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My new Scott fic (Finally!)

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  • sl_chester@hotmail.com
    Changes by Khylea Summary: Scott is given the opportunity to control his optic beams without the need for sunglasses or a visor. But at what cost? Rating:
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 4, 2000

      by Khylea

      Summary: Scott is given the opportunity to control his optic beams
      without the need for sunglasses or a visor. But at what cost?

      Rating: Probably PG. A couple swear words (nothing bad), some sexual
      suggestiveness (no actual sex - I'm no good at writing it) LOL.

      Characters: Scott, Jean, (mostly these 2), a little of Logan, the
      Professor, Rogue

      Archive: Please ask first. I'll probably say yes, but I would
      like to
      know where it's going.

      Disclaimer: I do not own anything in this story. I am using them
      without permission. No harm is intended or should be inferred.

      Feedback: Please. Good or bad is fine. I love the ego-boosting of
      good, but bad is okay too, it helps my next one be better if I know
      what didn't work for you.

      Author's note: In the original comic books, Scott was born with
      ability to control his mutant powers, but lost the ability as a young
      boy due to a severe brain injury. (Basically, now they are stuck in
      the "on" position.) It's a long story, if you're
      interested in
      reading it, check out this site:
      http://members.nbci.com/GLX/xprofile16.html I know it doesn't
      mention anything about this in the movie, but reading this on the web
      gave me an idea for a story that refused to go away until I wrote it.
      The "Talk in the garage after Logan's arrival" that is
      referred to
      later in the story is profiled in my story "Trust" on this
      In case you don't remember, Kitty was the girl that ran through
      door in Professor Xavier's office.

      "You think you've found a way to reverse the damage."
      echoed the professor's words. Though his voice was calm and
      his face expressionless as always, Xavier could sense the excitement
      his revelation was causing in his young team leader. That had always
      been Scott's greatest fear; the inherent danger of his powers;
      need to control them with artificial devices, every moment of every
      day. "How?"
      "Have you been keeping up on how Rogue's training is
      "Pretty much. I understand she has been able to control her
      powers much better lately; that she can control the amount of damage
      she does with her touch."
      "Yes. But we've also discovered that her ability to borrow
      another mutant's powers has an unexpected side effect."
      "Side effect?"
      "If she touches another mutant quickly enough, the powers she
      absorbed from the first can be briefly transferred to the second."
      "How did you discover this?"
      "A few months ago as she was sleeping. Kitty wasn't thinking
      and when Rogue had a nightmare, she shook her to wake her up. Rogue
      pulled away and as she was recoiling, her hand briefly touched
      Jubilee. Jubilee leaned against the wall and phased through it. At
      first we didn't make the connection, but once we did, we tried it
      more controlled situations, and it repeated itself every time."
      Scott shook his head. "That's interesting, but I don't
      what it has to do with me."
      "The damage to your brain wasn't able to be healed by your
      own body, but if you linked with someone with enhanced healing
      abilities..." his voice trailed off as he saw the comprehension
      Scott's face. "I know you don't like him, Scott, but
      isn't it worth
      it to be able to control your abilities? I know that's what
      always wanted."
      Scott shook his head, not trusting himself to speak.
      "It isn't?"
      "I...just...I...I don't know." Scott leaned forward in
      chair, rubbing his temples. The headache had been especially bad
      recently. "Do you know for sure that it would work?"
      "Not for sure, no. But every test we did on Rogue came up
      positive. I reviewed your brain scans, and it appears that the damage
      could be healed with Logan's abilities."
      "Have you told anyone else about this?"
      "No. Not even Logan. I don't even know if he would allow
      Scott snorted. "Oh, he'd do it. Any opportunity to gloat
      about me owing him. He would love that."
      "Well, it's your decision of course, Scott, I just wanted to
      let you know about the possibility. There's no rush. Talk it over
      with Jean, see what she thinks. Let me know when you've made a
      Scott stood up, nodding. "I guess I have some thinking to
      do." Xavier nodded. "Goodnight Professor."
      "Night Scott."
      Scott left the office fully intending to go to bed, but once
      he got there, found he could not sleep, not even curled up next to
      Jean's soft figure. Why was he hesitating? A year ago if he'd
      given this opportunity, he would have jumped at the chance. His mind
      went back to the events of a year ago, the girl that had been injured
      at the train station. His visor being ripped away, the roof
      exploding, shrapnel falling on innocent bystanders. He had been
      checking news sites on the internet, attempting to find some clue as
      to where Magneto might have taken Rogue when the headline on the New
      York Times website stood out and slapped him beside the
      head: "Westchester Station Damaged, Girl Critically Injured"
      hadn't wanted to read the article, but hadn't been able to
      himself away from it.

      Westchester, New York: Police today are searching for the
      person responsible for an attack on the Westchester Train Station
      last night at about 9pm. The suspect is reportedly a mutant.
      According to witnesses, a man in his late twenties to early thirties
      entered the station at approximately 5 minutes to nine with a woman
      perhaps 5 years his senior. She approached the ticket counter,
      talking to the ticket agent. A short time later, another man attacked
      her, choking her and throwing her into the ticket counter. At this
      point, her companion started toward the ticket counter before being
      attacked from behind. Witnesses report seeing glimpses of another
      suspected mutant, a man who was able to climb the pillars at the
      station and an extremely long tongue which pulled the sunglasses off
      the first man. Upon the sunglasses being removed, the man's head
      jerked backward and a beam of intense energy shot up toward the
      ceiling, exploding it outward as if a bomb had been planted. The
      shrapnel from the damaged roof fell on 12 year old Alysia Cartright
      of Columbus Ohio, who had been in Westchester visiting her elderly
      "Oh it was just awful," said a bystander who wished to
      anonymous,"all those people screaming, it was like something out
      of a
      war movie, and then that poor girl. I saw a piece of cement hit her
      squarely in the forehead, and one of her arms was pinned under
      another piece. All that blood, it was just terrible." Ms.
      was taken to an area hospital where she is in critical condition with
      severe head injuries and shock. Anyone with any information on the
      whereabouts of the man in the sunglasses is asked to call the
      Westchester police station at 453-8763. All calls are confidential.
      The man is described as late 20's early 30's, approximately 6 feet
      tall, slim build, with short brown hair. He was wearing dark pants, a
      dark overcoat, a black baseball cap, and large wrap around sunglasses
      that covered a good portion of his face and both ears.

      Scott finally gave up trying to sleep and carefully eased out
      of bed. Hopefully no one would be there. He needed some time to
      The roof was empty, his favorite star gazing place vacant.
      But tonight, he was oblivious to the stars, the crickets, even the
      cold night air evoking goosebumps from his bare arms. He leaned back,
      laying out flat on the gently sloping roof. Alysia Cartright. He
      hadn't thought about her for a long time. He thought back to the
      report he had seen a few days later on Channel 5.

      ....and now an update on the young girl injured at the train
      station on Wednesday. Ms. Alysia Cartright was upgraded from critical
      to serious condition today, and doctors are confident the worst is
      behind her.
      "She's recovering well, although it remains to be seen if
      will regain full brain function. After an injury like that, it's
      never easy..."
      That update from Dr. Miles Kinney at Westchester Memorial
      Hospital, where Ms Cartright was taken after the attack. More on this
      story as it develops. Police have no leads on the attacker as of yet.
      Now, in sports...

      Scott sighed. As the reports continued to filter in over the
      next few days, the news had been far from good. She had lived, but
      was described as severely brain damaged, barely able to perform basic
      functions for herself, and the arm that had been trapped under the
      cement had not been able to be saved. So somewhere, there's a
      with brain damage and an amputated arm thanks to me, he had thought
      bitterly. He had come close to turning himself in after that. Only
      the knowledge that he would not receive a fair trial and the reminder
      from the professor that he could do more good continuing to fight for
      mutant rights rather than rotting in a jail cell had kept him at the
      "Honey, what are you doing up here?" Jean's voice
      him. He didn't think she was awake when he left. He sat up at her
      "Just thinking Jean, go back to bed. I'll be there in a
      "Uh huh. It's forty degrees out here. Here, put this
      on." She
      draped his robe around his shoulders, her touch lingering on his
      neck, stroking the short hairs at his collar. He shivered, not
      knowing if it was from her touch or the temperature.
      "Thanks," he said, reaching over to stroke one finger up her
      cheek. She pulled away with a gasp.
      "Damn, your hands are freezing! How long have you been out
      here?" He shrugged. "Scott, what's wrong? Bad dream?"
      "No, I just..." his voice trailed off. Should he tell her?
      had originally planned on making the decision himself, but now he
      didn't know. Shouldn't she be involved in a decision this
      Something like this could change both their lives. He reached around
      her, pulling her closer to him. She complied willingly, her cheek on
      his shoulder, a long sigh emanating from Jean. She loved it when he
      held her. His touch was like a wonderful warm sensation all through
      her body; the gentlest touch from him was enough to leave her aching
      for more, his mouth, his hands, all seemed how to know just how to
      touch her, how to elicit a pleasurable response, even the first time.
      She remembered the first time they met. He had been rather gawky,
      tall and lanky even then as a scared teenager, but there was
      something about him that touched her heart almost instantly, and the
      greeting handshake had made her gasp; the skin to skin contact. She
      had felt the touch all through her body, as if he had touched her
      everywhere, not just her hand, the small smile that told her he knew
      what she was thinking. She had heard the talk around the school, that
      he had "won"her, and about how lucky he was to have her, what
      a prize
      she was. She hated it. He hadn't won her any more than she had
      him. They loved each other, plain and simple, and that was that.
      Neither of them was a prize. He irritated her sometimes with his
      inability to open up to her, how he always had to be persuaded to
      take a few hours off to spend some time alone together, and dammit,
      no matter how many times he tried, he always burned the scrambled
      eggs and made the coffee too strong. She irritated him how she
      sometimes took life too casually, ignoring what he felt was terrible
      danger, how she always wanted to talk about everything when he just
      needed some time to think, and of course her attraction to Logan. But
      they had both set aside the things that the other person did that
      annoyed them, choosing instead to focus on what they loved. Jean the
      compassion, loyalty, sense of humor, and gentleness in her fiancee,
      Scott the laughter, unselfishness, dedication, and respect for others
      in Jean. And in doing so, had found a love neither wished to be
      She lifted her head from his shoulder. She could have sat
      there like that all night, but something was bothering him, and she
      couldn't leave him in pain, no matter how much she would have
      nothing better than to just hold him. "Scott, what is it?"
      she asked
      He turned toward her and opened his mouth as if to speak,
      then quickly closed it again, shaking his head. She could feel the
      confusion, the fear, in his mind. She reached out, gently pushing
      back a lock of hair from his forehead. He took her hand in both of
      his, squeezing gently. "Let's go inside, Jean."
      She laughed. "Scott Summers, I do believe that's the most
      sensible thing I have ever heard you say." He smiled, but it was
      tight, pained smile. Jean was sure, though she couldn't see them,
      that the smile never reached his eyes.
      He still wasn't ready to sleep though, so instead, he stood
      by the window, gazing out on the dimly lit grounds. Jean came up and
      hugged him from behind, her head on his shoulder. He leaned his head
      on the top of hers, his arms around hers.
      "The professor thinks he has found a way to reverse the brain
      "Brain damage. You mean yours?"
      "But, that would mean you could control your powers
      without..." her voice trailed off as the full implications of
      what he
      was saying hit her.
      "Without glasses or the visor." he finished.
      She was about to burst into an overjoyed laugh when she felt
      the hesitation and fear in him. He wasn't excited. Why wasn't
      "Scott, that's what you've always wanted. Why aren't
      He turned toward her, and around the corners of his glasses,
      she could see worry lines crinkling his face. "Because I would
      to owe Logan for it."
      "Owe him? How?"
      "The professor discovered that Rogue is like a conduit; she
      can transfer powers from one mutant to another by touching both
      briefly. He wanted Rogue to transfer Logan's powers to me to heal
      "How does he know it will work?"
      "He doesn't. But in similar tests with Rogue, he said the
      results were encouraging."
      "Oh." It made sense now. It had been over a year since Logan
      had joined the X-Men, and he and Scott still fought regularly.
      Although Jean had made it very clear to him that she had no interest
      in a relationship apart from Scott, he continued to pursue her. Scott
      had learned to respect him as a teammate, but she doubted the two of
      them would ever become anything resembling friends. "He would
      about needing his help."
      Scott nodded. "Yes."
      "But is that really so bad? I know the guilt you've felt
      innocent people have been hurt because you've lost control. And
      can't tell me you don't still think about Alysia Cartright,
      I know
      you do."
      "Yes. But it's not just Logan."
      "You're afraid. You've hidden behind the glasses for so
      years, they've become part of who you are."
      He took a deep breath, let it out slowly. "I guess that's
      part of it. But....I mean....Oh God, I don't know." He turned
      punching the window frame in frustration, hard enough that a piece of
      plaster fell off the wall. Ouch, Jean thought, that's going to
      a bruise.
      "Scott. Tell me."
      The strained look was back. "I just...I don't think I would
      feel like me."
      "What do you mean?"
      "I just...no one else is looking for a cure for their powers,
      why the hell am I?" he finally spat out with as much venom as he
      could muster. Jean was surprised at the forceful tone.
      "You're afraid you wouldn't still be a mutant?"
      He started, too embarrassed to meet her eyes. He hated talks
      like this. Hated baring his soul, even to Jean. "I don't
      know. I
      "First of all, mister, you're looking for control, not a
      cure. We both know how dangerous your powers can be without
      protection. All you would be doing is giving yourself a chance to
      control them without the need for gadgets or devices that could very
      easily fail. No one has been killed, but that doesn't mean no one
      ever will. You need to think of that. And second, even if you
      have your powers anymore, you still would be a mutant. That's
      genetic, not anything else. You wouldn't be abandoning us."
      He nodded, his shoulders sagging. She could tell he was
      exhausted from trying to hold himself together with the weight of
      this news. "Scott, let's go to bed, you need some time to
      think it
      "Yeah." he said, heading for the bed. She fell asleep almost
      instantly, her arms wrapped around his strong body.
      But he found he STILL couldn't sleep. When she woke the next
      morning, he was again staring out the window. He turned when he heard
      her slide out of bed. Had he slept at all? She wondered. The rigid
      posture, the drawn expression, screamed exhaustion, but he had dealt
      with exhaustion before. He could make it through the day.
      She approached him tentatively. His arms were folded across
      his chest, his jaw set in the universal "leave me alone"
      posture. He
      had said nothing, but she could tell his eyes were on her. She
      reached up, stroking her slim fingers down his cheek, and had to
      smile at the muscle twitch in his jaw. It was obvious he didn't
      her touching him, but didn't really want her to stop either.
      he opened his arms, pulling her into a tight embrace, his mouth at
      hers, rough, almost painful. She tried to pull away, but he just
      pulled her closer, the kiss increasing in pressure. She could have
      pushed him away with a quick telekinetic shove, but chose not to.
      Finally she was able to extricate her mouth from his and pushed his
      head away. "Scott, stop it, you're hurting me."
      He released her so quickly she almost stumbled and turned
      away, shoulders hunched. "I'm sorry Jean, I didn't
      mean..." He turned
      back toward her, and she could see a single tear making its way down
      his cheek. "Shit! I can't do anything right!" He whirled,
      the window frame again, harder than the last time, this time breaking
      open his knuckles. He was too angry to notice the blood running down
      his hand.
      For the first time since they had met, Jean was afraid of
      him. She knew he could have a violent temper; when a mission went
      wrong, she often found him in the gym beating the living daylights
      out of one of the punching bags, and the calm he projected when Logan
      made advances to her was just that, a projection. Underneath he was
      stewing. But never had he shown that side of his personality to her.
      She reached out, turning him around gently, taking the bruised hand
      in hers, kissing the back gently, tasting the salt of his blood. She
      was afraid, but she trusted him. She reached out with her mind,
      gently entering his, hoping to soothe the confusion, the fear, the
      Scott was angrier at himself than he had ever been. He had
      hurt Jean, his angel, the woman he loved more than he could imagine
      loving anyone. Stupid bastard! Why'd you have to go and do that?
      could feel Jean's mind entering his own, questioning, testing.
      Why is
      she doing this? Isn't she angry at me? He decided to let her in.
      could it hurt?
      Jean probed gently, finding the frustration, the anger. She
      tried to soothe them the best she could, leaving feelings of
      happiness and love, and could feel his body relaxing. Not much, but a
      little. But not far away she found something unexpected. Guilt. She
      pulled back, smiling slightly.
      "It's okay Scott, you didn't hurt me."
      "But...you said...I thought..."
      "You would have if you'd continued. But you hadn't
      He nodded, pulling her into a more gentle embrace this time,
      his hands soft and warm on her lightly clad back. She held him back
      tightly, trying to soothe his tense body as she had his tense mind.
      For some inexplicable reason, a single word came into her mind.
      Soulmates. The word had sounded ridiculous when she first heard it.
      The idea that another person could have the other half of your soul
      and you would only feel complete with them. She hadn't believed
      it at
      first. She hadn't been lacking for male companionship, but all of
      relationships had felt superficial. But it had been different with
      Scott, right from the beginning. Less than a day after she had met
      him, she felt more comfortable with him than she had with any of her
      previous male friends, even the ones she had dated for months. That
      connection was probably why he infuriated her at times, but also why
      she allowed him certain liberties that weren't allowed to anyone
      else. If anyone else had been as rough with her as he just had, they
      would have been thrown against the far wall with an equally rough
      telekinetic shove. She was fiercely independent, stubborn, a
      vociferous supporter of women's rights, and would not tolerate
      behavior from any man. Except Scott. Certain liberties, remember? She
      sometimes teased him about being distant, almost cold, even with his
      friends, but the truth was, she also kept much of herself hidden,
      choosing to reveal her deepest fears, her doubts and insecurities,
      only to her fiancee. And when he held her like this, it made it all
      worthwhile. They held that posture for many minutes, Scott finally
      speaking softly.
      "You think I should do it, don't you?"
      She was not surprised they were picking up the conversation
      where they had left off the night before. They thought so much alike
      that they often did, drawing bemused stares from whoever else might
      be present in the room.
      "Yes I do. If for no other reason than you wouldn't have to
      worry about what happened if your glasses were knocked off." He
      pulled away slightly so he could look into her eyes. "I know it
      wouldn't be easy adjusting. I know you feel it's your
      as the leader to remain distant, and the glasses have helped you do
      that. Are you afraid that if we can see your eyes we'll all
      out you're not as tough as you would like us to think?"
      She grinned at the scowl on his face. He was trying hard not
      to smile. Only Jean was allowed to talk to him like that. Only with
      Jean could he bear showing his weaknesses, his doubts. Only Jean.
      "Had you ever thought you might be a better leader without
      "Better? How?"
      "I know how frustrated you were that you couldn't help Storm
      at the train station when Magneto was kidnaping Rogue, and then at
      the Statue of Liberty. If Sabretooth hadn't been able to stop you
      just removing your visor, the results could have been different. You
      didn't like Logan fighting Sabretooth; you thought it should be
      Maybe it could have been if you hadn't had to rely on the visor.
      you wouldn't have had to worry about hurting me if he had tied
      He nodded, remembering the panic he had felt.
      She reached up, tracing the frames of his glasses with her
      fingers, her voice softening to a whisper. "And besides, you told
      once that you used to have beautiful brown eyes." She reached up
      toward his glasses. "Close your eyes, Scott."
      "Jean, don't...." but she could tell his eyes were
      She gently removed the glasses. His eyes were clenched much
      tighter than they would have needed to be, but he wasn't taking
      chances on hurting her. She kissed each eyelid gently, then slid the
      glasses back on. He was breathing heavily, an equal mixture of fear
      and desire running through his body. He hated that she had taken the
      chance with her safety, but found he was incredibly turned on by her
      actions. She had never touched his eyelids before; had never removed
      his glasses. He had never allowed her to. He hadn't realized how
      erotic the touch of her lips would be. For his whole life, the only
      touch had been his own rough hands as he washed his face, and the
      doctors who examined him after the first incident.
      "I wasn't thinking of that. I forgot how much I like looking
      at your eyes, I hadn't thought you might like to do the same."
      "The eyes are the windows to the soul."
      He laughed. "Yeah, I guess so. All right. I'll do it."
      "You're not doing it for me though, are you? That's the
      "Not entirely, no. I spent a lot of time thinking last night.
      Personal feelings aside, it would be irresponsible for me to ignore
      something that would remove the danger. If I didn't do it and
      got hurt because of me, I could never forgive myself."
      She took his face in her hands. "That's my Scott.
      to the end."
      He laughed, pulling her closer. This time the kiss was
      gentle; passionate but not rough. "Let's just skip our
      classes and go back to bed."
      "Hey, I'm not the one who stayed up all night mister.
      I'll be
      fine." The smile dropped. "You want me to find someone to
      teach your
      "No, I'm okay. Not the first time I've stayed up all
      He said with his patented half smile, and his expression left little
      doubt as to what he was talking about.
      "Scott Summers, you have a dirty mind!" But she had to
      She loved the playful side of him, when he would briefly act like a
      teenager in love, rather than Cyclops, Leader of the X-men. It never
      lasted as long as she would have liked, but she enjoyed it while she
      "You're sure you're okay?"
      "Yeah. Nothing a couple cups of coffee wont cure."
      "Okay." She gave him a quick kiss and lunged for the
      bathroom. "I'm first!" She announced, slamming the door.
      He laughed.
      Only Jean could be so responsible and then at times act like a 10
      year old. Only Jean could touch him like that. Only Jean.


      "You knew I'd say yes?"
      "Yes. You were thinking that you couldn't pass up the
      opportunity to eliminate the danger."
      Scott shook his head with a slight smile. "You were reading
      my mind."
      The professor shook his head, backing his chair out from
      behind the desk and approaching Scott. "No. I just know you,
      Scott. I
      should, we've been together long enough." Scott kneeled down,
      one of the Professor's hands in both of his.
      "I don't know how to thank you for this."
      "Don't thank me yet Scott. It may not work."
      "Doesn't matter if it does or not. It's the thought that
      counts, remember. The fact that you were trying to help, whether or
      not it actually does help, is the important part."
      "I'll always try to help you Scott, you know that.
      done so much for me, for the school, for my dream. It's the least
      can do."
      "Not as much as you've already done for me, sir."
      "Scott, how many times have I told you, call me Charles."
      "I...I can't, Professor. That's too disrespectful."
      "Not if I ask you to do it."
      "Sir, I'm sorry...I...I just can't. Please don't ask
      me to."
      "All right Scott. I won't mention it again. I hope it
      "Me too." Scott smiled and stood, turning to leave, but then
      stopped , turned back toward Xavier, and kneeling before the chair,
      enfolded the older man in a warm embrace. Charles returned the
      gesture, somewhat surprised. He knew Scott cared from him deeply,
      considered him a surrogate father, but never had his young leader
      hugged him. The extent of his affection had been limited to a
      handshake or a quick shoulder squeeze, never anything as personal as
      a hug. Quickly Scott stood, and without a look back, left the office.


      Have the lab beds always been this hard? Scott wondered. No,
      just when you're waiting for a medical procedure that could
      your life, he said to himself. Jean was hurrying around, checking
      every monitor for the hundredth time. Nothing could go wrong. Not
      when it involved Scott. Despite the Professor's assurances about
      Rogue's control, she was worried. Logan had barely survived his
      encounters with her; Scott would have been killed almost instantly.
      She glanced over at Scott. He was breathing deep and slow, the
      picture of calm collection; only she could sense his panic. Rogue had
      arrived a few minutes before and was now sitting on the bed next to
      Scott, eyes closed, inducing the meditative state that would enable
      her to have the greatest control over her powers. All they were
      waiting for was Logan; late as usual.
      "Evening, everyone!" He burst through the door as loudly as
      possible. Rogue started, glared at him, and returned to her
      meditation. "So, you need my help, huh, One Eye?"
      Scott just nodded. He knew Logan would try to bait him, and
      was not going to give him the satisfaction of a negative
      response. "Nothing wrong with accepting help from others, Logan.
      Nobody can do everything themselves."
      Logan looked as if he had been punched. He was expecting at
      least a rise from Cyclops, better yet, a sarcastic phrase or two. He
      didn't know quite how to respond to Scott's quiet tone. Even
      were the words. He had become an on again off again member of the X-
      Men, but was unwilling to submit to the daily discipline that the
      others endured; the tightly scheduled days, the discipline of the
      team. He refused to be bossed around by Cyclops, picking and choosing
      which missions he accompanied the others on. And he still tried to
      deny that he needed anyone else's help for anything, even after
      of the team members had saved his butt more than once. He knew
      Cyclops was making a dig on his independence, but he didn't have
      quick retort to it. What could he say, that there WAS something wrong
      with accepting help? I'll get him later, he thought to himself.
      "Okay, folks lets get this show on the road. I ain't got all
      night. It's such a nice night, I thought I'd go for a
      Scott's head jerked up, glaring at Logan, who had that
      intolerable smirk on his face. There was little doubt as to WHOSE
      motorcycle he was referring to.
      "I think that's the least you can do for me giving you your
      eyes back is to give me the bike, don't you think, One Eye?"
      "No. If that's the only reason you're doing it, Logan,
      it. You'll have my gratitude, but nothing else. If that isn't
      you can just leave right now." For several second, the two men
      at each other. Jean held her breath, looking back and forth between
      them. After all this, was Logan going to back out?
      Logan snorted. "Yeah, whatever." He hopped up on the bed.
      can figure out later how you can pay me back." Jean almost had to
      smile. He could care less if Scott ever paid him back. He was
      grateful for the opportunity he had been given at the school, the
      acceptance, the friendship, and had been looking for a way to
      reiterate. His tough facade covered the sensitive, pained interior,
      the man afraid of his past, unsure of his future. But he could never
      tell Scott that. Nor could he tell him how much he had grown to
      respect and trust him, both as a friend and as a leader. He had to
      keep up the tough guy charade. It was what everyone expected. She
      wished she could tell Scott that, but she didn't think it was
      appropriate to reveal Logan's deepest thoughts, even if he was
      broadcasting them so strongly that she was unable to NOT hear them.
      "Rogue? Are you ready?" She nodded without opening her eyes,
      reaching up a hand to Logan's face. Unlike the last time, at the
      Statue of Liberty, he didn't feel the pain, the draining of his
      strength, only a slight fatigue, like he had over exerted. Quickly
      she pulled back, and collecting herself again, reached toward Scott.
      He met her halfway, guiding her hand to his temple. The experience
      was far different for Scott. Where Logan's had been a draining,
      felt a strength, a power, he had never experienced before, a sudden
      understanding of what it was like to be Logan. He didn't need
      instruments to tell him it was working. Slight pains, mild annoyances
      that he hadn't even thought about cleared up like they had never
      there. That twinge in his ankle from where he had broken it a few
      years ago, the bruise he had received in the danger room the day
      before, the aching hand from punching the wall, the stiffness in his
      neck from falling asleep on his desk that afternoon, all gone. But
      more important that any of those was what was happening in his head.
      Ever since his powers had first manifested, he had had to deal with
      headaches. Once he received the ruby quartz sunglasses and could
      release some of the power, they had been better, but they had always
      been there. But not now. It was gone. Rogue let go, and the loss of
      Logan's strength was like a splash of cold water. He understood
      better the reason for his cockiness, his arrogance. Hell, if I always
      felt that strong, I'd probably be cocky too, Scott thought. But
      important part was unchanged. The headache was gone.
      "I don't know yet Scott. The brain scan will take a minute
      come up. How do you feel?"
      "The headache is gone."
      "That's a good sign. That could mean the damage is repaired.
      I don't know yet." She looked at the other two. "Logan,
      Rogue, you
      can go. If the headache is gone, the transfer was apparently
      "I thought you said you don't know if it worked." Rogue
      "I don't. The damage is apparently repaired, but whether
      that's enough to give him control over his powers, that I
      don't know."
      "All right. Give me a call if you need me again," she said,
      heading for the door.
      "I will. You feel okay, Logan?"
      "No problem, Jeanie. Later, One-Eye." He turned and was
      almost to the door when Scott spoke.
      Logan smiled that wolfish smile, turning back to the door.
      Somehow the nickname Wolverine fit him quite well at the moment.
      Scott watched him leave, surprised. He had expected a sarcastic
      retort at least. Maybe he's changed.
      Jean was smiling at him, but he barely noticed, fidgeting on
      the bed. "So when will we know if it worked or not?"
      "I already know, Scott, I just thought you would rather not
      have them here when I told you." He could feel his heart
      wildly in his chest. Why would she say that? It hadn't worked and
      didn't want them there in case he felt like crying? But if it
      worked, why was she smiling? "So you said your eyes were
      brown?" She
      asked, reaching up a hand, stroking the side of his face.
      "Yeah, but what..." his voice trailed off as he suddenly
      realized what she was saying. "You mean..." he couldn't
      finish, a
      lump in his throat.
      "It looks like it."
      "So I don't need these anymore?" he asked, reaching for
      glasses. She stopped his hand before he could touch them.
      "I don't know, Scott. I don't know how hard it will be
      control them with your mind. Trust me, controlling things with your
      mind isn't easy."
      He had to laugh at that one, remembering all her failures
      when she first came to the school, her embarrassment when she was
      trying to show him how well she was doing and dropped the coffee pot
      in the middle of the kitchen floor, coffee and broken glass
      everywhere. He nodded. He had realized that right from the start,
      that there was a risk in the procedure. What if the control was
      inconsistent? What if he couldn't find the "on" switch in
      his mind
      and couldn't use the beams at all?
      "So, how do I start?"
      "Only one way. Look at something that wont matter if it's
      damaged, take off your glasses and see what happens."
      He nodded. "The woods. At worst, I would blow up a tree."
      She laughed. "I'm sure the tree wouldn't appreciate
      "Then I'll plant two more in apology."
      "Okay, let's go. Shouldn't be anybody there at this time


      "Go ahead, Scott. Give it a try."
      He nodded, reaching up to the glasses. He stroked the frames
      for a second, lost in thought. Then with a determined motion, pinned
      his gaze on the deepest part of the forest and pulled them off, ready
      to slam them back on if a beam erupted from his eyes.
      Nothing. Nothing at all. For the first time since he was a
      teenager, he looked at the world through his own eyes, no lenses to
      block his sight. His eyes teared up almost instantly. He wiped away
      the moisture, but it was back in a second.
      "Jean, why are my eyes watering so bad?"
      "Maybe because you're crying, silly." she teased.
      "No, I'm not. They're just watering."
      "Must be the breeze. They're not used to any air movement.
      Remember, both your glasses and the visor fit tightly to your face.
      They haven't felt air movement in a long time. They'll get
      used to
      it." She moved closer, laying a hand on his shoulder. "Do you
      "No. No pressure, no energy. Are you sure I can still use the
      "No, but I don't see any reason you shouldn't be able
      to. All
      we did was allow you to control them, we didn't shut them off.
      shooting the tree."
      "Um, I'm not sure. Maybe try to picture a beam coming out
      "Picture it? How?"
      "I don't know. Just imagine it."

      "Okay." she couldn't see his eyes, standing safely
      behind him
      as she was, but she could feel the tension in his mind, the
      concentration. For several seconds, nothing happened, then before she
      realized it, the tree was exploding in a blast of concussive force.
      He jumped back, quickly closing his eyes and sliding the glasses on.
      "Scott? Are you okay?"
      He nodded, nearly falling. She caught him and helped him sit.
      He was much heavier than her, but with the aid of her telekinesis,
      she was able to set him down gently. He leaned against her, clearly
      exhausted. "It's hard. I don't know if it's going to
      work. I can't
      put that much effort into using them every time."
      "You wont have to. It will come easier after a while. You're
      using your mind in a way it's not used to."
      "You sure?"
      "Yes. It wasn't easy for me at first either. At first, I
      could only move things when I was angry; the anger seemed to give me
      additional strength. The first time I tried a controlled experiment,
      I could barely lift something as light as a pen, and it exhausted me
      for hours afterward."
      "It's easier now."
      "Much. Now I can lift something close to my own weight barely
      even thinking about it. You'll get it." He nodded, still
      heavily. "Come on, that's enough for a first try, let's
      call it a
      "Okay." He tried to stand, but his legs buckled under him.
      She helped him to his feet and together they returned to the mansion.


      Two months. Two months he had been practicing alone. He would
      retreat to the forest alone in the evenings after class, not
      returning until late. She had asked him a couple times how it was
      going, and he responded with the same non-committal "Fine".
      She knew
      it wasn't easy; her telekinesis had been incredibly difficult to
      learn. At times she did well, other times she struggled so much she
      almost gave up hope for ever being consistently successful. But he
      wouldn't talk about how it was going at all, not the successes,
      the failures.
      Learning to use his powers had brought up an unexpected, and
      for Jean, unfortunate side effect. He had always had a tightly
      controlled, highly disciplined mind. He had better control of his
      thoughts and emotions than any other non-telepath she had ever
      encountered. She didn't know if it was a mutation or just a side
      effect of his leadership training and experience, but only the most
      powerful telepath could read his mind against his will. Even the
      professor, who was one of the strongest telepaths in the world,
      couldn't fully get in there if Scott chose to keep him out. But
      the discipline and hard work of his training in the control of his
      powers had strengthened his mind even further, keeping in the
      occasional stray thought or emotion that had previously slipped out.
      In the last year, since their talk in the garage after Logan's
      arrival, Scott had become far more amenable to letting her in and
      they had developed an unusual psychic rapport, each others thoughts
      and feelings like pleasant background noise in their minds. But now
      that was gone, and Jean missed it terribly. Without the soft touch of
      his mind, it was like he wasn't even there.
      She returned one evening after being out running, surprised
      to see him in their room. Normally at this time of day he would be
      out hiding in the forest, practicing. But more surprising than him
      being there was what else was in the room. A candlelight dinner, soft
      music playing on the stereo, and a small, delicately wrapped package
      on the table. She smiled delightedly.
      "Scott? What's all this?"
      He smiled, the first smile she had seen in weeks. "Dinner,
      "Well, I can see that," she said, hands on her hips, "I
      why so fancy? And why did you dress up? Is this a formal dinner?"
      almost laughed out loud at that. He had put on his one and only
      tuxedo, slipped a carnation in the lapel hole, polished his shoes,
      combed his hair even more precisely than usual. Damn, he looks good
      in a tux, Jean thought.
      He strode to her in several quick, efficient strides, taking
      her hand, kissing the back. "You don't have to, but I wanted
      to." She
      looked down at herself. She felt she had been slacking off lately on
      her exercise, so had given herself a particularly hard workout, and
      looked and smelled like it. Scott was trying not to laugh, but she
      knew he could easily smell her body odor. She leaned closer and
      kissed him.
      "I'll just take a quick shower, okay?"
      He watched her go with delight. He really didn't care if she
      had just come back from running, her hair tied back by an
      unattractive clip, no makeup on and wearing sweaty workout clothes,
      smelling almost as bad as Logan's awful cigars, he still was
      on by her closeness. But, if she wanted to wash...


      "Okay. I'm back." He turned and found himself staring.
      She was wearing that beautiful red dress he had bought her the
      Christmas before. The one that brought out the color of her hair and
      made her eyes seem even greener. "You like?"
      He took several deep breaths, almost overwhelmed by the
      vision before his eyes, completely overwhelmed by the love he felt
      toward her. How did I get so lucky? he wondered.
      He finally found his voice. "You know I do." he whispered,
      his voice husky.
      She smiled a little too knowingly. Of course she knew he
      liked the dress; he had bought it for her. But sometimes she just HAD
      to tease him.
      "Okay, sexy. You still haven't told me the meaning for the
      dinner, though."
      He turned serious again. "For putting up with me. I know I
      haven't been easy to live with the last couple months."
      She laughed. "Scott, you haven't been easy to live with the
      last couple YEARS."
      He hadn't been smiling before, but at her words, his mouth
      dropped open in hurt and shock. "You don't...I mean..."
      The look of pain was evident on his face. Her smile
      dropped. She swore to herself. Dammit Jean, you know better than to
      talk to him like that. You know how insecure he is about your love
      for him! She had meant it as a joke, but he hadn't taken it that
      She took his hands in hers. "Relationships aren't easy
      regardless of
      the situation, Scott. And when you live the kind of mixed up lives
      that we do, that just makes it that much harder. You know we've
      some rough times." He nodded. More than their share, it seemed.
      at times you make me so angry I'm tempted to toss you through the
      wall. But I love you. Don't you ever forget that. Just because I
      angry at you sometimes doesn't mean I love you any less."
      "I'm sorry, I don't mean to make you angry, it's
      just... I
      just...oh hell." he stumbled, finally pulling her into an
      kissing her softly. "Shall we eat?"
      She smiled. "Sounds good. I'm starved." She picked up
      wrapped box. "A gift? What's the occasion?"
      "Because I love you. Isn't that occasion enough?"
      She laughed, reaching across the table to squeeze his
      hand. "Sounds good to me. When can I open it?"
      He put on his best stern teacher face. "After you've
      all your brussels sprouts, young lady."
      She bowed her head in mock deference. "Yes, Mr. Summers."
      said, mocking the title used by his students. He laughed. She had to
      smile. Something about him had changed. She hadn't noticed it
      now, but he was less tense, less uptight. She wondered if it had
      something to do with the newfound control over his powers. He seldom
      relaxed. Even while sleeping he was often tense and nervous, afraid
      that he would roll over and knock the glasses off his face. Of
      course, he secured them with a strap before retiring for the night,
      but he still worried. She had thought that was just who he was, but
      maybe more than anything it had been fear at what his powers could
      do. Of course, I don't know if he can control them yet, she
      he hasn't told me. Several times in the last two months she had
      him to remove his glasses, and every time he had refused, telling her
      that he wasn't confident in his abilities yet. She didn't
      think he
      had anything to worry about; as difficult as it had been for him to
      use them the first time, she thought he would have more difficulty
      turning them on than off, but that was Scott. He wouldn't take
      chances with her safety. None.
      The dinner was delicious, roast beef with gravy, mashed
      potatoes, mixed vegetables in a rich cream sauce, fresh baked bread,
      blueberry pie and red wine. She savored each item carefully, not
      really knowing which she was liking more, the food itself, or eating
      a meal with Scott for the first time in far too long.
      "Is it okay?" he asked anxiously, seeing her eating slowly
      and misinterpreting her actions as not liking the food.
      "It's wonderful. When did you learn to cook?"
      He blushed. "Well, Remy helped me a little. He doesn't just
      cook Cajun, you know."
      "Uh huh. Scott, you can't even make scrambled eggs without
      burning them. You didn't do this."
      "Yes, I did really!"
      "Okay, what exactly did you do?"
      "I thought so."
      "I mashed the potatoes!" he finally blurted out with an
      embarrassed smile.
      "There you go!" She laughed. "Someday, Scott Summers,
      need to learn how to cook."
      "Only if you teach me."
      She snorted. "Ha! You know me, I could burn water. Maybe Remy
      could teach us both."
      "There's a plan."
      He refilled her wine glass and his own. Handing her the gift,
      he moved toward the sofa. She picked up her glass and fingered the
      delicate wrapping. Sitting down beside him, she set the wine glass on
      the end table and carefully untied the bow.
      "No, I didn't wrap it either. Ororo did."

      "I wasn't going to ask. I know that's not among your
      either." The paper fell away, revealing a small, plain cardboard
      She turned it around, but the outside gave no clue as to the
      contents. She slid a nail under the tape securing it shut, and with a
      careful motion, lifted the top off.
      Inside was a small rectangular object, wrapped in tissue
      paper. She carefully unfolded the paper, gazing in confusion at the
      small black object. "Scott, what..."
      "Unfold the round parts. You'll see what it is." She did
      he said, gazing intently at the object. What was it? Suddenly it
      dawned on her. Scott's visor. She seldom saw it off his face. It
      looked different sitting in a box. But why...
      "Scott, why are you giving this to me?" she looked up at
      locking eyes with him. Locking eyes. Suddenly she realized what she
      was doing. She was looking at his eyes. Not his visor, not his
      glasses, his eyes. His very brown, warm, love-filled eyes.
      "Scott?" she whispered, afraid this was a dream, and
      unwilling to wake if it was. "You..."
      "I don't need them any more. It worked."
      "You're sure?"
      He nodded, turning toward the table. His forehead creased
      slightly, and suddenly, a fine beam shot from his eyes, pushing the
      salt shaker gently across the table, stopping just an inch from the
      edge. He turned back to her with a smile. "I don't know
      exactly how,
      but I can control them."
      "You don't know how, you just do it."
      "Yes. That's how your telekinesis is?"
      "Yes. After a while, it becomes second nature, like walking.
      You don't have to think about it; your brain just knows how to do
      "Yes. That's how it is."
      She reached up a hand, tentatively stroking it down the side
      of his face. For the first time, her path was uninterrupted by his
      glasses. She traced the tan line, stroking gently on the eerie white
      where the glasses had lain for so long. The skin was soft, smooth,
      and incredibly sensitive, she discovered, as he shuddered at her
      "Jean, I..."
      "Hush, lover,"she whispered, laying her hand across his
      mouth. "Let me touch you." She could feel his uncertainty,
      tension. He was always like this when she touched him. He knew that
      her gentle fingers could make him forget everything but her, and he
      hated to lose control, even for a minute, even when they were alone.
      And he couldn't lose control right now. He still had another
      for her.
      With an effort, he pulled her hand away. "I have another gift
      for you, Jean. Come here." She set the box down and slid over
      to him. He reached up and gently touched the side of her face. With a
      jolt, she felt Scott's mind linking with hers. What the hell? she
      thought. He isn't a telepath. How can he do that? Suddenly she
      realized. He wasn't linking with her; she was with him. She had
      unconsciously been trying to re-establish the link ever since he cut
      it off, and he was finally letting her back in. She smiled, joy
      flowing through her at the remembered feeling of Scott's mind
      her own; the incredible feeling of his happiness and her own,
      flowing together, entwining around each other, unsure where one
      ended and the other began.
      "But Scott, I thought..." he gently covered her mouth with
      his, preventing further questions. {{I'm sorry Jean, I had to
      you out for a while. I was afraid of your thoughts being a
      distraction while I learned to use my powers. I want you back now, if
      you'll let me.}}
      She smiled inwardly at the voice in her mind. {{Of course
      I'll let you Scott. I missed it.}}
      {{So did I.}}
      She pulled away from his mouth, and with a stretch, reached
      up and kissed each eye, delighting at feeling him tremble, the
      tension in him melting away at her touch. The last time she had done
      that, he had enjoyed it, but not as fully as he could have, still
      fearful of opening his eyes and hurting her. He opened his eyes,
      without fear for the fist time, and Jean was almost overwhelmed by
      the love she saw there. Has he always had that look? she wondered. I
      wish I could have seen it years ago. She reached for him, enfolding
      him in a tight embrace. {{Oh Scott, I love you so much.}}
      {{I love you too Jean.}} He slipped an arm under her legs,
      and, kissing her the whole time, carried her to bed. Gently laying
      her down, he kneeled down on the bed, stretching one leg over her,
      squeezing her hips gently with his knees. He reached toward her face,
      and stroking the hair back from her face, kissed her forehead, her
      chin, then, as she closed her eyes, each eyelid, stroking her face
      and neck with his ever so gentle hands. Jean felt his lips on her
      eyelids, and shivered, losing herself in the sensations. He stopped
      and pulled away slightly, and she opened her eyes. He was looking at
      her, and she could feel the joy he was feeling through their link;
      the remarkable feeling of looking at her without the restriction of
      the red lenses. She reached up, tracing the line of his jaw with her
      fingers. He closed his eyes briefly, a shiver running through him at
      her touch, then opened them again, unable to get enough of looking at
      her, trying to make up for years of restriction. She smiled at the
      expression of wonder on his face, slightly embarrassed to be the
      object of such a look of awe. She pulled him down to her, and he
      complied willingly, kissing her neck, her shoulders, his hands roving
      over her body. She sighed deeply, reveling at the slow, gentle
      touches. Scott was never quick with her, never rough, but she felt in
      his mind the desire to stretch their lovemaking out for hours; the
      whole night if possible. Somehow, she knew this night was going to be
      better than any previous she had had with him...


      "I tell you, Marie, a piece of toast is not enough breakfast
      for a growing girl."
      "Logan, I stopped growing a year ago. Leave me alone, I'm
      just not that hungry. I'll eat something later. I promise."
      "Well... you promise?"
      "I promise. Don't worry, you've been taking good care of
      Logan fidgeted. It was true he did care deeply for her,
      probably more than he would ever admit, but she was an adult. She
      didn't need a baby sitter.
      "All right." he finally conceded. "You want some
      "No, just the jam is fine, thanks Logan."
      "Okay." he was heading for the fridge when the door swung
      open and Scott and Jean entered, talking and laughing. Thank God he
      hadn't already picked up the jam or he would have undoubtedly
      it in shock.
      "Morning, Logan. Morning Marie." Scott was smiling, enjoying
      the look on Logan's face.
      "Morning, Mr. Summers, Miss Grey." She wasn't fully
      awake yet
      and it took an instant for it to sink in. But once it did, she nearly
      dropped her glass of orange juice. "Mr. Summers! Your eyes!
      You're...you're fixed?"

      Scott laughed. "Yes." he took her gloved hand, squeezing
      gently. "Thanks to you."
      She found herself transfixed by the deep brown eyes. "Well,
      it's the least I could do." She said softly. "Y'all
      have been so nice
      to me."
      "Regardless. Thank you Marie."
      She turned back to her toast, hoping her staring hadn't been
      too obvious. Damn, he has nice eyes, she thought to herself. Knock it
      off Rogue! He's your teacher! She said to herself.
      "You're welcome,
      Mr. Summers." she said shyly, hoping Jean wasn't picking up
      on what
      she was thinking. By the half smile she had, Rogue assumed she was.
      Scott turned to Logan, extending his hand. "You too Logan.
      Thank you." Finally Logan regained his senses and shook
      Scott's hand,
      nodding his head at the thanks. Jean had to smile. Maybe they could
      become friends after all. "I guess you'll need to start
      calling me
      Scott now. One Eye doesn't make sense anymore."
      The couple turned and headed for the door. When they were
      nearly there, Logan's voice rang out clear in the quiet kitchen.
      ya round, tightass." Jean glanced over at Scott. He had tensed
      set his jaw, but there was a slight smile at the corners of his
      mouth. She had to laugh. Maybe not.

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