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6218FIC: The Dangers I Had Pass’d (What’s Past is Prologue 5/18)

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  • Mo
    Jul 22, 2005
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      The Dangers I Had Pass’d (What’s Past is Prologue
      5/18)

      RoseAnn Mendez had been looking forward to Professor
      Xavier’s death, hoping it would happen soon. It
      certainly wasn’t something she’d say to anyone at
      Xavier’s Academy. It was something she barely
      acknowledged to herself. Still, it was true.

      She felt like a real bitch for thinking that. And she
      sure tried hard *not* to think it when she was working
      with the Professor on Cerebro. It had been bad enough
      when they’d been working for hours and getting nowhere
      and she’d thought to herself “This is so fucking
      boring I could die.”

      “No one ever died of boredom, RoseAnn,” he’d said in
      that calm, even way of his, as if she’d said it to him
      out loud. “Sometimes we wish we could,” he’d added
      with a smile. She’d tried to keep better control on
      her thoughts when she was with him after that. When
      he told her that he was trying to stay alive until
      this mission was finished, she didn’t let herself
      think “Well, I hope we finish soon, then.” That
      night, in her bed, though, she not only thought it but
      imagined herself saying it to him.

      Yeah, it was a bitchy thing to think, but she couldn’t
      help it. She’d never really liked him, never
      understood why everybody here seemed so crazy about
      him. He was just using them all, she was sure.
      Trying to use her, from that first night when he and
      Mr. Summers had picked her up. “Some day I may want
      you to use your powers,” he’d told her in the car,
      before they’d even gotten to the school. And he could
      barely wait a day before he was trying to make her use
      them. If not for Mr. Summers, he wouldn’t have backed
      off and given her time to even know that she could
      control it. She was sure of that.

      But then, later on, when Mr. Summers and Dr. Grey had
      asked her to work with the Professor to reconstruct
      Cerebro, she’d agreed gladly. They explained that
      Professor Xavier was very sick and that nobody but him
      could operate it the way it was now. “It’s really
      important that I be able to use Cerebro, too,” Dr.
      Grey had said. “My powers aren’t as strong as his
      and... well, the one time I tried I had problems.
      It’s an essential tool for us, you know. It’s how we
      found you. We need to reconstruct it while Professor
      X is well enough to work on it. You’re the only one
      who can work with him. And we don’t know how much
      time he’s got.” Her voice cracked at the last part
      and Mr. Summers had put his arm around her shoulders,
      protectively. RoseAnn had sat there, embarrassed,
      while Dr. Grey cried.

      “We don’t want to push you, RoseAnn,” Mr. Summers had
      added. “We’re just not sure how long we have.”

      So she’d agreed right away. She wanted to do anything
      she could to help the X-Men, and she sure wanted to do
      anything Mr. Summers asked her to. He’d seemed so
      happy when she’d told him “yes” and he wasn’t seeming
      happy very often lately. So, she was glad she’d told
      Mr. Summers and Dr. Grey that she’d help the Professor
      with Cerebro. Glad until she actually started doing
      it.

      Reconstructing Cerebro was the kind of project that
      was both hard and boring. RoseAnn didn’t mind hard if
      something was interesting. That’s why she had had
      such a good time in Mr. Summers’s Shakespeare seminar.
      Well, that and how pleased he’d been with her work.
      Also talking with Jamie about the seminar. That was
      fun. So, yeah, sometimes reading the plays and the
      essays about them just made her head hurt while she
      tried to figure out what they meant, but when she did
      get it, she felt it was worth all the effort.

      She also didn’t mind boring if something was easy.
      She could – and did – often spend hours doing car
      repairs that were dull as could be. Didn’t bother her
      one bit. She could think about whatever she wanted
      while she did them, and when she was done, well there
      was that feeling. You could look at a car that
      everybody thought would never run right and know *you*
      fixed it, using nothing but your hands and a few tools
      and just the knack to know what to do. Plus there was
      Mr. Summers shaking his head in wonder and saying that
      it was ridiculous that a girl who could fix anything
      wrong with a car wasn’t allowed to drive one just
      because of her age.

      But boring and hard? That’s what she just couldn’t
      abide. Using her mutant power was still so difficult
      that she ached all over every time she did it. And
      Professor X needed her to do it for so long and so
      often. She dreaded that knock on her dorm door or
      just on her mind, saying that it was time to come back
      to the big round room for another session. It was
      mind-numbingly boring, holding pieces of metal
      together with her brain, in an endless variety of
      configurations she didn’t even understand, going on
      for hours at a time. Maybe it could have been a
      little bit fun if you could think about other stuff
      while you’re doing it, but it took pretty much all of
      her concentration. And maybe it wouldn’t have been so
      bad if she were doing it with somebody she liked.
      Her discomfort in the professor’s presence made the
      whole thing even harder. So, who could blame her for
      wanting this to be over?

      Wanting the Cerebro reconstruction mission over was
      one thing, but wanting the Professor dead was
      something else. She knew it was a horrible thing to
      wish for, but more and more she found herself wishing
      for just that. They were just kind of sitting around
      waiting for it to happen, all the X-Men, she could
      tell. It made them distracted and short-tempered.
      Mr. Summers barely had time for her. She’d wanted to
      talk to him about Jamie, but he was always so short
      with her she never did. And Dr. Grey had been
      occupied with her wedding, and then she was just
      worrying all the time about the Professor, too, it
      seemed. Neither of them was paying any attention to
      RoseAnn. So, although she was careful not to let on –
      either by words or conscious thoughts – during the
      day, sometimes at night she’d lie in her bed and
      think, “When he’s gone everything will be back to
      normal around here.”

      Only then he did die and she found out she was wrong.
      Nothing got back to normal. If anything, it was
      worse. Everyone was just unhappy all the time. The
      teachers were just going through the motions in class.
      Everybody had said that summer term at Xavier’s was
      fun – rules not so strict, classes as much for
      entertainment as learning. But that’s not what it was
      like this summer. RoseAnn thought the kids who had
      somewhere to go until September were the lucky ones.

      People – teachers and kids – were crying right in the
      middle of stuff. And it seemed like kids were getting
      into fights all the time, too, and none of the
      teachers had the patience to deal with that. Or with
      kids out after curfew or any of the other stuff that
      they used to just take in their stride. They were all
      yelling at the kids at the smallest things, losing
      their tempers over stuff that would have made for a
      mild rebuke a couple of months ago.

      Mr. Summers wasn’t one to lose his temper, at least
      not with the kids, but he was so busy all the time.
      All the other kids said that he’d be naming Ms. Monroe
      as the new Field Leader soon, but it hadn’t happened
      yet. Cyclops was still Field Leader and Mr. Summers
      was headmaster now, too. And he was planning a
      memorial service for Professor X and spending time
      with all sorts of people who came to see him after the
      Professor’s death, some of them Very Important,
      judging by their cars and their entourages. RoseAnn
      missed him. Plus she wanted to talk to him about
      Jamie, about her and Jamie.

      She stopped by his office often, but he never seemed
      to be alone, and she didn’t really want to make an
      appointment. He had cancelled all advisement sessions
      for the summer, and although he said he was happy to
      schedule additional meetings with any of the students,
      she wasn’t sure he meant it. She even tried looking
      for him in his bedroom one evening, although she’d
      agreed months ago not to do that anymore. But she
      just wanted to talk to him when he was alone. Only he
      wasn’t alone. She could hear his voice and Logan’s
      from behind the closed door. She didn’t catch the
      words but the tone made it clear that Mr. Summers did
      lose his temper sometimes, with some people.

      RoseAnn missed Dr. Grey, too. She’d liked talking to
      her – Mr. Summers was right. She was the kind you
      could tell things to, and when he’d been in
      Washington, RoseAnn had confided in her. But since
      the Professor’s death Dr. Grey wasn’t around much.
      RoseAnn looked for her in the dining hall, but she was
      missing meals more often than not. And whenever
      RoseAnn did see her it was when she was with Mr.
      Cherevko. Well, that was nothing new, and before it
      had never stopped RoseAnn from asking to talk to her
      alone. It hadn’t stopped Dr. Grey from kissing Mr.
      Cherevko and saying “I’ll catch up with you later,
      love” and ushering RoseAnn off for a chat. But now
      that they were *married* RoseAnn didn’t feel like she
      could interrupt them like that. And with red eyes and
      a miserable look on her face all the time, Dr. Grey
      didn’t look like she felt like chatting, anyway.

      So, RoseAnn didn’t feel like she had anybody to talk
      to about what was happening with Jamie. They were
      officially boyfriend and girlfriend now – sat together
      in the dining hall, did their homework sitting in the
      library at the same table, walked hand in hand in the
      halls. Kids talked about them as Jamie-and-RoseAnn
      just like they said Ruby-and-Max.

      Mostly it was wonderful. She’d never really had a
      boyfriend except Nick, and it was great to have a
      boyfriend who was, well, a boy. A high school kid
      like her. Yeah, she felt more like she really was a
      high school kid now. You’d think the classes and the
      homework and the dorms would do it, but there was
      something about having a real live boyfriend, to do
      homework with and go to the movies with and IM from
      your dorm to his, that made it seem all the more real.


      RoseAnn loved talking to Jamie. They talked about
      school and about being mutants and about what they
      wanted to do when they grew up. And he’d never tried
      to do anything more than kiss her, which was just fine
      with her. Holding hands all the time, sitting
      together on the couch in the common room watching TV,
      a sweet goodnight kiss – that all made the whole
      normal high school kid thing seem even more real. It
      helped with the verisimilitude, as Mr. Summers would
      say.

      And RoseAnn loved Jamie’s wings. She was fascinated
      by them, thought they were the most beautiful thing
      she’d ever seen, loved to touch them and look at them,
      even before she’d seen them in action. When she saw
      what he looked like flying, she knew she was in love.
      All her life she’d dreamed of being able to fly. She
      almost felt like she was right there with Jamie when
      he rose into the air and swooped and soared.

      She had been shocked when he told her about his
      parents having them cut off, and what they did when
      that didn’t work. “I’m so lucky,” he’d said.

      “Lucky? Lucky that they did that to you? It’s
      horrible!”

      “I meant lucky that they grew back, and that they
      still work. But, yeah, I guess in some ways it’s
      lucky they did that. If they hadn’t I wouldn’t have
      come here. Professor X went to court to make sure
      they could never take me back, you know. He was my
      foster father. I think if he lived he would have
      adopted me, like he did Mr. Summers...”

      “Do you think *he’ll* adopt you?”

      “Who?”

      “Mr. Summers.”

      “I don’t know. But I can stay here as long as I want,
      that I know.”

      “Yeah, that’s what they tell me, too.”

      “I want to stay here as long as you do,” he’d said,
      looking serious as could be. RoseAnn smiled at him.

      But the more Jamie told her about his past the more
      she worried about what to say about her own. She felt
      bad not to tell him, but she didn’t want him to know.
      She wanted to just be that high school kid she was
      pretending to be, not a washed up whore trying for a
      new life. Could you become the person you wanted to
      be if you tried hard enough, pretended hard enough?
      RoseAnn hoped so. She’d told Dr. Grey about feeling
      like an imposter at school, had said it was like a new
      version of the old Gidget movies – Gidget Goes to
      Mutant High. But more and more, as time went on, she
      wanted that to be her life. She wanted to be Gidget.
      A mutant Gidget with a flying Moondoggie.

      “Would you like to fly with me?” Jamie asked her one
      Saturday morning, as they were hanging out on the
      south lawn.

      “Really? How could I do that?”

      “I’d hold onto you. Warren does it all the time. He
      said Mr. Summers was the first person he flew with,
      when they were kids here. Do you want to see what it
      feels like?”

      “Do I!”

      He’d told her to stand still and then he’d come up
      behind her and wrapped his arms around her, being oh
      so careful not to touch her breasts. Jamie was funny
      that way. But then he’d gotten hard, all pressed
      against her like that, and let go, red-faced and not
      looking at her. “I’m sorry,” he’d managed to say,
      just barely. “I can’t help it.”

      “I don’t mind. Please, can’t you take me anyway? I
      just want to know what it’s like.”

      And he had overcome his embarrassment enough to fly
      with her - arms around her waist, legs wrapped around
      hers – although she could feel him hard against her
      the whole time. It was truly like a dream come true,
      like she really was flying. Rising into the air she
      felt a thrill and a sense of recognition – it was
      exactly like her dreams. The school looked so
      different from the air, a completely different angle
      on everything. And the air blowing by them was
      exhilarating. It was so exciting, such pure joy that
      it didn’t even occur to her to be scared of falling
      until after they’d landed.

      Feet on the ground now, alone in the enclosed garden,
      RoseAnn had turned around and hugged Jamie. “That was
      wonderful!” she’d exclaimed, and kissed him.

      “You liked it?”

      “I loved it! I want to do something for you, too,”
      she’d said. And dropped to her knees without even
      thinking about whether or not this was a good idea.


      *****************************************************

      RoseAnn had managed to find Scott alone in his office
      the next day, surprisingly so. “Do you have a minute,
      Mr. Summers?” she’d asked.

      “Just about,” he’d answered. “I’ve got someone coming
      for a meeting in a few minutes, but come on in. What’s
      up?”

      She’d been excited to find him alone and now she
      didn’t know what to say. She’d fumbled a bit. “Do
      you know about me and Jamie?” she’d managed finally.

      “Yes, of course. I’m sorry, I haven’t been so
      involved in the school as usual, but some couples are
      hard to miss.” He smiled almost like he used to.
      “I’ve been glad to see you two getting close. Two
      great kids.”

      “He took me flying yesterday!”

      Scott beamed. “I have a friend with wings. Angel –
      Mr. Worthington. He flies with me sometimes.”

      “I know. Jamie told me.”

      “When we were kids and he took me flying for the first
      time – well I thought it was the best thing that had
      ever happened to me.”

      They smiled in mutual understanding. Then RoseAnn
      scowled. “It’s great with Jamie. It’s just that...
      well, I don’t know what to say to him. About, you
      know. He’s so good to me and he tells me everything.
      But I worry that he wouldn’t like me anymore if he
      knew. Do you know what I mean?”

      Scott sighed deeply. “Yeah, I know. I don’t know
      what to tell you, RoseAnn. Jamie’s a great kid,
      but... I don’t know. Maybe it’s better not to say
      anything.” He was looking distracted again,
      retreating into himself. “I never told anyone, when I
      was a kid,” he added.

      “Mr. Summers? Do you mean that you...?”

      But then there was a knock on the office door and Mr.
      Summers called “Come in.” Adam Greenfield entered
      and Mr. Summers started to introduce him to RoseAnn.

      “We know each other. We met at the wedding,” Mr.
      Greenfield said. “Nice to see you again, RoseAnn.”

      “Let’s catch up later,” Mr. Summers had said to her
      and she’d left.

      **********************************************

      “What we did yesterday...”

      “You don’t mean flying, do you?”

      “No.”

      “You liked it, didn’t you?” He just about melted
      looking at her face. That worried expression, her
      mouth in a slight pout. Her mouth. Remembering it on
      him yesterday made him lose his concentration for a
      minute.

      “Of course I liked it. I... I... I’ve never felt
      anything like that. It’s just...you did that before,
      didn’t you?” She nodded, frowning. “Is he someone
      here?”

      “Who?”

      “The guy you sucked off!” He looked down. “I’m
      sorry. I didn’t mean it to sound like that. Were you
      going out with someone at Xavier’s, before me? That’s
      all I meant.”

      “No. I’ve had lunch with a couple of the guys from
      the Car Club. Played pool with some of them. That
      kind of thing. Joe kissed me once, but I told him I
      wasn’t interested in dating.” She touched his arm.
      “That’s all. Since I’ve been here. You’re the first
      boy I’ve been interested in. Really.”

      “So it was somebody from your old school?” RoseAnn
      nodded, wondering what she was getting herself into.
      “Does he know you’re a mutant, your old boyfriend?”

      “No. He doesn’t know anything. Not where I am or
      what happened. I just left.”

      “How did you find Xavier’s?”

      “They found me. Professor X found me on Cerebro. He
      and Mr. Summers came and got me.”

      “Do your parents know you’re here?”

      She shook her head. “They don’t care. They didn’t
      want me around anyway.”

      “You think he wouldn’t like you anymore if he knew?”

      “Who?”

      “Your old boyfriend.”

      “Probably not. He didn’t like mutants.”

      “Do you still like him?”

      “Not the way I like you.”

      Jamie didn’t say anything for a long time. “Did you
      have sex with him? I mean, not like we did. Did you
      go all the way?”

      RoseAnn took a deep breath. “No,” she said, finally.
      “He wanted to, but I was scared of getting pregnant.
      We just did... what I did with you. And some other
      stuff.”

      “What’s his name?”

      “Nick.”




      Mo
      Mofic Website: www.angelfire.com/comics/mo
      www.livejournal.com/users/mofic

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