Fandom: Mutant X
Summary: Jesse finds his personal sanctuary--outside of Mutant X. (Set in Season 3.)
"Yeah," he replied softly.
"Remember yesterday when you asked if I'd ever leave Sanctuary?" Jesse felt Ben nod against his chest. "Well, when this is over I think I might be willing to consider it."
"So you can watch over me?" Ben said in a self-deprecating tone.
"And you can watch over me," Jesse said, laughing softly. "We need to be together." Ben lifted his head to look at Jesse, who smiled back at him. Ben frowned, not quite trusting the evidence of his eyes. "What?" Jesse asked.
"Nothing," Ben said, laying his head against Jesse's heart once more and allowing Jesse to lightly stroke his hair. After a few minutes, he was completely calm once more and Jesse carefully lifted his head and looked into his eyes.
"Ready to go back out there?" he asked. Ben nodded solemnly and the pair got up and headed back to the living area. Jesse handed his laptop to Ben just before they entered the space.
"Now," he said crisply as he strode over to the sofa and resumed his seat, across from where Lexa was sitting. "As I believe Ben was saying earlier, we need a plan. Ben?" He looked up at his lover and Ben walked over and sat beside him on the couch.
"You've been saying since the beginning that the important thing is to stop Barrett's work," Ben began, "so before anyone does anything," he said with a significant look at Lexa, "you need to ascertain that you've found all the essential data. If we take him into custody leaving something behind out there, chances are some other nut will try to take up his research."
"Agreed," Shalimar said.
"Much as I hate to say it," Ben continued, "our best bet for doing that is sending Jesse in."
"With you watching his ass, of course," Brennan said.
"Me and Shal," Ben said evenly. Jesse glared at Brennan; Ben was in no mood to have his humor tested.
"Why send in your precious Jesse?" Lexa asked. "You said you didn't want him anywhere near Barrett."
"I don't," Ben said. "I'd much rather put your life at risk. How conversant are you with biomedical technology?" Jesse suppressed a smile and placed a hand on Ben's arm.
"The three of us will do the initial reconnaissance," he said. "Once we've ascertained that we've got what we're after, we remove it from the premises and call in the troops."
"The troops? You mean the police," Lexa spat.
"That was the deal, Lexa; we get the data, the police get Barrett," Shalimar said.
"Because he's got eight deaths and two assaults on Jesse to answer for," Ben said. "And Barrett will face justice in a court of law, not at the hands of Mutant X. Unless you'd like me to haul you in for arson and murder."
"I'd like to see you try," Lexa spat. Shalimar grabbed her arm as Ben began to growl.
"Have you got a death wish, girl?" she asked as she gave her arm a firm shake.
"Let me know when I'm needed," Lexa said as she rose and walked out of the room.
"That could be a long wait," Ben said. Jesse leaned in and kissed his cheek.
"Silly old bear," he said. Ben growled as Brennan rose and followed Lexa down the hall. Shalimar went after him and grabbed his arm before he entered his room.
"I'm going to ask you to keep an eye on her, Bren," she said.
"No problem; I'll keep her out of the way till I get a heads up from you or Jess."
"Be careful; she won't hesitate to try and go through you to get what she wants. And you haven't got Ben to watch your ass."
"You think they're the real deal, him and Jess?" Brennan asked as he peered down the hall to where the two mutants were talking.
"Oh, I think they're very serious. Jesse couldn't be in better hands," Shalimar said with an approving smile.
"And you don't have a problem with the fact that he's in a guy's hands?"
"You can't get past it, can you?"
"Don't tell me you weren't shocked the first time you saw them together," Brennan said defensively.
"It wasn't like that. I suspected that Ben and Jess were together long before I actually saw anything. I had plenty of evidence that Jess was with a guy and I suspected that it was Ben."
"How did you know?"
"It's a feral thing. As Jess said; you don't want to know."
"I've got to mellow out," Ben said as he laid his head back. "I'm having trouble regaining my equilibrium." He sighed and rubbed his hands over his face.
"Do you want me to leave you alone for a while?" Jesse asked softly.
"Never," Ben said. "I just need a few minutes. Stay and ground me." Jesse left his side only long enough to turn on some classical music and returned to snuggle in Ben's arms.
"Feeling any better?" Jesse asked a bit later as he lazily rubbed a hand over Ben's chest.
"If I was feeling any better I'd be dead," Ben sighed. Jesse leaned in and kissed him.
"That makes no sense, but if that's an indication of your current mental state, I'll take it."
"I've regained my composure," Ben replied.
"I got that," Jesse said, resting his head on Ben's shoulder. Ben toyed with a strand of Jesse's hair for a few minutes, until Jesse drowsily pulled his hand away.
"About what you said earlier..." Ben fell silent, thinking that Jesse had fallen asleep.
"Yeah?" the molecular replied groggily.
"You don't have to leave Sanctuary because of me."
"I wouldn't be leaving because of you, Ben."
"You'd be leaving because our relationship is making things difficult for you here."
"Listen, Ben," Jesse said. "When we started our relationship I was determined to keep my life with you separate from my work with Mutant X. That was really important to me. For the first time in my life I had something that was mine alone, something special that I didn't have to share with anyone. I had a life--my life--and I didn't want to share it with anyone but you. I still don't, and I can't have that life while I'm here."
"Jess, Mutant X has been a big part of your life for years."
"Yes, and I'm still committed to the cause. I just think I'm entitled to more. I've found it with you and I'm not letting you go."
Ben smiled wryly; he turned his head and kissed Jesse's hair as his fingers entwined with the molecular's. Jesse sighed and closed his eyes and the pair sat quietly for a few more minutes.
"Well, isn’t this a charming domestic scene," Lexa said as she returned to the room. "Are you two going to sit there and whisper sweet nothings all night or are you going to go after Barrett?"
"Great; now your blood pressure's going to rise again," Jesse said with a slight wink at Ben. Ben focused on his face and managed a tiny smile. Jesse squeezed his hand.
"I'm all right," Ben said softly.
"Good," Jesse whispered back.
"Sorry to keep you guys waiting," Shalimar said, entering the room. "Shall we go?"
Ben and Jesse looked at each other and then rose to their feet. They moved to join Shalimar, who had already turned and started toward the hangar. As they walked past Lexa, Jesse growled low in his throat. Ben lightly cuffed him on the back of his head and wrapped an arm around his shoulder.
"Do I have to remind you again?"
"Remind me?" Jesse replied innocently.
Jesse and Ben picked up the pace and reached the Double Helix. Shalimar was already in the pilot's seat and warming up the engine.
"Want to be co-pilot?" Jesse asked. Ben's eyes lit up and he smiled like a ten year old as he took a seat and watched Shalimar do a systems check. In minutes they were off and soaring over the mountain.
"Oops," Shalimar said as they turned toward the city. "You aren't supposed to know where we are."
"Would it help if I told you I still don't have the foggiest idea?" Ben replied. "All I can see out there is that the city is due south."
"Good enough," Shalimar said with a wink.
"Thanks, by the way."
"For what?" she said, frowning at Ben.
"For what you did back there," Ben replied. Shalimar smiled.
"I didn't do it for you. I just didn't feel like getting between you and Lexa again," she said. "So what's our game plan?"
"I'm on it," Jesse said as he opened his laptop and began to type. "Okay, I've got the blueprints of the house and barn on the property in question." Ben moved to where Jesse was sitting and peered at the screen over his shoulder.
"Where do you get all this stuff?"
"Ben, don't ask, don't tell," Jesse said with a wry smile.
"That's for gays in the military."
"It's also for members of Mutant X with extraordinary access to data."
Ben kissed the top of Jesse's head and then squatted beside him to study the images on the screen. He and Jesse decided where to land the Helix and worked out a way to approach the barn without being detected. Shalimar landed the Helix and the two men geared up for their assault on Barrett's lair. Jesse pulled on a backpack to carry his laptop and Ben checked his guns while Shalimar made contact with Brennan and Lexa back at Sanctuary.
"I don't want you out of my sight," Ben said firmly as he slipped on the earpiece of the transmitter Jesse handed him.
"Don't worry; I've had enough of being drugged, kidnapped and imprisoned in the last two months to last me a lifetime," Jesse replied.
"You two ready?" Shalimar asked. Ben nodded and she opened the rear hatch and stepped outside. Jesse moved to follow her, but Ben grabbed his arm.
"I mean it, Jesse. Stay with me."
"Promise," Ben said, tightening his grip on Jesse's arm. Jesse looked down and gently pried the fingers away.
"I promise, Ben," he said calmly. He leaned in and kissed him. "I won't leave your side." He pulled away and Ben regarded him sheepishly.
"I'm sorry, Jess, I--."
"You love me," Jesse said, beaming. "Come on." He gestured with his head and led the way off the Helix. He caught up with Shalimar, who'd already crossed the landing field and was stalking the perimeter of Barrett's property. Jesse pulled off his backpack and kneeled to pull out his laptop. He pulled up a screen Ben hadn't seen earlier.
"What's that?" he asked.
"Sensor grid--I'm looking for evidence of a security system." Jesse turned his head and smiled at Ben. "And there is none." He signaled to Shalimar who had taken up a position about five yards away. She nodded and disappeared into the brush. Within minutes she had reached the barn and reported in.
"No signs of life," Shalimar said over the com link. "The lights are all out and there seems to be no movement inside."
"She's right," Ben said. "I don't smell or hear him."
"How do you know what he smells like?" Jesse asked.
"I don't. But I can smell humans and the only ones I can smell right now are you and Shal." Ben squinted at the barn. "I can also smell the accelerator."
"You can smell the accelerator?" Shalimar asked incredulously.
"It smells like the one back at Sanctuary," Ben said with a shrug.
"A bear's sense of smell is about a hundred times more sensitive than a human's," Jesse said matter-of-factly as he packed and stowed his laptop. "Yours is only fifteen times more sensitive. Shall we?"
The two men joined Shalimar at the side of the barn. Ben knelt for a moment and closed his eyes, using his heightened senses to determine their next steps. When he opened them again a moment later, he looked up at Jesse and nodded.
"No one's inside," he confirmed. "The place probably hasn't been occupied in hours."
"Does that mean he's likely not expecting us?" Jesse asked. Shalimar shrugged and Ben mimicked the gesture. "All right; our first objective is to locate his data. If this is his lab, in all likelihood, all his vital materials are inside. I doubt he'd keep it at the house--if that even is his house."
"If Barrett's set a trap it'll be inside, so keep your heads up," Ben warned.
"Lead the way," Jesse said to the two ferals. Ben looked over at Shalimar and she nodded. She took the lead and Ben followed Jesse into the building.
The rustic exterior of the barn belied the true purpose of the building, as did the interior, at first glance. Ben followed his nose to a panel in what appeared to be the back wall of the structure. He stared at it for a moment, and then reached up and slid it aside, revealing a modern laboratory equipped with an array of equipment the likes of which Ben had seen back at Sanctuary. Jesse pulled out a flashlight and began to look around. Neither Ben nor Shalimar needed any help negotiating the dark room. Shalimar began a search for the files. Ben joined her, keeping a wary eye on his lover. When Jesse gasped, Ben was at his side in an instant. Shalimar arrived a second later.
"What is it?" Ben demanded. Jesse swallowed hard and pointed.
"Me," was all he said. Ben and Shalimar peered into the glass case Jesse had pointed out. Inside they saw four dishes marked "Kilmartin," numbered and annotated with a bunch of stuff Ben didn't understand. Not that it mattered. All he knew was that it had to be destroyed. He let out a roar and swept the entire case off the counter, shattering it and the dishes it contained. Jesse took hold of his arm and Ben immediately turned and pulled him into a brief hug.
"See if there are any more," Ben said in a low voice. Jesse nodded and went to the refrigeration unit. Shalimar went back to the files and began to pull out groups of folders.
"This looks like all of it," she said, "but he's likely to have duplicates; probably in a computer somewhere."
"Yeah, that's going to be a problem. How do we know he doesn't have back-up data stashed somewhere?" Jesse said as he pulled three vials out of the case and placed them on the counter.
"If Barrett's locked up they won't be of any use to him," Ben said as he picked up one of the vials and looked at it.
"If we don't get all the data, there's a possibility that someone else will try to pick up and continue his work," Shalimar said.
"Does this mean we could have a kid?" Ben said teasingly. Not amused, Jesse took the vial from him and threw it to the floor, along with the two others. Ben rubbed his shoulder to comfort him. "If someone wanted to follow up on Barrett's work, he'd need the raw material," Ben said with a nod toward Jess, who looked up at him sardonically. "He won't get it."
"One thing at a time; we shut down Barrett and deal with his successors when they come," Jesse said. "Let's go."
"Wait a minute," Ben said. He sniffed the air and then turned and walked to the back of the barn. Jesse followed him with the light. Ben reached the growth accelerator and looked inside. Growling, he punched a hole through the machine's wall, grabbed a handful of wiring and tore it out. He broke the exterior control panel and pulled the wires. Then he went to the console and smashed that as well.
"Ben," Jesse warned. He was sure that Ben's roaring would alarm people for miles around. He grabbed Ben's arm and saw his bruised and bloodied fist. "Ben," he sighed. But Ben ignored him. He spun around, grabbed Jesse and pulled him to the ground, covering the molecular's mouth. Shalimar also dove for cover as someone entered the barn.
"Who's there?" a voice called. Ben and Jesse exchanged a glance when they heard the sound of a rifle being cocked and readied for firing. Ben tightened his grip on Jesse's shoulder and held him still. Barrett entered the barn and slowly made his way into the lab. "Come on, I can--. Damn it!" Barrett cried when he saw the destroyed genetic material. "Mutant X! I should have known you'd show up eventually. Kilmartin was one of yours, wasn't he? Too bad you've destroyed my work; I might have been able to help us both solve our problems."
Shalimar turned to Jesse and frowned. Ben growled low in his throat and Jesse gave him a sharp look as Barrett started to move again.
"I could have restored him to you, alive and well! All I would ask for in return is his duplicate. Now, we've both lost. You'll never see your handsome young friend again."
Jesse grabbed Ben's arm when he began to growl. It was no time for Ben to become jealous or territorial. But Ben was rapidly losing it. Barrett continued to talk about Jesse, obviously hoping to taunt the hidden members of Mutant X into revealing their whereabouts. Ben's growl grew louder and Jesse knew that he was beyond reasoning with. He grabbed Ben's jaw and forced the feral to look at him. But it was too late. Barrett was moving in their direction. Jesse only had a moment to take a deep breath and mass before the rifle went off.
He managed to block the shot as Ben, in a feral rage, rose up and launched himself over the partition they'd been hiding behind. Barrett lifted his weapon to fire again as Jesse cried out Ben's name. Ben roared and charged just as Barrett fired. Jesse squeezed his eyes shut and swallowed hard before he could bring himself to look.
Shalimar had blindsided Barrett as he fired, kicking the weapon away from its target. Barrett stumbled and then turned to fend her off, but Ben reached him first. Jesse leapt over the partition. When he saw his lover falling forward he screamed his name but even as it left his throat he realized that Ben was on the attack. He would tear Barrett apart with his bare hands if he weren't stopped.
"Ben!" Jesse cried. "Ben! Ben!"
The feral froze and looked down at the terrified man he'd pinned to the floor. He scrambled to his feet, pulling Barrett with him. He pulled out a pair of cuffs and gave them to Shalimar, who put them on Barrett's wrists while he stared at Jesse.
"You're alive! I thought for certain that you'd died in that fire," he said.
"You were mistaken," Ben said hoarsely. He pulled out his phone and dialed his precinct. Jesse went over to the counter and grabbed the folders. He gave them to Shalimar.
"I'll stay here," he told her. She started to argue, but she looked at Ben and nodded. Ben sat Barrett down and began a waiting game. Jesse watched over Ben until sirens could be heard in the distance. Then he took off through the woods and met Shalimar at the Double Helix.
Personal Sanctuary Epilogue
"Let someone get between me and you and you'll find out how fierce I can be," Jesse said boldly. Ben found the remark highly amusing and he laughed as he pulled Jesse into his arms. Jesse was peeved by his laughter and pouted, which only made Ben laugh more.
"You know, it would be worth it for someone to try just so I could see it," Ben said as he stopped Jesse from pulling away. "But we both know it'll never happen. No one in his right mind would try to come between us." Jesse huffed and glared at Ben, who struggled to suppress his smile. "Come here, cub." He easily pulled Jesse back into his arms; Jesse was powerless against Ben's feral strength.
"You may as well just go ahead and call me 'teddy bear,'" Jesse said peevishly. "I'm like a big toy to you."
Ben began to laugh again but he nuzzled Jesse's throat as he did so, scattering little kisses between tiny bites to his neck. He felt Jesse relax in his arms and then felt him tense again as he slowly became aroused. Ben set about wooing his lover, gently lying him face down on the bed and kissing, kneading and licking him thoroughly before rolling him over and sucking down Jesse's engorged penis. He got Jesse off, swallowing down every drop of his seed before he set about arousing him again.
Jesse was in another world, limp and placid, a dreamy smile on his lips that widened when Ben kissed him. After nearly an hour or foreplay, Ben gave in to his own need and made love to him. Jesse came alive again and spurred Ben on, making certain that Ben's orgasm was perfect.
"We need another shower," Ben sighed several minutes afterward, when he found the will to speak.
"Later," Jesse said, as Ben carefully pulled out of him to remove the condom and dispose of it.
"Yeah, later," Ben said drowsily, throwing his arm over Jesse and reeling him in close to his body. Jesse turned over and allowed Ben to spoon against his back. Ben kissed his throat and nuzzled the nape of his neck as he drifted off to sleep. "We should go shopping later, though. You need some new shirts and I think we should look for a new mattress," Ben continued, "you know; to celebrate our new beginning together."
Jesse growled low in his throat. Ben lifted his head and stared at him in surprise.
"All right; we'll go shopping tomorrow," he said softly. He kissed Jesse's ear and settled in to a comfortable position. Jesse smiled to himself and both men dozed off.