Title: "The Lucky Woman"
Characters: Jean and Scott (others mentioned: Logan. Xavier, Ororo)
Summary: Jean reflects on the man she loves.
Disclaimer: I don't own anyone mentioned here, and the person who does own them would probably laugh at this anyway. Basically, please don't sue!
Comments: Always welcome, no matter what kind, flames or fan mail.
Everyone thinks that Scott's lucky. And by lucky, I mean that in the most loose, ironic sense...I suppose. 'Cursed' is the word people use when they talk about his powers, but when they talk about me, they say he's lucky. No one can figure out how someone as lively as I can be could ever like a straight-lacer like Scott. Ain't love grand?
But there's more to it than just that mistaken assumption. Scott was a total recluse by the time Charles found him. Not that I can blame him for it, but it nearly broke my heart to hear what lengths Scott had gone to just so he could protect others from his powers. Every night, the man I love duct-taped his eyes shut to ward off the random chance that he would wake up and without thinking open his eyes. True, a lot of the students at the school when we were younger had similar sob stories, and I was even one of them. My parents thought I was schizophrenic because I heard voices. When I moved objects with careless thoughts, they were convinced they had a poltergeist on their hands. But everyone survives, and no one here has ever wanted or asked for pity.
You know what else? Everyone thinks that Scott fell in love with me first. Not even close. By the time he even noticed me, I had adored him from afar for at least three months. Most people laugh at that and tease Scott worse for being blind. If there is one thing that Scott likes to hear even less than comments about our age difference, it's that. Never tell someone who can only see under special circumstances that they are blind. As close as I am to him, I know how terrified Scott is of the rare moments where he must hide behind his own eyelids. After he arrived in Westchester, Scott was an insomniac almost on par with a telepath.
Like me. Getting the idea yet? Voices are really loud to telepaths, and to the untrained mind, shutting out the endless streams of thought from others is next to impossible. The Professor offered to place dampers in my mind, but as all my powers stem from it, I would rather few, if any, trespass and change things there. Needless to say, that made for some rather sleepless nights. How can you sleep when the child in the bunk next to you is dreaming so loudly that you cannot hear your own thoughts?
Scott was afraid to sleep because of the dark. It sounds childish to say he was afraid of the dark, but more or less that's what it was. Scott would be fine in the dark itself, but the black behind his eyelids terrified him. He once told me that blinking was an action worthy of raising his blood pressure. As I do with my mind, Scott protects his eyes even as he fears their destructive powers.
The first night he was there, Scott walked into the kitchen in his boxers and a tee shirt. I can remember everything from that night; that's not saying much, though, because telepaths have every memory scoured into their minds, but that one is readily available, and in detail, whenever I think about Scott. I recall blushing because I thought I was intruding, even though I had been at the table with my book for an hour at the time.
I think he was surprised, too. The damnable thing about Scott's glasses is that you can never tell for sure what emotion lies behind them. Unless his eyebrows dance or he does something particularly drastic with the rest of his face, Scott is a blank slate. Anyway, it didn't take long for me to figure out that I had a partner in sleeplessness. After one week, I started leaving less of my homework for the early mornings so I could spend more time talking to Scott. Somehow it helped me fall asleep; I can't explain how exactly, but Scott's and my shared trauma made both our burdens lighter.
And what girl wouldn't kill to have a gorgeous boy all to herself at that hour? Scott might have been a model if not for his powers. I thank God sometimes that I can't see his eyes all the time; if they're as blue as he says they were, I would just melt every time I saw him. I'm already notorious for doing just that, so better that I not add to the reputation. It amazes me how a 'modern' woman like myself is still so easily undone by a man. The feminist movement would hate me.
Scott never looked at me the way I looked at him, or at least I think he didn't...the glasses problem remember? What I can tell for sure was how all the other girls at school looked at Scott. Even Ororo admits that she used to stare at Scott's...ahem! I'm getting sidetracked. The point is that Scott was and still is beautiful. We had a few stunners in our class, women I had always considered handsomer than myself, Ororo being one of them, as a matter of fact. It did wonders for my self-esteem, as you can well imagine.
For months, I wondered what it would take to get Scott's attention When one of the girls flirted with him, I sat and took notes, just in case I ever worked up the nerve to do the same. I couldn't believe my luck when Scott turned them all down. Just when every female student was giving up on him, calling him all sorts of names both aloud and silently, I was warming up to him. Ha! Warming? Try red-hot for him. I can't believe I just said that. As Logan will tell you, I can do the mushy love-talk, but the randy sex-talk is not usually my forte. Fortunately, telepathy helps out a lot by conveying the thoughts without the words.
Graduation was the saddest day of my life. That sounds awful, but it was true for me. I was older than Scott by three years; I had only begun to love him by the time that day arrived, the day that would ostensibly separate us. Well, separate me from him more than us. We weren't an 'us' yet. All that I had to expect was more schooling, this time from a university. The atmosphere of living away from home was not new, but being away from others like me...now that was frightening. You learn to love this school real quick while you're here.
Scott bought me a graduation present. Just like that. A few months of shared insomnia, a few friendly chats at more regular hours, and not much else, but still he bought me a gift. Try to imagine how flustered I was when I realized I was the only one to whom he gave anything. He considered me a friend, or so I thought. While that was nice, I so desperately wanted him to make some sort of move Even if he was far too forward and I had to slap him for it, at least he would have approached me romantically once before I left.
It was a coffee maker. Working for two months doing odd jobs, Scott had saved up enough to buy me a nice, portable coffee maker for my dorm. In his card, he wrote, "Guaranteed to ensure you many more a sleepless night." I asked if that meant I could call home and talk to him. At that moment, I knew he was looking straight into my eyes. He said he would wait up every night until I did.
Most people hear that and want to gag. I had the same reaction, but for a _very_ different reason. Scott's words made my stomach play Twister. I can't remember what very witty thing I never said back to him, but we spent the rest of the Graduation dance together. If he had asked, I would have stayed and spent that night and the rest of all of my nights with him. I don't know whether the fact he didn't was the best thing, but it gave me something to dream about while away at school.
And I did call, every morning at about one o'clock. Scott made me laugh by telling me how he had to disconnect the phones in every room except the kitchen so as not to wake up the rest of the house. For a sixteen year-old, Scott had a very old soul. Maybe that's why it was so easy to forget the fact that I was older, and that at the time I fell in love with him, Scott was only fifteen.
Medical school ended our midnight conversations. Scott was in college, so calling him was not so much of a potential sleep interrupter, but my courses bogged me down left and right. Odd hours, too, so sometimes I would be on call during that one o'clock hour. I never ceased to think about what I used to do at that hour, not even in the middle of a crisis. Scott and I kept in touch, both with each other and the school, but for a while, it seemed like the spark was dying out. For exactly four years, we had shared everything over the phone or in the morning in the kitchen during my breaks. Losing that constant contact made me understand why long distance relationships are so ill fated.
Bless the Professor. I do. He requested a doctor for the school, essentially creating a brand new residency program. Was it any coincidence that I was selected? Or that I accepted and desired that placement? Not at all. I wanted to give back to that school; it meant so much to me, and I wanted to be sure I could contribute to those who would need it in increasingly uncomfortable times.
Okay, I admit it, part of it was to recapture some of that nostalgic fondness, but I had no idea Scott would be there, too. Seriously, the Professor conveniently neglected to mention that Scott had taken enough courses outside of college to qualify him as a teacher in New York State. I never took those courses, though I have been drafted to teach the classes to which medical school brought me closest. I know Scott is proud of his teacher's degree; as nerdy as it may seem to someone like Logan, to Scott, to be accomplished is to realize a part of Professor Xavier's dream.
I could never, not even with an infinite amount of time nor a billion descriptive words and phrases, ever explain how it felt to see Scott after four years of being apart and mostly out of touch. Before I walked into Charles' study, I had a flash, a vision of him, which I chalked up to the same nostalgia I had craved. When I entered to find Scott sitting in the leather chair in front of the Professor's desk, I nearly died. He turned as I came in, smiling as he had never done in all the years I had known him.
That was it. Yeah, I know, real romantic, right? You have no idea how that made me swoon. If Scott had been a beautiful boy, the man version defied definition save to say that he made Adonis look no better than Quasimoto. Scott the man had a sexiness that can only come with time and experience in the world. Well, that and the build. Scott had been fit all his life, a lean fit that made him worthy of his nickname, "Slim." Now, he sported serious muscles. I should know, I counted most of them as they stood out underneath his shirt.
Beyond the physical, there was an ethereal confidence that rolled off his sculpted shoulders. He had always been in charge of himself, taking control over every aspect of his life to make up for lacking control over his powers. This older Scott was not in rigid control, as the boy had been, he was merely comfortable with himself while still holding to the rules that he enforced. Responsibility, that's what it was. Responsibility had taught Scott that flexibility could exist with control.
Did I mention that I loved him when he was young? I felt that and more when I saw him. When he stood to come shake my hand, I had a hard time remembering my name. I realized that he hadn't asked for my name, that he knew it, but some part of my brain did not understand why Scott Summers was interested in plain old Jean Grey. It took much of my famous stubbornness and spunk to recover. I remembered that 'plain old Jean Grey' was considered quite the object of attraction to many. It was just Scott who had never seemed to consider me that way.
And I had never considered him as anything except an obsession, a wonderfully sweet object of puppy love that maturity told me was just that. Maturity be damned. Maybe relative to what I later felt it was puppy love, but there was nothing flippant or immature about my attraction to Scott, not as a teenager, not ever.
Especially not when I saw Scott the man. If the Professor caught any of the thoughts that went through my brain in the ten seconds between Scott's 'hey' comment and my eventual greeting, he never said. God, I really hope he didn't. Not one of those thoughts was pure in the slightest. My heart was in the right place, but my hormones lead the charge into a hug, just so I could feel his arms around me and mine around him.
We really had missed each other. Ororo had been my best girlfriend, but Scott was really my best friend, my soul mate in ways that were more important than even the lusty ones that ran through my brain. I've asked the Professor once or twice about it, and we have basically come to the agreement that Scott and mine's rapport began in those early morning chats. Whether or not we ever became a couple, I would like to think that we would still share that close of a bond. The problem with loving him had always been the classic issues of insecurity and uncertainty of his feelings. I could have nosed around in his brain, but something greater than ethics kept from so doing. I wanted to learn about Scott, what made him tick, if you will, by being around him, not by prying it from his mind.
Some of the students with whom I am close ask me if I ever went on dates with Scott. Believe it or not, we did, several, in fact. The Professor never made any comment about appropriate behavior or the strains and tensions that a relationship could cause in the school. He trusted us, though he did point out, much to my embarrassment, that we were in a _school_. The kids were going to talk, no matter what the outcome. Most of the ones actually there when Scott and I began dating still cannot believe it ever happened. If not all then the majority of them assume that Scott was too nervous and that I asked him out instead.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Scott is shy; hardly anyone ever sees it because, as uncomfortable as he can be with taking charge, he pushes aside his personal issues whenever he teaches or goes out on a mission. The kids have always found him easy to approach, no matter his stern demeanor or general seriousness. Scott may be hesitant and retreating at times, but he is a man who knows what he wants. A man who is so sure of what he wants will act in such a manner to be sure that which he covets can and will be his.
But don't think he wasn't a little slow to come around to actually asking me out. It did take him most of that first afternoon, as he helped me move in, to work up the nerve. I think I was more relieved that he saved me the trouble more than anything else. No, actually, I was flat-out elated first, relieved second. I would have proposed to him that day if given half the chance and even a fraction of a notion.
We went out that very night. It might have been more of a 'welcome home' type deal if the Professor and Ororo had joined us. Nope, just us. It was a date, our first date, and the best night of my life. Sure, I was proud of myself for all I had achieved in my life up until then, but nothing can compare with the beginning of the realization of a dream I had had for so long. A dream that had kept me awake at night not because of the strain of telepathy but because of the pleasure thoughts of Scott brought me.
First dates traditionally end with kisses. I desperately wanted to have Scott scoop me up into his arms and kiss me that famous 'kiss to end all kisses' that I had read about in my adolescence in countless romance novels. A faction growing strength in my brain wanted much more, specifically much rougher fondling and lips that not only kissed lips but that trailed all over. I definitely get better at these sensual description things when I think more about Scott. That's not for no reason, you know.
So, how did our first date end? A group of protestors calling themselves Humans Against Mutants broke into the restaurant we had selected. They had no idea _we_ were mutants, but apparently the owner had had no reservations about serving and hiring mutants in the past. To HAM, that justified their intrusion. Scott and I had to give statements to the police a half hour later. Scott stopped the fight before it could even begin. The other man got in one shot before Scott gave up diplomacy. When the belligerent bigot wouldn't give up bothering us for not being as vehemently opposed to mutancy as he, Scott let him have it. I could have thrown a harder punch, and probably would have, but Scott let him off easy. It was the right move, one that shamed the rowdy coward into retreat. He was too embarrassed to admit to the police that he had run from Scott, so there were no charges of assault. We did hear him mumble 'mutie-lovers' over the bag of ice on his lip as we left, but I gave him a migraine to make up for it. Maybe it was an abuse of power, but if anyone deserved it, that guy did. _No one_ ruins or tries to ruin _my_ dates, especially not my first date with Scott.
I should have expected nothing less than perfectly gentlemanly behavior from Scott, but he impressed me beyond my expectations that night. He actually apologized for the interruption of our date, as if it had been his fault! Come on, admit it, you're half in love with him, too, now, right? He asked me to forgive him for fighting and tarnishing our first evening together in four years.
Better than that, he asked me out again. How could I refuse? Of course, I played it a bit cool, telling him I figured he owed me that much for the fight. Scott just smiled knowingly. I've seen that smile since, plenty of times. It's the smile that tells me he sees part of me that wants not to be strong and outgoing, that just wants to love and be loved. He never said anything, thankfully, but I have always suspected that he must have seen through my façade.
What about our first kiss? The first time we made love? Our decision to move in together? That's not why I'm telling you this. Those are memories that belong to Scott and I. Sure, I can say that the first kiss was sweet, spectacular, but beyond that, do not ask. As for the first time we made love? That is no one's business but our own. Suffice to say I never regretted any time we spent together physically and that I rather enjoyed being with him in that way. This is not a voyeurist's report so that you can get some sort of kick out of our lovemaking.
Some people say Scott is lucky to have me. I tell you now that Scott is a man who knows what he wants; I repeat it so that you rid yourself of misconceptions. Scott is lucky, I'm sure and I know he feels that way. I know his feelings better than my own at times The point here is not to prove that _he_ is lucky.
The point is to prove to you that _I_ am.