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

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  • Minisinoo
    Continued directly from 14a.... ... January 4, 2001, 9:41am PST jeangrey: Why did you bug out on me? bonedigger: ???? jeangrey: You could have come to Warren s
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 6, 2003
      Continued directly from 14a....

      January 4, 2001, 9:41am PST

      jeangrey: Why did you bug out on me?
      bonedigger: ????
      jeangrey: You could have come to Warren's party.
      bonedigger: he didn't invite me. And no, that's not being resentful.
      He needed a date for the evening. I'd have been a third wheel.
      jeangrey: No, you wouldn't!
      bonedigger: yes, I would
      jeangrey: It wasn't a date.
      bonedigger: ??! guy asks you out to a nice party, fancy dress --
      sounds like a date to me
      jeangrey: Well, then, you taking me to see the Phantom way back when
      was a date.
      bonedigger: nah
      jeangrey: Why not? By your definitions, that was a date, too.
      bonedigger: that was different
      jeangrey: How?
      bonedigger: it just was
      jeangrey: How?
      bonedigger: don't be dense -- it was an apology. I wrecked your car.
      Besides, I was just a kid.
      jeangrey: And you're SO much older now. :):):)
      bonedigger: I didn't say that. I know you're a lot older than me.
      jeangrey: I'm just *teasing*, Scott. And I'm only trying to make a
      point -- it *wasn't* a date.
      jeangrey: You -- my friend -- took me to Broadway. Warren -- my
      friend -- took me to a party at his house. No date.

      Jean's general medicine rotation through Ob-Gyn put her under the
      direction of chief resident, Barb Clark -- the woman of the cats and
      baby and Stain Guard carpet. And younger husband. Barb spoke of
      Randy in passing sometimes, but it wasn't until the end of Jean's
      eight-week rotation that she finally mustered the courage to ask Barb
      about that relationship. "Did you know from the outset? How you
      felt about him?"

      "Hell, no. He was just a kid." They spoke over lunch in the
      cafeteria. Jean ate her salad and yogurt like a good girl who wanted
      to get into a bikini if it was warm enough in February. Barb ate a
      fish sandwich and fries. It was past the usual hour, and the tables
      around them had been vacated already. Bits of lettuce, and crumbs
      from bread littered white Formica tops; someone had left a glass with
      melted ice diluting the caramel color of tea or soda. "Randy was
      barely twenty when I met him."

      "What changed?"

      "Dunno. I just looked up one day and realized he was it. We had fun
      together. He kept me sane during med school. And we just . . . had
      this thing we shared."

      "The cats."

      "Yup. The cats." She eyed Jean, who picked at limp salad and played
      with a cherry tomato. "I don't suppose these questions have to do
      with that pretty blond boy who picked you up the other night?"

      And Jean blushed, just a stain high on her cheekbones but enough to
      tell a story. "That's Warren. And . . . I don't know." She didn't,
      either. She'd been thinking about it ever since Scott's comments to
      her regarding the New Year's party. It hadn't been a date, had it,
      she wondered? Did she want it to be a date?

      Barb was grinning. "Nice looking fella."

      Well, that was certainly true, Jean thought. "Yes, he is."

      "How much younger'n you is he?"

      "Five years."

      "Ah." It was the same difference between Barb and Randy. "Five
      years isn't that much, after a certain point," Barb said. "I don't
      really think about it any more. Randy's Randy." She shook her head.
      "It's the rest of the world that sees these labels and categories --
      white, black, yellow; Jew, Catholic, protestant; rich, poor; Yankee,
      Rebel; old . . . young. You can let those things get in the way --
      or not."

      "But they do matter."

      "They shape us, darlin�. They don't define us. Most people have a
      lot more to 'em than their age, or color, or religion, or bank

      Jean nodded; Barb had leaned back in her chair to crunch ice as she
      studied the other woman. Her expression was thoughtful. After
      working under her for seven of eight scheduled weeks, Jean knew
      better than to mistake her casual posture and Southern-molasses charm
      for a lack of perception. Barb was chief resident for a reason.
      "Equality. It's all about equality, and I don't mean ERA. There are
      women -- and men -- who expect their spouses to take care of them
      like there were little kids, even if they're the exact same age.
      That's not a good relationship, and I don't care how many social
      mores it meets. Marriage is all about partnership. I'm nobody's
      baby but my Daddy's, and nobody's Mama but Becky's.

      "Randy�s dad died when he was sixteen and he helped his mom run the
      house his last year of high school. And he was ready for it. He had
      good parents who raised him right; he got his childhood, but he grew
      up when he had to. He was a lot more mature than most boys his age,
      even when I first met him. At the time, I was going out with a guy
      two years older than me but a bigger baby than Randy ever was. When
      it finally dawned on me what an idiot I was being about things that
      didn�t really matter, I dropped that a-hole for my white knight, and
      I�ve never looked back since."

      Standing, Barb picked up her tray. "Come on, we should get back."

      Jean followed, musing over what Barb had said. Warren was mature for
      his age. Like Randy, his home life had demanded it. What was five
      years? But later on the floor, when she had a spare minute and sat
      down in the break room for some coffee and to play on her laptop, it
      wasn�t Warren Worthington she emailed.

      February 9, 2001, 9:28pm PST

      bonedigger: so what are you doing right now?
      jeangrey: Packing. Well, I *was* packing until you blinged me.
      bonedigger: PACKING? Isn't it a little LATE out there, your time?
      jeangrey: Why, yes. But they don't let you off so you can go pack
      for vacation, Scott. This was my last day on Ob-Gyn. I had things
      to do.
      bonedigger: tetchy, tetchy!
      jeangrey: Sorry. :-{ Long day. Long tomorrow, too. Six hours on a
      plane, and that doesn't count flight changes.
      bonedigger: Ah! But then you're out here and I'll take care of you
      for a week.
      jeangrey: My own personal slave and masseuse?
      bonedigger: something like that
      jeangrey: I may hold you to that, Mr. Summers. The masseuse part
      bonedigger: I got great hands, baby.
      jeangrey: LOL! You are so bad. Or so cheesy. I'm not sure which.
      bonedigger: There's a difference?
      jeangrey: Let me go pack in peace, lounge lizard. I'll see you in
      less than twenty-four hours anyway.
      bonedigger: <grand sigh> K

      It�d been a while since Scott had been to the Oakland International
      Airport. These days, if he weren't flying somewhere himself, Warren
      took him, and he wondered idly why Jean hadn't just asked Warren to
      bring her. But if he�d asked her why, Jean couldn't have answered.
      She hadn't meant her decision to be clandestine, but she'd preferred
      to present Warren with a fait accompli, and when Warren finally did
      discover where she was going on vacation, he was both surprised and
      slightly jealous, even as he wondered at the sentiment. Hadn�t Scott
      said he was no longer romantically interested in Jean, and Jean had
      never been romantically interested in Scott so far as Warren knew.
      They were just friends, the same as each was his friend -- and
      perhaps that was why he felt jealous. Why, he asked himself, hadn't
      Jean invited him along on her vacation to see their mutual friend?
      Instead, she'd gone to California alone.

      Scott had borrowed EJ's car to meet her at Gate 15, Terminal One.
      With only two terminals and twenty-seven gates, Oakland was
      middling-size, and Jean's plane, a United flight out of Chicago, ran
      twenty-five minutes late. Scott drank coffee and tried to read
      Crawford's THE ORIGINS OF NATIVE AMERICANS, but the chapter on
      electrophoretic genetic markers made his eyes cross. Jean would
      probably love it, and he hoped he could quiz her about the material
      later. (And maybe, just possibly, he'd picked it to bring in order
      to impress her with his choice in 'light reading.')

      When he'd read, "Group-specific component, also known as the vitamin
      D-binding protein (DBP) is located on the long arm of chromosome 4
      (4q12) . . ." five times and still didn't understand it, he shut the
      book and stared off into space, his focus turned inward. Passers by
      assumed him blind. Finally her plane touched down and he rose to
      make his way to the gate doors, checking his appearance reflexively
      in a bit of shiny decor as he passed. Hair combed, chinos not too
      rumpled, no coffee stains. Little nervous tremors shook his hands as
      he popped a mint Life Savers in his mouth; his knees felt weak. He
      wondered if he were being ridiculous. But then the gate opened and
      the passengers began to exit, and he forgot about it.

      She wasn't the first off, or even the twentieth and he bounced
      impatiently on the balls of his feet. Had something happened? Had
      he written down the wrong flight number? The wrong gate? But finally
      she came straggling down the ramp, trailing a suitcase stacked with a
      heavy jacket, her laptop and purse bumping her hip. She wore a
      flower-print skirt and low heels, and only Jean would dress up for a
      cross-country plane flight. "*Jean!*"

      Startled, she looked around, then smiled to see him and threaded
      through the crowd in his direction. People parted, a few wore smiles
      as he enveloped her in a hug. "I was starting to wonder if I had the
      time wrong," he said, then added, "You cut your hair!" It barely
      brushed the back of her neck.

      "It's easier to take care of. I'll be on-call next rotation in the

      He thought the shorter cut flattering. "Do you have any more
      luggage?" he asked.

      "One suitcase I checked."

      "Okay; baggage claim is this way." And they headed off, her hand
      resting inside his elbow.

      "What are you reading?" she asked, grabbing the book in his hand and
      turning it to see the title. "Wow. 'Anthropological genetics,'

      He shrugged nonchalantly. "Class, y'know."

      "Ah." She smiled and squeezed his arm, just a little. He took it
      for approval.

      When they got outside, headed for short-term parking, Jean paused,
      startled. "It's *warm*!"

      "The high today was about sixty-two," Scott replied, grinning over
      his shoulder as he dragged both her suitcases. "Welcome to the Bay

      She hurried to catch up, pushing the sleeves of her pretty,
      loose-knit sweater above her elbows. He couldn't tell the exact
      color, but it was some shade of pastel and had a scalloped neckline
      that dipped lower than anything she usually wore, showing a hint of
      cleavage. He tore his eyes away and looked for the car.

      They took the scenic route back, along the bay. The sun had gone
      down already but only just, and the sky remained light. Gulls
      shrieked and Jean had opened the window, sticking her head out to
      enjoy the wind. He laughed at her.

      "So what, exactly, is going on with the department, and your degree

      "Hell if I know," Scott replied, handing Jean a cup of chai before
      retaking his place on the opposite end of the old velour couch.
      After a full shift at the hospital the day before, and a long flight
      that day, Jean hadn't felt like touring the town, and instead had
      dressed in a loose sweatshirt, leggings and leather moccasins, to
      lounge on Scott's couch. EJ wasn't around, rather conveniently
      having arranged to be out with Diane that evening. Why, Scott wasn't
      sure. "Don't you want to meet her?" "I'll meet her tomorrow." "You
      don't have to make yourself scarce." But EJ had simply shrugged and
      walked out the door, headed for Diane's.

      If pushed, EJ would have been forced to admit that he had mixed
      feelings about Jean Grey, unsure what motivations lay behind her solo
      visit. From his perspective, she was just getting up Scott's hopes
      and that angered him. He wondered if Jean were really that
      stone-blind, or if she had some other, selfish reason for misusing
      Scott. The idiot would try to walk on water for her, and sink.

      But it meant that for the evening, Scott and Jean had the garage
      apartment to themselves, and Jean wanted to hear about the
      difficulties he'd been facing in the anthropology department. Her
      own troubles with McMasters had made her concerned. Scott, however,
      felt reluctant to discuss it. When she asked, he shrugged and
      replied, "It's a little tense."

      Tense like the muscles of his face, and Jean glared over the top of
      her chai mug. "It's not flying, Summers. You've been giving me the
      same line in chats for the past month -- ever since the semester
      started. Now spill."

      "Like I told you at Christmas, they sacked Fred, or at least denied
      him tenure, which is the same thing. That means I have limited
      options if I still want to work in Mesoamerica, and I do."


      "And what?"

      "And so what are your options?"

      Frustrated, he sighed. She wasn't going to let it go, but it seemed
      esoteric; too trivial to have become such a thorn in his side when
      compared to some of the other problems they'd faced lately. "It's a
      scholar's debate. There's these two documents, the POPOPL VUH and
      the ANNALS OF THE CAKCHIQUELS, that talk about migrations of people
      down from Teotihuacan. The new people supposedly became the ruling
      class in Tikal and other cities -- but no mention of migrations
      appears on our monument inscriptions. So were the migrations a
      'charter myth,' a story that justified the status quo? Or did they
      really happen? That's the debate. We have no *direct* evidence for
      them, but we do have indirect evidence like foreign iconography in
      the artwork, and new technology and modes of dress that pop up, all
      of which looks suspiciously like Teotihuacan.

      "Fred believes the migrations happened, at least in part, but King --
      the only other person in the department dealing in Mesoamerica --
      doesn't. Fred thinks there was more trade and intergroup contact in
      Mesoamerica than we've previously thought, while King follows a more
      isolationist approach. But he's no expert on Mayan epigraphy,
      doesn't read Nahuatl, and doesn't know shit about technology. I'd
      planned to do my thesis on possible changes in Mayan military methods
      resulting from Teotihuacan influences -- but that's kinda hard if the
      only person left to *direct* my thesis thinks it's a cock and bull
      story. Plus, who's going to teach me to read the language? Fred is
      the *only* one in the department who can read Nahuatl fluently. A
      lot of Mesoamericanists only have Spanish, but how can you understand
      a people if you can't read their language?"

      Scott was obviously passionate about the matter, and if Jean couldn't
      follow all the details -- what was a 'Teotihuacan'? -- the crux of it
      she understood all too well: an interdepartmental debate
      hamstringing students. "Could you pick another thesis?"

      "Sure, but King isn't a Mayan expert. He does the ethnography of
      Spanish colonization, and interracial conflict in Mexico." Sighing,
      Scott picked lint off the couch blanket, then looked up. "I'm not
      sure I can work with him. He says stuff in class and I have to
      *bite* my tongue. I'm doing a paper for him that I hate because it
      was the only thing I could think of that wasn't likely to rub him
      completely wrong. That's not a good recipe for getting my degree

      He hesitated, then blurted out what he hadn't yet vocalized even to
      EJ. "I'm kinda thinking about transferring."

      Sipping her chai, Jean absorbed that fireshell quietly. "Where would
      you transfer to?"

      "Somewhere I'm not going to have a methodological argument with the
      department chair."

      "You didn't say he was the *department chair*."

      "Yeah, well." He eyed her. "Now you know the real reason I think
      Fred didn't get tenure."

      "Does Fred think that?"

      "He's not saying."

      "Oh course he's not," she replied and looked down into her mug. The
      reflective opaque surface glittered back.

      California was a concert in adagio for Jean, who, accustomed to the
      brasher manners and faster pace of New York City, found the Bay Area
      both idiosyncratic and casual -- but also *charming* in a completely
      different way from the boroughs. New York was the Old World
      transplanted to the New, but San Francisco embodied the thrill of
      American promise -- the west coast, the gold rush, the spirit of
      exploration, all overlooking a pacific sea instead of the tumult of
      the Atlantic. This was the road's end, whereas New York had been
      where it had started for European immigrants. And she'd made the
      trek in a little over six hours, total flight time.

      On Sunday, Scott drove her south to see the beaches. "I brought my
      swimsuit," she said.

      "You can't wear a swimsuit on the beach in February! Even in

      So they'd played Frisbee in blue jeans and bare feet.

      On Monday, Scott had class. Jean walked around the campus,
      exploring, and in the bookstore, bought herself a little bear with a
      blue and gold sweater sporting a "UC" on the front. She named it
      'Sir Scott.' Later, EJ cooked supper for them all, and she got to
      meet Scott's friends -- though she came away from the meal feeling as
      if she'd been put on trial and the jury was still out.

      On Tuesday after his morning seminar, Scott took her into San
      Francisco itself. They rode clanging streetcars down steep inclines,
      explored Chinatown, and walked the balconies and archways of the red
      brick Cannery, eating a late lunch under olive trees over a hundred
      years old. She made him take her picture with the Golden Gate Bridge
      in the background. The sea wind blew her short hair into a riot of
      dyed red to rival the sunset, then they leaned together on the rail
      of an observation deck, elbows just touching, watching pelicans dive
      in the choppy waters. Suddenly, he said, "Look, look," and pointed
      in great excitement.


      "Sea otters!"

      And she spotted them -- a pair on the rocks, slipping into the water
      like children on a playground slide. "They're cute."

      "You almost never see them in the Bay." He grinned. "Must be a



      "A sign of what?" She shoved at him lightly. "That you're a clown?"

      He laughed. "Maybe." They were silent then, watching the pair play.

      "Do you ever wonder where you'll be in twenty years?" she asked.

      "All the time," he replied, turning to lean back into the rail so he
      could watch her face. She smiled at him, dark eyes full of mischief,
      like an otter's. He could count the ticking of seconds by the hard
      beat of his heart. He was all-powerful; he was as weak as a kit;
      words jumbled up in his throat, never making it past the dam of his
      teeth. *I want to be with you in twenty years.* Could someone be
      killed by joy? His was big enough to break a mountain.


      Continued directly in 14c.....

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