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FIC: Temps Perdu (Reminiscences, 3/5)

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  • Mo
    Temps Perdu (Reminiscences, 3/5) Jamie found Warren in the Danger Room. Jean and Ororo were with him, working on a complicated simulated battle. “Can I
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 14, 2005
      Temps Perdu (Reminiscences, 3/5)

      Jamie found Warren in the Danger Room. Jean and Ororo
      were with him, working on a complicated simulated
      battle. �Can I watch?� Jamie asked.

      �Sure. Just stay out of the way. We�ll be done in a
      few minutes,� Storm replied.

      �Or we�ll give up in a few minutes, more likely,�
      Warren chimed in.

      �Please, Warren. How are we to succeed if you take
      that attitude?�

      �Sorry, �Ro.� Facing her he rose about ten feet into
      the air. Continuing to flap his wings Warren spun
      around three times and landed, facing her again. He
      saluted, smiling sardonically. �Okay, I�m over it.
      X-Man Angel, reporting for duty, Field Leader Storm.
      With a whole new attitude.�

      Jamie watched from the sidelines for the next hour.
      It was fascinating to see. He found himself rooting
      for the team to vanquish their robotic adversaries,
      and disappointed each time they were defeated.
      Eventually, Storm called off the exercise. �We�ll try
      it again when the rest are back from Washington,� she

      �Is it even possible?� Jamie asked Warren, after Ororo
      and Jean had left.

      Warren grinned. �Not as far as I can see. Still,
      Cyclops will work it out. You�ll see � come watch
      again once he�s back.�

      �Who comes up with these exercises?�

      �Professor X. And you�d be surprised how many of them
      turn out to be... predictions or something. It
      happens over and over again. We nearly kill ourselves
      working out ways to solve these. And then we find
      ourselves in a real battle and it�s just like the
      simulation. If we hadn�t had the practice of being
      �killed� in the Danger Room a gazillion times over
      we�d be killed for real.� He shook his head. �I don�t
      know how he does it, but most of what Magneto or any
      of those other evil geniuses come up with � well,
      Professor Xavier thought of it first. And Cyclops
      figured out how to get us out of it alive.� He smiled
      again, ear to ear this time. �Does it sound like a
      crazy way to live?�

      �Yeah. But it also sounds like you love it.�

      �I do. I didn�t know how much I missed it until Scott
      talked me into re-upping.�

      �What happened between you and the Professor to make
      you leave? Did you get mad at him for making you
      fight his battles when you were still a kid?�

      �Nah. Not at all. Like I told you, looking back I
      kind of shake my head over that. But at the time it
      never occurred to me to think it was wrong. Or
      strange even. Still, I�m sure glad they don�t have
      kids on the team now. You should at least have a
      reasonable chance of living to adulthood, you know?�

      �I don�t think any of the parents would allow it, kids
      being X-Men. Those students here that have parents,
      anyway.� Jamie thought about that for a minute. �Did
      your parents know you were on a combat team?�

      Warren shook his head. �They didn�t know a thing.
      They thought I was learning to live with my
      �condition�. Yeah, that�s what they called this,� he
      added, rising until he touched the ceiling and then
      swooping down again. �What jerks! They thought they
      were sending me to a special school where I�d learn
      how to function in society in spite of it. Like a
      school for the handicapped or something. The
      Professor being disabled himself probably underscored
      that impression. And he wasn�t letting on what he was
      really up to with us. He talked the parents into
      letting him take their kids and help them with their
      �problem�. And then he taught us to glory in being
      mutants, told us we were homo superior, the next stage
      in evolution. It was a great scam, worth risking your
      life for. That�s how we all felt at the time,� he
      concluded, laughing. Clapping Jamie on the shoulder,
      Warren changed the subject. �Do you have a class

      �No, I�m done for the day. Well, I�ve got homework. I
      guess I should get to it.�

      �Do it after dinner. Come flying with me. I want to
      show you something.�


      Logan snorted. �He said you could redecorate if you
      wanted? I bet you didn�t care what the room looked

      �Not at all. Having a bed, a place to stay � that�s
      what counted. And besides, I couldn�t see what it
      looked like anyway. That�s the part I told him. I
      didn�t want him to realize how desperate I was, but I
      did say that I didn�t have any need to choose my own
      furnishings, since I couldn�t see them.�

      �What did he say to that?�

      �I remember exactly. �We�ll take care of that,� he
      said, with that characteristic confidence. �I�m going
      to find a way for you to see again.� I wasn�t sure
      what he knew and what he didn�t so I told him that I
      *could* see, but bad stuff happened if I opened my
      eyes. It was as close as I could come to the truth.
      He said, �I know� and then �We�ll take care of that�
      again. And then he told me that he had a lot of
      Braille books and a Brailler and he�d teach me Braille
      so I could keep up with my studies until we worked out
      the vision problem.�


      �Yeah, I wasn�t sure how much he knew about what I�d
      been doing at that point. So, I told him I hadn�t
      been in school for over a year, and asked him if he
      was planning on me going to school in Westchester. He
      said I wouldn�t be going to school, that he would
      teach me privately. He told me that a regular school
      wasn�t suitable for someone like me, someone �gifted.�
      That was the first time I heard him use that word.
      It was... shocking to hear, but in a good way. I�d
      thought of being a mutant as something defective about
      me. Here he was saying there was another way of
      looking at it, that we were people with special
      gifts.� Scott sighed. �And that was all new, too �
      the �we� part. I�d never met another mutant, not that
      I knew anyway. He kept saying things like �we
      mutants� and �our people� and �our gifts�. I was just
      blown away by the �we-ness� of it, if that makes any
      sense, by the sense of belonging and community.�

      �It makes sense. How did it feel?�

      �Great. And scary, too.�

      �Why scary?�

      �It was everything I wanted. Even what I hadn�t known
      I wanted. And it was within my grasp, almost. I could
      practically taste it. So I was scared of losing my
      chance. What if I couldn�t make him happy? What if
      he decided I wasn�t worth the trouble after all? I
      did *not* want to go back on the streets. I was
      scared I wouldn�t please him and he�d throw me away.�
      Scott didn�t say anything for a minute, then added,
      �I�d been thrown away before.�

      Logan pulled Scott towards him, muttering �Fucking
      Simon� under his breath. �Please him sexually, you

      Scott nodded. �Yeah, that�s all I knew. There was
      nothing in what he said to suggest that he was looking
      for a rent boy, but I just assumed that was what he
      wanted me for. He�s talking about me studying,
      working hard, catching up on what I missed, all that
      kind of stuff. But all I�m thinking is how can I give
      him a good time. A good enough time that he�ll want
      to keep me. And I was totally at a loss on what to do
      with him.�

      � �Cause of the chair, you mean?

      �Yeah. I�d never had a paraplegic before. I had no
      idea what he could and couldn�t do. Didn�t know what
      he�d want me to do. And I�m thinking maybe I only
      have one chance here and I don�t want to blow it. So,
      I figured when all else fails � tell the truth.�

      Logan laughed. �What did you say?�

      �I told him that I�d been hustling for a little over a
      year. I told him I�d had all kinds of guys, but never
      anyone like him. �I�m real good,� I told him, �Ask
      anybody. And I�ll do anything. You can use me any
      way you want. I don�t know anything about your
      condition, but I�ll do whatever you tell me to. If
      there�s any way you can get off, I can make it happen.
      And make it something you�ll remember.� That�s when
      the sputtering started.�

      �I�ll bet. He didn�t have any idea that�s what you
      thought he wanted?�

      �I guess not. I mean, I know I was broadcasting lots
      of stuff � fear, worry, hope. But maybe nothing that
      specific. He certainly wasn�t prepared for it. He
      clearly had no idea I�d figured he was going to keep
      me for sex.�

      �So you didn�t know about Scott�s past when you
      started dating? You had no reason to suspect he was

      �No. He never said anything about it. I had no idea
      then he�d ever had sex with men. We were both
      virgins. Well, I was. He was, sort of. Well, I
      thought he was. He�d never been with a woman, that
      much I knew. I didn�t know there was anything else to

      �It gets complicated, doesn�t it?�

      �Yes. More complicated than my seventeen-year-old
      self would have known how to handle, I�m sure. But I
      didn�t have a clue.�

      �Even with telepathy?�

      �My telepathy was mostly dormant then. I really just
      saw myself as a telekinetic. But yes, even later,
      when Scott and I had a constant telepathic link, I had
      no idea.�

      �How can that be?�

      She shrugged. �Self-control? He�s very disciplined,
      Scott. Body and mind. I think he just didn�t think
      about men. He was so determined to be heterosexual.
      I had no idea he was anything but. And his hustler
      period? I think he did his best to forget it, didn�t
      even think about it. So, if he wasn�t thinking about
      it, there weren�t any thoughts for me to pick up. I
      had no idea. Later on I figured it out.�

      Anjuli and Adam were attracting quite a bit of
      attention, walking to the park. Two babies in a
      double stroller, very much the same size yet so
      completely different in coloring tended to be noticed
      anyway. And today Hank and Ezra were conversing
      loudly in baby talk, pointing and chattering as if
      they were really carrying on a conversation, much to
      the amusement of onlookers, judging by their

      �Does it bother you?� Anjuli asked.


      �That people think we�re a couple, a family.�

      �Well...� Adam hesitated. �That�s hard to answer.�

      �I�m not taking it personally,� she laughed.

      �It bothers me that people think I�m straight. If not
      for that I�d be honored for them to think I�m with
      you, and that the babies are both ours.�

      She laughed again. �How gallant of you!� And then
      added, �Why do you care if total strangers think
      you�re straight?�

      He shrugged. �Coming out�s hard. And I just hate
      that I�m never done with it, that there are all these
      assumptions. Not just assumptions of

      �What other kinds of assumptions?�

      Adam shrugged. �Look, what do people say to you when
      you�re out alone with the babies?�

      �I don�t know. All sorts of things. They ask if
      they�re twins, if they�re both mine. How old are
      they? That kind of thing.� She paused and thought.
      �What do they say to you?�

      �I can�t go out anywhere without some woman saying
      �your wife is so lucky.� I swear I want to deck
      anyone who does. Think of all the assumptions
      inherent in that. I mean, I know they mean it to be a
      nice thing to say. But not only do they assume that
      all men are straight, or at least all parents, but
      that men aren�t *really* parents, you know? Like I�m
      just helping out my �wife�, like a father who acts
      like a parent is such a hugely remarkable thing that
      his wife is lucky.�

      �They�re probably speaking from their own experience.�

      �Yeah, I know. Bugs me anyway. And you know what
      else bugs me? I hate thinking that all those fond
      smiles are only because they don�t know who I really
      am. That if it were Jean-Paul and me walking to the
      park with the babies instead of you and me some of
      those same people would be glaring at us. Or looking

      �I know what you mean. I see people ooh-ing and
      ah-ing over Hank and I think about what would it be
      like if his father had lived. If Hank and I were
      walking along holding hands, carrying our baby, would
      people be smiling at the baby or staring at his
      father? Will they stop smiling if he starts looking
      more like Hank and less like me?�

      �And you never know which ones they are. Some of them
      wouldn�t care � about mutant parents or gay ones. But
      here we are unwittingly impersonating a non-mutant
      heterosexual couple and some of those smiling faces
      are on people who�d hate us if they knew what our
      families really are.� He shook his head. �Sometimes
      it seems easier not to go out in public at all.�

      �You could always go back to Saskatchewan.�

      �No way!�

      �I was teasing. Anyway, I like having you guys

      �I like being around. I�m just crabby, sorry. I wish
      Jean-Paul were here. Sometimes I think we should just
      move in at Xavier�s with all the time he�s spending
      with the X-Men.� They reached the park and started
      unbuckling children. �Hey, you never told me,� Adam
      added. �What happened between Charles and Warren to
      make Warren leave the X-Men?�

      �I don�t know the whole story. Hank told me what he
      knew, but he wasn�t around when it happened and Warren
      and Charles weren�t talking. He pieced some of it
      together, though, afterwards.�

      �How did you come out of that alive? And manage to
      all get back, injured like that?�

      �Cyclops. He�s amazing, Wendy. If all you know is
      Scott Summers the English teacher, you don�t know half
      of what he�s like. Ferocious in battle and a born
      leader. He always knows where everybody is, what they
      need, and he�s always there to give it, no matter how
      badly he�s injured himself.�

      �He never considered giving up?�

      �No way. Pas possible. Charles Xavier told him to
      come back with the uranium, and he wasn�t leaving that
      battle scene without it. Not alive, anyway.�

      �With his shield or on it?�

      �Exactly.� He stopped a minute, remembering. �But
      I�ll tell you, Wendy, if anyone was getting carried
      back on his shield, it was going to be Cyclops. He
      would have died so the rest of us could live. He
      wasn�t coming back without the mission accomplished,
      but he wasn�t letting anyone else die out there,
      vraiment. That�s what the X-Men were like back
      then. That was the whole of their command structure:
      Charles Xavier sent you out to die and Scott Summers
      made sure you didn�t.�

      Mofic Website: www.angelfire.com/comics/mo

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