Title: Character Traits
Author: Kate Andrews
Author's Note: It's a light piece based on Jean's line near the end
of the film, "She took on some of your more charming character traits
for a while."
Archiving: Please don't, unless you e-mail me and ask first.
Disclaimer: I don't own them, nor do I have any hope of ever making
money from them.
by Kate Andrews
He left two weeks ago and I still find my self watching Jean Grey's
ass. It isn't as bad as those days when he was asleep. I'm not as
bad as I was, and for a while there I was pretty bad. Occasionally,
I still let slip a curse that I don't remember learning but that
seems to make me infinitely cooler in the eyes of the boys around
here. I still itch to smoke a cigar. And sometimes, I have those
dreams that wake me sweaty at night.
But it isn't as bad as before, when I could pour through his
memories, the ones of the last fifteen years. I'm fifteen years old,
but suddenly I could remember late nineties, when I was a toddler. I
knew how to drive a motorcycle. I knew how to kick the asses of any
number of people I met. More, I was itching to fight. That stuff,
all of his older stuff was patchy, fading in and out.
The more recent memories were fresher. Suddenly, I couldn't stand
Scott. And I found myself staring at Dr. Grey _all_ the time. I
remember her scent as she examined me on the way back at the school
that night. The trip from the Statue of Liberty to Westchester took
no time at all.
After they'd stablized Logan, she unbuckled me and sat me up. At
that point, I was still shaking. I don't think I'd said a word since
I had woken up in his arms. I was kneeling next to his body and
gently shaking him when they got up there. My body had felt fine,
humming in fact, but I couldn't hold one thought long enough to form
a coherent sentence, let alone gather the will to stand and walk, so
they'd had to lead me stumbling to the plane. Jean half carried me,
and buckle me in like a child. I listened to them fight to keep him
breathing, and I wanted to help. I couldn't, though. I couldn't do
anything but stare at the celing and try to figure out what thoughts
were mine, which were his, and who I was.
She sat me up and listened to my breathing, to my heart. She leaned
in and put on this visor with a magnifying glass to examine my eyes.
I could smell her breath, but more than that, I could smell her
sweat. Waves of her scent, strong and sharp, washed over me. She
needed a shower. We all did. But that night, I could pick out
everyone's scent easier than their voice or face.
I found myself examining her uniform, tight black leather over a
tight, warm body. My eyes were finally starting to focus again, and
she smiled at me.
I gave her a weak smile and leaned back against the seat. My head
was racing, rumbling with his thoughts and emotions. Nothing fully
formed...it's not like I could talk to him or anything, but his mind
was right there, pressed up against mine, curled around me. And
though it felt strange, like wearing shoes on the wrong feet, it
wasn't as scary as before. In a bizzare way, it was comforting. We
hit a little turbulence, and I grabbed Jean's wrist.to steady myself.
"You gave us quite a scare," she said.
"Wouldn't want to do that."
"How do you feel?"
"Like shit." I clapped a hand over my mouth. I never
curse. "Sorry, I mean, I'm a little out of it, but I feel okay." I
looked around the plane. Scott was busy flying, and Ororo was
tending to Logan, bandaging the smaller cuts. "Is he gonna be
okay?" He looked dead. At the sight of his body, his mind fluttered
against mine like a moth, so I closed my eyes. The shock was wearing
off, and I was starting to realize that he might die. That he had
saved my life, and that I might have killed him. Tears welled up,
and tried to focus. Then I felt him, like a warm, scratchy blanket
was being wrapped around me. It was like a hug from the inside. I
laughed a little and forced eyes open. "Is he?" My gaze drifted
back to him.
"Probably." She gently turned my head back to face her. "But don't
think about that right now." She patted my arm, and I squeezed her
wrist, examining the leather sleeve. My senses were still reeling,
jacked up and ten times stronger than normal.. Sounds, smells, and
even the heat from them...all were assaulting me, demanding my
attention. I tried to block it out, staring at her uniform.
"You think I'll get to wear one of these one day?"
I heard Scott chuckle, and fought back the urge to say something
"One thing at a time," she said.
"It looks nice." She was really pretty in it, in a comic book
dominatrix sort of way. My gaze shifted down her neck, along her
arm, to her tight waist, then back up. I leaned a little closer and
whispered, "You look good." Smiling, I raised an eyebrow, then
settled back into the seat. Her jaw dropped a little, and I saw
Scott turn slowly to stare at us. I put my hand over my mouth again.
"I'm sorry, I'm just a little...I don't know." I rubbed my
forehead. "I don't know where that came from..." I glanced at Logan
on the floor. I knew exactly where it was coming from. I hoped
everyone else did. Jean sat back a little, but mumbled that that it
was okay as she searched through a medical bag. Scott continued to
stare. "Why don't you keep your eye on the road," I snapped. Then I
bit down on my lip, hard. Oh crap. I tried to push him away, but he
clung like a cat, claws and all. I felt his fear. I don't think
he's had to think about death in a long time. I wished that I could
talk to him, but he was a jumble of images and emotions. An
indefinable slippery presence in my head.
I looked down at Logan's inert body. Ororo knelt next to him, busily
swabbing one of the cuts on his stomach. They'd peeled off his
uniform and he looked very pale, very hairy, and very....well, he
apparently hadn't felt the need to wear anything underneath the
uniform. Somewhere in the back of my head, I thought that this
should be making me blush, or look away or something. I don't see
naked men, like, ever.
I wasn't blushing or looking away though. I wasn't staring either.
I just looked him over and looked back at Jean, who was getting ready
to examine my pupils with some doctor thing. I couldn't tell if it
was shock, or him in my head, or the fact that after the events of
the last two days, but seeing someone half dead and naked on the
floor of a fighter jet wasn't that scary. I bright light flashed,
and I winced away. Jean steadied my head and her scent washed over
"Did we win?" I asked.
"Yeah," she put down the eye thing and smiled at me. "We won." She
patted my knee. "And I think you're okay. We still have some tests
to do once we get back." The jet thumped a little, and everyone got
belted in for the landing. I made a smart remark about Scott's
landing ability when we thumped into the underground hanger, then I
apologized profusely. He shrugged it off as we got out of the plane.
"No, it's not me, it's..."
He put up a hand to stop me. "I know, it's okay. It's actually kind
of funny, and we could use a little humor right now." I felt the
urge to wipe that smirk off his face, but I squished it down.
They went through the business of closing up the hanger. I didn't
know where to go, or whether they still needed me, so I tagged along
behind Jean. I didn't want to leave Logan's side. "You really think
he's going to be okay?" I asked Jean in the elevator.
"Probably." She patted my shoulder and led me to the lab. After
checking on the Professor, Scott headed upstairs to monitor the news
and Ororo left to make sure nothing had happened to the school while
we were gone. After running a few scans on me, she turned her
attention to him. She poked him and prodded him and adjusted a few
of the more makeshift bandages from the plane. She put a tube up his
nose and I got to dubious privledge of learning what a catheter is
and how it's inserted.
"Ouch," I said.
She shot a look at me, and I realized that she'd forgotten I was
there. "You don't need to see this" she said, covering him with a
sheet. I think she was blushing.
"Nothing I haven't seen before," I drawled. Or, rather, he drawled,
She raised her eyebrows.
"I mean...," I shrugged. "Actually, I haven't seen..." I gestured at
where her hands still rested.
She smiled. "Oh."
"If you're feeling alright, you can head off to bed. We can talk in
"No." I said sharply. "No, I want to stay here."
Nodding, she continued examining him and putting little suction cup
monitor thingies on his chest. Pretty soon, he was making a steady
beep on the machine. She fussed with his tubes a little, and
smoothed back this one piece of hair that stuck up like Alfalfa. My
mom always used to do that, fuss with my hair when I was sick. Her
cool hands would feel so nice when I had a fever.
Jean pulled up his sheet, then turned to me. "C'mon. Enough
contributing to the delinqency of minors. There's nothing else to do
right now, he just needs time." She pushed a few buttons on a pager
and hooked it on her belt. "This'll let us know if there's any
We headed to the kitchen, and she fixed me us some sandwiches. After
a few minutes of devouring roast beef and swiss, she looked up at
She swallowed, and said slowly, "You're doing remarkably well,
considering." Sitting back, she unzipped her uniform a little and
let down her hair, running her fingers through it. I wondered how
comfortable those things were....and I wondered what she was wearing
underneath it. Then, _someone_ gave me a creative guess as to what
she was wearing underneath it.
My gaze fell to her chest. Without looking up, I said, "Considering
what, babe?" I covered my mouth _again_.
She coughed a little, then giggled.
"I'm so sorry," I said.
"No," she shook, trying not to laugh, but it wasn't working. "No,
it's okay, it's just..." her eyes met mine, and I couldn't help but
laugh too. I guess she was as overtired as I was because we were
absolutely overcome with a fit of giggles, and I didn't stop untill
my sides ached.
"It's not funny," I said, trying to keep a straight face.
"Not at all."
We erupted into laughter again, but fought it down as a sleepy
student shuffled in to grab a midnight snack.
"Hi Rogue, Hi Dr. Grey," Kitty said sleepily. She yawned, and
rummaged through the refrigerator. "What's so funny?"
"Well, um..." I searched for the right words and glanced at Jean for
"You had to be there."
Kitty yawned again, smiled, and put the milk carton back in the
fridge. "Okay." She drank down the glass and clinked it into the
sink. "'Night," she called over her shoulder as she took a shortcut
through the wall between the kitchen and the foyer. "Cool outfit,"
I heard her call from the stairs.
Jean chuckled again, and we finished our sandwiches in silence,
glancing at eachother and giggling occationally like a couple of
girls at a slumber party. As we were putting the dishes away, she
said, "But you are doing pretty well."
I shrugged. "I guess. Everything's still really weird up here."
"I meant about everything else."
Oh. Everything else. In the last two weeks I'd left the only house
I'd ever lived in, hitchhiked hundreds of miles, been nearly killed a
couple times, nearly killed the only person I trusted...twice, found
out I was a freak of nature, found out I'll probably never kiss
anyone as long as I live, nearly been responsible for killing New
York City, flown in a plane for the first time....and done several
other things I couldn't recall at the moment but were, I'm sure,
quite mind blowing. I shrugged again. "I think there sort of comes
a point where you get numb."
"Yeah." Her voice was tired and sad for a moment as she stared off
into space, remembering something. Then she shook her head and
nodded for the door, yawning. "Bedtime?"
"Bedtime." I caught her yawn and started yawing as well. I was
still a little dizzy, and felt my bed calling. We headed up the
stairs and paused at my door.
"The Professor is getting better, and if he wakes up tommorow, there
will probably be a briefing, but if you need to talk...about
anything." She tilted her head and stared at me, examining my face.
All of a sudden I felt a little like a lab specimen. I also felt a
little turned on, which was really starting to bug me out, so sent a
strong wave of disapproval at him, and I swear, I felt laughter
prickling the back of my neck.
"What?" I asked slowly.
"How much of him is in there?"
I rolled my eyes. "You don't want to know, believe me."
"He's quite a..." she paused.
"Character," I said, at the same time as her. We smiled at each
other...but then it hit me, and her too I think. Nobody knew what I
could do to people. What I could do to him. He might never wake up,
or he could wake up tommorow. I remember them discussing it in the
plane. Jean had looked through his mind and found it absolutely
"He'll be okay."
"I hope so."
"I think he's a good guy," she said
"I know he is." I yawned again and opened the door to my
room. "I'll see you tommorow in Biology."
"You're excused from class. I'll bring you downstairs around 9,
I was so tired I swayed a little and leaned back against the door
"Night." I started to close the door behind me, then popped my head
back out the hallway. "Oh, and Jean?"
"I'll try not to hit on you so much tommorow."
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