Fic: "The Pain Of Today" (1/1) PG-13 [Scott/Jean, Logan/Rogue, Scott/Ororo]
- Hi all,
This is a very old (more than 3 years old) fic that people have requested I posted from time to time and now I'm finally doing so.
Hope you will enjoy it:
The Pain Of Today
By Nadja Lee 13/11/00
English is not my native language. Please forgive me my mistakes.
Disclaimer: X-men and all the characters here belong to Marvel , 20 Century Fox and I intend no infringement, this is a piece of amateur fan fiction, and I make no money of it.
Only the original idea contained within this work is the property of the author. Please do not copy this story to any website or archive without permission of the author.
Timeline: Set after the movie
Universe: Set in the movie universe. Only the movie NOT the book that goes with it!
Pairing: Scott/Ororo, Scott/Jean, Logan/Rogue
Summary: As Scott and Jean falls apart, Logan discovers the truth about Scotts past and Ororo is there to help pick up the pieces...
Archiving: Want, ASK, take, have.
Feedback: Yes, please. My e-mail address is neh@....
Warnings: Mention of child abuse.
Dedicated to: Viggo, my medicine professor, since I wrote it in his class. Sorry, I guess I really wasnt paying much attention yet again. You really need to work on making the lecture more interesting!
Series: Part 2 in Pain Series. Can be seen as a sequel to The Pain Of Yesterday but works just fine as a stand-alone.
Authors Note: This one is for Christina who asked for it. Hope you like!
Great thanks to Nancy who, as always, did a wonderful job as my beta. Youre the greatest!
Scott, hows it going with Sarah? Ororo asked Scott concerned as he came out from his office after yet another private talk with the young student. Her eyes were fastened on the young girl who had just left his office and was now walking down the hallway and out of hearing range. Sarah had been at the mansion for a little over a year now and the only person she had connected with had been Scott. However that connection was now beginning to become so strong that she barely wanted to let him out of her sight at all, giving them another issue to try and resolve. Despite Scotts eagerness to help, the whole situation was wearing him down in more ways than one but he wouldnt allow himself to walk away now; Sarah needed him and he would be there for her like Xavier had been there for him.
Hearing Ororos question Scott smiled tiredly at her.
Its going in the right direction but He looked sadly at her ...she has so much pain. At that moment Jean mentally called the X-men to lunch and whatever else he or Ororo would have said was cut short. Ororo watched Scott with a thoughtful expression as he walked towards the kitchen.
So do you, my friend. So do you, she mumbled softly.
Scott stopped and turned around to face her, a slightly puzzled look on his face.
Of course, she replied and quickly walked to him so that they could go to lunch together.
Much later that day Scott and Jean got ready to go to bed.
How is the new student? Jean asked as she brushed her long red hair, sitting in front of a mirror in a short tight red blouse and shirt nightdress. Sarah had just been one of many issues over which they had fought lately. They never seemed to have any time to themselves and both blamed the other. He blamed her love for work and life in general which kept her booked with an extremely busy schedule and she blamed his hero complex, as she called it, which compelled him to always try to save everyone. Lately Sarahs constant demand for his attention, even when he had been on a romantic date with Jean to celebrate their anniversary, had really put the couple on edge. When Scott had chosen to go to be with Sarah to help her, leaving Jean alone for their anniversary dinner, it had resulted in a huge fight. Jean had said he didnt love her anyone and Scott had protested that it was the other way around since she only wanted to be with him if it fitted into her schedule as if his life and profession wasnt important. Lately it seemed as if they fought more than they made up and they both seemed to misunderstand each other more easily, almost as if they wanted to. The relationship that had once been so nice and relaxing was now another thing to worry about.
Thinking back, Scott knew it wasnt all that new for them to fight, it had simply escalated, as if they only tried to stay together because it felt familiar. In fact ever since Logan and Rogue had first arrived at the mansion he and Jean seemed to have drifted further and further away from each other. They fought instead of speaking of their emotions and Scott began to wonder if maybe they werent simply growing apart. They had begun dating when he himself had been in high school. Years did change a person a lot.
Its going the right way but very slowly, he said as he ran a frustrated hand through his hair. He really wished he knew what he was doing here because all he did was share his experiences with her but Xavier said it was enough; she needed to know she wasnt alone and that her suffering hadnt been her own fault. Unlike Scott, Sarah hadnt been physically misused; her stepfather had sexually abused her, something that in Scotts mind was even worse. Xavier had felt Scotts insecurity, his feelings that his pain was less than Sarahs, and had tried to talk to him about it to let him know that it wasnt so; all pain was equally strong. However Scott had always been good at repression and even better at putting himself down and blaming himself for every wrong ever done, something his foster father had been very good at teaching him and Xavier had a hard time reaching him. Though Scott had had more years to try and deal with his childhood abuse, it still wasnt something easily forgotten; he couldnt simply move on and Xavier had had to accept that both Sarah and Scott would be forever scarred by their pasts. He just hoped he could heal as many of those scars as possible.
She has suffered a lot, Scott added sadly, so softly that Jean didnt hear him. Hearing Scott talk practically non stop about Sarah and her problems was getting on Jeans nerves. She felt overlooked, something she wasnt used to. Worse still, she felt something slipping away from her and she wasnt sure how to try and fix it. Jealousy and frustration made her slash out in anger as she turned and looked at him.
I think she is playing you, her voice was hard and cold, far from her normal warm and caring tone of voice when speaking of the students at Xaviers school. Many things could be said about Jean but she had a terrible temper that matched her hair and she always lashed out in anger when she was in pain.
WHAT?? Scott asked disbelieving, his voice rising. He knew he was taking this personally but just as Sarah had been able to see parts of herself in Scott so had he in her. To hear an attack on Sarah, a callous dismissal of her pain, was like hearing it said about himself. He knew he was being unfair because Jean didnt know about Sarahs past. No one did save Xavier and himself. Seen from Jeans perspective, Sarah would come off as a clingy and demanding teenager but Scotts feelings were too wrapped up in this to listen to his own reason.
She wants the extra attention youre giving her. After all, only you have ever achieved such a reaction from her. I think maybe she has a crush on you, she tried to say it as calmly as she could. If Scott hadnt been so shocked by her words he would have heard the jealous note in her voice.
I dont believe this, Scott mumbled in shock and disbelief.
Its ok. Everyone can be fooled. Jean fought to find a comforting tone but his reaction was not helping. Did he love this girl? Was she too old for him? They did have a ten year age gap between them which, when they had started dating, hadnt meant anything. As more and more years passed it began to matter more and more.
Scotts eyes widened behind his glasses at her words.
How dare you?! his voice was low and soft, barely holding back his anger. He knew he was taking her criticism too personally but couldnt help it. Sarah reminded him too much of himself and attacking her felt like an attack on him. I have seen her pain. I have felt it. How dare you say it is not there?
Scott, relax. His strong concern and possessive manner were only fuelling her anger and, with it, she said something she wouldnt normally have said just to hurt him like she was being hurt. Its like your headaches. If you ignore them, they go away.
Things had taken a very bad turn really fast and they both knew it but it was like a snowball running down hill: impossible to stop when first started.
Scott jaw tightened and his fists clamped and unclamped at his sides as he fought to control his anger.
I have pain every morning because of the headaches. Ignoring them doesnt make them go away. His words were a soft and angry hiss. He took a deep breath and tried to calm himself. How could he have been so wrong? How could he ever have been so blind? Their perspectives were worlds apart; they didnt talk anymore. They seemed like strangers now who just happened to be sharing a room. Yet their desperation to try and reclaim the past was slowly killing them both. I understand Sarahs pain because I have felt it too. The words were a soft mumble Jean never heard but should have. Maybe if she had things could gave been patched up a little at least but they both hurt and they both retreated into themselves.
Feeling suddenly very tired about all this, Scott went to the bed and took his pillow and a blanket and went towards the door.
Where are you going?? Jean asked him, alarm rising in her voice. He wasnt leaving her was he? He couldnt!
I need to be alone. He answered, his voice tight with barely controlled anger and for the first time ever Jean was afraid of him and backed down. As he saw this he got a sad look in his eyes; he never wanted this the slow death of their relationship was turning them both into people they never wished to be.
He was down the corridor before her courage came back.
Youll come back. The words held more hope and desperation than any certainty. You need me, she yelled after him, trying to assure herself more than him. He needed her she needed him.
Not anymore, came Scotts dark reply to her words. He hated being put situated with his back against the wall, as if he had no choice. He had been there and never wanted to go there again. Too late Jean realised what her words would have made him remember and react to and she knew she had just pushed him away forever. Closing the door she went to the bed and softly cried into her pillow. Their love had died long ago. They both knew it, but breaking up and moving on was still painfully hard to do.
Scott sat on the sofa in the living room in the mansion and just stared straight ahead into the darkened room, his pillow and blanket thrown into a smaller sofa standing to the right of the one he was sitting in, also facing the large table and the TV that stood opposite it. The whole mansion seemed asleep and the only sound that broke the stillness was the big clock on the wall.
Scotts thoughts were far away, on Jean. He had loved her for the longest time but now he had to admit that his love had died long ago, he had just refused to admit it. He knew he had fallen in love with who she had been when they had been young as she had with him. Their relationship had been simple back then. Scott had needed Jean, looked up to her. She had been his lifeboat and she had enjoyed the part. As time passed he had needed her less and less. She had felt this was a rejection when in fact he had simply grown up and found his own place to be. He knew Jean liked strong men so that wasnt the problem. The problem was that they had been used to a routine of Jean going from being his doctor and savoir to his lover. When time had lessened the dependence he felt on her neither of them had been able to adjust the bond they shared to include this change. Thinking of Jean was bittersweet and he knew a part of him would always love her. Tears made their way slowly down his cheeks.
Is this a private party or can anyone cut in? Logan grunted softly and seated himself next to the younger man on the sofa, his eyes having not missed the pillow and blanket thrown into the other sofa and had drawn his own conclusions. Scott quickly wiped the tears away, startled that anyone was still up. He didnt want to show weakness in front of anyone, least of all Logan. For a while they just sat in silence then Scott turned his head and looked intensely at Logan. Was the faint light from the moon playing with him or did Logan have a dried trace of a teardrop down his cheek? Scotts eyes and voice softened.
Trouble with Rogue? He asked gently. Normally he would never pry into others personal life but this night was different. It was a night of broken promises and dreams and he could just as well reveal them all, not just his own. Logan looked sharply at him and took in his tired face and puffed cheeks and he smelled salt in the air, betraying what his eyes would normally have seen if they hadnt been foiled by the red shades.
Yeah, he admitted and his eyes clearly said that he dared Scott to say something.
She loves you, you know that, dont you? Scott asked him softly. It was no secret how Rogue felt about the tough Canadian. Every chance she got, she told everyone who would listen how brave he was, how great a man he was and so on and so on. Once you got her started it was almost impossible to stop her. Scott knew from personal experience when his English class had gone through Shakespeares Hamlet. How Rogue could possible relate that to Logan was beyond him but she had.
I know, Logan replied softly and sounded sad.
Dont you love her?? Scott asked him disbelieving. All Logan had done for Rogue; risked his life for her, almost died for her, it had to be love to do that. Scott, like most in the school, felt a strong protective urge towards the fragile girl and if anyone should try and hurt her, Logan included, Scott would personally see to it that they would never do so again.
Course I do, Logan said, almost angrily as if that much was obvious. But shes just a kid. She deserves someone else. He fell silent for a few seconds. Someone better, he added so softly that Scott had trouble hearing him.
She doesnt want anyone else. She wants you, Scott said strongly and felt like beating it into Logans thick skull. Silence fell over them again as both men thought of love found and lost.
I need a beer. Want one? Logan asked as all the conflicting emotions, love vs. friendship, need vs. logic, and want vs. honour, became too much for him. A shadow fell over Scotts face.
No, thanks, he said tightly. Logan shrugged his shoulders, not understanding the younger mans disgust towards alcohol. He would think that Scott, obviously in pain over his break-up with Jean, would want to forget the world for a while.
Logan went to the kitchen and grabbed a beer. When he returned to the living room Scott had that far away look on his face that betrayed he was deep in thought. You had to know him to see it, after all one couldnt see his eyes, but the tightening of his jaw, the wrinkle in his forehead told it all. Logan dumped onto the sofa next to Scott and startled the other man. Before Logan could react Scotts hand flew towards Logan in an instinctive defensive movement and knocked the beer over before Logan got a good grip on it again. Both men jumped up.
Sorry, Scott quickly said and saw that his T-shirt was soaked in beer and its smell sickened him.
You should be more careful, One-Eye, Logan growled good-naturally. The sofa and Logan himself had escaped unharmed, so to speak. Logan looked at his beer. There was even some left. He took a big swallow of it and looked defiantly at Scotts disapproving frown. Scott took off his T-shirt and stood in his boxers. Careful not to turn his back on Logan he walked towards the kitchen. When he saw that Logan wasnt looking after him, he turned his back to him and walked through the kitchen and into the washing room that was just beside it and put his shirt into the laundry basket. He tried to see if he had any clean shirts lying around there but didnt find any. For once his own sense of order irritated him. All his shirts were in their right place, in his and Jeans bedroom, and he really didnt want to face her right now. He returned to the living room and saw Logan sitting on the sofa again. He walked over and sat next to him, still making sure he always kept Logan in plain sight.
Everything ok between you and Jeannie? Logan asked after a short silence though he was pretty sure he already knew the answer to his question.
No, Scott said darkly, honestly, forgetting everything but the pain he felt after his world had come crumbling down upon him.
You two broke up? Logan guessed, sounding not the least bit surprised.
Youre not surprised? Scott asked him disbelieving. Logan shook his head.
Not really. You two were too different to make it work.
Hmm, Scott mumbled, deep in thought. As the silence had lasted for several minutes Logan figured he wouldnt get more out of his companion and decided to see if there was something on TV. He spotted the remote on the far side of the table to Scotts side and was about to stand and retrieve it himself when he recalled how Scott had tried to never turn his bare back to him. It made Logan mildly curious and thus instead he asked Scott to get the remote for him, hoping he would forget his caution for a few seconds.
Hand me the remote over there, he asked Scott and nodded towards the remote. Scott was so consumed in his own thoughts that he didnt notice Logans watchful eyes on him as he stood up, turned his back on him and retrieved the remote, putting it on the table beside Logan. It was first when he sat back down again and saw Logans shocked look as he did so that he realised what had happened.
My god, who did that? Logan asked him shocked and nodded towards Scotts back. Scott had got used to his back so when people saw it their reaction always surprised him. He wasnt used to sharing his pain or showing weakness and he saw his back as evidence of his own failure and therefore felt uncomfortable when others found out.
Its nothing, Scott mumbled and wished he could disappear into the sofa.
Nothing? I havent seen something like it since WW2, Logan almost yelled, not realising what he was implying, his anger at Scotts attackers evident in his voice. Though Scott and he werent the best of friends, Scott had grown to become a part of Wolverines pack, so to speak, and just the thought of anyone, especially someone under his protection, getting hurt made him growl in hate.
Scott winced at Logans words.
Look, it happened a long time ago. Just forget it, he said strongly, hoping Logan would change the subject. Unable to stand the sympathy in Logans eyes, Scott stood up and walked to the window and looked out over the garden. Logan got a full view of his back. It was criss-crossed with a fine network of small white scars. The abuse had been so often that not a single space of his back was left unmarked. In the soft light from the moon the scars became even more visible.
Logan walked over to the other man, not quite sure how to react but needing to know all the same.
How long ago? He asked with barely controlled anger. He hated any kind of abuse but somewhere along the way Scott had become a friend and that meant that for Logan this was personal.
From when I was taken from the orphanage to a foster father when I was ten till the Professor found me when I was fifteen, Scott said softly, his voice tight with barely suppressed emotions and memories better left forgotten. It was worse when he had been drinking, he added and stared blindly out into the garden. Logan didnt know what to do or say and looked desperately around for help. He knew what to do in combat but never in the combat of emotions.
When Ororo in her long white night dress gracefully walked into the room, Logan could have kissed her in sheer happiness. He had smelled someone approaching when Scott had told him about his foster father but had been too angry to act on his instincts. Now he knew that Ororo must have come to the living room and hadnt wanted to disturb them yet she had still heard their conversation. Logan nodded towards Scott who still stood by the window and left the two of them alone, whispering in Ororos ear as he passed her, Take care of him, Ro.
Ororo nodded and gave his hand a friendly squeeze as he moved past her, whispering so softly only his heightened sense of hearing could pick it up, I always will.
Then her full attention returned to her friend. She noticed how beautiful he looked bathed in the silver moonlight but her attention went to his sad face and defeated posture, not to mention the scars that seemed to scream to her. She tried not to let her shock over his scars show. He didnt need that now. She had always suspected he had been subject to abuse because of the way he would react in certain situations but she had never imagined it to be this bad.
Scott? She asked gently and came up beside him, not sure what to do but wanting to comfort him all the same. They had been friends for many years and she hoped he would let her help him.
I sometimes see him, you know. In my nightmares, his voice was far way and she wasnt sure if he was aware that he was speaking out loud.
Who do you see? Ororo asked softly and laid a calming hand on his arm. Scott turned and looked at her as if seeing her for the first time.
My foster father. Sometimes when I hear a noise, see a flicker of movement my heart starts to pump wildly in my chest His voice was soft as a summer breeze but held a world of pain as it died out.
He will never hurt you again. Youre not alone, Ororo said, sympathy in her voice and eyes. Scott smiled gently at her. She had known all along. He had always known Ororo was more attentive than most gave her credit for. Her words also made him believe that she also known that, like Sarah, his greatest fear was abandonment.
Thanks Ororo, Scott said warmly, heartfelt, and took hold of her hand. Ororo smiled softly.
Anytime, dear friend. Anytime. Her voice and eyes held compassion, sympathy, understanding and ..maybe...more.
Ororo, Scott said happily as she came to him in the living room long after everyone else had gone to sleep. Since the night where he had broken up with Jean he had moved out of the room they had shared and into his own. His friendship with Ororo had grown steadily closer, much in thanks to their nightly meetings, which had became something of a tradition. Logan and his relationship had also improved enormously. Sure, they still disagreed on the methods with which to solve problems but in a tight spot they counted on each other. Logan had since the night where he had found out the truth about Scotts past been more protective towards the younger man and Scott knew it was a result of what he had seen and the natural protectiveness towards people he counted as friends that he shared with his namesake, the Wolverine. He remembered how surprised Jean had been the first time Logan had defended Scott. It had been about a combat decision that Jean had doubted. Ever since their break-up Jean and Scott had barely been able to be in the same room together. It wasnt that Scott hadnt tried; Jean had trouble accepting that he had been the one to break it off. She had left the mansion three weeks after their break-up, saying she needed some time. Scott had both been sad and relieved to see her go.
Scott, youre worrying again?! Ororo said softly and came up beside him. In her long white night dress, bathed in moonlight, she looked like the Goddess she had been thought to be. She was breathtaking and Scott often followed her every move with his eyes, admiring her grace and beauty.
Sort of. He turned his gaze from the star filled sky to look at her. You ever wanted to be free from it all? No past, no present and no future? Just the moment? His voice held a dreaming edge. Ororo smiled and took hold of his hand as an idea came to her.
Come with me.
She led him outside to the back of the mansion. Scott was only in his T-shirt and the wind was cold. Seeing Scott shiver Ororo called a wind to her and it warmed Scott.
Youre not cold? Scott asked her concerned.
I cant be cold, Ororo answered with a smile. Then summoning the wind around her, she lifted Scott and herself into the air.
Stooormmmm, Scott yelled as the ground beneath him disappeared.
You need to learn how to let go. Of your pain and of your responsibilities, Ororo said gently and with a good grip on his hand she flew him over the garden of the mansion and towards the lake in the far corner of the property. Scott began to enjoy the feeling of air beneath him. It was the embodiment of freedom. Now he knew why Ororo loved to fly so much.
Ororo slowed down as they were over the lake. It was stunningly beautiful to be able to stand on air a few millimetres above the water and see the stars reflections in the lake. It was as if they were walking on an ocean filled with stars.
Its beautiful, Scott said in awe, meaning every word. He had never seen anything this beautiful. His eyes went to Ororo and his awed expression was replaced with one of warmth and caring. Like its creator, he added lovingly and looked softly at her, making her blush.
Nature always is, she replied, not responding to his compliment for she didnt know what to say. With her control over the wind, she made waves in the water. See? You are free, she encouraged as Scott admired the freedom of flight.
Only with you. Only ever with you, he said softly and bent down and kissed her in the air. Ororos emotions were reflected in the weather as a warm wind came around them and gently spun them around and up. Colourful leaves flew in the air as to make a ring around them. Reluctantly they drew apart for breath.
Say youre sorry it happened and lighting will strike, Ororo warned, her voice soft but with a hint of steel.
I would never say that. I think I think Im falling in love with you, he answered seriously, love in his voice and, if she could see them, in his eyes as well. He had always thought highly of Ororo and thought about her with warm feelings. Only now did he realise that it had been the beginnings of the feelings he was having now. He had spent a lot of time with Ororo since his and Jeans break-up but she had always been there for him even before then. She had always understood him, surprisingly better than Jean had after their relationship had started to fail.
I have loved you since I first saw you, Ororo gently admitted and they drew closer and their lips meet in yet another passionate yet loving kiss. She summoned a wind to come to them and they landed next to the lake, the colourful leaves making a soft blanket for them and Ororos wind keeping him warm.
Much later Ororo flew with Scott over the garden and towards the house. Scott enjoyed the freedom and let go of Ororos hand. He started to fall to the ground until a gentle wind raised him back to Ororos level.
What were you doing?? She asked him concerned.
I wanted to fly free. I knew you wouldnt let me fall. I trust you. With my love and with my life, he said seriously and gave her hand a gentle squeeze. Only with you can I fly free, can I be me. I can never thank you enough for that, he said softly, meaning every word.
My pleasure, my love. My pleasure, she said softly, moved by his words as they flew on the winds of love toward the mansion, toward a better and brighter future.