[identity profile] ginevrasm.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] marysuevirus
Title:  MSV:  Dark Mirror

Fandom:  X-Men, Comics/Movie Universe, AU, Dark Fic

Rating:  18+

Warnings: (for the fic as a whole)  Violence, rape (including group situations), questionable consent, abuse, capitivity, angst, pregnancy (possibly more warnings to be added depending on where the dark urges take me.)  M/F, with M/M and F/F at least implied, other combinations possible as the story develops.  This is a "Dark Fic" meaning very bad things will happen.  Our usual heroes will be twisted into much darker versions of themselves.  Read at your own risk.

Disclaimer:  The recognizable characters used here are the property of Marvel Comics and the entities that currently hold the legal rights to use them.  The "Mutant Sues" or "Mary Sues" used herein are the property of their individual creators:  Ladydeathfaerie, Nanaea, Dazzledfirestar, SilverFoxChan, Ginevra, and Cat.  The idea of the "Mary Sue Virus" originated with Dazzledfirestar and she has been kind enough to let others play with it. Beta credit goes to the lovely and talented Ladydeathfairie. We make no money from this work.

A/N: This is a post-Apocalyptic universe where our Sues never crossed certain lines with their mentors.  A universe where human-mutant tensions spiralled out of control and detonated in world-wide destruction.  A world where survival trumps morality and promises can be very hard to keep.

Need to catch up?  Find the MSV: Dark Mirror Index post here.

Chapter Three:  All or nothing...

Dear God, he was fast.  Haley barely brought her arm up in time to block his kick.  The impact jarred her whole arm.  Rather than try to absorb the blow, she let the force propel her backwards and to the right where she executed a kick of her own.  He was ready for her, dodging her attack.  They circled around each other for a handful of heart beats, each feinting a few punches.

Haley's mind spun, trying to find an advantage she could use against him.  His arms were longer and he had her in body mass and strength.  Her legs were maybe a touch longer, but he'd already proven he knew how to kick.  He was older, which should mean slower and quicker to tire.  She danced closer and pelted him with a quick punch and kick combo before backing away.  He followed as she hoped and she led him in a game of chase, not quite letting him close with her.

It worked for nearly a minute, and Haley's hopes began to rise.  Then he changed tactics, diving for her in a tackle that took her to the ground.  She hit hard, the breath squeezing from her lungs and stunning her briefly.  He tried to pin her, but she writhed and kicked, managing escape.  She got to her feet first and kicked at his head.  She felt her foot brush against his face, but he was already rolling away.

She pursued him, trying to press her advantage.  He surprised her by using the momentum of his roll to come to his feet.  She barely had time to register his quick pivot before his fist found her gut.  He followed it up with a kick, sweeping her feet from under her.  She twisted away from the second kick she knew was coming even though she couldn't see it.  The blow caught her in the ribs and she went rolling into the bales of hay that marked the sideline.  Her vision swam as she struggled for breath.  She ignored it, rolling over and trying to push herself back up.

"Come on, Stone.  You can do better than that."  He stood over her, his weight balanced and his arms up.  "I've seen you do better than that."

"Fuck you."  Haley growled and lurched to her feet.  She used her forward momentum to rush him, getting inside his reach to shove an elbow into his gut.  He grunted with the impact and staggered back half a step.  She followed up with a kick to his groin, but he turned, bringing his hands down in a two handed blow.  She twisted away and it struck her ribs where he'd kicked her before.  Pain radiated from the site, distracting her.  Another kick struck her thigh, landing hard and sending her to the ground.  Haley's body curled around the pain, her lungs fighting for air.

"Get up."  Scott's voice was low and harsh, pitched just for her ears.  He was close, his bare feet just beyond the reach of her hand.  "They're counting on you."  She could hear their voices, mixed with his men's, pleading for her to get up, for him to stop the fight.  Her mistake was that she was still treating this as a sparring match.  He needed her alive and mostly intact.  She didn't need him at all.

"I'm...not done...yet."  Haley sucked in a desperate breath and surged to her feet.  She exploded into motion, striking out with a series of kicks.  He fell back, put on the defensive by her attack.  But he was smiling beneath the ruby shades.  The sight enraged her and she aimed a powerful kick to his head.  It would have felled him, perhaps even killed him if it landed.  It never did.

Scott blocked her kick, grabbing her ankle and using the force of her blow to swing her off her foot.  She landed hard on her hip, jarring her ribs again.  He kept his grip on her ankle, jerking it hard so that she went flat on her back.  Then he was on top of her, one hand coming down in an open hand strike to her jaw.  It rocked her head to the side and left her dazed.  She raised her arms to defend herself and tried to buck, but he switched his target to her abused ribs.  She cried out in pain and swung blindly for his face.  He batted it away and struck her again with another open handed blow.  Her face burned and stung and her vision swam.

She tried to swing again, and this time he caught her hand, pinning it down by her head.  Another heavy slap to her ribs made her whimper, her body trying to curl up beneath him.  He caught her other hand and pinned that one, too.  She tried to buck again, but there just didn't seem to be enough air for both struggling and breathing.

"Surrender, Haley.  I don't want to beat you until you pass out."

"Go...to...hell..."  Haley pulled against his grip and managed to get a hand free.  She swung hard at his head and connected with his jaw.  He rocked back with the force of the blow but didn't let go.

"I've already been there."  Scott replied and struck her again.  And again.  He didn't stop until her body went limp beneath him.  He could hear the other women's cries of dismay.  He stared down at her for a long moment before motioning for Hank to attend her.

"Oh my God!  Haley!"  He wasn't sure which of the women spoke, but it was Morgan that broke free of her guards to slip inside the ring.  She beat the doctor to Haley's side, kneeling down beside her and reaching out to touch the other girl's face.  Hank followed close behind.  Judging the situation under control, he turned back to his audience.  The women were arguing with their guards, some of them trying to reach Haley, others simply trying to put distance between themselves and the men.

"That's enough!  Quiet down!"  He raised his hands for silence.  "Before I send you back inside, I want to make a few things clear.  First, rebellion won't be tolerated.  Any of my men have the authority to discipline you.  Second, Haley is mine."  He paused to catch each of his men's eyes to be sure they were listening.  "She is off limits unless I say otherwise.  Take the women back to the lodge.  Feed them first -- I did promise them food.  Haley and I will be eating in our quarters."

Scott turned his attention back to Haley and frowned to see Morgan still there, cradling one of Haley's hands in her own.  The doctor was kneeling beside his patient, his hands moving with practiced efficiency as he checked her injuries.  Already the girl was starting to come around, but she was clearly still dazed.  "How is she?"

"I don't believe anything is broken.  There is quite a bit of bruising and possibly a concussion.  You know the signs, so I won't bother to repeat them.  I believe you have some pain medication on hand?"

"I do."

"Good.  She will be in quite a bit of discomfort for the next few days."  The doctor tucked a small flashlight back into his pocket, patting it for good measure.  "It should be safe to move her.  Let me know if you have any concerns."

"I will.  Take her upstairs and put her in my bed."

"What?  Wait.  No.  Don't want to."  Haley protested as the doctor scooped her up, cradling her against his chest like a child.  "Put me down."  Morgan released her hand reluctantly when the doctor moved away, ignoring the girl's protests.

"Your bed?"  Morgan turned to him, her eyes large.  "She's hurt too badly for...anything."

"That's my concern.  Yours is to get back inside the lodge."  Scott glanced around for his men.  Most had already filed out with the women, but John remained waiting outside the ring.  He waved him over.  "John."

"Wait.  I...She needs time to recover.  Give her a night or two off and I'll do whatever you want."  Scott turned his attention back to her and frowned.  He could hear John's boots scuffing as he came closer.  "I'm serious.  I can make it good for both of us."

"I don't know what your game is, and I don't care."  He scowled at her and she bit her lip, her eyes darting from him to John who now stood just a few paces away.  He'd never cared for the blatant way she threw herself at nearly every man she met. Though she'd never shown any interest in him before.  Her antics had been a constant source of gossip and tension among the staff at the Institute.  His eyes narrowed behind the glasses.  "You don't even like me."

"Give me a chance and I'll make you believe I do."  She reached for his arm, but he pulled away.

"I don't want you."  He snapped, impatient to follow Hank and Haley.  He turned away, moving quickly to retrieve the clothes he and Haley had discarded.  He called over his shoulder.  "Get her inside with the others."   He dismissed them, his thoughts already on the girl who would be waiting in his bed.  He paid them no more attention as he headed inside.

"Bet you don't hear that much."  John's voice was overly friendly, as was the hand on her arm.

"Happens more often than you'd think."  Morgan's voice was morose and her face was burning.  She wasn't sure if she was more relieved that he'd turned her down or more frightened by what was waiting for her and the rest of the girls inside.

"Well don't worry about that, you won't be lonely tonight."  He grinned at her and tugged on her arm.  She shot him a wary glance, considering for a moment the possibility of making a break for it.  This might be her best chance.  But where would she go?   There was no cavalry waiting to come to the rescue.  He seemed to sense her thoughts.  "If you run, they'll send Logan after you.  You don't want that, trust me."

"Just take me inside."  Morgan replied, not wanting to think about having Logan hunt her down.  Her friends were inside, and she belonged with them.  "Before someone comes looking for us."

"Yeah.  Let's go."  John's smile dimmed and he set a quick pace as they left the ring behind them.  His grip on her arm was tighter than necessary.  Maybe it was just a hunch, but she didn't think he wanted Logan hunting for him any more than she did.

*             *             *

Much of the lodge's main floor was open, with the living, dining, and kitchen areas making up a single large room.  Roxxy and the other girls were herded into the living area before a large stone fireplace.   The men ranged themselves around the space, mostly ignoring the girls.  Remy and Kurt moved to the kitchen end of the room, setting to work on dinner preparations.  Something was already bubbling away on the stove.  The scent wafted through the air, reminding Roxxy that she hadn't eaten since breakfast.

Logan moved about the room, building up the fire the living space and a smaller one in the dining area.  Piotr stood near the room's large window, studying the darkening sky.  Toad chose one of the dining chairs, turning it so he could watch them.  Sam moved into the dining area and began setting the table.  The scene could have been homey and domestic if the threat of violence and worse didn't hang in the air.

"Where's Morgan?"  Dare spoke first, her eyes tracking each of the men before returning the room's entrance again and again.  "Shit.  Where's that asshole?"

"Which one?"  Jehnna shot a glare at Piotr, but the big Russian wasn't looking.

"Shh...Let's sit down."  Roxxy took Callie by the elbow and drew her down onto a sofa.  The furnishings here were all rustic oak and dark brown fabrics.  The other girls hesitated, but they joined her.  "Dare means Pyro."  Dare snorted in disgust, but kept quiet.

"What do we do?"  Jehnna hissed.  "We can't just let them do this, can we?"

"Well, first, Logan can hear everything we're saying."  Roxxy nodded in the man's direction.  He'd turned at the sound of his name, fixing her with a stare that made her shiver.  "And second...I can't see any way to stop them.  At least right now."  The last she said as quietly as possible, though she knew it would do no good.  Poor Callie was as white as a sheet and Dare didn't look much better, no matter how hard she tried to project bravado.  Jehnna was uneasy, but the set of her jaw and her shoulders told Roxxy that the younger girl didn't truly understand the seriousness of their predicament.  Jehnna had even attempted to pull the collar off when they were changing, with painful results.

"Thank god."  Dare breathed quietly.  They turned to see John enter with Morgan in tow.  As soon as he released her, Morgan headed straight for them, squeezing into the space next to Dare.  Dare immediately wrapped an arm around her, pulling her close and glaring at Pyro.  "You OK?"

"Yeah.  I'm fine."  Morgan leaned her head against Dare's for a moment.  "For the moment, at least."

"Good."  Dare reached for Morgan's hand and their fingers twined together.  They weren't usually so demonstrative in front of others.  Roxxy wondered if it was just for comfort, or a reaction to the stress the collars placed on their psychic bond.  Were they enough to block it completely?  She wanted to ask, but not where the men could hear.

"How is Haley?"  Roxxy settled for a more obvious question.

"Nothing broken.  But she has lots of bruises and maybe a concussion."  Morgan looked around warily until she spotted John.  He'd headed straight to the kitchen area and was now talking in low tones with Remy.  She shook her head and bit her lip.  "If he leaves her alone, she should be OK in a couple of days."

"Do you think he will?"  Callie asked, her eyes fixed on Morgan as if she were afraid to look elsewhere.

"He told the doctor to put her in his bed."  Morgan caught Roxxy's eyes and held her gaze for a moment.  Then she reached out to pat Callie's shoulder.  "Haley can take care of herself.  For now, we just have to worry about taking care of each other as much as we can."

"So that's it?  That's the whole plan?"  Jehnna's eyes raked over each girl in turn.  "We just sit here and let him do whatever he wants to Haley?"

"Newsflash.  Haley got the better end of the deal."  Dare leaned forward to glare at her friend.  "She's only got to deal with one of them.  We've got the rest of the fucking brute squad down here with us."

"A brute, am I?"  They had been so engrossed in their discussion that they failed to notice the doctor's approach.  Roxxy started, and the other girls fell silent at the sound of his voice.  His gaze flicked over each of them before coming to rest on Dare.  The other girl paled, then flushed under his scrutiny.  "I suppose you will find out whether your assessment is accurate soon enough, my dear."

"Bring de girls over.  Time to eat."  Remy called out.

"Seems I am just in time."  The doctor smiled and waved the girls toward the dining table.  "After you."

Later, Callie could never remember what they ate that night.  Not that it mattered.  What she did remember was the nervous tension that filled the room and strangled her appetite.  She and her friends weren't allowed to sit together.  Instead, they had been interspersed between the men.  Callie sat between Sam and Toad, neither one of which talked much.  The other men made small talk around them, discussing things like repairing buildings and tilling fields.  All the while, they were studying the girls, looking each one over like a hungry man looks at a cheeseburger.

She felt like that cheeseburger, really.  Like each of these men were ready to pick her up and start chowing down.  She wanted to ask what was going to happen next.  But, at the same time, she didn't want to know. She ate slowly and methodically, not really tasting anything.  Slowly, because once they were done, she'd find out.  Her friends seemed to feel the same way.  They picked at their food in silence, only speaking when asked a question.  It had to be the longest, most awkward dinner of her life.

And then it was suddenly over.  She had missed something.  Everyone was rising from their chairs.  Sam took her elbow.  Toad reached for the other one and she shied away, leaning into Sam.

"Come on, the Rec area is downstairs."  Sam traded his grip on her elbow for a hand at the small of her back.

"Why are we going there?"

"Didn't you hear the doctor?"  He leaned closer to speak quietly in her ear.  They were falling behind the rest of the group.  She could see Remy following the doctor with Roxxy at his side.  Morgan had managed to dodge Logan and was walking hand in hand with Dare.  Jehnna was just in front of her, her spine stiff as the big Russian escorted her.  The other men were behind them, clearing the table.  "We're gonna have some drinks.  Bar's down there."

"Oh."  Drinks sounded all right.  Civilized.  She stole a glance at the man beside her.  He was tall and muscular without being bulky.  His blonde hair was cut almost military style short and his blue eyes were probably his best feature.  He wasn't bad looking and he'd even said "please" and "thank you" at dinner.  The hand at her back seemed friendly, if a little familiar.  Some of the other men were downright frightening.  "Drinks sound good."  She gave him a tentative smile.

"Yeah.  There was a winery here and there's still lots of the stuff around."  Sam guided her down a set of stairs into another large space.  To her left was a wet bar where the doctor was puttering around, filling glasses with wine.  Scattered around the room were several leather covered sofas and chairs, a pool table, a big screen television and another large stone fireplace.  Someone had already built up the fire and it was crackling merrily.  A stereo in one corner was playing something soft and mournful.  "Sit down here and I'll bring you something."

Callie let him sit her on one end of a sofa.  She looked around nervously while he headed over to the bar and spoke to the doctor.  Morgan, Dare, and Jehnna had claimed one sofa with Dare in the middle.  Remy had claimed another sofa, pulling Roxxy down to sit beside him.  Roxxy regarded him warily, but didn't seem particularly unhappy about it.  The big Russian was standing at the bar, frowning and shaking his head.  Logan was moving around the pool table, drinking from a large mug and lazily placing balls in the rack.  To her, it looked more like he was prowling, looking for something to pounce on, than getting ready to play a game.

"Here you go."  Sam was back with a glass of red wine for her and a mug of something amber colored for himself.  He handed it to her before sitting down next to her and stretching his long legs out.  He was close enough that she could feel the heat of his body, but he wasn't touching her, so that was OK.  "What's your name?  I remember seeing you at the Institute, but I don't think I ever got your name."

"Callie."  She answered, hiding her face behind the glass as she took a sip.  He nodded and took a swallow of his own drink.  "I was one of the part time students.  I was studying marine biology at another school."

"Science huh?  I guess you're another smart one like Roxxy."  He looked around the room for a moment before turning back to her.  His scrutiny made her nervous and she took a bigger sip of her wine.  "Never got that far.  I'm just a plain old country boy."

"Nothing wrong with that."  She took another sip, feeling her cheeks flush.  She wasn't quite comfortable with the attention and she let her gaze wander back to the bar.  The Russian was still over there, looking through the cabinets for something.  The doctor was moving around the room, handing out glasses of wine to the women.  She thought the delicate glassware looked strange in his big, blue hands.  He returned to the bar just as the Russian -- what was his name - found what he was looking for.

"Piotr.  But he'll answer to Peter if you can't pronounce it."

"Oh.  Thanks."  She didn't realize she'd spoken the question out loud.  She hid her confusion behind her glass while she watched the two large men at the bar.  It looked like an argument of some kind, but their voices were too low to carry.  Piotr's gaze flicked over the room, resting on her briefly before moving to Roxxy, then the girls on the couch.  Was the argument about them?  It made her uneasy to think so.  He shook his head once more, and the doctor waved him toward the stairs in a clear gesture of dismissal.  Piotr then grabbed his prize, a bottle of clear liquor, before striding toward them.

"Sam."  He looked down at her companion with cool, blue eyes.

"Piotr."

"You are staying?"

"I can do the math."  Sam shifted next to her, drawing his legs in and sitting up straighter.  "Man's gotta look out for himself, sometimes."

"I will be upstairs, in my room."  He seemed to be speaking to the room in general, the bottle of liquor raised slightly as if in explanation.  It struck Callie as weird, but maybe something was lost in translation?  Or maybe this whole situation was plain weird and it was just one more piece of the jumble.  He left without further comment, turning on his heel and heading up the stairs to the main floor.

A snort from Logan drew her gaze back to the pool table.  He shook his head before returning his attention to the table in front of him.  While she had been distracted, the doctor had joined him.  The doctor was leaning over the table, lining up a shot.  The clicking of balls and the low growl of their voices made a bass counterpoint to the music.  She continued to sip her wine as she watched the game.  One by one, the men who had remained upstairs filtered in, taking places around the room.  They too, seemed to be interested in the game.

Slowly, the number of balls on the table dwindled.  She was having trouble keeping track of who was winning, but she was afraid to ask.  The room was beginning to feel too warm and stuffy.  She lowered the glass to fan herself.

"Is it hot in here, or is it just me?"

"Maybe a little."  Sam took a heavy swallow from his mug and reached across her to set it on the end table beside her.  When he settled back down, his arm rested along her shoulders.  "You about finished with that, Callie?"

"Almost."  She finished the rest of the ruby liquid in one last swallow.  When he reached for the glass, she let him take it.  He set it on the table next to his, then reached up to stroke her cheek.

"I remember you because I thought you were really pretty."  He stroked her cheek again, turning her face to him.  His blue eyes seemed large and he was so close.  A wave of dizziness washed over her and she frowned.  She wasn't much of a drinker, but this stuff seemed to be hitting her hard and fast.  Or she could just be tired.  He was leaning in to kiss her and she couldn't decide whether to push him away or lean into him.  Her hands didn't want to obey her, rising sluggishly to rest against his chest as his lips met hers.  She was pretty sure there was a reason she shouldn't let him kiss her, but she couldn't seem to remember it.

"It's OK, honey.  I'm not going to hurt you."  He whispered against her lips as he pulled her closer. Then he was kissing her, his mouth working against hers, his hands slipping beneath her borrowed clothes, kneading and stroking as they went.  Callie moaned, her body starting to respond even as her mind struggled to remember why she shouldn't let this happen...

*             *             *
"How could you let this happen?"  Haley accused as Hank lowered her to the bed.  Scott's bed.  Her head was beginning to clear and she jerked away when he reached for her chin.  The sudden motion made her head throb and her bruised ribs scream.  She sucked in a pained breath, determined not to whimper.

"Do be still, I want to check your pupils again."  He pulled his penlight from his pocket.  This time she held still for him as he repeated his earlier tests.  "Any dizziness or nausea?"

"No.  Just a headache and my ribs feel like I got run over by a truck."

"Mmm...  That's to be expected."  He put the flashlight away and took her wrist to check her pulse.  "And as for your question, that is better referred to Scott.  He is our leader."

"That's bullshit, and you know it."  Haley glared up at him.  "This is...barbaric."

"In times of stress, people often resort to their more primitive natures as a matter of survival."  Hank patted his pockets absently as he spoke before pulling something out.  He continued to speak, holding her gaze as he shifted his grip on her wrist.  "I am as much Beast as I am Doctor McCoy.  You might do well to remember that in the days ahead."

The cool touch of metal on her skin and the sharp clicking of a bracelets surprised her.  She tried to jerk her wrist away, but he held tight.  The motion caused another wave of pain from her ribs and she struggled not to simply curl up and moan.  He used her distraction to fasten the other end of the cuffs to the wrought iron headboard.

"Damn it, Hank!  Why?"  She tugged on the cuff and glared at him again.

"My orders."  Scott stood just inside the door. "I don't want you wandering around and getting into trouble.  Thanks, Hank."

"I will leave you, then.  Good evening, Haley."

"Fuck you, Hank."

"My, such language."  The doctor chuckled as he strode toward the door.  "I look forward to chatting with you again.  For now, I have a party to attend."  Scott stood aside for the doctor to exit.  He then bolted the door securely.

"You seem to be recovering quickly."  He moved around the room, depositing a bundle of flannel on top of the bureau and dropping her borrowed shoes next to the door.

"No thanks to you."  She would have crossed her arms if she could, but the best she could manage was a glower.

"I was careful."  He paused to remove his boots.  He'd put his flannel shirt back on, but hadn't bothered to button it up.  "I never had any intention of causing any real damage."

"Shit.  I knew it was a set up."  Haley growled.

"It was a fair fight."  Scott approached the bed to sit on the edge.  He reached out to touch her face and she pulled away carefully, remembering her earlier mistake.  "I've just got more practice at it.  You were actually pretty good.  Made me work for it."

"I'm so glad.  Makes me feel so much better."  She shook her head.

"I didn't do it to be cruel."  Giving up on touching her face, he rested his hand just above her knee.  "I want you to understand that."

"The whole thing was a farce."

"No.  It wasn't."  His tone was firm.  "It's more wolf pack politics, Haley."

"What the hell does that mean?"

"That's how we settle our disputes.  And how we arrived out our pecking order."

"You're telling me you kicked Logan's ass in a no powers fight?  I don't believe that."

"The fight was called because he cheated.  I've got the scars to prove it."  He shrugged.  "But you can ask the other men later.  And that's beside the point."

"What is the point?  Because right now, the point seems to be wrecking my life.  And the lives of everyone I care about as a bonus."

"The point is, that ultimately, it was for your safety.  In a roundabout way."

"For my safety?  You are crazy.  Stark raving, bark at the moon, crazy."

"If you had won, it would have undermined my authority and put you and all your people at risk.  But if you had lost too easily, put up too weak a fight, they would have pegged you as easy prey."

"You said I was off limits.  I heard that."  Haley shifted carefully, sitting up and pulling her leg from under his hand.

"I did.  But I can't be with you every hour of the day to enforce that.  Now they know they'd be in for a hell of a fight if they tried."

"You don't trust them."

"You are too important to me to risk."  A knock at the door distracted him.  He rose to answer it.  Kurt waited outside with a tray of food.  Scott accepted it from him with a nod.  Kurt didn't linger, vanishing as soon as he'd delivered his burden. "Hope you're hungry."

*             *             *

"Do not provoke them."  Jehnna fumed at the unwanted advice Piotr had practically growled in her ear just before the fight - no, the beating - in the damned barn.  He'd held her so tight, she could barely breathe.  She hadn't liked the feeling of helplessness.  Hadn't liked it one bit.

She still didn't like it.  Or the way Piotr kept showing up at her elbow like an oversized shadow.  So she'd parked herself on the couch with Dare and Morgan, making sure there wasn't enough room for anyone else.  Her two companions weren't talking much.  They sat with their arms around each other and watched the men move around the room.  Dare had even reached for her hand and gripped it tight enough that it ached a little.  She couldn't remember the last time she'd seen the girl this rattled.

Sure, they'd been abducted, basically depowered, and pretty much been told they were slaves.  But so far, no one had really done anything but serve them drinks.  Dare downed hers in a few gulps, then demanded Jehnna's.  Jehnna was happy to hand it over, exchanging it for Dare's empty one.  She preferred to keep her mind clear for now. Dare had also tried for Morgan's, but Morgan preferred to drink her own.

Her choice of seat mates seemed to have done the trick as far as getting Piotr off her back.  He wandered over to the bar to raid the liquor cabinet and argue with the doctor.  Eventually, he marched off with a bottle of vodka and a scowl.  "I will be upstairs, in my room."  She was relieved to see him go, but had a niggling feeling that his parting words had been meant for her ears.

The first hint she had that something odd was going on was when Callie started making out with Sam.  Right there on the couch in front of everyone!  No one else seemed to care.  Most of the men were interested in the pool match between Beast and Logan.  Though Remy seemed more interested in Roxxy.  Her eyes widened to see he'd pulled her half across his lap and his hand was down the front of her sweats.  Jehnna looked away, blushing.

Beast and Logan were just finishing up their game when Dare suddenly decided she needed a refill.  She lurched unsteadily to her feet with an empty glass in her hand.  She made it only a few steps before Beast stepped between her and the bar.  He reached for the empty glass and she shied away.

"I think you've had enough, my dear."

"Only had two.  Not enough.  Can still see your ugly mug."

"Dare!"  Morgan hissed in a too-loud whisper, making Jehnna glance in her direction.  She was looking a bit glassy eyed.

"Two?"  Beast's eyes narrowed and he looked past Dare, his eyes scanning over Jehnna and Morgan.  "Whose wine did you drink?"

"None of your business."  Dare tried to sidestep him and stumbled.  Beast caught her with an arm around her waist and plucked the empty glass from her hand in a single motion.  Jehnna stood, realization beginning dawn on her.  She looked again at her companions.

"Going somewhere, kid?"  Logan set his stick aside and stalked toward her.

"The wine..."  Jehnna backed away from him, circling around to put the couch between him and herself.  Morgan rose as if to follow her, but her motions were sluggish.  "It's drugged!  You drugged them!"

"Just a little something to help you relax."  Beast soothed, setting the glass down carefully.  Dare struggled clumsily in his grip.  Jehnna's anxiety ratcheted a notch higher as Toad and Pyro rose from their seats and moved to flank her.

"No.  Stay away from me!"  She tried to throw a blast of sound in her panic.  But of course, nothing happened.  So she turned on her heel and began to run, heading for the stairs to the upper floor.  She made it to the main floor first, but Kurt appeared in a haze of purple smoke between her and the front door.  She pivoted, instead heading for the stairs to the upper floor.  She knew it was a stupid move, but there was no time to think.  Footsteps pounded behind her as she scaled the stairs two at a time.

"Why didn't you stop her?"  Pyro's voice was close enough behind her that it spurred her to greater speed.  A small shriek escaped her as Toad bounded over her just as she topped the stairs.  He landed between her and the near end of the hallway.

"There's nowhere to go."  He made a grab for her and she rolled away from him, coming to her feet and running.  Here, the hallway became a loft.  There was no time to try the doors she passed, but the one at the far side of the loft was opening.  She hurried her pace, going full speed as she ducked under Piotr's arm and nearly stumbled over a wooden chair.

"Damn it, Toad!"  Pyro sounded pissed, but the door closed firmly, cutting off whatever reply Toad made.  Jehhna leaned on the chair, breathing heavily.  She could feel the big Russian looming behind her.

"You did not drink the wine."

"It was drugged."

"Da."  He walked around her, taking a second chair and sitting down at a small round table.  A bottle of vodka sat next to a couple of shot glasses.  He lifted the bottle to pour a shot.  "Sit.  We will talk.  Do you drink vodka?"

"Is it drugged?"  She scooted the chair closer and sat down across from him.

"No.  But it is potent enough."  He threw the shot back with a single swallow and set the glass down with a soft thump.  He poured another for himself, then hesitated over the second glass.

"Fine.  Just one."  He nodded and poured.  Then he slid the shot over.  She took a hesitant sip.  The taste was harsh and the burn of the alcohol even harsher.  She stifled a cough, looking around the room.

The room still had some of the impersonal look of a hotel room about it, though it had clearly been occupied for some time.  The rust colored drapes matched the beige and rust colored spread on the queen sized bed and the braided rug beside it.  There was a writing desk in one corner that held stacks of paper and a tin full of pens and pencils .  In the other corner was a small wood stove and a recliner with plaid upholstery that also coordinated with the drapes and spread.  Next to the recliner was a small wooden book case that served as an end table.  It didn't match the rest of the room and was overflowing with books.

An open door revealed a bathroom done in white and beige tile work.  A man's flannel robe hung from a hook on the back of the door.  It was a homey touch that somehow made the whole situation she found herself in even more surreal.  Her companion cleared his throat and she returned her attention to him, raising her glass for another cautious sip.  This one still burned and tasted like medicine, but she was ready for it this time.

"Will you not talk to me?"  Piotr toyed with his empty glass, turning the tiny tumbler between his fingers.

"I don't know what to say.  I can't believe what's happening here."  Jehnna set her glass down and stared at it.  "How could they do this to us?  How can you just sit up here and let it happen?"

"I am only one man.  I cannot stop them."  He poured another shot but did not drink it right away.  "I have voiced my objections."

"And that's it?  That's all you're going to do?"  She could feel the heat beginning to rise in her cheeks, but she didn't think it was the vodka.  "You're not even going to try?"

"I cannot help them, Jehnna.  I can only make things worse."

"That's bullshit."  She stood suddenly, her chair scraping across the floor.  "I shouldn't be here."  Before she could step away from the table, he reached across the table to grip her wrist.

"Jehnna."

"Let me go.  I can't sit up here like nothing's wrong and let them just..."  Her voice trailed off as she hesitated to name what was happening below.  "I just can't."

"Logan and Hank are in agreement with this.  Even Scott cannot stop them.  It is why he won't allow Haley to leave his room this night."  He pulled gently on her wrist.  "If you go down there now, they will fall upon you like wolves."

"I don't understand."  Jehnna shook her head and tugged against his grip.  He held on firmly.

"You are not a child, Jehnna."  He stopped his pulling, but he wasn't letting go.  "If you do not understand, it is because you are willfully blind."

"I don't...Well, then explain it to me."

"They mean to squash any resistance.  And to appease those who are too low in rank to be allowed to keep a woman."

"Keep a woman?  That sounds medieval... No.  Prehistoric.  Like cave men."

"Yes.  Like cave men.  Or worse."  He pulled again at her wrist with a steady, gentle pressure.  "Please, sit.  We will talk."

"Fine.  For now."  She sat down again with a frown.  She didn't pull her chair back up, instead leaving enough space that he would have to let go of her or lean awkwardly over the table to maintain his grip.  He let her go.  "Talk.  What is 'or worse'?"

"They are my friends and comrades."  Piotr reached for his shot and swallowed it in a single gulp.  "I do not like to think of what I know they will do."

"Just spit it out, Piotr."  Jehnna leaned forward to take her own shot.  She studied it for a brief moment before gulping it down.  "Like you said, I am not a child."

"The drugs are to make them more docile, so that they will not resist so much that they are injured.  But, drugs or not, the outcome will be the same."  He leaned forward, his eyes locked on hers.  "They will be used again and again until they no longer resist or the men have had their fill."

"Oh my god!"  Jehnna's eyes grew wide with horror.  "We have to stop them!"

"No, Jehnna."  Piotr looked down at his hands.  "If we were to try -- if I were to try, I would only be beaten.  And then they would turn their anger on your friends.  And you.  No.  I cannot help them.  But I can help you."

"Help me?  How?"

"I am fifth in rank."  He turned his empty glass over and tapped the bottom with one finger.  "It means that I may claim a woman for myself.  Even though my objections mean very little."  His eyes rose to meet hers and for the first time, she thought she saw something other than coldness in them.  "Stay with me, Jehnna.  Share my bed, be my woman, and I will protect you from the others."

"You want me to sleep with you?  And in return you'll protect me?"  Jehnna tried for outrage, but fear won out, her voice cracking.  Her heart was pounding and her palms clammy with sweat.  "Why should I?  How does that make you any different from them?  All you want is sex?"

"Sex will do for now, though I hope for more."  Piotr pushed the little glass away with his finger.  "And what makes me different is that I am asking where the others demand.  Or simply take by force."

She stared at him for a long moment, then dropped her eyes.  His gaze was too direct, too intense.  She needed to think.  She slid her glass across the table and tapped it in a wordless request for more.  He poured a second shot, but covered her hand with his before she could take it.

"You must answer me first."  He stroked the side of her wrist with his thumb.  "While your head is still clear."

"What if I say no?  What happens?"

"You may sleep in the recliner.  Alone."  He dropped his gaze to their hands before bringing it back up to her face.  "In the morning, we will part ways and you must fend for yourself."

"Fend for myself?"

"They will know I did not touch you."  Piotr looked away for a moment.  "Logan and Beast miss very little.  They may be angry that you fled them.  Even if they are not, they will be...eager."

"Eager."  She scoffed and pulled her hand away, leaving the glass behind.  "Toad and Pyro were pissed that I got away."

"Yes."

"Why me?"

"I find you attractive."  He shrugged.  "And I do not wish to see you hurt."

"I think this has got to be the least romantic proposal I've ever heard."  Jehnna shifted restlessly in her chair and sighed heavily.

"You want romance?"  His eyebrows rose in surprise.  The expression was almost comical.  "In such a place as this?  And at such a time?"

"I also want to go home.  And to see my folks again."  Her throat felt tight and she blinked hard.  She was not going to cry.  Not here.  And not in front of him.  "But that's not going to happen either."

"That, I understand."  He slid her glass toward her a few inches and then reached out his hand.  "It has been a long time for me, Jehnna.  I am out of practice with such things."

"Like romance?"  She hesitated, staring at his hand for a moment before reaching for it.  His hand was large and calloused.  It felt warm as it wrapped around hers.

"Da."  He gave a small smile and drew her hand up to his lips.  They brushed across her knuckles, warm and soft.  "I want to tell you how pretty you are.  And to make you smile.  You are not the child I remember.  You have become a woman I cannot forget.  Stay with me and I will make you as happy as I am able."

"Oh."  Jehnna's eyes grew round and chills raced up and down her body.  Her mouth opened, but nothing came out for several heartbeats.  She could feel the heat of a blush in her cheeks.  "That's better.  Much better."

The smile that spread over his face was the warmest expression she'd seen yet from him.  He lowered their hands to rest on the table.  He squeezed her hand gently.  "Will you say yes to me, Jehnna?"

"Will the others let you do this?"  Jehnna bit her lip nervously.  "Aren't you supposed to wait your turn?"

"They know where you have gone and no one has come to take you from me."  Piotr's thumb began to stroke against her skin soothingly.  "I am prepared to fight for you if someone seeks to challenge me.  But, I do not think they will.  Do not worry."

"OK.  Yes."  The word tumbled out of her mouth before she was even conscious of making a decision.  She just hoped it was the right one.  Piotr smiled and slid her glass over.  He poured himself another without letting go her hand.

"Good.  Very good."  He raised his glass in a silent toast and waited for her to raise hers.  Then they drank.  Together.
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