Years of brainwashing can make one fear that which is not there. Our own worst fear should be ourselves. –Personal Quote-


On a normal basis, Rahne slept as soundless and heavily as a log, but the night was different. Thunder shuddered the panes of bedroom windows an angry bolt of lightning washed a day-bright glow over the bone white walls. She shuddered beneath her blankets, green eyes popping open madly, only to shut tightly as another thunder clap crept over the building. The storm was getting closer, or maybe her mind was playing tricks on her. In situations of stress, moments of anxiety, high emotions, rampant thoughts; a mind could play serious tricks on its owner. Perhaps the storm had not actually gotten closer but Rahne's imagination had expanded, turned the situation upside down. No matter the case, she could not fall asleep, and at three in the morning she wasn't holding out a hope.

Sleep had been stalking her for months, constantly dragging its claws across her back, but never leaving marks. When Rahne tried to catch it the best she got in return consisted of nightmares and midnight snacks. Genosha had screwed her up, and although she hoped the brains at Muir Island could fix her, it seemed like a far cry from the truth. With that on her mind, the red head hauled herself up from the covers and wrapped a bathrobe over her slight frame.

Rahne padded down the hall almost silently, every smell alive and bursting in her nose. The sense was something that she could ignore but not turn off. Rather annoying when pheromones were coursing through someone's veins; recently, Alex really set her off. She wanted to tear him apart and ravish him at once. The thoughts of accidentally falling into him in the halls or copping a feel had passed over her mind more than once. Honestly, the feelings were worse while he was away from Lorna. He missed her, almost agonizingly so, and Rahne's pain echoed his.

The hallway led into the kitchen where Rahne stopped in her tracks and lingered at the door. For a moment she looked very much like a small child who had just woken from a nightmare. If only she could wake up, everything could go back to normal. For a moment she paused and surveyed him, while he stirred a cup of tea, slowly. Rahne turned to leave, but it was too late:

"Rahne…" quiet and muffled by interrupted sleep, "issat you?"

She held her breath in her lungs for a moment before rasping it out and turning slowly around.

"Yes… what're ye doin' up s'late?"

His blue eyes squinted in a tired way, the lines at the corners creasing just a bit. Desperately trying to focus on the figure in the doorway, but to no avail. He rubbed them with the back of his hand as though to knock unseen sand from their corners.

"The storm was keepin' me up. . ."

"Guido…" Rahne began, "there's somethin' I've been wantin' to ask o' ye."

A gentle smile graced his features. Not a silly grin—not the mask he usually wore around the others. Perhaps Guido was just too tired to be funny, but something about him changed when he was around Rahne.

Rahne took a seat across from his and gazed for a while at him. She examined his face as though for the first time. It was his size most saw first; before the wavy white hair and welcoming blue eyes (though, nine and a half times out of ten he was wearing those insane goggles). It was like he'd been depraved of something at a very early age, and perhaps all of them had. All of them subjected to the ugly nature of those who didn't or refused to understand. Rahne knew what she'd lacked as a child and in what ways she was incomplete now. Guido, however, kept going; at times it was like he kept the team going. In a tough situation it was left to up to him to find the right mood. He and Jamie were the wisecracks. Speaking of Jamie, Rahne didn't want to.

"So…" Guido said slowly as he stirred his tea for perhaps the two hundredth time. He did not seem intent upon drinking it.

"Well," Rahne said, softening her voice. She considered taking his hand, but his fingers were so thick she didn't think hers would fit around them. "Yuir one o' my best friends. 'Tis hard to ask o' ye . . ." An uncomfortable lump formed in her throat and settled in the darkness of her stomach. "I dinna kin why 'tis so hard …"

Guido watched her patiently with squinted eyes. He had never once rushed her. Finally, Rahne did reach across the table and laid her palm across the back of one of his ponderous hands. "Will ye come with me to Muir Island? I don't think I kin make it alone."

"Sure thing kiddo."




That . . .



"Ye have beautiful eyes."