Summary: When Pyro takes Chloe back to the Brotherhood, she learns things about herself that she never knew--even when she DID have her memory! What is this about her mother? And what is this that Magneto has planned for Chloe?
“Pyro!” The displeased, male voice caused Chloe to look up and blink when she saw the white old man wearing a funky and slightly ridiculous metal helmet storming towards them.
“Keep behind me and don’t say a word unless you’re spoken to.” John warned as he took a somewhat defensive stand before her, meeting the man. “Magneto.”
“You were to be here hours ago!” The man whom John had told Chloe was the leader of the ‘Brotherhood’, a group of mutants who were fighting back against the humans who oppressed them and tried to force them to give up a part of them, their mutation, looked angry, but there was worry in his eyes. Those eyes turned on Chloe and narrowed. “Who is this?”
Chloe frowned. Mutant leader or not, she didn’t like the condescending way he was referring to her. She opened her mouth to tell him just that.
“Proof that the cure isn’t a hundred per cent effective.” John had shared that information with Chloe while he’d driven her in the old, beat up truck to Magneto and the Brotherhood’s hideout.
Magneto’s gaze on her was a mixture of disgust and awe. “She took the cure?” It was obvious that in his sight that was a capital sin, yet the fact that she’d somehow been immune to it was awing for him. “Show me your power, woman.”
“I would,” Chloe looked down at her feet nervously. “But I don’t know what it is.”
Magneto frowned before turning to John. “If she doesn’t even know what her powers are, how can you know that the cure--?!”
“She was in the building that was targeted.” John replied smoothly, determination in his voice. “She was in the middle of the inferno with me, and the only thing that happened to her was that her clothes burnt off.”
Magneto’s quizzical gaze went to the clothes she was wearing now.
“Salvation Army.” She explained, hugging herself. “I refused to come to see you while only wearing John’s trench coat.”
“Pyro.” Magneto corrected her immediately. “John was his human name, but his true name is Pyro.” He turned to Pyro. “I want evidence that you haven’t brought a Conformed one in our midst.”
John sighed and suddenly his fist burst into flames. He turned to look at Chloe for the first time since they’d met up with Magneto, ignoring the curious looks the other gathering mutants were giving them, and with his flaming hand he reached out for her. “Roll up your sleeve will ya? Those clothes cost me more than they’re worth and I ain’t exactly Richie Rich.”
Raising an eyebrow at him in exasperation, Chloe rolled up the sleeve of her shirt and without even thinking about it rested her hand on his flaming one, causing those around to gasp.
Magneto looked mildly impressed. “And you wished to give this up to conform to the ways of the inferior human?” He asked Chloe in a way that seemed both curious and reproaching.
“She was kidnapped by anti-mutant scientists and experimented on.” John’s statement caused Magneto to jerk his head in his direction, and for the growing onlookers to murmur angrily amongst themselves. “And those she loved abandoned her when they discovered that she was a mutant. I--I touched her and saw glimpses of this.”
Magneto frowned slightly and turned to look at her differently. “You’ve experienced firsthand what those insects do to us. You should never have tried to conform to their ways, you should have joined our group immediately.” And yet for the first time since he’d spoken to her, the reproach was gone. “But I cannot hold your bad judgments against you, you are just a child.”
“More than a child.” A female voice said from behind them as the group of onlookers parted and a woman in red, with red hair and dark eyes came to stand next to Magneto. She wasn’t very tall, and she was pretty, but there was something intimidating about her, some aura that burnt darkly and dangerously and had Chloe on the alert…and yet she wasn’t nervous per se.
“Phoenix.” Magneto turned to the female as if surprised that she’d come to see what everyone was looking at and was actually participating with them in this interrogation of sorts. “Whatever do you mean? She is a mere child. Not nearly a woman.”
Chloe frowned at Magneto. She was so much woman it was unbelievable!
So, yeah, she mightn’t exactly know how old she was, but she knew that she wasn’t any little kid and she resented him saying that. Who did Mister Funky Hat think he was anyway?
A side of the Phoenix’s lips curled in a darkly amused half-smile, as if she could hear what Chloe was thinking and was enjoying it.
Then again, they were mutants, so the thought of one of them being telepathic shouldn’t be so surprising…
“Chloe lost her memory in the explosion.” John told the woman they called the Phoenix. “She doesn’t remember what exactly her power is, although I know she’s resistant to both the cure and fire.”
Phoenix’s dark eyes caught Chloe’s green ones and the blonde gasped as suddenly there was a sharp pain in her head and she felt dizzy. She faltered and would have fallen if John hadn’t grabbed her around her waist and held her upright. She tried concentrating on the sound of his heart, tried to push away the invading force in her brain--and suddenly the pain was gone and she could stand on her own again.
The Phoenix frowned at Chloe in confusion before turning to Magneto. “She has two mutations derived from different sources. One from exposure to certain rocks that create a gene similar to the mutant one in humans, though I am unable to glean any more information about these rocks from her subconscious.” She sent another odd look in Chloe’s mind. “She has it very well fortified.”
“Rocks that naturally cause the mutant gene to appear in humans?” Magneto whispered, turning to look at Chloe in awe. “This could be what we’ve been searching for. They have a cure to mutation--we have a cure to humanity! We have to find out more about this.”
John frowned, ignoring his leader’s glee, eyes focused on the red-haired woman. “You said she had two mutations from different sources?”
“Yes.” Phoenix nodded. “She has a very powerful mutation by birth, one passed down through her Mother. Said Mother has been keeping her mutation passive throughout these years though. She’s been forcefully restraining it.”
John shook his head, confused. “But that can’t be right. The Mutant gene, it can only be passed down through the men. Plus, how can one Mutant control the powers of another?”
“Moira.” Magneto whispered, something passing through his blue eyes as he returned his gaze upon Chloe and something changed. “You’re the daughter of Moira Addams. You’re--you the child…”
“She’s resistant to the cure because of the extra mutant genes given her by these rocks.” Phoenix finally decided, apparently not at all bothered by the fact that she’d just interrupted the leader of the Brotherhood. “The pain you felt, hatchling, when injected. It was your two unnatural mutant genes fighting the cure, and that struggle broke the power your mother had over your natural mutant genes, and they broke free. That is why you suffered so.”
“My…mother?” Chloe whispered, confused, seeing a blurry image of black hair and tortured blue eyes before the image disappeared in a rapid flash. “What?”
“I knew your mother well, she was like a sister to me.” Magneto announced, stepping forwards and placing his hand on her shoulder. “She had one of the strongest, most powerful mutations I had ever had the privilege of witnessing.” He paused. “She could control all lesser level mutants, get them to do whatever she bid of them.”
“Was she a part of the Brotherhood?” Chloe asked slowly, looking at Magneto differently. Right now he was the only link to her past, to her identity. Apparently her name was Chloe Addams--unless her mother had changed her name after last seeing her fellow mutant.
“We weren’t called the Brotherhood at the time, but she was a part of my closest friends and allies, I considered her and Charles to be my only family.” Magneto sighed, eyes roaming Chloe’s face. “She then became pregnant with you. Moira wouldn’t tell me who your father was, but she said that she couldn’t continue to fight, and she left us that night and never came back.”
Chloe frowned, so confused, wishing that she had her memory so she could fill in the blanks.
“Moira was taken from us, but you were brought back to your family at long last, and now we must know what your power is so that you may be given your true name.” Magneto smiled at her and John before turning to look over his shoulder at a tough-looking Latina. “Callisto.”
The olive-skinned beauty appeared by his side, curious and somewhat confused gaze on Chloe. “I—I can’t sense what class she is—I’ve never had that problem before.” She tilted her head slightly, regarding Chloe like a hard puzzle in need of solving, before blinking. “Ah, that explains it. Her mother might have been able to control mutants, but the newcomer can control the elements…which is why the fire didn’t hurt her.”
Chloe blinked. “The elements?”
Magneto smiled brightly. “A manipulator like her mother. You will make us proud.”
“A manipulator?” John finally broke into the silence that fell upon them. “What the hell are you saying? She’s like Storm? She can conjure up any element?”
“No.” Phoenix answered stoically, gaze on Chloe. “She can only manipulate what is around her, she cannot conjure like Ororo Monroe.” Her dark, emotionless gaze then slid to John. “Which explains the dreams.”
Suddenly John’s eyes widened. “I—I don’t know what you’re talking about, lady.”
Chloe, anyone, could see that he was lying. And it intrigued the blonde as she saw the slightly panicked look in his hazel eyes.
“What dreams?” Magneto asked, looking at the redheaded woman in confusion.
“The dreams he’s had of her since his power manifested.” Phoenix revealed as if this wasn’t of much importance. “It is the reason he was drawn to the building and found her. His mutation is of an element--fire--anger, violence, passion, and she is the embodiment of his element…or one of her embodiments is. Her mutation, though pacified by her mother, was still strong enough to send out signals to prospective males of the elements she embodies once their mutations became active.”
John went tense.
Chloe was completely confused. “Are you saying that other male mutants who have mutations that have to do with certain elements--that they’ve all dreamt of me some time or the other?” Blanching when Phoenix nodded, the blonde gulped. “Why? Why only the males?” And suddenly she didn’t need Phoenix’s answer. Her eyes widened and she took a step back. “My mutation was playing matchmaker!”
“Can she control ice?” John asked, although Chloe didn’t see what relevance that had with this.
Phoenix nodded. “Ice is only another form of water.”
John clenched his free hand and it became enflamed in seconds.
Chloe looked him over, worried about him, not understanding why this revelation had angered him so much. What was so wrong with the fact that she had the ability to manipulate ice?
Her eyes widened slightly when she felt him squeeze her hand, and only then did she realize that they had yet to let go of each other’s hand from the time they touched to prove that her mutation was still very much active and a part of her.
Should I pull away?
She failed to notice the contemplative way Magneto watched her and John…and their joined hands.
Callisto did though, and she sneered.
“You will be trained.” Magneto finally broke the silence that’d descended on the group. “We are in the middle of a war not only with humans, but with traitorous mutants who side with them. It will not be safe for you to not be able to control your power--even if a little bit. Callisto will--.”
“The hatchling will train with me.” Phoenix stated. She didn’t ask the leader his permission; she was just letting him know.
Magneto watched the Phoenix for a moment, deep surprise in his eyes. He looked so shocked that she wanted to train Chloe that the blonde felt a little insulted. Of course, she didn’t know that ever since Dr. Jean Gray had been resurrected as the Dark Phoenix she’d chosen the side of the Brotherhood over that of the X-men, but despite that she’d kept apart from the others, uncaring of those around her…keeping herself separated from the Brotherhood...
“She shall be yours to train.” Magneto nodded, finally getting over his shock.
“Guys, you have to let it go.” Lana sighed, placing her hands on both Lois’ and Clark’s shoulders as they sat down on the stools in Martha’s kitchen and looked at the information Clark had managed to get from one of the computers in ISIS. When he’d heard about the cure a week ago, he’d immediately called Chloe, knowing what she would do and trying to stop her, but she wouldn’t answer. And then an hour later he’d heard about how one of the many buildings in which they were administering the cure had been targeted by protesting mutants and had exploded in flames…
He’d been desperate and called Lana and Lois, and both women had tried help him, both women grew desperate when they couldn’t get into contact with Chloe and when a week passed and they knew nothing about their blonde friend…the woman who kept them together like glue…well, they’d all begun to fear for the worse.
And now, another week passed and Clark had finally gotten the information. The name Chloe Sullivan was listed as having entered the building that’d been totally destroyed. She’d gone to get the cure, and her luck had taken her to the one building that’d been attacked.
“Let it go?” Lois growled, getting up from her stool in outrage and frowning at Lana. “How do you expect me to let this go? My cousin was hurt! She is probably still hurt—if not physically then emotionally! She’s somewhere out there! I won’t ‘let her go’!”
“Lois, she’s dead!” Lana hated seeing her friends in such pain like this, but if there was anyone who knew about the pain of losing loved ones, and how to deal with it, it was Lana Lang.
“Her meteor ability was to heal.” Clark whispered.
“She obviously took the cure before the explosion.” Lana’s voice choked as she reasoned with them. “She became normal right before she was k-k-killed.”
“No.” Lois shook her head in denial. “I know my Baby Cuz, and she isn’t dead!”
“Do you really think that Chloe would leave us all hanging like this in terror for two weeks if she was alive?” Lana wanted to know, angry that they would think that. Chloe was one of the most compassionate people she’d ever known, she’d always placed other people’s feelings before her own--mostly Clark and Lana’s--and Lana knew deep in her heart that if Chloe was alive she would have returned to them before now because she’d know how terrified they’d be. “Chloe is dead, and I think it’s time we all accepted that.”
“No.” Clark stood, determined. “That cure wouldn’t have worked on Chloe. It’s supposed to cure the X-gene, not meteor mutations. Even if she did take the cure, it’d have no affect on her.”
“It might even have had the opposite affect, actually, and made her a Mutant--don’t all vaccines have a bit of the original ‘disease’ in it or something?” Lois was on a roll, a small smile on her face. “My Baby Cuz is alive, I feel it just like I did when I came here to find out what’d happened to her after her house exploded…and if she escaped one exploding building, believe me, she escaped this one as well.”
Lana sighed. She desperately wanted to believe what Lois and Clark did, but she didn’t want to get her hopes up. “Then why hasn’t she come to find us? Why has she left us agonizing and searching for her for two weeks? She knows us. She knows we’d worry.”
“That answer’s obvious, Lana.” Lois smiled brightly. “Chloe would never do that to us. She knows us. She knows we’d worry.”
Lana was confused. How was this a reason in their favor?
“She lost her memory.” Clark announced slowly. “And something changed in her because I can’t pick out her heartbeat anymore. She’s changed, she’s out there alone, and without her memory.”
“Exactly.” Lois nodded. “Smallville, are you taking the Red Cross, The Police Records, Homeless Shelters…?”
“I’ll check the New York Police Records from the computer at my mother’s office in the Senate.” Clark was all steel and determination. “Chloe might have gone there after she lost her memory and realized that she survived a fatal explosion without getting hurt.”
“Right.” Lois nodded. “And I’m going to use the Daily Planet’s computers to see if the hospitals got any injured or dead people that either mysteriously got healed or resurrected.”
Lana sighed and lowered her gaze. “I’ll use ISIS to check the shelters to see if anyone that fits Chloe’s description is there, and even check the newspapers data bases to see if there are any news about some mysterious woman seen leaving the building.”
While Lana didn’t believe that Chloe was alive, she didn’t want to say that she hadn’t given it her all. Chloe was her first true--if not only true friend, and she would do her best.
The three looked at each other and shook their head in determination.
They were going to find Chloe if it was the last thing they did.
The weeks that’d passed had done so rapidly, as they readied for the final battle. John knew that he should have been paying more attention to the plans and to his own training with Magneto and Callisto and the others, but many times he’d been sidetracked and distracted by Chloe (who was going by her mother’s maiden name Addams), watching her as she trained with the fearsome Dark Phoenix, whom some of the mutants had come to calling either the Dark Queen or the Red Queen.
The fact that Phoenix had taken interest in Chloe made her an object of interest to the mutants of the Brotherhood--as had the fact that the few other element-powered males of the group had had dreams similar to Johns (though had featured Chloe with their element) since their mutations had become active, and they found her just as attractive and alluring and enchanting as John di--err--uh, they liked her.
They liked her.
John on the other hand only felt protective because she was his charge. He’d found her. He’d taken care of her. He’d brought her to the Brotherhood and Magneto. He’d actually seen her naked that once and not just in dreams. He slept in the room next to hers. He…
Okay, maybe he liked her…but only a little…and it was obviously because of her mutation calling to his.
So, really, if there was anyone after anyone in this relationship, it was her going after him…
…not that they had a relationship per se.
John wouldn’t have cared less if Chloe decided that she liked some other guy and--.
Why was she talking to Avalanche?
John frowned as he tried to hear what it was they were saying as they stood apart from the others, smiling and talking. He’d never really liked the Cretan Mystique had brought into the Brotherhood while she’d still been a mutant and Magneto’s right hand, and now as Avalanche pushed back a strand of hair that’d been in Chloe’s face, well, John’s dislike and distrust of him grew even more. What did they really know about the guy anyway? They’d accepted him because of Mystique, but Mystique didn’t even exist any more, so who said that they had to tolerate the guy so much?
So what if the guy could create earthquakes? Big deal! Earthqu--…
He could create earthquakes…
How did he do that?
Was it by sound waves or…
…Was he another elemental mutant?
John gnashed his teeth together as he suddenly understood why Avalanche was acting that way with the pretty blonde mutant.
He’d probably had dreams of a naked Chloe beckoning him with rocks falling from the sky all around her or some freaky shit like that.
The breath left John’s body suddenly as he was violently rammed from behind, sending him flying to the ground and reminding him all too late that he was in the middle of some intense training with Callisto, Magento and some of the other higher-ups…and any sort of distraction could prove lethal.
This wasn’t like the X-Men’s Danger Room…this was true fighting.
Callisto sneered at the fallen young man as she walked in front of him. “Listen little boy, keep your eyes off your girlfriend and stop being so distracted or I won’t go so easy on you next time and you’ll get killed.”
“She’s not my girlfriend.” John spat as he stood to his feet once more, determined not to show that his whole back was killing him with pain. He hated Callisto as much as she hated him, so the fact that she had been the one to catch him off-guard upset him tremendously.
And to say that Chloe was the one who was making him distracted? Please! That wasn’t true at all!
“Good.” Callisto grinned after a little look to their right. “That means the fact that she’s kissing someone else shouldn’t bother you in the least bit, right hombre?”
John wouldn’t look in Chloe’s direction because he knew that he’d be letting the smug Latina win if he showed any concern about it. “Her lips, she can do whatever she wants to with them.”
Callisto’s sneer grew smugger as she once more looked over in Chloe’s and Avalanches’ direction. “Oh, she’s using them all right.”
John clenched his fists and they lit on fire immediately. He was not going to let that stupid olive-skinned woman play with him like this.
Not that he cared if Chloe as busy playing tonsil hockey with that retard Avalanche!
“That is enough for tonight.” Magneto’s voice halted the fighting that’d been going on in the training field. “Everyone is dismissed.”
John and Callisto continued to stare at each other defiantly in their eyes before Callisto smirked and left.
Only when he was sure Callisto wouldn’t look back, John allowed himself to finally look in the direction that Chloe and Avalanche had been in moments ago, but Chloe wasn’t there anymore.
It’d taken the bad-tempered mutant a while to track her down, but he finally found her out in the depth of the woods, in the dark of the night, practicing. His temper only increased at her stupidity. Why would she leave the relative safety of camp, in the middle of the night, to go into the darker parts of the woods to train by herself?
The blonde could have been attacked by one of the X-Men, or some rogue mutant-haters--or even attacked by one of the hornier Brotherhood bastards, like Avalanche!
“What the hell do you think you’re doing?” He snapped.
Chloe twirled around, giving a squeak, the branches of the trees she’d been manipulating going still. “John!” She placed a hand to her heart. “Don’t do that again! You nearly gave me a heart attack!”
John frowned as he watched her. Despite having been told, repeatedly, not to call him by his human name, Chloe continued to do so. Then again, he didn’t exactly call her Enigma either. “Well, I guess that you’re disappointed that it’s me and not your little boyfriend.”
“Boyfriend?” Chloe asked, looking so confused she was almost believable. “I have a boyfriend? Really? Since when?” She shook her head at him and turned her back, raising her hand slowly and the branches on the dead tree began to quiver once more. “Boyfriend. Honestly John, you come up with the weirdest things sometimes.”
“Oh, so you suck face with every guy that so much as touches you then?” He snapped. “Didn’t know you were that easy. I feel cheated, really, Avalanche only pulls your hair back from your face and you make out with him like there’s no tomorrow and I practically had you naked in my bed and didn’t get anything from you.”
She whirled around, horror, pain and anger reflected in her face, and although she was no longer concentrating on the trees, the branches were swinging erratically and the ground beneath them was rippling. “How dare you! I—I—I did not kiss Avalanche! I don’t know where you got that absurd idea, and I don’t give a damn!”
John held back a wince. Obviously Callisto had been playing him superbly today.
“And I don’t see how you have the right to attack me about a boyfriend when you couldn’t even tell me the truth about you and Callisto!” Chloe continued to glare at him, looking so dark and dangerous and pissed that John couldn’t help but find it so incredibly hot that he really missed what she’d accused him of. “If she hadn’t told me this evening before training about you two I would have never--you told me you couldn’t stand her!”
“Wait? What?” John snapped as he took a menacing step towards her when she did the same to him. “I am not with Callisto!”
“That’s not what she says!” Chloe shot back.
“She’s a liar then!” John growled and suddenly they were face to face, snarling at each other, his clenched fists burning brightly with flames that lit up the darkened woods, and the ground beneath them rippling violently while the trees around them shook erratically at her anger.
“And why would she lie about that?” Chloe spat, body tense like a cat about to spring.
“Because you’re so fucking dense!” And with that John reached for her with his flaming hands and pulled her to him, his lips descending on hers violently, both punishing and crushingly.
And yet Chloe’s lips were moving below his just as painfully, her teeth biting his lips, her hands grabbing at the material of his shirt and pulling him closer to her harder as she pushed him back against a tree and plastered herself against him.
Their kiss slowly became more heated than punishing, and John’s now normal hands rested on her hips, pulling her harder against him as she teased his mouth with her lips before raining hungry kisses down his throat, slowing unbuttoning his shirt and lowering herself down his body to kiss his newly exposed chest.
God…he’d never thought he’d ever enjoy a woman being sexually dominant, but if Chloe stopped what she was doing he’d die. “Chloe…” He whispered, closing his eyes and groaning as she began to unbuckle his pants.
And after that, there was no speaking, only moaning and grunts and the shifting of bodies.
They looked upon the sleeping bodies silently from a distance, noticing that both were quite naked and content on the forest floor as the female lay resting almost on top of the male, and he held onto her possessively even in sleep, his trench coat acting as a makeshift blanket.
Magneto turned to Phoenix. “I will have to congratulate Callisto on a job well done.”
The Dark Phoenix nodded, keeping her eyes on the young woman she’d grown to consider as her hatchling. “Your minion has served her purpose well and brought about the result you so desired.”
The leader of the Brotherhood frowned slightly, as he returned his gaze to Enigma and noticed the strands of fire-red in her golden hair. “I don’t remember her getting that done.”
“The hatchling’s mutation did that.” Phoenix explained. “The fire-starter has been accepted as worthy to court her, and thus it is manifested in her body. It could have been manifested in different ways, such as symbols of fire appearing on her skin, but instead it chose this way.”
“Are you saying that he still isn’t her mate?” Magneto exclaimed in near exasperation. It was imperative that they tie Enigma to them and their cause, and since Pyro had obviously gone and fallen in love with her, Magneto didn’t see his helping them along the way as to be evil. Sure, he wasn’t doing it because he had Pyro’s happiness in mind--Magento knew that the confrontation with the X-Men would be soon, and he knew that when that happened Enigma would be brought into contact with another elemental mutant just as strong (and thus alluring to her) as Pyro.
And if she wasn’t permanently joined to Magneto’s right hand man…she could be swayed to the other side if her mutation found Ice Man to be more acceptable of matehood than Pyro.
And that was a problem Magneto wanted dealt with immediately.
“Her mutation hasn’t fully accepted him as yet.” Phoenix warned. “She could be courted by another, and if she accepts his feelings, streaks of blue will join those red now adorning her hair.”
Magneto sighed. “It is as I feared.”
It would seem that the Brotherhood and the X-Men would forever be at war.
His gaze went to the couple on the forest floor when Pyro pulled Enigma closer and breathed a sigh of contentment, even in his sleep. Enigma then made a sound of happiness and shifted slightly so that she was even closer.
“At least,” Magneto consoled himself as he turned to look at the woman who had once been Jean Grey. “The Brotherhood now have the advantage in both wars.”