Hurt & Comfort

Book 5: Heroes Can Be Hurt

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Chapter 12: Just One Chance

Ororo stood on the roof and drew to the depths of her power to create the biggest, most violent storm that she had ever envisioned. The clouds in the sky began to darken and fill, then began to rotate above the mansion.

//Jean, what I am doing is quite dangerous. A tornado of this magnitude could grow beyond my ability to control.// Storm thought in warning.

//I know Ororo. My last other option just failed, if this doesn't work a child is going to die and the future of this world... just trust me Ororo, this has to work, it's our last hope.// Jean sent with anguish.

//I trust your judgment Jean. You say this is necessary, that is all I need to know. If it is a storm that you need, then a storm you shall have.// Ororo sent back with trust and determination.

//Thank you Ororo, I must concentrate on keeping this boy alive just a little while longer.// Jean sent with an undercurrent of helplessness.

Ororo turned her full attention back to the sky and the clouds went from gray to deepest black as lightning began to crack in the sky and the wind began to howl.

* * * * *

Kendra was shaking and noticed that she was being held.

"Dat boy, did I kill de boy watcher man?" Kendra asked helplessly.

"He is still alive, but I don't know for how much longer." Giles said honestly as he held her trembling body close.

"De vampire was ahold of dat boy. Why de boy protect him?" Kendra asked in confusion.

"From what Charles told me, the vampire is named Angel and has been cursed with a soul. He and the boy have bonded as father and son. Angel came here to try and find a way that they could stay together in safety." Giles said as tears of sympathy fell down his face for the pain of his slayer.

"Watcher man, what happen to me now dat I kill dat boy?" Kendra asked fearfully.

"He's not dead yet. If he survives we'll find a way to sort this out... Don't worry my Slayer, I'll keep you safe." Giles said and pulled Kendra close to him as much for his own need for comfort as for hers.

"An if he don't?" Kendra asked quietly.

"We'll deal with that if the time comes." Giles answered in a whisper of anguish.

* * * * *

The largest tornado that Storm had ever summoned was swirling above her, it went on for miles in all directions, as far as the eye could see. She could barely keep her footing as the howling winds pulled at her from every direction.

Ororo felt something surge around her, within her, through her. And there was silence. She looked into the sky where there wasn't a hint of a cloud in any direction. The air was so dry that she could feel a pulling sensation on her skin as the sudden heat of the sun immediately dried her.

[I pray it was enough.] She thought as she went to the attic entrance and back into the mansion.

* * * * *

As Dawn's blood began to flow the vortex formed into a long swirling tube of smoky energy.

Dawn drew power from Tara, the storm outside and from Jean to try and make the tunnel reach far enough to grab hold of Alan. Then there was a surge of power through her link with Jean at the same time as a surge of power came from the other side of the vortex. In an instant Andrew and Alan were standing before her.

"Dawn? Oh Gods Dawn, you're bleeding! What happened?" Andrew asked in panic.

"Andrew... thank the Goddess... it was the only thing I could think of to try... I'm an interdimensional key and Scott is identical to Alan so I had to try." Dawn said through tears of joy.

Andrew thought about what she was saying and said, "The Hellmouth Gate?"

"Something like that. I know it's dangerous, but with Alan's blood, I was sure we could find you." Dawn said, continuing to cry.

"Icheb, I need you to come here." Andrew called out to someone outside her view.

"Father, what are you doing?" a boy asked, looking to be about fifteen or sixteen years old.

"This is my world, that is your Aunt Dawn. I need for you to call Chakotay and tell him that there is a vortex that leads to my world in our cabin, and hurry." Andrew said quickly.

"Andrew, jump through." Dawn called, feeling a sense of panic. She knew that if the vortex closed, she might not be able to open it again. Some of the supplies were so rare that she might not be able to ever replace them.

"Dawn, I can't. I won't leave without my kids." Andrew said plainly.

"Well get them together, when my blood stops flowing, the gate closes." Dawn said with worry, then thought, [Kids?]

"I'm going as quick as I can... Trey, William, Robert, Jimmy, Janine!" Andrew called.

A moment later Andrew spoke to someone outside her view.

"Let's do this Borg style, by the numbers. Three, Four, Five begin disassembling the alcoves. Six, start packing everyone's belongings, go from room to room and pack whatever you think we need. Throw everything on the bed and wrap it in the blanket. Seven, get on the comm and start calling the family, Dave, B'Elana, Seven... call everyone to help." Andrew said desperately.

"I'll help Six." Alan said.

"No love, the portal is focused on you. If you move, it moves and I can't keep it stable if you're moving around." Andrew said with effort.

The teen boy came into view and said something that Dawn couldn't make out.

Andrew began talking to the boy, then to Alan.

Scott walked beside Dawn to look inside the portal.

"Scott, it's so good to see you. How are you?" Andrew asked with joy.

"One hundred percent better now that I know you two are okay." Scott said honestly.

"Oh Gods, I can't believe it." Andrew said as tears of relief fell down his face.

"Crewman Alan Summers to the Captain." Alan said after slapping his chest.

"Go ahead Crewman Summers, I trust that this is important." A deep woman's voice said in a threatening tone.

"A portal just opened in our cabin that leads back to our home. I just wanted to ask your permission to leave the crew and Voyager." Alan said with emotion creeping into his voice.

"I'm on my way." The woman said abruptly.

Andrew began talking with someone outside her field of vision. Then she heard a voice say, "Jimmy! Where are you squirt?"

Andrew started talking to someone on his other side, also out of her view.

Then two men walked into view of the portal. One of them said, "Icheb said you found a way home."

"Actually it found us. Chakotay, Tom, I'd like for you to meet my sister Dawn and my brother Scott." Alan said proudly.

"I'm here too." Alex yelled and ran to Dawn's other side.

"And my brother Alex." Alan said with a joyful smile.

"Father, the first alcove is disassembled." Someone called in the distance.

"Move on to the next one and someone will haul it out." Andrew called back in response.

"We can get that." Chakotay said and ran out of view of the portal, followed by Tom.

"Alan, where do you want this?" A stocky man asked, carrying a bundle.

"Through the portal... Dawn is there anyone there who can haul the things we pass through to you?" Alan asked with a desperate tone.

"Alex, get help." Dawn commanded.

Alex got a vacant look in his eyes and a moment later he said, "The X-men will be right here to help."

"Good." Alan said and looked at the stocky man with the bundle, before he said, "Pass that to Alex."

Alex took the bundle and ran out of the recovery room and into the waiting room to set the bundle down.

Logan, Xander, Remy, Warren, Kurt, Bobby, Peter and Kitty came into the room in a group.

"She opened the portal to Andrew and Alan, these are their things. Will you guys help us?" Alex asked in a rush.

"That's why we're here kid." Logan said gruffly and walked past him.

* * * * *

"Gentlemen, I have to say that this is a bit of a surprise." A woman said as she walked into the room.

"For us too Captain. My sister Dawn found a way to open a vortex and get us home." Alan said with pride.

"A pleasure to meet you. Your brother has been a great asset to the ship." The Captain said diplomatically.

"I'm glad he behaved himself for you... he's not known for that." Dawn said with a look of mischief.

"Oh Dawnie, no one's teased me like that in months. God I've missed you." Alan said fondly.

"Gentlemen, permission to leave the ship and crew of Voyager is granted. May you find peace and happiness wherever you go." The Captain said seriously.

The X-men poured into the room and surrounded Dawn.

"Come on guys, lets get this stuff moving." Andrew said with effort.

"Uh, yeah... I only got so much blood here." Dawn said tiredly.

"Bucket brigade." Alex called as he followed the group back into the room.

The sounds of people handing items down the line obscured Dawn's hearing to the point that the next thing she could clearly make out being said was Alan saying, "Okay guys. I need for everyone to go to their own room and make sure one last time that everything was packed. Dave, will you check our room one more time?"

A minute later Dawn felt a lightheaded sensation pass over her and looked to see the blood barely dripping from her hand.

"Guys, I'm running out here." Dawn called into the portal.

"Me too." Andrew said in a whisper, looking like he might pass out at any moment.

Then Alan said, "That's it. Everyone who's going, line up in front of the portal. We're leaving now."

Dawn saw the fifteen year old boy standing beside Alan, ready to walk through the portal.

"Hurry." Dawn whispered.

"X-men, I'd like to introduce my family." Alan called and led the boy to the portal.

"My oldest son, Icheb LeeAndrew Malachi Summers." Alan said with pride and patted Icheb's back as he walked into the portal.

"My son Trey O'Seofon Summers." and placed a hand on his back as he walked by.

"My son William Alan Spike Summers."

"My son Robert David Summers."

"My son James Tiberius Olson Summers." Alan said and ruffled Jimmy's hair as he went by.

"And my daughter Janine Cinderella Summers." Alan said, then whispered something to her.

Alan held out his hand to Andrew and said, "And my husband, LeeAndrew Malachi Summers."

They walked through the vortex, hand in hand. The moment they were both firmly on solid ground Dawn released her power.

Alan looked around in shocked disbelief as he stood back in the MedLab.

Dawn slumped and Tara guided her quickly to a chair.

//Andrew, we need you in surgery NOW, grab your MedKit and your kids, you'll need them both.// Jean called with a frantic thought.

"William, find the MedKit. We're needed, so all you kids, follow me." Andrew said tiredly.

* * * * *

Andrew walked into the surgery and looked at the young teen laying bloody on the table with the stake sticking out of his chest.

"Slayer?" Andrew asked without emotion.

"Yes, she was trying to stake me and Chris... threw himself between us." Angel said with anguish.

"Borg style. Four, I need the medical tricorder." Andrew said as Four walked into the room, carrying the MedKit.

Andrew took the tricorder from William and scanned the boy on the table. He looked at the readings for a moment, then looked around the room.

He took a deep cleansing breath and began.

"Two, take this tricorder and monitor his vital signs. Three, you're in charge of the neural stasis unit. Four, be ready to hand me what I need from the MedKit. Five, you'll hand me surgical instruments from that tray. Six, get the regenerator and set it for cardiac tissue, fine beam. Seven, see that man over there? His name is Angel, he needs a hug. You keep on hugging him till I say stop. Jean, I need Bobby in here ASAP and stand by to assist. Alan, crowd control, but I'll need your help in here in a few minutes." Andrew snapped out, then said in a quieter tone, "Four, Kroth Tosh N'Kah, thirty-five micro-units." and a moment later, held out his hand for the hypospray.

Everyone took their stations.

Andrew took the hypospray from Four then injected Chris and handed the hypospray back. Then he took the tricorder from Two and looked at it for a moment.

"Four, Triaprizine, two units." Andrew said in deep concentration.

After Andrew injected Chris, Two said, "His heart function has slowed thirty five percent."

"Good. Three, status?" Andrew asked quietly.

"Neural stasis is optimum." Three stated professionally as Bobby entered the room.

"Bobby, I need for you to drop this boy's body temperature to ten degrees... Celsius." Andrew said without looking up.

"I don't know if I can do it that exactly." Bobby said nervously, looking at the injured boy.

"Get as close as you can. Two, let him know when he has reached the correct temperature." Andrew said carefully.

"Yes Father." Two said as he held his gaze on the tricorder.

The temperature in the MedLab began to drop and Chris' body began to chill.

"Dr. Grey, stand by with suction. I'm about to remove the stake. Five, forceps." Andrew said and took a firm hold on the stake.

With one hand he pulled the stake from the back, while with the other he used the surgical instrument to pull at the base. Finally it came loose with a sucking sound and Andrew put the stake and forceps aside on the tray.

"Suction. Regenerator." Andrew barked.

As Dr. Grey evacuated the blood from the wound, Andrew carefully began to regenerate the cardiac tissue from the deepest point of damage, upward.

"Good, good. Three, status?" Andrew asked carefully.

"Optimum." Three said quickly.

"Two?" Andrew said carefully.

"The heart has slowed to three beats per minute, body temperature is twelve degrees, blood remains sufficiently oxygenated." Two said efficiently.

Andrew handed the regenerator to Six and said, "Reconfigure for arterial regeneration."

"Seven, status of hugs?" Andrew asked as he looked up from his work.

"The hugs seem to be only marginally effective." Seven said gravely as she held tight to Angel.

"Then say comforting phrases occasionally, such as 'he's going to be fine' and 'try not to worry' and lay your head against his chest or shoulder while you continue to hug." Andrew said and looked at the wound again.

"Alan, I'm ready for you. Bobby, you can stop now." Andrew said with a voice of concentration.

"What can I do love?" Alan asked quietly.

"If you open your secondary aperture just a pinpoint and your primary aperture wide open, would you be able to cause a wide, low energy beam?" Andrew asked as he took the regenerator back from Six.

"Yes, that sounds right." Alan said unsurely.

"I need for you to raise Chris' body temperature, not too quickly, but raise it until it reaches normal. Icheb can let you know when you've reached the correct temperature." Andrew said and turned on the regenerator.

"Yes father." Icheb said, still focused on the readings.

"Now?" Alan asked with a note of apprehension.

"Yes love, as low power as you can make it." Andrew said to Alan, then said, "Four, four units of epinephrine, set it for deep penetration."

Alan began to cast a red glow over the operating table as Andrew injected the chest of the boy.

Long slow minutes passed and the only sound that could be heard was the hum of the regenerator as Andrew continued to work.

"His temperature is nearing normal." Two said in a rush.

"Good, you can stop Alan. Dr. Grey, the damage to the heart and aorta has been repaired, would you look it over to see that I haven't missed anything and take over?" Andrew asked and turned to look at Jean.

"Yes Andrew." Jean said with a smile and moved in.

"This looks good. Five, would you hand me the small hemostats, there are some splinters I'd like to remove before I close the wound." Jean said as she carefully examined Chris.

Five handed over the requested item as Andrew walked away from the surgery.

"Two, status." Andrew called quietly.

"Normal sinus rhythm, sixty-two beats per minute, normal body temperature, oxygenation within normal parameters." Two said quietly, matching his father's tone.

"Two, remain until the surgery is complete and monitor his condition. Three, discontinue neural stasis. Four, pack up the MedKit. Five, remain to assist Dr. Grey until the surgery is complete. Six, give the regenerator to Four and find your padd, I would like for you to record your experience. Seven, continue hugs." Andrew said as he looked to each child in turn.

"Dr. Grey, do you need me to assist?" Andrew asked carefully.

"No Andrew. Once the wound has been cleaned, all that's left is to close up." Jean said as she continued to work.

"I'll be in the waiting room, if you need me one of the children can come and get me." Andrew said and gave a discreet nod to Five.

To Be Continued...