Notes: This story ties into 2 series I'm working on. The first is that this is a sequel to You Can Never Go Home Again (this is the 4th story in the series, although the 3rd hasn't been written yet, my bad!). This was SUPPOSED to be the first story in a group (no title yet, feel free to e-mail me w/any ideas) that deals w/each of the Gen. X characters approx. 8 years in the future who are being held captive for no discernible reason and are more or less left alone with their thoughts. I guess that Rhapsody of the Barrio is the first and this is the second now. Long story as to why it was switched around. The third story is in the works and it is from Jubilee's POV. Standard disclaimer applies.
How long had it been? Jono wondered for the umpteenth time. According to the chronometer blinking ominously above the door it had been six hours. But time wasn't what Jonothon Starsmore was thinking about, well, not how long he, his wife Paige and their daughter, Bethany had been taken from their apartment at Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters in Snow Valley, Massachusetts and taken god-knows-where.
Jono looked up from the place on the floor where he was sitting to look at the other two occupants of the only furniture in the room, retractable bunk beds. Paige sleeping, still in jeans and her white button up shirt, her long blonde hair going where ever it wanted too. Bethany slept on the bottom bunk in her favorite school clothes, white tennis shoes, purple overalls and a white shirt with purple trim. Her wavy brown hair was falling out of the purple scrunchi holding it up. She clutched Jono's black leather jacket tightly to her.
Eight years. It had been almost 8 years since Jono had run away from a hellish, abusive family in London to Xavier's School an ocean away. Eight years since her had fallen madly in love with Paige Guthrie. Seven years since the birth of their daughter. Three years since their marriage.
He had finished high school, college, gotten a job, and saved the world a couple times over as a member of Gen. X. Now here he is sitting on the floor of a scientific-looking cell with his family for no reason that he could see.
Is it because we're mutants? He wondered. But why take Bethany? True, whoever had arrested them had put an inhibitor collar on Paige and an inhibitor bracelet of a lower caliber on him, but not one on Bethany. Of course, it didn't really matter, she was human.
Hisssss. The door opened and two men in full armor and nasty looking guns appeared. The guns looked bigger than Cable's (is that possible?). In reality they weren't, but to a scared mutant cooped up in a cell unable to adequately defend himself and a child to worry about they looked extremely large.
"Wake up. Come with us," one of the guards said.
Without a sound Jono rose and walked to the bunks and shook Paige gently awake. **Paige, luv. There's some nasty looking plonkers 'ere who want to take us somewhere. Wakey, wakey.*
"Uh, Ah'm up Jono, Ah swear," Paige mumbled, her southern accent coming through thickly because she was still waking up. Jono reached into the lower bunk and scooped Bethany out, not waking her. If she did she'd only be scared.
"Let's go," guard number 1 said, motioning to them with his gun. Down a nondescript hall, around a corner to a bank of elevator. Deposited on another floor (did we go up or down?), down another hallway and into a room. It should have been from the X-Files or something. White lights, white walls, white floor, one wall was obviously a one-way mirror and a black camera recording everything.
"In here," the guards pushed them in slamming the door shut with a bang.
Jono walked to the farthest corner from mirror-the one the camera was mounted in and sat down again facing the wall, Bethany still asleep in his arms. Paige sat down next to him, a question forming on her lips.
Jono put a finger to them, stopping the question before it could start and shook his head 'no'.
Presently a voice came over a speaker "Husk, Chamber and Sunshine, you are here to plead for your lives. How do you plead?"
"For my life of course! I'm innocent!" Paige stood up and shouted immediately.
"So you plead. Chamber?"
**Look gov, I ain't no rose. I honestly don't give a rat's ass, but don't 'urt me daughter. I've done some stuff I ain't too proud of, but I don't care wot 'appens to me. Don't 'urt me daughter.* Jono didn't stand up and her tried hard not to wake his daughter. Gas poured out of the ceiling knocking all three occupants unconscience once again and the guards took them away.
"Unhg… what was that?" Paige awoke in a… bed?
**I dunno, gel. Knockout gas probably,* Jono had awoken first, the gas not being able to keep him down for very long. Not having lungs can be useful. **We're in some sort of motel room. Beth's in the other bed, out like a light.*
Paige looked around the room, it was a standard run-of-the-mill motel room. "I don't have any money. How're we going to pay for this?"
**I dunno that either, I figure we should just take it one minute at a time,* don't mention what happened earlier… it was a mental chant Jono had been saying to himself ever since Paige has woken up. Too bad she didn't have the same phrase running through her head.
"Jonothon, we need to talk."
**'bout what luv?* be intentionally obtuse.
"You, me, Beth," Paige sighed and shrugged her shoulders, it seemed as though a great burden had been lifted from them, "Jono, I want a divorce. I'm not happy. I look at Bethany and I don't know who she is, I look at you and ask 'why him'. It is not your fault. I'm just messed up."
**No, gel. We can work though this. Find a good family shrink in Snow Valley, take a vacation, just the two of us. There's gotta be something!* Jono tried to give Paige a hug, comfort her, but she refused him.
"No Jon. I've been thinking about this for a while now and… I've made up my mind. It is better for all of us." Paige sounded so sure, so determined. How could she be so blind to realize that she was breaking his heart?
**If that's the way you feel, luv. I'm sorry though. I love you.*
"I know. Um, when we get to Snow Valley I'm going to move out. You can keep custody of Beth." Silence. Jono had walked away, the room had a small balcony, a four-foot by three foot barely big enough for one person. Jono was out there, his back to everyone… standing.
What Paige couldn't see, what Jono didn't want her to see, were his tears. He'd only cried three times since he'd left London. Once when he and Paige had gone to London and the disaster there. Second, was when Bethany had been born. That was the first time he'd cried for joy. The third was when he and Paige had been married. Again, tears of joy.
Now he was crying because of pain. He wanted to go in there and grab Paige in the tightest hug he could. Say something gallant and take her to bed. Everything would be okay. Ahh, Who'm I kidding? Jono thought. Everything isn't going to be okay, not for a long time.
How would Bethany react?