Author: Notmanos
E-Mail: notmanos at yahoo dot com
Rating: R
Disclaimer:  The characters of Angel are owned by 20th Century Fox and Mutant Enemy; the
character of Wolverine is also owned by 20th Century Fox and Marvel Comics.  No copyright
infringement intended. I'm not making any money off of this, but if you'd like to be a patron of the
arts, I won't object. ;-)  Oh, and Bob is *my* character - keep your hands off!   

Ouroboros - the snake biting its own tail. The symbol of eternity. He glanced back at the screen, trying to hide his own shock. "Shit. I did know her, didn't I?"

"It would seem that you did." She was quiet for a moment, then said, "Sleeper?"

That was another block of reconstructed data on the screen. Sleeper was about the only large word; most of the rest of the block were connective words: the, for, and, also, then, when, it. "I think it might be a code name, or a project name."

"What could it mean?"

"No idea if it's a code name."

"But otherwise?"

He sighed. The others had gone off to do various things - he didn't know, and he didn't care - although he believed Xavier was trying to help repair the disks. That was all he cared about right now. "Otherwise sleeper can mean a deep cover agent who's yet to be activated, or a deep cover agent who has been activated, but is so deep under they - or the people not directly connected to them - may not know it."

"An agent? As in a spy?"

He shrugged. Were there other interpretations?

"So, you were a spy?"

He glanced up at her sharply. "How the fuck should I know? Do I look like James Bond to you?"

She smiled slyly, and he felt he was about to be insulted, but at the last second she stopped herself. Good. "How do you know this then?"

He looked back at the screen, hoping more usable data had been recovered. Just more randomized words that made no sense put together: date electricity final due the to and from with over before. "I read a lot. How the fuck should I know, Jean? I just know - I can't explain it."

"Like you knew the woman had a tattoo? Like the name Static sounds familiar to you?"

He sighed, and wished he was alone again. "Yeah, exactly."

For a long minute she watched the screen with him in silence, and he found himself unfocusing his eyes slightly so he could look at her instead of the data. She did look like that woman, somewhat. A coincidence, sure ... but did it mean anything more than that?

"Did you discover her mutant powers?" He asked, trying to sound casual.

She shook her head, inadvertently sending more perfume wafting his way. "I'm having some scans analyzed. Physically her musculature seems enhanced, so I'd say she was stronger than average, but not as strong as you. But the most interesting thing seems to be the development of her brain. It looked like she had a small extra developed region in her pre - frontal cortex."

That almost sounded familiar, and he was glad she let him work it out for himself rather than instantly volunteer the information. "Like a telepath?"

"Like, but not exactly. There's something else going on there, but since she's dead I can't measure the output and say what for sure. Needless to say, she had some sort of extra psychic ability, but what I have no idea."

"Probably not a telepath, though?"

"Probably not. I got no sense of that in her mind." After a moment, she said, "She cared about you. Did you pick that up?"

She was referring to their "shared" experience, where Jean let him "see" her memory of what the woman said before she died. It was weird to get a "taste" of telepathy like that, the strange, chaotic regions of people's thoughts, but it was slightly less overwhelming than it had been for him in Bob's mind. Once again, it convinced him Bob was not a telepath - he was way too strong to qualify for that. "She was afraid for me." He picked up that much. She knew she was dead, and yet she mostly cared about getting this to him. Why? Why couldn't she think about what the hell he was supposed to do with it? "It wasn't love." Thank god - he didn't need more guilt on his plate than he already had.

"No," Jean agreed, and one of her hands slid off the back of the chair and onto his shoulder. "But it was close."

He looked at her, and their positioning left them almost face to face. "Don't do this to me, Jean," he told her, close enough to smell the lemon tea on her breath. "I'm barely holdin' it together as it is."

"I know the feeling," she said, and she moved in closer to him, her soft lips brushing his gently. Not a kiss, but about to be. And why the hell not?

He was about to kiss when he realized there was someone in the hall - someone he could smell in spite of her perfume and lemon tea and antibacterial soap - and he quickly turned away, back towards the computer screen.

The door opened, and Scott stood there, looking at them. "Find anything?" He asked, and Logan knew simply from the feeling that Scott, underneath that visor, was giving him the evil eye.

"Nothin' new," he said, staring at the screen. More information came up, this time columns of numbers mixed in with more out of context words: the and is first to the it white sensor but and prior less. "You got anything?"

"Actually, yes," Scott had volunteered to lighten Jean's load and go through the dead woman's blood soaked coat, looking for anything that might identify her. "I found this hidden inside the lining of her jacket." He held up a white square about the size of a business card with the matte sheen of a laminate, and brought it over to them. He didn't need to - from here, Logan could see it was some type of weird i.d. card, with a bar code taking up the space where there should have been a photograph. In fact, it was all bar code, with a single word in small black type: "Sloane".

"We have a name," Jean said triumphantly. "Sloane. I wonder if that was a first or last name."

"Like Logan," Scott said, somewhat snarkily.

But he had a point - that was a hell of a coincidence, wasn't it?

"I'm thinking this is some kind of i.d. badge," Scott continued, glancing at Jean alone. "But I've never seen one which offered so little information."

"So in case she died with it on her, it couldn't be traced," he told him automatically. Only after it was out of his mouth did he realize that was true. How did he know that?

Hee thought he could tell, by the expression on her face, that Jean was going to ask that, but then another text block appeared on screen, and among all the words without context, was a name he recognized: Siberia.

"How - " Jean began, but then the Boy Scout saw what was on screen.

"Hey," he interrupted. "Why does that sound familiar?"

"It's a part of Russia, dumb ass."

"I'm aware of that," Scott replied testily. "I mean as related to you."

Logan knew, and felt a sudden stab of shock in his stomach, but he tried not to let on. "I don't - "

But then Jean gasped, and grabbed the back of his chair hard. "That horrid man, that psychic demon - didn't he say  something about you being sent to Siberia?"

He simply nodded, not wanting to say it out loud. According to that demon - Hedwin? - he'd been dropped into Siberia once, working for those men, and had killed ... how many did he claim? Two hundred people? He couldn't imagine two hundred people in a room, nonetheless two hundred corpses. Did he actually kill two hundred people? Could he? Well, okay, that was a stupid question - of course he could, but why would he?

No - Hedwin was a demon ( not to mention a demon working for the government ), and they lied. They all fucking lied, and he just said that to ...

( ... he was under Bob's control - he couldn't lie. )

Logan rubbed his eyes, which felt like sandpaper, and said, "Yeah, that's what he claimed. But I got no idea what's true or what he was simply told."

"We could look him up and ask," Scott suggested. "We know where to find the bastard."

"Yeah, the cemetery."

"What? He's dead?"

Logan looked back at Scott and glared at him, on the verge of saying, "Remember? Helga blew his fucking brains out." - but then he remembered they didn't know that. Bob had kept them from hearing it, because he knew they'd object. He had to make up a lie, and make it fast. "Somehow Hedwin's location got leaked to a demon who eats psychic demons, and Bob heard he got himself devoured. " Now that was so disgusting they were sure to believe it.

They did. Jean looked horrified, and Scott sneered in disgust. "And I bet Bob had nothing to do with that, right?"

Logan shrugged, and knew Bob wouldn't care if he took the rap for this. Bob didn't care about a lot of the intangibles. "He's not the type to eat demons." There was a really filthy joke in there, but he wasn't wasting it on the Boy Scout. Bob would probably get a kick out of it, though.

It was clear from Scott's scowl that he still suspected Bob somehow, and since Bob was, in a way, responsible for Hedwin's death ( keeping him from killing the bastard, he gave it to Helga ), he had no problem letting him think that.

He felt Jean's hand on his shoulder again, and she said, "Could all of this have something to do with what you did there?"

Logan shook his head helplessly, looking at more strings of numbers and useless, jumbled words: on to more it the the the and is before energy but to and sequence the left and it forward blood.

Blood. Now there was an interesting word. It seemed to define his whole life in a single syllable.

"The big one was a secret base in Siberia. It was guarded by an army, mutants and maybe demons among them. Because of surveillance nobody could get within fifty miles of the place, and those dropped in usually died of exposure before the army guarding the place got a chance to kill them. The Organization sent Wolverine out," Scott suddenly said, reciting word for word what Hedwin had said under Bob's control. "If you needed an army fast but couldn't get one,you just had to drop the Wolverine in,because he could do the impossible."

"Stop the fuckin' flashback, Summers - I was there," he growled, his hands clenching into fists. Hearing it once had been bad enough.

"What do you think was there?" Scott said, not quite letting up. "What was so damn important they'd let their own people die one by one in hopes of securing it?"

"Mutants were expendable to them," Logan replied through clenched teeth. Summers was just going to have to shut up, or he was going to smash that visor right through the back of his head. "It was probably a fuckin' vodka recipe. You think they gave a shit about any of us?"

Was he a mass murderer? Dear god, what had they made him do in their name?

But he could tell by the expression on Scott's face he was still thinking about it, trying to formulate some theory to tie it all together. "What happened to Sloane proves they don't think much about mutants; they killed her rather than let her near you with these disks. But damaged or not, how could they be important now? How could anything that happened years ago - assuming it was years - be still that important after all this time? I mean, you don't even remember - "

"Shut the fuck up!" Logan roared, jumping to his feet and glaring at him, fists clenched and muscles coiled. He wanted to hurt him; he wanted to make him shut up. He wanted to hurt something, anything, he didn't care what. He didn't want to have think anymore -

( - Sloane. The bastards had killed Sloane. And how many had he killed - )

- and he was so furious he was shaking. Or at least he wanted to think that's why he was shaking.

"Logan," Jean said, trying to sound calm in spite of the stink of fear coming off of her. She had one hand raised in a warding off gesture, but he knew she was ready to use her powers against him if he tried anything against either one of them. Good - at least she finally got that message. "Calm down. We're only trying to help - "

"I don't need your fucking help," he snarled, kicking the computer chair aside. It hit the far wall hard enough to shatter, making Jean jump, and both she and Scott took a step back. Neither had done anything yet, but now Scott, sissy boy that he was, had his hand raised to the side of his visor.

"Don't do something you'll regret," he said, the lamest threat Logan had ever heard.

"Too late." He didn't realize what he had said until after it was out of his mouth. No matter. "And ya know I could kill you before you could open the shutter, right 'Clops?"

"Logan," Jean said sternly, like he was a student just mouthing off. But then she said something that earned his attention : "Hasn't there been enough violence today?"

He turned his gaze to her, and felt like he was sleepwalking. Maybe that was it; maybe he was the Sleeper. "No," he told her. " Not while those fuckers are still alive." He stalked out before he was forced to explain that, or listen to their oh so well meaning platitudes. He needed to clear his head so he could think, but he was so angry he couldn't hear anything but the blood pounding in his ears. He needed to burn this off before he could even hope to think, but there weren't enough things in this world he could hurt to make it go away.

He was still the creature they wanted him to be. And Logan wasn't sure there was anything like the real him left anymore.


Scott wished he was surprised to find Logan back in the gym again, but once he confirmed he hadn't left the grounds and that the Danger Room was still out of commission for repairs ( Logan had damaged it, of course -  the man was a menace ), there was no where else for him to be. Well, his room, but he looked far too worked up to brood.

As if to prove his supposition correct, the second he walked through the doors, Logan punched one of the specially reinforced heavy bags so hard the chain suspending it from the ceiling snapped like Bobby had iced it, and it flew across the room, hitting the far wall with such incredible force it seemed to eviscerate itself in a huge cloud of sawdust. How heavy was that goddamn thing?

But rather than be impressed - although secretly he was ( why didn't he ever hit Sabertooth that hard? And where the hell was he when Fenrir showed his ugly mug? ) - he simply told him blandly, "You're paying for that."

Logan snarled at him like a wolf. "I ain't in a mood for company. Get out of here."

Scott had to admit to himself that Logan's sudden blind rage hadn't been all that surprising - he was known for that, wasn't he? But still, the more he thought about it, the more he realized the reason for it, and wasn't that a shock?

So Logan started to go psycho loony on them after what? The reminder of what he supposedly did in Siberia. Jean thought that the woman's death was really kicking in for him - maybe he was starting to remember - and that was a possibility. But Scott thought it was the fact that he had ( okay, supposedly ) killed two hundred people that finally got to him.

He didn't think of Logan having a conscience, and he most likely didn't - how could he and live like he did? But he was still a human being ( no matter how he acted most of the time ), and now that he had to think about it he couldn't stand it.

He didn't want to feel for the guy - he detested him; he bet he'd always detest him - but for the first time in a long while, Scott began thinking about what the Organization had done to him.

He killed people for them, hadn't he? Thank god or Bob or his own mind that he didn't remember anything about it or the telepathic violation necessary for him to do that, but Logan might not have been so lucky. He certainly remembered what they did to him physically - Scott was surprised he wasn't addicted to sleeping pills. Of course, maybe if his physiology allowed it, he would be. He'd probably be a heroin addict if his body allowed it, just to forget the few things he could remember.

Scott knew he was probably lucky. The Organization didn't have him for long, and that limited what they could do to him, especially since they instantly put him to "work". But if he had ended up staying with them, would they have done some "alterations" to him like they so obviously did to Logan? Just thinking about it made him feel queasy.

Scott let the door swing shut behind him, and wondered if Logan had noticed he'd changed clothes. He'd put on his work out clothes of sweats and a tank top, and put on his goggle like glasses, which had no shutter to be opened or closed, but had the bonus of being held on by a band that wrapped around his head so they couldn't be knocked off. "You don't wanna talk? Fine." He crossed the wide, wood paneled room to the sparring ring, which looked like a rectangular boxing ring, only set up with blue mats and slender but cable strong blue ropes, and found the padded gloves Logan had tossed inside earlier. He grabbed them and threw them over to Logan. He could have caught them - he knew the reflexes he had - but he didn't; Logan let them hit his chest and bounce off to the floor. "Let's fight."

Logan chuckled derisively, crossing his arms. "I ain't in a mood to humor you. Get out of here before you get hurt."

"You really think I can't fight, don't you? You think I what - sit on my ass all day, eating potato chips and channel surfing?" He found another pair of padded gloves and slipped them on, tightening the velcro around his wrists.

"I don't know what you do, 'Clops, and I don't give a fuck. Leave me alone."

"Or you'll what? Hurt me? You're welcome to try." Scott was of two minds about this: first of all, he really, really wanted to hit him; he wanted to beat him until he was bleeding from the ears ( although he knew that was - in theory - impossible ). But second of all, he knew from experience that Logan, with all that adamantium and no moral compunctions whatsoever, could hurt him quite badly. He'd barely recovered from the beating Logan handed out when Heydon had control of his body. This could be really, really ugly.

But how could he look past the opportunity to punch this son of a bitch?

He slammed his gloved fists together and started towards Logan, who was eying him with such loathing and disdain he barely looked Human. His upper lip curled over one of his canine teeth in a snarl that was mocking, his green eyes as hard as glass. "At what point does this impress me?"

"How about now?" He suggested, quickly turning into a spinning kick that should have nailed Logan in the jaw. Should being the operative word.

The feeling of hard contact traveled down his leg, but as soon as he realized he hadn't hit Logan's jaw at all but Logan had caught his foot - hard - inches in front of his face, Logan pulled. Scott slammed down on the wood floor, losing his breath in a gasp as he felt a sharp pain travel down his spine. Wow, wood flooring really wasn't a comfortable place to land. He could have lived his whole life without needing to know that first hand. "At least you're paying attention," Scott said, as if he planned that.

Logan snorted derisively and didn't let go of his foot more than he threw it to the floor. "Yeah, whatever. You'd be better off sickin' your girlfriend on me."

As he turned away, Scott, still laying on the floor, kicked out and caught Logan in the back of the knee. As he dropped to his knees on the floor, Scott rolled, making sure his heel caught the back of Logan's head. That hurt more than he anticipated, sending an almost tingling, numbing pain up his leg, but damn if it wasn't worth it.

He felt pretty slick as he rolled up to his feet ( in spite of his still tingling leg - having an adamantium skull was so beyond cheating ), but what surprised him - and shouldn't have, in retrospect - was how fast Logan moved. In the space of second he was on his feet, and Scott had just gained his in time to come face to face with Logan. And he didn't look amused.

Well, for the split second he saw him.

There was a blur out of the corner of his eye, and he tried to evade it, but his reflexes weren't nearly as quick as he had thought. Something that felt like an anvil crashed into the side of his face, and he really did see an explosion of stars before his eyes as he hit the floor once more, and his consciousness swam as he tasted blood in his mouth. He was pretty sure his jaw wasn't broken, but it was a close thing. "What the fuck are you tryin' to prove?!" Logan roared at him, as if he had put him on the floor and not vice versa. "D'ya want me to kill you, is that it?!"

His vision started filling itself in, and he wiped his fingers over his lips. Yep, that was blood all right."It wasn't your fault, you know," he said, panting slightly as he pushed himself up into a sitting position. At least Logan was out of kicking distance, if Scott had it in his mind to try something like that again. But he surely did not - it wouldn't work twice. Still, it was an ego charge to know he was on his guard. He stunned him if he didn't precisely hurt him.

Next time, he had to go for the gut. No adamantium there.

Logan stared at him like he was confused. "What? You actin' like a shithead? I know!"

"Those people," he elaborated, wiping more blood from his lips. The ache in his mouth told him what happened - he'd cut the inside of his cheek on his own teeth, and one of the molars might have been loosened. Damn it, he just paid off his last dental work. "You didn't really kill them, Logan. The Organization did."

He scoffed loudly and shook his head, but what was that look just crossed his face? Did he have a concussion, or did Logan actually - for a split second - look scared? "So that's what this is? Some bullshit attempt at pop psychology?"

"No. I also wanted to hit you."

He shrugged a single shoulder, obviously understanding that desire.

"They used me too, you know," he went on, using the wall behind him to help himself to his feet. Since when had he  been this close to the door? Man, Logan must have hit him with a doubled fist to send him sprawling this far out. Was he trying to cave in his skull? "I try not to think about what they did to me, but - "

"What they did to you?!" Logan snapped, his rage suddenly building anew. His eyes almost glowed with it, and a vein started to throb in his temple. Oh crap - what did he say?! "You shit, they did nothing to you! So what, they telepathically raped you and made you wipe out a church and a truck stop?! Who gives a fuck! Did they mutilate you?! Did they steal your entire fucking life?! Don't even try to compare our experiences, Summers! You were their tool for what - two days?! And Bob gave you back everything they took away!" He then shook his head in disgust and turned away, stalking towards the door.

"I know what you're going to do," Scott said, leaning against the wall for support, subtly so Logan wouldn't have the satisfaction of knowing he had almost knocked him clear into next week. In retrospect, maybe pissing him off beforehand hadn't been the wisest tactical move. But when was Logan not pissed off? "You can't go after them alone."

Logan glared at him as he paused by the door, and for a second Scott was sure he looked completely swamped by frustration more than anger. "No, I'll call Bob. But maybe you and the rest of the Girl Scouts should sit this one out. It could get ugly."

Logan was half way through the door when he reminded him, "It's already ugly."

But he didn't even pause, he kept straight on going, and as soon as the doors shut, Scott figured he take a second to regain his bearings before even trying to walk. He'd been violently introduced to the floor enough for one day.

That really could have gone better. But at least it reminded him to be glad he wasn't Logan.


It really irritated him when Scott made him think of something. Why didn't he just cave his smug fucking skull in?!

Because Xavier would probably charge him rent if he did, and the "fuck me" vibe Jean was constantly sending out would probably disappear. Well, at least for a little while.

He couldn't call Bob in now - there was nothing for him to work off of. He needed Bob when he found someone with a lead to where these fuckers were, or better yet an actual base; as it stood now, all he had were scrambled disks, a dead body, and the vague sense that the more he dug into his past, the more he would hate himself. Could Bob do a better data recovery than Xavier and his super powered machines? Maybe. But Scott pissing him off had reminded him there was another ally he could call in; someone else who had some experience moving against these bastards, someone who might be able to gain access to some of their files, or might know what some of the shit they recovered meant.

Xavier was still in the lower levels, working at a computer station in what was essentially his "underground" study. His back was to Logan when he entered the room, but without even glancing back, he instantly told him, "I'm putting together a program that may allow us to sort the information back into a coherent order."

Telepaths were always show offs, weren't they?

Xavier then backed up a bit and looked at him, curiosity bright in his eyes. "What can I do for you, Logan?"

If he knew, why didn't he just read his mind and save them all time? He sighed, and said, "You can use Cerebro to find any mutant, right?" Xavier just nodded. "I need to find someone, but I'm not even sure they're in the States."

"I can start a concentric search, start here and move outward." His eyes narrowed slightly, as if he was looking at something through him, out in the hall. "You think he could help."

"Yeah - "

"You plan to do this without us."

This was incredible. "What are you people, my fucking parents? This has nothing to do with you, and I think it'd be better for everyone if we kept it that way, all right?"

Xavier continued to stare at him for a very long moment, measuring him and his veracity, and said, "I won't force the issue. But if it involves you, Logan, it already involves us."

He rolled his eyes and shook his head, unable to believe this shit. Would he be saying that if  he knew how close he had just been to beating his pet's head through the gym floor? "Spare me the "we're all brothers" shit, okay? I was the one who got his life totally fucked over, okay? Not you. But if you insist on gettin' involved, you might end up the same way. So spare me the platitudes and let me do this my own way." Well, he was going to anyways, but he was being polite. Sort of.

Xavier looked like he was going to argue with him, his blue eyes narrowing and growing remarkably cold, but at the last second he seemed to change his mind. "We're always here for you, Logan. And we are not as harmless as you think we are."

Logan was in no mood to argue with him, as arguing with a telepath never paid off. He just wanted to find out what the data on the disks meant before they came after him. Again.

It would also help, if he was going to avenge Sloane, to know exactly who she was.


If she didn't know something was wrong by him canceling his shop class, Jean knew beyond a shadow of a doubt when she tried to contact him and discovered he was asleep.

When she entered their room, Scott was stretched out on the covers of the bed, holding an ice pack to the right side of his face, the curtains closed against the bright afternoon sun. "Were you trying to contact me?" He asked, voice slurred with sleep, but he didn't try and sit up.

She sat on the edge of the bed and looked down at him. "Sorry to wake you. What happened?" She gently grabbed the ice pack - he was resistant, but not for long - and she removed it to see - in spite of the dim slivers of light - a very ugly purplish - black bruise causing his right cheek to swell. "Oh my god."

"You said someone needed to talk to Logan, so ... "

"Since when does talking involve fists?" She put the ice pack on the nightstand, and tried to tenderly examine the wound. She sucked in a sharp breath, and said, "Sorry if I hurt you."

"Oh no, you can't. I feel no pain." He grinned as best he could with a swollen cheek, and said, "I took one of those tylenol codeine I had left over from my dental work. I'm good."

She sighed. "I can't check you for a concussion then, can I?"

"I don't have a concussion, sweetheart - just a bruised ego. I'll live."

Sweetheart? Had to be the medication talking. Scott didn't take a lot of drugs - not even aspirin - so when he did they hit him hard.  She remembered when he took an over the counter cold pill and he slept for twelve hours straight; nothing short of a nuclear blast was getting him up. "Are you sure?"

"Positive. It's only the inside of my cheek that really hurt. Well, until my head started throbbing like a infected cyst. If he'd put on the gloves, though, the fight would've lasted longer. I'd have kicked his ass."

"You challenged him to a fight? In the mood he was in?"

"It's the only way he'll listen. And it was worth it all to kick him in the head."

She rolled her eyes. "Men."

"I know."

"I'll need to get you in for some scans later, just to make sure you don't have a hairline fracture of the cheekbone. Okay?"

He saluted. "Yes ma'am."

"You really should sleep it off."

He chuckled faintly, letting his hand fall back to the bed. "Oh, probably." After a pause, he added, "I really do want to hurt them, you know."

Since he said "them", she assumed he didn't mean Logan. "Who?"

"The Organization. If he goes after them, I want to go too."

That was something Scott didn't talk much about, his time with that group, but she assumed it was a combination of Bob's "pushing" and his natural reticence to talk about such things. She took his hand in hers - it was still cold from the ice pack - and said, "I know it's selfish of me, but I don't want you near those people ever again. I almost lost you."

"Would that be such a bad thing?" Before she could ask what he meant by that, he quickly added, "Part of me doesn't want to get near them either. But I want to destroy them before they even think of doing that to any other mutant."


He scoffed, but in a humorless manner. "If only that was the worst thing."

She studied him curiously, his hand still firmly clasped in hers. He so rarely opened up like this to her anymore; she'd missed it, and only now did she realize it. "What was?"

For a moment he hesitated, and she wasn't sure if he was going to tell her. But finally he did, gazing up at the ceiling behind his dark red lenses, Adam's apple bobbing in his throat as he swallowed hard. "It's the reason Logan screams at night. Not pain - I felt no pain - although I'm sure he did; I can't imagine what it would feel like to have your body ripped apart. It's the helplessness, Jeannie; pain would be preferable to knowing you can't do anything to stop them or save yourself. That these people have you, and they can do anything they want to you, and all you can do is lay there and take it; that you mean nothing to these people, that you're just ... an object, a tool. Not a real person - just a thing. A thing who's only worth is what you can do for them. You can feel them tearing your mind down, stripping you of everything you are, but you can't even fight it. You're bound, gagged, and paralyzed, even in your own mind - but not so paralyzed that you can't feel every excruciating inch of what you're losing." He paused, as if gathering his thoughts, and then added, in a low voice, "I thought the worst feeling in the world was when I found out I couldn't control my powers. I thought I'd have to be blind for the rest of my life if I didn't want to hurt anyone. But I was wrong; that feeling wasn't even close." She saw a single tear trickle from beneath his glasses, down his bruised cheek, and her heart almost broke for him. He had never told her anything like that before - he rarely if ever mentioned his time with them. But maybe that was why.

She laid down on the bed next to him, resting her head on his shoulder. "I'm so sorry, Scott."