Disclaimer; I do not own Neon Genesis Evangelion or X-Men Evolution. Wish I did, though.
Smiling softly as the closest thing she has to a Father is evacuated by SHIELD, X-23 starts making her way back into the wilderness. Despite the circumstances that led them to fight in unison for their lives, she was happy that he cares for her and wants her there with him and the others. Especially after the first time she went to the Institute and caused trouble. She then sighs, facing reality as it had been drummed into her by HYDRA.
'There's no way I can be accepted. Not by them. Weapon-X is the closest thing I have to a Father, but then I'd cause him nothing but trouble. It's better this way.'
Breathing in through her nose, she suddenly catches a scent. A scent of blood. Looking around, she sees no sign of wounded creatures, as it smelled like something was bleeding heavily. Looking upward, she then blinks at seeing a black hole open up before her. Along with a falling form coming at her at high speed.
'It's one of those days that never ends, isn't it?' With that thought, along with suspecting she can't move fast enough to avoid it, the form collides with her. Knocking her down to the ground and the wind out of her lungs. Assessing her predicament, she notices the form is human, young and male. Rolling him off of and away from her, she extends her claws in her left hand and grabs him with her right hand.
"All right, bub!" Mentally face-palming herself at her manner of speaking, she quickly shakes it off and goes on. "You've got five seconds to explain why you landed on me before I skewer you!" However, she notices he's unconscious and retracts her claws. "You're no fun to skewer if you're unconscious." Having him in her hand still, she carefully sniffs him, lays him back down and arches a curious eyebrow.
'Why does he smell of blood?' Looking at his face, she sees he's Japanese. Examining him the rest of the way, she sees he's dressed oddly. 'Some kind of body suit with "01" on his upper chest area.' She then hears him speaking, if not whimpering, in Japanese.
"Asuka, Misato, Father, Ayanami… help me. Please." X-23 can't help but arch an eyebrow, again, before noticing he's still unconscious.
'Okay. He's out like a light. I have no clue as to how to go about getting out of here without leaving him to fend for himself.' Slapping herself, she grits out, "Dammit, X-23, what's with you? He'll just tie you down." Considering her options, she remembers one more item. One she's uneasy enough about as it is. "I guess I have no choice, then."
(Xavier Institute; three hours later)
As he stalks the halls, Logan clenches his fists. Wishing he'd been able to get his claws into Lady Hydra, Gauntlet and Omega Red for all the nonsense the idiotically insane HYDRA leader and her flunkies had put him through. Along with worried about X-23, hoping she'll be alright out there even though he already knows she can handle herself. His musings then end when he hears the doorbell chiming.
'If it ain't one thing, it's another.' Going to the front door, he opens it and blinks at the sight.
"Hello." X-23 sheepishly smiles as she asks, "Does that offer extend to one more?" In her arms is an unconscious boy. Japanese in descent, dressed in a peculiar outfit.
"Where'd you find him?"
"More like he found me, unconsciously, and landed on top of me." As Logan takes him out of her arms, she adds, "I don't think he's been eating much as he was light as a feather." When Logan takes a sniff of him, he turns toward her.
"He smells like blood. Was he wounded?"
"Not as far as I can tell. If anything, I'd say he was immersed in a liquid that smelled like blood." Frowning, she adds, "Repeatedly, at that."
"Okay. Tell me everything you can while we go to the Medical Wing." Nodding, the girl follows him, telling him what had happened and her observations. When they get there, he calls out, "McCoy! Got a kid here that needs help!"
"No need to shout, Logan." The voice above them gets them to look upward and a large smiling figure with blue fur jumps down. "I can see just fine. On the gurney, if you please."
"Yeah, yeah." As he does so, he adds, "I don't think you met X-23 yet. Properly, anyway."
"Ah. So you're the one that rendered Charles, myself and most of the other students unconscious." X-23 can only chuckle uneasily before Beast smirks. "No need to be uneasy, my dear. While I can't speak for the others, I'm not quite one to hold a grudge. Unlike your former handlers at HYDRA, I'm sure." X-23 lets out a snort of amusement.
"You got that right." Looking the boy over, she asks, "Do you think he'll be okay?"
"I'll do all I can for him. Though from his appearance in general, I think he'll pull through. Logan, why don't you take your 'daughter' to a room so she can get cleaned up and rest for the night?"
X-23 opens her mouth to say she's not exactly his daughter, but then closes it. Knowing that it's probably the most accurate way of describing her. Looking toward the boy again, and noticing the odd objects in his hair, she indicates them to Beast.
"What do you think those are?"
"Hmm, most fascinating." Gently lowering his visage to the boy's head, he examines it intently before his eyes bolt open. Parting the hair where the clip is, he can only shake his head. "Poor boy had to have gone through enormous trauma."
"Logan, these items appear to be some kind of neural control interfaces, positioned at the A-10 nerve of the brain. Also, his garb appears to have some kind of life support system in it. I'll have to proceed carefully so as not to cause him undue harm."
"Got it." Looking toward X-23, Logan grunts and says, "Off to bed you go, X." X-23 nods softly before turning around and exiting, Logan right behind her. As they exit, Beast picks up on the intercom.
"Jean, if you'll be so kind as to join me in the Medical Ward, please."
"On my way. Want me to bring Scott?"
"No. But you may want to have him inform Charles of our newest arrivals."
"How many are there? Conditions?"
"Two. One unconscious and one mobile. The one that's mobile is with Logan so she can get a room for the night." Grimacing he adds, "As for the one that's unconscious, I don't think you'll like what you'll see."
"I understand." With that, Beast sighs and ponders removing the clips from the boy's head before shrugging.
"I'll let Jean decide whether or not the clips can be removed from you." Two minutes later, Jean walks in and sees the unconscious patient is a young man.
"How is he, Hank?"
"He's seemingly stable. Yet it looks like he's seen enormous trauma." Jean nods before looking the boy over. Frowning upon seeing his outfit and an unusual pair of ornaments on his head, she looks up at him.
"What's he wearing and what is that on his head?"
"They appear to be some kind of neural interfaces. Attaching to the A-10 nerve of the brain." Shrugging, he adds, "As to his garb, some kind of body suit that appears to have a life support system in it."
"Okay. Do you want me to probe his mind, see if I can find any activity?"
"Yes. Just at the surface, though. In the meantime, I'll see if I can figure out how to get this body suit off of him." Jean nods at that before concentrating and connecting with the boy's surface thoughts.
A loud redhead
A quiet girl with blue hair
A man wearing glasses with a stony visage
A barely dressed woman with purple hair
A penguin that lives in a freezer
Three large beings that scream monstrous
A red void
Breaking contact, Jean pants before running her fingers through the boy's hair. When her hand reaches the clips, she eases them both off. Beast notices this and softly clears his throat.
"I take it that they're not crucial for life." At her silent nod, he then asks, "What'd you find, Jean?"
"Your assessment of him going through enormous trauma is a bit of an understatement." Softly lifting his left hand up, she grips his left wrist and the sound of the material going slack can be heard. Levitating him upward with her telekinesis, she says, "You can get it off of him now. The plug suit should be loose enough."
Nodding, the man-beast does so while Jean levitates a sheet over the boy's form, ready to preserve his dignity. Once the plug suit's off, Jean lowers him back down to the gurney and levitates an extraction syringe, an alcohol swab and a flexible tourniquet from a nearby table. Manipulating the tourniquet around his left arm, she applies the swab to his arm by hand and eases the syringe into the vein as it pops up.
"Hank, get some gauze ready, please."
"Already in hand, Jean." Within three seconds, the syringe is filled with the boy's blood and Beast presses the gauze over the syringe. "Ready, Jean." Nodding, Jean extracts the syringe, enabling Beast to secure the gauze over the puncture. "Now to see whether our young friend has an X-gene or not."
"Indeed. Though I highly doubt he does." Shaking lightly, she adds, "The things I'd seen that he'd seen though… I wouldn't be surprised if he was treated like a mutant even without an X-gene." Running her fingers through his hair again, she tearfully adds, "He has psychic scars, Hank. He's even seen things that don't exist in this world. The Professor may have to help him by doing the one thing he doesn't like."
"I think Charles and our young friend here will have to decide for themselves, Jean."
"I was afraid you'd say that."
"But, given your statement about him having psychic scars and having seen things not of this world, it's worth pondering." Curious, he asks, "What kind of psychic scars, Jean?"
"Very unpleasant." Submitting the sample for analysis, she only has to wait for three seconds for the results. "He's X-gene negative. He's a normal human." Frowning, she adds, "As normal as possible, that is." Looking at his hands, she gasps in shock. "He even has some physical scarring. On his hands." Beast peers intently at them before frowning himself.
"These scars are consistent with touching something at an extremely high temperature. From the way they're patterned, it seems he was opening a hatch equipped with 'dog' handles."
(Xavier Institute living quarters; twenty minutes later)
Feeling refreshed after her shower, and dressed in sweats, X-23 goes into the room that Logan had managed to allocate for her. Granted, she's sans roommate, but she and Logan both agreed that it'll be better until she's fully acclimated to the presence of mutant teenage peers. Sitting down onto the bed in the room, she thinks about the boy she'd carried to the Institute.
'He was easy on the eyes, at least.' Unbidden, a soft blush rises to her cheeks before she shakes her head. "What was that about?" A soft knock on the door is heard and she says, "Come in, 'Dad'." Logan chuckles softly as he does so and leans in the doorway.
"Have a good shower?"
"I'd say so. Any news on the boy I brought with me?"
"Not really. Though it looks like he'll be asleep through the night. Albeit…"
"Kid, I don't exactly know how he came across you, but I know this much from what I heard through the vents. He's been through a lot and certainly not in this world." Seeing her eyes go wide, he asks, "You okay, kid? Because it looks to me like you're worried about him."
"Maybe a little bit. But, what'd you mean by 'not in this world'? It's not like he came from another planet."
"Maybe not, but damn near close enough to it. I'll have to talk to SHIELD, see if they picked up anything unusual. Doctor Riesman, however, may need to be informed you're safe if you want her to know."
"Because she went to SHIELD when you first broke free of HYDRA's control, hoping to be able to save your life. Also, you're growing like a sprout. I'm sure you can see where I'm going with this." Her face going red, X-23 nods with Logan sniffing and grinning. "Plus, it'd do the two of you some good."
"Huh?" At his grin, her blush goes even deeper before she stammers out, "D… D… Don't be ridiculous! Me and the boy? Together? He wouldn't last long with me! We have nothing in common!"
"I don't know about that. You both led lonely lives and gone through quite a bit. If anything, that's part of a foundation." His grin becoming a smirk/scowl, he adds, "Besides, you're putting out tons of pheromones just from hearing about him. I'm still trying to wrap my head around the idea of being a Dad, for that matter."
"Even though I'm designated as a 'clone' of you?"
"Kid, if you were truly a 'clone' of me, you'd actually be a clone of me. But Dr Riesman made changes to how you'd come out. Hence…"
"I'm not really a clone. Just a genetically engineered daughter with your genes."
"You got it." Sighing, he adds, "You'd better get some shut eye. You had a long day today."
"As had you. Yet you didn't have a boy fall out of nowhere on top of you."
"Exactly. Night, kid."
"Night." With that, Logan closes the door after turning off the light. Yet X-23 doesn't go right to sleep. She just remains sitting upright before getting up from the bed and stealthily exiting the room. Making her way down to the Medical Wing, she sees Beast and the redheaded woman from the first time she was at the Institute carefully going over the boy.
"Jean, according to his scans, he had some kind of liquid in his lungs."
"Was he drowning?"
"Not exactly. In fact, if I'm reading this right, the liquid is a variation of a perfluorocarbon fluid. A liquid capable of being heavily oxygenated. Yet your query would imply such."
"It was so heavily tainted with both carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide, he'd have suffocated if within an enclosed space any longer than he had been. Whatever it was." Blinking, he adds, "A wonder he survived at all. Especially for one so young."
"So he'll be okay then?" At the voice at the doorway, Beast and Jean turn around and see X-23 there. Dressed in grey sweats, she arches an eyebrow. "He will be, right?"
"As far as we can ascertain, yes. But the big question is shouldn't you be asleep now?"
"I know, but I couldn't sleep. Not with him on my mind." Jean gives X-23 a grin, causing her to blush. "Not like that! Not like that!"
'Sure. Just keep telling yourself that.' That thought done, Jean only shrugs before saying, "I don't think we officially met yet. Especially with how you rendered me unconscious." Extending her hand outward, she adds, "Jean Grey." Unsure of the meaning, X-23 duplicates it. Only for Jean to gently grasp it in hers. "It's called a handshake."
"Ah. X-23." Looking toward the boy again, she releases Jean's hand and sniffs him. "Do you know he smells of blood? Or why?" Blinking, Beast sniffs him before frowning.
"It seems the source of the blood scent is the liquid formerly in his lungs. Most perplexing."
"Not as perplexing as why you're out of bed, kid." At the sound of Logan's voice, X-23 slowly turns around and smiles sheepishly before frowning and turns back toward the boy.
"I couldn't sleep. Too many thoughts roaring through my head." Hearing Jean stifle a snicker, X-23 blushes again. "It's not like that, Jean! I just don't think he should be alone in sleep right now."
"Well, I suppose I could allow you to sleep at his bedside, X-23. As long, of course, that's all that occurs." X-23 could honestly swear her face is red as a fire truck from Beast's reply. "Logan, do you find it acceptable?"
"I ain't exactly thrilled with the idea, but if it gets her to sleep, it's worth a try." Her face bright red still, X-23 gets up onto the bed next to the one the boy's on. As she watches the boy breathe, she soon finds herself surrendering to the arms of slumber. Logan and the others can only be stunned at how peacefully she's sleeping.
"Remarkable. She's out like a light. Of course, she did have quite an ordeal, so exhaustion is most certainly a factor." Gently covering X-23's body with a blanket, Hank muses, "If only Jubilee could be here now, Logan."
"Well, we could always check in on her from time to time." Arching his right eyebrow upward, he asks, "Why bring up 'Sparkie', though?"
"She's roughly X's age and she sees you as a surrogate Father of sorts." Jean barely manages to stifle a giggle as a now-grinning Hank goes on. "While they are from different ends of the spectrum…"
"Beast, I'm getting a headache from all your babbling. Plus I'm tired as all Hell. We'll talk more tomorrow." Beast and Jean both nod as Logan looks down at the boy his 'daughter' had brought in. "You able to get his name, Jean?"
"Shinji. Shinji Ikari." Running her fingers through his hair again, she adds, "He's barely younger than me, but he'd already seen so much." With that, tears start falling from her green eyes before she looks up at Logan. A snarl on her face. "We ever find whoever did this to him, that person's mine!" Logan can't help but snort at that.
"You'll have to get in line, Jean." Smirking, he adds, "And the line starts with X-23. Even if she doesn't realize it yet." Jean and Beast both nod their agreement. Wide smirks on their faces.