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The Loss
Chapter 9

disclaimer:  see chapter 1

Francis told his grandmother what had happened to him.  She sat listening to him, in shock and horror.  "But you are ok, right?"


"Yeah, I'm ok.  Just something I need to get used to, I guess.  Just part of..."  His eyes suddenly widened, and his skin paled.  His grandmother grew concerned as she watched him struggle for breath.


"What is it?  What's wrong?"  She reached for him, sensing his terror.  "Franky?"


He swallowed hard.  "I don't know.  I just feel...funny.  Like I got hit in...the stomach."  His eyes narrowed slightly.  "I gotta go find out what's happening.  My Dad should have been back by now."  He spun and ran from the room, leaving his concerned grandmother behind.



Jean pulled herself out of the water, and looked around in shock.  Scott lie face down before her, moaning and writhing.  Storm and Rogue had been knocked from their feet as well.  She looked around at the burning dock, noticing that half of it had been blown away.  The water was burning as well.  She ran as far as she could, calling for her team mate.  "LOGAN!!  WHERE ARE YOU?!  CAN YOU HEAR ME?!"  There was only silence.  She stood still, and reached out with her mind, trying to find him, trying to reach him.  Again, silence.  She could not find him.


By this time, Scott was on his feet, and staggering to stand next to her.  "Oh, Jesus.  Where is he?"  He scanned the water for any sign.  He saw only debris from the dock and one destroyed boat.  No bodies, no sign of life.  "Jean, can you sense him?"


Jean's tears flowed freely down her cheeks.  "No.  I can't feel anything.  He's gone."  She collapsed to her knees.  "Charles can't find him either.  Oh God, he's gone."


Scott knelt beside her, holding her.  "We have to keep looking."


"I should be able to pick up something.  I can't.  He's gone."  She sobbed heavily, as Scott comforted her, still scanning the water.



Francis paced outside Cerebro.  He breathed heavily, feeling suffocated.  He ran to the door and banged on it.  "Open the door!  What's going on?!"  He struggled for breath, and felt as if he would pass out.  "Open this door!!  Where's my Dad?"


The door slowly opened, and a visibly shaken Xavier rolled out.  Francis charged at him.  "Where's my Dad?  Tell me what's going on!"


Maggie made her way painfully to where Francis was assaulting the professor.  She grabbed him and pulled him away.  He struggled with each breath, his lips turning blue.  "Oh God!  Franky, settle down!  Everything is ok, they probably stopped off for a beer on the way home, that's all."  She looked at Xavier, and saw the sadness in his eyes.  "Everything is ok, isn't it?  Tell him it's ok!"


The man in the wheel chair could find no words, he merely lowered his head.  Francis bolted from his grandmothers grasp, and grabbed the man by the shoulders.  "WHAT IS GOING ON?"


Xavier just looked into the boy's eyes, and said nothing.  Francis exploded.  "NO!  THAT'S NOT TRUE!  HE'S HURT!  YOU HAVE TO FIND HIM!  YOU HAVE TO HELP HIM!"


Finally Charles spoke, softly, gently.  "They are looking for him, but..."  He paused to compose himself.  "There was an explosion.  Both he and Sabertooth are missing.  They were in the middle of it."  He looked up into Francis' eyes.  "I don't know if he survived.  I cannot locate either of them."


Francis tensed.  "No.  You're lying!  He's hurt.  You have to find him.  I know he's hurt.  I know he's alive.  You have to find him."


"Even if he was unconscious, I should be able to pick up something.  I cannot sense him at all.  But they are looking for him and will find him, son."


"DON'T CALL ME THAT!!"  Francis turned and ran back down the hallway.  Maggie wept into her hands.


"What happened?  An explosion?  Oh, God.  Franky."



Scott and Jean searched the shoreline, and Storm and Rogue scanned the water, using all their senses and an infrared scanner from the van.  They found no signs of life, no signs of bodies.


Scott was frustrated.  "We need to search the water.  We need to dive to see if we can find them.  Maybe they got tangled up in something."


Jean was frustrated as well, and deeply depressed.  "We can't do that now.  The authorities are coming.  We need to get out of here before they find us."


Rogue and Storm approached, and Rogue was carrying something.  It was a rag of clothing, what was left of Logan's shirt.  "This was all we could find."


They stood for a moment longer, quietly, deep in their thoughts.  From the distance, they heard the approach of sirens, and they all knew it was time for them to leave. 



A strange silence swept through the school.  Word had spread as to what had happened.  Everyone kept to their rooms, comforting each other over the loss of a friend.  The team members sat in Xavier's office, sad, dejected, at a loss what to do.


Scott tapped the table in front of him.  "We need to go back and search the water.  They have to be there.  They can't have just disappeared."


"The explosion is being investigated right now.  The police seem to think it was arson, vandalism, that some teens were responsible.  They are not searching the water.  They seem satisfied that someone spilled the gasoline and ignited it."  Xavier had been monitoring the police radio.


"So when they leave, I can go back and dive."


"Yes.  There will be a short window of opportunity before dawn."


Jean and Storm sat stunned, and Rogue stood by the window.  She turned to look at Maggie, seated at her side.  "Where is Francis?  Does he know?"


"He is in Logan's room.  He's very upset.  He won't talk to anyone."  Maggie had run out of tears.  "This can't be happening.  Not now.  He's been through so much.  I can't believe this is happening.  What are we going to do?"


Rogue placed her gloved hand on Maggie's shoulder.  "We have to be there for him."  She returned her attention to the window, and wept as well.



Francis sat on Logan's bed, rocking gently.  His mind raced and he felt very ill.  He looked up when the door opened, and Toni peeked her head in.  He continued his rocking as she slowly walked toward him.


"I heard what happened.  Are you ok?  Is there anything I can do?"  She sat on the bed, and waited for a reply.


Francis increased his rocking.  "They won't listen to me.  My dad is hurt and needs help.  But they just left him out there, alone.  He needs help."


"They said they looked for him, and couldn't find him."


"They didn't look hard enough.  I know where he is.  I know he's just hurt and alone."


Toni placed her hand on Francis' shoulder.  "How do you know where he is?"


Francis pulled away from her.  "I just do.  I can feel him.  He's calling for help and they just won't listen."  He sprang from the bed and ran to the door.  "I'm gonna go help him."


Toni followed behind.  "You can feel him?  How?"


Francis said nothing, and continued through the mansion to the garage, where he took the keys to one of the small dirt bikes parked there.  He climbed on and started the engine.  Without saying a word, Toni climbed on behind him, and held on.


Francis nodded, and sped out of the garage, down the lane, and toward his waiting father.


Chapter 10

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