HEYOKA: The Advent of Grace (5a/10) (ensemble)
- HEYOKA: The Advent of Grace 5
Notes: They're Marvel's (mostly), not mine. According to the comics,
Cyclops' mutant ability was damaged due to a head injury, so his
optic beams are 'stuck' in the on position. Neither the movie nor the
novelization suggested that twist, but I decided to keep it.
Scott Summer's Sunday began on a bad foot and got progressively
worse. It all started when he had to haul out Bobby Drake and Jubilee
from chapel by the ears, literally. They'd been passing notes and
giggling for almost half an hour before he simply lost his temper
altogether, walked up behind them, got Bobby by one ear, Jubilee by
the other, and said, "You're coming with me. Now." Then he set them
to cleaning the dorm bathrooms. Not together.
He didn't really like being the heavy, but someone had to do it. The
kids knew they could charm Ororo into a simple rebuke (which did no
good), Jean was too sympathetic, Valeria too focused on her private
devotions, and the professor led chapel. Hank was still on sabatical.
That left him.
Chapel wasn't meant to be stuffy. It was a-religious, in fact. Most
of the kids had come from protestant religious backgrounds, or none,
and the professor had absolutely no intention of forcing a particular
faith down anyone's throat. Summers himself would have rebelled if
that were the case. His own personal beliefs amounted to an apathetic
agnosticism. Nonetheless, the professor believed that a little quiet
time at least once a week was good for the soul. So he ran chapel
based on his own long-ago Quaker background: an hour of quiet, with
opportunity to stand up and say something at the end if anyone
desired. Students could do whatever they liked during that time --
ruminate, pray, pick their toenails, it didn't matter. But they had
to be there unless they were sick and cleared by Jean, and be there
without walkmans, gameboys, books, cell-phones, palmpilots, or food.
Most of the kids put up with it. A few actually seemed to like it.
Scott adored it. He would lean back, close his eyes, cross his arms
and ankles, listen to nothing, and think. If he'd been raised a
Quaker instead of a Catholic, he might still be a religious man.
That Sunday, Jubilee and Bobby were up to no good. Drake was a clown
-- a clever clown -- and so was frequently up to something. Frankly,
he reminded Summers of himself in school, so Scott was always one
step ahead of him. Jubilee was just trouble. She grated on Summers
the same way Logan had, and she knew it, did her best to rub it in.
Now, he stood over her, watching her clean. Drake would mop the floor
because Summers had told him to. Jubilee would try to weasel her way
out of it.
"This is, like, *so* completely unfair," she muttered now. "I didn't
Summers raised his hand, one of her notes to Bobby caught between his
She glared at him a moment, then flung her hair �- highlighted blue
this week �- and returned to using Fantastic on the sinks. "But
chapel is so *boring*. There's absolutely nothing to do!"
"You might try using your imagination for an hour, instead of
distracting it with brain candy."
She scrubbed harder. "You never pick on Kitty or Rogue."
"Kitty and Rogue don't usually give me reason to. And I'm not picking
on you, Jubilation. I'm punishing you. There's a difference. Now cut
the crap. Whining doesn't become you."
No audible reply to that but he could almost see the mental finger
she flipped him, and thought he overheard her whisper, "You are
*such* a tightass." He chose to ignore it. As much as she annoyed
him, he had to agree with the professor that she had potential. She
just needed to learn to obey and work as part of a group, not
constantly seek to disrupt it. There were better ways to get
He wondered how much of her behavior this morning had been to get his
After chapel, he let Ororo take over watching Jubilee for him, then
went to face his second unpleasant duty for the day: talking to the
one who hadn't come to chapel at all that morning, had never come to
chapel despite repeated, increasingly pointed invitations.
He found her out on the lawn, wrapped in a Navajo-blanket jacket that
he saw only as red and black and wine. She had her face turned up,
eyes closed, towards the rising sun. She was frequently up with the
dawn, and over the past month, he'd come to realize that Gracie loved
morning as much as he hated it. Why she refused to come to chapel he
didn't understand. Of all the adults at the school, she -- and
Valeria -- were probably the most religious, albeit in their very
different ways. He was the least so, but he went dutifully. He even
She turned at his footstep. "Heyla."
"Hey." He sat down by her, wrapped his arms around his drawn-up
knees, didn't say anything for a while. That was one of the things he
liked best about spending time with her: he didn't have to talk
unless he wanted to. He didn't have to talk with Jean, either, but
that was usually because they were each doing their own thing:
reading, grading, working on lesson plans, exercising in the danger
room. They couldn't just go sit on a bench and not talk. The pattern
had started early in their relationship; he'd been too nervous, too
intent on impressing her, constantly shooting off at the mouth to get
her attention. So she'd come to expect him to entertain her, say
something clever, witty, intelligent. Grace didn't expect that.
But right now, his silence with her wasn't comfortable. She slid her
eyes sideways after a minute, then pointed to the sun. "I know it
looks red to you all the time, but this morning it is red. A real
Ind'n power sun." Then, almost without pause, she added, "You've come
to scold me, ain't it?"
She had odd English. She spoke with a lilt, said 'ain't it' even when
not grammatically correct by any stretch, and used fewer
contractions. Red English, she'd referred to it once. "I'm not here
to scold you," he said now.
"Ah. Then why are you nervous?"
He smiled slightly. Unlike Jean, Gracie had no qualms about reading
people, maybe because picking up emotions was less invasive than
filtering mental images. It facilitated, didn't frighten. "Okay.
Maybe I did come to talk to you. But not scold. You're not one of my
"Hey! I'm not that bad."
She laughed. "No, you're not. But the students get great mileage out
of pretending that you are. Mr. Summers the Grouchy Grizzly. I am
going to start calling you Mato, not Cyclops. So what do you want to
scold me about?"
He couldn't keep the grin off his face. "The Grouchy Grizzly? And I'm
"Fine, Mato X-Man. What do you want to *talk* to me about?"
"I should be a good girl and show up on Sunday mornings."
"Something like that."
"I have a hard time worshiping the Creator with a roof over my head.
Why don't you hold chapel outside some Sunday? I'll come then."
He sighed, rubbed his eyes under his glasses, felt her hand on the
back of his neck. "They hurt, don't they?"
"Don't change the subject, Gracie." He moved away a little, didn't
like her touching him. It made him feel things he shouldn't.
"I am not changing it. We can talk about chapel in a minute. Right
now, answer my question. Do your eyes hurt?"
"Most of the time, I think."
"I'm used to it."
"You would make a good Indi'n, Mato X-Man. Grin and bear it. Here,
keep your eyes closed."
"Why -- "
"Don't ask questions. Closed?"
He felt her lift the glasses away, then she laid one hand sideways
over his eyes, pushed lightly. He could feel her other hand at the
back of his head, pulling at his hair, not hard, just tugging. In
three breaths the ache had lessened, three more and it was gone like
fog retreating under morning sun. He sighed audibly. "There. Better?"
"Yes. Thank you."
She drew her hands away and handed him back his glasses. He put them
on, opened his eyes. The pain remained gone and he blinked several
times. "It'll come back in a while," she said, still kneeling in
front of him. "I'm sorry."
He just shook his head. "Being without it, even a short time, helps."
"That is one reason you are so tense. The pain. Your mind may get
used to it, but your body don't forget. The muscles clench up.
Probably gives you headaches, too. You must go through the Bayer."
In fact, he did.
"Let me show you something else, something you can do for yourself."
Before he could protest, she took his hands and placed the right at
the back of his neck, then the left at the base of his spine. Her
touch was gentle, impersonal, like Jean in doctor mode. "There. If
you do that for a few minutes, it'll help to relax you, make the
headaches go away."
"What on earth good is this?" He felt foolish.
"Your body has power in it, energy. I don't mean just you, in your
head, from your gift. I mean in all of us -� everything on the
earth:� trees, birds, animals, even the rocks. You call the rocks
inanimate but my people know better. There's a spirit in everything,
a power. Some of us, like medicine people, can use those powers,
channel them. We learn it by discipline. But all of us got power, not
just mutants." She grinned. "There are different kinds of power, too
-- opposites. Man power and woman power. Sky power and earth power.
Water power and fire power -- like your Bobby and St. John. When they
are old enough to fight with you, you should always let them fight as
a pair. They will be stronger together. We have opposite kinds of
power in our bodies, too. If that energy fights itself, it hurts us,
can make us sick. But if it flows together, it relaxes us. That's
what you're doing, letting the power flow together in your body. But
you got to do it this way, not reverse the hands, or you'll make
yourself worse instead of better."
It sounded like the most ridiculous New Age tripe, but oddly, he did
feel more relaxed. He couldn't figure out why it worked. He might
have thought Gracie was doing it, but she wasn't even touching him.
He found himself grinning stupidly. "It does help."
She nodded, sat back down off her knees. "There is something wrong
with your gift, Scott," she said after a minute. Her voice was very
serious now, none of the light tease it often had, or even the
didactic edge she had used to tell him about 'body powers.' "I am not
sure what is wrong, but I can feel it. Your power . . . buzzes. I
know that doesn't make sense, but it is the best way I can describe
it. As if a note is out of tune in a song. Your power shouldn't cause
He pondered this. It made sense. Other's power *didn't* hurt them.
And most other mutants could control their abilities, too, turn them
on or off, but not him. He moved his hands finally, folded them
together in his lap. "What about Rogue?" She couldn't turn off her
"There is nothing wrong with Rogue. There is something wrong with
Despite the seriousness, he smiled. "I'm sure the students would
agree with you."
She popped him with her hand, lightly. "Now -- chapel. Give me one
good reason why I should go."
"To be an example. If even one adult doesn't go, it makes it ten
times more difficult to convince the kids that they should."
"Maybe they shouldn't."
"Gracie -- "
"Listen to me. Maybe you're trying to shove them into your own model
of how to worship."
"I don't *have* any model of how to worship! Neither does the
professor. It's entirely interfaith -- or no faith, like me."
She studied him. The sun was bright on her hair, bright on the leaves
of autumn. "You may not mean it to be a model, but it still is one.
Go into a building, sit in a pew, be still and listen to people
talking, or not. That's very European. Did any of you ever ask Ororo
what worship meant to her? Or ask my little cousin, John?" He started
to protest but she held up a hand. "I know. You don't want to impose,
you're not trying to. I got the whole lecture from the professor's
himself. He wants to teach them how to be quiet. I agree with that,
you know. It's something we teach our own children young, to sit
still and listen, not have to be constantly *doing*. But don't lock
me up in a building. That seems . . . obscene to me.
"Bring the kids out here and I'll teach them to be quiet and listen
to the voices in the wind, the spirits in the rocks, the Great Spirit
who made us all. But I can't hear Wakan Tanka in your chapel. It's
all tame wood and glass. It's all man-made. *White man* made. I'll
take my hour out here, under the sky. Why not let some of the kids
join me next week?"
Part of him wanted to protest, wanted to emphasize unity, cohesion,
uniformity -- the things that made a team work. But she was watching
him with those dark eyes, waiting, not angry but challenging him to
think outside his own lines. "All right," he said finally. "I'll talk
to the professor. Next week, you can have some of them." He smiled,
wicked. "Including Jubilee."
She laughed. "Bring her on! I was even worse, at her age. A complete
"What? You? I'd never believe it."
Laughing, she shoved at him. He shoved back, which got them into a
pushing contest like a pair of ten year olds She always made him feel
better. Or maybe it was just the sun-warm smell of her hair.
Suddenly uncomfortable, he got up, brushed the grass off his pants.
"I'll go talk to the professor." Maybe after, he could catch a very
late lunch. She nodded and he left.
Continued DIRECTLY in part 5b/10....
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