Disclaimer: I do not own Mutant X in any way; I'm just borrowing them for my story.

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Chapter 9: Moving on

"Hey Adam, you wanted to see me?" Brennan asked walking into the medical lab were Adam was intensely gazing into a computer screen, oblivious to his surroundings.

Snapping to attention as if someone had pulled a string Adam turned around on his chair to face Brennan. His face showing a mixture of emotions and a sense of unease as if he was hesitant in what he was going to say.

Brennan picked upon this immediately. "Why is it I get the feeling this isn't good news" he reluctantly asked not sure if he wanted to stay and hear any more further depressing news.

"It's not bad news Brennan, at least not completely. I have been doing some serious thinking today and you may not want to hear this, but I don't want you to believe for one moment that I'm giving up on Jesse, ok?"

Not bad news Brennan thought, right so why did Adam look as if he was trying to convince himself as much as he was he. Feeling shaky Brennan sat down in a seat next to Adam, preparing for what Adam was about to say.

But damn him, for the past hour Brennan had been able to erase Jesse from his mind while with Emma, even if temporary at least he was having a break from his turmoil of emotions, now facing Adam brought them all to the surface again. It always made him feel guilty later when he pretended everything was right if only for a few hours but he just needed a break!

However facing Adam with only several feet between them he could see the drawn out expression in his face, his blood shot eyes for staring at a computer screen to long. He knew Adam didn't have the luxury of casting his thoughts and emotions aside like he had. The least he could do was to sit and listen regardless of the news he was about to bestow upon him. "So shoot, what's there to say?" he asked non-chantaley as if the fear that was churning his stomach did not exist because all of a sudden he thought he knew what this conversation was going to be about and now he knew why he hadn't asked Shalimar and Emma to present also.

"Right, as you know for the past two weeks our sole mission has been to find Jesse and bring him home" Adam slowly stated.

"Yeah and we will Adam, I'm not giving up hope just yet, not while Emma's still getting hit's from Jesse" Brennan replied hoping to portray more reassurance than he really felt, because he knew the reality of the situation, if they hadn't managed to locate him within the two weeks that they had already had, then what chances were left. Plus he was also beginning to feel that Adam had perhaps already lost all hope of every finding Jesse.

"I know and like I said before I'm not giving up on Jesse either, but we are a team, granted were down one member but we are here to do a job. We all pledged to help and rescue other mutants when it was needed". Adam paused, tensing within in his chair and taking a deep breath continued. "We've not been doing that job Brennan. How many calls have we ignored this week alone, how many mutants have we let down?"

Brennan did not reply to this, he sat back in his chair staring at Adam, attempting to make the right decision, but for whom he thought, Jesse, Shalimar and Emma or all of the other new mutants. Because no matter the decision he would be letting one of them down.

"Brennan, Jesse wouldn't have wanted this, you know that as well as I do. If he could have helped someone then he would have been there regardless of his own safety". Adam was pleading to him now, making it clear that it was not an order just merely a request.

"He's not dead" was Brennan's only sombre response, his eyes never leaving Adam for a minute.

"I know that and...."

"Then why are talking like he is then," Brennan challenged.

"I'm sorry, I didn't realise that I was" Adam's tone not just apologetic but mixed with shame.

"Shalimar and Emma are never going to go for this, you know that" Brennan stated attempting to delay his decision-making.

"I know" came Adam's reply. That was why he hadn't asked for the girls to be present.

"So you thought that if you could get me on your side then it may help bring them around?" Brennan enquired not quite sure on how to take that piece of information.

"In short, yes. But I also wanted you're opinion Brennan, you lead this team when I wasn't here, their as much you're team as mine now. If you say no then I'll respect that decision".

"God I don't know Adam!" he screamed in frustration. "One side of me aggress with what you're saying but the other side of me doesn't want to let Emma, Jesse and Shalimar down, I can't let them down!

"Brennan" was Adams sharp reply making the elemental look up at him. "Forget Jesse, Emma and Shalimar, forget everyone else ok, you cant continually live you're live on what they want". "Now I want you to answer this question, What. Do. You. Want?" Adam asked pronouncing each word with emphasis.

What do I want, Brennan thought, hell if only I knew, that was the problem.

"I know it's not an easy decision, I've spent all day coming to the conclusion that I have, and if it helps any I'm sorry for laying this on you".

If he chose to go against Adam's decision and continue his 24/7 search for Jesse then he would be abandoning all of the other mutants that he had pledged to serve Brennan thought. However his dedication to his friend and team would be demonstrated, even if they never located him.

But how long could they continue before one of them dropped from sheer exhaustion from living purely on high-strung emotions. He knew adrenaline only lasted so long, and he was beginning to believe that his had all but gone.

So this allowed him to consider the route that Adam wanted him to follow.

If he chose this then a certain sense of normalcy would be returned to the team and himself. He knew Shalimar and Emma would be fuming at first, and perhaps rightly so, but they would eventually come around if he supported Adam, his two weeks of leadership leaving an imprint in their minds.

Maybe getting out and fighting physical enemy's rather than shadows would help them all sleep at night that bit easier, especially Shalimar. It would also help distract Emma from her thoughts of Jesse, even if only for a few hours each day, because he knew that Emma was holding back from him. Trying to spare his feelings on what Jesse truly felt. Thankfully he didn't believe that Shalimar and Adam realised this.

This never-ending cycle had to be broken he vowed, even if it made him enemy number one. Otherwise there would be no Mutant X to destroy, they would have destroyed themselves.

Glancing at Adam he knew that this was his true intention behind this conversation, he was able to bring in other mutants to help if he really needed to. But he had chosen not to.

Hell these decisions in life were never easy to make he realised, they teared you're heart and soul apart, but if they didn't move on now when would they chose to, another week, two weeks, months or would they still be here a year from now still clinging to a past life, watching the time fly past but never really been apart of it, never living it.

His decision made he ventured out with his response "I agree, we help when we get calls in, but I'm not giving up on Jesse completely. We continue searching, maybe take shifts or something while the rest of us go out on duty".

"That's all I'm asking for Brennan" Adam replied aware of what had made him agree ultimately.

"So which one of us gets to tell Shal and Emma then" Brennan asked hesitantly, not really wishing to face Shalimar's anger and the bruises that may follow if he was the one to inform her.

"I'll inform Shalimar" came Adams reply followed by laughter at Brennan's obvious discomfort.

"Yeah, that's a good idea. She wouldn't dare lash out at you". Brennan paused once more looking as if he was in great discomfort. "Umm I don't suppose you want to tell Emma while you're there?"

"Me!" Adam asked in shock. "It's not that I mind but I would have thought you would have wanted to do it your self though. When it comes to Emma we both know you're the one she'll go the easiest on".

Or be pissed at for betraying her Brennan thought, but chose not to say that out loud. "I don't understand why you would think that" Brennan said. "Emma respects you".

"Yes that she does, but I'm not the one currently in a relationship with her am I" Adam stated a gleam appearing in his eyes at watching Brennan's face light up with Shock.

"A relationship" Brennan stammered, "what makes you think that?"

"Brennan I may spend a lot of time in the lab but even I'm not blind, I see the way you look at each other".

Realising that his and Emma's secret was out the only action he could take was admission. Maybe it was for the best he thought, after all they had just decided to move on and continue living again. Emma must have picked up with her senses that Adam knew and yet she had not expressed a wish for him to remain silent on the subject, so he obviously had her blessing.

"Yeah we're in a relationship" he admitted, "It started back at Naxcon, we just didn't tell anyone because we didn't want to distract the search."

"I'm happy for you and Emma" was Adam's reply.

"You're not mad?" Brennan asked slightly shocked, after all Adam was very protective of Shalimar and he may believe that he was breaking her heart even though she was in love with Jesse, something he presumed Adam didn't know as yet.

"No of course not. I have always believed that Emma and you are suited to each other, in fact I'm surprised it hasn't happened sooner."

"But Shalimar...."

"Shalimar loves Jesse, she always has. I just don't think she realised that till now" was Adam's amused reply.

"You don't miss anything do you?" Brennan asked in shock. "So if you knew all this why not say anything when me and Shal was flirting with each other like mad".

"Because as much as I would have liked to, it's not my life to lead. It's you're mistakes to make and if I prevented that then how would you learn from them?" "Plus I don't think you and Shalimar would have appreciated my interference". "Actually I do miss a lot of things just not when it comes to my team" he added as an after thought in regard to Brennan's first statement. "Which brings up the following subject regarding the two of you".

"What about me and Emma?"

"Well let's start with the fact that I sense that you and her are hiding something from the rest of us" Adam stated "something important". Now I accept that I may be wrong and if I am then I apologise in advance."

Adam having finished then continued to stare at Brennan making him feel uncomfortable.

Brennan knew that Adam was referring to the conversations that he and Emma had about her growing powers but he firmly believed that it was Emma's story to tell not his. But he didn't wish to lie to Adam either, he deserved more than that.

"Brennan I don't have to remind you that at the moment we need to act more as a team than ever".

"I know, I know, ok, and yes there is something that we're not telling you for now, but you'll find out eventually so don't worry" Brennan stated feeling flustered, his eyes not able to lock with Adam's.

Taking a glance up however Brennan realised that this hadn't satisfied Adam, in fact it seemed to a struck a nerve as Adam believed that he was not to be trusted, all of his past insecurities coming back.

"Adam" Brennan said his tone gently, his eyes rising to meet Adams. "This isn't about trust, both me and Emma trust you with our lives, it's just not my secret to tell alone". Holding his hand up to cut off Adams reply he continued in his attempt to make Adam understand. "And we will tell you and Shalimar I promise but for the moment we need space ok. Don't worry it's nothing bad, nothing that's going to hurt the team in anyway I wouldn't allow that." "I'm asking you to trust me and Emma now, can you do that?"

"Of course I can, just promise me that if either you need help you'll let me know" Adam asked.

"I will" Brennan replied, watching Adam slide from his chair and exit the room, leaving Brennan to his thoughts.

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"Brennan, wait up" Shalimar shouted breaking into a jog to catch up with him after witnessing him leave the medical lab.

Brennan having heard her shout stopped mid-stride and turned around to face her praying that Adam hadn't got around to informing Shalimar of there earlier discussion just yet. However after observing her come to an halt directly in front of him he knew his answer to his own question was no, she was acting far to calm.

"What can I do for you Shal"?

Slumping against the wall Shalimar smiled at Brennan before slowly beginning to twirl her shaking fingers throughout her hair.

"Nothing, I just wanted to apologise... you know about my behaviour these last weeks. I shouldn't have taken my frustrations out on you and I'm sorry for that. It's just me and...."

"Your feral nature, I understand" Brennan interrupted a smile forming on his face, aware of what this apology was costing her and her pride.

"Yeah" she whispered "I just feel so helpless Brennan, we should have rescued Jesse by now, not standing here weeks later going over old ground".

"Trust me Shal I know the feeling well, but we're all doing the best we can given the circumstances".

"Emma must really be having a good influence over you Bren", she teased her face lighting up with her old spirit "you never use to be so wise with words".

"Emma has always been a good influence, now's no different" he replied.

"That's not what I meant". Seeing him tense up Shalimar decided that now was as good as any opportunity to talk to Brennan about their growing friendship. She wanted to put the entire unease aside so that she would be able to concentrate on Jesse when they brought home. She owed him that much she thought. "Brennan I'm going to say a few things so don't interrupt, just let me finish ok?"

"Ok"

"Right, firstly I know you're hot for Emma and vice versa after seeing that kiss two weeks ago" her following words were stopped however upon seeing the shock and frown upon Brennan's face. "Sorry, I shouldn't have put it like that. What I meant is that it's clear you love Emma and she loves you. I guess a part of me always knew that but after nothing came between you two I thought I must have read the situation wrong, so what I want to say is that I'm happy for both of you, especially Emma, she deserves some happiness, just don't mess about with her" she warned. "You don't have to hide your relationship for my benefit". There she had finally released what she had wanted to say for so long now.

"Thanks Shal, that means a lot, but remember I'm still here if you need to talk, especially about Jess....because....well....I....I think I know ok.... about you and him" Brennan stuttered out.

Shalimar decided that it was time to be honest about her true feelings, hell it may even help if she talked about them she thought. She just never expected that talk to be with Brennan though, perhaps Emma but never Brennan. But maybe that's what she needed, a perspective from someone who wasn't able to read her every emotion unlike Emma and Adam.

"I'll admit it, I love Jesse, I guess some part of me always had and I was to afraid of crossing that boundary, knowing that if I screwed up then it wasn't just our relationship but also our friendship. It sounds ridiculous now I realise that but you know what's really ironic Brennan, I don't know if he even feels the same way I do. How stupid is that? She asked.

After witnessing the doubt upon Shalimar's face, Brennan reached his hand out, grabbing Shalimar's that was in the process of twirling her hair into a knot. "Shal, Jesse . Loves. You, trust me".

"But he never told you that did he; you're just making assumptions".

"No he never told me" Brennan reluctantly admitted "but he didn't have to. Why do you think I held off as long as I did before making a play for you?" Because it's how you described Emma, and me from my first day here I sensed this chemistry between the two of you and I'm not referring to any sibling chemistry either. Hell even Adam knows Shal; do I have to say any more?"

"No you don't, I understand" she whispered barley audible to Brennan's hearing. "Can you believe it though? I finally discover how I feel and he's not even here to tell him, and I may never have that chance".

"We'll find him" Brennan promised, "You will get that chance".

However his next words were cut off by a piercing scream that vibrated around Sanctuary.

"Emma" Shalimar stated watching Brennan run into a sprint towards her room were the scream had seemed to originate from.

For a moment her fear had seemed to paralyse her to the ground, unable to move a limb. She was scared, no she was terrified to move, afraid of what Emma would have to say about Jesse. Because she had become accustomed to hearing that scream every time Emma connected to Jesse, and disturbingly that scream seemed to become that bit more worse on each occasion, taking that bit more time for Emma to recover. She knew deep within the confines of her mind that there would be an occasion when she would hear that scream for the final time, that occasion when Emma would tap into Jesse's death, maybe taking some part of Emma with him, and she was afraid that now was that occasion.

Then there was the sight of Adam calmly walking towards her, no trace of anguish upon his face. So she had been spared that nightmare for another day she thought allowing herself to breath deeply again, not even aware of when she had actually stopped.

He came to stop in front of her, taking up the position Brennan had just evacuated in his attempt to reach Emma.

"How's Emma?" she asked afraid for her friends well being.

"As well as can be expected" he replied. "I left Brennan alone with her".

"You didn't need to sedate her this time," she asked hesitantly, blocking the memories of the previous occasions when Adam had been forced into taking such action.

"No thankfully, she just needs some time alone with Brennan I believe".

"So I take it she saw the same, Jesse in pain wanting nothing more than to be home".

"Pretty much yeah, there was something else though, but I want you to promise me you'll stay calm first?"

"Adam, just spill it out ok, I'm not in the mood for games!" Shalimar retorted.

"Emma thinks she knows were to find Jesse".

"What are we waiting for then, let's go get him," she stated while in the process of spinning around and heading towards the Double Helix.

However she found herself restrained by Adam, his hand grasped against her arm.

"We can't just go get him, we need to research this place first, find out what there defences are".

"Adam Jesse is been tortured and you want to wait!!" She screamed, knowing that Adam would take this action. "Well I don't, so either you come with me or I go alone, make you're choice Adam".

"Shalimar" Adam retorted. "Storming into a building unprepared will only serve to get yourself killed. And I know that's a risk you're willing to take, you don't even have to say it but what do you think Eckhart will do to Jesse? Simple if he can't get Jesse out then he will kill him is that what you want?"

"No" she sighed in defeat aware of the logic behind Adam's words. She would not be the cause of Jesse's death she vowed. "Let's get down to some research then".

"Thank you," he replied before releasing Shalimar's arm to head to the workstations.

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Eckhart paused outside of the cell that held Jesse and awaited the arrival of his employee who was slowly approaching.

Ignoring the two guards present at the door Eckhart began to question the man who had been responsible for Jesse's interrogation. "Well, how are things progressing with our prisoner?"

"Slow" he reluctantly admitted "physical he broke several days ago sir, emotional I would say he's half way there. I've observed signs of depression, mood swings, lack of confidence..."

"Has he or has he not revealed the location of Sanctuary and the codes to the database?" Eckhart impatiently asked, throwing a look of pure loathing at the man who stood in front of him

"No sir, but I'll get them don't worry about that".

"Well I do worry, you've had two weeks now but no results yielded"

"I will get the information..."

"Never mind, you're dismissed for now, I have my own my own plan to achieve these results".

"May I enquire as to what that plan is?"

"Simple really, why protect the very thing you no longer believe in".

"Sir, I don't understand?"

"I don't employ you to understand" Eckhart retorted, "now open the door".

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Authors note: I know that Jesse is not in this chapter and but I promise to make it up to you in the next chapter which will feature a lot of Jesse.
Anyway I hope you enjoy despite this and thank you to all those that have reviewed.