Title: Snff

Pairing: Helix

Universe: 616 post-Nimrod

Rating: M

A/N: It started with a t-shirt…another story that involves the sleeping scene! Yay! This idea popped into my head…it has an inspiration
(based on a real t-shirt of my boyfriend's, he currently lives several states away so he gave me his t-shirt). Definitely nothing this extreme
for me…but I do love the way he smells, and I suddenly realized if I like the scent, then Laura's reaction would be tenfold. This story is mostly
about UST, but it's got that good ole new X-men feel to it. Hubba hubba. Enjoy!


Chapter 1 : olfaction fixation


Laura perched on the chair, her eyes fixed on the figure under the blanket.

Thirty-nine hours, and counting.

She was trying to understand. There were many things she didn't understand. Such as why Hellion slept naked, with his door unlocked. What if the mansion was attacked?
An attack had just happened, now would be the optimum moment for a secondary strike, while the X-men were still reeling. He should be prepared—Laura was still in her
combat gear.

Another thing she was trying to understand was why he had been so desperate to rescue her. He'd significantly exhausted his energy resources by flying her across half the
country in under an hour. She'd been under the general impression that he didn't like or appreciate her all that much; he'd said rude things to her many times. Laura didn't know
all that much about social interactions, but she hadn't felt all that good when he'd called her a 'creep' (among other things). She'd known by his tone of voice that it was an
insult; she had later looked it up in the dictionary for confirmation. Definition number 14 seemed to support this theory—

'14. Slang. a boring, disturbingly eccentric, painfully introverted, or obnoxious person.'

She just didn't understand his behavior.

This was the third time today she'd visited him. She wasn't sure, either, if she was waiting for him to wake up, or using the opportunity for unobserved observation that his
being asleep provided her with. She had bolted on the second visit, when she'd heard his heart rate increase suddenly; she'd just made it to the door when he'd begun to stir.

Laura touched one foot to the floor and slid off the chair, looking around his room. It was fairly tidy, for a shortly post-adolescent male. She studied a picture on his bedside
table—him and another boy that bore vague resemblance to him, although older. Behind this picture was another, in a silver frame—him and the girl that Laura had briefly seen
during her arrival at the mansion. Sofia. Long hair—accent—smelled of pure O2 gas, presumably her mutation involved the molecules.

Yet another thing Laura didn't understand—what she was feeling, about Hellion. Why was she even here? Why did she like to watch him so much? It was almost addictive—Laura
had never had anything that she couldn't get enough of in her life; she was used to being in complete control of her body's responses to minute degrees. Yet she couldn't control
certain reactions in his presence—heart rate, breathing, and the secretions from her salivary and Bartholin's glands.

Her eyes continued roaming over his possessions—his watch. She picked it up, turned it over in her hand, not sure of what she was looking for. She put it back down carefully
and turned her head. His closet.

His scent. The most confusing part of it all.

Snff. Like a bee attracted to pollen, Laura was attracted to the scent clinging to his clothes—his own chemical mixture, as well as the cologne he used. He had several sitting in
his bathroom (Laura had browsed through there on the first visit, and had found three bottles—La Coste, Gucci and Calvin Klein, suggesting that he was of wealth). The combination
of scent was intoxicating—the olfactory sensation, combined with his appearance, usually rendered her speechless. She picked up a black t-shirt and held it to her nose, inhaling
against the collar and closing her eyes.

This was almost worse than the Trigger scent.

Creek. The bed. Laura's eyes snapped open. She whirled around, her arms behind her back with the t-shirt carefully concealed; she saw that Hellion was sitting up,
staring at her with his mouth open.

"…" his eyes were wide. "What the hell are you doing here, Laura?" His voice was rusty and thick with sleep.

"…" Laura couldn't seem to form a sentence. Or a good explanation as to why she had been standing in his room, rooting through his laundry, smelling it.

"I…I wanted to ensure that your condition was stable," she said finally, believing that might be a sufficient explanation. He might accept it. She hoped.

"This isn't the infirmary," he said, his lip drawing up slightly. A sneer…he was sneering at her.

"Look, I'm too tired to deal with you right now…why don't you just run along and go bother someone else, clone."

Laura tilted her head. Even though he'd been speaking, she hadn't noticed. The only thing she had noticed was that his lips looked especially good when he sneered. Again, the glands.

She bit her lower lip.

"OUT!" He jumped out of the bed; Laura bolted for the door, speechless. He slammed and locked the door behind her, and she stood for a moment, catching her breath. Literally.

She felt like she hadn't breathed for the last five minutes; her stomach was tight.

She realized she was holding something—his t-shirt. She turned to knock on his door—and stopped. Snff. It smelled so good, like him. Her mouth watered. Laura balled it up and all but
ran to the room she shared with Sooraya with her booty.

Thankfully, Sooraya was gone when she entered the room. She went straight to her bed and sat down, the sniffed the shirt again. Maybe if she smelled it enough, she would
become used to the stimulus and no longer be so dumbfounded when confronted by it.

Snff. Snff. Snff.

Twenty minutes later, she was still sitting with the shirt pressed to her nose, when she heard Sooraya's footsteps in the hall. Taking a huge last SNFF, she stuffed the shirt under
her pillow, then crossed her legs and tried to look casual as the door opened.

"Laura," the other girl said in acknowledgement.

"Hello, Sooraya," Laura responded. Her voice was slightly uneven—her heart was still pounding from the concentrated scent.

Sooraya looked at her oddly for a moment, then shrugged and closed the door behind herself as she entered the room. "I am going to perform my prayers now. Does it bother you?"

"No," Laura responded, grateful that she could be alone with her thoughts for a while longer. Besides, she liked watching Sooraya pray—she looked like she was communicating with
something quite divine and fulfilling.

She laid down on her side, her head propped on her elbow as Sooraya knelt on her prayer mat and raised her hands to the ceiling, beginning.

"Allaabu Akbar.
Allaabu Akbar.
Allaabu Akbar.
Allaabu Akbar.

Ash'hadu an laa Ilaaha Illallaah.
Ash'hadu an laa Ilaaha Illallaah.
Ash'hadu..."

Laura jerked her fingers out from beneath the pillow, realizing that she'd been running her fingers over the shirt. The scent, all over her skin now. She got up and went to the bathroom,
then closed the door behind herself and turned the faucet on. Snff. She had to wash the scent away, now.

She looked at herself in the mirror and was alarmed. Her pupils were dilated—yes, dilated—her eyes glassy. Her expression reminded herself vaguely of Sooraya's during her prayers.

She turned the tap on full blast and rubbed her hands vigorously under the stream of water, her teeth gritted. Whatever this was—it had to stop. Now.

Her resolution lasted until that evening, when she crawled into bed. She'd had a fulfilling day; she'd had a Danger Room session with Logan, who'd not spent much time with her lately.
She was tired. The lights were off; Sooraya was asleep, as was the rest of the mansion. Her fingers reached under her pillow to support her head—and the texture of the t-shirt met them.
She pulled it out and held it up in the air before her—she hadn't really looked at it before this moment.

Her night vision made every detail clear—it was a black, cotton-blend t-shirt, Large, with a white skull printed with a silkscreen technique in the center (upper chest, along the solar plexus).

Snff. Snff. She closed her eyes, feeling the rush emanating from her lungs. She twisted slightly on the bed, restless. She had a sudden thought—more of a dream-like scene in her head—what
if she crept down the hall, to his room…she would open the door, and find him in his bed, like earlier…

And then what?

Laura didn't even know what this feeling was, much less what to do with it. She was scared—she'd never had a daydream before. Terminate this right now, she told herself sternly.

She fell asleep with her head over the skull print.