Because everyone asked for more. ::blushes:: Thank you.

TITLE: Doubts and Worries
FOLLOW-UP TO: Coming Home
AUTHOR: Scorpio
ARCHIVE: Want. Take. Have.
CATEGORY: Darkfic, angst, AU
RATING: R (for adult subjects and violence)
WARNING: Violence
DISCLAIMER: Marvel Comics and Stan Lee owns the X-Men and Raven Darkholme. Donny and Chrome belong to me.
SUMMARY: Emotions and events begin to shape the immediate future for Bobby and Remy without them even being aware of it.

Doubts and Worries
by Scorpio

Jean stood outside Bobby's bedroom door, a frown marring her elfin features. She didn't want to intrude on his privacy, but she was very worried. No one had seen hide nor hair of him for a little more than a week. Everyone that she had asked about it had not seen him and had merely assumed that he was resting, or quiet or ... something. No one had been willing to push too hard because it was obvious that something was bothering the young man. That he was ... hurting. So, everyone had merely given him the space that they assumed he wanted, or needed, to come to terms with whatever it was that had so disturbed him.

While that did make sense, Jean felt that someone at sometime should have run into him at least once. At breakfast, or lunch or in the library or something. But no one had.

So, here she was at his door, ready to help him face whatever burdens he felt were so heavy. With a sigh, she raised her hand and knocked gently. There was no answer to her summons, so she knocked again, louder. Still no answer. Sweeping the room beyond the door with her mind, she found nothing. Not even those impressive shields that she had encountered last week in the kitchen. Jean's frown deepened.

Checking the doorknob, she was almost surprised to find it unlocked even though Bobby had rarely locked his bedroom door when they were younger. Smoothly, it swung wide open on it's hinges, exposing the room beyond to the light in the hallway. Feeling a little bit guilty for trespassing where she had not been invited, Jean merely poked her head into the room.

"Bobby? Are you in here?"

There was no answer, but then again, she didn't really expect one. Instead, her eyes quickly adjusted to the dimmer light and it took a long moment for her brain to comprehend just what it was she was seeing. Bobby's bed was neatly made up, yet there were old and worn clothes strewn carelessly across it. Clothes that she knew Bobby had outgrown long ago. The dresser was also in unorganized chaos, with almost all of the drawers pulled out and then emptied.

Forgetting about privacy, Jean stepped fully into the room and strode over to the closet. It was in a similar state, as if someone had rummaged through it's contents quickly and methodically, removing some items and rejecting the rest just as easily. Taking in a deep breath, hoping that she didn't end up confirming her own suspicions, Jean dashed into the connected small bathroom. Instantly she noted that there was no toothbrush or toothpaste. So too was the bottle of shampoo and body wash missing.

It was painfully obvious that Bobby had packed up and left. Secretly. But when? And to where? Most importantly of all, why?

//Scott. You better come up here to Bobby's room. I need you to see something.//

Donald "Donny" Wilson sat at a low table in the back bedroom of his father's sprawling ranch house. His father, Marcus Wilson - a notorious underworld fence for stolen gems and jewels and his bodyguard-turned-lover Joey Mendoza, had turned the unused space into a sort of work area for Donny to pull apart and then piece back together his myriad electronics projects. While not as affluent and rich as some of the more infamous Guild Thieves that his father occasionally fenced for, the Wilson's enjoyed more than their fair share of wealth. For Donny, that translated into a private education at the hands of tutors, and access to even the most sophisticated of electronics; his current obsession.

At least, electronics had become his obsession once his latent mutant abilities began to manifest themselves in the past two years. His physical mutancy, a third eye in the middle of his forehead almost identical to the other two, was easy enough to hide from the public at large. Long bangs and an affinity for hats and headbands was all it took. But now that his extra mutant "sight" had kicked in, the world had suddenly become a more fascinating place.

Donny could now "see" energy. How it flowed and traveled, how it swirled into untapped pools, how it was emitted by all living beings. How electronics hummed and pulsed with it when hooked up to a power source.

Due to his learned shyness and almost timidity around people, Donny had focused all of his attention on electronics. He adored them and was forever pulling them apart and putting them back together again just to see how the "energy" flowed through their metal veins. Marcus Wilson and Joey Mendoza went to great lengths to encourage the shy and quiet young teenager. With few friends and no mother, they often worried about him so they found it a relief that he was so intent on learning all he could about the subject he had become so passionate about.

It was also due to his inability to tear himself away from his "workroom" that led him to being home alone that day while his father and his "Uncle" Joey were doing some business in the city with a thief associated with the Miami Thieves Guild. Donny was so involved with his project that he never noticed the house security system going down until it was far too late.

With a gasp of surprise, Donny looked up from his work to see three large and armed men storm into the room, masks on their faces and shiny FoH symbols stitched neatly on their kelvar armor.

Raven Darkholme glanced at the blurred and translucent reflection given to her by the shop-front pane of glass. A stylish and well groomed blonde woman in a smart, yet somewhat conservative, business suit stared back at her. She clutched at her purse a bit tighter and wondered for the hundredth time if this plan was worth the pain and suffering it would cause. While she didn't have any qualms with killing her enemies, poisoning a group of political radicals would most likely cause a backlash that would include a number of innocents. A few years ago, that might not have bothered her too much, but it did now. She had lost too many close friends in retaliation for crimes they had never committed for her to be so naive ever again.

A sudden shifting in the background color behind her dim watery reflection pulled her thoughts out of it's downward spiral and focused her on the here and now. The store that she had stopped in front of was a home appliance outlet and it held several televisions in the front window. The previous show had just given way to a news update relating to mutants and was showing a film clip from a battle that involved what looked to be members of the X-Men. Raven's frown deepened slightly.

"Sometimes I hate them so much that I want to scream. Sometimes I see them as shining heroes."

Startled, Raven turned her head sharply to see a tired looking middle-aged woman standing next to her and intently watching the muted televisions.       

"Who? The X-Men in specific? Or mutants in general?"

The woman paused, obvious in her reluctance to speak to a stranger about such a touchy topic, but just as obviously needing to express her opinions.

"Neither. Both, I suppose. I guess just those ... super powered mutant groups in general. It doesn't matter which one you pick. They all say the same things and they all get the same results. It doesn't matter which one you choose."

Raven considered this for a long moment. She had always been able to see the finer points of division between the various groups. In many ways, those differences of opinion were painful and uncrossable chasms, and in other ways, they were only tiny little things, easily overlooked in a glance. Curiosity made her wonder what this woman saw to make her think they were all alike.

"Why do you say that? There is a great difference between both method and motive with a lot of the various mutant groups."

The woman turned to face Raven and the metamorph saw a deep well of sorrow in her brown eyes. The woman hesitated a second, seeming to size Raven up as if for potential danger or derision.

"It boils down to one thing. They all say they are trying to make life better for mutants everywhere, right? Then why do they always leave after the big dramatic fights? Why don't they stay around to prevent the retribution that always falls on the head of those mutants that don't have the flashy warlike powers? Where were these supposed heroes when my daughter was beaten to death for being a mutant menace?"

Raven's eyes widened in slight shock and her heart went out to the woman. She was unsure what to say to comfort her, somehow doubting there was anything that would offer comfort at all.

"Do you want to know what her dangerous mutant power was that was so threatening to all of mankind that made her deserve to die so horribly?"

Mutely, Raven nodded her head, tears pooling unnoticed in her eyes.

"She could grow plants. Force grow them without need of a hothouse. Real dangerous, huh?"

Instantly, Raven's politically trained mind spotted something this woman and her daughter probably never had.

"Trained properly, her gift could most likely have provided food to a starving third world nation whose food resources are low. She could have been a hero to a bunch of people with no other option available to them."

The woman gasped slightly, obviously not expecting to find even a shred of support for the loss of a mutant daughter, let alone declaration of her potential to be someone important because of it. Then, the woman steeled her own spine visibly and the lines in her face hardened.

"Well, the world will never know how much good she could have done. She was murdered instead."

Then, she turned and walked away, leaving Raven alone with her thoughts and a purse with a vial of quick acting poison concealed within.

It hadn't taken long for Jean to gather everyone into the War Room for a meeting to discuss Bobby's disappearance. Once they were all settled in, she stood up and cleared her throat. All eyes swung her way.

"I called you all together because Bobby has ... well, he disappeared from the mansion. I'm not sure when exactly, but no one has seen him in over a week. Like myself, most of you probably thought that he was secluded due to some internal adjustment he was making to being back home after so long. It was pretty obvious that something was ... wrong."

With the exception of a derisive snort from Logan, everyone remained fairly quiet. It was finally Rogue that broke that silence.

"Ya'll mean ta say that ol' Bobby di'n't tell anyone about how he was leavin' ta go on a trip with Gambit?"

Everyone shook their heads in the negative to that, but only Warren expressed his distaste at Bobby's choice of traveling companion.

"Why Gambit? I mean, he's ... a traitor. Why would Bobby go off with him when he could have asked any one of us to go off if he needed to, I don't know, do whatever it is he's doing?"

Jean was about to remind Warren that Remy wasn't a traitor and also to say that she was unsure why Bobby would choose him since he and Gambit had never been close before when Logan beat her to the punch.

"Wings? Shut up about Remy. Neither you nor I have any right to say anything about having a past you'd rather bury away. As for why him, it does make a bit of sense when you think about what Bobby's been through in the other world. Gotta admit, if he'd have asked me to go away for a bit to help him sort out his head, I'd have gone just as fast as the Cajun did."

Jean's head snapped around to stare at Wolverine in a mix of confusion and worry. Absently she noticed that Scott and Hank were doing the same as she and both of them were broadcasting their desire to help Bobby loudly.

"What do you mean Logan? What exactly did Bobby go through. He wouldn't talk to me about it."

For a second, Logan blinked in mild shock and then a slight look of understanding crossed his face. He pulled out an unlit cigar from his pocket and shifted it around his fingers for a long moment while he thought something out. When he looked up, it was with a shrewd expression on his face, but he asked his own question instead of answering her's.

"Did he talk to anyone besides me and the Cajun about what the alternate universe he was trapped in was like?"

Once again, everyone shook their heads in the negative and Logan merely nodded and grunted.

"That makes sense, too."

Jean could feel her temper slipping and she was vaguely aware that everyone else was feeling the same way. It was Scott, however, that demanded the answers he sought.

"Wolverine, what exactly did he tell you. Why wouldn't he think he could come to the rest of us?"

For a long moment, Logan didn't say anything and Jean thought that he might just keep it all to himself, but then he scowled and glared at Scott.

"That world your precious Bobby was stuck on was in the middle of World War III Cyke. Mutants against flatscans. And Bobby was a warrior for the mutants. One that killed. There isn't anything that you, or anyone else here, could say to him to help ease that burden because none of you have ever carried it. That's why he didn't think he could go to any of you."

Oddly enough, it was Ororo who scoffed at the very idea.

"Surely you are mistaken, or grossly over dramatizing things, my dear Wolverine. Robert is a sweet tempered and innocent boy. He would never..."

Logan cut her off with a glare and a growl.

"Once upon a time, so was I. Hard ta imagine me as a boy, I know, but there ya go, darlin'. I have had blood on my hands since before Chuck was born, but that doesn't mean I was born killin'. I learned how ta kill 'cause I had no other choice."

And suddenly, Jean had the image of Bobby in the midst of a life or death battle where it was kill or be killed blossom into her mind. She felt the blood drain from her face and she swayed slightly. Reaching behind her, she grabbed onto her chair and sat down heavily in it.

Donny's head was throbbing painfully and his stomach rolled over in his body creating a wave of nausea as he slid foggily into awareness once again. A pitiful moan sounded hollowly in his ears and he vaguely recognized it as coming from his own mouth.

"Oh look. It's waking up. Finally."

The other voice sounded as if it were coming from down a long tunnel, full of odd echoes and ringing tones. It was deep, male, sarcastic and completely distorted. Painfully, he shifted slightly and tried to open his eyes. All three of them. It was futile, he was blindfolded.

"You gave it too much chloroform, idiot. It should have woken up long before now."

"How am I supposed to know how these things react to stuff. Everyone knows that mutant's are weird around drugs and alcohol."

Donny moaned again as a spike of pain raced through his skull. At 14 years old, he'd never actually had more than a few sips of his father's wine at dinner, but he suddenly was sure that he was suffering from a world class hangover from whatever those men had given him. That thought began to trigger his memory of what had happened. Of sitting in his workroom when several FoH goons had shown up. Of his panicked dash across the room to try and hide in the bathroom. Of being grabbed from behind before he could make it to safety and of having a sickeningly sweet scented cloth pressed to his face. Of a sudden dizziness becoming blackness that only now was ending.

"Well, once it's fully awake then Doc can get a good look at it. He'll be able to figure out a way to keep the mutie pliable but still useful to our cause."

"Doc better do it. The boss ain't gonna be too happy if this don't work."

Not fully awake yet, but knowing that he was in some sort of trouble, Donny couldn't help being just a tiny bit belligerent. If he had been completely with it, he most likely would have been too frightened to say anything, but his pounding head and his upset stomach was making him churlish.

"Wha'cha do t' me? Why ya grab me?"

His words were badly slurred from the drug, but apparently he'd been understood because a cruel chuckle sounded off to Donny's right. Even with his three eyes blindfolded, he automatically turned his head to track the sound.

"It's simple mutie. You're gonna use that power to spot hidden mutants so that we can find them and thin the herd. Your service to humanity will be much appreciated by all."

Icy fear shivered down Donny's spine and he suddenly wished that he was still unconscious.

Raven had thought long and hard about what that woman had said. She had thought long and hard about her mission and other missions she had gone on over the years. She had also allowed herself to think of the consequences of those missions. The consequences that she herself had never had to face, but that other's had. Other's like that woman's daughter.

She thought about where she might be now if her particular mutancy hadn't made her such an excellent and useful spy. If no one had bothered to train her how to fight, to adapt, to survive. The answer was simple. She'd either be hiding in plain sight, too frightened to let anyone know of her secret or she'd be dead, beaten to death by some genetic bigots. However, she could fight and she could survive so she did. But did her fighting make it easier or harder for those mutants who couldn't?

A tiny voice deep inside her whispered that she had inadvertently made things harder for those who couldn't fight for themselves. And that was just too much pain and guilt for her to accept.

So she ran.

Tossing the plan away, she had slipped into a public restroom and changed her image once more. The sleek blonde business woman was replaced by an older dark haired woman with a sagging jawline. Then, she'd taken a cab to the nearest airport and caught the first plane to anywhere. Anywhere but there. And her targets went on living with no idea of how close to death they had come.

Jean leaned up against the doorframe and watched as Logan silently packed his bags.

"I still think this is a bad idea. Someone else should go with you."

He didn't even turn to look at her.

"No, Jeannie. We talked about this already."

Jean sighed and nodded her head slightly.

"I think you're wrong. If what you said is true, then Bobby needs to confront us with it. Confront it himself. Running away from us and what happened won't change anything and it won't help him adjust."

Logan paused for a long moment and turned his head to stare at her. So many things swirled in his dark eyes. Things she never could, and probably never would, understand.

"You're right. Drake does need ta sit down and face what happened. But it ain't gonna help if you and Cyke push him into a corner. He needs ta come back here and do it himself. That ain't gonna happen unless he feels like he's got someone in his corner."

Jean bristled at the thought that Bobby would feel trapped or cornered by her or Scott in any way. She glowered at him and pushed off of the door frame to tell him so when he suddenly brought her up short.

"After all, look what happened with Gumbo."

Jean sputtered for a moment.

"That's completely different!"

Logan nodded slowly, his eyes shrewd.

"Yep. It is. The Cajun was tricked into leadin' a bunch a killers into a battle he didn't know was gonna happen and Rogue about killed him for it. Bobby, on the other hand, was a willin' and active soldier in a war that killed billions a innocent people."

Jean felt the blood drain from her face once again and her breath caught in her throat. Billions? She shivered at the mere idea.

"But Logan, Bobby should know better than to carry around guilt for what other's did in that war."

Logan grabbed up his bag and hefted it over his shoulder. He strode towards Jean and the door, but paused right before he passed her. Looking over at her, his stoic face flickered a brief flash of emotion.

"I never said he was carrying anyone else's guilt."

And then he was gone, leaving Jean to stagger under the weight of what he'd implied about the young man that she couldn't help but picture as a young boy in her mind.

Marcus Wilson was furious. Someone had dared to break into his home and kidnap his only child, Donny. The work was very professional, that much he could tell. They'd bypassed his security system with what seemed to be relative ease and then taken nothing but his child. No note, no ransom demands. Nothing. Normally paranoid of the police because of his line of work, Marcus stared at the phone in desperate uncertainty over whether he should call them and report Donny's abduction or not.

"Marc! Come in here and see this. I found something in Donny's workroom!"

Snapped instantly out of his thoughts, Marcus turned and strode from the room at the sound of his lover's summons. His long strides quickly brought him to the back of their home and to the small room that he and Joey had turned into a pseudo workshop for Donny and his electronics obsession. There, he found the broad muscular dark haired man fiddling around with the most recent project that Donny had been working on. Some form of recording device.

Joey flipped a switch and a red blinking light on the black metal box went out and another lit up green. A whir of sound and then the computer monitor on the far side of the table began to play back moving images that appeared to be in the form of heat signatures as if filmed in infrared. What's more, there was also a sound recording as well. Intently, he and Joey watched the odd video and listened to the kidnappers as they grabbed Donny, drugged him unconscious and discussed their plans for him in the name of the FoH. They also mentioned their destination. Utah.

For a long moment, Marcus just stared at the screen after it went blank again, his devious mind working over time. Then, without a word, he turned and stormed out of the room and back to the phone. This time he didn't hesitate to pick it up and dial. However, it wasn't the police he was calling.

"Hello? This is Marcus Wilson and I'd like to speak with Jean-Luc LeBeau, please."

While Dallas was a big city, it wasn't what Raven had in mind. She had a vague notion of getting to the coast and starting a new life. She wasn't sure why she wanted to go there, but she did. But for now, Dallas would do. She was full from her dinner at a local restaurant and all she wanted was to get back to her hotel and get some sleep. She still had quite a way to travel and she needed her rest.

Walking around the building to the parking lot on the far corner so that she could get to her rental car, Raven passed by a darkened alley. Years of training and paranoia made her glance into it even though she didn't expect to see anything out of the ordinary. And she didn't, if you didn't count the fact that the homeless woman digging through the dumpster appeared to be made out of metal.

Stopping instantly, Raven did a classic double take as her head snapped back around. The woman, little more than a girl actually, was shiny and metallic looking where she wasn't covered in dirty clothes that were far too big for her. She was also painfully thin and scruffy looking.

Moving slowly and calmly with her hands held out to her sides to prove they were empty, Raven stepped into the alley. Her shoes crunching on the pavement made the metal girl cringe back and whip her head around to stare at Raven in obvious fear. She began to edge away into the shadows.

"I'm s.sorry. I.I'll go ... j.just don't ... don't h.hurt m.me. P.p.lease."

Raven smiled softly at the girl, her heart squeezing inside of her chest at the sight of her hopeless expression and malnourished frame swimming in oversized clothing.

"I won't hurt you child. Don't be afraid of me, after all, why would I want to hurt you?"

Confusion flickered across the girl's metallic face briefly.

"I.I'm a m.mu.mutant."

Raven's smile deepened even as she felt her eyes water up at the sad confession.

"So am I."

And then Raven let go of her power and shifted her appearance, letting the tingle wash over her skin with a feeling of pleasure as she took her own true form. Brilliantly vibrant red hair cascaded down around bright blue textured skin and glowing yellow eyes.

The metallic girl stared in stunned fascination, her own eyes wide in a mix of fear and delight.

"My name is Raven, but they call me Mystique."

The girl smiled shyly at her then and pointed one finger at her own chest.

"I.I'm Lydia, b.but they c.c.call me Chrome."

Logan tried to get comfortable for the flight. It wasn't easy. He hated airports and he hated flying in commercial airplanes. First, it was a pain in the ass to avoid the metal detectors, but his skills in covert ops made it possible as long as he avoided the spot checks with the portable wands as well. Metal detectors tended to go nuts whenever he was around them. Secondly, the commercial flights always seemed cramped, noisy and they took forever. He was, admittedly, spoiled to the luxury of the Blackbird. However, he didn't trust his teammates to drop him off at his destination and then to leave again. So, here he was flying United.

As annoying as this flight was, he was sure that his frustration level would soon rise even more. Cerebro was able to determine that Bobby was in Los Vegas, but that was as much detail as the professor could get. Most likely because Gambit was shielding them. And if that was the case, Logan knew that he couldn't just go looking for their names, either. The Cajun wasn't one to be found easily if he didn't want to be and only God knew how many alias the thief had. So, Logan's plan was to go to the most likely places to hunt down their scent and question folks who might recognize their pictures.

And once he found them, he'd try and knock some sense into their thick skulls. 

END: Doubts and Worries

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