Under the Trees (Whats Past is Prologue 18/18)
Jean and Scott staked out Nicks place for much of the
afternoon. They had no trouble getting into his
building. It wasnt a doorman building and it was
large enough that people who lived there didnt expect
to know all their neighbors. It was pretty easy to
just piggyback on someone else entering, Scott with
his keys at the ready. Looking like residents, the
real residents having no clue they were keys for
somewhere else entirely.
Theyd gone up to Nicks apartment. Jean had
pinpointed it on Cerebro before they left. Thanks,
Scott had told her, when she gave him the address.
Ill be back as soon as I can.
Im coming with you.
He shook his head. Im taking Logan. Youre hors de
Well, maybe my going along will ensure it doesnt
turn into a combat mission."
"Not this time. I appreciate the offer."
"Scott, Logan is not the man for this mission. With
the mood youre in lately and the mood hes in all
the time someones likely to get killed if its you
and Logan. Hed hesitated, and shed added. Come on.
You need me. I can tell you whats going on in that
apartment. Yeah, he could tell you what they're
saying, if you're close enough, but I can tell you
what they're *thinking*. And together you and I have a
better chance of convincing her to come back than
either of us would alone. Better than you and Logan,
for sure. Hed nodded his agreement.
Now, in the hall outside Nicks apartment, Scott was
glad hed agreed. Jean listened telepathically and
held up four fingers, to indicate how many people were
in the apartment. Scott shook his head. Too many.
Jean nodded. I dont want to be seen waiting here,
he added. How far can you hear their thoughts from?
Im not sure. Lets try the coffee shop downstairs.
It was a tall building, and mostly studios and one
bedrooms, which made for a lot of people. It took
great concentration on Jeans part to stay focused on
the thoughts emanating from the occupants of 12A, but
she managed. When they worried that they were staying
too long in the coffee shop, they tried walking along
the block, stopping into shops. Three buildings down
seemed to be the limit of Jeans telepathic range.
Trying to stay inconspicuous, they bought something in
each shop along the way, taking as long as they could
without attracting attention. And then went back to
the coffee shop.
How many now?
Just Nick and RoseAnn. The first guy left a while
ago. I think hes in the building, though. Maybe he
lives in one of the other apartments. That other one
just left a minute ago. I could hear him at the
elevator, impatient to get out of there. Well
probably see him come out. A minute later she nudged
Scott and told him to look out the window. Thats
him, she said, as a man emerged from the building and
walked quickly across the street, getting into a
waiting car. He had a messengers bag slung over his
shoulder, his arm holding it tight against his body.
What were they doing in there all this time? Scott
A drug deal.
Was Nick buying or selling?
Buying. Large quantities, I guess. That bag was full
of cash. Its all that guy was thinking about.
Any sign of Nick leaving soon? Or RoseAnn?
She shook her head. No, they dont seem to be
thinking about going anywhere. Theyre sitting on the
bed, watching TV.
Shit. I wanted to get to her alone, but I think we
shouldnt wait. Who knows what else will be going on
in there? I dont want her involved in or exposed to
any more of Nicks business. I want her out now.
As they approached the apartment, Jean reached to
press the buzzer. No, Scott said. Stand back.
Switching glasses for visor, he opened it slightly.
Red light flashed quickly as the lock disintegrated
with the force.
Nick looked pretty much like Scott had expected. A
little too good looking in a slick, flashy way.
Mid-thirties. Currently looking both surprised and
pissed off. Who are you and what the fuck are you
doing here? was his greeting.
Weve come to take RoseAnn home. Come on RoseAnn,
Scott said, looking right at her.
Tawny, you know these people? And then, recognition
dawning, Ah, theyre the freaks.
Mr. Summers. Dr. Grey. I... RoseAnn seemed at a loss
Jean stepped in. This isnt a safe place for you,
RoseAnn. We need you to come with us now. Well talk
on the way back.
Shes not going anywhere. Certainly not back to that
freak house. She doesnt belong with you muties.
Youre not getting a chance to exploit her anymore,
Scott said between gritted teeth.
Nick says I dont have to work anymore.
Jean spoke again. RoseAnn, dont trust him. I dont
know what he has planned for you, but think about it.
Youre fourteen years old. You need home and
protection and education and safety, everything were
offering you. Not a life with some drug-dealing pimp.
Well talk about Jamie later, Scott answered, in his
most commanding voice. This is not where you belong.
He held out his arm to her and she got up off the bed,
starting to walk towards him.
Nick jumped up and grabbed her before she could go
anywhere. One hand across RoseAnns chest, he pulled a
gun out of his pocket with the other. He aimed it at
Jean, then Scott, seeming unsure of where to point it.
Leave now, if you know whats good for you, he said.
Tawny is staying with me.
We dont want any trouble here. Jeans voice was
calm, almost soothing. RoseAnn is going to come with
us. Youve got other girls, Nick. You dont need her.
Yeah, I do. Her parents want her back and theyre
willing to pay. I need you muties out of here before
her mother shows up. Im not letting you screw up this
Come on, babe. It would take a shit load of tricks
for you to earn me fifteen grand, and thats what your
mom is willing to give, no questions asked.
I cant go back there!
He held her tighter, waving the gun at Scott and Jean,
frozen in place. So you run away again. Big deal.
Turning towards the two X-Men, he added, You two
out! Or therell be more trouble than you can handle.
He cocked the gun.
Before he could do anything more, the barrel started
bending, twisting, until the end of it was folded,
pointing back at Nick. What the fuck!
Nick dropped the useless gun, but his arm moved up to
RoseAnns neck and he gripped her tightly. Nick,
youre hurting me, she said, but then she was
coughing as he squeezed, having trouble talking.
He backed into the wall, RoseAnn in front of him, one
arm around her neck and the other round her waist.
Get out! he yelled. Now! I dont want to hurt her,
but I will if you dont leave.
Scott reached to his temple and opened the visor. A
red light emerged, blasting a hole the size of a
baseball into the wall, three or four inches from
Nicks ear. Scotts voice was even and clear. Okay,
now you know what I can do. And you know that Ive got
good aim. A few inches to the left and that would have
been your head. I do it again and it will be. Take
your fucking hands off my daughter or Ill kill you
where you stand.
Nicks hands fell to his sides and RoseAnn ran over to
Scott. One arm encircled her, as he kept the other
hand at the visor controls. He held her as she sobbed.
Are you okay? he asked, eyes still on Nick. She
nodded into his chest. Sit down! he told Nick,
gesturing towards a chair. Nick did what he was told,
eyes never leaving the visor.
What is there here that we can secure him with?
Scott asked RoseAnn. I just need him immobile for a
She pointed at a closet. Theres packing materials in
there. Some rope, I think.
Scott nodded. Jean, get the rope. Tie him to the
chair. As she started to move towards Nick with the
rope, he added, No. Stay back. I dont want to give
him a chance to try anything.
She nodded and the rope floated over to Nick. He
watched, astonished, as the ropes wrapped themselves
around his wrists, forming knots around the chair
It doesnt have to be neat, Scott added. Youre not
doing sutures. As long as it will keep him in place
for a few minutes, its fine. He turned to RoseAnn.
Where are the drugs?
In the wall safe. Behind that picture.
Fine. Open it up.
Nick sputtered a minute, then composed himself,
saying, Tawny doesnt know the combination.
I dont need a combination, she said, taking the
picture out of the way. RoseAnns hand came up and she
held it there, concentrating for a minute. The safe
opened. It was full of clear plastic bags filled with
Good. Okay, Jean are you done? RoseAnn, get the
phone. Youre going to call 911.
What do I say?
You dont say anything. Theyll talk to you, try to
get you to talk. Dont answer at all, not a word. Just
stay on the line until they say the address. Then hang
up. Theyll send the cops right over. Standard
protocol if no one speaks.
RoseAnn followed Scotts instructions. Were leaving
now, Cyclops said, as soon as she hung up. Both women
walked out with him.
The police car was just pulling up as the three
mutants exited the building. Wheres the car? Scott
The next block. Are you guys mad at me?
Jean gave her a hug. Scott shook his head. No, not
really, he said. Mostly sad that you didnt come to
one of us. And Im sad that I havent been more
available to you, in general. Im sorry, RoseAnn.
Im sorry I ran away. It was a stupid thing to do.
Yes, it was.
It kind of slipped out. They reached the car. Give
me the keys, Cyclops added.
I dont have keys. I dont need keys.
No, of course not. Well, fine. You start it, but Im
driving. As of now, were back to obeying the law.
Jean took her cell phone out and called Xaviers as
they pulled out of the parking space. Scott heard her
say, Ill tell him.
What will you tell me?
Youve got an appointment at the White House
tomorrow. With the President.
Hard again? Logan kissed Scott, holding the base of
his cock in his fist, stroking slowly with thumb and
forefinger. I like this. He pushed his tongue into
Scotts mouth. Scott sucked on it, moaning a little.
Logan pulled back from the kiss after a minute, still
stroking. Was Nick more dangerous than you let on?
he asked. Did he almost take you?
Scott laughed. Are you kidding? Some two-bit criminal
against Jean and me? And RoseAnn, for that matter, he
added. Shes going to be some fighter when she grows
up. He licked his lover on the neck. Believe me, it
was a foregone conclusion. Why did you say that?
Youre so into it tonight. This is how you always get
after a narrow escape. You know dying for dick.
Cant get enough.
Yeah, you never noticed? I sure have. Id even been
thinking maybe I could get some villain to almost kill
you, get you back in gear. Only I got stuck on
guaranteeing the almost part, so I gave up on that
Scott laughed. Thanks for your concern for my
welfare. He turned serious, thinking about what Logan
had said. Am I really like that after dangerous
missions? Logan nodded. Sex as a life-affirming
gesture, I guess. Scott thought some more. Its been
better lately, hasnt it? Sex, I mean. I really have
I know. Thanks for that. And, yeah, its been
better. He bent down and sucked on the head of
Scotts cock for a minute, tongue swirling around,
then pushing into the slit. But tonight, he added,
raising his head, it feels like youre not trying.
Like you just want it, want me. Cant get enough of
me. And thats even better.
I do want you. Would you fuck me again, Logan?
Sure thing. Turn over.
And then Scott was lying there, face down, legs
slightly spread. Logan kissed his cheeks, licking
right where the crack began. He spread more lube on
himself, rubbing his cock slowly as he did. Taking his
time, enjoying the sight of his lover waiting to be
fucked. He got on top of Scott, pushing in all the
way, then lying there still, deep inside him. One hand
on Scotts cock, the other on his shoulder. Youre
easy to get into.
Im relaxed. Ready for you. Scott took Logans hand
from his shoulder and kissed the fingers. Would you
do something for me? he asked.
Sure. What? Logan was starting to move in him now,
stroking Scotts erection as he did.
Extend your claws on this hand.
I dont know. Still fucking slowly. "Its hard for
me to control how I move when Im... My hands... I
dont think its safe.
Its okay. Ill hold you by the wrist. I can control
it for you. I just want to see them, touch them, while
youre fucking me.
There was a Snikt! sound right by Scotts ear and then
they were out. Logan was moving a little faster now,
long strokes punctuated by growls and grunts. Watch
out for the edges, he said, somewhat breathlessly.
I will. The glint of adamantium was exciting Scott
even more. The feel of Logan inside him, Logans hand
stroking him, added to the sight of the claws in front
of him and filled him with desire. He pushed back,
moving with his lover, and reached out with his tongue
to touch the metal claw.
Fuck, this is good, Logan said. Faster and stronger,
talking and pushing and stroking until he felt Scott
coming underneath him. Then, retracting the claws, he
pulled Scott up on hands and knees. The whole weight
of his metal-laced body resting on the man beneath
him, Logan continued fucking with a ferocious
intensity until he came, too.
They lay side by side afterwards, smiling but not
touching or speaking. After a while, Scott reached out
and took Logans hand, feeling the places in between
the fingers, marveling at the unbroken skin.
Maybe I did have a narrow escape, he said. Just not
like you thought.
What do you mean?
I was so scared of losing RoseAnn. Scared she
wouldnt come back to us. I felt like I fucked things
up irreparably with her. Destroyed another
relationship. An important one, more important than I
even realized. When Nick grabbed her, I called her my
daughter. Can you believe that? It just came out
take your hands off my daughter. I dont even know
where that came from.
Channeling the professor? He always called the kids
here his children.
Maybe. Maybe something else, something about RoseAnn
in particular. About what I want to do for her, what I
thought Id lost, losing her. But then I found I
didnt really lose her after all. She did come with
Jean and me. She did leave Nick. I dont know what
will happen with her and Jamie, but Im pretty sure
shes not leaving here again.
I think youre right.
Jamie, too I could have lost him. I couldnt blame
him at all if he wouldnt forgive me. I was horrid to
him. But he seems to understand that that was about
me, not him. He seems willing to accept my apology.
Hes a good kid. Hes got perspective. Hell look at
the whole of who you are and what youve been to him,
not one bad day.
Scott nodded, then sighed. And then theres Alex,
too. Another narrow escape. Id lost him. And, I dont
know, I feel like I lost part of me, too, all these
years. Lost my childhood. I feel like Ive got a
chance to reclaim that now, in some sense. Like Alex
is the key to that.
When are you picking him up?
Tomorrow. Im going out in the Blackbird and getting
him. Its done. Signed, sealed, delivered. I wanted it
done right away and luckily its good timing for
Obama, too. With things heating up in North Korea,
hes hoping thats where the press attention will be
and it wont get a lot of comment.
Its a risk, though. Presidential pardon of a violent
criminal. Right when the Presidents up for
He wanted to wait until after the election. I
couldnt do that to Alex. I talked to him the other
day, after the lawyer gave him the bad news. He
sounded awful. Not even angry at me, just despondent.
I got his hopes up Ive got to deliver.
So what did you give Obama to get him to do this for
You mean other than my soul? Scott smiled grimly and
shrugged. Our services, for starters. X-Men missions,
as he needs them.
He didnt settle for that, did he? Youre already
doing that. How many missions have you done for him
since the wars over? The Professor got most of the
concessions on mutant rights that way.
Well, I suggested we might not be so cooperative in
the future if he didnt pardon Alex. He sighed. But
youre right. Thats not all I gave him.
Veto power. I said Id consult him before we
undertake missions for foreign governments. And not
take them on if he feels they compromise the U.S.
Yeah. I hate to lose our independence. Im hoping it
just wont come up as an issue. Or if it does, that
once he explains Ill end up agreeing we shouldnt do
it. But it does feel like a bit of a Faustian
bargain. He rolled over, threw an arm around Logan,
and held him close. Nobody knows, Scott whispered in
his lovers ear. Its completely sub rosa. Im not
telling anyone but you, and Im pretty sure the
President isnt telling anyone. I had to do it. I need
Alex out of there. I need him in my life.
Im telling you, Scott. Hes trouble.
I know it. Im going into this with my eyes open.
Its not just him, not just because of what hes
like. Hes your brother. Under your command. Thats
just full of problems.
You think Ill go easy on him because hes my
brother? Do I go easy on you? On any of them? The
teams full of people I care about. Thats just the
way we are. It doesnt stop me from doing whats
I know. Im not saying it does. He stroked Scotts
hair in silence for a minute, then continued. Its
different with him, though. Youve got to watch
yourself. Youre feeling too guilty for what happened
to him. You cant let that affect how you treat him,
not as an X-Man.
Youre right. Ill watch for that. You watch for me,
too. Tell me if you think Im treating him different
from the others. Okay?
Sure. But its not just you. Its him, too. Hes not
disciplined, not used to an outfit like this. And
maybe hell expect you to go easy on him, eh? Maybe
hell think youre being extra hard on him if you
dont give him special treatment. Maybe the rest of
the team will think youre going easy on him, even if
you arent, just because theyre expecting you to.
Theres just so many ways this could go bad.
Yeah, I know. Like you said, he could wreak havoc
with the X-Men. Ill be on the lookout for that, do
what I can to avert it. Deal with it if it happens.
But Ive got to do this, Logan. Ive got to give him a
Thanks for understanding. Scott got on top of Logan,
kissed him on the mouth, grinding his hips against
Hey, you wanna fuck again? Logan said, smiling.
Yeah, Scott answered, smiling too now and sounding
almost surprised at himself. Yes, I do.
Mofic Website: www.angelfire.com/comics/mo
Do You Yahoo!?
Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around