"That's not right either, is it?" She leaned forward again, licking at the wound she'd made, running soft hands over his shoulders and slowly down his back.
"N-no," he heard himself whisper.
"You want to tell me, don't you?"
He nodded, trying to catch his breath, the throbbing in his ear almost overcoming her voice. God, she'd bitten him. Why the hell was she biting him? Before he could think, she jerked the sweater over his head, and her hands were pressed to his chest, fingers sliding over his hardening nipples. Her lips were so close to his he could have kissed her. He wanted to like he'd never wanted anything else in his life.
"You want to tell me but you can't? Why can't you?"
Why was that? He wasn't sure. There was no good reason. None at all.
"Janet," he choked, and she twisted a nipple. St. John let out a breath as she pushed him back into the bed. She was like an angel--porcelain perfect above him, her legs parting naturally around his hips, grinding down softly. As her jacket slid to the floor, her bare arms braced on either side of his shoulders.
"Just tell me. You can trust me completely, you know that, right?" The blue eyes were filled with hurt. He didn't want that, and his hands, on their own, fixed on her tiny waist. "I want you to trust me, Johnny. I just need her name."
Erin. Elizabeth. Janet. Marie. Rogue.
Marie. Say it.
"Tell me, Johnny." Her hands slid beneath his shirt, against his skin, and he arched into it, unable to help it, fingers digging into her waist as her full lips slid within tantalizing inches of his. He'd never seen anyone more beautiful in his life, and it was--
--he had to remember, remember something. He wasn't supposed to say it. The long nails dug into his chest and he felt his blood slide up under her nails, making him wince as she ground down into him, pain and pleasure warring in his mind. "Tell me. All I want is her name."
Marie. Rogue. He opened his mouth, shutting it tight as another wave of pleasure slid through him, thick and heavy, making him want to forget every promise he'd ever made. Everything but what she wanted. It was just a name.
Just a fucking name, for God's sake. Say it.
"You'll back off, princess. There's a gun exactly two inches from the back of your head. Even if you survived, you'd be a vegetable for the rest of your life."
The alarm that coursed through him was startlingly intense--that, and anger, so much that the woman on top of him let out a scream and slid off his lap. Blinking, St. John sat up and stared in shock at the ruined cloth of her shirt where his hands had rested, the blistering skin beneath.
God, he'd hurt her.
"Baby--" he whispered, but her pain was saturating him--he hadn't been burned since he'd manifested, and this was excruciating. Scrambling to the floor, he knelt by her, but a boot dropped on his outstretched hand inches away from her body--not enough to break, but enough so moving it was clearly not an option.
"Don't touch her again, babe."
He looked up into Jubilee's calm brown eyes, the pain and rage flaring anew.
"What the hell are you doing?"
"Nothing you need to worry about, amigo. Bad thing about empaths is, that without a lot of outside help, it's hard to work on more than one subject at a time, isn't it?" Jubilee's foot was still on his hand--and she had a gun pointed at the weeping girl. Janine. "'Specially same-sex."
When the hell did Jubilee pick up a gun anyway? St. John shook his head again--something felt off, very off, but he had no idea what.
"Keep cool, baby. It's all right--she's not hurt."
The waves of pain coming from her denied that and the blue eyes looked into his, begging.
"She's hurting me, Johnny. Make her stop."
Instantly, the rage flared anew. His best friend was hurting Janine, and that was unacceptable. The carpet beneath his hand began to smoke and he felt Jubilee tense beside him, her boot pushing down into his hand to the point of active pain.
"Bad idea, princess," she said softly. "Let him go. His control isn't good enough to put them out as well as he starts them. If he loses it, we're all oh so dead. Make the decision quick, chica."
"Who the hell do you think you are?" Not quite so warm, so sweet, and St. John blinked, feeling a strange emptiness slide through him.
"That's the million dollar question, ain't it?" Turning slightly, she looked down at him and the brown eyes were filled with regret. "Sorry, babe, but you'll understand when you wake up."
It was the last thing he heard before the butt of the gun connected with his temple, and everything was hot darkness that sucked out even the anger, leaving nothing in its place.
Never in his life had he even dreamed headaches existed like this, and Jubilee went into a convenience store in the middle of nowhere, coming out with a bottle of Advil and several bottled waters. Caffeinated water.
That was good. He took one, pouring out the pills with a shaking hand and throwing four back with a single drink, before screwing the lid on tightly and shutting his eyes. God, what the hell was that?
"Did that happen?"
"Yeah," Jubilee answered, and he watched her drive with easy surety. This sucked, no question. His head pounded, and not just in the place the butt of the gun had connected with so thoroughly. A weird exhaustion was racing through him that he couldn't explain. Almost--apathy.
He'd never been anything close to apathetic in his life, and the drained feeling worried him. But only a little, and something was wrong with that.
"I'm sorry." At least, he thought he was.
"You're not yet--empaths drag a shitload out of you." Jubilee glanced at him as he took another drink of water. "Don't worry--go to sleep. I'll wake you when we get someplace."
"Someplace?" he echoed. Even to himself, he sounded flat. This was something he should care about. He knew it. "We--we're going home, right?"
"No." Her voice was strangely steady, and she watched the road with an intensity that made him curious as to what was going on. But only a little. "We can't now."
Jubilee let out a slow breath.
"There are four people who know our faces, your powers, and at least our first names. And they want Rogue. We go home, we lead them right to Westchester, Rogue's identity, and the X-Men." She gave him a glance, then reached over with her free hand, running her fingers over his face briefly. She didn't feel like Janine--calloused palms and fingers from years of training and Danger Room sims. "Later, Johnny. You're not going to give a shit if I told you we were driving over teh edge of a cliff at this point, so just get some rest. You'll feel much better when you wake up."
"I don't--" He wasn't sure what he was going to say, and her mouth softened, almost a smile.
"I know. Get some sleep, amigo. When we get to Chicago, I'll explain everything."
St. John roused enough to ask one more question. "What's in Chicago?"
The intent expression returned, and it was new on her--he'd never seen her look quite like that before.
"Someone who knows who the fuck that empathic bitch works for and when exactly her career track changed."