DISCLAIMER: Any character you recognize is the property of Marvel Comics and is used without permission for entertainment purposes only.

Warning: This story may deal with adult issues, so be forewarned.

While I attempt to shy away from overly graphic descriptions, this section may allude to adult themes, so be forewarned.

Many thanks go to Luba Kmetyk, who is graciously allowing me to use a slice of Dom's history she created in Close Encounters of the Lethal Kind, an absolutly enthralling Pete Wisdom/Kitty Pryde/lots of other folks piece. It's archived, so check it out!

Just Lucky, I Guess


DuAnn Cowart


The evening had been an unqualified success. She'd picked the restaurant, and had been pleasantly surprised when he hadn't even balked at having to dress up. The food was excellent, service impeccable, and each had enjoyed the other's company immensely. Conversation and laughter flowed, but both studiously avoided the single topic foremost in their minds.

After the server took away their plates, they lapsed into a comfortable silence. She sipped her coffee, and he stole glances at her. He shook his head. 'Enough with this. Trying to replace Terry is what got me into all this trouble in the first place, and I'm tired of it. Last chance, Jimmy. If this doesn't work, no more- you'll leave her alone- leave it alone.' He cleared his throat. "I guess you'd like to know what happened."

Caught unaware, she widened her eyes, but quickly regained her composure. In a quiet voice she replied "Jimmy- it doesna' matter. All that counts is that ye're back wi' us now."

"Am I?" he replied, looking directly into her eyes "Am I with *you* now?"

She took a deep breath. 'This is it, Terry girl...if ye don' mean it, don' say it...He doesnae need any more hurt in his life.' She looked again at him, so stoically stone faced, prepared for the worst- only his eyes betrayed the turmoil she knew he was feeling. The expression looked oddly familiar, and she cast around in her memory until she found it. Swallowing, she realized where she'd seen that look so many times before. He had worn that exact expression of frightened adoration when he had taken care of her during the worst of her drinking. She closed her eyes and nodded.

She took his hand and whispered "Aye, I think ye are at that- that is, if ye want to be."

James sat quietly "Say that again," he whispered. "I don't think I heard you right."

She smiled a slow, seductive grin, caressing his hand lightly. "Of course ye did, now come on and let's go. There's better things to be doin' than sittin' here twiddlin' our thumbs." She winked playfully at him, and his mouth parted in sudden comprehension.

Swallowing hard, he gulped "Waiter! Check please," almost tipping the heavy oak table over in his rush to get up.

He debated confronting her that night, but decided against it. She was difficult enough to deal with when he wasn't exhausted and angry, and he wanted to be in full command of all his faculties when he finally got the nerve to bring it up. Besides, he freely admitted to himself, he was stalling. After a quick shower, he fell into bed, this time to welcoming covers and warm sleep.

She woke up during the night, face streaming tears. 'What's the matter with me?' she wondered, angrily brushing away tears. She felt strange, almost dirty, but was too tired to worry about it. Probably just a bad dream. 'Knock it off, Dom, go to sleep. As nice as this little vacation was, there's a session at nine, and you need the sleep.' She closed her eyes and resumed her slumber, unwittingly continuing the same dream.

She opened her eyes groggily, blinking against the haze of pain and tranquilizing drugs. She hung limply from a cold dank wall, arms and legs pinioned tightly to the mildewed concrete. She swallowed, and felt the cold metal pressed against her throat. 'Damn,' she whispered, 'inhibitor collar.' Few knew for a fact that she was indeed a mutant, but it seemed that these particular goons weren't willing to take the chance. 'Smart,' she conceded grudgingly. She knew if they hadn't forced the collar on her, she wouldn't still be here. Here, she thought with some difficulty, must be a Genoshan prison. Her last memory before she awakened just a moment ago was of dodging sprays of Magistrates' bullets, covering the escape of the gene-positive families she and her team had been hired to protect. Other, darker memories threatened to break through, but she shook her head- 'I'll deal with that when I have to. One crisis at a time, Dom,'

She managed to lift her head and take a good look at herself and her surroundings. She didn't know how long she'd been trapped here in this filthy holding cell, but the ache in her arms and legs told her that she'd been hanging here at least a day.

She glanced down at herself. Her body armor had been thoroughly divested of all its hidden weapons, and as a result had huge rips and tears, rendering it useless for protection or cover. She had hideous cuts and bruises all over her body, albino skin showing colors of mottled purple and green clearly through the holes in her uniform. She noticed that some of the worst bruises and even some bites were localized around her breasts and lower abdomen. She gagged, vomiting nothing from a long-empty stomach. 'Pigs,' she snarled, 'they're all dead- everyone of them-they just don't know it-' She spat weakly, then lowered her head again, conserving her strength until she'd need it.

About an hour later, through the fog of pain, she heard the door open. She growled "Come any closer and I'll kill you."

A thin, dark-haired man she'd never seen before carefully checked the room, then entered the doorway. Wincing at her appearance, he crossed the room rapidly. "Come on, now, luv, that's no way to talk to yer rescuer." His voice was rough but soothing, with a strong British accent. She tried to place him among her English contacts, but couldn't. He removed a leather bag from a pocket of the dark trenchcoat he wore, removing a set of tools from the kit. He began working on her shackles, taking great care not to hurt her as he skillfully manuvered the tiny picks.

"Who are you? Did Nathan send you?" Her voice was low and strained, and the man straightened and looked at her.

"Sorry, don't know who you're talkin' about. My name is Pete Wisdom, and now shut up and let me get you outta here."

She woke up again, face dry but head aching. 'Damn, it's been a long time since I've had that one...' She had a vast repetoire of nightmares from those days, but had been blessedly free of them for several months. She stretched, body aching with phantom bruises from the dream, and lay back down. She knew from experience that there'd be no more sleep that night. Sighing, she got out of bed and grabbed her robe, heading down to the kitchen to get something to drink.

He sat alone at the kitchen table, sipping the drink he'd prepared. He'd had a nightmare, very dark and vague, but disturbing enough to wake him up from an otherwise wonderful and much needed sleep. He had decided a small drink was in order, and trudged down to the kitchen for a glass.

She strode blindly into the room, arms stretched in a huge yawn. He blinked in surprise, then sat his glass down. 'What is, is,' he told himself 'Deal with it.'

He spoke before she saw him. "Dom." His voice was quiet, undemanding.

Startled, she tensed. Lowering her arms from the stretch, she crossed them protectively over her chest. "Nate."

She stood apart from him and waited silently as he sat looking at her. 'Here it comes. Serious Cable lecture Number Twelve. What were you thinking calling in like that, yadda yadda yadda,'

He attempted a smile "Join me?" He motioned to the empty chairs beside him. She sighed and opened a cabinet for a glass "Sure."

She sat down and poured a generous shot of liquor, downing it in one gulp. As she wordlessly poured another, he said in a low tone "I've never seen you this quiet."

She looked into the glass and then met his gaze "I guess people change, eh, Nate?" She picked up the glass and downed it, then stood to leave.