FIC: The Dark Unfathomd Retrospect (Whats Past is Prologue 10/18)
- Jean-Paul answered the knock on his door with Come
in. Adam opened the door only a crack and poked his
Im sorry, he said. I meant to come by earlier but
Ezra took a long time to settle. Is it too late?
No, come on in.
Only if you promise not to laugh, he answered. He
opened the door all the way, making that cryptic
comment clear. Adam was all in black, wearing an
X-Men uniform and an embarrassed expression. He came
in, closed the door behind him and stood there, back
to the door. I feel completely ridiculous, he
added. I thought Id try it out on you first.
Well, I think you look great. And Im glad you
decided to go ahead with this. Jean-Paul gestured to
Adam to sit down on the couch next to him.
I figured Cyclops has enough on his mind without
having to deal with me freaking out about playing
dress up at the service tomorrow. He made a sour
face. I do feel like a total phony, though, like a
fake X-Man. Plus I cant believe that Scott came up
with *these* uniforms when he was still in the closet
and nobody caught on. Please. Black leather? And it
never occurred to anybody hes gay?
Jean-Paul laughed. I dont think they were his
Well, I dont want to know whose they were because
Ill probably feel like strangling him. Or her.
Jean-Paul opened his mouth to argue, but Adam
continued before he could say anything. Im doing
it, okay? I dont need any more convincing. You can
cease and desist. Ill be totally on board tomorrow.
Im demonstrating where my loyalties lie. I just
figured it would be okay to sound off a little with
you ahead of time since you talked me into it.
Bien. Jean-Paul smiled. Sound off as much as you
You want to know what I decided to answer if someone
asks what my mutant power is?
Not dying of embarrassment. Jean-Paul laughed, but
then Adam turned serious, as he continued. Theres
actually something I wanted to talk to you about. Im
not just here to show you what I look like as a
Did you want to talk about Ezra? About Jeans
No, its something else. But, now that you bring it
up, what do you make of that?
I dont know what to make of it.
Do you think it could be a mistake?
It has to be, hein? Its Hank who is showing signs
of manifesting, not Ezra.
Maybe Ezras a mutant, too? Maybe its only Hanks
test that was wrong?
Or maybe her method doesnt really work on children
this young. I dont understand it enough to have an
opinion on whether it should work, even. Anjuli is
going over Jeans notes to see if she can figure out
whats going on, see if theres something Jean
missed. Jean-Paul shrugged. If thats not on your
mind, Adam, what did you want to talk about?
He looked away, not meeting Jean-Pauls gaze. I
dont know if I should do this. I feel like Ive kind
of forfeited my right to come to you with my
problems. He sighed. But I trust your judgment and
your discretion more than anyone else I know,
Jean-Paul. And Im at a loss for what to do. I dont
feel like I can talk to anybody else about this. In
fact, thats part of the problem I think Ive said
too much already to someone I shouldnt have spoken
This all sounds very mysterious. Is it about the
mission you just got back from? Adam nodded. And
youre not supposed to talk about it?
Do you think its okay to tell me?
A few months ago I would have told you without
hesitation. I always feel dont tell anybody has a
sort of a spousal exemption, dont you? Weve
certainly told each other all sorts of confidential
information. About both of our jobs, about people we
know. I trusted you with information about what was
going on in Belarus when I wasnt telling anyone
anything. Thats part of being a couple, or so I
always thought. But now that were separated not
together, not quite apart well, I dont know what to
do. I feel like Im imposing on you.
Its not an imposition, bien sur, Adam. Thats not
my concern. Its more that, well if its something
Cyclops doesnt want the other X-Men to know... Im
an X-Man now. Maybe I ought not hear it, hein?
I know. Ive thought of that. But I need your
advice. I need to talk to someone before I report to
Cyclops. Im not sure how much to report back. Look,
let me just tell you a little about the nature of the
mission, without revealing the confidential parts.
And then you can decide whether you want to hear the
Well, it was an information gathering mission.
Thats why he sent me. Theres a reporter a guy
from the Washington Times and hes doing a story on
the X-Men. A kind of an exposé, apparently, looking
for scandal. And hes focusing on Scott, on his
background. Scott wanted me to do some digging of my
What kind of digging?
Looking into Scotts background and seeing what I
could find out about him, so he could be prepared in
case this guy finds out damaging information.
That sounds like there is some damaging information
Scotts got hidden and hes wants to see how well its
Exactly. That was my impression, too.
And you found what it was that Scott is hiding?
Adam nodded. So whats the dilemma? You tell him
what you found, and he decides how to deal with it.
Its not that simple. I kind of found more than I
bargained for. I did find some things that I think
Scotts been hiding, but I also found some stuff I
dont think he knows. Adam threw up his hands.
Look, its getting hard talking about this without
really talking about it, you know? I trust you
completely. I know you wont tell anybody. Cant we
just let the spousal exemption extend to now, just for
Oui. Its fine. I think I know what its about,
You found out that Scott was involved in sex trade
when he was a teenager, nest-ce pas?
Yes, thats part of it, anyway. How did you know?
Mostly I just guessed. He was homeless, and without
family in his teens. Moi aussi, but I wasnt blind
and I had more options. I didnt think Scott joined
the circus like I did, hein? He thought about it a
little more. How did you find out?
I spoke to someone who knew him then. A man named
How did you meet him? Might this reporter find him,
I dont think so, but I cant be sure. Scott gave me
a big stack of condolence letters to go through. Not
for this mission to get ideas for the write up I did
on Professor X for the memorial service program. And
the one from this guy sort of stood out. It was clear
that hed known Scott a long time ago, clear that he
didnt know Charles. And... I dont know. There was
something odd about it. I had a feeling that there
had been something about their relationship, something
that wasnt quite... right. So, I met him and asked a
few questions. I gave him the impression I already
knew more than I really did. I think he told me more
than he meant to.
They always do. Thats your mutant power, Adam, if
anything is. He thought for a minute. He knew
Scott when he was a teenager?
He kept him. Looks to be about mid-fifties now. An
advertising executive. He was married at the time,
hiding a blind fifteen-year-old lover in a studio
apartment in the city. Telling his wife he was
working late and had to stay over, then going home to
her in the burbs on the weekend.
Wow! He considered that for a minute. You know, I
think Scott had it better than some. I mean, it
sounds pretty sordid when you say it like that, but
better than being on the street, hein?
Definitely better. And it got worse pretty quickly.
The thing with Graves didnt last. His wife found
out, and then Scott *was* on the street. For about a
year. This guy Graves is pretty much wracked with
guilt about that. I think thats a lot of why he
talked to me kind of purging his soul.
So, you dont want Scott to know that this man is
talking about that period in his life? I think he
ought to know.
No, thats not the part Im worried about. I agree
he should know that I found that out. I had a lead
that not anyone would have, but its not the only one,
Im sure. If I got this information, Rick Kapell
Rick Kapell. Hes the reporter from the Washington
Times I told you about. He looked at Jean-Paul.
I I know him.
He interviewed you? I know hes called several of the
No, he didnt interview me. I didnt know he was on
this story. I just met him. In a bar.
I didnt tell him anything, Adam. Vraiment. I uh
I spent one night with him. I thought Id never see
him again, but hes been calling.
Well, you shouldnt have given him your number if you
didnt want him to call, Adam said, trying to keep
the edge out of his voice. Not that its any of my
business, he added.
I didnt give him my number. Well, not
intentionally. He hesitated. Im feeling very
awkward talking to you about this.
I understand. I feel the same. But, can you try? I
withdraw the snarky remark about giving out your phone
number. I want us to still be able to talk to each
Jean-Paul nodded. Okay, so I met him in a bar, but I
spent the night with him in his hotel room. I knew
hes a reporter and here on business. I didnt know
he was with the Washington Times, or investigating the
X-Men. Hes a friend of Jake Pattersons.
Yes, I know. Jake gave him my name and he called me.
Thats how I knew about this X-Men investigation in
the first place. How do you know Rick and Jake are
He told me. He connected me with the article, the one
Jake wrote. He asked me about Alpha Flight.
You didnt tell him anything, did you?
You know I dont talk about my work to outsiders. He
asked me if Im an X-Man now. I didnt tell him
anything, vraiment. I thought the questions were
innocent, just wanting to get to know me, hein? He
seemed... like he liked me, wanted to know me better.
He asked to see me again, wanted to exchange numbers.
But you didnt?
Jean-Paul shook his head. Only Id called here to
say I would be out all night. I talked to Wendy. My
cell didnt work in the hotel, so I called from his
room phone. So, he had the number here on his bill.
Hes been calling me since.
Do you think it was a setup? That he knew who you
I dont *think* so. He didnt seem to. He seemed
genuine. But who knows? Maybe hes a good liar.
He has to be, to be gay and working at the Washington
Im sorry, Adam. I had no idea. Ive told him
nothing. Believe me.
Of course, I believe you. Youre nothing if not
discreet. He looked down. Its not some imagined
lapse of discretion on your part Im worried about.
Its my own indiscretion. I think Ive said too much.
What did you tell him?
I didnt tell him what I found out. I did say some
of what I was looking for. I went to Scotts home
town to speak to his parents. I told Jake where I
Well, its like you said, nest-ce pas? Spousal
exemption? Are you worried because of his friendship
with Rick? Worried hell talk to him?
I dont know. I dont know how worried I *should*
be. He says he wont say anything. I want to trust
to his discretion. But I really shouldnt have told
him so much. I dont think spousal exemption
qualifies. Jake and I well, we never got to that
point. Its not like it was with you and me, a
committed relationship with a future. Or what we
thought was one. He stopped and put his head in his
hands for a minute. This is very hard to talk about,
Im sorry. Umm, well what Jake and I had, it was the
beginning of a relationship, maybe. It wasnt far
enough along to be talking to him like this. I dont
know why I did.
Maybe you want that kind of relationship with him,
and so you kind of jumped over the intermediate
Adam shook his head. I think I just missed that
level of intimacy, the kind of openness that you and I
had. So, I sort of... projected it on Jake or
something. Whatever. Im confused. Im not sure why
I did it. I do know it was premature. And, well,
actually Jake and I arent seeing each other anymore,
so now Im all the more worried that he wont feel
bound to keep what I told him confidential.
I didnt know.
It just happened. I went to see him after I finished
the mission, before I came back here. I told Jake I
dont feel like I can do this anymore, that its too
soon after you and me separating. I told him I just
cant have a lover right now.
So do you think its just temporary?
Adam shook his head. No, its over. Theres more,
but I didnt tell him it all. Ive been thinking a
lot about what you said, about it being harder for you
me being with Jake than with anybody else. And I
feel like this was a bad idea. I just kind of fell
into the relationship. Im not in love with him.
Maybe I would be, eventually, if we stayed together,
but Im not now. So, I thought some more about that.
Why do I need to do this? I have time to figure out
what I want. There are a lot of men in the world.
Why would I want to be with the one who makes it
hardest for me to get along with my ex? Its so
important that you and I develop a working
relationship after the breakup, that were able to
effectively parent Ezra together. I dont want to put
a stumbling block between us.
I do appreciate that, Adam. I worry, though. I
wonder if youll feel like I pressured you into
breaking up with him, hein? And end up resenting me
No, its not you. I dont feel like you pressured
me. What you said just made me think more, think
about what I want. And it made me realize that I was
kind of at a crossroads. It really was time for Jake
to meet Ezra, to meet all my family and friends, if
the relationship was going to progress. And the more
I thought about that the more I found myself stalling.
I finally realized that I dont want to take the
relationship to that level. And its not just because
I think that my mother would kill him for not being
you. Jean-Paul smiled at that. Adam continued.
That I didnt want to move to the next stage meant
something I figured I should listen to that. So, I
told him I think we need to call it off.
And is he angry?
No, I think just sad. Im not thinking hes going to
call Rick Kapell up out of spite or anything like
that. Im just worried that he might be less than
careful. You know?
Oui. It could happen. What did you find out, Adam?
What are you so worried about? Not just that Scott
was a hustler.
No, its something else. Adam took a deep breath.
You know Scotts from Indiana, right?
Yes, thats about all I know about his childhood.
Thats all he says, that hes from a small town in
Right. Well, thats not what his birth certificate
or passport says. Scott had fake documents, giving
him a whole new birthplace and parentage. So, I
figured there had to be something in Indiana that he
was hiding. I found his original birth certificate
and his home town. It is small Goodland, Indiana.
I went to interview Scotts parents. His fathers
dead, but I spoke to his mother. And from there I did
a lot of digging. Ive been a lot of places, talked
to a lot of people. Read police reports, trial
transcripts including some that were sealed. His
father was killed.
Yes. The same day Scott ran away from home.
Jean-Paul, I think Scott killed him. It was ruled
homicide, but I think it was an accident. I think it
happened when he came into his powers. Ill bet
anything thats what hes afraid Rick will find out.
Tabernac! How old was he?
Old enough to be tried as an adult there? Adam
nodded. Uncontrolled mutant powers havent proven
much of a defense in the past. No wonder he ran.
Well, hed better know then. Youd better tell him.
Whether youre right or not, the fact that you think
it means someone else could. Even if not Rick.
Scotts getting a lot of attention now. If theres a
chance that someones going to show up on his doorstep
with a warrant for his arrest for murder I think
hes better off knowing.
Its not going to happen. Thats not what Im
Someone else was convicted of the murder. And I
dont think he did it. Ive looked at the evidence.
It doesnt seem possible, what they say happened. The
way he died, I think it was Scotts optic blasts that
killed him. But as far as law enforcement is
concerned, it was your standard blunt instrument and
this is a closed case.
So Scott killed him, but someone else went to
Adam nodded. Not quite prison. A center for violent
juveniles. Not much different.
Who was it?
Scotts brother. Alexander Summers. I dont think
Scott has any idea. And I dont know if hes better
off knowing or not. Yes, if Rick Kapells going to
get wind of it and print it in the Washington Times.
But if not? I dont know.
Mofic Website: www.angelfire.com/comics/mo
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