7/1 Issue: It's a Small, Small World

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Slarti
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Title: Damn Not Given
Nightscrawlearth Character: :icey :phoenix

7/1 Issue: It's a Small, Small World

Post by Slarti » Thu Jul 01, 2021 11:29 pm

Timelined after Not Today, Satan.

Jean: Jean felt the horrible disorienting twist of teleportation yet again and curled herself more tightly around Jamie's battered shoe when she felt its impact. God, it huuuuurt. She'd never had a miscarriage before, but... this had to be what it felt like. The Phoenix was gone, the light snuffed out again.

Jean: Even though she was still, she wasn't. Jean became aware of a rocking movement, and a weird smell in the air. She raised her head and cracked an eye. Was she... in a boat? Really? Really.

Jean: She twisted enough to sit up, making the boat move more violently as she looked around. It was a dimly lit, wet tunnel. She could hear calliope music in the distance. More carnival shit. Great.

Tandy: Tandy's reaction to the teleport was more to do with the unstable surface she'd landed on than anything else. "Woah! Fuck!" She put her arms out to steady herself and found something squishy with one of them.

Jean: "FUCKINGWHATNOW!" Jean sensed a presence in the boat with her and struck back on instinct. Fuck! If it was fucking Arcade she was screwed! She started to try to scramble out of the tipping boat.

Tandy: Jean's reaction made Tandy reach for her powers out of instinct and a light dagger appeared in her hand as she caught the side of the rocking boat with the other. "Whossat? Oh! Jean! It's me! Calm down!"

Jean: "It's-" Who?! Jean squinted at the searing white light in her eyes and reached for her own powers. Nothing. "Tandy?!" She barely knew this girl, but she dropped the shoe and tackle hugged her with a sob.

Tandy: The light disappeared with the dagger as Tandy fell backward into the boat, setting it rocking violently again. Good thing she knew she already had good sea legs. "Hey! Yeah, it's me... you're okay..." she returned the hug and patted Jean.

Jean: "No, I'm not," she wailed, clinging onto the complete stranger. At least this wasn't a murdery complete stranger. She pulled back with a short gasp. "Is Anna still in there with you?"

Tandy: Tandy shook her head, "No, I coughed her up a bit ago...." She shifted uncomfortably in the boat, making it rock again a little as she tried to sit up.

Jean: Jean nodded, not even questioning that. "Damn... I need her." She tried to sit up too, wincing at the pain. "Is Jamie okay?"

Tandy: "He's freaking out... Anna's better at that than me." She chewed her lip, watching Jean's movements, "What happened?"

Jean: "I'm sure he is," she breathed, closing her eyes and licking her lips as the cramp subsided. "Arcade wants to keep me... as, like, his personal fuck toy."

Tandy: "Ewwww that's.... so much not okay." She summoned a dagger to light their little boat again now that she was sitting up.

Jean: Jamie's shoe had hit the deck during their scuffle, so she picked it up and set it back in her lap. "He..." Jean had to pause to swallow since her voice was shaking. "H-he said he'd let you all go, alive, if I don't fight him..."

Tandy: Tandy scowled, "Jean. You fight. Do whatever you have to do. We'll be fine."

Jean: "I tried, but I can't fight... that." Her breath hitched and she buried her face in her hands.

Tandy: Tandy gave her another hug, keeping her dagger at a safe distance, "Do whatever you can, okay? We'll find a better way out of here..."

Jean: "Jamie will try to stop him... and A-arcade will kill him. Kill him for real when he's done breaking his dupes, and I'll be..." Alone. She winced and pressed her hand to her belly as the boat started to move into the tunnel. "Fuuuuuuck. I'm SO SICK of this BULLSHIT!"

Tandy: "We'll get out of here. As long as my powers are active, Ty can track me," she gave Jean a small smile, "He'll get some friends and come get us." She raised her dagger to cast the light further to see where they might be going.

Jean: Jean gave Tandy a sickly smile. "We're like that. Me and Jamie. As long as I have my powers, we know where the other one is. If I had my powers... I could get us all out..." She sighed and looked ahead. There was light and... animatronics?

Tandy: "I can't track Ty like he can track me... but I am immune to his powers so... I'll take that win." Tandy tossed her dagger ahead to get the light further. It went out when it hit a wall but still. She frowned and summoned another.

Jean: "I remember him... with the shadow thing." She watched the arc of light and squinted. Those animatronics looked... real familiar. "Oh, what the actual fuck?"

Tandy: "Yeah... He's the darkness, I'm the light. That's our thing. Cloak and Dagger. We have our schtick down." She cocked her head on one side at the animatronics, "What am I looking at?"

Jean: "One of my roommates had the darkness schtick too..." She studied the little robot figures, occupied in a hair-pulling match with the president. "That... is the X-Men."

Tandy: "They seem.... a little young?" Tandy watched the display with a bemused expression, "Is that the president?"

Jean: "That is the president. Ayep." Jean's lips pressed into a straight line. Little animatronic Rogue was flying across the tunnel. "He told me he made them toddlers... I was... well, I didn't think he was serious."

Tandy: "Maybe he's fucking with you and this is part of it?"

Jean: Jean pointed at a purple-haired munchkin climbing a blonde man. "That's Beth and her brother Brian... if he is, he's done a lot of research."

Tandy: "This guy really is insane, huh? ... Also he needs a hobby."

Jean: "I think he wants me to be his hobby..." Jean swallowed again, trying to ignore her cramps.

Tandy: Tandy's nose wrinkled and she nailed one of the animatronics with half a dozen daggers.

Jean: Offended, the little Rogue robot swooped toward them. "Shit!"

Tandy: "Gah!" Tandy peppered the robot with more daggers.

Jean: The Rogue-bot made a ZZT noise and dropped into the water, where it sizzled and fried. "Oh shit..."

Tandy: Tandy peered into the water after it, "At least it's not all rage-bot now?"

Jean: "Is it electrocution bot though?" Their boat was getting closer to it and the boat was looking and feeling really metal.

Tandy: "I think we'd feel it already if it was..." She concentrated and focused her light into the shape of a sword instead, using the extra reach to see if she could prod the bot in the water.

Jean: Another bot appeared from the side and froze the water beneath them. "Oh, good!" Jean looked for the Bobby bot and once again wished her powers were working.

Tandy: Tandy's light sword easily cut through the ice and she intensified the light to help them see what was going on. "So are they attacking us now or what?"

Jean: "Well Beth is a telepath like me, so without a brain I don't see how she could do anything." Their boat wasn't moving now though, so she looked around. "Should we try to get out and make a run for it?"

Tandy: "Uh... We could... just don't slip and fall on your ass..." She climbed out onto the ice carefully and offered Jean her hand.

Jean: Jean looped Jamie's shoestrings over her arm and took the help she offered. Standing up straight was a challenge and she winced as she climbed out.

Tandy: Tandy saw the wince and bit her lip, "I'm sorry... I wish I could heal people properly..."

Jean: "Thanks... it's okay. It's..." Jean swallowed. "Too late anyway."

Tandy: "What did he do to you? I mean... it's okay if you don't want to talk about it..."

Jean: She gingerly tiptoed toward the solid ground on the side of the ride and stepped up onto the fake grass opposite most of the remaining animated X-Babies. Once there, Jean brushed her free hand over her face and tried not to cry. "Um. Well... he, uh... didn't want a used toy. H-he heard us talking... he heard I could be pregnant." She wiped away the stray tears, her breath hitching. "Not anymore..."

Tandy: Tandy let the sword disappear so she could hug Jean again, "I'm sorry... that's awful..." This asshole needed to die.

Jean: Jean gave in and sobbed, accepting the hug. She wanted Jamie, but she dreaded his reaction. It'd probably get him killed.

Tandy: "Let's try and find a way out of this tunnel," she gave Jean a gentle squeeze before stepping back from her and summoning up a light dagger. "At least it'll give us something to do?"

Jean: "Right." She sniffled, stepping back and wrapping herself in her own arms. It was cold now, and all she had was her sports bra. The light dagger made her smile. "Those are cool..."

Tandy: "I'm pretty fond of them," she held it up to light their way, "They can cut through pretty much anything... and I can sort of... direct them a bit."

Jean: "I'm telekinetic... so I can make weapons with my teke. They look like fire though, not light..." She was wondering if she'd ever see her powers in action again.

Tandy: "My daggers... I can feel them... like they're an extension of me. It's hard to explain... they're made of energy but it's like they're... alive."

Jean: "I have that too." Jean swallowed. So, this asshole was learning to never turn her powers on. "I'm, uh, on the X-Men, just not... a toddler. Phoenix." She was missing the bird right now. Intensely.

Tandy: "When mine hit a person... they don't have to physically harm them... but they can sort of... drain them... I can feel it come back to me." She followed the wall, wondering how thick it was and if they could cut their way out.

Jean: "I, uh, can... do lots of things. My teke and telepathy kind of work together, with the fire bird thingie..." Jean trailed along after, following the curve of the tunnel. A creak made her jump, but she wrote it off as ice melting against the metal walls.

Tandy: "I don't really know how my powers work... I think it's connected to hope somehow... because I can see the hopes of other people... but it's probably more complicated than I want to think about."

Jean: That made Jean pause a little. "What do you see in me?" It was out of her mouth before she could think better of it.

Tandy: Tandy paused and held out her free hand, a soft white light glowing in her palm. "If you want me to look..."

Jean: Jean swallowed, still hugging herself, and gave a jerky nod. It wasn't like she had any state secrets, and now she was morbidly curious.

Tandy: "Okay..." Tandy stepped toward her and placed a hand on Jean's bare shoulder before closing her eyes.

Jean: Blowing out a shaking breath, she tried to stop her trembling and relax. After studying the blonde's face, she closed her own eyes.

Tandy: After a moment, Tandy opened her eyes and gave Jean a soft smile, leaving her with those warm fuzzies right at the surface. "It's a good one to hold onto."

Jean: The tears in her eyes now where happy ones. "Now my hope is that you're a precog." Unsurprisingly, this strange vision she shared with Tandy was in a not-so-far future in Jamie's tenement building, fully restored. He was at her side, and her parents were there, too. She felt happy, and whole, with their newborn son in her arms.

Tandy: "It can be true..." she smiled at Jean again, "Now you have a goal to work toward."

Jean: "We were trying..." She looked down at her hand, twisting her filthy ring, then cleared her throat. "Thank you."

Tandy: "You're welcome... I hope it helps you." She frowned at the cave wall, then stuck a dagger in it just because.

Jean: The wall split and shattered into shards, the shrapnel aimed straight for them. "Fuck!"

Tandy: "Shit!" Tandy ducked and covered, pulling Jean with her.

Jean: Jean's yelped and was shocked when the soft pinkish light of her teke bubble formed over them. Wait? Powers? She stopped herself from reaching for Jamie and tried the Phoenix instead. Nothing.

Tandy: Tandy was expecting to be showered with sharp things and nothing happened. She looked around, "What happened?"

Jean: "He's fucking with me again!" Jean jumped up, wincing, and her hands lit up with pink flames.

Tandy: "But you have your powers?" And they were pink!

Jean: "...some of them." She rummaged in her head and growled. "I think he's testing them. Fucker." Jean spun in place when she heard movement behind them. Again.

Tandy: "To see which ones its safe to give you? Damn... he's smart..." Tandy held up her dagger, intensifying the light to see what that noise was.

Jean: "Unfortunately." Her light was dim compared to Tandy's and back in the tunnel, from where they'd come, there were robot horrors coming at them. "What the fuck?!"

Tandy: Tandy looked between Jean and the approaching robots, "Uh.... fight or run?"

Jean: "Is that... a sentinel?" If so, it was crossed with Beth and glowing purple. "I'm thinking run?"

Tandy: "Running it is!" She turned pulled Jean with her as she ran for it.

Jean: She was able to throw up a teke wall, but it was far weaker than it should be. Fucker! Stop fucking with my powers! she screamed in her head, hoping it gave him a migraine.

Tandy: Tandy led the way with her light and her agility skills from years of dancing trying to make sure Jean kept her footing behind her.

Jean: Adrenaline was Jean's friend and she wasn't having any problems, but behind them, a girly lavender sword slashed through her shielding. Ahead, Jean saw a light - not from Tandy. "Is that the exit?"

Tandy: "Man, I hope so," she tossed her dagger ahead of them to see the path further, instantly summoning another.

Jean: Her teke failed her when a cold gale of sleet?! blew up behind them, slamming Jean into the wall. Ahead, the light fell into the water, which didn't look much like water anymore. Tracks? Did the sleet take all the water?

Tandy: Tracks? Why were there tracks? Her eyes tracked back up to the light. Oh. Shit. She reached for Jean again.

Jean: "Seriously?! Why?!" Jean grabbed for Tandy, staring down the light of the train coming their way. The thing seemed to fill the tunnel. "GOD I hate this asshole!"

Tandy: Tandy reflexively put her arms over her head to protect herself and curled up around Jean.

Jamie: Jamie paced the length of the white room again, both hands going into his hair and tugging. He kept glancing from the wall to the interior of the room, not sure if Jean was just outside the room or about to show back up. Dead man. That's what he would be. Arcade would be a dead man. Jean better be in one piece or else. Jamie wasn't sure how he would do it, or if he even could, but he would try.

Jamie: "This is bullshit! He can't keep yanking us away from each other!" He turned to face Anna, letting his hands drop, "When you possess someone, do you get to read their thoughts, too? Maybe you could figure out what the hell his malfunction is."

Anna: "Um... I can if they don't mind... but its just surface stuff..." She shrugged, resting her chin on her knees, "Really my best power is my healing. The rest is just... window dressing."

Jamie: "I don't think it would matter if he minds. He certainly doesn't mind torturing us." Jamie slid down the wall and stared at his feet. One shoe off, one shoe on, diddle diddle dumpling, my son John. He squeezed his eyes shut and pressed the heels of his hands into them. Not now, Mom. He tried to focus on Jean. If her powers turned on at any point, maybe he could talk to her.

Jean: The tunnel was shaking and the train horn blared. Jean tried to pull her teke bubble around them both, but was braced for the worst. Then, the sound was gone. Wait, were they dead? "....are we dead?"

Anna: "No, I mean... if they have shields... I'm not a super telepath like Jean or Beth or Rachel or some- Ack!" Suddenly people!

Jamie: It worked! No! You're not dead! ...he didn't think. Wait. Ack? Why ack? "What's wro- HOLYSHITJEANNIE!" Jamie was up and running before he knew that he'd told his body to do it.

Tandy: Tandy lowered her arms and looked around, "Unfortunately no, we're just back in the room..."

Jean: Jean's head whipped up, but her hair immediately fell in front of her face. Her powers were gone again. "Jamie?!"

Jamie: Jamie's arms wrapped around both women, pulling them into a huge hug. "You've been gone so long!" Jamie brushed Jean's hair out of the way with his nose and kissed her hard.

Tandy: Gaaaaaaah. Tandy tried to slither out from between them. So awkward!

Jean: She tried to get closer to Jamie, but there was a Tandy in the middle. A squirmy Tandy! She pulled back to let the blonde escape. "Sorry!"

Tandy: Free! She made her escape.

Jamie: Jamie wasn't sorry at all. "You deserve to be shown you were missed, too! Just... without the kissing part..."

Anna: Anna giggled and patted the space beside her on the floor, inviting Tandy to sit. "So what fun thing nearly killed ya?"

Jean: Jean tried to right herself and realize Jamie's shoe still dangled from her elbow, tied by the laces. She raised her arm and gave him a half smile.

Tandy: "A fucking train... and robot baby X-Men." Tandy flopped down beside Anna. "I need a nap."

Jamie: "Hey! My shoe!" Jamie was almost as excited about that as he was Jean's return, kissing her again in thanks, then flopping to the ground to put it on. "...say what now? Robot baby X-Men?"

Jean: His excitement made her smile grow and she carefully sat up, wincing a little and running her hands through her hair to finger comb the tangles as she watched him. She loved that infectious grin of his, the endearing excitement over the smallest things. She didn't want to ruin it.

Tandy: "Yep." Tandy confirmed, lying back on the floor and pulling her hood up. "Fucked up shit. Totally mangled one with my daggers though."

Jamie: "...that's super disturbing." Shoe laced, he gave it a pat, then turned to Jean, really taking a second to look her over. "Babe? What's up? Did you have to kill a robot Beth or something?"

Tandy: "Robot Beth turned into a Sentinel," Tandy supplied helpfully, putting one earbud in.

Jean: "No, but there was- that" Jean gestured at Tandy's explanation and gave him a flat-lipped smile. She knew he knew something was up, but... "Hey, Anna? Can I, um, talk to you for a sec? Please?"

Anna: Anna smiled at her, "Sure... not sure how private it'll be in here, if that's what you want...." But she could try. She got to her feet and rubbed her numb backside.

Jean: "Thanks..." She got to her feet, her movements slow and halting, only then really realizing Jamie was okay. "Are your powers on?" She gave Anna a hopeful look, her eyes on Jamie's leg, then flicking to his face. So handsome again, and watching her with sharp eyes.

Jamie: Well that was weird... Jamie frowned in confusion, but gave her the space she wanted, moving to go sit next to Tandy. "A sentinel? Like... The robots that we thought weren't around anymore?"

Tandy: Tandy looked up from her spot on the floor and nodded, "Yeah... but like... if they were more creepy looking... and purpley...." She frowned.

Anna: Anna gave Jean an apologetic look and shook her head, "They were for a bit but not anymore... think it was mostly to get me out of Tandy but I healed Jamie before I took solid form so he couldn't just turn them off again on me..."

Jamie: "...maybe it was purple because of her hair?"

Jean: Damn. "Okay," she nodded, swallowing hard and fighting the urge to clutch her belly when it cramped again as she tried to stand up straight. They moved a few feet from the others and she leaned heavily on Anna and hugged her tight.

Tandy: Tandy shrugged, "No idea... There was also a robot president."

Anna: Anna returned the hug just as tightly and attempted to smooth Jean's hair. "When you're ready..." she said softly.

Jean: "I-I don't know that I was pregnant, but..." she whispered, sniffing back tears. "He killed it, or did something... it hurts. I'm... bleeding." It was lucky her uniform pants were black.

Anna: Anna chewed her lip, "What does the pain feel like? How much are you bleeding?" she took Jean's wrist to check her pulse.

Jean: "It's like regular cramps, on roids." She winced, since talking about it seemed to make them worse. Yay. "Not, like, a lot... but I might have stopped him before he could finish? He... like... tied me up... t-there was a-a tarp..." Her voice was becoming more and more garbled with tears and she pressed her free hand over her stomach. Oooow, fuuuck.

Anna: Anna sighed, "I want you to rest, okay? I would normally prescribe painkillers and fluids but..." she gestured vaguely at the room. "You might not have been pregnant... but we won't be able to tell without a blood test..."

Jamie: "Robot president?" Jamie was trying really hard to stay interested in the story, but his eyes were all for Jean and his thoughts were a million miles away, wondering why she didn't want to talk to him. Why she was so upset... "Did he come with a robotic bottle of scotch?"

Tandy: Tandy shook her head, "No... just robot kids pulling at his robot hair.... I threw a dagger at one of them and it pissed it off so... had to mangle its robot ass. Then the water froze so we ran for it..."

Jean: Jean just nodded, still fighting back her tears, but her chin was doing that wobble thing now. "A-and if I was? ...then I'm not anymore, right?"

Jamie: "Pissed off the baby or the president?" He could tell by the set of her shoulders that she was trying not to cry. "Tandy... what happened to Jean?"

Tandy: "Pissed off the baby," Tandy clarified, lifting her head a little to peer at Jean before resting it on the floor again. "I think you should talk to Jean about that..."

Anna: "Probably not..." she answered honestly.

Jamie: "But... she doesn't seem like she wants to talk to me... is she okay? Will she be okay? Give me something... please."

Jean: She nodded again, hiding her face in her hands as she cried and trying to shove the tears away with her fingertips. "He said he wants to keep me..." She tried to go on but couldn't.

Tandy: Tandy frowned at the white ceiling while she tried to figure out how to answer Jamie's request. She opened her mouth... closed it again. "I mean.... she's walking and talking....?" Way to go, Tandy! Nailed it.

Anna: Anna pulled Jean into another hug, "We're not going to let him do that."

Jamie: "....you're a huuuge help." Jamie sighed and decided to lie down and stare at the ceiling, too. He would be on his feet and running to Jean if he watched her any longer. And she didn't want him to be in the conversation, so he had to respect that. "Did you kill the robot babies?"

Tandy: "Just the one that was flying at me... we decided we should run away from the rest... then there was a train."

Jean: Jean gave Anna a sad smile and nod, knowing just as well as Anna did that there was nothing they could do to stop him. "Thanks." She stayed in the hug for a few more moments until she felt like maybe she could breathe, then sniffed and looked over at Jamie.

Anna: "You're welcome... if there's anything I can do in this shithole... just let me know."

Jamie: "I guess that was the Beth baby?" His voice sounded distant even to himself.

Tandy: Tandy shook her head, "No. The Beth one turned into a Sentinel... different girl-bot.... brown hair, white streak."

Jean: "I will. Thanks for fixing Jamie." She smiled and sniffed, rubbing her hands over her face, although she knew he knew she'd been crying. She started the slow walk to tell him their maybe baby was dead.

Jamie: "Rogue-baby? That's terrifying. How'd you end up killing it?"

Tandy: "Light daggers 'til it fell into the drink," Tandy turned her head to grin at him. "They're super effective."

Jean: His voice carried to her and she winced.

Jamie: "So you had your powers the whole time? That's awesome. ...maybe your friend person was able to zero in on you?"

Tandy: Tandy nodded, "Yeah the whole time. I really hope Ty was awake and picked it up...."

Jean: She was also realizing that if he'd figured out how to turn on specific aspects of her power at will he might also be able to break the link. NOPE. Fuck that! "Did you feel me at all?" She was close enough now for him to hear.

Jamie: Jean! He scrambled to sit up and reached his hands out to help her sit next to him. "...no. Were your powers on, too?" Did she block him from feeling her? Why would she do that? What was she not telling him?

Tandy: Tandy rolled onto her side and got up to go hang out with Anna again, giving them some space to talk.

Jean: Getting back down on the floor hurt. "Partially." She settled down on her knees and studied him. "I... don't know how to say this..." Her voice was already strained with emotion and fuuuuck this wasn't going well.

Jamie: ...this was already going so well. Jamie took a slow breath and gave her hand a gentle squeeze. "Just say it, babe. Rip off the bandaid." Who sucked at protecting her? This guy! Who was about to get dumped? Also this guy!

Jean: Rip off the bandaid? She cringed at that phrasing, wondering what he was thinking. "That asshole," she started slowly, her lower lip trembling. "Um..." Jean closed her eyes and let the tears slide down, flinging herself into his arms.

Jamie: Thaaaat was unexpected... He adjusted his legs so he could pull her into his lap, holding her tight. "Shhh, Jeannie. Whatever it is, it's going to be okay. I'm here." ...why was her ass wet?

Jean: Jean curled into him, burying her face in the crook of his neck and breathing him in. Now that he was holding her, the dams broke and she sobbed.

Jamie: Her sobs were breaking his heart and he searched the room until he found Anna with his eyes, silently asking her what the fuck happened. "I'm here. I'm not going anywhere." Jamie brought a hand up to hold the back of her head, turning his towards her. "I love you and I'm here."

Jean: "L-love you..." It felt like she'd been crying forever and she was still hiccuping and choking on tears. She fought herself for control, trying out those trusty breathing exercises. Eventually, she stopped shaking and forced herself to relax. "H-he..."

Jamie: "Whatever he did, it doesn't matter. We'll be okay." Jamie kissed her forehead and smoothed her hair back from where it had stuck to her cheeks with the tears. "Promise."

Jean: "He wants to keep me," she managed, clinging harder. He still didn't have a shirt and her fingers dug into his flesh to try to hold tight to him.

Jamie: Jamie froze at her words. That wasn't what he thought she would say. At all. "Like hell." He held her tighter, not even feeling her nails in his back. "I won't let him. He can't keep you." Make a joke? Lighten the mood? Jamie was seething, but he tried anyway, "Besides, he doesn't realize how expensive your upkeep is."

Jean: She snorted at his attempted humor, probably blowing some snot on him in the process, but she let him feel her smile. "I told him I'd rather die," she whispered, swallowing hard. "He said you might, but not me."

Jamie: "When it comes to you, I would die as many times as necessary to keep you alive and safe." Jamie kissed her forehead again, not even caring that he was now wet, just like her ass. "Did he..." How to ask this without sounding like an insensitive jerkwad? "Touch you in your no-no square?"

Jean: She shook her head at the dying. No more dying! "He'll kill you you..." No-no square?! It was enough to make her raise her head and blink at him.

Jamie: "Then he's got a bigger fight on his hands than he realizes." Wh- why was she looking at him like that? Not the right phrasing? "...Um... you know... did he..." He made a noise instead of speaking because he didn't want to say the words in case they upset her. But... he needed to know. How else would he be able to take care of her the way she needed him to?

Jean: "He tried," she answered, licking her lips and watching his face. It was so weird how Arcade could just... stop time, control their bodies... do anything. Jamie's beard hadn't grown, at all, in however many days they'd been here. "...then he said he didn't want a used toy..." Her voice got higher as she fought tears again.

Jamie: "Hey... heyyy.... shhh." Jamie brushed the tear streaks from her cheeks and gave her a small smile. "You're not a used toy, baby. You're the love of my life. I'm glad he didn't want a 'used toy' if that kept him from touching you."

Jean: She shook her head, since he didn't understand yet, but as usual his words made her heart flutter. "My everything," she said, raising a hand to touch his cheek. Jean sniffed back her tears and licked her lips. "He didn't want a pregnant toy..."

Jamie: "Even better! He won't try to find you until the baby's born, so we've got time to figure out how to get rid of this freakazoid." Jamie gave her a bright smile this time. "We'll get out of here and get a plan together. We'll be alright, you'll see."

Jean: Jean closed her eyes so she couldn't see his grin. "Jamie..." her breath hitched and she forced herself to keep talking. "He... took it."

Jamie: Took...it... Took what? The gears turned slowly in his mind as he tried to make sense of what she was talking abo--- waitaminute. No. "No... oh, Jeannie..." He enveloped her in his arms again, holding her close. That was why her ass was wet. "Babe, I'm so sorry." Dead man. That's what he would be. Arcade would be a dead man.

Jean: She let him hold her again for a while, listening to his heart pounding. "Anna said there's no way to know for sure if I was pregnant without a blood test, but if I was..." She curled into herself and freed a hand to cover her stomach.

Jean: "H-he strapped me down and just... made it happen." She was still crying, but the words came easier now. "Made this tarp appear and just laughed about the blood."

Jamie: "I'll laugh about his blood," Jamie muttered under his breath. "When we get home, we'll get the blood test done. Unless you don't want to know for sure. I'm okay with whatever you wanna do, baby." He reached between them and tried to touch her stomach too, but at the angle he was holding her, the best he could do was wrap his fingers around her wrist. "I'm so sorry. So, so sorry..."

Jean: Jean just nodded, moving their positions enough to pull his hand to her stomach and rest her own on top. "Okay." Somehow, the contact made her feel a little better. Also, he was warm. "It hurts." Considering he'd died several times recently the complaint was kind of petty, she supposed.

Jamie: "I can imagine..." He knew what it felt like to have part of you die. The baby was attached to her. "What can I do to help you feel better right now? Do you need me to keep holding you? Do you want to wear my dry pants?"

Jean: "I just want to be with you." She closed her eyes and relaxed, turning her head to nuzzle into him again. After a few moments, she sighed. "He said he'd let you all go if I stayed with him."

Jamie: "....you said 'no' right? I'm not going to have to worry about being poofed home without knowing where the hell here is so I can save you... Right?" Oh please oh please let her have said no.

Jean: "Of course I said no. Like he'd tell the truth and really do it?" Jean twisted to see his face and ignored the resulting cramp. "I know you want to kill him. I do, too. But please... I can't lose you. Promise me you won't do anything crazy?"

Jamie: This woman drove the hardest bargain ever... What with her big green eyes pleading with him while her tear stained cheeks taunted him. Dammit. "Promise. But I don't like it."

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