4/18 Issue: Zero Stars

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4/18 Issue: Zero Stars

Post by Esynthia » Mon Apr 19, 2021 4:39 am

Timeline: Immediately following Arcade’s rude removal of Jeamie during Issue: Arcade Games

Jamie: Jamie flailed and lost his balance when he was suddenly teleported somewhere new. He barely caught himself with his hands before his face hit the white floor. This was definitely different. Okay. Deep breath. Assess the situation. Slowly, he pushed to sit and take a look around. Door... Door... Where was the d- Jean?! Thank goodness he wasn't alone. "You okay, babe?"

Jean: One instant, they were in her bedroom at the X-Men headquarters, the next... "What the fuck is this?!" Jean was on the floor, still in her uniform. Pushing herself up, she shook her hair out of her face and looked up. White.

Jean: Everything was white. The floor, the walls, everything. She would have thought she was blind, except she could see her hair... and, as she twisted, Jamie. "Oh thank GOD!" She scrambled up to tackle him.

Jamie: She was okay! Tackling meant okay! He clung to her and took a slow breath, kissing her head through her hair as his eyes continued to scan the room. What the hell was this place? No windows or doors... Just... White. Solid white. "At least we're together. Wherever we are... Who was that creepo, anyway? You ever seen him before?"

Jean: "No, but I just barely saw him before we... what the fuck did he do to us?!" Jean looked up from his shoulder and around the white room again. She could feel the panic rising as she tried and failed to sense Jamie's presence. "My powers are gone!"

Jamie: That was alarming, but they'd been in worse scrapes than this. "Hey, it's probably nothing. It may just be a little bit of panic from not knowing what's happening. You're not wearing an inhibitor, so you're okay. Just... Breathe." Yeah, because that always works to tell panicky people to breathe. Jamie rolled his eyes at himself. "Here, just... look at me." He cupped her cheeks and tilted her head up to be able to look in her eyes. "Focus on me."

Jean: Jean's hand flew to her neck. No collar, but... no power! She was hyperventilating, tears building in her eyes, and then she was looking at Jamie. She reached up, wrapping her hands around his wrists, willing herself to feel him. Nothing. She bit her lip. "Do... do you have your powers?"

Jamie: Jamie gave her a soft kiss. "I haven't tested it yet... And I'm wearing my jacket, so... At the moment, no. Hold on." He stripped his jacket and moved behind her to wrap her up in its warmth, then took a step away and stomped his foot on the stark white floor.

Jamie: Two strange things happened. One: the sound was almost muffled. Not what he would have expected. Kind of like the floor absorbed the noise. Two: No dupes... He didn't even feel the pull he normally did. "Well.. At least he can't eat me multiple times over?"

Jean: Jean pulled the leather close around her and buried her nose in the collar. She couldn't feel him in her head, but this was something. The sound of his boot against the floor was... weird, and no spares popped out. She bit down on her lip again, then frowned. "That's not funny," she whined, on the verge of tears again.

Jamie: "If I could control my powers without that jacket that you have on, it would be..." His nose wrinkled and he tried again. Nothing. Again. Jamie took a slow breath and stepped back into Jean, pulling her into his arms. "Okay, we're gonna be fine. Just try to focus on me. I mean, we still have our link right? Even without your powers?"

Jean: She tried to force herself to relax against him, if for no other reason than to be able to think more clearly. "It's still, um, there, I assume... I just can't feel it... I can't feel you..." Unless it wasn't. OMG could this guy break it?! She felt herself tense again. Oshit.

Jamie: Jamie gave her a squeeze when he felt her tense up again. "Well, I'm here, so you don't need to feel me in your head. Right? I'm right in front of you and you can physically feel me instead. Does anything feel weird to you? I feel the same for the most part..."

Jean: Jean freed a hand from his jacket to rest it against his chest. He was right. They were together. They'd be okay. She took a deep breath and tried to assess herself. "I feel... blind. Deaf. Like... half my senses are just gone... because they are. My telepathy is... me." She swallowed. This was the first time she'd been without her powers since Trask.

Jamie: Yikes. That wasn't good. Maybe it was a good thing she didn't have him in her head right now. "It's part of you... You haven't always had it, though. So... Try to remember what things were like before your powers manifested." ...He had always had his though. Shit. Now it was his turn to feel panicky.

Jamie: "Just, focus on me." What the hell was he going to do now? With his powers, maybe he could have made enough of him to break the walls down. But without them, he was just one dude! Fuck!

Jean: She'd been a kid then, so it was hard to judge. Focus on him, he says. Jean swallowed and tipped her head back to look at him. "You were born with yours..." She reached up and brushed his hair back, cupping his cheek and running her thumb over his scruff.

Jamie: He narrowed his eyes at her suspiciously, "I thought you didn't have your powers." Jamie's nose twitched and he leaned down to give her a kiss. Focus on something else. "I always wanted to see you in white. But this is overkill."

Jean: "I don't..." She frowned for a moment, then smiled after the kiss, giving him a pet. "I just know you." It made her laugh, if just a huff of air, and she looked around. "Yeah... what the fuck?"

Jamie: "Maybe the dude's an artist and wants us to paint the room with our favorite colors?" Outlandish theories were great distractors.

Jean: "...or our blood." Jean's nose wrinkled and she stepped back from Jamie to turn in a circle and look around. "There's... no door. Like, I don't even see any seams, or... corners?" Horrified and fascinated, she took a few steps and stopped, looking down. The floor felt weird too.

Jamie: "Um. Well, no corners can be a good thing? No timeout?" Jean's blood on the white walls terrified him, but there was nothing he could do right now but keep them both calm. ...Ish.

Jean: "No bathroom either..." Jean made another face at that, taking another few steps to explore the room. It wasn't too large, or too small... "...this is so weird."

Jean: She turned back to face him. "What'd the guy say before he... what did he do? Did he have some kind of gun? Did he shoot us with a weird beam, or..." She frowned. "I can't remember."

Jamie: "...He seemed to feel bad about interrupting us. I think?" He did not like the thought of not being able to use the bathroom. "And he just kind of...appeared. So maybe he just kind of disappeared us?"

Jean: "He should feel bad about that," she sniffed, looking down at the zipper on her uniform. Yep, still half down. "...teleporter?"

Jamie: Jamie's eyes drifted to her zipper, too and he sighed at the loss of what they had been planning on doing. This was not how he had intended to make her miss the press conference. "Maybe? Or somebody who can chameleon themselves around things?"

Jean: "Yeah... maybe? There are so many powers, but... I don't recognize this..." She went back to him and slid her arms around his waist. "And without my powers I'm kinda useless..."

Jamie: Jamie kissed the top of her head and smoothed her hair back, "You're not useless, Jeannie. We just have to use things we're not used to using. Think like a detective! We can do this! Remember the escape room you took me to for my birthday? Maybe this is something like that."

Jean: "Well, if Yelp suggested this one to me, I'd give them zero stars..." Jean rested her head against him, listening to the comforting thump of his heartbeat. Despite his pep talk, she knew she was at a disadvantage here now.

Jamie: "I'm not sure you can give them zero stars... Not even sure you can give half a star. Pretty sure it's one star at the lowest." Not important, Madrox. Jamie rested his cheek on the top of her head and held her close. "At least nobody can disturb us if we want to do something here?"

Jean: Her eyebrows rose, not that he could see them. Or even sense her mood. "Are you suggesting what I think you're suggesting?"

Jamie: "Well... I mean... A man has needs?" Weak, weak men. "Not right now, but, you know, if, like, we get stuck here for, like, a long time?" Not helping. He groaned in protest at his own words. "No. I'm totally not meaning any of that. Pretend I said nothing."

Jean: Her laugh was the first genuine one since they'd landed here. "You totally meant it." Jean turned her head to park her chin on his chest and look up at him. She batted her lashes. "A woman has needs, too."

Jamie: He screwed up his face and looked down at her, "I totally did... Sorry..." But then she did the eye thing... "Maybe not sorry," he ventured questioningly.

Jean: "Don't ever be sorry for that," she smirked, pitching her voice a little lower and snaking an arm up to wind around his neck.

Jamie: Jamie smirked at her, "Then I am totally not sorry. At all." He couldn't help it, though, his eyes flicked around the room. "This might not be the best place for it, though..."

Jean: "Any place is the best place for it," she said, watching him scan the room. "We may as well make the best of what we've got, right?"

Jamie: "I just meant because it's not going to be comfortable... Like, at all." He cocked his head and looked back at her. "Do you want to? Because there's nothing that distracts me quite like you."

Jean: "If I ever don't want to, you better check to make sure I'm not a pod person." Jean rolled her eyes at him. It'd be different without their link, but it was still Jamie. "May as well make the best of what we've got, right?"

Jamie: "I guess that's one way to look at it," he grinned. "But before we do that... Are we sure this isn't some sort of one-sided mirror situation?"

Jean: Her eyebrow twitched as she smirked. "I don't care if you don't." She wriggled against him.

Jamie: Jamie laughed nervously and looked around. "I mean... I don't care about them seeing me... But you? Maybe I want that just for me..."

Jean: Jean's smirk softened into a real smile and she raised up on tiptoe to kiss him. "That's fair, although you know I'm just yours."

Jamie: "Well, yeah... But I don't want them thinking that just because they saw you here means they can violate you out there." He gave her a soft smile, "I just want you safe, Jeannie."

Jean: "Okay." Jean played with the hair at the back of his head. "Whatever you want." She just watched him for a moment, then leaned in for another quick kiss.

Jamie: "Well, honestly, what I want is for us to not be in here, and that's not really working out for me, so maybe we should go with what you want instead?"

Jean: She laughed a little. "Yeaaah, so far wishing our way out isn't working." Jean frowned. "Oh shit, Breathless and the boys!"

Jamie: "Fuuuuck...." Jamie pinched the bridge of his nose. "Somebody will know we're gone and know to check on them... Right? Please tell me that red-headed stepchild didn't just murder our children?"

Jean: "I hope so..." Jean chewed her lower lip in worry, which turned to offense. "Heeeey, watch it. Someday some of your real children might be redheads."

Jamie: "I love your red hair and would love it even more to see it on one of our kids someday. His, however? Is not attractive." He kissed her nose. "I'm sorry if I hurt your feelings. I didn't even think about it because yours is so beautiful."

Jean: Jean permitted the nose kiss, amused by his apology. "I'm mostly kidding, but good! It is genetic, after all." She gave him another kiss, running her fingers through his dark hair.

Jamie: Jamie laughed, relieved that she wasn't too upset with him. "I hope they get your hair. Mine is kind of... Bleh." He twirled one of her curls around his finger and returned the kiss. "So, I know it's probably not the time to ask you to try this, buuut... Are you able to make bubbles?"

Jean: She nodded. "My hair, your eyes." Although she liked his hair too, mostly for being a little crazy. She watched him wind her hair around a finger and smiled into the kiss. Pulling back, she cocked her head. "Bubble? Um... what kind of bubble are we talking about because right now all I could do is spit."

Jamie: "Hah! Not sure a spit bubble would help us right now, babe. We're also adults and that stops being adorable at about eighteen months old." He shrugged one shoulder, "A bubble... Ya know, like... with alien tomatoes?"

Jean: "Yeah, I can. That's, like, teke 101." She mirrored his shrug. "Why? It's not going to help us right now."

Jamie: "Yeah, but if you can make a bubble, then you've not lost all of your powers, and maybe we can use that to our advantage."

Jean: "I can when I have my powers, which... I don't. Like, none of them..." She closed her eyes and tried to focus. "No link, no telepathy, no teke... no birb."

Jamie: Jamie's nose twitched again. "Well... Shit. I had hoped that if there was some sort of block they only set it to telepathy related stuff since apparently my duping is that... Kind of."

Jean: "It is so weird," she said quietly, eyes still closed as she poked around inside her own head. "I've been an empath since I was a kid. Everything else came later, kind of one by one... I've never been completely without it when I'm... myself. Like, not brainwashed by Trask."

Jean: Jean fought against her rising panic by clinging to him and burying her face against him. "I can't feel you. I can't feel anything."

Jamie: "So don't feel me. Hear me." He held her close and gently turned her head so her ear was pressed against his chest. "I'm here. Focus on that. This, whatever this is, is temporary. If there's anything I learned from my last time in a box, it's that. We'll be fine and we'll get out. Just wait."

Jean: She tried to relax, listening to the sound of his voice and the rumble in his chest. Eyes squeezed closed, she stopped trying to reach for her absent powers when tears leaked from under her lids. Jean could only hope he was right.

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