The Hard Way: Part 14

by Perri Smith



Cannonball blasted into the new arrivals, their fire bouncing off his invulnerable form. Shatterstar and Psylocke followed closely, swords flying, while the others blasted everything that moved.

In a brief moment of peace, Cyclops shouted, "Let's get out of here; Gold Team should be about ready to level this place!"

"They are," Delphi confirmed. Cyclops gave her an odd look, then started back the way they had come. Siryn turned to Deadpool and Delphi. The mercenary had lifted his sister and was carrying her somewhat more gracefully than he had hauled Wolverine. Delphi looked like hell, but her gun was in her hand and ready.

Siryn shook her head with a mix of amazement and resignation and followed Cyclops, who seemed to know where he was going. They half-ran, half-staggered through what seemed like another few miles of corridor. They were apparently cutting it close; both Cable and Cyclops were yelling by the time they reached the way out through a huge room that resembled a garage by the number of vehicles in it. But many were gone, judging from Deadpool and Delphi's barely coherent yells.

"How many?" Cable asked at a dead run.

"Too damn many," Deadpool almost spit. "Half this place musta bugged out after the first explosion. Jeez, buncha chickens working here."

"No time to worry about it now," Cyclops said. "We'll deal with the rest another day. Let's just blow this place."

"Amazing, he made a joke," Domino said quietly.

Then they were outside; Siryn breathed the cold, fresh air as if she hadn't breathed in a year. She didn't have time to appreciate it, though; Delphi and Cyclops were yelling at everyone to get down. Someone's weight hit her, forcing her to the ground. A few seconds later the entire installation went up in a ball of flames.

From underneath her protector's arm, Siryn saw Cable concentrating, saw dirt, rocks and shrapnel come flying at them and bounce away as if hitting an invisible shield. Next to him, Cyclops was sitting up just enough to blast larger pieces before they could do any harm.

Then it was over and the earth stopped shaking. Siryn realized she was having problems breathing and shoved at the weight still lying on top of her. It rolled off; she saw Delphi sprawled next to her and realized the body that had been protecting them both was Deadpool's.

"Are ye all right?" she asked, hearing the shake in her voice and hating it.

"Hunky-dory," he answered. "Nothing like a good explosion to clear the ol' sinuses out. Subtlety. I love it!"

She laughed, finally allowing herself to relax. It was over.

"Logan!" Jean Grey's voice reminded them both that there were a few things left to deal with -- and one of them was lying on the ground with a large crowd of people surrounding him -- the rest of the X-Men had arrived. Hank McCoy was in the middle, working on Wolverine.

"Beast? How is he?"

Hank didn't even look up at Rogue's question. "Not good." His lack of words said more than a dictionary.

"Oh Lord," Siryn breathed.

Beside her, Delphi stirred. "Wade?" she said groggily, pushing herself to a sitting position. "What. . .?" Her eyes shot open as she took in the scene a few feet away. "Ohmigod."

With that, she was up and running, limping badly and ignoring it. "Let me through," she said desperately, trying to work her way through the barricade of bodies.

Cable got in front of her. "You've done enough, Delphi," he told her grimly. "More than enough."

"Not yet," Delphi answered, looking him in the eye even from over a foot closer to the ground. "I can help him, Cable. I'm going to help him, if I have to go through you to do it!" She shoved past him and two others, falling to her knees next to Logan. She laid her hands on him, one on his chest, the other on his forehead, and closed her eyes in a familiar, trance-like expression.

"Jordan, don't!" Deadpool lunged forward; Siryn grabbed him before he could get very far.

"Wade, she could save him! She might be his only chance!"

"And her only chance to die!" he said between his teeth. "Jordie has limits, and she could kill herself trying to fix him!"

"Oh Lord," Siryn repeated, seeing the strain on Delphi's face that proved Deadpool right.

They waited silently; even the continuing explosions seemed muffled by the tension. Delphi's face twisted with pain; Wolverine's body convulsed. Jean and Psylocke both cried out in reflected pain. And they waited.

It was almost an anti-climax when Jordan's body finally relaxed, sinking forward over Wolverine. He opened his eyes; she met them with a faint smile before she passed out.

Part 15

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