DISCLAIMER: All recognizable X-Men belong to the people at Marvel and 20th Century Fox. The other supplementary characters that you don�t recognize are my original characters. This is just for fun and academic exercise, absolutely no money will be generated. I�ll only use and abuse them a bit � probably less than my muses did!
SERIES/SEQUEL: Yes, the 2020 Universe. It occurs after Glances and Resolution, and before Binary and
Moonlight. Part of the Scott/Logan arc.
SUMMARY: Scott is lost after his breakup with Jean, and must find a new order among the chaos of his life.
NOTES: 1) This is an AU. Aurora is Ororo�s chosen English name.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: Meret and x-tricks for their fabulous beta work, and x-tricks for being my
own personal cheerleader on this one.
* * *
*** Logan ***
Logan knew Scott was avoiding him, and he wasn�t sure why.
Logan watched the prone, brown-haired man tweaking the engine of his red hypercycle on the concrete in front of the garage from the third floor window. Unconsciously, the Canadian ran the back of his hand across his mouth as he watched the younger man�s well developed arms flex in the mid-day sun as he cranked on the ratchet. A little smudge of grease darkened one cheek.
Scott wouldn�t get close to him, but Logan knew that he was never far away. He could occasionally catch a whiff of Summers close by, in places the younger man rarely ever went. He smelled of equal parts anger, desire, and that motor oil and herbal scent that was intrinsically Scott. Even when he was too far away to scent, Logan could feel his eyes on him, warm and vital like the sun.
He didn�t know what he had done to make him angry, or why he just didn�t get over it like most guys do. He wished that Scott would yell at him, hit him, something. But Scott did none of those things, and he made it clear he didn�t want to talk about it. He was always kept at arms length.
It had been that way since he got back, and things weren�t getting any better. His need for the younger man made his beast within, his anima, rattle in its cage every time Scott was near, and it was getting worse every day.
He was going to have to do something, anything, and soon.
* * *
*** Scott ***
�Damn!� he cursed internally.
The stun grenade missed his shoulder by an inch. The hovering anti-personnel �bot nearly knocked him out of the training session. He had to pay closer attention.
�Get it together, Summers,� he muttered to himself. Logan was about three meters in front of him, efficiently dispatching wave after wave of holographic attackers. Scott could feel the fire burning in the pit of his stomach, and he knew not all of it was anger. He couldn�t keep his eyes off the Canadian, even though he struggled to ignore him.
He would have avoided training with the man of he could get away with it, but that was impossible. They were on the same team, and people�s lives depended on them working as a well-oiled machine. That, and they were a nearly perfect team � Logan was an excellent warrior, ferocious, passionate, and incredibly skilled at dispatching anything he could reach. He was cool, collected, logical, and able to take out fast moving, airborne, and distant targets easily. Though he was no match for Logan, he was pretty good at hand-to-hand combat. Their thrice weekly training sessions were still productive, but they left him angry and upset most days. He just couldn�t get his mind off the other man. His sheer skill, the fluid grace, and the amazing power and speed were as much a distraction as his gleeful ferocity, his determination, and the fact that he was a moving mountain of ripped muscle.
He didn�t want to think about him, didn�t want to acknowledge what it made him feel. He bristled when he saw the man, but he couldn�t stop staring, couldn�t stop dreaming.
Thoroughly disgusted at his lack of discipline, he called out, �Computer: Halt simulation.�
He listened to the cumulative sigh of relief. He checked his watch; they had been at it hard for 50 minutes. �Good enough. I think we�re done here. The next team session is day after tomorrow, 8AM.�
Expecting and receiving groans about the early hour, he had already turned and was walking out. Tinker was installing new robots Wednesday afternoon, so they would just have to deal. They weren�t going to be up half the night Thursday to reprogram the simulations for the Friday training sessions.
�Hey, Cyke,� he heard Logan call after him. With a backward wave he dismissed him as the automated door rolled open at his approach. The sudden silence in the room told him that he�d probably went too far, but he just couldn�t deal with the man right now. The headache that had been haunting him all week was already back, and he�d only been going for three hours. He needed a shower and to lie down for an hour before class so he could make it through the day.
* * *
*** Logan ***
As usual, the class was enthralled.
His classes were the most popular at the school, though they were also among the toughest. Jeannie had told him that he was adding a whole new class next year, because the older kids had requested another advanced English class. Though he�d never admit it to Scott, it impressed the hell out of him.
Since he�d come back to the school, he�d checked out all of the teachers, usually listening from down the hall. Laura Palmer, the language teacher, was amazingly skilled, but quiet and quirky. Ro was enthusiastic but long winded. The Professor was good, but he was so smart he kind of intimidated everyone. Jeannie was OK, but her subject was pretty dry in the first place. Even Hank had started teaching a chemistry class. He was a little hard to understand, and surprisingly shy for such a big guy, but the kids seemed to like him. But Scott was another matter. It was like he was animated by his subject - stories and poetry - and when the man read aloud, he took people away to other places.
Scott took _him_ to other places.
More and more often, Logan found himself wandering up to the second floor on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday right after lunch to sit at the top of the stairwell, just out of sight, to listen to Scott lecture.
Logan was there again today, eyes closed, sprawled back against the paneled wall. He could smell the oak and lemon oil, floor polish and teenager, dust and old books. He started to drift as Scott Summers read.
�Here is the efflux of the soul,
The efflux of the soul comes from within through embower�d gates, ever provoking questions�,
Scott tended to wander as he read, moving across the classroom to keep an eye on the kids. Like Logan, many of them closed their eyes when he read, absorbed in the sound of his voice and his ability to make pictures appearing you head. Logan could hear the soft, almost rhythmic scrapes of leather shoes on tile as he quietly moved around the room.
�These yearnings what are they? Theses thoughts in the darkness, what are they?
Why are there men and women that while they are nigh me the sunlight that expands my blood?
The soft scraping stopped, as did the reading. Logan opened one eye, listening intently. Scott was in the doorway. His eyes drifted down to his leg, carelessly thrown across the stair tread.
�Shit!� he cursed softly. He jerked his leg back out of view. The pause lengthened, and he heard the soft rustling as the kids began to stir.
Voice slightly roughened, Scott began to read again.
�Why when they leave me do my pennants of joy sink flat and lank?�
He winced. �Shit! He knows I�m here,� he realized. Embarrassed, Logan hauled himself to his feet, but after taking a couple steps down, he stopped, catching himself in the same old pattern.
It had taken a lot to decide to return to this place after he�d run away again. Though he only admitted it to himself, that�s what he�d done, what he�d always done � run. If he�d have asked, Chuck and the others would have helped him. They could have been there and back in hours. But instead, he had to go, to get away. Maybe it was because it was too much too soon; maybe it was the noise, or the clutter, or the kids. It didn�t matter, he had run away. It had taken him five months away, alone with his thoughts, to wrestle with himself, to decide who he wanted to be. An almost empty life of rejection and hatred and loneliness wasn�t much of a life. Though he could only remember the last fifteen years � and not even some of that � he knew that he didn�t want, couldn�t stand another fifteen years like that. And the nightmares never left him, especially when he was alone. He made the decision to return standing in front of a tiny grocery in the mountains of Alberta, and he still thought it was a good one. Chuck wanted him here, Marie, �Ro, Tinker, Cerise, Jeannie. Even Scott had looked like he was glad he had returned, at least the first day.
He�d almost run again that same day, when Jeannie told him that she and Scott had broken up. Worse yet, she knew that he wanted her ex-boyfriend. But it had felt so good to be back, to see familiar faces that didn�t hate or fear him - even some that wanted him to be there. It was a good place, and it helped him stick to his promise to himself. He wouldn�t run away - he was done with that, for good or bad.
�He knows I�ve been listening. Running will only make him think I�m doing something wrong,� his mind whispered. He didn�t know what to else to do.
�Chickenshit,� he chastised himself, growling softly, more than a little angry about the knots in his stomach. He turned and quietly climbed the steps and crossed the hallway to the open door.
�Why are there trees I never walk under but large and melodious thought descend upon me?
(I think they hang there in winter and summer on those trees and always drop fruit as I pass;)�
Almost silently, Logan slipped into the room and squeezed his big frame into one of the empty seats in the back. Scott had been moving back up to the front of the room and hadn�t seen him enter.
�What is it I interchange so suddenly with strangers?
What with some driver as I ride on the seat by his side?
Scott stopped dead for a second time as he turned and saw Logan sitting in the back, listening with eyes closed like the students. Logan resisted looking at him, and didn�t dare change his expression. The younger man recovered quicker this time, continuing the poem, but his voice betrayed his emotion.
�What with some fisherman drawing his seine by the shore as I walk by and pause?
What gives me to be free to a woman�s and a man�s good-will? What gives them free to be mine?�
Scott paused a moment, giving the words some space. Logan opened his eyes to find Scott had fixed him with a pointed stare. Unwilling to be cowed, Logan just stared back at him. Summers was obviously angry, and it made him mad. Xavier told him he could sit in on classes if he wanted � he just listened from afar because he didn�t want to make it a big deal. It wasn't like he had a lot to do to fill his days and nights. Now Scott was mad at him, and he was mad and embarrassed, and he just wanted to sink into the floor or hit something. /Fuck!/
Scott glanced around the room as the students caught on that he was glaring at someone. Fourteen annoying brats turned to look back and see him sitting in the back row, fidgeting.
Clearing his throat, Scott flatly told the students, �Well, I think that�s enough for today. Finish reading Whitman�s Song of the Open road for Wednesday and be prepared to discuss it. Don�t forget the comparative essay due on Friday � two poems, different styles or moods, compare and contrast.�
Within seconds, the room began to empty. They seemed surprised to be let go early, and most shot him curious looks as they filed out of the room. Logan couldn�t help but notice Jubilee staring at him, still in her seat. As he watched, one eyebrow went up, and a little smile appeared.
"Damn kid�s too smart for her own good," he thought grumpily to himself, giving her a surly look. She shot John a look, who was hanging back waiting for her. After a few seconds, they both got up and left, whispering conspiratorially as they wandered down the hall.
Without another glance up, Scott quickly packed up his books and papers into his leather briefcase then stalked out of the room to leave him surprised, angry, and alone. Again.
�Fuck!� he muttered aloud, slamming a fist down on the desk in frustration.
end of part one
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