Fic: Captive Hearts 5/5
- Disclaimers in part one.
Author's note: The attached photo manipulation was graciously created by Logan's Marie.
Jean had been stunned when she'd oh so graciously decided to forgive Scott and he'd politely declined her offer, explaining that while his feelings for Kitty were still unresolved, the events of the past few weeks had shown him that his future didn't lie with her. Meanwhile, blame for Kitty's leaving was placed on several people and relationships were acutely strained. The full impact of the discord amongst the group became painfully obvious on the first mission after Scott's return nearly ended in tragedy because they failed to work together as a team. St. John was almost killed by Sabretooth and Jubilee would sport a nasty scar on her left arm, courtesy of her own run-in with Mystique. Charles reprimanded the entire team, but saved his harshest criticism privately for Scott. It would appear that Erik's plan to create dissension within the X-Men had worked perfectly. Charles warned Scott that they'd better 'get their act together' or they might as well disband before someone got killed. Scott offered to resign as Team Leader if Charles thought it would help reconcile the team. Charles weighed his offer carefully and then met with the other team members to discuss their options. When nobody wanted to step forward and assume leadership, he informed them that in that case they needed to demonstrate respect for Scott's authority.
Marie and Jubilee had maintained contact with Kitty via email and phone and had even gone to Deerfield to visit her, but she was adamant about not returning to Westchester. Scott had been in contact with Kitty, too. They'd finally had their 'talk', although Scott would've preferred that it was face-to-face, rather than over the phone. He told her that he'd *confessed* to Jean that the first time they'd been *together* at Magneto's had been about two people in a desperate situation seeking comfort, but that the times after that had been purely for pleasure. He admitted that he knew if they survived that they'd have some explaining to do and that subconsciously he knew it was over with Jean because even facing certain death, he'd never cheat on her if he truly loved her. Scott also apologized for not being brave enough once they returned home to explore his feelings further. As the months passed, the conversations became more intimate, although Scott felt that Kitty was still holding back, still afraid. After what Scott thought was an appropriate amount of time he started hinting about visiting her and when she didn't appear to take the hint, he blatantly asked, but was hurt and rejected when she declined to see him. Ororo suggested that Scott be content with a long-distance relationship for now and that eventually Kitty would acquiesce to exploring the possibilities in person. When they spoke on Thanksgiving Day, Kitty agreed that Scott could come to Deerfield for Christmas. When they said their goodbyes, it was the first time Scott told Kitty he loved her.
A few weeks before Christmas Charles summoned Scott to his office and now the X-Men leader sat in one of the chairs facing the large mahogany desk while Charles wheeled back and forth on the other side. Scott could swear that his mentor was pacing. Charles clasped his hands together, brought his fingers up to his mouth and pressed them against his lips as if pondering his next words carefully.
"Scott, I know that Kitty had requested that you not visit her," he began.
"Yes, and I've honored that. I'm just glad I've finally persuaded her to let us get together at Christmas," Scott replied.
"Well, I don't think you should wait another three weeks. You need to go to Deerfield now," Charles said quietly.
"Oh, why?" Scott asked puzzled.
Anytime Scott had broached the subject of going to Deerfield sooner, Charles had adamantly been opposed, so naturally he was curious about this apparent abrupt change in attitude after seven months. Not only was Charles not attempting to talk him out of going, but was actually suggesting he go. Something was definitely wrong.
"Kitty needs you," Charles said.
Okay, so now Scott was really worried. Had something happened to Kitty?
"What's happened? Is she okay?" Scott replied, the fear in his voice evident.
"Nothing's wrong, she's fine," Charles began, "and so is your son."
"My son?" Scott asked, beyond stunned. Kitty had had a baby - his apparently.
"He was born during the night. Terri called me from the hospital this morning."
"How is she? How's my.. son?" Scott asked.
"There were some slight complications during labor, possibly because he was arriving prematurely, and they lost his heartbeat and had to perform an emergency caesarian, but they're both fine now. The baby is in the neo-natal ICU and Kitty will also have to remain in the hospital for a few days."
"You've known all along, haven't you? Why didn't you tell me?" Scott asked with a lump in his throat.
"Because Kitty asked me not to, and while I didn't agree with her, I did respect her wishes. However, Terri and I discussed the matter this morning and we both felt it was time you knew. I'm sorry, Scott, I didn't mean to keep secrets from you."
Scott rose to leave.
"I understand the position you were in and I'm not angry. I'm gonna go pack a few things and then I'm taking off."
"Do you love her?"
"Yeah. I do."
"Then don't make this an issue between the two of you. Put it behind you and move forward," Charles advised gently.
Scott merely nodded, walked out of the office and closed the door behind him.
Thirty minutes later the Blackbird lifted into the evening sky.
A couple of hours later Scott stood outside of Kitty's hospital room and took a deep breath before pushing open the door and with trepidation walked in.
Kitty was propped up on several pillows. Scott softly cleared his throat.
"Scott!" Kitty said, the surprise evident on her face.
"Guess your mom didn't warn you I was on my way," Scott said.
"No, she didn't and she knows how much I hate surprises," Kitty replied with a catch in her throat.
"Never been too fond of them myself," Scott hinted as he slowly eased toward the bed.
"I'm sorry I didn't tell you I was pregnant."
"Why didn't you tell me, Kitty? I would've been there for you," Scott said as he sat down on the edge of the bed.
"I was going to call you later today and tell you, but I guess my mom just beat me to the 'punch'. I mean you were supposed to be here for Christmas, so I'd already decided it was time you knew."
"I wish I'd known right from the beginning."
"I didn't want you to feel obligated," Kitty said as she cast her eyes down.
"I never would've considered you an obligation," Scott answered softly as he put his hand under her chin and lifted her face to meet his.
A single tear rolled down her cheek and Scott wanted to kiss it away, but settled for wiping at it with his thumb.
"I wasn't sure at the time how you'd feel," Kitty said and then with a slight smile, "Anyway, you didn't miss much - morning sickness and mood swings - I wasn't exactly at my best."
"I'm sorry I wasn't there to get you crackers and duck when you threw things," Scott said, a small smile forming on his own lips.
"Have you seen him yet? He's in an incubator in the nursery."
"No, I came straight in here," Scott informed her, "I'd like to see him though."
Kitty moved to get out of the bed and Scott reached out to help her.
"Is it okay for you to be walking around?" he asked.
"Yeah, I'm fine. I've already been to see him a couple of times," Kitty said as she shuffled stiffly.
"Do you want me to carry you?"
"No, I'm fine. My butt's just a little numb from sitting for so long," Kitty joked as she rubbed at it.
They slowly ebbed their way down to the nursery and Kitty introduced Scott to the nurse who was checking the baby's vitals.
"He's doing wonderful, Kitty. He's a strong little guy," the nurse said.
Scott looked down at the tiny infant covered in electro-probes.
"He weighed seven pounds despite being a month early. The doctor said if he'd gone full-term he probably would've tipped the scales at over nine pounds!"
"He's beautiful," Scott said in awe as little limbs flailed in the air.
"I thought I'd name him Christopher Alexander Summers in memory of your dad and brother," Kitty said as she gazed adoringly at her son.
"I don't think his last name should be different from yours."
"Oh. Well, okay. I thought maybe you'd like him to have your last name, but Pryde's fine - it's been in my family for years," Kitty joked weakly, the pain evident in her voice.
Apparently Scott didn't want the baby to carry the name Summers and Kitty was devastated. Scott caught the anguish that filtered through her voice and immediately moved to correct that misunderstanding.
"Kitty you don't understand," Scott began, "I want you and Christopher to both have the last name Summers."
Kitty looked up at him, her eyes wide.
"So," Scott continued, "I guess that means you'll have to marry me."
Scott leaned down and captured Kitty's mouth in a tender kiss as he enfolded her in his arms, vowing never to let her go ever again.
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]