TITLE: Renovations and Repairs
AUTHOR: Mara Greengrass
AUTHOR'S E-MAIL: fishfolk@...
. Feedback is better than
PERMISSION TO ARCHIVE: Yes, just let me know.
CATEGORY: Gen, S/J(ish)
SUMMARY: After the events of X2, Scott deals with some damage.
DISCLAIMER: The X-Men and the X-Men movieverse belong to Marvel and
Twentieth-Century Fox and other entities with expensive lawyers.
NOTES: This fic contains some general spoilers for the sequel (based
on the novelization), but not many specifics. Thanks to Naomi and Min
for suggesting that I post now, instead of waiting :)
* * * * *
For Scott, the worst part was finding new damage. Just when he thought
he'd accustomed himself to the havoc wreaked on his home of so many
years--his castle, if you will--he found something new.
On this particular Friday afternoon, it was a bullet hole in the wall
of Jean's office. Not her lab downstairs, but her administrative
office, with the skull perched on the desk grinning, the biology
textbooks piled neatly on a shelf, and the Matisse reproduction from
the Met she'd hung slightly crooked. The hole was an inch above the
window behind her desk, and when he turned to gauge where it had come
from, he had a sudden vision of a bullet striking Jean, a Jean who'd
stayed behind at the mansion instead of Logan.
It felt as if his heart had stopped beating for a moment, as he
relived the might-have-beens of the invasion of the school. A fist
clutched at his chest, squeezing ever tighter as he raged at the plan
that had lured him away from his charges at such a crucial moment. The
world grayed and Scott fought for control, fought back the fear.
Then, as it had each time, the fist released him and he resisted the
urge to gasp for breath. Tightening his shields and hoping Jean hadn't
sensed anything, he picked up the book he'd come to retrieve and made
a mental note to fix the bullet hole. Soon.
He strode out of the room, placing each foot with deliberate care to
distract himself. Absently, he noted that the hallways looked
practically normal. The Professor brought in professionals to fix the
majority of the mansion almost before everyone had returned. He'd paid
the workers exorbitant amounts to rush, to erase the ugly reminders of
the students' ordeal, and they did an excellent job.
The wood paneling looked as ancient as ever, even the replacement
panels; the intact artwork hung straight once again, while damaged
artwork had been removed; the floors gleamed from a recent
refinishing; and windows and doors were intact, erasing the tracks of
American soldiers crashing through them.
But it was the little things that got to Scott: the stray edge of a
claw mark scored into a metal wall, doors that didn't quite hang
right, and bullet holes in odd locations that reminded him of what had
happened when he wasn't there to protect everyone.
It was the end of the first full week back in session, and as Scott
walked down the hall, he realized there was something not quite right.
He stopped and listened, but didn't hear the usual Friday sounds of
books being dumped, feet rushing to the pool table, and televisions
He strained. There were voices coming from...he turned in a circle
before deciding the sounds came from the direction of the basketball
court. Jogging down the hallway, he wondered if there was a fight that
had attracted the students' attention--if that was the case, someone
was going to have detention for a very long time.
He pushed away fears that it could be something worse.
Down a set of steps, around a corner, and the voices grew louder.
Dodging the large ornamental vase, and through a set of wooden doors
with brand new glass panels, stopping short at the edge of the
What looked like the entire student body was there. They were milling
around, so it took Scott a few seconds to find the center--predictably
occupied by Rogue, Bobby, Kitty, Peter, and Jubilee.
Each held a piece of paper, much scribbled upon, and obviously
important from the way they clutched them. Each was reading things off
the paper and pointing to a different section of the blacktop. For the
first time, Scott noticed piles arrayed on the ground: putty knives,
spackle, wood stain, and much more. It looked like they'd mugged a
He heard the door open behind him but he didn't turn, just stared at
the students in front of him. One or two noticed him watching and
waved cheerily, before resuming their frantic activity. The apparently
aimless movement began to make sense.
"What's going on, Scott?" Jean asked.
Scott shook his head slowly in amazement, just as Rogue noticed the
two teachers. She yelled something, but couldn't make herself heard
over the crowd. Grabbing Remy's shoulder as he passed by, she handed
her paper to him and came over.
"Hi, Mr. Summers, Dr. Grey," she said, obviously trying to suppress a
"What's this?" Scott knew the answer, but he wanted to hear her response.
"We're going to help finish the renovations. All the big stuff's done,
but it's gonna take forever to patch everything else up, so we thought
we'd pitch in, do what we could."
Scott could feel Jean's mixed emotions running through their link:
happiness, sadness, pride, worry. "You don't have to do this," Jean
said. "The Professor will--"
"Of course we have to do it." Rogue frowned. "This is our home and we
want it back the way it was."
Scott swallowed sharply. "It can never be exactly the same, you know."
"I know. It'll be better." Rogue nodded firmly, and in that moment,
Scott saw the last vestiges of the scared southern belle who'd joined
the school replaced by a battleworn soldier who knew exactly where she
stood. "So, we really need someone else who knows which end of the
hammer to hold. Would you like to help? We divided up the
responsibilities and pooled our money to buy the paintbrushes and stuff."
"I'd be honored to help," Scott said, his throat tight. "Just tell me
what to do."
Rogue took his hand, her glove smooth in his grip, and led him to the
assembled students. Behind him, he heard Jean explaining things to
Ororo, Logan, and the Professor, who'd just arrived on the scene.
As far as Scott was concerned, the explanation was simple: The real
repairs had finally begun.