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"The Player on the Other Side" (WIP, CH.1) Scott [PG-13] X1 and X2

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  • rachel_martin64
    Title: The Player on the Other Side Characters Ch. 1: Charles, Scott. S/J mentioned. L/J suggested. Summary Ch. 1: Charles has influenced Scott s life for
    Message 1 of 3 , Nov 13, 2003
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      Title: The Player on the Other Side

      Characters Ch. 1: Charles, Scott. S/J mentioned. L/J suggested.

      Summary Ch. 1: Charles has influenced Scott's life for better or for
      worse. Charles suspects it's for worse.

      Summary WIP: A popular officer is framed for the destruction of
      Alkali Base. His friends band together to ruin the mutant they
      consider responsible.

      Rating Ch. 1: PG-13

      Author: Rachel Martin

      E-Mail: Rachel_martin64@...

      Archive: Archive anywhere.

      Disclaimers: The X-Men belong to Marvel and 20th Century Fox. No
      copyright infringement is intended and no money is being made.

      Feedback: Feedback is welcome. Critical comments will not be
      misinterpreted as a flame.


      I.


      "Colorado?"


      "Could be. My father was stationed at Peterson when I was six."


      Charles tipped his head back to stare up at the sternly beautiful
      slabs of rocks. "I thought you said Nevada."


      "Could be Nevada."


      "It couldn't be Tahiti?"


      "I don't drag you here, you know," Scott pointed out.


      "You do, actually," Charles said ruefully. "Still, I don't mean to
      barge in."


      "Well, it's not like you're interrupting anything X-rated," Scott
      said, and grinned. Charles had never stood in a nursery holding a
      newborn of his own flesh and blood, and he didn't think he'd missed
      anything when Scott grinned at him like that.


      Orange sandstone formations towered around them like monoliths in a
      Martian landscape. Brilliant white light beat down from a blue-black
      sky. A mostly-naked Scott lay sprawled across a red flat-topped
      boulder.


      Charles shook his head at the sight of the boy clad in nothing a pair
      of cut-off shorts. "You know you shouldn't get so much sun. You'll
      get one of your headaches."


      "No, I won't," Scott disagreed mildly. He sat up and swiped the back
      of his hand across his bare face. "I've got it all under control."


      "I'm not sure about that."


      "I'm not a kid anymore, Charles."


      "I know," Charles muttered. "It's not my dream."


      Scott said bitterly, "When was it ever not your dream?"


      Charles Xavier woke.


      He lay staring up at the ceiling of his bedroom until two things
      happened at once: the grandfather clock in the corner chimed five
      times, and Scott Summers knocked on the door and entered.

      ________
    • rachel_martin64
      CH. 1 con t Did you sleep well? Charles asked. He reached up and locked his arms around Scott s neck. Scott straightened, lifting Charles off the bed. He
      Message 2 of 3 , Nov 13, 2003
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        CH. 1 con't


        "Did you sleep well?" Charles asked. He reached up and locked his
        arms around Scott's neck. Scott straightened, lifting Charles off the
        bed. He pivoted and gently placed the older man in his wheelchair.
        Charles released his grip and settled back. He accepted the baggy
        sweatshirt Scott handed him and pulled it over his head.

        "I guess." Scott draped a jacket over Charles' shoulders, in the
        apparent belief that the fleece shirt and sweatpants could not
        be relied upon to stave off pneumonia during the perilous trek through
        the air-conditioned hallways to the school gym. "Think I was more
        tired when I woke up than when I went to sleep. I was having this
        dream about rock-climbing in Colorado."

        "Maybe it was Nevada."

        Scott shot him a quizzical look. "Maybe. My old man was stationed at
        Nellis when I was eight." He turned away and began to strip down
        Charles' bed.

        Charles motored from his bedroom through an enlarged doorway into the
        adjoining bathroom specially modified for wheelchair usage. He was
        rinsing out a mouthful of toothpaste when Scott walked in with a
        bundle of Charles' linens and pajamas, which he dumped it into the
        laundry hamper. In the other hand he carried the plastic urinal
        Charles used as necessary in the night. He emptied it into the
        toilet, rinsed it in the utility sink, set it to one side, and washed
        his hands.

        Charles observed him in the mirror over the sink. He said nothing.
        Every now and then he said something. Every week or so he would say
        mildly, "We really should hire another orderly," and Scott would
        assume his most forbidding expression, the one he reserved for
        genocidal maniacs and Logan.

        Charles asked abruptly, "Did you want to go back for a visit?"

        "What?" Scott was now rummaging inside the linen closet.

        Charles rubbed a damp washcloth over his face. "Colorado. Nevada.
        Alaska. The places where you grew up." He hung up the washcloth on
        the rack next to the sink.

        Scott leaned backwards with an armful of fresh sheets. "Yeah, right."
        Charles could positively hear the eyes rolling under the red
        shades. "Yeah, I should go to my tenth high school reunion in San
        Diego. Wouldn't even have to pay for a hotel. The D.A. said there'd
        always be a cell for me."

        "Scott. . . ." Charles hesitated. Did he really want an answer? "What
        would you have done with your life if I hadn't interfered?"

        Scott stopped short. "Interfered? Is that what you think you did?" He
        looked astonished. "You didn't interfere. You gave me my life back."

        "I gave you *a* life. Is it one you wanted?"

        Scott tucked the fresh sheets under one arm and shut the door of the
        linen closet. He turned around and planted his back against the door
        as he considered the question.

        He said, finally, "It's not what I planned on, no. I didn't plan on
        turning into a human ray gun, either. Plans change." He paused. "I
        always knew I didn't want a job. I wanted a mission." He paused
        again. "Yeah. This is the life I wanted all along."

        It was exactly the answer Charles wanted to hear. He shifted
        uneasily. Excepting Jean, the X-Men would be surprised to meet the
        Scott he knew -- overly eager-to-please, too suggestible, too easily
        manipulated by those who professed to love him. Erik had very nearly
        managed to exploit Scott's fatal flaw, and Charles had found the
        strength to send Erik away. Was he, Charles, no better a father?

        "There are number of other ways in which you could make a
        difference," he said. "Think of Warren and Hank. You don't have to a
        teacher. You don't have to take over the school." Charles
        hesitated. "You don't have to be involved with the X-Men."

        "Charles, it's what I want to do with my life." Anger crept into
        Scott's voice. "I'm not here because I can't think of anything better
        to do."

        He stalked out of the bathroom.

        Charles prudently dawdled a bit before motoring back into the
        bedroom. He glanced in passing at the training schedule posted on the
        door of the linen closet. Even at a distance he would have no
        difficulty reading Erik's -- no, Scott's -- copperplate. An upper-
        body workout with free-weights, today. On other days, Scott would
        lift him out of his wheelchair and move him among several different
        Cybex or Nautilaus machines for a series of exercises designed to
        strengthen his abdominal and lateral and back muscles. Twice a day,
        before getting Charles out of bed in the morning and after putting
        him to bed in the evening, Scott would move Charles' legs through
        range-of-joint-motion exercises designed to prevent muscle
        contractures. Charles sighed. It was obvious to him and to every
        other resident of the mansion that Scott could not tend to a
        paraplegic in addition to his other duties. But Mystique's
        assassination attempt had added a few million miles to Scott's guilt
        trip. And Charles could not bring himself to shoo Scott off until
        Scott was ready to stop clinging.

        Ever the altruist, Charles, the memory of Erik sneered. Nothing in it
        for you, I'm sure.

        Be quiet, Erik, he thought tiredly, and motored into the bedroom of
        his suite.

        "I wasn't suggesting that," he said, as though there had been no
        break in their discussion.

        Scott nodded stiffly. Silently and clearly he communicated his wish
        to discontinue this particular conversation. Charles communicated
        acquiescence.

        Scott turned back to the task of making Charles' bed. The tightly
        tucked sheets and sharp hospital corners would have brought tears of
        joy to the eyes of any drill sergeant. Not so the bed's maker.
        Scott's face was stubbled, his hair was rumpled, his Xavier Institute
        jersey and gym shorts were too threadbare for the rag bag. Charles
        could scarcely believe Scott's gym shorts had yet to actually
        disintegrate, but he suspected the day was rapidly approaching, and
        that Jubilee would manage to be a witness.

        "Thanks for the image," Scott muttered. He raised his head, tried to
        scowl, and wound up reluctantly smiling back. Somewhat self-
        consciously he scraped the knuckles of one hand along his jaw.
        Charles remembered when Scott used to fake it with a razor to impress
        Jean. And as happened often and unpredictably these days, tears stung
        Charles' eyes when he thought of Jean, or more specifically, Jean and
        Scott, and he quickly maneuvered his chair around toward the window,
        as though to await the sunrise.

        He knew he was a party, however unwittingly, to the disintegration of
        the relationship between two people he loved dearly. Apparently he'd
        become so superannuated he'd honestly perceived Logan as just another
        stray child. And so he had invited another alpha male into Scott's
        territory, with results that anyone could have predicted -- anyone,
        it seemed, but a licensed psychiatrist.

        Logan had demonstrated on Liberty Island that he would make a
        valuable addition to the X-Men, but that had become rather beside the
        point. Scott's happiness was the point -- had always been the point
        of Charles's endeavors, all the activities he supposedly undertook
        for the good of mutantkind. It shamed him, at times, to think how
        truly parochial his motives were. Logan had helped to save the world,
        and Charles found now he simply wanted the man gone.

        But Logan was not going to oblige until Charles furnished, as
        promised, a solid lead to his missing past. And as Charles had
        discovered, Logan had taken advantage of an old man's irritatingly
        slow convalescence to pursue Jean ever more openly. Silly, vain girl -
        - could she not understand that Logan viewed her simply as another of
        Scott's possessions to acquire?

        Charles firmly resolved that by the end of the week -- no later -- he
        would unearth sufficient information to satisfy Logan and send him on
        his way. And he'd think of an excuse to send Scott and Jean to some
        romantic spot to mend fences. He didn't want to think what would
        happen if their relationship dissolved. He didn't want to think what
        would happen if Scott were a free agent. A man could only practice
        self-restraint for so long.

        The grandfather clock chimed six times. Hurriedly Charles wheeled his
        chair about and motored through his bedroom toward the door to the
        hallway. He knew, without looking, that Scott would follow.


        ###
      • rachel_martin64
        Title: The Player on the Other Side Characters Ch. 4: Scott, Lyman, OCs. Summary Ch. 4: Life goes on as usual for the troops stationed at Alkali Base. Life
        Message 3 of 3 , Nov 17, 2003
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          Title: The Player on the Other Side

          Characters Ch. 4: Scott, Lyman, OCs.

          Summary Ch. 4: Life goes on as usual for the troops stationed at
          Alkali Base. Life does not go on as usual for Scott Summers.

          Note Ch. 4: Please, folks, don't necessarily believe what you read
          here about U.S. domestic policy on terrorism. There is
          (intentionally) a lot of bullshit and bad information flying here.
          Note #2: I don't know the official Marvel explanation for how Scott
          operates his visor. Hope you like what I made up.

          Summary WIP: A popular officer is framed for the destruction of
          Alkali Base. His friends band together to ruin the mutant they
          consider responsible.

          Rating Ch. 4: PG-13

          Author: Rachel Martin

          E-Mail: Rachel_martin64@h...

          Archive: Archive anywhere.

          Disclaimers: The X-Men belong to Marvel and 20th Century Fox. No
          copyright infringement is intended and no money is being made.

          Feedback: Feedback is welcome. Critical comments will not be
          misinterpreted as a flame.



          IV.


          Tyler picked up his tray and glanced around the Alkali Base mess hall
          for a seat. Sam Tyler was used to eating alone. There weren't a lot
          of people at Alkali with whom he could associate with propriety.
          Major Lyman, if he wanted to court a case of acid indigestion. First
          Sergeant Gonzalez. And -- yes, Major Kraski, sitting at the table by
          the plastic dustcatcher -- a ficus tree, he thought it was supposed
          to be. Lyman was seated at the same table, not at Kraski's
          invitation, of that Tyler was certain, and appeared to be well into
          the process of ruining Kraski's appetite. Lyman was mostly ignoring
          Dr. Yates, who had taken the seat next to him. Jesus, this place,
          Tyler thought. The soap opera that was Alkali Base would have amused
          the shit out of anyone who didn't have to live it.

          Lyman leaned forward over the table and touched Kraski's arm,
          apparently to drive home some point. Kraski leaned backward. Tyler
          ground his teeth.

          Sam Tyler was in love in with Ellen Kraski. It was one of those
          hopeless love affairs that exist only in the Army and some of the
          more caste-conscious cultures of the Third World. Tyler's wife had
          been dead for six years and Kraski was divorced, but that was beside
          the point. Sam Tyler was a colonel and Ellen Kraski was a major.

          Major Kraski was the reason why, after thirty-two years of service,
          he had quietly removed himself from the one-star list and submitted
          his retirement packet.

          "Kraski," he said stiffly, nodding to her, ignoring Lyman and Yates,
          as he put his tray down on the long cafeteria table and took a seat.
          He was well aware that every kid in the mess hall was covertly eyeing
          their table. He and Kraski were the highest-ranking male and female
          officers on the base -- "rankin'est", as the kids said -- the alpha
          male and female of the facility, as it were, and the rest of the pack
          paid close attention to them and their doings. All the more reason to
          behave with excruciatingly correct decorum.

          "Sir," Kraski said in evident relief.

          "Sir," Lyman echoed unenthusiastically.

          "Colonel," Yates said politely.

          Tyler began eating.

          The four of them ate in dead silence for about five minutes. Tyler's
          rank had a way of creating situations like that.

          "So," Tyler said, finally. "Movie Night, right?"

          Kraski was the headquarters commandant, meaning, in a base as
          isolated as Alkali, that she was the jack-of-all-trades, the go-to
          guy, his right-hand man. Woman. Person. And among her many additional
          duties was that of Morale, Welfare and Recreation Officer. That, in
          the eyes of the troops, made her the most important person in the
          complex. Maybe the second-most important -- the cook probably took
          the top spot.

          Kraski nodded. Movie Night wasn't about watching movies -- every kid
          in the complex seemed to own a portable DVD player. Movie Night was
          about socializing and sharing the stale junk food that people's
          parents sent them via a numbered mail drop in Washington, D.C. Tyler
          looked forward to Movie Night. It was his only opportunity to see
          Kraski with her hair down and make-up on.

          "*The Fast and the Furious,*" Kraski said. "And *Black Hawk Down.*
          For the friggin' millionth time. It's turning into the *Rockie Horror
          Picture Show.* All the guys yelling the dialog."

          "So I guess I'm never going to see the ending of *Harry Potter,*
          huh?"

          Kraski affected a scowl. Tyler grinned. The Harry Potter movie had
          been one of her less than well-received choices.

          They ate. Tyler was pleased to see Kraski finish her lunch. Lyman and
          his ham-handed flirting would put any woman off her chow, he thought,
          and Tyler, who had grown up lusting after Marilyn Monroe, preferred
          his women curvy. And Kraski was going to be his woman. If he had to
          shove Lyman off Alkali Dam.

          Kraski pushed the tray aside, picked up her cup of coffee and turned
          it around in her hands. "Sir. . . . you got a moment?"

          He nodded. Every meal at Alkali inevitably turned into a working
          breakfast or lunch or dinner. She looked at Lyman, with whom she had
          been assiduously avoiding eye contact. Lyman immediately perked up.
          Tyler repressed the sudden intensified urge to choke the shit out of
          him.

          "The, uh, the mutie," she said quietly. All four of them
          automatically glanced around the mess hall. Their table was quite
          isolated. "How long is this situation gonna go on, sir? We can't keep
          going on like this."

          Lyman dropped his smile. His eyes narrowed.

          "Like what?" Tyler asked warily. He glanced at Lyman.

          "It's a violation of the Geneva Convention, sir," Kraski said.

          "He's a terrorist, sir," Lyman snapped. "A detainee. Not a P.O.W. The
          Geneva Convention doesn't apply."

          "He's wearing a uniform with rank insignia on the collar. That makes
          him not a terrorist, Lyman. He's entitled to --"

          "He's entitled to shit. Or do you think you know the law of war
          better than the Secretary of Defense?"

          "Kraski," Tyler said, and sighed. It killed him to side with Lyman on
          any issue, including the time of day. "I checked it out with Army
          Pentagon. Summers is a detainee, not a P.O.W. That uniform of his
          means jack shit. It means about as much as a red bandana. The Crips
          and the Bloods aren't soldiers and neither is he."

          "But sir -- then --"

          "He took over for Magneto, Kraski," Lyman said. He seemed to be
          recovering rather quickly from his shock at being seconded by
          Tyler. "They think he's Magneto's son, for Chrissake. The FBI's been
          watching him ever since Liberty Island."

          Kraski did not look happy. "So why is he here?"

          "It's a deception tactic, Major," Lyman said condescendingly. "We
          don't want al Qaeda or the mutants to know we've got him. So the
          Secretary is detaining him in isolation here. The Pentagon is busy
          feeding all kinds of bullshit to both sides in his name."

          "I understand that, Lyman," Kraski said in a poisonously sweet tone.
          Tyler remembered hearing that tone of voice for the first time in
          1975. The time he'd bought a car without bringing his bride along to
          the dealership, because what did girls know about cars?

          "That wasn't my question," the future Mrs. Tyler continued. "My
          question is, why isn't he in a civilian jail? He's an American
          citizen. He's entitled to due process and all that kind of stuff."

          "For Christ's sake, he's not even a human being, Kraski. How the fuck
          can he be an American citizen? Maybe you think a mutt deserves a
          trial before going to the pound."
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