Whispers

 
 

Guilded Sense

Jean woke from a soft, buzzing, throbbing, humming noise in her head.

She reached out physically and found she was still wrapped in Scott's arms. He was fast asleep. She smiled.

Then she reached out mentally.

She frowned.

Jean Grey was a powerful telepath and rarely had difficulty locating anything on the astral plane that had captured her attention, but whatever had woken her had simply vanished into the night.

She did encounter the three girls in Rogue's room having their bimonthly sleepover. She glanced at the clock. It was only midnight. She didn't want to break up their little party.

She'd give them fifteen minutes, she decided, forgetting completely about the sound that had woken her up.

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"So, are you two like official yet?" Kitty demanded of Rogue about her and Bobby.

"No!" Rogue grinned from her perch on her bed.

Jubilee and Kitty had completely taken over her floor with their sleeping bags and had settled in with her as their current target.

"You like John, don't you?" Jubilee squealed. "He is SO hot on you!"

"Jubes!" Rogue laughed and blushed. "Ah'm not serious with anybody."

Ever since the whole incident with Mystique impersonating Bobby, everyone had assumed Rogue was dating him. And John had been hanging around a lot lately. She thought both of them displayed a lack of intelligence on that point. What was the good of dating a girl you couldn't touch?

But as Jubilee and Kitty debated the physical merits of John versus Bobby and even got off on a Piotr tangent, Rogue found herself thinking of a tall, lean frame and messy auburn hair that fell haphazardly almost to Remy's shoulders. Even his name sounded more interesting and exotic than Bobby or John. And he had flirted with her. Twice after they had started eating, once before they'd barely been introduced. He hadn't flirted with any of the other girls—just her.

When he couldn't even see her.

"Ah wonder why he wears the blahndfold," Rogue said abruptly, reentering the conversation without regard for the current topic.

Both stopped and stared at her.

Kitty's eyes lit up. "You like Remy! He is like soooooo hot."

"He's blind," Jubilee answered, at least managing to stay on topic. "Probably for a long time. Did you see how he was able to follow everything just by listening?" She grinned slyly. "But he is hot."

Rogue blushed and burrowed herself lower in the covers.

Jean's mental voice cut off any replies. It's past your time to go to sleep, girls.

Jubilee rolled her eyes but both she and Kitty snuggled down in their sleeping bags. Sleepover night allowed them conversation until midnight. After that, they were supposed to pipe down and lights out.

Rogue stared at the ceiling.

She wondered what color his eyes were.

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When he left his bedroom, Remy found himself in the utter stillness of night indoors. He felt the faint buzzing of the molecules around him, but no movement. All else was lost in the darkness. His darkness.

He pondered whether to do this with all his senses or not.

He was used to seeing the heat patterns all around him, not just feeling them, being able to push on them. Though that last was always a risky proposition. Results were mixed when he pushed, arousal being the only thing he could manage without fail.

But to give up his invisibility to the telepath that had tried to probe him earlier. He'd been hooked in at the start of the meeting with Professor Xavier, but he dropped the reach as soon as he recognized the gentle curiosity licking at his mental defenses. Only the spike in his charge had kept the man at bay.

Remy hesitated, then reached, extending his sense to locate the empathic signature for the Professor. He found him fast asleep, then hurtled back into his own body. It was just as dark and unseeing as before.

He unleashed his senses and felt the world around him fill in.

Lines of heat laced through the walls and ceiling and floor. Remy processed the electrical wiring first, then plunged through the walls to find the heat patterns of sleeping bodies, the hazy neurological activity of dreaming minds: the dance of their emotion in the shifting patterns of the flesh and the dance of their thought in the shifting patterns of the nerves. He could measure thought but could not read it. Emotion was as open to him as a book. He memorized the signatures, even as he located the electronics, the movements, and the static energy in the rooms around him.

He'd need the information later.

Then he started moving.

His senses extended ahead of him, heat and motion and potential energy filling in the details of his world. He located windows by following the wiring. Located light fixtures. Located sockets. He listened with a trained ear to every creak of the wooden floors, felt the textures with hands and feet, found the rugs, the furnishings, the pictures on the wall. He reached the stairs and started back the audio track of Bobby's tour, combining the data fed into his brain with names and places, stories about funny things that had happened in various places.

He entered the elevator.

It was always a nerve-wracking bout of vertigo to feel his weight shift and the falling sensation of the elevator when he couldn't see. Somehow, it meant nothing until all he knew was this box of heat and energy and nothing else came easy to grab a hold of.

The elevator shuddered to a stop, and he slipped out of it into metal hallways. He felt the change instantly and dropped into a crouch to feel the material. It would charge well.

That scared him.

His cards found their way into his hands and he continued on, walking lightly as his pere had trained him to do, shuffling the cards in silence then putting them away.

Casing the lower level was significantly easier. No one seemed to be down here and the metal conducted his senses quite well. His skills, being at Master level, adapted more readily to this high security area. He found his fingers saw without the need for empathy or the spatial sense. He knew what to touch, what to avoid with all the instincts of the professional.

He made sure to cover the entire floor with his silent passage, allowing the dimensions to find permanent residence in his memory. He checked every drawer and cabinet. Every object was briefly handled in his gloved hands.

It took him two hours to find the Danger Room.

He ran knowledgeable hands over the doors and knew. This was the room the Professor had mentioned would allow him to practice his powers without hurting anybody. Remy quickly took apart the security on the door, hesitating only briefly over a couple of wires he couldn't see the color of.

His instincts were rarely wrong.

Only a few moments and he was in. He was where he had hoped to reach from the beginning.

He cased the room as he had all the others, excitement making him rush. But he had to know the dimensions. He found the walls, floor, and ceiling slick and mostly empty. What had he said? Virtual simulations?

"Computer?" he tried.

Nothing.

"Danger Room," he said more certainly.

Electricity shifted in the walls. He calmly allowed the trail of heat to locate the central processor for him.

Then he added, "Run de las' saved program."

His kinesthetic sense went wild, exploding across his perception with forming and moving apparitions that suddenly became real.

He flipped out his bo staff and, with the exhilaration of release and adrenaline, fell into the comfort of the fight.

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Scott was surprised to see the new kid had skipped breakfast. Students tended to make sure they were on time in the dining room, since Ororo had gotten so strict about eating times. Bobby had reported that Remy was completely filled in on the rules of the mansion, even the unfair, idiosyncratic ones.

With a sigh, he left the dining room and headed up the stairs to collect Remy for his testing. The Professor had made it clear that while academics were important, they were not the reason Remy was here. He was here for help with his mutation. That meant the kid got to skip out on the first class or two of the day and instead get tested in the Danger Room with Jean. Scott would stay on hand in case he was needed.

He knocked for almost a full minute before opening the door and just walking in.

"Remy?"

A slight groan came from the twisted covers of the bed and Scott approached to find the young mutant shirtless and covered with sweat. He had light bruises forming across one arm and a line of stitches running down his back.

What in the world had he been up to?

He leaned in and shook Remy's shoulder. "Remy! Wake up."

Remy rolled over and stayed still for a moment before reaching up and touching the cloth on his face. He dropped his hands. "Oui?"

Scott couldn't help but notice the purple splotches and the web of fresh tiny scars interspersed with larger ones across Remy's left shoulder and down his side, terminating at the bottom of his ribcage in the front.

"Testing. You might want to shower first." Scott wanted to ask Remy what he'd been doing, but decided to wait and ask the Professor about it. Some of his injuries looked old, and only a very few looked like they'd happened this morning.

Remy nodded. "Oui. Une petit moment."

Just a moment, Scott translated. "Okay. Meet you by the elevator in ten."

Remy nodded again and Scott let himself out.

Scott led Remy down to the Danger Room. At first, he said various things to guide him, but Scott soon realized that Remy knew the walk cold. Or else he could see.

Either thought was scary.

Remy said nothing and his face below the blindfold was expressionless. Until they entered the Danger Room and stopped in front of Jean. Then he cocked his head slightly to the left and let a small smile quirk the corners of his mouth.

"Bon matin, chère."

Jean smiled at Scott with a look that said I got this, then answered Remy aloud. "Morning to you. Ready to go to work?"

Remy's smile faded slightly, then bloomed into a wicked grin. "Oui, chère."

He was dangerous or he was flirting, Scott realized. Either thought was scary.

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Jean shut out the worried thoughts of her husband and telekinetically nudged him toward the sidelines. He got the hint and went the rest of the way on his own.

"Okay, Remy," she began, all business-like. "First, how about you tell me what you can do."

He froze. The only way she could describe the sudden shift in Remy was to say he looked lost and scared and hiding it.

"What I can," he said softly, his voice thick. "How 'bout I tell y' what I do."

"That'll be fine." He had rattled her. She got her composure back. "You can't hurt anything in here."

He gave a slow, sad smile. "Oui, chère. I can."

That word again. Jean glanced nervously at Scott and cursed his shades. She couldn't see his eyes.

Remy suddenly flicked out a playing card. "De charge," he said as a whining bright pink glow took over the object in his fingers. The whining got louder. The color intensified. He flung the card away from him and it exploded. "Dat de main t'ing. Also kinesthetic sense." He flitted his fingers out to the side, as if he could point at it. "Feel t'ings move."

The words didn't mean much to her, though she was sure they eventually would. "Anything else?" she asked.

He cocked his head, thinking. Suddenly, a sharp, crackling buzz hissed against her telepathy.

She froze. The sound that woke her in the night.

"Dat de charge when I let it all out," he said. His mental signature completely vanished. "Dat when I pull de charm in." The top of his jaw tightened just below the fold, and she thought he was narrowing his eyes at her. "Don' get curious and I won' kick y' out."

"You're a telepath?"

He shrugged. "Non."

He was confusing. Jean glanced at Scott again, but she realized she was pretty much on her own with this. "And that's it?"

"Non."

He turned away from her. "Dat de part I c'n control."

She drew up her telekinetic shields around the perimeter of the room. This was the part that always came, that was what she really needed to see.

"Can you show me the other part?" she asked gently.

He crouched and touched the floor lightly with his fingers. Jean felt startled. She hadn't even noticed he was wearing gloves until he did that.

"Metal charges real well, chère," he finally said. "C'n y' cover it up? I shouldn' see it."

"Cover...?" Jean shoved aside her curiosity and called on the computer to load simulated walls covering the floor, the ceiling, and the walls around them. "A foot good enough?"

"Oui." Remy stood, shrugged back his shoulders. Then he slowly reached up and removed the blindfold. He dropped it on the floor and pulled out a deck of cards. "There not'ing to see?"

"Nothing," she confirmed.

He tossed the cards in the air and turned slightly. She could just see him opening his eyes.

The cards whined with pink energy and exploded in a cloud of cardboard. Jean blinked at the painful brightness. The dust had barely settled when the virtual walls she had simulated began to turn pink. He closed his eyes and reached out both hands. The whining grew louder.

"Jean!" Scott shouted a warning.

She put a telekinetic shield around the images.

"Maudit!" Remy cursed, still trying to draw back the charge.

Everything exploded.

The floor shook. The walls groaned. Remy groaned.

Jean looked up from where she had been covering her head.

Remy sat up, brushing off some of the debris (she'd forgotten the Danger Room made things so real), and rubbing at a new set of bruises along his right arm. "Jus' 'ad to be m' good arm," he muttered. He groped blindly for the discarded black cloth, then reached up and tied it tightly around his eyes.

"The charge," she said. She didn't know what else to say.

He turned sharply toward her and the crackling buzz started up again. It seemed angry to her. "Y' t'ink?"

She flinched.

Then he looked down, clenching his fists. "Don' tell dem. Dey'd all..." Waves of fear and rejection rolled toward her and she suddenly realized she was feeling emotion. "Dey'd be afraid."

"Does it affect everything you see?" she asked, gentle again.

He turned his head toward her again. "Like touchin' all over again," he said softly. Then he stood.

Remy took one last card out of his back pocket and whipped it viciously into the air, where it exploded in a flash of pink light.
 


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