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Fandom: X-Men Movieverse
Series Title: Summers in a Sea of Glory
Summary: Jean is back, for real this time.
Complications ensue for Scott and Logan.
Scenario/Sequel: This is the third and final series in
my post-X2 saga. It’s a sequel to Returning Spring,
which in turn was a sequel to After the Fall, which
started shortly after the end of X2: X-Men United. In
addition, A Fine Romance is a one-shot story that is
connected with the three series, although not
necessary for understanding them. These stories all
draw upon the first two X-Men movies as their canon. I
use some characters and concepts from the comics and
other sources (e.g. the novelization of the first
movie) but feel bound only to be consistent with
what’s portrayed in the two movies.
These stories, and all of my other fiction, can be
found on my website at http://mo.fandomnation.com/fic/
Pairing: Scott/Logan, mostly but there is reference to
Length: Summers in a Sea of Glory is 10 stories long,
totaling approximately 27,000 words.
Rating: This series is rated NC/17 because it contains
explicit descriptions of sexual activity.
Disclaimer: The X-Men and Alpha Flight belong to
Marvel. The movies belong to Fox. Ethan Alan Leeds and
Cassandra are products of my fevered imagination. I
get no monetary reward from writing these stories,
Archiving and Forwarding: Certainly, just ask.
Alternate file formats available upon request.
Feedback: Yes, please! Write to me at mogbrg@...
Note to Readers of My Prior Stories: My X2 stories
start from scratch. They are out of continuity with my
other fiction, which was based only on the first
movie. I use some of the same ideas and elements I’ve
used before (e.g. Scott is still an English teacher)
but many of the characters and relationships are
different from what they were in my previous fiction.
Remember: none of that stuff in the other stories has
happened. Further, please note that although this
series is being published after X3, it does not
incorporate the events of that movie.
Note on Literature Referenced in the Series: As my
Scott is an English teacher, my fiction tends to be
full of literary quotes and allusions. More
information on the literature referenced in the
stories can be found, with urls to read the works
themselves, in a separate literature guide I will post
at the end of the series. It contains spoilers, so
should be read after the series itself.
Acknowledgements: Big thanks to Vision,
Snorklewhacker. Stacey and Kestrelsparhawk for
sticking with me to the somewhat bitter end on this
one, and to others who helped out along the way. They
caught errors, gave ideas, and improved the stories.
Mistakes are mine alone. Thanks as well to Sam Walker,
for all the nifty Vermont information and to RGB, for
letting me use her house in Peru (although it's
changed so much I doubt she'll recognize it).
Mofic Website: http://mo.fandomnation.com/fic/
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I was going to tell Jean. There was never any
question about that. Not in my mind, anyway. And
there shouldn’t have been any in Logan’s, either. I’d
told him – long before anything had happened between
him and me – that Jean and I didn’t keep secrets from
each other. I would have told her about Logan even if
he and I had just been fuck buddies. Which, of
course, was all we had been when this whole thing
Now it feels like we have – or at least had –
something more than that. I’d told Logan I was in
love with him and I’d meant it. I’d believed him when
he told me he felt the same. My feelings haven’t
changed. I don’t know if his have, although I worry
that he’s cooled towards me. We haven’t spoken about
it since Vermont.
We haven’t spoken much at all, Logan and I. He’s
avoiding me, it’s clear. He hasn’t said a private
word to me since we got back.
Well, maybe I’m avoiding him, too. Or at least I’m
accepting his avoidance of me. I certainly haven’t
sought him out.
I should talk to Logan. I want to talk to him. I
just don’t know what to say to him. I don’t know how
to explain how I feel about Jean. I’m not in love
with her, that I’m sure of. Still, l feel responsible
for her well-being, at least until she’s back on her
feet, in all senses.
I want Logan to understand that. I want him to know
that what happened with Jean doesn’t affect how I feel
about him. I still want what we both said we wanted
together – love and sex and facing the world as a team
of two. An army of lovers can conquer the world.
That’s how I had been thinking of Logan and me - a
warrior/lover pair, like in the Theban Band. I don’t
think I’ve ever been happier than I was when he told
me that’s what he wanted, too.
We’d thought Jean was dead at the time, thought that
we’d had an imposter in our midst. Maybe that’s what
it took to really open our minds to the possibility.
At least I think that was what it took for me, as
defended as I was against loving another man.
It’s been a long time since I’d even considered the
possibility. I’d come out the first time when I was
fifteen, but once Jean and I were together I’d settled
into this half-closeted state. I’m not one of those
fundie crazies who try to go straight, even if it
looks like that on the surface – gay through my teens
and then at age twenty I get involved with a woman.
It wasn’t because of some religious conversion, and I
didn’t think of myself as an “ex-gay man.” I mostly
just didn’t think about my sexuality at all.
Jean and I had gone through so much together, shared
so much. We loved each other and although we’d kind
of fallen into the relationship, it felt to both of us
like it was worth working on. I’d had sex with a lot
of guys, but I’d never had the kind of closeness I had
with Jean, and I didn’t want to risk what we had.
“That way madness lies, let me shun that.” I knew
that if I had sex with a man it would damage what Jean
and I had, and our relationship was very important to
me. Love was something I shared with Jean, not anyone
else. That’s how it was until she died. Well, until
I thought she was dead.
I was so sure that this woman who showed up was
someone else, someone who inexplicably looked like the
woman I’d loved and lost. We’d since found out
otherwise, now knew that Jean had been invaded or
possessed. Whatever had taken over her body and her
mind was gone now. Jean was back, really back this
That didn’t change anything. Not for me, not for how
I felt about Logan. I’ll always care about Jean, I’m
sure. We’ve been friends since we were kids and we
were lovers for years. We’d planned on marriage. I
feel a great warmth and fondness towards her. In some
sense I’ll always love her, but I’d known for some
time that I wasn’t in love with her anymore.
I knew I wasn’t going to try to live a straight life
again. That’s a decision I’d made over a year ago and
one I’ve never wavered on. It had taken me some time
to clearly understand that the relationship Jean and I
had tried to build was a mistake, but I did understand
It never would have worked, I realized. I hadn’t been
true to my nature. Now that I was in love with a man,
I’d learned something essential that had always eluded
me before. Now I understood that deep love and
intense desire could have the same object, and it was
a life-changing realization. It was very clear to me
that there was never going to be anything but
friendship between Jean and me. This was information
Jean had a right to know and I was definitely going to
Still, it was something I needed to do carefully, not
just blurt out. Jean was in no condition to hear news
like that without some preparation. Logan should have
understood that. He knew what had happened to her.
Well, as much as any of us knew, which wasn’t a whole
I’d called Charles as soon as I could, as soon as we
were sure that *thing* was truly gone from Jean. As
soon as we’d established that the inhabitants of the
Vermont house it hadn’t killed were safe and well, as
soon as I was sure the house was secure. I’d
explained to Charles what had happened to Jean and
told him about the deaths of the FBI agents assigned
there. I don’t know what he’d told the G-Men’s
superiors, but he assured me that Jean would not be
arrested for their deaths. Then he and Hank joined us
in Vermont, to run interference with the FBI as
needed, as well as to try to get a better sense of
what had gone on there and to formulate a plan for
what to do next.
Two more grim-faced FBI agents showed up shortly after
Hank and Charles, looking almost exactly like the ones
who had died. They interviewed us all and took
extensive notes. Neither of them betrayed any
emotion, even when Logan and I described finding their
colleagues dead, hearts pulled from their chests and
placed neatly on the hall table. Logan and I
exchanged glances while they muttered about satanic
cults and ritual murder, but didn’t try to correct
The G-Men left with the bodies of their fellow agents,
and no local law enforcement showed up. I checked
local newspapers as long as we were in Vermont, and
nothing about two gruesome deaths interrupted the
articles about school funding and ski tourism.
We stayed on for a few more days, in order to look for
clues as to what it was that had taken over Jean’s
body, and in order to interview our Alpha Flight reps
and Cassandra, our Mutant Protection Plan resident.
They were the people who had been on the spot and knew
best what had happened. Logan and I had come into it
too late to have the whole picture. Both Sasquatch
and Cassandra had been attacked by “Jean” and we hoped
we could find out more from them about the being that
had invaded her.
It quickly became clear that Sasquatch would be no
help to the investigation. We’d found him
unconscious, but without a mark on him. He awoke a
couple of hours after Jean became herself again, but
with no memory of anything that had happened that day.
His memories before jibed with the rest of ours, but
added nothing. He’d noticed a difference in “Jean”
from when he’d first arrived in Vermont to work with
her. She had seemed changed, unlike the woman he’d
known for years. He and Northstar had compared notes,
speculating that she might be an imposter, a
shape-shifter taking Jean’s form. That she was Jean
but possessed by some inhuman entity had never entered
By contrast, Cassandra’s memories were clear and
complete. She was able to tell us exactly what she’d
experienced. Her mutant power for predicting
catastrophe had warned her that she’d be attacked by
Jean. As soon as she had the vision, she’d tried to
escape, planning to return to Westchester. Jean had
tried to stop her and Cassandra had taken refuge in
the panic room. We’d had to coax her out of there
afterwards. It took some doing to convince her that
Jean hadn’t really been the one who attacked her, and
was no threat to her now.
After we’d learned everything we could on site, we
returned to Westchester. We brought Cassandra with
us, and also Ethan Leeds. Charles had asked him to
take a few days off to join us. We needed his
expertise and his established therapeutic
relationships with both Cassandra and Jean.
Hank examined Jean carefully and did pretty much every
test modern medicine had available to assess her
physical and mental state. Charles examined her
telepathically, and assessed her mutant powers with
Cerebro. Ethan Leeds interviewed her at length,
bringing his professional expertise, his experience
with mutant psychology, and his long professional
relationship with Jean to the table.
The three of them were a formidable team. If anyone
had been able to figure out what had happened to her,
it would have been that trio. Still, with all the
expertise, intelligence, and mutant power brought to
bear, we weren’t clear on just what had invaded her
body or what that being had done to her. We were
referring to the invader as “the Phoenix” – a
reference to the fiery, bird-like shape that seemed to
be coming out of her body when Jean became Jean again.
But giving it a name wasn’t getting us any closer to
figuring out who or what it was.
As far as they could tell, Jean seemed physically
unaffected by more than a year of having her body and
mind under Phoenix control. It also seemed that it
hadn’t diminished her mutant powers at all. If
anything, it seemed to have intensified them. Her
telekinetic ability was exponentially stronger than it
had been. And Charles said her telepathy was now so
strong it was rivaling his. It wasn’t clear how that
had happened. Had possession by the Phoenix had an
intensifying effect on her gifts? Or was it a natural
progression that had just coincidentally happened at
the same time as the possession? I tended to think
Ever since we’d fought Magneto at Liberty Island
Jean’s powers had seemed to be growing by leaps and
bounds – growing faster than her ability to control
them at first. I remembered the bed shaking while she
dreamed, objects flying when she was frustrated or
unhappy. She had told me nothing was wrong, but it
was clear that something had changed in her. It
seemed that her telekinetic gift was growing and
developing almost as if she had just come into her
powers. She was exhibiting the same lack of control
our students often experience during that period of
change. During more than a year of Phoenix
possession, perhaps her telekinetic ability had
continued to grow, and to stabilize, so that she was
now in better control, now that she had her body back.
So, physically Jean was perfectly well, surprisingly
so. And her powers were stronger than ever. Still,
that didn’t mean she was emotionally healthy. It
didn’t mean she was ready to take what was bound to be
hard news without some preparation.
Psychologically – well, it would take time to know
just how badly hurt she was, but she had clearly been
traumatized by the experience. Ethan reported that
she was suffering from acute anxiety – trouble
sleeping, having panic attacks, nightmares when she
did manage to sleep. And the way she had clung to me,
shaking, when the Phoenix finally left her body didn’t
leave me thinking that it was a good time to tell her
I had a new lover. A man. A man she’d thought had
been in love with her, thought I’d been jealous of.
Jean certainly knew something was up. In Vermont
she’d been assigned a room by herself. She’d looked
at me questioningly when Walter said he’d show her
which room was hers, but said nothing. When we
returned to Westchester, she asked Ororo where she was
staying, not looking at me. ‘Ro took her to the room
that she’d lived in – under Phoenix possession – for
the last several months. All of her things were
already there. She had no need to come back to our
room, and didn’t. I wasn’t finding myself alone with
her. If I’d wanted to explain about Logan and me –
and I really didn’t think it was a good idea to do so
yet – I’d have needed to ask to speak to her
She didn’t spend much time with me, in general. I saw
her at faculty meetings, in the dining hall, at team
meetings. She didn’t sit with me and she didn’t look
It wasn’t to me to whom she turned to find out what
had happened while she’d been possessed. She gave an
overview of her experiences of the past year at the
first team meeting after her return. Or more
accurately, her non-experiences. “It feels like I
fell asleep at Alkali Lake and woke up the next
morning in Vermont,” she said. “I know over a year
went by, but I only know it intellectually. I have
some moments of memory – at Xavier’s and in Vermont –
but it’s like little bits of a dream. Incomplete,
hazy, only barely remembered. I’ll look to you,” she
added, turning from me and towards Charles and ‘Ro,
“to fill me in on what I did during the time after I
came home.” She shrugged. “I hope none of you will
hold me responsible for my actions.”
Everyone quickly assured her that she was in no way
responsible for her Phoenix-controlled behavior.
Charles added, “We’ll do our best to fill you in on
what happened while you were with us, Jean. It’s also
possible that Ethan and I can help you fill in some of
the time before you showed up here.”
“How could you? I’ve really tried to remember. I
know that may well be the key to finding the Phoenix,
or at least figuring out what its intentions were.
But there’s nothing there, no matter how hard I try.”
Dr. Leeds weighed in. “It’s possible there is
something there, some memories, but they’re not
accessible to you. Maybe the experiences were too
traumatic to remember. Maybe the Phoenix has walled
off the memories, hidden them from your conscious
self. Maybe both are operating. I think that with a
combination of hypnosis and telepathy, Charles and I
may be able to help you recover them.” He paused, as
if unsure whether to continue. “It wouldn’t likely be
a pleasant process. Ultimately I think you’ll find
that the more you know, the better off you are in the
long run. Still, revisiting trauma is never easy, and
can often be re-traumatizing.”
“I want to do whatever I can to get answers,” she’d
replied without hesitation, “for all of our sakes.”
She smiled weakly. “I’ll count on you to pick up the
pieces, if necessary, Ethan.” As always, I admired
her courage, persistence, and commitment to the team.
I tried to talk to Jean after the meeting, following
her to her office. I began by expressing my
admiration for her fortitude and telling her I wanted
to do what I could to help her. I told her to let me
know when she felt ready to rejoin the team, but that
she shouldn’t feel under pressure to do so right away.
She didn’t say anything for a long time. When she
spoke, it wasn’t in response to what I said. “It’s
over, isn’t it?” she asked.
I nodded. “I’m sorry.”
She shrugged, smiling sadly. “Nothing to be sorry
about. We always knew it was a long shot.”
“Jean, I’ll always –”
“Don’t, Scott. Don’t finish that sentence. I don’t
think I can take hearing that right now. Maybe some
day.” She turned her head away. “I think I need to
be alone now.”
How could I have told her then?
Mofic Website: http://mo.fandomnation.com/fic/
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Fandom: X-Men Movieverse
Characters/Pairings: Bobby/Kitty, slight Logan/Marie
Canon: Takes place after X3, after the cure has stopped working. Or,
at least this is my half-hearted attempt at explaining why Rogue is
Word Count: 500
Summary: After days in the infirmary following a particularly
hazardous mission, Kitty reopens her eyes.
Author's Notes: This is meant to be part of something larger, and
oneday it might be. For now, it's a short, hopefully sweet look at
Kitty, her friendship with Rogue, her soon-to-be (maybe)
relationship with Bobby, and...I don't even know, really. Enjoy!
Empty blackness fades to muted color, and Kitty struggles to open
her eyes to the harsh, unfamiliar light. Her chest is tight, and her
breath wedges in her throat as though trying to prevent her heart,
newly beating, from leaping from her body. A harsh cough, three
blinks, and colors become shapes, shapes become lines, lines define
It takes a moment to register the paneled ceiling of the school's
infirmary, gray and blurry and cold. She has been in here once
before, and the thought kicks up pixilated images of bone and blood
from the dust her consciousness. Suddenly she is aware of the
slicing pain in her right leg, the dull throb of her temple. Slowly,
she runs a finger along the smooth, metal table, breathes a quick
sigh of relief that the appendage is still intact.
Someone is talking to her, she doesn't know who. She turns her neck
to look, and chokes back tears at the blinding pain that scrapes
down her spine. Someone's hand is on her forehead, fingers laced
among her knotted mass of hair, keeping her still. Kitty clenches
her jaw and nearly bites through her tongue, but she can feel the
thick fabric of a glove graze her forehead and quickly everything is
clearer, more focused.
Rogue's fingers brush strands of hair from her face while her other
hand remains firm behind Kitty's head. Rogue is saying something,
something maternal and comforting in that elusive southern accent
that reminds Kitty of summer thunderstorms and white picket fences.
Kitty can't quite make out the words, but she can feel Rogue's voice
in the tremble of her fingers, and wonders why she sounds so scared.
Everyone gets hurt during missions sometimes, each of them has at
one point. Kurt has broken an arm, Jubilee a leg, Storm some fragile
part of her spirit, relieved but never fully recovered. War brings
casualties, terror precipitates pain. And the X-Men are, if nothing
else, accustomed to terror.
But Kitty does, somewhere deep inside her, remember that battle,
that tight feeling in her chest and pounding in her ears watching a
murderous Logan race to retrieve Rogue from the clutches of some
captor, knowing that he would not make it in time. Knowing that she
could make it first. She remembers running, phasing, pulling hair
and clenching teeth and noise and blood and a deep, blue sky, but
nothing beyond that.
When her eyes focus, Bobby's face materializes from the watercolor
surroundings in harsh, tense lines. His jaw is sharp, his lips pale,
and Kitty finds wrinkles along his brow and tension in his cheeks
that she has never seen before. He catches her eye and smiles
quickly, but the muscles just above his lip quiver and his breath is
unsteady and drawn.
He says something else, and Kitty does not hear it. She looks
instead beyond his tight smile to the corner of his eyes, where the
beginnings of tears have turned to silver frost.
Thanks for reading! Please comment if you liked it/didn't like
it/want to say hi, or whatever. :)
“Just fucking make up your mind.” Logan said it in a
“It’s not that simple,” Scott replied.
“Sure it is.”
“There’s a lot to consider before – ”
“Fuck that. There’s bugger all to consider.” Voice
rising now as he continued. “Just one thing. One
question. Do you want her or don’t you? If you do,
ask her. If you don’t, stop jerking her – and the
rest of us – around.”
Scott opened his mouth to reply again, but Charles
stepped in before he could. “I agree with Cyclops.”
Logan looked up, surprised, as if he’d forgotten that
he and Scott were not the only people in the room.
“This is not an easy decision and not one to be made
precipitously,” the professor continued.
“You’re making this too simple,” Ethan Leeds chimed
in, agreeing with the other two. “It’s often one of
your strengths, Logan. You know how to unloose the
Gordian knots – you manage to cut through unnecessary
complexity and see the simple solutions.”
“Unnecessary bullshit, you mean.”
Ethan smiled. “That, too. But not all complexity is
bullshit, and this time I think the problem is more
complex than you are recognizing.”
Professor Xavier nodded. “Cassandra has powers that
are potentially of great benefit to the team. On the
other hand, we have other factors to consider before
we offer her a place on the X-Men.”
“What other factors?”
“Morale. Unit cohesion,” Scott answered, calmly, in
spite of the belligerent tone in which Logan had asked
the question. “Her powers are useful to us, but
they’re also unsettling to the team. I don’t know
that the rest of them are going to accept a precog who
only predicts catastrophes.”
“And there’s Cassandra’s emotional state to consider,
as well,” Ethan Leeds weighed in. “She’s still
dealing with the trauma of what happened in Vermont.
Cassandra is still adjusting to the huge changes she’s
undergone in the past year. She’s working on coming
to terms with the loss of her livelihood and home in
Washington, working on developing a new view of
herself, reflected by her new name. She’s still not
entirely comfortable with her mutant status
altogether. Obviously I can’t go into details, but I
know it’s no surprise to anyone in this meeting that
she’s an emotionally fragile individual. Cassandra
has been through a great deal of trauma in recent
months. I can’t really vouch for whether or not she’s
emotionally healthy enough to be on a team like the
“Fuck that. If ‘emotionally healthy’ was a
requirement to join this outfit, there wouldn’t be any
X-Men at all,” Logan snorted. “The Professor there
would be a one-man combat team. Well, maybe Jean,
too, at least before the Phoenix got into her. But
aside from the two of them, the X-Men have always been
a bunch of nutcases and wackos. Take a look around.”
“We asked you to join this meeting, Wolverine,” Scott
emphasized Logan’s codename slightly, “because
Cassandra has been training with you. We wanted you
to give us a clearer picture of her combat-readiness.
You were not invited here to comment on her mental
health, or that of the rest of the team.” Logan
didn’t respond. “If you don’t have anything
productive to contribute to the meeting, you might as
well leave now,” he added, coldly.
Logan stood up and began to walk out, but Charles
stopped him. “No, don’t go,” he said. Logan stopped
where he was, but didn’t return, didn’t sit down. He
stood there looking at Charles, waiting to see what
Charles turned to Scott. “Where did that come from?
How are we to come to an informed decision without
Logan’s input? What is happening with you two?” He
looked from Scott to Logan and back, but neither man
answered. “I haven’t had to deal with this kind of
conflict between you in years. I don’t want to be
dealing with it now. You both have more important
things to do.” He looked from one to the other.
“This is an unsettling time for us all, I recognize.
I look to you, Cyclops, to lead the team – not only
with orders, but by example. And,” turning to Logan
now, “I’m looking for your support. Whatever your
differences are, settle them privately. Outside of
Professor X’s words and tone left little room for
argument. Logan rejoined the others, sitting down
next to Ethan, without looking at Scott. Tension had
clearly not dissipated, but the meeting got back on
track, with all four men weighing in on Cassandra’s
suitability as a member of the team, each offering his
own information and expertise. A tentative consensus
emerged, a belief that the precog was potentially an
X-Man, but not ready at this point to be a
full-fledged team member. Her combat skills were not
sufficient for the task, and there was still concern
about her emotional stability and consequent ability
to function in high stress situations. It was agreed
that Cyclops would talk to her, explaining that they
would like her to join the main team after further
preparation and training (and, implying but not
explicitly stating, that further therapy would be a
good thing as well). In the meantime she would be
asked to assist in non-combat assignments and would
continue her combat training with Logan.
Logan left abruptly when the meeting was finished.
Scott, in the midst of a conversation with Charles,
excused himself and followed him. “Can we talk?” he
asked, catching up to Logan as he entered the elevator
down to the subterranean secure areas of the mansion.
Scott watched as Logan silently punched in the code
for the Danger Room, and added, “Come on. You haven’t
spoken to me – outside of meetings – since Vermont.
What’s going on? What did I do? Why are you so mad?
“I got nothing to say to you.”
Scott strode alongside him, anyway. “Why?” he asked,
as they got out of the elevator, looking around to
verify that they were alone in the Danger Room. Logan
went over to the simulator console and started keying
in a simulation sequence, but Scott persisted. “Why
suddenly nothing to say to me? Nothing to do with me?
It’s obvious to everybody. Even Charles is noticing
it. Suddenly you’re just pissed off at me all the
time. What’s going on? Is it because of Jean? I told
you it’s over between her and me. Don’t you believe
Logan turned towards him. Scott thought he was about
to speak, but not a word was uttered. He just grabbed
Scott by the shoulders and kissed him, roughly,
pushing his tongue deep in Scott’s mouth. Logan’s
hands moved from Scott’s shoulders down his back,
cupping the cheeks of his ass as his tongue explored
the inside of Scott’s mouth. Still saying nothing, he
broke off from the kiss and pushed the younger man
down to his knees with one hand, unzipping his fly
with the other.
Scott thought to resist, to insist that Logan at least
speak to him first, tell him what he was angry about.
But he suddenly realized that he wanted Logan more
than he wanted to talk to him. In fact, at that
moment there was nothing he wanted more than Logan’s
cock in his mouth. And it was pretty clear that that
was exactly what he was going to get. Logan held his
erect dick in his hand, pulling Scott’s head towards
him. Scott opened his mouth.
Logan pushed in hard, holding Scott by the back of the
head and thrusting in again and again, fucking his
face. Scott hung on to his lover’s legs, opening his
lips and his throat and letting himself be used. He
sucked hard as Logan pounded into him fast and deep,
pushing so hard it wasn’t clear whether he was doing
this for his own sexual satisfaction or to hurt Scott.
Maybe both, Scott thought. But just as that idea
came to him the rhythm changed, and Logan was sliding
in and out of his mouth more slowly, almost gently.
No longer just a receptacle, Scott started to feel
like they were doing something together now. He
stroked him with his tongue, using his lips, too,
hands reaching eagerly now to touch Logan’s thighs and
balls. Sucking, kissing, licking and stroking –
offering love and need and desire with hands and
mouth. Logan’s hands became gentle, too, fingers
playing with Scott’s hair instead of holding him in
And he was talking. Not making much sense, but
speaking in a soft, fond tone Scott hadn’t heard in
some time, saying his name and words of encouragement.
“Ah, Scott,” he said, “You got it. Like that. So
good.” Scott felt hot, warm, loving. He had a
profound sense of relief to know that Logan still
wanted him, maybe even loved him. He wanted nothing
more at this moment than to please Logan. He wanted
this feeling, this connection between them, to last
forever. He kissed and licked and sucked,
exhilarating in the taste and feel of Logan in his
mouth, the sound of Logan in his ears. He took him in
deep, then pulled back, kissing and licking the head
of Logan’s cock. Then pulled him in again,
controlling the movements now, sure he was giving
Logan what he needed, as Logan’s breathing got harder
and louder and his words fell apart into incoherent
He stayed there on the floor after Logan came, leaning
against his legs, savoring the taste in his mouth and
the feel of Logan’s fingers, still stroking his hair,
Then he wasn’t gentle anymore. He pushed Scott away
from him with a roughly casual motion, not as if he
were trying to hurt him, but like someone pushing an
object out of his way. Logan zipped up his fly and
straightened up. He walked back to the simulator
console he’d been working at when Scott came in.
“What?” He turned on the simulator, not looking at
“Do you have to do that right now?”
Logan stopped, turned to face him. “What? You want me
to do you?”
“Well, yeah. But I want you to talk to me, too.”
“I told you. I got nothing to say to you.”
“I’m going to tell her. About you and me, that is.
Just not yet.”
“I don’t care what you do. None of my business – you
and her.” They stood facing each other, not saying
anything. After a minute, Logan said, “Do you want me
to suck you?” He moved closer, began to stroke Scott
through his pants, whispered in his ear. “Or I could
fuck you. That always gets you off, doesn’t it?” He
kissed Scott on the side of his neck, still rubbing
him with his hand, unzipping him now and reaching
inside his pants. “You like my big dick pushing in
you, don’t you?”
Scott nodded, letting himself be pushed to the floor
again. Logan was pulling at Scott’s clothes and his
own with an impatience bordering on urgency. He
pulled some Vaseline off a nearby shelf and slicked
his cock with it, grunting happily at the sight of
Scott waiting for him on hands and knees, pants pooled
on the floor. And then Logan was in him, pushing hard
and fast, his hand rubbing Scott as his cock stroked
Scott came hard, Logan’s cock shoved deep inside,
Logan’s adamantium-laced body heavy on him. “She
can’t do that for you,” he heard, right in his ear, as
the orgasm overtook him. And then, in seconds, Logan
was off of him and back at the console. By the time
Scott had stood up and come over to Logan, he was in
the midst of setting up a complicated simulation for
one of his classes. Scott tried to speak to him
again, get him to stop what he was doing, but this
time he seemed less willing to be persuaded.
“It is your business. Of course it’s your business.
I’m in love with you. I’m not with Jean anymore.”
Logan continued working on the simulator controls.
Scott came up behind him, pressed against Logan, put
his arms around him, sliding one hand into his shirt.
He held him close like that, kissed him gently on the
back of the neck. Logan said nothing, but his hands
dropped from the simulator and he leaned back into
Scott’s embrace. “She knows it’s over,” Scott said,
after a while.
Logan turned around. “How would she know that?”
“I told her. Well, I think she already figured it
out. I wasn’t exactly acting towards her like she was
my fiancée since she came back. She knew something
was up. But I did tell her she and I are through. I
haven’t told her about you, but I told her that.”
Logan didn’t respond. “I’m going to tell her the
rest. It’s just that it’s bound to be hard news for
her – me in love with you. Hearing that I’m in love
with someone else would be hard, anyway. She’s come
back from the dead, in a very real sense. And the
year that we lived through – well, it didn’t happen to
her. You know that. She was in love with me and
thought I was in love with her. I was. So, to find
out that not only is it over but I’m in love with
somebody else, on top of everything she’s been
through. It’s too much.
“And beyond that, she’s got to have a hard time when
she finds out I’m with a man, after we both thought
that I was going to stay with her, that that was all
over for me. I know it’s something she’d worried
about for years. And then in the last year or so
before she... disappeared, well we both felt more
secure. I told her I could do this, marry her, stay
faithful. I thought I could. So it’s got to be tough
to find out that however much I meant it at the time –
and I did – it was ultimately an empty promise. I
couldn’t love her the way she needed to be loved, the
way I need to love. But of all men – well, I think
you might be the hardest for her to hear I’m with.
Harder still if she hears you’re in love with me,
too.” He looked down. “Only I wouldn’t say that. I
don’t even know if it’s true. You said it once, but
you’ve been acting like you can’t stand me mostly
since.” Logan turned away from Scott again, hands
going back to the simulator controls. He didn’t seem
to be doing anything with them, though. Scott kept
trying, put his arms around Logan again, whispered in
his ear. “I love you, Logan. I want us to be a team,
like we said, a team of two. You’re my best friend,
my lover. Or you were. Do you still feel that way
about me? I know you don’t like to talk about this
stuff much, and I won’t, generally. But tell me now –
do you love me? Do you even like me anymore?”
Scott didn’t get to find out if Logan was willing to
break his silence and answer that question. He heard
a voice, but not Logan’s. It was louder than any PA
system and commanding in tone. It was in his head,
not in his ears. He knew that Logan heard it, too,
since Charles was addressing them both: “Cyclops,
Wolverine – to my office at once. In uniform.”
Mofic Website: http://mo.fandomnation.com/fic/
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Title:My Baby Lives
Summary:Scott and Jean somehow find each other again as love
guides the way.
Warning: There will be spoilers as I am using some lines directly
from the movie.
My Baby Lives
"Not everyone heals as fast as you do Logan."
I walked out to the garage and hopped on my Harley, off to Alkali
Lake I go. I have to make sure Jean is gone, because a part of me
keeps hearing her call my name, a part of me wants to hope, wants to
live, wants to believe. The wind is blowing through my hair, I
remember the last time I rode my bike. Jean was behind me, holding
onto me, it was our anniversary, we had a picnic at the beach, and
afterwards we made love, if only life could be that simple every day.
Finally, I've arrived, I pull off my leather jacket and lay it on my
bike. I walk to the end of a cliff to get a view over the lake.
It's driving me crazy, I yank off my glasses and look out into the
lake, my optic blasts going on for miles. I fall to my knees. I
regain my control and slide them back on. There is a whirlpool
forming in the middle of the lake, did I do that? Then there she is,
standing in front of me, looking just like the day she left, except
now she has long hair again, she's beautiful.
"Jean?" I call out my heart racing with hope and anxiety.
"Scott." She whispers.
"I don't know."
I step forward pulling her into my embrace, holding her in my arms
once again. I've found her. I am the happiest I've been in months,
never was I so happy to see her as I am now, I'm sure that the
feeling is mutual. She pulls back from the embrace and looks at
me, "I want to see your eyes." She says putting her hands on my
"I don't want to hurt you."
"Trust me, I can control it now." I allow her to remove my glasses
and close my eyes tightly.
"Open them." Slowly, unsurely, I open my eyes. They flash red for a
moment, then they fade to blue. I can see her in full color and
she's beautiful. She quickly pulls me into a long awaited kiss, our
tongues dancing together in a glorious song. I don't want to let her
go. I don't know how we made it back to my bike, but we did, and
now we're speeding down the highway heading for home, her arms are
wrapped tighter around me than necessary, but I don't mind, I missed
her, my baby lives.
Every Ending is Just Another Beginning
By Linda J.
Verse/Timeline: Movie/directly following X3
Summary: No longer a member of the Brotherhood, Sabretooth now works
for the US government as a bounty hunter. His latest mission: track
down Erik Lensherr.
DISCLAIMER: They ain't mine; they ain't making me and money
So there he sat in the park, the once mighty man of magnetism. His
followers- scampered away like mice; his dearest friend- dead; his
woman- turned into the enemy; and his powers- gone. He was alone in
every sense of the word; alone, dejected and depressed. For the past
several days Erik had contemplated suicide, but no matter how low
his spirits were, he would not take the coward's way out. He was so
depressed that he could have sworn he was even beginning to imagine
his powers were returning; nothing to be sure of, just that old
familiar tingly feeling when he came close to metal. He was certain
this feeling was all in his head, of course, yet Erik reminded
himself one must always keep on optimistic attitude. `Damn you
Charles,' Erik grumbled to himself. `Now I'm thinking like you.'
Slowly, and not without a great deal of doubt, Erik stared at the
metallic chess pieces sitting motionless in front of him. With only
a trickle of hope Eric focused all his concentration on the king and
raised his hand. Success! He watched the piece wiggle ever so
slightly then, stop. He waited a moment or two before giving it a
second try, but this time the king remained still. A little
disappointed, but far from discouraged, Erik felt a small smile of
satisfaction grace his face. He was about to try once more when out
of nowhere he felt a large and heavy hand slap him across the back
of his head. The blow wasn't hard enough to knock him out, but it
did make him see stars.
"Hey Mags," he heard an all too familiar voice say as a large and
fearsome looking man sat down across the table from him. "Long time
"Victor Creed," Erik said the man's name distastefully, "and just
when I thought things were looking up." The old man studied the
menacing-looking giant as he stretched out and rested his right leg
on a nearby chair. Wearing a nicely tailored blue suit and extremely
dark sunglasses, Erik's one-time loyal devotee had obviously been
doing well for himself. For a moment or so they sat there staring at
each other with blank faces.
"Are you going to kill me?" Erik asked in an almost apathetic tone.
The man said nothing as he continued to stare at Erik with his arms
folded over his chest. Then softly he shook his head just slightly
"Death's too good for you Mags, or is it Erik now?" Erik's blood
boiled with fury knowing there was nothing he could do to put his ex-
lackey in his place.
"Tell me something Victor," Erik's tone made the man's name sound
profane. "Did you take "the cure" voluntarily or was it forced onto
you as was the case with me?"
"Oh, most people still call me Sabretooth," the man boasted and
leaned in toward Erik lowering his sunglasses far enough to reveal
his wholly blackened eyes.
"See Erik," Victor mocked Erik's tone, "I'm one of those who got to
have his cake and eat it too."
"How ironic," Erik's eyes narrowed and twitched a bit. "So tell me,
who paid for your obedience classes? Did that preacher woman pass
around a collection plate and raise the money that way?" Erik's
insult didn't seem to infuriate Victor but rather it brought an
instant grin of satisfaction to his face.
"It just twists your panties in knots knowing you never really had
me under your thumb, don't it Erik?" he taunted the old man. "You of
all people should know- I ain't nobody's pet!"
"So you say," Erik sighed and folded his arms over his chest. "Well
at least someone finally got you to wear something else besides
those leather rags of yours. Pity they couldn't talk you into
shaving that fur off your face or perhaps into getting a decent hair
"Oh you don't like my braid?" Sabretooth faked a pout, reaching
behind him and stroking his long blond braid. Erik offered no reply
and for another moment or so the two men continued to quietly stare
at each other waiting to see what the other would do or say next.
Sabretooth decided he finally had enough of this staring contest and
spoke what was on his mind.
"What you did to her was pretty shitty, you know."
"You've seen Raven?" Erik's demeanor seemed to perk up a bit as he
"Who the hell do you think she called after you kicked her to the
curb?" Sabretooth growled.
"I don't need to explain myself to you!" Erik angrily snapped. "She
became one of –them; if she had been the one in charge, she would
have done the same to me."
"You think so, huh?" Vic mocked with an awkward smile as he started
itching under his collar. Then he seemed to want to drop the subject
altogether. "So what you been up to lately?"
"What?" Erik shook his head, not sure he heard Victor's question
"Whatcha been doing lately? Keeping busy, aye?" Erik couldn't tell
if the felinoid was being facetious or not.
"So you came all this way, wearing that uncomfortable suit just to
mock me?" Erik asked as he began to collect his chess pieces from
the board. But suddenly Victor reached down and picked up the other
king and began to study the piece. Erik stopped and looked to see
what the old familiar thug was doing.
"I just realized something Mags, you and me never played a game, did
we? Then again…" Sabretooth teased, taking off his sunglasses and
looking hard at Erik. "Ah, checkers is more my game anyways. Wanna
Erik huffed and shrugged his shoulders. "Why?"
Victor put the chess piece down and explained. "'Cause you just keep
moving those little guys around and when one of them makes it to the
other end of the board, he's turned into a king!"
"It doesn't take much strategy for that, now, does it?" Erik
fearlessly ridiculed and returned to gathering the pieces. "Sorry
Victor, but I didn't bring any checkers with me, so I guess we won't
be playing any games today either."
Sabretooth frowned and put his glasses back on. "You think I put
this damn monkey suit on just to come here and give you a hard
time?" Erik stopped what he was doing and groaned.
"Well, are you going to get to the point or not!" he demanded.
"I did already!" Sabretooth growled. "I asked you `Are you busy?'"
Erik paused for a moment; he knew Victor wasn't much on making
jokes, and finally he gave in and answered irritably.
"How can you possibly assume I've been busy? Everything I worked for
is gone. Everyone I ever counted on, including you, has forsaken me.
All there is for me now is to come to the park; so other than an
occasional challenge to a chess game -oh yes, there's always feeding
the pigeons, and avoiding being arrested, there's little else
occupying my time."
"You're not taking `retirement' very well, are you, Mags?"
"You suppose?" Erik responded sarcastically.
"Hmmm," the pleased felinoid almost seemed to purr as he looked off
into the distance, seemingly to ponder Erik's situation.
"It's a brand new world Erik, I'm sure you've been keeping up with
the news. It's nothing but love for us mutants now."
"Is that so? Well I'm NOT a mutant, not any more," he added with a
bit of venom. "So why would I care?"
Sabretooth nodded. "You think it'll last?"
"Of course not!" Erik chortled.
"Well you're probably right, and the President agrees."
"The President? So I take it then you working for him now?" Erik
repeated sarcastically. "Yes, I heard he was handing out pardons
like they were Halloween candy. You must be very proud of yourself
working for an institution you once despised to the core."
"Yeah, ain't life a hoot?" Sabe remarked while he paused, tugging
uncomfortably on his tie.
"Ever hear of a place called Genosha?" he added.
"Yes." Erik then cautiously added, "I'm under the impression they're
NOT as mutant-friendly as the United States."
"Now that's an understatement! It's common knowledge that they allow
mutant slavery over there." Sabe's serious voice hinted of
concern. "The UN's been trying to break their backs with all that
sanctions crap and such, but they're a pretty rich damn country so
they've basically told the Pres and Hank McCoy to piss up a rope."
"And you're telling me all this –why?" Erik huffed impatiently.
Finally fed up with the tie, Sabretooth ripped it off and tossed it
on the ground and unbuttoned the top two buttons on his white shirt.
"Hank's putting together a fact-finding committee to go to Genosha
and find out what the hell is really happening to the mutant
population over there. Lucky for you, the one Hank picked to lead
this committee thinks you should come along as well."
"A fact-finding committee?" Erik repeated dryly. "I see no reason to
involve myself with that sort of colossal waste of time. Be a good
messenger boy and tell your President that I'm not interested."
Sabretooth began to chuckle and grin like the Cheshire cat.
"See, here's the situation, Mags. I'm not some messenger boy; I'm a
bounty hunter, and Uncle Sam's got a sweet price on your head. It's
just that I like to keep myself… abreast (that's the word ain't it
Mags?), on things and I know for a fact that you're going to be
offered this job after I bring you in."
"Indeed," he sighed. "So who exactly is the leader of this
Sabe was still smiling widely, pausing for a dramatic
Erik felt his heart skip a beat. "Mystique? And she's still going by
her true name?"
"Only among her close friends, like me for instance; so I recommend
you call her Raven, or better yet, Miss Darkholme, when you see her
again." Sabretooth waited a moment to see how Erik would take the
news of knowing that Mystique was now working for the government
instead of against it.
"So we doing this the easy way and you come along peacefully, or
should I assume you're still a stubborn jackass?" he asked as he
rapped his talons on the table top.
"A fact-finding committee you say?" Erik repeated once more,
sounding no more encouraged then the first time.
`Then again,' he thought to himself. If indeed his powers were
returning and this country Genosha was oppressing its entire mutant
race, what better place than there to rebuild his army?
"Perhaps it's time for an old jackass like me to learn to adapt to
this `new world'." Erik spoke up optimistically for once.
"Fine, I'll go peacefully; no point bloodying that nice suit of
yours on my account. Now the law abiding citizens of this city can
rest knowing that you have spared them from my terrible wrath," Erik
mocked as he stood up to leave with Victor.
Sabretooth nudged the old man slightly as he made him walk in
front. "You know something Erik? I always thought you were the
biggest damn drama queen I ever met! Now shut up so I can read you
your rights! God, it felt good saying that!"
Notes for both: The two stories are more companion fics than two parts of one
could be read on their own, but they're best together.
~ ~~ ~
Title: Deity In Blood
(brief) summary: Nightcrawler needs something more than acceptance -
Warnings: references to self-mutilation
Genre: Character POV
They accept, but they do not understand. This is something I have learned since
I came to
this school. They accept my faith, but they do not understand why I have faith
in a god
they have lost faith in, if they ever had faith in him at all. So I do not stay
always, but I look
for understanding, not mere acceptance.
And here, that is what I found. Acceptance, too, yes, but understanding. Not
that they all
have my faith, but they all have faith in something. And they all understand the
need for it.
One woman, she tries to understand my faith, as much as my need for it. She
hers, even as she learns of mine. She is very different, her deities are many,
as my own is complex. I do not yet fully understand how her faith works, but I
am trying. It
would be unholy not to give her the same consideration she gives me.
It is more than the understanding of faith that draws me to her, though. She
didn't ask me
if my tattoos hurt. She asked me merely if I did them myself, or if I had
someone else carve
the runes into my skin. And offered if I wanted more, that she had more precise
my own claws, or a simple razor blade.
Her body is as pristine as mine is not. Smooth, and unflawed, and so very pale.
not like needles or blades against it. But I have seen the bruises that bloom
under the pale,
almost translucent flesh. Fingers, wrapped around her arms. And the marks that
and red, but fade with time. She says they're nothing, only an outlet when she
So I asked her why, one day, she is alone so often, that the skin that should be
mark so often has red scratches and half-moon marks of teeth. She gave me
question as an answer. Who would stay long around someone who does not listen to
and feels closest to deity when she is causing pain? When she feels the presence
something beyond herself in the blood and pain of someone else?
I haven't gone back to the Institute in weeks now. Her skin is flawless, like it
Mine has more marks, neat and precise, scrolling over my back. Sundays she comes
me to Mass, at night I listen as she prays to her deities. Candles are lit, and
but she understands. As I can understand her.
Deity is in blood and flesh, and faith. Mien Gott, her deities, our faith. Maybe
one day we
will go back to the X-Men together, but for now, there is no need. Something she
me when we met is so very true.
"What need do we have, you and I, for acceptance of other people? Deity accepts
understands, and loves unconditionally. That is all I need, and all I desire.
~ ~~ ~
Title: Deity In Blood II: Counterpoint
(brief) summary: Everything can be seen from more than one point of view.
Warnings: references to self-mutilation
Genre: Character POV
He's so much more... and so much less than I expected. Word gets around a place
Abbey quickly when there's someone new. They said he was a mutant, that he
he had faith. It's not something you expect. It's not that we don't accept them,
they... the mutants, I mean... they don't come to the Abbey. They don't
anymore than we understand them.
We... have faith that there's something more. I can't say we believe, because
that is a word
used by those who hate far too often. We have faith, no matter what we have
faith in. Some
of us have friends, or family, that are mutants. And those that do often come
upset... confused... wondering why the people they hold so dear can't understand
they can have such a strong faith, when the world is so unfair.
But that's why we have such faith, many of us. If the world was fair, than those
misfortune would deserve it. And they don't. He doesn't deserve the rejection he
everyday, the fear, the people who don't understand. He's such a wonderful man,
what if his skin is the color of my blue jeans, and his eyes the same color as
beads on Father Chasie's rosary?
When I first met him, he stood outside in the rain, in the parking lot of the
looked like he wasn't sure if he was going to come in. And I saw those tattoos.
amazing, more so when you realize what he had to work with to etch them into his
like that. He'd been to the Abbey a couple times before, but he wasn't sure if
he wanted to
keep coming back.
I asked him what he made the tattoos with, and I saw his eyes light up, like
expected someone to ask that about his tattoos. Or maybe that he expected a
question first. I don't know why people would ask if they hurt to be etched into
his skin. Of
course they would. What's the point of a tattoo like that, raised and scarred,
if it doesn't
I have a permanent room at the Abbey, because I can't keep the tools at home. It
scare people off. I offered to let him use them. Or to use them on him, if he
hard to find someone who understands the need for pain as much as the need for
how related they can be. Blood is deity, and deity is blood. The two have been
throughout history that it's surprising people reject now.
We started to talk that day, in the rain. We both caught cold, didn't get to
talk again for
almost two weeks. But he came back. A Saturday night, actually, and I had a
He stayed with me, watched, listened, and asked me about it all when I was done.
language, the deities, everything.
I went with him in the morning to Mass. I'd gone before, to Father Chasie's
even though I don't follow the teachings of the Catholic faith, the sense of
wonder always made me feel something. Never much, not until I went with him.
something about being with someone who has as much faith as he does, when there
so many reasons he wouldn't. So many like him, to some extent, who don't have
I don't know when I fell in love with him. It doesn't really matter, in the end.
between him learning about my faith, and me learning about his, and everything
talked about, I fell in love with the most wonderful person I've ever met. A
and incredible man, and I can't take him to meet my parents. I like him the way
he is, and I
don't think a bullet through the chest would look good.
And there are times, when we're curled up together, and he thinks I'm asleep,
that I hear
him wish he had the strength to take me with him, to introduce me to those who
him from Stryker. I don't know why, as he hasn't gone back to the Institute for
maybe, there, I can do something.
But not now. This rapport between us is still young, still fragile in many ways.
That's why I
haven't gone home in as long as he hasn't. The Abbey is home for us, for now.
these days, maybe, we'll go see his friends, and not worry about them not
Maybe, too, we'll visit my parents, and I can tell them that their lack of
doesn't matter, and leave before the shotgun comes out.
Maybe one day we will. But not today. Today, we're not ready, and neither are
Logan and I were in Charles’s office within minutes.
We weren’t the first ones there. Ethan had arrived
before us, or perhaps had never left after the meeting
we’d had to discuss Cassandra’s future. Cassandra had
joined Charles and Ethan since we’d left.
My first thought on seeing her was that we had been
just short of insane to even consider taking Cassandra
on as an X-Man. She looked like an inmate in some
horror movie about an insane asylum. Her clothes were
torn and dirty, her hair all over the place.
Scratches on her face and forearms were fresh and
bleeding. I might have thought she’d been attacked
except that she continued to rip her clothing and rake
her nails across her flesh as she sat there, thrashing
about and wailing uncontrollably. Ethan was speaking
to her in a quiet, soothing voice, trying to get her
to stop the self-mutilation, it seemed. It was
apparently a futile gesture. It looked as if
Cassandra didn’t even know he was there. She
continued ripping her skin and clothes, and crying and
ranting loudly. Her arms were moving about in
strange, almost mechanical, gestures or tics. I could
make out a few words – “the kids” and “save them” was
said a few times – but her voice was oddly inflected
and the phrases were difficult to understand. And
most of the sounds coming out of her mouth weren’t
speech and didn’t even sound all that human.
“Cassandra had a vision,” Charles said in my head.
“Is this what she’s always like during one?” I sent
that thought back to him, but he didn’t answer, his
attention turned now to Cassandra and Ethan.
“Let me,” Charles said to Ethan. “This has to stop,”
he added. Cassandra’s wailing ceased even as he said
it, stopping abruptly along with the compulsive
scratching and twitching and tearing of clothes.
Cassandra smoothed her rumpled skirt, and sat on the
couch calmly and sedately, her head turned towards
Charles. Aside from the rips in her blouse and the
blood on her face and arms she looked perfectly
normal, a complete contrast to the wild woman she’d
appeared to be just a minute ago. If I hadn’t seen
other people under mind control I might not have
noticed the characteristic vacant expression in her
“Are you okay, Cassandra?” Ethan asked, his voice calm
and concerned, taking both of her hands in his,
looking deep into her eyes.
“She can’t hear you,” I interjected. “Charles has her
brain.” He took a closer look at her, then turned to
Charles, questions on his face. Charles nodded.
“What’s the vision?” I asked.
Ethan answered me. “We don’t know. She couldn’t calm
down enough to tell us. All I’ve managed to get out
of her is that it’s going to happen soon and there are
children in peril.”
“Also, that she thinks the X-Men can help,” Charles
“Are her visions of... possibilities, then, not what’s
definitely going to happen?” I asked.
“No, that’s not my impression,” Ethan replied. “I
think she does see what’s going to happen. That’s a
lot of what makes this gift such a difficult one for
her – the feeling of powerlessness, the inability to
stop disaster she knows is coming. But this time it
seems it’s a little different. Whatever she’s
envisioning is a scene of people in danger, not dead.
She kept saying ‘They’ll die if you don’t do
something’ but we couldn’t get her to tell us more.”
He turned to Charles. “Can you control her enough to
keep her calm but let her thoughts through, so she can
He shook his head. “I’m trying, but she’s too
panicked. If I let up even a bit, I can feel her
start to spiral out of control.”
“Can you read her mind while she’s under mind control?
Get at the vision that way?” Ethan asked.
Charles shook his head. “No. Usually I can do that,
but not with her. I can’t seem to read her thoughts
well enough to see the vision myself. Her mind is
unusual, unique perhaps. Certainly not like any I’ve
ever encountered. I find her hard to read even when
her power is inactive. When she’s in the middle of a
vision her brain is totally incomprehensible to me.”
He turned towards me, to answer the question I’d asked
when I came in. “No, Scott, she’s not usually like
this. I’ve been with Cassandra before when her power
is active. Her affect is always kind of strange
during a vision and she does cry while she talks about
it, but she’s been able to tell me what she sees other
times, although I’ve always been unable to access the
vision directly with telepathy. I think her panic is
coming from the feeling that this is a situation we
can and must respond to. Other visions she’s had
there were no such options. She was upset, but
somewhat resigned to the calamity she foretold. She
wasn’t so completely out of control.”
“So what do we do now? If there is something the
X-Men can do to avert disaster,” I added, “we should
find out what it is. But how can we find out if she
can’t tell us when she’s not under your control and
you can’t find out for us?”
“Let her go.” Logan spoke for the first time. “I’ll
Charles complied immediately. I could tell as soon as
he released her mind, because the noise and the
movement started as if it had never stopped. Started,
but not for long.
“Cassandra!” Logan said, in the commanding tone he
uses with the kids when he’s directing them in drills
and exercises. “Stand up!” She obeyed immediately
and stood at attention facing him. She was still
sobbing, but the wailing and thrashing had ceased.
And the sobbing receded, too, as Logan began doing
breathing and warm up exercises with her. Cassandra
seemed very familiar with them – he must have taught
her these when he was training with her. In less than
a minute she appeared back to normal, almost.
Charles and I looked at each other. “Whatever your
problem is with him,” his brain said to mine, “get
over it. We need him.” I nodded my agreement.
Logan stood in front of Cassandra, eyes locked on
hers, and said, “What’s going to happen?”
“An accident. A cable car. It’s dangling, going to
fall. And there’s a fire, too. Somewhere nearby –
maybe in the car. Children – they’ll die if you don’t
get them out. There’s not much time.”
The wailing began again, but Logan took her by the
shoulders, ordered her to go through the same sequence
of breathing exercises, and she got herself under
control again. “Can I try to find out more?” I asked
Logan. He gestured his assent, eyes remaining fixed
“Cable car? You mean like in San Francisco?”
“No!” she almost yelled it and her head shook
uncontrollably for a minute, but Logan got her back on
track quickly. “Not that kind,” she said. “Hanging
from something – high up. Like in Switzerland, for
traveling in the mountains.”
Charles had wheeled over to his desk and was doing
something on his computer workstation while we were
talking. He turned on the recessed projector now, and
the picture he’d called up on his screen appeared on
the wall opposite the couch. It was an aerial tramway
– also called a cable car, as Cassandra had said –
traveling up an incline, with alpine scenery in the
background. “Is this what you mean?” he asked. She
nodded. “How long until the accident?”
“I don’t know. Soon. Two hours, maybe.”
“Where is it?”
“I don’t know.” She was beginning to wail again, but
this time all it took was a slight touch of her
shoulder and she started breathing in time with Logan
again, getting herself under control. “But it’s near
here. It’s not *in* Switzerland – it’s just that kind
of cable car. The vision is only this vivid if it’s
close. I don’t think it’s more than twenty miles
Charles shook his head. “There aren’t any cable cars
like that in New York. Well, maybe up in the
Catskills, but not around here.”
I stood up. “Yes, there are. Definitely less than 20
miles. The Skyfari ride at the Bronx Zoo.”
We got there before it happened. We landed the
Blackbird in a clearing among trees on the zoo
grounds. I was glad that its vertical landing
capabilities made that an option, allowing us to enter
the zoo less conspicuously than landing our secret
vehicle in the parking lot. Still, we didn’t stay
inconspicuous. Running through the zoo grounds in
uniform, we attracted a certain amount of attention,
not all of it positive. I didn’t care. Although I’d
been told that Cassandra’s visions always come true,
part of me thought we could prevent the accident.
And, if not, we still were going to try to prevent or
minimize loss of life. To have a chance of that, we
needed to be on the spot. So my concern was for speed
and efficiency, not blending in.
We wouldn’t have blended in very well in uniform,
anyway, but even less so considering the team I’d
brought with me. In addition to Logan, I’d taken
Storm, Nightcrawler, Beast and Iceman. So, two who
were obviously mutants at first glance and all of us
in uniform. We stood out. We ignored the looks we
got and rushed through the zoo to the Skyfari East
Storm and I had been to the Bronx Zoo just a couple of
weeks before, on a school field trip. The class we
took was Hank’s, a biology one, but on that occasion
we had been trying to be inconspicuous, so we’d
traveled there by school minivan, and it had been just
her and me. The kids were studying adaptations of
nocturnal animals and we’d taken them primarily for
the World of Darkness exhibit. I’d quoted Blake to
them: “Nature in darkness groans” and Jubilee had
complained that they shouldn’t have to hear poetry on
a biology field trip.
We’d used the aerial tramway – called the Skyfari – to
get from one side of the zoo to the other. It was, as
Cassandra had alluded, a cable car – a miniature
version of the ones that were used in Switzerland to
travel up and down the Alps. Four people per car, it
rose above the zoo and took passengers from quite near
the World of Darkness exhibit across to the Dancing
Crane Café, where we’d given the kids lunch.
When we arrived at the Skyfari station, everything
looked normal except for us. There was a long line
waiting for the tramway and we could see a couple of
the cable cars high in the air. No sign of a fire, an
accident in the sky, or anyone in distress. We ran up
to the station, ignoring the objections of people
patiently waiting in line to board. Well, we all
ignored them except for Logan, who extended his middle
claw as we ran past, when he heard someone loudly
complaining about “line cutters.” He didn’t break his
stride to do it, though.
As soon as we got there, though, it was clear
something was amiss. Passengers board the Skyfari
tram in a small enclosure, with the assistance of
attendants who manage the doors and the line. As we
approached the enclosure we suddenly saw fire. There
were large flames surrounding the cable car on the
landing and boarding platform. We couldn’t see where
the fire was coming from, or even what was on fire.
It must have just begun, or just gotten large enough
to cause panic, because the calm line of a minute ago
was transformed. People were screaming. Some were
running away; some seemed frozen in place.
I could barely see the people inside the cable car.
They must have been about to get out. One of the
attendants had been holding the door for them to exit.
She had had the presence of mind to slam the door
before the flames reached the passengers inside. The
cable, which moved continuously, had stopped,
presumably due to some safety feature. We could see
other cars high above the zoo, stopped in mid-air.
The attendants – all of whom looked to be in their
late teens – were doing their best, but seemed
bordering on panic themselves. They were trying to
get away from the fire as they yelled at the
passengers in line to back off, as well. One of the
kids working there pulled a red emergency phone off
the wall as she backed away from the fire, calling for
Well, we were already there and I didn’t know how long
it would take the security people to arrive. “Stand
back!” I told the attendants, who seemed grateful to
see someone take charge of the situation. I motioned
to Bobby to come forward. “Iceman – take care of
He gestured towards the flames around the cable car
and it was instantly encased in ice, the flames
disappearing as quickly as they came. “Storm! Melt
it,” I called. Her pupils disappeared as her eyes
turned white, causing gasps from the crowd. We could
all feel a warm wind, just enough to melt the ice and
open the door to let the passengers out. I figured
once we did that, we could deal with the cars that
were still in the air.
Only it didn’t work the way I planned. Storm couldn’t
open the door. The ice was gone, but it wouldn’t
open. “It’s stuck,” she said. “Like it’s fused
together or something.”
“Magneto!” Hank and I said it at the same time. We
looked around, but wherever he was, he wasn’t visible.
Anyway, we needed to deal with the current crisis
before we looked for him. Logan stepped forward to
try to force the door open, but I waved him back.
Opening my visor very slightly, I blasted a fine line
along the edge of the door and then pulled it open.
The passengers tumbled out and I sent Storm as their
escort, to get them out of the enclosure.
“Beast and Iceman – go look for Magneto. Nightcrawler
and Wolverine – I need you to deal with the people
still up there,” pointing at the two cable cars
stopped high about the zoo. I was very aware of
Cassandra’s vision of a cable car dangling and perhaps
falling, but it wasn’t what I was seeing. The two
cars were stationary, but they were suspended on the
cable, right where they belonged. Logan and Kurt
followed me out of the enclosure, looking up at the
trams above us.
And then it happened. There was a sudden sound like a
loud snap and then the tram nearer to us was dangling
from the broken cable, swinging in the air, just like
Cassandra’s vision. The two cars were on a continuous
cable, but some safety feature must have kicked in,
causing the rest of the cable to stay in place and the
farther one to stay upright. I didn’t know how long
it would stay that way, though. We needed to get the
people out of both of them.
“Nightcrawler!” I called and he didn’t need any
additional orders. Kurt waited a few seconds, his
head swaying a bit as he tracked the dangling tram,
making sure he could predict the movements of the
swinging car. Then he teleported into it, coming back
with two small boys, dressed identically in Bronx Zoo
t-shirts and cargo shorts. One more teleportation
trip brought their mother, and they ran into her arms.
Kurt was about to return for the last passenger when
the suspended car was suddenly engulfed in flames,
just as the one on the boarding/landing platform had
been. He hesitated for a minute, but went back once
more into the now burning car, returning with the
children’s father. Both the passenger and Kurt seemed
unsinged. Logan looked at something in the distance,
and then ran off before I could say anything. I sent
Kurt to rescue the people still high above the zoo, in
the cable car that hadn’t fallen, then looked to see
where Logan had gone.
He was back in a minute, but he wasn’t alone. Kicking
and fighting him all the way was one of our former
students, Johnny Allerdyce, also known as Pyro. The
unexplained fire was no longer inexplicable. “Shut up
or I’ll shut you up!” Logan growled, extending his
claws. Pyro shut up. Logan handed me Pyro’s lighter.
Johnny’s power is very specific – he can manipulate
fire but not create it. Logan had effectively
“Where’s Magneto?” I yelled at Pyro and he smirked
back at me.
“Doing what we came here for,” he answered. He shook
his head. “This was just the diversion.”
Mofic Website: http://mo.fandomnation.com/fic/
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I am looking for a fic i read a while ago. I think it was called
First Times and FAntasie or something similar. Four or five of the
x-woman are around the table discussing their first times and/or
fantasies of what their first times would be like and logan catches it
on surveillance video. there is a sequel too i think but i can't find
either one. I would appreciate any assistance.
This fic is the retelling of the X3 story from Scott's point of view. It is in
depth, with a wonderful characterization of Cyke that I haven't seen that much
in the movie fanfics. A must read! It deals with disturbing themes and its a S/J
S/L story. Very worth reading multichapter story.
If you were let down by X3, you have to read Before Night Is Through by
Cyndrarae and you can find it here:
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
I wasn’t so mad at him after that day. The day when we
had the mission at the zoo. I’m not sure why. I sure
as fuck had been mad at him before. But then a lot
happened on that day and things changed somehow.
Scott and me hadn’t talked, hadn’t fucked, hadn’t done
much of anything together since Vermont, and I’d just
been getting madder and madder. Keeping it to myself,
but it was there all the time. I wasn’t even sure what
I was mad about, but I couldn’t look at him without
feeling this rage or something. And shame, too.
Feeling like I’d been tricked, betrayed, like I’d
fallen for a pack of lies. Hating him for telling me
all that stuff, hating myself for believing him.
Feeling like things had been just fine with him and me
before he started getting this love stuff in his head.
Why’d he have to go ruining everything? Only I didn’t
say anything about it. Didn’t know what to say. And
then it just came out in the meeting about Cassandra.
Maybe that’s what I needed – just yell at him, even if
it wasn’t about what I really was mad for. Relieve
some of the tension.
Or maybe fucking helped. It usually puts me in a
better mood. Like I said, we hadn’t done it since
before Jeannie got back to being herself. I hadn’t
done it with anybody else, neither. Doing without
always makes me pretty surly, I know. I was real mad
at him when he followed me down to the Danger Room
that day. Mad, but not just mad. Feeling other stuff,
too. Wanting him, even if I didn’t want to think about
that. And not wanting to talk about anything.
Only he keeps going on and on and trying to get me to
tell him what’s on my mind. “Talk to me, Logan.” “Why
are you so angry at me all the time, Logan?” I was
wishing he’d just shut up. I didn’t know whether to
tell him to get the fuck out, punch him in the face,
or stick my dick in his mouth. I wasn’t planning on
kissing him, wasn’t planning on anything. But then I
did, and one thing led to another, and it all felt
really good. Started off as angry sex, but it felt
good. After a while I started wanting him to feel
good, too. I felt kind of close to him after. Not so
mad anymore, anyway.
Or maybe it was the fighting that made the difference
– fighting on the same side. We still didn’t know what
Magneto was up to – not that day, anyway. So we
couldn’t call the mission an entire success. There was
still stuff to do – find out what that metal guy was
there for and, when we did, we had to figure out how
to stop him. But that was still a day or two away.
That day, after we got back from the zoo, we were
feeling pretty good. Hey, we did manage to save those
people, and we brought back Pyro and turned him over
to the Professor. Who wanted to “rehabilitate” him,
which seems like a real stupid idea to me, but who
Yeah, we accomplished the mission, at least that first
part, and it made me feel good. Good about being an
X-Man. Felt good about Scott, too, at least some of
Seeing Scott in action, working together like that, it
did something to me. I don’t know what exactly. It
reminded me of what we’re good at together, made all
this other stuff seem not so important or something.
Other stuff. Like whether he really wants to be with
me or get married to Jean. Well, he sure seemed like
he wanted to be with me when he had a mouthful of my
dick. He sucks me like it’s all he ever wanted to do
in this life. And then after, when I was fucking him,
and I could feel his dick moving in my hand while I
pushed into him again and again. The sounds he was
making, the things he was saying. When I’m doing it
with him, it’s hard to believe he wants anything –
anyone – but me, hard to believe he’d give up what
we’ve got for anything. But there’s more than sex
involved here. Well, more than sex for him and Jean
anyway. And I used to think there was more for him and
me, too, but now I’m thinking maybe not. Not much
point thinking about it, anyway.
Lots of other stuff to think about. What Magneto was
looking for at the zoo when he and Pyro started that
distraction became clear real quick. An animal had
been stolen from the zoo infirmary while we were busy
rescuing the people trapped in the cable cars. Metal
doors had mysteriously opened and a baby gorilla there
had been taken. A baby gorilla they’d taken out of the
gorilla exhibit two weeks before.
This animal that was snatched had been really strange.
That’s why they took it off the display. It seemed to
be spooking all the other ones. Its own mother was
rejecting it, and the rest of the gorilla group was
suddenly doing all this crazy gorilla shit. Well, even
more crazy than usual gorilla shit, I guess –
attacking each other, self-mutilating. So, they took
the weird one out and right away they all calmed down.
And the vets there were observing it, trying to figure
out what was wrong with this one. Only I guess Magneto
must have known what was wrong with it. He must know
he could use that animal for something, too. We didn’t
know what yet but we knew whatever it was it couldn’t
be good. And I was fine working with Scott and them to
try to figure it out, try to get the gorilla back.
Mostly I wasn’t even thinking about the other stuff,
Sometimes I thought about him, though. I mean, not
thought about him as the field leader, but thought
about him and me. I don’t know if I believe him or not
that he’s not getting back together with Jean. I don’t
know if he even knows, really. If he wanted something
big with me, something long term and real like he says
he does, well then he’d tell her about us, that much
I’m sure of. So I think he probably doesn’t, not
really. Maybe that’s just the way he likes to talk,
the way he likes to think. Pretending, but then he
could’ve sort of forgotten it was pretend.
Yeah, I think that’s it. He kind of got carried away
there for a while when he thought she was dead. Scott
was really depressed for a while there. They were all
worried about him here. Then he was getting better and
at the same time him and me were spending so much time
together. And the sex was real good and maybe for a
little while there he just thought it was something
more than that. Carried away, like I said.
Well, maybe I got carried away, too. But not any more.
I know who I am and I know what I am. An army of
lovers could conquer the world? Nice story, but it’s
not for real. I don’t even want that with him, anyway.
It was a stupid idea. I’m not cut out for that kind of
thing. I don’t know why I said the stuff I did – just
kind of caught up in the moment, I guess. But now that
Jean’s really back and he doesn’t want to tell her
about him and me, well it’s making me realize that
this love bullshit just isn’t for me, either.
None of my business what he and Jeannie do. Sure, I’d
miss fucking him if they do get back together. But I
don’t need to think about that, not yet anyway. We’re
sort of back to normal, back to the way it was, with
him and me getting together late at night. The sex is
good – rough and hot and none of that love talk. I’d
miss it if he got back together with her. But damned
if I’d do it with him if he’s getting married. I got
no need to be sneaking around; I can find somebody
else. Plenty of somebody elses.
Yeah, he can do what he wants with her, or anybody
else for that matter. And if they’re not getting
married, well no reason Scott and me can’t just keep
on going like we have been. Sex sometimes, hanging out
together sometimes. Doing whatever we want with
anybody else, too.
I don’t know if he *was* doing it with anyone else,
though. Maybe Jeannie. He says he isn’t, but who
knows? I’d see them together sometimes. Maybe they
were working, maybe doing something else. He says he’s
not even interested in women.
Don’t know if I believe that. Well, I sure know he
likes dick. I was getting a good demonstration of how
much he likes it most nights – him on his knees
gobbling me up while I shoved it deep. Still, he was
with her for years before she disappeared. He must
have gotten something out of it. Something besides
looking good to the kids and the professor.
Maybe he was doing it with some other guy, too. Could
be. Northstar got sent to Westchester to work with us
on the Magneto thing and I’d see him and Scott
together sometimes. Maybe talking business, maybe
something else. None of my business, anyway. He can do
what he wants.
And like I said, so can I. I started going out at
night, especially nights he was busy with Northstar.
Or with Jean. Not with any plan in mind, really, just
wanting to be somewhere else for a while.
This one night I went to this place in town – beer and
burger joint. I’d been there with Scott once, a long
time ago, right after we left Jeannie at Alkali Lake.
It was that time when he was kind of falling apart and
I figured I’d take him somewhere to get away from the
school for a while.
Shit. I was coming out here for a change of scene – no
time to be thinking about him.
So I start thinking about the cute barmaid instead.
I’d noticed her before. Long red hair tied back in a
ponytail, but a few wisps kept falling in her face and
she’d blow them away. Great mouth on her. Great ass,
too, which I’d get a nice look at every time she
turned around to get another bottle from behind there.
Tight short skirt showed it off real good. Seeing her
bending over like that made me want to bend her over,
me right behind her and pulling the skirt up and her
panties down. She caught me looking, and I smiled and
she smiled back. I was going to ask her when she gets
off work, but before I could she says, “So how’s your
“The one with the problem with his eyes. You brought
him here once.”
“Oh him. He’s okay.”
“What’s his name?”
“Did the surgery work?”
I almost said “What surgery?” but then I remembered
Scott had told her he had to wear the dark glasses
because of an operation he’d had, that his eyes were
sensitive to light. So I told her no, that it didn’t
work and he still had to wear glasses all the time.
“Well, tell him I’m real sorry about that. And say
‘hi’ for me – tell him Maddie says hi. And that he
should stop in here some time. Okay? Tell him that for
Didn’t seem much point in trying to get anywhere with
her after that. I stayed a little longer, looking
around, but the only other women in the place were
either there with their boyfriends or pretty close to
falling down drunk. So I finished my beer and went
back to the school.
I passed on the message all right. Later that night.
With him sitting on my lap, my cock pushed all the way
up his ass. He was panting and moaning while I rubbed
his dick harder and faster. I licked him on the side
of the neck then whispered it right in his ear.
“Maddie – barmaid at that place in town – wants you to
stop in,” I told him. He grabbed onto my thighs,
saying “Oh Logan” and kind of sighing or something as
he came on my hand. Then I pushed him on to the floor
on his hands and knees and shoved it into him again.
Fucked him hard and fast, lying full on his back. So
good like that, doing it with someone strong enough to
take the weight of the adamantium in me. He pushed
back, holding me up while I moved in him, harder and
faster. And he licked the cum off of my fingers while
I was fucking him. One finger at a time, real slow,
making it last until I was ready to shoot. He didn’t
say nothing about Maddie.
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I felt like Logan softened towards me after the day of
the zoo mission. I can’t say we got back to where we
had been before we knew that the Phoenix had possessed
Jean, but things were better between us. He no longer
seemed to have this hot core of anger in him every
time he looked at me. And he wasn’t avoiding me any
longer. When he’d kissed me in the Danger Room,
pushed me to my knees to suck him, I’d had a panicky
instant of wondering if that would be the last time
I’d ever touch him. But it wasn’t, not by a long
I was seeing him almost every night lately. He’d show
up in my room late, or we’d meet in the Danger Room or
at the pool. For sex, for companionship. For love?
No, I don’t think so. Not on his part, anyway. He
made that clear. I tried once more to tell him that I
loved him but he stopped me. “I don’t want to hear
that shit,” he said. “That’s not what me and you are
about.” He set the boundaries, and I followed them, at
least with my actions, if not with my thoughts or my
feelings. I wanted what I could have with him. For
now, anyway, this was it.
But sometimes, just once in a while, he’d say my name
in a way that seemed to mean something. Once in a
while he’d come into the classroom during one of my
classes and sit there and listen, as if he just wanted
to be near me. Sometimes when he’d stroke my hair
while I was sucking him his touch would feel loaded
with intent. Those were the times I’d think there was
more to this than just sex. Once in a while I’d think
he really needed me. But then I’d talk myself out of
that, realize I was most likely projecting my own
feelings on him.
It was so much better than it had been, anyway. It
was a relief to have broken the tension between us, to
feel like we were together - as effective teammates,
friends, and occasional bedmates – if not truly as
Charles noticed the difference. He didn’t ask what
had happened and I don’t think he’d read my mind, but
he assumed I’d brokered the peace between us and he
thanked me for it. “We really do need Logan,” he’d
said to me when he and I were alone after a team
meeting. “I realize he’s not the easiest man to get
along with. It looks like you worked things out. I’m
“I’m glad to be his friend again,” I’d replied.
Ironically, it was after Logan and I had achieved some
sort of détente that Cassandra warned me about him.
She’d been hesitant to say anything, it was clear.
She’d made an appointment to speak with me privately
but avoided talking about what was on her mind, going
on at length about the school and the team and her
plans for the future. I waited it out, knowing she’d
speak when she was ready. “I’ve had a vision,” she
said finally. “I think you need to know.” She looked
away and continued. “It’s blurry. That means it
won’t happen for a while. Days, weeks – I don’t know.
But you’re in it, and you’re in danger. You need to
know,” she said again.
“Yes. Tell me.”
“You’re with a woman. I can’t see who she is – you’re
in the way so I can’t see her face. Your arms are
around her, though. Kissing her. And then he comes
in – Logan.” She had this faraway look in her eyes,
as if she were seeing what she was describing. “I
can’t see his face – too blurry – but it’s him. Claws
extended. He’s in a rage, angry in a way I’ve never
seen. I can tell by how he’s moving and he’s... like
*roaring*. These noises – more like an animal than a
man. And then...” She trailed off.
“He stabs you in the back.”
I’m not saying hearing that from Cassandra didn’t give
me pause. And had it happened *before* the zoo
mission, I would have been really worried. But things
had changed between us and I just couldn’t believe
that Logan would ever use his claws on me. Plus, I
couldn’t see any circumstances where I’d be with a
woman like that. I didn’t know what it could mean
that she saw Logan attacking me. I’d heard Charles
and Ethan say her visions always came true; I’d heard
her describe the vision of the cable car and then seen
it happen, just as she foretold. Still, it didn’t
seem possible that this vision was prophetic.
I don’t even know what made the difference for Logan,
but his attitude towards me had pretty thoroughly
changed. Changed enough that I knew that Cassandra’s
vision must have been wrong. Maybe working together
helped, even if the mission wasn’t a complete success.
Maybe having sex helped. Maybe he believed me when I
told him it was over between Jean and me. It’s hard
to say. He wasn’t telling me what he’s feeling and I
wasn’t even really sure of why he’d been mad at me in
the first place. I’d thought he’d been jealous,
worried that Jean and I would get back together, but
it might not have been anything like that.
He’s hard to read a lot of the time. He doesn’t talk
much, but we’d been spending a lot of time together up
until Vermont. Logan had shared more with me, I
think, than he has with anyone else, talked to me like
he didn’t with anyone else. He wasn’t talking to me
now the way he used to, but I’d learned to understand
a lot more than the words he says. Most of the time,
anyway. So, when he said “Do what you want – I got
no claim on you” I knew that it meant something more,
something he didn’t say: “And you’ve got none on me.”
I was pretty sure I wasn’t the only one he was
fucking. He went out a lot at night, into town.
There was a barmaid at this dive he used to go to,
Maddie. He talked about her at odd times, once even
when we were having sex. I’d spent enough time with
him that I had learned to read between the lines.
When he said “Maddie said to say ‘hi’ to you” while
I’m sitting on his cock, well it was pretty clear what
he meant: “I’m doing this with her when I’m not with
It hurt to realize he was doing it with someone else
but I tried to accept that. I had to accept it. It
wasn’t up to me what he did; I really did have no
claim on him. I likely never would.
I wasn’t going to ask for some sort of exclusive
relationship with him. I knew full well that if I did
ask he’d turn me down. It wasn’t like him to be with
only one person. And I’m not even sure it’s a
reasonable thing to ask of someone like him. He’s not
like me. He’d told me pretty clearly when we’d first
started having sex that he has always been more
attracted to women than to men. How could I expect
him to give that up when I hadn’t been able to turn
off my attraction to men?
So, maybe it wasn’t what I really wanted with him, but
I was determined to take what I could get. To be
grateful for what we did have. I needed him in a lot
of ways, and not just sexual. I’d come to rely on
Logan as a teammate, and more. My sounding board,
advisor, consultant. And there was a lot to consult
We didn’t know what Magneto was up to with the baby
gorilla he’d snatched. And we didn’t know where he’d
gone with it, either. Finding Lehnsherr had to be the
first step to finding what was going on. Charles
thought Pyro was the key to that, but I wasn’t so
sure. John had fought ferociously when we captured
him, with his mutant powers and with fists once he was
disarmed. Logan overpowered him easily, but Pyro
certainly seemed clear that he considered himself our
Then we brought him back and Charles said he’d take
over, that he felt John could be rehabilitated with
understanding and care, now that he was away from
Magneto. And, indeed, he did seem to win John over
very quickly. Too quickly, as far as I was concerned.
How could he be a loyal member of the Brotherhood
that day at the zoo and mere weeks later be helping us
to locate Magneto? Charles was quite certain that
John was back on our side, but it seemed too fast for
me. I wanted to talk about it with someone other than
Charles, someone I could trust with my doubts, someone
I could trust to give me his honest opinion without
worrying how I’d receive it. I was glad to have Logan
back in my life.
“It’s too fast with Pyro,” I told him, lying in my bed
next to him, spent and sweaty. “I’m worried. It’s
like one minute he’s with us, the next with Magneto,
now he’s back. Adolescents are changeable, but
they’re not *that* changeable.”
He pulled me closer. “Do you think he’s faking it?”
“How could he be? Charles has read his mind. He’d
“What does the professor say about Pyro’s brain?
About his time with Magneto? What’s his take on what
“That Magneto made promises about a grand life, told
him he’d be a ‘god among insects.’ And then Johnny
found out that being a bad guy wasn’t all it’s cracked
up to be.” Logan chuckled at that and I continued.
“Mostly boring, apparently. Magneto’s cruel to them
when things don’t go his way, and the gang fights
among themselves. Squalid quarters – they’ve been
moving around a lot and staying in cheap motels.
Johnny always did like his creature comforts. And no
kids his age there – Charles says he was lonely and
homesick and once it was clear that nobody was going
to hold his time with Magneto against him, he was glad
to be back. Plus he’s an X-Man now – that’s part of
what he thought he was getting with Magneto, being
treated like an adult, like one of the team. Well, it
didn’t work out that way – he was more of a gofer.”
“Makes sense, doesn’t it? Unless you think he could
be hiding his real thoughts? Using mental shields?
You and me keep stuff from the telepaths around here.
Why not him?”
I turned over, throwing an arm over Logan’s chest.
“No, he couldn’t keep anything from Charles that
Charles wants to know. Neither could you or I, by the
way. Charles can penetrate mental shields. He
doesn’t generally; he’s very respectful of my privacy
and I’m sure of yours, too, but he’s very powerful –
more powerful than any shields. He wouldn’t hesitate
to penetrate Pyro’s shields, if he had any.”
“Can Jean do that?”
“Penetrate mental shields? I don’t know. She
couldn’t, not before the Phoenix. She’s nowhere near
as powerful a telepath as Charles. But lately…” I
wondered why he was asking about Jean’s telepathic
ability and felt a twinge of guilt that I still had
not told her about Logan and me. I shoved the feeling
to the back of my mind and got back to the subject at
hand. “No, I’m not worried that Pyro is managing to
fool Charles. Just the capriciousness, the
unpredictability. If he was won over by Magneto, then
by Charles, well why not Magneto again? Lehnsherr can
be pretty damn persuasive when he wants to. And the
double agent thing? It looks like that’s where we’re
headed with him and I don’t like it.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, you know he gave us what he thought was
Magneto’s location. Like I said, they’ve been moving
around a lot, but this one seemed like it might be for
the long term. We sent Northstar up there. I’m glad
Mac Hudson is willing to lend him to us for all this
time. Who else can get in and out so quickly?
Magneto was long gone by the time Jean-Paul got there.
So, John’s given us a few other possibilities, and
Northstar’s tried them all, and reported back. No
“Oh, is that what he’s been doing with you? Reporting
in?” I could feel Logan’s body tense up.
“Yeah, what did you think?”
He shrugged. “I don’t know. I see you and him
“Well, he’s been trying all the leads we’ve got.
Charles is sure that John’s telling the truth, trying
his best to help us locate Magneto, but he’s two steps
ahead of us. This isn’t getting us anywhere. Charles
thinks if we sent John to find him, make him look like
he’d escaped and was still loyal to Magneto, well then
he’d let himself be found.”
“And you don’t like the idea?”
“It makes me uneasy. What if Pyro finds Magneto and
gets won over again? You know, with his magnetic
personality.” Logan feigned punching me in the mouth
over the stupid pun. I took his hand, sucked on his
thumb for a minute, then continued. “If that happens,
we’re dealing with a triple agent. Plus, even if he
doesn’t switch over again, I don’t like the idea of
him doing this. I don’t want to send someone his age
on a dangerous mission, particularly by himself. It’s
all well and good for Charles to say he’s ready to be
an X-Man. I know it was key to winning him over, but I
don’t like it. Johnny just turned 17. He shouldn’t
be sent into harm’s way.”
“You were in a lot of ‘harm’s way’ when you were 17,
“Yeah. We don’t do that anymore.”
“They’re lucky to have you, Cyclops.” I felt warmed
by his approval. “So, maybe he doesn’t go alone,” he
“What do you mean?”
“You send someone with him. I’ll go. That way you’ve
got a good explanation for his escape – someone helped
him get out – and you’ve got someone to watch his
back. Make sure he doesn’t flip, keep him out of
It was a good idea, and I said so. “But not you.”
“Magneto won’t believe it. He saw you at Alkali Lake.
And he knows you’ve been with us all this time. He’s
not going to accept you’re defecting to his side.” I
thought about it some more. “Plus, you’re too
vulnerable to him.” He bristled a bit at that, but I
forged on. “Come on, you know it’s true. You’re full
of metal. You’re the best fighter I’ve got, Logan,
but not against Magneto. It’s a great idea, but not
Jean-Paul was the obvious choice. Magneto knew
nothing about him, so there wouldn’t be the disbelief
at his defection that he’d have with someone he knew
to be loyal to our team. Northstar wasn’t even an
X-Man, and his current absence from Alpha Flight could
be explained as quitting that team rather than being
on loan to us. Mac Hudson would go along with that,
if Magneto sent out reconnaissance. It was easy to
paint a picture of a disaffected Alpha Flight
operative who quits, joins the X-Men, and decides this
isn’t what he wants, either, that cooperation with
homo sapiens isn’t his vision of a mutant future.
I brought the idea up at the next cabinet meeting.
Just Charles and Hank and me, since ‘Ro was away and
Jean was not back to full duty.
“I like it,” Charles said. “I had some unease about
sending John alone. This is a good way to make sure
he stays loyal.”
“And keep him safe,” I added. “I wish we could keep
in touch while they’re gone, though.”
“I think we should,” Hank weighed in.
“Calling in is too dangerous,” I countered. “They get
found out and that’s the end of the mission, and maybe
the end of them.”
“Let me figure something out,” Hank had said. “If not
to keep in touch, at least to keep track of where they
are. Some sort of positioning system, a homing
device. Maybe with a kind of panic button, so we can
go in and get them if necessary.”
“A great idea, except that Magneto’s bound to know
they’ve got it,” I pointed out. “How will they
“Maybe it doesn’t have to be made of metal.” He got
that brooding look he has when he’s working on a
thorny technical problem. “Hard not to have any
metal. Could I do it totally out of plastic? I’m not
sure. Let me work on it for a day or two.”
Charles stepped in. “Scott, you talk to Jean-Paul and
give him his assignment. Let’s keep it quiet – no one
but Jean-Paul, Pyro, and the three of us in on the
plan. And Hank, I need you to figure out the homing
device issue right away. A day or two is fine, but no
more. This mission needs to move ahead. We’ve lost
too much time already. Whatever Magneto’s planning
may well be under way by now.”
It turned out plastic wasn’t the answer, as I found
out that evening. I’d spoken to Jean-Paul right after
the cabinet meeting and he’d eagerly agreed. I’d
impressed upon him the fact that we were keeping the
mission secret, so I wasn’t surprised when he showed
up in my room that night to give me an update.
“Hank solved the homing device problem,” was the first
thing he said.
“He managed to make it out of plastic?”
Jean-Paul shook his head. “No way, copain.
Electronics like that – even with our blue genius – it
can’t be done. You need some metal.”
“But if it’s metal, how do we stop Magneto from
knowing it’s there?”
“He’ll know it’s there, bien sur. He just won’t know
what it is.” He pulled his shirt off and I could see
a shining silver ring in his right nipple.
He nodded. “Amazing, hein? All that complicated
machinery in this little thing.” He took my hand.
“Here, touch it. You’ll see – there’s no way to know
it’s anything other than what it seems.”
He put my hand to his chest. I fingered the ring. It
did feel just like jewelry, like there was nothing to
it but what it appeared to be.
We looked at each other and I felt suddenly
uncomfortable, realizing that touching the chest of a
half-naked man wasn’t my usual way of doing a
pre-mission briefing. Jean-Paul smiled at me. He
looked like he wasn’t at all discomfited by the
unorthodox situation we were in.
And then it happened. The door opened and Logan
walked in. The look on his face made me feel like
Cassandra’s warning wasn’t all that far-fetched after
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When something’s hard to talk about, it only gets
harder the longer you put it off. That’s a lesson I
should have learned long before this.
Logan was right and I was wrong. I should have told
Jean at the outset that he and I were lovers. I
realized that now, but the realization had come too
late. Waiting had only made it harder to say
anything. I’d let ‘I dare not’ wait upon ‘I would’
and it hadn’t worked any better for me than for the
poor cat in the adage. It had only consolidated the
distance between us, only left me feeling like I was
I’d told Logan I was putting it off for her sake, but
I think now it was for my own. I didn’t want to
disappoint her more than I already had; I didn’t want
to have to face her sadness. I didn’t want her to
feel like I’d betrayed her. Maybe I didn’t want to
face the fact that I had betrayed her. After all, as
I’d said to Logan, it would be harder news for her to
hear I was involved with him than it would have been
had it been anyone else.
It would have been harder news, I mean. It wasn’t
news at all. It was a moot point now. There was no
reason to tell Jean about Logan and me, since there
was no Logan and me, not any longer. Logan wasn’t
willing to have anything to do with me. I’d tried to
tell him that he’d misinterpreted what was happening
with Jean-Paul, but he wouldn’t listen. “Logan!” I’d
said as soon as we were alone, “It wasn’t what you
“How do you know what I think?”
“Oh come on. You were looking daggers at me and
“It’s nothing to me what you do with him. Or anybody
“I’m not doing anything with him. He was showing me
the transmitter Hank made him.”
“He’d’ve been showing you a lot more than that if I
“Believe me, Logan. I’m telling you the truth:
nothing was happening.” I tried to put my arms around
him but he stalked off.
And that was pretty much that. Northstar and Pyro
left the next day, off looking for Magneto. Their
part of the mission was to find him and infiltrate,
convincing him they were joining the Brotherhood and
finding out what his plans were and why he needed that
We were continuing the investigation on this end, too.
Logan was in on all the team meetings and spoke to me
as necessary when we needed to talk about a mission.
But that was all. I tried to get through to him for a
few days before I gave up. I looked for him every
chance I could to speak to him alone – following him
to the Danger Room, to his bedroom. I found him at
the pool at night. It didn’t matter where he was – he
wouldn’t speak to me, wouldn’t touch me, wouldn’t
listen to me. When I tried to make him listen, he
left. Logan made clear that outside of team business
he was going to have nothing to do with me. I don’t
know who he was spending his time with, but he was out
a lot, particularly at night. I didn’t ask where he
went. As he’d said, we had no claim on each other.
On the team, though, he was still a full participant.
I don’t know if anyone noticed the tension between us,
but I did my best not to let it show and I think he
did, too. Charles had no reason to warn me again that
we needed Logan, so I’d best not alienate him. He was
fully an X-Man.
Jean was working up to being fully on the team, too.
She wasn’t yet involved in combat missions, but she
was in on team meetings and taking on some
assignments. She volunteered to go to the zoo and
talk to the veterinarians and zookeepers in order to
find out what we could about the animal Magneto had
snatched. Her medical background and ability to pass
for normal made her the obvious choice. I didn’t want
her going alone, though. She said she’d be fine, but
I couldn’t be sure. I insisted that Logan accompany
her, for protection. He had no objections. When it
came to X-Men missions, he was listening to me.
I took Jean aside after the meeting where it was
decided that she and Logan would continue the
investigation by going to the zoo. I’d decided that I
needed to make up for my silence, as much as I could
at this point. “Can we talk?” I asked. She nodded
but said nothing.
We walked to the enclosed garden. I felt it was time,
past time, to tell Jean some of what I’d gone through,
to make clear to her the changes I’d undergone, to
apologize for disappointing her. There was no
relationship to disclose, no involvement with Logan,
but I felt like there was still much more to say to
her than just “It’s over” and “I’m sorry.”
“I don’t know how to begin,” I told her, sitting next
to her on a bench, “but I feel like I have to tell you
some of what went on when you were... gone.”
“I’m not sure I want to hear about it. At least not
all of it.” She turned away.
“Fair enough. I’ll try not to over-share.” I took a
deep breath. “I... I never lied to you, Jean. You
knew I was gay from the start. I wasn’t hiding
anything. I thought I could marry you, live that kind
of life. I hoped I could, anyway. I tried for so
long. I loved you so much I thought I could do it.”
She didn’t say anything. I continued. “When you
were... gone, when I thought you were lost to us, I
was devastated. You can ask anyone. I totally fell
apart. In the middle of a class, even.”
That got a response. “Hard to imagine Scott Summers
out of control,” she said, half a smile on her face.
“It happened. I thought my life was over. Well, it
was. The life we planned together was over. But over
time, well, I knew my whole life wasn’t over. You
were gone, but I was still here. And I had to think
more about what I wanted to do with the rest of my
time. So much of my energy had gone for so long into
denying who I am, into hiding from who I am. I don’t
think I realized just how much effort I’d put into
that until some of the weight of grief and loss
started to lift. It took a long time, but I came to
feel like what we did – what we tried to do – it was a
mistake.” I looked at her. Her face was turned away
still, but I could see a tear on her cheek. I stopped
talking, but she gestured to me to continue. “An
honest mistake, a sincere mistake, a loving mistake.”
I remembered describing my relationship with Jean to
Logan, using almost those exact words. “But still a
And now she was looking at me, tears in her eyes. “I
believed you could do it,” she said.
“I believed you could do anything.”
And then I let her in. The mental shields I’d kept in
place since she came back – first under Phoenix
control, then as herself – came down and I let Jean
into my brain for the first time since Alkali Lake. I
let her feel all my sadness at hurting her, but all my
resolve to be myself – my own queer self – as well.
She smiled a bit through the tears. “You really did
try,” she said. “I know it. I guess there are some
things that even you can’t control.”
“Can we be friends again?” I asked.
She shook her head. “Maybe someday. I’m not ready
for that yet.” She started crying again as she got up
and left the garden.
Jean and Logan went to the zoo the next day. Between
interviewing the staff and Jean surreptitiously
examining some of them telepathically, we found out a
lot. There was no doubt that the gorilla Magneto had
taken was a mutant. Mutant animals were rare, but had
been identified a few times – always primates. The
X-gene on this gorilla seemed to just be beginning to
activate. It wasn’t clear yet what its powers were,
but it seemed to be something that frightened the
other gorillas. None of the other animals would go
near it. The veterinary and zookeeper staff were
being very cautious. None of them had touched the
animal without protective gloves. But the baby
gorilla had touched one of the attendants on the face
while he’d been feeding it. They found him
unconscious on the floor.
“None of his colleagues had seen it happen,” Jean told
us at a team meeting after she and Logan got back.
“Their working hypothesis is that the animal has
super-human strength. Or super-gorilla strength, I
suppose,” she’d added, to chuckles from all assembled.
“But he doesn’t remember being hit by the gorilla.”
“And there’s not a mark on him,” Logan had added. “He
doesn’t look like a guy who’d been in a fight with a
gorilla, even a baby one.
“Rogue’s powers.” I was the one who said it but the
whole team had come to the same conclusion.
Charles added, “And we know what Erik used Rogue for
before – to power his mutagenic machine. Could he be
trying to build a new one?”
“Maybe,” I’d replied. “Maybe he figured out what was
faulty about it, why it killed Senator Kelly. Maybe
he’s ready to try again, that he’s perfected it so it
doesn’t kill the mutants it makes.”
“Or maybe he doesn’t care if it kills them,” was
I paused. “We should tell Northstar and Pyro, let
them know what they’re looking for.”
But we couldn’t. Jean-Paul had contacted us a few
times, with brief messages saying that their attempts
to find Magneto and the Brotherhood hadn’t borne
fruit. And then once, the day before Jean and Logan
had gone to the zoo, saying that they thought they’d
found him. He’d warned then that he might not be able
to contact us for a while, but I’d hoped we’d hear
Days stretched into a couple of weeks, though, without
any contact. If Magneto was planning a new assault on
the non-mutant population, trying to use that mutant
gorilla to power his device, we didn’t know where he
was planning to launch it from or how. I hoped
Jean-Paul and Johnny had successfully infiltrated and
were gaining the intelligence we didn’t have, but the
longer we heard nothing from them the more worried I
was. “Should we activate the homing device?” I asked
Charles, two weeks after the last contact we’d had.
“Not yet,” he answered. “I’m worried, too, Scott,”
he’d added, “but I don’t know if using it would
endanger Jean-Paul. He can activate it himself if he
needs us. If we do, there’s a good chance Magneto
will realize what’s going on.”
Jean pulled me aside after the meeting, but it wasn’t
to talk about Jean-Paul. I didn’t know what she
wanted but I was just glad that Jean seemed to want to
spend time with me. So when she asked if I were free
to go for a walk after dinner, I said “yes”
immediately and then cleared my schedule to make it
Things had been better lately. I do think talking to
her that time in the garden had helped, even if it
felt like it was just making things worse right when
it happened. I hadn’t seen much of her since that
day, but when I did she didn’t seem unhappy in my
presence. In fact, she seemed much more engaged both
with me and with the rest of the team, more involved
with the others. I’d see her on the grounds or at
meals, with Logan or Storm, speaking animatedly and
much more like her old self. Although still not back
to combat duty, Jean was very actively participating
in team meetings and using her knowledge, skill, and
mutant powers in our efforts to find and thwart
Jean was pleasant to me in meetings, engaged in
conversations that included me at meals, and generally
seemed to be treating me like a colleague, and maybe a
friend. But this was the first time she sought me out
to speak privately since that day in the garden. It
gave me some hope that we could begin healing the rift
We strode around the grounds a bit, just talking about
school and team business. “I’m going to teach summer
term,” she said. “Hank wants to just work on his
research and I figure – with half the school going
home for the holidays – it’s a good way to ease back
“It’s a great idea,” I replied. “There are plenty of
courses in the fall to keep both you and Hank busy.
If you decide you want to keep teaching, that is.”
“I do. I’m sure I do. I want to get back to normal,
back to work. I’ve spoken to Brad Langer in Yonkers
about going back to the clinic, too. And I’ll be
ready to be back on the team soon, too – completely –
including combat missions. I’m sure of it.”
“I don’t want to rush you.”
“I know. You’ve been great. It’s helped – I’ve felt
like everyone has really been so understanding. It’s
made a difference. I’ve felt welcomed, wanted, but
not pushed. They’ve all followed your lead, Scott.”
“I know how hard this has all been for you.” Looking
at her expression, I added, “Well, I guess not really.
I don’t suppose any of us can. But I appreciate that
it has been extremely traumatic. I want to help. I
don’t want to make things worse.”
“I know. I mean it – you’ve been great. And I really
do want us to, well, to be friends again. I thought
we should talk a bit, clear the air. I know I wasn’t
so receptive to it when you tried, but I’ve been
thinking about what you said a lot. I want us to try
to find a way to kind of move on, you know?”
I nodded. “I appreciate that. Really.” Neither of
us said anything for a minute. “Jean,” I said,
finally. “I didn’t want to hurt you. But I did; I
know that. I want to take responsibility for it, do
what I can. But... well, I didn’t know how not to
hurt you, if that makes any sense.”
She nodded. “Yeah, it makes sense. Look, I’ve
thought a lot about it, about what we were trying to
do. Some of the time I’ve felt really mad, felt like
you were just using me to play straight, like I was
just your beard. That’s the term, right?”
I nodded. “It wasn’t like that, really. I’m not
saying that that wasn’t part of it – wanting to be
respectable, acceptable, living a straight life. But
a whole lot of it was loving you. You have to believe
“I do. I don’t think I ever really doubted it. It’s
just – well, realizing it was over and thinking you’re
probably going on to some happy life with some guy and
I’m just on my own... I got a little bitter
sometimes. But I’m over that, I think. I know what
we had was something real – not just a sham so you
could look straight. We shared so much, had so much
going for us. Love, respect, common experiences.
Shared purpose and vision. It was easy to lose sight
of why it couldn’t work.” I started to speak, but she
continued. “And if your motives were mixed, well so
were mine. I’d been hurt too many times by guys who
didn’t really care about me. You – you were my
friend. I knew you cared; I knew you’d take care of
me. I may have been the safe choice for you, but you
were the safe choice for me. We both should have
known better than to play it safe.”
I laughed. “Hey, maybe we just needed to have some
safe zone in our lives, what with Charles sending us
out to almost get killed all the time.”
She laughed, too. It felt good – sitting, talking,
laughing together. I said so.
“Me, too,” she said. “When all’s said and done; when
it’s all over – well, all the stuff we liked about
each other is still there, isn’t it? We were friends
long before we were lovers. I want to be your friend
“Nothing would make me happier.”
And I felt happy. Relaxed, comfortable with her.
Until she asked me, “Are you... well, involved with
I shook my head. “No, not really. I was, or at least
I thought we were going to be... whatever. It didn’t
work out, I guess. At least that’s how it looks
“I’m sorry, Scott.” She hesitated, as if not sure
whether to say more. “I think I know a little of what
went on. Not everything, but I know who it was. I
saw you together sometimes. Plus, I read his mind, so
I knew he was interested in you.” I was surprised to
hear this – I know Charles had taught Logan how to use
mental shields, and my impression had been that he was
careful not to allow telepaths in his mind without his
Jean continued. “I didn’t mean to – he broadcasts
something awful when he’s around you. Someone should
teach him about mental shields.”
“Jean, I don’t know what to – ”
“It’s okay. You don’t have to talk to me about it.
And no, Jean-Paul hasn’t said anything, either. Just
blushed when I asked him – right before he left with
Johnny.” She looked down. “I’m sorry it didn’t work
out. And now, with him off on a mission, well... I
hope you didn’t part badly.”
“Jean – “
“No, I mean it. I know, he and I always kind of
clashed, but that doesn’t mean I wish him ill. And I
want you to be happy. So, if it’s what you want,
being with him...”
“It’s not. You’ve got it all wrong.”
“I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have brought him up.” I
didn’t know what to say. She continued before I had a
chance to figure that out and answer. “I’ve been
seeing someone myself.”
“Great!” I said, perhaps a little too heartily. “I’m
glad to hear it. I had no idea.”
“Well, it’s kind of new. And I’m trying to keep a low
profile. You know how this place can be such a fish
bowl. But I didn’t want you finding out from someone
“I appreciate that. Umm, is it serious?”
She paused in thought. “I don’t know. No, not yet.
It’s too early to say it is. But I kind of hope it
will be. He’s... different. Special. But maybe not
cut out for a serious relationship. Still, maybe he
could, if he really wanted to. I just know I love
being with him.” She touched my arm and looked right
at me. “Don’t tell anyone, please. Don’t even let
him know that you know.”
“He’s someone I know.”
Mofic Website: http://mo.fandomnation.com/fic/
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Rating: T for profanity, snarking
Characters: Jean, Logan, Scott, Emma Frost, Darwin the beagle
Summary: Jean and Emma don't get along. It's a catfight with a dog, and
it pretends X3 never happened. Jean's POV.
This was turning out to be one big, fucking mess.
Mostly a mess I’d made, too. Not that I wanted to
think about that part. It was true, though, and I
found I kept thinking about it, even though I tried
not to. So maybe it was time to stop trying not to
think about this mess, which was just getting bigger
and messier with not thinking about it. Maybe it was
time to try and figure out what to do about it.
First part to figuring out what to do about it was
being honest – at least with myself – that it was my
own doing. I’d been trying my best to blame Scott.
For getting mixed up with Northstar and lying to me
about it. For not breaking it off with Jean, not
completely. And for talking all that warrior lovers
stuff and giving me ideas about shit that has nothing
to do with the real world. It was all a pack of lies
and I fell for it – the love shit, the story about
what he wasn’t doing with Northstar, the shit about
how he broke up with Jeannie, telling her it was over
for good – all of it. Hook, line and sinker. So I
felt like a real jerk when I found out it was just
Only maybe it wasn’t lies. I mean, I thought it was a
pack of lies and that’s when I got so mad at him. But
then I found out some of it was true, so I don’t know
about the rest. It turned out he did break up with
Jeannie, after all. I hadn’t believed him, since he
wouldn’t tell her about him and me, but then I found
out he told me the truth. The truth about what he had
said and what he hadn’t. Hadn’t told her about him
and me, but then there wasn’t any him and me anymore
now so what have I got to be mad at about that? And
he did tell her it was over, told her as clear as can
be, just like he’d said he’d done. So how am I
supposed to stay mad at him for lying and saying he’d
told her? Mad about it now I found out he’d been
telling me the truth the whole time? Not that the
truth was helping any. Well, it helped make this mess
but that’s my fault more than Scott’s.
If he hadn’t told her it was over between him and her,
that they were finished and done for good, then none
of the rest of this would have happened. She wouldn’t
have come to me, looking for sympathy, telling me the
whole sad story of how she’d fallen in love with Scott
years ago, knowing he was gay but thinking he’d get
over it. Not knowing I already knew all about it,
knew it from Scott, who’d told me when he thought she
was dead. Scott, who’d told me he’d never go back to
living like that. Scott, who likes dick and knows it.
Scott, who told Jean no when she wanted to get back
together, when he thought she was an imposter, who
told me true he wasn’t in love with her anymore even
if she could come back for real. Scott, who wouldn’t
do it with her when the Phoenix tried to seduce him
through Jean. I did it with her that one time, but he
didn’t. I said yes when he said no.
I didn’t tell Jean any of that and she didn’t know
what I knew. I don’t think she even knew I fucked her
when she was under Phoenix control – she can’t
remember nothing from then. I didn’t tell her
anything. But she told me. She told me that she’d
hoped he’d stop being gay, that loving her would turn
him. Only now she knew it wasn’t going to happen like
that because he’d told her it was over. She said he
told her he’d always want to be her friend, but he
just couldn’t love a woman, not the way she needed to
be loved. She said he hadn’t said anything about
anyone else, but she thought he was doing it with some
guy now. I didn’t tell her I’d been the one. If
there’d only been one, which I wasn’t so sure about.
Well, I wasn’t the one, or even one of them, not
anymore. I hadn’t fucked him, hadn’t so much as
touched him since that day I found him with Northstar.
I still wanted him, not that I’d tell him that.
Wanted him so much I couldn’t stand it sometimes.
Jerked off thinking about him almost every night,
remembering stuff we’d done. Hand round my cock, I’d
think of being in his mouth, or his ass. Think about
stroking him, too. Thinking of the way he says my
name when he’s coming. Shit, I can get hard just from
remembering the sound of his voice.
I was getting distracted when him and me were working
together, too. I found myself looking at his mouth
when he was talking in a meeting, and thinking about
pushing my tongue in between those lips, or my cock.
Hard to concentrate on team business. When I was
supposed to be covering his back on a mission, I found
myself watching his ass, instead.
When me and Scott were together this didn’t used to
happen to me – when we were working, we were working.
After the mission we’d fuck each other’s brains out,
but I didn’t even think about sex when it was X-Men
business. Now I was thinking about it all the time.
Sex with Scott and only Scott. Pissed me off, too,
how much I thought about him, how I couldn’t manage to
think about anybody else. I’d put my hand round my
cock, close my eyes, think of some woman with big tits
and tight, round ass, but she’d turn into him in my
head by the time I was half-hard. I’d go out and
wander a bit, think about picking somebody up – man or
woman – but I never did. I was horny almost all the
time, thinking about doing it day and night, but I
couldn’t get myself to do it with anyone else. I had
it bad alright.
There were times – late at night, particularly – when
I wanted to just go to him, tell him I’m sorry, see if
it could be like it used to be with him and me. I’d
feel like I’d give anything for the chance to feel him
under me again, to be pushing hard in his ass, hearing
those moans and sighs and soft words coming out of his
mouth while I fucked him. And then I’d think of
walking in on him and Jean-Paul that time and I’d
change my mind about going to him.
Yeah, Scott and Jean-Paul. That was some sight to
see, coming into Scott’s room. I’d been horny as hell
and hoping he was feeling the same. And what do I
find? Northstar and Scott together. Northstar with
his clothes off, or at least no shirt. Scott fingering
his nipple ring. I know what those fingers feel like.
Pretty obvious Jean-Paul liked what he was doing to
Well, there was something I could still be mad at him
for. Or could I? All those times I told him it
didn’t matter to me what he did, he could do it with
whoever he wanted. Well, if it didn’t matter, then
why did I feel like killing somebody when I saw them
together? It was all I could do to keep the claws in.
I don’t even know which of them I’d have killed,
neither. Maybe both.
I was mad as hell at Scott for cheating on me, and
fucking *furious* at Northstar for moving in on him
like that. Okay, so I’m not sure Scott was cheating,
but there was no doubt that was what Jean-Paul was
doing. He was trying. For all that Scott said he was
just showing him the transmitter, I know he wanted in
Scott’s pants. I can smell lust and Northstar reeked
of it. Every time he was anywhere near Scott.
I’d known that from the start. Only back then I
didn’t care. It was back when Jean was possessed and
we thought she was an imposter. That’s when I was
first working with Jean-Paul and when I first realized
what he wanted. Who cared if Northstar wanted Scott?
I knew whose dick Scott was sucking every night.
Mine, not that other guy’s. Let Northstar want,
that’s what I thought. What do I care? He can want
but I’ve got. That’s how I looked at it then. I
wasn’t even mad at Jean-Paul. Not then. If anything,
I felt sorry for him. It’s no picnic wanting someone
you can’t have. I’ve been there.
So what changed? Jean changed from being the Phoenix,
but what did that have to do with Northstar? I didn’t
know but I thought I should figure it out. It made my
head hurt to think about it, but I thought about it
anyway. Fuck, if I’m going to be mad all the time, I
should at least know why. Okay, so when Jeannie got
back to being herself, well it just changed everything
for me and Scott. I saw how she looked at him; I heard
her tell him “As long as I’ve got you I’ll be okay”
and it got me wondering and thinking. And then when
he wouldn’t tell her the real deal about him and me,
well I was wondering some more. Wondering if there’s
anything with her and him. Only there isn’t and I
know that now.
And Northstar? Was Scott really cheating on me with
him? No. I don’t know if he was doing it with him or
not, but if he was, he still wasn’t cheating. Hey, if
we got no claim on each other, it ain’t cheating, and
that’s what I kept telling him. I wish I could
believe it myself, though. But anyway, it’s what I’d
And since it is what I’d been saying, Scott had no
cause to lie to me. If he was doing it with Northstar
or anybody else, he could’ve just thrown my own words
back at me. He’s never lied to me yet, Scott, not so
far as I know. And if I’m honest with myself, I have
to say I really would know. He’s not the type to play
one against the other. He couldn’t do it. He’d told
me the truth about Jean, told me they’d broke up for
good. He was telling me the truth about Northstar,
too. I knew it, if I really thought about it.
So what the fuck was I so mad about? And what the
fuck was I doing with Jeannie? I like Jeannie. I
used to think I wanted to fuck her, but it’s not like
that for me anymore. Not since Scott and me, not
since she’d come back. I’d done it that one time with
her when the Phoenix had charge of her – curiosity
mostly. That turned out to be a big mistake. So why
was I making the same mistake again, now that she was
back to being herself?
Partly from being mad at Scott, I guess. Partly from
wanting to know what was going on with her and him –
which turned out to be nothing, like I said. But
mostly it just kind of happened.
There she was telling me her troubles and I was trying
to be sympathetic and listen. I didn’t tell her about
Scott and me ‘cause I figured it wasn’t my story to
tell. Plus by that point there wasn’t any Scott and
me anymore, so what was there to say? But I was
listening to how betrayed she felt, and thinking that
it’s too bad she’s so sad, but it also means Scott
told me the truth.
So I’m feeling a little bad that I thought he was
lying and a little good to know that he wasn’t and
that he told her no fucking way he’d ever get back
together with her. And then she’s saying that she
really does know it’s for the best, and that she needs
to be with a woman-loving man, someone who can really
want her and need her, and that it had been a mistake
to get involved with Scott from the start. “He was
such a good guy, I lost perspective,” she told me.
So I didn’t know what to say and I just said, “There’s
lots of good guys out there. Lots would be glad to be
with a woman like you.”
And then she’s reminding me how I told her once I
could be a good guy for her. And she’s talking about
how happy she’s been to see me on the team and
teaching and really settling in to be an X-Man. “How
long have you been here now, Logan?” she asked. “More
than two years, isn’t it?” So I tell her that’s right
and she asks me if I ever stayed any one place that
“Nah. Well, not that I can remember. I’ve still got
these holes in my memory, but everything I do know
about is just moving from place to place. It felt
really weird to be here at first. I kept thinking I’d
leave any day.”
“Why didn’t you?”
“I don’t know. First I think it was just not having
anywhere particular to go to yet. Then, after the
shit hit the fan and we thought we’d lost you, well I
thought I could kind of help pick up the pieces around
here for a while.”
“That was kind of a good guy thing to do, don’t you
I shrugged. “Then lately I started feeling like I
wanted to stay, wanted to be part of this.”
“Do you have...feelings for anyone, Logan? Feelings
that make you want to stay here?”
I was gonna tell her right then. I should’ve told
her. If things weren’t so fucked between me and
Scott, I would’ve. But between feeling too mad at him
to talk about any feelings I had for him other than
wanting to kick his ass and feeling like deep down
maybe I did want to get back with him like it used to
be and worrying that he wouldn’t want me talking to
Jean about him and me anyway, I didn’t know what to
say. So I just nodded and didn’t say anything. Then
before I knew it she was kissing me. It caught me by
surprise. It just happened. Without thinking about
it, I was kissing her back.
So it looks like Scott was never lying to me after
all. He wasn’t cheating on me because there was
nothing to cheat about. He wasn’t doing it with
Jeannie. He wasn’t doing it with Northstar. He said
he still wants me and I think he meant it. Maybe he
even meant it about loving me. I know I want to fuck
him so bad I can hardly stand it. And I want to be
with him, want to be his friend. And yeah, his
lover. But this mess with Jeannie makes that pretty
much out of the question. And the worst part is that
the whole fucking thing is my own damn fault.
Mofic Website: http://mo.fandomnation.com/fic/
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Another funny one from ridesandruns:
Rating: T for profanity, snarking
Characters: Jean, Logan, Scott, Emma Frost, Darwin the beagle
Summary: Jean and Emma don’t get along. It’s a catfight with a dog.
“Cabinet meeting in my office – immediately.” The
voice was Charles Xavier’s. The words landed directly
in Scott’s brain, with no need for telephones, or ears
for that matter. It was the most efficient way to do
it. Given that Charles was calling a meeting with no
notice at 2:00 a.m., it was clear that he thought
efficiency was important. Charles’s tone in Scott’s
brain felt slightly apologetic under the urgency,
though. Cyclops took the apologetic grace notes to be
an acknowledgement of the fact that it had been a full
day of classes followed by a mission he had only
returned from an hour before. Scott had barely fallen
asleep when the voice in his brain woke him again.
“I shouldn’t have bothered to get undressed,” Scott
thought to himself, pulling on a uniform and grabbing
his visor. Charles hadn’t said what the meeting was
about, but he knew chances were better than even that
a cabinet meeting called in the middle of the night
would lead to a mission before the night was over.
Hank had beat him to the meeting, Scott saw when he’d
sprinted to Charles’s office a couple of minutes
later. The two men were seated by the fireplace, tea
set out on the end table in front of them. Hank was
sitting on the couch, blue fur blending into blue
upholstery. Charles was in his accustomed place by the
end table – the carpet slightly worn on the path where
his chair had rolled from behind the desk to that spot
over the years.
Hank’s bedroom was nearer to Charles’s suite, so it
was no surprise he was the first to arrive. Or maybe
Charles and Hank had already been together, drinking
tea, when whatever event happened that had prompted
the meeting. They were dressed as they had been when
he’d last seen them here, when Scott had done a brief
post-mortem on the night’s successful mission, before
heading off to what he thought would be an
uninterrupted night, not that he ever counted on that.
“What’s up?” he asked as he sat down on the couch
next to Hank.
“Let’s wait a minute so we don’t have to do this
twice,” Charles replied.
“Oh, is ‘Ro back from Washington?” Scott asked.
“No, Storm and Nightcrawler are not expected back
As Charles said it the door to the office opened again
and Jean walked in, in uniform, pulling her long red
hair back in a ponytail as she sat down in the
armchair facing Charles. “Welcome back to the
cabinet, Jean,” he said, smiling at her.
“We were just having tea. Would you like some?
Scott?” he turned to Cyclops as he included him in the
“None for me,” Scott replied, but the china closet
opening and a cup and saucer floating over to Jean’s
waiting hand indicated her acceptance of the offer.
Xavier’s smile vanished and his face and voice were
all business as he turned to the reason he’d called
the meeting. “Northstar has activated the homing
device,” he said.
“Where are they?” Jean asked it first.
“Vermont. Peru, in fact.”
Scott looked surprised. “Near our house there?”
“*In* our house, as far as we can tell,” Charles
answered. “We can’t pinpoint quite as precisely as
that, but it seems most likely.”
“No one’s there now, right?” Scott asked. “I know
none of our people are, but not any Alpha Flight
Hank spoke for the first time. “That is correct. The
auxiliary X-Men venue in northern New England has been
closed and padlocked since we departed. Given the
unfortunate eventualities ensuing as a consequence of
the occupation of your corporeal being, my dear,” he
inclined his head slightly at Jean in a courtly bow,
“and how central the Vermont domicile was to that
whole episode, we haven’t been inclined to employ
those premises lately.”
”And the whole Mutant Protection Plan has been on hold
since then,” Charles added. “So there has been no
need for anyone from either the X-Men or Alpha Flight
to be there. I’ve already called Mac Hudson to make
sure he doesn’t send anyone to Peru until further
Scott nodded his approval. “So we’re in a good
position. We know Magneto’s there, and I think we can
presume he doesn’t know we know it. And no one is
going to show up unexpectedly. Except us. He has no
way to know about the tunnel from the clearing we dug,
so we have a way to take him by surprise, too.” He
paused. “Good thinking on Jean-Paul’s part to steer
Magneto there. Or did you instruct him to do that?” he
asked, turning to Xavier.
The professor shook his head. “No, I didn’t, and I’m
not sure that it was Jean-Paul’s idea, either.”
“Then how?” Jean asked.
“Erik knows about the Vermont house. It’s a good
hideout and a good place to work on rebuilding his
mutagenic machine, if that is the plan. I agree that
it’s fortunate for us that we know where he is and we
have an access point that we can use unannounced.
That’s why I called this meeting – so we can figure
out how best to use that advantage. I’m sorry to get
you out of your beds, but I think we will probably
need to act quickly.”
“Of course,” Scott said. “What does Magneto know
about the house, and how?”
“Yes, it’s important you have that information to plan
and lead the mission. I was remiss in not telling you
earlier, but it never occurred to me he’d use the
house in Peru. I’d forgotten he knew about it,
actually.” The professor took a sip of his tea. “It
was a long time ago.” The somewhat faraway look in
Xavier’s eyes signaled Scott to let down his mental
shields. He assumed the other two had done the same
as a picture of a much younger Erik Lehnsherr entered
his brain, driving up the dirt road approaching
Xavier’s ski house in a convertible looking like it
dated from the 1950s.
Scott was seeing the scene from Charles Xavier’s
viewpoint. It wasn’t a new experience for him.
Charles had often used telepathy to recount some event
he wanted his field leader to know about, as it was
both a thorough method and an efficient one. This
time, though, there was something different about the
mental picture and Scott wasn’t sure what. It was
nagging at him a little, distracting him from the
scene he was experiencing, wondering what felt “off”
about it. He couldn’t quite figure out why everything
looked so different from the way the world usually
looked when he was seeing out of Charles’s eyes. It
all became clear to Scott, though, when Lehnsherr
parked the car, leapt out of it, and ran up to
him/Charles. As he felt young Magneto’s arm clasp
him/Charles around the shoulders and heard a greeting
in his/Charles’s ear, Scott realized the angle was
different. They were both standing.
“Yes,” Charles said, responding to Scott’s
realization. “It was before my accident.” He looked
down at his legs, then continued. “Erik and I built
the first prototype of Cerebro at the Peru house.
Here,” he added, and the other three saw through his
The young Erik Lehnsherr ran into the house, Charles
Xavier following. “Where is it?” Lehnsherr asked
Charles showed him a door off of the kitchen and
Lehnsherr opened it and ran down the stairs to the
basement, Xavier following him. Scott tried not to be
distracted by the thought of a mobile Charles Xavier
and paid attention to his surroundings. A large room
was set up as a workroom – electronic equipment on
benches along one wall, building materials in the
center, what looked like a chemical lab along another
“I had no intelligence about this subterranean
laboratory,” Hank said, almost accusingly.
“I didn’t even know there was a basement,” Jean added.
“It’s big,” Scott weighed in. “A whole extra floor
downstairs. It’s nothing like that, though,” he
added, referring to the image that Charles had just
placed in all of their brains. “I’ve only been in the
basement a couple of times. We’d considered having
the tunnel come up there, but Logan decided against
it. He had me blast a small hole in the basement
floor as a test, and water seeped in.” Scott felt
strange talking about the time he and Logan had been
in Vermont together, particularly with Jean there. It
felt like an oddly intimate recollection, although he
was only talking about the mission they’d accomplished
there together. His shields down to let Charles in
made Scott feel slightly vulnerable, as if his
thoughts and emotions were on display more than he
would have wanted in this company.
“What does the basement look like now?” Charles asked.
“Is it suitable for Magneto to work there? I haven’t
been down there since... well, since I could walk down
the stairs,” he added.
“It’s mostly empty. There are some things stacked by
the walls – furniture, boxes of stuff. I didn’t open
any of them when we were down there. Maybe old
equipment. The floor’s dry – it was only when I
blasted it that water came in. The lights didn’t
work, but we put new bulbs in and they did. Yeah, I’d
say he could make a workroom out of it for his
mutagenic machine. If that’s indeed what he’s doing.
If we don’t stop him first.”
“We will. And I think it very likely that is his
plan. Why else would he need a gorilla with Rogue’s
powers? I suppose I should applaud his decision to
sacrifice an animal rather than a human this time.”
“Given the knowledge we’ve amassed of Magneto’s
character,” Hank interjected, “the choice of a
non-human primate as subject to expire as a result of
the execution of this endeavor was most likely a
decision borne of expedience rather than a newly
emerging value placed on the lives of mutant humans.
An assault upon the zoological gardens was undoubtedly
easier to plan and more likely to result in the
preferred outcome than one upon our own premises.”
“Yes, Hank’s right, I’m afraid,” Scott said to
Charles. “Magneto knows how well defended we are
here. Anyway, no point speculating now. We need to
get moving on this mission. We can’t know whether
we’re right about Magneto’s plan or not, but we need
to plan the mission without that information. A good
plan executed today is better than a perfect plan
executed at some indefinite point in the future.”
“Right you – and Patton – are. And the difference
between a good naval officer and a poor one is about
ten seconds,” Charles quoted back at him. “A
principle that applies equally to X-Men Field Leaders.
Now, whom will you take on this mission?”
“Beast.” Scott turned to Hank. “You’re best able to
evaluate how far he’s gotten with the rebuilding of
the mutagenic machine.” Hank nodded his agreement and
Scott turned to Jean. “Do you feel up to it? I can
use your powers. We don’t know who Magneto’s got with
him, or even how many. I need a telepath. Unless you
want to come, Charles?”
Xavier shook his head. “I think it’s better if I do
not. Erik Lehnsherr knows me too well. He has used
that knowledge to our disadvantage before.” He turned
towards Jean. “Do you feel ready for a combat
“Definitely.” Her voice was clear and confident.
“Yes, I think one more. Not more than that. We want
a small team, since we need to take them by surprise.
And we’ve got Jean-Paul on the spot.”
“Pyro, too,” Hank interjected.
“I hope so, but I’m not counting on him. I’m not
saying he’s gone over to Magneto again,” he added,
seeing Charles’s expression, “although I wouldn’t
totally rule that out. Still, he doesn’t have the
combat experience or even the experience under my
command to leave me feeling like I can count on him.
And – like I said – I don’t know how many Magneto’s
got there. I want to be sure we can take him, whoever
he’s got with him. I’m taking Wolverine, too.”
“Is that wise?” Charles asked. “Maybe you’re better
off with someone else. The metal skeleton makes him
“No, I want Logan with me.” Jean was looking at Scott
as he said it, but he didn’t meet her glance. “You’re
right, Charles, that he can’t take Magneto, but I’ll
handle him myself. I need a team that can take on
Magneto’s henchmen. Logan knows that house better
than anyone but you – he not only was foreman when we
built the tunnel, but supervised all the security
enhancements. He’s best able to get us in without
setting off alarms, so we can take them by surprise.
Besides, Logan’s the best fighter I’ve got. I need
him for this one.”
Xavier nodded, closing his eyes briefly. “Wolverine’s
in the Danger Room. I’ve told him there’s a mission.
He’ll meet you at the Blackbird.”
Jean stood up, saying, “I’ll go now and brief Logan on
the mission. Meet you at the hangar in a few
Hank stood as well. “I’ll don appropriate clothing
for this mission and be prepared to depart in five
Scott stood up to leave after them, but Charles
stopped him. “Just a minute,” he said.
“I didn’t want to say this in front of the others.”
He hesitated a minute. “Scott, I don’t know all that
is going on between you and Logan, but... your
feelings are strong. That was clear when your shields
were down. I know there are unresolved issues. This
is a dangerous mission. Are you sure you want him
along? You could take Colossus, Iceman...”
Scott shook his head. “I need him for this one. He’s
the man for the mission. I don’t let personal
feelings interfere with a mission – my feelings or
anyone else’s. You know that, Charles. I wouldn’t
have stayed alive this long – or kept the rest of them
alive – if I did.”
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I’d assured both Scott and Charles that I was ready
for combat missions. I’d been feeling for a while
like it was time. I’d seen various team members going
off on missions, been in on some of the debriefings.
I found myself itching to be among them and wanting to
use my powers and my abilities for the X-Men.
I’m not saying the prospect of going into combat
wasn’t frightening to me. Truth be told, it always
had been. I’d never totally gotten used to the fact
that, at age sixteen, I’d gone off to boarding school
one day and found myself the first female soldier in a
small private army the next. Still, over the years,
being an X-Man had become so much a part of who I am.
It’s at least as central to my identity as being a
doctor and a teacher.
I needed that part of me back. I worried, too, that
if I didn’t act soon, I’d lose my nerve and never
really rejoin the team. So, I’d told Scott and
Charles both that it was time to take me off the
Disabled List. Now, though, I wasn’t so sure I hadn’t
acted too hastily. En route to Vermont with the team
Scott had assembled, I was having doubts. Rather too
late to change my mind.
Scott and I had spoken a few days before this mission
had arisen. I’d told him then that I wanted to be
fully on the team again. He had asked me “Are you
sure?” at the time, but I hadn’t felt that he was
doubting me. Rather he seemed to want to ensure that
I wasn’t feeling pressured to resume my full
responsibilities before I was ready.
With Charles it had been a different story. His worry
about me wasn’t just in his words, but in waves of
telepathic concern that kept washing over me. I
opened my mind to him almost completely, let him feel
just how I was doing. I let him know that I was still
working on getting over Scott and still recovering
from the knowledge that I’d lost a year the rest of
them had experienced. Beyond that, though, I let him
feel all the healing I had been doing. Time and work
and Ethan’s support were leaving me feeling more like
my old self, enough like my old self to resume all my
activities, including functioning as a full-fledged
X-Man. I kept very little back, wanting Charles to be
reassured, to really understand that I was ready. I
only walled off the part of me that was thinking about
Logan, not ready to let Charles in on my hopes for a
So, I tried to keep my mind off of Logan when I was
with Charles, but I’m not sure I was successful.
Selective telepathic communication isn’t an exact
science, and Charles knows me so well that I’m never
quite sure that I’m effective in keeping something
from him. I could feel a telepathic emanation from
him that wasn’t a clear thought. More of a sense of a
thought forming. Some worry about me and Logan. And
Scott. So, perhaps I let more through than I had
Still, he had told me he felt reassured that I was
ready, and had shown his confidence in me by calling
me for the cabinet meeting and by supporting Scott’s
decision to include me in this crucial mission. I
wanted to live up to the confidence that the two men
I’ve loved the most showed me.
I was sitting in the Blackbird next to Scott, with
Hank and Logan behind us, as Scott reviewed the battle
plan. We were going in with incomplete information,
of course. We didn’t know how many of his Brotherhood
Magneto had with him. We didn’t know how far they’d
gotten in the development of the reconfigured
mutagenic machine. We didn’t know what weapons they
might have brought or built. Hank had suggested we
wait for the mission, take time to learn some more,
but Scott had said no, quoting Patton again.
I was listening to the plan and trying to focus, but
my mind was jumping all over the place. I was very
aware of Logan’s presence behind me, but I couldn’t
feel his mind at all. I wasn’t trying to eavesdrop on
his thoughts, but his mind is usually so active, so
agitated, so strong that some thoughts come to me
unbidden. At least that’s the Logan I remembered from
when we first knew each other. He was different now.
He had mental shields up almost all the time lately,
That scared me a bit, when I thought about the
possibility of what Logan and I had begun turning
serious. My continuing grief over the loss of the
relationship with Scott made me wonder whether this
was the right time to embark on a new one. And Logan
was so different from Scott, I worried that I might be
choosing someone in reaction rather than in a positive
way. Still, there was no denying that I found him
extraordinarily appealing, and had since he’d first
showed up. That animal side of him was never far from
the surface, and there was something both frightening
and compelling about his semi-feral personality. And
his strong physicality was something that attracted me
and always had.
Beyond general attraction, I had some feeling that in
spite of our surface differences we could really be
emotionally compatible. Logan didn’t talk much, but
he had said something to me that really touched me:
“I know what it’s like to be missing part of your life
history.” I felt like he could understand what I was
going through in a way the others couldn’t. I wasn’t
sure how he felt about me; he seemed very defended
against emotional entanglements.
Even though his mental shields seemed always to be up
lately, something leaked through. Strong feeling –
longing, desire, a kind of aching loneliness. Maybe
he wanted to love and be loved but was afraid to.
Maybe we were both afraid, but could assuage each
I desperately wanted to know what he was thinking. I
worried that his use of mental shields against me was
not a good sign for a potential relationship between
us. Or maybe it was. I know Scott and I could not
have been together as long as we were if he hadn’t
been able to have some privacy in his own brain.
Hank wasn’t shielded at all. Without even trying, I
could feel his worry about whether I was up to the
mission. I felt the warmth of his friendship and
concern, and appreciated it. Still, it was
intensifying my doubts, making me wonder if I could do
it, too. I was more distracted by Hank’s thoughts
since I couldn’t hear anything from Logan or Scott.
Was that why they were both shielded? Was this all
about the mission? Did they doubt me? Were they
afraid to let me know that?
The last battle I’d been in had been at the same house
we were going to. I’d killed two people, then –
people on our side. Two FBI agents seconded to the
Mutant Protection Plan project. I’d pulled their
hearts out with telekinesis and left them dead on the
floor in that ski house. I’ve seen their pictures; I
insisted on it. They looked completely unfamiliar to
me. I murdered two innocent men in cold blood and I
can’t even recognize them. I remember none of what I
did then, and that’s even harder to accept than the
fact that I did it.
I found myself thinking back over battles I do
remember. I’ve been a member of a mutant combat team
since I was sixteen years old. I’ve been in hundreds
of battles. I’ve come close to dying a few times, had
a few missions I believed were going to be my last.
I’ve killed twice and sobbed in Scott’s arms
afterwards, although I knew there had been no other
choice – kill or be killed. Scott himself had only
killed once and that was the only time I’ve ever seen
him cry. He took his glasses off, tears leaking out
of tightly close eyes.
On four occasions I failed to save someone from dying
when that was my mission. I felt those deaths more
acutely than the ones that were at my hands. The last
time – a child I thought I’d reached in time – was
over five years ago and I don’t think I’m quite over
his loss even now. I bring flowers to his grave every
year on the anniversary of his death. I always meet
his parents at the graveside, even though I vary the
time I come purposely, in order to avoid them. They
never fail to thank me for trying, and I never fail to
feel worse when they do. What did they think last
year when I wasn’t there?
Possession by the Phoenix – whatever it was – has left
my confidence shaken in a way that having to kill
enemies or failing to save others couldn’t. Was I
really the same person I’d been before Alkali Lake?
Could the Phoenix come back? The latter idea
terrified me. It’s one I’d talked about endlessly
with Ethan, and I thought I’d mostly been able to come
to terms with my fear. My powers – both telekinetic
and telepathic – were greater than ever and seemed to
be continuing to grow over time. I wasn’t drowning
now, as I had been when my body had been invaded, the
weakness as I succumbed to the water letting the
Phoenix in. I was in peak condition physically and
much recovered emotionally. I had come to feel that
even if that being returned, I’d be able to resist it,
fight it off. Now, though, as we approached the place
where it had left my body, I wasn’t so sure.
Scott’s voice pulled me out of contemplation. “We’re
almost there,” he was saying. “Jean, can you tell yet
who’s in the house? Or at least how many?”
I shook my head. “No, not yet. When we land, let me
try again.” I forced myself to focus on the mission
for the next few minutes, and then we were landing in
the clearing. Scott turned to me and I nodded.
“Magneto – he’s in the basement workroom. Johnny’s
there with him.”
“What’re they thinking about?” Logan asked.
“Magneto’s concentrating on the task at hand. We were
right – it’s the mutagenic machine. Johnny’s nervous
– waiting for us.”
“Who else is there?”
“Jean-Paul. He’s upstairs, in one of the bedrooms.
Three – no four – more. I can’t tell who they are.
One might be Mystique. I’m not sure – I only had
access to her brain briefly and a long time ago. None
of them are minds I really know. And I can’t tell
their powers, not unless they think about them.”
“No time to wait for that. We’re going in.” Scott
gave out the assignments. “Logan – you start
upstairs. Stay out of the basement until we’ve got
Magneto knocked out. Hank, you join Logan upstairs.
Jean, you and I will handle Magneto, as we discussed.”
I pulled out the hypodermic with the sedative I
intended to use on Magneto. Scott nodded and I put it
back. “I think I can take him alone. I’ve got Pyro
He shook his head. “I’m not counting on him. And I’m
not counting on you getting that needle in him before
he realizes what you’re up to and stops it. I hope we
can do it that way, but we need to take him out one
way or another.” He spoke to all three of us then.
“No deadly force unless necessary, but don’t hesitate
if it is.” Those were the marching orders I’d heard
often before. They’d only given me goose bumps three
times before, and all three of those missions had
ended with an adversary dead. If goose bumps were my
physical symptom of predicting the future, this would
be the fourth. I wondered who it would be.
It was Magneto. I didn’t want him to die, for
Charles’s sake. I didn’t want Scott to have killed
him, for Scott’s sake. I tried to save him, for both
of them, but it all happened too fast.
We’d surprised him as we’d wanted to, stealing
silently down to the basement workroom as Logan and
Hank went upstairs to join Jean-Paul in battling the
rest of the assembled Brotherhood. His back was to
the stairs and he didn’t know we were there. The
gorilla was in a cage right next to him. I had the
hypodermic ready and would have gotten it into him if
I’d been quicker. But Johnny gasped when he saw us
and Magneto realized something was up.
He spun around quickly, saw the needle flying at him
before it could pierce his flesh. He sent it back at
me, but Scott blasted it before it could get me. And
then everything was chaos, as it so often is in
battle. Magneto was throwing everything he could at
Scott and me. There were some heavy objects made of
metal. Scott was blasting them and I was stopping
them telekinetically but even with two of us against
one of him we were having trouble keeping up.
Pyro had seemed paralyzed when we first arrived.
Magneto was yelling at him to join in, not realizing
on which side he’d be fighting. Suddenly Johnny
seemed to get himself under control and lobbed a
fireball at his putative boss. Some sort of machinery
– maybe a component of the mutagenic machine – rose
into the air, intercepting the fire and moving quickly
towards Pyro, threatening to crush him. Scott blasted
it in pieces, just in time to save him. He didn’t
know that one of those pieces would ricochet into
Magneto. He went down.
I’ve seen head wounds like that before. I knew there
was no chance. I tried anyway. Scott and Johnny went
off to join the others. From the sound of the battle
upstairs, there were more of Magneto’s minions in the
house than I’d been able to pick up telepathically. I
stayed. I knew it was hopeless, but I kept trying as
long as he had a pulse.
When I’d assured myself he was dead, I looked to the
animal in the cage. Still, silent. It too had been
hit by flying metal. I’m no vet, but I certainly
could tell it was dead.
There was nothing more to do in the basement. I
joined the rest of the team. The battle was raging
throughout the house. Yes, there were more of
Magneto’s men than we’d thought. A whole lot of them
looked exactly alike. Logan was fighting four
identical men at a time and Jean-Paul was next to him,
taking on two more. It wasn’t until Logan’s claws
went through the belly of one of them that I realized
what was going on. The wounded man seemed to
disappear before my eyes, his body kind of dissolving
and being absorbed into one of his twins. Yet another
one emerged to take his place, just springing forth
fully formed and fighting. I joined the battle and
one by one they went down, one by one they disappeared
into what must have been the original of these
multiple men. At first he kept creating – or
releasing, who knows? – more alter egos, but as the
battle wore on the ur-fighter seemed to tire and the
numbers went down. Four men were actively fighting,
then three. “We’ll handle it from here,” Logan
called. “Go help Scott.”
I found him in the kitchen. He wasn’t fighting. By
the time I got there, there was no one left to fight.
He looked shaken. “Are you okay?” I asked. He
I walked over to him and he held out his arms. “I
love you,” he said. “I’m sorry. I was wrong. It
won’t happen again.”
It felt almost like a dream. I couldn’t believe it.
But there he was, looking to me in time of distress,
like he used to. Hurting at what he’d done to
Magneto, dreading having to tell Charles, but that
wasn’t all. Loving me. Maybe it was a momentary
thing; maybe he’d been right to leave me; maybe he
really did need to be with a man. But maybe not.
Maybe our love was enough. At that moment I felt like
it was. I fell into his arms.
Logan burst into the kitchen, claws out, and ran to
us. Before I could say anything, do anything, he was
on Scott. He stabbed him in the back.
I threw Logan’s adamantium-filled body across the room
with stronger telekinetic force than I knew I
possessed, without even thinking about what I was
doing, just wanting to save Scott. I heard the
*thunk* sound as he hit the far wall. But as I heard
it, I was falling, with Scott collapsing on me, the
weight of him catching me off balance. Only his
weight lessened as we went down. And his body was
shrinking, his clothes disappearing, his skin changing
color. By the time we hit the kitchen floor, it was
Mystique I rolled off of me.
Logan was standing up now, the wounds from the impact
healing as he walked towards me and Mystique. “She
would have attacked you,” he said. And then, “Did I
I moved from warrior mode to physician mode, checking
her wounds and her vital signs. “No,” I told him,
“she’ll live.” I wondered what he was thinking, but
he was still keeping me out.
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I spent a lot of time with Charles over the next few
days. It was what he wanted – to talk, to listen, to
just spend time together by ourselves. He would call
me to his office telepathically or come and find me
pretty much any time I wasn’t occupied with leading
the team or teaching or in advisement sessions. The
rest of the team backed off and just left Charles and
I was surprised he turned to me. I’d prepared myself
for just the opposite – Charles avoiding me.
It’s not that being alone together was an unusual
pattern after a traumatic mission. We’ve done this
before, particularly after an unsuccessful one, or a
successful one with a fatality. It’s a hard time for
all the team, but as their leader it hits me a little
differently. The official post-mission debriefing was
only the beginning of the process I’d have to go
through. Charles generally was my main support and
sounding board. He has been ever since I became field
It’s a complicated relationship – he’s my boss, my
teacher, my friend. My father, too. The only parent I
have left. Not a biological tie, but a real kinship
nonetheless, one born of caring and commitment and all
we’ve been through together. He and I are very close
– we always have been – but I still didn’t expect him
to be there for me this time and was surprised he
wanted me there for him, too. I didn’t know what this
would do to our relationship. What do you do when
your son kills your oldest friend?
“I know what you’re thinking,” Charles had said after
we’d returned from Vermont, after the official
debriefing, as soon as he and I were alone.
“That’s what everybody says about you,” I answered,
and he laughed.
Then he turned serious. “It wasn’t your fault.”
“I know that. Well, part of me does. I didn’t even
mean to do it. I wanted to stop him, to protect
Johnny and Jean. I didn’t want to – ” My voice
cracked a bit at the last part and I didn’t finish the
“Not just because of you. That was part of it, but
not all. It’s just – well, I can’t get used to it.
He’s the sixth death of an adversary on a mission I
was commanding. The second death at my hands – or
eyes, really. Six under my command in all these
years, two that I killed myself. I know them all. I
know their names; I know how they died. They were all
necessary deaths, I know that. It’s not even bad
stats, really. I haven’t lost one X-Man – now that we
have Jean back – and we’ve only had to kill six times
in more than fifteen years.”
“They are remarkable statistics, Scott. Amazing,
really, when I think of what you’ve been through, the
missions you’ve commanded. No one else could have
done as well, managed with so little loss of life.
You bring them back alive and you do it with the
absolute minimum of damage, even to our enemies. I
couldn’t have found a better leader for the team.”
I smiled at the compliment. “I still lie awake nights
thinking about how those six deaths could have been
avoided. I’ve relived each of those battles so many
times, thinking that a few seconds here or a different
order there and it would have come out differently.”
I shook my head and said it again. “I can’t get used
to it, taking human life. I *should* be accustomed to
it by now – how long have I been leading a combat
team? How many times have I made that same speech
just before we go into battle, the one about using
deadly force if you have to? And it’s as true as
anything I’ve ever said – we only do it when we must.
But I just wish to God we didn’t need to. I’ve spent
half my life trying my damnedest not to kill people.”
I pointed at my eyes. “I still have nightmares about
doing it accidentally, at least weekly. And every
night since Magneto’s death.” I stole a glance at his
face when I said that. I hadn’t said it so baldly
before – “Magneto’s death” – not to Charles. I
wondered if he’d flinch, but he didn’t. He looked
straight at me as I said it, expression open and
listening. If he could look into my eyes, that’s what
he’d be doing. “I’m still terrified of my power,” I
continued, “terrified of my own damn eyes. I hate
them, you know. I want to pull them out half the
time, like Oedipus. It tears me up when I use them
and somebody dies, even when it’s necessary.”
“What have I done to you, Scott?” Such sadness in his
“You gave me my life back, Charles. You taught me
everything in life worth knowing. That’s what you’ve
done to me. And for me. Don’t think otherwise, not
even for a minute.” He shook his head. “Don’t think
like that,” I repeated. “I don’t really *want* to be
someone who finds it easy to kill, you know. That’s
not the man I want to be.” We sat in silence for a
little while. “I don’t think I did anything wrong. I
do believe I acted the way I had to, that what I did
was necessary to save them. Still, I’m sorry he’s
“I’m not sure I am.” I looked up, surprised. “He
tried to kill you – all of you – and it wasn’t the
first time. If he’d succeeded – at the Statue or this
time – if I’d lost you, well I would have killed him
without hesitation, without regret. And it wouldn’t
have been the easy and quick death he had.” His grim
expression said he meant it. “He fought on our side
against Stryker, but it was only a temporary alliance.
I knew that. I know you would have captured him if
you could, but I don’t know what I’d have done with
him if you had. Turned him over to the authorities?
I doubt they could have kept him any better this time.
He would have found a way to escape.”
“Yes, he would have. That’s why we let Mystique go.
And that Multiple Man, whoever he was. We didn’t
think a prison could hold either of them. Well, that
and not wanting to let law enforcement in on all that
had been going on there.”
He nodded. “The mutagenic machine was destroyed
before it was built. Its creator is... gone. The
animal that could power it died, as well. Why let the
normal population know they might have been forced
into becoming mutants?” He sighed. “In some ways I
do think Erik is better off dead. He’s not the man I
once knew.” He got that faraway look in his eyes and
I saw a younger Erik Lehnsherr in my brain, smiling,
talking animatedly. “He was... unique, like no one
else I’d ever met. He knew what he wanted; he had a
vision. *We* had a vision, a shared one. But over
the years it diverged.” The image disappeared and
there was just Charles, smiling sadly. “He was the
first mutant besides myself I’d ever met. You can’t
imagine what it was like, Scott. I was no longer
“I don’t have to imagine it. That’s how I felt when
you found me. I would have done anything for you,
“I know. I feel like I’ve asked too much of you.”
“Don’t. This is the life I want.”
Several days with Charles left me feeling like he and
I would survive this one intact. I still had
unfinished business with Jean, though. After dinner
one night we found ourselves in the garden again.
“Can you enjoy it at all?” she asked.
“The garden. The flowers. ‘Ro’s color scheme is
really striking, but without that...”
“Yeah, it’s still beautiful.” I shrugged. “I like
the patterns, the geometry of it; I like the smell of
the plants. And just the quiet out here. See for
yourself,” I added, and let her into my brain so she
could see the garden the way I do. “How are you
holding up?” I asked her after a bit. “A pretty
traumatic mission for your first combat one since
you’re back.” I smiled at her and added, “I wish I
could have arranged a nice quiet battle where nobody
gets hurt,” which made her laugh.
“I’m okay,” she said. “A little worried about you and
Charles. Is it a good sign or a bad one that you’ve
been basically closeted with him since we got back?”
“A good one.”
She smiled at that. “Ordinarily I’d assume it was a
good thing, but this time...”
“I know. It’s different.” Neither of us said
anything for a minute. “There’s something I need to
tell you, something I should have said before.”
“You’re gay, right?”
I laughed and then had trouble starting. After a
minute I said, “We talked before about what happened
while you were gone. I didn’t tell you everything I
should have. I know you thought I was involved with
Jean-Paul, but I wasn’t. I was with someone, though.
Logan.” I looked away from her and continued, “I
loved him. Still do, if I’m going to be honest, but
I’m working on getting over it. And I understand it
wouldn’t have worked. I’m not saying it’s easy for me
to know you and he are together, but I really do wish
you the best.”
She didn’t answer for a while. When she did, she
said, “That was really good. I’ve been practicing
that same line, but I couldn’t manage to say it
without sounding bitter, so I haven’t. You sounded
“What do you mean?”
“Logan and I aren’t together.” She sighed. “We never
were, really. It was probably 90 percent wish
fulfillment on my part and 10 percent rebound on his
part, after things fell apart with you. But he’s not
really interested in me. So yeah, I’ve been
practicing that ‘wish you the best’ line but it always
seems to be accompanied by bitter asides about how it
feels to find out that the two guys you thought were
fighting over you are really hot for each other.
That, or world-weary comments about all the good ones
“Logan’s not. Gay, that is.”
“No, I think you’re right. He’s not, exactly. Not
like you, anyway. But he is in love with you.”
“He told you that?”
“Logan? Get real. He did talk to me about it, and I
give him credit for that. But it was more along the
lines of ‘Scott and me, we were fucking for a while
and then we weren’t and then I was mad at him and then
you were there and I always liked you and you and me,
well it just kinda’... You get the picture. Anyway,
he let me into his brain. And you’ve let me into
yours now.” I realized with some embarrassment that
I’d let on more than my feelings about the garden. “I
have no idea if you two could ever make a go of it. I
can’t even picture you as a couple, and I don’t think
it’s just my jealousy talking. I’ve thought about you
being with a man a few times over the years. Hell, I
couldn’t help it. He’s not the guy I’d think of you
“I know. It was a surprise to me, too,” I replied and
she chuckled a bit.
“Well, it’s a surprise to both of us – all three of us
– but it’s real. Scott, I loved you, I really did.
And I know you loved me. Being a telepath has its
advantages,” she said with a smile. “Disadvantages,
too. I know what you’re feeling when you think about
him. I know what he feels, too. All I can say is I
hope I have that with someone before I die.”
Neither of us said anything for a minute. “Where do
we go from here?” I asked.
“Don’t! Jean, this is your home.”
“It is. A lot more than my mother’s house. This is
where I really grew up. I’ll be back. To visit, maybe
eventually to live. But there are things I need to
do. I can’t do them here. Not now.”
“Where will you go?”
“Burlington, Vermont. UVM is starting a Department of
Mutant Medicine at their med school. Ethan hooked me
up with them. There will be some teaching, some
clinical work. It’s the right job for me right now.”
“Are you sure?”
She nodded. “I’m not really over you, you know. I
should have known that was Mystique. If there were
telepathy licenses, I’d have to turn mine in for
missing that one. But I wanted it to be you, so I
didn’t really pay attention.” She shrugged her
shoulders. “And it’s not just you. It’s me. I need
to understand what really happened to me. I need to
get that year I lost back and know that I’ve got the
defenses so it won’t happen again. Ethan thinks we
can get there together. I want to be near enough to
keep working with him.” She smiled at me. “I’ll
still come on missions with you, when you need me.
Once an X-Man, always an X-Man.”
I found Logan in the Danger Room. I’d had all sorts
of plans about what to say to him, but when I saw him
they all disappeared from my brain. We just looked at
each other in silence for a minute.
“Jean’s leaving,” I told him, finally.
“When you attacked Mystique, did you know it was her?”
“Yeah. She don’t smell like you.”
Neither of us said anything for a while. “Logan,” I
said, finally, “I want to try again. Do you?” He
nodded but didn’t speak. “Do you think we should talk
about what happened?” He shook his head. “About
where we’re going? About us? I love you, Logan.”
He shook his head again and took my hand, put it to
his crotch. I could feel him through his pants,
getting hard as I touched him. “I don’t want to talk.
I don’t want to hear you talk. Not now. I got
something better for you to do with your mouth. Suck
on that, okay?”
“More than okay.”
Mofic Website: http://mo.fandomnation.com/fic/
Do You Yahoo!?
Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
TITLE: Yamim Nora'im (Days of Awe)
AUTHOR: Mara Greengrass
AUTHOR'S E-MAIL: fishfolk@.... Feedback is better than chocolate.
PERMISSION TO ARCHIVE: Just ask, please.
SUMMARY: The Rosh Hashana sermon of Rabbi Jacob Bloom of Congregation
DISCLAIMER: The X-Men and the X-Men movieverse belong to Marvel and
Twentieth-Century Fox and other entities with expensive lawyers.
Congregation Beth Tikva, Rabbi Bloom, and his congregants are from my
imagination. Other people mentioned are real, including Noah Golinkin,
who would have loved that I included him.
CONTINUITY/SPOILERS: This takes place somewhere in the middle of X3, but
has only mild spoilers.
NOTES: At the end, you will find a glossary of any terms related to
Judaism not already translated in the text. Also, I should note that The
Rabbinical Assembly's statement is almost a direct quote, but not quite.
Gigantic thanks to Mofic, Adn_heming, and Blue_Braces for betareading.
* * * * *
Rosh Hashana sermon, 5769
Rabbi Jacob Bloom, Congregation Beth Tikva, Rockville, MD
L'shana tova tikatevu v'tehatemu. It's good to see all of you here on
this rainy Rosh Hashana, in our renovated sanctuary. Thanks to Simon
Katz for doing such a nice job with Shacharit this morning, yasher
koach, Simon. And I want to remind everyone that Judy Dettmiller will be
giving a talk before Mincha at 2:30 in the library on "Women and the
Minyan: A Conservative Perspective." I think Judy will be doing question
and answer afterward, right? She's nodding, so that's yes.
I know all of you are eager to finish the service, so why don't I get
started? Let me begin with a story from the Talmud.
In the first century, there were two great rabbis, Hillel and Shammai.
One day, a skeptic came to Shammai and said to him, "Teach me the whole
Torah while I stand on one foot." This made Shammai mad, because he felt
he was being mocked, and he chased the man away.
The man went to see Hillel, and asked *him* to teach him the entire
Torah while standing on one foot. Hillel replied, "What is hateful to
you, do not do to your neighbor: that is the whole Torah. The rest is
commentary; go and learn it."
What does that have to do with Rosh Hashana? Well, I'll get there. Just
give me a little time.
Rosh Hashana is a holy day that wears many hats: the Day of Judgement,
the Day of Shofar Blowing, the Day of Remembrance, and, of course, the
Many people use this holiday to make resolutions for the coming year,
and I would like to propose something to be added to that list, along
with "lose weight" and "spend more time with the kids."
I bet you think I'm going to say, "give more money to the shul." No, I
leave that to the president! Maybe you think I'm going to say you should
come to services more often. Okay, that would be nice too.
But on this Day of Judgement, the beginning of the Days of Awe, in this
time when we practice teshuva (repentance), tefilah (prayer), and
tzedakah (charity), I would like to ask you to resolve to fight for
equal rights for mutants. Spend these Days of Awe asking yourself what
*you* can do.
I agonized for a long time over whether to write this sermon. The
Committee on Jewish Law and Standards has not issued any responsa
related to the status of mutants in Jewish law. However, until such time
as the Conservative movement has a definitive position, it is my
responsibility to provide guidance to this congregation based on my
understanding of halakha.
I searched my heart and the Torah, and found it was time I spoke out.
While the committee has yet to rule, the Rabbinical Assembly *has*
issued the following statement:
"We, the Rabbinical Assembly,
1) Support full civil equality for mutants in our national life, and
2) Deplore the violence against mutants in our society, and
3) Reiterate that, as are all Jews, mutants are welcome as members
in our congregations, and
4) Call upon our synagogues and the arms of our movement to
increase our awareness, understanding and concern for our fellow Jews
who are mutants."
The Torah has nothing to say specifically about mutants, I know. But
Leviticus 19:17 tells us "Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine
heart" and Leviticus 19:18 gives us the oft-quoted "Thou shalt love thy
neighbor as thyself."
It doesn't say, "Love thy neighbor, unless his daughter has gills." It
doesn't say, "Thou shalt not hate thy brother, unless his skin is green."
Our covenant with Hashem is based on our willingness to be a light to
all nations, to participate in tikkun olam, repairing the world through
In these Days of Awe, it is incumbent upon us as Jews to remember that
Hashem has, for whatever reason, allowed mutants to exist, and all of us
are 'b'tzelem elohim,' created in the image of the Divine.
This means that we all have that spark of divinity in us, and it is our
job to find it and nurture it in others and in ourselves. Our goal is no
less than perfection.
Jews have always stood at the forefront of civil rights movements. Rabbi
Abraham Joshua Heschel marched arm-in-arm with Martin Luther King.
Locally, Rabbi Noah Golinkin, who some of you know was a good friend of
mine, fought for integration of schools and housing in DC and Northern
Virginia. The Southern Poverty Law Center, which has spent decades
fighting all forms of discrimination, has a staff list that sounds like
a shul board: co-founder Joseph J. Levin Jr., Howard Mandell, Rhonda
Brownstein, Mark Potok...
And I could go on.
If you've turned on a television or read a newspaper in recent days, you
will have heard of a "cure," created by Worthington Industries, a cure
that promises to take away those pesky mutations, save us from having to
see new aspects of the Divine.
"It's purely voluntary," we're told. "Nobody's being forced to get the
shot. Nobody's being forced to wear the yellow star or the pink triangle."
Oh, pardon me. I must be mixing up my historical events. It's true that
nobody is being forced to wear a yellow star to show they're a mutant.
But are we so far from that?
A study of recent history shows that saying "Never again" is
easy--keeping that promise is hard. Again and again, we have cried out
against oppression in other nations: the Sudan, Yugoslavia, South
Africa, Russia. And millions have died.
Will mutants have to be decimated before we acknowledge their cries?
Yes, there are mutants who want to receive this cure and we must respect
their wishes, but we must be sure that *we* as a society have not
pressured them into this. We must be sure that this cure is never forced
upon the innocent, the unwilling victim of our own fears.
Throughout our history, many Jews have died rather than convert. They
have embraced martyrdom rather than renounce who they are. Let us not
force this same choice on mutants.
If you recall, I began this sermon with the story of the man who
demanded to learn Torah while standing on one foot. The great Rabbi
Hillel told him "What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor:
that is the whole Torah. The rest is commentary; go and learn it."
Twenty centuries later, have we truly learned Torah? Or are we as
ignorant as that skeptic?
Rosh Hashana: One of the High Holy Days, the beginning of the Days of
Awe. (Although it lasts two days by the secular calendar, Rosh Hashana
is considered one long 48-hour day.)
L'shana tova tikatevu v'tehatemu: "May you be inscribed and sealed for a
good year," referring to the idea that during the Days of Awe, God
decides everyone's fate for the coming year.
Shacharit: Morning prayers
Yasher koach: Well done
Mincha: The afternoon service.
Minyan: A quorum of ten Jewish adults (or ten men, depending on the
branch of Judaism) whose presence is required for certain parts of the
Talmud: A record of rabbinic discussions of Jewish law, ethics, customs,
and stories, which carry nearly the force of law.
Torah: The first five books of the Bible.
Shofar: A ram's horn, used for ceremonial purposes on the High Holidays.
Shul: The Yiddish word for synagogue.
Committee on Jewish Law and Standards: This is a committee of the
Rabbinical Assembly that sets policy for RA rabbis and for the
Rabbinical Assembly: The international association of Conservative rabbis.
Responsa: Written decisions or rulings of a rabbinical body of authority.
Halakha: The collective body of Jewish law, which covers both religious
and everyday life.
Tikkun olam: Repairing the world (through social action)
I borrowed ideas and occasionally short phrases from:
Rabbi Steven Pik-Nathan, Main Line Reform Temple, Narberth, PA
Jill Jacobs, rabbinical student, Jewish Theological Seminary
Rabbi Lewis John Eron, Jewish Family and Children's Service, Cherry Hill, NJ
Rabbi David Golinkin, the Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies, Jerusalem
Rabbi David Thomas, Beth El, Sudbury, MA
The Rabbinical Assembly of Conservative Judaism
Judaism 101 at http://www.jewfaq.org
Title: A canned life
Summary: "Now look at me. I became what you wanted me to be, don't
you dare turn away."
Note: betad by Laurelyn (lmdodge937@...). A giant thank you.
The first day was tasteless. Mystique was still lying on the floor
when they modestly covered her with a coat. Hands carefully took her
under the elbows and pulled her to her feet. They avoided looking at
her; she kept her eyes to the horizon, but could tell by the distant
sound of their voices.
She let the coat slide down her body and hissed, tearing her hand
free, "Now look at me. I became what you wanted me to be, don't you
dare turn away." Red sun leaked down her disgustingly human pink
limbs. Her skin was torn and she was bleeding, yet without pain,
without the metallic taste on her tongue and down her throat.
The second day sounded like gritting teeth. Investigators performed
shaman dances around, filled her up with multicoloured papers, showed
her galleries of pictures and promised a happy life ever after. That
is, if she started talking about Magneto, his plans and his accomplices.
By the end of the day her forefinger got tired from poking into
faces, her teeth had ground down. If humans only knew how hard it was
for her to get in touch, to share the air of the same room with them.
If they could hear the imaginary crunch of neck-bones playing the
most precious symphony inside her head, then they wouldn't dare blink
when talking to her.
The third day smelled like spew. They said they didn't need her
assistance anymore. Raven Darkholme sat at the desk, under a pile of
papers, and massaged her temples. She couldn't trust her new human
fingers to break their hands and all the beetle body parts, but at
least a mild massage was feasible, something her fingers could do to
serve and please her. Recently, "We don't need you," was something
she had heard too often for her own taste.
Toilet walls were artificially blinding eyes; mirrors reflected
truth in the most unattractive way. She fell to her knees and allowed
the mutant and human rage combined to rip from her throat with
animalistic roars. Growls and hisses emptied her lungs. She was a
framework now, covered with vulnerable skin, a symbol of humanity.
"You wanted it," she mouthed against the mirror, watching her red
lips move, her black eyes shine, and her dark hair flow. "Twenty
years ago you would have died to have this." It's just amazing how
our delayed wishes can find us, just like lost letters, hunting us
down and forcing us to accept that now, finally, they came true.
The forth day was a beginning of the rest of her life.
Her new life was canned inside a pitiful room of an apartment house.
She simply stepped in and slid down the wall, dropping the package
they gave her. A canned life wasn't fitting; it stank and shimmered
with greenish walls. Deep inside she understood she needed to catch
the loose ends of her personality and tie rigid knots. With mutation
or without it, she still knew and could do much. She was a
professional, a fighter, a stalker, a good psychologist, and the hate
she felt of every human-being, the feeling that had motivated her all
her life, that hadn't gone anywhere.
Yet the feeling of being captured inside a giant, barbwire claw made
every move sting with pain. The only habit she adopted from Victor
was to crawl in the dark corner when she was injured. Animals survive
because they understand the time to fight and the time to lick wounds.
The tenth day shook with a big surprise.
"I came for you," John said, standing on the threshold, not quite
invading her canned space, but already taking a small step inside. A
cobweb of scratches covered his cheekbones, spanning his forehead and
disappearing within the roots of his hair. His left eyebrow looked
like someone had tried to scratch it off his face. Gloves covered his
hands, and he avoided meeting her gaze more than was necessary, but
otherwise looked sprightly.
"I'm co-operating with the police," she warned, "and technically,
I'm dead." She thought he had to know. In case he hadn't seen the
death of Mystique in her eyes when he watched her lying there. He'd
watched much longer than Eric had.
He stared at the centre of her chest, eyes resting on the shallow
area between her collarbones, the line of ribs pushing through the
"Look alive to me," he noted.
Raven didn't move. Behind her, sun danced on the greenish walls of
her can. She'd spent a few hours putting her minimum set of clothes
in a wardrobe, and bought soap and shampoo for the bathroom. Why the
hell did John decide he was automatically allowed to enter this place?
He lowered his head tiredly. "Look, if we're going to compare our
vital statuses, I'm not very alive either."
The threshold to her apartment was a border between her lives. If
he could look at her with something having a distant resemblance to
pity and pain, and was the only person she didn't name when police
questioned her, she assumed he was somewhere in-between her lives, too.
She moved to let him in.
Now John was canned, too. He lowered his weight to the coach with a
giant sigh of relief. Raven's new body seemed to dictate a new model
of behaviour, reminiscent of the precious human social models she had
despised most of her life. She nearly offered him coffee, the gesture
so natural and strong that she had to press a hand to her mouth,
keeping it there as she spoke, hoping her fingers might filter some of
the human sediments from her human language.
The other all too human thought was to press a wet towel to his
forehead and clean the dried mess, surveying the extent of the damage.
She decided this gesture could belong to both her past and present
"In a case you were wondering what happened after we left you, it's
over. Everything is over." John reached up as if to rub his forehead
and relieve the torturous thought, but dropped the hand to his knees
instead. It would hurt too much. Raven could see the positive in his
aching, yet she didn't want him to hurt.
"Why aren't you with Eric? He severed his right hand. I thought you
became his new one".
"He's over, too."
Little hypocritical rodent. If he wondered whether she felt better
when she heard this, she didn't. The fact that Magneto was dead, too,
could be comforting to her human ambitions. However, it couldn't
resurrect Mystique or assist her in any matter.
At least now she could understand what brought John here. The fear
of loneliness chases every mutant, only its stages are different.
John was a parasitic kind of loner. He rarely needed anyone close to
himself, but ached for the symbolic presence of a crowd in the
background. When pain started to get him, he would close his eyes and
picture himself being a part of them. When he was fine and healthy,
he'd pretend they never existed.
"I don't want to play the role of a crowd in your background." Raven
sat on a table opposite him. Her limbs were still rosy, and she wore
a disgustingly white synthetic dress, printed with blue starfish, only
so she couldn't watch herself in any shiny surface that would reflect
She had no choice except looking directly at him.
He leaned dangerously forward. He was still Pyro, she could tell by
the devils inside his eyes.
"I'm not asking you to."
"Then why did you come?"
He was still looking down when she awkwardly touched her forehead
with his. He turned slightly and slid his cheek along hers, then
rubbed his forehead and temple against her jaw and froze, lowering his
head. She could sense that his breathing felt different on her new
skin. It was warmer and softer, making them both more vulnerable.
His hair smelled of dirt and ash, soaked through with blood and
sweat. She kissed the top of his head, unwilling to start this new
experience with bare skin contact, especially with lips. He put his
hands on her hips, smoothing the cheap fabric. They tried to adjust
to the closeness, both of them.
"I don't know," she rather felt than heard him answering. "Why did
you let me in?"
The rough texture of his injured forehead scratched her chin softly.
She lowered her head. To get a closer look at the wound, she told
herself. They met halfway, nose to nose. He leaned closer then
stopped. Their faces met, skin touching. With human skin, it felt
differently. More dangerous, but softer at the same time. Now she
could feel each tiny scratch or irregularity on his skin.
He dashed forward and captured her lower lip with his. They both
froze, though they'd kissed before. He was warmer, wetter, so easy to
slide against, which she did, leaning on her hands, giving herself
time to manoeuvre, and then attacking him back. His lips and tongue
felt different, she noted absent-mindedly.
The wound drank most of his aggression and conceit, leaving him
almost bare, close to who he really was. She could pet the dragon
without getting a deadly burn. It was exciting, especially now, when
she was too human to play with fire.
"Blood doesn't arouse me this way," she muttered and pushed him
away. "You need to wash it all off."
He chuckled, but followed her into the bathroom. Once she opened
the door, she turned away. There was a large mirror on the wall, and
she still couldn't look at her new self without falling into a sticky,
hazy kind of mood, close to clinical death.
John hissed and rubbed at his head with a towel, rinsing red-brown
streams into the sink. As he dried himself, he noticed that she was
"Didn't know you were so sensitive."
She didn't even bother reflecting the attack. He turned in the
direction she would look if she raised her head and understood
everything. "You're not an object of my teenage sexual fantasies,
but…" he tried once again.
He took her hand and dragged her inside. The mirror made her even
more vulnerable than she already was, though he was sure she could
still break his arm if she didn't like something he was doing. She
simply stood there, in front of the mirror, her head lowered and her
hands clutching at her skirt.
"You could listen if you don't want to look."
As he touched her bare arm, something inside him started to shake.
The sensation was like touching someone without skin, stroking a live
person's insides, holding a trembling heart in his hand. He shook his
head, suppressing the odd feeling. He slid his palm up her hand, her
muscles tensing under his touch. John smiled weakly at his
reflection. He could do this, even if both of their bodies rejected
"I would kill you, but who will tell me how I look now?" She mumbled.
He kept his mouth shut to trap his shaking voice. One half of his
mind was demanding he walk out of the bathroom, sit on the sofa with
his hands between his knees, and be good. He shouldn't have touched
her like that; she was too sensitive now. He was the driving force in
an unnatural process.
The other half correctly reminded that this was the hidden agenda of
his visit. If the recent days of his life had been completely
pointless, he needed to start making a point now.
Raven tensed when John touched her neck with his lips. His hands
tangled in her skirt, searching for a zipper there, somewhere. He
caught it and pulled, waiting for the dress to fall. If everything
happens the way it should, he thought, he may not pass out from
The dress slid down her arms, and he pushed it down her legs to pool
on the floor. She stood a bit straighter, her forehead wrinkled with
the effort to keep her eyes shut.
She smelled differently than he remembered. Mystique had always
absorbed everything around her; like its owner, her former skin had
been a master of disguise. The scent imprinted in his memory belonged
to the metal that surrounded Magneto. Now she had the fragile, timid
smell of a human being. Heady notes, which went directly to his brain
and groin, allowed him to specify; she smelled like an aroused woman.
And she had nipples now. Not simply a tiny crack, but small,
freshly made, accurate nipples. If he didn't open his mouth, he
risked choking on his own saliva. Instinct took over and he touched one.
Raven swallowed her breath, remaining silent.
"You should look. It's worth looking."
She shook her head.
"Touch me so I could feel and imagine."
John slowly traced the contour of her breast with his fingers. He
was ashamed to scratch the softness with rough finger-pads, but he
couldn't stop himself.
Raven leaned against him, only a little. He was possessed by the
desire to lick what he was touching. Mystique had tasted like blood;
he really wondered what had changed since then. Part of him dwelled
on the thought that if he stepped from her retreat way, they could
both run in different directions and never return to this.
Covering one breast with his hand, he slid the other hand down her
stomach. Closing his eyes, he could still feel Mystique under all the
Before he could get scared, he slid his hand inside her underwear
and let out a tortured, pitiful moan. She was smooth, without any
hair spoiling the sensation. After he touched her there, she could
break his arm or even his neck. She could do anything she wanted.
John touched the swollen inner lips and parted them, sinking into
her wetness. He could stop doubting; she indeed liked what he did.
Raven's lips touched his cheek, seeking his mouth. Her possessive
tongue and mild lips felt like her crotch, which was still modestly
covered by a cheap pair of banal, black panties. She frowned, this
time with irritation, trying to rid herself of them. Clothes were the
main discomfort in her new life.
John continued to respond to her kisses, and fought with his belt
with a free hand. While he could still think rationally, he reached
for his cock. It was heavy, dangerously heavy, though it'd been, for
the most part, ignored. Another moment of delay and his
inattentiveness would be punished with an uncontrolled fountain aimed
right at Raven's back, instead of at least getting inside.
He drew her thighs slightly apart and guided her hands to grip the
sink. Her spine pushed against the muscles of her bent back. He
closed his eyes and after a few missed attempts slid inside.
He buried his face in her new, human hair and stopped breathing.
The body under him didn't seem to move, or maybe his nerves had
stopped reacting, to keep his brain from exploding. He didn't
practice in this field of activity much. An extra minute was needed
before he could continue.
He was touching her very nerve endings, getting under her skin,
becoming both sick and aroused at the same time.
Raven whimpered, but caught the sound in time and transformed it
into a grunt. Maybe she wasn't sure about the future paths of her new
life, but she couldn't allow her reputation to be ruined. Suddenly,
he knew what to do to ruin them both totally. His fingers got tangled
in his jacket and shirt, but he successfully ripped them off, and in a
violent gust pressed his bare skin to hers.
Raven yelped, and he echoed the sound. He turned Mystique inside
out, did something Magneto could never do. To him, she felt the same
inside as outside, a bunch of bared nerves. He braced one hand on her
hip, the other planted firmly between Raven's legs. He started to
It felt like her skin left deadly burns on his skin. He was wounded
and dying, and his death had the most beautiful face he could imagine.
Mystique was always exact in definitions and opinions. Raven found
it difficult to define what aroused her most – John's body atop her,
or his cock inside her. Her new skin was so sensitive to touch, it
hurt. It hurt, and she fell into agony when John snaked both hands
around her and pressed her against him, squeezed like he was trying to
She had been sent an angel of death, hidden inside John's body, and
maybe he had been a symbol of her death from the very beginning.
Maybe she hadn't died inside the armoured car; instead, death
approached her now. White light enveloped the contours of reality
little by little. John made a strange sound, something in-between a
cough and a moan, and sank his teeth into her neck. Like an animal,
just like Victor.
She yelled. Not from pain, but rather from loosing her grip on the
order of things, once again.
Her eyes shot open when her body started to shake.
She could still feel John's hands, teeth, and hot juices between her
legs, but the world stopped and started to sink into the black eyes of
a new woman in the mirror. John rubbed his nose against her neck and
looked at her reflection, too. His gaze captured her, keeping her
from drowning. She grasped onto it with her own gaze, pure despair
and amazement, all at once.
When he turned her face to him and touched her with his lips, she
could still see the snow-white, rounded contours of the body she was
She pushed him away softly and left the bathroom. He was canned in
this place already too; he couldn't leave even if he wanted to.
TriplePirouette's interview is finished and will be posted as soon as
I get back from vacation. July's interview will be with Bex, author
of such stories as "Body Sway," "Just One Kiss" and "Looking Out For
Marie" among others. You can read her stories at the WRFA archive
(http://www.wolverineandrogue.com/fic/search.php) People can suggest
questions through July 14th. Send them to me at the address below.
Thanks for your interest.
TITLE: From Our Dissension
AUTHOR: Mara Greengrass
AUTHOR'S E-MAIL: fishfolk@....
PERMISSION TO ARCHIVE: Just ask, please.
CATEGORY: Drama, missing scene
SUMMARY: Often both sides of an argument seem clear-cut to the participants.
DISCLAIMER: The X-Men and the X-Men movieverse belong to Marvel and
Twentieth-Century Fox and other entities with expensive lawyers.
CONTINUITY/SPOILERS: X3 spoilers ahoy! Be aware, however, that in my
version of X3, the Phoenix storyline *didn't* happen.
NOTES: This story is MsCongeniality's fault, for giving me the idea
while we were discussing the multitude of scenes missing from X3. Thanks
to Minisinoo and Xandri for betareading.
* * * * *
It was fortunate, Warren thought, that he was no stranger to boarding
school living. Otherwise, he'd be at a total loss as to how to take care
of himself in the chaos of the Xavier School for Gifted Youngsters.
Visions of frying pans and fires danced in his head as he meandered
around, watching and listening to the students who gathered in hallways
and bedrooms and common spaces to discuss the weird goings-on. One
teacher had apparently died recently, another was so depressed that he
was never around, and the headmaster seemed to *know* this Magneto who
was threatening everyone.
Warren rather liked the hullabaloo because it kept his mind off his
*own* woes, and right now, that could only be a good thing. And the
anonymity of just being 'Warren,' not the scion of the Worthington
fortune, was refreshing.
He'd managed to scrape up something to eat, and found other necessities
of life, and now was looking in wonder at the variety of mutations
Due to his 'position' once his wings had appeared, he'd been pretty
isolated. He'd had a few agemates with little mutations they'd
successfully hidden from their parents: Dylan, who could project a small
beam of light no bigger than a flashlight, and Sonia, who could lift
things like feathers or paper with her mind.
But here a young boy casually sped down the hallway an inch off the
ground while a girl in a bright yellow jacket chased after him,
projecting sparklers from her fingers. One of the teachers apparently
controlled the weather and there was the guy who was blue and furry. It
was hard to take in.
Glancing at his watch, he turned down another hallway, looking for
Rogue's room. He'd managed pretty well on his own, but he had a few
questions and Ms. Munroe had promised that Rogue would help him.
Approaching the door, he noted how most of the woodwork glowed with age
to match the exterior of the mansion. But there were so many patches and
repairs, something most people who hadn't grown up in a similar
environment would notice. Why were--
Warren felt stupid. A school for mutants probably *did* need more
repairs than the average pile of stones.
He knocked on Rogue's door, noting a section of floor that had been
replaced. There was no answer and he was about to turn away, when he was
certain he heard a sound. With a slight frown, he knocked again. "Rogue,
are you there?"
Another silence and then, "Uh, Warren?"
"Yeah. Are you busy?" He used his most plaintive tone, the one that
always made his governesses give him another cookie.
It apparently worked just as well on mutant teenage girls, as a moment
later the door opened a bit. Rogue looked like she wanted to slip out
into the hallway, but Warren stood his ground, smiling at her.
The look she gave him said she wasn't fooled, but she stepped back,
opening the door to let him step in and shutting it quickly behind him.
His eyebrows shot up when he realized her room was almost as bare as
his, because most things were packed into a box in the corner or the
suitcase on the bed. "Going somewhere?"
She turned away and continued stuffing a pile of scarves into the
suitcase. "Looks like it."
Warren swallowed, fighting unexpected panic at being abandoned by
practically the only person he'd yet spoken to at length. But he was a
Worthington, no matter what that name meant right now, and he wouldn't
show his fear here. Bad enough he'd-- "Is this the best time to take off?"
Her chin went up at his tone and she faced him. "I've got someplace I
need to be."
Warren's heart felt like it stopped. She couldn't mean what he thought
she meant. "I hope you're not thinking of getting the cure."
"And what if I am?" She crossed her arms over her chest.
What he'd gone through to get here and she-- "You're going to run out
and let them neuter you? How could you?" He was nearly shouting.
Her eyes widened in surprise, but she lashed back. "What do you care?
Pretty boy, you don't *kill* people just by touching them. It's easy for
you." She ripped off a glove and stepped toward him, hand bare.
Warren stood his ground. "You think it's easy for me?" He shrugged off
the heavy shirt that was his constant companion, let his wings touch the
walls to either side. For an instant he felt claustrophobic, unable to
stretch any further. "How am I supposed to pass like this? But I can't
give them up, they're a part of me."
"Well, if killing anyone I touch is part of me, I'm ready to rip it
out." Rogue glared, shaking her head. "Nobody's being forced to do this."
"Yes, they are! My father was going to force me!"
"My name is Warren *Worthington*. As in Worthington Industries. You may
have heard of my father's company." Warren pulled his wings in, wrapping
them around his body for comfort.
She stared at him, eyes wide.
Warren's knees were weak and he sat down on the bed. "He...when he told
me about it, he said he did it all for me. They strapped me to this
thing, and the doctor had the needle...I changed my mind, but they
weren't going to let me go."
"I jumped through the window and flew away," he said.
"I'm sorry," she said, sitting down at the other end of the bed. He
noticed how she simultaneously tried to get close to comfort him, while
staying as far away as possible.
"It's not your fault my father's a jerk," he said, looking down at the
tips of his wings.
"No, I mean I'm sorry for saying it was easy for you. I ought to know
better. It ain't easy for any of us." She slipped her glove back on and
twisted her hands in her lap.
Warren closed his eyes, thinking of the years when his father tried to
hide him, then when he tried to find clothes to hide the wings.
He started. He'd almost forgotten where he was. "Huh?"
"Your dad, he oughtn't have done that. But...I'm not sorry about the cure."
Warren didn't trust himself to speak.
"My first boyfriend? He, we kissed, and I nearly killed him. I screamed
and screamed and my mama and daddy were afraid of me all the time and
the doctors too. I still feel him in my head sometimes." Rogue's hands
were clenched so hard, her knuckles were probably white under the
gloves. "Everybody I've touched since this happened to me--they're all
in there at least a little."
"Oh." Warren shivered. "I didn't know."
"I don't talk about it much. And you're new." She looked up at him
through a fall of dark hair and a white streak. "I need this, Warren. I
could kill someone and not even mean it. Someday I will if I don't do
"Can't they teach you how to control it? Turn it on and off?"
She shook her head. "They've tried. The Professor, he still thinks we
can figure it out. Maybe if..."
Warren waited, but she didn't seem to remember he was there. "If what?"
Rogue looked at him, expression even more bleak. "If Dr. Grey weren't
dead. She died when, well, she died saving us from being drowned."
Rogue looked down at her hands again. "So am I."
She looked up again, studying his wings. He twitched once, but the way
she looked wasn't anything like the way his father looked at them or the
doctors. She looked a little intrigued, actually. "Can I help you?" he
asked after a moment.
Rogue blushed. "I was just wondering what it feels like."
"To have wings?"
Warren closed his eyes and remembered wind sliding off his back,
freedom, the rush, like the world's best roller coaster he never had to
get off. "It's amazing."
"And that's why you don't want the cure." It wasn't a question.
"I sort of did, at first. I guess." Warren couldn't quite remember when
the subject of an *actual* cure had first come up, since his father had
been obsessed with the subject since his wings had appeared. "It meant
so much to him and I..." He shrugged.
Rogue nodded as if she understood and Warren realized she probably did.
Absently, he ran his fingers along the flight feathers on both wings,
making sure they were undamaged.
"Your feathers are pretty," she said, voice soft.
"Thank you." Warren stroked the primaries. "When I was on that
table--god, this is so stupid."
She smiled. "I promise I won't think you're stupid."
Staring at the bland institutional carpeting, Warren focused on a frayed
spot just inside the doorway. "They started to strap me down and it
suddenly occurred to me that this meant I would lose my wings. How dumb
is that? My dad's been talking about a cure for years and I didn't
really think about it." Closing his eyes, he remembered the pain and
fear in his father's eyes when he broke free of the restraints.
"And then, when you thought about it?"
"The whole night before, I tried to imagine being without them, and it
was like," he flexed his wings, searching for the right words, "like
allowing someone to cut off your perfectly good hands or feet. I
freaked." His heart raced at the memory.
"Hey, Warren," Rogue said, making an abortive movement to touch him,
"it's okay, you're safe here."
"Are you sure?"
She hesitated and he wondered what she was remembering. "Yes," she said
finally and there was certainty in her eyes.
Warren nodded, choosing to believe her, although he didn't know why.
"Do you hate your dad?" Rogue asked.
"I--" He stopped to think about it. "I'm not sure. I'm angry. I did hate
him, at the time. But now...I don't know."
She wrapped her arms across her stomach. "I don't think you should.
Trying to force you was wrong, but he was trying to help."
Wanting to argue, Warren pressed his lips together and let her finish.
"My parents, they just wanted me back the way I was," she said. "They'd
have done anything to fix what was wrong."
"There's nothing wrong with me!"
"I know." She hugged herself harder. "But your dad didn't see that."
Warren didn't want to agree. But it was true. His father just didn't
understand and he'd never tried to make him understand. He'd always kind
of figured that eventually his father would stop being so upset by the
"I'm okay. I...you're right. I'm sure he thought he was doing the right
thing." His voice sounded oddly rusty to his own ears.
"Are you gonna be okay?" Rogue looked worried about him. "I need to
leave soon before Ms. Munroe or Bobby--he's my boyfriend--realizes where
Warren nodded. "I'll be fine. So, I can't change your mind?"
She shook her head. "I don't want to kill anyone. I don't want anyone
else's memories in my head."
"Then," he took a deep breath and sat up straight, "I'll wish you good
luck and I hope that the cure makes your life better."
Her smile was lovely. "Thank you. I hope you...enjoy your wings. And
I'll see you when I get back, 'kay?"
"Maybe I'll take you flying." Warren managed a fairly creditable smile
for her and standing, he began the process of rebinding his wings.
"Warren," she said hesitantly.
"You don't have to do that, y'hear?" She pointed at the harness. "Not at
"Oh!" He froze, uncertain what to do. "I've never..." He held his shirt
in one hand.
"When I get back, I'll help you alter your shirts to accommodate the
wings," she said. "I'm a pretty good seamstress."
Warren closed his eyes against an excess of emotion. "I'd like that," he
said. "For now, maybe I'll go flying."
Title: Degrees (1/6)
author: C. Moreno
(brief) summary: Ronny Drake lies in a hospital bed, fighting for
his life. Who did this to him, and what does it have to do with
Based on X-men: The Last Stand
Warning: Major spoilers for X-men 3!
Disclaimer: Iceman and other X-men characters are owned and
copyright of Marvel and 20th Century Fox. They are being used here
for non-profit entertainment only.
Archiving is ok, just ask.
Part One of Six: Reunions
The only sound in Ronny Drake's hospital room was the constant
beeping of the monitor. The doctors told his parents that his
chances of survival were 50/50. His mother could barely look at him.
His face was grotesquely disfigured. According to the police, he was
found unconscious in a dark alley. Somebody had beaten him to within
a few inches of death. Madeline wept, while Mr. Drake looked on
stoically, willing his son to find his way back. Suddenly, Ronny
moved ever so slightly. He painfully opened his eyes.
"Ronny!" his mother screamed. She stood by his bed while her husband
Steven ran to get a doctor.
"…mom?..." Ronny managed to say weakly
"Oh Ronny, we were so worried! Oh baby, please don't leave me too."
"…mom…I need to…I need to talk to him…"
"Him? Who, Ronny?"
"…Bobby…I need to talk to Bobby…"
Bobby Drake stood in front of the tombstones. He looked around to
see if anybody was near. Satisfied that he was alone, he sat down on
"I'm sorry I have not come by in a while. Things have been so busy
lately…We all miss you a lot, all of you…I miss you." He stared at
the three names: "Charles Xavier", "Scott Summers", "Jean Grey".
"Storm has been great; she has taken over the whole operation. She
is a natural leader for sure. For a while she was worried about
finances, but Warren's Dad apparently had a change of heart and made
a "highly generous donation", according to her."
Bobby sighed. He wished such a change of heart would become a
reality in his family too, but he was not holding his breath.
"Rogue and I are good. She decided to stay even though she's not a
mutant anymore. We are teachers now, to the youngest kids. It's
pretty cool…You know, sometimes when she touches me, I feel a tingle…
I don't know how to describe it…it's like a very small residue of
her power is still latent inside of her. I don't tell her, of
course. I don't want to upset her."
"What else? Oh, Logan ran off again, apparently his memories are
starting to come back and he just said he had to check some things
out. I dunno. Although, I'm sure any day he'll be back. Boy,
sometimes he looks at me like he's Rogue's Dad or something, like
saying with his eyes "you mess with Rogue and I'll slash you into
crushed ice". If he only knew what we…oh, sorry, you probably don't
want to hear about that either."
Just then, Piotr came running from inside the mansion.
"There you are. You better hurry inside, there's a phone call for
you. They say it's urgent."
"Who is it?"
"She says she's your mother."
The next day, Bobby Drake sat silently next to his brother's
hospital bed. He had a cold reception from his parents, all very
matter-of-fact, no emotion. They told him about how the police found
Ronny, about Ronny waking up and asking to see Bobby, and how he
succumbed back into the dark. He had not woken up since.
Bobby's parents had taken an hour to get something to eat.
"Who did this to you, Ronny?" Bobby thought out loud. "And why did
you want to talk to me…after what you did?" Bobby's anger towards
his brother, which had simmered within him for so long, was squashed
the instant he saw in what bad shape Ronny was. "I guess hate, like
everything else, comes in degrees", thought Bobby. No matter what
his brother had done, he never wished something like this for him.
"Bobby…?" Ronny slowly opened his eyes.
"Ronny! Let me call the doctors quickly."
"No…wait….Bobby…I didn't tell them…."
"Tell who what, Ronny?"
"They kept hitting me and they kept asking,… but I didn't tell them…
Based on X-men movies
Disclaimer: Iceman and other X-men characters are owned and
copyright of Marvel and 20th Century Fox. They are being used here
for non-profit entertainment only.
Part Three of Six: Iceman
Bobby Drake kept thinking the same thing over and over again: "How
could we have underestimated Graydon Creed so much?!". He was doing
his best to drive and stay awake. He had barely slept after the long
drive from the Mansion the night before.
Fifteen minutes earlier, his brother Ronny had told him the reason
why he was fighting for his life in a hospital bed. It all came down
to one name.
"Creed." Bobby thought, with a fire in his eyes.
Ronny had overheard Creed's plan to destroy the Mansion and all its
Although unknown to the public, Graydon Creed's name was known to
the X-men. He was the reputed leader of the Friends of Humanity, a
mysterious group with an anti-mutant agenda. Hank McCoy had informed
them that the FoH were suspected of providing false information to
media outlets, as well as issuing press releases and mass electronic
mailings with anti-mutant tones. This ranged from supposed attacks
on humans by mutants, to allegations of a violent team of extremely
powerful mutants plotting against the Government. They even used
their releases for "outing" well-known personalities as mutants
(which in most cases turned out not to be). The FoH was known to
condone attacks against mutants. They even went as far as suggesting
that the tragic "mutant massacre" in New Orleans was planned by this
violent team of powerful mutants in an effort to incriminate human
militia groups. The FoH itself claimed to be a peaceful
association; "the voice of the average homo-sapien" as they would
call themselves. There was no evidence to suggest otherwise, but the
X-men took steps to find out for sure.
Bobby had been trying to reach any of the X-men, but had been
unsuccessful so far.
He tried another call, this time to Peter, but could not get an
"Damn!" he screamed "Where the hell is everybody?!"
Unbeknownst to him, the X-men had their hands full at the moment.
While Bobby had been driving to the hospital the night before,
Graydon Creed had gone public. Appearing in a taped interview for a
well-known television show, he revealed himself as the leader of the
Friends of Humanity. He proceeded to present "evidence" that the
danger to mankind posed by mutants did not disappear after the
defeat of Magneto. In fact, according to him, the mysterious group
of mutants that defeated Magneto at Alcatraz was not fighting
Magneto for the sake of humanity. Instead, they had been locked in
battle with Magneto because both groups wanted to achieve domination
over humans. Several soldiers that were supposedly in Alcatraz
indicated when interviewed that both groups had fought with no
consideration of the humans in the base, and both had killed human
soldiers. Creed again brought up allegations that these powerful
mutants had already infiltrated the highest circles of American
Government. He talked about mutants that could take the form of
anyone else. A janitor for a National Security Government Building
related a story about one time when he saw a man that looked exactly
like him walk by. Creed also pointed to the fact that the UN
ambassador was a mutant, one that was apparently sighted during the
Alcatraz fight killing human soldiers. Creed alleged he had detailed
evidence of all these accusations, that attempts on his life had
already been made by these mutants, and that he prayed it was not
too late to save humanity.
The X-men had been busy all day, communicating with the Government,
providing assurances to countless bureaucrats that Creed's
allegations were all outrageous lies. There had already been hate
crimes against mutants following Creed's announcements, and the
Government feared there would be more. They urged the X-men to go
public too and take steps toward showing the public that their
actions were all in good faith. Knowing that Bobby's brother was
close to death, but not knowing the reason why, Storm had decided
not to call Bobby back to the Mansion.
Already the events had touched the Mansion indirectly. The staff had
received a call from the Guthrie family. Two of the Guthrie kids
were mutants, Sam and Paige, and attended Xavier's. They had gone
home to visit their family for a few days. The Guthries did not make
a secret of their kid's mutant genes, and everybody in the community
knew it, but left them alone. However, that apparently changed after
Creed's announcements. A group of masked men entered the Guthrie
home and kidnapped Sam and Paige.
The X-men had their hands full, trying to deal with the Government
and coming up with a plan of action regarding the kidnapping. Their
communication devices were turned off or forgotten somewhere in the
The students that were still awake in the Mansion were all huddled
in the Rec room watching the latest developments. Nobody was near
the phone when, after not being able to contact any of the team
members, Bobby had settled on calling the Mansion's main number.
"Hello? Anybody, please pick up!...This is Bobby Drake. Whoever gets
this, please relay it to Ororo, Kitty or Peter… I've come across
some new information about Creed that suggests he is a lot more
dangerous than we imagined. He's planning to target the school. I'm
worried for the safety of our agent, so I'm going to try to retrieve
her. As soon as you get this, meet me at the agent's last known
location…I hope she's okay…please hurry!."
Bobby hung up with fear in his heart. An agent had been selected to
infiltrate the FoH and find information about the true intentions of
the organization. The selected agent was the only qualified person
available to the team that could pass as human, because now she was.
He had been opposed to the idea vehemently. Rogue would have to go
undercover, with no way to communicate back with him or the team.
She had to gain their trust, and then find out anything that she
could. At the time, there were no serious indications that Creed was
anything more than an idiot with a loud mouth, but something in
Bobby's heart warned him against the idea.
"I don't want you to do this. It might be dangerous". He remembers
"I want to do this, Bobby. I'm a trained X-man. Well, an X-woman,
actually. I can do this. You guys risked your lives in Alcatraz and
I was not even there. Maybe these kinds of assignments are how I'm
supposed to help the team. Please, Bobby, you need to understand."
She had pleaded.
In the end, it was no use; when Rogue decided to do something, no
one had the slightest chance of making her change her mind. She was
given a special device that she would periodically activate and
transmit her current location to the X-men computers. Before leaving
to visit Ronny in the hospital, Bobby had printed out her last known
location. When he first realized that it was here, the same city he
was headed to see Ronny, he felt it was a strange coincidence. That
feeling had been replaced with dread. All Bobby could think about
was Rogue. He prayed that she was ok. Her location device was being
activated on a regular basis: he knew this for a fact because he
personally checked it several times a day. Still, knowing now what
Creed was really capable of, and knowing his girlfriend was probably
in close contact with that monster, sent chills up his spine. He
loved her with all his heart, and could not even fathom the thought
of something happening to her.
Finally, Bobby arrived near the location indicated on his paper, a
partially-secluded wooded area. It was already late into the night.
He left the car in an inconspicuous place and proceeded cautiously
on foot. He saw lights up ahead, and walked towards them.
Iceman crouched quietly behind a tree. He could see up ahead a two-
story building in a forest clearing. Two men stood in front of what
appeared to be the main entrance. There was no sign of Rogue.
The silence of the night was suddenly interrupted by the sound of an
approaching helicopter. Iceman looked on as the helicopter landed in
front of the main entrance, blocking his view. There seemed to be
people getting out of the helicopter, but they were exiting from the
side opposite his current position. After several minutes, the pilot
signaled, and proceeded to take off. Iceman could see that there was
now a larger group of people, a few of them with guns. However, he
also noticed what appeared to be a boy, maybe 15 years old, standing
between them. The boy turned towards Iceman's location, and a
flashlight suddenly illuminated his face.
"It can't be…that looks like Sam Guthrie!" thought Iceman. "What is
he doing here?"
The men with guns pointed at him clearly indicated that Sam was not
"It looks like Sam has been kidnapped by Creed's men! Is he the only
one, and is that why I could not get a hold of anybody at the
Mansion? This situation keeps getting worse. I wish I knew what was
going on…what should I do?"
It only took him a few seconds to resolve his dilemma. Ronny's
experience convinced him that Creed was capable of anything, so in
the end, it was simple. Sam's life was in danger. Rogue's life could
be in danger too. There was no way to contact the other X-men. So,
he was it.
"I have to use it all. All the things I've learned. I have to defeat
these men quickly, then find Creed and take him down hard."
With a mere thought, he iced his body. He assessed the situation one
more time, made an ice fist, and took off towards the building
extremely fast in an ice slide.
He raised his hand toward the men with guns, and fired ice spikes
towards them. They went down before they knew what hit him.
"What the hell!??"
"We got a mutant! Look alive, idiots!"
Everything happened very quickly after that.
Iceman froze all the guns he could see.
"Run, Sam!" he yelled at the astonished boy. Sam kicked the man that
was holding him, and using his mutant power, propelled himself
towards the woods in a blast of energy. One guy started running
after him, but Iceman quickly made an ice wall in front of him. The
guy ran straight into it, and fell down on the floor in pain.
In the meantime, one man lunged at Iceman, taking him down. Iceman's
wind was knocked out, but he quickly landed a double-handed blow on
the attacker's back. He pushed the man aside, and iced the floor
just as two other attackers were running towards him. The men lost
their footing, one sliding straight into a tree trunk, and the other
meeting Iceman's clothesline.
Just then, the main entrance door opened, and five more FoH members
appeared. Behind them, Iceman saw his main target. Creed. A fire
fueled by anger started burning inside Iceman.
Graydon Creed looked on with fury.
"He's only one teenager! Take him the hell down! Now!" he yelled
Guns came out, as Bobby quickly created an ice shield to protect him
while running towards them.
"Creed!" he screamed, doing his best Wolverine impersonation.
A violent avalanche of ice pushed the other men aside like rag
dolls, until only Graydon Creed was left standing.
Creed looked in horror as a figure made of ice wrapped an ice fist
around his throat.
"…what do you want?..." he managed to say, while falling down on his
knees. Iceman looked down on the defeated man.
"I want you to bleed." He said acidly.
Creed's eyes grew wide with fear, as Iceman punched him in the face.
He tried to crawl away on all fours.
"..like the animal that you are" thought Iceman.
He stood up, raising his arms in a plea for clemency.
"Wait! Why are you doing this? What have I done to you?"
"You've done enough. It ends now."
Creed's fearful eyes suddenly turned violent.
"No!" he screamed, lunging at the ice mutant. Iceman successfully
evaded his punches, and landed a hard punch to his abdomen, followed
by an uppercut.
Creed fell on one knee, blood oozing out of his mouth.
"Stop, you maniac!"
"Look who's talking. Besides, I'm only getting started."
Iceman kicked his chest, and he fell backwards.
"Get up!" Iceman screamed. Creed just stayed on the ground, so
Iceman stood him up, grabbed him, and threw him against the building
wall. Creed fell down on the ground again, his nose a bloody mess.
The young X-man stood over him and freezed him to the ground.
"Do it, you freak…" Creed was able to spit the words out, even while
he felt the dizziness trying to take him over. "You'll prove me
right…you're all killers…you want to kill us all…"
"Wrong, asshole." Iceman said, freezing his mouth shut. Creed was
defeated. Although it would certainly feel good, beating him up any
more would serve no real purpose. He had to look for Rogue, after
all, and find Sam in the woods.
"Stop right there, freak!" he heard the voice behind him. Iceman
turned around quickly, only to freeze in place.
"Paige!" he screamed. The younger Guthrie was being held at gunpoint
by one of the FoH members.
"Professor Drake!" the frightened 13-year old girl yelled between
"You move and I put a bullet in her brain!"
Iceman analyzed his options, only to realize he had none. He had no
chance to be faster that a gun pointed right at her temple. And
while Paige had the power to shed her skin into any material, it
would not be fast enough either.
"Raise your hands and step to the side, now!"
He did as he was told. The other men started to recover, and they
started chipping away the ice that held Creed to the ground.
"What do I do with him, boss?" the man holding Paige asked.
"…take him inside…I want to talk to him…" Creed responded weakly,
his mouth finally freed from its icy gag.
Two of the men walked towards Iceman and blindfolded him. As
darkness covered his eyes, he could only think one thing: "I'm
sorry, Rogue. I'm sorry, Ronny. I tried."
Based on X-men movies and comics universe
Disclaimer: Iceman and other X-men characters are owned and
copyright of Marvel and 20th Century Fox. They are being used here
for non-profit entertainment only.
Part Two of Six: Ronny
I try to catch my breath, but all I do is spit blood. I manage to
push myself up on my hands and knees, only to receive another kick
in the stomach. I crash down again, tasting dust and concrete... My
name is Ronny Drake, and right now, I'm getting my ass kicked. But
I guess I should back up some.
I just started college, majoring in political science. I'm also an
activist for human rights. One of the first things I did at the
university was join the Human League. That is how I found out about
the secret meeting of the Friends of Humanity. The FoH is a
clandestine group that fights for human rights. Their founder, who
we only knew as "The Leader" was going to conduct a secret rally. I
had only heard rumors about the FoH and The Leader, so I was more
than intrigued to see what they were about.
I arrived at the abandoned building and knocked on the door. I told
the guy the secret password, and was in. The meeting was…
interesting. The Leader introduced himself as Graydon Creed. He went
on and on about how mutants were endangering our future. He brought
up Magneto several times, reminding us all how close we came to
extinction after "The Incident" a few years back. Then he attacked
the government for not having the courage to implement the obvious
solution: using the mutant cure on ALL mutants, forcibly if
necessary. The mutants that did not want to take the cure, he said,
were doing so because they were hell-bent on taking over the world.
I nodded for most of the talk, but that little bit at the end was a
little "over the top", I thought. Nevertheless, I decided to stick
around and talk to as many of the FoH as I could. I guess time flew
by, and I found myself to be one of the last ones there. There was
only one man that I had yet to meet, and I was not leaving until I
One of the men there said the Leader was in the back, but he was not
taking any visitors. I started going on and on about how I had to
meet him. I suppose he got tired of my whining, so he let me pass.
This part of the building was dark, and I walked towards the only
room with light. Before I could knock on the half-open door, I heard
voices inside. I don't know why, but I just stood behind the door
"…so this woman, what's her name, Raven? How do we know she will not
"Her situation is dire, Graydon. Her sentence is life in prison, and
without her powers, her chances of escape are less than zero. Our
agent indicates that she is willing to give us the information we
seek if we can…arrange her departure from prison."
"How much information? All of it?"
"It looks like that depends on how much we can pay her afterwards."
"Money is no object, Jeremy. I want to know everything: the whole
layout of the school, their secret areas, their defense
capabilities, the brand of cereal they eat in the morning.
"I understand, sir. I assume you want our experts ready to dissect
the information and find a way to destroy these X-men."
"I don't want to destroy the X-men, Jeremy. I want to destroy their
whole damn school."
"Uhhh…Graydon, the children, their students, they live on the
grounds…I suppose we can place a bomb during a school break or
"…you pathetic little coward…don't you understand? My war is not
against the X-men, it's against the whole idea of mutants! The whole
concept of a school for mutants…it's repulsive! Immoral! If mutants
are allowed to live, they WILL be our extinction. Ask yourself, did
Magneto stop to think about all our human children before he tried
to annihilate our whole existence? No he didn't, and you know why?
He understood this is war, as do I. Jeremy, the only good mutant is
a dead mutant. So don't you wimp out on me. We are going to wipe out
the Xavier mansion from the face of the Earth, and all the filthy
mutants that live in it!"
A low gasp escaped my lips involuntarily at that point.
Oh shit, I thought. I ran as fast as I could, not knowing where I
was going. I heard voices behind me. I went up a dark set of
stairs, until I reached a hallway full of doors. The room closest to
me turned out to be an abandoned file room. Crouching behind some
old file cabinets, I lay as quietly as I could, waiting for the
They say that before you die, you see your whole life pass before
your eyes. They say you can see your past mistakes, your errors and
triumphs. Sitting there in the dark for what seemed like an
eternity, I had plenty of time to do just that.
It hit me like a train, the whole reason why I was so anti-mutant.
It was not a desire to "cleanse our world". No, it was about Bobby.
Always was. To be fair, I had some anti-mutant feelings before that
horrible day when Bobby brought his friends home…I'd seen the
articles describing how these mutants were destined to inherit the
Earth. How was I supposed to feel, knowing no matter how hard I
worked at things, no matter what I did, I was no match for them? The
point was brought home when that mutant kid in school used his power
to sucker-punch me one time…I can't say I shed a tear when I saw the
news of his murder. Anyway, I was somewhat resigned to the whole
idea, but then my brother, the perfectionist, appears back from his
fancy school. He always received the most affection, and I was
always the one getting in trouble. He went to a school for
the "gifted". Me, I was lucky to get all C's. He would probably go
to some extremely expensive university, use up all my parent's
money, and I'd be left with nothing. And then came the icing on the
cake! Look, I'm a mutant! Look what I can do, whoopeedeedoo! And my
parents? They looked dumbstruck, unable to say anything…"we still
love you Bobby". Yeah, if it had been me saying I was a mutant, they
would have kicked my sorry butt out of the house immediately! But
not Bobby, their perfect son, for him we have to try to help him.
Great. Now my overachieving brother was also going to inherit the
Earth with the rest of his friends. Great.
When I called the police, I wanted him to get in trouble for once in
his life. I wanted him to feel like I felt: rejected. And then
things got way out of control. And then he was gone.
I won't lie; my parents treated me 100% better after that. That part
worked out great. But I still deeply resented him, along with all
his mutant friends. I did not make a mystery of my feelings on the
mutant matter, and suddenly I found myself being more popular at
school. And I guess it grew from there…God, what an idiot I've been!
Just an immature, desperate for attention little kid. And now I see
that I'm way over my head. I see where my hatred for mutants would
eventually lead, and I couldn't stand the idea. This guy, Graydon,
he would not think twice about murdering children. Mutants or not,
these were little kids! He wanted to exterminate every single one of
them; he wanted to kill Bobby.
I tried to fight it, but I started to cry. Regardless of how shitty
I treated him, Bobby was always willing to help me out. He could
seemingly do no wrong. Maybe that's why I was so jealous of him all
my life. But even with that jealousy, I could not escape from a
simple fact: I missed my brother.
Hours later, I managed to compose myself. I had not heard a single
sound for a long time. Perhaps they gave up, figured it was the
wind, or a mouse…Opening the door slowly, I looked around the dark
hallway. Nobody. Eventually I made it outside of the building. The
street was deserted, with no signs of life. I stopped shaking long
enough to grab my cell phone and dial.
"Westchester County, New York…Xavier School for students, or
something…what do you mean it's not listed?...crap, fine."
As I put the phone in my pocket, I heard footsteps behind me.
"I can give you the number for that school if you want."
The man stepped out of the shadows. It was Graydon Creed.
"Umm…Mr. Creed, I was…"
"Shhh, we'll have a lot of time to talk inside."
From out of nowhere, a couple of men grabbed me and pushed me back
inside the building.
They looked at my ID's. Some guy ran a gadget over my head and
announced I was not a mutant. That seemed to interest Graydon even
"You were in our meeting, were you not?"
"So what is your connection to the Xavier school, Mr. Drake? Why
were you calling them?"
"I…I don't know what you are talking about. I had some car trouble
and was trying to call a cab."
What followed was not very pleasant at all. One guy grabbed me from
behind while the other took his sweet time beating me to a pulp…not
something I want to dwell on. When I thought I could not take any
more, they stopped.
"I'll ask again, Mr. Drake: what do you know about the Xavier
I could only mutter incoherencies from out of my bloodied mouth.
"Are you a spy for them, perhaps? Do you know anybody in the school?"
I could tell Creed was trying to make sense of the whole situation.
I was trying to come up with something to say, but I couldn't think
"Were you perhaps snooping around earlier, after the meeting? I
though I heard something, so we decided to hang around and see what
came out of the building, which turns out to be a human…what did you
hear, Mr. Drake? Were you calling to warn them? To warn
somebody?...a friend, perhaps, or a relative?"
I knew that if I said something, they would hunt Bobby down. Maybe
use him for information or something. And then they would kill him.
I knew that for sure. And me? Well, they would probably kill me
whether I talked or not.
"So still nothing to say, boy? Very well…"
And then it came again, blow after blow after blow, until the now
and the present. I raise myself up again, I stand slowly, weakly,
and I look into Creed's eyes.
"I'm not telling you shit, creep…"
Creed stares at me, hatred in his eyes.
"Have it your way."
How ironic. Here I am, a member of the University's Human League,
trying to protect mutant lives and paying with my life for it. The
blows come harder this time, and soon everything goes black…
"Is he dead?"
"I'm pretty sure he is, but I'm not a Doctor, boss."
"What should we do with the body, Mr. Creed?"
"Dump it in an alley down by the mutant slums. Make it look like he
was attacked and killed by one of them."
The first time that the darkness cleared, it came back quickly. All
I could think of was how I had to warn Bobby.
The next time, I find my brother sitting by my bed. With difficulty,
I manage to tell him everything. I see his demeanor change into a
Bobby that I've never seen before. He's focused, serious, and from
all evidence, mad as hell. No, I lie. I have seen this side of him
before. It happened a few weeks before Bobby left for Xavier's. The
school's resident bully, Rocky Beasley, was giving me hell every
day. Bobby found me crying in my room and made me tell him what the
problem was. His expression then was like the one now. I don't know
what he told Rocky or what he did to him, but Beasley never bothered
me again. The memory brings a crooked smile to my beaten-up face.
"Ronny, I'm so sorry you had to go through this."
"It's not your fault, Bobby. It's my own damn fault. I was…Bobby,
"For everything…I just..."
"It's ok, Ronny. It's ok. You need to get some rest. Mom and Dad
should be back any moment. And I need to take care of some business."
Bobby stood up.
"Where are you going?"
"Me and the X-men have a score to settle with Graydon Creed."
I looked at Bobby then and for the first time saw him as a man. I
closed my eyes and smiled again. Look out, Creed. My brother is
going to kick your ass.
Based on X-men movies
Disclaimer: Iceman and other X-men characters are owned and
copyright of Marvel and 20th Century Fox. They are being used here
for non-profit entertainment only.
Part Five of Six: Bobby
"Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery; none but ourselves can
free our minds". –
Bob Marley, Redemption Song.
After we captured Creed, everything else was easy. The few remaining
FOH were leaderless and overmatched. Piotr and Kitty rounded up the
ones inside the building, while Storm and I searched the woods for
any stragglers. Rogue stayed with the Guthries, keeping watch of a
tied-up Creed. I wish I'd seen Creed's face when Rogue told him who
she was really working for!
Soon afterwards, the authorities arrived. Storm briefed them on
everything, and handed them all the evidence we collected. Even with
that, it still took a call from Hank to vouch for us and convince
them. After a couple of hours of back and forth, they finally took
all the FOH members away in handcuffs. As they took Creed away, he
looked at me in the eyes with red-hot loathing. I looked right back
at him without flinching. And that was it.
After some first aid and a chance for everybody to get up to speed,
I was itching to head back to the hospital. I explained to Rogue
that Ronny was not dead, but he was in bad shape, and I needed to
get back to him. She kissed me, and said she understood.
I packed my body with caffeine and headed back to the hospital. All
the while, I could not get Graydon Creed out of my head. I knew the
situation between Ronny and me was nothing like Creed and
Sabertooth, but it made me wonder if I had been too quick to put all
the blame on Ronny for what happened at our house. Sometimes I
thought that Ronny was jealous of the way our parents treated me
over him, even if it was usually because Ronny always found a way to
get in trouble. Perhaps, as the big brother, I could have reached
out more to him when we were growing up. Maybe if I had done that,
he would not have freaked out when he learned I was a mutant. Or
maybe he didn't freak out; maybe he felt betrayed. After I went to
Xavier's, I didn't really make an effort to see what was up with
him. Maybe I had too much on my mind, or maybe I didn't care enough.
I don't know. We were never big on showing much friendliness or
anything, so I never really knew if he cared either. Well, that
question had been answered now. Ronny had been willing to give up
his life before ratting me out to Creed and his goons. That made me
very proud of him, and also realize how short life can be, and how
easily you can lose it all. I was planning to be there for him now,
as a brother, in the difficult physical recovery he would likely be
I finally arrived at the hospital and headed up to Ronny's room. I
opened the door, only to find an empty hospital bed.
I felt my heart sink in that instant, and my mouth got dry. I looked
around the room for something, anything, not sure what, and there
was nothing but silence. Turning towards the hallway, I sprinted to
the nurse's station, only to run into my father.
"Whoa, slow down, Bobby."
"Dad? Where's Ronny? He's not…is he?" I could not even say the words.
"Heavens no! They just moved him out of Intensive Care."
"Oh, thank God. I was scared out of my mind…"
"Are you ok? You're hurt."
"This?" I said, pointing at the big bruise on my forehead. `It's
nothing. I'm fine. So, where's Ronny's room?"
"Hold on. I came to see if I left my cell phone down here. Can you
come with me?"
We found Dad's cell phone under the chair.
"Why didn't you call me after they found Ronny?"
"You guys didn't call me until Ronny finally came out of the coma
days later and asked for me. If he had not come out of the coma,
would you have called? Or were you going to call after the funeral?"
Dad fidgeted with the cell phone.
"Can we talk for a minute, Bobby?"
"Sure." I said. We walked to a waiting area and sat down.
"Son, this whole mutant business scares me. The only time we've met
mutants up close, our front yard turned into a battlefield. And when
they found Ronny, he was in a part of town where a lot of mutants
live. The police thought he had been attacked by mutants."
"But he wasn't."
"I know that now. Ronny told us. Still, him getting hurt like that
was related to the mutant problem too."
"Dad, that was Graydon Creed, a madman, and not a mutant."
"I know. I wish I could get my hands on him and make him pay for
what he did to Ronny. But what I'm trying to say, Bobby, is that you
appear to have chosen to tread in dangerous circles….You're one of
those powerful mutants Creed was talking about, right?"
"I…" I didn't know what to say to that.
"I just saw the news, Bobby. Interviews with people at Alcatraz,
descriptions of what went on. They talked about mutants with fire
and ice powers. I assumed that was you and that friend you brought
to the house."
"He's not my friend anymore." After I said it, I realized that I was
not completely sure about that.
"But you were there, weren't you?"
I was tired of lies.
"Yes, I was there. We fought Magneto and his brotherhood, and we
stopped him from killing an innocent little kid, among other things."
"So the things Creed is saying are true?"
"No, Creed was a liar. Everything bad he said about us was made up.
We fought alongside humans, against Magneto. We did not kill any
humans, and we certainly do not want to take over the world. Creed
wanted to stir up hatred of mutants by whatever means necessary. He
was a diseased man bent on killing every single mutant on the
"We captured him, Dad, and he's being held by the police. He's done
some sinister things, and he's going to face justice for them."
"Did he do that to you?" Dad pointed at my forehead.
"His men did. At one point, they captured me, and would have killed
me if my girlfriend had not helped me escape."
"This is crazy, Bobby. You're fighting wars, getting captured and
almost killed? This is all too much. I don't know who you are
"I'm the same person I was before you learned I'm a mutant, Dad. I'm
just fighting for what I believe in, that's all."
"That's just it, Bobby. All this fighting and danger, if that's what
you want to do, then that's your decision. But I'm not going to let
you drag my family into it too."
"What do you mean? I'm not "dragging" anybody into anything."
"Maybe not consciously, Bobby. But these "villains", what's stopping
them from learning who you are, and trying to get to you by hurting
your family? What's stopping them from going after Ronny again?"
"Creed did not hurt Ronny because of me. Back then, he didn't know
Ronny was my brother."
"Back then?...Are you saying he knows now?"
I could see where this was going, and I didn't like it.
"He does, but he also thinks that Ronny is dead. I made sure of
that. Besides, he's going to spend the rest of his life in jail."
"But what if he doesn't? What if he escapes, and finds out you lied
to him? Or maybe it's not Creed, but the next psycho in line, and
they go after us, Bobby? Are you prepared to handle that?"
"I would never let anything happen to you guys. Creed learning my
name was a fluke, an unfortunate set of coincidences. It won't
"Maybe not, Bobby. Buy maybe yes…and I'm not going to take that
"What are you saying, Dad?"
"I'm saying that you made your choice, now I have to make the choice
I think it's best for the rest of us. I think it's too dangerous for
you to associate with us."
"Don't make this harder than it is, Bobby. We are going to move to
another town and start anew, and I think it's just too risky for you
to be a part of our new lives."
"So just like that, huh?"
"We still love you, son. It's just…well, it just won't work."
"No, you just don't love me enough to even try."
"That's not fair Bobby."
I knew, in a way, he was right. It was not fair to force them to
risk their lives for me, no matter how small the risk might be… I
guess I was tired of hearing their "I love you"'s and still end up
getting the short end of the stick.
"You're right. I've chosen what I want to do with my life, and I'm
prepared to handle the consequences."
My dad just nodded. We were silent for a while. I finally broke the
"Can I talk to Ronny before I leave?"
"Sure." He said. We went up to Ronny's room. Mom stood up as I
walked in. Ronny was sleeping peacefully. I did not want to disturb
him. He certainly needed the rest. I stood there, unsure of what to
do next. I looked at my Mom, but she could not look at me in the
eyes. I turned towards Dad.
"Can you tell Ronny when he wakes up that I wish him a good
recovery? And tell him "thanks for everything"?"
"Tell him "I'm sorry" too."
"Bye, Mom. Bye, Dad."
"Bobby…" I heard my Mom say.
"Good luck." Dad finished the sentence for her.
I nodded, turned around and walked away. I could hear Mom crying
softly in the background, but I did not look back.
Life went back to normal then, or as normal as it got at the school.
But still, we all worried about Creed. The trial promised to be
extremely controversial. We were doing our part by providing as much
information as we could to the Government. Hank went on the TV
circuit again, explaining how a group of mutants (us) had banded
together to oppose Magneto. He told people that the only reason we
did that was because human authorities were unprepared to handle
him, and that we were uniquely equipped to protect both human and
mutant interests in situations that exceeded the capacity of normal
law enforcement. Most interviews were positive, although a few were
not, some accusing us of being vigilantes with only our own selfish
interests in mind.
Human opinions about Creed appeared to be split too. While most
believed the Government when they publicly presented the accusations
against Creed, some people viewed him as a victim of mutant
blackmail. Already indications of just how hard the trial would be
were surfacing. There were questions about whether or not the
electronic evidence we obtained against him would be admissible in
court. The Government was also having trouble obtaining witnesses
that could personally link Creed to criminal activity. So far, they
were only charging him for assault and battery, criminal conspiracy
and fraud. The evidence we found linking Creed to the mutant
massacre a few months back was deemed "too circumstantial" by
prosecutors. The danger of him getting a "slap in the wrist" was
Our fears were amplified when the judge granted bail to Creed. He
would remain free while the trial was ongoing. I never considered
that a possibility, and assumed he would be incarcerated during the
trial proceedings. The idea made me sick. This man, who had almost
killed my brother and knew who I was, would be out on the street.
Even if it proved to be temporary, this was a major cause of
concern. Thankfully, Creed thought my brother was dead, and my
parents had moved to a different city (without giving me their new
address). My family would not be in danger.
We were sitting in the TV room watching live coverage of the story.
Rogue sat next to me, her hand on my leg. Piotr and Kitty were
seated on the other sofa. Storm had left the day before for England,
leaving us in charge. Apparently, Moira requested her presence for
something important, but none of us knew what it was about.
The room suddenly got a little darker, and I realized Warren was
standing behind us, his wings casting a shadow on the sofa.
"What's going on?" he asked. Warren had been invited by Storm to
start practicing with us in the Danger room and did not see us as
the "junior staff" but as part of the same team.
"Creed is being released on bail." Rogue responded
"I still can't believe they're doing that." Warren replied.
We all nodded in silent agreement.
"So, what are we going to do?" he asked.
We all looked at each other.
"We should call Storm, see what she says." Kitty offered.
Piotr looked at me, as if asking for my opinion on the matter.
"We should do that, yes. But I don't think we should wait to take
action." I said. "For example, I think it's pretty clear that we
should raise the security level in the school, per protocol. No
students can go outside the grounds without a member of the staff.
We increase surveillance of the grounds. We warn the students to
report any unusual activities."
"But we have to do it without creating a panic." Kitty interjected
"Yes. We'll say these are just precautionary measures. I know this
sounds like overreacting, but…"
"We've been burned by Creed before. I don't think it's
overreacting." Piotr suggested.
" I agree." Rogue concurred.
I turned towards Warren.
"Creed is leading a public rally after he gets released. Maybe you
can do some aerial surveillance, see where he heads to after the
rally. Just be careful to stay at a safe distance." Warren's
eyesight was as keen as a hawk's, and he could keep an eye on Creed
from a safe altitude.
"Alright." he replied.
"There he is." Rogue said suddenly.
I turned to the TV again, and saw Creed leaving the police station.
The cameras showed that a group of supporters were holding up signs
outside the station. As he left the prison, he raised his hands in
"They will never stop me!" he shouted to loud cheers.
I still could not believe that some people were actually supporting
somebody like Creed. Then again, he had presented himself to the
public as the victim of a conspiracy by influential mutants. Many
people now saw through that ruse, but some did not.
Creed stopped to talk, and the TV reporters were there to transmit
his words to the world.
"I am not afraid, my friends. I am confident that the truth about
these ridiculous accusations will come out during my trial, and I
will emerge victorious. As I've said before, this group of powerful
mutants will do anything to keep the truth from coming out. But they
will fail at that! And tonight at our rally, I will reveal new
information about this group, which calls itself the "X-men". I have
already revealed that our "esteemed" UN ambassador is actually a
member of this clandestine group. Tonight, I will reveal the name of
another of these "X-men"! I will force these people out of the
shadows and reveal their true intentions to the American people!
Make no mistake about it, friends. We will prevail!"
There was no doubt in my mind of who's name Creed was going to
reveal. I was sure that Creed hated me with a passion after I
brought up his relation to Sabertooth. I could feel everybody
looking at me, so they must have been thinking the same thing. It
took all my restraint not to start shooting ice spikes at the TV.
"God, I really hate that guy!" Was all I managed to say.
I felt Marie's hand moving away, and only then did I notice that I
was icing up. I breathed deep and iced down. The enormity of it all
was overwhelming. In a few hours, the whole world would know that I,
Bobby Drake, was one of the X-men. My biggest concern was not my own
welfare, as I felt safe inside the Mansion. The real concern for me
was my family. My Dad had turned his back on me trying to prevent
something like this from happening. What would this mean for them?
For a minute, I felt regret at not having killed Creed when I had a
chance. But I had made the right choice, didn't I? X-men didn't kill
unless it was absolutely necessary to save lives. Besides, Creed had
to go through a public trial so he could be discredited as the lying
warmonger that he was. But what price would I personally have to pay
"We'll think of something, Bobby." I heard Marie say. I didn't know
what to say back.
Suddenly, the TV cameras showed what appeared to be a small object,
glowing with energy as it flew towards Creed. When it hit his face,
a minor explosion occurred. Everybody screamed, frightened but
mostly unharmed; except for Graydon Creed.
"There has been an explosion! It appears to have injured Graydon
Creed!" the TV reporter exclaimed loudly. The people fleeing were
blocking the camera's view. Police were running every which way.
Finally, the camera was able to focus on the area where Creed had
been standing a few seconds ago. Police officers crowded together
around something. A few officers moved out of the way long enough
for the cameraman to focus on what remained of Graydon Creed. His
still-smoking body was on the ground, lifeless.
"The images we are seeing are live, ladies and gentlemen. From all
indications, it appears that Graydon Creed has been killed by some
sort of explosion!"
We all stared at the TV, unable to believe what had just happened.
Creed was dead.
He certainly deserved it. In fact, part of me wished I had been the
one to kill him.
The TV station continued broadcasting live. "There is no sign of the
attacker. Police are combing the area as we speak. From what we saw,
whatever it was, it did not look like a bullet. I'm sure
speculations are already forming that this was some sort of mutant
The frantic voice of the TV reporter and the live noise of emergency
sirens were the only sounds in the room for some time. Eventually,
Warren broke the silence.
"So much for my surveillance." He said. Nervous chuckles were heard.
We discussed what had just happened and who could have done it.
There were two possibilities: somebody who wanted to silence Creed
or somebody with a personal vendetta. Unfortunately, the X-men fit
the first category. We would have to get in contact with the police
and provide assurances that we had nothing to do with this. It
seemed more likely that this was personal, making it very hard to
find out who did it. Regardless, we probably had to do just that, to
clear our name.
"If the assassin turns out to be a mutant, people that believe in
the FOH will only get more radical." Rogue said.
"And somehow end up blaming us." Kitty pointed out.
"Yeah, that's what makes people like Creed so dangerous. You can
defeat someone like him with force, but unless you also win the
battle for the minds, the end result is just more "Creeds" later
on." Warren commented.
I cringed at the thought, but so far, that had been proven right.
There was no doubt that Magneto was a big reason why somebody like
Creed was able to garner so much support. And with Creed being
assassinated like this before the courts could prove his guilt,
there was a good chance that someone else would eventually replace
him. It was enough to make it seem like an endless cycle of
violence, spiraling down towards apocalypse. But I knew we could not
lose hope. I knew that we needed to honor the Professor by being the
ones, the only ones if necessary, to stand in the middle, fighting
against the Magneto's, the Stryker's and the Creed's of the world. I
looked at the four people around me and realized we were more than
ready to stand up to that challenge.
"Well," I said "If that's the case, we'll be there to stand against
Based on X-men movies
Disclaimer: Iceman and other X-men characters are owned and
copyright of Marvel and 20th Century Fox. They are being used here
for non-profit entertainment only.
Part Six of Six: A New Beginning
I am Bobby Drake, the X-man known as Iceman, but right now I'm not
doing anything heroic. I am on a stakeout outside my parent's house.
Some time after Creed's assassination, I received a short letter
from my Mother. In it, she gave me the address of their new
house, "just in case", as she put it. She did not invite me to
visit, and it was clear that Dad's "ban on associating with Bobby"
was still in effect. Nevertheless, I had decided that with Creed
gone and the FOH elite behind bars, it was safe enough to pay Ronny
a visit. I felt bad that I was not there for him during his recovery
(which according to Mom's letter had been hard, but faster than
I sit in my car and watch as Ronny exits the house with a basketball
in hand. He walks a little slower than before. Most of the bruises
and swelling are gone. He heads to a basketball court a few streets
down. I follow him from a distance until he reaches the court. As I
get out of the car and approach, he starts shooting some hoops.
"Mind if I play?" I say, and he turns around.
"Bobby?" he asks, surprised. I take a good look at him. He looks
thinner, and older.
"Hey, bro." I say, grabbing his shoulder. We hug for the first time
"How did you know where we live?"
"Mom sent a letter."
"She said you could come by?"
"No, she just said it was for "in case of emergency" or something."
"So you're supposed to stay away, like Dad said, and still came?"
"You could get in trouble, you know. That doesn't sound like you."
"Maybe we have more in common than you think." I say as I snatch the
ball away from his hands. I can see Ronny smirk.
"Thanks." He says simply.
"You don't have to thank me. I am the one that should be thanking
"Risking your life for me and for the school. You saved many lives,
Ronny. I'm proud of you… I'm also so sorry it had to be you. I wish
it'd been me."
"Nah, I think it was karma, you know? What I did to you was messed
up, and maybe I was paying for it."
"Don't be silly. You didn't deserve what happened."
"Who knows? But let's talk about something else."
"How's the "X-men" business?"
"As good as can be expected."
"Always something going on, huh?"
"And your identity is still a secret?"
Ronny seems worried for a moment.
"Be careful out there, Bobby." He says without looking at me.
We take turns shooting the ball and make small talk for a while. We
talk about normal guy stuff: girls, cars, sports, the latest video
"They're just scared, Bobby." Ronny says suddenly.
"Mom and Dad. They're scared of the whole mutant thing, the violence
and everything. But give them time. Once things settle down a bit,
they'll come around."
"Well, I'm not holding my breath."
"Hey, I came around."
"And it only took…" I start to say jokingly, without thinking. I
stop myself, but it was too late.
"It only took me almost getting killed, yeah…."
"I didn't mean to say that, Ronny. I'm an asshole."
"And here I thought you were perfect!" he responds laughing. "Don't
worry about it. Like I said, I did do some messed up things, and
what I had in my head was worse."
"We all make mistakes. Like, I'm sorry that I've not been here to
help you." I reply.
"You're here now."
"Yeah, I am."
"I'm going back to college next semester. I'm transferring to a
different school in upstate New York. Maybe you can come by once in
a while and visit. I won't tell Dad."
"I'd like that, but Dad's got a point. I took the chance of visiting
you because Creed is gone, and the FOH is disbanded. But I don't
know if I should take the chance too often. There are villains out
there, some that would do anything to get at one of the X-men. I
don't want to put you in danger."
"You're my brother! I'm not gonna let some idiots scare me away from
seeing you. Besides, if you live afraid, life will pass you by, and
be over before you know it."
"Whoa, that's deep."
"What, that doesn't sound like me? Maybe we have more in common than
"Alright, Ferris Bueller. I'd love to come by and visit you from
time to time."
"Cool. We'll hang out, do stuff."
"Sounds like a plan."
"I missed you, Bobby." He says seriously.
"I missed you too." I say back. We stand there in the awkward
silence after you say something very personal to someone. Ronny
finally breaks the ice.
"So, are we gonna play or what?"
"You sure you're up to it?" I ask, concerned that he's not ready for
strenuous physical exercise.
"Please! I could kick your butt in basketball even if I was still in
"You never kicked my butt in basketball!"
"What? You totally suck at it!"
"Really? That's not how I remember it."
"Then I'll have to remind you, bro."
"Alright, let's see you back it up."
Ronny grabs the ball and smirks.
"Get ready to get your ass kicked, ice boy."
"That's Iceman, buddy."
"Whatever. I'm still gonna win."
I smile content, as my mind wanders. The funny thing about family is
that it's the only relationship that all of us are forced upon, but
it's also the only relationship that can never be truly broken. So,
with family, it's what you make of it that matters. I don't know if
it's too late for my brother and I to have a positive, lasting
relationship, but I know we'll both give it a try. However, I don't
need to worry about that right now. All I have to worry about right
now is figuring a way to stop Ronny's jump shot…
Please let me know what you think of the story!!
This was certainly a lot of fun to write. I hope you enjoyed it as
much as I did.
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