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FIC: 'fugue' R, Scott, X2 (1/3)

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  • swik13
    I m a brand spankin newbie to this fandom and this list, but here s a fic you may find worth reading. Apologies for the format. Italics there were meant to
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 27, 2003
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      I'm a brand spankin' newbie to this fandom and this list, but here's a
      fic you may find worth reading. Apologies for the format. Italics
      there were meant to be, but they don't work well in plain text <g>.
      You can visit the story at its home at http://www.wintercircle.net
      Thanks for listening. --swik


      Title: fugue

      Author: swik

      Rating: R, for adult language and situations.

      Summary: Scott tries to process his loss in the weeks following Jean's
      death at Alkali Lake. (Takes place in the aftermath of "X2: X-Men
      United.")

      Note: Readers who remember the days of Claremont and Byrne's
      Hellfire/Dark Phoenix arc will note the inspiration from ish #132. I
      haven't duplicated the exact scene as such here, but there's enough
      similarity to acknowledge the homage...

      Disclaimers: Based on the 2003 sequel, "X2: X-Men United." If Bryan
      Singer and David Hayter won't give me enough Cyclops in the flick,
      I'll do it myself. As always, the characters are not my property and
      are borrowed without permission. I'll be returning them a tad
      disheveled, but still in good working order.

      She came, she saw, she edited, she improved. To KW -- a lifetime
      supply of thanks. And a pint or two of Ben & Jerry's...


      ***************************


      "Whoso regardeth dreams is like him that catcheth at a shadow, and
      followeth after the wind."
      -- Apocrypha: Ecclesiasticus 34:2


      ***************************



      He took Jean shopping down at the Westchester Promenade on Labor Day
      weekend. A shoe sale at Macy's, she claimed, an exchange at Old Navy,
      or some such nonsense. Really, Scott knew it was just an excuse to
      steal some time away from the school. Away from the stress, the
      demands. Away from saving the world. Just the two of them, alone.

      Scott was game and the day passed more quickly than he would have
      imagined. Being with her. Watching her. Listening to her.
      Indulging in the simple pleasures of her company.

      By late afternoon, they were back in the car, heading up I-684 to the
      county highway that would lead them back home. He had given her a
      free hand with his CD player and a medley of her favorite tunes
      sparkled in the air. Coldplay, The Calling, No Doubt. A warm summer
      breeze rushed through the windows and whipped Jean's hair into a
      burnished tangle. She didn't seem to mind.

      Off the interstate, they came to a brief halt at a stop sign. Scott
      found himself glancing absently at the money-green Corvette easing up
      to his left.

      The pert blond driving it arched a brow and gave them the once-over.
      First the car, then him. The blatant admiration in her gaze might
      have been appealing if it weren't quite so predatory.

      He looked back at Jean with a bored expression.

      "Bet you can't guess what she's thinking," she said, lips twitching.

      "No," he replied, with just a trace of disapproval. "But I'm sure
      you're going to tell me."

      "Nice shades," Jean drawled. Then, she winked at him playfully,
      letting him know without words that there was never a need to invade
      the blond's privacy. Her thoughts were as transparent as an open
      'Cosmo'.

      With a supple shift, Jean dragged a finger up her thigh to the edge of
      her skirt, teasing him. He felt the warmth of her amusement bolt
      along his spine, directly into his brain.

      She was truly one of a kind.

      Impulsively, Scott smiled. Laughter bubbled up from the buried
      emotional reserve that he sometimes preferred to forget existed.

      But not today.

      Unable to contain himself, he floored it. The car shot forward so
      swiftly that he missed any chance of seeing the blond's reaction.

      Scott couldn't have cared less.

      Because both of them were laughing too hard to stop now. The
      patchwork landscape of forest and field blurred as the miles screamed
      past. The music rocked. He pushed it to a leisurely eighty-five
      miles an hour.

      Then, without any warning, he spun the wheel, wrestling the RX8 to the
      side of the road near a deserted stretch of woods. Before Jean could
      react, he was out of his seat and climbing into her lap with a
      dexterity that would make a contortionist weep.

      "Scott..."

      Her gasp of surprise quickly morphed into a sigh of welcome as he
      grasped her chin and took her mouth. He went for it -- quick, hot; a
      kiss wild enough to rattle the fillings in her teeth.

      Her fingers twisted in his hair; her tongue slid against his. In a
      heartbeat, Scott was breathless. Her hips rose between his legs...

      And then Jean's pleasure bloomed inside his mind -- a bright flare of
      passion and need that always took this experience beyond the mere
      mortal for him.

      Seconds passed, then minutes. Slow, soft, wet, determined -- Scott
      kissed them both into madness.

      When he finally came up for air, she met his gaze without flinching.
      Her eyes were dreamy, unfocused. He wished for nothing more than to
      drown himself in them.

      "Are we there yet?" he whispered. His fingers drifted slowly to the
      sweet spot where her breast met the side of her body.

      Jean thrust her lower lip out provocatively. "We would be if you'd
      get your ass back into that seat and drive us home, tough guy."

      With a grin, Scott gave her nose a last quick kiss and did as she
      asked.

      He put the car in gear and pulled back out onto the highway in a rain
      of dust and gravel.

      "Home," she murmured, leaning back in her seat. She turned her head
      to look at him--

      And something shifted abruptly. Strange. An awareness he could not
      name -- like a shadow drifting across the sun. A chill crept over
      him. Scott had to strain to hear her over the blare of music.

      "Home," he replied firmly, giving himself a quick shake. He glanced
      back, raising her hand to his lips.

      It was fine. She was fine. Everything was going to be fine.

      Jean's fingers slipped from his grasp. Shocked, Scott felt a sudden
      rupture deep inside -- a terrible shaft of loss.

      Reality seized all around him--





      He wakes with a gasp, dazed and confused, into a peaceful world of
      heat and light, wondering how in the hell he got here.

      Stirring, Scott struggles to draw that first raw breath. His eyes
      skip over the familiar shapes inside the room.

      Her stack of medical journals. His scattered Green Day CDs. The
      multihued swatches of fabric she was piecing together into X shirts
      for the latest crop of students. All their earthly possessions,
      favorite things, coated with the glow of a late afternoon sun.

      And tainted always by the red; an odd hue this time. Ruby quartz
      turns the golden haze into a sickly wash of amber and brown -- like
      the color of rotting fruit.

      Home, he thinks. Home.

      Scott scrapes a hand over the stubble on his jaw. He glances at the
      clock. With a groan, he burrows into the softness of the bed and
      prays for a return to sleep.

      It is too late though. He's been under for a good forty-eight hours
      this time. The steady roaring of his pulse and the rank taste in his
      mouth are a clear warning that for now, his body has had enough.

      He could stay here, but what's the point? Another hour or two of
      twisting and turning will only heighten the brutal sense of what is.
      Desolation. Despair. The awareness of a hole in his spirit so
      profound that he doubts he'll ever comprehend the true extent of it.

      Flipping back over, Scott quickly identifies the offending source of
      brightness. The curtains are drawn; a window opened. A mild Indian
      summer breeze drifts through the room.

      Ororo, he thinks, frowning. She must have slipped in while he was out
      of it and done this, more than likely at the Professor's behest.

      Violating each other's privacy is not a common practice in the
      mansion. Particularly with him. But Scott cannot find it in himself
      to blame them this time. In the days following the memorial service,
      he has cut himself off from everyone and everything he holds dear.

      Scott knows they are worried. Alex is too. Otherwise he and Lorna
      wouldn't be sticking around for so long. Regret tugs at the thought
      that he might be adding to their burden in the wake of
      her...departure.

      The day of the service, the Professor spoke with him briefly. Told
      him it would be all right; he would get stronger. That with his
      innate resolve and her memory to guide him, time would eventually heal
      the breach.

      It is a lie.

      Scott already has the strength. He knows he does. To survive. To
      process. To function.

      But not to live.

      Charles is his teacher. But Jean was his touchstone. She was his
      emotional link to the people here, reminding him always of who he was,
      what he had to give. With her beside him, the mansion had truly
      become his home; the people inside it his family.

      Viewed from that perspective, the loss is incalculable.

      Scott drags at the tangled sheets; winds them tightly in his fists.
      Once more, he hears the dreadful silence in his mind. The loss of her
      presence is like a migraine for the soul -- so agonizing he nearly
      cries out with the pain of it.

      Sleep is the only thing that helps; the only refuge he has left. In
      the grip of exhaustion -- worn out, weary -- he cannot think, cannot
      feel.

      He does not remember his dreams.

      And Scott throws himself into it the way a junkie surrenders to an
      addiction. Whole days have gone by, two, then three, when he hasn't
      left this bed.

      But he has finally reached the physiological limits of his current
      stay. The tactician inside quickly catalogues his options. Chemical
      inducements are something he won't even think about. Scott is still
      the team leader. If a call comes in, he cannot afford to be
      unconscious.

      He considers taking off in the RX8, but quickly decides not. Even the
      challenge of navigating county highways at a hundred and twenty miles
      an hour without killing himself won't be taxing enough to get the job
      done.

      A vague memory stirs at the thought. Something...the car. A
      familiarity he cannot place but feels he ought to somehow.

      Driving home, driving fast. A rare sense of freedom and happiness.

      At once, it is gone. Scott figures that is just as well.

      He knows what he needs. Everything else is just a waste of time.

      Rising, he ignores the pop and protest of limbs resting too long
      without use. Scott changes quickly, dragging on a tank, shorts,
      running shoes.

      He checks that his glasses are firmly in place.

      At last, he is ready.


      (cont'd)
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