Changing Seasons (After the Fall, 6/8)
- Changing Seasons (After the Fall, 6/8)
So, there I was in Peru. Peru, Vermont, that is.
Well, actually I was staying at Charles�s house in
Peru, but at the moment I was about 30 miles away, in
Bellows Falls. Fellow's Balls, the locals call the
town. I was sitting in Dr. Leeds�s office. Yes, the
same Vermont house Charles had wanted me to go to a
few months ago and the same Dr. Leeds Charles had
tried to convince me to consult. I sat down, offered
greetings from Charles, and then used up the whole
fifty-minute hour. Surprised that the time had gone
by so quickly and with much more to cover, I made an
appointment to return the next week.
No, I wasn�t having my head shrunk. I was
interviewing Dr. Leeds, finding out whether he could
be a help to us with the MPP Project. Our mutant
refugees were likely to need psychiatric support, both
for dealing with after-effects of trauma and for
easily assimilating into their new lives and
identities. Dr. Leeds wasn�t a mutant, but Charles
assured us he was well acquainted with mutant
physiology and psychology and utterly trustworthy.
And he was certainly conveniently located.
Ethan Allen Leeds was a true Vermonter, meaning his
family had been there for more than three generations.
In his case he traced his family's residence in
Vermont back to his namesake�s time. But he had gone
to medical school at Columbia and done his residency
at Bellevue, before returning to set up a practice at
home. While at Bellevue, Dr. Leeds treated a young
woman who had been committed for observation after
multiple suicide attempts. Her symptoms were varied
and severe, including hearing voices in her head and a
strong conviction that she could move physical objects
with her mind. When the woman�s roommate showed up
and agreed that the patient could do what she said,
Dr. Leeds thought he had a case of folie � deux on his
hands. He�d tried to explain that to his patient, as
she sat in his office after her roommate left. �Is
there such thing as �folie � trois�?� she�d asked, as
the dictionary in Dr. Leeds�s office flew off of the
shelf and landed on his desk, pages flying by until it
was opened to �F�. So, when it turned out his patient
was a mutant, not a schizophrenic, Dr. Leeds had been
determined to learn everything he could to help her.
That's how he met and befriended Charles.
Hank had originally planned on coming to Peru with me
to meet with the doctor, but as Medical Director he
was being kept very busy lately. A respiratory
infection had close to half the school down. Recent
rumors of bio-terrorism directed at mutants had all of
us worried that it might be more than just a
run-of-the-mill virus. Once it had been cultured and
Hank had determined it was just this year�s flu
strain, we all breathed a sigh of relief and made
plans to offer flu vaccine next year. But Hank had to
stay and tend to the ill, so I made the Vermont trip
Interviewing Dr. Leeds wasn�t the main focus of the
trip, just a side issue. I was charged with doing all
that was necessary to prepare the house in Peru for
its new role. And doing it in a way that wouldn�t be
noticed by the neighbors.
Not that the neighbors were all that close. Driving
directions to the Peru house had that familiar Vermont
refrain in the middle: this is the point where the
paved road ends. The house itself was on 38 acres of
land, in the middle of dense woodland. It was far
enough from the nearest neighbors that we never
worried that the noise of a bunch of mutant kids on a
nature field trip or ski excursion would bother
anyone. Still, what we were concerned about for its
future use was secrecy, not just avoiding being a
The house had been in the Xavier family since
Charles�s childhood. A huge old farmhouse with
attached barn, it had been practically falling apart
when Charles's father had bought it for a song. He
must have put a fair amount of money into fixing it
up, but nothing compared to what it was worth now.
Charles could have made a fortune if he'd wanted to
sell it. But the kids liked going there and besides,
he already had a fortune. A portrait of a teenage
Charles Xavier hung in the hallway between the living
room and the master bedroom. He smiled back at me
with a full head of hair, standing on skis. I always
stopped and looked at it for a while the first day I
was there, contemplating what he must have been like
before he�d lost the use of his legs.
I generally was at the Vermont house a couple of times
a year, but this was the first time I wasn�t there as
a chaperone. It was Hank who suggested that we set up
the Peru place as a safe house for mutant refugees who
would be in the MPP, while we trained them in all the
particulars of their new identities. It was a great
location for that � large, remote, quite
self-sufficient. Easy to get to from New York,
Toronto and Montreal, making it convenient for both
Alpha Flight and the X-Men. And only used by the
Xavier Institute a couple of times a year. We could
easily house several MPP participants there for a few
weeks at a time without interfering with the house�s
other uses. But we needed to do so without anyone in
the area knowing, which meant that the refugees
themselves, their trainers, and all the supplies they
needed had to be brought in silently and secretly.
The Blackbird was perfect for that. Our jet doesn�t
care where the road ends and its stealth features make
it practically undetectable � by eye, ear, or radar.
The Peru house had a clearing in the middle of its
woodland that would be good for landing, too, given
the jet�s vertical landing capabilities. But getting
from the clearing to the house itself was an issue.
Our refugees would be of varied health and physical
capabilities; their arrival would be at unpredictable
times. We couldn't count on their ability to trek
through the woods during a Vermont winter to get from
the landing spot to the house. After some discussion,
we�d decided that what we needed was a tunnel, leading
from under the Blackbird�s woodland clearing to the
barn. There was a secret room in the barn, a hiding
place from when this house had been a stop on the
Underground Railroad. I'd seen the hiding spot and
shown it to the kids as an onsite visual history
lesson. It seemed fitting to put the former slaves'
refuge to work for a whole new crop of refugees.
Pyotr had been my first choice to help me with the
tunnel. Between my blasts and his organic steel
strength, we�d have it dug in no time. That is, we
would have if he hadn�t come down with the flu, along
with everyone else. Logan doesn�t have Pyotr�s
powers, but he�s strong and a tireless worker, so when
he offered to pinch hit, I agreed gratefully.
Logan, it turned out, was a better choice than Pyotr
for this mission, even without Colossus� super
strength. He not only had the physical capabilities,
but also knew a lot about design, construction and
engineering, certainly much more than I did. I took
out the plans Charles had drawn up for us, and he read
them in a couple of minutes, nodding in understanding,
then throwing around terms like "cut and cover " and
"driven tunnel construction" as we surveyed the site.
"Guess what?" I said. "I think you should be foreman
for this operation."
"Fine," he grunted, walking around the spot where the
tunnel opening would be.
"How do you know so much about this stuff, anyway?"
"I don't know."
It was hard work, but satisfying as well. We blasted
and dug all day for over a week. "Resolute, dumb,
uncomplaining, a man in a world of men." We spoke
little as we worked, just saying what we needed to get
the job done. Logan told me what to do and I did it,
not minding being the one taking orders this time.
Cutting through the rock with my optic blasts and
digging with conventional tools, as well.
In the evenings we talked more. And read. I'd quoted
him that "resolute, dumb, uncomplaining" line and he'd
liked it, wanting to hear the whole poem. Then when
he'd heard that he wanted more like it, so I read him
a few by Robert Service. And others, too. Sandburg,
Jarrell. He nodded in grim recognition at Jarrell�s
�Death of a Ball Turret Gunner�, saying, �With a hose.
Yeah, that�s how we did it.� Gave me shivers. But I
didn�t ask, just read more poetry. Poems about war or
work or strife. Nothing flowery, nothing romantic.
"You should take my poetry class," I said. "It's all
girls - it would be a nice change not being the only
man in the room." He grunted in answer, scoffing at
the idea of him in class. But he asked me to read
another poem a few minutes later.
I chose "Chicago" and he was enchanted with it, had me
read it twice. "Yeah, that's the Chicago I remember,"
"You never heard the poem before?"
"I don't think I ever did. Is it a famous one?"
"He sure paints a picture, doesn't he? When was it
I looked at the book. "1916," I said, and we looked
at each other. "Does that mean..."
"I don't know." He didn't say any thing else.
The days were exhausting but satisfying, the evenings
relaxed and companionable, but the nights were hard on
us both, for different reasons. I was uncomfortably
aware of a strong and growing attraction to Logan and
more and more worried that, given his heightened
senses, he'd become aware of how I felt about him.
Oh, he had shown calm acceptance of the knowledge that
he had a gay colleague, field leader, and temporary
housemate. Still, I thought it likely that easy
comfort would vanish if he had any idea what my
private thoughts and dreams were like. I did what I
could to ensure he wouldn�t find out. The conscious
thoughts I just worked on banishing, using that famous
Cyclops control to get my mind on other things. "That
way madness lies; let me shun that" I told myself
again and again.
My unconscious mind wasn't listening, though, and he
invaded my dreams with his strong, hairy body, his
powerful arms and hands, that killer smile. Every
night I'd tell myself it wasn't going to happen this
time, read diverting material before bed, and then
find myself in the arms of Morpheus - and Logan, in
spite of all my good intentions. On my knees in front
of him, my mouth moving up and down on a rock-hard
cock, or underneath him, listening to him groan and
roar as I felt him pushing deep inside me. I woke up
each time excited, disturbed, and confused about what
to do about my feelings.
I wasn't the only one dreaming. If my dreams were
exciting but troubling, Logan's were pure hell. The
first night I didn't even realize it was a dream. I
woke up, hearing sounds of struggle in the next room
and then a cry like a wounded beast. I ran to the
door and it was locked. "Logan!" I yelled, rattling
it. When there was no answer, I blasted the lock off
and went in.
He was sitting up in bed and didn't look happy to see
me. "Go away," he said.
"Are you okay?" He grunted something and gestured to
the door. "A nightmare?" I asked, belatedly realizing
I'd gone into superhero mode unnecessarily.
He nodded, and told me to leave again. But as I
walked out, I heard him saying, "Thanks, Summers."
I went to him almost every night, although I tried to
be more respectful of his privacy after that first
time. Often I didn't go into the room at all, just
knocked on the door and called to him until he
answered, verifying that I'd woken him up. He always
thanked me for stopping the nightmare. He never
wanted me to stay. I suggested a couple times that he
get up and read, or we could play cards or something,
but he'd just wave a large, strong hand, shooing me
back to bed
Then one night it was different. I woke up to the
moaning and groaning and knocked on his door, calling
his name. I heard him yelling, "No!" and then kind of
a strangled sound followed by an almost inhuman
sobbing. I went in. Standing by the doorway, I
called his name, louder and louder, as he thrashed
around on the bed, his movements jerky and mechanical,
as if some invisible puppeteer had him on strings.
Finally, he opened his eyes and sat up. "How long you
been there?" he asked.
"A couple of minutes."
He held up his hands to show the claws were retracted,
and then gestured to me to come closer, saying, "I'm
not dangerous. Not now." He turned on the lamp and
then put both hands to his eyes, rubbing them like he
was trying to erase what he'd just seen.
I sat down in the armchair near his bed and looked
around. He was a mess. The room was a mess. The
bedclothes were ripped to shreds; there were holes in
the wall. And there was blood everywhere, lots of it.
Staining the torn sheets, drying on his chest and
arms. No visible wounds, but they'd probably been
there a few minutes ago.
"Were you trying to hurt yourself?" I asked.
"Nah. I was just fighting them off," he said, looking
at his blood all over the bed. "I guess I got in the
"Dreams can be like that."
We sat there for a while. I didn't want to leave,
since he wasn't telling me to, but I was pretty
uncomfortable. Trying not to look at his body lying
there on the bed next to me, but looking in spite of
myself. I hadn't been this close any of the other
nights and I wondered if he always slept naked, and
whether I would have found some excuse to come closer
on other nights if I'd realized that.
The remnants of the sheet were thrown over him, but
most of him was clearly visible. He was sweaty,
presumably from the dream, but now that that was over
it looked like the glistening sweat of exertion and
power. I wanted to lick it off of him.
And then he started shaking uncontrollably, all over
his body, like some machine was churning inside of him
and he couldn't turn it off. He tried to hold onto
the bed with both hands to steady himself, but they
were shaking, too.
"Are you okay?" I asked.
"Shit!" he said. "I hate this." He clenched and
unclenched his fists, grabbed onto the bed frame,
seemed to be trying to do anything he could think of
to make it stop, but nothing was working. "Sometimes
it just takes me like this, afterwards," he said,
still trembling uncontrollably.
�Do you want me to call Dr. Leeds?�
Well, unlike Charles, I can take no for an answer.
�How about Hank? Maybe he can prescribe something.�
He tried to shake his head, but the trembling made it
go back and forth in a bizarre, almost robotic way,
his teeth chattering. �No doctors,� he said. �No
"Is there anything I can do to help you?"
"Yeah, yeah," he said. "Come over here. Put your
hands on my shoulders. Hold me still."
So, I did. I got onto the bed with him, holding him
by the shoulders, talking to him softly. He seemed to
relax after a while and the trembling stopped.
"Thanks," he said.
"Is there anything else I can do?" I tried to keep
my mind off what I wanted to do.
"Yeah..." There was a long pause and I almost asked
again. But then he said it, "Suck my cock."
"What?" Had he really said that, or was my strong
desire making me hear things? I figured I should
check, just in case he'd really said "Take the clock"
or something like that and my overactive imagination
had turned it into something more exciting.
"You said you like to do it? Right?" I nodded,
figuring we weren't talking about clocks. "It helps.
Sex is the only thing that... makes it stop. For a
while, anyway. Come on, Cyclops. Do me a favor."
So, I did. He sat on the edge of the bed and I got
down on my knees, stroking him to hardness, looking at
his cock. I�d sneaked peeks before but this was the
first time I was seeing up close. He had curly dark
hair at the base; the skin on his balls was dark. He
was circumcised, which surprised me. I figured he'd
be old enough that it wouldn't have been a common
practice. His cock was long and hard and seemed very
thick, with a purplish head that looked like it was
straining to be sucked. He looked delicious.
I bent down and started licking him as I stroked,
savoring the taste and the feeling, one I'd wanted for
so long. Then I put the whole head in my mouth,
kissing and sucking, moving down a little farther with
each stroke until I was taking him all the way in and
pulling all the way back up. He stroked my hair and
moaned as I did him. I could smell the sweat and the
blood and it seemed almost like I could smell his fear
disappearing and turning to joy and excitement. The
sounds he was making were driving me crazy, better
than I could have imagined: moans and sighs and
seemingly random spoken words of joy and lust, all in
this almost growling undertone, as he stroked my hair
and cheeks encouragingly. I cradled his balls with
one hand while I held the root of his cock with the
other, bobbing up and down, almost overcome with the
taste and the feel of him in my mouth, with the sounds
and smells all around me. When he came he was in up
to the root and breathing hard.
He stayed still, catching his breath afterwards,
smiling ear to ear. "God, that was good," he said,
after a minute. "You've got a real talent for it."
"Field missions, English classes and blow jobs. I
think it's important to have varied skills," I
replied, and he chuckled.
He moved over on the bed, sitting with his back to the
headboard and feet stretched out. He sighed happily
and patted the space next to him. "Come on," he said.
"Sit down." I joined him, very aware of my hard cock
straining against my boxers.
He was aware, too. "You do like giving head, don't
you? Turns you on. Well, let me take care of that
for you," he said, pulling my dick out of the opening
and starting to stroke me with a loose fist. "Only
I leaned in to kiss him, but he turned his head away.
Kept jerking me, though, with a truly wonderful motion
of his hand. I wasn't even sure what he was doing,
but it felt great. And then he reached under my shirt
with his other hand, playing with one of my nipples,
then the other. He was making me squirm and moan. I
closed my eyes and just gave myself to the feeling.
And he kissed me. Not on the mouth, but on the
shoulder, licking and sucking and biting a little,
moving into my neck all the while he was rubbing and
stroking like he knew just what I needed. "I'm going
to come," I told him.
"Good," he said, right in my ear, as I shot on his
hand and his leg.
"Good," I echoed, head back and coming down from that
high now. "Very good."
"You came buckets. Been a long time?"
"Too long." Neither of us said anything for a while.
"Maybe we could do that again sometime?" I asked.
"Yeah, maybe," he replied with a chuckle.
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