Jhondie & Justin (8) - Gen X-6

Rated: PG-13

Disclaimer: Eight stories into the series, and these things are getting pretty old. Sigh. Yet again, Dark Angel and all that associated with it belong to James Cameron. I'm borrowing it because someone has to keep the show alive and he failed miserably at the task. The original characters are mine (and for the record, I *so* wish I had real Justin all for myself ) and this story is only to be archived with permission. Shall we get on with it?

A/N: YES! It is here! This is the one where the two worlds finally come together. I've been looking forward to this tale for quite some time. Actually, since I wrote the original X-6. Heh. Anyways, if you have not read Gen X-6, which is the story that spawned the J & J series, YOU WILL BE MOSTLY LOST THIS WHOLE WAY. You'll get the first few chapters, but then it's going to go off in left field and by the end, you'll be sending me nasty reviews reminiscent of The Matrix Reloaded. In any case, it's a good idea to take a day, read that one, and then come back to this. I'll wait. Go on! Read now! Done? Good. But before we continue.........REVIEW!! Let me know there are people still out there reading, okay? This is important to a review junkie, trust me. Okay, I'll shut up now. Time for Jhondie to start talking.....

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Jhondie

I didn't know the real beginning until later when Kayla and I were able to talk about it calmly. Well, mostly calmly. I was listening calmly and Kayla was still so thrilled about what had happened that she was bouncing up and down retelling the events of that fateful day when she got out of school and a surprise visitor had shown up. I had been in school myself; dissecting a brain and labeling all of its parts, blissfully unaware how drastically my world was going to be forever changed.

Kayla got out of school like normal that day and was hanging around while one of her friends finished talking to a teacher about some problems she was having on the homework. Kayla and two other girls lived within a block of each other and they always walked home together. Everything was going like typical, including hearing a few crude comments from a few of Frankie's crew that were smoking out in the parking lot. I didn't know that she was still having problems with those boys or else it would have ended long ago. But that's beside the point. She ignored them as she waited with Marguerite. They were in ballet together and talking about an upcoming recital as they waited for Amber to finish up with Mr. Mullins. Not a single thing was out of the ordinary.

That is, not until a motorcycle came roaring into the parking lot, making the turn by bare inches. The rider wasn't wearing a helmet and Kay recognized him immediately. Zack. She didn't so much as flinch as he locked the tires, skidding sideways to a stop a few inches from where she was standing her ground as everyone else was diving to safety. Kayla had mentioned having an older male friend to her little friends, but most of them thought that was a scare tactic for Frankie. Frankie was the school bad ass. There was no way that Kayla actually knew someone cooler than him and that included the rich guy her sister was supposed to be getting married to.

But there he was. Sweaty dark blonde hair, black leather jacket and an expression that would put a chill into the heart of the most hardened criminal. Most of the girls were either in awe or in lust in that second. Zack's eyes narrowed on Kayla coldly. "Where's Jhondie?" he asked, his voice low enough so that she was the only one who could hear him.

Up until that summer before, Zack would never have needed to ask where I was. Zack always knew where I was or where I would be. In a city the size of Los Angeles, he probably knew where I was going to be at any given moment within a five-block radius. He knew my school schedule and where all of my classes were. I had no doubt that he might even be able to tell me what I had for dinner the night before and possibly what color underwear I had on. But over the summer, we had a bit of a falling out to put it mildly. I made a huge mistake and decided to come clean about everything that had been going on. I started with telling him about Eyes Only and never even got the chance to tell him that Justin and I were getting married.

His reaction was, to say the least, extreme. I didn't even get the chance to tell him that I had cut way back on the work I used to do for the boss and by the time I hit medical school, it was going to come to a complete stop. I would have sworn that Eyes Only had done something to personally offend Zack in some way or take something important from him. I had no idea where the volcanic anger came from, but the result came down to an ultimatum. I was going to leave LA with him right then or else.

I probably could have handled things better than telling him to go to hell. Probably. At least I could have maybe not added flipping him off while telling him. He did leave. Two days later I checked the contact number. It was disconnected. He was really serious this time. I didn't really think that he would stay away from me forever, but I honestly thought it would be at least a couple of years before I saw him again. Realistically, I was thinking more that I would be Dr. Harris, no, Dr. Carter, the next time we saw each other.

However, there was a consequence that he hadn't imagined. When an emergency cropped up that was so severe he did come for me, he had no idea where I was. He had swung by my house and Justin's but nobody was home in either place and he knew time was not on his side. He was going to give me one chance and then he was gone. The only other place I might be was school but we're talking a huge campus. There was no way he could find me there without drawing attention to himself by going into admin and asking what my schedule was and where I would be.

But he did know where Kayla went to school and he did know that she should be getting out around then. And chances were, she would know exactly where I was. He took the chance and there she was.

When Zack demanded to know where I was, Kay checked her watch. "She should be in class," she replied. "Long lab today. It's the one where she always smells like preservatives when she comes home." Kayla was practically glowing with excitement. Her classmates didn't know what was being said, but they didn't need to know either. The scene was what mattered. "Want me to show you where her class is?" Kayla asked.

She wouldn't have known, or cared really had she known, but the fact that Zack allowed her to assist in even that small capacity spoke volumes about the danger that was rapidly approaching. "Get on," he ordered sharply. Kayla excitedly jammed her arm through the other strap of her backpack and crawled up behind him on the bike. And that was when the four boys encircled the motorcycle.

"I thought Frankie told you the way it's going to be," one of the punks called out to Kayla. They were part of his gang and even if Frankie had been expelled a few weeks before for possessing a gun on campus, they were going to enforce his rules. And one of his rules was that the little blonde on the bike was not going to be going on a single date with any guy for the rest of her high school days. Dude might have a leather jacket and a hot bike, but there were four of them. Poor kids. They had no idea what they were getting into dealing with a pissy Zack.

One of the guys pulled out a knife as he smirked at Zack. "Sorry man," he sneered. "But the bitch is off-limits." He had come closer to the bike and tried to lunge forward and puncture the back tire so that they couldn't get away. It might have worked, but this was Zack they were dealing with.

Kayla said the expression on the kid's face was priceless when he was stopped, knife bare inches from the tire. Zack's hand was clamped mercilessly around his wrist. Kay got a thrill because Zack had jerked back, his head practically in her lap to get to the kid in time. Zack pushed hard, flinging the kid back roughly, the knife clattering to the pavement.

"I have no time for this," Zack growled when he sat up and eyed the other three boys that were blocking his path. Alone, he might have taken off, but that would have required some fancy driving and since Kay wasn't used to that sort of thing, she could overbalance and knock them both over. The other three boys stood there silently for a moment, confusion replacing the arrogance on their faces. What they had considered to be such a bad ass before was now starting to pale in comparison to the guy in front of them.

The fourth boy had gotten to his feet, his pride far more wounded than his body. He had no idea right then how lucky he was. He looked at his comrades angrily. "Don't just stand there!" he yelled. "Get him!"

Kayla said that one second Zack was sitting still on the bike and the next he was ripping into those punks like a little kid angry at a toy. When I get into a fight, I have this whole pity factor thing. I don't really want to hurt people. Usually. Zack lacks that. Within a few seconds, all four boys were either unconscious or crawling away from the demon that had showed up in a black leather jacket. They were just lucky that Zack was in too much of a hurry to finish them off. As he got back onto the bike, Kay oh-so-casually pulled out her necklace with the motorcycle charm on it from where it had gotten tucked inside of her shirt. Not a single witness could mistake the message. She had in fact gotten it from an older friend and he was rather...protective.

Zack swung back onto the motorcycle and they tore out of the parking lot. Kayla had gone with me when my classes started that semester when I got my schedule and found all of my classes. The kid actually had a pretty good head for directions so she remembered where the rooms all were.

Where I was at that moment was in the science building, happily started the lab assignment. I had made sure that classes were in the morning and lab was the last thing I would do that day because let me tell you, nobody wanted to get close to you after lab. It reeked in there. I didn't notice the smell much anymore because I was concentrating so hard on what I was doing as I sliced into the cow's brain in the pan in front of me. Neurobiology was off to a great start as an interesting class. I was fascinated at any rate and had decided that if I couldn't go into trauma surgery, then I was going to seriously consider neurosurgery. The brain is the body's greatest mystery. Half of my textbook could be summed up with the phrase "we have no idea how it works, it just does".

The door to the lab opened, making the teaching assistant scurry over quickly to kick out whoever was trying to get in. My professor was death on people showing up late to classes and labs and the TA's knew to refuse entrance to anyone who wanted to come in late. I was looking down, concentrating hard on the organ in front of me when I heard someone say my name.

I glanced up and almost dropped my scalpel. Kayla was standing at the door with Zack behind her. That was a combination that I never thought I would ever see in this life. I excused myself from my team and hurried to the door, stepping out into the hallway. The TA lingered for a second, but the look Zack shot him made the guy shut the door quickly. I was feeling sick. There was only one thing I could think of to get Zack to show up again this soon.

"We need to go now," he said firmly, giving me my one and only chance. My stomach clinched convulsively and for a second I almost did throw up. No. There was no time to get emotional. It was time at long last to be a soldier. I gave Zack a curt nod and then went back into the lab, telling them something about a family emergency. I grabbed my stuff and walked out briskly, not able to help wonder if I would ever see these halls and rooms ever again.

"Is he in LA already?" I asked in a low voice as we strode out of the building. "On approach or is there time?"

"Not critical, but rapidly approaching," Zack responded. "Time is very short."

I nodded. "Meet me at Justin's," I said. "I need to drop her off and there's some gear there I want to have." Zack didn't make a comment about this being proof that ties did nothing but slow you down. I think he could tell that I knew then I would be better off if Kayla wasn't with me.

Kayla had been looking really excited. But now her excitement was turning into distress. "What's wrong?" she asked. I couldn't explain. "Jhondie, what's wrong?" she insisted. "Who's coming?"

I sighed. "Ride with me," I ordered as we got to my car. Zack was illegally parked out front. "Zack, you know where it is?" He nodded. He had never been there before that I knew of, but he still knew where it was. Figures.

"What's happening?" Kayla cried when I got into the car and pulled out into traffic. At that moment I truly wished that I had never settled down. This was already hurting way too much for one person to handle.

"I have to go," I said quickly. Her blue eyes got huge. "Manticore is coming for me. Zack got here a little ahead of them, but there's not much time, so I have to go."

"When are you coming back?" she asked me in a tiny voice.

"I'll...I don't know," I admitted. "If they don't know about you guys, then I'll try to come back just as soon as they leave. If they're watching you and Mom, then..."

"Then never," Kayla finished, her voice rough with tears. "You're leaving and you're not coming back."

"I didn't say that!" I replied quickly. "I just don't know how long they would watch you guys and it's not safe for me to be in contact while they're waiting for me to show back up." I was going to have to find out if they did know whom I was or if it was just that an X-5 was in the city. I could leave with Zack right then and let Justin know. He would be able to get Mom and Kayla out of danger. Oh God, but who was going to protect Justin? Crap. This was what Zack had been preaching about for all these years. I had been in a safe little cocoon this whole time thinking I was under the radar and now a big dose of ice-cold reality had poured over me. Zack was right. I hated him for it, but he had been right the whole time.

Kayla looked at me mournfully. "They'll watch us forever won't they?"

"I'm hoping they don't know about you at all," I said, a hopeful thought forming. "Maybe it's all of my Eyes Only stuff catching up to me. There's been some pretty spectacular stunt work to get some of it and maybe Lydecker is starting to wonder, so he's going to check it out. If that's the deal, then I just have to lay low for a while, you know?"

She just stared straight ahead. I didn't know what else to say. There wasn't a way to make her understand. I was just going to have to run and hope for the best. Maybe Mom would be able to explain it to her. I wished there was time to talk to Mom, but if Zack said time was short, then I wasn't going to take the risk of them zeroing in on me when I was around the people that I loved the most.

We got to Justin's and I grabbed a few things. Some fake ID's, an unregistered gun and cash. Zack wasn't thrilled with the delay, but when he saw the ID's that just needed a picture stuck on them, I think he was a little happier with the delay. As much as I had pretended this day would never come, I had still been prepared for the possibility. I had grabbed my bag and went back into the living room. Kay was sitting on the couch, her blue eyes full of tears that she was trying not to shed.

I glanced at Zack and then went to her and hugged her. "I love you, Kay," I whispered. "You and Mom and Dad have been the best part of my life. No matter how long it is before I see you again, don't ever forget that."

She hugged me back, letting out a sob. "I'm sorry for every time I was mean to you," she sobbed. "And I'm sorry for reading your diary and telling Phil Loman that you liked him and for...for..."

"It's okay," I said with a little smile. "It's all okay." I kissed her forehead. "See you later."

She sniffed and nodded. I stood up and faced Zack, my eyes dry, face set. "I'm ready," I said firmly. He nodded and turned just at the door opened and Justin walked through. His smile faded into confusion as he took in me, Zack and Kayla.

"Did I miss something?" he asked, coming in and closing the door.

"Lydecker's on his way," I said quickly. "Zack said there's not much time and I don't know if he knows who I am or not." I went to say more when Justin said three words that nearly knocked me off of my feet.

"Lydecker's in Seattle."