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One Simple Word (PG)

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  • fireflyontheoak
    Title: One Simple Word Author: Kalimando (Quidam) Email: harvest_moon_@hotmail.com Characters: Scott, Jean, and a few others who make an appearance Disclaimer:
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 11, 2004
      Title: One Simple Word
      Author: Kalimando (Quidam)
      Email: harvest_moon_@...
      Characters: Scott, Jean, and a few others who make an appearance
      Disclaimer: The characters are not mine.
      Summary: It's one word, so why can't either of them just come out
      and say it?
      Rating: PG- dropped the S bomb once.
      Notes: Feedback would be much appreciated

      Both were keenly aware of the valley between them. Sharing the same
      bed, the same covers, but not touching, not facing, not speaking. It
      was over something trivial, something neither could remember, but
      you put two stubborn mules facing in the opposite direction and
      neither one is going to budge. So they went about their day
      carefully avoiding one another and when by chance they happened to
      meet it was with forced civility- a curt hello as they tripped over
      themselves to hastily make their departure.

      When they weren't in the classrooms lecturing about mitochondria or
      algebraic equations, Scott would busy himself in the garage, face
      hidden under a car, checking brake pads which had been previously
      checked 5 times before in the last week. Jean sought refuge in her
      lab, nose buried in a microscope, studying the same slide but
      neglecting to write down her observations.

      One simple word, 5 letters. So why is that one word the most
      difficult to say? Pride has five letters as well and god knows that
      Scott and Jean had enough pride to spare.

      Jean had made up her mind to just apologize and had even stayed up,
      pretending to read, waiting for Scott to come in. When he did, even
      if she couldn't see his eyes, the surprise of finding her awake was
      written all over his face. And before she could utter that simple
      word comprised of 5 letters, Scott took off for the bathroom. Jean
      turned off her reading lamp, then and listened to the sounds of
      Scott fussing in the bathroom, stalling. She was still awake,
      staring at the blank wall, when Scott deemed it safe to return to
      the bedroom. Careful not to overstep that imaginary line, he slid
      into bed. When Scott woke in the morning, Jean had long since left
      the room- the slight indentation on her pillow was the only clue
      that she had even slept in the bed. Tangled bed sheets which were
      once a daily occurrence still had the folded creases from when they
      were folded in the laundry room. Bodies which once clung to one
      another in the night, now lay like corpses.

      "This is getting ridiculous," noted Ororo. "Can't you say something
      to them?"

      Xavier shook his head determinedly, "No. They're both adults, even
      if they are behaving like the students, and when they're ready they
      will confront the situation."

      Ororo nodded but it was clear she didn't agree. With the trend Jean
      and Scott had set, Ororo doubted that either would remain in the
      same room long enough to deal with whatever the hell it was they
      were silently arguing about.

      Logan, who under normal circumstances, would have been inclined to
      throw a few smart ass comments in Scott's direction wisely refrained
      from doing so. There were just some lines even Logan knew not to
      cross. The expression Scott had been sporting might also have had
      something to do with it.

      If Jean and Scott thought they were doing an adequate job of keeping
      their now tense relationship a secret, they were only fooling
      themselves. The entire school knew that something had happened- an
      disagreement of some kind- but no one knew the details. Several
      attempts were made to gather more information which only resulted in
      detention, added homework, and enough pop quizzes to scar them for
      life. Rowdy students became model students and lectures were
      conducted in near silence. Students traipsed around Scott and Jean
      in attempts to avoid detection. Make yourself as small and
      insignificant as possible and maybe, just maybe there won't be extra
      homework, or another exam, or a research paper.

      A purple gel pen flew across the room, hitting the opposite
      wall. "This sucks!" Two heads popped up from school books to glance
      at Jubilee, now scowling at the set of questions in front of her. "I
      mean, they're mad at each other, so why do we have to suffer?"

      Kitty shrugged, "Because they're the adults and we have to do what
      they say. Now shut up and let me finish studying."

      "That doesn't make it right," muttered Jubes as she went to retrieve
      her pen. At the rate Scott and Jean were going, Jubes considered
      herself lucky if she actually graduated for with each pop quiz and
      exam, her grade steadily declined.

      How long can a couple continue the charade before growing weary of
      it? Two weeks? Three? Four weeks and 3 days, in Scott and Jean's
      case. She was walking out of her office, balancing a cup of coffee
      and several stacks of files, he coming back from the hangar, and
      neither one paying any attention to where they were going. Jean
      backed up into Scott causing the coffee to spill over the files and
      her hand.

      "Shit!" Jean dropped the files and shook the drops of coffee from
      her hand.

      Scott reached for her hand and though her first instinct was to pull
      away from him, Jean allowed him to. The doctor became the patient,
      if only for a brief few moments.

      "You okay?" Scott wasn't referring to just her hand but the past 4
      weeks. Four weeks and 3 days.

      "It stings a little."

      Both were speaking in the same code, treading close to that line
      they'd drawn in front of each other, cautiously drawing nearing,
      sniffing the air like two wary animals.

      "Are you doing anything for lunch?" The files and the coffee mug lay
      scattered on the floor in front of them creating a broken line of
      wet soggy papers.

      "Nothing that can't be rescheduled," she admitted.

      "Lunch in front of the lake around 12:30?"

      "I'd like that," Jean smiled genuinely- not the forced smile she'd
      constructed over the past month.

      Scott lingered to help gather the wet papers before reluctantly
      leaving to prepare lunch. Neither had uttered that one simple word,
      at least not out loud. They didn't need to. The line had been
      erased. And the silence that lingered over them as they stared out
      over the lake was an easy, comfortable one.
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