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FIC: Silk and Steel by Pollyanna (Unspoken RR #29)

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  • Jenn
    Wonderful, glorious Pollyanna has yet again pulled out a fabulous Xavier (and Scott!) story for your perusal. Feedback to her directly or the list and I ll
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 1 5:32 PM
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      Wonderful, glorious Pollyanna has yet again pulled out a fabulous Xavier
      (and Scott!) story for your perusal. Feedback to her directly or the list
      and I'll forward.


      Title: Silk and Steel
      Author: Pollyanna (pollyanna@...)
      Series: Unspoken RR #29
      Rating: R for slash and some language
      Summary: Xavier and Scott discuss barriers.

      Notes: Sheesh, you gals write so fast! By the time I've thought of an
      idea, you're five relationships further into the story. Oh well, think
      this will fit after Min's 'Trying' ... if I'm quick ...


      Scott was torn between dread and relief that this was the morning of
      his weekly review meeting with the Professor. Dread, that Xavier would
      immediately sense what a certifiable disaster zone he was inside, even
      if the glasses did hide his haggard and probably red-rimmed eyes.
      Relief, at this oasis of routine amidst the chaotic rubble of his
      life. As the meeting progressed, the familiar reports and analysis
      began to soothe him, helping him to regain some measure of
      equilibrium. First, the accounts and any unexpected expenditure or
      proposals for future spending. Then, the school and pupils that needed
      help, or praise, or just a stern look in passing. (A telepath and a
      guilty conscience tended to generate enough self-punishment for minor
      infractions.) Finally, the current status of the X-Men and their
      equipment, with any prospective changes.

      "We've already discussed the idea of those older students who are
      considering joining the X-Men going on some of the training exercises,
      and I think it will be of benefit to them if they go in pairs rather
      than as individuals. It will give them a chance to interact with their
      contemporaries as team members and we'll be able to monitor which
      personalities and gifts work best together," he was saying as he
      turned to the last sheet in his folder. "I suggest that we start off
      with Kitty and John, then Jubilee and Bobby. Ororo can take both pairs
      out within the next month."

      "Is there any reason why Ororo shouldn't take one pair and you the
      other?" asked the Professor.

      "I thought it best that one team leader appraise all the potential
      candidates,. Her team is in reserve this month, and the students will
      probably feel more comfortable ... " he trailed off as he tried to
      find the right phrasing.

      "In a team that is not an emotional minefield of relationships?"
      suggested Xavier.

      Scott shut the folder and seemed to be fascinated by the X embossed on
      its cover. "Have I ever mentioned how much I hate the fact that
      telepathy is a mutant gift?"

      "Not out loud," Xavier said with a smile of rueful sympathy.

      "I suppose you've been trying not to eavesdrop on the ongoing
      Westchester soap opera," said Scott with a touch of bitterness that he
      couldn't suppress.

      "You know I would never enter another mind uninvited, Scott. But the
      feelings have been so strong recently that they've been breaking
      through everyone's barriers including my own. I can adjust my gift but
      like Logan's sense of smell it cannot ..."

      Scott held up a hand in a 'stop' gesture. "I really don't want to hear
      Logan's name right now."

      "Ah," said Xavier managing to imbue the sound with a wealth of
      expression. He was quiet for a moment, then continued, "Do you want to
      hear Marie's name, or is that another one you can't face?"

      Scott's head whipped up then dropped again to regard his hands, lying
      on the folder in front of him, clenched in a knot of fingers. "Marie
      and I are no longer engaged. We've talked ... we've tried ... last
      night ... we weren't ... I wasn't able ..." He hesitated, unable to
      find words that described his utter failure as a man and a person.
      "There's too much separating Marie and I now, perhaps there always was."

      Xavier spoke gently, "You still care for her deeply. Are you sure
      there's no way forward together?"

      Scott shook his head silently.

      "What if I was to tell you that Marie could control her gift so you
      could touch at last? No barriers between you."

      Scott sucked in his breath as if he'd been struck. For a moment his
      thoughts were full of pale skin, unguarded, warm to his touch, but
      when he concentrated the face wasn't the one that had greeted him so
      many mornings. The laugh he gave had little humour in it. "A year ago,
      even a month ago, that might have made all the difference. Do you
      really mean it? She has the ability to touch?"

      "Not yet, but we have been working on it and I am confident that she
      will be able to very soon. The force of her gift is exceptionally
      strong, but so is Marie."

      "Yes, she is." Scott considered what Xavier had revealed, and for the
      first time in many days felt an uncomplicated emotion and surprised,
      recognised it as happiness. He looked up and smiled at Xavier. "I'm
      glad for her, she will be overjoyed. It's something she's wanted for
      so long."

      "You've both wanted it."

      "But it's too late for us. It wasn't the real barrier. We just used it
      as one."

      They sat in silence for a while. Then Xavier began to speak, faltered
      and began again. Scott looked up, his attention caught by the
      hesitation of the man who always seemed so assured.

      "You know ... You're aware that Erik and I were very ... close."

      Scott was astonished. He had known for a long time that Magneto and
      Xavier had been friends when younger, but when Marie had been forced
      to absorb some of Magneto's power she had also taken his personality
      for a short while. Her tenderness towards the Professor had been
      simultaneously touching and horrific. When he had realised what it
      meant, he was ashamed to admit to himself that he had had what Jubilee
      might describe as an 'Eeew' moment. His self-disgust was only
      mitigated slightly by the realisation that he was having a belated and
      slightly misplaced 'my parents had sex' epiphany. He remembered Marie
      murmuring as she fell asleep one night soon after, "He loves him so
      very much." He had lain awake that night coming to terms with the
      waywardness of emotions, and now he wondered if that taste of true
      love had been a revelation to Marie as well. He realised that Xavier
      was still waiting for a reply.

      "Yes," he said firmly trying to project acceptance. "I know."

      Xavier smiled and nodded, then continued. "At that period it was not
      only something that could not be expressed openly, but it was illegal.
      However I was very rich which buys a lot of blind eyes and we were
      both very discreet. Erik and I had the same vision of humanity and
      mutants co-existing peacefully together and it was only as time went
      by that we realised we wanted to achieve this aim by different
      methods. There came an evening when there was a party here in the
      mansion. Rich and influential people were invited so we could wine and
      dine them, and give them a warm feeling about their tolerance for
      these freaks that were beginning to appear. Erik and I would do little
      tricks like bending spoons or reading cards. One of the guests had
      drunk rather too much and was beginning to verge on insults when he
      was talking to me. Erik listened for a while and then said in a voice
      that carried all too well, 'Does it bother you more that he's a
      cripple, or a mutant, or that I'm fucking him?' Then he walked out. As
      host I couldn't follow him but luckily, and perhaps not surprisingly,
      the guests began to leave soon after. Then I went upstairs and Erik
      and I had the mother and father of all arguments. We only refrained
      from resorting to our powers because we knew we were so evenly
      matched. The next day he left, and it was many weeks before I
      understood why he'd apparently abandoned all prudence."

      Scott understood immediately. "You needed a barrier."

      "Yes, we couldn't carry on together and Erik chose not to drag it out.
      When we stormed and ranted at each other, it was the world we were
      furious with."

      Scott thought back to how he and Marie had been tearing each other
      apart these last few days. It was more satisfying to hurt a person
      than an uncaring world. Yet Marie was one of the people in the world
      he least wanted to see hurt. When had he forgotten that? The future
      they would have together was not what he had planned, but he wanted
      her to have a place in his life even if she would no longer be by his
      side. And if he was to be alone, well, he wasn't the only one.

      "Do you think you and ... " Scott hesitated, 'Magneto' seemed too
      impersonal, but he couldn't bring himself to use 'Erik'. He continued,
      "Lensherr will ever be together again?"

      "I think of it every day. I imagine that Erik will have a Road to
      Damascus experience and be filled with love for all mankind."
      Xavier's raised eyebrow invited Scott to share the mockery. His voice
      became colder. "I fear that humans will do something so terrible that
      the only path I can see is to join with Erik to war against them. I
      hope, or perhaps dream, that there will come a day when humans and
      mutants see only people when they look at each other."

      Scott reached out his hand and covered Xavier's where it lay on the
      desk. "That's my dream, too." Xavier laid his other hand on top of
      Scott's, then as the moment lengthened and threatened to shatter
      Scott's hard-won composure, he smiled with an expression of mischief
      that made him seem younger than Scott. "And, of course, there are
      those moments when I think we should just run away and join the
      circus. Erik could bend iron bars and I could do a mind-reading act."

      Scott was surprised into a hoot of laughter and anyone passing the
      study would have wondered why Mr. Summers was suddenly so happy.

      THE END

      Hey I wonder if one of the students might have been passing by? *G*

      Cheers Pollyanna

      "A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will
      annoy enough people to make it worth the effort."
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