Evee laughed. "Yeah, sure thing."
They were heading back toward the elevator when Scott, Storm, and Logan rounded the corner ahead, sprinting past them. Bobby and Evee exchanged glances and ran after them. No way this was good.
They ran past the Danger Room, turned down the hall, and past the infirmary. The large, circular doors at the end of the hall opened to reveal the Professor lying crumpled on the ground and unconscious at the end of Cerebro's long walkway. Jean was kneeling over him. Evee skidded to a stop behind the other teachers, and gasped, covering her mouth in horror.
"What happened?" Logan demanded.
"Someone tampered with Cerebro," Jean replied, her face. Her hands were against his face. "Scott, I-" She looked up, tears in her eyes. "I can't sense him!"
Scott and Logan carried the Professor to the infirmary, lifting him up onto an examination table. Jean opened his shirt and started checking his vitals.
"Evee, slide that monitor over here," Jean instructed, pointing. There was a monitor she pointed to was on wheels with a variety of wires attached to it. Evee grabbed it, and wheeled it over. Jean started placing the wires on the Professor's head and chest. The machine whirred to life, monitoring blood pressure, heart rate, and brain activity.
"Is he going to be okay?" Bobby asked.
Jean nodded. "I think so, he just needs some time." But her voice wavered, and Evee couldn't help but notice how her hands shook, ever so slightly.
"Bobby, tell the other students that classes will be cancelled tomorrow, and that students are to remain indoors for the night," Storm instructed. Bobby nodded and headed out of the room, sharing one last look with Evee.
Evee just stood there, watching. She thought that perhaps, she should have gone with him, but she hadn't been able to move her feet from where they were planted on the floor in time.
The room was silent. A moment later, Evee heard Logan take a deep breath. "I'm sorry," he said, turning to leave.
"I'm going to look at Cerebro, someone must have tampered with the hardware," Jean said, leaving the room. Even, suddenly feeling sick, followed her out.
The metal doors slid open, and Jean strode purposely down the long walkway. She knealt down and opened a metal flap at the base of Cerebro. Inside lay some wires and a capsule filled with a thick, black liquid.
"What is that?" Evee asked, wrinkling her nose.
"Something that shouldn't be in there," Jean said, seemingly more to herself than in response to Evee. She pulled the capsule free from its housing, and, after studying it for a moment, detached a small metal device. She put the capsule back in place, pressed a couple of buttons and turned a couple of switches, and in moments the black goo was flushed out and replaced with a glowing blue liquid. Cerebra's backlights began to light up again. Jean nodded to herself. "That should do it," she said, offering Evee a reassuring smile. She replaced the flap and the two stood to leave the room, Evee first. When Jean's footsteps stopped, though, she turned. Jean was looking back at Cerebro.
Evee could guess what she was thinking. "Can you do it?" she asked.
"Sometimes you have to do whatever it takes to protect those you care about." She turned back to Cerebro, and walked hesitantly toward it. She lifted the helmet and put it on her head. The doors behind them started to close.
"Jean! Jean, no!"
Evee turned to see Scott sprinting toward the closing doors. Behind her, she heard Jean gasp and cry out in pain. Cerebro's doors closed, blocking Scott out.
"Jean!" Evee yelled. Her body shuddering violently, Jean pulled the helmet off and her body went limp. Evee dropped to her knees on Jean's left, putting an arm on her shoulders as she slumped to the ground. Cerebro's doors opened, and then Scott was there.
He took Jean from Evee, cupping Jean's face in his hand, turning her to look at him. "Jean," he said breathlessly. "Jean, answer me. Please."
"I know where Magneto's going," Jean replied weakly, her eyes fluttering.
When it was clear she wasn't going to lose consciousness, Scott helped Jean to stand, though she leaned heavily against him. "Come on."
Evee stood as well, following behind. Once outside of Cerebro, Scott turned to Evee. "You should have stopped her," Scott said harshly. Even physically blanched.
"It wasn't her fault, Scott."
Evee walked behind the two without answering. Soon, they were back in the infirmary, plying Jean with water. Evee tried to look everywhere except at the Professor's too-still form.
"We need to get everyone together. We don't have a lot of time," Jean said.
"Where are we going?" Scott asked.
"Liberty Island." Jean looked up, as though finally remembering Evee was there. "You should go back upstairs, with the rest of the students," she said firmly.
Evee thought briefly of asking to go with, but then thought of her bruises - and about what had happened on her last little field trip. She knew they would never allow it anyway. So, she nodded, and mutely did as she was told.
For awhile, she tried looking for Amy, but even she had to admit her efforts were half-hearted. Outside of their room, she wasn't sure where to begin looking for her sister anyway. She did, however, find Jubilee in the large rec room downstairs, sprawled out across the couch with a large pizza and looking as though she were contemplating a stack of DVDs. "Hey," she said, sitting up a little straighter. "Want to help me with this?" she asked, gesturing toward the pizza.
"You might live to regret that offer," Evee replied, feeling relieved to have someone give her something to do.
The mansion was quiet. Jean, Scott, Storm, and Logan had all left to go after Rogue, and most of the students, under the impression the Professor had simply retreated to his study, were quietly celebrating their surprise night off in various corners of the Mansion.
When Evee returned to her room after the movie, the light was on and she could hear the shower running. She flopped herself on the bed, exhausted from the night's activities and too full of pizza. From her perch, she studied their room. It was completely trashed. Evee noticed that the mirror was now covered, and it seemed like perhaps a couple of things had been picked up. Amy's bag was still sitting on her bed, though opened and partially unpacked, from the looks of it.
As Evee scanned the room, her gaze ended at her cell phone sitting on the nightstand. She took a deep breath, reaching for it.
She dialed the number, her heart thudding with each ring. A moment later, a familiar voice picked up. "Hello?"
Evee froze. What do I say?
"Hello? Is someone there?"
Evee considered hanging up.
"Evee…is that you?" Evee could hear the worry in her voice, and bit her lip. She felt nauseous.
"Hi, Mom," Evee replied quietly.
"Oh my God, Evee, where are you? Are you alright? What happened? I've been so worried."
"Mom, slow down. I'll explain everything."
Evee heard her mom take a deep breath. "Are you okay?"
Evee nodded her head slowly, even though she knew her mom couldn't see her. "I am, I'm safe. I'm actually at a school, believe it or not."
"You did not run away in the middle of the night to go to a school." Evee could hear the disbelief in her voice, and the undertones of anger, disappointment, worry, and fear. Especially the fear.
"Maybe I should start from the beginning."
Evee set the phone back on her nightstand just as the bathroom door opened, Amy stepping out with wet hair and dressed in her pajamas. When she saw Evee, she froze momentarily before moving to her bed.
"Hey, yourself," Evee muttered. For a minute, neither said a word, the tension weighing heavy in the air.
"I'm sorry," Amy said quietly, breaking the silence.
"Yeah, I got that," Evee snapped. She immediately regretted her outburst as Amy winced. She sighed, softening her tone. "Look, I'm sorry. I just…When I saw that you had left…" Evee didn't really know how to go on. "You left without me," she finally said.
"I hurt you," Amy said quietly. "I almost killed you."
"I don't care." Evee stood and joined Amy at her side of the room. Evee didn't have to be a mind-reader to know the guilt Amy was feeling. First, she killed her own father, and then, to see her sister lying on the ground like that? Evee was quickly learning Amy's first instinct was to run. She sighed exaggeratedly, and surveyed the room with her hands on her hips. "We should probably clean this place up some. It looks like a tornado went through here."
"I didn't realize I left it such a mess.
Evee went and pulled the sheet off of the cracked mirror. "You aren't the only one that loses control sometimes." She turned to Amy. "I'm not mad that I got hurt. And I'm not mad that you left. I'm mad that you didn't take me with you. After everything we've been through... you just left me." Amy looked down at her hands and Evee turned away. Neither spoke as they began to clean up the room. After a while, Evee stopped. "It's my fault you got hurt today." Evee didn't look at Amy, but she felt her eyes on her. "When I saw that you had left, I… I was so angry… If I hadn't waited so long to go to the Professor, we would have found you before Magneto did. No one would have gotten hurt, and Rogue would be safe, instead of with them."
Amy shrugged. "That wouldn't have solved anything. Rogue still would have been at the train station, and Magneto still would have gotten to her eventually."
"But you wouldn't have been hurt," Evee repeated.
Amy smiled at her, but it didn't reach her eyes. "Haven't you been taking notes? I'm always hurt."
The next morning, the mansion was abuzz. The X-Men had arrived home safe and sound with Rogue late the night before. Logan had been taken to the infirmary, but Jean said he would be back on his feet in a couple of days. The Professor was awake. Magneto was no longer a threat, and whatever terrible crisis he had planned had been averted. There was a lot of gossip going on about what all had happened the night before, much of which came from Jubilee.
Since classes had been cancelled for the rest of the week, everyone was either outside enjoying the day, or hanging out in the recreation room. Amy, Evee, John, Bobby, and Jubilee were watching a recap of the night's events on the news, wondering if they would catch a glimpse of any of their teachers on TV. Rogue came in, sporting some new hair. Jubilee also had a couple of theories as to how that had come about as well.
"Hey Rogue, welcome back," Bobby grinned. Amy waved, and Evee offered a smile. She figured that she had been unfair toward Rogue earlier, and that it wouldn't hurt to be nice to her. Nicer, anyway. Amy seemed to like her, so she couldn't all bad. Amy also likes Mexican food and foreign films, Evee thought to herself with a frown.
Rogue walked over to the foosball table and gestured for some of the group to join her. Bobby and Amy got up, John moving after them. Bobby chose Rogue's team, playing against John and Amy.
"Think you got what it takes, half-pint?" Rogue said gruffly.
Evee raised an eyebrow. Half-pint? She sounds like- Evee sat back on the couch, smirking to herself. You enjoy that, Bobby.
Evee flung herself down on her bed. It was getting late, and Evee had another full day of not having classes to enjoy tomorrow. Amy was just getting out of the shower, dressed in pajamas and her hair piled in a knot on top of her head.
"So," Evee started, sitting up. "Think you wanna stick around for a little while?"
She smiled. "I think so."
Evee nodded as she stood. "Me too."
She crossed the room, grabbing a pair of shorts and a tank top to sleep in from her dresser and heading to shower. She paused, turning back to look at Amy. "By the way, my mom's coming to visit this weekend."