to know not everything had changed on him. It had gotten complex enough already.

He rode the elevator all the way to the top, knowing the student dormitories were the easiest route out providing no one was up for a late night jaunt. Even if they were, chances were that he could surprise them and get past without too much trouble. However fate smiled on him again – when he cautiously looked out of the elevator it was to a silent empty hallway. He typed in another code from the safe haven of the elevator’s keypad to deactivate the cameras along his chosen path and left it, making his way swiftly down the hall. By the time anyone caught the camera errors, he’d be long gone.

After that it was a quick matter of slipping out the window and down the wall which normally wouldn’t be an issue but at the moment left him slightly shaky. He pressed a hand to his side swearing softly as he felt the sticky wet fabric of his gown. Taking a moment for a quick assessment he decided it wasn’t that bad. All he had left is to vault over the wall on the north side where that convenient blind spot lay waiting for him and he could wire a car, pick up some decent clothes and get a few medical supplies. He kept low out of caution as he crept along in the shadows but by now his escape was a foregone conclusion. His mind turned to other matters – mainly of what to tell Sinister. Would he believe him when he said that it wasn’t his idea to return to the x-men? Or was he going to quickly become the next bug under the magnifying glass, again? He knew that he was already on shaky ground with him since the re-emergence of Cable, who he’d reported as dead. He’d just have to play his cards right and take the gamble. It was a game he’d been playing for a very long time.

Arriving at the wall he reached his hands up, preparing to vault over it when a low growl froze him where he was. Well merde. He thought this had been too easy.


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