January 9th, 2005

JM: Young tilted head closeup

Mutant X: Blues (B/J) - 7: Damn cold night

Previous chapter

~The Remington Club, DC.~

I'm standing on a bridge
I'm waitin’ in the dark
I thought that you'd be here by now…

Friday night at Remington’s… a night of drinks and music for the love children of the capital… what Jesse was doing here he couldn’t say. Muddled memories of the one time he’d been here so long ago… so easy to lose oneself at Remington’s.
Flashes of white, turning red… dizzy mauve and white again. Every blink of far-reaching lustrous lashes… witness to the world and its contents shedding skin faster than ever. Blurry shapes and clinging forms bleeding out and into each other… his universe swirling out of control… drunk on the bittersweet nectar of love’s pain.

There's nothing but the rain
No footsteps on the ground
I'm listening but there's no sound…

Jesse wandered drunkenly, silently among the club patrons… not really wanting to be here or out there… or anywhere. In that moment… not wanting to *be*. At all. So many memories to kill…

Escaping Insomnia, Jesse had run harder than he could remember… he never ran so hard when Shalimar goaded him into mindless races across empty corridors of the Sanctuary. Exhausted and disappointingly sober, stepped into the first familiar place he spotted. Ordered a drink and waited patiently for the bliss to settle, drown out the cold. Or knock him out, whatever. Not too picky tonight.

The party wore on… men professing love for each other in ways more reality TV than personal. An exhibitionist Jesse was not, he only desired to be acknowledged as a *living* entity occasionally… one with feelings… now and then. Okay so maybe it was a little too much to ask but hey, a freak can dream.

~Don’t be ridiculous.~

That’s what they said… every fucking time. Don’t be ridiculous. The very concept of being remotely associated with a Jesse Kilmartin was downright *ridiculous*. Noah refused to be seen with his wife and son and maybe… just maybe he had legitimate reasons… being a double agent with an international bounty on his head and all… still hurt a child of nine though. Which is just… ridiculous.

Jesse had given up on any expectations of goodwill from his *granddad* a long time ago… why then did fate after all these years shove him right back into the man’s face who so completely loathed him? Years of self-reconciliation, Adam’s counselling… all undone in a matter of seconds.
“Was that supposed to be funny?”
He yelled at no one. People turned around for a moment, then looked away.
No. Just plain ridiculous.

And Brennan prejudiced? No. Of course not.
Fucking coward that’s all. And an asshole.
But see really it wasn’t his fault. The only one to blame here is Jesse himself because he refuses to learn his lesson! Every time he forgets and every time he builds these great big castles of hope and expectation when deep inside he knows… he *knows* they’re bound to fall. That he doesn’t deserve any of it. He is worthless, insubstantial, ordinary at best.
So *obviously*… Brennan isn’t to blame. Maybe Adam is… why did he let Jesse believe anything otherwise? Why did he tell him he was beautiful and valuable? No one else seemed to think so…

“Bastards. Both of them. All of them!”
No one turned around this time.

Isn't anyone tryin’ to find me?
Won't somebody come take me home?

Jesse downed another neat… hands shaking, cool liquid trickling down his lips to sleek neck and inside the dainty collar of his… stupid shirt.

A warm… soft touch on the juncture where his neck met his shoulder, gave Jesse something to focus on. Weakly inspired him to swim out of darkness, and follow the journey of an elegant index finger from his wet skin to lips of another. Lush, soft, smiling lips.

“Ryan, Jack Ryan.”
Jesse almost laughed.
~Bond, James Bond.~
Only he didn’t. Last names weren’t very common in places like these… but something in the blue eyes studying him so intently assured him it wasn’t fake. Jesse took the hand offered and shook it with sparing enthusiasm.

“Kilmartin. Jesse.”
The stranger was quite the charmer, smooth clean-cut looks in that perfectly groomed manner inherent to people with good taste and healthy bank accounts. He stood invading Jesse’s personal space and a part of Jesse was somehow grateful for that… rest of him too tired to insist otherwise.
“Rough night?”
Jesse wanted to roll his eyes.
“In a manner of speaking.”
“You could use some good company.”
“Great idea. I’ll go find some.”
And Jesse moved to get off the bar stool. This had gone far enough. He was never the pick-me-up sort of person and did not intend to start now. His body however chose this very opportune moment to… jeez this is embarrassing… buckle under. The strong arms that held him up did not belong to Brennan.
“I got you… its okay.”

Voice gentle and surprisingly reassuring. Jesse believed it, let his entire weight fall into the stranger’s arms, his head listless on a shoulder clad in expensive maroon silk. He couldn’t help but laugh at his pathetic-ness. So much for the smart-ass exit.
Jack led Jesse away from the bar and let him flop onto… déjà vu… a leather couch. He knelt in front of the boy still holding him by his hips. Jesse continued to laugh another minute until he realised the man was very keenly looking at him, amused smile playing across his lips. And a beautiful smile it was.

Ryan was smitten. The boy had caught his eye the moment he’d walked in from God knows where and headed straight to the bar. He seemed hell-bent on keeling over, and was getting there fast.
~Can’t have that now can we…~
Something about him… almost vulnerable and yet not… Jack decided he would be peeling off the layers soon enough and possessing the understated beauty beneath… before the night was over. And he would do it with the boy conscious and screaming… loving every moment of it.

Ryan quickly ditched his friends, reaching Jesse just in time to finger off vodka droplets from the pale neck, its veins throbbing with deliberate intent to torture his soul. He was as tall and wide as Brennan… maybe more, even with him kneeling as Jesse lay slumped on the sofa… he was at eye level with the boy. And leaning closer…
Jesse felt the warm grip of hands on his arms, mint and clover breath of a handsome stranger with hypnotic eyes… felt himself falling.

It’s a damn cold night
Trying to figure out this life…

“Let’s try this again shall we?”
Riveted. Jesse nodded, automatically.
“Hi, I’m Jack. It’s a pleasure to meet you, Jesse.”

Wont you… take me by the hand
take me somewhere new,
I don't know who you are
but I'm, I'm with you…


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JM: Young tilted head closeup

Mutant X: Blues (B/J) - 8: So much guilt

Previous chapter

~Club Insomnia, DC.~

Brennan couldn’t breathe. The world, the club, the gang of friends… he heard nothing saw nothing.
~Shit. Shit. Shit.~
What the fuck had he done? High became low. Inebriated to sober in a second, but a second too late. One last glimpse of Jesse’s retreating back and the truth of what he’d done pummelled into his chest full-force, tearing his heart out. Felt the ground give beneath his feet.

The guys were still reeling on about some girl Brennan had not a clue about.
“Man you shoulda seen the look on her face she just…”
“Hey sparky!”
“Earth to Brennan! Hello?!”
Brennan turned dumbly to the source of the sound of his name.
“Man you okay?”
The man just stood cold and unbreathing as stone…
Then he ran…
Hard as he could… didn’t stop to look behind. Not even at the cries of his brother from the streets.

So much guilt… so much pain…

you say that I am too.
So much of what you say is true.
I'll never find someone quite like you, again
I'll never find someone quite like you, like you

*** Flashback: Phoenix, Arizona, two years ago… ***

The boy was barely eighteen, Brennan noticed. Shook his head in resigned admiration as he saw him clench his fists instead of walking away.
Davison and Mickey were not through harassing the newcomer to Devil’s Workshop, who was looking for some guy named Anthony. Nope, no Anthony here. Only a bunch of drunk homophobic hustlers with no other source of amusement on their hands.
~ Bad move kid.~
Brennan strolled over and pushed Davison out on some useless errand. Mickey would not be so easy.

“Back off Mickey, he’s just a kid.”
“He’s a damn faggot lookin’ for his *daddy*. This bar is off limits for the likes of you kid.”

The boy would not back down… Brennan knew it was useless reasoning with Mickey. So he turned to the strange boy intending to send him off fast as possible. He wanted to say something, anything to make the boy understand it wasn’t safe for him here. Instead he found himself looking into such intense green eyes he couldn’t say a word. So the boy did.
“I gotta find Tony man. Its important, guys down the street saw him comin’ in here last night. Just wanna check that out man.”
Did an eternity pass? Brennan could have sworn it did. The boy was a scruffy little thing, sharp malnourished angles all over… not what you’d call good looking in the conventional sense at all. And yet… damn those eyes.
“6’4”. Brunette, devil dog tattoo on right arm? Yo… dude you okay?”

Mickey started spouting obscenities again and the spell broke. Others pulled Mickey away and Brennan turned back to the boy, shaking his head. Both in apology and to indicate he hadn’t see this Tony guy.
“Get outta here man.”
The boy seemed to understand and relented, his features softening… almost not, but Brennan noticed. He glared at Mickey once more then walked away. At the door he turned… and Brennan to his own shock realised he’d still been watching. He nodded once, and the boy left.
But not before he smiled.
Brennan turned around, shoved Mickey with all his might and rage he couldn’t explain himself.

“Quit being a fucking jerk!”
Mickey staggered two feet back and bellowed, ready for a fight. Korso broke them up, led his favorite mutant aside for a drink.
“Don’t let him get to ya man.”
Too late. Brennan never much liked Mickey. But he was part of Korso’s gang… a stupid, immature punk Korso was puzzlingly fond of. Brennan hated him so much.

Brennan shook his head, gritted his teeth. And Korso guessed what exactly was bothering Brennan.
“This isn’t about the gay kid is it?”
The elemental did not reply.
“Listen Brennan, all I know is, people are a scared lot. Shitless. They find strength in numbers so they grab at whatever they can to stick together. You’re smart, hell you went to school… you know stuff don’t you? Some… group dynamics and shit?”
Brennan snorted, Korso continued.
“It’s good in a way, you watch out for your own… and sometimes it means keeping outsiders where they belong… outside. You get what I’m saying?”

Brennan wasn’t liking this discussion. He made to get up and leave, but Korso wouldn’t let him.
“Brennan, don’t make this personal. You know I love ya like a brother, and I don’t care that you’re different. You know that don’t you?”
He knew.

So the arrangement wasn’t entirely platonic. Korso did not want him for his jovial nature or his sense of humor. Korso wanted him for the power of seamless de-activations of security alarms and ridiculously simple con jobs. Brennan knew how valuable his *skills* were to Korso’s business. He also knew what loneliness felt like… and he was grateful. He stared silently at the drink placed before him. Something about the way the kid had looked at him… eyes that said so much and yet nothing at all… Brennan suspected he’d never seen eyes like those ever before.

“Remember this sparky”, Korso gave up on the hope of any sort of dialogue with the man right then. He got up, thumping Brennan on his back.
“Learn to stay with the family Mulwray, stay *in*. Out there wont do none of us no good. Okay Brenboy?”
He left.

More gritting. Fine. It sure got cold and lonely out there on the streets. If hiding his mutancy kept him in, so be it. He felt no pressing desire to be *different*. No urgent need to be true… even to himself.
That need would not surface for another year… till the moment he would set eyes on the blonde who saved him, not just from Eckhart, but also from a purpose-less life of crime and deception on streets of oblivion.

So many memories… so much guilt…

***** (end flashback)

“Brennan what’s…?” Korso began, but was interrupted by Davison.
“Let him go Kors…”
They all turned from Brennan’s flying figure to look at him. Davison shrugged.
“You guys owe me a hundred bucks each.”
“From two years ago!”
Smirked. Much to the consternation of his partners in crime.

I, I looked into your eyes and saw…
A world that does not exist,
I looked into your eyes and saw…
A world I wish I was in!

Brennan stood outside the Insomnia, three directions gaping back at him blankly. Within a minute Jesse was gone, no doubt having phased through unnecessary doors and obstructions, Brennan trembled with guilt and rage.
~Breathe. Just breathe.~

He tried the comlink.
“Jesse I’m sorry! I’m standing outside the club, please come back.”
“Jess we should talk about this. Those guys were… they wont understand… Jess please? Jesse?”
Brennan couldn’t will himself to breathe again.


Emma turned away from the operatic amazement in front right in time to catch Shalimar and Adam engaged in liplock, totally ignorant of Blanche’s aria. When the lights came on during the interval, they jerked apart not soon enough and were greeted with a knowing look. Emma seemed to know everything these days.

“Anyone for some fresh air?”
Emma smiled discreetly and stepped out alone, leaving the couple to their privacy. There was more than rain on the wind tonight. Instincts caused her to find a secluded spot and raise her right hand to hide her lips.
“Brennan what’s wrong?”
“What. Is. Wrong?” her voice sharp, reprimanding.
“I… I panicked. I fucked up. I’m such a bastard, fuck this is all my fault.”
“Calm down. Where’s Jesse?”
Silence. A gasp reined in.
“Em help me find him please. Before its too late.”
She tried contacting Jesse but he was either ignoring everyone or had taken his ring off. Nothing short could be expected of a heartbroken runaway.
“Go to the hotel, maybe he’ll come back there.”
“You know he wont… not tonight. I made a big mistake Em. Big fucking stupid mistake. Please… please help me.”
Emma’s eyes glazed over again. Closed them and concentrated on her missing team mate. Adam had no idea how much her powers had grown, she doubted she did herself.

~Jesse… where are you?~

I'll never find someone quite as touched
As you.
I'll never love someone quite the way that I
Loved you…


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