AN: Hello again. My third story. :) For anyone who wonders.
I like naming things with another language. Latin and Italian are my favorites. Mostly cause I am Italian. However, as what normally happens when I go this route. I end up making it English again. So for anyone who cares. This was once Fragosus. (Latin)
Disclaimer: I don't own X-Men. (or anything else for that matter)
Chapter one: (Beginning)
"She needs a name." Sarah Kinney told her boss. He was a small man, lean and seemingly breakable. His form did nothing to betray his true strength and power. Stephen West was the man who forbid the experiment, then, when Sarah went ahead anyway, sanctioned it. Since then he'd bounced between her greatest ally and greatest enemy.
"Why?" Stephen asked. He was patient, he'd hear her out before deciding.
"We want her to do tasks for the company, correct?" Sarah kept her gaze level. The room was dark, she was grateful, he might have seen her slightly shaking fists in better light. Stephen nodded. "Tasks that might require her to infiltrate?" Again Stephen nodded. "Then she needs a name."
"You have a point." Stephen said. She'd never come to him before with this request, but he knew it was on her mind constantly. After all, she was the closest thing to a mother it had. He laughed internally. The thing even seemed to have a preference for the woman, didn't always want attack her. Sarah wanted to name her child, she probably already had a name in mind. "Make a list of names. A first and a last, maybe a middle if it wants it. Let it chose." Stephen said finally. Sarah was the only one who would refer to it as a female. To the rest of the lab, it was X-23 or just simply, It.
"Thank you sir." Sarah said through clenched teeth. She left the dark office before she could do something stupid. She was thankful the halls seemed to be empty. The clerical white of the walls haunted her. Reminded her that it was her own fault her daughter lived. Her daughter, she would always think of the little spitfire that way. At first, when she came up with the idea, it was just another experiment. They told her no, but it didn't stop her. For punishment, they made her carry the child. She was constantly watched, but it didn't stop her from forming an attachment. She loved the little girl. She felt so guilty for her existence.
She hadn't even noticed where she was going. Sarah found herself outside the entrance to her daughters cell. The red light was on, it was still early. Sarah went to the little control room that watched over the cell.
"What're you doing here?" The girl behind the control panel asked Sarah. Sarah couldn't remember her name, just her face.
"Boss said to let me in." Sarah said.
"I didn't get a call." The girl said dismissive. Of course he didn't. Not yet. Sarah nodded, a tight movement. She left, went back to her office. She turned on her computer and started typing names in a new word document. All L names. Her daughter. She'd always thought her name should begin with an L. Sarah had always thought of her as Laura. She typed that name first. Then others.
The last name column took more thought. She refused to use any of the names of her colleagues. She hadn't even realized it until she printed out the list. Her own last name was on the list. Sarah went back to the control room.
"He call yet?" She asked as lightly as possible. The girl just nodded, not paying attention. Sarah left, went to the cell entrance, pushed the little white button sunken into the wall. A soft buzzing sound and the door opened. A small containment room, X-23 couldn't ever be allowed out. No doors directly to the hall could be permitted. Sarah waited for the next door to open.
"Hello." Sarah said into the cell when it did. The cell was as jarringly white as the halls. Everything about this space was white. All except on form stretched out on the floor. There was no proper bed in here, not even a platform, there was just the floor. No pillow or blankets either. Sarah steeled herself, such horrible conditions.
X-23 lay on the floor, her hospital gown to small for her growing body. Her brown hair was fanned out behind her. Splotches of it were a dark brownish red, dried blood, she hadn't been allowed to wash in a while. She didn't open her ice blue eyes, didn't let her breathing slip from its rhythm, but Sarah knew she was awake.
"They've decided to give you a name." Sarah said and walked into the cell. Sixteen years, it had taken sixteen years to manage a way to name this child.
"I don't want one." X-23 said, her voice low, slightly husky. She opened her eyes and pulled herself into a sitting position. She moved so gracefully, it was hard to believe sometimes that she was human. Even when rage took over her mind, she was beautiful to watch.
"I've made a list for you to chose from." Sarah said, stepping closer. She stopped a few feet from the teen and sat on the ground. It was a dangerous thing to do, but Sarah didn't care. If she was going to die, if her daughter was going to kill her, she knew it would be a deserved punishment. She could only hope that the teen would kill everyone else in this damn lab when that happened.
X-23 scooted a little closer. Despite everything that was wrong with her life, she was still curious, still innocent somehow. She cocked her head at the paper in Sarah's hands.
"This is it. You remember how to read." It had been so long ago, but while X-23 was still young, still too small to train, Stephen had let Sarah teach her things.
"Yes." X-23 said. Sarah gave her daughter the paper.
"Pick one from the first column, that's your first name. You can pick two if you like. A first and a middle." Sarah explained. "Then pick one from the second column, that will be your last name."
X-23 read over the list. Her face impassive. "What is this one?" She asked, putting the paper on the floor and pointing to one.
"Kinney." Sarah said. "It's my last name." X-23 looked up at her.
"You're my mother, what would you name me?" X-23 asked.
Sarah tried not to let her breathing differ. She picked up the paper. She knew already though. "I'd name you Laura."
"Lexa Laura Kinney." X-23 said.
"You pick Lexa too?" Sarah asked. X-23 nodded. "I've brought a pen, want to practice writing it?" Sarah pulled out a pen. The teen took the pen and began writing down the letters. She wrote huge, like a child, holding the pen with her fist. "Let me show you." Sarah said, pulling another pen from her pocket.
She wrote on the corner of paper closest to her. Lexa Laura Kinney. X-23 watched her hand, then arranged her own around the pen to match. She wrote again, it was smaller, but still shaky. Still unsure.
Sarah watched her write her new name, Lexa Laura Kinney. Sarah smiled internally. Lexa, a pretty name, one Sarah had also thought about suggesting. It took a few minutes, but soon Lexa's hand got used to writing the name. Her letters formed smoothly. They took on her natural grace, making her handwriting look so much more polished than anything that Sarah herself had tried to produce. Her daughter was so beautiful. How she wished she had a normal life or none at all. Anything but this torture.
"What's that curvy connected writing?" Lexa asked. Sarah was confused for a moment.
"You mean cursive. It's rarely ever used, just for signing stuff usually." Sarah explained.
"Teach me." Lexa demanded.
"Okay." Sarah said. She wrote out Lexa's full name in cursive. Lexa had only managed to get through it once before the door opened. Lexa ignored it, continuing what she was doing. She knew they were here, she always did.
"X-23, get up." A stern voice said. Sarah stood. It was time to go. For a while there, it was almost like she was a normal mother with a normal daughter. Now, now the torturer known as a trainer was here to beat the teen.
Sarah forced her hands to stay still. For years she'd been trying to think of a way to get Lexa away from this place. It was impossible.
"Leave Kinney." The same stern voice said.
"Keep practicing." Sarah said to Lexa. Then she left, not allowing her eyes to rest on the trainer.