--------------- Chapter 14 ---------------------

The hypothalamus controls the four 'f's

Feeding, Fighing, Fleeing and Mating.

(anon)

AN: If you didn't get it the first time, read the quote again. If you still don't get it, find yourself a sense of humour! Oh, and a tenner is £10 and a fiver £5. I'm sure you knew that already, but I had to make sure. I could have used dollars, but that's what fell onto the page while I was writing so that's what stayed.

Shalimar sat up on the bed once the scan had finished.

"Woah." Adam warned. "You need to keep things slow for now, otherwise you'll pass out again. I want you to spend a week with as little exercise as you can manage. After that you can have a week of gentle training and then we'll see if you're up to rejoining the team."

"Two weeks!?" Shalimar exclaimed. "I won't survive two weeks of lazing around!"

"Well if you hadn't disappeared off into the woods in the rain yesterday it might have been a week." Shalimar's face became serious.

"I had to go, Adam. I don't know if Emma called me on purpose, but she called me. I heard her voice."

"What did she say?"

"She read me a poem. A terribly sad poem..." Shalimar frowned. "I... I thought she might hurt herself, Adam. I didn't like what I was feeling. I found her in a tree, she was very high up." Adam sighed.

"We were all worried about her. She's been quiet recently, ever since Rogers left. She left her ring in her room when she went out yesterday." Shalimar winced. That gesture alone said frightening things about Emma's state of mind. "Things are hard for her at the moment. But you were there for her, and for that I'm eternally grateful. And she's looking better today than I've seen her for a while." Adam smiled. "Though why that could be I have no idea." He chuckled. "Oh, and that reminds me. I want you and Emma to ease off a bit, for a week at least. And I'm completely serious Shalimar. If you drive your adrenaline levels too high at the moment passing out is the least of your worries. I don't want you having a stroke or a heart attack at your age just because you couldn't keep your hands off each other." Shalimar blushed.

"A week?"

"Go on, get out, shoo. Get out of my sight. Go see the others, they're worried."

One Week Later...

Emma, Brennan and Jesse sat watching a movie in the rec. area. Emma looked back over the arm of the chair. She could see Shalimar discussing something with Adam in the lab but couldn't hear what they were discussing over the noise of the film. She turned to find Brennan and Jesse watching her.

"What?" The guys snorted in laughter. "What?" She demanded.

"Can you go for ten minutes without watching her?" Jesse asked, teasingly.

"Of course I can." Emma retorted.

"Tenner says you can't." Brennan challenged.

"You're on." She accepted. Jesse lifted his watch to show the timer on the display.

"Ten minutes it is." Emma sighed and turned back to the film. It had been the guy's choice of film. She didn't even know what it was called. Tuning out the gunshots on the screen Emma tried to focus on the lab. Shalimar had explained to her once how she focused on a quiet noise when there was a lot of background noise; it sounded surprisingly similar to a meditation technique she knew. Quieting her mind she fought not to shut her eyes, that would let the boys know she was cheating. Turning her head slightly she tried to find the right place to listen.

"...with Emma..." The words made her jump at their clarity, making both of the guys look at her. Before she could stop herself she looked over at Shalimar, who's voice it had been speaking. She looked undeniably happy about something. Realising what she'd done she turned back to the others.

"Oops." Jesse whooped and they did a high five across the sofa.

"Fiver each! So what you going to do with yours, Brennan?" Jesse asked.

"Hey, no, wait a minute. It was my bet. I get the whole Ten!" Emma looked away and found Shalimar at her side.

"What are they arguing about?" She asked. Emma blushed.

"Nothing."

"Whatever. Come with me, I want to show you something."

"That sounds familiar." Emma commented laughingly.

"Oh, this thing is much better." Shalimar grinned, leading Emma away.

Jesse looked up from their argument as the two left. Spotting Adam in the doorway he called him over.

"Hey Adam, what's going on?"

"Do you remember the rooms upstairs you and Shalimar found all those years ago?"

"The ones you used to use to hide new mutants, before the safe houses? Of course, what about them?"

"Emma and Shalimar are going to be... making use of one of the double beds. From tonight."

"Did I really need to know that?" Jesse asked, frowning. "They're like, sisters to me."

"Hey, you asked." Adam retorted.

"Yeah, I suppose I did." He muttered.

Though little sleep was had that night by Shalimar and Emma, both could be sure that for many nights to come neither mind would be stirred by dreams of fire and futility. May it be for us all.

Love, if you laugh I shall not care,

But if I weep it will not matter, --

Ah, it is good to feel you there!

~The Dream, Edna St. Vincent Millay