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AN ACCIDENTAL INTERCEPTION OF FATE (14a) "Turn, Turn and Turn Again" (S/J + ensemble)

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  • Minisinoo
    AN ACCIDENTAL INTERCEPTION OF FATE: Turn, and Turn, and Turn Again Minisinoo http://www.themedicinewheel.net/accidental/aiof14.html Notes: This should be
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 6, 2003
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      AN ACCIDENTAL INTERCEPTION OF FATE:
      Turn, and Turn, and Turn Again
      Minisinoo
      http://www.themedicinewheel.net/accidental/aiof14.html

      Notes: This should be assumed, but the political opinions expressed
      herein belong to the characters. Likewise, the departmental politics
      portrayed here don�t reflect actual divisions in the Berkeley
      Department of Anthropology. As always, most of the Scott and Jean
      manips were made by Puguita, but Khaki did the one of Jean and Scott
      hugging. The Kenyon poem is "The Suitor." And Andraste gave me a
      splendid Charles tidbit.
      ----------------

      October 10, 2000, 2:21pm PDT...

      bonedigger: Hello! Do you like my hat?
      jeangrey: Yes, I like your hat. Of COURSE I like your hat!
      bonedigger: No, no, no ... you�re supposed to say, "I do not like it.
      I do not like that hat."
      jeangrey: WHAT are you talking about?
      bonedigger: GO DOG GO. Didn�t you read that book?
      jeangrey: ???
      bonedigger: GO, DOG, GO ... as a kid.
      jeangrey: OH! A kid�s book.
      bonedigger: well, duh!
      jeangrey: LOL! And aren�t you supposed to be in class?
      bonedigger: nah -- I�m hanging around the computer lab. Bored.
      jeangrey: Gee, thanks. I�m your cure for boredom?
      bonedigger: yup
      bonedigger: more seriously -- how are you?
      jeangrey: Fine, busy, as always
      bonedigger: I don�t mean in general. It was four months ago today.
      . . . .
      jeangrey: I know. I'll manage.
      bonedigger: call me, if you want just to talk. Whenever. Even 2am.
      jeangrey: :-) You�re sweet.
      bonedigger: I worry about you
      jeangrey: I'm fine. I'll manage.




      Sudden glare from the overhead light punctuated the little attic like
      an exclamation point, and Jean blinked involuntarily. No room for
      shadows here, no room for softness, for denials formed from the
      failure to find a body. Everything was cast in sharp relief . . .
      the untouched desk with its Sun station and papers strewn randomly
      around it, three walls of shelves packed with books and more books
      wedged in along the top -- it was a room that had been left in
      mid-sentence, yet dust touched everything. The owner wasn't coming
      back to finish the conversation.

      *No body was ever recovered,* part of her mind whispered.

      *It's been four months,* replied the other part, the rational part.
      Time to move on. Betty was trying. That's why Jean was here.

      "I think he'd want you and Henry to have first choice. Take whatever
      you wish. I have lots of boxes." She pointed to a pile of cardboard
      flats in one corner. "If you can't take them with you today, you can
      just leave them in a corner with your name on top." Betty's voice
      was as expressionless as her face; she stood to one side, her back
      pressed up against a bookshelf like she might meld with it. "Don't
      be shy. I'm just going to box up whatever books his students don't
      want and sell them. I have no use for them. It's not even about the
      money."

      Abruptly, her voice broke and she put the back of her hand up to her
      mouth, swallowed, then went on. "I'm tired of carrying these around.
      When we were students, every time we moved, there were more books
      than furniture. So I want these gone before we move again." That
      they were going to move again, Jean had heard secondhand, but she
      couldn't blame Betty for wanting to leave. The first step was the
      dismemberment of Bruce's library.

      She felt like a cannibal.

      "I'll put these to good use," she promised, avoiding 'thank you' or
      'I really appreciate this,' as both sounded trite in the extreme, as
      if the cost of the opportunity were meaningless.

      "I know you will," Betty replied, glancing down at the hardwood
      floor, then out the door, her hand back in front of her mouth. "Come
      down when you're ready." And she disappeared.

      For a long time, Jean drifted from shelf to shelf, checking this
      title or that, or looking through heaps of journals. Some books she
      had; many she didn't. But she touched none of them. She wasn't
      ready yet to touch them. Instead, she sat down in the middle of the
      floor and cried. Finally, with the sun going down, she rose up
      again and began putting together boxes. As Betty had said, this was
      what Bruce would have wanted. He'd always hated waste.

      By the time she was done, she had six boxes. Warren came to help her
      take them away. He carried them himself, though he could have called
      for hired help. But this was a rite not to be profaned by the touch
      of strangers, and Jean appreciated that Warren understood as much.
      Afterwards, he took her out for ice cream, and let her borrow his
      handkerchief when she wept again.




      November 13, 2000, 6:37pm PST...

      jeangrey: So you're going?
      bonedigger: kinda gotta
      jeangrey: Nonsense
      bonedigger: they came to my party
      jeangrey: That doesn't put you under an obligation, Scott.
      bonedigger: didn't say it did. But Dad came to BERKELEY, Jean. My
      father, the 'Nam vet.
      jeangrey: And?
      bonedigger: he did it for me
      jeangrey: And?
      bonedigger: you don't get it
      jeangrey: No, sorry. I don't.
      jeangrey: It upsets me, the way he treated you. You're his *son*.
      But he didn't say a damn word to you for THREE YEARS?
      jeangrey: And you owe him something? *Explain* that.
      bonedigger: Yeah, it was 3 years. But I didn't talk to him, either.
      Besides, it's just 4 days.
      bonedigger: I'm sitting here watching the Jim Lehrer NewsHour. The
      11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied the Bush request to stop
      the hand recounts in Florida. That's something. But I swear, this
      election has been SUCH a load of Grade-A shit.
      jeangrey: And thus, he changes the subject ... How many times have we
      been over the election, Scott? It's BORING.
      bonedigger: who we send to Washington is a hell of a lot more
      important than where I'm going for Thanksgiving
      bonedigger: I cannot BELIEVE we're about to put a SHRUB in the White
      House. A yucca plant, no less. yuc, yuc, yuc....
      jeangrey: Very funny.
      bonedigger: why, thank you
      jeangrey: You don't have to go, y'know. To San Diego.
      bonedigger: yes, I do -- 4 days
      jeangrey: You better call me.
      bonedigger: I'm taking my laptop




      1569 Maple Lane. Three and a half years before, Scott had walked out
      the front teal door certain that he'd never walk back in -- the
      perfect assurance of seventeen that foretold the future with insular
      precision and a limited horizon. He wasn't so much older now but
      he'd added, "I just don't know," to his vocabulary. It was drizzling
      when he pulled his rental up behind the Cougar under the carport, and
      climbed out of the driver's seat to fetch his computer and a suitcase
      from the trunk. Then, head down and trying to shield his glasses, he
      approached the side door rather than the front. He'd slide back into
      family life from the borderland called clemency. It was a little
      after two in the afternoon. He'd gotten up before dawn to make the
      almost-eight-hour trip from Berkeley to Linda Vista, outside San
      Diego.

      His mother was in the kitchen when he entered, working on the meal.
      The place smelt of hot ham and sharp cranberries and onions for the
      stuffing. Fluorescent light glared overhead on black and white
      kitchen tiles, or black and pink to him now, but he remembered. How
      strange, he thought, to see this house in dual tones, as peculiar as
      it would be to see Westchester in color.

      "Hey, Mom."

      Kate Summers glanced around, then smiled -- and it was real, not
      forced, not put on. She was happy to see him. Leaving the mixing
      bowl of whatever she'd been making, she crossed to give him a hug.
      "I'm glad you came."

      He let her go. "Yeah, but is anyone else?"

      Lips thin, she turned back to the array of bowls strung out along the
      kitchen counter, their contents in various states of food
      preparation,. "Don't start that, Michael."

      Sighing, he flopped down in one of the kitchen chairs, setting his
      bags in another. "Where is everybody?"

      "Your father's in the den. Alex is upstairs, I think."

      "Is anyone else coming to dinner?" It looked as if she were
      preparing to feed a small army.

      "No, I thought it'd be nice just to have just the four of us." She
      turned on the water and began rinsing potatoes.

      *And,* Scott added to himself, *with just the four of us, any
      volcanic explosions'll be self-contained.*

      But the eruption he expected didn't materialize. With the election
      in vitriolic dispute, he'd assumed that politics would be the taboo
      topic of the holiday. It wasn't, yet what his father had to say left
      him open-mouthed with shock.

      "It's money. Pure and simple," Chris Summers complained as he picked
      up a pipe from the rack beside his armchair and set about packing it.
      Kinnikinick. It smelled of red cedar and black tobacco, pungent,
      and sharp like Scott's sight now. When he lit it, smoke curled up to
      be caught in the light from the end table. It danced like visions.
      "Oil money buys a lot, in Washington, including the Republican
      nomination. You wait and see. The Bush baby'll go to the White
      House, but what this damn country *needs* is a little *reform*. Not
      that Gore's much better, but at least he's got two brain cells to rub
      together -- and he can keep it in his pants."

      Sitting on the old corduroy sofa -- chocolate brown that looked black
      to him now -- Scott blinked, then blinked again. "Wait a minute.
      You voted for Gore?"

      "No, I voted against Bush. I'll be damned if I support that
      Catholic-hating, coattail-riding rich Texas boy."

      Ah. Scott understood finally. "You wanted John McCain."

      "Course I did. He's a vet. And he's got common sense."

      Scott smiled to himself and returned his attention to the ball game
      on the TV. Last quarter, with the Patriots in purple versus the
      Detroit Lions. The Patriots were winning.




      November, 23, 2000, 9:34pm PST...

      bonedigger: He voted for GORE
      jeangrey: Who?
      bonedigger: Dad -- he voted for Gore. Can you believe it?
      jeangrey: I thought you said your father was a dyed-in-the-wool
      elephant?
      bonedigger: yeah, but he's CATHOLIC, and Bush did that campaign
      speech at Bob Jones University. Besides Dad likes McCain.
      bonedigger: I found McCain campaign posters in the garage. Dad's
      never campaigned for anybody before, but he's retired now.
      jeangrey: Time on his hands.
      bonedigger: no, not that ... he couldn't
      jeangrey: Couldn't what? Campaign?
      bonedigger: yeah
      jeangrey: Why?
      bonedigger: military personnel can't be listed as a sponsor for a
      'partisan political club' even in a private capacity. So vote, yeah;
      campaign, no.
      bonedigger: still -- I think hell just froze over
      jeangrey: LOL!
      jeangrey: So it went okay?
      bonedigger: yeah, we didn't have a major blow-up. That's pretty damn
      good.
      bonedigger: now -- when are you coming out to visit me? Huh, huh?
      jeangrey: Would you let up with that?
      bonedigger: no, I won't. You need a vacation. Beach. No snow. San
      Francisco trolleys. Hunky college boys....
      jeangrey: LOL! Trying to lure me?
      bonedigger: whatever it takes, babe
      jeangrey: You're awful. I'll think about it. Are you coming back
      for Christmas?
      bonedigger: of course




      "I canNOT fucking believe this!" Scott had come slamming into the
      apartment, angrier than EJ had seen him in a good long while.
      "*God-fucking-damn!*" He threw his book bag halfway across the room
      onto the couch, which skidded back an inch or two under the force of
      impact.

      EJ had been sitting at the kitchen table with three different books
      spread out around him. Now, he stood up. "Whoa -- what gives, man?"

      "They denied him tenure. Those good-for-nothing, arrogant, prissy
      sons of bitches! They denied him fucking tenure! He's on his sixth
      year!"

      "Who?"

      "Fred!"

      EJ blinked. "That totally sucks eggs. What's he gonna do?"

      "I have no idea." Scott slumped down in an armchair. "He's
      contracted through next year, if he wants to stay, but this place is
      a dead-end to him now."

      Walking over, EJ moved the book bag and sat down on the sofa, hands
      clasped between his knees. "So what are *you* gonna do?"

      "I don't know." Scott had become interested in archaeology in the
      first place due to Fred Hand, and had applied to the anthropology
      department so he could work with him on Classical Mesoamerican
      technology. Without him there, Scott would become a graduate
      stepchild. "I suppose I could do ethnoarchaeology and settlement.
      But . . . ." He trailed off and shrugged. "I want to do technology
      and Mesoamerica, dammit."

      "I thought you were interested in the Mediterranean, too. Could you
      do technology there?"

      "It's a different department, believe it or not, and I can't just
      jump from one to the other. Their application requirements are
      stricter. Anthro's so flexible because it's diverse. But AHMA wants
      an ancient language at the very least, and preferably an undergrad
      major in a related discipline -- and I'm afraid math and *Italian*
      just don't cut it."

      Scott put his face in his hands for a moment -- careful of the
      glasses -- then looked up again. "I am so screwed, man. But I'm not
      half as screwed as Fred. *Why* am I even thinking about going into
      academics? They're like a bunch of fucking sharks."

      EJ didn't reply immediately as he had nothing useful to say, having
      no interest in an academic career in the first place. Despite his
      philosophical streak, he was a pragmatist who preferred the solidity
      of a cutting board and a sharp knife. He kept people healthy and
      well-fed -- concrete results. And he thought the same was true of
      Scott. He doubted Summers would be happy in an academic career for
      the rest of his life, but didn�t figure it his place to say so. "I
      know you don't believe in fate, and neither do I, really. But
      sometimes doors close because you're not meant to go through 'em. Or
      maybe you just need to try it from a different angle."

      "Maybe I do." Sighing, Scott got up from the chair. "I'm going to
      call Jean, then finish working on that damn paper."

      EJ watched his friend head to his bedroom, his telephone, and his
      lady back in New York. Shaking his head, he returned to his own
      study. Scott Summers talked to Jean Grey almost as often as EJ
      talked to DeeDee, but EJ and Diane resided in the same town.





      "Hey!"

      "Hey," Scott called back, dragging his suitcase across the tarmac to
      where Warren waited by his plane. "I see you brought the Jetstar
      this time."

      Warren just grinned as he popped the cargo hold so Scott could store
      his luggage. "Flip you for the pilot seat," he said.

      Scott pulled out a quarter from his pocket and flicked it into the
      air. "Call."

      "Heads."

      Catching the coin, Scott slapped it on the back of his wrist and
      lifted his hand.

      Heads.





      "So."

      Nineteen-thousand feet, somewhere over a rolling prairie of western
      Iowa.

      "So?"

      "You don't still have a thing for Jean, do you?"

      "Huh?"

      "Jean. You call her a lot. I wondered if, you know, you still
      carried a torch, even after Clarice."

      Scott frowned and turned his head away a little, glaring out at the
      patchwork quilt of winter-fallow fields pockmarked by silos and
      homesteads like stitched embroidery. Good fences made good
      neighbors. A wariness slipped down between them. "We're just
      friends, War."

      Warren nodded. A beat-pause, then Scott asked, "Why?"

      "There's a party for New Years, at the house." The Worthington
      estate on Long Island. Only Warren would call it 'the house.' "I
      thought I'd ask Jean. Residency doesn't leave her much social life.
      I wanted to get her out of the hospital, if she can get the night
      off."

      Scott's frown deepened. "Yeah. It might be good for her to go to a
      party."





      There was no snow this year. The lawn stretched crackled and brown,
      but in the midst of the dead-dun of December, eight reindeer shone
      pure white and a ninth had a red nose. Scott laughed upon seeing
      them, and as soon as the car crawled up the drive, Jean was out the
      front door, waving, dressed in a bright red coat. He waved back and
      opened the door even as Warren took the car around the side drive
      towards the garage. Centrifugal force tumbled Scott out on gravel
      and grass, and Warren yelled, "You idiot!" The passenger door hung
      open as the car slowed to a crawl, and Scott rolled to his feet,
      running over to slam it shut. Then he trotted back across the lawn
      towards Jean, enveloping her in a bear hug. "Merry Christmas!"

      "Got tickets," she replied.

      Baffled, he pulled back to look at her. "Tickets?"

      "Plane tickets to Berkeley. I'm flying in on Saturday, February
      tenth, and flying back on Sunday, February eighteenth. That was the
      only time I could get off -- it's between my Ob-Gyn and ER rotations.
      Is that okay?"

      A merry Christmas indeed. He hugged her once more. "You bet." Then
      his arm around her shoulders and hers around his waist, they headed
      into the mansion. "I'll be in class, but we can work around that.
      You've never been to California, have you?"

      "Nope."

      "Man, this is going to be such fun . . . ."

      ----

      Continued directly in 14b....

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