In the back of her mind, Amy heard indistinct whispers, a sea of voices that sounded like silk slipping against itself or the distant crashing of the ocean.
"Won't you make a nice treat?" Gorge lifted a claw and ran it down her cheek to her chin, forcing her to look into the sunken pits where his eyes should have been visible. She choked as he squeezed her neck tighter.
The voices grew louder, and started chanting in unison. Run. Run. RUN. RUN!
With a painful, strangled gasp, Amy say bolt upright, eyes open, heart pounding, palms sweaty, head silent. It took a moment for her eyes to focus on the bright room she found herself in. It looked like she was in a medical facility, all white cabinets and walls and chrome appliances. There was no one else around.
She looked down at herself. She had been laid out on a metal table, but she couldn't have been there long. She was still filthy, wounded, and in the clothes she had stolen from the hospital.
She remembered the strangers in the sewers, not the monsters, but the man and woman who had appeared just before Amy couldn't remember anything. She must have blacked out. She slid off of the table, standing shakily on her feet. The room wasn't very big, and it was obvious Evee wasn't there. It was a struggle to try to stay calm. She was alone, again.
There were large metal doors to her right, and Amy walked toward them. There were no handles, and no keypad on the wall. They did not open as she approached, and remained closed as she stood before them. She reached out and rested her hand against the seam between the two doors, but that didn't work either. In frustration, she banged her fist on the door.
Turning away, she ran her hands through her hair, pacing across the room. What was she going to do? There were no windows, the doors wouldn't open - she was trapped.
She needed a weapon, she decided. She couldn't count on herself to be able to fight whoever was inevitably coming, she needed something else. She was clearly in some sort of hospital or facility, there had to be something she could use to defend herself.
She began rummaging through the cabinets, pushing aside clear medical tubing, boxes of rubber gloves, and packages of cotton swabs. She was looking through the drawers when the doors slid open behind her. Whipping around, Amy lifted the pair of scissors she had just found in front of her in what she hoped was a threatening manner. Two people, a redheaded woman and a man in goggles, had come through the door. As the doors slid closed behind them, they both paused. The redheaded woman put her hands up.
"It's okay, Amy. You don't have to be scared."
Amy clenched the scalpel tightly in her hand. How could they possibly know her name? What did they want? She tried to listen to their thoughts, but she couldn't seem to grasp at any of her powers. Her heart beat faster in her chest.
"Just put the scissors down, okay? We're here to help you." They were slowly approaching her, and she was backing away, until her back was pressed against the wall. She held the scalpel in front of her, clenched in both hands.
From behind the two strangers, Evee appeared, followed by a white-haired women - the woman Amy faintly remembered from the sewers.
"Amy, stop," Evee said, standing in front of the other three and spreading her arms wide. "They're just trying to help. Look at me." Evee pushed aside the collar of her t-shirt, revealing a swath of bandages. She had two butterfly bandages on her eyebrow, and she looked like she had showered. "Just put it down, okay?"
Amy hesitated for a moment, looking at the faces of the people standing behind Evee, and then she slowly reached out and set the scissors on the countertop.
"Okay," Evee said, nodding. "Now, come sit so they can fix you up, alright?"
Amy wondered what exactly it was that had caused Evee to be so openly trusting of these strangers, but then again, back in the sewers, Amy had trusted her without thought. It felt right. So, she trusted her now. Feeling numb and suddenly exhausted, she allowed herself to be led back to the examining table she had woken up on, and she sat on the edge. The redheaded woman slowly approached her. "Amy," she said, "my name is Dr. Grey. This is Mr. Summers," she gestured to the man, "and this is Miss Munroe." The white-haired woman smiled. "I'm going to take a look at your face, okay?" Jean asked.
Amy dropped her eyes, but held her face forward, acquiescing. Jean dampened a washcloth in the sink, and stood in front of Amy, gently wiping away the dirt and grime from her face. Amy winced away from her touch as she brushed against the large bruise on her cheek. "Sorry," Dr. Grey said, pausing before continuing. "That looks bad. How did that happen?" she asked.
Amy dropped her eyes. She didn't want to talk about it. Or anything.
The doctor took the hint. She dropped the washcloth in the sink, and took Amy's hand in her own, studying the handcuff still dangling around her wrist. "This doesn't look good," she said, more to herself than Amy. She looked over her should. "Scott, could you...?"
The man in the goggles nodded, and stepped toward Amy. He looked down at her arm, and reached for a dial on the right side of his goggles.
He shot across the room in an instant, slamming against the wall before sliding down to his knees, coughing, trying to catch his breath.
"Scott!" Jean said, running to his side. The white-haired woman, Miss Munroe, and Evee turned to look at Amy, who shrank under their gaze.
"It's okay, Amy, it was an accident," the white-haired woman said soothingly. Across the room, Scott shakily got to his feet.
"It's okay, I'm fine," he said, seemingly more to the redhead than the rest of the room. They both approached Amy again. "It was just an accident, but I'm not going to hurt you, alright? We just need to get that off," he said, gesturing to the cuff around her wrist.
Slowly, Amy held out her wrist again, and Scott, slowly, lifted his hand to his goggles. There was a bright blast of red light, and then the cuff clattered to the floor. Amy stared, amazed.
"Now, let's get that cleaned up, shall we?"
Dr. Grey carefully wiped down the burn, which hurt more than the cuff had rubbing against it for the past week. She then did a short medical examination, shining a light in both of Amy's eyes, checking her temperature and blood pressure, and taking a blood sample.
When she was done, she handed Amy a pile of dark clothing, sweats and t-shirts, just like Evee wore, and a pile of bandages. "You'll have to put those on after you shower, okay? Evee can help you, I'm sure." Amy looked up at her, confusion apparent on her face. "I assume you'll want to shower?" she asked, with a smile. Amy looked away, down at the pile in her hands.
"I'll show you to your room," Miss Munroe said, resting a hand on Amy's shoulder. She flinched away.
"Come on, Amy, it's okay," Evee said.
Amy looked up at her, and then slid off of the table, holding the clothes close to her chest and refusing to look at anyone. She was too confused and too tired to fight anymore.
She followed everyone out of the infirmary, whose doors seemed to magically open for the others, and down the bright white hallway to elevator doors, also white and easy to look past if not for the seam between the doors. They all stood silently together in the elevator as it nearly silently glided upward for what seemed like an eternity. Amy tightened her arms around her bundle.
The doors opened, revealing a magnificent landing. High ceilings, beautiful chandeliers, wood paneling, expensive-looking furniture, massive area rugs, all laid out before a grand staircase leading up to who knows how many floors.
"Your room is on the second floor," Dr. Grey said, leading the way.
They weren't the only ones walking. Others, most looking like they couldn't be older than Amy and Evee, walked or ran past, talking and laughing. Some of them stopped to stare at them as they passed. A girl in a yellow coat, a boy with a lighter - Amy even saw one girl run through a wall. Very aware of her singed dress and bruised face, she shook her hair forward to shield herself from their gazes.
Amy almost didn't realize they had arrived when the group stopped before a door. "You two can share... I hope that's alright? Evee, your things are already here," Jean said, opening the door.
The two were ushered into a fairly large, airy room. There were two twin beds placed in an L shape, one against the window, one against the adjoining wall, feet to feet. There was an adjoining bathroom.
"I guess we'll leave you to it, then," Miss Munroe smiled at them. "Wash up, and get as much rest as you need. We'll check back later, alright?"
Evee nodded for both of them.
"Don't forget those bandages after you wash," Dr. Grey reminded Amy as she closed the door.
Then, "I've already been up here," Evee said, flopping onto the bed by the wall. "Shower's nice. I thought you'd like the bed by the window."
Amy stood there, still holding her clothes.
"So, not talking still, huh? Even to me?"
Barely, Amy shrugged. Evee sighed. "It's alright. But for the record, I like it here. I think they just want to help. It's a school, you know, for mutants. Storm explained it to me."
Amy glanced at her.
"Miss Munroe. White hair. They all have names like that. Like, the guy with the glasses is called Cyclops. It's weird." Exhaling, she rolled onto her stomach, resting her head on the pillow. "I'm going to get some sleep, I'm exhausted. You should take a shower, you reek."
Wordlessly, Amy shuffled into the bathroom, closing the door behind her and setting her pile of clothes onto the counter next to the sink, bandages on top. She peeled off her clothes, dropping all of them into the small trashcan next to the toilet without hesitation. Turning the water on as hot as she could stand it, she climbed in, pulling the glass door closed behind her, and let the water run over her head and down her body. Everything ached, even parts of her she hadn't injured. She was tired, emotionally, physically, and mentally. She was so tired, she couldn't think. She raised her hand and held it to her neck, feeling where that monster had grabbed her. Her throat tightened, and she started to cry. She bent over, hugging herself, and finally sank down, resting her forehead on her knees, great sobs racking through her body.
Finally, though, even that ended. She washed herself twice before toweling off with a soft, white towel hung over the towel bar. In the pile of clothes, she found a dark grey tank top and a black pair of panties. She pulled those on, leaving the towel on the bathroom floor.
Evee was stretched out and breathing heavily on her bed; she hadn't even bothered to get under the blanket. Amy slid under hers and pulled it over her head, almost immediately falling into a deep, dreamless sleep.
It had to be late afternoon when she finally woke up. She felt stiff and sticky from sweat. Cautiously, she pulled the covers down from her face.
"And the dead finally awakens," Evee said. She stood in front of the mirror of their bureau, applying eyeliner. "You've been asleep for almost a whole day."
Amy sat up, rubbing her face.
"It's not so bad. I slept for awhile too. Just woke up this morning." She tossed Amy a fresh towel and gestured to the bathroom. "We're going shopping." Amy must have made a face, because Evee added, "You don't have anything at all to your name, you didn't expect to have to walk around in sweatpants forever, did you?"
The two women from the days before, Dr. Grey and Storm, drove the two girls to a mall in town. The car ride was, for the most part, silent. Amy spent the entire time looking out the window at the passing buildings, wondering where in the world she had ended up.
"We know what it's like for mutants who had to leave home. That's why the Institute budgets for situations like these," Storm explained as they entered one of the mall's large corner department stores. "Don't go crazy, obviously, but we have enough for you two to pick out things you like."
Eventually, they paired off, Evee with Storm and Amy with Dr. Grey. Amy slowly found her way amongst pretty floral sundresses and patterned shorts, while Evee seemed more fond of dark, muted colors.
"Has she said anything to you?" Storm asked as Evee held up a loose, dark green tunic shirt.
"No. Not a word. She barely looks at me."
"Well, that's more than it seems anyone else gets."
"She went through a lot, alright?" Evee said defensively.
Storm paused. "Did you know Amy, before your manifestation?"
Evee paused, and then shook her head. "No."
"Why'd you cross the country looking for her, then?"
Evee eyed Storm appraisingly, then sighed, draping the shirt over her arm. "I saw her. In a vision. It sounds crazy, but it's like something wanted me to find her." She looked up at Storm. "I told her this was a safe place. I vouched for you. So if this turns out to be anything other than what I told her-"
"We're a school and a home for mutants who have no where else to go. We'll teach you, both of you, how to use your powers. All we want to do is give you two a safe home."
Evee arched an eyebrow. "We'll see."
"How was the shopping trip?" Scott asked as Jean and Ororo stepped into the infirmary with him.
"As well as could be expected," Jean said. She sat behind the computer near the x-ray scanner.
"Amy still isn't speaking, she's completely traumatized. And I can't blame her. Neither of them trust us yet," Ororo said.
"Guys, look at this," Jean said, cutting into their conversation. She pointed to the computer screen as Scott and Ororo bent behind her to look. "These are the blood samples I took from Amy and Evee. You see this line of dashes here, and then again here?" she asked, pointing.
"What about them?" Ororo asked.
"They indicate a similarity in genetic make-up, coming from common bloodlines."
"Meaning...?" Scott asked.
"Meaning they have the same parents. Amy and Evee are sisters."