Title:Life through a lens
Rating: PG - occasional mild swear word
Disclaimers : I don't own anything - everybody should know that by
Pairing : Scott, Hank, Xavier (friendship)
Notes: This is the fourth part in my'Beginnings' set. Follows 'Opera
& Ice Cream'.
Doesn't make much sense unless you have read 'Beginnings', 'Hope'
Thanks to every one who had suggestions for future installments, I am
trying to work them all in over time. This is set in the movieverse
and works on the presumption that Scott grows more 'responsible' over
time (ie he was a bit of a tearaway to start with).
Feedback : Wanted as much as a three gallon drum of Ben & Jerry's
Cherry Garcia !(Cyclops would be an optional topping.)
Scott waited tensely in the professors' study. He hadn't said why he
wanted to see him and Scott was prepared for the worst. The incident
with Hank in the hallway was still fresh in his mind and though the
professor hadn't seemed angry at the time he was sure he didn't truly
appreciate Scott tearing up his place. He hadn't seen the mansion yet
of course, but it felt big. And expensive. Scott winced. It had
probably cost a pretty fortune for the damage Hank had done to the
door alone. The summons today had sounded formal. It had the mental
equivalent of a summons. The tone had certainly seemed serious. *
Stop it Scott, you don't even know what this is about yet no use
worrying when you'll find out soon enough. * His mental chiding was
followed quickly by the more cynical thought * besides, they won't be
the first to want rid of you and I doubt they'll be the last so what
does it matter anyway. *
When Charles entered the study he caught the tale end of Scott's
thoughts and was stunned by the stiff way the boy stood at attention
before his desk. He hadn't meant to pry but was suddenly glad that
Scott was broadcasting so loudly in his anxiety. The boy had a
natural ability to shield his mind, close it off, perhaps due to his
very private nature. The mental equivalent of a `keep out' sign
really. Nothing Xavier couldn't wander through if he wanted but it
would bar other lesser talents for a while. Those natural shields
were nowhere in evidence today however. Having brought the boy so far
out of his shell in the short time he'd been here was he still so
frightened, so untrusting of their intentions? Clearly he was. He
doubted Scott would ever be entirely sure of himself, whatever hard
façade he maintained, but this needed to be nipped in the bud now.
"You can sit down you know, this is your home Scott not a headmasters
study well not yet any way," he added wryly. Scott had flinched
when he spoke. Obviously so caught up in his thoughts he'd missed the
older man's entrance.
"I'm fine, " he said stiffly, "you wanted to see me urgently?"
"Scott, there is a large chair just to your left. It would assist me
greatly if you could sit down while we talk. I'd prefer to talk to
your face rather than your navel."
Scott started and immediately a look of contrition shot across his
normally serious expression. "I'm sorry, I didn't think." He fumbled
for the chair and sat down, back no less stiff now than when he'd
Charles sighed. "Scott you are not in any trouble, I'm not angry at
you and even if I were angry at anything that would not be grounds
for your leaving us. There may be times we disagree on something and
like any other `parent' as it were I may ground you or some such
nonsense but there is no way, no circumstance that will require you
to leave before you yourself are ready and wish to do so. I cannot
stress this enough and hopefully, in time you will come to trust I
mean this." He smiled as he sensed the uncertainty fading in the
boys' mind. His physical relaxation wasn't as obvious, but the signs
were there in the unclenching of his jaw and knuckles. "I called you
here because Hank and I have something we'd like you to try. If
you'll accompany me out onto the patio, Hank is waiting for us."
Scott walked with him to the back patio without a word. Charles let
him have the moment to mull over the brief conversation in the study.
Hank was all but bouncing by the time they got there.
"At last, what on earth kept you. Come along, come along, the day
won't wait for the faint hearted."
Scott turned his head slightly in Charles direction and in a rare
moment of humour muttered "Have you been feeding him mutant Twinkies
or something sir?"
Charles smiled in delight and whispered back " you're not that far
from the truth young man. Don't ever stand between Hank and his sugar
"Very funny, both of you. I'm delighted that my dietary peculiarities
are cause for such razor wit as it were. Now how you at least advised
our young friend of what we are doing here?"
Charles smiled and patted Scott's arm. "No I thought we should do
that together, as a family as it were. Scott, this would be better if
you sat down." He waited patiently as the boy allowed Hank to direct
him to a chair and sat down. " Hank and I have examined both you and
your medical records thoroughly. There is no easy way to say this so
I will be blunt.""
"You can't help me see can you," Scott interrupted stiffly, "it's
okay," he added quietly, "I'm not sure I really believed I would see
again anyway and I know you tried."
Charles put his hand on the boys' knee. "Scott, stop. That is not
quite what I had to say. You suffered a very serious head injury when
you were younger. From our investigations it has become apparent that
this has resulted in an inability to control your powers by
completely natural means. To make a mechanical comparison, you have a
button in your head that would allow your power to be turned on and
off to varying degrees. That `button' is stuck in the maximum on
position as a result of your accident. That, if you like is the bad
news. The good news is that between us, Hank and I have found a
substance that can act as a filter for your power. The nature of the
substance is such that it absorbs and filters out the harmful effects
of the concussive force you are able to emit. With that knowledge
we've been able to fashion a pair of glasses."
Scott sat bolt upright, his dejection gone in a flash. "Glasses, the
kind I'll be able to see through?"
"After a fashion," the professor replied carefully. There was no
point in building Scott's hopes too high given the limitations they
had been unable to overcome.
"I get the hint, what's the catch in all this. I take it that it goes
a little beyond just looking like a geek then."
Hank grinned. "Careful who you call a geek Summers, I happen to wear
spectacles I'll have you know."
"Quite," the professor chuckled. "In all seriousness Scott, you will
be able to see but it will all be in monotone." At Scott's
inquisitive look he explained further, "the substance we found is
ruby quartz. It's transparent enough to allow clear vision except in
so far as the lenses are red in hue. Everything you see will therefor
be in shades of red. Normally when someone looks through a single
coloured lens for long enough their brain adapts and restores the
appearance of natural colours to what is seen. We don't think that
will happen in your case as the nature of the energy you emit is also
within the red colour spectrum."
Scott nodded slowly. "But I'll be able to see," he said at
last, "that's what's important right?"
"You will have to continue to exercise great care, of course. The
glasses are only as good as your own ability to adapt to wearing
them. They will however allow you to live a relatively normal life."
Scott smiled sadly. "You manage under far more difficult
circumstances. I'm sure I can cope with this."
Hank cleared his throat. "Shall we give this a try then?"
"We're outside for that reason aren't we?" Scott asked with a grin.
Charles gently placed the glasses in Scott's' hand. "They're a little
bulky at the moment but there is no reason why they can't be slimmed
down once you get more used to what you can and can't do in them.
Once we have done so they will be no heavier than a normal pair of
those wrap-a-round sunglasses young people seem to be wearing these
Scott actually snickered. "Right, we'll have to see if Oakley add
these to their line."
Charles and Hank exchanged bemused looks. "Oakley?" mouthed Hank. The
professor just Shrugged.
"When you're ready Scott."
Taking a deep breath Scott slid the bulky frames on and turned his
body away from both the professor and Hank. No sense in taking risks
despite their confidence that this would work. He opened his eyes.
At first the light was so bright he couldn't see anything, didn't
know if the glasses were working or if he was blasting everything
around him to rubble. There was a roaring in his ears, like pressure
building and dissipating and then he could see. He blinked, slowly
taking in the fact that he was looking through a red haze. The lenses
were intact. As the world around him began to come back into focus
after so long in the dark he could feel the headache that had been
driving him nuts since his mutation developed slowly fading. It
didn't go entirely but it no longer clamoured for his constant
attention. The view was amazing. He hadn't been wrong about this
place, it was breathtaking. And this was just the garden. He turned
slowly, still wary of the power he could feel before his eyes. He
knew it was contained but still feared it might burst forth at any
mistake he made or stress he placed on the glasses. He needed to see
Neither was quite what he had expected. Hank was larger than he had
actually thought and that took some doing. He was also younger. Scott
had thought him one of the professors' peers but he looked to be more
in his early to mid thirties. He turned his gaze to the professor and
slowly walked forward to stand before the man. Holding out his hand
he smiled slightly, "It's nice to finally see you sir."
Charles shook the proffered hand and then clasped it warmly between
his own. "Charles, Scott. My name is Charles you don't need to call
me sir. I'm not quite what you expected am I?" he asked with a smile.
"I'd figured grey hair, kind of distinguished I guess."
Charles smiled at the tightness in Scott's' voice. "The hair, hmm,"
he mused running and hand over his skull. He watched as Scott turned
back to the garden, looking up at the sky.
"I need the bathroom," Scott muttered suddenly turning towards the
house and taking two steps away from the men. He stopped and squared
his shoulders, back still to them before turning his head to look
back in their direction. "Thank you, both of you. This means a lot to
me. I...""he shook his head. "Thank you," he said again and strode
into the house.
Hank stared at him, dumbfounded. "That was not quite the reaction I
had envisaged," he blurted looking quickly at the professor." I
thought he would be happy to see at least."
Charles was smiling. He hadn't missed the tears Scott had tried so
hard to hide from them. He patted Hanks arm. "He is happy Hank, happy
beyond his words to express, but he's also scared. Scared he can
still hurt someone and scared this can all still be taken away from
him. He doesn't want us to see that fear. The sooner we can get the
visor operational and showing Scott how to use his power and not just
contain it, the happier I will feel. Come, my friend, Scott may still
be too reserved to reach out to us but that doesn't stop us from
going to him. Let's show him around his new home."