John's heart just about stopped when he stepped in to the kitchen. His mother, although quite pale and motionless, had been one thing to see, but Lydia was something else entirely. Her neck, cheek and mouth were covered in her own blood, her eyes half lidded in a dazed state of unconsciousness.

Mystique was crouched by her side, a frown on her lips. Her gaze rose to Pyro's, and she spoke in a firm tone. "She's breathing, but unresponsive. How's Amy?"

"The same." He muttered, moving slowly towards the women. He fell to his knees beside the blue mutant and reached a hand out to the redhead's face. He brushed some of her hair that was matted down with blood from her pale neck. His fingers were stained with her blood as he pulled away from her.

His brown eyes moved to the deceased woman a few feet away from them, and with dark eyes he asked, "Is that her? Is that Callie?"

"Yeah." Mystique nodded as she stood. She stared down at the woman she once considered a friend and frowned. "That's her."


"I don't know. It doesn't matter now." The blue scaled woman turned and grabbed the phone off the hanger. "We have to get your girlfriend to the hospital."

-A little over two hours later-

John sat quietly next to her bed. He'd told the doctors that Lydia was his wife and she'd been baking when she just collapsed. Toby had nodded eagerly while clinging to his leg, doing her best to sell her brother's lies. She had refused to stay with her father.

John sat there, numb, with his little sister asleep on his chest. He blinked as he stared down at the redhead. He knew he should've just followed his instincts and ignored the attraction she wouldn't be here. She'd be at home, in California. The young man wiped his eyes, the sting of tears ebbing behind them. God. This was all his fault. It had been over three hours since they had arrived and so far all he knew was that she was unresponsive.

When a nurse came in to check her vitals, John asked, "How is she?"

"Well, she's a little touch and go." The older woman admitted with a frown.

"What's wrong with her?"

The nurse frowned at the young man. "I'm really not supposed to discuss this with you."

His brown eyes darkened at her. "Why not?"

"Because you two aren't married." She told him calmly. Her eyes went to Toby, then back to his face. "And don't try to deny it."


"She's seems to have had a stroke." The nurse told him with a mute expression of sympathy. "But we can't figure out what caused it or how long she'll be out. We don't even know how severe the damage is just yet."

Every word was like a knife and John sighed. He rubbed his tired eyes yet again and thanked her quietly before she left. Standing, he moved his little sister to the chair. She slumped, but didn't wake as her brother moved to stand in the window. A few minutes later, he joined his little sister on the couch.

When he woke up the next morning, they weren't alone. An unfamiliar woman was brushing his girlfriend's hair back. He blinked at with sleepy eyes and raised his head a little. "Who…?"

"Go back to sleep, Mr. Allerdyce."

He didn't need to be told twice. Sophie sighed as the young man, boy really, fell back into a fitful sleep. Her eyes wandered from him to her granddaughter and she bit her lips, clutching her purse a tad tighter. Very slowly, she reached out and brushed the hair from the girl's brow. And with the same touch, the blood from her brain. She would experience no ill effects from the ordeal she had been put through. Sophie made sure of it.

The redhead's eyes fluttered open. Her grandma continued to stroke her hair back, her finger soft, comforting and warm against her sweaty brow.

"Hello, dear."

"Gram… what-" Lydia swallowed, all but awake.

"Shh." Sophie sushed her gently, "You'll wake your beau."

The words were distant in her mind. It felt as if she was being held underwater. Sounds and sights were hazy and felt… off. Different somehow. Lydia groaned and raised a hand to her face. "What happened?"

"Callie found you."

Her blue eyes snapped open, "Where-"

"She's dead." Sophie told her with no emotion. She had cried on the plane. She didn't need to show weakness in front of her granddaughter. "Wilson took her out."

"O-Oh." A wave of relief crossed her heart, but guilt ripped any comfort away. Feeling relieved about her mother's death? What kind of sicko was she? "Is everyone okay?"

"Everyone's fine." Sophie pushed some of the light red strands from her brow. "How are you feeling?"

Lydia shrugged halfheartedly. "Bad." She lifted a hand, ignoring the needle stuck out of the back of it, and touched her temple. Things were clearer than they had been, and she could see John and Toby on the couch a few paces away. "This is all my fault. I shouldn't of come."

"It's not your fault. It's no one's fault." Sophie stood. Her lithe form moved over to the window and she opened the curtains with a frown. "Callie was… Callie was…well, there's no excuse for how Callie was. She shouldn't of blamed humans for so many of her own insecurities." Her blue eyes, light and almost grey, locked on her granddaughter's dark ones, "Only we can control ourselves, my dear. Blaming others is just a crutch."

"Hm." Lydia sat up with a frown on her face. "do you think if I had been… what she wanted, that we'd have been happy? As a family, I mean."

"Honestly, no. I don't. Callie would've found something in you, or your brothers to hate. Not being strong enough. Not being unique enough." The elderly woman crossed her arms, "You not having the X gene was only an excuse."


Uncomfortable and saddened, Sophie changed the subject. "So. That's John… I suspect the little one is October."

"You suspect correct." Lydia smirked. "Pretty cute, huh?"

"They're just darling."

"I can hear you." The girl moaned, letting out a grunt as her big brother pulled her closer in his sleep. "Stop it."

The women shared a smile as Toby wiggled out from under John's arm and sauntered over to Lydia's bed. Crawling under the sheets with her, the girl asked. "You feelin' better?"

"Yep." The redhead pushed the younger girl's dark hair back. "Want me to call your folks?"

October let out an uncommitted whine. Her brown eyes went to Sophie and narrowed suspiciously. "Who're you?"

"Hello." The elderly woman smiled warmly at the girl and approached them with soft footsteps. "I'm Lydia's grandmother, Sophia."

"Hello." Toby responded quietly. Lydia rubbed her arms encouragingly. "It's nice to meet you."

"Nice to meet you too, Miss Allerdyce."

"Wilson." The two corrected.

"Miss Wilson." The trio smiled at each other a moment before directing their attention to John, who was starting to stir. Sophie looked down at the tiny brunette and offered her hand, "Well, Miss Wilson, how about we go get breakfast? Just the two of us. You can tell me all about that brother of yours."

A wide grin stretched over the girl's face and she nodded eagerly. "I'll get my coat!"

They were only gone five minutes when Pyro sat up. He blinked in confusion, unsure where he was, before his eyes landed on the redhead. She was smiling weakly at him, dark circles under her eyes and an almost ghostly pale, but most importantly awake. He let out a sigh of relief and moved quickly to her side. Taking her face in his hands, he kissed her brow. John held Lydia close a moment before gazing down at her worn, tired features.

"I'm so sorry."

Her brow quirked. "Isn't that my line? I mean, my mom went totally crazy." She raised her hand to his, "How's your mom?"

"Fine. I got a call from her a couple hours ago. She's got a killer headache, but otherwise she's fine." He looked at their hands. "And I was sorry because it was Mystique who called her."

Lydia gaped at him. "What? Why?"

"Because she was mad at me. For bringing a human home."

They stared at each other a moment; the woman with sadness, the man with guilt. After a moment he realized something.

"Where's Toby?"