It could have been the light peeking in through the blinds of the window as morning broke open, or even just the natural rhythm of sleep finally prodding awake. Both options would have been more pleasant. Gabriel knows he shouldn't complain and outwardly he doesn't, but sleep is sleep and it is so precious these days.
His head moves, the scruff of his beard scraping along his arm as he pulls it out from underneath the head of the woman sleeping next to him. A yawn, barely stifled is put behind a hand as he leans over and places a gentle kiss upon her cheek.
"You stay in bed… I'll get her."
The her… the child who was sleeping, but no longer is sleeping, in the crib nearby the bed within the room. The daughter which needs food. The small infant, already with red hair and green eyes crying out for attention, breakfast and probably a change.
The blanket that lays upon her shoulder was tugged down just a touch, the first movements of the arm causes her to grumble slightly angrily at the first hints of motion. The sounds surrounding her were a near blessing, but her body wouldn't dare move from it's slumber so immediately. But she felt that she had to, right? This is what people do. And yet the kiss was pressed to her cheek which gave her a sense of calm, no need for an emergency to wake and rise from her sleep.
"Alright.." She murmurs softly, rolling once more as she takes up the expanse of the bed, her legs moving to fan out into a sprawl as her eyes open either way. She was slightly awake, the absense of the body next to her was unsettling.. wait.. why was it unsettling..
"Is she hungry?" Jean calls out, slowly pushing herself upright as she looks into her gown. "It's okay if you bring her to me. Everything hurts.." To prepare to breastfeed is one thing.. but to think about it was unsettling.. why was it unsettling…
"Of course she's hungry," Gabriel's response is mildly humored, "When isn't she hungry?" The infant is picked up and turned over in his arms so he can carry her back to the bed, pausing as he approaches, "We may want to do a bottle, the other kids could be up at any point." Other kids? That is right, there's another three in the adjacent rooms of the house.
Sliding himself back into the bed, holding the infant he hands her over to Jean, smiling softly. "You look just like your mother, don't you? Probably a good thing. You don't want to end up looking like your father."
The words barely leave his mouth before the sound of a heavy thud, followed by a second thud is heard upstairs and then yelling of the boys… how they start every morning.
A yawn graces her lips as she pulls the blankets down, folding them within her lap so that she could create a nice little pillow. Even though another was added to boost the little girl, she reaches out to slowly and carefully take her, preparing the young one for her meal of the morning. "I don't think they'll mind.." She says quietly. "..a hungry baby is a hungry baby.." She cooes to the little girl, her fingers lightly brushing against her scalp as she holds her close.
The loud thumping causes a little groan to draw from her lips, her head leaning back to thump against the headboard. She was a little annoyed, though her hand does reach up to lightly ruffle Gabriel's hair. "I think it would have been great if she was. You have very beautiful eyes."
The thud. And a shake of her head is given. "I think we need a bigger house, Charles and Christopher will kill each other if we don't separate them soon."
A laugh comes from Gabriel and he slowly gets up once again and starts towards the door, pausing at the television to turn it on upon its place on the dresser. News broadcasts, even in the morning displaying more of the mutants out there. He pauses and looks at it then shakes his head. "Great. Another muttie attack. How much you want to bed work is going to call me in early even though it's the weekend to deal with it?"
Another Muttie Attack. They'd been increasing recently. Gabriel didn't view all of them as bad, but there were enough of them that caused problems. One of the reasons he moved the family out to the suburbs, it wasn't that the community was anti-mutant, but … it was anti-mutant. The type of development that had deed restrictions against mutants. It was safer.
Opening the door, he calls out in a stern voice. "Boys. Showers. Dress. Breakfast. You have thirty minutes and then we're leaving for soccer practice." Turning back he looks at Jean and shakes his head some.
On the news: ~The reports of another mutant uprising in several of the camps have brought concern to the general population. The President has promised to take aggressive action to keep them under control.~
"Solution is easy. Don't answer the phone." She smiles at that, carefully shifting her hands underneath the babe as she leans back, her eyes closing with the need to drift off to sleep. Her foot even begins to bob, she was comfortable, but that was unsettling. It was their life, it was a good life, but there was something missing. And thinking about it brought about a sharp pain upon the back of her neck. And maybe a bite.
"Ow.." Jean flinches, looking down towards the babe who seemed more content to keep up with her meal, her face grimacing as she thumps her head back again. "Oh! Don't forget to leave some money behind. I have to get food for dinner tonight. Plus we're out of milk. And I need more diapers for Rachel."
"Oh, and make sure you get Nathan's medicine for today."
Pausing, Gabriel's face takes an amused look and he shakes his head, "Dinner tonight? You aren't cooking tonight, remember? You're parents are coming to watch the kids. We're going out?" Pregnancy brain was a well documented situation, so he wasn't surprised she forgot since the days all blend together. Another thud comes from upstairs, but at least this time it's followed by the sound of the shower starting. "I'll get Nathan's medicine on the way back from practice. And what do you want for breakfast?"
"Huh? Oh.. okay.." Jean was obviously very confused, she couldn't shake the feeling that something was off, but the feeding was done and she carefully begins to make herself presentable. The baby was soon heffed up, pressed upon her shoulder as she lightly pats her back, then shakes her head slowly towards Gabriel.
"Nothing. I'm not really hungry." She has been feeling sick.. but not.. sick.. but sick.. "I just want water.."
"Sure, water. I can do that." Gabriel affirms, slipping out of the bedroom to head into the kitchen.
It is a few minutes the pass. The house, eerily quiet. The water runs upstairs but Gabriel doesn't return. Then there's a shattering of a broken glass from the kitchen, the sound that is familiar of a glass striking the ground and breaking.
Jean gives him a tired smile, then slowly lowers the little girl upon her lap, carefully playing with her little fingers and toes, until she hears the glass breaking. Her brows lift slowly, and as she hefts the baby up upon her shoulders, she slips out of the bed, tugging her nightgown into place as she calls out. "Gabriel? Boys?" She pauses, listening for a sound. "Are you alright?"
Still patting the baby's back, she slowly begins to make her way down the stairs, cradling the little girl within her arms now with an expert roll to place the girl upon her forearm.
The kitchen — is empty. There is a broken glass upon the ground and a pot of coffee being made. Breakfast looks half started but it is like Gabriel simply vanished. There is no answer from the boys upstairs, only the sound of the showers running in the bathrooms. At her arm, Rachel is eerily quiet, normally she babbles but she is still like a doll.
That was strange. Though, Jean was starting to get worried. The glass was ignored as well as Rachel within her arms, if Jean was holding Rachel, that means she was safe, right? "Gabriel?" There was no door open, no window open.. she could hear the shower.. but this was unsettling..
"Boys?" She calls out, rushing through the kitchen and towards the stairs, carefully climbing them up as quick as holding Rachel would allow. "Nathan? Charles? Christopher?" Her footsteps grow quicker, as her bottom lip begins to tremble. "Gabriel?! This isn't funny!"
There was nothing. Up the stairs, the rooms were there, the disaster that are those rooms were there but the showers were empty, the bedrooms were empty; no boys. No Gabriel. Even in her arms… safe was only meaningful if Rachel was there, but… there was no Rachel.
~~ "It isn't funny to you. But it is to us" ~~ Laughter echoes through the house and the room disolves away into nothing. "Let's do another one!"
The captors, the tormenters send in the impulses to knock out Jean and prepare to load another scenario for their amusement at her expense.
"No.. no.. boys.. please.. please stop.. please come back.." Jean looks around frantically, her hands squishing the.. wait. Rachel!? Rachel was gone! "No no no no no!" She screams out, a near fright as she rushes and dashes through the house, her eyes widening as she hears the voices that has her looking up and around. "STOP THIS! GIVE ME BACK MY FA-.."
It was like a blow to the system. A shock that upsets… a shock that leaves nothing behind for the imagination. Because there was nothing there. Her mind.. it was a true blank slate..
'How long will you force me to hide?' The woman asks. 'How long until you accept that I am you, and you are me..'