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Disclaimer: I own little more than lint in my pockets and my heart on my sleave.
Rating: Heavy on the PG, Light on the R.
Special Thanks: Jess, my beta (*smiles*), and Misanoe, who (a)muses me :).
Summary: Lost in water are Emma and Jesse.

Wash

Between their bedrooms was a bathroom. They shared it because it was there. There was no point in traipsing half way across the Sanctuary to use the other shower, or sink. They shared a bathroom, because their rooms were the closest after all.

Adam had thought it best, being surrounded by so much technology that seemed to freak Emma out as much as it did, that someone be there for her. Someone who lived and breathed it, who relished in the amount of power that these machines could give them. Jesse didn't mind though, it was just a bathroom after all.

Without meaning to, they fell into a daily routine. As you do when you basically have somebody living next door. Jesse would wake first every second day, whilst Emma woke up first every other day.

Whoever woke first, got the shower first. Because that is how it works. But sometimes the days blurred in together, and sometimes they would both wake at the same time running for the first shower. It was like a little game to play on days like that. If Emma got there first on Jesse's morning shower day, she would mentally project scandalous images into his mind and laugh at him from behind the frosted glass.

If Jesse got there first on Emma's morning shower day, he would think disgustingly lewd thoughts about her and Shalimar, which he knew she would be able to see and feel, and chuckle gleefully from behind the frosted glass.

Daily conversations would be had from sides of this frosted glass. There were days where not a word passed between. Just images, thoughts, emotions. Sometimes the words flowed between them, never seemed to end. They would talk about everything. Anything.

Outside of their room though, was a different story. It wasn't that they didn't get along, because they did. Mutant X was a family, everyone was there for one another… but outside their rooms, the real world seemed to seep in more painfully then in the sanctity of their bedrooms. The basis of their friendship, the fast flowing water. They had this one thing in common, it was the reason for their being, and it was the water that ran, flowing non-stop between them. Rushing, warm, slightly harsh and stinging. Warm against their strained and bruised bodies in place of something solid and more grounded.

* * *

Emma sank her body down into the tub and looked around. She had been here a thousand times, and would be a million times more. For some strange reason, she often felt at peace here. Her voice echoed richly against the walls, and she could almost see her reflection on every surface. It was quiet, and often cool.

It was a childs way of dealing with the world. Dealing with the loud sounds that clouded her mind, and cluttered her emotions.

Her parents often forgot about her, left her on her own, pretended that she didn't exist. Playing around like flower children, getting high and leaving her dry. Sometimes, groups of people would come gather through their home, more people playing in the world of pretend, as they stroked each other and sang languidly.

When this happened, Emma would hide. Hide behind the curtains of the tub. It was old, and rickety, bits of rust tearing away at its already broken body. But in it, Emma felt safe. Clutched in one hand, her doll, Chop, and in the other, a sandwich left by her bedside. Running, dodging, and escaping the people she didn't know and didn't care about. To her own little haven.

In it, she imagined a better place, imagined warm arms around her, enveloping her, telling her that everything was okay. And for a brief moment, she would believe it.

* * *

So here she sat, shivering slightly as the chill of the bathtub rubbed against her skin. Remembering.

The tears didn't fall, she had forgotten how, a long time ago. But sitting here in the stark silence, with only her breathing keeping her company, she could feel the tension seeping away and out of her body. Draining, swirling, and finally, all of it seeping away. Leaving only droplets behind that she could barely feel. They were there, but they would eventually dry.

With the curtains covering her slim figure, she set off into her world of make believe. After all, she had learnt from the best. Her parents.

At that moment, this was all her mind could handle. Everything pretend...

* * *

Previous Day on Proxy Blue . Com

Isn't it strange when these things happen? You don't believe such things happen in the real world, because the only times you had ever seen them, was on TV.

A couple in their late forties were found suspended in mid air in a small home just west of Hartfield, Connecticut. Linked together by their arms and legs, between them, a small rag doll, apparently by the name of Chop.

They were found by a delivery boy, who came to drop off their weekly grocery. Must have gotten the shock of his life seeing what he did.

The police report states that the couple went by the names of Love & Lavender deLauro. Their insides completely melted away to nothing, and their skin warm. No residue was found around and about the property, no items were stolen from the home and no damage was done to the doors or windows. No suspected break ins, no suspicious evidence.

The key had been left for the boy to make his delivery, so it could almost be said that this couple wanted to be found. And found like they were... these strange events are growing, becoming more common everyday. No one can explain them, or no one cares too. Is there someone out there that knows the answers? Are they feeling generous today? How about you...?

So for now, this goes under the file of, "never-going-to-be-explained-because-no-one-has-any-idea-what-happened"...

* * *

"I, I just remembered that I… I had a..." came the stuttered reply. The sentence unable to be finished, and backing away slowing from the curious eyes of the team, Emma ran.

* * *

Jesse walked into the bathroom, slowly stripping off his clothes, he felt disgusting. His morning shower felt so long ago as his shirt stuck to his back, held there by the perspiration.

They had spent the day looking for Emma. She ran off after some bizarre report they had heard from Proxy Blue. She ran off without warning, and Adam had told them all to leave her. He said she needed time.

The time transformed from seconds, to minutes, to hours. Now a whole day had passed and Emma was still gone.

* * *

Her comm ring was found in the corner of her room, carelessly thrown away. All her shoes were still there, so she was wandering about barefoot. Her wardrobe unnaturally tidy, so it meant she still had the same clothes on.

He found it strange. Her not being there. Every other morning, when he stepped into the shower, Emma would be sitting on the other side. Atop the toilet seat with her feet curled beneath her, she would hum a little tune and talk to him about the previous day.

Other days, he would be the one sitting just outside the shower, leaning against the cool feel of the tiles. Trying to remember things he had done, or forgotten to do, talking about their missions, successes and failures. And then more personal things, about his life, his family and the lost childhood he sometimes remembered he missed.

He noticed Emma never talked about her childhood much. At least not to him, and at least, not yet. Just the occasional trivial thing, and some unimportant memory. She would smile faintly as she talked about them, and from behind the frosted glass of the shower, Jesse could feel her sad smile. Because every muscle that moved, would pull at his heartstrings.

* * *

Stepping out of the shower, Jesse ran his fingers through his wet hair. Sweat and water beading together as they slipped down his naked flesh. His movements fumbling against the slippery floor, a curse rang out, a few choice words for the damn frosted glass and Emma woke.

Unconsciously, she reached for Chop, before realising that her parents had hidden it from her and forgot to return it.

Pulling away at the curtain, and stretching uncomfortably, peering around to see the noisemaker.

* * *

It wasn't as if Emma hadn't seen Jesse before. Because she had. Many times, sometimes fully clothed, half naked, fully naked, both in her sub conscious and merely 3 feet away from her.

This time was no different, she saw Jesse. But this time, instead of the smirk and boyish gleam, she saw sadness reflecting from his eyes. And on every other surface in the bathroom, they showed the same thing. Her reflections that played against tiles, stared back at him.

Her throat became dry, and there was that feeling of pain, the one that crushed her body under the impact, making it protest inside and out. It almost felt foreign, because the last time she felt it, she had made a promise to herself. Tears were useless after all, but for some reason, her heart forgot. Even when her mind was screaming no.

* * *

As water rushed off from his skin, without meaning to, Emma's eyes followed the trail of drops that had fallen from his hair. Watched them trail slowly over the contours of his face and fast down the hollow of his neck.

Watched as they slipped down, slowly and without meaning. She felt tears fall like rain down from her eyes, down her cool cheeks and sliding past and over her mouth. She could taste them; hot and slightly bitter, scolding her skin as they bled from above.

Somehow, his arms found hers. And somehow, the water that rushed off their faces blended together. His skin seemed to warm hers, all that was cold and frigid. Melting away.

The tears fell more rapidly, wetting her skin, her clothes and him. As he led her slowly to his room, Jesse gently removed the clothing she had on. He needed to touch her and warm her. Close enough to feel her beating heart, close enough to hear her cries, close enough to share with her his presence. Close enough to comfort her.

And she let him, because she trusted him.

Together, they encased themselves under the covers of the narrow bed.

From a distance, nothing could be heard. And gently, they were both lifted, suspended up as they fell asleep to the sounds of their breathing.

-the end-
29/09/2002