TITLE: Be My Baby 2/2 (Scott's POV)
Other headers on part 1
The Professor was trying to not mention my preoccupation. I'm not sure
if he knew *what* was occupying my attention other than the report I
was supposedly giving him on X-Men readiness and equipment status.
Probably he did, but he hates to mention things he's read in our minds
unless he has to.
Anyway, Jean and I were fighting. Not anything serious, just the sort
of arguments that come up when a couple are tired, cranky, busy, and
have a toddler screaming her head off around them. Nothing that hasn't
happened to millions of other couples around the world since time
immemorial. But this was happening to me, and somehow knowing it
wasn't unique didn't help at all. And of course, most of those couples
didn't have to be superheroes in what was left of their free time.
You'd think that having a semi-subliminal telepathic bond would help,
but it doesn't. Turns out that when we fight, the bond tends to slip
away. It doesn't disappear entirely, but it becomes less and less
useful the more we need it. Isn't that just the way the world is?
Sure, if necessary, Jean could read my mind, but that's not the same
thing. And who the hell wants their partner diving into their complete
uncensored thoughts at a time like that? Fortunately, Jean's been
telepathic long enough to know better.
In any case, we'd had a stupid fight, but there was *no* way I was
going to apologize when I didn't do anything wrong.
So, there I was sitting in the Professor's office, trying to give my
report, tired and distracted by everything from the remnants of a
physics lesson on the blackboard, to the flowers blooming outside his
Finally, I gave up. "Sir, can we do this another day?"
He smiled gently, "Certainly. I *had* noticed that your heart wasn't
entirely in it. Is there something I can help you with?"
"No." I paused, and rubbed the back of my neck. "I just...too much to
do, I guess. If we can deal with this later, I can go grade some
papers now, and try and get ahead of the game."
"That's fine," he said. "Perhaps you might relax a bit."
"Yeah, I'll try and turn in early."
The Professor looked like he wanted to say something else, but was
restraining himself by sheer force of will. Whatever it was, I
probably didn't want to hear it, so I didn't give him a chance to
change his mind. I got out of my chair and headed out the door.
"See you at dinner."
A few minutes later, I was heading toward my office when I heard the
sound of my daughter giggling from a nearby room. I leaned my head
into the lounge and saw Logan and Jubilee playing with Rachel. I
watched them throwing a ball back and forth to amuse her, and then
tip-toed off. //You know, if Rachel is here, maybe there's a chance I
could get in a quick nap before dinner,// I thought.
A pile of dirty dishes greeted me outside the bedroom, which slowed me
down for a few moments. Then I shrugged and opened the door. Half the
room lay in the same disorder we'd left it in this morning, and half
showed signs of tidying.
"Jean, are you here?" I leaned into the bathroom, but it was as empty
as the bedroom.
I stepped over a load of sweaters toward the bed, determined to get my
nap. A stack of t-shirts lay on my pillow and when I reached to move
them aside, I recognized the one on top.
//Hey,// I thought, //I haven't seen my Tears for Fears shirt in a
long time.// When I picked up the shirt, I remembered why I hadn't
worn it: the long rip down the right side. //Huh. How did I do that?//
I sat on the bed, looking at the jagged hole, until I remembered it
was on that trip to Northern California. The memory made me laugh.
Jean spent five straight days running from meeting to meeting,
tirelessly politicking, campaigning, and schmoozing, but Sunday was
too beautiful a day to give up completely. So, I dumped her in the
rental car and made her go with me. I think she agreed after I
threatened to follow her around the hotel and serenade every meeting
Driving the switchbacks through the mountains was as fun as flying,
although Jean kept losing her place on the map and sending us in the
wrong direction. But for once we weren't on a schedule, so getting
lost was almost as much fun.
After much toing and froing we found our way to a state park that,
according to the guidebook I'd packed, wasn't very crowded. This
proved to be the case, and we found ourselves practically the only
visitors that day.
Jean practically skipped down the path, her smile shining in the
diffused sunlight coming through the giant redwoods. I couldn't
remember the last time she'd looked so happy, or so young.
I kept sneaking glances at her as we walked. She'd stuck her hair up
in a loose bun, and bits of it kept drifting down, red streaks
drifting against her pale skin. It was great to see her in casual
clothes, jeans and a loose shirt. She spent so much of her time in her
grown-up clothing, skirts and high heels, I'd forgotten how sexy she
looked dressed casually.
I started having fantasies of ripping off her clothing right there and
then, which I stifled quickly. (I'm not much for exhibitionism.) She
grinned--I think she caught the edges of what I was thinking--and put
her hand in mine. I spent a few moments concentrating on thinking
about something other than sex.
We strolled up to the top of a steep slope and settled down to rest
and take in the view. I was leaning back to try and see the tops of
the trees when Jean leaned forward. She was looking at some flowers
down the steep slope in front of us, definitely off the park-approved
She looked so delighted to see them, that I cast caution to the wind
and offered to pick some. She seemed flattered that I would break the
rules just to bring her flowers, and I wondered if this was how people
got started on a life of crime.
I saw immediately that the only way I was going to get down that slope
without leaving a big swath in the shrubbery was to crawl down a
fallen redwood. The giant had fallen (according to the signs) several
years before, and its summit rested far above our heads. The middle
section crossed the path we had climbed and headed down the hill right
through the center of the flower patch.
//No problem,// I thought, //I've climbed much smaller beams in the
Danger Room.// So, I clambered down the tree until I was hovering a
few feet above the flowers. I lay down along the trunk and reached
down to pick the flowers.
It was just as I'd grabbed a handful that I saw the spider next to my
thumb. I was moving slowly away, trying not to spook it, when I made
the mistake of asking Jean if it was poisonous. She screamed, scaring
the hell out of me and I nearly fell off the tree trunk.
As I slid, I heard my shirt ripping, but I was a little more concerned
with keeping my balance. No way I was going to survive the life of a
super hero and then break my skull falling off a log.
I was just regaining my balance when Jean practically pushed me off
the other side with her telekinesis. I grabbed hold of the log with
the hand not holding flowers, and mentally rearranged next month's
Danger Room schedule to give Jean more practice.
I took two deep breaths, then felt Jean's near-panic from above me. I
sent reassurance along our link, looked up at her and waved the
flowers I still held. The look of astonishment on her face was too
much for me and I cracked up.
Somehow I managed to crawl back up the tree, still laughing, and we
giggled together for a few minutes.
Jean looked a little worried as she checked me over for wounds, then
relieved as she looked at my ripped shirt. "I hope this is your only
injury," she said.
"Darn, I like this shirt," I said. "Oh well, it was for a good cause."
"You'd sacrifice a concert t-shirt for me? I'm touched."
I held her against me, my heart full. "I'd sacrifice anything for
you," I said.
//How could I have forgotten that trip?// I asked myself, kneeling on
the bed remembering how much I loved Jean at that moment. Just then,
the door to the bedroom opened, and she stood in the doorway,
holding...a picnic basket? I blinked a few times, wondering when
exactly I'd entered the Twilight Zone.
"Hi," I said, unsure if I was somehow in trouble.
She leaned against the door frame, her head tilted in unmistakable
amusement at the look on my face. "Hi, honey," she said. "I was
wondering, since we both seem to have a free afternoon, and Rachel's
with her favorite babysitters, maybe we could go and sit by the lake
and have a private dinner together?"
I felt a rush of love come down our suddenly reopened mental link, and
the brief scent of flowers. I grinned and slowly walked toward her.
"Nothing would please me more," I said. I took her hand, and we
strolled out the door.