Spoilers: None for the show, but if you haven't read 'Insane Muse' and 'Tortured Rogue' yet, please do-this is the third book of 3.
Rating: PG-this one is so far a bit tame, tho that could change!
Disclaimers: The usual-don't own 'em, wish I did J
Archive: Please feel free, but let me know where.
Feedback: Please R & R!! (Thanks bunches to those who did) I reply to all.
Authors note: Sorry this was longer in coming out than the last one. I didn't expect the shippy thing, or what happens at the end of chapter two, so I'm still reeling from it! J Enjoy!
As Adam watched, frozen with shock, the GSA agent fired his 9mm at Brennan who was lying helpless on the ground. From the rafters of the aircraft hangar came a shriek of pure rage and anger. Instantly a shield of glowing smoothness appeared in front of Brennan and the bullets bounced back toward their sender. The gunman was thrown back from the force, dead before he hit the ground. Mouths agape, the rest of the combatants looked up and saw a figure in dark jeans and a smoky black jacket running down towards the ground. Steps appeared just under her feet and disappeared as she stepped off them, giving the illusion that she was flying, but in truth she created the stairway as she ran and dissipated it when it was no longer needed. Just before she reached the ground, Frankie threw a ball of fire towards Mason and his men. As they scattered she darted to Brennan, kneeling down next to his shaking body. His hand gripped his side, blood flowing from between his fingers. She had time only to touch his face softly before the rest of Mutant X had time to react. As they started towards Frankie, she jumped up and ran. She sprinted to the door and ran out into the darkness.
"Sit still Brennan!" Adam admonished for at least the tenth time. Brennan was lying on his side in the medical lab as Adam sutured the wound in his side. The fight with the GSA had taken its toll. Brennan had mostly healed from his last deadly encounter with Frankie, but a well-placed blow to his abdomen had slightly reopened the wound. Adam had offered painkillers, but true to his stoic nature, Brennan had refused. Now, even though he fought to remain steady, he twitched every time the needle went thru his flesh.
"All right, we're done. I just have to bandage it, then you will stay the night and NO arguments!"
Brennan had opened his mouth to protest, but one look into Adam's eyes convinced him that this time, he had better listen. So he switched to a different question that was bugging him.
"Adam, I've been thinking about this for a while. You said Frankie was an illusionist, right?" Adam nodded. "Then how did she make that shield, and those steps, solid? How did she make the spears in the first place?"
Adam drew a deep breath and contemplated his answer. "Well…., that's something that I think Eckhart had a hand in doing. Frankie started out as an illusionist, but I'm afraid that her imprisonment and the constant sensory deprivation created a mutation of her powers. In her semi crazed state, somehow a switch was flipped in her sub-conscious that enabled her to not only create illusions, but to also make them substantial as well."
"So that's the how, now what about the why?" Brennan asked.
"For that, I'm afraid you'd have to ask Mason Eckhart."
Mason Eckhart sat in his chair and for the second time that day, his aide saw him smoking. His face was beet red and his fists clenched on the desk as he tried to sort out the mess that was Ghost. Unfortunately, he hadn't had any luck in catching her again, no matter how many traps he set, or how he baited them. She either ignored them completely, or sprung the trap, freeing the 'bait'. She galled him simply by existing, and that she thwarted his every plan to re-acquire her was even worse.
Frankie sat on her 'bed' in the abandoned warehouse and practiced her control. She had found this neglected and largely ignored building on the wharf a few months ago. It was, in fact, one of the same warehouses the GSA had ambushed her in. She figured that if the GSA had been here once, they would leave it alone for a while. And, with a little tinkering around the edges, they did. She set a perimeter around the building with low-level illusions that she could keep up indefinitely. They would be set off by an intruder and either scare them out of their wits, or if that didn't deter them, come back to her and report the infiltration. Only once had she had to fend of a trespasser herself, and that had been because he was so drunk he fell right thru the illusions, and she had to solidify them so they could carry him into another alley to sleep it off.
As she practiced, she went through the last fight at the hangar in her mind again. The GSA had been surprised, and frustrated, to see her again, and so had Adam's team. But although they had been surprised, she didn't think they had been angry. In fact, when she had knelt next to Brennan and caressed his cheek, she thought he had looked at her with gratitude. She wished she could have stayed to talk with Brennan, but the prospect of facing all of them at the same time was daunting, to say the least. She would just have to figure out some way to contact Brennan when he was alone. Thankfully, now that he was mostly healed, he didn't have as many watchdogs as he had when he was still recuperating.
On a lark, Brennan, Shalimar and Emma decided to go shopping. The girls hadn't been to the mall in at least a week, and Brennan was so bored at Sanctuary he had actually threatened to start waxing the sidewalk if Adam didn't let him go out with them. Adam relented, assured that he would be safe with the girls. As they slid out of the mustang, Brennan raised his face to the sky and closed his eyes. He could actually feel the sunlight energizing him and replenishing his low energy level. He looked at Shal and Emma and grinned, motioning them to lead on. They exchanged happy looks-their Brennan was finally back!
Brennan soon lost them to their frenzied shopping, waiting by dressing rooms, sitting outside the lingerie shops, dawdling by the cashier counters. He was tired just watching them shop! As he lounged outside a Bath & Bodyworks store, he became aware of a slightly familiar presence behind him. He concentrated, and recognized the scent-Odyssey perfume. Frankie had worn that. He looked over his shoulder and saw her standing in an alcove. She turned and walked to an exit door and went thru to the hallway beyond. Brennan stole a glance into the store and saw Emma and Shal discussing lotions with the seriousness of heads of state, then got up and followed Frankie.
Frankie was waiting beyond the door, and as Brennan entered the hallway, she had to fight to stay. All her instincts told her to run; as it was, she took a wary step back. Brennan saw this and stopped.
"Frankie. Don't run, please." She waited. "I'm glad you came."
"I…I came to say I'm sorry. That's all." She turned, wanting only to flee.
"Please, wait!" She turned back to him, her head tilted to the side. "I know you didn't mean it, Frankie. You never needed my forgiveness, if that's what you wanted."
Brennan had started to walk slowly towards Frankie. He saw tears start to brighten her eyes.
"I…It wasn't supposed to happen, I didn't want you to get hurt!" She whispered, her hands gripped her arms tightly as her head dropped. Brennan was only a few feet away from her and could see her shoulders shaking. She looked up and tears ran in rivulets down her cheeks. He opened his arms and stepped closer-she didn't try to escape but instead, welcomed his embrace. He held her, murmuring assurances and caressing her hair as she cried.
The doors to the exit hallway had windows, and he saw Emma peer anxiously into it. As soon as she saw him she started to open the door, then saw that he wasn't alone and nodded at him, retreating quietly.
When the tears stopped, Frankie extricated herself from Brennan and looked uncomfortably up at him. He just smiled gently at her, and she backed away. He made no motion to stop her this time, so she retreated thru the back doors into the alley beyond.
Satisfied that he had made peace with her, Brennan went to find Emma and Shal to make sure they didn't buy the rest of the mall.